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!

February 28, 2014

Pinch Me! ~ NBUS #108

Happy Day, my friends!

It is, indeed, a happy day in my little corner of the stamping world!

I'd like to interrupt my regular card shenanigans to bring you a special announcement and ask you to forgive a little self-boosterization. I am pleased as butterscotch to have the huge honor of being inducted into the Wall of Fame at Addicted to Stamps and More (ATSM)! It is another distinct honor to be sharing this recognition with the fabulous Bonnie and the fabulous Anni!


I hope you'll check out this challenge, which I always find to be tons of fun, if you don't already play there! Everyone is welcome, the Design Team is sensational, and you'll never run out of inspiration! Thank you so much, ladies! I'm thrilled and grateful!


~~~~~~~~~

My card today was sparked by the current Merry Monday challenge. It is a delightful color and sparkle challenge:
Who doesn't love aqua/turquoise? Scrumdidlyicious! My beautiful DIL chose turquoise for her wedding color and her sisters all looked stunning in their gowns. All that white and turquoise in the photo inspiration reminded me of that magical day.

Here is my card:


This card was simple to make, but it was hecka hard to photograph. Photographing a mirror card, as you know, is like trying to capture a photo of the imaginary troll living under the 12th street bridge!

I started with a white card base to which I applied the gorgeous striped paper from SU that I've had for a year or two. The silver stripes shine like foil. Over the PP I attached a piece of SU silver mirror card which I embossed with a NBUS embossing folder from Sizzix called "Thank You Set #5." Over the mirror card I applied the NBUS joy sediment which is from a Wplus9 die called "Seasonal Sentiments Die." The snowflake is also part of that set. The enamel dots are from My Mind's Eye.

Simple Dimple! (That's a little longer than QACAS.)

~~~

A lot of us are friends with Sandra (Sarn) who runs a once-a-month-Christmas-card-only challenge called "Rudolph Day." The link is only open from the 25th day of the month to the last day of the month and then you get to rest until the 25th day of the next month. Okay, well, maybe not rest, ezackly, no need to choke.

So, anyway, that's ducky and it's another great challenge to allow us to build up our stashes of Christmas cardlets all year long. But just a minute. This year Sarn threw us for a loop, put a wrench in it, and generally stirred the pot by changing the roolsh that you can only enter if you make TWO Christmas cards and enter them at the same time each month! 

It's actually a nice idea and what a good friend she is because then we build our mustaches sooner, doncha see? So the Rule of Two is a fabbie idea unless you totally forget until you are in the process of writing your post. In which case you stop writing and run and make a second card!

Like this: 

Since I had a scrap of this and a larger piece of that on the desk, and some ribbon and, "Hey," the hamster chimed in, "remember that decades-old textured paper you have in your drawer of white papers?" . . . a new design evolved.  And since this one is less busy than the first one, I can enter it in the current ATSM challenge which is "Clean and Simple (CAS)" and bring my post around full circle stop to where we started today.

I love it when that happens.

Sarn asks that we link a photo of our two cards together for her challenge, so this is for her:
 
***
Check out all the challenge links given to find the rules, sponsors, and prize details. 
~~~

New Friends Corner

I am delighted to see a third gentleman has joined our party! Please help me welcome Ignacio Molina of Nicecrane Designs. Ignacio also has a company website and no doubt you have seen him generously sponsoring so many of our wonderful challenges in this stamping community. His designs, both freebies and for sale, are incredibly beautiful!!

Welcome, Ignacio, and thank you for joining!

~~~

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!

February 26, 2014

Rings of Love ~ and NBUS #107

Hello Camper Stampers!

I'm gonna just get down to bizzness because I wrote a whole post toastie and it went away. Pfff. Just like that. I'm pretty sure I engaged in operator error, at least I hope so and it's not Booger, er, Blogger. So, since it's getting late and a couple of challenges are getting ready to close, I'm just going to talk about my card and the challenges and call it a night. 

Bartender, I'd like a night cap, please. The one with the lace ruffles, it will go with my card, which I hope you see here:


It all started because I didn't want to miss the Less Is More challenge for a second week in a row and, in the end, I'm afraid it might be a little too much More is More. 

The recipe theme is METAL. I made the wedding rings out of these spiral paper clip thingies I have:
I should say Mister made them for me because the metal was too hard for me to cut, which was very gallant of him.

