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!

August 30, 2014

You're Swell ~ I'm a Lucky Dip LIM GD!

Happy Saturday Seaside Salutations!

I am thrilled and delighted to be posting today as the Guest Designer at everyone's beloved Less Is More (LIM) Challenge hosted by the very talented Chrissie, Jen, Sarah, and Anne! My long-time bloggie friends will know that LIM is one of the first challenges I entered when I started my blog two and a half years ago.

Chrissie and her-then co-hostess Mandi were so kind and helpful to me when I emailed with countless questions.

"I don't understand, how is that "white space?"
"Just exactly what is a one-layer card?"
"Are you saying CAS and CASE are not the same thing?"
"Could you explain what a 'backlink' is?"

And then, my favorite, "What the heck is a 'Lucky Dip' challenge?"

Well, it's because there is a fifth week in the month.

Um. Okay. Spacifically, it's a British expression for a grab bag game where players would "dip" their hands into the bag, not knowing what they would pull out.

But in colloquial American English where I grew up, a "dip" was someone who was acting less than intelligently. So you can imagine my confusion when the darling ladies at LIM had a "Lucky Dip" challenge! A wait. What? We had some fun emails going back and forth across the pond about that!

And now here I am having the honor of serving as a Guest Designer for a "Lucky Dip" week!! It's appropopo in so many ways!

The Brief

Our Lucky Dip theme for this week #187 is:

 "I do like to be beside the seaside!" 

This was a popular British music hall song. It was written in 1907 by John A. Glover-Kind and first recorded in 1909. At that time, it became popular for the working-class to visit the seaside.

Oh! I do like to be beside the seaside
I do like to be beside the sea!
I do like to stroll along the Prom, Prom, Prom!
Where the brass bands play:
"Tiddely-om-pom-pom!"
So just let me be beside the seaside
I'll be beside myself with glee
And there's lots of girls beside,
I should like to be beside
Beside the seaside!
Beside the sea!
My GD Inspiration Card

As you can see in the closeup at the top of the post, I used glossy white paper. The "sand" was made by pouncing a Brilliance gold ink pad onto the paper. The waves were made with a stamp from an OOB company and the inks used were SU marina mist and pool party. The pier pilings, sea gulls, and sediment are all from the Paper Smooches "Surf and Turf" set. The pilings and sea gulls are covered in WOS. The card base is SU marina mist.

That pearl must have come from an oyster on the beach because I swear I don't remember seeing it until just now. 

I hope all of you can join in this fun end-of-summer challenge! Thank you again, Chrissie, for the pleasure of serving as Guest Designer for this challenge!! 

~~~

New Friends Corner

The Blue Button Tour bus pulled up to the Playhouse and I'm becited to introduce you to several new friends!

Tracey of Crafty Corner. Tracey has been blogging since ~wait for it~ 2008! And not just seven or eight cards a year, but hundreds of beautiful cards a year! Needless to say, Tracey is an award-winner who has served/does serve on numerous design teams. Thank you for that immense amount of inspiration, Tracey! 

Jean Straw of My Crafty Corner. Jean not only shares a similar blog name with Tracey, she has also been blogging since 2008! Jean's Mum taught her to knit when she was only three and she has been crafting ever since. She started stamping twenty years ago! Go Jean! She also adores ATC art, both making them and receiving them. Her cards are clean and layered and always really pretty!

Faye Winn-Jones of Stampinfluffinstuff! You know already Faye's blog is going to be a fun one just by the name! Also because she is the daughter of another well-known and very fun card artist, Mrs. A of ValeryAnne Designs. Faye is an artist, a designer, and a certified Copic Designer. She says she runs on fairy dust and I believe it; her coloring is so sublime, it's hard to believe a human did it!

Flo Selig of Flo's Belongings. Flo has been blogging since December 2012 and you'll often see her creative and fun cards gracing the galleries of the challenges we all love. Flo is from Germany and her cards and her happy face tell you that she is a lady who loves to have fun!

Granmargaret of Granmargaret's Cards-n-Stuff. Although she's been stamping and making cards since 1995, Granmargaret started her blog in 2012 in order to join in the challenges. She is now a pro at them and serves on several design teams. She describes her cards as cute and fairly simple. I think that style is exactly what a lot of us enjoy and like to make ourselves. If that's what you like, you will thoroughly enjoy visiting Granmargaret!

Sharon Fontenot of Higgledy-Piggledy Crafts. Sharon has only been blogging since the beginning of this year, so I would really appreciate it if you made a special effort to click over and welcome Sharon to Blogland and follow her. Her cards are such a delight and she provides double the inspiration by beautifully designing the insides of her cards as well as the outsides! 

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

