Hedgehugs For The Paper Players PP375

by Joanne James7. January 2018 09:00

It's Sunday and time for this week's new challenge over at The Paper Players! I hope you have all enjoyed a restful Christmas and are ready to join us for some crafty fun. The super-talented Sandy is kicking off a new year of Paper Player challenges for us with a seasonal theme with a little humour too:

      

Now I love a good pun, yet I initially had a little panic when I saw Sandy's theme this week as I couldn't find a single 'punny Valentine' stamp on my shelf. I thought I was going to have to get really creative and 'think outside the box' when I was saved by my lovely downline Helen, who was coming over for a 'planning and play' session and brought with her the perfect stamp set for this week's theme  - take a look:

 

Hedgehugs - how cute is that?! I grabbed the current Freshly Made Sketches sketch and set to work. I inked up my prickly pair with my Stampin' Write markers, colouring the hedgehogs in Early Espresso (I added a little Crumb Cake with a blender pen afterwards) and the flower in a combination of Sweet Sugarplum and Old Olive, to compliment the florals of the strip of Petal Garden designer series paper that I used behind. I stamped my punny sentiment along with another flower and popped it up on a circle between my hedgehogs - this is one of those cards where if you can't see the sentiment, it kind-of doesn't make sense! A little floral tone-on-tone stamping on the bottom half of my card was added for extra interest. I'm also linking my card up with the team over at Inspired By All The Little Things, where this week's inspiration is all about wild animals. My inspiration was the hedgehog but I might have to have another go over there this week as there are so many little woodland cuties to choose from!

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 love a punny sentiment and this little hedgehog pair is super cute - thanks to Helen for helping me out too! If you'd like to see what else we got up to, check out this post on Helen's blog this week. As one of a special team of demonstrators at Stampin' Up!, I was fortunate to receive my much-anticipated Stamparatus this week and having shared a video with my team already, Helen was keen to have a play. I videoed Helen in action - you can see the full version and the card we made, along with lots of her other creations, over on her blog, Love-A-Duckie

Back to today's challenge! Before you reach for your ink and papers, check out what our amazing team has created to inspire you this week, including the lovely Eliz Stewart of My Paper Sweetness who is joining our team of guest designers for the next six months for the first time today. Some of the team have created some truly inspiring and inspired cards with their stamps this week, so do check them out:

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; 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.

Calypso Coral Petal Passion Thank You Card

by Joanne James4. January 2018 20:15

I hope you are all enjoying browsing your new Spring-Summer catalogues and making your Sale-A-Bration wishlists! I have had a fun 'planning and playing' day today with one of my downline team members (more on that soon!) but I also have a quick post to share with you a pretty little card that was one of the 'make&takes' at our Stampin' Up! UK Onstage event in Solihull last November that features some of the gorgeous new products from the 'Petal Passion' suite - take a look:

 

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

Express Your Inner Artist - The Petal Passion Suite comprises a stamp set with gorgeous, brushstroke-style imagery, with a varied saturation in the design that creates realistic watercolour effects. If you would like to discover your inner artist without even needing to pick up a paintbrush, this set is for you!

Black and White Watercolour - This brushstroke style carries through into the co-ordinating designer series paper, which contains watercolour designs in shades of black and white that can be used as they are or customised with your favourite colouring techniques, such as adding a little Calypso Coral ink with a blender pen to the flowers as I've done on the central panel on my card for an added touch of colour.

Petal Passion Embellishments - There are some great acessories in this suite too: a pair of textured embossing folders, along with some beautiful soft and sheer white organza ribbon and flower and leaf metal embellishments, the latter two of which add a little detail to the focal point of today's card.

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.

