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 28, 2024

Inky Gilding Flakes and New Year I.D.E.A.S.

Hello Stamplings!

I hope you are well wherever you are! Things are perking along here and I'm slowly getting used to my new Playhouse fluxation. It's like teaching an old dog new tricks, but I'm getting the hang of it. I've been thinking of ideas for getting myself into a routine, but more on that further down.

First, it's the 28th and that means it's time to show you what the ladies of the Group of Seven Cardmakers played with this month. We got out the alcohol again ~ inks that is! After making designs on Yupo or glossy paper, we stopped breathing,  corralled our gilding flakes, and put them over the sticky bits.

This is my example:
I should have warned you to put on your sunglasses, sorry. Even as bright as it is, it's hard to capture the full shine of the gilding flakes. 

You know that technique where you brayer or otherwise press foil over the sticky bits on your finished AI panel? (quick video) The technique above is similar, except you use gilding flakes instead of foil. If, like mine, your sticky bits aren't very sticky (say what now?), then you apply a thin line of glue where you want your shiny flakes. I was surprised how thick my flake lines were after I brushed off the excess, but I ended up liking how they stood up to all the different bright colors. (If you want a thinner line of flakes, don't press them down flat.)

To find how-to video links and see lots of wonderful and inspiring examples of this technique, please click over to the Group of Seven Cardmakers. And if you try it, please add your design to the linky there!

The greeting on my card is NBUS, so I will link to the NBUS challenge; a few other challenges this month are using NBUS for their briefs, so I will link to Die Cut Divas and Little Red Wagon. And because it's a birthday card, I am linking to Anything Goes at Seize the Birthday.


Looking Forward, cont.   

Following my last post, Hammy and I mulled both our thoughts and some wine and came up with a plan of action to hopefully fix my broken routine. I'm sharing the plan with you because it is my fond hope that by doing so, I will be held accountable to follow through!🀞

In a nutshell, my plan of action is a schedule. Now some people might think a schedule sounds too much like work, but I have tried everything else the last couple of years and relying on self-discipline clearly hasn't worked! This might not work either, but it can't hurt to try, and I'm excited about the fun I am going to have actually using all my schtuffs!

You can't have a schedule without bullet points and, you know me, you can't have bullet points without an aaaackronym!
I'm sure you can imagine with amusement all the various letters Hammy and I came up with, some of which were inappropriate for a family blog.πŸ˜‰ In the end, "I.D.E.A.S." seemed to hit the nail on the head.

P for paper of any sort and another S for stamps are not bulleted, purr say, because they are generally used, although I do hope I will be better at using my patterned, colored, and specialty papers. Of course, as often as possible, I will focus on NBUS and I'm hoping to add a silent V and C to this schedule, so I'll be better at visiting and commenting, which I always enjoyed as much as any other aspect of this hobby!

How it will work: Barring the usual life caveats of illness or company or travels, I am going to post a card or twofer every Monday. (Right there will be more than I've been doing lately!) Each week will feature a letter in the acronym. Because January is almost over, I will start on the first Monday in February and my calendar will look like this:
For the months that have a fifth Monday, I will feature S = stencil. 


Wish me luck! Feel free to use my I.D.E.A.S graphic and join me on this productive journey!πŸ™‹ Just let me know if you do, so we can cheerlead each other along the way! 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!

January 17, 2024

Anniversaries and Playhouse Makeover!

Hello Stamplings!

Tis I, twizzlers, didja miss me? Happy New Year! I missed you and I hope you are all well and you've enjoyed the holidays! And if you are in the middle of the wintry deep freeze across the nation, I hope you are tucked up warm and cozy.

I don't have a card for you because all my products were packed up until recently, but I thought I'd stop in and let you how it's going.


Yesterday was our 53rd wedding anniversary, she says, looking content, happy, and nonplussed! The Mister agrees. "Life is a whizzer," he says, "No doubt about it!" That's why each speeding day is a blessing!
Today is also the 12th anniversary of my blog. Well, I actually started it a bit earlier than that, but to make things simpler to remember, I celebrate my blog anniversary at the same time as my wedding anniversary for post porpoises.

Playhouse Makeover

And that brings me to the Playhouse makeover. For the last couple of years, I have been feeling a bit, I don't know, adrift. I imagine it's not uncommon to feel a bit of burn out or boredom after you've been at a hobby for ten years or more. Plus, many of my friends moved on and/or stopped blogging and when Feedburner left, it ended my subscriptions to hundreds of blogs. Those things made me feel less connected with the craft, the comments, and the camaraderie that I once enjoyed. What to do? 

Well, to start, I thought maybe it was time to do a deep clean of the Playhouse. A lot of paper-cutting dust had to have accumulated behind the cabinets after 13 years, which can't be great for breathing. And a lot of my schtuff needed to find new homes before I could rationalize buying new schtuff to freshen my perspective.

I didn't take as many photos as I should have, but you know how it is when you get going on something. I do have a few 'in a nutshell' photos to give you the low-down. The whole process has taken several weeks because I went slowly in order to be thoughtful about it and avoid hurting myself. 

Here are some "before" photos:
I packed up every single thing, purging as I went. 

Here are a few "during" photos:
The middle photo is everything stacked in the garage. Behind what you see are more cabinets and many boxes which were filled with the things I kept. We were able to move everything out except for my glass corner desk. Once the Playhouse was empty, cleaned, and prepped, I gave the walls a fresh coat of pale creamy paint.

The "after" photos:
Not much has changed in terms of layout, except the large cupboard and the map cabinet on top of it are now gone. They served me well for many years, holding hundreds of wooden stamps, but I no longer need that massive furniture. It's great to be able to reach the bottom shelves of the overhead cupboards without standing on a stool and to have more "breathing" room. And Nellie loves her little tucked-in space!

I managed to cut my schtuff in half! I'm especially pleased that I got rid of half my patterned and colored paper! You can see in the photo above (bottom right corner) that tall dresser with handles to the left of the window has eight deep drawers. That's where I stored all that type of paper. After purging, the paper I kept fits entirely in only four of the drawers! (I have a friend who's an elementary teacher and she was delighted to get all that paper, so we were both happy!)

I am missing the pretty colors that I had painted the drawers of my old map cabinet, so I might do that again with the two cabinets on the long wall. I'll decide after I hang some colored art on the walls. 

So that's the update! I know a lot of you were also planning to do some cleaning, or purging, or reorganizing of your craft spaces and I hope it's going well for you!

Looking Forward

I haven't made any progress on other projects in the house and garden, but doing the Playhouse was a big accomplishment! As for card-making and blogging, I'm feeling refreshed and hoping to put a plan of action together soon that will get me back into some sort of an enjoyable routine again. 


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 leave you with greetings from Hammy, who was adept at both keeping me company and keeping out of my way! 

*Life is too short!