***
Turns out the latest challenge at Shopping Our Stash is also METAL! (Thanks Chris!) It's actually "heavy metal" which my card is the farthest from, but you can use anything metallic on your card.
Grab Our Badge!

***
For my sketch I liked this fun CAS design I saw at Stamplorations.
***
For my colors, I liked these delightful pink and gray anniversarish tones of the BE Inspired Challenge (BIC) at The Alley Way Stamps (TAWS).
My card colors are SU blushing bride (I mean, right?) and basic gray, even though the dern photo makes the pink look more like a coral, some might say reef. My NBUS stamp sediments are from the TAWS delightful sets: "Mad Gab" and "Jibber Jabber."
***
For my topic, I choose the current WEDDING or ANNIVERSARY theme that's about to perspire over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge.
Simon Wednesday Challenge Blog
***
I used snippets on my card, so I'm going to take it over (tomorrow) to Pixie's Snippets Playground. I've been making a lot of OLCs and miss the girls, so it will be nice to stop over there!
Pixies Crafty Workshop
***
And for the grand finale, I noticed I had a bingo over at the Tic Tac Toe Designer's Choice challenge at Inkspirational Challenges:
In a straight line down the middle, at A11, I used the Darice "Circle Interlock" embossing folder inside the Spellbinders scallop circle. At B Free, I used an organza ribbon from the Buy O' Spool dollar bin at Richards and an SU lace ribbon sticker. At C22, see above for the metal info.

Remember that all the fine print for all the challenges can be found by clicking the linkings!!

~~~

Walla! (I hope this one publishes!) 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!

February 25, 2014

PTI February 2014 Blog Hop Challenge


Greetings, my friends!

Today we are all meeting up at Nichole's place for the once-a-month blog hop held to showcase our Papertrey Ink (PTI) products.
Blog-hop-logo
This fun hop is held on the 25th of each month and the contest ants are given a photo inspiration board to get their creative juices flowing. This is the beautiful spring inspiration board provided for us to use in this Papertrey Ink February 2014 Blog Hop Challenge:
Ah, spring . . . 

Here is my card:
I played with my patterned paper the other day and this time I played with some of the handmade papers in my collection which I'm pretty sure haven't seen the light of day since the Playhouse went up 2 1/2 years ago and possibly even years before that. Sigh. As I went through the folder, this wispy dried grass adhered to beautifully textured paper really spoke to me for this challenge. 
I saw tree branches, the hamster yelled nest, and I countered with eggs. We go back and forth like a well-oiled machete and then we collapse in design delirium, so proud! In this case, nothing says spring design like newly laid eggs in a nest.

Using my PTI egg die and another sheet of pretty dotted handmade paper, I cut nine eggs. I then glued the cutouts together to make three-ply eggs so they weren't so, well, paper thin. I outlined each egg with a brown marker.
The card base and the ribbon are both PTI "Spring Rain." The wee branch I stamped on the sky portion to carry the nest above the ribbon is from SU. I didn't add a sediment to the front, thinking it would be too much, and it would draw the eye away from the little scene of spring rebirth.

Nothing NBUS today, but the paper is so old it might as well be NBUS. Like the patterned paper, hopefully you will be seeing more of this type of lovely handmade paper used in my cards in the weeks to come now that I've sprung it from the dark recesses of the cabinet. Handmade paper is a lot more challenging for me to use on a card and just generally a lot harder for me to cut into. Still, with resolve, a little wodka, and a good candy bar, I can do it.

~~~

My card was also inspired by the current sketch challenge at Fab Friday, a fun challenge that I haven't played in for quite a while. If it's new to you, or you haven't played yet this week, check it out and join in!! Here is the sketch:
This is the part of my post where I provide you with exercise. For those of you reading this on your mobile devices, no fair cheating by simply turning your device upside down! No, Siree Saraw, I want you up and out of that chair, car, or bed. I'll pause for a second while you ... oh, geez, that's gotta hurt.

New Friends Corner

It's my pleasure to introduce you to a new friend today!

Please give a warm welcome to Nancy Thomas of the Creative Palette. Nancy has been blogging since the end of 2009, so there's a lotta goodies to gander at and add to your inspiration folders and boards! Nancy is an award-winner and design-team-member whose style is very often whimsical and always clean and sharp!

