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!

June 29, 2020

Over the Hill to Christmas

Hello Stamplings!

I hope this finds you doing well! I am at my one hundred and eleventh day of lock-up and I am now spending part of each day sitting and visiting with all the fence lizards in the backyard. We've gotten to know each other well enough that I've given them names. The main dude, who we call Stubby because he's lost his tail, is responsible for several of the younger lizards and he's now making the rounds again with the lady lizards if you know what I mean and I think you do. It seems to be a really good year for him. 

What's that? No, of course I haven't named the ants. That would be daft!

Onefer
This very QACAS card was made for a dear friend who turned 50 this year. Before I mailed it, I stamped a five and a zero on the uphill side between the two blue sequints because now that 50 is the new 40, it is no longer considered "over the hill."

I'd like to tell you where the swirly die is from, but I can't find it. (Slap me for not using my Evernote!) I've looked through all my dies under every word I can think of to describe this swirly hilly dotty loopy curvy line, but none of them worked. Someone will know and report back. I cut another die for Hammy. He's surprising nimble for his age and he's been having a blast running back and forth pushing a hazelnut from hole to hole!

Challenges
Right Click to Save
Twofer
This sweet little stained glass tag is NBUS from PTI. There are three beautiful little images and several sediments in the set called appropriately, "Stained Glass." I watercolored it with my Ziggies and Hammy winked it. The bow hanger die is called "Crisp Bows" and it's from Memory Box. The joy is from Lil Inkers. The background was dry-embossed with a snowflake e/f and then sanded to give the flakes a little more Jenny Saquaw. 

Challenges
Snippets Playground Badge
~~~

Empathy, Common Sense, and Covid-19 (a small rant)

Face with Medical Mask on Samsung One UI 1.5Please continue to keep safe and wear your mask when you're out and about where there are other people. Sometimes things get overblown and people incorrectly think they're being told to wear a mask 24/7. Even if you don't mind getting Covid yourself because you're healthy and you'll probably recover, you might unintentionally infect someone else who may die. (BTW, we don't know the long-term effects of Covid yet on people who survive.)

We are all weary of the situation, but it's the way it has to be until there's a vaccine. And that won't take forever. Maybe you don't know anyone who's been sick from Covid or died from Covid complications. That's wonderful, but many people are forgetting that the reason more people haven't gotten sick or died is because we wore our masks and kept our distance in March, April, and May. It's cause-and-effect. By not practicing these two simple things, Covid is on the rise and business and economic recovery across the globe is going to take longer.

This just occurred to me: I understand taking temperatures isn't that effective, so why aren't all of us pushing our respective governments for test kits which would let us know each day whether it is safe to be in public? Why can't they come up with an immediate response test like a finger-stick test for diabetics, or like a pregnancy test, which could be made by the millions, and provided free to us at our local pharmacies? (Maybe there's a reason that won't work and one of you nurses or doctors can explain it to me.) 

Anyway, I got off track there. I just wanted to add that I feel like this pandemic is testing us when it comes to common sense and empathy. Empathy is simply the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Let's do the right thing and be patient until there's a vaccine and let's also remember how blessed we are. 
Strode College

I have several dear friends who live alone and aren't blessed with a Mister or family member who lives with them and can provide companionship and run errands. In addition to physical challenges, they are depressed, lonely, and bored. Now, because some people are no longer practicing social distancing or wearing masks, they are even more stressed and afraid. If you know someone alone like that, please check in with them often. Older people have trouble reaching out, so don't wait to be asked.

Let's all put politics and wild accusations and unproven allegations aside, practice the Golden Rule, and imagine what it's like to walk a mile in someone else's shoes, especially the shoes of people who are lonely and extremely vulnerableWe don't want historians to write that the year 2020 was a time when we put our politics over the health of others and we were divided into groups based on our ages, our health, or the color of our skin. Rather, we want them to write that the year 2020 was a time when all people came together to fight a harmful virus that was killing both people and economies.

I know I'm preaching to the choir here, given the kindness and consideration innate to this caring community in Blogland, but I had to get this off my chest. Thank you.💕

~~~

And now for a chuckle I stole from Gay Peplow over on Facebook!
©Rowe Made A Thing

Mwah! 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!)

June 22, 2020

Summer Blooms

Hello Stamplings!

I hope you are doing well and for those who celebrate it, I hope you had a wonderful Father's Day in the Age of Covid 2020! The prodigal and family returned for a great picnic lunch in the backyard. It was wonderful to see them again, even at a bit of a distance!

