Sunday, 31 August 2008

Celery matchbox

This little box opens like a matchbox. The inside tray is made from Designer Series Paper, for ease of folding, while the outer casing is made from cardstock, for rigidity. As I’d used a pretty busy patterned paper, I left the outer box plain and topped it with a simple flower layered on the ubiquitous scallop!

As for what’s in the box… well, nothing yet!

Stamps: Seeing Spots
Cardstock: Certainly Celery, Whisper White
Paper: Prints Designer Series Papers - Certainly Celery
Ink: Certainly Celery
Accessories: 5/8” Grosgrain Ribbon - Certainly Celery, ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon - Whisper White, Crafters’ Toolkit, 1 ¼” circle punch, scallop circle punch

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

Friday, 29 August 2008

Family scrapbook

I’ve had this idea in my head for weeks, possibly months. I wanted to make a 6x6 album and all of its pages using the Simply Scrappin’® kit Home Again (which I love – and choose EVERY time I earn a Level 1 hostess set!) and nothing else.

Well I cheated already on this one – but only because the holes went wrong when I punched the lovely textured Chocolate Chip cardstock that came with the kit. I couldn’t bear to make the same mistake twice, so I replaced the dodgy bits with ordinary smooth Chocolate Chip cardstock from… yes… the Earth Elements scraps box!

I haven’t started the inside pages yet but I’m quite pleased with the album so far. All I did was cover some chipboard with the lovely flowered paper that came with the kit to make the covers. The cover wasn’t as thick as I’d have liked, so I compensated by making the inside covering pieces thicker than normal.

I used the same principles as when making the Cutie Pie journal all those months ago. Click here to see how that was done.

Because the patterned paper is quite busy, I kept the front cover simple – and just used the FAMILY letters and curly brackets that came with the kit to make a title piece. These are self-adhesive die-cuts (don’t call them peel-offs, please!) and you get two of everything, so there will be plenty to decorate the inside pages.

I highly recommend the scrapbooking kits as you get absolutely loads in them and it’s all top quality. The textured cardstock really is fabulous – it looks and feels so classy.

Now I just need to get round to making the pages…

Supplies: Simply Scrappin’® Home Again kit from Stampin’ Up!

Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the picture of the catalogue on the right to view it online.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Frog fun

Another card made from the Earth Elements scraps box. I found a ready-folded More Mustard card in there, so that seemed as a good a start as any. I also found this ready-coloured frog from when I was practising with my Watercolour Wonder™ crayons a few months (yes, months!) ago on some images I’d been sent. I have the Rich Regals crayons and thought Always Artichoke went well enough with Old Olive.

So frog + scraps + Alison’s Seeing Spots set = this card for a small boy who turns, er… six in a week or so.

Stamps: Unfrogettable, Seeing Spots
Cardstock: More Mustard, Old Olive, Chocolate Chip, Ruby Red, Naturals Ivory
Ink: Black StazOn®, More Mustard, Old Olive
Accessories: Watercolour Wonder™ crayons - Rich Regals, Earth Elements buttons, Linen Thread, Crafters’ Toolkit, Corner Rounder

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

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Using those earthy scraps...

I’ve been having a bit of a sort-out and have now organised all my scraps into clear plastic boxes so that I can stack them easily and see what I have. Rachel, if you’re reading, I didn’t have to sit on any lids… but it was a close-run thing with the Earth Elements colour family, so I thought I’d better use some of it up. So expect lots of Earth Elements projects in the coming weeks!

This card started with a strip of 10.5cm wide Old Olive cardstock. I thought it was half of an A4 sheet, cut lengthways, so folded it at 14.8mm to make a side-opening landscape card. It was then that I realised that it wasn’t a full length piece, so one side was short. Doh!

But, as we all know, there are no mistakes in rubber stamping, so I scalloped the short edge with the corner rounder and found a perfectly sized scrap of More Mustard cardstock for the inside, Before I stuck it down I stamped it with the En Francais background stamp, and inked the edges with my More Mustard ink pad, using the direct-to-paper technique.

The rest of the card needs no explanation, just a recipe:

Stamps: Lovely as a Tree, Daily Flexible Phrases
Cardstock: Old Olive, More Mustard, Chocolate Chip, Very Vanilla
Ink: Old Olive, Chocolate Chip, More Mustard
Accessories: Corner Rounder, Earth Elements buttons, Linen Thread

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

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Misting technique

It’s been a frantic few days but at last I have chance to post something. Although I should be preparing for a class I’m holding next weekend – I’m the world’s biggest procrastinator!

