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!

April 23, 2019

Pasted Butterflies and a Happy Little Elf

Hello Stamplings!

Another holiday under our belts ... literally! 🐷 Listen, here's my thinking. The world needs some of us round people for all the slim people to hide behind when the bad guys show up. You're welcome. I'm here to help.

Seriously, tho, we had a wonderful time ... a beautiful sunny day, a fun Easter egg hunt, and family and friends who gathered to enjoy a delicious meal and conversation. I hope you enjoyed your weekend, too, however you spent it!

Yesterday, I relaxed and got crafty in the Playhouse with Hammy.

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And look I pasted through a stencil! I haven't done that since last May when I was at Loll's craft retreat in Vancouver and I was instantly reminded how fun it is! I mixed Dreamweaver Pearlescent Embossing Paste with a bit of peachy Art Alchemy Sparks Butterfly Spells and passed it through a Stampendous butterfly stencil. The large schparkly butterfly was fussy-cut from a pretty piece of pp. The gold glitter-embossed sediment is from Concord & 9th.

Here is a photo taken at an angle so you can better see the shimmer and schparkle:
Even at that, the photo doesn't do justice to the raised dimension of the butterflies. Embossing paste is super fun and the results are hugely satisfying!

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Sorry, I should have warned you to switch over to your darker sunglasses for this bright pink Christmas card! We begin with a textured card base embossed with Swiss dots*. The two pink frames are from Impression Obsession. The banner and sediment and striped pp are from PTI.

The elf from Hero Arts was cut once from white card and stamped and then cut again from the striped paper. Then the tunic and hat were paper-pieced from the striped paper. All the other areas of the elf were then colored with Ziggies and the elf was set back into the die cut. As a final touch, Hammy glittered the hat brim and puff ball with snow.

*Paper style mimics fabric of the same name. The design is said to have originated around 1750 in St. Gallen, Switzerland, which emerged as a textile center in the 15th century.

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Papa and the grandtwins and Duke went on one of their local hikes. As is traditional, Papa stopped at the local Donut Wheel to get everyone donuts before driving to the trailhead. After they hiked to the trail summit, they enjoyed their donuts and Papa made them smile for a photo.
You can see the remnants of their sugar donuts around their mouths ~ especially Henry's. (Can you imagine a teenage girl sitting there for a photo oblivious to sugar crumbs on her face?! 🤣) And speaking of oblivious, what really karacks me up is Duke. If you look closely, his nose is practically touching that chocolate donut left laying on the bench between the boys. Did he get it?

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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!)

April 21, 2019

Happy Easter!

Happy Passover! Happy Spring! And Hello Stamplings!

The beautiful designer pp is from Our Daily Bread. Can you spot the little bunny?

Enjoy your day! And these spring irises!


And remember, nothing has calories today!

Blessings!
*Life is too short!
Happy Birthday, Thelma Wickwire!

April 19, 2019

Poppies Popping Up All Over!

Hello Stamplings!

With all the rain we've had this year (hallelujah!), the whole state of California has had a bumper crop of our state flower, the California poppy. You may have even seen photos on television of the largest area in the state where they are super abundant this spring, bringing visitors from all over the world. It's very fitting, therefore, that this month's CAS Watercolour Challenge features the beautiful poppy!

It's one of my favorite flowers, so I couldn't not play along!
This beautiful free form poppy is from Concord & 9th. It is such a show-stopper that a card needs nothing more than a simple sediment. This one is from GKW. I used copper e/p for both the image and the sediment, watercoloring the image with my Ziggies and a water brush. The mat is also copper. Before I added the popped-up sediment, I masked the flower and let Hammy schplash around in a pool of DI and roll around on the card front. Finally, after a shower, blow dry, and a reeeeeally small glass of sherry, he winked the poppy.

Here's another angle showing the coppery scrumminess:
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A few days ago I messed around with my NBUS Ken Oliver Liquid Metals. I dropped some copper onto a glossy card and then, not knowing better, I added some blending solution. I don't know if I did it wrong or what, but the two didn't get along. The metallic bits separated from the ink and looked like pepper on the paper. I then added some terra cotta alcoholic ink and blew that around with blending solution. It made the spot bigger, but it wasn't pretty with the bits in it, so I just set it aside.

So then what happened was, as I was clearing my work area after making the first card, I saw the set-aside "fail," picked it up and went "Erh?" with a cock of my head. That always gets Hammy's attention and we both realized that it was just about prezackly the size of the Concord & 9th poppy. So I sort of lined it up over the splat and stamped. And now I love it! That just shows, as many of you have said before, don't throw away those inky "fails!" 

The giant MWAH from CASual Fridays and a smattering of sequints was all that was needed to complete this OLC. Here is a closeup of the metallic bits that separated from the ink. Extra texture, right?!
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And here are a coupla photos of our own local native poppies:
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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!)

April 17, 2019

Reminder Twofer Card Challenge #15 - Zoo Animals

Hello Stamplings,

I'm sitting here ramrod straight cuz if I slouch or move too much, everything hurts. I spent the last few days spring cleaning every closet and drawer in the house. Thankfully, it's a small house, but these old bones and mussels aren't used to being that active that long.

