Sunday, 31 May 2009

Summer Picnic tin

This is a DVD tin, which I bought as part of a tin share with some other UK demonstrators. It’s a great size, about A5, and could be used as a pencil/pen tin, to hold cards or homemade sweets, or as a container for a small scrapbook album. I want to make another one with an album inside but my stamping “to do” list is huge, with two workshops and two parties coming up in the next couple of weeks! Eeek!

To cover this tin, I used exactly the same method as for covering an Altoid tin – there’s a tutorial here. Then I decorated it with a kind of collage of co-ordinating papers and accessories. Notice that it only took me a couple of days to lapse back into Old Olive mode!

Stamps: Tart and Tangy
Cardstock: Pumpkin Pie, Bashful Blue, Old Olive, Whisper White
Paper: Summer Picnic
Ink: Old Olive
Accessories: Flower Fusion Felt Flowers, Silver Brads, ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon – Pumpkin Pie, Striped Grosgrain Ribbon - Bashful Blue, Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon – Bashful Blue, Scallop Circle Punch, 1 ¼” circle punch, 1 3/8” circle punch

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

Friday, 29 May 2009

Double pocket card

My pocket cards workshop is coming up in June so I was having a play around with different designs. I found this one and thought it was quite fun – it’s a double pocket card made from a sheet of A4 paper. It would be a bit bulky with cardstock so it uses Designer Series Paper – which is lovely because you get to see both sides.

In the pockets I put two tags. One says “Memo” on it – you could use this to write a message on. The other tag could be a useful bookmark.

Now I have to come up with some more pocket card designs before 22nd June! All ideas gratefully received!

Stamps: Office Accoutrement
Cardstock: Basic Gray, So Saffron, Whisper White
Paper: Tea Party
Ink: So Saffron, Almost Amethyst, Basic Gray
Accessories: Crop-A-Dile™, So Saffron striped ribbon, Hodgepodge Hardware® - Pewter

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

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Masculine Cards Workshop

Cards for men are always a challenge, aren’t they? We all have loads of floral stamps, lots of pretty embellishments and ribbons... but they’re all pushed to one side when it comes to making cards for the men in our lives.

So, with Fathers’ Day looming, I thought I’d hold a Masculine Cards Workshop. This is an extra event, on top of my Monthly Monday Workshops, and will be held on a Saturday morning – Saturday 13th June, 9.30am-11.30am to be precise.

It’s at the usual venue and we’ll make four cards for a bargain £5.50, which includes refreshments. Please bring your favourite adhesive if you can, as it speeds things up no end!

For more details, please email me!

And, while I’m here, I’ve added some new Monthly Monday Workshops to the events panel on the right; the first new one is the Summer Special, which will feature projects on a seaside and summer theme (I can’t wait for this one – it’s one of my favourite themes!). And you’ll love the second one; Moving Cards. This will feature cards that move, such as pop-ups and explosions. How very exciting!

Check out the panel on the right – as you can see, places are going fast so email me to reserve your place as soon as possible please!

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

On track for scrapbooking

Scrapbooking doesn't have to be difficult. Here’s a 6x6 scrapbook page which is really easy to create. In fact, all 6x6 scrapbook pages are easy because they’re so small. They’re perfect for new scrapbookers as they’re not so daunting, and they’re idea for special albums such as a travel journal, a new baby book or a gift for grandparents.

I haven’t found a train-related photo to add to this one (although I know there’s one out there – just need to put my hands on it) but I thought I’d post it anyway. You know what I’m like – it could be months before I finish it and the Choo Choo stamp set could be retired by then!

I wheeled along the bottom of the cardstock with the Right on Track wheel. Next I stamped the engine, carriages and puff of smoke on Whisper White cardstock and cut them out. Initially I cut out the window of the engine but it was far too fiddly to do this on the carriages so I started again and left the windows in. The train is popped up using Stampin’ Dimensionals.

And that’s about it really ... when I eventually finish off, I’ll add a small amount of journaling – maybe just the location and date.

Stamps: Choo Choo, Right on Track wheel
Cardstock: Real Red, Basic Black, Tempting Turquoise, Whisper White
Ink: Real Red, Tempting Turquoise, Basic Gray, Basic Black (ink cartridge)
Accessories: Scallop Edge Punch

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

Monday, 25 May 2009

Yummy cakes

This card is a blatant CASE of a card from another Stampin’ Up! demonstrator called Melanie. She took part in a swap I held earlier this year and made the cute cake stand card in this photo. I love the Z fold and have never thought to do one before. I love the way Melanie cut out a separate cake and popped it up on a Circle of Friendship but I was concerned about time restraints (this was the third card at my Monthly Monday Workshop) so swapped that element for a felt flower and some ribbon.

This was from the blender pens workshop and we coloured this image using blender pens and Stampin’ Pastels. The cardstock is So Saffron but I discovered that the So Saffron chalk didn’t work so well on the cake icing, so used Barely Banana instead. One of the ladies gave her cakes pale pink icing, too, which looked fab – wish I’d thought of that!

The Z fold is really easy – just fold your piece of A5 cardstock as normal, then score the front vertically at the halfway point and fold it back on itself. The cake image is stuck on the front (folded back) piece which really makes it stand out when the card is standing up.

Stamps: Crazy for Cupcakes
Cardstock: So Saffron, Rose Red, Whisper White
Paper: Patterns Designer Series Paper - Bashful Blue
Ink: Basic Gray
Accessories: Blender pens, Stampin’ Pastels, Flower Fusion felt flowers, silver brads, pale blue gingham ribbon

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

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Beach scrapbook pages

I don’t show you enough scrapbook pages. In fact, I don’t do enough scrapbooking which is a shame because I love it and I think it’s really important to record the important things in your life and leave something for your descendants. Imagine how much you’d cherish a scrapbook created by your own grandmother or even great-grandmother? You’d learn so much about them, their lifestyle and your own family history.

Anyway, lecture over... I have been practising what I preach a little lately and made this double-page spread. I’ve always scrapbooked in the past by starting with the photographs, then agonising over them for hours – sometimes days – before I actually stick anything down. If I’m ever to get round to running a scrapbooking class, this method simply wouldn’t work so I decided it was time to see if I could work “backwards”.

As luck would have it, I found a set of scrap maps (patterns) in an old copy of Creating Keepsakes magazine. It showed you how to cut several sheets of cardstock and paper to make five scrapbook pages. So I just did it, with the intention of adding the photos later.

Then I discovered that it was really hard to find photos to fit the gaps – I suppose if I’d been more patient I could have gone through the computer and had some printed but I wanted to do it all on the same day. So I adapted the pattern to suit my photos, adding journalling in the square where I couldn’t find a photo to fit.

And this is it. The spread is about a day we spent on the beach in Norfolk in 2007 with my Canadian cousin, who was visiting. The weather was crazy that day – we had three thunderstorms and were very aware of the dangers of being the tallest thing on the now-deserted beach! We huddled in our beach tent, which turned out not to be waterproof, and got absolutely soaked. But in between the storms, it was a lovely day and we managed to dry out in time for the next downpour. It’s a day I doubt any of us will ever forget but these scrapbook pages will make absolutely sure!

The small squares are all the same size (3”x3”), to give the page some continuity - I stuck Whisper White rectangles where I wanted the photos to go – this made it easier to “finish” the page without the photos. The flowers break up the harsh lines. The use of Bashful Blue links in nicely with the blue sky. And I have recently embraced hand-written journalling because I think it will also be nicer for future generations to see something more personal than a computer font. But the main reason is because it’s so much quicker than printing on the computer and means I actually get to finish a page.

Stamps: Big Deal Aphabet, Short Order Alphabet
Cardstock: Pumpkin Pie, Whisper White
Paper: Summer Picnic
Ink: Old Olive, Bashful Blue, Pumpkin Pie
Accessories: Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon - Bashful Blue, Striped Grosgrain Ribbon - Bashful Blue, corner rounder, Die-Cut Blooms, Boho Blossoms punch, Earth Elements Buttons

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

Friday, 22 May 2009

Monogram journal

This was sooooo easy to make with my birthday Bind-it-All. As you can see I used my favourite colour – Old Olive.

You know, it’s actually really, really hard to type with a cat lying across your hand.

But ploughing on... this is a 4”x6” book/journal/call it whatever you like. I made the inner pages using index cards – it’s so simple I must remember to go and buy loads of packs of index cards! I covered the two covered (which were just chipboard) with this lovely Haiku paper, then added the ribbon and floral motif. This is made from a die-cut bloom (which are lovely and textured), with a Chocolate Chip scallop on top, then the monogram (this one’s for me to keep, evidently!)

Next I covered the insides with cardstock. I can’t remember what colour I used – Old Olive or Chocolate Chip – and I can’t go and check because there’s a cat lying across my hand. Yes, still.

Stamps: Typeset Alphabet Upper
Cardstock: Chocolate Chip, Always Artichoke, Very Vanilla
Paper: Haiku
Ink: Old Olive
Accessories: Die-Cut blooms, 5/8” Grosgrain Ribbon – Old Olive, Scallop Circle Punch, 1 ¼” circle punch, 1 3/8” circle punch.

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

(And, with perfect timing, the cat moves)

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Gentle blooms

This is another of the cards we made at the workshop on Monday. This time we used the blender pens with Watercolour Wonder™ crayons – which, I have to say, is my favourite way of colouring.

We stamped the image in Basic Gray then coloured in. Some of the ladies stamped the image again and decoupaged on top – very impressive!

The base card is Confetti White which is lovely because it has bits in it! And great for watercolouring or colouring with anything “wet” as it’s absorbent.

Stamps: Soft Summer
Cardstock: Confetti White, Regal Rose, Pretty in Pink textured
Paper: Sweet Always
Ink: Basic Gray, Regal Rose
Accessories: Striped Grosgrain Ribbon - Pretty in Pink, Scallop Edge Punch, Watercolour Wonder™ crayons – Rich Regals, blender pens

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

Wednesday, 20 May 2009


On Monday I held my first Monthly Monday Workshop for 10 crafty ladies. The theme was colouring with blender pens and we made three cards using three different methods.

This was one of them – for this card, we coloured the image using the ink from the lids of ink pads. The cardstock is Confetti White which is more absorbent than Whisper White so better for watercolouring or using any wet colouring medium.

This is a colour combination I’ve never used before – I wouldn’t normally put mustard, orange and red together but I like the warmth it creates... with this stamp it's reminiscent of a scorching hot day. Maybe we'll see some of those this summer when the clouds have run out of rain!

Sorry about the garish black backdrop – I had to take the photos in the evening so used a light over a black cloth... which turned out to be rather reflective.

Stamps: Cheers to You
Cardstock: Ruby Red, More Mustard, Pumpkin Pie, Confetti White
Paper: Haiku
Ink: Basic Black, Ruby Red, More Mustard, Pumpkin Pie
Accessories: ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon - More Mustard, blender pens

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

Monday, 18 May 2009

Do the twist

These twisty treat containers – also known as sour cream containers by our transatlantic chums – are really fun to make. You simply make a tube, like a toilet roll holder, then flatten the ends as shown.

I used a 6x6 square of Designer Series Paper, although you can see that the one on the right is slightly shortly because I ended up having to trim it.

Put sticky strip down one side of the paper, then roll the paper, fixing with the sticky strip to make a tube.

Now attach a strip of sticky strip to the inside of one end so that you can flatten the end and join it. You can do this before you roll it up but I found it made it much harder to roll.

You can seal the ends using a long kitchen clip - click here for example - or a paper crimper, if you have one.

Now fill with whatever you want to give – these contain chocolates – and seal the other end. You can seal it with more sticky strip but this does mean the recipient will have to spoil the container to get inside.
You could also make two holes in the top and tie with ribbon.

Finally, decorate. I’ve used the Tart & Tangy stamp set which goes perfectly with this Summer Picnic paper. And don’t forget that Designer Series Paper is on special offer during may – buy three packs and get a fourth free!

Stamps: Tart & Tangy
Cardstock: Real Red, Pumpkin Pie, Whisper White
Paper: Summer Picnic
Ink: Real Red
Accessories: 1 ¼” circle punch, 1 3/8” circle punch, scallop circle punch, 5/8” Grosgrain Ribbon – Real Red, ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon - Whisper White, sticky strip

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

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Oh so pretty

I’m so sorry for the lack of posts – it’s been a chaotic week to say the least.

This is another of my cousin’s creations – it uses the gorgeous Pretties kit. I remember her bringing this kit over on one of her visits and allowing me to take all the pieces out to look at them. But when I suggested actually using some of them, she went pale. Glad to see she’s overcome her fear!

Stamps: Oval All
Cardstock: Earth Elements
Paper: Patterns Designer Series Papers – Old Olive
Ink: Elegant Eggplant
Accessories: ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon - Elegant Eggplant, 5/8” Grosgrain Ribbon - Certainly Celery, Pretties Kit, blender pen

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

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Simple bambi card

This is a very quick and simple card but I think it’s quite cute – and I hope the party guests think so too on Friday when they make this as their Make & Take!  

The deer comes from the gorgeous Forest Friends set which I still don’t think I’ve made enough use of. Yes I’ve used the rabbit loads and this deer a couple of times but I have barely inked the owl and the tree.

Stamps: Forest Friends
Cardstock: Pretty in Pink
Paper: Sweet Always
Ink: Chocolate Chip
Accessories: ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon - Chocolate Chip, Scallop Edge Punch, ¾” circle punch

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

Monday, 11 May 2009

A little stamping detective work

I was first introduced to rubber stamping by my cousin in Canada but, at first, our stamping styles couldn’t be more different.

She was into really cutesy, girlie images, lots of bows and frills and fuss. Lots of glitter and lots of detail. My style was very plain and simple (boring?) – no ribbon, no bows, no flowers, nothing girlie at all. And definitely no glitter!

But that was 12 years ago and things change. Gradually, I’ve learned to embrace ribbon, floral images and make more elaborate creations.

My cousin, on the other hand, has toned things down... we always say that we’ve met somewhere in the middle.

Which is a rather long-winded way build up to this card. I honestly think that, if I didn’t tell you otherwise, I could easily pass this card off as one of my own – and yet my cousin made it for me.

There are clues if you look for them. For a start, the card is slightly squatter than our standard size, to fit Canadian envelopes. A rather more obscure hint that it’s not my creation is the small amount of piercing in the bottom right-hand corner - I’d never think to do that. 

But the big clue is the glitter on the butterfly. I still don’t get on with glitter – some things never change!

Stamps: Oval All
Cardstock: Pumpkin Pie, Whisper White, Regal Rose
Paper: Sweet Always
Ink: Chocolate Chip
Accessories: Large Oval Punch, Scallop Oval Punch, Scallop Edge Punch, Stampin’ Glitter – Dazzling Diamonds, ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon - Chocolate Chip, Crafters’ Toolkit, Rich Regals Brads.

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

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Going, going...

...gone! Some of the retiring items from the back of the current Idea Book & Catalogue are now sold out. They are:

104156: Flitting By jumbo Stampin’ Around wheel
108980: Petals jumbo Stampin’ Around wheel
109957: Whisper White Wrapping Paper

Sorry for any inconvenience. It does, however, serve as a timely warning of the limited availability of all retiring items. If there's anything on your wishlist that's retiring, it's a good idea to get it now, while you still can. Check out the full list in this post - and don't say I didn't warn you! 

Friday, 8 May 2009

This little piggy...

I know swine flu is not to be sniffed at but I couldn’t help jumping on the bandwagon and creating my very own swine flu treatment. Well, I'd be telling porkies if I claimed it was a treatment but this is a very effective way of containing swine flu, ordinary flu or, in fact, the common cold.

I bring you... drum roll please... a packet of tissues.

Yes, sneeze into one of these handy items, then bin it, and you will be doing your bit to contain any nasty germs. Remember, coughs and sneezes spread diseases.

There’s no stamping at all on my pig-themed tissue holder. I used the following punches to make the pig:

• 1 3/8” circle punch for the body
• 1” circle punch for the head
• ½” circle punch for the nose
• Boho Blossoms punch for the ears and feet

To make the ears and feet, punch two sets of flowers out using the Boho Blossoms punch. Discard (or save for a future project) the smallest one. The six-petal flower will make the ears – just cut two straight lines across the flower to get two opposite petals. Fold this strip in half to make the ears. Take the largest flower to make the feet and cut in the same way, across the flower, but this time make sure you have two petals left on each side. 

To make the box, I used the grid paper to make a template – click here for a tutorial. Finally, I added some ribbon so that when you pull it, the tissues come out of the packet. To do this, make a hole on each side of a box and thread the ribbon through (make sure you have quite a lot of ribbon - probably best to keep it on the roll until you're sure how much you need). Use the pack of tissues to push the middle of the ribbon down to the bottom of the  box, then tie the ends at the top and trim. You don't need to undo the knot or bow to pull out the tissues. 

Cardstock: Regal Rose, Whisper White
Paper: Sweet Always
Accessories: Scallop Edge Punch, 1 3/8” circle punch, 1” circle punch, ½” circle punch, Boho Blossoms punch, ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon - Whisper White, Markers – Regal Rose, Basic Black

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

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Book now to reserve your place

Places are filling fast for my Monthly Monday workshops!

Just to recap, each month we’ll make beautiful projects, try new techniques and, of course, have lots of crafting fun. We'll make three or four projects (occasionally two), which will give me the flexibility to devise projects with more embellishments or more detail. They will be suitable for crafters of all abilities. 

Workshops planned so far:
18th May: Ways to use blender pens for colourful cards
22nd June: Pockets – pocket cards, bookmark card etc
27th July: Contain yourself: Decorate a mint tin with mini album to go inside – and more

All workshops take place from 7.30pm-9.30pm at the usual venue (DE7).

The cost of £5.50 per person is payable at least a week in advance and includes all equipment and materials. Please bring your own adhesive but don't worry if you forget - also any special adhesives (eg Sticky Strip, Stampin' Dimensionals) will be supplied. 

You’ll also receive a Loyalty Card which you can use at any of my events where you pay a fee. When you have five stamps on your card, you can order a free gift of Stampin’ Up! merchandise, such as ribbon, ink pad or cardstock.

Sounds like fun? Please email me to check availability. And if you miss out this time, don't worry - more workshops will be announced soon. 

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Completing the shell collection

My last Seaside card for a while and, as a finale, I really went to town, using all of the stamps from the set, arranged (and some popped up) on a piece of Kraft cardstock. I inked the edges of the Kraft with Close to Cocoa ink and then distressed the edges to shabby it up a bit.

Canvas provides the background on the Kraft piece (subtly) and the Close to Cocoa card base (more obvious) and a rectangle of Cameo Coral, with scalloped edges, provides a hint of colour.

Ooh, this set is a new favourite!

Stamps: Seaside, Sincere Salutations, Canvas
Cardstock: Close to Cocoa, Kraft, Cameo Coral, Very Vanilla
Ink: Close to Cocoa, Basic Grey
Accessories: Watercolour Wonder™ crayons, blender pens, scallop edge punch

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

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Collecting shells

Still staying on the Seaside theme, I decided to step things up a little by adding some more shells to a card. 

After colouring the images with Watercolour Wonder™ crayons and blender pens, I cut them out and arranged them on some Confetti White cardstock, popping up the starfish to add dimension. 

I thought the linen thread looks suitably seaside-y and masculine (this card is for a man), and the Canvas background on the Close to Cocoa card base looked a little like fishing net. Again, I was going for an uneven finish with the Canvas background, so pressed harder in certain places. I added some extra ink around the edges to give it a shabby feel.

Stamps: Seaside, Sincere Salutations, Canvas
Cardstock: Close to Cocoa, Ruby Red, Confetti White, Very Vanilla
Ink: Basic Grey, Close to Cocoa
Accessories: Watercolour Wonder™ crayons – Earth Elements, blender pens, linen thread

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

Saturday, 2 May 2009

May special offers

There are two fabulous offers during May to celebrate Scrapbooking Month. The first is a discount on Designer Series Papers... then read on for a fantastic way to get started as a Stampin’ Up!® Demonstrator for less than £100!

Are you crazy for paper?
Like many crafters, I love patterned papers... as  you can probably tell from many of my project. So I’m delighted that May brings a special offer on Designer Series Papers from Stampin’ Up!®

During May, you get four packs of Designer Series Paper for the price of three.

Each pack contains 12 sheets; two each of six double-sided designs for £7.75 (64.5p per sheet). If you take advantage of the promotion, they work out at £5.81 per pack, or just 48.4p per sheet.

There are 20 beautiful collections to choose from, as this promotion covers all of the current papers in the Idea Book & Catalogue, all of the retired papers at the back of the catalogue, plus the three collections in the Mini catalogue. And don’t forget that the Prints and Patterns collections each come in six different colourways.

So loads of choice... and a great opportunity to stock up! Why not get together with a friend and share the deal? You could split each pack so that you get one of every sheet for even greater variety.

Join me for £99!
Now it’s even cheaper to join the Stampin’ Up!® team! During May, to celebrate Scrapbooking Month, you can sign up as a demonstrator for just £99.

The special £99 starter kit is geared towards scrapbookers but gives you the same benefits and discounts as any demonstrator who signs up by purchasing the £139 kit.

In the £99 kit, you receive:
  • Short Order Alphabet stamp set (or any stamp set to the price of £38.95)

  • Petal Party Simply Scrappin® kit

  • Pumpkin Pie Classic Stampin’ Pad

  • Earth Elements textured cardstock, 12x12

  • Craft & Rubber scissors

  • all the business supplies that you receive in the standard Starter Kit
This special Starter Kit is only available during May. Please note that you can still sign up by purchasing the standard Starter Kit for £139 during this period, too. If you’d like to find out more about becoming a demonstrator, or would like to discuss which Starter Kit is right for you, please email me using the link at the top of the page. 

Friday, 1 May 2009

Starring starfish

Here’s another of the gorgeous Seaside images. For this card I stamped the card base with the En Francais background stamp, then inked around the edges to “dirty” it up a bit.

The image is stamped in Basic Grey on to Very Vanilla and then coloured with Watercolour Wonder™ crayons and blender pens. I cut out the image and then popped it up on to some Confetti White cardstock, which is layered on to some Kraft.

Stamps: Seaside, Sincere Salutations, En Francais
Cardstock: Ruby Red, Kraft, Confetti White, Very Vanilla
Ink: Basic Grey, Close to Cocoa
Accessories: Watercolour Wonder™ crayons – Earth Elements, blender pens, ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon – More Mustard

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

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.