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!

July 29, 2015

Penguin Love and a Silvery Snowman

Greetings, stampers!

Hammy and I had one of "those" crafty days yesterday where things went off the rails design-wise. It happens. Sometimes as your working, Serena Dipity stops by and takes your design to dizzying and wondrous heights you hadn't even imagined and then sometimes she's off having a coffee and Mr. Murphy, the cad that he is, drops in and takes your design to Meh-ville.

The day started, as it usually does, when the shadow of a challenge or two crossed over the Playhouse sunroof and my onefer came to be.
Here's the darling card I was using as my inspiration:
It was made by my friend Tracey McNeely of In My Creative Opinion. She is this week's MUSE over at the challenge of the same name. She's one of my penguins.

As I looked at Tracey's cute card, I thought: I have penguin stamps and dies from the Stamps of Life. Okay. I don't have a palm tree, but I do have a beach umbrella. Okay. 

Tracey made incredible stylized surf and sand with her stenciling. That gave me pause. Since her sediment is about love and I needed a coupla anniversary cards, I visualized stenciled hearts somewhere in my design instead of sand and surf. As I was mulling that over, I went through my "love" sediments and shazambam, when I saw the NBUS Alley Way stamp "love is in the air," I thought it would be awesome if stenciled hearts were floating in the air over the penguins. Okay.

As it happens, I don't have a heart stencil, so I used the negative of my Memory Box "Heart of Hearts" die and sponged ombre pinks through the heart holes.

I should have stopped there. 

But Mr. Murphy loomed large with his flirty eyes and his deep voice and he suggested that if I sponged a circle around my hearts, it would look like the sun setting on the beach. Well, shure, I stupidly agreed. Darn it, Darnell. It's not even centered and, of course, that bugs the heck outta me. Owell. It's guudenuff and it's going to noncardmakers, so they'll love it, even if I don't.

Today's Twofer

I just couldn't let it rest, because I still thought the original idea was a cute one. This time I used a stamp with a cluster of hearts just perfect for the drawing up in my head. It's NBUS from SU's "Perpetual Calendar" set.

I likit. Hammy wanted to pop up the penguins and I'm not prezackly sure why, but I do like that he glossed up the beach umbrellas for the cards.
Challenges

You might have noticed that my cards are black and white with just the one color, Al B. It ombre in the first case. That's because, besides MUSE, I'm playing in the current challenge at Uniko Challenge which is, "black and white with the optional twist of a splash of colour!"
Right Click to Save!
Today's Threefer

Next we toyed with whether or not that first card was even going to make it onto the blog. If it wasn't, which seemed likely at that point, I still needed a "twofer." Hmmm. And I need Christmas cards by the dozenzes, so we brainstormed.

If I use a snowman instead of a penguin and a Christmas tree instead of a palm tree, I could still use Tracey's great design layout. I found the perfect NBUS snowman stamp from PTI's "Friendship Jar Holiday Fillers" and when I was looking at my tree dies, I saw my NBUS die from MFT, "Tree Lines," which I was dying to use, so I cut that out of a scrap of gently patterned green paper. Then, if I cut it in half, I found a fitting sediment from Technique Tuesday's "Jingle All the Way." Whoop Dee Do La La!

Then it was ME who went out for coffee. When I left, I told Hammy to just draw and glitterize a few stray snowflakes spots over the snowman's head for Cuteness Sake, like we did with the floating red hearts stamp. Then he could have a macaroon. The instructions were very straight-forward.

But, grapes preserve us, when I came back I found Hammy prostate on the chaise clutching the pen in one paw and the glitter glue in the other, eyes rolled back in his head and criss-crossed. The evil sod, Murphy, was slithering out the Playhouse window, laughing sardonically.

Say What?
And people wonder if retirement is boring! I've gotta run and reapply the Epsom Salts to Hammy's soaking tub. He is going to miss running on his wheel for a few days until those paws unclamp, poor dear. He's had a rough time lately, but goodness what a sparkly card this is!

Oh, wait, I wanted to show you a close-up of the specialty paper that started the whole blizzard. I have a half sheet of this beautiful ancient white paper with embedded silver dots:
Paper-piecing the snowman with this gorgeous paper made it quite the focus pocus until the blizzard of July 2015 came along!
The good news is, it fits in the current Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge, which is "No Ordinary Paper" and, of course, it's another entry in the snippet challenge at Pixie's Snippet Playground!
Pixies Crafty WorkshopSimon Monday Challenge Blog
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Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy! LITS!*

And Happy Birthday, Bobby, my friend! Enjoy your special day!!

