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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...


Stamps - Bah Hum-Pug! / Dies - Lawn Fawn Stitched Rectangles / Pattern Paper - Echo Park / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos
**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!!!!

Stephanie xoxo

Saturday, November 26

Bah Hum-Pug!

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!

 Stamps - Bah Hum-Pug! & Say It's Christmas / Pattern Paper - Echo Park / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos Pencils / Other - Inkadinkado Stamping Mask Paper

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, but you know what they say about best laid plans!

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! haha  Thanks a million for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend :)

Stephanie xx

Friday, November 11

Wednesday, September 28

It's The Most Wonderful Time

Can you believe that my children are already compiling their Christmas list?

Stamps - Little ElvesSanta BabyMost WonderfulSo To Speak & On Thin Ice / Dies - Little Elves Die CollectionSanta Baby Die Collection & So To Speak Die Collection; Lawn Fawn Stitched Hillside / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; VersaMark / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos / Other - White Embossing Powder

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

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

Stephanie xx

Friday, September 23

Rockin' Robin

Happy Friday everyone, 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!

Stamps - Rockin' Robin & So To Speak / Dies - Rockin' Robin Die CollectionSmall Frames Die Collection & So To Speak Die Collection / Pattern Paper - Echo Park / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; VersaMagic Dew Drops / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos

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

Stephanie 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 way than to share a card instead? ;)

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 :)

Stamps - Beautiful FriendMessage Me & Basic Spots / Dies - Small Frames Die Collection / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; VersaMagic Dew Drops; VersaMark / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos / Other - White Embossing Powder

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 :)

Stephanie xxx

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 cards on Facebook and Instagram, but here they are again in case you missed them...

 Stamps - Panda Planner & Got Your Back / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos

Stamps - Panda Planner & Best Birthday / Dies - Bountiful Bunting Die Collection / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos

Stamps - Penguin Planner & Best Birthday / Dies - Bountiful Bunting Die Collection / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos

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 :)

Stephanie xx

Sunday, September 4

September Release Countdown Teasers Day 4

I'm pleased as punch to have you joining me today so that I have someone to share my cards with...

Stamps - All In Onesie HalloweenSo To Speak / Dies - All In Onesie Halloween Die CollectionSo To Speak Die Collection / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; VersaMark / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos / Other - White Embossing Powder

Stamps - All In Onesie HalloweenAll In Onesie & Birch Background / Dies - All In Onesie Halloween Die, All In Onesie Die Collection & So To Speak Die Collection; Spellbinders Rounded Rectangles; Lawn Fawn Stitched Hillside Borders / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; VersaMagic Dew Drops / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos

Stamps - All In Onesie HalloweenAll In Onesie & Birch Background / Dies - All In Onesie Halloween Die & So To Speak Die Collection / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; VersaMagic Dew Drops; VersaMark / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos / Other - White Embossing Powder

Stamps - All In Onesie Halloween  / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; VersaMark / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos / Other - White Embossing Powder

Stamps - Feeling FrightfulMini Basic Banners & Many Mini Messages / Dies - Feeling Frightful Die CollectionMini Basic Banner Die Collection; Lawn Fawn Stitched Squares / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos

Stamps - Feeling Frightful, & Basic Stripes / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; VersaMagic Dew Drops / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos / Other - Mini Stapler

Stamps - Feeling Frightful, & All In Onesie Halloween / Dies - Feeling Frightful Die Collection & Small Frames Die Collection / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; VersaMark / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos / Other - White Embossing Powder

Stamps - On Thin IceBrushed Greetings & Eureka / Dies - On Thin Ice Die CollectionSo To Speak Die Collection & Cityscape Die (retired); Lawn Fawn Stitched Hillside Borders / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; VersaMark / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos

I wouldn't have though it possible but the Design Team keep getting better each month, it doesn't seem fair that they hog all that talent, time to share some of it out I think ;) haha


Have a lovely day!

Stephaniexoxo

Saturday, September 3

September Release Countdown Teasers Day 3

Happy Saturday everyone, don't you just love the weekend?  I'll be super quick as usual so that I don't take up too much of your time...

