Friday, 31 December 2010

Happy New Year and Top Favourites of 2010

As many of you will know, the super-talented Debby has posted her favourite creations of 2010 over on her blog HERE and is inviting everyone to do the same.  (She also has some candy for those of you who decide to play along and enter!).

I don't know about you, but I find that I am very pensive on New Year's Eve. I always find I sit for a while and think about how the past year has been.  Unfortunately, this year has been a rough one for myself, hubby and daugther.  A year continually peppered with every problem imaginable.  It's very hard to keep your "head above water" when everything around you seems so bleak.  It's also difficult to keep positive and look at life with the "glass half full" mentality rather than "glass half empty".

However, the last day of the year is also a time for looking forward.  If 2010 has been a hard year, you may find yourselves at a crossroads.  Although it is important to acknowledge and reflect on what has been, it is more important to look forward with renewed hope and anticipation for a better future. Even if it's difficult to see, there are always things to be thankful for and moments that have brought joy and smiles through those not so good times.  So think of those times as you welcome in the New Year and here's hoping that 2011 is filled with love, laughter, peace, good health and well-being for everyone!

Told you I was pensive, LOL!  So without further ado, here are my most favourite cards from 2010....and yes, it was very difficult to choose as I am my own worst critic!! LOL! I could have listed WAY more, but I narrowed it down to 12! Hope you enjoy....

I don't often have those 'lightbulb' moments, but as soon as I saw this stamp I had the idea to make a suitcase card, complete with authentic luggage stickers (found the images on the www, resized them, printed them out and distressed them):

This card is my latest Whimsy Stamps card. Whimsy is now carrying a range of Kenny K rubber stamps and this card was made for the release blog hop. I was really pleased with my colouring in this one, and I loved the pink/orange colour combo of those yummy Crate Papers:

Another 'lightbulb' card for me.  I took about a week to make this one - adding things and fiddling for a few minutes each day, until it was complete!  I love that I was able to use the gorgeous Wild Orchid Roses in the trellis and the flower box. A different card from my usual style, as I usually use bright colours:

My fave technique is paper-piecing and these corset stamps from Paper Makeup Stamps are fabulous for this.  I love the black and white theme with a pop of colour, and although I haven't made anymore, I really want to duplicate this card in different colours. I think B&W and teal would look lush:

When I first saw sketch 104 at Sketch Saturday I was inking up one of my Whimsy Stamps carousel horses and the two gave inspiration for this!  Although I'm not American and therefore don't celebrate July 4th, I just couldn't stop myself ... this card made itself!

This is another Whimsy Stamps image, and the very first time I coloured African skin.  I was so pleased with the result ... this was my first attempt:

Sketch 92 at Sketch Saturday had me completely stumped.... until I inked this TGF cuties and pulled out my fave maufacturer of paper (OA) and got to work!  I even spent a LONG time hunting around in my old stash for those puffy silver stars, but it was fab to use them:

This card evolved completely from the image.  I inked TGF Ian up and started colouring him, creating a little riverbank scene for him.  Then I pulled out some Crate Paper that I thought looked 'wavy' and 'pebbly' and made the base. Then the idea came to add the fishing line and the net full of pearls, fish and string. One of my fave cards:

I love the simplicity of this card.  It took me a very long while to colour this Mo Manning image (it's quite big), but it was worth it. I was so stoked to find 2 matching black buttons that looked like video game console buttons ... well they do to me, LOL!  One of my better masculine cards:

This card for Sketch Saturday 107 evolved from the paper.  I love orange and butterflies and so pulled out this beautiful Basic Grey paper.  Once I'd chosen this Sugar Nellie image it just worked! I also added some of those gorgeous "Crissy Armstrong" dots around the image for that whimsical feel:

I didn't use a stamp for this wedding cake, but drew and cut out the tiers and used some Whimsy Stamps accessory stamps to complete the look.  I still have this card as I couldn't bear to part with it - love those papers:

And last but by no means least my Sparkle Creations Josh card.  Again another lightbulb moment helped me create this card, and although my colouring is not my finest, I love the record and the musical notes:

So all that remains is for me to thank you all for your visits and your continued support and wonderful comments.  They have often been the light in some dark days this year! 

