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 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!
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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!)

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
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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! 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!

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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!)

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!

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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! 

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Your Nellie smile for the day! 
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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!)

October 1, 2019

The Barnes Dandelion Fire Weeble

This is Frank Meredith of CBS Science News.

A press conference was held at the University Entomology Department earlier today. Dr. Phillip Barnes, a renowned entomologist, was answering questions about his history-making discovery last week of the bug shown in the photo. As is usual for discoveries in the scientific community, the bug has been officially named the Barnes Dandelion Fire Weeble. This elusive bug is believed to be a part of the firefly family (Lampyridae). 
 
As far as scientists can tell the little weeble only comes out near day break when the silky strands of ripe dandelions are laden with dew drops. While the weebles drink, it is fascinating to watch their chests light up with a golden glow and their little raisin-shaped bodies slowly expand and grow until they are the shape of a dew drop themselves.

When asked about the apparent giant horn on the top of the bug's head, Dr. Barnes replied: "Since we have never been able to capture a Dandelion Fire Weeble, we are unsure about its physiognomy."

Suddenly a very young voice could be heard saying, "I know." 

All eyes and cameras turned to a small child near the back of the room. An older reporter next to her spoke up, "This is my granddaughter, Rebecca." Dr. Barnes stepped down from the podium and came to kneel in front of the little girl. "Go ahead, Rebecca," he smiled, "tell us what you know."

Rebecca smiled back at Dr. Barnes, but her eyes questioned her grandfather. "Go ahead," he whispered. 

Rebecca shrugged her tiny shoulders and her little munchkin voice declared, 

"After the little bugs drink the night water and the light in their hearts turns on, they fly behind the hydrangea bushes where the fairies live. And then, I mean, the little bugs fit perfectly in the fairy's hands," she added, holding her hands cupped to show what she meant. 

"The fairies turn the little bugs upside down and they drink the water that comes out of the pipe on the bug's head until the bug gets skinny. Then they, um, it flies back out and fills back up again!"

Rebecca fell silent. Her eyes inspected her little pink tennis shoes, as if suddenly afraid she had said too much. The only sound was the clicking of the cameras. 

After a minute, Dr. Barnes asked quietly, "Then what happens, Rebecca?"

Rebecca lifted her head and turned her palms into the air. She cocked her head to the side and said, "Well, geez, then the day gets too bright and I can't see them anymore!"

Darnell J. Knauss, Author
Cornelia Wenoker, Illustrator

©10/01/2019
Vol. 1 Ep. 13
See The Back Stories tab at the top for all episodes.