Monday, 30 January 2012

What's this? Bling?!

Valentine’s Day looms and this card would work for that occasion or for a birthday. It uses the Perfect Postage stamp set from the Spring Mini, the co-ordinating punch (which, as you can see, fits on top of the existing Scallop Square Punch) and what’s that? A bit of bling? Yes, the new Glimmer Paper from the Spring Mini, too!

Now you know me and glitter – they do not go together and one of the reasons is that I always end up with it everywhere. The glimmer paper completely eliminates that problem. I saw a few people at the Stamp-a-Stack having a surreptitious rub of the paper, to see if the glitter would shed. They found, just as I did when I did the same, that it just doesn’t budge! Highly recommended at just £3.95 for two 12x12 sheets – unless you have a total bling-fest, the pack will last and last. Oh, and you can put it with just about any red and it looks fine – here it’s with Cherry Cobbler, but I’ve also used it with Poppy Parade and it looks great next to Real Red, too. Not tried Riding Hood yet but that’s probably not such a good match.

Stamps: Perfect Postage, It’s Your Day
Cardstock: Rose Red, Whisper White, Cherry Cobbler
Ink: Cherry Cobbler
Accessories: Ruffled Ribbon – Pool Party, Boho Blossoms Punch, Small Heart Punch, Itty Bitty Punch Pack, Postage Stamp Punch, Scallop Square Punch, Basic Pearls, Big Shot, Polka Dot Embossing Folder.

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Charming card 2

Here’s the second Charming card from the Stamp-a-Stack. This one uses a colour combo from the Color Coach: Daffodil Delight, Cherry Cobbler, Early Espresso. How to get those squares so perfect? Easy: use a punch!

Stamps: Charming, It’s Your Day
Cardstock: Daffodil Delight, Cherry Cobbler, Early Espresso, Very Vanilla
Ink: Cherry Cobbler, Daffodil Delight
Accessories: Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border Punch, Modern Label Punch, Word Window Punch, Basic Pearls, 1 3/8" square punch

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Friday, 27 January 2012

Charming card

This is probably my favourite card of the Stamp-a-Stack, as I love the colours so much, although I admit I do like them all. It uses the Charming stamp set and the gorgeous new velvet ribbon from the Mini catalogue.

Can’t say much more as there’s a  cat on my knee,  “helping” me to type! Biggest wrist wrest I’ve ever used!

Stamps: Charming, It’s Your Day.
Cardstock: River Rock, Cherry Cobbler, Old Olive, Very Vanilla
Ink: Cherry Cobbler, River Rock
Accessories: Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border Punch, Modern Label punch, Word window punch, basic pearls, velvet ribbon

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Spice Cake button card

Here’s the second Spice Cake card we made at my Stamp-a-Stack, although this one has almost no stamping on it at all. I totally copied this idea (but not the colours) from a card I saw at Convention, which is one that Shelli Gardner received from a demonstrator for her 50th birthday. No idea who made it which is a shame  because how cool would it be to have your card shown at Convention by none other than Shelli herself?

It’s a great use of those huge buttons, which can seem a little daunting at first glance. And the papers are shown off beautifully, too, simply by punching them out with the 1¾” circle punch. The sentiment is from It’s Your Day – everyone at my Stamp-a-Stack received this set in their goodie bag. I hope they like it and find it useful.

Stamps: It’s Your Day
Cardstock: Pear Pizzazz, More Mustard
Paper: Spice Cake
Ink: Soft Suede
Accessories: Mini brads, velvet ribbon, linen thread, Corner Rounder, Spice Cake buttons

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Spiced Paisley Stamp-a-Stack project 1

I know you want to see them, so it’s back to the Stamp-a-Stack projects today. This one uses the new Spice Cake Designer Series Paper and just a hint of the Spiced Paisley stamp set. The larger images are stamped on the card base in Versamark, to create a subtle background, and the smaller images are stamped and stamped off in More Mustard on the Very Vanilla tab.

The main panel is the Spice Cake Designer Series Paper, which is just lovely. It’s finished off with some of those cute tiny brads and some gorgeous ruffled ribbon. If you changed the ribbon to linen thread or denim jean ribbon, you could make this less feminine. In fact, Angela T turned her paper over to reveal the green stripes and left the ribbon off completely, for a perfect masculine card.  

Out of interest, if you purchased the Spiced Paisley stamp set (clear-mount), any standard Designer Series Paper, the ruffled ribbon, some mini brads and a corner rounder to make this card using your own ink pads and cardstock, it would come to £45.05... a magical figure which would earn you a free Sale-A-Bration item!

