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!

October 29, 2013

Pumpkin's Birthday ~ NBUS #66; WOYWW #230; SSS (Monday) and STB

Hello Humpers and Deskers!
Well, that sounded a little naughtier than I meant for it to sound.  It's time for What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday (WOYWW), hosted by everyone's sweetheart scrapper, card artist, and carpenter's apprentice, Ms. Julia Dunnit!  {Blink the Applause Light Furiously.} 

Basically that means I show you my desk and you show me yours.  Please click over to get the details if you dunno what I'm talking about and join the fun!  Here we go:
I tried keeping my summertime haul of NBUS (never-before-used schtuff) in a giant plastic container at my feet until I used it once, but I had almost toppled over it one too many times, so I cut all the sets apart and placed them with their requisite theme family.  Aaaahhh.  (If you've seen me do this before, this may be a boring update for you.  Please skip to the end and let me know you popped in.)

The new or updated "theme" cases are now ready to go (or return) here:
Some of you have wondered how I was dealing with the addition of clear stamps to my theme drawers of wooden stamps.  Let's look at, say, the drawer with the BIRTHDAY theme:
Oh, sorry.  I'm so sorry you had to see that long shot.  It's blurry because it was taken late last night after I finished off my tumbler of wodka.  Can you blame me? 
Let's just focus on one drawer so we aren't responsible for any attacks of heart.
Tossing in the odd clear birthday sediments as I have gotten them worked just fine, at first.  I could fondle them quickly when deciding which one I wanted to use on a card, or I could flick them easily to the side to peer at the wooden stamps.  But then, well, you've all heard about Shopper Girl's visit.

So now it looks like this:
I corralled all the clear sediments in CD cases and SU! cases, with the images stamped on a piece of scratch paper stuck in the outside sleeve for easy refusal.  I meant to say perusal, but refusal works just the same in this instance.

What do the insides of those cases look like?  Like this:

The wee baggies keep them from commingling as sticky Polly Acrylic and Polly Mer are wont to do and it allows me to type or write the name of the manufacturer/stamp set on a snippet and keep it with the sediment.

It makes me very happy.

You might have noticed a couple of cards on my desk, stamped for autumn around a masked banner.  I made one for my last post (below) for Halloween and I was so happy with it, I made another one for my friend Laura who has almost a Halloween birthday and her nickname is "Pumpkin."
I'm going to send it in the mail, but I wish I could see her face when she opens it.  I was so tickled when I got this Papertrey Ink "Scent-imentals" stamp set (NBUS) and saw the "Hello Pumpkin" sediment!  She really is a sweet pumpkin and she'll be grinning from ear-to-ear when she sees this!
Here is the inside:
The Seize the Birthday (STB) challenge is always "Anything Goes" so I am going to link my card with the gallery there.  Also, Simon Says Stamp (SSS) Monday is having an "Anything Goes" challenge, so I will link up there, as well.  Both of these sites are wonderful places to go for hundreds of card inspirations!  

I want all my friends from the UK and surrounding area to know I'm hoping they weathered that monster storm without devastation.  Even though Halloween is not a huge holiday everywhere in the world, I wish you all a Happy Hallow's Eve.  Please take a piece of chocolate before you go. 
I'm not prezackally sure why the tub of candy is the Playhouse in the back yard and not by the front door where the trick or treaters will be knocking.  Nor am I sure why it is only half full when it was fully full a few days ago.  I'm also not admitting that I used to steal candy from my son's haul every year.  The statute of limitations has passed on that criminal activity anyway, even if the allegations were true, which I'm sure they are not because what kind of a mother would do that anyway?


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!  Please let me know you came by, so I can be sure and return the flavor! 
*Life Is Too Short!  

