Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Masculine workshop projects with Nailed It

As a last hurrah for the Nailed It stamp set and co-ordinating dies, we used them to create this fun set of projects at my Masculine Workshop at the weekend. Take a look, feast your eyes, and if you want to order the stamp set, you need to hurry, as it’s only available until the end of today.

As for the matching dies, unfortunately they’re already history. But there’s always the option of fussy cutting...

Looking to the future though, we have this fabulous new Wood Crate die and some simply gorgeous woodgrain papers to look forward to; you can start ordering these from tomorrow!

Monday, 29 May 2017

Mix It Up Monday: Pieces & Patterns with Lemon Lime Twist and Tranquil Tide

An exciting new challenge awaits as I begin a new year of Mix It Up Monday projects, using a new colour combination each week from my fresh batch of In Color charts

And this year you can join in, too! When you’ve created a Stampin’ Up!® project using a featured colour combination, there are several ways you can share it:

  1. Upload an image of your creation to your own blog, Pinterest board, Facebook page, Instagram or Twitter, then post a link to your project in the comments section of the relevant post on this blog.
  2.  Upload an image to the comments in the relevant post on my Facebook page. 

Whichever method you choose, please use the hashtag #mixitupmonday

There is no deadline, but to make things a bit less confused, please only link projects to the blog/Facebook post featuring that particular colour combination.

I have no idea if anyone will play along but it would be great if you did!

For this project, I just had to kick things off by using my favourite new colour, Lemon Lime Twist and possibly my favourite new stamp set, Pieces & Patterns. 

I took inspiration for this project from one of my own cards, and gave it a dinosaur twist. As for the little flowers, they are punched using the Tree Builder punch from the Eastern Palace Designer Series Paper. I’m ashamed to say that’s all I’ve used from that pack so far, but I’m sure you’ll be seeing more of it soon.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Caturday: A friendly black and white cat

It’s been a while since I saw a cat on my lunchtime walks so it was nice to bump into this little fellow again. I’m sure we’ve met before; he (assume a he) was pretty friendly, anyway. When you work from home, even a chat with a cat can break up the day.

PS: I looked back and, as I thought, we have met before. He’s grown a little since then.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Sneak peek: Pieces & Patterns

Yes it’s Pieces & Patterns again, and why not? I love this cute little set (plus I haven’t had chance to stamp with anything else yet, been too busy!)

This was very much a limited supplies challenge, made with a few bits of leftover cardstock at the end of our craft weekend earlier this month. I love this little bear, but I do think he looks quite sad, don’t you?

Tomorrow is my Masculine Workshop, the final event of this catalogue period, and we’ll be using Nailed It to create a set of manly projects. Please visit again soon to see what we make!

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Sneak peek: Pieces & Patterns

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: How cute is this little dinosaur? For this card, I made a mask from a post-it note so I could enable the T Rex to write with his tiny hands - I just hope he doesn’t drop the pencil as he’ll never be able to pick it up again. 

I enjoyed making this card so much, that I had another go, with a pencil-themed variation and the perfect greeting from Crafting Forever. This Designer Series Paper goes perfectly with this sentiment, doesn’t it?

Monday, 22 May 2017

50 new In Color™ combinations!

It’s time! I have 50 brand new colour combinations to share with you… 10 for each of the fabulous new In Colors! Keep visiting on Mondays as I work my way through them all for my own personal Mix It Up Monday challenge... so called because I like to mix up the colours with our existing shades. 

Those who know how slow I am to adapt to change may have spotted an unlikely adjective in my opening sentence. “Fabulous?” That’s the one. I described the new In Colors as “fabulous”? Yes! I actually like them this time. 

For the record, I hardly ever like the new In Colors™ when they are first launched. Two years ago, I was dead against them, while last year I was merely indifferent. This year, I’m straight to loving them! It helps that I’ve been hoping for a zesty lime for YEARS, so Lemon Lime Twist goes straight in a number one for me. 

