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 20, 2017

Painting a Peony and Meeting Coni

Hi there, Stamplings!

I hope your week is going great! It's almost the weekend! I've had a fun and busy week meeting a lovely bloggie friend and having belated birthday lunches! Yes, that's right, this year I'm celebrating for the whole month of July! 

Earlier this week I got painty with pastels and a peony.
I really loved working with this NBUS peony from The Ton! I heat-embossed it with platinum e/p and used my lightest Ziggies and an aqua brush to watercolor the background, flower, and leaves. If the color went on too strong, I dabbed it with a tissue like a lady.

Here you have it from the other angle which shows the melty shiny goodness of the platinum.
The butterfly was die-cut from a piece of SU watercolor DSP. It was highlighted with pearls and I used a white pen to dotify the flower petals.
Meeting Coni!

Yesterday my friend Coni (aka Conil) of Which Craft? came to the Playhouse to meet me! Here we are at lunch:
She is just as much fun and just as lovely and kind as I imagined her to be from her blog and our emails! I had the waitress take our photo because I couldn't get the timer to work on my camera for a picture of the two of us in front of the Playhouse. 

But just to prove she was really there:
My camera kept recording videos of us when I set the timer. It was only later in the day that I realized it was operator error. I was pushing the red record button instead of the photo button. No wonder it was recording! What a dipweed I am!

I know you're karacking up reading that, Coni! Thanks for making the drive and making my day! It was a pleasure to meet you!!


Shop Smart

So what happened was I've been really good this year at limiting my new purchases, in spite of all the new and enticing stamp companies that have sprung up. Occasionally, however, I'll look for something on Amazon and then I'll look for something else and because they woo me with the free shipping and because everyone knows everything is cheaper on Amazon, I'll place an order. They make it too easy.

Normally you don't get an invoice in the box with your Amazon order, but for this particular order of three dies, I received a package directly from the third-party stamp company. And they enclosed an invoice showing the Amazon price I had paid. 

Well, being a nosy an investigative sort of person, I then went to the company's website to see how much the order would have cost if I had ordered it directly from them and paid the shipping fee of $6.00. I was feeling smug, you see, as one would.

Imagine my shock to find out that even paying the shipping fee, I would have paid TEN DOLLARS LESS if I had ordered directly from the company, rather than from Amazon!

That'll teach me to assume that Amazon gives you the best deal (didn't they used to do that?) and not taking the time to look at the small print about who was fulfilling the order and going there first to see what the cost was for the product direct from them.

I know, I know, caveat emptor and it's my own dang fault, but I still feel like I was skunked. I mean, these dies came from a very small company, so the owner must have thought, "Here's another fool!" 😞

Please be smarter and more alert than I was. The world can use more lerts!


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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 to return the flavor!

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Aquarius said...

Beautiful pastel effect on this peony, so delicate and the details are a finishing touch. Good advice re caveat emptor - always advisable to shop around not all 'bargains' are!!!!

Sue said...

Hi Darnell, Glad you had a nice time with Coni.

I've found it's always best to check out the company's website before ordering from Amazon. You could send an email to the company explaining and you never know they may send you a voucher for $10. Even an email to Amazon, might produce something.

Love the card.

Hope you have a nice day. Sue

SD pooja said...

Beautiful card darnell ! I hope the rest of the months is also fun filled :)

Sue's Crafty Corner said...

Such a beautiful card Darnell. Great to catch up and meet blog friends too. I aways try the stamp companies first before buying from Amazon or other such like sellers.

Sue xx

Mac Mable said...

Loving the delicate colours on your ever so pretty stunning flower and what a beautiful stamp it is. Glad you met up with your blog friend and managed to get a photo! Thanks fro the tip about looking around...I always assume Amazon is cheaper and because of the free shipping to the uk, often from America. It's the shipping costs and or customs etc which also have a factor for me x Thanks again x

kiwimeskreations said...

What a gorgeous card Darnell - but wait - the top card appears to have a black sentiment, and it shows white in the other photos.... who says the camera doesn't lie!!
How wonderful to meet Coni - what a special birthday treat!! Did Hammy approve of her too?
I have given up on Amazon, for reasons other than yours, but I won't bleat on about it here.

