Tuesday, 16 August 2022

Let's Set Sail Slimline card ideas – with tips for lining up stamps with your punch

Let's Set Sail Slimline card idea Stampin Up All Things Stampy
 
I’m very busy this week, prepping for an all-day Stampin’ Up!® craft event here in Derbyshire on Saturday. This event has a Let’s Set Sail theme and guests have preselected their projects... within reason, that is.

Out of three kits – cards, scrapbooking and home décor – they have chosen to make two and interestingly every single person has chosen cards.

Everyone will be using the Let’s Set Sail bundle and some have chosen to include the stamp set and/or the bundle (which includes the Sailboat Builder Punch) in their kits. 

In today’s blog post I have two slimline cards using the Let’s Set Sail bundle, along with Basic Border Dies to create waves, and Vellum Layering Designs to create a map background. I will also share tips for lining up your stamps with your punch, and for sticking vellum so it won’t show.
 
 
Let's Set Sail Slimline card idea Stampin Up All Things Stampy

 
Let's Set Sail Slimline card idea Stampin Up All Things Stampy


First up is this slimline portrait card featuring white waves created with Basic Border Dies. These fabulous dies have been on my wish list for absolutely ages but I have only just got round to adding them to my order. I love that the borders they create are stitched, which makes them look extra classy. 
 
Let's Set Sail Slimline card idea Stampin Up All Things Stampy

Most of the cards I have made with the Let’s Set Sail stamp set have only featured one boat but the extra height of the slimline card allows space for a second one bobbing around among the waves. 
 
Let's Set Sail Slimline card idea Stampin Up All Things Stampy
 
 
As a background, I used one of the map patterns from Vellum Layering Designs; this introduced a nautical element (even though the map is of land, it still hints at travel) and softens the Pacific Point beneath.

Here’s a tip for sticking down the vellum. Behind the waves and boat anything goes. You won’t see the adhesive here so use whatever you like. The top section is just loose and so far it isn’t going anywhere, even on the portrait card. If you wanted to secure it, you could use a tiny amount of Tombow Multi-purpose Adhesive but spread it so thinly that it’s almost gone. If you don’t have a latex allergy, you can do this with your finger.

 
Let's Set Sail Slimline card idea Stampin Up All Things Stampy

The landscape card features Balmy Blue waves, again created with Basic Border Dies. The background is once again created using a map from Vellum Layering Designs, overlaid onto Pacific Point cardstock. 
 
Let's Set Sail Slimline card idea Stampin Up All Things Stampy
 
 
These are all fairly neutral nautical colours, so I have added splashes of colour using Real Red and Daffodil Delight ink. 
 
Let's Set Sail Slimline card idea Stampin Up All Things Stampy

It’s really easy to match your stamping to the Sailboat Builder Punch. Here’s how:

1. Feed a piece of cardstock all the way into the punch, and punch it out.
2. Lay the template flat on to your work surface and carefully piece each stamp into the holes you have created.
3. Line up the block with the bottom edge of the cardstock and pick up all three stamps in one go.
4. You should now be able to stamp all three images and punch them out perfectly. 


 
Let's Set Sail Slimline card idea Stampin Up All Things Stampy


The Let’s Set Sail stamp set comes with some useful sentiments but I wanted to mix things up a little so both these cards have birthday greetings from different stamp sets. The portrait card uses Go-To Greetings, one of the most useful sets I think we have ever had at Stampin’ Up!®. The landscape card uses Charming Sentiments. Both sets have greetings for lots of different occasions.

Both of these cards fit into Slimline Envelopes from Stampin’ Up!® These come in Smoky Slate (used here), Soft Succulent and Basic White. Eagle-eyed attendees at this Let’s Set Sail craft event will notice that the Smoky Slate cards and Vellum Layering Designs are left over from the last all-day event I held back in June!
 
Let's Set Sail Slimline card idea Stampin Up All Things Stampy

 

If you are interested in any of these products, it is well worth knowing that if you ordered the Let’s Set Sail bundle, some Slimline Envelopes and any ink pad, you would qualify for a FREE Sale-a-Bration item, as long as you order before the end of August 2022. In fact, don’t let me tell you what to buy – you can order anything you like and as long as it comes to £45 before shipping costs, you will earn a fab free gift.

Plus, if you use the host code XCCS4UHD,  I’ll send you a thank you gift next month.


Does your wish list come to more than £99? Please get in touch and I will help you get more for your money and unlock discounts all year round.  
 
