July 22, 2016

England Grand Tour, Leg II ~ Salisbury/Stonehenge/Taunton

Greetings!

I hope this finds you all well and enjoying the week!

Things are going smashingly here in the UK! Hammy and I have had an exciting adventure in the town of Salisbury and meeting up with WOYWW friends!
Salisbury
Salisbury Cathedral: the tallest spire in all of England.
Jan of Lunch Lady Jan's Fabric Frenzy, Fiona of Staring at the Sea, me,
The Julia of Stamping Ground, and Morti of Mad Ramblings

I so enjoyed my time with these young ladies! Many of you may not know that Julia was instrumental in launching my blog four and a half years ago because What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday was the first blog hop/challenge I participated in and thus began my many British friendships!

I told Julia that I would put a big MWAH over her sweet lips, but while playing around, I thought a mustache worked better. And then I thought it's only fair if we all have mustaches! 
Foxy Ladies!
~~~

From Salisbury, Pat Moore of Colourful Card Creations and her lovely hubby Tony arrived to squire me away. We drove on for-reals English backroads over to Taunton via Stonehenge. My defibrillator only went off twice.

So what's happening is I am typing this from an awesome hotel called The Castle, which was once a real castle! Unfortunately, the wifi thinks it is 1543, so I am not able to post as many photos this time as I would like. Here are the highlights/people photos:
Pat and me at Stonehenge
Graham Paul, Tony Moore, me, Linda Harris,
Ian Harris, Pat Moore, and Hazel Kinvig-Paul

It was such a fun treat to meet these dear bloggie friends and their very-long-suffering husbands!!! They were gracious even when their eyes glazed over when the conversation strayed to card stock and blingadings. They perked up when we started exchanging American/British swear slang expressions!

I will leave you with this beautiful evening photo taken in Taunton on the walk from the restaurant to the hotel:
I will still be in Taunton this morning and will meet with more bloggie friends for lunch, but I think I'd better publish this one before I add any more photos. 

To be continued ...

~~~

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 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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July 19, 2016

England Grand Tour, Leg I ~ Southampton

Greetings!

I made it! Today we are broadcasting live from the beautiful banks of Southampton UK!

After a bit of a delay, I arrived safely and was soon kindly transported from London to Southampton by Chrissie. I've had a lovely three days spent at times with Chrissie, Di, and Mrs. A. I even brought lovely sunny weather with me!

Today I had lunch with several of my bloggie friends from this part of England:
 Grand Harbour Hotel
Bottom Row: Sue Steed, me, Jane WillisChrissie Stokes
I think you can tell it was a delightful, rambunctious, and very fun gathering of friends! And now I have to dash off again. I'll save more area photos and stories about losing my knickers for another day. Wait? What? Also, I seem to have a very tiny pin head, don't I? Well, that explains a lot!!

Tomorrow I'm off for Salisbury ...

~~~

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 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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Mwah!
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July 14, 2016

Leavin' On a Jet Plane ...

Hi there!

I hope you are doing great!

You know how you have that one friend that starts talking about the baby nine and a half months before it's due and the one that starts talking about her upcoming vacation nine and a half months before she leaves and the one that starts talking about her wedding ... well, you get my drift. It turns out that I'm one of those friends! I apologize to those of you who are groaning and thinking, "Geez, I thought she had gone and come back by now! Just go, already!"

I am, in fact, leaving on Saturday! Finally!

But, first, when Hammy and I saw that there are a couple of challenges in Blogland perfect for celebrating Take-Off Day, we had to play along and share!
I made this QACAS card using a Clouds stencil from STAMPlorations to sponge the sun and cloud with distress inks. The NBUS jet stamp is from We R Memory Keepers and the sediment has lost its packaging info.

Challenges ~ Look the word time is in all of them!
TWOFERS We'd love you to display our bannerGrab Our Badge!
~~~

New Friends Corner

I have had new friends waiting in the wings until I had a total of five to introduce today. But when I clicked on them, I discovered there are three of them I can't find from just the name used and they didn't leave a comment that might help me find them. I hate when I can't find you.

