Monday, 30 July 2012

Beautiful spotlighting technique

Update: Virtual Hostess Club now full!

Moving on from the Polar Party samples to Beautiful Season. This is a gorgeous stamp and you can turn the bird into pretty much any little bird you like. Well, maybe not an owl...

Here we’ve used the spotlighting technique and the card was shamelessly CASEd from one I found on the web by an American demonstrator called Fran Sabad. The main image was stamped once onto Confetti White in Basic Gray and left uncoloured. A second image was stamped onto a smaller piece of Confetti White, coloured and then punched out. You carefully overlay the circle on top of the main image to line it up and there you have it. Everything is popped up to give it dimension.

Stamps: Beautiful Season
Cardstock: Confetti White
Ink: Basic Gray, Cherry Cobbler
Accessories: Watercolour Wonder™ crayons, blender pens, Seam binding ribbon – Cherry Cobbler

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Oops, it's Caturday - Christmas card, too!

I’m all over the place this morning – and I don’t mean physically. Had a very late night as we stopped up to watch the whole of the Olympics Opening Ceremony. Thought it was amazing – the household was delighted that Bradley Wiggins was chosen to ring the bell (before being packed off for an early night ready for today’s road race),  fell about laughing at Mr Bean in the Chariots of Fire sequence, loved the  cycling doves and was blown away by the copper petals rising up to create the cauldron.  A little sad that Danny Boyle was overruled and the Clangers didn’t make it into the ceremony but you can’t have everything!

And in other news... there is now only one place left in my next round of Virtual Hostess Club, starting in September! If you’ve been toying with the idea of joining, don’t delay – you wouldn’t want to miss out on this fabulous club which brings so many rewards. Please click here for details.

Anyway, with all the excitement, I’ve only just realised it’s Caturday. Been sitting here, editing Christmas card images when realisation dawned. So I think you can have both – a cat AND a Christmas card.

Let’s start with the card... it’s a pretty simple card to make but I think it’s gorgeous. I CASEd it from somewhere – I think it was the US catalogue. The trees are stamped using Frost White Shimmer Paint – it’s very subtle, definitely not a solid white effect but just a hint. Love it! We did this by dabbing the paint to the stamp using a sponge dauber.

The polar bear is stamped and cut out, coloured using markers and then popped up. And the effect of the snowy ground is made using the Adorning Accents Edgelites die and embossing folder. Remember: die-cut first, emboss second.

Stamps: Polar Party
Cardstock: Bashful Blue, Whisper White
Ink: Basic Black
Accessories: Stampin’ Write markers, Adorning Accents Edgelits dies and embossing folders

All products by Stampin' Up!®

And now for the cat! Frustratingly, there are literally hundreds of cat images on my daughter’s iPod but she’s a teenager and it’s only 11am, so here’s Pooboo, indulging in a bit of air-padding. 

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Christmas time

The first of the Christmas in July projects and, once again, I left photographing them until too late and the light was gone.  But a bit of tweaking and we have something like Real Red and Wild Wasabi! Actually, the ladies on the day made this in Real Red and Old Olive, simply because they were colouring with markers and I don’t have a Wild Wasabi marker.

The design (like most, ok, ALL of the designs at the event) is shamelessly CASEd. You’ll find this one in the current Idea Book & Catalogue. Tweaked a bit, of course.

The rhinestones are coloured in with a permanent marker. This is better done while they are still on the sheet, and needs to be done with a permanent marker. Unfortunately, Stampin’ Write markers will not do the job, as they are water-based so will simply wipe off.

The paper is from the Holly Berry speciality Designer Series Paper pack, which is really lovely, especially the glittery sheets! Everyone received a quarter of a pack of this paper in their kit, to use on the day and take home to play with later. Some of the ladies played around with the designs, which was lovely – it’s great to see how versatile even pre-cut pieces of paper are.

Stamps: Polar Party
Cardstock: Real Red, let’s pretend this is Old Olive, Whisper White
Paper: Holly Berry
Ink: Basic Black
Accessories: Stampin’ Write markers – Old Olive, Real Red, Daffodil Delight, basic rhinestones, red Sharpie permanent marker, ribbon lace border punch

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Apothecary pouch

Christmas in July is done for another year and I think everyone had a good time yesterday. They all made 16 cards, two each of eight designs, and we used Pines & Poinsettias, Beautiful Season, Polar Party and Delightful Decorations.

