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!

November 15, 2018

Metallica Thanksgiving and Christmas

Hello Stamplings!

This is the time of year when we get out all our gold and silver papers and embossing powders and utensils. Who actually has a sterling silver service that they bring out for special occasions? Or are you modern and you use Great-Grandma's set for everyday?

I never had any of that, although I do have the Mister's grandmother's small teapot in the bookshelf, which I polish now and then. Mostly then. Now is spent playing with those papers and powders I mentioned.

Like this. 
Just to be different, haha, I made two of them.
Uber QACAS design again because, you know, time. Prolly you will be seeing uber short posts (short by my standards) from me for the next month for the same reason. The sediment is NBUS from Lawn Fawn and the leaves are from Concord & 9th.

Challenges
Grab Our Blinky!
Christmas wants to shine, too, you know!
I received the snowflake frame from Lolly recently so instead of putting it away, I came up with the novel idea (for me) of immediately making a card with it, all golden and delicious! The sediment is from MFT. I think. And lest you think Hammy did nothing to help with these cards, you're right. He's off this week with the family celebrating an early Thanksgiving!

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!)

November 13, 2018

2018 Twelve Tags of Christmas With Loll and Friends!

Hello Stamplings!

I hope this finds you enjoying the week! Yesterday was Veteran's Day: a wonderful day to reflect and thank all the men and women who have served the country during times of war and peace and to thank their families for all the sacrifices they have made. Thank you!

Today is my day to appear as a Guest Designer for my friend Lolly's inspiring annual Christmas tag event: Twelve Tags of Christmas With Loll and Friends. This will be the final year and I want to thank Lolly for putting this event together every year for five years! I have found lots of beautiful tag inspiration in the galleries over the years!

Here is my tag for Day Nine:
I actually made the tag background in May at our Vancouver retreat. Christine is lucky enough to live near a paper factory and we all reaped the benefits of that! There were a lot of tags for us to play with and we decided to slap them around in some spritzed Lindy Magicals. We were very pleased at how beautifully the non-watercolor paper tags soaked up the powdered ink!

To make my tag, I added two whimsical die-cut Christmas trees made from a "Small Snow Covered Tree" die by Dee's Distinctively Dies. I had to buy this die as soon as I saw it last summer on Bonnie's blog. I cut the trees from a schparkly snowy paper, but you'll have to take my word for that. Hammy inserted a foam dot between the layers to give them some dementia. The white heat-embossed Christmas sediment is from PTI and the shimmery fluffy bow is from a roll I've had since the twins were babies.

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Thank you, Lolly, for having me as one of your Guest Designers. It's been fun!
I hope you'll be able to join in the Twelve Tags of Christmas With Loll and Friends! There are prizes! Below is a recap of all the information you need!
 Challenges Dates:
  • Inspiration Tags posted Nov. 5 - 16.
  • Linky open for entries Nov. 5 - 23.
  • Top Tags posted Nov. 30.
Rules: 
  • Make a Mixed Media or CAS Mixed Media Christmas tag. (Include stamping plus two mixed media elements.)
  • Include a link to Twelve Tags challenge in your write-up.
  • Add your entry with the linky tool on Loll's blog.
  • Enter as many times as you'd like, new entries only please.
Prizes:
  • Winning Tag - $50 Gift Certificate for Simon Says Stamp.
  • Random Draw + Top Three Tags: $25 Gift Certificate each 
    for Simon Says Stamp.
~~~

Fires

It was a pleasure bringing you a cold and icy tag today to take my mind off the fact that so much of California is burning again. All these years of drought are really being felt as over 117,000 acres have burned in this latest fire which is only 30% contained. Over 7,000 structures have gone up in flames, most of them homes. An entire town of 26,000 people is in ashes. To date, 42 people have died, and over 200 are still missing. It's beyond sad, but it's also a miracle more people didn't die as the fire was traveling the length of a football field every three seconds! Horrifying!

Thank you to all the brave firefighters who are putting their lives on the line to save as many homes and as much property as they can. We pray for their safety as they work 24-hour shifts. Many of them have lost their own homes, but they work on, trying to save the homes of others.

We are five days into it and the smoke is still at an unhealthy level throughout the Bay Area (where we are), which is 180 miles away from the center of the inferno! And there are two other deadly fires currently raging near Los Angeles. It is all very scary and it reminds us once again how life can change in an instant. It reminds me to tell you how much I appreciate you! Mwah!

Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy! LITS!*


*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!)

November 10, 2018

Making Cards With Wreaths

Hello Stamplings!

I know that was a lot of leaves to rake up, but you did it and now you deserve that hot toddy and some time online to relax! If you are one of the lucky ones who got snow which made it impossible to rake up the leaves, you can have a hot toddy, too, because, you know, snow!

It's the tenth of the month and time for another Twofer Card Challenge. The prompt this month is WREATH!

I just realized that the title of this post makes it sound like I made my cards from deconstructed wreaths, lol! Nope, I didn't. I just used normal papers and crafty schtuff for these inspirations for you:
The stamp I have chosen is from Stacy Stamps.

Onefer
For my first design, I went UBERQACAS and made a Christmas card. A simple square layout with the wreath stamp white heat-embossed in the center and bedecked with red Nuvo berries. The sediment is from GKW. It took longer drying the drops then it did to make the card! And I had to put Hammy in his cage because he kept walking over to try and eat the berries!

Twofer
The really challenging part of the challenge this month is thinking of a non-holiday occasion for the second wreath design! For my second design, I made a front door on a new home card to congratulate a friend who is retiring and moving.

Besides that gorgeous wreath, the star of the show is that warm and rustic wood-grain pp that I've had since there were bushes in the White House. I heat-embossed the wreath in copper and found a use for some of the hundreds of little pearls I have in my Embellie Cupboard. The sweet little String Ribbon Bow, a gift from my friend Jeanne, is from Poppystamps. The sediment is from Paper Smooches.

Challenges
Blog Badge
~~~

I hope you are inspired! If you're like me, you have lots of wreath stamps ~ and not just in your Christmas supplies. I can't wait to see which of your wreath stamps or dies you use to create two different designs for two different occasions! 
Over at the Twofer Card Challenge blog, you will find lots more incredible inspiration from our very talented Design Team and our two Guest Designers, Carol (Our Little Inspirations) and Sybrina (Chapter Three)!  Mwah!

~~~

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!

Thank you to everyone who has emailed with concern for us because of the latest rash of fires in California. We are fine except for the very thick smoke, smell, and ash from the closest fire, but many people are not. Please remember them in your prayers and donate to the Red Cross if you are able. Thank you!

*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!)

November 7, 2018

Magical Watercolored Holly

Hello Stamplings!

It's the middle of the week and the laundry is done, the ironing has been misted with water and rolled up in the basket, and the bread is warming on the sideboard. Annette is sitting at her desk using a newly-invented ballpoint pen to write out a few Christmas cards to send to her elderly aunts in the Poconos. Her little daughter is standing by ready to lick the three-cent stamps and stick them on the envelopes.

And that, my friends, was a visual of life in 1948. Fast forward 70 years and what does your day look like? Yes, the laundry is done, but most of us haven't ironed in years, nor made bread, and a postage stamp is fifty cents. Too bad about the bread bit because there's nothing better than a piece of freshly-made warm bread slathered with real butter. Oh, sorry, I didn't mean to get drool on your screen. Here, let me wipe that up.

In spite of our modern day fast-paced texting technology, there are still a number of us who make and send Christmas cards for no other reason than the joy they bring to someone we care about. In the Playhouse workshop, we've got holly on the menu today, not just once ...
... but twice!
I used a new-to-me technique on these cards that Loll presented on her Powdered Inks With Versamark post recently. She found the technique on the Magenta blog here and now I'm passing it on to those of you who didn't see it on either of their blogs. Gotta love this sharing community in Blogland! I couldn't wait to use this NBUS Penny Black "Holly Sprig" stamp to CASE Loll's card. Okay, well, if you want to get technical about it, I shamelessly COPY'd Loll's card! Like her, I kept the cards QACAS by simply adding a sediment and splatters. 

As Loll explained, you basically ink up your silhouette stamp with Versamark and brush on your powdered ink crystals with a damp paintbrush. (Brushos work well, but I used Lindy's Magicals.) Then you spritz your stamp lightly and stamp onto either watercolor or mixed media paper. The Versamark makes the powder stick to the stamp and using very little water keeps the colors vibrant.

I love the organic feel of this technique, especially on leaves. The only touchup I did with the damp brush was to round out the berries a bit. The Lindy's have their own built-in winking, so instead, Hammy jumped on a paintbrush dipped first in diluted Magicals and second in glitter gold to create the splatters. Yes, that's right, he'll be schparkly until Easter, but we don't mind.

I loved the technique so much using this beautiful holly stamp that I stamped/stamped off several of them:
Challenges

Card one:
Card two:
 I Am A Participant 
Grab our Badge! 
~~~

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!)

November 4, 2018

Vestige of Fall

Hello Stamplings!

Everyone's exclaiming about the fact that it's November even though we know full well it follows October which follows September and the rest of the months, which are all stacked up like dominoes slamming into each other likity-split. As if unexpectedly. I do it, too, proclaiming, "Well, would you look at that!"

The mad dash for Christmas starts in full force, but here in American we have a well-loved Thanksgiving tradition smack in the middle of the mayhem, which makes fall last a few more weeks. So I'm here with a coupla more fall cards and then it will prolly be all Christmas all the time.

Onefer.
When I was in Wisconsin, I was fortunate to stop in at the Gina K. store with my buddies. The leaf you see as the kindness place-card holder is from Gina's Stitched Leaves set which I Ziggified. I borrowed the background stencil from Brenda in Indiana and had a go at it with my Clarity brushes. The sediment is from GKW.

Challenges

Twofer.
The background on this card is a leafy stencil monoprint I made last May with Lindy's Magicals. The leaves are dies from the same Gina K. "Stitched Leaves" set and the pierced fish-tail banner is from Avery Elle. 

Here is a closeup, but I'm not sure if it really shows the beautiful shimmer of the card IRL. Hammy is sulking because these powdered inks are, well, magical in how much they schparkle so no winking is necessary. No, don't even look at him. He'll be fine by tomorrow.
Challenges
Snippets Playground Badge

Threefer.
Finally, real quick, here is a watercolored card for my lake house friends with a friendship tree from Hero Arts and a sweet cabin from a NBUS Newton's Nook set. 

Challenges
For your blog
~~~


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!)