Monday 6 February 2017

Young At Heart - Designer Spotlight at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge

Hi there and Welcome!

I'm genuinely thrilled, and very honoured, to be the Guest Designer for Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge during this month of February. As most of you know the Design Team there is comprised of 'la crème de la crème' so to have been invited into the monthly 'Designer Spotlight' slot is an amazing compliment. Thank-you so very much to all at the Simon Says Stamp Store and the Monday Challenge Crew.

The theme for this week's challenge is 'Young At Heart' (Valentines) and we are showcasing products from the fabulous Simon Says Stamp Exclusive Brand. Please do pop over to the this week's challenge post to see superb inspiration from the fabulous Design Team.

I've made an Exploding Box to fit the theme...

You can find lots of templates on Pinterest and YouTube to make your own Exploding Box. Each side of my one measures 10cm / 3.94 inches. I've kept the outer sides very simple as there is plenty going on inside! The outsides are decorated with (Simon Says Stamp) die-cut squares that have been embossed with a 'Tiny Dots' Texture Fade. Layered on those are 'Stacked Hearts' cut using the Simon Says Stamp Stacked Hearts die. (If you want to end up with lots of little hearts to use as confetti or embellishments, this is a great die to choose for it's offcuts).

Lifting off the lid reveals the inner decorated sides ...

I've used papers from Prima 'Tales of You and Me' collection throughout. Products available from Simon Says Stamp store are linked at end of post.

I'll just briefly run through each of the sides. The focal image on top lid (a printout from stash) sits atop Prima papers and is embellished with the (Simon Says Stamp) die cut word 'Love' and a Prima Aleggra flower and zipper junk-yard finding. All the diecut text in each part of box is coated with Glossy Accents to make it pop. Some glitter coated falling hearts are stencilled around the 'young sweethearts'.

Photo above right shows the centre before it was glued inside box. Now as far as I'm concerned one would want to be 'Young at Heart', and body (!), to go for a tandem ride. I coloured the cute chipboard tandem with Krylon gold and silver pens and a Distress Marker. I used the Stacked Hearts die again to float above the bicycle. (Triple cut for firmness with cardstock as centre layer).
Next shot shows the other four sides before they were glued in place...

At top left is the gorgeous text diecut 'Heart Smile' by Simon Says Stamp. I used a couple of dies for the side at top right i.e. Simon Says Stamp 'Believe' and Sizzix / Holtz 'Holiday Script' (used the latter to make the word 'in' that I chopped from the word 'winter'!). Again some hearts are stencilled about and an Idea-Ology game spinner makes for a faux arrow.

Bottom left includes some Prima resin shutters - perhaps some Valentine(s) are inside lol. Also used an old die by Simon Says Stamp - 'Ribbon Banner', a metal embellishment from stash, hearts and fussy cut butterflies. Photo bottom right alludes to love letters and date night invitations all wrapped up in a Sizzix diecut envelope. (Flowers and wood embellishment by Prima, pen nib is Idea-ology, tickets and tiny letter are stamped).

Spinning the box around 180° you can view from the opposite angle. (And OMG but I spied when it was way too late that I hadn't inked the reverse sides of the tandem's tyres!! Best to embrace imperfection and keep smiling lol!).
Well that's it! I hope you've enjoyed my make today. Don't forget - each week Simon Says Stamp gives a generous $50 prize to a lucky challenge winner to spend in store. If you're not in, you can't win!

Very many thanks again to all at the Simon Monday Challenge for inviting me to be Guest Designer this month, it's a pleasure to craft alongside the team.

Thank-you for taking the time to stop by.

Wishing all a lovely week ahead,
Nicola x


I used products that are available from Simon Says Stamp Store as follows:


Prima Marketing - Tales of You and Me Notecards


Embossing Folder
Tim Holtz / Sizzix Tiny Dots

Heidi Swapp Confetti

Ranger Distress Inks

Other Media
Krylon Leafing Pens in 18kt Gold and Silver, Ranger Stickles Crystal, Prima Marketing White Art Sugar, Ranger Texture Paste, Ranger Glossy Accents

Sticky Stuff


I wish to enter Exploding Box to the following challenges:
A Vintage Journey - Words That Are Special
The Crazy Challenge - Romance
Crafty Creations - Anything Goes
Kort o Mania - Use dies and/or punch
Craft For The Craic - Anything with 2 on it (Two people)
Try It On Tuesday - Hearts & Flowers
Crafty Cardmakers - Love, Love, Love
Bastel-Traum - Friendship / Love
Scrap From Your Heart - Valentines / Mother's Day
Make It Prima - February 2017


