Serene Scenery Just Breathe And A Moment Of Mindfulness

by Joanne James16. May 2017 06:00

Today I'm sharing a card for this week's sketch over at CAS Colours & Sketches:  

Today's card turned out to be one of the easiest ever cards for you to recreate - and is perfect for the sentiment of the day! Check it out:

 

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

Just Breathe - This beautifully scripted oversize sentiment is from a set that will be new in the forthcoming annual catalogue called 'Colorful Seasons': a selection of images and words that co-ordinate with a number of other products that form part of the new Colour Theory Suite. This will be a great set for memory keeping and traditional scrapbooking, as well as card making - it's incredibly versatile and I can't wait to share more of it with you. 

Serene Scenery - The art of mindfulness, that is focusing our attention on the present moment, has become very popular of late. It is a proven stress reliever and can be very effective in helping us to clear our mind, become more objective and therefore more able to move forward in a positive and constructive manner. Using mindfulness techniques for even 10 minutes a day can have beneficial effects; I was recently introduced to the Headspace mobile phone app by a friend of mine and can see why she is so evangelical about it - you can find out more here. When I want to relax my mind and 'just breathe' I am a blue sky thinker - literally. So this photographic image from the retiring Serene Scenery DSP stack made the perfect accompanying image. I wanted my card to deliberately have no other obvious focus other than the sentiment - sometimes when life gets too much we all have times where we need to be reminded to 'just breathe' and this card will be heading to a friend to say just that. 

Neutrals - I went with a largely neutral palette for my card today, using Island Indigo for my sentiment to pick up on the bold blue of the image. If you like this colour combination, feel free to save it for future use:

 

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. 

This has to be one of the quickest cards ever; the funny thing is, I wasn't short on time when I made it. I guess a simple card for a simple sketch - sometimes words are enough. Of course if you disagree feel free to comment below - I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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.

Urban District Best DAD Father's Day Card

by Joanne James15. May 2017 06:00

Happy Monday everyone! A nice early post from me to start the week with a card for this week's challenge over at Freshly Made Sketches:

I needed to get cracking on some Father's Day cards and this sketch gave me the perfect opportunity:

 

 Here's the low-down on today's card:

Urban District - The vertical panel was perfect to showcase the DAD letters of the Urban District stamp set. These letters are such fun and include so many fun images in relation to hobbies and past-times that Dads everywhere will be able to relate to. I stamped the letters in Versamark onto a piece of Urban Underground Specialty Designer Series Paper and heat embossed them in silver. This set also includes two of the best sentiments for a Dad card that I think I've ever seen (you know how much I love a good sentiment!) and I stamped this one inside my card:

 

Dynamic Hexagons - I decided to go for a textured foil background for the front of my card and ran a piece of silver foil in the Hexagons Dynamic Textured Impressions Embossing Folder through the Big Shot to give me a super shiny, amazing dimensional impression onto my cardstock. This card is larger than usual (it measures 8" by 4 1/4" finished size). Whilst my foil panel is the width of the embossing folder, it is also longer. Extending the embossed panel is really straightforward: all you need to do is emboss the length of the folder, then rotate the foil mat through 180 degrees and reposition the foil in the embossing folder, matching up the section already embossed with the pre-embossed pattern.

An Expert Envelope - An oversized card calls for an oversized envelope; this one is beyond the printed sizes on the Envelope Punch Board though. The answer? Why, my trusty Envelope Expert tool of course! Envelope Expert allows you to specify your desired envelope dimensions,  in either cm or inches, and it will then tell you what size paper you need and where to punch and score. I used a co-ordinating piece of Urban Underground paper for my envelope, Along with my Envelope Punch Board. If you don't have an Envelope Punch Board, I can't recommend you purchase one highly enough - they are so useful! Don't forget my Envelope Expert tool can be found on my website here and is free for you to use too, so don't be shy - make any size card you like and use Envelope Expert to produce an envelope to fit. 

