Wrapped In The Warmth Of Christmas

by Joanne James8. January 2018 21:00

In an effort to be organised in 2018, I am going to make a concerted effort to make Christmas cards throughout the year so I'm having a break from the 'new' today and have a Christmas card to share with you that was inspired by the following challenges:

   

The team over at SUO Challenges are inviting cards that fit with the theme of 'Brr! Baby it's cold outside', which I paired with the sketch over at Handstamped Sentiments, a new-to-me challenge and a little dry embossing for Stamps Ink Paper to come up with this cosy little number:

 

Here's the low-down on today's card:

Wrapped In The Warmth of Christmas - I used the sentiment from 'Snowflake Sentiments' as the starting point for my card. I'm so glad this set is on carryover and will be available for a little longer. No snowflakes on this card though - it's all about the warm and cosy! 

A Chunky Knit - I added some great texture with my dry embossed background - a little difficult to see in the photos because of the contrast in colours and I'm a little over-exposed, but it is definitely reminiscent of warm, woollen sweaters which is exactly what I think of when it's cold outside. 

Sweater Weather - I needed a little bit of pattern to bring my elements together and found this piece of retired DSP that was just what I was looking for to complete my card. A few candy dots to finish and my first Christmas card of 2018 is complete! 

Here is the visual summary of the key products used on today's project for you to pin for easy reference:

 

You can see all of my 'How To' summaries on my 'How To - Tips and Techniques' Pinterest board in case you've missed any. 

I'll be 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.

Hedgehugs For The Paper Players PP375

by Joanne James7. January 2018 09:00

It's Sunday and time for this week's new challenge over at The Paper Players! I hope you have all enjoyed a restful Christmas and are ready to join us for some crafty fun. The super-talented Sandy is kicking off a new year of Paper Player challenges for us with a seasonal theme with a little humour too:

      

Now I love a good pun, yet I initially had a little panic when I saw Sandy's theme this week as I couldn't find a single 'punny Valentine' stamp on my shelf. I thought I was going to have to get really creative and 'think outside the box' when I was saved by my lovely downline Helen, who was coming over for a 'planning and play' session and brought with her the perfect stamp set for this week's theme  - take a look:

 

Hedgehugs - how cute is that?! I grabbed the current Freshly Made Sketches sketch and set to work. I inked up my prickly pair with my Stampin' Write markers, colouring the hedgehogs in Early Espresso (I added a little Crumb Cake with a blender pen afterwards) and the flower in a combination of Sweet Sugarplum and Old Olive, to compliment the florals of the strip of Petal Garden designer series paper that I used behind. I stamped my punny sentiment along with another flower and popped it up on a circle between my hedgehogs - this is one of those cards where if you can't see the sentiment, it kind-of doesn't make sense! A little floral tone-on-tone stamping on the bottom half of my card was added for extra interest. I'm also linking my card up with the team over at Inspired By All The Little Things, where this week's inspiration is all about wild animals. My inspiration was the hedgehog but I might have to have another go over there this week as there are so many little woodland cuties to choose from!

Here is the visual summary of the key products used on today's project for you to pin for easy reference:

 

You can see all of my Product and 'How To' summaries on my 'How To - Tips and Techniques' Pinterest board in case you've missed any. 

I love a punny sentiment and this little hedgehog pair is super cute - thanks to Helen for helping me out too! If you'd like to see what else we got up to, check out this post on Helen's blog this week. As one of a special team of demonstrators at Stampin' Up!, I was fortunate to receive my much-anticipated Stamparatus this week and having shared a video with my team already, Helen was keen to have a play. I videoed Helen in action - you can see the full version and the card we made, along with lots of her other creations, over on her blog, Love-A-Duckie

Back to today's challenge! Before you reach for your ink and papers, check out what our amazing team has created to inspire you this week, including the lovely Eliz Stewart of My Paper Sweetness who is joining our team of guest designers for the next six months for the first time today. Some of the team have created some truly inspiring and inspired cards with their stamps this week, so do check them out:

The Paper Players Design Team
  
Here's a quick recap of our challenge rules:
 
1.  Create a new paper project
2.  Upload your creation to your blog with a link back to us and provide a direct link to the post featuring your challenge submission.
3.  Please link your card to no more than four challenges, TOTAL.
4.  Have FUN! 

 

I look forward to seeing what you create with this week's theme. Enjoy the rest of your weekend as it will be over all too quickly; I'll be 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.

