February Guild Awards

The award results are in for The Guild of Photographers February Image of the Month Competition.  I’m thrilled to have received 2 bronze bar awards this month!!  The Guild has very demanding standards when judging photographic competitions.  The judging is undertaken by a panel of internationally recognised experts from a variety of photographic backgrounds and all images are entered anonymously.  A bronze award is considered an “image of a strong standard at a professional level  – something to be proud of”.

My Pink Gerbera - Bronze Award

My Pink Gerbera – Bronze Award

This month, I entered a couple of the images that I have made into fine art prints.  My Gerbera scored a bronze bar award which I’m really pleased with.


My Tulips Image - Bronze Award

My Tulips Image – Bronze Award

My tulips image was awarded a higher bronze bar award and was just a couple of percent away from a silver, so there’s definitely something to aim for next time!


The boys - just missed on a bronze

The boys – just missed on a bronze

I also entered this lovely image of my baby boy and his friend.  I just missed out on a bronze bar award by 1.5% this time.  The feedback was that the boys needed to both be engaged with the camera in order to score higher.

So that’s 3 awards in 2 months.  What will March bring?!?



Phoenix Cards Launch

I’ve admired the Phoenix Trading range of cards and stationery for a long time.  Their quality and innovative designs have always impressed me, so when the opportunity came up to become a Phoenix Trader it didn’t take long to take the plunge.  It’s a very small set up fee and you can do it as a small secondary income or take it on as a full-time business opportunity, it’s entirely up to you!  I see it as a perfect complement to my existing designs and ranges and plan to combine the two.

Here are a few of my favourite designs:

Phoenix Cards - a few of my favourite cards

Phoenix Trading – a few of my favourite cards

With hundreds of card designs to choose from, it’s hard to even begin showing them to you.  But here’s just a few that caught my eye.  I really love their 3D cards, such as the little fairies card where the wings can be gently popped out, or the beach huts card that folds in half across the middle of the beach huts, making their roofs pop up over the top of the card.

Phoenix Cards - Stationery range

Phoenix Trading – Stationery range

Then there’s their brilliant stationery range.  From notecards & jotter pads to notepads and paper chains, it’s all beautifully made with gorgeous designs.

Phoenix cards - Posters etc.

Phoenix Trading – Posters etc.

And they have some brilliant full size colour posters, there’s an entire colouring in range (which my children may not get a look in if I get the colours out first!).  I particularly like their planners & reward charts etc, which have 52 sheets per pad so there’s a fresh sheet for each week!

Phoenix Cards - Boxes

Phoenix Trading – Organiser & Gift Boxes

Phoenix Cards - wrapping paper

Phoenix Trading – wrapping paper

And if all that isn’t enough there’s also wrapping papers, ribbons, organiser boxes, pop up boxes, gift bags, tags….. It really does just go on and on!!!




Phoenix Cards Mini - Launch Party

Phoenix Cards Mini – Launch Party (excuse for cake)

On monday I had my mini-launch party.  I invited a handful of friends and neighbours and baked lots of cake.  Unfortunately, the cake didn’t get finished, but everyone loved the Phoenix Trading cards & stationery and I need to place another order already!


If you’d like me to send you a catalogue you can get in touch with me on my normal email address or my phoenix trading address: gemma@cardsbygemma.com you can also place an order directly with me via email or my facebook page.  If you’re more internet savvy, you may prefer to order via my Phoenix Trading website.  All orders from the website are despatched directly from the warehouse, so even if I don’t have a particularly design in stock, the warehouse will.

As I now stock such a huge selection of gorgeous cards and stationery through Phoenix Trading, I will have to do more blog posts highlighting some of my favourite designs in more detail.  Let me know if you’d like to see more of any particular theme, such as the 3D cards, wedding designs, innovative products, children’s party ideas…

My Phoenix Trading website can be found here: www.cardsbygemma.com


Mini Drawstring Bags with colouring pack

It would seem that at every fair I like to display something new.  I have a fair this saturday (9th March 2013) at Tetbury Market House and my new mini drawstring bags (with colouring packs) will be put out on display for the very first time.

