Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Wish me luck!

It's my first workshop tonight and I'm already nervous. I'm doing three projects; a Roses in Winter card, a little box and, for the make and take, a Lovely as a Tree card. Will show you them all in the next few days...

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Wallet card

Wallet cards like this are ideal for giving money, gift vouchers, tickets, stickers and, er... other flat things.

I’m not going to give you measurements – the best thing to do is start with your envelope. If you’re using a standard DL envelope, you’ll need a whole sheet of A4 which you score and fold into thirds. If you’re using a non-standard envelope, you’ll just have to wing it, like I did!

Cut half of the front flap off. For this card, I cut strips of Rose Red and Elegant Eggplant and attached them behind the front flap, to highlight the edge.

The card is held together by a band – to make this you need a strip of cardstock at least as long as the card itself. Don’t fall into the trap of scoring it in the same places as the card as this makes the fit too tight. So, ahem, for my second attempt I just folded it around carefully and creased where necessary. You cover the join with the embellishment; in this case a flower layered on to a round scallop. I added the white dots with a gel pen simply because I felt like it.

All done – just make sure your recipient knows to slide off the band to open the card so that they don’t destroy your creation trying to get into it!

Stamps: Seeing Spots (p52), Wonderful Words p60).
Cardstock: Regal Rose, Rose Red, Elegant Eggplant, Whisper White
Ink: Rose Red
Accessories: Scallop Circle Punch (p80), 1” circle punch (p80), 1 ¼” circle punch (p80), uni-ball® Signo Gel Pen (p82), ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon - Elegant Eggplant.

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the link on the right to view it online.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Two steps to stamping heaven

Throughout February Stampin’ Up! is giving a 25% discount on selected Two-Step Stampin’ stamp sets. There are three sets in the promotion:

Big Bold Birthday (p35)
Mixed Bouquet (p42)
Shapes and Shadows (p54)

To be eligible for this offer, you need to spend £35 on other Stampin' Up! products. You can buy as many of the sets in the offer as you like but you must spend £35 to qualify each time.

Click here to see more information about this offer - please note that the prices shown include the discount.

Two-step stamping is a fun and effective technique. If you want to know more about two-step stamping, why not book a workshop in your home? This is a fun way to get together with your stamping and non-stamping friends, spread the word about stamping and earn free products! If you can't fit one into your schedule but still want to take advantage of this special offer, don't forget you can order any time.

To see instructions for Two-step stamping and a card made with Shapes & Shadows, click here.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Open Night make and takes

The Stampin' Up! ladies crammed in so much last night at the Open Night in Birmingham. Shelli Gardner demonstrated the Simply Sent Kit (p74-75) which contains everything you need to get started in rubber stamping and the Stamp-a-ma-jig (p81) which aids precision stamping. She also had a very nifty glitter trick up her sleeve!

There were also demonstrations from a lady called Donna (I can't remember her surname) from the head office in Utah, USA. She demoed several items, including this froggy card, which was our  first Make and Take. 

To colour the image - which is from Unfrogettable (p33) we used the Aqua Painter (p81).  It's a hollow paintbrush which you fill with water and it makes watercolouring so easy. You can use it with several different media; we used the Watercolour Wonder Crayons (p82). We coloured the image roughly with crayons, then wet it with the aquapainter to blend the colours. For detailed areas, we used the aquapainter to get colour directly from the tip of the crayon. I got a bit carried away and made my paper too wet and there was no time to dry it out, so it wrinkled quite a lot. 

The envelope is made from paper as smooth as Stampin' Up!'s Whisper White cardstock, so is beautiful to stamp on. We were told that Stampin' Up! never like to send out an envelope "naked" so always stamp on them. I must try to do this more often, as it does look lovely. 

Our second Make and Take was this little Love Note (p78). For this we used the two-step stamping technique and the stamp set Two Cute (p55). I'd completely overlooked this set but love the cute little card we made!

The greeting is from Basic Phrases (p65). 

We were also given a free catalogue each and there were several prize draws - my friends Alison and Betty were both lucky enough to win a stamp set, which made the evening all the more exciting!

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue or click the link on the right to view the catalogue online. 

Friday, 25 January 2008

I could have stamped all night...

