Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Classic pink and brown

Here’s another card from the set I made on my Mixed Bunch morning. This one doesn’t use the punch but you could add an extra dimension by overlaying a punched flower onto the main flower on the card. I love the combination of pink and brown – you really can’t go wrong with it; this combo is Soft Suede and Pink Pirouette.

Ooops, totally forgot to say that this card was inspired by US demonstrator Julie Davison.

Stamps: Mixed Bunch, Sincere Salutations
Cardstock: Pink Pirouette
Paper: Beau Chateau
Ink: Soft Suede
Accessories: Scallop edge punch, Soft Suede taffeta ribbon

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Maybe later...

Have loads of samples to show you but just realised the time! Will have to try later or I'll be late for work.

Monday, 28 May 2012

More fun with Mixed Bunch

Had a lovely play with Mixed Bunch and the co-ordinating Blossom punch yesterday. They really are great fun, and the flowers look lovely when they’re stamped and punched out. I made six cards, every single one CASEd, adapted and - in this case - simplified from somewhere on the web. Here’s the first, adapted from a card by US demonstrator Sandi Maciver.

All my cards used the colours of Beau Chateau Designer Series Paper as I had a small amount left which I thought I’d try to use up. But you know how it is with DSP, it’s almost impossible to use up – I still have quite a bit!

I suppose it doesn’t help that I was being economical with this one and the flower embellishment is punched out of the background piece, with the hole hidden by the Very Vanilla cardstock.

Stamps: Mixed Bunch, Curly Cute
Cardstock: Marina Mist, Very Vanilla
Paper: Beau Chateau
Ink: Marina NMist
Accessories: 1” circle punch, ¾” circle punch, Very Vanilla brad (Neutrals), Boho Blossoms Punch, Blossom Punch

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Bunch of flower cards

Some more cards from my first play with Mixed Bunch. I really like the big, bold flowers and these cards were REALLY quick to make. It would be a great stamp set for a one-sheet wonder.

I stamped random flowers on a piece of Whisper White, then die-cut and embossed the edge using the absolutely fabulous new Edgelits. I made a stack of these in various Brights in almost no time at all.

Now that the punch has arrived, I can't wait to have another play!

Stamps: Mixed Bunch, Happiest of Birthdays (hostess)
Cardstock: Pacific Point, Melon Mambo, Whisper White
Ink: Pacific Point, Tempting Turquoise, Melon Mambo, Pink Pirouette
Accessories: 1” circle punch, ¾” circle punch, Glimmer Brads – Brights, Edgelits dies – Adorning Accents, Textured Embossing Folders – Adorning Accents

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Caturday capers

This lovely warm weather we've been having brings out the frivolous side in us all, doesn’t it? And Pooboo is no exception, as he goes all hippie for the summer. Check out his rather spiffing daisy chain necklace.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Simple flowers

From highly-embellished fabric cards to something very clean and simple. I made this card in just a few minutes, using my new Mixed Bunch stamp set. I was given this set free at a Stampin’ Up! training event last weekend and couldn’t wait to use it when I got home... even though we’d already had a play during our Make & Takes.

I made half a dozen cards in an evening using this set and a couple of boxes of cardstock scraps.

For this card I took a piece of Shimmery White cardstock and stamped the flowers in Old Olive (yay!). The sentiment is from Curly Cute and stamped in Basic Black. I layered it onto some Basic Black (ok, I cheated there, too) and finally stuck it to a card blank made from textured Old Olive.

The neutrals card is very similar; I just added a ½” circle of Early Espresso cardstock and a single pearl. A pearl which may prove expensive as today I mailed a card with a pearl on it and had to pay 40p extra in postage! Doh!

