Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Birthday card for a true friend

Yes! - for my last post of the year I've managed to actually use some of my more precious goodies, rather than just buying them and admiring them from time to time, lol. That's gonna have to be a resolution for the new year - to actually use my stash. My friends and family are worth it, after all (good reason) - and if I use it then I'll have to buy more (even better reason)!

So now to the recipe - for this card I started with Rose Red cardstock as the base. I used the small circle flower from the True Friend stamp set and stamped this onto Whisper White card in Regal Rose, Rose Red and Bravo Burgundy inks and punched with the 1-1/4" circle punch. These were layered onto matching flowers punched using the scallop circle punch and the centre of each flower is a medium Rhinestone brad. To keep with 3 separate colours I used pink and red brads from the Circle Fire set and a clear from the Pretties Kit.

To get the blend of colours on the True Friend sentiment I used the same inks again as for the flowers, building up from the lightest to the darkest. The inkspots make it easier to do this sort of detailed inking. This was layered onto Regal Rose and Bravo Burgundy card, all of which were punched with the corner rounder. The background paper strip is from the Spiced Cider designer series paper which matches the True Friend stamp set.

A very happy and healthy new year to you all. Here's to a Super Stampin' 2009!

Sara xx

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Quick craft tip - rubber stamping tip no. 1

This starts a series of short crafting tips that I'll be posting here once a week or so. I'm sure that for all you seasoned crafters reading, these won't be anything that you don't know already (and if you have any to add then please feel free to email me or comment). Hopefully though they will be of help to newbies to papercrafting.

Store your rubber stamps out of sunlight when not in use. The sun can perish and degrade the rubber, reducing the life of the stamp.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Dotty gift box using free stamp set

For today's little gift box I've used one of the free stamp sets available from 1 January 2009 in the Stampin' Up! Sale-a-bration. Click here for more details. 

I used a pillow box template to cut and score the shape from Pumpkin Pie cardstock. Using Versamark I stamped all over the cut shape with the small flower from the Polka Dot Punches stamp set. 

This is a fantastic set because it's designed to work with your punches  - hence the name, ha. It matches the 5-petal flower, the scallop circle and the 1-1/4" circle punches (this last one gives a trim fit but you could always use a larger circle). 

I stuck a strip of chocolate chip flowered paper from the Sweet Always series around the shortest sides of the box, offsetting it from the centre slightly. Narrow grosgrain ribbon in Chocolate Chip was wrapped around the longer sides and ties the box closed. The large polka dot flower was stamped onto Whisper White cardstock in Only Orange ink (I don't have any Pumpkin Pie yet but as you can see this tones really well anyway) and punched with the scallop circle punch. I used dimensionals to stick the flower bridged over the ribbon, so that the ribbon can be slid out and reused (am I the only one that looks to reuse embellishments - I bet that all my friends just chuck all the bits in the bin, LOL).

Thanks for stopping by.

Sara xx

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Katarina's Blog Candy - Happy 10th Anniversary

A Happy Anniversary to Katarina and Bengt. Katarina has a blog covering stamping, scrapbooking, jewellery making and other crafts. She is celebrating her 10th anniversary with the love of her life by offering blog candy. Each time someone joins the fun she is adding more candy. To join in just click on the link
and follow the instructions. You have until the end of 2008 to take part.

Sara xx

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Simple Valentine card - low fuss, man's valentine card

Well that's Christmas done, so I'm thinking now about Valentine's Day. I know that some men aren't keen on fussy cards and so this quick and easy card may fit the bill for them. 

I've used Ruby Red cardstock for the base card and also to mat the large heart onto. I used Ruby Red ink to stamp the love panel from the A Little Bit of Happiness stamp set (a Level 1 hostess gift). The same ink was used to stamp the heart from the Polka Dot Punches stamp set. This is one of the fab freebie sets available in the Sale-a-bration that starts on 1 January (see yesterday's post for more info). I've layered the love panel onto Regal Rose cardstock and Holiday Treasures designer series paper. Dimensionals (foam pads) were used to raise the large heart (apologies - the photo doesn't really show the 3-d effect, it's really dismal and gloomy here today).

