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!

April 1, 2020

An April Fool's Day Surprise!

Hello Stamplings!

Happy April Fool's Day! Normally, a cause for prankish behavior from me, but today I've something else up my sleeve. 

First, though, thank you for coming by! With this pandemic, our days are odd, off-kilter, and abnormal, which means routine things like having your last cup of morning coffee (or last sip of evening cocktail) while reading friends' blogs might not be happening. So thank you for taking the time/finding the time to visit me!
I still had the little fawn on my desk from the March Twofer challenge and I really wanted to use that snippet of tulip pp. Those two things were my jumping off point for this card. The wee fawn looks a little wan (is that a song?), but that's only the result of overexposure when sunlight meets copper embossing powder. He is quite dark and coppery in real life.

The tulips in the foreground are NBUS. I've removed the packaging, alas, but they have the sketchy look of being from Penny Black? I did the direct-to-stamp technique to color them, Hammy added winking, and then I added the bee punctuation!

Challenges
  • Just Us Girls: Photo week, specifically tulips.
  • Paper Players: A tic-tac-toe challenge from Joanne. (Top right to bottom left.)
  • SSS Monday: Spring mood board, specifically tulips.
~~~

As you know, I recently ended my relationship with the unfinished cards in my Box O' Bits (BOB). I planned to turn next to the mountains and mountains of NBUS I still own.

[In case you're visiting here for the first time, NBUS stands for "Never-Before-Used-Schtuff." You know, all those virginal new stamps, stencils, and dies you just HAD to have! And in these turbulent times, people tend to de-stress by online shopping so you may have, erm, slightly more NBUS than you did a month ago!]

From reading your blogs, I know a lot of us are in the same boat in terms of feeling unsettled, antsy, directionless. Our Mojo is under the desk and if you look at him, he puts his head inside his armpit. Generally, we are all discompooperated. Considering this is a hobby that should be bringing us solace right now, that's not a good thing.

That got me thinking, why not do something proactive to hopefully give all of us some direction? Why not resurrect my NBUS challenge?! So with the help of my friend Lolly, that's what I've done! 

There is now a dedicated website where you can share your NBUS creations!!!

So now, if you need a spark to ignite your creativity, turn to those things you've never gotten around to using, no matter how old or how new ~ and simply make using them your goal! You can challenge yourself to use just one NBUS item on a creation, or challenge yourself to make a creation with nothing but NBUS.

Whatever you decide, you have a place to share any creation you make for any purpose which contains at least one NBUS item! And you can share as many times as you like. Have fun with it and imagine the satisfaction you'll feel from being creative AND using your Never-Before-Used-Schtuff!

So what d'ya say? Wanna play? You can find all the details on the NBUS site! See you there!💜
~~~

Please take care, be safe, and enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy! LITS!*

*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!)

March 28, 2020

I Dirty Poured a Christmas Card

Hello Stamplings,

Our minds were taken off the Coronavirus this week when our hot water heater went belly up. The bad news is we weren't able to take hot showers, the good news is we weren't seen by any other people! Let me tell you, when you can't get hot water out of the faucet and have to go back to heating it on the stove, you realize how much you take it for granted!

But that's behind us now and I'm here to take your mind off C-19 for a bit as I share a Christmas-in-springtime card with you today. Now that I look at it, the colors are Christmas-in-springtime, too! 
The snowmen are from Paper Smooches "Snow Dudes" set. I was hoping to get this made before the CAS Mix Up challenge ended. They called for the use of acrylic paints and said if we were really feeling adventurous, we could use cards made from a "Dirty Pour." That reminded me that I still had remnants of the dirty pours we did two years ago at the Eat, Sleep, Craft, Repeat (ESCR) retreat. We used canvas paper:
You can see that a few of them will end up on awesome ocean-related cards, but I chose one that I thought might work for Christmas to make my tag card. I missed the CAS Mix Up challenge, but I can link up to Rudolph Days where the brief is "Anything Christmas Goes."

Beware the Crumble
I have a funny story to share of something I did a few days ago. I told you that the Mister can drive now, thankfully, since I can't be out and about. He went to the grocery store and was able to get some staples we needed. I was working away in the Playhouse when he came home.

He walked out from the house carrying something, pleased as punch. It looked like he was holding something very precious. It turned out to be a crumble-topped coffee cake, baked in the shape of a small loaf. I was delighted! I brought it to my nose, as one does, inhaling the heady aroma of cinnamon right through the plastic wrap. "Aaaah," I sighed. He carried it back in the house to be served later.
I sat back down in my chair and suddenly I had this visual: 

Five minutes before the Mister walked over to the specialty loaf section, another person had been there. If you had watched, you would have seen her picking up each loaf, bringing it to her nose and inhaling deeply before she put one down and picked up another. She was riddled with Covid-19 and I had just put my nose right where her nose had been!

