Friday, 10 July 2020

Seaside Notions shaker card


I’m really into shaker cards at the moment. And of course, the seaside theme seems topical in the middle of summer, even if I can’t get to a beach!

Around a month or so ago, the seaside mood had already begun but my Whale of a Time Suite was still in transit. What to do? Use the still fabulous Seaside Notions stamp set instead of course!

Can you spot the tiny nod to Spongebob hidden among the sequins of this shaker card? I'm pleased to say the recipient of this card did!


Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Forever Greenery - letting the dies and DSP do the work

Forever Fern Greenery Suite Stampin Up Allthingsstampy

Staying with the Forever Greenery theme... I realised I never showed you the Make & Take from my catalogue launch party last month. It's a simple note card decorated with just die-cut pieces and Designer Series Paper, to allow me to send out prepared kits for guests. They used their own stamp set to stamp a greeting.

The Forever Fern stamp set has been consistently in the top-selling stamp sets since the launch of of the new Annual Catalogue and with very good reason. Do you have yours yet?

Die-cut your leaves then trim them into smaller pieces for even greater versatility.


Monday, 6 July 2020

Tutorial: Z-fold cards with Forever Greenery Suite

Fancy fold Forever Greenery Stampin Up Allthingsstampy

I’m proud to say that Crafty Friday has kept going throughout lockdown - ever since April it has been running on the first Friday of the month in my home. Well, only I am in my home - everyone else is safely in theirs, taking part over Zoom.

Fancy fold Forever Greenery Stampin Up Allthingsstampy

This month, our fourth socially distant Crafty Friday, the focus was on Z-fold cards – and we made these two using the Forever Greenery Suite.

Fancy fold Forever Greenery Stampin Up Allthingsstampy
Fancy fold Forever Greenery Stampin Up Allthingsstampy


I have lots of tips for making these projects but to save me typing them all out again, why don't you download the tutorial here.

Please bear in mind the tutorial was written for the class guests, who received a prepared kit, but you can adapt it if you have the Forever Fern bundle, Stitched Shapes Dies and Forever Greenery DSP with coordinating inks and cardstock. Have fun!

Friday, 3 July 2020

Whale Done silver congratulations card

Whale of a Time stampin up allthingsstampy


Purchasing the Whale of a Time Suite must have been a good omen as the reasons to congratulate people just keep coming!

This time it was my downline Ian promoted to Silver. This is a major achievement for any Stampin' Up!® demonstrator, so I sent him a gift and this silver card.

I combined the Whale of a Time Suite with the Smooth Sailing dies and a hint of In Good Taste Designer Series Paper.

I achieved a “debossed” look on my silver foil cardstock by placing it upside down in my folder. I’d like to say this was deliberate...



Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Pride 2020 blog hop: Sponged rainbow cards



Crafting is for everyone, so I am delighted to take part in this Pride 2020 blog hop. This international hop by Stampin’ Up!® demonstrators is designed to show support for crafters (and non-crafters) in the LGBTQ+ community, as well as showing off some beautiful, colourful projects.


We crafters love colour, so what better opportunity to stamp a rainbow? From one sponged piece of cardstock, I made two very different projects. It all began with a piece of Whisper White cardstock which I sponged in rainbow colours. I used, from top, Real Red, Pumpkin Pie, Daffodil Delight, Granny Apple Green, Bermuda Bay, Pacific Point and Gorgeous Grape.

Even though I only really needed the outer edges for this frame, which I die-cut using the Stitched Rectangles Framelits, I tried to keep the sponging nice and even across the whole panel, as I knew I could use the centre for another project.


My next step was to use the Stamparatus to stamp this rainbow greeting from Happiest of Birthdays. I love this set because I really needed a BIG greeting and this one is simple and straight to the point. 

Using sponge daubers, I built up the image line by line, stamping in between each colour to see where I needed to ink next. The Stamparatus means you can hit the mark every single time (although read on for a fine example of this not being true, LOL). 

After a couple of attempts, I settled on stamping on this In Good Taste Designer Series Paper to give the background a little texture... or at least the appearance of texture. I had some excess at the red end, so use this to punch a little heart using the Dog Builder punch. It’s all mounted onto a piece of Whisper White embossed using the Brick & Mortar 3D Embossing Folder.


