Monday, February 23, 2015

The People Have Spoken: Winners From Challenge #22

It is time to announce the winners from Challenge #22.  It was a tight race this month with three projects neck in neck.  However, one pulled out ahead with just one vote separating the Voter's Choice from the two projects tied in second place.  Just one more reason it is so important to vote. Every single one can help your favourite project. Additionally, by complete coincidence, it turns out that our three winners are also the same people who were our top three picks.  Funny how that works out some times.  Who are all the lucky winners? Well, let's find out.

Without further ado, here are the choices...

Drum roll, please....BBBbbbrrrrrrrrr pish

The people have spoken and their choice for Challenge #22 is....
Deanne, you will be getting a cool and awe inspiring personalized badge for your blog as the Voter's Choice for Challenge #22.
In the category of Most Inspiring, our winner is...
Veronika, you have won a prize package worth $10 of digi images (digital papers not applicable) from Scribbles Designs, one of our guest sponsors this month during Challenge #22.
Veronika, you will also be getting a lovely, one of a kind personalized badge for your blog as the Most Inspiring choice for Challenge #22.
The Random Winner for this challenge (chosen by, based on all eligible participants is:
Nancy, you have won a $10 gift certificate from Ike's Art, our second guest sponsor during Challenge #22.
Nancy, you will also be getting a neat and unique personalized badge for your blog as the Random Winner for Challenge #22.
We also have a prize available for a voter who left a comment.  Our winner this challenge chosen by is...
Donna with her comment:
So difficult to pick a winner. They are all so beautiful. Good luck to all the participants. You are all winners in my book.
Donna, you have won a selection of digital designer papers from Décosse's Dynamite Doodles.

Big Congrats to...

Deanne, Veronika, Nancy & Donna

Please click HERE to send us an email with the subject, "WINNER PoP Challenge #22" to make arrangements to receive your prize and badge (where applicable).  Please note that it may take me a few days to get back to you.  Thank you for your patience. 
All entrant's in Challenge #22 are entitled to a special digital sentiment based on the theme for the upcoming challenge.  So, if you were one of the individuals who entered Challenge #22 and would like to receive a free sentiment based on the theme for Challenge #24, which starts Monday, March 2nd, please click HERE to send us an email with the subject line, "PoP#22 Entrant Quote Request for #24".
You still have one week left to enter into our challenge on LAUGHTER.  Click HERE for details.  If you haven't linked up already, I hope that you will consider coming over to play with us.  As always, we'd love to have you join our Path!
Don't forget to join us this coming Sunday for our DT Delights post.  We look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Challenge #23--Midway Reflection & Voting Reminder

Hello everyone! We have reached the midway point of Challenge #23. The theme for this challenge is all about LAUGHTER.   As usual, I am going to share a little introspection with you all that I am also presenting on my own personal blog in my "Motivational Monday" feature.

The Importance of Laughter

From giggles to guffaws, there is nothing quite like the sound of laughter.  It is so common that we can forget how strange and important it is.  Can you imagine walking into a room of people who are laughing if you've never heard the sound of it before?  Or what if you didn't have emotions and got to experience laughter for the very first time?  I was watching an old rerun episode of Star Trek:  The Next Generation, late last night.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the show, it was a popular science fiction show created by Gene Roddenberry back in the '80s.  One of the main characters on the program is an android named Data.  Data doesn't have any emotions, yet longs to be a human being; a little bit like Pinocchio.  In the episode I watched last night, Data risked his own existence to save an omnipotent being called Q.  In an act of uncharacteristic benevolence, Q imparted Data with the gift of experiencing true laughter for the very first time, as a way of saying thank you to the android.  It started out as a couple muffled giggles and turned into a series of full belly laughs.  When Data had finished laughing, he was asked by a fellow crewman to describe what it was like, Data replied, "It felt....wonderful."

Yes, wonderful is definitely one way to describe the experience of laughter.  Other descriptions include, freeing, amazing and liberating, just to name a few.  The great thing about laughter is that it crosses all genders, all ages, all nationalities, all religions, all cultures.  It helps us to make connections with others.  Laughter is a "social vocalization that binds people together. It is a hidden language that we all speak" (Robert Provine, 2000, para. 2).  It aids people in resolving their intentions within social interactions and for helping to provide an emotional context to their conversations. Laughter within a group can signal acceptance as it creates an opportunity to have positive interactions with others.  The more comfortable we are within a group, the more likely we are to open up and feel free to experience the joys of laughter. It brings us together in ways that other emotions can't.  Laughter can truly help to bond people and bridge cultures and divides.

