Wednesday, 31 October 2012

I'm back... with lots of ornaments

Many, many apologies for the long absence. I’ve not really felt up to blogging. Not really felt up to anything to be honest, but managed to get by on the essentials, including going to work and making my Convention swaps. If you’ve had the same bug as my you have my sympathy; it masquerades as a heavy cold but leaves you feeling totally wiped out.

But enough about me, I have a few projects to show you and am scheduling some posts to appear while I’m at Convention. We set off tomorrow morning and hope to be in Germany by the afternoon, to get ready for the first Convention events in the evening.

Meanwhile, everybody’s doing it so I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon and make one of those fabby ornaments from the front of the Autumn/Winter catalogue. This one was my first attempt – it’s a reasonably close copy of the front page one, although I forgot the linen thread and deliberately used Designer Series Paper instead of stamping it. This saves a lot of time as, for starters, you don’t have to line up the framelits dies around the image and secondly you can die-cut up to three sheets of DSP (please don’t attempt more than one sheet of cardstock with these dies!) at a time.

Front page ornament
Cardstock: Old Olive (on back, unseen)
Paper: Festival of Prints DSP Stack
Accessories: Simply Scored tool, Regals Buttons, Dazzling Diamonds Glitter, Lucky Limeade Baker’s Twine, Cherry Cobbler Scalloped Tulle, Holiday Ornaments Framelits Dies, Big Shot

After I’d had a go at this one and realised just how straightforward it is, I tackled the ornaments on page 3 of the Autumn/Winter catalogue.

Page 3 ornament (Cherry Cobbler)
Stamps: Greetings of the Season, Ornament Keepsakes
Cardstock: Whisper White
Ink: Cherry Cobbler
Accessories: Holiday Ornaments Dies, Snowflake Die, Naturals Buttons, Whisper White Baker’s Twine, Big Shot

Page 3 ornament (Old Olive)
Stamps: Greetings of the Season, Ornament Keepsakes
Cardstock: Whisper White
Ink: Old Olive, Cherry Cobbler
Accessories: Holiday Ornaments Dies, Snowflake Die, Lucky Limeade Baker’s Twine, Big Shot

Confidence boosted, I decided to make my own up! This one follows the same principles but is a symphony in purple... with lots of glitter, too!

My Elegant Eggplant ornament
Stamps: Greetings of the Season, Ornament Keepsakes
Cardstock: Very Vanilla
Ink: Elegant Eggplant
Accessories: Holiday Ornaments Dies, Snowflake Die, Wisteria Wonder Baker’s Twine, Dazzling Diamonds Glitter, 1” circle punch, Big Shot

Monday, 22 October 2012

My crazy mother

Well I still feel pretty rough but calling in sick simply isn’t an option so I’m going to concentrate on getting through the working week, trying to make my Convention swaps on my days off and will most likely put blogging on the backburner until I feel better. I do have loads of projects to show you, honest, and will do when I’m on the mend again, but being poorly has put me WAY behind on my Convention plans, which is really irritating. 

Meanwhile, take a look at my crazy mother. She turns 79 next week and, shortly after that is intending to complete a charity parachute jump! She’s already raised over £1,300 for the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre! You can read more about her crazy exploits on her Just Giving page, here. Donations are of course, most gratefully received, but no obligation.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Caturday Car Park Attendant

This is Pippa, although we call her the Car Park Attendant as she nearly always greets us when we arrive at the cat shelter. She belongs to the shelter owner, which is why she is free to take on car park duties. She's a British Black and is always happy to have her head rubbed.

Now I can't decide whether to get on with my Convention swaps (which is what I really NEED to do) or go back to bed (which is what I really WANT to do). Felt better yesterday but think it was just relief at being at home instead of work, and now I suspect I did too much and am totally exhausted once again. Back on the magical Beechams, let's see if they work second time round!

Friday, 19 October 2012

Celebrate with a Patio Party

Well, with the help of some extra strong Beecham’s tablets, I managed to limp through the working week – but I have to admit that I’m relieved it’s Friday and my day off. I’ll be taking it easy today, although I do have not one, not two but THREE big Stampin’ Up!® orders arriving at some point, one of which will help me create something for Convention. Something which was supposed to be a secret... until my friend and downline Alison popped round last night and accidentally saw the beginnings of them. Doh! She has been sworn to secrecy.

Today’s card is somewhat celebratory, to celebrate my day off – and it was created by my talented friend, Kelly. Not to imply that she’s my only friend with talent! (But she is in a class of her own.)

Kelly made this with my Patio Party products to help me out in the busy run-up to my catalogue launch. It’s a win-win situation; she gets to play with brand new products, and I get fab samples to display!

Stamps: Make a Cake, Itty Bitty Banners
Cardstock: Midnight Muse, Baja Breeze, Primrose Petals, Whisper White
Paper: Patio Party
Ink: Summer Starfruit, Midnight Muse, Primrose Petals
Accessories: Bitty Banner framelits, Basic Rhinestones, Stitched grosgrain - Whisper White

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Bright Betsy

Have I posted this one on my blog already? I don’t know, am so full of cold that I can’t think straight this morning. Just want to crawl back to to bed but that’s not an option.