To make up for my laxness (laxity?), here’s a mega post – with three samples and lots of pix, which will probably take me ages to post and make me very irritable.

I’ve wanted to try this technique for ages – it’s Misting. The only thing that was holding me back was a lack of misting bottle – but I found one in the garden centre last weekend. No I didn’t want to use my Stampin’ Mist; that felt wasteful.

The technique is simple, although there are many variations of it. I tried Misting with Watercolour Wonder™ crayons. As I soon discovered that you can’ take photos of your own hands, I roped in a mini hand model!

1. Use the crayons directly on to the stamp. This way you can get different colours on different parts of the image.

2. Spray the stamp lightly with water. Then stamp.

Alternatively, spray the paper lightly with water then stamp.
You can also combine this technique with inking your stamp with ink pads or markers. You get more intense colours that way, if that’s what you want.

I tried several variations of this technique. The first four use Watercolour Wonder™ crayons:

1. Naturals Ivory cardstock, sprayed paper.

2. Naturals Ivory cardstock, sprayed stamp. These two were very similar, although a slightly wetter effect was achieved by spraying the stamp.

3. Whisper White cardstock, sprayed stamp. This creates a very washy effect as the cardstock is not absorbent.

4. Whisper White cardstock, sprayed paper. My least favourite as the cardstock doesn’t absorb the water and the cardstock had a speckled effect, although this did dry eventually.

5. For this one, I used ink on the stamp then sprayed it and stamped on Naturals Ivory cardstock. The colour is much more intense.

I have three samples to show you; the supplies are roughly the same for all of them, so only one recipe to avoid repetition:

Stamps: Heartfelt, En Francais, Basic Phrases
Cardstock: Elegant Eggplant, Always Artichoke, Rose Red, Whisper White, Naturals Ivory
Ink: Elegant Eggplant, Always Artichoke
Accessories: ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon – Always Artichoke and Elegant Eggplant, 5/8” Grosgrain Ribbon – Old Olive, Rich Regals brads, 1 ¼” circle punch, Watercolour Wonder™ crayons – Rich Regals, misting bottle.

All products apart from misting bottle by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the picture of the catalogue on the right to view it online.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Old leather handbag

This card was inspired by a sample in the American Papercrafts magazine. I think it was the March or April issue. I was too lazy to photocopy and enlarge the template provided, so made my own – I think it should have been a little shallower. And I committed the worst sin of any cardmaker: I made the card without checking to see if I had an envelope to fit!

In case I’ve failed miserably, the card is supposed to look like a bag, with leather straps and a leather monogram.

I made the bag-shaped card base from Chocolate Chip cardstock then covered the front with Brocade Background Designer Paper. I added the corners and straps with strips of Chocolate Chip cardstock, and dotted along the edges using a marker. I sponged all the edges using Stampin’ Pastels and then again using the Close to Cocoa ink pad to “age” it.

The letters are chipboard, from the On Board Lots of Letters collection. I inked them all over using Chocolate Chip ink, then decided it was too dark, so sponged the edges with some Close to Cocoa chalk. Then I decided it was too pale, so I added some black chalk around the very edges, and finally was happy that they looked like old leather.

Finally I added the hardware and the ribbon handle, which is threaded through slits in the top and tied inside.

Stamps: None!
Cardstock: Chocolate Chip
Paper: Brocade Background
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Close to Cocoa
Accessories: Hodgepodge Hardware® - Pewter, On Board Lots of Letters, Stampin’ Pastels, 3/8” Grosgrain Ribbon - Chocolate Chip, Corner Rounder

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

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Monogrammed card

There are so many things I’d change about this card if I could… but I needed it in a hurry so it had to go. I like it in principle… just feel it could have been better.

The main focal point is the G monogram. This is a chipboard letter from the On Board Lots of Letters collection. The asterisk came from there too and both are simply inked by pressing them on to an ink pad repeatedly.

They are mounted on to a chipboard circle, also from the On Board Lots of Letters collection, which is covered with Fall Flowers paper. To cover the circle, I applied glue all over the chipboard piece, laid it flat on the Designer Paper, then trimmed off the excess with scissors. The edges are rough so I sanded them down lightly with sandpaper.

The rest is pretty self-explanatory I think!

