Friday, 22 April 2016

... settling in at Gina K's place

One of the things I'm trying to do now that WMS has closed is to get my head around the amazing company that I am joining (In case you didn't hear, I'll be designing for Gina K). I had 'seen' Gina around the web for years, I'd built up an admiration of her company, her designs and then her personality. I managed to have a few chats with her over the years and I found that all the lovely things folks said about her were true. Gina is a genuinely lovely lady and the way she runs her company was always a huge inspiration to me at WMS. I'll say it again, I am honoured to be joining  the crew and while I sit here twiddling my thumbs waiting for the Postie to bring me my Sending Love Stamp TV kit, I'm doing a little snooping around over at Gina's. Here's a pic of what I'm waiting on (squeal! LOVE gingham papers!)....

There's actually quite a lot to see. Now that I have some time on my hands, I'm beginning to explore the possibilities and I thought that you might like an intro too. Most of you will already know Gina K designs, but if you haven't been over yet, here's a list of all the great places you can connect with Gina K Designs -

The Gina K Designs store is here: Gina K Store

Just a quick note about the online store
"The Gina K. Designs online store will be closed through Friday, April 29th so we can move to our new location! We will reopen at 9:00 AM Saturday morning with lots of inventory back in stock! Videos will continue on StampTV and we hope you will join us there for inspiration and fun while we set up our new location. All orders currently in the system will continue to ship until they are all out. Thanks so much for you patience as we strive to make our online store better than ever before!"
-  the background to this is that Gina is opening a brand new bricks and mortar store - you lucky folks in USA will be able to actually visit this soon! Read all about the new store here.

The Stamp TV site is here: Stamp TV

Stamp TV is a FREE community with literally thousands of resources in the form of videos (over 780! of them), tutorials, galleries, forums, downloads, and the like. ALL FREE. No subscription...nope... You can get in there right now and learn new stuff right away. It's a great place to set up your crafty home on the web and I look forward to building my page there and getting to know the 'locals'.

If you just want to ogle thousands of purty cards, check this out: Stamp TV/Gina K Pinterest account

I especially love the inspirational behind the scenes insight and motivational pics on Gina's Instagram

Facebookers can connect with Gina K designs here: Gina K Facebook Page

Tweeters, find Gina K here.

The pic I snaffled to head up this post is a sample made to illustrate one of the many techniques that you can learn over at Stamp TV. Pop over to see the video now! it's right here.

Ok, that's a beginners list - we've a lot of super info to get through folks, why don't you pop over to Stamp TV and join up for free and we can explore it all together!

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Pinch me!

Folks, the most fabulous news! I am to be part of the Gina K team. I cannot begin to tell you in words what this means to me - did you SEE all the lovely things Gina wrote about me! I'm pinching myself. Right now I am the luckiest lady in stampland and I'm just gonna take a moment and let this all sink in! Gina has been an idol of mine since I discovered stamping and it is an absolute honor to be associated in any way with her company. I am so grateful for the chance to work with Gina and her amazing team!

Thursday, 31 March 2016

...Going...going....nearly gone...

Folks I am currently dismantling the store and I hope to have it all fully offline by Monday Morning (4 April). I am still waiting for a small number of folks to respond to my replies to their queries before I can close all of the files and remove everything completely. I am also doing one last stock check tonight and I have found a couple of odds and ends that should have been on the store - I'll be adding these in the next day or so once I have confirmed that I don't need them for any waiting orders.

USA shipping is ending tonight once I have removed all of the USA stock from the store. However, I may still be shipping stock from here in UK tomorrow/Saturday if there are any last moment things you wish to snap up.

It has been an incredibly busy couple of weeks since I announced the closure and I must pay tribute to the herculean efforts of my good friend Lynn at WMS USA. We have been inundated with orders and Lynn has been a wonder woman!

Thanks to everyone who joined us along the way, even if you only popped on board this last week or so, your support has been appreciated! Hope to chat to you all soon in blog land, I anticipate a little free time soon! :)  Claire

The image above shows on of our earlier sets, Camelia - it was one that I especially loved, but never got the chance to use much!

Monday, 22 February 2016

...WMS is closing

Folks, Waltzingmouse Stamps store is closing.