Stamps: Spiced Paisley, Happiest of Birthdays (hostess)
Cardstock: Pool Party, Soft Suede, Very Vanilla
Paper: Spice Cake
Ink: Soft Suede, More Mustard, Versamark
Accessories: Mini brads, ruffled ribbon – Pool Party, Corner Rounder

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Sale-A-Bration starts today!

Today’s the day! Sale-A-Bration has begun – click here to see the fabulous brochure! There are five items in it – four stamp sets (all available in wood-mount or clear-mount) and a pack of Designer Series Paper. They’re all beautiful and suited to very different styles. I’m particularly loving the Everyday Enchantment Designer Series Papers, and the Fresh Vintage stamp set, which co-ordinates with the new Postage Stamp punch.

This card shows off quite a few of the designs in the Everyday Enchantment paper pack and is an idea shamlessly copied from Michelle Last. I punched the pieces of Designer Series Paper using the new Postage Stamp punch and then lined them up (badly) on a Sahara Sand card base. One of my favourite stamp sets at the moment is Curly Cute, so I used that to stamp Thank You at the bottom (I figured I’d made enough birthday cards recently, I ought to switch to a different theme). The flower is die-cut using the new Blossom Party die from the Spring Mini and Poppy Parade cardstock. The centre of the flower is a Designer Printed Brad in Calypso Coral. Simples! Actually, the hardest part was lining up the little squares – in the end I gave up on aiming for perfection and went for “charmingly handmade”.

Stamps: Curly Cute
Cardstock: Sahara Sand, Poppy Parade
Paper: Everyday Enchantment (SAB)
Ink: Soft Suede
Accessories: Big Shot, Blossom Party flower die, Designer Printed Brads – In Color

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Monday, 23 January 2012

Join the Sale-A-Bration!!!!

Taking a break from my Stamp-a-Stack projects for a moment, I must remind you that tomorrow is the start of something fabulous: Sale-A-Bration!!!!!

Those of you who have been Stampin’ Up!® fans for a while, will know just how exciting Sale-A-Bration is, because there are freebies for everyone!

Here’s how it works

There are five exclusive Sale-A-Bration (SAB) items this year; four fabulous stamp sets and a pack of absolutely gorgeous 12x12 Designer Series Paper.

Customers get a free SAB item for every £45 they spend. So, spend £90 and get two, and so on. There are no limits to the number of items you can earn.

Hostesses get an additional SAB item if their party reaches £300. This is on top of the generous year-round hostess benefits.

New recruits can choose an additional catalogue stamp set from the main Idea Book or the Spring Mini to add to their Starter Kit. The Starter Kit costs £119 and contains products worth over £250, so this deal makes it an even bigger bargain! Why not get in touch to ask me some questions; I won’t pressurise you and you really have nothing to lose.

I will post a link to the SAB brochure tomorrow but, meanwhile, here is my first SAB project, made using a SAB stamp set and some Mini catty products.  The stamp set is called French Vintage and it’s a set of five really elegant stamps, one of which co-ordinates with the new Postage Stamp punch from the Mini. The set also co-ordinates with the SAB Designer Series Papers, which are called Everyday Enchantment – but more of those another time.

This little bag is made from Designer Series Paper – I used Spice Cake because I love this Pool Party pattern. I got the idea for the cute little bag from US demonstrator Angie Juda over at

I don’t have the In Color markers (won’t make that mistake again – getting them next time!) so, to colour the image, I inked it up in Pool Party and then cleaned off the stems and flowers using a cotton bud. Then I reinked those bits using a Chocolate Chip marker. Sounds harder than it really was.

SAB runs from tomorrow until 31st March, so there are plenty are opportunities for you to earn free products. To maximise your freebies, why not book a party? I still have some dates available and can’t wait to show you and your friends just how exciting creating with Stampin’ Up!® products can be!

Stamps: Fresh Vintage (SAB)
Cardstock: Chocolate Chip textured, Very Vanilla
Paper: Spice Cake
Ink: Pool Party
Accessories: Chocolate Chip marker, 1 ¾” circle punch, large scallop circle punch, ruffled ribbon – Pool Party, eyelet border punch

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Sunday, 22 January 2012

All-day stamp-a-stack

Yesterday was my first All-Day Stamp-A-Stack and, due to the positive comments both on the day and via email since, I can confidently say it was a success. Oh and we raised £65 for Cancer Research, too!

It was very relaxing (well it was for me as I just wandered around chatting!) as everyone moved around the four different work stations. At each one, they made two cards of two designs, so four cards at each table, 16 cards in all.  