As always, thank you for coming by to visit the Playhouse and special thanks to you if you take the time to 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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July 27, 2015

Happy Birthday, Geri!

Good Morning!

Ahhhh, there is something so optimistic about waking up on a Monday morning with a clean slate and the smell of a fresh new week filled with possibilities stretching out before you!

And my sweet little friend and fellow BABEtte Geri of Manitoba Stamper has the added pleasure of waking up to today being her birthday! Yippie! Happy Birthday, Geri! I hope you enjoy your special day and I hope you celebrated over the weekend, too!

In honor of Geri's special day, I used a design that I made a while back and never posted. I like it so much, I made a onefer, twofer, threefer, and fourfer! They are really QACAS, super fun, and make great gift sets.
 
 
The balloon dies are by Lil Inker* and the sediment is by Papertrey Ink. I simply used the negative image for all the cards, backed with some of my noodles of pretty designer paper I have. Seriously, five minute cards. Schweet!!

*balloons and strings

Challenges
GRAB OUR BADGE!
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Gotta scoot today. I'm trying a brand-new technique that I've seen used a lot in Blogland, especially by my friends across the pond. I've got my Jelli Plate all ready to go, now I'm off to watch some videos ...
~~~

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 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 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!

July 26, 2015

Pressies and Cake!

Hey! How's it goin'? Happy Sunday Funday!

I wasn't going to post this weekend, but then what happened was I was visiting other blogs and I saw a coupla three challenges that I just HAD to play in. I mean, I just HAD to play in them in that stop-the-presses-and-never-mind-about-whatever-it-was-you-were-doing sort of way. I wonder now what it was that I was doing? It can't have been important. She says, hoping.

So here's my first:
This card was inspired by the Muse: Christmas Visions card. This week the Muse is the extraordinary card artist Marika Rahtu of Me and Minime Crafting. Here is Marika's adorable card:
 
Now, seriously, doesn't that make you want to drop everything and play along?! It did me. 
My miniature Rudolph with the goofy doofus smile that makes you smile back is from Your Next Stamp, "Believe in the Magic." The presents (some of which were popped up) were paper-pieced and then fussy-cut using two vo SU stamps. The quizzical little birdie on top is a NBUS stamp from Purple Onion Designs, "Stacey Yacula Studio Winter Bird Sitting" and the sediment is from Stampabilities. Appropriate winking, a Rudolph red nose, and googly eyes were applied!

Challenges
 
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Today's Twofer

Over at Less Is More there is a happy celebration going on as Fearless Leader Chrissie turns 70 years young! Chrissie is a card hero of mine who has become a good friend. She was a huge help to me in my early days in Blogland and LIM remains one of my favorite challenges, so I couldn't pass up the celebration party for Chrissie! 

AND, yet another good friend and card hero just happens to be guest designing at the LIM birthday party challenge! Her name is Di and she is the Fearless Leader of another challenge you see me entering often: Pixie's Snippets Playground! At Pixie's the only rule is that you use some snippets (or scraps as we Americans call them) on your creation. 

Here you go:
 
The sweet cake is from Stamps by Judith and the sediment stamp is from PTI. The cake plate is NBUS from Avery Elle's "Fanfare" set. The sweet balloon border was cut from a snippet of SU DSP using a NBUS die from Lil Inkers called "Fanfare Scalloped Border Die." Honestly, I forgot I had it, but Hammy remembered and pointed out that it matched the swirly fanfare scallops on the cake plate perfectly! The corner was chomped and the cake and candle were winked to finish it off.

Happy Birthday, Chrissie, and many more!!

Challenges
We'd love you to display our bannerPixies Crafty Workshop


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New Friends Corner

I'm delighted to welcome more new friends to the Playhouse!

Moja fotografijaValery of My Joy. Valery is from Slovenia and she has been blogging since 2014. Like so many of us, Valery started blogging as an outlet to enter her cards in some of the many wonderful challenges available to us. She has since won honors for her cards and I know you'll find her designs to be fantastic and inspirational!

Marybeth Lopez of Marybeth's Time for Paper. Marybeth has been blogging since 2010, which means you prolly already know her! She is on several design teams and plays in many challenges with her stunning works of card art. I often find Marybeth's designs to be pure magic and her work is always impeccably executed!

