Thursday, 29 August 2013

Booking for Christmas class

(Updated so that it makes sense and doesn't read like the English policeman who thinks he can speak French from 'Allo, 'Allo!)

I still have no phone line and therefore no internet and am very conscious of time slipping away from me. Most notably with booking for my Christmas class! I can't open booking in the usual manner so please email me at to book ASAP so that I can order by 7th Sept.


Christmas is Coming Stamp-a-Stack

Saturday, 21st September, afternoon, 1.30pm-4.30pm
Usual venue in Horsley Woodhouse

We will be making 10 cards - two each of five designs 
Your kit will include products to the value of £10 including festive washi tape

The price is £15 - just £10 for club members!

This event replaces my traditional catalogue launch so attendees will get a new Autumn/winter seasonal catalogue.

Typing that on my phone was exhausting!

Hope to hear from you soon! Places limited!

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Out of action

I have no internet at the moment, please bear with me while we wait for an engineer.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Caturday: Rusty

Tiny little Rusty was found wandering the streets at a VERY tender age – far too young to be out on his own. But now he’s safe at the shelter and apparently very vocal. I haven’t met him yet but daughter has –and is already smitten.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Happy Day box and two announcements

A couple of updates before I show you today's project:

World Map 
This fabulous background stamp is now available. Unfortunate wording removed and now safe to use!
Clear-mount: £12.95, code 130345
Wood-mount: £15.95, code 130342

Wood-mount cases
While there's still a delay on the half-sized cases, the full-sized wood-mount cases are now available to order. Use these to transfer your old wood-mount stamps into lovely, matching cases which stack perfectly against your clear-mount cases. Or simply use to store other craft items, such as markers, punches etc. You get four cases for just £6.25. Code 127551

And now for today's project...

Remember this box? Here it is again, revamped with brand new papers and stamps. Crisp Canteloupe is a surprising colour for me – I really didn’t think I’d like it but I really do, especially with Early Espresso as it is here, with the oh so gorgeous Soho Subway Designer Series Paper.

Stamps: Happy Day
Cardstock: Crisp Canteloupe, Whisper White
Paper: Soho Subway
Ink: Early Espresso, Crisp Canteloupe
Accessories: Cute Clips

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Wetlands with "painterly" background

Last night was my fur and feathers fundraiser and it was a lovely relaxing evening. I and the cats at Woodland Nook Cat Rescue are very grateful for the donations of food and cat litter, which were the "tickets" for the prize draw. And £5 from every registration fee will be donated to the shelter, too. Thank you!

We made two cards, each using a different background technique, plus a box of notecards. I was a bit unsure that everyone would get finished but they all did – with time to spare!

This was one of the cards we made, shamelessly CASEd from demonstrator Nicky Dexter. The technique is a little daunting but I urge you to have a go.

All you do is take a piece of Whisper White cardstock and “swipe” your ink pad across it. It’s actually easier with the old-style pads but you get some lovely effects with the new firm foam pads, too. Here I’ve used Soft Sky (what else?) for the sky, a swipe of Smoky Slate across the centre and some Crumb Cake or Sahara Sand (sorry, can’t remember) across the lower section of the card.

It looked HORRIBLE but I persevered and stamped on the sandpipers… and then all of a sudden it had a painterly quality and looked exactly like a beach with clouds in the sky. Great for a masculine card, I think – or if you want to send one to me, as I absolutely love beach scenes.

Stamps: Wetlands
Cardstock: Baked Brown Sugar, Basic Black, Whisper White
Ink: Soft Sky, Smoky Slate, Crumb Cake (probably), Black Stazon
Accessories: Linen Thread

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Wildflower Meadow pouch

This little pouch was inspired by a swap I received at last year’s Convention. I am sorry I can’t remember who made the original, but I know she was German, which doesn’t really narrow it down much as most of the demonstrators there were German, as it was in Frankfurt!

This is my take, using Crisp Canteloupe cardstock (good colour!) and the Wildflower Meadow stamp, inked in the same colour.

