Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Patterned Occasions elephant thank you cards

Latest batch of thank you cards to enclose with my orders – made with that really useful SAB set, Patterned Occasions. I could have coloured the elephants using markers but ink pads are quicker so I masked off the words using Sellotape (just remember to remove the tape before stamping!). After stamping all the elephants, I then started again, this time using a marker to ink up the words and stamp in Midnight Muse.

The elephants are mounted onto Core’dinations cardstock in Primrose Petals – I love this stuff. I have to admit that Primrose Petals was my least favourite In Color until I bought the Core’dinations cardstock... and now it’s one of my favourites. It gives great results when you sand it, as I’ve done randomly here.

Not sure if you can see from the rather dark photo but the Midnight Muse panel is embossed using the Vine Street embossing folder; another great Sale-a-Bration item.

By the way, the cards are half-sized; I don’t bother with envelopes, just sign these and put them in the bags with the orders. Hope the ladies liked them!

Stamps: Patterned Occasions (SAB)
Cardstock: Pink Pirouette, Midnight Muse, Core’dinations Primrose Petals, Whisper White
Ink: Primrose Petals, Midnight Muse (marker)
Accessories: 1 ¾” circle punch, large scallop circle punch, Itty bitty punch pack, Word Window punch, rhinestones, Vine Street embossing folder (SAB)

All products by Stampin' Up!® 

Monday, 25 February 2013

Oh Happy Day! Bloomin' Marvelous cards

My team has been boosted massively since the start of Sale-a-Bration with new recruits spread far and wide. So I thought it was time to welcome them properly – with a hand-made card.

I made these on Saturday using the Bloomin’ Marvelous stamp set. These different shades of yellow shouldn’t go together but I think they do.  I used So Saffron, Daffodil Delight and Summer Starfruit, stamping at random, which is always the most fun, I think.

I stamped them all with “oh happy day” because it really is a happy day when you join Stampin’ Up!® Whether you join for the discount or to build a business, nothing beats the excitement of that Starter Kit arriving, packed with fabulous crafting goodies. Right now is a fantastic time to join as you can choose £162.50 of craft products for just £99!

If you’d like more information about joining, please send me an email and I’ll do my best to answer your questions. Meanwhile, you may find your question answered here. And if you’re ready to take the plunge and join my team, just click here and start choosing your fully customisable Starter Kit!

Peeping out from below the image is a scrap of doily – yes, I’m frugal and I cut them into quarters! Below that are two flags made from the gorgeous Tea for Two Designer Series Paper.

Stamps: Bloomin’ Marvelous (SAB)
Cardstock: Lucky Limeade, So Saffron, Basic Black, Very Vanilla
Paper: Tea for Two
Ink: So Saffron, Daffodil Delight, Summer Starfruit, Lucky Limeade, Black StazOn®
Accessories: Paper Doilies

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Spring/Summer catalogue shares

I spent part of Friday cutting ribbon and paper for my shares – and it  was great to see all the different designs from the Spring/Summer catalogue because, hard as it may be to believe, I don’t have everything!

I was particularly taken with Sunshine and Sprinkles, although I was surprised to discover I really liked More Amore, too – and I didn’t think it would be my sort of thing! The ribbons are all gorgeous, as well, and the good news is that I have one of each share left, so if you want it, it’s yours!

Ribbon Share: £13
45cm 5/8” Flower Trim
1.15m Natural Trim ribbon
1.15m Pink Pirouette/Rose Red two-tone ribbon
1.15m Basic Gray/Basic Black two-tone ribbon
2.25m Melon Mambo Striped Organdy Ribbon
2.25m Marina Mist Striped Organdy Ribbon
2.25m Old Olive Striped Organdy Ribbon

Paper Share: £12
Two 6x6 pieces of each design of Tea For Two DSP
Two 6x6 pieces of each design of More Amore Specialty DSP
Two 6x6 pieces of each design of Parker’s Patterns DSP
Two 6x6 pieces of each design of Sunshine & Sprinkles DSP
One of each sheet from the Print Poetry DSP stack (4½” x 6½”)

Buy both for £25 and get a SAB share (not shown) FREE!
Two 6x6 pieces of each design of Sycamore Street DSP
1.15m Tangerine Tango ribbon
1.15m Island Indigo ribbon
1.15m Pool Party ribbon
9 buttons; 3 each in three colours (Pool Party, Rich Razzleberry, Tangerine Tango)

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Caturday - something to shout about

Oops, nearly forgot it's Caturday! Here's a picture of Ceefur, one of the cats at the shelter. She looks a bit cross in the picture and, to be honest, she is a bit cross most of the time. She will let me stroke her now, but still has her moments.

