Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Busy Busy week - and very exciting!

Heyyy!

November has been a bit of a whirlwind here at PD Towers...way back earlier this year I was doing some boring old 'business' stuff, doing research, filling out forms, yada yada. So I came across this great website where I was researching lots of information about exporting - did you know here at Polkadoodles we actually serve and ship our lovely products right across the whole globe...well maybe not to EVERY country in the world of course, but half of them...

Some going for a titchy little company like us, huh, kind of awesome when you think about it in those terms...
Anyway, so there I am snooping for some info on something and I came across this great tool which was to help you focus on your exports and work out if you were doing it right and what you could do better. So I filled it all in, ticked a tiny little box about some kind of competition at the end and thought nothing else of it.

2 weeks ago we suddenly received a phone call and emails to say we'd beaten 30 other Businesses from across the UK and had been shortlisted to the Final 10 to win a big prize worth £7000! Like, WHAAAAAAAAAT?

I just love how life throws these curved balls at you from nowhere sometimes!

So, last week off we trotted down to a major exhibition for Business at Hammersmith Olympia - nervewracking was not the word! This was a huge event with 4 different events under one roof, with lots of movers and shakers from the business world strutting their stuff.


I had to pitch my business export plans to 5 important judges in front of all the other finalists, along with anyone else who wanted to sit in and listen - 10 minutes of nailbiting pitch and 5 minute of questions afterwards. The judges were big cheeses from across different industries, including CEO and Directors from the Institute of Export, the Head of Procurement at Heathrow Airport and head of Financial Services at Bibby Financial, as well as last year's winner.  It was such a great day - the other businesses were all awesome and very diverse, from a Pasta Company who literally supply millions and millions of pounds worth of pasta across the globe, air conditioning units, plant hire, a brewery, to a lovely lady making luxury handbags and shoes in Italy.


I really enjoyed just sitting back and listening to everyone talking so passionately about their business and what they were doing and their future plans, really inspiring.  There were several points beforehand where I almost didn't turn up because I thought we would never win anyway and the lure of the big London Red Bus Tour was calling me and my blistered bleeding feet and agonising back pain to give up, but no, I was determined not to be a chicken and to go for it (the persona you see on TV is so not the reality of me as actually quite a shy, quiet person believe it or not).

In the end, we were beaten by a tiny smidge to the top spot by a fantastic Frozen Yoghurt Company from Brighton, Lick UK, who were very deserving winners, but I actually think all the finalists were winners anyway and we got to take home some great prizes ourselves too which will really help our business! Cool!
  

So often on social media I see such doom and gloom, people wanting to give up crafting because they can't sell their things - let this be a lesson to never give up, you don't ever know what's coming around the corner and who you'll meet next week...it could be something great but if you gave up already how will you ever be there to get those amazing opportunities.

You can read all about the adventures in some of the lovely Business Press publicity we received this week....
  

   

   

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Winnie Winterland Skating

Hello! This is the 3rd card I made the other day which is from my Winnie Winterland collection released last week. I've used one of the Design Sheets with this gorgeous pre-coloured image which can just be cut out. 



These are the products I've used today...
   

     
  



Saturday, 22 October 2016

Anything Goes with the Pencil Case

Hi! Time for a new challenge at the PENCIL CASE BLOG today! Make sure you pop over and see the amazing colouring from all the girls, they all did such a great job this week and you can win some Polkadoodles stash!

I love this cute Winnie Fairy image which is from my Winnie Winterland collection released last week. This collection has been one of our biggest selling ever, I'm humbled how much you all adore Winnie so much, she just seems to tick all the boxes which is really lovely...I've coloured her here with Lyra Rembrandt Polycolour pencils.