Stamps: Mixed Bunch, Curly Cute
Cardstock: Old Olive (textured), Basic Black, Crumb Cake, Early Espresso, Shimmery White
Ink: Basic Black, Old Olive, Early Espresso, Crumb Cake
Accessories: Basic Pearls

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Cardmaking with fabric

Look, there’s SEWING on this card! What? Not impressed? I really think you should be because sewing does not come at all easily to me and yes, yes, I know that all I did was a running stitch through a length of crochet trim, a couple of stitches to hold it together and sew a button on but, to me, that is quite the challenge.

I made a few of these, with various changes as I played around, for some crafty friends who did a VERY nice thing for me a week or so ago. I wanted to thank them in the appropriate manner, so made some cards using the new Twitterpated fabric, which I hadn’t opened  before and now absolutely love.

I applied Big Shot Multipurpose adhesive sheets (p122) to the fabric, then ran it through the Big Shot using the new Elegant Bird die (love this!). I left off the wing as I thought it might distract from the rest of the card.

That’s when I discovered that I could only stick the card to a completely flat surface so, if I did it again, I would stick the fabric to a piece of cardstock, too.

Then I finished off the cards using Twitterpated fabric and various embellishments. On this one there’s the much-to-be-admired crochet rosette. Below you’ll see a similar card with the addition of some Bordering on Romance flowers.

The card below with the embossed background is the first one I made, and the one that presented the problems with the fabric, so I stuck the Twitterpated bird to a bird made of felt to absorb all the lumps and bumps.

Stamps: Curly Cute, Bordering on Romance
Cardstock: Cherry Cobbler (Twitterpated features Riding Hood Red but I’ve run out)
Paper: Twitterpated
Ink: Cherry Cobbler, Basic Gray, Island Indigo, Pear Pizzazz
Accessories: Big Shot, Elegant Bird Die, Polka Dots embossing folder, Twitterpated Designer Fabric, Filigree brads, Crochet Trim, Twitterpated Buttons, Scallop Edge Punch, Basic Pearls

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Sewing kit swaps

Spent a lovely day in Leeds yesterday at a Stampin’ Up!® training event with 74 other excited demonstrators. We had some business training, shared ideas and, of course, swapped projects. Best of all, two of my team won prizes of a fab selection of Summer Mini catalogue products!

I received loads of lovely swaps which I will study more closely later on. These are mine – they are sewing kit matchbooks. Expect to see lots of sewing kits this year as I’ve just bought 100 of the little blighters from ebay.

Making a matchbook with the Simply Scored tool is so easy, and you can score lots of them at the same time. You just lay the item you want to put in your matchbook on top of a strip of cardstock on the scoring tool, leaving room for flaps at both ends, and mark where you want to score – even easier using the little markers, as you don’t have to repeat the process every time.

So I scored and cut my matchbooks from Pool Party cardstock then fished out the Big Shot. The order of the next bit is quite important, as you can end up squashing flat your embossing if you’re not careful. Here’s what I did:

  1. Die-cut the border using Adorning Accents Edgelits Die. For this you need the platform with BOTH tabs down, plus two cutting plates sandwiching your cardstock and die.
  2. Emboss the border using Adorning Accents Textured Impressions embossing folder. For this you need the platform with one tab down (or none, depending on your machine – my Big Shot seems quite tight), plus two cutting plates sandwiching your cardstock and folder.
  3. Emboss the hearts using Adorning Accents Textured Impressions embossing folder. Important: you need the platform with NO tabs down. This will avoid squashing the lovely scalloped embossed border. 
Next I added some Designer Series Paper, then added the sewing kit and tied it all up using some gorgeous ruffled ribbon. I’ve used various pieces of paper and different colour ribbons, purely because I didn’t have enough of everything to make 40!  Ten of these went to the ladies in my Virtual Hostess Club – I like to give them a little gift each month, whether a handmade project, a kit to make their own project or a product sample to play with. My club is coming to an end soon so if you’d like to join the next one, please drop me a line!

Oh, nearly forgot to mention the basket. It was made by my downline, Judie, using Stampin' Up! packing paper, sewn into strips and woven. Isn't it fabulous!?

