All posts by Caro Thomas

Beautiful You, water colouring and embossing


What a difference a week makes!  After my bag exploits in Barcelona, I now have a new passport (it arrived yesterday(!), my cards have been replaced and I’ve had both positive and negative experiences with insurance companies.  I hope you’ve had a great week so far.

So, Sale-a-bration ends at the end of March – if you want some of the limited edition free items available you’ll need to move fast!  And why wouldn’t you?  For every £45 you spend on gorgeous current catalogue product, you get a freebie.  Check out the leaflets if you haven’t already – there are links on the righthand side.

Today my card uses a stamp set from the Spring/Summer catalogue – Beautiful You.  I’ve said before how much I love this set and this card was one I designed for the Water and Ink class I presented at our recent craft retreat.  Like this?  Come to our next retreat!  Just get in contact – we are still arranging it but we will have a date to share soon.

Beautiful You, Watercolouring, Sale-a-bration

I stamped the image in Archival Basic Black on water colour paper and gave it a minute to dry.  Then I rubbed embossing buddy all over the card, stamped the sentiment in Versamark followed by Archival Basic Black and then heat embossed using clear powder.  I wanted to add a bit of depth and add interest to the card and I think this worked.  Next, I squeezed colour into the lids of my Melon Mambo, Emerald Envy and Early Espresso ink pads.  I used an aqua painter to add the colour to the image, building up colour to add a feeling of light and shade.  The Early Espresso splits into a mix of colours – you can see both the pink and green colours as well as a light brown – all from one ink colour!  I love the effect that provides.  Finally, I glued the watercolour layer to the Basic Black layer using fast fuse – you need a strong adhesive for water colour paper.  I used Melon Mambo for the base.

If you want to recreate this card and qualify for a free Sale-a-bration item you’ll want to buy watercolour, Basic Black and Melon Mambo cardstock, Melon Mambo, Emerald Envy, Early Espresso and Archival Basic Black ink along with the Beautiful You stamp set.  If you want to heat emboss your sentiment you’ll need embossing buddy, Versamark and clear embossing powder.  Click on the Shop with me button and don’t forget to use the host code – TRS79Q47 – if your order is less than £150 to receive an extra gift from me.  Over £150 don’t use it as you’ll get the rewards to spend and you’ll still get the gift from me.

And that’s it!  I hope you like it.  See you on Saturday – I’m running a card class from 2-5pm if you’re local to me and would like to come along.


Party Animal Thank You


So, you’re probably wondering how I missed my Wednesday post?  I blame Barcelona.  Unfortunately, my bag was stolen while I was there last weekend and this week got lost in a delayed return as I had to get an emergency passport, doing battle with insurance companies and generally sorting things out.  I’m fine and at the end of the day, it was just stuff and I did get an extra day in one of my favourite cities.  I’m not letting the experience mar my weekend or how I feel about Barcelona and I’ll be going back.

Anyway, on to today’s card.  I made this as inspiration for our craft retreat attendees, using some of the products they received in their goody bag and taking the colours from the Party animal DSP as my starting point.  I also used the “Thank You” stamp from the Sale-a-bration stamp set, So Very Much.

IMG_1760 copyright

I used re-inkers in the Party Animal colours (Crumb Cake, Crushed Curry, Emerald Envy, Pacific Point & Tangerine Tango) to drop ink onto a couple of folded baby wipes to create my ink pad.  I wiped embossing buddy over my Whisper White layer, stamped my stamp in Versamark and then into my makeshift ink pad.  Finally, I used clear embossing powder and heat embossed.  I used one of the Party Animals DSP’s as my border and Crushed Curry as my base.

Want to make this?  You’ll need to spend £45 in order to choose the stamp set as your Sale-a-bration item.  To get there I’d suggest Whisper White and Crushed Curry cardstock, Party Animals DSP, ink refillers in Crumb Cake, Crushed Curry, Emerald Envy, Pacific Point and Tangerine Tango, embossing buddy, Versamark and clear embossing powder.  Click on the Shop with me button and don’t forget to use the host code – TRS79Q47 – if your order is less than £150 to receive an extra gift from me.  Over £150 don’t use it as you’ll get the rewards to spend and you’ll still get the gift from me.

Simple but effective – I love that bit of rainbow!  See you on Wednesday (further disasters permitting!).


Salt watercolouring and copper dragonflies


I hope you are having a great weekend wherever you are – I’m in Barcelona, enjoying lovely food, wine and company!

