You're Just The Sweetest Apple Of My Eye Card

by Joanne James11. March 2016 22:35

A busy day so a late post from me today with a card for this week's Retrosketches challenge:

I went with brights and lemons today using my new 'Apple Of My Eye' stamp set and a sentiment with a twist:

This card is all about the lemons! Even with this relatively clean and simple design, they are three key features of today's citrus-themed card:

Apple of My Eye Stamp Set - The focal point lemon and the sentiment on today's card are from this stamp set, which also contains cherries, pears and apples of course. A fun set that will be useful, amongst other things, for teacher's thank you's too. Today's sentiment is one of three in the set and probably my favourite. I know it doesn't totally fit with lemons, but 'You're just the most sour' so doesn't have the same ring to it! This stamp can also be punched out with a 1 3/4" Circle Punch, so easy-peasy - no fussy cutting required.

Have a Cuppa Designer Series Paper Stack - This paper stack has some great cup and teapot designs, but there are also some great generic patterns too. I used three different patterns of paper on my card, all featuring lemons or leaves - great for citrus tea, but also perfect just for lemons! This sketch layout is also perfect for using up those scraps of designer paper that are left over from other projects. 

A Trio of Embellishments - There are also a number of embellishments that I added to this card to make it complete: some Crushed Curry It's My Party Enamel Dots, a small Classy Designer Button tied with a piece of Crushed Curry baker's twine (if you look up close it is ridged just like the segments of the lemon too!) and the flesh of the lemon has been liberally painted with Wink of Stella to add a subtle touch of citrus sparkle!

Here's today's visual summary of the key things needed to make today's card for easy reference:


Yellow is one of my most favourite colours and I just love this bright and lemony monochromatic card - so fresh!

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.

Thanks Very Very Very Much Teacher Card

by Joanne James10. March 2016 08:05

Today it's time for a new challenge over at Create With Connie and Mary and this week we have a great sketch for you:


My card today started with the sentiment on the sketch, which immediately reminded me of the thank you sentiment in the 'Fabulous Four' stamp set. I decided to get an early start on my end of school year thank you cards - a long way off yet, but I will need lots of them this year so no time like the present! Here's my card:


The three key elements of today's card are as follows:

Fabulous Four stamp set - this is a stamp set with four large sentiments, three of which are two-line sentiments like the one on today's card. They are big, bold and fun and perfect if you want to make the sentiment the focal point of your card.

Owl Builder Punch - I haven't made an owl with my Owl Builder Punch for a while so I decided to take the flower element of the sketch and make it a scholarly owl, complete with spectacles, mortar board and shiny apple courtesy of a little Crystal Effects. I coloured him to co-ordinate with my chosen designer series paper - isn't he so cute?!

Schoolhouse Designer Series Paper - I used two of the papers from the Schoolhouse pack for my card today: the alphabet fitted in perfectly with my school theme and the stripes added some additional colour for the bottom portion of the card. I also added a piece of co-ordinating Tangelo Twist In-Colour Washi Tape beneath the sentiment as per the sketch; a small touch, but it does nicely emphasise the positioning of the owl.

Here's today's visual summary for easy reference:


Do visit the other Design Team members to see how they interpreted this week's sketch; there's lots of inspiration over on their blogs too!

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


Stampin' Up! Supplies Used:

  • Fabulous Four Clear-Mount Stamp Set
  • Owl Builder Punch
  • Schoolhouse Designer Series Paper
  • 2014-2016 In Color Designer Washi Tape
  • Garden Green Classic Stampin' Pad
  • Whisper White A4 Cardstock
  • Basic Gray A4 Cardstock
  • Daffodil Delight A4 Cardstock
  • Garden Green A4 Cardstock
  • Basic Black A4 Cardstock
  • Crystal Effects
  • Real Red A4 Cardstock
  • Tree Builder Punch
  • 1/8" Silver Mini Brads
  • Whisper White Baker's Twine


Watercolour Wishes Suite Sayings Easter Card

by Joanne James9. March 2016 09:00

The week is flying by - Wednesday already! Today I have a great clean and simple card for this week's challenge over at CAS(E) This Sketch that you really could put together in a jiffy. Firstly, here's this week's sketch:

I decided to make a quick Easter card featuring one of my favourite sentiments from the 'Suite Sayings' stamp set and some left over bits and pieces from my Watercolour Wishes card kit - take a look:

Using a piece of Pool Party cardstock for my cardbase, there are three key things that make this card:

Suite Sayings Stamp Set - This is one of those sets that has a sentiment for pretty much any occasion and this Easter one is a favourite of mine. I love the swirly script and the size, which works perfectly inside or on the front of a card.  

