Tuesday, 17 May 2022

More masculine card ideas – this time with Wildlife Wonder

Masculine Stampin Up UK Cards Wildlife Wonder
 
I just can’t stop making masculine cards now I’ve started so I have another post of projects for you this week. All are birthday cards but all could easily be converted into Father’s Day cards if that’s what you need.

All the projects use the absolutely stunning New Horizons Designer Series Paper which I strongly urge you to grab now while you can, as it is in the January-June Mini Catalogue so won’t be around for much longer. 

They also use the beautiful Wildlife Wonder stamp set which thankfully has carried over into the current Annual Stampin’ Up!® Catalogue.
 
Masculine Stampin Up UK Cards Wildlife Wonder
 
First up is this fun owl card which I made in two different monotones; purple and blue.
 
 
Masculine Stampin Up UK Cards Wildlife Wonder
 
The first is in Blackberry Bliss, which you may not consider a masculine colour but how many purple shirts do you see out there? 
 
Masculine Stampin Up UK Cards Wildlife Wonder
 
Next I made another using some Misty Moonlight cardstock for a class where I knew the ladies wouldn’t know or care that this colour has now retired (plus I got to use up my stash!). 

Masculine Stampin Up UK Cards Wildlife Wonder
 
I selected the appropriately coloured paper and cut four strips to stick on the card front, then simply wrapped some twine around, then added a die-cut circle (All That Dies) with a stamped owl. I finished off with a tiny die-cut label and a greeting stamped from the Light the Candles Card Kit. 
 
Masculine Stampin Up UK Cards Wildlife Wonder

The second card really shows off this beautiful New Horizons Designer Series Paper by covering the whole card front with a piece. I stamped some grasses and ground using Evening Evergreen ink and added a cut-out bear, popped up, stamped in Soft Suede. 
 
Masculine Stampin Up UK Cards Wildlife Wonder

It’s finished off with a hand-cut greeting flag, embellished with a little linen thread. The result is a card which looks like it’s taken a lot longer than it has!
 
Masculine Stampin Up UK Cards Wildlife Wonder

Finally I created a triple-fold card to show off the New Horizons Designer Series Paper and use the beautiful wolf from Wildlife Wonder. The wolf is stamped onto a label die-cut using Seasonal Labels dies and the greeting is from the hugely useful stamp set featured in the For the Guys cardmaking kit.

I hope I have shown you that masculine cards don’t have to be difficult – and can be fun to make, too.

If you are in the UK and would like to order, please visit my store and, if you use the May 2022 host code YN9XZVTS, I’ll send you a thank you gift next month.


Does your wish list come to more than £99? Please get in touch and I will help you get more for your money and unlock discounts all year round.  
 
 

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Foolproof tips for masculine cardmaking

Masculine card ideas Stampin Up UK
 
Lots of crafters tell me they really struggle to make masculine cards. While there are lots of images in the current Stampin’ Up!® catalogues designed specifically with men and boys in mind, they can’t cover every hobby and interest. And, let’s be honest here, sometimes you don’t want to invest in a stamp set for just one card.

Rant warning: But first I’d like to get something off my chest about shirt and tie cards. I know they are really popular but does the man even like wearing a shirt and tie? Or will it symbolise discomfort or, worse, dressing for a job he hates?

So what’s the alternative and where do you start? In this blog post I have some very easy masculine projects to show you, all using the new He’s the Man Suite. Most of them just use the He’s the Man Designer Series Paper as it contains a sheet of pop-out images and elements which make cardmaking and scrapbooking really easy.

Take a look at the projects then read on for my top tips for making cards for men and boys, many of which use your existing Stampin’ Up!® stash. 
 

Masculine card ideas Stampin Up UK

I love this camper van from He’s the Man Designer Series Paper. It comes from a sheet of pop-out images and greetings – and you get two in the pack so you use the other camper van for a gift label or scrapbook page. There’s absolutely no stamping on this card so it was made in a matter of moments. 

Masculine card ideas Stampin Up UK

This card, too, features a main image from that sheet of die-cuts. I’ve added a stamped greeting and some die-cut flags and that’s it. 

Masculine card ideas Stampin Up UK

Masculine card ideas Stampin Up UK

This one involved actual effort! I die-cut the greeting and the argyle patterns using the new All That Dies from the He’s The Man Suite. Some Designer Series Paper and a bit of linen thread finish it off. Oh, and the words are stamped using that really useful stamp set from For The Guys cardmaking kit. (Tip: It’s worth buying this kit just for that stamp set!) 