Calypso Coral Petal Passion Thank You Card

by Joanne James4. January 2018 20:15

I hope you are all enjoying browsing your new Spring-Summer catalogues and making your Sale-A-Bration wishlists! I have had a fun 'planning and playing' day today with one of my downline team members (more on that soon!) but I also have a quick post to share with you a pretty little card that was one of the 'make&takes' at our Stampin' Up! UK Onstage event in Solihull last November that features some of the gorgeous new products from the 'Petal Passion' suite - take a look:

 

Here's the low-down on today's card:

Express Your Inner Artist - The Petal Passion Suite comprises a stamp set with gorgeous, brushstroke-style imagery, with a varied saturation in the design that creates realistic watercolour effects. If you would like to discover your inner artist without even needing to pick up a paintbrush, this set is for you!

Black and White Watercolour - This brushstroke style carries through into the co-ordinating designer series paper, which contains watercolour designs in shades of black and white that can be used as they are or customised with your favourite colouring techniques, such as adding a little Calypso Coral ink with a blender pen to the flowers as I've done on the central panel on my card for an added touch of colour.

Petal Passion Embellishments - There are some great acessories in this suite too: a pair of textured embossing folders, along with some beautiful soft and sheer white organza ribbon and flower and leaf metal embellishments, the latter two of which add a little detail to the focal point of today's card.

Here is the visual summary of the key products used on today's project for you to pin for easy reference:

 

You can see all of my 'How To' summaries on my 'How To - Tips and Techniques' Pinterest board in case you've missed any. 

I'll be 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.

Sale-A-Bration 2018 And The New Spring-Summer Catalogue Is Here!

by Joanne James3. January 2018 08:00


It's time to shake off the January blues, today is THE day - yes, the highlight of the Stampin' Up! calendar, Sale-A-Bration is here! No more sneak peeks - the catalogue is available, the shop is live and from now until 31st March the benefits are yours for the taking. You can click on the catalogue on the right hand side of my blog page to access the Sale-A-Bration leaflet to download a copy or click on the icon above or on the right to go directly to my online shop to place an order - we are LIVE!

 

So what is Sale-A-Bration? For anyone who hasn't come across it before, it's Stampin' Up!'s annual promotion that is loaded with offers whether you shop, join or host:

 

Earn a free Sale-A-Bration product for every £45 you spend between 3 January and 31 March. This year for the first time there is also the opportunity to earn even bigger rewards with a £90 purchase. It's the perfect time to purchase those products you've had on your wish list and earn more products for free! 

 

It’s the best time of year to join Stampin’ Up! During Sale-A-Bration, you can become a demonstrator for just £99 and choose £30 more of FREE products for your Starter Kit. Plus, the kit ships for free! There is plenty of choice and flexibility, whether you want to be a hobby demonstrator and just use your discount to enable you to purchase craft supplies more cheaply, or alternatively would like to build a flourishing direct sales business and sell supplies to others - it's entirely up to you. In addition, you can choose two free stamp sets of your choice (except for bundles, kits or Sale-A-Bration items) - that could be worth as much as another £90 to you!

 

Earn an additional £20 in hostess credits when you host a party and have party sales of £200 or more (this also applies to individual orders). So for party sales of £200, that makes a whopping £40 of Stampin' Rewards - more freebies! What's more, you can even apply your Stampin' Rewards to a Starter Kit and become a demonstrator yourself - I would love to welcome you to my team!

If you would like to host a party, real or virtual, please do get in touch; my diary is filling up but there are still lots of slots available and I would love to share these great benefits with you. If you've ever thought about becoming an SU! demonstrator, now is a great time to do so - I would love to have a no-obligation chat with you about joining my team and the benefits.

As if that wasn't enough, today also sees the launch of the new Spring-Summer catalogue - full of gorgeous new products:

 

Just click on the image above or in the sidebar on the right to browse the catalogue online, or contact me on 07773 421446 if you would like a paper copy posted out to you and you don't already have a demonstrator. If you are as excited as me and just can't wait, here's the link to my online store - everything is available to purchase from today!

Here's a fun little video too that showcases some of the excitement that lies within:

If you would like more information on any of the above, please don't hesitate to get in touch! 

Thanks so much for popping by - it's always nice to share good news! Back tomorrow with a project showcasing some of the products from the new catalogue. Until then, happy shopping!

Happy New Year 2018 Celebrate You Shaker Card #GDP119

by Joanne James2. January 2018 21:00

Hello lovely readers - and a happy new year to you all! Today I'm sharing a card that I made for some friends with whom welcomed in the new year - I was still enjoying the 'morning after the night before' yesterday so from a blog perspective today heralds the beginning of the end of my festive blog break! I'm also linking up with a couple of challenges - the current challenge over at Global Design Project where the theme is all about celebrating at home and the lovely ladies over at As You See It who are all about the sparkle for their first challenge of the year:

   

My card was inspired by my 2017 new year card, minus the owl of course (you can see that card in a previous post here) and has a little 'something old ... and lots new' about it - take a look:

 

Here's the low-down on today's card:

A Window Into 2018 - I used my much-loved Large Numbers Framelits to create fun shaker-card windows in the front of my card. This is so easy to do; you just need to remember to keep the middle of the 0 and 8 to complete the negative image. If you place the numbers that you've cut out over the window sheet without sticking them down, they will allow you to position the negative pieces in just the right position when you remove the numbers again. 