Stamps: Basic Phrases, Daily Flexible Phrases
Cardstock: Really Rust, Old Olive
Paper: Fall Flowers
Ink: Really Rust, Old Olive
Accessories: On Board Lots of Letters, ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon – Always Artichoke, Round Tab Punch

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

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Thinking of you Tree

Don’t look too closely at this one or you’ll notice that the background on this card is wonky! Oops, now I’ve told you.

I made this for one of my “imaginary” friends who is having a really rough time with a family illness at the moment. Hopefully, by the time she gets this, things will be looking up.

Stamps: Lovely as a Tree, Daily Flexible Phrases, En Francais, Sincere Salutations
Cardstock: Chocolate Chip, Close to Cocoa, Barely Banana, Whisper White
Ink: Close to Cocoa, Barely Banana
Accessories: Round Tab Punch, 3/8” Grosgrain Ribbon - Chocolate Chip

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

Friday, 15 August 2008

Can't think of a title!

I hesitated to post this as I’m not sure if I like it or not. I love the colour scheme (as mentioned previously, it’s my new favourite). I like the idea of the white flowers on the Perfect Plum background… but I wish I’d not stamped the one at the bottom towards the right. And I don’t think the image is strong enough to carry such a vibrant background.

But it’s too dark to photograph any of the other cards I’ve made recently, so this is the one you’re getting!

Stamps: Simply Said
Cardstock: Perfect Plum, Rose Red, Old Olive, Whisper White
Ink: Perfect Plum
Accessories: White gel pen, 3/8” Grosgrain Ribbon – Old Olive, ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon - Elegant Eggplant, Crafters’ Toolkit

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

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Use those scraps!

I bet you have loads of scraps of cardstock that you just can’t bear to throw away, just like I do! It’s time to use them up and this is one way to do it. I got the idea for this card from an online gallery ages ago but I cannot remember who designed the original, so can't credit them, sorry. Theirs was very different and used ribbon scraps. 

This is my new favourite colour combination – Perfect Plum, Old Olive and Rose Red.

I wish I’d taken the time to stamp the letters better; I think it’s because the stamps are still quite new. 

Rubber stamps are made in a mould and they have to put something in the mould so that the rubber will come out again – rather like greasing a cake tin. Sometimes there will be residue on your new stamps – it’s not a manufacturing fault, just something that happens occasionally; you notice it more with the more solid stamps. 

To solve the issue you can simply use the stamp, by stamping it a few times on scrap paper. Or try cleaning it with Stampin’ Mist. Or you can rough up the stamp a bit on your jeans. If that doesn’t work, try sanding it VERY lightly with some fine sandpaper.

Stamps: Big Deal Alphabet, Three For You
Cardstock: Perfect Plum, Old Olive, Rose Red, Whisper White
Ink: Perfect Plum, Old Olive, Rose Red
Accessories: Rich Regals brads, Earth Elements buttons, Three For You punch

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

Monday, 11 August 2008

Yet more beach huts

One of my “imaginary” friends, Taylor*, suggested this idea to me, after seeing my beach hut journal. I’m not sure what use this is but it was fun to make. I suppose you could use it as:

1. an ornament
2. a “scrapbook”, with photos and journaling on the back
3. cards, if taken apart and mounted on to hut-shaped card blanks.

All further suggestions welcomed!

Sorry about the ropey photos - it was a bit too sunny and the project was just too wide for me to get it all in focus, with my limited photography skills. 

Anyway, here's how I made it. All the huts are 10cm wide by 14cm tall. I measured 5cm down the side to get the roof angle. To achieve the “wood-effect” on the cardstock, I scored vertically down each hut shape at 1cm intervals.

Using the applicators that came with the Stampin’ Pastels (chalks), I chalked with a slightly darker colour down the score lines, to give it shadow. I tried it with the same colours but darker seemed to work better. These are the colours I used:

Certainly Celery cardstock – I used Mellow Moss chalk
Bashful Blue cardstock – I used Bordering Blue chalk
Barely Banana cardstock – I used So Saffron chalk
Pretty in Pink cardstock – I used Cameo Coral chalk

Next, to soften the effects of the darker chalk and give the wood a more sun-bleached look, I used a sponge dauber to apply white chalk along the length of the non-scored areas (the strips of wood on the hut). You can barely see this on the photo but it did make a big difference, honest!

I cut strips of cardstock and did the same with them to make the roofs and doorsteps. To make the shape for the roof apex (I bet they have a name but I don’t know what it is), I used the Round Tab Punch, punching twice, as shown in this post. I then cut off the piece I needed and discarded the rest.

