October 19, 2014

Autumn Cards

Hey there! How's it going?

I'm sure I'm having fun with my friends at the mo and I hope you are, too! Having fun, I mean. With whomsoever you like to have fun with! Today I'm sharing some autumn cards I made before I left. I scheduled this post for now because I'm pretty sure when I return it will be Christmas, all Christmas, all the time! I mean, not that it will be Christmas before I come home, I just mean that I'll be getting heavily into Christmas cardmaking when I get back the end of this month.

Enjoy this autumnal array!
  
 
 
That last card (a birthday card for my beautiful DIL) was made using a topper that I received as a gift from my bloggie friend Nonni. They are from LOTV and the photos do not do them justice! Since there are so many of the other cards, please email me if you would like the details on the products or techniques.

Short and schweet today! I'm missing visiting with you all!

~~~

New Friends Corner

Here are five more talented and inspiring card artists who have been waiting patiently to meet you! It is my extreme pleasure to introduce you to:

Monika Skinner of Imagine the Impossible. Monika has been blogging since 2010. If you've been in our stamping community in Blogland for any length of time, you have come across Monika's gorgeous works of art through her design team inspirations and challenge entries. She is published card artist and she also makes creative boxes, mini-books, and home decor projects. In addition, Monika recently started a separate blog solely for providing tutorials for us at Tinker Cards. There is a lot of inspiration awaiting you via Monika!

Vicki of From My Craft Room. Vicki started blogging in 2012. She is like so many of you who impress me so much as she manages to be a full-time mom of very active children and yet she still finds the time to make beautiful cards and maintain a blog! Vicki is a winning challenge player and I know you will enjoy all the fantastic card inspiration she has for you!

Carol of CM Designs. Carol has been a prolific blogger since 2011 so you will want to allow some time for your visit with her. Over the years she has served on many design teams and she has won multiple awards and honors in both hard and digi card art. In addition to engaging blog posts, projects, and photographs, Carol generously provides tutorials for you!

Milka Gubo of Crafty Milka. Milka is a delightful and passionate young card artist from Croatia who has only been blogging since September. Like two weeks ago! You would never know it, however, when you see how professionally her blog is designed and the recognition she has already received. Her enthusiasm for all things crafty is contagious and I would so appreciate if you made a special effort to visit and welcome Milka to our caring and supportive stamping community in Blogland!

Tajanna of The Other Side of Me. Tajanna is from Poland and she is also a newcomer to our community, having started her blog in May of this year. Discovering this side of herself has been a surprise and a pleasure to Tajanna, completely different from her professional side. Tajanna enjoys making her card art in order to bring a smile to the recipients. Her cards are quite stunning and exquisitely crafted! Like with Milka, I would so appreciate it if you made a special effort to visit and welcome Tajanna to our amazing Blogland community!

Thank you for joining, ladies, and welcome to the Playhouse!

~~~

Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy.  LITS!* 

As always, thank you for coming by to visit the Playhouse and special thanks to you if you take the time to leave a comment and/or join as a follower! Please let me know you came by, so I can be sure and return the flavor!
  
 
*Life Is Too Short!

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October 16, 2014

Enjoy the Journey (Banishing Old Man Undermine)

^Hello, my dear friends!