But I could do a with a break from looking at Christmas cards so here’s a little something I made for all of my Virtual Hostesses, as the first round of my club comes to an end. 

Updated 22nd July, 3.30pm: The next round is due to start in September and I only have TWO places left, so please email me asap if you'd like to join, or click here for more details. 

Every month, the members of my Virtual Hostess Club receive a little gift from me. Sometimes it’s a product sample – eg new ribbons from a brand new catalogue. Sometimes it’s a kit to make a project. Sometimes it’s something I’ve made for them.

As the club was coming to an end this month, I wanted to give them something a little more to say a big thank you for being such great hostesses over the past 10 months. So I made 10 of these little pouches containing a pack of Island Indigo Baker’s Twine (I checked – and none of them had that colour!)

The pouch is really simple – it’s just a standard card blank, with a Designer Series Paper flap made using the Framelits from the Summer Mini. The main image is only stuck down at the bottom so you can lift the flap to remove the twine.

Alternatively, you can slide it out of the side – doh! Didn’t realise this until I’d made about four of them! But if you wound Baker’s Twine all the way around the pouch, the flap really would come into its own, honest!

Stamps: Apothecary Art
Cardstock: Island Indigo, Baja Breeze, Whisper White, Rich Razzleberry
Paper: Brights Designer Series Paper Stack (Rich Razzleberry used)
Ink: Island Indigo, Baja Breeze, Rich Razzleberry
Accessories: Big Shot, Framelits, Polka Dots Embossing Folder, ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon – Rich Razzleberry, Boho Blossoms punch, basic rhinestones

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Flaturday Caturday

Oops, nearly forgot it's Caturday! That's because I'm all set and raring to go for my BIG Christmas in July all-day event! In other news, it has finally STOPPED RAINING! The sun is out, the bees are humming and next door's chickens are clucking wildly, probably because one of them has laid an egg and they're all surprised (chickens aren't very intelligent, generally).

But back to Caturday... Mr Winky hasn't been featured for a while, so here he is, making himself as flat as possible.

Mr Winky wants you to read yesterday's post about the cat shelter open day. Actually, he really wants you to go along and adopt some cats - because he REALLY doesn't want any of them to come and live here!

Friday, 20 July 2012

An appeal to animal-lovers

Ooh it’s all happening here this weekend. It’s the end of an era as my son leaves primary school today – I’m sure there won’t be a dry eye in the house at the Leavers’ Service this afternoon!

The final – HUGE – Virtual Hostess Club order is due to arrive today. THREE parcels according to the shipping notice!

I’m still surrounded by Christmas stuff as today is the final day for packing the bags for Christmas in July tomorrow. Fortunately I have a friend coming to help me, otherwise I couldn’t see myself getting it all done.

Tomorrow will be spent with lots of lovely ladies who all share my love of Stampin’ Up!® as they create 16 Christmas cards in a day.

Then on Sunday it’s off to the cat shelter for their fund-raising Open Day. The popularity of Caturday shows me that many of you are cat-lovers, so please forgive the following two plugs:

Woodland Nook Cat Rescue Fundraiser Day
27 Delves Bank Road, Swanwick
Sunday, 22nd July, 11am-4pm
Cakes, drinks, homemade quiche, various stalls, plus
Viewings around the shelter
Admission 50p adults, 20p children

Please go along if you can and take a look at this most amazing cat shelter – it’s the one where my daughter volunteers at weekends. Take a look at the website – - to see what I mean. All the cats live together in a bungalow-style shelter with settees, beds, cat beds everywhere! And even a television. There are two reasons for this. The first is that some of the cats will live out their days there so the owner, Jane, doesn’t want them to be confined to cages. The other is that it gets them used to a home environment before they are (hopefully) adopted.

The second appeal is for donations for the shelter’s Cretan Kittens and Cats Appeal. Not only do the good people at Woodland Nook help cats and kittens over here, they are supporting another shelter in Crete.

Cats in Crete get a very raw deal – there have been reports of them being thrown out of cars and run over, put into carrier bags (alive) and thrown into bins, and more. Fortunately there’s an English couple in Crete who are doing everything they can to help and a van is going over to Crete next week full of supplies for them.

