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!

August 28, 2020

Print Making With Pals

Hello Stamplings!

I didn't think it was possible to eat that much chocolate in twelve days, but I guess everyone in fire-ravaged California shares the same stress-reliever and now you can't even find it in the stores! Just kidding, but I'll bet there has been a run on sales! 

I pray for those who have lost everything in the fires, and I pray that those in the path of Hurricane Laura are safe. Mother Nature is not happy and she doesn't care that we are all stressed by Covid, inequality, politics, and home-schooling. πŸ™ Thank goodness for🍹and, of course, πŸ–ŒπŸŽ¨!

Speaking of art, I was happy to join with friends a coupla weeks ago for a fun crafty session via Zoom. We wanted to play with the print making technique shown by the talented colorist Kathy Racoosin in her video here. Today we are all posting our cards. Further down there is a linky list of the other ladies' blogs, where you can find and enjoy their beautiful designs!

Onefer
I chose to use Penny Black's "red and greens" holly die for my card. I colored and spritzed it using my Karin markers just like Kathy did. You basically use watercolor paper and "stamp" your colored and spritzed die onto the paper, thereby turning your die into a stamp! I mean, how cool and stretchy is THAT?!

I know I use the peace die from Winnie & Walter a lot, but the loopy font was just perfect for my print design. Glitter and schparkle seem to be where its at lately, so I attached the watercolored and pink mat panels onto a panel of glitter paper. Here is a close-up of Hammy's winking of the holly to tie the two glittery elements together:
Challenges
The Holly and Ivy Christmas Challenge
Twofer
This design is for a fall birthday. I used Concord & 9th's "Floral & Flutter" die for my "stamp" for this one, but the technique was the same. The stitched scalloped frame is NBUS from Pink & Main. The sediment is from Cottage Cutz. I used the same colors of markers to color the sediment to match the flower. I think you can see without your binoculars that Hammy did his thing. You don't even want to know how over-budget I am on liquid glitter now that you've all joined me in telling Hammy what a good job he does with the winking!

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If you'd like more inspiration from my friends using this fun technique. click over and enjoy!

Fire Update

While the fires to the north, east, and south of the San Francisco Bay Area are still less than fifty percent contained, the marine layer has come in which has helped the firefighters immensely. The temperatures are supposed to go up again starting today, but hopefully steady progress will continue to be made. Thank you for all your good wishes and prayers!

There is a wonderful account on Instagram called @activenorcal. It has many amazing photos of the Bay Area, fire related and non-fire related. This photo gives you an idea of why hundreds of fires were started by dry lightning storms in the state on August 23rd.
Isn't that power incredible?!

Take care and please be safe out there wherever you are! 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!)

August 23, 2020

My True Love Gave To Me . . .

Hello Stamplings!

I'm going to get right to it in case our power goes out. Thank you for all your messages of concern. The fires are immense and burning on all sides of the Bay Area and up and down the whole state. It is hell for firefighters and the air quality for everyone has been declared unhealthy. The weather conditions today and tomorrow may stir up more unusual thunderstorms with very little rain, but lots of lightning. are welcome.

The CAS Christmas Card Challenge for August is calling for "Twelve Days of Christmas" and I've been wracking my brain trying to come up with a way to play. Finally, all that wracking paid off:
On the ninth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
nine ladies dancing . . .

You don't want to know how many iterations of this card ended up in the bin. I had dancers in rows, and dancers in a semi-circle, and dancers in a demitasse. You name it, I tried it. This version came about after I saw the current sketch at CAS(E) This Sketch (thank you to them) which I turned on its side. It was too much fiddling to use the Misti, so I stamped them all by hand with an acrylic block and I would get to number six and biff it. Next time, it was number seven. You get the idea.  

The little ballerina dancer started out as a tightrope walker in a NBUS circus-themed set of stamps and dies from Wplus9 that I've had since 2011. Not a lot of circus prompts out there, but it is a really cute set and I'm chuffed to finally be able to ink up one of the stamps. But first I had to perform surgery on the young lady to remove the umbrella over her head and the tightrope on either side and between her legs. I kanicked her right calf, but she's a real trooper and carried on.

The sediment, also NBUS, is from Inkadinkado. Drawing those little Christmas hats required much smaller hands than mine, so once again Hammy saved the day!

Challenges

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These are a few cards I made a while back using another sheet of gorgeous Alexandra Renke pp!
On the one hand it feels a bit like cheating, but on the other hand, her art is truly that, art, and why not make lovely cards with it to share with friends and family? On the other hand. Oh, no, that's two, that's all you get.

