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!

October 26, 2019

Sunglasses, please, folks!

Hello Stamplings!

When I woke up last Sunday morning, there was a whole new week laid out in front of me, like my outfit on the first day of the new year of school. Then I turned my back to go find my shoes and when I turned around again, my clothes had been worn, laundered, and put back in the drawer before I knew what happened. 

That's my metaphor for how fast this week went by. And now, since Christmas will be here before we turn around again, let's get after it.

Onefer
I painted this card with metallic watercolors while at Brenda's retreat in Indiana. I think I borrowed them from Kara? The stamp is Mondo Holly by Julie Ebersole (Ellen Hutson), which I also borrowed from someone. You can't really appreciate the awesome glimmery glimmerness of the paints unless you tilt the card towards the light and then it looks like a magnificent stained glass design:
Back home at the Playhouse, I added a platinum-embossed sediment from GKW. I attached the art to a glittery pale green panel, which glitter you maaay be able to see if you click to enlarge. And that's it. I could have made it an OLC, but I have all this beautiful glittery and glimmery paper that is crying out to be used this year.

Hammy? Remember he was busy with Cassie Kitty at the retreat so no hard labor from him for today's cards!

Challenges

The Holly and Ivy Christmas Challenge
Twofer
This card was also made at the retreat. Colleen taught us this technique of scribbling color onto a snippets panel in an ombre' fashion. Once dry, you swipe Nuvo Glimmer Paste (or some other brand) over the colors with your spatula. 

Once that is completely dry, you can die cut it, or use a negative die-cut overlay ~ as I did here with this mondo snowflake die. The snowflake die was also borrowed, along with the sediment. (We were one big happy family using each other's things and I wasn't good about making notes.) I added the bling and glittery matching aqua panel at home. Thank you, Colleen! That was fun!

Challenges
Our blog badgeCrafty CardmakersGrab our badge
The Guys
While looking at photos of Miss Nellie in my camera, I came across this handsome photo of the Mister and the grandtwins taken in September on the Mister's birthday. They and their big dogs are here entertaining us again this weekend. I'm going to try and get a photo of the big dogs with the little dog.

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You may have heard that once again we are dealing with devastating fires in our area and in other parts of California. It's heart-wrenching to watch the news and it's unpleasant to smell and breathe in the smoke, but thankfully, we are safe where we are. Please keep those who have been impacted by the fires in your thoughts and prayers. ❤

~~~

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!)

October 20, 2019

Maple Leaf Time and a Recap of the Crafty Stampers Retreat!

Hello Stamplings!

Ready? Have you been to the bathroom and grabbed your favorite beverage? I mean, not that you keep your favorite beverage in the bathroom, but you know what I mean.

For those of you just here for cards, first up a quick coupla cards for a few challenges. And an example of one of the new-to-some-of-us techniques we did at the retreat:
Just before I left for the retreat, I saw this post on my friend Verna's blog and I checked out the video made by David (the owner of Poppy Stamps) where he shows how to die-cut and watercolor plain white napkins. I borrowed the Poppy Stamp maple leaf die from Brenda and demonstrated the technique at the retreat. It was fun and easy to do, although we found that we needed to add bits of liquid glue here and there to keep the compressed layers together, especially if we were heavy-handed with the water part of watercoloring. 

On the left below are closeups of the leaves I made and used on two other cards. If you look closely at all these leaves, you can see the great wrinkly texture you get from watercoloring on the napkin die-cuts.
Challenges

 Unser Logo zum Mitnehmen! / Our logo to take away!
~~~
Crafty Stampers
October 6-11, 2019
Top row left to right: Linda [Oregon] (Lin's Craft Corner), Greta [Oregon] (GG Creations), Kara [Wisconsin] (Bright Hope Creations), Maria [Ohio] (Maria's Merry Makings), and Colleen [Oregon] (One Smile Lifts a Spirit). Front row left to right: Brenda [Indiana] (Inkspired to Stamp), me [California], and Sharon [Indiana], Brenda's sister-in-law. Brenda got us each an apron with pockets and Sharon embroidered the retreat name "Crafty Stampers" and personalized one for each of us!

