Sunday, 16 June 2019

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #353 - results

OK, so who left the taps turned on then? Day after day of rain - thankfully we live quite high up and so far (she says) have never even been close to flooding.

Writing this on Saturday and Len is helping to set up the 'have a go archery' at the local village carnival. I'm home with Dudley - firstly we don't want to leave him at home alone for what could be a long day and you can't take dogs, and secondly to keep on taking it a bit easy whilst the last knockings of my tootsie problems clear up. Thankfully, the massive swelling caused by stopping those evil pills (rebound action) did dissipate after about 10 days as predicted - so now it's a case of venturing further and further but not doing too much in one go. It's just lovely though to be able to wander - even around the local supermarket checking out what fruits etc. are in season instead of relying totally on home delivery services. Len plans to be home before the big parade kicks off the carnival itself - which will be nice as he's promised to bring home a couple of the wonderful Cornish pasties that one stall sells. 

Oooer, speaking of Len - he just arrived home, with the promised dinausaur shaped (and sized!) Cornish pasties for supper tonight. Yummy :) And, there's rain in the air, yet again, so I suspect some folk will get a bit wet at the carnival. Such a shame after all the work that goes into it. 

As always, it's so hard to pick just three of your lovely entries - but for once I actually had just three already short listed, and that makes life easier here:
I totally adore this cute 'new baby' card - made by Lynne in NI. The detail is just lovely, beautifully coloured and the whole card is just perfection.

I picked this card, made by Lilian, as not only does it use snippets but it's also such a beautiful image of a kingfisher - wonderful colouring as well! Sorry the image is smaller than usual, when I enlarged it, it went too blurred.

And another beautifully coloured image - brought to share with us by Helen. Helen is a real lover of Penny Black stamps and always adds so much additional detail such as the stitching around the panels - love it!

We had three new Playmates - a bit like buses - some challenges there are none and then three roll up all at once :)
Karen Letchworth
Karthikha
We also have Charlotte Wood-White playing along, her entry is number 50 but you'd have to scroll down to find the image on Facebook. And, as she's using Facebook, my attempts to add the photo of her entry here have only succeeded in messing up my blog post so I've had to leave it out.

Three new Playmates this week (a huge welcome girls!) and 53 entries - how heartening and music to my ears.

Now it's prize draw time, and our winner of the LOTV set of stamps called 'Happy Bears' is:
Oh well done Nicky, I'm pretty sure it's ages since you won a prize here! Please send me your address, with your full name at the top as well so I can copy and paste or just write straight from the email onto the envelope - for speed and ease. It's also confirmation that you still would like the prize of course and I'll post your prize once I hear from you. Please put Playground Winner or similar in the subject line of your email in case it drops into my junk mail. Email address is on RH sidebar as always.

Remember folks, there's still almost another week to run on Challenge #354 - you can find it HERE. The prize is a Concord & 9th 'Lily' set of stamps and a set of The Works 'Stitched Circles' dies.

No new photos of Dudley once again - sorry. Basically, we've not really had much time to turn around whilst the outside work was going on. Thankfully it's now finished and looks great!

Now all I have to do is to steel myself to begin taking the preventative meds - which apparently can cause gout flares as it dissolves the crystals in the joints - nice huh? But, it has to be done if there's to be a way forward, just not exactly a nice thought. Thinking positive perhaps I'll hit lucky and be OK - but, I was at the front of the queue when they were handing out rotten luck I suspect.