Here’s a list of the things they are appealing for:

  • medications (Frontline, Drontal etc – even canine Frontline is ok apparently, as well as out of date because they are so desperate)
  • vinyl gloves
  • pet beds,
  • clean blanket and towels
  • mesh, screws and nails
  • cat food
  • tinned fish
  • newspaper
  • bleach
  • cat toys
  • litter trays, litter and scoops
  • cat carriers
  • bowls

If you have anything to donate, please take it along to the open day or Sunday or drop it off with me and I’ll see it gets there. During the holidays, my daughter is planning to volunteer there during the week, too, so I’m sure we’ll be making a visit again soon!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Double punched blossom card

Those of you who know how disorganised I am will not be at all surprised to hear that I’ve been looking for these projects for two weeks! Finally found them yesterday evening and managed to grab a quick photo before the light went.

As you can probably just see, when the card is closed the flower sits in the flower-shaped aperture. The card opens to reveal the flower inside the card. 

I cannot lay claim to this fabulously clever design – I found a tutorial on the internet by demonstrator Julie Davison. Click here to see how it’s made.

I used the oh so gorgeous Everyday Enchantment DSP for these projects – I’m so glad it’s back, even if it is just for one month! Also used those lovely brads which are currently available FREE with a £45 order. Lots of ladies will be getting those in their orders at the end of this week!

Stamps: Mixed Bunch, For My Family, Oval All
Cardstock: Lucky Limeade, Pool Party, Poppy Parade, Very Vanilla
Ink: Pool Party, Lucky Limeade, Poppy Parade
Accessories: Blossom punch, oval punch, Word Window punch, Modern Label punch, 1” circle punch, Everyday Enchantment ribbon and brad bundle, basic rhinestones

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Russian cat

It’s Caturday again and, as my camera has returned from Moscow, I thought I’d show you a Muscovite cat!

Daughter had a fabulous time in Russia, meeting cosmonauts, exploring cosmonaut training centres, visiting Mission Control – and yes, we do have lots of pictures of the sights (not Mission Control though – no cameras allowed there). But naturally we also have this picture of a cat. A poor, bedraggled-looking thing I’m afraid, but a genuine Russian cat nonetheless. 

Friday, 13 July 2012

Masculine teacher box

Ok, it’s your last weekend for making teacher gifts (if you’re in Derbyshire, that is – some other counties have broken up already, in which case, sorry!).  This is one I made for a male teacher – couldn’t go with the flowers and pretty papers so went masculine and classy instead. Hope you like it!

For how to make this box, please see this post. 

I LOVE this Mocha Morning paper, it’s so opulent. If you haven’t seen it in real life, those patterns are flocked!

(I’m pretty late posting this so Caturday will be delayed until lunchtime to give this post a fair shot at the top spot.)

Stamps: Elegant Thank You
Cardstock: Basic Black, Whisper White
Paper: Mocha Morning
Ink: Basic Black
Accessories: Basic rhinestones, taffeta ribbon – Basic Black, 1 ¾” circle punch, large scallop circle punch (brought out of semi-retirement for the occasion)

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Additional scrapbook albums available

Calling all scrapbookers, would-be scrapbookers and people who know scrapbookers and are looking for a present for them!

First a quick heads-up that the Natural 12”x12” Linen Post Album (104519) has almost sold out. As the new catalogue is just around the corner and this item will not be carried over, supplies are not being replenished. So if you want one of these, please act fast.

However, to make up for the shortfall, we have been sent a supply of albums from the US, which will be available from today, while stocks last. They are: 
  • Real Red 12" x 12" Linen Post Album (105383) - £23.95
  • Real Red 12" x 12" Linen Ring Album (105389) - £26.95
  • Natural 12" x 12" Linen Ring Album (104511) - £26.95
  • Navy 12" x 12" Linen Ring Album (104514) - £26.95 

Please get in touch if you would like to buy any of these items. Shipping is £4.95 to any UK address or, if you can collect from me and place the order by the end of Saturday, shipping is free.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Teacher card - stepped up

First of all, please forgive me if I don't blog much over the next two weeks. Life is going to be crazy in the run-up to the school holiday ... and I have 16 cards to cut up and pack for 15 people at Christmas in July, too! So blogging may have to wait, although I will get the masculine teacher box on here soon, in case you have any male teachers to make for.

