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!

November 19, 2019

Oxi Metallic

Hello Stamplings!

I hope you're having a great day!

I'm popping in real quick to share an oxidized (non-Christmas) metallic make with you.
As usually happens with these mixed media makes, this was not the least bit intimidating! It was easy and fun. I used a sheet of T. Holtz silver paper and splashed alcohol inks about. I love the way these two play together! 

Once dry, I embossed with a 3D panel from Sizzix 662455. The flowers and flourishes and pearls really do look oxidized and the sheenanigans are incredible in the reality of life! I attached the panel to a square card base that I first embossed with a pierced rectangle die. A simple sediment finished it off.

Challenges

Take It, Make It Challenge

This time I really meant real quick! There's a first time for everything!😲

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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!)

November 16, 2019

PBSC and TCC Greenery

Hello Stamplings!

Happy weekend wherever you are! I have more wonderful Christmas inspiration for you today.

First up is my reminder of the Penny Black Saturday Challenge which is in full swing! So many of us have beloved Penny Black stamps or stickeroos in our possession and that's all you need to enter the challenge because it's always "Anything Goes." 

And this month you have the option of entering tags, if you'd like. Here is mine to inspire you:
The Penny Black stamp featured on my tag is called Christmas Lights. Using a background made from Lindy Magicals, I die-cut a stitched tag from My Favorite Things. The stamp and Penny Black sediment (Merry Delight) are both gold-embossed and I added clear baubles over the red colored ornaments to add dementia. A pretty gold ribbon with a double bow finished it off.
It's lovely to see so many entries in the gallery and I hope you'll get a chance to enter, too! The challenge is open until December 6, 2019, and there is a $20 prize from 1-2-3 Stitch!!

TCC

Speaking of reminders, I normally post by Twofer Card Challenge reminders on the 17th, but rather than have three days of posts in a row, I am including them here ...
... especially since I loved this stamp so much I also used it for my TCC reminders! I want to thank the artist for creating an image that Hammy and I feel can be used every which way!

Here it is as a sideways OLC:
And here it is upside-down!
I'm just whackadoodle enough that this way is my favorite way! There's just something about the elegant flow this way. Of course, if we do angle it this way, then we have baubles that appear to defy gravitas. No worries. Hammy suggests we think of them as Christmas lollies on the tree! This design is all about gold embossing, shiny gold card, and schparkly gold bling!

Challenges
Help yourself to our buddy buttonBanner zum mitnehmen
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Remember, this month the Twofer Card Challenge has a TWIST! You are allowed to make two different designs using the same stamp, die, or stencil for the SAME occasion! I can't wait to see your lovely holiday greenery Twofers (in any color) in the gallery! The challenge is open until the end of day on November 24th.
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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!)

November 15, 2019

Felix

Felix wasn't paying much attention to his surroundings. He had just left through the back door of the paint factory where he worked. He hoped the boss hadn't seen him because he had been fired from every other company in Franklin Township due to his insatiable curiosity. The truth was, he was a living cartoon stereotype of a cat. And now he'd done it again.

As he slowed to a lope and stopped, Felix realized he was standing in the alley behind Miss Peterson's house. She taught piano lessons. “Great,” Felix thought, “all I need is for one of those kids to see that I spilled pink paint all over myself!” He knew they would taunt him mercilessly, just as they had done before with the mustard, and then the feathers, and all the rest.

Felix hurried further down the alley looking right and left for somewhere to hide. When he reached the dead end, he sat down, thoroughly dejected. Time slowly passed and Felix became aware that clouds had gathered.

Rain?!

Felix stood up on his back legs and raised his paws in the air, prayerfully thinking, “Oh, yes, please, please, sweet merciful rain!!” Even though he was deathly afraid of water, Felix jumped up and down and twirled around, hoping the universe would let loose.
 
Finally dizzy, Felix spun to a halt and looked up to see huge raindrops begin to fall. "WHOA,” he thought to himself, gulping. “Steady on, ol' chap!"

Digging his claws into the uneven gravel, Felix whimpered as he realized the universe wasn't going to let him get away with this latest CATastrophe scot free. First, he was going to have to take some pain right smack in the face from the biggest raindrop he had ever seen!

Darnell Knauss, Author
Cornelia Wenokor, Illustrator
©11/15/2019
Vol. 1 Ep. 15
See The Back Stories tab at the top for all episodes.
(There will be no back stories in December.)

November 13, 2019

Holiday Branches

Hello Stamplings!

I hope you're having a great week! I'm knee-deep in all products Christmas and am shocked (as I am every year) by how much of it is NBUS. Do you think Hammy has figured out how to get on the computer in the middle of the night and order things?! I'm not complaining because it's like Christmas when the mail comes, but he needs to finger out a way to give me more hours in the day to USE everything!

