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 28, 2020

Creativity During Corona

Hello Stamplings!

I hope you're doing okay, my friends.

I don't know why no one has thought of this yet, but why aren't we all doing Isolation Isometrics? (Should I © that?) Remember isometrics? It's an excellent type of exercise one can do all alone and without equipment. Just the thing for the current times when the gyms are closed. Isometrics still exists as far as I know, but it fell out of popularity after Jack LaLanne died, if not before. (I can only imagine the number of you reading that name and cocking your head to the side in the international symbol for, "WHO?")

Anyway, just a thought. If you try it, let me know how you like it. I would try it myself, but I can no longer hold a thought longer than ten seconds, let alone a mussel. 

Here's a Twofer to take your mind off everything.

Onefer

I noticed there are a coupla challenges with food and splats briefs. I beg your pardon. That didn't sound right, but this is what I came up with. 
I thought of this birthday card design because millions of families are experiencing togetherness like never before, which is a positive result of the pandemic. It's wonderful that parents and children are getting the opportunity to play board games, or put puzzles together, or cook and bake together. 

So I took a whisk and splat from Technique Tuesday, as one does, and came up with a visual of what I think a child would consider the coolest frosting EVER for a birthday cake. Of course, that would be rainbow frosting, especially if it's been glossified by a certain hamster. And because kids love to sign their work, I used an ancient wooden stamp from Rubberstamp Ave, dated 2002, to make the wonderful declaration of pride.

Everything was floating around, however, so I used narrow dotted Washi tape to grind everything to the center of the card. 

Challenges
 RRCB 133

Twofer

And then what happened was I checked my challenge links for ideas and I saw a sketch challenge I liked, so I made this:
I used the MFT Home Sweet Home die and cut it down to fit the sketch. The sediment and boots are from a Stampendous set. I colored the boots with my Ziggies and Hammy used Nuvo schparkly glimmer paste for the fur. Part of a rectangle scallop die and Washi tape were used for the horizontal bit.

Using Tim Holtz stencils, the chimney was blended with Fired Brick (of course) and the smoke was made with a white gel pen. There isn't a smoke stencil, as such. It's a sort of filigree stencil that I noticed had a swirly bit that looked like smoke so that's what I used. I added longer smoke lines by hand to make the bigger wisps work. Easy for you to say.

Challenges
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Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy! LITS!*
  • If there's a baby boom nine months from now, what will happen in 2033? There will be a whole bunch of quaranteens.
  • So many coronavirus jokes out there, it's a pundemic.
  • What's the best way to avoid touching your face? A glass of wine in each hand!
  • Feeling guilty about letting the kids watch too much TV? Just mute it and put the subtitles on. BOOM. Now they're reading!
My heartfelt sympathies to those who have lost loved ones to this terrible virus. I mean no disrespect when I share pandemic funnies. Laughter is more important than ever in times of uncertainty and anxiety.

Please take care, keep your distance, and keep safe!

*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!)

April 22, 2020

Spring Tulips and Earth Day 2020

Hello Stamplings!

How are you? I hope you aren't feeling too blue today. If you are, I send you a cyber hug to make you feel a little better. This pandemic is teaching us first-hand what it means to live in the moment and take things one day at a time. Else, you know, you're in the land of coocoo. 
Just to be different, I thought I would share two cards with you today. Haha. One of these days I'll just share one and you'll be looking around the back of your device to find the second one!

Onefer
This is another remnant from BOB of another remnant from last year's ESCR retreat. On this occasion, my crafty friend Nancy led a class where we made beautiful smooched and blended bookmarks. I saved a couple of images to use on cards like the one above and below are a couple of others I made and laminated to use as bookmarks:
Thank you, Nancy. I think of you every time I use them!

Challenges
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Twofer
Today is Earth Day! When I realized that yesterday, I reached for my "You Mean the World to Me" die from MFT. The die is one part globe and one part sediment. I covered the sediment with a dry baby wipe in an attempt to make it look like a face mask ~ an icon of this pandemic. I'm not sure how successful I was, especially considering some of the really sharp and professional looking masks many of you are coming up with on your cards! Mine looks more like a diaper or a panty liner, but the thought was there! 

Then, while I took out some cabin-fever-frustrations on the score board, I gave Hammy the job of taking the letters which the die cuts out to say, "you mean the world to me" and rearranging them to say, "we are one world." That is one indisputable fact this virus has shown us. It does not discriminate. It is not political. It reminds us that we all inhabit and are responsible for this big beautiful globe and by extension, each other.

