Perfect Blend Coffee Cup Card and Gift Card Holder

by Joanne James5. December 2013 13:31

Where is this week going?! I am so busy and feeling like Christmas is getting nearer and nearer and I am sooo not ready! Didn't manage to squeeze a blog post in yesterday as there was so much going on, so thought I'd better do a quick one today over lunch as I'm out again later and won't get the opportunity. Which is a shame, as I've still so many lovely Christmas projects to share! Today is a super quick card and gift card holder set that was designed by my lovely upline's upline Monica Gale at a recent Convention team gathering. Both items feature the 'Perfect Blend' stamp set. Firstly, here's the card: 

This is one of those cards that requires some paper snipping, but it's not tricky and worth it for the overall effect. We also made a matching gift card holder, which is just the right size for the credit-sized card coffee gift cards available from some of the large coffee house chains:

How cute is this?! I love the colours here and the little bow clip use to secure the gift card holder shut. I have a few friends who love a nice cup of coffee, so I might have to make a few more of these - not least because I received some extra Season of Style washi tape in a parcel that arrived yesterday, one of the things I won in a recent Stampin' Up! competition for World Cardmaking Day back in October - you can see my winning card here.

That's it for today. As always, if you would like to have a go at making either of the above project, the links to purchase the items you will need are included in the table below. Back tomorrow with a special Christmas project; until then, happy stampin'!

Stampin' Up! Supplies Used:

Table built using Stampin' Up! Product Table Builder from The Crafty Owl.

 

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3D Projects | Cards | Stamping

My Digital Studio Keyrings and Downloads

by Joanne James3. December 2013 12:30

Today I have a quick post with the last of my Convention-related makes to share with you. One of the things we have to do for Convention is make a bag tag featuring our names. Why? Well, we are each given a Convention rucksack full of goodies and everything we will need to get us through the event. The rucksacks are great, but there's only one problem - they're all the same! So it's really important that we have a name tag that enables us to identify our bags, and each other, in the crowd. I made bag tags for each of the team members travelling with me that featured our team logo - The Crafty Owl:

Cute, eh?! I made these by printing onto shrink plastic at 250% of finished size, then cut out the shapes, punched a hole for the keyring and shrunk them in the oven. I was so pleased with the result, I made a few more for some of my good friends and members of my wider Stampin' Up! team, this time using My Digital Studio (my logo was created using alternative software when UK demos didn't have access to MDS). I used the butterfly stamp that comes as part of the Creative Elements stamp set, and coloured the sections individually using the brush tool, using various shades of greens and turquoise - here are a couple of them:

What do you think? These bag tags are really eye-catching and certainly helped my team stand out from the crowd - my friends loved theirs too, especially Michelle whose team is a called the Butterfly Belles - how appropriate! I just thought I would share to show how versatile MDS can be - it's not just for cards!

The MDS shop links are included below if you don't already have it; Creative Elements is part of the standard software version so there is no product link for this, however as today is Digital Downloads Weekly Release Day I've also included the links to all of this week's new MDS downloads - some lovely festive sets here.

Right, off to attend my son's Christingle service at school; I'm hoping for a nice photo or two for my December photo journal (another MDS project that I'll be sharing with you another day!) Back tomorrow with another project - I'm thinking we might need to get back to Christmas, it is the 3rd December after all! Until then, happy stampin'!

 

Stampin' Up! Supplies Used:

Table built using Stampin' Up! Product Table Builder from The Crafty Owl.

 

The Crafty Owl Launches Product Table Builder - The Tool Your Stampin' Up! Blog Has Been Waiting For!

by Joanne James1. December 2013 13:43

For my second post today I have something very exciting to share with you: if you're a Stampin' Up! demonstrator who, like me, enjoys writing a blog and sharing your creative ideas, read on! 

Since having had a DBWS online store earlier in the year, I've been listing the products used in my daily blog posts and linking them to the corresponding product in my online store. There are a few different ways in which you can do this, but if you do it manually 'the long way' it's very time consuming. I investigated other tools in the marketplace that are designed to make this job easier, but found them to be generally quite expensive.

