Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Three fun ink techniques with the Harvest Meadow Suite

Harvest Meadow Stampin Up card UK demonstrator

Today I want to show you some fun effects you can create with ink. These cards are all created with the Harvest Meadow Suite and some simpe techniques.

The first card is heavily inspired by the one on page 54 of the current Stampin’ Up!® Mini Catalogue.

Harvest Meadow Stampin Up card UK demonstrator
 

I love creating watercolour backgrounds and often get carried away, making more than I need. Sometimes they don’t look like I want them to so I store all of these extras for future craft sessions. It was in this stash that I found this colourful yellow piece with some lovely rich greens which I thought would be perfect for the project.

I mounted the flowers onto a border created with Stitched Rectangles Dies and the beautiful Cork Speciality Paper, which is absolutely gorgeous. It’s a little pricey at £7 for two 12x12 sheets but a little goes a long way – for instance, the piece I cut out of the centre here will give me accents for three or four more projects.

Harvest Meadow Stampin Up card UK demonstrator

The background of the card is embossed using the Timeworn Type 3D embossing folder, then swiped with Whisper White Craft Ink to make the embossed areas stand out a little more. I'm really happy with the way it turned out and if you'll forgive me blowing my own trumpet for a moment, I think I prefer my version to the one in the catalogue!

Harvest Meadow Stampin Up card UK demonstrator

Harvest Meadow Stampin Up card UK demonstrator

The next two cards are really simple to create using our lovely Blending Brushes. All I did was swirl the ink with the brush in the centre of the card, in a circular motion, to create this soft oval of colour. The trick here is to keep going – most people give up too early and end up with wishy-washy, uneven colour.


Harvest Meadow Stampin Up card UK demonstrator 

Once I was happy with the colour saturation, I splashed a little water over the top. This is one of my favourite techniques and I love how it turns out. Bigger drops equals bigger splashes (I know, who knew, right?) so start small if you're not feeling confident. 

 Harvest Meadow Stampin Up card UK demonstrator
These blended backgrounds provide a stunning backdrop for the crisp white die-cut flowers and grasses. 

You can cut your die-cut shapes up further. There are only two stems on the grasses on these cards because I trimmed one off to provide more balance.

Harvest Meadow Stampin Up card UK demonstrator

The final card combines some of the above techniques, with the addition of Nature’s Harvest stamps. I stamped and die-cut the flowers, colouring in using ink from ink pad lids, applied with a Blender Pen. The grasses are again created from a watercoloured piece; it had been coloured in Mint Macaron which goes perfectly with the Soft Succulent Ribbon.

The background here is again created with the Blending Brushes, with the addition of a circular mask to create a lovely moon effect. To do this, just die-cut (or draw round something if you don't have dies) a circle from thin paper. A sticky note is ideal but otherwise you can use some thin paper and some Tombow Multi-Purpose Glue; apply some tiny dots or a thin layer and allow it to dry clear to create a temporary adhesive. Then blend with your brushes as before, starting on the mask and working outwards. Avoid working towards the edges of the mask as you can disturb it and end up putting colour exactly where you don't want it.

Have you tried any of these techniques? Which is your favourite?

If you are in the UK and would like to order, please To order these or any other current Stampin’ Up!® products from my store, please shop using this link

Does your wish list come to more than £99? Please get in touch and I will help you get more for your money and unlock discounts all year round.  
 
 

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Whale Done 21st birthday card with blending brushes

Whale Done Stampin Up card ideas Demonstrator Derbyshire

It’s back to the Stampin' Up!® Annual Catalogue for today’s projects as I needed another 21st birthday card... this time for my “baby” boy. He seems to be creating some sort of Sealife centre in his room at the moment, with the arrival of a tropical fish tank plus a separate tank for Wallace the turtle. Wallace belongs to him and his girlfriend, but she can't take him/her (we’re not sure yet) with her to uni.

Whale Done Stampin Up card ideas Demonstrator Derbyshire 

It’s hard to create cards for 21-year-old males but the Whale Done stamp set was perfect for the occasion. I suspect it’s the wrong sort of turtle but it’s close enough, I’m sure.

Whale Done Stampin Up card ideas Demonstrator Derbyshire

I began by using my Blending Brushes to create a background of Pacific Point and Coastal Cabana. On top of this I stamped some Night of Navy fish, a few Whisper White bubbles and some Evening Evergreen weeds. This part of the card was heavily inspired by this card by US demonstrator Michelle Zindorf but then I went my own way.

Whale Done Stampin Up card ideas Demonstrator Derbyshire

I cut out the layer using the Stitched So Sweetly Dies, then realised I had enough of this background left to create a second panel for another card, so I cut this out with one of the smaller dies.

Whale Done Stampin Up card ideas Demonstrator Derbyshire
 

Wallace the turtle is stamped in Evening Evergreen but I tackled this in reverse by “colouring” the image in advance. I stamped some speckles in Bumblebee repeatedly onto some white cardstock, then stamped the Evening Evergreen turtle on top. This is as close as I can get to real-life Wallace. I fussy cut the image and popped it up on Stampin’ Dimensionals. 

Whale Done Stampin Up card ideas Demonstrator Derbyshire
 

For the greeting, I inked the stamp first in Coastal Cabana, then added Pacific Point to the bottom section, blurring the hard edge slightly with a Sponge Dauber.

I stuck some Coastal Cabana cardstock to a Foam Adhesive Sheet and cut out the 21 using Playful Alphabet Dies. I KNEW there was a figure 1 in there but couldn’t find it for Robin’s card last week!

The front of the card has a panel embossed with the Seashells 3D embossing folder which is really designed to be used portrait I think but looks fine here as the image panel covers most of it.

Whale Done Stampin Up card ideas Demonstrator Derbyshire

Confession: I hated this card and thought it was really unbalanced until I added the finishing touch of some linen thread. It’s funny how something so simple can make all the difference, isn’t it?
 
Whale Done Stampin Up card ideas Demonstrator Derbyshire

For the second card – which I don’t immediately need but thought I may as well make while I had the supplies out – I used the whale stamp and Whale Builder Punch as my focal point on top of the mini sponged panel that was left over from the birthday card. 
 
Whale Done Stampin Up card ideas Demonstrator Derbyshire
 
Aside from the sponging, it’s a very simple card, with a swirl of linen thread behind the panel and a greeting stamped directly onto the Basic White Notecard.

It was fun to dig out a stamp set that hadn’t seen ink for many months and reminded me of how much I love the Whale Done stamps and punch. 

Whale Done Stampin Up card ideas Demonstrator Derbyshire


Do you have a sealife-loving person in your life? To order these or any other current Stampin’ Up!® products from my store, please shop using this link

Does your wish list come to more than £99? Please get in touch and I will help you get more for your money and unlock discounts all year round.  
 
 

Tuesday, 31 August 2021

Birthday card using Happy Holly-Days Christmas stamp set

Happy Holly Days card idea Stampin' Up! 
Although I can’t yet face making Christmas cards as that feels like the end of summer – I like to wait until schools have reopened at least – I knew the Happy Holly-Days stamp set in the new Stampin’ Up!® Mini Catalogue would be perfect for a friend’s 21st birthday card. When your name is Robin, no other image will do! I’m a day early here but I don’t think anyone will see it until tomorrow; I won’t share this on social media until tomorrow, just in case!

Happy Holly Days stamp set from Stampin' Up!
 

When I saw this lovely Happy Holly-Days stamp set in the new Stampin’ Up!® Mini Catalogue, I may just have punched the air a little because we UK demonstrators have been asking for a proper European robin for our Christmas cards ever since Stampin’ Up’!® launched here in 2007. 

Happy Holly Days card idea Stampin' Up!

I coloured the robin from Happy Holly-Days using Stampin’ Up!® Stampin’ Blends. I didn’t have quite the right shades so mixed them directly on the paper. I used Gray Granite with a hint of Ivory on the belly, Poppy Parade with a hint of Pumpkin Pie on the chest, and Crumb Cake with a hint of Bronze on the back. The beak and legs are just Gray Granite; they should really be black but I thought that would look a bit stark. 

