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 15, 2013

Holiday Thank You ~ MM; NBUS #22; OLW #148; PPA #163 and My Challenge Process

Happy Monday, Mid-July!
And here I am already writing my Christmas thank you notes!  Whah?! 
That's because it's what this week's terrific hostess Cheryl wants us to do for One-Layer Wednesday.  Oh, was that confusing spelled out that way?  We crafters do love our acronyms and I've only added to the pile of them!  I meant to say OLW, which means you are to make a OLC (one-layer card).  Because it's a OLC, it's usually CAS (clean and simple), sometimes it's QACAS (quick and clean and simple), sometimes it's made with NBUS (never-before-used schtuff), and always it contains TLC.  Got it? 
How clearly I can remember when I first stuck my nose into the Intertube just a year and a half ago, I didn't think I'd ever learn what all the initials stood for!  If you're new, just hang in there, you'll soon be speaking Cardese like a pro!
So, back to my card, Cheryl has given me my theme.
For colors, I'm playing with Pals Paper Arts.  I haven't visited there for a while and it's fun to join in again!  The current challenge is cherry cobbler, midnight muse, and very vanilla colors.  You don't know whether to craft with them or make a pie for Rhonda Vue.
Since my theme is Christmas-related, and the month-long challenge at Merry Monday is "Anything Goes," I'm linking up there again.  This challenge runs until August 4th, if you want to join in!  There are already a ton of entries so it's going to be your go-to place for holiday card inspirations!!
Here is my card:

Pretty straight-forward.  As a matter of fact, the whole darn card is made from NBUS!  I say that like you should be impressed, even though I only used a total of three stamps.  It takes very little to make me becited about NBUS!!
For Challenge Newbies:
A few friends have asked lately how I get one card to fit so many challenges.  Actually, there are many card artists out there who are pros at linking up with challenges. I don't consider myself one because I really prefer to stick to around three.  Still, I thought I might say a few lot of words about my process. 
I started out entering challenges timidly, like anyone does.  Over the course of a few months, I found my "style" to be clean and simple ~ oops, I mean CAS, and so I kept my eyes open for those types of challenges.  In the last year, there has been an increase in CAS challenges, much to my delight. 
You prolly like CAS, too, if you're here, but whatever your style, you will find challenges to enter!  So over time, I settled in and got to know many of the challenges and what they're about, whether it be color, sketch, or theme.  Some challenges I try to enter every week, others are more hit-and-miss.
My card idea is sometimes self-igniting or it is launched by a desire to use a particular image or die or NBUS.  At those times, I then take a look at a few of my favorite color and sketch and theme challenges to very quickly see if anything "clicks."  (You can find a list of my go-to challenges at the top of my home page on the tab called "Challenge Badges.")
Other times, I'll run across a color, sketch, or theme challenge while visiting another blog and that will spark my interest.  At those times, I then think about what image or die or paper I have that will work with the challenge. 
Because I'm a "it-never-hurts-to-ask/look/try" type of person, once I have the idea and a challenge, I'll also quickly check a few other challenges, just in case I can create one card and nail two bushes, to pair a phrase.  It's truly a crap shoot, so it's a fun surprise when the challenges seem to be quietly in sync with each other on any given day and I hit a jackpot!  That's rare and okay with me because I like to lay out the challenges in my posts for the owners and Design Teams who go to a lot of effort to put them together, so my posts get overly long if I link up with a lot of them.  You will see blogs with 10, 15, 30 challenge hookups and I have no clue how they do that! 
It may sound like a lot of work, however, since I'm not into making anything about my hobby even remotely hint at being work, I don't find it to be.  It does take a bit of time, clicking in and out of the challenges, but again, over time you will get quite adept at it. 
I hope that made sense.  If you ever have any questions or need help with a link or whatever, please just ask in a comment or email.

I was coming back to edit this and I see that Suze already mentioned them in her comment.  There is an extremely useful website called Paper Playful (Used to Be Feline Playful) that lists dozens of challenges of all types.  It is a great jumping off point to start you on your challenge journey or for even seasoned carders to refer to for what's happening out in the world of challenges.  The wonderful ladies who own the site work extremely hard to put this site together.  I thank them for the up-to-the-minute information they give to us for free!

