Monday, 27 May 2019

Wedding card? It's a Piece of Cake

Pretty cards are a challenge for me so I struggled with this wedding card for my brother, who finally married his childhood sweetheart at the weekend, 40 years after they first met!

Eventually, I settled on the Piece of Cake Bundle, which has a lovely wedding cake image.

I used a watercoloured background, in Blushing Bride with a hint of Pool Party, then popped up the cut-out cake, which I'd stamped in Blushing Bride, Pool Party and the new colour, Rococo Rose. The greeting (Better Together - retiring) is stamped in Rococo Rose and embossed using clear embossing powder (the Stamparatus is invaluable for this technique).

It's all framed with a stitched rectangle frame, which I embossed using the Country Floral 3D embossing folder, a Sale-a-Bration item which is carrying over to the new catalogue.

Some self-adhesive sequins finish it all off.

Friday, 24 May 2019

Crafting with friends... and the Share What You Love DSP

Don’t miss out on the Share What You Love Designer Series Paper, as it’s really gorgeous – you get twice as many sheets as in a standard pack, so why not share with a friend?
  Crafting is always better with friends and I spent a lovely weekend with some crafty friends recently, where we each provided a project... not all cardmaking and not all Stampin' Up!® This, however, was a Stampin’ Up!® card project using beautiful products, some of which are retiring very soon.

I’ve used a variety of stamp sets – recognise any of them?

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Masculine cards using Rooted in Nature

The WI group I craft with each month were saying how difficult it is to make cards for men, so this month I set out to prove them wrong.

Difficult as it may be to believe, men are people too, and they like many of the same things as us. What I don't approve of are cards made to look like shirts and ties, because I don't think I know any men who actually enjoy wearing a tie. And you wouldn't give a woman a card with a bra on it, would you?

So I made these projects using the Rooted in Nature bundle, in masculine colours, with linen thread instead of ribbon, and tasteful wooden elements instead of bling. It's not that difficult, is it?

Monday, 20 May 2019

Sneak peek: Come Sail Away Suite


Here's your first sneak peek (from me) from the new catalogue - from the gorgeous Come Sail Away Suite. I loved this suite so much that I think I bought the whole lot!

Something you will want to stock up on now are the Happiness Blooms Memories & More Notecards and Envelopes as these are retiring but go fantastically well with the new Memories & More cards. 

I asked the audience on Facebook and Instagram which watercolour backgrounds I should use out of my latest batch and they chose these. I'm still not sure about the lighthouse one but I love the one with the seaweeds and can't wait to add even more stamps to my seaside/nautical collection. 


Friday, 17 May 2019

2019-2010 Stampin’ Up!® In Color™ combinations are here!

New In Color™ combinations are here!

Please click the link to be taken to my Facebook post (you don’t need to be a member) to see this year’s colour charts. If you are a Facebook member, please like and share the post so that as many people as possible can enjoy the colour combinations. And if you enjoy the colour charts, please leave me a recommendation. Thank you!

In Color™ Comparisons

Lots of people ask how the new colours compare to existing and past colours, so I have made these comparison images to show you. The slightest change in shade can make all the difference to a project; for example, I think Calypso Coral is fresh and clean, but Terracotta Tile is a shade or two darker and would look more vintage. See what you think...

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Autumnal Floating Frame

This is another floating frame card - or cards, as you get two for one with this lovely technique, which makes all the effort worthwhile.

I've stamped various leaves from Rooted in Nature in Cajun Craze, Mossy Meadow, Old Olive and Pumpkin Pie... although in retrospect, I think using three colours makes it easier to space them out evenly.

Check out this post for my workaround if you don't have Press ’n’ Seal. 


Monday, 13 May 2019

Peaceful Place stamped onto Wood Textures DSP

What a beautiful stamp set this is. It's called Peaceful Place and I'm delighted that it will carry over into the upcoming catalogue. Something that won't be carrying over is the lovely Wood Textures Designer Series Paper, which I've stamped directly onto for this project, then watercoloured on top. It makes a lovely effect and I'll really miss this paper. That lovely Old Olive Linen Thread has been given its marching orders, too, which is a shame!

