Friday, 23 June 2017

Tree Rings with Happiest of Days and Pieces & Patterns


As soon as I saw this Tree Rings background stamp, it went straight onto my wish list. But then, when I finally got my hands on it, I sat here for ages, not knowing where to start... completely stumped (see what I did there?).

Finally, last weekend I managed to create some cards with this set. I’m holding off showing you the other two for now as they may well become the Make & Takes for an event I’m holding for my club ladies, and I do like to surprise them.

I’ve used it here with Pieces & Patterns (love that set!) and the ever-so-versatile Happiest of Days. This stamp set will be getting a lot of use tomorrow as I hold a charity stamp a stack for the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Guests will be stamping up a storm to donate cards to the charity, which provides accommodation for families who have to travel to specialist hospitals around the UK. We will be creating at east 50 cards to donate... hopefully many more!


Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Daisy Delight with the smoosh technique


This was my first time trying the “smoosh” technique and, naturally, I was instantly hooked. Anything that creates a watercolour effect is usually a hit with me!

I found the instructions on Patty Bennett’s blog but, in brief, you simply wet a piece of watercolour paper, then use a clear block as a stamp... ie stamp the block onto your pad and then “smoosh” it around the wet cardstock. Repeat with a second and even third colour.

For these thank you cards, I used Lemon Lime Twist and Emerald Envy to make a gorgeous colourful green background. I then die-cut them using the Stitched Shapes Framelits Dies, stamped a greeting (from Pieces & Patterns) in Tranquil Tide, inking the stamp with a marker as I only wanted part of it, and added a punched daisy from Daisy Delight. These were supposed to be quick cards, but they didn’t turn out that way!




Monday, 19 June 2017

Mix It Up Monday: In the City with Berry Burst and Lemon Lime Twist



Yes, it’s time for another colour combination from my In Color charts because it is indeed Mix It Up Monday … yes, again! They come round very fast!

Berry Burst and Lemon Lime Twist are the stars of the show this time and it was a great opportunity to use this fabulous Color Theory DSP Stack. I love the ombre effect on this sheet and thought it would be perfect for the biggest hot air balloon. 

I’ve teamed it with a surprise favourite: In The City.  I confess that when I first saw this hostess set I didn’t just pass over it, I actually scoffed. I thought it was horrible, childish, badly drawn… you name it, I threw that insult at it. 

“What happened?” I hear you ask. The answer, as is so often the case, is “Pinterest happened”. Demonstrators can purchase hostess sets in our pre-order month so lots of people had taken up the opportunity and loads of fabulous samples kept turning up. I warmed to the set and, naturally, caved in. 



I love this card - with the balloon looming large over the domestic scene - but I love my other In The City samples even more. However, you’ll have to wait until next week before I show you those as they’ve been created for a blog hop. Meanwhile, just marvel at the fact that I used Tempting Turquoise because that never happens! 



Don’t forget you can join in the #MixItUpMonday fun now, too. 

Create a Stampin’ Up!® project using either this colour combination, or one I’ve previously showcased, there are several ways you can share it:

  1. Upload an image of your creation to your own blog, Pinterest board or Facebook page or Twitter, then post a link to your project in the comments section of the relevant post on this blog.
  2. Upload an image to the comments in the relevant post on my Facebook page. 
Whichever way you choose, please use the hashtag #MixItUpMonday

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Caturday: The Boyz share a special moment


What special moment. Sorry, you missed it. Here is Mr T (right), who has forced his way into our lives due to his ability to open a locked catflap, with his brother, Hamish (left), who keeps trying to move into our house but lacks the necessary skills. (I fear determination may win through in the end - it's especially difficult in the summer when the French windows are open.)

Anyway... Mr T spied Hamish on the patio and approached him. “Uh-oh,” I thought. “Here comes the fight.” Sometimes they spin round like they're in a tumble dryer and leave a carpet of white fur behind.

