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!

April 29, 2015

Voluptuous Vellum

A happy hump day hello!

If there is one thing I've enjoyed fondling since my love affair with paper began back in ought-2, it's vellum. I made so many cards using painted vellum, it's not funny and I spent hours on the console being consoled when they stopped making that stuff. Sniff. Oh, stop, I still have some in my stash, so you'll be seeing it again.

Needless to say, I am delighted to see vellum being "discovered" all over Bloggerville right now. One wonderful blog talking about it this week is the Papertrey Ink Make It Monday challenge, where Lizzie shows us how to soften patterns with vellum layovers.

Here is my card Numeruno:
I pretty much CASEd Lizzie's card using one of the PTI word text dies. Lizzie used "Mom" and I used "Birthday."

I love this sweet NBUS balloon paper from SU that I used for my patterned background. I popped my vellum focus pocus up on foam stilts like Lizzie did and I even tossed in some matching sequints to make mine a shaker card. Well, it turns out some vellum not only softens patterns, they make sequins invisible. So, not wanting to waste them, I sprung them to use another day when I'll use one of my lighter weight vellum sheets that are easier to see through.

Aside note: I used a transfer sheet (basically a large Xyron sheet) on the back of the text block die cut which applies adhesive. That's all fine and good, but even after lots of burnishing with a sheet of nonstick paper and my pants (and a lot of picknitting), there are still little boogers of adhesive stuck to the letters. I don't like that and I wonder if you have any secret remedy for it?

I mean beside wodka which does make them less noticeable.

My card numerdos:
 
Okay, then. Now we're talkin'. If that were a party invite, would you be rearranging your calendar to attend? Me, too.

I sponged distress inks using my NBUS Winnie & Walter "Flash" stencil in spun sugar, spiced marmalade, shabby shutters, mustard seed, and broken china. Served with a Sizzer Salad and crusty bread. The small star is from GKW, stamped in SU almost amethyst. The sediment is a NBUS die, also from W&W, called "The Big, the Bold, the Party," which I inlaid into my vellum banner. The banner is cut using an MFT die.

Wait. What? You inlaid in vellum? Thin, flimsy, pesky vellum? How you did that?

Well, to be fair, it was Hammy's idea. He really loves vellum, too, and we hadn't tried inlaying with it before. It works like normal diecut inlays. I first ran the die and clear vellum through the BS and carefully removed the diecut. I next ran the die and pink vellum through and removed the diecut.

Then I laid a piece of clear packing tape behind the negative space on the clear vellum. It's a nice width so it's great for making a banner and it gave my diecute some adhesive to stick to as it nestled back into the negative space. Plus, it's a great way to add a little stiffness to the banner without obscuring the view underneath.
You can see the shine of the tape on the underside.
 Here's a view of what it looks like on the underside.
(I will make another card with this pink diecut.)

It did work very well, so high tens to the hamster. Gotta love that guy.

Challenges

Besides the MIM challenge, I'm entering:

GRAB OUR BADGE!
Simon Monday Challenge Blog
Click on the links for details on rules, sponsors, prizes, and loads of inspiration!

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New Friends Corner

I'm thrilled to introduce five more new friends for you to visit and acquaint!

Sucheta ("Suchi") of Suchi's Cardstock. Suchi has been painting and crafting since childhood and she started blogging in 2014. She is an IT Professional, but Art and crafting are her passions. She loves trying new techniques and she is adapt at all card styles from CAS to mixed media and interactive 3D cards. That alone is a lot of inspiration, but Suchi also provides you with tips, tricks, and tutorials!

Susan Flynn of Craftin' Suzie. Suzie is from the UK and she has been blogging since 2011. In addition to card art, Suzie loves scrapbooking, cooking, reading, and her very handsome grandsons. Suzie is on design teams and she is a multi-award winner in challenges with her use of bright and festive digi images, so expertly showcased!

Lagene of Inky Lageney. Lagene started blogging in September 2012. Lagene isn't kidding with her blog name ~ she loves to get inky and you will find tons of mixed media inspiration on her blog! Her wonderful talent is most evident in her fabulous Tim Tags!

ÅsaJ of Scrap SimplyÅsa is from Sweden and she has been blogging since 2012. She is a teacher when she isn't partaking in her addiction of scrapbooking and making cards. Åsa is on design teams and loves playing in challenges, where I'm sure you have seen her play and win. She makes such lovely layouts and wonderfully CAS cards!

April Cheetham of Paper Lily Leaf. April is an Independent Stampin Up Demonstrator and she has been blogging since 2013. April is passionate about her products and her love of crafting and it is evident throughout her blog. You will find loads inspiration for tremendous card art and other 3D projects!
~~~

Backyard Busyness

I'll leave you with the latest news from the wild kingdom that is the Playhouse backyard. Just as Rufous took off (yes, he's gone for sure), this little guy appeared. He's just one of dozens of house finches that we see every day, but the Mister had me come running (okay, waddling) with the camera when he saw this one yesterday:
Can you see what's missing?
Much to our surprise he took off with no apparent problems! Go him! Flying without a tail makes steering difficult, but thankfully tail feathers do grow back fairly quickly.

