Inspiring Mermaid Lunch Box Love Note

by Joanne James12. November 2019 20:00

Today I'm sharing a card that uses a fun technique that is inspired by the theme and photo inspiration for the current FUSION challenge:

 

I love that fabulous colourful mermaid tail cupcake and took that as my inspiration rather than the sketch this week, as I also wanted to try out a fun technique inspired by a rather unusual household item. Here's my card:

 

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

A Magical Mermaid ... Or Two Or Three - I created a mermaid-patterned cardfront using the small solid mermaid image from the 'Magical Mermaid' stamp set; I stamped each image freehand as I wanted the spacing close than I could achieve with my stamp positioning tool. I haven't used this stamp in this set before - I usually use the large mermaid image - so it was a good opportunity to use the set in a different way. 

A Fun Technique - to achieve the multi-coloured effect, I revisited the 'oldie but goodie' baby wipe technique. I created two separate stamp pads using baby wipes and drops of three reinkers on each, then alternated stamping with each one to create my pattern. This is such a fun technique if you are trying to create variegated colour; no two stamped images are the same so it makes for colourful patterns. 

Unusual Inspiration - You may be wondering where I got my rather eclectic colour inspiration from this week; all is revealed in the photo below:

 

Yes, one of Rebecca's bedsets! She loves these brightly coloured mermaids and since my card is a little notecard that I slipped into her school bag as a surprise note as I sometimes do, I knew she would instantly recognise the inspiration. The thing I love most about the finished card is the watery effect of the blended colours, which seems fitting for my nautical mermaid. 

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. 

So as you can see, inspiration really can be found in the most unusual of places. What is your most unusual source of inspiration in your crafting? Do leave me a comment below - I would love to know.

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.

 

 

Festive Birds of a Feather for PP467

by Joanne James10. November 2019 09:00

Today it's Sunday and time for this week's new challenge over at The Paper Players! It's the turn of the fabulous Claire to host this week and she has a great colour challenge for you to work with:

 

I decided I would make another Christmas card for my stash using this week's colours using the cute 'Birds of a Feather' stamp set - take a look:

 

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

I did some layering onto my card base with a piece of Bermuda Bay DSP (this is last year's design but a current one would work just as well), along with a strip of retired glimmer paper for a pop of sparkly green, before my stitched rectangle. I did take a liberty here and used a piece of Pool Party; my birds were originally stamped on Whisper White, but the finished result was too 'white' so I fussy cut my birds and then paper-pieced two of them into a couple of outlines stamped directly onto the Pool Party rectangle, which works much better. The last birdy I popped up on dimensionals between the other two. Each of them was coloured with my Stampin' Blends and whilst it's difficult to see in the photo, I gave the fur on their Santa hats a liberal dose of clear Wink of Stella for some extra sparkle and shine. I added a couple of Granny Apple green glitter enamel dots and inked my partial sentiment with my Stampin' Write markers. I completed my sentiment by adding the last line inside my card, along with a trio of masked outlined birdies:

 

I was pleased with the finished card, until it occurred to me that there are four in the James 'flock' not three, and whilst I think odd numbers look better than even on a card front, it might make the recipient think we have reduced in numbers as the year has progressed! What to do? I think I need to add another birdie to the front of my envelope at least for the avoidance of doubt!! 

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:

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!

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; we have a day of homework and housework and the arrival of the muddy kit as the boys return from their rugby tour to York. Thankfully the weather stayed dry when it counted and all matches were played without incident. Alas the same couldn't be said for the female counterparts of Year 8, who were on a hockey tour to Wales this weekend and had play stopped yesterday afternoon due to - heavy SNOW!! It looks like winter has well and truly arrived here in the UK this week.

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.

