Friday, 31 January 2020

Sale-a-Bration Week: Do The Impossible

Which one would you send? I made three versions of this card for my Stampy Buffet last weekend, so I could showcase all three main image designs in the Do The Impossible stamp set. It was well received and some people made more than one design to send to friends.

To turn it into a birthday card, I added a greeting with Itty Bitty Birthdays, which I knew would be of more use to the ladies attending.

Where's the Sale-a-Bration product? That's the Stone Embossing Folder which is half of a bundle you can earn free during Sale-a-Bration. It gives the card a lovely texture.


Create an especially neat flag by using the Tailored Tag punch. Simply poke one end of your cardstock strip into the punch to get the flagged end. 

Thursday, 30 January 2020

Sale-a-Bration Week - The Gang's All Meer (again)


Another day, another meerkat project... this time from my Stampy Buffet and inspired by Amy O’Neill. It's a quick and simple project in cheery Daffodil Delight, with some Night of Navy thrown in so I could justify using the Baker’s Twine. Always thinking, you see!

They’re coloured with ink pad lids (Soft Suede, Sahara Sand and Crumb Cake) and blender pens. Nothing fancy!
Don't try to tie the twine around the little flags – just tie a bow and stick it on with a glue dot. Simples (see what I did there? No? Perhaps you’re not from the UK? In which case just Google “meerkat simples”)

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Sale-a-Bration Week: The Gang's All Meer

How cute are these little meerkats? So far it has been the most popular Sale-a-Bration stamp set with my customers. Is it on your Sale-a-Bration wish list?

I teamed it with a strip of Country Club Designer Series paper - you get a few small sheets of this in the mini DSP sampler you get free when you sign up as a demonstrator during Sale-a-Bration.

The background is pretty old-school - just a cactus stamped in Sahara Sand on the same coloured cardstock. If an idea works, why not recycle it?

The greeting is from Label Me Bold – a must-have stamp set in my opinion!

For this project, I dug out my Stampin' Blends alcohol markers; shades of Crumb Cake, Ivory and Bronze give you lots of variety to make each meerkat an individual.

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Sale-a-Bration Week: Happy Birthday to You

My customers are nothing if not honest – and excellent at bursting your pride. A few weeks ago I showed this to a flower-loving customer, fully expecting her to love it. She quickly cast it aside and said “it’s a bit old ladyish”.

Well call me an old lady but I quite like it – and so did several of the guests at my Stampy Buffet on Saturday! It just shows how everyone has different tastes and how you just can’t predict what people will like.

It uses the Happy Birthday to You Sale-a-Bration stamp set, which is simply coloured with Watercolour Pencils and – less simply – fussy cut with scissors. Wait until 3rd Feb and you will be able to order dies which will do all the hard work for you!

Stamp your greeting before running the white layer through the Subtle Embossing Folder. I always think this gives your cards a really professional edge. Bonus tip: the border is simply a  line doodled with a marker. Don’t worry about accuracy – the wobblier the better!

Monday, 27 January 2020

Sale-a-Bration Week - Power of Hope

A Sale-a-Bration Celebration is long overdue! Every day this week I will be showcasing projects featuring at least one Sale-a-Bration product. I don't have them all so there will be some repeats, but hopefully they will give you some ideas for how to use your lovely free gifts.

Today I want to show you the much-overlooked Power of Hope. This is one of those items which you can earn with a £90 spend because you not only get the beautiful stamp set but the lovely Stone Embossing folder, too. I will be showcasing the folder on another project later in the week.

I hope you like this project because it was actually the LEAST popular at my Stampy Buffet at the weekend! Only ONE person chose to make it. Admittedly it's a bit of a fiddly project, with die-cutting, heat embossing and fussy cutting, but I really like it and thought the ladies would relish the opportunity to use the set without spending £90 to get it! You never can tell with my ladies...

You can use the tree stamp to create a pretty border by just stamping with the top of the branches. This makes the tree image so much more versatile. 

The Sale-a-Bration run-down

Sale-a-Bration runs until 31st March and has three strands:

Customers earn a free product with a minimum £45 order. Higher value products are available if you spend £90, or you can choose two of the standard free gifts.

Hosts get all their standard free gifts PLUS if their party reaches £275, they get the cute Little Ladybug stamp set, too!

New demonstrators get the best deal of all... a £99 Starter Kit containing £130 of craft supplies of their choice (as normal) PLUS a cute mini trimmer, a 6"x6" sampler pack of Designer Series Paper AND an additional stamp set of their choice. And once you’re a demonstrator, you get a discount on everything AND all the benefits that customers and hosts receive, too!

Friday, 24 January 2020

Peaceful Poppies desk calendar

We all love a no-waste project, don't we? And this pretty desk calendar gives you two projects in one.

Inspired by Susan Itell, who has detailed instructions here, (, I made this for my purple-loving host, using Peaceful Poppies Designer Series Paper. It's hard to cover the gorgeous flower images but this Blackberry Bliss side is beautiful, too.

Because the project is made from half a sheet of 12"x12' cardstock, from which you cut a 3"x6" piece, you get to make a sweet little 3"x3" card with the leftovers. Very easy, very cute and a great January project.

Colour your leaves from Peaceful Poppies simply by stamping on top with the large splatter stamp from the same set. No faff, and you can do two or more at a time!

