Saturday, 30 November 2013

Caturday - RIP Pumpkin

This week at the cat shelter we bid a fond farewell to Pumpkin, who had to be put to sleep after his condition deteriorated. He was about 17 so he had a good innings, as they say. He will be missed!

Friday, 29 November 2013

Convention 2013 - the long report!

As I mentioned on Wednesday, Convention was amazing – even more so this year for being able to choose your activities.

It was fantastic this year that 10 of my team were able to go to Convention and we travelled up to Manchester on Thursday afternoon, most of us in a minibus but some by train or car. We grabbed an early bite to eat in our hotel before heading off to Convention.

I and my downline Tracey were honoured to be invited to the Silver 2 Reception at the Victoria and Albert Hotel. This was a special event for demonstrators who met certain sales and recruiting requirements.

We checked in to Convention here and received our Convention bag – every year we get a bag to carry our goodies around in – with our free stamp sets. All Convention-goers get the same; this year it was a lovely white rucksack with silver trim – loads of pockets and room for a laptop, too! Our stamp sets for this year were Tag It, Gorgeous Grunge and Hello, Lovely. Your bag also contains your special Convention pen, programme and your name tag with badges representing any awards you’ve earned

But at the Silver 2 reception, we received an extra gift of a handy conference folder and commemorative Parker pen. We were also treated to some stamping demonstrations and inspirational presentations, followed by a buffet and entertainment from a singer.

We didn’t stay too late, though, as we knew we’d be missing all the gossip back at the hotel, where we found the rest of the team exchanging gifts. You’ve seen the gifts I made for them – well they are put well and truly in the shade as I am proud to have a very talented team. There were baked goodies, handmade toiletries, beautifully stamped items and more.

Most of us have been to Convention before, so knew not to stay up too late as the Convention centre opened next day at – gasp! – 7.30am. No chance of getting there that early, so we arranged to meet up in time for doors opening at 8.30am. We could find each other easily this year as one of our team, Patsy, had made us all a distinctive flower to wave in the air. These worked brilliantly!

After some frantic swapping, Convention began with the words “the show will begin momentarily” which always makes me chuckle.

Sadly, this year our CEO and co-founder Shelli Gardner couldn’t be there as she was in a nasty horseriding accident several weeks ago and is still not well enough to travel, but she sent us a video message and her daughter, Sara Douglass, did an admirable job of stepping into her shoes.

I won’t give you a blow-by-blow account of the rest of Convention as that would involve writing a book! And I promise you that I didn’t take pictures of all the food, either! Suffice to say that this Convention saw the introduction of the “Expo” which was brilliant. Aside from the main presentations, we could wander round as we wished, visiting the areas of most interest to us – business talks, demonstrations, display boards, hands-on areas and more.

I was excited to see several of my own creations on the display boards – see if you can spot them!

After each on-stage demonstration there’s a drum roll for Prize Patrol, which is always very exciting. We all had a coloured wrist band and, if your colour comes up on screen, it means you’ve won a prize. Well, it has to be said that I NEVER win a prize at Convention – and my friend Alison ALWAYS does. She says this is down to positive thinking so, for the first Prize Patrol, I told myself (and her) that I would most definitely win. Didn’t work. The colour which came up was Alison’s and not mine! She won the new Undefined set which I showed you on Wednesday.

Never mind, there were plenty more Prize Patrols and I’m happy to say that I did win on the second day. This time I really DID know that I would win... as it was a stamp set I wasn’t at all keen on and that’s just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes! But it didn’t matter as I quickly swapped with Ann, who loved it and had won something she wasn’t keen on! So everyone was happy in the end.

