Tuesday, 28 February 2017

All-Day Craftathon - Hey Chick workshop


The second workshop of my All-Day Craftathon featured projects made with the Sale-a-Bration set, Hey Chick. This is by far the most popular set from the SAB brochure this year and has proved hugely popular with my regular customers. 

We made three projects: this cute egg box, which we filled with a choice of raffia or coloured tissue (Home Bargains) and Easter treats.


It’s sealed with some more Succulent Garden Designer Series Paper, another piece of that gorgeous new SAB Glimmer Paper and a label created with the Window Box bundle. 


This card was the next project and I think it’s my favourite project from the whole day. The Window Shopping stamp set gets another outing, as does the Succulent Garden DSP. A 1" (2.5cm) strip was cut from the front of the Old Olive card base, to be used in the next project...


... can you see it? It’s just below the main panel. And who would’ve thought this stripey paper came from the same Succulent Garden pack?

For the final workshop projects, please come back tomorrow!



Monday, 27 February 2017

All-Day Craftathon: Window Shopping workshop



I thought I’d skip Mix It Up Monday this week in favour of showing you what we made at the All-Day Craftathon at the weekend. The day was split into three classes, beginning with this one featuring the Window Shopping Bundle.

All the guests received the Window Shopping stamp set in their kit, which is tremendously versatile; in fact we used it in every class throughout the day. 
We began by making this fun box. It’s a slight variation on the hexagon box as it opens at the side, Pac-Man style...



You do this by cutting and reassembling the box pieces as shown below, then joining the two halves together at the side. You can download a tutorial here. 





Three tags go inside, using a tiny strip of the gorgeous Succulent Garden Designer Series Paper, which featured in all three workshops throughout the day.

And there’s a matching card, too. This is made simply by sponging colour onto the front of the card base, then overlaying the die-cut piece. Simple but effective.


This completed our morning activities, so we paused for a buffet lunch before moving on to the second class, which I’ll show you tomorrow...



Saturday, 25 February 2017

Caturday: Mr Winky and the stamping trolley (again)


Trying to unpack from a Stampin’ Up!® party is never easy when Mr Winky gets involved. He is obsessed with trying to get in the trolley for a good long 12-hour nap.

Today I’ve learned that it’s not necessarily the trolley which holds the appeal. Last night I covered some decorating supplies with my oh-so-useful black cloth, only to find it in a crumpled heap on the floor this morning. Mr Winky was sniffing around it last night and I realised, it’s the cloth he covets, not the trolley. I’m pretty sure he slept on it last night but he’s denying everything this morning.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Bookcase Builder Clean and Simple card


This is my new favourite stamp set – and it’s one which has been overlooked by many people, I fear... if the lack of samples on Pinterest is anything to go by.

I love reading so was drawn to this from the start, but resisted in favour of the bundles. I finally caved in last week and took delivery of Bookcase Builder.

I also took the plunge and did the unthinkable...

I confess I struggle with some of the sentiment stamps provided by SU and many of mine lie unused. This time, though, I was brave. I knew I’d use a simple “Thank you” a whole lot more than “Thank you for being my friend” so I took the plunge and separated the words. It wasn’t as easy as you’d think but it went smoothly and now I have the perfect “Thank you” stamp... and can add “for being a friend” to the clear block as and when I need to.

The card above is going to this month’s hostess, Tracey, while her guests get the smaller versions, below. Hope they like them – none of them has ordered the set yet, so at least it will be something new to show them!





Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Hexagons Dynamic Embossing Folder gets the ombre look


One of my favourite products from the Spring/Summer catalogue is the Hexagon Dynamic Embossing Folder, as it’s so versatile. It goes with masculine projects, can be used to create honeycomb for bee projects, chicken wire to go with everybody’s favourite Sale-a-Bration set, Hey Chick... and here I’ve used it on a more feminine project.


It was inspired by a project I saw by the hugely talented Kristina Werner and uses a favourite technique of mine; watercolouring.