Stamps: Betsy’s Blossoms, Itty Bitty Banners
Cardstock: Baja Breeze, Rich Razzleberry, Daffodil Delight, Whisper White
Paper: Floral District
Ink: Rich Razzleberry, Daffodil Delight, Baja Breeze
Accessories: Scallop Border Punch, Bitty Banner Framelits, Regals buttons, White Baker’s Twine, Stitched grosgrain – Daffodil Delight

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Monday, 15 October 2012

Banners and bitty bits

This one is kind of CASEd from the catalogue (p100) but adapted from a bag to a card and omitting the stamp set they used, which I don’t have. It was half made by my friend Sue and finished off by me when my Itty Bitty Punches arrived. Yes, I’d borrowed them so many times from my friend Alison that I decided it was time I bought them myself!

Stamps: Itty Bitty Banners
Cardstock: Crumb Cake, Summer Starfruit, Midnight Muse, Whisper White
Ink: Midnight Muse
Accessories: Scallop Border Punch, Pennant Builder punch, Itty Bitty Punches, Itty Bitty Banner Framelits, Basic Pearls, Basic Rhinestones, Neutrals buttons, White Baker’s Twine

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Spice or Biscuit?

Is this Spice or Biscuit? We'll never know as, to the untrained eye at least, they look identical. They are also incredibly shy, although quite appreciative of attention if you manage to get close enough. They desperately need a loving, patient owner who will give them time to relax (apparently they've been homed in the past but were returned because they wouldn't come out of hiding). Who could resist those beautiful green eyes?

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Ay up mi duck

I thought it was time I showed something I made with my new batch of new catalogue goodies. This has to be my most favourite stamp set out of the whole catalogue ... so far, that is. It’s called Storybook Friends and I have to admit that I’m swayed by the cute cat – it’s about time we had a cute cat stamp!

But the cat was facing the wrong way for this card, so I went with the oh so easy to colour duck. I didn’t use anything other than the Midnight Muse ink pad and a blender pen to pull some of the colour from the edges of the image around the base of the duck. Very, very simple.

These are half-size cards which I included with a recent batch of orders – hope the ladies liked them!

Stamps: Storybook Friends, Just Believe
Cardstock: Pool Party, Midnight Muse, Whisper White
Ink: Midnight Muse
Accessories: Dotted Scallop Border Punch, blender pen

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Quick one

No time for a proper post this morning but just wanted to let you know that the In Color Share is now full! Sorry if you missed out - keep checking back for other shares later in the year!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Mini Patio Party pouch

Another little pouch I made for my catalogue launch – this time using 6”x6” paper. Unfortunately I can’t remember the measurements I used to fold it so I suggest you do exactly what I did – get a piece of 6x6 scrap and play around until it works.

This time I filled the pouch with little gift tags I’d made using the Lots of Tags Sizzlits dies, although these would be the perfect size for a tea bag perhaps and a (wrapped) biscuit.

The front of the pouch is decorated using the hostess set from the Autumn/Winter catty. Don’t forget to check out the cute little scallop circle punch. This little fella is only 1 ¼” in diameter and can only be found in the Autumn/Winter catalogue. It’s definitely a must-have, especially if you’re a fan of circle punches, as it will layer beautifully.

For instructions to make the 8”x8” pouch, please see this post, which contains a link to a video tutorial.  

Stamps: Make a Cake, Mixed Medley
Cardstock: Baja Breeze, Primrose Petals, Midnight Muse, Whisper White
Paper: Patio Party
Ink: Midnight Muse, Primrose Petals
Accessories: Itty Bitty Punches, 1 3/8” Circle punch, 1 ¼” Scallop Circle Punch, 1” circle punch, ¾” circle punch, Wide oval punch, Lots of Tags Sizzlits, White Baker’s Twine, Baja Seam-binding ribbon

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Monday, 8 October 2012

Get your hands on all the In Colors!


The new In Colors are here and I think they’re the best yet! I’m totally in love with Summer Starfruit (that's the dirty yellow one), and love using it with pretty much all of the other new In Colors but especially with Midnight Muse and Gumball Green.

Want to get your hands on these five great colours? You can already purchase an assorted pack of A4 cardstock (20 sheets) at £6.25, or 12x12 cardstock (20 sheets) at £8.95 but, for an even better deal, how about joining my In Color share? You’ll get all the cardstock, ribbon and papers from the In Color Designer Series Paper Stack to play with, as well as one of each of the fabulous new In Color Dahlias.

This great package is available to you at just £14 – that’s cheaper than buying a pack of A4 and a single roll of In Color ribbon!

What’s more, if you wish to add on the new In Color Stampin’ Write markers, you can do so for £10, a further saving of £1.75.

Here’s what you’ll get...