Everyone had a goodie bag containing all their supplies for the day, including the It’s Your Day stamp so they could stamp words on their projects, embellishments, ribbon, their card packs and, of course, some prize draw tickets – there were several draws throughout the day, which proved very popular!

Continuing with my Perfect Postage theme, this card uses the Perfect Postage stamp set and is adapted from an idea I saw on Pinterest, from a card originally created by US demonstrator Tami Waddell, although I changed it a little of course. I love the colour combo of Bashful Blue, Cherry Cobbler, Pear Pizzazz and Crumb Cake. This was probably the most time-consuming card of the day, with all those little flowers to fiddle with. I love these mini brads by the way – only noticed them the other week and just had to have some, they’re really tiny and so cute!

Stamps: Perfect Postage, It’s Your Day
Cardstock: Bashful Blue, Whisper White, Cherry Cobbler, Pear Pizzazz, Crumb Cake
Ink: Cherry Cobbler
Accessories: Postage Stamp punch, Boho Blossoms Punch, Itty Bitty Punch Pack, Big Shot, Polka Dots embossing folder, mini brads

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Two tags

How about a tag for a change? I made a bunch of these to send out to customers a few weeks ago. They use the Two Tags die (which I absolutely love and use all the time now) and a new set from the Mini catty called Charming. This is really sweet and was one of the many freebies I earned from Stampin’ Up!® recently.

I stamped the script in Bashful Blue, the flowers in Real Red and spritzed it with the Colour Spritzer and an Old Olive marker. You can’t see from the photo but the Old Olive butterfly is embossed – I did this by stamping into Versamark first, Old Olive second and then sprinkling with clear embossing powder.

Stamps: Charming
Cardstock: Bashful Blue
Ink: Bashful Blue, Real Red, Old Olive, Versamark
Accessories: Big Shot, Two Tags Die, Clear Embossing Powder, Colour Spritzer, ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon –Whisper White

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Postage stamp birthday card

Here’s another really easy card to make with Perfect Postage (can you tell I didn’t have much time?). I stamped the candle cake image several times on Whisper White and punched it out with the co-ordinating Postage Stamp Punch. I took a strip of Riding Hood Red and stuck the first image in the centre, working outwards and butting each image right up to its neighbour, to resemble a real strip of postage stamps (although they don’t really come like that any more, do they – they’re all in little books!).

There’s that little button again – these are so cute, don’t know why I didn’t get them sooner!

Stamps: Perfect Postage, It’s Your Day
Cardstock: Elegant Eggplant, Old Olive, Riding Hood Red
Ink: Elegant Eggplant, Old Olive
Accessories: Linen Thread, Modern Label Punch, Itty Bitty Punch Pack, Itty Bitty Buttons

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Monday, 16 January 2012

Happy Bunny Birthday

Just spent the morning packing for Saturday’s Stamp-a-Stack – with lots of help from my Mum. Thanks, Mum! We’ve packed up such fun goodie bags that I wish I was going! Oh wait, I am... but you know what I mean.

But back to today’s post. Despite being (relatively) on top of things for Saturday, I realised I don’t actually have many Mini catalogue samples to display so, last night, I quickly rattled off four cards with that really cute set, Perfect Postage.

This one I thought was really sweet. Very simple, very clean and very easy, too. But it’s made a bit special by the addition of the printed brad over the top of the balloon, and the tiny clear button. The brads, the buttons and the stamp set were all freebies I received from Stampin’ Up!® recently – I love being a demonstrator!

The Itty Bitty Buttons are designed to go with the Itty Bitty Punches and, as I have possession of those little beauties at the moment, I decided to use them as intended and punched out a tiny flower from a scrap of Elegant Eggplant, stuck it behind and then tied the linen thread through. Cute, eh?

Stamps: Perfect Postage, Happiest of Birthdays (hostess)
Cardstock: Lucky Limeade, Elegant Eggplant, Whisper White
Ink: Elegant Eggplant, Lucky Limeade
Accessories: Ruffled Ribbon – Lucky Limeade, Linen Thread, Itty Bitty Buttons, Itty Bitty Punches, Designer Printed Brads

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Friday, 13 January 2012

Adding texture with fabric

I'm sorry I'm not posting much lately - I have been busy with my craft supplies and do have eight brand new projects to show you... but I can't reveal them until after my Stamp-a-Stack. The rest of the time has been spent packing for this event - as you can imagine, there's quite a lot to do! 

