Saturday, 20 October 2018

Caturday: Penelope

Pretty Penelope is part of a wider family of furry friends who live with my online friend Jane in North Carolina. She’s pampered and adored, as all cats should be!

Friday, 19 October 2018

Moody blue Christmas

Want to make a lovely night-time snowy background like this one? It's easy - and you don't need any special equipment; just ink, sponges and water.

All I did was sponge the two colours – Pacific Point and Pool Party – onto Whisper White cardstock, then splash it lightly with water. The water absorbs the ink, leaving the snowy effect. You can dab any excess water off with a piece of tissue if necessary.

I used the Stamparatus to stamp Winter Woods on top in black ink, mainly so I could stamp again and again to get a really dark black image.  I punched a hole out and stamped the greeting on the card blank behind, finishing off with some black baker's twine and a bit of festive bling. Hope you like it!

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Dashing Deer and Winter Woods... a match made in heaven

I can’t get enough of Dashing Deer and Winter Woods... as I’m sure you’ve noticed. They are a match made in heaven and perfect for really simple projects like the one above, as well as more complicated technique cards like this Winter Woods card using a Stamparatus technique or this vibrant brayered deer card.

I needed lots of these cards to thank my lovely customers, so brought out the Stamparatus for speed stamping. Once those stamps are in position, you can stamp really quickly and accurately. The only image I stamped by hand was the one to represent the ground. As I needed this to be stamped repeatedly and largely at random, it was easier to use a clear block.

The Designer Series Paper you see here is no longer available I’m afraid – I forgot to post this project in September, sorry – but you will find a great range of equally beautiful and suitable designs in my online store and in both the Annual Catalogue and the Autumn/Winter catalogue.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Simple Christmas? Or stepped up?

The card on the left is a three-minute Christmas card, proving without a doubt that you DO have time to make your own cards this year. Time is saved by using the pre-folded Notecards and Envelopes, and the fabulous Suite Season Washi Tape.

The fiddliest thing about this card is the linen thread bow, but you could skip that and replace with a jewel... just be aware that the faceted gems will bump up your postage in the UK to a “large letter”, and we don’t want that!

For the stepped up version, I dispensed with the Sprig Punch and used the fabulous new Blizzard Thinlits die instead, as well as some basic rhinestones to add a mixed metallics theme.

You can also see a hint of a scalloped Cherry Cobbler edge. This is a piece of the Delightfully Detailed Laser-cut Designer Series Paper, brayered in Cherry Cobbler ink. So, on the whole, a more time-consuming project, but nice if you want to send something a bit more “special” to a close friend or family member. Or, if we’re being honest here, a fellow cardmaker. We know we all save our “best” cards for crafters, don’t we?

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Caturday: Co Mayo cat

Last week we spent a few days exploring a corner Ireland and spotted a fair few cats on our travels. Unfortunately this is the only one I managed to catch on camera, and even that isn’t a great achievement as it’s looking the wrong way!

We visited County Mayo and it was everything we expected it to be and more. Definitely would recommend a visit. Take a look at this, for example... look at the colour of the sea, it’s almost Bermuda Bay! (Not as warm though)

Friday, 12 October 2018

Keeping it simple for Christmas

I have a Stampin’ Up!® party tonight for a lady who prefers her projects to be quick and easy. This is the perfect time of year for quick and easy cards, especially if you’re planning to make all your own Christmass cards. So my challenge has been to produce a Make & Take which could be used as a really simple Christmas card design, perfect for making in bulk.

No spoilers, though... this isn’t it. This is one of the ones that got away. I decided I could possibly scale things back even further. Come back next week to see the finished design...

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Dashing Deer - simple or stepped up?

Which do you prefer? The vibrancy of the brayered card above? Or the simpler version below?

The card above was one of our projects at last week’s Crafty Friday. The ladies loved the brayering technique and had fun creating their own colour combinations. The one above is Rich Razzleberry, Melon Mambo and Crushed Curry.

Monday, 8 October 2018

Dashing Deer brayered Christmas card

I was inspired by this beautiful card by Dawn Olchefske to make a festive version using the gorgeous Dashing Deer stamp set.

The ladies loved having a go at brayering at Crafty Friday last week and all produced two cards, including this one - or a version of this... as some of them decided to go “off piste”! I love the vibrant colours, although they have blended into each other (that WAS the intention) so you probably can’t identify them at a glance: Rich Razzleberry, Melon Mambo and Crushed Curry.

