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 and you can find my NBUS Challenge online. I hope you'll join in the fun there! Thanks for coming by! Have a beverage and enjoy!

October 21, 2020

Fun With Folders

Hello Stamplings!

Normally, I like to finish my coffee with you while we chat about chatty schtuff, but today we are going to get right to my projects. The reason being is because I've got a batch of Christmas cards on the conveyor belt and you know what it's like to start a batch and then get disterupted. Think Lucy and Ethel in the chocolate factory!

At this month's Zoom session with friends, we played with embossing folders, another crafty product I have a bunch of, but tend to overcook. 

Onefer

This is so brilliantly schparkly and golden that even the camera was successful in reflecting it without the need of a closeup!
I have a Gemini Jr. which I love for cutting dies, but pursuant to paragraph two above, I never got around to learning what sandwich it likes to eat when I use an embossing folder (e/f). So this Zoom session was also great because it forced me to figure out the menu for both my regular e/fs and my 3D e/fs. The e/f I used for this card came with the Gemini Jr. It's called Regency Swirls. 

I learned two different techniques making this card. 

The first was double embossing. For that, you emboss your card front using one e/f and then you run it through a second time using a different e/f. First, I ran my blue-green panel through the machine using SU's 3D e/f called "Subtle." Which it is. And then I ran it through again using the Regency Swirls e/f.

The second technique was heat embossing part of the textured pattern you achieved during the first technique. For that, you pat your design's little bottom with your embossing buddy (or the like) to keep the embossing powder (e/p) only where you want it. Then you lightly tap your Versamark ink pad here and there in places where you want your e/p to stick. 

I chose to use gold e/p and as you can see, haha, I apparently wanted the gold to stick everywhere! It's not aickshully the right artsy idea the technique is meant to convey, but as I always say, you can never have too much gold.

As such, I matted the card with glimmer gold paper, crop-0-diled the corners, added a schparkly gold ribbon (ribbon!), and then finished it with a thanks die from Simon Says Stamp in matching gold paper. I'll be making more of this beautiful gilded design for Christmas cards.

Challenges
  • Pixie's Snippets Playground: Use those snippets! My blue-green paper and the sediment paper are snippets.
  • Simon Says Stamp Wednesday: Layer it up.
  • UnstampaBelles: Inspire with a twist of thank you. Who inspired me to get into this craft? Sadly, it was so many years ago, I have lost touch with the ladies who invited me to my first SU workshop because they are no longer enjoying this hobby. But I do know ~ and am happy to be dear friends with ~ the ladies who first welcomed me into Blogland and the wonderful world of challenges, so this thank you is for them!
Twofer
Real quick, this design was made using a technique you are prolly familiar with. The one where you ink up your e/f, spray a piece of watercolor paper, place it in the folder, and then run the e/f through the machine. The e/f I used is a NBUS Spellbinders Floret Cluster. I used a portion of the piece to make a panel which I backed with a narrow plaid mat to keep the design CAS. The hugs sediment is from MFT. It was cut from the same embossed panel, which Hammy then backed with another cut made from black fun foam.

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Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy, and be safe! 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 17, 2020

A Harvest Basket and a Party of Ghosts

Hello Stamplings!

And another week has whooshed bye-bye while you were petting the dog/cat!

This has been a bit of a downer week for me because if it weren't for Covid, I'd have been in a rental house on Lake Michigan crafting with dear friends. Four of us have gotten together every two years since 2014. I know the important thing is that we all survive this, and I do try to keep my chins up, but sometimes you just have to take a moment, pretend your pillow is Covid, and give it a good pummeling.

After wards, I relaxed and forgot my disappointment by getting all crafty with the hamster.

Onefer
Sorry about the lack of definition in my watercoloring, but honestly everything is multi-toned in real life. The apples don't really look like tahmahtoes, but in order to keep the pumpkin pp from being completely washed out by the sun, I had to over-expose my harvest. I apologize, but this is an adult blog. 

The basket is from "Autumn Falling" by ARTplorations and the sediment is from SU. As you can tell, Hammy had a whiskery great time winking and glossifying.

