Monday, 29 September 2008

Pencils and chocolates and cards, oh my!

Sunday was an incredible day – and I’m still exhausted! I had a stall at the Papercraft Show in Derby with two of my downlines – Alison and Tracey. It was a good job there were three of us as we were sooooooo busy! We reckon about 150 people visited our stall – many of them said they were attracted by the “lovely colours”. Yes, those colours which you are probably sick of seeing on here: Real Red and Old Olive.

I, on the other hand, don’t think I’ll ever tire of Old Olive. Pictures of our stand will have to wait but meanwhile, here are some of our display items, starting with these gorgeous pencil toppers. Yes I made them but yes I am allowed to say that as I totally stole the idea from another stamper, Danyelle. She kindly talked me through the tricky “getting the topper to stay on the pencil” bit as I was doing it completely wrong.

What you do is punch out your scallop, then cut two horizontal slits in it, with a craft knife. Make them about 7mm (about ¼”) apart. Then gently push the little strip out, while carefully pushing the rest of the scallop in the opposite direction. You now have a gap for your pencil (or pen, or straw, or one of those fancy glass stirrer thingies).

Decorate the scallop as you wish – just make sure you use really strong adhesive as the layers will have to curve.

Decorating jars is not my strength, so I left that to Alison, who turned this Douwe Egberts coffee jar into a funky pencil holder.

The scallops were a popular theme of our stand – cropping up on cards, bag toppers and, one of our favourite projects, the Elizabeth Shaw After Dinner Mints.

Stamps: Season of Joy, Woodcut Holly wheel, Happy Winter, True Friend
Cardstock: Real Red, Old Olive, Whisper White, Very Vanilla, textured Old Olive
Paper: Dashing
Ink: Real Red, Old Olive
Accessories: 1 ¼” circle punch, 1 3/8” circle punch, Scallop Circle Punch, ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon – Real Red, Crafters’ Toolkit

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the picture of the catalogue on the right to view it online.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Dashing tin

This was a fun project – and one which I’m hoping to repeat for a class some time (hopefully before Christmas but you know how things are).

It was a plain silver tin, originally made for sugar I think but which just happens to be the right size for a stack of handmade cards. Not sure how many you could get in with envelopes – probably 10-12.

I held my breath as I wrapped the strip of Designer Series paper around the tin but, by some quirk of fate, it fit exactly. No overlap… just a perfect fit.

Then you’re free to decorate the top however you wish. I chose to add some covered chipboard pieces. The flower shape was inked with Old Olive ink, then I punched a hole in it with my Crop-A-Dile™ so that I could thread the gingham ribbon through. I covered the monogram circle with some more Designer Series paper, then added a piece of Real Red cardstock behind letter for contrast.

That’s about it, really… but I really like it! (Am I allowed to say that?)

Stamps: None!
Cardstock: Real Red, Old Olive
Paper: Dashing
Ink: Old Olive
Accessories: ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon – Real Red, 5/8” Grosgrain Ribbon – Old Olive, On Board Chipboard – Lots of Letters, Blossoms & Basics.

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the picture of the catalogue on the right to view it online.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Marrying the old with the new

Here’s a card which combines the old with the new… which of course you can do as retiring products are still available while stocks last. So if you love this Dashing Designer Series Paper, get in touch while it’s still around.

The stamp set used here is True Friend. I haven’t had much chance to play with this yet, to realise its full potential, as I’m still frantically churning out Old Olive and Real Red project samples for Sunday’s Papercraft Show.

It's not a Christmas set but I reckon this image could pass as a poinsettia from a distance! The paper and colour combination certainly give the card a festive air.  

This is a favourite layout of mine, which uses two of my favourite punches. Stampin’ Up! really puts its punches to good use and offers loads of stamp sets which fit perfectly. This set is no exception, with this round floral motif fitting the 1 ¼” circle punch, which I’ve layered on to a 1 3/8” circle.

(You can see more cards with this layout here and here!)

The “friend” comes from a larger stamp within the set, which reads “A true friend is you friend” - it wouldn’t fit in the gap so I just inked the one word using a marker.