Love from Parsnip, Dudley - and of course me, 



Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Male Birthday card for 20th Birthday

It was Len's great-nephew's 20th Birthday recently, and I went through the usual gnashing of teeth trying to think of what sort of card to make. His Facebook page didn't give much away so I resorted to opening up a few Really Useful Boxes and peering hopefully inside them. And then, I spotted a load of 'Scrabble' pieces - produced especially for crafting. And that's what kicked it all off - here's the result:
I used:

- 6" x 6" square Kraft card blank, side opening

- a sheet of paper from the Paper Cellar 'Mens' paper pad, just slightly trimmed to leave a little border. I like the open topped cars in the pattern

- 'Scrabble' letters to spell out Brad's name. They're make of thin (balsa?) wood and I found them in Hobbycraft, under their own label, a good while ago

- the letters came with some double sided sticky circles on the back but I carefully removed those and used Collall All Purpose glue to glue the pieces in position

- finished off by adding a 'Craftwork Cards' sentiment, again bought ages ago. As often happened with these sentiments the circle had been cut just slightly 'off' leaving a fine white border in places, so I carefully trimmed right round to even things up

- then ran a black marker around the edge before adding the sentiment to the card using thin sticky pads

For being totally without inspiration at first, I'm glad this worked out as it did - and it got a thumbs up from my 'in-house critic' too!



Sunday, 9 June 2019

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #354

Time for a new challenge! Let's get straight on with it. This is my snippets card:
I used:

- 5.5" x 4.25" white card blank, side opening

- a snippet of 'lightly patterned in grey paper' I found tucked inside the back of a much loved Teresa Collins 'Sweet Afternoon' paper pad. In fact, the papers are double sided and this was the reverse of one sheet that I'd used a bit of - I just trimmed it slightly to be a smidgen smaller than the card front
- then a snippet of white card and a lovely set of stamps by Concord & 9th called 'Lily'

- I used the Misti and first of all put my snippet of white card to the left hand corner to stamp the lily itself with Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink - just did it once as I was coming back later

- most importantly, I left the lily stamp on the lid of the Misti whilst I carried on with the rest of the stamping (just protected the base of the Misti with a snippet of scrap paper to avoid stamping directly onto the platform again with the lily stamp for now)

- then, I moved the stamped lily across to the right hand corner and placed the centre portion of the lily in place, picked it up with the lid and stamped it using SU's 'Daffodil Delight' ink

- added a few spots using another little stamp in the set and SU's Pumpkin Pie' ink (and a small clear acrylic block so I could move from place to place easily)

- time to move the image panel back across to the left hand side and re-stamp the black outline of the lily so that it comes up clearly on top of the coloured stamping

- added the sentiment - using black ink again and also a piece of ink jet printable clear acetate with a grid printed onto it - which is invaluable for aligning sentiments! Put the image panel onto the Misti tucked into one corner and pop the acetate grid lined piece on top of that, also tucked into the corner. Then add the sentiment stamps using the lines to get them straight, pick them up with the lid as usual, remove the acetate and do your stamping onto the card itself. I always do a test run anyhow (OCD strikes again!) and of course I had the piece of paper I'd used to protect the base, with a perfect lily (albeit faint) stamped so I could check the final look

- had a bit of fun finding a 'stitched circle' die - from a set by The Works - of the right size. In the end I decided to go with a die cut with one straight edge and I do like it! Die cut the image first and then trimmed it using a guillotine for the one straight edge

- glued the image panel onto the piece of patterned paper first to make sure it was nicely at the very edge and then glued the whole panel onto the card front - using Collall All Purpose glue

Although I was sort of forced down the route of trimming one part of the circle to be straight - I'll be doing it again for sure. It's for a friend who returned home from the school reunion last weekend and her Mum died the following day. She knew it was imminent but as she's really the cornerstone of our reunions (Secretary and chief 'gopher') she went ahead with her role at the reunion but zipped away first thing on the Sunday to get back to see her Mum, for what turned out to be one last visit. She didn't tell a soul what was going on either, bless her.

The prize this fortnight is:
Ha, caught on camera once again she says noticing the reflection! The prize doesn't include me - it's a Concord & 9th 'Lily' set of stamps and a set of The Works 'Stitched Circles' dies. The stamp set comes with a couple more sentiment stamps so it doesn't have to be used as a 'Thinking of you' card. For speed, and also to keep a CAS look, I didn't colour the whole of the iris in but it certainly lends itself to nice watercolouring or similar.

As always, the Snippets Challenge will run for two weeks and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 22nd June. The gates will open again at midnight UK time on the same day.

