Friday, 30 June 2017

Butterfly Basics bundle pop-up card

A pink card? With a butterfly on it? No, do not adjust your sets... I stepped out of my comfort zone for this one, as I was making a card for a very girlie friend. And I’m happy to report that it was very much appreciated - she loved it.

I was completely at a loss when faced with the Butterfly Basics stamp set - told you I was out of my comfort zone - but thankfully, this project by Julie Davison came to the rescue. Thanks for the inspiration, Julie!

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Daisy Delight Bundle with Wood Crate Die

Wooden crates don’t always have to be with the Wood Textures DSP (although they look pretty fab in that paper), they can be made from anything and I really like how it looks in the Color Theory DSP as shown here.

This was the hostess gift for a party I did recently, where I showcased the Daisy Delight Bundle. The flowers were made in the same way as for this card, but sponged in Berry Burst and Powder Pink. It’s really easy and a lovely effect.

And don’t you just love this crinkled ribbon? Looks gorgeous in bright Berry Burst.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

We Love Our Hosts Blog Tour & Mix It Up Monday: In The City

Thank you for visiting my blog for a very special Mix It Up Monday. Night owls and folk from the across The Pond will observe that it’s still actually Sunday for one thing!

But I couldn’t post something at 11pm on a Sunday and not use one of my colour combinations from my In Color charts because that would put me a week behind and I might not complete my year-long challenge!

I’m taking part in a global blog hop to celebrate the We Love Our Hosts promotion – which means if your workshop total reaches £300 during June, you get an extra £30 in Stampin’ Rewards. You have just a few days left to take advantage of this great offer, so don’t delay – you don’t even have to hold a party; you can gather orders from friends and still get the rewards. 

The theme of the hop is therefore hostess sets and I’ve chosen to showcase my surprise favourite: In The City. I wasn’t keen until I tried this set with a very limited colour palette; now I love the way it looks like an old screen print. And really, you cannot go wrong with Lemon Lime Twist and Basic Black – they’re made for each other!

I will say this about this stamp set; it’s a “stamper’s stamp set”. Much in the way that the Mini is a “driver’s car”. If you want to make a quick card before you dash out to catch the last post, this isn’t the set for the job. But if you really enjoy stamping and have the time to play around for a while to create one scene, you’ll love it. I just kept stamping and stamping until I had enough for five projects… then quickly assembled them using very simple designs. I hope you like them!

And now, please head over to the next blog to see some more hostess set inspiration!

Caturday (yes I know it's late): Professor Happy Cat

It’s a topsy turvy weekend. Caturday is extremely late this week... because it's already Sunday. This is mainly because I've been so busy with many things, including the Birthday Wishes Challenge but also because I was holding out for this particular photo, which just makes everyone smile (except cat phobics and dogs, perhaps).

Let’s just focus in on that happy smiling face, shall we?

This is Pooboo, who crashed into our lives by smashing up the locked catflap and never really left. We nicknamed him Tavish, for reasons I can’t be bothered to type, but he soon gathered many more names, the most commonly used being Pooboo (NO idea why). He’s also known as Powbow, Sweet Pete Sweet, Big Bob, Robert Dobert, Jonathan, Big Choobalooba, Cowboy Sneep Snip (honestly, ask my daughter if you want reasons... and the full list) and, more fittingly, Professor Happy Cat.

He is worshipped. The most amenable cat you could ever wish to meet, he likes nothing more than having his tummy rubbed and cannot walk across the patio without flopping over to present his finest asset to you.

Anyway, come back later for Mix It Up Monday... yes, on a Sunday, at 11pm. I told you it was a topsy turvy weekend.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Tree Rings with Happiest of Days and Pieces & Patterns

As soon as I saw this Tree Rings background stamp, it went straight onto my wish list. But then, when I finally got my hands on it, I sat here for ages, not knowing where to start... completely stumped (see what I did there?).

Finally, last weekend I managed to create some cards with this set. I’m holding off showing you the other two for now as they may well become the Make & Takes for an event I’m holding for my club ladies, and I do like to surprise them.

I’ve used it here with Pieces & Patterns (love that set!) and the ever-so-versatile Happiest of Days. This stamp set will be getting a lot of use tomorrow as I hold a charity stamp a stack for the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Guests will be stamping up a storm to donate cards to the charity, which provides accommodation for families who have to travel to specialist hospitals around the UK. We will be creating at east 50 cards to donate... hopefully many more!

