Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Moon cat


Cat punch time again! I can't get enough of this punch - it's sooooo versatile and, as you may have noticed, I haven't made a single Halloween project (I never do).

This was from my Caturday Live class and is a simple folded card with a piece of Brick Wall embossed cardstock to hold it all together, tucked under the cat for stability. The stars are embossed in white and there's just a hint of the gorgeous stitched Cherry Cobbler ribbon because it's too nice to share!

Monday, 16 October 2017

Mix It Up Monday: Pieces & Patterns




Mix It Up Monday is back! My computer is still broken but I'm working round it (it's a bit laborious though - I don't enjoy change), although photo quality is suffering unfortunately.

Anyway, here's a fun way of using those circle dies and showing lots of images from one stamp set - in this case, one of my favourites; Pieces & Patterns. My daughter dared me to do the doodling... which was a bit scary when I already thought I had a completed card! 

This colour combination from my In Color charts left me a little cold; I'm not a fan of pink as you probably know, but in this case I enjoyed teaming the Powder Pink with Cherry Cobbler and in fact it was the Marina Mist which threw me. But it's worked out ok, I think?



Saturday, 14 October 2017

Caturday: Young Steven


Always a pleasure to bump into this cat - I call him "Young Steven" - on my lunchtime walk. Then a quick getaway to stop him following me home.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Eclipse cat with Wood Words


Eclipse cards don't have to spell out a word, as I showed on Wednesday. Here's another version of the eclipse concept, using the fabulous cat punch.

This was one of the cat punch projects we made at my Caturday Live event last weekend. The Wood Words bundle, Wood Textures Designer Series Paper and Copper Trim all go very nicely with this punched cat I think. And it's so great to have thick Very Vanilla cardstock to make our card bases with now - such a great addition to the catalogue.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Hometown Greetings eclipse card


You don't have to use letter dies to make an eclipse card - this one uses the Hometown Greetings dies, along with the Snowflake Sentiments stamp set... which handily has a little swirl which works just as well as a wisp of smoke.

I love the clean simplicity of this project - and so did the Crafty Friday ladies last week.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Snowflake Sentiments eclipse card



No Mix It Up Monday today, sorry - computer woes coupled with a busy weekend have made it a project too far. But I can show you this fun Eclipse card which we made at my Crafty Friday event last week.

This card style seems to be de rigueur at the moment so I thought I may as well hop on the bandwagon and join in the fun. It's really easy to do - you just stamp your background (or use DSP), then die-cut your chosen letters.Stick the background to a darker piece of cardstock and then pop up the letters so you get this cool 'drop shadow' effect. Done!

And here's one I made earlier, with lighter ribbon...




Saturday, 7 October 2017

Caturday: RIP Truffles



Sad news for old lady Truffles, who left this world this week after 19 good years as a loyal and much-loved pet of a friend of mine. RIP Truffles.


Friday, 6 October 2017

Painted Harvest one-sheet wonder notebooks


I needed LOTS of notebooks to give to my All-Day Craftathon guests so the obvious solution was a One-Sheet Wonder... and Painted Harvest is the PERFECT set for this technique.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, you simply take a full sheet of cardstock - any size - and stamp all over it. Then you cut it up to make your projects.

My top tips for One-Sheet Wonders:

1. Always start with the biggest stamps, then work your way down to the smallest, using them to fill in any gaps.

2. Largest images usually (but not always) work best in the palest shades, working your way up to the darkest colours for your smaller images.

3. Once you’ve cut up your cardstock for your projects, don’t be afraid to go back and stamp in any gaps. It’s not cheating!

4. Don’t feel you have to follow an online “plan” for a One-Sheet Wonder... just go your own way!

I didn’t hold back on the colours, here’s my colour combo for this project...


The old-style ink pads don’t show their name on the edge; they are Wild Wasabi, Soft Suede and Pear Pizzazz

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Carols of Christmas projects


There are some gorgeous products in the Autumn/Winter catalogue this year, and these lovely cards showcase just a couple of them, including the Carols of Christmas bundle and the Merry Music Designer Series Paper. One of the great things about the paper is that you get 24 sheets in a pack, which means you’ll have plenty for ALL your Christmas projects!

This was one of the projects from my All-Day Autumn Craftathon recently – there are two designs so people can choose how to use the products themselves. Love the splash of copper!

Monday, 2 October 2017

Mix It Up Monday: Hearts Come Home



Feeling festive? I hope so, as today’s project uses the Hearts Come Home bundle and some shiny copper embossing. 