If at all possible, each of should experience a daily dose of laughter.  Not only are there social benefits but there are psychological and physiological ones as well. 

On the physiological side of things, laughter can aid in the reduction of stress, is helpful for those coping with major illness, and studies indicate that it has even been known to boost our immune system, thereby helping us to ward off disease.  It can even benefit our cardiovascular system.  "Researchers estimate that laughing 100 times is equal to 10 minutes on the rowing machine or 15 minutes on an exercise bike" (Kim, 2003, para. 5).  Talk about an effective tool to help us take care of ourselves! 

From a psychological  standpoint, the benefits of humor and laughter are also quite incredible.  Many of us store negative emotions such as fear, sadness, anxiety, depression and anger for example.  We tend to stuff these lower frequency emotions deep down inside.  This of course can start to have a negative effect on our physical body by causing biochemical changes if we don't find healthy ways of expressing them.  While there are many ways to go about releasing these emotions, laughter can provide us with an effective and fun way to harmlessly do so.   Laughter is cathartic. It can help to purge the negativity and bring us back in balance.  In just moments, experiencing the wonderful joy of laughter, we can start the process of soothing our soul.

So, whether it is sharing a joke with a friend, watching a comedy on TV, or surrounding yourself with funny people, find ways to bring more humour and laughter into your life.  You'll benefit from it in ways you never thought possible.  Who knew a case of the giggles could be such an important aspect of everyday life!

Author Unknown. (N.D.). Gelotology. Available: Last accessed 16th February 2015.
Author Unknown. (N.D.). Laughter. Available: Last accessed 16th February 2015.
Author Unknown. (N.D.). Physiological Responses of Humour. Available: Last accessed 16th February 2015.
Brain, Marshall. (2000). How Laughter Works. Available: Last accessed 16th February 2015.
Hammond, G-F. (2010). Healing Suppressed Emotions . Available: Last accessed 16th February 2015.
Kim, Sarah. (2003). The Joy Of Laughter. Available: Last accessed 16th February 2015.
Kurus, Mary. (2002). Emotions - How To Understand, Identify Release Your Emotions.. Available: Last accessed 16th February 2015.
Provine, Robert. (2000). The Science of Laughter. Available: Last accessed 16th February 2015.
As a reminder, here are the watermarks and links for the wonderful images that the team worked with for the midway.

From Limited Runs...

 Little Puppy (Category: Furry Critters, Section: 11-20)

Flower with Lady Bug (Category: Flowers, Section: Flowers 2)

 Teddy #2 (Category:  Furry Critters, Section: 31-40)

 Beach Umbrella

 Doctor Bear

Birthday Cake Oopsie Bear

We are fortunate and blessed to have the chance to work with all these fabulous images during the midway.  Thanks so much to our amazing sponsors.
To help inspire you down the path of laughter, check out the wonderful projects most of my Design Team had the opportunity to create...

Finally, that leaves our...
Helen, from Crafting Helen, who is our guest designer this month, created this lovely card...
 Clicking on the team members name (or in the case of our GDT, the blog name) will take you to their blog where you can check out the details for their inspirational creations!
So if you haven't entered already, what are you waiting for?  Create a project and/or post that is positive AND relates to laughter, provide an explanation of how your project and/or post relates to the theme somewhere in your post or come over and leave a comment with the explanation.  Easy, peasy!  You can enter our latest challenge by clicking HERE.

Also, I know that the participants would love for you to go and pay them a visit.  Remember we're creating a Path of Positivity to follow one project at a time and we'd love to see you somewhere on that route even if it is just by leaving a comment on an entry from someone who has touched you somehow with their project and/or post!

If you are new to this unique challenge, you can find out the impetus behind why I started it under the 'Introductions' tab and all the details you need to know in order to participate, in the 'Challenge Details' tab (both tabs located at the top of the blog).

Don't Forget...

You still have until 11:55 p.m. tonight, to vote on your favourite entry for Challenge #22.  Voting is quick, easy and painless so I hope you will consider casting your vote if you haven't already.  Don't forget, if you leave a comment after voting, you have the opportunity to walk away with a selection of digital papers created especially with your interests in mind. To check out all those eligible and cast your vote, click HERE.  Winners for challenge #22 will be posted next Monday.

If you need some additional motivation to help inspire you, I've provided another sentiment on this month's theme (the first is available HERE), free for you to download.

