Tuesday, 4 October 2022

MORE Spruced Up Stampin' Up card ideas

Stampin Up UK Ireland Spruced Up card ideas
 
 
This week I am returning to the Spruced Up bundle from Stampin’ Up!® for some more bright and funky Christmas cards.

But first I am happy to tell you it’s a really BIG day at Stampin’ Up!® today (Tues 4th Oct) with lots happening to get excited about.

🇮🇪 The biggest news for us in the UK is that Stampin’ Up!® is launching in Ireland! We are so happy that our neighbours on the Emerald Isle can finally enjoy Stampin’ Up!® products and I am looking forward to helping Irish crafters find what they need and maybe even join my team.

To coincide with the launch in Ireland (and in Belgium), there are TWO amazing offers, whether you want to shop or join.

🛍 Shoppers can enjoy FREE SHIPPING today (Tues 4th Oct) on orders of £60 / €75 or more.

📦 Anyone who joins Stampin’ Up!® between 4th and 31st October can choose extra craft products in their Starter Kit. The kit costs £99 / €129 and you get £154 / €207 of supplies of your choice. PLUS crafters who join from Ireland during October will get FREE registration to OnStage in Vienna, as well as the recorded content.

If you are in the UK or Ireland, I would love to help you get started, so please do get in touch via my website.

Stampin Up UK Ireland Spruced Up card ideas

Now back to today’s projects... and these are some of the cards we made in my World Card Making Day event on Saturday morning. I held this on Zoom so people could attend from anywhere in the country.

The Spruced Up bundle is one of my favourite products in the July-December Stampin’ Up!® Mini Catalogue. I particularly love the Spruced Up Outline dies because, as I mentioned in my previous post about this bundle, when you cut the tree, the parcels and the baubles, you get the outline and the centre of the shape at the same time. 
 
Stampin Up UK Ireland Spruced Up card ideas

The little present die is very cute and I think would be just as useful for birthday cards. This card, in fact, would work equally well if I swapped the greeting for Happy Birthday instead. Similarly, to make it more Christmassy, you could change the Designer Series Paper.

I made this first card by stamping the body of the parcels using the stamps in the Spruced Up stamp set. Stars on the left, stripes on the right. 
 
Stampin Up UK Ireland Spruced Up card ideas
 
When it came to the actual class, I decided to mix things up a little by using Designer Series Paper for my parcels instead. I used patterns from Celebrate Everything Designer Series Paper, which is an exclusive host gift from the Stampin’ Rewards section of the July-December Stampin’ Up!® Mini Catalogue. It’s well worth getting your hands on this if you can as it’s a super-sized pack with cheerful designs for lots of different occasions. 
 
Stampin Up UK Ireland Spruced Up card ideas

One of my favourite designs in the Celebrate Everything Designer Series Paper pack is this one featuring retro baubles. It’s perfect as a backdrop for these bauble outlines in Shaded Spruce, Polished Pink and Granny Apple Green. 
 
Stampin Up UK Ireland Spruced Up card ideas
 

Applying adhesive to these fiddly outline shapes can be a challenge but there are lots of ways you can make this easy:

1. Use Adhesive Sheets before you die-cut. Apply the sheet to your cardstock before die-cutting, then when you pop out your shape it will have a handy peel-off backing.

2. Use a silicone craft sheet to rest your dies on and apply adhesive using a sponge dauber or piece of sponge. This is my preferred method when I’ve forgotten to use Adhesive Sheets.


3. Use the Fine-Tip Glue Pen. Personally I don’t get on with this but I know a lot of people swear by it.

4. Very, very carefully apply glue using the fine end of Tombow Multi-Purpose Liquid Glue. Just dot it very carefully at the widest points of the cardstock. 

Stampin Up UK Ireland Spruced Up card ideas

Stampin Up UK Ireland Spruced Up card ideas


My third design is not my design at all; I copied (CASED) it from my friend Julie Sutcliffe at The Paper Haven. Julie ran an excellent training day for demonstrators featuring this bundle and this was one of her card designs from the day. 
 
Stampin Up UK Ireland Spruced Up card ideas

 
It uses the small tree in Shaded Spruce, stamped on top using the coordinating stamp from the Spruced Up stamp set. This it outlined using Polished Pink cardstock, which fits perfectly – and satisfyingly – around the green.

