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!

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:
Click CTL + Home. 
Click the Home tab under my blog banner which resets the post.
Click Page Down to reach the end of the post.
Click Comments and the pop-up box opens.
Click Jump to Comment Form; no more car pool tunnel!
Mwah!

79 comments:

Hussena said...

What a beautiful card Darnell ..that embossed panel and the butterfly sticker sure do work perfectly against that pattern paper:) ..really enjoyed having these glimpses of your garden and nature at its best!! ..That grasshopper wing sure came as a surprise they indeed look like real leaves !!Wow !
Thank you so much for featuring my blog here ..what an honour this is :)

Sammy said...

What a fab card Darnell! And what a gorgeous array of critters. We're usually lucky to find anything besides slugs and spiders, and I'm fairly certain nobody wants to see those! x

Stamps and Paper said...

Beutiful card Darnell and thank you for sharing your gorgeous photographs with us...

Anne

Faye Wynn-Jones said...

This lovely card caught my eye on my dashboard. Very nice indeedy x

Sue said...

Loving all your photos.

Fab card.

Hope you are having a nice weekend. Sue

Jessi Fogan said...

what a GORGEOUS QACAS card! I love that sentiment :)
We are lucky to get the big dragonflies here, and I love them. Fun fact: I have a dragonfly tattoo on my shoulder, and in August when the dragonflies are most present, they will land on my shoulder nearly every time I'm outside. Little bit of magic (although um, what are they trying to do? I don't wanna think about that. lol) Fun fact #2 - it was really windy last week, and one blew right into my face. You wouldn't think it would hurt, but yep.
Also, that squirrel? too freaking cute :)

Viv's Visuals said...

Great pics Darnell (although I confess to scrolling quickly past the ants!!!) Beautiful dragonfly shot.
Great embossed card too!

Lynn said...

I love your card Darnell...but wow! The photos of all the critters are amazing...love all the beautiful details.

Jeanne said...

Your card is wonderful, Darnell, and so are the photos you shared. Each and every one! I'm envious that your butterfly bush flowers more than one time a season. I have one and get a showing only once. (Of course, our growing season is a bit shorter here in CO). This year I had the most blooms in a very long time. Yay! Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed your post. Thanks!

Becca Cruger said...

Thank you, my sweet friend, for the call-out. It's people like you who make the crafting world go 'round.

As for your card - I just love the way you are constantly inspired by your surroundings. The things you find to write about and the way you notice the little magical details never ceases to amaze me.

adele holcomb said...

What a pretty card! I love the combination of stamping and embossing. And your nature photos are great -- I enjoyed every one of them!

Brenda in IN said...

This is a stunning card. I can't get over the butterfly being a sticker, it is gorgeous. I never knew dragonflies could be so pretty. The damselfly is a beautiful color and the second one is pretty too. Your butterfly bush is so pretty. Wow, you sure have some huge bees! Your photos are amazing.

Kristi said...

Great card! Who knew there were such beautiful butterfly stickers out there?

I must confess that when you were talking about there being a dead grasshopper being "circle of lifed" by ants, my first thought was "The only good grasshopper is a dead grasshopper." because I'm not fond of them at all! But I think your grasshopper might be a katydid. We found one on our house this week and I had to google it to see what it was. I had never seen a leafy looking bug here in CO and had to know what it was.

Maura R said...

Oh, my gosh, those photos are amazing! The detail on the dragonflies are fascinating! Thanks for the little touch of nature you provided all of us this morning. Oh, and I like the card too!

kanda said...

Beautiful card and those photos are amazing xx

Valerie Nolan said...

Gorgeous card Darnell love the patterned paper and the embossed panel. Fab photos I love squirrels! I always check out your new Playmate's and I was blown away by Leanne's blog what amazing cards :-)
Val x

Helen F. said...

Your card is absolutely beautiful, Darnell. I'm on the hunt for that pretty Embossing Folder now~cause I just don't have enough NBUS ;-)
Thanks for the wonderful walk with Mother Nature. Your Buddlea Bush is awesome! I have the "giant" variety in my front yard that my landscaper keeps trimming into a huge ball shape which is now the size of Pluto and not producing flowers for my butterflies :-( Will have to check out the Miniature bush. TFS!

Jenny L said...

