Ready For Christmas?!

by Joanne James31. March 2018 20:00

I'm back for a second post today! I had a little time for a spot of crafting this morning - I feel like I haven't been in my craft room to make something 'just because' in such a long time! So somewhat ironically, given that it's Easter weekend, I made a Christmas card! Yes - I couldn't resist making a card to join in with the challenge over at Merry Monday this week: 

 

I decided to use the cute little sausage dog from the Ready For Christmas stamp set, still available on carryover from the last Autumn-Winter seasonal catalogue, along with some retired Christmas Around The World tartan designer series paper:

 

I had a little fun with this card, and paper pieced both the occasional table and the dog using two different patterns from the Wood Textures DSP stack - don't you just love the honey-colour of that naughty-but-cute dachshund?! And a simple sentiment on the inside from the same set completes my 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. 

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.

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.

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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Brightly Lit Christmas 3 Ways From Simple To Stepped Up - Part 1

by Joanne James11. December 2017 22:09

It's a little while since I shared a 'one stamp set, three ways' post with you showing you three cards using one suite and how to use the products within that suite to create cards that range from simple to stepped up. Today is the first of two posts that will do just that - this time featuring the Christmas Around The World Suite and the Brightly Lit Christmas Bundle that you can find on pages 28-29 of the 2017 Autumn-Winter seasonal Stampin' Up! catalogue that I used in a class a couple of months ago.

The Brightly Lit Christmas stamp set has a fun collection of festive banners that co-ordinate with a basic lamppost design and when paired with the co-ordinating Christmas Lamppost Thinlits Dies can be used to make the most ornate and detailed 3D traditional lamppost designs. The set is great for quick and easy and more complex cards with a real 'wow' factor.  

Clean and Simple - Quick And Easy - If you're short on time or new to crafting, this set is great for a simple card like this one:

 

All you need to do is take a sheet of Extra Thick Whisper White for your card base and mat layer, stamp your lamppost and hanging banner directly onto the card front and sponge a little yellow ink for lamp light, use the wreath bauble stamp to add some snowflakes (stamp in Versamark and add Dazzling Diamonds glitter) and a red ribbon bow and your card is done. Festive red and the subtle sparkling snowflakes help this simple card to have a big impact.

Step It Up - If you have a bit more time and are feeling more adventurous, using a few extra tools and embellishments will allow you to 'step up' your card and create something with a little more depth and detail, whilst still relatively easy to make:

 

My second card follows the same basic layout as the first, still using just the stamps from the Brightly Lit Christmas set, however this time I've stamped only the top portion of the lamppost and masked off the lower portion and used the Carols of Christmas stamp set and co-ordinating Card Front Builder Dies to cut out some festive poinsettia flowers to adorn the lamppost, centred with some gold enamel shapes, added a couple of twists of red and gold ribbon behind and a couple of background banners using the Triple Banner Punch, one of which is a contemporary tartan to add a bold splash of colour. 

My third card is a real 'wow' - but you'll have to come back for Part 2 for that one!

Here are the visual summaries of the key products used on today's projects for you to pin for easy reference:

Card 1:

 

Card 2:

 

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 soon with the third card in this set, which is my absolute favourite. Until then, happy stampin'!

 

Stampin' Up! Supplies Used:

Card 1:

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

 

Card 2:

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

Tags & Trimmings Festive Christmas Stocking Gift Box For The Paper Players PP374

by Joanne James10. December 2017 09:00

It's Sunday and time for this week's new challenge over at The Paper Players- what's more, it's the last one of 2017! It's the turn of my good friend, the lovely and talented Claire, to host this week and she has a bright colour challenge for us to end the year with:

 

This is a palette with lots of options - you could still craft for Christmas, or use these colours for a non-festive project, it's up to you. Our design team this week has done a little of both, so there's lots of inspiration for you. I took the opportunity to squeeze in another Christmas project, but went with a 3D gift box rather than a card today. In fact, a Christmas stocking - take a look:

 

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

Trim Your Stocking - These colours were perfect for a pink and girly Christmas stocking, complete with spotty heel, toe and cuff trim then finished off with a sprig of festive greenery. I've used the Trim Your Stocking Thinlits on this card previously but whatever your project, this set has an abundance of useful dies that are perfect for all kinds of embellishments. 

It's What's Inside That Counts - I love this sentiment! Whether it's a little chocolate - the content of choice of Rebecca - or money (most definitely the content of choice for my teenage niece!), the pillow box on the reverse of this stocking is just big enough for either. I haven't yet decided who this stocking will be heading for and for me how it looks on the outside is the most important thing, but one thing is for sure, for the recipient it's definitely what's inside that counts!

A Little Added Sparkle - I couldn't resist adding in a little sparkle to my festive stocking, with a silver foil bell, some mini sequin trim and a liberal dose of clear Wink of Stella on the lime green pieces - I'm hoping Claire considers silver (almost) a neutral such that I can get away with it - I just couldn't resist, those jingle bell dies are my favourite! 