I could have stamped all night!
I could have stamped all night!
And still have begged for more...

Yes I'm back from the Birmingham Open Night, where I met Stampin' Up! co-founder and CEO Shelli Gardner! Had lots of time to chat to her and I have to say it's true: she really is as nice as everybody says she is. She was down-to-earth, funny and... well, just normal! 

We did two make and takes, four demonstrations... and lots to take in! I hope I've picked up some good tips for my first workshop next week!

More tomorrow...

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Dip your toes in the water

It may be too cold to dip your toes in the water but it's not too chilly for another “wet on wet” watercoloured card made with Summer by the Sea.

For full details of the watercolouring technique used, please click here. And to find out how to make the little tab at the base of the image, please click here.

Stamps: Summer by the Sea (p48)
Cardstock: So Saffron, Chocolate Chip, Bordering Blue, Whisper White
Ink: Basic Black, Versamark, Ruby Red, Close to Cocoa, Chocolate Chip, So Saffron, Bordering Blue
Accessories: Round Tab Punch (p80), Gingham ribbon – Caramel (p86)

All products by Stampin’ Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the link on the right to view it online.

Edited to add: In answer to Debbie's question, I distressed the edges of the cardstock with scissors. 

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Another little box

Here’s another little pillar box. This time I printed the template directly on to my cardstock… but I probably won’t do that again as I’ve had to trim some of it very carefully to avoid the print lines showing. You also have to remember to keep the print lines on the inside, so they can’t be seen.

I stamped it with Birthday Best which is a fantastic set to start with if you’re new to Stampin’ Up! because you can stamp it in black and colour it in with whatever you have to hand. It’s also hugely versatile, being good for many occasions. As well as this flower, there’s a balloon, a fairy cake and a greeting which reads “happy birthday today – happy times all year!” And, of course, you can ink just part of this with markers.

I coloured the image with blender pens and ink pad. Details here.

Anyway, for those interested (ie, Debbie), the box measure 8.5cm (3½”) tall, not including flaps. It’s about 6cm (2½”) wide at the bottom and 4cm (1¾”) wide at the top. This is what is going inside:

A rubber stamp measuring 4cm square (1½”)
A Stampin’ Spot ink pad 3cm square (1¼”)
A couple of lengths of the two ribbons used on the box.

I daren’t put the ink pad in until the very last minute because there’s a tiny chance it might leak. It shouldn’t but it would ruin my day so I’m not risking it.

Stamps: Birthday Best (p34)
Cardstock: Tempting Turquoise, Basic Black, Whisper White
Paper: Petals & Paisleys (p73)
Ink: Basic Black, Tempting Turquoise
Accessories: Blender pens (p81), ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon - Tempting Turquoise (p86), Gingham ribbon – black (p86), Brads – Vintage (p85)

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the link on the right to view it online.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Using ribbon - part 1

I thought I'd start an occasional look at ribbon. I love ribbon - another U-turn, naturally! I particularly love grosgrain ribbon, which has "ribbed" effect... oh, and gingham ribbon, love that too!

There are countless ways to use ribbon on your projects so I'll feature a few at a time, starting with some really simple ways which are so obvious I'm almost embarrassed to post them. Almost... but not quite!

A simple strip
The first photo features a simple strip of ribbon. To add interest I cut a V from the end of the ribbon. It's 5/8" grosgrain (p86) but if you're using narrower ribbon you could cut the end at an angle instead.

I attached it with SNAIL adhesive (p81) - my new favourite thing! You can see the full card by clicking here.

Get knotted!
In the second photo I wrapped the ribbon around the panel. Obviously not ALL the way - no point in having ribbon you can't see! I do like to make my ribbon go a LONG way so, wherever possible, I'll design the card to make as economical use of the ribbon as possible. I don't like to see cut ends inside my cards so will wrap my ribbon around a layer and attach the ends underneath. I'll even cut lengths as short as an inch from behind layers to use again on future projects! Well, a penny saved... as they say!

I could have left this plain but thought a knot would be interesting. This is just a simple knot - nothing fancy. See the full card here.

Using those leftovers
The third photo shows you what I do with all those tiny scraps of ribbon. I fold them over and attach them behind a layer to create a tab. Click here for the full card.