Masculine card ideas Stampin Up UK

 
Adhesive sheets are really useful when using intricate dies like these. Adhere your cardstock to the sheet, then run it through the Stampin’ Cut & Emboss Machine. Your die-cut will be sticky all over so you won’t have to mess around trying to apply glue to tiny areas and getting it all over yourself (or is that just me?).
 

Masculine card ideas Stampin Up UK

Finally, I have this card, which is my least favourite of today’s makes. I feel it needs some ribbon but the ribbon I want to use is on its way and won’t arrive until later today. 

But it’s a good principle for masculine cardmaking; a few strips of Designer Series Paper and a label with a greeting. Very quick and easy and can be made with any papers.  


Masculine card ideas Stampin Up UK

Five tips for making masculine cards

1. Tap into their interests

This is the most obvious way of tackling a masculine card and is the reason I buy so many stamps with trees and mountains. But if you don’t have anything suitable, don’t despair: read on.

2. Serve up some food or drink

Beer, wine, cake, cookies... one of those has to float your fellow’s boat. Food and drink are perfect for masculine cards.

3. Spell it out

Still stuck? No relevant images or food and drink images? How about using words as your focal point? You could use alphabet dies or stamps to spell out their name, a greeting, a private joke or even something cheeky that you’d NEVER find in a Stampin’ Up!® catalogue. 🙈

4. Keep it simple

This is SO easy... just use a birthday greeting as a focal point on some patterned paper. One panel, two, three, four... the choice is yours.

5. Go geometric

A variation on the simple theme above... use shapes as your image, or create a patchwork of shapes using a punch. You can use Designer Series Paper or just plain cardstock if you don’t have anything suitable. Tip: If using lots of different patterned papers on a patchwork design, adding something subdued or even plain into the mix will make it easier on the eye.

Want more masculine cardmaking tips? Please follow me on Facebook or Instagram for lots more all week.

If you are in the UK and would like to order, please visit my store and, if you use the May 2022 host code YN9XZVTS, I’ll send you a thank you gift in the following month.


Does your wish list come to more than £99? Please get in touch and I will help you get more for your money and unlock discounts all year round.  
 
 

Tuesday, 3 May 2022

Cup of Tea cards and In Color™ comparisons

Tea Boutique Cup of Tea Stampin Up

Crafters everywhere are loving our new Stampin’ Up!® In Colors so I wanted to show them off using a brand new stamp set called Cup of Tea.

This is from the new Tea Boutique Suite from the new Annual Catalogue which goes live today. I will be using this suite at my Craft-Tea Day Out in June. 

I am taking bookings for this event and places are filling up fast, so if you live close enough to Derbyshire to attend, please go here for more information

 

Tea Boutique Cup of Tea Stampin Up

Today’s cards are all the same design, and all on a monochromatic theme. Let’s begin with Starry Sky, a deep rich blue which I think you’ll love.

I’ve stamped and die-cut the cup, then coloured in the leaf pattern using my Starry Sky ink pad and a water painter. 

 

Tea Boutique Cup of Tea Stampin Up

Next up is Orchid Oasis, a beautiful cornflower blue. With each of these projects, I am showing off as many In Color products as I can, including cardstock, ribbon, Designer Series Paper, Baker’s Twine and embellishments. 

 

Tea Boutique Cup of Tea Stampin Up

 
Tea Boutique Cup of Tea Stampin Up

Tahitian Tide is the third blue in the new collection, although I know many would argue it isn’t blue at all. It’s a bright vivid turquoise which is sure to make your projects pop. 

Tea Boutique Cup of Tea Stampin Up

If you like your brights, you’ll also love Sweet Sorbet, which is reminiscent of the old Watermelon Wonder of days gone by. It’s red, but it’s a little pink too... not pink enough to offend me though. I really like it. 

Tea Boutique Cup of Tea Stampin Up
 

Finally my favourite of all: Parakeet Party, a zesty lime green which I believe fills a gap in our collection of colours. For this card I stamped the greeting in Gray Granite to make it stand out a little more. As much as I love Parakeet Party, I don’t think it’s designed for stamping fine greetings like this one. 