October 27, 2013

Halloleaves ~ ATCAS #25; MFW TT; OLW #163; SOS #124; SSS

Hello!  Happy Sunday!
It's a beautiful fall day here, so I'm going outside to enjoy it while it lasts.  (Our temps are spose to drop twenty degrees tomorrow.)   There are still a few challenges which allowed me to squeak in one more Halloween card, a one layer one that's not the least bit spooky. 
  • At the always entertaining and inspiring Moxie Fab World, Cath has give us this spectacular photo inspiration for her "Enthralled by Fall" Tuesday Trigger:

I want to pour milk on that bowl of leaves and eat them with a spoon!  Talk about fiber!
  • The One Layer Wednesday challenge this week is being hosted by the fabuloso Karen on her Snippets site.  Her challenge is for us to use orange on our one-layer cards.
  • At Shopping Our Stash, the brief is "Halloween OR Orange and Black."
Grab Our Badge!
  • And, finally, at Simon Says Stamp, the Wednesday challenge is "Halloween or Halloween Colours."
My card:

I tried to channel my inner Heather Telford and the rest of you yummy maskers/spongers, but I need lots more practice still to get my banner edges to be crisp.  I fudged and used a colored pencil to firm 'em up.  Wait.  What?  You were just thinking what I was thinking, weren't you?  How great if they could only make pencils to firm up certain other things around here!!

Other than getting the banner edge firm, it's a fun and easy technique.  Once you mask off the area that you don't want stamped, using post-it notes, you can just wildly stamp your images in the different colors.  Really, it's fun and pretty QACAS.
Today I have a new friend and a new blogger to welcome and introduce to you.  I hope you will look off into the distance for a minute and remember how it felt to be starting out with your blog and then pop over and give her a warm welcome.  I told her how nice you are.
My PhotoHer name is Dora B. and her blog is 7 Cardologists.  Here is a picture of the seven lovely lady "cardologists."  I love that name and wonder why I didn't think of it!  You have previously meet Susanne and I hope the other ladies will join me as subscribers or follow if they have their own blogs.  For today, we are welcoming Dora and wishing her all the best!  Thank you, Dora, and welcome to our party!


In other news, we have a huge crop of basil going to seed:
When Mister looked at the clump yesterday, he noticed it was jiggling and swaying.  It turns out that sweet little finches LOVE basil seeds!  There must have been 20 or more hidden in there!  We've never noticed them before this year.  True finches are passerine birds in the family Fringillidae.  Mister promptly decided these are from the subspecies, Italiallidae.

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 or leave a comment.  Once again someone has written to say that I may not even see her comment, as I have so many.  Please don't ever feel that way!  I see them ALL and I know that I'm very blessed to hear from so many of you.  I treasure each and every one of you and your comments!  Truly. 

*Life Is Too Short!

Paper:  PTI white
Stamps:  All SU!
Ink:  SU!  only orange, tangerine tango,
  calypso coral, melon mambo
Enamel dots:  My Mind's Eye

October 25, 2013

Papertrey October Blog Hop Challenge; CFC #118; NBUS #65; Rudolph Day

Greetings, Crafty Friends!
Today is the 25th day of the 10th month of the 2,013th year and that means it is another blog hop challenge at Nichole's Papertrey Ink (PTI) glorious website, as well as Rudolph Day at Stamping For Pleasure.  And we can't forget we've also whooshed around to another Friday, drawing ever more perilously close to Christmas!!
My friend Sandra hosts Rudolph Day where the rule is that you have to make something festive ~  and for this month's PTI blog hop challenge we are to make festive tags.  Here is our photag inspiration:
As fun would have it, there is also a "tags and bags" challenge going on at CAS-ual Fridays, so I'm linking up there, as well.

Frank Lee, I prefer making cards to making tags, so this was a challenge for me that turned out to be happily successful once I decided that I wanted to make my tags in the shape of a Ball jar.  I used a die from Paper Smooches for my jar, but you can also find fine jar dies at other companies, including PTI.
With one exception of pine needles (from SU!), the little jar tags are filled with PTI images, most of which are NBUS, and all of the tags are made from either PTI white or kraft paper.  The other ingredients I'll list at the end.  Almost all of the images were enhanced with either Wink of Stella pens or my white gel pen.  Unfortunately, even taking the pictures in the sunlight did not show off the winking and sparking that you can see IRL. 
I made seven tags.  Actually I made ten of them, but three didn't quite get finished in time.  

