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!

January 28, 2016

Hearts and Flowers

Hey, there! I hope your week is rolling along smoothly for you!

I wonder why roller blades went out of fashion so quickly. I've said before how I used to love roller skating as a kid. I was too old for roller blades when they became popular, but I would think the young'ns would love them and still use them. Instead, they have hoverboards that don't even hover except when they're bursting into flames.

Okay, then.

I have two items on the menu to share today.

First up is a card for this week's "Adore" challenge at CASology:
The stitched rectangle is by Lil' Inker. The clear heart bling is from SU. The NBUS sediment is unmarked. The stitched capital I is from my alphabet stash, which container is as big and as unused as my heart container was, sooo ... anyone in need of some alphabet letters?

Gosh, I spose you could say I adore you so much that my hearts bleed for you. Eu! No! That's a bit violent, Shirley. How about instead we describe it as hearts flowing down a river of watercolored cotton candy punctuated with sugary splatters? Yummo!

I'm also playing with:
SIP Tic Tac Toe 32 800

~~~

The other challenge that spoke to me yesterday was the Muse Challenge. Not only is it challenge #150, but my sweet Scottish friend Jenni Murray has joined the Design Team, which means her card is up for CASEing this week.
The e/f is Cross-Stitch Frame Borders by Memory Box. The silver embossed French script stamp is En Francois by SU. The NBUS sediment is Inkadinkado from my friend Brenda. The flower stamp and die are Vintage Linens by PTI. The flower centers are Liquid Pearls, which are partially smashed because the card fell over on its face during the windy photoshoot. Oops.

Here is Jenni's beautiful card:
I loved Jenni's design so much that I pretty much did a complete DJKASE copy of it using different products. I followed Jenni's panel design, watercolor washing my embossed script panel, and I topped that off with a floral sprig and white-on-black sediment layer. I would recommend a crisp chardonnay with that.

Congratulations on the DT appointment, Jenni!

I'm also playing in the "Anything Goes" challenge over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge.
In other news ~~

RE: REfollowing

I spoke too soon about the loss of followers not being too bad. After several days of up and down ticks of only four-five followers, I lost 33 overnight! (Wish that were pounds!) You can read about what's happening here.

Please NOTE something I forgot to tell you when we talked about this last time. There is a second action you must take in order to make it go back to how it was. In addition to signing up for a free Google account, you also have to REclick to join as a follower because you have been dropped by Blogger. You can rejoin using the blue button on the side bar that says "Join This Site." Thank you! Every time I visit a blog by Blogger now, I click the "Join" blue button to double-check that I'm still hooked up with you. It's a bit of a nuisance, but there you have it.

Great Minds

You know how sometimes we feel like we are so unique artistically, but then we hear that it's hard to put a copyright on creativity because what we might think up could just as easily be thought up by someone else's hamster?

And you know how I posted just such a cool and unusual card in my last post with the double-die-cityscape cut-out? Well, you have to check out this card by my friend Ros of Mikey's Mom! On the very same day, she also posted a card using a double-die-cityscape cut-out on her card!!

You have to admit, that's goose-pimply.

A Discount!

I'm so happy to announce that my friend and teacher, Deepti Malik, is offering all of my followers a 50% discount off the price of her excellent watercolor class! To sign up, click Watercolor Cards Class at Craftsy.com. Thank you for your generosity, Dee!!

Giveaways!

Don't forget the GIVEAWAYS page at the top of my blog home page! 
This one closes at noon PST tomorrow, FRIDAY the 29th!

~~~

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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January 26, 2016

WC Homework I

Hello my friends and dumplings!

My heart goes out to all of you who are suffering one way or another because of the blizzard and flooding on the east coast. Many people have suffered injuries from shoveling snow or car accidents, so be careful out there.

On the other hand, it was fun seeing all the folks out walking right through downtown New York City and the families enjoying the thrill of sledding down the Capitol steps and around various city hills that had never seen that kind of activity before. It's an interesting aside to note that (given the same physical abilities) there are those who chose to remain housebound and miserable and those who chose to get out and enjoy the delights the situation offered.

Sorry, where was I? Please have a seat.

I have finally started attending my online watercolor classes! Whoop! Boy, has that ever been weighing me down. And you thought it was just the chocolates, dinnit you?

The oldest class in the queue is a class taught by my exceptionally talented friend Deepti Malik of Dee's Art Utopia. The class is being offered by Craftsy and it's worth every penny. Deepti is clear and concise and covers a ton of information and techniques. And I'm only halfway through the course!