Lots of Labels Framelits Dies - I used the largest of the Lots of Labels Framelits Dies, cutting my Whisper White cardstock to just narrower than the die so that I could extend the length of my panel and only cut the framelit shape along one end. This is a useful technique - here's a photo that shows how it should look before you put it through the Big Shot:


Watercolour Wishes Card Kit - This has to be most favourite Stampin' Up! kit of all time - it contains everything you need to make 20 cards; what's more the stamp set, ink spots and acrylic block can all be used to create more projects with your own card bases once you've made up those in the kit. There are lots of spare embellishments too, with banners, flowers, washi tape, sequins and wooden pieces left over - perfect to make the most of today's card.

Here is the visual summary of today's card for reference:


I hope you like today's card - sometimes a quick card is in order and in 'waste not, want not' mode this one was a perfect opportunity to use up the generous leftovers from my kit!

I'm off to my Coffee and Card Drop-in Session this morning at Bell of Northampton - you can read all about that here - and am going to watch one of my juniors play in a netball match this afternoon. Back tomorrow with my card for this week's challenge over at Create With Connie and Mary where we have a fun sketch in store for you. Until then, happy stampin'!


Stampin' Up! Supplies Used:

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



New Wednesday Weekly Deals Are Here!

by Joanne James9. March 2016 02:00

It's Wednesday and you know what that means: a new collection of Wednesday Weekly Deals! These offers are valid for one week only. As always, a new collection of deals will be announced next Wednesday.

If you want to take advantage of any of the deals on offer, you can support my business by placing your order online by clicking here or using the link to my store on the right hand side of my blog page where it says 'Shop Online' or with me in person. Don't forget to add the new Hostess Code for March XDZGYVJC if your order is under £150 and be sure to make sure that you don't check the 'no contact' box if you'd like to be kept updated with the progress of you order and receive a little thank you in the post from me. 

Here's a summary of this week's one-week only Wednesday deals - click on each item to go to the online store to purchase:

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

Back later with today's creative project; until then, happy shopping!

Happiest of Birthdays Birthday Bouquet Card

by Joanne James8. March 2016 11:47

It's Tuesday and today I have a card using this week's sketch over at As You See It Challenge:


I saw this sketch and decided to use the Birthday Bouquet product suite for my rather pink card today - take a look:

There are three key elements to today's card - taking each in turn:

Birthday Bouquet Designer Series Paper - I chose this piece of ribbon-festooned paper that mirrors the horizontal lines of the sketch for the background for my card today. It's quite a busy pattern with some strong colour added with the Mossy Meadow, my chosen accent colour for this otherwise pink card, and is the perfect backdrop for my feature sentiment.

Birthday Blooms Stamp Set - I decided to use Blushing Bride cardstock for the focal circle that houses my sentiment. Using a coloured circle instead of white can be an interesting way to ring the changes on a card. Here I stamped my circle with the flower bouquet from 'Birthday Blooms' in Blushing Bride too for a subtle tone-on-tone effect with my sentiment in Mossy Meadow to stand out. I bordered this circle with a circle of Whisper White to frame it and lift it from the busy background.

Embellishments - I used a selection of embellishments to finish my card today: some simple 1/4" Blushing Bride cotton ribbon, pepped up with some twists of silver metallic thread, a few rhinestones and a sprinkle of sequins from the Love Blossoms embellishment kit to add just the right amount of sparkle.

Here's today's visual summary of the key products used to make today's card for reference:


I hope you like today's card - I even remembered to decorate the inside and my envelope too! I'm off to start preparing for the next of my Coffee and Card Classes at Bell of Northampton tomorrow - you can read all about them here and if you are local I'd love you to join me. No booking required - just drop in!

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.

Coffee and Card Drop-in Sessions at Bell of Northampton

by Joanne James8. March 2016 09:30

I have an extra post today to share some of the detail around a new type of event that I've added to my calendar recently - Coffee and Card Drop-in Sessions. You can see the key details on my graphic below:


I am excited to share this new venture with you. It's the perfect opportunity for non-crafters and crafters alike who live in or around the Northampton area to 'dip their toe' into the world of papercrafting and experience Stampin' Up! products first hand with me, without having to commit to a class. And what better place to do it than in the luxurious surroundings of Bell of Northampton, whilst enjoying a drink and a delicious cookie prepared by the in-house baker Alex of Tea and Cake @ Bell. No booking, skills or expertise required - just pop in for a little 'time out' and leave with a beautiful handcrafted card to send to someone special. You can find directions to Bell's here - there is ample free customer parking with disabled access at both the front and rear of the store.

