Saturday, December 24

Advent Calendar Extravaganza with Taheerah Atchia

Advent Calendar Extravaganza is -the- festive event of the season! This ‘hop with a twist’ was dreamed up by Taheerah Atchia and features surprise destinations each day! Joining in the fun with Taheerah are ONE HUNDRED special guests - each serving up some fantastic Christmas inspiration! Just like an Advent Calendar, you’ll never know where you’re going to be visiting next until you ‘open the door’!

And that’s not all! With 25 *amazing* sponsors taking part as guests as well, your crafty wish list is bound to get a boost with a chance to win a prize EVERY SINGLE DAY!!

Join in the fun every day at taheerah-atchia.com to see what special surprises await behind the door!

I'm positively delighted and honoured to be taking part today (Christmas Eve - how exciting!) and here is my festive offering...

 
Supplies: Stamps - Clearly Besotted 'Bah Hum-Pug!' / Tools - Lawn Fawn Stitched Rectangles Dies / Pattern Paper - Echo Park 6x6 Pad Dots & Stripes Series 'Winter' / Ink - VersaFine 'Onyx Black' / Other - Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils
**the fireplace has been hand-drawn manually**

It’s not a party without a prize - and with prizes every day there are several chances to win! Today’s prize has been supplied by Clearly Besotted so you’ll hopefully want to win ;)  Simply leave a comment on this post - then head back to taheerah-atchia.com and leave a comment there too! You must leave a comment on Taheerah’s blog as well as mine in order to be eligible to win! Don’t forget to grab the other surprise destinations from Taheerah’s blog and head over to them to leave comments there as well to improve your odds even more! You have until 23:59 EST on 31st December 2016 to enter.

Don’t forget Advent Calendar Extravaganza runs from 1st-25th December inclusive so make sure you visit taheerah-atchia.com every day for fabulous inspiration and amazing prizes every single time! 

Thank you for joining me today and Merry Christmas!!!! xoxo

Saturday, November 26

Bah Hum-Pug!

Now I know Clearly Besotted is on a break at the moment, but that hasn't stopped Jenny from doodling in her spare time!  I adore pugs and when she showed me the rough sketches of these following characters, I knew I had to release them in time for Christmas...just so I can use them on my own cards ;)

These stamps are only available from Simon Says Stamp at the moment (sorry!) and here is what the full set looks like...

And here's what I've made with them...

 
Supplies: Stamps - Clearly Besotted 'Bah Hum-Pug!' & 'Laugh Out Loud Christmas' / Pattern Paper - Echo Park 6x6 Pad Dots & Stripes Series 'Christmas' / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black / Other - Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils

 
Supplies: Stamps - Clearly Besotted 'Bah Hum-Pug!' & 'Best Christmas' / Tools - Clearly Besotted 'Best Christmas Die Collection'; Lawn Fawn Stitched Rectangles Dies / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black / Other - Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils

 
Supplies: Stamps - Clearly Besotted 'Bah Hum-Pug!', 'So To Speak' & 'Best Christmas' / Tools - Clearly Besotted 'Best Christmas Die Collection' & 'So To Speak Die Collection'; Lawn Fawn Stitched Hillsides Dies / Pattern Paper - Echo Park 6x6 Pad Dots & Stripes Series 'Winter' / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black / Other - Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils

 
Supplies: Stamps - Clearly Besotted 'Bah Hum-Pug!/ Tools - Spellbinder Nestabilities 'Standard Circles' / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black / Other - Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils

Sorry for the lack of activity on the blog at the moment, when I decided to take a break from Clearly Besotted, I had envisaged plenty of spare time to craft...you know what they say about best laid plans ;) lol  And now with Christmas just around the corner, spare time is just a pipe dream!

Well it's moving day for us today so please wish me luck!  Our new house is in the middle of nowhere with no mobile (cellphone) signal and I have no idea when the phone line and internet will be connected...terrifying! lol   Thanks a million for stopping by and have  wonderful weekend! :) xx

Friday, November 11

Wednesday, September 28

He's making a list...he's checking it twice!

Can you believe that my children are already compiling their Christmas list?  Thankfully, when I ask them what they love most about Christmas, their response is 'spending time with family first, presents second'  I choose to believe them...more fool me?! lol

 
Supplies: Stamps - Clearly Besotted 'Little Elves', 'Santa Baby', 'Most Wonderful', 'So To Speak' & 'On Thin Ice' / Tools - Clearly Besotted 'Little Elves Die Collection', 'Santa Baby Die Collection' & 'So To Speak Die Collection'; Lawn Fawn Stitched Hillside Dies / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; VersaMark Pad / Other - Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils; White Embossing Powder; Heat Gun

It's just dawned on me that the elves should be shorter than Santa...never mind ;) lol

