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 and you can find my NBUS Challenge online. I hope you'll join in the fun there! Thanks for coming by! Have a beverage and enjoy!

July 30, 2013

A Bundle of Joy ~ ATCAS #18; CASology Special; NBUS #30

It's a Happy Baby and Hearts Day!

You know that friend who has three or four kids and they are all boys or all girls and she's pregnant again and you hope like the dickens she gets one of the other variety?  Well, yippee who-rah, that has happened to our darling friend, Melissa, owner of the always fun and interesting cue card challenge,  CASology.  Melissa also has a brilliant site of her own called Oh, Smudge.  (Love that name!)
Melissa and her DH are the proud parents of three handsome sons. They are like a Norman Rockwell painting!  Norman Rockwell himself would be grinning all over his face at the happy news that pink and girlie Bryna Kate is a new addition to the painting!
The thoughtful CASology Design Team ladies have opened up a baby-shower-of-cards to congratulate the happy parents and welcome Bryna Kate.  I made a card to join in the celebration.
I started with the current sketch at Retrosketches, designed by sketch artist Kasia:
I have NBUS hot-air balloon stamps and dies I wanted to use and I thought the balloon basket could hold a baby, but then I didn't have a baby stamp that would work and one thing lead to another until pretty soon my card was done and it no longer resembled the sketch.  Normally I stay pretty true to sketch challenges, but this time the sketch was only used as my launching inspiration, which I think will be okay.  They're down with that.
Here's the transpiration what happened from Kasia's inspiration:
I paper-pieced her little dress with polka dot paper and then used glittery big polka dot paper for the mat and the balloon.  The sediment is NBUS from PTI.  Her headband and shoes are colored with a Sakura "Clear Star" glitter pen,
which means I can enter my card in the current Addicted to CAS (ATCAS) challenge where the code word is "glitter."
Joining us as our latest new friend today is Susan Shuler of Behind the Scenes - Straights Stamping Studio!  If you don't have time right now to visit Susan's jaw-dropping site and see the unbelievable card art she creates, please do bookmark it so you can return when you have the time to soak it up.  Susan, welcome, and thank you for the compliment!!
My friend Jules of Always with a Heart is also an incredible card artist.  Last year from my dining room window I spotted a heart in the vines of our harden bergia and I shared it with Jules.  I don't remember if I shared it with you then, but it has happened again this year:
While hunting for special rocks to sell in the new backyard rocks, the twins found a terrific collection of heart rocks!

I heart you!  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 leave a comment and/or join as a follower!
*Life Is Too Short!   
Paper:  PTI white; K&Company DSP
Stamps:  PTI Baby Button Bits (sediment is NBUS);
  unknown UM little girl
Ink:  SU! melon mambo; Versafine onyx black;
  Sakura glitter pens; Prismacolor pencils

WOYWW #217

Inter National Greetings One and All,

I prolly shouldn't post to What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday (WOYWW) this week coz I'm still working which means it's gonna take me all week to get round to returning the flavor of your visit, but I missed you last Wednesday.  I don't want to get in the habit of not nosing around your desk if you're going to go to all the trouble of opening your door for me.  Know what I mean?

So here is mine:
I clean everything off my desk when the twins come for a sleepover, which they just did last weekend.  That way they can make their cards freely, without worry of mussing up something I'm working on.  I get such a kick out of the fact that they still enjoy making cards for their parents every time they visit ~ when they aren't selling rocks.
I did make a card last night, which I will put in a separate post, but the evidence of that is gone.  What I was doing now is addressing some cards to send out to friends so in the picture you'll see my beautiful hydrangea chest of cards, my address book . . .
. . . and oh, yeah, titter teeter, you might have noticed that I was forced under pen point to make a donation to JoAnn's again.  She is a true extortionist.  I think by now I have enuf NBUS (never-before-used schtuff) to last me until I die even if I live to be 219!  I'm so bad.
In addition to the newest card on my window sill (which I neglected to tell you came from the adorable and super-talented Nicole of Nicole's Craft Nook), I have this new picture on my wall.  I found it at work Monday when I was cleaning out a drawer in my desk.  It used to actually hang over my desk, before the world got all PC and, in some ways, boring:
 Here, lemme make that easier for you to see:
This artwork accomponied a short story in a magazine about 30 years ago!  I thought it would be a hoot hanging over my desk so I stuck it in a cheap dime store frame.  It certainly elasticized a lot of laughs over the years and a lot of conversations that began, "The worst secretary I ever had . . .  !" 
I'll bet you have a "Boss From Hell" story you could share!
I'm in my brief today, since I finally figured out I should post my card separately sometimes so's not to detract you from your WOYWW hopping!  (Perhaps I was the "secretary from hell" because I wasn't the quickest qwerty in the steno pool!) 
Click on the link to join in the fun.  Our sensational hostess, Julia Dunnit, has all the deets for you.  Enjoy the hop and 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 leave a comment and/or join as a follower!
*Life Is Too Short!   