Today I thought I’d share one of the cards from my technique class at the recent retreat day I ran with my upline Eimear. We are planning the next one so watch this space for the date and venue.

I have my lovely friend Carol to thank for the technique I used for this class. She is a full time, super talented artist (search for Art Is by Carol Burns if you’d like to see her work) and I was chatting to her about needing techniques for my class as I’d chosen watercolouring as my theme. Carol suggested I tried watercolouring one colour on my paper, varying the intensity of the colour and then quickly, before it dried, adding plenty of salt all over. Left to dry, the salt draws and intensifies the colour and a beautiful crackled effect emerges. So I tried it with Island Indigo on watercolour paper (75 x 148.5 mm) and loved the effect.

Dragonfly Dreams, Watercolour, Salt

I kept this card simple – I cut out the dragonfly outline using the Detailed Dragonfly think it dies and then cut it again out of copper foil. I slotted the two together and added tombow using a sponge so I got plenty of coverage with no splurges appearing – it’s a great way to add glue evenly. I added them to an Island Indigo base and my card was done.

Don’t forget we are in the last month of Sale-a-bration! Now is the time to stock up on essentials and get a free, limited edition product for every £45 you spend. Got a long wish list? Think about joining my team of Crafting Maestros and benefitting from an immediate 20% discount and joining a lovely family of likeminded people.

I hope you like today’s card – see you Wednesday.


Watercolour pencils and Hey Chick


We are into the final month of Sale-a-bration (SAB)!  If you don’t know what that means; put simply, for every £45 you spend on an order, you choose a limited edition free item!  Yes, you heard me, free.  The free items this time around include stamp sets, DSP, ribbon, a tin and a very recent addition of a glimmer paper stack (I’ll be featuring that soon).  Just to be clear, that’s a free item for every £45 you spend – what’s not to love?  The current annual, Spring/Summer and Sale-a-bration brochures are available to view – just click on the buttons on the right of this page.

So today I thought I’d show you a recent swap I made for the Team Night I attend, run by my upline Eimear.  It uses the most popular SAB item for 2017 – the Hey, Chick stampset.  Everyone has fallen for this cheeky, fun set and I’ve seen lots of cards using it.  My card also features the incredibly popular watercolour pencils, new in the Spring/Summer catalogue.  I’m desperately hoping that there will be additional colours in future catalogues.  The pencils are really versatile – you can use them on their own, with blender pens or with aqua painters and you get different results depending what you use.  Here, I’ve used an aqua painter:

Hey Chick, Sale-a-bration, Watercolour

I stamped my images and sentiment in Soft Suede on a Crumb Card notecard and then coloured my main hen in rainbow colours of Rich Razzleberry, Real Red, Pumpkin Pie, Daffodil Delight, Old Olive (just a touch), Bermuda Bay and Pacific Point.  The little egg was coloured in Daffodil Delight with Real Red feet and I added eyes in Early Espresso marker as Soft Suede wasn’t prominent enough.  I added some texture beneath their feet using Old Olive and Early Espresso then got to work with my aqua painter.  I blended the colours and then left the card to dry.  I added the grass stems and shadows later, again using the pencils.  I think it’s cute and fun!

If you want to re-create this, simply buy the watercolour pencils, notelets, soft suede ink pad, aqua painters and blender pens (I didn’t use the blender pens use for this project, but I do use them a lot with the pencils) for £50.50 and get the stamp set for free!  Click on the “Shop with me” button and don’t forget to use this month’s host code of TRS79Q47 to receive a thank you from me.  If you get carried away and order over £150, don’t use the code as you will get the rewards to spend (as well as two further SAB items!).

Hope you this today’s project – see you on Sunday!


Birthday Bonanza with Stampin’ Creative


Hello and welcome to the Stampin’ Creative February blog hop!  This month our theme is “birthdays” – a bonanza of them, in fact!  If you’ve arrived from Gina you’ve already been inspired.  If you’ve started here or arrived from someone else, welcome!

I used the Party Animal DSP from the Spring/Summer catalogue as my inspiration for my projects – I didn’t especially like this when I first saw it – I thought it was a bit too clashing.  But seeing it in person really changed my mind and now I love it!

I started with a white treat box, carried over from the Autumn/Winter catalogue.  I’m always looking for different packaging ideas, especially boxes, as we give a lot of vouchers as presents in my family.  It’s great to have a box or bag, instead of a boring white envelope!

