Beautiful Blizzard Panel Card

by Joanne James1. December 2018 16:00

Today I'm sharing the first of three cards that I designed for a recent technique class using the Beautiful Blizzard bundle - take a look:

 

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

A Snowflake Blizzard - On this card I used the Blizzard Thinlits Die to cut a full panel of snowflakes. I used a piece of Whisper White cardstock that I first covered with an adhesive sheet on the reverse, then sponged the whole of the front liberally with Frost White Shimmer Paint for a subtle snowy sparkle. The use of a multi-purpose adhesive sheet is key for making this an easy project, as it means that the snowflakes and the surround can be used by simply peeling them off the backing paper. No fiddling around trying to add liquid adhesives to the narrow snowflake stems! This card features the 'negative' of the diecut; I'll be sharing the other two cards that use the rest of the snowflakes tomorrow and later in the week.

A Stitched Label - The label that features the sentiment on the front of my card is from the Stitched Labels Framelits; so pretty and perfect for the first part of my sentiment, along with a few stamped snowflakes too. 

A Sweet Sentiment - I love the sentiment on this card, which carries over from the front of the card to complete on the inside:

Without the 'season's greetings', this sentiment would be lovely for someone celebrating a winter birthday too. 

I'm a little pressed for time with all that is going on in the James household during the holiday season, so no the visual summary of the key products used on today's project today although the table at the bottom of this post will of course take you directly to my online store if you would like to purchase any of the items featured on today's card. 

Enjoy your evening - I am out at my first Christmas party this evening but I'll be back tomorrow with my card for this week's Paper Players challenge which will also feature snowflakes! Until then, happy stampin'!

 

Stampin' Up! Supplies Used: 

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

Beautiful Blizzard Christmas Card

by Joanne James7. November 2018 07:00

Today I'm sharing a card using last week's sketch over at the Paper Craft Crew:

I have a technique class featuring the Beautiful Blizzard Bundle next week and having designed the cards for my class I wanted to create another card in a similar colourway to demonstrate the versatility of this set and this sketch was perfect - take a look:

 

 Here's the low-down on today's card:

Beautiful Blizzard - This is such a pretty stamp set; the splodges, spots and wisps make it easy to create lots of texture in detail with minimal layering. I stamped the background behind my sentiment oval in a combination of Balmy Blue and Night of Navy, stamping some of the images full strength and stamping some off first to create depth. I also added a little touch of snow to the inside too:

 

Frosted Shimmer Snowflakes - I used a couple of the snowflakes cut with my Blizzard Thinlits Die to embellish my sentiment oval, liberally sponging each with Frosted White Shimmer Paint for a wonderful soft shimmery finish.

A Snowflake Trinket - To finish my card, I added one of the new snowflake trinkets too - because you can never have too many snowflakes!

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; I've a busy day in my craft room today catching up following a busy day yesterday. One big thing achieved though - finally got the last bits in the kitchen finished so I'm all set to decorate the week after next then I'll be able to share some pictures! 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.

Autumn-Winter Catalogue Items Now Available Only While Stocks Last and Dashing Along DSP To Buy!

by Joanne James5. November 2018 05:00

I'm just popping by with a quick post following an update by Stampin' Up! with regard to stock levels on certain products. Sales for a number of products have exceeded forecast and are continuing strong and due to their popularity might not be available for the entire catalogue sales period. The products in question are:

147816: Joyous Noel Specialty Designer Series Paper 
147890: Festive Farmhouse Elements 
147811: Santa’s Workshop Enamel Elements

I am definitely responsible in part for the first two items above; I used both at my recent Creative Escapes Craft Retreat and the ladies present got to both create with them and take some of each home in their goody bags. I just adore this paper - it is so beautiful!

In order to provide another holiday-themed option,the lovely people at Stampin' Up! have decided to make the recent promotional Dashing Along Designer Series Paper (item 149903) available for sale for £10.25 a pack. This beautiful, 12" x 12" (30.5 x 30.5 cm) traditional Christmas paper has a festive, eclectic feel and is perfect for layering. Coordinating colours are Cherry Cobbler, Garden Green, and Whisper White.

Here is a card I made at my recent Dashing Deer Technique Class that features one of the papers as a border of the central panel:

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. 

