Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Christmas in July

No card today, sorry... just a reminder that I have a few places left for my Christmas in July event on Saturday, 11th July, 9.30am-11.30am.

Get a head start on your Christmas cards for £5.50 including all materials and refreshments. Please bring your own scissors and adhesive. We'll be making three Christmas cards and a mystery project.

Booking and payment in advance essential - please email me at helen.stamps@virgin.net asap!

Monday, 29 June 2009

Ruby wedding anniversary card

Sorry about the delayed posts. For some reason, scheduled posting isn't working on Blogger so I keep typing up my posts at night, setting them to post at 7am, then forgetting to check if it's worked.

And, once again, it didn't.

But back to the card... I wouldn’t be so cruel as to send someone a birthday card with a great big 40 on it... unlike several people I could mention. No, this is a 40th wedding anniversary card, although unfortunately I couldn’t come up with an “anniversary” stamp. Thought there might be one in Daily Flexible Phrases but there wasn’t.

Except now I’ve just checked the catty and realised there’s one in Basic Phrases – doh! I wonder if I can squeeze one in under the chipboard 40?

I stamped the image by colouring the stamp with markers. I stamped it and was going to stamp the outline image on top but liked it how it is so didn’t. Not strictly true, actually – I DID stamp it on the top in Basic Gray but didn’t like it so started again!

You can’t see it well but it says “celebrate” on the So Saffron tab.

Stamps: Soft Summer, Daily Flexible Phrases
Cardstock: Confetti White, Always Artichoke, Real Red, So Saffron
Ink: Real Red and Old Olive markers, Versamark
Accessories: Chipboard letters and numbers, Round Tab Punch, 5/8” Grosgrain Ribbon – Real Red, Taffeta Ribbon - Mellow Moss

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the link on the right to view it online.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Inch by inch

And now for something completely different. I was inspired to create this card by the not-so-new craze for inchies. If you aren’t familiar with inchies, they are exactly what they sound like – one inch squares of cardstock, decorated how you choose. People swap these – I don’t, as I’d just lose them – and they’re really popular, as are twinchies which are, you guessed it, two inch squares.

So I was testing my new cutting device which is supposed to help me seriously slash my workshop preparation time and wanted to see if it would cut down to one inch. I’m still learning so some of these are a bit wonky but I decided to use them anyway – I’ve given up on that fruitless quest for perfection as it just means you never get anything done. If you weren't testing a new cutting device, you could use scraps for this card - it would be a really great way of using up really small pieces.

I fell in love with a rainbow of inchies on someone’s blog but I’m ashamed to say I have now not only lost the link but forgotten the title, too. It was huge with lots of graduated colours and looked fabulous but I thought I’d better start smaller with a 4x4 formation in shades of pink and lilac.

But that’s still 16 lots of creating and it took quite some time – so I probably won’t be working my way through the colour palette after all.

I started by cutting the inchies, then stamped them with Pocket Silhouettes in Versamark. Then I stamped again in the relevant colour – or as close as I had as I still don’t have all the ink pads. I inked the edges of each piece in the same colour and then again, just slightly, in Basic Gray. I darkened the edges of the squares even more using Stampin’ Pastels, choosing shades darker than the cardstock. Then I doodled - I used Elegant Eggplant and Rose Red markers as these were the nearest I had to create the effect I wanted.

Finally, I stamped the white flower from Wild About You in white StazOn® but they didn’t show up too well (it works better on non-porous surfaces) so I went over them very carefully with white gel pen.

I stuck them down and then added the three words, popped up, just to give it a lift. Hope you like it!

Stamps: Pocket Silhouettes, Fresh Cuts, Wild About You, Daily Flexible Phrases
Cardstock: Pink Passion, Pixie Pink, Orchid Opulence, Lovely Lilac, Confetti White
Ink: Pixie Pink, Orchid Opulence, Lavender Lace, Versamark, Basic Grey, White StazOn®
Accessories: Stampin’ Pastels, Elegant Eggplant and Rose Red markers, white gel pen

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the link on the right to view it online.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Like the new look?