Wishing you all a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!!  Hope 2011 is fabulous!

Hugs,

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Whimsy Stamps Digital DT call

Hey everyone!

Just popping on here to let you know that Whimsy Stamps is holding a Digital Design Team call!!  Here are the details that I have copied from this post over at the Whimsy Inspirations Blog....


Whimsy Stamps is in search of new designers to join our Digital Design Team! We've recently had a couple of changes and so we are hoping to start 2011 with some fresh new faces and talent!

If you like working with digital images and being part of a design team, this call is for you!

The term will be for 6 months, starting on January 1st of 2011 through June 30th of 2011.

Requirements:
  • Post 3 to 4 projects per month on your blog (preferable once weekly) - you must have a blog to enter this call and be able to photograph your work to share.
  • Become a member of our Yahoo group - submit work to the group for our DT coordinator to share on our blog twice monthly.
  • Participate in all new release digi events.
  • Promote all Whimsy events on your blog - post badges, etc.


Benefits:
  • Each Digital DT member will receive all new digital stamps and digital sentiments released during their term
  • A 20% discount on Whimsy products for the length of the term
  • Get to work with a wonderful group of designers

If you are interested in applying for the Whimsy Stamps Digital Design Team., then please email Denise at whimsystamps@gmail.com and include...

Your name, contact info, a little bit about yourself and why you want to join the Whimsy DT, and then attach 3 samples of your best work.

This call is open from today (December 22nd) andcloses on Friday December 31st. New team members will be announced on the Whimsy Inspirations Blog on Monday, January 3rd 2011.


Good luck everyone!
Hugs, 

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Whimsy Stamps December Blog Hop WINNER

Hey everyone!

Just popping on here to draw and announce the grand prize winner of the Whimsy Stamps December blog hop.  I pressed the button and it came out with .....

...which makes the lucky winner JULIE HOFFMAN.  Huge CONGRATULATIONS Julie!!  You win all NINE of the gorgeous rubber stamps that were released on 8th December.  [To view my original blog hop post and details of the stamps you have won, click here].  Please email Denise to claim your prize, remembering to include your full postal address (including country). 
Hugs,

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!


is sponsoring ...



Hey everyone!

Today Sparkle Creations Rubber Stamps is sponsoring Cupcake Inspirations challenge #90!  The prize for this challenge is Cupcake Ruby, plus everyone who participates in the challenge will get a 10% off code - how awesome is that!? Just make sure you use the code CUPCAKE when checking out to apply the 10% discount - the code is good for the duration of the challenge which runs for one week.

Here is the photo for this week's inspiration courtesy of http://www.highlandbakery.com/  This amazing cake (yes, it is a cake, LOL!) was made by Karen Portaleo.  Do visit Karen's website - you will be blown away by her talent! She is AMAZING!


So for my humble creation, I decided to take the general theme of "Christmas" as my inspiration and made this card using Sledding Chloe:


They look like they are having SO much fun sledding down the hills, LOL!

Thanks for dropping by!

Hugs,

Friday, 17 December 2010

Sparkle Creations sponsoring Flashback Friday


Just a quick post to let you know that Sparkle Creations Rubber Stamps is sponsoring today's Flashback Friday challenge. The challenge is to post the first card you blogged about that featured an unexpected find from your home.  The prize is Celebrating Chloe, which is not due to be released until January 8th!

I spent a good while reading through my blog posts, but I couldn't find one in which I'd featured an unexpected find from my home, so unfotuantely I'm unable to play along with this challenge!  But hopefully you will be able to! FYI  You don't need to make anything new, just re-post an old creation which fits the theme! 
Hugs,

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Kenny K at Whimsy Stamps!!!!



Whimsy Stamps have some fab news to share with you today - we have a new rubber artist joining our team.... KENNY KIERNAN!

As many of you will know, Kenny K is currently a digital stamp artist (amongst many other things) and although Whimsy will not be carrying any Kenny K digis, we are making some of Kenny's existing designs into rubber and then hopefully adding some new designs along the line that will be exclusive to the Whimsy rubber collection!

