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!

March 27, 2016

Happy Easter!

Hello!

I wish you all a Happy and Blessed Easter Sunday! We've got the kidlets and their twinsters and some dear friends coming for a traditional meal of ham and lamb and lots of other yumminess for which we're very grateful. Would you like my family-favorite recipe for shrimp dip?!

I only managed to make a couple three cards for Easter this year, so this is my Easter card for YOU!
The tulips are from my NBUS "Magnolias for Her" stamp set from Altenew. The leaves wooden stamp is very old and unmarked in my stash. The sediment is from the Waltzingmouse "Compact Sentiments" set. The corner pp is from my stash. The bucket is a NBUS stamp from "Create a Garden set 2" from Rubbernecker onto which I hand-drew a handle. 

It's easy to see how I was inspired by the following photo:
This is from the recent challenge at Inspired by All the Little Things. I was really so pleased with my take on the photo, if I do say so myself. Then I was so bummed to find out that the challenge doors had already closed and I was too late to enter. Owell, it was a fun card to make!

~~~

I hope to see you all back here on Friday, April Fool's Day when I'll be hosting a fun FLOP HOP featuring BIG FAT CARD BOO BOOS that embarrassed you! I'll have a linky tool and a BIG FAT PRIZE and I hope you can join in the fun! For more detailed information, please go 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!

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March 23, 2016

Outside My Window ~ RIP Karendipity

Hi Every Body!

I hope you are doing well and that signs of spring are budding forth where you are. Or perhaps you live where things are cooling off and fall is peeking around the corner. Wherever you are, I hope you're safe and snug. Or better yet, snuggling.

I'm feeling better and able to spend a bit more time on the computer. I can tell you that if you want to take a bloggie break, you really need to take a computer break. Otherwise . . .

I've been slowly visiting all the marvelous NBUS partypants and as I drove around Blogland, I couldn't help but see the challenges you all are playing in. I don't get too distracted if I sneak on the computer while the hamsters are sleeping, but if they are up and peaking over my shoulder, well, all kinds of creative chaos ensueciates and the next thing I know we all want to play!

So what happened was we happened to see the current challenge at Less is More is, "What's Outside Your Window?" First of all, what a fun idea for a challenge! Second of all, I just happened to have something worth sharing right outside my window this very week, so how could I not NOT join in!

Those of you who are long-time friends will not be surprised that this is my card representing my view:
We are so fortunate to have these delightful little creatures visit all year long! For my card I used a very old piece of twinkly light blue card for the sky. The watercolored hummingbird is made using a die from Taylored Expressions called "Hovering By." The sediment is from "Compact Sentiments" by Waltzingmouse. (I'm so sorry she is going out of business.)

I used a snippet of textured red paper for the feeder top and a snippet of yellow for the little tiny die-cut flowers. The holder is a snippet of mirri paper and the base of the feeder was cut from a piece of vellum using an oval die from The Stamps of Life.

I have to say that feeder base of vellum to represent water is pretty genius. You've got Hannahbelle to thank for that. She finished her dinner before the others and rode on my head over to where I keep my speshellity paper.
She ran down my arm and was bouncing up and down on my hand as I was flicking through the vellum. When I pulled out this one, thinking it was clear, she made that funny little barking sound she makes when she wants me to focus.
I mean, seriously, these hamsters are worth their trouble! I've got too many of them and I really should give some away, but the older I'm getting, the more of them I need!

Challenges

We'd love you to display our banner
Pixies Crafty WorkshopSimon Monday Challenge Blog
~~~

And now let's get to what's outside my winder . . .

What happened was, the day before yesterday's day before, I was at the patio door to go out to the Playhouse and I had to stop and wait because a hummer was at the feeder. The Mister was sitting there on the couch so we both watched. We were particularly enchanted because this little dude had a patch of white on him, unlike any of the usual hummers we see.

So we watched. And we watched. And we watched. And he never moved. Well, you don't have to tell me three times. I scootched off and got the camera.