Only minor changes but I have a new background colour and, most exciting for me, THREE columns! I've wanted to do this for ages so that people don't have to scroll right down to the bottom for certain info but had no idea how.

Anyway, I was directed to a very useful website called The Cutest Blog on the Block which has all the info you need for free! I may not have the cutest blog on the blog - but at least I have three columns and that's all I need for now...

Thursday, 25 June 2009

The criss-cross pocket

We made this card at my pocket cards workshop on Monday. It was a craft-packed event as we squeezed three very complicated cards into the evening.

During the evening there was horror when I felt the need to take off my shoes due to the heat... shock when one crafter admitted that she doesn’t like Felt Flowers (we’re getting her some medical help, don’t worry)... and surprise when most of us realised we have no idea how many stamp sets we own.

We started with the slightly daunting double pocket card (it isn’t too hard really, just needs a bit of concentration), then the flower pot pocket card and, finally, this one; the criss-cross card.

These are fun cards to make and very useful for invitations, vouchers etc. Fulfilling the pocket card requirement, the inner card pulls out. You’ll probably notice that there are two different inner cards on the two photos here – every time I make a card, I end up changing my mind about it and do it slightly differently.

To make this card, you will need a whole sheet of A4, so it’s not one for your bulk Christmas cards... unless you really, really like your friends!

Start by scoring the A4 sheet in half, along the width – ie at 14.8cm. Then cut the sheet in half along the length to create two pieces measuring 10.5cm wide.

On each piece of card, cut one flap along the diagonal. Put the triangular pieces in your scraps box – I’m hoping I’ll think of something to do with them later... especially as I have 28 of them!

Now stick the two pieces together to create this shape. The glue/tape will eventually go along the dotted lines – as close to the edge as possible – but not yet!

Cut a piece of patterned paper measuring 9.5cm x 13.8cm – then cut this piece in half along the diagonal. You may be able to use both pieces by turning one over to reveal the pattern on the other side. If not, cut another piece the same size and cut along the diagonal – I’m sure you’ll think of something to do with the leftovers.

Now fold the two triangles of cardstock towards you to create the criss-cross shape. Still don’t stick them down! First, stick the two patterned paper pieces onto the flaps. NOW you can apply the adhesive – sticky strip is the best for this sort of thing – and stick it down.

The band is ideally cut from a sheet of 12x12 cardstock – I used textured on this card – and measures about 3cm wide but just cut yours as wide as you like. It only just reaches around the card and you’ll want your join to be behind the front accent, so start by deciding where that is going to go and work from there, gently folding the band around the card and only creasing when you’re sure it’s right. You can stick the band together with a small piece of tape as this will be covered. Now add the ribbon if you’re using it and stick your accent on top, if using.

The inner piece measures 9.5cm x 13cm, with a Very Vanilla piece on top measuring 9cm x 12.5cm.

Stamps: True Friend, Wonderful Words
Cardstock: Really Rust, Close to Cocoa, Sahara Sand, Very Vanilla, textured Chocolate Chip
Paper: Spiced Cider
Ink: Really Rust, Chocolate Chip
Accessories: 5/8” Grosgrain Ribbon – Old Olive, Flower Fusion Felt Flowers (or Boho Blossoms punch and cardstock scraps), Silver Brads, Round Tab Punch

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the link on the right to view it online.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Flower Fusion Share

Sorry for the lack of posts - been too busy prepping workshops to get round to any actual stamping! No project to show you today but I do have a fab offer for you. Read on to find out more...

If you wish you could try more products without the outlay of a whole pack, then shares are for you!

Shares are a great way to get your hands on smaller quantities of products. The Flower Fusion felt flowers will add funky texture to your projects. You can use them on cards, scrapbook pages, gift items – and even make hair ornaments out of them. And with Stampin’ Up! you can have fully co-ordinated projects with matching ribbon, too.

