Monday, 20 August 2018

Sneak peek: Peaceful Noel


Fancy a sneak peek? This is a gorgeous new stamp set from the upcoming Autumn/Winter catalogue called Peaceful Noel. Yes, it’s a Christmas set, but I took one look at it and decided it could be so much more.

This is why I chose it for my upcoming All-Day Craftathon - everybody who attends will receive this set in their kit, and we’ll be using it during the day to make festive projects as well as non-Christmas projects such as this one.

Not everybody was impressed with my efforts though... Hamish just loves to photobomb when I’m trying to sort out my project images.


I love this colour combination, but I have to confess it’s the first outing for Pacific Point for absolutely ages. I don’t know why; it looks lovely with Mint Macaron here. Maye that’s why? Maybe I needed Mint Macaron and Mossy Meadow to come back (I’m so pleased they did).


Saturday, 18 August 2018

Caturday: Millie


This is Millie, who lives near my customer Angela and visits regularly. Apparently she has a habit of turning up just as Angela is going out, making her feel guilty for leaving her sitting in front of the house. Millie probably doesn't mind - she's probably making use of Angela's facilities while she's out!

Friday, 17 August 2018

Sneak peek: Winter Woods


Who’s ready to start on their Christmas cards? The Autumn/Winter catalogue will soon be open for business, but as demonstrators, we get to order early so we can prepare some lovely samples to show you.


This gorgeous Winter Woods stamp set works great on its own but even better when combined with the Rooted in Nature set, which has smaller trees. And the dies are fabulous, too - look how gorgeous they look with the branches popped out.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Delightfully Detailed cards in minutes


Honouring my team achievers this month was easy with the Delightfully Detailed Notecards and Envelopes and matching laser-cut paper. Some copper elements and a die-cut sprig from Botanical Tags provide the finishing touches. Scroll down for more designs...




Monday, 13 August 2018

Blueberry dandelions


Let’s start the week with another Dandelion Wishes project - and why not? It’s proving to be the most popular stamp set from the 2018 Annual Catalogue so far!


I used the Stamparatus to stamp the image in Blueberry Bushel, then stamp again on top in Versamark so it could be embossed. Clearly some of the embossing missed the mark as the blue ink has spread when I watercoloured in Lovely Lipstick, but I don’t mind as the result is quite effective.


I know some people are resistant to the new In Colors, because they’re rather bright, but I think they are a great addition to our collection, and can be quite tasteful when separated from the crowd!

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Caturday - Lea Green cat


I love it when people send me pictures for Caturday – because it’s quite difficult to find 52 different cats each year!

My customer Angela tells me this cat lives at Lea Green, and she encountered it while camping with her troop of Guides. They had six hours of rain, and he was nowhere to be seen. But he appeared as soon as the sun came out, as cats do.


Friday, 10 August 2018

Peaceful Place squirrel


I do love this little squirrel from Peaceful Place - I've stamped him onto Wood Textures DSP for a different look. The background is Hardwood and I've used the Layered Leaves embossing folder down the side for a bit of extra interest. 

Oh, and Artisan Textures around the edge of the card, and a tiny greeting from Waterfront. Yes, it's product heavy but if you've got it, use it!


Monday, 6 August 2018

Sponging with Dandelion Wishes


Friday was my monthly Crafty Friday event and, for the first time, we took things outside onto the covered patio.

The theme was sponging and we used the popular Dandelion Wishes stamp set to make two projects; this delicate emboss resist card and the one you see below.

For the card above, we stamped in Versamark and then embossed in clear or white (it really doesn’t matter when you’re using white cardstock) before sponging over the top in Bermuda Bay. Well, I used Bermuda Bay – the ladies could choose as the rest of their supplies would go with absolutely anything. The only stipulation was that it had to be in my trolley which I’d wheeled outside! The background is Softly Falling, but showing the “debossed” side for a change.

Next we moved onto this project...


This time we punched a circle from a sticky note and used it to mask the cardstock, which we sponged in a circular motion. On top of this we painted light strokes with water, to create a vague Vincent van Gogh-ian effect. We stamped in black on top.

Again, everyone made something slightly different – they had the choice of any colour... as long as it was an In Color, as that was the DSP pack I had.

