Thursday, 31 October 2013

Halloween goodie bags

This is my one and only Halloween project of the year – in fact I think it’s my one and only Halloween project EVER, so I hope you like it. It’s pretty subtle and not even the slightest bit scary, I’ll admit, but small steps, eh?

They were the September gifts for my hostess club – each bag contains some chocolate raisins, against all odds. Reason being that I kept buying them, putting them in an attractive jar and then they just proved too attractive to resist. Even when I’d reined myself in, hubby kept finding them.

Finally I managed to fill these 10 bags from the great value Goodie Gear Simply Created Kit. There are two kits available, each containing enough for 10 projects, for just £4.50. There’s a Real Red version – perfect for Christmas – and this Pumpkin Pie kit – perfect for Halloween. Of course, either kit can be adapted for any other occasion, too.

I couldn’t resist adding to the kit with my Witches’ Brew Washi Tape. An odd purchase for someone who only makes one Halloween project every 44 years but, as I showed you in this post, the skull tape makes it perfect for teenage boy projects.

Supplies: Witches’ Brew Designer Washi Tape, Pumpkin Pie Goodie Gear Simply Created Kit

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Save 20% on Tag It gift packaging bundles

I know it’s only October and some people, like my good friend Amanda Volley, think it's way too early to be thinking about Christmas - but we crafters know otherwise, don’t we?

Which is why Stampin’ Up! is giving you yet another offer - and this time to help you with your Christmas preparations.

Two new bundles will help you with your Christmas packaging - and save you 20% into the bargain! Both feature the excellent Tag It Bundle (above), which features tags, twine and stamps for making quick and easy gift tags. Then you have a choice of two box sizes:

Extra Large box decorated with the products in the bundle

Holiday Tag It Extra Large Box Bundle - 135812 - £16.95

  • Stamp a Tag Kit
  • Extra Large Gift Boxes (3)
  • Cherry Cobbler 1" Stitched Edge Grosgrain Ribbon (9.1m)
Decorative box features an acetate window

Holiday Tag It Decorative Box Bundle - 135811 - £17.95
  • Stamp a Tag Kit
  • Decorative Window Gift Boxes (6)
  • Cherry Cobbler 1" Stitched Edge Grosgrain Ribbon (9.1m)
Sound good? This offer is available from today until the end of November. Find out more by clicking the image at the top of the page or drop me a line!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

New product: Thinlits card dies

I have two brand new and very exciting products to show you – and they’re available now! They are Thinlits Card Dies and they make creating flip cards an absolute breeze.

Circle Card Thinlits Dies
Label Card Thinlits Dies

There are two designs available, each retailing at £29.95 – and each one comes with a host of accessory dies, which you can see in the images.

To use them, all you have to do is lay the largest die on half a sheet of cardstock and run it through your Big Shot. Fold along the scorelines, concertina-style, and you have the basis of your flip card. Then you can decorate it as you wish, using the accompanying dies or whatever you have to hand.

The finished card is US-sizing, but this is not an issue, as you have several options, including:

  1. Use our standard C6 envelopes and live with the fact that they are a little long. The card will still fit.
  2. Buy the Medium Envelopes (page 162), available in Clear or Crumb Cake. These are sized perfectly.
  3. Watch this space for another fab new product!

Of course, I’ve hinted at these fab products before, by showing you one of the cards we made at my Epic Day of Crafting. Here’s the inside of the one pictured at the top of the page, which I made for my downline Donna’s birthday.

For more about the Thinlits, please click here.

Stamps: Flower Shop, Remembering Your Birthday
Cardstock: Coastal Cabana, Whisper White, Rich Razzleberry
Ink: Rich Razzleberry, Melon Mambo, Coastal Cabana
Accessories: Label Card Thinlits, Chevron Embossing Folder, Pansy Punch, Bird Punch, Itty Bitty Punches

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Caturday: Albie, lost and found

Here’s little Albie, who had a Big Adventure when he went missing from his home in Elvaston yesterday, leaving his owner - fellow craft blogger Samantha Schofield -  frantic with worry, especially as there was a reported sighting in Borrowash... quite a step for a small feline.

