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!

October 30, 2015

Boo, Holly!

Hey there!

Yup, it happened again! We whooshed around to another Friday! Not many left in 2015. Happy New Year! You laugh, but you wait. It's right around the corner!

Today I'm talking about friends and bringing you Halloween and more friends and Christmas and even more friends. 

Let's start with Halloween since it's going to be Halloween tomorrow and then that'll be that for another year. I'm not sure if anyone else did this, but this card came about because Hammy and I were looking at the challenges, like we are wont to do, and when we got to the Less Is More challenge, which is a sketch, Hammy happened to be hanging sideways from his wheel.

So instead of seeing the LIM sketch on the left, he saw what you see on the right:
          
And, I mean, we both immediately saw a ghost. Right?! 

So we made this:
I sketched out a ghost and cut it out using my antique skizzors. Next I cut out the eyes and mouth from a bit of black. Then I made a conversation bubble for the sediment location. That was simples, but now what? How could we jeuss up our plain design?

Well, I thought, what about that drawer of ancient mulberry paper we have in lots of beautiful colors? We shuffled back and forth between black, purple, and orange, and the orange won out. We are quite pleased at how kewl it looks. Making this card took me back to elementary school days when we made cards with just paper, skizzors, and glue! Imagine that!

Challenges

Today's Twofer

My twofer card is a Christmas card that I started a couple of days ago to enter into the Muse Card Club Challenge. Sadly, I didn't get it finished in time to enter, but it fits other challenges and I thought you'd like to see it.
The red polky-dotted paper is embossed and sparkly. I have slightly overimposed the photo so you can just make out the definition in the upper left-hand corner.

Making old-timey cards is fun, but modern dies are the schweetest! I received that awesome half-circle inner die cut from my friend Cat Craig of Cat Luvs Paper. I admired a card she made a few months ago using the die (from Simon Says Stamp) and Cat kindly sent me a couple cuts so I could see if I really wanted to purchase the die. Is that a great bloggie friend or what! Thank you, Cat!

Challenges

A Special Playhouse Visit!

I was delighted to meet another bloggie friend last week when Barbara Roe of Love2Colour stopped by the Playhouse with her handsome husband, Cal. We only had a couple of hours together, but we made the most of it and it was wonderful to meet her in person!

In the Small World Department, Cal and I found out that we were both born and raised in Iowa; in fact, we were born in the same county in Iowa! We also found out that we all lived for a while in the same area of Southern California and Barb and I both had careers as legal secretaries! Who knows what else we might have discovered if we'd had more time!

Cal took our photo:
Barb is gorgeous and she's a talented card artist who, you guessed it, loves to colour. If you don't know the kind, fun, and supportive Barb, I highly recommend you click over, introduce yourself, and prepare to be inspired!

New Friends Corner

Speaking of friends, I'm happy to return to welcoming new talented friends to the Playhouse! Here are five more:

Lisa808 of Crafting with Princess Lisa. Lisa has been blogging since 2008! In addition to stamping, making 3D projects, and scrapping (which she does extremely well), Lisa enjoys reading and baking. She became a Stampin' Up demonstrator in October 2013 and you will see many sensational cards showcasing SU products on her blog!

JoAnn of Crafty Nana's Blog. JoAnn lives in Florida and she started blogging in 2010. She has been scrapbooking and making cards for family and friends for the last fifteen years! In the five years she has been blogging, JoAnn has served on design teams and entered and won many challenges with her outstanding card art!

Christi (stampmonkey) of Blessings on Paper. Christi has been blogging since 2008! She started her blog to share her addiction to paper crafting with other like-minded addicts. Sound familiar?!! Christi's card art and other creative projects are way too pretty not to be shared with the world-wide webatory! I think you'll agree after you've stopped in to see for yourself!