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Daisy Delight with the smoosh technique

This was my first time trying the “smoosh” technique and, naturally, I was instantly hooked. Anything that creates a watercolour effect is usually a hit with me!

I found the instructions on Patty Bennett’s blog but, in brief, you simply wet a piece of watercolour paper, then use a clear block as a stamp... ie stamp the block onto your pad and then “smoosh” it around the wet cardstock. Repeat with a second and even third colour.

For these thank you cards, I used Lemon Lime Twist and Emerald Envy to make a gorgeous colourful green background. I then die-cut them using the Stitched Shapes Framelits Dies, stamped a greeting (from Pieces & Patterns) in Tranquil Tide, inking the stamp with a marker as I only wanted part of it, and added a punched daisy from Daisy Delight. These were supposed to be quick cards, but they didn’t turn out that way!

Monday, 19 June 2017

Mix It Up Monday: In the City with Berry Burst and Lemon Lime Twist

Yes, it’s time for another colour combination from my In Color charts because it is indeed Mix It Up Monday … yes, again! They come round very fast!

Berry Burst and Lemon Lime Twist are the stars of the show this time and it was a great opportunity to use this fabulous Color Theory DSP Stack. I love the ombre effect on this sheet and thought it would be perfect for the biggest hot air balloon. 

I’ve teamed it with a surprise favourite: In The City.  I confess that when I first saw this hostess set I didn’t just pass over it, I actually scoffed. I thought it was horrible, childish, badly drawn… you name it, I threw that insult at it. 

“What happened?” I hear you ask. The answer, as is so often the case, is “Pinterest happened”. Demonstrators can purchase hostess sets in our pre-order month so lots of people had taken up the opportunity and loads of fabulous samples kept turning up. I warmed to the set and, naturally, caved in. 

I love this card - with the balloon looming large over the domestic scene - but I love my other In The City samples even more. However, you’ll have to wait until next week before I show you those as they’ve been created for a blog hop. Meanwhile, just marvel at the fact that I used Tempting Turquoise because that never happens! 

Don’t forget you can join in the #MixItUpMonday fun now, too. 

Create a Stampin’ Up!® project using either this colour combination, or one I’ve previously showcased, there are several ways you can share it:

  1. Upload an image of your creation to your own blog, Pinterest board or Facebook page 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 way you choose, please use the hashtag #MixItUpMonday

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Caturday: The Boyz share a special moment

What special moment. Sorry, you missed it. Here is Mr T (right), who has forced his way into our lives due to his ability to open a locked catflap, with his brother, Hamish (left), who keeps trying to move into our house but lacks the necessary skills. (I fear determination may win through in the end - it's especially difficult in the summer when the French windows are open.)

Anyway... Mr T spied Hamish on the patio and approached him. “Uh-oh,” I thought. “Here comes the fight.” Sometimes they spin round like they're in a tumble dryer and leave a carpet of white fur behind.

But no, Mr T went up to Hamish, put his arm (leg - you know what I mean) around his brother and started washing his head. Aaah, what a beautiful thing to witness. I must capture such precious moments on my camera.

Unfortunately, in seconds it took me to locate my phone and open the camera app, the moment had passed, and turned into this hostile stand-off. Siblings, eh?

Friday, 16 June 2017

Label Me Pretty simple Fresh Florals DSP card

Another CASEd project (what? I'm a busy person!) - this time from Stampin’ Success, which is the quarterly magazine sent out to demonstrators. I used the Fresh Florals DSP (but changed the colour and design) and some of the gorgeous new Powder Pink Shimmer Ribbon, topped with an image from the new Label Me Pretty stamp set, which has a new co-ordinating punch. I coloured it in with my lovely new In Color markers.

What do you think of this new colour, Berry Burst? It’s proving extremely popular!

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Daisy Delight with fun sponging technique

This was one of our creations from last week’s Crafty Friday event, where we spent a couple of happy hours playing with Daisy Delight and the co-ordinating punch. 

It’s a variation of a card made by my friend and helper, Kelly, but to save her DSP, we sponged the cardstock before punching it out. This one is combination of Flirty Flamingo, Calypso Coral and Crushed Curry. The flower is then deconstructed to create this fun design.

There wasn’t quite room for the “Thank you” stamp from this set, so we turned to another new set, Better Together, to provide the greeting. It’s a must-have set, in my opinion, as there are so many useful sayings in it, each with a co-ordinating stamp for the inside. 

Monday, 12 June 2017

Mix It Up Monday: Daisy Delight with Tranquil Tide and Fresh Fig

It’s Mix It Up Monday again and time for another colour combination from my In Color charts.

