Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Still here (just)

Sorry for the long absence. I just about managed to keep things together for my launch party on Saturday but have been ill ever since. So please bear with me and I hope to be back soon. Thought I was on the mend but today I feel worse than yesterday. Still haven't unpacked from Saturday, not had the energy.

Oh, also if you've tried to contact me, my home phone isn't working so well and I'm struggling to get a signal on my mobile. Which makes reporting the line fault a challenge.

All of this means if you want me, email me ... but please be patient as I may not reply straight away.

Thank you!

Saturday, 26 January 2013

A snowy Caturday

Woken up to this, another four inches of snow... on top of what we had already. Bit of a blow for my two events today, but I'm hoping people will turn up... especially the man with the key to the hall! Without that, we're doomed.

Here's Mr Winky, reluctantly braving the snow at 8.30am - although I don't really see his problem as the top is clearly so crusty that he's not even sinking into it. You can see where Pooboo, a heavier cat ("he's not fat, he's big-furred") has been and made his mark!

Mr Winky keeps going to one door, going out, realising it's snowy and then begging to come back in again. But he REALLY wants to go out, so he heads to another door, then looks surprised that it's snowy outside that one, too. Sheesh, glad I'm going out; this could become a full-time job!

Better press on, it takes me ages to load the car. At least I'll have ballast.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

SAB Pretty Petites and matching punch

First things first, the WEATHER (I am British, after all!). I took a concerned call last night from the man in charge of the hall we’re using for Saturday’s event, asking me if I was going to cancel. “Why?” I naively asked. Turns out everyone else who has booked the hall this week has cancelled because we’re expecting more snow. I’ve just checked the forecast and, while snow IS forecast for Friday afternoon, it will turn to rain and temperatures will rise on Saturday. So, as far as I’m concerned, both of my Saturday events are ON. Obviously, only travel if it’s safe to do so, as I know some of you have quite a way to come.

Both events? I have a team meeting in the morning – and if you want more info about being a demonstrator, this is the perfect event to attend, not least because it’s FREE and you’ll have the opportunity to talk to lots of other demonstrators about their way of doing things. Because we all do it differently. There will also be demonstrations, a Make & Take and, of course, cake.  But let me know ASAP if you want to come so I can ensure there are enough M&Ts.

And in the afternoon I have my Double Launch Party, to celebrate the arrival of Sale-a-Bration and the impending Spring/Summer catalogue. This event is now fully booked but I’ll be showing the projects afterwards.

Over to today’s project, which I totally CASEd from an Australian demonstrator called Tricia after seeing it on Pinterest. It’s a quick and easy way to showcase several SAB items available this year; the Pretty Petites stamp set, the Petite Curly Label punch (which will be available after Sale-a-Bration, too) and the Sycamore Street Designer Series Paper.

Stamps: Pretty Petites (SAB)
Cardstock: Pool Party, Whisper White, Island Indigo
Paper: Sycamore Street (SAB)
Ink: Pool Party, Island Indigo
Accessories: Petite Curly Label punch (SAB), Itty Bitty Punch pack, Basic Rhinestones, Corner Rounder

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Free stamps with Sale-a-Bration

Yesterday I placed my first Sale-a-Bration order for a lady who earned herself the fabulous hostess bundle of stamp set, DSP and ribbon/button bundle. And by bedtime I had my first two new recruits, who were keen to get an extra 25% of craft products in their Starter Kits. I’m delighted that people are getting the most out of this fabulous promotion.

If you'd like to receive one of these fabulous kits of £162.50 of craft products for just £99, check out the links on this site for more info, then click the sign-up button on the left. Still not sure? Send me an email and we'll arrange a chat to talk over your concerns. 

Meanwhile, here’s another Sale-a-Bration sample to get you in the mood. I love these colours! Have done ever since they were released in October 2011. They are Pool Party and Island Indigo, but that splash of Tangerine Tango on the button really adds something, don’t you think?

Stamps: Vintage Verses (SAB)
Cardstock: Island Indigo, Pool Party, Whisper White
Paper: Sycamore Street (SAB)
Ink: Island Indigo
Accessories: Designer Label punch, Pennant Builder punch, Sycamore Street Ribbon & Button pack (SAB)

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Sale-a-Bration starts today - free gifts for everyone

Happy Sale-a-Bration! Yes, it’s started today and there’s SO much you can earn this year!

