Happy New Year - Welcome 2014!

by Joanne James1. January 2014 19:55

Happy New Year to you all! I hope you've all had a lovely day recovering from the excesses of last night or simply enjoying what is traditionally the last day of the holiday season today. I've spent mine having a family day with the extended James clan, generally enjoying good food and catching up before we all start back to work tomorrow.

Today I have another My Digital Studio project to share with you; this is a Happy New Year card that I made using the Midnight Cheer download. Having hunted through my stamp sets, I didn't have anything that was really appropriate for New Year, so decided to browse through MDS and I found this download, which I love. I stuck with the suggested colours of Midnight Muse, Summer Starfruit and Sahara Sand and created the basic layout. Here's the front of the card:


I created a really simple greeting for the inside using other stamps in the set - here it is:

I also created an A5 hybrid version of this card using additional layers and mounted on Midnight Muse, but I haven't managed to photograph it yet. Hopefully I will have another round of photographing tomorrow, so I should be able to come back and update this post with the additional photograph then. I can see me using this set in future years too, ringing the changes with an alternative colourway and also using it to create party invitations and a piece of frameable home décor. I love the flexibility that MDS gives in this regard.

That's me done for today; back tomorrow with some exciting new projects to share. Until then, happy stampin'!


Stampin' Up! Supplies Used:

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



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Cards | My Digital Studio | Shop Online

Happy New Year - A Crafty Owl Year End Review

by Joanne James30. December 2013 22:41

Good evening blog readers! I have spent a lovely day crafting today and putting together lots of lovely things using the current 'Whole Lot of Love' promotion products and items from the forthcoming Sale-A-Bration celebration, but today I wanted to share with you a New Year card that I created in MDS using the Year End Review infographic digital download. This set is great for creating a family Christmas card that shares important news and milestones over the year along with some fun festive facts however since I am approaching the first anniversary of the start of my blog I thought it would be a great way to take stock of everything I've achieved this year and record some of the Crafty Owl's milestones.

So here is the image that forms the basis of my card:

I'm still getting the hang of MDS and don't profess to be an expert, but it's a great way to create things that you could possibly stamp and this card is a good example of that. If you're a new MDS user or would just like to know more about what MDS has to offer, I am considering running small face-to-face classes to develop your use and understanding further in 2014 - if you live in Northampton or the surrounding area and this is something that interests you, please do contact me at joanne@thecraftyowl.co.uk for more details.

For the above project, I used lots of the elements within the Year End Review download, some of which I modified to suit my theme, along with one or two others in place of the seasonal embellishments that were more Christmas-themed. I hope you enjoy reading the fun facts I've included about my Stampin' Up! journey this year - thanks to all of you my blog readers, customers, Product Table Builder users and my wonderful downline and wider extended team members for all of your support and encouragement this year - here's to an equally successful 2014!

Back tomorrow with another project; in the meantime, happy stampin'!


Stampin' Up! Supplies Used:

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


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Cards | My Digital Studio | Shop Online

Merry Christmas Monster Hugs!

by Joanne James25. December 2013 21:05

Well, it's here at last - Merry Christmas lovely blog readers! We've had a lovely day today that has involved much present unwrapping, eating and Lego building - don't you just love Christmas?!

I still have a few Christmas things that I haven't shared with you, so today thought I would share the Christmas cards I made for my little James juniors. I was inspired by Lizy Bartaby's card here - I loved the idea of the Santa Monster Hugs but took my cards a step further by making them into pop-ups using my Pop 'n' Cuts base; I'm always looking for new ways to use this. So I made a co-ordinating pair of his and hers santa monster hugs. Here's the little girl santa monster:

Cute, huh? Here's the little boy monster that is her partner-in-crime:

How cute are these? I made my hats using an oval punch with a section cut out using the word window punch to create the curve of the hat. I made the brim using a 'squashed' scallop circle as I don't own a scalloped oval punch, which would of course make this slightly easier. A pop up card and chocolate coins - I'm not sure which the children thought was best (who I am kidding - the chocolate, of course!)

I'm sure this won't be the last we'll be seeing of these little guys - but for now, I hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas and that Santa brought you everything that was on your wish list.

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


Stampin' Up! Supplies Used:

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


Christmas Star - Gold and Silver

by Joanne James23. December 2013 21:51

Today a quick post to share the Christmas cards I made for my Mum and Dad and Mother-in-law respectively - and a little 'sneak peek' of some new product that will be available in the Spring-Summer seasonal catalogue at the end of January. I wanted to use the single stamp 'Christmas Star' for my cards; this is such a great statement stamp but feel like I haven't used it anywhere near enough this season. I was inspired by this Brian King card I saw a while ago here. For my version, I decided to use the same design for each card, but create it in two different colourways. Here's the first one in silver and Midnight Muse:

I wanted the star to take centre stage, so kept the design fairly simple and embossed the star then hand cut and scored along the point lines to create a lovely 3-dimensional effect. I adhered the star to the card with rolled glue dots at the end of each point; this is a better option where you don't want the bulk of a dimensional. To finish I added the Christmas sentiment from the 'Delightful Dozen' stamp set.