Note - photo edited on 29 December, once I had better light.

The only techniques used in this card are stamping (single colour), cutting and sticking so this is a great card for a beginner to try. 

Happy stampin'.

Sara xx

Friday, 26 December 2008

January sales for crafters - how to get your free stamp sets

I hope that you all had a great Christmas and that Santa brought everything that you were hoping for. For those of you lucky enough to get money to spend on what you want in the January sales, I thought you might like a little advance notice of the Stampin' Up! version - Sale-A-Bration. This is a chance for every customer (not just hostesses) to earn free stamps and even better - this sale runs from 1 January right through to 28 February 2009 (so you might be able to sneak another freebie in with your Valentines Day present in as well!).
To browse the Sale-A-Bration leaflet please click here.

What you get:
  • Customers receive a free Sale-A-Bration product for every £45 purchase.
  • Hostesses receive a free Sale-A-Bration stamp set with £300 or more workshop, in addition to the normal hostess benefits (click here for more information).
  • New demonstrators get to choose any retail stamp set (a value up to £38.95) from the current catalogue when signing up during the promotion
There are four Sale-A-Bration stamp sets to choose from. These products are exclusive to this promotion and will never be offered again, so start collecting yours now. Whether you'd like to place an order, hostess a workshop or ask about becoming a demonstrator then please email me to find out more.

Sara xx

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Merry Christmas

A very merry christmas and season's greetings to all of you crafters and blog browsers out there. I wish you a happy and peaceful holiday.

Sara xx

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Christmas tree decorations using the snowflake stamp

These are some Christmas tree decorations made to match the snowflake window card that I posted instructions for earlier.

The snowflake is from the Season of Joy stamp set and is stamped in Perfect Plum on Whisper White cardstock. It was punched out with the 1-1/4" punch. I used the scallop circle punch on Pale Plum cardstock and punched two of these. The snowflake was matted on one of the scallop circles using snail glue. A chocolate mint is sandwiched between the two scallop circles and so I used sticky strip to stick the mint and a loop of Whisper White grosgrain ribbon to the circles. Sticky strip is stronger than snail glue and can take the weight of the mint.

To package these up and make a gift of them I used a medium Cellophane Bag and stamped it with White Stazon using the swirl and the Merry Christmas (again from the Season of Joy stamp set). I took a piece of Perfect Plum cardstock cut to the width of the bag and folded in two, punched the edges (one at a time) with the scallop edge punch and stamped the snowflake across the top in Perfect Plum ink. I put four decorations in the bag and trimmed the top off the bag to avoid too much empty space. Sandwiching the cellophane bag between the card I punched two small holes with the crop-a-dile and laced Whisper White grosgrain ribbon through to tie the package shut. 

You could staple the top shut as a quick and easy alternative but by using ribbon the bag can be used again (frugal as always).

Happy stampin'

Sara xx

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Thank you card using A Little Bit of Happiness stamp set

Having been so rushed in the run up to Christmas I'm now trying to get ahead a little by starting my thank you cards now.

For this one I've used the thank you strip from the Little Bit of Happiness stamp set. This is a Level 1 hostess set. I stamped it with Chocolate Chip ink (to keep the overall look soft and autumnal) and coloured with markers. I matted it onto Old Olive cardstock and Designer Series Paper. The base card is Really Rust cardstock.

The flower was made using Pumpkin Pie, Really Rust and Summer Sun and the scallop circle and boho blossoms punches. The flower was secured in place using an Old Olive brad.

