Nutty or Nice Nutcracker Christmas Card

by Joanne James7. November 2014 07:00

Yay it's Friday - always a good day! Today I'm sharing my card for this week's Less is More challenge, where the theme is non-traditional colours on a Christmas card (specifically no red or green). I decided to go with another Nutcracker card - he is so perfect for non-traditional colour schemes, and this time with a very simple layout; here's my card:

I used a base of Soft Sky and layered a couple of mats of Rich Razzleberry and Soft Sky, then stamped my Nutcracker image directly onto the Soft Sky layer and did some basic paper piecing on the jacket and hat to add the Rich Razzleberry elements and the Soft Sky crown. His face was stamped on Blushing Bride and again paper pieced together. I coloured the eyebrows and hair using my Smoky Slate Stampin' Up! Blendabilities markers, and stamped the moustache in Memento Black onto Smoky Slate cardstock and popped it up on dimensionals. Some Rich Razzleberry candy dots on his crown and Soft Sky ones on his jacket complete the look.

There you have it - another non-traditional nutcracker card. 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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Cards | Stamping

Behind The Scenes at Stampin' Up! - Shooting a Stampissimo Video

by Joanne James30. October 2014 07:00

Today I have something very special that I've had to keep under wraps for a little while: the latest Stampin' Up! UK Stampissimo video has just been published and guess what? I am the starring demonstrator! I was so excited to be asked by Paula Gorry, Stampin' Up! UK Business Development Manager, to create a project for the latest video with the theme of 'Winter Treats' that once I had a copy of the Autumn-Winter seasonal catalogue in my hands, it didn't take me long to decide what I was going to use - the fabulous new Curvy Keepsake Box Thinlits Die. You can make all kinds of customised boxes with this die, but for the theme of 'Winter Treats' I knew I wanted to create a range of Christmas characters, with Rudolf the Red-nose Reindeer being the star of the show. It meant I could combine the box die with another of my favourite catalogue products that you've seen me use so many times on different projects - the Autumn Wooden Embellishments (LOVE these and one pot lasts an age!)

Here is the reindeer box that I demonstrate in the video - how cute is this?!

The project itself needed to be simple enough to demonstrate whilst chatting at the same time - the purpose of Stampin' Up!'s range of Stampissimo videos is to spread the word about Stampin' Up! to both crafters and non-crafters who may not have heard of Stampin' Up! and give them some insight into the products and the demonstrators who sell them. Whilst they are based around demonstrating and sharing a particular product or project, the informational nature of these videos mean they last longer than your average tutorial so you need to get comfy!

You can get the details for how I made the box above and see lots of other boxes featured in the video itself, but I wanted to share with you some of the 'behind the scenes' photos from my day and give you a little insight into the fun that I had spending the day with Paula and Kelly in the studio, along with the now infamous 'Ben and Jerry' film crew of Ben and James, who do all of the filming for Stampin' Up!'s UK events and did such a fabulous job of recording the day and producing the final video.

This is what filming looks like from behind the scenes -  a real case of lights, camera, action! There are cameras that shoot from the front and from above in order to get a full range of shots and the necessary close-ups. When I shoot video tutorials at home I use an overhead camera, but I'm sitting at my desk. When you're standing up it is quite tricky because you have to be careful not to lean over your workspace, otherwise all the viewer sees is the top of your head! Sounds obvious, but I found out there is a real art to working with your arms outstretched and not leaning too far into your workspace.

Here are a couple of shots of Ben and James, the guys that produce the video - I struggle to tell them apart - they're twins! - but as you can see, one is slightly more camera-shy than the other:

 

They really are the nicest chaps you could wish to meet and I think they did a great job with the final edit, although I'll admit I'm biased!

This is my favourite photo of Paula and I on the day, taken mid-take once we were properly relaxed and into the swing of things - we really were having fun:

Lastly, here's one of us all post filming each displaying our favourite boxes, the chaps included. They decided the boxes were so easy to make, they might even have a go themselves at making some to grace their family festive table. At the UK training day at Telford earlier this year, the Stampin' Up! demonstrators were treated to a video of Ben and 'Jerry' making their first foray into crafting Stampin' Up! style, so this may well be their second!!