Cardstock: Pool Party
Paper: Sweet Shop
Accessories: Adorning Accents Edgelits Dies and Embossing Folders, Ruffled Ribbon – Wisteria Wonder, Island Indigo, Lucky Limeade

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Contented Caturday

It’s Caturday again (don’t they come round fast?) and today’s pin-up girl is Barbara B, sister of last week’s Margo.

Sue and Emily were both correct when they guessed that the names come from the TV sitcom, The Good Life. Judy in Canberra was close with To The Manor Born; right genre, same actress (Penelope Keith)!

Barbara is a lovely-natured cat but can be a little oppressive... unless you actually like having a ball of fur sitting on your chest, padding on your bare neck with claws.

I'm off to Leeds today for a Stampin' Up!® training day. Very excited and I'm sure I'll come back inspired! 

Friday, 18 May 2012

Twitterpated card

More from the Twitterpated product suite, this time just a simple image using one of the smaller Bordering on Romance stamps.

Again, the image is coloured with blender pens and ink pad lids – so easy as you don’t have to get any extra equipment out and just use the colours you’re already playing with.

Stamps: Bordering on Romance, It’s Your Day
Cardstock: Blushing Bride, Riding Hood Red, Basic Gray, Baja Breeze, Whisper White
Paper: Twitterpated
Ink: Basic Gray, Pear Pizzazz, Riding Hood Red
Accessories: Twitterpated Designer Buttons, Modern Label Punch, Word Window Punch, Scallop Edge Punch, Blender Pens

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Flower borders

I really like this card, and it’s so simple to do! Just strips of Designer Paper and a simple border stamp, from Bordering on Romance.

Stamps: Bordering on Romance, Curly Cute
Cardstock: Riding Hood Red (textured), Whisper White
Paper: Twitterpated
Ink: Island Indigo, Riding Hood Red
Accessories: Itty Bitty Buttons, Lucky Limeade Baker’s Twine

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Glossy flowers

And back to my samples today – this is made with the Twitterpated Suite although, for some reason, on this card I’ve used one of the more muted pieces of Designer Series Paper.

The stamps are beautiful and perfect for those among you who love colouring in! I have coloured the image using ink pad lids and blender pens, then covered the main flowers with Crystal Effects® to give them a glossy sheen. I love that look.

Sorry about the ropey pictures, by the way. I took them all at my Summer Mini launch and the lighting in the hall wasn't great. Just haven't had a minute to take them all again! 

Stamps: Bordering on Romance, Sincere Salutations
Cardstock: Riding Hood Red (textured), Not Quite Navy, Blushing Bride, Whisper White
Paper: Twitterpated
Ink: Basic Gray, Baja Breeze, Lucky Limeage, Pretty in Pink, Riding Hood Red
Accessories: Crystal Effects®, Distressing Kit

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Good enough to eat

Here’s a card made by my talented friend, Kelly. I asked her to help me make samples for my Summer Mini launch and this is one of her creations. She’s teamed the older stamp set, Crazy for Cupcakes with the newer products from the Summer Mini – and don’t they go together well?

The image is embossed using the vanilla-scented embossing powder, which gives a very subtle aroma when used on an outline image like this one. I believe it’s coloured with ink pad lids and blender pens.

Stamps: Crazy for Cupcakes
Cardstock: Calypso Coral, Soft Suede, Whisper White
Paper: Sweet Shop
Ink: Versamark, Soft Suede, Pool Party, Calypso Coral
Accessories: Jelly Bean Brads, Ruffled Ribbon – Calypso Coral, Blender Pens, Big Shot, Edgelits Dies – Adorning Accents

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Totally tabby

Caturday again! And today’s lovely lady is a gorgeous tabby and white. Margo is a resident of rural Oxfordshire and one of two beloved pets of our friends, Kate, Dave and Ruby B, with whom we spent a lovely couple of days over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Margo and her sister, Barbara, are both real crowd-pleasers – happy to oblige by sitting on knees and purring contentedly.