But I did throw together this very quick and easy card the other day. Be ready with your piece of cardstock already punched with a hole and a brad opened up in preparation. Then take a scrap of fabric, fray it around the edges and twist it twice, so that the right side is at the front on both sides. Affix the brad around the centre and squeeze, then push it through the hole – this should be enough to hold the fabric in place. I added a dab of SNAIL behind each side of the "bow" to make it sit nicely - so easy!

Stamps: Spiced Paisley, Happiest of Birthdays (hostess)
Cardstock: Pool Party, Chocolate Chip, Whisper White
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Pool Party
Accessories: Designer Printed Brads – In Color, Spice Cake fabric

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

A touch of glimmer glamour

I was so pleased with the way this card turned out that I immediately made two more – that’s never happened before!

I was playing with some new toys... my new Curly Cute stamp set (WHY have I held off buying this for so long?), the new Designer Printed Brads that I earned free from Stampin’ Up!® recently and, from the new Spring Mini, the all-new Glimmer Paper and the Blossom Party die.

Initially I planned to put three flowers on one card but it was just too much, so I settled on this really clean and simple design. The card base is Shimmery White, so a little heavier than Whisper White and with a gorgeous but subtle bit of bling. The paper is from the Brights Patterns Stack and the ruffled ribbon is Lucky Limeade. ruffled ribbon.

Back to the new Spring Mini products...

I cannot rave about the Glimmer Paper (p13) enough. You know me and glitter – we do not get on at all, partly because of all the debris it leaves behind. This amazing Glimmer Paper does not shed at all and, trust me, I’ve tried. You get two sheets of 12x12 for £3.95) and this will last you ages because you really only need a tiny bit to add a touch of glamour to your projects.

The Blossom Party die (p15) is another new one and I thought I’d buy it to prevent me from borrowing the Fun Flowers die from my friend and downline, Alison, all the time. And I mean ALL... THE... TIME.  It’s a smaller die, which makes it a bit more affordable at £16.50, and it’s really lovely. I think I’ve made a sound investment there!

Stamps: Curly Cute
Cardstock: Shimmery White
Paper: Brights Patterns Stack
Ink: Cherry Cobbler
Accessories: Big Shot, Blossom Party Originals Die, Designer Buttons – In Color, Ruffled Ribbon – Lucky Limeade

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Monday, 9 January 2012

Fruit & Flowers One-Sheet Wonder

It’s a terrible picture but you get the idea – this is another One-Sheet Wonder I made, albeit a smaller one. This time I used the lovely set from the new Mini, Fruit & Flowers, in Rose Red, Old Olive, Elegant Eggplant and Wisteria Wonder. The set didn’t suit overlapping (I tried it) so the effect is a lot less intense, which is more appropriate for fresh fruity images and zingy colours.

I was going for speed so really kept my supplies limited this time and repeated a couple of designs.

Karen and Kate have requested a One-Sheet Wonder class, so shall we go for it? Could be a good opportunity to get some masculine cards in the bag.

Stamps: Fruits & Flowers, Happiest of Birthdays (hostess)
Cardstock: Rose Red, Elegant Eggplant, Old Olive
Ink:  Rose Red, Elegant Eggplant, Old Olive, Wisteria Wonder
Accessories: Scallop Edge Punch, 1 3/8” Circle Punch, Scallop Circle Punch, Old Olive satin ribbon, Certainly Celery Grosgrain Ribbon

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Friday, 6 January 2012

Spiced Paisley One-Sheet Wonder

In an attempt to get on top of some birthday cards for the year, I made a One-Sheet Wonder using the fabulous new stamp set, Spiced Paisley. This set is perfect for a OSW as the images look good overlapped  and there are lots of them.

The colour combo came from the Colour Coach: Chocolate Chip, Pool Party, Wild Wasabi, with the addition of So Saffron as I felt I needed another pale colour. Happily, I also had a big stack of So Saffron card blanks, left over from Make & Takes over the years. Some of the corners were slightly damaged but no problem – that’s what the Corner Rounder is for!

The words all come from Happiest of Birthdays - this is a hostess set so you can only get your hands on it by hosting a party or placing a qualifying (£150) order. It's well worth taking the time to hold a party as you'll have lots of fun with friends, make a project and, if the party total reaches £150, you'll get £25 to spend anywhere in the catalogue, including on our exclusive hostess products.  

I couldn't believe how quickly I rustled up nine cards – and now I’m set for the first nine birthdays of the year! Want a One-Sheet Wonder class? You only have to ask!

