Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Contain Yourself

This was the main project at my Contain Yourself workshop; a covered Altoid tin with a tiny concertina album inside. This can be decorated further with small photos ... or anything else which takes your fancy.

We used an all-new colour combination (for me) ... So Saffron, More Mustard and Very Vanilla.

There’s a tutorial about covering the tin here.

The mini album to go inside was very simple – just a 3.5” strip of cardstock, scored at 2” intervals. I just used one strip from a sheet of A4 cardstock but you could add another strip if you wanted more “pages” I kept mine very simple – just stamped a bit of foliage on each “page”. The bottom piece is stuck inside the tin with Sticky Strip, so that won’t be going anywhere any time soon.

Stamps: Pocket Silhouettes
Cardstock: More Mustard, So Saffron, Very Vanilla
Paper: Patterns Designer Series Paper – So Saffron
Ink: More Mustard, So Saffron
Accessories: 1 ¼” circle punch, 1 3/8” circle punch, Scallop Circle Punch, Scallop Edge Punch, ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon - More Mustard and Very Vanilla, 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.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Jelly belly (that's me by the way)

This test tube filled with jelly beans is one of the projects we made at my Contain Yourself workshop last night. I’m a bit sick of jelly beans to be honest as I couldn’t help eating the odd one (hundred) as I was devising this project.

Thanks to everyone who came along – hope you enjoyed it. I certainly enjoyed the cakes that Alison had made for us!

So basically, this is just making a tag, which can be as simple or elaborate as you like. This is made from a strip of Sage Shadow cardstock, cut ever so slightly narrower than the tag punch cuts. This means you can feed one end only into the punch and make a longer tag. It’s embellished with the Scallop Oval Punch and Large Oval Punch, along with their sister stamp set, Oval All. I stamped the image twice – once on the Rose Red cardstock, which I punched out with the scalloped punch, and then again on Whisper White, which I punched out with the plain oval punch. This means you can layer them up and still get the full benefit of the cool little stars that fit so neatly into the scallops.

The ribbon is very simple. I just cut a short piece (or use some from my army of much-mocked scraps) and loop it through the tag’s hole. Then remove the test tube lid, poke the ends in and replace the lid, which will hold the ribbon in place. Then just tie a bow around the whole tube, secured at the back with a tiny piece of tape or a glue dot to stop it slipping down.

Stamps: Oval All
Cardstock: Sage Shadow, Rose Red, Barely Banana
Ink: Basic Gray, Rose Red
Accessories: Large Tag Punch, Large Oval Punch, Scallop Oval Punch, Scallop Edge Punch, Crop-A-Dile™, blender pens, black 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, 25 July 2009

Three for the price of one!

These 4in square Fresh-Cut notecards are perfect for putting together quick and easy cards. Here are a few simple ways to use them. Of course, you don't need to use the Fresh Cuts stamp set - you can use any stamps you have.

This first one is the method I use most. I use Versamark to stamp the large image from the co-ordinating Fresh Cuts stamp set on a piece of Whisper White cardstock measuring 3 ¾” square. Then I do the Poppin’ Pastels technique (click here for details) to chalk the image in various colours. Then I decorate the centre of the flower using whatever I feel like – in this case the 5-Petal Flower punch, the Boho Blossoms punch and a brad. As the notecard is made from the lovely and smooth Whisper White cardstock, it’s perfect for stamping on, too, so here I’ve stamped the corners of the card with Cameo Coral and the spriggy image from the same stamp set. I’ve overstamped the words with Chocolate Chip.

Stamps: Fresh Cuts
Cardstock: Whisper White, Cameo Coral, Mellow Moss, Chocolate Chip
Ink: Versamark, Cameo Coral, Chocolate Chip
Accessories: Stampin Pastels, Fresh-Cut Notes, 5-Petal punch, Boho Blossoms punch, Rich Regals brads, Moss gingham ribbon

Here’s an even simpler and quicker way – this time I’ve used Designer Series Paper behind the die-cut to create a bolder background. Again layered up with punches and, for a more luxurious feel, a felt flower from the Flower Fusion pack and a rhinestone brad.

Stamps: Fresh Cuts
Cardstock: Whisper White, So Saffron, Always Artichoke
Paper: Brocade Background
Ink: Always Artichoke, So Saffron
Accessories: Fresh-Cut Notes, Mellow Moss Taffeta Ribbon, 5-Petal punch, Boho Blossoms Punch, Flower Fusion Felt Flowers, Circle Fire Rhinestone Brads

This card is even bolder – with the large image stamped on the front of the card for a change. Behind the aperture I placed some Old Olive cardstock and then layered it with a Pumpkin Pie punched flower and a huge felt flower. Not one to send to a shrinking violet, for sure.

Stamps: Fresh Cuts
Cardstock: Whisper White, Old Olive, Pumpkin Pie
Ink: Pumpkin Pie, Old Olive
Accessories: Fresh-Cut Notes, 5/8” Grosgrain Ribbon – Old Olive, 5-Petal punch, Flower Fusion felt flowers, Circle Fire rhinestone brads

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

Friday, 24 July 2009

Here's one I made earlier...

This is a fun 3D item to demonstrate at a workshop – not least because putting it together neatly when all eyes are upon you is a nerve-wracking experience! This was the “here’s one I made earlier” for a workshop I did last Friday night. It’s filled with sweets and I explain how to make one here.

For this one, I dug out all my circle punches, starting with the scallop for the Always Artichoke layer and ending with the half-inch punch to top it all with a small circle punched from the Designer Series Paper.

Stamps: Circle of Friendship
Cardstock: Always Artichoke, Certainly Celery, Bashful Blue, Whisper White
Paper: Summer Picnic
Ink: Always Artichoke
Accessories: ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon - Always Artichoke, Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon - Bashful Blue, Scallop Circle Punch, 1 3/8” circle punch, 1 ¼” circle punch, 1” circle punch, ½” circle punch, crafters’ toolkit for piercing.

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

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Free catalogue with Crafts Beautiful

If you're a Crafts Beautiful reader, you may want to get your September issue from Tesco because you'll get a free Stampin' Up! Idea Book & Catalogue with it! The September issue is on sale at the end of this month - but remember you must buy it in Tesco to get the free catalogue.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Distressing circle flowers

Everyone’s making these distressed circle flowers lately so I thought I’d better have a go, even though I’m not sure if like them or not. Well, put it this way, I like other people's better than my efforts!

After all that fiddling with circle punches, distressing and layering, I thought I’d better keep the rest of the card simple and just sponged chalk around the edges of the Very Vanilla background, which I layered onto Bravo Burgundy and Kraft.

The Brocade Blue Grosgrain Ribbon is 5/8” wide but, as there is already so much distressing on this card, I thought the fraying wouldn’t matter if I cut it in half lengthways to make this narrow flag.

Stamps: Fresh Cuts
Cardstock: Kraft, Bravo Burgundy, Handsome Hunter, Night of Navy, Ballet Blue
Ink: Bravo Burgundy
Accessories: 5/8” Grosgrain Ribbon - Brocade Blue, Rich Regals buttons, Boho Blossoms punch, 1 3/8” circle punch, 1 ¼” circle punch, 1” circle punch. Stampin’ Pastels

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

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Menagerie a trois?

A ropey picture but quite a fun card, I thought. The Stamp-a-ma-jig® came into its own to place the animals just where I wanted them. The Pumpkin Pie strip is scalloped at each end and folded over to create a novel vertical element, topped with a button.

Stamps: Wild About You
Cardstock: Bashful Blue, Pumpkin Pie, So Saffron, Whisper White
Ink: So Saffron, Bashful Blue, Pumpkin Pie
Accessories: Scallop Edge 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.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Oh Christmas Tree...

Finally, the last project from my Christmas in July event. This is quite a simple card but I think it needs to be simple due to the “busy-ness” of the Scandinavian Season stamp used on the tree. We stamped the image and then cut out the tree shape, losing the trunk. The snowflake was stamped on Whisper White and then cut out using the fabulous Paper Snips. Much glitter was applied.

The star is stamped in White StazOn® and then glittered.

The “snow” is simply a piece of torn Whisper White cardstock on a Night of Navy background.

On the day we used the “Merry Christmas” stamp from Seasonal Wishes which is a lot more swirly and more suited to the card I thought.

Stamps: Scandinavian Season, Season of Joy
Cardstock: Ruby Red, Night of Navy, Whisper White, Sage Shadow
Ink: Always Artichoke, Ruby Red, White StazOn®
Accessories: Silver brads, Stampin’ Glitter,

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

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Time for a Tree

I love, love, LOVE this card! Oops, shouldn’t say that about my own cards, should I? Oh well, if I don’t, who will?

The sample is flawed as the snowflake stamp had – gasp! – been put away dirty. As you can see, I’m a right-to-left stamper – I’m not Chinese so this must be due to being left-handed.

The background images are from Happy Winter – a fab little set that is such a bargain and will make you really cute Christmas cards. But the star of the show on this card is the Time for a Tree wheel. It’s wheeled in black and then coloured in with markers and blender pens. I started with Bashful Blue and Real Red and then wasn’t sure what to add – I have to credit my Mum with the idea to use Always Artichoke (“dark green” in her language). It was an inspired idea and I don’t know who was more surprised – her or me! (She can bake and she can sew – but she shuns papercrafts.)

Stamps: Time for a Tree wheel, Happy Winter
Cardstock: Bashful Blue, Always Artichoke, Whisper White
Paper: Patterns - Bashful Blue
Ink: Basic Black cartridge, Bashful Blue
Accessories: Red gingham ribbon, Stampin’ Write markers, 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.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Christmas trees

Lovely as a Tree is a must-have stamp set in my opinion; the perfect stamp set for Christmas cards, birthday cards, masculine cards, sympathy cards, scrapbooking... you name it. It’s a beautiful set and you will not regret buying it, I promise!

We stamped the trees at random along the bottom of the Bordering Blue card, then added a strip of Designer Series Paper with some cardstock, ribbon and a tag. Of note, I used to think that Bordering Blue was a horrible, dirty colour which had nothing going for it. And then I saw it with Real Red and was completely sold! Another U-turn, eh?

Tricky bits? I cut the scallop square down a little but you don’t need to – I only did it because initially I made this with the small tag punch. To get the “hole reinforcer” on the tag you can do it one of two ways:

1. Punch the small hole in a piece of red cardstock using the large hole punch on the Crop-A-Dile™. Then, with your punch upside-down, punch the half-inch circle over the top to create the doughnut shape. Then attach to your tag.

2. Punch the half-inch circle and stick it to the tag. Then punch the hole using the large holde punch on the Crop-A-Dile.

The linen thread is actually in two pieces – the first is a short piece tied around the red ribbon. The second is just a loop, attached behind the ribbon. No clever tying required!

Naturally, the ribbon doesn’t go all the way around the card – the ends are hidden behind the Designer Series Paper. Waste not, want not!

Oh, one more thing. At the workshop we used the hostess set Best Yet, which has a Christmas stamp which fits the tag punch perfectly.

Stamps: Lovely As a Tree, Daily Flexible Phrases
Cardstock: Bordering Blue, Chocolate Chip, Real Red, Whisper White
Paper: Ski Slope
Ink: Bordering Blue, Real Red
Accessories: Tag Punch, ½” circle punch, Crop-A-Dile™, Scallop Edge Punch, Scallop Square Punch, Corner Rounder, 5/8” Grosgrain Ribbon – Real Red, 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.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Looking ahead to 2010...

It’s me! I’m back!

Sorry about the long wait for a new project... I’ve been so busy with stamping workshops and parties and real life that I’ve not had time to stamp anything new!

But Saturday was my Christmas in July workshop, where we ate mince pies (thanks, Mum!) and made four projects.

Three of the projects were Christmas cards... and then there was this one. Just for a change, I thought we’d make a coaster calendar. I soon realised that it was impossible (or at least very difficult) to buy a 2010 calendar in the middle of July so I made my own on the computer. I sincerely hope nobody is going to run their lives by my calendar! A couple of people had to put the months in the right order so anything could happen!

It also soon transpired that I had failed to pack the two crucial punches for this project – Large Oval and Scalloped Oval – but luckily the hall isn’t far from my home so I nipped back to fetch them and was there and back within seven minutes. Doesn’t look professional though, does it?

Anyway, back to the calendar. It’s really simple to make – just cut a 4”x4” square of Designer Series Paper and stick it to a coaster. I used Tombow Multi-Adhesive which is really strong and has a nice wide spreader at one end. Then you can cut round the corners with scissors and sand the edges, all the way round, with an emery board. To cover any areas where the paper might not quite meet the edge of the coaster, you can ink it up using the direct-to-paper technique – this is where you hold the ink pad and apply the ink, ahem, direct to the paper. Hence the name.

The ribbon is joined behind the calendar, so no ugly joins to be seen. The Crop-A-Dile™ punched through the 12 sheets of paper and the piece of cardstock without batting an eyelid. I didn’t realise until I tried it but you can use brads in conjunction with the small hole made by the Crop-A-Dile’s and you won’t see any gaps.

The bulldog clip is decorated with a tiny scrap of Designer Series Paper – fiddly but worth it, I think.

You can make these calendars with magnets on the back, so you can put them on the fridge. But we made a small stand using scrap cardstock, so the calendar stands up.

Here’s the recipe...

Stamps: Doodle That, Office Accoutrement
Cardstock: Really Rust, Old Olive, Whisper White
Paper: Spiced Cider
Ink: Old Olive, Pumpkin Pie
Accessories: Silver Brads, ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon - Whisper White, Large Oval Punch, Scallop Oval Punch

Other items: Bulldog clips (Staples), Calendar (I made it – if you want the PDF, let me know), blank coaster (these were a gift and I've never managed to find any in this country - you could use a beer mat and cover both sides, or cut the shape from chipboard).

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

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Shame-faced and project-less

I'm sorry but I simply don't have anything new to show you at the moment. Well, not strictly true as I have the Christmas in July projects but they're all packed up and ready to go on Saturday and it's too dark to photograph them now anyway.

We seem to have come to that part of the year which is so very, very hectic that there isn't time to do anything else other than ferry children around and dash from one place to another. And I have so many Stampin' Up!® events on at the moment that there isn't any time to stamp - which doesn't sound right, does it? Anyone want to sign up as a demonstrator and share the load?

I promise to bring you something new soon... just not sure when exactly!

Monday, 6 July 2009

Giraffe journal

Sorry for the longish absence, have had a really busy few days. Sadly, too busy to stamp so this is the only project I have to show you until I get time to stamp some more!

This is a 6”x6” journal I made using some bright and cheery Summer Picnic paper. I think this spotty sheet goes very well with the spots on the giraffe from Wild About You. The grass is a fun touch – simply take a scrap of cardstock and cut the “grass” with your scissors. They curl naturally but you can encourage them with the edge of your scissors if you wish. The insides of the covers are covered with Pumpkin Pie cardstock.

Stamps: Wild About You
Cardstock: Whisper White, Bashful Blue, Real Red, Pumpkin Pie, Old Olive
Paper: Summer Picnic
Ink: Pumpkin Pie
Accessories: Scallop Edge Punch, ¼” Grosgrain ribbon – Real Red, gingham ribbon – red and pale blue, Striped Grosgrain Ribbon - Bashful Blue, Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon - Bashful Blue

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

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Stampin' Up!® Summer Design Challenge

Why a picture of Dovedale in Derbyshire? Well why not? This picture sums up summer, spending warm evenings cooling down in the water after a picnic.

What does summer mean to you? It's time to start thinking about that because this summer you could win free stamp sets when you participate in the Summer Design Challenge.

Create a summer-inspired project using current Stampin' Up! products for your chance to win some fabulous stamp sets!

There are three prizes available for customers:

First Place: A prize package consisting of stamp sets to the value of £150
Two runners-up: A prize package of stamp sets to the value of £50

Let the season inspire you to craft a unique and original project featuring or interpreting your summer 2009. Your project will be judged on excellence of content, interpretation of the theme, skilful use of technique, use of current Stampin’ Up! products, creativity, and innovation.

What’s more, to encourage my customers to take part in this fabulous competition, I’m offering a separate prize. Every one of my customers or workshop attendees who takes part in this competition is invited to send me a photo of their entry for independent judging. The winner will receive a free stamp set from me! So that seriously increases your chances of winning something fabulous!

Your project must be created using only Stampin' Up! products – so no Cuttlebugs, no binding machines, no altered tins (unless it’s a SU tin, such as the Flower Fusion tin, for example). No sneaking in non-SU white cardstock as, trust me, they'll know! Your project can be a card, home decor, a scrapbook page, or a 3D item. It must be on a summer theme and only one project per participant will be accepted. Your project must also be unique, original (this is not a time for CASEing, I’m afraid), and created for the Summer Design Challenge.

So what are you waiting for? Get stamping!

How to Enter
Post your original project to Stampin’ Up! UK Ltd, Aston Court, Kingsmead Business Park, Frederick Place, High Wycombe, Bucks HP13 1LA, to arrive by 31st August, 2009.

Your entry must include your name, postal address and telephone number. A list of products used must be included with the project submission. Please take a photo of your entry before submitting it as sponsor will not acknowledge receipt of entries, and entries will not be returned as they may be displayed at future Stampin' Up! events or on the Stampin' Up! web site. For a copy of the full rules, please click here.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Cake thank you

A very simple card, made and photographed in a hurry as a thank you for a delicious cake which was delivered to our house last weekend. What better image could there be?

I already had the image stamped and coloured – it’s a good idea to colour three or a four at a time while you have all your stuff out – so threw this quick card together using some scraps of cardstock and ribbon. Very quick, very easy and, well, sometimes quick and easy does the job best of all.

Check back tomorrow for an exciting challenge I have for all my customers!

Stamps: Crazy for Cupcakes, Pocket Silhouettes
Cardstock: Bashful Blue, Rose Red, Whisper White
Paper: Summer Picnic
Ink: Basic Gray, Chocolate Chip
Accessories: Watercolour Wonder™ crayons, blender pens, ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon - Whisper White

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.