Come back Wednesday for our second vibrant brayered creation!

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Caturday: Cobweb 2.0

Cobweb 2.0

This is Cobweb 2.0, who belongs to my friend Andie, and is not to be confused with the original Cobweb, who lives in my house but I wouldn’t say belongs to me as she seems to call the shots.

Andie loved the name so much that, when two kittens came into her life earlier this year, she blatantly copied the name. Fortunately, there are 15 years between them, so it’s not like they'll be in the same class at school or anything.

Our Cobweb is a beauty, too...

Friday, 5 October 2018

Celebrate gift envelopes with Tropical Chic

These envelopes contain a little gift for some of my team members who took part in a challenge recently. I used the Calligraphy Essential stamp set combined with the Celebrate You dies in the cheery colours of Grapefruit Grove, Bermuda Bay and Pineapple Punch.

The focal point are these lovely flowers from Tropical Chic, sponged and stamped to give them a slight two-tone effect. Simple, and effective.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Wonderful pillow boxes

These pillow boxes have been so useful for making quick gifts for my team members and customers. These were created for my All-Day Craftathon to thank the ladies for spending the day with me.

I used the Dashing Along Designer Series Paper which was available to hosts for September only, but any festive DSP would do the job nicely. The sprigs finished it off and the sentiments came from Rooted in Nature.

Inside are some scented wardrobe sachets which I assured the ladies are perfectly nice in isolation, but completely overwhelming when you have 12 of them in one room, so they were banished to a sealed box in the porch (the gifts, not the ladies).

Monday, 1 October 2018

World Card Making Day discounts

Check out these great offers which run from 1st to 7th October only. 
Please use the host code 


and if your order is over £25, I will send you a thank you gift

Please click here to start shopping

(PS, if your order is over £150, please don’t use the code
as you will qualify to for your own Stampin’ Rewards)

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Caturday: Bluebells cat


Doesn’t this cat have unusual markings? I initially thought those black markings on its head were its ears. In fact, I’m still struggling not to see it that way. 

It was spotted and snapped at Bluebells Farm (the ice cream people) in Spondon by my customer Karen. Good catch, Karen!

Friday, 28 September 2018

Blizzard Thinlits meet Peaceful Noel

Today I want to show you the last of three workshops we completed at my Autumn All-Day Craftathon.

We returned to the Christmas theme by combining Peaceful Noel with the Blizzard Thinlits die to create this no-waste set of projects. Can you see what we did?

We began by die-cutting the snowflakes from Pool Party and carefully prised out all the snowflakes to leave this lovely template behind. It would be a waste to discard this so it formed the basis of the front of this Night of Navy gift envelope, again using the Farmhouse Elements, this time sponged in Blueberry Bushel.

As you can see, it’s just a standard envelope, created using the Envelope Punch board. We used it to store four gift tags, but it could easily contain a gift card, money, or a small gift of jewellery.

Take a look at the tags close up... we’ve used the little stars from Farmhouse Elements, too, as well as red rhinestones for a touch of glamour. The “splodge” and greeting both come from Peaceful Noel.

As for the card, that continues the theme but keeps things Clean and Simple, too.

I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at my Craftathon projects. The next All-Day event will be early next year and in you’re local to Derbyshire I hope you’ll join me. The ladies have asked for fewer workshops next time, to give them more time to chat, so we’ll be doing one in the morning and one in the afternoon, with a buffet lunch in the middle and lots of cake available all day. Hope you can come!

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Peaceful Noel split-top box ... but NOT Christmas

Welcome back to part two of my look back at Saturday’s projects from my All-Day Craftathon.

This was our second workshop of the day, a split-top box containing three notecards. It shows how you can use the Peaceful Noel stamp set (which everyone received in their kit) to create non-Christmas projects.

This is how the box opens; fun, eh? I’ll post the tutorial on my Facebook page tomorrow.

Inside are three very simple cards, stamped exactly how everyone wanted to (although some chose to copy exactly!) To steer away from Christmas, we used the greetings from Botanical Tags.

I love this colour combination - Blueberry Bushel goes SO well with Mint Macaron, it’s really lovely.

