We are Neet and Wendy and we would like to welcome you to our fortnightly challenge, ‘Artful Times’, where we are offering a variety of challenges to inspire you to create in whichever style or medium of crafting you enjoy. You never know, we might even inspire you to create something out of your comfort zone and try out something new.

Yes like all challenge sites we have rules and guidelines. We hope you will read and follow them, we have Oyster Stamps as our sponsor, and of course, a winner and runner up will be chosen each month. We may also have the occasional guest designer.

Monday, 30 December 2013

To Comment or Not!

After much deliberation and consultation if you do not follow the Guidelines we will not be leaving a comment - as much as it hurts us not to.  It takes us quite a while to comment on blogs and we want to leave more than a cursory comment plus we have to check if you are eligible for the prize or not, so please make sure you have followed all the requirements or we will not be leaving a comment in the future.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Challenge 45 My Favourite Christmas Card (sent or received)

Well, I was just welcoming Von back this week and I got an email from Chrissie who is going to join us on on this side of the challenge.  So a big welcome to Chrissie who most of you will know from her blog and from her challenge blog.

First of all, thank you to those of you who entered the last challenge which was, sadly, where we said goodbye to Sam.  I'd like to thank Sam again for all the help she gave me and the patience she showed to me whenever I "mucked up".

This week I thought you might be like me, behind with all the Christmas prep so I dreamed up a quick and easy challenge and not one where you would necessarily have to make something - like me you could use a card you had received, if you so wanted.  My card was one I received last year from my friend in America.  I just loved it and fully intended to make all my Christmas cards just like this one this year.  Mary even bought me the die to make the feet so I was all prepared - until .....  I finally got around to starting my cards and whoops!  I could not find any red card with white spots on.  So out came the diecuts and I started making different cards but I still fully intend making this one next year - "Mary, have you some spotted card I can buy?"

Here it is - and I hope you like it as much as I did (and still do).

I did have one of those nights where I was not sleeping well so I got up with 'C' Cards on my mind and set to and made these:

for Chloe

for Andy & Sam

Both using the Sizzix die but with Labels One from Spellbinders for the centre.  Various images and H2O's for colour.  I love these cards but I do not enjoy making them - do any of you feel the same?

And now one from Chrissie - a fabric card and a lovely card to share for her first visit to Artful Times "on the other side" as you might say.

and by the skin of  her teeth a CAS card and some masking from Von

 Now a quick and heartfelt message to you all:

A Happy, Peaceful Christmas and all My Best Wishes for 2014.

 The monthly winner will be announced next week but this current challenge will not count towards another token - instead we will begin afresh with the first challenge of 2014.  I hope you will join in though.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Challenge 44 - Diecuts or Punches

Great to see all your fantastic creations from the last couple of weeks.  We realise it's getting close to the big day and everyone will be busy bees getting things sorted, but if you do find you have some time to yourself, we'd love to see what you can do with die cuts and/or punches.

Neet stuck with a Christmas theme using the lovely poinsettias, flourishes and a die cut background.

I, Sam, used the Sizzix cabinet die with corrugated card and LP images.

I'd just like to take this opportunity to thank everyone and say goodbye as this is my last week helping Neet out on the AT's challenge blog.

ps and I would like to say a VERY BIG THANK YOU to Sam for stepping in and helping me out when I was finding it a struggle to keep going.   Watch out for some interesting news next time.  (Neet)

Friday, 22 November 2013

Lilac & Silver - with a Wintry Stamp

Oh dear, the Alcohol Ink Challenge did not attract many entries although the people who did enter posted some rather superb pieces with AI's - and I am afraid this one may have the same effect as it does require one to do some stamping rather than using a digital image or something similar.

This challenge is to use the colours - lilac and silver and use a wintry stamp.  By wintry I mean Christmas also, it does not have to be a scene - rather something to do with the season.  Is it cold where you are?  We are certainly experiencing wintry weather now with snow on high ground and those chilly winds that make staying indoors all the more inviting.

Afraid I only have one card to show you for inspiration and here it is (sorry it is looking wonky, it doesn't look so in real life - must be the scan):

I stamped the image (Impression Obsession) in black on a piece of card coloured with Distress Inks (Seedless Preserves) and then went over areas with Liquid Applique and a tiny touch of glitter.  The poinsettias (Spellbinders) and the Holly (Cheery Lynn) were then cut out in silver mirri card and glitter added to the centre of the flowers.  All of these are available from Oyster Stamps.

Well everyone, here's hoping you are having a lovely time, keeping nice and warm and getting ready for the busy period ahead of us.  Only 33 days to go .....