Happy Day provides a suitable sentiment, stamped in Early Espresso. Should have used Early Espresso Baker’s Twine, too, but I don’t have any – eek! 

Please don’t ask for measurements as it would mean I’d have to take the whole thing apart!

Stamps: Happy Day, Wildflower Meadow
Cardstock: Crisp Canteloupe, Whisper White
Ink: Crisp Canteloupe, Early Espresso
Accessories: Very Vintage Designer Buttons, Crisp Canteloupe Baker’s Twine, Corner Rounder, Itty Bitty Punch Pack, Basic Pearls

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Baby celebration with Wildflower Meadow

I made this Wildflower Meadow creation in girlie pinks to celebrate the birth of a new baby girl. It's not a traditional baby card as I was sending to the proud grandparents. I stamped the main image in Pink Pirouette onto cardstock of the same colour and then ran it through the Wildflower Meadow embossing folder to highlight the design.

I stamped the image again in Melon Mambo onto Whisper White cardstock and carefully cut out the flowers and bird, which I curled and stuck down, finishing off with some pearls.

Stamps: Wildflower Meadow, Happy Day
Cardstock: Pink Pirouette, Whisper White, Melon Mambo
Ink: Melon Mambo, Pink Pirouette
Accessories: Wildflower Meadow embossing folder, Whisper White Baker’s Twine, Basic Pearls

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Caturday: Dennis

Lovely, lovely Dennis.

Woodland Nook resident Dennis is so shy that he hides – sometimes on a shed roof, sometimes in the rafters. But we have discovered that, at about lunchtime, he has started coming down for a nap in the wendy house, curling up in one of the cat beds.

Best of all, while he’s in bed, he’s very happy to be stroked and fussed – he even rolls over for a tummy rub! If you’d like a lovely black cat who is sure to get over his shyness when he’s in a loving home, you know what to do. All the Woodland Nook cats currently up for adoption are now listed on CatChat.

Friday, 16 August 2013

New Colour Bundles available

As you know, our mini Colour Refresh has seen the addition of 10 newcomers to our core colour collections. Now you can buy some special bundles of products to boost your collections and your creativity.

Here are the details:

New Colour Cardstock Bundle – 134937 - £11.50
Cardstock bundle contains 2 packs of A4 cardstock; each pack contains two sheets of each new colour; 40 sheets in total

New Colour Pad Bundle – 134938 - £42.95
Bundle contains one Classic Stampin’ Pad in each of the new colours

New Colour Cardstock & Pad Kit II – 134936 - £49.95
Get both bundles and save!
Contains 40 sheets of A4 cardstock and 10 ink pads

If you’d like to order any of these products – or anything else! – please get in touch!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Got the blues? Colour comparison card

We have lots of new colours, as you know – and there seem to be a lot of new (or returning) blues which at first glance appear quite similar, so I thought I’d show them off in this very simple card, so that you can compare them and see the differences. 

From the top we have…

Soft Sky
Pool Party
Coastal Cabana
Bermuda Bay

Cardstock: Whisper White, Soft Sky, Pool Party, Coastal Cabana, Bermuda Bay
Accessories: Bitty Butterfly punch, Basic Pearls, Simply Scored            

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Best of Flowers/Happy Day notepad

Another Make & Take project from my launch was this little notepad. These are a bargain from the 99p Shop in Westfield Derby – you get six in a pack, so they're an absolute gift to Stampin' Up! demonstrators! They come without covers so you just have to decorate them, right?

I used the Best of Flowers stamp set, which you can still order until the end of March 2014, and teamed it up with some Gingham Garden paper in the lovely subtle Pear Pizzazz design. However, everyone received a piece of each design from this pack so could choose how to decorate their notepad and go for the wilder designs if they wished.

The word “smile” is a lovely, friendly stamp I think – I really like the clean, simple typeface used. This was stamped before embossing with the Polka Dots embossing folder.

