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!

January 29, 2021

You Color My World!

Hello Stamplings!

I saw this quote on Instagram:

I told my friend that I'm emotionally "hitting a wall"
and she said, "Sometimes walls are there
so we can lean on them and rest."

So true. Also sometimes walls are there to hang up awesome art work created by family and friends ~ and us! I hope you're finding ways to rest when you're weary and create when you're not.

Onefer
A lot of different companies came out of the vault to play when I created this fun card. The ruler, sediment, and pencil are all from "Worm Wishes," by Reverse Confetti. The easel is from "When Your Heart Speaks," by Taylored Expressions. The paint brush is from "I Heart Art," by Paper Smooches. 

The coloring was done with my Ziggies and Hammy added the splat and the winking, which is barely noticeable in the photo, but abundant in real life.

Challenges

Twofer
The images and sediment are from "Holiday Glass," by Avery Elle, embossed in liquid platinum, Ziggified, and winked. QACAS! 

I'm joining with a lot of you and getting a start on my Christmas cards. I mean for time's sake, can you believe we are only a coupla days from starting February already?! Everything lined up perfickly in my large MISTI, so I made a batch while I was a tit. 

(Snigger. We've all seen those examples of how important commas are. Looks like spacing matters, too!)

Challenges
Amaryllis
The kids got me a beautiful waxed amaryllis bulb for Christmas. I put it on the floor of the Playhouse to capture a photo of all four blooms from the top and while I was busy looking through the camera lens, Nellie hopped down from her divan, walked over, and licked up some pollen! Eek. Thankfully, it was harmless. It is fascinating how all the water and nutrients it needs to bloom are locked up inside the wax coating!

~~~

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

I am relieved that the Mister and I have received our first vaccines and I hope it has happened (or will happen soon) for you, too. The peoples of the world are being mentally and physically challenged ~ and sadly dying ~ every day that this pandemic continues, so we are very thankful to all the scientists and technicians who have worked very hard round-the-clock to make the vaccines in record time. Now our thanks go to all those working hard to produce billions of those little vials and to all those administering the vaccines. Bless you!❤💋

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!)

January 24, 2021

Black and White and Colored All Over

Hello Stamplings!

Happy Sunday Funday! We are gearing up for a week of rain which we desperately need here in California, so everyone has a skip in their step. Mind you, I'm only skipping in the figurative sense. You know, up in my head where there is a swing set, a wading pool, and a long paved trail for skipping and roller skating. Don't try skipping with your roller skates on. It might not surprise you to know that I did that once and fell hard on my head.

What was I saying?

I realized mid-afternoon yesterday that I was running out of time to play in the January CAS Christmas Card Challenge where Julia is the host and the prompt is Silhouette. You'll be proud of me for reaching first for a brand-spanking-NBUS stamp to make this QACAS card:
This stamp is from Stampers Anonymous and it's called "Deco Christmas." I think it's been around a while and with the images being so big, I'm sure my design is not original. The set has three great silhouette stamps and three beautifully-fonted sediments. 

After stamping the image and sediment, I thought some embossed snow would add a little drama and wintry feel. I forgot to add a little shadow under his feet to ground him and Hammy wasn't here to remind me. (He was over at the neighbors for a playdate with their gerbil.) Let's just say the snow was coming down so hard it immediately filled in the footprints. Yes, let's say that.

Challenges


CASEing PP
The above is a card I made and posted last year out of a beautiful piece of Alexandra Renke pp and a sediment. I just love everything about Alexandra's watercolored flowers and the very free-flowing artsy feel. I wanted to see if I could CASE her flowers, so I made my own floral pp:
I used a whole slew of various company's solid stamps in my stash to create this garden card. I colored each stamp with my Memento markers, spritzed lightly with water, and stamped them. As you can see, I couldn't bring myself to stop with large gaps between my flowers and leaves in the wonderful organic way that Alexandra has with her hand-painted art. In the end, I guess I'm more of an overflowing English-garden kind of girl! 

Challenges

~~~

Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy! LITS!* Take care and keep safe!
Thank you for your continuing good wishes about my back. I am feeling much less pain already. That's the good news. The bad news is that now it's harder not to overdo it. Oy! 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!)

January 21, 2021

Stencil Time and A New Dawn

Hello Stamplings,

Yesterday, thank goodness, was a great day of inspiration, calm, and peace here in America as a centuries-old transfer of power took place. It was a celebration that brought me to tears. I know many of you from around the world join me in feeling uplifted and thankful. 

I realize there is much disagreement on issues, but we need to compromise and communicate to find solutions for things that impact all of us. And I hope from now on our leaders and representatives from both parties will resist the pull of greed and the thirst for power by remembering they work for us, that they act like adults, treat everyone with respect, tell the truth, and practice the Golden Rule. After all, isn't that what they learned from their parents and what they teach their children? 

