Saturday, 23 December 2017

Caturday: Magic

Meet Magic, who belongs to my downline Donna. She’s a lovely cat who made us very welcome (well, as welcome as a cat ever does) at a recently crafty get-together.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Bird Banter - sneak peek

Oh how I love this new stamp set, Bird Banter. These cards were inspired by Kylie Page, and I enjoyed making a big batch of them to thank my latest set of customers.

We don’t do a Basic Black Stampin’ Blend yet, and I don’t have the Night of Navy pens yet, so I coloured the toucan's body with a black Sharpie... and can confirm that it's nowhere near as easy as using the Stampin' Blends! The images are stamped onto watercolour paper as I planned to watercolour the background but in the end I chickened out as I was concerned about the black ink bleeding; I'd stamped the birds in Memento Black. So instead of watercolour, I sponged some Soft Sky ink at the top and Wild Wasabi at the bottom of each square.

This set will be available for you to purchase from 3rd January... or you can order it now in your Starter Kit if you join my team! Please ask for more details...

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Color Me Happy with Layered Leaves embossing folder

Mini wreaths aren’t just for Christmas you know. These little beauties, from page 197 of the Annual Catalogue, actually open out to form a long “branch”... just perfect for this little birdie to sit on. He’s coloured with the new Stampin’ Blends (Pool Party), as is the rhinestone, although that doesn’t show up too well in the photo.

The greeting? That’s a Sneak Peek... from Picture Perfect Birthday, a brand new stamp set from the Spring/Summer Catalogue.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Handmade Christmas tree decorations

No Mix It Up Monday this week as I've been too busy to craft this weekend. Friday was spent decking the halls so that the house would be nice and festive in time for my first Hygge Night of the season, where we made the log slice ornaments shown in this post.

So today I’m sharing some of the pictures of my woodland-themed Christmas tree, which I decorated with some existing ornaments, some new ones and lots of hand-made decorations, many using Stampin’ Up!® products, old and new.

These are little leaves cut from air-drying clay, embossed with copper embossing powder and strung onto some baker's twine.

Non-SU bark reindeer with a little bell from last year’s Autumn/Winter catalogue and some more baker's twine.

Non-SU bark trees embellished with sequins, and a small log slice stamped with the Hearts Come Home stamp set. I painted the snow with acrylic paint - I could have used Craft Whisper White ink but I wanted it to dry this side of Christmas!

All topped off with the bird rosette I showed you the other day. 

As much as I love my woodland tree, I don’t really buy into the co-ordinated Christmas tree look and this is a little bit too “tasteful” for my liking, so rest assured I have another tree in the living room, with decorations of all colours, ages and designs - the more the merrier.

As for Hygge Night, you can see highlights from the evening in this video, which I posted to Facebook over the weekend. These Hygge Night decorations went on the tree after the above photos were taken, as I needed them as samples for the evening. 

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Caturday: Liquorice

Beautiful Liquorice with those gorgeous green eyes... belongs to my downline Donna, and enjoyed all the fuss she was given at a crafty get-together last weekend. 

You don’t have to be a cat-lover to be in my team, although it does help! Please ask if you’d like more information... it’s a fantastic time to join!

Friday, 15 December 2017

Year of Cheer Designer Series Paper gift bags with SAB sneak peek

Can you spot a sneak peek here? These are some little gifts I made for some of my stamping friends at a get-together last weekend. I used half a sheet of Year of Cheer DSP for each box, and the Gift Bag Punch Board.

These were literally thrown together before I set off in the morning, so they decoration is very simple; just a couple of strips of cardstock (Whisper White and Silver Foil), a piece of ribbon and the finishing touch... yes it’s that sneak peek!

This die comes from a brand new set; a Sale-a-Bration freebie which you can earn from 3rd January. How do I have it early? Demonstrator perk, of course! SAB begins in December for demonstrators, so we can earn freebies for FOUR months instead of three. Whoohoo!

If you’d like perks like this, please get in touch to talk to me about joining. There are literally NO drawbacks, I promise.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Merry Music rosette Christmas tree ornament

I spent Saturday really getting into the Christmas spirit, crafting with some of my stamping friends... all but one of whom I met through Stampin’ Up!®. Our brief was to bring a simple project for everyone to make so, to speed things up, I did a lot of prep for this Christmas tree ornament before I went. 

