Tuesday, 30 August 2022

Caravan Christmas cards with Tree Lot Dies

Tree Lot Dies Stampin Up UK
 
There are only two days left of Sale-a-Bration so only two days left to earn these beautiful Tree Lot Dies.

I know they will be gone by Friday but I couldn’t resist using them for one last class this week. This is a Zoom class so I have done LOTS of die-cutting for the ladies attending so they can make these two camping-themed Christmas cards. 
 
Tree Lot Dies Stampin Up UK

First up is this fun easel card which combines the lovely trees with Painted Christmas Designer Series Paper. This paper was a hot favourite last year so I was delighted to see it return to the July-December Mini Catalogue for another season. The pine cones and pine sprigs – favourite themes of mine – are perfect for coordinating with the pine trees in the Tree Lot Dies set. 
 
This easel card is a little different to normal, with a gap between the flap and the base. Did I get my measurements wrong? Not telling! However, it still fits in a standard envelope if you fold it like this.

Tree Lot Dies Stampin Up UK

 
Tree Lot Dies Stampin Up UK

For this card I cut the caravan out of Pear Pizzazz cardstock and gave it a white roof and skirt. I used Let's Set Sail to stamp the Crumb Cake ground and, other than the greeting, that is all the stamping there is on this card.

The trees are created from Evening Evergreen and Pear Pizzazz, and I’ve added some Real Red bunting to give it a little festive feel.

The greeting comes from one of our fabulous kits – the Love Santa tag kit. This is one of those kits which I think is worth getting just for the stamp set – all the tags are a bonus!
 
Tree Lot Dies Stampin Up UK
 
For the second card, the caravan is cut from Soft Sea Foam, again with a white roof and skirt.

Both times I have coloured the caravan wheel in black and the hook-up in grey, and added a layer of vellum and yellow cardstock behind the windows and door. The vellum gives it the look of glass, while the yellow stops the trees from showing through.

Again there is very little stamping – just the greeting – but there is a little colouring on the string of fairy lights. I coloured the string in grey and used various bright markers for the bulbs.
 
Tree Lot Dies Stampin Up UK

 
The Soft Sea Foam holly design from Painted Christmas Designer Series Paper creates the perfect festive background to add interest without overwhelming. 
 
Tree Lot Dies Stampin Up UK

 
I hope you like my Tree Lot Dies cards and that you manage to get hold of these fabulous dies before Sale-a-Bration ends tomorrow. They ARE still available in Europe but remember Stampin’ Up!® time is an hour ahead of UK time so will end at 11pm. Don’t leave your order until the last minute as I would hate you to be disappointed.

If you are in the UK and would like to order, please visit my store and, if you use the August 2022 host code XCCS4UHD, 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, 23 August 2022

Exclusive kit featuring Stampin’ Up!’s Storybook Gnomes Designer Series Paper

Storybook Gnomes Stampin Up UK


Scandi gnomes are HUGE this Christmas. Apparently traditional garden gnomes are big this year too – one article I read put garden gnomes in the top five trends for British gardens in 2022.

You won’t find any gnomes in my back yard but you will find then in my craft stash as I have just taken delivery of some Stampin’ Up!® Storybook Gnomes Designer Series Paper so I can create some fun cards to show you.

I will confess here that Storybook Gnomes would not have been my first choice for my All The Trimmings Kit for September but I carried out polls on both Facebook and Instagram and this Designer Series Paper was the clear winner in both cases. 
 
Storybook Gnomes Stampin Up UK
 
The people have spoken and so Storybook Gnomes is the theme for my All The Trimmings Kit for September! In this hand-selected kit, you receive half a pack of Designer Series Paper plus lots of coordinating cardstock, some ribbon and embellishments – all for just £20, posted to anywhere in the UK.

As I am still a little on the (garden) fence about the gnomes, I don’t have the coordinating Kindest Gnomes stamp set or Gnomes Dies, but this is where my All The Trimmings Kits really come into their own.

Here I show you how you can make fun projects using Designer Series Paper and any greeting stamp, so you can enjoy a trend such as gnomes without committing to a major purchase of the stamp set or dies.

Get the most for your money!

If you LOVE the gnomes – and it seems lots of people do! – then you can if you wish order the Kindest Gnomes stamps and/or Gnomes dies directly from me at the time of reserving your kit and I will send it with your kit, saving you £6.95 in shipping costs. Oh... and because the deadline for reserving this kit is 30th August, if you order the Kindest Gnomes Bundle at £46.75, you can choose a Sale-a-Bration gift as well!

 
Storybook Gnomes Stampin Up UK
 
The first card I made with my Storybook Gnomes kit was this cheery Christmas card in Pale Papaya. I cut the toadstool house and blue-hatted gnome out of the paper and mounted them onto a white panel in front of my favourite sheet of toadstool paper. 
 