The Vagaries of Age

Those of you who have been dedicated friends since I started this bloggeroo may remember I once had a Pity Party for myself because I put my back out while walking down an aisle at Costco and stepping on an pile of air! Yup, air!

Unfortunately, I keep doing those things, but nowadays the injuries are because a) I have a cute little dog, and b) I forget how old I am. A coupla weeks ago I was running around the patio, stopping quickly and lunging towards Nellie which makes her tear off and do "zoomies" around the yard. It's tons of fun until someone gets hurt. Someone aged and (ahem) chubby who forgets she's aged and chubby and turns sharply to run the other way only to pull up short in complete agony because of a stubbed toe.

Stubbed? On what? Shirley, you can't call it a stubbed toe when there is literally nothing to stub it on! Shirley, you can't call it a stubbed toe when the pain is so intense it feels like the toe has been hacked completely off? Pain so intense that it caused me to quickly limp into the house, down the hall, and stick my entire foot into the cool water of the toilet! Yup, that intense. 

It still hurts if I bump it. But did I learn from it? Nope.

We can't be outside because of the smoke and little dogs need exercise. So yesterday we did inside zoomies running up and down the hallway. 

Now I know where my right hip socket is. 😬

I don't like knowing where my hip socket is. I prolly would have had a few more good years with it if only the age and weight I am up inside my head matched reality. I'm always giving The Mister a hard time for living on Planet Delusional. Turns out he has a cute place there.

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Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy, but 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!)

August 19, 2020

I'm So Tickled!

Hello Stamplings,

How are you? I hope you are managing well.

We have been having an unusually long string of sweltering temperatures around 100-l08 degrees. A few days ago, the heat resulted in an unusual thunderstorn and lightning sparked many fires in northern California. So far we are safe, but the sky in the whole Bay Area is thick with smoke and stench. Because everything is dry, the fires are zero percent contained. It's unhealthy and frightening. I pray for those fighting the fires and for those of you in other parts of the country and world who are also experiencing severe heat and storms.πŸ€—

Onefer

On a happier note, I am so tickled to be appearing with other previous winners of the fun Happy House challenges in a post today. It's a lovely way of honoring past winners and to show how tickled I am, I'm sharing this feather card:
I madeth this card some time ago, but I hath never posted it. It's a regal feather stamp and die set manufactured by PTI a few years ago. The look of it, and its age, maketh me want to talketh this way. Dost thou know what I meaneth?

Can you see the little notch in the black sediment panel for the quill to nestle in? If I remember right, my friend Colleen did that once on a card and I loved it. The sediment and dotty heart were heat-embossed in white and you can just make out that Hammy skated freely all over the feather with his winker.

Challenges
Blog BadgeRRCB 141
Twofer

My second card today is all about using NBUS and making a super QACAS OLC!
I'm perverse enough to get a kick out of using the elegant lady silhouette with a snarky sediment!

This fun and NBUS snarky sediment is from Carmen's Veranda and the lovely lady is a NBUS die called "Susan Silhouette" and she's made by Memory Box. I did some research and discovered that the model's full name was Susan Glaston. She was well known in the branding community as a model for all sorts of wares from imprinted soaps to dies to jewelry. She modeled for this die when she was just 14 years old. Records indicate that she cut her hair to be in style when Twiggy came into fashion in 1966 and, as a result, she lost all of her lucrative contracts. Apparently her father was so upset with her, he chucked her out.

But no worries. If he hadn't, Susan would never have made her way to Hollywood where she turned her attention to becoming a movie star. The only work available at the time was in a daytime soap opera. At her agent's suggestion, Susan changed her last name to Lucci, got the job, and the rest is history to American TV buffs!

Challenges
Our Brother Challenge Blog 

Reminder

If you haven't yet played in the August Twofer Card Challenge, we'd love to see your creations! Our prompt this month is sun/moon and who doesn't have at least one 🌞 stamp, die, or stencil?! Our talented Team member Kara has made another set of amazing sunny Twofers to inspire you!
The challenge is open until end of day on August 24, 2020.
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Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy, but please take care and stay well! 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!) Source: None available due to the author making the whole thing up; apologies to Susan Lucci.

August 14, 2020

A Beach, a Bee, and a Baby

Hello Stamplings!

We've whooshed through another week unscathed and in lickity-split time and I hope you've done the same! 

