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. Thanks for coming by! Have a beverage and enjoy!

August 31, 2018

Christmas in Aug -, erm, September!

Hello Stamplings!

I've bookended my posts this week with a Monday wake-up call and now here we are once again whooshed straight into Friday! When you have a paying job, the weeks seem interminably long, but look out, when you're retired and slow down with your bad self, the weeks fly by like a bat out of a bag of biscuits!

Up til now, bloggers who make Christmas cards all year long advise their readers to turn their heads if they don't have the stomach for it, especially during the summer. Helluuuu! It's gonna be the first day of September tomorrow! It might even be September where you are already! You're going to have to suck it up now, ladies, cuz if you want your Chrissy cards in the mail by the beginning of December, you've only got three months. That's twelve weeks.

I'm sorry. Steady on. Someone get a cool washcloth.

When you're ready, here's your Onefer inspiration for today:
If you don't bother with the slim mat of gold, this is a super QACAS card. If you attach the gold mat, it's still a QACAS card, just not super so. The NBUS poinsettia banner is from STAMPlorations, called "Poinsettia Row." I colored directly on the stamp using Memento markers, gave it a quick spritz, and stamped it on mixed media paper.

Then I gold-embossed the Noel and let Hammy blow gold paint all over the front with his itty-bitty paper straw. (I made four of these while I was at it, so it took him ages, even with the rest breaks required by law. Don't yell at me, the strong-willed little furball insisted, and now I have to puree all his food because he can't get his mouth unpursed!) 

Challenges
Twofer
I bought a pack of the SU stained glass vellum and I just love it. This is my first time using a piece. I colored it from the back and it was so satisfying I was able to cancel my therapy for the week. I attached the vellum to the diamond-embossed card base at the point where the PTI greeting was added.

When making this card, I was following the current sketch from LIM. After the card was finished I realized that I had covered up the middle section so that it looks like one big square stained glass, instead of four windows like the sketch. So here's a piece of the vellum so you can see it is four squares:
Well, I mean, it's any number of geometric shapes ~ squares, diamonds, rectangles, hexagons, but if you step back over by the bookcase, and squint your eyes, you can see the four large squares, with dividing lines ...? 

Oh, never mind. Wodka?

Challenges
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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! Please let me know you came by so I can be sure and return the flavor!

*Life is too short!

To open the pop-up comment box that let's you jump to the end w/o scrollingClick CTL + Home. Click the Home tab under my blog banner which resets the post. Click Page Down to reach the end of the post. Click Comments and a pop-up box opens. Click "Jump to Comment Form" and wallah, no more car pool tunnel! Mwah! (p.s. If you ask me a question in your comment, please remember to leave me your email address so I can respond. Thank you!)

August 27, 2018

A Story of Friendship and A Rare Ruby Hop!

Hello Stamplings,

Happy Monday morning! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! We had the twinsters and the time went by too quickly. Adam is still in good spirits as he deals with that cumbersome chest and neck brace. It won't be long before it is removed and we hopefully get the good news that he won't need surgery.

So what's happening here today is that I was delighted when my friend Rubeena asked me to be a part of the 4-year anniversary celebration of her delightful blog, A Rare Ruby

Ruby asked us to share why we craft and how much joy this hobby brings us. What a beautiful premise for a hop! Briefly, I started making cards back in 2002 because I was a person who loved sending greeting cards and I was spending a lot of money on cards. I thought making my own cards would be way cheaper. Oh, bwahahahahahahahahahahaha! My goodness, that makes me laugh so hard the tears run down my leg!

When I started making cards, my resources were Stampin' Up workshops and magazines. It wasn't until years later in 2011 that I discovered an entire Blogland community of like-minded card artists on the Interwebs. What a treasure trove of ideas! I stalked around a bit, as one does, and then I decided to launch my own blog. I never dreamed pushing that button to publish would be the start of endless inspiration, a wealth of knowledge, and a never-ending pool of friendships!

In truth, the order of those benefits of blogging should be in reverse for me because I find the friendships I have made to be the most precious and priceless. I made this QACAS card for the hop to reflect that:
Using a linen card base, I brushed a Broken China background panel using a Tim Holtz stencil. You would think the little bits of china would have made it difficult, but it went on very easily. Then I embossed the front with a Cuttlebug e/f. Next, I die cut the NBUS word die, Zigged the little NBUS flower from MFT, and added them both. Of course, you-know-who added winking!

*ETA: A lot of you wrote to ask the name of the e/f I used, which I didn't know because I didn't have the packaging or I would have mentioned it. Some of you asked me to email to let you know, but you are "no reply" bloggers so I have no way of contacting you. Just for the heck of it, I did a Google search and tried "Cuttlebug branches" because it looks like branches and it popped right up! Whoot! The name is "Forest Branches" by Cuttlebug.