    
My colouring has taken a real dive at the moment, I don't seem to be getting much release from my neck and hand pain and any kind of colouring is really aggravating it so I'm struggling to really sit and do much colouring at all...it's so noticable that you really do need to practice practice practice and the more you do the better you are for sure, this colouring was very messy for me so excuse the fluff around her chin but it is what it is lol....
I've been dying - literally - to get some proper playtime with my new die range. It's the same old story - things are so manic I barely get chance to craft any more and time flies so fast I go from one launch straight into the next without barely touching the stash, it's a CRIME, I tell you, a CRIME! Today I decided to take a little time out and actually MAKE something for a change and I had some fun....
One of my favourite dies from our first release is the completely awesome CHERRY BLOSSOM die which is so unbelievably versatile. I looked at it and just decided I wanted to make it into a Christmas Tree....
So all I did was cut it from 3 different colours of green...oh! I just got a Gemini die-cutting machine (because of my neck issues, thought it might help and it does) from Crafter's Companion....I LOVE it! I read a few reviews where people had had issues and returned theirs but mine is perfect and you know me - I only recommend things if they really work and I LOVE this machine! Perfect cuts every time and a reasonable price too, definitely one for your Xmas Lists, peeps!
Anyway, I wanted red baubles and I confess I kinda messed it up a bit here...could I find my red pearls, Nuvo Drops from Tonic or anything else for baubles? No, of course I couldn't!
I had it in my head - you know where you won't move from the thought - that I wanted to HEAT EMBOSS my baubles because we have just got WOW Embossing powders in the Polkadoodles store and I've been itching to use this Burgundy glitter one. Anyway in the end I fluffed it right up, I made baubles from Collal glue, then realised it was going to dry flat and in my total stupidity instead of letting it dry I decided to go straight over the top with a random colour of Nuvo Drops. Yes, over the top. Now...

I KNOW....
this...
Doesn't work...
ever.
I have done this so many times.
And it never ever works...it's like sticking your finger in your Stickles glue to see if it's dry. It never ever is, but you repeat the stupid behaviour every single time, without fail. We all do it, I've done a survey! Go on, admit it!
But I still keep repeating the same dumbass thing...
and this is how the baubles turn out...LET IT DRY, my crafty friend, LET IT DRY!
I can't!
It's torture!
I have to heat it I can't wait. And it doesnt work. Trust me, I'm a plank.
Anyway, so I sprinkled some more embossing glitter and opaque vanilla embossing powder on the embellies and heated them to it looks like sprinkles of snow. Sort of. Pffff.

So my tree was made just by adding the branches together and turning it upside down, I just trimmed what was the trunk away a little at the top to make it more pointy.
I cut the image using our Bubbleicious die which is just amazing, and the flowers and foliage are all from the Flowers 1 & 2 dies and Super Sprigs. I think Super Sprig might be my most favourite die ever ever ever I just love it to death. I want to sleep with it I think, I love it that much.

I've also fallen in love with the Flower dies too...the way they all work together is just fantastic and I've added little cream flowers from the Cherry Blossom set here to finish off.

Now I have something else in my head to do with these flowers and I need to make it SOON. Stay tuned! 

These are the products I've used today...
   

       

    
  




Friday, 21 October 2016

Mr & Mrs Christmas under the Mistletoe!

Welcome! Today I have another card from our Winnie Winterland kit which is available HERE.

I'm always so busy I often don't get chance to use my own collections, I literally have to jump from one collection straight into designing something else and it's terrible sometimes, I could cry at all the lovely stuff I miss out on creating with lol...

I've had a day today where I've been a bit under the weather, just feeling a little 'meh' so I decided to take some time for me and just make a couple of things and this is one of them....
I just love Mr and Mrs Christmas here arent they so cute?
This was such a simple and quick card to make, I just printed off the image from the collection and cut it using the 'FITTING ROOM' sheet and the corresponding die which is the 
Ribbon/Gift die - which incidentally I LOVE!


I also wanted to play around and use my lovely new dies as I've not even barely had chance to use those yet either, too little time, too much to do lol! I decided these 2 had to be standing under some mistletoe so I used our uber mega versatile SUPER SPRIG and the FLOWERS to make a little lovely sprig for the top....







Friday, 7 October 2016

HSN | CraftingTools & Supplies featuring Stamping 10.05.2016 - 01 PM

So as if it wasn't enough having ONE kit on HSN.COM, we had this beauty on air too!

Whoop whoop!