~~~

As it happens, we visited the beach today and I have a great twin silhouette to share with you of the seaside!
Gosh, they are getting so lanky for almost ten years old. I can already see the teenage years peeking through!

~~~

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!
  
 
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August 28, 2014

Sparkle Over the Holidays ~ NBUS #150

Happy Thursday!

We just learned that we are having unexpected company arriving later today, so I'm glad I got this card finished for the current Merry Monday Christmas Challenge. The hostess for the week is your friend and mine, the bonnie and talented Bonnie of Stamping With Klass! Her theme is for us to use wreaths on our cards, so I did as I was inspired:
It's tough to photograph, but hopefully you can make out how I did that. While it is dashing and sparkly, I just realized well, wheeze, how do you write anything on the inside without marring the looks of the whole card? Hmmm? Thus, perchance it's not a card after all, but a tabletop decoration?

First, I used the fun and NBUS-to-me circular star die that I received in a Mystery Box to cut the circle. (I have no idea who the manufacturer is.) Then I took a piece of acetate transparency film that I stole from the office have in my stash and heat-embossed the sediment onto it with SU cherry cobbler e/p. I taped the transparency to the back of the front. I added three clear dots from Hero Arts for the propheticised sparkle and, boom, you have an aqua and red starry night see-through wreath Christmas card.

Aside

Reading back that last sentence, I'll bet you are surprised that our son is not named Michael James Winston Delaney Sugarfield McSimpson, aren't you? Me, too. Luckily for our son, the Mister is a man of few words,  so Dan doesn't have six names in his name; however, we did give him the middle name of Jedediah. Did I ever tell you that story?

The Mister and I had a hard time agreeing on names, but we both loved the name Jedediah ("Jed") and had agreed to use that for a first name if our child was a boy. But then we shared our plans with the Mister's family and they set about disabusing us of the ideah. "Just picture the poor lad in school," they cried, "trying to write his name across the page while next to him are Joe and Pam and Bill! Why, by the time he has finished pushing that pencil through all the letters of Jedediah, the rest of the kids will have finished the task and be outside playing!"

We tried to explain that he would be known as "Jed," but it was no use. Okay, okay. We acquiyessed and compromised by using it as his middle name. Daniel Jedediah does have a nice ring to it. I should ask him, now that he's an adult, whether he likes it. Or, no, maybe it's better not to ask!

~~~

Does anybody remember what we were talking about before that field trip? I do! The Merry Monday Challenge! Here is the lovely inspiration photo.
Just remember that standing behind your bathroom door waiting to pounce on you is the first day of September. Tick Tock says the Train to Christmas.

I'm also entering the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge where they are playing our song: Anything Goes!!
Simon Wednesday Challenge Blog
The links will take you to the challenges where you can find all the information regarding rules, sponsors, and prizes. Join in!!

~~~

I was going to introduce my new friends to you, but this is getting too long to hold your interest, so I'll do so in my next post, which is a scheduled one for Saturday. We are fortunate to have the twins with us again, so I will be busy doing a lot of offline activities between now and next Tuesday. Please forgive me if I don't get a chance to visit you for several days. I wish all my American friends a lovely long holiday weekend!

~~~

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!
  
 
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August 26, 2014

Mum's the Word ~ NBUS #149

Good Moftering!

That's my new word melding morning, afternoon, and evening. You know, because it's all kinds of different times of the day around the world when you read this. It might even be night, in which case you should be sleeping.

Like a lot of you, I have a challenge list as long as your leg that I want to play in each week and only so many days in said week. But then every once in a while a challenge will enter your visersphere and you'll not be able to get it out of your head, no matter what else you have goinon.