We have 11 amazing Sale-a-Bration products on offer, plus a further six catalogue items – and you can earn any of these FREE with a £45 order!

But there’s so much more! Here’s a brief run-down:

Sale-a-Bration is the biggest promotion of the Stampin’ Up!® year. It runs from 22nd January to 22nd March and there are freebies for everyone!

Get a free item from the SAB brochure EVERY time you spend £45!

Hold a £150 party and get your usual hostess benefits plus a pack of Silver Glimmer paper to celebrate Stampin’ Up!’s 25th anniversary!

Hold a £300 party and get hostess benefits, Silver Glimmer paper and a bundle of THREE Sale-a-Bration items: Designer Series Paper, a stamp set and a ribbon and button bundle!

Thinking of signing up?
There’s absolutely no better time than now. Join now and, for the usual Starter Kit price of £99, you’ll get a whopping £162.50 of craft products of your choice – that’s 25% extra in honour of our 25th anniversary! You’ll also get a pack of business supplies, including catalogues.

There are additional rewards for existing demonstrators, too, so by signing up at the beginning you’ll have a chance to earn those, too!

So here’s another SAB project, using the Sycamore Street Designer Series Paper – one of the SAB items you can earn with a £45 order, or as part of the hostess bundle if you hold a £300 party. This is a really simple sketch which I bring out almost every time I get a new pack of Designer Paper!

To make the shape behind the main greeting banner, I cut two of shapes and overlapped them behind the white. You could, if you were feeling particularly frugal, make one and cut it in half. Surprised I didn’t think of that sooner!

In other news, many apologies if your comments haven't been appearing. I switched to Comment Moderation a few weeks ago and it turns out the notifications haven't been appearing in my email inbox. Just checked it out and discovered 35 unpublished (genuine) comments. And here I was thinking everyone was ignoring me! 

Stamps: Curly Cute
Cardstock: Pool Party, Tangerine Tango, Sahara Sand, Whisper White
Paper: Sycamore Street (SAB)
Ink: Island Indigo
Accessories: Brads – Neutrals, Apothecary Accents Dies, Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Monday, 21 January 2013

Sale-a-Bration sneak peek - Feeling Sentimental masculine card

We're living in a winter wonderland today with another few inches of snow overnight, landing on top of the three inches we already had. It looks beautiful and the great news is that I had already booked the day off work so I don't have to go anywhere. Even better news... school is open, so I have the house to myself. So I need to knuckle down and start cutting up cardstock for my SAB and Spring/Summer catalogue launch on Saturday. 

Yes, Sale-a-Bration is upon us and starts tomorrow. Unfortunately I had to postpone my first SAB party on Friday due to the weather, but my Virtual Hostess Club will be going in first thing, with lots of freebies heading their way. 

So, to get you in the mood for Sale-a-Bration, here's another project, again CASEd from one I found on the web. The original was created by Mercedes Weber and you can see hers here.

I enjoyed stamping, sponging and generally dirtying up this card to make it look as masculine as possible.

Stamps: Feeling Sentimental (SAB), For My Family, French Foliage
Cardstock: Sahara Sand, Island Indigo, Pool Party, Early Espresso
Paper: Fan Fair
Ink: Basic Gray, Sahara Sand
Accessories: Chevron embossing folder, corner rounder, word window punch, 1/8” taffeta ribbon – Early Espresso

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Caturday - Zorro, or is it Meg or Beth?

Such a pretty little cat, this one. Her name was temporarily Zorro, due to her unusual face markings, but then it was changed to Meg or Beth, can’t remember to be honest – there are four of them (I think – it’s hard to count when so many black and white cats are dashing around) named after the characters in Little Women.

This one has always avoided me until last week when I managed to scoop her up into my arms last week. She clearly didn’t like it so I put her down... but after that she wouldn’t leave me alone. She has the softest fur I have ever felt on any cat or kitten. Go on... you know you want her in your life... although you’ll probably get tricked into taking at least two! 

