Saturday, 30 September 2017

Caturday: Yes I can see you, actually


Staring match on a local walk. No progress made - I caved in and walked off first.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Hearts Come Home illuminated card


After lunch at Saturday’s workshop, we went straight into Christmas mode, with this stunning festive scene made from the Hearts Come Home bundle.

It’s really quite simple... take half a sheet of cardstock, cut lengthways and scored at the centre point. Cut 5in off and attach vellum to replace the missing front.

Take the 5in piece and score at 1in intervals to create the zig-zag piece at the front, to mount those beautiful houses.

And the beauty of this card is that you can light it from behind using a battery tealight...



Painted Harvest - a busy morning's work


These acetate boxes are a dream – sized perfectly for our C6 envelopes, they look classy and are easy to decorate. These are some of the projects from Saturday’s All-Day Autumn Craftathon.

And that gorgeously rich colour combo? It’s Cajun Craze, Cherry Cobbler, Old Olive, Lemon Lime Twist and Smoky Slate.






Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Painted Harvest tiles


Saturday was my Autumn All-Day Craftathon, which was great fun; those ladies are always fun to be around!

We kicked off events by stamping on these tiles using the gorgeous Painted Harvest stamp set and this colour combo:

  • Cajun Craze
  • Cherry Cobbler
  • Old Olive
  • Smoky Slate

Once they were done, I took the tiles outside to seal them, so they are waterproof and can be used for hot and cold drinks. At the end of the day, we added foam dots to the base so they don’t scratch any surfaces. Here are some questions from the day:

What kind of tiles are they?
Tumbled Limestone, 10cm square, 60p each from Topps Tiles. However, the website does say they are discontinued, so you may have to shop around.  I have also used Tumbled Marble, but the ink bleeds more on this - it's fine for Stazon or Archival Black though.

What kind of ink works?
For best results, Stazon or SU’s Archival Black is the answer. Classic Stampin’ pads do work, however, if you are prepare to put up with the ink bleeding a little. Wetter ink pads bleed more, so don’t re-ink beforehand.

How do you seal them? 
I used Plastikote Clear Matt sealer  which is available from The Range, Amazon and eBay. It stinks, so use in a well-ventilated area, and apply three or four thin coats, with at least 20 mins between coats. The smell (pear drops!) may well linger for a few days but I promise you, it will go away eventually!

So if you know one of Saturday’s guests, you’ll know what youre getting for Christmas now, as one lady ordered her tin of Plastikote there and then, from her phone!

Monday, 25 September 2017

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Caturday: Ginger cat needs a home!



I paid a visit to the cat shelter last weekend, for the first time in nearly a year, and couldn’t believe how much it had changed. There had been a lot of issues with maintenance - cat wee rots woodwork! - and there were concerns that it would have to close.

The solution was to convert half the shelter into and extension of the luxury boarding cattery, which Jane also has in her garden, and use that to raise much-needed funds. Boarding cats stay in VERY comfortable rooms, with a double bed, television and outdoor run, while the cats needing homes stay in the neighbouring shelter.

Here’s one of the shelter cats - I don’t know his name, sorry – poking around between two of the boarding lodges. This poor cat is very shy, so has been at the shelter with his brothers for over a year now. They’re all beautiful but need a lot of patience.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Best Birds gift and card combo


A gift for one of my club members – she has two slots in the club, so gets a double present, which meant I could give her a stamp set from her wish list. Love how the In Colors go together beautifully for this project, which gave the Best Birds bundle a rare outing.


Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Some non-Halloween cat punch projects

Here are the cat punch projects I demoed at a party recently... the host is the only one of my customers who actually makes Halloween projects, so I was keen to show its versatility with some generic cards and gifts.


Pizza box
We sell these fab little boxes in the Autumn/Winter catalogue. They are food safe with a shiny interior, but the exterior can be stamped or coloured. I mixed some rubbing alcohol with a few drops of Cajun Craze reinker and sprayed it all over to get this lovely effect.

It’s embellished with a black rhinestone. I’m quite embarrassed to admit I didn’t even see these in the Autumn/Winter catalogue so have been colouring my silver ones with a Sharpie! And, of course, that gorgeous black vintage crochet trim – a must have, in my opinion!


The notecards
Inside I placed three 3" square notecards - we now sell the mini envelopes again, in the Autumn/Winter catalogue. They all use the Spooky Night DSP but the reverse sides, which can be used for any occasion (not weddings perhaps, unless it’s a Goth wedding!).


I made a belly band to go round it – you can just see the pumpkins peeping out from the inside, but you can’t see them when the box is closed. 




The badge
Inside the box I also popped a cat badge mounted on a decorated backing card.

To make these badges, I punched out 6-8 pieces of the white card that backs Designer Series Paper and stuck it together using Tombow, so that it will slip and is easier to line up. I topped it with a punched cat and then Versamarked all over the front so I could emboss it with clear powder, two or three times. Finally a badge clip was stuck to the bag using a heat gun.

Hope you like!

Monday, 18 September 2017

Mix It Up Monday: Winter Wonder Textured Impressions Embossing Folder


Bring out the Powder Pink for another colour combination from my In Color charts and another Mix It Up Monday project. 

I had a spot (or two) of bother with this card as the unlucky recipient will notice. I managed to get Tombow EVERYWHERE and, in the case of Silver Foil, nothing will clean it off. I didn’t have time to start again so only managed to produce a card suitable for posting thanks to the power of photo editing.  



