Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Christmas season gift box, ornament and tags

Stampin' Up! Christmas Season ideas 

It was so good to be back with a group of crafty ladies again at the weekend, for my first major craft event in 19 months.

It was a Christmas-themed event and everyone received the Christmas Season stamp set from Stampin’ Up!® as part of their kit. 

We made several cards, which I’ll show you in a future post, plus this lovely Mini Paper Pumpkin box to hold an ornament and some tags.

You may have noticed that I have a bit of a thing for pine cones and woodland themes. The Christmas Season stamp set feeds into this obsession quite nicely so it was my first choice for this all-day event.

Stampin' Up! Christmas Season stamp set

I have always loved the Mini Paper Pumpkin boxes; they’re such a great size for lots of gifts, although not so great for posting as the depth of them bumps up the postage to small parcel rate here in the UK.

I’d saved a load of Designer Series Paper from Sale-a-Bration for the projects, so the guests could have half a pack each to work with. This silver birch design makes an ideal backdrop for the pine cones and berries on the Mini Paper Pumpkin box.

The stamped images are enhanced with a piece of ribbon made to look like a fir branch. We did this using the Evening Evergreen Chevron Weave ribbon. I sliced off one side seam, then frayed it to create the fringe you can just see below the greeting label. The strands I removed to create the fringe where then folded in half to create this fan of threads to resemble a branch of a fir tree. I can’t believe I thought of that all by myself!

Stampin' Up! Christmas Season ideas
 

Inside the box we made a little tray to separate the tags from the ornament, although guests had the option to leave this off if they wanted to use the box for something else.

They could also choose how they made their tags. I knew some would be fed up of die-cutting by this point so they had the option to punch these using a Tag Topper punch. We used Shimmery White cardstock for a touch of subtle glimmer. 

Stampin' Up! Christmas Season ideas

But those who were still up for some die-cutting could use the coordinating Seasonal Label dies to make pretty gift tags. 

Stampin' Up! Christmas Season ideas

All were stamped using the Christmas Season stamp set with added greetings. I used the lovely little word stamps from the Christmas Whimsy Card Kit which everyone is loving so much at the moment. (Hint: don't delay if you want this! While it’s still available in the Europe market, the French version has sold out and the English version is selling fast!)

Stampin' Up! Christmas Season ideas

The ornament – oh how I love a log slice ornament – is another fun way to show off these lovely pine cones and berries from the Christmas Season bundle. Again we used some threads from the Evening Evergreen Chevron Weave ribbon to create a fir sprig effect. Some ladies chose to stamp a greeting on the reverse, while others repeated the stamped and die-cut design so it looked the same from both sides.

A lovely day was had by all, and it felt so wonderful to be crafting together again. 
 
Stampin' Up! Christmas Season ideas
 
Want to craft with beautiful projects like these? If you’re in the UK, please head on over to my store to shop. If you use the host code ZKTV7U4Z before the end of October, I will send you a thank you gift next month. 
 
 

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, 12 October 2021

Pretty cards with Whimsy & Wonder Designer Series Paper

Stampin' Up Whimsy & Wonder card ideas

We are well into October so no apology needed for Christmas cards now. I have been creating with Stampin’ Up!'s Whimsy & Wonder Designer Series Paper for my monthly Crafty Friday class.

As these events are still partially on Zoom (I offer limited in-person places with the rest working remotely), we are sticking with the challenges of cutting out images from Designer Series Paper. Fortunately this Whimsy & Wonder Designer Series Paper has some perfect designs for doing this, so I was able to offer the ladies a choice of two cards to make with their kit. 

Stampin' Up Whimsy & Wonder card ideas

Version one really taps into the pink theme of the Whimsy & Wonder Suite, with a snowflake background covering the entire front of the card. The main focal point is a stack of presents, all cut out of the Whimsy & Wonder Designer Series Paper and overlaid onto one of the Wonderful Snowflakes. 

