Sunday, 28 August 2016

Cupcake and Jellyfish

Happy Sunday everyone. I hope your weekend has been great so far. 

Today I was on a mission. To start using new goodies that I had acquired from the HLS Craft Retreat - the other mission was what to choose!

Now, Miss USA (aka Darnell) has a very well timed NBUS challenge that gave me the kick in the pants to get started.

I had seen a couple of fellow bloggers in my feed, posting about the challenge at Cupcake Inspirations. I had a light bulb moment. I had received a gorgeous die set from Susan (fellow teamie at ATCAS) for my birthday in July. It is the mini cupcake by Paper Smooches.

Here is my card -


I die cut the cupcake and sprinkles from Brusho panels that I had spare. The colours are Lime Green and Purple. Love them! I stamped the sentiment with Memento Luxe Ink - Sweet Plum. It is from the Happy Little Stampers Fun Birthday Sentiments set.

The challenge at Cupcake Inspirations is to also decorate the inside of your card. I had the perfect PTI stamp set to go with my cupcake. I RARELY decorate the inside of my cards so thanks for the challenge :)


Here are the challenges that I am entering this card into -





I was looking at the cupcake die and had another light bulb moment. When used upside down it looks like a jellyfish!


The background is a piece from my stash made at the HLS Craft Retreat (using Brusho, Starch and Cling Wrap). I drew the tentacles and added googly eyes for fun :) He looks a little.... angry??

The background die that I used on both cards is one of my new ones from Sizzix. Love it!

I would like to enter this fella into the following challenges -

Allsorts - Use at least 2 dies

Thanks for popping in today. Have a great rest of your weekend :)


Friday, 26 August 2016

Amazing Memories! Europe 2016 Part 1 - London

Hi there everyone! I hope you were able to catch up on all the fun we had at the HLS Craft Retreat with my previous post. If not, you can check it out HERE.

I wanted to share a few photos with you of my trip away and also the cards that I made at the retreat.
I've got some amazing memories here and it was an experience that I was so lucky to share with so many people.

Here we are ready to fly out of Sydney. This was the long haul flight to Dubai (14.5 hours!).  The next flight to London was about 8 hours.


Left to Right: Maree (my mum), Me, Simone (my best friend), Anne (Simone's mum)

This is Simone and my first trip overseas together. We have been best friends for 36 years so it was about time!

First stop - London! We did plenty of sightseeing. The morning we arrived, we didn't waste any time. We got on the Hop On-Hop Off Bus tour to see the city. Pity I dropped my camera on the very first day.... From then on, I relied on my phone. Lucky they take a fairly decent photo!

London in Brief:

| City Sightseeing - bus and cruise | Greenwich Markets | Thriller Live! at the Lyric Theatre | Kinky Boots at the Adelphi Theatre | Motown at the Shaftesbury Theatre | Madam Tussauds | Covent Garden | London Eye | Harrods | 

Here are some of my favourite shots from London

Selfie on the London Eye



Sandie and I cruising the river Thames
Tower Bridge
Tower of London


walking down Oxford street

Shakespeares Head Tavern - Carnaby Street

Madame Tussauds was one of my favourite outings. I'm a bit of a Star Wars and Sherlock Holmes fan and there were fantastic exhibitions on at the time :) Callum and I had a blast!

Callum and I with the royal fam

Had to get a shot with Yoda and play with the light sabers!
who doesn't love Shrek?
Every girls dream.... flying the Millennium Falcon
kickin' it back with Han Solo

Well that's enough of that! I've probably bored you silly lol.

I would now like to share the cards that I made at the HLS Craft Retreat.




All these cards were made using Brushos. There was actually very little stamping and a lot of die cutting. The best thing about the retreat was everyone bought a bit of their stash from home and we got to share. What an amazing time we had - thanks to all you gals for making it such an unforgettable weekend. 

Thanks for popping in today. I really appreciate it :)

I did a bit of a calculation on how long it took me to get home from Spain. Door to door it was over 36 hours. Wow.... no wonder that jet lag is a killer!

Sunday, 21 August 2016

HLS Craft Retreat - WOW! - (Photo Heavy!)

Hello! I am back from my whirlwind tour of Europe. I really packed in the sights and I loved every minute. Unfortunately it got the better of me and I ended up with Bronchitis towards the final leg of my trip. I'm still not the best and am suffering from jet lag but I just couldn't wait to share a particular part of my trip with you.

The 29th of July marked the inaugural Happy Little Stampers Craft Retreat in the UK. I had been planning and organising it for about 18 months. Yes, I did from Australia - thank god for the internet! 

