Sunday 26 November 2023

Sunday snippets and a Christmas card with a difference

I wanted a Christmas card to suit a couple of Christmas Challenges - and a stamp set from AALL & Create fitted the bill perfectly:

I used:

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

- snippets of plain lime green card - the larger one was used to create a narrow 'frame' for the patterned paper, which came from a Dovecraft 'Back to Basics Modern' set of Christmas papers  then both were glued onto the card front

- stamped the images onto snippets of plain white smooth card, using stamps from the AALL & Create 'HoliDEE' set of stamps using a VersaFine Clair 'Nocturne' ink pad

- coloured the images using Polychromos pencils

- die cut the main image panel using a die from the Lil'Inkers 'Stitched Rectangles' set of dies

fussy cut the Santa hat and also the sentiment 'cheers' before running a black Tombow marker around the edges of them both

- trimmed another snippet of the lime green card to just slightly larger than the image pane before gluing them both onto the card front

- used a medium nib glue pen to adhere the hat and the sentiment onto the image panel

- finally, a leftover strip of the patterned paper was begging to be used so I glued it across the flap of the envelope and trimmed each side

I really enjoyed playing around with this stamp set, although there's a lot of small detail on the tree - 'Hic!'. 

I'd like to enter my card into the following challenges:

Christmas Kickstart Challenge #80 where the theme is 'It's Christmas, Jim, but not as we know it' - so a bit of a quirky take on Christmas should be fine

Darnell's NBUS #56 - the stamp set is NBUS

Dudley Pupdate: A bit of a 'wild week' here with the boy! On Monday we jointly bathed him and to be fair, the water was actually pretty clean after all. Then came the wrestling match with him plonked onto my bath sheet clad lap and we patted the worst of the water away between us whilst he lay and peeped out of one end of the burrito wrap. Next came the blow drying session, which Len is stronger to manage. He also had some trimming the next day and then I re-brushed him and applied his anti-flea meds the following day - looking back it was probably too many sessions one after another. However, at every opportunity the little monkey took his chance to really glare, right until you looked at him - at which point he would very pointedly turn his back and lay down - leaving you staring at his tail! Typing this on Thursday and he's been left well alone for today - the air doesn't seems to be vibrating with doggie indignation as much! Although he's curled up well away from me at the moment! Guest bedroom I suspect as he can hide around the far side of the bed! 

A friend has just returned home to San Francisco after being away for a couple of weeks on a business trip to Norway (lucky lady) - and the photos of her Havanese when she returned are hilarious, he's almost bristling with anger at having been left for so long with his 'Dad'. Obviously something in Havi's genes! 

Finally, and very importantly, there's a new Challenge over at The Snippets Playground HERE - do come and play! Sarn and I put a lot of time and effort into running the Playground and it's lovely when you come to join in!

Love from both of us,

Di and 'Dudley de Avenger'!

Wednesday 22 November 2023

Ho, ho, ho!

I recently saw Chrissie Stokes over on YouTube using a great 'HoHoHo' die and after a bit of sleuthing, found one the same being sold by Ali Express - as a bonus it actually comes with a second version as well. Then I wanted a die set to cut Santa's face, but in the end cheated and bought some ready made toppers from a lady on Etsy. The thought of all that fiddly assembling for the run of six cards I planned to make was certainly the deciding factor! 

Here's one of the cards:
I used:

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

- piece of Craft Perfect/Tonic 'Inca Gold' Mirror Card - trimmed to 5.25" x 4" and glued onto the card front

- a piece of the same white card embossed using Kaisercraft's 'Holly' embossing folder and trimmed to 5" x 3.75" then glued onto the the gold mirror card layer

- I'd already sat here one evening and made up a whole bunch of the 'HoHoHo' sentiments to use up a load of snippets - layered each one onto the same die cut only in white for additional stability 

- glued a gold 'HoHoHo' sentiment onto the bottom part of the card

- then added a ready made Santa using thin sticky pads, finished!

I made three gold and three silver ones and my sentiments on the whole batch of cards were made using snippets. As always, metallic card is a hard one to capture in a photo. The toppers all have a hole in the design so can also be used as gift tags.

Speaking of metallic card, it's impossible to find more of some of the Craft Perfect/Tonic range of mirror card - anywhere online. Notably 'Inca Gold' and also 'Firestone Red'. They've been on back order for ages now - just hope that Tonic aren't winding down their mirror card range!

I'd like to add this card into Darnell's NBUS challenge #56 HERE.