Stamps - Forest Friends, Cute Cubs, On Thin IceSo To Speak / Dies - Forest Friends Die Collection, Cute Cubs Die CollectionSo To Speak Die Collection / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; VersaMagic Dew Drops / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos / Other - Inkadinkado Stamping Mask Paper

Stamps - Forest FriendsSweet Little Sentiments & Birch Background / Dies - Forest Friends Die Collection / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; VersaMagic Dew Drops / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos

Stamps - Forest FriendsOn Thin Ice & So To Speak / Dies - So To Speak Die Collection & Cloudy Days Die Collection / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; VersaMagic Dew Drops / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos / Other - Inkadinkado Stamping Mask Paper; Tim Holtz Blending Tool

Stamps - Forest FriendsOn Thin Ice, Cute CubsSentimental Type / Dies - Forest Friends Die Collection, On Thin Ice Die Collection & Cute Cubs Die CollectionPretty Pink Posh Storybook 1 / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos


Stamps - Cute Cubs / Dies - Cute Cubs Die Collection / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos / Other - Black Twine


Stamps - Cute CubsTrouble In A Tutu & Under The Weather / Dies - Cute Cubs Die CollectionSo To Speak Die Collection & Cloudy Days Die Collection; Spellbinders Nestabilities Circles / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; VersaMagic Dew Drops / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos / Other - Inkadinkado Stamping Mask Paper; Tim Holtz Blending Tool

Stamps - Cute Cubs & All In Onesie / Dies - Cute Cubs Die CollectionSo To Speak Die Collection & All In Onesie Die CollectionLawn Fawn Stitched Squares / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; VersaMagic Dew Drops / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos

I would really appreciate it if you could visit the Design Team today, they work so hard to create the most wonderful cards to share...


Enjoy your weekend wonderful people, what would I do without you?  The answer is fail miserably and go out of business, you really are the best!

Stephanie xxx

Friday, September 2

September Release Countdown Teasers Day 2

I have to be quick this morning, the children have appointments at the hairdressers and I have a ton of ironing to plough through, back to school prep is exhausting!

Here are my rather festive samples for today, I must admit it was quite surreal making Christmas cards in the middle of Summer...

Stamps - Let's Prance, On Thin IceSentimental Type / Dies - Let's Prance Die Collection, On Thin Ice Die CollectionTree Landscape Die & Shaker Shapes Merry Christmas Die Collection / Ink - Versafine Onyx Black / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos

Stamps - Let's PranceBrushed Greetings & Colour Chameleon / Dies - Let's Prance Die Collection / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; VersaMagic Dew Drops / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos

Stamps - Let's PranceBirch Background II & Mini Basic Banners III / Dies - Let's Prance Die Collection & Mini Basic Banners Die / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; VersaMagic Dew Drops / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos / Other - Black Twine

Stamps - Let's PranceBasic Stripes & Flag Sentiments III / Dies - Let's Prance Die Collection, Tag Along Die Collection & Flag Die Collection / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; VersaMagic Dew Drops / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos / Other - Black Twine; Small Pegs

Please visit the Design Team, it would be such a shame not to see their amazing cards...


Thanks a million for stopping by and I hope you have a wonderful Friday! :D

Stephanie xxx

Thursday, September 1

September Release Countdown Teasers Day 1

I was up late last night hand sewing name tags onto what seemed like millions of individual pieces of school uniform, in preparation for the children's return to school next week, now there's a fun job!

We have eight new stamp sets on the way this month and if you haven't already seen them on Facebook and Instagram, here are the little snippets of what's in store...

All In Onesie Halloween

Best Halloween

Cute Cubs

Feeling Frightful

Forest Friends

Layered Wreath

Let's Prance

On Thin Ice

Have a wonderful Thursday and I hope to see you back tomorrow, thank you!

Stephanie xx

Friday, August 19

You Make Me Smile

I have a couple of extremely simple cards to share today...

Stamps - Deer To Me & A Little Sentimental / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos / Other - Inkadinkado Stamping Mask Paper


Stamps - Deer To Me & A Little Sentimental / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos / Other - Inkadinkado Stamping Mask Paper

Dean and I have a relaxing child free weekend in London to look forward to, I hope you have a fabulous one too, whatever your plans :)

Stephanie xx

Thursday, August 4

August Release Countdown Teasers Day 4

It's not long until our August products are available in store, here are the last of my cards for this months teasers...