Ok, back to my card-making - I have LOTS of welcome cards to make for new recruits who have joined Stampin' Up!® during Sale-A-Bration to take advantage of the extra 25% of products in the Starter Kit. It seems that new people are joining our friendly team every day right now, so what's holding you back?

In other news, our team now has its own web forum; a secure place to chat about stamping, about building the business and to arrange get-togethers. I'm very excited about it!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Kraft box with Creped Filter Paper flower

Every month I give a little gift to my Virtual Hostess Club members to thank them for their continued support. I don’t know why I haven’t been sharing them with you on here so this month I will. Club members this month will receive all the consumables to make this cute box. They will just need to use their own stapler to assemble the flower and their own stamps to decorate the label.

These boxes are so easy and quick to assemble – and at £2.75 for four, they’re a bargain, too. It’s not even worth trying to make one from cardstock at that price. Every home should have some!

The flower is made from the Creped Filter Paper in the new Spring/Summer catalogue. I wasn’t sure about this but, again, it's a bargain at £2.75 so I thought I’d give it a try. I made this flower by die-cutting flowers using the Bigz Flower die – I just hope I’ve ordered enough filter paper to make kits for 10 people!

To make the flower, I gathered two or three of each size of die-cut flower and layered them on top of each other. I stapled them together – you won’t see the staple in the end but do be careful that you don’t decide to scrunch up the flower, forgetting that there’s a potentially painful staple in the middle!

Starting with the top flower, lift up the petals and crease and scrunch them so that they hide the staple. You can fold the petals in on themselves if you wish, to make them stand up more. Now lift the petals of the next flower down and do the same. As you get to the larger flowers at the bottom, just scrunch them a little. 

And if that makes no sense, here's a video tutorial from SU that I (sort of) followed. It uses different dies but the principle is the same. 

If you aren’t worried about damaging the box when the recipient opens it (gasp!), you can glue all of this down. But if you’d rather it wasn’t damaged, you’ll need to extend the band of DSP so that it’s long enough to meet. You can use any scrap card for this as the flower will hide it.

Stamps: Bloomin’ Marvelous (SAB), A Little Greeting
Cardstock: Summer Starfruit, Whisper White
Paper: Sycamore Street (SAB), Creped Filter Paper
Ink: Summer Starfruit, Midnight Muse
Accessories: Bigz Flower Die, Wide Oval Punch, Lots of Tags Sizzlits, Kraft Boxes

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Pop-up gift card presentation box

Staying on the boxes theme, this is a clever little box I found on Brenda Quintana’s blog, although I made it slightly wider to accommodate a pack of pens. When you open it up, a gift card pops up, with space for a gift in front. The original held a packet of Rolos, but that didn’t seem appropriate with a Sports Direct voucher! A pack of Sports Direct pens did the job instead.

I love this little box idea and will probably be reusing it for lots of birthdays this year.

The Itty Bitty Banners stamp set is really useful and, even better, you can earn it FREE during Sale-a-Bration! Just spend £45 before 22nd March and ask for it to be added to your order.

Stamps: Itty Bitty Banners, Curly Cute, Summer Silhouettes
Cardstock: Midnight Muse, Real Red, Whisper White
Paper: Patterns Stack – Real Red
Ink: Real Red, Sahara Sand
Accessories: Apothecary Accents dies, Bitty Banners dies, Typeset Alphabet Bigz dies, Midnight Muse stitched ribbon, wide oval punch, brads - Brights

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Monday, 18 February 2013

Boutique Boxes - two different looks

Here’s a little box from the Spring/Summer catalogue. I wasn’t sure about these boxes but thought I’d trial them as a potential birthday present for a friend’s daughter. I liked them so much that I've been demoing them at SU parties! And I'll definitely be getting my friend's daughter some nearer the time as they’re really cute, very easy to put together and there’s lots of potential to have fun with the decoration, too.

