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!

June 30, 2016

Sailboats and Snowflakes!

Hello, my friends.

This blog is meant to be a place of escape where you will find imagination, inspiration, and joy. But before we can be playful today, I must once again take a moment to say my thoughts and prayers go out to all the hundreds of families whose lives have been irreparably damaged by the latest insane terrorist attack.

I don't know about you, but I certainly have a small minority of friends and family who think making cards, and especially blogging, are inane hobbies. But I would argue that with a world turning progressively more angry and inhumane, any measure of kindness and light we can shine towards each other helps to balance the scales in a positive way.

~~~

Hammy and I are here for our weekly paper crafting show brought to you as always by the Mojo Manufacturing LLC located in a backyard shed near the western coast of North America. Whether you enjoy experiencing your Mojo with an instant kick of satisfaction in the form of Mojo Juice or more slowly ingested as Mojo Jelly, we guarantee you will become a repeat customer. Please see our ad in your local independent newspaper.

What's a newspaper?, I hear some of you ask. I don't have time to teach you today, grasshopper, so you'll have to go ask your Uncle Google.

But I do have time to show you a coupla QACAS cards I made:
The dies used are "Lighthouse" by Memory Box created for Frantic Stamper and the NBUS sailboat and wave are from "Marina Sailboats" by Poppystamps. (The waves are made from snippets of pp.) The sediment is from PTI's "Birthday Bash Sentiments" set stamped in, what else, SU Sahara sand. 

My card is a DJKASE of a MUSE. (Wait. Please don't spell Muse with all capital letters because confused readers will think it's another aackronym meaning, say, Masking Using Styrofoam Erasers or some such.)

The lovely designer who sparked my creativity is this week's Muse Card Club Designer, Jenni Murray of Jenni Jems and this is Jenni's fabulous card:
Jenni's card
Isn't that a wonderful go-to design for you to put in your go-to folder for when you need a CAS design to go to the outgoing mailbox? I followed Jenni's design elements and her coloring and I used a simple sediment under the images. I hope you can join in the Muse Challenge. Or in these challenges:

Other Challenges
Pixies Crafty Workshop
~~~

I loved Jenni's CAS composition so much I made a Christmas card, too!
The snowflakes are from Simon Says Stamp's "Let It Snowflake" die set. The sediment is NBUS from Penny Black's "Yuletide Greetings." All the sponging on today's cards was brought to you by my digit daubers and SU's Baja Breeze and Certainly Celery.

Challenges
Simon Wednesday Challenge Blog
~~~

The Mister thanks you all for your get well wishes. His finger is recovering nicely. And, yes, he did ask the ER doctor if he would be able to play the piano after his finger healed. The doctor, even though he was just a whippersnapper, didn't fall for that old chestnut. 

Some of you are too young to know the word whippersnapper, aren't you? Rather than give you more homework, I will take a second to define that one for you. Think of it in its compound two parts: whippers and napper. Napper is self-exploratory, but "whippers" is an outdated word for the grain end of a wheat shaft. In the 1600s wheat was harvested and divided into the grain ends (whippers) and the shaft ends. It was grueling work and invariably the harvest patrol on horseback would find the youngest workers trying to sneak naps on the whippers pile.^^

~~~

Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy! And be safe out there. 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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^^A total lie.

June 23, 2016

You're a Star!

Hi, hello, how are you?

I hope all is well! I didn't mean to be gone that long, sorry. The days are no longer whooshing by, they're warpspeeding by!

Not much has happened except that the Mister nearly cut the end of one of his ginfers off using a Mandolin to slice potatoes on Saturday night. It was only the second time it's been out of the cupboard since we bought it three years ago. (You know, sort of like my NBUS crafting supplies!) 

The Mandolin is a really cool tool ~ as long as you use the guard that comes with it. You know, the one that was sitting right there next to the machine. Poor Mister. He's had a rough year. Four hours in the emergency room and some glue and he was good to go, except for feeling like a moron.

"No need to be embarrassed," said every medical professional we saw from the moment we walked in until we walked out, "we get at least one of these a week!" Needless to say, the instrument of horror was boxed back up and stowed away again without use.

I badly needed a card fix yesterday and remembered a few challenges that I wanted to make a card for earlier in the week. So I made this:
Simples, but fun. Using a pretty soft suede paper in my specialty stash, I die-cut the word celebrate from Winnie & Walter. The stars were stenciled using a stencil handmade by my friend Lolly (thank you!). The "you" is from The Alley Way Stamps.The clear star bling is from SU.

Do you sometimes pronounce the pee in raspberry just for the fun of it? Or say low-q-a-shus for loquacious?

