A site for my handmade cards, accompanied by my photos and written meanderings which are occasionally witty, often tongue-in-cheek, and rarely profound. Beginning in June 2013, you'll also see lots of NBUS, which is an acronym I coined for Never-Before-Used-Schtuff. Feel free to join in, use the acronym, and use up your NBUS too! Thanks for coming by! Have a beverage and enjoy!

April 27, 2014

Post-Easter Christmas ~ NBUS #125

Happy Sunday Funday!

I am happy to report that Hammy came back revigorated and raring to go. He was pretty tight-lipped about his randyvoo with Ms. Thing, but that's okay. I'll find out from Chuchee whether or not he behaved himself. All I know is, he got up in my face right off the bat and asked me how I was coming with my resolve to make Christmas cards every single week of 2014. Gulp.

Thankfully, with his help and a couple of fabilicious challenges, I've made two more Christmas cards for the stash.

First up is this card.
That's pretty layered up and non-CAS for me, huh?! Every once in a while, it's fun to give your hamster a break so when he returns, things get a little wild and karazy! The NBUS is the Christmas tree sediment by My Favorite Things. If you would like to know any other ingredient detail, please let me know.

My card was inspired by Merry Monday, where we are to decorate our Christmas words; TIME OUT Challenges, where we are to CASE a card by the famous card artist, Virginia Lu from Yes, Virginia; Jingle Belles, where we are to "bundle up" by using at least three layers; and Pixie's Snippets Playground, where we are to use up our snippets. 

jingle bellesPixies Crafty Workshop

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

My second card came about because of the new Stamping for Pleasure Rudolph Day requirements, which are that we must make TWO cards to enter. Bless Sarn's little heart! Am I the only one who keeps forgetting this? I finished my card above, cleaned up my desk, put everything away, and started visiting other blogs ... suddenly Hammy crawled up the sleeve of my sweater, over the top of my head, and out onto the stem of my eyeglasses. Peering over the top until we were eyeball to eyeball, he drawled, "Helluuuu? Member? Rudolph wants TWO cards!" Aaah, man.

It's mazing what you can do under pressure. Here's what I did:
The side strips look like Washi tape, but they are just strips of the same PTI paper used in my first card. The wreath is "Breezy Wreath" by Poppystamps that I die-cut four times and layered. The image is a vintage Hero Arts stamp (E2017), popped up on a foam pad. Shazambam, QACAS!

I'm also entering this card in the Less Is More challenge, which is a sketch designed by Chrissie; A Blog Named Hero, where we are to use "layers or dimension"; Simon Say Stamp Wednesday Challenge, where the challenge is "Keep it Clean and Simple";and Simply Create Too, where the current challenge is "Stack Um Up" (use at least two layers).
 
Simon Wednesday Challenge BlogGrab Our Badge!

If you click on the links to any of the challenges listed, you can find out more information on rules, sponsors, and prizes. I hope to see you there!!

~~~

New Friends Corner

I am so pleased to introduce you to Nicky of Stiggy's Crafts. Nicky is a seasoned card artist who has been blogging since 2008! I am always overwhelmed by the amount of inspiration that I've missed by not connecting with Blogland before late 2011. Not to worry, all of us can catch up with Nicky who has tons of talent and ideas and designs to share!!

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

~~~

Garden as Art

So, for about 38 years I've sat in the same seat at the dining room table and looked out the window at this:
I forgot to take a true "before" photo when it wasn't nicely painted and there were no horizontal boards on it, so imagine it looking even more boring.

