Monday, 22 May 2017

50 new In Color™ combinations!

It’s time! I have 50 brand new colour combinations to share with you… 10 for each of the fabulous new In Colors! Keep visiting on Mondays as I work my way through them all for my own personal Mix It Up Monday challenge... so called because I like to mix up the colours with our existing shades. 

Those who know how slow I am to adapt to change may have spotted an unlikely adjective in my opening sentence. “Fabulous?” That’s the one. I described the new In Colors as “fabulous”? Yes! I actually like them this time. 

For the record, I hardly ever like the new In Colors™ when they are first launched. Two years ago, I was dead against them, while last year I was merely indifferent. This year, I’m straight to loving them! It helps that I’ve been hoping for a zesty lime for YEARS, so Lemon Lime Twist goes straight in a number one for me. 

Tranquil Tide and Fresh Fig are both gorgeous and rich and, it pains me to say it, go absolutely fantastically with the outgoing Delightful Dijon. Fingers tightly crossed for a colour refresh next year which brings Dijon back!

Berry Burst is just what we need to go with the brights – it’s not as harsh as Melon Mambo, which is very fine by me. And Powder Pink looks set to knock Pink Pirouette into oblivion, as it’s warmer and, in my opinion, easier to use. 

Anyway, here are some combos for your delectation. For the first time, I’ve included some metallics, as several times in the past year I’ve wanted to use them but they’ve not featured in the combinations of the past.

Please Pin and share… but most of all, please create your own projects using these combinations!


Saturday, 20 May 2017

Caturday: Denny and Jack

This formidable-looking duo are Denny (above) and Jack. They live in Virginia, USA, with Liz... who is the cousin of Patsy, one of my friends and downlines. I’m guessing from their expressions that they’re not too keen on having their photo taken!

Patsy, incidentally, is the nickname of Alison, who was this year’s Heart of Stampin’ Up!® Award Winner. This award is given to just one demonstrator globally at each OnStage event, and recognises a demonstrator who “embodies the spirit of Stampin’ Up!’s Statement of the Heart”. Alison was given the award for “her kindness, her cheerful and generous personality, and above all for thinking of others before herself”. We are so proud of her!

Here she is, receiving her Heart of Stampin’ Up!® necklace from SU CEO Sara Douglas.


Friday, 19 May 2017

Sneak Peek: Pieces & Patterns with new In Colors

Here are some more of the really cute images from the brand new Pieces & Patterns stamp set, heading to a catalogue near you on 1st June. I really love this set - it’s fresh and fun and different, and the simple line drawings are really on trend.

New colours featured above are Fresh Fig, Tranquil Tide and Lemon Lime Twist (my favourite!). Which brings me to...

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Sneak peek: Pieces & Patterns

I LOVE this new stamp set. It has a dinosaur! Not that I’m particularly enamoured with dinosaurs, but this one is just SO cute! There are other cute images within the set, too, but I didn’t want to over-excite you so today, you just get the dinosaur, stamped in Tranquil Tide which, apparently, I’m “obsessed with”, according to my friend Kelly.

We were having a relaxing stamping afternoon while on a fantastic crafty weekend away. We spent four days in the stunning Peak District making fabulous projects, some Stampin’ Up!®, some not. This, and some other cards using the fabulous new Pieces & Patterns stamp set, were the result of a Monday afternoon chill-out session. Everyone was a little tired by then (to say the least), so we spread out and did our own thing for a while.

The view from our upstairs window. So lucky to have views like this within an hour of home.

A walk along the riverside

Since I got home, I have learned that these caves were formed naturally, during the Ice Age and were used by hunters as shelter in 13,000BC, which is simply mind-blowing. 

The lady next door's adorable puppy

Monday, 15 May 2017

Mix It Up Monday - 2015-17 finale and new catty sneak peek

It’s the last project of this round of Mix It Up Monday today, as I come to the end of the 2016-18 set of In Color charts. And, at the risk of putting my neck out, I’m patting myself on the back for making a project with all 50 colour colour combinations… even the horrible ones!

For this project, I finally have my pre-order so am introducing a stamp set I know you’re going to love because it will speak to us all. It’s called Crafting Forever and features these paintbrushes, some scissors (they even look like our paper snips!), a rubber stamp of course, some pens and fun sayings. As the mother of an artist and friend of many writers, as well as crafters of course, I can see this set getting a lot of use in this house!

