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 17, 2018

Flowers in Winter

Hello, Stamplings!

Welcome to the crest of the week! Now all you have to do is ride it on into the weekend!

I'm very happy to say that my first cataract surgery went off without a hitch yesterday! I wrote most of this post earlier in case my eye was blurry, which it still is, but all is well. Thank you all so much for your well wishes!

Up first today is a simple one-layer card:
I don't buy many wooden stamps any more, but when I was at Mike's recently, the stamp I used for this card jumped out at me from the display. I do love an image where the artist does 90% of the work by carving natural shading into the artwork. All I had to do was color the rubber directly with my Ziggies markers, give it a spritz, and stamp it on watercolor paper! Scrumplicious!

The NBUS stamp is from Inkadinkado. It's liberally winked, which you can see better below. The sentiment is from Penny Black's "Sweet Wishes."

Challenges
Evolution

Sometimes I'm not sure how far I want to go with a design, even with a clean-and-simple-one-layer card like the above. I'm sure you've had that feeling, right? I've always set up my card across the room when I think it might be done. It helps me get the "big picture" better than having it under my nose. Then last year it occurred to Hammy that I could use my point-and-shoot camera to help me better "evolve" my card design because when it is up on the computer screen, I can see it the way you will see it.

In other words, I can take a photo of my card at the very CASest stage, see it up on the big monitor and stop ... or add a little sumpin' sumpin', take another photo, ... etc., etc. It takes a bit more time, but it is very freeing to indulge in experimenting with design this way and it helps me know when I've arrived at that "AHA" moment when I'm happy with my card! (And even if I go too far, I still have a perfectly fine card for donating or giving away.)

So, for instance, Stage One:
Above is how my card today started out. Very very CAS. Just the image colored, spritzed, and stamped, and the sediment stamped in black ink. Which I'm good with. I like very minimalist CAS, but if I cock my head, I start to wonder, hmmm ...?

Stage Two.
,
Above is the same card, but with the addition of winking and splattering and sequints. You will notice that the green colors of the bottle have spread a bit, which winking will do. It's okay (only I wish Hammy hadn't added quite so many splatters), but hmmm, something is still missing ... 

Stage Three.

AHA!! Above is the same card, but it needed some dementia, so I added a bit of a marker line to show the inside bottle bottom and I added a shadow. Wallah! NOW I'm done!

Here is a closeup of the winkle which refused to show in any of the other photos:
Twofer.

In a slew of flowers, I have a spotlight single flower to share:
This is SU's Corner Garden stamp. It's a delight to color, but coloring it can take a while, so if you don't have time, it lends itself nicely to spotlighting. I spotlit one blossom by stamping it on a Brusho background snippet and fussy-cutting it. QACAS!

Challenges
 
Snippets Playground Badge
Reminder

Since this is such a short post 😇, I'll remind you that we are halfway through the first Twofer Card Challenge! The challenge ends January 24, 2018, at 10:00 AM (PST).