Also, note the festive pot plant on the edge of the desk and the Christmas tree in the video - Kelly and Paula did their best to make the studio look festive, which was quite tricky given that this was filmed some time ago when the sun was shining gloriously outside and it was not even remotely autumnal, let alone wintery! A big thank you the lovely Kelly Francis, who took all of the above pictures - she is an absolute star!

Here are some additional pictures of some of the finished boxes that feature in the video - this is Santa's helper, the mischievous elf: 

This is the man himself, Santa Claus - with his head!:

This one is Santa - without his head! Perfect if you are short on time or want something that's a little more adult-oriented:

Then we have the cutest snowman - check out his twirly carrot nose! 

Here they are altogether - one big happy Curvy Keepsake Box festive family:

I hope you found the 'behind the scenes' tour interesting - now here's the video that you've all been waiting for:

In summary, a truly great experience and yet another of the fantastic opportunities available to me as a Stampin' Up! demonstrator working with this amazing company that allows me to share what I love, be endlessly creative, manage and motivate a great team and have a job that totally fits around my family commitments and enables me to achieve the best work-life balance I've ever had.

If you're reading this and thinking that you would like to know more about the benefits of becoming a Stampin' Up! demonstrator, then do get in touch with me on 07773 421446  - I would love to have a no-obligation chat with you and tell you more.

If you would like to make Rudolf, the supplies list that links to my online store is below.

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.

 

 

Regal 'Nutty or Nice?' Nutcracker

by Joanne James25. October 2014 12:15

Happy Saturday everyone! I am back into the challenge swing of things and today I have a card for this week's Merry Monday challenge where the aim is to create a card using non-traditional colours and I also took a little inspiration from the sketch over at Freshly Made Sketches:

 

I decided to make a card using the Nutcracker stamp as it really lends itself to cards using non-traditional colours and I've been wanting to make a purple card with him for some time; here's my card: 

I used Blackberry Bliss for my base and Hello Honey for the mat and the striped DSP which is from the Midnight DSP stack. I coloured my nutcracker using a combination of Stampin' Write markers and the skin tone, Smoky Slate and Daffodil Delight Blendabilities (I sued the middle and darkest one only as these are closer to Hello Honey) and added a popped-up moustache cut out using my Big Shot and the moustache framelit. To finish, I stamped my sentiment directly onto the DSP layer. I love the Nutcracker in these colours - I think he looks very regal!

That's me done for today; I have some class prep later for next week's class and then we are meeting up with some friends later for dinner, which should be fun.

Back tomorrow with my Design Team card over at The Paper Players, where Nance has a fabulous sketch for us and there is lots more festive fun to be had!

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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Cards | Stamping

A Vase Full of Flowers For This Week's Colour Me...! Card Challenge

by Joanne James24. September 2014 10:00

It's Wednesday and time for a new challenge over at the Colour Me...! Card Challenge. This week we have a playful colour palette for you to work with - I also chose to use this week's Retrosketches layout for my card:

 

I love the bright colours of this week's colour palette, so decided to create a nice cheery card to really make the most of them - here's my card:

I used Bermuda Bay as the base colour for my card and decided to make a 4" square card for a change. I layered a sheet of Real Red polka dot paper from the Brights paper stack and a piece of Confetti Celebration DSP that features a fun Bermuda Bay design. I stamped the flower vase from Pictogram Punches, having inked it with my Stampin' Write markers to enable me to add the chevron detail on the vase and the flower stems in a different colour to the vase itself, then stamped and punched three flowers, finishing each with a rhinestone in the centre that had been coloured with my Blendabilities marker and adhered the flowers separately using glue dots. After stamping my sentiment from Petite Pairs, this left-handed section was adhered to the front of the card using dimensionals, to allow space for my selection of co-ordinating buttons to sit above and below it as per the sketch design.

I even remembered to take a  photo of the stamping on the inside of my card today:

That's my Colour Me...! card for this week - why not visit the other Colour Me...! designers and check out their takes on this week's colour combination:

And our talented guest designer for September - Holly Endress
 
We look forward to seeing your subtle creations. Right, i'm off to get some work done before this afternoon's hockey match (observer, not participant!)