Sue - said...

Oh that's such a pretty card Darnell. Always a good idea to shop around but having said that I've usually found Amazon cheapest. Looks like you had a good time with your pal! xx

Shaz in Oz.CalligraphyCards said...

Ah dear friend been stung like that too, bought something, quite small price on auction from said seller only to find they had one same as a buy it now cheaper. So try to be circumspect.. hard though isn't it.
I don't use Amazon cos they don't have PayPal on it. I refuse to use my card directly online since I had it hacked two years back, the morning I was due to go away on break, nothing like having you card frozen, then!! Now also have two cards, one back up one.
I owe you an email, dear friend,I'm glad the card arrived there ok... been flat strap. Sorry, glad you're slowly improving..
Thanks so much for your great card, love it and story of visit too..
Shaz in Oz.x

{Calligraphy Cards - Shaz in Oz}

Sandra H said...

Oooh this is such a beautiful card l'm loving the colours and the white pen used brings such a lovely effect to the flower ....nice seeing your friend too hope you had a lovely time and sending lots of love xx

Pat said...

I adore your beautifully coloured pastel peony and butterfly Darnell and such a good size so little else is needed to make a gorgeous card. How great to meet up with Coni and have a lovely lunch, and a visit to the playhouse...lucky lady. We all assume it will be cheaper to buy from Amazon so thanks for the tip. I must admit I do try to check the price elsewhere first but sometimes in a hurry it is too easy just to click and buy. x

Marilyn said...

Gorgeous card!! Glad you had a good time with one of your blog friends! If you are a prime member for Amazon , shipping is free only if it is shipped from Amazon. Amazon has now added tax so sometimes it is not cheaper to buy from them than buying in the store. I found that out recently when I was looking at a printer I researched it and found that it was about the same price if I bought it at Best Buy than Amazon. So why wait for it to be delivered when I could get it right now. It pays to research it first.

Brenda in IN said...

Wow, that platinum is so gorgeous. The colors are so soft and lovely and I love the addition of white dots. Celebrating all month is a wonderful idea and getting to meet Coni in person was another great birthday perk. Thanks for the heads up about Amazon. It does pay to shop around and it is so easy now with the internet. It beats trudging through the mall.

Happy Dance said...

Let's talk about that gorgeous, shiny peony card for a minute, shall we?! It is simply stunning. Your watercoloring is perfection and those little white dots are just the right addition. The butteryfly is so pretty sitting on that flower too. It's one of my favvies of yours. Yep. So glad you got to meet Coni, too. How nice to go out for lunch and spend time getting to know one another. Lucky ladies!! I've done the whole 'video instead of photo' thing, too...you are not alone, my friend! Sorry, too, that Amazon was naughty. It's so easy, though, to add those few other things to the other things already in your cart. Been there, done that, as well... I will try to be more of a 'lert' in the upcoming days. That, however, might be a problem for me with my 'duh' brain, lol!! Missing you tons!! Sending hugs and love. Bev

conil said...

What???? Amazon isn't cheaper??? What the heck is that about. I must be more diligent and research more carefully. Thanks for the heads up. Looking at these photos and remember the cameras stubbornness, did make me giggle. But I had no idea I'd look like a big yellow balloon in them. Oh well, back to the gym. See, this is why I don't like my picture taken...I'd rather live in a fool's paradise.
Anyway, you doubly honored me with this post, though you may not have known it. That yellow butterfly against the pastel, rainbow flower is right up my alley.
Thanks so much for having me...but you're the lovely, kind one in this duo.

Cara said...

Your peony card is fabulous an I love your dotification of it. How lovely that you got to spend time with a blogging buddy, looks like you had a fab time. Amazon in the UK at least is all over the shop with pricing, I don't know if they charge small companies a premium to sell items through them, but it's always worth checking them out direct. Sorry that you got stung though, never good to be ripped off x

Lisa said...

