Monday, 27 February 2012


I'm going to have interrupted internet access for a while so if you need me, please phone or text. Or, if you can wait a few days for a reply, send an email and I'll do my best to get back to you. I'll probably only be able to receive and not send, so please include a phone number!

thanks for your patience


Friday, 24 February 2012

Happy Birthday, Lily!

Today is Lily’s birthday and she turns double figures today – which came as quite a surprise to me, as I thought she was 10 already. In the end, as I couldn’t quite believe it, I settled for a name on the front rather than a number.

I wanted to make a card which showed off these gorgeous papers, which you can earn free during Sale-A-Bration. If you’re on my mailing list, look out for a special purchase deal coming your way soon which will help you make the most of these papers!

The letters are created with the Big Shot and the Timeless Type Junior Alphabet. I confess I don’t own this set, but did have a lot of leftover letters from when I borrowed it from my friend Alison for a scrapbooking class.  So I rooted through them all and eventually found what I needed in Basic Black.

Tip: The flower and brad are stuck on with a Glue Dot as I didn’t want the brad to show through to the inside of the card.

Cardstock: Confetti White, Lucky Limeade
Paper: Everyday Enchantment (SAB)
Accessories: Big Shot, Timeless Type Junior Alphabet, Blossom Party die, Scallop Edge Punch, Designer Printed Brads, Basic Black taffeta ribbon

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

In the pink

I made this a while ago to celebrate the birth of baby Heidi, daughter of Rachel who many of you will know as Tattered Rose. Rachel was one of my very first customers and locals will have seen her exhibiting her amazing jewellery and all-round craftiness at the Fabulous Places fairs that I’ve attended.

The card looks simple but there’s actually a bit of fiddliness in there, in the form of paper piecing. So I stamped the duck on the large piece of Whisper White and then again on several sheets of my Brights Patterns Stack – Daffodil Delight, Pumpkin Pie, Regal Rose and Tangerine Tango. I cut out the coloured pieces and stuck them on the top – fiddly but cute!

Stamps: Easy Events, Curly Cute
Cardstock: Regal Rose, Daffodil Delight, Whisper White
Paper: Patterns Paper Stack – Brights
Ink: Regal Rose, Basic Black

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Two Tags pouches

I cannot stress this enough: the Two Tags die is wonderfully versatile and you will use it loads and loads. Here I have die-cut two of the larger dies, folded them at the readymade score line and then trimmed about 1cm from that. I’ve attached the two trimmed tags together to create a little pouch, punched a hole at the top and tied it together with some linen thread.  Very cute and just the right size to hold the latest batch of keyrings for my team members who have promoted to Bronze 2.

One of these has gone off to Pauline, and the other is waiting for our next team meeting to be given to Judie as I much prefer to present these in person where possible.

The pouches are decorated with some SAB goodies; the words come from the Sprinkled Expressions stamp set and the paper from the Everyday Enchantment Designer Series Paper pack.

Love that glimmer paper on the back one – it’s red but it goes with every red I’ve tried it with so far: Real Red, Cherry Cobbler and Poppy Parade.

Anyway, congratulations to both ladies – and I hope you like your keyrings and plan to fill them with beads. Just to explain, I give each of my team a keyring with one bead when they promote to Bronze 2. I award additional beads for further promotions and for attending Stampin’ Up!® events such as training sessions.  For Convention we all had a special charm instead: the Eiffel Tower.

Stamps: Sprinkled Expressions (SAB)
Cardstock: Very Vanilla, Soft Suede
Paper: Everyday Enchantment (SAB), Glimmer Paper
Ink: Lucky Limeade
Accessories: Oval Punch, Scallop Oval Punch, Big Shot, Two Tags Die, Designer Buttons – Neutrals, Regals, Linen Thread, Fine Galaxy Glitter (retired – but other colours are still available)

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Poppy cardstock on parade

I never thought I’d make a card out of Poppy Parade cardstock but this new Designer Series Paper has made me fall in love with this colour! This is my favourite DSP of the moment, and probably my favourite SU paper so far, so I’m happy to report that, while I’m nearing the end of my first pack, I still have a couple more to play with.

