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!

July 27, 2020

Christmas Critters

Hello Stamplings,

Welcome to the 27th day of July, 2020, more than halfway to Christmas. No one knows what the world will be like 21 weeks from now, but if nothing else, we can exchange or donate Christmas cards!

I hope so, anyway, because my creativity wagon wheels have traveled steadfastly down Christmas Road for several days now. This time my yuletide makes feature my faves: critters!
You know I do love froggies. I never tire of this old Purple Onion frog. He's been given googly eyes by Hammy and a pretty red bow in celebration of Christmas in July. The banner is from Concord & 9th, the sediment is from GKW, and the card base is linen. I mean, what can I say, another QACAS shazambam card.

Challenges
Twofer
Same design, different critter! The thing is, this is such an easy sketch and I have no end of critters, so once I started going through my critter drawers (excuse me?), I couldn't stop making them! This one is a dog from a stamp set by Paper Smooches called "Santa Paws." I do chuckle at how it turned out because the dog looks like he is walking a gangplank! Or a diving board!

On the off chance that you aren't familiar with this Christmas character, this dachshund is the star of a children's book called, "Dixon Destroys Christmas." It's really charming and carries you through the escapades of a miniature dachshund named Dixon who has an overbite, an overactive bladder, and an overachiever personality disorder. You can just tell by that goofy smile that a lot of ornaments are destroyed as you follow his journey through the book!

Sorry, wait. Before you go googling it for your grandchild, I just made that up. But it could be a book. If you want something easy and addictive that works for all your bird and critter stamps/dies, give this fun sketch a go!

Challenges


Nellie's Notes

Speaking of dogs, you haven't seen Miss Nellie in a minute:
You know how she likes to guard the table when I'm outside taking photos of my cards Justin Case any squirrels show up to startle me. Yesterday I dropped down on the other side and took this shot of her from underneath the table. Did someone say, "cookie?"

Tomorrow the poor thing is going under to have a complete dental checkup and clean. She just turned nine and the records from the previous owner show dental disease, so we need to have our vet take a look at what's going on in that sweet stinky mouth of hers. 🤞

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Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy! LITS!* Keep 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!)

July 22, 2020

Celebrating Christmas in July!

Hello Stamplings!

How are my fellow Covid Shut-ins today? Weary? I don't even have any uplifting advice to make that go away except to suggest you turn on your favorite kind of music and enjoy!  Try not to get a black eye like I did.  

I'm all about QACAS Christmas today. You might think, oh, thank goodness, I'll forget that it's 96 and humid outside. Or you may think, oh, no, no, no, forget about it, I am not looking at Christmas cards in July. You go on then with your bad self and I'll see you next time. No worries.

Onefer
This is a one-layer card made with a NBUS stamp and die set from Simon Says Stamp called "Winter Scene." It was the most fun Hammy and I have had since the time that Greyhound bus filled with members of a British football team took a wrong turn and ended up in our driveway. (That was back when they still allowed drinking on the bus.)

This set has the frame and hills as one stamp and then separate stamps of mountains, reindeer, trees, a house, stars, moon, and four sediments. After I colored, Hammy handled the winking. There are many possibilities for laying out scenes and we told each other stories as we created.

In this scene, we are looking out one of the windows of Santa's house and we see Wilbur and Walter, two of the reindeer out for a nighttime stroll. The problem is they have no sense of direction, as you can plainly tell, and they can't agree on which way to go. Because of that, Santa doesn't use them to pull the sleigh. Well, you ask, why then are they there? Many people don't know this, but Santa has a whole stable full of shelter reindeer that nobody wants. They live long and happy lives because of him. 🥰

Challenges
 

This QACAS Christmas card features a NBUS nativity scene called "Heavenly" by Penny Black. I die cut it from gold paper and then used MFT stitched dies for the popped-up oval and the rectangle panel. The sediment was heat-embossed in gold.