I've been blessed with many followers, and over 220 of them have become card pen pals. I've also been fortunate to meet many in real life from all over the United States, Canada, and Great Britain! It all happened one comment at a time and I highly recommend it! One comment to let another card artist know how much their art has inspired you leads to a response, which leads to another comment and before you know it, you've made life-long friends who are the kindest, most supportive friends you'll ever have! Mwah! Thank you to all my bloggie friends!
Challenges
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I'm turning this over to Ruby, who I've been friends with since her first comment on my blog on January 16, 2015! Her talent and her blog are never-ending sources of inspiration! If you haven't met her, you are in for a treat! The same goes for the other ladies in the HOP! I hope you bookmark Ruby's post to return to it in the days ahead so you can meet all these new friends! You'll be blown away by their artistry!! Congratulations, Ruby!

♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡
Welcome to my Crafting Anniversary 2-Day Blog Hop! This hop is epic with more than 70 guests and over $1,000 in sponsored prizes! Not only are we celebrating four years since I first discovered cardmaking but also crafting in general. This industry is made up of wonderful individuals who are creative, inspirational, kind, and incredibly supportive! Hop along so you can learn about why we create and how much joy it brings us!

GIVEAWAYS
In celebration of this anniversary, we have several amazing sponsors. Let’s thank them for their generosity! Winners will be randomly selected from comments left on all the blogs. The winners will be announced by Wednesday, September 5 on this page. Winners will have up to 2 weeks to contact Rubeena at ararerubycrafts@gmail.com to claim their prize before another winner is selected.

Studio Katia - $50 gift card
Hello Bluebird - $50 gift card
Altenew - $50 Gift card
Pinkfresh Studio - $30 gift card
Gina K. Designs - $50 gift card
Clearly Besotted - $35 gift card
Simon Says Stamp - $25 gift card
Spellbinders - Card Kit
Jennifer McGuire - $50 Simon Says Stamp gift card
winnie & walter - $40 gift card
Mama Elephant - $25 gift card
Hero Arts - $25 gift card
Nichol Spohr - Custom-sewn rainbow pencil case filled with brand new Spellbinders' dies
Danielle Flynn - $25 Simon Says Stamp gift card
Picket Fence Studios - four $25 gift cards

BLOG HOP

Darnell Knauss - you are here!
Maria Peters (Instagram)

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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! Please let me know you came by so I can be sure and return the flavor!

*Life is too short!

To open the pop-up comment box that let's you jump to the end w/o scrollingClick CTL + Home. Click the Home tab under my blog banner which resets the post. Click Page Down to reach the end of the post. Click Comments and a pop-up box opens. Click "Jump to Comment Form" and wallah, no more car pool tunnel! Mwah! (p.s. If you ask me a question in your comment, please remember to leave me your email address so I can respond. Thank you!)

August 23, 2018

A Solo Sunflower and a Forest of Birches

Hello Stamplings!

How's things? My goodness, we've had a sensational weather week here after another very hot weekend. I want to be outside deadheading and whacking and cutting and snipping in the yard (by the way, who knew gardening was such a violent activity?), but I'm not released yet from the doc to do that, so I guess I'll just have to spend time in the Playhouse with the windows open, making cards with the furball. Poor me. 😄

Even making cards inside, I still got to play with flowers!
I used a classic design to construct a platform for this gorgeous sunflower by Technique Tuesday. I watercolored it with my Ziggies and Hammy added winking to beat the band. You might be able to see that I offset a narrow green mat on the left side.

Challenges
Share Our Badge!RRCB 93

Twofer
On watercolor paper I washed a sky background using my Zig KGT paints. Then I stamped a trio of birch trees using a Purple Onion stamp. Then I stamped the trees again on another piece of watercolor paper, fussy-cut them, and added them to the right of the stamped image for some dementia. Then I added a tiny sediment and three tiny gems. Now what? Where's the pizzazzazz? Where's the personality? Shouldn't we have Santa? Or at least a reindeer?

Pawing through the possibilities, Hammy chose this old impish SU reindeer. He has the exact face of a fun-loving peek-a-boo playing deer! I stamped him on a snippet, colored him with my Ziggies, and fussy-cut him. Getting him to stand still with his antlers "just so" between the trees took forever, but it was all worth it! Just look at that smile! I couldn't get mad at him if I tried.
Grab ItSnippets Playground Badge

Postlogue

I was looking through my folders for something and came across photos of our stay on Galiano Island, British Columbia a few months ago. I realized I never did share them with you so I did a quick collage of shots taken from the deck of our cabin:
Isn't that view unbelievable? Ferries went through the channel (straight?) all day long until just dark and it was always a treat when they went by. The second photo from the top shows a bald eagle in the tree and - hey, look, there's that impish deer again!

