Join Me For A Creative Escape With The Crafty Owl Luxury Weekend Crafting Retreat - Last Spots Remaining!

by Joanne James17. August 2019 09:00

It's school summer vacation here so my crafting time has been limited as I spend time with the James Juniors and I haven't managed to get into my craft room all week, despite receiving my Autumn-Winter preorder. This first glimpse of the new Autumn-Winter catalogue from Stampin' Up! (a demonstrator perk!) has me starting to think about the projects for my forthcoming luxury weekend craft retreat in October - it's never too early to start creating for Christmas!

I have lots of lovely ladies enrolled to attend and have just the last couple of spots remaining, so thought I would do a quick reminder in case any of you would like to join us for a weekend of crafting bliss:

 

If getting away from everyone and everything and having some ME time appeals, then a luxury weekend of crafting and a Creative Escape with The Crafty Owl sounds just the thing for you.

Where is the retreat held?

The venue for the Craft Retreat is the award-winning Highgate House Hotel, conveniently located just off junction 1 of the A14 in Northamptonshire.

Set in beautiful grounds it is the perfect destination for a getaway; gorgeous surroundings, good food and your own stylish bedroom for the night.

Its central location in Creaton, Northamptonshire can be easily accessed via the M1 (junction 16/19) and the M6 – making it a perfect destination break for you and your friends from afar.

What is included?

The Creative Escape package includes an overnight stay and all food for the weekend, lunches, snacks, evening meal and breakfast together with unlimited tea and coffee. You have 2 full days of crafting with your own table for the whole weekend – no need to tidy away! Bliss!A goody bag of Stampin’ Up! crafting supplies is also part of the package and will be more than £100 in value. The supplies will enable you to complete the projects for the classes run throughout the weekend and you'll have lots left over to take home too!

The Classes

The classes offered during the weekend are optional. The weekend is yours, so you can choose to keep with class pace or do your own thing. There is no requirement to complete everything, you can do exactly what you want – chat, craft, chill … the choice is yours. Choose to craft at every possible moment, or take a break for a walk or a drink in the lounge – it’s all up to you.

How do I book?

Sounds like your kind of fun? Email to [email protected] and I will contact you to confirm your place and payment details. Your hotel room will need to be paid for to the hotel in full at the time of booking and this will secure your retreat place. The remaining balance will be paid to me directly thereafter. Rates for the weekend are as follows: Single occupancy (single room) is £330 per person or double occupancy (twin room) is £310 per person. Full terms and conditions are available on the Creative Escape Crafting Retreats page on my website.

The October Creative Escape will have a distinctly Christmas theme so why not come along and give yourself a head start on your creative makes for the festive season? 

If you have any further questions or queries, please do get in touch - I would love you to join me!

 

I'll be back tomorrow with my next creative project fr this week's challenge over at The Paper Players; until then, happy stampin'!

 

 

How Sweet It Is Sweetie Shaker Card #GDP179

by Joanne James8. March 2019 11:30

Good morning lovely readers! An apology is in order for the lack of blog posts this week. I have been fairly tired following another successful Creative Escapes Weekend Craft Retreat last weekend and whilst I've spent my days catching up on household chores and preparing for next week's card classes, when it comes to the evenings I've been good for nothing; I've fallen asleep in the chair for three nights in a row way before bedtime, much to the amusement of the James Juniors! So today I thought I would make time to blog early so that you didn't miss out!

I'm sharing a card for a couple of challenges this week: The team over at Global Design Project are all about the candy and the folks at Stamps Ink Paper are asking for cards featuring gingham, plaid or stripes:

     

Not only does my card feature lots of sweet treats and some fetching candy pink stripes, it's a shaker too - take a look:

 

 Here's the low-down on today's card:

How Sweet It Is -  If you have a sweet tooth, the 'How Sweet It Is' Suite is for you! Bright and fun, with bold patterns of sweets and traditional sweet jars, it's great for cards and packaging alike. The papers, which feature bold stripes and spots in addition to candy-inspired patterns, really are good enough to eat. I used a pink stripe for the front of my shaker and a sweetie print for the inside at the back of my window, I also used the Jar of Sweets Framelits to cut out one of the sweet jars directly from the designer series paper to decorate the front of my card - I love it when dies and paper co-ordinate like this!

