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.

Friday 5 June 2015

Our Final Winner

Whoa!  What a decision.  In our eyes you are all winners and so we both came up with a list of our favourites from the last three challenges -

A Bit of Finnabair
Hot Pink & Orange, and
Party Party

The names were then put in a hat and the first one pulled out was our winner

Strangely Creative

Our first runner up was


and our final runner up 
(we decided to have two this time - one from each challenge)


Congratulations ladies, I will send you your blinkies in the next few days.  Remember everyone though - we class you all as winners - thanks for the support you have given to us over the years. Now to put this edition, well and truly ... to bed.

Friday 22 May 2015

Challenge 81 and Au Revoir - Party Party (sort of "Anything Goes")

It's Neet here.  Well, "D Day" has arrived and this is our final post for this Challenge blog.  I can honestly say I have had some really happy times, have made lots of Blog Buddies along the way who I will probably never meet but there are some Blog Buddies who I have met and found that they are every bit as nice as their blogs portray.

I cannot sign off from this blog without reiterating what was said in the very first blog post -  and sending a huge thank you to one special lady - "all the artwork for the blog was down to Sam and I was, and still am, indebted to her for her patience as we pushed and pulled a zillion suggestions at her (not really so many but it felt like it at times)."  Imagine three women trying to agree on one thing!

So once again, THANK YOU SAM!  Thanks for all the work you did to get Artful Times off the ground, for being a great team member, super Guest Designer and most of all, a friend who popped in to help when times were bleak for me.

Thanks also to Von, Chrissie and Wendy.  Especially Wendy who has done every single challenge from the very beginning of this blog and stepped into the role of a DT member in March 2014 and supported me through thick and thin when I was on my own with a blog I did not want to give up on. However a year on and I have decided that enough is enough and I am ready to be able to join in with challenges on other blogs and I know Wendy feels very much the same.

Wendy here. I have really enjoyed being on the design team, and seeing all your lovely art. I hope some of you will keep in touch and I will enjoy looking at your blogs. Now I will have to ask someone what day it is, instead of working towards our Friday deadlines.

Thanks must also go to Oyster Stamps who provided us with prizes for such a long time.  It was OUR decision to abandon giving out a prize and nothing to do with Oyster Stamps.  When we were only getting a very small number of entries we felt it unfair for Oyster to be sending prizes out - we did intend giving prizes, via them, once the numbers picked up - but sadly they didn't.

Back to the beginning - Our very first challenge was to create a tag and these are what we came up with



and mine (Neet) (which I still have on my wall)

Well, if you have stuck with reading up to now and not signed off in sheer boredom Wendy and I would love you to join in with this last Challenge which is "PARTY PARTY" (can be interpreted as "Anything Goes" as long as it is happy and maybe creates a 'party atmosphere')

So we started with our first offerings way back - now here are our two final DT pieces (Please note that the end date is the 3rd June at 23.55):

Wendy has made a card with the theme of Alice in Wonderland.

Neet has done a page in her journal

Thanks must go to all of you who have entered, at some time, in our challenges and special thanks to those of you who have kept going through the leaner times of late.

Hope to see you in blogland.

Neet xx

Friday 8 May 2015

Challenge 80 - Hot Pink & Orange

Well, sorry to be saying this but we have given this challenge blog a great deal of thought.  Do we carry on or not?  The decision has been made to bring it to an end and this will be our Penultimate Challenge - when my subscription to Mr Linky runs out.

This challenge was first started with Sam, Von and myself with the announcement that we were to have a new blog made on the 21st March 2012.  Our very first challenge was to make a tag.  Must check on how many entries we had that time.

Please join in with us this week and again in a fortnight when we will be hosting our very last Challenge.

Wendy's choice here of theme and one which makes us think of hot sunny beaches and the lovely warmer weather to get your juices flowing.

I, Neet, did a page in my new journal

Wendy did a page for her art journal

Now what will you do?  Will it be hot hot hot or pretty pretty pretty?  Come and join us please.

Friday 1 May 2015

Winners Challenge 77 & 78

It was very difficult to choose winners from such a lot of wonderful entries in the two challenges.
We have chosen the two winners from both challenges.

The winner is:Evelyn Walter with her fabulous layered man card. from the Tattered and torn challenge.

And the runner up is: Pawsitively Creative with her Tim style printers tray in the Style of Tim Holtz challenge.

Please contact Neet for your badges for your blogs

Friday 24 April 2015

Challenge 79 A Bit of Finnabair (include metal bits/flowers/lace)

We are hoping this will inspire some of you to join in with us as this time we want you to think of the wonderful art of Ania Dabrowski (or Finnabair as she is mostly known) and produce something where you have included metal bits (think flowers, pen nibs, gears and things); flowers (be they your own or bought ones like those Finn uses from Prima) and lace, torn paper - anything you can think of.  A mixture of all or just one or two of the pieces mentioned above.

