Friday, 30 August 2019

Peaceful Boughs with Pretty Peacock

I can never wait to get my hands on the new Autumn/Winter catalogue products and generally gravitate towards the Christmas section.

Woodlands are my favourite places and, after two trips to the Abernethy Forest in Scotland, pine woodlands are the top of the tree. So it was never a question of "if" I would get the Pine Boughs stamp set, more a case of "when"... and it went straight onto my first pre-order.

They're really crisp images which I can see getting LOTS of use. The set will go brilliantly with the rest of my collection, which includes Dashing Deer, Winter Woods, Woodland embossing folder, Pinewood Planks... you get the idea.

Don't feel your “Christmas” stamps have to be saved for the festive season. Pine trees are evergreen so, using that logic, I think the stamps can be used all year round, too... hence the thank you card! Using Pretty Peacock instead of traditional green makes it a little less festive. 

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Snow Front: with lovely lilacs

I have a confession: when I get a stash of new stamps, I tend to freak out a little and my mojo goes walkabout. I have no idea why – I’m brimming with ideas until the moment I open the box. This is why my first efforts with new products are invariably simple, CASEd or involved UFOs (unfinished object). This is the latter... with a leftover watercoloured background from this project.

I used the new Snow Front stamps which I know you're going to love as they are in the same vein as Waterfront... in fact you could use them together if you enjoy stamping scenes. They're available to customers from 4th September or to demonstrators now (you could always sign up, you know).

Get the dark black look of Stazon even when using Memento Tuxedo Black (which tends to come out slightly greyer) by stamping with the Stamparatus. Position your cardstock into the corner and stamp, inking and repeating until you're happy with the depth of colour. This works especially well on watercolour paper, which has a texture, and when your ink pads are drying out, too.

Monday, 26 August 2019

Feels Like Frost? Not with these cheery colours

Silver Designer Series Paper is very hard to photograph, especially when you're wearing an orange T-shirt. Unfortunately, I didn't notice this until AFTER I'd sealed all the envelopes with these cheery cards.

They’re going out to my team members who achieved qualified status – they get a £30 voucher, too, so I’m sure they'll be pleased to receive them!

I used the new Feels Like Frost Designer Series paper, which has a photorealistic image on one side, and shiny silver designs on the other. To make it less Christmassy, I sponged the white areas in Pacific Point, Daffodil Delight and Granny Apple Green. 

The sentiment panel is die-cut with another new product: Beautiful Boughs dies, which is quite intricate but I wanted it to stand out more from the background. Using a journalling pen, I doodled a simple design around the edges. This can be daunting but is quick and easy really – I simply drew a dot at each “junction” then a line in between, without joining them up. Give it a go and see how it looks!

Friday, 23 August 2019

Seaside Notions with deckchair stripes

August to me means beach-themed projects - even though I don't have any seaside plans at the moment.

I've revamped an earlier project to make it more suitable for my class of WI ladies and added lots of zingy colours, inspired by this strip of Bird Ballad Designer Series Paper - I think the stripes are reminiscent of a traditional deckchair.

This Seaside Notions stamp set should definitely be on your wishlist if you love seaside projects as much as I do!

I stamped the seahorse using the Stamparatus but this tip works just as well for traditional stamping, too. I inked up the seahorse using Calypso Coral then used a sponge dauber to add some shading in Soft Suede. It gives the image depth and interest. Just remember to start with the paler colour, so you can add a darker colour on top. 

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Friendly Silhouettes meet Perennial Essence DSP

I love these Friendly Silhouettes Dies and couldn't wait to get my hands on them... and then, as is so often the case, they sat in the craft room unused for weeks. I finally managed to play with them last week and came up with these two projects for my team achievers this month.

I had planned to create watercoloured backgrounds but time was short so the Perennial Essence Designer Series Paper came to the rescue. With the white silhouettes in front, I think it works just as well, if not better.

Your eyes are not deceiving you, by the way; the top card is slightly deeper than the bottom one, because I got my cutting measurements wrong! Still, there are no mistakes, eh?

 The 3/8" Reversible Ribbon in Old Olive/Pretty Peacock was just right to go with these cards but was too wide to work well; it just overwhelmed. So I snipped off the edge and extracted some of the shiny threads from the length of the ribbon to add some colour and shimmer behind the greeting. 

Monday, 19 August 2019

Sneak Peek: Perfectly Plaid

The new Autumn/Winter catalogue is now available to demonstrators - and we get the perk of being able to order early. One of the first items on my order was the Perfectly Plaid bundle as these are the projects we'll be using at my All-Day Craft Event next month.

Everyone who attends will get this stamp set as part of the kit, and there is the option to upgrade to get the Pine Tree Punch at a special price, too.

