Monday, March 18, 2019

With Gratitude

It was five years ago, on the third Monday of March, 2014, that we kicked off our first challenge right here at Aurora Wings Challenge Blog.  I had thought about having a challenge blog about 2 years prior to that, but I had no idea how to go about setting one up, let alone running one, so I sat on the idea as a side project for a while.  Eventually, enough people asked ... and some offered their help, and after a little bit of thinking, this blog was born.  I really had no idea what to expect, or how long it would go on at the time of the conception, but all was well, and the best part, ... everything was exciting and a lot of fun.

Oh, look!  I was able to find the very first challenge banner on my desktop.
By now, I think you already have a pretty good idea of what I'm about to say after reading that opening.  It's kind of weird and even a little bit surreal to be writing this post, but...

We are closing AWCB.

There I said it.  Just as I told the news of my decision to the fabulous designers that I have been so lucky to have worked with, I did not come to this decision lightly or on a whim.  I'm too old (and my personality would not allow me) to be impulsive in most any decision making processes.  But the changing time (and I'm not talking about the clock change for summer time here, either) has brought shifts in many areas - from popularity of blogs in general to crafting trends.  The fact a lot of my fellow digi artists had already closed down their challenge blogs (and in some cases, their businesses all together) did not go unnoticed by me, and I'm sure many of you have taken notice of that as well.

So, this is AWCB's official farewell post.  But I want to make a few things very clear to you.

I'm NOT closing Aurora Wings shops.
The AW Showcase Blog will continue as before.
Our Facebook group will also continue as before.
AW monthly newsletter will be sent out as before.
Please keep an eye out for contests and special events.

I wanted to make sure there's no confusion there.  No, I'm not having a 'going out of business' sale.  Nope.  Although, I can tell you about a local craft store that used to be in my town, that was in a habit of having such event annually because every time they had one, they made enough money to stay in business for another year at the mall.  At one point, their banner at the shop entrance read '30th Annual ...', and it was just funny.  But I digress...

The main reason I'm writing this post today is because I wanted to thank and acknowledge all the awesome designers and the guest designers that I got to work with during the 5 years of fun.  I'm particularly honored to have two very special ladies who have been with me since the very beginning of the challenge blog - Donna and Debbie.  They gave me the sense of stability and family by always being there and creating one knock-out inspiration after another, challenge after challenge.  I don't think I would have been able to stick with the AWCB for this long without their presence, as I'm a Taurus and love things calm and stable.  

Thank you, all the wonderful DT members from 2014 to 2019!!  You really are the best of the best.

On top of all that, Donna deserves a special thank-you for having gone above and beyond as this blog's generous and dedicated coordinator (She wrote and scheduled all the challenge posts and winners announcements, which is a very taxing thing in terms of focus and patience, not to mention it requires meticulous attention to detail plus an organized mind.  And she would get up early and check to make sure each link was active and working - this can be such a tedious job - and commented without fail to both her teammates' posts and all the entrants' posts with thoughtful, individualized comments!!!), team coordinator (for both Aurora DT and Stella DT), den-mother to all designers who came and went, and den-sister to many, and most importantly, my advocate/confidant/counselor/best friend so I could stay sane on more than one occasions over the years, whenever things got a little crazy.  Good times.  Thank you so much, Donna, for being so incredibly generous with your time and talent... and being the awesome person you are!!

Traditionally, today's new challenge would have been our anniversary challenge, and the theme would have been 'Sprite Delight VI', with a freebie digi for all participants. I suppose I could have quietly let this go without a fanfare, but me being the recklessly optimistic and relentlessly fun-loving type, I wanted to say 'good-bye' to our challenge blog with a freebie digi while saying 'thank you' to all the friends and supporters, who played in our challenges with amazing projects, who thought about playing (but never got around to), or who watched warmly from the sideline and cheered on.  Please accept my humble gift of Birthday Cake Sprite today.  I will leave her here for two weeks.  Feel free to direct your friends to this post, but please PLEASE please DO NOT directly share by means of emailing, posting the digi file on social media, and so on that would violate my copyright or the Terms of Use that apply to all AW digis.

Right-click to save to your computer.
This gift digi will be removed at the end of this month.

UPDATE: This digi is no longer available for download here.

Hope you find this baby fun to color and get to use her on a birthday card project for years to come.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention something extra fun!  Below, you will find discount codes for digis and PDF bundles, BUT... if you're one of the first 50 people to make a lucky guess on a SECRET COUPON CODE, you'll get a whopping 40% OFF on a digi order total (merchandise total, not including tax) of $20 USD or more.  This is a special-occasion-only kind of discount, that I only give out during party events.  HINT: The code is made up of two words (no space) totaling 12 characters.  HINT #2: What is the name of the freebie Sprite above?  Have fun shopping~!