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to request a catalogue or see right to view it online.

Monday, 21 January 2008

Romance in the sand dunes

Thank you all for the positive feedback on my watermark - nice to see that you're all doing as you're told!

Now, to answer Debbie's question about yesterday's gift box: what would fit inside? Um... without trying any of these things, and purely as a size guide, I reckon you'd get any of the following in there:

One Milky Way
Two Penguins (the biscuits, not the birds)
Three Ferrero Rocher

But I'll probably put a small stamp and a few other SU goodies in there and use it as a gift for one of my hostesses. I have my first workshop next week!

Now, on to today's card...

What could be more romantic than sitting in the dunes together, with sand in your eyes and seagulls eyeing your tuna sandwiches menacingly?

This is another from the batch of cards I made using Summer by the Sea, embossing and the wet on wet watercolouring technique, all of which you can read about here. The colours bled a little on this one – not entirely sure I can get away with it!

To get the word “happiness” I used a marker to ink part of one of the greetings stamps which come with this set. The full stamp reads “Wishing you happiness”.

Stamps: Summer by the Sea (p48)
Cardstock: Close to Cocoa, Ruby Red, Chocolate Chip, Whisper White
Paper: Prints Designer Series Paper – Close to Cocoa (p73)
Ink: Mellow Moss, Close to Cocoa, Ruby Red, So Saffron, Basic Black
Accessories: Twill Tape (p87), Hodgepodge Hardware – Pewter (p84), Stampin' Emboss Powder – Clear (p82)

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the link on the right to view it online.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Little boxes...

I found this great little box template on the Stampin’ Up! demonstrator site. You’re supposed to increase the size but I thought I’d made a little one. I printed it out and stuck it to my cardstock with temporary adhesive and used a craft knife to cut it out.  I’m not brilliant at cutting with a craft knire - or folding -  so it’s a bit ropey round the back… I didn’t need to mention that, did I? Oops.

Ooh, and do you like my new watermark? I made that all by myself! It took me AGES so positive feedback only please! 

Stamps: Seeing Spots (p52)
Cardstock: Certainly Celery, Always Artichoke, Whisper White
Ink: Certainly Celery, Always Artichoke
Paper: Designer Prints Series - Certainly Celery (p73)
Accessories: Scallop Circle Punch (p80), 1 1/4” Circle Punch (p80), 1 3/8” circle punch (p80), 1/4” Grosgrain Ribbon – Always Artichoke (p86), 5/8” Grosgrain Ribbon - Certainly Celery (p86), White gel pen (p82), Hodgepodge Hardware – Pewter (p84)

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the link on the right to view it online.

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Shelli is coming to England!

I've just had news that Shelli Gardner, co-founder and CEO of Stampin' Up! is coming to England to be at two of our Open Nights! 

She'll be at the Birmingham and London nights, so don't miss this opportunity to meet her. She is an integral part of Stampin' Up! and everyone who has met her speaks very, very highly of her. 

The Open Nights are a chance to enjoy making handmade cards while learning about Stampin’ Up!’s exclusive products for card making, scrapbooking, home d├ęcor, and more. 

For more details about the Open Nights, click the link in the events panel on the right. 

Friday, 18 January 2008

Rain, rain, go away

Will it just please stop raining? The weather has been so gloomy lately that I thought I'd make some summery cards but it's so dark today that I can't get a decent picture. 

I coloured a set of these images from Summer By the Sea using the wet on wet watercolouring technique. I'm not a big embosser but, when combined with embossing, wet on wet is really easy so I made an exception. Apologies to those who know all this but I want to make this blog accessible to everyone, so just skip the techniques if you're not interested:

You can emboss with the Versamark pad and coloured embossing powder (Stampin' Up! sells black, white, silver and clear). Or you can use the Versamark pad, a coloured ink pad and clear powder. This is what I did, using my black ink pad as I didn't have any black embossing powder:

1. Ink your stamp with Versamark. 
2. Immediately ink your stamp with a colour. 
3. Immediately stamp on your cardstock. 
4. Sprinkle with powder and shake off the excess. You can relax now - the rush is over.
5. Set the powder with a Heat Tool (p82). 

If you have the correct coloured powder, you just stamp with Versamark, sprinkle, shake off excess and heat. 

