Tea for two – just for you!


I simply love blue and white china and have it in many places around the house apart from everyday use. I think the willow pattern is a very attractive and traditional design for a teapot and has lovely childhood memories for me too.

This image from the Anna Browne cardmaking pad makes a lovely birthday or everyday card.

the card measures 7 inches square and has layers of cream, light blue and darker blue and interspersed between the layers are some teatime doilies. You can easily buy these ready made or you may have a cutting die that makes doilies – either is fine!

The pearl heart is actually a little buckle and the ribbon has been threaded through – if you don’t have that then just four little self adhesive pearls stuck to the ribbon would be an easy and attractive alternative.




Have a relaxing day!

Down by the river, quietly fishing… this is no doubt many people’s idea of a lovely time. I confess it wouldn’t be my ideal way to pass the day – partly because I don’t like catching fish and partly because I would rather read a good book. But I can see the lure (pun intended) of the peace and tranquillity that fishing can provide!

This 6inch square card shows how effective kraft card can be – it gives a real ‘man-appeal’ feel to the card and it’s a colour combination I love. Another point to note is the button glued on top of the knot of the bow – again a really great look I think!



Acetate Anniversary Card

It makes such an effective change to use acetate as your card blank instead of the more usual cream or white cardstock etc. Here, the lovely picnic image from the Kevin Walsh pad has been used with one of our Signature dies and the overall look of the card is really unusual.



  1. Create a 5.5” square folded acetate card. I find it really important to use a scoring board of some kind to make the fold as it’s a touch harder than using standard cardstock.
  2. Mat the main image onto some cream card and stick that onto the top front of the card. Cut a matching size piece of cream to place inside the card to make a nice tidy back view.
  3. Then cut cream card 2.5” high and about 11” long to wrap around the bottom of the card. Match this inside as well to make it look neat.
  4. Mount the border that comes on the sheet onto first some cream and then copper coloured card and place that at the bottom of the card as shown. Finally add the curved piece from the sheet and a couple of diecuts in the same copper card. Lovely!



Meet artist Jane Shasky

You’ll know their names and their wonderful designs, but what do you know about their backgrounds and sources of inspiration? Joanna has been chatting to some of the top artists whose original stunning artwork is transformed into craft products and featured on her website.

In this blog Joanna talks to hugely talented artist, Jane Shasky, whose designs you will all know well. 

1. Where do you get your ideas from – what inspires you?

In one word, NATURE! Just about everything I paint and create comes from the endless wonders I see in nature. From minute details in the tiniest of flowers, colourful birds singing in my backyard, to the magic of a sunset over the water, it all inspires me. And these days, my sweet little granddaughter, Codie Jane, absolutely lights up my life. She just turned a year old and is quite possibly THE cutest baby in the world (next to Joanna’s granddaughter, of course!)

2. What do you enjoy most about your career?

I’m so incredibly fortunate to be able to paint what I truly love….flowers, birds, butterflies and plants. I often include inspirational quotes in my own calligraphy. Adding treasured vintage items that I’ve collected over the years from antique shops and estate sales, weathered wood planters and bird houses, rusty old watering cans, clay pots covered in moss – it all brings life and character to my paintings.

Jane with her adorable granddaughter Codie Jane.3. What do you like the least?

Sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done, so I work through a lot of weekends. I’m very fortunate to have a great agent who handles all the business details, which leaves me to be creative most of the time. And, since I work alone from my home, I miss connecting with other artist friends, so Facebook is great for that.

4. Are you a night owl or a morning person?

Definitely a morning person! I tend to lose my creativity late in the evening, so I use that time for chores and just relaxing.

5. If you could go back in time, what would you do differently?

That’s a hard one. I’m so happy with my life now and believe that I wouldn’t be where I am today without going (growing) through some really tough times. I have two beautiful daughters, both married to wonderful young men, and they are my best friends. So, I guess I really wouldn’t change a thing.

6. What is your favourite childhood memory?

I remember visiting my great grandmother at her farm on the Gettysburg Battlefield in Pennsylvania, and helping her in the garden. Her yard was filled with peonies, which is one of my most favorite flowers to this day.

7. If you had to choose just one of your designs as your absolute favourite, what would it be?

I’m not sure I could choose just one! I have several paintings that I love, but one design that I did recently has special meaning. It’s of a beautiful pink peony, with the quote “every flower is a prayer”. My mom gave me the baby book that she made for me when I was growing up just before my grand daughter was born. Pasted on the page titled “Artist” was a little card that I made when I was six years old. I had drawn small flowers across the bottom of the inside and wrote those words. It’s the earliest piece of my ‘artwork’ I’d ever seen and is really special to me.

8. Who is your favourite artist?

My most favorite artist in the whole world is Marjolein Bastin from Holland. I’m inspired beyond words by her beautiful art of nature. I’ve collected her work for the past 20 years and four years ago I had the honor of meeting her in Atlanta. She is such a gracious, lovely person and it was truly a dream of a lifetime for me.

9. What was the last gift you gave someone?

Just today I gave a good friend a beautiful rock that I found while hiking at Dungeness Spit in Washington State a few days ago. There are millions of rocks covering that beach, but this one caught my eye. It was swirled with orange and green, and was lit up in the sun. I find so much joy in simple treasures.

10. Do you have any future plans you’d like to share with us?

At the moment, I’m working on paintings and designs for my 2016 “Botanical Inspiration” calendar for LANG, which is a wonderful project. I’m also planning to sell prints of my artwork on my website sometime in the near future.

You can see Jane’s work on her website, and she’d love you to follow her on Facebook too!



Get well soon!

When I am thinking about a get well soon card, my mind usually turns to very pretty scenes or flowers or to something that will bring a smile to the poorly person – like House-Mouse for example.

This particular get well card uses an image from the One Summer’s Day CD and has been printed off on canvas textured card to add something a bit different. I adore white garden furniture and would love to be able to recreate a scene like this in my garden – maybe I should start saving for some… and the little white cat looks gorgeous too doesn’t it!

I think this card shows so beautifully how die cuts and images mixed with sympathetic backing papers can make a truly beautiful card! Well done Jo Westwick who made this one – I just love it!