Thursday 25 October 2007

A very international girl....

Even though I'm a British lass raised in New Zealand, and now living in England for the last 6 years, my summer seems to have been a blur of international travel and excitement, some business related, and some family time. It has been so much fun, and this has been the first opportunity to let you know about it!

We spent 3 wonderful weeks in July in the South of France on a family holiday. Well I did squeeze in some teaching at 2 stores (in Perigeaux and Bergerac) but for the most part we hung out by the pool at the very private and rural gite we rented. We also had a few magnificent days in Paris on the way back home. The hotel was literally opposite the Louvre. The children enjoyed the whole trip so much - as did we of course. It was our first family holiday in 3 years, and it felt like a real treat. To top it off the weather was perfect, hot but not too hot, so we came back with healthy tans to the dull, overcast, English summer-that-never-was.

Next up was Germany, and Stempel Mekka - a stamp specific show which I have wanted to go to for years. It was great and I demoed all show long for Scrappendoejezo, a store from Holland exhibiting at the show. I bumped into lots of English people, and met many German online friends also.

I arrived home to visitors from New Zealand staying with us while they did the London tourist trail for a few weeks. It was great - all the kids got on well, and Jenny and Pete got roped into the odd bit of rubber manufacturing as the need arose! They have a beautiful scrapping store in the South of New Zealand (Paper Worx), and the sample (right) was inspired by a project Jenny and her daughter Charlotte taught our girls. It's 2 'licence plate style' boards hanging together decorated with papers, bling and ribbon, with a Post-it note in the centre of the lower panel.

The sample shown is a more altered version of Jenny's idea using Ranger Paint Dabbers, distress inks, UTEE embossing powders, and some of the French stamps we make just for the French market which are distributed and available via ACICAM in France. I used corrugated card as a base to work on. I just love highlighting the rippled texture with paint.

The following week we went to France with our New Zealand friends and our kids for a week for more sightseeing, and Jenny and I taught at ACICAM for a day to some French retailers. It was a great day, and Jenny taught this wonderful Christmas Gift box (left). It's a really versatile project for many occasions, and the lid is made from a single piece of 12 x 12 card - all folded, not cutting or glue required! We released some new Xmas stamps this winter called Noel, and so this particular sample uses some of those. Can you see the small circles in red? That has been a really popular new mini this month. You can see the new Christmas minis (numbers 35-42) on our website here .

As well as other teaching gigs in the UK during September and early October, I also managed to get back over to the Netherlands 2 weeks ago to teach at Scrappendoejezo. Dennis and Dorenda have a gorgeous shop. They carry a huge range of papers and all our stamps, and they teach wonderful workshops in their superb new warehouse area. Many of the classes I taught used the ranger meltpot, and so most of the participants learned how to use either UTEE or beeswax. One of my favourite classes was making this charm bracelet (right). It's kind of like a fondue system! So if you're into dipping stuff into chocolate or cheese then I think you'll be able to do this too! I will be going up to Blackpool to Cucumber Cottage for the first weekend in November to teach at the Altered Perceptions weekend, and this is one of the four classes I shall be doing there too. And yes those are Artgirlz felt balls and flowers that i dunked into UTEE you can see on the bracelet.....its full of lots of quirky bits and bobs!