Monday, 31 July 2017

Mix It Up Monday: Carols of Christmas sneak peek

Hello Monday… and goodbye July. Today is the last day to take advantage of the best sign-up offer I’ve ever seen. Join today and you’ll get this stamp set free, as well as a fabulous pack of vital craft tools to add to you stash. 

It’s also the last day to earn a Bonus Days coupon to spend in August – spend £45 today and get a £4.50 voucher to spend next month. 

But most of all, it’s Monday, and time for another project using a colour combination from my In Color charts. Today’s Mix It Up Monday project is a CASE of this gorgeous project by Holly Stene. Unfortunately I didn’t have any suitable ribbon so my version is a little plainer. 

It uses the new Carols of Christmas stamp set and co-ordinating Card Front Builder dies, which will be in the upcoming Autumn/Winter catalogue (goes live in September) but you can purchase from tomorrow. There are lots of possibilities with this set and I look forward to showing you more projects… when I get time to make some!

The colour combination uses a splash of Lemon Lime Twist, which is a favourite of mine but even I had to admit that it probably wasn’t appropriate on this particular Christmas card, so I kept it as subtle as possible. 

For the trees, I stamped them lightly in Whisper White using Timeless Textures, then embossed with white embossing powder to create a frosted look. I don’t know what’s got into my lately... I don’t usually emboss anything and now I can’t seem to stop!

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Caturday: Hamish

Left my phone unattended again and came back to find it filled with selfies. I don’t blame the cat... he was just dragged along in the crime. He’s Hamish and no, he’s not ours... he just thinks he is, so hangs around all the time. He’s a lovely boy though, and does love a lot of fuss and attention. Which is lucky, as giving cats fuss and attention is my daughter’s raison d’ĂȘtre. Ooh, get me, all French and posh.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Sharing Sweet Thoughts - Crafternoon Cream Tea projects

For my Crafternoon Cream Tea, the projects had a strawberry theme... to go with the homemade scones (not by me, by Mum), strawberry jam and clotted cream. We warmed up with a simple card and tag...

Then finished off with this fab (but oh so easy) pop-up card, which uses just one piece of paper cut with the Wood Crate Builder die. Love it!

And every time you purchase this stamp set, Stampin’ Up!® will donate £2 to the Ronald MacDonald House Charities, to help families of children receiving hospital treatment away from home.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Happy Birthday Thinlits graffiti card

I never thought I’d have so much fun with this Happy Birthday die. I was only borrowing it from my friend Kelly, but now it’s on my list of must-haves.

I particularly like watercolouring a background and then cutting it out to create a multi-coloured greeting. Here I ’ve used Lemon Lime Twist and Emerald Envy.

It tops a graffiti-style card inspired by Julie Kettlewell.  I’ve used a bunch of stamp sets... In The City, Marquee Messages and Five For All. I wish I could say the card was appreciated but, as it was for a teenage boy, I think the money inside may have been of more interest!

Monday, 24 July 2017

Mix It Up Monday: Card Front Builder dies - sneak peek

It’s Monday again and time for another project using a colour combination from my In Color charts. And once again I’m using Powder Pink – admittedly to make up for lost time because I could see that this colour was lagging behind as I worked with the In Colors I found more appealing. 

But, even if I’m not a fan of baby pink, I get that others are, so I forced myself out of my comfort zone again for this Mix It Up Monday project.

It uses the brand new Card Front Builder dies, which will be feature in the Autumn/Winter catalogue in September. But it gets better than that, because they will be available to buy from 1st August, along with a co-ordinating stamp set called Carols of Christmas (I confess I haven’t used mine yet!).

But I was keen to get playing with my new goodies, even if Christmas wasn’t on the menu – so I made these thank you cards for my club members. I couldn’t find a ‘thank you’ stamp to fit the banner, but thought ‘special delivery’ worked just as well, as they were receiving the special delivery of their July orders. 

Any idea how I made the banner? Scroll down for the answer. 

I had a bit of a drama while making these projects. After die-cutting an oval mask and stamping Hardwood onto the Very Vanilla cardstock (stamping off to get a paler shade of Chocolate Chip), I had just finished 15 pieces and cleaned away the relevant supplies when disaster struck and I knocked a glass of water over. The air was blue, I can tell you!

Fortunately only four were damaged, so I finished them off, in a VERY bad mood. Lesson learned though!

(As for the banner, it's one of the ‘stripes’ from the hot air balloon in the Up & Away Thinlits set.)

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Caturday: Canalside cat

Just an ordinary cat on an ordinary wall, right? Well, not exactly. We spotted this lovely tabby on a recent walk along Cromford Canal and zoomed right in for a fuzzy photo. But if you zoom out...