Challenges
Right Click to SaveTake away banner
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Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy! LITS* so take care!

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!)

July 17, 2020

Butterfly ~ Butterfly II

Hello Stamplings!

I hope you're doing okay as another week whooshes by. I walked by a store yesterday and they had Halloween costumes in the window! 

Mmm, no. That's a lie. I'm not going downtown and, hence, I didn't walk by a store with Halloween costumes. But the way this year is flashing by, perhaps it is happening! 

I'm here to remind you that there is only one week left to enter your cards in the 29th showing of the Twofer Card Challenge, where the prize is ten million dollars and the prompt is:

🦋BUTTERFLIES!🦋

What? Wait. No. Move over. You see what happens when I let Hammy type my post! What a liar he is! (Well, that's a bit harsh. He thinks of it as teasing.) There is no prize other than the possibility of seeing your name up in lights on the winner's post! But, hey, that's always fun!

We made these two designs to inspire you:
These are a bit artsy-ish for me, aren't they? You could say I've spread my wings! 😆 This time the item my two cards have in common is a NBUS stamp from Docraft Papermania called, "Square Urban Stamp."

Onefer
For this encouragement card, I simply stamped the image with Versamark and heat-embossed it in gold on black card. The gold-embossed sediment is from STAMPlorations. To focus your eyes, I added gold border strips on each side. QACAS.  (Wouldn't this image be perfect stamped on coasters?)

Challenges
Please grab our logo
Twofer
For this birthday card design, I placed a square card over a piece of scratch paper and verrrrrry carefully stamped the image in black four times around the corners of the card (after first stamping off once to mute the black ink). Then I had a lie down and asked myself why I hadn't just used my gray ink pad.

Then I cut two circles out of the center. I replaced the center circle after gold-embossing the sediment from Stamps of Life, "Sentiments4Circles." I colored the butterflies in oranges and Hammy added his winking, even though you can't see the schparkle nor the juiciness of the oranges. Finally, for a little dementia, I ran an orange marker around the inner rim of the outer circle.

Challenges
OUR BLOG BADGEGrab the Badge
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I hope my cards have inspired you to make two butterfly designs per the rules and join in the fun at the Twofer Card Challenge! Mwah!
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I will leave you with a photo of one of the butterflies I am blessed to see enjoying the butterfly bush outside my Playhouse window. It's not a Monarch visiting this time, but the large tiger swallowtails are equally mesmerizing!

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! I'm slower at visiting now, however, because I'm older and I look out my window a lot.

*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!)

July 14, 2020

More Flutterbies

Hello Stamplings!

Surprise! Feast or famine with me. But what happened was, I let all my butterflies out of the drawer when I was making my Twofer cards and it seemed a shame to just choose a couple of them and put the rest back in the drawer without playing with them. 

Onefer
In the last post I used a sediment from PTI's, "A Bit More: Butterfly Blooms." This butterfly and the little circle blingies are also part of that set. I masked the section where the sediment would go and then used Catherine Pooler inks in fun summer colors to stamp the butterflies. 

I don't know if you can see them, but in order to delineate the sediment area, I added score lines. To make the matching die cut, I vertically blended the same colors onto a piece of scratch paper and then die cut the NBUS Thanks Folksy Script from Poppystamps.

Challenges
Blog Badge

Twofer 
For this card design, I used a NBUS stencil from Darkoom Door. I sprayed the stencil with Pixie Spray after first spending ten minutes patiently trying to explain to Hammy that the light tack glue was NOT, in fact, made from pixies. 😲 He was quite distraught until I assured him that pixies had formed a union (UPAG = United Pixies and Gnomes) in 1963 which protected them from such mistreatment.

With the stencil in place, I used my makeup brushes to color the butterfly with CP inks. After wards, I used my Pilot Precise ink pen to trace the stencil in black. Thank you, Nancy, for this great idea! It was uber easy and gives a really cool effect!