I thought I would share some of my homework with you. All of these cards were made using pan watercolors, either KGT or Dollar Store.
A watercolor wash.
Corner Garden flower stamp by Stampin' Up, heat-embossed.
Sediment by Papertrey Ink.

Variegated watercoloring.
Cityscape Nightline die by Memory Box.
NBUS Mwah sediment by CAS-ual Fridays Stamps.

I made two of these cards. They are both the same vibrancy, but the sunlight overimposed the one on the left. Actually, making two identical cards should warrant me an "F" grade. You see, in class Deepti made one die cut and made a card with it, like above. (In fact, I DJKASEd her!) Then she made a second card, but she made it using the negative from the cityscape die cut. It was really cool. 

Unfortunately, by the time I walked the three steps over to my BS, I'd forgotten the directions and my thoughts turned to how I could get two variegated cityscapes out of the one painting. Also cool, sure, but not what I was told to do. I'll admit Hammy was chattering away at me something fierce and even gently pulling my hair, but I was not to be detracted.

Turning back to my desk and looking at the computer screen and then down at my scrap, I realized my exuberance had once again led me down the path to the principal's office. Never mind, said Harvey (Hammette #4), use it anyway, so I went ahead and made a card with what I had.
Do your eyes see the nonsensical (albeit colorful) angled overlay or the dark cityscape outlines? If you see the dark cityscapes, then you'll enjoy the pretty sky. The sediments from Hero Arts are heat-embossed. I'm entering this across the pond to play with my UK friends at Pixie's Snippets Playground.

And finally, for this session, a peep-hole birthday card:
Sediment from Papertrey Ink.
Embellies from Doodlebug.
Bird in the marsh stamp is (I believe) from Stampin' Up.
"Grass" is a Forest Branches e/f from Cuttlebug.

~~~

Don't forget the GIVEAWAYS page at the top of my blog home page!
~~~

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

January 22, 2016

Let's Hug It Out!

Greetings!

Aaaannnd we've whooshed through another week to Friday! I know some of you thought it would never get here, but at my place, Wednesday was entirely stolen!

So, BTW, Bloggergeddon hasn't seemed to have happened yet, except for minor adjustments, but there has been a lot of conversation between us bloggie friends about how all of a sudden the Captcha-prove-you're-not-a-robot button has been activated on nearly every Blogger blog. 

Whatever. 

I know we don't own our blogs and we should be are grateful to have them, but don't you wish we could all go to the Big Room where these people constantly fuss about with bloggie schtuff and teach them how to make cards instead? Now wouldn't that be a better world?!

Which segues to my card. Between wars and pestilence, dramatic drops in stock markets, hurricanes, tornadoes, and epic rainfalls, icefalls, and snowfalls, not to mention, more importantly, personal physical and emotional upset, I made this huggie card to bring you cyber hugs and smiles:
and inside ...
What you see here are a whole lot of companies hugging it out.
  • The paper is either from Stampin Up or K and Company.
  • The taller giraffe is NBUS by Avery Elle.
  • The smaller giraffe is by Paper Smooches.
  • The "sending" is NBUS by Simon Says Stamps.
  • The "hugs" are by Lawn Fawn.
  • The heart embellies are by Doodlebug.
And all these companies feel good about it. Everybody was kind and got along. Nobody threw their toys on the floor and stomped off. All my other competing craft company products who weren't able to appear on the card watched with approval and cheered me on from the desk top, drawers, cupboards, and floor.

Simon Wednesday Challenge Blog
And that's why I love this hobby!

I stamped both images onto a portion of the giraffe-patterned DSP. I don't have dies for either of the giraffes (if they are any), so I used my old-timey contraption called skizzors, cut them both out, and attached them to the card. I was quite tickled that I was able to line up both giraffes perfectly with the underlying DSP.

I'm entering the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge "Create With Critters" featuring Lawn Fawn products.

~~~

Okay, one sec.

As much as I love playing the role of Polly Anna in my life's production, I have to be honest on occasion. Even in my idyllic crafting paradise, as in the real world, there's always someone who isn't a good sport and I feel I must call them out for bad behavior. It's the sequints.
Yes, they went into quite a snit since I didn't use them on my card and they threw themselves off the desk. It's okay. Life is sometimes hard for little shiny objects. Because they now come in every color of the rainbow and they are all the rage, sequints struggle with their egos being larger than their circumference. A Sequint Support System has been set up on Splitcoast Stampers. You can find the SSSSS tab on their website if your sequints are acting out and needing help, too.

Actually, I got quite a kick out of how they fell and I wish I had a slomo video of it happening! Check out how the container landed face up with sequints still inside! I think it must have dropped straight down and all the sequints on the floor flew out as the container rapidly descended. I'll have to have Hammy keep a close eye on them now so they don't keep doing that for the adrenaline rush!