I quietly opened the patio door and walked a couple of steps out and took a coupla photos and then a coupla more steps and a coupla more photos. As I got closer and I'm talking to him, I could see that he was just a tiny baby and the white we were seeing was a fluffy baby feather.
Isn't he sweet? I was so tickled because once again ~ for the third straight time ~ I recently had a mama hummingbird build a nest where I could see it and once again ~ for the third straight time ~ a blue scrub jay came and took the eggs for breakfast. I know it's nature, but it's still upsetting to see it happen. So I don't know where this little guy came from, but we were delighted to know at least one nest had survived somewhere in the neighborhood.

Anywiddle, by now a few minutes had gone by and I'm thinking I'm the world's best hummingbird whisperer. I am close enough to reach out and touch him and you can see from the photo that he had his eyes tightly closed as if I were hypnotizing him.

(If only my brain wasn't made of hamster food, I would have been smart enough to be recording all this on camera for you. But I wasn't and so you will have to just imagine what happened next.)

All of a sudden out of right field, here came a male hummingbird. He flapped and fluttered right next to me and the baby. I involuntarily stepped back when he swooped in and then I watched mesmerized as the male hummingbird quite literally kicked the baby in the head! The baby hummer woke up with a startle and they both darted off!

It was the darnedest thing. At first I thought it was an attack, but once I saw the photos, I'm pretty sure that the tiny newling really did fall asleep and that was his daddy who swooped in. He could see that I was getting way too close for comfort so he had to get him out of there, even if he had to kick him to do it!

And that's what's been happening outside my window!

RIP Karendipity

I'm so very grateful for moments like the above that can take us to a happy place where bombs don't go off and friends don't die before their time. This is my second such loss this year and it's only March.

My PhotoYesterday, I received the very sad news that my dear bloggie friend Karen Bourke of Serendipity Dragonfly lost her long battle with cancer in the early hours of the morning. She and I hit it off when I first moved to Blogland four years ago. I called her Karendipity in that way I do and, not to be outdone, she immediately started calling me Dippy!

The news of her passing is especially sad because we were so looking forward to meeting each other in July during my trip to England and I was planning to spend two days with Karen and her husband Tony. My heart goes out to him and to her family, especially to her sister Val Nolan, who also lives in our community, over at Canonbury Creations.

I think it is so serendipitious that my post today was already written about the baby hummer because Karen loved it when I shared about them. This was what she said in a comment on a post of mine a year ago April:
"I am so jealous of your hummers - I think they are the most amazing birds but don't see any down here in Somerset!"
Rest in peace, my friend, and free of pain. I like to think that The Craft Room in heaven just got a whole lot more talented and filled with a whole lot more laughter! And I like to think you have hummingbirds perched on your shoulders!
~~~

Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy! LITS ~ life is too short!

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!


To open the pop-up comment box that let's you jump to the end w/o scrolling:
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Mwah!
If you ask me a question in your comment, please remember to leave me
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March 20, 2016

Surprise! Happy Birthday, Kim!!

Good Morning on this fine Sunday and Happy First Day of Spring!!

Today also happens to be the 60th birthday of my dear friend Kim Heggins of Cupcakes, Cards, and Kim!

Another mutual friend, the thoughtful Kylie of Kylie is Addicted to Stamps, has arranged a surprise party for Kim today! There will be treats throughout Blogland and a linky tool on Kylie's blog for you to join in and link a birthday card for Kim!! The InLinkz button can be found here.

From her blog name, it's easy to tell that Kim loves cupcakes and she loves cards. What a lot of us also know is that Kim loves Disneyland! So I made her this card:
This is an image by Emerson Quillin and it's the last in a series of cards I recently made and posted here. I saved this fun one for today because she is wearing Mickey Mouse ears and what better image for Miss Kim!

Kim loves Disneyland so much that her daughter Ashleigh surprised her with a week-long trip there to celebrate her 60th! Here, check out this photo showing all the cupcakes Mickey and Goofy made in her honor!
Disneyland Resort Guests Treated to Cupcakes for 60th Anniversary Celebration:
And here's a wonderful picture of our Miss Kim!
Welcome
She looks more like 30 than 60, 
but she's so sweet,
we won't hate her for her genes!

Happy Birthday, my friend, and many, many more! Here's a special cupcake just for you! (And I'll bet you've made some just like this!)
900x900px-LL-143b44a4_MinnieCupcakes.jpeg 713×900 pixels:
Kylie is keeping the linky tool open for two whole weeks so you can join the party!!
~~~

While I was making Kim's card, I went ahead and made a few other renderitions:

With Miss Kitty.