Challenges
  • Addicted to Stamps and More: CAS. (Nearly at their 200th Challenge, so congratulations since I may not be able to join in for that celebration!)
  • CAS Mix-Up Challenge: Stamping + Die Cut + Your Choice (stenciling).
  • CASology: "Congratulations." I'm thinking celebrate can be interchanged with congratulate?
  • Color Throwdown: See below. (Nearly at their 400th Challenge, so congratulations since I may not be able to join in for that celebration either!)
  • The Paper Players: Celebrating their 300th Challenge! Congratulations!
This is the perfect opportunity for me to say thank you to all the wonderful challenges we have up and down and all around the streets of Blogland! Thank you to all the hundreds of design team members and guest designers who work very hard to keep us enthused and challenged and inspired! Mwah!

~~~

My trip prep is going well and I'm keeping a keen eye on the history-making events occurring in the UK at the moment. I'm already beginning to quiver with becitement even though I have 23 days to go before I leave. Quivering makes everything from typing to tying my shoes very difficult! I need to remind Hammy that he is here to settle me down at times like this, not just color in his adult coloring books from Hamster's Handiwork. He also needs to start thinking about what he wants to pack for himself since I can't very well go without him!

~~~

Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy! LITS!* I hope your first days of summer are filled with sunshine!

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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Mwah!
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June 16, 2016

Oops!

Greetings,

Even though I'm trying to stay off the streets of Blogland to concentrate on trip preparations, I still have an active hamster who has his own Chromebook for checking challenges. That means in spite of my best efforts, sometimes I have to drop everything and play cards with him.

Like this.
BTW, that's spose to be a pee-pee puddle, regardless of the sediment. The message works for pee-pee, too. I don't want you to think I am being gross while you are trying to enjoy your tea and toast! My thinking was that grandma is on the move, stepping over the doggie puddle to take him outside. But now that I look at it, I see it looks like everyone is having an oopsie moment! Hey, don't judge until you're a grandma!

While looking through my stamps to find something that might be original for Less Is More's challenge, Hammy spotted this Art Impressions stamp, which I watercolored with my Ziggies. I went looking for an "Oops" sediment, but I don't have one. I could have made one with my Concord & 9th alphas, but when I spotted this Stamping Bella sediment, the search ended. (This fun sediment is meant to accompany a diapered and bottled toddler image, but I thought it was apropopo for this card's wee-wee splatters.)

You'll have to pardon my errant pink schmear near the right edge. Paint happens.

Challenges

We'd love you to display our bannerSimon Wednesday Challenge Blog
~~~

A Squirrel By Any Other Name

In critter news, last month the Mister hollered in the door on his way to work that a couple of squirrels were playing in the front yard. I grabbed my camera and enjoyed several minutes with them. There was a big fluffy squirrel
and a baby squirrel. 
I thought the baby squirrel looked a bit odd, but I've only seen grown-up squirrels visiting, so what did I know? He or she was certainly an imp crawling up inside the wheel well of the Mister's truck!
A couple of weeks went by and then we saw two more baby squirrels playing in the back yard among my potted plants near the Playhouse. So cute!

Until they both took off and dove under the corner of the Playhouse.

Odd, I thought, why didn't they just scamper up the tree like their parents would do?

The next day they were back. I got a picture of one of them edging out from the corner of the Playhouse while the Mister was off on a motorcycle ride.
When the Mister got home, he told me that he had seen baby squirrels just like ours out along the road. And then he said, "The reason they aren't scampering up the trees is because they are GROUND squirrels!"

Oops.

We asked Mr. Google just to make sure. The tails aren't as fluffy and their front legs are much shorter. We've never had ground squirrels in the neighborhood before, but a nearby highway is being widened and we think they are being forced out of their own neighborhood. I feel badly about that and Hammy is thrilled to have new playmates, but I don't want them nesting under my Playhouse!

I think it might be time for me to get a mini-doxie to chase them out of the yard. I will housebreak him or her first so I don't look like my card! (Wait. Is that a poem?)

~~~

Thank you for all your good wishes concerning my upcoming trip to England! Some of you thought I was leaving on June 16th, but I'm not leaving until July 16th. You will still see me here in the coming month, just not as often.

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!

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


*Life is too short!

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June 12, 2016

Why?


My heart is heavy with grief, but filled with love for the families and friends of the dead and the wounded. Their numbers are legion as this incident impacts caring individuals the world over. Why can't we stop the stupid hatred and violence?

 
*Life is too short!

Stamps are from Designs by Ryn (Rubber Art Stamp) "Trickling Water Set" watercolored with SAI watercolor brushes. The heart is ceramic. I saved it from a Hallmark card I received several years ago and recently found it in my stash.

Challenges

June 8, 2016

Purple Pulsations

Well, hi there!

How have you been? I hope you had a wonderful weekend and that your week is going well! We had a excellent time with the boys last weekend and we will have a sleepover with them again this weekend so the fun is continuing here!

I was able to make a quick card to share with you.
Awww, isn't that lovey-dovey? In case you don't know, the Mister's real name is Kevin and him is my husband whom I heart.

Even though it might look like the alphabet letters are die cut and popped up on the papal purple panel, in fact they are recessed, cut out from the fun foam. I love eyeball bending photos that do that! The foam was embossed with a "Pretty Print" e/f from SU. The letters are "Bookprint" alphabet dies from PTI, the heart is a punch, and the "you" is a die from Winnie & Walter. Very QACAS!