And I can't believe we forgot to share this one!
We were so tickled to find that the owners had left their own little furry friend to greet us in the cabin and be a playmate for Hammy! His name was Bradley and he was so sweet and tender with Hammy, making sure he didn't hurt him when they were messing around. It was an unexpected treat on the trip!

[BTW, some of you noticed Hammy's lighter coat in the last photo of him. I was sorta hoping you wouldn't catch that because I feel awful about using too much bleach to clean him after he rolled in my smooching ink the last time. It's okay. His hamber told me it will grow in darker in no time and now Hammy knows that it's okay to roll around in Tim's inks, but not in alcoholic inks!]

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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! Please let me know you came by so I can be sure and return the flavor!

*Life is too short!

To open the pop-up comment box that let's you jump to the end w/o scrollingClick CTL + Home. Click the Home tab under my blog banner which resets the post. Click Page Down to reach the end of the post. Click Comments and a pop-up box opens. Click "Jump to Comment Form" and wallah, no more car pool tunnel! Mwah! (p.s. If you ask me a question in your comment, please remember to leave me your email address so I can respond. Thank you!)

August 20, 2018

Family is Forever!

Hello Stamplings,

I hope this finds you feeling chipper after a lovely weekend. There is nothing like the fresh laundry smell of a Monday morning with the promise of a clean slate laid out before you for the week. I can see some of you smiling and some of you gagging on your coffee because you're starting today with a visit to the dentist. Well, after that then, I hope you have a great week!

A while back I won over at Paru's Card Making Challenge and this month Paru is featuring each of the winners, as well as her featured Guest Designer, the very talented Tracey McNeely! As you will see on the challenge post, Paru shares with us that during August India celebrates the wonderful festival of Rakshabandhan to honor family and the special relationship that exists between brothers and sisters. Isn't that a fantastic idea?!

So I've made two cards to share, both celebrating that Family is Forever.

Onefer
I made the silhouette panel by combining two stamps. The overhanging tree and grass on the left is from SU. The children frolicking on the right by another group of trees is from Flourishes, called "Kids Play." The NBUS "family is forever" sediment is from Stamps of Life. I attached the panel to a card base of PTI pp. To make it more festive, I punched out a few sequints from the paper and attached them as a bit of blingaling.

Twofer
I went mono chrome all the way with this QACAS card. Besides using the same "Kids Play" stamp, I added a NBUS flock of birds from Lavinia Stamps and a "family" word die-cut from "My Creative Time" set. I am entering this card in Die Cut Divas and The Male Room.

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Thank you, Paru, for this honor! If you would like to play along with this month's challenge, you can find the challenge details HERE.
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Speaking of family, I want to let you know that Adam is almost halfway through with wearing his neck and chest brace. He is managing school with no problems. Now if the parents can just keep those two brothers from forgetting the situation and rough-housing like normal, all will be well!

Of course, I had to look up the origin of "rough-housing." It is an Americanism dating back to 1895. It is obviously formed from the words "rough" and "house." In this case rough means "to handle roughly, but with playful intent." House is tacked on because it referred to playing rough inside the house, as opposed to outdoors.

When rough-housing occurs, it is immediately followed by a parent yelling, "Take it outdoors!"

Now we know. I mean, we prolly could have figured that out for ourselves without Dr. Google's help, but now we can be sure of it.

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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! Please let me know you came by so I can be sure and return the flavor!

*Life is too short!

To open the pop-up comment box that let's you jump to the end w/o scrollingClick CTL + Home. Click the Home tab under my blog banner which resets the post. Click Page Down to reach the end of the post. Click Comments and a pop-up box opens. Click "Jump to Comment Form" and wallah, no more car pool tunnel! Mwah! (p.s. If you ask me a question in your comment, please remember to leave me your email address so I can respond. Thank you!)

August 17, 2018

My Reminder Cards for TCC #8!

Hello Stamplings!

Happy to see you whooshing in here on Friday, where I'm reminding you that we are halfway through the current Geometric challenge at Twofer Card Challenge. You have until the end of day on August 24th to play in this super fun and super challenging way to stretch your design skills!

This time I used a triangle stamp as a petticoat for a rhinoceros! Stop it, no, I didn't. (Although ...!)

This time I wanted to show you that you don't need to make your stamp or die do things you never dreamed your stamp or die could do in order to play in Twofer, so I used a triangle stamp as a - gasp - triangle stamp for both my CAS designs!
The triangle used on both cards is from PTI's Sketched Shapes.

Onefer
I needed a masculine Thinking of You card for a friend who is under the weather, so poor Hammy had to sit this one out to keep the foo-foo to a minimum. I strategically placed the triangle to represent an arrow pointing to the sediment. I underscored the sediment and added an arrow from the same stamp set to point to the YOU. A colorful plaid mat adds some cheer-up coloring.

Challenges
Cardz 4 Guyz Logo
Twofer
For my second design, I kept things rainbow colored and marched my triangle across the OLC using an acrylic block, first in one direction and then back the other way, alternating colors as I went. In order to cover up the not-so-neat edges of the stamped horizontal panel, I thinly cut and added two slices of black mirri card to either side.

Using the same shiny black, I die-cut and added the "enjoy" sediment from Penny Black and topped it off with a cupcake and candle from GKW. I also gave Hammy his own cupcake since he didn't get to go all winky on these cards.
Challenges

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If you haven't played in the current Geometric challenge at Twofer Card Challenge, I hope you'll get a chance because we'd love to see what you create! Thank you!
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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! Please let me know you came by so I can be sure and return the flavor!

*Life is too short!

To open the pop-up comment box that let's you jump to the end w/o scrollingClick CTL + Home. Click the Home tab under my blog banner which resets the post. Click Page Down to reach the end of the post. Click Comments and a pop-up box opens. Click "Jump to Comment Form" and wallah, no more car pool tunnel! Mwah! (p.s. If you ask me a question in your comment, please remember to leave me your email address so I can respond. Thank you!)

August 14, 2018

Stencil Monoprint Tipple

Hello Stamplings!

Happy Toozday! Thank you all for your kind support and prayers for our little Adam. And for me, too. We are both doing fine, considering. Now hows about you? How are you doing? I am keeping up with all your wonderful comments, which are so appreciated, but it seems like ages since I've visited and I hope to get back with everyone soon. I especially wonder how you are doing if you are in PA and points east due to the rain and flooding.

As the title suggests, ... wait. What? That title is definitely not right! It should say Stencil Monoprint TRIple which is what I achieved when I tried my hand at stencil monoprinting for the current CAS Mix Up Card Challenge. I first tried this technique at the Retreat in Vancouver and if you want to learn more about how it works, there is a list of great videos on the current CAS Mix Up blog. I didn't have a lot of success with multiple inkings at the Retreat, but this time I was able to extract three monoprints!

Here is my onefer stencil print:
For my stencil, I used a NBUS MFT Mix-Ables stencil. I inked it in the colors shown using Distress Oxides and once dry I embellished the panel with an Impression Obsession 6-n-1 scalloped frame and a NBUS Thinking of You die from Concord & 9th. Remember "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" story from your toddlerhood? Well, this monoprint is too busy to be CAS, so it's no good for the CAS Mix Up Challenge. Also, there is no stamping on it, but it is good for these fun challenges:

Snippets Playground Badge

Let's look at my twofer stencil printing:
To design a card with my second printing and to compliment the background, I used my NBUS Altenew "Dearest Friend" stamps and die, a NBUS MFT hello die, and a NBUS "there" stamp from WPlus9. The flowers were colored in pastel shades with my Ziggies and popped up in your face.

There is stamping on this card, and die-cutting, and it is less busy, but is it less busy enough to be properly CAS? Nope. But it is good for these challenges:
Share Our Badge!

And, lastly, here is my threefer printing:
To showcase this subtle background, I used a stamped and clear-embossed cone flower silhouette stamp from SU. The black is very schparkly in real life. A little love note border of Washi tape balances the design and stands in as a sediment.

There is quite a bit of white space and simplicity with this design because, remember, black or colored space can be "white," too. As long as it is free or uncluttered space, it can be any color. So, yes, this is Clean And Simple. And there is stamping. And I have a third required element of heat embossing. So this card is just right! Thank you, Goldilocks © 2018.

Here are my three printings together with the stencil.
This was truly fun! I don't often get all inky and, of course, you know Hammy loves it when I do. He will take any opportunity to color his fur, especially since the Oxies came out. The softer shades really go with his natural coloring and if I don't remember to clean him off before he goes back in his cage, he has the prettiest bedding in Hamsterdam!

Challenges:
Grab Our Badge!

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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! Please let me know you came by so I can be sure and return the flavor!

*Life is too short!

To open the pop-up comment box that let's you jump to the end w/o scrollingClick CTL + Home. Click the Home tab under my blog banner which resets the post. Click Page Down to reach the end of the post. Click Comments and a pop-up box opens. Click "Jump to Comment Form" and wallah, no more car pool tunnel! Mwah! (p.s. If you ask me a question in your comment, please remember to leave me your email address so I can respond. Thank you!)