Friday, 30 April 2010

Cover a journal - it's a hoot!

How cute is this owl? And what a fab journal, even if I do say so myself! I had a spot of bother covering this journal but I know what I’m doing now so the next one will be much, much easier. If you’d like to cover one of these journals (although not necessarily with an owl), please get in touch as I’m currently trying to rally enough people for a class.

Cardstock: Chocolate Chip, So Saffron
Paper: Sweet Pea Paper Stack
Ink: Close to Cocoa, Chocolate Chip
Accessories: So Tweet Chipboard, On Board journal, 5/8” Grosgrain Ribbon - Chocolate Chip, ¾” circle punch

All products by Stampin' Up! ®

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Bird tag

And this was the other Make & Take at my Mini Catty launch. It’s just a tag but it’s quite a fun one, using that oh so lovely two-step bird punch that everyone is ordering!

The background is wheeled with the Very Vintage jumbo wheel loaded with a Mellow Moss ink cartridge – this gives a very subtle effect on a Mellow Moss background. The bird’s body is Ruby Red, the wing is Bravo Burgundy and the branch is Handsome Hunter. All of the cardstock used on this card, apart from the Bravo Burgundy, is due to retire at the end of September so if you’re in love with any of these colours, please stock up before then! I’d hate you to be disappointed.

To make the tag, cut one corner off freehand, then take the triangular piece you’ve just cut off, flip it over and match it up to the opposite corner. Use this as a guide to cut off the second corner and you have a symmetrical tag. Clever, eh? Not my idea, of course! In fact *name-dropping alert* I think it was Stampin’ Up!’s own Shelli Gardner who demoed that one.

Stamps: Tiny Tags, Very Vintage jumbo wheel
Cardstock: Mellow Moss, Ruby Red, Bravo Burgundy, Handsome Hunter
Ink: Bravo Burgundy
Accessories: Two-Step Bird Punch, ½” circle punch, gold brads, Crop-A-Dile™, Mellow Moss taffeta ribbon, word window punch, Stampin’ Write Journalling pen

All products by Stampin' Up! ®

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Flowers in vogue

This was one of the Make & Takes at my Mini Catalogue launch on Saturday. It’s a lovely little card – quite simple to make but with quite a bit of detail.

The two different flowers are stamped on Whisper White and cut out and layered, held together with a simple black brad. I particularly like the way the border stamp sits just above the gorgeous satin ribbon.

Stamps: Vintage Vogue
Cardstock: Barely Banana, Old Olive
Ink: So Saffron, Old Olive, Elegant Eggplant
Accessories: Black brad, Satin Ribbon – Old Olive

All products by Stampin' Up! ®

Monday, 26 April 2010

Happy engagement

We were delighted – and quite surprised - to hear recently that a friend is to be married, so of course a card was in order. I can never understand why engagement and wedding cards are so frilly and girly – because 50 per cent of those involved are men. So this has a bit of subtle bling and some champagne – because surely champagne is always welcome.

You may have noticed that a lot of my cards recently use retiring colours. Yes, I’ve decided to use them up as much as possible but the weird thing is, most of these cards were made before the Colour Renovation announcement.

I’d realised that there were some colours I hardly ever used, so I decided to make more effort with them. And guess what? All of those colours are on the retiring list! So it seems I am a typical SU customer and do generally stick to the most popular colours which, of course, are surviving the Renovation.

Stamps: Cheers to You, Happy Everything
Cardstock: Taken with Teal, Whisper White
Ink: Taken with Teal, Basic Black
Accessories: Watercolour Wonder™ crayons, blender pens, Crystal Effects®, Dazzling Diamonds glitter

All products by Stampin' Up! ®

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Killing two birds with one stone

Phew! What a day! It was my Mini Catalogue launch this morning and I'm really flagging now. But it was good fun - hope it was for you, too. Thanks to everyone who came along and congratulations to the prize winners. See some of you again soon at Fridays' workshop!

I haven't photographed our Make and Take projects or the demonstrations that I did yet so here's one of the cards I had on display.

At Christmas, I received a card from an American friend, PH, which I thought was ingenious. Simply by making the card base smaller than usual, out of Whisper White cardstock, and mounting it on a dark base, she had solved two problems in one go! She had made the card lighter and therefore cheaper to post via Air Mail and she had made the card white inside so that it could easily be written on.

I finally got round to having a go at killing two birds with one stone - which is probably why the bird is nowhere to be seen. The stamp set is Bird on a Branch from the new Mini catalogue but it looks like the bird flew off. But look how the flowers fit the branch so perfectly! The Stamp-a-ma-jig® helped, of course.