So, staying with the teacher gift theme, here’s a card idea to match the box. It looks very wonky in the photo but I assure you it's not - I was struggling to get a photo as I foolishly left it until after dark! 

The card is based on one we made at a Stampin’ Up!® training event – of which this card is another variation – just tweaked very slightly to with a new colour scheme and this month’s free brads and ribbons.

I stamped the words using the very useful For My Family stamp set – this is great for making cards extra personal.

The flower is punched twice using Calypso Coral cardstock and then snipped along the petals for added interest. I’ve also snipped the Lucky Limeade circle in for the centre. The ribbon is really easy – just a knot with another piece of ribbon knotted around it. The ribbon is so narrow that this works quite well.

All in all, a nice, easy Make & Take. But what happens when you step it up a notch or two... or eight?

This one is the same basic design with a few extras thrown in. I’ve done this one as a “Mum” card as Mums surely deserve the stepped-up version, don’t you think?

Additional features are:

  1. Three scored lines down the edge of the card on the left, using the Simply Scored tool. Do this from the inside of the card to get raised lines on the outside.
  2. I stamped the top punched flower but unfortunately you can’t see it in the photo.
  3. I punched another flower from Lucky Limeade cardstock and snipped off all but two of the petals to create the illusion of leaves.
  4. I stamped a piece of Whisper White cardstock with Island Indigo to create the centre of the flower.
  5. The Lucky Limeade panel is embossed using the Adorning Accents hearts embossing folder
  6. There’s an added Island Indigo panel, die-cut using the Adorning Accents edgelits die and embossed using the co-ordinating folder
  7. The ribbon is tied in a proper bow this time.
  8. And, of course, there’s a stamped envelope – although this takes seconds so goes with both cards.
What do you think? Which version do you prefer?

Stamps: Mixed Bunch, For My Family
Cardstock: Lucky Limeade, Pool Party, Whisper White, Calypso Coral
Ink: Lucky Limeade, Pool Party, Island Indigo
Accessories: Everyday Enchantment ribbons and brad bundle, Blossom punch, 1” circle punch, Adorning Accents embossing folders and Edgelits dies

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Seriously cute kitten!

I’m concerned. There’s a large yellow orb in the sky that I don’t recall seeing before and a mysterious feeling of warmth in the air. The work of aliens perhaps?

But let’s Keep Calm and Carry On and get to the important business of Caturday. I would normally be dropping my daughter off at the cat shelter tomorrow but she is, as you know, in Russia (Mission Control yesterday, Kremlin today – I hope she realises how lucky she is!) and I’m already getting kitten withdrawal symptoms.

So to keep us all going, here’s one of the newest kitties to check in at the shelter – she was new last week when we visited and her name is Hawthorn because she was found in a hawthorn hedge. She was very shy so we didn’t get to stroke her this time but I’m sure she’ll soon settle down. On a cute scale of 1-10, don’t you think she’s about a 15?

Edited to add: the passage of time has revealed Hawthorn to be a HE!

Friday, 6 July 2012

Teacher gift tutorial

Wow, what a wet day. Just got back from Derby, after trying several different routes which were impassable due to flooding.

The batteries are charged and now I can show you the teacher gift idea I demoed on Wednesday night.

It’s a very simple box which holds one of those small bags of Thornton’s chocolates (about 99p from the Co-op or Home Bargains), making it an affordable gift when you have lots of teachers to thank. I got the idea from my downline and friend, Donna Taplin, but have tweaked it slightly so that you can get one out of a sheet of A4.

I used the fabulous Everyday Enchantment Designer Series Papers – I’m SO glad these are back, even if it’s only for July, as they were my favourite papers of all time. Clearly I’m not alone as SU have given into demand and are giving us until the end of the month to get hold of them... while stocks last that is!

I’ve also used the gorgeous ribbons and brads which are also available during July only – these are FREE with a £45 order, and they are already proving really popular. The ribbon is only 1/8” wide so really useful for projects like this one. And the brads co-ordinate perfectly with the Everyday Enchantment paper.

Edited to add: the template was incorrect so I've fixed it!