July 28, 2013

I'm Here ~ CFC #110; DD #63; FMS #96; NBUS #29; Pixie's #83

Happy New Week Peeps!
This is photo-heavy with weekend twin shots, so I'll get right to my card.
At CAS-ual Fridays the challenge is:

and at Dynamic Duos the color challenge is:

For my layout, I used the current sketch challenge at Freshly Made Sketches, which is this beauty by Amy:


The first thing that came to mind when I saw "count me in" was that it's another way to say, "count on me."  So this is my card:

The shiny green paper from DCWV comes with a woodgrain design, perfect for a sign, and since I used a  snippet of it, it provides me with an ant tray into this week's challenge at Pixie's Crafty Snippets Playground where lotsa girls are already in full attendance! 

My NBUS is the adorable Paper Smooches giraffe from the "Zoo Crew" set.  I heat embossed the sediments.  The "I'm here for you" is from PTI "Think Big Favorites #4."  I masked the "for" and replaced it with the number "4" (also NBUS) from the Hero Arts "Illustrator's Alphabet" set.  Further deets are below. 
New Friend
I'm so happy to welcome our newest friend, Lindsey from Occasional Crafting!  Lindsey is fairly new to blogging and she makes adorable and clever card art!  I know you will very much enjoy your visit to her.  Thank you so much, Lindsey, for joining our party! 

BTW, Lindsey created her blog on a whim and I'm so glad she did!  When was the last time you went out on a whim?
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 leave a comment and/or join as a follower!

*Life Is Too Short!   

Paper:  PTI white; DCWV DSP
Stamps:  Hero Arts "Illustrator's Alphabet";
  PTI "Think Big Favorites #4"; Paper Smooches
  "Zoo Crew"
Ink:  Black EP; SU! pear pizzaz, garden green
Twine:  Sew easy fancy floss
Eyeball:  Darice

I leave you with random photos of our contented weekend with our favorite 8-year-old twin grandsons!!

Henry's super cute card to the family ~ this is just the envelope!

The Grand Reopening of the Rock Shoppe

Wherein two handsome and savvy businessmen sell rocks belonging to their grandparents to their grandparents.

Discussing the business model

Preparing the merchandise
Price negotiations

Upon discovering the grandparents aren't as dumb as they look when told that
the rocks were purchased with money from a certain couple of piggy banks.
(Just kidding!)
Traditional Sunday hike

There are tadpoles!

At the end of the day, they still like to be swaddled.

July 26, 2013

Christmas in July at Festive Friday, Hazel's, and Sarn's! NBUS #28

And, hello, we are ~whoosh ~ back around to Friday!
Not only that, it's the last Friday in July!  Didn't see that comin', didja?  Suddenly Christmas card making doesn't seem so ridiculous when you turn around and it's August.  Don't even tilt your head a tiny bit to see behind the skirts of August, because you'll be blinded by the lights of the holiday choo-choo barreling straight at you!

I've been wanting to play in a never-before-played-in-by-me challenge called Festive Friday, ever since I laid eyes on this inspiration board:

Isn't that gorge?!  Actually, what I really want is some cookies that look like that, but that's a different blog.  Festive Friday has some of THE most talented card artists on the face of the earth on the Design Team and you are going to be inspired out the wazoo by the work they do! 

It's a pleasure to play in another-never-before-played-in-by-me challenge hosted by the creative and prolipstick, Hazel, at Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra where "Anything Goes" in July, as long as it's Christmas!

Lastly, I'm also playing in a challenge hosted by my uberly-talented friend, Sandra ("Sarn") of Stamping for Pleasure.  I have only linked up with Sarn once before, in October 2012, and I'm a little tardy getting to this challenge this year, but I know I'll be welcome anyway.  Sarn runs her Rudolph Day challenges from the 25th of each month to the last day of each month.

As always, many of the challenges I enter have awesome sponsors and prizes, so I hope you will click on the links for the details, meet the fab Design Teams and Guest Designers, and join in these fun challenges!

Here is my simple dimple card:

I took the photo outside in the sunshine to try and better capture the metallic sheen of the background paper. The tag paper also has a beautiful sheen and a brocade design which the paper pack also had in a flat finish, which I used for die-cutting the NBUS flourish.  Using my fingers, I smushed silver ink all over the pink ribbon as it was pirouetting around the desk. Just kidding.  This pretty pink ribbon was brilliantly made with interwoven silver gray threads.  I attached the tag to the ribbon with silver cord and looped the flourish over that.


New Friends

If I could just get you to stop trying to feel that ribbon through your monitors, I'd love to introduce you to two new friends at the Playhouse!  Joining us today are Erin Mac from Creativity From Scratch and Sue Lelli from Card Therapy.  These crafty ladies represent both ends of the blogging spectrum.  Sue has been blogging and creating masterpieces of card art since 2009, and Erin is brand-spanking new to this whole wonderful community!  I know they would both love to have you visit.  Welcome, ladies!  It's a pleasure to have you join us!

Make Someone Happy
The disparrotity between Erin's blog and Sue's blog in terms of longetivity gives me the opportunity to opine on how important it is for ALL bloggers to have you click that follow button (what does it hurt you?) and, more importantly, leave some love on a blog to let the person know you came by to visit.  It's as simple as treating others the way you would like to be treated. 

All of us appreciate every single comment whether we have been on the blogging scene since computers looked like small Volkswagens, or we just started blogging yesterday; whether we have four comments/followers, or whether we have hundreds.  Each one is appreciated! 

You don't have to write a paragraph (who would do that?!) in a comment, just a simple "nice card" can make someone's day very special!  Nine times outta ten, you'll get a visit and a comment in return.  Wouldn't you love that?  One com(pli)ment deserves another typo thing is what I'm saying and that's how our happy world goes round!
Can one of you help me down from my soap box?

Speaking of Compliments
Adam and Henry
We had planned to have the twins for a sleep-over Saturday, but the phone rang last night and a pipsqueaky Henry voice could be heard to say, "Bama, can Adam and I come over for Friday night, too?"  Naturally, Papa and I burst into tears at the compliment!  The thing is they are in day camp today until 3 p.m. and we had decided that the two-hour commute at that time of day wasn't worth it and we would get them early Saturday morning.  But now that the boys have let us all know they'd really, really like a two-night stay at Chez Geezer, the traffic shall be dealt with.  Yippee!  We are so becited!!

So have a wonderful weekend!  Monday brings another working week for me, but I'm pretty sure I'll be needing a card fix by Sunday night if I'm not too tired, so perhaps I'll see you in a couple of days.
Enjoy yourself!  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 leave a comment and/or join as a follower!
*Life Is Too Short!   

Paper:  SU! pink pirouette; unknown silver;
  K&Company DSP
Stamp:  SU!
Die:  NBUS Memory Box "Elegant Scrollwork"
Ribbon:  SU! pink pirouette and silver cord

G'night, LuC.  Sweet dreams!

July 25, 2013

You're Sweet ' July 2013 Papertrey Ink (PTI) Blog Hop; NBUS #27

How's Thursday treating you?
I'm popping in with a little card I made for the July 2013 Papertrey Ink Blog Hop hosted by the talented Nichole Heady on her {capture the moment} website. 
For July, we were given five incredibly fruity and delicious inspiration boards to choose from, or we could make cards using all the color scheams, I mean schemes. 
I chose the citrus photo which I think is quite adorable.  A lovely summer portrait of Mr. and Mrs. Citrus and their kids, Leah Mon, Lii May, and Quince LeRoy.
Here is my card:

Every element of my card today is NBUS  (never-before-used schtuff)!! 
The image is from the SU! set "Studio Sketches" that I'm embarrassed to say I've had for as long as ever.  The sentiment is from PTI's "Stamping Simply" set designed by the incredible Maile Belles. 
I wanted to add a juicy drop to punctuate the scene.  Since I was too nervous to mess up my card by hand-drawing it, I used the candle flame from the candle that is part of PTI's "Birthday Bash Sentiments" set.  I was quite pickled and relieved that it worked!


Don't you think it's interesting that the artist put a pair of pears next to the pitcher for the pitchur, since pear juice isn't that common?  Perhaps the pitcher contains pear vodka lemonade?  That sounds so refreshing, but am I the only one leaving here today with a craving for a green Granny Smith apple with a side of grass?


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 leave a comment and/or join as a follower!
*Life Is Too Short!  

Paper:  Biggie Jr. watercolor
Stamps:  see above
Ink:  PTI orange zest; SU! markers;
  Prismacolor pencils; waterbrush

July 24, 2013

Beat the Heat ~ PBBC; DD #62; NBUS #26

Morning Doves!