Wet on wet watercolouring
This is a fun technique that is really easy. It works best with embossed images, which stop the ink from going over the lines. 

You can use watercolour paints, watercolour pencils, reinkers or ink pads. I used ink pads - if you squeeze a closed Stampin' Up! ink pad hard with your thumbs in the middle of the lid, when you open the pad there is a pool of ink on the underside of the lid. You can use this for painting - but do make sure to dry it fully before closing the lid.

Take your piece of cardstock with the embossed image and completely soak it with water. Using a paint brush, apply spots of colour where required. They will run, they may even go over the lines a little, depending on your image, but it will be a subtle effect. For brighter colours, add more ink. For paler colours, add more water and spread the ink around a little. 

I coloured this image with Ruby Red, Chocolate Chip and Mellow Moss. To make the colour for the girl's skin, I mixed a little Ruby Red with So Saffron. Blush Blossom is roughly the same colour but I don't have that ink pad. 

Allow to dry. Mine dried near the fire in about an hour... although you could speed it up with the heat gun if required. They were quite wrinkly so I left them under a couple of heavy books overnight. If you still have wrinkles, make sure you don't skimp on the adhesive. 

Stamps: Summer by the Sea (p48)
Cardstock: Mellow Moss, Chocolate Chip, Ruby Red, Whisper White
Ink: Versamark (p82), Ruby Red, Chocolate Chip, Mellow Moss, So Saffron, Basic Black
Accessories: Brads - Rich Regals (p85), Gingham Ribbon - Mellow Moss (p86), Stampin' Emboss Powder - clear (p82)

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to request a catalogue, or see right for a link to the online version.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Browned off?

Now what's wrong with brown flowers? Don't be put off by brown - it's the colour of chocolate, after all! Here are two cards in shades of brown and cream. Very similar designs but with a few variations.

The stamp set is Heartfelt, which is a Level 3 Hostess set which you can earn for free by hosting a qualifying workshop in your home. I've used two-step stamping to create the flowers. For the solid image, I stamped off with Close to Cocoa. There are more details about stamping off, and other techniques used on these cards, here.

Landscape card
To add depth to the background of this card, I used the Direct to Paper technique, applying the ink pad onto the edges and corners of the card. If you've never tried this method, be warned; the first time you do it you'll hate it and think it looks like a mess. You'll look at other people's efforts and love them but think your own aren't up to scratch. (Ask me how I know!) You'll get over this eventually... unless you're a Virgo or a similarly-minded neat and tidy person, in which case you'll probably never embrace this Shabby Chic look!

Stamps: Heartfelt (p20), Birthday Best (p34) - I inked part of the greeting with a marker
Cardstock: Close to Cocoa, Chocolate Chip, Very Vanilla
Paper: Brocade Background (p72)
Ink: Close to Cocoa, Chocolate Chip
Accessories: Chocolate Chip marker (p70), Twill tape (p87)

Portrait card
You'll no doubt notice that this card has a wonky layer... I like to call that "endearing" rather than faulty! To create a "tone on tone" background, I used the Close to Cocoa inkpad on cardstock of the same colour. To make it a little more subdued, I stamped off on scrap paper first.

The patterned paper is from the Prints Designer Series Papers - you get 12 sheets in six patterns, all in one shade. I bought the Certainly Celery but have swapped some of it with Alison - this is a useful way of making your budget give you more variety.

Stamps: Heartfelt (p20)
Cardstock: Close to Cocoa, Chocolate Chip, Confetti White
Paper: Prints Designer Series Papers - Close to Cocoa (p72)
Ink: Close to Cocoa
Accessories: Gingham ribbon - caramel (p86), Crafters' Tool Kit (p85)

All products are by Stampin' Up! Please email me to request a catalogue, or see right for a link to the online version.

Monday, 14 January 2008

A glimpse of summer

This is very similar to one of the cards we'll be making at the card-making evening on 8th February. It uses A Tree for All Seasons which is a handy set of four stamps, featuring... you guessed it, a tree for each season. This is summer! You can stamp it in black and colour it in however you choose, or do as I've done here and simply stamp it in green. And there's that Cutie Pie paper popping up again!

So if you want to come along and make cards like this, please click here to find out more.