But no, Mr T went up to Hamish, put his arm (leg - you know what I mean) around his brother and started washing his head. Aaah, what a beautiful thing to witness. I must capture such precious moments on my camera.

Unfortunately, in seconds it took me to locate my phone and open the camera app, the moment had passed, and turned into this hostile stand-off. Siblings, eh?

Friday, 16 June 2017

Label Me Pretty simple Fresh Florals DSP card


Another CASEd project (what? I'm a busy person!) - this time from Stampin’ Success, which is the quarterly magazine sent out to demonstrators. I used the Fresh Florals DSP (but changed the colour and design) and some of the gorgeous new Powder Pink Shimmer Ribbon, topped with an image from the new Label Me Pretty stamp set, which has a new co-ordinating punch. I coloured it in with my lovely new In Color markers.

What do you think of this new colour, Berry Burst? It’s proving extremely popular!




Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Daisy Delight with fun sponging technique


This was one of our creations from last week’s Crafty Friday event, where we spent a couple of happy hours playing with Daisy Delight and the co-ordinating punch. 

It’s a variation of a card made by my friend and helper, Kelly, but to save her DSP, we sponged the cardstock before punching it out. This one is combination of Flirty Flamingo, Calypso Coral and Crushed Curry. The flower is then deconstructed to create this fun design.

There wasn’t quite room for the “Thank you” stamp from this set, so we turned to another new set, Better Together, to provide the greeting. It’s a must-have set, in my opinion, as there are so many useful sayings in it, each with a co-ordinating stamp for the inside. 
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Monday, 12 June 2017

Mix It Up Monday: Daisy Delight with Tranquil Tide and Fresh Fig



It’s Mix It Up Monday again and time for another colour combination from my In Color charts.

This time it’s the turn of Tranquil Tide and Fresh Fig to enjoy an outing, set off with a faux watercolour backdrop of So Saffron. I did this by inking a clear block, spritzing it with water and then stamping it onto the Whisper White paper, allowing the ink to soak in before removing the block. 


Don’t forget you can join in the #MixItUpMonday fun now, too. 

Create a Stampin’ Up!® project using either this colour combination, or one I’ve previously showcased, there are several ways you can share it:

  1. Upload an image of your creation to your own blog, Pinterest board or Facebook page or Twitter, then post a link to your project in the comments section of the relevant post on this blog.
  2. Upload an image to the comments in the relevant post on my Facebook page. 
Whichever way you choose, please use the hashtag #MixItUpMonday






Saturday, 10 June 2017

Caturday: French kitty


This absolutely gorgeous tortoiseshell and white cat visited my friend/downline Alison while she was staying in France recently. Alison says she spoke to her in French but didn’t get much response, and wonders if it was her accent causing the confusion?

Friday, 9 June 2017

Sharing Sweet Thoughts - the ladybird escapes


I was really lucky - and surprised! - to win this stamp set recently. It’s called Sharing Sweet Thoughts and, for every set sold, Stampin’ Up!® will donate £2 to Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC).

The prize draw was open to demonstrators who register their event to make cards for the Birthday Wishes Challenge at the end of June.

To celebrate 10 years of Stampin’ Up!® being in Europe, demonstrators have been challenged to create 10,000 cards to send to the Ronald McDonald House Charities, so that families who are busy caring for very sick children have access to handmade cards to send out.

My event is on Saturday, 24th June ... and I could still squeeze in a couple more people if you let me know by the end of today! Just drop me a line and I’ll see what I can do.


Wednesday, 7 June 2017

In Color notecards with Crafting Forever


I think year’s In Color release has been the best yet – it certainly seems popular with my customers, at least. So I hope they’ll like this set of note cards, which shows off all five new colours individually.

We have the fabulously zingy Lemon Lime Twist 
The subtle but warm Powder Pink
Rich and fruity Fresh Fig
Bright and punch Berry Burst
And, finally, the calm and classy Tranquil Tide

Monday, 5 June 2017

Mix It Up Monday: Reverse stamp technique with Vintage Leaves


I never thought I’d be so excited about such a bright colour combo, especially one featuring Bermuda Bay! Maybe the advent of Lemon Lime Twist has turned my head?