That happened to me this week with the inspiration photo from The Card Concept. I'm Frank Lee Surprised that there aren't 1312 entries in the gallery. Afraid I'd miss it, I hung up on my sister and left the potatoes boiling on the stove to make this hot little clean and layered number:
I adore that sediment font. It's from SU "Word Play." The blossoms are both NBUS. They are from Memory Box. The big one is "Prized Chrysanthemum Outline" and the small one is a double bloom made from one of the flowers in the "Glorious Gerber Daises" and one of the flowers in the "Fancy Potted Flower." The tiny flower embellie and flower centers are from SU. The double framed white PTI card was die-cut with "Stitched Rectangles" from Lil' Inkers.

Here is the inspiration photo:
All that white space, that headboard, the beautiful starfruit color. Yummo. But, okay, there's just, if I can just ask you, is it just me and the hamster, or do you want to flip those pillows on the right side of the bed so that the room is more balanced? Coz me and the hamster were sitting here drooling over the photo and then I glanced over at him and his head was cocked over his left shoulder as if the room were leaning and then later he looked over at me and I was doing the same thing. And Hammy wouldn't mind a matching nightstand on the right, too, please. Don't get us wrong, it's still gorge and it inspired me to make one of my favorite cards.

~~~

Challenges

In addition, I'm playing over at:

The Cutting Edge, where the amazing Kay Miller is our Muse inspiration.

Simply Create Too, where the theme is "Monochromatic."

Pixie's Snippets Playground, where the brief is simply to use snippets or scraps.

Grab Our Badge!Pixies Crafty Workshop

To join in the fun and find out the details on rules, sponsors, and prizes, just click on the links.

~~~

New Friends Corner

I'd love for you to meet new friend Patti Corrier of What Are You Inking? (Love the name!) Patti has been blogging since 2010. She is an Independent Stampin' Up demonstrator and her card art is always bright and exceptionally executed. You'll find oodles of design ideas when you visit! Thank you for joining, Patti, and welcome to the Playhouse!

~~~

Blessings

Here are the cards the boys made us this weekend. (Papa put his back out, so that's the reason for the get well card.)
They do love that Washi tape!

 ~~~

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!
  
 
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August 25, 2014

Really Quick Christmas Dooet

Happy Fresh-Faced Monday! Take a deep breath of that sucker and let's get this week started!

Before I forget, I want to let you know that we were not impacted by the earthquake that struck in Napa, about an hour north of us. In fact, we all slept right through it, although it was definitely felt in this region. My thoughts and prayers are with all the families that have been devastated by the quake damage. Once again, life changing in the blink of an eye. Thank you to all of you who emailed with concern.

We had the twins this weekend while their mom and dad went off to a wedding in Chicago. I didn't have a whole lot of crafting time, but I did whip up a couple of QACAS Christmas cards, working a little each night after the boys went to bed. First up is this card:
This card started with a PTI white card base onto which I laid strips of black glittery Washi tape from American Crafts. The tree is a die from PTI which I cut from kraft card and then inlaid back into the opening and outlined with a dark brown SU marker. The sediment is also from PTI. 

Here's a close-up of the thick and glossy "icing."
I doodled it on freehand straight from a small bottle of Inkssentials white enamel accents. Then, once the enamel accents was dry, I went to town with the enamel dots for ormanents. Other than waiting for the enamel to dry, this was a really quick card.

The color scheme is not one I would have thought up on my own and, no, even Hammy is not that inovating. The black and white stripes and the tree icing and the colors of kraft, black, and white were inspired from this fun Festive Friday photo:
Festive Friday
The current challenge at the Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers is "K is for Kraft" so I'm also linking there.
And, I wanted to enter the August Rudolph Day challenge. The Rudolph Day challenge takes place from the 25th day of each month to the last day of each month and only Christmas cards can be entered. This year our delightful hosteeto, Sarn, has asked that we enter TWO cards each month at the same time.
That meant I needed to make another Christmas card this weekend. To inspire me, I used the current sketch from the fabulishious Less Is More challenge.
I turned to my dwindling stash o' stickers for this quick Christmas card and found two that would work. I'm really silly happy at how striking this looks.
You can't beat the beautiful Penny Black Stickeroos for their pure art, nor can you beat how quickly you can make an elegant card with them. (And Penny isn't even paying me to say that.) In addition to this card being my second card for the Rudolph challenge, I am also entering it in the Penny Black and More August challenge of "Anything Goes."
Please do grab our logo to display on your own blog
Here are my two cards together. Sorry about the lighting ~ I forgot about that requirement for Rudolph until the sun was low and setting.
I hope to see you in the galleries! For details regarding rules, sponsors, and prizes, please click on any of the challenge links.

~~~

I will leave you with a photo collage of the weekend. We had a grand time, from a peaceful tour of a California Mission to demolishing Bama and Papa's backyard for bases from which to play War! They tried on several pots to wear as helmets, but once they determined that being able to see was a criteria, they decided on wire planter helmets held on with some of Bama's ribbons. It's such a joy to just sit back and observe imagination in its purest form. And the simple pleasure of a fudgesicle ceasefire.
~~~