Stamps: A Tree for All Seasons (p44), Sincere Salutations (p61).
Cardstock: Bashful Blue, Rose Red, Certainly Celery, Whisper White.
Paper: Cutie Pie (p73).
Ink: Always Artichoke.
Accessories: 1/4" Grosgrain Ribbon - Always Artichoke (p86).

All supplies by Stampin' Up! Please email me to request a catalogue, or see right for a link to the online version.

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Please come to our stamp camp

It's finally happening; Alison (friend and downline) and I are holding a rubber stamping evening and we spent all yesterday afternoon planning what we're going to make!

It's suitable for all abilities - beginners are welcome. You'll make four cards and there will be a prize draw, displays, and product/technique demonstrations. All materials and equipment will be provided - we'll even give you something to eat and drink!

Not bad for a bargain £5! You couldn't even buy four decent cards from a shop for that price!

The event is on Friday, 8th February, from 7.30pm to 9.30pm. It's in a secret location (!) in the Derby area - please email me for full details and a registration form. All forms need to be returned no later than Friday, 1st February.

Places must be booked in advance and will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Payment must be made in advance and is non-refundable.

Please come and please tell your friends! You don't need to be an expert, you don't even need to have stamped before. Experienced stampers, why not come along for the fun of it, and to enjoy playing with some fantastic Stampin' Up! products?

Friday, 11 January 2008

A Christmas card? In January?

I know, I know, Christmas was simply AGES ago... but I wanted to post this gorgeous card I received from CC, my cousin, who just so happens to be a Stampin' Up! demonstrator in Canada. I want to have a go at making a version of this for a birthday as I love it so much.

CC says to tell you that it wasn't her own design... but this one has become so popular with stampers that neither of us now knows who created the original. So thank you to the anonymous genius who came up with this one!

To create the panel, you have to mask off a frame; probably the best way is with sticky notes. Then you can sponge the central panel with ink, or apply chalks. This one looks like ink to me. 'Stamp off' the trees - on scrap paper first and onto the card second (and third if you want an even paler tree). 

Remove the sticky notes and then stamp your main image. CC says she inked the stamp with green then removed the ink from the trunk with what she calls a Q-tip (she means a cotton bud). Then she inked the trunk with a dark brown marker. There's glitter on the tree - she's known for her love of glitter!

Oh, one more thing; the ribbon goes all the way round both the front and back of the card. The front and back are stuck together at the left and the front of the card is scored just to the right of the ribbon. I don't if there's a particular reason she's done it this way (perhaps she'll tell us!) but it looks very cool. 

Edited to add:  CC has posted an explanation but you might miss it buried down in the comments section:  I love this card too and I'm not just saying that-LOL! The fold started as an error when I was scoring the card in half. I always like to say "There are no mistakes in stamping", so I just scored it again in the right spot and glued that 1/4" bit down. I knew the ribbon was going to go there anyway so that's how it all happened. Does that make sense? CC

Stamps: Lovely as a Tree (p45), Seasonal Wishes (p62)
Cardstock: Whisper White
Ink: Always Artichoke, Chocolate Chip
Accessories: Sponge Daubers (p81), Marker - Chocolate Chip (p70), 1.4" grosgrain ribbon - Always Artichoke (p86), Stampin' Glitter - Dazzling Diamonds (p82).

(All page numbers refer to the UK Stampin' Up! Idea Book & Catalogue 2007-2008.)

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Stepping things up...

Here are two cards which are the same... but different.

Both cards are inspired by a blue and yellow card made by a Canadian demonstrator called Natasha (I can't show it to you as it's in a subscription-only gallery.)

I changed the stamp set and the colours but kept to the same design. The first card is quite simple while the second one is "stepped up"... I added some distressing and paper piercing, and popped up the image with Stampin' Dimensionals to give it ... er... dimension.

The patterned paper is Prints Designer Series which come in packs of 12 sheets of double-sided paper. They come in six colours; as you can see, I chose Certainly Celery because - as you've probably guessed by now - it is one of my favourites.

Two-step Stamping & Stamping Off
The main image comes from the Hostess set, Heartfelt. It's such an absolutely gorgeous set that it's worth getting everyone you know round to your house for a Stampin' Up! party so that you can earn it for free.

