Saturday, 29 June 2013

Caturday - kittens!

Better late than never, it's Caturday. And here we have two gorgeous black kittens.  One is more confident than the other but they are sooooo cute and have very loud purrs. They are named after the Three Musketeers - Athos, Aramis and Porthos. But... but... there are only two of them! Well observed. The third one has already been rehomed. But we have no idea what that one was called so we just call these "the cute little black kittens". Daughter and I want to call them Alan and Graham.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Sneak Peek: Soho Subway

When my friend and downline Kelly came round the other morning, I put her to work as usual. I gave her the choice of creating something with a new floral background stamp we have, or decorating this notebook which she’d given me last year.

I was so pleased when she chose the floral option as it meant I got to have a play with this fabulous fabulous new Designer Series Paper, called Soho Subway. This paper is right up my street, I absolutely love it. It has grungy, distressed designs, like this piece of old wood pattern. Plus some newsprint which, as you know, I really love. There’s a map page, some gorgeous swirls and some old printer’s blocks, too. Love it and I can’t wait to run a class to cover a journal with this paper!

Better dash – busy day today as I have my big catalogue launch party tomorrow afternoon. All the project kits are packed, thanks to my friend, Sue, and the bags are partially packed, thanks to my daughter, but there is still a lot to be done. Going to get the daughter baking later…

Stamps: Happy Day
Cardstock: Island Indigo, Early Espresso
Paper: Soho Subway
Ink: Early Espresso
Accessories: Naturals Buttons, Natural Trim, 1/8” Taffeta Ribbon – Early Espresso

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Sneak Peek: Modern Mosaic Embossing Folder

Another outing for the new Mosaic punch. Yes, there’s a stamp set to go with it but I was enjoying my “white phase” too much to use it.

This card is similar to one that guests will be making at my Catalogue Launch Party on Saturday… but I’ll let them play with more colours and do more stamping. I picked up the idea at the Stampin’ Up!® Regional Training session last month. I love the way the coloured cardstock just peeps out subtly from behind the white.

I have to say, I’m enjoying Crisp Canteloupe a lot more than I thought I would, especially considering that it’s a paler cousin of Calypso Coral (which I am warming to, at last).

Stamps: Happy Day
Cardstock: Crisp Canteloupe,  Calypso Coral, Whisper White
Ink: Crisp Canteloupe
Accessories: Modern Mosaic embossing folder, Mosaic Punch, Blossom Party Originals Die, Vintage Faceted Buttons

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Sneak Peek: New In Colors

Today I’d like to introduce the brand spanking new In Colors for 2013-2015. I made this very simple card to show them off.

From left, we have Strawberry Slush, Pistachio Pudding, Crisp Canteloupe, Baked Brown Sugar and Coastal Cabana. They are reminiscent of ice cream flavours – with the Baked Brown Sugar acting as the cone. Delicous!

Stamps: Happy Day
Cardstock: Strawberry Slush, Pistachio Pudding, Crisp Canteloupe, Baked Brown Sugar, Coastal Cabana
Ink: Strawberry Slush
Accessories: Basic Rhinestones, Bitty Butterfly punch

Monday, 24 June 2013

SNEAK PEEK: Quatrefancy paper and Mosaic Punch

These are more fresh colours to make to you smile. They are from the new Quatrefancy Designer Series Paper. The only problem I have with this paper is how to pronounce it? Do I go for a Derbyshire “kwattre-fancy”? Or do I take a stab at a French pronunciation – “cattrefonsey” – and throw in a Gallic shrug for good measure? What would you do?

You probably don’t care. You’re probably way more interested in what looks like a brand new punch. And why yes, it IS a brand new punch. The all-new Mosaic Punch which I’m sure you’ll love. I do. Didn’t particularly want it but it was a freebie – a demonstrator perk – and I’ve used it loads! It’s so often the way…

Stamps: Happy Day
Cardstock: Pool Party, Whisper White
Paper: Quatrefancy
Ink: Island Indigo
Acccessories: Mosaic Punch

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Caturday - Sox

Ooh, the stakes have been upped with this fancy montage, haven't they? Not my work, I'm afraid - today's Caturday belongs to my downline, Sam, and is apparently "a little diva". That's Sox, not Sam!

Today is the cat shelter tea party so, if you're free, please pop along to 27 Delves Bank Road, Swanwick, to take a look at the cats and enjoy a cup of tea and slice of cake! 11am-2pm.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Sneak Peek: More Gingham Garden Washi Tape

Can you bear yet more washi tape creations? I do hope so as I will keep them coming until I run out of tape! I love the clear, crisp colours and the funky designs. Oh go on then, I’ll confess…

You know I’m a pretty lazy stamper, right? Can’t be bothered to heat emboss, fussy cut, faff around with glitter etc? Crafting time is pretty limited for me so I usually like to “stamp and go”. I need instant results. Well, that’s exactly what you get with washi tape, and that’s why I love it. For this card, which has lots of lovely colours and patterns on it,  I only had to get one ink pad, one stamp set and one punch out… the rest of the work was done by the tape.  Come on, Stampin’ Up!®, we need more of this tape please!