Jar Of Sweets - I used another of the Jar of Sweets Framelits to cut out the aperture for the window of my shaker, stamping the same image onto Whisper White and fussy cutting the jar lid to adhere to the top of my window section. I filled my shaker with a selection of sequins and some diecut sweets in bright, co-ordinating colours; you can see from the extras that I added to the front of my card these dies emboss a pattern onto the diecut sweet shape too which adds an interesting textural detail. There's very little stamping on today's card, save the sentiment and jar lid. A little extra stamping on the inside of my card courtesy of the 'Sweetest Thing' stamp set too:

 

Sweeter Than Candy - The 'How Suite It Is' Suite also includes some fun treat cups, that are perfect for dressing up to contain some sweet treats for your loved ones. I managed to snag these shots with my phone of some of the decorated sweet cups that filled with a selection of jelly beans and gummy bear for the lucky ladies on my retreat as one of their little gifts - I do love to spoil the whilst they are with me! 

 

I covered the cups with designer series paper and stamped a simple label for each of them decorated with a sweet jar cut from the DSP, and tied the tags to the cups with some of the very yummy Coastal Cabana/Granny Apple Green 3/8" reversible ribbon:

 

So cute and easy to decorate and I know from the feedback that my ladies loved them!

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

 

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

Enjoy your day and I'll be back tomorrow with another project. Until then, happy stampin'!

 

Stampin' Up! Supplies Used:

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

Creative Escapes From The Crafty Owl - October Luxury Crafting Weekend Retreat Booking Offer!

by Joanne James25. August 2018 10:50

Happy Bank Holiday weekend to my UK readers and I hope the rest of you are finding fun (and maybe even crafty!) things to do this weekend. I have managed to squeeze in a little craft time this week so do have lots of new projects to share with you (especially using the items in my Autumn-Winter preorder box, I can't stop creating with them!) but firstly today I want to talk about creative escapes of a different kind!

 

Further to the successful weekend retreat I held earlier this year with my friend and fellow demonstrator Louise Sims, I have another two sole ventures planned. The same venue, more great projects and most importantly a weekend away, full of crafting and good company. If getting away from everyone and everything and having some ME time appeals, then a luxury weekend of crafting and a Creative Escape with The Crafty Owl sounds just the thing for you.

Where is the retreat held?

The venue for the Craft Retreat is the gorgeous 4 star Macdonald Ansty Hall Hotel, conveniently located just off the M6/M69, near Coventry, Warwickshire.

Set in beautiful grounds it is the perfect destination for a getaway; gorgeous surroundings, good food and your own stylish bedroom for the night.

Its central Midlands location just off junction 2 of the M6 motorway means it has easy access from all parts of the country – making it a perfect destination break for you and your friends from afar.

What is included?

The Creative Escape package includes an overnight stay and all food for the weekend, lunches, snacks, evening meal and breakfast together with unlimited tea and coffee. You have 2 full days of crafting with your own table for the whole weekend – no need to tidy away! Bliss!

A goody bag of Stampin’ Up! crafting supplies is also part of the package and will be more than £100 in value. The supplies will enable you to complete the projects for the classes run throughout the weekend and you'll have lots left over to take home too!

The Classes

The classes offered during the weekend are optional. The weekend is yours, so you can choose to keep with class pace or do your own thing. There is no requirement to complete everything, you can do exactly what you want – chat, craft, chill … the choice is yours. Choose to craft at every possible moment, or take a break for a walk or a drink in the lounge – it’s all up to you. Classes are suitable for both beginner and experienced crafters alike - there really is something for everyone.

2018-19 Craft Retreat Dates

Booking is currently open for the following dates:

Saturday 20th October - Sunday 21st October 2018‚Äč   **LIMITED AVAILABILITY** LAST FEW SPACES REMAINING
Saturday 2nd March – Sunday 3rd March 2019

Fully inclusive price for 1 nights accommodation,  with lunch and a 3 course dinner on Saturday, followed by breakfast and buffet lunch on Sunday. It also includes unlimited tea, coffee or hot chocolate & snacks, 4 crafting classes and a goody bag worth more than £100 full of Stampin’ Up! products.

