Wednesday 25 August 2010

Stamper of the Year Sponsors - Craft Obsessions

This week we are shining the spotlight on Craft Obsessions, who are kindly sponsoring our brand new Scrapbooker of the Year category for 2010.

Craft Obsessions is run by Brenda & David Rose and has been trading since December 2005. They specialise in scrapbooking products but also carry lots of stamps and stamping-related lines too. They are proud of their reputation for providing excellent standards in customer service, offering a friendly, helpful and efficient shopping experience. (Oh, and if you pop over to their website they currently have a sale on, but don't blame me if it ends up costing you!).

I asked David to tell us a bit more about the business:

What are your specialisms?
"We tend to be at the forefront of the latest releases and current trends in the scrapbooking sector and we generally carry complete ranges that help our customers to make coordinating projects easier. We’re mindful of the fact that colour matching online can be difficult, so we’re careful to do everything we can to make sure that our customers receive exactly what they need. We also carry a comprehensive range of quality stamping products in order to provide a good blend of general paper craft supplies in an attempt to cater for all tastes and hobbies."

What are you most proud of in terms of your business?
"Customer Service, Customer Service and Customer Service – it’s perhaps obvious and something that most companies promise, but based on the large amount of feedback we receive – we’re consistently delivering this at a high level and that’s incredibly satisfying. When we started the business, we had a couple of ‘founding principles’ which are still at the forefront of what we do today – we only sell product that we actually have in stock, we take great care about packing it securely and we deliver it fast – nobody likes waiting for stash to arrive."

Do you run classes, crops, demos or open days?
"We have a lot of fun in running our own established monthly crop near Ringwood in Hampshire and we attend other local crafting events. We have plans to expand our business in this direction in the future."

For more information:

Telephone: 01202 814061

Saturday 21 August 2010

NEW free classifieds service on our website

Just a note to let you know about a new feature on the CS website - so new in fact we have no listings as yet! It's a free classified service, where readers can offer unwanted stamps or stamping-related goodies for private sale.

If you are into sewing, patchwork or beading you can look at/post to listings for those magazines also.

You can access the free classifieds here.

Thursday 19 August 2010

Crafty Individuals interview

Artwork by Jean Hardy

Following on from our article yesterday, I had a chat with the lovely Jean from Crafty Individuals to find out more about the brains behind this successful stamp company.

1) Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
"Malcolm has had over 25 years experience as a professional commercial photographer, and my background is mainly in fine art and crafting."

2) How did you come to set up Crafty Individuals?
"I have always been involved in crafting, drawing and painting, since being very small. I have tried out other paid occupations along the way, but art and craft is my main love, and nowadays the job I find I am at my happiest and most relaxed doing. Malcolm and I had a bricks and mortar art and craft materials shop some year ago, and it was during this time we started designing and then selling our own rubber stamps and other products."

3) What do you like best about running your own business and what do you like least?
"I like the freedom and personal fulfilment of having my own business doing something I love so much. I think the extremes of having too much to do, or occasionally too little to do, are the most stressful parts of running a business. And then of course there is the book-keeping side of it all – enough said!"

4) What do you enjoy creating and what are your favourite techniques to use?
"Rubber stamping is definitely my favourite type of crafting these days, and I love the buzz I get from designing and producing my own creations, and sharing skills learnt with others."

5) Which product(s) are your personal favourites and why?
"Our own products are my favourites of course, but I currently love to use die cuts and wooden blanks in my crafting, plus lovely paints and inks, interesting mediums and white tissue paper."
6) What aspects of teaching do you most enjoy?
"I enjoy the pleasure of sharing my skills with others and the immense pleasure they get from creating their own personal little work of art, using our stamps alongside other products."

7) What are your achievements both personally and professionally?
"I think that next to having my children, we would both feel that running Crafty Individuals is our most creative and enjoyable achievement to date."

To find out more:
Telephone: 01642 789955
HEADS UP! Watch out for an article by Jean coming up in our Christmas (December) issue - it's a beauty!

Wednesday 18 August 2010

Stamper of the Year sponsors - Crafty Individuals

Crafty Individuals are kindly sponsoring our main overall winner category this year. The prize they have supplied is amazing - the winner won't believe the sheer quantity of gorgeous product!

