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!

May 21, 2017

Clearing Out the UCBs

Hey, there! Happy Sunday Funday! 

We've had a busy and wonderful coupla days celebrating the graduation of one of our nieces from medical school. She worked very hard to achieve her dream and the Mister and I are looking forward to single-handedly keeping her busy now that we've reached our dotage! 

Did you know "dotage" means feebleness and senility, but it also means foolish infatuation? The word dates back to the 1300s, but no reason is given for the two unrelated meanings. Unless, as often happens in works of literature, some senile old coot was foolishly infatuated with his nurse? 

"In his dotage, Wilbur experienced dotage towards Clementine, his day charge nurse. Clementine, thirty years younger and twice married and widowed, responded by ... ." 

I like wondering how you would finish that sentence. In the meantime, hello! Where were we?
You've seen this front panel before which I made by sprinkling Brusho powders through a Tim Holtz stencil, spritzing the powders with water, and then quickly drying them with a piece of paper toweling. I finally turned the panel into a card. The sediment is gold embossed on vellum.

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Next, continuing to work my way through my box of Unfinished Card Bits, I've taken some previously posted tags and made them into cards.
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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 to return the flavor!








*Life is too short!

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May 17, 2017

Another Birthday?!

Greetings, stamplings!

I hope those of you who celebrated Mother's Day had a great time! We've now got graduations and then Father's Day and so it goes as we march race towards Christmas. I'd like to say I have a dozen new Christmas cards to show you, but alas and alack, I have been forgetting all about them. Slap!

I have been making birthday cards, however, to plump up my always-needed stash. 

For this first OLC card, made espeshully for a challenge, I used NBUS Washi tape and applied the "less than 10 minutes" rule.
I used two OBB stamps, which means "old but beloved." You know, like your grandma. The sarcastic humor of the sediment never fails to karack me up when I use it on a card. 

You may be seeing lots of QACAS Washi tape cards in my future posts. Mike had these unbelievably gorgeous boxes of Washi tape on sale from $25 to $9 and I couldn't resist. I chose b/w for this design, but the boxes also have tape in very bold patterns and stunning colors. 

Challenges
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I've also been playing around with a NBUS angled die from Die-Namics and  I made these:
It was a quick and fun way to use more die cuts from friends, stick-on winged critters, and lots of designer pp!

You asked ...


A few of you want to know what I did with my purged stamps. I'm happy to say that the clear stamps were divided up between bloggie friends and the wooden stamps were divided between two young kindergarten teachers and a bloggie friend who works with a senior group. I love the idea of having them used by new hands both young and old, rather than having them languish in my dark drawers. Everyone is happy!


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Here is a Mother's Day photo of me with Henry (left) and Adam who arrived for brunch all spiffy and handsome in their dress shirts and trousers:
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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 to 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.
Click page down to reach the end of the post.
Click Comments and the pop-up box opens.
Click "Jump to Comment Form" and wallah, no more car pool tunnel!
Mwah!
p.s. If you ask me a question in your comment, please remember to leave me
your email address so I can respond.  Thank you!

May 13, 2017

Happy Mother's Day!

Greetings!

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms around the world that are celebrating! Today is a wonderful opportunity to pamper mothers and grandmothers! I am going to be happily pampered with a Mother's Day brunch by Dan and Rachel and the boys. The Mister and Hammy will come too, of course!

However, I know for some of you today can be very painful, so I send you extra hugs of comfort and understanding.

Here's my card:
On an embossed card base, I've layered this NBUS succulent journaling die (which has a matching stamp) from Neat & Tangled which I've cut and paper-pieced from alcohol-infused glossy paper.

I tried to think outside the box with this and stretch the succulent die to make it look more like a rose in honor of the Mom sobriquet. Does it look a bit like a rose to you? 