Happily, after a search of the local area, he was found taking in the grounds of Elvaston Castle. Clearly a cat with a taste for culture... or delusions of grandeur!

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Epic Day woodmount case of cards

Today’s project was the final workshop of the day at my Epic Day of Crafting – this box of cards. It’s made from one of the wood-mount cases, which you can buy empty, in packs of four. It’s a very cool idea, as there are loads of things you can do with them. If you’re the sort of person who likes everything matchy-matchy, you can repackage your old wood-mount stamps in them, so that all the boxes are the same size. You can also use them to store other supplies, such as markers, reinkers, button boxes etc.

Or, best of all, you can alter them to make really cool gifts.

Covering the box is the easy part as it just slides in. Then, inside you can put whatever you like – in our case, cards, gift tags and a decorated pen.

Coincidentally, two of the stamp sets we used for this project are currently available at 25% off! Check out the rest of the list by clicking the link at the top of the page.

Stamps: Off the Grid, Itty Bitty Banners, Happy Day
Cardstock: Crumb Cake, Whisper White
Paper: Epic Day
Ink: Basic Gray, Crumb Cake
Accessories: White Baker’s Twine, Bitty Butterfly Punch, Epic Day Washi Tape, Basic Rhinestones

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Epic Day envelope album

Today is my downline Donna’s birthday but I can’t show you her card, because I promised to show you the envelope album from my Epic Day of Crafting – and here it is.

I’ve shown this fab project to lots of people – many of whom have assumed that you can buy these books from Stampin’ Up!® But no, it’s made entirely from scratch. The covers are made from chipboard covered in Designer Series Paper, and the pages are made from envelopes, joined together and decorated.  It’s closed together with very slim magnets. It’s very ingenious.

The design is adapted from one I made on Monica Gale’s Paperie Treat and she kindly gave me permission to use it at my workshop. Everyone loved it! And I loved how some people used different papers from the pack to create a totally different look to the project. 

Stamps: Off the Grid, Morning Post Alphabet, various others as required
Cardstock: Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla, Gumball Green, Calypso Coral, Early Espresso, Vellum
Paper: Epic Day
Ink: Basic Gray, Crumb Cake, Early Espresso
Accessories: Autumn Leaves die, Polka Dots embossing folder, Woodgrain embossing folder,  Naturals buttons, Linen Thread, Cute Clips, Crochet Trim, border punches, Apothecary Accents framelits

Meanwhile, happy birthday, Donna! 

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

25 stamp sets at 25% off!

Whoohoo! Let’s get this party started!

As many of you will know, Stampin’ Up!® celebrates its 25th anniversary this year – and we’ve been enjoying a year of special offers and surprises.

The actual date is this week – the 25th to be precise – so, to celebrate, between now and 28th October, you can buy 25 stamp sets at 25% off! That’s a pretty impressive saving, don’t you think?!

You can see the full list here or check them out at my online store (with images) here.

I’m going to have a proper look myself now – as I’m sure there will be something I *ahem* need!

Please get in touch to place an order!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Epic Day of crafting - washi tape and clay workshop

Saturday was my Epic Day of Crafting, a much-anticipated all-day event where we crammed in three workshops. They were:

  1. Washi tape and clay
  2. Envelope album
  3. Notecards in box 
All of the projects were colour co-ordinated, to fit in with the Epic Day suite of products. It was great to hear people oohing and aahing as they opened their goodie bags to find half a pack of Epic Day DSP, a full pack of Epic Day washi tape and – most exciting of all – a set of clay moulds. These proved invaluable as getting the clay to set after we’d added quite a bit of ink proved tricky.

We began the day with our clay products, to allow maximum drying time. Everyone made something along the lines of this project – it’s simply a circle of Simply Pressed Clay, stamped. Guests were given a magnet for the back or the option of making a hole for some ribbon to make a hanging ornament like this one.