Last August a bloggie friend of mine named Jenny wrote a short paragraph on her blog Pushing the Right Buttons that really resonated with me, and with a lot of her other friends. I asked her at the time if I could have a conversation with you about it and share her post and her words. Jenny generously said yes and encouraged me to share her thoughts with you:
August 6, 2014 ... A short story to explain where it all started - do you ever get those days where you wonder if what you're doing is any good? I think it's because we put so much of ourselves into everything we create that it matters so much what others think. Or do you get those tiny pangs of jealousy, wondering why other people seems to be getting recognition whilst you feel a bit ignored? Go on, admit it, I'm sure we've all felt that at some point. Don't get me wrong; right now I feel anything but ignored but the trouble is, when these thoughts do come they can be very self-destructive. I figured it would be a good idea to have something I can reach for that would remind me about those times when I've got a great reaction to something; it's a bit like having those 'credits' or 'challenge win badges' we have on our blog sidebars/pages but in a physical form.
And here is the tangible physcial form that Jenny created:
It's an amazing album of Jenny's creative journey, made just for herself, a book of love that she can refer to during those times when her self-image needs a boost. You really need to click on the above link and read her full post and see all the other detailed photos of this breathable and breathtaking album that can grow with Jenny through the years. Thank you, Jenny, for sharing and for starting the conversation!

~~~

Isn't that a wonderful idea for keeping feelings of self-doubt and negativity at bay?! I call those feelings, "Old Man Undermine." He is insidious. Always lurking nearby, ready to pounce. Always close enough to whisper in your ear:
"Sure, 11 people commented that your project was amazing, but why didn't you hear from Mary Gayle or Elise? Hmm?"
"I know you sold all of your birthday cards at the craft fair, and the director made a special point of telling you how fabulous your booth looked, but why didn't anyone buy a single Christmas card or decoration? Hmm?"
"Yeah, you got two awards during July, but what August and September? And what about that Great Challenge? Why do you keep entering that challenge when you've never even received an honorable mention and they obviously don't like you? Hmm?"
Right? I wonder sometimes if the self-sabotaging voice of Old Man Undermine is in our heads to keep us from becoming arrogant and obnoxious, but even so, there must be some way to find a happy medium between conceit and self-flatulation (pardon me). I think that Jenny has hit on a creative and personal way for us to help ourselves find that middle ground to where we consistently feel good about ourselves and our works of art and can consistently banish Old Man Undermine!

Whether you create a scrapbook or album, or a simple hand-written notebook, or a digital document, or a Pinterest board, or a tab on your blog, I hope you will give yourself permission to make a record of some of the compliments and proud moments you've enjoyed. Jenny's point is well-taken, with me, regarding having something to hold and behold, but if the computer can do the same thing for you, that's great, too. The point is to have something to go back to again and again in order to silence Old Man Undermine every time he comes to call with his pessimism and his determination to derail you from enjoying the journey.
Enjoy the Journey

I made the above card to keep on my desk to remind me that this is all for fun and friendship and how very blessed I am to be accomplishing those two things, thanks to all of you! Sadly, I know too many hobby bloggers who stopped enjoying the journey and gave up blogging because of little or no positive feedback. As Jenny said, we put so much of ourselves into our creations, it's tough when we feel that our creative works are not being seen or valued.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on enjoying and maintaining a positive approach to the journey of blogging your creations and your ideas for banishing Old Man Undermine.

~~~

Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy.  LITS!* 

As always, thank you for coming by to visit the Playhouse and special thanks to you if you take the time to leave a comment and/or join as a follower! Please let me know you came by, so I can be sure and return the flavor!
  
 
*Life Is Too Short!

(^Scheduled Post)

To open the pop-up comment box that let's you jump to the end w/o scrolling:
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Mwah!

October 12, 2014

More Playhouse Critters

Welcome, friends!

This is another scheduled post to share some of my photos of outdoorsy things in and around the Playhouse. Today will feature bees, butterflies, dragonflies, and even a grasshopper. Wait. What? And maybe I'll throw in a squirrel. More importantly, I want to continue introducing you to new friends for your enjoyment and inspiration!

But first, may I give you another QACAS card?
 
I had hoped to make you a card for each species, but I rant out of time. So the above is all I have for you. You can plainly see the gorgeous butterfly sticker from KandyToys Exeter and not so plainly you can see the embossed dragonflies and butterflies on the green panel. I used that same green paper and sediment on my last card. I liked it so much, I used it again for this one. The e/f is a Sizzix "Butterflies and Dragonflies." The patterned paper is from KandCompany.

~~~

Some of you are familiar with a beautiful flowering plant commonly called a "butterfly bush" (Buddlea). We have two in the front yard that tower over eight feet tall. Last spring I was tickled to find out they have come out with a miniature Buddlea and I planted one right next to the Playhouse. 
Unlike our towering bushes, this one has bloomed again and again throughout the summer and into the fall. And, living up to its name, it attracts butterflies! 
And very large carpenter bees who apparently like the nectar of flowers as much as they do the grain of wood!
Smaller honey bees prefer the nectar from the statice plant:

Normally we don't get large dragonflies here, but when it's very hot, we do get damselflies, like this:
I think my sister Diana took that photo when she was here last May. This damselfly is only a few inches long, sitting on the edge of a flax stalk.

But then about a month ago, the Mister left for work and came back inside to tell me that a for-reals dragonfly had landed on the house by the front door. He knew I would want to take a picture to share this amazing sight with you.
Sadly, it's hard to tell scale, but this guy is at least triple the size of the damselfly. Below is a close-up of his cool head decoration. (Sorry, I know some of you hate these guys.)
This next one is nature's life cycle at work. A few days ago I was walking to the Playhouse and I saw a dead grasshopper off to the side, making a delicious meal for lots of wee ants.
Two things make this noteworthy. One, we don't have grasshoppers here. Like ever that I know of, so it's a mystery where this huge guy came from. And two, would you just ignore everything else and take a look at those wings, shaped and veined and looking prezackly like a leaf?! How remarkable is that design?! If you're attentive, I think nature provides the best entertainment! 

Let's see, what else did I want to show you. I have seen several wee wittle lizzie lizards in the back this summer, but I suppose you've seen enough of those photos. The only other critter pitters you might enjoy are the ones of the squirrel completely disabusing my neighbor of any hope of fig jam this year!
 
I think she might be a new mama.
Of course, she had to wash down all those figs!
And that's the latest critter photo news from the Wild Playhouse Kingdom. We haven't done that for quite a while!

