Thomas Kinkade’s beautiful skies

I chose to group these cards together to show off Thomas Kinkade’s talent when he painted skies. The light and the effects are just stunning, aren’t they?

He produced several pictures of boats and maritime-themed images but the central windmill scene is one of my favourite skies in the latest collection we have produced. These are from the Thomas Kinkade Pad 5 and Pad 6.

Judging by the hugely enthusiastic response we have had to the latest couple of Thomas Kinkade pads, the concept of mixing backing papers and images in the same pad is going to be a good ongoing idea.

You can see three of the papers included in the pads here – the stripes to the left and a couple of lovely cloudy skies. I do find it convenient having reached for the pad, almost everything I need is there at my fingertips! I am talking to the powers that be at Thomas Kinkade’s management team and hopefully we will have four new pads coming out in the next six months, including some very pretty Christmas ones.

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Fairies at the bottom of the garden?

I just love the idea that little winged people might be happily living near our stream and willow tree, or in the roses and, of course, in their little toadstool houses behind their fairy doors! OK, Joanna enough of the fantasy. Regardless of whether you do believe in fairies or not, they are still a fun subject to use on a card!

Last week we launched the fairy doors on Create and Craft and I really enjoyed demonstrating the cards. Here are some of the samples to inspire you – whether you use a door or not!

There’s a fun selection here from something as simple (and useful) as a bookmark, an embroidery hoop and of course some toadstools. I created the miniature card and it’s something I would do again as it was such a pleasing little result. You could use this as a gift card, put a message behind the door or just make somebody smile!

We all, (and I am more guilty than most) tend to focus on cards that are at least 6” square – I love 7″ and 8” square cards as well as 8 x 6” etc etc. Maybe we should have a break and give miniature cards a go? They take fewer materials, look really cute and still have the desired effect of making the recipient happy.

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My latest magazine & boxed set

It’s an exciting week for new items and I felt this one deserved a blog all of its own! This is the new boxed set produced by Practical Publishing and the ingredients, I think, are just such fun toys to play with!

I treat my crafting as a relaxation, an experiment and an enjoyable way to pass an afternoon. I feel these boxed kits offer a really good way to create loads of cards with multiple techniques for a really reasonable sum of money. I have no idea how they produce all the bits and pieces so inexpensively as they are good quality, I guess the economy of scale comes into play when they sell tens of thousands of something! It makes our little company look tiny!

In this issue, I have made a whole section of cards (all the ones featured in the pics here – and more) and you have careful step by step instructions. But as the saying goes, ‘It’s not all about me’… there are talented cardmaking designers who have also contributed (again, with steps) to give you dozens of cards to copy or just to inspire you.

My favourite ‘toys’ in this set are the embossing folder and stamps – if anyone can catch one of my Create and Craft shows on Thursday 25th and Friday 26th January, I will be demonstrating cards from the magazine and I think Create and Craft will be featuring some demos on their website too. The embossing folder has a pretty jug on a table and I had the best time playing and experimenting with it.

So, grab a copy here from our website and relax for a while and stretch your crafting muscles… it’s the nearest I plan to get to the gym anytime soon! Enjoy!

 

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Exciting new Thomas Kinkade pads!

There are four separate hours of me on TV later this week – 25th and 26th January – so I thought you might like a sneak preview of one of the new products!

I have created several new and exciting products for the shows and we will also be celebrating the fact that this is my 15th anniversary with the channel. Oh my, how time flies!

This card is taken from one of the two new Thomas Kinkade pads that feature on the shows. The main difference is that apart from the usual fab toppers and borders, decoupage and embellishments, we have also included a selection of new backing papers, some gorgeous frames to take the pictures and loads of sentiment boxes.

Everything co-ordinates so you have some lovely choices to make cards. I will be doing plenty of demonstrations on the shows including many Thomas Kinkade ideas and samples.

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Willow Pattern extravaganza!

This lovely collection of projects all used our fantastic Willow Pattern dies. They are a collection that can be used individually or together to create some really special projects.

I have had willow pattern everyday plates for many years. I think it’s a classic design that fits well with my cottage style kitchen and the ones I have don’t cost the earth – if you happen to break one! There are many objects around that use the willow pattern story. There are several ‘legends’ about the meaning of the Willow Pattern and what it depicts – all fabricated it would seem. It was first published as “The Story of the Common Willow Pattern Plate” in the magazine The Family Friend in 1849… and there was me thinking it had oriental roots.

I looked it up on Wikipedia the other day and this is the legend mentioned there:

The Romantic Fable: Once there was a wealthy Mandarin, who had a beautiful daughter (Koong-se). She had fallen in love with her father’s humble accounting assistant (Chang), angering her father. (It was inappropriate for them to marry due to their difference in social class.) He dismissed the young man and built a high fence around his house to keep the lovers apart. The Mandarin was planning for his daughter to marry a powerful Duke. The Duke arrived by boat to claim his bride, bearing a box of jewels as a gift. The wedding was to take place on the day the blossom fell from the willow tree.

On the eve of the daughter’s wedding to the Duke, the young accountant, disguised as a servant, slipped into the palace unnoticed. As the lovers escaped with the jewels, the alarm was raised. They ran over a bridge, chased by the Mandarin, whip in hand. They eventually escaped on the Duke’s ship to the safety of a secluded island, where they lived happily for years. But one day, the Duke learned of their refuge. Hungry for revenge, he sent soldiers, who captured the lovers and put them to death. The gods, moved by their plight, transformed the lovers into a pair of doves (possibly a later addition to the tale, since the birds do not appear on the earliest willow pattern plates).

If any of you are interested in making the tea set pictured here, made by the lovely Sylvie Ashton then drop me an email on joanna@joannasheen.com and I will pass on the instructions and templates she sent me not long ago.

Generally speaking the cards are all really easy to make as once you have your blue and white theme sorted out (ie white on blue or blue on white) the diecuts make the card by themselves really! Have fun, smiles Joanna.

 

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