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 or leave a comment.  I'm very blessed to hear from so many of you and I treasure each and every one!

*Life Is Too Short! 
Images:  PTI "Holiday Button Bits" and
"Friendship Jar Holiday Fillers"
Dies:  PTI "Holly Jolly"
Paper Smooches "Crystal Clear" jar
Ink:  PTI spring moss, new leaf, pinefeather
Doodle Twine
Rain Dots by Cloud 9
Wink of Stella and Sakura gel pen
Miscellaneous silver thread, hemp, eyeballs, jingle bells, and felt
Cropadile, SU! rivets

October 24, 2013

O' Christmas Trees ~ Happy Holidays ~ LIM#142; MM; NBUS#64; PBM

Hi There!

As I was saying on my last post, there are so many fun challenges this time of the year covering three different holidays here in America that it gets to be a challenge just deciding which direction I'm going to go.  With chalk, I've made a sort of giant hopscotch Bingo board on the patio concrete outside the Playhouse.  I just toss a rock and where it lands is what I make next!

Okay, I don't really do that, but it's not a bad idea now that I think of it.

Sometimes cards happen while we are working on an entirely different card because we run across an embellishment or a die cut or a whatsit.  That's what happened to me for my card today.  I was rooteling through my Christmas catchall box looking for jingle bells when I came across three shiny dimensional Christmas tree stickers from years gone by.  Wait, I said.  Hold up.  Someone is having a tree challenge right now . . .

And the whole first project came to a screeching halt while I confirmed that, yes, the adorable ladies at Less Is More this week are having a theme challenge and the theme is "trees!"  Far out, as we kids used to say!
So I made this QACAS card:
I photographed it for you in the bright sunshine so you could see the delectable yummy dimension and shine on those fun patterned trees!  I had cut them off the original packaging (of course), but I'm pretty sure they were made by K & Company.

I slanted the trees across a piece of glossy card stock which I matted to a red card.  The sediment is another Penny Black NBUS stamp so I'm once again playing in the Penny Black and More October challenge which is "Anything Goes" ~ with fab prizes.  I love the whimsical font of the image and think it goes so well with those jocular trees.
Please do grab our logo to display on your own blog
Hold up, again.  Isn't there a song made popular by Bing Crosby called "Happy Holidays?"  Well, by golly, there is!  So that means I can also enter my card in this week's Merry Monday challenge to "use music or a carol-inspired theme!"
Now what was I working on . . . ?

ETA:  My friend Sammy Jean told me about Crafting With Dragonflies, which is a new challenge to me.  Their theme this week is also trees, specifically "natures/leaves/trees!"  Thank you, Sammy!


I am as tickled as a kitten with a cricket to introduce you to two new friends today!
My Photo
Christine Blain of Happy Heart Cards (since 2009)
My Photo
 Chriss Blagrave of Botanical CafĂ©

Both of these card artists have amazing talent and incredible inspiration for you to see when you visit to say hello!  Welcome, ladies, and thank you for the compliment of joining our party!!


Reminder:  please don't forget to set aside some time this week to CASE (copy and share everything) my MUSE card.  It's great fun for me to see all the stunning cards that are being linked up and I'd love to see yours!


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 or leave a comment.  I'm very blessed to hear from so many of you and I treasure each and every one!

*Life Is Too Short!

Paper:  SU! real red, Stampland glossy
Stamp:  Penny Black "holidays" 3240F
Ink:  SU! real red
Trees:  Not for sure, but I think K&Company
Enamel dots:  My Mind's Eye

October 22, 2013

Transparency ~ ATC#24; CTS#50; PBM; NBUS#63; WOYWW#229; 2nd Blogaversary

A Happy Hello!
As it's Tuesday in some parts of the world and Wednesday in others, I've both a desk and a card for you to see.
In celebration of week No. 229 at the marvelous What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday (WOYWW), here is my desk:
Separated from the mess on the Showcase Sill this week are two excellent Halloween cards I have been fortunate to receive! 
The one on the left is from Karen M and the one on the right is from Kim.  Thank you, my friends!