Happy Holly Days card idea Stampin' Up!

I fussy cut the image to pop up on Stampin’ Dimensionals. Did I fussy cut between the legs? Of course not. What do you take me for? I would have done if I’d been mounting it onto a different colour but as it’s white on white, it wasn’t worth the effort and risk of damage.

Study your greeting stamps carefully as you may be able to create new words from them. Here I have used this Christmas stamp set to create my greeting. I used tape to mask off the word “Christmas” to leave “Happy” and then cleaned it up and masked the same stamp to leave “st” within the word Christmas. Remember to remove the tape before stamping or you will just end up with a messy splodge!
 
Happy Holly Days card idea Stampin' Up!
 
I created the 21 using the Playful Alphabet Dies, which are a must-have addition to your craft stash in my opinion. I could have used Poppy Parade cardstock but as I already had some white cardstock mounted onto the oh-so-useful Foam Adhesive Sheets, I just used this and coloured the numbers with Stampin’ Blends.

This layer is mounted onto Granny Apple Green cardstock cut out with the also must-have Stitched So Sweetly Dies.

Happy Holly Days card idea Stampin' Up!

I covered my card front with this cheery Designer Series Paper which comes from the absolutely huge Pattern Party 12x12 pack which is exclusively available to hosts. You get 48 sheets so it’s the equivalent of four standard packs.

The designs are really cheery on one side, and black and white on the reverse so you can colour them in your chosen shade if you wish. I love this bright and cheerful rainbow effect, which meant I could pick out the Granny Apple Green for my layer and Poppy Parade for the numbers and colouring of the robin’s red breast. 
 
Robin for Stampin' Up Christmas cards
 
For international readers, the robin redbreast is a traditional symbol of Christmas in Britain. Year-round visitors to our gardens, robins are much-loved because of their confidence around humans. They became synonymous with Christmas in Victorian times; postmen were nicknamed robins because they wore red waistcoats and were often depicted on Christmas cards. 
 
In real life, robins have an orange chest rather than red, so why do we call them a robin redbreast? This is one of my favourite fun facts and it’s because they were named before the English language had developed enough to come up with a word for orange. Hence we also have the red squirrel, red deer and red kite. 
 
Happy Holly Days card idea Stampin' Up!

Happy Holly Days card idea Stampin' Up!

Think this would make a great addition to your craft stash, Christmas or otherwise? If you’re in the UK, you can order Happy Holly-Days and any other current Stampin’ Up!® products from my store

Does your wish list come to more than £99? Please get in touch and I will help you get more for your money and unlock discounts all year round.  
 
 

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Counting Sheep stamp set - FREE in August and September

Counting Sheep Stampin' Up card idea demonstrator UK

 
How fun is this card? I am so proud that one of my team members promoted to the next Stampin’ Up!® level and wanted to make her a card to accompany the gift I sent her to celebrate this impressive achievement.

This is a very silly card but has the perfect sentiment – You’re Amazing! – and was a great opportunity to enjoy my new Counting Sheep stamp set. 
 
Counting Sheep Stampin' Up card idea demonstrator UK
 
Counting Sheep Stampin' Up stamp set demonstrator UK

This fun rubber stamp set is part of our Sale-a-Bration offering, and free with a £45 order during August and September. There are three fun sheep in the stamp set, as well as two greetings, a party hat and some grass.
 
Sheep Dies Stampin' Up demonstrator UK
 
There are Sheep Dies, too, which are also free with a £45 order. The dies feature shapes to cut out the sheep, plus this cute gate, a sun, balloon, party hat, flag, and the mounds of grass I’ve used in today’s card, which would also work as clouds.  
 
I love that the stamps and dies are available separately, giving you the option to have one or both products, and to split your purchases across two months. 
 
A word of warning; the Sheep Dies are only available while supplies last so, although it may seem back to front, I have been recommending that my customers get these first, then get the stamps next month, as they are guaranteed to be available throughout Sale-a-Bration.

Counting Sheep Stampin' Up card idea demonstrator UK

I coloured my sheep using Stampin’ Blends... giving them a very light touch. Just a bit of Ivory on the faces and legs, and some light Smoky Slate on the hooves. 
 