If the Spruced Up bundle – or any Stampin’ Up!® products – are on your wish list, then today (Tues 4th Oct) is the ideal day to order as there is free shipping available all day...

If you are in the UK and would like to order, please visit my store and, if you use the October 2022 host code 2CVP6XFF, I’ll send you a thank you gift in November.


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, 27 September 2022

Autumn is here! Aspen Tree Dies sponged card

Stampin Up Aspen Tree Dies

 
Autumn is upon us here in the UK so what better time to bring out the gorgeous Stampin’ Up!® Aspen Tree Dies?

Regular readers will know I am a little obsessed with tree-themed products – a love affair which no doubt began with Stampin’ Up!’s much-loved Lovely As A Tree stamp set. I know that set is much missed by many but there are plenty of other gorgeous tree-themed products available now which more than make up for the loss.

This obsession with trees makes autumn is one of my favourite seasons; we get to see stunning rich colours as the trees change, fascinating fungi growing in the woods and, best of all, it means no more heatwaves!

It’s also an opportunity to celebrate this beautiful season with some autumn-themed craft projects. This card, made mainly with Stampin’ Up! Aspen Tree Dies and just a little stamping, was one of the projects for my regular WI class yesterday.

Most of these ladies are not stampers – although many of them enjoy knitting, sewing, painting and embroidery – but they love coming to the classes to try something different... and of course for the social aspect. We craft in a beautiful location in a pub conservatory and follow the class with a light lunch. 
 
Stampin Up Aspen Tree Dies

Yesterday the theme was autumn and the technique was sponging. To create the background, I sponged Cajun Craze, Old Olive and just a hint of Cherry Cobbler on to Crumb Cake cardstock. I used Crumb Cake to give it a more subdued feel. You could also use a Blending Brush instead of sponges to create the same effect, or even a brayer if you have one.

The trees in front are die cut from Crumb Cake using the Aspen Tree Dies and I have added a hint of diluted white ink using a paint brush. 
 
Stampin Up Aspen Tree Dies

The two die-cut leaves – again created with Stampin’ Up! Aspen Tree Dies – are made from white cardstock, sponged in the same colours; Cajun Craze, Old Olive Cherry Cobbler. Using white cardstock here makes the leaves more vivid so they stand out against the background. I love the veining on these leaves, all created with the dies.

The card base was cut using Stampin’ Up!'s Layering Diorama Dies. If I was making this card for myself, I may have added another layer to create a more interesting window on to the trees but I wanted to keep the steps down as I did all the die-cutting in advance for this class.

There is minimal stamping on this project; just a greeting from Charming Sentiments, with a bit of lattice from Apple Harvest. Before assembling, I created some loops of linen thread to add some texture. 
 
I hope you like my autumn Aspen Tree Dies project. If you are in the UK 🇬🇧 and would like to order any products – tree themed or otherwise – please visit my store and, if you use the September 2022 host code BS9X4R4N, I’ll send you a thank you gift in October. 

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.  
 
 
Stampin Up Aspen Tree Dies
 

Are you in Ireland? BIG news! Stampin’ Up!® is heading your way next week! Please message me via my website for more information as this is a fabulous opportunity for you, whether you want to shop or join. 

 

Stampin Up Ireland

Tuesday, 20 September 2022

Spruced Up Stampin' Up card ideas

Stampin Up Spruced up card ideas

I’m a relative latecomer to the Spruced Up bundle from Stampin’ Up!® but then I’m a relative latecomer to Christmas cardmaking this year.

But after being seduced by all the gorgeous samples on Instagram, I was excited to receive my stamps and dies last week and got to crafting immediately.

The most amazing thing about the Spruced Up Outline dies in this bundle is that many of the dies – both trees, the parcel, baubles and snowflake – not only cut out the shape but create an outline too. 
 
Stampin Up Spruced up card ideas

 
You can see this in action on my first project, which is CASEd (Copy and Share Everything) from the catalogue. The Parakeet Party tree and outline were both cut with the same die at the same time. 
 
Stampin Up Spruced up card ideas

 
Copying a catalogue sample is always always a good place to start as it gets you crafting without too much thought. All I did was change the background paper to this cheery red design from the Celebrate Everything Designer Series Pack, which is exclusive to hosts or those who place a qualifying order.