Some tips if you wish to have a go at something like this:

  1. The ink “bleeds” slightly when you stamp into clay. For this reason, we stamped the tiny uninked flowers first, then left the clay to dry for a while. After about 15 mins or so, we stamped the coloured images.
  2. If you wish to pierce a hole, just use the end of a straw.
  3. If you wish to add a magnet, make sure the clay is completely dry (overnight is best) and then attach with Crystal Effects or hot glue. Don’t even think about using anything less industrial! 
Next we coloured some clay to make buttons and flowers. The flowers were supposed to be for the card above, but I realised after I’d made it that it used no washi tape. Oops. In the event, I decided that it would be best if everyone took this card home to complete later, as time was marching on.

The buttons were for use on two projects. The first was this glass votive for a tealight. I don’t think there would be a problem with heat on the glass/washi tape but if you’re unsure, you could always use a battery tealight.

You can buy cheap glass votives from places like Wilko or Poundstretcher – but why do that when you have a ton of these, dragged back from France where they were sold filled with delicious yoghurt?

The second button project was the flip card shown at the top of this post. The inside of the card is shown, right. It was made using new dies which will be available from tomorrow. A bonus project at the end of the day was a matching envelope, made using a fab new product which will be available from Tuesday.

Stamps: Off the Grid, Summer Silhouettes, Wetlands, Happy Day
Cardstock: Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla, Gumball Green, Calypso Coral, Vellum
Paper: Epic Day
Ink: Basic Gray
Accessories: Autumn Leaves die, Polka Dots embossing folder, Thinlits Label Card die, Simply Pressed Clay, Calypso Coral Reinker, Daffodil Delight Reinker, Epic Day Washi Tape, Cute Clips, Linen Thread

That’s enough for one post - next time I’ll show you our envelope album. 

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Caturday - Benson

Meet Benson. He lives with the cat shelter's owner - one of many, as I'm sure you'll appreciate! He just turned up one day and never went away again. A lovely cat - he's sort of peaches and cream, most unusual.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Clean and Simple (CAS) Calm Christmas card

This is a nice simple card which would be easy to mass-produce for Christmas. You could colour the bird with markers but that’s not ideal for such a large area, so I inked the dove with a Coastal Cabana ink pad, then cleaned off the ink form the leaf with a cotton bud, before reinking it with an Old Olive marker. If you were in a hurry, you could simplify matters by simply stamping it all in one colour, of course.

It’s my Epic Day of Crafting tomorrow and I’m very excited. Am going to pack my bags today and keep my fingers tightly crossed that I don’t forget something (there’s a first time for everything). I have some great projects planned and some fantastic goodies for the ladies who are attending so I hope they enjoy it!

Stamps: Calm Christmas
Cardstock: Cherry Cobbler, Old Olive, Whisper White
Ink: Coastal Cabana, Cherry Cobbler, Old Olive
Accessories: Candy Dots – Brights, Corner Rounder

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Santa's List with chevrons

Have you planned your Christmas cards yet? If not, I can highly recommend Santa’s List. It’s proving a very popular stamp set among my customers, who love the fact that you can stamp him without having to colour him in. At least, that’s what I love about him!

Here’s an early card I made with the set, before I mastered the art of not getting the edges of the rubber inked, too! But, as I tell my customers, we like to build in these little imperfections so that the recipient knows for sure that the card didn't come from a shop. 

Love this colour combo – and I love him stamped in Cherry Cobbler onto Crumb Cake. A classic Christmas combo.

And that’s enough alliteration (albeit unintentional)  for one morning, here’s the recipe:

Stamps: Santa’s List, Chalk Talk
Cardstock: Crumb Cake, Early Espresso, Cherry Cobbler, Whisper White
Paper: Season of Style
Ink: Cherry Cobbler
Accessories: Chevron Embossing Folder, 1 3/8” circle punch, Scallop circle punch

Monday, 14 October 2013

Kraft box with Season of Style washi tape

I love these Kraft boxes, because they’re a really cool size, shape and colour – and they’re so cheap! They’re only £2.75 for four, so it’s really not worth going to the bother of trying to make them at that price.