The Farm House Brenda rented was set in the idyllic outskirts of Nashville, Indiana. 
The house was charming, with plenty of room for all of us and the weather was absolutely gorgeous every day except Friday when we had to make several trips to load up the cars. Then it poured buckets, of course! You had to climb a steep hill to see it, but there was a lovely pond on the property and a shelter house with a swing, which Colleen enjoyed. There was also a well-disguised butterfly and bushes laden with these amazing cup-like clouds of spider webs (bottom center.)

Here are some shots of all of us:
Top left: We covered the picnic table with beach towels and enjoyed cocktail hour every day in the beautiful outdoors. Top right: We turned the living room into a dining room. Bottom: Lunch (after craft shopping) in the town of Nashville, IN. Greta invited two crafty Indiana friends to join us for our outing. On the right foreground are Kathy and Linda.

Small group shots:
Left to right, top: Kara and Colleen (what's a few ants among friends); Maria and Greta. Left to right, bottom: Brenda, Linda, Kara, and Sharon dining at the Bird's Nest; and Linda, Sharon, and Maria lounging after dinner.

Hard at work play:
Col letting me know my shirt was on backwards. (Yeah, so?) In the photo on top left are Kara, Colleen, Maria, and Brenda. You can see the enormous wood dining room table which was perfect for crafting. Top right is Brenda and Greta at the die-cutting station and it appears Colleen is checking to make sure Greta's shirt is not on backwards.

Bottom left we see the beautiful smiles of Linda and Colleen. That's me in the bottom right playing the role of a waitress taking Kara and Linda's orders for ooey-gooey sticky buns. Yes, that's right. Haven't you heard that calories don't count during stamping retreats? Brenda's doctor told her that, so that's the truff!

And last, but definitely not least:
Hammy has a new lady friend! I must say he wasn't much help with winking during the week, unless you count his winking at Cassie Kitty, who is Brenda's wee crafting helper!

I'd like to thank Brenda for an enjoyable and productive craft retreat where lots of happy memories were made! She planned everything to a tee and we wanted for nothing! I had a blast and I miss everyone!

Thank you, too, for staying until the end. I've said it before and I'll say it again: if you ever get the chance to meet, greet, or retreat with one or more of your crafty friends, don't let the opportunity pass you by. Because we've gotten to know each other over the years by visiting each other's blogs and commenting, we get along as if we've know each other personally for years!

~~~

Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy! LITS!* While you're at, how about making two designs for the Twofer SWEETS challenge which ends near midnight on the 24th? I know you all have cupcakes and/or cakes!🎂

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!)

October 17, 2019

Yippee! CTS GD-ee!

Hello Stamplings!

I know. I don't usually do back-to-back posts, but I wasn't going to turn down an opportunity to be a Guest Designer at CAS(E) This Sketch! and today's the day the new sketch is published. 

I was a bit stumped at first with the sketch, but it just so happened that a new die rolled into the Playhouse at just the right moment! (I think that's the fastest a new goodie has gone from NBUS to BUS!!) 

I used schparkly glitter paper for the mat and deep black textured paper from my friend Christine for the panel. The NBUS snowflake die is "Snowflake Marquee" from Memory Box and the floating glittery snowflakes are cut from an MFT Snowflakes die. 

The sediment is from the "Merry Sentiments" set by Sunny Studio. I stamped it using an ancient Color Box white ink pad, but for some reason it turned a pretty icy blue color! I panicked at first, but Hammy calmed me down quickly with two thumbs up!

Here's the sketch:
I look forward to seeing how your imagination unfolds using this sketch for the challenge! Thank you, Chrissy, for the previous win and this opportunity to be GD! Please click over to CAS(E) This Sketch! for more inspiration from the extremely talented Design Team!
~~~

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!)

