Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Tailored Tag punch to the rescue with Tropical Oasis Memories & More Cards

This was another attempt to use up some Tropical Oasis Memories & More cards. I punched them out using the Tailored Tag punch to create this fun design, which can be adapted to use any Designer Series Paper or M&M cards.

Fortunately, the Tailored Tag punch is carrying over – it's SUCH a useful punch!
 When assembling your card, start with the four pieces in the centre and work outwards. You may find you don’t need as many punched pieces as you first thought, as the excess pieces you trim from the edges may be usable on the opposite side of the card.

Monday, 27 April 2020

Retiring products: Mini cards with Tropical Oasis Memories & More Cards

 It's use-up time! I have lots of products which are retiring soon so I’ve set myself the impossible task of trying to use up any consumables. It can’t happen, of course. Not unless I became a full-time crafter with an unlimited supply of cardstock and adhesive!

But I did make these four little cards the other day, using some retiring Tropical Oasis Memories & More Cards with some small Memories & More Cards and envelopes.

In my desperation to get through the pile, I even used some cards as mats for my image layers! I figured there was no point in using up cardstock which is carrying over! I now have four little cards which I can send to friends or key workers. Or I may even put them in a box on the end of the drive for passing walkers to use. My last box of cards all disappeared in a day!

Memories & More cards are lovely enough just to slap on a card base but you can add interest by sponging, stamping or fussy-cutting flowers from other cards. 

Friday, 24 April 2020

Cuppa & Card with Poppies Elements

Today was supposed to be my Cuppa & Card session but I’ve had to postpone as the kits were delayed in an over-stretched postal service! So if you’re booked to join me and don’t want spoilers, look away now!

We’ll be making these two projects via Zoom. All kits have been posted out and I've learned the hard way that all that die-cutting and embossing is too much work when you have to do it all by yourself!

We’re using the Poppies Elements, which I confess I had overlooked, but they are perfect for this situation. These elements are already coloured, but there are vellum and watercolour paper elements in the packs, too, and we’ll be using those at Crafty Friday in May.

Black and white makes a really striking colour combination when you add just a splash of colour. I love how the poppies really stand out here.

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Do the Impossible: mix it up!

I was proud to celebrate a good friend’s running achievement with this card. I never thought I’d team the Do The Impossible stamp with Memories & More cards from the Come Sail Away Suite!

The blue background is a Memories & More card which I brayered with Pool Party to make it more match the shorts, while another forms the brown layer, sponged this in Soft Suede to tone down the nautical imagery! I wanted the vintage look but not the nautical feel.

I’ve said this before but it bears repeating: don't be afraid to mix things up! A nautical product on a card to celebrate a runner isn’t an obvious choice, but it's amazing what you can put together with a bit of altering. 

Monday, 20 April 2020

Check out the gorgeous Ornate Garden Designer Series Paper

I wasn’t sure about the new Ornate Garden Suite when I first saw it, but now I’m completely hooked on the Designer Series Paper. It features beautiful floral designs with a vintage feel.

I’ve been busy designing projects for my upcoming class. Guests can log in from home and craft along with me, while seeing and chatting to each other, too. It’s the next best thing from coming to a class and so far has been working well.

Everyone will get a quarter pack of this lovely DSP (6x6 pieces – that way I don’t have to step inside a Post Office) and there’s the option to include the Ornate Thanks stamp set, too. If you don’t choose the stamp set option, you can use your own greeting stamps.

Please click/tap the image above or go here for more details

Many of the flowers in the DSP are incomplete so are not obvious choices for cutting out. But if you place them carefully, you can cover any missing pieces with a complete flower. The small yellow one is the only complete flower in this grouping... it’s just covering the missing bits. Backstage secret there!

Friday, 17 April 2020

Let's go somewhere and do something... within social distancing guidelines

The beauty of Memories & More cards is that you can use them as they are for fast projects, or add to them. I couldn't resist this one when I found it in my stash.

The message just made me laugh as, right now, the only things we can go and do are visit the supermarket for essential shopping, take exercise from our homes or go out to help a vulnerable person. So maybe the message should read “Let's go somewhere and do something... within social distancing guidelines”!

Memories & More cards provide a great starting point for projects. I've sponged and stamped this one, and added other embellishments.

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Tropical Oasis sponged card

So much for being organised! I had this card ready to go for Crafty Friday this month, but had to change my plans due to the Lockdown as this doesn’t lend itself well to distance crafting.

It is inspired by Tina Wardell at and uses products from the Tropical Oasis Suite. I love a technique card and this one is packed with fun techniques; sponging, masking, embossing paste to name but a few.

