Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator

Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator based in Nottingham but willing to travel - available for workshops, classes and individual orders. Tel 07891476636 or e-mail

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Everything Eleanor

Hey there,

I don't know if the weather is like it where you are but its very close here despite torrential downpours earlier  today.  In fact I actually enjoyed standing talking to a colleague earlier today as it was raining.... am I weird or what?  Answers on a postcard only!!!!

Anyway, after my epic journey and tale about my trip to Vienna I am actually going to post a card I made earlier this month for my sister in laws birthday.  I love the Everything Eleanor stamp set as its so versatile if you think about it.... you have the stamp that could be a tag, swirls that are good for scrapbook pages as well as cards, not to mention all the different flowers and the little bird.

The colours I used are Confetti Cream card and Rose Red with Wild Wasabi for the "vine" effect and Soft Suede for the bird.  It was the first time I had used the Confetti Cream card and was very pleased to discover that it was sturdy enough to be used as the base card as well as a layer, unlike Whisper White and Very Vanilla.  I have now ordered the Confetti White card so hopefully it will be the same consistency as the Cream.  Its not a bad price either at £8.25 for 40 sheets.

For this card I cut out the flowers and layered them up using dimesionals to give the card a bit of height.  A pearl was then added to the centre of the flowers as a finishing touch.  I'm pleased to say that my sister in law liked the card and has subsequently bought the set, although I think the fact that we were using it last Saturday in my class might have had something to do with it as

I'll be back soon with a different card that I did for my sister in law who is going to a wedding this Friday and wanted a "special" card, but more about that later. 

If you would like to order any of the products used to make this card, or any other items from the catalogue, then please don't hesitate to get in touch.  I can have them delivered directly to your door as long as you live in the UK.

Tracy -x-

Products used:
Stamp sets:- Everything Eleanor and Curly Cute
Card :- Cream Confetti, Rose Red
Inks :- Rose Red, Wild Wasabi, Soft Suede
Accessories :- Self adhesive Pearls, Dimensionals

Nightmare Journey.....

Sorry I'm a little late with the final instalment of my escapades in Vienna but here's how my last day went.  It was a little uneventful to begin with as we weren't due to fly until early evening time,  the bus was due to pick us up at around 5.30 if my memory serves me right so Vic and I had another whole day in Vienna.

We got up early enough to do some packing, have breakfast and say goodbye so some of the wonderful demo's leaving early.  We then finished our packing and had our cases collected and put into storage for the rest of the day and vacated our rooms.  Now unlike most places Vienna does not open its shops on a Sunday so that meant the only time I was able to do some shopping I couldn't....typical.   Anyway we visited the nearest bar and had a cold drink as the sun was starting to get a little hot. We were joined by some more demo's and had a nice bit of quiet time.  It then came time for them to leave so we made our way back to the hotel and this time a majority of demo's were leaving so there were a lot of goodbyes to do then.

As we sat in the lobby just killing time Vic and I were joined by the lovely Irene and we chatted about how wonderful the trip had been etc etc. and then the bus arrived to take us to the airport.   Accompanying us to the airport was Elizabeth, the guide who had taken us around the palace and museum, and she told us that the terminal we were flying from had only been open 10 days.  Anyway, we arrive at the airport and the bus driver decides to park about half a mile away from the terminal!!!!  This is where the nightmare starts......

We all disembark the bus and Elizabeth was kind enough to take my suitcase which left me with my crutches, hand luggage and handbag.  So we all started following her at a marching pace which was not good for me at all.  Not only that but we had to lug our bags etc up about 10 steps to get on the level of the terminal.  At this point we saw a bus parked outside and it did cross our minds why our driver couldn't have done the same!!!!   By this time I was struggling big time with my pain and was finding it very difficult to keep up.  Once inside the terminal we then had to make our way up an escalator, again with all our luggage.  As I got on I felt awful and, luckily for me, Irene from the hotel was stood behind me and put her arm across me to stop my falling backwards.

