Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Sneak peek: Spooky Cat owl birthday card

It’s birthday season – from last week until the middle of September it’s just birthday, birthday, birthday. There’s even a run of four or five on consecutive days. And, in most cases, I can’t just root around for a card in the samples box. For instance, I don’t have an 18th birthday card lying around, so made this one specially, using a number of stamp sets:

  • Spooky Cat – as part of my mission to prove that it’s good for more than just Halloween
  • Number of Years – perfect for those age cards
  • Best Birds – so the owl doesn’t fall off his perch
  • Labeler Alphabet – for the inside greeting. 

Monday, 28 August 2017

Mix It Up Monday: Pieces & Patterns

A teeny tiny sneak peek for you today - can you spot it?

Yes, it’s the Vintage Crochet Trim, which is tucked away at the back of the Autumn/Winter catalogue with the Spooky Night Suite. I do love a pop of black on a project, and thought it was perfect to add some punch to this super-bright colour combination from my In Color charts.

I was convinced that I had a ‘blob’ stamp I could use to colour these cute little bears for today’s Mix It Up Monday project but apparently I don’t, so my fingers and thumbs came to the rescue. I’m not sure how long it will be before the Melon Mambo fades!

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Caturday: Shining Cliff Woods

We often walk in Shining Cliff Woods in Ambergate, but we have never seen a cat there at all. So we were very surprised on a walk the other evening to see not one but THREE cats. There's some sort of cat shelter behind one of the houses there so we did half wonder if they'd all escaped!

Unfortunately, this was the only one I could capture on camera, and even that was touch and go as this was as close I could get before it ran away.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Sneak peek: Hometown Greetings Edgelits

What I would like to know is this: how come, when a German demonstrator (any German demo – they all seem to have this talent) creates a project using Sahara Sand (or Crumb Cake) and one other colour, it looks fabulous and stylish and gorgeous... but when I try it, I never seem to be able to pull it off?

But while the cards may not overwhelm, I think the products will. I LOVE the Pinewood Planks embossing folder, which I have only just purchased, and I LOVE these new Hometown Greetings dies.

I made a batch of these for this month’s club ladies, to thank them for their orders. I wanted to showcase some of the new Autumn/Winter products but in all honesty, I’m not quite ready for Christmas just yet. I know if I start on the Christmas cards this early, I’ll be sick to the back teeth of it by November.

But these little die-cut houses are good for lots of occasions. They are part of a border, so I had to cut off another house, and they are one of my favourite products in the upcoming catalogue. I have lots of ideas for these, and a trip to Ikea may be in order.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Blooms & Wishes gift pack for a special silver celebration

I am very proud of my team member, Sue, who has just promoted to Silver! I may not be Sue’s direct upline but I’ve pledged to be better at celebrating my team members’ achievements so popped a little packet of Rhinestones in the post for her, with a matching card.

I used flowers – because Sue LOVES flowers – and a splash of silver to mark the occasion.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Mix It Up Monday: sneak peek Cat Punch

As you may have gathered, the product I am most excited about in the upcoming Autumn/Winter catalogue is the cat punch. And, as I have no reason to celebrate Halloween, I’ve been looking for ways to use it for other occasions. 

Not sure what occasion would warrant this particular Mix It Up Monday project but it kept me amused for half an hour. And I’m proud to say that I stamped the words in one go. 

Here’s my three-step method for stamping with the Labeler Alphabet stamp set (or any alphabet set):
  1. Draw a fine pencil line along a ruler and mark the centre point.
  2. Have the word or phrase written on scrap paper so you can copy it (it’s so easy to stamp the wrong letter otherwise), then count the characters – including spaces and any punctuation – to work out the centre point.
  3. Stamp from the centre point outwards; this is when having the phrase written down will help as you will be stamping half of it in reverse. 

