Join Me For A Creative Escape With The Crafty Owl Luxury Weekend Crafting Retreat - Last Spots Remaining!

by Joanne James17. August 2019 09:00

It's school summer vacation here so my crafting time has been limited as I spend time with the James Juniors and I haven't managed to get into my craft room all week, despite receiving my Autumn-Winter preorder. This first glimpse of the new Autumn-Winter catalogue from Stampin' Up! (a demonstrator perk!) has me starting to think about the projects for my forthcoming luxury weekend craft retreat in October - it's never too early to start creating for Christmas!

I have lots of lovely ladies enrolled to attend and have just the last couple of spots remaining, so thought I would do a quick reminder in case any of you would like to join us for a weekend of crafting bliss:

 

If getting away from everyone and everything and having some ME time appeals, then a luxury weekend of crafting and a Creative Escape with The Crafty Owl sounds just the thing for you.

Where is the retreat held?

The venue for the Craft Retreat is the award-winning Highgate House Hotel, conveniently located just off junction 1 of the A14 in Northamptonshire.

Set in beautiful grounds it is the perfect destination for a getaway; gorgeous surroundings, good food and your own stylish bedroom for the night.

Its central location in Creaton, Northamptonshire can be easily accessed via the M1 (junction 16/19) and the M6 – making it a perfect destination break for you and your friends from afar.

What is included?

The Creative Escape package includes an overnight stay and all food for the weekend, lunches, snacks, evening meal and breakfast together with unlimited tea and coffee. You have 2 full days of crafting with your own table for the whole weekend – no need to tidy away! Bliss!A goody bag of Stampin’ Up! crafting supplies is also part of the package and will be more than £100 in value. The supplies will enable you to complete the projects for the classes run throughout the weekend and you'll have lots left over to take home too!

The Classes

The classes offered during the weekend are optional. The weekend is yours, so you can choose to keep with class pace or do your own thing. There is no requirement to complete everything, you can do exactly what you want – chat, craft, chill … the choice is yours. Choose to craft at every possible moment, or take a break for a walk or a drink in the lounge – it’s all up to you.

How do I book?

Sounds like your kind of fun? Email to [email protected] and I will contact you to confirm your place and payment details. Your hotel room will need to be paid for to the hotel in full at the time of booking and this will secure your retreat place. The remaining balance will be paid to me directly thereafter. Rates for the weekend are as follows: Single occupancy (single room) is £330 per person or double occupancy (twin room) is £310 per person. Full terms and conditions are available on the Creative Escape Crafting Retreats page on my website.

The October Creative Escape will have a distinctly Christmas theme so why not come along and give yourself a head start on your creative makes for the festive season? 

If you have any further questions or queries, please do get in touch - I would love you to join me!

 

I'll be back tomorrow with my next creative project fr this week's challenge over at The Paper Players; until then, happy stampin'!

 

 

Follow Your Art In Purple In Under 10 Minutes

by Joanne James5. August 2019 16:00

Today I'm sharing a card that I made yesterday for the new challenge over at As you See It using this week's sketch over at Freshly Made Sketches, that also works for the challenge over at Just Add Ink this week:

      

Whilst I didn't set out to combine all three of these challenges this week, with the challenge over at As You See It being speed stamping, today's card was definitely no accident - take a look:

 

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

It's All In The Preparation - I'll be honest: I rarely make a card in under 10 minutes! For me the fun is in the planning and designing and I often make multiple bits and pieces and 'tinker' with my cards until I'm happy with them. That said, it can be done - the key is in the preparation. Fortunately for me, the AYSI speed stamping challenge requires you to complete a card in under 10 minutes and the clock starts as soon as you put ink to paper; you can decide on your design and gather your supplies in advance. So I grabbed Jen B's FMS sketch (a great go-to design) my co-ordinating shades of purple (Gorgeous Grape and Highland Heather) in cardstock, ink and markers, a Whisper White card base, stamps, dies, Big Shot and got ready to start my timer!

'C' Is For Craft - I decided to base my card around the stamps and dies in the 'Follow your Art' suite. I stamped my ink bottle and clip (and a couple of sentiments to diecut, although I didn't then use these as I stamped directly onto my card base) then ran them through my Big Shot with the purple die cut pieces, making two runs to get the duplicates. I added a quick dash of colour to my stamped diecut pieces, then set about constructing. It was only when I had finished my card that I realised it would be perfect for Just Add Ink this week too; it will a least spare the girls another of my Christmas cards, which I seem to have made for their last few challenges!!