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. 

Before you reach for your ink and papers, check out what our amazing team has created to inspire you this week:

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 colour palette. As I mentioned above, this is our last challenge for 2017; we will be taking a two week break before returning with a fresh new set of challenges for 2018 starting on Sunday 7th January 2018. Thanks to everyone who plays along each week, to this year's guest designers, Crystal and Valentyna, Deanne, Jan and Annie, and everyone of you who visits our blogs and leaves us encouraging comments each week - it's great to know that you enjoy our creations! We will be announcing our new guest designers for the first half of 2018 this coming Wednesday, in my mid-week reminder post, so be sure to check back then to see who will be joining us to kick off the Paper Players fun at the start of 2018!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend as it will be over all too quickly; we are hoping to put our Christmas tree up and decorate the house tomorrow - then it really will feel like Christmas! 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.

Swirly Snowflakes Thinlits Square Easel Christmas Card

by Joanne James8. December 2017 12:00

It's Friday and finally I've managed to squeeze in a blog post to share with you - hurrah! Today I'm sharing another card using the Snowflake Sentiments bundle - and just like my card for The Paper Players on the Sunday before last (you can see that card here if you missed it), it uses the thinlits in a rather unusual way. I'm also linking up with the team over at Stamp Ink Paper who are looking for snow-themed creations this week:

I decided to make an easel card  - this is what it looks like closed:

 

This is what it looks like open:

 

And finally here's another shot from above, that shows the detail of the front edge and my sentiment, which I stamped in Versamark and heat embossed onto a label punched with the Everyday Label Punch:

 

I wanted to make a special card that really showcased the versatility of the Swirly Snowflakes Thinlits Dies, so I used the edge thinlits to create two layered squares and finished it with a stitched square, onto which I stamped a snowflake from the co-ordinating Snowflake Sentiments set in Versamark and heat embossed it in gold. I finished with one of the super-sparkly faceted gems to create a focal centrepiece. Creating a card like this is not for the faint-hearted - it took a fair amount of partial die cutting and snipping of the gold piece to remove excess pieces in order to have a symmetrical design, but it was so worth it - the finished card has a real 'wow' factor, I love it!

I'm pleased to see that the Snowflake Sentiments stamp set and Swirly Snowflakes Thinlits Dies are on carryover and will remain available beyond the end of the Autumn-Winter catalogue - this means lots more opportunities to create with this set! They won't be available as a bundle though, so if you want the 10% saving, be sure to snap them up before January 2nd - just click on the link in the supplies list at the bottom of today's post.

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 around lunchtime tomorrow with a special post as I'm the guest designer over at Inspired By All The Little Things this week. My project contains a Spring-Summer sneak-peek too so be sure to come back and take a look. Until then, happy stampin'!

 

Stampin' Up! Supplies Used:

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

Layered Gingerbread In A Jar - The Perfect Homemade Christmas Gift PP373

by Joanne James3. December 2017 09:00

It's Sunday and time for this week's new challenge over at The Paper Players! The lovely Laurie is the hostess this week and she has a rather delicious seasonal theme for us to work with:

    

I'm also linking up with the team over at Stamp Ink Paper this week who are looking at Christmas wrapping and packaging solutions. I love to make gingerbread at this time of year but it's still a little early for me to have baked and wrapped creatively, so instead I decided to share with you a little something that I've been preparing for Ben's school Christmas Fayre the week after next that fits Laurie's theme perfectly. They are having a 'Jam Jar Tombola' stall, so I've been busy making up jars of all kinds for the children to win, including some jars of dry ingredients that they can use for their own festive baking. Here's one of my jars for gingerbread cookies - take a look:

 

These really are so easy to make: you simply layer the dry ingredients into a kilner jar, then decorate and add a tag with the details of any ingredients you need to add and the method. 

I used the 'December Deliciousness' stamp from the 'My Little Things' stamp set to decorate my jar, using my markers to selectively colour each of the elements in and adding a heat-embossed sentiment banner across the middle to create a decorated top to my jar. I paired it with some retired paper that fits perfectly with my theme for a folded tag that includes the ingredients and recipe, some ribbon and a wooden spoon that I will be tying to the side of the jar too ready for stirring - you could also add a gingerbread cutter if you have one.

I'm a big fan of homemade gifts at Christmas and there is no limit to the things you can put in a jar; with a little decoration this kind of thing can make a thoughtful, presentable gift.

If you would like to make a jar like mine, I've included the details from the inside of my folded tag below:

Easy Gingerbread Biscuits

This jar contains:

  • 100g soft light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ginger, ¼ tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon, 225g plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

 

You will need to add:

  • 150g melted butter
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 egg yolk

 

Method:

  • Mix 150g melted butter with 1 tbsp golden syrup and 1 egg yolk.
  • Add to the dry ingredients, mix well, then knead to a dough.
  • Chill for 15 mins then roll out.
  • Cut into biscuits and bake at 200C/180C fan/gas 6 for 8-10 mins. Cool on a wire rack.