There is a choice of standard designs:

Bus, car and tractor mini drawstring bags

Bus, car and tractor mini drawstring bags

Fairy, ladybird and ballerina mini drawstring bag

Fairy, ladybird and ballerina mini drawstring bag

Merry-go-round and rainbow mini drawstring bag

Merry-go-round and rainbow mini drawstring bag


And as per usual, there is the option to place an order for a personalised bag with a choice of illustration from the letterchart (which has 72 illustrations to choose from).  Due to the size of the bags, the number of characters is limited to 3, which is perfect for initials.


Personalised mini drawstring bag with mini notebook and colouring pencils

Personalised mini drawstring bag with mini notebook and colouring pencils


The colouring pack includes a mini colouring book and a dozen full size colouring pencils.  The mini colouring book is hand-made, has approximately 36 pages and is currently available in a choice of 5 colours: green, red, purple, blue and lilac.  I have yet to decide the final binding technique for the notebooks, at the moment there is a choice between ribbon bound and stapled and I am about to experiment with some elastic cord.  I plan to end up with just one style of binding, so if you have a favourite let me know!


Mini drawstring bag on its own £ 3.25
Mini drawstring bag with colouring pack £4.75
Personalise for an additional £1


I have yet to list these bags in my online shop, so if you’d like to order one you can contact me by email or by my facebook page or you can come and see me at one of my next events.  I will update this post with a link to my shop once they have been listed.


Personalised small canvas bag

Personalised small canvas bag


Why not combine a mini bag & colouring pack with a small personalised canvas bag, they would make the perfect present for any little tot!


Free Mother’s Day Crafty Downloads

Unfortunately I’ve run out of time to get my mini-mumz & mini-granz ready for their reveal before Mother’s Day, so I thought I could offer up a Free Mother’s Day Crafty Download instead!

I’m offering up a free colouring in template for a Mother’s Day card for Mummy’s and also one for Grandma’s.  There’s also a Mother’s Day paper bunting template to add to your collection from my earlier paper bunting download blog post.


Mother's Day Free Crafty Download

Print out as many copies as you like.

The links can be found at the bottom of this post, just click on them to open a pdf file in a new window.  You can print as many copies as you like for personal use.  If your printer can handle card, you can print the cards directly onto it.  If not you could always print the cards onto paper and them glue them down onto card after they’ve been coloured in.  Although, they do look just as cute on paper :)


Colour them in

Colour them in

After you’ve printed them, just colour them in.


keep colouring

Keep colouring

You could embelish them with glitter and sequins and any other lovely bits you like!


why not personalise the stickmen on the back?

why not personalise the stickmen on the back?

I added a little bit on the back of the card, I thought it would be a cute idea to colour in the stickmen.


All coloured

What a lot of colouring!

All that colouring and decorating should keep them busy for a while.


Cut them out

Cut them out

Once they’ve been decorated they need to be cut out, be careful to cut out the diamond shapes of the bunting, not the triangles.


Fold the bunting diamond over a piece of string or ribbon and glue

Fold the bunting diamond over a piece of string or ribbon and glue

The cards just need to be folded in half, but the bunting is a little trickier.  The bunting diamond needs to be folded over a piece of string or ribbon and then glued down to leave the decorated side facing up.  To see the original post with full instructions on how to make the paper bunting you can click here.


All finished

All finished

And there you have it, some lovely simple home-made items to make any mum or grandma smile on Mother’s Day :)



Download your free I ♥ mummy card here Mummy Card Download
Download your free I ♥ grandma card here Grandma Card Download
Download your free Mother’s Day bunting here Mother’s Day Bunting Download
Download your free original paper bunting download here Original Paper Bunting Download

View the original paper bunting blog post with tutorial here.



These downloads are free for personal use.

Please share, but always link back to this blog post.
Thank You :)