Pumpkin Thankful Seasonal Wreath for AYSI 213

by Joanne James8. November 2019 12:00

Today I'm sharing my design team card for our new challenge over at As You See It where it's time for my favourite, a sketch challenge:

       RRCB 123

 I considered a number of options before settling on using this week's muted palette over at Color Throwdown to create an autumnal thank you card - take a look:

 

The sketch gave me the opportunity to do something that I've been wanting to try for a while with my Seasonal Wreath embossing folder. I'm also linking up with the Retro Rubber Challenge since they currently have an 'anything goes' theme. I am making a concerted effort to use up more of my retired papers and give some old favourite stamp sets some love so their theme this week is perfect: my card uses a piece of left over retired DSP and a bunch of products that are all more than a year old - read on to see just how old! Here's the low-down on today's card:

A Blended Embossed Wreath - The Seasonal Wreath is in my 'top 5' of favourite embossing folders, especially for Christmas cards. I've had mine since it was launched in 2018 and I do feel it's one of those annual catalogue 'unsung heroes' - lost in the pages at the back of the book, buried amongst the other patterns, but it's great for quick cards and works for all seasons depending on how you decorate/embellish it. I usually use it as a straight forward emboss, but I wondered what it would look like if I coloured it. I decided to try Blends in the first instance and I actually quite like the effect. It isn't as easy to see the dimension from a distance, but even in just three colours I think it gives it a new look.  

Thanks and Appreciation - The sentiment on my card comes from probably my most favourite fall stamp set ever: Painted Harvest. I've had this stamp set since it's launch in 2017 and I can't ever imagine parting with it. Such wonderful thankful sentiments and sunflower stamps that are pretty much foolproof to use and look fabulous in a wide variety of colour combinations. The best thing about it is this set features in the current Stampin' Up! annual catalogue and is still available to purchase :-) The other stamp I've used on my card today is my orange pumpkin embellishment; this stamp is from one of my old sets, 'Pick A Pumpkin', also from 2017 but now retired. I held onto this set and the co-ordinating Patterned Pumpkin Thinlits as they contain some nice pumpkin shapes that work for both fall and Halloween-themed cards alike.

Other 'Oldie but Goodies' - Other items that I've used on today's card that I've had for longer than I can remember are the circle punches I used to layer my sentiment and that piece of Paisley and Posies DSP, which is from Autumn-Winter 2016 - not that I'm a hoarder of patterned paper or anything ...!

I debated whether to add anything else to this card, but decided to leave it 'as is' and allow the wreath to take centre stage. I am enjoying experimenting a little this week and with this card it certainly felt good to use up some bits and pieces, albeit just a few - not sure I made enough of a dent to justify a shopping spree!

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. 

Do check out the cards by the other members of the As you See It design team - we have all interpreted the sketch differently so there is a ton of creative inspiration!

Enjoy your day; I have a date with the ironing basket before heading out on the swim run this evening. What are your plans for the weekend? We are having a split one in the James household: the girls are at home looking forward to a weekend full of hockey, GCSE coursework and crafting, whilst the boys are on the school rugby tour to York via Nottingham. Hopefully the pitches won't be too waterlogged to play - I am looking forward to unpacking the kit bags on Sunday already!!

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.

Important Stampin' Up! News: Purple Posy Ink Pad Discontinued With Immediate Effect

by Joanne James5. November 2019 22:00

 

Today I have an update from you regarding Purple Posy ink from Stampin' Up, which I have pretty much copied for the news release, as follows:

Despite Stampin' Up!'s efforts to resolve issues with Purple Posy ink, we have learned that the ink colour is still shifting over time. This means that the colour is coordinating more loosely than we typically allow with our colours. Due to these ongoing challenges, we have decided to discontinue Purple Posy classic ink. As of 5 November 2019, the following items will no longer be available to purchase:

  • Purple Posy Classic Stampin’ Pad (item 150084)
  • Purple Posy Classic Stampin’ Ink Refill (item 150091)
  • 2019–2021 In Color Classic Stampin’ Pad Assortment (item 150087)

We are unable to replace Purple Posy ink pads for customers who have already received them. However, anyone with concerns regarding the colour shifting properties of their Purple Posy ink pads should contact Demonstrator Support directly to arrange for a £7.00 coupon code as compensation. 

