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!

September 30, 2013

Guest Designer ~ September 12 Kits of Occasions (ColourQ #208; Pixie's #92; NBUS #57)

BOOO!  EEEK!  The first day of October is TOMORROW!!
Now that I have you properly scared you out of your shoes, let's have some fun with HALLOWEEN!
It is my absolute pleasure to be posting today as the Guest Designer for the September month of the fabulous card blog, The 12 Kits of Occasions. 

The 12 Kits of Occasions
Twelve bloggie friends got together and formed this monthly kit challenge where they take turns putting together kits which they send to the others.  Everyone then makes whatever they would like from the kit.  Everything doesn't have to be used from the kit and your own supplies can be used to supplement the kit.
For September, the sensational hostess is none other than my friend, Kim Heggins of Cupcakes, Cards and Kim.  She paid me a huge compliment when she asked me to guest design for this month! 

Here is the fun kit that Kim put together for us:
Kim LOVES orange and black!  Kim LOVES the San Francisco Giants!  And Kim LOVES Halloween.  So, of course, her kit is all about the spooky October holiday.  Now I freely admit that this is not a holiday I am keen on or make many cards for, which turned this kit into a challenge for me.  Suffice to say, Kim has succeeded in turning me into a Halloween convert!!  There were way more items in her amazing kit than I had time to use, so you will prolly be seeing these products in future posts.  (You can find a detailed ingredients list on Kim's blog.) 


Let's get started!
I noticed that the "trick" medallion that Kim provided fit just perfectly inside the sunshine impression plate from PTI (NBUS), so I ran it through the BS using the striped paper.  Then I thought it might look kinda cool if I ran the plate again using black paper and then cut out every other impression to make it look like rays from the sun . . . a scary bah-lack sun, of course!  [Insert diabolical laughter.]  It ended up like this:

You might just be able to make out the impression plate creases in the striped paper:

For the next card I used some fabulous ribbon that came to me as a gift from my friend Lynn.  I love how it perfectly matched Kim's color palette!  (Thank you, again, Lynn!)
I think all my other creations below are self-explanatory, but let me know if you have any questions. 
Kim, thank you again for this huge honor!!  I hope I did you proud!
Please take the time to hop along to the uber-talented Ladies of the Twelve Kits who are listed below.  You will want to follow this group, if you don't already, and let the artists know how much you appreciate their efforts to delight us every month with TONS of inspiration!


Enjoy your day!  No, seriously, enjoy.  LITS*  I'll see you next month! 
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!

(**)Card also being entered in:
     Pixie's Playground

September 28, 2013

Chloe for Karen ~ CTS #47; MUSE #36; NBUS #56; STB (w/o Toppings)

Happy Weekend Hello!
I took a little break from the autumn whirlwind that's hit the Playhouse so I could play in this week's MUSE challenge where the Muse inspiring us is my friend Karen M of Made by Meadie!  Karen is a talented card artist with a wonderful style and a sweet and generous nature. 
Here is Karen's card for our inspiration and motivation:

I thought that the current challenge sketch at CAS(E) This Sketch could be applied to Karen's challenge.  Here is the sketch from CTS designed by the awesome Chrissy Larson:

I'm also linking my card with the ongoing Anything Goes challenge at Seize the Birthday (w/o the toppings).