So I set to work with my genius of a husband and created our very own Product Table Builder! The Product Table Builder from The Crafty Owl is designed specifically to build product links to a demonstrator's DBWS online store and feature the Stampin' Up! products you use in the projects you blog. The Stampin' Up! Product Table Builder from The Crafty Owl is highly customisable to provide you with the correct look and feel for your blog. You have complete control over the following aspects of your product table:

  • Include a border around the completed table to ensure if stands out in your blog post.
  • Include a border around each product so it looks more like a button.
  • Control the colour of the borders so that they fit your existing blog themes.
  • Change the size of the product images to use more or less space in your post.
  • Increase and decrease the number of table columns so your product table fills your blog post.
  • Advanced options also allow further customisation including border links, CSS inclusion and other advanced features.

If you look at my earlier blog post, you will see two examples of tables that have been built using the Product Table Builder from The Crafty Owl - here's a screen shot of what it looks like on the screen:

 If you would like to see the Product Table Builder in action, please check out this video that shows exactly how it works, from the easy installation to using it to link the products you use in your blog posts to your DBWS online store:

 The Product Table Builder works in conjunction with your unique Stampin' Up! demonstrator ID and can be used with UK, US, European or South Pacific stores/catalogues. It has also been tested and proven to work with a wide range of the most common blog platforms.

I can honestly say that this little piece of software has totally revolutionised my blog, saving me a considerable amount of time in building product links into my Stampin' Up! blog posts. Today I am pleased to be able to offer The Product Table Builder from The Crafty Owl to you to purchase at an introductory price of £20 during the month of December. This is an introductory offer that is valid for the month of December 2013 only; from 1st January 2014 it will be on sale at the standard retail price of £35.

If you would like to purchase a copy of The Product Table Builder from The Crafty Owl, please click on the link below or the button on the right hand side of my blog to order yours:

 

The Product Table Builder from The Crafty Owl runs on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 (not Windows RT). It will not run on iPads, Mac Books or other Apple products. It will not run on Android Tablets or Windows RT devices, e.g. Windows Surface.

If you have any questions, please drop me a line at joanne@thecraftyowl.co.uk or leave a comment below and I will be happy to answer them. As with all other content in my blog and on my website, this product has been developed by me independently of Stampin' Up! and is not endorsed by Stampin' Up! in any way - just wanted to make that clear!

Back tomorrow with another project; until then, happy stampin' (or product table building!)

 

 

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Love Is In The Air .... Already?!

by Joanne James1. December 2013 10:49

Good morning lovely readers - no blog post yesterday as I had some very important last-minute work to finish, but do not fear - today there will be (at least) two blog posts to make up for it!

So today we're having a short break from Christmas projects as it's the first of December and the launch of Stampin' Up's 'Whole Lot of Love' promotion - stamps and products designed with Valentine's Day in mind, but can be used for lots more besides. You may have noticed that Valentine's-themed projects didn't feature in the current seasonal catalogue, hence this special promotion to enable you to be prepared in good time for the big day. There are some great products in this set, ranging from cute (Monster Hugs - adorable! - available from 9th December) to practical (pre-cut card and envelope sets) and romantic (check out that Eiffel Tower!) to beautiful (the Flowerfull Heart - a keeper that would look just as beautiful on a birthday card for someone special). Here are the images for each set:

Aren't they great? I'll have some samples to share using a selection of these products in the not-too-distant future, but meanwhile in keeping with the theme I thought I would share this card with you that I made using the 'love' Thinlits die: 

If you're a fellow Stampin' Up! demonstrator and you attended our recent European Convention in Manchester, you may well have seen this card already. It was one of the projects I entered for the Convention Design Competition and whilst it didn't win, it was on the display boards for everyone to enjoy. My other project was 3D, but I chose this card as my second project as it's very clean and simple and typical of my papercrafting style. I am in love with these thinlits and also like how they can be used not only with the word itself, but you can use the relief too - no need to throw away this piece, a real two for one! I created an ombre background in the relief - I love this technique and think it looks great when done in inks with a brayer or sponged, but also like the clean look it gives with this kind of project. A few extra pieces and a small diamante just finish it off.