 
Supplies: Stamps - Clearly Besotted 'Little Elves', 'Santa Baby', 'Most Wonderful' & 'So To Speak' / Tools - Clearly Besotted 'Little Elves Die Collection', 'Santa Baby Die Collection', 'Shaker Shapes Merry Christmas Die Collection' & 'So To Speak Die Collection' / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black / Other - Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils

 
Supplies: Stamps - Clearly Besotted 'Little Elves', 'Santa Baby', 'Mini Basic Banners III', 'So To Speak' & 'Background Builder' / Tools - Clearly Besotted 'Little Elves Die Collection', 'Santa Baby Die Collection', 'Mini Basic Banners Die' & 'So To Speak Die Collection' / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; VersaMagic Dew Drops / Other - Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils

At ages nine and ten, Jasmine and Owen are adamant they still believe in Santa Claus (I suspect they could be humouring their parents!), but it is a sign of the times when they ask me when I'll be emailing their lists to him! hahaha

Happy Wednesday, I hope it is a good one for you :) xx

Tuesday, September 27

Only 90 More Sleeps...

I have to apologise, I am one of those annoying people who start getting excited about Christmas waaaaaay too early in the year...can't help myself, sorry!!

Nothing clean and simple about this card, I've thrown everything on it haha!

 
Supplies: Stamps - Clearly Besotted 'One More Sleep', 'Most Wonderful' & 'So To Speak' / Tools - Clearly Besotted 'One More Sleep Die Collection' & 'So To Speak Die Collection'; Pretty Pink Posh 'Storybook 4 Die' /  Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; VersaMark Pad / Other - Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils; White Embossing Powder; Heat Gun

I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying crafting just for fun, no pressure, no deadlines...just fun! :D

Thank you for your visit today, it was a pleasure having you ;) xx

Friday, September 23

Rockin' Robins

Happy happy Friday everyone :D  I made this card a little while ago but thought it would be perfect to share today because that Friday feeling always makes me want to dance! (badly! haha)...

 
Supplies: Stamps - Clearly Besotted 'Rockin' Robin II' & 'So To Speak' / Tools - Clearly Besotted 'Small Frames Die Collection', 'So To Speak Die Collection' & 'Tag Along Die Collection' (retired) / Pattern Paper - Echo Park 6x6 Pad Dots & Stripes Series 'Winter' / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; VersaMagic Dew Drops / Other - Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils

Hope you're getting your groove on too, it's not long until the weekend - yaaaay!! xx

Edit: I'm so sorry Patricia, there will be no more restocks arriving in our store this year but thank you for asking :)

Wednesday, September 21

Simon Says Stamp STAMPtember Exclusive 'Layered Chrysanthemums'

I am super duper excited to be sharing today's cards with you because I have used a stamp set we designed exclusively for Simon Says Stamp as a part of their annual month long STAMPtember event, which I'm sure you have been following!  It is always such an honour and so thrilling to be asked to take part :)

The set is called Layered Chrysanthemums and it is only available from Simon Says Stamp (I will add links later)...

 
Supplies: Stamps - Clearly Besotted & Simon Says Stamp 'Layered Chrysanthemums'; Clearly Besotted 'Basic Stripes' / Tools - Clearly Besotted 'Small Frames Die Collection' / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; VersaMagic Dew Drops

 
Supplies: Stamps - Clearly Besotted & Simon Says Stamp 'Layered Chrysanthemums'; Clearly Besotted 'Background Builder' / Tools - Spellbinder Nestabilities 'Standard Circles' / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; VersaMagic Dew Drops

 
Supplies: Stamps - Clearly Besotted & Simon Says Stamp 'Layered Chrysanthemums'; Clearly Besotted 'Mini Basic Banners II' / Tools - Clearly Besotted 'Mini Basic Banners Die' / Ink - VersaMagic Dew Drops

 
Supplies: Stamps - Clearly Besotted & Simon Says Stamp 'Layered Chrysanthemums'; Clearly Besotted 'Fancy Sayings' / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; VersaMagic Dew Drops


 
Supplies: Stamps - Clearly Besotted & Simon Says Stamp 'Layered Chrysanthemums'; Clearly Besotted 'Background Builder' & 'Fancy Sayings' / Tools - Lawn Fawn Stitched Squares Dies / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; VersaMagic Dew Drops

And this is what the complete stamp set looks like...
The children have taken a day off school and we are heading into London to attend Dean's Liveryman Ceremony (he became a Freeman and then received the freedom of London last year and this is the next step up), it's more pomp than prestige, but still an occasion for celebration and champagne! :)

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a happy hump day! x

Tuesday, September 20

Thank You

I wanted to knock my rambling (and slightly depressing!) post off the top of the blog and what better than to share some cards instead? ;) haha!