I actually missed this show live because I was such an idiot with my time conversions and I was in such a spin I can't tell you, but this beautiful Christmas kit was a massive hit! We had a little more stock on this one so you can still buy this but I know there aren't many left and obviously it won't be restocked so get it while you can, you will LOVE these kits!



They are super duper high quality and Angie and I have literally been stroking the boxes, they're sublime in quality! I am very lucky that Angie from LDRS is totally on the same page about quality standards with me so we both just know that every kit we put out is the best it can be because we won't accept anything less.



So if you want to get your winter mittens on this beauty of a kit, get it HERE! 



In the meantime I have to also thank the LDRS Design Team who made superb samples for both shows and really pulled it out of the bag!



I've not stopped saying all week how thrilled I am - I don't normally get mega excited about things because I'm one of those people who takes things in her stride but this week I've been like a bee on hot bricks over here, I admit it!



Right, over and out, I'll be back soon with more news - there's just TOO TOO Much going on around here I'm meeting myself coming backwards!!! xxx

Little Darlings Winnie Everyday Polkadoodles Stamp Kit

WOW! So just where exactly do I start with this post? I'm hoping this video clip says it all, really!...













Yep, we sold out on US TV!!



Awesome!



I cannot tell you how thrilled I am about this, I have literally been like a Pacamac in the wind all week, giddy as your aunt, like a whirling dervish!



I have been holding onto this secret collaboration with Little Darlings since the start of 2016 and it has been KILLING me not being able to spill the beans, but now it's all out there....



Yes, you can now get Polkadoodles products at Little Darlings Rubber Stamps, so if you're a retailer look out for stock coming soon for your store and if you're a consumer make sure you nag your local craft store to get them in!



There will obviously be much more coming soon, but in the meantime I'm soaking up these 2 adorable kits in the secret knowledge that I know what else is already lined up!



Muhahahhhhhahhhh!



Although this stock sold out on Wednesday it looks like a few might have dropped out of baskets so if you're uber lucky you might still be able to get it - give it a try, you can get it HERE

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

More festiveness - flowers, flowers and trees!

I'm back again with some more Stamp Soup! If you've never come across our range of 'Soup' it offers you something really different for your stamping. The Soup sets of stamps bring you the ingredients to create 100s of possibilities with your stamps - we give you the leaves and petals and shapes and patterns which you can then build and layer to literally create as many different things as you wish - nothing is as it seems, you need to turn them all upside down, left to right and back to front to see all the possibilities - it gives you sooooo much fun!! 


This is the sample card which was the form of the demo I did live on air - it turned out a little different live but that's what I love about Stamp Soup - you never have to make the same thing twice!!...
This was such a simple card to make and super quick too, I used Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolour paints on this card for the background and the holly, deliciously rich and opaque I adore those paints...
I literally just sketched a couple of lines out and then used the holly to make up the branches - you have different holly leaves so make sure you change them around to give you a more realistic and artistic impression to the branches, don't have them all facing the same way etc...


On this card I used the Lindy's Stamp Gang Spritzer sprays to create this gorgeous background. All I used here was the Reindeer Red and a tiny bit of blue and oversprayed it with the Flat Fabio Chalk White, love how it went all pinky round the edges. The flower is again made up just from that one leaf/petal and the leaves are the larger version so you can get diddy little flowers and leaves or great big massive ones! ....
 And finally today an uber simple CAS card - love this tree - all I did was use some Altenew blue inks for the snowflakes which again everything is from the Stamp sets....I think this is really pretty and is a super quick card to make if you want to send out all the same cards this year, you could easily batch make these and have them all made in a day (unless you're like Imelda Marcos with your cards!)....

You can get all the stamps and CD here
there are 2 stamp sets and just one CD to co-ordinate but as ever with Stamp Soup nothing is as it first seems so make sure you look at the ideas sheet - you can make postboxes, windows, doors, fences with these and the leaves and petals are definitely NOT just for Christmas which makes it a really great investable set of stamps to take you all year round.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Festive Christmas Stamp Soup

Hey! Day 2 of some more Stamp Soup Festive Christmas-ness!