Even if you didn’t win a Prize Patrol, in among all the prize-giving were “all-attendee giveaways”. The clue is in the title and I was staggered when I got home and counted up to discover that there were FIVE of these! Stampin’ Up!® are always generous at Convention but this year were extra generous as it marked the end of our 25th anniversary celebrations. This is what everyone received:

o               Undefined rubber, foam and block to carve (don’t forget to guess which was my stamp!)
o               Oh, Goodie! Stamp set with Real Red Goodie Gear Simply Created Kit
o               Gold Foil Sheets with NEW washi tape and trim which is coming in the Spring/Summer catty
o               NEW DSP pack – again from the Spring/Summer catty
o               NEW Language of Love stamp set – from the Spring/Summer catty

Friday night was the time for glad rags for Awards Night, where demonstrators are recognised for their achievements throughout the year. This was kicked off with a flash mob, where certain demonstrators around the room started singing “Stamping Queen” to the tune of “Dancing Queen”, and others joined in with a dance at certain points in the song. Soon the whole room was performing the same (or near enough) dance. I’ve never witnessed a flash mob before, so stayed at the edge of the room trying to capture it on film! Not sure if it will work here but here goes...

Then the Awards Night could begin and first up on stage were all those demonstrators who have served five years and received their commemorative badge. So up we went – Alison and Tracey and I – to do our five-year walk. I have to say that I wasn’t half as nervous as the last time I had to go on stage, partly because I knew it was happening this time and partly because I had my team-mates with me!

I had to do one more walk during the evening, for Leadership – but this felt rather fraudulent as it was the efforts of my team which earned me this award. Thank you Tracey and Tricia!

After the awards there was a buffet and live band, and a chance for some of us to squeeze into one of the photo booths…

Saturday saw more inspirational presentations, demonstrations, sneak peeks and ideas… until we headed back to the hotel on a high at about 4.30pm.

After a short rest we headed into the markets, which were just a street away from our hotel. What a crowd! I’ve never seen so many people in one place, but it was a friendly crowd and we picked up some exciting goodies, including a gorgeous Christmas wreath and a couple of Christmas presents.

We ate out that evening in a little Italian restaurant where Patsy got more than she bargained for from the waiters and the rooms seemed to be wall-to-wall demonstrators!

Then, I’m afraid, we stayed up rather late – but we had a great time, laughing until it hurt about who knows what now? Whatever it was, it was hilarious at the time.

After a lie-in and a short shopping trip on Sunday morning, it was time for our bus driver to collect us for a rather more subdued journey home.

For the next three years, Convention will be held in Brussels, so we’ll be heading off on the Eurostar for another fun-packed weekend. Why don’t you join us? All you have to do is sign up as a demonstrator – and I can advise you of the best time to do this.  With a little planning and effort, you could be paying for your trip out of your commissions!

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Back from Convention with Undefined Stamp Carving Kit

I’m back from Convention and  wow! What a Convention it was – the best one yet! We had lots more flexibility this year and could choose the classes most appropriate to our business, which was great. And there was a fabulous hands-on area for us to try various products, including this brand new line called… Undefined!

If you visit US blogs you may already have seen this exciting line of products.

If you have always wanted a particular stamp but been unable to find it, this product is for you. If you like trying new things, this product is for you. If you have an inner artist just waiting to break out, this product is for you.

Take a look at the video to see how it works, then check out these two photos of the stamps carved at Convention and see if you can work out which one was mine! I’ll give you the answer in a few days.

My friend/downline Alison was lucky enough to win a full Undefined set at Convention, so I can’t wait to see what she creates with it.

The great news is that you can now purchase this kit – and an add-on set with extra rubber – and start carving your own stamps in time for Christmas! Wouldn’t a carved stamp, unique to your friend, make a fabulous little Christmas gift?

Undefined Stamp Carving Kit – 133402 - £17.95
Two carving tools
7.6 x 10.2 cm rubber
7.6 x 10.2 cm foam
Four wood blocks (various sizes)
One Island Indigo Stampin’ Write Marker
Three postcards
Instruction sheet
Stamp image templates

Undefined Refill Kit – 134808- £8.95
7.6 x 10.2 cm rubber
7.6 x 10.2 cm foam
Four wood blocks (various sizes)

Clear-Mount Cling Foam – 124236 - £9.95
This is an option which will allow you to create your own clear-mount stamps. Mounting your stamps on the cling foam allows you to make stamps any size you want, not just what will fit on the blocks in the kit.

And there’s more! When you’ve purchased the kit and carved your stamp, Stampin’ Up!® would love to see what you’ve made, so you can email photo of your stamp and any projects you’ve made with it to so they can pin your photos to the Undefined Pinterest board!