You can see other samples showcasing these gorgeous papers here.

Enjoy your day and I'll be back later 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.

Snowflake Showcase Pillow Box Creative Retreat Gifts

by Joanne James2. November 2018 19:00

As promised in my earlier post today (you can read that here if you missed it), today I'm sharing something a little different that I gave a sneak peek of on my Facebook page the week before last - a 3D project! Today is the perfect day to share it since it coincides with the launch of the Snowflake Showcase product suite yesterday - you can read all about that here.

The weekend before last I held my second residential craft retreat this year. I love these weekends: they are a great opportunity for me to spend quality time with my customers, some of whom I see at my regular classes but for many who follow my blog and shop with me online and for whom this is an opportunity to get away from it all for some quality crafting time amongst friends. I am grateful that they choose to spend a weekend with me crafting and as such in addition to their goody bags, they receive lots of little pillow gifts and table favours throughout their stay as a token of my appreciation. When they leave at the end of the weekend, I like to gift them a key ring that is unique to that retreat as a reminder of the fun time that they've had. It has to showcase some fabulous Stampin' Up! product too, both on the keyring and the packaging so for this one I just had to feature the limited edition, exclusive Snowflake Showcase products that went live on sale yesterday. So first up here is the packaging for my gift:

 

I dressed up one of the kraft pillow boxes available in the annual catalogue with some silver-trimmed ribbon and added a sentiment banner stamped tone-on-tone with the border stamp and then heat-embossed my sentiment in silver over the top. I then added the fabulous string of snowflakes diecut to the front of the box for a real 'wow'.

It didn't end there; I continued the snowflake theme inside with a keyring, that had a snowflake tree, a teeny-tiny sentiment and one of my craft retreat logos all stamped onto shrink plastic and reduced in size, along with one of the gorgeous snowflake trinkets that are also part of this suite. I made them in two colourways, Pool Party and Balmy Blue:

 

Here's a picture of them both together - gift and packaging. What do you think - cute enough to hang your keys from? 

I received such lovely comments from the ladies who attended my retreat, who all said they felt truly spoiled all weekend. Here's one of the pictures I shared over on my Facebook page of us at dinner on the Saturday evening, with some of them sharing another of their table gifts:

 

Christmas crackers, what else?! I will have more projects using the fabulous Snowflake Showcase in the coming weeks so look out for those and meanwhile do get in touch with me directly or via my online store to order yours whilst supplies last.

Equally, if you would like to be similarly spoiled and enjoy a fabulous crafty weekend away from it all, there are still spaces available on my March 2019 retreat which will be held in the West Midlands on 2-3 March - you can read more about it here and I would love it if you could join me! The dates for next October will be released soon and I already have a waiting list for this event, so if you would like to be one of the first to receive the details as they are published then do get in touch with me via [email protected] to register your interest as spaces are likely to be snapped up quickly!

Enjoy your evening 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.

Feathers And Frost Festive Leaf Triptych For The Paper Players PP413

by Joanne James7. October 2018 09:00

Today it's Sunday and time for this week's new challenge over at The Paper Players- yay! It's the turn of the super-talented Sandy to host this week and she has a timely theme challenge for you to work with:

    

Trees and leaves - perfect for autumn and fall, with so many colours at this time of year. I'm on a festive roll though, so decided to go for a Christmas card - still with leaves though as opposed to a tree or trees, as you might expect. I have another Feathers and Frost card for you, but this time using the leaves only - take a look:

 

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

No Feathers ... - The Feathers and Frost stamp set features a pair of robins and poinsettia flower as centre pieces for this leaf pattern, but I decided on this card that I wanted the leaves themselves to take centre stage. Don't get me wrong, I love the pair of robins (and have another project that features them lined up for another day) and have featured the flower on this card previously, but for today it's all about the leaves!

A Leaf Triptych - I decided to create a repeating pattern with a triptych of leaves, creating a longer than usual card (my card measures 21cm in length and is 11cm wide) and joining 3 of the leafy squares into a seamless row. I stamped them in my favourite festive green, Shaded Spruce, onto watercolour paper and used an aquapainter to pull some of the outline colour in and give a light wash over each leaf. When this had dried, I them went back in with some extra ink and my aquapainter and added an additional swipe of colour on each leaf. This is a rather labour-intensive way of colouring, but I think it really adds to the loose brushstroke effect of the stamp set.