Counting Sheep Stampin' Up card idea demonstrator UK
 
It’s finished off with some gorgeous gingham ribbon. Black and white gingham ribbon is always popular with crafters so I‘m delighted to see it return. If you’re not into Halloween, you could easily overlook this product, but you’ll find it on page 51 of the Mini Catalogue, and also on p74 in the accessories section.

As I write, Counting Sheep is the second most popular Stampin’ Up!® stamp set in the UK – and I can see why. It’s cute, it’s fun and best of all... it’s free!
 
Counting Sheep Stampin' Up card idea demonstrator UK
 
If you love these sheep stamps and dies as much as I do, you can earn them free during August and September. If you’re in the UK, please shop using this link.
 
Does your wish list come to more than £99? Please get in touch and I will help you get more for your money and unlock discounts all year round.  
 
 

Tuesday, 17 August 2021

Introducing the Feels Like Home Sale-a-Bration stamp set

Stampin Up Feels Like Home Sale-a-Bration card idea

I do have lots more Nature’s Harvest projects to show you but thought I’d better vary things a little before you got bored and walked away. So today I would like to introduce the Feels Like Home Sale-a-Bration stamp set which is free with any Stampin’ Up!® order of £45 or more. 

Stampin Up Feels Like Home Sale-a-Bration stamp set
 

Feels Like Home is a really beautiful cling rubber stamp set with so much detail that it can look a bit daunting at first.  But I really wanted to use it to welcome an old friend back into my Stampin’ Up!® team as it really does feel like she’s coming home. Donna has returned to the fold, taking advantage of the free bundle she could add to her kit during Sale-a-Bration in August and September.

Stampin Up Feels Like Home Sale-a-Bration card idea

I began by stamping the image in Memento Tuxedo Black so I could colour the image using Stampin’ Blends. 

Always use a water-based ink with Stampin’ Blends if you use a permanent ink pad, the alcohol in the markers will lift it and cause smudging.

 

Stampin Up Feels Like Home Sale-a-Bration card idea

Colouring isn’t one of my favourite craft activities but I steeled myself for this main image and discovered that while it’s not always obvious where one section ends and another begins – particularly within the plants and flowers – the image is actually extremely forgiving.

In the end, for the flowers and climbing plant, I vaguely coloured them using my paler Stampin’ Blends and then added the darker shades just by dotting my marker onto the image. 

Stampin Up Feels Like Home Sale-a-Bration card idea

I coloured the front door using Poppy Parade, using the dark marker in the recesses of the door and a little around the top left corner.

The door frame was coloured in Ivory, while the brickwork was Light Gray Granite. The area in front of the door is Crumb Cake light and dark. I coloured the basket and terracotta pots in light and dark Cajun Craze and then used Old Olive light and dark for the greenery, and Pale Papaya light and dark for the flowers. The tulips at the front are Rich Razzleberry. 

Of course, you don’t have to colour the image at all if you don’t want to. Here are a couple of samples made by the Stampin’ Up!® design team...

Stampin Up Feels Like Home Sale-a-Bration card idea

 But if you can face the colouring challenge, I do think it’s worth the effort.

Stampin Up Feels Like Home Sale-a-Bration card idea

When I’d finished, I realised the shape of the stonework lent itself perfectly to the shape of the Layering Diorama Dies, which are a favourite purchase of mine. I love how they provide a completely new way of framing our images and I cut various sizes in different wood-grain designs from In Good Taste Designer Series Paper, as well as the gorgeous new Brushed Metallic Paper in gold. 

Stampin Up Feels Like Home Sale-a-Bration card idea

Now a little confession... just as I was writing this card to send (in a hurry, as usual), I realised I’d forgotten to attach the tulip image to the front so had to take my photos again really quickly. So that’s why some of the images you see here don’t have that finishing touch! Had you noticed?

Stampin Up Feels Like Home Sale-a-Bration card idea
 

If you are in the UK and would like to order, please visit my store.


Does your wish list come to more than £99? Please get in touch and I will help you get more for your money and unlock discounts all year round.  
 
 

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.