More Sweets For You, Sweetie!

Hello, Stamplings!

How are you? I hope you've been doing well. Hammy and I are back home after a very successful and fun retreat in Indiana. I'll have photos and a recap in a post soon. 

I've got loads to catch up on, but I've had to give over a substantial amount of enjoyable time reacquainting myself with the Mister and Miss Nellie. They were both very happy to see me, but Nellie stuck pretty close to the Mister for the first day. Now she's my little shadow again! 🐾

Today is my reminder cards for the current Twofer Card Challenge where the prompt is SWEETS.
This time the sweet element I used on both cards is my NBUS "Party Pops" from Newton's Nook, which, yes, I've had for eons, but better late than never!

Onefer
This is a birthday card that would befit any gender and any age. The stitched elements are from MFT and I believe the NBUS sediment is also from MFT. The plaid pp is from Lawn Fawn. Hammy did a masterful job of winking those pops! It's a simple design to remind you of the grape, orange, and lime Popsicles of your youth. Or, if you're like the Mister and me, they still hit the spot at 8 p.m. when you just need a little sump'n sump'n.

Challenges
      Snippets Playground Badge
Twofer
The shadows from the sun make this card look a bit messy and cluttered and overladen, which is so unlike me, but it's not so bad in person. The stitched scallop panels are from Your Next Stamp and they were cut from woodgrain specialty papers. The green one is so glossy and purdy. 

For this card I unconventionally turned the Popsicle into a cart for carrying pumpkins from GKW. The wheels were surgically removed from a car sticker in my stash. The pretty autumn ribbon was a gift from my friend Lynn. The sediment is from SU. Wallah!

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! Having said that, however, I have to apologize for not being a better return-visit bloggie friend. 😧 This year has just been out of control with how it has whooshed by and with many unexpected and expected activities. Thank you for not holding it against me and leaving me love anyway! You're the BEST!! 💋

*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!)

October 15, 2019

Brian

Brian was excited to have his first real job as a lookout and he wanted to do it right. On the hour, as instructed, he approached the window of the storeroom. He didn't realize it, but the fluorescent box lights emitting greasy yellow light made his soft beige fur glow neon green.

With so much light pouring over his shoulders, Brian had to blink several times before looking out into the night. As he looked across the street to the target house, the hair on his neck stood up. They had been certain the house was vacant! Gil had checked the mailbox for four days straight and assured them the owners were on vacation and the house was empty, but plain as day Brian could clearly see a figure outlined in the window!

Brian had to let Gil know quickly. He sucked in his breath and shot across the room in one long leap, tail tucked between his legs. He misjudged the distance and slammed into the back wall belly-first. As he painfully slid down the wall like a splattered egg, he reached out his paw and flicked off the light switch.

It was several seconds before Brian's breathing returned to normal and his ribs stop making that snapping noise. He only hoped he was in time. He limped out the door and slithered around to the back of the house. Fortunately the gang had just started to line up. Through the wheezing from his broken ribs, Brian let Gil know what he'd seen.

"Are you positive?" Gil hissed. "If you're wrong and we call this heist off for no reason, you'll have ten feral cats at your door!"

"I'm sure! I'm sure! I saw someone!" Brian declared, eager to be so vital on his first assignment. He watched as the gang was dispersed and then a chill went down his back as Gil shot him the stink eye before disappearing into the shadows.

Brian went back to the storeroom, turned on the light, and began to straighten up the mess he had made. As he neared the window, he glanced out and once again he saw the figure across the street. "Vindicated!" he thought, not a little relieved. He reached up his arm to pull down the shade. Oddly, the figure across the street did the same. 

Brian stopped pulling. So did the shadowy figure.