 
Stampin' Up Whimsy & Wonder card ideas

These snowflake elements are excellent, especially if you don’t have a die-cutting machine or simply want to save time when making your Christmas cards. The beautiful iridescent snowflakes come pre-cut, ready to be popped out of their backing paper. I attached them to the project using a single Glue Dot in the centre.

I’ve mounted the presents onto a panel cut with the Stitched So Sweetly Dies, which has a hint of Polished Pink peeping out behind it, as well as a hint of Be Dazzling Speciality Paper which I had left over from Sale-a-Bration.

Stampin' Up Whimsy & Wonder card ideas

For the alternative version, I used some strips of Whimsy & Wonder Designer Series Paper to create a panel mounted onto some Mint Macaron cardstock. Then the basic design is roughly the same, with a Christmas tree instead of a stack of presents. 

Stampin' Up Whimsy & Wonder card ideas
 
Stampin' Up Whimsy & Wonder card ideas
 

As I seem to have found myself short of greetings, both of these come from the new Christmas Whimsy Card Kit, which is excellent value, a great introduction to cardmaking and also ideal for seasoned crafters who want a relaxed and productive session. What these kits are also excellent for is building up your greeting stamps collection – these are both really useful sentiments which appeal to our understated British tastes and a nice neat size, too.

Stampin' Up Whimsy & Wonder card ideas

Stampin' Up colour color combination Polished Pink Mint Macaron Blushing Bride Mossy Meadow

If you are in the UK and would like to order any of these products, please visit my store and, if you use the October host code ZKTV7U4Z, I’ll send you a thank you gift next month. To make it easy, 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, 5 October 2021

Kraft gift box with Peaceful Cabin bundle


Peaceful Cabin Stampin Up Demonstrator UK

Do you like to escape to the wop-wops? I learned this wonderful new word the other week, courtesy of New Zealand demonstrator Julie Burt, who commented on my previous Peaceful Cabin projects and explained that it means "the middle of nowhere".

The Peaceful Cabin bundle from Stampin' Up!® Mini Catalogue is one of my favourites – I know, big surprise, eh? You may have gathered from the pine cones that appear in all of my photos that I love woodlands and escaping to the wop-wops in general, although these days a cafĂ© and a toilet nearby are always welcomed.
 
Peaceful Cabin Stampin Up Demonstrator UK

I also love the look of Kraft cardstock – which again appeals to my love of all things natural – so these Kraft gift boxes went straight onto my order from the Mini Catalogue. They are food safe so good for biscuits or cookies, and could also be used for a couple of pairs of socks, some jewellery, chocolate or other small gifts. 
 
Peaceful Cabin Stampin Up Demonstrator UK

The window aperture allows you to see the contents but I liked the idea of creating a window onto the woods, so stamped this serene scene using the Peaceful Cabin stamp set and the coordinating Cabin Dies. 

Peaceful Cabin Stampin Up Demonstrator UK

I began by embossing a piece of Old Olive cardstock with the Evergreen Forest 3D Embossing Folder, then swiping over the trees with a Whisper White ink pad. 
 
I coloured the cabin using Stampin’ Blends, giving the wood a greenish hue using a mix of brown and green markers, and a bright red roof. This reminds me of a lovely cottage I saw in Nethy Bridge in the Cairngorms in Scotland. There’s a Scandinavian vibe to parts of the village and I wanted to echo this in my project. I mounted the die-cut cabin onto the embossed Old Olive panel and positioned them behind the window.

Whisper White ink is craft ink, so sits on the surface of the cardstock instead of soaking in which allows the white to show up but also means it takes a while to dry. Therefore, I used Stampin’ Dimensionals to distance it from the window sheet and minimise the chance of it rubbing off onto the acetate. 

 Peaceful Cabin Stampin Up Demonstrator UK
Around the window I stamped some tiny snowflakes in Whisper White, using a sticky note as a mask. On the top, on the outside of the window panel, I stuck some die-cut trees, which I swiped with white ink.