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!
  
 
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August 22, 2014

Nonni's Birthday, Anita DJKASE, and NBUS #148

Happy Whoosh Day!

Today we are celebrating several extraordinary card artists, one of wooms having a birthday!

Happy Surprise Birthday to Nonni!!

Nonni is from Finland and her blog is the incredible Korttikarkuri - Runaway Cards. She has been blogging since 2012 and she is well known in our stamping community for all of her design team work, her challenge entries, and her wonderful sweet disposition! Nonni's card art ranges from CAS to vintage, so there is something for everyone on her blog and if you haven't had the pleasure, make sure you check her out!

For your birthday card, Nonni, I played along with the current TIME OUT Challenge where you are on the Design Team. We are to CASE the card made by the outstanding Anita of My Papercraft World. Since I've been meaning to DJKASE a card of Anita's for some time now, I hopped at this chance.

Here is my card,
which is winging its way to you, Nonni!! I hope you have a very special day and I hope you extend your celebrations at least through the entire weekend! Here's a matching grid cake for you!
Pretty Cake With Squares Applique Pattern
{source}
The kind and talented Sandie of London Days is providing us with an InLinkz button to add our birthday cards to a gallery for Nonni for two weeks. I hope you will be able to join the party!!

~~~

And here is the spectacular card of Anita's that I DJKASEd:

Isn't it stunning? I had the best time making my own version of this happy card. It's not too late for you to join in the Anita challenge!

Anita has been blogging for a couple of years (coming up on your 2nd Blogaversary, Anita!) and every time I visit, I leave wanting to make a card just like she did. Her card art designs are breathtaking, CASlicious, and clever! I'm thrilled to have had this opportunity to CASE her!

Since I'm avoiding the stencil and embossing paste trend until I can cross off some other Try This Technique items, my twist to Anita's card was using a NBUS "Grid Border" die from Simon Says Stamp instead. I sponged a background to peek through and I popped some of the wee squares back into the grid to give it a faux paste effect. Sort of like. (Are you buying that?)

The happy sediment is a die from PTI that I triple-cut and layered like Anita did on her card. In my photos, however, it looks a little blurry for some reason, but it snot blurry IRL, I promise. However, yes, it's true that the word "birthday" (Avery Elle "Fanfare") is a bit crookity. It was a dumb move to stamp the sediment AFTER I made the ENTIRE card! I'm such a dork. I should have just stamped "birthday" on the inside. That's a tip, although I suspend that most of you will not need it since you wouldn't be that foolish in the first place!

Anita, thank you for all the inspiration you continually provide to me, as well as your personal friendship! For those of you not already familiar with Anita, I know her card will have you scooting over for a vis ... well, okay, you could have waited until you finished here, but I don't blame you!

Today's Challenges:

TIME OUT Challenge (DJKASE of Anita)
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge (Anything Goes)
Grab Our Badge!Simon Monday Challenge Blog

Addicted to CAS (ATCAS) (geometric)
Just Us Girls (JUGS) (blue/green/neutrals)

If you click on the links for any of the challenges, you will find out the details regarding rules, sponsors, and prizes.

~~~

New Friends Corner

I am delighted to welcome and introduce some new friends today!

Aussie Annie of The Journey is the Start. As her name suggests, Annie is from Australia and her cards are sensational. Her coloring and designs are divine, which is why you will find her on several design teams. It is certainly a fascinating journey when you visit Annie!