 

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. 

Before you reach for your ink and papers, check out what our amazing team has created to inspire you this week:

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; my Christmas festivities have truly started in earnest this week and I am busier than ever! I am off to run a pre-Christmas Stampin' Up! party for a customer and her friends this afternoon, then will be returning home to put the finishing touches to my class preparations for my Delightful Daises Technique Class tomorrow and complete my 100 card challenge for the Ronald McDonald Christmas Cheer campaign that is happening in the UK this weekend.

I'll be back as soon as time allows with more projects; until then, happy stampin'!

 

Stampin' Up! Supplies Used: 

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

Snowflake Sentiments For The Paper Players PP372

by Joanne James26. November 2017 09:00

It's Sunday and time for this week's new challenge over at The Paper Players! It's my turn to host this week and I have my favourite kind of challenge, a sketch, for you all to work with:

 

My card today is all about the snowflakes and uses the Snowflake Sentiments bundle - take a look:

 

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

Snowflake Inspiration - I used the piece of snowflake patterned paper from the Christmas Round The World DSP pack as the starting point for my card today; the dark grey reminds me of a snowy sky and is the perfect backdrop for those pale blue and white snowflakes.

Swirly Snowflake Border - The paper pairs beautifully with the stamps and thinlits in the Snowflake Sentiments bundle. I used the Swirly Snowflake thinlits to create my layered border and snowflake embellishment. The detail on these delicate cuts makes for some really pretty pieces, especially when cut from Dazzling Diamonds glimmer paper - the snowflakes are so sparkly against the Pool Party layer and the grey of the background paper. The thinlits are designed to cut with a straight edge to one side of the border, but I wanted them to be a mirror image so I snipped away the excess from the snowflakes and cut the background piece in the same way.

Open To Interpretation - I added a ribbon and bow to my sketch as I don't often add bows to the front of my card, yet when I came to make my card, I chose not to add a bow as I didn't want to obscure the detail of those pretty snowflakes, although I did add a strip of ribbon between the border layers. I also moved up the position of my snowflake embellishment to provide a better balance with the positioning of my sentiment. These changes don't make my card 'wrong' - they are just one way to interpret the sketch. I can't wait to see how it inspires you!

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. 

Before you reach for your ink and papers, check out what our amazing team has created to inspire you this week:

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 your interpretations of my sketch in the gallery this week. Enjoy the rest of your weekend as it will be over all too quickly; we are ice-skating later with the swimming squad - our first Christmas party of the season! 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.

Warm and Cozy Clean And Simple Christmas Sweater PP371 GDP113

by Joanne James19. November 2017 09:00

It's Sunday and time for this week's new challenge over at The Paper Players! It's the turn of the super-talented Sandy, to host this week and she has a fun clean and simple challenge for us to work with:

    

I'm a little late with my post today - I am still struggling to keep up with everything as I am so very busy at the moment - but I couldn't miss the opportunity to join in with Sandy's clean and simple 'warm and cozy' challenge in this week's Global Design Project challenge colours - take a look:

 

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

Warm and Cozy - When I think of cold winter days, I think of mittens, gingerbread latte and woolly jumpers; so what better than a Christmas jumper to fit with the 'warm and cozy' theme? There are some fun sweaters in the 'Christmas Sweaters' stamp set; I decided to go with the simple striped one with a snowflake centrepiece for my clean and simple card. With a nod to the lovely Sandy who is such an expert colourer, I decided to get out my new Stampin' Blends to colour my sweater. I'm not sure I'm as good as Sandy when it comes to colouring, but it sure is fun and allowed me a peaceful 10 minutes in my otherwise hectic day!

Deck The Halls - I knew I wanted to use a few simple embellishments and I didn't want to add too many layers to my clean and simple card, so I decided to create a little patterned background with my sentiment to sit behind my sweater. I used my stamp-a-ma-jig to line up my sentiment and just stamped it repeatedly in Cherry Cobbler ink. Keeping this detail to one area of the card allows me to preserve the 'white space' that is a key feature of a clean and simple card.

All Good Things Come In Threes - Along with the trio of festive colours that feature on my sweater, I have also used a trio of embellishments: a (retired) wooden snowflake, a Pool party twine bow and some Pool Party enamel shapes for some added fun detail. I tried to keep my embellishments to a minimum given this week's theme but couldn't resist these additional touches to complete my warm and cozy 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 Product and 'How To' summaries on my 'How To - Tips and Techniques' Pinterest board in case you've missed any. 

Before you reach for your ink and papers, check out what our amazing team has created to inspire you this week:

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!

Don't forget the theme is clean and simple this week - so minimal layers and embellishments and lots of white space. I can't wait to see what you create and look forward to visiting your blogs this week! Enjoy the rest of your weekend as it will be over all too quickly; I'll be back later with news of a fantastic week of promotions that will be starting tomorrow and hope to resume something like normal blogging service this week. 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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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.