It's a maximum of ONE entry, please say in a comment if you wish to play and be a possible winner of the prize. Please also link back to the Playground in your blog post to be eligible for the draw.

Remember, if you link into the Playground and don't say clearly that you want to be in the draw in a comment on here, then you will be bypassed if your name comes out of Mr Linky. I'm sure you all know I ask for a positive 'yes' on the blog post itself - just in case you're playing only for fun - otherwise I don't add you to my little list.

Work on the outside of the house is ongoing - but the results are just astonishingly good. No cutting of corners and total perfection. So, it's worth the slight upheaval for longer than we thought - just to know everything is spot on. And this is a guy working entirely on his own as well - quite amazing. Rain stopped play on Friday, although in any case there was one final delivery to arrive so it's just as well. The delivery did arrive - but not until 4pm in the afternoon as we were the last delivery of the day on their schedule, which would have been too late in the day - that certainly was serendipity.

There's been a few tales coming back from last weekend about reunion happenings - a few folk had to cancel last minute for one reason or another (including me of course), our President had to miss the Saturday evening dinner dance as her husband became unwell and they went home, and there were some self inflicted injuries. One sprained ankle, one leg broken in three places (larking around by the swimming pool) and one chap regained consciousness after the Saturday evening dinner dance with a whacking big gash in his head (needed seven stitches, so not tiny) - and he had absolutely no recollection of what had happened! Mind you - let's say that all of the injured, which were of the male variety, had been worshiping at 'the altar known as the hotel bar' all day! And no doubt there were a few hangovers in any case. Sigh - these aren't kids either!

I'm doing OK but now have swollen feet and ankles due to a 'rebound' action from being taken off the diuretics suddenly. It's a typical reaction apparently so just have to be patient for a week or two.

No new photos of Dudley this week, although right now he's looking snowy white and fluffy. Len took him for a walk in that dreadful rain on Friday and the poor little fellow was soaking wet when he got home, looked like a very dirty drowned rat. In fact, he was apparently quite frightened as Len took a detour to post some letters for me - but Dudley knows his usual route and wanted to come right back home 'toot sweet'. Time for an immediate warmish bath - which in fact he coped really well with - and he soon looked pristine again. It's so nice when he accepts that some things are done for his own good.He slept like a baby after it was all over.

Lots of love from us all - Parsnip (who is overseeing progress and handing up hammers and such to our 'roofing man'), Dudley (on general guard duty) and of course me,


Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Treescape Aperture cards

A little while ago (back in March) I watched a Claritystamp video - featuring Paul Church - and absolutely loved what he was doing. So, I sent off for some goodies and last week finally managed to have a little play.

I rapidly discovered that Paul has a way of making things look so easy and it seemed as if all my work (I made five similar cards) might have been in vain. But, I made some changes and still got a very similar result:
I used:

- 6" x 6" Claritystamp square black card blanks - which I trimmed down to 5.75" square to be sure the edges weren't spoiled by the Cuttlebug (I can see a Big Shot or similar in the offing, once I make some room for it!)

- then I die cut the front of the card blank using a Claritystamp die called 'Treescape Aperture' - the pieces fall out beautifully and I really love the quality of the dies

- followed Paul's tip to run the card through the Cuttlebug with a piece of white paper on either side of the die cut to sort of flatten the die cut as they do tend to be a bit 'bowed' due to the volume of cutting

- at that point (I was making five cards) I put things to one side for the day

- when I returned the following day, those cards were 'bowed' once again and that wasn't going to look good with the loose double 'Northern Lights' insert Paul had used

- so, I just backed the die cut area with a square of Claritystamp 'Northern Lights' which is about quarter of an inch larger than the aperture all round and stuck it in place using a tape runner along each edge

- then, to cover that I added a square of black card stock, just a bit smaller than the card front and of course that flattened the card front nicely as well

- finally added plain white inserts with a large sized 'celebrate' word stamped inside - using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a stamp from MFT's 'Big Birthday Wishes' set of sentiment stamps

These cards can be used for Birthdays or even just general use such as being included with Playground prizes!