What a gorgeous card!! The flower is amazing!! I love the colors!! So stunning!! How fun to meet a bloggy friend, and what a beautiful picture of you two!! How frustrating to pay more at Amazon...I'm guilty of assuming you pay less there, too!! Have a great day!! Big hugs :)

A Mermaid's Crafts

Canonbury creations said...

Gorgeous card Darnell and I love the placement of the butterfly as it looks like a bow for the post. Looks like you had a fab crafty day with your blogging friend and we all know how exciting that is! 😘

Leslie Miller said...

Love the melty goodness of your platinum EP! What a great choice for your pastel coloring, which is gorgeous, BTW. So pretty the way you used the different colors on the petals. The different angles of the photos sure change the look of it. Glossy EP can be really hard to photograph. I didn't notice the little white dots until you showed the close up. Love those, too! Bet you have some fun videos of you and your bloggie friend. What a treat to have her come visit! Now, that's interesting about your Amazon experience. Many times you get an amazing deal, but it pays to check. I buy reams of white papers (X-Press It and Neenah) from Amazon and it's a super bargain. After reading this I'll be a better lert!

Helen F. said...

Your two Peony cards are so beautiful and so different, love the effect you created on each, Darnell. So nice to get to meet lovely Blog-Land friends in person, you both are lookin' great!
On the order-on-line thang...I have been ordering up a storm on Amazon lately (new to this cyber shopping) and never think about other companies selling on Amazon and the possibility of getting a better price from shopping direct ~ thanks for the info, I will be more vigilant about buying schtuff now!

Jean said...

BEautiful cards! I would return the items to Amazon!

Redanne said...

I love how delicate the card looks from one direction and then that lovely sheen from the other direction - absolutely beautiful!

Hmmm, not a great experience with Amazon, I will be more careful in future now, so it is a great tip! Sometimes when I 'need' something from the USA I have to buy on Amazon, but I do try and check out the price in shops in the USA first.... well, sometimes anyway!! Hugs, Anne xx

Susan said...

Beautiful soft colours on the gorgeous peony - perfect for the butterfly to land on! Thanks for joining us at CAS Watercolour!

And thanks for the reminder to do some double checking before ordering from Amazon!

Carol L said...

Great card, and beautiful soft pastel coloring too! The butterfly accent looks equally purdy!! I'm glad I'm not the only one who discovered the Amazon pricing (gasp!) Live and learn I always say, but that'll teach us not to take anything for granted! It's BezoBingo!!

JoAnn said...

Lovely cards. Glad you had a visit from a friend. I wish I could visit your Playhouse. :)

Verna Angerhofer said...

Your card is so beautiful with those soft pastel colors. And, I love the gold embossing too. And, sometimes it pays to shop a bit before purchasing.

Ruth said...

That platinum embossing powder really is gorgeous and it works so well with your soft colours. I'm really glad that you had a lovely time with Coni. Always nice when you get to meet crafty people you've only met online. As for Amazon, I remember when it first appeared. We had a guest lecturer on my Library and Information Science course who said that Amazon wasn't a threat, as they would take 25 years to make a profit based on their retail model. I graduated with my MSc in 2000, 17 years ago.... Now we know how they did it! I shall very much be wary in future, thank you for the heads up! xx

Fikreta said...

wonderful cards!
Im so happy you have great time with your friend!
have a nice day

Linda said...

Darnell, your flower is just so gorgeous. That first picture doesn't do it justice. How fun that you got to meet Coni. You two look great. You know, I was always under the impression that you could get things cheaper on Amazon, but being frugal I always checked numerous places and learned right away that they were not. I also had a friend who worked there and she said it wasn't that the price was less, but the fact that you can get anything there. More of a convenience.

Sharron said...

Gorgeous soft pastel colors! Love the photo that shows all the wonderful glittery shine! How wonderful to be able to spend some time with Coni, nothing better than meeting a crafty friend!

Jeanne H said...

What a wonderful card, Darnell. So pretty. I've been ordering just not posting much. OK slap my hand! :-)

Kathleen said...

Two lovely creations and loving the pastel shades.
Great photo's of you and Connie.
Phew, not sure who is at fault here, Amazon or the Company for putting there stuff on Amazon and if they had checked it they should have with drawn the goods from A. There are a number of times when I think we crafters are being ripped off, because they know if we want it we will pay for it. I would be tempted to tell them that i would never buy another of their products again.