For the Creative Tour, I wanted to jazz one up with washi tape and decided to do things a little differently. I wanted to punch holes in the box and have the washi tape showing through. This was no mean feat because, as you know, punches don’t have a particularly long reach. So I dismantled the box and punched in as far as I could. There was only one section where I couldn’t manage it – on all other sides, I punched two holes.

Next I made panels for inside the box and put strips of washi tape on them, to show through the holes.

The tag is made using the Chalk Talk framelits and the bow is that lovely new Cherry Cobbler ribbon from the Autum/Winter catalogue. A few rhinestones added a bit of Christmas bling.

Stamps: Chalk Talk
Cardstock: Very Vanilla, Sahara Sand
Ink: Cherry Cobbler
Accessories: Chalk Talk Framelits, Kraft Gift Boxes, Season of Style Washi Tape, Basic Rhinestones, various circle punches, Cherry Cobbler ribbon

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Caturday: Dennis and Twinks

Remember Dennis? Shy, scared Dennis? He came to the shelter after being found injured, presumed hit by a car. The shelter owner believes he was feral. He's gradually coming round to human contact and now loves a tummy rub. But there's something he loves even more... Twinks.

Yes, crazy, hyperactive Twinks, who dangles from roofs and chases anyone and anything, has formed a very special bond with Dennis, and they sneak off to quiet corners whenever they can.

Here they are in the "Lindee-Lou", a two-storey cat house sometimes used as an isolation unit (hence, the dark, fuzzy picture) They've found the heated blanket and they're not sharing with anyone else - they just want to be left alone.

For more pictures of their beautiful friendship, please visit the Woodland Nook blog.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Season of Style washi tape Christmas card

Another of my Creative Tour projects was this card. I made the trees using the Perfect Pennants die. One was embossed using the Fancy Fan embossing folder – the other was Whisper White covered in washi tape.

Stamps: Greetings of the Season
Cardstock: Crumb Cake, Cherry Cobbler (textured), Whisper White, Early Espresso Core’dinations
Ink: Black Stazon
Accessories: Perfect Pennants Die, Season of Style washi tape, Fancy Fan embossing folder, Brights candy dots, Expressions Thinlits

Told you I’d bought a lot of pegs! Here are two more, decorated with Season of Style washi tape (it’s so easy!) and topped with a monogram. The theory is that they will stand up and act as place cards. They do stand up, honest – just not on this particular surface.

Stamps: Morning Post Alphabet, Merry Little Christmas
Cardstock: Whisper White, Old Olive
Ink: Cherry Cobbler, Old Olive
Accessories: Apothecary Accents dies, Season of Style Washi Tape 

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Expressions Thinlits and Washi Tape napkin holders

Staying with the clothes peg theme (well, I did buy 50!), here’s another of my Creative Tour creations. Not sure what to call them… I suppose they are a kind of napkin holder. They would make your Christmas table look pretty festive anyway.

I happened to have some Ikea napkins in Old Olive (somehow I keep being drawn to that colour, even after all these years), so I dressed them up with a doily and a Cherry Cobbler “merry”. The pegs are just decorated with Season of Style washi tape. Very easy to church out lots of these!

Accessories: Season of Style washi tape, Expressions Thinlits, Paper Doilies

Monday, 7 October 2013

Tag a Bag gift bags with Chalk Talk tag

Bit behind in posting this, but August’s gift to my Virtual Hostess Club members was this little goodie bag, made using the Tag a Bag gift bags from page 158.

I teamed the bags up with the oh so fab Chalk Talk stamp set and fastened them closed using a clothes peg, decorated with Mosaic Madness paper. A bit of a mish-mash of products, but quite cute I thought. Inside they each had a chocolate treat and a tea bag, so they could sit down with a cuppa and enjoy their Autumn/Winter catalogue.

Stamps: Chalk Talk
Cardstock Whisper White
Paper: Mosaic Madness
Ink: Black Stazon
Accessories: Tag a Bag Gift Bags

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Caturday - Twinks

It’s Caturday and I’ve realised I never showed you this fab picture of Twinks having a mad moment, climbing the cat shelter roof!  To give you an idea of how high that is, you can just see Pasca at the bottom left of the photo, sitting on the porch roof, which is standard doorway height.

