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!

June 10, 2024

Die-Cuts, Darlink!

Hello Stamplings!

How's things? I hope you're doing well! We've had several days of company, which was lovely, but it kept me off the grid and unable to email or comment. I hope to mustard some energy and ketchup today and tomorrow. Groan! That was a bad one. (Worse, I've prolly used it before!)

I wanted to keep up with my I.D.E.A.S. schedule, however, so before the company arrived I made a coupla QACAS cards to share:

Onefer
I used a hammered front panel for this one. (Some day I will share a video of my two wee hamsters with their little tiny hammers gleefully pounding divots into the paper! As you may have guessed, Hammy really appreciates having the help of a much younger feller with this task!) I scored three lines along the sides and added the panel to a card base.

The color inspiration came from the Color Hues challenge where the talented Karen has chosen blue and yellow. You can see that I got frisky with the sediment from Creative Expressions and added the same blue and yellow Hughs.

The flower is from Tim Holtz's wildflower dies. I think they've been around for a while, but they are NBUS to me. I recently ordered them after seeing a card on FB or Pinterest. (I lost my note.)

It was fun sponging with my CP inks, so I did the same with a number of the other wildflower dies. They will hopefully be made into cards soon and not loiter in my bits box!

I'm also playing in the Cut It Up A/G and NBUS challenges.

Twofer
This card features another die-cut from the wildflowers set. When I had my overhaul the first of the year, I came across a few sheets of this beautiful printed acetate. I think it was from SU a hunnert years ago. 

For the die-cut spider mum, I found a piece of pp that worked perfectly. This gives a better idea of the printed acetate:

To attach the acetate to the card base, I first glued the flower to the acetate and then added glue to the back of the acetate behind the flower. I also added a drop of glue to the acetate where the sediment is. 

I'm linking to the Simply Clean and Simple and the Triple B A/G challenges.

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Short and sweet! Enjoy your week! No, seriously, enjoy! LITS!*

As always, thank you for coming by to visit the Playhouse and special thanks for taking the time to join as a follower! 

*Life is too short!

June 3, 2024

June! Aswoon With Inky Play

Hello Stamplings!

I hope you are doing great as we cross over to the second half of 2024! Already. Whether in your peejays or a ball gown, and whether heading into summer or fall, I hope you are enjoying yourself! 

A new month means I started my crafty schedule rotation anew. This first Monday means inks and I had more fun with smooching.

Onefer
Before smooching, I used my old text die from SU, heat-embossing the stamp with white e/p. Then I scribbled my favorite colors of Ziggies onto a piece of acetate and liberally spritzed the ink with water. Then I laid my watercolor paper in the wet scribbles, giving it a swishy to pick up the ink. I lifted the panel and then reinked/spritzed the acetate and this time I turned the acetate over and dabbed it onto the panel in places where I wanted to add ink.

Did that make sense? First time paper onto inky acetate. Second time inky acetate onto paper.

Once I was happy with the coverage, I used my Memory Box Double-Stitch Cut Out to separate the panel into two. I attached the larger panel to a lavender card base and then popped up the smaller inner panel using foam. The die-cut sediment was in my BOB from a previous smooching session. 

Hammy added bling to finish the design with a "rule of three" lesson for Stanley. It became confusing when Hammy added six bits of bling, but I left them to discuss it further while I went inside for a nap. No fool I.

Twofer
That smooching was fun, so I did it again. The text stamp is a big ol' wooden stamp and you know you can't see Versamark until after you've done your embossing powder. In this case, I want to reassure you that you are not developing double-vision. I clearly rocked the stamp when pressing it.👀I decided it was too pretty to waste, so I covered a chunk of it with a "Layered Poinsettia" from Spellbinders. I love the non-traditional colors on this one.

Threefer
Last fall I played with dropping alcohol ink onto aluminium foil and this butterfly (Vivienne Butterfly by Memory Box) was one of the die-cut results. It has been cocooning in my BOB and finally found a home on this CAS birthday card using my NBUS Filigree Border from SSS. 


If you like playing along, here is the calendar for June. Thank you for joining me and for letting me know when you do, so I can 📌 your card!
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I know this is photo heavy, but I just have to show you this crazy tree we see on our morning walk. It's a regular Italian Cypress, but it has some kind of flowering vine growing all the way up and around! It's the craziest thing. I zoomed in, but I don't know what type of flower it is.
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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! 

*Life is too short!
Challenges
Onefer: Addicted to Stamps and More (any occasion); Cut It Up (a/g)
Twofer: Allsorts (lots of layers); Peace on Earth (a/g Christmas)
Threefer: Seize the Birthday! (use metallics); SSS Wednesday (a/g)

May 28, 2024

May Week Four and Group of Seven (Bokeh)

Hello Stamplings!

Happy Tuesday! Yesterday we honored our service men and women with Memorial Day and on the 28th of every month we post our Group of Seven Cardmakers, so I decided to wait and post today.

This month the Go7 played with an older technique called "Bokeh," (pronounced "bouquet") which is a photographic technique adapted for card-making. Basically you make a background and then add a layer of circles by sponging or blending through a stencil.

My Results
Linking to Rudolph Days
I made my backgrounds by smooching watercolor paper with either watercolor pens which were scribbled and spritzed, or Brushos/Lindy's powders spritzed with water. To make the Bokeh bubbles, I used a stencil, a Color Box white ink pad, and one of my blending brushes. For the Christmas card, I made it more Christmassy by also stenciling stars and letting the boys add a bit of schplatter.

