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 31, 2015

Homespun Happy New Year!

Cheers and best wishes to all! And a hope (perpetual and delusionary) that 2016 won't whoosh by as fast as 2015 did!

Are you enjoying this week between Christmas and New Year's? Are you ready for the little scamps to go back to school?

Me and the Mister had a fairly quiet week and I got as domestic and homespun as I get any more. Gone are the days of actual needlework, which I enjoyed very much in my youth. Now that I'm in my dotage, I very much enjoy faux stitching on paper instead.

Less is More is having a homespun challenge so I took that spark and ran with it ...
Inside it says "Happy New Year!"
Stamp is "Spooling Around" by Penny Black. 
Sediment is from "R&R" by Technique Tuesday. 
Challenge: Less Is More: Homespun.

I liked it so much, I made this one:
This sediment is NBUS from Rubber Dance Stamps.
We need to talk for a second about that cute little critter portrayed in this Penny Black stamp. I am pretty schur the artist Margaret Sherry meant for it to be a mouse, judging by that tail. But if you look at the furry body and cute ears and that adorable face, it looks just like Hammy and his offsprung! 
Which, of course, he insists is the case. He has been spinning a yarn for three days about how that critter looks just like a branch of his family from way back over on his mother's father's cousin's mother's sister's side that had an impediment of longer-than-normal-for-a-hamster-almost-mouselike tails. I said, "Mm-hmm. That's some tale, all right." 
So, anyways, if you could just avoid using the M word in your comment, you would save me from dramatical hamsterics. Thank you!
~~~

Then I took out other old sewing-related stamps and made a few more, thus:
Open frame stamp by Endless Creations G149.
Sewing basket stamp by PSX.
Thank you sediment by PTI.
Challenge: Less Is More: Homespun.

Button Trio stamp by Rubber Stampede.
NBUS sediment by Hero Arts.
Challenge: Less Is More: Homespun.
Hanging quilt stamp is unmarked.
NBUS sediment is by Hero Arts.
Challenge: Less Is More: Homespun.

I have to say, it's quite easy making batches when your designs are QACAS OLCs! And although it doesn't show in my photo graphs, most of the images were Modpodged so they are plump and glossy IRL.

~~~

Finally, I'm sorry this is so long, but since New Year's Day is practically or already here for some of you, here is my simple New Year's OLC!
NBUS sediment from Happy Little Stampers.
Chevron e/f from Cuttlebug.
Old die-cut glass, Washi, and stars from my stash.
Challenges: Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge: Party.
My bit of sparkle are the sequins.
~~~

Enjoy your New Year's eve / day / weekend / year!! No, seriously, enjoy! LITS!*

As always, thank you for coming by to visit the Playhouse and making it to the end of my waffling posts. 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! In fact, I may be taking a few days off to do just that. I have a lot of catching up to do!

My thoughts and prayers go out to all those whose lives have been impacted by the terrible storms and flooding in Missouri and in the northern UK and by the tragic fires in Australia. 

*Life is too short!

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SIP Challenge 28 - No Christmas 800Simon Wednesday Challenge Blog

December 28, 2015

A Smooching Rose Parade for Friends

Greetings, my friends!

I hope your holidays were very special for you and that you made lots of awesome memories!

We spent a wonderful Christmas Eve with the Mister's sister and her family and then Christmas Day was spent at Dan and Rachel's. It was a fun time and a culinary delight as the prodigal plied us with prime rib. Yummo!!

It was also a delight to see that Radio Flyer wagons are still beloved by the youth!

Afterwards the twinsters and Duke came back home with us for the weekend to give their mom and dad a couple of days of alone time which wrapped up the holiday perfectly for all of us!

~~~

I haven't had any crafty time the last few days, but in the odd quiet moment last week, I decided I needed to get to my January birthdays before they all became belated. Using a very old rose stamp from Stampin Up and falling back on the tried and true techneke of craft mat smooching, I made this ...

which led to this: 
I was caught short again this Christmas when it came to the amount of cards I needed, so I've gotten a head start on my resolution to go straight from twofers in 2016 to tenfers. Or in this case, fourteenfers!