As we got off the escalator I started to feel very unwell and the next thing I knew I was in a wheelchair and was being given water and fanned down.  I later found out from Vic that I had "collapsed" and the other demo's around me had stopped me from falling.  I am very grateful and overwhelmed by the kindness shown to me by the German demo's who stayed to help me.  Then, it seemed out of nowhere, a nurse and paramedic were there and the nurse was asking all sorts of questions.  Because I was so upset my BP was up and she wanted me to see the doc in the ambulance outside and def didn't want me to fly.  Now that wasn't an option for me so after a lot of persuasion she asked me to sign a disclaimer on the understanding I had something to eat, didn't walk anywhere and def no alcohol .... noooooo  lol

I ended up boarding a FULL aeroplane on a stretcher type chair (how embarrassing) and then Vic had to show the stewardess our connecting flight times in order that they got me off the plane into a wheelchair and off to the right check in gates.  A special bus was laid on for us to get to the connecting flight and we were allowed to sit at the front instead on seat 16....yay VIP treatment.  On the final flight I did have a bottle of wine as I felt fine, in fact both Vic and I got 2 bottles in the end.  Now girls the way to do this it to get on the plane first and start chatting to the steward prior to the rest of the passengers boarding.   I think we got two drinks as he either took pity on us for what we had experienced , or Vic for putting up with me, I'm not sure

On landing at East Midlands we disembarked first and went through a deserted passport control, never known that before, to claim our luggage.  Imaging my despair, having already gone through a horrendous journey, to find that my case was not there!!!! At this point I went into emotional meltdown I think and all I wanted to do was get home but we had forms to fill in (well Vic did bless her) and then out to meet James.  I don't think he expected to see me blubbering away having just had a fabulous visit to Vienna but unfortunately thats what he got :(   The journey home seemed eternal although it's really only 25 mins but I was sooooo glad to finally be home.

sorry I've had to end what has been a truly amazing trip on a downer with the lack of pics.  I'm sure Vic won't go away with me again after this trip but I'd like to thank her for asking me in 2010 to be her companion on this trip.  I'd also like to thank everyone who helped me through some of the tough times and who had the job of pushing me around.

However to end on a high, if ever you want to get through passport control quickly and board a plane first, if you haven't got kids then take someone in a wheelchair, it works a treat ;)

I'll be back soon with some crafting posts but until then take care and happy crafting.

Tracy -x-

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Day 4

Hey, I hope you had a good Sunday.  Before I tell you about day 4 of my fabulous Vienna trip I need to tell you about the day I've had.   Hubby is a keen gardener, good job with the size of our garden, and needed some compost so off we went to a well known DIY store and garden centre.  The car started ok on our journey there but wouldn't on our journey back!!!!  It was playing up starting with me before I went on my trip but had been fine since.  Anyway my B-in-L came to our rescue, on his birthday I might add, and gave us a jump start to get the car going.  All the way home I was on edge that it would stall and not get going.  We managed to get to a well known car shop who tested our battery and it wasn't charged as it should be so we bought a new one.   However, this didn't seem to solve the problem as the car kept cutting out on the rest of the journey home.  I just hope it gets me to and from work

Anyway, day four of the trip was for me my best day health wise.   I woke up and for the first time of the trip was pain free.  I felt soooo much better in myself and was up for going with a few other demos to hopefully ride the oldest big wheel in Europe who's carriages were made of wood, gulp.   Now I haven't got a head for heights but felt quite confident as neither had some of my friends who were with

We got a taxi to where the big wheel was and we were all surprised that it was a full funfair with dodgems, waltzers etc.  So we all made our way to the big wheel and were undecided whether to go on it or not but none of us chickened  We got to have our photo taken through a window before we boarded the carriages and when they were printed it looked as though we were looking out the window of one of the carriages, it was great.  The view from the wheel was just magnificent and breathtaking as the picture below shows.

After the ride we strolled around the park and Vic, Natalie, Jo and Julie all went on a water ride.  I didn't due to my back and neither did Zoe P who was the photographer for the  Next we had a go at winning a horse race, unfortunately I came second and Vic won, I'm sure it was fixed as Vic never wins anything...haha.
As we were walking around we couldn't help but see the tallest carousel wheel ever in the distance.  Now there was no way you'd get me me on such a ride but Vic and Natalie marched off to see it closely followed by Jo and Julie.  Zoe and I decided to sit in the shade and have a rest.  The amount of time they were away led us to believe that they had actually gone on the ride.  After about half an hour they all came back and it turned out that Vic and Natalie had both summoned up the courage to go on the ride.  I thought Vic was very brave as she is normally so scared of heights its unbelievable, maybe this has conquered this, next is spider...ewww.  Below is a distant view of the ride they went on and how high it actually went.