My desk is very skitzo frenetic today.  Or perhaps multipersonalitied.  It is displaying signs of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  You mean, all mixed-up?  On the desk?  Together?  I'm afraid so.  I'm sorry if it gives you a tic under your right eye like it does me.  It's just that there are so many fun challenges going on right now for all of these rapidly approaching holidays that I'm finding it hard to pick and choose and keep up.
For today's choice, I turned to the current challenge at Addicted to CAS:
Are you kidding me right now?  Nopppe.  Is that a challenge or what?!  By some miracle, my memory bank was still open for business when I went searching for ideas and I remembered I still had a few of these old transparent skeleton leaves from Stampin' Up in my stash.
So I made this "transparent" CAS card:

I'll be honest.  I have had these leaves all these years because I've had a heck of a time figuring out how to use them, so I'm really delighted to discover how cool they look on top of a sediment.  The fabulous sediment, BTW, is NBUS and made by Penny Black.  Over at Penny Black and More the October challenge is "Anything Goes" (with fab prizes!), so I'm also entering my card there.

And since my design closely proximates the sketch by the talented Chrissy Larson over at the current CAS(E) This Sketch challenge, I'm also playing there.
Enjoy your day!  No, seriously, enjoy.  LITS*  

If you'd like more information about WOYWW, just click here where our lovely leader Julia has all the deets on her salad bar for you. 

If you are impacted by the dreadful fires plaguing Australia, please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.
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! 

Second Blogaversary!!
BTW, I'm so lame that I forgot to mention last week that it was my second anniversary in Blogland on October 14th.  Sharing my posts and cards with you continues to get better and better and is so much fun!  Thank you and big hugs to each and every one of you for following, or subscribing, or commenting, or all three!  I appreciate all the love you give me and I love you right back!  Mwah!!  Mwah!!  Mwah!! 

*Life Is Too Short!
Paper:  PTI rustic white
Stamp:  Penny Black 4303F
Ink:  Versafine onyx black
Leaf:  Stampin' Up!
Corner Chomper

October 21, 2013

Breast Cancer Awareness ~ MUSE Guest Designer; ATSM #67; Pixie's #95

Good Monday Morning!
It is my great honor today to be featured as this month's Guest Designer for MUSE Card Club.  MUSE has been a favorite challenge of mine since its inception and I'm always disappointed when I miss a week.  If you haven't played before, I hope you'll give MUSE a try.  It is such a treat to CASE (copy and share everything) the superbly talented Muses in whatever way their cards inspire you!  After the challenge closes, participants vote for three of their favorite cards made by their peers.

Because I inked my stamp with markers, I'm also linking my card with the current Addicted to Stamps and More (ATSM) challenge to "make your mark," which is being sponsored by Nicecrane Designs.  And because I've used snippets of paper, I'm playing over at Pixie's Snippets Playground.

I hope you don't mind that my card and post today concern a very serious and sobering subject.  For my theme and design, I chose to reflect that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  Like me, I'm sure your lives have been impacted in some way by this insidious disease.

Here is my card:
I have paired the iconic pink color of BCA with spring green patterned paper and layered the border with torn sheets of green and pink vellum paper.  Breast cancer tears into the fabric of all the lives it touches, both literally and figuratively. 
I chose the sediment from CAS-ual Fridays Stamps because we are always there for our friends and family members as they make their arduous journey through the treatment process and back to good health
As a final touch, I chose to use a pearl which is the astral sign for Cancer.  It is the oldest known gem, and for many centuries it was considered the most valuable. Unlike other gems, the pearl is organic matter derived from living creatures: oysters and mollusks.  For centuries the pearl has been associated with the moon because of its orb shape.  Pearls are also associated with water, wisdom, and women.