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.

 

Giggle Greetings - The Perfect Birthday Card For A Grumpy Old Man!

by Joanne James5. September 2014 12:00

Finally it's Friday - although I'm not quite sure where this week went! Today I have a fun card that I made using the sketch and colour inspiration from a new-ish challenge appropriately called The Challenge that the talented Lesley Croghan is running on her blog Always Playing With Paper, which I'm entering for the first time:

I decided to use both the sketch and colour palette and since September is probably one of my biggest personal card-making months - many birthdays and anniversaries - took the opportunity to get cracking and add a birthday card to my pile. Here is my card:

I started out with the intention of making a female birthday card, but I quickly decided that the colour combination was better suited to a masculine card - and this fun stamp and sentiment from the 'Giggle Greetings' set would be perfect for a grumpy old man (I didn't have one in mind as I worked, but choosing a recipient won't be too difficult I'm sure!) I used my Coastal Cabana and Smoky Slate Stampin' Up! Blendabilities sets to colour my main image, and mounted this onto a layered mat of Night of Navy and Smoky Slate. I used Coastal Cabana for my card base and when I went to lay up my card, I felt it was a little bare, even for my 'clean and layered' style. So I decided to create my own tone-on-tone stamped background using the 'Congratulations' stamp from the 'Bravo' stamp set and some Coastal Cabana ink - I love how it turned out!

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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Cards | Stamping

Kind Koala Blendabilities Card

by Joanne James18. August 2014 20:49

Well, it's Monday and the start of a new week! I managed to survive the shoe shop outing yesterday (took 3 hours and 20 minutes just in the shoe shop!!) On the bright side, new school shoes and trainers, times two, and football boots, have been purchased - yay! This afternoon's 3D Home Décor class was a lot of fun - got to catch up with a couple of ladies I haven't seen in a while, so that was an added bonus. I'm later than I would have liked posting today's card: I used the sketch from Freshly Made Sketches last week although am too late to link up. I am however linking today's card up with Less is More where the challenge this week is to include an animal on your card. When I saw this I knew immediately which one I was going to feature - I've been itching to get out my new Smoky Slate Blendabilities and colour the cute koala bear on the Kind Koala stamp since they arrived - so here is my card:

I used a Night of Navy card base with a So Saffron mat and a couple of offset strips of Flowerpot DSP, followed by the stamp (minus the stamped flowerhead) on a piece of Whisper White cardstock that I matted on Night of Navy. This little koala is so cute and I love the grey Blendies! Instead of stamping the flower, I replaced it with one punched from the Petite Petals punch, with a tiny circle and candy dot centre in colours that co-ordinate with the one of the flowers on the DSP. I also shaded the lettering on 'You' with my Tangerine Tango marker pen.

I really love this card - I think I will send it to my Aussie friend who is moving back to Australia to live once she's arrived to let her know I'm still thinking of her.

That's me done for today; back tomorrow with another project, so 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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Cards | Stamping

Blended Bloom Class Card

by Joanne James4. August 2014 21:12

Considering that today is Monday, I feel like I've lived half my week already! So a quick post from me to share one of the cards made in today's Blendabilties class.

We made a variety of cards with everyone using different colour pens so we ended up with a complete mix of finished pieces. This is one of the samples I made using the Daffodil Delight Blendabilities set - I think the yellows are my favourite! Here's my card:

All of the cards in this month's classes featured the Blended Bloom stamp and were quite simple in design, since the focus was on colouring the images and practising different blending techniques. For this card, we simply stamped the Blended Bloom flower onto an offset panel of Whisper White, coloured using Daffodil Delight and Skin tone (for the centre) Blendabilities and added the 'celebrate' sentiment from the Fabulous Four stamp set in Early Espresso and a taffeta ribbon bow in the same colour (this colour is now retired in this ribbon type but you could easily substitute with the new 1/4" cotton ribbon in the same colour). 