Brenda of Stamping as Fast as I Can! Brenda has been blogging since 2010. I love that her profile says: "I love crafting of all kinds. I claim it's cheaper than therapy, but not so sure that's true. So many wonderful products, especially stamps, that's why I'm stamping as fast as I can!" Brenda can't stamp fast enough for me ~ all of her cards are fun and spectacular!

Gloria Lee of Gloria's Craft Room. Gloria started blogging in 2014. She is originally from South Korea. She moved to Canada in 2004 and she is the mother of two boys. You have no doubt seen Gloria's cards in the winning circles of challenges. Her designs are all prize-worthy with their exquisite clean and crisp execution!

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

~~~

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! But first I'm off to the store to buy another bag of candy ... I don't know what the heck my excuse will be after tomorrow! Happy Halloween!!




*Life is too short!
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October 27, 2015

CASEing Kelly Blog Hop!

Greetings, my friends!

Today is a very special day here in Blogland for the lovely Kelly Latevola. Today all of the card artists who have been generously featured by Kelly in her "{CASEing Genius}" series on her blog You and Your Big Dreams have gotten together to hold a hop in Kelly's honor for her one-year CG Series Blog'versary!
This hop will not only make KELLY's day, it will make YOUR day as it provides you with incredible inspiration while you hop from genius to genius! And there are prizes for commenters! Enjoy!!

~~~

I have already CASEd Kelly twice before, but I was delighted to be asked to join in and CASE her again!

For her CG series, Kelly always picks three cards of her CASEees and then makes her own CASE from the three, so we are each doing the same for our hop today.

I chose these three cards of Kelly's:
1. Elephant/giraffe and balloon here.
2. Bunny/bear and hot-air balloon here.
3. Raccoon and hot-air balloon here.
I love Kelly's critter cards that just explode with happiness!
~~~

Here is my CASE:
In a style ala Kelly, I've made a card that has critters, hills and sky, vibrant watercoloring, and lots of happiness! I used my NBUS effelump stamps and dies from Wplus9, a curved die from Lawn Fawn, a sediment stamp from Penny Black, and a kite from SU, watercolored with my Ziggies.

Happiness is spending time with friends and CASEing friends!

~~~

Here is the order of today's hop honoring Kelly. You should have arrived here from the talented Cindy Chiu's blog. Or you can start at the beginning at a2z Scrapbooking. It's a long hop, but I guarantee it will be worth your time in inspiration value as you visit each of these uber-talented card artists!

PRIZES

What is a blog hop without some fun prizes?! Leave a comment by 11:59 pm EDT on Thursday, October 29th along each stop in the hop to increase your chances of winning a prize from one of our sponsors:

Winners will be notified by email after October 29th.

I'd like to thank Marika Rahtu and Nina-Marie Trapani for organizing this hop! And I'd like to say thank you to Kelly for all the hard work and time she puts into her unique and terrific {CASEing Genius} series for one whole year ~ here's to many more!!

~~~

Watz It Mean?

By the way, if you are new to our little corner of Blogland, CASE stands for "copy and share everything." Also, you may be wondering what the difference is between a Hop and a Challenge.

To me, a Hop is like this post where you see a list of specific card artists and the objective is for you to literally "hop" down the list from artist to artist, commenting as you go. Often prizes are offered. Hops can be just for fun or they can be for causes or to promote product.

A Challenge is a post with an InLinkz button where you, as the reader, can link your own personal creation to the challenge gallery, following challenge guidelines.

To me, it's that simple even though sometimes you will see blogs with an InLinkz button that calls the event a hop. There's nothing wrong with that, but it does get confusing. There is no hard and fast rule, but I think generally that is the difference between the two. Again, this is just my observation, not a law or anything.

If I was going to make a law, it would be about something way more important, like chocolate no longer being allowed to have calories.

~~~

Enjoy the Hop and 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!

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October 25, 2015

The 25th = PTI & Rudolph & Pixie!

Greetings,  my friends! Happy Sunday Funday!