The sediment is from MFT. As another design feature, I planned to add score lines or a piece of Washi tape to the area between the image and the sediment. The score line was meh, I didn't have a Washi tape that worked, and since the technique I used for the die cut on the first card worked so well, I did it again. I simply blended the inks onto a snippet of paper and then cut a narrow strip to add to the card. 

Challenges
Grab the Badge

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I've got to run. I opened a can of worms mentioning UPAG. Hammy's been on the computer and discovered there is no mention anywhere of any union representing hamsters.

What have I done?!!
Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy! LITS!* Keep safe and well and wear your mask!
This is so true, especially if yours are 44 x-long like mine!

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!)

July 10, 2020

Butterfly ~ Butterfly I

Hello Stamplings!

How are you? I hope you've been doing well. Have you missed me? I took a bit of a break the last coupla weeks. We celebrated both my birthday (2nd) and the 4th of July very quietly. Thank you for all the messages and beautiful cards! The Mister gets jealous because I have one of those first week of the month birthdays where you turn the calendar and slap your forehead because you forgot to send someone a card. He's jealous because that means my cards keep coming in for days and days!🥳

It felt good to step back from the computer and television and accomplish all these things:
  1. Cleaned and purged all the clothes closets and dresser drawers.
  2. Cleaned and purged the linen cabinet.
  3. Deep-cleaned the house.
  4. Cleaned and purged the garage with The Mister's help.
  5. Cleaned and purged the Playhouse with Hammy's help.
  6. Worked in the yard.
  7. Prepared my July cards for Twofer.
  8. Started on my Christmas cards.
Pretty good, eh? 

Oh, shoot. Wait a sec. I'm sorry. That's the wrong list. That list is my list of things to do!

Sorry about that. Here's my list of what I've accomplished:














Well, never mind. I did do #7! This month the prompt for the Twofer Card Challenge is the always-popular:

🦋BUTTERFLIES!🦋
Once again, someone will have to help me out with who the manufacturer is of these butterflies. I thought it was an old set from PTI, but I spent an hour trying to find it online without success. I even searched my own blog, thinking I've used it before, but apparently it's NBUS.

Anyway, it's a great set of butterfly stamps and dies, with these three sizes and three teeny-tiny sizes. ETA: Thank you, Colleen! It is a set from Mama Elephant called, "Butterfly Kisses."

Onefer
I stamped and cut several butterflies and painted them in rainbow colors using my Ziggies. Hammy added his winking. I thought it would be fun to have the butterflies bordering the scored sediment in opposite directions. The sediment is NBUS from PTI's "A  Bit More: Butterfly Blooms" set. QACAS and done!

Challenges
Grab our Badge!RRCB 138

Twofer
For this simple encouragement card design, I stamped the NBUS floral border from Altenew with watermark ink and embossed it in gold. The gold-embossed sediment is also NBUS from the same set. I attached the panel to an aqua card base and added two painted and winked aqua butterflies as a pop of bling. QACAS and done!

Challenges
  • Mix It Up: AG + Optional Twist of Open Technique. (Heat Embossing.)
  • NBUS: Anything goes never-before-used-schtuff.
  • TIME OUT: Days Gone By. I keyed on the word "Day."
SPREAD THE MIXED UP LOVE - grab a badge
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Join Us!

I really enjoy seeing your creative designs in the gallery, so I hope you'll join us for this month's Twofer Card ChallengeFor more awesome inspiration, check out what our talented Guest Designers Barb and TK and the entire Design Team have made for you!
Please remember that you can make two conventional designs or one conventional design and one unconventional design using your butterflies. We have winners for both categories. 

Also, do you Instagram? We are resurrecting our presence there, so please share your art by tagging the new account (#thetwofercardchallenge), so everyone gets used to the change. Mwah!

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From Facebook
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Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy! LITS!* Stay safe! Be a racoon!

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!

*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!)