Here’s what you’ll get in the Flower Fusion share:

• 30 felt flowers in a mixture of Old Olive, Pumpkin Pie and Rose Red
• 3 metres of ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon in Pumpkin Pie
• 3 metres of 5/8” Grosgrain Ribbon in Old Olive
• 2 metres of 1” Double-Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon in Rose Red

Four people are needed for each share. Payment is due when I have group of four - and the great news is that I already have three people signed up so only need one more to enable me to order straight away before I start looking for the next four... and maybe even the next!

The cost of this share is £7.60 including postage. The products will be delivered to me for sorting and then we’ll arrange delivery or collection. Please email me if you'd like to take part.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Flowerpot card tutorial

I have a tutorial for you today - this shows you how to make a fab pocket card in the shape of a flowerpot. If you're coming to my Pocket Cards Workshop on Monday, you'll be making something similar to this!

Please note, this was not my original idea and I wouldn’t like anyone to think I was claiming it as my own! I have no idea who came up with the original idea and have seen it so many times that I'm not even going to attempt to list all the creators, or this post will be even longer.

You will find that most - if not all - of the instructions out there in blogland are for US-style cardstock so I thought I’d modify the card for A4 and to fit standard C6 envelopes.

You will need:
  • 1 x 10.5cm x 24cm piece of coloured cardstock (this is a sheet of A4 cut in half lengthways, then trimmed to 24cm)
  • 9.5cm x 9cm piece of Designer Series Paper (optional)
  • 5.5cm x 11cm piece of white cardstock for insert
  • 6cm x 11.5cm piece of coloured cardstock for insert
  • Die-Cut Blooms or similar
  • Stamps and embellishments such as buttons and ribbon
  • Scallop Edge Punch
  • Large Oval punch (optional)
  • Sticky Strip or other strong, narrow adhesive
  • Stampin’ Dimensionals

      1. Score your largest piece of cardstock at 10cm. Then turn it over and score again at 20cm. Fold so that the two “squares” (they’re not quite) meet and fold the flap down in the opposite direction, to create a “Z” shape.

      2. Now, with the cardstock folded, measure 2cm from each edge, along the bottom fold, as shown.

      3. Cut from this mark up to the top edge on both sides – but don’t cut the front flap. You should now have this shape.

      4. Trim the front edge with the Scallop Edge Punch. Now apply Sticky Strip down the side edges on the inside of the card. Get it as close to the edges as you can. There’s no photo of this as I took one and the tape didn’t show up against the red cardstock!

      5. Peel and seal the edges together. Now you have your plant pot ready to decorate. You can stick down the scalloped flap on top if you wish – or tie ribbon around to hold it down. Ribbon is less secure but does give you some dimension as the flap doesn’t lie completely flat.

      6. If you’re using Designer Series Paper on the front, measure 2cm from each edge of one of the long edges (ie the 9.5cm edge) and cut from this point to the top corner, to echo the shape of the plant pot.

      7. Create the insert by layering the white cardstock onto the coloured cardstock and stamping a greeting at the bottom.

      8. To decorate the top, I used Die-Cut Blooms from the Stampin’ Up! UK catalogue. I embellished them with Earth Elements buttons. You could also create the blooms using the 5-Petal Flower punch, or by stamping flowers and cutting them out.

      9. To create the leaves, you can hand-cut them with scissors or do what I did here. I punched with the large oval punch, then stuck the ovals with temporary adhesive on to a sheet of scrap paper, then punched again, as shown.

      10. Finally, arrange the flowers on the top of the insert. It’s a good idea to mark the insert so that you know how much sticks out of the top of the pot. When attaching the flowers, make sure the ones at the bottom (ie touching the top of the flowerpot) are raised up using Stampin’ Dimensionals or foam tape. This will enable the insert to slide in and out easily.

      Stamps: Seasonal Wishes, Wild About You
      Cardstock: Real Red, Old Olive, Whisper White
      Paper: Ski Slope, Petals & Paisleys
      Ink: Real Red, Pumpkin Pie
      Accessories: Die-Cut Blooms, Scallop Edge Punch, Large Oval Punch, Earth Elements Buttons

      All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the link on the right to view it online.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Yeah! It's Old Olive again!