And here's my card:
Another bloggie friend Sandra, of Stamping for Pleasure, sent me the teal die cuts from Memory Box several months ago, which prompted me to purchase the die myself (NBUS).  I thought I finally had a perfect opportunity to use her die cuts on a card and I added a couple of additional ones cut in dark purple.
For the background, I masked the Chloe images and sponged on distress inks.  The swirly border die cut is also NBUS, went well with the rounded flower top dots, and mimics the swirl in the sketch.  I then CASEd Karen's white dots by dotting the black with a white gel pen.  I'm looking for a recipient who wants to have a dotty fine birthday!
My Photo
I'm pinkled tink to introduce you today to another young blogger just starting out.  Her name is Olivia, she has beautiful hair, and her blog is Liv for Dreams, which is a fantastic name!  Like so many of you, she lives in Australia.  I think her cards are fantastic and I know she will love it if you stop by with your encouragement!  Welcome, Olivia, and thank you for joining!
And, finally, another bloggie friend Bobby left this comment on yesterday's post which featured this card: 
"My question to you, and other cardmakers out there:  To whom or for what occasion would you actually send this card?  I have difficulty making cards I know I'll never use."
I have been asked this question before when I have made a general/ seasonal card or a card without a sediment on the front.  For some reason, I don't have any difficulty sending these types of cards as birthday cards, or thank you cards, or thinking of you cards, etc.  Often I will stamp one of those sediments on the inside, or simply write my thanks or my best wishes for whatever the occasion.  I think such seasonal cards are particularly great for thank you cards.

I do also donate my cards to various local groups.  Also Operation Write Home will happily take your cards, as long as there is no glitter on them.
So I rarely end up with a card that never gets used.  I'd like to hear how would answer Bobby's question? 
Do you always send or donate your cards or do you sometimes make a card just for a fun challenge?
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, black; SU! teal/purple
Stamp:  Art Impressions
Ink:  Versafine black onyx
  DIs:  tumbled glass; milled lavender
  Sakura white gel pen
Dies:  Memory Box: Chloe Stem
  Paper Smooches:  Borders
Butterfly:  K&Company rub-on

September 26, 2013

AUTUMN ~ ATS&M #64; CASology #63; OLW #159; NBUS#55; SSWC


I'm back at the office these days, so here we go.  Everything autumnal is out on the desk and floor, so once again it's the card theme for today.
At CASology the cue card is "Autumn" and the sponsor is DeNami Design.

The One Layer Wednesday challenge is being hosted by the fabulous Karen of Snippets and she has chosen a "Free For All!"

Similarly, the Simon Says Wednesday Challenge is "Anything Goes."
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Blog
And finally, at Addicted to Stamps and More, the challenge is simply CAS (clean and simple).

Here is my card:
In order to make my falling leaves, I cut apart my Hero Arts rubber stamp of leaves and applied them individually after coloring them with markers.  I love that "Autumn" word image and the rake, which are part of a NBUS set from Technique Tuesday.  I liberally used my new Wink of Stella clear glitter pen and wish you could see how sparkly this card is IRL.
Someone asked me yesterday in a comment what NBUS meant.  I've put it over to the right on my side bar, so I don't always spell it out in each post.  It means "never-before-used-schtuff" and it represents a personal challenge that I started a few months ago to use those stamps and products in the Playhouse that have never been used on a card before.  Several bloggie friends of mine have now joined the movement so you may see the acronym on other blogs. 
Someone else asked me recently if I wasn't "running out of NBUS."  Hahahahahahaha!   I chuckled with embarrassment and wish I had the nerve to show you my huge Rubbermaid container of NBUS.  What can I say?  Shopper Girl personality spent a lot of time in the forefront of my brain this summer, thinking she could single-handedly save the American economy.  Cough.
My PhotoI'm delighted to have you meet another new friend today!  Her name is Lisa and her blog is Lisa's Craft Garden.  Lisa is a seasoned blogger and card artist and photographer.  You will find TONS of inspiration and tips and beautiful photos when you go meet her.  Welcome, Lisa, and thank you so much for joining the party!
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
Stamps:  Technique Tuesday "Fall";
  Hero Arts
Ink:  Kaleidacolor Autumn Leaves  
  Wink of Stella pens; Prismacolor pencils

September 25, 2013

Batty Wreath ~ Papertrey September Blog Hop Challenge; NBUS #54

Hi Dear Friends,

It is the 25th of the month again already and time for another super fun Papertrey Ink (PTI) blog hop over at Nichole Heady's {capture the moment} website. 


This month the challenge is wreaths.