This is a very simple birthday card to make but the gorgeous paper and the fancy die-cut provide lots of interest.  It’s the sort of project you can rattle off in batches in a hurry, so you know you’ll never be short of a birthday card.

And, again, it’s made with free stuff! Free paper (SAB), free stamp set (exclusive hostess product), free dies (free hostess merchandise). If you’d like to know how to get free craft stash, please do get in touch. Right now there are freebies for everyone: customers, hostesses and new demonstrators!

Stamps: Happiest of Birthdays (hostess)
Cardstock: Very Vanilla, Poppy Parade, Lucky Limeade, Pool Party
Paper: Everyday Enchantment (SAB)
Ink: Poppy Parade
Accessories: Scallop Border Punch, Wide Oval Punch, Lots of Tags dies, Big Shot

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Freebie notebook

Four free items on this project, too!

  1. The stamp set – FREE during Sale-a-Bration when you spend £45.
  2. The paper – also FREE during Sale-a-Bration when you spend £45.
  3. The Charming stamp set – FREE to demonstrators who took part in a Stampin’ Up!® challenge recently.
  4. The notepad itself – FREE from my friend, Kelly, who was having a clear-out!

Covering a little notepad like this is really easy. It’s hard to see from the photo (shouldn’t have used a black background) but it’s one of those with a black strip along the top. All you do is cut off the existing cover up to this black strip, then attach a new cover underneath the black strip. Use Sticky Strip so that it stays forever. Simples!

I’ve also used one of the new punches, the Lace Ribbon border. This is a really hefty beast but it does require a bit of special treatment. The more complex a punch is, the harder it is to punch... and this one’s pretty complex! So, while I often advise you to use your punches upside-down, so that you can see where you are punching, that method won’t work for the more detailed punches such as this one. Your best method with these is to lay it flat on the table and use the heel of your hand to punch. There’s a guide on the punch so you can join up the pattern. If you have any problems, do let me know!

Stamps: Fresh Vintage (SAB)
Cardstock: Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla, Poppy Parade
Paper: Everyday Enchantment (SAB)
Ink: Poppy Parade, Crumb Cake
Accessories: Lace Border Punch, Postage Stamp Punch

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Monday, 13 February 2012

Love free stuff? I do!

I love free stuff! And on this card I can see  FOUR free items! How? Well, there’s the designer series paper, which is currently FREE with any order of £45. This sheet is one of my favourite patterns from the pack. Then there’s the stamp set, which is an exclusive hostess set which I earned free a while ago.  Some people don’t realise that demonstrators earn hostess benefits on their own orders, too! The die is from a pack of four called Lots of Tags - another item I earned free as a hostess. And, stretching it a bit, the dotted embossing folder was a Christmas present from my friend and downline, Alison.

It looks a bit green on the photo but the scalloped border below the red is Crumb Cake – honest!

If you love free stuff, too, why not get in touch to place your Sale-A-Bration order or to book your party. If you REALLY love free stuff, you might want to consider signing up as a demonstrator. It's a great deal all year round but now really is the best time to join. For more details, please email me

Stamps: Happiest of Birthdays (hostess)
Cardstock: Crumb Cake, Pool Party, Poppy Parade, Whisper White
Ink: Poppy Parade
Accessories: Wide Oval punch, Lots of Tags dies, scallop border punch,  ruffled ribbon – Pool Party, Big Shot

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Saturday, 11 February 2012

There are no mistakes, remember!

There are no mistakes in rubber stamping, right? This is one of those occasions. I was die-cutting a batch of small flowers (like the one on this card) and accidentally put my strip of glimmer paper onto the die the wrong way round. I was gutted to produce two thirds of a flower, wasting so much glimmer paper! But then I had a brainwave... and this is the result. The straight edge of the flower is butted up against the white panel and topped off with a small flower and rhinestone. Yes, rhinestone. I have coloured rhinestones in red before (use a permanent marker – water-based markers will just wipe off) and wanted to see what it would look like in black. Result: the photo’s rubbish - it’s quite sparkly in real life but not as sparkly as the red ones were.

Stamps: Curly Cute
Cardstock: Crumb Cake, Basic Black, Pool Party
Ink: Real Red
Accessories: Basic Rhinestones, Red Glimmer Paper, Blossom Party Die, Boho Blossoms Punch, Big Shot

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Friday, 10 February 2012

Get started during Sale-a-Bration

Sale-A-Bration is a great time to get your friends into stamping, because they get so much more for their money! These cards are just the sort of thing you can make with a “starter pack” of Stampin’ Up!® products.

Here’s the shopping list:

Product name
Assorted A4 cardstock: Brights (20 sheets)
A4 cardstock: Whisper White (40 sheets)
Designer Series Paper Patterns Stack: Brights (12 sheets 12”x12”)
Old Olive ink pad
Rich Razzleberry ink pad
Tombow multi-purpose adhesive
Mini silver brads
Sprinkled Expressions stamp set (wood)

This kit includes a versatile stamp set, featuring words and images, as well as a a pack of Whisper White cardstock, which seriously is the BEST cardstock to stamp on and you get 40 sheets which will keep you going for a very long time. There’s a selection of brightly coloured cardstock and a whopping pack of patterned paper in exactly the same colours! Choose two stamp sets from the same colour collection and you can co-ordinate perfectly. The Tombow adhesive is strong and versatile and ideal for beginners because it provide a bit of “wiggle room” before it sets. Finally, you can get the free set without the Mini brads but I do love these at the moment, so couldn’t resist adding them to the package!

If you’d like your friends to get into stamping (and why not? You’ll have more people to borrow stamps from!), why not “Like” this post and it will post to your Facebook wall so they can see. Go on – it took me AGES to get the “Like” button to appear and I don’t think anyone’s used it yet! I do believe you have to view the post on its own to make it work, which is probably why it’s not happened – to do that, click the title of the post and it should appear.

And don’t forget to let me know if you or your friends would like to place an order and earn some fabulous free products!

Stamps: Sprinkled Expressions (SAB)
Cardstock: Daffodil Delight, Rich Razzleberry, Old Olive, Pumpkin Pie, Pacific Point (all in Brights assorted pack), Whisper White
Paper: Patterned Paper Stack - Brights
Ink: Rich Razzleberry, Old Olive
Accessories: Postage Stamp Punch, 3 Hearts Punch, Velvet Ribbon, Real Red 1/8” Taffeta Ribbon, Crochet Trim - Victoria

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Valentine, collage style

Still not made your Valentine’s card? Here’s another idea, which I blatantly copied from the very talented Crafting Clare.  Well, I always set out to do a blatant copy, but things usually go “different” – largely because I craft in a different room to the computer so tend to forget what I’m copying on the very short walk to the kitchen!

The card uses a few stamp sets: the background and postmarks are from the very lovely French Foliage, which I can’t wait to get my teeth into and use properly. “Amour” is of course from Artistic Etchings, another favourite stamp set. And the heart image is from Perfect Postage – love it!

Stamps: Perfect Postage, French Foliage, Artistic Etchings
Cardstock: Confetti White, Soft Suede, Crumb Cake, Red Glimmer Paper
Ink: Soft Suede, Crumb Cake, Real Red
Accessories: Postage Stamp Punch, 3 Hearts Punch, Velvet Ribbon, Real Red 1/8” Taffeta Ribbon, Crochet Trim - Victoria

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Enchanting (free!) papers

Aren’t these papers gorgeous? These are some of the fabulous designs in the new Everyday Enchantment pack of Designer Series Papers. You can’t buy this pack – it’s better than that... you can earn it FREE when you spend £45 on any catalogue products. This is part of our favourite promotion of the year, Sale-a-Bration, which runs until 31st March and which you can read about here.

Apart from the papers, which I absolutely love, this card uses a couple of  other favourite products of the moment: Curly Cute stamp set and the Blossom Party die. The flower is topped with a tiny clear button and some linen thread. Oh, and to echo the lovely distressed look of the papers, I added a bit of ink around the edges of the Very Vanilla panel, too.

