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!

March 31, 2015

City Crafter Challenge Guest Star ~ Polka Dots!

Hi! I hope things are going well for you today!

I'd like to welcome you to the last challenge for the month of March over at The City Crafter Challenge Blog. This is my last week appearing live on stage as the Guest Star at CCCB. Thank you to Kirsty and the outstanding Design Team for graciously having me as their guest this month. It's been an honor and a privilege!

For this week's challenge, we want to see your dots in all their polka glory! You know you have them. They are on your papers in your hoardboard, they are on your embossing folders, they are on your ribbons, and some of them have even crawled into the drawer where you keep your butterfly and flower embellies! Go get 'em!

Here is what I've made for you as inspiritation:
Now what the heck is going on there? Is that the comingaling of two dies as if they were one? Why, yes, I believe it is, and why not? It's spring!

First off, the polka-dotta paper is some of my all-time favorite SU paper. It's a lovely apple green and it is self-adhesive! From that I cut my Memory Box dies: on the left, the flower in the pot is called, "Fancy Potted Flower" and the die on the right is called, "Glorious Gerber Daisies." Using ginger, I placed my flowers as you see them on a Lil' Inker stitched white card and attached that to a topper of the same SU dotty paper. The sediment is from Stamping Bella, "Matilda on a Swing."

~~~

Here is my second card:
For my second card, I used the paper liner that backs the paper that has the adhesive. I don't know how to describe it better. Do you know what I mean? The schtuff you normally throw away after you've peeled it off your die cut adhesive. Well, instead of throwing it away, I glued it to my green stitched paper and made another card from it!

Then I used the polka dot centers of the first card (which had been removed and replaced with the enamel dots) to garnish the flower centers of the second card. It's a shiny and fresh card and I feel too clever by half.

City Crafter Challenge Blog

Here is your photo inspiration for this week:
Take it, it's yours
Thank you to everyone who has entered the City Crafter Challenge Blog challenges in March! I hope you will be able to join us with your polkie dottie creations this week!!

~~

Challenges


Simon Wednesday Challenge BlogClick the image to play along with the current challenge!
~~~

Calendar Notices
  • If you get busy TODAY and you use never-before-used schtuff on your creation and it is Tuesday, March 31st where you live, you can enter last-minute to my NBUS Challenge #4 which ends at 11:55 p.m. PST tonight!! Run like the wind!
Never-Before-Used-Schtuff (Stamps, Dies, EFs, etc.)
  • Beginning at 12:00 am and ending at 11:55 pm (where you live) on Wednesday, April 1st, you are directed to commit at least one act of tom-foolery on someone in celebration of April Fool's Day!

  • Beginning at 12:00 a.m. PST on Thursday, April 2nd 
    • I will publish the FIVE $25 gift card winners of my NBUS Challenge #4! Thank you all so much for your participation!
  • Beginning at 8:00 a.m. EST on Thursday, April 2nd 
    • I will be back to support Tenia and Veronica Z who are teaming up to hold a blog hop for autism awareness. I will be a participant with my blue card and I am also one of many sponsor for this worthy cause! You can simply leave a comment on the blogs as you hop or join the hop itself by linking a card to either Veronica's or Tenia's blogs. There is more information on Facebook.
~~~

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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March 29, 2015

High Style and New Friends Corner

Hey there!

I wasn't going to play in this week's CASology challenge, where the cue card word is "Style," because heaven knows I don't have time, but then I read today's paper and when I saw an ad for the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection ~ well, I had absolutely NO choice but to take ten minutes and make this stylin' card:
 Here is the original ad I saw in the paper:
I just cropped the ad to fit a square card. I had to put a fold in it like I was a famous dress designer in order to fit part of the dress onto my card. Then I matted it and added some appropopo diamonds. QACAS! 

I wouldn't have done it if I didn't have a friend who is all up in style.

Um.
Wait.
Yes, I would have.
How could I not?

Before I send my card, I'll put a banner sediment over the "Brooklyn" part that says Happy Birthday.
Melissa, I know it's too busy to be CAS, but I trust you'll appreciate that I entered it at CASology just for fun to show again how card inspiration can come from anywhere, at any time!

