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!

July 17, 2019

Summer Garden Revisited

Hello Stamplings!

I hope you are having a great week! 

My news is that as I was embossing in the Playhouse yesterday, we had a 4.3 magnitude earthquake centered just north of here. The Playhouse is tiny, so I could really feel it, but thankfully there was no damage.

It was very interesting how my brain immediately reacted ~ or rather, didn't. I quickly sat down and grabbed the edge of my glass desk for a few seconds. Yes, that's right, my glass desk! Earthquakes are not an every day occurrence so the brain is shocked and starts to operate in slow motion, a bit dazed and confused about what prezackly is happening. 

It wonders: Wait.was.that.is.that.are.we.is.this.an.earthquake?! Finally, the answer comes back YES!

So then I rapidly took action, right? I got up and moved to the doorway, being at least smart enough not to get underneath my glass desk?

No, no, not yet. Even logically knowing I should be moving, my brain is holding up its hand as if to say, let's not be hasty. Hold up a sec. Let's take a wait-and-see approach.

Of course, by now the shaking has stopped. It's at that point I get up and move to the doorway in case there is a large aftershock. Good. Good girl. 

So now we know that I'll be safe in the event of an earthquake aftershock. Not so much for those initial BIG quakes that do the most damage, but okay for those smaller aftershocks! Hammy, of course, is smarter. He immediately dove under the bookcase, watching me in disbelief.🙃

I've got no segue for that, so here are my Twofer Card Challenge GARDEN reminder cards for you! 
I used a large wildflower stamp as my common prompt element this time. Unfortunately I removed it from its packaging a few years ago and either it was unmarked or I failed to write it down. I'm thinking it might be Penny Black or Hero Arts. ETA: Thank you to Jane (Onions & Paper) for letting me know the stamp is CI-385 from Crafty Individuals.

Typing that makes me wonder how many young'uns are walking around with the name "Hero" in these modern times? Am I right? What would you want your,  um, unusual first name to be, if you had to choose one? I'm thinking the one that I have lived up to and fulfilled the most in my life would be Chocolate. Coco for short, of course. 

I was talking to the daughter of a friend of mine about this the other day and she said she feels like she's a mere commoner every morning when she does roll call for her little first graders: Pharaoh, Empress, Majesty, Judge, and Regent!

Onefer
For this design I inked my stamp directly with my markers, gave it a light spritz, and stamped it onto a subtle watercolor wash background. I then die cut the image using a circle to spotlight it on my circle-embossed card base. To balance the composition of my design, I offset an oval die stamped with a PTI birthday sediment. Hammy chose the bling-a-ding-ding.

Twofer
For my second design, I heat-embossed the garden image in black. It was so striking that I decided to leave it as is, simply adding die-cut sediments and bling and attaching it to a black card base. QACAS!

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I am enjoying seeing your beautiful GARDEN entries in Twofer Card Challenge #18 and I look forward to seeing more of you play ... and sharing your garden photos with us, too, if you like! Twofer is a fun challenge that will get your brain cells moving as you stretch your design skills! You have until the end of the day on July 24th to enter your pretty creations!
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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!)

July 15, 2019

The Back Story ~ Genevieve


As if the gale force winds weren’t bad enough, turning her favorite umbrella inside out and ruining her ponytail, now the skies had opened up and Genevieve was being splattered by giant white globs of God-knew-what.

Genevieve knew there was only one way to extricate herself from this yucky situation. She hated to use her super power right out in public, but she was never going to get there in time if she didn’t act now.

She stretched her arm straight out in front in a line parallel to her shoulder.

She stood with her legs slightly akimbo so the lines of her stockings were matching each other.

With her left arm, she slowly removed the belt from her raincoat and stood patiently until the lines of the coat hems were parallel with her blowing hair and her inside-out umbrella.

Keeping her breath as shallow as possible, Genevieve could feel herself being slowly lifted off the pavement. With every inch she rose, she shrunk. In seconds she was barely visible. 

It all happened so fast that no one noticed the little spot of red heading south, carried on the wind to save the children.


Darnell J. Knauss, Author
 Cornelia Wenokor, Illustrator
©07/15/2019
Vol. 1 Ep. 7
See The Back Stories tab above for all episodes.