Challenges
Twofer
If you're going to party with a few ghosts, these look like absolute party animals, don't they? For this QACAS design, I blended wilted violets and applied them to the background through a NBUS Birch Tree Landscape stencil from Memory Box. Truth be told, Hammy ate most of them. Not the birch trees, the violets. Violets are quite delish and taste a bit like aqua. 

The silhouette ghost from Hero Arts likes to sneak up on old people, but he is so darn happy that you don't mind. The twin ghosts with the demented grins are from GKW and they've been lurking around the Playhouse since before there was a Playhouse.

Challenges
~~~

Speaking of silhouettes, we are half-way into the Twofer Card Challenge which closes at the end of day on October 24.

The very talented Marcia from the Twofer Design Team has made you another set of Twofer silhouette designs to inspire you. You can see them at the Twofer Card Challenge blog, but for the wonderful details, please check out Marcia's blog: Marcia's Stampin' Pad. I'm excited to see you add your silhouettes to the gallery!

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Even in the toughest of times, we mustn't forget to laugh!
  • Who’s idea was it to sing “Happy Birthday” while washing your hands? Now every time I go to the bathroom, my kids expect me to walk out with a cake.
  • After years of wanting to thoroughly clean my house but lacking the time, this week I discovered that wasn’t the reason.
  • What’s the best way to avoid touching your face? A glass of wine in each hand.
  • My husband purchased a world map and then gave me a dart and said, “Throw this and wherever it land, that’s where I’m taking you when this pandemic ends.” Turns out, we’re spending two weeks behind the fridge.
~~~

Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy, but be safe out there! 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 13, 2020

Fall Into Winter

Hello Stamplings!

I hope you are doing well and you had a nice weekend! We had three days of clear air as the winds were in our favor and it was lovely. Now we are heating up again and having an Indian Summer. 

It turns out there is no proven origin of the term, "Indian Summer." While I was researching it, I did find that in many European countries a warm period in the middle of autumn is called, "old women's summer." Haha. I'm not even lying. I mean, why? Too funny. If any of you can explain why it's called that, I'd love to know. (See below.) And is there an "old men's winter?"

Okay, I'd better get to it, so I can get outside and enjoy "my" summer!

Onefer
As soon as I saw this stamp on someone's blog, I had to buy it. I couldn't wait to get it and try coloring it with fall colors. The NBUS stamp and die set is called, "Harvest Love and Kindness," from Memory Box. I made this as a one-layer card in all it's 5x7 glory because I have all these 5x7 envelopes that come free with cards from charities I support. The gold heat-embossed sediment is also from the set. I used a combination of my Kuretake Gansai Tambi paints, Ziggies, and Karin watercolor brushes to paint it.

You know how some fabulous card artists have a real talent for zhuzhing their art just right? And you know how sometimes your hamster is nagging you to make something he can schplatter? Well, after finishing this card, which is very minimalist, we thought we'd try adding a little zhuzh.

To shrink my post a bit, I made a collage of the three different stages. Hopefully you can click to enlarge if you want a closer look. 
First, the top photo shows the card after I added a soft ink border all around using Tim's Old Paper ink and a makeup brush. In the second photo, you can see where Hammy went to town schplattering gold paint all over it.

And the third photo shows the addition of white paint schplatters by Hammy, but to make sure they landed just on the leaves, I die-cut a second image from a piece of scratch paper and laid the negative over the entire card so that only the watercolored image was showing. Then Hammy got a little heavy-pawed for the look I was going for, but don't tell him I said that. It's growing on me.

Do you have a favorite? I like them all, but to varying degrees. By taking photos in between each enhancement, it helped me see which I prefer and gives me more confidence to get a little more artsy in the future when the image calls for it. Of course, I still like the very first CAS look, too.

Challenges
Twofer
Okay, so this design is a bit far-fetched. Think of it like you would a card with a unicorn on it. Once I thought of the design and laid it out, I just loved the Cute Factor with the way these two friends adore each other. The hummingbird is from Pretty Pink Posh. The little polar bear die cut was a gift from a friend, but I think it might be Poppystamps. The sediment is from Sunny Studio.

