We've GROWN!

Last year, the Claire Manning Creative Design Team went from 4 to 6 with the addition of the utterly fabulous Stephanie Gilmour and Gemma Read. So, its about time we knew a little bit more about these crafty women and what makes them so special.


Hi all, I'm Steph Gilmour. I live in North Lincolnshire with my husband, son, and my pets Toby the dog, and Bubbles my little grey cat. I love how relaxing crafting is and how kind the crafting community are. I don’t really have a particular style. I just go with the flow and see what I end up with. It’s sometimes completely different from what I set out to do!!

What inspires your crafting?

I often get an idea pop into to my head 3am!! My inspiration comes from looking around my craft room at colours and products. I like to personalise cards, so I always consider what colours or themes the recipient likes.

Fave Technique?

I heat emboss everything. It really brings a stamp to life and helps stay within the lines when colouring and painting. I also love construction. You may have spotted the gift odd box I’ve slipped in with my DT cards.

Top card making tip?

There are no rights or wrongs. Just go with your heart. If you are not sure about your card, look at it again the next day with fresh eyes. Sometimes I find taking a photo of my card gives me a different perspective. Above all, experiment and have fun !!!

Fave make?

Last year, I discovered oil pastels and followed some YouTube tutorials to create these picture. As someone who isn’t great at drawing, I was surprised how easy they were to do. I think the swans in the heart is my fave.


Hi I'm Gemma! I live in South London and work for a university library full time. I got into card making about 5 years ago, but only started seriously when the pandemic began and found crafty groups on Facebook. But if I'm not not inside making cards, then you'll find me out walking somewhere.

What inspires your crafting?

As I’m not naturally creative (I always preferred maths and science to art and design lessons at school), I take inspiration from other crafters, so I enjoy seeing people’s makes on Facebook groups, on Pinterest, watching YouTube videos. I think I’m more naturally drawn to clean and simple cards, but the more variety I see, the more my tastes change.

Favourite technique?

Depends on the day, my mood, the products I’m using, who the card is for…. But I never get tired of watching heat embossing or peeling back the stencil to see what you’ve created.

Top card making tip?

The only tip I can think of is the one that I need to remember myself sometimes, which is not to be precious over things – new patterned papers, sparkly embossing powders, pretty backgrounds I’ve made, and my time! Just have a go and play. Have fun!

Favourite ever make?

I can’t think of a particular favourite make, but my favourite people to make cards for are my friends’ children – maybe because they’re so easily impressed?!

Here's one of my recent makes for Claire Manning Creative. You'll find more in the inspiration section of this website

Meet the rest of the Design Team here

Have a great day everyone. Claire x

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