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Team gifts for Convention - wood-mount cases

Don’t forget you have until noon on Friday, 6th December to enter my Mystery Hostess Draw. All you have to do is place an online order using the following code:

These are the gifts I made for my team members who attended Convention. It’s a simple idea which can be adapted for any small gift – or a larger gift if you use the full-sized boxes.

The challenge was making them all different – and all the notepads and pens different, too – so that they could be easily identified and not mixed up!

Cover inserts are easy to make for these boxes as they just slide into the plastic cover. Inside the box was a little trickier – mainly because of all the things I wanted to fit in.

The note pads fit almost perfectly and slide into a flap so that they don’t drop out but can be removed if necessary. I decorated the fronts very simply (well I did have to make nine of them!) and topped with this year’s Convention logo, cut out with the die from my new Label Card Thinlits.  To get the right size of notepad at the right price I had to buy 50 of them, so expect to see those at a future event – my Spring/Summer Catalogue and SAB launch perhaps?

The pen just nestles down the side – and each pen is decorated with a tiny piece of DSP inside the barrel. I use Zebra pens for this sort of thing, so was excited to find small ones.

At the top of each case, I stuck a calendar – handy for all those Convention announcements of dates for Sale-a-Bration, new catalogues, next year’s Convention, etc!

Below that is a tiny envelope containing a sewing kit. This was my son’s idea – not sure if that was because he thought a sewing kit could come in handy or if he knew that I had dozens of them stashed away!

And this was, in fact. the trickiest bit of all because there are no measurements for making an envelope for a tiny sewing kit on the Envelope Punch Board! But I was determined not to be defeated and, about 12 pieces of scrap paper later, I finally came up with the goods. I’ve stored the template and measurements with my stash of sewing kits so expect to see those cropping up at a future event!

Stamps: Morning Post Alphabet
Cardstock: Various – Midnight Muse, Melon Mambo, Pumpkin Pie, Island Indigo, Pool Party shown
Paper: Gingham Garden, Quatrefancy
Ink: Various – Midnight Muse, Melon Mambo shown
Accessories: Gingham Garden washi tape, Label Card Thinlits, 1 3/8” circle punch, scallop circle punch, wood-mount cases (half-size)

Monday, 25 November 2013

Convention gifts - Mosaic Madness clouds

When my team members reach Bronze 2, they all receive a keyring with a bead on it. As they progress through the SU ranks, or attend SU events, I award them extra beads. Convention is an extra special event, however, so I try to give them a charm which relates to the destination.

Paris was easy – the Eiffel Tower. Frankfurt was really hard and I ended up with a not too attractive eagle, the official bird of Germany. Manchester? I admit I was a bit stumped for a while but then I remembered the British obsession with the weather and settled on these rather cute umbrella charms.

I really love the card design, with its contradictory weather of sunshine and rain on it – should have added a snowy background, too! I totally borrowed this idea from Emma Fuge, a hugely talented stamper from Wales. Hope she doesn’t mind! My version is slightly different, to adapt to the supplies I had, but I loved the way she stamped clouds using the Mosaic Madness stamp and made a fab sun with circle punches and paper snips. Clever lady!

To make the raindrops, I mixed a tiny drop of Soft Sky reinker with some Crystal Effects and applied it to the cardstock using a cocktail stick. Not all went well!

Stamps: Chalk Talk, Mosaic Madness
Cardstock: Baked Brown Sugar, Whisper White, Crushed Curry, Gumball Green
Ink: Soft Sky, Crushed Curry
Accessories: Chalk Talk Framelits, 1¾” circle punch, 1 3/8” circle punch, Whisper White Baker’s Twine, Chalk Marker, Crystal Effects, Soft Sky reinker

And don’t forget...

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Convention swap - Chalk Talk and Honeycomb folder

Now this is a much simpler swap – although I have to admit that, again, assembly was all done by my very helpful downline, Patsy.

For this design, I started with one of my favourite colours – Summer Starfruit – and “stamped” on it using the Honeycomb Embossing Folder. This is easy to do with a brayer and an ink pad – you just have to remember that the look you are aiming for is shabby chic so it doesn’t matter if your stamping doesn’t quite hit the mark. In fact, imperfect is perfect in this case.