Storybook Gnomes Stampin Up UK

The sentiment comes from the Stampin’ Up!® set Ringed With Nature and I took the plunge by cutting it in half. I decided I would get more use out of the stamp if the Merry was separated from the Christmas so I could stamp it on two lines easily, as I have done here. I often cut up my stamps and have never regretted it yet. 
 
Storybook Gnomes Stampin Up UK

There are lots of lovely blue patterns in the Storybook Gnomes Designer Series Paper and I wanted to show off them all on this second card. I cut a series of strips of paper and angled them on the front of a Thick Basic White card base, trimming off any excess. 
 
Storybook Gnomes Stampin Up UK

This formed a patchwork background for a blue toadstool house and another gnome, overlaid on a die-cut circle. I offset the scalloped circle layer to allow more of the Night of Navy cardstock to show; otherwise there would have been just a hint of colour behind the white and I wanted to see more. 
 
Storybook Gnomes Stampin Up UK
 
A sleepy fox and little bird, both cut out of the Storybook Gnomes Designer Series Paper, add even more whimsy, while a Flat Jingle Bell Trinket completes the gnome’s hat. 
 
Storybook Gnomes Stampin Up UK
 
Finally I wanted to create a card for those who are yet to fall in love with the gnomes. So no gnomes at all on this last card!
 
Storybook Gnomes Stampin Up UK

This is quite a simple card with a panel of gorgeous paper featuring trees and mountains (two of my favourite things), a punched label and a selection of fussy-cut forest creatures, all cut out of the Storybook Gnomes paper. 
 
Storybook Gnomes Stampin Up UK
 
In fact, even if you loathe gnomes, this paper has plenty to offer as there are only actually three designs featuring gnomes – and each of those has a gnome-free pattern on the reverse. 
 
Storybook Gnomes Stampin Up UK

 
 

If you are in the UK and would like to order, please visit my store and, if you use the August 2022 host code XCCS4UHD, I’ll send you a thank you gift in September.


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, 16 August 2022

Let's Set Sail Slimline card ideas – with tips for lining up stamps with your punch

Let's Set Sail Slimline card idea Stampin Up All Things Stampy
 
I’m very busy this week, prepping for an all-day Stampin’ Up!® craft event here in Derbyshire on Saturday. This event has a Let’s Set Sail theme and guests have preselected their projects... within reason, that is.

Out of three kits – cards, scrapbooking and home décor – they have chosen to make two and interestingly every single person has chosen cards.

Everyone will be using the Let’s Set Sail bundle and some have chosen to include the stamp set and/or the bundle (which includes the Sailboat Builder Punch) in their kits. 

In today’s blog post I have two slimline cards using the Let’s Set Sail bundle, along with Basic Border Dies to create waves, and Vellum Layering Designs to create a map background. I will also share tips for lining up your stamps with your punch, and for sticking vellum so it won’t show.
 
 
Let's Set Sail Slimline card idea Stampin Up All Things Stampy

 
Let's Set Sail Slimline card idea Stampin Up All Things Stampy


First up is this slimline portrait card featuring white waves created with Basic Border Dies. These fabulous dies have been on my wish list for absolutely ages but I have only just got round to adding them to my order. I love that the borders they create are stitched, which makes them look extra classy. 
 
Let's Set Sail Slimline card idea Stampin Up All Things Stampy

Most of the cards I have made with the Let’s Set Sail stamp set have only featured one boat but the extra height of the slimline card allows space for a second one bobbing around among the waves. 
 
Let's Set Sail Slimline card idea Stampin Up All Things Stampy
 
 
As a background, I used one of the map patterns from Vellum Layering Designs; this introduced a nautical element (even though the map is of land, it still hints at travel) and softens the Pacific Point beneath.

Here’s a tip for sticking down the vellum. Behind the waves and boat anything goes. You won’t see the adhesive here so use whatever you like. The top section is just loose and so far it isn’t going anywhere, even on the portrait card. If you wanted to secure it, you could use a tiny amount of Tombow Multi-purpose Adhesive but spread it so thinly that it’s almost gone. If you don’t have a latex allergy, you can do this with your finger.

 
Let's Set Sail Slimline card idea Stampin Up All Things Stampy

The landscape card features Balmy Blue waves, again created with Basic Border Dies. The background is once again created using a map from Vellum Layering Designs, overlaid onto Pacific Point cardstock. 
 
Let's Set Sail Slimline card idea Stampin Up All Things Stampy
 
 
These are all fairly neutral nautical colours, so I have added splashes of colour using Real Red and Daffodil Delight ink. 
 