And Mr. Froggie!

And Ms. Kitty again in their finest black and white.
~~~

The above was a scheduled post. I'm just popping in to remind you that I'll be hosting a fun FLOP HOP featuring BIG FAT CARD BOO BOOS on April Fool's Day! I'll have a linky tool and a BIG FAT Prize and I hope you can join in the fun! For more detailed information, please go HERE. If you have any questions, lemmeno. (darnell dot knauss at gee mail dot com.)
~~~

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 the Home tab under my blog banner which resets the post.
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Click Comments and a pop-up box opens.
Click "Jump to Comment Form" and walla, 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!

March 17, 2016

Let's Play Boo Boo on April Fool's Day!

Hey there! How are you?

I know, I'm sposed to be on a break, but the furballs and I were spinning our wheels and we got to talking. They help distract my mind from my medical tissues and we got to reminiscing ...

What happened was, three years ago my friend Suzanne of Freshly Noted ran a fun blog hop on April Fool's Day, entitled "Ugliest Card Ever." I immediately knew which card of mine to link and I thought it was a hoot of an idea!

After that first hop, Suzanne never ran the hop again and a couple of months ago, I asked her if I could hold the hop this year. She said sure, but she warned me that some people had hurt feelings because what one person thought was ugly, looked exactly like the style of someone else's awesome card. The eye of the beholder and all that. Poor Suzanne felt terrible because that was never her intent. She took down the gallery and never ran the hop again.

I explained all this to the hamsters and sadly we all agreed to just let it go.




A few days ago, a twist on Suzanne's idea presented itself. A twist we think everyone might like.

What happened was, I made a card for Easter. A perfectly nice card. I took my normal photos and it wasn't until I saw it on the monitor that I realized something was a rye.

And in a pretty funny, pretty embarrassing way.

When Hammy saw it, he gave me a sidelong glance. Like in the movies. The Mister had the same reaction, only he added an arched eyebrow. So I didn't post it.

But that got me thinking about a way we can have a fun hop to celebrate April Fool's Day without hurting anyone's feelers:

We can share OUR BIG FAT CARD BOO BOOS!!
If you have ever completed a card, and then discovered a boo boo that made you feel like an April Fool, this hop is for YOU!!
  • The linky tool for MY BIG FAT CARD BOO BOO is going to be open for 24 HOURS ONLY from 12:05 a.m. PDT on April 1, 2016 to 12:05 a.m. PDT on April 2, 2016.
  • You can only enter once and you must be a follower.
  • You CAN link a card that you have previously posted on your blog! (That's the whole point! We feel especially foolish when we don't see the boo boo until after we published or sent our cards!)
  • This is a blog HOP. While hopping to every blog is not an absolute requirement to enter, you should make every effort to hop through the gallery and visit your fellow boobs, er, boobooers! Share a laugh, be a good sport, and have a good time!
Just to be clear:

You should not link a card that you think is your ugliest. 
Rather, you should link a card that you think is your boobiest!

You know, a card you made that passed through your Quality Control Speculations and went out the door with proverbial toilet paper hanging out of its pants!

For instance:
    • Maybe you generated your sediment on the computer and it said, "With Symphony" instead of "With Sympathy." 
    • Maybe your die-cut vehicle only had three wheels, 
    • or your reindeer one antler, 
    • or your flower vase was upside down.

Are you in? 

Rack your brains, paw through your photos, mangleate your memories and then circle your calendar to link your card here on April 1st!

Heck, even if you no longer have a photo, but you have a really funny story about the time you were a Card Boo Boo Fool, link up any ol' card just so you can tell us the story in your post!

Since this is only a one-day party, 
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE
PASS THE WORD TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS
about the event!
April 1, 2016!

After all, we don't want to be the only two
hanging in the breeze
with our boo boos on display
for all the world to see!!

Grab the badge and pass it on!
I can't wait to show you mine and I can't wait to see yours! (And you know I'm gonna have some kind of prize for the best Big Fat Card Boo Boo!!)

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

*Life is too short!

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Mwah!
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March 13, 2016

NBUS Challenge #6 Winner's Post!

Hello, my friends, and Happy Sunday!

