Sign up today

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Order your catalogue... and make it snappy!

There's a crocodile card if you scroll down but please bear with me for a couple of Public Service Announcements!

Tomorrow is a very important day - it's the day that the retiring list is published. This is the list of products which will not be carried over to the new Idea Book & Catalogue, which goes live on 1st October.

So, if you're a Stampin' Up!® fan (and why wouldn't you be?), there are two important things you need to do!

1. Check out the retiring list as soon as you can! I will post a link on here but if you're up before me, visit the Stampin' Up!® website to see what's on the list. If there's something you want, let me know asap please so I can place the order - as all these items will only be available while stocks last.

2. Get your new Idea Book & Catalogue on order! And please do this as soon as possible as I need to order them from Stampin' Up! within the next few days. If you can come to my launch you'll receive your catalogue there - it's included in the £6 admission fee. If you can't come to my launch, I will post one out to you for just £5 including postage (that's a bargain by the way). But I MUST have payment in the next couple of days so that I know how many to order.

Now lecture over, onto today's project...  and from now on, I will be highlighting products in red if they are retiring so you can leap into action if necessary! And no, I don't have any inside info a day early - I just know that Designer Series Paper will go (they always do) and hostess sets will go (again, they always do).


Here’s how the creation of this card went...

  1. I stamped the crocodile in Garden Green ink and coloured it in using blender pens and ink pads.
  2. Alison said “that would look good covered in Crystal Effects. So I did.
  3. I went to check if it had dried and accidentally smudged it. We decided it would be fine if I covered it in grass.
  4. A while later, I thought it had dried, stuck the grass down, touched it and smudged it again – this time much worse.
  5. I threw it all on the floor in a huff and started again!
Fortunately, second time round I was more patient and things went better. I even managed to salvage the grass which I’d painstakingly hand-cut. I mounted the image onto a piece of Garden Green which I cut into a tag shape. Top tip: Cut off one corner, then take the little triangle piece you’ve cut off, flip it over and hold it onto the other corner. Use this as a guide to cut off the second corner so it matches.

Stamps: Long Fellows (hostess set - retiring), Tiny Tags
Cardstock: Garden Green, Wild Wasabi, Whisper White
Paper: Woodland Walk (retiring)
Ink: Garden Green, Wild Wasabi
Accessories: Blender pen, Crystal Effects, Regals Buttons, Linen Thread, Jewellery Tag Punch,

All products by Stampin' Up!®

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Distressed at sea


Another distressed seascape from my experiments with the water spritzing technique. This time I used blue ink and highlighted the tops of the “waves” with dots of the white gel pen. Again, I got a bit carried away with the distressing – must learn to stop!

Stamps: Sail Away
Cardstock: Basic Gray, Night of Navy, Real Red, Whisper White
Paper: Play Date
Ink: Night of Navy
Accessories: Distressing Essentials Kit, Neutrals Buttons, Satin Ribbon – Night of Navy, White Gel Pen

All products by Stampin' Up!®

Monday, 29 August 2011

Sailing in a stormy sepia


In preparation for my Distressed About Distressing class, I’ve been playing around with a few distressing techniques. Not sure if this one will make it to the class due to time restraints though. I have no idea what this technique is called – perhaps someone can enlighten me?

I took a piece of acetate and swiped with one of the ink spots from the Distressing Essentials Kit. I spritzed it lightly with water and then placed my piece of cardstock face down in the ink. I dried it with the heat gun – this created my background. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out but I thought this one looked like a stormy sea (albeit in sepia) so I stamped the Sail Away yacht on top. So that the sails would stand out, I stamped the yacht again on some Designer Series Paper and cut out those, paper piecing them on top. I quite like the effect of this image.

What I’m not so sure about is the distressing around the edges of the card – I think I got a bit carried away. Oh well!

And look! Another use for the Top Note Die! As a mat for your image - and your image doesn't have to fit perfectly; as you can see, I've trimmed the Top Note so that only about three quarters of it is showing. 