Hi Darnell,
beautiful card and beautiful pictures of your wildlife near your home.
You do amaze me with your wonderful pictures, they are so great.
I have a fishing lake the other side of my garden fence, and we quite often see dragonflies, and one day one stood still long enough for me to take a picture of it.
I think they are amazing and all so very different in colour too.
I did pop the picture on my blog a while ago so I will look up when I posted it and send you the link.
I think your grasshopper could maybe have been dropped by a bird.
Lots of crafty love. Jenny L.

Maarit at Violets Corner said...

Such a fabulous card and lovely to see the wildlife in your garden.

Warm hugs
Maarit

Sandy said...

Really enjoyed your wildlife photos.

Petra Swart said...

WOW, Darnell, what a great treat this post was!!! As someone who loves nature and all it has to offer, I really enjoyed your beautiful photo's!!! Thanks so much for sharing this!!!
Love your beautiful card, too!!!

Anita in France said...

Gorgeous card, Darnell ... and awesome photographs ... what a lovely tour round your nature garden! Hugs, Anita :)

Sue said...

Your card is gorgeous Darnell, such a beautiful butterfly.
Thank you for sharing your fabulous wildlife photos too.
Hugs Sue xx

Liz said...

Another beautiful card! That butterfly is just gorgeous. Lovely to see the wildlife in your garden - great photos. xx

MaryH said...

Finally got a chance to pop over when I had some time to enjoy a few posts & some lovely cards. Enjoyed all the critters round your house, and we have one white & one lavender butterfly bush. Ditto on the insects you showed, other than the damsel fly. We haven't seen that one. Squirrels like the bird feeder at times. Your card is beautiful, and that is an amazing sticker too. Looked very lifelike, and wonderful with the corner stamping and that great EF on the green. Hope you're having fun. Off to enjoy some earlier posts. TFS

MackieMade Paper Creations said...

The pretty butterfly sticker looks great against that embossed background and beautiful paper!!!! And I love your insect pics and the little squirrel!

Chriss Blagrave said...

A beautiful card Darnell, incorporating some of you wonderful critter insects! Loved seeing the gorgeous photos, that damselfly...I think we might have them here too. Such intricately patterned wings and that unique colour. We had a lot of dragonflies this year, also, a variety of what I call "double deckers" or cargo dragonflies. They have double decker wings. As for squirrels and figs...a bumper crop of figs and the squirrels ate so many of them, I feared they may get drunk! Such a pleasurable post Darnell!
Hugs, Chriss.

Molecraft said...

A gorgeous card and beautiful pics, thank you for sharing them with us!
Helen x

Geri said...

You sure know how to make a Thanksgiving weekend better! Fabulous photos of Mother Nature's wee critters, an amazing card with a butterfly that almost looks 'for reals' and the smell of a yummy-in-the-tummy roasting in the oven!

Mama squirrel is THE best! And yes, I do feel badly for the grass hopper but I suspect the ants don't!

Hope you're having a blast with the sisters!

Geri said...

ooops...that is"yummy in the tummy TURKEY"...

How could I have missed that one all important word? Sheesh!!!

Redanne said...

What a wonderful post Darnell, I love your card with the gorgeous butterfly. Love the real Monarch butterfly too, I wish we had them over here! I am not so keen on Damselflies but I ADORE dragonflies and that one you saw is a stunner. Thanks so much for sharing your garden and critters! Hugs, Annie xx

Pia S said...

Your butterfly sticker looks beautiful against the green background, makes it look like a scene from nature!

Tenia Nelson said...

Gorgeous!!

Kathleen said...

Everything about this card is superb, love it.
Photo's are stunning and the only problem I have are the ants, I am allergic to ant bites, nearly had to have a finger off because of one.

Kath x

Sue said...

Stunning card Darnell and fab photo's huggles Sue xxx

Sally H said...

A gorgeous card and some stunning photos, Darnell! Beautiful dragonflies - I love em!

frommycraftroom said...

Gorgeous card.
Fab photos of your visitors. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for the links to.

Pat said...

This is lovely Darnell and that is such a pretty green against which the orange butterfly stands out so beautifully. I love that swirly pattern on the paper and the complementary EF finishes the card perfectly. The wildlife photography is wonderful. I think we get everything over here apart from the carpenter bee which looks huge as does that grasshopper. We see quite a lot of dragonflies and the size and colours of them never fail to amaze. Hope you are having a great time. x

Indy said...