Unfortunately, I personally know way too many women who have had (or have) breast cancer.  Way.too.many.

For those of you who are currently undergoing treatment and feel like sheet warmed over, please know that you are in the thoughts and prayers of women everywhere, even strangers.  You belong to a world-wide sisterhood where others wish and pray for you to find strength, patience, optimism, and any strands of humor you can muster.
For those of you well and able, I hope you will participate in the MUSE challenge this week and CASE my card. 
I hope that in doing so, you will recommit to making your own health a priority in your life, do those self-exams, and get your mammograms because early detection is so key.

I hope you will take some time to reflect on the stress that you are carrying and consider ways that you can alleviate some of it.  I wonder if our evolution in recent years to becoming "super women," with the resultant stress, hasn't played a large negative role in our health and our boobies.  Delegating is a beautiful word ~ it means "entrusting." 
So I hope you will recommit each day to taking a little time just for you, just to simply breathe and step away from the madness. 
I hope you will give yourself permission to be more in the moment and enjoy EACH day of your precious life.

And finally, I hope I don't sound too preachy.  I just care about you is all. 


Life is too short.

Paper:  PTI white; K&Company pp;
  Gafix colored vellum
Stamp:  Rubber Stampede 2875F;
  CFC "Calm and Gentle"
Ink:  Markers:  SU! blushing bride, primrose
  petals, pear pizzazz, and old olive
Pearl:  SU!

October 18, 2013

Punkins, for reals and on paper ~ CASology #66; ColourQ #211; NBUS #62; STB; and Moxie Color

Hi Dear Friends,

Once again, here we are whooshed around to Friday!  This week we entered the midpoint in October, a month of ghosts and goblins, witches and warlocks, cauldrons and candies corn, and the always iconic PUMPKIN.
I have some punkins to share with you today. 
My first card was made for the current challenge at CASology where the cue card word is, wait for it ... pumpkin!
And I used the really pretty fall colors from the current challenge at ColourQ.  Isn't that table of feet a hoof?! 
Here is my card:
The punkin image is by Hero Arts (A166) and the sediment is by California Rubber Stamp (C1409).  The bling is by My Mind's Eye.

I made the background behind the pumpkin by scribbling markers onto one of my acrylic blocks, spritzing it with a water mist, and then turning it over onto a piece of glossy cardstock.  It's a NBUS technique for me.
I have "smacked" acetate before, whereby you scribble markers on a piece of acrylic and then lay a piece of card over the scribbles.  When the card is lifted, you have a beautiful background.  Another similar technique is to scribble right onto your craft mat; I haven't tried that one yet. 

ETA:  This fun way of applying color to your card seems also fitting for the Moxie Fab World Color Media Challenge, so I'm linking there as well!

My second punkin card is a QACAS card that I made just for fun.  But then, after I made it, I realized that it was perfect for the current challenge at Seize the Birthday where it's always "Anything Goes" and this time the special "toppings" feature is to use fall colors. 
To use the colors of FALL on your project!
I have several sheets of beautiful patterned paper designed by Tim Coffey for K & Company and I've made a few cards just to showcase the paper.  Today I'm featuring the pumpkin paper:
The card and ribbon are SU! pumpkin pie.  I think the sediment is a Hero Arts, but it's unmarked, and the backing green mat is SU! wild wasabi.
Finally, I have a couple of for reals punkins to share with you.  We have the immense pleasure of having the grandtwins for a THREE-night sleepover!!  Squee!!
I got a great picture of them:
Pretty cute, right?  Look how big they're getting!  This is what I had to go through to get the above picture:
Ya gotta love digital cameras!  Remember taking your film in (or sending it in) to get prints made, praying that out of 36 photos, you might get one that was good?!  And you still had to pay for the other 35 that didn't turn out well?!  Ah, me, one of the many instances where the "good ol' days" weren't.
Enjoy making your day a good ol' one!  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!