Brian could feel the blood draining from his face and his shoulders slumped. He let go of the shade and slipped under the table. He flattened his ears and covered his eyes with his paws. Too late he remembered the first rule in The Look Out's Book of Rules:
Never leave the light on behind you when you look out a window at night or you'll see your own reflection looking back at you!

Darnell J. Knauss, Author
Cornelia Wenoker, Illustrator

©10/15/2019
Vol. 1 Ep. 14
See The Back Stories tab at the top for all episodes.

October 10, 2019

What a Sweet Idea!

Hello Stamplings!

We are wrapping up our craft retreat in the beautiful state of Indiana where we are enjoying cool autumn temperatures and gorgeous leaf colors! Photos to come.

It's the 10th of the month and this month the Twofer Card Challenge wants to see what SWEETS you have in your crafty cupboard!
The sweet element my designs have in common is the Candy Swirl stencil from Simon Says Stamp!
Onefer
I used my Clarity brushes to apply the ink through the stencil so I could sweep on alternating lighter and heavier ink with some control. (I'm not as proficient with other applicators, but I'm practicing.) The pp is from SU. It's ancient, but still cheerful (like me) and the sediment is "Messages for Everyday," also from SSS. The jumbo fishtail banner is from MFT.

Twofer
For this creation, I first made the full circular stenciled candy alternating CP red ink and Brilliance galaxy gold ink. I left a few swirls white. I fussy cut the candy swirl and then trimmed it to make it look like the shape of a full party skirt. I used a paintbrush to paint the bodice gold and then gave her a belt of gold thread. I used bubble wrap to give her a crinoline petticoat. Hammy finished it off with a liberal dose of Stella. We were both quite tickled with this unconventional use of the Candy Swirl stencil.

The background pale teal is glitter paper, as is the border pp from DCWV. The NBUS sediment and bodice are from the SSS card kit from February 2013!

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🍬🎂🥮🍪🍪
Anything containing sugar or sweetener.
Detailed information can be found at the Twofer Card Challengeas well as fantastic inspiration from our very talented Guest Designers, Lisa and Marianne, and from the entire Design Team who work very hard to enthusiate you! Thank you, ladies!

~~~

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!)

October 5, 2019

Aah, Sunflowers

Hello Stamplings!

I hope this finds you well! As you read this, Hammy and I are off on a little get-away retreat in Indiana while the Mister and Nellie hold down the fort. I fear I will be the third wheel in their relationship when I get back home! Actually, it's very endearing to see a big strapping man besotted by a little white fluffy dog!

I was organized enough Friday to make a coupla fall cards before I left.
I love the warm colors of sunflowers and tried to replicate that using my NBUS stencil from Magenta for this birthday card. I actually inked the entire stencil over a piece of subtle pp and then cut it in half so that I could make two clean and simple cards for the price of one!

For this card, Hammy winked the flowers after I had finished inking them onto the pp and then I added the stenciled panel to a piece of ancient card stock with schparkles embedded right in it. The NBUS sediment die is from Creative Expressions by Sue Wilson. I stacked it three-high and then used my Ziggies to paint it with warm sunflower shades.
Challenges

Twofer
Using the other half of the stenciled sunflowers, I made a horizontal Thanksgiving card. The sediment is from STAMPlorations, thoroughly glossed by Hammy. 
He is staying very close to me these days and being extra helpful so I don't forget he's here. As if, bless him. He is being reassured by the fact that he is here with me and Nellie is not!

~~~

Today is a really.big.day in our community!
Some sites have it as today, some have it as a week-long celebration from October 1-7. It doesn't really matter. What matters is that there is a day/week that celebrates US!! How cool is that?! And when I say US, I mean YOU! I hope you get a chance to have some YOU time to make a card. Then you can spread love and happiness inside a piece of folded card inside an envelope!! Mwah! 

~~~

Your Nellie smile for the day! 
~~~

Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy! LITS!* Please remember that October is also Breast Cancer Awareness month! Check yourselves, ladies, and make those donations to breast cancer research! 

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!)