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!

March 28, 2024

Go7: Cover Die Eclipse

Hello Stamplings!

As promised, I am back today with this month's Group of Seven Cardmakers (Go7) technique and makes! 

This technique was SO interesting and satisfying! Basically ... well, let me show you the photos first:
I painted the pear with markers, spritzed, and stamped. The cover plate is by Reverse Confetti.

And the same stamped in gray:
And this one uses two pieces of patterned paper:
The pp used above is ancient and in person it has a beautiful twinkly glaze:

I just love these designs and now I want to try this technique using other large stamps and cover plates. Basically, here's how it works:

  • Using your Misti, stamp two card fronts with the same large image (or grouping of smaller images).  Background stamps, large florals, etc., work well.
  • Using a cover die, cut ONE of the stamped or pp panels.* (If desired for texture, cut more blank pieces with this same die and glue them into a stack with the stamped one on top.)
  • Glue the stamped cover die-cuts onto your second stamped panel, being sure to perfectly line up the stamped patterns.
  • Note:  if you don't have any cover dies, use multiple small shape dies to cut the second panel and put them in place.

*This step freaked me out because when I removed the die-cut from the die, very little of the image was showing on the paper. I cocked my head from side to side to side ~ like Hammy trying to keep up with Stanley ~ but I went ahead with the next step and, wallah, it all became clear! It's like magic!

If you click over to the Group of Seven Cardmakers website, you will find a Gina K. video link and full instructions, as well as the sensational cards created by the other designers. I also found a great video by Heidi Walker using Lavinia stamps on The Yorkshire Crafter. Remember, there is also a linky tool on the website for you to share your results using this fun technique!

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! Again, enjoy the Easter weekend! I'll see you Monday!

*Life is too short!
Card #1: Addicted to Stamps & More (Any Occasion)
Card #3: Cut It Up (Happy Birthday)

March 25, 2024

March 25: A is for Anything Goes

Hello Stamplings!

I hope this finds you skipping the light fantastic! Not sure whatever that means, but it sounds fun! There will be no skipping for those of you in states where Mr. Snowman decided he wanted to show up and play with the Easter Bunny, especially after you've been enjoying warm summery weather! Sorry.😒

Welcome to the fourth week of the month where the brief is "anything goes" on my I.D.E.A.S. calendar (see side bar). My focus this week has continued to be Easter cards. I'm scurrying to prepare for Easter hosting this year and I'll also be back on Thursday with my usual monthly Group of Seven cards, so this post will be a quick runway show. I'm sure you're busy, too, so start the music ...
My frog bunny was very popular on the last post, so he stayed on for another week! (There will be a lady in the lobby after the show to take orders for those of you who need those tenny shoes!)

All the pretties in the show today followed the famous MacGyver Method of Design, j.f., products were primarily used from my box o' bits, aka BOB. For the above card, the blended background, glossified flowers, leaves, and winked bunny were all found in BOB. I stamped and fussy-cut the clay posts and sliced openings for the inserts. The sediment was stamped and embossed in shiny copper. I actually die-cut and added the frame.

Of course, you can't see any of the shine and I'm sorry I forgot to take a closeup for you. Thankfully, you have a great imaginarium. 

And a few other simple designs:

I was especially happy to find a way to stitch together these vintage floral fabric sprays with the sweet bunny on a linen background (dry clean only), surrounded by a bold cardigan in matching colors. Please note in the the catalog photo below that this design comes in several bright colors which will take you right through the summer months:

I will leave you with some delightful baby chick photos, although not the baby chicks you might be expecting for Easter!
Longtime readers will know I love to check out the nesting eagles via live cams this time of year. The website which has several live cameras watching the eagle nests can be found here: Explore.org. The above collage was made by viewer janntonne and it captures the adorable triplets at the West End Overlook of the Channel Islands in California. 

BTW, if you go and check out the cameras, you will be amused to see that a pair of Canadian Geese have taken over one of the old eagle nests in Decorah, Iowa! They are nesting on six eggs! 