This is two-step stamping. I inked the first stamp - the solid image - with markers; the flower head Rose Red, the leaves and stem Always Artichoke. I then "stamped off" on scrap paper before stamping on the white cardstock. For the detailed image, I inked the second stamp with markers and stamped straight on top of the first image. This doesn't require any special equipment, I just guess... as you can probably tell. But I don't think it needs to be "perfect"; I like it as it is.

Background Stamping
I stamped the background with En Francais, one of Stampin' Up! large background stamps. I used to hate these. See? Another U-turn! I hated them because I didn't know how to use them. Now I think they're fantastic. Here's how to use them - it works every time:

1. Turn the background stamp upside down, rubber facing up, on top of a piece of A4 scrap paper. Have the paper lengthways (landscape) and the stamp to one end of the paper.

2. Ink the stamp all over - SU's inkpads are designed to be able to do this easily, with finger grips and a raised pad. Tap, tap, tap; don't rub your pad in a circular motion as it makes the edges fray. Ask me how I know!

3. Place your piece of cardstock on top of the inked stamp.

4. Fold the scrap paper over the top of the cardstock and rub gently all over. I suppose you could do it without the scrap paper but you'd get filthy.

Finally, the recipe...

Stamps:  Heartfelt (p20), En Francais (p58)
Cardstock: Certainly Celery, Always Artichoke, Rose Red, Whisper White
Paper: Prints Designer Series Paper - Certainly Celery (p73)
Ink: Certainly Celery
Accessories: Markers - Rose Red, Always Artichoke; 5/8" grosgrain ribbon - Certainly Celery (p86); 1/4" grosgrain ribbon - Always Artichoke (p86), Crafters' Tool Kit (p85)

(All page numbers refer to the UK Stampin' Up! Idea Book & Catalogue 2007-2008)

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Where's the card today then?

I have the card... I have camera batteries... I have daylight to take my photo... in fact, I even have the photo ready. What I don't have today is the time to upload it, so it will have to wait until tomorrow. It's a Heartfelt Thanks card which I'm quite pleased with so I hope you think it's worth the wait!

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Keeping it simple

This card is a bit of a departure for me - all that empty space scared me for a while but now I'm used to it. I've made a bunch of these 12cm square cards for a friend.

The flower comes from a hugely versatile stamp set called Stipple Celebrations which you can earn free if you hold a qualifying workshop. It features 14 stamps (the flower is one of the largest) and includes flowers, a balloon, a seashell, snowflake, bugs, baby rattle... it's one of those really useful "all occasion sets". I punched it out and mounted it on the gorgeous Scallop Punch. You know, I scoffed at the Scallop Circle punch when first introduced... but U-turns are becoming a bit of a habit of mine.

I love these colours together - once again inspired by the Cutie Pie range of Designer Series Paper.

Stamps: Stipple Celebrations (p19), Sincere Salutations (p61).
Cardstock: So Saffron, Rose Red, Certainly Celery, Whisper White.
Paper: Cutie Pie (p73).
Ink: Rose Red.
Accessories: 1 1/4" circle punch (p80), 1 3/8" circle punch (p80), Scallop Circle punch (p80), 5/8" grosgrain ribbon - Certainly Celery (p86).

(All page numbers refer to the UK Stampin' Up! Idea Book & Catalogue 2007-2008)

Monday, 7 January 2008

Stampin' Up! Open Nights

Stampin' Up! is holding three Open Nights around the country:

London - Thursday, January 24th, 7pm-9pm. 

Birmingham - Friday, January 25, 7pm-9pm.

Bristol - Tuesday, January 29th, 7pm-9pm. 

These events are largely for customers, although demonstrators are welcome if they take a customer with them. The evening will include information about signing up as a demonstrator but there will be no obligation and the event will include make and takes plus a chance to find out more about Stampin' Up!'s wonderful products. 

To find out more about any of these events, please email me or click here to visit the Stampin' Up website. 

Sunday, 6 January 2008

New ways with the Round Tab punch

Yesterday I showed you the Round Tab punch, used in its simplest form. But you can get so much more out of this punch, as this card shows. 

This is a birthday card for a friend - you could send it to anyone as HB stands for Happy Birthday... but in this case the recipient's initals are HB, too, so it's doubly  relevant. 