I do like this modern, masculine set and will be disappointed to see it retire, along with Nailed It, at the end of this month.

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.

Balloon Adventures Shaker Birthday Card

by Joanne James11. May 2017 13:27

Apologies for my couple of blog-free days: I have had a combination of classes, preparation for a big team event at the weekend and new catalogue preparations that have simply left no time to share with you! Back to it today though with a card for this week's challenges over at As You See It and TGIF Challenge:

   

I took the AYSI sketch quite literally today and for my 'three of something' went with balloons and the retiring Balloon Pop-Up Thinlits Die to create a shaker, rather than a pop-up card, on this occasion using the bright colours of the TGIF palette this week:

 

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

Balloon Adventures - Today's card is all about balloons of the party kind. The Balloon Pop-up thinlits make a great pop-up for the inside of a card, yet also work as a flat panel which, when backed with a piece of window sheet, can be transformed into a fun party shaker card. I stamped the balloons with the co-ordinating Balloon Adventures stamp set in each of the challenge colours then overlaid the corresponding diecuts. I also brushed the stamped area with my clear Wink of Stella for extra sparkle. The Balloon Adventures bundle has been very popular and I'm sad it's retiring; if you haven't got yours yet, get in quick before it's gone for good!

Shake, Shake, Shake - I filled my shaker with a combination of Emerald Envy mica flakes leftover from my Christmas projects (still available on the clearance rack), some gold sequins and a few retired in-colour sequins in Strawberry Slush for a hint of pink. 

Spots and Stripes - I decided to use some in-colour Emerald Envy designer series paper for my background striped panel, to tie in with the spots and stripes theme of my balloons. I find it easier to major in on two colours to maintain a co-ordinated look with such bold colours, as I've done here with the pink and green, with the Crushed Curry sparingly on a single balloon and to decorate my envelope and the inside of my card for a pop of sunny yellow.

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 the rest of 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.

Window Box Thinlit Gift Box And The Benefits Of Crafting Together

by Joanne James8. May 2017 20:00

As promised on Friday (Saturday was consumed with homework, swimming and the first cricket match of the season - goodness, doesn't that game go on FOREVER?!! - so I didn't get to post this the as planned), today I'm sharing with you another of the makes from one of last month's technique classes, featuring the Window Box Thinlits dies. In addition to using them to make the birthday card I shared on Friday and an Easter basket, we also made a box with the thinlits and one of the decorative pieces. Here is our finished box:

 

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

Window Box Thinlits - The Window Box Thinlits make the most adorable hexagonal box that is incredibly versatile. It can be used as packaging for a small gift or would be the perfect size for a wedding favour; it also makes a beautiful table decoration if you place a battery-operated tealight inside and looks lovely if a number of them are clustered together in this way. You can build it plain, decorate with designer series paper or use the selection of cutout dies to give extra pattern to the side and top panels. The box above has the side panels cut out and backed with vellum, along with a layered vellum backed top, so that the ribbon tie sits below the vellum panel and allows the sentiment banner to sit neatly across the top of the box.

So Much More Than A Box - The Window Box Thinlits are so much more than a standard box though. This versatile thinlit die set can also be used to make other items, such as sail boats and baskets, and can be used to create alternative boxes in different shapes and sizes too. The benefit of featuring this set in a class is that you can demonstrate and show the class participants how to do the slightly more unusual things in a hands-on way and be there to answer their questions and queries as you go. It's also a good opportunity to ensure everyone understands what each thinlit piece is for, any hints and tricks and sometimes how to avoid common pitfalls when using the item in question.