These other two ladies have waited long enough and I'd like you to meet them before I leave, so please join me in giving a warm welcome to:

Miranda of Bolletje (Scoop) Lucky. Miranda has been blogging since the beginning of 2012 and her blog is named after her beloved dog Lucky, her companion for 15 1/2 years. Miranda is from the Netherlands and is the mother of two beautiful daughters. You will be inspired by Miranda's wide-ranging talents from her crochet and handiwork to her scrapbooking and her gorgeous cards! She also kindly offers a tab with tutorials and tips!

Zelda of Out of Africa Creations. Zelda is a Rhodesian-born South African now living in America, hence the name of her blog. She is brand-new to Blogland, having just started blogging in April of this year! Please take a minute to welcome Zelda to our wonderful and supportive community of crafters! I guarantee that you will be bowled over and inspired by the extraordinary cards Zelda makes!

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

~~~

Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy! LITS!* The next time you hear from me, I'll be in jolly ol' England! Hopefully my travelogue won't be all kinds of boring for you, as is often the case when seeing other people's vacation photos!

Please don't feel like you need to comment along my journey. You've all been extraordinarily kind with your comments the last several months, considering I've been extraordinarily remiss in returning the flavor!

Mwah!

*Life is too short!

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Mwah!
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July 6, 2016

Interconnectivating

Greetings!

How are you? How's the family? Did you have a great 4th?

Well, I had a fantastic 4th, 3rd, and 2nd and I want to thank everyone for the beautiful cards and emails and FB messages I received for my birthday and continue to receive every day! I have one of those pesky turn-the-calendar-and-surprise! birthdays. We all feel badly when we miss them and our cards are late, but the celebrant doesn't mind because cards keep coming in for days and days afterwards! That's a win-win!

Today I thought you might enjoy this weird little Serena Dipity interconnectivity thing that happened to bring about the featured card.

So what happened was the new challenge was posted on Less Is More. It's Colour Week and the brief is to make a card using the colors of your kitchen. My kitchen colors are black and white with a pop of blue. Hammy immediately went to work on a mood board.

I adjourned to the recliner with a highball and set about opening all the cards and packages I had saved to open on my birthday. In a very generous package I received from my friend Petra, there were these two beautiful handmade kitchen tea towels:
In black and white!

I immediately emailed Petra to thank her. I asked her if she had seen a post of mine from March 2013 which had included a picture of my black and white kitchen.
Petra replied that no, she had no idea my kitchen was black and white! Schpooky!

Of course, how could I not use the towels in some way as inspiration for my card?! I gave Hammy the rest of the day off and made this:

All I needed was an ancient piece of DSP, an ancient Hero Arts ric-rac stamp, a NBUS Tim Holtz giggle stamp, and some bling to complete the circle that had started in England, passed through South Africa, and ended up in California!

Challenges
I certainly got a giggle out of how this card was meant to be and I hope you did, too!

~~~

While the youngsters are off enjoying a bit of summer vacation on the other side of the country, we've had the pleasure of Duke-sitting for several days. 
He loves to curl up into the tiniest ball. Here he is getting cozy on his "just right" pillow bed. It's not a rubber tire, honest!

~~~

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 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!
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June 30, 2016

Sailboats and Snowflakes!

Hello, my friends.

This blog is meant to be a place of escape where you will find imagination, inspiration, and joy. But before we can be playful today, I must once again take a moment to say my thoughts and prayers go out to all the hundreds of families whose lives have been irreparably damaged by the latest insane terrorist attack.

I don't know about you, but I certainly have a small minority of friends and family who think making cards, and especially blogging, are inane hobbies. But I would argue that with a world turning progressively more angry and inhumane, any measure of kindness and light we can shine towards each other helps to balance the scales in a positive way.

~~~

Hammy and I are here for our weekly paper crafting show brought to you as always by the Mojo Manufacturing LLC located in a backyard shed near the western coast of North America. Whether you enjoy experiencing your Mojo with an instant kick of satisfaction in the form of Mojo Juice or more slowly ingested as Mojo Jelly, we guarantee you will become a repeat customer. Please see our ad in your local independent newspaper.

What's a newspaper?, I hear some of you ask. I don't have time to teach you today, grasshopper, so you'll have to go ask your Uncle Google.