Also, into the current Allsorts Challenge 'Christmas Time' HERE

Sunday 19 November 2023

Sunday Snippets - Penny Black Christmas cards

I rustled up a pretty quick batch of Christmas cards, using some Penny Black 'Masterpieces made Easy' toppers, along with their fabulous 'Stick and Shine' stickers and foils:

I used:

- 5.5" x 4.25" white card blanks, all side opening

die cut the 'frames' from snippet of white card using a die from the Avery Elle 'Postage Stamp' set of dies - cut eight to layer them for more dimension

- glued the frames together and set then aside

- dug out two gold and also two silver mirri card snippets, which I trimmed to fit just underneath where the white frames would sit

- glued the mirri card panels onto the card fronts then glued the white 'postage stamp frames' on top of them

- already had the chosen Penny Black Masterpieces Made Easy images set to one side and I knew that I wanted two to have gold borders of mirri card and the other two to have silver borders

- time for the sentiments to be added and I used some NBUS Penny Black sentiments from their Stick & Shine 'Xmas Classics' set of sentiments - one at a time - then rubbed Penny Black Gold/Silver 'Metallic Foil' over the top as I went

- added a couple of snowflakes to the 'robins' image then rubbed more silver foil on the top

- glued the image panels onto the already assembled cards - done! 

Four more Christmas cards added to the very healthy pile!

The 'Masterpieces' are printed on linen effect card, but the 'Stick and Shine' still worked great. Basically, it's like the old 'rub-ons' we used to love, only you're left with a clear sticky surface ready to adhere the foil. That sticky surface is why I foiled as I went of course, can be tricky to align straight and 'just where you want them' unless you have the right light and never fiddle with them once they touch the card! Ask me how I know this?! But, as always, nigh on impossible to get the gorgeous bright shine to show up well in a photo!

The images came from three different 'Masterpieces made Easy' sets, two from 'Reflections', one from 'Across the Miles' and one from 'Snowy Sensation'.

As it was a first outing for the Stick and Shine sentiments, I'd like to enter this into Darnell's current NBUS Challenge #56 HERE

The results of Snippets Challenge #466 are over on the Snippets Playground HERE.

Dudley Pupdate: I was woken up at around 6am the other morning, when it felt as if a little herd of  Mountain Goats with pointed hooves were tripping all over my shin bones - ouch! Yup, it was Dudley on our bed, trying to get up close and personal with me for a cuddle. He got his cuddle but oh boy, that did hurt! How can a small dog exert such pressure through his little legs legs?

There's still one week of the current Snippets Challenge to go, hope to see you in the Playground soon if you haven't played already - make a card, come and play. Look for the post just before this one. 

Love, as always, from Dudley and myself, 

Sunday 12 November 2023

Sunday Snippets and that leafy die set again

It's Remembrance Sunday today, always a rather sombre day as we think about those who gave their lives so that we might live. 

There's a new Challenge being run by Sarn, over in the Snippets Playground HERE. I really love the prize bundle - well worth playing along for a chance to win!

My snippets card was made for a friend's Birthday - hope you had a great day yesterday:

I used:

- 5.75" x 5.75" square white card blank, side opening

- a piece of silver mirri card, to make a frame die cut, using the larger die from the brilliant Maximum Crafts 'SF6 Square Frame' pair of dies

- then die cut a white frame from a piece of white card, also using the same set of frame dies but this time the smaller one of the pair

- glued the 'frame' die cuts together and then adhered them to the front of the card

- using snippets of white card I then die cut one solid leafy sprig and one 'skeleton' leafy sprig using the Pink and Main 'Leafy Dies #1' set of dies

- keeping the white 'fallout' from the 'skeleton' leaf carefully to one side I then glued the solid and the skeleton white leafy die cuts together - skeleton on the top of course

- then die cut various different parts of the leafy skeleton die using a snippet of mauve 'ombre' paper found in the back of Lawn Fawn's 'Watercolour Wishes' paper pad - sorry I threw the waste away before thinking to take a photo

- added a mix of white and coloured half leaves to the leafy sprig, using a glue pen

- glued the leafy sprig onto the card front

- added a sentiment strip from the very useful Creative Expressions 'Birthday' Wordies sentiment Sheets set. They are pre-printed in black on white and white on black and you DO need to cut them apart as they come in solid sheets - popping a little strip of card onto the back of the sentiment gives it just that little bit of 'lift' 

- final touch was some self-adhesive clear Memory Box 'Fairy Drops'

I absolutely love the frame dies made by Maximum Craft - and Linby, as is often the case, was the Playmate who sent me scurrying off to buy them! They add such a super finishing touch - a very clever idea.

I'd like to add this card into Darnell's NBUS Challenge #56 HERE. The Maximum Crafts frame dies were having their first outing.

Dudley Pupdate: I have to admit that I sneakily smelt his breath after the Playground Bonfire Night Party last Sunday. Not a whiff of 'choklit' or anything 'alkofrolic' I'm pleased to say! Just the lingering smell of peppermint toothpaste - hmmm. Dudley was absolutely brilliant throughout the local firework display here and didn't even flinch, not even at a few more brief bursts on private property. For once there didn't seem to be as many random boxes being set off in people's gardens - hooray! 

