Those who say you can’t take it with you have never seen a car packed for a crafting retreat!

Well, I’m back. Which may be a surprise to some of you because I didn’t say I was going! From Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, I was in the company of 26 very talented and crafty people – Stampin’ Up! Demonstrators who belong to Jayne Mercer‘s Inklings Team.

When I finished packing (3 bags of stamps, inks, cardstock and other essential craft items, chocolates and TimTams, craft magazines for inspiration, one paperback book – “The Princess Bride”, and one small backpack of clothes) I thought perhaps I was overdoing it. Once I got to Vision Valley in Arcadia, where we had our little craft retreat, I realised I had packed light – those ladies know how to pack!

I had a wonderful time! We crafted, and ate, slept a bit, ate, crafted, ate, crafted… you get the picture. Occasionally we took a walk through the bushland in the sunshine, and breathed in the fresh air (but I confess that was usually on our way to the dining room to eat some more. {blush})

It was an inspiration to be amongst so many talented people – I could just feel my ideas expanding like a beautiful hot air balloon, ready to take off into the blue. And, because we had a stamp, big shot die and punch library, I got to be creative with Stampin’ Up! products I don’t yet own.

So, over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some of their creations and mine. I took part in a ‘card in a box’ swap, which involves designing a card, pre-cutting all the cardstock etc, and placing all necessary equipment in a box so everyone taking part can make it too. So, I have lots of swaps to share, along with colour and layout challenges I took part in, and a few other things I had time to create while I was away. Some of them will have to wait until after 1st September when the 2010-2011 Idea Book and Catalogue is released (squeee! – excitement plus!!) because they use new stamps, but others I can show you now.

First I’ll show you my swap. It uses one of the stamps from a new set that I got on pre-order (I love being a SU! demonstrator!) called ‘Cute by the Inch‘. It’s a second level hostess set, so it’s only available if you hold a workshop and your combined total meets a certain goal.

  • Stamp Sets: Cute by the Inch, Vintage Vogue, Tiny Tags
  • CS: Naturals Ivory, Soft Suede, Rich Razzleberry, Old Olive
  • Ink: Rich Razzleberry, Old Olive
  • Big Shot Accessories: Lots of Tags Sizzlet, Perfect Polka Dots Embossing Folder

If you’d like to see some of my swaps up close, I’ll have them on display during my Stampin’ Pastels class this Sunday at 2.00pm at my home in Summer Hill – please email me if you’d like to attend, as I only have space for five attendees. Cost is $20 – you’ll learn three Stampin’ Pastels techniques, and of course a yummy afternoon tea is provided. I think I might be in a hummingbird cake sort of mood this week – one of my favourites! As an added bonus, we’ll also make a very simple Father’s Day card, seeing that’s just around the corner!

Thanks for taking a peek today! And also a big thanks to Jayne for providing such a wonderful weekend.

Cheers,

Dani

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