This is the Winter Wonder Textured Impressions Embossing Folder. If you’ve seen it in the Autumn/Winter catalogue, then I salute you because it’s almost as if SU don’t want anyone to buy it, it’s so hidden away. (Page 37, if you’ve given up looking). It’s gorgeous, it will make your Christmas cardmaking an absolute breeze but my top tip is this: if you’re using Silver Foil, stick to SNAIL rather than Tombow.  






Saturday, 16 September 2017

Caturday: shy kitty


On a short walk around a small Derbyshire village the other week, we saw not one but SEVEN cats... every last one of them an anti-social misery. This one stared at us from a fair distance away in a field. And that's all I got...

Friday, 15 September 2017

Cat punch birthday card


I did it at last! I managed to create a non-standard cat... in Lemon Lime Twist. And why not? This is a fun card which shows you can use your cat punch with all your Designer Series Papers, and for all occasions.

For more cat projects, including a card on this theme and some really cute mini cards in a pizza box, please visit my Facebook page for a cat project video! (Give us a like while you’re there, why don’t you, please?)


Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Forest scene with Card Front Builder Dies


This card was inspired by our summer holiday in Scotland, so features:

  • Wooden boards - made with the Pinewood Planks embossing folder)
  • A little red house in the woods - made with the Hometown Greetings Edgelits 
  • Lots of Scots pine trees - Card Front Builder Dies, with each tree hand trimmed to expose the long trunks
  • A shy deer - Cart Front Builder dies again.

Two of the main products I used are from the Autumn/Winter catalogue and are actually Christmas products... but don’t let that stop you; as I’ve shown here, they are suitable for year-round use, especially when trying to recreate the Abernethy Forest in paper form!

Monday, 11 September 2017

Mix It Up Monday: sparkly dragonflies


It’s time for another colour combination from my In Color charts and another Mix It Up Monday project… or two projects in this case. 

My club members always get a gift of SU product in their birthday month and September is Mandy’s birthday. Here’s her card and present, made to co-ordinate and also to fit this week’s colour challenge. 


It’s hard to see from the photo but the dragonflies are cut from Marina Mist cardstock and then painted all over with Wink of Stella to give them some sparkle to go with the silver foil and the rhinestones. Behind the dragonfly the white cardstock is embossed with the Pinewood Planks Dynamic Textured Impressions Embossing Folder… a little hint as to what was inside!

I made the gift package using the Envelope Punch Board, just adding an extra crease all round, a half inch further along to give the envelope more depth. 



Saturday, 9 September 2017

Caturday: Cobweb makes the most of the weather


Oops, I could have sworn I’d scheduled a Caturday post for today but evidently not, so here’s one now, better late than never!

It’s our very own Cobweb, enjoying the best of the British weather. Above, possible the last of the summer sun...

... and below, making the most of the rain by licking the water off the rooflight.


Friday, 8 September 2017

Painted Harvest in rich purple shades


The first Friday of each month is Crafty Friday – a relaxing class suitable for all abilities. There is often an element of freestyle, where we all begin from the same starting point and then go our own way, if we wish. 

So we all made the card on the left, then moved onto a simple easel card. The Painted Harvest stamp set proved really popular, especially in these gorgeous rich colours of Berry Burst, Fresh Fig, Soft Suede, Tranquil Tide and Lemon Lime Twist. Yum!

To see the projects made by the six ladies who came to the class, please visit my Facebook page



Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Pieces and Patterns gift wrap


I LOVE these dinosaurs and I LOVE Lemon Lime Twist, too... so I made my friend and helper Kelly this cute gift bag to carry her birthday present. Yes it’s a stamp set and no, I don’t have measurements, sorry, I just winged it. I do remember that I needed to use 12x12 for the base, if that’s any help. (No, it isn’t really, is it?)

Monday, 4 September 2017

Mix It Up Monday: Cat punch birthday card


Continuing my campaign to prove that you don’t need to celebrate Halloween to enjoy the new cat punch… here’s a fun birthday card in this week’s Mix It Up Monday colour combination from my In Color charts. It’s a great combo but I wish I’d made more of the Old Olive as it does get a bit lost.

Cat-wise, I’m loving the cat in an ombre Berry Burst – I knew I’d come round to colourful cats eventually. 






Saturday, 2 September 2017

Caturday goes large: Snow leopard


A little bigger than the usual stars of Caturday, this snow leopard was spotted (geddit?) at Highland Wildlife Park on our visit to Scotland last month.

She’s a beautiful creature and posed very nicely for this photo. In case you’re concerned about space, the pair of snow leopards frequently have access to the huge hillside area  beyond this fence; they take it in turns with the neighbouring Turkmenian markhor (never together - that would be disastrous!) and enjoy exploring the scents they leave behind.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Cat punch - gift-wrapped!


I’ve wanted to share this card on here for ages but have had to wait for my friend and able helper Kelly’s birthday to come and go!

But now I can reveal all... along with the link to the brand new Autumn/Winter catalogue, which is where you will find this fabulous cat punch and the DSP which fits it perfectly.

I’ve placed the cat in a box by cutting off the end from a wooden crate die-cut from Kraft cardstock (yes it’s back! Page 12). The background is watercoloured in two of Kelly’s favourite colours: Soft Sky and Smoky Slate and the words are stamped with the Labeler Alphabet, which is really coming into its own now that I have cat cards to make!

Find the new Autumn/Winter catalogue here!






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.