Friday, 18 January 2013

Feeling Sentimental CAS cards

There’s only one topic of conversation this morning (unless you’re a cyclist saying “told you all along”) and that’s the SNOW. How much do you have where you are? We’re up to about an inch and thankfully it doesn’t seem to have brought this part of the country to a standstill... yet. Let’s hope it stays that way as I have my first Sale-a-Bration party tonight, on the other side of town.

So, to get those guests in the mood, here’s another SAB sneak peek and it’s four for the price of one today. I love this vintage set and think it’s perfect for masculine cards. I knocked these together very, very quickly – because they are so simple. But sometimes clean and simple says it best. At least I hope so!

Stamps: Feeling Sentimental (SAB)
Cardstock: Cherry Cobbler, Midnight Muse, Very Vanilla
Ink: Midnight Muse, Cherry Cobbler
Accessories: *gasp* none!

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Storybook Friends shaker card - and more SAB sneak peeks

How fun are shaker cards? And how fiddly? That’s the reason I never make them... until now, that is. Lurking on page 177 of the Annual Catty are Shaker Frames, an item I’d kind of overlooked until I stumbled upon a technique video produced by Charlotte Harding over in the Frankfurt office. Ok, so it’s in German – but you don’t need to understand German to see what she’s doing and, as soon as I’d watched, I added the frames to my order.

The frames are a ring of foam tape. The big problem with making your own frames is that if you use anything like sand or glitter inside, you have to make sure there are absolutely no gaps, so these are perfect for the job. I used the largest of the frames for this card, which fits the 1 ¾” circle punch. You get six of each size, 36 in total, which should keep me going for a while!

I used the Itty Bitty Punch pack to make little flowers to go inside, but I do think they’re a bit big. Charlotte used the tiny circles from the cupcake punch; you could also use the tiny heart from the owl punch. Or, of course, glitter, sand, fake snow, tiny beads... let your imagination go wild.

Stamps: Storybook Friends, Itty Bitty Banners
Cardstock: Tangerine Tango, Island Indigo, Whisper White, Pool Party
Paper: Sycamore Street (SAB)
Ink: Tangerine Tango, Basic Gray
Accessories: Shaker Frames, 1 ¾” Circle Punch, large scallop circle punch, itty bitty punch pack, Bitty Banner Frames, Sycamore Street Ribbon & Button pack (SAB), window sheets, corner rounder

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Shabby chic Postage Due card

I recently treated myself to this gorgeous stamp set, Postage Due, because I’ve been hanging my nose over it since the new catty came out in October. This is the first card I’ve made with it and I love the shabby chic look of it.

I know some people think demonstrators have everything out of the catalogue but it’s not true, honest, and I don’t have all of the markers, so I improvised on this one. I inked up the stamp in Sahara Sand (new favourite colour) and then carefully wiped off the ink, using a cotton bud, from the bike, number and flower. Then I reinked those using my In Color markers. A “huff” all over it and it was good to stamp!

Stamps: Postage Due, Feeling Sentimental (SAB)
Cardstock: Sahara Sand, Midnight Muse, Raspberry Ripple, Very Vanilla
Ink: Sahara Sand, Raspberry Ripple
Accessories: Color Spritzing Tool, Markers – Raspberry Ripple, Midnight Muse, Summer Starfruit, corner rounder

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Sunday, 13 January 2013

White and cream together?

At Convention last year we were told that a key trend for 2013 is going to be white and cream together. “White and cream together?” I hear you gasp in horror. I know, that’s how I felt, too. But, in the interests of market research, I felt obliged to give a go and do you know what? I quite like it. What do you think?

I cut the bottom part of the main element out of Very Vanilla cardstock which I’d already embossed using the Lacy Brocade folder. It’s slightly sponged towards the top. I confess, this is simply a piece I found in my scrap box and decided to die-cut. I punched some flowers out of the leftovers, which is why the vanilla ones are embossed, too.

And, by the way, I CASEd this card design from Dena Rekow – take a look, hers has a totally different feel to it!