All That Glitters - My decision to create a shaker card was largely because I was looking for an opportunity to use these amazing gold glitter flakes from the new Spring-Summer catalogue that launches tomorrow. Check out the close-up below - aren't they gorgeous? So sparkly! 

Celebrate ... Amazing You - The main front panel of my card features a stamp from a new Sale-A-Bration set, Amazing You (stamped in Versamark and heat embossed in gold and silver) and the word 'celebrate' cut from silver glimmer paper using another of this year's Sale-A-Bration free items - a set of thinlits dies called 'Celebrate You' that co-ordinate with the stamp set and are available free with a £90 purchase. More news on Sale-A-Bration tomorrow, but I hope these sneak-peeks have got you all excited about the fabulous things that are to come!

Here is the visual summary of the key products used on today's project for you to pin for easy reference:

 

You can see all of my 'How To' summaries on my 'How To - Tips and Techniques' Pinterest board in case you've missed any. 

I'll be back tomorrow with all of the news and information on the 2018 Sale-A-Bration promotion and the launch of the new Spring-Summer seasonal catalogue. Until then, happy stampin'!

 

Stampin' Up! Supplies Used:

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

The Year Is Coming To An End - And So Are These Offers!

by Joanne James28. December 2017 23:30

Hello lovely readers! I hope you have all enjoyed wonderful Christmases. We have had a busy time here in the James household, with one poorly James Junior and a house full of guests, however I'm pleased to say we are currently enjoying a post-Christmas lull with some much needed peace, quiet and rest and relaxation before the new year begins.

The festivities have necessitated something of a blog break - my regular readers know this happens every year as I am yet prepared enough to have time to write all my posts in advance - and whilst my usual frequent blogging won't resume until the new year properly, I do have some projects to share, along with some news and reminders of offers that will end within the next few days. 

 

First things first - you have until the 31st December to reserve your Stamparatus, the amazing new one-of-a-kind stamp positioning tool by Stampin' Up! You can read more about this fantastic tool in my earlier blog post here however following the overwhelming popularity of the tool during the first reservation window (the entire allocated stock was reserve in under 15 minutes!) the ongoing reservation process was changed to allow an unlimited number of reservations (subject to one per customer) in a single period, scheduled to end at the end of December. The reservation window will close at 6.50am GMT on Sunday 31st December - you don't have to pay for your Stamparatus until you are notified that it is ready to ship (likely to be sometime from March onwards). This will be your last chance to order the best stamp positioning tool on the market until this tool launches fully in this year's new annual catalogue in June. 

 

You still have time to snap up a bargain in the year-end sales event: click here to see the stamps and accessories that are still available online and don't forget to add the current hostess code KRXDZQXE to your online order to receive an extra thank you in the post from me. There are also a whole range of other items that are not discounted that will also be leaving us when the current seasonal catalogue ends - you can find those in the online store here

 

Lastly, copies of the new Spring-Summer seasonal catalogue and the forthcoming Sale-A-Bration brochure will be in the post to those of my customers still to receive them within the next couple of days; if you haven't purchased from me in the last 12 months and don't already have a Stampin' Up! demonstrator and you would like to receive one, please get in touch with your details and I will happily pop one in the post to you.

Back with more news soon; meanwhile, happy stampin'!

 

Make Your Handcrafted Christmas Easy With The Watercolor Christmas Card Kit

by Joanne James21. December 2017 09:00

Today is the last day for posting here in the UK to guarantee your Christmas cards will arrive in time for Christmas. If, like me, you have been making Christmas cards all season but still need a few extra at the last minute, the Watercolor Christmas Project kit is definitely a quick solution.

I am a big fan of Stampin' Up!'s kits, which are very generous and of extremely high quality and the Watercolor Christmas Project Kit s no exception. Here are each of the designs in the kit:

 

 

 

 

Each kit makes 20 cards, 5 each of 4 designs, which look time-consuming but in fact take only minutes to assemble. Which is good news, given that I made up a pack last night for sending out today! I love the co-ordinating Watercolor Wishes stamp set too, however the kit can be used with other sentiment sets you have if you prefer. These kits are on offer as part of the year-ed sale, so I would highly recommend you grab a few and make them up now ready for next year - it will give you a great head start for your cardmaking and you will hit the festive season running!