Speedy Indeed - So I did work at fever pace and my desk looked like a bomb had gone off once I'd finished, but I managed to finish my card in 9 minutes and 46 seconds - hurrah! It was helped by the fact that my card base and mat layers were already cut to size - I keep a box of sizes that I use a lot ready prepared so that I can just 'grab and go' - the most time-consuming aspects were poking out the paper clips from the dies without tearing and tying the twine bow. Purple is one of my favourite colours, so this was a fun speed challenge indeed! Lastly, a disclaimer: I decorated a co-ordinating envelope too, but completed this outside of the speed stamping time - I couldn't quite manage this in the time constraints as well!

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 like my finished card so much I think I'm going to create a few more of these and send them to the ladies who are booked to attend my Creative Escapes Craft Retreat in October - this is the perfect time to stay up late and craft together!! I still have a couple of spaces left if you would like to join us for a fun weekend; you can get the full details here.

Enjoy your day and 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.

How Sweet It Is Sweetie Shaker Card #GDP179

by Joanne James8. March 2019 11:30

Good morning lovely readers! An apology is in order for the lack of blog posts this week. I have been fairly tired following another successful Creative Escapes Weekend Craft Retreat last weekend and whilst I've spent my days catching up on household chores and preparing for next week's card classes, when it comes to the evenings I've been good for nothing; I've fallen asleep in the chair for three nights in a row way before bedtime, much to the amusement of the James Juniors! So today I thought I would make time to blog early so that you didn't miss out!

I'm sharing a card for a couple of challenges this week: The team over at Global Design Project are all about the candy and the folks at Stamps Ink Paper are asking for cards featuring gingham, plaid or stripes:

     

Not only does my card feature lots of sweet treats and some fetching candy pink stripes, it's a shaker too - take a look:

 

 Here's the low-down on today's card:

How Sweet It Is -  If you have a sweet tooth, the 'How Sweet It Is' Suite is for you! Bright and fun, with bold patterns of sweets and traditional sweet jars, it's great for cards and packaging alike. The papers, which feature bold stripes and spots in addition to candy-inspired patterns, really are good enough to eat. I used a pink stripe for the front of my shaker and a sweetie print for the inside at the back of my window, I also used the Jar of Sweets Framelits to cut out one of the sweet jars directly from the designer series paper to decorate the front of my card - I love it when dies and paper co-ordinate like this!

Jar Of Sweets - I used another of the Jar of Sweets Framelits to cut out the aperture for the window of my shaker, stamping the same image onto Whisper White and fussy cutting the jar lid to adhere to the top of my window section. I filled my shaker with a selection of sequins and some diecut sweets in bright, co-ordinating colours; you can see from the extras that I added to the front of my card these dies emboss a pattern onto the diecut sweet shape too which adds an interesting textural detail. There's very little stamping on today's card, save the sentiment and jar lid. A little extra stamping on the inside of my card courtesy of the 'Sweetest Thing' stamp set too:

 

Sweeter Than Candy - The 'How Suite It Is' Suite also includes some fun treat cups, that are perfect for dressing up to contain some sweet treats for your loved ones. I managed to snag these shots with my phone of some of the decorated sweet cups that filled with a selection of jelly beans and gummy bear for the lucky ladies on my retreat as one of their little gifts - I do love to spoil the whilst they are with me! 

 

I covered the cups with designer series paper and stamped a simple label for each of them decorated with a sweet jar cut from the DSP, and tied the tags to the cups with some of the very yummy Coastal Cabana/Granny Apple Green 3/8" reversible ribbon:

 

So cute and easy to decorate and I know from the feedback that my ladies loved them!

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 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.

Detailed Deer Craft Retreat Pillow Gift and Christmas Card

by Joanne James20. November 2018 19:00

I've been busy decorating today so I'm a little later with my post again. Hopefully it's worth the wait though: I'm sharing another of the pillow gifts that the lucky ladies received on my Creative Escapes Craft Retreat a few weeks ago, and a co-ordinating card that I made to go with it since I decided I liked the box design so much! Firstly, here is the pillow gift box:

 

I liked the box so much when I got home I made another one and decided to make a card using same design to co-ordinate with it:

 

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

Luscious Layers - There's so much I love about this card! My most favourite thing is the layering of the diecuts to create the focal point. I used a Stitched Label, the jumping deer from the Detailed Deer Thinlits and a 'merry' in copper foil from the Merry Christmas Thinlits dies. Gorgeous, even if I say so myself!

And More Joyous Noel - The paper I used that inspired my centrepiece is from the gorgeous copper-foiled Joyous Noel paper pack. This paper is now sold out across the globe, so I hope you already have a stash as it's my favourite this season and I still have projects using it to share with you.  

Merry Christmas In Many Ways - The Merry Christmas To All bundle allows you to create many different festive sentiment combinations for the holiday season with a combination of stamps and dies. I used two different combinations for my card and box to give you a flavour of the flexibility it offers. the diecuts are quite large and perfect if a statement sentiment is the order of the day. 

I'm linking my card up with the current challenges over at Just Add Ink where they are looking for big bold sentiments and Fusion where the sketch inspired the layout for today's Christmas card (I flipped it and used the mirror image).

    

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. 

Finally here is a photograph of both of my projects together:

Enjoy your evening and 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.

Autumn-Winter Catalogue Items Now Available Only While Stocks Last and Dashing Along DSP To Buy!

by Joanne James5. November 2018 05:00

I'm just popping by with a quick post following an update by Stampin' Up! with regard to stock levels on certain products. Sales for a number of products have exceeded forecast and are continuing strong and due to their popularity might not be available for the entire catalogue sales period. The products in question are:

147816: Joyous Noel Specialty Designer Series Paper 
147890: Festive Farmhouse Elements 
147811: Santa’s Workshop Enamel Elements

I am definitely responsible in part for the first two items above; I used both at my recent Creative Escapes Craft Retreat and the ladies present got to both create with them and take some of each home in their goody bags. I just adore this paper - it is so beautiful!

In order to provide another holiday-themed option,the lovely people at Stampin' Up! have decided to make the recent promotional Dashing Along Designer Series Paper (item 149903) available for sale for £10.25 a pack. This beautiful, 12" x 12" (30.5 x 30.5 cm) traditional Christmas paper has a festive, eclectic feel and is perfect for layering. Coordinating colours are Cherry Cobbler, Garden Green, and Whisper White.

Here is a card I made at my recent Dashing Deer Technique Class that features one of the papers as a border of the central panel:

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. 

You can see other samples showcasing these gorgeous papers here.

Enjoy your day and I'll be back later 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.

Snowflake Showcase Pillow Box Creative Retreat Gifts

by Joanne James2. November 2018 19:00

As promised in my earlier post today (you can read that here if you missed it), today I'm sharing something a little different that I gave a sneak peek of on my Facebook page the week before last - a 3D project! Today is the perfect day to share it since it coincides with the launch of the Snowflake Showcase product suite yesterday - you can read all about that here.

The weekend before last I held my second residential craft retreat this year. I love these weekends: they are a great opportunity for me to spend quality time with my customers, some of whom I see at my regular classes but for many who follow my blog and shop with me online and for whom this is an opportunity to get away from it all for some quality crafting time amongst friends. I am grateful that they choose to spend a weekend with me crafting and as such in addition to their goody bags, they receive lots of little pillow gifts and table favours throughout their stay as a token of my appreciation. When they leave at the end of the weekend, I like to gift them a key ring that is unique to that retreat as a reminder of the fun time that they've had. It has to showcase some fabulous Stampin' Up! product too, both on the keyring and the packaging so for this one I just had to feature the limited edition, exclusive Snowflake Showcase products that went live on sale yesterday. So first up here is the packaging for my gift:

 

I dressed up one of the kraft pillow boxes available in the annual catalogue with some silver-trimmed ribbon and added a sentiment banner stamped tone-on-tone with the border stamp and then heat-embossed my sentiment in silver over the top. I then added the fabulous string of snowflakes diecut to the front of the box for a real 'wow'.

It didn't end there; I continued the snowflake theme inside with a keyring, that had a snowflake tree, a teeny-tiny sentiment and one of my craft retreat logos all stamped onto shrink plastic and reduced in size, along with one of the gorgeous snowflake trinkets that are also part of this suite. I made them in two colourways, Pool Party and Balmy Blue:

 

Here's a picture of them both together - gift and packaging. What do you think - cute enough to hang your keys from? 

I received such lovely comments from the ladies who attended my retreat, who all said they felt truly spoiled all weekend. Here's one of the pictures I shared over on my Facebook page of us at dinner on the Saturday evening, with some of them sharing another of their table gifts:

 

Christmas crackers, what else?! I will have more projects using the fabulous Snowflake Showcase in the coming weeks so look out for those and meanwhile do get in touch with me directly or via my online store to order yours whilst supplies last.