Well, of course, that was in my imagination, but then again, it could have happened! How could I have been so stupid?! It just shows that no matter how careful we've been - and we have been very careful - something can happen to throw a wrench in. All I could do was laugh out loud. 

I told the Mister of my thoughts and then, still laughing, I told him that when the CDC came calling after my death to ask where I'd traveled and who I'd been around, I wanted him to tell them very firmly to write this in their reports: "She's been absolutely self-isolating since March 10th. She died because she buried her nose in a crumble topping."

And another laugh ...
~~~

Take care and stay safe. And enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy! LITS!*

*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!)

March 26, 2020

It's Purple Day! And Puppy Day!

Hello Stamplings!

Saying I hope you are feeling well takes on new meaning these days. 😷 But I do hope you are feeling well. If not, I made a card for you further down and I send you prayers and best wishes that you will feel better soon. 

But first today, I'm happy to be a part of the Purple Day Blog Hop in support of Epilepsy Awareness!
My pastel purple card features NBUS (never-before-used-schtuff) stamps from the fun "Amped2Stamp" set by Whimsy Stamps. I added the wee daffodil from Pink Fresh's set, "Always Flowers." The background stencil is "Nested Circles" from ARTplorations. It probably goes without saying, but I will be sending this to a stampling friend for her birthday!

Challenges
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Today's Purple Day Hop was organized by my friend Fikreta to raise awareness for epilepsy. Fiki has a very informative post (and a giveaway) on her blog detailing the history of Purple Day and many of the myths surrounding epilepsy.
I hope you will have the opportunity to check out Fiki's blog and the blogs of the other ladies in the Hop. Most of us know someone who struggles with this disease which does not get the attention and funding it needs. In addition to Fiki and myself, here is a list of the other card artists participating in this Hop:


To thank you for taking the time to check out today's Hop, I also have a giveaway: a $25 gift to Whimsy Stamps! Whoot! If you're a follower (and not just here for the candy), please let me know in your comment that you are interested in being in the draw. For every name entered in the drawing, I will personally donate $2 to the Epilepsy Foundation.

Twofer
The gals over at the Day of the Month Card Challenge are celebrating their first birthday with a "National Puppy Day" challenge. In order to be "ah curraunt," I am featuring a poor sick puppy made from an ancient SU stamp. The sediment and dog are all on one stamp, which is very cornvenient. Hammy added the ellipses so we could put, "... please get well soon!" on the inside. 

I colored the image with pencils and added a strip of Washi tape because I thought it needed a little sumpin sumpin. I feel like I've been given a gift when I open my Washi tape drawer and find a roll that perfickly matches the colors I used on an image! It doesn't take much to tickle the heck out of me.😂

Challenges
Right Click to Save

~~~

Enjoy your day and be safe! No, seriously! LITS!*

Thank you to everyone who gave me names and addresses of folks who could use a card during this crisis. It occurs to me that I would like to ask you the same flavor, if you have any extra thinking of you or hello cards in your stash. 

Many of you may remember me talking about my friend Verna. She has had a tough time the last five years since she had an accident with her walker and broke her neck. This week the care home she has been living in since the accident, kicked out the residents, saying they were going to sell the house. So now Verna is in a new care home and except for her son and daughter, no one can go visit her due to the pandemic, not even her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

She's 95 and still sharp as a tack, but she's feeling blue. If you can send her a card (tell her you are a friend of mine), you will lift her spirits immensely ~ and your own! 

Verna Garibaldi
3536 Murphy Street
Livermore, CA 94550

Thank you so much! Virtual hugs,

*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!)

March 21, 2020

Keeping Crafty

Hello, Stamplings!

First off, we're doing fine. We feel very blessed that the Mister recovered enough to start driving again just as it became very important for me to isolate due to being high risk. California has shut down except for essentials and we are still able to get local groceries, except for paper products. Don't get me started on that tissue!

I hope you are all keepin' on keepin' on and finding ways to not watch too much news on the telly. I had to finally limit myself to one hour a day and only ten minutes at a time, here and there, throughout the day. I'm glad you're visiting me to get away from all that, so let's go. (Since I don't post as often as I used to and you have plenty of time, I've made this extra long.😇)

And I have a special request, so if you're a scroll-through-quickly-friend, please stop and read the last section. Mwah!

Onefer
I wanted to play in some wonderful challenges, so I created this card. For the platinum grid, I made myself a stencil using my NBUS Birch Press Design, "Prism Triangle Collage." I applied Versamark liberally through the stencil and heat-embossed with platinum.

The flower flourish and sediment are from GKW. I colored the flower with my Ziggies using the JUGS color scheme and Hammy went to town with the winking.
Challenges

The Demise of BOB!

Amidst all the scary news and glums about the nasty Coronavirus making its way around the globe, I'm pleased to report I've had a fatality here in the Playhouse, but it's a good one! I'm referring to my Box O' Bits, otherwise affectionately known as BOB. He will NOT be missed!