Happy New Year 2018 Celebrate You Shaker Card #GDP119

by Joanne James2. January 2018 21:00

Hello lovely readers - and a happy new year to you all! Today I'm sharing a card that I made for some friends with whom welcomed in the new year - I was still enjoying the 'morning after the night before' yesterday so from a blog perspective today heralds the beginning of the end of my festive blog break! I'm also linking up with a couple of challenges - the current challenge over at Global Design Project where the theme is all about celebrating at home and the lovely ladies over at As You See It who are all about the sparkle for their first challenge of the year:

   

My card was inspired by my 2017 new year card, minus the owl of course (you can see that card in a previous post here) and has a little 'something old ... and lots new' about it - take a look:

 

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

A Window Into 2018 - I used my much-loved Large Numbers Framelits to create fun shaker-card windows in the front of my card. This is so easy to do; you just need to remember to keep the middle of the 0 and 8 to complete the negative image. If you place the numbers that you've cut out over the window sheet without sticking them down, they will allow you to position the negative pieces in just the right position when you remove the numbers again. 

All That Glitters - My decision to create a shaker card was largely because I was looking for an opportunity to use these amazing gold glitter flakes from the new Spring-Summer catalogue that launches tomorrow. Check out the close-up below - aren't they gorgeous? So sparkly! 

Celebrate ... Amazing You - The main front panel of my card features a stamp from a new Sale-A-Bration set, Amazing You (stamped in Versamark and heat embossed in gold and silver) and the word 'celebrate' cut from silver glimmer paper using another of this year's Sale-A-Bration free items - a set of thinlits dies called 'Celebrate You' that co-ordinate with the stamp set and are available free with a £90 purchase. More news on Sale-A-Bration tomorrow, but I hope these sneak-peeks have got you all excited about the fabulous things that are to come!

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 all of the news and information on the 2018 Sale-A-Bration promotion and the launch of the new Spring-Summer seasonal catalogue. Until then, happy stampin'!

 

Stampin' Up! Supplies Used:

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

Make Your Handcrafted Christmas Easy With The Watercolor Christmas Card Kit

by Joanne James21. December 2017 09:00

Today is the last day for posting here in the UK to guarantee your Christmas cards will arrive in time for Christmas. If, like me, you have been making Christmas cards all season but still need a few extra at the last minute, the Watercolor Christmas Project kit is definitely a quick solution.

I am a big fan of Stampin' Up!'s kits, which are very generous and of extremely high quality and the Watercolor Christmas Project Kit s no exception. Here are each of the designs in the kit:

 

 

 

 

Each kit makes 20 cards, 5 each of 4 designs, which look time-consuming but in fact take only minutes to assemble. Which is good news, given that I made up a pack last night for sending out today! I love the co-ordinating Watercolor Wishes stamp set too, however the kit can be used with other sentiment sets you have if you prefer. These kits are on offer as part of the year-ed sale, so I would highly recommend you grab a few and make them up now ready for next year - it will give you a great head start for your cardmaking and you will hit the festive season running!

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. 

Back soon with another project; until then, happy shopping!

 

Stampin' Up! Supplies Used:

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

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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.

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.

Tags & Trimmings Festive Christmas Stocking Gift Box For The Paper Players PP374

by Joanne James10. December 2017 09:00

It's Sunday and time for this week's new challenge over at The Paper Players- what's more, it's the last one of 2017! It's the turn of my good friend, the lovely and talented Claire, to host this week and she has a bright colour challenge for us to end the year with:

 

This is a palette with lots of options - you could still craft for Christmas, or use these colours for a non-festive project, it's up to you. Our design team this week has done a little of both, so there's lots of inspiration for you. I took the opportunity to squeeze in another Christmas project, but went with a 3D gift box rather than a card today. In fact, a Christmas stocking - take a look:

 

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

Trim Your Stocking - These colours were perfect for a pink and girly Christmas stocking, complete with spotty heel, toe and cuff trim then finished off with a sprig of festive greenery. I've used the Trim Your Stocking Thinlits on this card previously but whatever your project, this set has an abundance of useful dies that are perfect for all kinds of embellishments. 

It's What's Inside That Counts - I love this sentiment! Whether it's a little chocolate - the content of choice of Rebecca - or money (most definitely the content of choice for my teenage niece!), the pillow box on the reverse of this stocking is just big enough for either. I haven't yet decided who this stocking will be heading for and for me how it looks on the outside is the most important thing, but one thing is for sure, for the recipient it's definitely what's inside that counts!