The brick wall was an afterthought, as you can probably tell. So I made myself a smaller “plate” from thick chipboard, so I could emboss just part of the image. I impress myself sometimes. 

Colour-wise, I’m not a big fan of this combo – it seems a little dated to me. But I’m not going to let it get to me because now I can move on to the next set of In Color charts, which I will be publishing on my blog next Monday. Exciting times, eh?

Friday, 12 May 2017

In Color sneak peek - with Blooms and Wishes

Aren’t these new colours gorgeous? I’ve used Lemon Lime Twist (my favourite!) with Fresh Fig, Tranquil Tide and, from the current In Color collection, Sweet Sugarplum. And I think they all go together beautifully on this card, which I CASEd from Caroline Wright.

I can’t wait to start using these colours in earnest – my big box of goodies has finally arrived so I can get stuck in at last, with a sneak peek stamp set coming this way on Monday!

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Gifts of gold, with Botanical Builder Framelits and Gift Box Punch Board

This is the gift I sent out to customers who place an order of £25 or more during April, as a thank you for helping me promote to Gold. So, lots of gold glimmer paper on there, plus an opportunity to use some retiring items. At a glance, leaving us from these projects are the Botanical Blooms stamp set and co-ordinating Botanical Builder Framelits, Tin of Cards stamp set, Kraft cardstock and the Gift Box Punch Board I used to create the box.

The ribbon has already gone, as it was a Sale-a-Bration item but I couldn’t resist using it as it’s gold. And, as I’d promised a “gift of gold”, inside the boxes were some gold buttons.

Looking ahead, I’m excited to say my pre-order is due to arrive today, so maybe soon I will have some sneak peeks to show you! And, of course, some catalogues!

Monday, 8 May 2017

Mix It Up Monday: Sneak Peek - Bike Ride

A tiny sneak peek from another fabulous new stamp set from the upcoming catalogue. This one is called Bike Ride and, as you’d guess from the title but not from the image, it’s all about cycling. It features a cute bike, with accessories you can add such as a basket and, you guessed it, a little dog to pop inside. There are matching dies, too, so no fussy cutting required! 

I only managed a brief play with a friend’s set, so quickly stamped the dog for today’s Mix It Up Monday project, which uses the penultimate colour combination from my In Color charts. I honestly can’t believe I’ve managed to get this far without giving up! Only one more combo to go next week, then I will be revealing my much-anticipated colour combinations using the new colours on Monday, 22nd May. 

I thought I’d used this colour combo before, but it turns out I was close with my Dapper Flamingo, but omitted the grey. That’s no surprise to anyone who knows me, as I’m not a fan of grey. Which is an odd thing to say as I sit here typing this in a grey top and grey cardigan. I’m an enigma, that’s what I am. 

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Caturday: Rocket

Jigsaw > table
Table > floor
Hindering your progress > staying out of the way

This is the way of the cat. If they can do something to annoy you, they will. If this means sitting slap bang in the middle of your jigsaw, so be it. If that means they “accidentally” disrupt all those carefully sorted pieces, even better. Because then they will get your attention so they can cruelly snub you and walk away.

This is the way of the cat, and if you don’t get that, you will never appreciate the sheer joy when they deign to sit on you or rub around you, and you will never be a Cat Person.

This beauty is Rocket, who belongs to Charla, one of my “imaginary” stamping friends in the USA. When I saw this picture on Facebook, I just had to ask if I could borrow it for Caturday, because it’s just so “cat”.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Stamp Doctor - Four projects with Swirly Bird

Last Friday was my Stamp Doctor night, with a special clinic for Swirly Bird. This stamp set is so versatile that it can actually be quite daunting, so I came up with a set of projects to show off some of the fun things you can do with it. This was the first – everyone got to choose a piece of DSP from my retiring stash, then made an envelope with it, using the remaining pieces for their other three projects.

Well, those who stayed on track did. Some ladies went “off piste”, which is absolutely fine... the main thing is that they have fun and, as it is a Stamp Doctor clinic, that they go home feeling better!

Thursday, 4 May 2017

In Color 2017 Shares - a whole menu of choices for you!

