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!

September 17, 2019

New Critters!

Hello Stamplings!

How are you? Did your weather cooperate so you could enjoy that Harvest Moon? It was spooktacular here. I say that because when I headed for the Big House to go to bed Saturday night, I walked around the corner of the Playhouse to get out from under the trees for a clear view of the moon. That's when I experienced what many of us have nightmares about: I walked smack dab into a spider web!

Turns out this plump old woman can jump pretty high when the spirit moves her. In fact, my spirit moved right out of my body there for a second and I'm sure the neighbors wondered what kind of wild animal made that ear-piercing yelp in the night!

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Speaking of wild animals, we are halfway through the CRITTERS Twofer Card Challenge, so I have my reminder cards for you.
Hammy chose to be used as the critter on the reminder cards rather than as the opening act on the 10th. But is this Hammy? Or Hammy's friends? Or is it a gerbil masquerading as a hamster? We aren't sure, but he is part of a delightful stamp set I received from my friend Jane, called "Precious Pets 2" by The Card Hut. 
Onefer
For this simple CAS design, I used a circular loopy e/f and a hamster wheel from the "Wheelie Like You" set by Lawn Fawn. This guy is having a moment and things aren't going shackityzam right now. He's overturned the hamster wheel and gotten himself stuck in the middle! But that's all right. The NBUS sediment from "Positive Thoughts" by Precious Remembrance reminds him that challenges make us stronger!

Challenges
Blog Badge

Twofer
For my second design I masked and stacked my CRITTERS and repeated my sediment so Jane knows just how much how much how much how much how much how much I love her gift! I don't have the packaging for the sediment. Hammy carefully picked out and assigned all the pairs of googly eyes to match each personality. 

Challenges

CHALLENGE #84 - MAKE IT FUNNY  
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Here are the design layouts of my two cards so you can see how they differ when stripped of all their bits and pieces.

I love all the amazing and fun CRITTERS that are already in the Twofer Card Challenge gallery this month and I can't wait to see what you add!! You have until the end of the day on September 24th to play along!

Surprise ~ Meet Nellie!

One day you don't have a Bichon Coton de Tulear and the next day you do!
Not only do we sorta share the same name, but don't you think we fit the saying that "all dogs and their owners look alike?" I mean, just look at that shaggy hair, beautiful face, and amazing fun-loving smile! And the dog is darling, too!

What happened was my sister-in-law Nina made a promise to a dear friend a year ago that she would find Nellie a good home and she did just that. But then life intervened and that home didn't work out after all. I'm pickled tink that we could come to the rescue because Nellie is the sweetest dog ever! Even though she is eight years old, she immediately settled in like she's been with us since she was a puppy! 

And not to worry, Hammy's delighted with her, too, especially after I reassured him that Nellie will never take over his duties as my faithful assistant!

~~~

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!)

September 15, 2019

Eunice

Eunice loved performing at birthday parties for the little kids. They were always delighted with her performance and clapped like little maniacs. She hated the fact that she had only been allowed to perform at adult parties since that incident in 2015 outside of Chicago. 

Since that time, Eunice had made it through her probation, done her community service, and sought medical help. Her psychiatrist and her veterinarian had determined that Eunice could not tolerate the sugar in the cupcake she devoured at the end of her performance. In order for the show to go on, a sugar-free gluten-free recipe had been developed and Eunice was now performing to the high standards of the Association of Hula Hooping Holsteins of America.

Even so, no one had hired her for a child's party until today, and that was only because Paulette had gotten sick. Eunice sat patiently waiting for the excited children to quiet down so the lights could be dimmed and the curtain raised. 

Her candle headband was in place and her special giant cupcake was by her side. She glanced over at the frosting to see if the honoree was a boy or a girl. And she gasped.

Eunice could feel her udders shudder and her heart started banging around in her chest. Her bulging eyes locked on the target. You see, Eunice knew something that none of the specialists had ever suspected. It wasn't the sugar in the cupcake and the frosting that was her trigger, it was the cherry. And a cherry was only added to the top of the cupcake at a child’s party. 

As the curtain started to rise, Eunice's tongue slipped out between her lips.

Darnell J. Knauss, Author 
Cornelia Wenoker, Illustrator

©09/15/2019
Vol. 1 Ep. 12
*Not for publication in any children's book.

September 10, 2019

Pandalicious!

Hello Stamplings!

Good day! Everything seems a bit calm around the world today. You know how you don't even realize you're holding your breath until things calm down. My thoughts and prayers are with all those suffering the impact of Dorian. There are lots of reputable places to make donations and some of the stamp companies are even donating part of their sales to the relief efforts in the Bahamas. Every little bit helps when entire communities have been decimated.

How about something that will make you smile?
It's the 10th of the month so it's time for a new Twofer Card Challenge and this time the prompt word is CRITTERS! The roly-poly panda critter my twofer cards have in common is from Fiskars "Day at the Zoo" set. My two occasions are Thinking of You and Get Well. Thoughtfulness was on my mind when I made these Twofers because a lot of my friends are going through tough times right now. 
Onefer
The sediment is from Concord & 9ths "You're My Person" set. The scalloped frame is from Impression Obsession. I made a few more OLC QACAS versions of this design while I was at it. It's very simple design, but it will definitely make the recipients feel thought about and loved.

Challenges
Twofer
Hmm, now that I see this design on my monitor, I'm a bit worried my friend will feel like I'm screaming at her. GET WELL!! NOW!! Can you imagine anyone yelling at a sick person?! Okay, maybe I would. But if I did, it would come from a place of love. 

The truth is, I love the font of this NBUS sediment set from Ranger (Letter It). The background was made with a NBUS Mini Bamboo stencil from Crafter's Workshop. The NBUS little baby panda who's feeling sniffly is from "Panda Can't Even" by The Ton. 

And that's it. Pandalicious!

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Just FYI, I did a coupla quick sketches if you'd like to see the underlying very different designs of my Twofer makes:
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Join Us!

The dictionary defines "critter" as any "living creature!"

Detailed information can be found at the Twofer Card Challenge, as well as fantastic inspiration from our very talented Guest Designer Nora and the entire Design Team who work very hard to enthusiate you! 

With limitless choices from ants to zebras, I anticipate a huge turnout in the gallery and I can't wait to see what you create! Here are a few critter ideas:
πŸΉπŸ­πŸΊπŸ»πŸΌπŸ·πŸ˜ΊπŸ¨πŸ—πŸ‚πŸƒπŸ„πŸ…πŸ†πŸ€
πŸ‡πŸˆπŸ‰πŸŠπŸ‹πŸŒπŸπŸŽπŸπŸπŸ‘πŸ’πŸ“πŸ”πŸ•πŸ–
πŸ˜πŸ™πŸ›πŸœπŸπŸžπŸŸπŸ’πŸ¦πŸ§πŸ©πŸͺ🐫🐬🐹
You'll notice somebody was at the head of the line and ran around to the back so he could be featured twice!

