Cheerful Christmas Tic Tac Toe for The Paper Players

by Joanne James31. August 2014 08:00

No blog post yesterday I'm afraid, as I was busy with family activities and just couldn't find the time. Today though it's Sunday and time for my Design Team card for The Paper Players, where this week Nance has a fun tic-tac-toe challenge for us:

I had such fun trying to decide which boxes of the grid to use - in the end I went for the diagonal of 'patterned paper, embossing, buttons' and made my first Christmas card using the 'Cheerful Christmas' stamp set - I took the inspiration for my layout from this week's sketch over at Fab Friday

This stamp set appealed to me the moment I saw it - I love the Scandanavian-inspired patterns that look so great in traditional Christmas reds and greens, along with white and kraft. For this card, I matted my Real Red base with Garden Green, then adhered a piece of Nordic Noel Designer Series Paper to the top of the card; this DSP carries on the Nordic theme and lots of the papers in this set co-ordinate with these stamps - I love it! I stamped the main flower stamp in the set in Versamark on Real Red and heat embossed in white, then adhered this to my card using dimensionals. Lastly, I added a flag of Calypso Coral and stamped my sentiment, from the new hostess set 'Good Greetings' in Garden Green, onto a flag of Whisper White and tucked it beneath my flower square. Lastly, I finished by wrapping around some white baker's twine and adhering one of the red and white Nordic Designer Buttons to finish.

I even took the time to decorate the inside of my card and the envelope - I thought I'd make the most of it now, as by the time I get to the last minute rush these little acts of prettiness will be all but out the window! Pop over to the rest of the team to see what they did with this week's challenge - there's a huge variety in there this week and as always some great designs.

In the James household, swimming lessons resume today before the new term starts and then I will be doing the final preparations for my first monthly card class featuring Christmas cards tomorrow - yippee! Hope you enjoy your Sunday, however you are spending it.

Lastly, in case you needed a reminder - today is the last day of the Big Shot offer - see here for details.

Back tomorrow with another project; until then, happy stampin'!


Stampin' Up! Supplies Used:

Table built using Product Table Builder by The Crafty Owl - Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator.


Autumn /Fall Home Decor Frame

by Joanne James29. August 2014 19:08

It's Friday and I've had the most productive day today - and it's not over yet! Today I'm sharing a lovely piece of autumn (or fall, if you're American) home décor, similar to a piece by Sara Douglas that Shelli Gardner shared on her blog recently. It features a lovely new stamp set from the new seasonal catalogue called 'Gratitude For Days', along with some gorgeous Autumn Wooden Elements embellishments that are also a new item. Here is my finished frame:

I used the stamps in the set to create a circular wreath-like pattern, using a cotton bud (cue-tip) to add some sponged colour to the centre of the leaves. I added three wooden leaves and some gold sequins, finishing with the sentiment, which I stamped in Baked Brown Sugar onto Hello Honey cardstock, and finished with a bow tied in gold baker's twine. Here's a close up of the detail:

A great reminder that we have lots to be thankful for and quite simple to create. I'm really pleased with the result - I'm already working on a winter-themed one so that I will have a seasonal pair.

Short and sweet from me today; back tomorrow with another project. Until then, happy stampin'!


Stampin' Up! Supplies Used:

Table built using Product Table Builder by The Crafty Owl - Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator.


Last Chance to Join My Team with the 'Short and Sweet' Promotion - £51 Free Goodies Could Be Yours!

by Joanne James29. August 2014 07:00

Just a quick reminder that today is the last day to take advantage of Stampin' Up!'s enhanced joining promotion - if you join Stampin' Up! you will receive an extra £20 worth of products of your choice with the standard £99 starter kit - that's £150 worth of products instead of the usual £130 and all for just £99 cost to you (and free postage!).