Stamps: Best of Flowers, Happy Day
Cardstock: Very Vanilla, Island Indigo, Pear Pizzazz
Ink: Island Indigo
Accessories: 1¾” circle punch, large scallop circle punch,  Polka Dots embossing folder, Very Vintage buttons, Island Indigo Baker’s Twine

Sunday, 11 August 2013

In Colors with Mosaic Madness and Happy Day

I realised I never got round to showing you the projects we made at my catalogue launch party – something which is holding back Angela T from making her Make & Takes because she failed to get her priorities right on the day and snuck off early to watch the tennis! (No, I’m not going to allow her to forget that.) So, better late than never, here is the Mosaic Madness card everyone had the chance to make.

It showcases, rather subtly, the new In Colors, using Crisp Canteloupe as the card base and all five colours on the punched shapes. I showed a few variations on this card so that people could choose. The one on the right has five images stamped in each of the five new In Colors, with just a smidge of  coloured cardstock showing from behind.

The one on the left has some stamped images and a couple of plain shapes. The bottom one is punched out of the Whisper White and shows the Crisp Canteloupe through the aperture, while the top one is a piece of Pistachio Pudding punched and overlaid on top.

The "hidden" card in the centre just has the stamped images, with no coloured cardstock. 

Stamps: Mosaic Madness, Happy Day
Cardstock: Crisp Canteloupe, Pistachio Pudding, Strawberry Slush, Coastal Cabana, Baked Brown Sugar, Whisper White
Ink: Crisp Canteloupe, Pistachio Pudding, Strawberry Slush, Coastal Cabana, Baked Brown Sugar
Accessories: Modern Mosaic embossing Folder, Mosaic Punch

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Caturday - a happy ending for George

The star of today’s Caturday is already famous. His name is George and he featured in the Derby Telegraph 10 days ago because he needed a home.

It had to be a very special home as George, who is only five months, has already had an eventful life with more than his fair share of problems.  If you're an animal-lover, get your tissues ready. If you're not an animal lover, then take your heart of stone away with you and come back for crafting tomorrow!

So, back to George. This poor little mite was dumped in a garden in Derby. Who would DO that? Sadly, lots of people do. Fortunately, George was lucky – he was taken in by Cats’ Protection. They discovered that his eyes had not developed properly and they had to be removed (in a VERY expensive operation, according to one of my downlines, who happened to visit the same vet last week). Then poor little George had to have a further lengthy op for an undescended testicle.

But there’s a happy ending to George’s story as my colleague, Ella, a reporter at the Derby Telegraph, has taken on the challenge of raising a blind kitten. Happily, she says he’s settling in well, following her everywhere she goes. He’s even managed to locate the litter tray, which must be a relief to them both.  Read more of George’s story here

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Masculine card with Wetlands

I needed a masculine card for a Canadian – surely the Canada goose is perfect for the job! I thought so – and if you are now going to tell me that this isn’t a Canada goose at all but another bird. I will stick my fingers in my ears and start singing.

I LOVE Wetlands. It’s my favourite stamp set for now. And I LOVE Baked Brown Sugar, especially with Basic Black. I know, I know, all those lovely colours and my favourite combo of the moment is brown and black. What can I say? I have simple tastes.

This card is a CASE of one made by Jaydee, which I found on Pinterest.  We will be using this stamp set at my Crafty Friday session tomorrow morning. One place left if you want it - just £6, or FREE with a £30 order*.

Stamps: Wetlands
Cardstock: Whisper White, Baked Brown Sugar
Ink: Black Stazon, Baked Brown Sugar
Accessories: 1 ¾” circle punch, blender pens

* cannot be part of any other workshop or club order

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Introducing the 2013-15 In Colors

Can I have a round of applause please for a bunch of relative newcomers to the stamping world… the 2013-15 In Colors® (yes, I know we spell it "Colours" and it does grate with me, too, but it's a trade name). They’re a pretty subtle bunch on the whole but already they are making their presence felt on blogs, Pinterest and on mantelpieces across the land.