All the wreaths in the in the inspiration photo are elegant and beautiful.  Naturally I went in a little different direction with my card:
The autumn sentiment is new and NBUS from PTI.  I made my little Halloween batty wreath out of a mini cupcake paper!  I know, right?!  So that's also new and NBUS.  I picked the cups up on a whim at a Richard's 30%-off-everything sale, just coz of the Cuteness Factor.  I can't even tell you how goose-pimply I get when these things happen.  That Serena Dipity is everywhere!
Here is a photo with the mini baking cups. 
At a distance, the wreath looks a bit like a dartboard, doesn't it?  Hmmm, I wonder where I can find mini darts?  That would be a fun thing to play with the boys. 

My Photo
Today it is a thrill to welcome two new friends!  Please meet Susanne Vargas of Keep in Touch, who is another fresh face in the Land of Blog.  She has been making awesome cards for some time now and she has been a behind-the-scenes supporter of my blog, which I appreciate!  Your visit and encouragement will mean the world to her.  We all remember how scary it was to start this journey.  Welcome, Susanne, and thank you for joining the party!

I'm also thrilled to welcome Tracey Fletcher King.  I told you about Tracey in my post below.  Please take a minute to read it, if you missed it yesterday.  You will be blown away by Tracey's artistic talent, sense of humor, and optimism when you visit and introduce yourself.  Thank you, Tracey, for joining us!
Enjoy the PTI blog hop and 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 rustic cream; Wilton baking cups
Stamp:  PTI Scent-imentals
Ink:  Kaleidacolor Autumn Leaves
Enamel Dots:  My Mind's Eye

September 24, 2013

WOYWW #225 ~ Revamp Complete and Thank You to Tracey!

Happy WOYWW!! 

I am back from visiting one of my besties and I have finally finished the revamp of the Playhouse, Gloria, Hal, & Lula!!  Since this is a photo-heavy post, I'm zipping my lips and will let the images speak for themselves.
Except to say . . . ha, just kidding.
I think I'm going to like having my paper more neatly corralled in the IKEA drawer units. 

A couple more, coz you know one thing leads to a dozen others: 
During ...
As you can see in the last photo above, I rearranged my rotating Art Wall to showcase some of my dear friends' beautiful art.  My most recent joyous mail brought me that beautiful hand-painted hydrangea.  Here is a close-up:
Isn't it stunning?  It's from Tracey Fletcher King, an extremely talented artist I met through fellow desker and fellow talented artist, Vonny K.  Thank you for the introduction, Vonny.  It has been such a pleasure to become friends with Tracey and I'm humbled and grateful to receive her art.  Tracey is battling breast cancer with an awe-inspiring sense of humor and positive attitude. 
She also sent me a signed print of her happy and bright blog banner.  (Sorry for the flash.)
Tracey doesn't realize it, but her coffee and tea banner is now framed and absolutely perfect in my blue, black, and white kitchen!
Thank you again, Trace!  I know that all my friends will join me in sending prayers and positive healing vibes your way.  There are a lot of them so you'll feel it!  You might want to strap yourself to that art stool if you climb up there!!  Mwah!


Back at the Playhouse, we see a rare appearance by the famous Mister.  He's giving you the official WOYWW hello!!  Notice we are quite proper and don't stick our tongues out when waggling our ginfers in our ears!

He and Mr. Mojo are going to have a beverage on the deck while I mess up my squeaky clean space!

Enjoy your hop around What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday (WOYWW)!  If you'd like more information on WOYWW, our gracious hostess Mizz Julia Dunnit, can provide you with all the details.  As always, thank you for stopping by to visit.  Special thanks to you if you take the time to join as a follower or leave a comment!  I will return the flavor!!
*Life Is Too Short!  

