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!

May 28, 2023

Ink Blending on Colored Card

Hello Stamplings!

How are you? Are you keeping up with your new year's resolutions now that we are about to enter the middle of the year? Oh. Sorry. Touchy subject? Not just me then? Well, never mind. Intentions are the most important thing, said no one ever, but we're all in the same boat, said everyone at some point.

Today's post is all about this month's crafty Zoom session for the Group of Seven Cardmakers! As the title indicates, we did some really cool ink blending on colored card panels. You can find detailed instructions and a video on the Group of Seven blog.

A Duofer
You can use either solid or outline stamps to heat-emboss, but I preferred the outline stamps. I gold heat-embossed the leaf stamp from the Memory Box "Harvest Love" set. Using the video instructions, I then ink-blended the corners and sides of the panel to draw the eye into the middle. If you like, you can add black ink over that, concentrating on the edges, for even more contrast. 

Hammy schplattered gold and white ink over everything the panel and I added the PTI gold-embossed sediment.

Challenges
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This technique was so easy and effective, I actually made several cards in jewel tones, using different outline images. I'm sharing the above because I liked the effect of the blending on the green. The outline image used here was Altenew's "Leaf Canopy."

Challenges
Threefer
And in case you're wondering if the technique works for Christmas card designs, here's your answer! I love the festive look, especially using classic berry red and pine green card bases. The pine cone used here is from Simon's set, "The Magic of Christmas."

Challenges
I hope you'll give this technique a try and link your card over on the Group of Seven Cardmakers blog to show us what you make!
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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!

I
t's okay, Hammy. Come out and show the people how pretty you look all covered in gold and white schplatters!

Mwah!
*Life is too short!

May 18, 2023

Peonies and Poinsettias

Hello Stamplings!

I hope you are doing well! I've had a few great days as the weather is leveling off and I've had fun getting reacquainted with my Ziggies!

Onefer
You know, I still can't wrap my head around how productive I could have been during Covid ~ and wasn't. I put it down to the limbo state we were all in. Remember how the pandemic was just going to last for a couple of weeks, then a couple of months, then a few more months, and so on? It brought a sort of paralysis to our lives. And husbands and wives and kids were all staying home together, sometimes getting on each other's nerves, as the days moved to months and then moved to years. 

With this hobby, it would have been the perfect time to be more creative than ever, and purge, super clean, and reorganize, use all that NBUS, and tackle all those techniques. I don't know about the rest of you, but it didn't work out that way for me. I was pretty much of a creative load, doing just the minimum to keep my passion for this hobby from dying out completely. It was all very odd.

All this to tell you that my dear friend Sonja, who lives in Slovenia, sent me the awesome flower and basket die I used today. She sent it to me in 2020 and I'm only using it for the first time now ~ and it was great fun. (I know, better late than never, but it did make me wax philosophical about the last three-plus years.)

And there is a happy ending as the pandemic has come to a close๐Ÿคžand I can feel myself returning to the joy cardmaking brings me ... and remembering the joy it brings the card recipients! I hope you feel the same way.

Challenges ~ lots of spring flower challenges!


Twofer
I've been trying to make a Christmas card for my Twofer this year whenever I post. So naturally, with that beautiful basket in front of me, Hammy thought we should try filling it with Christmas poinsettias. I used poinsettia dies from three different dies/companies. The NBUS border die is from Spellbinders, called Candlewick. (BTW, Hammy is sad it doesn't really show in the photos, but he wants you to know he winked both baskets and bouquets liberally!)

Challenges
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By the way, do you like my fancy photography with the pretty red ribbon? Well, ๐Ÿ˜•, it's there to let you eyeball the basket of poinsettias without being distracted by the boo-boo. Here, look:
Yup. That happened. The last thing I did was pop the bouquet over the basket. I had done some last-minute touching up, which apparently hadn't dried, so I got paint on my finger. I laid it there for a second while I sat all puffed up with pride, enjoying my incredible artistic accomplishment. 

Moved my finger and ๐Ÿ˜ฑ! It happens to all of us. I may try getting it off, but that might make it worse. So I think the best thing to do is send it to one of you next Christmas because you will understand and overlook it. 

What schmear? I don't see a schmear!

~~~

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!)

May 12, 2023

Imagination!

Hello Stamplings!

How are you? I hope you got something out of this past week, which is just a blur to me thanks to migraines and lots of appointments. We are so happy to finally be getting our new backyard fence installed, but it has been hard to concentrate with the hammering and the good-looking carpenters just outside my Playhouse window. 

Ahem, where was I? 
Sometimes I buy stamps on sale long after they are released and even then they stay on NBUS Mountain for years more. Slap! Such is the case with this little bear from MFT's "Sprinkling You With Love." He was delighted to finally be given some love. He was die-cut, colored with my Ziggies, popped up, and googly-eyed.

After wards, I went to my pp drawer (๐Ÿ˜ฒ) looking for some grassy and or flowery paper to plant him on. Hence the froggy pp. What better scene than a schparkly froggy in the rain? Hammy added the raindrops and the clouds finished it off. The sediment is from the same set. I like that I can use this card for many occasions.

Now you may think, "Oh, dear, this time she has gone too far with a giant frog who is bigger than the bear! 

Well ... really though? I mean, if you think about it, you've got a bear holding an umbrella and on top of the umbrella is a bunny holding an umbrella! Given the imagination it took to draw that image, I don't think the artist will mind that I paired her bear with this goofy frog!

Challenges
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No time for a Christmas card today, but I have a funny for you!
~~~