Stamps: Just Believe, Bloomin’ Marvelous (SAB)
Cardstock: Sahara Sand, Whisper White, Very Vanilla
Ink: Sahara Sand
Accessories: Apothecary Accents framelits, lacy brocade embossing folder, oval punch, Itty Bitty Punch Pack, Basic Pearls, crochet trim (this is retired but the nicer one is still available)

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Caturday - Liquorice

And this is Liquorice, my downline Donna's beautiful black cat. She's fully grown but very small... and very cute and cuddly. She provided quite the distraction when I went round to Donna's to stamp the other week, but I still manage to get some cards made in the end.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Summer Silhouettes on newsprint

I do love the look of stamping onto newsprint, which is why I’m so in love with the First Edition Designer Series Paper. Even better, it’s a lighter weight paper so you get twice as much for your money!

Here I’ve stamped on it using the Summer Silhouettes stamp set, which I was given free at Convention. I’ve kept the card really simple as the main image is so busy. I’ve added a small rhinestone to the centre of each little “flyaway” flower. I impressed myself with that finishing touch, can you tell?

The word “Celebrate” comes from a SAB set – definitely one of the ones to watch!

Stamps: Summer Silhouettes, Feeling Sentimental (SAB)
Cardstock: Crumb Cake, Basic Black, Wild Wasabi
Paper: First Edition
Ink: Raspberry Ripple, Gumball Green, Wild Wasabi
Accessories: Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border Punch, Basic Rhinestones

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Vintage Verses and Sycamore Street

Every Designer Series Paper pack has at least one sheet which falls into the “almost too nice to use” category. Note I say “almost” as I gave up hoarding DSP a long time ago when I realised that it was much more fun to use it. You may have guessed that this sheet is my favourite in the new Sycamore Street DSP pack. I love the bright funky colours and the very pleasing shapes. So, on this card, I let the paper do the talking and just topped it with a funky greeting, also from a SAB item. I should knock up a few of these as I’m sure I’ll have lots of thank yous to send out by the time SAB is over!

Stamps: Vintage Verses (SAB)
Cardstock: Island Indigo, Whisper White, Summer Starfruit
Paper: Sycamore Street (SAB)
Ink: Island Indigo
Accessories: Corner Rounder, Sycamore Street Ribbon & Button pack (SAB)

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

SAB sneak peek

Sneaky sneak peek alert! Here’s another SAB set to get your sticky mitts on! This one is packed with fun, punny images and it’s called Patterned Occasions.

I stamped the elephant in Sahara Sand (my new favourite colour), with an Old Olive and Rich Razzleberry flower and Rich Razzleberry greeting. I stamped the elephant again in Rich Razzleberry and cut out his ear to pop up. There are other SAB sneak peeks on this one, too; the DSP and the ribbon and buttons. And before you gasp and wonder who will be earning THREE SAB items, have a little think: you spend your Christmas money.. you could spread out the cost over the three months or you could hold a party! Because if you spend £45 at your own £300 party you’ll get the following:

  • a SAB item of your choice for your £45 purchase (eg, Patterned Occasions stamp set)
  • the DSP and ribbon/button bundles shown here, as well as a stamp set called Madison Avenue (not shown) for hosting a £300 party
  • a pack of Silver Glimmer Paper for hosting a party during SAB in Stampin’ Up!®’s 25th anniversary year
  • and all your usual hostess benefits - £50 to spend in any current catalogue, plus 50% off a full-priced item 

Oh, and you’ll get to spend a fun evening with friends, sharing your love of stamping and eating cake. What could be better?

But you need to get in quick as my diary is filling up fast. Please send me an email or give me a call asap to book your date!

Stamps: Patterned Occasions (SAB)
Cardstock: Rich Razzleberry, Whisper White
Paper: Sycamore Street DSP (SAB)
Ink: Sahara Sand
Accessories: Rich Razzleberry and Old Olive markers, corner rounder, Sycamore Street Ribbon & Button Pack (SAB)

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Vintage journal... and a sneak peek

Ooh, this is a project and a half, isn’t it? Not one for when you’re in a hurry or on a tight budget... but if you’ve got it, use it, that’s my motto when it comes to craft supplies. Can you spot any sneak peek items on this journal or do you need a clue?