Stamps: Bird on a Branch
Cardstock: Whisper White, Basic Black
Ink: Almost Amethyst, Lavender Lace, Basic Black
Accessories: White satin ribbon

All products by Stampin' Up! ®

Thursday, 22 April 2010

News just in - a special offer on the Starter Kit!

News has just come in of a special offer on the Starter Kit, so now it's even better value to sign up as a Stampin' Up!® Demonstrator. Click the Special Offers tab at the top of the page for more information.

Fun with flowers

Another project from the Stampin’ Up!® Experience event. I loved this clever trick with the ribbon and the circle punch, although my photo doesn’t do it justice. The third flower has the centre punched out and the ribbon threaded through to tie the card together. The white insert is loose, to be removed, postcard-style, but I might actually stick it in, not sure yet.

Stamps: My Sweet Pea
Cardstock: Bashful Blue, Whisper White
Ink: Bashful Blue, So Saffron, Old Olive
Accessories: Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon - Bashful Blue, ¾” circle punch

All products by Stampin' Up! ®

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

An Experience to remember

If you were lucky enough to get a place on the Stampin’ Up’ Experience tour recently, you’ll have made one of these already. Guests made three projects – two cards and a 6x6 scrapbook page – using the new My Sweet Pea stamp set. I love the bright, zingy colours and would never have a dreamed of putting them together myself.

Stamps: My Sweet Pea, Basic Phrases
Cardstock: Old Olive, Pink Passion, Tempting Turquoise, Pumpkin Pie, Whisper White
Ink: Pumpkin Pie, Chocolate Chip, Tempting Turquoise, Pumpkin Pie
Accessories: Paper Piercing Tool, Mat Pack, ¾” circle punch, silver brad, scallop edge punch, 5/8” Grosgrain Ribbon – Old Olive

All products by Stampin' Up! ®

Monday, 19 April 2010

My first easel card... well, kinda

Easel cards are all the rage at the moment – and they’re easy to make, so why has it taken me so long to make one?

Well, truth be known, I still haven’t, as this wasn’t made by me – not entirely anyway. It was created for a challenge at the Stampin’ Up!® training day in Sheffield last month and was a team effort using the box of supplies provided.

The stamp set is Vintage Vogue, from the new Mini catalogue, and the wheel is the co-ordinating Very Vintage. I can’t remember what my input was – oops! I do remember that our table won the challenge to prepare a workshop in 45 minutes, so we must have done something right!

Stamps: Vintage Vogue, Very Vintage jumbo wheel
Cardstock: Old Olive, Whisper White, Chocolate Chip
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Old Olive
Accessories: ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon - Whisper White, Silver brad

All products by Stampin' Up! ®

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Simple stair step card

Finally, the last project from my One of a Kind class - a stair step card.

These look very impressive but are really easy to make.

Take an A5 piece of cardstock, then score along the width at 8cm, 16cm and 18.5cm. Fold in a zig-zag pattern and that’s about it really! You know I don't do difficult...

Stamps: One of a Kind
Cardstock: More Mustard, Taken with Teal, Chocolate Chip, Very Vanilla
Ink: More Mustard, Taken with Teal, Chocolate Chip
Accessories: Scallop Edge punch, Oval Punch, Scallop Oval Punch, ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon – Chocolate Chip, paper piercer, mat pack

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Teal basket

Another project from the One of a Kind class - this time a box. Well, more of a basket really. Perfect for little gifts - Easter eggs if I'd posted it in time!

It’s made from a 6” square of cardstock. Score at 2” intervals in both directions so you have a grid of nine squares. Cut towards the centre on opposite sides and then fold everything towards the centre.

Stamps: One of a Kind
Cardstock: Taken with Teal, Very Vanilla
Paper: Sweet Pea paper stack
Ink: More Mustard, Taken with Teal, Chocolate Chip
Accessories: Boho Blossoms punch, ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon – More Mustard, Chocolate Chip, Gold eyelets,

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Let's rock and roll!

Another project from the One of a Kind class, this time a card using the Rock and Roll technique.

For this you need two co-ordinating ink pads and a solid image stamp. First ink your stamp using the lighter ink pad – in this case, More Mustard. Then “roll” your stamp around its edges on the darker ink pad (Chocolate Chip used here). Then stamp it on your project for a two-tone image.