One of the funniest things that happened at Convention was that I attended an early Friday evening workshop and left my two downline team members who were attending Convention with me to browse the display boards. When I met up with them later, they both said to me 'You should come and see this card on the board - we love it and think you will too.' And the card? Without them knowing it was mine, they led me to this card! What can I say? Great minds clearly think alike! It did give me a lovely warm feeling inside though - love you, my little Crafty Owls!

Check out the product links below if you would like to have a go at either recreating my card or purchase any of the lovely new Valentine's products.

Back tomorrow with another creative project; check out today's other post though if you're a Stampin' Up! demonstrator - your life is just about to get a whole lot easier ....

Until then, happy stampin'!

 

Stampin' Up! Supplies Used (for love card):

Table built using Stampin' Up! Product Table Builder from The Crafty Owl.

 

Stampin' Up! Whole Lot of Love Products (Monster Hugs available from 9th December):

Table built using Stampin' Up! Product Table Builder from The Crafty Owl.

 

Warmth and Wonder Chocolate Spoon Stirrers

by Joanne James28. November 2013 20:36

Today I have another festive project to share - this was also one of my convention swaps for some of the members of my wider team. I made a whole bunch of chocolate spoon stirrers - here's a close-up photo of the unwrapped spoon:

These really are so easy to make. All you need are some disposable wooden spoons and some small cello bags. To make the spoon, first I stamped it; I stamped the tiny snowflake in white kraft ink and heat embossed it for shine and texture, then stamped the word 'Christmas' in Real Red along the length of the spoon. This is a partial stamp from the 'Christmas Greetings' in the 'Warmth and Wonder' stamp set. This is a lovely hostess exclusive set, available when you host a Stampin' Up! party. Once the spoon has been stamped, I melted some milk chocolate in a small silicone cake mould and inserted both the spoon and some festive shaped marshmallows into it and left it to set before removing the mould. Here is a picture of the finished packaged spoons:

All you need to do is package in a small cello bag and tie with red grosgrain ribbon and attach a Festive Flurry snowflake stamped gift tag, stamped in white kraft on Crumb Cake cardstock and overstamped in Real Red with one of the other greetings from the 'Warmth and Wonder' set. So simple, yet a lovely gift for hostesses, customers, neighbours or friends during the festive season.

Back tomorrow with another project; until then, happy stampin'!

 

Stampin' Up! Supplies used:

 

 

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3D Projects | Stamping

Fabulous Friend Boxed Keyring and Pen

by Joanne James27. November 2013 21:02

Today I'm sharing a gift I made for some of my most supportive stamping friends who I met up with at Convention. One of the great things about being a Stampin' Up! demonstrator is the friendships you make along the way - I have friends that I would never have met if it wasn't for Stampin' Up! and they are some of the most supportive when it comes to sharing successes, failures and ideas. Here is one of the gifts I made:

I found these cute little keyring notebooks in a local stationery store and customised them with stamps, punches and ribbon. I added a keyring Sharpie pen to each one, then made a little box with my Envelope Punch Board and closed with a co-ordinating belly band.

These are perfect for keeping in your handbag to always ensure you have a pen and paper to hand for quick notes.

Back tomorrow with another project. until then, happy stampin'!

 

 

Stampin' Up! Supplies Used:

 

Festive Flurry 3D Snowflake Bottle Tag and Video Tutorial

by Joanne James26. November 2013 13:20

Well, I'm back from Stampin' Up! 2013 European Convention and what can I say - my team and I had a blast! We came home exhausted, but having had the best time swapping, learning, meeting old friends, making new ones, 'sneak peeking' at some fabulous new products. Normal blogging is now resumed and I have lots of lovely things to show you, starting with the general swap that one of my downlines, Barbara, and I made for everyone we met at convention. It was something of a 'case' on the tag that features in this year's autumn-winter seasonal catalogue, but with a few changes to make it our own. Here is a picture of one of our finished swaps:

We also made some in a Pool Party/Island Indigo/Embossed Silver colourway - I will have to edit this post to include a photograph of one of these as I can't find one at the moment (might have to retake!) The snowflakes in the Festive Flurry set are great for making ornaments or 3-D tags or box-toppers with and you can layer just three snowflakes or all four to get a really large one. I shot a short video tutorial to show you how to put these layered snowflakes together to create this added dimension; grab your glue gun and click on the link below if you would like to see how to achieve it yourself - the video also shows the snowflake in the alternative colourway:

 I hope you find the video useful and have fun creating your own snowflakes in lots of different colour combinations. Just before I leave you the supplies list for this project, I thought you might like to see a fun Convention picture of me with 2 of my downline team members - I'm the one in the middle with the stripey hat:

If you would like to join us for some fun - and chocolate! - at next year's European Convention in Brussels next October, get in touch for more information about the benefits of joining my team.