Welcome, Nancy, and thank you for joining us!!
~~~

It's a hop, so hop along ... and 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!

February 23, 2014

A Secret Told ~ NBUS #106

Happy Day!

Shine on me sunshine
Skip with me world
It's a jumpity-do-dah day!

If you've been reading this blog for quite some time, you know that I am an active member and former president of our local chapter of the Federal and International Frog Friends Association (FIFFA).

As such, according to the FIFFA Bylaws, I simply had to enter the CASology challenge before it closed because the cue card word this week is JUMP!

Now there are a lot of ways to represent JUMP on a card and you can see them in all the wonderful creativity of the DT and partipant's cards at CASology, including cards featuring frogs!

I had a few ideas in mind, but then two things happened. The first is that I happily won a challenge at Paper Smooches (PS) and my winning stamps arrived which changed my ideas. (I was hoping to play in the Anything Goes challenge, but I missed it by a day.) You should check out PS; there are great prizes, but more importantly, Kim's stamps are great to work with.

The second thing that happened was, well, it's sort of a long story and I won't be offended if you skip it. Or maybe I should say: jump past it.

My story brings me back to the introduction. FIFFA is a members-only association and to be a member you have to be recommended, vetted, and withstand a very rigorous initiation ceremony involving ice cubes. You are also sworn to secrecy for as long as you live about everything remotely related to what goes on at the meetings or what you learn about frogs.

So. Okay, fine. Back in 1992, Bennett Chambers was recommended for membership by Jeanette from the bank. A lot of us were opposed to Bennett's membership because Eleanor could see from her attic window that Bennett would enjoy an adult beverage more often than is considered normal in a police society. So we could foresee, don't you see, that loose lips sink ships. But we were overruled and Bennett became a member.

Sure enough, fast forward to last Tuesday week, around 4:30 on a Saturday afternoon (you pick), Bennett got an unexpected invitation to sub for a bowling tournament at Leonard's Lanes. Bennett was so honored to be asked, he forgot he was two sheets to the wind. This became readily apparent to everyone, however, when he laid down his first ball and slipped. When he came to a full stop halfway down the lane, he was sprawled over Kim Bo, and everyone was either horrified or started laughing hysterically. Lucille had to dash off knock-kneed to the ladies loo.

Trying to save face when he was helped to his feet, Bennett brushed off his trousers and sputtered, "Yeah, oh yeah?! Well ... well ... frogs drink coffee and THAT'S why they are able to jump so high!"

Gasp!

While FIFFA sorts out how they are going to recover from this monumental breach of confidentiality (thank God I'm not still president!), I hung up the phone and decided to make the most of the situation by redesigning my card to allow me to also play in the Addicted to CAS challenge where the code word is COFFEE.
You see how everything has a way of working out?

Turns out since my focus pocus is m'frog, I can also play in the Simply Create Too, which is St. Patrick's Day [or use GREEN].
Grab Our Badge!
Finally, bless my heart, here is my card:


The full ingredients are below. Every stamp on my card today is NBUS, making me feel better about not NBUSing on my last few cards. No, wait, I might have used the conversation bubble once before. Four different stamp sets were used to make this OLC. You could prolly tell that the sediment is from Yours Truly. I love how the coffee gives a lovely sheen to his pearly warts.

Speaking of NBUS, I am editing this post to play in a new challenge on the block called The Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers. For reals! And their second challenge is "The Letter U" which stands for unused which means they want us to use something unused on our cards. Hello? NBUS!! How could I not play, especially since this card is 83% unused or possibly 94%!