Don't forget that in addition, to the benefits you receive on joining Stampin' Up!, if you join my team you will also receive an exclusive welcome pack and demonstrator handbook to help you build your new Stampin' Up! business, along with a free copy of my exclusive Product Table Builder Software worth £35 that is a must for any blogger who wishes to maximise their online sales. Not to mention the FUN! We are a close-knit team that has members far and wide and in addition to our face-to-face get-togethers and training meets, we are also part of a vibrant online community of fellow Stampin' Up! demonstrators who are always on hand with advice, encouragement and support.

So whether you just want to be a hobby demonstrator and take advantage of quality Stampin' Up! products at permanently reduced prices, or whether you would like to earn an income doing something you love, please give me a call on 07773 421446 to talk about what joining my team can do for you - I would love to hear from you! You have until 10pm GMT this evening to sign up and benefit from this enhanced joining offer - if you've been 'on the fence' and the opportunity to get your hands on even more free goodies is too good to refuse, then click here to sign up today - I look forward to you joining my team!

Back later with today's creative post!

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The New Stampin' Up! Autumn Winter Catalogue Here - And It's Time To Party!

by Joanne James28. August 2014 20:05

Well, today is August 28th and that can only mean one thing - the new Stampin' Up! seasonal Autumn-Winter catalogue is LIVE!!

If you're not in possession of a paper copy, you can click on the image above and it will take you straight to the electronic version of the catalogue to browse. If you would like a paper copy and you do not already have a demonstrator, then please drop me an email at [email protected] and I will happily put one in the post to you. This also applies to any of my online 'no contact' customers who are reading this - if you have placed an order at any point and selected the 'no contact' option, I do not have contact details for you and I am unable to either post you a catalogue or email you with details of offers, etc. I can't even send you a thank you card for placing your order, which of course I would love to be able to do as I appreciate your custom!

I know I said it when the new annual catalogue went live, but the same applies to this seasonal catalogue - Stampin' Up! really have pulled out all the stops on this one, with great stamps, papers, kits and accessories for autumn, Halloween and Christmas - believe me, you will want it ALL! I've already given you a few 'sneak peeks' of some of the delights in store and I promise there's much more to come on that front!

Did I say the 28th August meant only one thing? Well, actually I meant two! Along with the new seasonal catalogue, there is also an added incentive to all customers who host a party between 28th August -31st October - all party hostesses with qualifying party sales of £200 or more will earn the exclusive 'Good Greetings' stamp set absolutely FREE; this is in addition to their hostess credits, that they can spend on any items they choose! The Good Greetings stamp set contains 19 stamps and really is a most versatile sentiment set, with everything from seasonal greetings to everyday occasion sentiments. Here's a close up of the sentiments included:

If you've been thinking of hosting a party, then call me now on 07773 421446 or email me at [email protected] to book a party slot - it's a great way to earn items on your wish list for free and have a fun night in with friends at the same time! Or host a virtual party - if you would like to take a 'catalogue basket' into work or pass it around your friends to gather orders so that you can get more hostess benefits, I can arrange that too!

Before I go just a reminder that the 'Short and Sweet' promotional offer where you can join Stampin' Up! for £99 and receive an extra £20 of free goodies (£150 instead of £130) ends at 10pm tomorrow evening, so if you'd like to talk to me about joining my team don't leave it too late! To read all about it and sign up just click here.

Also, the current Big Shot promotion is due to end 31st August, that's this coming Sunday - so if you want to get your hands on a free or discounted bundle, you only have a few more days to place your order. You can get the full offer details here.

I think that's everything for today; I'll be back tomorrow with a 3D home décor project made using product from the new catalogue, so be sure to pop by.

Until then, happy browsing - and I'm waiting for your call to make that party booking!