I got a bit melon collie after they left, so I distracted myself with this:
It's as QACAS as can be. The image is "Banners and Blooms" from Concord & 9th. I watercolored with my Ziggies and Hammy finished up with a new winker.
The sediment is ancient. I want to say it's from MFT, but I'm not sure. (ETA: Thank you Lindsey and Bev for letting me know it is from Neat & Tangled!) It comes with the long thin lines attached equally on either side of the block sediment (I offset it) and there were other sediments in the set. 

BTW, how did the words, "I want to say ..." became a thing? What was wrong with, "I think ... ?" 

Do you find yourself having deep thoughts like that now that you're in the fourth month of isolation? Lots of heavy stuff is happening before our eyes and sometimes we just need to look away for a few minutes and think about fluffy things.

For instance, why does it really matter if our socks match? And why aren't men's and women's colognes made out of real smells that we love, like chocolate, apple pie, and bbq ribs? Okay, your turn.

Challenges
Blog Badge
Twofer
Real quick, here's another design from my recent round of making paper hug cards. The oval frame die is from PTI, cleverly turned on its side. The sediment is from Penny Black and the iris is from my dwindling stash of store-bought die cuts.

Challenges
Right Click to Save
Happy Father's Day

Three generations with The Mister keeping socially distant. ltr: Adam, Henry, Kevin, and Dan. It was very hot so everyone was a bit flushed and schweaty.

To close, a little fun play-on-words signage from my friend Brenda:

~~~

Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy! LITS!* Stay safe!

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!)

June 17, 2020

A Glass Half Full

Hello Stamplings!

Happy Hump Day aaaaaaaagain! Didn't we just have one of those? Oh, well, hic! 🍹
Ever since I mentioned that my Twofer on the 10th should have been a glass of something bubbly, I haven't been able to get the idea out of my hamster's head. I used a card base of gorgeous old-timey glitter-infused blue-gray cardstock. The NBUS "Layered Champagne Glass" is from MFT and the gold-embossed sediment is from Stampingbella. 

The die comes in two parts: the full glass and the insert with the holes (bubbles). I cut the full glass from opaque vellum and the insert a coupla times from a shimmery gold paper. Then I glued the bubbles as shown. A bit fiddly, but worth it. The friend I'm sending this to will definitely be popping open a bottle of bubbly for her upcoming birthday!

She won't mind if I also consider this card a toast to you for your stamina and stick-to-it-tiveness and your efforts to continue to be creative during this extended time of isolation. It's important to remain positive and consider your glass half-full. If it's not considered half-full, then by all means, pour in some more!

It's also important that we not become weary and careless. It's better to be safe than sorry, and to continue to wear our masks, keep our distances, and get tested if we don't feel well! Life is too precious. You're too precious.

Now that we've had some reinvigorating libation, here's a closeup of my card to show you the pretty schparkle you can't see above:
Challenges

~~~
For this card, I used the Avery Elle "Holiday Glass" stamp and die set. I cut a square aperture using the square die and stamped the bell stained glass. That's not to say that the bell stained my glass, but rather it's a stained glass image of a bell. I watercolored the image with my Ziggies, Hammy winked (and I'm sorry I didn't take a closeup to show you), and then I clear-embossed the image. Next I stamped and clear-embossed the sediment from Technique Tuesday. All good. All bright and shiny.

Then I decided that the Stately e/f frame would work great to, um, frame the design. Now, I've often embossed my card after I've stamped the sediment with no problem. But I haven't done it immediately after clear-embossing the sediment. Apparently it's not a good idea. It looks like part of the e/p hadn't set up enough. Sigh. This card will go to a card artist friend because she will understand and not judge! 🤍

Challenges
~~~

TCC

I want to remind you that we are at the halfway point of the current Twofer Card Challenge where the prompt is Circles/Bubbles. Design Teamie Anita has made two fabulous inspirational designs and I highly recommend you click over to enjoy them and I look forward to seeing what you link up!

~~~

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!)

June 14, 2020

I Think of You Each Day

Hello Stamplings!

I hope you are doing well and hanging in there. I mean that. It's hard. Like so many of you, my mojo is laying around like a 17-year-old dog in the sunshine. "Hey," you yell, "Hey, get up!" 

Nope. Not happening. The dog just shoots you the eyeball as if to say, "Go walk yourself." 

So what do we do? We turn to many of the wonderful challenges that are plugging along, coming up with brilliant ideas and inspirational designs to help us keep interested and active in this hobby we love.

A burrow around Blogland lead me to this:

Less Is More is looking for clean and simple border cards. Hammy and I put our heads together and discovered that we both thought of the definition of border that represents the horizon. Webster gives one of its definition as, "the edge or boundary of something, or the part near it." 

