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!

February 28, 2019

Wildflowers, Hardenbergia, and Polar Bears

Hello Stamplings!

The last domino of February is teetering over and if you look off to the east, you can see the first domino of March on the horizon, slowly making her way to the garden gate. And, boy, is the garden ever happy to see March coming with her galoshes and her tote filled with trowels, gloves, and little flower seedlings.

I was going to show you my Christmas card first, but after that blissful spring scene I just painted for you, I think it's only fitting that this card be my Onefer:
To watercolor these wind-swept flowers, I used Distress Ink markers directly to the stamp, spritzed the ink with a fine mist, and then stamped it on watercolor paper. The Rubbernecker stamps used are from the "Wildflowers in the Wind" set. The matching plum card base and the floral panel were stitched with my MFT die and the front panel was popped up with fun foam.

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I have often shared with you our amazing hardenbergia that blooms every February. We never cease to be amazed at how it grows every year. Now follow me with this. The photo below is from the front yard where the hardenbergia is planted. That entire expanse of purple blooms is coming from ONE plant! It was planted seven or eight years ago.
Now check this out below. 
This is the other side of the fence! We have to continually trim this side so it doesn't get too low and bring the whole fence down. Isn't it amazing?! I should have taken a photo from my dining room chair inside that window to show you how thick the bursting vine is. (You can just see my sweet crocus coming up in the garden box.)

Here is a closeup of the gorgeous purple flowers. 
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Twofer (With compassion for all of you still knee-deep in winter.)
I thought this design would be cute for my peeps with December birthdays. The adult bear and the sediment are from "Cool Day" by MFT. The fishtail banner and stitching are also from MFT. The adult bear is watching her sister's twin babies today. Both they and the north star are NBUS from "Polar Bear Fun" by Poppystamps. Even though they agreed to have their photo taken, some bears just always look shutter-shocked in photos! My cousin LeRoy is like that, too.

The DSP has embedded silver schplatts, so Hammy got the day off. Here's another view to show the silvery silver:
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!)

February 23, 2019

Friendship needs no words, but sometimes it needs Depends

Hello Stamplings,

Oh, dear, that hasn't happened for years. My whole post just went belly up and disappeared. Pfft! And I was all finished. Total operator error, I'm sure, but that doesn't give me any solace, especially since I'm not sure prezackly what I did wrong. Since everything I write is spontaneous, it's weird to start over so we'll just move on as soon as Hammy returns with my wodka. Thank you, buddy.

Okay, that's better. Here's my Onefer:
It's hard to get more QACAS than this card with no stamping on it. This lovely friendship text paper (from PTI?) is from my stash. The NBUS die cut called "Sweet Tulip" is from Simon Says Stamp. I'm tickled to say that I haven't had it on Mt. NBUS for two years like usually happens. In fact, it only arrived a few days ago! The sediment is a store-bought button, also ancient and also from my stash. I backed it with a matching stitched circle die cut.

BTW, I just found out I have a Super Power! Yup, I do. I have the uncanny ability to complete the purchase of craft items online just hours before they go on sale! It happens with different companies and this is the third time in a row that it has happened with SSS! (Don't tell the Mister.)

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Twofer
See, now the title of my post makes sense! This card is a reminder of the Best Friends challenge currently going on at Words 2 Craft By (W2CB) where I have the pleasure of being the Guest Designer this month! 

The NBUS girlfriends and the sediment are from the Art Impressions stamp set called "Laughing." It was a gift from my friend Brenda when I went to visit her last fall. (Thank you, mf!) I paper-pieced and Ziggified the girls and then I masked them in order to brush antique linen Oxi ink through a water drop stencil to make the background. The panel was then inked around the edge and adhered to the card base.

I hope you'll be able to make a friendship and/or kindness card and play along this month at W2CB

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Caught this little guy on the fence yesterday. Don't know whose yard the orange came from, but you can't blame him for stealing it. This is, after all, cold and flu season!
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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!)

February 20, 2019

Stenciling Brushos and Glittering Peace

Hello Stamplings!

I'm so nervous about the way this month is whooshing by just like January did. You guys, this has to stop. There are just way too many techniques I still have to try in my nine-inch-wide Techniques to Try binder, not to mention Mt. NBUS, which has now become Mt. NBUS I and II for reasons I'm sure I don't understand, seeing as how I resolved not to let that happen. Where's that rascal hamster?! I knew once I taught him glossification, he would soon finger out how to push that Paypal button!

But I digest. Let's move on to Show and Tell. Time's a flying.
I made this for the CAS Stencil Challenge: Powdered inks. The right side of the piece was created by sprinkling Brushos through the openings of a diamond/argyle stencil, followed by a light spray of water to activate the powdered ink. Using his nose and a nontoxic glue made from flour and water, Hammy ran a thin bead of glue along the seam and I applied a strip of colored card to finish the edge.

To keep the design clean and simple and to further enhance the movement and the diamond design, the left side was stamped diagonally with a crayon from "Smarty Pants" by Paper Smooches, which was watercoloured with Ziggies. Flowing from the crayon is a sediment from "Worm Wishes" by Reverse Confetti, stamped with a Kaleidicolor ink pad. Which magically never runs dry!

Twofer
Yay, a Christmas card! (See opening paragraph!) This design was created by smooching Oxi ink onto the corner of the card and immediately pressing glittery foil over the damp ink with an acrylic block. Harriet and I decided to try this and it was seriously that simple. The PEACE sediment is from Winnie & Walter. It was cut from fun foam and backed with silver paper. The silver looks white in the light, but the glitter foil, stars, and sediment shadow are all schparkly silver.