Another thing that has been a constant as the virus has moved from country to country is each nation's brave first-responders and medical personnel who work insane hours at insane risk to keep people alive. We can never thank them enough, but one of our favorite challenges, Seize the Birthday, is running a sister challenge called Seize the Heroes! Thank you STB! I'm happy to be playing along!

Also playing in:
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And Then What Happened?

©Karen Bitters
It was a red-letter weekend here. I cut my own hair! I don't think I did too badly either and it certainly feels less shaggy. 

I've also decided to take this opportunity to let it go white. Or gray. Or a combination. Who knows? I have family members with all shades of gray, so it's a crap shoot as to what it will look like. And I can always recolor it. (And now I'll get a million hits on this post because I said shades of gray!)

I also gave Nellie her first all-over bath. Before I've just washed her feet and belly in the sink between groomings. She is so patient and just stands there and takes it like a pro. I also trimmed the hair around her eyes, but I'm not feeling capable or desperate enough to cut the rest of her hair just yet. I guess I need to start watching some videos.

How You Can Help

Oh, speaking of videos, I'll leave you with this video link which some of you may have already seen. It's a lady who shows how you can help by making masks out of your bras. My experience with making one was similar to hers.


Enjoy and enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy! LITS!* Take care and keep safe!

*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!)

April 17, 2020

Spring Blossom PP Parade

Hello Stamplings,

Happy Friday! YAY, we made it to the weekend! Wait. What? Oh, that's right. We don't have weekends anymore as we come up on the start of our sixth week in isolation. Oh, well! Happy Friday anyway in a world where everyday can be Friday if we want!

That's true of everybody except our essential workers. God bless them for all they are doing! Every one of them should receive a Medal of Freedom or some other honor when this is over. We are all so grateful and 🙏 for you.

I've some uber QACAS cards to share. I hope they will brighten your day!


When I was visiting Brenda last fall, we stopped at a craft store. It was a real treat for me because we haven't had any brick n' mortar craft stores in my area for years. Among my purchases were a few breathtaking designer papers by Alexendra Renke. With the addition of a stamped sediment (or even none), I turned them into spring birthday cards, which I'll share at Crafty Hazelnut's PP Challenge. Sometimes pp needs to be the star of the show, and in posts to come, I'll have more pp-focused cards to share.

Reminder Zone
  1. Over at the Twofer Card Challenge, Designer Bev has prepared another Twofer for you to inspire you to make cards using the Rain/Umbrella prompt. Please check it out. You have until the end of day on the 24th to play;
  2. This month's NBUS Challenge is open until the end of day on the 30th for you to share; and
  3. Over at the Day of the Month Card Club, where I'm this month's GD, you have until the 30th to play.
Grab our badge to display on your blog.Our take away logo!  / Our logo to take away!

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I'll leave you with a few photos to ketchup on a bit of family life:
  1. Neighborhood fence art to keep our spirits up!
  2. I mentioned I'm doing a clean, purge, and reorg of the Playhouse. I pushed all my bookshelf schtuff to the side to wipe off the top, left to get some paper towels and came back to catch Freckles getting frisky with Hammy! 😲
  3. The Mister went out to the garage to put the new registration card in one of the motorcycles. He nearly jumped a foot when he reached up to open the tank bag and saw this lizard. Inside the garage on top of the motorcycle and he wouldn't budge! (The lizard, not the Mister.) This was a few nights ago when it was cold, so we think he was in a torpor. He just stayed there for a picture and he didn't move until the whole bag was unbuckled and carried outside, where he was unceremoniously dumped into the flower bed!
  4. This is the way Nellie sleeps in her bed at the foot of the big bed, all snuggled in a comforter. She looks like a stuffed animal when she's sleeping. Well, also when she's awake.
  5. This is the way Nellie looks when the Mister insists on putting her next to the irises for a photo. (I told you he was besotted with her!) The sun was in her poor eyes so she couldn't look up without looking grumpy and miserable, but I had to share this photo of her with the awesome shadow of the iris on her head!
And finally:
This is my little family. The Mister looking debonaire. (He's smiling, honest.) Can you see Nellie white-on-white in the second chair? And did you notice one of our little hummers managed to get in the photo, too! We are making the most of sheltering in place ~ or SIP as my sister Diana calls it. She loves aaaackronyms, too! I think I'll go join the Mister for a different kind of sip!🍷

~~~

Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy! LITS!* Take care, stay in, and be safe!

*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!)

April 14, 2020

What in the World?

Hello Stamplings!

I have to say, it's hard keeping our chins up after this Easter weekend of severe winter weather in many states and devastating tornadoes in many others. What in the world is going on with the weather? As if the virus wasn't enough of a test! My heart and prayers go out to any of you who have been impacted. 

As for us, we were fortunate to have a lovely weekend, although it was surreal because we usually have a houseful. We did have a great video chat with the prodigals and we are looking forward to having our postponed holiday and long-overdue hugs as soon as we can. 

Onefer
I meant to post this card yesterday, but then I started doing a complete purge and clean of the Playhouse just to be doing something productive and distracting and I forgot all about my post. You know how much I love me some purging and cleaning!

The two cards today were made as part of my recent campaign to use all the focus pocuses in my BOB (box o' bits). I colored the lilies (from PTI) with my Ziggies and had Hammy wink them while we were at our Indiana retreat.

Challenges

Make My Monday Challenge Blog

Twofer
This card panel was made at last year's ESCR retreat in Vancouver. We all smooched backgrounds and then Susan taught us how to bleach our images with splashless bleach. I added bling to the flower centers and two sediment strips from Simon Says Stamp which I framed in black. It seemed an appropriate greeting for someone right now. (Maybe I should send it to myself!)

Challenges

Blog Badge
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Since I'm a little out of shorts today, I'll leave you with these funnies shared by friends. It's important to keep our senses of humor and there are some very clever people out there helping make sure we do that!
This morning I saw my neighbor talking to her cat. It was obvious that she thought her cat understood her. I came into the house and told my dog. We laughed a lot.