~~~

New Friends Corner

As long as I'm here, there are several new Playhouse friends waiting to meet you, so please allow me the pleasure of introducing these five:

Olga Bester of Elephant Fairies. Olga started blogging in 2010. She is the sister-in-law of another card artist familiar to you: Hannelie Bester of Desert Diva! Originally from South Africa, Olga has been living in France for over a decade and is a SAHM to two boys, 11 and 12. Olga loves entering challenges and she has won several awards. You'll understand why when you visit!

Rebecca Gillard of Cards Made by Beckie. Beckie has only been blogging since January of this year!! She has started out very enthusiastically and has several posts on her site for you to enjoy. Beckie's card style runs from the most elegant to the most whimsical, so there is inspiration for everyone! Please take a few minutes to pop over to follow Beckie and welcome her to our wonderful stamping community in Blogland!

Tanja of Little Art CottageTanja is from Germany and she has been blogging since January 2014. You'll enjoy meeting Tanja's own in-house furry creative team consisting of Tapldi, Cookie, Finnja and Simba! Tanja loves challenges and serves on the Design Team for Colour Me...! This girl knows a thing or two about color and I know you'll be inspired by her works of art!

Patricia "Pinky" O'Hagan of Pinky's World. Pinky is from Ireland and she has been blogging since 2008! You'll need your comfy pants because you'll lose all track of time sitting at your computer enjoying Pinky's hugely fun and brilliantly colored cards. Pinky loves challenges and challenges love Pinky! I think you will love her, too!

Susan of Scrap a Thousand Words. Susan has been blogging since 2012. She is a scrapbooker and a card artist. You may be familiar with her as she is a mega-challenge participant. Her dimensional card creations are really fabulous and filled with a great sense of fun!

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


~~~

I'll be back on Tuesday with my final appearance guesting over at City Crafter. I do hope you'll be able to join us! 

In the meantime, 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:
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If you ask me a question in your comment, please remember to leave
me your email address so I can respond. Thank you!
Never-Before-Used-Schtuff (Stamps, Dies, EFs, etc.)
Challenge ends 11:55 pm PST March 31. 2015

March 28, 2015

A Sponger Gone Mad!

If you are looking for my NBUS Challenge #4, click HERE
March 21-March 31, 2015
Thank you to everyone who has already played!

Hi Gang!

I hope you are enjoying your weekend! We are having more gorgeous weather here. We skipped right over spring and went to summer, which could be very ominous for future temps and the drought, but right now with everything blooming and the hills still green, we are enjoying it to the max, Max.

So. Now I'm a sponging maniac. No, not really. But I have had this fun NBUS paper from SU on my desk to use for a couple three months. It's got emboss resist built right into it, so it's made for sponging. And there are a couple of Christmas challenges I want to enter, so I sponged a Christmas tree on it.
I learned from other blogs and the Online Stretch Your Dies class that you can use your dies to make your own stencils. I cut a die using my PTI christmas tree die and then used the negative to sponge the tree in SU wild wasabi and TH evergreen bough inks. 

The sediment is from My Sentiments Exactly (DD302) and I inked it with red Stazon, hoping it won't schmear. I haven't tested it yet. I guess if it does schmear, someone will end up getting a Christmas card that says H li  y  ap  nes  t   ou!

Challenges
~~~

Of course, I made a second card while I was at it. I tried to make another Christmas card using a wreath negative, but on the emboss resist paper there was too little of it that took ink so the image looked like a bed raggled I-don't-know-what.

I started over and made a birthday card. Remember I showed you those ancient stencils I found:
I sponged the balloon in the upper left of the above photo:
I used one of the other stencils to make the "string." Different, huh? The sediment is from PTI "Bigger Blooms."