What can you put in such a small box? Jewellery is an obvious choice but what I discovered was that they are exactly the right size for one of those credit card-style gift cards. You also get little folded gift cards with the kit - and a friend has suggested making a mini scrapbook album to go inside. That's on the "to do" list!

Here I’ve stuck reasonably close to the catalogue sample, with a few changes. The scalloped strip is scored and I’ve left it so that it slides on and off. Almost everything you see here comes in the kit – the only addition is the 1 ¼” scalloped circle punched out of Brushed Silver cardstock. I’ve also stamped the greeting in Basic Gray ink using the A Little Greeting stamp set. You can buy both these products – the box kit and the stamp set in one bundle, saving 15%!

Stamps: A Little Greeting
Cardstock: Brushed Silver
Accessories: Boutique Boxes Designer Printed Kit, 1 ¼” scallop circle punch

For the second box, I changed things up a little. I turned the box inside out so that it was plain Kraft, then stamped all over it using Craft White ink.  I wrapped it in Lucky Limeade Baker’s Twine and then added a flower for decoration.

The flower is made by punching two or three of different sizes of  Scallop Circle Punch from Creped Filter Paper, spritzing them with the Colour Spritzing Tool and a marker, then holding them all together with a brad (any will do, you won’t see it). Then you scrunch it all up to look pretty.  

Stamps: Bloomin’ Marvelous (SAB)
Accessories: Boutique Boxes Designer Printed Kit, 1 ¼” Scallop Circle Punch, 1 ¾” Scallop Circle Punch, 2 3/3” Scallop Circle Punch

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Caturday - and last places on ribbon and paper share

Isn't it cute when you stroke a cat having a wash and it forgets to put its leg back down? Although, looking at the state of that paw, this cat should have continued with the wash. The good news is that this cat, along with her sister, are soon to be rehomed.

In stamping news, I have only a couple of places left on my ribbon and paper shares, so please get in touch ASAP if you're interested. Full details here!

Friday, 15 February 2013

Collage Curios and Honeycomb Embossing Folder

More Honeycomb Embossing folder ideas, this time borrowed from German demonstrator Jenni Pauli. Here I’ve embossed some Sahara Sand cardstock and cut it out, then embossed some other colours of cardstock and cut out the hexagons to stick on top. The Whisper White panel is “debossed” (ie, emboss it and then turn it over!) and the final project is sprayed with Smooch Spritz Shimmer Spray in Vanilla for a subtle sparkly effect.

Stamps: Collage Curios, Sweet Essentials
Cardstock: Baja Breeze, Summer Starfruit, Sahara Sand, Whisper White
Ink: Baja Breeze, Basic Gray
Accessories: Summer Starfruit marker, Honeycomb Embossing Folder, Smooch Spritz Shimmer Spray

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Stamping with Honeycomb embossing folder and Collage Curios

At my launch I demonstrated how to use the embossing folder as a makeshift stamp. This seemed to go down very well – especially as people were beginning to look alarmed when I started brandishing the brayer!

All you do is brayer your chosen colour onto the inside of your embossing folder. You get different effects depending on which side you choose, so play around. Then turn it over and slap it down onto the cardstock. I was going for a rustic effect, so it didn’t matter than the image wasn’t even and it doesn’t even matter if the centres of the hexagons are inked too, as you’ll see on a future project. But I think it looks great, particularly in this colour with the bee image to go with it.

I also demoed how to flatten bottle caps (oops, SU call them “soda pop tops”!) in your Big Shot. This caused some alarm but is perfectly safe if you use the SU bottle caps in the new catalogue, as they are made of such soft metal. I certainly wouldn’t recommend you use normal bottle caps from a drink, as you may just break your Big Shot, and it’s definitely not worth risking for a pack of £3.75 bottle caps!

