Clearance Rack

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Caturday: Christmas kitties



We had a fun morning at Woodland Nook last weekend, taking festive pictures of all the cats and kittens who needed new homes. We’d taken along some Christmassy props, including a small decorated tree, a garland and a stocking.

Needless to say, all didn’t go to plan. First of all, the tree had to be confiscated as the kittens were trying to chew the fairy lights! So we piled the garland into a heap and stood the cats in it. Of course, they kept moving. The addition of cat treats would surely help? But no, if you hide cat treats in a Christmas garland, all you get is crowd scenes... of cats’ bottoms.

In the end we managed to get semi-decent (ie cat in frame but not necessarily in sharp focus!) pix of about eight of the cats.

The winning formula was this. We pinned the garland around an empty window frame that leads from the bedroom to the TV lounge. Yes really... this is a cat shelter like you’ve never seen before – the cats all live together in reasonable harmony (most of the time). I lay on the settee below the window so I could look up at the cats and take pictures (no double chins!). Inevitably, my legs were soon hosting a rather (ie, VERY) large black and white cat, which hindered my movement somewhat. Daughter applied catnip spray to the garland then she and her friend methodically placed the cats in the frame.

The addition of catnip did result in a lot of cats sporting an unflattering “spaced-out” look, but we deleted all those... and eventually we managed to get just enough to warrant a photo gallery on the Derby Telegraph website. You can see it here – hope you like it!



Friday, 19 December 2014

Cheerful Christmas card... the final countdown


I ’m proud to say that this year every single Christmas card I have sent has been homemade. Admittedly, the last few were thrown together from bits and bobs I’d previously stamped out, but still... they’re homemade!

This was made from an image I’d stamped at a get-together with some of my team. It’s a really nice stamp set which looks best when inked up with markers as I’ve done here.

I just have a few more Christmas projects to show you then I hope to have some sneak peeks from the Spring/Summer catalogue. I have LOTS of goodies to play with but just haven’t had time yet. A little thing called Christmas keeps getting in the way...


Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Curvy Keepsakes Box Christmas favours


Wouldn’t these make cute little favours for your Christmas table? You could even pack small gifts inside them and hang them from the Christmas tree.


I made these for my Virtual Hostess Club members, all in Kraft (which is my favourite) apart from the one for Grace as I know she’s not a fan of browns, so she received a special red one. The Stars Framelits are gorgeous, so useful for all kinds of occasions and perfect for Christmas. And the Alphabet Rotary Die makes gift tags so easy, as you can stamp any name you like.




Monday, 15 December 2014

Ornamental Pine Takeout Box for Around the World Challenge 31 (AW31)



For the latest Around the World Challenge, I revamped an earlier project. This is a quick and easy way of giving a project a new look although, in my case, I admit it’s not a particularly radical new look!

I have always loved dark red and dark green for Christmas, so Cherry Cobbler and Mossy Meadow are perfect. Add a splash of bling in the form of Gold Glimmer Paper and what could be more festive?


The AW31 challenge was to create a project inspired by this photo, which should be easy for everyone to have a go at in time for Christmas! Go on, give it a go... but not until you’ve taken a look at the other projects. I haven’t seen all of them at the time of typing this, but the one by French demonstrator C├ęcile Ortiz just blew me away! She’s so talented!


Saturday, 13 December 2014

Caturday: Mr Winky and the box that's too small


Mr Winky would like the people at the Stampin’ Up!® warehouse in Frankfurt to know that these new boxes are just too small! He can fit in, but there’s no way he can sit down properly, which vexes him. As the sole purpose of this household seems to be to make Mr Winky happy and comfortable, this box just had to go.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Bright & Beautiful star aperture card


I’m almost out of Christmas projects to show you… and in my mind I’ve already moved on to spring because today, the UPS man is bringing me my Spring/Summer catalogue pre-order! It’s very exciting, I have some lovely new stamp sets coming, as well as some very exciting Designer Series Paper (with LOTS of potential), and some gorgeous embellishments. I’ve planned strategically to prepare some samples for my All-Day Craftathon, which is in February. I’d love to have this event full of eager crafters, and you can secure your place with just a £5 deposit! All the details are here and if you have any questions, just email me!

Meanwhile, here’s a Christmas project that was marvellous in my head, but actually quite difficult to execute. The key is NOT to look at the back of this card, LOL!

Regular Big Shot users will probably have worked out the problem by now. To create the aperture in the front of the this card, I had to wrap the card, inside out, around the cutting plate. The extra pressure created by the additional sheet of cardstock in the “sandwich” resulted in the star shape also being embedding into the back of the card, too. Still, it made positioning the stamped image very easy!




This stamped star has been made 3D simply by scoring from each point to the opposite side. Then you gently fold the stars along the score lines, alternating between mountain and valley folds, to create the lovely 3D effect. The hardest part is sticking it down, but I built up the centre with Stampin' Dimensionals and stuck the points down with Tombow. 

I didn’t have my Itty Bitty Accents star punch with my when I made this, so borrowed a friend’s old-style star, but I’m listing the new one in the ingredients for ease. 

The small print

This is my personal blog and my sole responsibility as an Independent Stampin' Up!® demonstrator. All images are © Stampin' Up!® All content including photographs, projects and text are © Helen Read, unless otherwise stated. Please feel free to copy my ideas for your personal use and inspiration - if you are a SU demonstrator you may use these ideas for your events but please give credit where it is due. Please do not use my ideas for monetary gain, competitions or publication. The images on this blog - including blog buttons - should not be copied and used elsewhere on the internet or on CDs.