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!

March 26, 2019

Purple Hop for Epilepsy Awareness

Hello Stamplings,

Happy Tuesday! I hope you've been well since I saw you last!

You know how I've been on a mission to use my products more than once in a sitting? Well, now I've gone the other way and I'm having a hard time knowing when to stop! Case in point is today's featured item: a die called "Clustered Leaves" from Simon Says Stamp. I had fun making four QACAS cards and to keep myself interested, I varied the colors and occasions.

Onefer
This was my first card, made for today's Purple Hop. The clustered leaves were cut from a piece of Yupo colored in wildly exotic purple shades of Lindy Magicals and then posed in front of an embossed brick wall background. The accompanying sediment is from MFT's "Label Tape." Here is a closeup of the Yupo sheen and the Lindy shimmer.
Today's Purple Day Hop was organized by my friend Fikreta to raise awareness for epilepsy. Fiki has a very informative post (and a giveaway) on her blog detailing the history of Purple Day and many of the myths surrounding this disease.

I hope you will have the opportunity to check out Fiki's blog and the blogs of the other ladies in the Hop. Most of us know someone who struggles with this disease which does not get the attention and funding it needs. 
In addition to Fiki and myself, here is a list of the other card artists participating in this Hop:

To thank you for taking the time to check out today's Hop, I also have a giveaway for those who are followers of my blog: a $25 gift card to Catherine Pooler! Whoot! Just let me know in your comment if you are interested in being in the draw. And for every name entered in the drawing, I will personally donate $2 to the Epilepsy Foundation.

Twofer
Isn't this die exquisite cut from vellum? The embossed swiss dots vellum I used here is from SU. The sediment is white heat-embossed. Here is a closeup of the pretty schparkle embedded in the red card stock which I've had for ages.
Threefer
From Christmas back to springtime! This time the background used to cut the die was made last May at Lolly's Retreat and I think it was Brushos on Yupo. The sediment is from PTI, embossed in platinum. Here is a closeup of the platinum shine:
Fourfer
I used a different Brusho on Yupo background piece for this die cut. A linen cover plate from PTI was used for the background. The hello sediment is from GKW and the thinking of you sediment is from Altenew.

Here is another view from above. Do you can see my BOO-BOO?
Oops. I hate it when that happens, but I wasn't about to risk destroying the panel to fix it. Please let me know in your comment if you're left-handed and you'd like to receive this pretty Happy Mail!