Stamps: Label Love
Cardstock: Daffodil Delight, Island Indigo, Whisper White
Ink: Island Indigo
Accessories: Artisan Label Punch, Gingham Garden Washi Tape, Island Indigo Baker’s Twine, Very Vintage Designer Buttons

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Sneak Peek: Label Love and Gingham Garden Washi Tape

More washi gorgeousness for you today with another white background card. This time I CASEd the design from Missouri demonstrator Kim Ryden, but changed the colours completely as I wanted to use the new Gingham Garden washi tape. I simply laid down four strips of tape, tearing them at different lengths, then embellished with rhinestones and buttons before adding some doodling around the edges. I use the term “doodling” very loosely, as all I did was draw a wibbly line!

The card base is made from… yes, it’s a welcome return for Pear Pizzazz! Welcome back, we’ve missed you!

Topping it all off is a beautiful greeting stamp from the new Label Love set, which has its own matching punch. Whoohoo!

Stamps: Label Love
Cardstock: Whisper White, Pear Pizzazz
Ink: Island Indigo
Accessories: Gingham Garden washi tape, Vintage Faceted Buttons, basic rhinestones, Island Indigo baker’s twine, Artisan Label Punch

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Sneak Peek: Oh happy day!

It’s sad when favourite products retire and a catalogue expires, but the sadness soon turns to excitement for the brand new catalogue.

While there are still a few days left to order from the current catalogue (although be warned, some popular items have already sold out), I’m consigning it to history and making a fresh start.

And what could be fresher than this card? It’s clean, it’s bright, it’s zingy… it’s also not my original idea. I CASEd it from one created by one of my favourite bloggers, Oregon demonstrator Sandi MacIver.

I’m really into white cards at the moment and for the base of this card I used Shimmery White cardstock. Oops, hope it’s staying, I never checked! (Phew, it is.)

The Whisper White panel is popped up and decorated with something very exciting. Only brand new washi tape! This is called Gingham Garden and I absolutely love it. Yes it’s girlie and pink but it’s washi tape, which is the new crafting love of my life. All three tapes in the pack are shown here and how fab are they? Nearly everything in my house has washi tape on it right now.

The sentiment and the flourish come from the brand new Happy Day stamp set, which I earned free for recruiting during Sale-a-Bration. I love earning rewards that help me in my business! And it truly will be a happy day when the new catalogue goes live on 2nd July because it’s gorgeous! I hope you love it as much as I do.

Stamps: Happy Day
Cardstock: Shimmery White, Whisper White
Ink: Melon Mambo
Accessories: Gingham Garden washi tape, Basic Rhinestones, Vintage Faceted Buttons

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Nature Walk and Curly Cute - retiring!

I demonstrated at a party for a lovely group in Littleover on Friday evening. Sales were great, so the hostess was very happy!

Here are the projects I demoed. The first is a cool box that we were shown at Regionals in Telford last month. The top part is just a sleeve which slides on and off. This means you can make the box taller or shorter to suit. The top can be clipped, as I’ve done here, or folded over, sandwich bag-style.

We’ll be making one of these boxes with brand new products at my catalogue launch on Saturday 29th June. I got the closing date wrong so have extended it to the end of today. Please click here to join us!

The box uses retiring Tea For Two Designer Series Papers, and the gorgeous Flower Trim. Get both of these while you can. I spritzed the doily with the Colour Spritzing Tool – this,  too, is retiring soon.  And both of these stamp sets are going, too, which is sad as they are two of my favourites.

For the card we used a technique involving Creped Filter Paper. We stamped the foliage and eggs on a piece of Very Vanilla, then crumpled up some Creped Filter Paper. We applied glue stick (it must be glue stick as it’s fairly dry) all over the image and then spread the filter paper over the top to create a crumpled tissue effect.

On top of that we stamped the bird in Early Espresso and topped it off with a flower from the Flower Trim. I’ve only just realized the potential of this trim which is sad as soon it will be gone forever. Always late to the party, me.

The card uses little notecards – these are down on the retiring list but are returning in a thicker cardstock which is quite exciting.

Stamps: Curly Cute, Nature Walk
Cardstock: Whisper White Notecards, Island Indigo, Very Vanilla, Lucky Limeade
Paper: Tea For Two
Ink: Island Indigo, Lucky Limeade, Early Espresso
Accessories: Cute Clips, Flower Trim, Paper Doilies

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Caturday - cat shelter tea party coming soon

It's Caturday again and here's Cobweb sporting a rather fetching daisy chain. Daughter thought that Cobweb would feel left out if she couldn't wear one just like Mr Winky's, Cobweb didn't agree but played along long enough for a photo.