Stamps: One of a Kind
Cardstock: More Mustard, Taken with Teal, Chocolate Chip, Very Vanilla
Ink: More Mustard, Taken with Teal, Chocolate Chip
Accessories: Scallop Edge punch, ½” circle punch, twill tape, paper piercer, mat pack

All products by Stampin' Up! ®

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

One of a Kind gift box

This is one of the projects we made at my recent One of a Kind class. Most of the ladies purchased their own stamp set to use at the class, which speeded things up a bit – but not enough as we ran over time again. I must stop planning too much to do!

The colour scheme is a big change for me. I found the inspiration on a stool in the bar at the Stampin’ Up!® training day in Sheffield. Someone suggested that perhaps I’d spent too long in the bar but I assure you that wasn’t the case; there was too much to do!

This is a cute little gift box, based on the one demonstrated by Monica at the Stampin' Up! Experience event in Sheffield. It’s a larger version of the simple 5-10-15-20 box and uses a whole sheet of A4 cardstock. Score along the length at 7cm, then turn the cardstock sideways and score along the width at 7cm, 14cm, 21cm and 28cm. Then follow the instructions for the 5-10-15-20 box shown here. What's nice about it is that you don't have to destroy it to open it - it is just held closed by the ribbon, which you can slide off.

The flower is from the largest flower in the One of a Kind stamp set. The big flower overwhelmed the box so we cut it down to the centre piece and punched out the centre to make room for the ribbon.

Stamps: One of a Kind
Cardstock: More Mustard, Taken with Teal, Chocolate Chip, Very Vanilla
Ink: Taken with Teal, Chocolate Chip
Accessories: ¾” circle punch, Boho Blossoms punch, Wide Striped Grosgrain Ribbon - Chocolate Chip, ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon – More Mustard

All products by Stampin' Up! ®

Monday, 12 April 2010

Spring is springing

Oooh, this is an exciting departure for me. It is, of course, inspired by – and completed under instruction by – my supremely talented downline, Kelly. It’s a spring card – and not just because the crocuses are in bloom and pink is quite a springy colour. No, it's a spring card because it folds flat and springs open when you remove it from the envelope.

It was made for one of my April Design Team challenges over on In Love With Stamping. The challenge was to use the colours Pretty in Pink, Pixie Pink and Pink Passion – not something that filled my heart with joy, to be honest. But I had a go and here it is. The Pretty in Pink is stamped on the white background using the very useful dotty stamp from a new stamp set called Bird on a Branch.

The bird is punched out using the new Extra Large Two-Step Bird punch from the Mini catalogue which you can order from on 1st April.

Stamps: Bird on a Branch
Cardstock: Pixie Pink, Pink Passion, Whisper White
Ink: Pink Passion, Pretty in Pink
Accessories: Extra Large Two-Step Bird punch

All products by Stampin' Up! ®

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Colour renovation

Look what happens when I turn my back! I’ve been away for a week and there’s big news from Stampin’ Up!®

Yes, it's out with the old and in with the new... colours that is.

But not just yet; the big changeover happens with the new Idea Book & Catalogue in October.

Here's a link to the new colours and a link to the retiring colours here. I think the new collections look gorgeous – and am very excited about the changes as it will breathe new life into our crafting projects. But I can understand if you’re apprehensive, so have compiled the following to answer some of the questions you may have. If there’s anything else you need to know, please do get in touch and I’ll do my best to answer your questions or find out more information for you.

Why are the colours changing?
This will most likely be your first question, which is understandable. And it’s probably frustrating for you if you’ve been carefully collecting the 48 colours.

The main reason the colours are changing is to keep the colour palette up-to-date. Certain shades go in and out of fashion and, if Stampin’ Up! didn’t change its colours to provide the trendiest shades, it wouldn’t be providing the best service possible.

Another important reason is, of course, a business one. Some colours simply aren’t selling as well as others. In addition, research has revealed that many people just aren't using some of the colours, even if they have them, for example if they have bought a family pack of cardstock or markers.

Why are the colour collections smaller?
You’ll notice that the four collections now only feature 10 colours each. Stampin’ Up! is aware that the existing 48 colours in families of 12 can be overwhelming to new stampers and new demonstrators. With smaller colour collections, the range won't be so overwhelming and collecting a full set will be cheaper. There’s another reason, too, so read on...

Will I have enough colours to be creative?
There may only be 40 colours in the new range – including 10 neutrals – but there are more to come! You may already know that in America and Canada there are six new “In Colours” introduced each year, for one year only, so that crafters can be bang on trend. The system is changing slightly but it means that we in the UK will now be part of it – something we demonstrators are very excited about.