I made matching envelopes as well using the same 12" x 12" papers - which Paul Church also showed in his video - you can find it on YouTube HERE.







Sunday, 2 June 2019

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #352 - results

Wow, we're now into June - already, so soon! Quick whizz this time as yesterday was busy day (today is Saturday) and I didn't have time to do this post.
 
As always, it's so hard to pick just three of your lovely entries - but here goes anyhow:
 
I totally fell in love with this card, made by Andrea (KandA). It features her adorable grand daughter who lives in Australia, visiting an aquarium - the awe on her face is pure magic! And, of course the card is absolutely gorgeous - Andrea also used a recent Playground win as well (the sweet little narwhal).

Liz always comes up trumps with her cards and this one really struck a chord with me. The interesting thing, apart from it being a great card using lots of snippets - and of course the super sentiment, is that Liz made this card for Darnell's 'Twofers' challenge. The theme was 'wheels' and Liz used a penny farthing die for one card and then used the small wheel from the same die for the lemon slices. Clever thinking outside the box there kiddo!

And there was no way I could let this really clever card, made by Jane W, slip by without it being a pick! I adore the origami 'pea-green boat' and such a clever play on 'The owl and the pussy cat' by Edward Leer (one of my all time favourite poems). With a bit of thinking and playing around, I bet you too could make the background and the boat for a card - even if you don't have those adorable owl and pussy cat dies!
 
No new Playmates this week and 47 entries - which is good when you consider that folk can only enter once per challenge fortnight.

Now it's prize draw time, and our winner of the Craft Emotions die called 'Hogweed', kindly donated by Sarn: 
Robyn
Congratulations Robyn, What a lovely piece of luck as I know you haven't been playing with us for very long. Please send me your address, with your full name at the top as well so I can copy and paste or just write straight from the email onto the envelope - for speed and ease. It's also confirmation that you still would like the prize of course and I'll post your prize once I hear from you. Please put Playground Winner or similar in the subject line of your email in case it drops into my junk mail. Email address is on RH sidebar as always.
 
Remember folks, there's still almost another week to run on Challenge #353 - you can find it HERE. The prize is a lovely LOTV set of stamps called 'Happy Bears'. Now discontinued and LOTV are going totally digital later on this month as well.
 
No new photos of Dudley once again - although a few of you have seen the one I posted on Facebook just three days after he was so beautifully groomed. Len turned his back and Dudley decided to try and dig his way to Australia! Thankfully he cleaned up beautifully but he really is such a little pickle at times, sigh. We keep saying to one another that it's good that he has such spirit and isn't a 'fashion accesory dog' - but he does test us to the limits at times.

Here's another little poster I found on line - and every single point is totally true:

As always, Parsnip and Dudley send their love, and so do I of course! And thank you so much for all the get well wishes - things are improving slowly. For me, gout leaves a lot of pain behind even when it's gone away. But, in time that too clears up so I live in hope! And then I can begin taking the preventative meds and hopefully get some sort of a normal life back.




Friday, 31 May 2019

Rudolph Days - May 2019

Crumbs, the month since Scrappy Mo's previous Rudolph Days challenge absolutely flew by - and am now racing in at the last minute for May's RD challenge!

I went mad and made eight cards in one sitting - four each of two designs:

I used:

- white card blanks, both side opening, in sizes 5.5" x 4.25" and 4" x 4"

- then I stamped all the images using the Misti, Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and stamps from Inkadinkado's 'Christmas Silhouettes' set of stamps - given to me by a lovely friend (thank you again, I love them!)