Recapitation

There are two giveaways in today's post for my followers! I'll have Hammy pick the winners in a coupla weeks on April 9th and I'll post the names in my Twofer post on April 10th. Please make sure I have your email address, so I can contact you if you win. If I can't contact you, another name will be drawn. Good luck!

~~~

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!

Challenges:
  • Purple Day Hop card: I'm entering this card in TIME OUT Challenges, where they are celebrating their 5th birthday! Congratulations! I'm also playing in Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge, where the brief is "Play With Paint." 
  • Christmas card: I'm entering this card in Ike's World Challenges, where the brief is "Clean and Simple" and in Rudolph Days, where the brief is "Anything Christmas Goes." 
  • Spring card: I am entering this in Sweet Stampers Challenge, where the brief is "Easter/Spring," and in Less Is More's "Take 3" challenge. (There is one die cut and two words; or, if you prefer, there are three blings.) 
  • Hello Beautiful card: I'm entering this card in  Crafty Cardmakers, where the brief is "For Someone Special" and Creative With Stamps, where the brief is "Friends."
  
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March 21, 2019

Clean and Simple Play Time

Hello Stamplings,

Happy Spring!! It's always nice to have you visit! There is so much going on in the world that brings us down and makes us sad. That's why it's wonderful to have this community of artists which allows us to escape from all that for a bit of time every day. I believe every card we make and send helps counteract the darkness, so it's important that we carry on doing our little bit to spread joy and kindness!

In particular, this week I was on CAS Island preparing to play in some of the many fun challenges out there. I got so mojo-juiced I not only made a Twofer, I made a mirror Threefer, so let's get started.

Onefer
Here we have a card with a base embossed using a NBUS holly e/f from Park Lane. The front panel is a photo frame die from PTI. In the photo opening is a background I made by sponging Oxies in Christmas-y reds and greens. Using a NBUS Holly stencil from Echo Park, I created the ghosted holly pattern following Lolly's video instructions on the CAS Stencil blog. The sweet deer silhouette is a die from SSS and the sediment is from GKW.

I just love that sweet deer. To me he looks like he's thinking, "Mmm. Is that freshly planted flowers I smell?" He doesn't know they are just for looking at. Plus he gets confused when he sees people eating them in restaurants, but he gets in trouble when he does it.

Challenges
  

Twofer
This card features watercoloring on vellum. I'm guessing the mum and sediment are both from Penny Black. They were first heat-embossed in platinum. The jewel-tone watercolors were DI inks applied with a barely damp waterbrush. 

I painted the back of the vellum first, but it wasn't bold enough for the look I wanted so I turned it over and also painted the front. Maybe the vibrancy depends on the opacity of the vellum used. I'm very tickled that I can cross "use opacity in a sentence" off my bucket list. The vellum sheet was attached to the card base with two old-timey brads. I'm very tickled I kept a few of those. It doesn't take a lot to very tickle me.

Challenges

Mirrored Threefer

This was a Ripley's Believe It or Not situation. The NBUS cone flower stamp and die from Joy! Crafts has been on and off my desk "in line for use" at least a half dozen times over the last six months. Apparently the universe knew they were sposed to wait for the current challenge at Sunday Stamps! You can see the sketch below. Spooky, right?! I've played in hunnerts of challenges over the years, but I don't think that's ever happened to me before! In addition to the cone flowers, I used a striped e/f for the white side and a tiny Hello label maker sediment from SSS.

The funny thing is, when I purchased these two cone flower items, I assumed the stamp and die were the same size, but when they came, I discovered the die is about a half inch smaller. That was a dilemnation for me and I stared at them with my head cocked. From the top shelf behind me, I could feel Hammy rolling his eyes. "Make two cards, _______," he said drolly, using an endearment he calls me when I'm being especially kanuckle-headed.

Challenges
  • Less is More: Take 3. (I used three techniques: one die-cut cone flower, one stamped sediment, one embossed background.)
  • Simon Says Stamp Monday: Miniature / tiny things. (Wee sediment.)
  • Sunday Stamps: Sketch. Congratulations on your 200th challenge! That's fantastic!
~~~

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!

Don't forget you've got a coupla more days to play with your balloons and enter Twofer! Please don't be deterred by the clever unconventional entries we've had. You can always use your balloons (and I know you've got 'em) in traditional ways! I'd love to see what you can do!

*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!)

March 17, 2019

Happy St. Pat's, a Balloon Bunny, and a Rad Dad!

Hello Stamplings!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! We always celebrate this holiday because my sainted MIL, Genevieve, was a hundred percent Irish, making the Mister fifty percent Irish, our son a quarter, and so on. I'm Irish by marriage. Plus, we all love corned beef dinner.

Time for my annual soda bread story: It became painful obvious early on that I was only Irish by marriage because of how my Irish Soda Bread turned out. One could use it to build a stone wall around the premises that would last for centuries. Everyone was too polite to tell me and then one year we went to my SIL's for Irish dinner and I was enlightened when she served beautiful tender soda bread. "Me, lass," I cried, "how does thee make this heavenly confection?" And, thus, I learned my recipe was wrong and it's not sposed to bake for hours and hours. Is there a dish you found out years later that you had been making wrong?

I don't always make St. Patty's cards, but yesterday I found I had the prettiest shamrock Washi tape so I had to make this:
Since it was too late to add my one Happy St. Patrick's Day sediment, I added a simple strip of a minty green sediment Washi tape which says, "Make today awesome." Now I can use this card for any March occasion. That's a Brusho background from my stash behind the sweet NBUS flower from "Floral Squares" by Pink Fresh. You might notice I'm trying to use my stash of Brusho makes, as well as my pp. I feel like I should use up what I have before I have another play with Brushos.