It uses products from the Tropical Oasis Suite, which is well worth checking out.

Take a look at your dies; can you create something different from them? This card uses a couple of leaves to make a grassy mound.

Monday, 13 April 2020

Keeping it simple with Magnolia Lane Cards & More

Who says cardmaking has to be complicated? Ok, so I’ve used a couple of die sets here but they were just leftover from other projects, I promise! The main point is that you can buy packs of these little card blanks, with pretty printed cards to fit on the front.

In fact, you can buy a whole bundle of products for £42.25 which are ideal for getting started. You get a stamp set, clear block, mini ink pads, adhesives and these cards.

Please look online for the "Getting started" section of my website to see these great products and more.

Keep it simple! At this time of crisis, sending a card to someone is more important than making it fancy!

Friday, 10 April 2020

Bird Ballad card with minimal stamping

It has been interesting to see how businesses have (or haven’t) adapted to the current crisis. For face-to-face businesses, it has been extremely difficult and some have obviously had to close temporarily.

But crafting can carry on and is a vital escape for many of us, so I am now holding online classes via Zoom. Crucially, this means my regular ladies can still see and chat to each other as they craft.

This project was from last Friday's Crafty Friday event. We had the odd technical hitch but everyone seemed to enjoy the chance to craft together.

The linen thread is in two pieces. One is taped around the back of the card, while the other is tied in a bow around it. This makes it a LOT easier to get the desired effect!


Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Keep Calm and Craft On!

While are all safe at home, we may be missing our friends but there are other ways we can reach out to each other – and, as a long-time crafter, sending cards is the obvious first choice.

I made a stack of these to send to my direct team members. Using three different stamp sets, I managed to come up with the perfect image and sentiment for our times. Those stamp sets? You Always Deliver, Happy Tails and Crafting Forever.

I coloured the images using Stampin' Blends – no mean feat when you are making a big batch!  

To isolate part of a stamp from the rest – in this case the word ‘CRAFT’ from the ‘Crafting forever, housework whenever’ stamp – the easiest way is to use a Stampin’ Write marker. Don’t use a Stampin’ Blend alcohol marker as they dry too fast to stamp with and also stain your stamp. The less easy way is to mask using sticky notes or tape, but this is fiddly, especially when making a batch of cards. 

Monday, 6 April 2020

Make a journal with the Magnolia Lane Suite

These Magnolia Lane Designer Series Papers are beautiful but I have resisted them until now. And now they are perfect for me as a bulk pack is available, meaning I can offer this project as a kit in the post!

I will be holding this via Zoom, which means you can keep safe, Keep Calm & Craft On. You'll receive everything you need in the post to make this journal from scratch. From scratch, I tell you!

Priority will be given to existing customers and previous class attendees as places are limited. After that, open to anyone in the UK. Get in touch if you'd like more info!

The main thing to remember when making a journal from scratch is not to add the inside cover until absolutely everything you need is on the outside! Full tutorial is exclusive to those who join the class, but you can see something similar in my 12-year-old tutorial here

Friday, 3 April 2020

Bird Ballad card with minimal stamping

Helen Read Allthingsstampy Bird Ballad

It was so sad having to cancel all my classes, but creative people soon come up with creative solutions and it wasn't long before Stampin' Up!® demonstrators all over the world were sharing their ideas.

And so I am now running all my events via Zoom. I have had to change the nature of the projects because not everyone has a full room of supplies, but it can be done!

Today I am holding my first Virtual Crafty Friday, making two Bird Ballad projects. This will be the first. I’m afraid, due to very limited crafting time at the moment, you will have to wait to see the second!
When using bulky ribbon, use Stampin’ Dimensionals to pop up your layers so they don't sit unevenly. 

Thursday, 2 April 2020

Ornate Garden early release

This is a beautiful suite of products which you can purchase ahead of the new catalogue going live. Available throughout April and beyond!

Buy it all or cherry-pick your favourite products. Take a look at these samples, then  please get in touch to find out more...

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Keep Calm and Wag On with Happy Tails

We live in strange times and never has this sentiment seemed more appropriate. Keeping calm may be beyond us some of the time but we can keep wagging on as best we can.

Crafting on is something we can do, too, of course – so I spent the afternoon making a big stack of these for my March customers. I used the fabulous Happy Tails stamp set, which I haven’t used in a while, so that was fun, and finished off the last of my Golden Honey Designer Series Paper, too.

Use the Stamparatus with a two-step stamp set like Happy Tails and, once it's set up, every single one will be a hit.

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.