Here is the visual summary of the key products used on today's project for you to pin for easy reference:

 

You can see all of my 'How To' summaries on my 'How To - Tips and Techniques' Pinterest board in case you've missed any. 

Back soon with another project; until then, happy shopping!

 

Stampin' Up! Supplies Used:

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

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Brightly Lit Christmas 3 Ways From Simple To Stepped Up - Part 2

by Joanne James20. December 2017 22:00

I've been away for a few days with my family to experience the delights of the German Christmas markets and enjoy some much-needed pre-Christmas R&R, but have just managed to squeeze in a post for you this evening amidst some last-minute card writing to share the second part of my Brightly Lit Christmas set and possibly one of my favourite cards of the season - take a look:

 

 Here's the low-down on today's card:

A Framed Christmas Lampost - I created my delightful snowy lampost scene and use the crossbar lampost framelit to create a gorgeous frame for my mini focal point, something I picked up from a wonderful crafty friend of mine, the talented Amanda Bates over at The Craft Spa; thanks for the inspiration, Amanda!

Light The Lamps - The best bit of this stepped-up card? The lamps light up! I used a Chibi circuit kit to create a circuit behind the main panel and when you press the presents, the lamps light as you can see on this zoomed-in photo below:

 

How cool is that?! These circuits are easy to create although with three bulbs on this card, a little pricey and only really suitable for a special card, but a fun way to step up a card with the Christmas Lampost Thinlits Dies for sure.

Pick A Piece Of Paper - The only stamping on my card is the little 'Merry' banner across my wreath; the wreath itself and the presents were diecut from the Christmas Around The World Designer Series Paper. This paper is the one I initially found the most difficult to work with, yet in reality have used most - it's amazing how creative you can be when challenged! 

Here is the visual summary of the key products used on today's project for you to pin for easy reference:

 

You can see all of my 'How To' summaries on my 'How To - Tips and Techniques' Pinterest board in case you've missed any. 

Enjoy your day and I'll be back soon 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.

Bargains Galore - The Clearance Rack has updated!

by Joanne James18. December 2017 09:42

 

What a great start to the week - I logged on this morning to find a surprise update to the Clearance Rack. There are now lots of new items available, some with as much as 60% off. As is always the case, popular items will sell out quickly, so don't spend too long deliberating - get in there quick! There are some great paper bargains, including many designer series papers, accessories, framelits and even a few punches. Some of my favourite framelits are there along with some gorgeous ribbons too - I could go on, but the best thing you can do is hop on over and take a look.

Click here to go the clearance rack in my online store and grab a bargain whilst stocks last!  Don't forget to include the current hostess code NASJ4PVF make sure that 'allow your demonstrator to contact you' is ticked in order that you receive your special 'thank you' in the post from me. 

Race you to the shop - first one there gets the bargains! Happy shopping! 

 

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Last Day For Online Ordering To Guarantee Arrival For Christmas!

by Joanne James14. December 2017 13:23

 

Just popping by with a quick reminder that today is the last day to place your Stampin' Up! orders online to guarantee shipping in time for Christmas. You will still be able to place orders after today, and of course gift vouchers and Stampin' Up!'s all-inclusive kits will still be available to purchase and collect from me right up until Christmas Eve, however for orders that need to be shipped, today is the day!

Don't forget to add the current hostess code NASJ4PVF to receive a thank you in the post from me.

 

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Sale-A-Bration 2018

Sale A Bration

The Sale-A-Bration Promotion runs from 3 January-31 March 2018. Download your copy of the brochure here.

Seasonal Catalogue

Click here to view and download a copy of the 2018 Spring-Summer Stampin' Up! Seasonal Catalogue which runs from 3 January - 31 May 2018.

Shop Online

Access my online shop 24 x 7, 365 days of the year:

Current February hostess code:

64XZCB29

 

Shop Online

Join My Team

Ever thought about becoming a Stampin' Up! demonstrator? For £99, you can create your own starter kit worth £130. That's £31 OF FREE PRODUCT! Stampin' Up! has something for everyone: join my growing team and benefit from my support to enjoy Stampin' Up! however you choose. Join during Sale-A-Bration before 31 March and you can choose 2 additional stamp sets of your choice too FOR FREE - that's a potential additional £90 worth of product!

If you're interested, call me for a chat to understand how I can help you realise your goals. Alternatively, if you have already decided to sign up and you just can't wait, please click here for the link to the online form where you can sign up and order your starter kit right away! 

2017-18 Annual Catalogue

BROWSE THE CATALOGUE

Click on the catalogue for a full list of current SU! supplies - if you would like to order any of the items featured, please drop me a line at joanne@thecraftyowl.co.uk or give me a call on 07773 421446 - I'd be happy to help.

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.