Challenges
~~~

Now we will return to our regularly scheduled program which was to remind you that we are at the halfway point over at Twofer Card Challenge #14 where the brief is BALLOONS.
 The balloon my reminder cards have in common is a die from MFT.

Onefer
I've used more of the beautiful DSP from Our Daily Bread, and a sediment from Paper Smooches. I used the balloon to create the body of my bunny. The head, ears, and feet are from a PTI die. The tail was shaped by Hammy. As you can see from the size of the irises, my bunny is just a wee thing.

Challenges
Twofer
Using the same balloon and some cool DSP from the pad "Hey Mister" by My Mind's Eye, I created my second design for Father's Day. The metallics look like gold and copper, but in real life it's all copper. Very QACAS and, well, RAD!

[As you can tell, I'm trying to tackle PP Mountain. Hammy and I are really chuffed whenever we manage to use something from NBUS Mountain and PP Mountain on the same card! I still get requests from some of you to start up my NBUS challenge again. I could do a NBUS/PP/LOAF Challenge. That last one is a new one I thought of and it stands for, "Loved Once and Forgotten." How often have you done that?! Wait. What? Yes, I see that: if I do a LOAF challenge, then I'll simply have to change NBUS to BUNS. I mean, right?! What would that stand for? How about, "Beautiful Unused New Schtuff?" Hmmm, ... .]

Challenges
~~~

I would love to see your two designs using the same BALLOON stamp, die, or stencil over at Twofer Card Challenge #14. You have until the end of day on March 24, 2019 to play.
Please do not be put off by the new Inlinkz sign-in requirement when you go to link your cards. You will only have to do that one time and you'll be set for all future Twofer challenges. I don't know why they had to "fix" a format that I thought worked beautifully, but I must have been gone the day they called to ask my opinion. Don't you hate it when that happens!

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Triplets now!
Both mom and dad tend the nest and feed the babies. I always thought birds regurgitated the food for the babies, but eagles just tear off a hunk of fish and give these tiny birds big pieces! That littlest guy has some catching up to do and it's hard to watch sometimes when he/she gets overlooked during feeding. But this pair at Fraser Point successfully fledged three babies in 2017 and again in 2018, so we have to trust they know what they're doing.

~~~

Thank you if you made it to the end! This was epic, even for me! 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!)
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March 14, 2019

Shiny Teacups and Baby Love x 2

Hello Stamplings!

How are you doing? I hope you're having a great week. Thank you for all your well-wishes following my last post. I am feeling a bit better and I appreciate your kind best wishes. It's a process, but it will all work out in the end.

Like so many of you, when I'm feeling meh and low on mojo juice, I turn to my favorite challenges to light a fire under my assets. There are so many challenges that spark me and Loll and Bonnie's series of CAS challenges are among them. I set to work and, sure enough, they dialed in my focus, which is just what I needed. I have one to share today.

Onefer
This design is for CAS Mix Up Card Challenge where the brief is to make a faux stained glass design. Here's a close-up so you can see the faux better:
I have to say I love the die I picked for this technique, which is Teacup Stack by Poppystamps. The bottom layer of teacups was die-cut from a Brusho background. Then the cups was die-cut another three times in white. Two white die-cuts were glued to form a stack and then I applied Glossy Accents, with Hammy's help in the tight spaces. After that dried the final white die cut was glued to the top of the stack. In one of her posts, Loll shared the tip of saving the top die cut until after you spread the gloss. That lets you get messy with glopping the gloss because then you can cover it with the top layer and everything looks crisp and clean.

The double stitched oval is from MFT and the borders are Washie tape. In order for the tape not to detract the eye from the focus pocus teacups, I folded it over the edge of the panel so only two narrow stripes are showing.

Challenges
For your blog03-19

Twofer
For years now, another favorite challenge of mine is Less is More. The current challenge is "Horoscopes." I chose Gemini so I could make a twin baby card. Did you know Gemini is represented by the twins Castor and Pollux (known as Dioscuri) who were granted shared half-immortality after the death of the mortal brother, Castor. Okay then.

The little twin onesies are from Stamplorations, paper-pieced with ancient pp. The sediment is also ancient from Paper Smooches. The hem-stitch border die is NBUS from Spellbinders. Everything is popped up with butter and salt.

Challenges
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~~~

Speaking of twins:
Every year I get completely addicted to watching various live cams provided for free at explore.org. I am particularly thrilled with the bald eagle hatches and I just found out today there are also owl cams! There are cameras at several eagle nests on The Channel Islands, California, and another nest in Decorah, Iowa. I highly recommend checking out explore.com unless, of course, you want to get anything else done!

By the way, the above nest has one more egg which might be hatching as we speak so there will be triplets in this one! (Fraser Point nest.)

~~~

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!)