You didn’t think I’d get through a whole workshop without using Old Olive did you? My love of Old Olive is now so well-known that one lady suggested an Old Olive event, along the lines of the Winter Blues workshop and Chocolate Night. Will have to think that one over...

This is the fourth and final card from the Masculine Cards Workshop. It was quite high-maintenance with all that colouring, which is why I kept the other three so simple.

You may be looking at this card and wondering why there’s a corner cut off the image panel. Or you may be thinking what a cool design element it is – unlikely, I know! Actually, it’s from a sheet of images that I stamped an coloured, then trimmed to make cards. This one was a bit short for some reason and I didn’t have time to stamp and colour a new one for the sample. I could stick a button on it... or leave it.

The image is stamped in Basic Gray and then coloured with Watercolour Wonder™ crayons and blender pens – my all-time favourite way of colouring. The little tab is punched with the Round Tab Punch from Sahara Sand... a colour which doesn’t see enough action, in my opinion. It’s available in the Neutrals cardstock pack and I’ve just ordered some more so you may be seeing more of it soon!

Stamps: For Father, Daily Flexible Phrases
Cardstock: Old Olive, Really Rust, Sahara Sand, Close to Cocoa, Naturals Ivory
Paper: Spiced Cider
Ink: Basic Gray
Accessories: Jumbo Eyelets, Crop-A-Dile™ , Round Tab Punch, Watercolour Wonder™ crayons – Earth Elements, Blender pens

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the link on the right to view it online.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Chalked oak tree

Here’s another card from the Masculine Cards Workshop. Lovely as a Tree – as well as being a beautiful stamp set – is perfect for masculine cards. Here we stamped it in Versamark® and then used the Poppin’ Pastels technique to colour the image with chalks. Very easy and very effective.

The Designer Series Paper is from the Ski Slope collection, which is actually a Christmas collection but I thought the tiny leaves on this piece were perfect for the theme.

I love this colour scheme – I first saw it in a very old Stampin’ Up! catalogue from Canada and fell in love with it. I keep forgetting to use it but remembered just in time.

Stamps: Lovely as a Tree, Basic Phrases
Cardstock: Ruby Red, Sage Shadow, Chocolate Chip, Very Vanilla
Paper: Ski Slope
Ink: Versamark, Chocolate Chip
Accessories: Vintage brads, Stampin’ Pastels, sponge daubers

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the link on the right to view it online.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

For the men in your life...

Saturday morning was my Masculine Cards Workshop attended by 10 eager stampers. We were there to make four cards suitable to be sent to men – for Father’s Day, birthdays, thank yous etc. I try to provide a variety of greetings so that people can choose the occasion.

Here are two of the cards we made. The stars one, below, doesn’t deserve its own post as it’s almost identical to the invite I showed you a few days ago. For the recipe, click here.

For the beer tankard card, I thought it would be fun to do a little bit of paper piecing. For this, we stamped the image twice – once on the Whisper White cardstock and then again on So Saffron. Then we cut out the body of the tankard from So Saffron and placed it on top of the image. I suppose we could have stamped the main image on something like Creamy Caramel, then pieced a piece of white on top, too... but we didn’t, clearly!

Stamps: Cheers to You
Cardstock: Night of Navy, Bravo Burgundy, So Saffron, Whisper White
Ink: Basic Black
Accessories: Scallop Square Punch, Linen Thread

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the link on the right to view it online.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Good enough to eat?

Again, a variation on several cards I’ve made previously but there’s no point in reinventing the wheel, is there? The words from this stamp set fit perfectly inside the Large Oval punch so were just crying out to be used together.

The cakes are lovely to colour with the Watercolour Wonder™ crayons – I used two packs here: Close to Cocoa and Pumpkin Pie from the Earth Elements pack and Regal Rose and Rose Red from the Rich Regals pack. But I was just being picky really as I wanted to match the paper exactly.