... you see that the cat clearly isn’t afraid of heights! Or, presumably, trains.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Pick a Pattern DSP with glittery embossing

I’m going through a glittery embossing phase, and it all started with a video by Kristina Werner, which inspired me to try some sparkly techniques. While Kristina’s techniques didn’t directly translate to Stampin’ Up!® supplies, the concept certainly did, so I set to work.

I began by watercolouring a background in some bright colours, the die-cut a circle using the fabulous, must-have Stitched Shape Framelits. I embossed the greeting on top in white, then embossed the whole thing using a mix of clear embossing powder and Dazzling Diamonds glitter. Sparkly!

The only ribbon I had in a relevant colour was Crushed Curry, which didn’t quite look right, so I turned to my talented team for some help in finishing off the project, and this suggestion was put forward... curly strips of cardstock. I love it! And it means you can create fabulous embellishments from the bits you’d normally throw away. 

Here’s the card to go with the present – another sparkly greeting and the same fabulous Designer Series Paper. I’m so glad I finally plucked up the courage to start using this paper, instead of just looking at it.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Glittery embossing on Happy Birthday Thinlits

How’s this for a different look with the same stamp set? For this project, I took inspiration from another Artisan Design Team demonstrator (aim high, that’s what I always say), Paula Dobson. It was her gift bag which inspired me to create this funky card; the black really makes the colours pop.

We made this card at last week’s Crafty Friday event, which is a really relaxed class where we often try different techniques. This was actually the only card we made in the session, because there were many steps.

For the greeting, we began by painting some watercolour paper with bright colours – I used Melon Mambo and Lemon Lime Twist. When this was dry, we die-cut it using the Happy Birthday Thinlits die. It looked pretty fab, and you could leave it there, but we were having too much fun to stop, so decided to do some glittery embossing  on top.

We Versamarked the whole piece and added a mix of embossing powder and Dazzling Diamonds glitter to create a shiny and sparkly effect. It looks really cool. If you do this, keep your mix made up ready – I use about 60% embossing powder, 40% glitter (roughly!) but be prepared to keep topping up with embossing powder, as the glitter will begin to take over.

The background is stamped in Craft Whisper White ink and, in the absence of ribbon, I added a flower which was stamped on the leftover piece of watercolour paper. Ooh, that would have looked nice embossed, too.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Mix It Up Monday: Happy Birthday Gorgeous

Happy Monday, everyone. It’s time for another project using a colour combination from my In Color charts – this time, something subtle and floral. Do not adjust your sets, this is really happening!

For this Mix It Up Monday project, I took (rather a lot of) inspiration from an talented Artisan Design Team demonstrator, Katy Harrison, and her beautiful card made with Happy Birthday Gorgeous. CASEing (Copy and Share Everything) is definitely the way forward when you’re out of your comfort zone with flowers and pink.

I confess I completely disregarded this stamp set when I first saw it. Why? Because I really am not keen on the trend for birthday balloons. But they are just a few of the stamps in this very varied set, which has loads of useful greetings and plenty of flowers and leaves so you can create some very pretty scenes. 

Hope you like the colour combo, it’s very subtle for me, so I was relieved to see I’d had the foresight to throw in some Basic Black to hold it all together. Don’t forget you can play along, too!

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Caturday: RIP Felix

Sad news from Woodland Nook. Resident cat Felix, the patriarch of the shelter, has died after a battle with cancer. Felix was rescued by shelter owner Jane who found him as a stray in Crete. After a life of fighting for survival and scavenging for food, he loved the running buffet of the shelter, as you can see from the pictures! He loved fuss, and always took care of any kittens who needed someone to snuggle. A huge presence in the shelter (and not just literally), he will be sadly missed. RIP Felix.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Bookmark card challenge with Pieces & Patterns and Pop of Paradise

At my last meeting for my team of Stampin’ Up!® demonstrators, we held an informal shoebox swap. I always make it “informal” because so many of my team are very busy people, holding down full-time jobs and volunteering commitments, as well as having families. So the deal is, if you have time, you bring a project for everyone to make. If you don’t... you just come along and enjoy it. It all balances out in the end.

One of my team, Ian (yes, men can be demonstrators, too!) had a brilliant idea to bring us all a half-finished project. We all received the basis of this card – with a diagonal pocket on the front and a plain bookmark inside. The challenge was to decorate it and post it to our team Facebook page.

I was a bit slow to complete mine but this mean I could see what everyone else had done – naturally, people leaned towards the floral and pretty, so I thought I’d go for something completely different... with a dinosaur. The leaves from Pop of Paradise are just what this little dino needs to hide in – and three three shades of green (Old Olive, Tranquil Tide, Lemon Lime Twist) co-ordinate and contrast perfectly.  Hope you like it!