Stamps: Curly Cute
Cardstock: Very Vanilla, Lucky Limeade, Soft Suede, Poppy Parade
Paper: Everyday Enchantment (SAB)
Ink: Lucky Limeade
Accessories: Big Shot, Blossom Party Die, clear buttons, linen thread, distressing essentials

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Monday, 6 February 2012

Simple Valentine

There's only a few days left to take advantage of the Early Bird Discount on my next class; the One-Sheet Wonder. 
Please click here for details and here to register. 
Remember, payment must reach me by the end of 10th February for the discount. The final closing date is 8pm on 2nd March.

Now, to today’s card. It’s only just over a week until Valentine’s Day – have you made your loved one a card yet? This idea is really simple but effective – it is inspired by a card I saw on Pinterest.

You can’t tell from the rather dark photo but I pushed the boat out for this one; the card base, the white layer and all (but one) of the hearts made with Shimmer White cardstock.

I began by punching hearts and laying them out on my grid paper, to work out what size panel I would need. I stuck the hearts down using Tombow adhesive as this gave me “wiggle room” so I could get the hearts exactly where I wanted them. The red heart is punched from our new Glimmer Paper and popped up with a Stampin’ Dimensional.

Stamping the word “love” was a nerve-wracking moment but the Stamp-a-ma-jig® ensured it landed in the right place.

Stamps: Tiny Tags
Cardstock: Shimmery White, Cherry Cobbler, Glimmer Paper
Ink: Cherry Cobbler
Accessories: Small heart punch

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Sunday, 5 February 2012

More Hopeful Thoughts

Am living in a winter wonderland right now so really should have something snowy to show you but I don’t, I am staying with the sympathy theme.  I made this card recently for one of my team members who had suffered a loss within the family. I wanted to keep it pretty plain but, because she’s a stamper, thought I could risk a few pearls to add a touch of elegance. Of course, this design could be made for any occasion, and there are lots of greetings which could be substituted using Curly Cute. It's a gorgeous set and one of my favourites at the moment - can't believe I held off buying it for so long. 

If you invested in both of these stamp sets in wood-mount, it would come to £46.90, earning you a Sale-a-Bration stamp set or Designer Series Paper. If you chose the clear-mount version of Curly Cute (Hopeful Thoughts is only available in wood), you could add the Basic Pearls for a total of £47.40 to earn yourself a freebie. Click here for more details. 

Stamps: Hopeful Thoughts, Curly Cute
Cardstock: Crumb Cake, Not Quite Navy, Confetti White
Ink: Crumb Cake, Not Quite Navy
Accessories: Basic Pearls

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Friday, 3 February 2012

Simple get well/sympathy card

Hopeful Thoughts again, this time used for its original purpose: a Get Well card. This design is probably more suited to a sympathy card, being pretty plain. I don’t like to go over the top for sympathy cards.

In fact, this is not quite finished as we actually added at tiny flower and a pearl to the tree. But if I decided to dig out the card and finish it off properly it would never ever make it to the blog.

And with that, I believe here endeth the Stamp-a-Stack projects at last! 

Stamps: Hopeful Thoughts
Cardstock: Old Olive, Baja Breeze, Crumb Cake, Whisper White
Ink: Old Olive, Baja Breeze
Accessories: Itty Bitty Punches and Basic Pearls (not shown)

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

You're so square card

Rich Razzleberry and Old Olive is a tried and tested colour combo but here I’ve given it a bit of a twist with the subtle addition of Pumpkin Pie. This is a 5” square card to fit the new Whisper White square envelopes we now have in the main catty. To make best use of cardstock, for my Stamp-a-Stack I cut the card blanks from sheets of 12x12 - you get two from a sheet with a useful strip of cardstock left over. The Rich Razzleberry square has been cut with the Scallop Square die and then embossed with the Elegant Bouquet embossing folder.

The main image is from Hopeful Thoughts – not just for get well cards and sympathy cards! It’s been coloured using Old Olive and Rich Razzleberry markers, then topped with a few tiny pearls. A Pumpkin Pie greeting completes the card, and picks up the very narrow Pumpkin Pie cardstock layer.

Stamps: Hopeful Thoughts, It’s Your Day
Cardstock: Old Olive, Rich Razzleberry, Pumpkin Pie, Whisper White
Ink: Pumpkin Pie
Accessories: Rich Razzleberry and Old Olive markers, basic pearls, Elegant Bouquet embossing folder, Scallop Square die, Big Shot

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.