All other Purple Posy products (such as Purple Posy Stampin’ Write Marker, Purple Posy Cardstock, Purple Posy Stampin’ Blends, etc.) will remain available for purchase.

All of Stampin’ Up!’s exclusive ink colours are run through a vigorous series of tests to get ahead of challenges like this, and to ensure colours are accurate and meet our standards of coordination. Purple Posy did pass regular testing standards in time-simulating ovens, but we have now identified that it fell short when it came to actual time passing. The colour begins to shift once the ink has rested in the ink pad for about six weeks.

It is rare for Stampin’ Up! or our ink manufacturer to have such persistent issues with ink; Purple Posy has certainly been an anomaly. We completed full testing on 11 distinct batches of Purple Posy Classic Stampin’ Ink before releasing the current version. We are now confident that no additional efforts would uphold our coordination needs over time. 

So there it is - Purple Posy ink and ink refills are no more. If anyone has any issues with an existing ink pad that they would like to report, please get in touch. Fortunately for us, the other non-ink products in the range will still be available until June 2021, so there will be lots more opportunity to enjoy this lovely colour. 

This seems like a good opportunity to share the latest set of cards that the ladies in my in-colour club received, which were in fact a CASE  of a card made by my dear friend and AYSI teamie Jan Clothier of Thinking Stamping, who made this lovely card a while ago and I liked it so much I cased it for my ladies with her permission - you can see Jan's original card here and you can find a close up of my Purple Posy version below:

I hadn't used the 'Love What You Do' set for a while so it was good to ink it up again. Here's a shot showing all of the cards in the 2019-21 In-Color set:

So pretty - thank you Jan for the inspiration!

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

 

Apologies that this is in Purple Posy, but I'd made and photographed these cards before the Stampin' Up! announcement was made. Whilst I did use Purple Posy ink for the blooms on my card, you could colour these with Stampin' Write markers and achieve a pretty similar effect. Such creativity will still be required if we are to enjoy colour coordination with this delicate soft purple from now on. 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.

Beautiful Boughs Meets Rooted in Nature for a Woodland Christmas PP466

by Joanne James3. November 2019 09:00

Today it's Sunday and time for this week's new challenge over at The Paper Players! It's the turn of the fabulous Anne Marie to host this week and she has a fun theme challenge for you to work with:

       

I had a few ideas for Ann Marie's 'woodsy' theme today and decided to really go all-out to incorporate as many wood-themed elements into my card as possible. I decided to continue with another Christmas card to add to my collection and ended up creating something a little different (for me!) - take a look:

 

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

Knock on Wood - My card has lots of elements that tie in to the wood theme: some woodland background dry embossing, a panel of retired Wood Textures DSP, the tree trunk stamp from Rooted in Nature (stamped in Crumb Cake and then sponged with Early Espresso around the edge), as well as some greenery and a couple of pine cones that could easily be spotted on a walk through the woods.

Texture, Texture - There are lots of layers and textural elements on today's card too: in addition to the dry embossing, I added shimmery white embossing paste to my greenery for  textured snow and the glimmer paper and twine bow also adds contrast. I originally started out using Jen's sketch over at Freshly Made Sketches (you can see that sketch here), but ended up adding so many layers and bits and pieces I rather lost my usual 'clean' look. Whilst I love the finished result, I will need to go back to the drawing board if I'm to put in an FMS entry this week!

Woodland Sparkle - All that wood made for a rather neutral card, with only the greens adding colour to the mix of browns. I decided to add a silver glimmer 'merry' diecut for some festive sparkle, along with some frosted epoxy droplet 'berries' and a silver and linen twine bow. I really like the finished effect.

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

 

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

I'm also linking up today's card to the Festive Friday Challenge (my card features silver, wood, texture, circles and green from the inspo list) and the challenge over at Paper Craft Crew where I went across the middle of the board: embossing paste/rustic/gone wild and the top left-bottom right diagonal: found in the forest/rustic/sponging)

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

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!