No prizes but a sense of satisfaction is up for grabs if you can tell me the inspiration behind their names!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Sweet birthday

And now for something a bit different – this card showcases some of the products in the Sweet Shop product suite. I love how Stampin’ Up!® creates product suites for us, so that it’s even easier to make fully co-ordinating projects.

This suite features a stamp set called Mouthwatering, which I don’t have (yet!?), along with this beautiful Sweet Shop Designer Series Paper. This has fun cakes and ice creams and sweets , as well as some funky patterns, too. Two of the designs are embossed, which adds an extra dimension.

The suite also features other really fun products which I couldn’t resist: the baker’s twine which you saw on the last project plus scented embossing powder. How fun is that? I chose the Vanilla, which I’ve used to emboss the greeting on this card. It’s clear powder so these are the steps you take make a coloured embossed image:

  1. Ink stamp in Versamark
  2. Ink stamp in coloured ink – don’t worry, the Versamark won’t harm your coloured ink pad
  3. Stamp on cardstock (even better if you’ve swiped it with our Embossing Buddy® first)
  4. Sprinkle on powder and shake off the excess
  5. Heat

You’ll smell the powder as you’re using it – the strength of the scent on the finished product will depend on the size of the area embossed. This one’s pleasant but not overpowering.

Finally, check out the fun brad – I LOVE these. They are called Sweet Shop Jelly Bean Brads and they are really, really cool. The cake is perfect for this card but you calso get some with hearts, and a lovely Lucky Limeade swirly thing. Check them out on page 20 of the Summer Mini.

Stamps: Happies of Birthdays (hostess)
Cardstock: Pool Party, Calypso Cora, Soft Suede, Whisper White
Paper: Sweet Shop
Ink: Soft Suede, Versamark
Accessories: Corner Rounder, Heat tool, Vanilla scented embossing powder, Sweet Shop Jelly Bean Brads, Calypso Coral ruffled ribbon

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Flying the flag for crafters everywhere

Did you enjoy the Bank Holiday? We were away for the weekend, visiting friends in Oxfordshire. They have two cats, so we could collect some more photos for Caturdays of the future!

Next Bank Holiday is, of course, the Jubilee weekend, which brings me almost too neatly to today’s projects. Having a really busy April, I recently called on my talented friend, Kelly, to help me make some samples for my Summer Mini Catalogue launch. The flag is one of her inspired creations – I love the patchwork effect using the Twitterpated papers.

This, in turn, inspired me to start creating projects on a Jubilee theme, and I came up with this bunting. It’s not the best picture in the world but it looked great draped across my samples table.

That led on to the ill-fated blue cupcakes. But that’s another story...

NB: The blue in this Twitterpated paper is Island Indigo but I had completely run out so used Not Quite Navy. It works quite well as a substitute and I like the vintage patriotic feel.

Cardstock: Riding Hood Red, Not Quite Navy, Confetti White
Paper: Twitterpated
Accessories: Perfect Pennants die, Big Shot, Twitterpated Buttons, Baker’s Twine – Island Indigo, ½” Circle punch

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Happy Caturday everyone!

Another early picture - this was the very first time this particular Ginger Ninja visited us. Intrigued by an unusual sound, he was standing on his hind legs to get a better look at next door's conservatory, where our neighbour was opening one of the rooflights.

He was extremely timid at first but soon warmed to daughter, the Cat Whisperer and it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Mostly masculine

Here’s another masculine card made using The Open Sea. I love this stamp set! This card is really simple but I think the score lines make it quite striking. Yes, you’ve guessed: I made them with my new Simply Scored tool!

The ship is stamped separately, cut out and popped up.

Stamps: The Open Sea, Curly Cute
Cardstock: Confetti White, Very Vanilla
Ink: Basic Gray, Island Indigo, Riding Hood Red
Accessories: Simply Scored

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Thursday, 3 May 2012

For the men in your life...