To use the centre piece, I knew I wanted to do something a little different, so splashed the sponged piece with some water to create this lovely effect. I use this technique a lot as it can represent lots of different things, such as snow or stars on a dark blue background. In this context, I think they look a little like seedheads blowing in the wind.

Now to the stamping and, armed with my trusty Stamparatus, what could possibly go wrong? The cardstock could slip when you’re not looking, that’s what! This is how I ended up with this double grass effect. Not what I intended but I don’t hate it, so I left it on the card. It’s stamped with the new Field of Flowers stamp set, which I just love for creating silhouettes on arty backgrounds. I do love playing around with fun background techniques!

Again, it’s mounted on the Brick & Mortar 3D Embossing Folder (an old favourite but new to my craft room so it’s getting a lot of love) with just a hint of a black border.

I hope you like my Pride 2020 projects – please enjoy your trip around the world as you look at the other projects here:


Monday, 29 June 2020

Whale of a Time shaker card

Stampin up cards whale of a time allthingsstampy

I’m currently obsessed with Stampin' Up!®’s new Whale of a Time Suite; I bought the whole Suite and have been having fun designing projects for my August classes.

The Suite is just crying out for shaker cards – I mean, who doesn’t love a shaker card? And the Designer Series Paper just has to be seen – it’s fin-tastic!

I made this for a fabulous friend who has landed herself a kriller job - and I'm sure she’ll be a big fish in her new orca-pation.
Think carefully before assembling a shaker card. I had to start again because I had the layers in the wrong order! You need to ensure the window sheet is sandwiched between the top layer and the foam tape/Dimensionals. If using Dimensionals, you can cut strips from the edge pieces - and make sure you don't have any gaps!

And another tip is that the fabulous recruiting offer ends soon! You need to join in June to get the free bundle in your Starter Kit. Please click below to get started or get in touch for details.



Friday, 26 June 2020

Forever Greenery Suite from Stampin' Up!®

Forever Greenery Suite Stampin' Up! cards

Forever Greenery Suite Stampin' Up! cards

I have been enjoying the Forever Greenery Suite from the new Stampin' Up!® catalogue – it’s the first time I’ve ever purchased a whole Suite in one go.

Forever Greenery Suite Stampin' Up! cards

If you want to add glamour to your projects, you can't beat the Forever Gold Laser-Cut Specialty Paper. Here are some of the projects I've been making with this paper, and indeed the whole of the suite.

When using the Greenery Embossing Folder with the small repeating leaf pattern, because it has a repeating pattern, you can emboss a whole card front panel if you do half the piece at a time. Simply reinsert the cardstock into the embossing folder, slotting part of the embossed area back into coordinating indentations on the folder

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Multicoloured sponging on Tasteful Touches

Tasteful Touches stampin up card

This project was heavily influenced by a swap card I received, created by fellow Stampin’ Up!® demonstrator Jo Blackman. I loved it and couldn’t wait to CASE it.

I used the Tasteful Touches bundle, which is so beautiful and enhanced by the gorgeous In Good Taste Designer Series Paper from the same suite, which adds texture without bulk.


To get the multicoloured effect on the feather stamp, I used sponges with the following inks: Terracotta Tile, Coastal Cabana and Pretty Peacock. If you start with the paler colours, it avoids transferring dark ink onto your lighter ink pads.


Monday, 22 June 2020

Video: One-sheet wonder with Forever Fern


The one-sheet wonder technique never goes out of style! Simply update it by using the latest stamp sets. Here I've used Forever Fern with one of my In Color combinations. This combo really stood out to me as I loved the retro feel.

As always, my tips for a OSW are the same: Start with the largest stamp in the lightest colour and work your way through to the smallest stamp in the darkest colour. Of course, rules are made to be broken, so feel free to play around and see what you come up with.

When you have cut up your sheet into smaller pieces to make a card or other project, you may find you have some white edges but these can be filled in with a little more stamping. But if you've kept your images close together and overlapping to start with, this shouldn't be necessary.


These are all going out to my new team members who have joined me in June. The four ladies receiving these felt it was an offer they couldn't refuse; around £170 of products for just £99 (and free shipping). Want to find out more? Please get in touch.





Friday, 19 June 2020

Stamping tip: Maximising your Forever Gold Laser-Cut Specialty Paper

Forever Gold Stampin Up stamping tip allthingsstampy

I have another tip for the Forever Gold Laser-Cut Speciality Paper for you today. This time it maximises every last scrap of that lovely gold paper.