Short and sweet today as you are no doubt here to hop and unless you're very athletic, it get tiresome to stand and hop in place for any length of time.

First up, I have my card for the October 2015 Blog Hop Challenge for Papertrey Ink (PTI). If it's the 25th day of October that means the 25th day of December can't be far behind ...
Blog-hop-logo
Blog hop inspiration
I chose to use the ornaments for my inspiration so I could use my NBUS "Ornament Trio Cutout" from Poppystamps. I used nontraditional PTI DSP for my die cut inserts and for the matting. The NBUS sediment is from PTI's "Stocking Prints" stamp set.

Now you might think this is tiresome fiddly work putting all those pieces into the negative bits, but I'm a person with a hamster to help me and we both enjoy jigsaw puzzles ... this way we can get that same jigsaw satisfaction and make cards at the same time!

Today's Twofer

In fact, the above card was so much fun, we made a whole nother card for the monthly Rudolph Days Challenge! This time we used sparkly silver and mirror red, green, and gold cardstock from my stash:
The scripted joy die is from Winnie & Walter. This shows the shine a bit better:
You know how hard it is to capture shine in photos, so you can just imagine how pretty this card is IRL. (If QACAS stands for Quick and Clean and Simple, than what shall I call this? SACAS as in Slow and Clean and Simple?)

I'm entering this metallic version in Rudolph Days Challenge hosted by the sweet Maureen. This challenge opens every month for Christmas cards and runs from the 25th day to the last day of each month throughout the year! I hope you can join in!

Pixies Crafty WorkshopI'm also entering my card in Pixie's Snippets Playground. This is the 200th challenge run by the sweet and talented Di Wray! This challenge is simply to encourage all of us to use our scraps ~ or snippets as my British friends say ~ and that's it! EZPZ! We all have scads of them and I find this challenge a wonderful reminder to use mine; just like my NBUS acronym reminds me to use my new product.

Not only that, but the ladies who join in are a HOOT! We have a Playground and a head mistress and a mascot and a tree house and a bike shed and swings and a donkey ... oh, and so much more! There are prizes, too! It's been great fun seeing a lot of my friends join in across the pond and I hope you can, too!

Congratulations, Di, and thank you for all you do!!

~~~

Enjoy the HOPS and 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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October 22, 2015

It's Your Day!

Hi Everyone!

I'm popping in today with only one card, a couple of important PSAs, a Mister update, and some new friends for you to meet.

So what happened with regard to my card today was that I could NOT not make it once I saw the photo prompt over at The Paper Players.

And since I needed a masculine birthday card, I made this:
in response to this:
I'm sure it's happened, but I can't remember ever seeing a challenge before ~ and I've played in a lot of them ~ where I had the prezack image depicted in the photo inspiration! I could NOT not play!

I used my NBUS Papertrey Ink vertical Sentiment Splits die, only instead of putting a sediment in the split, I put a couple of score lines. The leaves DSP is by Tim Coffey for K and Company. The acorn leaves (heat embossed in black) and the sediment (heat embossed in white) are both from SU. The NBUS splat is from the Waltzingmouse Stamps set, "Splat That."
Take it, it's yours
In addition to The Paper Players, I am entering the City Crafter Challenge: Into the Wood.


~~~

Public Service Announcements

I wanted to remind you about the Caring Hearts Card Drive which is running October 3rd-November 27th. 
Here is my stack of 55 cards ready to be popped in the box and mailed. Thank you to Kim and Harriet for their contributions to the pile!
If you have extra handmade or upcycled or recycled holiday cards in your stash, please click on the link and contribute to this wonderful charity providing handmade holiday cards to nursing homes!

~~~

Second, a lot of you have heard of the wonderful Michele, owner-illustrator of CAS-ual Fridays Stamps and I know a lot of you have played in the challenge she runs. In light of October Breast Cancer Awareness, Michele recently revealed that she found out on August 17th that she has breast cancer. She discovered it during a self-exam. 

Michele is now on a selfless mission to remind women of the importance of monthly self-exams. She has created this badge:
Please share this...
Michele is asking that we place her badge on our side bars or in a post as a reminder to each other to do self-exams every month on the 17th. The sobering statistics are that 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer so the life you save will be your own! I'm happy to spread the word and I send my best wishes to Michele for a full and speedy recovery.