Stamps: Crazy for Cupcakes
Cardstock: Regal Rose, Chocolate Chip, Pretty in Pink, Whisper White
Paper: Sweet Always
Ink: Basic Gray
Accessories: Striped Grosgrain Ribbon - Pretty in Pink, Large Oval Punch, Scallop Oval Punch, Watercolour Wonder™ crayons – Rich Regals and Earth Elements, blender pens

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the link on the right to view it online.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Fabulous Friend

Not sure about this one. It’s a variation on a favourite theme but I don’t think the papers worked so well. But they’re pretty much all I had left from this lovely pack!

Stamps: Oval All
Cardstock: Pretty in Pink, Whisper White
Paper: Tea Party
Ink: Basic Gray
Accessories: Watercolour Wonder™ crayons – Rich Regals, Large Oval Punch, Scallop Oval Punch, So Saffron striped ribbon

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the link on the right to view it online.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Beach boy

This is such a lovely stamp set. It’s lovely to colour, the images are so soft and gentle and there’s an image in there for so many occasions; this one for cards for small boys, a little girl, a couple for Valentine’s Day or anniversaries, a person on a boat who can be made into a man or a woman. And, of course, it’s idea for scrapbooking those beach holidays.

I coloured this image using the Watercolour Wonder™ crayons – the Earth Elements pack – and blended them with blender pens. Very therapeutic!

The paper is my first cut into a brand new pack: Spiced Cider. Very gorgeous.

Stamps: Summer by the Sea, Canvas
Cardstock: Creamy Caramel, Old Olive, Chocolate Chip, Close to Cocoa, Confetti White
Paper: Spiced Cider
Ink: Basic Gray, Chocolate Chip
Accessories: ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon - Chocolate Chip

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the link on the right to view it online.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Summer mist

I’m sure I’ve posted something very similar to this before so I apologise... but I’m still posting it! It’s for a workshop where the hostess wanted to see Watercolour Wonder™ crayons. And you can’t show these fabulous crayons without demonstrating the misting technique!

You simply colour the stamp with the crayons, spray lightly with water and then stamp. Click here for more details.

Stamps: Soft Summer, Oval All
Cardstock: So Saffron, Always Artichoke, Confetti White, Pretty in Pink
Paper: Tea Party
Ink: Basic Gray
Accessories: Scallop Edge Punch, Large Oval Punch, Scallop Oval Punch, Watercolour Wonder™ crayons – Rich Regals, blender pens

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the link on the right to view it online.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Recycling an idea...

I can never understand the outrage when someone has their card copied – or CASEd as we call it in the strange world of cardmaking. If you don’t want people to copy your ideas, don’t show them to anyone! Which rather defeats the object of making cards, doesn't it?

One of the many great things about papercrafting is sharing ideas. As long as you give credit where it’s due and don’t try to pass off an idea as your own, it’s fair game in my book.

So I’m sincerely hoping that Cath Edvalson, of Papercrafts (US magazine), shares my philosophy as this card is a blatant, total and utter CASE of her fabulous Reduce, Reuse, Recycle card on the front cover of the July/August issue. You can see the original by clicking here.

I, of course, Stampin’ Up-ified it! Looking at it now, I wish I’d stamped the trees in Old Olive because, well, you know how I feel about Old Olive. I inked just part of the stamp using a marker – which is a lot easier than masking.

As for my lame attempts to stay with the theme of the card and the magazine issue it came from...

I reduced the amount of Designer Series Paper I used by cutting out the centre panel, leaving a hole behind the black panel, where you can’t see it.

I reused a piece of Kraft cardstock, which had some rejected stamping on the back.

I “recycled” the ribbon... well not quite but I did use my very, very tiny scraps that people laugh at.

The front of Cath Edvalson’s card also reads “Happy 39th Birthday... again” but I’m going to print this on the inside of the card – maybe waiting to decide on the number when I have a recipient in mind.