You don't have to include a photograph but you can if you want to.  Are you a scrapbooker?  If so this should be right up your street and it should be up right up the alley with mixed media artists.  Card makers, well we are sure you have used lots of embellishments on cards in the past so we think this is open to everyone.

Just to give you a bit of inspiration here is what we have done:

Need did a canvas (because she is addicted to doing them) - but she does not expect you to do a canvas - a card/tag/atc is fine

Wendy made a canvas as well.

So, now we would love you to join in with us and make something decorative - be it a card, a tag, a scrapbook layout, a canvas - or whatever.  We would love to see it!

Friday 10 April 2015

Challenge 78 Tattered and Torn

Well, last week we certainly had a lot more entries.  The name "Tim" does create interest if that is anything to go by.  And what lovely entries they were, guess that is going to make it even more difficult to choose a winner and a runner up when the time comes.

Wonder how many people will enter this new challenge which is Tattered and Torn? Anything distressed, ripped, gently torn will do - or have you a different interpretation of the title?

Let's see what we can offer you:

Neet made this tag as her second attempt (first one is also on her blog) which has an overlay that has been torn to reveal the image beneath

Wendy did another page for her sewing book - to see what is "tattered" and what is "torn" you will have to visit her blog and read up about it

We would love to see what you can do that is tattered and torn (or just tattered, or just torn).

Saturday 4 April 2015

We Have a Winner Challenges 75 & 76

One day late - hope you have not been waiting with baited breath to see who was going to be declared the winner this month - I am afraid I was too busy trying to find the Easter eggs yesterday.

Both the winner and the runner up have been chosen from our "Birds" challenge because it really was difficult to choose someone.  So without further ado

The winner is ...



Craftyfield - and this was her entry (check out her blog to see how she did this)

and our runner up is ...



Craftcreations with this lovely colourful piece of work

Congratulations to you both.  Now if you will contact Neet (her addie is on the right hand side of her blog) she will send you your blinkie to be displayed on your own blog.

Thank you ladies!

Friday 27 March 2015

Challenge 77 In the Style of Tim Holtz

PLEASE NOTE we have some rules for our challenge and one is that you should not enter your work on here if it is also going to be entered in more than another four challenges.  Sorry.

The heading says "in the Style of Tim Holtz" but really we would be quite happy if it was in your own style but using Tim type things.  "Reminiscent of" is perhaps a better way of describing this challenge and we would love to see what you can do.

Tim gives so much inspiration on his blog, has given us his 12 tags for a few years now and shows us new things to do, new products to use and is very charismatic in his You Tube videos.  So you see, there is a lot of inspiration out there to whet your appetite so why not have a go and join us in our latest challenge.

Here are a couple of things we came up with for you to look at

Neet followed Tims March recipe

Wendy made a set of drawers from two reed diffuser boxes.

Now why not join in and upload something in the style of Tim Holtz?  Go on, you know you want to.

Friday 13 March 2015

New Challenge - 76 - A Tag with a Pocket

Thanks for the entries last week, some beauties on display for us to see.

This week we are asking you to make a tag with a pocket.  The tag can be any size or technique you choose.  It can have something in the pocket or be left empty.

Neet chose to make a tag in the Egyptian style, as she decided these were her least used stamps, along with Greek/Roman and they deserved an airing.  She also decided to make her extra tags black and white, as she had an idea of where they were going to be sent, and this would allow the recipient to colour them herself.  So here is Neet's tag:

Wendy chose to make a seaside tag with a small book inside of seaside images.

Now what will you do?  Hope we get some entries for this as tags seem to be popular and pockets are too.  What style will you do?

Friday 6 March 2015

Winner Challenges 73 & 74

Sorry I am late with this edition but the computer has been playing up an awful lot tonight.  No excuse, should have done it before today.  Anyway, here we are and we have a winner

We just loved the mask that Carole had done and wanted to be in Venice for the Mardi Gras wearing such a creation so we decided that we would have Carole as our Winner this month.  So Well Done and Congratulations Carole, please get in touch with Neet for your Blinkie which we hope you will display on your blog with pride.

It really was a hard decision to make to choose two entries from the lovely work we had been sent to our blog but eventually we narrowed it down to two and then we had to work out which was our winner and which was our runner up.

We have already shown you the winner so who was our runner up?  It was Krazy Jayne and her friend Trendy Theodore.  If you have not been to her blog page when she entered this challenge I strongly advise you to do so.  It was such a fun post - thank you Jayne.  Please email Neet for your blinkie to be sent to you.

Thanks to everyone who sticks with us week after week and also to those of you who just pop in, it makes life much more interesting when we can visit your blogs.

Neet's email addie is on the side panel on her blog

Friday 27 February 2015

Challenge 75 Birds

Well we managed a few more entries with our last challenge, Romance, now we are wondering if our next one which is "Birds" is going to match up to it in entries.

It's certainly interesting seeing the little birds at home coming to the feeders so it is about time we had a challenge featuring them.  What you do is entirely up to you, a card, a bookmark, an atc, a postcard or something else - go on surprise us.  Here is what we have on offer:

Neet made this little card to send to someone and then couldn't find it.  It was still under the scanner cover!!

We are so pleased that we still have Chris, our Guest Designer with us - this is what she made and what she said:

"Hi I'm back with my second guest DT card for the wonderful Artful Times.  I went really busy last time so this one is clean and simple, but still inky which is my favourite style.  I just want to say thank you to Neet and Wendy for an awesome month being part of the team, I had so much fun!"

Wendy decorated a box

Hope you join in with us over the next fortnight, we would love to see some of your work grace our pages.

Friday 13 February 2015

Challenge 74 Romance

Here we are, back at the time of the year when the shops are decked out in red and hearts abound everywhere.  Yes, folks, Valentine's Day is upon us - well tomorrow it is.  Will a secret admirer be sending you a Valentine card, will the love of your life be giving you chocolates, roses or maybe even a diamond!

Did you know that the day we call Valentine's Day is named after a Christian Martyr and dates back to the 5th Century.  Or so they say.  If you want to read more about it go here and read about it, or here where you can find out lots more and see some video presentations.

In the meantime why not join in and show us something you have made that is romantic - it needn't be a Valentine card, it could be an engagement card or a wedding card or simply an "I Love You" token.

Now I promised you some exciting news last week and here it is - we have our first Guest Designer here with us for this month.  Please give a lovely warm welcome to Chris Smith  who has been one of our faithful followers for quite some time now.

"Hello, my name is Christine and I started cardmaking just over eight years ago when I had to leave work due to illness.  My daughter actually got me into it and I love it!  I love stamping and getting inky and also trying new techniques.  I am so thrilled to be guest designer for Artful Times, this is the first of two challenges I will be GD for.  Thank you so much Neet and Wendy for letting me be a temporary member of your fab team!"

Here is the card which Chris has designed especially for you for this challenge. I just love the bright colours she has used which makes a real change from the usual reds, blacks and pinks that we so often see.

Unlike Chris I (Neet) just stuck to black and red for my Valentine gift which is a pencil box for my man.  Thought he could display it on his desk and use it for his pencils and things - probably upside down so nobody sees the mushy cover LOL.

Wendy used a heart shaped perspex box, and covered it with "mushy stuff" and lovely visions of Paris, the City of Romance.

Hoping that we get some lovely entries for this challenge as we are still running thin on the ground and both we and Oyster Stamps would love to offer a prize again should entries start to increase to a level that makes it possible.

Although we are saying Chris is our first Guest Designer we would hate for Sam to feel she was not a Guest Designer when she has popped in in the past. Truth is we don't regard Sam as a Guest but as a valued friend who helps us out willingly whenever we needed help, and we hope this continues Sam.  We really appreciate You.

Friday 6 February 2015

Winners - Challenges 71 & 72

Thanks to everyone who entered our challenges.  We now have a winner and a runner up who can display our blinkie on their blogs when they contact Neet.  (Neet's email address is on the right hand side of her blog - Hickydorums).  Please try to do so within the next 7 days and your blinkie will be sent to you.

So who was declared our winner?  Well we chose Pawsitively Creative Crafts entry for our Time Challenge.  She has done such a detailed write up as to how she made the finished, beautiful creation, that you really should go along and read about it.

Our runner up was Julia, of Azenor Artwork for her recycled inchies which are in the all time Christmas favourite 'tartan'.  Such a happy looking card.

We hope you will join in with our current challenge which is waiting for you on our blog and next week we launch a new challenge and some exciting news!

Friday 30 January 2015

Men Challenge 73

Gosh, here we are with our third challenge of the year and the subject is MEN.  Make a card or something suitable for a man and submit it along with our samples.  A lot of people shy away from making cards for males so it is always a good one to have for a challenge and then you cam look back for some ideas.  Why not give it a go then!

Here is the card Neet made

Here is Wendy's tag

You have two weeks to join in with the fun - we would love to see your work.

Friday 16 January 2015

Challenge 72 - Time

This time we are asking you to make something with Time on. This can be anything you want, a card, tag, object, anything as long as it is time orientated. Thank you to those you made their inchies, I hope we see lots of you join in this time.

                                                                Neet made a card

Wendy altered a cog book

Friday 2 January 2015

Make 6 inchies out of your received Christmas cards - Challenge 71

Happy New year to you all, as we start off the New Year with an easy challenge. We would like you to make 6 inchies out of the Christmas cards you have received, how easy is that ! You can alter them, add bits, or just use them as they are.
Wendy had made hers with a bird theme, and placed them on a dark blue background, with added bits. This was then made into a Christmas card.

Here is another one to give you some more ideas.