Back tomorrow with more swaps and gifts made for friends; until then, happy stampin'!

 

Stampin' Up! Supplies Used:

 

 

MDS Christmas Card

by Joanne James22. November 2013 12:09

So no blog posts for a couple of days due to last minute preparations getting ready for our first European Stampin' Up! Convention in Manchester - and now we're here! There's so much going on - my downline Barbara and I have just attended a 'Say yes to MDS!' class and created this beautiful Christmas card that I thought I would share with you:

This was created entirely using images in the free MDS downloads that come with the full version of the software. So what are you waiting for? Go get creating!

Back soon with more fun projects; until then, happy stampin'!

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Cards | My Digital Studio

Envelope Card using the Envelope Punch Board and 'How to' Video Tutorial

by Joanne James19. November 2013 20:29

Evening blog readers! I had to do some Christmas shopping today, but managed to squeeze in a quick hour of crafting - still so much to do before I'm ready for my very first Stampin' Up! European Convention in Manchester in 2 days time! I'm very excited (can you tell?!) and am looking forward to spending some quality crafting and partying time with Barbara and Samantha, the two of my team that are accompanying me.

More news of that later in the week, but today I have another video tutorial of you to show you how to make a very simple envelope card using your Envelope Punch Board:

I made a whole bunch of these as thank you cards to pop in with my most recent batch of customer orders; lots of my customers have already bought envelope punch boards, so I'm keen to show them lots of simple and straightforward ways that they can use it for things as well as straightforward envelopes.

Here's a picture of the cards I made, both open and closed:

And here's the link to my YouTube channel to watch the video tutorial if you would like to make your own:

 

I used Sycamore Street designer series paper for my cards, which is a retired paper but one that is still available currently on the clearance rack for only £3.59 - pop over to my online store by clicking on the image below if you would like to snap some up at this bargain price before its all gone!

Back tomorrow with another project; until then, happy stampin'!

  

Stampin' Up! Supplies Used:

 

 

Best of Christmas Nativity - Paper Craft Crew #67

by Joanne James18. November 2013 20:08

Today I'm sharing my entry for this week's Paper Craft Crew sketch challenge. Here is this week's challenge sketch:

I decided to use the nativity stamp from the Stapin' Up! 'Best of Christmas' stamp set. I haven't used this stamp before and think it's rather cute, however a few of my customers have avoided using this stamp as they see it as a children's stamp so I wanted to create a card using this stamp that had a more grown-up feel to it. This is what I came up with:

I used a Night of Navy card base, then stamped the image in gold metallic ink on Whisper White and matted it on squares of both navy and brushed gold. I highlighted the stars and heart with some gold glitter just to add a little extra sparkle, but otherwise left the image as stamped. Here's a close up of the stamped image so you can see the shimmer:

The layer beneath the image that runs across the card was made from a strip of navy cardstock embossed with the Print Poetry Embossing Folder with I then swiped the gold metallic ink pad across the surface to add some shine and pick up the detail of the embossed script. This was border was also matted with brushed gold cardstock and finally the sentiment was stamped in gold to finish.  I used the narrow label from the Circle Card Thinlits set for the label piece and finished with three Night of Navy candy dots to tone in with the rest of my card.

Whilst this stamp will always look a child's drawing, I think this card shows that with the right colour combination and layout the boundaries can be stretched a little. Why don't you pop over to the Paper Craft Crew's challenge page and have a look at the design team inspiration there and see what the other challenge entrants have come up with.

Back tomorrow with a project and another video tutorial using the Envelope Punch Board; until then, happy stampin'!

 

Stampin' Up! Supplies Used:

 

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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.