Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Precision stamping with the Stamparatus

The Stamparatus is for so much more than repeat stamping. Here I’ve used it to create two-tone words using Bermuda Bay and Old Olive. All you have to do is ink up half of the image and stamp, then ink up the other half of the image and stamp directly on top. Perfect positioning, every time.

I felt like a break from festive colours so created a big batch of these for my customers this month in bright cheery Lemon Lime Twist. Just what we need to brighten up the chilly days ahead.

The stamp set is Warm Hearted, one of the host sets from the Autumn/Winter catalogue. I love this big bold "Thanks".

Monday, 29 October 2018

Deck the Halls with this tiny woodland dome

What do you think of this? Something a bit different?

This is an early prototype of one of the projects from my upcoming Deck the Halls event, where we will make festive decorations to adorn our Christmas trees. There’s a bit of work required to make this a little easier to create, but we’ll get there.

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Caturday: Lyric

It’s National Black Cat Day so let’s celebrate Lyric, who is peeping out from his lofty position on a fridge in Virginia.

Black cats struggle to get adopted for some reason, which is why Cats Protection have their annual day to highlight just how gorgeous these animals are. We have a black cat, as you probably know, and he’s an idiot - but he’s a lovely idiot nonetheless, and I’m so glad he chose us.

Friday, 26 October 2018

Wonderful brayered Rooted in Nature cards

I do love to brayer... as you may have noticed. The new sponge brayers are so much quicker than the old rubber version, and I made these cards in minute by brayering across a whole piece of A4 Whisper White cardstock. Then I cut it into three pieces to top these cards.

Perfect positioning was achieved with the Stamparatus and bam! Three cards made in minutes, to celebrate my lovely team members who have gone above and beyond this month. They all get a voucher, too – happy mail!

If you’d like to find out more about becoming a demonstrator, please click here, email me or if you’re ready to take the plunge, you can join my friendly team here.

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Mini treat - Maltesers

These Clear Tiny Treat Boxes are lovely for displaying the tasty Maltesers inside. I was surprised how many the box would hold, too - but luckily I had a decoy box so I didn’t go hungry.

This was part of my “simple Christmas” demo where I showed the hostess and guests how easy it can be to make your own festive projects... especially if you use washi tape.

Do you like what I did with the Tailored Tag Punch? I simply popped the punched piece back in to add some little flags to each side. Not sure if I love it but it does make a change.

Monday, 22 October 2018

Glamorous gold snowflake gift bag

I love these gold and white striped bags - but you don't have to leave them as they are; you can add more to them. Here I’ve used washi tape to add some extra stripes, as well as some Delightfully Detailed Designer Series Paper, which has some really pretty borders. They come in white and vanilla (one colour on each side) but I’ve sponged them in Cherry Cobbler for a festive look.

Snowflakes in gold add some glamour, and there’s some festive bling, too. The whole thing took less than five minutes to make. Result!

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)

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.