Tranquil Tide and Fresh Fig are both gorgeous and rich and, it pains me to say it, go absolutely fantastically with the outgoing Delightful Dijon. Fingers tightly crossed for a colour refresh next year which brings Dijon back!

Berry Burst is just what we need to go with the brights – it’s not as harsh as Melon Mambo, which is very fine by me. And Powder Pink looks set to knock Pink Pirouette into oblivion, as it’s warmer and, in my opinion, easier to use. 

Anyway, here are some combos for your delectation. For the first time, I’ve included some metallics, as several times in the past year I’ve wanted to use them but they’ve not featured in the combinations of the past.

Please Pin and share… but most of all, please create your own projects using these combinations!


Saturday, 20 May 2017

Caturday: Denny and Jack

This formidable-looking duo are Denny (above) and Jack. They live in Virginia, USA, with Liz... who is the cousin of Patsy, one of my friends and downlines. I’m guessing from their expressions that they’re not too keen on having their photo taken!

Patsy, incidentally, is the nickname of Alison, who was this year’s Heart of Stampin’ Up!® Award Winner. This award is given to just one demonstrator globally at each OnStage event, and recognises a demonstrator who “embodies the spirit of Stampin’ Up!’s Statement of the Heart”. Alison was given the award for “her kindness, her cheerful and generous personality, and above all for thinking of others before herself”. We are so proud of her!

Here she is, receiving her Heart of Stampin’ Up!® necklace from SU CEO Sara Douglas.


Friday, 19 May 2017

Sneak Peek: Pieces & Patterns with new In Colors

Here are some more of the really cute images from the brand new Pieces & Patterns stamp set, heading to a catalogue near you on 1st June. I really love this set - it’s fresh and fun and different, and the simple line drawings are really on trend.

New colours featured above are Fresh Fig, Tranquil Tide and Lemon Lime Twist (my favourite!). Which brings me to...

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Sneak peek: Pieces & Patterns

I LOVE this new stamp set. It has a dinosaur! Not that I’m particularly enamoured with dinosaurs, but this one is just SO cute! There are other cute images within the set, too, but I didn’t want to over-excite you so today, you just get the dinosaur, stamped in Tranquil Tide which, apparently, I’m “obsessed with”, according to my friend Kelly.

We were having a relaxing stamping afternoon while on a fantastic crafty weekend away. We spent four days in the stunning Peak District making fabulous projects, some Stampin’ Up!®, some not. This, and some other cards using the fabulous new Pieces & Patterns stamp set, were the result of a Monday afternoon chill-out session. Everyone was a little tired by then (to say the least), so we spread out and did our own thing for a while.

The view from our upstairs window. So lucky to have views like this within an hour of home.

A walk along the riverside

Since I got home, I have learned that these caves were formed naturally, during the Ice Age and were used by hunters as shelter in 13,000BC, which is simply mind-blowing. 

The lady next door's adorable puppy

Monday, 15 May 2017

Mix It Up Monday - 2015-17 finale and new catty sneak peek

It’s the last project of this round of Mix It Up Monday today, as I come to the end of the 2016-18 set of In Color charts. And, at the risk of putting my neck out, I’m patting myself on the back for making a project with all 50 colour colour combinations… even the horrible ones!

For this project, I finally have my pre-order so am introducing a stamp set I know you’re going to love because it will speak to us all. It’s called Crafting Forever and features these paintbrushes, some scissors (they even look like our paper snips!), a rubber stamp of course, some pens and fun sayings. As the mother of an artist and friend of many writers, as well as crafters of course, I can see this set getting a lot of use in this house!

The brick wall was an afterthought, as you can probably tell. So I made myself a smaller “plate” from thick chipboard, so I could emboss just part of the image. I impress myself sometimes. 

Colour-wise, I’m not a big fan of this combo – it seems a little dated to me. But I’m not going to let it get to me because now I can move on to the next set of In Color charts, which I will be publishing on my blog next Monday. Exciting times, eh?