Love What We Do, Share What We Love - Stampin' Up!'s Statement of the Heart is "To love what we do and share what we love, as we help others enjoy creativity and worthwhile accomplishments ... in this we make a difference". There are many ways as a demonstrator that this can be achieved and I'm someone who loves to share my projects in a variety of ways. I love the 'art' of blogging (I find it relaxing and in many ways a kind of free therapy!) and sharing my projects with you, but in the online world not everyone who reads my blog or sees my projects on Pinterest or other social media channels leaves feedback or a comment to say what they think. That's one of the things I love about face-to-face classes - the feedback is immediate and it is instantly gratifying to share my love of Stampin' Up! with those that attend my classes and see them leave at the end of a session having learned lots, made some beautiful things and be brimming with ideas of how they can use their Stampin' Up! purchases to bring them continued and lasting crafting pleasure. There's nothing quite like it! 

I would love to see you at one of my classes and share my knowledge and experience of how to get the best from your Stampin' Up! products 'up close and personal'. You can see the current list here but do check back regularly for updates as new classes are added from time to time and will be updating shortly with a new set of classes featuring new items from the new 2017-18 Annual Stampin' Up! Catalogue. 

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.

Window Box Thinlits Happy Birthday Candle Card

by Joanne James5. May 2017 20:00

Did you miss me? I've been away from my blog this week simply because, well, life got in the way! I've been busy preparing for a big team training event that I'm hosting the weekend after next and I've had preparation for next week's classes to take care of, so whilst I've content prepared for both that I will share in due course, I seem to have struggled to find the time to write any posts.

Anyways, I'm here a little earlier this evening and thought I would share with you one of the makes from one of last month's technique classes, featuring the Window Box Thinlits dies. In addition to using them to make an Easter basket and a pretty box, we also made a simple card that featured the co-ordinating Window Shopping stamp set and one of the decorative pieces. Here it is:

 

The card features the bright colours that are a feature of the candle-printed designer series paper from the Party Animal Suite: Tangerine Tango, Pacific Point, Emerald Envy, Crushed Curry. A bold happy birthday sentiment, along with a Stitched Framelit square that w as run through the Big Shot for a second time with the candle die from the Window Box thinlit set form the basis of the central panel. Wondering how I coloured my candles? I used Party Animal Washi Tape, just running a few strips across the base before adding the diecut popped up on dimensionals. You can see the detail more closely here:

 

This is one of those 'go to' cards - quick and easy to put together and in this colour combination pretty much suitable for anyone. A great standby card or one to make if you're short on time and need a card in a hurry!

I'm so glad that the Window Shopping stamp set and Window Box Thinlits are carrying over into the new annual catalogue - they are so useful. The current discounted bundle price won't carry over though, so if you would like get the 10% bundle discount for purchasing before products, be sure to purchase before the end of May.

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 one of the other projects from last month's technique class featuring the Window Box Thinlits. If you live in or around Northampton, I would love to see you at one of my classes. You can see the current list here but do check back regularly for updates as new classes are added from time to time. Until tomorrow, happy stampin'!

 

Stampin' Up! Supplies Used:

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

Eastern Palace Suite Early Release - FREE PDF TUTORIAL

by Joanne James1. May 2017 13:00

For all of you who have been patiently awaiting the arrivial of the new annual catalogue, I have some great news: from today you are able to get your hands on the colourful and exotic products from the Eastern Palace Suite a whole month before they’re released in the 2017-2018 annual catalogue! These products are being made available in two exclusive bundles, each of which includes a free product. Whilst these products will be available individually in the new Stampin' Up! 2017-18 Annual Catalogue, each of these exclusive bundles will be available for the month of May only:

 

 The following video from Stampin' Up! also shows just how easy these suites are to make beautiful cards (bear with it at the beginning as it is a little slow to start - keep watching to see the new products in action):

https://youtu.be/qF02FybBBO8

Whether you are a beginner or avid crafter, this really is a set with endless combinations and possibilities. Each bundle also contains ink pads in three of the new in-colours too. The other good news is that this bundle is also available as part of the Stampin' Up! starter kit and this is a great time to sign up as a demonstrator - as a demonstrator you will also get the opportunity to pre-order other items from the new Stampin' Up! 2017-18 Annual Catalogue too starting tomorrow! Do get in touch if you would like to chat with me about joining my team - I would love to welcome you to my Stampin' Up! family or alternatively click on the 'Join My Team' link in the sidebar. 