Keep stampin'

Sara xx

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Hostess gifts - how to earn free stamp sets and other products

In a previous blog entry I showed you the Anniversary card I made for my Mum and Dad and explained that the background was made with the dinky heart stamp from the Level 2 
hostess gift - Cause for Celebration. This is the full set here. The dinky stamps are great for making background papers. The larger stamps work as the main focus stamp for any special occasion card or tag.

Now I'm sure that some of you are wondering what a hostess gift is. These are free stamp sets and other Stampin' Up! products that you get in return for hosting a workshop. You get to have fun with your friends trying out the products and learning new techniques and you get free crafting goodies - how great is that?

This Little Bit of Happiness set is a level 1 hostess gift.
The amount of free products you can earn depends on the level of workshop sales. The higher the sales the more goodies you get. With net sales of just £150 you can choose a hostess level 1 gift and also £15 of products from the catalogue, these could be inks, cardstock, ribbon or whatever else you might need to stock your craft box. If your sales are more than £300 this jumps to a hostess level 2 gift and £35 of products and so on upwards.

If you live in the South Yorkshire area and you'd like to book a workshop then please  email me.

What if you don't live in my area? Does this mean you can't get the free goodies? Of course not - I wouldn't raise your hopes just to dash them again, would I. If you place an order with me for the minimum net amount of £150 then you get just the same benefits, your order will be delivered direct to you and (exclusive to orders placed with me) I'll post you some project sheets and one or two other goodies as a thank you for shopping with me. Email me for more details.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sara xx

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Happy Anniversary Mum & Dad

Today's my Mum & Dad's wedding anniversary. I know that my Mum reads this blog so I had to wait until today to show you their card, otherwise I'd spoil the surprise.

Mum & Dad:

Happy Anniversary - I love you both lots xx

As this is an extra special card I used textured cardstock (that's the more expensive stuff Mum - you're worth it *grinning*) in Blush Blossom and Almost Amethyst. I still used Whisper White plain cardstock to stamp on because this gives the crispest look to the stamped images (not because I was cutting back at this stage - honest).

I created a background by stamping Blush Blossom randomly with the dinky heart from Cause for Celebration (a Level 2 hostess gift) stamp set.

 The main image is from the Fun and Fast Notes stamp set. I coloured this image with markers to match the cardstock and glitzed it up by edging the cakes with Dazzling Diamonds glitter.

I finished the card with some halfback pearls from the Pretties Kit and some Very Vanilla Taffeta ribbon.

Hopefully the effect is soft and romantic, to suit the occasion.

Bye for now.

Sara xx

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Window variation

On Sunday I posted instructions to make a snowflake window card. You can follow along here.

This card design isn't just for christmas though. It works great for birthdays, thank yous ... basically any occasion, just by substituting different stamp sets.

For this card, instead of the snowflake, I used the circle flower from True Friend in the windows. The christmas tree was replaced with the leafy flower from the same stamp set. Finally the Holiday Hello was substituted with Birthday Wishes from the Circle of Friendship set.

I've used Regal Rose and Always Artichoke textured cardstock (this gives a real luxury feel to the card) . Inks are the same colours and also Rose Red.

Thanks for looking.

Sara xx

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Project - Snowflake window card

This is a moderately difficult card that uses the following techniques:
  • punching
  • stamping
  • embossing (for an easier card skip this and stick with stamping)
  • decoupage
It takes around 20 minutes to complete if you are familiar with the techniques used.

Tools and Materials
Cardstock - Pale Plum, Perfect Plum, Whisper White
Punches - Scallop circle, 1-1/4" circle, 1" circle
Stamps - tree and snowflake
from Season of Joy, Holiday Hello from
Circle of Friendship
Inks - Perfect Plum, Versamark, White StazOn
Additional items - acetate (copier film), sticky strip, dimensionals, clear embossing powder, heat tool

You can substitute your own favourite colours, stamps and punches but if you want to buy any of the tools or materials to make this project then please email me and I'll tell you about the latest Stampin' Up! offer.