I kept things simple by adding a die-cut greeting, a Midnight Muse banner and a few blingy stars. I think this would work for a man or a teenage boy… but I’d like to receive it, too.

I’m due home today but please don’t expect any Convention news for a while, as I am sure to be exhausted and very busy!

Stamps: Chalk Talk
Cardstock: Summer Starfruit, Whisper White, Midnight Muse, Champagne Glimmer Paper
Ink: Midnight Muse
Accessories: Chalk Talk Framelits, Honeycomb Embossing Folder, Linen Thread, Merry Minis Punch Pack, Brayer

And don’t forget...

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Caturday: black kittens!

Why do I look so fed up? Take a look inside...
Yes it’s Convention, but it’s still Caturday... and look what turned up at the shelter last week!

Inititally it was thought that it was a tabby mother and four black kittens, all of which looked alarmingly pregnant.

But once they’d all settled down and could be inspected properly, it turned out that the tabby was a male, one of the black “kittens” was a very small mother, and the other three were all males. Worms are the likely culprit but treatment had, by then, already been administered, so things should settle down soon.

See? I'm being pushed out of bed by my brother!
One lucky black kitten has already been packed off to his new home. At the time of writing there were still two more and the mother, as well as the tabby male, looking for homes.

And don’t forget...

Friday, 22 November 2013

Convention swap - watercolour Wetlands

All being well, and if this post has turned up on the right day, I’m currently at Convention in Manchester, getting ready for the first session of the day. 

So I thought this would be a good time to show you one of my swap projects. As I keep telling my team, swaps should be simple, easy to reproduce and not use too many resources. So what on earth possessed me to make this for Convention? A moment of madness perhaps?

I enjoyed making the tags, sitting in the sunshine this summer creating the watercolour background using clear blocks. Normally I’d ink the clear block then spritz it with water before pressing onto the cardstock, but I was using watercolour paper and it didn’t go to plan. So I tried a different method – I spritzed the watercolour paper and then pressed the clear block into it. It worked a treat and I whipped up the tags in a jiffy.

The silver glimmer paper is sprayed with Coastal Cabana reinker mixed with some alcohol. The lower section of Pool Party is Core’dinations cardstock, embossed and sanded.

I admit there are way too many steps on this card for mass production, so the pieces sat around in a shoebox for months on end, before one of my team threw me a lifeline and kindly offered to finish them for me. Thanks, Patsy!

I took these along to the Silver 2 reception at Convention – this is an exclusive event for demonstrators who have reached certain sales and recruiting goals. I’ll tell you more about this event when I get back!

Stamps: Wetlands, Sweet Essentials
Cardstock: Pool Party, Core’dinations Pool Party, Crumb Cake, Whisper White, So Saffron, Silver Glimmer Paper
Ink: Pool Party, Coastal Cabana, So Saffron, Basic Gray
Accessories: Naturals Twine, Chalk Talk Framelits, Scallop Edge Punch, Fancy Fan Embossing Folder

And don’t forget...

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Mystery hostess draw

Well today’s the big day, when I and nine of my team head off to Manchester for Stampin’ Up!® Convention 2013. We’re all very excited and I am sure I will have lots to tell you when I get back.

Meanwhile, don’t go away because I have daily blog posts scheduled for my absence, of all my swaps and team gifts.

And, phone connection/wifi permitting, I’ll try to post live updates on my Twitter account, @helenstamps. Now could be a good time to join Twitter! (You don’t have to tweet, you can just read if you like.)

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, here’s an opportunity for anybody to become a hostess and get free products!

All you have to do is place an order through my online store at (sorry, Blogger isn't letting me post a link) between now and noon on Friday, 6th December and, if the total reaches £150, there will be £25 of freebies for a hostess picked at random. You can choose from the exclusive hostess items from either catalogue – or any current product!

Shipping costs £4.95 and you can have it sent direct to your home, or your workplace if it’s more convenient.

To take part in this draw, at the bottom of your shopping bag, please paste the following hostess code into the box provided:


Any size order will do, although if you have a £150 order, please ignore that hostess code and claim the freebies for yourself!