In the last year or so my DS and DIL have converted me to loving all things succulent and this year I have incorporated a lot of succulent plants in the garden. When I found some wonderful hanging baskets of succulents at the home center that fit flush up against a wall or a fence I got the idea to have the Mister put up some cross boards to hang them and now it looks like this:
The four hanging baskets came that way; I made up the other three black ones. Wish us luck that we don't kill them by over-watering!

~~~

Enjoy the 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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Click the Home tab under my blog banner which resets the post.
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Mwah!

86 comments:

Lyn Wallan-Smith said...

Cards are beautiful and I love what you have done with the fence imagine it will be an even lovelier view once your plants shine with the love you give them

Redanne said...

I love both cards Darnell, those swirl die cuts are really beautiful and so is that stripey paper.

The succulents look amazing on your fence, what a lovely view you have now when you sit at the table! DH bought a succulent this week and the man said - don't water it, the rain will be enough, but I guess you don't get quite as much rain as we do - lol.... Hugs, Annie xxx

Ros Crawford said...

Love your cards ... I Love how you layered those wreaths ... perfect!
Your baskets look so pretty ... My DH has filled at least 30 pots and baskets this past week!

Sue said...

Your card are wonderful Darnell. I love the colours and fabulous designs. The layered up wreath on your second card looks so effective. I wish your Hammy would come and visit me!
Your hanging baskets look gorgeous.
hugs Sue xx

Linda said...

What a lot of challenges Darnell ... well done you :)
Love your cards, those die-cut wreaths are gorgeous.
What a lovely view you have now, those baskets look beautiful. I'm not very good with plants I'm afraid ... I actually saw off a beautiful aloe vera a few years ago (sigh!) It's a good job I have a gardener to look after our little patch! enjoy the rest of the weekend .... hugs Linda xx

Viv's Visuals said...

Great cards and a great upgrade to a plain fence Darnell! x

Kim M said...

Both cards turned out fantastic!! Love your CASE of Virginia's card. Your succulent hanging garden looks great. That will certainly improve your view! :-). Hugs!

Lynn said...

Oh wow Darnell..the view from your window looks beautiful! I'm terrible about keeping up with plants...normally have the opposite problem that I don't water enough. I absolutely love your two cards...what a clever way to use the wreath in place of the twine on your Virginia inspired card. So glad you could play with us at Time Out!

Anita in France said...

Glad to hear Hammy had fun ... he's certainly back with a bang here, Darnell! These are both wonderful ... I adore that wreath ... in single and quadruple form ... so much so that it's miraculously made it's way into my wish book! What a delightful view you've created ... what a joy to watch those gorgeous plants bloom and grow! Hugs, Anita :)

Marilyn said...

Awesome cards!!

Marybeth said...

I love your new view!
Oh my gosh I love the layout and design of that first card! Love the way you layered the papers just might need to CASE this one. Both are beautiful !

Irish Cherokee said...

Hammy needs to look over the edge of your glasses more often. Two great Christmas cards. Darnell.

Blessings

Brenda in IN said...

I love those Christmas cards in those great colors. Both are very cool. Your flower boxes are a wonderful idea to brighten up the fence and your view.

jimlynn said...

Darnell, these are Fan-tab-u-lous!!! Love both of them equally! Great cards for the holidays.
Love the fence view now. Go easy on the watering though!
Lynn

Benzi said...

Beautiful Christmas cards, Darnell. I haven't made one this year, I don't believe. Ugh!

Love your idea with the hanging baskets. That really looks like an awesome view from your seat.

Diane said...

Well Darnell the holiday cards are a delight. I love the hanging baskets from your fence. What a fun idea.

Hugs diane

Karen Petitt said...

Both cards are fab Darnell! The first is definitely different to your usual style but I love the layout, the colours and the stamp!
I love, love, love your leafy wreath!
You are not the only one who is forgetting about making two for Sarn this year, although I am glad that I am doing so - more to add to the box and less to panic about in November/December! Karen x

Diane Jaquay said...

Love these, love the multi-color sentiment tree and twine on the first one and the layered wreath on the second!

Ustvarjalni utrinki Tamara P. said...

Darnell
absolutly gorgeous cards
love the colours
the idea
everything
wish you lovely day
hugs Tamara

Bonnie said...

I need to find me a hamster! Yours sure works for you. Both of these are fantastic, Darnell! Thanks for sharing with us at MM.