~~~

New Friends Corner

We are continuing with five more talented and inspiring card artists who have been patiently waiting to meet you! It is my extreme pleasure to introduce you to:

Becca Cruger of The Damsel of Distressed Cards. Becca has only been blogging since September, but she is already an award winner! I think her own words describe her best when she says she likes to mix up her card art style between vintage, distressed and grungy, clean and simple, and humorous. A style for everybody! She is also a huge fan of upcycling. Becca's blog is about a small-town girl with glitter on her fingers and a love of card artistry in her heart. I know I can count on you to visit her and welcome her to our wonderful corner of Blogland!

Dawn Turley of Dawn's World. Many of you are very happily familiar with the talented Dawn. She lives in New Zealand and has been blogging since 2009. Dawn is a designer who is an avid challenge player and a well-deserved challenge winner! Her clean and impeccably-made cards will provide tons of inspiration for you!

Hussena Calcuttawala of Quill and Punch Works. Hussena has been blogging since 2010. She is also a designer who has won many awards and honors over the years. Her cards are always sharp and bright and exquisite. Hussena's enthusiasm and love of making cards is evident throughout her very appealing blog!

Donna Thielker of Lakefront Stamping Creations. Donna has been blogging since 2011. She is a registered nurse and avid stamper. Besides making her beautiful cards, Donna enjoys boating, cooking, reading, and relaxing by the lake. Like so many of us, it was a SU party that hooked Donna 16 years ago and she's been creating and teaching ever since. She is a former DT member and award-winner who enjoys donating many of her pretty cards!

Leanne of Stamping a Little Sunshine. Leanne has been blogging since 2011. Her cards are truly gifts unto themselves. As the title of Leanne's blog suggests, her passion for this wonderful hobby grew from her love of sending cards (sunshine) to others for birthdays and all other occasions. As you will see when you visit her, receiving one of Leanne's cards would indeed be like receiving an envelope of sunshine!

Thank you for joining, ladies, and welcome to the Playhouse!

~~~

Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy.  LITS!* 

As always, thank you for coming by to visit the Playhouse and special thanks to you if you take the time to leave a comment and/or join as a follower! Please let me know you came by, so I can be sure and return the flavor!
  
 
*Life Is Too Short!

To open the pop-up comment box that let's you jump to the end w/o scrolling:
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Mwah!

October 9, 2014

Hummer Happenings

Greetings!

Do  you miss me? I sure miss you!

This is a scheduled post which is weird for me because I like sitting in the same room with you when I'm writing and you're reading my writing as if I'm writing while you're reading as I'm writing. Even though I'm not here, I hope you will still feel me, yo. (I've always wanted to say that!)

I want to share with you an update on our resident hummingbirds. But first, since this is a hobby blog about making cards, a card:
The beautiful hummingbird and middle part of the above design are from a purse notebook given to me a long time ago by my dear friend Annie. I used it through two note pads and a dried-up pen, so it was time to make it into a beautiful card. I added the piece to a partial paper doily and glued it over the edge of a tall card base. Simples. QACAS. The sediment is from The Alley Way set "Words to Live By." The duodecuple flat sequins are by PTI.

~~~

A Changing of the Guard
“If you truly love Nature, you will find beauty everywhere.” – Van Gogh – On image of hummingbird taken in Tucson, Arizona, by Florence McGinn – Explore a unique collection of quotes on the Pinterest board, Timeless Truth & Beauty, http://pinterest.com/fmcginn/timeless-truth-beauty/  and on the slideshow at  http://www.examiner.com/article/twelve-essential-nature-quotations
Pinterest

If you've been a bloggie friend for a while, you know that for many years we have had a dominate male Anna's hummingbird at our feeder. Because he patrolled the feeder with, well, violence, we named him "Hitler." We've been enjoying his escapades for many years. This summer, as happens every summer, he was kept extra busy as new hummers appeared in the yard and made vain attempts to drink from the feeder. Some of them were returning from their winter migration south and some were quite obviously local youngsters.

Weeks went by and then I started noticing that when "Hitler" was on his little swing or sitting on a branch near the feeder, he wouldn't dart off when I got near. Odd. He was always very skittish and wary. So I started talking to him, as one does. And to my surprised delight, one day he threw back his head and started "singing" for all he was worth. It went on for a number of seconds. I complimented him profusely. The more I talked, the more he sang. He fluffed up his feathers and cocked his head. I started to emulate his chirping/singing as best I could. I couldn't get over his friendliness and I thought to myself, "Whatever has gotten into Hitler?!"