The good news is that Cobweb has been seizure-free (as far as we know) for nine days, but I always have one ear listening for the tell-tale signs. I suspect they'll be back.

In other news, the cat shelter is holding a tea party next weekend, so why not come along and see the lovely cats and kittens. The shelter really is worth seeing, as it's unlike any cat shelter you'll have seen before! We'll be there for part of the event but can't stay for the full three hours as daughter should be revising.

Here are the details:

Woodland Nook Cat Rescue, Delves Bank Road, Swanwick
Saturday, 22nd June, 11am-2pm
Tea, cake, cats and kittens. 

What more could you want?

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Quick announcement - new craft classes

I only have a couple of samples left to show you from the existing catalogue, and they are for a party tomorrow night so I don't want to spoil the surprise.

So before I launch into my new catalogue samples next week, here's a quick announcement.

Starting in July, I will be holding monthly craft classes on a Friday morning. Yes, morning. Sorry to all those folks who work but I'm sure there are lots of people out there who would love to spend a weekday morning doing something they love, or trying something new.

Here are details:

Crafty Fridays

2nd Friday in the month

Venue - my house in Denby

£6, or free with a £30 order

Booking with payment one week in advance. 

Very limited places available, due to space restrictions 
More details from me - just click here!

NB: I've had a few questions about these events, so just to clarify... the £30 order cannot be part of an existing club or workshop order as these already carry perks of their own. The projects are intended to be simple - going back to basics really for beginner stampers. We will probably do two small projects during the session, but this will depend on the project. The number and simplicity of the projects is reflected in the price. The events are ideal for beginners - so feel free to bring a friend who has never stamped before!

Monday, 10 June 2013

More Amore pouch

This was another of the shoebox swaps we did in the hotel room at Telford the other week. This one was provided by Alison or Donna… or a combination of both, I never did work it out!

It uses the retiring Two Tags die. I was just about to type “get it while you can” but I thought I’d better check the up-to-date retiring accessories list and, sadly, it’s already out of stock. This is why you should absolutely not delay with your orders during retiring month. I’ve had to disappoint a few people this week, sadly.

So, assuming you already have the Two Tags die, you could make this with any Designer Series Paper – you just fold it over at its crease and you have a cute little pouch. I’ve had so much mileage out of this die and I’ll be sad to see it go.

Here we’ve used More Amore DSP from the Spring/Summer catty – this paper will no longer be available after 30th June, so get that while you can! It’s wrapped up with Pool Party ruffled ribbon – this will be retiring, too.

Topping it all off is a cute (but now a little squashed) creped filter paper flower. This was made by punching several scallop circles in two different sizes, joining them with a brad, scrunching them up and dipping in a solution of alcohol coloured with a few drops of ink. Effective, eh?

Cardstock: Gumball Green textured (is that even possible?)
Paper: More Amore, Creped Filter Paper
Accessories: Pool Party ruffled ribbon, Two Tags Die, Scallop Circle Punches, that leaf die whose name I can’t remember

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Caturday cool dude

So many cats deserve to be Caturday today but Mr Winky wins due to his inability to realise he was wearing a daisy chain for THREE hours yesterday. Daughter put it on him and then went out... he was next spotted prancing around the garden in it two hours later. As he seemed unperturbed by his adornment, we left him to it and an hour later he was STILL sporting his jewellery. He finally cast it off before bedtime. He's such a daft lad.

In other news, there are still a few places left on my Catalogue Launch Party. Please CLICK HERE to register.

And I also have a few places left on the next round of the Virtual Hostess Club, which I am hoping to start in July. Members get their new catalogue before anybody else - even before the Catalogue Launch Party! For other benefits, please click here, then drop me a line if you'd like to join. Don't forget that I lost all my data so if you have already told me you'd like to join, please remind me!

Friday, 7 June 2013

Hearts and hexagons

At the Regional Training event the other week, some of the team brought shoebox swaps for us to make in the evening, which was fun.

This beauty was provided by Alison Higley and I absolutely love it. It’s bang on trend, as I’m banned from saying at home, because it uses different shades of white and cream, features hearts, hexagons and printed text… and is very simple. So much for Generation Y – it’s a bit worrying when the trendiest member of your team is a grandma!

Stamps: Hearts A Flutter
Cardstock: Naturals Ivory, Whisper White, Very Vanilla
Paper: First Edition
Ink: Summer Starfruit, Midnight Muse
Accessories: Hexagon embossing folder, Hearts a Flutter Framelits

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Best of Flowers card with Tea for Two paper

I had chance for a quick play with Best of Flowers to make this card to congratulate one of my team on her recent promotion. I was delighted that Helen achieved her Bronze 2 because, if I recall correctly, she only signed up because she wanted the full set of markers and it worked out as a better deal to get the full Starter Kit!