I have a small box of letterpress cards and envelopes that I purchased a few years ago. I'm not sure now what I was spose to do with them, but I grabbed one for this card. I used a piece of tape and blended both DIs and DOs in peeled paint, bundled sage, salty ocean, and wilted violet to make the border between the ground and the sky, representing a new day. The ink loved the letterpress paper and I'm happy to find a way to play with it. 

The NBUS sediment is from the "I Like Your Style" set which was sold as part of the Simon Says Stamp 2013 Card Kit! I chose it because I decided to send this card to Verna, getting lonelier every day in the small care home she's in. It's heartbreaking to think of how many men and women are alone around the world because of Covid.

Challenges
 

Twofer
Next, I saw that the current Flower Challenge is looking for navy (plus one other color) flowers, so I grabbed my NBUS Penny Black slapstick "Fabulous" stamp and did my favorite direct-to-stamp technique using SU markers and a spritz bottle to create a watercolor look. I find all these PB slapstick stamps lend themselves so well to this technique. The Happy Day sediment is from GKW. Hammy added some winking and I finished it off with a trio of dew drops.

Challenges

...or Hedgie

Nellie
The yard is ablaze with color from lantana, butterfly bush, two white oleander trees, and various potted plants (not shown). The Mister placed his beloved companion on the wall for a late afternoon portrait to share with you.

~~~

Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy! LITS!* Stay safe. Please.

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!)

June 10, 2020

Playing With Circles and Bubbles!

Hello Stamplings,

I hope you are having a great week! Did it escape anyone else's notice that May quietly slipped into June as we've been distracted by world events? At this rate, I'm going to turn around and it will be October, so I need to get going on my Christmas cards!

But not today. Today, I have a coupla bright and summery cards. It's the tenth of the month and the start of the June Twofer Card Challenge where the prompt is "Circles/Bubbles!" I set this prompt up months ago, but I think it turned out to be timely because we can all use some playtime with circles or bubbles!
The stamp my Twofers have in common is the PTI "Dot Spots" stamp set.

I know, you're surprised that I didn't choose bubbles and have them floating out of a champagne glass, aren't you? Obviously I need to stop allowing Hammy to have any vacation time!

Onefer
This very CAS card was made by stamping the medium dot spot circle across the card front in rainbow colors using CP inks. A hello die was added over the top. It is from Uniquely Creative and was a gift from a friend. QACAS at its best!

Challenges

Twofer
To make my second distinctly different design, I used the same dot spots circle stamp as a sun setting behind the hills with a weeping willow in the foreground. The weeping willow is a NBUS die from Poppystamps (cut from schparkly black paper) and the sediment is NBUS from Penny Black's "Good Wishes" set. The gentle hills were blended using a curved mask and CP ink.

I was fascinated by weeping willow trees when I was growing up. You could get under those long leafy branches and be unseen inside a magic quiet world with nothing but your imagination. As you might expect, I could happily be under there for hours. 😌

Challenges
Help yourself to our buddy button06-20 copy
little red wagon

~~~

I hope you'll be excited about the circles/bubbles prompt and come play in the June Twofer Card Challenge #28! Talented Guest Designers Jenny and Linda and the entire Design Team have exceptional inspiration waiting for you there! 

You can't play with circles or bubbles and not feel like you're having fun and who doesn't need that?!

If you do play, you might want to also link up to another fun challenge called Happy House where they are honoring TCC by having their own "Double Challenge!" I'll be linking my cards there and over at the June NBUS. ETA: And I've just gotten word from my friend Ike that she is running an "R is for Round or Dots" challenge at Ike's World Challenges, so please join me in linking there, as well!

Do you like our house?  Add the Happy House badge to your Blog

~~~

I'll leave you with some chuckles. Here are the new names of songs that have been revised to make them appropriate for those of us who are now enjoying our rusty golden years:
  • "Splish, Splash, I Was Having a Flash," by Bobby Darin.
  • "Mrs. Brown You Have a Lovely Walker," by Herman's Hermits.
  • "I Get By With a Little Help From Depends," by Ringo Starr.
  • "Fifty Ways To Lose Your Liver," by Paul Simon.
  • "On The Commode Again," by Willie Nelson.

And I stole this from my friend Susan who posted it on FB:
Haha, I just realized the way I wrote that could be interpreted as Susan reporting on Facebook that I stole her sign! 😂😂😂

~~~

Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy! LITS!* Keep yourself safe and well!

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!)