On leaving the fun fair we made our way back to the hotel via the underground system and market.  When we got off the underground we were misled on our way to the market and what could have been a 20 minute walk turned out to be about a 90 minute walk.  Luckily my back held up to it and we got to see a lot of things we otherwise wouldn't have.  The aromas of the market were amazing but the best of it for me was the pint of lager we had once we reached
 As day four was the final day of the convention SU laid on a goodbye and goodies session from 8-10 that night so before we went to this Vic and I had a wander out to find something to eat.  Not long after we had sat down who should come along but Jules, Robin (Jules hubby), Jo and Julie who were looking for somewhere to eat so they joined us.  It was a lovely evening sharing the evening with some others on the trip especially as I had missed out previously.  After eating we made our way back to the hotel, wondering what the goodies might be.... and here they are... a selection of different desserts. 

 It was difficult to say goodbye to  all the friends I had made and what made things nicer was that Hayley, another British demo, had taken the time to make me a swap that was only meant for achievers as she had known I was going and didn't want me to feel left out, so thank you Hayley for thinking about me.

Next time you will hear about my uneventful, not, journey home and hopefully show you some craft items.  So until then  I'll say goodbye and I'll be back soon.

Tracy -x-

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Day 3 ....

Welcome back for the antics of day 3 of my Vienna trip.   I left you last time in bed with a really painful back.  Well guess what, I had a really bad night and it was no better in the morning.  I struggled down to breakfast so Victoria wasn't on her own but she had actually met up with Natalie and Zoe P, never mind I sat and had a chat with them.  I didn't eat anything as you know what its like when you're in pain you just don't want anything do you?

Following breakfast ( or I hobbled to the hospitality suite as we were supposed to have a shopping day as we had the day free from SU excursions.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to participate in the shopping trip but spent the whole day in bed.  I slept for most of it as I wanted to be well enough to enjoy the nights activities arranged by SU.   Victoria went out with Zoe P and Natalie went on the Segway I do believe with some of the other demo's.

Anyway, having had a day of rest I felt well enough to join in the evenings event which was a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts for the final nights gala.   SU had brought this forward a night for a special reason which we later found out what it was.  We all met in the lobby of the hotel at 6.30pm and we were in surprised to see that our transport happened to be a horse drawn carriage.  It was something Vic and I had hoped to do whilst in Vienna so we got to do it courtesy of SU.  We shared our carriage with Dave and his wife.  Dave helped in in and out of the carriage and also up the steps to the museum.  You couldn't help but
appreciate the wonderful architect on the buildings and how clean and well preserved they were. 

On entering the building it was breathtaking at how wonderful it was and that we had the honour of dining there that night. After canap├ęs and a fruit cocktail we were summons to take our seat for dinner which was up several steps.  Luckily for me a wheelchair was on hand for me to get to the dining area.  When we were shown to our tables there were lovely frames with the achievers names on them which they were very lucky to be able to take home.  Also on their plates, along with the menu, was a CD.  At the time I didn't see what the CD was  but it became apparent before we actually ate dinner.  Once everyone was seated the Master of Ceremonies announced that we were to be entertained by the Vienna Boys Choir.  This was a private concert for us and this was why the final night gala had been brought forward a night.  It was beautiful to listen and gave me goose bumps at,  I then realised that the CD that the achievers had received was that of the choir.. what a way to recreate such a special memory.

Next on the agenda was dinner which consisted of Carpaccio of beef with rocket core, parmesan cheese and matured balsamico.  Now I didn't care what ppl were telling me the beef certainly didn't looked cooked to me, it was still running round my plate it was that  So I just ate the rocket and cheese.  Next was veal, carrots with green from the Viennese Market on roasted zucchini and truffles risotto.  This course was quite nice until I started to see some pink in my meat at which point I left it.  

Now before dessert we were taken on a private tour of the gallery and allowed to take pictures as long as we didn't use a flash on our camera's.  This was not allowed for normal visitors to the gallery so this was a privilege for us.  Unfortunately these are on my phone but I will show you them at another time, but here is another picture to show you the beauty of the building. 

We returned to our seats and had dessert of Fluffy. roasted mini souffle with vanilla ice cream and strawberries...yum yum   We then returned to our hotel via a coach and some of us went to the bar next door to the hotel to watch the England match.  