sandie said...

Cool way to use the wreath for the twine of Virginia's card and your baskets look lovely...is that a poster at the side?

Erica said...

WOW! That wreath die is amazing and looks like you're having fun using it. The garden of succulents you designed is gorgeous.
Don't know if I'm quite ready to make Christmas cards yet, but at least I'm inspired.
Have a blessed Sunday.

Chrissie said...

Super cards Darnell and your flower wall looks awesome!
Thanks so much
Chrissie
Less is More

MaryH said...

Whooee--where to start? Loved that gussied up, layered #1. Bit of a different look from Miss CAS you but wonderful. Colorful. Hammy did a great inspiration job helping you with that pretty one. Love that NBUS tree too. Lots. Now #2 is equally pretty, you & Hammy make a good team. I did remember the stripe paper from #1 (good thing it wasn't further down the post, else I would not have!). Real purty on that one too. I'm loving your fence. Your other 2 helpers made a good team for you too. I hope this is also visible from the Playhouse. Think it would be most inspiring...but then, you & Hammy do pretty well as things have been. TFS & Hugs. Happy Sunday too.

Craftychris said...

Two fabulous bright Christmas cards, I love them! The wreath die is so cool! Love your revamped fence' xx

Laurie Unger said...

Wonderful cards and I really really like what you did by adding the lattice and flower boxes onto the fence. Perfect!

Alanna said...

Both of your Christmas cards are just darling. I love the multi colors on the sentime nt on the first one.

And your new flowers? Just fabulous.

Deanne @ Three Trees said...

Beautiful cards Darnell!!! And I just love your succulent garden! Thanks so much for playing along with us at Merry Monday.

Deanne :)

Verna Angerhofer said...

I love your Christmas cards and I also like your fence design too. So cool and pretty and I am sure when all those plants get to full growth it will be even more awesome.

Bobby said...

Hammy was right to pester you because you turned out two great cards. Your first one is more my style (or at least my old style) than yours which is why I love it so much. The wreath on the second one looks so "fluffy" I just want to run my fingers over it.

Debbie Nutt said...

Your blog is such a ray of sunshine, Darnell! Love the cards you designed...(there's something about the unending wreath circle that speaks to my soul.) The fence now looks complete! Enjoy the plants. Congrats to Mr. on a wonderful job!

Kim Heggins said...

Darnell...wow, sitting at the same spot and not having something beautiful to look at? So I am guessing your Mister does not sit across from you??? Well, your new flower baskets are fabulous and I am looking forward to seeing them in full bloom soon. Now on to your card, Love, Love, Love it! Your layering wreaths are gorgeous and they really look so nice holding up your joy...beautiful!

pinnednpenned said...

Popped right out at me on the Bloglovin' feed! Love this! And your other Christmas card in the picture at the end of your post! Lovely lattice with hanging baskets too!! Yeah Spring! xo

SARN said...

Hi Darnell - well done for remembering the new Rudolph Day rule in time!

Both cards are just a whole heap of festive fun. Loving that wreath and the jazzy paper.

Hugs, Sarn xxx

Geri said...

First of all, an apology! It would appear that my e-mail notifications to several of the blogs that I follow have not been delivered! You and Ardyth are two that I now know of! Sorry pal. Gonna stroll through your blog and see all the goodies I missed!

...like these two Christmas creations! Good thing Hammie was all over the new rules! Love the layers and the fun elements on your first card - especially the sproinky loop-de-loops! The colors on the second card are stunning...especially on the layered wreath, which has just been added to my must have list!

Off to check out what else I have missed!

Geri said...

...your new garden/yard art is beautiful! However, it also has me weeping quietly as we wait for the last bit of snow to melt!

Katie Melhus said...

Darnell I'm loving your design and especially those stripes on both of these. Rockin' it as always, gurl! So glad you joined us this week at Merry Monday!

Sue said...

Lovely cards Darnell and I love your baskets..I did some of ours this afternoon until I got rained off LOL huggles Sue xxx

Molecraft said...

Two fabulous cards, love the design of the first and your fence looks great now too!
Helen x

Valerie Nolan said...

Two brilliant contemporary Xmas cards Darnell, loved the wordy tree:) Good luck with the baskets, they look lovely!
Val x

Eve said...

Hi Darnell - WOW! I love both of your cards. So bright and cheery - just like you!!

A beautiful flower wall too!
xx

Kathleen said...

Sorry Darnell I have read all you post tonight as I am very late commenting, These card are stunning, I love them both.

Kath x

lostinpaper said...