Stamps: Short Order Alphabet, Lovely as a Tree
Cardstock: Old Olive, Basic Black, Kraft
Paper: Haiku
Ink: Basic Black
Accessories: Black gingham ribbon, Stampin’ Write Marker – Always Artichoke, Stampin’ Write journaller, On Board Loads of Letters

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the link on the right to view it online.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

When life gives you lemons...

Come on, admit it... when was the last time you used Yoyo Yellow? There’s a lot of prejudice against this colour but I like it! And it’s perfect for this simple lemon card – teamed with Basic Black, the Yoyo Yellow is quite striking, don’t you think?

As on my previous fruity card, I used the Poppin’ Pastels technique – it gives the lemons a nice “smooshy” look.

I’ll let you fill in the second half of this saying – suffice to say it’s not the usual chirpy homily. I think the recipient will much prefer my version. Of course, writing greetings by hand is a risky business – the inside went wrong so I had to cover it up with a piece of Whisper White.

I’m not sure what size this card is – it didn’t look quite right so I kept cutting it down... and down... and now I need to find an envelope to fit.

Stamps: Tart & Tangy
Cardstock: Yoyo Yellow, Basic Black, Whisper White
Ink: Versamark®
Accessories: Stampin’ Pastels, Scallop Edge Punch, Stampin’ Write Journaller, Stamp-a-ma-jig®

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the link on the right to view it online.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Fresh and fruity

Here’s another way to use those scraps – only this time it’s the ribbon stash that gets a clearout. I’m sure people roll their eyes when they see me saving the tiniest pieces of ribbon but here’s my “I told you I’d use them!” card! The pieces don’t even have to be long enough to go all the way behind the image – you can join them behind the green panel. Remember one of my many stamping mottos: if you can’t see it, it’s not there.

I used the Poppin’ Pastels technique on this card – stamp in Versamark® then use chalks on top to see those colours pop! This of course makes lining the images up with the Stamp-a-ma-jig® fun because if you stamp with Versamark on the SAMJ sheet, you can’t see it. And if you stamp it on the sheet in a colour, you have to make sure you clean the stamp really well before you use it on your Versamark pad. In the end I stamped on the sheet in Versamark and then added chalk in a dark colour (yellow doesn’t show up, by the way) to use for positioning.

See that dot next to the words? I dropped the stamp. Oops.

Stamps: Tart & Tangy, Daily Flexible Phrases
Cardstock: Whisper White, Only Orange, Green Galore, Yoyo Yellow
Ink: Versamark, Basic Gray
Accessories: ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon - Whisper White, 5/8” Grosgrain Ribbon - Certainly Celery, Stamp-a-ma-jig®

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the link on the right to view it online.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Use those scraps!

I took inspiration for this card from the current issue of Papercrafts (US magazine) which has a feature on using up your scraps. If you know me, you’ll know that I hate throwing anything away and always hang onto little pieces of cardstock, ribbon and patterned paper. So I dug out all the small pieces from my Sweet Always collection and came up with this card.

It has that “thrown together” look but it actually took quite a while! I wanted to make sure I didn’t cut any big pieces down if a small piece was available; I didn’t want any of the Chocolate Chip paper in there and I wanted it to look balanced – not too much Pumpkin Pie on one side, not too many flowers or stripes on one side.

I distressed each edge (well, the ones that show) very gently using the edge of my scissors and curled a few edges by hand. I wasn’t sure if this distressed look would look ok with such a clean image and such chirpy colours but I think I got away with it.

I coloured the images – which are lined up with the Stamp-a-ma-jig® - using Watercolour Wonder™ crayons and blender pens. I only have the Rich Regals and Earth Elements packs (SO FAR!!!) but that was fine as I used Pumpkin Pie and Old Olive (for the olive!) from the EE pack and Regal Rose and Rose Red from the RR pack.

So, dig out your scraps and get using them!

Stamps: Cheers to You
Cardstock: Pretty in Pink, Regal Rose, Pumpkin Pie, Whisper White
Paper: Sweet Always
Ink: Basic Gray
Accessories: Earth Elements Buttons

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the link on the right to view it online.