Now here's something funny .... When it had finished I text my hubby to say " Yay we won"  Little did I know that he had been cooking dinner for our daughter, her partner and himself  as he had helped them move house that day and, whilst doing this Kirsty had been pausing the game, so for him the game was delayed.  Got a text back saying "thanks for telling me the outcome"  Ooops how was I to know I was in another

Well I hope you've enjoyed today's update and will be back for day 4 soon.

Tracy -x-

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Day 2 of Vienna trip

I hope you enjoyed my post yesterday as I have loads more to show and tell.  So having had a relaxing evening the night before we were all up and ready on Thursday at 9am prompt ready for the bus to take us to our group activity which was a trip to the Schonbrunn Palace.

Stampin'Up! had kindly arranged for a wheelchair to be available for me in order that I could take place in this activity.  Whilst it was a nice gesture I felt out of things as everyone was chatting away whilst I got whizzed around the   On arrival we were told that we could take pictures outside but not inside the Palace.  There were two tour options, one was to go off by yourself with headsets to listen to the tour and the other was with a guide.  With being in the wheelchair I obviously had to go on the guide tour who was Elizabeth and very knowledgeable.  My companion for the day with the chair was Christina.  One of the downfalls about the trip is that there were a lot of cobbled and gravelled areas which didn't do my back any good at all, as I was to experience later.

Anyway, on entering this fabulous courtyard you had the stunning view of the palace and building on the hill.
You could also take a tour around the grounds in a horse drawn carriage.

Having taken the tour we then went outside and started to walk down one of the many tree lined avenues where a surprise was in store for us.  We finally ended up at another lovely building with a white courtyard.  On entering the building we discovered a room set out with tables and on these were mini rolling pins, hats, aprons, some dough and apples...... yes we were in for a spate of baking traditional Apple Strudel.   

 Here we see the table as it was set out on entering the room and also some "students" obviously concentrating on the matter in hand.

Now the knack to making a apple strudel is how thin you get the pastry and you have to roll it out fairly thinly and then pick it up and turn it on the back of your hands and arms to make it virtually paper thin.   Here is a picture of Vic doing just that..... Unfortunately shortly after this shot everything went to pot with her pasty and I'm sad to say I didn't get a picture of it.  However the chef decided to take pity on her and came to give a hand and as you can see team work does help!!!!!

 Now some of you eagle eyed folk would have noticed a big blob of something in the background of the completed strudel.  Well that my friends is the poor and disastrous attempt that Vic made and the front one is the chef aided

  I asked Christina if all visitors to the palace had the chance to make the strudel as we had just done and she said no.  Usually the chef puts on a 45minute demo for visitors who then go back to the teashop to eat a slice but did not get the chance to bake themselves, that had purely been allowed for us.

Following the fun of the strudel making we made our way back towards the main palace and a lot of the demo's walked through the beautiful gardens.  We still had the carriage part of the tour to see and time was running out.  Again we couldn't take any pictures inside the display area but could of the gardens.   They were just spectacular.   After the carriage tour we then went back to the tea shop to be given the strudels we had made along with our certificates,

Earlier on you saw how neat the strudels looked before they were baked.  Image our disappointment when, on receiving them,, they looked as though they had been run over by a car due to having to cut them to get them in the box.  Never mind it was an experience I certainly won't forget 

We arrived back at out hotel about 2ish and went to the hospitality suite for a drink and the demo's to spin the wheel.  The rest of the day was free for us to do what we wanted.  All the English demo's went out for a meal.  Unfortunately I was unable to join them due to the pain I was in having gone over so many cobbles and gravel so I stayed in whilst Vic joined the group.  She did bring me half a lager up on her return to the hotel about 11ish so that was good.

I'll be back later with day 3 of the trip so stay tuned !!!!

Tracy -x- 

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Vienna Trip day 1

Hi everyone,

Sorry for being awol for a while but I do have a good reason... honest.  At convention in London 2010, the incentive trip for 2012 was announced and when Vic heard it was Vienna she said she wanted to aim for it.  What made the announcement  even more exciting was that for the first time SU were allowing the incentive trip winners to take a guest.  At that time I was the only downline Vic had and she turned to me and said "If I get the trip you are coming with me"  So you may have guessed that she reached her targets with hard work and the help of her team.