Peaceful Cabin Stampin Up Demonstrator UK

To finish off I tied up the box using some gold Simply Elegant Trim and a small greeting label stamped in Real Red. This label is created with the Rectangular Postage stamp punch. To make it smaller, I simply mounted my punched rectangle onto a sticky note to make it big enough to handle, then punched again to fit the greeting.

What do you think? Do you want to escape to the wop-wops in a cabin like this?
 
Peaceful Cabin Stampin Up Demonstrator UK
 

If you are in the UK and would like to order, please visit my store and, if you use the October host code ZKTV7U4Z, I’ll send you a thank you gift next month. To make it easy, 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, 28 September 2021

Scrappy strip technique - and mosaic technique

Stampin Up scrappystriptechnique scrappy strips
 

Have you heard of the Scrappy Strips technique developed by Aussie Stampin’ Up!® demonstrators Kylie and Bruno Bertucci? It’s brilliant for using up little scraps of cardstock and DSP and you can mix and match to your heart’s content.

It’s a simple 4-step technique:

1. Cut a panel to fit your card (I make my 5mm smaller than my card front, so if you’re using A4 cardstock that’s 10cm x 14.3cm)
2. Prepare four pieces of cardstock or Designer Series Paper – I cut these to 10.5cm x 14.8cm, so a quarter sheet of A4.
3. Cut these into 2cm wide (or 1") strips (along the length or width, it doesn’t matter), then cut each strip on the diagonal, roughly, without measuring.
4. Assemble these strips onto your panel and trim off the excess.

That’s it. You now have a fun panel to add to your card front and finish off with a greeting label. 

Stampin Up scrappystriptechnique scrappy strips
 

Oh and best of all, if you start off with four different colours/designs on the equivalent of four card fronts, you should have enough strips to create four cards as I did here. 

 

Stampin Up scrappystriptechnique scrappy strips


I used a subtle colour combination of Highland Heather, Mint Macaron and Fresh Freesia against striking Basic Black, because I don’t do well with pale colours normally.
I like the idea of including a metallic finish in the design, although this lovely Be Dazzling Speciality Paper from the Sale-a-Bration collection is quite thick, so make sure you stick it down firmly and be careful when you cut it up. 

Remember, Sale-a-Bration ends on Thursday so if you want Be Dazzling paper or any of the free items, or want to join my team and get yourself a free bundle, please act VERY fast. Don’t leave it until Thursday evening as the SU office will be closed so no tech help will be available. 

 

Stampin Up colour combination Fresh Freesia Highland Heather Mint Macaron

I have used this technique a few times without thinking much about its origin but last week I saw a card which took it to the next level and discovered that it had been developed by a demonstrator called Linda Driggs and again showcased by Kylie Bertucci.

Stampin Up scrappystriptechnique scrappy strips

This turns your scrappy strips into a wonderful mosaic pattern. What you do is complete steps 1-4 as above, then cut your finished panel up again into further strips. I learned after making my version that simple strips would suffice, but I went off-piste and cut my strips on the diagonal again. This results in a slightly eye-boggling finished card but I still quite like it. 

Stampin Up scrappystriptechnique scrappy strips

I mounted my panels onto black cardstock as I think that makes them extra striking, and finished off with an embossed greeting in white on black. However, I’m afraid I’ve broken my own rule here and used a retired greeting; Just a Note comes from the retired Simply Citrus Card Kit, but it’s such a useful sentiment and size of stamp that I hung onto it. I didn’t realise my error until I was taking photos of the projects. Oops.

Have you tried the scrappy strip technique? Why not give it a go this week? Honestly, if you get hooked on this technique you will never throw any scraps of cardstock of DSP away again. 

Stampin Up scrappystriptechnique scrappy strips

 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, 21 September 2021

Peaceful Cabin with (largely) monochromatic Misty Moonlight

Stampin Up Peaceful Cabin Christmas gift wallet UK demonstrator

Stampin’ Up!® demonstrators are a fabulous source of inspiration and for some of today’s Peaceful Cabin projects I have been inspired by two US demonstrators; Candy Rattray and Anna Helman.