Hav a great weekend and glad to hear that your Birthday celebrations are still continuing.

Kath xx

Gerrina said...

This card looks so elegant and soft; it is a great contrast with the embossing! Sometimes I order something only to find out that the firm has a 10% of a few days later... Well...I try to find a good pricw for things I really want, but must say my wishlist is a long one... :)! Hugs, Gerrina

Bonnie said...

I love these lovely soft colors of your peony! The tissue works really well to soften the colors!

I've noticed that Amazon is not always the cheapest place to get things. I'll be double checking from now on.


Anita said...

Love all your posts, Darnell. I'm still chuckling about the new word for the day: dotify! I'm gonna have to remember to dotify my flowers or whatevers in the future!

Bunny said...

I'm in the dip weed category with ya. We'll start a club. Oh, wait. You have a clubhouse! Perfect.

I will say MOST of the time you do get a good deal on Amazon. I l-o-v-e free shipping. It is a siren's song luring you in.

Pat said...

Your peony is so soft & dreamy, Darnell. I just recently placed an Amazon order (toy shopping for 4 grandkids' birthdays in 6 weeks is NOT my idea of a good time). So in that case, it's worth it to me. But while there, I got a recommendation for the MISTI corners (which I have). It was $19.99! My LSS has them for $15.00, as do 2 online stamp stores. Sometimes convenience is worth it & sometimes it's just too steep. Have a great day & so looking forward to meeting you in Sept. It's so nice that you've met Coni too.

Susanne Vargas said...

You know, one of my local stamping friends had the same experience. She was buying Altenew sets from Amazon until she discovered that they were cheaper when she bought them directly from Altenew! Amazon might be cheap for some things but not for crafty items. Live and learn...
Your shiny platinum flower is really pretty all decked out in pastel!

Lisa Elton said...

What pretty picture so you too ladies!! Bet those videos were cute too!! LOVE your card. Such pretty pastel colors. Hate it that you got skunked on Amazon. But it will make me check around now before ordering from them in the future!

My Paper Epiphany said...

Beautiful card - I love the soft colours! Looks like you and Coni had some fun! Bummer about the Amazon purchase. I spend way too much time checking out the best deals. It's much more costly getting things sent to Australia and sometimes the postage difference is incredible!

Angela Walters said...

Hi, Darnell, How are you? Your pastel card is so beautiful! I love the soft colors and the peaceful feel it gives!

I, too, have learned recently to be very careful with Amazon because their deals are always that great after all. I've also learned to watch prices on Simon Says Stamp. That one really broke my heart! They frequently charge more for some companies dies and I even caught it on ink pads today. Be careful!

Loll said...

Love the soft and delicate colours of your pastel peony, Dolly. And the butterfly looks very happy where it landed. :) Thanks for sharing with us at CAS Watercolour! And yes, any type of watercolouring, no matter the colouring medium, as long as you are using it with water. :)

How exciting to meet another blogging friend. Looks like you girls were having a great time.

Thanks for the advice about Amazon. I thought they were always the lowest prices too, so will be keeping a look out next time. :) Lolly xx

Anonymous said...

Such a gorgeous card. So soft and pretty!
How lucky to have a bloggy visitor and go out for lunch. Bet you had a fab time.
Thanks for the sales tip - lucky for me at the moment it is too damn expensive for Amazon to ship to Australia (if they do ship what I have picked to Aus!).

KandA said...

Beautiful card Darnell, love the soft pastel colouring of that gorgeous stamp and the butterfly is fabulous. Sounds like your had a fun bloggy friend day and no doubt lots of laughs too.

Never bought anything from Amazon butI know what you mean about shopping and especially being enticed into spending more just to get free shipping. I usually stick to the same few shops that offer free or reasonable shipping no matter what size of order you place and then buy lots of goodies when it's sale time xx

Linda said...