So, without further ado, here’s how to make the box:

  1. Take a sheet of A4 cardstock and cut it down to 11” long. You could stamp it if you wished – if so, do this before scoring
  2. Score at 1½” down one long edge and repeat on the opposite edge
  3. Now, measuring along the long edge, score at 1½”, 5”, 6½” and 10”
  4. Fold along all of these scorelines, in the same direction
  5. Cut along all of the short scorelines, six cuts in all
  6. The end of the card which has the 1” flap will be your lid – the two flaps on each side need to be cut down to 1”.
  7. Apply adhesive (Sticky Strip is best) to the four small square flaps and assemble 
Now you have the basic box and can decorate it as you wish. I did this:

  1. Take a strip of Designer Series paper, measuring 12”x4”
  2. Using Tombow adhesive, carefully stick it to the box, folding it gently around the corners as you go. Don’t be tempted to score it at the same points as the box as it just won’t fit. Also don’t be tempted to stick it to the cardstock first, as this can stretch the paper and cause tearing.
  3. You’ll be left with a flap of paper just under 1” – you can trim this off or fold it over. I folded it over because it’s quicker!
  4. Wrap around Baker’s Twine or narrow organdy ribbon to hold the box closed, attaching a tag before you tie it off.
  5. Finally, add the flower, but make sure you only stick it below the ribbon line, so that the ribbon can be slid off, leaving the box intact.
Here's one made with Sweet Shop papers and brads
The flower is made with the new Blossom Die. I punched three flowers from the same paper and snipped the petals with scissors. The centre of the flower is a 1” circle, again snipped to give it a bit more dimension.

Here’s the recipe for the box in the main picture. I’ve also shown a few others that I’ve made, using different papers and products. Need to make one for a man? Don’t worry, just change the colours and omit the flower – I have one to show you later but not tomorrow as that is, of course, Caturday!

And here's one using Cheerful Treat hostess papers

Stamps: For My Family
Cardstock: Peach Parfait, Lucky Limeade, Pool Party, Very Vanilla
Paper: Everyday Enchantment
Ink: Lucky Limeade
Accessories: Everyday Enchantment ribbons and brad bundle, Blossom punch, 1” circle punch, Modern Label Punch, Basic Rhinestones

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Quick post - project later

Just a quickie as I have to dash out. Please note that today is the deadline for registering for Christmas in July - and also that there are only TWO places left! Please click here for more details.

Will be back later with the promised teacher gift idea. Have found son's camera, charged up the completely flat batteries and just need to find a dry sunny spot to take photographs - ha!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Masculine Mocha Morning

Just realised a bit of a flaw in the old blogging plan... my camera is currently in Russia!

Daughter has gone off on the most amazing school trip – a Space Masterclass, where they will hear presentations about all manner of things, get to explore an astronaut training centre and even visit Mission Control and talk to actual astronauts in actual space! They landed overnight and I’ve had one text so far updating me with the fascinating fact that she is in Moscow and has a tube of toothpaste from the plane.

In an ideal world, I’d have something space-related to show you but this isn’t an ideal world so here’s one I made earlier using The Open Sea and that oh-so-gorgeous paper, Mocha Morning. I have almost a full pack of this paper and I don’t know why I just haven’t got round to using it much. Will have to rectify that with lots of masculine cards.

This card is very plain and simple; largely, I think, because I was in a hurry! But plain and simple is good sometimes – and certainly saves on postage costs!

Stamps: The Open Sea
Cardstock: Soft Suede, Very Vanilla, Early Espresso
Paper: Mocha Morning
Ink: Soft Suede, Crumb Cake

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Sunday, 1 July 2012

The return of Everyday Enchantment

It’s back! Remember that gorgeous Designer Series Paper from Sale-A-Bration? Everyday Enchantment it was called and it was probably my favourite paper of all time. I used loads and loads of it – so I’m delighted that SU has responded to demand and brought it back.

This paper will be available during July but only while stocks last, so don’t delay if you’d like to order please. It costs the usual price of £9.95.

And there’s a freebie, too! If you spend £45 during July, you can also order a bundle of co-ordinating brads and ribbons. I have some project samples to show you but need to show them to the ladies at a party on Wednesday first (I promised!). Will try to make some more in the meantime but can’t promise.

Meanwhile, click on the banner at the top of the page to see more about the offer.

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.