Monday, 24 September 2018

Peaceful Noel tealight holder and card

Are you in a festive mood yet? I hope you will be by the end of this post as this is the first project from my Autumn All-Day Craftathon. ”Autumn” was a bit of a misnomer as two out of the three classes were decidedly Christmassy, starting with this fun card and gift set. 

The card is largely based on this beautiful project by Monica Gale. As you can see, CASEing (Copy and Share Everything) doesn’t have to be exact; I’ve taken my favourite elements of Monica’s card – the stitched circle frame, the stamped background, the die-cut words and the Pinewood Planks embossed layer, and made them fully festive with brand new products from the Autumn/Winter catalogue. These included as the lovely Farmhouse Elements, which come in grey but can easily be sponged with ink, or coloured with markers (as long as you leave them at least 20-30 minutes to dry).

Inside, the card looks like this...

At this point, I should state that every guest had the Peaceful Noel stamp set in their kit, so all the projects were geared around this set. And I believe we used every single stamp from the set during the course of the day.

To accompany the card, we made this fun tealight box, although the guests had festive apple and cinammon-scented red candles to put inside their creations, instead of bog standard white!

The candles slide out, matchbox-style, and there’s a fun lift-up lid, too...

I love this project which I made using this tutorial from German demonstrator Nicole Schlack.  For a tutorial in English, please visit the Notes section of my Facebook page tomorrow.

I hope it’s helping to put you in a Christmassy mood... but if not, don’t despair as I have a non-Christmas project for you on Wednesday.

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Caturday: Smokey Joe

Isn’t Smokey Joe a beauty? He lives in Ohio with Sandy, who kindly shared this picture on my Facebook page, when I put out an appeal because I was running out of Caturday pix. He’s certainly majestic, as all cats are really, but some more than others.

Friday, 21 September 2018

Dandelion Wishes gift box

A project from the (not-too-distant) archives which I knew would come in handy one day!

It uses the delightful Dandelion Wishes stamp set and was the 3D demo I made at a party a few weeks ago. I refrained from posting it as I felt I’d overdone the Dandelion Wishes projects.

However now, with my All-Day Craftathon tomorrow, I need a post and have nothing to show you without ruining the surprise for 12 lovely ladies who will be joining me for a full day of crafting.

Come back on Monday to see some of our Craftathon projects. I think you'll love them!

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Dashing Along Christmas

I found this beautiful card idea on a Dutch demonstrator's blog and my limited (ie non-existent) knowledge of the language leads me to believe it was created by a lady called Janneke.

Having been totally engrossed in creating projects for my upcoming All-Day Craftathon, I needed a design in a hurry for a party last week so turned to Pinterest and found this beauty.

The only element I changed was the twine colour (because I need all the Cherry Cobbler for next weekend’s event) and I added some stamped flowers, too, as they match the Designer Series Paper perfectly.

The DSP is FREE to hostesses whose party totals reach £200 in September, so I'm delighted to say my host earned this and will soon be able to make lots of fabulous Christmas cards with it.

Monday, 17 September 2018

Winter Woods layered ink project

This is a lovely Stamparatus technique which I found thanks to Patty Bennett's great video tutorial. I didn’t have all the green markers I needed so incorporated some ink sponging, too.

I used one of my favourite stamp sets of the moment, Winter Woods, which is in the Autumn/Winter catalogue and is just perfect for loads of occasions, not just Christmas. It goes brilliantly with the Wood Textures Designer Series Paper, too... all of my favourite things in one project!

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Caturday: Ted

Remember Bill from last week? Well here’s his brother... Ted, planning an Excellent Adventure with his map of the Lake District. Somewhat appropriately, he chose to sprawl across Cat Bells.

Friday, 14 September 2018

Detailed Deer pillow boxes

At first glance, a relatively simple project, but there are a couple of things worth pointing out. The first is that I have only just spotted these gorgeous pillow boxes in the Annual Catalogue - how did I miss them?

They make gift-giving really easy, as they're already fabulous, so you don’t need to do much to them to make your little gifts look amazing.

Secondly, have you noticed the lovely burnished oval? This is created with the amazing new Tin Tile Embossing Folder which I've used on Early Espresso cardstock and then swiped over with our new Bright Copper Shimmer Paint. 

We had shimmer paint in the catalogue before, back in the day when this blog was all fields, and I’m so happy to see it return. I was even happier to see we now have it in on-trend copper! 

I’ve filled these pillow boxes with little treats for some of my team members. Hope they like them!

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.