What's more, if you purchase either of the Eastern Palace Suite bundles from me this month, either in person or online using this month's hostess code  DXFJQZPN you will also receive a free full-colour PDF tutorial with complete instructions to make the following three cards:

Aren't they gorgeous? That's all from me today - you can see today's creative post here if you missed it - otherwise, I will be back tomorrow with another project. Until then, happy shopping!

 

Links to my online store:

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

Rainbow Watercolour Butterfly Thinlit Card

by Joanne James1. May 2017 11:00

Happy Monday everyone, and for those of you in the UK a Bank Holiday too! Lots happening today - first things first, I'm sharing a card for the current Fusion challenge (photo inspiration) using this week's sketch over at Freshly Made Sketches:

   

I loved the look of the rainbow watercolouring of the inspiration photo so thought I'd have a go at this fun technique - take a look at my finished card:

 

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

Watercolour Rainbow - I masked off the circle shape in the sketch using a round post it on a piece of retired music note paper that I had in my stash and then using my aquapainter, allowed the colours to flow and bleed into one another and away from the masked area. It really wasn't tricky; the most important thing is to not over-blend the colours so that they remain true and don't end up all brown and muddy. The paper did warp a little, but I used Fast Fuse liberally to adhere it to my mat when dry and this seemed to do the trick.

A Sparkly Butterfly - I used my Butterfly Thinlits to cut out a simple butterfly in Basic Black cardstock and brushed it liberally with clear Wink of Stella. You can see a little of the shine in the photogragh, but believe me in real life this is super sparkly and looks great against the rainbow coloured background.

Just A Note - My sentiment is from the Flourishing Phrases stamp set - it seemed appropriate with the musical background paper! I added a Pumpkin Pie enamel shape heart for an added pop of colour against the black.

So a fun card that wasn't overly difficult to create and looks so very pretty in real life.

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. 

This is one of two posts today - you can read my second post regarding the early release of some great new Annual Catalogue product - the Eastern Palace Suite - 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.

Nailed It #GDP084

by Joanne James30. April 2017 20:00

I've had a busy day - we have today welcomed 4 new additions to the James Family - yet still managed to find time to photograph this little number that I made yesterday for this week's challenge over at The Global Design Project. Thank you for to the GDP team for choosing my card last week as a GDP Winner  - I'm honoured. If you missed it, you can see that card here. This week the challenge is to case one of their design team, the lovely Michelle Last, and this is her inspiration card:

 

I liked the way Michelle embossed the whole front panel, as this isn't something I do on a card often, and combined it with the focal point frame and I wanted to retain these elements. I considered using butterflies but a quick glance at the gallery showed lots of other examples so I went through my box of embossing folders for inspiration and this is what I came up with:

 

Here's the lowdown on today's card:

Pick A Pattern - I chose to use the Hexagons Dynamic Textured Impressions Embossing Folder for my background and that formed the basis of the masculine theme for my card. This folder creates such a deep impression with wonderful dimension it makes a great background.

A Creative Frame - I decided to create a frame shaped like a nut to tie in with my masculine hexagonal theme. The hexagonal shape in the Build It Framelits was too small for my card, so I just punched a 2" circle into a piece of cardstock and freehand cut my hexagon around it. It is not perfectly proportioned because I needed a larger hole in order to accommodate my sentiment, so a little creative licence used.

Nailed It - The real feature of my card has to be the tools from the Nailed It bundle. I was so surprised and disappointed to see that this set and the Build It Framelits were not carrying over into the new annual catalogue. It's a great set and I haven't used it much on my blog yet as I was building up to Father's Day in June. The framelits have unfortunately already sold out but at the moment the stamp set is still available. I would really recommend it as it makes a great masculine set and the main tools can be easily fussy cut my hand. I watercoloured my tools with ink and an aquapainter to reflect the style of the card I was casing - a quick and easy way to add a splash of colour.