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Brayered background with Delightfully Detailed laser-cut paper


I do love a fancy background technique. Well, I say “fancy” but often they are really easy to create, as with this one which is simply brayered with Grapefruit Grove, Poppy Parade and Lovely Lipstick. 


It goes really well with the Very Vanilla laser-cut paper laid on the top. But what do you think of the colour combo? Be honest, I can take it!


Saturday, 4 August 2018

Caturday: The Ginger Ninjas


These boys used to do everything together - they even used to move together, like a very small and furry shoal of fish. But, like the two brothers who founded Aldi and Lidl, things eventually turned sour and now they generally only meet up for a bit of a half-hearted squabble.

They both now live with us officially, after hanging around hopefully for many years. Their owners moved away and we came to an arrangement before they left.

Mr T is on the left - he’s the handsome one of the pair. Poor Hamish always looks a bit sad and dishevelled, but maybe he’ll smarten up as he gets used to spending more time indoors.

Friday, 3 August 2018

Delightfully Detailed laser-cut paper with brayered background


Another project from my brayering session. For this one, I masked a panel and brayered in Pacific Point, graduating it towards the top so it faded out. On top of this I sprinkled some water and allowed it to dry, which gives a lovely effect.

To create a focal point, I trimed a section from the Delicately Detailed Laser-cut DSP and sponged in different colours. It’s not easy to stick down but I used some tiny dabs of Tombow which did the trick.

Some Soft Sea Foam sequins finish it off - I'm in love with these!


Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Brand new products - and Bonus Days return



Don’t miss these special products, available during July! There’s a fabulous all-season stamp set called Blended Seasons, with co-ordinating Framelits. 

PLUS a set of Watercolour Pencils in NEW COLOURS which you really won’t want to miss. 

These products are only available during July, while supplies last, although the pencils may reappear in a future catalogue. 

And there’s more!

Bonus Days are back! Spend £45 during August and earn a £4.50 voucher to spend in September!




Monday, 30 July 2018

Tropical Chic with a brayered background


I thought it was high time I tried the sponge brayers so gave them a whirl for this card. I’ve always loved playing with background techniques and enjoyed creating this graduated look with Pool Party, Bermuda Bay and Pacific Point.

It’s a six-colour combo, but I think it works... and sometimes you need two or three shades to really make the most of a brayered background. 

I topped it off with some Tropical Chic flowers and some beautiful leaves from the Delightfully Detailed Laser-cut Designer Series Paper, which is a total must-have as it will add a real “wow” to your projects. This special paper is Very Vanilla on one side and Whisper White on the other, which is perfect for sponging as I’ve done here with Soft Sea Foam and a hint of Old Olive. 



Saturday, 28 July 2018

Caturday: The “I refuse even to look at you” cat


Well, remember what I said last week about cats in fields? This one takes it to the next level by refusing even to acknowledge your existence. It wouldn’t even look at us. No reaction to our calls, nothing. We parted ways and have made no plans to stay in touch.

Friday, 27 July 2018

Peaceful Place... viewed through the round window


I absolutely love this image from Peaceful Place and I’m determined to make time to use this stamp set more, if only to prove to one of my doubting customers that it IS versatile!

For this card I began by watercolouring the image on watercolour paper. I stamped with Stazon and – top tip – if you do this using the Stamparatus, you can ensure you get a totally crisp image, which doesn’t always happen when stamping on watercolour paper. How? You stamp once and then if you’ve missed a bit, or it’s simply not crisp enough, you ink up the stamp again and stamp again... in exactly the same place. 

I needed an accent to go on the card and suddenly remembered I have these lovely wooden elements which I’d almost forgotten about. They're called Frames Elements and I received them way back in February when I received my box of goodies for my OnStage display projects. I used loads of them at the time, so was surprised to see that I still have loads left. 


Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Botanical Tags silhouette card



I do love a silhouette image, and although I completely overlooked the Botanical Bliss stamp set initally, I was instantly drawn to the co-ordinating Botanical Tags dies.

When I realised I could earn both for free thanks to my sales during Sale-a-Bration (ask me about this – it’s fab!), I decided to go for it and challenge myself. The blue background is stamped in Balmy Blue using the big “splodgy” image from Love What You Do - quick, easy and effective.

I may not have challenged myself with the stamps just yet – there are still too many stamps to get through! – I have had a play with the dies and this is my first project. I hope you like it!