As promised, I am here to announce the winners of my NBUS Challenge #6! Even though it only ran for ten days, there were 375 AMAZING entries!

Thank you for your participation! All of your works of NBUS card art make for another incredible inspiration-filled Gallery which everyone can refer to forever via a link above. I am also working on adding each entry to a Pinterest Board for this challenge.
Without further a dew, here are the winners of the five $25 gift cards in Alpha Betty order:
  1. Cat Craig of Cat Luvs Paper (#322)
  2. Elaine of Craft-E-Place (#16)
  3. Leigh Penner of To The Full (#179)
  4. Marilyn of One Stamping Fool (#318)
  5. Sonja of Old Girl (#83)
~~~~ and the winner of the set of Brushos is Cheryl W. of Paper Panacea!

Congratulations, ladies! Enjoy!

After my challenges, there are a few people who will ask me what it was about the winning cards that made me choose them. Oh, my, no, I could never choose the winners because you are all winners to me! For those of you not familiar with it, the Random Number Generator is a free software program that digitally spins all the numbers (in this case 1 through 375) like a slot machine and lands on a number. You can run the generator as often as you like. It looks like this:
This whole community warms my heart! In this day and age of instantosity, with mere flashes of photos, and the briefest of snappy commentaries, it is wonderful that the art of creating a greeting for someone to open, hold in their hands, and possibly keep forever continues through us. Long may we live!

Thank you to every single one of you, whether you are just starting your blogging journey to share your cards, or you use Flickr or Splitcoast or the like, or you remain in the background, but still leave encouraging comments as you visit blogs and soak up all the beauty and inspiration out there in the world! Thank you to those of you who own companies and work tirelessly to bring us NBUS, even if we sometimes curse you! Thank you to those of you who run company blogs and make such impressive card art, and to those of you who create and work on the super fun and challenging Challenges that keep us interested and keep our mojo juices flowing!! Mwah!
Mark your calendars for NBUS Challenge #7 to be held September 1-10, 2016! In the meantime, continue to challenge yourself to use your NBUS and talk about it when you blog which will keep you on track and encourage others to do the same! With our help, no products will languish before their time!

~~~

A Break in the Action

I'm going to take a bloggie break for a couple of weeks to get some rest and catch up on some things, although you may see me behind the curtain commenting and catching up with you. I've got several doctor appointments and tests coming up so I can get my various maladies to snap out of it and start behaving themselves. I want things to be on an even keel for my upcoming trip to England in July (color me pickled tink!) and I've got some detailed planning to do for that.

After blogging every day for ten days and being embraced by all your lovely comments, it will be odd to go straight to radio silence, but I'll be back before you know it!!

~~~

I don't have a card today, but I have something even better!
Henry, Duke, and Adam
We sure enjoyed our time with these three well-behaved and handsome fellas!

~~~

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

March 10, 2016

NBUS Challenge #6 ~ Day Ten!

[Linky tool below.] 

And here we are! The last day!

Once again you have outdone yourselves! You have made a huge success of NBUS Challenge #6!! I'm SO proud of all of you for turning that NBUS into US!
To thank you, I made you a thank you tag!
I not only used NBUS, I used NBUT (never-before-used-technique)!

When I first saw the faux mother of pearl technique being featured on the Happy Little Stampers CAS Challenge, I couldn't wait to try it. Besides, my dear friend Anita from France is the Guest Designer!
So with hamsters perched about my head and shoulders, we watched a couple of wonderful tutorials provided on the challenge blog and gave it a whirl. It's awesome! Basically, you ball up a piece of cling wrap and wet it with your liquid pearls and then you pounce the cling wrap ball on your card stock. And on your fellow hamsters, if you have any!

The liquid pearls act like an emboss resist and after it quickly dried, I followed Loll's lead, and blended tangerine and melon for the flower and then wasabi and pear for the leaves. (I keep asking, why are so many ink pad colors named after food?!) A little buffet to finish it off and you're ready for die-cutting your shapes or simply stamping on your beautiful background!

For my tag, I used a NBUS flower die called "Bloom Builders" from Papertrey Ink. The leaves are from two different dies: the long stem is "Lorelai Outline Leaf" from Poppystamps, and the shorter leaves are NBUS from the "Flower Box" die by My Favorite Things. The NBUS sediment is from "Thankful" by Avery Elle and the ribbon was inked to match.