That's all from me today; 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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Cards | Stamping

Blendabilities Blooming With Hope for The Paper Players

by Joanne James27. July 2014 08:00

Good morning everyone - it's Sunday and time for my Design Team card over at The Paper Players where Ann has a great sketch challenge for us this week:

Now I love a sketch challenge and often I follow a sketch completely to the letter. Today is something of the exception to the rule though - when I saw the 'any shape' piece, I really wanted to use one of the flowers from the Bloom with Hope hostess stamp set that I had coloured with my set of Cherry Cobbler Blendabilities. As a consequence though, the layers didn't work for me - so I switched them about and offset them - I hope Ann doesn't mind! Take a look at this week's card to see what I mean:

I wanted my flower to take centre stage so went with a neutral Crumb Cake card base, with a Hardwood stamped mat. I really wanted to use a sentiment alongside my flower - this stamp set has a great selection of really useful ones, but to follow the sketch literally I would have needed to stamp my sentiment on one of the banner flags to be seen, but this didn't work as I wanted them to bring some additional colour to my card. So I decided to tuck my banners behind my central rectangle; this allowed me to both stamp my sentiment onto it and add some leaves, which I stamped in Mossy Meadow and coloured with my Old Olive Blendabilities (they work on coloured cardstock too!). Here's a picture of my fussy cut flower, coloured with Cherry Cobbler and Daffodil Delight Blendabilities, in all its glory:

Isn't it just lovely? I'm still getting used to my alcohol markers and how they differ from water-based colouring. I am no expert (yet!) but I think this flower shows you can get great results without much experience - it looks much more 3D than with ordinary markers and a blender pen. I have a little tip for you too - when you fussy cut a coloured flower like this one, you invariably end up with some white that shows around the cut edge. If you run your marker around the edge of the flower, it takes that away and makes your flower look just a little more finished.

If you would like to know more about Blendabilities, do check back for more hints, tips, techniques and tricks as I learn what works best. Better still, if you live in Northampton and the surrounding area, get in touch about attending my August card class where we will be using Blendabilities, along with the lovely Blended Bloom stamp. Also, if the 'Bloom with Hope' set has caught your eye and you would like your own set, do get in touch to book to host a party or enquire about my new Stampers 6 Club that is beginning next month: for a monthly commitment of £25 a month for 6 months, you get to be the hostess one month and enjoy a minimum of £25 hostess credits to spend free on anything in the catalogue, including hostess sets. Party freebies without needing to actually invite your friends round!  There is one space left in this current club - get in touch if you'd like it to be yours!

Do pop on over to The Paper Players blog to see what everyone else did with this sketch - there are some great cards there this week! I'll be back tomorrow with another card; 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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Cards | Stamping

Giggle Greetings Birthday - My First Blendabilities Coloured Card!

by Joanne James26. July 2014 23:24

A late post from me today - I returned late yesterday evening from a family mini break and seem to have spent all day today washing and ironing, isn't that always the way?! That's not strictly true - I did manage to get some long overdue gardening done this afternoon and fit in a grocery shop; all in all a very productive day! I made this card earlier in the week for my brother-in-law's  birthday; it's not until next week, but as he doesn't read my blog I know I'm safe to share! I used this week's Mojo Monday sketch challenge as the inspiration for my layout:

 

I've spent some time practising with my Blendabilities this week and thought today's card would be a great opportunity to show you just how great these fabulous markers are for achieiving a blended coloured image. Here is my card:

 

Since my Bro' is officially 'post 40' this year, this image and sentiment from the 'Giggle Greetings' set seemed rather appropriate. I coloured the candle and cheese with my Daffodil Delight and Coastal Cabana sets of markers and echoed these colours elsewhere in my card. I am loving these new pens - they allow for beautiful shading with seamless colour blending and are so easy to use - no previous expertise necessary, although if you're the type of person who liked to colour as a child, you may find them rather addictive! I also embossed the top layer of my card with the Large Polka Dot embossing folder - it kind of reminded me of the holes in the cheese, albeit a little too regular in design. Lastly, I went with thick baker's twine for my bow detail - as a true 'man's man', I'm not sure my brother-in-law would appreciate anything more fancy!

Back tomorrow with my design team card for the Paper Players this week when we have a great sketch challenge for you - and another card using my Blendabilities markers!

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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