Friday, 15 November 2013


I am sorry I am so very very late with a Winner for the last couple of challenges but here we are - very big Congratulations to:

Alison for her trio of tags:

We are so glad you took supplies away with you Alison - some beautiful work here to tempt us all to buy those images.

And Janny for her card using those beautiful autumnal colours:

so reminscant of the leaves that fell in my garden in true colours - and so tastefully produced.

So ladies, I need your email addresses to send you your blinkies for display on your blogs so please get in touch with me.

Friday, 8 November 2013

A Bit of Alcohol for Christmas

First of all big thanks to those of you who entered our last challenge.  Some lovely entries as usual.  Were you scared by some of the pictures?  Now for this bi-weekly challenge:

Now don't get yourselves in a tizzy and certainly don't be reaching for the Christmas Brandy - I mean Alcohol Inks not alcohol to drink.

For this challenge I would love you to use your Alcohol Inks to make something - be it a card, an atc, a tag or whatever - just show us what you can do with your AI's.

Here's what I turned out this week

a triptych card

A bookmark (one that has a hinge so it folds over the page)

 A cuckoo clock diecut

and an atc

Now these were done differently, in a way.  The triptych and the bookmark were simply made by pouncing on a sheet of GLOSSY card and stamping with Stazon Black Ink.

The Cuckoo clock is a die-cut which was cut from GOLD MIRRI CARD and then gone over with alcohol inks in the same way as above.  It gives the same effect as using Alcohol Inks on actual metal.  (Sorry that last card is wonky, I assure you it is not, but because the dial of the clock is on a rather thick piece of foam to make it stand out the card, it would not remain perfectly aligned on the scanner bed.  Drove me up the wall trying to do it, this is the best I got).

The atc was just a "wipe up" on my craft mat with some of the Blending Fluid.

Alcohol Inks are so versatile, you can use them on so many different surfaces, glass, metal, plastic etc.  Pop along to my blog here and see some of the things I have done in the past with my Alcohol Inks - jewellery, ornaments, storage etc.  WARNING:  It is a long post, lots more samples.

Now what are you going to do?  Remember the RULES for the challenge they are at the top of the page under Rules and Guidelines. Please adhere to them, makes my life so much easier.

Hugs, and happy days full of alcohol (LOL).

Neet xx

Friday, 25 October 2013

Challenge 41 Spooktacular

"Hubble Bubble - Toil and Trouble" - the witching hour is almost upon us.

Well, I am on my own with this challenge and I am sorry to say it is a box again.  Seem to be permanently decorating Felix boxes don't I?

I am not into "cute" so don't have any cute witch stamps, and to be honest I have not really been into Halloween up to now.  Did plan on doing a configuration box, well, left over boxes from one anyhow, but I just never had the time.   So here I am with my last minute sweetie box for the kiddies who call.  What else could I use but the Chemist from TH.  I love this plate and this is its first outing - hope you like my box

As well as using The Chemist plate I used some images from Graphic 45 and they are all coloured in with H2o's - the man's face being a lovely shade of Kiwi Lime and his eyes being Poppy Red.  Want to see my little display - hop over to my blog.

Thank you for the entries in our Distress Challenge, we had some lovely work to look at, I hope you enjoyed it.  Hope also you will join us this fortnight with your Halloween Specials but remember you need to follow the rules at the top of the page - no more than five challenges to be entered with ours counting as one please.  A general description of what materials you used and any techniques you would like to share, no back linking but a direct link to this blog please.  Do check RULES AND GUIDELINES on our bar at the top and we can have no misunderstandings then.

Sam was very thorough when she wrote all the things you might want to use at the top so please remember to refresh your memory by looking at it now and then.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Challenge #40 - Feeling Distressed

On our last challenge two entries both exceeded the maximum number of entries we stipulate in our Rules and Guidelines at the top of our blog.  When I commented that I should not be commenting (see top post) both bloggers asked me why.  We will not be commenting at all on blogs that do not fully meet the criteria in future.  Neet

Lovely to see all your autumnal colours over the last couple of weeks, it really is getting well and truly into autumn now, but I have to say I do like this time of year, mainly due to the wonderful browns, yellows and oranges on the trees, the woods we got to look spectacular.

But, we are moving on this week to anything distressed, whether that be a shabby chic looks, a grungy distressed look, or the materials you've used, it's entirely up to you.

Both Neet and I made tags for this challenge.



Let's see how distressed you can get!!!

Friday, 27 September 2013

Challenge 39 - Autumnal Colours

Don't you just love to go for a walk on a crisp morning in autumn and slide your feet through all the rustling leaves?  I know I do.  And nothing gives me greater pleasure than to take a ride and pass through countryside where the trees have turned to "reds, golds, oranges, yellows and browns".  Wonder how many of you enjoy that too?