... But Plenty of Frost - Whilst there's an absence of feathers, my card has plenty of frost - of the sparkly gold kind at least! I used my retired gold Wink of Stella pen to colour the berries in between my green leaves (you could use the new Vegas Gold Shimmer Paint to achieve the same effect) and flicked some across the surface of my card, along with a sprinkling of gold sequins, some loops of gold thread, gold glimmer paper border and finally my sentiment, which I stamped in Versamark and heat embossed in gold on a vellum strip and wrapped it around the centre of my card. Vellum is a great base to add a sentiment to a card where you don't want it to overly obscure the pattern or stamping beneath. It also enables me to link up with the lovely ladies over at Just Add Ink who are challenging us to use vellum on our cards this week - do check them out, they've some great ideas and suggestions on other ways you can use it in your cardmaking too.

 I also did a little co-ordinated stamping on the inside of my card (and remembered to photograph it!):

 

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:

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!

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

So what do you think? Can you use leaves as the main focus and decoration on a Christmas card to good effect? I'd be interested to here your thoughts - do leave me a comment below. 

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.

Dandelion Wishes Blue Bokeh Dots Card

by Joanne James13. September 2018 21:00

I'm sorry this week has been a little less blog-filled than anticipated; I am getting back into a routine now that the James Juniors are back at school, however I'm still playing catch-up. I've had two classes this week and lots more going on besides, and can't quite believe it's Thursday before I've managed a post - eek!

Anyway, today I'm sharing a card that I made with the ladies in my stamp class earlier this week that was inspired by the challenges over at As You See It  and Less Is More

   

My class featured the Dandelion Wishes stamp set and we looked at different techniques to create interesting backgrounds. The Dandelion Wishes set is perfect for clean and simple cards - take a look:

 

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

Back To Basics - The theme over at As you See It this week is 'Back To Basics', creating cards using little more than stamps. ink and paper. I love clean creations, although they aren't always basic in this sense. There is something liberating though about creating with just stamps, ink and paper and it is fun to be able to share creations from time to time like this. They can be quick(er!) to create and show that it's still possible to create something pretty without needing a ton of supplies. My card uses only two ink colours and two colours of cardstock - basic supplies indeed!

Layer Images for Interest - One of the ways to create interest on a basic card is to layer images to create interest. In addition the basic card layers, with a little tone-on-tone stamping on the base, I used the bokeh dots stamp as a 'background' for my dandelion seed heads and positioned both them and my sentiment across the edges in order to create the illusion of an extra layer.

A Drop of Frost - I could have just left my card there as it looked pretty enough to be fair. I often add a little something to a CAS card for extra interest and in this instance decided to add a trio of the new frosted epoxy droplets from the seasonal catalogue. I love the frosted finish they have and am a sucker for something shiny! I'm hoping the ladies at AYSI approve - my justification is that it's less fussy than ribbon ;-)

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 for you. 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'!

 

 

Garden Impressions Floral Pocket Card

by Joanne James21. August 2018 10:00

It's Tuesday and I have my third post of the week! Today I'm sharing another of the cards that I made in one of my recent technique classes featuring the Garden Impressions Product Suite that is perfect for the current floral challenge over at Inspire.Create:

 

I made a pocket card featuring one of my favourite Garden Impressions paper designs with an over-the-top diecut embellishment - take a look: 

 

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

Impressionist Inspiration - You now what a fan of designer series paper I am and the Garden Impressions paper is no exception; I just love these bold bright colours and the Impressionistic style of the patterns and florals in this pack. I like each and every pattern in this pack and this is already my most-used papers. Here I used it to decorate the flaps of my pocket card, which I made from co-ordinating Pacific Point cardstock using my trusty Envelope Punch Board and Envelope Expert tool (my finished card measures 10.5cm x 15cm).