I’ve used the Subtle Embossing Folder on the white layer. After running it through the Big Shot the first time, I turned the cardstock 90ยบ and did it again, to get this lovely linen look. Hope you can see it; the folder is called Subtle for a reason!


Monday, 23 July 2018

Accented Blooms meets Pinewood Planks


Accented Blooms is one of those sets that illustrates what Stampin’ Up!® does so well - co-ordination. It goes with the Tailored Tag punch, which was launched in the spring along with a masculine set. Now the Tailored Tag punch is back for the new catalogue with a floral stamp set. I love the panel for the greeting and the big blowsy flowers.

I must admit I did think at first that this set might be a bit of a one-trick pony, but I intend to prove that theory incorrect.

For this project, I painted the image using ink pad lids and an old-fashioned paintbrush - you do have to work quickly when using Whisper White. Then I fussy-cut around the whole image - that was a decision I regretted before I was even a quarter of the way around - and mounted it onto some Whisper White cardstock embossed with one of my favourite folders; Pinewood Planks. Some of those fab new self-adhesives sequins finish it off nicely.



Saturday, 21 July 2018

Caturday: Young Steven


Same walk as last week’s cat sighting, this time an old friend, who I call Young Steven. YS didn’t want to chat on this occasion; I suspect that was because he was in a field. I’ve noticed that ordinarily friendly cats will generally snub you when they’re in a field; I think it’s because they are labouring under the illusion that they are “wild” and possibly playing out some Big Cat fantasy.

Friday, 20 July 2018

A totally tropical colour combo


I’m ending my Tropical Chic week with another celebration... this time of my faboulous team. Each month I send out reward vouchers and random gifts to my team members for various reasons.


Five of them received a voucher in one of these cheery cards. Can I tell you something about these cards? They are not 100% identical... but they’re pretty close! And it’s all thanks to the Stamparatus, which made quick work of stamping such a complicated design five times.


And three will receive a little notebook surprise on the same theme. Yes, I know there are only two in the photo, but one of my team who was on the list to receive one of these just happened to pop by before I’d had chance to photograph them, so she received her gift there and then.

Finally, the totally tropical colour combo to round things off...


Thursday, 19 July 2018

Tropical Chic celebration card


I’m quite chuffed with how this card turned out, which is a relief as it’s for a very special occasion. It’s not every day that one of your team reaches such a major milestone as their 10th anniversary! Congratulations go to Kellie for sticking around – here’s to many more years!

To create the background I stamped repeatedly using Granny Apple Green, stamping over and over again without reinking to get various shades of green. I added some Petal Pink speckles to give a lift and to link to the die-cut Petal Pink flowers. These Basic Adhesive-Backed Sequins give it the perfect finishing touch. 


Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Tropical leaves, cool colours


Here’s an example of just using the dies without the stamps. You can create a lovely layered effect with the squre die in different shades; I’ve used cool colours to show you don’t have to keep it tropical all the time. And can you spot the Subtle Embossing Folder again? I do love this folder; you’ll be seeing a lot of it!


Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Tropical Chic Hello card... with a little help from a feline friend


It’s another outing for Tropical Chic and this time a really simple project which I threw together in minutes. You could step it up by embossing those leaves which would look stunning, and adding some embellishments, too. But sometimes a quick project hits the mark and I like to keep things simple.

If only taking the photograph had gone so smoothly... thanks for the “help”, Hamish!


Monday, 16 July 2018

Tropical Chic week!


It’s time for another themed week, this time – in honour of our tropical weather – I am focussing on Tropical Chic.

This is a really fun and on-trend bundle of products. There’s a stamp set and dies, but you could easily work with one or the other. 


I had just the dies to work with for my OnStage display projects and had lots of fun. But the stamps went on my first catalogue order, to increase the project possibilities. 


This week I will be showcasing five projects using these products – but the possibilities don’t end there, far from it. My head is teeming with more ideas that I just haven’t had time to make just yet. I will be revisiting this bundle in the future, I promise. 


This project uses a totally tropical colour combo and involved splashing ink onto wet watercolour paper to create a pretty random effect. When it was dry, I cut it out using the square die you see in the photo above. And can you spot the Subtle Embossing Folder? It’s very well named but I promise you’ll love it. Lots of my customers have ordered this after seeing it on my sample projects – a photograph really can’t do it justice. Just trust me and buy it – you won’t regret it!


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.