I stamped the shell from Stipple Celebrations on the doors and then added the brads. What a happy accident it was when I discovered that my Rich Regals brads contained exactly the colours I needed for the doorknobs! They come in Brocade Blue, Regal Rose, Always Artichoke and So Saffron.

That’s it really. I popped up the roofs and doorsteps and joined it all together with Whisper White Grosgrain Ribbon at the back. I’m going to cover the backs with plain cardstock… unless I decide to turn these into cards. I’m awaiting your ideas!

Stamps: Stipple Celebrations
Cardstock: Certainly Celery, Bashful Blue, Barely Banana, Pretty in Pink
Ink: Certainly Celery, Bashful Blue, Barely Banana, Pretty in Pink
Accessories: Stampin’ Pastels, Rich Regals brads, Round Tab Punch

(Tiny announcement: I’m not putting page numbers any more. It takes me ages to find them all and, when the new catalogue comes out in October, they’ll all be out of date anyway.)

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: Okay so it wasn't Taylor, it was Victoria, who clearly won't let it lie until I've corrected the error.  

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Life's still a beach

You all said such nice things about my beach hut journal that I was inspired to make another one. I really wanted to make one using the bright striped paper from the Petals & Paisleys collection but I didn’t have quite a full sheet. So I was delighted to find that I did have a full sheet of this striped paper from my favourite collection, Cutie Pie. I’ve used this so much that I can’t believe I still have so much left!

While I was searching through my Designer Papers I discovered the Cutie Pie floral sheet and realised that the flowers are idea for use with the Three For You punch, so this beach hut has flowers round the door.

The sign this time is a shell image from Stipple Celebrations, a Level 3 hostess set.

I had planned to make the front door open on this one but it didn’t quite work out so, in the end, I just stuck the hinges down with glue dots. Maybe next time.

For details of how to make this journal, please click here.

I have become a little obsessed with beach huts - please keep checking back as I have another, different, beach hut project to post in the next few days! 

Stamps: Stipple Celebrations (p19)
Cardstock: So Saffron (inside cover), Bashful Blue, Rose Red, Certainly Celery, Whisper White
Paper: Cutie Pie (p73)
Ink: So Saffron
Accessories: Three for You punch (p80), Corner Rounder (p80), Crafters’ Toolkit (p85), Hodgepodge Hardware® - Pewter (p84), Jumbo eyelets – Pewter (p85), Crop-A-Dile™ (p85), Linen Thread (p87), ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon - Whisper White, 3/8” Grosgrain Ribbon - Certainly Celery (p86), Book Rings from Staples

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

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Tile effect card

Lining these images up was harder than I thought – even with the Stamp-a-ma-jig®. In the end I wasn’t happy with the white border on the right, so I covered it up with a tab. There are no mistakes in rubber stamping…

The card is larger than normal to accommodate the larger image. Can’t tell you the size, I’m afraid, as I forgot to measure it before it left the building. I just used an envelope from my stash.

The main images are from Stipple Celebrations, which is a Level 3 hostess set. If you want to earn a fab set like this for free, contact me today to book a workshop!

Stamps: Stipple Celebrations (p19), Daily Flexible Phrases (p65), Wonderful Words (p60)
Cardstock: Sage Shadow, Close to Cocoa, So Saffron, Whisper White
Ink: Sage Shadow, Close to Cocoa, So Saffron
Accessories: 3/8” Grosgrain Ribbon - Chocolate Chip (p86), Round Tab Punch (p80), household staple

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

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Life's a beach

I was browsing the internet the other day and saw a chipboard journal in the shape of a beach hut. “I could made one of those,” I thought. So I did.

It was pretty easy, albeit quite time-consuming.

I started with a template made from scrap paper. This book measures 12cm wide by 17cm tall. I cut diagonally from the centre top of the paper to a point 6cm down the side. This was made much easier by folding the template in half lengthways first and cutting while it was still folded.

I made two covers, each from two pieces of cereal box stuck together for thickness. I covered both of them using this striped paper from the Dashing collection. It’s a Christmassy collection but I thought the stripes had a beach hut feel to them, and the colour was just right for sun-bleached wood.

I covered and decorated the covers, in the same way as shown in this tutorial.

To decorate, I cut a strip of Naturals Ivory cardstock and scalloped the edge using the Corner Rounder, piercing for decoration. I cut this into two pieces and attached them separately. This did leave me with a join, which I wasn’t so happy with, so I decided to add the “sign” above the door. This is “hung” with Linen Thread and the ends covered with strips of Basic Gray (sorry, I hate spelling it the American way but I don’t want to confuse it with a certain brand of patterned paper!) cardstock.