Here's a closhup of the alcoholic paper's gloppiness. Erm, skuzsh me,  I meaned to shay gloshiness:
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Speaking of succulents, for my Mother's Day bouquet for you I've got an update on those succulents which bloomed this year for the first time even though they are at least three years old. I first showed them to you on April 9 and here you can see how they grew and opened!
Here's a closeup of the individual magnificent flowers:
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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 to 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" and wallah, no more car pool tunnel!
Mwah!
p.s. If you ask me a question in your comment, please remember to leave me
your email address so I can respond.  Thank you!

May 10, 2017

Wildflowers in the Wind - y Birthday

Hello there, wee stamplings!

I hope your spring (or fall, depending) is going well! I have always gotten such a kick out of the names for those two seasons. Right after winter, there is a "spring" in our step and then just before winter we "fall" prostrate in anticipation of the cold days to come! 

Thank you for your words of encouragement and advice on my last post about my marathon reorg. I enjoyed reading all your thoughts and I'm enjoying my uncluttered and clean space.

Today I've got a card with happy springtime colors for you.
The flowers are being blown by a warm spring breeze. It's been very windy here after our very rainy winter. I love it, but I've had to put Hammy on a leash when we go outside.

I remember when we ladies had big ratted hair held together with tons and tons of hairspray. God help the boyfriend or husband who happened to roll down the car window driving down the road. "My hair! My hair!" 

The NBUS wildflower stamp is by Rubbernecker and I've had it for ages. I was delighted to finally give it a whirl, coloring it with my Ziggies and then spritzing and stamping it. Looking at the photo now, the design seems to be crying out for a butterfly, don't you think? Yes, I think I'll add one.

And speaking of butterflies, those pretty purple bits look like our butterfly bushes which are just starting to bloom!

Challenges
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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 to return the flavor!








*Life is too short!
To open the pop-up comment box and 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" and wallah, no more car pool tunnel!
Mwah!
p.s. If you ask me a question in your comment, please remember to leave me
your email address so I can respond.  Thank you!

May 7, 2017

Hey, there! A Reorgasbord

I've missed you, my stamplings!

I'm sorry I don't have a card to share so please feel free to click off. I can't believe I haven't made a single card in two weeks and there you are expecting that I've made a stash of them! I thought about posting one I haven't blogged yet, but then I decided to just have a long and waffling chat instead, especially since I've kindly heard from some of you that you've missed me. Thank you!

Here is a glimpse of what's been keeping me away.
I've been in the Playhouse now going on six years and while I do clean it and I have done a couple of minor reorg purges, this is the first time every cupboard and shelf and drawer was emptied and every item was removed and cleaned, sorted, purged, or repurposed. Some items were ousted and some were put back, sometimes in a better way.

I think I told you that my friend Anita showed me how I could use the MISTI in spite of not being able to use the magnets because of my CHF. It happened at the Lake House last October and while my friends were thrilled for me, no one was more thrilled than me! Thank you again, Anita! Because of that I knew I needed to convert those beloved wooden stamps I wanted to keep and I decided it was time to discard the rest so someone else could love them.

Here are the wooden and clear stamps that ended up in the discard heap. All of them have been used and loved and now it's time for them to move on.
I used a table in the garage to separate them. Here are the wooden stamps to donate:
And these are the clear stamps in 12 x 12 containers which still need to be sorted in some fashion:
I know. It's a LOT. Please don't judge. I have been "collecting" wooden stamps (and now clear stamps) for over 15 years. A lot of my stamps were inherited from my friend Rae and a lot were purchased cheaply at garage sales, so I have accumulated quite a few. Cough. It's been easy to amass them, easy to have them get out of control, and a huge undertaking to sort them. 

I also purged quite a lot of PP that I know I will never get around to using and even some of my colored card as I rarely do colors or a lot of matting with colors these days. I love all the space that opened up, but I won't titillate you with pictures of my paper drawers!

Instead, I thought you might like to see my reorganization of my clear stamps. As a lot of you know, I'm a "genre" thinker and do best when my stamps, papers, inks, etc. are sorted by group or family. I've always been this type of thinker and now, with age, it's especially hard for me to remember there was, for example, an "enjoy" stamp set in such-and-such flower stamp set, so I simply group all my "enjoy" stamps together. It's a bit of work, but it saves time for me in the long run because I don't have to look through every stamp set I own for miscellaneous sediments or images.