What a gorgeous card Darnell .... and what a fab stamp. I do love products from The Ton but unfortunately as yet there's no where in the UK that stocks them (that I've found anyway). Just weighing up the shipping costs at the moment!
Enjoy the weekend hun xx

I Card Everyone said...

Your card is so pretty, Darnell ... but OH my am I coveting that lunch with Coni! Is she also a Cali girl? We ALL want the pleasure of playing in your little house... xx

Jenny L said...

Hi Darnell,
what a very brilliant card and that peony is gorgeous.
Love the wonderful die cut sentiement also.
Couldn't you just spit blood when these crafty purchases happen like that.
I think we all hate being conned by such prices and there is a lot of it going on in the craft inddustry at the mo.
Love and big crafty hugs from my house to yours.
Lots of crafty love. Jenny L.

Trina P. said...

Happy all month long birthday celebrations, Darnell! And what a beautiful card. Love the platinum. Fabulous details with the pearls and white gel pen. I only have a handful of products from The Ton, and can't wait to buy more.
And I can relate to your AZ story. Unfortunately, it has happened not only with AZ and more times than I would like. 😫

Have a great weekend!

Trina xx

Mrs A. said...

My oh my what a beauty your flower is and painted to perfection too.
I love the butterfly addition. Sorry to hear you got stung. Hugs Mrs A.

Cobnut Crafter said...

Love the soft tones you have used on your Peony, they really do go well with the platinum embossing powder which is one of my favourites - so much so, I think I should buy it in bulk....but maybe not from Amazon!
x Anne

Sarah said...

Love, love, love this delicately coloured card Darnell and the butterfly is just right. Thank you for the warning about Amazon, I will certainly be a little more cautious in future xx

Cat Craig said...

Fabulous card Darnell. Ya, I always shop the crafty stuff and stuff I want I put on my wish list...the prices can fluctuate daily on amazon.
Sorry you had a bad experience.

Lisa T said...

What a fabulous card Darnell! Your pastel ziggies look absolutely beautiful with the platinum gold EP, perfection! and that image was just made for beautiful watercolouring, I love this card! I have promised to buy myself something from The Ton soon, they do such stunning floral stamps. And the addition of the butterfly is the ideal finishing touch. Thanks for the advice re Amazon, will certainly bear that in mind when I next shop. Sending hugs, Lisa xx

Nonni said...

Hi Darnell! Thank you for your lovely email. It feels great to get support from crafting friends.... And as always, your post makes me smile. "...wiped it off with a tissue like a lady"... Hilariously put! :) Your pastel colors look gorgeous and I love the sentiment. Wonderful card in every way. xxx

Craftychris said...

Absolutely beautiful card, love the soft colours and the gorgeous embossing! It's such a pretty peony stamp. How cool you had such a lovely time with Coni - fab photos! I did smile about you button pressing error, it's the sort of thing I would do too! It's fab you are having a month long birthday, I intend to make mine last too as it will be my 60th this year and I love my big birthdays! xxx

Carole Pollard said...

Wonderful cards love hthe pastel colurs on these. Thanks for sharing the lovely photos with your friend looks like a fun day with lots of chat and laughs Love and hugs Carole x

sandie said...

How wonderful to meet Coni and what a lovely soft coloured card, beautifully water colouring. Thanks for the Amazon tip and have a fab weekend x

Bobby said...

Yay for meeting bloggie friends, Darnell. It's always so much fun. Your peony card is absolutely lovely. I love how the color spills out onto the background but in a little lighter 'lady' shade. Thanks for sharing your card with us at Addicted to Stamps and More.

Anita in France said...

Goodness, this is such a creamy, lovely, scrumptious and downright delicious peony, Darnell ... that delicate butterfly clearly thinks so too as she's posed so beautifully against it! How fabulous that you and Coni got to meet and eat ... so much fun ... despite the camera adventures! LYAMYMAWLTHBTFL! Great big hugs and bisous, Anita :)

nancy littrell said...

I Love your heat embossed peonies and soft pastel watercolouring, Darnell. TFS your lovely card and photos of you and Coni and Coni and your playhouse..where is hammy? All the chatter scaring him?
TFS and joining us at CAS Watercolour my friend. Hugs..