But seriously, I have been immensely touched and overwhelmed by all your messages of love and support, it is truly humbling and reminds me why I adore (and rely on) our crafting community so much :)

 
Supplies: Stamps - Clearly Besotted 'Beautiful Friend', 'Message Me' & 'Background Builder' / Tools - Clearly Besotted 'Small Frames Die Collection' / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; VersaMagic Dew Drops; VersaMark Pad / Other - White Embossing Powder; Heat Gun; Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils

 
Supplies: Stamps - Clearly Besotted 'Christmas Poinsetia', 'Mini Basic Banners III' & 'Background Builder' / Tools - Clearly Besotted 'Small Frames Die Collection' / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; VersaMagic Dew Drops / Other - Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils

We have had an unexpected surge in orders and Jenny is slightly swamped at the moment so it may take her a tad longer than usual to reply to emails (unless urgent), thanks a million for your patience and understanding :)

I will be back tomorrow with a look at our exclusive to Simon Says Stamp 'Layered Chrysanthemums' set, as a part of their spectacular month long STAMPtember celebrations, which I am sure you have been following - hope to see you then! xx

Thursday, September 15

Taking A Break...

I have a little news to share regarding Clearly Besotted and I suppose the title of this post may give you a slight indication of what I have to say ;)

The Clearly Besotted store will be closing at the end of this month and will remain closed for the rest of the year.  

I know, straight to the point right?  I didn't want to mince my words, that comes later!  There is so much to say on the matter and I hope I don't bore you all to tears, but I do believe some explanation is due :)

To start with, I am so proud of my little brand and incredibly grateful to all the wonderful customers and enthusiastic supporters who have championed our humble stamps over the past four fabulous years.  I will never be able to thank you all enough.  I have also been extremely fortunate to have had a lot of help along the way, in the form of many talented Guest Designers and of course, my dear friends (aka the Design Team) who are truly remarkable.

So why are we closing?  The simple answer is...I'm tired.  This year has been amazing in terms of growth but I am unable to sustain the number of working hours it is taking to keep the company running efficiently.  In July of this year, our sales trebled, and although within the industry as a whole, we are minuscule, it has reached a point where for me, it is unmanageable.

My ever loyal and supportive (and long suffering!) husband, Dean, has always maintained that family comes first, above all else, and whilst he sticks to this rule, I, on the other hand have continuously flouted it.  It is the only rule he tries to impose upon me and yet on too many occasions, I have broken it by prioritising my small business.  There, I admitted it.  It has put considerable strain on our marriage.

I share the following information with you, not to sing the praises of my husband, but to ensure he is not (unjustly) vilified for being a key factor in my decision.  Dean has his own business to run, which is at present growing rapidly, placing more and more demands upon him.  There have been occasions where he has requested my company at business functions and on overseas trips and not once have I accompanied him.  In complete contrast, Dean could not do more more for his family.  He frequently does the school runs when I'm too busy and he never misses a single school event.  In the evenings and at weekends, he solely takes care of the children.  And...this one is a biggie...he even does his own ironing ;)  Where Clearly Besotted is concerned, the list of his contributions is long, but most notably, he subsidises the business financially.  He has accompanied me when we exhibited at craft shows (doing most of the work) and on one occasion, he and the children flew all the way to Cincinnati with me so I could attend a fabulous craft retreat and meet my crafting idols.  So, when he desperately asked me (again) to take a break from Clearly Besotted for the good of the family, I decided to do as I was told, just this once ;)

Moving forward, giving up Clearly Besotted completely is simply not an option for me.  It has truly been a labour of love and I am not yet ready to close the book on this relationship!  The plan is to transfer it into the safe, and capable, hands of my sister Jenny.  However, Jenny still has a lot to learn which will take time, hence the closure.

All being well, the Clearly Besotted store will reopen in January / February with smaller bi-monthly releases and a much smaller inventory.  Unfortunately, Jenny will not be subsidised by Dean (not being married to her, he is less inclined to keep her happy lol), so the price of the stamps will increase (yuck!) in order for the business to be financially viable.

As for me, I'll hopefully have more time to do what I enjoy the most...make cards! :D

Please feel free to ask any questions you may have and I will do my best to answer them in this post.  I am very sorry to have rambled on for so long, it's been quite cathartic getting it all off my chest!

Thank you for listening xx

Wednesday, September 7

Let's Get Together Soon

I've already shared these on Facebook and Instagram, but here they are again (just in case you missed them lol)...

Supplies: Stamps - Clearly Besotted 'Panda Planner' & 'Got Your Back' / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black / Other - Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils

Supplies: Stamps - Clearly Besotted 'Panda Planner' & 'Best Birthday' / Tools - Clearly Besotted 'Mini Bunting Die Collection' / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black / Other - Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils

Supplies: Stamps - Clearly Besotted 'Penguin Planner' & 'Best Birthday' / Tools - Clearly Besotted 'Mini Bunting Die Collection' / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black / Other - Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils

The children are back to school and the September release rush is now over so today I'm going to enjoy the peace and quiet and do absolutely nothing...bliss!  Take care and thank you for stopping by :) x