When you’ve used all your elements – and even before – don’t discard the outer pieces as you can use these for die-cutting yet more leaves using the Forever Flourishing Dies. Waste not, want not!

Forever Gold Stampin Up stamping tip allthingsstampy



Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Stamping tip: Forever Gold Laser-Cut paper

Forever Gold Stamping Tip Stampin Up allthingsstampy

My catalogue launch party on Saturday was all about the Forever Greenery Suite and I particularly wanted to show the versatility of the Forever Gold laser-cut speciality paper.

On Monday I showed you how I coloured the back of the leaves using Stampin' Blends and here I have stamped onto the back paper using Stazon. I used Saddle Brown to echo the gold, but black would work just as well. The important thing is to use a permanent ink, as a water-based ink will simply pool and wipe off.
Be careful when removing your stamp, as the surface is quite slippery and even with a permanent ink such as Stazon it can smudge (ask me how I know!)



Monday, 15 June 2020

Stamping tip: How to colour your Forever Gold Laser-Cut paper

Forever Gold Stampin Up blends allthingsstampy

The Forever Gold Laser-Cut Speciality Paper pack has some really fun and glamorous elements in very shiny gold.

I do love them but I have to confess I’m not a huge user of bling, so I was keen to explore other options. This week I have several tips for using these fabulous elements, looking beyond the obvious.

For starters, the back is white, which gives you a crisp effect, but how about colouring them? The surface is shiny, so your water-based inks and markers won’t work, but it CAN be done. All you need are some Stampin’ Blends.

I made a short video to show this technique. To get an ombre effect, I used three shades of green: Light Granny Apple Green, Light Old Olive and Dark Old Olive. What do you think?


Forever Gold Stampin Up blends allthingsstampy


If your wish list is bigger than your bank balance, why not consider joining my team during June? You’ll get up to £130 of craft supplies of your choice, PLUS an additional bundle (stamps + dies or stamps + punch) to add to your Starter Kit. Please get in touch for info, or click the image or here to get started.

Friday, 12 June 2020

Silhouette stamping with Field of Flowers


Field of Flowers: have you seen this new stamp set yet? I think it’s absolutely gorgeous and will be running a class with it next month. Here I’ve stamped onto beautiful watercoloured backgrounds, which really shows off the rich silhouettes.



The best way to stamp onto watercolour paper is to use the Stamparatus so you can stamp in the same spot multiple times to get the richest, darkest image.



Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Simple stamping with Forever Fern



It can be good to clamber out of your comfort zone – because you never know what you may discover.

And when I made this card, I learned that I can work with pink if I put my mind to it.

While that may not have been a favourite project of mine, these two definitely are. I found that the delicate leaves in the new Forever Fern stamp set really lend themselves to the brighter colours. What do you think?
Stamping in opposite corners of the card provides balance to the design.



Monday, 8 June 2020

Creating beautiful backgrounds to show off your dies


No new products today – just some great examples of how you can create beautiful projects where the die-cuts are the stars of the show.

I had fun creating backgrounds to show off the Friendly Silhouettes Dies. Let me walk you through them.

For these first two projects, I masked a circle using a punched/die-cut sticky note, then brayered the background using Crushed Curry and Poppy Parade ink pads. You could sponge, too – but if you do, make sure you sponge away from the centre of the mask or you could dislodge it.

For the top card, I then lightly splashed with water from a fine paintbrush. Allow to dry, then dab it dry with a tissue. This creates this lovely effect which can look like seed heads blowing on the breeze, fireflies, rain or, on a dark blue background, like snow. It’s such a simple effect and so versatile.


For this card, I brayered as before, but instead of splashing, I used that same very fine paintbrush to paint fine lines following the edge of the circle. With ideas clearly way above my station, I call this the Van Gogh technique.


For the third card, I took the leftover template from the bullrushes in the first card and used this as a mask. I sponged with Pumpkin Pie to create a background image, then removed the mask and brayered around the top edge of the card in Melon Mambo. The beauty of brayering is that you can give it a go in any colours and get some lovely effects.

Want to have a go at fun techniques like this? If you’re in the UK, why not talk to me about joining my remote classes?


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.