When I first started blogging, I realized that most bloggers gave the ingredients of their card art, including who manufactured what stamp. That's not a problem with wooden stamps, but when you break apart and store your clear stamps by group, it's a problem. So I stored my clear stamps in little ziploc bags inside SU storage containers with a piece of paper giving the manufacturer information. For instance, here are some of my "enjoy" stamps:
Over time this has become a pain in my petunia. I did stamp the images on a piece of paper on the outside of the container so I could look at it first to determine if there was a stamp inside that I wanted to use, but if there was, I still had to dump out all the little bags and rifle through them until I found the one I wanted.

I no longer want to fuss with all that and I no longer want 32 stamps with the same word on them! I mean, how many "love" or "birthday" or "friend" stamps does one need?! 

I went online and searched all kinda ways to store clear stamps if you're like me and think categorically. (Normally that word means "without exception," but I am hijacking it and using it to mean "by category.")

Hammy and I discussed various options and suddenly he reminded me that I had purchased an inexpensive laminator and why couldn't I just laminate sheets of card stock to back my stamps and not spend any money! Brilliant!

So I laminated sheets and trimmed them to fit inside the DVD cases.
Then, after purging and/or converting the stamps I wanted to keep, I stuck them to my laminated sheets and I kept only enough to fit on one or both sides of the sheet. Now, for instance, when I pull the "Enjoy" case from the shelf I can clearly see from the outside what I have. 
Even now, after the purge, I have ten "enjoy" stamps so it's not like I am depriving myself ... but it's all about the font, right?!

The only downside is that I am no longer keeping a record of who the manufacturers are. I know that will be a disappointment for some of you some of the time, but overall I don't think it's necessary for me. By choice, I'm not on design teams nor work for stamp companies, so it is not essential that I keep all that information. Besides, for a lot of the stamps I think we've come to recognize certain signature company styles.

I also purged and reorganized all my dies, but I forgot to take a photo of the purged container of those.

So that's been keeping me busy every day for 13 days, several hours a day. In the end, I've only misplaced one stamp and one die, but they'll turn up somewhere. I'm counting on Hammy to remind me where I put things so I don't spend too much time scratching my head until I acclimate! 

Edited to add: Hazel has reminded me of the Evernote app that makes storage of your stamps and dies a breeze. I know many of you already use that system, but if you aren't familiar with it, you can see a tutorial here and there are others to view. I will be using it from now on for all my new stamp sets and dies so I no longer have to take them all apart to organize them. I opted not to spend countless hours using it to go back and enter everything I've already organized, but I may change my mind once I get the app. 

At any rate, I was feeling a bit like the walls were closing in on me, so now I feel much lighter from a creative standpoint and I love that everything is clean as a whistle.

Did you know that "clean as a whistle" comes from the sound a sword makes as it swishes through the air to decapitate someone? The first known usage was in the early 19th century, to wit: "A first-rate hit! His head was taken off clean as a whistle." 

Well, for heaven's sake, I always equated that expression to the lighthearted and satisfied feeling I get from a good clean! Now I'll have to change it to clean as a ... a what?

Speaking of cleaning, I have not managed a bit of spring cleaning in the big house, nor have I managed to tackle one item in my "Techniques To Try" folder. Sigh. But, hey ho, I've nothing but time. I may not be blogging as much as I continue my quest, but I have missed you and making cards, so I want to get back to it, even if it's not as often.

I should also say that there were occasional distractions in the form of flowers, baby hummingbirds, and lizards, but I'll save those photos for another day except for this lily left-over from last year that just rebloomed itself.
Isn't that gorgeous? There are a few more blossoms getting ready to unfurl in this pot, so you will no doubt see this velvety creature again.

So now you know what's been upping the heaval around here these last coupla weeks. I hope you've been keeping well and I hope to get by to visit you soon! 

Enjoy your day!  No, seriously, enjoy!  LITS!* As always, thank you for coming by to visit the Playhouse!








*Life is too short!