Friday, 15 November 2019

Perfectly Plaid goes green... and silver


Perfectly Plaid is one stamp set which you won’t regret adding to your Christmas craft stash. With the co-ordinating Pine Tree Punch, you can create great cards, tags and even bunting in minutes.

I’ve combined it here with the Feels Like Frost Designer Series Paper (silver side up) to add a touch of festive glitz.

When using a dark card base like the Mossy Meadow I've used here, you’ll want to line the inside of your card, either with a paper insert or a layer of Whisper White cardstock. Decorate it for your favourite recipients, or just stamp a simple greeting if you’re in a hurry. 


Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Team rewards slider pen boxes



There’s a big Stampin' Up!® event in Germany this weekend called OnStage Live... but unfortunately none of my team members, including me, were in a position to make the trip. 

Instead, we held our own event – OffStage Derby – with demonstrations, Make & Takes and even our own awards ceremony. I decided to award certain team members with these lovely Stampin’ Up!® pens in a handmade box. It’s simply a tray with a piece of DSP wrapped around it but the black foil cardstock adds a touch of glamour and the sentiment on top is sincerely meant! 


Rewards were not for top sales or recruiting but for making an extra effort – for example, one team member has worked tirelessly to create videos and blog posts and has finally been rewarded with two customers. Effort pays off in the end!



Make any sized box, to suit your gift, by drawing a plan around your gift on some grid paper. 



Monday, 11 November 2019



If you love Waterfront, you’ll also love Snow Front. And if you’re thinking “I have Waterfront so don’t need Snow Front as well,” then I’m afraid you’re very much mistaken as the two sets complement each other perfectly.

This was one of my Crafty Friday projects this week; the ladies could choose to make one of these designs or go their own way. Everyone made a fabulous card and was surprised at how easy it was!

I love the watercolour effect this stamp set produces, thanks to the different tones within each stamp. And I love its versatility, too; as well as Christmas, it would be great for birthdays, masculine cards, sympathy cards and much more. Trees are very much appreciated in our family so I can see it getting lots of use for birthdays!

The snowy hills on the left card are made by sponging Pool Party above a piece of torn scrap paper. My tip is to stamp the trees first, then add the hills. 

Bonus tip: When creating a scene with stamp such as Snow Front or Waterfront, it’s a good idea to practise on a piece of scrap card or grid paper first, until you are happy with the arrangement of images. 


Friday, 8 November 2019

Snow Front ornament



Snow front is my stamp set of choice for my November classes so I’ve been exploring different projects and techniques with this versatile set.

It has lots of fun elements which appeal to me – not least... TREES! I love trees and am always drawn to tree stamp sets in the catalogue. With the Autumn/Winter catalogue, this means I’m spoilt for choice and inevitably cave in and buy all of my favourites. This one is gorgeous - the watercoloured look of the stamps means it’s really difficult to go wrong and you can create some fun, festive scenes in minutes.

But why stop at cardstock? I stamped on this MDF circle to make a Christmas ornament to go on my tree. Or you could use it as an extra special gift tag, the choice is yours. We’ll be making this at my Crafty Friday class this morning and I’m confident they’ll love it.

After stamping my images, I used a fine paintbrush to add some Frost White Shimmer paint to the cottage roof and the trees, then spritzed the whole lot with a mix of Champagne Mist Shimmer Paint and alcohol to give it a fantastic shimmer. Not sure this comes across in the photo but it is extremely shimmery!

PS: I’ve just noticed one of my rhinestones has fallen off! I think Glue Dots would help to keep them on the MDF surface. 

The MDF circle was a little dark so I swiped it with Whisper White craft ink before I began stamping. Bonus tip: stamp your scene onto a circle of scrap cardstock or paper before you commit to the project! 


Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Snow Front one-layer thank you cards



I actually really like Simple Stamping, although it can be a challenge at times, when you're just itching to use your shiny new products.