- stamped the sentiments, using the Misti, the same black ink and stamps from the Creative Expressions 'Festive Traditions - Sentiments' set of stamps

- next trimmed the image panels down to a size that would leave an even spacing around them when they were put onto the card fronts

- ran a 5mm Sakura Calligrapher pen around the edge of each image panel - silver for the angel and gold for the reindeer, just using the chisel centre along the sharp edge (if that makes sense!). This is a tip I picked up from Barbara Gray years ago and it does add that something extra when you tilt the card sideways

- backed each image panel with a piece of deep red satin mirri card (sadly Joanna Sheen's shop doesn't stock this any longer)

- then glued the image panels onto the card fronts - all done

I worked so hard stamping the images in particular, over and over using the invaluable Misti, to make sure I got a lovely even black finish - then took the photos in bright sunlight, which promptly made them look a bit faded in parts - hey, ho!

We're having the soffits and fascias renewed here at the moment and Dudley is so funny. If a shadow appears at an upstairs window, he almost piddles himself and then launches into a barking frenzy - until he's happy that no-one is breaking into the house .......... via an upstairs window in broad daylight!





Sunday, 26 May 2019

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #353

Hi again! Hope all of you in the UK are enjoying a very pleasant Bank Holiday weekend - with some sunshine thrown in wherever you are!

This is my snippets card - with a couple of snippets and a little bit of colouring (I told Parsnip not to go sunbathing - snigger!):
I used:

- 4" x 4" square white card blank, side opening

- pulled out Echo Park's 'Hello Summer' paper pad and found a couple of snippets of paper in the back which I used to match the colouring as best I could

- the image and sentiment is from the discontinued LOTV 'Happy Bears' set of stamps, stamped onto a snippet of white card using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and the Misti

- then coloured the image using Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils

- trimmed the image and backed it with ta very lightly patterned paper snippet

- then trimmed and glued the flowery snippet in place before popping the image panel in place

The card was super-fast to make and I used Polychromos pencils for speed. I sort of prefer Pro markers as they don't show the pencil strokes, although I also quite like the hand coloured look from using pencils as well! If it's good enough for Banksie the artist, then it's good enough for me :)

The stamp set I used, as I said, is discontinued - I bought it (and one for the toy box) absolutely ages ago as it reminded me so much of little Parsnip. In fact, LOTV are going fully digital very soon (15th June) and are selling off their rubber/poly stamp sets at a discount. Thanks Sarn for that 'heads up'! 

The prize this fortnight is this:
I really love this set of stamps by LOTV called 'Happy Bears' and have slapped my wrists for not using it sooner. The sentiments can be used in different ways with the lovely images - sort of tucked in beside the balloons etc.

As always, the Snippets Challenge will run for two weeks and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 8th June. The gates will open again at midnight UK time on the same day.

It's a maximum of ONE entry, please say in a comment if you wish to play and be a possible winner of the prize. Please also link back to the Playground in your blog post to be eligible for the draw.

Remember, if you link into the Playground and don't say clearly that you want to be in the draw in a comment on here, then you will be bypassed if your name comes out of Mr Linky. I'm sure you all know I ask for a positive 'yes' on the blog post itself - just in case you're playing only for fun - otherwise I don't add you to my little list.

Mr Linky is below - please let me know if you have any problems linking, it's easy for me to sort out so don't struggle on alone ☺

Lots more words next - much of which is a progress update but also for my own records. Skip it if you wish! 

Funny old week really - long story cut short but my BP has really plummeted to the point of being too low and also I discovered that the 'culprit' is a diuretic BP medication I'd been on for about five months when this all kicked off. Ha, it went into overdrive I think - but try getting a doctor to admit to that. However, he's pulled me right off the pills (that alone tells a story) and finally I hope to begin 'goat prevention meds' in a couple of weeks - I have the prescription and just hope the time will be right soon. The gout measurement they use (uric acid) is totally sky high from the blood tests and much higher than any previous readings (like I didn't already know that?). And I should not have needed to go 'spend a penny' five times during the Eurovision Song Contest when we (sad I know!) watched it on TV last weekend.

I think, these days, it's a case of know your own body  and protect yourself as much as possible from the awful meds that are out there. Always double check the leaflets that are in your meds - I firmly believe that because I was too trusting, that trust may have really let me down. My initial attack three years ago was also caused by medication - but you hope that it being in your notes, as well as you reiterating 'no diuretics' to your GP, would count for something, sigh.