Every Friday morning now for weeks we will be sleepily moving around the kitchen getting breakfast and one of us will start the conversation about the day and each other's plans and suddenly the one not talking will whip around, drop their jaw onto their chest, bug out their eyeballs, and whisper, "Wait. Is it Friday again?!" Every.single.week. It feels like we get up on Wednesday, step out of the shower, and it's Friday. It's positively ionic.

Fortunately, a three-day week is all I need to make a coupla cards.

Beach
Inspired by so many summer-y beach-y challenges, I made this cheer-y design which looks a little crooked-y. That happens.πŸ™ˆ Just lean into it. It's Friday.

Of all things, I used a Tim Holtz woodgrain stencil to blend out a stretch of ocean and a stretch of sand. The fun NBUS beach huts are from Avery Elle, watercolored by me, and then winked by Hammy. The NBUS sun ray stencil is from Moda Scrap. 

Of course, as any sensible person wouldn't, I decided to add the top level of the sun rays to the card base after adhering the panel. I remember back in the day when I had forethought ... but that might be an afterthought. Did you know merrythought is a real word? The definition is not the one I would have given it. It means wishbone of a bird. That's crazy, right, but at least you earned something new today. 

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Bee
I was playing in another lifetime with my friend Harriet and we were having fun with foil. This was a very glittery foil on an ancient bee from GKW. After wards I colored it in with my Ziggies and framed it with a square frame turned to form a diamond shape, as one does. I added a simple sediment heat-embossed in gold and a coupla Matts.

Here's a closeup which is a bit blurry because of all the schparkle:
Challenges

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Baby

I told you a while back about the old lizard we call Stubbie and all the little lizards that entertain me out the Playhouse window. I have pictures of him and I was going to do this whole collage, but, you know, how many lizards do you really want to see? 🦎

Anyway, I rant out of time, so instead I will just show you this itty-bitty baby I spotted sunning himself on a large white rock in the yard. I was taking photos of my card when I saw him, but before I could turn my camera towards him, he skittered underneath the rock. I circled him so you don't have to strain your eyes. So cute!!
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Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy (LITS!*), but please keep 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!)

August 10, 2020

Sunshine or Moonshine?

Hello Stamplings!

I hope this finds you doing well!

I just realized that now you're going to be expecting a recipe for moonshine. I asked Dr. Google and my, is it ever a long and involved process! I'm surprised there isn't a shortage of booze on the shelves by this point in the pandemic, so Justin Case, I'm going to stock up on corn mash.

🌞🌝🌞🌝🌞🌝🌞🌝🌞
(Interesting that the moon emoji is larger than the sun emoji.)

We have a fun, wide-ranging, far-reaching, and imagination-stretching prompt for you this month at the Twofer Card Challenge. It's sun🌞 OR moon🌝. And note: there are a lot of summertime/beach themed challenges abounding in Blogland right now, so the more challenges, the merrier! 

Here are the two designs I came up with:
The item my two cards have in common is a NBUS Hero Arts die called, "Safari Sunset."

Onefer
Everything about this card is self-exploratory. Onto a piece of jungle-y pp, I layered the sun cut from more pp and inlaid with clouds. The giraffe is a stamp from Fiskars, stamped onto pp from Bo Bunny and then fussy cut, and the sediment is from W Plus 9.  EZPZ!

Challenges
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Twofer
This Christmas design on the other hand ... I mean, I don't even know what to say. I knew what I had in mind, but it took some convincing for my ginfers to put it together. Quite a few bits went into the circular file and a few handstands had to happen, but eventually Mr. Muse was happy with the black and white winter sun and the Swiss dot snowfall. The peace die is from Winnie & Walter. Hammy added the star to balance the design. Peace out.

Challenges
  Snippets Playground Badge
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I would love to see you play with us and enter your beautiful sun or moon designs in the gallery at TCC!
Please remember that you can make two conventional designs or one conventional design and one unconventional design using the prompt. We have winners for both categories. The fabulous Team ~ and our talented Guest Designers Mac Mable and Linda W. ~ have made conventional designs to inspire you over at the August Twofer Card Challenge! Mwah!

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In other news, we were surprised recently when two peacocks came strutting by our house!
They just calmly walked on by, even with me standing in the driveway, holding Nellie. Sadly, they were so calm, they didn't fan their tails for us. They must be someone's pets and I hope they made it home okay. Never a dull moment in Sublurbia! [ETA: Maxine tells me these are peahens, not peacocks and like so many birds, the ladies don't have much to show. Thank you, Maxine!]

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