~~~

Update

I thought you might like to see the Mister modeling the hip brace he's had to wear 24 hours a day for the last six weeks:
This contraption helped his hamstring reattach successfully following surgery (for which we are grateful), but it also kept him from being able to sit down for six weeks. Today it came off!!! 

Of course, he can't immediately sit quite yet, nor can he walk without crutches because he is still having complications from the DVT which has resulted in his left leg and foot remaining swollen and painful. So my nursing duties continue for a while longer, but it's a huge improvement to get that brace off! Now he can sleep on his stomach and start physical therapy! Hopefully the PT will also resolve the last of the DVT, so it's all good!

~~~

New Friends Corner

Thank you for the opportunity to introduce you to five more fabulous new friends of mine!

Jeanne Tomshack of Creative Bliss. Jeanne started her blog in 2007! She is a SAHM to two busy girls. When she isn't making cards, she enjoys digital scrapping, cross-stitching, knitting, crocheting, and thrift store shopping. Like so many of us, Jeanne enjoys blogging and reading other crafty blogs for inspiration. Crafting and blogging are, in Jeanne's words, "creative bliss!"

Maja of Little Paper House. Maja has been blogging since 2013. She is a designer whose CAS card art is sensational and impeccably made. Her blog is also a wonderful journey with her amazing photography. There are even photos of her raising a baby fawn to buckhood! You'll need a favorite beverage as you wander through her enchanting blog!

Tammie Edgerton of One Happy Stamper. Tam has been a happy stamping blogger since 2010, but she got hooked on stamping in 2009. As you can imagine, Tam has served on design teams and entered and won many challenges over the years. She is truly a pleasure to visit and her cards and coloring are always bright, happy, and expertly made. You'll leave with a smile!

Anita of Just a Pigment of My Imagination. Anita also started blogging in 2010 and she, too, has served on many design teams and entered and won many challenges. Anita first became inspired by all the other blogs she was visiting and so she decided to join in the fun and began sharing her own creations. Anita is an expert colorist who most definitely will inspire you!

Joan of Late Night Stamping. Joan is from North Yorkshire and she also began blogging in 2010. She is a retired lady who loves playing with rubber stamps and she has also served on many design teams and entered and won many challenges. She is an expert with the inks and she is also inspiring in how she uses her snippets of this and that!

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

~~~

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!

It's going to be a long day for me with a trip to the dentist to affix a crown over a molar I broke on Sunday. I may or may not have been eating honey-roasted almonds, hard as rocks. (The Mister and I feel that a good marriage is based on our taking turns being idiots.)

*Life is too short!

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October 20, 2015

More Scary Schtuff and Eureka!

Hello!

I hope you're doing well! Since I'm posting less often than normal, when I do post, they tend to be Lala Po Loosahs. This one is expecially so, just to warm you.

Only a few more days until Halloween, so bless you if you are madly searching for a costume to buy or make for your little munchkin(s). I kinda miss those days. My two little twin gobblin grandsons were here on Saturday and since they won't be here on Halloween, they were allowed to make a serious dent in the bowl waiting for the trick 'r treaters. You know, the one filled with the little candy bars that I hate. Yes, haha, there are actually ones I hate.

So, timing being everything, Hammy made me make a couple three more Halloween cards just because I have all this schtuff and it's dumb to put it back in the container for another whole year. The truth is, he's been so patient the last several weeks, I let him make the first two cards all by himself.

First, he used the Memory Box spider ...
and decided to just be silly by using my NBUS Memory Box "Group of Ghosts" die to make sock puppets for the spider. When you think about it, that's pretty clever for a hamster. The side borders are Washi tape and the bottom web is just a left-over scrap from my stash. 

We apologize that one of the ghosts lost an eye in the making of this card.

Today's Twofer
With the negative spider die cut, Hammy made a note card by underlaying the opening with red sparkly paper and cutting BOO from the same paper using a Lil' Inker alphabet die. Shazambam!

Today's Threefer

Then seeing as how the ghost die makes three little ghosts and one big ghost for every cut, I picked up the pieces (literally) and made this:
I used a shimmery white card stock and a NBUS polaroid embossing folder from Darice. The white ghosts are backed with cuts made from black shimmery paper so you can see them. I mean, right? The brad and boo charm are from my stash and the sediment is from SU.

Really, for someone who isn't that keen about Halloween, I must say, I have a lot of Halloween schtuff and fixins and such!

Challenges
Challenge iconsPixies Crafty WorkshopSpray paint dollar store glass candle sticks black and add pumpkins for Halloween decoration
~~~

Eureka!

You might have to click to enlarge in order to see ...
... that's a hummingbird eating out of my hand! I've been trying off and on over the summer to have this happen and it finally did! What a thrill and then some! And it was right when the Mister was doing his laps on his crutches so he was able to grab a photo through the patio door. It's too bad the hummer is camouflaged by the tree. We will keep working on this and maybe one day I'll have a video for you!

~~~

And, if you will indulge me, I thought it would be fun to show you this:
The picture on the left is me with Henry and Adam when they were 7 months old and the one on the right is them today at 10 years and 7 months old! I look a lot older, too, but in all fairness, this wasn't planned and I don't have a stitch of makeup on.

The photo on the right was the last of 22 photos the Mister took from the bed trying to get one decent picture without one or both of them making goofy faces! It was all that Halloween candy they'd been eating. Or, nah, prolly it's just what all 10-year-old boys do!

~~~

New Friends Corner

I'm pickled tink to introduce five more new friends to you!

Maike of Maikreations. Maike has only been blogging since January of this year! While she is almost at her one-year anniversary, I consider her to still be a newbie and I'd love to have you make a special effort to visit Maike and welcome her to Blogland! Maike has such a wonderful way of using bright colors in her happy card art!

Mimi of She's Crafty. Mime has been blogging since 2011, but she really only took off with it this past August, so I consider Mimi to be almost a newbie, too. Once again, please make a special effort to visit Mimi and welcome her. Mimi has been a life-long crafter whenever practicality called for it, but now her blog has allowed her to get in touch with creating art for art's sake. I think you will see that she is being wildly successful at it!

Lydia Evans of Lydia Evans Design. Lydia started blogging in June 2011. She is the mom of two and she enjoys upcycling and recycling whenever possible to craft her art. Once you visit, you won't be surprised to learn that Lydia has won many awards over the years. She also very generously provides us with talented tutorials showing how she works her magic!

Andrea W. of Savvy Handmade Cards. Andrea is from Oklahoma and she has been avidly blogging since 2012. Andrea loves sketch and color challenges and finds creating cards and blogging to be therapeutic as well as fun. She has always been creative and loves painting, beading, sewing, and scrapping, in addition to making her cheery non-fussy cards.

Nancy Ball of Nancy's Crafty Blog. Nancy has been blogging since 2009, but she really took off in 2011. She is the mom of three humans and four cats. In addition to making cards, Nancy is a Close To My Heart Consultant, photographer, painter, scrapper, and she loves to cook and sew! I want to be her neighbor, don't you?!

~~~

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!

Tomorrow is a big day around here as the Mister's hip brace finally comes off! He won't be able to walk without crutches for a while yet, but it will definitely be a big improvement. I'll keep you posted and thank you, again, for all your cards, positive thoughts, and prayers!

*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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