That’s all for now – better go and tackle the job list!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Simply Pressed clay fridge magnets

For the past two days I’ve been busy with last-minute Convention preparations and making these… excuse the poor photos. I don’t know if you've noticed but it’s not getting light at the moment!

Every month my Virtual Hostess Club members get a little gift from me. Sometimes it’s a kit to make something, sometimes it’s something I’ve made, and occasionally it’s a little sample of something new.

This time I thought I’d made some little fridge magnets, with some frighteningly powerful magnets I bought online. After several aborted attempts to attach them to clay flowers with glue, I settled on embedding the tiny magnets inside the clay. The trick is to use something I lack: patience. Because if you test these out on your fridge before the clay is fully dry, the magnets will be ripped from the clay as you remove them.

To package them, I’ve used the flowers as an embellishment on a card, cunningly hiding a piece of magnetic photo paper (from the Pound Shop!) between the Whisper White and Smoky Slate layers. The magnets don’t grip to this particularly well so I’ve packaged them in cello bags to prevent them from going astray.

The flowers are coloured with Cherry Cobbler ink, which didn’t go quite as well as I’d hoped. I needed to use LOADS of ink, which made the clay very soft and increased drying time. I recommend sticking to paler shades, as the addition of white clay will inevitably have an effect.

For the rest of the customers at the party, I made thank you cards along the same lines but with a simple glimmer heart in place of the flowers. The silver glimmer paper is sprayed with Coastal Cabana ink mixed with alcohol, to dye it this lovely pale aqua shade. You’ll be seeing lots of this as I somehow ended up with a bit too much!

I die-cut 18 of the “Thankful” words, this time using proper waxed paper. What a difference! It made a tricky job into something simple, so I definitely recommend that. You simply sandwich the waxed paper between the die and the cardstock you wish to cut.

The party/club order is due to arrive today – I am anxiously awaiting the UPS man as I know it’s going to take me quite a while to sort it all out… and it’s always fun having a nosey through everything people have bought!

While I’m waiting, I think I had better go and have another look for my posh shoes for the Awards Night at Convention. They are currently nowhere to be found... 

Stamps: Off the Grid
Cardstock: Smoky Slate, Whisper White, Primrose Petals Core’dinations cardstock
Paper: Quatrefancy
Ink: Smoky Slate ink pad, Cherry Cobbler reinker
Accessories: Epic Day washi tape, Expressions Thinlits, Simply Pressed Clay
Other: Tiny magnets, magnetic photo sheets 

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Caturday: Car Park Attendant

First of all, massive thanks to last night’s hostess, Kate, whose party reached a whopping £670! Kate and I are both very grateful to everyone who contributed towards this wonderful total.

The guests were very taken with the new Envelope Punch Board and this was added to quite a few orders!

Now it’s Caturday, and it’s time to meet the Car Park Attendant (although I thought I had introduced you before). I believe her real name is Pippa, but she’ll always be Car Park Attendant to us as, in warmer months, she tends to greet us in the drive when we arrive at the cat shelter.

I heard a rumour that Jane from the cat shelter is due on Radio Derby this morning - 10.30am I believe. So tune in, or listen again on the iPlayer.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Floating pop-up card with Owl punch

Today is Children in Need day and they’ve all been packed off to school in various levels of fancy costume, so I thought a children’s project would be apt.

I found this cool idea on Pinterest (of course) and traced it back to Julie Davison, who has a handy video tutorial. We actually made a Christmas version of the Mosaic Madness card at a Crafty Friday a couple of months ago but I don’t think I ever took a pic.

Here is my owl version, made to accommodate a gift card inside, tucked between the two grassy layers. 

The card is a lot simpler than it looks. It’s just two pieces of cardstock, sandwiched together with strips of acetate (only one strip in this case) in between. The important thing to remember is that you’ll need to punch doubles of everything you want to be “floating”, so I punched two owl bodies, to encase the strip of acetate.