This card is not the usual kind of thing I would make but it's quite grand! The background within the aperture uses Lindy's Stamp Gang Mists and Magicals and you can't see it here but it has a really luscious shine and shimmer to it. I've just made the big pop out aperture with a Spellbinders Grand Nesties die which I've had forever and is one of my favourites, then folded it in half for the popout and decorated with stamped elements and papers from the CD. I think I need to retake this pic it really doesnt show the real dimension on this.

 The strings of diamantes were actually from Home Bargains - a huge long wide strip for 99p and I've been cutting them down so I get loads (have to admit I did buy 6 strings and they will last forever using them this way LOL). I actually sprayed them with the Reindeer Red from Lindy's Stamp Gang Mists and let them dry - because they are a die based mist they will actually colourise and as long as I don't get them wet stay permanent! Fabby doo!

This next is a lovely little tag - I love doing tags, every time I make one I realise I need to make more, there's less boundaries with a tag so you don't have to think about making everything be a 'card' format I find....
So to make this I used these stamps from both sets to make the postbox:  Rectangle, snowy top, robin, poinsetta leaf, flower leaf, holly, 25




You can get them all here
there are 2 stamp sets and just one CD to co-ordinate but as ever with Stamp Soup nothing is as it first seems so make sure you look at the ideas sheet - you can make postboxes, windows, doors, fences with these and the leaves and petals are definitely NOT just for Christmas which makes it a really great investable set of stamps to take you all year round.

xx

Sunday, 18 September 2016

It's that time of year again!

In truth I've been designing Christmas since February this year - yes, February! It's been such a busy year for me designing and I kinda zoned out a little and have really struggled to get back designing our Xmas releases the rest of the year so we are very late with our latest collections now LOL...

Anyhoo, we launched our latest Stamp Soup Festive Christmas range on Create & Craft this week so I will show you some of my makes throughout the next couple of weeks so I don't overdose you all haha.
I also got to use the Lindy's Stamp Gang Magicals and Mists range which has been lovely to get nice and inky and messy.

My whole thing with Stamp Soup this time was to give you stamps which could really be changed around for a whole variety of looks, whether that was traditional or more modern so I hope I fulfilled my own brief for you...I think so. 
You can get them here
there are 2 stamp sets and just one CD to co-ordinate but as ever with Stamp Soup nothing is as it first seems so make sure you look at the ideas sheet - you can make postboxes, windows, doors, fences with these and the leaves and petals are definitely NOT just for Christmas which makes it a really great investable set of stamps to take you all year round. I think the only pieces which cant be changed up are the holly, everything else has another use, even the robin can be another bird if you colour it differently, he would make a great blue tit I think too.


I really love the vintage feel of this collection, the papers are to die for and it really is very versatile! 

Here's one of my favourites I made for the show...
 Really loved how the Lindy's Mists and Magicals spiced it up with all the shimmer and shine...I know this would be expensive to post but for me this is a card I would make a box for and hand delivery probably, this would stay up on the mantelpiece for a long time...
 And here is another really simple make. I just created the background first with the Mists and let it dry and just overstamped with black Versafine. I'm definitely in a more CAS zone right now.
If you didnt manage to catch the shows you can watch on catchup on the C&C website here for the next 7 days - and we don't have a whole load of stock of these so don't miss out because we won't be able to reorder, once it's gone it's gone...

I'll be back soon with some more pics of the lovely things you can do with these stamps : ) Remember you can either get them on the Create & Craft website or you can get them here, at Polkadoodles x



Friday, 2 September 2016

Anything Goes with Graph'It and being subtle!

Hi! Time for another Anything Goes challenge over at Graph'It today, hop over there and join us for some great prizes from our sponsors!

I decided to go with some classic colours on this image from the sponsor...Sometimes you don't have to colour the WHOLE thing especially if you want to colour quick and easy...this is what I love about Graph'It, their blending is great if you want to go with very soft colours....
Colours used: Skin: 4101, 4110, 3105, 4145, 4135 cheeks
Hair: 9909, plus I used 9102
Kimono: 4125, 3105, White Brush Blender, 9500 Grey, Brown 3125

See you soon! x