The scalloped eaves are popped up, as is the sign.

To make the door, I covered more cereal box card with some Bordering Blue cardstock. I did this to give the door a bit more substance than you’d get from a single sheet of cardstock. All the door furniture is made from Hodgepodge Hardware® - Pewter. The door handle is a photo anchor, secured with a brad (and a Glue Dots behind to stop it spinning round). The hinges are those things whose name I don’t know. I prised them open so they’d fit over the thick door and, by a happy accident, the D rings fell off.

The doorstep is yet more cereal box cardstock covered with Basic Gray cardstock. This is popped up to make it stand proud of the door slightly.

Making holes in the covers was really easy with the Crop-A-Dile™ - which also has guides so that the holes line up perfectly. I also used the Crop-A-Dile™ to set the Jumbo Eyelets.

The inside pages are simply made from cardstock, using the same template as for the covers.

Finally, I held it all together with book rings (I get mine from Staples) and decorated the rings with various co-ordinating ribbons.

We're hoping to pull in a trip to the beach in the next few weeks, so I'd better take some photos to fill this album. Hope this inspires you to make your own beach albums, too! 

Stamps: Daily Flexible Phrases (p65)
Cardstock: Naturals Ivory, Bordering Blue, Basic Gray
Paper: Dashing (p73)
Ink: Brocade Blue
Accessories: Corner rounder (p80) Hodgepodge Hardware® - Pewter (p84), Jumbo Eyelets – Pewter (p85), Linen thread (p87), Crafters’ Toolkit (p85), Crop-A-Dile™ (p85), 5/8” Grosgrain Ribbon - Very Vanilla, Brocade Blue, ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon 0 Very Vanilla, Gingham Ribbon – Caramel (p86), Book rings (Staples)

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

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Something summery

Here are some summery cards that are just perfect for August birthdays. It’s a simple matter of cutting out a couple of flip-flop shapes and punching three holes in them. Thread the ribbon through and decorate the toe-divider and you have the perfect embellishment for a summer card.

I made two of these and, in a rare moment of generosity, decided to share both of them with you in one day instead of trying to spin them out like I usually do.

If you use brads on small embellishments like this punched-out flowers, you’ll find the ends hang over the sides of the flower but you can cut them off using sharp scissors. The hardest part is finding the bit that flies across the room!

Red card
You probably can’t see it but there are red flowers stamped all over the background of this card in Versamark®.

Stamps: Three For You (p80), Daily Flexible Phrases (p-
Cardstock: Real Red, Tempting Turquoise, Whisper White
Paper: Petals & Paisley (p73)
Ink: Real Red, Tempting Turquoise, Versamark®
Accessories: Three For You punch (p80), ½” circle punch (p80), Rhinestone brads – Fire (p85), ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon - Whisper White and Tempting Turquoise (p86)

Purplish card
This was my first effort – I’m not so keen on Orchid Opulence, so used it for my prototype! For the “toe” embellishment on this card, I stamped the larger flower from the Three For You set and then cut it out by hand, then stamped and punched the smaller flower to layer on top, finishing off with a rhinestone brad.

Stamps: Three For You (p80),
Cardstock: Orchid Opulence, Tempting Turquoise,Whisper White
Ink: Orchid Opulence, Tempting Turquoise
Accessories: Three For You punch (p80), Rhinestone brads – Fire (p85), ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon - Tempting Turquoise (p86)

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

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Mmmmm.... chocolate!

Long time, no card! Well, here’s something completely different. I am planning for another Inspiration Challenge on In Love With Stamping and, this time, the inspiration is confectionery. This card was inspired by my very favourite Green & Black’s milk chocolate.

Of course, I couldn’t have positioned the two letters and two words without the Stamp-a-ma-jig®!

Stamps: Polka Dots & Paisley (p51), Daily Flexible Phrases (p65), Big Deal Alphabet (p66)
Cardstock: Ballet Blue, Chocolate Chip
Ink: Chocolate Chip
Accessories: 3/8” Grosgrain Ribbon - Chocolate Chip (p86), Stamp-a-ma-jig® (p81)

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

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Coming soon to a screen near you...

Yes, I've finally had a chance to craft today but now it's too dark to take photos, so you'll just have to wait until tomorrow....

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.