 Left click to bring the image up into the lightbox in its full size and then right click and scroll down to 'save as'.

Credit Notes For This Creation:
© 2015, Lisa L. Décosse.  PUO.  However, you are allowed to use the sentiment on handmade projects that you intend to sell on a small scale basis provided credit is given. You also need to include a credit note and a link to this blog should you use any of my images in your creations and post them on your blog. Please be sure to familiarize yourself with my full terms of use found in the 'Download Instructions & T.O.U.' tab at the top of this page.  Of important note:  Please do not share my images with family, friends, etc. Additionally, do not post any images to file sharing services like Box®, 4-Shared®, etc. Instead, please direct people to my blog so they can grab the image for themselves. If you would like to post a watermarked version of the image, please contact me to obtain one. 

This word art creation is in png format and published at 300 ppi. It is quite large in order to accommodate different programs that people work with.   If you are a card maker you can always resize it smaller without distorting the quality.

Font Information:
Click on the font name to take you to a download location.  These fonts were listed as free for commercial use at the time this project was made.and as such, it is my understanding, that I am within my rights to use these fonts in my creations and offer them to others.  Please refer to my full terms of service for what you can and cannot do with this digital creation.

Whether you are new and need to familiarize yourself with all the details,  or a returning participant and just need to refresh yourself, you can always find out everything you need to know in order to enter this challenge in the 'Challenge Details' tab at the top of the page. You can enter the challenge by clicking HERE to take you to the current challenge post where you can also find a quick summary of the details related to this challenge, towards the bottom of the post. 

Please show your support to our wonderful guest sponsors by going over and checking out their work and saying hi if you have the chance.  As mentioned above, this month our guest sponsors are...

Our regular sponsors include...

  If you ever have any questions be sure to EMAIL ME or just leave me a comment.

We look forward to seeing you participate!

Monday, February 09, 2015

Challenge #22 Top Picks: Voting Open February 9th to February 16th, 2015

Welcome to the Challenge #22 PoP ToP!

It is time to get on with showcasing the top picks for Challenge #22.  As we only had 10 participants enter Challenge #22, we will be opening things up so that all the entrants have the opportunity to be chosen as the Voter's Choice.  We do this any time we have less than 14 participants.  And while we may not have enough participants to have our usual top seven, we certainly have enough to have a top three.  Therefore, it is time to get on with showcasing the three projects that the team feels were the best of the bunch.

So, without further ado, please let me introduce you to the Top Picks for Challenge #22 (in no particular order)...

Congrats Ladies...

As a participant who has been chosen as a Top Pick, each of you is entitled to a special Top Pick badge. Please send an email to popwinners {at} gmail {dot} com, or by clicking HERE to bring up the address in your email program, with the subject "Challenge #22 Top Pick" and I'll email your badge to you.  Please note that it may take me several days to get back to you, so I really appreciate your patience.
Now as I mentioned, each of the participant's who entered Challenge #22 is eligible to have their project and/or post voted on.  Here is a list of everyone who entered.  Each of the entrant's names is linked up to their blog post (order is reflective of how they entered the challenge and nothing else).

Have Your Say!

Now the really hard work starts.  It is time for you, our readers, to vote for your favourite entry.  Which participant most inspires you?  Remember, you are not necessarily voting on a creation that was made.  You might simply find what the person had to say in their post to be inspiring and optimistic and in line with the concept of uniqueness.  Some of our participants had some great things to say on how their project connected to the theme. Therefore, please be sure to go and check out the entries first and not just make your choices off of the thumbnails.  Once you have checked all the entries out,  let us know who your favourite choice is by placing your vote below using the Inlinkz feature.

Voting open for 7 days:
  February 9th to February 16th

Come have your say in determining the Voter's Choice for Challenge #22!  Don't forget to leave a comment after you have voted.  There will be a prize for one lucky voter who leaves a comment (chosen randomly).  If you haven't had the opportunity to visit each of the entries already, please go and check them out a little more closely before placing your vote.  Once you have made your decision, why not go back and let them know how they inspired you.

Good luck everyone!

Important Note:

Please note that in order for this to work, I must add all the entries but I can only do this AFTER I have published this post.  So there will be some overlap time between when this post is published and when you will be able to vote.  Once I have uploaded the entries there will be a total of ten images below on which to vote.  As soon as all ten are uploaded, I'll enable voting to begin. If there are less than ten, it means that I am still in the process of adding the images and you should come back in a little while to make your vote.  Thank you for your patience!

Link Up Below: