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'!


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.

FREE SHIPPING On All Stampin' Up! Orders - For 24 Hours Only!

by Joanne James10. December 2017 22:30

You loved it so much last time, the lovely people at Stampin' Up! have decided to give you one more opportunity to receive free shipping on all Stampin’ Up! orders for 24 hours only - what a great opportunity to stock up on storecupboard craft items or just try out online ordering and see how easy it is can be.

Online ordering is so easy to do: your order gets delivered directly to your door and you get the opportunity to add the monthly online reward code that earns you additional goodies when shopping with me. The current reward code is NASJ4PVF - this changes each month and the current one can always be found on the right hand side of my blog where it says 'shop online'. If you have some crafting staples such as adhesive, Stampin' Mist stamp cleaner or trimmer blades that you've been needing to stock up on but not wanted to pay the usual flat rate £4.95 postage for, this is a great time to stock up on the little things at no additional cost. Or perhaps you just need a few stocking-fillers for a crafty friend or even a little something for your secret Santa - keep within your budget by saving on postage and get your order delivered straight to you. The Year-End Deals are also still going strong; if you would like to pick up a bargain or two, you can see the full list here.

Or perhaps you still need a Christmas gift or two? Our all-inclusive kits make great gifts for novice and experienced crafters alike and our Love Today Planners have universal appeal. The last day for ordering to ensure delivery in time for Christmas is Thursday 14th December, but with free shipping for the next 24 hours, why wait - why not treat yourself or a loved one today?

Free shipping runs from 11:00 p.m. (GMT) Sunday 10th December to 10:50 p.m. (GMT) Monday 11th December. Don't forget to add the current hostess reward code NASJ4PVF for an extra little thank you from me; this will also ensure you receive a copy of the new Spring-Summer catalogue and Sale-A-Bration leaflet which will be on its way next month!

Click here to go to my online store

Happy shopping everyone!

Celebrate The Good Stuff - Guest Designer With Inspired By All The Little Things

by Joanne James9. December 2017 13:00

Today I've been invited by my good friend and team leader over at The Paper Players, the lovely Nance Leedy, to be the Guest Designer over at Inspired By All The Little Things - what an honour!

I love this challenge, also set up originally by the creative powerhouse that is the lovely Lesley Croghan, and although I don't get to play along as often as I would like I can often be found browsing the gallery each week, for inspiration from the awesome team of designers, the challenge for the week and also to have a little nosey at the invited guest - you see they have a fun feature where they do a little interview  and you get to find out what inspires them, along with some interesting things that you might not know about the featured designers. Yes, that includes me - I included one or two fun things that even my regular readers might not know about me too, so hop on over and have a read if you'd like to find out more! You could even have a go at this week's challenge - I would love to see what you make of it!

And so to my card! Here is the inspiration photo for this week's challenge:


Now I must confess, I thought long and hard about this card and had a false attempt too before I produced something that I felt embodied the feeling of 'party' evoked in the inspiration picture. Here's what I came up with:


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

Inspired By All The Little Things - I thought I would give you a little insight into how I used the inspiration photo to get to my final card design today, as I often get asked "where do you start?" when making a card. The photo has lots of elements: black, gold, peach, vellum, white, confetti, hexagons, squares, circles, art deco, party blowers, glitter balls, happy new year, a rosette, a champagne glass to name just some -  and whilst I could have used any or all of them on my card, I chose to zone in on a few. I decided to major in on the black and gold colours for my colour scheme, with just a pop of peach, and create a card with a party theme that could be used for new year but would also work for any other kind of party celebration. Then I browsed my stamp sets and accessories to see what would work and set to work.

A Playful Background - I originally set about creating some rather fancy art deco-inspired hexagons using gold washi tape and black cardstock, but eventually decided these were too busy on my card so they are now waiting in my scrap box for another project! I decided to go with something less geometrical and create a background using one of the stamps in the Playful Backgrounds stamp set that mimicked the mat beneath the peach party cup in the photo (I selectively inked it so that the little dots on the stamp are omitted from my design) and heat embossed it in gold. I then did the reverse colour combination for my sentiment, i.e. black heat embossed on gold foil, so that it provides contrast yet is still in keeping with my theme.

A Picture Perfect Party - My card needed a focal point, so what better than a couple of party blowers? And a new stamp set that I acquired at Stampin' Up!'s Onstage event recently provided just the thing - the 'Picture Perfect Birthday' set has ribbon bows, candles, confetti and party sentiments galore, but also has the bits to construct a party blower - how fun! I made two and gave them each a vellum frill that I cut with my fringe scissors, as another nod to the inspiration photo. I wanted to make them stand out from the rest of the card, hence to addition of my Peekaboo Peach stitched circle behind; I didn't want peach to be a major feature of my design yet it serves a useful purpose here to highlight my blowers and ensure they don't get lost against the busyness of the background pattern. Picture Perfect Birthday is in the new Spring-Summer Stampin' Up! catalogue out on January 3rd - be sure to get in touch with me if you'd like a copy.