I must say I felt quite schmug when they were all soldiered together for the photo shoot!

~~~

To make my watercolored strips, I made three different card front panels using (alternatively) Distress Inks, SU markers, and PTI ink cubes. I used four different colors of ink cubes (two blues, two greens) and one by one I schwiped them back and forth three times directly onto my Ranger Craft Mat in an area about five inches across by six inches long. You can smoosh a smaller area if you are making tags. 

You can use as many different ink colors/brands as you like. You can also use markers instead of ink pads/cubes. Here is a link to a You Tube video by The Mad Stamper doing this technique with markers, which I also like. For these cards, I swiped ink cubes instead of markers, but the technique is the same.

After applying the ink, I lightly spritzed the mat and then lay my paper upside-down over the ink. I pressed the paper down and smooshed it a bit back and forth using an acrylic block just for a few seconds and then I lifted it off the ink and turned it over. 

You can also just use your hand to press and smooch. And if you don't like the result you can lay the paper back down and smooch it again until you're happy with the coverage. You can also dab the ink with a paper towel after you turn it over if you like a more pastel look or to stop the color from flowing.

Once the watercolor panels were dry, I cut them into strips for my card design.

~~~

Missing Friends

I wanted to mention that something appears to be going on again with Blogger, both from my own experience and from other bloggers commenting that their follower numbers are decreasing. I lost eight followers in just a couple of days and I'd like to think it's a glitch and not that people are really leaving me in droves! Eeks! 

ETA from Shaz who posted this Google notice: ... "We encourage you to tell affected readers (perhaps via a blog post), that if they use a non-Google Account to follow your blog, they need to sign up for a Google Account, and re-follow your blog. With a Google Account, they’ll get blogs added to their Reading List, making it easier for them to see the latest posts and activity of the blogs they follow." ... Full notice here.

That appears to be that then. If you check the "Blogs I Follow" on your own profile page and my blog has dropped off your list, I would appreciate if you would sign up for a free Google Account, if necessary, and then re-follow me. Thank you!

~~~

Lost Friend

R.I.P.
Many of you know The Crooked Stamper Leslie Hanna. A shining star in our community in Blogland, Leslie passed away on Christmas Day. Her amazing talent, droll and wicked sense of humor, and kind encouragement will be forever missed. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.

~~~

New Friends

Diana M. Larson of DL Art. Diana has only been blogging since January 1, 2011, but I'm sure you know of her. Diana is a prolific crafter and blogger. It would take you years of Sundays to peruse ~ with pleasure ~ all the wonderful tips, tricks, techniques, and talent Diana shares with her readers!

Sharon of My Crafty Cardz. Sharon is from the UK and she started her blog in 2013. She has always enjoyed making cards for her family and I think you will be as happy as I am that she started blogging and sharing her beautiful card art with the world. Her cards are always complete and make sweet little gifts in and of themselves!

Tasha Vovchuk of My Scrap Corner of Joy. Tasha is from Kiev and she is the mother of two young children. She has a passion for scrapbooking and her 3D and card art are simply divine! A multi-time challenge award winner, Tasha also serves on Design Teams. I think as you scroll back through Tasha's posts you will soon see why she has received so much recognition!

Joanna Harty of Harty by Heart. Joanna lives in Sweden with her husband and two little boys. She started blogging in December 2013 ~ happy 2nd Blogaversary! Joanna serves on several well-known Design Teams and she has achieved considerable kudos from challenges she has entered. In addition to blowing you away with her card artistry, Joanna shares and makes videos to show you how you can do it, too!

Sandra H. of Nanagramps Craft Designs. Sandra started blogging in 2011, she is retired, and she has three grown children and two grandchildren. Sandra started making her own cards in 2007 for family and friends and she enjoys playing in card challenges. She also serves on Design Teams for challenges where she's the one who helps provide loads of inspiration to the rest of us!

~~~

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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December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015

Hello to all on this fabulous and festive holiday!

I send you warm mottled sunshine greetings from my family! 
Dan, Adam, Henry, Rachel
Seated: Bama Darnell and Papa Kevin (Mister)
I had to crop the photo in order to see the people features, so the Dukester was cropped out. Here is his for all my pet-loving friends:
(I think he must have been distracted by some hamster antics over on the swinging bench!)

~~~

Of course, I had to make you a card and enter a couple of challenges!
The whimsical Charlie Brown Christmas tree image is from Stamps by Judith. The baubles are from Rubber Stamp Tapestry. The glossy top mat is embossed with a Memory box die called "Cross Stitched Frame Borders." The tag is cut from "Teeny Tag Greetings" from Creative Time and the teeny "merry" is a portion of a sediment from PTI's "Holiday Buttons Bits" set.

Challenges
  • CASology Challenge where the cue card word is "Merry." You might want to join in the DT call that is happening over there right now! (Kimberly and Ren are stepping down ~ thank you both for your work on the DT!)
  • Color Throwdown: Any Christmas Creation, Any Color.
  • Pixie's Snippets Playground where all you have to do to play along is use some snippets on your card. This week marks the fourth year since Di took over the Playground, so congratulations to her for that milestone, as well as a big thank you!!
Pixies Crafty Workshop

Happy Mail

One of the benefits of sending out lots of Christmas cards is the joy that I find in my Happy Mail every day! Each card will be photo graphed and put in my "Happy Mail" tab above, but in the meantime, here is the awesome basket of cards I've received so far:
Thank you to all my dear friends who sent cards and to all of you who read my blitherings and encourage and support my card-making hobby by your amazing comments! It means the world to me and keeps me going!

Miracle Mail

Hey, check this out! I have to give a shoutout to both the English and American postal service personnel. I have a friend from England who inadvertently dropped my Christmas card in the outgoing mail without any postage on it.

Horrors!

Well, here it is, safe and sound as it arrived at my house ~
You'll see that it doesn't even bear an admonishment that there is "postage due!" Kudos for the holiday spirit of all the carriers involved in this sweet holiday miracle!

~~~

On a sad note, three dear friends unexpectedly lost their beloved husbands this year and several friends have lost one or both parents, so I know the holidays can be a sad time for many. If it is for you, I send big fuzzy extra-special hamsterloads of hugs!

I'll leave you with this beautiful moon shining down on the Playhouse last night. If you look very closely, I think you'll see the shadow of a jolly fat man in a sleigh with Rudolph and Olive the other reindeer!
Enjoy the merriest of holidays in whatever fashion you choose to celebrate it, wherever in the world you celebrate it! No, seriously, enjoy! LITS!*


*Life is Too Short!



 (Linda S., please email me so I have your email to give you the information you requested. darnell dot knauss at gmail dot com.)

December 19, 2015

Mums and Metallica

Greetings!

Are you becited?! We are down to less than one week from Christmas! It's Crazy Town everywhere as people scramble to, well, wrap things up!

I'm here today with something other than a Christmas card, but close. It's a thank you card for a Christmas gift, in shiny Christmas colors.
 
I actually wanted to use this NBUS die for a Christmas card, but I never got around to it, so I'm glad to use it now. The die is called "Delicate Mum" and it's from Poppystamps. The "thanks" is from Winnie and Walter. It was really fiddly taking out the red bits and replacing them with the gold bits. Now I sorta know what it feels like to be a dentist.

Challenges for the above card:

SIP Challenge 27 - Thanks 800
Simon Wednesday Challenge Blog

The above thank you card is going to my nonbloggie friend Donna who is a quilter. We had lunch recently and she gave me this beautiful ornament which she made. The sheen of this fabric shot with gold is magnificent in real life and her hand-stitching is fantastic!
~~~

Of course, I had to do little some thin some thin with the positive mum, but I had reached the end of my fiddly patience. Since the smallest hamster, Harvard, who adores fiddling, was actually busy with his violin lessons, I put this little minimumly fiddly card together for a December 28 birthday:
While it is mum-like in real life, but up here it looks like an albino spider laying on his back wearing his Christmas slippers and waiting for his belly to be rubbed. Out. 

Sparkly Washi tape and a heat embossed PTI sediment and that's that. I tried to use my Versamark pen and first white-emboss the celebrate and then red-emboss the rest, but I kept biffing it, so I finally operated on the stamp and now I sorta know what it feels like to be a surgeon.

Challenges for the above card:
Take it, it's yours
Today's Twinfer Card / Mister News

Tomorrow is the eleventeenth birthday of our twin grandsons, Henry and Adam! I thought the boys might like a little metallica this year:
We are heading over to have lunch with them and then we'll see them often over the long Christmas weekend. Yay!

Speaking of family, I hate to tell you that my poor Mister is down again. Even though he still cannot sit for long without pain, he had recovered from the hamstring injury to the point where he was able to return to hiking and he went back to the gym last week. Happy whistling had recommenced in the Big House.

But then on Wednesday's hike, on the flat part, he tore the meniscas in his right knee. You guys, that would be the OTHER leg! Yes, I hear you gasp.
I'm not even kidding. Back we went to the doctor who determined that rest and ice are all that will be needed. That's a huge relief, but it does add more time to the other end of a very long time-consuming hamstring recovery.

That's the update, but we know it could be so much worse and if all he needs is the healing passage of time, we have much to be grateful for.

Still, I am gonna need another refill on that chocolate drawer!

~~~

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! (Linda S., I have no contact information for you, so please email me at darnell dot knauss at gmail dot com. Thank you!)

*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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December 16, 2015

Celebrating More of the Magic

Hello Every Card-Loving Body!

My cards have been rolling off the hamster wheel right and left and I'm nearly done. Yesterday, the town Post Office crowned me Sweetheart of the 2015 Season of Sending Smiles and thanked me for doing my part to keep them afloat and aflutter. It was all pomp and ceremony and I maintained my Dee Corum personality until they served the dessert wine and the speakers at the podium started having a difficult time articulating my new title.

I have a few other cards below if you need any last-minute inspiration, but the Main Event today is this number:
This fun stocking stamp is from All Night Media. I colored the image with my SAI markers and then glazed it for plumping and shine. A simple band of woodgrain Washi tape provides a lovely mantel and the fitting sediment is from the PTI "Tree Trimming Trio" set.

(Now that I cock my head over my right shoulder, I realize the mantel and signage appear rather large in relation to the undermantle and hosiery. Perhaps there was a roaring fire in the fireplace which shrunk all the stockings to doll-house size. Yes, let's go with that.)

I made this card to play in the one-layer card challenge at Less Is More where the theme is, "What's In My Stocking?"

I think if you look closely at the stocking on the far left, you'll detect some movement and I think you can guess what's in my stocking. And, yeah, no, I don't know which one it is!

~~~

Enjoy these designs. I'm really pleased with how much patterned paper I used from my stash this year.

As before, if you'd like any details, please let me know. I'm embarrassed to say that if you have asked me a question in an earlier post and I haven't answered, please forgive me and ask again as I've gotten terribly behind in answering my mail and visiting others. I promise I'll catch up after the holidays.

If you leave me a question in the comments, please make sure you are not a "no reply" blogger (see side bar) or if you don't have a blog, please email me or leave me your email. (Linda S., I have no contact information for you, so please email me at darnell dot knauss at gmail dot com. Thank you!)

Ready. Go.

Inspired by Sarah of Funky Fossil Designs


Challenge: The Male Room: Christmas or Seasonal Greetings.


Using up those stickers.


Washi tape laid in rows and then cut with Memory Box die.

Inspired by Kay Miller of My Joyful Moments
Challenge: Pixie's Snippets Playground: Use your snippets!

You've seen a different version of the above card not too long ago. I love this one with the schparkly foam JOY, punctuated with one schparkly gem. 
Challenge Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge: Just a Pinch.

Left: natural. Right: Wearing snowsuit for camouflage during hunting season. Challenge: STAMPlorations December Theme and Sketch challenge where I'm guesting. I hope you can link up!
~~~

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. 
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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!