Stamps: True Friend
Cardstock: Real Red, Old Olive, Whisper White
Paper: Dashing
Ink: Real Red
Accessories: 1 ¼” circle punch, 1 3/8” circle punch, ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon – Real Red, Earth Elements buttons, Linen Thread, Stampin’ Write marker

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the picture of the catalogue on the right to view it online.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Guess what I've got....

...yes, it's the new catalogue!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you'd like a copy, I'm selling them at £3 if you can collect them, or £4 including postage. And, because I'm in a generous mood, each catalogue will contain a £3 voucher off your first order of £30 or more!

Form an orderly queue please... 

And don't forget you can get a free catalogue if you hold a workshop! 

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Tadpoles 12x12 scrapbook page

I’ve been wanting to post a scrapbook page for months but my pages invariably involve pictures of my children and I didn’t want to put them on the internet. I can blur their faces but then it makes the page look rubbish, especially on big portraits.

But on these photos the children are in the distance and I’ve blurred out their faces and names - hopefully without affecting the overall look of the page.

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m frantically making samples in Old Olive and Real Red for the Papercraft Show in Derby on Sunday. I couldn’t find anything red I wanted to scrapbook but Old Olive is perfect for outdoor photos – and we have a lot of those. I found several Designer Series Papers in Old Olive – from the Dashing and Fall Flowers packs, and from the Home Again Simply Scrappin’® kit – and worked from there.

The main sheet of cardstock is some gorgeous textured cardstock from the Home Again kit – the great news is that we will be able to buy this separately, in colour families, from next month.

The next layer up is a strip of Fall Flowers paper – I didn’t have a full length strip so joined it behind the next layer… which is cut from a sheet of A4 Old Olive cardstock, and scalloped with the exciting new Scallop Edge Punch – which I know you’ll love!

The embellishments were fun to create. The largest flower is from the On Board Blossoms and Basics chipboard pack. I covered the outer flower with a piece of paper from the Home Again kit, then inked the inner circle with an Old Olive inkpad. I stamped the image and layered it on top. Finally, I sanded the edges to get rid of any overhang and give it a shabby look.

The button flower is the centre of the chipboard flower, popped out and inked with the Old Olive ink pad, with a button on top.

The third flower is from the Home Again kit – these adhesive die-cuts are really useful for quick projects.

The lettering is from the On Board Lots of Letters pack – each one inked with Old Olive, then the edges sanded for a shabby look. I stuck them down with Glue Dots®, so they won’t be going anywhere!

I finished off with the journaling – I like to live dangerously and handwrite it at the end, using Stampin’ Up!® markers.

Stamps: True Friend
Cardstock: Whisper White (textured), Old Olive, Whisper White
Paper: Fall Flowers
Ink: Old Olive
Accessories: On Board Lots of Letters and Blossoms and Basics, Home Again Simply Scrappin’® kit, Earth Elements buttons, Linen Thread, 1 ¼” circle punch, Stampin’ Write® markers, Scallop Edge Punch

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the link on the right to view it online.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Excitement is growing...

The big day is getting closer… that’s New Catalogue Day! I’m getting very excited about the brand new Stampin’ Up!® Idea Book & Catalogue which should be arriving through my letterbox any day now!

Some lucky demonstrators have already seen it at a training event at the Stampin’ Up! office in High Wycombe so I have it on good authority that it’s fabulous. There are lots of new stamp sets and accessories in there to look forward to.

One of the stamp sets is True Friend, which I pre-ordered and have used on this little 3” square card. True Friend is a lovely bold set which is great for cardmaking and scrapbooking. I’ll be making more projects with this set over the next week, in preparation for the Papercraft Show at Derby University on Sunday.

I’ve made this card in Real Red and Old Olive which is the colour scheme of our stall. Look out for the Stampin’ Up! banner and please pop by to say hello. I’ll be taking orders for the new catalogue and should have one for you to look through by then.