The fun thing about casing someone else's card is that you can take lots of basic elements that are the same - the embossed background, fancy frame and watercoloured image - yet make them your own to produce something completely different. My card is a completely different theme to the challenge card, but similar in many other ways and it's clear to see where I did a 'Copy And Selectively Edit' of Michelle's original. Thanks Michelle for the inspiration this week!

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 a new project. Until then, happy stampin'!

 

Stampin' Up! Supplies Used:

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

A Sneak Peek - Delightful Daisy Thank You Card

by Joanne James28. April 2017 20:15

Today I've a quick post to share some sneak peeks with you for some lovely new products that are appearing in the new Stampin' Up! annual catalogue that is due out on the 1st June - 6 in fact! Take a look:

 

Today's card features some great new products from the Delightful Daisy Suite, featuring some delicate and elegant florals, including:

  • A pretty new stamp set, Daisy Delight
  • A co-ordinating Daisy Punch
  • Delightful Daisy Designer Series Paper
  • 1/4" Daffodil Delight Double-Stitched Ribbon
  • Faceted Gems

It also features one of the new in-colours - the sentiment, also from the Daisy Delight stamp set, is stamped in Tranquil Tide.

This is such a pretty set - I'm really looking forward to creating more with it. I can't wait to share the new catalogue with you; if you are a customer of mine that has purchased from me within the last 6 months you will automatically receive an annual catalogue from me. If you haven't purchased from me within the last six months but would like to receive a copy of the new catalogue and don't already have a Stampin' Up! demonstrator, then please get in touch with me here to reserve your copy.

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'!

 

Petals And Paisleys 3D Home Decor Wall Art - FREE PDF Tutorlal

by Joanne James26. April 2017 20:13

Today I'm sharing a project that I made in an all-day class last November, but didn't share at the time on my blog. Do you remember the 3D home decor piece featuring the Paisleys and Posies stamp set and co-ordinating Paisleys Framelits that featured on page 46 of the Autumn-Winter seasonal catalogue? Here's a reminder:

 

I thought this was a lovely and unusual piece of wall art, so decided to use it as the basis for an all-day class where the ladies attending would each make their own version of this project and also stamp a stack of cards using the remaining papers in the Petals & Paisleys Specialty Designer Series Paper pack, which they each received in their kits.

Here's my finished framed piece - I originally framed it in white, but have since had it professionally framed in a beautiful copper-coloured wood frame similar to the one in the catalogue, which has much greater impact:

 

I like this piece so much it is now hanging on the wall in my dining room. The photo above really doesn't do it justice - just look at the lovely shine on the foil and embossed copper against the navy: 

 

So very pretty! The finished piece measures 12" x 12" unmounted and unframed. The Petals and Posies stamp set and co-ordinating Paisleys Framelits were carried over and are still available, however the paper was discontinued. Good news though: I decided to share this project today because those lovely Petals and Paisleys Specialty Designer Series Papers are now available again on the Clearance Rack for only £4.70 per pack - bargain!

I ALSO HAVE A SPECIAL OFFER FOR YOU - A FREE PDF TUTORIAL!

For everyone who purchases the Petals and Paisleys Specialty Designer Series Papers on the Clearance Rack along with the Petals and Posies stamp set and co-ordinating Paisleys Framelits from me through my online store before the end of this month (Sunday 30th April) using the current hostess code Y2MKPTP6, I will send you a copy of my PDF tutorial for the above home decor wall art project, containing full written and photo step-by-step instructions FOR FREE, so that you can recreate it too! Instructions will be emailed separately following purchase - please ensure you include your email address and check the box that allows you to be contacted by me as your demonstrator following your purchase to send them on to you.

 

The links below will take you to my online store to enable you to purchase all of the supplies you need. I'll be back tomorrow with another project and more Stampin' Up! news. 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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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! 

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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.