 

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Two fun watercolouring techniques using Dragonfly Garden

Dragonfly Garden Stampin Up watercolour card ideas

 
Do you like creating your own watercoloured backgrounds for your Stampin' Up!® cards? It's one of my favourite things to do and I have some fall-back techniques I return to, time after time.

I used two of these techniques to make some cards using the Dragonfly Garden stamp set recently.

One of these is the ‘smoosh’ technique, which is probably the easiest way to create an authentic watercoloured background using your stamping supplies.

All you need is a clear acrylic block (any size), ink pads and some watercolour paper.

1. Begin by wetting your watercolour paper all over. I spritz mine but if you don’t have a spritzer, you can just run it under the tap.

2. Press your block directly onto your ink pad, then apply it directly to the wet paper. ‘Smoosh’ it around a little to spread the ink.

3. Dry the block then repeat in a second colour.
 
 Dragonfly Garden Stampin Up watercolour card ideas


I used this technique to create this clean and simple dragonfly card. I created the watercolour background using Granny Apple Green and Tahitian Tide inks and the smoosh technique.

Once this was fully dry – which was just a few minutes on a sunny windowsill – I could stamp on top using that lovely long flower stamp from the Dragonfly Garden stamp set.

I stamped the dragonfly onto a separate piece of paper, punched it out using the Dragonflies Builder Punch and popped it up on top.

Then it was simply a case of mounting the watercolour paper on to a Granny Apple Green cardstock panel, attaching it to a Thick Basic White card base and finishing off with a stamped greeting from Go To Greetings. 

Dragonfly Garden Stampin Up watercolour card ideas

When you’re making fun watercolour backgrounds like this, I always think it’s a good idea to make several, partly because it’s fun but also because while you are making more, your first efforts will be drying. You probably already know I don’t like waste so much prefer to use a bit of solar power to dry my watercolouring than plug in a heat gun.

So I switched colours slightly and used Mango Melody with Granny Apple Green for my second card in this style. 

Dragonfly Garden Stampin Up watercolour card ideas

The second technique I wheeled out recently is clear block stamping. This is an oldie but goodie but it seems lots of people didn’t know about it because my Instagram reel demonstrating this technique has gone viral! I don’t actually know what constitutes viral but I honestly never thought I would produce a video that had 1.9million views, so I’m calling it viral!

For this technique you do need a water spritzer (or plant mister) but you don’t need watercolour paper; it actually works better on good old Basic White.

The panel you create is the same shape as the clear block so choose carefully.

1. Press one end/side into an ink pad, then turn it round and press the other end/side into a different ink pad. Try to get the colours as close together as possible without overlapping.

2. Spritz the block liberally with water but not so much that the water drips off. I gave mine about 4 squirts with a Stampin’ Spritzer.

3. Press this block onto your Basic White cardstock and leave it there for a few seconds to allow the water to soak in to the paper.

4. Lift to reveal your faux watercolour background. Allow this to dry fully before stamping on top.
 
 
Dragonfly Garden Stampin Up watercolour card ideas

I created my cards using the same colours again; Tahitian Tide and Granny Apple Green, then Mango Melody with Granny Apple Green.

For each card, I mounted this white panel on to some Granny Apple Green cardstock, then wrapped some White Glittered Organdy Ribbon around the front, securing at the back with tape. 
 
Dragonfly Garden Stampin Up watercolour card ideas

I finished it off with a stamped label punched with the Lasting Label Punch, decorated with a few stamped Granny Apple Green butterflies. The greeting is from Go-To Greetings and the butterflies are from Dragonfly Garden.

I hope you like these two watercolour techniques and give them both a go. If you would like to order any of the products you see here – or indeed any Stampin’ Up!® products, if you are in the UK I would love to help you. And if you spend £45 or more during August, you can choose from a great selection of free gifts. 
 
There’s a new host code for August, which is XCCS4UHD. Use this if your order is less than £150 and I will send you a thank you gift next month. Don’t use it if you spend more than £150 as you will be entitled to choose your own rewards at the checkout. 


Does your wish list come to more than £99? Please get in touch and I will help you get more for your money and unlock discounts all year round.  
 
 

Tuesday, 2 August 2022

Four fun background techniques for Let's Set Sail from Stampin’ Up!®

Let's Set Sail stampin up card ideas
 

I love using my Stampin’ Up!® supplies to branch out into other techniques so have been having lots of fun creating cool backgrounds to go with the Let’s Set Sail bundle.

I’ve always been a fan of nautical and seaside-themed products so this stamp set with matching punch really floats my boat. (See what I did there?)