Then light dawned. Low and to the east. Hitler had passed on to the Spirit Land of Hummers. Of course! We had, after all, been owned by him for many years.

This little hummer wonderbird is no doubt Hitler's offspring, but how awesome that he obviously tokes after his mother as he is uber friendly, nearly tame! After a few days, he has started coming to the branch or feeder when I "whistle" for him! If you are s(coughing), you can go to YouTube and see videos of people with hummers perched on their shoulders, heads, hands.

Needles to say, I'm all over this and enjoying long minutes communing with my little dude every time I go back and forth between the Playhouse and the Big House! When I return from my vacation, I am going to try holding a container of sugar water in my palm (I saw that on another blog, but I can't remember where) and I'll have Mister take some photos for you if it works. Wish me luck! So beciting!

In the meantime, here is a photo comparison. Many, many photos of Hitler have graced the pages of this blog over the years. Here is one:
And below is a photo of the "new" Hitler. You can see the difference in the neck feathers. The new little guy has undeveloped scarlet feathers along the neck and, in fact, he has a couple of scarlet feathers down low on his left shoulder.
 
 
They are so beautiful and so magnetic! I am amazed by the personality differences that sets the two apart, even more than the markings. In the five or six years that we were owned by Hitler, he wouldn't let us get within five feet of him. This new little guy lets me get within inches while he sits on the swing or drinks from the feeder.

I couldn't end without sharing this related photo, too. 
What? This is a shot of the patio under the tree branch where the hummer likes to sit. If you guessed that those are little hummer poopoos, you'd be correct!

New Guy does display some hitlerlike behavior when other hummers come to the feeder, but so far he seems much more Zen than his papa was! Here is a long shot so you can see him on his little swing "guarding" the feeder.
I haven't quite decided on a name. Do you have any suggestions? Sometimes I call him "Fluffer" because it is soft to say and because when I talk he puffs up and fluffs out his feathers and tail. Please let me know your ideas! Maybe there will be a prize!

I'll keep you posted on my domestication efforts. And if you notice I'm visiting less, you'll know where my time is going! Already I'm picturing the next time I run into old friends and they ask me how I am keeping busy in retirement. Erm. Do you think they will put me in a padded cell if I'm honest and say that I'm trying to tame a hummingbird? Maybe we should just keep that between us!

~~~

New Friends Corner

As promised, here are five more talented and inspiring card artists who have been waiting patiently to meet you! It is my extreme pleasure to introduce you to:

Claire Broadwater of Claire Creates Cards. Claire is an Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator who has been blogging since May 2013. She is a wife, mother (of twins!), and grandmother of five. As Claire says, she has been playing with paste and paper for 27 years as a First Grade teacher! In a nutshell, Claire makes HAPPY cards. Even her spooky Halloween cards are happy! I think you'll love your visit and become a fan!

Rebecca of Rebecca's Cookery and Crafting. As you can tell from the name of her blog, Rebecca loves horseback riding and chemistry. I'm kidding, of course. Just seeing if you were paying attention! Rebecca loves to cook and she loves to craft so you get double the goodies when you follow Rebecca. By the way, Rebecca only started blogging in August, as in two months ago! Please do make a special effort to go and welcome Rebecca to this wonderful caring and supportive Blogland community of ours!

Susan Butler of Scrumplescrunch. No, this time I'm not kidding, even though that sounds like one of my made-up words! Sue has been blogging since 2010. She is an artist. In addition to making cards, Sue has enjoyed sewing, cooking, cake decorating, quilting, and scrapbooking. She is a designer and an award-winner. In addition to wonderful inspiration, you will find tutorials on Sue's blog!

Vikki Ryan of Vikki's Stamping Story Take 2. Vikki is from Tasmania and she has been blogging since 2013. Vikki works full-time so she doesn't have time to blog very often, but when she does, it's great to see either the cards she has made or the beautiful photographs she shares!

Kris B. of Created by Kris B. Kris has been blogging since 2012. She met me through my NBUS Challenge, but the pleasure has been all mine! It's no wonder she is a designer! I simply adore all of her card designs and how she interprets the various challenges she enters. I think you'll agree with me after you have visited Kris!

Thank you for joining, ladies, and welcome to the Playhouse!

[If you have joined as a follower and have not been introduced, it's prolly because you did not leave me a comment and I could not find you by doing a Google search. Or it was Operator Error. Please feel free to email me!]

~~~

Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy.  LITS!* 

What's My Name?
As always, thank you for coming by to visit the Playhouse and special thanks to you if you take the time to leave a comment and/or join as a follower! Please let me know you came by, so I can be sure and return the flavor!


  
 
*Life Is Too Short!

To open the pop-up comment box that let's you jump to the end w/o scrolling:
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Mwah!