Enjoy your day; we are enjoying the last day of the half-term holiday before returning the school tomorrow. We have some hockey planned and a trip to the farm shop, along with preparations for my classes this week. 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.

The New Stampin' Up! Trimmer Is Here And The Exclusive Christmastime Is Here Suite Now Available

by Joanne James1. November 2019 08:00

It's the first of November and with that comes two exciting announcements! Following the withdrawal of our previous trimmer due to Stampin' Up!'s inability to obtain a reliable source of blades, I am pleased to announce that our brand new paper trimmer is available to all customers today and I can honestly say it’s excellent!

       

Demonstrators have had the last month to order and fall in love with it and let me tell you, fall in love I did. I LOVED the old trimmer and never thought it could be improved. But I was wrong. This one has awesome larger blades that cut like a knife through butter. The new trimmer has some of the great features of the old trimmer and some new ones of its own, in particular a great detailed grid cutting guide, no removable cutting track and an improved ruler across the join of the extendable arm. The attendees at my recent weekend craft retreat also road-tested the trimmer and were extremely positive about its performance.

The new trimmer is a great price too at only £23 which is cheaper than our last one. The trimmer is available now from 1st November but packs of additional blades will not be launched for sale till January. They will be sold in packs of 4 blades for £11.25 and I will remind you when they are available to buy in the New Year.

 

Christmastime Is Here Suite

There is also a new exclusive product suite being launched today called 'Christmastime Is Here' which has the most beautiful Christmas Rose stamps, dies, patterned paper with matching accessories. It is available whilst stocks last and is not in any publication.

You can purchase the whole bundle or purchase your favourite products from the bundle, whichever you prefer. There is even a limited edition bracelet which would make a lovely Christmas gift for someone or a treat for yourself maybe.

Links to my online store for all of the configurations of the Christmastime Is Here suite can be found below. You can go to the item in my shop by clicking the photo or simply search for 'Christmastime is Here' (Christmastime is one word with no gap in between).

If you are considering treating yourself to the whole bundle and the new trimmer a starter kit would be a great option: you will receive £130 worth of any products of your choice and it only costs £99, so there's there option to add something else in too and still make a saving. If you'd like to take advantage then click here to join my team or get in touch to discuss further - I would love to welcome you.

Back soon with another post, including some lovely makes featuring this suite. In the meantime, happy shopping!

 

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

 

 

A Pair of Tropical Chic Floating Frame Cards JAI480

by Joanne James29. October 2019 19:00

We are still on half term here so I have been spending time with the James Juniors this week and am resting my shoulder so have not managed much in the way of crafting. I have a quick post for you today to share a card for the current challenge over at Just Add Ink:

The ladies are asking us to 'just add a technique' so I decided to have another go at a Floating Frame Card - or rather, pair of floating frame cards. Here's the first one with contains the inside of the frame:

 

And here's the second one with the outer floating frame:

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

The floating frame technique is really easy to create with a few basic tools: some 'Press and Seal' food wrap or similar, a framelit - I used my Tropical Chic stamps and co-ordinating dies and Rectangle Stitched Framelits Dies - and lots of dimensionals! You simply stamp and punch/diecut your images, lay them out, cover with Press and Seal, trim to frame size and cut out your central piece, before adhering dimensionals to the back of the diecut pieces and adhering to your chosen card base. Finally you remove the Press and Seal and your floating shapes remain in place.  

Add a sentiment and you're done! These cards are quite time-consuming, but they are fun. I'm thinking I might have to have another go with some other supplies to create a festive version  - watch this space!

Here are the visual summaries of the key products used on today's projects 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 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.