Here are four cards I made with the Let’s Set Sail bundle, each showcasing a different background technique. Best of all, most of them don’t require any special equipment.

Let me share some tips for creating these fun backgrounds for your seaside-themed cards...
 
Let's Set Sail stampin up card ideas
 
First up is this really fun background which – even better – uses up your scraps. When making cards or other papercraft projects, we all end up with scraps – and often they are narrow strips. 
 
I gathered up my narrow strips of Tahitian Tide cardstock, Designer Series Paper and glimmer paper, along with a strip of Pacific Point, and glued them all to an old piece of grid paper. Any paper will do but it must be paper and not cardstock or the finished piece will be too thick for the next stage. 
 
Let's Set Sail stampin up card ideas
 
I trimmed this piece to size and then ran it through the Into The Clouds Embossing Folder. This brings it all together and makes a very fun background. 
 Let's Set Sail stampin up card ideas

I punched a boat using the Sailboat Builder Punch and positioned it at the top of one of the strips to look like it was floating in the sea. Fun!
 
 
 
 
 
Let's Set Sail stampin up card ideas

Next up is this lovely washy watercolour background, which I created using Starry Sky ink and a water painter on watercolour paper.

You can create a palette of ink by holding any of Stampin’ Up!®'s water-based Classic Stampin’ Pads upside-down and squeezing hard. But if you don’t like messing up your ink pads, or you find it’s too difficult to squeeze them, just press your ink pad onto a large clear block or other non-porous surface. 
 
Let's Set Sail stampin up card ideas

To pick up the ink, either use a water painter (which carries the water in its barrel) or simply use a paintbrush and a pot of water. See what I mean in this short video.

 
Let's Set Sail stampin up card ideas

This washy effect provides the perfect background for the boat from Let’s Set Sail. The red sails (Poppy Parade) are echoed in the layer of the same colour. 
 
Let's Set Sail stampin up card ideas

My third background is especially fun as it’s created with rubber bands!

Gather up a selection of rubber bands and wrap them around a clear stamping block. Overlap them, criss-cross them or leave them straight, it’s up to you. Just have a play around to see what results you prefer.

Then you simply use your rubber banded block as a stamp. Repeat your stamping until you have the effect you desire. 
 
 
 
Let's Set Sail stampin up card ideas

Once you are happy, stamp and punch the boat from Let’s Set Sail and stick it in position, then finish off the card. I used a little Metallic Mesh Ribbon to give the impression of fishing net.

 
Let's Set Sail stampin up card ideas
 
My final card has a lovely linen texture because I have stamped directly onto Linen 12x12 Paper. This is a gorgeous speciality paper from Stampin’ Up!® It’s self-adhesive; I confess I’m not entirely sure of the benefits of that feature. Just stamp on it and see how the texture of the paper turns simple stamping into a lovely canvas effect. 
 
Let's Set Sail stampin up card ideas

 
I have used the long stamp from Let’s Set Sail in Balmy Blue for the sky, leaving some areas unstamped to give the impression of clouds. For the sea I used Pacific Point, stamping repeatedly to fill the lower third of the paper, and missing the odd area to look like waves. 
 
Let's Set Sail stampin up card ideas
 

I hope you like these ideas for creating a fun background for the Let’s Set Sail stamp set. Which one is your favourite?

If you are in the UK and would like to order, please visit my store and, if you use the August 2022 host code ZPZ3ZRHC, I’ll send you a thank you gift in the following month.


Does your wish list come to more than £99? Please get in touch and I will help you get more for your money and unlock discounts all year round.  
 
 

Tuesday, 26 July 2022

Four card ideas using Stampin’ Up!®'s Splendid Day Suite

 

Splendid Day card ideas Stampin Up UK

The Splendid Day Suite from Stampin’ Up!® is for everyone who loves a bit of elegant glamour. The foil finish and leafy designs are truly beautiful and will add a touch of class to any project.

This is why I have chosen this Suite as the focus for my All The Trimmings Kit of the Month for August available to anyone in the UK. Please keep reading for details of this kit (or click here if you can’t wait that long).

But first, here are four projects made with the Splendid Thoughts Bundle and the rest of the Splendid Day Suite from Stampin’ Up!®. Eager Stampin’ Up!® fans may already have seen variations of these projects around the web already as they were made as part of a demonstrator day called Creativity Now in June. Yes it’s taken me this long to get round to sharing them with you!

At the time of making, I had almost no Soft Sea Foam cardstock so was forced to compromise. However, I find that compromising usually leads to creativity and often to a project that I prefer to the original plan. 

