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Wednesday, September 28

It's Beginning To Look Like Christmas

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

Stamps - On Thin Ice, Say It's Christmas & Basic Spots / Dies - On Thin Ice Die Collection; Lawn Fawn Stitched Hillside / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; Simon Says Stamp White Pigment / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos

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 / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos / Other - Mini Pearls

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

Happy Birthday To You

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

Stamps - Pig Planner, Puppy Planner, Purrfect Planner & Sincerest Thanks / Dies - Bountiful Bunting Die Collection / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Watercolour Pencils / Other - Diamante Gems

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

Have A Monster Party

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 Halloween & Into The Woods Again / Dies - All In Onesie Halloween Die Collection, & So To Speak Die Collection / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; VersaMark; VersaMagic Dew Drops / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos / Other - White Embossing Powder

Stamps - All In Onesie Halloween & Into The Woods Again / Dies - All In Onesie Halloween Die Collection / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; VersaMark / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos / Other - White Embossing Powder

Stamps - Feeling Frightful & Spooky Spirits / Dies - Feeling Frightful Die Collection  Lawn Fawn Stitched Squares / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; VersaMark / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos / Other - White Embossing Powder

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

Stamps - Feeling Frightful, & Spooky Spirits / Dies - Feeling Frightful Die Collection & Small Frames Die Collection / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos

Stamps - On Thin IceInto The Woods Again II & Basic Grids / Dies - On Thin Ice Die Collection; Spellbinders Nestabilities Circles / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; VersaMagic Dew Drops; Simon Says Stamp White Pigment / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos

I hope you have a lovely day :)

Stephanie xoxo

Saturday, September 3

It Would Stink If We Weren't Friends

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 & Scene It / Dies - Forest Friends Die Collection / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black; Memento Tuxedo Black / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos; Copic Sketch Markers

Stamps - Forest FriendsOn Thin Ice & Say What? / Dies - Forest Friends Die Collection, On Thin Ice Die Collection, Shape Up Die Collection (retired) & You Said It Die Collection / Pattern Paper - Echo Park / 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 Cubs, Say Something & 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

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 Ice / Dies - Let's Prance Die Collection & On Thin Ice Die Collection; Lawn Fawn Stitched Hillside / Ink - Versafine Onyx Black; VersaMark / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos / Other - White Embossing Powder

Stamps - Let's Prance, Into The Woods Again 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

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

Have A Very Merry Christmas

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!

Thankfully, I also found some time to make some cards...

Stamps - On Thin Ice & Scrumptious Holidays / Dies - On Thin Ice Die Collection & Small Frames Die Collection / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos

Stamps - On Thin Ice & Just Saying / Dies - On Thin Ice Die Collection / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos

Stamps - On Thin Ice & All I Want / Dies - On Thin Ice Die Collection / Ink - VersaFine Onyx Black / Colouring Medium - FaberCastell Polychromos

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

Stephanie xx