I began by creating an ombre effect on the watercolour paper. This is really simple: I wet the paper, then loaded a brush with diluted ink (Emerald Envy, Flirty Flamingo, Peche Fraiche) and swiped across the width. Then, instead of adding more ink, I wet the brush with clear water. This dilutes the colour so you get a graduated effect as you work down the paper. Once it was almost dry, I embossed each piece, then turned them around so the darker colour was at the bottom to create these fun projects.


This last one also has a watercoloured ombre background behind the balloon. The dies come with three wide bands, which you can use to create a striped effect to your balloon. I used the darker stripe at the top, to make it stand out from the paler sky.

If you wish to purchase the whole bundle (stamps and dies) instead of just stamps, these are the codes you need:

Lift Me Up Bundle
Wood mount: 144711
Clear mount: 144712



Tuesday, 21 February 2017

New Sale-a-Bration products added!

THREE exciting new Sale-a-Bration products come our way from today. These are in addition to the main SAB items, giving you even more choice for the final few weeks of this fantastic promotion. 

See the Second Release SAB leaflet here


There are two great new stamp sets and an amazing new pack of 6x6" glimmer paper. Take a look...





To earn any of these items FREE, simply place a £45 order between now and the end of March. You can choose one of these items or something from the main Sale-a-Bration brochure. 

See the main Sale-a-Bration brochure here

Please click the image below to start shopping!


Monday, 20 February 2017

Mix It Up Monday with Birthday Bright



Exciting times for Mix It Up Monday as I have finally reached the end of the Peekaboo Peach colour combinations from my In Color charts

Experienced readers will know that what tends to happen next is that SU will bring out some fab new Designer Series Paper in the next catalogue, using my least favourite colour… and then poor maligned PĂȘche Fraiche will become tolerable and then eventually I will grudgingly admit that “I quite like it now”. This usually happens a month or two before the colour is retired. 

I know this because it’s happening already about the 2015-17 In Colors. I am already looking wistfully at Mint Macaron, Delightful Dijon, Tip Top Taupe, Watermelon Wonder and, to a lesser extent, Cucumber Crush, and wondering how I will manage without them. 





Saturday, 18 February 2017

Caturday: RIP Pudkin


Sad, but not unexpected, news this week from one of my long-time customers, Tracey. She was very sad to report that she lost her beloved Pudkin, after 19 years. Pudkin had been struggling with kidney issues over the last few months and, despite having an accident on Tracey’s Stampin’ Up!® catalogue, she was forgiven. Catalogues are easy to replace; best friends aren’t. RIP Pudkin.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Nailed It - a fun card with Labeler Alphabet


What a fun stamp set this is. It’s called Nailed It and I probably wouldn’t have bought it but I won it at the OnStage event for demonstrators and am so glad I did. It’s ideal for Father’s Day, but also for so much more. And not just masculine cards; here I’ve teamed it with Labeler Alphabet and Window Shopping to create a fun card for a friend.

I’m sure we all have a friend who fits this description. If not, you should get one, as they’re the most fun.









Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Honeycomb and bees with Hexagons Dynamic Embossing Folder


Just another reason to love this Hexagons Dynamic Embossing Folder: honeycomb! Turn it “upside down” and you get the perfect honeycomb effect, to co-ordinate perfectly with Dragonfly Dreams, which just happens to feature this cute bee stamp. I did cut each of the bees out by hand because the co-ordinating die cuts away the middle of the bee, which I didn’t want in this case as I wanted to show the blue of the wings and the yellow of the body. Love this set, love this folder!


Monday, 13 February 2017

Mix It Up Monday: Detailed Dragonfly Thinlits gift bag


It’s Mix It Up Monday again I’m getting to the end of the Peekaboo Peach colour combinations from my In Color charts, which is quite exciting for me, as it’s no secret that it’s not my favourite colour. 

But it’s ideal for creating prototype projects, which is what I did here; this is a ‘first draft’ of a project for my upcoming All-Day Craftathon. I combined a few products – Marquee Messages for the greeting, Awesomely Artistic for the foliage, along with the ever-popular Detailed Dragonfly Thinlits and, of course, the Gift Bag Punch Board

The Metallic Ribbon is a Sale-a-Bration item – you get 6.4m each of white with silver, and vanilla with gold, and it’s beautiful. Definitely worth getting if, like me, you’re running low on ribbon, as it will go with everything. 