Here is a closeup to show you that those tiny fluttering snowflakes are each touched with a bit of Nuvo schparkle and Hammy winked the hummer and the scarf. 
Challenges

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Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy, and please be careful out there! 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!

ETA: GerJanne from the Netherlands sent me this explanation:

In the old days 'woman' was the common word for woman. The term old wives summer comes from old knitting women (females) and spiders. In quiet late summer weather spiders make long threads. When dew is deposited on them during the night, beautiful drops glisten on the threads at sunrise. In ancient times it was thought that those beautiful strands were the hairs of goddesses or female water spirits, which they lost at night. Because this phenomenon occurs on quiet, sunny days in autumn, this old wives' summer is called. Something we still know today. Another name for this late summer is Indian Summer, because of the beautiful colors in the autumn that the sun brings out even more.

*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 10, 2020

A Cone Flower Twofer Silhouette

Hello Stamplings!

Happy Saturday! Saying that makes me real eyes I rarely post on a Saturday. I'm not sure why. It's not like I have special days that I post, so you'd think, shatis, stashish, statistically, I would post on Saturday more often than I do. 

Do you have words or phrases that you can't seem to say easily, like statistics? Here's another one that always gets me: shoulder surgery. It always comes out soldier shugarie! 

Thankfully, Twofer is easy to say and it's easy to remember that a new Twofer Card Challenge starts on the 10th, which is TODAY! Yay! This month our prompt is SILHOUETTES!👤👥

Here are my two distinctly different silhouette designs for two different occasions:
The stamp my two cards have in common is the cone flower from Inspired by Nature by Stampin Up. It's been a favorite of mine for years. With these two designs, I show that your silhouette prompt image can be either dark against a light background or white against a dark background.

Onefer
For this QACAS congratulations design, I simply heat-embossed the cone flower in black. The sediment is from SSS's 2012 STAMPtember, "Sayings With Banner." It is stamped on a banner cut from a PTI die. The pastel colorful background was made at a recent Zoom craft session were we smooched with Perfect Pearls. 

Here is a closeup. If you can look past the glare from the black e/p, you can see the wonderful shimmery PP background:
Twofer
For this second design, I used the single blossom from the cone flower stamp and I heat-embossed it in white e/p. Adding the large sediment die from Impression Obsession was all that was needed to balance the design and give it a feeling of calm and grace so appropriate for a sympathy card. 
I hope you'll get the opportunity to play along this month! The challenge is open until the end of day on October 24th. Please check out the Twofer Card Challenge to see the inspiring designs that our talented Team and our Guest Designers Carol and Shawna have made for you!! Thank you for your continued enthusiasm and support! Enjoy and have fun with it!

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Hi from Hammy! He thinks all people should be purple because purple smells pretty.
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Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy, and keep yourself safe! LITS!* Don't forget to vote!

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, 2020

A Midas Touch

Hello Stamplings!

I hope this finds you well! I am stopping in real quick because my caboose is about out of gas and I don't want to wait until tomorrow. Because you know what they say about waiting until tomorrow and hot irons and all that!

Today is all about GOLD! 🜚
I blended galaxy gold Brilliance ink with a makeup brush in an ombre fashion through a circle stencil for the background and then over that, I blended Delicata gold ink through a Sunflower stencil from Magenta. The friend sediment die was a gift from my friend Lottie, so I don't know who makes it.

It's a pretty card, but it looks a bit flat considering it's a gold card. That is, until you turn it toward the light ~ give it a turn, Hammy ~ and then, "Whoa, hold on. Let me grab my shades!" It is, indeed, brilliant and delicata!
Challenges

Another Month Bites the Dust!