This time it’s the turn of Tranquil Tide and Fresh Fig to enjoy an outing, set off with a faux watercolour backdrop of So Saffron. I did this by inking a clear block, spritzing it with water and then stamping it onto the Whisper White paper, allowing the ink to soak in before removing the block. 

Don’t forget you can join in the #MixItUpMonday fun now, too. 

Create a Stampin’ Up!® project using either this colour combination, or one I’ve previously showcased, there are several ways you can share it:

  1. Upload an image of your creation to your own blog, Pinterest board or Facebook page 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 way you choose, please use the hashtag #MixItUpMonday

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Caturday: French kitty

This absolutely gorgeous tortoiseshell and white cat visited my friend/downline Alison while she was staying in France recently. Alison says she spoke to her in French but didn’t get much response, and wonders if it was her accent causing the confusion?

Friday, 9 June 2017

Sharing Sweet Thoughts - the ladybird escapes

I was really lucky - and surprised! - to win this stamp set recently. It’s called Sharing Sweet Thoughts and, for every set sold, Stampin’ Up!® will donate £2 to Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC).

The prize draw was open to demonstrators who register their event to make cards for the Birthday Wishes Challenge at the end of June.

To celebrate 10 years of Stampin’ Up!® being in Europe, demonstrators have been challenged to create 10,000 cards to send to the Ronald McDonald House Charities, so that families who are busy caring for very sick children have access to handmade cards to send out.

My event is on Saturday, 24th June ... and I could still squeeze in a couple more people if you let me know by the end of today! Just drop me a line and I’ll see what I can do.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

In Color notecards with Crafting Forever

I think year’s In Color release has been the best yet – it certainly seems popular with my customers, at least. So I hope they’ll like this set of note cards, which shows off all five new colours individually.

We have the fabulously zingy Lemon Lime Twist 
The subtle but warm Powder Pink
Rich and fruity Fresh Fig
Bright and punch Berry Burst
And, finally, the calm and classy Tranquil Tide

Monday, 5 June 2017

Mix It Up Monday: Reverse stamp technique with Vintage Leaves

I never thought I’d be so excited about such a bright colour combo, especially one featuring Bermuda Bay! Maybe the advent of Lemon Lime Twist has turned my head?

For this Mix It Up Monday project, I used an exciting technique discovered by accident by my friend Kelly’s mum. One day, she accidentally mounted a stamp onto the block upside down, stamped it and produced a rough shape of the image. This got Kelly thinking, and she came up with this idea… stamp once with the stamp upside down, then repeat with it the right way round in a darker colour on top. 

It only works with photopolymer stamps and they need to be roughly symmetrical, as you will be stamping the first image in reverse. After examining my stamp collection, I was surprised at how few sets I have which are suitable, but settled on an old favourite, Vintage Leaves.

I stamped the reversed images in my four happy colours, then stamped on top with Basic Black, for a fun 50s feel, which I really love. 

And for a bonus tip… I cut a piece of Whisper White to the width of the new Pretty Label punch and slid it in carefully to punch the shape at both ends, creating this unique banner. 

Take a look at the rest of the colour combinations from my latest set of In Color charts, then why not join the challenge yourself?

When you’ve created a Stampin’ Up!® project using either this colour combination, or last week’s combo, there are several ways you can share it:
  1. Upload an image of your creation to your own blog, Pinterest board or Facebook page 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 way you choose, please use the hashtag #mixitupmonday

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Caturday: A visitor

This beautiful tabby frequently visits one of my customers, Karen, who says: “I think she's thinking of moving in so is carrying out spot checks to see if we live up to her expectations. We've all passed the ‘tickle me under my chin test’ and my son has even been tested on the ‘comfiness of his knee’. I’m not sure how to tell her that she makes me sneeze.😉”

Funny how they’re always drawn to those who are either allergic or just don’t like cats, isn’t it? It’s almost as if it’s done out of spite...

Friday, 2 June 2017

Wood Textures Suite crate and note cards

This is my take on the OnStage Make & Takes – I couldn’t be there in Amsterdam this year but that didn’t stop me playing along, and making my own version of this fun project. 

Of course, I couldn’t resist tweaking it slightly, using new In Colors and that irresistible ribbon. I also added some straw to my crate... because I have an awful lot of straw leftover from Easter!

These products are all available to buy now, as the new catalogue went live yesterday! What’s going to be on your first order?

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.