Saturday, 31 December 2016

Caturday: Another plea for Tutheran, who desperately needs a home


It’s very nearly 2017 and one of my New Year’s resolutions has to be to find a home for this boy... as soon as possible. He’s not getting any younger and I’m sure the cold weather of the last few days can’t be good for a cat who has to live outside. He’s not an easy cat to rehome for the following reasons:
  • He’s black and apparently these are the hardest cats to rehome (not sure why, I LOVE black cats!)
  • He’s probably about five or six years old, so not a cute kitten
  • If I’m being honest, he is a bit thick
  • He was neutered late so retains his alpha male tendencies, which means he is aggressive towards other cats, particularly other males – this is why he can’t stay here with us
  • He’s very nervous and can occasionally lash out
  • He’s never, as far as we know, lived indoors, so presumably isn’t litter trained and will also go mad when cooped up... initially.


Ok, those are the negatives. Here are the positives:
  • Six months ago he was completely wild and wouldn’t go near a human at all. He is now (mostly) tame, so think how much tamer he could become in a loving, patient home?
  • He loves being stroked
  • He used to lash out when we attempted to stroke him... this has turned into a gentle pat when you stop stroking him... in a “more please” kind of way
  • He’s neutered and, at the same time, tested negative for FIV
  • He purrs like a tractor
  • When you pick him up (yes, we can even pick him up now!), he purrs and snuggles under your chin
  • He loves sitting on your knee
  • He’s been treated for fleas!

So what we’re looking at is a potentially perfect pet, but who needs a patient home with:
  • Cat people – you have to know what you’re getting into, possible aggression initially, possible “accidents”... until it’s safe to let him out
  • No small children, due to his nervous nature and therefore potential for aggression
  • No other cats, unless you can keep them separate
  • Preferably no dogs
  • A reasonable distance from my house, so he isn’t tempted to return.

Please, please, please share this post so we can find Tutheran a home for the New Year! It’s vital that this is with a cat person who is willing to put in the work to give him a forever home. Thank you!


Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Pretty Pines candle holder


This was my last-minute Christmas make – a couple of candle holders from recycled coffee jars. Unfortunately, I completely forgot to use the frosted berries I had leftover from last year’s wreath project and I didn’t have quite as much fake snow as I thought I had... which made it tricky to insert the lighted candle. But they did look very festive on our Christmas table...


Saturday, 24 December 2016

Friday, 23 December 2016

Festive llama banner


You know when you have a million and one things to do and should be crossing something off your list not adding to it? Isn’t this always the moment you have an “amazing” idea that you simply must carry out? That’s what happened this week.


Inspired by a beautiful pop-up llama/alpaca Christmas card, I just had to make a festive llama banner to send back in return.

And this is the result. A string of behatted llamas with some festive bling in between. I wanted to make pompoms but didn’ t have the time or resources, so compromised with some punched shapes instead.


The llamas are backed with a plain die-cut to sandwich the Baker’s Twine, and the stamped circles are backed with another one the same, just in case they flip around. The pompoms on the hats are carefully trimmed from the Whisper White pompom trim. Some of them are a bit ropey but needs must!

Ok, I’m off to hand it over, reluctantly... (wish I’d made two!)

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Sneak Peek: Window Shopping


You are going to LOVE this bundle, I promise. This die and greeting stamp are just a very small part of a set which will prove to be incredibly versatile.

For now, take a look at this CASE of a catalogue project. I painted some colourful splodges on some watercolour paper. Honestly, they looked AWFUL and I considered not using them.

But when I taped them into position with some hidden washi tape and placed the die-cut piece on top (using the Window Box Thinlits dies), that’s when the magic happened. I finished both cards off with a greeting from the Window Shopping stamp set and some randomly scattered sequins. Job done.


Monday, 19 December 2016

Mix It Up Monday: Beautiful You



This stamp set is causing a stir as everybody wants it! It’s from the new Spring/Summer catalogue and is called Beautiful You. I kept things really simple as I’m a bit crafted out at the moment. 

