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 30, 2019

Christmas πŸŽ„/ Christmas πŸŽ„

Hello Stamplings!

I have an exciting post for you today! I am delighted that Dotty Jo, the owner of Christmas Kickstart Challenge, has invited me to be her guest designer Elf for this challenge and I was really pickled tink when she asked if we could make it a Twofer-inspired challenge!

The fun prompt for this challenge is Christmas πŸŽ„/Christmas πŸŽ„!

To make your card a Twofer, you need to use the same Christmas πŸŽ„stamp, die, or stencil and create two different design layouts when making your cards. Since the word "design" can be subjective, we got help from Dictionary.com:
To prepare the preliminary sketch or the plans for (a work to be executed), especially to plan the form and structure of an object, work of art, decorative scheme, etc. To plan and fashion artistically or skillfully. To form or conceive in the mind; contrive; plan. To make drawings, preliminary sketches, or plans. (Noun: Such outlines, sketches, or plans.)
You're free to do what you like with regard to your style or the techniques you use: you can use the same style and techniques on both cards, or you can use different ones. To be Twofer-inspired, the only design criteria is that your underlying layouts need to be distinctly different for each card. You can find more information under the Twofer Card Challenge Definitions/Examples tab.

Dotty Jo and I have each prepared Twofer cards as examples of two different designs using the same Christmas πŸŽ„/Christmas πŸŽ„. You can find Jo's designs on the Kickstart challenge blog and here are mine:
The die that both my cards have in common is "Evergreen Trees" by Poppystamps.

Onefer
The bottom snowy panel is a gift from my friend Chrissie. I've been wanting that e/f for ages, but it is hard to find in stock, so Chrissie kindly sent me some embossed sheets. Crafty friends are the best! 

The Christmas πŸŽ„here is a negative of the Poppystamps die, cut from a panel of pp. For my sediment, I white heat-embossed "warm" on the black pp panel and then black heat-embossed "winter wishes" on the white snowy bumps. A few gold sequints and shazambam another Christmas cards in the DONE pile!

Twofer
For my second design, I created an entire winter nighttime scene. I die-cut the NBUS CUTplorations home on a hill die by STAMPlorations out of heavy vellum and attached it to another one which was die-cut from white card. The vellum has a beautiful sheen. 

I then attached the hill to another sheet of the same pp I used on my Onefer, but this piece has a bright full moon blurred by the schparkly falling snow.

I added three Christmas πŸŽ„s to the hill because Hammy reminded me of The Rule of Three. (Please note that works in art, not in marriage.) Two πŸŽ„s are from the same die used on my Onefer and the third one is from "Evergreen" by Taylored Expressions. All the πŸŽ„s were also double-layered, once in white card and once in vellum.

To finish the card with a nod to Captain Obvious, I clipped the word "winter" from a NBUS "warm winter wishes" CUTplorations black die cut and added it to the front. I lost the dot on the letter "i," so I replaced it with a gold sequint ~ according to the Rule of One, which I just made up ~ and because it brought out the gold stardust in the pp.

I'm also linking this card to Pixie's Snippets Playground and Rudolph Days.

~~~

Thank you so much, Jo, for inviting me to be the Elf for this Twofer-inspired Christmas πŸŽ„/Christmas πŸŽ„challenge! 
I love this fun idea of having you make Twofers this time and I can't wait to see what you make for this Christmas Kickstart Challenge! The challenge runs from now until August 12th at 23:55 BST.

It will be a pleasure seeing you stretch your design skills and increase your Christmas card stash!

Because, gulp, August is like two days away! 😲😲😲

~~~

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 25, 2019

Wipe Off That Baby!

Hello Stamplings!

Thank goodness the temperatures have cooled off for most of the country, but oops, guess wha' happened? It rolled all the way under and around the globe and came up on the West Coast! Our temp yesterday was 99F, but, hey ho, it IS summertime!

Rather than cool you off today, I took a "if-you-can't-beat-'em-join-'em" approach and I'm sharing a twofer of hot fiery sunset hues with you. (Hmm, I wonder why Samuel Johnson decided to spell it "fiery" and not "firey?") 

Put on your sunglasses!
During ESCR 2019, Bonnie taught us the Baby Wipe technique and I made these panels. Once home, I made them into cards and sent the top one to Bonnie for her recent birthday. I was amazed by the bright gloss that happens when the background and image are wiped with a baby wipe! The stamp is used is Penny Black's "At Grace."

If you haven't tried this technique before, I recommend it. Bonnie was the hostess back in May over at CAS Mix Up Challenge and she used this technique. This is the list of videos she recommended:

Baby Wipe Videos:
Baby Wipe Technique by Keenan Kreations (7:06)
Tie-Dye Baby Wipe Painting Technique by Jay Lee (5:26)
Baby Wipe Inking by Ashley Cannon Newell (7:43)
Distress Oxide and a Baby Wipe by aplaceforkia (10:27)
Hello Card Using Distress Oxide Ink Pads by Tracey Farr (8:20)

Challenges

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At the Beach
 They keep growing!!!
Okay, yes, I did skooch down, but just a little bit! They're only 14! We had such a good time with them sharing a few days of their summer break before high school starts next month!

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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 21, 2019

Let Me Cool You Off ~

Hello Stamplings!

Bless you, I hope you are already cool, sitting in front of a fan, or an air-conditioner, or an open refidgidater with a tall icy-cold beverage up to your lips. Holey moley, it is dangerously hot over half of the world. 

I don't even want to tell you that we are heading to the beach to cool off, so I won't. I just hope you are safe and cool wherever you are and that you have taken precautions for your inks and your chocolates. Wait. I meant to say for your chocolates and your inks. I mean, I love inks, but please, let's be reasonable!

I've made you a freezing cold snowflake card.
Did it make you shiver just for a second?

No matter how I angled this card, I'm sorry that I could not capture for you the schparkly smooth white card I used. I've hoarded it had it in my stash for ages. If you could feel ice cream and not get a melty mess on your fingers, that's what this card would feel like. To my eyes the snowflake is a different tone, but I guess that's because of the black distorting it maybe? Anyway, it's cut from the same schparkly creamy white paper. The NBUS snowflake die is from MFT and the Let It Snow frame is from Poppystamps. The snowy e/f in the black night background is from Sizzix. 

Challenges

Grab My Button
Grab Our Badge!

Twofer
Well, that snow certainly melted fast! But I used cool subtile colors on this summertime card so as not to shock your system with a drastic temperature change. The ingredients of this card come to you almost entirely thanks to my sweet and talented friend Sonja. The die cuts were all gifts from her. Thank you, Sonja!

I "painted" my background by scribbling my Ziggy onto an acrylic block, spritzing it with water, and then picking up the color with a piece of acetate which I then smooched onto the card. Of course, I let a certain little furball schplash around on the block and run across the card willy-nilly. Now he's over on his bed sound asleep with cute little blue paws. 

Likewise, the tulips were Ziggified by scribbling the colors onto my acrylic block and picking up the ink with my aqua brush.

Challenges


~~~

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 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.πŸ™ƒ

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!
~~~

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
For your blogAdd our button if you wish
~~~

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!")

~~~

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!
~~~

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!)