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

Stanley is saying hello from his first Easter basket! (Hammy is in there under the grass, grabbing a nap!) I wish you all a Happy Easter/Happy Spring!⛄

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! See you on Thursday!

*Life is too short!

March 18, 2024

March 18: E is for Embossing (Folders)

Hello Stamplings!

It's lovely to see you! I hope you are doing well! In this hemisphere, it is the day-before-the-First-Day-of-Spring! It is also National Awkward Moments Day in the US, but more on that later. 

And it's also the third Monday of March, which means I am featuring embossing folders for this week of my I.D.E.A.S. calendar (see side bar.) I realize that I should include wet embossing on week three, so I will change that on the calendars in the future.

This is a bit busy for me and I had a couple of conniption fits in the process of making it. If that's not a term used where you live, it means to become unreasonably angry or upset or to have an outburst of frustration or ill-temper. No one knows the exact origin, but it is thought to be related to the word canapshus which is a type of hors d'oeuvre ... no, that's not right. Sorry, I jumped the track.

What happened was, I used a NBUS 3-D e/f from Paper Roses called "Tulips" to emboss a snippet of watercolor paper in perfect Easter-y colors. It didn't fully fit the card front, so I found a piece of mulberry paper from the last century in the exact shade of lavender to put behind it.👏

And then I spent the next three days trying out every die-cut greeting, flower, bunny, bling, chicken, etc. to adorn the thing! I think the problem was that the card was so pretty with nothing else added, but I mean, I couldn't just leave it like that. As a result it has the layers that you see, which in the end feel right.

The tulips were die-cuts from my friend Sonja, which Hammy taught Stanley how to softly blend with ink. The rabbit no longer has his packaging, bless. Oh, and I almost forgot to tell you that I also took a finger dauber and added a bit of light purple to the raisiest raised bits of the folder. I held my breath because I usually make a dog's dinner out of that effort. Yes, more 👏.

The sediment is NBUS from poppystamps called, "Proper Happy Easter." Even that was cut several times in all the shades of the rainbow in order to see which one worked best. This is one of those cards you send to someone special!

This is the same folder, using an old smooched background panel from my stash and leaving the design QACAS. (This panel was smooched with some pale colors and quite a bit of watered-down gold, so in person it is quite golden and schparkly.) I just added the sediment and bling and I let the boys use it for gold-schplatter training porpoises. The sediment turquoise blue is vellum and the raised letters are gold.
Same smooching and schplattery treatment with this card, except that I used a NBUS 3-D e/f from Altenew, called "Flowers and Leaves." They look like stylized tulips to me and this bit of smooching had quite a bit of pale spring green color.

Awkward Moment

As most of you know, I've had Hammy for years and he gradually became trustworthy enough to have free reign of the Playhouse 24/7. He is patiently training Stanley, but Stanley still gets into everything, so he is locked safely in his cage at night. 

Apparently last night I didn't close the latch and when I walked in this morning, I was greeted with this:
I can't even be conniptioned because they're just too darn cute!


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!
Onefer: Snippets Playground (snippets used for embossed panel, bunny, and sediment.) The Paper Funday (a/g w/ twist of "the dies have it.")
Twofer (blue): Can You Handle the Pressure? (with a twist of bling).

March 11, 2024

March 11: D is for Dies/Die Cuts

Hello Stamplings!

How are you? I hope you've had a good week! I'm being distracted by a baby hawk sitting on the fence outside my window. They fascinate me, but so do my little "pet" fence lizards on the garden wall. I hope he just wants to say hello and doesn't need a snack.🫣

But that's not why I called. When I wasn't being squirreled this week, I was happily submerged in dies and die cuts for this week's I.D.E.A.S. schedule. Lots of holidays and holly days called out to me. Here are a couple of the simple designs I made:

The Mister is one hunnert percent Irish, divided by two, so we observe St. Patty's Day. I haul out the ol' crock pot to make a delicious corned beef with all the fixins. The crock pot was a wedding gift in 1971 and it still works a charm. (Shoot, I prolly shouldn't have said that.🤞) 

But I digest. I seem to have donated my only shamrock image, so I called a conference with Hammy and Stanley. Between Stanley's British accent and my aaackronyms, it is slow-going, but we are all enjoying the process of getting to know each other. Together we made our own shamrock using a heart die from Cottage Cutz. I free-cut the stem. 
Cool, huh? I used temporary tape to adhere it to the card front as a mask and then blended soft green ink around it. The "happy" is from Memory Box (Happy Script), cut from glittery green paper and the scalloped rectangle frame is from Pink & Main.