Use the platform with no tabs down and sandwich your cap between your plates. It’s recommended that you use old plates but, to be honest, I can no longer tell the difference between my old ones and my new ones! Have the bottle cap with the fluted edge upwards and roll it through. It was so easy on my Big Shot that I could feel absolutely no resistance and was quite surprised when the cap came out so flat!

This card was one I’d made earlier, and I’d already stamped the images from Collage Curios, punched it out and attached to a flattened cap. Then I’d topped it off with some Crystal Effects® to create a lovely glossy effect.

Stamps: Collage Curios, Curly Cute
Cardstock: Midnight Muse, Summer Starfruit, Very Vanilla, Basic Gray
Paper: Print Poetry DSP
Ink: Midnight Muse, Summer Starfruit, Basic Gray
Accessories: Soda Pop Tops, 1” circle punch, Stitched Satin Ribbon – Midnight Muse, Honeycomb Embossing Folder

Monday, 11 February 2013

Honeycomb embosing folder with Sycamore Street DSP

Woken up to Narnia again... this is getting boring. At least there's not enough to stop my SU party tomorrow night. I've been having a pretty unsuccessful Sale-a-Bration so far, with the weather and illness, so am keeping fingers tightly crossed!

In other news, despite my ridiculous mistake (now fixed) on first posting, there are only a couple of places left on the Ribbon and Paper Shares. Please click here for details and get in touch ASAP if you'd like to join. 

The card you see here was one of my demonstrations at my launch party. I wanted to show the versatility of the Honeycomb Embossing folder, which is one of my favourite items from the new Spring/Summer catalogue. Not surprisingly, I was once again inspired by Mary Fish and, although the project is a little time-consuming, it’s really very simple.

All you do is emboss some Whisper White using the Honeycomb folder, then repeat with various pieces of DSP. Snip away at them, following the embossed lines, and you have a set of very colourful hexagons with which to decorate your card.

Stamps: Curly Cute
Cardstock: Summer Starfruit, Whisper White
Paper: Sycamore Street DSP (SAB)
Ink: Rich Razzleberry
Accessories: Honeycomb Embossing Folder, Ruffled Ribbon – Island Indigo

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Saturday, 9 February 2013

It's Caturday ... and a paper share update

Yesterday I caused confusion with a badly-worded post about my Paper Share. Just to clear things up, in the share you will get a QUARTER pack of each pack of Designer Series Paper. In the case of the mini paper stack, that's one sheet of each design. In the case of the standard 12x12 packs, that's two 6x6 pieces of each design. Sorry for the confusion - I have now updated the post to reflect the true amounts. Please click here to read.

Now to today's Caturday, which once again is Pebbles. Remember I said this poor, misunderstood cat was due to be rehomed? Unfortunately, the people never showed up again and Pebbles is still living at the shelter. If you remember, Pebbles has been badly abused and tends to lash out, but I believe that in a quiet home, given time, she would learn that not everybody is out to hurt her. All she needs is love and a lot of patience. Could she find that in your home?

Friday, 8 February 2013

Spring/Summer catalogue ribbon and paper shares

Want it all? Have it all! Shares are a great way to get your hands on a little of everything, at an affordable price. I am currently offering two different shares from the Spring/Summer catalogue; buy both and get a Sale-a-Bration share FREE!

There are only FOUR places in each share, which will be offered on a first come, first served basis. You can, of course, take more than one place if you wish - if you order two shares, you will get full 12x12 sheets, where applicable.  Once the shares are filled, I will only run it again if four more people want to take part.  

Ribbon share - £13

Each person will receive: 
  • 45cm 5/8” Flower Trim
  • 1.15m Natural Trim ribbon
  • 1.15m Pink Pirouette/Rose Red two-tone ribbon
  • 1.15m Basic Gray/Basic Black two-tone ribbon
  • 2.25m Melon Mambo Striped Organdy Ribbon
  • 2.25m Marina Mist Striped Organdy Ribbon
  • 2.25m Old Olive Striped Organdy Ribbon
To buy all of these would cost you over £50... but you can have some of each for just £13, plus postage to you, charged at cost, if required.