Stampin Up Spruced up card ideas


I was also inspired by Aussie demonstrator Claire Daly’s version using the black and white trees paper from the Celebrate Everything Designer Series Paper pack so made another version. This time I added a splash of Polished Pink on the front tree, picking up this colour in the greeting too. 
 
Stampin Up Spruced up card ideas
 

Let’s talk about this greeting for a moment. You get several sentiment stamps in the Spruced Up set, including “Whatever brings you happiness...” and “May it be yours this Holiday Season”. Now if you’re in the UK like me you will know that we just don’t say holiday season. To us, the holiday season is probably August when the children are off school.

So I was brave and too my scissors to the stamp, carefully trimming away the words “Holiday season” to create two separate stamps. 

Now I can easily stamp “Whatever brings you happiness... may it be yours this Christmas”, which will be much more useful to me and more relatable to the recipients of my handmade Christmas cards.

Don’t be afraid to cut up your Stampin’ Up!® stamps! If you know you will use them more with the words separated, just go for it. The beauty of unmounted stamps is that if you ever do want to put them back together, you can do this simply but mounting them on the same clear stamping block.


Stampin Up Spruced up card ideas


Stampin Up Spruced up card ideas

The outline feature of the Spruced Up Outlines dies is also shown off here in this Christmas tree card. I use the die twice – once on Granny Apple Green cardstock and once on Shaded Spruce. This meant I could give my Granny Apple Green tree a Shaded Spruce outline.

There are stamps which coordinate with the dies and fit the shapes perfectly but for this card I wanted to mix things up a little, so used another stamp from the set to give my tree a striped pattern.

Stampin Up Spruced up card ideas

For this project I used a lovely cheerful Christmas design from the Celebrate Everything Designer Series Pack. This paper really does celebrate everything, with Christmas, birthday and Halloween Designs, as well as lots of generic patterns which can be used for any occasion. If you hit that £150 mark as a happy shopper, or host a party and qualify for Stampin’ Rewards, I highly recommend that you get this pack of versatile paper. 
 
Stampin Up Spruced up card ideas

 
For a change on this card, I laid the Designer Series Paper flat against the Shaded Spruce layer, and popped up the white panel. On this I have stamped Happy Christmas (which does come as two separate stamps) in Shaded Spruce and Polished Pink. 
 
Who would’ve thought I’d willingly be using Polished Pink? My least favourite colour! But when the Designer Series Paper demands it, and toned down with all those lovely rich greens, I can just about stomach it!

If you are in the UK and would like to order this bundle or indeed any current Stampin’ Up!® proeucts, please visit my store and, if you use the September 2022 host code BS9X4R4N, I’ll send you a thank you gift next month.


Are you in Ireland? The good news is that Stampin’ Up!® is launching there on 4th October. Please message me via my website for more info.
 
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, 13 September 2022

Apple Harvest cards – and how to colour with Stampin' Blends alcohol markers

 Apple Harvest Stampin Up card ideas

I’ve been seeing lots of gorgeous projects using Apple Harvest from Stampin’ Up!® so I just had to pop it on to my last order. It’s a beautiful stamp set but I confess there is one thing about it which irritates me... and that’s that you would never get an apple tree with fruit and flowers at the same time! Still, that’s artistic licence I suppose.

I created two cards using the Apple Harvest stamp set, one with green apples and one with red. Both were coloured using Stampin’ Blends alcohol markers. 

Apple Harvest Stampin Up card ideas

For the green card I started with Dark Granny Apple Green Stampin’ Blend around the edges, filling in with Light Granny Apple Green. The leaves are Dark and Light Old Olive. I’m less pleased with the outcome of this one than the red one as I think it could do with a little more blending.

The branches are coloured with Light and Dark Crumb Cake, while the flowers (which shouldn’t even be there!) are Light Petal Pink with a tiny hint of Light Calypso Coral. 

Apple Harvest Stampin Up card ideas

What to do about the cut side of the apple? Eventually I used one of the skin-tone markers – a relatively new addition to the Stampin’ Blends alcohol markers range – on the pips (it doesn’t really matter which one as the area is so small) and the Ivory Stampin’ Blend around the edges of the apple. To soften this slightly as it was still a little dark for my liking, I used the Colour Lifter on top. This is actually misnamed as it pushes colour to the other side of the cardstock rather than lifting it away, but it does the job.