Let's Set Sail Slimline card idea Stampin Up All Things Stampy

It’s really easy to match your stamping to the Sailboat Builder Punch. Here’s how:

1. Feed a piece of cardstock all the way into the punch, and punch it out.
2. Lay the template flat on to your work surface and carefully piece each stamp into the holes you have created.
3. Line up the block with the bottom edge of the cardstock and pick up all three stamps in one go.
4. You should now be able to stamp all three images and punch them out perfectly. 


 
Let's Set Sail Slimline card idea Stampin Up All Things Stampy


The Let’s Set Sail stamp set comes with some useful sentiments but I wanted to mix things up a little so both these cards have birthday greetings from different stamp sets. The portrait card uses Go-To Greetings, one of the most useful sets I think we have ever had at Stampin’ Up!®. The landscape card uses Charming Sentiments. Both sets have greetings for lots of different occasions.

Both of these cards fit into Slimline Envelopes from Stampin’ Up!® These come in Smoky Slate (used here), Soft Succulent and Basic White. Eagle-eyed attendees at this Let’s Set Sail craft event will notice that the Smoky Slate cards and Vellum Layering Designs are left over from the last all-day event I held back in June!
 
Let's Set Sail Slimline card idea Stampin Up All Things Stampy

 

If you are interested in any of these products, it is well worth knowing that if you ordered the Let’s Set Sail bundle, some Slimline Envelopes and any ink pad, you would qualify for a FREE Sale-a-Bration item, as long as you order before the end of August 2022. In fact, don’t let me tell you what to buy – you can order anything you like and as long as it comes to £45 before shipping costs, you will earn a fab free gift.

Plus, if you use the host code XCCS4UHD,  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, 9 August 2022

Two fun watercolouring techniques using Dragonfly Garden

Dragonfly Garden Stampin Up watercolour card ideas

 
Do you like creating your own watercoloured backgrounds for your Stampin' Up!® cards? It's one of my favourite things to do and I have some fall-back techniques I return to, time after time.

I used two of these techniques to make some cards using the Dragonfly Garden stamp set recently.

One of these is the ‘smoosh’ technique, which is probably the easiest way to create an authentic watercoloured background using your stamping supplies.

All you need is a clear acrylic block (any size), ink pads and some watercolour paper.

1. Begin by wetting your watercolour paper all over. I spritz mine but if you don’t have a spritzer, you can just run it under the tap.

2. Press your block directly onto your ink pad, then apply it directly to the wet paper. ‘Smoosh’ it around a little to spread the ink.

3. Dry the block then repeat in a second colour.
 
 Dragonfly Garden Stampin Up watercolour card ideas


I used this technique to create this clean and simple dragonfly card. I created the watercolour background using Granny Apple Green and Tahitian Tide inks and the smoosh technique.

Once this was fully dry – which was just a few minutes on a sunny windowsill – I could stamp on top using that lovely long flower stamp from the Dragonfly Garden stamp set.

I stamped the dragonfly onto a separate piece of paper, punched it out using the Dragonflies Builder Punch and popped it up on top.

Then it was simply a case of mounting the watercolour paper on to a Granny Apple Green cardstock panel, attaching it to a Thick Basic White card base and finishing off with a stamped greeting from Go To Greetings. 

Dragonfly Garden Stampin Up watercolour card ideas

When you’re making fun watercolour backgrounds like this, I always think it’s a good idea to make several, partly because it’s fun but also because while you are making more, your first efforts will be drying. You probably already know I don’t like waste so much prefer to use a bit of solar power to dry my watercolouring than plug in a heat gun.

So I switched colours slightly and used Mango Melody with Granny Apple Green for my second card in this style. 

Dragonfly Garden Stampin Up watercolour card ideas

The second technique I wheeled out recently is clear block stamping. This is an oldie but goodie but it seems lots of people didn’t know about it because my Instagram reel demonstrating this technique has gone viral! I don’t actually know what constitutes viral but I honestly never thought I would produce a video that had 1.9million views, so I’m calling it viral!

For this technique you do need a water spritzer (or plant mister) but you don’t need watercolour paper; it actually works better on good old Basic White.

The panel you create is the same shape as the clear block so choose carefully.

1. Press one end/side into an ink pad, then turn it round and press the other end/side into a different ink pad. Try to get the colours as close together as possible without overlapping.

2. Spritz the block liberally with water but not so much that the water drips off. I gave mine about 4 squirts with a Stampin’ Spritzer.

3. Press this block onto your Basic White cardstock and leave it there for a few seconds to allow the water to soak in to the paper.

4. Lift to reveal your faux watercolour background. Allow this to dry fully before stamping on top.
 
 
Dragonfly Garden Stampin Up watercolour card ideas

I created my cards using the same colours again; Tahitian Tide and Granny Apple Green, then Mango Melody with Granny Apple Green.