Friday, 5 June 2009

All-American invite

There’s a story behind this card. We’re having some friends to stay on July 4th and I jokingly said we should have an American (ie Independence Day) themed barbecue. They ran with the idea and now I’m frantically (well, not that frantically, to be honest) trying to find authentic recipes that can be recreated with British ingredients! Not to mention the fancy dress... don’t ask... unless you can lend me a cowboy hat. 

So this is their invite. Even though they know they’re coming, I thought it would be fun to send an all-American invitation. And what better stamp set to use than In The Stars? I’m really enjoying this set – it’s very versatile and evidently not just for baby cards! 

Stamps: In The Stars, Sincere Salutations
Cardstock: Kraft, Real Red, Night of Navy, Whisper White
Ink: Night of Navy, Real Red
Accessories: Large Star Punch, ½” circle punch, red gingham ribbon

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the link on the right to view it online.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Dreams coming true

This is a congratulations card for a friend who has, after a very long haul and a lot of ups and downs, adopted a little boy. He’s a beautiful little fellow and I’m thrilled that he’s been given the chance of a loving, stable home and that they have been given the chance of a family.

He’s not a tiny baby so I didn’t want to make the card too pastel and babyish... but he’s still only a toddler so I could have held back on the dark colours a bit more than I did! But you know how these things evolve... I actually started with Brocade Blue and Bashful Blue cardstock, and some Bashful Blue Designer Series Paper. I don't know what happened! 

Stamps: In The Stars, Circle of Friendship
Cardstock: Kraft, Bravo Burgundy, Night of Navy, Bordering Blue, Brocade Blue, Whisper White
Ink: Brocade Blue, Bravo Burgundy
Accessories: Large Star Punch, 1” Circle punch, Rich Regals buttons, Linen Thread

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the link on the right to view it online.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Keeping it simple... then stepping it up

Old Olive again, eh? And why not? There’s nothing wrong with Old Olive! After all, green goes with everything – you don’t see the grass clashing with the flowers...

This is a demonstration for a Stampin’ Up!® party I’m doing this week in Derby. The hostess says many of the guests won’t have stamped before so this is to show how you can make simple cards with very limited supplies.

I call these my SIP cards because, for less than £30 you can get set up with Stamps, Ink and Paper. Newbies can start with outline images, which they can stamp in black or grey and then colour with whatever they have to hand – coloured pencils, paints, the children’s felt tips... I’ve used Watercolour Wonder™ crayons and blender pens here because it’s my favourite colouring technique and very easy to do.

The second card is what can happen when you step things up a little with Designer Series Paper and some embellishments. I changed the image, too, for variety, but it’s basically the same card. I’m looking at this card now and thinking of more things I could add to it... but I won’t because it’s late here (you don’t really think I type these blog entries at 7am do you?) and my stamping tote is already packed for the party.

Stamps: A Tree For All Seasons
Cardstock: Old Olive, Pumpkin Pie, Summer Sun, Whisper White
Paper: Haiku
Ink: Basic Gray
Accessories: ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon - Pumpkin Pie, Linen Thread, Earth Elements Buttons

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the link on the right to view it online.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Free stamp for hostesses!

I have some great news for hostesses this summer! If you hold a Stampin' Up! party in June or July with sales of £250 or more, you will earn an extra free background stamp... on top of your usual hostess freebies!

This means a party of £250 or more (before shipping) will earn the hostess:

1. Level 1 stamp set
2. £25 of free merchandise
3. A background stamp of your choice

I used to be daunted by background stamps... it turns out I was doing it wrong! Now I know the secret, I love them. If you'd like me to show you the trick at a Stampin' Up! party, you only have to ask...

If you want to book a party, please get in touch as soon as possible as my calendar is filling fast. But remember, you don't have to have a party to place an order - you can order at any time and, if you gather enough orders together with your friends, you'll still earn the hostess freebies!

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.