~~~

New Friends Corner

I'd like you to meet some new friends who have been waiting in the wings for far too long to be introduced to you!

Zeljka of Creative World by Zeljka. Zeljka began blogging last June of 2015! She shares creations of fabric and paper. As you wander through her blog, you'll see that she makes wonderful 3D card art and she has pictutorials for you. Zeljka is already a challenge winner and design team member, which recognition is well-deserved! Please make an extra effort to visit Keljka and welcome her to our supportive and caring community!

Lindsey of Doodlings. Lindsey started sharing her fantastic card art back in July of 2011. She does marvelous things with color, texture, ribbons, and patterned paper, so there is lots of inspiration to be found on her blog! (And if you live anywhere near Derby UK, you may be fortunate enough to take advantage of Lindsey's monthly craft sessions!)

Daga of Daget-Art. Daga has been blogging since 2010! You will find marvelous works of card art, including 3D art, and other beautiful items on Daga's blog. You will also find tutorials and a purchase tab. Daga has often been a designer and received recognition throughout Blogland for her fresh and delightful creations!

Aileen Ryan of Colour and Sparkle. Aileen shared her cards on Flickr for quite a while and then started her blog in 2015. You will often see her in the winning galleries at card challenges we all love. Her coloring is so sensational! Aileen is prolific and talented which means she has loads of wonderful ideas and inspiration for you! Please make an extra effort to visit Aileen and welcome her, as well!

Margaret of Em's Paperdaze. Margaret is from Tasmania, Australia and she has been blogging since 2010! She is the mother of three and grandmother of six. She enjoys entering challenges and she has received many well-deserved wins over the years. \

Babs of A Place to Stamp. Babs has been blogging since January 2015, so Happy First Birthaversary of your blog, Babs, and may you have many more delightful years! Babs writes a happy blog and illustrates it with her fabulous card art which is also happy and often whimsical. It's a fun and inspirational place to visit!

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

~~~

Reminder
Sending hamster hugs!

May I take a minute to remind you that if you join as a new follower and you have a blog, kindly leave me a comment on a post, or an email, with your blog contact information. Often I only have a first name and it's not an uncommon first name. And if you are a Google+ member, sometimes all I can find is your Google + profile screen, which often does not contain the name of your blog on the "About" page, so it takes me nowhere. I spend a long time trying to find followers through Goggle until I give up. So if you have joined and you haven't been introduced, please email me to let me know how I can find you. Thank you!

And thank you, again, to all of you, with or without blogs, who follow me by subscribing via Bloglovin or Feedly or email. Even though I can't "see" you, I appreciate that you are a friend and cheerleader! If you would like me to introduce you in my New Friends Corner, however, please click the blue "Join This Site" button on my side bar and then send me an email when you have done so. 

Mwah!

Don't forget the GIVEAWAYS page!
~~~

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 Comments and the pop-up box opens.
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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!

January 19, 2016

There's a Tree Frog in my Oleanders

Hi! How's it going?

Do you sometimes just sit there wondering where to start? Sometimes it's because you don't have any mojo juice flowing and sometimes it's because you have too much mojo juice flowing. Either way, it can be overwhelping.

When that happens to me, I whistle for a hamster. Well, except on those weekends when Hammy has taken the Hammettes on the bus to go visit their mama, Then I resort to twirling around in my chair with my eyes closed and my finger outstretched. You know, like I tell the boys not to do.

So today's presentation is a card using a NBUS digi image that's been waiting around a long time to be posted. No, seriously, a very long time. Specifically, since back in May of 2013! Back then there was a challenge called "Flutterby." I won one of the challenges and the prize was the choice of a digi image.

I had no idea what a digi image was, but when I went to Beccy's Place to check it out, I couldn't resist the precolored "Frog and Oleander" image cuz I love frogs and we have several beautiful Oleander bushes and trees in our yard. So I made me a twofer.