Stamps: Remembering Your Birthday
Cardstock: Melon Mambo, Old Olive, Elegant Eggplant, Daffodil Delight, Pumpkin Pie, Crumb Cake
Paper: Mosaic Madness
Ink: Old Olive
Punches: Owl, Bird, Itty Bitty Punch Pack, Scallop Edge
Accessories: Basic Pearls

To donate to Children in Need, click here

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Letterpress desktop calendar

This was the second and final project at my Crafty Friday last week. Sometimes we make two things, sometimes we make three… it depends on the complexity of the projects and the speed at which we work! We had quite a few techniques to tackle this time so two projects it was.

For this desk calendar, we used Core’dinations cardstock in Primrose Petals. I’m excited to say that you can now buy this fab cardstock in every colour – in assorted packs. It’s great because it has a pale core, which is revealed when you sand off the top layer… even more so when you emboss it through the Big Shot, as we’ve done here.

We used the embossed, sanded cardstock to cover two plain coasters with cardstock. You don’t need to use coasters, you can buy coaster board from Stampin’ Up!®, or even use the backing from your packs of DSP (I’m sure you have loads!). However, I have about a million coasters from years ago, which emerged during a recent sort-out, so coasters it was.

Then we simply tied the two pieces together loosely so that the calendar would stand up.

I bought the calendars from the Calendar Club stand in Westfield Derby (£1.49 for five) but you can get them cheaper online if you buy in bigger quantities.

Talking of calendars, the biggest date in the Stampin’ Up!® calendar for demonstrators is rapidly approaching. Yes, I’m talking about Convention, which this year is in Manchester and will see 800+ demonstrators from the UK, France, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands gathering together to swap, chat, exchange ideas, learn new techniques and get business inspiration. To say I’m excited would be an understatement.

But I do ask for your patience with the blog please as, right now, almost everything I make is a “secret” project for Convention and cannot be shown until I’m there. I will schedule these to post while I’m away and have lots of news for you when I get back!

Cardstock: Primrose Petals Core’dinations, Rich Razzleberry, Silver Glimmer Paper (sprayed with Coastal Cabana ink mixed with alcohol)
Accessories: Letterpress embossing folder, Scallop Edge Punch, Ruffled Stretch Ribbon – Coastal Cabana

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Caturday: Dennis (again)

Dennis is back for Caturday because he's such a success story. He arrived at the cat shelter feral and injured after being hit by a car. He wouldn’t go near anybody and lived on the shed roof.

He’s still very wary of people but he does love to be stroked and brushed - and last weekend, for the first time, he came to me when I called him. Slowly, admittedly, but he did come.

He loves other cats, too - just wants to snuggle up for warmth. Bless him. My cat shelter ambition is to get him to sit on my knee so we can watch TV (yes, there’s a TV!) together, but I don't think it will happen.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Merry Little Christmas chalkboard technique

This morning was my monthly Crafty Friday class and it was nice to have two youngsters along with their Mums (it was an INSET day). Despite their young ages (10 and 11), I knew that, as daughters of crafters, they’d be more than able to cope with a fun technique, so we tried the Chalkboard Technique – a key trend in the stamping world this season.

If you’ve never tried it, I recommend you have a go as we have lots of stamps which are just perfect for this right now. You’ll need black cardstock, a white ink pad, white embossing powder and a heat gun. Here’s what to do:
  1. If you have one, swipe your embossing buddy over your Basic Black cardstock. This will stop any stray specks of powder spoiling the finished effect.
  2. Stamp your words using Whisper White ink and then immediately dip it into white embossing powder. If you leave it too long, your ink will begin to dry and then your embossing powder won’t stick.
  3. Tap off any excess and then heat set
  4. Take your Whisper White ink pad and gently swipe it across the cardstock to look like chalk marks.
  5. Cut out image as desired.

As for the funky snowy background, this was REALLY easy. I didn’t have a suitable stamp so simply used my Whisper White ink pad and.. a pencil with a rubber on the end.

Crafty Fridays are held monthly, usually on the second Friday of the month but next month it will be held on the first Friday, ie 6th December. If you’d like to come along, please email asap as I only have three places left!

