Tuesday, 31 December 2019

My Instagram Top Nine for 2019

As the year draws to a close, I thought I'd look back at my most popular projects of 2019. The easiest place to do this is on Instagram, so here they are. Which were your favourites?

Thursday, 26 December 2019

Sneak peek: Peaceful Poppies bundle

It’s Boxing Day here in the UK but I’m ready to move on to 2020, so do you fancy a sneak peek? You'll love the Peaceful Poppies Suite from the new Spring/Summer catalogue, which goes live on 3rd January.

The suite includes the Painted Poppies Bundle which I've used to create the greeting frame and to stamp the inside. But the star of the show here is the Peaceful Poppies Designer Series Paper. This sheet is perfect for the crafter in a hurry as it has this wide floral border down both edges so you can cut it into six 6x4 pieces and then trim them to fit your card fronts.

Mixing and matching allows you to get more from your products. I was still waiting for my coordinating Peaceful Moments stamp set when I made these cards so I stamped the greetings with another new set – Timeless Tropical – instead, which works just as well. The ribbon and twine are from the Magnolia Lane Suite in the Annual Catalogue.

Friday, 20 December 2019

Christmas Ornament Week: Snow Front

Simple and quick - just a few stamped images on a slice of log, finished off with some white embossing paste and a ribbon. Makes a lovely woodland-themed Christmas ornaments or a posh gift tag they can hang on their tree!

When stamping directly onto wood, use bright colours as the background will darken them. For example, I used Old Olive rather than Mossy Meadow and Real Red rather than Cherry Cobbler. 


Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Christmas Ornament Week: Polar Bears

Today’s ornament features beautiful polar bears die-cut and placed onto an MDF circle which I painted all over with almost neat Blueberry Bushel ink.

The whole thing is spritzed with some rubbing alcohol mixed with Champagne Mist Shimmer Paint to make it all sparkle - unfortunately you can only see this under lights, not on the photo!

Stamp and emboss the snowflakes first. If you try to stamp on top of the inked surface, the embossing powder sticks to the whole area. Ask me how I know!

Monday, 16 December 2019

Christmas Ornament Week: Countdown to Christmas

It’s getting a bit late for Christmas card ideas so this week on the blog it’s Ornament Week!

I’m kicking off with this lovely wood slice ornament with a pretty cardinal, totally CASEd from USA demonstrator Fran Smith and using the Countdown to Christmas stamp set. We don’t get cardinals in this country but they look very pretty and colourful for this time of year.

I stamped the bird image and greeting (from Peaceful Boughs) directly onto the wood slice using Stazon ink, then stamped the bird again onto Whisper White. I coloured the bird using a Real Red Stampin’ Write marker then cut it out and piece it on top.

The Old Olive die-cut boughs are dipped into embossing paste for a snowy look.

Get pearls and rhinestones in any colour you like to match your project by colouring them with Stampin' Blends alcohol markers. Just be very gentle so you don’t damage the brush tip. 

Sunday, 15 December 2019

Snow Globe Scenes dies green non-shaker card

A bonus Sunday project because time is running out for cards unless you're going to hand deliver them!

I made this project using the beautiful Snow Globe Scenes dies, although I didn't make a shaker card because I was sending this abroad so wanted to keep it as flat as possible.

I sponged the globe shape with Granny Apple Green and Pretty Peacock then splashed it with some water to give it a snowy sky.

I die-cut the snow globe base but it didn’t quite cut through on the first rolling. Instead of die-cutting again and poking all those little pieces out, I left them in and attached them to the card with double-sided tape to keep them all secured. 

Friday, 13 December 2019

Sneak peek: Painted Poppies with You Always Deliver

Are YOU excited about the new catalogue? We demonstrators can order from it now and a HUGE box of goodies arrived for me last week.

The first stamp set to see ink was Painted Poppies, which you can see here in the background. It's a beautiful set which you'll be seeing a lot as it's sure it be incredibly popular.

I've used it with Beautiful Friendship for the greeting and the little dog from You Always Deliver to create a birthday card for a friend. Look out for more sneak peeks soon because, quite frankly, I’ve had enough of Christmas projects now!

The Designer Series Paper frame is popped up on this card. To get the poppies in the perfect position, you can either use the Stamparatus to stamp directly onto the card base, or do what I did here and stamp it on a separate piece of Whisper White cardstock. That way I could position it after stamping and get it nicely centred.

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Snow Globe Scenes dies money wallet

Gifts of money or vouchers don’t have to be boring; you can give them a bespoke, handcrafted twist by making a simple wallet like this one.

This is made to fit in a standard C6 envelope, but you will only get one wallet from a sheet of A4 cardstock. Cut it down to 14.8cm x 26cm, then score at 10cm and 20.5cm. The belly band – mine is made from Silver Foil cardstock – is 2.5cm wide and 22.5cm long and embossed using the Tin Tile embossing folder.

The sponged panel is flicked with water to soak up some of the ink and give it a snowy sky effect. I used the Snow Globe dies to create the little scene – love it! In fact, I used three different die sets for this one project but it IS Christmas!

When creating a belly band to go around a project, I find that I can never get the scoring in the right place, so prefer to mould it around the card. When using cardstock (rather than Designer Series Paper), this can result in ugly creases. 

However, embossing the strip first can break down the fibres and make it more malleable. We used the Tin Tile embossing folder; one of my favourites and also easy to line up because you will need to emboss the strip twice; once from each end.

Monday, 9 December 2019

Snow Globe Scenes and Cheers dies wine bottle tag

Whatever your tipple, this is a really simple way of giving bottles this Christmas. The label is just made from a 7cm x 21xm piece of cardstock, scored and folded at 6.5cm and with a punched hole. I used the Story Label punch but lots of punches, including circles and ovals, would do the same job.