For instance, at home I used some rubbing alcohol with several drops of Crumb Cake reinker in it to spray the Merry Music Designer Series Paper and give it a softer, “aged look. I did the same to the silver glimmer paper, to tone it down a little. 

I also die-cut all the pieces, including the birds... well, I confess I opened my Best Birds stamp set and discovered a pile of stamped and die-cut birds in there. I knew they’d come in handy eventually!  

If you didn’t want to hang this on your Christmas tree, you could use it as a gift tag on a special present.

Please note the instructions are in centimetres but they do not convert to inches.
If you need instructions in inches, I suggest you search “Stampin’ Up! rosette tutorial” and work from there. 

Monday, 11 December 2017

Mix It Up Monday: Year of Cheer DSP gets the Fresh Fig treatment

How are your Christmas preparations coming along? At the time of writing I have written SIX cards... and they aren’t even the ones heading across the Pond, so I really must get my act together. 

I’m still making Christmas projects though, and this one uses a surprising colour combination from my In Color charts for today’s Mix It Up Monday post. 

I began by sponging Fresh Fig ink onto some Year of Cheer Designer Series Paper. I have fallen in love with this paper all over again since discovering the possibilities by adding some colour. The gold and silver snowflakes really pop out of the rich background. 

I die-cut a huge pile of Very Vanilla trees but then the card went off in a different direction so they will have to wait for another day, as only these two made the final cut. I didn’t really want to add the so Saffron but rules are rules and the colour combination demanded it, so I added a greeting flag and topped it with a silver rhinestone, coloured “gold” with a Daffodil Delight Stampin’ Blends marker. 

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Caturday: Cromford cat

Walking along Cromford Canal the other day, we spied this ginger beauty in the woodland. It wasn't coming any closer though, so didn't get a stroke unfortunately.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Sponged Year of Cheer Designer Series Paper

I can't stop sponging the Year of Cheer Designer Series Paper - it looks so deep and rich in the darker shades, like the Night of Navy I've used here.

I'm rationing my Foil Snowflakes now as we need them for a class next week, so I've only used half of one here - remember: if you can't see it, it's not there!

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Stampin' Up! gift vouchers available

Gift vouchers are always available, but particularly popular at Christmas - get your loved ones to send you vouchers now, so you can use them during Sale-a-Bration. It's a total win win!

Any denomination available and you get a free card (min £5). For vouchers £10 and over, I'll post it to you for free, too!

Here’s one I made earlier...

Monday, 4 December 2017

Mix It Up Monday: embossed snowflake on vellum

Happy Monday – and Happy December! I feel like I’ve been making Christmas cards for months… probably because I have! But there are still more to make and more designs to show you, including this one for Mix It Up Monday and a rather groovy colour combination from my In Color charts. “Groovy” isn’t quite the right word but I was going to say “funky” until I stopped myself - doesn’t that mean something bad in American? Anyway, you get the idea - and you know I love a retro colour combination. 

I also love what happens to vellum when you run it through the Big Shot in an embossing folder - the raised areas turn white, which is just perfect for this big snowflake. 

I’ve let the snowflake do the talking, and just embellished it slightly with some strips of sponged Year of Cheer Designer Series Paper and a Year of Cheer silver embellishment tied with some strands of Lemon Lime Twist ribbon. Fiddly, but worth it, I thought.

How did I attached the vellum? I thought you might ask that. It's attached with a small amount of SNAIL underneath the greeting, and a tiny dot of Tombow underneath the rhinestone at the top right. 

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Caturday: Cobweb

This would be a lovely picture of Cobweb if it wasn't so blurred, but it was taken late at night as she glared at me, willing me to leave the settee and fluffy blanket so she could bed down for the night.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Today kicks off the Christmas Cheer Challenge, where UK demonstrators gather the troops (our loyal customers) to create as many Christmas cards as we can for the Ronald McDonald House Charities. The target is a whopping 10,000 cards in ONE weekend! Sounds impossible? Well, let’s see - the target was originally 10,000 cards over TWO events but, at our birthday challenge earlier this year, we managed well over 9,000 cards, so the target has been raised. Can we do it?

This morning we will be making these cards at my Crafty Friday event, and we'll be making more at a workshop this evening. Unfortunately it's a busy birthday weekend here chez Read, so that will be my only contribution to the challenge, but we're doing what we can!

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.