Your cards are fantastic Darnell (love those colours), I'm so jealous of you getting all Christmassy already, we've honestly had the busiest year and I feel lucky if I can just get in some creating time, hoping that things will settle come June lol.

Karen B said...

Two gorgeous Christmas cards Dippy.....so glad Hammy has returned safely after his brief soujourn and that he's on your case!!! lol Love that cute wreath and the sentiment Christmas tree. Bet you're glad you have your new "succulent" view now, it looks lovely.

Hugs.

Karendipity xxx

Greta said...

You've outdone yourself, Darnell! I have that MFT stamp, but I've never made it look like this! One of my all-time favorite cards! The second one is fabulous, too, & you've inspired me to use 4 layers with the wreath die I have that's very similar. So much inspiration--wow!

Chriss Blagrave said...

Oh Darnell, I LOVE that you made a Christmas card using the same colours and kept the sketch. Good for you that you are keeping true to the Christmas card challenge too!
I am so happy that you have this beautiful view now from you dinner table! Lovely, lovely!

Mrs A. said...

You need to go under pressure more often cos these are finger licking fabilicious. Love the lasso of rope on the first one.
Fab make over of the bland fence.
We went to the garden centre Saturday to buy a few new plants for the rockery which had over grown itself so I had peeled it back to the bare rocks practically.
Got a couple of plants for the main garden From a company called
"The Hairy Pot company". Instead of being in a pot they come in a hemp basket which you just pop the whole lot into the ground and it breaks down in the soil. My kinda gardening that!! Hugs Mrs A.

JD/ Jill said...

You've made two really special Christmas cards here...Okay, I seemed to have made the same commitment to try and make at least one Christmas card every week...No, I have not kept that up either...thanks for the push...need to get my Christmas stuff out again...but it's to pretty and spring like outside right now...it's hard to get inspired.

Sandi said...

Darnell...I love your blog...you are hilarious...you crack me up!! I love both your Christmas cards! Thanks for stopping by my blog today and leaving the sweet comment! I am becoming a follower of your blog too! xoxo Sandi

Loll Thompson said...

Two beautiful Christmas cards Dolly. I've been falling way behind with my plan to make at least one Christmas card each week. I think it's been over five or six weeks since my last. You've inspired me ... now to see if my mojo will follow suit - it keeps wanting to make spring cards :) Lolly xx

Sharon Underwood said...

Your cards are beautiful, Darnell! I think I need that wreath die...your wreath looks so pretty!

scrappymo! said...

t cards. Lovin that little hoop of twine alongside the wreath...it looks wonderful.
The stripe is great on the second one and you have aced both of these!

Barb Ghig said...

Gorgeous cards, Darnell! I love the sentiment and how you layered everything on the first one, and your CAS design on the 2nd card is sheer perfection! Thank heaven for Hammy!!!

Best of luck with your new succulents! I love how you arranged them on your fence...if you remember, it would be fun to see a photo later in the season, when they've had a chance to grow a bit! As always, thanks for making me smile...it's always fun to visit!

Ivanka said...

Gorgeous cards! Love the idea of doing Christmas cards throughout the year. I will have to remember that for next January!! Love your new view point in the yard! Looks beautiful.

Vicki Dutcher said...

Love that Christmas card with the corner treatment -- looks fabulous. Your new "view" looks much better too!

Asha said...

Your new view from the dining room is quite an improvement. LOVE your clever interpretation of the sketch. The triangle as a stylised tree is on the mark! And you're right - the strips on the second card do look like washi tape. Brilliant!
hugs, Asha

Leslee said...

I commend you for working on Christmas cards already! But such an excellent plan! Good luck with the growing of your succulents. Will be another month before we I can plant anything here!

SmilynStef said...

Love those colors ... so very glad you bundled-up with us at Jingle Belles.

Lisa said...

A TERRIFIC pair of cards Darnell!! LOVE the layered wreath on the second one. Good luck with your plants, I tend to drown them ~ sad but true ;)

Tracey McNeely said...

Love your Christmas cards, I so fell off the wagon. I need to get going on them again. I love the sentiment on your first card in all those fabulous colours! xoxo

Marianne said...

beautiful Christmas card Darnell

Carol L said...

Great cards today! I especially like those layered wreaths! Gotta love your pretty new "garden" too!

Julia Aston said...

Two wonderful Christmas creations Darnell! Love the wreath! and your new view is truly inspirational I'm sure! what a difference colorful plants make!

Di said...

Two fabulous cards Darnell! Each one is gorgeous - LOVE how you layered the wreath up!