I decorated the label using various dies, including the Snow Globe dies, Cheers dies and Nested Labels. I love how the polar bears look in the bright white Sparkle Glimmer Paper.

Score your cardstock before embossing using the Hammered Metal 3D Embossing Folder. Position the larger piece of cardstock within the folder, a little further in than you'd expect, to avoid getting a plain strip at the top of your tag. 

Friday, 6 December 2019

Snow Front Christmas woodland scene

This is one of the ones that got away when I was designing a project for a Make & Take recently. I like to keep things really simple for Make & Takes – particularly when there are lots of people at the party – so this one didn’t quite cut the mustard.

It uses some Christmastime is Here products – specifically the Designer Series Paper, Gold Enamel Dots and Gold Shimmer Ribbon – but these are now only available while supplies last, so do check before setting your heart on any of these. In fact, the same goes for any products from the Autumn/Winter catalogue, apart from carryover items. If you’re not sure, just check with me, or your own demonstrator.

Repeat the stamping of the trees without re-inking your stamp to get a paler effect which looks more natural.

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Quick and easy Christmas card with Peaceful Boughs and Nature's Beauty

Even though I still need to make a few more Christmas cards, I'm not stressing about it... because I know the Stamparatus will come to the rescue. Armed with this amazing tool and some Whisper White Notecards, I know I can produce another batch of these cards in next to no time. The longest part of making these was the colouring of the fox!

Place your card in the Stamparatus upside down so you can allow your stamped image to bleed off the edge. It doesn't matter which way up you are stamping when you use the Stamparatus, as you’ve already done the positioning. 

Monday, 2 December 2019

Garden Goodness birthday card

In the recent stamp sale, I treated myself to the Garden Goodness stamp set... mainly so I could make this card for my daughter’s birthday.

I CASEd the idea from German demonstrator Jasmine Schulze, which made life easier! I love this stamp set and can't wait to get more time to create with it.

I stamped the image onto sticky notes to create a simple mask for the overlapping avocado effect. The greeting is heat embossed in white and cut out freehand for the fun on-trend look. Don't believe it's on-trend? Wait till you see the new Spring/Summer catalogue and Sale-a-Bration brochure!

When embossing in white, I always double up; I stamp in Whisper White and then use white embossing powder on top. Don't forget to use the embossing buddy first, to prevent any stray powder from sticking to your cardstock. 

Friday, 29 November 2019

Cute triangle treat boxes with Christmastime is Here

I saw this cute project on Facebook and just had to have a go. It's by UK demonstrator Gez Carpenter, who has helpfully provided a tutorial here

I skipped the diagonal scorelines as I didn't find them necessary and they still turned out ok. Cute, aren’t they? I filled them with tiny chocolate Santas (from Lidl) but I stupidly forgot to include those in the photo. I say “filled”... you can only fit about three in but that’s ok because it meant there were some left for me to test!

The body of the box is made from Christmastime is Here Designer Series Paper and slides out of the Old Olive Sleeve. Again, I don’t have a photo of that - what I can I say? I can only apologise and and say, in my defence, I have been poorly!

This tip could be life-changing... when I bought the Christmastime is Here Designer Series Paper, I confess it didn’t “wow” me. It just wasn’t for me. However, I soon realised that this meant I had no qualms about cutting it up and have now used nearly the whole pack! So from now on, I may just start buying the DSP that I don’t love, because then I will be more inclined to use it!

Want a more practical tip? Ok... don’t make the outer sleeve too tight or it it will be difficult to slide the inner box in and out.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Snow Front Christmas cards - in festive Cherry Cobbler and Old Olive

If you love stamping and the great outdoors, you will get LOADS of mileage out of Snow Front, I promise. You can use it all year round, not just at Christmas!

This is a back-to-basics colour combo that is a winner every Christmas: Old Olive and Cherry Cobbler. What's not to like?

Repeat stamp the tree without reinking, offsetting it to give you the impression of depth and perspective. Saves time, too!

Monday, 25 November 2019

Christmas Countdown meets You Always Deliver

This was one of those projects that looked better in my head. I was aiming for clean and classy but fear it may just be a little boring.

I set myself up with a bit of a task by deciding to colour in the berries individually. Turns out there are 50+ on each image... and I was making cards for all the customers who ordered at a party this month! Still, it turned out the thought was worse than the actual colouring and I finished them in a few minutes.

I’d been a bit reluctant to buy and use this stamp set because we don’t have cardinals in the UK... and then I realised, it makes the perfect crested tit!

My Pool Party ink pad was freshly re-inked, so I stamped off the background image to avoid it swamping the bird, which was stamped on top in Grey Granite. A few dots of silver give it a wintry feel. 

Friday, 22 November 2019

Simple Christmas card with Snow Front

How long does it take to make a card? How long is a piece of string? This quick card was stamped in less than a minute - I know this because one of the guests at the party was timing me.

I simply loaded up the Stamparatus and bish, bash, bosh: Early Espresso, Cherry Cobbler and Old Olive all stamped in seconds.

I finished it off with some gold accessories – ribbon and dots – from the Christmastime is Here Suite.

Set up the Stamparatus then practise your design on some scrap paper before stamping onto your note card. That way you can ensure your images are straight and where you want them. 

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Three days of discounts on craft cupboard staples!

The Online Extravaganza starts today and runs until Friday! There’s 15% off selected cardstock and inkpads and a further 5% off eight selected bundles. The full list of discounted items can be found below. They should enlarge if you click on them.

Thank you!

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.