September 23, 2013

Fall Is In The Air! CFC #115; NBUS #53; Pixie's #91; and Simon

Hey!  How's it goin'?
I found lots of wonderful fall papers while cleaning and it's gotten me further in the mood for autumn colors and cards.  Today I was toying around with smackin' acetate again.  I first tried it here with cool colors, so it was fun trying it with warm colors.
Which took me straight to the current CAS-ual Fridays challenge, sponsored by Simon Says Stamp.  We are to use fall colors and a leaf on our project.
I'm linking again to the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge.  During Stamptember, we are to use any product that Simon Says Stamp sells in the store. 
Since I used snippets, I'm also taking my card over to show my friends at Pixie's Crafty Snippets Playground!
And since I've made a card of thanksgiving, I'm linking again to Susan Raihala's 2013 Thanksgiving Crusade on her blog, Simplicity.

Here's what I made:
I scribbled fall-colored markers onto a sheet of acetate, spritzed it with a fine mist of water, and overlaid a piece of glossy paper to pick up the colors.  I die-cut my leaves from that and then stamped on the matching image.

My NBUS today is that fantastic "air vent" border.  It's made from a die from Simon Says Stamp.  I loved that thing when I saw it on other blogs and I'm very happy to finally have a chance to own it and use it!
My PhotoI'm also happy to welcome a new friend today, both to my blog and to the Land of Blog itself!  Please meet Brenda of Inkspired to Stamp!  I hope you can find a little time to go over and make her feel welcome in this huge new world she has entered.  With your help she will find what I have found: a close-knit, generous, and supportive community!  Mwah!

:( :( :(

On a more sobering note, yesterday I came across some disturbing information related to my blog and a whole other community that exists out there.  I've mentioned before that occasionally I would have "unsavory" links in my audience stats, which karacked me up because I'm not ezackly babe material!  Well, it turns out they weren't here checking me out, the crudballs were keying in on the term of endearment that I've used for my grandsons since they were first born. I won't use the word again now that I know.  I wanted you to also know since you've all come to call them by that term, too, and you might wonder why I've stopped.  It really fries my turnips, but there's nothing I can do about it. 
:) :) :)

What I can do is turn that frown I gave you upside down!  We've come to the end of blueberry season around here.  We love to eat them fresh, but I decided to use these last ones in something baked.  Being busy and lazy (yes, you can be both of those things simultaneously!), I hunted around for a recipe that was QAE.  I found a lovely crisp that fit the ticket. 
After tucking it in the oven, I tidied up and got quite a start when I returned the sugar jar to the pantry.  Sugar?  Ernh?  I don't remember scooping any of that!  Oops.  Another flusterating sign of aging, I'm sure.  I understand how I can be both busy AND lazy, but I don't usually like to use the words "healthy" and "dessert" in the same sentence!
(It tasted pretty much as you would expect!)
Enjoy your day ~ don't forget the sugar!  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 rustic cream; SU! tangerine tango
Stamps:  Memory Box "Fall Leaf Trio" F1776
  Hero Arts "Fall Leaf Thanksgiving" F294
Ink:  Kaleidacolor "Autumn Leaves"; SU! markers
Dies:  Memory Box "Fall Leaf Trio" and SSS "Air Vent"
Bow is embroidery floss

September 22, 2013

Sharron's Special Day ~ On Papillion Wings! FBW #253

Happy Funday to All!
And expecially to my bloggie friend, Sharron, who is celebrating her birthday today! 
Sharron does amazing card art on her blog, On Papillion Wings!  If you don't know Sharron, you are in for a treat when you stop in to wish her a very Happy Birthday today!!
I was invited to the party by POE (Party Organizer Extraordinaire) Joyce, the first link in the hop list below, and I'm so grateful to be included.  (ETA: This post was to go live a few hours ago, but I just noticed that Blogger was a bugger.  I'm sorry.)
Sharron has a wide range of styles she achieves with her cards, so for my card today, I keyed in on her blog title and made her a card with - walla - butterflies, and lots of 'em!
I'm keeping this short so you can flutter by the other gorge cards (and cakes!!) for lots of beautiful inspiration!
Darnell (you're here)

I am entering my card in the Flutterby Wednesday challenge where "Anything Goes" with your butterfly or fairy this week

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!  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:  DCWV "Mariposa"
Stamp:  Penny Black 4071F
Ink:  Impress, autumn leaf
Butter Flies:  K&Company