A Celebration of Let It Snow PP465

by Joanne James27. October 2019 09:00

Today it's Sunday and time for this week's new challenge over at The Paper Players! It's the turn of the fabulous Ann to host this week and she has my favourite, a sketch challenge for you to work with:

 

There were so many ways to go with this sketch - in the end I decided to 'Let It Snow' - in a big way! Take a look:

 

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

My card today is a celebration of the wintery-themed Let It Snow Specialty Designer Series Paper. This collection of cute snowmenwas at the top of my Christmas shopping list; my regular readers know how much I love DSP, and today's card uses not one, not two, not three, but four - yes four! - of the patterns in the pack. I used three of the non-glittery patterns for the layers (it was so hard not to use the sparkly designs on the reverse!) and fussy cut a glittery snowman for my corner embellishment from the fourth (I added some arms using the Snowman Builder Punch).

I added a diecut from 'Word Wishes' for the sentiment on the front of my card, although have a slight confession to make: this was supposed to be red glimmer paper for a touch of festive sparkle to compliment my glittery snowman, however could I find mine anywhere in my crafting square mile? Not a chance! I know I have some, but I couldn't find it anywhere so I resorted to some red foil instead. 

My card doesn't have a stitch of stamping on the front, although I did add a sprinkling of snowflakes and a sentiment from the 'Snowman Season' stamp set on the inside:

I love the combination of cool greens, white and red - it reminds me of candy canes - that feature in this paper pack and one thing is for sure: those glittery snowmen really are as sweet as sugar, and as sparkly too!

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:

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!

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; today marks the official start of winter and with that an extra hour in bed - yay! My day will be a quiet one and hopefully 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.

CAS Perfectly Plaid Merry Christmas Card

by Joanne James25. October 2019 14:00

This is my second post for today - you can see my earlier As You See It challenge post here. I had a little extra time yesterday and managed to make another card, this time for the current challenge over at Addicted to CAS where the challenge is to use plaid on your card:

I had some piece of leftover paper having wrapped some gift boxes for the lovely ladies on my retreat last weekend so decided to use one of them for a quick clean and simple Christmas card - take a look:

 

 Whilst this card looks like it has a few steps, it really did take me next to no time to make: I always have some white cardbases cut, the plaid and thin strip of red cardstock were leftovers from other projects, as was the gold foil 'Christmas' - I had a few of these in the die case that I had cut previously, complete with self-adhesive backing. So all that was left to do was cut the paper to size, glue the pieces together and stamp the 'merry' and the holly and add a trio of red rhinestone berries. I even had time to use one of my favourite sentiments from the same 'Merry Christmas To All' stamp set on the inside of my card: 

 

So simple and a great way to use up some of those leftover bits and pieces too!

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.

From Our House To Yours In Shades of Blue For AYSI 212

by Joanne James25. October 2019 13:00

Today I'm sharing my design team card for our new challenge over at As you See It where it's time for the dreaded speed-stamping challenge:

    

 For a card in under 10 minutes I had to keep things fairly clean and simple so armed with the sketch over at CAS Colours and Sketches this is what I came up with:

 

 Here's the low-down on today's card:

Shades of Blue - I chose Balmy Blue, Blueberry Bushel and Night of Navy as the trio of blues I wanted to feature on my card. I stamped each house in all three colours and added some balmy blue snowflakes to suggest the oval shape of the sketch. 

From Our House To Yours - I love these little houses in the 'From Our House To Yours' set and because they come in separate pieces they are easy to stamp in different colours. They're photopolymer too so they are super easy to line up. 

Speedy Stamping - The stamping on my card took just minutes - it was super quick and easy! I did spend a little extra time creating my diecut edge and adding my teeny tiny snowflake sequins; even with my Take Your Pick tool these were more fiddly than everything else put together! My card ended up taking 9 minutes 24 seconds total - which is still super quick for me!

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. 

Do check out the As you See It gallery to see what the rest of the team have created in shades of blue - and see who was the fastest this week.

Enjoy your day; I'm off to the hospital today, hopefully to sort out my pesky frozen shoulder that's been troubling me the last few months. All being well 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.

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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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