The full schedule for these sessions along with the rest of my classes and events can be found on my website here. The next of my sessions will be tomorrow, Wednesday 9th March - I'd love to see you there!

Back shortly with today's creative project; until then, happy stampin'!

Four Leaf Clover Pansy Punch Good Luck Card

by Joanne James7. March 2016 14:57

Yay it's Monday - where did that weekend go?! A hectic Mother's Day yesterday and today I'm back to it - with a card using this week's sketch over at Freshly Made Sketches:


In addition to Rita's great sketch, I was also inspired by the photo images for the current challenges over at The Card Concept and Fusion, where luck, green and shamrocks are also the order of the day. I know a few young people about to sit their GCSEs and am in need of a few good luck cards, so these challenges gave me the perfect opportunity to make an appropriately-themed card:

I decided to contrast the bright Cucumber Crush green with kraft for my card today and made a feature of a few different elements to pull together my 'clean and layered' card:

Shine On Specialty Designer Series Paper - Great for boxes and bags, this sturdy kraft paper also adds a bright pop of colour to cards, especially when bordered with some Cucumber Crush cardstock to really make it stand out.

Larger Than Life Alphabet and Numbers - These letters and numbers really are larger than life and are great for a statement sentiment as I've done here with the word 'luck'. Alphabet sets are useful for so many different types of projects and since they cost a little more than the average stamp set, Sale-A-Bration is a great time to invest in one and get a free gift into the bargain!

Pansy Punch Four Leaf Clover/Shamrock - Everyone knows that the four leaf clovers are the ones that are supposed to bring you luck. No punch for that? No problem - you can use your five-petal Pansy Punch to create a four leaf clover with ease! Just cut away part of one of the petals to create a stem as in the photo below:

It's that easy! Inspired by The Card Concept photo, I stamped some spots using the spot stamp in the 'Celebrate Today' stamp set stamped in Versamark and heat embossed in clear to add pattern and shine to my lucky clover and tie it in with the rest of my card.

Envelope Punch Board - I altered the dimensions of the sketch and went for a more horizontal rather than vertical card to accommodate my sentiment. As such it gave me a finished card size of 6" x 6 3/4" - not a standard size. A sheet of 2015-17 In Color Envelope Paper in Cucumber Crush, my Envelope Punch Board and my handy Envelope Expert tool made light work of a solution though, and with a few clicks of the mouse and punches and scores and I had a beautifully co-ordinated envelope too - job done!

Here's today's visual summary for easy reference of the key supplies needed to make this card and today's top tip:


That's all from me today; 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.



Sunburst Sayings and Thinlits Shine It's Your Day

by Joanne James6. March 2016 09:00

Firstly, happy Mothering Sunday to all UK mothers reading this - today is most certainly our day! It's also Sunday and time for a new challenge over at The Paper Players! It's the turn of the talented Sandy to host our challenge this week and she has a great theme for you to play along with:


I was all set to make a rainy day card for today's challenge but I couldn't get the idea in my head to work on paper - so some other time for that card! Instead I decided to use my Sunburst Thinlits and create a bright sunshine card which came together much more like my vision:


I used this week's sketch over at Pals Paper Arts for my layout and created a fun fold card, where the second part of my sentiment acted as a clasp to hold the left-hand panel closed. I used a panel of Daffodil Delight spotted Schoolhouse Designer Series Paper on the right-hand panel and on the left I stamped some sunshines in Versamark and heat embossed them with clear embossing powder. This sunshine is from one of the early limited edition Sale-A-Bration sets, 'Hello' and the good news is that availability of this stamp set has been extended while stocks last. You've still time to snap it up, but you'd better be quick!

For my main square, I used a background of Tempting Turquoise to which I added a Daffodil Delight sunburst, edged with Tangelo Twist. For my sunshine centre, I stamped 'Shine' from the 'Sunburst Sayings' stamp set onto some Daffodil Delight cardstock and fussy cut the outer elements of the sentiment before cutting the remainder with a circle framelit, which allowed my sentiment to overhang. I backed this circle with a mat cut from a 1 3/4" scalloped circle punch, that I punched once then rotated and punched again to create the starburst effect - this is a neat little trick and perfect for this kind of design. It's also a great way to get a second shape from one punch. I then framed the whole square with a Tangelo Twist frame cut using my square framelits. The second part of my sentiment was cut with the washi tape thinlit from the Mini Treat Bag Thinlits set and I adhered this with a dimensional to the right so that it could serve to hold the fold shut. I just love the bright sunshine colours of today's card and the layering of all the elements within the focal square - this will certainly brighten someone's day. The 'Sunburst Sayings' stamp set and Sunburst Thinlit die are another of the great 'bundle and save' offers in the current seasonal catalogue, giving you a saving of 15% when you purchase them together - bonus!