Anyhoozle, we're all busy this time of year, so I'll prolly do more posts, but quick ones, just to share the cards I'm making which may spark ideas for you. Today I have cards I made using a NBUS full-size Holiday Branches stamp from Echo Park. The design itself is a CASE of a card made by Jenny Mullens, which  I saved from a Craft Stamper magazine ages ago. Thank you, Jenny!
The great thing about using a full-size stamp is that you can cut it in half and make two cards using the same design, as I've done here, or you can cut it into even smaller pieces for borders, small panels, etc. Wait. What? Clumsy me. What I meant to say was you can cut the stamped panel in half, not the actual stamp! (Is it bedtime yet?)

To begin the card, I did a watercolor smooch panel on mixed media paper using shades of green Distress Ink. (It's Evergreen Spruce that takes on a bluish tint.) For the first card above, the white heat-embossed sediment is from The Ton. The die-cut sediment on the second card is from Creative Expressions. The white paint lines on both cards were made with a Pen-Touch paint pen, a gift from Lolly, and the schplatters are watered down gouache paint.

Challenges for card one:
Challenges for card two:
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Here's one of another Twofer I made using the same stamp heat-embossed in white. I wanted to show you how pretty it looks on gold paper. The yummy-textured snow paper is from my friend Chrissie. I'm don't know the manufacturer of the Be Merry die. I used an American Crafts gold metallic pen for the transition line.

Challenges
Our banner for your blogOur blog badge
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Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy! LITS!* Please keep the residents and fire fighters in New South Wales Oz, in your prayers as they deal with the catastrophic fires.

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!

Note to Bette: I don't have your email address, so I hope you see this. Chester's card was made by Cornelia. The stamps used for Chester are from Cats on Appletrees. In the future, if you ever have any questions about the card illustrations on The Back Stories, you can always click on Cornelia's name at the bottom of the story and that will take you to her blog for details about her amazing cards. Thank you for asking!

*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!)

November 10, 2019

Holiday Greenery ~ With a Twist!

Hello Stamplings!

I hope this finds you well and, if not, I'm sending you squishy cyber hugs with the hope you'll soon feel better. It's always so difficult to be far away from someone we love who could use a real-life in-person hug. Thank goodness we all have vivivacious imaginations so you can feel well and properly squished over the interwebs! 

And how are you doing with those holiday cards? It's that time of year, even if it does seem like we just put those holiday decorations away! Today is the 10th of the month, so I'm here with some inspiration for you for the November Twofer Card Challenge. To help you with those ideas for Christmas cards, our prompt this month is:

 HOLID🎄Y GREENERY!

The Holiday Greenery my two designs have in common is the NBUS Bold Borders Yuletide die from Papertrey Ink. 

Wait. What? My cards are for the same occasion and that's a TCC no-no!
No worries! There's a fun and welcome twist to TCC this time, so my cards for the same occasion are okay!! Because we are all busy making holiday cards right now, I decided to waive the rule of "two different occasions."

Of course, you're welcome to make your two different designs for two different occasions, but if you want to make two different designs for the same occasion, such as Christmas, go for it!! Just remember you still have to use the same stamp, die, or stencil to showcase the Holid🎄y Greenery prompt on both your different designs!

Onefer
This first design couldn't be more QACAS! I attached a panel of Christmas green glitter paper to the card base and glued the holly frame over that. To finish I glued on the die-cut sediment from Creative Expressions. A couple of clear enamel drops and shazambam, Santa came to town!

Twofer
My second horizontal design uses just one side of the Holly Frame and is pretty self-exploratory. The sediment from MFT was heat-embossed in rose gold e/p. 

My perfect color-match enamel bling was Hammy's idea. I used one of those old-timey paper punches to punch a circle from the same paper I used to mat and cut the frame. Then I glued the circles down and glued clear enamel dots over the top.  

And to show my appreciation for Hammy's idea, I made three more dots to bling his water bowl. As if he needs any more bling in his cage!

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Join Us!

This is our last challenge of 2019 and I look forward to seeing your festive holiday designs in the gallery this month! It's hard not to use some kind of greenery on our holiday cards this time of year! And as you can see from my cards, your Holiday Greenery does NOT need to be green!!
Pop over to the Twofer Card Challenge where you'll find the Team has made beautiful inspiration cards for you! We are also fortunate to have the lovely Nanc' Leppek as our talented Guest Designer this 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!)

November 6, 2019

OLC and TFC

Hello Stamplings!

How are you? I hope you've had a grand start to the week which has now reached its apexible moment. Have you noticed that people around you, on social media, and on TV have started to delight in mentioning it's blankity-blank days until Christmas?! Sure I'm knee-deep in Christmas cards, but I still want to take a few more minutes to enjoy fall and the delights of Thanksgiving!

Wait. What? It's how many days??!! Just kidding. Relax. You know we always get everything done or do our best trying. Might as well relax while we do our best trying. Besides, as Hammy tells me ~ and wants me to tell you ~ working with paper and stamps and ink is so much easier when our fists and teeth are unclenched!