Thankfully, the shiny new product in this case was Snow Front, one of the most versatile stamp sets in the Autumn/Winter catalogue. It’s what I call “a stamper’s stamp set” which I know sounds a little silly because, well, aren’t they all? But there are those of us who love colouring, those who love assembling projects and those who love the art of stamping to create a scene. Or maybe it just depends on your mood at the time!

You can see from the stack of cards that they’re virtually identical. And if I tell you that I made all of these and more in half an hour, I think you’ll guess that I used the Stamparatus. It’s a real boon for bulk crafting!

You don't always have to place your card in the corner of the Stamparatus. Because my images were overlapping the edge of the project, I marked a place on my grid paper and placed my card within the lines each time. This wouldn't work for super-precise stamping (eg if you were embossing and needed to stamp exactly in the same spot) but it's ideal for a project like this, where "near enough" is good enough!
 

Monday, 4 November 2019

Fox in a box... and on a box


It was my friend Donna who accidentally gave me the idea to put a shaker dome inside a pizza box lid, so it seemed only fitting that I should use this same idea to package her birthday gift. And, as her gift was a fox brooch (she loves foxes), this image from Nature’s Beauty was ideal. It’s coloured with Watercolour Pencils (Assortment 2) and blender pens.

The ribbon is actually four pieces, all held together with Glue Dots. Why make life difficult for yourself? I started with a loop, joined at the back. A second loop goes around the centre, again joined at the back. Then I cut two more pieces to poke out from beneath.


Friday, 1 November 2019

Simple Stamping onto gold foil-edged cards



I don't know about you but when Christmas gets closer and that dreaded final posting date looms, I no longer have time for fancy craft projects? I know that's a way off yet but I like to inspire my customers to make #simplestamping projects such as this one, which I made with my Cuppa & Card ladies this month. The foil-edged cards do a lot of the work for you!

Yes, I confess I used dies to make my sample but you could easily cut them out with scissors - and, in fact, that’s just what we did at the Cuppa & Card sessions.

 Because the border is a shiny foil surface, you're probably safe to stamp onto it and it should wipe off but, to be on the safe side, we masked the border with a sticky note before stamping the bough. 
 

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Peaceful Boughs in metallics and white

 
Waste not, want not... here's the missing piece from the pizza box lid, refashioned into a layer for a co-ordinating card.

I made two versions of this card for my class as I know some of hte ladies prefer stamping to standing up to use the Big Shot, but I confess I like the Tin Tile Background version more; I just love the look of that embossing folder.

To get this look with the metallic thread, lay a piece of double-sided tape on your project then fold the thread around in a figure of 8 fashion. When there's enough, seal it on top with another piece of tape and cover it up with your top layer. 



Monday, 28 October 2019

Peaceful Boughs Christmas ornament in gold pizza box



I do love a woodland theme... and particularly a woodland-themed Christmas ornament, so it wouldn't be the festive season without one of these making its way into my craft classes!

I bought some MDF hearts from eBay, painted them white and then set to crafting by stamping them with the Birch Background stamp and Peaceful Boughs.

I embossed the boughs with clear embossing powder on top of the Mossy Meadow (hurrah for the Stamparatus!) and, because the Crumb Cake Birch image still wasn't quite dry that picked up some of the powder, too. I call this a happy accident! There's even a hint of glitter!

The box is die-cut (look out for the missing piece coming soon!) and given a window sheet insert which is stamped in Whisper White ink and heat set, then we wrapped our ornaments in stamped black tissue paper ready to give as a lovely handcrafted gift.

I don't like glitter because it can end up in our oceans but still have quite a bit left so I now only use it when mixed with glue or embossing powder. Here I mixed it with the clear embossing powder to stop it from going astray. It adds a touch of glitz to an otherwise quite understated project. 
 

Friday, 25 October 2019

Simple Stamping with Peaceful Boughs



You don't need a lot of products to get started in stamping... something which I think we forget at times!

The card on the left just uses stamps, three ink pads and a Whisper White notecard, and yet it's still lovely (although I say so myself).

For the card on the right, I stepped things up a little with some extra stamping, some gold embellishments from the new Christmastime is Here Suite and some subtle copper stamping.