Stamps - Deer To MeSo To Speak / Dies - Deer To Me Die CollectionSo To Speak Die Collection & Tree Landscape Die; Lawn Fawn Stitched Rectangles; Spellbinder Nestabilities Rounded Rectangles / Pattern Paper - Echo Park / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos

Stamps - Deer To MeAll In Onesie & Basic Stripes / Dies - Deer To Me Die CollectionAll In Onesie Die Collection & On The Line Die Collection; Spellbinders Nestabilities Circles / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos

Stamps - Deer To MeAll In Onesie & Peekaboo / Dies - Deer To Me Die Collection, & Peekaboo Die Collection; Lawn Fawn Grass / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos

Stamps - Hip Hip Hooray, Sentimental TypeAll In Onesie & So To Speak / Dies - Hip Hip Hooray Die CollectionAll In Onesie Die Collection & So To Speak Die Collection; Lawn Fawn Stitched Squares / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos

Stamps - Hip Hip Hooray / Dies - Hip Hip Hooray Die CollectionPretty Pink Posh Story Book 4 / / Pattern Paper - Echo Park / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos

Stamps - Hip Hip Hooray & So To Speak / Dies - Hip Hip Hooray Die Collection & So To Speak Die Collection; Lawn Fawn Stitched Squares / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos

Stamps - Peekaboo / Dies - Peekaboo Die Collection / Pattern Paper - Echo Park / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos

Stamps - Peekaboo / Dies - Peekaboo Die Collection / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos

Stamps - Peekaboo & So To Speak / Dies - Peekaboo Die CollectionLawn Fawn Stitched Hearts / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos

I think the design team and guests have been absolutely sensational this month and I can't wait to see their latest posts...


Happy Thursday, the weekend is almost here!

Stephanie x

Wednesday, August 3

August Release Countdown Teasers Day 3

Welcome back to day three of our August teasers, I have lots more to share today...

Stamps - English Rose & Message Me / Dies - English Rose Die Collection / Pattern Paper - Echo Park / Ink - VersaMagic Dew Drops; VersaFine Onyx Black

Stamps - English Rose & Message Me / Dies - English Rose Die Collection; Lawn Fawn Stitched Circle Frames / Ink - VersaMagic Dew Drops; VersaFine Onyx Black


Stamps - English Rose & Message Me / Dies - English Rose Die Collection / Pattern Paper - Echo Park / Ink - VersaMagic Dew Drops; VersaFine Onyx Black


Stamps - English Rose & Message Me / Dies - English Rose Die Collection  / Ink - VersaMagic Dew Drops; VersaFine Onyx Black

I have to admit, I'm particularly fond of this next set, which is very tongue in cheek and brings home the message that there are two sides to every story ;)

Stamps - Good To Be Bad / Dies - Good To Be Bad Die Collection & Tag Along Die Collection; Lawn Fawn Stitched Circle Frames / Pattern Paper - Echo Park; Simple Stories / Ink - VersaMark / Colouring Medium -  FaberCastell Polychromos / Other - White Embossing Powder; Black Twine; Mini Pegs

Stamps - Good To Be BadAll In OnesieSo To Speak & Into The Woods / Dies - Good To Be Bad Die CollectionAll In Onesie Die Collection & So To Speak Die Collection / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black / Colouring Medium -  FaberCastell Polychromos

Stamps - Good To Be BadBirch Background IIAll In Onesie & So To Speak / Dies - Good To Be Bad Die CollectionAll In Onesie Die Collection & So To Speak Die Collection / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; VersaMagic Dew Drops / Colouring Medium -  FaberCastell Polychromos

Stamps - Good To Be Bad & So To Speak / Dies - Good To Be Bad Die Collection & So To Speak Die Collection / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; VersaMagic Dew Drops / Colouring Medium -  FaberCastell Polychromos

I would really appreciate it if you could look in on the Design Team, who always inject so much magic into our stamps...


I'll be back tomorrow, thanks for stopping by :)

Stephanie xxx