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 and you can find my NBUS Challenge online. I hope you'll join in the fun there! Thanks for coming by! Have a beverage and enjoy!

September 26, 2021

Cone Flower Flurries

Hello Stamplings!

How are you? Have you heard that there are now families of wild boars roaming the streets of Rome?

I intended to talk about it a bit more, but reading that sentence in my rear-view mirror, I got stuck on the fact that I used the word 'roaming' in the same sentence as the word 'Rome.' Remember being told in English class that you should avoid sentences structures like that? I do. I must have been told off about it in front of the class because it made a big impression. I'll start over.

Have you heard that there are now families of wild boards casually strolling along the streets of Rome? That's better. Wait? Boards? Oh, forget about it. Let's just get on with the cards I made.

No, not Christmas cards. I don't know what happened there. A squirrel, I think.

My cards are thematic today, so I'll skip the onefer/twofer bit and just lump them all together. The theme is cone flowers and I broke out a NBUS unmarked cone flower die I received from a friend:
They are all very simple, but I'm chuffed that I used embossing folders, colored cardstock, and DSP (cone flowers) to add interest and texture to the designs. A triple-high-five for using my schtuff!

And while I was putting the cards together, Hammy added dementia to the cone flower petals by rolling them around his No.2 pencil. Cool, eh? He's going to be happily doing that for quite a while because ... well, you don't want to now how many cone flowers I die-cut because I think they are the cutest. In fact, would it be okay if I send you a Christmas card with a cone flower instead of a poinsettia this year? I hope so, because it may come to that.

Challenges
Blatantcy

You know how we've talked about companies that have slowly reduced their product size while continuing to charge the same or more? For instance, sugar in four-pound bags instead of five, less sheets of toilet paper on a roll, less ounces in a can, etc., etc. Well, check this out:
No, those are not feminine products. They are mozzarella cheese sticks. An in-your-face example of getting less product for your money! Not nice.

~~~

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! 
*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!)

September 19, 2021

Braying Away!

Hello Stamplings!

Oops, I think the title is wrong. Is this a post about Don Keys? I think not. Although in the past when I've tried to brayer, I did end up braying like a sick donkey from my frustration with making messes!

But thanks to crafty friends, I tried brayering again and I LOVE it! I had a preconceived notion that because of the advent of soft blending brushes, I would prefer to blend ink for a background rather than brayer it, but I discovered that both can be very fun and very addictive!

From my stack of newly brayered backgrounds, I have a coupla simple designs to share. (Wait, wasn't I trying to use UP my backgrounds?!😲)

Onefer
How's that for a big bowl of texture? I mentioned in my last post that I'm knee-deep in Christmas, but I did hope to throw in a few autumnal designs and the brayering was just the opportunity I needed. 

I used Oxie inks in fall colors and spongy brayers from SU to create the background on glossy paper. When you brayer ink onto glossy paper, it leaves a dull finish. So Hammy didn't need to use his winker today. Instead, once we were happy with the inking, he helped me polish the inky finished panels with a piece of old fabric until they were back to a high glossy shine. It works like a magic trick!

The hello was cut from burlap and glued to eight-layers of cardstock because did I mention texture? The leaf is from Gina K.'s "Stitched Leaves" and it was cut from a perfect piece of fiery fall pp. 

Challenges


Twofer
And as a toucan of my appreciation for this new-found love of brayering, I made this fun fall birthday card. Again, lots of gloss, lots of dementia. The NBUS 3D embossing folder is "Tropical Leaves" from Sizzix. I like the way the panel split in a few places to give it the look of sanding. 

The NBUS toucan and branch are from Concord & 9th's "Toucan Paradise" stamp and die set. This colorful bird is not normally seen in silhouette, but cut from glossy black paper, he looks googly-eyed and handsome against the colorful background. 

Challenges

~~~

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 return the flavor.

I also want to thank you for your kind and caring comments on my last post. Mwah!

*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!)

September 11, 2021

Plaid Poinsettia and Sad Times

Hello Stamplings!

How are you? I hope you are all doing well. It was a sad and moving weekend for this country as we marked the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

I'm still rootling around and uncovering things I wish I had finished and never did and starting new things, without finishing them, so years from now I will discover them and oh, man, it really is a mess up in here. 

I'm trying to filter and come up with a plan and there will be more on that in time, but once again, I stopped to enjoy the pleasant distraction of a coupla challenges. I'm hoping to make a few more fall cards, but because I make a lot of Christmas cards, I'm putting my emphasis there ~ seeing as how this year is rocketing by like a firecracker shot from a cannon.

Onefer
For my cards I used a NBUS "From the Vault Poinsettia" wooden stamp from Hero Arts. I'm sorry that I seem to be in a rut with my direct-to-stamp inking lately, but I love how simple, easy, and effective it is. I attached the watercolor paper panel to a plaid background and then added a narrow strip of the plaid pp to delineate the image from the sediment. The sediment is also from Hero Arts, stamped in CP ink and then clear heat-embossed. I added metallic gold to the flower center with a pen.

Challenges
Twofer
Hammy wanted to wink the first image, but I wasn't sure how much the ink would schmear when winked, so I stamped a second image and let him have a play with his winker. It gives it a lovely watercolored look, as well as being schparkly. Good job, Hammy, as always! I added more schparkle to the center with a gold metallic pen. I used my MFT stitch dies to cut the panels and I gold heat-embossed the sediment.

Allsorts Challenge ~ Tribute to Kath.