Other accessories we can look forward to include textured 12x12 cardstock (which is gorgeous!), a square scallop punch (not seen it yet) and a scallop edge punch (which is fabulous!). And don’t forget that prices are lower, too!

And don’t forget that you can still order the retired accessories, like this Dashing Designer Series Paper which I’ve used to cover a candle in a tin (Wilko, £1.99). There’s a sneak peek of the Scallop Edge Punch and the textured cardstock on this project, too – click the picture to enlarge it.

Stamps: True Friend
Cardstock: Textured Old Olive
Ink: Real Red, Old Olive
Accessories: Love Notes, Dashing Designer Series Paper, Red Gingham Ribbon, ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon – Real Red, Scallop Edge Punch

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the picture of the catalogue on the right to view it online.

Most illuminating

Sorry for the lack of posts - had a busy weekend with friends, enjoying an annual tradition: Matlock Bath Illuminations.

I highly recommend going on a non-firework night as there was hardly anyone there and we actually got to see the boats. Much fun was had by all... now I must go and take some photos of crafting projects so I have something more relevant to post on my blog!

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Another new one!

Another new stamp set – this time it’s Season of Joy, a set of eight stamps including the Merry Christmas greeting (which you can barely see) and this fancy swirl, which you could use for any occasion.

For the large square card, I made the scalloped edge by punching out ½” circles from Gable Green cardstock and sticking them behind the Green Galore layer.

The swirl stamp and the Merry Christmas stamp both feature dotted lines – I pierced each of these dots, just because I felt like it. I also pierced around the scalloped circle to continue the theme.

The smaller square project is a mini, flattish box. The dots around this scalloped circle are simply made with a marker.

These samples don’t really do the set justice as I’ve only used half of the stamps but it gives you a bit of an idea… and hopefully I’ll have more to post in a few days.

Stamps: Season of Joy
Cardstock: Real Red, Gable Green, Green Galore, Whisper White
Ink: Real Red, Versamark®
Accessories: 1 1/4” circle punch, 1 3/8” circle punch, Scallop Circle Punch, rhinestone brads, red gingham ribbon, crafters’ toolkit

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the picture of the catalogue on the right to view it online.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Brand new stamp set!

I promised you a card using a brand new stamp set… and here it is: a new stamp set and a new technique all on one day!

This set is one of the four released to demonstrators early – it’s called For Father and features four stamps. There are three images; this one, a puppy lying on a pair of boots, and a tool box. The fourth stamp is a saying which reads: “May happiness touch your life today as you have so often touched the lives of others.” So, even though the set is called For Father, you could use it for anyone – it’s particularly useful for masculine cards. To get the “happiness” on this card, I inked just that one word using a marker.

I was daunted by it because it involves colouring – if you look back through my samples you’ll notice there isn’t much colouring going on because I’m too lazy! But I knuckled down and had a go, finding it surprisingly therapeutic. I used my Watercolour Wonder™ crayons… I really am going to have to invest in another pack of these, as they’re so gorgeous.

Now, what’s this crazy technique all about? It’s called the Cracked Glass Technique and it appears to be very popular on craft blogs at the moment, so I thought I’d better jump on the bandwagon before it went without me.

I’ll prepare a tutorial on it when I have more time but as I’m not sure when that will be, this is what you do, in brief: Stamp and colour your image as normal, then apply Versamark® all over it before dipping in clear embossing powder. Repeat this process several times until you have a good thick glassy layer. I have to say, this image looked fabulous when it was at this stage, it was almost a shame to go any further.

But I did – the next stage involves putting your embossed image in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Remove then gently bend it until the embossing cracks. Keep going until you’re happy with the results. You can rub some dark chalk into the cracks if you like, to give it an aged effect.

Hope you like it!

Stamps: For Father
Cardstock: Bravo Burgundy, Rose Red, Always Artichoke
Ink: Basic Black
Accessories: Watercolour Wonder™ crayons – Rich Regals, Embossing powder, ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon - Always Artichoke

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the picture of the catalogue on the right to view it online.

Monday, 15 September 2008

The best-laid plans...