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Happy Birthday to You - celebrate with a product-heavy card

Simple stamping? Not today! Heavily inspired by Stesha Bloodhart and Lauren Alarid, this is technique and product-heavy card featuring white embossing, dry embossing, paint splattering, two stamp sets, dies and a punch. Well if you've got it, why not use it?

I used Artisan Textures to stamp Balmy Blue splatters on my Whisper White cardstock before running it through the Tin Tile embossing folder (LOVE this folder!) and splattering with Champagne Mist Shimmer Paint.

The main image is from Happy Birthday to You from the Sale-a-Bration collection and the exciting news is that there will be dies to match this set available from 4th February, while supplies last.

My cake was stamped and embossed in white and coloured with Blueberry Bushel and Balmy Blue inks using Blender Pens. In the absence of dies (which as a demonstrator I can order now but haven't done yet), I fussy cut it, along with another couple of flowers which I popped up to add dimension.

The filigree die is from the Painted Labels dies from the Peaceful Poppies Suite and the punch is that old favourite, the Sprig Punch – not just for Christmas!

Embossing the image makes colouring it in really easy. You just colour in circles over the top, and the embossed areas will resist the ink. Just make sure you use a water-based colouring medium, rather than our alcohol-based Stampin’ Blends, as alcohol ink will stick to the shiny embossing and you’ll lose the white.

Monday, 20 January 2020

A patch of purple poppies

 Painted Poppies Stampin Up Helen Read Allthingsstampy Gorgeous Grape Purple Posy
Who says poppies have to be red? They absolutely don't and I love the colourful Californian poppies which sometimes spring up unexpectedly in the garden.

Purple poppies are beautiful, too, and I've just this minute learned that they are symbol of remembrance for all those animals which served in wartime, such as the military working dogs, horses and ponies which didn’t ask to get involved in human conflicts.

On a brighter note, here are two cards I made along very similar lines, using the lovely and oft-neglected Purple Posy cardstock. 

Painted Poppies Stampin Up Helen Read Allthingsstampy Gorgeous Grape Purple Posy

I love the version with the bold flowers and on-trend white embossing on a black die-cut label but knew this wouldn't be practical in a home party situation so made the one with the flower border and Story Label punch, too. But which do you prefer?
Painted Poppies Stampin Up Helen Read Allthingsstampy Gorgeous Grape Purple Posy
We may not be able to order Purple Posy ink but we can get the look with Highland Heather by stamping off onto scrap paper first. You can also get the look with Versamark and, of course, our Stampin’ Write Marker and Stampin’ Blends Alcohol Marker.

Friday, 17 January 2020

One pack of Designer Series Paper, one card design, two looks

Using the same basic card design and most of the same elements, I created two very different looks here to celebrate the male and female members of my Stampin' Up!® team. Yes, men can be demonstrators, too!

I decided to let the Designer Series Paper do the talking and pulled out the paper sampler that you can earn FREE as part of your Starter Kit if you join during Sale-a-Bration.

The feminine cards use the Best Dressed Designer Series Paper, while the masculine card uses the Country Club Designer Series Paper, with a little die-cut polar bear as its accent. This is from the Snow Globe Scenes Dies, which have carried over from the Autumn/Winter catalogue.

Neither of these paper packs were on my radar so it’s great to have just a little taste of them to play with and to show to customers.

Other than the polar bear, all the other dies are from the Painted Labels Dies from the Peaceful Poppies Suite. The "from me" sentiment and stars are from Label Me Bold, one of those stamp sets which looks a little uninspiring on first glance but turns out to be really useful.

By fussy-cutting elements from Designer Series Paper, you don’t always need the co-ordinating stamp set. This allows you to experiment with styles outside of your comfort zone.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Do the Impossible runner card

Do the Impossible is a stamp set that's just made for those with active friends. And my friend Hilary is an incredibly keen runner; in fact, in 2019, she set herself the challenge to run every day – and actually did it! That’s 365 more runs that I went for last year.

I stamped the image using Gray Granite ink and then coloured it using Stampin’ Blends. The papers is from the Bird Ballad Suite – I just liked the cheery colours for a dark January day.

You can use any of our water-based Classic Stampin’ Pads with our Stampin’ Blends alcohol markers. The pads to avoid with alcohol markers are any permanents inks such as Stazon, as the alcohol markers will drag the ink around and cause smudging.  

Monday, 13 January 2020

Painted Poppies notebooks

My team is growing fast this Sale-a-Bration and I decided to welcome the first new members with a handy little notebook so they can write down everything they need to know about being a Stampin' Up!® demonstrator... or perhaps their stamping shopping lists!

These note books have a plastic sleeve front and back which makes them really easy to cover. I’ve had them for a long time but think I bought them in Home Bargains. Seems very probable.


The Painted Poppies stamp set is designed so you can colour the black outline of your poppy with just one stamp in red ink. But if you like a really intense colour – or your ink pad is getting ready for a refresh – simply ink and restamp a few times. It doesn’t matter if you go over the lines because you’re cutting out the image and it doesn’t matter if the ink is darker in places... in fact it looks more natural. 

Friday, 10 January 2020

Peaceful Poppies Suite - three-way split

I’ve reused this three-way split design but unfortunately I think the flowers get lost and now wish I'd added a white circle element behind to help them stand out. But these lovely papers are almost too beautiful to cover up!

When placing your three pieces of Designer Series Paper on your card front, start with the top and bottom pieces to get them evenly spaced from the edges. Then you can add the centre piece, trimming down slightly if necessary. 

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.