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Pieces & Patterns film strip

Sometimes I’m a little slow on the uptake and it took me a while to realise that this funky black and white DSP would be perfect to create a film strip effect. I overlaid a strip of Basic Black cardstock and then topped it with some pieces of this really cut and fun DSP from the same pack. Love the effect... and the camera image from the co-ordinating Pieces & Patterns stamp set is just perfect to finish it off.

This film strip concept would be great for scrapbooking, too, as you could put photos in the spaces.

But isn’t this DSP with the little rabbit cute? Oh... just seen the snail. Don’t like it any more.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Mix It Up Monday: Sharing Sweet Thoughts

A challenging subtle colour combination for me this week’s Mix It Up Monday... I never do well with pinks and pastels but I had go and came up with this fun butterfly card. The lid was due to go on top of the jar but I couldn’t bear to trap the butterflies, even if they are only made of paper and ink. 

This stamp set, Sharing Sweet Thoughts, is this year’s Ronald McDonald House Charities set... which means every time you purchase it, Stampin’ Up!® will donate £2 to RMHC, which provide support and accommodation to families of children receiving specialist medical treatment around the UK. 

For more fab colour combos, take a look at my In Color charts… and, if you get chance, why not play along with the challenge?

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Caturday: Callie

There’s a new cat in the family! No, don’t panic, not in our house – we’re full. This is Callie, who lives in Canada with my aunt. She (Callie, not my aunt) turned up at a neighbour’s house begging for food but they, like us, were already full, so Callie has been happily rehomed with my aunt. So happy for them both – a house isn’t a home without a cat!

Friday, 7 July 2017

Clean and simple Pieces & Patterns

So you think you don’t have time to make your own cards? Think again. I turned out 20+ of these note cards – with stamped envelopes – in about half an hour. That’s just over a minute per card.

And if you’re wondering why the photo doesn’t show the pure Whisper White of the note cards, it’s because they’re not white. We now sell these handy little fellas in Very Vanilla, which is just perfect to co-ordinate with the Cajun Craze bear, Lemon Lime Twist pencil and Tranquil Tide greeting.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Tree Rings with Happiest of Days and Pieces & Patterns

This card is my version of one featured in Stampin’ Success, the magazine sent out to demonstrators. And don’t tell anyone... but I like my version better. Possibly because it features my favourite new colour, Lemon Lime Twist, and possibly because I got to use two of my favourite new stamp sets with the Tree Rings.

This completes a set of three cards made with the same three stamp sets to create three very different looks. This was the first – a cute mushroom is offset with two different wood effects. The second was a masculine look and this one is, as you can see, unashamedly girly... for me at least.

The background is stamped in Craft Whisper White ink and then embossed in white, just to give it a bit of extra oomph.  I love the effect this creates and some of the ladies who made this at the weekend – my team in the morning and my club members in the afternoon – said she thought the tree rings looked like flowers in this context.

Personally I think they look like Tree Rings, but who am I to argue?

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Sign up as a Stampin' Up!® demonstrator and get an early Christmas present

Wow, there is an AMAZING sign-up offer for July. You can join for the usual fantastic bargain price of just £99, but on top of your Starter Kit – which includes up to £130 of craft supplies of your choice – you will also receive additional gifts worth £65!

These are:

An Essentials Gift Pack, which features: 

  • D Block (2) ~ 118485
  • Grid Paper ~ 130148
  • Paper Snips ~ 103579
  • SNAIL Adhesive ~ 104332
  • Bone Folder ~ 102300

PLUS the brand new Carols of Christmas stamp set

What’s more, there is a set of dies which co-ordinates with this set, too, which you can choose as part of your Starter Kit if you wish. 
I’d love to welcome you to my team so please contact me for a no-obligation chat or, if you’re ready to join, please click here to get started!

Monday, 3 July 2017

Mix It Up Monday: Tree Rings and a little bear

Three stamp sets, same three as on this project, but a very different look for today’s Mix It Up Monday project. My club ladies made this project, along with another card using the same stamps, at Welcome event over the weekend. 

I think the pop of Lemon Lime Twist (my favourite new In Color - did I mention that?) really makes this card zing and the Tree Rings background stamp really comes into its own when used in Soft Suede as a subtle woodland backdrop. 

I wanted to see if I could use this fairly girly greeting from Happiest of Days on a gender neutral card. I couldn’t face masking off the flower so stamped it all and covered it with the little bear. I had planned to cover it with the dinosaur (hence the green) but it wasn’t quite big enough. Dinosaurs may not have been green anyway… and bears certainly aren’t, but who cares?

For more fab colour combos, take a look at my In Color charts… and, if you get chance, why not play along with the challenge?

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Caturday: Ginger Tom

What a battle-worn old bruiser. Ginger Tom is a regular visitor to my friend Kelly ’s house. He’s not very popular with her four cats, but he’s a pussycat really, and lapped up the attention from a group of crafters last weekend.

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.