I rose to the Mix It Up Monday challenge by die-cutting the image twice - once in Tranquil Tide and once in Cherry Cobbler - then pieced the trees together. There’s also some Copper Foil behind the house windows and some lovely copper embossing. For more colour combos, please see my In Color charts.



Sunday, 1 October 2017

Two special offers this month

TWO special offers this month but beware:
 the World Cardmaking Day one only lasts until 10th October!
Please visit my store for more details







Saturday, 30 September 2017

Caturday: Yes I can see you, actually


Staring match on a local walk. No progress made - I caved in and walked off first.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Hearts Come Home illuminated card


After lunch at Saturday’s workshop, we went straight into Christmas mode, with this stunning festive scene made from the Hearts Come Home bundle.

It’s really quite simple... take half a sheet of cardstock, cut lengthways and scored at the centre point. Cut 5in off and attach vellum to replace the missing front.

Take the 5in piece and score at 1in intervals to create the zig-zag piece at the front, to mount those beautiful houses.

And the beauty of this card is that you can light it from behind using a battery tealight...



Painted Harvest - a busy morning's work


These acetate boxes are a dream – sized perfectly for our C6 envelopes, they look classy and are easy to decorate. These are some of the projects from Saturday’s All-Day Autumn Craftathon.

And that gorgeously rich colour combo? It’s Cajun Craze, Cherry Cobbler, Old Olive, Lemon Lime Twist and Smoky Slate.






Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Painted Harvest tiles


Saturday was my Autumn All-Day Craftathon, which was great fun; those ladies are always fun to be around!

We kicked off events by stamping on these tiles using the gorgeous Painted Harvest stamp set and this colour combo:

  • Cajun Craze
  • Cherry Cobbler
  • Old Olive
  • Smoky Slate

Once they were done, I took the tiles outside to seal them, so they are waterproof and can be used for hot and cold drinks. At the end of the day, we added foam dots to the base so they don’t scratch any surfaces. Here are some questions from the day:

What kind of tiles are they?
Tumbled Limestone, 10cm square, 60p each from Topps Tiles. However, the website does say they are discontinued, so you may have to shop around.  I have also used Tumbled Marble, but the ink bleeds more on this - it's fine for Stazon or Archival Black though.

What kind of ink works?
For best results, Stazon or SU’s Archival Black is the answer. Classic Stampin’ pads do work, however, if you are prepare to put up with the ink bleeding a little. Wetter ink pads bleed more, so don’t re-ink beforehand.

How do you seal them? 
I used Plastikote Clear Matt sealer  which is available from The Range, Amazon and eBay. It stinks, so use in a well-ventilated area, and apply three or four thin coats, with at least 20 mins between coats. The smell (pear drops!) may well linger for a few days but I promise you, it will go away eventually!

So if you know one of Saturday’s guests, you’ll know what youre getting for Christmas now, as one lady ordered her tin of Plastikote there and then, from her phone!

Monday, 25 September 2017

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Caturday: Ginger cat needs a home!



I paid a visit to the cat shelter last weekend, for the first time in nearly a year, and couldn’t believe how much it had changed. There had been a lot of issues with maintenance - cat wee rots woodwork! - and there were concerns that it would have to close.

The solution was to convert half the shelter into and extension of the luxury boarding cattery, which Jane also has in her garden, and use that to raise much-needed funds. Boarding cats stay in VERY comfortable rooms, with a double bed, television and outdoor run, while the cats needing homes stay in the neighbouring shelter.

Here’s one of the shelter cats - I don’t know his name, sorry – poking around between two of the boarding lodges. This poor cat is very shy, so has been at the shelter with his brothers for over a year now. They’re all beautiful but need a lot of patience.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Best Birds gift and card combo


A gift for one of my club members – she has two slots in the club, so gets a double present, which meant I could give her a stamp set from her wish list. Love how the In Colors go together beautifully for this project, which gave the Best Birds bundle a rare outing.


Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Some non-Halloween cat punch projects

Here are the cat punch projects I demoed at a party recently... the host is the only one of my customers who actually makes Halloween projects, so I was keen to show its versatility with some generic cards and gifts.


Pizza box
We sell these fab little boxes in the Autumn/Winter catalogue. They are food safe with a shiny interior, but the exterior can be stamped or coloured. I mixed some rubbing alcohol with a few drops of Cajun Craze reinker and sprayed it all over to get this lovely effect.

It’s embellished with a black rhinestone. I’m quite embarrassed to admit I didn’t even see these in the Autumn/Winter catalogue so have been colouring my silver ones with a Sharpie! And, of course, that gorgeous black vintage crochet trim – a must have, in my opinion!