I was sad to hear recently that a wonderful bloggie friend, Kathleen (Kath) Scholefield (Plain & Simple) passed away suddenly after a very short battle with cancer. It was a shock to her family and all who knew her in Blogland. Kath and I got to know each other through commenting and then I had the privilege of meeting her in person on my grand tour of England in 2016.

Kath had a wicked sense of humor, so you can imagine our emails back and forth! She was a talented card artist and beloved DT member and she will be greatly missed. Over at the Allsorts Challenge, Brenda is dedicating this week to Kath's memory and I am entering my card. This would have been Kath's week to host and she had chosen favorite stamp with the option of paper-pieced flowers. 

~~~

And here at home, it was a sad weekend for our family as we said goodbye to our beloved granddog, Duke. Many of you have watched Duke grow up via photos I've shared over the years.

RIP Duke
May 9, 2010-September 10, 2021
Duke became the owner of the grandtwinks when they were five years old. They are devastated.
We are all going to miss him very much.
And little Jack is going to miss his "Dad."

Losing a beloved pet is heart-breaking, but we were so blessed to have Duke in our lives.

~~~

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

*Life is too short!

September 5, 2021

Colors of Fall

Hello Stamplings!

How are you? It's been another very rough week for a lot of people and my heart goes out to all those who have been impacted by disasters. 

Sorry I've been gone so long. I've been busy doing a little sort and making panels using bits. And then making cards from panels I've just made as well as panels that have been in isolation for quite a while. You know how easily those build up if you play with a technique or get on a roll. (Every time I use that expression, I picture myself strapped to a bowling ball being hurtled down the lane. Sometimes it's smooth and sometimes it's pretty bumpy when I hit the gutter. I'll just wait a second while you enjoy that imagery.)

Okay then. There are several challenges celebrating anniversaries and/or where my friends are guesting, so I hit pause on hurtling and made a coupla cards.

Onefer
I can't remember who makes this stamp. I know I've used it before, but I cannot find it on my blog or online. If you know, please lemmeno so I can make a note of it. (It's from Rubbernecker. Thanks, Viv!) I used markers direct to stamp, then I spritzed and stamped the image which was winked by Hammy. The sediment is ancient from SU. I die-cut a rounded corner frame from Hero Arts in gold shimmer paper and then chomped the corners of the card base to match.

Challenges
Twofer
The centerpiece here is another ancient stamp from an OOB company, but it remains one of my favorite images. I love how that helpful mouse is about to teeter over from the weight of that huge pumpkin. I blended the background using CP inks and I watercolored the pumpkins with my Karin Brushmarkers. The sediment is from PTI. Hammy correctly advised that the googly-eyes be added!

Challenges
  • Why would I blend my ground orange and my sky yellow? So I could play in the one-year anniversary of Nancy's Color Hues challenge! Congratulations and best wishes for many more!
  • Double D: Anything with a tail.
  • Just Us Girls: And, wow, congratulations to JUGS for their 600th challenge! That's dedication and a lot of hard work and it's very much appreciated. Best wishes for many more! My six are the masked and watercolored pumpkins. 

~~~


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

I know it's not fall yet, but I can't wait for the wonderful colors and especially for the cooler temps!

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 26, 2021

Bumps, Dots, and Flakes

Hello Stamplings!

I hope you are doing well. You know, under the circumstances. I know it goes without saying, but I'm gonna say it often anyway: thank goodness for this hobby as a feel-good distraction because making and sending a handmade card to someone is a guaranteed way to make two people smile.

Or maybe three. I've got a Threefer for you today, so here we go.

Onefer
At a recent Zoom craft session, we used 3D embossing folders with metallic paper and then we sanded the raised bits. In this case, the bumpy bits. This cool Cobblestone e/f is NBUS from Sizzix. The scalloped cover frame is from Reverse Confetti. The geezer tourist ("Golden Oldies") is NBUS from Art Impressions. The artist of these AI oldster stamps sure knows how to draw geezers and I love the little details like the title of the magazine and the smiley face button on his baseball cap!

The sediment, which is heat-embossed in copper, is from Rubber Dance Stamps. I decided not to color the dude so as not to compete with all that beautiful copper. 

You'll be seeing more examples of my play with my 3D folders and metallic paper as I make my panels into cards. Bonnie is right: it is wonderfully addicting and fun!

I am playing in 
The Male Room Challenge were they are celebrating their 8th birthday! Congratulations!

~~~
During an earlier Zoom session we had a play with embossing pastes and I finally used a NBUS product called "Stone Effect Concrete" (which has been in residence for ages) to make the next two uber CAS cards. The texture is amazing and the paste is literally hard as concrete once dry so I think it might even make it through the mail with a liner. If not, contrary to my first paragraph, the recipients are going to be unhappy to have crushed concrete in their laps!

Twofer 
The seahorse stencil I used is a Dreamweaver Stencil from Stampendous. The bubble/dot/circle stencil I used is unmarked and the sediment is from SSS. Hammy added a black marker to the seahorse eye which really brought him to life. The seahorse, not Hammy. Hammy is already full of spunkilicious life.

Challenges

Threefer
The snowflakes stencil is from Memory Box and the sediment is from Creative Expression. You can faintly see that Hammy added tiny drops of snow with his winker here and there on the snowflake panel.

I'm playing in 
AAA Cards (one inch strip and colored card), Little Red Wagon (stencil), and the Rudolph Days (anything goes Christmas).
~~~

You may not get this until Friday, but as I write this, it is Thursday, National Dog Day, so I thought I should send you off with a photo of sweet baby Nellie sound asleep in her doggie divan in the Playhouse. Enjoy!
And enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy, but keep 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!)