Under the new In Colour programme, there will be five new colours introduced each year to freshen up the colour offering. These will have a lifespan of two years, instead of one. So, this October, we will have the 40 main colours in the four collections, plus five In Colours. A further five will be added in October 2011, bringing the total to 50 colours to play with. So, 45 colours from October 2010 and 50 colours from 2011 onwards.

Will everything in the retiring colours be discontinued?
Most probably yes. But I don’t know for sure yet. Ink pads and cardstock will definitely be going. And I would expect to see brads, ribbons etc on the list too. We will know for sure on 1st September when the list of retiring stamps and accessories is published.

What do I do with all my retired colours?
You keep them and use them of course! Unless you are demonstrator, there is nothing to stop you have a whale of a crafty time with any retired products, be it stamps, ribbon or cardstock. Even demonstrators can use their old colours for their personal crafting projects, just not demonstrate with them from 1st October.

I love some of the retiring colours... now what?
If you’re hooked on some of the retiring colours, please don’t despair. The reason this news is being revealed now – almost six months before it comes into effect – is so that you have plenty of time to stock up on ink, ribbon or cardstock in any of the retiring colours if you wish.

I love the colour families as they are, I don’t want them to change
Change is necessary for all businesses and Stampin’ Up! is no exception. I’m confident you’ll come to love the new colour collections – especially once you start seeing them used in projects. And just think: we’ll be getting new ribbons, brads, Designer Series Papers... this October’s new Idea Book & Catalogue is going to be very exciting! We all want access to more of the products which are available from Stampin’ Up! in America and the new colour collections will be the same across all SU markets, so that’s a step in the right direction.

Please let me know if you have any more questions!

Friday, 9 April 2010

A funky bird in a funky world

Now this one does fit the In Love With Stamping challenge to use two brads, two buttons and only one image stamp. The grass is cut by hand using paper snips.

Stamps: My Sweet Pea
Cardstock: Real Red, Brilliant Blue, Green Galore, Whisper White
Paper: Kaleidoscope
Ink: Real Red, Tempting Turquoise
Accessories: Bold Brights brads, Bold Brights buttons, red gingham, ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon - Tempting Turquoise, 1 ¾” Circle punch

All products by Stampin' Up! ®

Thursday, 8 April 2010

In vogue

Oops, hit "publish" too quick, about a week ago. Sorry to the subscribers who have already seen this!

This is for a sketch challenge on In Love With Stamping.

I don’t know if you can see from this photo but there’s rather a nifty trick with the brad. I pressed it into my Whisper White Craft ink pad, then wiped off the excess with a tissue, leaving the indentations satisfyingly white.

Stamps: Vintage Vogue
Cardstock: Regal Rose, Rose Red, Basic Grey, Whisper White
Ink: Rose Red, Regal Rose, Versamark
Accessories: Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon - Rose Red, Hodgepodge Hardware® Stylised Silver

All products by Stampin' Up! ®

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Challenge challenged

I made this for an In Love With Stamping challenge... then realised that it didn’t fit the challenge after all. The challenge was to use two brads, two buttons and only one image stamp. I think you’ll have spotted the problem by now.

Stamps: My Sweet Pea, A Bit of Birthday Cheer
Cardstock: Tempting Turquoise, Real Red, Green Galore, Whisper White
Ink: Real Red, Tempting Turquoise, Green Galore
Accessories: Bold Brights brads, Bold Brights buttons, Scallop Edge Punch, Word Window Punch, Green Galore marker

All products by Stampin' Up! ®

Monday, 5 April 2010

Easy peasy!

How easy is this? A wide strip of Designer Series Paper across a 7” x 5” card, with a bit of Pumpkin Pie showing top and bottom. And you know me, that Pumpkin Pie is made from two narrow strips, not one great big piece of cardstock!

This was created for an In Love With Stamping challenge to use two brads, two buttons and only one image stamp.

Stamps: One of a Kind
Cardstock: Chocolate Chip, Pumpkin Pie, Whisper White
Paper: Sweet Pea Paper Stack
Ink: Taken with Teal
Accessories: Rhinestone Brads, Earth Elements and Neutrals buttons, Scallop Edge Punch, 1” circle punch, stapler

All products by Stampin' Up! ® (apart from stapler, obviously)

Sunday, 4 April 2010

In the pink for my FIRST recess card

I’m not loving the colours – too pink for my earthy tastes! But it’s nice to try something new and this was for a challenge on In Love With Stamping. I do love the stamp set and the little hillocks made from punched out circles.