Party Animal, white treat box

I cut squares of the Party Animal DSP – the box side dimensions are 3×3 inches, so I cut the four DSP panels at 2 13/16 for a small border.  I stamped the Happy Birthday from Window Shopping (Spring/Summer) in Emerald Envy on the front of the box and then added the panels using tombow. I added the gorgeous Emerald Envy taffeta ribbon (Spring/Summer) and hung a couple of the matching embellishments with plain white thread (not Stampin’ Up!).  I slid the box into it’s matching plastic sleeve for protection until I want to use it.

Next, I made a card to go with my box.  I’ve used this quick and simple design before, but the bright DSP jazzes this one up and gives me an opportunity to use Emerald Envy again! Simple doesn’t have to mean boring.

Party Animal DSP, Birthday

Finally, I created a stepped up version of my card – I flipped the DSP over for a different (and gorgeous) pattern and I also flipped the card orientation.  I added a skinny border of Crushed Curry to highlight the DSP and I added a Stitched Oval layer in Emerald Envy behind the sentiment.  I went two-tone on the sentiment by using Crushed Curry and Emerald Envy markers to ink the stamp up – I really like that effect.

Party Animal DSP, Birthday

And that’s it!  A completely different take on the same design.

Don’t forget we’re in Sale-a-bration season!  Like what you see and want to place an order? For every £45 you spend until 31st March, you can choose a completely free item – the catalogues are to the right.  If you spend under £150 please use this hostess code – TRS79Q47, over £150 please don’t as you’ll get the hostess rewards to spend.  As an additional Sale-a-bration reward, spend over £200 and get an extra £20’s worth hostess rewards!

Our next hop is on 25th March, see you then!

And now onto Mikaela, who I know will have something beautiful to share – click the button below.  There’s also a full list of all the blogs for today, in case you get lost or want to hop around.  Hope you’ve enjoyed today’s projects!



Blog Hop List

Spring Craft Retreat – how it went!


Once again I’m saying sorry for the gap in my posts – the retreat plus being ill this week is to blame.  I thought I’d give you an update about last weekend’s retreat – it was great!  If you are remotely local please think about signing up next time, we guarantee you a great day of crafting.  We taught two full classes, one technique and one stamp-a-stack, so our attendees went home with 21 cards, along with a goody bag full of Stampin’ Up! products and three pillow gifts they received during the day.   Did I mention the free raffle?  Yep – everyone started with a strip of tickets and then earned them for anything we felt like during the day – fun, we thought!  Oh, and there were eclairs.  Chocolate eclairs.  Homemade.  Enough said?  We are sorting out the date and venue for the next retreat – contact me if you’d like us to let you know the details.  Here are a few photos of the day:

Beautiful views improve crafting!
Raffle prizes!
Inspiration and kits
Goody bag ideas
Goody bag ideas

Hope you like them!


Hey, Chick!


I am currently what feels like knee deep in pre for our upcoming retreat – it’s next Saturday and although Eimear and I think we’re much more organised than last time (me, especially), there’s still a way to go.  I am really pleased with what I’ve got done though, and some things can’t be prepared before my order arrives tomorrow.  Keep an eye on our Facebook page – Wiltshire Luxury Craft Retreats – as we’ll be posting there next Saturday.  If you fancy joining us next time we will be announcing the date soon – it will be a Sunday in June.

Today I’m sharing another simple card I designed as a make & take for my recent launch parties.  I really love the new watercolour pencils that Stampin’ Up brought out in the Spring/Summer catalogue and I’m not alone – in the US they were so popular they went out of stock really quickly – I think they are back now.  In Europe we haven’t had those problems but they are definitely popular!

Hey, Chick!, watercolouring, pencils, SAB

I stamped the chicken From Hey Chick in Soft Suede – you can get this stamp set for free with an order of £45, until the end of March.  I then used Daffodil Delight and Pumpkin Pie pencils on the body and Early Espresso for his feet.  I used Daffodil Delight, Pumpkin Pie, Calypso Coral and Real Red on his funky hair and added some Real Red to his tail feathers.  I used a blender pen to smooth and blend the colours.  Where I wanted to add more intensity I just went over with the pencils again.  I stamped the sentiment in Pumpkin Pie ink, all this on Whisper White.  I layered this on a Pumpkin Pie border and then onto a thick Whisper White base.

Hope you like it!

See you on Wednesday.