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One of my favourite places in a bookstore as a child was the stationary section. All the lovely card, paper, stickers and pens but most off all the smell of fresh unused card/paper and the colour. The start of a new school year was always a good time for me as I got all new exercise books and pencils.

As I got older I was interested in crafts but didn't believe I was creative. I traced pictures, copied ideas and had fun. Now I realise that creativity is something that is learnt by trying lots of ideas and techniques and finding out what you love by doing. Think of a top classical pianist or famous artist, they didn't become great at what they do overnight. They learnt from others and they worked on their craft.

Being a Stampin' Up!® demonstrator has made me more creative and allows me to share my passion with others. A term in the paper craft world that you will see is CASE. It stands for Cope And Share Everything. You don't have to reinvent the wheel every time you make a card, scrapbook page or gift. You can copy exactly what someone else has already designed. Note when I do this in class I do attribute who I learnt that technique from. Over time I have shifted from copying an idea I like to putting my own spin on it. Also creating from scratch which I didn't originally believe I had the ability to do.

I love showing people that say "I couldn't do that, I'm not creative" that they do have a creative side and paper crafting is easy to learn and do. Stampin' Up! make it really easy by designing and producing products that are made to co-ordinate. You may only want to create a card for a special occasion or you may want to create lots of cards. I send emails out with ideas and instructions on how to recreate the project. I also run classes in my home in Cambridge. People can use products they already have or purchase through me. Currently I attend the local Cambridge Lions market and sell items I have made. Not everyone wants to make it themselves but would rather purchase a handcrafted item instead of a mass produced one.

My first major crafting project was making my own wedding invitations in 2014. You Tube, books and Pinterest were my teachers. Spotlight was and still is a place I love to visit. I discovered Stampin' Up! products and a Hamilton class through my internet searches. I had seen the products in craft magazines but thought they were Australia only. I attended my fist class in March 2014 and had signed as a demonstrator by November that same year. Originally just to get the discount on products I was already buying.

Now I work from home with the company of Buster (black and white dog) and his cousin Trixie (the King Charles spaniel who stays with us most weekends). There also three cats who love stamping up brown boxes and sleeping in them and wrecking the packaging paper. My husband Dennis is soon to retire and I'm looking forward to having him around more and also travelling a bit. My son is nearly 21 but will always be my boy. He has made several cards over the years himself.
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