What I love about finding inspiration from other Stampin’ Up!® demonstrators is that it gives you the opportunity either to CASE (copy and share everything) something using products you have or, as in this case, to adapt projects to suit your own supplies.

I have been crafting with the gorgeous Peaceful Cabin bundle for my first in-person Stampin’ Up!® party for many, many months.

Stampin Up Peaceful Cabin Christmas gift wallet UK demonstrator

In these times of online shopping and growing offspring who don’t want big presents any more, the gift wallet has really come into its own.  

Candy Rattray’s beautiful wedding gift wallet.

Inside Candy’s gift wallet.

I found this fabulous design on Candy’s blog but I’m not one for measurements and I knew I’d have to convert them to fit our A4 cardstock anyway so just winged it.

My own version is made from:

  • Outer cardstock: 14.8cm x 26cm
  • Scored at 6cm and 16.5cm

Stampin Up Peaceful Cabin Christmas gift wallet UK demonstrator

The inner is just a smaller card with a lip to hold money, a gift card or gift certificate, so I would make this to fit the contents instead of winging it, as I did. 

Stampin Up Peaceful Cabin Christmas gift wallet UK demonstrator

 
I stuck to a monochromatic colour palette of Misty Moonlight and white, with a hint of Pool Party on the black gingham ribbon as it was the only blue I have in Stampin’ Blends and I was too impatient to colour it in any other way. 

You can colour your ribbons in various ways, including Stampin’ Write (water-based) markers or sponging ink from an ink pad onto the ribbon. These both take quite a while to dry and if you don’t wait long enough the ink will transfer onto your project. It’s quicker to use Stampin’ Blends alcohol markers which dry quickly, although they can make your ribbon a little stiff. Weigh up the options and prepare ahead if necessary!

Stampin Up Peaceful Cabin bundle blending brushes UK demonstrator

I found more inspiration on Anna’s blog for this simple circle aperture card. Anna’s project 
is actually a paper lantern which was inspired by the July Paper Pumpkin Kit which was available in the North American market. We occasionally get a global Paper Pumpkin Kit and I really wish we’d had this one as I love the colours and theme.

Anna Helman’s paper lantern, which was the inspiration for my card.

Stampin Up Peaceful Cabin bundle blending brushes UK demonstrator

I tried to emulate the colours using Granny Apple Green. Well, I confess I just used what was on a dirty Blending Brush from an earlier craft session but I’m confident it was Granny Apple Green! I’m experimenting with not washing my brushes to see how that goes as they do take a long time to dry.

I used the cute fox stamp and dies from the Peaceful Cabin Bundle and some Misty Moonlight die-cut trees from the same set of Cabin Dies. I love that this could be a Christmas card or just a generic card for any occasion. 

Stampin Up Peaceful Cabin bundle blending brushes UK demonstrator
 

Stampin Up Peaceful Cabin bundle Evergreen embossing folder UK demonstrator


My Peaceful Cabin mojo was by now well and truly active so I carried on to create more projects, including this white scene (the photo has turned it grey) with an Evergreen embossed background. 

I am so happy we still have this Embossing Folder in the catalogue as it’s perfect for Christmas and for my favourite themes of woodlands.

Stampin Up Peaceful Cabin bundle Evergreen embossing folder UK demonstrator

Stampin Up Cabin Dies blending brushes UK demonstrator

Finally I made this very simple card for the Make & Take for a Stampin’ Up!® party on Saturday. I used the tree die from Cabin Dies to create a simple stencil, which I then brushed around using Blending Brushes. It’s a really quick and easy way to make a stunning background for the die-cut cabin, and makes a Christmas card that isn’t too time-consuming to reproduce in bulk.

Stampin Up Cabin Dies blending brushes UK demonstrator

Stampin Up Cabin Dies blending brushes UK demonstrator

I hope you are inspired by my Peaceful Cabin projects and that you, too, will find inspiration from Candy and Anna’s blogs. I love to hear what you think, so please leave a comment below if you can.


Stampin Up Cabin Dies blending brushes UK demonstrator

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.  
 
 


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.