And that's how I did it! I'm also linking my card up with the team over at Freshly Made Sketches - what can I say, I love a good sketch :-)


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 for the last challenge of the year (gulp!) over at 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.

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.

FREE SHIPPING On All Stampin' Up! Orders - For Today Only!

by Joanne James27. November 2017 12:53

Now is the time to shop! Stampin' Up! is finishing this week's Online Extravaganza with one last offer for Cyber Monday: for 24 hours only, you can receive free shipping on all Stampin’ Up! orders.

Time flies, so don’t wait—the hours will be gone before you know it! Free shipping runs from 26 November 11:00 p.m. (GMT) to 27 November 10:50 p.m. (GMT). Don't forget to add the current hostess code NASJ4PVF for an extra little thank you from me!

Click here to go to my online store

I'll be back later with today's creative project - until then, happy shopping!

Label Me Pretty 2017-19 In-Colour Thank You Card

by Joanne James21. November 2017 21:30

I'm finally back with a post today! With my American friends celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow, I thought today a card that expresses gratitude was in order. Today's card also fits for a few challenges that are happening at the moment too (click on the badges to go to the respective blogs):


My card uses an incredibly useful bundle from the annual catalogue - take a look:


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

Be Thankful - I am thankful for many things and I love that the Label Me Pretty set has this wonderful sentiment that is perfect for giving thanks and showing appreciation to others - finished with a teeny, tiny heart - adorable! This is such a great set for layering, with so many options. I created a crib sheet for my open house ages ago which I've been sharing with my face-to-face customers in classes; it has been so well received I thought I would share it here so that you could all save it too:


Details, Details - In addition to my layered label, my card has some other neat details: the tiny scalloped edge on the left is courtesy of the Decorative Ribbon Border Punch and the scalloped edge was cut with the scallop thinlit in the Seasonal Layers Thinlits set; the curved flower detail from the 'Label Me Pretty' stamp set fits it perfectly, how convenient! 

Don't Forget The Pretty - My card has a very feminine feel to it, with the Powder Pink and Fresh Fig in-colours balancing beautifully against the white, along with the tiny florals and pretty detailing, all finished off with a tied Powder Pink ribbon. Not my usual style, yet nice to ring the changes once in a while.

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.

Stampin' Up!'s Online Extravaganza Is Back - For One Week Only!

by Joanne James19. November 2017 23:00


Stampin' Up!'s Online Extravaganza is here! Starting tonight at 11pm GMT for one week only, 19-26 November, you can save up to 40% on select products. To sweeten the deals, we will be having 24-hour sales on the first and last day of the promotion, featuring special products available for that day only. 

Our first incredible offering of this promotion will be the 24-hour stamp sale. Select stamp sets will be 20% off for the first 24 hours of the Online Extravaganza. The Stamp Sale takes place on 19 November 23:00 (GMT) to 20 November 22:59 (GMT).

To close out the Online Extravaganza with a bang, there will also be a special 24-hour flash sale on 27 November, after other Online Extravaganza deals end on 26 November. I will be back with more information on this flash sale later in the week. Check back here for the announcement and more details!

Here is the full list of deals this week:



You can download a PDF version of the deals list by clicking here.

Don't forget, the first of the 24 hour flash sales begins tonight at 11pm GMT and includes the following stamp sets each with 20% off:



Some great deals there - plenty of opportunity to grab some bargains to add to your stamp collection or alternatively start your Christmas shopping in earnest! Local customers - I have an order going in tomorrow if you would like to add anything to it to save on postage. If you are purchasing online, remember to add this month's hostess code 2S4X3VQ6 to your online order for an extra thank you from me.

Happy shopping everyone!

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2018-19 Annual 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 or give me a call on 07773 421446 - I'd be happy to help.

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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.

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! 

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.

2018 Autumn Winter Catalogue

Click on the catalogue image to access the 2018 Stampin' Up! Autumn Winter catalogue - if you would like to order any of the items featured, please drop me a line at or give me a call on 07773 421446 - I'd be happy to help.

Dashing Along DSP Promotion

Fancy a fun night in with friends? Host a party with sales of £200 or more in September and in addition to Stampin' Rewards to spend you will earn a pack of Dashing Along Designer Paper for FREE! Read more here and contact me to book a date!