So to celebrate this wonderful new venture, the Whimsy Stamps DT plus our fab special Whimsy guests Elaine Hughes, Deb, and Janna, are holding a BLOG HOP to showcase the EIGHT images that are being made into rubber:

All That
Devilish Donna
Download Diva
Kitty Katastrophe
Luscious Linda
Movie Star
Rock Chick
Troublemaker

Remember that Whimsy Stamps will be carrying the rubber versions of these stamps only. Kenny K will continue to offer the digital versions in his store. The rubber stamps are available to PRE-ORDER from today from the Whimsy store, and will hopefully be in stock and start shipping during the week of the 27th!

Our super-talented Ann (Raindrop Echo Designs) has designed some wonderful digital sentiments that work fabulously with these images - thank you Ann! These are also being released today and are available to buy instantly HERE!

If you would like to participate in the hop, then you're at the right place because the hop starts right here at my blog!

The hop starts today (Thursday December 16th at noon EST) and ends on Thursday December 23rd at noon EST.

For this hop we have 4 different prize draws! The grand prize of ALL 8 of the new release rubber stamps is being hosted by Denise at the very end of the hop, but there are also 3 mini candy stops throughout the hop! I'm not going to tell you where they are, so you'll just have to keep on hopping to find them! *wink* [Winners will be announced on December 23rd after the hop ends - what a wonderful Christmas present for those lucky hoppers!]

For my blog hop creation I used ... Download Diva and Rock Chick!  I also used one of Ann's super co-ordinating sentiments, and as they are digis I was able to size it perfectly for my circle punches:


I had an absolute BLAST colouring these 2 images!  Yes, it took ages, but I REALLY enjoyed it!  Oops, as I'm typing this I can see a mistake - I've forgotten to colour Download Diva's earring!! LOL!  I'll make sure I rectify that shortly! :o)

So now it's time for you to continue the hop by hopping on over to Lori's blog where I know she has something amazing to show you!

Finally, here is a complete blog hop list in hopping order:


Thank you so much for hopping with us today and I hope you enjoy this exciting new release!

Hugs,

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

YNS Challenge #32: Let's PAR-TAY!

Hey everyone!

Today over at YNS Challenges we are hosting our last challenge of 2010.  This challenge will run for 3 WEEKS over the Christmas/New Year Period, and the DT will be back on 5 January with our very first challenge of 2011! 

Karen is hosting the challenge today and has chosen the very fitting theme of LET'S PARTY.  So we want to see anything that is party-related....Party invites, New Year's cards, Party decorations, Food decorations, Party bags, Dressy creations ... anything that screams "PAR-TAY"!

For my DT make I decided to make a "Hanging Treat Box" (instructions from SCS here).  Here in the UK, if one is invited to a party it is usual to take a bottle of something with you, and this hanging treat box is perfect for filling with treats and handing over the neck of that lovely bottle of wine!  For this time of year it would be fab to hang it over a bottle of red and then pop some mulled wine spice packets into the treat pouch!

I used the adorable (and very appropriate) Penguin Cheers stamp:


Karen is holding a SALE at Your Next Stamp at the moment - all stamps are 15% off!  This sale ends tonight at midnight (EST) so why no hop on over and grab yourself a Penguin Cheers stamp and perhaps a few more!

Thank you for stopping by!
Hugs,

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Sparkle Creations Challenge #23: Stitching


Happy Tuesday everyone! Welcome to a brand new Sparkle Creations Rubber Stamps challenge!  This week we are challenging you to add stitching to your creation - real or 'faux'.

This challenge will be our last for this year, but we will be back with our first challenge of 2011 on January 4th, so be sure to mark this in your calendars!

For my card I used my favourite stamp, Cafe Lucy, and followed Sketch #94 over at Card Patterns (turning it 90 degrees to the left)!  And for the stitching element I chose to use some grograin ribbon that already had some stitching!


Sparkle Creations challenge is open to all players. Each week a random winner will be chosen, and they will receive a SCRS rubber stamp. [In order to qualify for a prize, you must use a Sparkle Creations image on your creation.]