Today the plan was to post some of the samples I’ve made with the brand new stamp sets from the forthcoming catalogue. As a demonstrator, I could order up to four new sets… as a person with no willpower, I ordered all four! As a busy person, I’ve only managed to use two of them.

But all this is immaterial as the camera is missing… presumably gone to work with my husband.

So here’s a simple little card made with Seeing Spots and shades of green. This seems to be one of my favourite “fall-back” card designs… it crops up over and over again. But I love the combination of the circle punches with the Scallop Circle Punch, so why mess with a winning formula?

Stamps: Seeing Spots
Cardstock: Mellow Moss, Always Artichoke, Whisper White
Ink: Mellow Moss, Always Artichoke
Accessories: Mellow Moss Taffeta Ribbon, 1 ¼” circle punch, 1 3/8” circle punch, Scallop Circle Punch

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the picture of the catalogue on the right to view it online.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Rose Red and white

Here’s a simpler version of the froggy birthday card I showed you earlier in the week. I love the Rose Red against the crisp Whisper White cardstock.

I used two retiring Designer Series Papers for this card – the floral red sheet from Cutie Pie and the argyle pattern from the Rose Red Prints pack.

As scalloped edges are my new favourite thing, I scalloped the white cardstock strip using the corner rounder to make it stand out.

It still felt a little plain so I doodled around the edge of the square layers. Always a scary business but I quite like how it turned out.

Stamps: Year After Year
Cardstock: Rose Red, Whisper White
Paper: Cutie Pie, Prints Designer Series Papers - Rose Red
Ink: Rose Red
Accessories: Corner Rounder, Stampin’ Write® marker - Rose Red

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the picture of the catalogue on the right to view it online.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Masculine tree card

I love this stamp set, these colours and this Designer Series Paper … and I quite like this card but it somehow feels a little unfinished. I should really have stamped some mushy words on the bottom right as it’s an anniversary card for my hubby. Perhaps I should reclaim it and sort it out?

To make the notch in the corner I used the ½” circle punch. Holding the punch upside-down, I just poked the corner of the cardstock in. In fact there’s a handy cross on the inside of the punch which makes it really easy to line up (in a good light!).

This Designer Series Paper (Brocade Background), along with all the other papers in the current Stampin’ Up!® catalogue, are retiring at the end of this month, so buy now while you can. They’re all fabulous quality and co-ordinate with Stampin’ Up!’s colours, for perfect projects. Click here for more details of this year’s retiring products.

The stamp set survives for the next catalogue; it’s Lovely as a Tree and a truly gorgeous set which is well worth adding to your collection. It’s great for masculine cards (and aren’t they always a problem?) and even for Christmas cards as there’s a lovely fir tree in the set.

Talking of gorgeous stamp sets, yesterday I took delivery of four new sets from the NEW catalogue! (Demonstrator privilege!) I haven’t had time to make anything with them yet but I’m itching to get stamping – there’s nothing like new stamps to make you feel inspired!

Stamps: Lovely as a Tree
Cardstock: Always Artichoke, Chocolate Chip, Old Olive, Very Vanilla
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Always Artichoke
Accessories: Earth Elements buttons, Linen Thread, ½” circle punch

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the picture of the catalogue on the right to view it online.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Hoppy Birthday

Isn’t it annoying how it’s so much easier to decide what looks right once everything is all stuck down? Looking at this card now, I think it would have been better with the tab on the top right, to balance against the figure 8 and the frog. And the vertical strip of Designer Paper could do with being narrower. Oh well, it’s done and sent now!

The chipboard letter is coloured with Real Red ink. I just laid the letter on some scrap paper and applied the ink pad direct… over and over again! There were some missed bits on the sides of the small centre pieces, so I touched them up with a Real Red marker.

I coloured the frog with marker and blender pen. It looked horrible for ages and I was beginning to regret cutting out the frog in advance but it all came together in the end.  

The frog stamp set (Unfrogettable), the Designer Papers (Petals & Paisleys; Dashing) and the chipboard (On Board Lots of Letters) are all retiring at the end of the month so order now if you don’t want to miss out!