I'm not sure how many of my British friends will be joining in What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday today, what with all the partying that went on yesterday following the arrival of the Royal Baby Prince!  Congratulations to William and Kate on their healthy baby boy!
I'm not joining the hop today because darn work is taking up too much of my visiting time, but if you stopped in, you might as well see my desk in all it's horror able glory! 
I'm sorry if you got whiplash just then, whipping around to make sure you were in the Playhouse.  I know it is very unusual to see me in such disarray.  I need a mahoosive clean out and clean up.  Or at the very least, a clean top.
My card today is for the Dynamic Duos (DD) challenge, where the colors are calypso coral and black with a butterfly option:
I'm also playing in the Penny Black Blog Challenge (PBBC) where the theme is "Beat the Heat." Three lucky winners will receive a prize package from Penny Black, each valued at $25.
Here is my card:
The sediment is from Penny Black.  The NBUS are the cute pair of sandals/thongs/flip flops from K&Company.  I popped off the little flowers that were adorning them and put on butterflies, also from K&Company.  I think the background woodgrain paper looks like the pattern the ocean makes on the sand.
New Friends
I'd like to introduce you to our new friends!  First up is a fun Mystery Guest "choc312002!"  I love your choccie name!  If you have a blog that you would like me to share with everyone, please let me know the name.
Next, please welcome Heather Jensen of Simply Handmade by Heather.  Heather comes from my old stomping ground, Iowa.  She has been blogging since 2009!  I know!  I missed so many years of bloggy goodness on the Intertube, but it's never too late to catch up.  Pull up a beverage and enjoy all the years' worth of inspiration Heather has in store for you!
Next, please welcome Laura of Send a Joyful Card.  Laura has also been blogging since 2009, so she, too, has lots of inspiring eye candy for you!
It's so wonderful that we can all meet each other like this and share our inspiring craft.  Thank you, ladies, and welcome to the party!
I have no words to describe how appreciative and complimented I am to have 325 followers, unknown subscribers, and all of you nonfollowers and nonsubscribers who loyally stop in to read my blitherings.  I offer you my humble thanks!  I've been wanting to hold a behind-the-scenes random draw for some time to send a little surprise gift to followers now and then, so that's what I'm going to do.  It's past time I share some of this wonderful NBUS overflowing in the Playhouse as a little token of my appreciation for you!  Mwah!!
Okee Pokee, gotta go.  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 leave a comment and/or join as a follower!
*Life Is Too Short!  
Paper:  SU! calypso coral and black;
  PTI white; unknown DSP
Stamp:  Penny Black 2673H, "This Day"
Ink:  Versafine onyx black
Ribbon:  Cheap'O organza in black and
  white; SU! calypso coral
Embellies: K&Company

July 22, 2013

Oh, Joy! Merry Monday "Anything Goes" Guest Designer! NBUS #25 and Pixie's #82

And, whoosh, we're back around to a fresh and vibrant Monday!

Vibrant is not a word I see a whole lot, which is odd because it's such a great word.  It means:
  1. Full of energy and enthusiasm.
  2. Quivering, pulsating:  "Rose was vibrant with anger."
I don't like the example they use.  Full of energy and enthusiasm, quivering, pulsating ~ all of those seem like happy, bouncy words for happy, bouncy (maybe even a little bit naughty) activities.  Rose should be "seething" with anger.  If she's going to vibrate with something, it should be a happy something, like the mailman arriving with lots of crafty NBUS!  
Or being featured as a guest designer on the terrific weekly Christmas card challenge, Merry Monday.  Each week during July for her month-long challenge, the uberly-talented Lesley Croghan has featured one or two guest designers and I'm aquiver to be featured as one this week!  Thank you so much, Lesley, for this wonderful honor!
The "Anything Goes" theme continues at Merry Monday.  Here is my card:
I love a holly berry backed by a fluffy white snow bank, the snow coming down so thick it has coated the branch with white.  It brings me ... yes, it brings me joy.  I also love a Halle Berry, but that's a whole other thing.

The "joy" from the "Joyful Sizzlits" SU! die is NBUS.

It's been so fun to see the hundreds of Christmas cards that have linked up to this July Merry Monday challenge!  What an awesome site for your holiday card inspiration!  The challenge runs until August 4th, so I hope you get a chance to join in!