The price of a Creative Escape With The Crafty Owl is as follows:

Single occupancy is £325 per person or
Double occupancy is £305 per person

Early booking discounts for all Creative Escapes apply (£292 pp and £272 pp respectively).

Spaces are limited with booking brisk for next March and only a few spots remaining for this October. I am keen to fill the last few spaces for the October weekend so with this in mind I have a Bank Holiday weekend booking incentive for you: 

Bank Holiday Creative Escapes Booking Offer:

 

** Book and pay in full for your October Creative Escape before 31st August 2018 and you will receive both a free ink pad and early booking rates for next March too. **

 

Once you've done one, you won't want to miss the next one!

The October Creative Escape will have a distinctly Christmas theme so why not come along and give yourself a head start on your creative makes for the festive season? 

 

How do I book?

Sounds like your kind of fun? Email to [email protected] and I will contact you to confirm payment details. If you would like to book a place on the March Creative Escape, you are still able to join my payment plan so you can split the cost into monthly payments. Full terms and conditions are available on the Creative Escape Crafting Retreats page on my website.

If you have any further questions or queries, please do get in touch - I would love you to join me!

 

I'll be back soon with my next creative project; until then, happy stampin'!

 

 

Memories And More Sweet Soiree Mini Album

by Joanne James30. March 2018 19:00

I hope you are all enjoying the start of a long bank holiday weekend. We have already enjoyed a morning of fresh air, followed by an afternoon of chocolate and a movie to avoid the return of the rain here in the UK. I am so done with winter now!

Today I thought I would share with you the first of the projects that I made with the ladies that attended my recent luxury craft weekend earlier this month. I won't be sharing any instructions on how they were made - these are reserved for those that attended - however I am sharing lots of photos of the projects that I designed as it is a great way for my readers to get a flavour of what a residential crafting retreat with me is like and the kinds of projects included. With 4 classes spread over 2 days, it's a great opportunity to tackle a variety of projects and also some that are a little more time-consuming than can be completed in a class that is of a shorter duration.

Today I'm sharing one of my favourite projects: a mini album I made featuring the Sweet Soiree Memories and More cards that are one of the current Sale-A-Bration gifts that can be yours free with a purchase of £45 or more, for just over another 24 hours:

 

Berry Burst cardstock forms the base of this expandable album and in addition to the Sweet Soiree Memories and More card pack, the Sweet Soiree Embellishment Kit has been used to decorate the cover and inside. 

This is what album looks when you first open it:

 

Fully extended, the album is four panels wide:

 

Each side then expands further to include additional flaps and pockets on both sides:

 

The album includes lots of areas to add photographs and capture memories, including this neat waterfall feature:

 

This album was certainly the most challenging of the projects we tackled during the retreat and was not for the fainthearted! The feedback was really positive though and everyone was so pleased with their creations; some ladies reported feeling truly amazed and thrilled to have tackled something like this, which they would not have ever contemplated on their own. I was personally thrilled with how positively this was received, as I've never led a class quite like this before. I'm already taking the learns from this project to create another version that is equally 'wow' yet a little easier to recreate.

If you would like to make projects like this one at a future retreat, please sign up to my newsletter by clicking on the icon in the right-hand column to ensure you receive the information for future retreats as soon as it is released or click here for more information - details for my next retreat will be announced in the coming weeks!

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 evening and I'll be back tomorrow with one last project featuring Sale-A-Bration item. Until then, happy stampin'!

 

Stampin' Up! Supplies Used:

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

Announcing The First Stampin' Sanctuary Craft Retreat - Book Your Spot Now!

by Joanne James10. November 2017 09:00

I am off to Solihull today to attend Stampin' Up!'s UK Onstage Event, where demonstrators from all over the UK come together for the launch of the Spring-Summer catalogue - exciting times! The last few days have been busy with last-minute preparations and I am looking forward to a wonderful Centre Stage evening reception today and a jam-packed day of activity tomorrow, lots of which I will share with you in due course.

On my blog today though I wanted to share a new venture with you: I am delighted to announce the first in an ongoing calendar of luxury residential craft retreat weekends, that will be known as Stampin’ Sanctuary Craft Retreats.