With clearance from the CDC, here is a photo of dead BOB. You'll note that Hammy is playing with his new malachite Easter egg inside BOB's skeletal remains:
Yes, that's one of my boxes of NBUS (never-before-used-schtuff) off to the right. We won't talk about that just now. Let me relish in the afterglow of BOB's demise for a little bit longer!

And here, ladies, is a photo of the 73 cards* I made from what BOB has been greedily hanging on to for years!
Don't get too becited. Most of them are very simple designs and (embarrassingly) took ten minutes or less to complete, but still, pretty good, eh? I will be posting some of them (God willing and the creek don't rise) over time, so I hid their faces. That way they can't be accused of being backlinked later on.

I wanted to share my success with you because, if you're like me, you are feeling unsettled right now. You plan to start this, but you find yourself looking at that; what you were becited about yesterday, you couldn't care less about today; and/or, card-making once brought you a lot of satisfaction, but now most of your satisfaction comes from either food (chocolate) or online shopping. 

If that's happening to you, turn to your BOB, or your UFO, or whatever you call your half-finished cards and let the process take you away for a few minutes or a few hours. It's not only a distraction, it's productive. And if your significant other happens to be named Bob, lucky you ~ you can turn to him for other reasons, as well!😉

Twofer

Here is one of the finished cards I made:
I made this topper while at last year's ESCR and it's languished since. Silly, since all it needed was a card base and sediment, but that's what happens sometimes. The phone rings, the Mister stops by to let me know the mail came, Hammy wants help with his juggling lessons, or Nellie wants a cuddle. Or maybe I've just seen a mental squirrel and off I go. The technique was direct-to-stamp coloring with markers, then spritzing, and then stamping. The image is Penny Black's "Pure Iris."

Challenges


💟Something Positive

I have so many emotions and so many things I'd like to say about the current crisis, but this post is long enough. ONE of my concerns is the thought of all the thousands of elderly people in care homes around the globe who are suffering from loneliness because of our need for isolating ourselves. Perhaps they don't even understand why suddenly no one is visiting them. 

Thankfully, I feel like this is one concern where I can be proactive and do something, especially now that I've killed BOB and I have all these cards* in my stash. I'm making cards to drop off at our local care homes, but if you have an elderly loved one who feels lonely, I'd love to send a card to them, too. I'll mail to anywhere on earth where postal service is still occurring. And if you're feeling that way yourself, let me know. Please email their (or your) name and address to darnell dot knauss at gmail dot com and I will send off a card ~ or more, depending on the duration.

Now more than ever, my closing is appropriate. Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy! Life is too short! As always, thank you for coming by to visit the Playhouse! Take extra care and be safe!

Lots of hugs,

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!)

March 17, 2020

Bambi Through the Seasons

Hello Stamplings!

I have two bright and shiny cards for you today to take your mind off the real world for a few minutes. I find it very comforting to make a card I know will bring cheer to someone and I feel very blessed to have a hobby that keeps my own spirits up while I'm being isolated. 

We are at the hallway point of the current Twofer Card Challenge and...oh, haha, "hallway point!" Another example of how one letter can change the entire meaning of a word! Anyfoo, I've made a Twofer to remind you that there is still a week to play along with our Spring Animals prompt!
I went a little outside-the-Easterish-animal box and chose instead to use this sweet baby fawn from Stampin' Up as the common stamp on both my card designs. (He's really quite ancient, but he's still a baby.)

Onefer
This is quite a layered and busy design for me, but I enjoyed putting it all together and I have to say, I think it's very schparkly and scrummy which is how a Christmas card should be! 

I used gold glitter paper as the first layer. On top of that you will find a white card that has been die-cut with a notebook edge die from The Stamps of Life. I stenciled said layer using Delicata gold ink and a Snowflakes die by Memory Box. On top of that you will find a vellum fish-tail banner with a gold heat-embossed sediment from GKW. To the right is the little baby fawn heat-embossed in gold onto a stitched MFT circle, which is backed with a larger circle whose edges were dipped in gold ink. 

If you look closely, you will see more tiny gold snowflakes falling around the fawn. Hammy did those for me. 🐹 I'm thinking if the economy really goes belly up I can use this card in lieu of a gold bar!!!

Challenges

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Twofer
And wallah! For this design, I traveled forward from winter to spring to show you how stamps can be versatile and how to make two distinctly different designs! This time I heat-embossed the sweet baby fawn and sediment in copper e/p on a pretty linen panel. Using my Box O' Bits (BOB), I surrounded him with a spring Memory Box Cascadia Wreath cut from a green Brusho background. Then I cut out and paper-pieced each of the flowers from various Lindy Magical backgrounds. 

Challenges
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~~~

I hope you'll take advantage of this time of isolation to play in your craft room and join the fun over at the Twofer Card Challenge! The challenge closes at the end of day on March 24th.

Speaking of spring animals, please enjoy your St. Patrick's 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. I'm off to check my corned beef cooking in the crock pot ~ yummo! Take care and be safe out there!! 


*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!)