Nora Noll said...

What a lovely card!! I love the gold embossing and the pretty pastel painting that you did on this!! That butterfly is a fantastic touch!! So fun that you got to meet a stamp friend. I try to do this when I can when I am on vacation. As for Amazon-you have to check because sometimes they are NOT the cheapest. I think that they should match prices!!

Tina Z. said...

wow, I love peony, such a fantastic card, so elegant!
have a great weekend!
hugs xx

LeAnne said...

Your flower is beautiful, Darnell! Love the big bold image! We're glad you shared it with us at Stamp Ink Paper! And I have heard that about Amazon..thanks for sharing your little lesson!

shirley-bee said...

This is gorgeous, Darnell! Your ladylike tissue-dabbing has created some beautiful soft colours, almost opalescent. How great that you and Coni got to meet. As for videos - been there, done that. My other expertise is photos of feet or floors ;)

Keep It Sweet and Simple said...

Super card. Love your delicate, pretty bloom.
Great tip about Amazon. I always expect them to be cheaper too, but I'll be on the look out for that from now on.

Christine Alexander said...

love the scale of the peony and your butterfly, so pretty in the pastels and platinum EP is my fav. Happy BD Hugs Christine
thanks for joining us at CAS Watercolour

Sybrina K said...

Darnell, How nice that you met up with another one of your many blogger friends. Loved the pics, smiled at your Amazon-it-happens-to-all-of-us story, and enjoyed the peony card. It's so pretty. :)

Barb Ghig said...

Firstly, I have to say that your card is absolutely GORGEOUS, Darnell! Great idea to use your DSP...you fooled even me, as I thought you had slaved over blending all those pretty pastels :) Love your dotty details on the petals, too...they're perfect!
How lovely that you got to spend time with Coni...I'll bet she loved seeing your beautiful Playhouse in person...lucky girl!
Thanks so much for sharing your 'Amazon' investigative work with us ~ Who knew? Well, now we do and it's all thanks to you!
Belated Happy Birthday to you...and enjoy the rest of your month-long celebration!!! Hugs, Barb xo

Cornelia (fun stamping) said...

Awesome cards - what else is new?! Meeting Coni - how lucky you are! Two of my favorite Ladies together! How fun! Amazon ripping you off? Shame on them! I do know that they are not always cheaper, although I don't check every time. Not for small amounts of money anyhow. Bigger items, yes. But what I really treasure are their reviews and that is worth something....

Marina said...

Beautiful card, gorgeous in these pastel shades. Thanks for the'heads up' on Amazon...it is too easy when everything is all in one place. As for operator error...I was recently at an awards ceremony where one of my students was being presented with a certificate. I offered to take a photo on her phone and I couldn't understand why it was all dark and I couldn't take the photo. So she had to fix it and pose for the photo again......this idiot had folded the phone case back over the lens! And all this was in front of my boss, the college Principal!

Karen Dunbrook said...

gorgeous card Darnell..love the soft tones you used.
How lovely that you got to meet a fellow crafter and have lunch. Must have been lovely.
I hear you about Amazon. I live in Canada and I try and check prices too. Sometimes buying directly from the Company, comes with perks or cheaper shipping.
Thanks for playing along with the CAS WATERCOLOUR Challenge, hope you will play with us again.
xx Karen

Em Louise Fairley said...

Gorgeous card, Darnell. I've made that same mistake a few times too, and yup, I should'a learned the first time!
Em xoxox

Greta said...

I do love pastels & this is a beauty, Darnell! Oh how mad I'd be at spending an extra $10! I've had a similar experience--not with Amazon--so now I check so many places I can't keep it straight--haha! Good thing I'm pretty much on a spending freeze except for gc!

MRS DUCK said...

Hi Darnell
Your peony is very striking even pastelised. I'm trying to figure out how the sentiment changed from black to white lol!
Always a joy to meet bloggie chums but are those frogs doing something rude by the play house door?
Those goods would have been winging their way back to Amazon and being reordered from the cheaper place.
Have noticed that the same companies charge different amounts on Amazon to their eBay shops.
Good to see you looking so well on the pic.
Ang x