One is an on-time birthday card with lots of scoring and a Lifestyle Crafts e/f:
And one is a belated birthday card:
It felt good to finally bring froggie out into the light of day. I still love the old-fashioned art of stamping and coloring, but there are some amazing digital images available!

~~~

Thank you all for your lovely anniversary wishes! Here are a couple of photos from our night out celebrating:
The Mister still hurts when he sits for long, but he was a good sport.
And here are those two handsome lads, Henry and Adam, who were also good sports. We received sweet cards from both of them, but I particularly want to share with you this fantastic card made by our DDIL Rachel:
Sorry the photo doesn't do it justice. She was inspired by a card she saw here. Rachel is not that into arts and crafts, so I was really proud of her excellent CASEing skills and pleased that she went the extra mile and made this awesome smooching fishes card by hand!

~~~

Speaking of "by hand," this is for those of you who wanted to see a picture of the bridesmaid dresses I made. Sorry, this is the best photo I have:
That's Mister's gorgeous sister Nina on the left and my gorgeous sister Doris on the right. Gosh, they look like they were twelve years old! For those of you who are new friends and want to see the bridal gown I made using the same pattern, I previously posted it here. And for those of you who requested a photo of what I looked like back in the hunky-hunky early days, you can find it here.

~~~

Giveaways

A lot of you tossed your hat in the ring for the first giveaway ~ thank you! New items have been added here.
~~~

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

January 16, 2016

Annual Anniversary Toast Post!

Hello and Happy Weekend!

As we gather together today, let us raise our glasses in celebration of 45 years of wedded bliss between me and the Mister! (Remember, on the planet Zardoff where we were wed, the common age of nuptials is minusten. I know it's shocking to you Earthlings, but the air is thinner there.)

I made Himself this lovey-dovey card:
and the inside: 

I used the pretty blue mat because it sorta matches the color of the handmade royal blue crushed velvet dresses I handmade for my two bridesmaids. Hey, don't judge, "Romeo and Juliet" was a hit movie back then!

I used my NBUS Papertrey Ink "Phrase Play #5" happy die. You might wonder why I didn't glue down the letters, but IRL, they bow out from the circle in a lovely way. The blue mat is impressed with a PTI linen impression plate. The chipboard heart embellie is from my VD stash and the photo insert is a copy of our actual wedding album photo of the bouquet and rings. For fun, I placed a little "diamond" gem over the engagement ring in the photo.

On the inside, the NBUS sediment is from STAMPlorations (I think) and the corner image is from Inkadinkado.

Challenges
Pixies Crafty Workshop
ChallengeGraphic1Right Click to Save!
~~~

Speaking of diamonds, have I told you the story of my engagement ring? I thought I had, but I'm not finding it in my old posts. I do know I've shown you this photo of 21 year-old Mister Kevin when I first met him:
You're welcome. We met on September 5, 1969. On my birthday, July 2, 1970, we became engaged. In order to pay for my engagement ring, the Mister sold that beloved motorcycle. Oh, you didn't notice there was a motorcycle in the photo?

Years went by as years do and the prodigal grew up and went out on his own, so the Mister resumed his beloved hobby of motorcycling in 2003.
Still lookin' good, hmm, ladies? So then what happened was, a week after that photo was taken, we were pruning and doing spring cleaning around the yard. During one trip to the recycle bin, I looked down and noticed the diamond was missing from my engagement ring! For a second I was upset, but then the irony of the whole situation made me laugh.

When the Mister came around the corner with his armload of garden clippings, I held out my hand to show him. His eyes widened in horror and then confusion as I started giggling.

"What ... ?" he asked.

"Don't you get it?" I said. "When we got engaged, you sold your motorcycle to pay for my diamond! Last week you finally got another motorcycle and now I've lost my diamond! Apparently, we are only allowed to have one or the other!"

Well, that was 13 years ago. This year, along with a beautiful handmade card, the Mister got me a new diamond ring ~ which I promise I'll remove when I'm gardening! He did good and I think I'll keep him!

~~~

But that's not all!

FOURTH BLOG BIRTHAVERSARY!

Today is also designated as the fourth birthaversary of my blog! Thank you for your consistent visits, kind comments, and friendship all these years! My life would have been undeniably less fulfilling without all of you and this very giving hobby. There is nothing as self-satisfying as sharing a card I 've made solely for the purpose of giving it to someone to bring them comfort, happiness, or celebration! 

I hope we have many more years together before Earthling communications with each other are reduced to abbreviations, hieroglyphics, tweets, and instagrunts!

Cheers!
~~~

Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy! LITS!*  Don't forget the Giveaways Page! 

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.
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!