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!

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Caturday: A ginger baby!

There’s a new cat on the block - I bumped into this little ginger baby (about six months old, I suspect) on a walk around the neighbourhood. He was delightfully friendly, which is why the picture is so bad - you can’t photograph a cat that won’t stop rubbing around your legs! I hope we meet again soon.

Friday, 13 July 2018

One simple kit: three different cards

A bit of a stamping mash-up today, from a play session using Love What You Do, the absolutely stunning Share What You Love Designer Series Paper and the Vertical Greetings stamp set.

These three cards just show how the same simple kit – Poppy Parade card blank, Whisper White layer and a strip of DSP – can make such a variety of projects. The only limit is your imagination!

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Dragonfly Dreams - busy bees and the rubber band technique

Here’s another example of the rubber band technique. I love the bright cheeriness of this project, and the fact that, despite using the exact same ink pads as for Monday’s project, this is a completely different effect. 

The only difference of this effect is that we masked just the bottom of the card, which allows you to create this lovely grassy effect. It’s definitely a technique I will be revisiting again and again.

The bees are simply stamped and coloured in – we were running out of time at our class, so we skipped the embossing this time. The flowers are from the Love What You Do stamp set... I’m way too pedantic to allow the bees to fly around the grass without some flowers to attract them.

Monday, 9 July 2018

Dragonfly Dreams, rubber band technique and embossing with the Stamparatus

Here’s what we got up to at Crafty Friday last week; the rubber band technique. I think the effect is quite watery, so we used the beautiful stamp set, Dragonfly Dreams.

It’s a very simple and satisfying technique. We began by masking off the area you want to stamp, using sticky notes.

For the technique itself, you wrap elastic bands around a clear block, or even a block of wood would do the same job. But let’s face it, we’re stampers... so more likely to be able to lay our hands on a clear stamping block!

You use the banded block like a stamp, inking it up as normal; for this watery effect, you spritz the bands lightly with water before stamping. In our case, we also kept stamping without re-inking, to get a variety of shades.

We stamped in three colours: Crumb Cake, Granny Apple Green and Mint Macaron. When this was dry, we sponged the same area in Pool Party. You could sponge first, it really doesn’t matter. It’s so hot here at the moment that the wet ink dried almost instantly.

Next we stamped our Dragonfly using the Stamparatus, so we could emboss it in Bermuda Bay. These are the simple steps to follow:

  1. Position cardstock into the Stamparatus and hold down with a magnet
  2. Stamp the dragonfly in Bermuda Bay
  3. Clean off the stamp, without removing it from the Stamparatus
  4. Stamp on top in Versamark
  5. Sprinkle on clear embossing powder and heat. 
What do you think? Do you love the rubber band technique? If so, come back on Wednesday for another example, this time to represent a grassy meadow.

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Caturday: Tiger

This is Tiger, proud owner of Aussie demonstrator Jo Weedon who says Tiger is a “nutter”. The evidence is in the following photo... apparently he climbed into this bag himself and was completely unfazed by his new superhero costume.

Tiger enjoys climbing into bags, luggage, shoes and boots... and likes to leave marbles in shoes as a surprise! You can take a look at Jo’s blog here.

Friday, 6 July 2018

Dandelion Wishes - two colourways

I’m finishing off my Dandelion Wishes week with the same card in two colourways – but which do you prefer? The pink or the green?

This was the first time I’d cracked open the Merlot... the Merry Merlot, that is. I used it to stamp the ‘thank you’ (from Tropical Chic) on the card on the left.

These are the first cards I’ve made with Bokeh Dots, too. This is from the new Distinktive range, which are highly detailed stamps. They give you lots of depth and texture but I do have a few tips for you:

So, what do you think? Which colour combo do you prefer? Green or pink?

I hope my week of Dandelion Wishes projects has convinced you that this is an excellent stamp set to add to your collection. I absolutely love it, and can see me using it frequently.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Dandelion Wishes - embossed on a watercoloured background

Another day, another Dandelion Wishes project for your delectation. This time I have another watercoloured background, with the dandelions embossed on top using Granny Apple Green and clear embossing powder.

The Granny Apple Green came out a lot darker than I expected - this is probably because I stamped two or three times in the same position to get a full image on the watercolour paper. Stamping like this is really easy with the Stamparatus - I am now a complete convert to this amazing piece of kit!

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Dandelion Wishes - CAS card in retro Pool Party and Poppy Parade

Seriously, it took me longer to photograph this project than it did to make it. It’s clean and simple all right... and no less effective for it.

All I did was stamp on a piece of Whisper White in this lovely retro combo of Pool Party and Poppy Parade, add a strip of Poppy Parade cardstock and pop it up onto a notecard, with some bling to finish it off.

Yes, I have done a U-turn on Poppy Parade, which I was never keen on last time around. And with a brand new Pool Party ink pad to play with, I think you’ll be seeing a lot of this combo.

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.