Splendid Day card ideas Stampin Up UK

For example, instead of Soft Sea Foam cardstock for this card I used one of the Soft Sea Foam card bases from the Sale-a-Bration brochure – and I think it adds a lovely extra feature to the project.

I also tweaked the background panel. The original asked us to use Stampin’ Blends to scribble a background but I wasn’t happy with mine so redid it using water painters and ink for a much softer effect. 

Splendid Day card ideas Stampin Up UK


One more change I made for this project was to use the foiled side of the Designer Series Paper. I just couldn’t bear to cover it up because it’s so pretty.

After die-cutting in Soft Sea Foam for the first card, I just didn’t have enough cardstock left for this one so found an excellent workaround. I stamped in black on Basic White cardstock and die-cut it into the leaf shape, then “stamped“ my Soft Sea Foam ink pad directly to the paper to turn it all green. It’s a little darker than Soft Sea Foam cardstock but worked a treat. 

Splendid Day card ideas Stampin Up UK

This is a really pretty card with lots of steps. I particularly love the Brick Wall background in Calypso Coral cardstock, with a touch of Craft White ink on top to soften the look.

When I die-cut the white leaves, I noticed that not all of the middle pieces fell out. I really liked this random effect so left it like that. But if you do this, remember you will need extra adhesive behind them to stop the pieces falling out at a later date. 

Splendid Day card ideas Stampin Up UK

This card is a fun use of the semi-circle die from the Splendid Stems Dies. I would never have thought to do this on my own, which is why Stampin’ Up!® events are so inspiring. They are also a great opportunity to get together with other demonstrators – albeit virtually on this occasion – to enjoy a shared experience. 

Splendid Day card ideas Stampin Up UK

This design would be a great way of using up scraps of Designer Series Paper. Mix and match packs – go on, I dare you!

Splendid Day card ideas Stampin Up UK


Finally, I wanted to recreate the beautiful card from the July-December Mini Catalogue but, again, I couldn’t bear to cover that gorgeous foiled paper, so left it shiny side up.

Making this card was a disaster – everything went wrong! But you’d never know from the finished project. 

Take a look at all the things that went wrong here


Splendid Day Kit of the Month Stampin Up UK
 

I know you’re going to love this gorgeous Designer Series Paper as much as I do, which is why it is the focus of my August All The Trimmings kit. Each month I hand selected coordinating products to create a kit featuring Designer Series Paper, cardstock, ribbons and more. I also send a PDF of project ideas. 

Plus, if you want to add on the stamp set and/or dies and let me know at the time of ordering, I will order these for you and include them in your kit at no extra shipping cost.

This is a really economical way to get coordinating projects without having to invest in full packs. The kits give you the confidence to try new styles and colours, without being left with lots of unused products. But you still get LOTS of projects out of the kit; my lovely customer Donna made more than 40 cards with her last kit!

Donna said: “I love Helen’s kit of the month! It’s a great way to try new products! It lets you try things you wouldn’t normally buy!”

The Splendid Day kit will contain:

✂️ Half a pack of Splendid Day Speciality Designer Series Paper (sheets cut to 6"x12")
✂️ 2 each of Pool Party & Soft Sea Foam Cards & Envelopes (while supplies last, first come, first served)
✂️ 5 Open Leaf Trinkets
✂️ 2m Soft Sea Foam Seam Binding Ribbon
✂️ 2m Rose Gold & White Striped Ribbon
✂️ 3 sheets Petal Pink A4 cardstock
✂️ 3 sheets Soft Sea Foam A4 cardstock
✂️ 3 sheets Pool Party A4 cardstock
✂️ 3 sheets Sahara Sand A4 cardstock
✂️ 1 sheet Thick Basic White A4 cardstock
✂️ 1 sheet Basic Black A4 cardstock

Don’t miss this limited time offer. I am only taking reservations until 5th August. 
 
  
If you are in the UK and would like to order, please visit my store and, if you use NEW July/August 2022 host code ZPZ3ZRHC, I’ll send you a thank you gift in the following month.

Does your wish list come to more than £99? Please get in touch and I will help you get more for your money and unlock discounts all year round.  
 
 

Tuesday, 19 July 2022

Tree Lot Dies summery cards – and how to pack your craft supplies like a pro

Tree Lot Dies Stampin Up card ideas
 
Do you take your craft supplies on holiday? Summer holiday season is upon us and I know many of you take your Stampin’ Up!® supplies away with you so you can take the opportunity of some downtime to enjoy your crafting.