Paper share – £12

Each person will receive: 

Two 6x6 pieces of each design of Tea For Two DSP

Two 6x6 pieces of each design of More Amore Specialty DSP

Two 6x6 pieces of each design of Parker’s Patterns DSP

Two 6x6 pieces of each design of Sunshine & Sprinkles DSP

One of each sheet from the Print Poetry DSP stack (4½” x 6½”)

To buy all of these would cost you around £48... but you can have a taste of each for just £12, plus postage to you, charged at cost, if required.

Special offer
Sign up for BOTH shares at £25, and receive a share of SAB products (Sycamore Street Designer Series Paper and Ribbon/Button bundle) FREE!

To take part in this share, please CLICK HERE ASAP!

NB: As the order needs to come to me for sorting, Product Shares cannot be part of a party order; nor can they be part of your club order, sorry. 

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Collage Curios bookmark

This is the last of my launch party Make & Take projects. It’s a bookmark, based on this card by US demonstrator Mary Fish (where would I be without Mary Fish?). I love these colours, too, and again they are In Colors for 2012-14.

This project began with a strip of Raspberry Ripple cardstock, with one end fed through the large Scallop Circle Punch to create a  really cool effect. The Itty Bitty Punch Pack was used to punch a hole in the top, and some of the new Organdy ribbon threaded through.

The rest of the bookmark is built up with little squares; some images, some DSP, some embossing. My favourite is the Core’dinations sanded panel in Primrose Petals, with the three little flowers on it.

Stamps: Collage Curios, Pretty Petites (SAB)
Cardstock: Raspberry Ripple, Summer Starfruit, Very Vanilla, Core’dinations – Primrose Petals
Paper: Print Poetry DSP
Ink: Raspberry Ripple, Summer Starfruit, Sahara Sand
Accessories: Itty Bitty Punch Pack, Old Olive Striped Organdy Ribbon, Petite Curly Label Punch (SAB), Sycamore Street embossing folder (SAB), Basic Rhinestones

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Sycamore Street embossed card

Here’s another of my launch party Make & Takes, CASEd again but this time at least changed slightly! I was inspired by a card made by German demonstrator Irene Wendlandt but I changed it around to suit my supplies.

I wanted everyone to have a look at the fabulous new mini paper stack, Print Poetry. This is another of those handy little 6½” x 8½” Designer Series Paper stacks which are perfect for cardmaking. For some reason, it also feels less drastic cutting into them for the first time.

Here I’ve made two cards, which differ slightly. One difference is that the card on the left is “debossed” rather than embossed. In other words, I’ve just flipped over the embossed cardstock so that the image is lowered rather than raised. The card on the right doesn’t have the Summer Starfruit layer and, although you can’t really see it, nor does it have the flower and leaf, it’s just plain and simple. I do love these colours – all of them In Colors for 2012-14.

The words come from a tiny little set called A Little Greeting. It’s easy to overlook but you’ll find it on page 25 of the new Spring/Summer catalogue. I bought it as part of the Boutique Boxes Bundle... you can see what I made with that in a few days’ time. Or maybe weeks as I have LOADS of samples uploaded now to show you!

Stamps: Bloomin’ Marvelous (SAB), A Little Greeting
Cardstock: Confetti White (now retired – use Naturals White instead), Midnight Muse, Summer Starfruit
Paper: Print Poetry DSP stack
Ink: Midnight Muse, Gumball Green
Accessories: Sycamore Street embossing folder (SAB)

All products by Stampin' Up!®

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Shabby chic masculine card - Feeling Sentimental

I thought it was time I started to show you what we made at my launch. I’m WAY behind, sorry about that.

We did three Make & Takes at my launch party and first up is my favourite. I totally CASEd it from Sandi MacIver, so I hope she doesn’t mind (I did credit her on the instruction sheet).  It proved very popular – one lady said it was the best card she’d ever made!