 

Do you fancy a weekend away, full of crafting and good company? Does getting away from everyone and everything and having some 'me' time appeal? How about 2 whole days of crafting and making new projects? If all of this sounds attractive then a Stampin’ Sanctuary Retreat is just what you need.

 

The Stampin’ Sanctuary is a collaboration between top UK Stampin’ Up demonstrators: myself, Joanne James, and my good friend Louise Sims. We are two Midlands-based Stampin' Up! demonstrators who both run successful all day events and classes have come together to offer you the best weekend of crafting.

 

The venue for the Craft Retreat is the gorgeous 4 star Macdonald Ansty Hall Hotel, conveniently located just off the M6/M69, near Coventry, Warwickshire.Set in beautiful grounds it is the perfect destination for a getaway; gorgeous surroundings, good food and your own stylish bedroom for the night.Its central location means it has easy access from all parts of the country – making it a perfect destination break for you and your friends from afar.

What is included?

The Craft retreat package includes an overnight stay and all food for the weekend, lunches, snacks, evening meal and breakfast together with unlimited tea and coffee. You have 2 full days of crafting with your own table for the whole weekend – no need to tidy away! Bliss!A goody bag of Stampin’ Up! crafting supplies is also part of the package and will be more than £100 in value. The supplies will enable you to complete the projects for the classes run throughout the weekend and you'll have lots left over to take home too!

The Classes

The Classes offered during the weekend by both Joanne and Louise are optional. The weekend is yours, so you can choose to keep with class pace or do your own thing. There is no requirement to complete everything, you can do exactly what you want – chat, craft, chill … the choice is yours. Choose to craft at every possible moment, or take a break for a walk or a drink in the lounge – it’s all up to you. 

When Will It Take Place?

The first in our calendar of retreats is scheduled for Saturday 3rd March – Sunday 4th March 2018

Fully inclusive price for 1 nights accommodation,  with lunch and a 3 course dinner on Saturday, followed by breakfast and buffet lunch on Sunday. It also includes unlimited tea, coffee or hot chocolate & snacks, 4 crafting classes and a goody bag worth more than £100 full of Stampin’ Up! products. Spaces are limited so book your spot today to avoid disappointment; this retreat is already partially filled, so if you're interested don’t delay!

How do I book?

Sounds like your kind of fun? Register your interest here and and I will contact you to confirm if space is available and payment details. I offer a payment plan so you can split the cost into monthly payments (depending on when you book). Please note there is a cancellation fee should you need to cancel. Book & pay before 20th November and the rates will be as follows:

Single occupancy is £292 per person or
Double occupancy is £272 per person

From 21st November 2017 the price will increase to £325 for single and £305 for double per person.

I would so love you to join me for what promises to be a fabulous weekend! This would make a great Christmas present too, so if you're stuck for gift ideas for yourself or your nearest and dearest, maybe this is the answer.

Back later in the weekend with news from Onstage and a project or two. Until then, check those diaries and get booking! 

 

The Boring but Important Stuff

A Deposit of £60 is required to guarantee your place on a first come, first served basis. All payment plan instalments must reach us by 1st of each month. If you are late by more than 1 week, we will assume you are cancelling your place and apply the appropriate cancellation fees (see below).The fees are inclusive of VAT, set at the current rate of 20%. Should this change, the final price of the Craft Retreat will also change.The % of your fee that will be forfeit should you cancel within the time periods is shown below. If I can fill your place then the cancellation fee will not be applied. The cancellation fee will be based on when you cancel with me in writing and is to cover outgoing costs to the venue and the product kit ordered prior to the event. You will receive the balance as a refund via a cheque or bank deposit.

Cancellation Notice

% Cancellation Fee: 

  • Before the 30th November: 50%
  • 1st December to 20th January:75%
  • 21st January to 3rd March:100%

Should the Stampin’ Sanctuary need to need to cancel the event at short notice a refund will not be provided. This will only be due to sickness or unforeseen circumstances. You may use the hotel facilities as booked & paid for. Goody bags will be shipped to you at Stampin’ Sanctuary's cost (provided full payment has been received).

 

 

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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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