But I do have time to show you a coupla QACAS cards I made:
The dies used are "Lighthouse" by Memory Box created for Frantic Stamper and the NBUS sailboat and wave are from "Marina Sailboats" by Poppystamps. (The waves are made from snippets of pp.) The sediment is from PTI's "Birthday Bash Sentiments" set stamped in, what else, SU Sahara sand. 

My card is a DJKASE of a MUSE. (Wait. Please don't spell Muse with all capital letters because confused readers will think it's another aackronym meaning, say, Masking Using Styrofoam Erasers or some such.)

The lovely designer who sparked my creativity is this week's Muse Card Club Designer, Jenni Murray of Jenni Jems and this is Jenni's fabulous card:
Jenni's card
Isn't that a wonderful go-to design for you to put in your go-to folder for when you need a CAS design to go to the outgoing mailbox? I followed Jenni's design elements and her coloring and I used a simple sediment under the images. I hope you can join in the Muse Challenge. Or in these challenges:

Other Challenges
Pixies Crafty Workshop
~~~

I loved Jenni's CAS composition so much I made a Christmas card, too!
The snowflakes are from Simon Says Stamp's "Let It Snowflake" die set. The sediment is NBUS from Penny Black's "Yuletide Greetings." All the sponging on today's cards was brought to you by my digit daubers and SU's Baja Breeze and Certainly Celery.

Challenges
Simon Wednesday Challenge Blog
~~~

The Mister thanks you all for your get well wishes. His finger is recovering nicely. And, yes, he did ask the ER doctor if he would be able to play the piano after his finger healed. The doctor, even though he was just a whippersnapper, didn't fall for that old chestnut. 

Some of you are too young to know the word whippersnapper, aren't you? Rather than give you more homework, I will take a second to define that one for you. Think of it in its compound two parts: whippers and napper. Napper is self-exploratory, but "whippers" is an outdated word for the grain end of a wheat shaft. In the 1600s wheat was harvested and divided into the grain ends (whippers) and the shaft ends. It was grueling work and invariably the harvest patrol on horseback would find the youngest workers trying to sneak naps on the whippers pile.^^

~~~

Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy! And be safe out there. LITS!*

As always, thank you for coming by to visit the Playhouse and special thanks to you if you take the time to 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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Mwah!
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^^A total lie.

June 23, 2016

You're a Star!

Hi, hello, how are you?

I hope all is well! I didn't mean to be gone that long, sorry. The days are no longer whooshing by, they're warpspeeding by!

Not much has happened except that the Mister nearly cut the end of one of his ginfers off using a Mandolin to slice potatoes on Saturday night. It was only the second time it's been out of the cupboard since we bought it three years ago. (You know, sort of like my NBUS crafting supplies!) 

The Mandolin is a really cool tool ~ as long as you use the guard that comes with it. You know, the one that was sitting right there next to the machine. Poor Mister. He's had a rough year. Four hours in the emergency room and some glue and he was good to go, except for feeling like a moron.

"No need to be embarrassed," said every medical professional we saw from the moment we walked in until we walked out, "we get at least one of these a week!" Needless to say, the instrument of horror was boxed back up and stowed away again without use.

I badly needed a card fix yesterday and remembered a few challenges that I wanted to make a card for earlier in the week. So I made this:
Simples, but fun. Using a pretty soft suede paper in my specialty stash, I die-cut the word celebrate from Winnie & Walter. The stars were stenciled using a stencil handmade by my friend Lolly (thank you!). The "you" is from The Alley Way Stamps.The clear star bling is from SU.

Do you sometimes pronounce the pee in raspberry just for the fun of it? Or say low-q-a-shus for loquacious?

Challenges
  • Addicted to Stamps and More: CAS. (Nearly at their 200th Challenge, so congratulations since I may not be able to join in for that celebration!)
  • CAS Mix-Up Challenge: Stamping + Die Cut + Your Choice (stenciling).
  • CASology: "Congratulations." I'm thinking celebrate can be interchanged with congratulate?
  • Color Throwdown: See below. (Nearly at their 400th Challenge, so congratulations since I may not be able to join in for that celebration either!)
  • The Paper Players: Celebrating their 300th Challenge! Congratulations!
This is the perfect opportunity for me to say thank you to all the wonderful challenges we have up and down and all around the streets of Blogland! Thank you to all the hundreds of design team members and guest designers who work very hard to keep us enthused and challenged and inspired! Mwah!