Friday, 10 May 2019

Mini Memories & More cards - 20 made in around an hour!

I had LOTS of mini Happiness Blooms Memories & More Note Cards (I think I must have over-bought!) so decided to put them to good use with my leftover Happiness Blooms Memories & More cards. That's a bit of a challenge to type!

These handy little cards are useful for lots of projects, including scrapbooking, of course, but also for mini albums, cards and much more. With the co-ordinating note cards, which are sized just slightly bigger, you can make great cards in an instant, which is how I churned out 20 of them in about an hour!

I used the retiring Calligraphy Essentials stamp set for most of these, with the Amazing Life set for others. Some cards already had a greeting on them, so I just added a couple of flowers. So quick and easy - don't ever think you don't have time to craft when there are great products like these available.

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Floating Frame with Rooted in Nature

Ever since I saw the Floating Frame card concept, I've wanted to give it a try... so you can imagine my disappointment when I discovered I needed a mystery product called Press ’n’ Seal. I’ve since discovered you can buy it on Amazon but a) I don’t need a whole roll and b) apparently it’s not a perfect solution after all.

But back to my workaround... I tried a few different things and eventually settled on lightly spraying some Craft Mount (spray mount) onto a piece of vellum. This was too sticky so I removed some of the tackiness by laying it, sticky side down, onto a microfibre cloth. Just once. Twice made it not sticky enough!

Then you die-cut the frame and add Stampin’ Dimensionals to every separate piece before gently prising the vellum away. I won’t go into huge detail as plenty of demonstrators have already made a better job of it with video tutorials. 

Suffice to say it’s a time-intensive, fiddly project but on the plus side, you do get two for the price of one. 


Monday, 6 May 2019

Bird boxes made with retiring Gift Bag Punch Board

Way back in November I thought I was being organised by buying Christmas gifts for my stamping club ladies. And then I was laid low with the lurgy... for weeks.

All of a sudden it’s spring and I realised I still hadn't given them their gifts, so I gathered together some retiring products and made these cute little boxes, each containing a bottle of Copper Shimmer Paint. What was particularly galling is that by the time they received the gifts, the paint was on the Clearance Rack and half the price. Doh!

The boxes are made using the retiring Gift Bag Punch Board; instead of making it to the instructions, I scored at the "Side 2" point every time, to make a square-based box. For the flap, I cut a separate strip, punched and scored at Side 2 repeatedly, then used the score lines to cut down... so the rounded flap that is normally the base becomes a front flap to finish off the box. Make sense? Didn't think so, sorry.

Other retiring products featured here include the Best Birds stamp set and co-ordinating dies, Nature’s Poem Designer Series Paper, Fresh Fig and Powder Pink cardstock. Get them while you can... if you still can!

Friday, 3 May 2019

Faux Watercolouring is still #simplestamping

This week was my Cuppa & Card session where Simple Stamping is the order of the day. All month at my events I am focussing on masculine cards using Rooted in Nature and I showed the ladies how to create a fun faux watercolour background by inking up a clear block, spritzing it with water and using it as a stamp. It's so simple but really effective.

Thursday, 2 May 2019

In Color Shares 2019

It's that time of year again! Time to introduce five new colours which will be available for two years.

This year they are muted and classy; think Farrow & Ball paints, stately home furnishings, you get the idea. And I absolutely love them!

They are:

  • Rococo Rose - a gentle, dusky pink
  • Terracotta Tile - a lovely, soft terracotta
  • Pretty Peacock - my favourite; a rich dark teal
  • Seaside Spray - a soft pale blue with a hint of purple
  • Purple Posy - the merest hint of lilac
I am now taking orders for my annual In Color™ Shares and this year am offering four great-value options, each offering savings on the normal catalogue price. But hurry, slots are limited!

Please get in touch to order yours. If you need your Share posting to you (UK only), postage will be charged at cost on top of the Share price.

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Cats and dogs... the ones that got away

This is a project that got away ... I made it for my recent Cats & Dogs workshop but decided not to use it in the end because I just didn't love it. But the more I look at it, the more it's growing on me.

I used the Stamparatus to get the clever mirror effect. You can see how to achieve this look here:

Monday, 29 April 2019

#LoveitChopit night projects with Animal Expedition

I recently discovered the #loveitchopit movement and absolutely loved the idea. It's very simple... instead of hoarding your Designer Series Paper, you cut it up into 4"x6" pieces and *gasp* USE it! Radical, eh?

So I held a Love It Chop It evening and we got to work, making 10 simple cards that look anything but, thanks to the gorgeous paper. Some ladies chose different paper but I used the Animal Expedition as I've been looking for a reason to use Animal Outing in a class. The dies fit round the images in the DSP - and for the reversed images, we just held our paper up to the window or a light for perfect positioning.

The stamps and dies are carrying over to the new catalogue but if you want this lovely paper – or indeed ANY of the Designer Series Papers in the current catalogues – you'd better hurry as they ALL retire to make way for new designs. Eek!

Friday, 26 April 2019

Fast cards with Happiness Blooms Memories & More Cards

Every month I celebrate my team achievers but this month I was REALLY strapped for time. I didn't want to make them wait longer than necessary so turned turned to the Happiness Blooms Memories & More Cards and the co-ordinating Night of Navy note cards and envelopes - I love these products! You get two of each card and some of them have glossy embossed designs, too.

These Memories & More Cards AND the Calligraphy Essentials stamp set I've used here will both be retiring soon so if you want to get your hands on them, I wouldn't delay!

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Super-fast One-Sheet Mini Album

This mini album is so easy to make - and all you need are a single sheet of cardstock and some Memories & More cards (the smaller ones). 

Cut and score the sheet as shown, cutting a sliver of cardstock away where you see the bold black lines, as this makes it easier to close up. Then decorate as desired and tie closed with ribbon.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Paper Pumpkin comes to the UK... for one month only!

Now this looks interesting... I’ve heard about the Paper Pumpkin kits from friends on the other side of The Pond, and now we get to try one of them out, too. 

It’s a kit designed by Stampin' Up!® founder Shelli Gardner and features an exclusive stamp set plus everything you need to make 12 cards, three each of four designs. The cost is just £20 so well worth having.

Take a look at the video to find out more... but I'll warn you now, the contents are meant to be a surprise so you'll only get small hints!

Monday, 22 April 2019

Hello card with Accented Blooms

Well, hello! I love the greetings that go with this Accented Blooms stamp set because sometimes you just want to send a card to say "hello".

I've coloured the image using ink pads and blender pens, for speed, and teamed it up with some leafy Nature's Poem Designer Series Paper. Remember, this paper will be retiring soon, as will the main colour on this piece, Tranquil Tide, although the stamp set and punch live to tell the tale for another year.

Friday, 19 April 2019

Cat and dog treat boxes using the Gift Bag Punch Board

I used the Gift Bag Punch Board to make this cute treat box. You need to make two gift bags – one in black, one in a contrasting colour (I used Lemon Lime Twist, before it goes!). It's a snug fit but the lid does go on if you are careful.

The main image panel is attached to the Lemon Lime Twist on the top, so it slides off with the lid.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Double-sided dog or cat

It was all about cats and dogs at my afternoon workshop on Saturday so this week I am showcasing the projects we made; two cards and a gift box... and they all featured some sort of technique.

I'd made two sets of samples; one with cats, one with dogs, so the ladies could choose which they made. Some were all about the cats, some all about the dogs, and some made a mix of the two.

We began the event by making this window card, inspired by this card by Wendy Cranford, although I added a window sheet and made the animals two-sided using the fabulous Mirror Technique.

Monday, 15 April 2019

Retiring products 2019

Please take a look at the retiring list and if there’s anything you need, you can order from my online store here or contact me to place an order.

Please use the host code: C6Y4SNP2 

Note that not all the rubber stamp set designs listed on the retiring list will be gone forever; 
some are being reconfigured into the new Cling Mount format. 

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.