Stamps: Sail Away
Cardstock: Soft Suede, Early Espresso, Whisper White
Paper: Botanical Gazette
Ink: Early Espresso
Accessories: Distressing Essentials Kit, Top Note Die, Taffeta Ribbon – Early Espresso

All products by Stampin' Up!®

Friday, 26 August 2011

For a beautiful baby...


Can’t believe I’ve forgotten to post this baby card – baby Grace must surely be walking by now!

This is a for a friend who is currently enjoying her gorgeous new baby girl, Grace Elizabeth - who, I notice from the latest photo, looks just like her! There’s hardly any stamping on this card because the papers do all the work – they’re from the Nursery Suite collection, which is really beautiful (and not just for baby cards!).

I stuck strips of different papers across the card, then die-cut the letters using my beautiful Big Shot and the Timeless Type Junior Alphabet dies from the Mini catalogue. I’ve made quite a few name cards using these dies and was quite sorry when they had to go back to their rightful owner, my downline Alison.

Stamps: Something to Celebrate (hostess)
Cardstock: So Saffron, Regal Rose
Paper: Nursery Suite
Ink: Early Espresso
Accessories: 1/8” taffeta ribbon – Daffodil Delight, Neutrals Buttons, Timeless Type Junior Alphabet Dies

All products by Stampin' Up!®

Monday, 22 August 2011

Keeping it simple


Cards for men don’t have to be brown, they don’t have to be gloomy, they don’t have to be hard work... and they don’t have to have ties on them!

I made this for a man and it’s clean, simple and there’s nothing fussy or frilly on it to make it feminine. Can’t say fairer than that (oh, and it was really quick, too!)

Stamps: Party This way
Cardstock: Pacific Point, Real Red, Whisper White
Ink: Pacific Point, Real Red
Accessories: Corner rounder, Wide oval punch, Brights brads

All products by Stampin' Up!®

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Distressed and doodled


Sorry about the long absence – school holidays and all that. To celebrate my return, though, how about a scrapbook page for a change?

We created this page at my recent Scrapping Wednesday class – I would love to be able to hold these classes monthly, so get in touch if you’re interested in scrapbooking, whether you are starting from scratch or just want to build up your pages.

Everyone received the kit to make two pages, with lots of extra bits so they had options to customise their pages to suit their pictures.

The theme for the class was doodling – a technique which is daunting to some but really is very simple and actually requires no teaching, just a bit of practice on a sheet of scrap paper. As you can see, I doodled all the way around the edge of my Baja Breeze 12x12.

We also did a bit of distressing on this page, to give the ladies a taste of what’s to come at my forthcoming Distressed About Distressing class (details on my Events page). I used the flat stamp from the Distressing Essentials Kit to rub some Baja Breeze ink around the corners and edges of the cardstock. If you do this in a circular motion, it creates a really nice effect.

I used the Early Espresso marker in the Colour Spritzing Tool to create a paint spattered effect across the background, too. I didn’t want the page to be too girlie, but I added some foliage from Just Believe, to finish off the background.

The journaling is handwritten in my not particularly neat writing, but I do think handwriting on your scrapbook pages is very important, for me anyway. The main reason being that it’s quick! I used to have loads of scrapbook pages unfinished because I just need to get the journaling done on the computer. Now I scribble it on and I’m done! My theory is that our descendants will be happier to have a full scrapbook full of messy handwriting than a few odd pages printed perfectly neatly on the computer.

Oh, one cheeky trick we did with the Pear Pizzazz cardstock strip: I didn’t have any 12x12 and didn’t want to buy any when I only really needed one sheet, so the strip is created from a piece of A4 and joined behind the centre picture. Nobody would know... if I hadn’t just told you.