The inspiration for this card came from the current challenging sketch at CAS(E) this Sketch, the "text" challenge from Inkspirational, the "colour purple" challenge at Less Is More, and from the "snippets" challenge at Pixie's Snippets Playground.

We'd love you to display our bannerPixies Crafty Workshop
Speaking of purple, I wanted to show you one of our many butterfly bushes bursting with flowers. This one I see out of the window in the Playhouse.
The hummingbirds love these bushes ~ see the circle for the camouflaged sweetie:
And, of course, so do the butterflies:
~~~

In The Coming Weeks

In prior posts, I have briefly mentioned that I am putting on my very big girl panties and going to England the last half of July! Just me and Hammy! The Mister is going to stay home and keep the home fires burning. What a guy! (Hence the above card.)

I will be attending Kylie's Happy Little Stampers Retreat in Swindon the last weekend of July and for two weeks prior to that, I will be traveling and meeting lots of my bloggie friends, many of whom have been with me since the very beginning of this blog! To say I'm becited is an understatement!


I will be traveling south from London to Southampton and then heading west and on up to the Manchester area before attending the Retreat. If you live in England and would like to meet me and we haven't yet been in touch, please let me know as soon as possible via the "Contact Me" tab at the top and I will send you the details. I don't want to miss any of you!

As the weeks are flying by, my July 16 departure will be here before I know it. I still have a lot to do before I go to prepare for the eight legs of my journey. I used to be quite good at multi-tasking, but now I have all I can do to single-task (even with the help of a hamster), so that means I will be posting less often in the next few weeks. I will still be enjoying your blogs when I can, even if I'm not writing my own.

I will miss having your almost daily comments pop into my inbox, but stepping back is something I need to do and I know you will understand and bear with me. I appreciate that very much! BTW, my goal is to post my travels with you every few days of my trip so you can come along with me!

~~~

I will leave you for now with this beautiful family photo from the 5th grade graduation last week!
Dan, Adam, Henry, Rachel
~~~

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!

June 1, 2016

Hope Happens

Greetings, stamplings!

I hope you had a lovely long weekend if you live where long weekends were happening. And now look. We whooshed right into June, halfway through another year! Move along, people. You're all numb from shock, so please remember to stay hydranated.

Where I live we are having a presummer heatwave with temps in the high 90s and it's spose to be up to 104 degrees or higher by Friday. Ugh. I am one of those fragile flower types with a hamster and we do not like brutal heat. I'll be taking my wodka to the bathroom where the air conditioning vent freezes the tile floor.

For your card-watching pleasure today, I brought you a sunshine-soaked card filled with love and hope and renewal:
I used vintage cream paper from PTI to make this QACAS card. Using my NBUS MFT Die-namics Horizontal Stitched Cover-up Companion, I cut the apertures. I inserted a beautiful glittery snippet of pp in the top aperture and simply reinserted the bottom piece with the NBUS stamped sediment from Skipping Stones Design's "Cancer Schmancer" set. I added the enamel hearts and SHAZABAM, card done.

Here you can see the schparkly hearts and golden flourishes:
Skipping Stones Design is a new-to-me stamp company with wonderful stamps. The owner Heather is creatively holding a blog hop this week where a portion of the proceeds of her sales will go to the Komen Foundation. In addition, each talented blogger in the hop will be auctioning off their card(s) with all the proceeds going to the Komen Foundation. I'm not participating in the hop, but wanted to share the information with you. You can check it out at Heather's blog and the hop graphic is on my side bar.

Challenges
  • Addicting to Stamps and More: Anything Goes.
  • Butterfly Challenge: Mrs. A. is asking for Butterflies + A for Aperture and/or Apricot. I have the apricot covered, but the apertures? I mean, I have rectangular apertures, but if you fill an aperture, is it still an aperture?
  • CAS on Sunday: Clean and Simple and Sparkle.
  • CASology: Week 200 (+blog candy)! Word: CAS (Congratulations on the milestone!)
Grab My Button.
For your blog
~~~

It's going to be a busy week and weekend here as we celebrate the grandtwins graduation from the 5th grade! No more elementary school, they'll be with the big middle-schoolers next year. I'm afraid I wasn't very creative with my cards for them due to lack of time:
Also, let's be honest, they're entering the age now where they are more interested in what's on the inside! In this case, I made a little pocket out of the same pp to hold a spot of casherino:
The celebration will include their parents getting away for the weekend to refresh before they have to start summer, which means we get the boys for a weekend sleepover! I think we might be going to the movies since no one can play outside in heat-stroke temperatures. So if you don't see me until next week, you know I'll be having fun! Or melted!

~~~

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

As always, thank you for coming by to visit the Playhouse and special thanks to you if you take the time to join as a follower! Please let me know you came by, so I can be sure and return the flavor!

*Life is too short!

To open the pop-up comment box that let's you jump to the end w/o scrolling:
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Click "Jump to Comment Form" 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!