Thank you so much to everyone who has played! I couldn't be more thrilled by your enthusiastic response and the number of you who have already joined in! The gallery is just bursting with inspiration! My awesome Design Team and I can feel the love and support and it means the world to us. More importantly, it's obvious you are having fun and we love that! Mwah!
~~~

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

As always, thank you for coming by to visit the Playhouse and a 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 favor!








*Life is too short!

To open the pop-up comment box that let's you jump to the end w/o scrollingClick 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!

January 13, 2018

Happy Snail Mail!

Hello, Stamplings!

How are you this fine Saturday? I hope you have a lovely weekend ahead of you and that part of it includes settling down in your comfy clothes and getting all crafty!

I have to say it is nice to be pulling out some of my non-Christmas goodies, although I'm not quite ready to tackle Valentine's yet. I should be, cuz it'll be roaring in here soon, but I'm heading towards it at a snail's pace!
For today's card I embossed the base with a woodgrain e/f and then bordered it on one side with a piece of woodgrain pp. Next I added a stitched aquamarine circle from MFT and a matching stitched smidget over top of the border to bring out the blue-green of the pp pattern. 

The star of the show is a NBUS "Forest Snail" from Memory Box, cut from a piece of the same pp. I am unclear on how one determines a "forest" snail from a "city" snail or a "backyard" snail or a ... well, they're just everywhere, aren't they? And notice I didn't say "edible" snail and I won't say it. You can't make me.

Whatever his neighborhood living conditions, I can tell you that this snail is VERY talented. Look here at this closeup:
Can you see that this guy comes genuflected (or is it spiralated), with the ability to coil his shell and carry messages!! Taking advantage of this special skill, I attached a matchy-matchy piece of twine and a happy mail banner! Of course, he needed a googly eye to see his way out of the circle launch pad and on his way to the recipient!

The inspiration for my card is the Fusion Card Challenge. Happy 4th Anniversary to Fusion! To celebrate the Design Team have asked special guest designers to help them inspire us. Several of these talented ladies are friends of mine so I wanted to make sure and join in! Here is the challenge graphic:
I fused both the sketch and the photo, concentrating on the elements of the wood grain home command center, the colors, and the mail slot!

I'm also playing at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge where the challenge is "Use Patterned Paper," and at Die-Cut Divas, where they want us to do or use something new. My snail and stitched line border are new dies.
I'm a Diecut Diva Too
And more happy mail!

This is actually a design I  made before Christmas and didn't post. Sorry for the wonky photo! The 4-square silhouette stamp set is one I've had since ... oh, my, it says it was made in 2012 and it's never been inked! It's from Technique Tuesday and it's called "Woodland Inspirations." The sediment is from WPlus9.
Grab Our Badge!
I'm playing at: Little Red Wagon for their Boy Oh Boy challenge (men like happy mail, too!); and at Shopping Our Stash: Out with the old and in with the new! My silhouette stamps are both old and new.

~~~

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

As always, thank you for coming by to visit the Playhouse and a 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 favor!

Don't forget that a really cute woodland critter challenge is still going on over at Inspired By All the Little Things!

p.s. I want to let you know that I am having cataract surgery, one eye next week and the other eye the week after. I understand I might get blurry vision for a day or two, so please forgive me if I don't get around to 'see' you some days. Hammy will be here to read your posts to me, but sadly, he still hasn't learned how to type!








*Life is too short!

To open the pop-up comment box that let's you jump to the end w/o scrollingClick 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! 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!

January 10, 2018

Here We Go! Twofer!

Hello, Stamplings!

I'm all atwitter and becited to launch my Twofer Card Challenge today! All of you have been so encouraging and supportive here and over on the Twofer challenge blog where we already have over a hunnert followers! I appreciate you all so much! 

Here we go!
I made a sympathy card
and a Christmas card
using the same feather stamp.
Onefer.
My feather choice is a NBUS (Never-Before-Used-Schtuff) stamp from the "Fancy Feathers" set by Lil Inkers. I stamped and heat-embossed the feather in both white e/p and plantinum e/p. Then using just the Watermark inkpad, I off-set stamped the image to create a shadow. The drops and the sediment are from PTI. The sediment is white heat-embossed.

Here is a closeup of the feather, but the photo doesn't really do justice to the metallic shimmer from the embossing powders and drops.
I love taking photos of leaves and feathers covered in morning dew drops or rain drops. Here are two photos I took last summer on our trip to the lake with the boys. You can see how they inspired my card.
Challenges
Grab our button
Twofer.
Do you recognize that I used the same feather stamp for my Christmas wreath? I got such a kick out of stretching my stamp to make my second occasion card! 

In addition to the feather, I used evergreen stamps from SU, a snowfall e/f, a little bow from Paper Smooches cut from red schparkly fun foam, and a teeny tiny tag from My Creative Time.

Challenges
Come and Play!

I can't wait to see what two different designs you create for two different occasions using the same feather stamp or die! Remember, don't be afraid to use your stamp or die in an unexpected way for one of your cards!

And if you have questions about using other stamps along with your feather, or about using positive/negative dies, etc., please click the FAQ tab at the top of the Twofer Card Challenge blog. Please also use the Contact form on the side bar if you have questions that are not already answered.
Have FUN with this!! 

I certainly did and so did my talented friends on the Design Team!
I am so thankful for them and really WOWED by their Twofer creations!
Bonus: double the inspiration and double the stash!
~~~

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

As always, thank you for coming by to visit the Playhouse and a 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 favor!








*Life is too short!

To open the pop-up comment box that let's you jump to the end w/o scrollingClick 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! If you ask me a question in your comment, please remember to leave me your email address so I can respond.  Thank you!

January 6, 2018

Wintery Birthdays

Hello, Stamplings!

Well, that first week whooshed by already, dinnit?! For Christmas the Mister got me a seat belt for my desk chair because of how fast last year flew by! Vertigo is real, dude.

Even though Christmas cards have all been sent, I decided to make similar cards for those wintery birthdays of friends and family! Like this:
I did make three of these birthdays cards, so I'm proud of that, but I wish I could say I also made several more cards with this design with Christmas sediments for 2018. Sigh.

I have to admit I did have a lot of fun going all layer-y with this card and, as usual, I liked using ingredients from several different companies: A NBUS "Snowfall Panel Die" from Your Next Stamp; stitched hills from Lawn Fawn; NBUS "Polar Bear Fun" stamp and die set from Poppystamps; North pole stamp from "Cool Day" by MFT; hello, shadow, and cardinals from GKW; and sediment from PTI.

I think you're spose to knock all the snow out of the holes on the panel die, but I liked the look of some in and some out. Besides it's so cold in some places right now that the snow IRL would be frozen in the holes!

Challenges
  • Little Red Wagon: Winter Wonderland.
  • Poppystamps: Snow Day.
  • Tic Tac Toe: I managed three matches with this game: Row one across, diagonal row from bottom left to upper right, and column two.
~~~

My card was also made to inspire you to play along in the current challenge at Inspired By All the Little Things which I am hosting! Here is the fun photo inspiration for this challenge:

Eep! So cute!
As host, I also get to pick a talented card artist to introduce to you and she, in turn, will make you an inspiring work of art! For this challenge, I have chosen my talented friend Linda Snodgrass of Lin's Craft Corner. To see what Linda and the amazing Design Team have created to inspire you, please click over to the Inspired By All the Little Things challenge!
Inspired by All the Little Things
Noteworthy: When you pop over to the challenge, you will see that we have made some changes effective as of now. The challenges will now run two weeks, rather than one week, and our guest designer will be with us for both challenges in the month. (If there is a fifth week in a month, there will not be a challenge that week.)

In addition, as the challenge name implies, we would love to know what "little thing" in the photo inspired you to make your card design! It was that cute little bear that inspired my design and I can't wait to see what inspires you!!

~~~

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

As always, thank you for coming by to visit the Playhouse and a 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 favor!









*Life is too short!

To open the pop-up comment box that let's you jump to the end w/o scrollingClick 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 pens. 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!

January 3, 2018

Embossing Christmas

Hello, Stamplings!

I know we are all up to here with Christmas cards, but I have a couple more to share that haven't been posted. (Not that they will be the last ones I'll post throughout the year because I'm really committed this time to making them all year long!)

We enjoyed another weekend with the grandtwins and it was nice to get the Christmas decorations packed away and normal decor back in its place. Those sweet boys were very helpful and removed all the ornaments from the tree as Papa and I wrapped them in tissue. The ornaments, I mean.

Okay, first up:
A ridiculously QACAS card! The chalkboard 25th is actually an old sticker from GKW. The embossing folder is by SU and the sediment is a piece of Mike's Washi tape! I did at least put a little effort into this card by trimming the top panel and popping it up for some dementia.

Challenges
Share Our Badge!
~~~

And next,
My friend Trina made the most adorable omni Noel card in blue where she substituted the "o" for a wee birdie, so I CASEd her. Don't go look at her version because it's way better than mine, haha, but I sure had fun with her idea! It was another quickie card. The most time-consuming part was waiting for the gloss to dry. The NBUS Santa Chick is from Penny Black's "Winter Wonderland" and the Noel, which I've had for more than a year, is from Winnie & Walter.

Challenges
~~~

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

As always, thank you for coming by to visit the Playhouse and a 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 favor!

And if you live in parts of the world that are suffering terribly with deep-freeze temperatures, my heart goes out to you. Please stay inside if you can and I pray it doesn't last much longer!








*Life is too short!

To open the pop-up comment box that let's you jump to the end w/o scrollingClick 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!