Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Free stamps anyone?

I do love this little bird cage stamp – but just haven’t had much chance to use it yet. It’s from a brand new stamp set called Happy Moments and it’s one of those really useful sets that is just perfect for starting out as it contains almost everything you need; a variety of images suitable for males and females, as well as greetings.

But you can’t buy this set, oh no you can’t. And that’s good news... honest! Because once again it’s time for a Stampin’ Up!® Sale-A-Bration!

This is one of the big events of the Stampin’ Up! calendar – for two whole months, every time you spend £45 you earn yourself a FREE stamp set! There are four brand new, exclusive stamp sets to choose from and it gets better because you can earn a free set as many times as you like! Yes, spend £90 and get two sets, etc.

Best of all, this offer applies to absolutely everyone – customers, hostesses, demonstrators. So if you’re at a Stampin’ Up! party it’s not just the hostess who will get freebies. And you don’t have to be at a party to place an order and earn a free set – all you have to do is email or call.

There are extra freebies for hostesses, too – as well as a great deal if you decide to sign up with Stampin’ Up! during Sale-A-Bration. Here’s the info:

Customers: Spend £45 and earn a free set from the Sale-A-Bration brochure. Spend £90 and earn two free sets ... and so on. There is no limit to the number of free sets you can earn.

Hostesses: As well as a free SAB stamp set for every £45 you spend, there’s an extra one for the hostess if the workshop total reaches £300 or more.

New recruits: If you sign up with Stampin’ Up! during Sale-A-Bration, as well as your fabulous Starter Kit you can choose an extra stamp set to the value of £38.95 from the Idea Book & Catalogue. And, of course, you can start earning free SAB sets as soon as you place your first order.

Stamps: Happy Moments (SAB)
Cardstock: So Saffron, Basic Gray, Regal Rose, Very Vanilla
Paper: Kaleidoscope
Ink: Basic Gray
Accessories: Filigree brads, Rhinestone brads, corner rounder, 5/8” Grosgrain Ribbon - Regal Rose

All products by Stampin' Up!®

Monday, 28 December 2009

Belated Christmas greetings

Sorry for the lack of posts over the last few days – I’m sure you can imagine why I’ve been too busy. I hope you had an excellent Christmas and that things are calming down a little now.

So now it’s time to mop up the last few Christmas cards which I didn’t get round to posting before the big day. Here’s one I made for my friend and downline, Alison, who loves circles on cards.

This is a popular card design on the Stampin’ Up! circuit but I’ve seen it so often I can’t actually recall whose design was my inspiration. It’s been doing the rounds so long now that it would be nigh on impossible to find the original.

The circles are made up of images stamped with Circle Circus and circles punched out from Merry Moments paper. It was quite quick to make and could easily be adapted, using different papers and colours, to a non-Christmassy card.

Stamps: Circle Circus, Sparkly & Bright
Cardstock: Old Olive, Real Red, Very Vanilla
Paper: Merry Moments
Ink: Old Olive, Garden Green, Real Red
Accessories: 1 ¾” circle punch, 1 ¼” circle punch, 1” circle punch, ¾” circle punch, ½” circle punch, ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon – Real Red, Silver Cord

All products by Stampin' Up!®

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

It's a winter wonderland!

Well it’s still a winter wonderland here and, even better, I’ve broken up from work at last. Still loads to do though before the big day!

Finally managed to get together with my old and original stamping buddies at the weekend and we were just making this project when, appropriately, the snow began to fall. How cute is this? Alison was almost beside herself with excitement... and not a drop of alcohol was consumed.

All it is is the 5-10-15-20 box (click here for instructions) with a hole punched in one panel and a piece of vellum secured behind. Pieces of Whisper White cardstock are cut freehand to represent snowy hills and gently chalked along one edge. The trees are cut out and popped up.

As for the “candle” inside... it’s a battery tealight. Fabulous invention. They even flicker!

Stamps: Trendy Trees, In The Stars (small star), Sparkling Wheel
Cardstock: Bashful Blue, Brocade Blue, Whisper White, Vellum
Ink: Bashful Blue, Brocade Blue, Night of Navy, Whisper White craft ink refill
Accessories: Stampin’ Pastels, sponge daubers, 1 ¾” circle punch, 1 3/8” circle punch, scallop edge punch, eyelet border punch

All stamped images © Stampin’ Up! All products by Stampin' Up!

Monday, 21 December 2009

A card for Kate

I should be showing you all my leftover Christmas projects that I’ve not posted on my blog yet but that means getting the camera out. I’ll photograph them later – at least it’s nice and bright with all this SNOW! Isn’t it exciting having a white Christmas... assuming you’re sharing the snow, that is!

Anyway, I said there was another glittery chipboard card in the offing and here it is. Check out the groovy Designer Series Paper – it’s from the Kaleidoscope pack and it’s so very, very lovely. Not as acid-looking as it appears in the catalogue. I’ve teamed it here with a hint of Tempting Turquoise, a card base of Rose Red and a panel of Kraft, doodled around the edges with the white gel pen.

Cardstock: Rose Red, Tempting Turquoise, Kraft
Paper: Kaleidoscope
Ink: Versamark
Accessories: Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon - Rose Red, chipboard letters, Fine Cosmo glitter, Heat & Stick powder, heat tool, corner rounder

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 December 2009

More dry embossing

Another simple card using the dry embossing technique – click here for longer explanation. This time I stamped the tree from Trendy Trees and added my own line and some doodling using markers. But you know what this card needs?


Too late, it's gone in the post without it.

Stamps: Trendy Trees, A Bit of Birthday Cheer
Cardstock: A5 Greeting Cards
Ink: Old Olive, Chocolate Chip
Accessories: Old Olive, Chocolate Chip markers, Stamp-a-ma-jig®

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

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Embossed book

Embossing is so much easier on smooth cardstock – the Kraft cover on this little book from Paperchase is very rough, which made it really hard to minimise speckles. Still, nothing ventured...

Stamps: Circle Circus
Ink: Versamark
Accessories: Black gingham ribbon, Black embossing powder, heat tool

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

Monday, 14 December 2009

Little snowflakes

I had made 17 of these little devils before I realised that the Merry Christmas stamp has retired! I have no idea how that nugget of information passed me by.

And if anyone thinks it's getting a bit too late to be making Christmas cards, well I'm still making mine! Frantic doesn't even begin to describe it; my eye has been twitching for a fortnight.

Stamps: Snow Burst, Seasonal Wishes
Cardstock: Bordering Blue, Sahara Sand, Real Red, Very Vanilla
Ink: Bordering Blue, Real Red, Versamark
Accessories: Red Gingham ribbon, 5/8” Grosgrain Ribbon – Brocade Blue, Stampin’ Dimensionals

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

Friday, 11 December 2009

Clean and simple... but a bit tricky

So... even demonstrators who have been placing orders for two years make mistakes sometimes. Which is how I ended up with these Whisper White card blanks when I meant to order just the envelopes. I could have returned them but I thought I’d have a go at some one layer cards.

I saw this idea in Blogland and I’m really sorry to say I cannot remember on whose blog it appeared so if anyone knows, please shout out and I’ll give credit where it’s due. But the idea is to make your own dry embossing template using scrap cardstock such as cereal packet. You cut it to exactly the same size as your card front and then cut out a shape – in this case, a rectangle. Lay your card front over the top of the template and, using an embossing stylus, press all the way round to create an embossed rectangle. The blog I was reading said a light box wasn’t necessary but it’s so blooming dark in this house that I felt the need to make my own, using a clear-ish plastic box containing a torch!

Next I used the template again as a mask and sponged chalk around the raised rectangle, leaving a white area in the centre. I coloured the scarf and mittens using a marker and stamped the greeting. Simple to look at but not particularly quick to produce! Still, you can’t have everything, can you?

Stamps: A Tree For All Seasons, A Bit of Birthday Cheer
Cardstock: A5 Greeting Cards
Ink: Real Red, Basic Grey
Accessories: Real Red, Creamy Caramel markers, Stampin’ Pastels, sponge dauber

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

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Rockin' robin?

Being just a little pedantic (*cough cough*) I can’t stop thinking that this robin should have some white on its chest somewhere.

Anyway, as I mentioned previously, proper British robins are pretty scarce in the stamping world as so many manufacturers are American, so I thought I’d have a go at creating my own using the little bird from the So Tweet chipboard.

Using a sponge dauber, I inked the chipboard pieces (bird and wing) with Creamy Caramel and Real Red. Yes, that really is Creamy Caramel – our standard inks dry much darker on chipboard so I compensated with a paler shade. I popped out the eye and coloured that with a black marker before popping back in (secured with a piece of Sticky Strip at the back).

The result was nice but it didn’t excite me that much, so I took a risk and pressed the whole lot into my Versamark® pad (it is so stained that really it wouldn’t matter if it had got worse – but it didn’t). Then I poured clear embossing powder all over both pieces and heated to set. The result is a very shiny bird which I think I quite like.

The background paper is from the Merry Moments Designer Series Paper pack – needless to say, this is my favourite sheet (it’s Old Olive, see?). The greetings is from the hostess set, Punches Three – I just inked the words using a red marker.

Stamps: Punches Three
Cardstock: Real Red, Old Olive, Very Vanilla
Paper: Merry Moments
Ink: Real Red, Creamy Caramel, Versamark
Accessories: Real Red marker, Basic Black journaller, ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon – Real Red, Eyelet Border punch, Earth Elements and Neutrals buttons, linen thread, clear embossing powder, heat tool

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

Wednesday, 9 December 2009


Sorry, no project for you yet. I have a stack lined up to photograph but you know how it is at this time of year... never home in daylight. Will see what I can do with the help of a lamp this evening...

Monday, 7 December 2009

The joy of glittery chipboard

Yet more glittery chipboard (and I still have another one to come!). This was actually the first card I made using my new glitter, I just haven’t got round to showing you yet.

I stamped the swirl from Season of Joy all over the Elegant Eggplant panel in Versamark then sprinkled Heat & Stick Powder over the top and heated it. Sprinkled Fine Cosmo glitter over that and heated again. Same technique for the chipboard – sparkly, isn’t it?

Stamps: Season of Joy
Cardstock: Rose Red, Elegant Eggplant, Whisper White
Paper: Patterns – Perfect Plum
Ink: Versamark®
Accessories: On Board Chipboard letters, Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon - Rose Red, Scallop Edge Punch, Heat & Stick Powder, Fine Cosmo Glitter, Corner Rounder

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

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Emma's card using my FREE punch

I am a bit hooked on glittery chipboard at the moment; here’s another card I made for a teenager called... well you can guess what she’s called, I suppose.

I used a selection of chipboard letters from both current and retirerd On Board collections – it’s much easier to find the letters you need if you’re willing to mix fonts! I pressed each letter into my Versamark® pad and then covered with Heat & Stick powder. Heated it to melt the powder then sprinkled on the glitter and heated again gently to set. Bits still do fall off but it’s not as bad as it could be.

Check out the two new (to me) punches! Spiral Punch on the right and the Tag Punch on the left. The spiral punch was part of my Christmas Extravaganza order, which meant that the Tag Punch was FREE! Click here to find out how you can get your free punch, then contact me as soon as possible to place your order if you want it to arrive before Christmas.

Stamps: Hello Again
Cardstock: Gable Green, Taken with Teal, Whisper White
Ink: Gable Green, Versamark
Accessories: On Board Chipboard letters, Fine Cosmo Glitter, Heat & Stick Powder, Tag Punch, Spiral Punch, ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon - Whisper White, Rhinestone Brads – Circle Ice

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

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Watch the birdie

Something a bit different for me today. I was playing around (tentatively) with my new So Tweet chipboard. It’s too lovely to use but I have a chipboard class coming up early next year so want to get some ideas rolling.

Anyway, I made this. I covered the little bird with some paper from the gorgeous Kaleidoscope pack. I thought it looked a little feathery but maybe not unless someone pointed it out! I stuck a square of paper on to the chipboard and then cut it out: mistake. Next time I will draw around the bird and cut out the paper first, then stick it to the chipboard, which should be much easier. See? I make mistakes so you don’t have to! I have to say, the Tombow Multi-Adhesive is brilliant for covering chipboard.

The eye pops out so I coloured this with the black journaller and then popped it back in again when it was dry.

The panel is another piece of paper from the Kaleidoscope pack, stamped with Only Orange stars from Hello Again. It says this paper co-ordinates with Only Orange in the catalogue but personally I think this particular sheet would have looked better with Pumpkin Pie. This panel is popped up because I just felt like it – but actually it works better that way because it stops the ribbon from bulging.

I want to have another go with one of these birds - and see if I can turn it into a robin. You don't see many proper British robins in the stamping world so this could be the answer.

Stamps: A Bit of Birthday Cheer, Hello Again
Cardstock: Kraft, Basic Black
Paper: Kaleidoscope
Ink: Only Orange, Basic Black
Accessories: So Tweet chipboard, Stampin’ Write Journaller, Stamp-a-ma-jig®, 1 ¼” striped Grosgrain Ribbon - 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, 2 December 2009

Christmas lollipop

There's a new poll on the left for the new month (yes I know I'm a day late) so please be sure to vote for your favourite Christmas colours! And if your favourite combination isn't there, please leave me a comment to tell me what it is. (Shameless request for comments!)

Today’s project is for Kate C, as I forgot to post this project after her workshop last month and apparently she’s (gasp!) lost (eaten?) the sample I gave her!

It’s a lollipop cover, as you can see, and it’s really easy to make. The hardest part is finding flat lollipops but I’ve seen festive chocolate ones in Sainsbury’s and Home Bargains. If you don’t want festive ones and can’t find anything suitable, you could cover them with plain foil.

So, the cover... all you need is a strip of Designer Series Paper (or cardstock) which measures about 1cm wider than your lollipop. The length depends on how you plan to join the ends – this strip I think was about 14cm. Basically, when you fold the strip of paper in half, it should be at least 1cm taller than the lollipop.

With your paper folded in half, punch a hole halfway along the crease – this is where the stick pokes through. Then decorate the front and seal at the top. If you have used a longer piece of paper you can punch a couple of holes and tie the top with ribbon. But stapling is very quick and easy and you know that’s what I like.

Stamps: Sparkly & Bright
Cardstock: Old Olive, Real Red, Very Vanilla
Paper: Merry Moments
Ink: Old Olive
Accessories: ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon - Very Vanilla, Mat Pack, Paper Piercer, Crop-A-Dile™, household staple

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

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Girly and glittery

This was the final project at my glitter class last week – and it’s the most “in your face”, glitter-wise. This uses the French Filigree background stamp which is just gorgeous stamped onto Rose Red cardstock. It’s stamped in Versamark then Heat & Stick powder applied, heated until melted and then Fine Cosmo glitter applied and heated again. The effect is almost like flocked wallpaper – although a whole lot more sparkly!

The flower is beautiful, too – this is from the Pretties kit, withi some Felt Flowers layered on top and topped with a rhinestone brad.

Thanks so much to Kirsten Brown, a US Stampin’ Up!® demonstrator for the idea!

Stamps: French Filigree
Cardstock: Old Olive, Bravo Burgundy, Rose Red
Ink: Versamark
Accessories: Pretties Kit, Felt Flowers, Rhinestone Brads, 5/8” Grosgrain Ribbon - Regal Rose, Fine Cosmo Glitter, Heat & Stick powder

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.