Equally, if you would like to be similarly spoiled and enjoy a fabulous crafty weekend away from it all, there are still spaces available on my March 2019 retreat which will be held in the West Midlands on 2-3 March - you can read more about it here and I would love it if you could join me! The dates for next October will be released soon and I already have a waiting list for this event, so if you would like to be one of the first to receive the details as they are published then do get in touch with me via [email protected] to register your interest as spaces are likely to be snapped up quickly!

Enjoy your evening and 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.

Creative Escapes From The Crafty Owl - October Luxury Crafting Weekend Retreat Booking Offer!

by Joanne James25. August 2018 10:50

Happy Bank Holiday weekend to my UK readers and I hope the rest of you are finding fun (and maybe even crafty!) things to do this weekend. I have managed to squeeze in a little craft time this week so do have lots of new projects to share with you (especially using the items in my Autumn-Winter preorder box, I can't stop creating with them!) but firstly today I want to talk about creative escapes of a different kind!

 

Further to the successful weekend retreat I held earlier this year with my friend and fellow demonstrator Louise Sims, I have another two sole ventures planned. The same venue, more great projects and most importantly a weekend away, full of crafting and good company. If getting away from everyone and everything and having some ME time appeals, then a luxury weekend of crafting and a Creative Escape with The Crafty Owl sounds just the thing for you.

Where is the retreat held?

The venue for the Craft Retreat is the gorgeous 4 star Macdonald Ansty Hall Hotel, conveniently located just off the M6/M69, near Coventry, Warwickshire.

Set in beautiful grounds it is the perfect destination for a getaway; gorgeous surroundings, good food and your own stylish bedroom for the night.

Its central Midlands location just off junction 2 of the M6 motorway means it has easy access from all parts of the country – making it a perfect destination break for you and your friends from afar.

What is included?

The Creative Escape package includes an overnight stay and all food for the weekend, lunches, snacks, evening meal and breakfast together with unlimited tea and coffee. You have 2 full days of crafting with your own table for the whole weekend – no need to tidy away! Bliss!

A goody bag of Stampin’ Up! crafting supplies is also part of the package and will be more than £100 in value. The supplies will enable you to complete the projects for the classes run throughout the weekend and you'll have lots left over to take home too!

The Classes

The classes offered during the weekend are optional. The weekend is yours, so you can choose to keep with class pace or do your own thing. There is no requirement to complete everything, you can do exactly what you want – chat, craft, chill … the choice is yours. Choose to craft at every possible moment, or take a break for a walk or a drink in the lounge – it’s all up to you. Classes are suitable for both beginner and experienced crafters alike - there really is something for everyone.

2018-19 Craft Retreat Dates

Booking is currently open for the following dates:

Saturday 20th October - Sunday 21st October 2018‚Äč   **LIMITED AVAILABILITY** LAST FEW SPACES REMAINING
Saturday 2nd March – Sunday 3rd March 2019

Fully inclusive price for 1 nights accommodation,  with lunch and a 3 course dinner on Saturday, followed by breakfast and buffet lunch on Sunday. It also includes unlimited tea, coffee or hot chocolate & snacks, 4 crafting classes and a goody bag worth more than £100 full of Stampin’ Up! products.

The price of a Creative Escape With The Crafty Owl is as follows:

Single occupancy is £325 per person or
Double occupancy is £305 per person

Early booking discounts for all Creative Escapes apply (£292 pp and £272 pp respectively).

Spaces are limited with booking brisk for next March and only a few spots remaining for this October. I am keen to fill the last few spaces for the October weekend so with this in mind I have a Bank Holiday weekend booking incentive for you: 

Bank Holiday Creative Escapes Booking Offer:

 

** Book and pay in full for your October Creative Escape before 31st August 2018 and you will receive both a free ink pad and early booking rates for next March too. **

 

Once you've done one, you won't want to miss the next one!

The October Creative Escape will have a distinctly Christmas theme so why not come along and give yourself a head start on your creative makes for the festive season? 

 

How do I book?

Sounds like your kind of fun? Email to [email protected] and I will contact you to confirm payment details. If you would like to book a place on the March Creative Escape, you are still able to join my payment plan so you can split the cost into monthly payments. Full terms and conditions are available on the Creative Escape Crafting Retreats page on my website.

If you have any further questions or queries, please do get in touch - I would love you to join me!

 

I'll be back soon with my next creative project; until then, happy stampin'!

 

 

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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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