For the second version, I used gold and Cherry Cobbler:

Did you spot the 'sneak peek' of the new product? Yes, shiny gold sequins - just one of a number of new gold products that will make their appearance in the Spring-Summer seasonal catalogue in just over a month's time. I just couldn't resist using a few to finish off my Christmas projects.

So here's a picture of both cards together; the question is, which one do you prefer?

I must say, I think it's a tough call - I like them both, and I'm not sure which I would choose as my favourite. Both were well received by the recipients, so I guess that's the main thing!

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, so will be a day of food preparations for the big day, along with a few fun things too. I'll be back to share another Christmas project too; until then, happy stampin'!


Stampin' Up! Supplies Used:

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


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Cards | Stamping

Non-Christmas Card Alternatives Trio

by Joanne James18. December 2013 22:07

Well, what can I say - a seven day absence from my blog - unheard of!! I know this is a busy time of year and I've certainly no shortage of lovely things to share with you, but my real issue has been keeping up, both with the photography (lots of makes are leaving the house before being photographed!) and blog writing itself. The James juniors have finished school for the Christmas holidays already, and in addition to all of the usual pre-Christmas preparations, I have been having so much fun with them I've had little time for anything else this past week.

No festive project to share today - instead the alternative trio of cards made following the same layout used in my December Christmas card class (you can see the Christmas versions here) but with distinctly non-Christmas card designs. So here they are:

This one uses some of the Print Poetry paper stack that is currently available to buy on the clearance rack, whilst stocks last. The second one:

This one has quite a retro feel, with the colour scheme inspired by the retired Sycamore Street SAB paper - my customers love this paper, so are still looking for ideas and ways to use it. Lastly, the third card featuring a bow made with the Gift Bow Bigz Die:

This card actually uses a couple of the things we used to make the Christmas card version - the Seasons of Style paper stack paper and the 'Wishing You' stamp set and proves that these things can be used for non-Christmas as well as Christmas cards if you use alternative colours.

I liked the way all three of these cards turned out and the fact that they gave me a few cards to add to my stash ready for the year ahead. This really is a quick post from me, but before I go I thought I'd share one festive picture of the masterpiece created by my super-creative children today - our very first gingerbread house, from scratch! We made the house yesterday and they built and decorated it today. I'm pleased to say it's all their own work - I for one, think it's rather impressive:

Complete with gingerbread boy and girl and Christmas tree in the garden and following a considerable 'snowfall', of course! Tomorrow I have a day of present wrapping in store, so with Christmas music and tape in hand will be a woman on a mission!

I will hopefully not leave it so long before my next post; until next time, happy stampin'!


Stampin' Up! Supplies Used: 

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

Season of Style Christmas Card Trio

by Joanne James6. December 2013 22:23

Another busy day today so a late post - I'm still putting the final touches to a couple of video tutorials that I've prepared to go with my next couple of posts, so meanwhile I'm going to share with you three of the Christmas cards that we made at this month's card class. Each one features the Season of Style paper and a variety of different stamps. So here is the first one: 

This card uses the 'Love and Joy' single stamp on a set of layered pieces cut with the Deco Labels framelits. This was our second card:

This card uses the 'Warmth and Wonder' hostess set and is a CASE of a card I fell in love with by Mary Fish, who created a similar card using the Winter Frost colour scheme; you can see her original card here. Here is the third card that we made:

This uses a similar layout to one of the cards featured in the seasonal catalogue that showcases the 'Wishing You' stamp set, but I incorporated a small bow made with the Gift Bow Bigz Die for added impact. The last card was the Midnight Muse circle thinlit card I made a while ago featuring a bauble and two ways to make labels using the mosaic punch; the ladies in my class loved this card when they first saw it and were keen to have a go at it themselves. If you missed this card and would like to see it, you can find it here.

I also made alternative non-Christmas cards that followed each of the above design layouts, as I had a customer who didn't want to make Christmas cards (far too organised!); I'll share these cards with you next week.

I hope you liked the above cards, especially the last one - I love my Gift Bow Die and I have some great projects to share with you over the next few days using this useful product. Until next time, happy stampin'!

Stampin' Up! Supplies Used:

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


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

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.


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:



Sale-A-Bration 2018

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

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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.