Wednesday 27 March 2013

Updated website

After many hours and trial and error I finally discovered why I couldn't update my main website by pure chance. Some silly mistake in the ftp address that I, completely useless at anything technical, could not see for love nor money.

Anyway, as i sorted that out, I have been able to update the content of it and look, now I have a whole new section dedicated to my die cutting designs. Still there is some content that I need to do, like more tutorials and more samples, but all will be done in due course (hopefully!).

Tuesday 19 March 2013

A Big Shot video, in Spanish! - Video Big Shot en Español!

Cringing, but i hope it helps to some people.


No es que disfrute viendo este video, pero quizas sea util!

Monday 18 March 2013

Just because...

I am tired of having to explain to myself why I get paid to do what I love.

I kind of scratch the word artist because I feel a bit undeserving of the word, but deep down I know I am artist - crafter, designer, photographer. 
Not all artists are great masters, but the vision in our work shouldn't go unpaid just because we dont fit in the old definitions of artists.

Unfortunately I dont know who said it, but I love this quote. I just took it and made this printable.

As a creative professional, I always find defining my fees and quoting commissions the hardest thing. Yes, even after ten years. The thing is that craft industry in the UK is pretty much set up in a way where there are standard rates, some of them fair, some of them not so much. Challenging those that are not is the hardest part.

Also, Artist know your vision.

Friday 15 March 2013


Visiting Zaragoza is always emotional for me. It is the city where I was born but I didn't grew up in. My parents moved to Mallorca when I was two years old, so i grew there in a pretty idyllic set up. But my heart has always loved Zaragoza and I treasured every yearly visit to the city to see my uncle, aunt, grandma and cousins. 
Nowadays I try as much as possible to at least go once a year, but last year I couldn't due to work commitments. 

So this trip was long time coming, and even more emotional as one member of my family is ill, but also my cousin Aitor and his wife Susana have got a new addition to the family, a beautiful little girl. There is another new addition to my Zaragoza family and is the reason of this big smile bellow on my cousin, young love!

I am incredibly close to my beautiful inside and out cousin Angela (above). She is a doctor, a pediatrician actually, quite handy for her new niece! Angela is eight years younger than me though we always have been very close and I count her among my closest friends. 

We went out only one night, but it was great. we had some of the best tapas around, which the old part of town is well re-known for. It was cold, very cold, but even the cold, wind and rain cant stop Zaragoza people to go out and have fun.

On the Saturday we went to Creativa Zaragoza. Creativa is the company that is organising craft retail shows all around Spain. I was working at the Madrid one back in October. This edition in Zaragoza was smaller but equally busy.

As soon as we got to show I spotted my Sizzix Everyday dies for sale. Seeing craft products that i designed in my hometown? Crazy!
This probably will be one of the highlights of my professional paper craft life.

Also, at the Pepa Paper, Elena was there teaching a workshop all day long. She is such a lovely girl and very talented too. Definitely check out her blog.

Also at the show were Innspiro, the Spanish distributors of Sizzix products among many others. they are a lovely bunch of people.

And Quim Diaz was there teaching a great project using the Big Shot and Basic Grey papers. Another lovely and talented crafter. Its seems that there is no lack of them in Spain, something that makes me extremely happy and proud!

Sunday was a busy fun day. We had paella cooked by my uncle which was delicious. In the late afternoon we went to El Pilar, which is a cathedral that houses the pillar where the Virgin Mary appeared to Saint James the Apostle in the 1st century AD. You can still kiss the Pillar and I always try to make a visit when I am in Zaragoza. It is a very special place.

The square is massive. So massive that it has not only one but two cathedrals (the second one being the tower on the left photo). After the visit, we went wondering off. But it was Sunday and it was cold, so what do you do?

We went to have some chocolate con churros! Amazing. After which we went to see Silver Linnings Playbook, which we enjoyed though I cant stand anymore dubbed movies, so that was challenging.

And finally we watched the Oscars Red Carpet. Neither of us was incredibly impress by the stars gowns with one or two exceptions.

The next day I was flying to Mallorca to see my parents, my sister, her husband and yet another new addition to the family.

Wednesday 13 March 2013

After Stitches, Barcelona

So, Stitches takes place from a Sunday to a Tuesday, but we are also there on Saturday setting up.  I got home very late Tuesday evening (around 9:30pm). But as soon as I got home I had to quickly unpack my clothes and toiletries, and replaced them quickly again because I was flying next morning to Barcelona.

Barcelona was really at first just a stop over for me as my destination was Zaragoza, the city where I was born and where only Ryan Air flies directly from London. In any other circunstances, I like to travel direct as much as I can as I know it is usually the cheapest all things considered. but you know what? I hate Ryan Air. I really really do. As long as I can I will avoid it like the plague. So, easy jet to Barcelona and train to Zaragoza is the easiest option.