Step 1 - Starting with an A6 card and using the circle punch, punch 3 circles evenly along the long
outside edge of the card. You could do this by eye if you're good/pushed for time or you can
measure and mark. Mark (in pencil) a line 3cm from the outside edge. Mark halfway along this line - 7.24 cm. Mark 4cm either side of this central mark. Centre each mark in the middle of your 1-1/4" punch and punch. Retain 1 of the punched circles for your embellishment and put the other 2 in your craft box for other projects (crafters are so frugal :-)). Don't forget to rub out any remaining pencil marks.

Step 2 - Cut a piece of acetate to fit behind the punched out circles (approx 5cm x 14cm). Without sticking it down yet, place over the circles and using them as a guide, stamp the snowflakes using White StazOn.

Step 3 - Turn the acetate over and stick in place using sticky strip at the top and bottom.

Step 4 - Ink the Holiday Hello stamp with Perfect Plum and stamp onto Whisper White card. Centre within the 1" punch and punch it out.

Step 5 - Punch a scallop circle from the Perfect Plum cardstock. Stick the Holiday Hello onto the retained Pale Plum circle using snail glue. Stick the combined circles onto the Perfectly Plum scallop circle using snail glue. Use a dimensional to stick the embellishment alongside the top snowflake on the front of the card.

Step 6 - Ink the tree stamp with Versamark, then before stamping, ink again with Perfectly Plum. Stamp onto Whisper White cardstock. Cover with clear embossing powder and heat.
Note - if you don't have clear embossing powder/Versamark/heat tool then you could just stamp using the coloured ink but you won't get the glossy effect of the embossing.

Step 7 - Cut out the tree and attach dimensionals to the back. Cut the dimensionals in half if needed to make sure they don't show behind the decoupaged tree. Stick the tree alongside the bottom two snowflakes.

And here's the finished card. Please leave comments to let me know how you get on if you try this project. I hope that you've enjoyed it.

Keep Stampin'

Sara xx

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Project Preview

Here's a sneak peek at the project that I'll be posting instructions for tomorrow.

Sara xx

We'll miss you

I've just realised that I didn't show you a card I made last weekend so thought I'd sort that out now. Our lovely neighbours moved away recently and so I made this card to let them know that we'll miss them. They haven't moved very far and we'll still keep in touch but it's not quite the same as having them right next door.

I used the little truck from the Loads of Love stamp set. I stamped this first on Whisper White card for the wheels to show through and then again on Garden Green cardstock which decoupaged.
The moving package, people and sentiment were all from the Loads of Love Accessories stamp set. I coloured the truck's wheels, packages and people using markers. Garden Green was used again for the mats and then More Mustard was used for the base card. A couple of flourishes from Season of Joy stamped in Versamark were added to provide a bit of background interest.

Thanks for dropping by.

Sara xx

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Christmas trio

I love a bit of bling in my crafting and so I thought I'd combine silver embossing with some hodgepodge.

I've used Whisper White, Bordering Blue and Night of Navy cardstock, Night of Navy and Versamark ink and silver embossing powder.

Stamp sets are Season of Joy for the card and the gift bag, Circle of Friendship for the hanging decoration
and Seasonal Wishes for the sentiment on the card.

I used the scallop edge punch to trim the flap on the gift bag and the scallop circle for the decoration.

The decoration has a chocolate mint sandwiched between the two scallop circles. 

I haven't quite decided who is going to get this yet but I need to start wrapping presents tonight so I guess I'd better make my mind up soon.

Keep stampin'.

Sara xx

Monday, 8 December 2008

Thank you gifts

Thought I'd have a change from cards today and so I made a couple of little thank you gifts. These little triangular packages are quite easy to make and look really special. They can be dressed up with any embellishments you have to hand. They could easily be made in Christmas colour papers to go on the tree. If names are added to the tags they would work well as place settings for your Christmas lunch.