I made the initials with the Headline Alphabet set - which is a fantastic investment for scrapbookers. You mount them with two letters on each piece of wood, so they only take up half the space you'd expect. Being left-handed, I find it easier to stamp from the right to the left; it took me a long time to come to this conclusion so I thought I'd save any lefties the thinking time! 

The background is stamped with the little flower from Shapes & Shadows. The greeting comes from Little Hellos, but a "Happy Birthday" stamp from any set would do. 

Stamps: Headline Alphabet (p66), Shapes & Shadows (p54), Little Hellos (p18). 
Cardstock: Whisper White, Tempting Turquoise, Real Red.
Ink: Real Red, Basic Black, Versamark (p82).
Accessories: Corner Rounder punch (p80), Round Tab punch (p80), gingham ribbon - red (p86).

(All page numbers refer to the UK Stampin' Up! Idea Book & Catalogue 2007-2008)

Okay, back to the tab punch... I'm going to try to load several pictures, which never seems to go well for me so please bear with me. I made both the curly brackets and the groovy gothic tab with the tab punch. I confess to being show the curly brackets technique by my Canadian Cousin (CC) but I discovered the gothic tab all by myself! Although I suspect I'm not the first. 

Curly brackets 
1. First punch out the tab from a small piece of cardstock.  Put the tab to one side - it's this leftover piece that you need for the brackets. 

2. Next take the leftover piece and feed it back into the punch. Hold the punch upside down so you can see what you're doing. Adjust the cardstock until just a small piece is showing - you'll see the curly bracket shape. Punch and very carefully remove the sliver of cardstock - it will be quite fragile.

3. This is what you should end up with. It can now be trimmed with scissors to remove the extra pieces and you'll be left with cute curly brackets. Now, how to stick them down? I used SNAIL Adhesive, placing the brackets on a piece of scrap paper, running the adhesive over the top of the bracket and then carefully peeling them off and removing any excess with a fingernail. 

Gothic tab
1. This time it's the tab that you need. Feed it back into the upside-down punch so you can see this shape. You may find it easier to stick the tab lightly onto a piece of scrap paper first.

2. Punch to create this shape which can then be folded to make a gothic tab. 

Well there are some big gaps in between those pictures  but I think they're all there, and in the right order, so I'm not interfering any more!

Saturday, 5 January 2008

At last... a baby card

Here it is at last, the baby card I made for a colleague who had a baby boy on 2nd January. His name is Samuel James and I can't wait to see him!

The card is another 12cm square one, and the fold is at the top. The spotty strip is cut from that dotted paper from the Cutie Pie range - I just cut a strip of blue spots from the paper. Behind it is some more Cutie Pie paper, with little white flowers on it. 

The stamp is from the Little Hellos set which you can earn for free if you hostess a workshop with sales of £300 or more - not that out of reach if you have some stamp-obsessed friends! It contains stamps for all manner of occasion, with little greetings underneath. I stamped mine out separately for this card, using a marker for the word.

I also used the small spot from the Shapes & Shadows set to create a subtle background with Versamark. Versamark is an absolute must - it's so useful as it makes a "watermark" so you can make "tone on tone" background on any coloured cardstock. 

And the Round Tab punch... oh yes, the tab punch. How I love the tab punch! It produces double this shape, which you fold in half to produce very very cool tabs. More on the tab punch another time...

Stamps: Little Hellos (p18), Shapes and Shadows (p54).
Cardstock: Bashful Blue, Barely Banana, Whisper White.
Ink: Basic Black, Versamark (p82).
Accessories: Stampin' Write Markers - Barely Banana, Bashful Blue, Ballet Blue; Round Tab punch (p80). 

Look! No ribbon! 

(All page numbers refer to the UK Stampin' Up! Idea Book & Catalogue 2007-2008)

Friday, 4 January 2008

Wot, no card?

No, sorry. I have a baby card sitting waiting to be photographed... but none of the batteries I own are strong enough to power the camera. I need some new ones as they are all rechargeable but won't charge up any more. But instead of rushing out to buy some so I can photograph - and, more importantly, send - the baby card, I've been for a long walk in the driving rain and got absolutely soaked. Bring on the snow - please! 

