Friday 26 October 2007

New Stuff Arrived

On Tuesday while I was getting my fill of Me time we received a delivery from the USA. It included all the new Ranger Distress Crackle paints, Basic Grey's Figgy Pudding papers and Crafters Workshop doodle templates. Ooooh I almost forgot we also received the new colours of Stickles Glitter Glue, I think there are 4.

I am loving these templates, I can't wait until our next crop so I can play with some of them. The only problem is going to be choosing which ones.

These templates haven't made it onto our website yet but the Crackle Paint and Figgy Pudding have.

In this delivery we also received some more Bind It All Tool Kits, the tote bags should be with us next Tuesday.

I think that was pretty much it for new stuff this week so fingers crossed for more next week.

Thursday 25 October 2007

Champneys Health Resort

I was lucky enough to spend the day at Henlow Grange on Tuesday with a friend. This was the first time for both of us. We had to book this day months in advance so we could both clear our schedules and do nothing but relax for the day.

On arrival we were issued with our robes, lockers and our treatment schedules. We took the guided tour as we didn't want to miss out on anything. What I wasn't prepared for was the fact that we could join in upto 20 classes ranging from spin and indoor cycling to pilates and yoga. Unfortunately I didn't bring the right attire for an exercise class - oh what a shame!

My aim for the day was to relax. So we hit the swimming pool first, a 25m pool with a jacuzzi. We were impressed with the decor and the details, yes there were a small few areas on the ceiling that could use a little tlc but on the whole we were very impressed. After our feeble attempts at swimming a few lengths we moved onto the jacuzzi swiftly followed by the steam room. If you have never experienced a steam room it can be quite daunting at first, walking into a room where you can't see much and the extreme heat it takes a couple of minutes to relax and enjoy. But once you start relaxing in there you don't want to leave.

After leaving a steam room you are supposed to go for the cold shower to cool down your body temperature. I did go for the cold shower but wasn't brave enough to stand underneath it, I stood to the side and splashed myself with the cold water.

We repeated the above cycle a couple of times before we had to leave the pool area and head off for our massage and facial. These were followed by a lunch that was far too healthy but quite tasty.

After lunch we relaxed overlooking the pool until we felt ready for another steam session - I could easily get addicted to this.

We both had a manicure and pedicure and then we sat in the conservatory while our nails dried. From the conservatory you can see some of the beautiful grounds and hear people playing tennis.

We have decided that it is absolutely necessary, for our own sanity, that we do this at least once a year, preferably with a couple of nights included just to ensure that we do completely relax before we return to our hectic lives.

I think top of my Christmas List will be - vouchers to a health resort please.

Monday 22 October 2007

Saturday with Graham - What a scream!

Well, if you didn't make it into our store on Saturday you missed out. Graham Hansford was in store demonstrating his embossing board. We thoroughly enjoyed Graham's company for the day so much so that we have invited him to join us at the HobbyCrafts show at the NEC on Sunday 11th November, so if you missed Graham on Saturday you have another opportunity to come and see him in a couple of weeks - I promise you won't be disappointed.
If you have ever met Graham you will know how much fun he is, and if you came in on Saturday we hope you enjoyed the demonstration.

This Saturday (27th October) we have another demonstration. We have Lyndsey from Kuretake who is going to show us wonderful techniques and ideas with the Zig range of pens i.e. Calligraphy, Brushables, Dott-a-riffic, etc - Hope you can joins us.

P.S. We will also be in Halloween outfits this Saturday.

Friday 19 October 2007

Tequni-Fun Friday

Last Friday we held our first technique filled class - Tequni-Fun Friday.

They started the day playing with the new Ranger Crackle Paint, followed by a Gingerbread man Christmas card - all taught by Vicky.
Then Julie took over the class to teach them how to make this ATC book using the Bind It All and magnetic snaps.
Finally, Lesley spent a couple of hours with them in a Mixed Media session using dabbers and H20s on canvas and creating the Ribbon box using alcohol inks.
Everybody seemed to have a great time although they weren't to keen to get their hands dirty (as you can see from the surgical gloves!).

We hope to be hosting another day like this in January.

Wednesday 17 October 2007


If you have watched our 'Wings' TV show on Create & Craft then you will have seen Graham's Embossing Board. We have persuaded Graham Hansford to come to our store on Saturday and demonstrate his board for us along with the punches that match the board and some stamps. Hopefully you will be able to come along to the shop and see for yourself how versatile this board is and how much fun Graham can make it.

If you have been on to our website recently you might have noticed all the products we have been adding, we are also adding as much information as we can about the different products.

Some products even have a video clip for you to watch like the Zutter Dreamkuts machine, this gives you a good idea about how the machine works before you decide to buy.

We are continually striving to improve our website and hope that now you are finding it more user friendly.