If I was asked what was the highlight of my 4 weeks away - this would have to be it. I cannot believe how everything came together. From the feedback I have received, it was a complete success and I can't wait to start planning the next one! 

The ladies that attended were my 'guinea pigs'. I had never done anything like this in my life. I am truly grateful to everyone that came along. We had a fantastic weekend - great food, great company and plenty of crafting.

The morning of the 29th had me driving from Bath to Swindon. First stop was HobbyCraft so I could pick up the supplies -

(You will have to forgive me if the photos aren't the best. I 'killed' my camera on the very first day in London so I had to use my phone.)

What a dork....

Then it was on to the Blunsdon House Hotel where the retreat was being held. With a little help from my friends, we set up our craft room.

Many thanks to Simone and Anne :)


Thanks so much to Sizzix for our loan machines, dies, and giveaways. HobbyCraft Swindon also provided us with a lucky door prize (won by Anita!)

Around 2pm everyone started arriving. It was so amazing to finally meet everyone. I had met a few of the girls previously but it was so good to hug everyone when they arrived!

Of course we ended up in the bar and took over a complete section so we could get to know one another :)
Kathy, Di, Monika
Debbie

Julie, Darnell, Carol


Marina, Sarah, Anita

Kylie (me) and Chrissie

Val, Sue, Anne, Lilian

Then it was time for dinner and who turned up but Miss USA herself!!


 

Miss USA even allowed us all to have our photos taken with her tiara - what a princess!

Thanks for the collage Darnell!

A great group shot at dinner -

Melissa and her gorgeous family arrived just in time for dinner after driving from Germany!

Ready for day one of the reatreat?

Everyone is starting to arrive and finding more goodies on their tables (everyone was given a goody bag at registration the night before as well!)
The first demo was how to use Brusho watercolour crystals a number of ways. 














These were the pieces using the Brusho, Starch and Cling Wrap technique. 

The next demo was done by my beautiful mum - Christmas in July making Crakers and Table Wreaths





Day 1 was fantastic - we also had lots of Anything Goes time. Check out the mess we made!






Day 2 of the retreat had us playing with stacks of supplies from Sizzix and WOW! Embossing Powder. Carol gave us an amzing demo on masking using all different products. Carol you were awesome!






We also had a number of challenges that were run at the retreat.

Challenge 1 - Create an Australian Themed Christmas Card - winners: Sue and Val
Challenge 2 - Create a Card using a technique from Day 1 - winners: Marina and Sue
Challenge 3 - Create a card using an object you found at the hotel - winners: Kathy and Val
Challenge 4 - Photo Scavenger Hunt - winner: Di


Throughout the retreat we had lucky door prizes and raffles. We had an amazing amount of goodies from our wonderful sponsors - Sizzix, WOW! and Colourcraft (Brusho products). Thank you to all these sponsors!!

Some of us joined in an ATC swap - check out these amazing makes -




Here are all the cards/tags that were made by all the gals at the retreat -


We also had a special guest -



And a final group shot before it was time to say goodbye -


Thank you, thank you, thank you to all the ladies that came. You made it such a great weekend and I can't wait to come back. Thanks for the encouragement and support (and my surprise presents) to give me the confidence to do it all over again. 

Special thanks to

My Mum - mum travelled with me on this epic journey. We travelled around the UK, Wales, France, and Spain. What memories we have!
My best friend Simone and her mum Anne - for all their help with the set up and just for coming on this trip!
Sandie and Callum - for putting Mum and I up while in London. They are seriously the best!
Carol - for taking deliveries for me and bringing them to the retreat. I couldn't have done that without you! Your demo was fantastic (hence everyone getting on bloody Amazon buying up everything) and I appreciate your neverending support. I can't wait to see your next demo hint, hint.
Julie - for being the boss of ATSM while I was away and running everything for me. Also for returning the loan machines to Sizzix. You are the best!
Monika - for helping my mum. Thank you!
Kathy - for just saying 'go for it' and her support when I broached the subject of the craft retreat many moons ago. 
Florence and Freddie - for putting up with mum and I while in Spain - germs and all. Love ya guts.
Barb - for taking care of ATCAS for me while I was away. She is a star!!
Jane - for taking care of the HLS challenge blog while I was away - thank you so much!


That's it! What an epic adventure I've had. I can't wait to get back into my craft room and play with some of the goodies from the retreat and my new purchases. 

I am going to copy and paste this post to the HLS blog - sorry for the double up but I am jet lagged and using that as my excuse for not writing a whole new post :)

Thanks for popping in. I hope that this will inspire you to come to the 

2nd Happy Little Stampers Craft Retreat in ............................

stay tuned