Since I hadn't been in Barcelona for what it feels forever, I thought it would be a great opportunity to spend a night there.

I booked a room at Hotel Barcelo Sans, which is in the main train station. Dodgy, you may think, but I read all the reviews (I am thorough like that!) and they were very positive and more importantly the location is brilliant - the airport train takes 20 mins and the fast train to Zaragoza departs from there too.

The hotel is set up as an Orbital station and all is designed to look futuristic. It is actually really well done and all extremely clean and new.

But that chair is the most uncomfortable armchair I can possible imagine.

After dropping my bags I decided to go to Cromatismes after recommendation of Celine Navarro.

I loved this shop and the owner, Aurea, was really sweet and very talented. The samples along the walls are AMAZING!

The shop has two small floors with a workshop space and plenty of very well chosen goodies.

Next morning, after a lovely breakfast where cake was on offer - we do like our sweet breakfasts in Spain- I met up with Anam Stubbington.

I met Anam for the first time back in 2004/2005, not sure and then kept in touch via Facebook and email through out the years. As she lives with her family in Barcelona it was lovely to spend the day with her.

First stop was Kirei. I have been obsessed with this shop since I was in Creativa Madrid. they make the most amazing flowers and sweets using cold porcelain paste and other air drying clays.

All the samples are fake meaning they have been made with one past or another. Of course I had to buy some stuff to experiment. To be honest I only managed to make a poppy with a decent not great result, probably due to the fact that I didn't follow one very important step!

After that we had some lovely lunch and walked around the Ramblas, Boqueria... and before long we had to say goodbye.

And I had to say hello to the Ave train, a fast train to Zaragoza. One hour and a half to make a journey that usually is almost twice as long, and because I booked very late I had to go first class for which I had to pay all of 55€, mini cava bottle and sandwich included in the price, not bad!
Now, I dont think fast trains are the solution for all the countries, but Spain is a huge country and services like this can revitalise cities like Zaragoza.

Anyway, that is it for today. My adventures in Zaragoza next.

Friday 8 March 2013

The last few weeks...

Haven been filled by a very busy days both professionally and personally with really highs and some lows, but so its life and we need dealing with all of it.

I know it took place almost three week ago, but I havent talked about my experience at Stitches - the UK craft trade show - this year.

Of course, I was demonstrating at the Sizzix stand, such an honour to be demonstrating at what I think - and many others agree! - one of the best stands in the whole show for a third year running. Forgive the bad quality of the photos as they were taken with my mobile.

This year, though, it was extra special. I had not one but two collections launching: Fresh Moments - Spring available right now!

And Winter Moments - Christmas, available from August 2013:

 I had so much fun putting these areas together. Although, in true creative nature, I was very anxious about them before the show opened. But people were very kind with their positive comments!

I was demonstrating the new Big Shot Starter Set - available from May. The new machine - available on its own as well as part of the new Starter kit - is so lovely.

The samples on the left were mostly made by the super talented and amazing person that is Pete Hughes. I think this new starter kit is great - but then I am biased, I designed them! with many simple and useful shapes in all technologies or type of products that Sizzix produces.

The super star that is Celine Navarro was also demonstrating and teaching the workshops for Sizzix. She is so lovely, an talented too, but that is well known already! And also Celine is the editor of EntreArtistes, a french scrapbooking magazine of the highest quality. In the pages of the latest issue I found this beautiful layout by Karine using the everyday butterflies using vellum. I love it!

On the first day, before the show opens, Pete explained each area concept to the rest of the  team. He and Debi did a fab job in all the areas they had work on.

The flowers from the new Susan's Garden collection were extraordinary, so was once again the inside of the house. Madison Parker from Echo Park and Carta Bella papers came to visit the stand as Sizzix does a collaborative line with Echo Park stamps.

As usual, I tried to get in early (by about 10 mins), eat fast and leave late so that I would have some time to walk part of the show and see some of the new things and old friends. I really liked the Button Company stamp which now do beautiful felt and ribbon is matching colours. And Paperartsy, one of my favourite companies in the UK. My personal style is very different to what they do, but I love

Seeing Kirsty Wiseman demonstrating at Fantastic Ribbons and the always lovely Rachel Greig from the Darkroom Door was at the Personal Impressions - the European distributor of her products - stand demonstrating her great products.

There should be another photo here, of two of my most admired UK crafters, which are Julie Hickey and Lin Brown. But I was forbidden to post it!

But, I had to steal this photo from Lindsay Mason's blog. She is one of my very dear friends in the craft industry. Indeed, I love Lindsay, she is such a talented artist, demonstrator, designer... and yet humble and lovely.

Well, that is it for a Stitches recap. After that I went to Spain for ten days. I shall post more about that soon!

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