July 13, 2019

Happy Birthday, Frondly

Hello Stamplings,

Happy weekend to you all! Like everyone, we are embarking on a busy time with company coming, family outings planned, and just generally enjoying the outdoors. So, short and sweet from me today, she says, as she starts out, not knowing how much of a windbag she'll be by the end.

Just the Onefer today:
I tried my hand at lifting alcoholic ink through a stencil. Hic. This one was attempt no. 38. I watched all the videos and I've seen the wonderful cards from designers and galleries and bless their hearts, the artists do make it all look so easy, don't they? After several attempts, I was happy to get this result, although the sponge was still a bit too wet. The stencil I used is a small ATC stencil made by Joggles.com. Hammy helped this time by picking the die-cut sediment from Impression Obsession.

I also tried the Alcohol Ink Lift pad technique by stamping an image on some of my AI on Yupo backgrounds, without success. It's a cool technique that allows you to pick up the ink from your background and then stamp it onto a clean piece of cardstock so you get two cards from one lift-off. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong, but I'll keep trying. I'd like to get lift-off.

Challenges
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Wait. What? No Twofer and no jokes? I don't want you to think I've been instructed by aliens, so I'll leave you with these funnies which my friend Mary shared with me a while back. Enjoy!

And 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!)

July 10, 2019

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Hello Stamplings!

How are you? I hope your week has been going great!

I was standing at the counter at a doctor's office yesterday (just routine) and they had one of those little 2019 calendars taped down on the counter to assist patients with follow-up appointments. The receptionist and I were looking ahead to December and at the very same moment we both looked up and locked eyes, horrified to realize that it was already time for them to tape down a 2020 calendar! My head spun around three times as she hissed, "I swear I just took down my Christmas decorations!"

I mean, it was really freaky how that lady and I seemed to share the same brain there for a second! (Insert snark from the hamster on my shoulder: "That poor woman!")

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Let's move on to my Twofer of summery garden cards and not look any further down the calendar for a minute. (Sorry about the odd lighting from the late afternoon photography.)
The prompt for this month's Twofer Card Challenge is "Garden." The NBUS garden stamp that my Twofer designs have in common is the pair of darling polka-dotty Wellies holding a garden bouquet. It's "Showers & Flowers" by Simon Says Stamp. 
Onefer
For this QACAS design, I simply colored the stamped image with Prismacolor pencils on Altenew parchment paper. I framed the image with a NBUS die-cut Double Stitch Scalloped Rectangle Frame from Poppystamps. It's nearly impossible to see it, but Hammy added his usual dose of winking to add schparkle to your day!

Challenges


Twofer
For this one-layer note card, I stamped the same Wellie bouquet on a card base and then I fussy cut a mask of it which had been stamped on a piece of scratch paper. With the mask in place, I over-stamped it with an old wooden stamp of a line of clay pots from Great Impressions. I also stamped an old SU grass stamp. The entire scene was then watercolored by me using my Ziggies and winked by Hammy. Lastly, I stamped the arched sediment, which I believe is also from SU.

Challenges
Grab Our Badge!
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I hope you'll find some time to create a Twofer of Garden cards! You have until the end of day on July 24th. We are sad to see Loll step down as a Designer because of her many other commitments, but she will be staying on as Administrator, thankfully. We are pleased to welcome Cat to the team as a Designer and we have two awesome Guest Designers (Kathy and Robyn) joining us! Check out what the entire creative Team has made to inspire you over on the Twofer challenge blog!

FYI

If you're interested, I thought I would share with you the underlying design layouts of my Twofer Garden cards this week:
Of course, these drawings are much nicer than the crude ones I did on the back of an envelope before making my cards, but I wanted you to see how this simple process helps me quickly determine if my design plans are distinctly different from each other before I begin to create. It also helps me think what occasions my cards will be for. Just like you, I love how Twofer challenges me every month to step outside of my comfort zone and stretch my design skills! Mwah!

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I asked in the title to see how your garden grows and I hope you'll show us in your Twofer entry post! Here's mine:
No veggie gardens any more, but we do enjoy the blooming flowers and trees. This is the view I have from my desk chair as I look out the north window of the Playhouse. Lucky me! Between the birds, squirrels, lizards, and hummers, something is always happening to distract me and the Hammeister! It's no wonder we get so behind! 

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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!)

July 6, 2019

Schparkly Dragonfly

Hello Stamplings!