Stamps: Merry Little Christmas
Cardstock: Soft Sky, Basic Black, Silver Glimmer Paper
Ink: Cherry Cobbler, Whisper White
Accessories: Chalk Talk framelits, Chevron ribbon – Cherry Cobbler, Baker’s Twine – Cherry Cobbler, Season of Style Designer Series Paper, small heart punch, Basic Rhinestones

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Half-size wood-mount cases now available

Great news! The half-sized wood-mount cases are now available to order, after a delay. These great boxes are now available in two sizes and have lots of uses, such as...

  • Converting your old wood-mount stamps to the new matching storage system. Printable inserts are available (see below)
  • Storing stamping supplies such as markers, reinkers, ribbons etc
  • A hard protective case for a mini scrapbook album
  • Gift box to present cards etc (take a look at mine, here)
  • Gift box to make a mini craft kit for a friend who's just starting out
  • Store small toys for children on a car journey

I'm sure you can think of more!

If you want to transfer your old wood-mount stamps to this fab new packaging, you'll want it to look right, so Stampin' Up!® have produced some inserts for you to print:

Blank half-size insert - fits Half-size cases - 127552 - £4.50 (pack 4)
Blank full-size insert - fits Full-size cases - 127551 - £6.25 (pack 4)

Find them on page 197 of the main catalogue.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Mosaic thank you card with washi and Expressions thinlits

Season of Style washi tape isn’t just for Christmas, as illustrated by this Thank You card. I made  mosaic shapes using the fab punch and various methods. Top left is stamped and punched. The bottom one is washi tape stuck to a piece of Whisper White cardstock and then punched, overlaid with a circle of white cardstock and little punched flower. Top right is punched out of the Baked Brown Sugar layer, with a piece of Core’dinations cardstock underneath, embossed using the mosaic embossing folder and then sanded back. This one was fun to make!

Stamps: Remembering Your Birthday, Mosaic Madness
Cardstock: Cherry Cobbler, Whisper White, Baked Brown Sugar, Core’dinations Early Espresso
Ink: Early espresso, Cherry Cobbler
Accessories: Expressions Thinlits Dies, Mosaic Punch, Mosaic Embossing Folder, ¼” circle punch, Itty Bitty Punch Pack

Monday, 4 November 2013

Quick card - Mosaic punch

Need a card in a hurry? All you need is a card base, some scraps of cardstock and Designer Series Paper and a nicely-shaped punch. Several punches would do the job if you don’t have the new Mosaic Punch – think flowers, butterflies, hearts…

Nice big smile please… and we’re done.

Stamps: Happy Day
Cardstock: Island Indigo, Whisper White, Pool Party
Paper: Quatrefancy
Ink: Pool Party
Accessories: Mosaic Punch, Basic Rhinestones

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Caturday - Mr Winky

Mr Winky would like everyone to know just how much he LOVES the new cushions. They are, apparently, the Best Thing Ever, and are worthy of Mr Winky’s Best Purr. The cushions have been moving from room to room but, wherever they go, Mr Winky follows.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Envelope Punch Board is here!

Today’s the day we launch a brand new exciting tool that’s going to make the craft world go wild! I just know it’s going to be a big seller!

Why so confident? Oh, lots of reasons! Here are three:

1. I love it. It’s quick and easy to use and very versatile – it’s been giving me hours of fun!

2. It’s a bargain. It’s £17.95, just a couple of quid more than a standard size punch, and offers so many possibilities.

3. You’ll love it, too. I’m confident about this because I’ve already demonstrated it at my Epic Day of Crafting – where the guests burst into spontaneous applause!

It is, of course, the Envelope Punch Board!

This fabulous, lightweight tool creates customisable envelopes in at least 66 different sizes. You can use cardstock or DSP, or even print your own designs using My Digital Studio and your home printer. You can make envelopes in seconds.

Measurements are in metric and imperial – you get a metric sticker to add if you wish, but I prefer to keep mine separately, so that I can still use inches when required.

You can make so much more than envelopes, though – if you book a party I’ll be happy to demonstrate it versatility.

If you can’t wait that long, drop me a line and I’ll order one for you – the order number is 133774.

Meanwhile, take a look at the Stampin’ Up! video, showing you how quick and easy it is to use.

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.