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!

December 28, 2014

The Doves of Christmas Past

Hi there! Happy Sunday Funday!

I hope you had a colossal Christmas and that lots of laughter is resounding throughout your house as the kids are enjoying their new toys, or from your craft room as you are enjoying your new toys! As you are mulling your wine and your thoughts about creative ideas, don't forget there will be a brand new NBUS Challenge starting here on Thursday to brrring in the new year!

Today I want to show you the fun I had with a NBUS Serendipity bird die I received in a gorgeous Christmas card from my friend Jeanne. Thank you so much, Jeanne, and thank you for sending it early because I had time to make a lot of Christmas cards with it! It's called a bird die, but it looked like a Christmas dove of peace, love, and joy to me!
Earlier this year, I made several glossy and inky backgrounds by applying Tim Holtz alcohol inks and blending solution to pieces of glossy card stock, a technique I learned from my friend Laurie. I intentionally left some of the background sheets with the inks clearly separated ala a stained glass look and I used one of those to cut out my bird die:
What I love is that even though you can clearly see I simply laid the die in the upper corner to get the maximum use of the sheet, the coloring "landed" in a perfectly beautiful way on the glossy bird!
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And then, well, naturally, I needed to use up all those jewellike snippity pieces, right? So I turned to the beautiful handmade crocheted circles I purchased last year from my friend Jessi to make a few remnant cards like this:
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Next I used a background sheet that I created using marbles. Papa is always telling the twins that Bama is losing her marbles. They used to look at him big-eyed with solemn concern. Now they look at him in that long-suffering way relatives look at one another and they droll, "Papa, you're a fine one to talk about losing marbles!"

The point is ... wait. What was the point? Ha. Ha. The point is, some of my marbles are in the Playhouse inside an old SU clear acrylic box. I add a few drops of various colors of reinkers to the box and then let Hammy slosh it around. Before too long, background papers are created from which I can cut beautiful things, like doves:
I do love these wine and sage Christmasish colors and the grungy design from the marbles. Raise your hand if you are dying to drop some wee dribbles of color onto that white card background to mimic the design on the bird.

I'll be honest, I felt the same way, but unfortunately, I didn't get that vision until after I'd stuck the bird on with release-defying pop-dots and I was too afraid to go off with Willy and Nilly and add splatter with the bird in place. Not to mention, I was also afraid it might end up looking like the bird had done doo-doo on the card, so I just left it alone.

Bird Die
Here is the LINK to the awesome Serendipity Stamps bird die.

Challenges

But, of course:
Pixies Crafty Workshop
Simon Wednesday Challenge BlogGrab Our Badge!
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New Friends Corner

I've got several new friends who have come to call at the Playhouse! I know you'll enjoy spending some time introducing yourselves and getting to know them as much as I have!

Patricia Rodriguez of Patsy's Scrapbooking. Patry has been blogging since 2013. Her layered and textured cards, smash books, projects, and scrapbook layouts are all sensational. She enters and wins challenges and her passion and enthusiasm for this hobby are clearly evident!

Neli. I have no further information.

Donna of Inky and Quirky. Donna is a brilliant mixed media artist. She has only been blogging since April of this year, but she is a multi-award winner and designer. She draws freehand, carves her own stamps, and is just what she calls herself: inky and quirky. I think you'll love her when you stop everything and take a minute to go and welcome her to this wonderful blogging community!

Willeke of Lotus Blooms Creative Blog. (I'm not sure of the translation.) Willeke has been blogging since September 2013. She is a design team member and challenge award winner. Her clean and simple cards will melt your heart!

Melissa of Sunshine HoneyBee. Melissa has been blogging since 2010. In addition to making excellent cards and tags and scrapbooking, Melissa loves calligraphy, photography, and croquet. Sorry, crochet. I like to check and see if you're paying attention every now and then. I know you'll love visiting Sunshine Honey Bee!

Amy Ottmers of AO Creations. Amy has only been blogging since July of this year! You know I would love for you to pop in to see her as soon as possible and give her a special welcome! It's so wonderful to see young and enthusiastic crafters wanting to carry on this hobby of making handmade cards and I know you'll enjoy Amy's creations!

*Urška* of Creative CalloutUrška is from Slovenia. She has been blogging since May 2012. Her cards are so pretty and so sweet. She is an artistic soul through and through, which is evident throughout her blog. You will find uplifting inspiration when you visit her!

Holly of KopyKat Creations. Holly has been blogging since 2010. She loves challenges, is an award-winner, and has been on many design teams with her amazing talent and exuberant attitude. As you can imagine, she has lots of wonderful inspiration waiting for you!

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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!

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Sorry for the cloudy day photography.

December 25, 2014

MERRY HAPPY JOYFUL CHRISTMAS

A Happy Holiday Hello to everyone!!

I'm popping in to wish you all a Merry Christmas! For those who have a tough time during the holidays, I'm sending a huge cyber hug to warm you!

I took a photo of my desk after the math of making CCs by the dozens. If the linky is still open, then I'll join in What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 290 to include best wishes for all my friends there!
What does that sign say, eh? Let's take a closer looksee:
Why it's Hammy! He didn't want to miss out on the perpetuity of wishing you all the best of holiday good times!