The notecards
Inside I placed three 3" square notecards - we now sell the mini envelopes again, in the Autumn/Winter catalogue. They all use the Spooky Night DSP but the reverse sides, which can be used for any occasion (not weddings perhaps, unless it’s a Goth wedding!).


I made a belly band to go round it – you can just see the pumpkins peeping out from the inside, but you can’t see them when the box is closed. 




The badge
Inside the box I also popped a cat badge mounted on a decorated backing card.

To make these badges, I punched out 6-8 pieces of the white card that backs Designer Series Paper and stuck it together using Tombow, so that it will slip and is easier to line up. I topped it with a punched cat and then Versamarked all over the front so I could emboss it with clear powder, two or three times. Finally a badge clip was stuck to the bag using a heat gun.

Hope you like!

Monday, 18 September 2017

Mix It Up Monday: Winter Wonder Textured Impressions Embossing Folder


Bring out the Powder Pink for another colour combination from my In Color charts and another Mix It Up Monday project. 

I had a spot (or two) of bother with this card as the unlucky recipient will notice. I managed to get Tombow EVERYWHERE and, in the case of Silver Foil, nothing will clean it off. I didn’t have time to start again so only managed to produce a card suitable for posting thanks to the power of photo editing.  



This is the Winter Wonder Textured Impressions Embossing Folder. If you’ve seen it in the Autumn/Winter catalogue, then I salute you because it’s almost as if SU don’t want anyone to buy it, it’s so hidden away. (Page 37, if you’ve given up looking). It’s gorgeous, it will make your Christmas cardmaking an absolute breeze but my top tip is this: if you’re using Silver Foil, stick to SNAIL rather than Tombow.  






Saturday, 16 September 2017

Caturday: shy kitty


On a short walk around a small Derbyshire village the other week, we saw not one but SEVEN cats... every last one of them an anti-social misery. This one stared at us from a fair distance away in a field. And that's all I got...

Friday, 15 September 2017

Cat punch birthday card


I did it at last! I managed to create a non-standard cat... in Lemon Lime Twist. And why not? This is a fun card which shows you can use your cat punch with all your Designer Series Papers, and for all occasions.

For more cat projects, including a card on this theme and some really cute mini cards in a pizza box, please visit my Facebook page for a cat project video! (Give us a like while you’re there, why don’t you, please?)


Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Forest scene with Card Front Builder Dies


This card was inspired by our summer holiday in Scotland, so features:

  • Wooden boards - made with the Pinewood Planks embossing folder)
  • A little red house in the woods - made with the Hometown Greetings Edgelits 
  • Lots of Scots pine trees - Card Front Builder Dies, with each tree hand trimmed to expose the long trunks
  • A shy deer - Cart Front Builder dies again.

Two of the main products I used are from the Autumn/Winter catalogue and are actually Christmas products... but don’t let that stop you; as I’ve shown here, they are suitable for year-round use, especially when trying to recreate the Abernethy Forest in paper form!

Monday, 11 September 2017

Mix It Up Monday: sparkly dragonflies


It’s time for another colour combination from my In Color charts and another Mix It Up Monday project… or two projects in this case. 

My club members always get a gift of SU product in their birthday month and September is Mandy’s birthday. Here’s her card and present, made to co-ordinate and also to fit this week’s colour challenge. 


It’s hard to see from the photo but the dragonflies are cut from Marina Mist cardstock and then painted all over with Wink of Stella to give them some sparkle to go with the silver foil and the rhinestones. Behind the dragonfly the white cardstock is embossed with the Pinewood Planks Dynamic Textured Impressions Embossing Folder… a little hint as to what was inside!

I made the gift package using the Envelope Punch Board, just adding an extra crease all round, a half inch further along to give the envelope more depth. 



Saturday, 9 September 2017

Caturday: Cobweb makes the most of the weather


Oops, I could have sworn I’d scheduled a Caturday post for today but evidently not, so here’s one now, better late than never!

It’s our very own Cobweb, enjoying the best of the British weather. Above, possible the last of the summer sun...

... and below, making the most of the rain by licking the water off the rooflight.


Friday, 8 September 2017

Painted Harvest in rich purple shades


The first Friday of each month is Crafty Friday – a relaxing class suitable for all abilities. There is often an element of freestyle, where we all begin from the same starting point and then go our own way, if we wish. 

So we all made the card on the left, then moved onto a simple easel card. The Painted Harvest stamp set proved really popular, especially in these gorgeous rich colours of Berry Burst, Fresh Fig, Soft Suede, Tranquil Tide and Lemon Lime Twist. Yum!

To see the projects made by the six ladies who came to the class, please visit my Facebook page



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.