It will be okay. 
A little CAS mixed-media for you with this one, which, as you might know, is not that easy to do! Thanks to my friend Lolly generously sharing her skills on Zoom, I now dip my toes in ink and Gesso ... wait. What? Oh, heck, go ahead and use your toes if you want! Life is too short!

For this technique*, we were to tape off a border of our card and as you can see, I naturally picked the widest roll of masking tape I own, which left me with a teeny-tiny rectangle of workspace. We gessoed that space to add texture. Because it acts as an emboss-resist, we then blended distress inks through a stencil. My stencil was made by Tim Holtz. Or maybe Mario made it. (They don't put their initials on them, but in case they read my blog😆, I think they should.)

I finished my card with an vintage MFT butterfly, a simple timely popped-up sediment, and schplatters. Hammy winked the DI inks and you can't really see it, but the panel was adhered to a black card base.

Challenges
* Videos:

Twofer
This QACAS birthday card uses an unmarked circle stencil and CP inks. I made several of these in various colors and Hammy went to town with the winking ... I can stop telling you that, right? You all know he's addicted now. I don't know what I'd do without him and it's super cool that his fur is a permanent shade of schparkle!

Challenges

~~~

Addendum

On the far, far off-chance you thought that really was my wedding photo in the last post, this is the real one:
Many of you have seen it before. I didn't have toilet paper in my ears, but it does look like I had price tags on my headpiece. What can I say? That was the style, along with empire-waist "Juliet" wedding dresses. (I still remember how difficult it was sewing those puffy sleeves out of some kinda stiff shimmery fabric.) Just look at us! What children we were! You'd think people were still getting wed in 1971 as young as Romeo and Juliet were. I mean, we weren't, but that's how rumors get started.

~~~

I hope you get a chance to see and hear the United States youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman's recitation at the inauguration ceremony. She is only 22 years old and she'll knock your socks off! You can find it on YouTube here and the full text of her poem is available at various sites. What an inspiration!
...
The new dawn blooms as we free it,
For there is always light.
If only we’re brave enough to see it.
If only we’re brave enough to be it.
~~~

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

January 17, 2021

Happy Everything!

Hello Stamplings!

Is it just me on drugs or did that week whoosh by faster than a speeding bullet?! Then again, maybe it's nice that these days are going by so fast!

Fortunately, my cards were done a while ago. I made them as a reminder that there is only one week left in the current Twofer Card Challenge where this month's prompt is F🌹L🌻O🌼W🌷E🌹R🌺S! It's wonderful to see so many wonderful blossoms in the gallery so far!
The NBUS flower image both my card designs have in common is "Flowers in Bloom" by MFT. I have tons of poppy stamps because I love poppies, but I had to add this one to my stash because it is just so open and inviting! ETA: Found out the flowers might be cosmos, not poppies. They look very like poppies once they've opened all the way, but I'm happy that now I have a cosmos stamp!

Onefer
This CAS birthday card design is pretty self-exploratory. This particular poppy reminds me of an awning or covering of some kind. Once I thought of that, it was pretty easy for my assistant to suggest an image for underneath it!

The poppy is embossed in platinum, die-cut, and colored with my Ziggies. The large and lilting sediment is from Impression Obsession, heat-embossed in copper. The stencil (which you can barely see behind the images) is by Tim Holtz and the hamster in the cup is from Your Next Stamp.

Everything, of course, has been duly winked by His Niblets and then the corners were duly chomped.
Challenges
Twofer
For my Twofer second (and different) design, I heat-embossed an old and well-loved large text background stamp from SU called En Français. Over that is the full triplet of poppies, die-cut, heat-embossed in gold, painted by me with my Ziggies, and winked by Hammy. The love sediment from Winnie & Walter is die-cut from gold to match the mat and gold-embossing.

Challenges
~~~

A Milestone

Yesterday was our Golden 50th Anniversary! In the middle of a pandemic and me with a broken back and no more rodeo money coming in. But, never mind, we had a quiet day and a lovely romantic dinner with perfect steaks, baked potatoes, and champagne. Delish and devine!

We received an incredible handmade card and the most gorgeous flower bouquet from Dan and Rachel and the grandtwins.
Flanking both sides of their card are our cards to each other. It really is impossible to believe all the years that have gone by. We feel very blessed to have enjoyed every one of them and hope to have many more!