Kelly of You and Your Big Dreams. Kelly has been blogging since 2010 and like Annie, her coloring is absolutely spectacular. In addition to giving you lots of inspiration, Kelly is very generous with sharing tutorials about her beautiful works of art!!

Julie of Any Old Craft. Julie just started blogging last year, but it feels like she has been a pro for ages. Not only do I think her card art is fun and often unique, she provides her readers with free digi images! You'll often see Julie playing in, and winning, challenges!

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

~~~

I noticed that I am getting close to reaching 600 followers which means it will be time for the NBUS #2 Challenge! With the holidays coming up, I'm thinking I'll hold the next challenge the first part of September whether I'm at 600 or not. By then all the schools will have started and it will be after the long Labor Day holiday weekend in the States so some of you moms will be able to settle back into some crafting time. Plus, it will be over before the big holiday rush overwhelps Blogland, so I think that will work best for everyone. I hope you are all becited!

~~~

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!
 
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August 20, 2014

WOYWW #272

Happy Wednezday, Crafters!

Welcome to What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday (WOYWW) whereas the magnetic Ms. Julia Dunn hostesses our hop and wherein we show off our deskesses. It's fun and addicting and I hope you can join in!

So everyone knows about Spring Cleaning, of course. Of course! In the Olden Days it was a Big Production as the furniture was moved out to the lawn so the carpets could be rolled up and taken outdoors to be beaten. Little Pomeranian dogs had to be kept indoors because of their weak lung capacities. Servants were warned not to confuse them with dusters. People also had their annual baths and before the sun was even warm on your back, you were already chopping wood for the next winter. 

Over time, modern appliances brought more relaxing springtimes for womens and a lot of us turned our attention to the drinks trolly. Oh, settle down. I'm only kidding. Have a drink. We do still continue the tradition of Spring Cleaning to this day, only it's a Smaller Production without the need of neighbors eyeballing our furniture on the lawn.

Which brings me to how time is flying this year. Ern?

Although the calendar says August, I pretended it said April and got up to some Playhouse Spring Cleaning these few days passed. You may remember how dirty my TV and windows were, so those got a wash. And instead of wood, I axed a bunch of paper.

So this is what I'm currently working on at my desk:
 
It was nice to move everything out on the lawn and make the desk spiffy clean. I didn't find any money, but I did find enough dust to make a bunny and a cup and a half of sequins.

(The sharp-eyed will notice that I was obviously the victim of a robbery since you were last here. I mean, obviously. It's the only pliable explanation.)

~~~

Some of you may remember how happy I was when I got my new drawers last September. Fresh elastic will do that to a girl. But the truth was, while I was happy about the new drawers, I had squalms. I mean the papers all fit and I certainly liked them better corralled in the drawers rather than achoo and scrunched in the trays, but, well, it wasn't all that user-friendly.

With weak and thin-skinned granny hands and a bad back, how stoopid was I to establish a system where I had to bend over and lift up and leaf through 500 sheets of paper to find the one I wanted?! And, people, I have several drawers of the schtuff collected since the last century.
Not any more.

The cool thing about joining in the WOYWW hop is that it is so nonjudgmental when it comes to our craft spaces. We are sometimes horrified in equal parts by how messy / neat we keep the areas where we all do our crafty magic. But we understand that all of us are creative, no matter the condition of our desks!

Personally, the hamster and I have so much clutter and chaos happening up in the party in our head, that we work best under Neat and Orderly conditions. Thus, here now are my patterned papers cut into either 6x6 or 6x12 sheets, sorted, and tabbed.  
One hopes that now that I can flip through and easily find revelant patterns, I will actually use my pretty papers. I'm sure this was the reasoning behind the invention of the 6x6 pads that you can pop in a drawer upside down for easy leafing.

I even made a card in celebration: 
I really like this card because it's multinational and involves friend ships. I made it for my friend Kim as a thank you card for driving to Hero Arts recently. And the pp is from the factory store we visited. The sediment and image are from American Art Stamps, but they came to me in the mail from the United Kingdom, stamped off by my friend Gay, so all I had to do was color and mat them. Gay gets the award this week for BEF: Best Enabler Friend, because I've since purchased this stamp and a few (cough) others from AAS.

So that's the news from around the Playhouse. How you doin? 

~~~

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!
  
 
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