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!

July 27, 2017

Rainbow Tears, a Golden Hello, and a Bouncy Balloon

Hello, Stamplings!

We've almost whooshed through another week, haven't we?!

In my neck of the woods, Mother Nature's fever broke for a couple of days and it was so lovely to have the Playhouse windows open. Hammy spent most of yesterday with his nose pressed against the screen. He was fixated and fascinated by the comings and goings of the hummers while enjoying the fresh breezes that would blow up his fur knickers from time to time!

I've got a long line-up for you today and I know you've got a side dish to make for the barbecue (potato salad? baked beans?), so I'll try to keep my ginfers from typing on willy-silly as they are wont to do.

The first two cards which feature rainbow tears are a CASE of a card I made ages ago.
The designs are simples using the water drops from Designs by Ryn.  The "thinking of you" sediment might be from MFT, but I'm not for sure. The "Sending Hugs" is from PTI.

Challenges
RRCB 67
~~~

Next down the runway is a sweeping golden hello with a matching gold floral wreath draped over a jewel-tone chiffon, shot through with gold:
In my last post I made a card that fit the brief at Less Is More, but I biffed it when I wrote my post by submitting it to too many challenges. Slap! I'd already linked to everybody, so I couldn't make a withdrawal. Well, by golly, I decided to make it right by creating another card just for LIM! 

Sorry you can't really see all the glitz and shimmer of this card because the gold metallic paper is so hard to photograph. To make this "no stamps" card, I took one item from Mt. NBUS (the Cascadia Wreath from Memory Box enabled by my friend Sheri), one item from my UCB box (the gold-splattered-tissue-paper-and-ink background enabled by my friend Loll), and the hello die (also in gold) from WPlus9.
~~~

And in case you were just drifting off, how about a splash of pink passion?!
This card is to celebrate the 5th birthday of one of my very favorite Clean and Simple Challenges: CASology! Congratulations to Melissa and everyone who has been a part of her team over the last five years! Cheers to many more years!

There is a sponsored (meaning prizes!) Blog Hop happening at CASology and the theme for this birthday celebration is "Balloons." I wanted to come up with a design that included a critter, so Hammy immediately thought of this old, but well-loved, Penny Black hedgie stamp which I heat embossed and painted with my Ziggies. The sediment is from Technique Tuesday.

Other Challenges
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I liked it so well in pink, I made one in blue.
I think I might make a batch of these in every color. I forgot how much I love that hedgie's happy little face as he's bouncing his balloon across the floor! I'm pretty sure he is letting some air out every now and then to make fart noises and then giggling historically! It's a wonder he hasn't fallen off!

~~~

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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July 25, 2017

Snowflakes in July

Happy Day, Stamplings!

I hope you're doing fine! Summertime finds us all doing a little bit less blogging and visiting as we enjoy the sunny days, gardening, vacations, and visitors, so I appreciate that you stopped by!

We've continued to have far more boiling hot days than normal throughout a large portion of the country, so I'm here to cool you off with a big fat snowflake!
This is a QACAS card and don't we love getting ideas for those as the months whoosh by and Christmas sneaks up closer and closer in the rear-view mirror! The NBUS "Stitched Frame" die cutout is from Memory Box. I backed it with a piece of pretty store-bought snowflake-embossed blue paper from Mamie. The little white embossed snowflakes in the blue are very dimensional and schparkly in person. 

I die cut the large snowflake from the blue paper and replaced it with one cut out of foam. I popped the center back in the middle for a bit of snazzimatazz.

It wasn't that many years ago when I only had skizzers and punches. I wouldn't have believed I could make pretty cards with only die-cuts and now I do it quite often. It's been so interesting to experience all the dramatic evolutions that have happened in this hobby in a relatively short amount of time.

Challenges

Snippets Playground Badge
~~~

Usually when I use die-cuts Hammy stops whatever he is doing to scoot up my arm and sit on my right shoulder. First of all, he likes riding the up and down motion of my shoulder as I turn the handle on the BS and, secondly, I usually give him the die-cut cast-offs to come up with ideas for using them. Otherwise they get tossed in the Unfinished Card Bits box.

We are trying not to add things to the UCB box, so the little fella gets high marks for using this cast-off immediately, simply, thusly:

Another QACAS OLCc for the stash that is ETM! Seriously? My non-card-making friends who read my blog say that we all talk in code! I know. When I first starting reading card blogs, it made me nuts, but now I'm a Class A Offender! It's like being in a secret club, heh heh!