Finally I went around the whole of the outline using the Light Pool Party Stampin’ Blend. This is a popular trick which really helps your image to pop out. You don’t have to use Pool Party but it’s a favourite. 

Apple Harvest Stampin Up card ideas

The background paper for the green Apple Harvest Card is the 2022-24 In Color Designer Series Paper in Parakeet Party, to give the impression of a table cloth. I used a hint of zigzag border (Basic Border Dies) in the same colour on top. 

Apple Harvest Stampin Up card ideas

I coloured the red card in the same way, but used Light and Dark Pool Party Stampin’ Blends for the apple, with Granny Apple Green for the leaves. 

Apple Harvest Stampin Up card ideas


This time I mounted the image on to some of the gorgeous Painted Christmas Designer Series Paper, which has returned for another year. This red pattern is perfect for the apples, as it is reminiscent of a woven basket.

Apple Harvest Stampin Up card ideas

I am in need of birthday cards so used Go-To Greetings to add a happy birthday sentiment to both cards and finished off with some linen thread. 
 

Did you know?

There are new dies to coordinate with this Apple Harvest stamp set. They are called Apple Blossoms Dies and were launched this month as part of the Perfect Partners promotion. The Apple Blossoms Dies are available separately (if you already have the stamps) or as part of a bundle. 
 
Apple Harvest Stampin Up card ideas


Here are my tips for colouring with Stampin’ Blends (alcohol markers) from Stampin’ Up!

➡️ Always use a water-based ink to avoid smudging.
➡️ Always replace the cap when not in use, to prevent the alcohol ink from evaporating.
➡️ Always colour each small section at a time, so the inks blend more easily before drying out.
➡️ Using the Colour Lifter (which is actually a colour "pusher") can soften the edges, such as in the centre of the cut apple.
➡️ Going round the outside edge with Light Pool Party (or other light blue/grey) gives your image depth.

Some people (me!) like to use the dark marker first then blend with the light. Others colour with the light then add dark for depth. Just try it and see which you prefer. 

If you are in the UK and would like to order, please visit my store and, if you use the September 2022 host code BS9X4R4N, 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.  
 
 


Want to pin these projects?


Apple Harvest Stampin Up card ideas

  
Apple Harvest Stampin Up card ideas
   


Tuesday, 6 September 2022

Ringed With Nature anniversary card

Ringed With Nature Stampin Up card idea

I have a big Stampin’ Up!® order on the way to me this week. Admittedly most of it isn’t for me but I do have a couple of new stamp sets and two of the new kits coming. And you know what? Just knowing this renders me almost unable to create anything! Do you get that too? I just want to play with my new stuff! I know, first-world problems, right?
 
Ringed With Nature Stampin Up card idea
 
Anyway, I did pull out my Ringed With Nature stamp set to make this cute anniversary card. It’s our 27th wedding anniversary this week and I may actually remember to give him a card this time!
 
Ringed With Nature Stampin Up card idea


For this card I kept things pretty clean and simple – I do love a white background – with a limited colour palette of Soft Succulent, Crumb Cake and Sweet Sorbet. 
 
Ringed With Nature Stampin Up card idea

 
Soft Succulent is a lovely colour for gentle foliage images. It’s darker than Mint Macaron but still has that softness, and I love the retro vibe it provides when used with Sweet Sorbet and Crumb Cake.

Ringed With Nature Stampin Up card idea


I stamped the Ringed With Nature tree ring image twice; once in Crumb Cake on Crumb Cake cardstock and then again in Sweet Sorbet on cardstock of the same colour. I cut these out by hand because I foolishly didn’t order the Tree Rings Hybrid Embossing Folder.

It was the same with the house – but this is pretty easy to fussy-cut. I gave it a red roof as it reminded me of the lovey houses we saw when we stayed in Nethy Bridge in the Cairngorms.

The foliage is stamped directly on to the card front, resting the tree ring images in place temporarily to guide me. 

Ringed With Nature Stampin Up card idea


A swirl of linen thread adds some texture to the card, then I popped up the house on Dimensionals to make it stand out from the background. Finally I tucked in a cut-out flower to bring it all together.

Ringed With Nature Stampin Up card idea

I hope you like my Ringed With Nature card. If you in the UK and would like to order this or any other Stampin’ Up!® products, please visit my store and, if you use the September 2022 host code BS9X4R4N, 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.