Onefer
For this one-layer card (OLC), I used a NBUS Inkadinkado wooden stamp with no name, but the number on it is 60-00332. I did a direct-to-stamp coloring technique using Memento markers, but after wards I felt it needed more definition, so I colored it with ancient twinkling Spica pens. Anyone remember those? The sediments were stamped with Delicata gold ink. The embossing folder is called "Stately."

Hammy went to town with the winking, which you can see a wee bit better in the closeup. You'll note he also glossified the ribbon, so IRL, it's uber schparkly!
Challenges
For your blog
Twofer
The panel on this card was made at the recent Indiana retreat when Brenda taught us the Tarnished Foil technique. When I saw that this month's CAS Mix Up Challenge was Oxidized Metal, I cut the panel in half in order to make two CAS cards to play along. But when I went to link the above card, I started looking at videos, and soon realized that oxidized metal is not the same as tarnished foil, even though the look can be very similar. Oops.

Not only that, but I realized I didn't use the "stamping" requirement! Gah! Anyone else have trouble with Brain Fog for a few days after the fall-back time change happens?!!

The best way for me to explain the Tarnished Foil technique is to refer you to Brenda or to this video: Tarnished Foil Technique. It's a lot of fun! The oxidized technique looks like a lot of fun, too, and I hope to give it a try before the CMU challenge ends. BTW, the vertical NBUS Thanks die is from Frantic Stampers.

Challenges
 

Threefer

Here's what I did with the other half of the metallic panel. The die cut sediment was a gift so I don't know who makes it. It was cut from white paper so I did a Ziggie wash to tone it down.
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Nellie Notes
What's going on here, Miss Nellie? I toyed with the idea of not telling you what happened and letting you make up your own plot line, but then I realized the story is written all over her face. Both literally and in the look in her eyes!

What happened was, I went in the house for two minutes max. I came back out and Nellie was no longer sunning herself on the deck. I walked over to the side of the house, not there. I called her. No response. I was about to look in the last spot she could be when I heard a rustling behind me. I turned around and here she came squeezing out from under the dirty deck! 

Those spidey webs on her head were all over her back, but she shook them off before I could take the photo. For a little diva, she's quite a tomboy! This weekend we put lattice all around the edge of the deck so now she is free to run free! 

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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!)

November 2, 2019

Guesting with Penny!

Hello Stamplings!

Welcome to the charming month of November. Who doesn't love November? You can have some warm Indian Summer days to enjoy the remaining colors of fall (or cool spring days before the heat of summer). Here in America we have a rustic and robust holiday of gratitude and food that we look forward to all year long! And for card artists, it's the month of full-on holiday card and tag making! 

I was fortunate to win a fun Penny Black Saturday Challenge recently, so I have the privilege of being their Guest Designer for November! This wonderful challenge is always "Anything Goes" (as long as Penny Black products feature prominently, of course), with an optional theme if you need extra inspiration. November's optional theme is "Tags."

Here is my tag to inspire you!
I used "Stitched Main Street Tags" by Poppystamps for the tag layers. I cut a solid tag from aqua paper for the base of the tag and over that I adhered an aqua vellum layer and over that I adhered a beautiful platinum patterned paper layer and over that I adhered another aqua vellum layer with a platinum-embossed sentiment from Penny Black. After that I adhered a blanket over me and took a nap.

When I got up, I propped the tag in the window sill for a coupla days while Hammy and I considered whether to add anything more. In the end, adding the critters won out, as it always seems to do in the Playhouse! These delightful critters are from Penny Black's "Jolly Friends" set. I was not particularly pleased with myself for stamping the critters in harsh black on my soft platinum and vellum creation, but I got over that by adding gold and black organza ribbon to, well, tie everything together!
Guest Designer Badge

Thank you, Helen, for inviting me to be your November Guest Designer!

I'd love to see your tags in the November challenge at PBSC! The talented Design Team have created stunning tags to further inspire you, so go check them out! 

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Challenges

Snippets Playground Badge
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Nellie Notes

Continuing from my post last week, this was the best photo I could get of the three dogs together. Sorry about the dappled lighting.
Henry with Duke / Nellie / Adam with Jack
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I also wanted to share these photos. Nellie wasn't freshly groomed when we got her so by the time I came home from Indiana she was so dirty finding a groomer went to the top of my To-Do list! Here she is before and after!
She's dang cute either way and let me tell you, that pure white does not last long, lol! She gets dipped in the sink after our walk every morning to wash her feet and then she gets brushed and combed.
Thankfully, she came with this pretty argyle sweater from her prior owner which helps keep her belly clean now that the temperatures are chilly in the morning. She adores going on walks! You can see in her face that she's imploring me to stop taking photos so we can GO!!

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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!)