Simple stamping can be as simple as you like! My tip when bulk making is to start simple and then only add the extras if you still have time.

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Nature's Beauty meets Feels Like Frost

If only real winters were as beautiful as the Feels Like Frost Designer Series Paper!

I've used this pack for loads of projects already and it still shows no signs of running out. The beauty of this pack is that you have lovely wintry views on one side, and white and silver foil designs on the other, which you can colour, brayer, sponge... you name it, you can do it.

This was the Make & Take for a party on Friday evening; guests could choose their piece of paper so all their cards were different.

Cut your Designer Series Paper slightly smaller than the white panel on the front of these Silver Foil-Edged Cards and you get the appearance of an extra layer without adding bulk or weight. 



Monday, 21 October 2019

Christmas blues with Peaceful Boughs


Got the Christmas blues already? Even though I'm a bit of a traditionalist and usually favour red and green for my Christmas projects, I do like this combo of Blueberry Bushel, Real Red and Whisper White, with a splash of silver. I used Stazon to stamp onto the silver foil because it's a permanent ink which dries quickly.

Using the Stamparatus for embossing is a real game-changer. It means you can ink the stamp more than once and stamp repeatedly to get more ink on the page before embossing. I always “double up” when embossing in white; I use White Craft ink AND White embossing powder to get a really crisp and clear look.  


Friday, 18 October 2019

Nature's Beauty gets the feminine touch


Add a feminine touch to the Nature's Beauty stamp set by using a piece of floral Designer Series Paper. This is from the Perennial Essence collection, which has a distinctive impressionist vibe.

This is the gorgeous Nature's Beauty stamp set - buy this and you'll be supporting Mental Heath Europe, which will receive £2.50 from the sale of each stamp set sold in Europe. If you're in a different market, ask your demonstrator which mental health charity will benefit.

Don't attempt to glue your ribbon down – it looks more natural when it's appears to be free. I simply taped this piece of ribbon at the back, then tied the embellishment around it using linen thread.


Wednesday, 16 October 2019

#Simplestamping for Christmas with Peaceful Boughs



Peaceful Boughs has definitely become my go-to stamp set for Christmas projects.

We used it at my Crafty Friday session last week to make this beautiful shaker dome pizza box but it's just as good for simpler projects such as this one. This would be a great design for mass producing Christmas cards as it's just one layer, stamped, with some ribbon around it, stuck onto a pre-cut foil-edged card. Quick and easy, but pretty effective.

If you want to create the one-layer look, use a fairly pale green ink for the boughs; I've used Pear Pizzazz here with Soft Suede pine cones stamped on top. I've tried all of the darker greens and the pine cones don't stand out enough. 
 

Monday, 14 October 2019

Pizza box with shaker dome lid


Let's start the week off with an over-the-top, complicated project, shall we? Actually it's not as complicated as it first appears; it's just that I've overstuffed my dome and didn't have enough pizza boxes to make another one.



In fact, the hardest part of this project was cutting out the dome shape from the lid of the pizza box as you have to get through quite a lot of layers and the inside of the box has a plastic coating to make it food safe. Once that was done, it was just a case of assembling the pieces in the right order.

When die-cutting foil, you need either a really unblemished cutting plat on top, or a piece of scrap paper to protect it. Otherwise you will get imprints from the plate in the delicate foil surface. 

 

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Nature's Beauty: masculine/feminine



Oops, looks like Friday’s project didn’t post! Anyway, better late than never and yes, I know I've shared a card with this very same design before but I just can't get enough of it and wanted to show you how it can look in different colourways.

Here I made a masculine version using Come Sail Away Designer Series Paper as the background, and a feminine version using polka dot pink paper from Bird Ballad. In both cases, I sponged around the edges and bottom of the DSP to give it some depth.

Even Sahara Sand was a little too dark for this project, so I stamped off onto scrap paper first. Using the Stamparatus meant I could line the stamp up perfectly to repeat the image and create a subtle background for my woodland creatures.

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.