Friday, 12 May 2017

In Color sneak peek - with Blooms and Wishes

Aren’t these new colours gorgeous? I’ve used Lemon Lime Twist (my favourite!) with Fresh Fig, Tranquil Tide and, from the current In Color collection, Sweet Sugarplum. And I think they all go together beautifully on this card, which I CASEd from Caroline Wright.

I can’t wait to start using these colours in earnest – my big box of goodies has finally arrived so I can get stuck in at last, with a sneak peek stamp set coming this way on Monday!

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Gifts of gold, with Botanical Builder Framelits and Gift Box Punch Board

This is the gift I sent out to customers who place an order of £25 or more during April, as a thank you for helping me promote to Gold. So, lots of gold glimmer paper on there, plus an opportunity to use some retiring items. At a glance, leaving us from these projects are the Botanical Blooms stamp set and co-ordinating Botanical Builder Framelits, Tin of Cards stamp set, Kraft cardstock and the Gift Box Punch Board I used to create the box.

The ribbon has already gone, as it was a Sale-a-Bration item but I couldn’t resist using it as it’s gold. And, as I’d promised a “gift of gold”, inside the boxes were some gold buttons.

Looking ahead, I’m excited to say my pre-order is due to arrive today, so maybe soon I will have some sneak peeks to show you! And, of course, some catalogues!

Monday, 8 May 2017

Mix It Up Monday: Sneak Peek - Bike Ride

A tiny sneak peek from another fabulous new stamp set from the upcoming catalogue. This one is called Bike Ride and, as you’d guess from the title but not from the image, it’s all about cycling. It features a cute bike, with accessories you can add such as a basket and, you guessed it, a little dog to pop inside. There are matching dies, too, so no fussy cutting required! 

I only managed a brief play with a friend’s set, so quickly stamped the dog for today’s Mix It Up Monday project, which uses the penultimate colour combination from my In Color charts. I honestly can’t believe I’ve managed to get this far without giving up! Only one more combo to go next week, then I will be revealing my much-anticipated colour combinations using the new colours on Monday, 22nd May. 

I thought I’d used this colour combo before, but it turns out I was close with my Dapper Flamingo, but omitted the grey. That’s no surprise to anyone who knows me, as I’m not a fan of grey. Which is an odd thing to say as I sit here typing this in a grey top and grey cardigan. I’m an enigma, that’s what I am. 

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Caturday: Rocket

Jigsaw > table
Table > floor
Hindering your progress > staying out of the way

This is the way of the cat. If they can do something to annoy you, they will. If this means sitting slap bang in the middle of your jigsaw, so be it. If that means they “accidentally” disrupt all those carefully sorted pieces, even better. Because then they will get your attention so they can cruelly snub you and walk away.

This is the way of the cat, and if you don’t get that, you will never appreciate the sheer joy when they deign to sit on you or rub around you, and you will never be a Cat Person.

This beauty is Rocket, who belongs to Charla, one of my “imaginary” stamping friends in the USA. When I saw this picture on Facebook, I just had to ask if I could borrow it for Caturday, because it’s just so “cat”.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Stamp Doctor - Four projects with Swirly Bird

Last Friday was my Stamp Doctor night, with a special clinic for Swirly Bird. This stamp set is so versatile that it can actually be quite daunting, so I came up with a set of projects to show off some of the fun things you can do with it. This was the first – everyone got to choose a piece of DSP from my retiring stash, then made an envelope with it, using the remaining pieces for their other three projects.

Well, those who stayed on track did. Some ladies went “off piste”, which is absolutely fine... the main thing is that they have fun and, as it is a Stamp Doctor clinic, that they go home feeling better!

Thursday, 4 May 2017

In Color 2017 Shares - a whole menu of choices for you!