Thursday, 3 January 2008

The last two cards from Mrs B's collection

Happy Birthday Mrs B! Hope your parcel arrives today!

Here are the last two cards from Mrs B's collection. The one on the left (oops - I mean the bottom one!) is my favourite new design - you make it by cutting your A4 card in half along the length and folding it so that it opens at the side. 

The one on the right (which is actually the top one!) follows my new trend for 12cm square cards (which only started because I found a stash of square envelopes!). The strip across the middle is cut from one of the sheets of Cutie Pie paper which has lots of different widths of different patterns, for even more versatility.

I coloured the images using blender pens and ink pads.

Stamps: Cheers to You (p35).
Cardstock: Whisper White, Certainly Celery, Rose Red, So Saffron.
Paper: Cutie Pie (p73).
Ink: Basic Black, Rose Red, Certainly Celery, So Saffron.
Accessories: 5/8" Grosgrain ribbon - Certainly Celery (p86).

Edited to correct left/right/top/bottom problems!

(All page numbers refer to the UK Stampin' Up! Idea Book & Catalogue 2007-2008)

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Mrs B peeped!

Well I notice from the comments that naughty Mrs B peeped at her present so I may as well post another of her cards. 

I made this one with men in mind but some may think it's not masculine enough. As a variation, you could colour what I see as a beer glass in another colour and turn it into a mug of frothy coffee - will have to try that one day. 

To ink just the "Cheers" from the "Cheers to you" stamp, I used a marker. I don't have a Certainly Celery marker so used Always Artichoke, which matches the darker ribbon and I think shows up better.

I did use cheat and use one non-Stampin' Up! supply; I couldn't resist a little white liquid applique on the top of the beer to add texture. I can't even tell you where to get it from as I've had mine for years and, even though it's nearly run out,  I have been unable to find a replacement.

Stamps: Cheers to You
Cardstock: So Saffron, Certainly Celery, Rose Red, Whisper White.
Paper: Cutie Pie (p73).
Ink: Basic Black, So Saffron. 
Accessories: 1/4" Grosgrain ribbon - Always Artichoke (p86), Brads - Rich Regals (p85), Stampin' Write Marker - Always Artichoke (p70), Blender pens (p81).

As I am unlikely to be able to post tomorrow, here's another Mrs B card. This is a tiny 3" square card made with Stampin' Up!'s Love Notes. It's too small to post but sometimes a tiny card is just enough and I hope Mrs B will find a use for it. 

Stamps: Cheers to You.
Cardstock: Whisper White, So Saffron, Rose Red.
Paper: Cutie Pie (p73). 
Ink: Basic Black, So Saffron, Rose Red, Certainly Celery.
Accessories: Blender pens (p81), 5/8" Grosgrain ribbon - Certainly Celery. 

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Happy New Year!

I hope your 2008 is filled with lots of exciting new craft projects!

I've been playing with this gorgeous new stamp set - it's called Lovely As A Tree and features six stamps; a large group of trees, two individual trees, a cluster of oak leaves and two small leaf stamps. 

I made the top card with one of my favourite  colour combinations: Barely Banana, Mellow Moss and Perfect Plum which are all from the Soft Subtles range. I stamped the image on Whisper White for a bright clean look.
Then I played around with the same card in colours from the Rich Regals range: So Saffron, Always Artichoke and Elegant Eggplant, stamping on Very Vanilla for a more mellow look... and I much prefer it. I used paper piercing which is an easy way to add interest -  all it is is piercing the cardstock with a piercing tool or simply a pin. 

And here is one more card I made with the set, using greens from the two ranges:

Finally, a list of supplies:

Stamps: Lovely as a Tree (p45), Wonderful Words (p60).
Cardstock: Barely Banana, Mellow Moss, Perfect Plum, So Saffron, Always Artichoke, Elegant Eggplant, Whisper White, Very Vanilla. 
Ink: Mellow Moss, Always Artichoke.
Accessories: 1.4" Grosgrain Ribbon - Always Artichoke (p86), Gingham Ribbon - Moss (p86), Crafters' Tool Kit (p85).

(All page numbers refer to the UK Stampin' Up! Idea Book & Catalogue 2007-2008)

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.