That's all for today. You need to check and see if the sun tea is ready and I need an ice-cube bath and a nappy noodle. Some of you may remember that's what we called naps when the twins were toddlers. Seems like when they stopped taking naps, I started!

~~~

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!

July 20, 2017

Painting a Peony and Meeting Coni

Hi there, Stamplings!

I hope your week is going great! It's almost the weekend! I've had a fun and busy week meeting a lovely bloggie friend and having belated birthday lunches! Yes, that's right, this year I'm celebrating for the whole month of July! 

Earlier this week I got painty with pastels and a peony.
I really loved working with this NBUS peony from The Ton! I heat-embossed it with platinum e/p and used my lightest Ziggies and an aqua brush to watercolor the background, flower, and leaves. If the color went on too strong, I dabbed it with a tissue like a lady.

Here you have it from the other angle which shows the melty shiny goodness of the platinum.
The butterfly was die-cut from a piece of SU watercolor DSP. It was highlighted with pearls and I used a white pen to dotify the flower petals.
Challenges
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Meeting Coni!

Yesterday my friend Coni (aka Conil) of Which Craft? came to the Playhouse to meet me! Here we are at lunch:
She is just as much fun and just as lovely and kind as I imagined her to be from her blog and our emails! I had the waitress take our photo because I couldn't get the timer to work on my camera for a picture of the two of us in front of the Playhouse. 

But just to prove she was really there:
My camera kept recording videos of us when I set the timer. It was only later in the day that I realized it was operator error. I was pushing the red record button instead of the photo button. No wonder it was recording! What a dipweed I am!

I know you're karacking up reading that, Coni! Thanks for making the drive and making my day! It was a pleasure to meet you!!

~~~

Shop Smart

So what happened was I've been really good this year at limiting my new purchases, in spite of all the new and enticing stamp companies that have sprung up. Occasionally, however, I'll look for something on Amazon and then I'll look for something else and because they woo me with the free shipping and because everyone knows everything is cheaper on Amazon, I'll place an order. They make it too easy.

Normally you don't get an invoice in the box with your Amazon order, but for this particular order of three dies, I received a package directly from the third-party stamp company. And they enclosed an invoice showing the Amazon price I had paid. 

Well, being a nosy an investigative sort of person, I then went to the company's website to see how much the order would have cost if I had ordered it directly from them and paid the shipping fee of $6.00. I was feeling smug, you see, as one would.

Imagine my shock to find out that even paying the shipping fee, I would have paid TEN DOLLARS LESS if I had ordered directly from the company, rather than from Amazon!

That'll teach me to assume that Amazon gives you the best deal (didn't they used to do that?) and not taking the time to look at the small print about who was fulfilling the order and going there first to see what the cost was for the product direct from them.

I know, I know, caveat emptor and it's my own dang fault, but I still feel like I was skunked. I mean, these dies came from a very small company, so the owner must have thought, "Here's another fool!" 😞

Please be smarter and more alert than I was. The world can use more lerts!

~~~

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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your email address so I can respond.  Thank you!

July 15, 2017

All Golden Delicious

Happy Weekend, Stamplings!

You've whooshed through another week, halfway through the year! I hope you have a wonderful weekend with a bit of time for getting crafty!

Last week I saw that the CAS Mix Up Card Challenge wanted us to play with tissue paper and to be honest, I thought, nah, I've got so many things on my "Try This!" list, I'll just pass on this one.

Then I saw Loll's Video and I couldn't wait to give it a try! 

Onefer.
I made a large panel from the tissue paper with the DI colors you see and then I cut that into four smaller sections to make four cards. For the card above, I added dimension with MFT frame dies. Loll showed how beautiful gold looks on the tissue paper, so I added lots (and lots) o' dots using Delicata "Golden Glitz" and overlaid both frames with a gold Hugs sediment.

Twofer.
I decided to use another piece of the tissue art as a landing strip for a dragonfly. To add more pahjazzle, I used the negative of the dragonfly die as a stencil and sponged random dragonflies in the same colors I used for the tissue paper smooching. Then I embossed the panel (which is glossy) with a Sizzix e/f.  

The above photo has a shadow that makes it look like the gold dragonfly has wing defects from a boating accident, so here's another angle:
You can see I used a brad. Brads haven't been used much since Brad dated Jen, but I still have some and I'm not afraid to use them now and again.

Threefer.

As I was pulling out various paper options for what to partner with the tissue paper, I came across some gorgeous gold-embossed acetate sheets from (I think) SU which, natch, have never used. And I veered off the tissue paper course, but stuck with the gold.
I think the thing that has stopped me from using the acetate is how to adhere it to a card. For this design, however, the butterfly holes provided the answer. Well, that, and more brads! Here's the recipe and I'm sorry it's a bit violent:

I measured the acetate sheet and laid out the design. I stabbed two holes in the acetate where I wanted the gold brads to be. Then I lined everything up again and stabbed two holes in the gold panel. Using the brads, I then impaled the butterfly to the acetate and then to the gold panel. Then I adhered the gold panel (with everything stuck to it) to the card base with foam tape. 

It took me longer to type that, than it did to make it!

I thought at first that the card was schparkly enough without a sediment, but the more I glanced at it across the room, the more Hammy changed my mind, especially when I thought of this Impression Obsession die. I die-cut it from adhesive gold paper and slapped it onto the acetate. 

I now return you to your regular scheduled programming. The children can return to the room.