Several of my Stampin’ Up!® customers are campers, enjoying breaks in their caravan or motor homes. They often tell me they like to craft while away, so I had these ladies in mind when I created these projects. I wanted to thank them for providing me with some invaluable tips for packing to craft on holiday – and you can read their tips below.

But first the projects... 
 
Tree Lot Dies Stampin Up card ideas

I love this cute little retro caravan, which is made entirely from the Tree Lot dies, which are FREE during Sale-a-Bration with a £90 order. In the catalogue they are designed to go with the Trees For Sale stamp set and all the samples are Christmassy.

I don’t know about you but I think it’s too hot to be thinking about Christmas just yet. Instead I gave these caravans a pastel look to create a retro feel. I couldn’t decide between pink, blue or green, so made them in all three colours!
 
Tree Lot Dies Stampin Up card ideas

The body of each caravan is cut out of Very Vanilla cardstock. I coloured the tyre using a black marker and the hook-up and door handle using a Light Gray Granite Stampin’ Blend.

The roof and skirt are cut out using the die you see at the top of the photo. This creates both pieces in one go which is clever and convenient. 

Tree Lot Dies Stampin Up card ideas
 
Behind each caravan body I placed a piece of vellum for the windows, and attached the curtain frill on top. I think there’s one where I attached the curtain behind but I decided that was unnecessarily fiddly and pedantic. 
 
Tree Lot Dies Stampin Up card ideas

I don’t have the Trees For Sale stamps from the Stampin’ Up!® July-December Mini Catalogue but I still wanted trees – you know me, I always want trees! – so I used the tree dies to create a set of stencils. Through these I applied Pear Pizzazz ink using a Blending Brush. A light touch for the pale trees, more ink for the darker trees. 
 
Tree Lot Dies Stampin Up card ideas


I also made a couple using the Soft Sea Foam Cards & Envelopes from the Stampin’ Up!® Sale-a-Bration brochure. These already have a leafy design which I thought fit in well. On these I created my trees using Soft Sea Foam ink. 
 

 
And now here are some great tips for packing to craft while on holiday. 
 

Crafting on holiday? Here’s how to pack like a pro 

Many of us like to take a little something to do in case of poor weather or a quiet moment. Indeed, for some of us, a holiday is the only chance to have time to ourselves!

But we’ve all been there, ready to craft but forgotten something vital, so I turned to the camping and caravanning contingent for some tips for packing like a pro. These ladies are experts in packing light and many of them, like Sharon, rely on the Stampin’ Up!® Kits Collection.

Sharon said: "The kits are brilliant, they've got everything in them you need. If I made my own up I would probably end up taking too much stuff!"

Heather is another big fan of the kits: “I love taking the Stampin’ Up!® card kits away in the caravan as they have everything in them to make some cards and don't take up much space. I don’t always take the kits but it’s much easier when I do because they are quicker to sort. When I pack my own kit I always find there’s something I want but have left at home!”

Sue R, a long-standing member of my Stampin’ Up!® team, has this advice: “It’s all about planning. I take Designer Series Paper and matching cardstock, or use In Colors as there are only five in each set, so they take up less space.”

Everyone is trying to avoid the problem of taking too much stuff or leaving something vital behind and one of my lovely customers, Sue F is a seasoned motorhomer who has experienced both issues.

She had these three main tips for you:

1. Plan

“One of my main things is to plan well ahead what I want to do while I'm away so I can then think about what I need to take. I’m going away again soon and will probably do some Christmas stamping and take along my colouring tools so I can sit in the sun and colour.”

2. Prepare

Put together a box of supplies that you can leave in the caravan or motorhome so you always have the essentials. On one trip I took loads of supplies but when I got it all out I realised I’d forgotten my scissors. The kitchen scissors did the job but weren't the best.

3. Pare down

Don’t take too much stuff with you. I’ve done that before and been too overwhelmed to make anything.

💡 Remember, when you pack one of our lovely Stampin’ Up!® kits, you will need to add scissors and, if it’s a Paper Pumpkin kit, a clear block for your stamps.

Thank you so much to my crafty campers who helped with this advice. Do you take craft supplies away with you? If so, please let me know in the comments!

And if you are in the UK and like any of the products you see here, please visit my store and, if you use the NEW July 2022 host code ZPZ3ZRHC, I’ll send you a thank you gift next month.

Does your wish list come to more than £99? Please get in touch and I will help you get more for your money and unlock discounts all year round.  
 
 

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.