Colour Me...! Nutty or Nice? Nutcracker Christmas Card

by Joanne James27. August 2014 09:00

It's Wednesday so time for the challenge over at Colour Me...! where this week we have a playful palette to work with:

What do you see when you look at these colours? They are quite clashing - pink, vanilla, orange and blue - from different areas of the colour wheel, yet they can work together. I decided to go with an unconventionally coloured Christmas card, using the new nutcracker stamp from the Santa Stache stamp set. Here is my card:

I used Marina Mist for my card base, then layered a strip of spotty Tangerine Tango DSP from the Flowerpot stamp set before creating a paper pieced layered image of the nutcracker. To do this, I stamped the nutcracker 5 times, once each on a piece of Very Vanilla, Marina Mist, Tangerine Tango, Pink Pirouette and Smoky Slate. Using the Very Vanilla piece as my base mat, I then fussy cut the pieces from the remaining images and paper-pieced them together, layering the edges on the hat and jacket for added dimension. I used some now-retired Pink Pirouette mini brads to accent the buttons on the nutcrackers jacket, hat and the edge of my card front for balance - these were lurking in the back of my drawer and were just the right size and shape for the domed effect I was after, but you could use candy dots or maybe small enamel dots in lace of these for a similar effect. Lastly, I cut out the Smoky Slate moustache using the moustache framelit and adhered to my paper pieced image with dimensionals. This vanilla base was matted onto both Marina Mist and Tangerine Tango before adhering to my card base and a little flag with the fun sentiment 'nutty or nice?' added just underneath.

I hope you like my unconventional card this week - only one more day to go until you can order this fun set for yourself. meanwhile, why not visit the other Colour Me...! designers and check out their takes on this week's colour combination:

And our talented guest designer for August - Stephanie K
We look forward to seeing what interesting ways you choose to use this colour palette in your designs. Back tomorrow with another project; until then, happy stampin'!
Stampin' Up! Supplies Used:
* Santa Stache - Available 28th August
Table built using Product Table Builder by The Crafty Owl - Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator.

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Cards | Stamping

This Week's Wednesday Weekly Deals Are Here!

by Joanne James27. August 2014 07:00

It's Wednesday so that means a new collection of Wednesday Weekly Deals! This week's deals are included below - they will be available for one week only, before a new collection of deals is announced.

As always, if you want to take advantage of any of the deals on offer, you can support my business by placing your order online by clicking here or using the link to my store on the right hand side of my blog page where it says 'Shop Online' or with me in person. Don't forget to add the Hostess Code for August (you can find this under the 'Shop Online' section on the right). 

Here's a summary of this week's one-week only Wednesday deals - click on each item to go to the online store to purchase:

Table built using Product Table Builder by The Crafty Owl - Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator.

There are framelits, embossing folders and more this week. Me? I have my eye on that gold foil sheet - this will be great for getting a head start on those Christmas cards! 

One last reminder too - today is the final day for ordering seasonal carry-over sets from last year's seasonal catalogue. You can find all the details here - just go to the online store to purchase.

Back later with today's creative project - until then, happy shopping!

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Promotions | Shop Online | Stamping

So Many Smiles ... Begin With You Brownie Camera Shaker Card

by Joanne James26. August 2014 15:30

As I'm writing my post today there is finally a break in the rain - hurrah! I hope that everyone here in the UK had a lovely Bank Holiday weekend, despite the dreadful weather across most of the country yesterday. I am now home, having spent a long weekend away in Somerset with my extended family, celebrating my Mother-in-law's forthcoming 70th birthday. We were fortunate to have had wonderful weather and spent a great weekend on the beach, fossil hunting, playing rounders and generally having a relaxing time.

Today I'm sharing a card I made a while ago as one of the samples for the UK Regional Training Day where I was asked to do a 'wow' technique presentation using the Traveler stamp set. This card is one of the ones that was actually inspired by the set, rather than featuring it directly, although the old fashioned brownie camera that inspired my card does feature on the inside. I decided to try my hand at a shaker card and created it to look like an old fashioned camera - here's the front of my card:

I used Soft Suede, Baked Brown Sugar and Brushed Gold cardstock and a variety of circle punches and both circle and deco label framelits to construct my shaker, and filled the window with gold sequins and some confetti squares cut using my fringe scissors from baked Brown Sugar cardstock and Champagne glimmer paper. I used the Petite Pairs sentiment set and heat embossed the first half of my sentiment in gold on the inside of my shaker frame. This was then continued on the inside of the card:

I also finished with the camera stamp. So what do you think - does my punch art camera shaker card bear any resemblance to the real thing? I thought this would make a fun masculine shaker card - proving even grown ups can be fun!