Each of these cards contains a little hidden greeting inside the cup – watch this being made in my video here.

In Color comparisons

If you’re wondering how our new In Colors measure up to Stampin’ Up!® colours past and present, check out these comparisons. 
 
In Color 2022 comparisons Stampin Up Sweet Sorbet

In Color 2022 comparisons Stampin Up Parakeet Party

In Color 2022 comparisons Stampin Up Tahitian Tide

In Color 2022 comparisons Stampin Up Starry Sky

In Color 2022 comparisons Stampin Up Orchid Oasis
 
 

Starter Kit offer

Love our new In Colors and want to get an amazing deal? If you’re in the UK, why not consider joining my Stampin’ Up!® team? You can get a whole load of extra In Color supplies in your £99 Starter Kit if you join my team in May!
 
Join Stampin Up UK In Color offer
 

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Four ideas for In the Moment stamp set

Stampin Up UK In the Moment All Things Stampy

As soon as I saw the gorgeous In the Moment stamp set, I knew I wanted to run a class with it. In fact, I am running not one but three different classes with it, as I transition into my new system of showcasing a stamp set each month.

My first event was a fun evening on Zoom combining this fab set with the technique of paper piecing and beautiful Expressions in Ink Designer Series Paper (which is retiring and I believe has now sold out).

We made four beautiful cards, some of which were inspired by my talented friend Julie at The Paper Haven.

I love that this set has three images of the same size, which means you can swap them around to mix up your projects.

Stampin Up UK In the Moment All Things Stampy

We began with this very simple fun fold card – I say ‘fun fold’ but it’s simply a standard card base with a strip cut off the front panel. I used Stitched So Sweetly Dies (retiring soon – please don’t miss these, they’re fab) to create a panel on the front and a smaller one inside.
 
Stampin Up UK In the Moment All Things Stampy

The image is coloured using Stampin’ Blends and a little bit of paper piecing for the dress and hat. This is a great way of ‘colouring’ an image if you don’t have exactly the right coloured marker, or if you simply want to add some pattern and texture, like I did here. It allows me to pick up the colours and patterns from the paper behind, while creating a really natural look for the fabrics.

Stampin Up UK In the Moment All Things Stampy
 
This card is really simple and allows the Designer Series Paper to do a lot of the heavy lifting. I mounted the paper onto Shaded Spruce (not just for Christmas!) and made the use of white space to really make the image pop. I coloured this lady using new Skin Tones markers, which mean we can create projects which represent a much wider range of people. 
 
Stampin Up UK In the Moment All Things Stampy

Again I have cut the had and dress from Designer Series Paper. To balance the orange of the hat, I have given her a glass of orange juice (or bucks fizz, if you like!).

 
Stampin Up UK In the Moment All Things Stampy

This card features one of my favourite images. I would love to be snuggled up in bed with my dog reading a book. Sadly I don’t have a dog to do this with but I will one day!

This time I have pieced paper onto the duvet at the front and the pillows behind her head, and coloured in everything else with Stampin’ Blends alcohol markers. 
 
Stampin Up UK In the Moment All Things Stampy
 
The image is stamped and cut out roughly using scissors. The bright pink ink picks up the pink from the paper. Finally, the gold elements from the Expressions in Ink Ephemera Pack pick up the gold in the Designer Series Paper. As I was talking about here and on my social media all last week, it’s all about balance!

Remember if you plan to colour with Stampin’ Blends alcohol markers, you must use a water-based ink for stamping. I have used Memento Tuxedo Black here but any of our water-based Classic Stampin’ Pads will work too.

Stampin Up UK In the Moment All Things Stampy

Finally, to mix things up a little, we made this square card which really shows off what I like to call the ‘best’ piece of Designer Series Paper in this pack.

The lady on the window sill is coloured with Stampin’ Blends; I use Balmy Blue Light and Dark for jeans. The paper piecing here is done on her top and the cushions. 
 
Stampin Up UK In the Moment All Things Stampy

I coloured lightly with light Pool Party in the corners of the window panes to help the window frames stand out, and the green of her mug is balanced by the piece of Just Jade ribbon.

For the greeting, I stamped the whole sentiment in Magenta Madness and cut out just the word ‘Relax’ before mounting it onto the image. The rest of the greeting is stamped onto the card using Sweet as a Peach (also retiring!).