It took me a half hour just to write that one line. 
Gosh, that was hard.

WMS store will close down completely at the end of March 2016, 
just over a month shy of our 7th birthday.

I want to thank everyone who has ever shopped with us, partied with us, chatted with us or generally just cheered us on - you have made the last 7 years a blessing to me, 
Thank You so much for being part of WMS!

What happens now?

Shipping of in-stock items will continue up until the end of March from both the UK and USA locations. Folks having discount codes or gift vouchers etc should use them now as once the store closes at end of March, WMS will cease to trade and all vouchers and codes will no longer be useable.

If there's anything you ever wanted from WMS, it would be best to order it now - I am hoping to stay in the stamping/craft industry but I have no idea if any of these designs will ever be available again since I won't be running a stamp store!

Why is WMS closing? 
Well it's a long story, but if you want to hear it:

I began Waltzingmouse Stamps in 2009 with the vision that I wanted to provide the very best quality design, in the very best quality photopolymer paired with the very best quality customer service. At the time I was operating on a very small scale and that was grand, I was able to make all three of those things happen and still be at home for the wee folks and pretend that I was doing some housework as well. 

It was a really steep learning curve and I enjoyed it, I like a challenge. I learned how to design for polymer, how to design dies - I taught myself how to set up and run a company and how to set up and run an online store, I'd never done anything like that before and I was determined to do all of these things to the best of my ability. 
To do them right.

As the business grew, I was juggling lots of different things and I was managing because I was ok with giving up on housework. Mr B took over the kitchen.

I had the opportunity, twice, to 'Go Big' and I passed both times because I didn't want to be a big company. WMS stayed small, so that I could hang on to as much family time as possible. My big priority is to raise my children and I need to be here to do that. WMS gave me the chance to earn a living and also be around for my wee folk and I am really, really lucky to have been able to do that for so long.

The business grew as big as I could handle, and that's thanks to you folks who came and played along with us, and I am very grateful for you. WMS has always been fortunate to have had the loveliest folks, from all over the world. I've 'met' folks from Iceland to South Africa, from Moscow to Brazil, Japan, Australia - all over the globe - what an amazing thing, to find myself here in a damp corner of Ireland chatting to all these wonderful folks. Exotic addresses to ship to, beautiful names, beautiful people everywhere!

I really never thought that we would get as far as we did - and look at the Designs Teams we have had! We've had the most talented and kindest ladies in the craftosphere here at WMS!
It has been a charm.

Along with a growing business though, came growing time pressure, and I found myself working all day and late into the night, every night, for several years. I'm not afraid of hard work and it was still worth it, I was still able to do the school runs and be at home, even if I was closed away in the office most of the time. 

However this last year or so things have gotten a little out of hand. My wee folk need me as much now as ever, maybe even a little more. There have been huge changes in online business practices to keep up with and a number of frankly ridiculous EU directives have been introduced, making it much harder for small businesses to function economically. Consequently there's been a lot of time-greedy admin tasks that have resulted in my not having enough time for designing, 
for making, or for efficient customer service, 
and that compromises my original vision for WMS.

I don't want to compromise, and so I have decided to close WMS. 

What's next? 
Immediately? Well I'll be tying up loose ends at WMS until end of March, and I will be crafting. I will be taking the opportunity to get out from underneath my admin rock and see what's going on, maybe reconnect with the whole blogging world. I will be redesigning this blog to reflect me, myself and my crafting interests. 

I'll be getting back to making and I will be getting myself ready for an adventure. You know that saying? The one about the door closing and another one opening, well it's true - I will be able to tell you more about it later this year, but how about you pop back in a week or so and we can talk crafting, you know actual cardstock and glue and maybe ink and such, like we used to?

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

...Spring Cleaning Sale

Folks I am doing a little spring cleaning here at WMS, I could use some extra space and so I have some winter themed sets that I'm going to put on special offer. I'm going to give 20% off the following sets from now until next Wednesday, sort of a belated January sale.

If you would like to bag some super winterish/Christmasish stuff, now's the time to pounce. 
Some of these sets are more 'in-stock' than others...

Use this code to get your 20% off the selected sets:


Click the image above to see which sets are in the offer: