Monday, 28 February 2011

Free stamps could still be yours...

Sale-A-Bration has come and gone and many of you are now (or soon will be) nursing brand new stamp sets which you earned for free!

These fab four sets may have gone forever but there are still ways you can earn free stamps.

One way is to hold a party in your home and, if the total workshop order reaches £150, you’ll be able to choose a Level 1 hostess set from the front of the Idea Book & Catalogue. I’m taking bookings now for March, April and May, and my calendar is already filling up, so please get in touch if you’d like a party of your own.

If a party isn’t for you, don’t worry, you can still be a hostess simply by placing a qualifying order. Gather some orders together from your friends, or even splash out yourself and, if the total reaches £150, you’ll still be entitled to hostess benefits!

Of course, the best way to get your hands on free stamps all year round is to sign up as a Stampin’ Up!® demonstrator. There are sales and recruiting incentives in your first six months which mean you could get your hands on up to 14 free stamp sets of your choice! There are also product bonuses when you promote through the ranks and further incentives throughout the year. But free stamps are just a small part of the wonderful experience of being a demonstrator – please email me if you’d like to find out more.

Meanwhile, if you’re simply wanting to buy some great crafting products, don’t do anything until you’ve checked out the March Frenzy offer, which gives you up to 30% off selected products! More details coming soon... 

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Sale-A-Bration gift cone

This is my final Sale-A-Bration project for the year. I’m a bit sad to see Sale-A-Bration end this year because the stamp sets have been so gorgeous. And I’ve only got round to playing with two of them! I have to say, I think my favourite has been Bliss, although I wish I’d chosen it in French with the word “Joie” instead of "Bliss", as one of my downlines suggested.

But Sweet Summer has been a popular choice, too, and here’s the 3D demonstration from my Sale-A-Bration workshops.

I stuck to the same set of products and made this cute little cone, inspired by one I received as a swap at last year’s Stampin’ Up!® Convention. They were made by Carolyn Exwood and can be seen on her blog, here.  They make really cute Christmas decorations but I decided that I didn’t have to wait until Christmas to make one, so came up with this fresh, springy design.

I started with a piece of 6”x6” Designer Series Paper cut in half, along the  diagonal. Then it’s simply curled into a cone shape and any excess trimmed off with scissors. A piece of Sticky Strip was attached around the top edge of the cone and some ribbon ruffled along it (I didn't use Sticky Strip on this version, which is why a bit of it is not sticking properly). On the finished version, I stapled another piece of ribbon to the back to act as a hanger. I could have attached this with brads but I wanted to keep the shopping list down.  

The Paper Daisies are really versatile – being made of paper, you can do anything to them that you can do to paper, so I stamped on the larger one using the Sweet Summer SAB set. The smaller flower shown here is simply coloured with a Pretty in Pink marker. How many paper flowers have you bought and not used because they're not the right colour? These come in white so you can make them match anything - problem solved! 

Stamps: Sweet Summer (SAB), Elegant Thankyou
Cardstock: Whisper White
Paper: Play Date
Ink: Old Olive ink pad, Rich Pretty in Pink marker
Accessories: Taffeta Ribbon – Old Olive, Modern Label Punch, Paper Daisies, Basic Pearls

All products by Stampin' Up!®

Friday, 25 February 2011

There's still time to Sale-A-Brate!

Here’s another project from my Sale-A-Bration workshops. This is a slight variation of the make and take which used similar products to the demonstration card. It’s a slight variation because, instead of punching, we simply tore the Old Olive cardstock, or snipped it with scissors to resemble grass. It was all about keeping the shopping list as near to £45 as possible!

Remember, if you want a Sale-A-Bration stamp set, I need your order by Monday!

Stamps: Sweet Summer (SAB)
Cardstock: Notecards, Getting Started A4 cardstock assortment
Ink: Old Olive ink pad, Rich Razzleberry marker, Pretty in Pink marker
Accessories: Taffeta Ribbon – Old Olive, Scallop Edge Punch

All products by Stampin' Up!®

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Aha! Found some samples to show you!

They are from my Sale-A-Bration workshops so, if you’re lucky enough to have attended one (!) you’ll have seen these in the flesh.  If you weren’t lucky enough to attend a workshop in January or February, ask yourself why, then maybe schedule your own for March! There's another great special offer heading your way!

This first sample I have to show you is a card I demonstrated at the workshops.

We all know that the three main things you need for cardmaking are: stamps, ink and paper. These are the “meat and two veg” of cardmaking. Everything else, such as the ribbons, brads and pretty things, are the cakes, sweets and chocolate. You really don’t need them, but they are nice to have!

This card is made from a selection of products which cover it all. You the cardstock - the Getting Started cardstock collection includes Whisper White as well as a range of useful colours. I used our notecards for the card base because they include gorgeous Whisper White envelopes and, what’s more, they saved me a LOT of cutting time.  In my kit you also get a SNAIL Adhesive®, a coloured ink pad (Old Olive of course!), a couple of markers and some fabulous embellishments.

And, because it’s Sale-A-Bration, the image stamps come free if you spend £45.

For this card I coloured the paper daisies with markers and then sprayed them with water from a misting bottle. This made the colours blend beautifully.  The rest is self-explanatory really. I tore a strip of Old Olive cardstock to represent the grass. You could punch this or snip it with scissors, but I was going for economy and speed.

And take a look at the shopping list below. You’ll notice that it all adds up to £46.55... which puts you in the realms of free stamps, so you can choose the Sweet Summer stamp set for free! This has proved a really popular set of products for both new and existing stampers

Notecards: £6.75
Old Olive Ink pad: £4.95
Getting Started A4 cardstock: £6.25
SNAIL adhesive: £5.50
Marker - Rich Razzleberry: £2.95
Marker - Pretty in Pink: £2.95
Elegant Thank You a la carte stamp: £6.95
Basic Pearls: £4.50
Paper Daisies: £5.75
Sweet Summer stamp set: FREE
Total: £46.55

All products by Stampin' Up!®

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Last chance for Sale-A-Bration bargains!

Many, many apologies for the lack of posts. It’s been mayhem here! I’ve been doing wall-to-wall SU workshops (well, almost), while juggling it with my “real” job and having work done on the house. I haven’t crafted for weeks! Well, apart from my demos...

Anyway, all my Sale-a-Bration workshops are now done and dusted and there will be some very happy customers when their free stamps arrive! It’s not too late to earn yours... just contact me to place an order of £45 or more and you, too, can have free stamps from the SAB brochure!

Or, if you want the bargain of the year... sign up as a demonstrator PRONTO and you can add a stamp set of any value from the Idea Book & Catalogue to your Starter Kit. Just a few quick facts:

Cost of Starter Kit: £119
Value of Starter Kit: over £240
Value of Starter Kit during Sale-A-Bration: up to £285!!!
Do you have to be a demonstrator if you buy the kit? No!
What’s the catch? There isn’t one! Seriously, there isn’t one!!

So, don’t delay – whether you want a free Sale-A-Bration stamp set, or the extra stamp set for your Starter Kit, you do need to contact me asap as everything needs to be done by the end of the month.

Meanwhile, here’s a card at last. An old one but one I’ve not posted before.

I have had this card half-made in my stash for ... ooh, years! I decided it was time I finished it off, so added a pearl and a flag. I don’t know what took me so long!

The medallion image is stamped with Versamark and embossed with clear embossing powder.

Stamps: Medallion, Vintage Vogue
Cardstock: Rose Red, Elegant Eggplant, Whisper White
Ink: Versamark, Elegant Eggplant
Accessories: Clear embossing powder, pearls

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Friday, 18 February 2011

Was it really Monday?

I'm so sorry, was it really Monday the last time I posted? I must try harder but am having a really busy week, which isn't going to let up next week either as we're having a bathroom fitted!

But will dig around and see if I can find something to post!

Meanwhile, there's GREAT news if you've been anxiously waiting for the Fancy Flower punch: it's now available to order! Check out the punch on this card I made last year.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Vintage card with free stamps!

Using my free Distressing Essentials kit (earned as a hostess) and my free Bliss stamp set (earned from a £45 order), I made this Sale-A-Bration card.

I started by stamping the flourish with the Tea Stained ink spot on a piece of Whisper White cardstock from the Getting Started collection. I then inked the flat stamp from the Distressing Essentials kit using the same ink pad and “smooshed” it on the corners and edges of the white cardstock. If you work in small circles, you get a lovely soft effect which follows the grain of the paper.

Using the same flat stamp inked with Tea Stain, I did the same to a piece of torn Newsprint Designer Series Paper. This aged it a little and made it more in keeping with the style of the card.

Using the files from the kit, I distressed the edges of the cardstock and curled a couple of the corners. This was mounted on a piece of Night of Navy cardstock, also from the Getting Started assortment.

I took the butterfly stamp and inked it up with the Rich Razzleberry marker. Next I inked up the flat stamp again, this time with the Blue ink spot from the kit. I gently dabbed the inked stamp around the edges of the butterfly to add another shade. Why not do it with the ink spot? Well you can, but I found it was easier with the flat stamp and the effect was softer, too.

Before stamping the butterfly on a separate piece of Whisper White, I “huffed” it to remoisten the ink. And then cut it out before popping up in the centre of the flourish. A piece of linen thread wrapped around the two layers gave it a rustic look.

I assembled the layers and then stamped “Bliss” in the bottom right hand corner of the card. As my Bliss set is unmounted, this was really easy using the clear blocks.

Finally, I inserted the Rich Razzleberry marker into the Colour Spritzing Tool and gave the whole project a few blasts of colour. I LOVE this tool, even though I am not yet skilled enough with it to know what is going to happen! Still, it’s a surprise every time!

And this card, again has a magic formula. Let’s assume you already own adhesives such as SNAIL and Stampin’ Dimensionals. If so, then all you need is the following:

Distressing Essentials - £14.95
Colour Spritzing Tool - £9.95
Newsprint DSP - £8.75
Getting Started Cardstock - £6.25
Rich Razzleberry Marker - £2.95
Linen Thread - £3.75
TOTAL: £46.60...

... which means you can have the Bliss stamp set - or any other SAB set - FREE! 

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Vintage in a hurry

I needed some quick and easy cards to send - but I’m still enjoying the vintage/distressed look. And, as you know, vintage and quick don’t always go together. So I settled for a compromise – little, simple cards using the Bliss Sale-A-Bration stamp set which I earned free by placing a £45 order. You could get one, too – just send me an email!

My Bliss set is unmounted which makes it really easy to place the butterfly in the centre of the large flourish stamp. I used some little scraps of Newsprint Paper behind a torn corner on each card. The cards are a combination of colours – would have loved to have done them all in Baja Breeze but I was down to just one sheet. Looks like that will be on my next order as I love this colour! The colour combo was taken from the very wonderful Colour Coach. If you love colour, this handy tool is a must-have!

Stamps: Bliss (SAB)
Cardstock: Baja Breeze, Soft Suede, Crumb Cake, Cherry Cobbler, Whisper White
Paper: Newsprint
Ink: Crumb Cake, Cherry Cobbler
Acessories: Curly Label punch

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Distressing mode continues

Internet's back and phone line fully restored, thanks to a handy man!  So here's a new project at last...

Can you tell I’m in distressing mode at the moment? And that I’m loving lots of neutrals with just a splash of red?

I was rooting around in the stamping cupboard and found my old rub-ons. I have no idea why I haven’t used them, because they’re very easy and give a beautiful, crisp finish. I wondered what they’d look like applied to Newsprint Designer Series Paper.

The answer is this. After applying the rub-on, I sponged some Soft Suede ink around the edges of the paper (this was before my Distressing Essentials kit arrived) and distressed the edges of the paper, as well as the Soft Suede and Early Espresso layers.

I applied some smaller rub-on flowers to the Crumb Cake card base and used the direct-to-paper method to add some Crumb Cake ink, too. There’s more direct-to-paper on the Cherry Cobbler strip at the bottom.

It was still lacking something so I added some more Newsprint, ribbon, a scalloped edged strip of Early Espresso and, finally, a greeting punched out with the Modern Label punch, overlaid on a slightly offset Modern Label in Cherry Cobbler. There’s a hole punched in both with the Crop-A-Dile™, so I could tie some taffeta ribbon through.

Stamps: Party This Way
Cardstock: Crumb Cake, Early Espresso, Soft Suede, Very Vanilla, Cherry Cobbler
Paper: Newsprint
Ink: Soft Suede, Early Espresso
Accessories: Hidden Garden Blossoms rub-ons, Modern Label Punch, Crop-A-Dile™ , 1/8” Taffeta Ribbon – Early Espresso, Scallop Edge Punch

All products by Stampin' Up!®

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Normal service will be resumed shortly

I am currently without internet access and have a very dodgy phone line at home, so am currently unable to update my blog or read my emails. Hopefully normal service will be resumed shortly. If you have any urgent queries, please give me a call.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

CASEd from the catty

This is one of my favourite cards of the moment – and I completely copied it from the current Idea Book and Catalogue. That’s why it’s called an Idea Book! My inspiration came from page 58, which uses the Nature’s Nest stamp set. I don’t have that, but the idea was perfect for Bliss.

I guessed the colours in the catalogue sample but got it wrong. I should have checked here, where you can see recipes for all the samples in the catalogue. It seems they are the surprising combo of Concord Crush, More Mustard, Old Olive and Soft Suede. I used similar colours: Elegant Eggplant, Crumb Cake, Wild Wasabi and Pumpkin Pie. A bit freaky but I like it!

I stamped the big flourish from Bliss in Crumb Cake on the large Very Vanilla tag. I inked up the edges using the flat stamp from the Distressing Essentials kit on my Crumb Cake ink pad. The Crumb Cake piece is actually two torn pieces – I just couldn’t get the shape right in one go but, as the late, great Eric Morecambe would have said,  you can’t see the join.

The final touch is of course my much-loved Colour Spritzer, this time with an Elegant Eggplant marker. This is such a fun too to have!

Stamps: Bliss (SAB)
Cardstock: Elegant Eggplant, Crumb Cake, Wild Wasabi, Very Vanilla, Pumpkin Pie
Paper: Newsprint
Ink: Elegant Eggplant, Pumpkin Pie, Crumb Cake
Accessories: Regals buttons, linen thread, paper piercing tool, mat pack

All products by Stampin' Up!®

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Blissful butterfly

For this project, I was playing around with my new Distressing Essentials kit and my new Sale-A-Bration set, Bliss. Both were free! The first as my hostess benefits on a £150 order (yes, demonstrators get hostess benefits, too!) and the second because my part of the order came to more than £45 (yes, demonstrators get Sale-A-Bration freebies, too!)

So I set to work, ageing my paper and playing around, although I didn’t want to go too far for this card.

First let me tell you what’s in the Distressing Essentials Kit. It’s on page 103 of the catalogue (I’m telling you this because it’s just taken me ages to find it!) and it contains:

- four ink spots in Tea Stained, Charcoal, Mahogany and Night of Navy
- one small flat stamp for blending inks, reverse stamping etc
- one sanding block for distressing paper and cardstock
- one emery board for distressing and sanding small areas
- three precision files for distressing cardstock and for sanding around chipboard etc

First I aged the piece of Very Vanilla cardstock by applying Tea Stained ink using the flat stamp. I used it in a circular motion and was surprised that it created a very different look to both sponging and to the Direct to Paper technique (where you use the ink pad directly on the paper). It’s a much softer look. I did the same on the piece of Newsprint DSP.

Next I stamped the large flourish from Bliss in Tea Stained. Because the stamp is large and the ink pad small, I lay the stamp on its back and inked it by applying the pad to the stamp, rather than the other way round. And because I had chosen the unmounted option, I could stamp in the centre of the cardstock very easily.

I inked the butterfly stamp with a Real Red marker, then applied some Mahogany ink. I did this by inking the flat stamp with Mahogany and applying it on top of the red. This way, the ink pad didn’t get contaminated. And I got to use the flat stamp again in a different way.

I cut the butterfly out (badly, as you can see) and popped it up with Dimensionals, distressed around the Very Vanilla cardstock with the files and mounted it on a piece of Early Espresso. Added twine.

Next I stamped “Bliss” in the bottom right hand corner using Mahogany Ink.

Finally, I spritzed the whole card using the Color Spritzer Tool and the Real Red marker.

Now then, this should really have a piece of another colour cardstock on the card, because there was supposed to be a magic formula. I’ll tell you anyway. Here’s your shopping list:

Distressing Essentials            £14.95
Colour Spritzing Tool            £9.95
Newsprint Designer Series Paper            £8.75
Pack assorted A4 cardstock (which I forgot to use!)            £6.25
Stampin’ Write Marker (Getting Started colours)            £2.95
Linen Thread            £3.75

This little lot comes to a total of £46.60 and, if you order before the end of February, you can have Bliss, which is a Sale-A-Bration set, completely FREE.
Bliss stamp set            SAB            FREE

  • All products by Stampin' Up!®

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.