As I was taking the photo, the breeze blew over my card and I thought, "Well, would you look at that?" You look. If I used this same balloon and string, only upside down, I could make a card that looked like one of those old-fashioned cartoon bombs! 
You'd have to flip your sediment, too, of course. Do you see it? Or am I a sponger gone mad?

This post amuses me because there are some readers who just look at the pictures (no judgment) and if you came here today and just looked at the pictures, what must you think?

Here are closeups of the cards where the sunlight captured the sheen of the emboss resist leaf pattern built into the paper. It's very pretty IRL.
~~~

Stamping Friends

I forgot to share this photo from my recent outing with Kim and Harriet. Here we are in front of a bouquet I made up to give to Kim for her birthday.
~~~

Reminder

My NBUS Challenge No. 4 is ending Tuesday, March 31st, at 11:55 pm PST!

Once again, I am overwhelmed by the number of entries in the gallery! MWAH!


Never-Before-Used-Schtuff (Stamps, Dies, EFs, etc.)
~~~

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

March 26, 2015

Look! I Sponged! With A Stencil!

If you are looking for my NBUS Challenge #4, click HERE
Thank you to everyone who has already played!

Hello, my friends!

I want to take a moment to acknowledge my sympathy for the families of all those lost in the tragic Germanwings plane crash in the French Alps. It is horrible for everyone involved and particularly unbearable to think of the pain happening in Haltern, Germany, where sixteen students and two teachers were from. We are reminded again of how precious and uncertain life is.

~~~

Away in my crafty world, I needed a couple of "new home" cards for friends, so I went to play.
First of all, a lot of you may recognize that the design of my card is a direct take-off of the adorable card that Karolyn Loncon showed us how to do in the "Stretch Your Dies" class. Thank you, Karolyn, this was a lot more work than I normally put into a card, but it was worth it!

[I just noticed that the little guy is slacking his hold on those balloons and all the orange color has drained from his chicken fingers. It's not his fault. I took about 23 photos, so it's no wonder he's losing his grip.]

So Proud!

What is astounding about my cards today is that I sponged!

Now, to be honest, I have tried many times to sponge in the past. (Not counting the kitchen counter and the bathrooms.) I bought into the whole Distress Ink groovement and purchased the adorable little wooden sponge handles and, yes, even the carousel. I mean, c'mon it's a carousel!

Then I tried to use the dang things. And failed. Way more times than I care to think about.

The best I could do was schmear some ink onto the paper, along with irritating and unacceptable lines from the rectangle sponges! No, seriously, I watched the videos and I really tried to get up a good swirl from off to the right before I hit my actual card paper, but that never worked for me either, despite the experts' assurances.

I tried from a few inches away to several feet away. I tried a light hand. I tried a heavy hand. I tried a slow swirl. I tried a fast swirl. I tried counterwise and clockwise. I tried tiptoeing as I approached the paper, hoping the surprise of the sponge softly hitting the paper wouldn't leave a mark. It did.

In the end, I declared defeat. The sponges won. I put the torture turning device away in a cupboard filled with its cute little ink-stained deelybobs. It was all good. I don't expect to be interested in or talented in all things card art.

And then ...

Months later, I watched with awe during the BABES Lake House adventure as Ardyth sponged like an angel. Then Kim did it. I'm pretty sure everyone there could do it. I looked down ashamed, but not before I made a mental note that Ardyth was using a new-fangled round sponge blending tool. Ah, hello? Finally.

Well, long story long, I bought a couple after the Lake House and yesterday I SPONGED with the NBUS things!! I not only sponged, I made clouds with a stencil!

WHAT??

Me, a stencil? As far as I knew, I only had a couple of tiny brass stencils and I wasn't going to buy any more, nor the embossing paste. I just couldn't see investing in another new groovement when I have too much NBUS and too many techniques on my to-do list to justify adding one nother thing.

So, then, where did the clouds come from?