There’s actually only one sneak peek image on there, and it’s from a Sale-A-Bration set called Feeling Sentimental. It’s the penny farthing on the top right, which I’ve stamped on to Fan Fair DSP. The typewriter at the bottom is not a stamp at all; it’s printed on the Fan Fair DSP, so I just tore a piece out and sponged around the edges. The tape measure and the “hello” also come from this pack of DSP. The key is stamped using Artistic Etchings.

There’s quite a bit of sponging on this project, including on the label panel, which is cut out using the Apothecary Accents dies and embossed using Lacy Brocade, before being sponged with some Sahara Sand and Soft Suede ink, and Champagne Mist Shimmer Paint for a touch of glamour.

What else is on there? Ah yes, that lovely DSP in the background. This is fab, fab, fab – it’s a speciality DSP called Natural Composition and it’s embossed. So you get a kraft-coloured background with a clear embossed image, in this case woodgrain. To make it stand out more, I brayered the whole piece in Soft Suede, then wiped the embossed areas clean.

Stamps: Feeling Sentimental (SAB), Artistic Etchings
Cardstock: Very Vanilla, Crumb Cake
Paper: Fan Fair, First Edition, Natural Composition
Ink: Cherry Cobbler, Soft Suede, Sahara Sand
Accessories: Apothecary Accents Dies, Typeset Alphabet dies, Blossom punch, Itty Bitty Punches, Naturals Designer Buttons, Linen Thread, Basic Pearls, Crochet Trim, Champagne Mist Shimmer Paint

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Caturday Magic

How about a little Caturday Magic? This is, in fact, Magic - one of the not-so-little-any-more "kittens" belonging to my downline friend Donna. She and her sister, Mischief, are both very sweet.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Final Christmas projects?

Let’s knock a couple of Christmas projects on the head today – these could be the final two, if you’re lucky!

First we have a terrible photo of a fabulous card. Yes, I can say that because I CASEd it from one I found on Pinterest, which I traced back to Jennifer Timko, an American SU demosntrator. She admits she CASEd it from Sandi MacIver, who created it in 2011 – looks like this one could run and run!

What you can’t see is all the sparkle! I began by embossing the cardstock, then sponging the raised areas with some Sahara Sand and Soft Suede ink. Out came the Champagne Mist shimmer paint, which I sponged on the raised areas and also on the edges of the die-cut snowflakes. Sahara Sand is my new favourite colour by the way!

Stamps: Greetings of the Season
Cardstock: Sahara Sand, Very Vanilla
Ink: Soft Suede, Sahara Sand
Accessories: Snowflake Die, Lace Brocade embossing folder, Basic Pearls

Now we have one of the presents I made for my handmade Christmas. It’s a jar of cookies, stamped with the Cookie Press Stamps and packaged in a decorated jar, all thrown together at the last minute because I’m like that. Well, I WAS like that in 2012. The 2013 me is very organised. You read it here first!

Stamps: Greetings of the Season
Cardstock: Very Vanilla, Lucky Limeade
Paper: Candlelight Christmas
Ink: Real Red
Accessories: Apothecary Accents Dies, Lace Brocade Embossing Folder, Vanilla Smooch Spritz Shimmer spray

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Sale-a-Bration Sneak Peek

Another sneak peek for you – see if you can spot the new products before scrolling down to the recipe.

This first card was CASEd from Catherine Pooler,  who used a different embossing folder, ribbon and DSP. But I wanted to play with something new...

Not sure if you can see but I used Shimmery White cardstock as my base as it’s sturdier. Yes it’s more expensive, but the recipient is worth it.

The second card is a simpler variation on the theme. I used Whisper White this time, but used my online friend Patricia’s trick of making a smaller card base from the white and mounting it on a quarter sheet of coloured cardstock. This gives you the white background without the weight and is perfect for sending abroad. There’s an extra sneak peek on this one – but it’s very subtle!

Stamps: Summer Silhouettes, Sweet Essentials, Pretty Petites (SAB)
Cardstock: Shimmery White, Basic Black, Island Indigo
Paper: Sycamore Street (SAB)
Ink: Sahara Sand, Tangerine Tango, Summer Starfruit
Accessories: Scallop Edge Punch, Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border punch, Island Indigo Ruffled Ribbon, Chevron Embossing Folder

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.