And those plants sure look happy to me :)

Hugs, Di xx

Gerrina said...

Great cards! Love the fresh colours and the way you made the X-mas tree! Enjoy your "growing"wall! Hugs, Gerrina

Charlene said...

Awesome cards Darnell!! Love the layers :-)And your growing wall is fantastic! Happy Monday!

OH Babs said...

I like your color choices for the Christmas cards. I am so not into Christmas yet so I applaud all who have begun. Fortunately for me I get to look at our front patio and all the plants and flowers - I feel like I am in my own private pretty space.

Alrik Gerlach said...

Wow! This is awesome! Love the coloring and the beautiful details.
What a wonderful project, all of the details are stunning!It's very inspiring.

Anne said...

Love that layered wreath Darnell!
Thank you for your LIM entry this week
Anne
Less is More Designer

Patti said...

Wowie!! this is almost too much beauty to take in in one little post! :)

Your garden wall is outstanding! you raised that boy right! : )

And even though I'm on strike from anything "winter or Christmas" related I must admit I said several oohs and three... maybe four ahhhs when looking at your beautiful cards. : ) Delightful!!

Patti

Sarah Gray said...

What a fab pair of cards, Darnell - very festive! Love the layered wreaths - I will look that die up :) I hope you enjoy the new baskets in the garden, they look gorgeous. Thanks for joining us at A Blog Named Hero!

Brenda said...

Oh my what beautiful Christmas cards Darnell!! You will have a nice little stash by the time Dec rolls around! I am loving your fence with the succulents, just remember with succulents less is more! lol With most houseplants too. I think you will do fine with them. Much nicer to look at too! But I didn't think your fence was boring. I'd love to have a fence. lol Hugs

Virginia Lu said...

So much goodness in one post, Darnell! I love your take on the challenges!! Your layering and use of elements for the Christmas card are spot on! It's such a treat to see your work and your garden updates are so fun! Those succulent planters are so beautiful to see!

Gerrina said...

Did I completely forget to thank you for taking the Time Out to join us at Time Out Challenges.... Hugs, Gerrina

Petra Swart said...

Both your cards are beautiful, Darnell - love the colours!!!
...and your sweet hanging garden is just as lovely!!

Susan said...

Darnell...you manage to include more challenges than anyone I know...girl, you are talented! Love both of the cards...but now I feel guilty because I haven't even made ONE Christmas card!

Buttons said...

Very elegant and well designed cards Darnell. Jenny x

Emily Leiphart said...

Love your card, Darnell! The layered wreath is stunning. Thanks so much for playing along with the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge: Keep It Clean and Simple!

Pat said...

These are both lovely Christmas cards Darnell. I love all the layers and that triangular stamp makes an interesting topper, also the way you have used all those different colours in the wreath on the second, and another unusual stamp for the topper. That diagonal stripe is really attractive. I have been rather slow in answering blogs recently as in the morning I use my tablet to look at blogs and comment, and for some reason there are quite a few which it just will not load properly, and inevitably I have to leave and come back some time later on the main computer, and then life gets in the way and I get behind, which is exceedingly frustrating as I do love to look and comment on all my friends' posts. Never mind I get there in the end. x

Nonni said...

Great X-mas cards, Darnell! I love the idea of your CASE card -the sentiment you used works perfecly with the "tree" shape. :) Thanks for taking TIME OUT and joining our challenge! Oh and congrats on the alterations in your garden -the flower baskets look really pretty!

Linby said...

Great cards, love the colour combo on the first one.
Way to go with the fence, looks fab.
Linbyx

Cindy Brumbaugh said...

Golly, those Christmas cards are purty! I love the succulent garden on the lattice. So pretty!

poppaeacards said...

These are both fab Darnell, and I love that wreath! I haven't even started on Christmas cards yet... Maybe that's a project for today! Cx

cm said...

I'm late to commenting..gahh...but here I am, aswoon with the dazzling delights found in your post! Your cards are absolutely x a zillion, outstanding! The first: a fresh, unique take on Virginia's; the second, pure Joy in every way! I think you look fantastic in 'layered'!! Your fence: another work of art! Beautiful!!
Hugs~c

lauren bergold said...

both of these are lovely but OF COURSE your "wild and ker-AY-zee" layered up goodness is my fave! thanks for "bundling up" with us at JINGLE BELLES! <3

Kanan Pandya said...

Gorgeous Christmas cards!!! Love the wonderful design and pretty details on each one, great traditional colors too.

Thanks for playing along with us at Simply Create Too. Join us again soon. :-)