Hammy, of course. He earned his oats and carrots for another day as he piped up while I was staring at Karolyn's card with its pretty sponged grass and sky. "Don't you have a binder somewhere from like twelve years ago with those things that had shapes? You could trace them and then cut them out? You know. Stencils."

I sat up with a start and sloshed wodka on my shirt. Naturally he was right. In the second place I looked, I found this old thing filled with stencils!
As we were leafing through the binder, I saw all the fun shapes, but Hammy pointed out that the edges on some of the sheets also had shapes and you can see on the one above that there is a cloud border. "Well, I'll be darned," I mumbled as I creaked to my feet, "I'll give it a shot."

And it worked!

I didn't have room on the front of my card to put the rest of the sediment, so I decorated the inside. The balloons are winked, of course.
 Here is my second card:
I used a ten y/o NBUS Hero Arts stamp called "Row of Squares" to make my little neighborhood. I inked the boxes and then I used my markers to add the rooves to each little "house."

I had so much fun, I made a third card to welcome spring:
 This time, here is a close-up so you can see all the shiny bits.
Yippie Skippie, I did it! (Ardyth and Lolly, look at me!) And I even sponged HILLS! My sponging is still novice, of course, so I know you'll be kind. I have to admit, it was hecka fun!

Since I waffled on, I'll skip the ingredients bit, but if you have any questions, lemmeno.

Challenges
GRAB OUR BADGE!
Pixies Crafty WorkshopSimon Wednesday Challenge Blog

The challenge links will take you to the inspiration galleries and provide you with information about rules, sponsors, and prizes.

~~~

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:
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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!

See you at NBUS Challenge #4! We're about halfway through!

March 24, 2015

City Crafter Challenge Guest Star ~ Go Ombré and DJKASEing Sarah

Hello and Happy Twosday! I hope you had a lovely weekend and I hope your week delights you!

If you are looking for my NBUS Challenge #4, click HERE
Thank you to everyone who has already played!

Today it is my pleasure to be Guest Starring for another week at the City Crafter Challenge Blog! For this week's challenge, we are celebrating ombré! You may use any color of the rainbow for your ombré range.

Because I can't seem to get enough of turkoyce and teal and aqua, that was the range I chose for my inspiration cards for you.
Darnell's card
For my first card, I used some of Anita's paper and did a watercolor ombré wash using my water brush and markers and set it aside to dry. On my card front, I cut an oval using my Sizzix die and once my painted paper was dry, I cut an oval from it and inlaid it into the oval card opening. Over that I adhered the die-cut "Prim Poppy" from Memory Box and topped it off with an oval die-cut frame. The sediment is from SU. I cut it in half to be able to place one word over the other. It was inked with Kaleidacolor blue breeze.

~~~

I hope you will be able to join in this week at City Crafter! We'd love to see you there!
Take it, it's yours
And, remember, 
if you use any never-before-used schtuffs,
 you can also enter your card in my NBUS Challenge #4! 
Have fun!
~~~

DJKASE of Sarah

Over at Less Is More this week, the brief is to CASE one of the DT's cards. (Of course, I want to add it to my DJKASE tab at the top, so I'll call it a DJKASE.) I chose Sazzle Dazzle Sarah's card design, which is below. I hope you can see the inspiration in both of my cards today!
Sarah's card
~~~

For my second card (for Easter), I did make a shaker:
In order to accommodate my shaker, my oval sits on top on this card. The fun bead shakers are from Pretty Pink Posh. Even though it looks like I glued all those loose beads in a funky row, I dinnit. They just hung there like that for the picture, all orderly and patient. Except for that one guy. There's one in every crowd, isn't there?

The ingredients for this card are the same as for my first card, except for the sediment which is from the NBUS Waltzingmouse set, "Compact Sentiments."

Thank you, Sarah, for the privilege of DJKASEing one of your excellent works of card art ~ twice!!

Other Challenges
GRAB OUR BADGE!
 photo badge1_zpse398c447.jpgGrab Our Badge!
The challenge links will provide you with details on rules, sponsors, and prizes.

~~~

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. 
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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!