All right, then!  Hope to see you around at the FB group as before!  Thank you again for the five fab years with us at Aurora Wings Challenge Blog.


Challenge #75 Winners

Mitzi and the teams wish to thank everyone who entered our Over the Rainbow challenge.  The beautiful, colorful entries were like a breath of Spring air after a particularly challenging Winter.  We hope everyone is at least seeing the promise of better weather wherever you are.  
Here are our fabulous winners!

The ARTIST'S CHOICE AWARD (3 images and Badge) chosen by Mitzi from among the entrants using Aurora Wings images goes to

#20 Chris

In Mitzi's own words: " I love Chris' creative approach to our theme by having seven Butterfly Sprites - all in different color, angle, and size. The visual movement and depth of field created by this is simply stunning. Sunshine and raindrops motifs and the sentiment all create a wonderfully uplifting card. I LOVE this so much!"

The Random Winner (3 images) goes to

And the Top 3 (1 image and Badge) in numerical order as they appeared in the challenge, chosen by the Design Team from ALL the entries goes to

#15 Nicola

#18 Pat K

#21 Red Obsession (Teresa)

A huge Congratulations to our fabulous winners! Please e-mail Mitzi at studiomiyabi (at) aol (dot) com, with subject line "AW challenge blog ACA winner/top 3/random winner (*select the award prize that applies to you)" with your list of LINKS (not the titles) to the digi/digis you wish to receive.

PLEASE NOTE:  Prizes not claimed within a two week period will be forfeited.

Please come back for our 5th Anniversary special announcement at 9:00 am EST today.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Challenge #75 Mid-Inspiration Post

Welcome to our mid-inspiration post for Challenge #75, hosted by the Aurora Team.  Our theme is

We'd like to see projects in rainbow colors, actual rainbows, or inspired by the words to that beloved song.  We enjoy creative interpretations of the theme.

Please remember our rules.

No Back Linking
Must be a finished project with a hand colored (traditionally, or digitally) image following the set theme. No pre-colored images allowed.
ONE ENTRY LIMIT if using an image other than Aurora Wings
THREE ENTRY LIMIT if ALL are Aurora Wings images
Link to specific post, not entire Blog
Link back to Aurora Wings Challenge
You may link to as many other challenges as you like

Our prizes this month include:

1(one) Artist's Choice Winner to be chosen by Mitzi from all entries using an                 Aurora Wings image (Custom badge+3 single digital images)

1(one) Random Winner (3 single digital images)

Top 3 To be selected by the Design Teams from all entries (Custom badge+1 single digital image each)

We hope these wonderful projects by the Aurora team will inspire you to join in.

Dawn using Unicorn Sprite available HERE on
and HERE on Etsy

Mimi using Bleeding Heart Sprite available HERE on
and HERE on Etsy

Silvia using Halloween Sprite available exclusively HERE on

Alison using Unicorn Sprite available HERE on
and HERE on Etsy

Susan using Dragon Babies available HERE on 
and HERE on Etsy

Donna using Shamrock Sprite available HERE on
and HERE on Etsy 
and Little Leprechaun available exclusively HERE on

The challenge will be open at 9:00 am EST Monday February 18th and close at 11:55 pm EST Saturday March 16th with a mid challenge inspiration post on March 4th. Entries posted prior to February 18th will be deleted. All entries must have a hand colored (either traditionally or digitally) digital or rubber stamp on their completed project to be eligible. Please follow the chosen theme.  You may enter your project in as many other challenges as desired. Please link to your POST address, NOT your BLOG address and link back to the Aurora Wings Challenge Blog. We would greatly appreciate you removing word verification and switching to comment moderation if you fear spam. In fairness to all, those not following the rules will be deleted. Thank you for your understanding and please have fun. We look forward to your fabulous creations.

Also, because of the difficulties we have experienced with Facebook entries, I regret that we will no longer be accepting them on the Challenge Blog.  Thank you for your understanding.

If you do not have a blog and would still like to enter this challenge,  please email me at donnamundinger(at)gmail(dot)com with your name, a picture of your entry and Aurora Wings Challenge #75 in the subject line, and I will add it to our Aurora Wings Submissions Blog, where it can be viewed and commented on, and to the Linky so you can participate here. Hopefully this will accommodate everyone.  xx