I used snippets of red and green for my die cuts, so I'm also taking my card over to share at Pixie's Crafty Snippets Playground.  Some of the lasses don't like to see such "C" cards so early in the year.  Because I know this, and I'm sassy, I taught Polly Pixie the parrot to say "Christmas, Christmas, Christmas!" and then run like the dickens!
From Christmas cards to the long, hot days of summer, I thought you'd like to see an update on my Jack-in-the-tomato-stalk volunteer plant.   
I put the patio chair in the picture for scale.  There is a tomato cage around the plant, but it only comes up to a height even with the top of the chair.  Our dining table is on the other side of that window and Mister and I have watched, vibrant, as the plant has grown taller and taller, seemingly defying the laws of gravity!  Its small cherry tomatoes are finally turning red so no doubt I'll be the cause of its collapse when I scramble into the nether reaches to pick them!

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 leave a comment and/or join as a follower!
*Life Is Too Short!  
Paper:  PTI white, SU! real red and
  glorious green
EF: Cuttlebug Swiss Dots
Dies:  PTI "Holly Jolly"; SU! "Joyful
  Sizzlets"; Memory Box "Twigs and


July 20, 2013

You're Swell ~ CCIC; PSS; SSS; NBUS #23

Happy Saturday Hello!

My little work project ended up almost giving me a heart attack when the 66-slide Power Point presentation, which I had been dutifully saving after every slide, was nowhere on the system.  Fortunately, after much work, our IT guy was able to recover it.  He's in his twenties and luckily for him, he wasn't where I was because had he been, I would have kissed him right on the mouth.  Mwah!
So that took a few years off the old life-complexity, lemme tell ya.  These computers are great until they aren't.  For instance, as I type this, Blogger keeps popping up the dreaded washed-out red banner telling me an error has occurred in trying to publish my blog, even though I'm not even close to trying to publish my blog. 
And, AACCKK,  what about what Gmail has done with your inbox?  Oy.  Like you want some corporation deciding whether or not the emails you receive are "primary," "social," or "promotional!"  I'm so sure.  You can return it to the old setting, if you don't like it neither.  You can Google for help or let me know and I'll email you. 
On the home front, it looks like we might finally get the new sprinklers, weed mat, and rocks laid in the backyard hill-side planter today.  None of the workers have showed up yet, but the rock arrived yesterday in our driveway and it's all set to be wheel-barrowed to its new home by folks much younger than ourselves.  I will post pics when it's done.
Well, that was all pretty boring, sorry.  I hope my card won't be.  Needless to say, it was with immense pleasure that I escaped to my Playhouse last night and made a fun card for these three challenges:
Curtain Call
I'm sure a lot of you have heard that there is resurrected challenge back on the boards called Curtain Call.  The first challenge is "Feeling Nautical."  Here is the IB:
Simon Says Stamp
Coinkydinkly, Simon Says Stamp (which has moved to Wordpress and is now known as "Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Blog" (a mouthful!), has a current challenge called "By the Sea!"  Cool, or what?  Here is the IB:
Paper Smooches
And in a further freakish alignment of the challengetary stars, Paper Smooches Sparks Challenge Blog is having a "Cool Shades" challenge with these nautical colors:

Kraft, Navy, Red, Cream/White

The colors don't represent too well on the monitor.  In the fine print it says "Kraft, Navy, Red, Cream/White."

As always, there are some extraordinary challenge sponsors and prizes!  Please click on the links for all the details.

Here is my card:

I cut several waves from the Memory Box "Oceana Border" die.  The sediment is from Paper Smooches "Surf and Turf" set and it's NBUS (never-before-used schtuff).  The enamel embellies are from My Mind's Eye.  If I were to do this card again, I would heat-emboss the sediment in navy EP to give it more weight, but otherwise, I'm pickled at how this turned out.
New Friend
In my new friend introductions today, we have another Mystery Guest!  I'd like to welcome Sharon!  Thank you for joining our party!  If you have a blog you'd like me to share with everyone, please let me know.
Rockwell Designs
I also wanted to tell you that our friend Jackie Rockwell has a new challenge on her blog, Rockwell Designs, where the prize is a free blog header!  Jackie is a very talented blog designer and has designed many of the blogs you see around Blogglevania.  If you would like a blog make-over, head over and join in the challenge!
Mia Gulpa

I want to close with an apology to you if I have not been around to visit this week.  It's been cray-cray around here, but I think I'll have a quiet couple of days to catch up with you.  Also, I'm sorry that I don't know how to use my camera and I keep putting off reading the manual.  If I knew what I were doing, my cards wouldn't look like half-deflated balloons.  Maybe I'll take some time to figure that out, too, although I'd rather visit you!


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 leave a comment and/or join as a follower!
*Life Is Too Short!