For this Mix It Up Monday project, I used an exciting technique discovered by accident by my friend Kelly’s mum. One day, she accidentally mounted a stamp onto the block upside down, stamped it and produced a rough shape of the image. This got Kelly thinking, and she came up with this idea… stamp once with the stamp upside down, then repeat with it the right way round in a darker colour on top. 

It only works with photopolymer stamps and they need to be roughly symmetrical, as you will be stamping the first image in reverse. After examining my stamp collection, I was surprised at how few sets I have which are suitable, but settled on an old favourite, Vintage Leaves.


I stamped the reversed images in my four happy colours, then stamped on top with Basic Black, for a fun 50s feel, which I really love. 

And for a bonus tip… I cut a piece of Whisper White to the width of the new Pretty Label punch and slid it in carefully to punch the shape at both ends, creating this unique banner. 

Take a look at the rest of the colour combinations from my latest set of In Color charts, then why not join the challenge yourself?

When you’ve created a Stampin’ Up!® project using either this colour combination, or last week’s combo, there are several ways you can share it:
  1. Upload an image of your creation to your own blog, Pinterest board or Facebook page or Twitter, then post a link to your project in the comments section of the relevant post on this blog.
  2. Upload an image to the comments in the relevant post on my Facebook page. 
Whichever way you choose, please use the hashtag #mixitupmonday





Saturday, 3 June 2017

Caturday: A visitor


This beautiful tabby frequently visits one of my customers, Karen, who says: “I think she's thinking of moving in so is carrying out spot checks to see if we live up to her expectations. We've all passed the ‘tickle me under my chin test’ and my son has even been tested on the ‘comfiness of his knee’. I’m not sure how to tell her that she makes me sneeze.😉”



Funny how they’re always drawn to those who are either allergic or just don’t like cats, isn’t it? It’s almost as if it’s done out of spite...

Friday, 2 June 2017

Wood Textures Suite crate and note cards



This is my take on the OnStage Make & Takes – I couldn’t be there in Amsterdam this year but that didn’t stop me playing along, and making my own version of this fun project. 

Of course, I couldn’t resist tweaking it slightly, using new In Colors and that irresistible ribbon. I also added some straw to my crate... because I have an awful lot of straw leftover from Easter!


These products are all available to buy now, as the new catalogue went live yesterday! What’s going to be on your first order?

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Masculine workshop projects with Nailed It


As a last hurrah for the Nailed It stamp set and co-ordinating dies, we used them to create this fun set of projects at my Masculine Workshop at the weekend. Take a look, feast your eyes, and if you want to order the stamp set, you need to hurry, as it’s only available until the end of today.

As for the matching dies, unfortunately they’re already history. But there’s always the option of fussy cutting...

Looking to the future though, we have this fabulous new Wood Crate die and some simply gorgeous woodgrain papers to look forward to; you can start ordering these from tomorrow!





Monday, 29 May 2017

Mix It Up Monday: Pieces & Patterns with Lemon Lime Twist and Tranquil Tide



An exciting new challenge awaits as I begin a new year of Mix It Up Monday projects, using a new colour combination each week from my fresh batch of In Color charts

And this year you can join in, too! When you’ve created a Stampin’ Up!® project using a featured colour combination, there are several ways you can share it:

  1. Upload an image of your creation to your own blog, Pinterest board, Facebook page, Instagram or Twitter, then post a link to your project in the comments section of the relevant post on this blog.
  2.  Upload an image to the comments in the relevant post on my Facebook page. 

Whichever method you choose, please use the hashtag #mixitupmonday

There is no deadline, but to make things a bit less confused, please only link projects to the blog/Facebook post featuring that particular colour combination.

I have no idea if anyone will play along but it would be great if you did!



For this project, I just had to kick things off by using my favourite new colour, Lemon Lime Twist and possibly my favourite new stamp set, Pieces & Patterns. 