Enjoy your day!  No, seriously, enjoy.  LITS*!
Thank you for coming by to visit the Playhouse.  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! very vanilla
Stamps (NBUS):  ornament from "Summer,"
  Technique Tuesday; "holiday" from PTI #2436,
  "Think Big Favorites #9; "thank you" from PTI
  "Cupcake Collection"
Ink:  SU! cherry cobbler and midnight muse
  Sakura "clear star" gel pen


Happy Dance said...

You know you're everyone's favorite blogger. You so kindly write about the 'hows & whys & wheres' and explain decisions and reasonings and also the acronyms and such. Just sayin' that YOU ROCK. And so does your card. Love that it's not in reds and greens; your way makes this very special. Love this my friend. Later dudette. Bev

Ardyth said...

Great OLW card, Darnell - love the sparkle around the sentiment. And this post shows just one of the many, many reasons why every single person in blogland (the card neighbourhood, anyway) knows and loves you! You are very special. And I'm not even going to put quotations around that! lol!

Suze Bain said...

Those are fab baubles Darnell, they really look 3D. (Those peoples who enter millions of challenges probably check out 'paperplayful' blog - lists all the challenges). Have a nice day! Xx

Inkyfingers said...

I think you are so good at the dreaded one layer card Darnell, and I love this particular example. As we are bathed in beach type weather here, I recon you could redo this one as a beach ball card with a little selective inking!
Carol x

Anonymous said...

Another fabby card Darnell-baubles look great-and in those colours too.

All the CAS/QACAS and NBUS(and in my case all my SITO !!)any poor newcomer would think they had stumbled upon a secret service Blog LOL!!
Have a happy day :)
Nessa xxx

Miriam Prantner said...

Wonderful masking and love how you colored in part of the sentiment!

Bonnie said...

What a great OLC, Darnell! I love that row of ornaments and the sentiment is fun with it's different sized fonts! Great explanations here!

Allisa said...

Love your color scheme! Thanks for playing with us at Merry Monday!

Marybeth said...

Love your CAS card! Love the way you layered the ornaments askew on top of each other. Thanks for the link to the challenges list!

Sue said...

Oh my word all those acronyms have completely confuddled my brain!
Your card is fabulous, I love those colours for Christmas.
Sue xx

Redanne said...

Your explanation is brilliant Darnell, but I still say you are one very clever lady - as well as being lots of fun - thank you for that. Love your card today, great colours and design (but then they always are!). Hugs, Anne x

jimlynn said...

Yep.....cute, cleaver, and great design! Love it! And to think, you're already ahead of the game now with "thank you's" for Christmas! Fantastic!

OH Babs said...

You are informative and entertaining, a great card maker and a bit wacky. I love wacky .

Notes by Nina said...

Wonderful card, these colours are fabulous. Thank you for joining us for Merry Monday.

JD/ Jill said...

Great CAS card! Your are so good with clean and simple and One layer...they are a challenge for me. Thanks for the link about the challenges...I had no idea there were so many. I usually only enter one at a time...I think it's all my brain can handle...smile... Hope you have a good week!

Savannah O'Gwynn said...

What a fabulous post-- filled with info and a super cute CAS card! LOVE the stamping and design of this card! FAB job!!!

THANKS so much for leaving love on my blog! You made my day! <3

Geri said...

Thanks so much for sharing the challenge info and the link to Paper Playful! This is exactly why you have 319 followers girl!

Beautiful card, love the non-traditional colors, love the white space and love the melding of the two sentiments to create one (at least I think the sentiment is stamp #1 and #2?).

Canonbury creations said...

Great design Darnell, perfectly CAS:)
Val x

Hettie said...

VCC - Very cooool card Darnell! A bit early and a shock to the system in our current scorching climate!
This might amuse you...I have a project on the go of painting the woodwork on our windows (downstairs only) and so far I have done 38 lickle 6" square blighters and 100 more to go! So I am doing a few at a time to break it up. I like to put my ipod on, so I put it on shuffle. Paulo Nutini, Barbara Streisand, Cara Emerald all fine, then Bing Crosby, Elvis, Ronettes all doing C!!! Too much!!