~~~

Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy! LITS!* Take care, stay in, and keep safe!

*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!)

April 10, 2020

April Rain Brings May Flowers

Hello Stamplings!

I hope this finds you doing well and able to keep your wits about you!

You know, now that I look at those words, I can't help but wonder what they mean. The visual I get is sort of a Mother Hubbard-type lady with full skirts and a dozen kids and she's trying to keep them all within cuffing range. Do our wits try to run off when we aren't looking so we have to gather them under our skirts to keep them about us? 

Sorry. These are the sort of Coronavirus Ponderings my mind does to distract me from all the bad news bombarding me from the telly. Which makes me wonder, do we really need definition no. 2 for the word detract when we have the word distract? Somebody slap me!

🌧☔🌦

Today is the tenth of the month and you know what that means! Meatloaf! No, silly, it's the start of another Twofer Card Challenge! This month our appropriate prompt is "RAIN/UMBRELLA." That means you can just feature rain or you can just feature an umbrella(s) or you can feature both.  

Here's what I came up with:
The item in common on both my designs is the "Umbrella Shaker" from Simon Says Stamp. 

Onefer
The base of this friendship card is a beautiful sky blue textured paper that I've been hoarding. No more of that nonsense. Over that is a patterned vellum that looks like a cloudy sky. I have no idea where it's from because I've had it since the ark came through, but no more hoarding of that either. (I'm just thankful I came across it!)

The sediment is from the really cute Umbrella 4 You set by The Stamps of Life. I heat-embossed it in coral e/p to match the fetching propped up pp umbrella. Finally, the cropadile came out of the swamp and chomped the upper corners to mimic the curve of the brolly.

Challenges

Twofer
I have to say, coming up with this idea was a magical moment and I grin from ear-to-ear every time I see this card. So many of my card designs are sparked by inspiration I find on your blogs or on Pinterest, so on the rare times I come up with something original, it's a chuffable moment. 

It started out with me cutting glossy black and white umbrellas to come up with my second design. Then I thought glitter paper might be more suitable for Christmas, so I moved on to cutting schparkly red and white glitter paper umbrellas. 
While standing at the die-cutter, looking at the pieces, the idea of trying to mush two umbrellas together to make a giant ornament came to mind. Well, that was fine as far as it went, but it still needed something. 

I crossed my arms over my bozooms and turned to Hammy, quizzically. He scampered across the room and up to the cabinet where I keep some of my Christmas whatnots and opened the drawer with the mini jingle bells! Bingo! So let me stop right here and correct myself. I only thought of doing an ornament; it wasn't me who came up with the jingle bell idea. Thank you, Hammy!🐹

To turn the ornament ball into a jingle bell, I cut up one of the glossy black umbrellas and fashioned that thingamajig X. The schparkly red bow is from PTI and the sediment is from GKW.

Challenges
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🌧☔🌦

When you are working on your April birthdays, thinking of you, and get well cards, why not use your "RAIN/UMBRELLA" products and join in the Twofer Card Challenge?! I'd love to see you there! For more inspiration, please check out what the talented DT and our Guest Designers TK and Rosi have made! You have until the end of day on April 24th to play!
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Take care, be safe, and enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy! LITS!* 

Happy Passover and Happy Easter to all! Enjoy this time with your family if you are fortunate to be together!

And please, God, don't let the grid go down on Sunday when those of us who aren't together with our families are trying to connect with each other through video-conferencing!
*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!)