I inked the stamp using markers then coloured some of the flowers in using a blender pen, picking up the ink scribbled from the marker onto a clear block. I have to put it on record that I think I am actually warming to Calypso Coral. Yes it’s taken two years but it’s happening at last. Love this spotty paper, anyway.  It’s from Tea for Two – get it while you can!

I couldn’t find my doilies – I made this card before yesterday’s Big Clearout –so improvised with some punched scallop circles from Creped Filter Paper. Some tiny strips of cardstock jazzed up the button – a trick I learned at Monica’s retreat in the spring.

With the card, I sent Helen a keyring (right). Everyone in my team gets a keyring like this when they reach Bronze 2. The bead represents their first promotion. They get further beads for every additional promotion, plus for attending official SU events. So Helen already had a bead for attending Regionals before she received the keyring! Now at least she has somewhere to put it. 

Stamps: Best of Flowers
Cardstock: Lucky Limeade, Calypso Coral, Early Espresso, Very Vanilla
Paper: Tea For Two, Creped Filter Paper
Ink: Lucky Limeade and Calypso Coral markers
Accessories: Naturals Buttons, Ruffled Ribbon – Lucky Limeade, Scallop Circle Punch 

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Farewell to French Foliage and Curly Cute

We had friends staying this weekend and spent a lovely Saturday afternoon chilling in the sunshine (I know!) with Pimm’s and an indulgent Saturday evening dining on top quality fish and chips. Later, the men (and boy) stayed up late to look at Saturn through a telescope.

Sunday morning, I was asked to give a cardmaking demonstration. Well, I don’t need asking twice, so I dug out some leftover Make & Take packs and we had a go.

Unfortunately, I’ve just trawled through my blog and can’t find the original card we made from this pack… and I put the sample in the post only on Friday. Isn’t that just typical?

But if you went to Angela T’s party during Sale-a-Bration you may just recognise these elements, “reimagined” to use two much-loved stamp sets which will be retiring at the end of this month; French Foliage and Curly Cute.

Normally I don’t get too sentimental when stamp sets retire, but this year some of my most favourite sets are going; these two, plus Nature Walk, Artisan Etchings and that really useful set, For My Family (I might hang onto this one as it really is very handy indeed).

But life goes on, so back to this card… the doily is folded, off centre, to give the illusion of two.  The scraps of ribbon come from the Artisan Embellishment Kit from the Spring/Summer catalogue – remember that items from this catalogue are not guaranteed to be carried over but do not appear on the retirement list. Talk to me if you’re not sure whether to order or not.

Stamps: French Foliage, Curly Cute
Cardstock: Raspberry Ripple, Very Vanilla
Paper: Tea For Two
Ink: Raspberry Ripple, Primrose Petals, Lucky Limeade, Crumb Cake
Accessories: Artisan Embellishments Kit, Paper Doilies 

Saturday, 1 June 2013

More news - Best of 25 Years and single stamps

It’s all happening in the world of Stampin’ Up!® Not only do we have the retiring products lists to study, wail over and shop from… and we demonstrators are busy with our pre-orders from the new catalogue and planning our launch parties… now SU has made TWO more exciting announcements.

Best of 25 Years Stamp Sets
As part of our 25-year anniversary celebration, SU is bringing back some of our favourite stamp images from the last quarter century and combining them into five sets, which will release – one set per month – until October 2013. Along with some great classic images, each “Best of” set will also include a never-before-seen image, although many of the images may be new to us in the UK as we’ve only had SU here for five years.

All the “Best of” sets will be available in clear-mount only and will retail at £13.95. A new one will be released each month, but will remain available until 31st March 2014.

This month’s stamp set is called Best of Flowers and you’ve already seen a hint of it in this post, as we were lucky enough to be given a free set at the Regional Training event in Telford. The cool thing, which I haven’t exploited yet, is that the flower I used actually fits the 1 ¼” Scallop Circle Punch. That would have saved me a lot of time when making 10 boxes!

Anyway, here’s a pic of the full set.

Single Stamps
The second announcement refers to single stamps. Over in the North American market, SU has been experimenting with single stamps and seen very positive results. So now we’re getting them, too – aren’t we lucky that SU has America to use as a guinea pig for us?

From now until 31st August, or while supplies last, you can purchase five single image stamps. They are all clear-mount only and will be packaged in cello bags, rather than boxes.

Here they are – I love the one with the specs!

Meanwhile, it is, of course, also Caturday… so here’s Maddie, baby Max’s very patient mum, no I was wrong, it's actually Popeye,  who belongs to the cat shelter's owner, but had popped in for a visit.

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.