Back tomorrow with my Design Team card for this week's Colour Me...! challenge - and I have a fun 'sneak peek' Christmas card to share with you!

Until then, happy stampin'!


Stampin' Up! Supplies Used:

Table built using Product Table Builder by The Crafty Owl - Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator.


The Creative Blog Hop

by Joanne James25. August 2014 22:00

I have a special post to start the week today: my dear friend LeAnne from Wee Inklings invited me to participate in a Creative Blog Hop! It’s just a little way for readers to get to know various crafters (not just stampers) here in blog land! LeAnne has been a friend of mine for some time and is one of the most creative, encouraging and supportive fellow bloggers I know! She is a fellow designer with my on The Paper Players design team and also designs for a number of other challenge blogs (Colour Q, Merry Monday to name but a few!). She writes a daily blog that is a delight to read, not only for the amazing stamped artwork she produces but also for her daily musings as the proud Grammy of Cassidy, her beautiful four year old grand-daughter. If you don't already follow her blog, you should definitely go and check out her work.

So the Hop asks four questions - here goes!

What am I working on now?

As always, I have a number of projects on the go at any one time! I am currently in the process of finishing the planning and samples for my card and project classes between now and the end of the year, featuring lots of Halloween and Christmas projects from the new Stampin' Up! seasonal catalogue and I am in the process of adding another regular card class to my monthly schedule. In addition, I have my current regular design commitments for The Paper Players and Colour Me...! and a couple of commissions I'm working on. This week, amongst other things, I also have a bunch of thank you cards to make for this month's customer orders and I need to start thinking about my Convention swaps - Stampin' Up! European Convention is only 7 weeks away!!




How does my work differ from others of my genre?

I guess if I had to define my style, 'clean and layered' probably describes it best. I like clean lines and graphic designs, and this would be the style I'm most at home with. That said, I like to try new techniques and the inspiration for a design my influence the style I use for my project and I'm a big fan of punch art, especially for children's cards. I have created some fun Lego-inspired punch art that I'm particularly proud of!


Why do I create what I do?

I have always been interested in art and design and enjoy a number of creative hobbies, such as calligraphy, cross stitch and biscuit decorating. I love papercraft though because it gives me the opportunity to create something new and unique every single day and through my blog I'm able to share that with the world. Blogging is my creative therapy - I think I'm really a frustrated journalist at heart - and I love to inspire, share my skills and teach others new things.


How does my creative process work?

I can be inspired by most anything - a sketch, a colour combination, a fashion catalogue, in-store home furnishings, a movie, children's toys - I see inspiration everywhere. And if I'm ever stuck for inspiration, there's always Pinterest! I carry a little book around with me that was a Christmas gift from my husband with the cover page entitled 'Evil Plans and Stuff' that I use to make notes and capture my ideas, whatever the time of day and night - it makes me smile! I am fortunate to have my own office at home that is choc full of my stamps, inks and papers and as it's south-facing it's a very bright workspace - this is where my plans and ideas take shape and become finished pieces. I always work with the radio playing in the background and I'm at my most creative when I take my morning shower - this is when I have my best ideas :-) (hope that wasn't too much information!) As a busy mum of two, I also like to use my time efficiently and save it for the important things; this has led me to create a number of time-saving tools, such as my popular Box Buster and Envelope Expert tools for the Envelope Punch Board and Product Table Builder, that benefit both customers, fellow papercrafters and other SU! demonstrators alike.


So that's a small insight into my creative world - I would now like to nominate another stamper whose work I admire:

Pauline Adamson - Pollycraft

Pauline is a fellow Stampin' Up! demonstrator, member of my downline and Project Life addict! Her style is quite different to mine and that is why I find her work so inspiring - it encourages me to think outside of my 'creative box'.