Daughter says that Twinks is a lovely, quiet, calm young cat, but this photo and...

...this photo tell a completely different story.

I kind of want Twinks to stay at the shelter for a while. As much as I would love for her to have a home, she has forged a beautiful friendship with Dennis, the lonely boy who is still a bit scared to be loved and is not quite ready to leave the shelter. Daughter has a great photo of Twinks and Dennis curled up together, padding on each other’s tummies. Must get it from her for next week.

It’s Caturday all the time at the new Woodland Nook blog, which I seem to have taken over. Because I just don’t have enough to do, right?

Friday, 4 October 2013

Wetlands ornament - and a £25 sign-up offer

First of all, I am desperately trying to fill my Epic Day of Crafting, as unfortunately someone has had to drop out. I have three places left, so if you want to spend a fun day making  beautiful things, please click the link at the top of the page. 

Also, I have more information about that tempting £25 Starter Kit, but first I wanted to show you this little beauty. 

It was made under the expert tutelage of my friend/downline Kelly, with whom I spent a lovely crafty afternoon during the summer with a couple of other friends.

We were playing around with Wetlands (current favourite stamp set and possibly my biggest seller so far!) and I showed her some little wooden hearts I’d purchased recently.

I’d painted a few of them in white undercoat and sanded them down. I’ve experimented with stamping on them but not quite had the results I wanted yet.

Kelly to the rescue! She pressed one half into a Pool Party ink pad and the other into a So Saffron ink pad and smeared the ink around with kitchen roll. Next she stamped the lovely sandpipers across the centre to create this beautiful scene.

Soon we were all making them! And now we’re all arguing about who gets to make these as a Convention swap or team gift! It may have been Kelly’s idea … but I bought the hearts… LOL

Stamps: Wetlands
Ink: Pool Party, So Saffron, Black Stazon
Accessories: Pool Party Seam Binding Ribbon, Linen Thread, wooden heart (not SU)

Now for the Starter Kit offer. Take a look at the table below to compare it with the standard Starter Kit. You’ll see that this deal is aimed at those people who are serious about starting a business, but perhaps already have quite a lot of SU supplies (*cough cough*). You can turn those hoarded supplies into business tools for just £25 when you take up this offer. 

However, you don't get masses of craft supplies with this one - it’s merely a cheap way into running a business. 

Check out the table to see which kit will suit you best. If you decide it's the standard Starter Kit, act fast before this offer starts, as the Standard Kit won't be available during the special offer. If you want to join during the offer, wait until Monday. 

And when you decide to join my team, all you have to do is click this link. Simple as that. 

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Christmas note pad with Season of Style washi tape

A little notepad is handy to have in the run-up to Christmas. I have a dedicated “Christmas book”, listing all the people I send cards to and any presents. This little book would be ideal – it’s just a cheap one from Wilko, with the cover cut off and replaced with this crazy, washi-striped front!

Stamps: Happy Day
Cardstock: Whisper White, Red Glimmer Paoer
Ink: Old Olive
Accessories: Season of Style Washi Tape, Apothecary Accents Dies, Brights Candy Dots

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Special offers for everyone!

At Stampin’ Up!® we like to look after everyone, so October sees great offers for customers, hostesses and new recruits.

Best of… Sale-a-Bration

Another new stamp set to celebrate our 25th anniversary, this time featuring some of the best Sale-a-Bration images from the past 25 years. This stamp set will be available until March 31, 2014, or while stocks last, and is only available in clear-mount, at £13.95. A bargain, I think you’ll agree.

Party more, get more!

Hostesses can clean up this month, with a special boost to their hostess benefits. A party of £250 or more will earn you an extra £25 of hostess benefits! So, a £250 party will get you a whopping £65 of freebies!

Sign up for £25

Yep, you read that right – you can sign up for just £25! This is a very limited time offer, running from 7th to 21st October. Full details will be released soon but it seems this will be a smaller Starter Kit, with business supplies, aimed at those who are keen to start running a business, who probably already have a rather impressive collection of supplies!

Please get in touch if you’d like more information about any of the above!

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.