The first week of July is always filled with lots of fun, celebrations, happy mail, and calories! Thank you all for the Happy Birthday wishes on the 2nd, the beautiful cards that are still pouring in, and special thanks to the ladies of the CAS Watercolor Challenge who surprised me with a tribute for my birthday! 💛 So clever and hilarious! Who knew entering the seventh decade could be so much fun?! Mwah! And then the festivities continued over the 4th of July as we got together with lifelong friends! #feelingblessed!

With all that, I haven't had the chance to make new cards. I'm afraid I also haven't had the chance to visit many of your blogs in what seems like forever. I apologize for that and hope to do better soon.

So today I am sharing a one-layer card that I started in May at the ESCR retreat
In January of this year, Lolly made and posted a card (which you can see here) using this "Oragami Dragonfly" by Carabelle Studios. I fell in love with Lolly's card and immediately purchased the dragonfly. (FYI: If you go to buy it, I noticed there are knockoffs out there with shorter wing spans so you may not get quite such a dramatic look.) I love dragonflies and I thought Lolly's image was spectacular, so I couldn't wait to CASE her. We both brought our stamps to the Retreat and she kindly took me through the steps.  (She did the same for Bonnie and you can see Bonnie's stunning Twofer dragonfly CASE here!)

Lolly created a paper towel background for her card, while I watercolor-smooched my background using mixed media paper and Distress Inks. After that, I simply followed her steps and I think it's best if I let her explain it to you as she did in her post here
I stamped the image in black and clear heat embossed.  The design is intricate, so using the black ink gives me all the details.  Heat embossing in clear sets the design.  If I used Versamark and black embossing powder, I would loose some of the detail.
I painted the image with metallic acrylic paints (green, light blue).  I used a water brush to dilute the paint as it was being added.  I stamped the image on my card front as well as on a second piece of mixed media paper.  Both were painted with the acrylics and then I used a damp paper towel to lightly swipe over top to enhance the black heat embossed lines.  The separate dragonfly was fussy-cut ... just the top wings and body.  I then added crystal glaze to the body and let it dry before adhering on top of my card front dragonfly. 
Thank you, Lolly!

Here is a closeup of my card where you can see the schparkle from the Pearl Lumiere acrylic paints and the dementia achieved from doubling up the wings. What's that, Hammy? Oh, yes, you're right, I guess it's not a one-layer card!
Challenges
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Sorry, Dear!

Since we've reached our twilight years, there's never a dull moment around here. The Mister and I now seem to be in a competition to see who can do the dumbest thing. I did this with my car:
Oops.

So what happened was, the Mister walked one of his bikes out to the street to wash it. It was parked perpendicular to the curb with the front end jutting just a bit out into the street to give him room to walk around while washing it. 

Enter me, stage left. I had to rush out to a hair appointment. The Mister went into the house for something, stopping first to say goodbye to me. In that three seconds, I totally forgot the bike was even parked there. I backed my car out of the driveway as usual, cutting the wheel as I always do to avoid backing into the neighbor's car across the street. I was startled when I felt a bump and heard a loud thump. I quickly looked in my passenger side mirror just in time to see The Mister's pretty bike do a bit of a bounce. *&^*%!

Enter The Mister flying out of the house, his face the picture of abject horror. 😨 I sped away to my appointment, pretending I hadn't seen it.

Ah, c'mon. I'm kidding. I parked and got out to soothe him. Fortunately, my angels were watching over me because there was no damage done except for a tiny plastic part that's easy to replace. Phew!

Before you feel too sorry for him and his bike, however, here's the competitive part I was talking about. A month ago The Mister had another bike parked in the street. Getting in the truck, he proceeded to back up the truck and trailer in order to park it. He inched closer and closer to his parked bike because he didn't want to block our driveway with his truck. A little closer. That's it, just a lit -... thud! Oops. Too close! 

So we can each check "backing into our own vehicles" off our Bucket List of Dumb Schtuff To Do. We're even on that one, except it's funny how he didn't take a picture when he did it! 