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

Happy Mother's Day to everyone celebrating this weekend. Extra hugs to those of you who find this day hard to get through.๐Ÿ’•

*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!)

May 1, 2023

This 'n That

Hello Stamplings!

I hope you are doing well and that you've enjoyed this first day of the Merry Month of May! I wanted to get back into card-making and there is one sure thing that inspires me and gets my mojo flowing ~ challenges! I so appreciate all the challenges out there in our little corner of Blogland and all the hard work the owners and Design Teams do to keep them going!

Onefer  
There are challenges ending that call for flowers and some that call for balloons, so I decided to combine the two on one card. Why not?! Especially if you have a bunch of flowers and balloons already cut (and in some cases, colored) in your stash. I don't know why I didn't think of it before and, wait, what? Okay, it was Hammy!๐ŸนMwah!

I still have a few sheets left in that Lawn Fawn plaid paper pad, but all the other elements of this card, including the sediment, were in my bits box. I only had to put it all together and glossify the flowers and balloons to add some schine.

Challenges

Twofer
For my Christmas card, I was inspired by the Just Us Girls challenge where the brief is to "Case a DT Member." I chose to CASE my friend Lisa. (You can find her card when you click on her name.) I used my NBUS "Layered Poinsettia" die from Spellbinders. I actually used two different shades of red card stock for definition, but it looks the same in the photo.๐Ÿ˜•

In the background are several doilies cut from an ancient PTI die. It might even still be NBUS, too, but if not, I haven't used in since the last century. Thank you, Lisa, for showing me such a pretty way to use them on a card!

Challenges
  
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I will leave you with a few collages of my fun adventures in April! The first two below are from visits to friends and friends of friends in the great state of Colorado! I had so much fun, although packing was a challenge because the temps were 82 one day and 32 and snowing the next! I especially loved the snow because we don't get that where I live in California, but I had to enjoy it quickly. It was gone in a matter of hours and the temps rose again.

And The Mister and I finally got away to the coast to celebrate our Covid-belated 50th, 51st, and 52nd wedding anniversaries! 

We managed to find a lighthouse we haven't visited in the past, which was also near the site of an elephant seal rookery.

And on the way, was the site of one of the many "super blooms" of native wildflowers California has experienced this spring because of the unusually high rainfall we had over the winter months. It's even more spectacular in real life and our timing was perfect!

~~~

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!)

April 28, 2023

Alcohol Inks on Gelli Plates

Hello Stamplings!

How are you? I feel like I've been gone a month! Oh, wait, I pretty much have been gone a month! It's nice to be back! Today's post is all about this month's Group of Seven Cardmakers crafty Zoom session and the results, so I'll give you some highlights of what I've been up to in my next post. 

Christine led the technique this month which involved swishing, swirling, and puffing alcohol inks on Gelli plates shaped like circles, triangles, squares, and rectangles. You can find the detailed instructions and our results on the Group blog.

I purchased a set of three small Gelli plates (a circle, a triangle, and a rectangle) from Amazon. Here are two of my results using the triangle shape:
I always thought Gelli plates were only used by very detailed mixed media style card artists, but as you can see, the technique also works for more clean and simple designs. It really is an easy (and, hence addictive) technique that adds major interest to a design. For the above cards I used the Creative Chaos set from Visible Image.

Here are a couple of the birthday cards I made using the circle Gelli plate:

Hammy was in schplatter heaven!

The 'You Are Loved' card in the first row above was made using glossy paper and the other three above were made using regular cardstock. Finally, for the card below, I used Yupo paper and blue AI and the result cried out for a nautical theme!
Behind the Yupo paper is a piece of pp. The whale and sediment are from a very old PTI set which hasn't seen ink in (cough) years. It has survived many Playhouse purges because it is so darn cute and it was fun to use it again.
And, yes, as you might have guessed, off-camera Hammy and I enjoyed tiny alcoholic drinks and jelly sandwiches while we played. Slurp! I've already sent off some of the cards I made, but you can see that I LOVED this technique and now my birthday card stash is plump again!

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I hope you will check out this fun technique over on the Group of Seven Cardmakers blog! And if you do try it, we would love to have you share your results using the linky tool there! 
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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! Oh, and that tree from my last post is a Redbud tree. Thank you to all of you who let me know!

*Life is too short!