Stamps: Just Believe
Cardstock: Baja Breeze 12x12, Pear Pizzazz, Chocolate Chip, Whisper White
Ink: Baja Breeze
Accessories: Big Shot, Timeless Type, Junior Alphabet dies, Corner Rounder, Colour Spritzer, Distressing Essentials Kit, Spiral Punch, Pear Pizzazz ribbon, Hodgepodge Hardware®, Early Espresso Marker

All products by Stampin' Up!®

Monday, 15 August 2011

All boxed up


I know, I know, teacher gifts in the middle of August? This one slipped through the net but I’m posting it now because you can always use the idea next year... or at Christmas... or for a gift for someone else. Anyway, teacher gifts don’t have to be tricky. This is just a small bag of Thornton’s Chocolates in a perfectly-fitting box. How can making a box fit perfectly be easy? Just follow my tutorial, which shows you how to make perfect boxes using Stampin’ Up!’s grid paper. Click here for the tutorial.

Stamps: Just Believe
Cardstock: Cherry Cobbler, Early Espresso, Very Vanilla
Ink: Sahara Sand, Cherry Cobbler
Accessories: Basic Pearls, Boho Blossoms punch, Round Tab Punch, Very Vanilla grosgrain, linen thread, Modern Label Punch, Large Tag Punch (slipped round back)

All products by Stampin' Up!®

Friday, 12 August 2011

Retro stitches

Don’t you just love the retro look of these fab papers from the Mini catalogue? They’re called Sweet Stitches and are very funky.

They were perfect to make a thank you card for a very talented lady who has altered a coat for me. I made a buckle card, instructions for which are here. It’s a really simple card to make, with no waste.

There’s very little stamping on this card; there really was no need because the papers are so fantastic. I used a panel of the sewing machine patterened paper and an inchmark strip from the bottom of another of the patterned sheets. The finishing touch just had to be a button!

Stamps: Trendy Trees
Cardstock: Tangerine Tango, Whisper White
Ink: Early Espresso
Accessories: Word Window Punch, 1/8” Taffeta ribbon – Daffodil Delight, Regals Buttons

All products by Stampin’ Up!®            

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Cats go to great lengths

Another cute “Long Fellow” – this time a cat and anyone who has cats will know that yes they can stretch themselves to great lengths! This was for a girl’s birthday so I decided to go for a pink cat, which I coloured using a Stampin’ Write marker in Pretty in Pink. The rest of the card is very simple, too – I am just trying to use up some of my Subtles scraps as I can’t get the lid on the box!

Stamps: Long Fellows (hostess)
Cardstock: Rose Red, Perfect Plum (textured), Pretty in Pink, Whisper White
Ink: Basic Black
Accessories: Pretty in Pink marker, Scallop Edge Punch, ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon - Pretty in Pink

All products by Stampin' Up!®

Monday, 8 August 2011

A charity request

Please indulge me as I take a break from stamping for this post. Those of you who know me in real life will most likely be aware that hubby is a MAMIL – that is, a Middle-Aged Man In Lycra. Here he is, after his gruelling trek to the top of the Col du Galibier in the French Alps last summer. He did that just for fun (hmmm... define “fun”) but next month is taking on a challenge for charity.

He’ll be taking part in Tour Ride 2011, which follows the same route as a stage of the Tour of Britain. He’s doing the 140km (about 87 miles) Stoke-on-Trent stage on 25th September.

All the riders will be raising money for The Prostate Cancer Charity, which supports men affected by prostate cancer, and their friends and families. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK. 37,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year. 250,000 men are currently living with the disease.

If you’d like to support the charity, please sponsor Matt by visiting his fundraising page – all donations are welcome, no matter how small. Thank you!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Wedding neutrals

It was only after I sent this wedding card that I realised that a birdcage isn’t perhaps the most appropriate image! Hope the bride and groom don’t feel caged in – oops! I’m not very good at elegant cards for frilly occasions such as weddings so I went for soothing neutrals – but with a hint of bling. Which, of course, the photo doesn’t show. After I completed the card I spritzed it with some Champagne Mist shimmer spray made from Champagne Mist shimmer paint and alcohol.