For each card, I mounted this white panel on to some Granny Apple Green cardstock, then wrapped some White Glittered Organdy Ribbon around the front, securing at the back with tape. 
 
Dragonfly Garden Stampin Up watercolour card ideas

I finished it off with a stamped label punched with the Lasting Label Punch, decorated with a few stamped Granny Apple Green butterflies. The greeting is from Go-To Greetings and the butterflies are from Dragonfly Garden.

I hope you like these two watercolour techniques and give them both a go. If you would like to order any of the products you see here – or indeed any Stampin’ Up!® products, if you are in the UK I would love to help you. And if you spend £45 or more during August, you can choose from a great selection of free gifts. 
 
There’s a new host code for August, which is XCCS4UHD. Use this if your order is less than £150 and I will send you a thank you gift next month. Don’t use it if you spend more than £150 as you will be entitled to choose your own rewards at the checkout. 


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, 2 August 2022

Four fun background techniques for Let's Set Sail from Stampin’ Up!®

Let's Set Sail stampin up card ideas
 

I love using my Stampin’ Up!® supplies to branch out into other techniques so have been having lots of fun creating cool backgrounds to go with the Let’s Set Sail bundle.

I’ve always been a fan of nautical and seaside-themed products so this stamp set with matching punch really floats my boat. (See what I did there?)

Here are four cards I made with the Let’s Set Sail bundle, each showcasing a different background technique. Best of all, most of them don’t require any special equipment.

Let me share some tips for creating these fun backgrounds for your seaside-themed cards...
 
Let's Set Sail stampin up card ideas
 
First up is this really fun background which – even better – uses up your scraps. When making cards or other papercraft projects, we all end up with scraps – and often they are narrow strips. 
 
I gathered up my narrow strips of Tahitian Tide cardstock, Designer Series Paper and glimmer paper, along with a strip of Pacific Point, and glued them all to an old piece of grid paper. Any paper will do but it must be paper and not cardstock or the finished piece will be too thick for the next stage. 
 
Let's Set Sail stampin up card ideas
 
I trimmed this piece to size and then ran it through the Into The Clouds Embossing Folder. This brings it all together and makes a very fun background. 
 Let's Set Sail stampin up card ideas

I punched a boat using the Sailboat Builder Punch and positioned it at the top of one of the strips to look like it was floating in the sea. Fun!
 
 
 
 
 
Let's Set Sail stampin up card ideas

Next up is this lovely washy watercolour background, which I created using Starry Sky ink and a water painter on watercolour paper.

You can create a palette of ink by holding any of Stampin’ Up!®'s water-based Classic Stampin’ Pads upside-down and squeezing hard. But if you don’t like messing up your ink pads, or you find it’s too difficult to squeeze them, just press your ink pad onto a large clear block or other non-porous surface. 
 
Let's Set Sail stampin up card ideas

To pick up the ink, either use a water painter (which carries the water in its barrel) or simply use a paintbrush and a pot of water. See what I mean in this short video.

 
Let's Set Sail stampin up card ideas

This washy effect provides the perfect background for the boat from Let’s Set Sail. The red sails (Poppy Parade) are echoed in the layer of the same colour. 
 
Let's Set Sail stampin up card ideas

My third background is especially fun as it’s created with rubber bands!

Gather up a selection of rubber bands and wrap them around a clear stamping block. Overlap them, criss-cross them or leave them straight, it’s up to you. Just have a play around to see what results you prefer.

Then you simply use your rubber banded block as a stamp. Repeat your stamping until you have the effect you desire. 
 
 
 
Let's Set Sail stampin up card ideas

Once you are happy, stamp and punch the boat from Let’s Set Sail and stick it in position, then finish off the card. I used a little Metallic Mesh Ribbon to give the impression of fishing net.

 
Let's Set Sail stampin up card ideas
 
My final card has a lovely linen texture because I have stamped directly onto Linen 12x12 Paper. This is a gorgeous speciality paper from Stampin’ Up!® It’s self-adhesive; I confess I’m not entirely sure of the benefits of that feature. Just stamp on it and see how the texture of the paper turns simple stamping into a lovely canvas effect. 
 
Let's Set Sail stampin up card ideas

 
I have used the long stamp from Let’s Set Sail in Balmy Blue for the sky, leaving some areas unstamped to give the impression of clouds. For the sea I used Pacific Point, stamping repeatedly to fill the lower third of the paper, and missing the odd area to look like waves. 
 
Let's Set Sail stampin up card ideas
 

I hope you like these ideas for creating a fun background for the Let’s Set Sail stamp set. Which one is your favourite?

If you are in the UK and would like to order, please visit my store and, if you use the August 2022 host code ZPZ3ZRHC, 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.