In case you're curious, here's a photo from our wedding:
Most of you are too young to remember that even back 50 years ago, there was a keen interest in toilet paper. Here you can see that the trend was for the bride to stuff it in her ears and for the groom to wear it like a medal on his chest. Naturally, we wanted to be trendy! (The Mister says I've never been obedient, but, honestly, I couldn't hear the vows!)

~~~

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

January 13, 2021

Sending Prayers

Hello Stamplings!

I hope this finds you doing well. I truly do hope that, although I know a lot of you, or your families, are struggling. The important message in continuing to hope you are doing well is all in the word HOPE. Such a tiny little word that holds enormous positive energy. 

Speaking of words, I want to thank you all very much for your words of comfort about my busted back situation. Your words are comforting and very much appreciated! 💋

I have a very quick post to share this card:
This is a NBUS stamp I've had for ages. I thought I had used it before, but I did a search of my blog and can't find it. It's a design from Dee's Artsy Impressions called, "Blossom Sprays #1," from STAMPlorations. I heat-embossed the image in black, watercolored it with my Ziggies, and Hammy ~ well, as you can see, Hammy got a new winker for Christmas! 

I heat-embossed the sediment in white for the NBUS fishtail banner from MFT. I wrote down the make of the sediment stamp, but I can't find my note. And, yes, I checked my socks to see if it was stuck to one of them!😊The whole shebang was matted to a pp panel from Lawn Fawn.

I was saddened to hear last week that CAS(E) This Sketch is closing. It is one of my favorite challenges. I rushed to make this card because I thought their last challenge ends in a few hours. But when I went over to grab the link, I read the post again and discovered that there will be two more challenges coming up before it closes. I will hopefully be able to play again and I hope you can, too.

I want to thank Chrissy Larson and the entire CTS Team, past and present, for bringing us hundreds of wonderful sketch challenges to inspire and motivate us to make beautiful cards. I applaud Chrissy for putting her family first, but I secretly hope that means she will be back with CTS when time again allows!

Also playing in these challenges:
~~~

Thanks to the damnepic, we are all doing more cooking than ever before. Sometimes this happens!
~~~

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

January 10, 2021

New Year Flowers

Hello Stamplings!

Happy New Year! Is it February yet?! 

Hopefully by February 2021, we will start to see the positive changes that we have been anticipating for this new year in terms of delivering Covid vaccinations and all things political. This is the start of my ninth year bloviating blogging! Congratulations to me! I really enjoyed my break which went on longer than anticipated, but more on that below.

Twas Twofer Card Challenge #34 that brought me back because today is the start of our fourth year as a challenging card challenge! We are starting the new year off with the ever poplar prompt:  F🌹L🌻O🌼W🌷E🌹R🌺S

Here is my Twofer to perspire you:
That was a hard one to photograph! The NBUS stamp that both my cards have in common is "Whimsical Flowers & Quotes," from Altenew.

Onefer
For my encouragement card, I heat-embossed the stamp in white and used my Posca and Kuretake metallic pens to color the flowers and stems. Then I heat-embossed the sediment (from the same stamp set) in white, but you couldn't 👀 it, so I blended some antique linen Doxie in the background.

Then what happened was, the act of blending on the ink pulled some of the color from the flowers into the background. It looks a bit dingy in the photo, but in real life the result is quite shiny and pretty. I think you can tell that Hammy was delighted to get back to work winking the flowers!

Twofer
This second design is quite different. It was made by heat-embossing just a bit of the frame stamp in gold and coloring it with my Ziggies and a water brush. I'm not sure where the sediment comes from, but it was also heat-embossed in gold. A sliver of gold Altenew WT was added to keep your eyeballs from rolling around all over the card and up into your head. 

Here's the inside:
The whole design is uber QACAS. Here on the inside is a WPlus9 sediment heat-embossed in gold. Two strips of matchy-colored and gold-striped WT were added to the sides.
If you have low MOJO right now, I do hope you'll be able to use this month's challenge as a way to jump start it. If the prospect of making two different designs stymies you, you may just be overthinking it. I've put a coupla tips on the Twofer Card Challenge blog that may help you, in addition to the wonderful Twofer inspiration you will find there from our Guest and Team Designers! Thank you for your ongoing support!

I Stepped On a Crack 😵

I was able to get a lot done during my bloggie break. It's always revitalizing for me to go through every nook and cranny of the Playhouse, clean it and take stock. I'm always shocked by the amount of dust that can accumulate, but paper has a way of linting about like crazy. I reduced my cache of dies by half (HALF!) and the same with my ribbon and quite a few stamps, all of which have found new and happy homes. Well except for that one box that got lost on its way to the Midwest. Sigh.

And then, just as I was ready to come back and see you last week, my back started hurting. Bad. I have an old compression fracture at T-6/T-7, so I assumed I had irritated it because of the manual labor. After a few days without improvement, I went for x-rays, even though I didn't want to leave the house because our Covid numbers are outrageous and scary. 

Anyway, it turns out that I didn't aggravate the old break, but instead I broke my damn back again! This time the compression fracture is at T-10. It's due to osteoporosis from genetics and years of taking steroids for Crohn's Disease. These breaks can happen just from twisting, reaching wrong, or lifting a little white 13-lb Nellie dog. Sniffle.

I'm wearing a brace, taking medication, and the Mister is an excellent caretaker. The pain should go away in about three months. Fortunately, I am still enjoying making cards between resting, but I will be less active on the computer because it hurts to sit and type too long.

So that's my rodeo days over then.🤠

~~~

Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy! Life is too short! Keep safe and don't let your guard down!

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 as soon as I can!

MWAH!