Paper-Pieced Springtime Impressions - Not content with the florals on my basic pocket card sleeve, I decided to add the fabulous corner diecut from the Springtime impressions Thinlits set. I diecut a base in Shaded Spruce, then cut the whole thing again in Melon Mambo and Calypso Coral and snipped out some of the flowers and paper-pieced them onto my base piece. This may seem extravagant, but if you keep the offcuts you can use them to create another one in an alternative colourway, so there is very little waste really. I finished the whole thing with a Mango Melody butterfly. Bold? yes. Bright? Absolutely. Yet I love it! 

Abstract Florals - I added my sentiment to a banner tag on the front of my pocket, so that the whole of my inside card is blank for my message. I couldn't leave this piece 'naked' though, so I added a row of bright pink flowers courtesy of the Abstract Impressions stamp set across the bottom. I love this stamp set - so easy to use as it really is easy to line up the images for the two-step stamping required.

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.

Never-Ending Garden Impressions and A Designer Paper Obsession!

by Joanne James8. August 2018 07:00

A midweek post for you before I head out on today's activities with the James Juniors! Today I'm sharing a card that is perfect (and just in time!) for the current challenge over at As You See It:

This was an easy one for me! There are lots of things that fall in and out of love with as I craft, but there is one thing that I will always be obsessed with - and that's designer series paper! I have boxes and boxes of the stuff, old and new (about 25 12"x12" storage boxes at the last count!!). I use it - but I hoard it too! One of my team jokingly shared the attached image on our team page recently saying 'I wonder if you know anyone like this?'

Image may contain: text

Of course, she knew it was perfect for me :-) I know that some of you reading this will also share my passion for patterned paper, so if you would like to see a fun project that showcases all those lovely patterns, read on! 

In my recent technique class featuring the Garden Impressions Suite, we made a never-ending card featuring the gorgeous Garden Impressions papers. This is a photo-heavy post, so that you can see each of the sides of these fun-fold cards. So first up, here is the version we made in class:

This is the front:

 

The card then opens from the centre to reveal the next 'side':

 

Followed by a third fold:

 

And then the final 'side', with space above the sentiment to write a personal message:

 

The next fold then takes you back to the beginning. Whilst the still photos show you each of the sides, they don't really highlight the mechanism; I shot a  short video of one of the ladies at my class demonstrating how hers worked which will give you a much better idea of why it's called a never-ending card -you can see this over on my Facebook page below:.

 

After the class I also made another one using the same papers in an alternative colourway, and decorated it with some of the diecut pieces from the Springtime Impressions thinlits dies set - take a look:

 

 

 

 

The basic mechanism for these cards, which measure 6" x 6" finished size, is fairly straightforward; it's choosing how to decorate them and which papers to use that takes the thought - especially when your collection is as vast as mine!

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.

Amazing Congratulations On Your New Little One

by Joanne James16. July 2018 08:00

I finally managed to get a little time in my craft room this weekend and made a card that was originally for this week's sketch challenge over at Freshly Made Sketches but also works for the challenge over at Color Throwdown and Addicted to CAS this week:

       

I changed the orientation of my card but kept the layout and decided to create a gender-neutral baby card - take a look:

 

 Here's the low-down on today's card:

Amazing Congratulations - The sentiment combinations from the Amazing Congratulations stamp set are perfect for this week's FMS sketch and even helped me get over my paranoia of a wonky sentiment (thanks for the challenge, girls!) I used my stamparatus to line up all three of the images that make up the main word - I love how this enables you to re-ink the same image too until you get the intensity you want; I would not be able to get such a great outline in Smoky Slate without it for sure.

A Pineapple Punch - I decided to go 'gender neutral' for my baby card - I love to have a few of these in my stash - and chose the new zingy and bright Pineapple Punch as my feature colour - it's so fresh! I used a strip of co-ordinating in-colour designer series paper along the edge and paired it with Daffodil Delight across the sentiment to get the contrast on the lettering.  

Hello Swirly Bird - I wanted something more than just the sentiment for my baby card, so decided to add a pair of proud parents in their nest courtesy of the Swirly Bird stamp set, which I haven't used in a while yet gave me just what I needed whilst keeping the clean and simple feel of my card.

I have one of my monthly technique classes this morning so will come back and edit this post with the visual summary of the key products used on today's project for you to pin for easy reference later. The organised me would have written this post yesterday, but alas a jug of Pimms and the Wimbledon Men's Tennis Finals took my attention instead! 

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.

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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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