It's a fun and easy technique to zhuzh up your backgrounds, but you might find your results vary. For instance, over time my circles on card two sort of evaporated. I'm not sure if it was because of the bumpy paper on that one or the lighter background.

You can find a video link and more information on the main Group of Seven blog. You will also be treated to the sensational examples of the technique by the Group and a link for you to add your own result if you play along with us! Mwah!
And if you are playing along with my I.D.E.A.S. schedule (see side bar), this is week four of May, so the brief is "Anything Goes!" My Bokeh cards work for that and so will anything you make!

p.s.

You haven't seen Miss Nellie for a while, so she is joining in the fun today! One day last week I came out of the bathroom and I couldn't find her in any of her usual perching places. Perplexed, I took a step towards the front room and saw this! Should she be in the movies, or what?!

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BTW, about my devil's-food-cake-naming story in the last post? Some of you didn't notice that I confessed at the end of the post that it was all made up in my head. It's simply not true and I hope you didn't tell too many people. That's how rumors get started.

You gotta love me!😇

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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! 

*life is too short

May 20, 2024

May Week Three: Embossing

Hello Stamplings!

I hope you are doing well at whatever you are doing well. I checked and today is "National May Ray Day." Huh? Are there that many people named, "Ray?" No, it's quite poetic actually. It means, "to celebrate the bright sunshine and warmer weather with just a slight breeze to cool your skin."

It's also National Devil's Food Cake Day, so have a slice of that while the breeze is cooling you off! And it's the third Monday of May at the Playhouse, so today we are celebrating embossing. In this case, folders.

Onefer
A month ago you may remember that I played with this 3D embossing folder from Altenew, called "Daisy Bed." This time I did a simple ink swipe on the debossed side before running it through my Gemini. It was too pretty to cover, so I simply added a circle sediment from Memory Box.

Twofer
Recently my friend Julia posted a very amusing piglet card and I mentioned how much I love pigs (having grown up in Iowa) and how much I especially loved the snarky sediments that came with the pig stamp set she used. ("Piggies Crushed It" from Whimsy Stamps.) After wards, she kindly stamped off oodles of piggies and sediments and mailed them to me. Thank you, Julia!

Hammy and Stanley will be disappointed that you can't see the schparkle. Hammy winked the balloon and gave the pig job to Stan. There were lots of tears at first because the winker Stanley used had gone a bit silver-looking. Not his fault, of course, and I reassured him that it was okay because it made the little pig look dirty. I mean, what kind of pig are you, if you don't wear a bit of dirt?!

Threefer
From the silly to the sublime, I next inked up a NBUS 3D folder from Open Studio called "Gracious Leaves" using Brilliance Elegant Gold. The ribbon is from SU and the sediment is from Memory Box.

I'm not sure it's meant to be a Christmas e/f, but the little berries made me think it was. The color and sheen are very pretty in real life, but if I'm Frank, when it was finished I thought to myself that it would have been easier to just spray the card with gold mist.

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Speaking of Devil's Food cake, I was curious how this cake recipe got its name. To figure that out, I had to go back to the very origin of store-bought cake mix. It turns out that in 1933, John Duff of P. Duff and Sons, a Pittsburgh PA molasses company, patented the first cake mix after blending dehydrated molasses with dehydrated flour, sugar, eggs, and other ingredients. The mix required only water and baking to yield gingerbread. 

Duff later realized that home cooks preferred to add their own eggs. 
After that, they expanded their mixes to include flavors like fruit cake, spice cake, and devil's food. 

In the 1930s, Americans were mostly church-going folk, so naming a cake "devil's food," might be a huge turn-off from a marketing standpoint. To quell that concern, this explanation was printed on the back of the box:

Customers have asked how this cake mix was given such an unusual name. One of our recipe tasters named Elizabeth Novick baked this unnamed cake mix for her family. As they were finishing, Betty, the youngest daughter, age 7, picked up her plate and began to lick the crumbs. "Betty!" cried Elizabeth, shooting the youngster a stern look. "But, Mom," said Betty, "this food would make even the devil sit up and say, 'Amen!'"

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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! BTW, I made up that part about naming the cake, but you prolly figured that out for yourself.😆

*Life is too short!

Challenges
Onefer: Can You Handle the Pressure (A/G w/ option of flowers)
Twofer: Double D (polka dots); SSS Wednesday (patterned paper)
Threefer: Allsorts (A/G ~ Happy 15th Birthday!)

May 13, 2024

Awash in Washi Die-Cuts!

Hello Stamplings!

Happy Monday! I hope you enjoyed the weekend! We had a wonderful lunch yesterday with both grandtwins home! We couldn't stop smiling!

The Mister and I also had a wonderful last-minute getaway to the coast during the week, so time in the Playhouse has been limited. Not to worry, it gave me the perfect opportunity to finally put to use all the pretty Washi tape die-cuts my friend Bev generously gave me last fall.😙 And they were perfect for this second week of May for my I.D.E.A.S. schedule (D=die cuts. See side bar). 

Enjoy whooshing through the photos! I'm off to pick up Hammy and Stanley from the neighbor kids ... if they'll let me!
R & R
We enjoyed the pounding waves, empty beach, and perfect weather ~ crisp and cool in the morning and warm in the afternoon.
A beach guard bird?! This solitary pelican was enjoying the sun out of the wind. (Don't worry that it was injured. It wasn't happy that we interrupted its nap, but it flew away just fine.)
The sunsets were magical!

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

Lucky you, if you are seeing a rare display of Northern Lights from the solar storm! 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 and leave some love! 

*Life is too short!