~~~

My trip prep is going well and I'm keeping a keen eye on the history-making events occurring in the UK at the moment. I'm already beginning to quiver with becitement even though I have 23 days to go before I leave. Quivering makes everything from typing to tying my shoes very difficult! I need to remind Hammy that he is here to settle me down at times like this, not just color in his adult coloring books from Hamster's Handiwork. He also needs to start thinking about what he wants to pack for himself since I can't very well go without him!

~~~

Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy! LITS!* I hope your first days of summer are filled with sunshine!

As always, thank you for coming by to visit the Playhouse and special thanks to you if you take the time to 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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Mwah!
If you ask me a question in your comment, please remember to leave me
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June 16, 2016

Oops!

Greetings,

Even though I'm trying to stay off the streets of Blogland to concentrate on trip preparations, I still have an active hamster who has his own Chromebook for checking challenges. That means in spite of my best efforts, sometimes I have to drop everything and play cards with him.

Like this.
BTW, that's spose to be a pee-pee puddle, regardless of the sediment. The message works for pee-pee, too. I don't want you to think I am being gross while you are trying to enjoy your tea and toast! My thinking was that grandma is on the move, stepping over the doggie puddle to take him outside. But now that I look at it, I see it looks like everyone is having an oopsie moment! Hey, don't judge until you're a grandma!

While looking through my stamps to find something that might be original for Less Is More's challenge, Hammy spotted this Art Impressions stamp, which I watercolored with my Ziggies. I went looking for an "Oops" sediment, but I don't have one. I could have made one with my Concord & 9th alphas, but when I spotted this Stamping Bella sediment, the search ended. (This fun sediment is meant to accompany a diapered and bottled toddler image, but I thought it was apropopo for this card's wee-wee splatters.)

You'll have to pardon my errant pink schmear near the right edge. Paint happens.

Challenges

We'd love you to display our bannerSimon Wednesday Challenge Blog
~~~

A Squirrel By Any Other Name

In critter news, last month the Mister hollered in the door on his way to work that a couple of squirrels were playing in the front yard. I grabbed my camera and enjoyed several minutes with them. There was a big fluffy squirrel
and a baby squirrel. 
I thought the baby squirrel looked a bit odd, but I've only seen grown-up squirrels visiting, so what did I know? He or she was certainly an imp crawling up inside the wheel well of the Mister's truck!
A couple of weeks went by and then we saw two more baby squirrels playing in the back yard among my potted plants near the Playhouse. So cute!

Until they both took off and dove under the corner of the Playhouse.

Odd, I thought, why didn't they just scamper up the tree like their parents would do?

The next day they were back. I got a picture of one of them edging out from the corner of the Playhouse while the Mister was off on a motorcycle ride.
When the Mister got home, he told me that he had seen baby squirrels just like ours out along the road. And then he said, "The reason they aren't scampering up the trees is because they are GROUND squirrels!"

Oops.

We asked Mr. Google just to make sure. The tails aren't as fluffy and their front legs are much shorter. We've never had ground squirrels in the neighborhood before, but a nearby highway is being widened and we think they are being forced out of their own neighborhood. I feel badly about that and Hammy is thrilled to have new playmates, but I don't want them nesting under my Playhouse!

I think it might be time for me to get a mini-doxie to chase them out of the yard. I will housebreak him or her first so I don't look like my card! (Wait. Is that a poem?)

~~~

Thank you for all your good wishes concerning my upcoming trip to England! Some of you thought I was leaving on June 16th, but I'm not leaving until July 16th. You will still see me here in the coming month, just not as often.

As always, thank you for coming by to visit the Playhouse and special thanks to you if you take the time to join as a follower! Please let me know you came by, so I can be sure and return the flavor!

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


*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!
If you ask me a question in your comment, please remember to leave me
your email address so I can respond. Thank you!