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. Note: my Privacy Policy can be found at a tab below. Thanks for coming by! Have a beverage and enjoy!

March 28, 2018

Happy Easter!

Hello Stamplings!

I would like to start by giving you our heartfelt thanks for the outpouring of concern, prayers, and best wishes for Rachel! It makes a difference and means the world to us!

I know it's a busy week for those of you preparing for Easter and Passover and many of you have the additional busyness of having the kids home for spring break. Some of you might even be on holiday to sunny climes or visiting The Geezers and to those I say, "safe travels!" 

I've not had time this year to make and send the number of Easter/spring cards I normally do, but I did manage a couple to share.

Onefer
I've had this beautiful filigreed egg since 2002 and I never tire of it. Sadly, it's from an OOB company. This time I heat-embossed it using SU melon mambo and the shiny pink glaze is beautiful in person. I put a slit on both sides of the egg and wrapped it with matching SU ribbon. The sediment is from Paper Smooches.

Challenges
Share Our Badge!RRCB 83

Twofer
I simply HAD to use my NBUS Chickadees from Poppystamps for an Easter card before Easter was over. I used an easy design with some ancient SU pp showing through a peek-a-boo MFT window. Conferring with the hamster, we decided that it would look silly to have the chicks be blue or pink so we called in Char Truce. 

After she left the Playhouse, we had a bit of a giggle and didn't know whether to show you the card or not after the sweet chickadees ended up looking like cartoon chickens they were recovering from a bout of food poisoning! Sometimes artistic license runs amok, but they are still too cute not to share!

Challenges
6a01157003623c970c01b8d25908ec970c-320wi
~~~

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!

Remember it's Easter and there's an Easter bunny. Even if it looks like a chocolate-covered raisin, it might not be!

*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 a 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!)

March 23, 2018

QACAS Stenciling

Hello Stamplings!

I hope this finds you feeling well! I'm not even going to talk about the weather. Maybe if we don't give Mother Nature any more press, she'll just settle down, have a drinkie poo, and take a look at the calendar!

Today I have a coupla Quick And Clean And Simple cards. I mean, uberly so!
I know I should've done a video, because this explanation might get too complicated with words, but do your best. You take a piece of white card and fold it over, lay a stencil over it (this one from Tim), hold it down with removable tape, and pounce a pretty color through the holes using a stippling brush. You can do it! For this card I used chalks from SU. Remember those? I added a vertical sediment from Stamps By Judith and two score lines and, wallah, a birthday card for any age!

Challenges
  • AAA Cards: Use only one third.
  • Less Is More: OLC Stencils.


Twofer
That was so easy, I switched to a snowflake stencil from Loll for a Christmas card, only this time I used Doxies. The sediment is from MFT.

You might have noticed that you don't see a lot of beautifully ink-blended designs from me. What can I say? It's just something my inks don't do. I have tried to make them blend. Lord knows I've tried. I've had lessons. I've watched experts with awe. I've even tried cheating and using Hammy's fur. Then his nose. Then his paws. I wish you could have seen how pretty he looked, but the cards, not so much.

But I digress. Anyway, since I was pouncing and not blending, I tried using inks. The coverage wasn't as great as with the chalks, but I think that's okay because snowy wintry skies are a bit fuzzy, aren't they? Oh, sorry, we weren't going to talk about the snow. Sorry.

~~~

A Cautionary Tale

With her permission, I wanted to share that our beloved daughter-in-law Rachel (mom to the grandtwins) was diagnosed with breast cancer recently. She has had a lumpectomy and the prognosis is very positive because her cancer was caught early with a mammogram. We don't know the full extent of her treatment plan, but we do believe she will be fine and we're very relieved and grateful.

I am sharing Rachel's story to remind you how important and life-saving mammograms can be. Rachel is only 45. She had her first mammogram two years ago and it came back clean. She recently received a letter from the clinic telling her that the protocol for her age is to wait five more years before having another one. Thankfully, Rachel's intuition told her to go ahead and get a mammogram anyway. The tumor was deep and would not have been discovered with a self-exam. 

I know having mammograms for women under the age of 50 is controversial, but we shudder to think how advanced Rachel's cancer would have been had she waited five more years! You're all dear to me, so if you've been neglecting getting your mammogram, make that appointment today, especially if you are over 50. I have neglected getting my own, but now I have an appointment next month. 