I hope you like these In the Moment projects. If you are in the UK and would like to order any Stampin’ Up!® products, please visit my store and, if you use the April 2022 host code YZH39MCB, I’ll send you a thank you gift in May. 


Does your wish list come to more than £99? Please get in touch and I will help you get more for your money and unlock discounts all year round.  
 
 

Tuesday, 19 April 2022

Card design basics using On the Horizon

Card design basics tips Stampin Up

As a Stampin’ Up!® demonstrator, I’m often told that card design is a struggle and some people can only get results they are happy with by copying. Well I’m here to help!

In today’s blog post – and on my Facebook and Instagram posts all week – I will be sharing foolproof tips for designing cards, along with sketches, colour coordination and even a little bit of maths.

One of the simplest and most common design principles is the Rule of Thirds, which is based on a grid of nine rectangles. You’ll most likely see this on your camera’s view finder to help you frame your photos.

Card design basics tips Stampin Up

The key points are the intersections – the points where the lines cross. Placing elements at one or more of these sweet spots will add interest to your design. 

I’ve made a batch of cards using On the Horizon stamp set and New Horizons Designer Series Paper to show the Rule of Thirds in action, capitalising on those sweet spots. 
 

Card design basics tips Stampin Up

Here’s another card using the same sketch. This New Horizons Designer Series Paper is so gorgeous that you don’t need much stamping; I’ve just added a little bit of grass at the bottom left... pretty close to another sweet spot. 

Card design basics tips Stampin Up

Card design basics tips Stampin Up
 

This is another example of the same sketch, this time using a Stitched So Sweetly die-cut rectangle (these dies are retiring soon; in fact I’m surprised they are still available!). This time the New Horizons Designer Series Paper provides the background and I’ve stamped trees in Fresh Freesia as the focal point. 

Note that I have used three embellishments at the bottom right. Odd numbers are (nearly) always easier on the eye when designing anything, so I generally use three, five or – if I’m feeling extravagant! – seven embellishments to finish off my projects. These are in a row but if you’re going for that random scattered look, imagine an irregular triangle and position your elements at the points.

 

Card design basics tips Stampin Up

This is the same sketch again – oh yes it is! – just turned upside down. This time the main focal point is towards the bottom of the card, allowing space for birds in the sky. I’ve stamped the wooden sign in Crumb Cake ink onto Crumb Cake cardstock, stamped the words on top using Evening Evergreen and cut it out using my Stampin’ Snips. 

Card design basics tips Stampin Up

A similar idea is to offset the focal point so it sits firmly on one of the sweet spots, as I’ve done here with this Thanks card. The trees are positioned at the bottom right of the circle, and I’ve stamped birds in the sky at the top left. Think about diagonal opposites when positioning your elements as this will provide balance to your design. 

 

Card design basics tips Stampin Up

Taking the same sketch and stretching it so the card is landscape, and flipping it so the element is on the left rather than the right, results in this card. Again I have balanced the design by stamping stamped birds diagonally opposite to the wooden sign and the stamped grasses.


Card design basics tips Stampin Up

This is another simple landscape card which turns the original sketch on its side. You can keep it simple like this or dress it up with more elements and embellishments. Just remember to aim for those sweet spots and keep your embellishments to an odd number.

The Rule of Thirds is a really simple design principle which is easy to follow. Apply it to your card making and scrapbooking and soon it will become instinctive.

However, don’t feel you have to stick rigidly to this because rules are made to be broken and if, for example, if you are making a square card, placing your design elements in the centre will work perfectly well. This is no accident as is probably because a square element will hit all four intersections!

Take a look at this landscape card; the sketch itself doesn’t really follow the Rule of Thirds. However, the stamping does. The birds hit one sweet spot, while the trees and greeting are clustered around another ... which just happens to be diagonally opposite. Even when you think you aren’t following rules, it often turns out that you are!

 

Card design basics tips Stampin Up

I hope you found these tips useful. For more tips and advice, including some useful sketches you can apply to your projects, colour coordination advice and more, please follow me on Facebook or Instagram and look out for posts every day this week.

Meanwhile, if you are in the UK and would like to order, please visit my store and, if you use the April 2022 host code YZH39MCB, I’ll send you a thank you gift in the following month.


Does your wish list come to more than £99? Please get in touch and I will help you get more for your money and unlock discounts all year round.  
 
 

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.