I just stamped the image in black then stamped with the paint stroke to colour it in – it’s very simple… and perfect for today’s Mix It Up Monday project using another colour combination from my In Color charts


Saturday, 17 December 2016

Caturday: George, Millie, Arnie and Belle


Four for the price of one today! I’m running short of cat pictures so thought I’d show you one of the pages of the 2017 cat shelter calendar.

Last Caturday I had a comment from Tammy in the USA who asked if I could send a calendar to the USA. The answer is YES – I send quite a few out to blog readers all over the world, including one which headed off to Australia yesterday.

So, Tammy, in case you’re still interested, I have collected a calendar from the shelter for you, ready to send. Can you email me please with more information? Thanks!

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Sale-a-Bration sneak peek - Hey Chick!


If this was the only stamp set in the Sale-a-Bration brochure (it isn’t, don’t panic!), I would be happy. I am so excited about this set as it combines two of my great crafting loves; animal images and the potential for watercolouring.

Plus, the images are cute without being “cutesy” and comical without having to wonder if the pun works if you say it in an American accent (yeah, yeah, I know there’s more than one “American accent” – it’s the same here, too).

I had lots of fun painting up some images from this set and have even managed to turn a few of them into cards, including this one of course, for my good friend Amanda. Who, as far as I know, has never expressed any interest in chickens whatsoever.

So how do you get this set? You have two options:

1. Join Stampin ’ Up!® NOW and you can order it in a week – free with a £45 order.
2. Wait until 4th January and get it free with a £45 order.

Either way, it’s FREE, which is everybody’s favourite kind of stamp set, right?

Monday, 12 December 2016

Mix It Up Monday: Dragonfly Dreams gift pouch


I don’t know about you but I’ve just about had my fill of making Christmas cards, and am looking forward to all the new products on the horizon in the Spring/Summer catalogue and Sale-a-Bration brochure. Here’s a sneak peek of what’s coming up… made up in a colour combination from my latest set of In Color charts in celebration of Mix It Up Monday.

These are two of the pouches I created for customers who ordered during the Online Extravaganza; as promised, if they use the code, they receive a thank you gift. It’s a pack of autumnal wooden embellishments… hope that doesn’t spoil the surprise for those who haven’t received theirs yet!

What do you think of the dragonfly dies? I suspect these are going to be really popular!




Saturday, 10 December 2016

Caturday: last call for calendars


These two cats are still at Woodland Nook and both feature on the 2017 calendar. If you’d like a calendar, please let me know ASAP as I plan to drop by next week to pick them up.


Friday, 9 December 2016

Mini one-sheet wonder with Hang Your Stocking



Today is Crafty Friday… a relaxed morning class for a small group of crafters. We take things slowly, learn new techniques and there’s usually a freestyle element to the event. 

Today we will be making boxes, just in time for our Christmas gift wrapping needs. 

But before that, I realise I haven’t yet shown you what we made last month, when we created a mini One-Sheet Wonder. This is where you stamp randomly all over a piece of cardstock, then cut it up to make several projects. Usually you stamp on a full sheet of cardstock but, due to time restraints we stamped on a half sheet, A5. 

The trick with a One-Sheet Wonder is always to start with your largest stamp, and work down to your smallest. Also, when you cut up your pieces, don’t feel you can’t add more images if you see any ‘bare’ areas which need filling in. 

These are the three cards I made and showed to the ladies, before letting them loose to copy whichever ones they liked, or create their own designs.  I love these clean, fresh colours - Real Red, Dapper Denim, Soft Sky, Old Olive and Pear Pizzazz. 


Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Pretty Pines gift voucher pouch


Yes, I’m playing catch-up. The Garden Green project shown here was designed by my friend and helper Kelly for my last Hygge Night, where we created a wreath and a gift pouch. When a customer requested two gift vouchers, I decided to make a similar pouch in Cherry Cobbler (mainly because I’d run out of Garden Green).

I really love both projects, but have always been a sucker for Cherry Cobbler. It’s created using the Envelope Punch Board; just pick any size and then cut a simple strip of cardstock to wrap around it to seal. As long as you only stick your embellishments to the Crumb Cake strip, it will slide on and off so you can access the voucher inside.


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.