Oh, but it's worth it! Everything looks so purdy all clean with room to breath. I've been dying to try Marie Kondo's way of folding clothes and I do like seeing all my tops color-coordinated and tucked up in rows smiling at me. It's very satisfactory, especially since between the folding and the purging, I emptied an entire large dresser drawer in the process. I gave it to the Mister who has suffered for years with his clothes being squished into a small dresser (pursuant to Rule of Marriage #23).

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Today I have a reminder for you about the Twofer Card Challenge where we are having fun playing with our Z🐒🐘 ANIMALS.
As you can see, my shared zoo animal is the cute little baby elephant from W Plus 9's "Bubble Talk" set.

It's EZPZ to make two conventional ~ but different ~ designs using a zoo aminal! Have you got a sloth, flamingo, camel, penguin, kangaroo, otter, koala, hippo, lion, or? I can't wait to see what you choose to play with! You have until the end of day on April 24th!


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Here the baby is seen in a rare photograph with her mama for the cover of a Mother's Day card. The mama elephant was made by Fiskars. They were stamped and watercolored on mixed media paper. The sediment is from HLS gold heat-embossed to match the gold schplatters ala Hammy.

I was worried after I made the card that I had paired the baby with a daddy elephant for a Mother's Day card. I mean, not that it matters today with everybody rightly filling every role, but I was curious so I went back again to my research window. This time Dr. Google assured me that African mama elephants have tusks. He also told me that the little tusks on Asian mama elephants are called tushes, not tusks. Seriously. I thought all things had tushes, you know, to sit on, but once again we learn a word can have more than one meaning!

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And who knew that a little baby African elephant could have such enormous lung capacity?! This birthday card is literally screaming party! The bubbles are "Loopy Rings" from Memory Box. The dotty rectangle die is from Avery Elle.

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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! Rats, I just realized I forgot to thank the clothes that no longer sparked joy and were sent to a charity. What happens now?

*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!)

April 15, 2019

The Back Story ~ Liane

Every dozen years the Topzwellers poked their heads through the loamy soil near the entrance to the baseball park. As Liane had turned 12 during the last phase, it was her first time as lookout.

Nervously, she looked to her left which caused her left eyeball to pop out of her head. It was like a turn signal or if she wasn’t moving, like a zoom lens.

When she saw that the target was already in place and all systems were GO, her little arms locked into the straight position, fingers splayed, and her underbelly turned yellow.

Keeping her position trained on the target, Liane gingerly touched each of the others with her tail, a signal that they could emerge. She knew that when they were all in position, this would be the greatest night of her life.
Darnell J. Knauss, Author
Cornelia Wenokor, Illustrator
©04/15/2019
Vol. 1 Ep. 2


Vol 1 Ep. 1



April 12, 2019

Spring-a-ding-ding!

Hello Stamplings!

I've got a lot of spring art on the blog today, thinking especially of those of you dealing with this year's second winter dervishing its way from Colorado through the Great Lakes and eastward. Since you can't see anything but blowing snow outside your window, I'm glad you stopped in here to take your mind off it. And I'm glad to see you have your beverage!

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That beautiful pink paper has a lovely sheen and the MFT frame is cut from glossy paper. The white-embossed egg is from an out-of-business company, and the white-embossed sediment and vellum butterfly are both from Happy Little Stampers.

Who's that, you ask? Hammy has his friend Fitzwilliam visiting and he kindly let Fitz be in the card shots today. They met online. We are taking care of Fitz while he has some corrective eye surgery at a well-known clinic here in the Bay Area. I know, right? You'd think the surgery would be for those rather large ears, unusual for a frog, but we don't embarrass him by mentioning it.

Here's a closeup of the pretty sheenification:
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I made quite a few cards with this design, using different papers and colors, but they were too similar to post them all. The only ones a bit different were these two:
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Next up is a QACAS card made with a NBUS Freida Curve die from Memory Box, attached to some pretty pp. The sediment is from the Essentials Greetings set from Simon Says. I made several and you know how frogs are, once you take one photo, they want more taken:
After I took the above photo, I overheard Fitz telling Hammy that he thought the fronts of the cards were a bit meh. I had to agree with him once I got down to his level and looked at them. So I added more interest with some polka-dotty spring wellies:
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Threefer
Another CAS design, this time for a spring birthday card using Altenew's Beautiful Heart stamp set. For this card I followed the brief laid out by host Susan at the CAS Mix Up Challenge. We are to use the technique of "layered stamping with  heat embossing." I heat-embossed the flower using SU melon mambo and Ranger white e/ps, and for the leaves I used WOW olive and Ranger white e/ps. Another new technique to me and I have to say, it really does add a lot vibrancy to your images!

I added some additional shades of pink to the flower with my Ziggies and popped it and the leaves on a leafy embossed background. Can you see the sediment? In order to keep all eyes on the flower, I simply stamped it with Versamark and white heat-embossed it for shine.
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Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy! LITS!*

As always, thank you for coming by and staying a very long time to visit the Playhouse! Special thanks to you if you took 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!