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.

Lovely Friends and Lovely Laurel Pop-Up Card

by Joanne James14. May 2017 09:00

It's Sunday and time for this week's new challenge over at The Paper Players! It's my wonderful friend Claire's turn to host this week and she has a fun colour challenge for us to work with:

    

I love Claire's palette of bold, bright colours and took the opportunity to use some of my new pre-order products that have been bursting to get out of the box and create a card for a friend that uses this week's Mojo Monday sketch layout - take a look:

 

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

A Sentiment That Says It All - I chose to feature the largest sentiment in the new 'Lovely Friends' stamp set on the front of my card today. This is a stamp set choc-full of heartfelt sayings to put on a card to your very best friend (or friends - why stop at one?!) and this one is pretty much a card in itself. I incorporated the colours in a few added florals from the same set and the layering and banners behind, yet it is the sentiment that does all the work here. 

A Hidden Surprise - I could have stopped there; instead I chose to use the co-ordinating Lovely Laurel Thinlits Dies to create a fun pop-up inside my card. When you open this card, this is what you see:

 

Isn't that just such a fun surprise? These thinlits are really easy to use and make light work of creating this impressive pop-up feature. I love the flowing script of the banner font too and the subtle embossed detail on the banner itself.

There's Nothing Blue About This Card - Ok, well other than the card itself, of course! I chose to use Tempting Turquoise as my dominant colour of those in Claire's palette today and I think it really allows the red and orange to pop and the lovely green laurel wreath to shine. This is one of those truly uplifting cards that is guaranteed to raise a smile - or maybe even a 'wow' when opened up and the surprise inside is revealed. I think this card is cheeriness in an envelope!

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

 

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

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

The Paper Players Design Team
 
 
Here's a quick recap of our challenge rules:
 
1.  Create a new paper project
2.  Upload your creation to your blog with a link back to us and provide a direct link to the post featuring your challenge submission.
3.  Please link your card to no more than four challenges, TOTAL.
4.  Have FUN! 

I look forward to seeing what you create with this week's colour palette. Happy Mother's Day to my fellow team mates and all my lovely readers who are stateside and have had to wait until today to celebrate and be celebrated; Mother's Day in the UK is in March and already seems like so long ago. Enjoy the rest of your weekend as it will be over all too quickly; I have a quiet few hours this afternoon so am going to get some things prepared to share with you next week in the hope that my normal blog schedule will be resumed. 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.

Cool Treats Ice Cream Sundae Birthday Card

by Joanne James7. May 2017 09:00

It's Sunday and time for this week's new challenge over at The Paper Players! The lovely LeAnne is hosting host this week and she has a fun theme for us to work with:

    

Sweet treats - yummy! So many delicious possibilities; I'm a real lover of ice-cream so decided to break out my Cool Treats Suite and using this week's sketch over at Mojo Monday created my very own ice-cream sundae - of the paper variety, of course! Take a look at what I came up with:

 

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

Lots of Layers - I was attracted to this week's Mojo Monday sketch and all those lovely layers - I've used 10 in total on my card! I am often wary about mixing paper patterns however the Tasty Treats papers have some great co-ordinating patterns that make mixing and matching easy. I used three different ones on today's card sticking to one small pattern design, one larger design and a banner of stripes. Neither one overwhelms another so can be used together effectively to create a cohesive design.

Tasty Treats - I took the colour scheme for my card directly from the Tasty Treats Specialty Designer Series Paper and instead of a square for one of the layers of the sketch I used my Frozen Treat Thinlits to create a three-scoop ice cream sundae, complete with sprinkles and glossy hot fudge sauce (courtesy of my fine tip glue pen). Such a shame we are soon to say goodbye to this paper, however I'm thrilled that the stamp set and thinlits are being carried over to the new annual catalogue.

Two-Tone Sentiment - I finished with a two-tone sentiment by masking and inking my stamp with Watermelon Wonder and Early Espresso respectively. I gave the same treatment to my sentiment on the inside and added a cherry, because, well every sundae needs one, even if it's on the inside:

 

This card is a great example of what I love about Stampin' Up! - effortless colour and product co-ordination. Inks that match stamps that match cardstock that match paper - there's nothing better! 

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

 

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

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

The Paper Players Design Team
 
 
Here's a quick recap of our challenge rules:
 
1.  Create a new paper project
2.  Upload your creation to your blog with a link back to us and provide a direct link to the post featuring your challenge submission.
3.  Please link your card to no more than four challenges, TOTAL.
4.  Have FUN! 

 

I look forward to seeing what you create with this week's theme. Enjoy the rest of your weekend as it will be over all too quickly; we are embarking on exam season here in the James household, so it will be revision and not a lot else here today. 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.

So In Love Freestyle Collage Card

by Joanne James30. April 2017 09:00

It's Sunday and time for this week's new challenge over at The Paper Players! The lovely Jaydee is the hostess this week and as it's the fifth week of the month she has a fun tic tac toe board for us to work with:

 

I decided to go across the bottom row - pink, leaves and flower - and took the opportunity to create a card with a modern collage feel, a little different to my usual style. Take a look:

 

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

So In Love Watercolouring - I heat embossed the large flower from 'So In Love' onto Shimmery White cardstock and used my aquapainter and a variety of pink inks to watercolour it. When dry, I added a liberal brush of clear Wink of Stella for added sparkle. I used the same outline flower for some tone-on-tone stamping and added some white diecut leaves.

Bits And Pieces - I love collage-style cards, but find them such a challenge to create and have them look natural! I gathered lots of bits and pieces - ribbon, sequins, doilies and a wooden flower - and set to work. I also gave my finished card a liberal flick of Wink of Stella - you can't see the shine on the photograph, but this card is oh so pretty in real life!

Freestyle Collage - So the trick with this kind of freestyle collage card is to somehow take an eclectic selection of items and bring them together into a cohesive design. This card took me longer than it should have, as I was very considered with my elements, however I'm really pleased with the result - a lovely, feminine card that would work for a variety of different occasions. I am also linking up with the ladies over at SUO Challenges today with this card where there theme is 'all that's feminine'.

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

 

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

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

The Paper Players Design Team
 
 
Here's a quick recap of our challenge rules:
 
1.  Create a new paper project
2.  Upload your creation to your blog with a link back to us and provide a direct link to the post featuring your challenge submission.
3.  Please link your card to no more than four challenges, TOTAL.
4.  Have FUN! 

 

I look forward to seeing what you create with our tic tac toe board this week. Enjoy the rest of your weekend - we have a long one as tomorrow is a Bank Holiday here in the UK, so we are all enjoying the extra day that comes with a public holiday - let's just hope the weather stays fine! 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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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.