So last Wednesday, 13 June, I set off  bright and early at 3.50am to pick up Victoria and set off for Vienna. Dean drove us to the airport.  The journey was pretty uneventful other than that we got through customs etc much quicker as I had asked for a wheelchair due to my back, so this helped especially as we had a tight timeline with our connecting flight in Frankfurt. However we arrived safely at Vienna Airport and were driven straight to our hotel - Grand Hotel Wein a 5* hotel.

Like a dummy I forgot to take a picture of the actual hotel but it certainly lived up to our expectations.  However, I did take pictures of our room, to say we were the envy of a lot of the other demos was an   As you will see I took a photo of the toilet.  Now normally I wouldn't do this but we couldn't understand why there was a phone in the toilet!!!!!

Don't you agree the room is absolutely gorgeous?  Having freshened up we made our way to the hospitality suite where we were met by Shelli and her husband Sterling as well as some of the other SU staff.  It was great to relax and have time to chill out before we had to get ready for the evening meal.  All the demo's that achieved the trip had the opportunity to "spin the wheel" and win a different prize every day.  We were also allowed to fill up a box with sweeties every day, yum yum.
Dinner that evening was at Le Ciel Restaurant  on the 7th Floor.  Dress for the evening was resort casual.  It was a 5 course meal.  A lot of what was on the menu I didn't like as I'm a fussy eater.  The guests didn't get a menu unfortunately so I  have copied this one from Vics blog and here's my attempt at taking one of the dining room.

Each table had a beautiful display of flowers and we knew which one to sit at due to the flag in,   As a mentioned earlier I am a fussy eater and the best course of the evening for me, and I don't usually do sweet stuff, was the dessert.  Luckily I took a picture of it before I ate it, it was scrumptious.

Here are a couple of pictures of some of the demo's.  In the first one is Jules and Michelle and the group picture features from left to right starting at the back.   The very farthest person is Zoe, then we have Amanda, Natalie, Shelli (yellow top), Victoria, me, Monica, Jo and Bekka.  Front row is Paula, Michelle and Jules.


It was a fantastic start to the holiday.  I'll be back soon with more pics and stories from the trip.  Until then I hope you have enjoyed reading about my trip so far.

Tracy -x-

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Sweet Cake

Oh dear what has happened to the lovely weather we were experiencing not so long ago?   I think I jinxed it by buying a new chair for the garden  so I could get a bit of a tan before I go to Vienna in 12 days.  I don't think that's going to happen now !!!!!!

Anyway, on to today's card.  Its my niece's birthday today and I have had the card ready to post for several days but dare not  in case she saw it on here via facebook, hence the delay in posting.  I have used the new stamp set from the mini call Sweet Cake.  I will be honest and wasn't that impressed with it when I first saw it but having seen some of the end products at various training sessions I soon changed my mind.

The card I used is from the 2012 - 2013 in colour collection, Calypso Coral and Pool Party with Very Vanilla. From the mini catalogue I have use the Edgelits Adorning Accents to create the shape down the side and then the Textured Impression Embossing folder that matches the Edgelits to create the embossed shape.  To emphasise the cut out section I layered the inside of the card with some of beautiful designer paper from the mini and that is Twitterpatted.

The layers on the top of the card are Twitterpated and Calypso Coral card which has been embossed with the heart folder again from the Textured Embossing folder. The main image was stamped onto Very Vanilla in Calypso Coral and then cut out using the Framelits Label Colletction.. Although it doesn't stand out so well I have glittered the Calypso Coral stripes on the image.  I haven't taken a photo by on the inside I have put a piece of Very Vanilla cardstock and stamped the sentiment "Happiest wishes on your birthday" from the Hostess set Happiest Birthday Wishes in Pool Party Ink.  The sentiment on the front of the card is from the Sweet Cake set.

All products used will be listed below and if you wish to purchase any of the just drop me a line or give me a call/text and I'll happily order them for you.

Tracy -x-

Stamp sets - Sweet Cake, Happiest Birthday Wishes ( Hostess set)
Card - Calypso Coral, Pool Party, Very Vanilla
Ink - Calypso Coral, Pool Party
DSP - Twitterpated
Big Shot
Bigshot tools - Edgelits Adorning Accents, Textured Embossing folders, Framelits Labels Collection
Accessories - Glue Pen, Dazzling Diamonds