But, other than the bling you can’t see, the perhaps drab colours for a wedding and the inappropriate image, I really do like this card!

If you'd like to have a go at distressing, why not come along to my class in September? Details are on my events page, here.

Stamps: Nature Walk, Something to Celebrate (hostess)
Cardstock: Sahara Sand, Soft Suede, Very Vanilla
Ink: Sahara Sand, Soft Suede
Accessories: Distressing Kit, Taffeta Ribbon – Very Vanilla, Neutrals buttons, linen thread, Basic pearls

All products by Stampin' Up!®

Friday, 5 August 2011

Long enough?


How cute is this dog? He’s from Long Fellows, a Level 2 hostess set – a set I just couldn’t resist mounting and using. And as for colouring him, it couldn’t be simpler – a dab of Perfect Plum ink form the blender pen and a slash of the same under his feet and he was done!

The stamp comes with a sentiment underneath but I didn’t want it on this particular card so I simply covered up the words with a sticky note while inking, then removed it before stamping.

If you like the look of this stamp set, you'd better hurry - it's only available until the end of September and only to hostesses who hold a qualifying party. So book early! 

Stamps: Long Fellows (hostess)
Cardstock: Certainly Celery, So Saffron, Perfect Plum textured, Basic Black, Whisper White
Ink: Basic Black, Perfect Plum
Accessories: Scallop Edge Punch, blender pen, Certainly Celery Grosgrain Ribbon

All products by Stampin' Up!®

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Perfectly pillowed

When my team members reach Stampin’ Up!® milestones, I like to reward them in addition to the rewards they receive from the company. When they get to Bronze 2 they get a keyring/bag charm from me with a bead on it. Further achievements earn them more beads.

I was delighted recently that two of my team achieved promotions, so I made these cute little boxes to hold their beads. This one was for Tracy M, who earned her keyring with its first bead – Tracy has only been a demonstrator since January so has done very well to get this far so quickly!

Stamps: Oval All
Cardstock: Perfect Plum, Whisper White, Wild Wasabi
Paper: Woodland Walk
Ink: Perfect Plum, Wild Wasabi
Accessories: Pillow Box Die, Large Oval punch, Scallop Oval Punch


And here's another pillow box for another fantastic member of my team. This was for Jacqui, who promoted to Bronze 3, which is a great achievement.

Cardstock: Rose Red
Paper: Sweet Stitches
Accessories: 5-Petal Punch, Neutrals buttons, Pillow Box Die

All products by Stampin' Up!®

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Naturally sweet


These are such sweet little cards, made with my favourite stamp set from the Mini catalogue and the gorgeous Springtime Vintage papers. This was the Make & Take for my recent parties – if you fancy making cute projects like this, why not book your own party?

I began by stamping the sprig in Rose Red on a small square of Very Vanilla cardstock. I stamped repeatedly without re-inking; this gives various shades of the same colour. Next I stamped the bee on top using Not Quite Navy ink. My version of this stamp set is clear-mount so I could see to do this easily.

Stamps: Nature Walk
Cardstock: Rose Red, Not Quite Navy, Very Vanilla
Paper: Springtime Vintage
Ink: Rose Red, Not Quite Navy
Accessories: Scallop Edge Punch (top), Eyelet Border Punch (bottom), Seam-binding ribbon – Rose Red (top), Baja Breeze (bottom)

All products by Stampin' Up!®

Monday, 1 August 2011

White rabbits! And a new offer!

It's the first of a new month and we have a new offer for you! It's called Gift With Purchase which is pretty self-explanatory... yes, you get a free exclusive gift with a qualifying purchase or workshop. Everyone loves freebies, so check out the full details at the Stampin' Up!® website by clicking here. Then please get in touch to book your workshop or place your order!

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.