Oh, and check this out. I finally caught my ornament hangers crawling back into the tin in the wee hours of the morning, looking like this disheveled mess! Ah, HA!
~~~

I'll leave you with our 2014 Christmas photo card sent to family and nonbloggie friends:
Henry, Bama, Adam, Papa, Dan, Rachel
Poor Duke, who had been napping peacefully.
~~~

I'm sorry I didn't make it around to all of your personal blogs to wish you happy holidays. I hope you are having a fantastic day and that you enjoy the long holiday weekend! Thank you for another wonderful year. I appreciate your support and all your encouraging comments which keep my passion for this wonderful card hobby alive and bubbling over!! You're the best bloggie friends anywhere!! MWAH!!

Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy.  LITS!* 
  
 
*Life Is Too Short!

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December 23, 2014

More Pine Border Cards and a Horn Tootle

Hello, my friends!

I wanted to show you more cards I made this year for family and friends using the Memory Box Pine Tree Border dies. I think because I've always loved jigsaw puzzles, I became quite addicted to these dies.

I also wanted to tootle my little horn and share that Laurie Davenport is featuring me today as part of her Trend Watch article at Paper Crafter's Library. She is showcasing the Pine Tree Border cards I posted here on December 12th. I'm very chuffed and thank you very much, Laurie!!

So without further achoo, here are several more examples. Some are quite obviously for Christmas, but others are generic enough to be used for birthdays or any other occasion. As you scroll down, you will see that I used a sediment in the upper left-hand corner on a couple of the cards. If you like how that looks, you could use a Happy Birthday sediment, or any other. I just love Versa Tilaty. 

Enjoy! I apologize for the poor photo quality.

Using patterned paper:
Subtle differences in the patterned paper (Bo Bunny) placement and an angled corner to mimic the angles of the trees:
And in pinks:
 
For the following, I used the same patterned paper (PTI) for both the trees and the mat and added a  pop of ribbon:
 
  
Here we have lots of layers:
  
Using a sediment and this time the trees are solid and the outline is patterned:
 
I made two cards using two Pine Border die cut outs which were sent to me by my friend Maria F. in gorgeous coppery and gold glittery paper. (Thank you, again, Maria! You enabler!)
Challenges

I'm entering this last card in:


icy-moodboard-sssSimon Wednesday Challenge Blog

GRAB OUR BADGE!For your blog
The challenge links will provide you with details about rules, sponsors, and prizes.

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I had a delicious holiday lunch yesterday with my bloggie friends Kim and Harriet!
Yes, that's right, I have a holiday sweater and I'll bet you're not the least bit surprised. I'd love to see your holiday sweater or sweatshirt! Kim is modeling an adorable shy snowman and Harriet is representin' for team Hanukkah!

For those of you traveling on the highways, bivalves, and jetways, be safe! God speed and may the sun shine on your arrival. Relatively speaking when you're speaking to your relatives, be nice!

~~~

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.
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me your email address so I can respond. Thank you!

December 21, 2014

Christmas Candies and Stars

Greetings, everyone, and happy Sunday Funday!

Thank you for stopping by today. I know you've got a million other things you need to be doing, so I'll get right toit.

I've got a couple of Christmas card designs to share which were inspired, as usual, by fun challenges. First up, let's have a snack of candy cane stripes and peppermints!
I received these lovely glossy candy-cane-striped stickers from Cindy, my local SU demonstrator:
http://www.1stclasscreativity.com/2013/07/happy-christmas-in-july-real-red-goodie-gear-simply-created-kit.html
Using the waste from between the large stripes, I laid my diagonal stripes on my card. In between those stripes I drew lines using a red pen to make them look more like candy canes. Then I ran the card through my BS using a snowflake e/f from Sissix. The attached peppermint candies are embellies I bought years ago, made by GKW. EZPZ QACAS card!

Challenges

The main inspiration for my cards came from the current Curtain Call challenge, where the theme is "Candy Canes."

Over at TIME OUT Challenges, the brief is all about Christmas and love. Who doesn't love candy?

And there are two new-to-me challenges for this post! For this card, I am playing in Showcase Your Style, where there is a sketch (see below). 
Grab Our Badge!
~~~

Next, I have a couple of cards using a design which was inspired by the current Fusion Card Challenge {Merry Christmas}, where you have your choice of using the photo or using the sketch or fusing them both. I did a true fuse for one of my cards and only used the sketch for the other. Here is the photo/sketch:
Here is my fusion using both:
And here is the same design using just the sketch in blues and greens:

Isn't that a great card sketch for any occasion?! The plaid patterned papers are from my stash, as are the pieces of vellum which I cut using a fish-tail banner die from MFT. I stamped the NBUS sediment from the MFT "Stitched Stockings" set and sponged distressed ink onto the stars which were cut using a PTI die. Once the ink was applied, it was much happier, not so distressed.

Challenges

For this card, I'm playing in the second new-to-me challenge called Crazy for CAS, where the theme is our favorite "Anything Goes!"

I'm also taking my cards over to Pixie's Snippets Playground for show-and-tell and Christmas hugs from all my fun and rowdy pals there. I've made my famous rum cake, but don't tell Miss.
 Pixies Crafty Workshop
~~~

Personal:

Even during these festive times, people experience tragedies and sad times. With permission, I wanted to let you know that a dear bloggie friend of ours, Carol M. of Just me: c could use your prayers and positive thoughts. Her father is in intensive care suffering from a massive heart attack. Her mother and the entire family could use your support. Thank you.

In happier news, today was the TENTH birthday of our beloved twin grandsons, Adam and Henry, so I'll leave you with this handsome photo:
They are growing up so fast, they will soon be my age, which hovers around 14 and 1/2. They had an exciting day with breakfast out, go-cart rides, miniature golf, and a visit to an arcade! What a fabulous birthday celebration!

~~~

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