Saturday, 11 February 2017

(Spot the) Cat-urday: Hamish


A bit fuzzy, but I had to zoom in as far as I could to capture this image of Hamish, a neighbour cat, sitting in the field at the bottom of our garden. Since Tutheran took up residence by our back door, we haven’t seen as much of Hamish as we used to, because the two of them fight like cat and... cat. No sitting around staring for these two, they just get straight in there and fur flies.

If only I could find a home for Tutheran. He really is a lovely cat now – just can’t be homed with other cats.


Friday, 10 February 2017

Marquee Messages birthday duo


Marquee Messages is such a great set for creating cheery birthday greetings. Here I’ve used just a hint of the Carried Away Designer Series Paper, which is FREE with a £45 order during Sale-a-Bration (which runs until 31st March).

I created a card and matching box for one of my club members, Angela, who celebrated her birthday this week. Club members commit to spending £15 a month for 10 months, each taking it in turns to be the host. As a thank you for their commitment, club members get a card and gift in their birthday month. Angy loves bright colours, so I ran with that!



Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Celebrations Duo embossing folder with Blooms & Wishes


I was delighted to see that some of my team members had promoted to Silver, so created these pretty cards - with a hint of silver glimmer paper - to mark the occasion. I used Blooms & Wishes combined with the fab new debossing folders, Celebrations Duo (p40, Spring/Summer catalogue). These are really fun as they work in the opposite way to our usual embossing folders, which allows you to stamp on top and around the image.

For the perfect sentiment, ”so proud of you”, I used Marquee Messages. Finally, a touch of bling!

And for one of my new recruits, a similar version using Color Enamel Shapes...


Monday, 6 February 2017

Mix It Up Monday: Dragonfly Dreams with Inside the Lines DSP


Another Mix It Up Monday outing for the Sale-a-Bration freebie, Inside the Lines Designer Series Paper. This time I’ve used a fruity colour combination from my In Color charts in a CASE of a design by LeeAnn Greff

I really liked the way she’d coloured the designer paper, although I chose sponging as my method, which achieved a similar result. I love the idea of adding colour to the whole piece rather than attempting to colour those tiny flowers, as I did last week.




I did decide to make the flowers pop a little by adding a dot of white with the Chalk Marker to the centre of each one. And, to make a change, I used a greeting from Balloon Adventures, which was a little narrower than the ones in Dragonfly Dreams, so was a better fit for my square of cardstock. 

The large dragonfly is stamped in Night of Navy on Whisper White, and sponged with Flirty Flamingo. 



Saturday, 4 February 2017

Caturday Mr Winky kicks back


Mr Winky is feeling relaxed and a little bit sexy on his favourite chair. Wasn’t so relaxed when I took him to the vet this week for a medication review. He has some sort of allergy – probably cat fur (I made that bit up) – so takes a very low dose of steroids every few days in a ball of cheese. It’s VERY exciting when I rattle the pill bottle!

Friday, 3 February 2017

Hey, Chick! It's Friday!



We couldn’t head into the weekend without another chicken card, could we? This was the Make & Take from my team meeting recently; I wanted to show the team the amazing versatility of the new Dynamic Hexagons embossing folder.



Yes, the chicken wire is made with the embossing folder - simply ink it up and press directly onto your cardstock. I love this embossing folder – it goes with everything! Masculine, feminine, chicken wire, honeycomb... if you don’t have it yet, it would be a valuable addition to your next order! Bump it up to £45 and you could choose this fabulous chicken stamp set as your free gift!

And if you fancy joining the fun and becoming a demonstrator, I’d love to welcome you into my team. There are so many advantages to being a demonstrator that I won’t even try to go into them here, but if you have any questions, please do drop me a line. And if you’re ready to take the plunge, just click the image below!



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.