A Little Added Sparkle - I couldn't resist adding in a little sparkle to my festive stocking, with a silver foil bell, some mini sequin trim and a liberal dose of clear Wink of Stella on the lime green pieces - I'm hoping Claire considers silver (almost) a neutral such that I can get away with it - I just couldn't resist, those jingle bell dies are my favourite! 

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. As I mentioned above, this is our last challenge for 2017; we will be taking a two week break before returning with a fresh new set of challenges for 2018 starting on Sunday 7th January 2018. Thanks to everyone who plays along each week, to this year's guest designers, Crystal and Valentyna, Deanne, Jan and Annie, and everyone of you who visits our blogs and leaves us encouraging comments each week - it's great to know that you enjoy our creations! We will be announcing our new guest designers for the first half of 2018 this coming Wednesday, in my mid-week reminder post, so be sure to check back then to see who will be joining us to kick off the Paper Players fun at the start of 2018!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend as it will be over all too quickly; we are hoping to put our Christmas tree up and decorate the house tomorrow - then it really will feel like Christmas! 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.

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.

Layered Gingerbread In A Jar - The Perfect Homemade Christmas Gift PP373

by Joanne James3. December 2017 09:00

It's Sunday and time for this week's new challenge over at The Paper Players! The lovely Laurie is the hostess this week and she has a rather delicious seasonal theme for us to work with:

    

I'm also linking up with the team over at Stamp Ink Paper this week who are looking at Christmas wrapping and packaging solutions. I love to make gingerbread at this time of year but it's still a little early for me to have baked and wrapped creatively, so instead I decided to share with you a little something that I've been preparing for Ben's school Christmas Fayre the week after next that fits Laurie's theme perfectly. They are having a 'Jam Jar Tombola' stall, so I've been busy making up jars of all kinds for the children to win, including some jars of dry ingredients that they can use for their own festive baking. Here's one of my jars for gingerbread cookies - take a look:

 

These really are so easy to make: you simply layer the dry ingredients into a kilner jar, then decorate and add a tag with the details of any ingredients you need to add and the method. 

I used the 'December Deliciousness' stamp from the 'My Little Things' stamp set to decorate my jar, using my markers to selectively colour each of the elements in and adding a heat-embossed sentiment banner across the middle to create a decorated top to my jar. I paired it with some retired paper that fits perfectly with my theme for a folded tag that includes the ingredients and recipe, some ribbon and a wooden spoon that I will be tying to the side of the jar too ready for stirring - you could also add a gingerbread cutter if you have one.

I'm a big fan of homemade gifts at Christmas and there is no limit to the things you can put in a jar; with a little decoration this kind of thing can make a thoughtful, presentable gift.

If you would like to make a jar like mine, I've included the details from the inside of my folded tag below:

Easy Gingerbread Biscuits

This jar contains:

  • 100g soft light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ginger, ¼ tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon, 225g plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

 

You will need to add:

  • 150g melted butter
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 egg yolk

 

Method:

  • Mix 150g melted butter with 1 tbsp golden syrup and 1 egg yolk.
  • Add to the dry ingredients, mix well, then knead to a dough.
  • Chill for 15 mins then roll out.
  • Cut into biscuits and bake at 200C/180C fan/gas 6 for 8-10 mins. Cool on a wire rack.

 

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; my Christmas festivities have truly started in earnest this week and I am busier than ever! I am off to run a pre-Christmas Stampin' Up! party for a customer and her friends this afternoon, then will be returning home to put the finishing touches to my class preparations for my Delightful Daises Technique Class tomorrow and complete my 100 card challenge for the Ronald McDonald Christmas Cheer campaign that is happening in the UK this weekend.

I'll be back as soon as time allows with more projects; 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!

Sale-A-Bration 2018

Sale A Bration

The Sale-A-Bration Promotion runs from 3 January-31 March 2018. Download your copy of the brochure here.

Seasonal Catalogue

Click here to view and download a copy of the 2018 Spring-Summer Stampin' Up! Seasonal Catalogue which runs from 3 January - 31 May 2018.

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Current February hostess code:

64XZCB29

 

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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. Join during Sale-A-Bration before 31 March and you can choose 2 additional stamp sets of your choice too FOR FREE - that's a potential additional £90 worth of product!

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! 

2017-18 Annual Catalogue

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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.