* 1.5m of each of the In Color Stitched Satin Ribbons (7.5m in total
* 4 sheets of A4 cardstock in each of the In Colors (20 sheets in total)
* 1 each of the new Dahlias (5 in total)
* 2 pieces of 6x6 DSP in each of the colours and patterns (20 sheets in total, 6x6)

Price: £14

* Optional add-on of Stampin’ Write Markers (RRP £11.75)

Total price: £24

If you’d like to join this great share, please let me know asap as there are only six places available!

NB: This special bundle price is exclusive to me, Helen Read. 

Saturday, 6 October 2012

R.I.P. Blackberry and Harley

Last Sunday wasn’t a great day – I woke up to the news from my downline, Donna, that her beautiful black cat, Blackberry, had been killed on the road, then we headed off to the cat shelter to learn than poor Harley had been put to sleep the day before.

So, in the absence of a picture of Blackberry, today’s Caturday is a tribute to Harley. I hope he’s found a friend as good as his old mate Solo in the cat shelter in the sky.

In brighter news, there are three new cats at the shelter, who have travelled over from Crete. There's a one-eyed mother, Fay, and her kitten, Hermione, and a boy cat called Tac. Cute!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Patio Party pouch

I’m very excited because my BIG parcel is due to arrive today, packed with exciting goodies from the new Annual Catalogue. I think I have four new stamp sets coming, a new punch, dies, a folder but, remarkably, NO Designer Series Paper! Oh, there is actually...

Meanwhile, while we wait for the arrival of the UPS man, here’s one of the demonstrations from my catalogue launch at the weekend. It’s a pouch which holds small (3” square) cards, or anything smallish and flattish such as a cookie or hot chocolate sachet etc.

It’s the same pouch as one I made during Sale-A-Bration and back then I did say I’d provide instructions when I had time. Of course, I never have time – but I do have the internet and I can point you in the direction of a fabulous video tutorial from US demonstrator Dawn Olchefske.

This was the first outing for my Simply Scored diagonal plate and I have to say it’s a boon!

This cute pouch was made from a sheet of 8”x8” paper, but you can make them from any square paper, as long as you adjust the measurements accordingly. Best thing to do is make an 8x8 one using the video as a guide then, using the same principles, experiment with different sized squares of scrap paper.

The cards inside are very simple – I only made three so I put the cards in the front and the envelopes in the back pocket.

Stamps: Make a Cake
Cardstock: Primrose Petals, Midnight Muse, Summer Starfruit, Whisper White
Paper: Patio Party
Ink: Summer Starfruit
Accessories: Itty Bitty Punches, 1 ¾” Circle punch, large (can’t remember the size!) scallop circle punch, postage stamp punch, basic rhinestones, Baja Breeze seam-binding ribbon

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

You can now sign-up online!

Well, in all the excitement of yesterday... the catalogue going live, the amazing new sign-up offer and my huge order going in for fab new goodies, I completely forgot to tell you the other exciting news! You can now sign up as a demonstrator online!

To join my team, all you have to do now is click here and complete the form! Of course, if you have any questions, you only have to ask and, if you prefer to complete your form on paper, you can still do so. Joining the Stampin' Up!® family has never been cheaper or easier... so what are you waiting for?

Today we have a card made by my friend Sue. She CASEd the card from page 35 of the new Annual Catalogue but, as always happens at my kitchen table, used a different stamp set, different papers and different embellishments. But the colour combo is (almost) the same, as is the basic design. That's one of the things I love about stamping - it's so easy to adapt to the products you have to hand.

Stamps: Make a Cake
Cardstock: Baja Breeze, Midnight Muse, Summer Starfruit
Paper: Patio Party
Ink: Baja Breeze, Summer Starfruit
Accessories: Seam-binding ribbon - Baja Breeze, Cotton Ribbon, Island Indigo Baker's Twine, Regals Buttons

All products by Stampin' Up!®

Monday, 1 October 2012

Today's the day!

Well, today’s the day and I have some VERY exciting news for you!

First, of course, is the fact that it’s new catalogue day... and you can view this fabulous publication by clicking here.

Next is an exciting new offer... join the Stampin’ Up!® family during October and November and you’ll get a free pack of Designer Series Paper every month for six months! For more information on this amazing deal, please click here.

And now to today’s project, which is a small (half-size) card which I sent out to all my Virtual Hostess Club members in September. September marked the beginning of my second club, made up of some of last year’s members and some new people. I hope everyone finds it at rewarding as last year!

The card is made using Betsy’s Blossoms which is available from today, the co-ordinating Floral District Designer Series Paper (you could choose that FREE if you signed up!) and some of the gorgeous new In Colors. I think I’m going to be using the new In Colors a LOT this year, not least because I love the new firm foam pads!

Stamps: Betsy’s Blossoms, Itty Bitty Banners
Cardstock: Gumball Green, Raspberry Ripple, Whisper White
Paper: Floral District
Ink: Midnight Muse, Gumball Green, Raspberry Ripple
Accessories: Scallop Dotted Border Punch, Big Shot, Bitty Banner framelit dies

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.