  1. oh my goodness Nicola, this is absolutely AMAZING!! I think I only ever made an exploding box once before and it was nothing like this ;-) the details are absolutely gorgeous!! LOVE LOVE LOVE it :-) 💕

    thanks for agreeing to be in the spotlight!! it is so lovely to have you along with us :-)

    Lols x x x

  2. Oh Nicola! How filled with joy I am to see your beautiful work on display at SSS this February! They chose just the right artist for this month of love, as your work is dreamy and romantic! I just adore this exploding box. That repeating heart die is high on my wish list and I love how you've used it here. Beautiful! Big hugs and big congratulations sweet friend, Autumn xxx

  3. Wow, Nicola, this is amazing! I love everything about it. There's so many fun details and I love the romantic shabby chic style. Awesome!!! Welcome to the team this month, it's going to be so fun to see your projects and amazing talent.

    Cathie ♥

  4. Amazing exploding box, Nicola! I love its romantic look, the Tales of You and Me are perfect for this kind of project. I love the bike inside and all the sentiments on the walls. Great job! I am so glad you have joined us this month and can't wait to see your next projects! Hugs xxx

  5. Huge congratulations! Nicola on your GD spot. So happy or you .
    This is a fabulous debut project- an exploding box of love - how wonderful! Beautifully thought out and crafted - just love the tandem . I share your thoughts of being 'Young at Heart' and body to go for a tandem ride with someone you love, even if its wheels are a little imperfect. lol (if you hadn't have said I wouldn't have known ) .
    hugs x

  6. First of all, huge congratulations on your guest design spot, my friend!! So deserved!! This is amazing!! I love, love how you decorated the exploding box!! All of the sides are so gorgeous and I adore the bike with the repeating hearts on top!! This is spectacular!! What a stunning project!! So, so gorgeous!! Congrats again!! Have a great day!! Big hugs :)

    A Mermaid's Crafts

  7. Wow, this is so pretty! Look at all those amazing details! I love the tandem bike and all the different panels you created. Fabulous interpretation of the theme!!

  8. Nicola, I am so thrilled for you! How fabulous to be featured at Simon Says, I am doing a happy dance here and trying to clap at the same time!!! Your exploding box is just perfect for the the wonderful theme this week, it is so full of beautiful detail. I really love the tandem - I wouldn't worry about not inking the tyres, it really doesn't show!

    Congratulations again my friend, you deserve this wonderful accolade! Hugs, Anne xx

  9. Congratulations!!! That is a fabulous project!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Oh my how beautiful your box is, truly reflecting the sentiment of the month, love it.
    Congratulations on you GD spot, you certainly have given them a work of art in your own wonderful inimitable style. Enjoy the moment.
    Hugs xxx

  11. Wow!! This is just beautiful!! All the details!! Thanks for joining kort o mania!
    Ane DT 😊

  12. Hi Nicola, Congratulations on your SS Spotlight, and so well deserved too.
    This little exploding box is just beautiful, so many gorgeous details and the tandem is such a fabulous centerpiece.
    Avril xx

  13. Nicola, your box is amazing!! So many little details to check out, which makes it really fun to explore! Gorgeousness from inside out! I especially love the pop up bicycle and the top with the girls and zipper pull, but each panel is a mini masterpiece! I am so happy you are with us this month!! hugs, Maura

  14. Oh My! This is soo beautiful! Hugs congrats on your SS Spotlight! I have scrolled back a couple of times to take it all in - so many fabulous details! So pleased you joined us at Try It On Tuesday! Chrisx

  15. Oh my!!! First of all HUGE congratulations on this amazing, so well deserved opportunity! Your exploding box is gorgeous!!!
    Paper Talk with Samra

  16. What a treat to have you be our Guest Designer this month! I've long been a fan of your creations and this box full o' goodness is no exception! I love the vintage look of it, yet it is still so full of energy and lovely colors! I especially love the bike element in the center. You did an amazing job!

  17. Oh Nicola, I am so excited for you! What an honor to be guest designing with such a talented group! You fit right in, my friend. Your exploding box is spectacular in theme and design. Every element is stunning and I simply love every inch of this. Beautifully done, my friend!