Introducing the 2017-19 In Colors – and aren’t they fantastic this year? I can’t remember EVER liking so many of them so soon... it usually takes me at least a year or two!

I’ve put together a wide range of shares for you, to suit every pocket and every crafter. 
Please email me to reserve your spot! 

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Hostess club thank you gifts

My Virtual Hostess Club came to an end this month, so I decided to thank all the lovely ladies who have supported me over the past year or so with an extra gift. I printed labels saying “Thank you for sticking around”, made envelopes using my Envelope Punch Board and some retiring Mint Macaron cardstock and wrapped them all with some gorgeous Succulent Garden DSP. Inside each one, I put a pack of Stampin’ Dimensionals; the perfect gift for crafters who have stuck with me for so long!

I am now taking registrations for membership of my next round of the club. I really appreciate the support my club members give me so, to thank them, I make sure there are loads of benefits to being in the club. One thing not mentioned in the image below is that, if you hold a party during your host month, not only do your boost your workshop total, but you know that your party is going to hit £150 before anyone has even walked through the door!

Joining the club is a lot of fun so please get in touch if you’d like one of the slots!

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Please join me for the Birthday Wishes Challenge - and stamp for a great cause

Stampin’ Up!® has issued us with a challenge... to create 10,000 cards in a weekend. That’s a LOT of cards, but I know we can do it!

These cards will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House Charities, which provide free accommodation for families at specialist children's hospitals around the UK. The cards will be made available to the families who, during such a busy and stressful period in their lives, don’t have time to go shopping. 

Please join me for a fun afternoon creating birthday cards for this great cause. Make two of each design – keep one of each and leave one behind for the challenge. And guess what else you get to keep? A brand new set from the new Annual Catalogue!  

The workshop costs £16 – the price of the stamp set – and all materials will be provided. Please bring your own scissors, adhesives and craft kit. Plus, if you have them, black or grey ink pad, watercolour pencils and blender pen. 

If you’re a speedy stamper, feel free to bring your own supplies to make more cards - and stamp till you cramp!

NB: I will be taking this opportunity to use up some retired cardstock and DSP, so not all supplies used will be current. Basic card sketches and samples will be provided but colours and DSP designs may vary according to availability. 

DATE: Saturday, 24th June 2017, 1.30pm-4.30pm

Venue: My house in Derbyshire (directions available on request)
Cost: £16

Please bring: Usual craft kit including scissors and adhesives.  If you have them, please bring black or grey ink pad, watercolour pencils and blender pen. 

Closing date: Places are strictly limited. Registration will close automatically when all places are filled, or on 30th May, 11pm, whichever is sooner, as I will need to order the stamps on 1st June. If the form submits, you have a place, which is secured on receipt of payment. 

Any questions? Please email me!

Monday, 1 May 2017

Mix It Up Monday: Sneak Peek - This Little Piggy

You are going to LOVE this new stamp set from the brand new catalogue. It’s called This Little Piggy and features four cute pig images with fun sayings to match. One of my downlines was lucky enough to win this set at the OnStage demonstrator event in Amsterdam, and she kindly let me have a play with it at the weekend. 

So, with Mix It Up Monday and the last few remaining colour combination from my In Color charts in mind, I stamped my image in Basic Gray so that I could colour it when I got home. In retrospect, stamping it onto Pink Pirouette cardstock would have made my life easier as my ink pad is very old and tired now and I’ve never got round to reinking it. Perhaps I’ll add a reinker to my order tomorrow, when I send for my own pre-order products and new catalogues. It’s such an exciting time of year and I can’t wait to get my hands on new goodies.

If you want to be the first to order new products, you too can become a demonstrator. Sign up from 2nd-31st May (that’s tomorrow, not today!) and not only can you choose your kit from the fabulous range of pre-order products which are not available to the public until 1st June, but you will get EIGHT copies of the brand new catalogue to share with your friends. You’ll also get eight copies of the current catalogue, so you can start sharing products and taking orders straight away. 

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Caturday: Cobweb and Slinky... together

Now this NEVER happens, so I just had to grab a pic. Cobweb (front) and Slinky... the brother and sister who “couldn’t be separated because they love each other” (according to the Cats’ Protection lady in 2003) have not been this close to each other since early 2004, shortly after they joined our family and almost instantly shunned each other.