Continuing our series of profiles, here's a little more info about Crafty Individuals.

Crafty Individuals is UK-based and run by business partners Malcolm Noble and Jean Hardy. They have been trading as an online retail website since 2006.

I asked Jean to tell us a little more about their successful stamp business:

"We primarily specialise in producing and manufacturing our own designs of art rubber stamps, for the craft market. Plus we have a complementary range of printed paper products: mini image books, background paper books, and image sheets. We are proud of our large range of home grown designs, and their growing popularity both at home and in far flung places such as Japan, China, Australia and North America.

I run local classes, and weekend workshops from time to time. We attend a few shows ourselves -­ Port Sunlight and Artisan this year. But as we also supply our products to other shops and websites, they can usually be found at other shows throughout the year.

We don’t have a specific design team as such, but we do have ‘designer friends’ who work with us to promote our products, such as Helen Chilton, Isabelle Norris and Jo Capper-Sandon, amongst others. Many of their designs can be seen on our huge website gallery."

To find out more:
Telephone: 01642 789955

Sunday 15 August 2010

New challenge blog

Jennie from The Artistic Stamper is hosting a new blog - Artistic Stamper Creative Team. As well as lots of lovely samples from Jennie, CS regular Hels, and the rest of the creative team, there is also a monthly challenge which anyone can join. For this month's challenge there is a prize worth £15 up for grabs for one participant - even more reason to join in!

If you love all things inky, arty and grungy then you are sure to find inspiration! Pop on over and have a play.

Best wishes,

Wednesday 11 August 2010

SOTY sponsors - The Stamp Man

This year the Cardmaker of the Year category in our Stamper of the Year competition is sponsored by The Stamp Man, a veritable treasure trove of stamps run by the lovely Jill Tuck who you will not doubt have seen on TV and who was responsible for the absolutely stunning UTEE clock in this month's issue. As part of our competition launch we'd like to tell a bit more about some of our sponsors, starting with The Stamp Man.

The Stamp Man is owned and run by Jill Tuck and Ian Hart, and their team. They have been trading for an amazing 20 years, so they certainly know a thing or two about stamping!
The Stamp Man specialises in rubber stamps (including their own Aspects of Design range with designs by Kay Carley and Tracey Coates) and cardmaking accessories. They hold classes, demos and open days and attend shows in the north of the country throughout the year, and have also been appearing on Ideal World and Create and Craft TV shopping channels for around 7 years.

I asked Jill about their achievements since starting out all those years ago:

"We started our business when rubber stamping/cardmaking first came along, in fact before it was even considered a hobby in the UK, we saw its potential and were like many, both hooked by it immediately! By demonstrating the various techniques 7 days a week in our shop and at shows around the country we have seen it grow into a well established hobby, and have seen many of our customers shine in the hobby. We have always endeavoured to offer best quality products as well as excellent customer service and feel this has worked well over the years along with our aim of providing a friendly and personal shopping experience for our customers.

We have recently added to our design team who continue to come up with inspiring ideas. As well as being knowledgeable about techniques, they each have different styles that can be seen on their individual blogs. We also have a popular main blog where we have regular blog candy giveaways as well as offering news and inspiration. We have recently started 2 new blogs, one for fortnightly challenges and the other for monthly ATC swaps where the design team contribute their work on the themes."

Contact information:

Web shop:
Call: 01756 797048

Tuesday 10 August 2010

Stamper of the Year - yay!!!

Well as you will have no doubt noticed the September issue of CS is now on sale. We always launch our Stamper of the Year competition in this issue and this month you can expect lots of blog posts about the competition and all our lovely sponsors.

Full details of the competition are in the magazine and there are also some details here on the website. This year you only have to submit two examples of work (was previously three) to make it easier for you to enter.

We have four categories this year:

Stamper of the Year Overall Winner
Sponsored by four wonderful companies: Crafty Individuals, Crafty Notions, Elusive Images and Imagination Crafts

NEW CATEGORY for 2010! Scrapbooker of the Year
Sponsored by Craft Obsessions

Altered/Mixed Media Artist of the Year
Sponsored by The Altered Element

Cardmaker of the Year
Sponsored by The Stamp Man

I can't wait to see your entries! I lurve this competition :).

Happy stamping and very GOOD LUCK!

Katy x