Here's today's visual summary for easy reference:


Thank you to everyone who has left me a sweet comment or feedback on these new graphics, which have been very well received; they make great Pins too!

Before you reach for your ink and papers, check out what our amazing team has created to inspire you this week:

The Paper Players Design Team
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! 

I look forward to seeing what you create with our theme this week. We are off to basketball this morning with time for a special Mother's Day lunch before venturing out to a birthday party this afternoon. Not quite the restful Mother's Day I had in mind, but life goes on today as always and as my family frequently tell me "Every day is Mother's Day in the James Household!". I have been treated to cards, flowers and gifts today so I am feeling perhaps a little more loved than usual :-) 

I hope you all have an enjoyable Mothering Sunday, whether you are celebrating or are focused on other things 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.

Color Me Irresistible Botanical Blooms Happy Birthday

by Joanne James3. March 2016 08:05

Today it's time for a new challenge over at Create With Connie and Mary and this week we have a colour combination for you:


I thought this colour combination was quite an unusual one and I did spend a lot of time working out what to do with it! Eventually there were two things that set me off on the path that led to today's card: one was the desire to use a piece of the coloured Color Me Irresistible Specialty Designer Series Paper and the other was this card by the lovely Connie Babbert! I loved the layout of Connie's card and knew when I saw it that it would be perfect for what I had in mind - here is the end result:


I decided to use Hello Honey for my card base and make a feature panel of the Color Me Irresistible paper - this paper is quite dramatic but the hint of pattern and combination with the other two challenge colours worked perfectly. A few layered Botanical Builder flowers and a happy birthday sentiment from the 'Tin of Cards' stamp set, finished with a black satin ribbon bow, finish my card. I just love the flower combinations that you can achieve with the Botanical Builder Framelit Dies - in addition by sponging the centres and edges and adding feathered lines using the tip of your Stampin' Write marker, as I did on the largest of the blooms on today's card, it's easy to create beautifully realistic and dimensional flowers. 

Here is today's visual summary for easy reference:


Do visit the other Design Team members to see what they did with this week's colours; there's lots of inspiration over on their blogs too!

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


Stampin' Up! Supplies Used:

  • Tuxedo Black Memento Ink Pad
  • Botanical Builder Framelits Dies
  • Tin Of Cards Photopolymer Stamp Set
  • Color Me Irresistible Specialty Designer Series Paper
  • Very Vanilla A4 Cardstock
  • Hello Honey A4 Cardstock
  • Hello Honey Classic Stampin' Pad
  • Cajun Craze Classic Stampin' Pad
  • Cajun Craze A4 Cardstock
  • Basic Black 3/8" Stitched Satin Ribbon
  • Neutrals Candy Dots
  • Project Life Corner Rounder

Welcome Words - Welcome To Our Street

by Joanne James2. March 2016 19:15

Today I have a card to share for the current challenge over at Fab Friday, where they have a great sketch to play along with:

I decided to use a set that I haven't previously inked up for my card today - the lovely 'Welcome Words' - to make a card that I've always wanted a sentiment for. Take a look and you'll see what I mean:


This stamp can be used for all kinds of welcomes - new homes, new team members, new babies, new year - and also to welcome new neighbours to your street, an idea that I just love! For my card I decided to use the horizontal panel for my 'welcome' and create a custom background by repeat stamping the little trio of houses across my background panel in Memento Black and then colouring them with my Stampin' Write markers. I was somewhat inspired by the colourful houses of Tobermory in Scotland - here's a photo of them, image courtesy of the Cafe Fish that you can see on the right of the picture:

Image courtesy of:

I love those houses painted in bright, primary colours and whilst it's nothing like the houses in my street, decided that this would make a bright and cheerful welcome card for a new neighbour. I added a retired speech bubble paperclip for my embellishment with a little red heart punched from my Confetti Border Punch in the centre. Similarly, I used some retired scraps of Brights designer series paper for the banner flags and I used a metallic doily for the semi-circular element. The colourful outside is then continued onto the inside of my card to complete the sentiment:


This stamp set is one that could be easily overlooked in the current seasonal catalogue, but actually has lots of creative possibilities and is especially useful for clean and simple cards. I especially love the bright primary colours of this card - very me!

Here's today's visual summary for easy reference:


That's all from me today; I've had a day of housework and errands today so am having a quiet evening before getting back to it all again tomorrow. Back then with a card for this week's new challenge over at Create With Connie and Mary where we have a fun colour challenge in store for you. 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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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.