ETA: Oops. I'm already getting comments that this technique is not working, so I called Harriet to see if I had forgotten a step and oops, yes I did. So here's how we did it:
  1. Apply Distress Oxide Ink to where you want the foil. (Here I just pounced the pad on the corner.)
  2. Immediately sprinkle on Sticky Embossing Powder by Ranger.
  3. Use your heat gun on the powder until it becomes sticky and shiny.
  4. Cover with foil (we used Ranger Hologram foil) and press down using your acrylic block until you get the look you want.
Still easy!

Challenges
  

What's wrong with this picture?
This picture was taken at our neighborhood supermarket. The blue bins are receptacles for donating used books. We came out of the store during one of our recent rainstorms to see the rain run-off from the roof pouring onto the top of one of the book bins! By the time we took the photo, the force of the water had slowed, but I'm telling you when we first saw it, the water was just gushing out of the hole. I know we don't get a lot of rain in California and hopefully the book bins are sealed tightly, but still ...! There seems to be plenty of room to move the bins a skosh out of the way of the water. 🤷

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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!)

February 17, 2019

The Stars Come Out for Twofer and CAS WCCC!

Hello Stamplings!

I've made you a coupla reminder challenge cards for the blog today and I thought while I was at it, I'd remind you that you're low on Almond Milk. Oh, wait. I don't think we're sposed to call it that anymore since it's not really milk, you know, from mammals. So please make sure you pick up JOAN (Juice of Almond Nuts) for breakfast tomorrow.

Ready? Here we go! 
I used a Sizzix large star die on both designs and went unconventional for one of them for the Twofer Card Challenge. Conventional or unconventional, I would so love to see your two designs for two different occasions using the same STAR stamp, die, or stencil over at Twofer Card Challenge #13! You have until the end of day on February 24, 2019 to play.

Here's a closeup of my unconventional baby card:
Well, the baby card isn't unconventional, but the use of the STAR die is. I've had this adorable little baby shoe sticker in my stash since I first started stamping and the star pp is also ancient from my stash. The card is pretty self-exploratory. I used one leg of the star die for the window latch and a sweet covered dot for the knob. When the little window is opened ...
... you see a cute stamp from Papertrey Ink. Thaz it. QACAS and a little something different.

My Twofer:
My twofer design uses all the legs of the star die as well as the body, as nature intended. And since this post is also a reminder to you of the ongoing CAS Watercolour Card Challenge, I used red and pink to watercolor the white heat-embossed NBUS stamp from MFT called, "Floral Fantasy Background." I believe the die I used for my hidden letters spelling FRIEND is also from MFT. The striped paper is from my stash and the sediment is from WPlus9's "Birthday Wishes" set.

I'd like to thank the entire Design Team at CAS Watercolour Card Challenge for having me as a Guest Designer for February! I'm loving all the wonderful red and pink designs in the gallery and I hope you can join in before the challenge closes on February 24th!
 
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I'm playing in:

RRCB 104
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Epilog

I find these full frontal background stamps fascinating to heat emboss on colored card, so while I had the Floral Fantasy stamp out, I had fun embossing it in gold, silver, and platinum e/p onto various colored card. Here's a collage of some of the cards I made from my play.
You have to admit, it's very versa tile for coming up with lots of design ideas. I tried to turn each card into the light to show you the magnificent shine. These designs also allowed me to use several NBUS stamps and dies. Whoop!

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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!)

February 12, 2019

Random Act of Kindness for W2CB and Happy Valentine's Day!

Hello Stamplings!

My sympathy to all of you who are having to celebrate Valentine's Day in the middle of raging snowstorms and dangerous ice storms. I mean, on the other hand, it could be very romantic if you're snowed in and have a fireplace, maybe a hot toddy, or a little bubbly ... 💓

Today's post is all about kindness, friendship, and love. You know, like normal.

I'm delighted to be this month's Guest Designer for Words 2 Craft By (W2CB). The current challenge words are inspired by "Random Act of Kindness Day," which is celebrated annually on February 17th. They come from A. A. Milne:

   Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. "Pooh," he whispered.

   "Yes, Piglet?" Pooh replied.

   "Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw. "I just wanted to be sure of you."

When I want to make a card about friendship, I often reach for my vintage stamp, "Belinda and Bernadette the Bench Buddies" (EB224) from Stamping Bella. For the sediment, I used my NBUS stamp set, "Kind Words" from Altenew. I think both the image and the sediment are beautiful. I watercolored the card with my Ziggies.

What part did Hammy play, you ask? Sometimes he has the day off from helping with a card, but even then he is my proofreader. In this case, I turned the blog over for his review and in about one second, he piped up and asked me why I hadn't colored the butterfly? Oops. By then it was pouring down rain so I couldn't retake the photo, but I was able to color in the butterfly before I mailed it off. Thank you, Ham.

I hope you have a chance to play in this month's W2CB challenge! There are lots of options for creations that evoke kindness and/or friendship! The challenge is open from February 13 to March 6. I'll be back with a mid-challenge reminder on February 23rd.
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Twofer
Here's my VD card for you! A plain white base with a schparkly silver panel topped with another white panel with Happy Valentine's Day embossed in silver. The focus pocus is a scalloped heart from PTI cut from an alcoholic Yupo paper which has been shot through with silver foil. Harriet and I made a bunch of these delicious backgrounds in different colored AIs on a recent play date. You'll be seeing the rest of them showcased in a future post.

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Here are some other QACAS VD cards I made. I made still more, but I sent them off without photographing them.
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Update on the Mister: After taking an ambulance to the emergency room yesterday and spending all day there, Kevin is doing much, much better! They pumped him full of pain medication and steroids to the point where the sharp agonizing pain was diminished and he could stand and take steps with the aid of a walker. Hurray! That means the surgery can be postponed yet again, but we will be following up with a specialist. Thank you all for your kind comments, prayers, and positive thoughts! They mean so much to us!

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!)