I scoured my In Color charts for a combo with a cat shade in it (I’m not quite ready for fantasy cats in crazy colours but I’ll get there) and found this one… and a mistake which slipped through not one, not two but THREE proofreaders! Yes, the chart says Tangelo Twist, which is a retired In Color, when actually I meant to say Tangerine Tango. I always get those two mixed up. 

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Caturday: Marmaduke

Meet Marmaduke, a very friendly farm cat who lives alongside 170+ alpacas! We met him on our visit to Charnwood Forest Alpacas to meet the babies (crias) last weekend. Here they are...

Friday, 18 August 2017

Cat punch sneak peek - Catzilla!

My mind is racing with ideas for this fabulous new cat punch, which is coming to an Autumn/Winter catalogue near you in September.

I don’t know why, but I wanted to place it with the fun buildings from the hostess stamp set, In The City, so I stamped a row of properties, cut them out and overlaid them onto some Soft Sky cardstock, with a Basic Grey cat sitting there, sinisterly peering over the top. Catzilla!

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Carols of Christmas - one design, two cards

At last week’s Crafty Friday event, we made a fancy fold card to this design, then scaled things back by making a much simpler card along the same lines.

The one on the right folds out and is held together with a belly band, and is ideal for a “special card”, while the one on the left is a bog standard card design, much more suited to making multiples for most people on your Christmas mailing list.

It was fun to get the glitter and gold glimmer paper out on a warm August day, and we had lots of fun using the new Carols of Christmas bundle, which is available to purchase ahead of its official release next month.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Mix It Up Monday: Tranquil Tide with Vintage Leaves

Tranquil Tide goes brilliantly with copper, so I placed some Copper Foil behind this die-cut piece to create a contrasting border for this Mix It Up Monday project. 

The dies are in the new Card Front Builder set, which is an Autumn/Winter catalogue product available a month early. It’s part of the festive Carols of Christmas bundle but there’s not reason you can’t use it all year round. 

What I like about the border stamps is that it only die-cuts one end, so you cut one end and then run it through the Big Shot again to cut the other. This means it fits our card sizes in the UK as well as those in the US, which are proportioned slightly differently. 

For autumn (which I’m afraid to say is looming large), there’s no finer stamp set than Vintage Leaves and this is a pretty good colour combo, too, if I say so myself. It comes from my In Color charts, which feature 50 colour combos using the latest In Colors. 

I sponged the top image in Cajun Craze and Early Espresso onto Very Vanilla, with leaves die-cut from the two colours of cardstock in the background. That’s it, quite a simple card, topped off with a greeting from Better Together (a must-have, in my opinion). 

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Caturday: Scottish (not at all wild)cat

This time last week we were beginning the long drive back from Scotland, where we spent a fantastic week in the Cairngorms. During the week, we saw lots of wildlife which we don’t get in Derbyshire, including reindeer, Scottish wildcats, ospreys, red squirrels, a crested tit and red deer. We saw some impressive non-native species including wolves (grey area - they are native but were wiped out), a wolverine, red panda and much more.

But we only saw two domestic cats. One was in somebody’s garden, near their house, and I draw the line at taking pix of those as it’s too intrusive. This was the other one. Quite far away, hence the fuzziness.

What we DID see, to our surprise, was the Loch Ness Monster. It was quite a drive to the shores of Loch Ness but worth it as you can see...

Friday, 11 August 2017

Sneak Peek: Spooky Cat bundle

I don’t normally post new catalogue sneak peeks so early in the month but I am SO excited about one particular new product and I think you will know why!

Yesssssss! A cat punch! I know more than a few people who will be purchasing this in their first order!

In another first, I bought a Halloween stamp set and its co-ordinating DSP. Why? Well take a look at the black cat on the front of this card – it’s punched from the Spooky Night DSP, which fits exactly. This one was on the edge of the paper and I didn’t want to waste it, so positioned it on the edge of the layer. Not sure what I’m going to do with the bottoms from the other side of the sheet, though!