Do pop along to my SCRS DT sistahs' blogs to take a peek at their beautiful challenge creations:

Kim
Suzanne Czosek (guest designer)

Thanks for dropping by!

Hugs,

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Sparkle Creations & SS133: Introducing Valentine's Oliver

Hello everyone and welcome to Sparkle Creations Rubber Stamps RELEASE DAY!!

Today, the DT (along with our December guest designer Suzanne Czosek), are showcasing the second and final new release SCRS stamp  ... VALENTINE OLIVER.  And the best bit is that both Valentine Oliver and Cupid Emily are available to buy from today in the SCRS store - YIPPEE! :o)


As it's Saturday and so time for a new sketch over at Sketch Saturday, I thought I'd combine my DT makes and so followed Jo's fabby sketch #133 for my SCRS new release card, turning it 90 degrees to the right:


Would you like to win this stamp? All you need to do is comment on every one of the DT's posts plus the SCRS blog to be added to the draw.  You have until midnight EST to comment and a random winner will be announced tomorrow morning on the SCRS blog.

So.....pop along to my SCRS DT sistahs' blogs to take a peek at their beautiful new release creations and remember to leave everyone (including me!) a comment on today's sneak peek post to be added to the prize draw:

Suzanne (GDT)
Kim
Laurel
Lisa
YOU ARE HERE ---> Simonne <--- YOU ARE HERE
Sparkle
Stephanie
Sparkle Creations Rubber Stamps

Thanks for dropping by!

Hugs,

Friday, 10 December 2010

PMS M4TW52: Dandy Wishes

Hi everyone!

I thought I'd join in with this week's Paper Makeup Stamps M4TW challenge, which is being hosted by the lovely Tina!  Tina has given us a gorgeous photo as inspiration this week:


I have taken inspiration from the colour of the wicker basket (Kraft) and the wonderful floral patterns of the numerous gorgeous fabrics on the lower shelf at the very bottom of the photograph, plus the blues and purples:


Yep, that's right, I've altered some more Moleskine pocket cahiers!!  I used one of my favourite PMS stamps, Dandy Wishes.  This fabulous stamp set is available to buy direct from Paper Makeup Stamps HERE, or if you live in the UK you can buy it from Elaine at Quixotic Paperie



I stamped the largest stamp of the set onto the front of the cahier, and then added the "wish" stamp in the top right corner.  I added some 3mm gems to the centres of the dandelions for added prettiness! I also stamped the smaller multiple dandelion stamp on the back inside cover.




These make a fab and quick gift, and I already have 'orders' from all my family members to make/give them one each for Christmas! :o)  Here are a few of the ones I've made with purple, pink and blue gems, all packaged and ready to go:


Finally, I'd like to enter the following challenges:

1. The Shabby Tea Room #39 - to creat a holiday gift item or gift set.
2. Creative Card Crew - Anything Goes
3. ABC Challenge - J is for Jewels or Gems
4. Cute Card Thursday #142 - Floral Frenzy

Thanks for dropping by!

Hugs,

Sparkle Creations: Introducing Cupid Emily

Hello everyone and welcome to Day 1 of Sparkle Creations Rubber Stamps new release sneak peeks!

Today, the DT (along with our December guest designer Suzanne Czosek), are showcasing the first of 2 brand new SCRS stamps that are due to be released tomorrow. So without further ado, I am pleased to introduce ... CUPID EMILY:


[Sorry the photo is a bit naff.  I took it at night, and so the colours are not quite right, particularly Emily's skin and dress!  I'll update as soon as I get some decent daylight!]. ETA: Updated piccie added now!

It was fabulous to make something other than a Christmas card! I think I'm all Christmas-carded out at the moment, although I do have a few more I need to make.  It was also great to have the chance to use my extremely neglected Martha Stewart heart punch and the lovely MME Be Loved papers - I love these!