I made a couple of different sizes so that I could fit different size treats inside them.

The smaller treat is made from Old Olive Pattern Designer Series Paper and the larger one uses a paper from the Sweet Always design set.

Thanks for looking.

Sara xx

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Wow - what a week!

Hope all your preparations for Christmas are going well. I've been super busy this week. I got back from holiday on Sunday night, went to the theatre with my Mum on Wednesday to see the Witches of Eastwick (very good, though rather raunchy) and then with my hubby to the see the Kings of Leon on Friday. 
Saturday was my Open House and I demonstrated a few cards as well as boxes and treat holders - thank goodness I'm catching up on my cardmaking because I'll soon have to post them off.

My mum needed a 60th birthday card to send, so here it is.

The card is for a vibrant lady and so I used Pixie Pink textured cardstock from the Bold Brights range. The birthday cake is from the Fun and Fast Notes stamp set, coloured with markers and matted on Night of Navy. The sentiment is from Garden Whimsy and is a personal favourite (it works for all sorts of occasions). The dinky flower is from One of a Kind. I die cut the numbers from Night of Navy using a Cuttlebug.

You can't see from the outside but I also added a white insert and stamped that with the birthday wishes stamp from the Circle of Friendship set. I also used that on the envelope in place of a postage stamp as I knew the card would be hand delivered.

Keep Stampin'.

Sara xx

Thursday, 4 December 2008

His 'n' Hers Christmas Cards

I'm a real sucker for Chocolate Chip (that's both the Stampin' Up! colour and the real thing). It combines so well with a great range of colours but among my favourites are Bashful Blue and Pretty in Pink. So I thought I'd do his and hers cards using the same stamp and layout.

To give a snowy background (in keeping with the weather here today) I stamped the card fronts with white stazon using the Polka Dot stamp (it's a bit faint but you can see it better on the pink). I then stamped the multi stamp from the Season of Joy set with Chocolate Chip on Whisper White card and put it on a Chocolate Chip mat. The cards were finished with Chocolate Chip narrow ribbon; knotted for his card, a pretty bow for hers.

Quick and easy again but I think they look quite elegant. I hope that you agree.

Until next time.

Sara xx

Update Edit - I redid these cards using Versamark and white embossing powder with the polka dot background for the "snow" and it looks much more effective.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

A Quick Christmas Card

As I've just got back from holiday and need to play catch up with my Christmas card making I've gone for a simple and quick design.

I used old olive cardstock and ink (don't you just love how all Stampin' Up!'s colours match properly). The background is the Leaves a la Carte, Stampin' Around wheel and the Christmas tree is from the Fun and Fast Notes (this set is so useful all year round).

The card is finished off with Whisper White 1/4" Grosgrain Ribbon.

 Although green works well for the leaves and the tree you can easily change the colour scheme to suit either the materials you have to hand or the favourite colour of the person you're sending to. This card works fairly well as a man's Christmas card because it's not too fussy but my friend loves all things pink so I'll change the colour scheme to Regal Rose when I make hers.

Bye for now.


Monday, 1 December 2008

Welcome to my Stampin' Up! blog

Hi there

Welcome to my new blog for sharing all things Stampin' Up! I am a new independent Demonstrator living between Barnsley and Sheffield, happy to travel in the South Yorkshire area to meet my hostesses, customers and other potential Demonstrators.

I'll be sharing with you the cards and other items that I make and the techniques that I use to make them. I hope that you'll come back to my blog regularly for to browse for inspiration (and if you need any Stampin' Up! supplies then I can help with those of course).

This Saturday, 6 December 2008, I'm holding an Open House between 11am and 4pm to celebrate my new Demonstrator status (oh and Christmas too haha). There'll be demonstrations, make and takes, door prizes and coffee and mince pies. If you're in the area and would like to come along then just email me and I'll send directions. It's always lovely to meet other crafters face to face.