What’s changed? It’s the lure of new (to us) furniture and a new throw purchased protect it. There is also a new (to us) settee, and a matching throw to protect that, but they don’t face the French windows so don’t catch the sun.

And of course, this pastoral scene hides a bubbling resentment and mutterings of “my chair!”, “no, my chair!” ad infinitum.

Friday, 28 April 2017

Window Box Thinlits - tall box with link to tutorial

Here ’s another fabulous way to use the Window Box Thinlits – again courtesy of Kirsteen Gill, who has links to tutorials on her blog, here. It’s a very clever way of using the dies and simply involves adjusting the position of the Big Shot plates, so that only certain sections of the die cut through the cardstock. Take a look.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Window Box Thinlits - extra wide box with tutorial link

I promised you more projects using the Window Box Thinlits, so here’s another one. This was created by following a superb tutorial by the talented Kirsteen Gill, which you can find here. I have never been the type of person who can create “different” designs with our supplies, so am always very grateful when others find new ways to use our products, and this wider version of the Window Box is very clever indeed. Why not give it a try?

And in answer to your question – because I know you’re thinking it – no, the spotty belly band doesn’t cover a join... there is no join.

And in answer to your other question: why did I use peach when everyone knows I don’t like it? That’s because I tend to try new designs in my least favourite colours. Usually they go wrong but this one went right!

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Clearance rack updated!

Whoohoo! We always love it when the Clearance Rack is updated! At the time of typing this, there were lots of Halloween goodies available, plus some Christmas products and, notably, some 12x12" cardstock in Garden Green and Real Red - that one is definitely worth getting your hands on, if you can beat the demonstrator rush!

Don’t risk delays by emailing me as I’m at work today; please shop direct at my online store by clicking the image below. Check out the retiring list while you’re shopping as there are bargains to be had there, too!

Monday, 24 April 2017

Mix It Up Monday: Swirly Bird

It’s the final combination from the Dapper Denim In Color charts this week as I rapidly head towards the last few colour combinations for this round of Mix It Up Monday. Soon I will have a whole new set of charts to show you and I can start playing with the brand new colours. 

For today’s post, I’ve made a project using the super-versatile Swirly Bird stamp set. This set will be the subject of my Stamp Doctor clinic this Friday, but this one of the projects that got away. 

It uses three colours from the Subtles collection, which is not somewhere I tend to head too frequently! So it was quite a challenge but thankfully the Dapper Denim is there to hold everything together. 

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Caturday: City ginger

Here’s a big fluffy ginger cat spotted by my daughter on her way to uni in Derby. She keeps seeing this one and, inevitably, is working on befriending it. As long as she doesn’t bring it home, that’s fine by me!

Friday, 21 April 2017

Window Box Thinlits basket

I’ve been sitting on (not literally!) lots of projects made with the Window Box Thinlits as I wanted the ladies as last night’s party to be the first to see them. I wanted to show the versatility of this fabulous set which, used at its simplest, makes fun hexagon boxes, but can also be adapted to produce so much more.

This little basket is simply made by cutting off some of the flaps and sides and adding a handle. It’s the perfect size for a roll of ribbon, ideal for a hostess gift.

I love this colour combination of Sweet Sugarplum, Rich Razzleberry, Blushing Bride and Mint Macaron, and will be very sorry to see Mint Macaron leave us in a few weeks.

Seriously, if you need to order anything from the retiring list, please don’t delay as they are selling like hot cakes.  In fact, as last night’s party, I put the order in there and then, so we could check availability as we went along, and unfortunately a few people couldn’t get what they wanted. For instance, the rhinestones shown here are already out of stock – the good news is, a reconfigured pack of rhinestones will be in the new catalogue.

To place your orders, simply click the image below, and head to my online store. Thank you!

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

In The Meadow: Retiring!

Don’t miss out! In The Meadow is a beautiful set, featuring natural images, which is on the retiring list. I love this set and have used it a lot so it would be a valuable addition to your stash. Please don't put off ordering, as items are selling out daily. 

The safest way is to order through my online store (link below), rather than trying to get hold of me as I am back at work this week so may not see your email straight away. Thanks!

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.