Anonymous said...

You are such a font of knowledge and know-how, Darnell, thanks so much for sharing it all with us ... and for sharing you with us too ... we're all richer for it! Fabulous card ... love the jaunty stack of baubles and the bling-dressed sentiment! Anita :)

Unknown said...

Love your OLW card Dippy, those baubles are amazing. Weirdly enough I was going to say something along the lines yesterday about how many challenges you were entering.......but just thought it in the end! lol You are just so darned generous with your information - where would we be without you?


Karendipity xxx

Jackie Rockwell said...

I really enjoy reading your blog Darnell, you have a way with words that really tickles me.

I really like the sketchy quality of those ornaments. Wonderful clean and simple card!

Bobby said...

I wish thinking of Christmas in July would help me cool off. Your card is cool, though. You almost wrote my story about finding challenges. I started with some, then changed my style a little, found others, mostly through blogs I follow. That's the best part - finding friends like you through a common interest.

Kim Heggins said...

Darnell, you are just the best! What a sweet thing you did by writing up all about challenge blogs, no wonder you are everyone's favorite blog, quoting Bev. Your card is just beautiful too. Love that you did all that and in just one layer, stunning.

Carol L said...

Thanks for not only creating great cards to see, but an even bigger thanks for my new edumacation! I learn so much "schtuff" whenever I come here, and I'm grateful :)

scrappymo! said...

Lovely thank you card...you are going to be well set for Christmas.

Your process for challenges is about the same as mine...after I do what you describe, I then check the old Feline Playful site...now called Paperplayful

Anonymous said...

Darnell, your card is awesome ! Great colors... But, I vote for pie. I always vote for pie!! :)) :)) ;))
Have a lovely day in sunny CA!

Joyce said...

Fabulous card--and I like your thinking about challenges--very similar to mine, actually. I may have to send you a Christmas gift so I could receive this card.

Lunch Lady Jan said...


SWALK :-).


Mrs Harry said...

You and your card are both fabulous IMHO Darnell. We love you.

Unknown said...

Love this card!! Poifect masking and those rich, regal colors lend themselves perfectly to a holiday creation. Great explanation of your approach to challenges. My own rule is sketch, color, theme...and if a couple others fit the bill well it's an early Christmas present! ;) I'm jumpin' on the NBUS train D...I gots too much unused schtuff! :S

Dianne said...

What lovely comments, for the special Lady, your post are very interesting informative and downright funny.
Love the card, refreshing it's not red and green, love how you arranged the bobbles, thanks for sharing, have a wonderful day..

Beth Beard said...

Clean & simple. Well done! Thanks for playing with us this week at Pals Paper Art!

Mrs A. said...

A lovely pile of baubles. Can I knock em down with me water pistol. !!
Hugs Mrs a.
The A. Team.

Keep It Sweet and Simple said...

This is such a great Christmas thank you card - and a real good idea to get ahead of the game.
Caroline xxx

Ustvarjalni utrinki Tamara P. said...

Briliant card
hugs Tamara

None None said...

What a fantastic OLC card, Darnell! Thanks for breaking down all those abbreviations as well. You are so well versed in acronyms, you should work for the gov't - as they have acronyms for their acronyms! ;) But, I digress, I especially love the shading on your sentiment. Fantastic card!

Cheryl said...

Hey Miss Darnell.... You are a hoot! You seem to be making great progress with your NBUS. I'm impressed. I was hoping to keep up with you and Susan, but not a chance. Too much life getting in the way.

I'm so glad you played along this week. Your OLW Christmas thank you is super!

Sherry Eckblad said...

What a wonderful one layer card. You make it look so easy. Thanks for joining us at Merry Monday.

MaryH said...

Love your clean NBUS card. Thanks for all that useful info too. I liked the timid bit, described me to a T. You definitely ARE a pro at this, and it shows, Hugs

stampwithsandy said...

Woo hoo, congrats on being a PPA pick, Darnell! Well deserved, this is an awesome OLC using your NBUS, IMHO!

Mary Fish said...

wonderful job layering the holiday ornaments. congrats on being a PPA pick!