Well, the challenge this time is for you to use those colours somewhere in your creation.  You don't have to use them all but let your choice of colour be echoed in the autumn colours.

I made a card for my inspiration.  It is a stamp I have had for a long time and it actually says "The Earth Becomes A Coloured Quilt when Autumn Comes Along" (but with American spelling) although I always think it is difficult to really see the wording.

Pop along to my blog to see how I made it and what I used but don't forget to read the rules and guidelines at the top of the page before you start yours.  I will even show you another autumnal themed article - a revamp of an old project.  What is it?

Thanks for the entries in our last challenge, it was fabulous to see what you all got up to with your scrap.  Great use of different things.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

We Have a Winner - Sorry it's Late

Well, the last couple of challenges posed yet another problem for choosing an outright winner but a winner and runner up we have chosen.

Ta Da .....  Trumpet sound

The winner this month is ....

Annette of Scrap Happens Here

And a fabulous entry from our Runner Up, Sandie of Somewhere to be Me

Both ladies had put an awful amount of work into their entries and both produced stunning samples I am sure you will all agree.

Thank you to each and every entry that we had - we loved them all and thank you so much for entering our challenge.  If the winner and runner up can contact Neet she will send you both your blinkies to be displayed on your blog.  Well done!

Apologies for being late.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Challenge #38 - Scrap Art

Wow lots of male themes going on there, thanks for joining us last week.

This week Neet thought it would be a great idea to use up all our scraps, so we are challenging you to create something new with all your odds and ends of scraps!!

This is what Neet made: A box for her cards.  To see how she made it check out her blog.

Whilst busy checking blogs what does Cathryn mean by "an art doll in the making" and what has she used?

I went for something much simpler!!

Sam - A tag

And a postcard

Have a rummage, see what scraps you have and have fun putting them all together to create something new.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Challenge #37 - It's Raining Men

It was fabulous to see all your wonderful twinchies for the last challenge.  Amazing how much you can get into such a little space!!

This week we invite you to create anything male themed.

I decided on T!m Holtz stamps and made a couple of cards.


Cathryn did something a little bit different - bottom left hand corner might give you a bit of a clue

Do you have a male birthday coming up, or will you just join in for fun?  Neet had her other half's birthday to make a card for and this is what she did

Don't forget, if you follow the guidelines above (see rules and guidelines page across the top) you'll automatically be in with a chance of winning a £10 voucher from Oyster Stamps.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Challenge 36 Twinchies

This is one we haven't done before on Artful Times and to be honest it is the first one I have done.  Inchies, yes, done those lots but a 2" square - never.

I used these tree stamps from Crafty Individuals - not quite 2" square but pretty close so with a bit of black as a mount that was 2" square I got there.  So four twinchies on this card.

So what did Cathryn come up with?  Well, this is super - a picture - what a great way to showcase twinchies.  Pop along to her blog for a better look.

Lots of inspiration on the internet so go and have a look and join in the fun. Then when you are ready please join in with the fun and show us what you can do with a two inch square.  See you later!

Friday, 9 August 2013

Winner 33 and 34

Lovely entries again Ladies - once more a very difficult choice for us to make but a choice had to be made.

This time the winner is



Wendy K for her masking

and the runner up is



Dagmar for her lovely entry

Well done ladies - please contact Neet (email on RH side on her blog) for your blinks and in the case of Wendy instructions for claiming your prize at Oyster stamps.

Remember everyone - you are all winners but some of you still need to tell us how you make your artwork.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Challenge #35 - Let's Ribble

Great to see all your different masking techniques last time around.

This week we'd like to see what you can do with some ribbed or corrugated card or cardboard.

Remember to be in with a chance of winning the £10 Oyster Stamp voucher, you need to tell us what you did and link the post, not your blog, directly back to this blog.  If you are unsure how to do this, there are instructions under the "making a direct link" above.

Neet chose to use corrugated cardboard and made a hanger

Cathryn decorated a box

And I, Sam, made a card from ribbed kraft card

Saturday, 20 July 2013

And the Winner of Cathryn's Gift Pack is ...

Drum Roll ...







Congratulations Marina - can you contact Cathryn and make arrangements for her to send you her generous candy and that gorgeous tag (I am so envious).

Friday, 19 July 2013

Challenge 34 - Masking

For this challenge I chose masking.  I love doing the masking technique so it was an obvious for me but Sam chose to do a twist on this and used masking tape within her artwork.

Here is what Sam did:

You can see some of the masking tape in the corners but pop along to her blog and see just how she did it.

Cathryn and I did the traditional masking technique for ours and on my blog you can see step by step how I didn't get any of the images overlapping. Go on try it, you know you want to - but what will you choose.