For this card I was very much in my comfort zone. I love the shabby chic look, the natural tones and all the “dirty” elements. This is so much more me than the pretty vintage look of Sunday’s card, although I am trying to embrace the girlie style!

The Very Vanilla panel was torn at the bottom and one corner rounded, then sponged using Crumb Cake ink and just a hint of Soft Suede. Same on the Designer Series Paper strip.

Then it was just a case of stamping, stamping off and generally having fun with French Foliage (best stamp set ever for vintage backgrounds) and the gorgeous SAB set, Feeling Sentimental. Oh, and check out the new natural trim from the Spring/Summer catty! Love that stuff. (Watch out for a ribbon share coming your way soon!)

Stamps: Feeling Sentimental (SAB), French Foliage
Cardstock: Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla
Paper: First Edition DSP
Ink: Crumb Cake, Soft Suede, Early Espresso
Accessories: Natural Trim, Linen Thread, Corner Rounder

All products by Stampin' Up!®

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Honeycomb embossing and baby wipe technique

Taking my inspiration from this gorgeous card by Elizabeth Price, I decided to challenge myself to create something so far out of my comfort zone that all my stamping friends would surely say, in shocked tones, “have YOU made that?”

Like Elizabeth, instead of using the traditional baby wipe technique, which involves dripping reinkers onto a baby wipe and using it as an ink pad, I used the wipe directly on the cardstock. And, as I didn’t have reinkers in the colours I required, I cheated and picked up the ink from the inkpad lids... believe me, you get a pretty impressive ink pad pool with those new ink pads!

So, let’s start at the beginning.

  1. I began with a piece of glossy white cardstock and a baby wipe, cut into thirds (waste not, want not!). With each third I picked up some ink from the lid of an ink pad - Pool Party, Summer Starfruit and Primrose Petals - and swiped along the card to create subtle stripes.
  2. While it was drying (not long) I fished out the Big Shot and the Honeycomb Embossing Folder, then embossed the cardstock, ensuring that the word Sizzix was at the front, so that the raised areas would appear on the coloured side.
  3. Next I sanded the raised areas, to reveal the white again. This is pretty subtle with such pale colours, but I know it’s there.
  4. Finally I tore the cardstock to make a pleasing shape – this is easy with the embossed lines acting as a guide. 
What else? Well, the main panel is Core’dinations cardstock in Primrose Petals, which I sanded quite heavily around the edges and more gently across the centre.

The bird is punched from Pool Party Core’dinations which I’d previously stamped on using the Honeycomb Embossing Folder as a makeshift stamp. The bird, too, is sanded around the edges.

The bird’s wing is punched from Sycamore Street Designer Series Paper, but brayered on top using Pool Party ink so that it’s not so harsh and white.

“Celebrate” is embossed in silver... the numbers are die-cut using the alphabet dies and the flower comes from the Artisan Embellishment Kit (you must get this if you love the new girly style – I’m about to order my second pack!).

So, how did I do on getting out of my comfort zone?

Stamps: Feeling Sentimental (SAB)
Cardstock: Primrose Petals, Crumb Cake, Whisper White, Glossy White, Core’dinations – Primrose Petals & Pool Party
Paper: Sycamore Street (SAB), Silver glimmer paper
Ink: Pool Party, Summer Starfruit, Primrose Petals, Versamark
Accessories: Honeycomb Embossing Folder, Typeset Alphabet Bigz dies, Bird Builder Punch, Silver Embossing Folder, Stampin’ Sanding System, Brayer, 2 3/8” Scallop Circle Punch

All products by Stampin' Up!®

Saturday, 2 February 2013

What a difference a week makes

Last Saturday we were living in Narnia with at least four inches of snow; today there's not a scrap of snow left and it's beautifully sunny, albeit chilly. Unfortunately I'm still not in a position to get out there and enjoy it.

But it's Caturday, so here's a picture of cross-eyed Clarissa, who is soon to be rehomed! (Fingers crossed)

The new catalogue - Spring/Summer - is now live, so I've added a link on the right. Take a look; I think you're going to love it! And come back tomorrow for a project that really had me creating out of my comfort zone...

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.