~~~
Remember, click on the links to all these challenges to get the details about rules, sponsors, and prizes and I hope you can join in!!
~~~

Thank you if you stuck through my story of how my card came to be. I'm like your Aunt Camille who insists on telling a story the long way. She has to start at the beginning and end at the ending and include every single detail. If you're unlucky, she corners you at Christmas with one of her stories. The worst part is that she impales you with her eyes the whole time she is talking so that you don't dare roll your own. 

After about ten minutes, you can feel your eyeballs starting to twitch and you know they are going to involuntarily roll back into your head any second. Luckily, you remember at the last second that you know how to fake a sneeze. Unluckily, Aunt Cammie just politely waits until you're finished and then she starts up by first backing up with a recap so you both know where she was before you so rudely interrupted her. 

I'm that aunt in my family.

I do have to say, as an aside, that I always wondered why people just want you to tell the ending of a story first, get straight to the bottom line, start with the punch, as it were. Do such people go hell-bent at a dead run right through the whole of their lives, so anxious to get to the end? 

Not me. I saunter. I'm even starting to waddle a bit and I can be seen to lolly-gag on occasion. (You know right now I want to start a new story and tell you about the origin of the word lolly-gag. But I won't because my hamster has stopped his wheel and is glaring at me and because it's good to savor our lives, skip with the world, and look forward to another day.)

I hope you 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!


Project Details
Paper
PTI white, unknown PP  
Stamps    
shadow and cup: PS "Hot Concoctions"
coil: Stempendous "Retro Ornament Set"
frog: PS "A Little Lovin'"
conversation bubble: PS "He Said, She Said"
 Ink
SU always artichoke, gumball green
Versafine onyx black
Accessories
Eyeballs from Darice
Warts from Hero Arts

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!

February 21, 2014

Holly and Hummers ~ DJKASE #9 and #10

Good Day! Good Friday! I hope you had a good week whooshing  to today!

It's time for another DJKASE and I'm happy to say I am copylimenting two more of my very supportive and talented followers. Surely, you must know that I am referring to Shirley . . . two Shirleys, in fact!

In Alpha Betty order, first up is Shirley Bampton of Shirley Bee's Stamping Stuff.
My Photo
Shirley is a multi-award-winning card artist who has been blogging since 2012. She is also multi-talented when it comes to her ability to design and execute any card style. When you visit her blog, you will find her excellent work ranges from the cleanest and simplest to the inkiest and grungiest! Something for everybody! (BTW, I noticed Shirley is just a few folks short of reaching 100 followers on her blog, so I know you'll help her reach that benchmark!)

As usual, I narrowed down my choices and in the end I decided to feature this Shirley Bee-utiful card, which was posted on Shirley's blog on November 28, 2012. I love how her sponged circle showcasing the holly reminds me of the earth and her splattered dots remind me of the stars.
Shirley B's card

Here is my DJKASE of Shirley's card:
Darnell's card
I chose Shirley's card in part because holly is also the featured theme on the current Merry Monday challenge which I wanted to play in, so I killed two objectives in one post!
Oh, well, while I'm at it, I will link again with the Festive Fridays challenge where this is the festive featured photo inspiration:
The red and white colors are used on my card as well as the silver of the ornate'ament dish handle.

======================================================================

The second Shirley I am honored to DJKASE today is Shirley D. of Paper Creations by Shirley. Shirley has been blogging since 2011. She is a published card designer, sketch artist, painter, gardener, and (in her spare time, bwahahaha) embroidererer. 
My Photo
Shirley's work as a card artist is often ethereal and done in vivid jewel tones, such as this card I chose, which was posted by Shirley on December 13, 2012:
Shirley D's card
It kinda scared the crap out of me to DJKASE her, because while I personally love the deep and rich colors she uses, if I try to do that, it ends up a muddy disaster. But I couldn't resist this card because it features Ryn's water droplets and a hummingbird, two things which I also love.

To save me from a muddy sponging disaster, I found a color challenge with lighter colors and I made this DJKASE of Shirley's spectacular card:
Darnell's card
The color challenge I used is the current Colour Me ...! challenge using pistachio pudding, brown sugar, and soft sky:
 
Thank you, Shirley and Shirley, for all your wonderful inspiration and consistent encouragement, which I very much appreciate! I'm delighted that you are both friends and I hope you are pleased.