Stamps: Unfrogettable, Daily Flexible Phrases
Cardstock: Real Red, Old Olive, Naturals Ivory
Paper: Petals & Paisleys, Dashing
Ink: StazOn®, Basic Black, Real Red
Accessories: Stampin’ Write® marker, blender pen, Round Tab Punch, On Board Lots of Letters

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the picture of the catalogue on the right to view it online.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Don't miss retiring papers!

This is a simpler variation on this tree card I made last week. I actually prefer the first one.

If you love this Designer Paper – and any of the other papers in the catalogue in fact – please contact me as soon as possible, as they’re all retiring at the end of the month.
Remember you can order from me at any time, and the products will be delivered straight to your home.

Don’t forget that all prices are coming down… and the retiring stamps and accessories reflect the new pricing. This means that a pack of 12 sheets of Designer Series Paper now costs just £7.75, which is just 64.5p per sheet – an excellent price for double-sided patterned papers of such high quality.

If there are lots of must-have on the retiring list (click here to see list), or you really want one of the hostess stamp sets, why not book a Retirement Party? You just need a few friends, some drinks and nibbles, and I’ll do the rest. Remind them that all retiring stamps and accessories are now cheaper than catalogue prices and see if they’ll help you earn some fantastic freebies!

Stamps: Lovely as a Tree
Cardstock: Really Rust, Sahara Sand, Chocolate Chip, Whisper White
Paper: Fall Flowers (retiring)
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Versamark®
Accessories: 5/8” Grosgrain Ribbon - Chocolate Chip

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the picture of the catalogue on the right to view it online.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Doodle that Escape class

I had a Summer Escape class for eight people at my house on Sunday night and this is what we made; a little box containing five small square cards.

We coloured the images in two ways, both using blender pens:

For our first three projects (the box, the Thanks So Much flower card and the For You scallop flower card) we used the blender pen to pick up ink from the inside lid of the ink pads.

For the last three projects (the two heart cards and the row of three flowers) we used the blender pen with Watercolour Wonder™ crayons. To colour the larger areas we scribbled with the crayon, then blended with the blender pen. For the finer detail, we used the blender pen directly on the crayon to pick up colour.

I hope a fun time was had by all!

Stamps: Doodle That, Sincere Salutations, Basic Phrases
Cardstock: Old Olive, Rose Red, Perfect Plum, Naturals Ivory
Ink: Old Olive, Rose Red, Perfect Plum, Black StazOn®
Accessories: ¼” Grosgrain – Elegant Eggplant, 5/8” Grosgrain – Old Olive, 1 3/8” circle punch, 1 ¼” circle punch, Scallop circle punch, Rich Regals brads, blender pens, Watercolour Wonder crayons – Rich Regals, Stamp-a-ma-jig, White gel pen

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the picture of the catalogue on the right to view it online.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Coming soon... honest

Spent the day at the beach yesterday and at work today... so, even though I have things to show you, I haven't had chance to photograph them in daylight!

So it will be tomorrow afternoon or Friday before there's any blog action I'm afraid!

Monday, 1 September 2008

Kiss ’em goodbye!

A brand new Stampin’ Up!® catalogue is on its way which means, to make way for some exciting new stamp sets and accessories, some of this year’s collection has to go.

But don’t panic – you still have time to buy the retiring sets and accessories! What’s more, prices are coming down and the retiring products reflect the new lower prices. How exciting is that?

Here’s a list of what’s going, along with the new price - if you click on the table, you'll see a larger version. These are listed in page order. If you’d prefer a PDF, or would like a PDF of the list in alphabetical order, please email me.

In addition to the list below, all hostess sets and the Home Again Simply Scrappin® kit will be retired - and never available again after the end of September. 

The following stamp sets and accessories will be available only while stocks last - so please contact me as soon as possible if you wish to order. Remember, you can order from me at any time, and have the products sent directly to your home or place of work. Postage is just £3.95 - and throughout September, no matter how much you order (outside of a workshop), the postage will be just £3.95, no matter how much you spend. 

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.