So let’s hear it for …

Baked Brown Sugar: a no-nonsense fellow with a sweet side, who enjoys gracing vintage projects and hanging out with oh so sophisticated Basic Black but really will rub along happily with just about everyone.

Coastal Cabana: outgoing and perhaps a little camp, this chap perhaps feels most at home in a retro situation and simply can’t wait for Christmas to come along when he’ll really shine alongside some of our festive reds.

Crisp Canteloupe: the quieter cousin of Calypso Coral, this little lady doesn’t seek attention but certainly gets it! She loves to hang out with her cousin, as well as her In Color Pals, but especially likes to get together with Mr Confident, Early Espresso. Opposites do attract, after all.

Pistachio Pudding: So reserved as to make Crisp Canteloupe look like a party animal but this fellow is definitely no wallflower. Most comfortable with his In Color pals, but also gets on well with other quiet types, such as Crumb Cake. Secretly yearns to get out and meet stronger personalities such as Midnight Muse and Early Espresso. Because let’s face it, everyone gets on well with Early Espresso!

Strawberry Slush: She’s sweet, she’s attractive, she’s pretty in pink… and, frankly, she knows it. She can carry off a retro theme, she can do girlie, she can turn her hand to pretty much anything. She’s so versatile you just can’t help loving her!

And finally can we hear it for me please, who spent AGES die-cutting and assembling all these flowers!?

Monday, 5 August 2013

Simply Pressed Clay and Gingham Garden

Talking of clay, which we were, on Wednesday… here’s another project using it, this time with the flower moulds. I coloured the clay using Melon Mambo ink and foolishly didn’t use gloves, resulting in a bit of a “Lady Macbeth” moment. Well, I say “moment” – the staining didn’t go for a couple of days… not quite as long as the Basic Black, but long enough!

The notepad is just something that I’ve been hoarding for years.  I think it came into work as part of a press pack. Bizarrely, it had a couple of pages about the company and the rest was conveniently blank. It was just crying out to be altered, so I covered the front and back with Gingham Garden DSP and then embellished with a bit of washi tape and some clay flowers.

I must put more ribbons down the side – I made this before we could order any of the new ribbons, so it’s a bit sparse!

Stamps: Happy Day
Cardstock: Whisper White, Island Indigo
Paper: Gingham Garden
Ink: Island Indigo
Accessories: Gingham Garden Washi Tape, Simply Pressed Clay, Melon Mambo reinker, Stitched Grosgrain – Whisper White, Daffodil Delight

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Caturday: Aurora

Yes, it's true - Kelly has a cat! Meet Aurora, who is the newest member of my friend/downline Kelly's family and has been warmly welcomed into the fold. Can't wait to meet her in person. Well, in cat.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Best of Shelli and a Designer Series Paper offer

It’s August already – what IS happening to the year? And yes I know that makes me sound old but I don’t care.

A brand new month always means lots of news from Stampin’ Up!® and I have two announcements for you.

Designer Series Paper offer
This offer usually crops up every year and it’s a great one for stocking up on your favourite Designer Series Papers. However, it nearly always causes confusion, so I’ll do my best to explain:

If you buy THREE packs of standard DSP, you can choose a fourth pack FREE. In other words, it’s a “four for three” offer. That is, you’ll get FOUR packs of DSP for £29.85, as it applies to all the £9.95 packs in the Annual Catalogue.

Best Of 25 Years
A new month means a new Best Of… stamp set and this time it’s the turn of co-founder and CEO Shelli Gardner to choose some of her favourite stamps from the past 25 years. It’s a really eclectic collection this time! There are seven stamps in the set, which is available in clear-mount only at £13.95.

All the Best Of… stamp sets are available until the end of March 2014.

Finally, in other news, today is the day that demonstrators get to pre-order from the Autumn/Winter catalogue, which is very exciting! Unfortunately, it will have to wait until I get back from work as, if I don’t get a move on, I’ll be late!

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.