I have several Easter cards in the works, but (no surprise!) I got squirreled again and made my first 2024 Christmas card instead. I've been wanting to do a hidden word stencil design, so I did. The Joy is from Concord & 9th and the snowfall stencil is from Sarah's Funky Fossil Designs. I did an ombre blending with CP inks. It was easy and fun!


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! Happy St. Patrick's Day!
*Life is too short!
Shamrock: Cardz 4 Galz (Use some green), and Colorful Options (Celebrating green).
Joy: Stencil Fun (A/G), The Paper Funday (A/G), Christmas Craft Creations (Stencils or embossing folders), Jingle Belles (Holiday cards to die(cut) for).

March 4, 2024

March 4: I is for Ink/Color Mediums

Hello Stamplings!

And welcome, March! A month of hope and new beginnings and religious holidays and spring breaks and sometimes snowstorms! It's a lot for one little month and we all can admit, a lot more dramatic than Ms. February! 

Here at the Playhouse, a new month means a turnover of I.D.E.A.S.* and for this first Monday of the month, I am featuring inks/color mediums, specifically Lindy's Magical color powder. Lindy's is like Brushos, only schparkly!

This is not the first thing I did with my Lindy's, but it's my favorite, so I'm putting it first. While I had the powders out, I did some smooching because I haven't done that in ages and I love how the little vases turned out. 

They looked great on a white card, but Hammy suggested I try black and then the whole crew swooned. After smooching and swooning, the only thing left to do was scoring, so we did a little of that to add a little Jenna Saykwa. I may add a sediment, but for now, I'm loving the simplicity.

Twin Twofer

I wanted to try something new this month and ages ago I heard that it was possible to paint images with powders using water and a paintbrush. I tried it and I have to say, it worked a treat!
I had a couple of stamped bathing babes in my stash from the last time I used the image, so I pulled them out to paint. 
Why am I showing both of them? I was curious, given my personality, about how the image painted with the Lindy's powders would compare to the same image painted with my Ziggies. I did simple painting on both, no shading.

Can you tell the difference? Because you can't see the schparkly from the Lindy's Magicals, they look very similar. Lindy's is on the left, Ziggies on the right. Or is it the other way round? Just kidding!

After wards, I put them through an embossing folder and for once, I'm sorry I did that ... at least with this particular e/f. Is it just me, or does it remind you of the designs that companies put on paper towels or the like. ('The like' being a euphemism for toilet paper.)

Never mind the e/f; this was a fun exercise and I tried something new! I have a few stamps and dies with a stained-glass look and I think they would be fun to paint with the Lindy's Magicals.


Hammy is very busy having a good time getting acquainted with the new little guy, who now has a name!

Thank you to everyone who suggested a name for him! Some of you thought it would be fun if the new buddy was a girl, so Hammy could have a girlfriend, but he went there, did that years ago while on vacation! As far as pets, hamsters don't get along like that. They are very solitary and if you do want to own two of them, it works best if they are the same gender. 

So I narrowed the names down to masculine names and added a few names that Hammy and I came up with. We ended up with names of English origin with an "an" in them, as a tribute to Annie. After about an hour staring at the same seven names, the little guy pipes up and says, "Why don't you ask my Mum?" Well, duh!

So I asked Annie and all of us were delighted when she picked 
STANLEYIt fits him!

*New Month of I.D.E.A.S.

Here is your calendar for March if you'd like to play along! Please let me know in your comment if you do play in any week, so I can pin your design to the Pinterest board for inspiration! 

Reminder: you do not need to use your NBUS to play with the I.D.E.A.S.schedule. 


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!
Vases linking to: Color Hues and Just Us Girls.