Introducing the 2017-19 In Colors – and aren’t they fantastic this year? I can’t remember EVER liking so many of them so soon... it usually takes me at least a year or two!

I’ve put together a wide range of shares for you, to suit every pocket and every crafter. 
Please email me to reserve your spot! 

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Hostess club thank you gifts

My Virtual Hostess Club came to an end this month, so I decided to thank all the lovely ladies who have supported me over the past year or so with an extra gift. I printed labels saying “Thank you for sticking around”, made envelopes using my Envelope Punch Board and some retiring Mint Macaron cardstock and wrapped them all with some gorgeous Succulent Garden DSP. Inside each one, I put a pack of Stampin’ Dimensionals; the perfect gift for crafters who have stuck with me for so long!

I am now taking registrations for membership of my next round of the club. I really appreciate the support my club members give me so, to thank them, I make sure there are loads of benefits to being in the club. One thing not mentioned in the image below is that, if you hold a party during your host month, not only do your boost your workshop total, but you know that your party is going to hit £150 before anyone has even walked through the door!

Joining the club is a lot of fun so please get in touch if you’d like one of the slots!

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Please join me for the Birthday Wishes Challenge - and stamp for a great cause

Stampin’ Up!® has issued us with a challenge... to create 10,000 cards in a weekend. That’s a LOT of cards, but I know we can do it!

These cards will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House Charities, which provide free accommodation for families at specialist children's hospitals around the UK. The cards will be made available to the families who, during such a busy and stressful period in their lives, don’t have time to go shopping. 

Please join me for a fun afternoon creating birthday cards for this great cause. Make two of each design – keep one of each and leave one behind for the challenge. And guess what else you get to keep? A brand new set from the new Annual Catalogue!  

The workshop costs £16 – the price of the stamp set – and all materials will be provided. Please bring your own scissors, adhesives and craft kit. Plus, if you have them, black or grey ink pad, watercolour pencils and blender pen. 

If you’re a speedy stamper, feel free to bring your own supplies to make more cards - and stamp till you cramp!

NB: I will be taking this opportunity to use up some retired cardstock and DSP, so not all supplies used will be current. Basic card sketches and samples will be provided but colours and DSP designs may vary according to availability. 

DATE: Saturday, 24th June 2017, 1.30pm-4.30pm

Venue: My house in Derbyshire (directions available on request)
Cost: £16

Please bring: Usual craft kit including scissors and adhesives.  If you have them, please bring black or grey ink pad, watercolour pencils and blender pen. 

Closing date: Places are strictly limited. Registration will close automatically when all places are filled, or on 30th May, 11pm, whichever is sooner, as I will need to order the stamps on 1st June. If the form submits, you have a place, which is secured on receipt of payment. 

Any questions? Please email me!

Monday, 1 May 2017

Mix It Up Monday: Sneak Peek - This Little Piggy

You are going to LOVE this new stamp set from the brand new catalogue. It’s called This Little Piggy and features four cute pig images with fun sayings to match. One of my downlines was lucky enough to win this set at the OnStage demonstrator event in Amsterdam, and she kindly let me have a play with it at the weekend. 

So, with Mix It Up Monday and the last few remaining colour combination from my In Color charts in mind, I stamped my image in Basic Gray so that I could colour it when I got home. In retrospect, stamping it onto Pink Pirouette cardstock would have made my life easier as my ink pad is very old and tired now and I’ve never got round to reinking it. Perhaps I’ll add a reinker to my order tomorrow, when I send for my own pre-order products and new catalogues. It’s such an exciting time of year and I can’t wait to get my hands on new goodies.

If you want to be the first to order new products, you too can become a demonstrator. Sign up from 2nd-31st May (that’s tomorrow, not today!) and not only can you choose your kit from the fabulous range of pre-order products which are not available to the public until 1st June, but you will get EIGHT copies of the brand new catalogue to share with your friends. You’ll also get eight copies of the current catalogue, so you can start sharing products and taking orders straight away. 

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.