Stamps: Spiced Paisley, Happiest of Birthdays
Cardstock: So Saffron, Wild Wasabi, Pool Party, Chocolate Chip, Whisper White
Ink: So Saffron, Wild Wasabi, Pool Party, Chocolate Chip
Accessories: Chocolate Chip scallop polka dot ribbon, Pool Party ruffled ribbon, Certainly Celery ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon, Corner Rounder plus various other punches (too many to list!), In Color Designer Brads, paper piercing tool, mat pack, Colour Spritzing Tool, Chocolate Chip marker

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

New Mini is here!

The new Mini catalogue goes live today! I’ve been clutching my sticky mitts around one of these beauties since Convention, desperate to show off what’s inside and now the day has come at last... and I realise that I don’t have anything photographed. Doh! It’s all sitting here on my desk, waiting for some daylight, and I keep forgetting. Will try to remedy this in the next couple of days. You can view it by clicking on the picture on the right. And here are some of my favourite products:

Simply Adorned
What’s this? A jewellery line?  How does that fit with stamping? Oh, just you wait and see! This is a fabulous line of jewellery which allows you to incorporate rubber stamping into wearable art! I particularly love the charms; glass lockets into which you can insert miniature pieces of artwork. Best of all, you can remove the inserts and replace them again and again, so you can have a really versatile piece of jewellery which can be adapted for any outfit or occasion.

Spice Cake suite
I cheated with this one – by choosing the whole suite, I get to pick five products as a top pick! I’ll hold my hands up and admit that I was a little unsure of this suite to begin with but one of my team won lots of these products and Convention and made a stack of cards to show us at our last meeting, which is when I began to fall in love with the designs. Luckily, I’d earned a fabulous bundle from Stampin’ Up!® for free, so could play around to my heart’s content. You’ll love the paisley stamps, the matching Designer Series Paper and fabric, the luxurious velvet ribbon and the amazing Kirstie Allsopp-style huge buttons!

Blossom Party die
I don’t have this in my possession yet but I’m confident that this die will be fabulous. At £16.50, it’s within the reach of more people than the Fun Flowers die, so is sure to be a winner!

New hostess set
It’s really lovely, too – it’s called Swirls & Curls Verses and is very pretty. Swirly words with little images intertwined.  Only available to hostesses, of course, so book your party now!

New punches!
There are three fabulous new punches in the Mini, and I’m sure you’ll love them all.

  1. Postage Stamp: I have wanted a postage stamp punch for ages  – yay! Best of all, there’s a stamp set to go with it... and another one on its way soon (ssshhh!!).
  2. Cupcake Builder Punch: This will be really popular as you can punch out cupcakes, candles, sprinkles... very fun indeed! And yes, there’s a stamp set to go with it!
  3. 2 3/8” Scallop Circle: How often have you wished there was a large scallop circle to go with the 1 ¾” circle punch? Well, now there is – and I have it and it’s fab! Yes, yes, there’s a stamp to go with it, too!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Happy New Year and a happy new Mini!

First of all, a belated Happy New Year to everyone who passes by this blog. Sorry for the absence – rest assured I have been very busy behind the scenes, designing the projects for my Stamp-a-Stack and placing a rather large order of supplies. I thought the hardest part would be not duplicating tools (because I plan to have “stations” for each set of projects) but no, the hardest part was deciding which stamp sets to use, because I have so many fabulous new stamp sets (all free!) which I earned from Stampin’ Up! recently.

The exciting news is that those who attend the event will be using brand new stamps from the new Mini catalogue.

And here’s a little sneaky peek from the Mini catalogue, made with the set we were given at Convention. We were so excited at Convention not only to discover that we were having an early Mini catty, but to receive a catalogue of our own and, right at the end of Convention, to be given this set! The stamp set is called Fruit & Flowers and will become available to you tomorrow, when the Spring Mini Catalogue goes live.

No fruit on this card, just flowers – I  made a batch of these cards to send to my Convention buddies to thank them for a fab couple of days. This one smudged so I kept it – can’t send sub-standard work to stampers!

This one isn’t cropping up at my Stamp-a-Stack – but don’t worry, there are lots more fab new sets to choose from!

If you’d like to hold a party to celebrate the new Mini, please get in touch.

Stamps: Fruit & Flowers, Trendy Trees
Cardstock: Crumb Cake, Wisteria Wonder, Concord Crush, Pear Pizzazz, Very Vanilla
Ink: Concord Crush, Pear Pizzazz, Wisteria Wonder
Accessories: 1 3/8” Square Punch, Word Window Punch, Scallop Ribbon Border Punch, Pear Pizzazz ribbon.

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

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.