Unfortunately I have some upsetting news regarding my tooth - the one I had re-root-canalled 4 weeks ago and was having emergency treated yesterday.  Well, it turns out that the only solution is to have it extracted! Sob! I'm really annoyed as I paid £350 for it to be root canalled back in August!!  He was going to extract it there and then, but after explaining to me that it's very likely to break whilst being extracted (there's a curve at the bottom of the root) and so he'll then have to go in and remove the snapped off bit, I chickened out and said I'll have it done at a different time.  Once I'd gone to reception to book the appointment, they said the first available date is not until January 19th - that's 6 weeks!!!  I've never known a dental surgery with such a long wait!!  So in hindsight I wish I'd had it removed yesterday.  I bet I'll end up going in as an emergency and having it removed as I can't see me being able to wait 6 weeks!

Anyway, enough of my tooth saga, LOL!

Be sure to visit all rest of the SCRS designers for more peeks of Cupid Emily. Sparkle will be giving away Cupid Emily to one lucky person! For a chance to win, you need to comment on all of the designer's blogs (list below). Then head on over to the SCRS blog and comment on the Emily post. You have until midnight EST each day to comment. The lucky winner will be announced the following day!

Suzanne (GDT)
Kim
Laurel
Lisa
YOU ARE HERE ---> Simonne <--- YOU ARE HERE
Sparkle
Stephanie
Sparkle Creations Rubber Stamps

Thanks for dropping by and see you tomorrow for a peek of the other darling new stamp in this month's new release!

Hugs,

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Whimsy Stamps December Rubber Release

Hello and welcome to the Whimsy Stamps December new rubber release BLOG HOP!

We have NINE gorgeous new Whimsy Stamps to show you today! These new stamps are available to buy right now from the Whimsy Stamps store along with all your Whimsy favourites. We also have our wonderful special guests joining us for this hop - the amazing trio of Bev, Deb, and Beate!

Here is a full list of the super fabulous new rubber stamps being released today:

Winter's Joy (Crissy Armstrong)
Valerie's Gift (Crissy Armstrong)
I'd Follow You Anywhere (Crissy Armstrong)
Love in a Bucket (Crissy Armstrong)
Cozy Cap Mouse (Meljen's Designs)
Penguin's Present (Meljen's Designs)
Love Letter Seals (Raindrop Echo Designs)
Music Notes Background (Raindrop Echo Designs)
Friendship Tickets (Raindrop Echo Designs)

If you would like to participate in the hop and you didn't arrive here from the super-sweet and talented Crystal's blog, please CLICK HERE to return to the beginning of the hop at Bev's blog.

The hop starts today (Wednesday December 8th at noon EST) and ends on Wednesday December 15th at noon EST.

For this hop we have 7 different prize draws - WOW! The grand prize of ALL 9 of the new release stamps is being hosted by ME right here on this blog at the very end of the hop, but there are also 6 mini candy stops throughout the hop! I'm not going to tell you where they are, so if you haven't found them you'll just have go back to the beginning and start hopping! *wink*

For my blog hop creation I just had to use the Music Notes Background stamp and alter some plain kraft moleskine cahiers again!  For those of you who don't know, I have been playing the piano since I was knee-high to a grasshopper and so you can imagine my excitement when I saw this stamp!!!!!!!!  As this stamp is so beautifully detailed with a gorgeous vintage look, I decided to use my Versafine ink and not emboss as I wanted to keep the fine detail:


This stamp is very large (larger than my biggest acrylic block), so I used my Cuttlebug C-plate! Ha ha!  I'm sure everyone has their own way of using large stamps, but what I did was leave the stamp facing up on the table and apply ink. I then carefully laid the notebook on top and then placed my Cuttlebug A plate on top of the notebook and pressed down - perfect impression!


I also made a little dangly charm thing to hang from the knot of the ribbon.  I haven't quite figured out how to attach it 'right' at the moment, but you get the idea!


These pocket moleskine cahiers (9x14cm) make perfect gifts and are quick and easy to alter (provided you take care with your stamps, as if you make a mistake you've had it, LOL!).  You can buy them in different colours, but I usually buy the kraft ones.  They come in packs of 3 for £3.49 (so only around £1.16 per notebook!) and you can buy them ruled, plain and squared (the ones I have used are plain).  If you fancy reading about Moleskine or buying any of their notebooks, visit their website: http://www.moleskineuk.com/ - free UK P&P for orders over £10!  (NB I'm not affiliated with Moleskine in any way - I just love their notebooks and therefore wanted to share!).