This is the first project I've made with my new products; a simple Make & Take for a team garden party I hosted at the weekend, using a non-traditional colour combo of Cherry Cobbler and Seaside Spray.

Everyone brought some food to share and a project to make, and a lovely time was had by all. The sun even shone, which was a miracle after the wet week we've had!

Pop your tree up on Stampin’ Dimensionals before attempting to tie the linen thread around the trunk as this will make it more stable and easier to manage. Sounds simple but sometimes we can overlook the obvious!

Friday, 16 August 2019

Free as a Bird stamp set and a watercolour pencil tip

The last of the three designs made at last week’s Bird Ballad Night, this time using Pool Party cardstock as the base, with Coastal Cabana ink sponged on top.

As colour families go, you have several generations of the same shade here; young Pool Party, with Coastal Cabana as the parent, Bermuda Bay as the grandparent (not used) and now we have the great-grandparent in Pretty Peacock, which makes its entrance in the lovely ribbon. I hope you know what I mean and don’t think I’ve completely lost the plot!

Colouring with watercolour pencils requires a light touch, and some of my ladies tend to go a bit overboard, so I made this colouring guide for last Friday’s class. 

I used just a hint of colour around the edges with the watercolour pencils, then blended them to get the results you see in the main image above, and the previous two projects. 

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Petal Pink Bird Ballad cards

It’s not often I’m in the pink, is it? But these cards just cry out for some gentle Petal Pink, sponged in Rococo Rose to add some depth. I love these Free As a Bird stamps... in fact the whole Bird Ballad Suite is absolutely gorgeous and I suggest you order it all immediately!

Get perfect fishtails by using the Tailored Tag punch; just poke in the end of a strip of cardstock, centre it by eye and punch. VoilĂ !


Monday, 12 August 2019

Bird Ballad Laser-Cut Cards with So Saffron

These laser-cut cards are so gorgeous that I just had to run a class using them. They come in a beautiful presentation tin which means you can make them up as a lovely gift for someone, or use the cards and keep the tin for something else! It’s £17 for the tin with 12 cards, and the item code is 149595.  

To get this lovely ombre effect behind the laser-cut detail, simply sponge your piece of cardstock using ink of the same colour (So Saffron in this sample). It doesn't matter how rough it looks; I promise you it will look fabulous behind these beautiful cards.

Friday, 9 August 2019

Seaside Notions - and even simpler stamping

I do love this Seaside Notions stamp set, but then I’ve always been a sucker for a seaside theme. It’s perfect for creating a simple one-layer card like this. Just one pack of Notecards & Envelopes, one stamp set and four ink pads – done!

Use the “sand” stamp in this stamp set to create a lovely soft border around the bottom of the card. Just keep stamping without re-inking to get several shades of the same colour, then re-ink the stamp and repeat until you’re satisfied with the results. This is called “stamping off” and I’ve done the same with the weed stamp in Pool Party to get some paler weeds which don’t dominate the project. 

The addition of some Terracotta Tile sand in the bottom right corner provides balance to the seahorse, which is stamped in the same colour.

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Seaside Notions and simple stamping

It’s Cuppa & Card today in Borrowash and this is one of the projects we’ll be making. It’s a very simple Seaside Notions project with some extra simple colouring. I love the colour combo of Pretty Peacock, Terracotta Tile, Pool Party and So Saffron – what do you think?

You can add depth to your colouring simply by doing what we always strive NOT to do: go over the edges! I’ve coloured these shells with blender pens combined with Terracotta Tile and Pool Party ink pads, deliberately adding a shadow all around the edge of each image in the same colour. I think it really adds depth to the images. 

Monday, 5 August 2019

Free As a Bird Christmas swap

Too early for Christmas crafting? I couldn't avoid this as I had agreed to take part in a swap, which turned out to have a festive theme.

I decided to have a go at turning this little bird from Free As a Bird into a Christmas robin. The beak is not right but I hope I’ve coloured the feathers properly. I stood him on some pine sprigs and cones from Winter Woods and hoped for the best. I have to say I'm not really feeling the Christmas vibe just yet!

The task of die-cutting all those circles for my swaps was reduced by sneakily cutting the Cherry Cobbler circles in half and simply tucking them behind the Whisper White layer. You can save time and supplies by following this mantra: “If you can’t see it, it’s not there!”


Friday, 2 August 2019

Beautiful Friendship thank you cards

It’s Friendship Day on Sunday, apparently, and this Beautiful Friendship stamp set just keeps coming into its own. I love the hydrangeas stamped in Highland Heather, combined with the Seaside Spray. I've used the small stamp set, Magnolia Blooms for the words, as I needed a thank you stamp and this one fits the bill perfectly.

The images are stamped around the left edge and bottom of the white layer to draw the eye into that area. This uses the “rule of thirds” concept to create a simple but pleasing design. 

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.