I wonder what we'll do next?! Stay tuned! 😏

~~~

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!)

July 1, 2019

The Back Story ~ Raven

Raven gasped when she saw her reflection in the full-length mirror. When she won the gift certificate for the new Trend on Trent clothing store in the Aviary Mall, she went begrudgingly. 

Raven was a widow and after 43 successful hatches, she had let herself go. Her feathers had thinned to the point where she was cold all the time and she could no longer fly. Her legs had lost their scaliness, and her claws were no longer shiny and sharp.

But yesterday all that changed when she gathered all that remained of her courage and headed for the mall to spend the gift. Now, looking at herself, she was so glad she had been brave. The beautiful scarf and leggings were warm and soft and the bright red tennies made her feel younger than she had in years.

When she walked home, her feet comfortable in her fancy new shoes, Raven could feel the admiring looks. She giggled inside as she stood straighter, stretching out her tail feathers and showing off her courage for all the world to see.

Darnell J. Knauss, Author
 Cornelia Wenokor, Illustrator

©07/01/2019
Vol. 1 Ep. 6
See The Back Stories tab above for all episodes.

June 27, 2019

Air-Blown Thanks and Two Oddballs

Hello Stamplings!

What DAY is it?! Have you ever had one of those weeks with unexpected events that make the week seem like it's two weeks long? I'm having one of those weeks. But it sure started out nice as we wrapped up a terrific long weekend with Adam and Henry and Duke and Jack. The weekend's photo, however, features the Mister in all his glory*!

But first, I want to share these alcoholic backgrounds I made recently using a can of air.
There are talented artists out there who make the most sensational flowers and other art using their cans of air! I am not going to be one of them. It requires much, much, much practice, but I had fun playing and loved the results.

I used several of them to make thank you cards using vellum and a thank you sediment embossed in platinum and simply stapled to the panels. 
I still have a couple of the backgrounds I haven't used and Hammy spends hours staring at the imaginary critters he sees in the colors!

Twofer
I recently saw this Stampingbella "Oddball Boy Elf" on someone's blog (sorry, I can't remember whose it was) and I had to immediately open a new window and order it. Haha, that conjures up a funny image, doesn't it? The day will prolly come when I can just open my Playhouse window and a drone will pull up, take my order, zoom off, and return a half hour later with my item!

Anyways, normally my NBUS sits on Mt. NBUS for a few months or years before it sees ink, but not this goofy elf! I used my Ziggies and Artezas to color him. Hammy winked his shoes and knit cap and I added a piece of Washi tape to ground him. Please don't mention his eye condition. He's very sensitive. And the odd color of the candy cane which is normally red/white or green/white? Why, i's chocolate!

The sediment comes with the elf. I may or may not have partaken of some spirits of my own before stamping it a schmidge too close to the edge. Hic.

Challenges
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*Another Oddball!
Fact: Guys who go to county fairs turn into adolescents and eat all the garbage food they can get their hands on! This particular treat is a foot-long hot dog wrapped in a corkscrewed raw potato and then the whole thing is deep-fried. Disgusting. Even the twins were disgusted. The man has an iron stomach. And before you ask, yes, he had a sore jaw for three days. If we were on the Tweeter platform, I'll bet he would go viral. #viralspiral!

~~~

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!)

June 22, 2019

Schparkly Wishes

Hello Stamplings!

Welcome to the weekend and the second day of summer for those in this spherical part of the world! I hope those of you slogging through weeks of rain get some relief soon.

The handsome grandtwins arrived yesterday for a four-day stay and they brought the granddogs with them, so when you include The Mister and Hammy, that's a whole boatload of Testosterone going on! We're off to the County Fair and the horse races today, so let's get toit.

Onefer
I borrowed a stencil and made this card front at ESCR 2019. The talented Lolly taught us how to use Pearl Ex powders through a stencil. In order for the Pearl Ex to stick to your card, you Versamark your image through the stencil and then pour on a heat and stick embossing powder, which you then heat set until the powder melts. Then you brush on the Pearl Ex and heat set it again to make sure the Pearl Ex sticks to the heat and stick layer. It's fun to watch the magic happen!

Once home I added the sediment from Simon Says, added some Brilliance gold speckles, and attached the panel to a white card base.

Challenges


Twofer
Next is a QACAS card made with a DSP panel (bordered with a lime green panel) and a die cut present from Avery Elle's "Holiday Glass" set which I colored with my Ziggies and popped up on the card. Simples, but not nearly schparkly enough, so Hammy took care of that! Good boy!
Challenges

Snippets Playground Badge
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Witness Protection or What?
I found the photo I was talking about in my last post. If you look closely, you can see that he has both hands covering the side of his face and he remained that way as the waitress took a few minutes to take three photos! It's been fun reading your comments about what you think his story is! What shall we call him? Floyd? Peter?

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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!)