~~~

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!)

September 5, 2019

It Feels Like It Was Just Yesterday!

Hello Stamplings!

How have you bean? It seems like forever since I've seen you. Last week I shut down the computer for four days, opened a box of Get 'er Done and Hammy and I made 73 card fronts from beautiful pp I've been hoarding. The kind of beautiful watercolored pp that just needs a sediment and maybe a bit of bling, but not too much because the paper itself is the star of the card.

Each one took very little time to do once we got a rhythm going and I'm sure it will take longer to finish them off as cards! But we'll do it little by little, lit by the euphoria of filling the stash box and having accomplished something that's been on the Todo List for ages!

Speaking of ages, today we are celebrating longevity, sticktoitiveness, and contentment. My card:
I used an MFT photo booth frame. Both the young couple and the old couple are stamps by Penny Black. The beer is NBUS from Tim Holtz. I watercolored the images with my Ziggies, ahem, after I inserted them in the frames. Slap! The sediment is from Paper Smooches. I believe the numbers are from PTI. 

This is a surprise card I made for The Mister to celebrate the fact that we met 50 years ago on September 5, 1969. We met at a kegger in the woods. A kegger is a gathering of college and working kids to eat junk food and drink a keg of beer. Hence the beer image! While our meeting that day was brief, it was very memorable. It took me two more weeks to catch him become his steady  girlfriend and we married a year and three months later.

Challenges
Cardz 4 Guyz Logo  
Snippets Playground Badge
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I used the photo booth frame for my card because we had this photo booth picture taken shortly after we met when we were 20 years old. We adulted early in those days.
And here we are today ... I love this guy and he just gets handsomer!
Fifty years, fifty pounds, and fifty million laughs later and we still fancy each other quite a lot! We feel very blessed. 

What's that? The secret? An attitude of gratitude and consideration. We've never stopping saying please and thank you. And, most importantly, separate bathrooms!

~~~

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!)

September 1, 2019

The Horse With No Neigh

Hazel sat forlornly gazing at the barn door. The inside was clearly visible, well-lit with hundreds of twinkling yellow lights. She could see her friends laughing, dancing, and enjoying themselves. It made her wince with jealousy. Hazel's Aunt had spent hours encouraging her to overcome her painful shyness. They had practiced karaoke for weeks until Hazel knew every word by heart. It was through song that Hazel had finally found her neigh.

To ensure that Hazel would not lose her newfound self-confidence, her Aunt had made Hazel a beautiful rainbow sweater and an encouraging sign to hang in her stall. "I'm a rainbow sprinkle in a vanilla world," it said. Hazel must have read those words a million times, but now she sat miserable and alone, her eyes red-rimmed from her tears.

During all their hours of practice, neither Hazel nor her Aunt could imagine that on the night of this special annual winter event, the karaoke machine would not be working. When she realized it, Hazel turned sharply and trotted out the door to the farthest pasture where she could still see what was happening.

As the night grew colder, Hazel found herself in a bit of a trance staring at the yellow twinkling lights. Then softly she began to hear her Aunt's voice in her head. One by one, her Aunt sang every song they had practiced. After she had sung them all, her Aunt whispered, "Go back, Hazel. I'll be your karaoke machine! Show them you are not the horse with no neigh!"

Hazel felt a sudden warmth flowing through her veins. She drew in a deep breath and pushed herself to her feet as the cold air steamed from her nostrils. Hazel straightened her beautiful sweater, threw back her mane, and galloped towards the lights in the barn.


Darnell J. Knauss, Author
Cornelia Wenokor, Illustrator
©09/01/2019
Vol. 1 Ep. 11

August 25, 2019

Poppies and Peanut

Hello Stamplings!

My last post of this month. We are in for another heat wave starting tomorrow so we're flying up to Alaska for a few days. Just kidding. But wouldn't that be awesome? When people are asked what material thing they would wish for if they only got one wish, I never hear anybody say private jet. That would be my choice. Of course, it would go without saying that the hangar rental and costs of operation and pilot would be included. Of course.

Now that we've snapped out of my daydream, here are my cards. I know you weren't expecting another Fourfer after my last post, but it snot really. I consider these first three one-layer cards to be all together as a Onefer.

Poppy: Concord & 9th. Stencil: Funky Fossil Designs
Poppy: Penny Black 40-320. Stencil: Balzer Designs Mini Tiny Circles
Poppy: Penny Black 40-375. Stencil: Dylusions
Do you think maybe I love poppies? I have several more poppy stamps, but I ran out of time to make cards with all of them. I've painted them all with my Ziggies and now that Hammy is back home, he loved liberally winking them all. I used fossilized amber and antique linen Oxies through various background stencils to add a certain Jenny Say Quah to each one.

Challenges
  • Card No. 1 "Lots of Hugs" is playing in the "One-Layer Card Using Stencils" challenge over at Less is More.
  • Card No. 2 "Happy Birthday" is playing in the August Penny Black Saturday Challenge where the brief is "Anything goes with the option of water and/or watercoloring."
  • Card No. 3 "Enjoy" is playing in the "Use Your Favorite Flower" challenge over at The Flower Challenge, just as the doors are closing.
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Twofer
For this Chrissie card, I used two different Penny Black sets. The tree is from "Jolly Friends 30-058" and the NBUS doggie (nicknamed "Peanut" by Hammy) is from "Merry Delight 30-448." The sediment is from PTI. The wonky dies are from MFT. Peanut comes with a die, so naturally I had to levitate him to show how becited he is that the glittery foam star on the top of the tree matches his collar! This design was pretty quick and fits any age or gender, so I think I'll be making a few more of these.

Challenges

Please do grab our logo to display on your own 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!)

August 23, 2019

Through the Seasons

Hello Stamplings!

How's your week going? I know I've been posting a lot this past week, but because of a busy first half of the month, everything card-related got pushed and now I'm up against some challenges closing so I've got a Fourfer for you. Ah, that was sweet of you not to groan.

I promise I'll be quick, but I'll wait a sec if you want to get a drink and put that lumbar pillow behind your back. Doe a deer, a female deer, re, a drop of golden sun, mi, a name ... oh, hi. I was just humming while I waited for you.

Here we go!

Onefer
I've used NBUS butterflies from Memory Box cut from a watercolor background for this design. The dies are called "Drifting Side Butterfly" and "Flitter Side Butterfly." 

Challenges

Help yourself to our buddy button

Twofer
I liked it so much, I made a few more of these colorful butterfly designs. For this one, I added gems and a birthday sediment.

Challenges

Our blog badgeSnippets Playground Badge
Threefer
I made this simple design using a plaid stencil and a bottle of NBUS Wendy Vecchi Pearl Mica Spray. I am intrigued that the Pearl spray appears silver when sprayed on the black. The stencil is "Tim Holtz Layering Stencil Plaid THS097."

Challenges
For your blog

By the way, the shimmer is amazing in reality:
After spraying the stencil inside a big box, I quickly flipped it over onto another piece of black card and was able to get another shimmery panel. It's lighter, of course, but still visible enough to grow up to be a card some day.
I have to say that was fun. I've had this spray for ages and never used it. I have occasionally tried other sprays in the past without much success. I really appreciate the CAS stable of challenges for inspiring me to step outside - literally - and try new things! 

Here's a tip I saw on a blog (I'm sorry I didn't note which one): When you spray, don't point the spray at the paper. Lay a big box on its side and place the paper flat on the side that is now the floor of the box. Then, instead of pointing your nozzle at the paper, point it at the back of the box and you'll get lovely coverage just from the falling mist and there won't be much piddling. It worked for me. (I hope it wasn't just a spray manufacturer telling us to do it this way! 😏)

Fourfer
This is another card panel I made at the 2019 ESCR. The card is glossy black and the embossed snowflakes were made by pushing a glittery paste through a snowflake stencil. Again, very schparkly in real life between the glossy card and the glitter in the paste. I used Nancy's technique where you cut strips out of the image panel for a little extra interest. I think the sediment is from PTI?

Challenges
 SPREAD THE MERRY LITTLE LOVE AND GRAB A BADGE!
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Thank you for making it to the end! I try to only do two cards per post because I know it's hard to remember them by the time you get to the end. Oh, and before you ask why I didn't mention Hammy's help with these, he is away at the annual hamster convention in Bellingham WA in honor of Mr. Saddlebags.

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!)