~~~

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 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!

April 27, 2015

An Arrowmatic Birthday and a Rufous

Hi Stampers and Scrappers and Scamperers!

Welcome to the fresh clean scent of a Monday of a new week of - hey look! - another new month is coming to the door on Friday this week! Are you ready for May?

Wait. What? Already?

Yup! And the reason I'm giving you a head's up is because this particular new month is going to expect you to throw it a May Day celebration party! With garlands and poles and privacy screens.

So let's get right to it cuz I know you're gonna want to do your semi-annual vacuuming (I can't be the only one) and make that mandarin orange cake for all the May pole revelers!

Here's macard:
We'd love you to display our bannerI actually made this card a while back. I was reminded I hadn't posted it yet when I saw the current challenge at Less Is More, which is "put a tag on your project."

The card base is SU green galore, to which I removed one-half inch from the right side of the card front only. Not the back. You don't want to mess with cutting on the back if you can help it.

Then I covered the now-narrower front with a white embossed layer, sized to fit. The embossing folder is "Arrows Textured Impressions" made by Sizzix for SU. On the left side, I covered the last embossed row of arrows with a border cut from a piece of patterned chevron/arrow paper made by GKW. 

The wee NBUS tag is meant to replicut an arrow, pointing the holder to the inside where presumably some cash could be gleefully hidden and found. The tag and sediments are called "Teeny Tag Greetings," made by Creative Time. Get this, there are 27 tiny stamp sediments in with the teeny tiny stitched die! No lie.

As you can see, I made a mat for the teeny tag in the same pp as the border and attached it to the card front with a v.o. lime green square brad. I gave the brad a one-quarter turn to make it a diamond so it lions up with the pointy bits of the e/f. It's all about the details.


I'm also entering the "Anything Goes" challenge at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and the "Clean and Simple" challenge at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge. Make sure you play along and please note there is also a Design Team Call going on for the Monday Challenge!
Simon Says Stamp BlogSimon Wednesday Challenge Blog
~~~

New Friends Corner:

It is my pleasure to introduce you to five more new friends!

Kim of Tangled Blue Rose. Kim has been blogging since April 2014, so Happy First  Birthaversary to your blog, Kim! In addition to making amazing altered art and cards, Kim loves photography and reading and whatever catches her fancy! You will enjoy her fantastic creativity!

Carol (Caz) of Bunny's Bits n Bobs. Caz has been blogging since 2011. She is a fabulous digi card artist, she is on several design teams, and she has won many awards. You will love her shaped, layered, embellished, and brilliantly colored works of art!

Andrea Patching of Andrea's Creations. Andrea is from the UK and she has been blogging since July 2014 when she was appointed to a design team. Andrea is a wife and mother who enjoys both crafting cards and baking. Her card art is always happy and her beautifully colored images are wonderfully layered!

Chrissy of Chrissy's Cardland. Chrissy is from New Zealand and she has been blogging since 2011. (Hammy loves it when I visit Chrissy because he sees his photo up on her blog header!) Chrissy's cards are always so pretty, impeccably made with layers and patterned paper, and punctuated with sensational embellishments!

Margreet of Margreet's Scrapcards. Margreet is from the Netherlands and she has been blogging since 2009. I'm sure you have seen Margreet at various challenges in Blogland over the years, where she has won many awards. Her cards are truly works of art showcasing excellent coloring and die cuts!

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


~~~


Our Beautiful World

I don't have a second card for you today, but I do want to bring you a hummer update and I want to play in this week's Our Beautiful World. The word this week is "Flutter."

Here is my hummer aflutter photo:
I spend so much time watching them and taking pictures that sometimes I have to lay down.

~~~

On Friday, we had a brand-new hummer experience in the Playhouse backyard. We normally are habitated by hummingbirds called Anna's. You've seen many photos of our resident Anna's hummers over the last coupla years. They are quite iridescent with bright green backs.

Friday our feeder and swing were taken over by a Rufous hummingbird!
His coloring is very copper/orange and you can't miss him against the green tree leaves. The Mister tells me not to get attached to him because they are migratory and he is on his way up to British Columbia. I think he may already have moved on. We saw him Friday and Saturday, but not at all yesterday. It was really delightful to have him stop in for some rest and relaxation!

Just for fun, here you can see the front and back comparisons between the Anna's on the left and the Rufous on the right.
It's an ever-changing landscape around backyards everywhere. Especially in the springtime. I hope you are being entertained by what's happening in yours! I mean, besides in the hot tub.

~~~

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!

April 24, 2015

Day Five - Stamplorations Spotlight Week!

Hello!

Happy Friday! Thank you for whooshing through the week with me as we have celebrated Stamp Spotlight Week at STAMPlorations!! It's been my absolute pleasure to be guesting along with Shery and her uber-duber talented DesignTeam! 