Mwah! 

~~~

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: 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 a 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!)

March 19, 2018

Jelly Beans and a Hummer in the Garden

Hello Stamplings!

Welcome to the fresh unblemished start of a brand new week! Yay!

I hope you enjoyed your St. Paddy's celebration, whether you're Irish or not! We enjoyed having the boys. They have been too big to make cards with Bama for a while now, sob, but they joined me on Saturday to make get well cards for their mom and it was so much fun! I hope the memories of all the times they have spent in the Playhouse making cards (along with their mom and dad's excellent parenting) will make them empathetic and caring adult men.

Onefer
It's been a while since I made a shaker card and soon into it I remembered why. I have such problems with building them! I did buy one of those fuse tools a coupla years ago which makes making them a lot easier, but I already had a lot of schtuff on my desk and the fuse tool was across the room in one of those drawers and even if I did get off my assets to go get it, I would then have to find the extension cord because I don't have an available outlet under my feet, and ... oh, heck, just forget it, I'll just whip one up without all that. 

Egads, it took three tries! If I were smart, I would make 30 or 40 shaker cards at a time because I don't get the hang of it until around card 24! It didn't help that Hammy kept sneaking over to steal jelly beans while I was concentrating. He doesn't try to eat them, he just likes to arrange them on his bed as pillows.

Here's a photo of my shaker laying down so all the jelly beans aren't clumped in one spot:
The jelly beans were made with a stamp from Stamps by Judith. They were stamped onto a piece of paper I watercolored and then they were fussy-cut and glossified. I didn't have a Happy Easter sediment that fit in the space on the panel of vellum, so I used the Hello stamp.

Challenges
Snippets Playground Badge

Twofer
Loll's watercolor challenge for March is "garden," so what better stamp to use than "Corner Garden" by SU? I find this image so relaxing and fun to paint with my Ziggies. It could use a coupla more layers of paint, but I'm not that patient.

Using this stamp also gave me the perfect opportunity to use my NBUS and adorable hummingbird stamp from Pretty Pink Posh. I really didn't "need" another hummer stamp, but I just couldn't resist him! I copied Gemma's color scheme for the little guy. His tail (which I curved for dementia) is in the shadow from being popped up on foam tape, but in the light it glimmers and schparkles in pretty winked purples and blues.

The sediment is from Concord & 9th's "You're My Person" stamp set.

Challenges
Grab Our Badge!
~~~

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 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 a 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!)

March 15, 2018

Spring Lilies

Hello Stamplings!

How has your week been? I feel badly for those of you in the path of the third Nor'Easter in as many weeks. It gets old, but the calendar reassures us that Miss Spring will be arriving next week as soon as St. Paddy finishes his corned beef and cabbage and moves on!

I had a hard time getting going this week, but I needed my hobby to distract me, so I kept moving things around, opening and closing drawers, and flipping through stamps and dies until the juices started flowing. You know how you do sometimes?

We are getting late-season rain this week and welcoming it! We even had some thunder which is very unusual and so beciting! Just as I finished my cards, I was able to pop outside and get a couple of passable photos during a break in the action ...

Onefer

My Onefer is an Easter card.
I used a few very old classics. The calla lily stamp is from a set by Stampin' Up. I think it might have been called "long-stemmed?" I inked the stamp with markers, huffed on it with my hot breath, and stamped it on the card. The very old jar die and stamp are from Paper Smooches. I heat-embossed the jar in black e/p onto blue vellum. The shadow is from PTI and the sediment is from GKW.

Challenges

Twofer

My Twofer is a sympathy card.
This time I heat-embossed the calla lily in white onto an Always Artichoke green card. The sediment from Penny Black is also white heat-embossed. The NBUS corner die is a Tim Holtz Sizzix die. Behind it is a pastel watercolor paper in pink, green, and yellow. See how I did that thing with the pink organza ribbon to have it mimic the form of the lily? Too much?

Challenges
Use Your Stuff

Hint, Hint.

I wanted to make these two cards for my stash and at the same time remind you that you do not need to make something unexpected for one of your cards out of your blossom stamp or die for the Twofer challenge. You can just make two flower card designs which we all do often!

Of course, you have to use the same flower (blossom) stamp or die and make your cards for two different occasions. I'm seeing several beautiful spring flower cards in the galleries and when I do, I think how great you would feel if you made TWO cards while your schtuff was out! And, she says with a tinkle, of course, I'd feel great if you played along with us at Twofer! Thank you to all who have!

Sorry, that should be twinkle.

~~~

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

Egads, I'm back to the dentist today to get my permanent crown, but it shouldn't involve any needles, thank goodness! And in case I'm not back by then, enjoy your St. Patrick's Day! We have the boys for the weekend and I'm looking forward to having them help me make Irish Soda Bread!

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 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 a 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!)

March 10, 2018

Twofer Card Challenge #3!

Hello, Stamplings!

Happy weekend to you! We are back from our beach getaway where the weather was glorious! You never know when you go in winter, but we had the luck o' the Irish this time.

I've got my March Twofer cards to share with you today!

Our prompt for March is "BLOSSOMS"
Onefer
I used an Iris die from Penny Black as my blossom prompt. This design is a little outside my Minnie Mahlist comfort zone, but I have to say it was fun to make and it will brighten up someone's window sill, especially when the light catches the winking! The stitched frames and the flag banner are all from MFT.

Challenges
 
Snippets Playground Badge
Twofer
Are you standing on your head or cocking it to one side? Don't hurt yourself! Hammy's the one who spends a large part of every day hanging upside down from his wheel, so he's the one who noticed that the main part of the iris blossom looks just like a moose head when you turn it upside down.

Does this help you see it better?
Aha! Now you see it!

A snowy embossed background, a hand-typed sediment, a stitched oval frame, a bow from Memory Box cut from glossy red paper, a simple black matting, and googly-eyes finish the job and another Christmas card goes in the stash.

(I'm sorry that it ended up looking a bit like a dead moosehead plague hanging over a fireplace.😲But this guy is very much alive, I promise. He had his choice of background for the photo session and he chose the simple white oval framing for a silhouette effect because he thought it looked slimming.)

~~~

Flower blossoms are among everyone's stamps and dies, so I can't wait to see how you light up the gallery and all of Blogland with your beautiful duo of blossom cards!! Head on over to Twofer Card Challenge #3 to see what the talented Team has made to inspire you and thank you very much for your ongoing enthusiasm and support!
Whoosh!

Here's a little collage of our belated wedding anniversary celebration to the seaside.
That's 47 years whooshed by in a flash! It stuns us. Enjoy all the moments of every 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 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 a 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!)

March 6, 2018

Hollies and a Rainbow

Hello, Stamplings!

We had an unexpected but very pleasurable weekend with the grandsons. There's never a dull moment when they are around and even the Dukester joined the party this time; photo follows. I hope you enjoyed your weekend, too, whomsoever you had under your feets!

We are leaving this morning for a few days of are and are and a belated celebration of our anniversary in January. After not being crafty all weekend and, going forward, not being crafty this week, yesterday I sat down to make a coupla cards for a new Christmas challenge in Blogland started by my friends Loll and Bonnie. (CAS Christmas)

[I know a lot of you purse your lips when you see Christmas cards this early in the year. I understand it's not for everyone, so you can scroll quickly down to a non-Christmas card I added just for you!]

Onefer
The holly (from a vo wooden Stampin' Up stamp) was heat-embossed in platinum and colored with markers. The cross-stitch die border is from Memory Box and the sediment is from Technique Tuesday. Here is a closeup of the platinum schparkle.
Challenges
RRCB 81Use Your Stuff
Twofer

Fancy cards are all fine and dandy, but Hammy loves it when fun and critters are featured!
This positively giggle-inducing snowman from Purple Onion is super becited to stand under an archway of holly from Avery Elle! He was heat-embossed in black before being painted with Ziggies and fussy-cut. The holly was heat-embossed in green and die cut. The photo below shows the gloshiness a teeny bit better. 
Challenges
Our blog badge
Threefer
And just for fun, a rainbow of paint drips and a rainbow washi tape border surround a bold sediment from Simon. I made this card a while back and was happy to find it in my unposted photos. Everyone enjoys seeing a rainbow when skies are gray, literally or figuratively, and bonus, these drippy colors are also glossified. The NBUS paint drip stamp is from Darkroom Door.

Challenges

 Blog Badge
Gratuitous Duke Awwww Moment
In his dotage, Duke is now allowed on the couch at the grandparent's house, but only on top of whatever handy tablecloth or blanket are around. This is how Papa found him when he got up Sunday morning. Awww!

~~~

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 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 a 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!)