Me (Neet)

Watch out for the winner of Cathryn's generous offer tomorrow.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Winner (Challenges 31/32)

Cartography and White on White were the two challenges we had to look at and decide on a winner and runner up from.  Not easy as there was so much great art out there.

Oh dear!  Some of you are still not fulfilling the criteria when entering the challenges.  It is all written down at the top of the page under "Rules and Guidelines".  Basically:

  1. * link back to this blog
  2. * link direct to your entry
  3. we must be one of no more than five entries with one piece
  4. please don't back link to an item prior to the date of the challenge (ie do not use old work)
  5. follow the theme - ie rules of that particular challenge
  6. include a brief description of what you used/how you did it
* If you are unsure of how to do any of the above Sam wrote an excellent guide

Right, that over with, now to our winner and runner up:

The winner this month is

and our runner up is 

But each and every one of you who submitted take a bow for some lovely entries.

Now will you both contact Neet (email address on right side of her blog) and she will send you your blinkies to display on your blog.  Well done Ladies!

Exciting - "Be In It to Win It" - a Message from Cathryn

Hi Everyone - it's an 'early morning edition' of Artful Times!

As you know I have been helping out at Artful Times and I have to say Mr Mojo has returned!  I didn't have time to say a proper hello, and, because of that, I wanted to do something a little special.

Everyone loves Blog Candy!  Yeah! ...... so I thought it would be fun to donate some Blog Candy to a lucky entrant for this challenge.

You will win 
  • my Tag (see below), 
  • 6 of the new MDF Mans challenge tags, and 
  • 6 Moonglow Starburst Stains - I love using these and the mdf tags are a dream to work with.

All you need to do is enter the challenge "Come Rain or Shine" - so get Mr Mojo working and enter and we will pick the winner at random when the challenge ends.

Cathryn (Strangely Creative)

Friday, 5 July 2013

Challenge #33 - Come Rain or Shine

Hello everyone, thanks for the lovely welcome back.

Great makes for your white on white's last time around.  Thanks for playing along.

So for this challenge we are asking to see a project depicting rain or sunshine or both if you like.

Don't forget to tell us how you made your piece and link the post directly back to here to be in with a chance of winning the £10 Oyster Stamp voucher.

So here's what we did:

Neet made a door hanger

Cathryn made a tag

And I also made a tag 


Watch out for a very special posting next Friday.  Not saying anything but you have to "be in it to win it"

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Friday, 21 June 2013

Challenge 32 - White on White

Well, have I got news for you!

A couple of months ago I faced the prospect of running a blog on my own for a while or asking someone to help and then in stepped Sam to help out.  Last week I had an email from someone whose work I have admired for a long time, in fact she was our very first winner here on Artful Times, offering her help.

Please put your hands together and welcome Cathryn to our Design Team.  I think we now have three very different artists working on Artful Times to bring you ideas, for you to spring off from, for the Challenges.

Before I go any further thank you for all the lovely and varied entries for our last challenge.

Challenge 32 is all about "White".  No colour please - just white to be used on your artwork.  You could include clear glass pebbles which let the white background show through, pearls are white etc etc.  Here is what Cathryn and Neet have done

Cathryn made a lovely White Card with pearls and handmade flowers

Whilst I used a white box as my base and Spellbinders dies with a Martha Stewart punch for the edging to decorate.

We both chose to use die cuts but you don't have to.  Perhaps you can think of some other way of depicting something in pure white.  Fabric readily springs to mind with a hint of lace or something - but remember - nothing but white!

Please can I ask once again that you check the Rules and Guidelines at the top of the page.  Some of the lovely entries don't get considered for a prize as they don't stay within the rules and guidelines - someone entered 11 challenges with one topic - we ask that you don't do more than five including ours.  Please check the rules.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Winner (Challenges 29/30)

It gets more and more difficult to choose our Winner and Runner Up each time as the entries are all so good.  Really the standard is so high we would like to give you all a prize, but we can't, so without any more ado the Winner between Challenges for "Bloomin' Marvellous" and "Vintage" is

Daniela for her beautiful Pan Pastel card

and a very worthy Runner Up is

Silvie who did the most entertaining and colourful pages in her journal.

It really has been difficult to choose two entries and then it was equally difficult to decide which was the Winner and which the Runner Up.

Congratulations ladies - please contact Neet (email address on the right hand side of her blog) who will send you your Blinkies to display on your own blogs and, in the case of Daniela, tell her how to go about claiming her £10 voucher from our sponsors, Oyster Stamps.

Thank you each and every one of you for joining in with our Challenges.

Please remember you need to tell us how you achieved your finished artwork, have a direct link to the specific entry, link back to Artful Times and not enter more than five challenges (including ours) with the one entry.  All this is at the top of our blog.