What an inspiring card! Love the critters!
Hugs,
Debbie

Greta said...

Beautiful card & fun critter pictures, Darnell!

abusybee - DoubleClick Connections said...

Beautiful! Love all the great pics! Thanks for sharing! Carri~Abusybee
Skittles!

Bonnie said...

This butterfly sticker looks so much like the real thing! Another beautiful card! And your nature photos are amazing! We had lots of dragonflies here this year. I don't remember seeing so many before. Hope you're having a wonderful time!

Kim Heggins said...

Beautiful card and beautiful photos too, you and your sister have a way with critters.

Susanne Vargas said...

Always fun to see the wildlife around the playhouse! Such beautiful pictures! And a fabulous QACAS card!

Sharron said...

Wonderful card--love that gorgeous patterned paper and your embossed panel! The sentiment is perfect for a card with a butterfly as they are such amazing critters. Thanks so much for sharing your photos. Don't know what camera you are using but the detail is fantastic. Photographing insects is not easy!!

Lisa said...

I think this CARD is amazing!! Just beautiful Darnell, love the fresh greens and your pretty butterfly!

sandie said...

Hello Darnell, sorry missed you recently but this spring time and joyful card had to get an hello-fab colours and love that embossed dragonfly card. And wow to the photos!! Have a fun week x

Milka Gubo said...

Hello Darnell :-D Beautiful card you made :-D
Thank you for sharing AMAZING photos :-D

Inkyfingers said...

Love how you placed your butterfly on a natural looking fresh background Darnell, - so pretty. Loved the look around your backyard too - made me feel I was visiting you!
Hugs
Carol x

Pollard Carole said...

Wonderful card and gorgeous post Love and Hugs Carole x

Gerrina said...

Great card! Who doesn't love butterflies in real life and on cards?
Overhere we have a lot of dragonflies when it was warmer and I love those elegant fliers! Sadley we didn't she a squirrel this year, but it is possible there was one who ate a lot of the hazelnuts... Great to see all these pics! Have a fun week! Hugs, Gerrina

Karen B said...

What a wonderful wildlife post today Dippy - love looking at all the critters you get in your yard and I adore dragonflies (hence the name of my blog!!!). Gorgeous card with that fabulous butterfly and embossing.

Hugs.

Karendipity xxx

Bobby said...

I hope you're having a fantastic time away. I love all your photos. I am constantly in awe of God's fabulous creatures.

KayM said...

Your card is so lovely Darnell and it goes so beautifully with all the wonderful pictures of the beauty outside around the playhouse! So amazing! Love the little mama squirrel eating her fig! So so cute!!

jimlynn said...

First of all, I LOVE your gorgeous card!!! You amaze me too!! So lovely.
Fantastic photos! I really never knew that a squirrel would eat figs! They can do a number on our pecan trees though - but that gives Rambo (our doxie)entertained for hours every day. One of these days he's going to nail one!
Lynn

Sharon Underwood said...

Very pretty card, Darnell! I love seeing your beautiful pictures of nature, too.

Jacee said...

Lovely card Darnell, great colour, I love green and this is such a pretty shade, the butterfly is beautiful as is all your photo's, gorgeous!
hugs Jacee
Simply Paper Card Design

Monika Reeck said...

I love that butterfly on your card and the embossing in green looks so lovely with that dp behind that..adorable card as always Darnell and nice pict all of your critters...thanks for sharing all Darnell..big hugs, Monika from Germany

shirley-bee said...

Fabulous nature lesson, Darnell, with spectacular photography! Isn't it wunnerful how that butterfly landed on your card ;)

Nora N. said...

What lovely flowers you have!! We tried to grow a butterfly bush but it never flowered. I so want to attract them to my yard!! Love the close ups of the critters. We used to have beautiful, big blue/green dragonflies here. I remember being at a lake and them buzzing over us constantly. Now, I never see them. If I do, they are not pretty but brown and drab. Love your card. The butterfly and the embossing are fabulous!!

Mary Anne / MA54K said...

I finally had time to sit and read your tales. I love me some critters! Living on a lake, I get quite an assortment. Not to mention all of the lessons in reproduction. Turtle eggs, and frog mating season, to mention a couple. I also use the butterfly bush for some fine close ups. Anyway, I love your card. I look forward to more of your photos.

aileen (mum) said...