Tuesday 16 October 2007


Well, congratulations to those of you that made it on to one of our Design Teams. We were overwhelmed with the huge response that we received, which is why it took us longer than anticipated to decide.

If you didn't make it onto one of our teams this time please try again next time. The quality of artwork that we received was extremely impressive.

Now I just have to get my act together and send out products to our new DT members, I am also trying to think ahead to the NEC which is less than 4 weeks away. Now is the time I need to be ordering products to make sure they arrive in time.

I do believe the new Tim Holtz Crackle Paint will be arriving on Tuesday. For those of you that have used crackle paint in the past you will find this so much easier. All you do is paint on and leave to dry (it even has a brush attached inside the lid) once cracks start to appear you can then heat with a heat gun to speed up drying time. The thicker you paint it on the bigger the cracks. It comes in all the same colours as the Distress Inkpads.

There are still several other items we are waiting on that we ordered at the trade show in July, hopefully we will receive them before Christmas!

Fingers Crossed!

Wednesday 10 October 2007

Design Team

We have decided on our Scrapbook Design Team and I will post the details in the 'News' section on our website tomorrow.
We are down to the final 10 on the cardmaking DT so we will post these results in the next day or two.

We are going to set up a customer gallery on our website so if you would like to have your work shown please send it to us for consideration - these cards must be made with stamps purchased from Stamp Addicts.

Good luck

New York

I'm back. We had an amazing time, it was just the two of us wandering around New York for 3 whole days, I would most definitely go back again.

Below are some of the photos I took, I was quite conservative I only took 160 photos.

These are called Brownstones, like in Sex & The City. Apparently a Brownstone is a house with a stoop (steps) at the front and they are not all brown. They lie mainly in the southside of Manhattan, in the village 'Greenwich' or 'East' I can't remember which.
We bought a pass to the open top bus tours which are hop on hop off so we could get off and wander around different neighbourhoods.

This is one of the views from the Empire State Building. We hired one of the audio tours which was very informative and told us about all the different buildings, although we couldn't see everything as we choose to go at night. The queue was relatively short at only 90 minutes to get in but well worth it for the view from the 86th floor.
It was a little bit windy all the way up there but if we get the chance to go back to New York we will have to go up there during daylight.

This is Grand Central Station - why don't we have train stations that look like this?
It was enormous and beautiful. There was even a food concourse with about a dozen different eateries. The majority of the place looks like it is constructed from marble. We couldn't see the building from the outside as it is hidden under the skyscrapers.

On our first day our first stop was Times Square, it was a bit misty to start with but the sun soon came burning through. We had temperatures in the 90s which is unusual for New York at this time of year. The thunderstorms were due to start yesterday after we left. Whilst we were in Times Square so was JLo, we could hear her singing but couldn't see her through the crowds. We also saw the Pussycat Dolls down a side street early one morning - I say early but can you believe the shops do not open before 10am on a Saturday! We were wandering around for ages waiting for everything to open, but then they are open until 10pm.
It is nice to see they have a sense of humour amidst all the chaos that is New York.

I would definitely recommend it as a place to visit but without children under the age of 10. I know there is too much walking involved for my kids, lots of sightseeing, shopping and people watching - not favourite activities for my kids.

Monday 1 October 2007

Mary Jo's DVD

We were exhibiting at Alexandra Palace this weekend so I took my laptop along so I could check my emails, etc from the hotel. Unfortunately in this particular hotel internet access was not included, in fact it costs £15 per day - as you can imagine I didn't get hooked up, as much as I wanted to check my emails and surf the web I could wait 2 days until I got home.
So we had no internet access but we did have some new DVDs. The one we watched was Exploring Art Materials by MaryJo McGraw, obviously you can find this on our website.
So many instructional DVDs that I have seen in the past I am sitting there thinking 'just hurry up and get on with it, I don't need to watch you cut a piece of paper!'. But this was one was far more informative. It covers quite a few products I have heard of but never been brave enough to use or didn't understand quite how they work.
One of these is Gesso, MaryJo covers Gesso, Acrylic Paints, Gel Mediums and Beeswax plus others. There are explanations for each product and then several projects that you can complete. And yes, there were one or two moments that I thought 'just hurry up and get on with it' but on the whole I learnt quite a lot from it.

But my favourite part is always the Bloopers.

I think we should start a 'Get MaryJo to England' campaign - what do you think?

On a different note, I have managed to get my hands on the new Blonde Moments papers but we are not allowed to put them up on the website until next week so if you want them you will have to come into the store or give us a call.

We had a delivery of the new Luxe Desigs papers today, they are already up on the website and hopefully tomorrow we can get the HOTP decorated Christmas brads and Really Big Brads on there too.

If you've been on the website recently you will see we've added 7Gypsies stuff, we've had it in store for a while but only just managed to get it online. We are slowly working our way around the shop to get everything online, but as you can imagine this is quite a slow process.

Have a good evening.