This was my first recess card, as promised. Here’s how to make one:

1. Cut a piece of cardstock 28.5cm x 14cm. Score at 14cm from either end to give you a 5mm spine.

2. One one panel (the front), measure in 3cm all the way round and score to create an 8cm square. Repeat at 2.5cm to create a larger scored square.

3. Cut across the diagonal from one corner of the larger square to the opposite and repeat on the other two corners to create an X in the centre.

4. Turn your project over so you are looking at the inside of the card and fold each triangle towards you on the outer scoreline. Fold each triangle back in again on the inner scoreline. You should now have a recessed area made up of four triangles which don't meet.

5. Cut an 8cm square of contrasting cardstock and fit this into the recess. No need to glue. Cut another 8cm square of cardstock of the same colour as your card base and attach this on the inside of the card to cover up the gaps. This will also hold your inner panel in place.

6. Now you can decorate a smaller inner panel to add to the recessed area and decorate the outer border if you wish. Remember any stamping needs to be done before you stick anything down!

Stamps: My Sweet Pea
Cardstock: Pink Passion, Pixie Pink, Pretty in Pink, Whisper White
Paper: Tea Party
Ink: Pink Passion, Pixie Pink
Accessories: Striped Grosgrain Ribbon - Pretty in Pink, 1 ¾” circle punch, ¾” circle punch

All products by Stampin' Up! ®

Friday, 2 April 2010

My second recess card

It’s the wedding today so I have to show you the wedding card. It is my second ever recess card, made for the wedding couple to match all the other stationery, of course. I wish I’d had enough of the swirly Bridesmaid paper to add a border to this card but I didn’t, so settled on a panel inside instead.

What’s a recess card? It’s a card where the outer border sits above the inner panel. I have to confess that it’s something I didn’t think I’d be able to achieve, even after seeing Kelly’s wonderful demonstration at a recent team meeting. And I’m beginning to wish I’d made something different for the wedding, after Alison reminded me that I said I’d eat my hat if I managed to make a recess card!

The eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that this is my second recess card. You'll just have to wait for the first... and the instructions.

Stamps: One of a Kind, In The Stars (inside sentiment)
Cardstock: Elegant Eggplant, Very Vanilla
Paper: Bridesmaid
Ink: Elegant Eggplant
Accessories: ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon - Elegant Eggplant

All products by Stampin' Up! ®

Thursday, 1 April 2010

It's Mini Catty Day

Third time lucky I hope - I keep accidentally hitting "enter" too soon and posting this before it's complete. So... deep breath...

Spring has sprung, der grass has riz, I wonder where dem boidies is?

Dem little boids is all over the new Stampin’ Up! Mini Catalogue, which goes live today! If you love birds, you’ll go wild – even if you don’t love bird images, there’s loads in there to excite you!

Click here to view the gorgeous new catalogue – and to get your hands on your own paper copy, don’t forget to come along to my Mini Catty launch on Saturday, 24th April, 9.30am-noon. It’s a drop-in session and only costs £2.50 for your Make and Takes and refreshments. You’ll get a Mini catty to take home and cherish.

So, onto this card –which just looks like an ordinary card until you scroll down to see the inside! I love these new papers – they’re available in a Paper Stack, which is £19.50 for 48 sheets – two each of 24 double-sided designs. That works out at a very reasonable 40.6p per sheet.

Here’s how to make the card...

Start with a 12x5" piece of Old Olive cardstock. Score along the width every 3" to create a concertina.

Cover each panel with DSP - you can do the centre two as one piece but be sure only to apply adhesive around the edges, not anywhere near the centre crease. The reason will become apparent!

Flatten it out and then, across the two centre panels, measure 1" in from each edge. Cut along the top and bottom line and score along the side lines to create a pop-out panel. If you've applied adhesive as described, the centre piece of DSP should come away.

Cut a 4"x 3" piece of constrasting DSP or cardstock and cover the centre panel. Or leave it as Old Olive, if you prefer. It will certainly make it easier to fold.

The centre piece now pushes back and you can decorate. To close it as shown in the first image, you need to push the centre piece forwards again. Sounds simple but it took me about half an hour to work that out. Doh!

Stamps: Vintage Vogue
Cardstock: Old Olive, Chocolate Chip, Rose Red, Pretty in Pink, Always Artichoke, Sahara Sand
Paper: Sweet Pea Stack
Ink: Chocolate Chip
Accessories: Stampin’ Pastels, Word Window Punch, Bird Punch, Rich Regals brads, Chocolate Chip marker

All products by Stampin' Up! ®

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.