Anyhow - the effect is cumulative apparently so now that evil drug needs to dissipate from my system 'toot sweet'!! My fervent hope is that I've found the root cause and things will improve from now on.

We took Dudley to the groomers this week just gone (the day after I'd seen our GP) and the following day (Friday) I was laid up again, but most likely from the lingering inflammation not taking kindly to me wearing (very sensible) shoes and doing just a little bit of walking - rather than a full on gout flare. Literally I did a couple of hundred yards but sure paid for it. However, today (Saturday as I type this) things have eased a fair bit - although have had to cancel the reunion altogether ..... as I suspected might be the case. In many ways it's a relief that the decision has been made for me - I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure' tends to be my motto!

We do have a new photo of Dudley this time round - some of you have seen this on Facebook:
Taken after we got back from the groomers on Thursday so he's looking like a white ball of fluff, so very silky and soft and smelling gorgeous as well. His weight is the same as last time, so it looks as if he's fully grown now (in body, even if not in mind - Dudley will always be a bit of a crazy puppy we think).

The trip to Winchester was better than usual - we gave Dudley some homoeopathic doggie calming drops beforehand and also used his new booster seat for the first time. It's really like a fleece lined box affair which is secured using straps and a mix of the car seat head rest and also the safety belt. So there was Dudley, in his booster seat, secured by his harness for good measure and off we set. I sat in the back beside him and Len was up front playing at being 'chauffeur'. We took Dudley's favourite toy - he came to us with it last September. It's a really cute monkey (and monkey goes absolutely everywhere with him - to the point that he's very grubby and also whiffs a bit from constant chewing and licking, and Len won't even touch 'stinky monkey' now!!). So there we were, merrily tootling along and Dudley started his fretting - not as bad as usual thankfully but enough to make me hold stinky monkey out to him for comfort. So funny, he did his 'grumpy growl' (more than once) as if to say 'Take that thing away from me - can't you see I'm a little bit busy right now, having a panic attack. I can only cope with one thing at a time, you silly woman'!! We did giggle over that one later on - and in fact Dudley was calmer coming back home as well. He even laid down and slightly dozed off a bit ...... knew I shouldn't have given him so many drops :)

We then sat in the garden later on in the afternoon, talking the day over whilst Dudley played out on the lawn (trying to undo all Auntie Steph's hard work!) and we witnessed the sweetest thing ever! We've known that the blue tit nest box above the kitchen window was occupied (as it is most years in Spring/early Summer) and have heard little cheeps recently, as well as the parents flying to and fro to feed their young.We then actually saw a little face pop up at the box hole, whilst the parents called from the far end of the garden. And all of a sudden - out came the tiniest, perfectly formed, blue tit fledgling and off it flew into the honeysuckle covering the arbour.  Literally seconds later, it was followed by another one - and after that the nest went quiet. We think those two might have been the last ones to fly as it was getting a bit late in the day for baby birds to take their first flight. It was pure fluke we saw what we did. And, although my camera was on the garden table there was absolutely no chance to take a photo as it all happened quite quickly whilst we watched in wonder. Needless to say - it's a lovely memory to have in any case and just as precious! Nature is just marvellous isn't it?

Their timing was just so perfect, as we're having work done outside (new soffits etc.) from this coming Wednesday onwards! A bit as if we'd posted them a little letter warning of 'new works ahead' really. Now, thankfully, they won't be disturbed - although we had a pair successfully carry on nesting a few years back when there was scaffolding for the upper house extension and other stuff going on. No doubt Dudley will do a bit of 'woofing' whilst this lot of work is being done though! It was planned so that I would be away for some of the time, making parking for additional vehicles a bit easier, but that didn't happen of course. We'll cope though though - we always do.

Lots of love from us all - Parsnip (who is still very much loved and spends a lot of his time making sure that Dudley can't reach him!), Dudley and of course me,