Happy October 6th!!!! Since October 1st, I have missed:
  • World Card Making Day, 
  • World Animal Day, 
  • International Day of Older Persons, 
  • International Coffee Day, 
  • World Smile Day, 
  • World Farm Animals Day, and 
  • Virus Appreciation Day! Wait. What? Yup! 
Never fear, I didn't miss them all! Sunday, October 4th was Wodka Day! I took a rare sip (cough) to celebrate it! Care to join me?
And, finally, I love the mail and appreciate all they do to get our cards, letters, and packages delivered, but just like the other day when I shared the "do not bend" envelope, I just had to share this with you because it's so ridiculous! 
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Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy! Today is Noodle Day, so please use your noodle and wear your mask to keep safe, in spite of what others do or how weary you are. Life has been made shorter for a horrific number of people because of Covid and I don't want you to be one of them. Mwah!

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!


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!)

September 29, 2020

Playing With PP

Hello Stamplings!

No, not pp as in patterned paper this time. This time the PP stands for Perfect Pearls! If you're like me, you have some small jars of powder pearls in various colors tucked away in the back of the book shelf or drawer.

I got together over Zoom last month with a group of friends for some crafty time, led by Lolly. This month we got together again and we are going to try and make it a monthly thing, which would be awesome. The first month we played with a very current trend and this month we played with a very old trend. I think in future sessions we are going to continue revisiting those products that we've had lying dormant or that we don't use as often as we'd like.

I was able to put together three designs with my PP play. (I beg your pardon?) As usual, the camera can't quite capture the shimmer and sheen of the pearl paints, but you get the idea.

Onefer
Using butterflies from "Butterfly Birthday" by HLS, I created this birthday card. The butterflies were gold heat-embossed and by adding water to the powdered perfect pearls, I painted the inside bits. After class, in homage to Seize the Birthday's challenge logo, I added a fussy-cut, popped-up purple butterfly and a gold heat-embossed sediment by PTI filled with yellow. Hammy went wild schplattering to his heart's content.

Challenges

Twofer
For our second play, we painted again with PP, this time onto die cuts. I used a Penny Black die, that much I remember. But I don't remember the name. This happens a lot, so this time I put the die in a Safe Place to refer to when I wrote up this post. As I'm sure you know, a Safe Place is one of those good thing/bad thing principles. The good thing is that the item placed there will not be disturbed. The bad thing is its capacity to erase itself from your memory if you don't retrieve it within 48 hours. Oops. ETA: Thank you, Brenda. The name of the die is "Berry Flourish."

The leafy swirl looks rather dull unless you turn it to the light and then the glimmer is gorgeous. I used the die cut on a Christmas card with a dark green panel, a schparkly sediment and a gold mat.  

Threefer
The butterflies for this design are from Hampton Art. This PP technique is a simple one. You stamp the solid layer stamp with Versamark and then stamp the image onto your colored or black paper. Then you dab the Perfect Pearls onto the image and the PP clings to the Versamark ink. You brush away any excess. Then you stamp the second layer stamp with Versamark and then stamp over the first layer on your card. The Versamark on the second layer "lifts" the PP off the first layer, leaving the detailed image. You set the powder with a fine mist of water. 

[It's hard to describe how to do a technique when the same word is used as a noun and a verb! I was making a card so I took my stamp and stamped my image. I biffed the stamping of the stamp, so I stamped my foot. Once I corrected the biff and finished the card I took it to the post office where the nice lady placed a stamp on it and afterwards, since I was there, she stamped my passport.]

But I digest. I also used PP on the sediment. By simply painting PP with a large brush over a panel of colored paper, I made handmade glimmer paper. After drying, I die-cut the Believe, which is a Simon Says Stamp die. I was tickled to find that snippet of pp, er, patterned paper, which matched so well. I covered the seam with a "ribbon" of thin platinum Washi tape from Altenew.

As you can see, it was a productive Zoom play date. We also smooched with PP, but that card will be revealed another time. If you would like to visit the blogs of my Zoom playmates and see their schimmery creations, here are the linkies: BonnieBrendaChristineLoll, and Susan.

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Thought you might get a smile out of this piece of mail I received the other day:
No, it wasn't a large handmade card, thank goodness, but seriously?

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Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy, but please be safe out there! 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!)