Yes, it’s Halloween DSP and no, I don’t make Halloween projects but each sheet has a patterned side which can be used for any occasion, so I thought it was worth the investment.

As for the Spooky Cat stamp set, so far I’ve only used the cat’s face stamp but there are others I can use for non-Halloween projects and some which will need some creative thinking, so watch this space!

Ok, brace yourself for the inside of this card...

How cute is that? I repurposed a design from my Crafternoon Cream Tea event to make this fun pop-up card. Cats and boxes go together so, to me, using the Wood Crate Die was so obvious! I made a “blanket” by die-cutting a scalloped oval from DSP.

So who’s joining me in Team Spooky Cat this autumn?

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Foxy Friends baby card

I have a confession to make. I have had this stamp set for over a year and it’s barely seen any ink. Shocking, I know. It’s not that I don’t like it – I love it! I honestly don’t know why I haven’t used it, because it’s really sweet.

I do feel I’ve redeemed myself slightly with this card but it still works out as quite a pricey card so I will have to knuckle down and make lots more.

Who had a baby? One of my downline has just welcomed another grandson into the world and he’s gorgeous. If that’s not reason to celebrate, I don’t know what is.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Mix It Up Monday: Happiest of Days fancy fold birthday card

Good morning! I have the post-holiday blues today as it’s back to work after a week in the beautiful Scottish Cairngorms. We’ve never been before but will definitely be back – we just wish it was closer than an eight-hour drive. 

It’s business as usual on the blog, too, as it’s Monday and time for another Mix It Up Monday project using a colour combination from my In Color charts

Today’s Mix It Up Monday project uses three shades of purple and that lovely rich green, Tranquil Tide. This should be a winning combo but I admit I struggled, probably because I need to get back into stamping after a week away. 

As you can see, it’s not your run-of-the mill card. It’s a fancy fold inspired by Connie Stewart, who produced a very helpful video, which I recommend you watch if you want to have a go at this project. Be warned, though, it uses US sizes so to save you the hassle, I sat down with a load of scrap paper and came up with my own measurements so that the card would fit in a C6 envelope and can be made using A4 cardstock.  

Whisper White/Very Vanilla cardstock: 14cm x 20cm
Score @ 4.5cm and 7cm from each end.

Card base: 10.5cm x 14.8cm 

DSP design 1: 4.2cm x 13.7cm (you’ll need three pieces of this size)
DSP design 2: 2.2cm x 13.7cm (you’ll need four pieces of this size)

Belly band: 28cm x 3cm (or wider - adjust the width to suit your main image)

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Caturday... no, wait... Dogurday!

I’m all for inclusivity so why shouldn’t Caturday be taken over just this once by an extremely cute puppy? This is Ernie and while he may look like a pyjama case, he is actually a real dog.

He only has little legs though, so it doesn’t take much for this to happen. Completely wiped out, bless him.

Don’t panic, cat fans... normal service will be resumed next week.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Happy Birthday to a Fun Guy

I crack myself up, I really do. I’ve been waiting for inspiration to strike with this mushroom-themed DSP for some time. I really love it so didn’t want to cut into it for the sake of it (I know, I know, I should practise what I preach). Then I had this idea and chuckled to myself all the time I was making it. Well, somebody has to laugh at my jokes!

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Carols of Christmas bundle with Wood Textures DSP

I think this Wood Textures DSP is the perfect accompaniment for this new stamp set, Carols of Christmas. I do think I should have cut the DSP smaller but, by the time I realised this, I was too far down the line, so we are left with a too-slim border of Crumb Cake.

Still, lovely versatile stamp set and lots to play with in the accompanying Card Front Builder dies, too.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Carols of Christmas stamp set and Card Front Builder dies available now

Available now: the brand new Carols of Christmas stamp set
and Card Front Builder Thinlits!

Please click the images to start shopping 
or contact me to place an 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.