While much of the new Summer Mini is pretty, pretty, pretty, the more masculine side of cardmaking is not neglected. There’s a gorgeous set called The Open Sea which I really love.

This is the card we made at my Mini Catalogue launch on Saturday – I love how it incorporates Twitterpated paper which, on the face of it, seems very girlie. Turn some of those pretty papers over and you have some lovely geometric designs in masculine colours. I thought people would like to make a Father’s Day card but left out the set For My Family so they could change to another relative if necessary.

Check out the scalloped edge; this isn’t made with the Scallop Edge Punch. Look closer, each individual scallop is scalloped, too! It’s made with some fab new dies called Edgelits; you get two of them at a bargain £8.95. I just had to have those – especially when I noticed that you can get co-ordinating embossing folders, too! More about those another day.

Hanging from the anchor is a piece of Baker’s Twine. We demonstrators are REALLY excited about the Baker’s Twine! Why? Because it’s fab! It’s really versatile and it’s really really good value – so much that you can use it on packaging without thinking twice. And seriously, you know how tight I can be. It’s £2.50 for 22.9 metres and comes in all the 2011-2013 In Colors, as well as white. For those moments when you want something as thin as linen thread but linen is a bit too rustic, this twin will be perfect!

Sorry, will stop banging on about Baker’s Twine and give you the recipe:

Stamps: The Open Sea, For My Family
Cardstock: Basic Gray, Riding Hood Red, Whisper White
Paper: Twitterpated
Ink: Basic Gray, Island Indigo
Accessories: Adorning Accents edgelits, Big Shot, Baker’s Twine – Island Indigo, Curly Label Punch

All products by Stampin’ Up!®

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

So much news!

Wow, with so much happening today I completely forgot to update my blog! And yet there’s so much to tell you! So much that I’m going to have to use separate headings!

Summer Mini

First of all, the Mini catalogue went live today, which means you can now view it online and place your orders. One product which is causing a stir is the new Simply Scored tool, which I have to say is fabulous! I used it to make these birthday rosettes. I demoed a similar rosette at my Summer Mini launch on Saturday and the general comment was “you make it look so easy”. Er, that’s because it IS! The tool does the hard work for you.

The rosette on the left uses the Cheerful Treat hostess paper - that was my practice rosette. The one on the right uses the gorgeous new Sweet Shop paper from the new Mini. It's lovely and features sweets, cakes and ice  creams, as well as some lovely embossed dots which you'll see soon. 

But back to the Simply Scored tool. It has grooves at every 1/8” inch and slots along the top to place markers so that you can see where to score at a glance. It’s laid out in inches but there is a metric plate available as an add-on if you prefer to work in centimetres.

This brings me to an exciting product which doesn’t feature in the Mini but which IS available from today: the Diagonal Scoring Plate. This will make envelope-making a breeze and it’s also useful for loads of other 3D projects. It’s £10.95 and the item number is 125586.

New Starter Kit

The other big news is that we have a brand new Starter Kit! What’s in it? That’s entirely up to you! The new kit is at the reduced price of £99 and it’s fully customisable, which means you can choose any catalogue items and don’t have to duplicate anything you already have. You can choose anything up to the value of £130... and you’ll also get business supplies to the value of £45 on top of that. That’s an offer that’s too good to refuse, but I would say that, wouldn’t I? If you’d like to find out more, please email me or give me a call for a no-obligation chat.

Join me in Germany!

Today was an extra exciting day for demonstrators because we can now register for the Stampin’ Up!® Convention, which this year will be held in Mainz, Germany, on 2nd and 3rd November. This is why I’ve been busy – I came home from work and my friend and downline Alison came round so that we could book our flights to Frankfurt!

But enough about us... how would you like to join us? This offer is amazing; if you join Stampin’ Up! during May, you will get a FREE ticket to Convention worth £149! You will still  be responsible for travel and accommodation costs but it’s well worth it – take a look at my post from last year to see how much fun we had! 

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.