It was a rainy day so I had a devil of a time trying to capture the pretty pearliness in photos, but Anita and the DT and the gallery all have some amazing inspiration over on the challenge blog for you to check out if you haven't tried this technique before. It really is super easy, super fun and, as Loll says, it has a huge impact!
For my design inspiration, I used the current Tag You're It Challenge where another dear friend, Marybeth, is the featured Designer and Michele is the Guest Designer. I'm also playing in the "Spring Fling" challenge at Poppystamps Challenge.
Challenge Badge copy


On a personal note, DDIL Rachel has gone to be with one of her sisters who is very ill. Her name is Elizabeth and your prayers would be appreciated. Dan is in the middle of trial prep, so Papa and I are enjoying the company of the twinsters and granddog Duke for several days. With their busy schedules, we rarely get to have them for sleep-overs, so we plan to enjoy every minute of it!

I'll catch up with you little by little and I'll be back for sure on Sunday with the winner's post! Again, thank you so much for your support, participation, and friendship! MWAH!

Enjoy your day! Enjoy the last day of the challengeNo, 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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Click Page Down to reach the end of the post.
Click Comments and a pop-up box opens.
Click "Jump to Comment Form" and walla, 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!

Head's UP! Some of you do not have blogs and when I click on your name in the comment, I get a "no reply blogger" message or a Google+ profile with no information. That means I have NO WAY of contacting you if you are a winner! You must leave me your email address in your comment or email me separately with the information. If I can't find you, you can't win a prize! Thank you!!


March 9, 2016

NBUS Challenge #6 ~ Day Nine!

[Linky tool below.]

Hello! How are you? Are you sick of me yet?

I think possibly you are and that's okay cuz I would be if I were you! We only have one more day after today and NBUS Challenge #6 will be over.

I'm keeping this uber short for you. At least I'm going to try. You do realize that I never know what I'm going to write until I start so I'm usually as surprised about the journey as you are!

Here's my card:
What you see on the left is a Bluebird (Sialia sialis) whose habitat is southern Georgia. It is clear that he suffers from a thyroid condition. This non-life-threatening condition results in pale chest featherage and hugely bulging eyeballs that are usually itchy from glitter and gloss. Let's call him Barry.
One day while doing his morning constitution, Barry was astounded to see a rather large Easter chick off in the distance. Let's call her Easther. 
Barry calls out to Easther, who is obviously lost because Gallus Domesticus are not normally found in this exclusive gated community. But Easther keeps her little head down, purposely toddling onward, one chicken foot in front of the other. As Barry watches, she crests the hill and bobs out of sight.
(It should be pointed out that because Barry works in Ornithology Department at the University of Georgia, his wings are permanently crossed behind his back, professorially, and as such, he was not able to fly to the lost Easther.) 
By the time Barry crests the hill, the baby Easther has disappeared. Eyes bulging precariously from his head, Barry whispers, "Happy Easter, Easther. You amaze me."
Turning back the way he had come, Barry is suddenly aware that a huge shadow has passed over the sun. Too late he realizes that where there is a giant baby chick ... 
~~~
Several of my Tim Holtz Bird Crazy birds are NBUS. I'm not sure this one is, but I'm going to say it is or otherwise I will be fired as NBUS Challenge Chairman. I had to have these silly birds, yet I've only made a coupla cards in all this time. Recently I ordered the little wardrobe items for them and maybe you'll see them used more often once the hamsters start dressing them up like paper dolls.

The little chick is from Kristal Clear Impressions which is sadly out of business. The sediment is from Alley Way Stamps, "Words to Live By." These feathered friends were watercolored, glittered, and glossed.
 Challenges
~~~

Enjoy your day! Enjoy the challenge while you can!! 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 Page Down to reach the end of the post.
Click Comments and a pop-up box opens.
Click "Jump to Comment Form" and walla, 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!

Head's UP! Some of you do not have blogs and when I click on your name in the comment, I get a "no reply blogger" message or a Google+ profile with no information. That means I have NO WAY of contacting you if you are a winner! You must leave me your email address in your comment or email me separately with the information. If I can't find you, you can't win a prize! Thank you!!