My second blog hop project (a card) is not quite finished yet, but I will add it to this post when it is.  I really hope Mr Blogger cooperates and posts this scheduled post, as right at this minute I should be sat in the dentist's chair having emergency treatment for the tooth that was re-root-canalled almost 4 weeks ago!!  I originally had an appointment very early this morning, but when I got to the dental surgery I was told that the dentist was running an hour late (not sure how or why at that time in the morning!), and as my ride had another appointment that couldn't be missed at 10am I had to rebook the dental appointment for later today.  Then I received a phonecall from Erin's school at 12.30pm to come pick her up as she has an upset tummy.  She's had an "upset tummy" twice at school and now twice at home - hope it's just a 24hr thing and not anything more serious.   So....this is the reason why my second blog hop project hasn't been finished in time! Sorry guys!

So.....as I am the very last stop on the hop, all that remains is for you to enter the GRAND PRIZE DRAW by adding your name into the Linky list below. If for any reason the Linky tool isn't working, please check back later or email me and I'll add you when it's up and running. Entry into the grand prize draw is by linky tool ONLY.

Finally, here is a complete blog hop list in hopping order:

YOU ARE HERE ---> Simonne Clay <--- YOU ARE HERE

Thank you so much for hopping with us today and I hope you enjoy the new releases!

Hugs,


YNS Challenge #31: It's a CAS Christmas

Happy Wednesday everyone!  Today we have a brand new challenge for you over at YNS Challenges.  It's Jenny's turn to play hostess and she is challenging us all to make a CAS Christmas creation.  [NB This challenge is only running for ONE WEEK rather than the usual 2 weeks.]

For those of you who don't know or who are unsure of what CAS is, it's an acronym for Clean And Simple. 

So what is considered to be a "clean and simple" card? Well, it really is up to you - if you consider your creation to be CAS, then it is! However, here are some 'guidelines' that I have pulled from various CAS challenges on the www of what CAS is accepted to mean:

Clean: uncluttered, lots of white or open space.
Simple: one clear focal point with little distractions, limited layers, little or no embellishments.
Reproducible: can be quickly and easily mass produced.

So you now know what CAS is, but where to start?  If you're a bit stuck, I suggest popping along to http://cleanandsimplestamping.blogspot.com/ to choose one of their CAS sketches (past or present - there are lots of great ones to choose from!) to follow as a great starting point.  I did just that for my card and chose sketch FTL115 as my starting point.


First, I made my card base by cutting an A4 sized piece of SU Real Red cardstock in half and then folding it.  I then cut out a slightly smaller piece of white card and set these aside.  I stamped Fhiona's Christmas Tree in Memento Tuxedo Blank ink onto white cardstock, coloured it with Copic markers (R27, E35, YG67, YG63), cut it out using my SU Paper Snips, and then added some SU Dazzling Diamonds glitter to the star using my SU 2-way glue pen.  I then used my Woodware Stamp Positioner to help me decide where I wanted to put the three stamps from the Holiday Accesssories Set.  When I was fiddling around positioning them, I had a "AH-HA!" moment and realised that if I put them in a certain order and turned the candy cane upside, I would spell the world JOY.  All I did was add a hand-drawn upper left part of the "Y" and voila!  I realise now that I should have wiped off the bow and added a small ribbon bow on top as the bow of the candy cane is upside down, but perhaps I'll do that when I make another of these! :o)  Once I'd finished colouring the Holiday Accessories, I stuck the white card to the red card base using tape (I usually use PVA glue, but I knew this wouldn't work for this card!) and then popped up the Christmas Tree with 3D foam pads.

I really love how this card came out, and I hope you do too!  I really struggle with CAS cards, but thankfully the layout I used coupled with the stamps I chose made for a successful combination! {grin}

Please hop on over to the YNS Challenge blog to see how my DT sistahs have interpreted CAS, then why not play along?  This challenge is perfect for making those last minute and QUICK Christmas cards!!

Thanks for popping by!

Hugs,

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