Alice P. of Scrap & C. Alice is from Italy and she has been blogging since 2012. She is an elementary school teacher who has always enjoyed creativity and playing with paper, glue, and colors. Alice is also a big proponent of recycling, something she learned from her grandmother. I think you will enjoy your visit to see all the ways that Alice gets creative with her cards and 3D projects!

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

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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 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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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!

July 24, 2015

Bobbing Along and TYI Reminder

Happy Whoosh Day Friday!

When I was growing up in the quaint middle of the last century, we had Wash Day Monday. I think Tuesday was ironing, but I've forgotten what all the other days were for and all that was chucked out the window by the time I got married and worked inside and outside the home, doing wash whenever I could squeeze it in.

Now I sit here and make up silly days for whooshing. That's the fun part of paying your dues and getting to live long enough to become a Bona Fide Geezer! (It's like a BFF only more "experienced" and with less filters!) I don't like how fast this year is flying by, but I have to say whooshing is way more fun than washing!

But funnest of all is putting time and chores off to the side and getting jiggy with water and color! For your glistening pleasure today, I have prepared a card ala Make it Monday's challenge to use watercolors with die-cut stencils. You can find an excellent video by Lexi via the link. Here is my make:
I have to tell you, this sweet card makes me smile. I love that little boat bobbing along on his little bit of wave. I'm also smiling because Hammy quickly came 'round and was a big help picking out the loopy sediment that nestled so perfectly in the sand hill. I'm happy that we're good pals again already, phew!

To make my card, I sued Papertrey Ink ~ no, that wouldn't be nice ~ that is to say, I used Papertrey Ink's "Sentiment Splits Curve Horizontal Die" which is a NBUS die that only arrived last week while we were away. It looks like this:
Papertrey Ink - Sentiment Splits: Curve Horizontal Die
I cut the die from a sticker adhesive sheet and applied it to my watercolor paper. I made sure it was well stuck so my watercolor wash wouldn't seep through (I hoped). I knew I wanted to do a simple wash for the sand and a sunset/sunrise wash for the sky. Good, okay. But while sky and sand are nice, a bit of ocean makes the beach scene more beachykeen, so I die-cut another piece and snipped a portion of the curve to apply as a wave separator. I think you can see what I mean, yes?
Then I scribbled my SAI paint markers onto my acrylic block and using my water brush, I simply did the color washes. I was trying to emu late the sunrise colors from one of our vacation photos only I made my colors softer than the real thing.
After I was finished painting, I removed the adhesive die cut, but I have to tell you, I had a devil of a time getting it off. I guess all that water made the paper separate. The top layer peeled off, but the bottom layer had to be rubbed off in tiny pieces to keep the card itself from wrinkling. I'm not sure if it is the brand I used, so I'll try a different one next time. The little boat is from The Alley Way Stamps set "Kid 'n Caboodle" and the sediment is from the  PTI "Make a Wish" set.

Challenges
  • CASology: Line.
  • Less Is More: Life's a Beach.
  • Make it Monday: See above.
  • The Damsel of Distressed Cards: Birthday Party Linkup. I used the "Happy Birthday to One Cool Chick" to inspire me because you are one cool chick, Becca, and I used "watercolor washes" which are one of your favorite things. Happy Birthday, my friend!
We'd love you to display our banner
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Today's Twofer ~ Tag You're It Reminder

Apparently when I told you on Tuesday that my twofers would be Christmassy from now, I was telling you a big fat lie because here's my twofer which is definitely NOT a Chrissie card! 
In fact, it's a tag using the same watercolor technique and wee boat. The bottom layer is a seashore pp from my stash. Both tags were cut using the Die-Namics "Stitched Tags" from MFT. The NBUS sediment is from Technique Tuesday "R&R." The beautiful twill ribbon is from SU in blushing bride, which is pink IRL.

My tag is a reminder to you that today starts the second week of the current Tag You're It Challenge where I have the pleasure of guest designing. Here is another look at the delightful tag that designer Marybeth Lopez of Marybeth's Time for Paper created for your inspiration:
I do hope you can play along!!

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Challenges
GRAB OUR BADGE!
~~~

Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy! LITS!*

As always, thank you for your visit to the Playhouse and special thanks to you if you take the time to 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!