"Hi, my name is Pauline and I live in Carnoustie, Scotland.  I first found my addiction to paper, ink and all things gluey only a few years ago, joining the best club ever very late in life.  I began as a way of helping my daughter who was being bullied in school discover art journalling, a month on she was fed up and I was hooked.   Initially I found Graphic 45 and all their amazing collections and started making photo albums.  To help fund my addiction I discovered Stampin' Up! becoming an independent demo earlier this year.  I am now proud to admit I am once again a complete addict for all things Stampin' Up! Come on over to my blog and follow the trail of 'The Creative Blog Hop'.  I hope you're not disappointed." 

Thanks Pauline - be sure to check out her blog next week to find out more - and thanks again to LeAnne for the nomination!


That's all from me today - back tomorrow with a new project! Until then, happy stampin'!






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Cards | Stamping

Have a Spooky Halloweeny with The Paper Players

by Joanne James24. August 2014 08:00

Today I'm sharing my Design team card for this week's challenge over at The Paper Players. This week Jaydee is hosting and she has the following sketch layout for us:

I love a good sketch layout and this one is no exception - I'd designed 3 cards with it within minutes of looking at it, so don't be surprised if you see this layout inspiring more of my creations in the coming weeks. For today though, I have another seasonal catalogue 'sneak peek' for you (I know, I'm such a tease!) - this time, with a Halloween theme: 

I don't normally purchase any Halloween items as I usually plough straight into Christmas, but this year I couldn't resist - there are some fantastic items to choose from! Today's card features the 'Motley Monsters' DSP and stamps from both the 'Freaky Friends' stamp set (the cat) and the 'Mingle All the Way' stamp set (sentiment). I heat embossed the cat in black so that he would be nice and shiny and coloured in the open letters of the sentiment with marker colours that co-ordinated with the DSP. The banner flag is made from a piece of Tangerine Tango cardstock covered with Retro Fresh washi tape in the same colour.

I hope this gets you in the mood for a spooky spooky halloweeny! Do pop over to The Paper Players to see what the other designers have come up with - there are some amazing takes on today's sketch.

Back tomorrow with a post for Bank Holiday Monday; until then, happy stampin'!


Stampin' Up! Supplies Used:

* Motley Monsters Designer Series Paper, Freaky Friends and Mingle All The Way - available 28th August

Table built using Product Table Builder by The Crafty Owl - Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator.


Thanks So Much

by Joanne James23. August 2014 10:00

A quick post from me! Today's card is a thank you card inspired by the sketch over at Seize the Sketch this week:


A nice simple sketch that lent itself to a nice simple card using the 'Another Thank You' stamp set - here is my card:

I took my colour inspiration for my card from the Flashback paper that I used as a background; there are some great patterns in this DSP set and the colours mean that they work well for both male and female projects. The card make-up I pretty self-explanatory, but if there's anything you'd specifically like to know, then please leave me a comment below and I will answer it. A little Essentials paper clip and some black baker's twine finish off today's card.

Back tomorrow with my Design Team card for the Paper Players; until then, happy stampin'!

Stampin' Up! Supplies Used:

Table built using Product Table Builder by The Crafty Owl - Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator.


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Cards | Stamping

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About Me

Hi I'm Joanne and live in Northampton and when I'm not looking after my husband and two beautiful children, am an avid crafter with a passion for all things Stampin' Up!

I must confess that I have never been a big rubber stamper - until I discovered Stampin' Up! that is. I love the fact that I can get such great results with co-ordinating stamps, inks, papers and punches - the possibilities are endless! Join me on my stamping journey as I share the things I love and be inspired to create amazing things yourself!

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This is my personal blog and is not endorsed by Stampin’ Up! I hope you find it a plentiful source of ideas and personal inspiration but please don't copy my designs for contest submission or use for classes, publication or sale without express permission.