Darnell, gotta love ya posts. The wild life are wonder, not so keen on the bees but only cause they seem to like stinging me. Great. Card, was trying to work out what QACASE is and thought maybe quick as.....
Anyhooo have started posting on flicker but cant work out how to give you link, may need to send an email with the link. Still working on it, jave posted some cards but still need to do all the bits that come with it, learning as I go.

JD/ Jill said...

Beautiful card, Darnell, and great pics. You have to read my Squirrel story on my blog...(the post with the autumn card...to everything there is a season...
also I gave you a "shout" out on my blog here
http://ribbonchallenged.blogspot.com/2014/10/thank-you-darnell-leanne-and-sandy_13.html

Dianne said...

Hello Miss Darnell, I love your card it's down right gorgeous, love the embossing folder, that butterfly is beautiful. I so enjoyed your wild critter photos, I have never seen a Damselfly before, your photos are superb,I love nature post, made my day, thanks for sharing it all, hope you have a wonderful week, ((( BIG HUGS )))...

Ros Crawford said...

Love your photos ... Funny we are so far away from each other but we too have the buddlea plant ... Mayflies, dragonflies and squirrels... different coloured butterflies maybe ... You are a brilliant photographer by the way and I love your gorgeous card!
Have a good week!

Hettie said...

Fabhooless pics there Mrs! I do like a dragonfly or two. Not sure I like grasshoppers as the lickle Bs round here like to jump at me when I am with my Girls.
Lovely card too. Loving that folderwhatsit you used.
Hugs
xx

dottielottie said...

Beautiful card Darnell, that is a gorgeous Butterfly and I just love that green swirly paper. Thanks for sharing all your great flora and fauna pictures, they are always a delight to see. Love the Dragonfly on the wall ! Hope you are enjoying yourself. Hugs Lottie x

Cris G said...

Your card is beautiful, Darnell. The butterfly is gorgeous and the whole design is very pretty.
You are lucky to be able to see many different critters in your own home. I love dragonflies, especially the wings, so much that I painted one in a tank top a few years ago :)... still have it. I'll be waiting for more news from Wild Playhouse Kingdom.

Leslee said...

That butterfly sticker really showcases your card! Love the dragonfly photos!

cm said...

Your card: gorgeous! The embossing folder is calling my name! I enjoyed exponentially the Insect and Animal Kingdom photo-logue you shared today! How cool are those dragonflies close up, and the grasshopper (despite being dinner) truly is a remarkable creature. Yes, Mother Nature knows how to work magic! We had a grasshopper experience a few years back. I'd purchased a large bag of basil, left it in the fridge for a couple days, then, when I came to use it, along with the basil leaves came a HUGE (easily 2.5 inches long) grasshopper. He was rather stupified from being in the fridge, never mind the journey he must have taken to get from 'wherever' to Canmore, but my shrieking roused him from his slumber. I'm sure he was incredibly handsome, but...ewwww. Too close for comfort. We released him into the wilderness! Thanks for the smiles - and 'pay attention to the details' reminder today! Hugs~c

Charlene said...

Fabulous Darnell ! Love the dragonfly too!!

nwilliams6 said...

Beautiful photography! Wow! I love your card too - that paper is some of my favorite paper of all time - I have actually bought that pad 2 times (and so had my Mom). Wonderful work as always. Hugz!

Manuela said...

beautiful photos, love the little squirrel

Brenda said...

Amazing card and amazing pictures!!! I so love the dragonflies, love them so much. I always in awe at the beautiful creatures that God has put on this beautiful earth. The pictures are just pure amazing and oh so beautiful!!! Hugs, Brenda

Shelly said...

Such a sweet and pretty card! Love the share of all the pics, too! ;)

Taunya Butler said...

Your butterfly card is delightful and your photography is amazing!! Way to go, Darnell!!! I love learning so much about you and your surroundings!! I always find greatness here - thank you!!!

Robyn Oliver said...

Wonderful post Darnell, great pics of your garden critters...lucky you to have a squirrel (none here in Australia - I suppose our possums are similar, so cute and adorable but also NOT!! had to remove them nesting in the roof.) Thanks for sharing cheers Robyn

Sian Ridley said...

Beautiful!!! ;)

Colleen Dietrich said...

Truly enjoyed these nature pics, and loving your own butterfly - paper version. You got a great close up of the dragonfly.