~~~

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.
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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!

July 11, 2017

Skipping Along ...

Hello, my Stamplings!

How's it going? Did you finish that book by the pool? Taste the best watermelon ever over at your neighbor's yesterday? Take off your sandals and walk barefoot across the grass right after it stopped raining? Or while it was raining?

Since I've had to hang up my running shoes for a while (oh, stop, you're going to bust my stitches!), me and Hammy went to town on some of those UCBs and some of those newly-gifted NBUSes, and some of those challenges we love. 

Perhaps you'd like an iced tea or a lovely crisp pinot grigio?

~~~
What we have here is a glossy background from the UCB (unfinished card bits) box. I made this by swiping the colors from DI (or maybe SU) ink cubes across an acrylic block, spritzing it with water, and turning it upside down on a glossy card for just a few seconds. When it's carefully lifted, you get a fun organic pattern. Then you get addicted and make a bunch of them, cuz no two are alike, and they end up as UCBs.

Except for the U, the die elements I used are from a Spellbinders die called "Sing It Loud 2," given to me by my friend Sheila. I thought this previously languishing background worked well with the rock 'n roll vibe. Last, I attached the panel to a black card base, which you can hardly see because of the shadows. Thank you, Sheila!

~~~
Nothing UCB on this card, but a couple of NBUSes were happily used. The schpark was the cool Stick Frames die from Memory Box which came from my friend Bonnie. It was Hammy's idea to go with a Christmas card since we are light years behind on our resolution to make lots of Ccs all throughout the year. Cough.

The dark card panel looks like a lovely flannel gray, but it snot. It's pitch black, but all the shininess of the gold mirri card and white glitter card played havoc with the black. The NBUS "Noel" is from Winnie & Walter. The schparkling exploding white tinsel ropes are also from Memory Box.

Thank you, Bonnie!

Challenges

Snippets Playground Badge

...part dew:
Having used the die to make the stick frames in the Christmas card, I thought I would see if I could emboss with the same die. After wards, I cut out the "windows" and made a shaker. 

I know the sequints look a bit odd, but the truth is the two middle points under those sequints didn't make a very good impression. It bothered me more and more as the process evolved, but, of course, there comes a time in the making of a shaker card when you are not going to give up and start over come hell nor high water. You just aren't.

So there I was with it all done and it's a really cute shaker, if you don't mind my saying so, but those two bare spots were like, well, like pimples on the night of the prom. You know how you put on too much liquid Maybelline to cover them up and that only made them more noticeable? That's how I now feel about my odd-looking sequints. Oh, well. At least now you know the reason I stuck them there and you won't think they operated on the wrong end of me!

~~~
Last, but not least, I simply HAD to make this goofy fun card to play along in a couple of challenges. Here's the deal:

Over at TIME OUT Challenges, the theme is "CASE with your own twist." The very talented artist we are to CASE is my friend Cornelia and this is her card:
Cornelia is so great with the critter cards! Well, any cards really, but especially the critter cards.

Hammy and I mulled some wine, er, I mean mulled over some various options on ways we could CASE Cornelia. We noticed that another great challenge going on right now is the "one-layer-colored-card" theme happening at Less Is More (in collaboration with AAA Cards).

So what happened was, we decided to use the wild and wonderful wasabi green color of Cornelia's bird as our OLC rather than for our bird. Next, we had to go through the Bird Drawers and decide on which one to use. Gunther the buck-toothed goose got the nod.

For the sediment we chose this fun NBUS stamp from Dylusions, inked in black and embossed in clear. (Thank you, Brenda!) I also did an old-timey technique of running a black ink cube around the edges of the card to keep the viewer's eyes from following the wild green off into infinity. I finished off with some orange coloring, shadows under Gunther's skipping webbed feet, and, of course, googly eyes.

A closeup of the sediment:
Wouldn't it be inspiring to have that saying hanging just inside your front door so you saw it last thing you left the house and first thing you came home? Even if you're past the age of skipping, you're not too old to remember how it felt!

Challenges

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Thanks for making it all the way to the end! 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.
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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!