~~~

To save space, I'm not including the ingredient list for my cards, so please let me know if you'd like that information. Also, I did a really dumb thing. After heat embossing, I set my heat gun aside on my desk, but it started to topple off to the floor. Dimstinctively I reached for it and caught it with the blistering hot end right smack in the tender area between my index and middle fingers on my right hand. It's the first time I've burned myself in twelve years using a heat gun, so I was due!

~~~

New Friends Corner

There's always space for welcoming new friends, of course, so please meet:

Julia Aston of Create With Me. Julia has been blogging since 2007 and in that amount of time she has tons and tons of beautiful card art to inspire you! In spite of being a well-known designer who has won many awards, Julia continues to support other card artists with her encouraging comments.

Birgit of Crafting While I Wait. Birgit has been blogging since 2012. She is from a quiet little town in Maine, USA, and I adore her often country cards, made with soft layers and sweet embellishments. I know she would appreciate your visits to see her creations!

Welcome, Julia and Birgit, and thank you for joining the fun in 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!




February 19, 2014

The Best of Butterfly Birthdays


I welcome you to Wednesday!

While we're on the subject of Olympic ice dancing, a lot of you have written to inquire whether I am responsible for naming that part of the couple's program referred to as "twizzling." Now why would you ask me that? I always thought the name was already taken to describe the exercise your fingers get when you walk them around the rim of your drinks glass, flirting.

My card today is for three challenges.

Firstly, there is a fun new challenge in Blogland called the Butterfly Challenge. It is owned and operated by a friend of mine, affectionately known by all as Mrs. A. The first challenge is to use piglets and flowers on your card. Wait. What? No, no, that can't be right, not piglets. I was thinking of my friends at Pooh Corner again. It's butterflies, silly, we are to use butterflies and flowers!
Grab My Button.

Secondly, butterflies are also featured in the current photo inspiration at Fusion, where you can either use the photo or the sketch or fuse them both for your card. My card uses just the photo.
Thirdly, I used two Hero Arts products on my card, so I'm entering the ongoing Hero Arts Birthday Challenge. There are five different categories and from the colors in my card, I think I could enter the rainbow challenge but, to be safe, I'm entering the anything goes challenge.

Remember, just click on the links for the details on rules, sponsors, and prizes and then join in the fun!!

~~~

Here is my card:
Oh, how I love a beautiful patterned paper, like this paper from K & Company. It's so easy to let it be the star of a card, especially when the design is so stunning. I simply added my cut panel to a card base, stamped the sediment from Hero Arts, and finished it off with colored rhinestones, also from Hero Arts. I was going to add a cut butterfly, but then I decided it was gorge just the way it is ~ and easy to mail. 

You can see a little better in this photo just how glittery it is IRL. The patterned paper is already embossed and glim-glammed, but I did add a few more highlights to the flower and butterflies with my Sakura glitter pen because I couldn't help myself.

I will be doing more and more of these patterned paper cards rather than leave my collection languishing in drawers. There's rarely white space because of the pattern so shall I make it a new movement? Will you bring out your patterned papers and let the pattern be the star of your card? In our card-making world already brimming with acronyms (partly my fault) should we call this style QSP for quick, simple, and patterned?  CAP for clean and patterned? Or shall I make this a series? We have QACAS, shall we add QASAP?

Aacck, no more aacckronyms!!


~~~

Update Alert: Thanks to Mrs. A., I have learned that the craftiest hazelnut of them all has already started an entire patterned paper challenge blog!! Yippee! Great minds! Thank you, Hazel! I am entering my card in Hazel's challenge and I hope you will, too! You can find it here: Craftyhazelnut's Patterned Paper Challenge!
Please feel free to copy to your sidebar

~~~


New Friends Corner:

It is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to two new friends at the Playhouse:

Katie Melhus of Sweet n Spiffy. Katie's blog name fits her perfectly! She has been blogging since 2012 and makes super clean, charming, and CASlicious cards! Katie is a mom who works in a medical laboratory, so scrapbooking and card-making put her in touch with her creative side. In a very big way!

(I'm always impressed by people, such as a lot of you, who can use both sides of their brains. I'm currently working with the remaining two-thirds of one-half of mine.)

Carol of Inky Fingers. Carol has been blogging since 2010 and is a long-time friend here. We both thought she had been a follower for ages, but somehow that step was overlooked, so Carol clicked on the blue button to make it official. Carol has a wonderful eye for design and she is an extremely meticulous and creative card artist! 

Be prepared for a case of dropjaw when you visit these ladies! Welcome, Katie and Carol, and thank you for joining us!!

~~~

When we returned the boys to their parents, DIL Rachel had been clearing out their yard and doing some pruning. She very kindly gave me some cuttings from her beautiful succulents, which I brought home and potted. This morning when I went outside, I found one of them sipping some morning dew. Look closely, there's a little deworb in the very center.

~~~

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!