366 days later

I can’t quite believe that is has been a whole year (a leap one at that) since I said my farewells and left the office for the final time after being made redundant.

A year where I’ve been able to focus on me and set some new life goals. Twelve months that have just flown by, yet filled with 366 days of challenges and adventures.

One goal was to spend more time working on my craft business. The business I’d been running in my spare time since Feb 2010 that I’d neglected for quite a while due to various reasons.

At the end of 2015, with my new goals mapped out, I spent a lot of time doing groundwork in preparation for 2016. So, when 2016 arrived, I started running regular weekly and monthly classes and have recently expanded one class into other venues.

My old role where I was writing and running code for analysis purposes has definitely not appealed to me. I haven’t been near a piece of sas code or SQL since leaving and don’t feel the need to either. That part of my life is currently parked, but never say never.

There hasn’t been one day of those 366 where I’ve missed the hustle and bustle of working in an office, especially the politics and unnecessary meetings. I still have to do paperwork though.

My home office is my craft room, overlooking my garden. It’s where I can spend time each day expressing my creative side, from designing and preparing projects for classes or crafting for me.

My other offices are the various venues I use for classes where I teach people how to make the designs I’ve created.

It’s great to be able to have time to think and find inspiration from a range of places.

The one thing I knew I would miss was some of the people. There are those I’ve kept in touch with, either online or face-to-face over a hot chocolate, cocktail, lunch or dinner. There are also others who have slipped away, either for the moment or for longer. Only time will tell. But, I’m also enjoying meeting people at my classes and have developed new friendships.

Leaving an organisation where you’ve spent almost 23 years of your life is a scary and daunting experience. It’s a shame that it is only when you have these sorts of experiences that you truly realise what is important, and only then do you begin thinking about writing a whole new chapter.

I don’t regret following my heart and head by opting to take the severance package, it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made.

I’m feeling the most relaxed I’ve been in years, am enjoying life and can honestly say that I love my job. A huge thank you to everyone who has supported me over the past year.

With some potential new opportunities in the pipeline, I’m looking forward to seeing what the next 12 months bring, setting some new goals and continuing to write some new chapters.

Happy crafting

Karen Young - HIPPOFROG Designs

To order any of the supplies used, click on the images below to go to my online store. Remember to use the Hostess Code if you are placing an order.

You can also join my team here.

Blooms & Bliss – One Sheet Wonder

I don’t know about you, but I love being able to make a batch of cards without too much effort.

This is where the technique of a One Sheet Wonder comes into play. I’m running a One Sheet Wonder Class very soon so read on for a quick explanation of what it is.

The project below is just one card made using the One Sheet Wonder technique.

Stampin' Up! Blooms & Bliss

In short, you take a piece of cardstock and randomly stamp all over it using a stamp set that has lots of images, sets with flowers like this Blooms & Wishes stamp set (part of the Blooms & Bliss Suite of products) are great to use for this technique.

Then, you cut this piece of stamped cardstock into pieces following a guide (we’ll be making 8 cards and a matching box in class) and use it as your own backing paper, adding embelishments and sentiments as appropriate.

Due to the stamping and cutting, each card is unique as no two are the same.

Book your place on my One Sheet Wonder and other classes here.

Happy crafting

Karen Young - HIPPOFROG Designs

To order any of the supplies used, click on the images below to go to my online store. Remember to use the Hostess Code if you are placing an order.

You can also join my team here.

Birthday Blooms revisited

At the recent private class, we made a modified version of a card we made at a previous class.

Stampin' Up! Birthday Blooms

Using a previous design and making a couple of changes is a great way to use different colours, stamp sets, punches etc.

For this project I changed the colours to make it a bit more summery including one of the new ‘In Colors’ Peekaboo Peach.

This card took the longest to create out of the three we made as it includes watercolouring using the Aqua Painters.

A quick tip I find that works with the Aqua Painters is to use one brush per colour for each project as this cuts down on time and potential colour contamination. We used three colours so had three brushes, each with a sticky label around the stem of the brush showing the colour

I love the mixture of ribbons and twine at the top of the card, with the little bow of Baker’s Twine tied around the ribbon. It’s all held in place with a strip of Tear and Tape that fits the width of the ribbon perfectly.

If you’d like to have your own private class then get in touch or visit my classes page to see my Class Timetable.

Happy crafting

Karen Young - HIPPOFROG Designs

To order any of the supplies used, click on the images below to go to my online store. Remember to use the Hostess Code if you are placing an order.

You can also join my team here.

Private Butterflies

A few weeks ago, I was invited to run a private class for a group of 8 lovely ladies. We had a lot of fun and laughed a lot.

The attendees made 3 cards in 1.5 hours and here is one of the cards I designed.

Stampin' Up! Kinda Eclectic

It uses the stamping off technique to create three different coloured small butterflies from one inking.

I really like the colour combination on this card of Mint Macaron, Perfect Plum and Sweet Sugarplum. The linen ribbon and the pearls just finishing the project nicely and I’m not sure that you can see the Wink of Stella that has that has created a lovely subtle shimer effect on the butterflies.

I think I was well behaved enough as they’ve invited me back later in the year!

Why not get a group of friends together and have your own fun private class? Contact me for more details.

Happy crafting

Karen Young - HIPPOFROG Designs

To order any of the supplies used, click on the images below to go to my online store. Remember to use the Hostess Code if you are placing an order.

You can also join my team here.

Last week’s Card & Cuppa – Inspired by Wimbledon

Monday has rolled around again which means it is time to show you the project we made at this week’s Card & Cuppa sessions.

It was a very exciting week as the new Card & Cuppa session launched on Thursday, so now there are 2 opportunities for you to make the project for the week (with another venue starting next week).