I took inspiration for this project from one of my own cards, and gave it a dinosaur twist. As for the little flowers, they are punched using the Tree Builder punch from the Eastern Palace Designer Series Paper. I’m ashamed to say that’s all I’ve used from that pack so far, but I’m sure you’ll be seeing more of it soon.





Saturday, 27 May 2017

Caturday: A friendly black and white cat


It’s been a while since I saw a cat on my lunchtime walks so it was nice to bump into this little fellow again. I’m sure we’ve met before; he (assume a he) was pretty friendly, anyway. When you work from home, even a chat with a cat can break up the day.

PS: I looked back and, as I thought, we have met before. He’s grown a little since then.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Sneak peek: Pieces & Patterns


Yes it’s Pieces & Patterns again, and why not? I love this cute little set (plus I haven’t had chance to stamp with anything else yet, been too busy!)

This was very much a limited supplies challenge, made with a few bits of leftover cardstock at the end of our craft weekend earlier this month. I love this little bear, but I do think he looks quite sad, don’t you?

Tomorrow is my Masculine Workshop, the final event of this catalogue period, and we’ll be using Nailed It to create a set of manly projects. Please visit again soon to see what we make!


Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Sneak peek: Pieces & Patterns



I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: How cute is this little dinosaur? For this card, I made a mask from a post-it note so I could enable the T Rex to write with his tiny hands - I just hope he doesn’t drop the pencil as he’ll never be able to pick it up again. 

I enjoyed making this card so much, that I had another go, with a pencil-themed variation and the perfect greeting from Crafting Forever. This Designer Series Paper goes perfectly with this sentiment, doesn’t it?


Monday, 22 May 2017

50 new In Color™ combinations!



It’s time! I have 50 brand new colour combinations to share with you… 10 for each of the fabulous new In Colors! Keep visiting on Mondays as I work my way through them all for my own personal Mix It Up Monday challenge... so called because I like to mix up the colours with our existing shades. 

Those who know how slow I am to adapt to change may have spotted an unlikely adjective in my opening sentence. “Fabulous?” That’s the one. I described the new In Colors as “fabulous”? Yes! I actually like them this time. 

For the record, I hardly ever like the new In Colors™ when they are first launched. Two years ago, I was dead against them, while last year I was merely indifferent. This year, I’m straight to loving them! It helps that I’ve been hoping for a zesty lime for YEARS, so Lemon Lime Twist goes straight in a number one for me. 

Tranquil Tide and Fresh Fig are both gorgeous and rich and, it pains me to say it, go absolutely fantastically with the outgoing Delightful Dijon. Fingers tightly crossed for a colour refresh next year which brings Dijon back!

Berry Burst is just what we need to go with the brights – it’s not as harsh as Melon Mambo, which is very fine by me. And Powder Pink looks set to knock Pink Pirouette into oblivion, as it’s warmer and, in my opinion, easier to use. 


Anyway, here are some combos for your delectation. For the first time, I’ve included some metallics, as several times in the past year I’ve wanted to use them but they’ve not featured in the combinations of the past.

Please Pin and share… but most of all, please create your own projects using these combinations!






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Saturday, 20 May 2017

Caturday: Denny and Jack


This formidable-looking duo are Denny (above) and Jack. They live in Virginia, USA, with Liz... who is the cousin of Patsy, one of my friends and downlines. I’m guessing from their expressions that they’re not too keen on having their photo taken!


Patsy, incidentally, is the nickname of Alison, who was this year’s Heart of Stampin’ Up!® Award Winner. This award is given to just one demonstrator globally at each OnStage event, and recognises a demonstrator who “embodies the spirit of Stampin’ Up!’s Statement of the Heart”. Alison was given the award for “her kindness, her cheerful and generous personality, and above all for thinking of others before herself”. We are so proud of her!

Here she is, receiving her Heart of Stampin’ Up!® necklace from SU CEO Sara Douglas.


 

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.