Here is a last look at all the magnificent stamps in the new release:
Today, our spotlight is on The Bee's Knees SMALLBIRDS:
SmallBirds-preview
Aren't they sketchy and sensational?!

I had so much fun with them I made you not one card, not two cards, but THREE cards! 
Cuttlebug e/f; SU ribbon; sediment from Fond Expressions
Challenge: Uniko Studio Challenge: Things with Wings.*

Darice fence e/f; Kaleidescope ink; SU dots; sediment from Noteworthy
Challenge: Less Is More: Things with Wings.


Copper and star papers from stash; star e/f from Darice;
sediment from Noteworthy
Challenge: Mod Squad Challenge: Encouragement.

Between my cards and the terrific cards of the DT, you can see how great these stamps are to play with and how versa tile they are!

Remember, Shery is generously offering PRIZES for this Release Week! Commenting for prizes closes on April 27th and winners will be announced on the STAMPlorations blog on April 29th. 

For a chance to win one of the prizes, make sure you leave a comment here and on the blog posts of the fabulous Design Team members listed below. Each has made you fantastic inspiration using The Bee's Knees SMALLBIRDS:

Prizes:
  • FIVE (5) commenters randomly drawn from the designers' blogs will each win a $10 gift certificate.
  • ONE (1) commenter randomly drawn from the STAMPlorations blog will win a $25 gift certificate
  • + surprise prizes (depending on the response we get)

ETA: Wait. What? I see there is some news over at Shery's blog:
According to a little birdie, 5 prizes have been added, so there are now 11 prizes instead of 6 up for grabs! You can read all about it here.
~~~

Hammy and I would like to thank Shery and the DT for allowing us to play with them this week. We really enjoyed showcasing the sensational new release! We'd also like to thank all of you for your wonderful visits and encouragement!!

Enjoy the hop and 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!
We'd love you to display our bannerShare Our Badge on Your Blog!Grab button for Uniko Studio Challenge

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.
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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!

April 23, 2015

Day Four - Stamplorations Spotlight Week!

Oh, you look so fine today! Thank you for stopping in for a visit!

I'm honored to be here on Day Four guesting for Stamp Spotlight Week at STAMPlorations along with Shery and her outstanding DesignTeam!

Here is a look at all the magnificent stamps in the new release:

Today, our spotlight is on HEAVEN SENT:
HeavenSent-preview
Once again, a very sweet set of baby stamps and sediments! 

After yesterday's wild foray into nonCASicity, the hamster and I went very CAS for our inspiration card today:
This card is pretty self-exploratory. I love the old-fashioned pram and so I used an old-fashioned ribbon treatment some of you might remember from the last century. Using the oval was intended to be provocative of old-fashioned portraits that hung in old-fashioned parlors. 

OTOH, I am hoping that keeping it minimal with lots of white space still gives it a fresh feeling. To that end, I will use one of the precious sediments on the inside.

~~~

And that's it, Bob's your Aunt, and Shery is generously offering PRIZES for this Release Week! For a chance to win one of the prizes, make sure you leave a comment here and on the blog posts of the fabulous Design Team members listed below. Each has made you stunning inspiration using "HEAVEN SENT."

~~~


New Friends Corner

I'm pickled tink to introduce you to these new friends:

Shirley Wilkie of Greeting Card Heaven. What a wonderful name! Shirley is from South Carolina and she has been making greeting cards for about four years. She had a former blog, but this new blog has only been open since February of this year. I know you will fall in love with Shirley's dynamic card art!

Mayoori Jain of Butterflies and Buttons, Mayoori has been blogging since April 2014. (Happy First Blog Birthaversary!) Mayoori is a designer, an award-winner, and active in challenges. You will find beautiful scrapbook layouts, altered art, 3D projects, and cards on Mayoori's vibrant blog!

Dana of Crafty Couple. Dana is just starting her blog, but I think you will be seeing more of her as she settles in and plays in challenges. She is one-half of the Crafty Couple; her husband Glenn is an artist and woodworker. Dana loves handcrafts, especially quilting and making cards. Her cards are always on point and you can tell a lot of thought and care goes into each one. Here's another lady that I hope you will be able to visit and welcome to our wonderful stamping community!

Ilse of Greeting Cards and So. Ilse is from Wilrijk (near Antwerp). A wife and mother, Ilse has been blogging since 2011. Ilse makes such pretty cards. They are always fresh and CAS and very pleasing to the eye. You may have seen Ilse's lovely cards in challenges and I know you'll enjoy visiting her blog for a closer look!

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



~~~

Enjoy the hop and 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!


Color Throwdown Challenge: Black, white, and any shade of yellow.
Simon Monday Challenge Blog
Simon Wednesday Challenge BlogPlease Grab Our Badge!
The challenge links will provide you with inspiration and rules, sponsor, and prize details.

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!