As it was Wimbledon, the ladies made this project that was inspired by the colours.

Stampin' Up! Number of Years

We used Perfect Plum and Wild Wasabi, with Daffodil Delight and Whisper White. All of the images were from the Number of Years Stamp Set and I used the project on page 137 of the Annual Catalogue as my starting point.

I’m not sure if you can make them out very well, but there are spots that are stamped as a background in Daffodil Delight – stamped off first, a piece of knotted Baker’s Twine and Wink of Stella on the flowers.

If you’d like to join us for a Card & Cuppa session then please make sure that you’ve booked your place by 6pm the night before so that I have enough kits available and the right amount of space reserved at the cafes.

Happy crafting

Karen Young - HIPPOFROG Designs

To order any of the supplies used, click on the images below to go to my online store. Remember to use the Hostess Code if you are placing an order.

You can also join my team here.

Bonus Days Promotion

Today marks the start of an exciting new promotion from Stampin’ Up! called Bonus Days.

For every £45 you spend between now and the end of July, you will receive a voucher from Stampin’ Up! for £4.50 that you can redeem from 2-31 August 2016.

Click here for more details.

This is the first time that SU have offered vouchers so I’m really excited!

What is also great, is that during August, a BRAND NEW stamp set and thinlit bundle is being launched too. So, you could put your vouchers towards that!

Happy crafting

Karen Young - HIPPOFROG Designs

To order Stampin’ Up! products, go to my online store. Remember to use the Hostess Code if you are placing an order.

You can also join my team here.

Last week’s Card & Cuppa – Out of this World!

How did it get to be July already?

I hope you’ve all had a great weekend. As it’s Monday, it’s time to show you last week’s Card & Cuppa project.

Stampin' Up! Punch Art Aliens

Isn’t it cute? I was asked if we could make a card suitable for a child so I decided to get the punches out and create some aliens. I love it when stamps and punches are used in a completely different way than intended.

We used a large amount of colours, stamps and punches for hits project. Can you spot which stamp sets and punches were used for each alien?

What I love about these classes is that I provide an example of a project and all of the items needed to create it, the attendees then create their own version. This can be an exact copy or sometimes off piste – we had 8 very different out of this world cards at the end of last week’s session!

If you want to join us for the BRAND NEW Card & Cuppa session starting on Thursday at The Coffee Boutique, Oxley Park then make sure you’ve booked your place by 6pm on Wednesday.

To book for next week’s Monday session at Howe Park Wood Cafe, please book by 6pm on Sunday.

See you there!

Happy crafting

Karen Young - HIPPOFROG Designs

To order any of the supplies used, click on the images below to go to my online store. Remember to use the Hostess Code if you are placing an order.

You can also join my team here.

Watch the Birdie!

I’ve set myself a challenge. For each new stamp set I use, I am trying to recreate at least one project that is inspired by the projects in the catalogue.

Here is the next one, inspired by page 89.

Stampin' Up! Badges & Banners

This one uses the Badges and Banner Bundle (buy the Stamp set and matching Punch Bundle and save 10%).

I love how the catalogue lists the items used to create the project too.

I’ve made a few changes to the project in the catalogue. The background in the catalogue is created using a sheet of DSP, but I’ve created my own using the Work of Art Stamp Set, Smoky Slate Ink and a strip of Whisper White Cardstock. Also, in the catalogue, the project is mounted onto a Notecard, whereas I’ve used a piece of Thick A4 Whisper White Cardstock as my base card.

Happy crafting

Karen Young - HIPPOFROG Designs

To order any of the supplies used, click on the images below to go to my online store. Remember to use the Hostess Code if you are placing an order.

You can also join my team here.

More Touches of Texture

Earlier this week I showed you a card I’d made using the new Touches of Texture Stamp Set.

As I couldn’t put the stamp set down, I made another project!

 Stampin' Up! Touches of Texture

For this card, I decided to recreate this design I’d used before. This is a great way of getting inspiration for using a new colour or stamp set.

I’ve previously wanted to make a ‘Just Beecause’ sentiment in the past and achieved it by a lot of masking using Washi Tape. Of course, there is a tiny ‘Just beecause’ sentiment in the new Hostess Set, but I don’t have that set and also wanted something a little bigger.

I just love those little bees, they are so cute. I coloured them with Wink of Stella, bodies in Gold and wings in Clear, not sure if you can see it very well in the close-up picture below.

Stampin' Up! Touches of Texture

I’m running a Touches of Textures Class on Monday 18th July where attendees will make 6 cards using the Touches of Textures Stamp Set. Booking closes on Monday 4th July so click here for more information.

Happy crafting

Karen Young - HIPPOFROG Designs

To order any of the supplies used, click on the images below to go to my online store. Remember to use the Hostess Code if you are placing an order.

You can also join my team here.

A Touch of Texture

Today I’m showing you a card using the new Touches of Texture Stamp Set.

Stampin' Up! Touches of Texture

This stamp set has 15 stamps and comes in either Wood Mount or Clear Mount.

These sorts of stamp sets aren’t normally my style, but, as I started to use it, I had to force myself to put it down as I loved it and could see so many uses for it.

The design above is again inspired by the catalogue and I’ve put my own bright twist on it by using Cucumber Crush as an accent colour.

If you’d like to make six cards using this stamp set then sign up for my Touches of Texture Class on Monday 18th July. Booking closes on 4th July.

Happy crafting

Karen Young - HIPPOFROG Designs

To order any of the supplies used, click on the images below to go to my online store. Remember to use the Hostess Code if you are placing an order.

You can also join my team here.