    Hugs and blessings,

  18. Oh, it is a stunning piece of art. A beautiful box, dear Nicola, so carried through with all the cuteness, and romance, both inside and out, and the tandem, is so wonderful. What a big work, you are truly a master in everything you do, Nicola, I love this, filled with the most pretty details all over. Congratulations on your guest designer job, they must be so happy to have you !!!! xoxo

  19. What a fabulous creation!

    Thanks for joining us at Crafty Cardmakers!

  20. Stunning box, Nicola! The detail is so FABULOUS! Thanks so much for being our guest designer this month!

    Simon Says Stamp!

  21. lovely boxs, thanks for play along with us at scrap from your heart
    DT Graciela

  22. this is a gorgeous box and I love the whole vintage feel! And so full of details in the layers and elements. Congrats on the feature and looking forward to next week:)

  23. Congrats to you my friend! I LOVE LOVE LOVE what you pun intended! The innerds are just as wonderful as the outers! LOVE every regal too!

  24. Congrats on the feature Nicola! Such a beautiful and creative project! Love all the pretty papers and the vintage vibe!

  25. WOW what a project. This explosion box is truly a work of art. Love all the embellishments and layers that really make this a gem. Thanks for joining us at the Crafty Creations Challenges for our latest challenge. Good luck and join us again soon. Hugs, Barbara {Crafty Creations Challenges}

  26. Your exploding box is just gorgeous. There is so much detail to absorb, it looks like you spent a great deal of love and care creating this little stunner.

    Thank you so much for joining in with my Love, Love, Love challenge this time.

    Crafty Cardmakers

  27. Wow Nicola, super congrats on your spotlight position, what an honour and you totally deserve it! You really created a wow project for the gig! This box is brilliant, so many wonderful details! I could look at it again and again and still find new things! Well done! hugs :)

  28. very nice!! Thanks for joining us at The Crazy Challenge. Good luck.
    Bye, Groetjes van Ine (DT)

  29. What a gorgeous creation, so much detail. I think that the sides of this box are so well designed they could actually stand alone as card fronts on separate cards.

  30. Great project, I so love exploding boxes. Thanks for sharing it with us at Crafty Cardmakers and good luck with the challenge, Angela x

  31. Congrats!! Absolutely beautiful, Elegant and AMAZING!
    Have a wonderful day,
    Crafting with Creative M

  32. Congratulations on the guest designer spot. Your project is absolutely gorgeous-it must have taken you ages! Beautiful way of showcasing so many lovely projects. Lou x

  33. As a huge fan of your beautiful work, I am so thrilled to see you join us as our GD for February over at Simon Says Stamp...and what a way to start, this project is just wonderful, Nicola! There is so much work and so much detail in it ~ it's stunning! xx

  34. Oh wow, Nicola! This is just beautiful! Love all on and in it, every sentiment, all the little details!
    Thanks for playing with Bastel-Traum and good luck!

  35. Wow.. this is such a gorgeous creation, Nicola. I love all the fabulous details and the beautiful vintage color scheme. It's so great to have you on our team. Looking forward to seeing more of your projects. :)

  36. OMG Nicola! This work is a very big surprise! it's wonderful but when I saw it opened.... wow! It's outstanding inside and outside, so full of detail! Great project! It's an absolute pleasure to have you with us this month! Barbara

  37. your box is absolutely stunning much gorgeousness and beautiful details...hugs kath xxx

  38. Delighted to see you guesting at SSS - even though I'm a whole week late catching up with the news! - and what a triumphant creation for the first theme. It's a stunning exploding box, full of all your trademark attention to detail, beautiful papers and layering - altogether utterly delightful!
    Alison x

  39. Hello again, my sweet friend! I want to thank you for your kindness! I am truly heartbroken that the Wycinanka term is ending and your extra love for my work with them meant a lot to me. I really don't want it to end. :( Have a lovely day, dear Nicola.

    Hugs and blessings,

  40. This is such an amazing project, Nicola! Love every bit of it! And the inside as even more wonderful details! So happy that you're our GD for this month! Hugs, Sandra

  41. A fabulous project Nicola - I have always loved exploding boxes and this is fabulous! Thank you for joining us at A Vintage Journey for our Words That Are Special challenge. Jennie x

  42. What a beautifully decorated exploding box Nicola! love the papers you used - the wonderful die cuts and all the WORDS! thanks for joining us in the A Vintage Journey Challenge this month! Julia xx

  43. Beautiful exploding box Nicola. Love all the details. Congrats on the Guest designer spot also :) Thanks for joining our February challenge over at Craft for the Craic.


Thank-you! Your visit and comment is very much appreciated. Nicola x