The other night, Dudley beat me to bed, as is often the case to be fair. If I say 'Bedtime' then he pops out from underneath my desk automatically, carrying Honka Duck of course! When I followed him a little while later he was sprawled flat on his back, front paws flopped down, fast asleep - right across my side of the bed, not even lying lengthways down the bed to leave some room for me to squeeze in. I just gently stroke him until he moves of his own accord otherwise he gets pretty grumpy. I thought cats were the ones who were meant to rule the home?!

Lastly, I've not mentioned the hedgies for a while - they are all absolutely fine and are gradually going into hibernation - probably sleeping in the bushes and plants in our front garden where there's plenty of shelter for them. Dudley is totally unfazed by them when they are out feeding, drinking their water and having a wander around the back garden. Bringing him up to get used to them from being a puppy has certainly paid off! 

Saturday 11 November 2023

Lest we Forget

I always have my own Father very much on my mind every single Remembrance Day. He joined the British Army aged 15 and spent World War Two over in Europe, helping to recover and repair British Army tanks. He didn't speak about the War much but it had left its mark and he, along with all of our Service men and women, will always have my undying admiration and gratitude.

We can but hope that it wasn't in vain and that, one day, peace will return to the various countries now embroiled in conflict.

Sunday 5 November 2023

Sunday snippets and cards for chaps!

I always struggle to make cards for boys once they're past the very early years - same with grown men. However, I decided to have a go at making a bunch of cards for chaps to have on standby - here are the first results, one of the cards is going to a young neighbour:

I used:

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

- snippets of Tonic Pearlescent card in 'Glazed Chestnut' and 'Majestic Gold' 

- a MFT 'Diagonal Strip Sentiment Cover Up' die was used to cut the backing panel - using the same die on both colours meant I could switch the contrasting colour around by using the 'fallout', which I did carefully keep to one side in the right size order 

- glued the backing panel onto the card fronts and inserted the contrasting strips of card into the apertures - using glue pens

- die cut the word 'Birthday' twice from more snippets of the same colours of card, layered them together then glued them onto the diagonal band across the width of the backing panel. I used the actual word part of a Whimsy Stamps die set called 'Birthday Word and Shadow Die' 

- finished!

Sarn has posted the results of Challenge #465 over in the Snippets Playground HERE.  As ever, there are some great choices from Sarn as 'Picks' - and a lucky prize draw winner too! 

Dudley Pupdate: Halloween - well, where do I begin! We joined in with the 'Trick or Treat' fun and games until rain stopped play at around 8pm. 

The sweetest part of Halloween around here is always early on when the little ones come around, usually singly with their Mums. There were some brilliant costumes and make-up and it was so nice to see the effort that had been made by parents for their kids, as well as a lot of the older kids too! We had a couple of younger ones wearing 'Wednesday Addams' outfits, complete with pigtails. The smallest caller almost made me cry when she, before even taking a treat, shyly handed me a little slip of torn paper on which was written very carefully 'Thank you'.

Dudley was in ecstasy, just lying at the front door in between callers patiently waiting with his nose against the door - his party piece was to then poke his nose and smiling face out when I opened the door a little bit. And of course, he stole the show as always - he wore a Halloween bandana - which was much admired! I overheard more than one group of people saying 'Go to that house, they have a cute little dog'! Afterwards, Dudley slept like a log right through the night - worn out by all the excitement. So did we, come to think of it!

There's still one week of the current challenge left to run! Make a card and come and play - there's a chance to win a nice prize if you join in the draw. See you on the swings!

Remember, remember the Fifth of November! Sarn has been working away making sure there's a veritable feast to be had in the Playground - Bonfire Toffee from Vicky plus Sarn and I will be dishing out soup & rolls, jacket potatoes - and some hot chocolate which I have my suspicions about. For a start, Dudley isn't allowed human chocolate - but if he was, I suspect there might be a little stagger added to his wiggle when he walks. Would that means he would walk with a 'staggle' I wonder? 

Sarn thinks I don't know 'peep' of course! And there's a huge bonfire - extinguishers are at the ready lest a spark sets the tree house alight! I also suspect that Dudley will be wearing a 'Fire Warden' Hi-viz jacket given half a chance!

With love from Dudley and myself,

Wednesday 1 November 2023

'Because' by Lil 'Inkers .......

...... this is one of my favourite sentiment dies as it says so much in just one word. I needed a card for someone special so this is what I came up with:

I used:

- 4" x 4" white linen look card blank, side opening

- washi tape from AALL & Create called 'Summertime' - I adhered two strips to a snippet of white card ** and kept it to one side

- then die cut the word 'because' twice, using snippets of green Altenew 'Forest Glades' card stock - sadly I only bought one pack of this card and it's no longer to be found in the UK - such a lovely green as well. The die is discontinued of course since Lil' Inkers closed down a while ago, such a shame as their products were brilliant

- glued both sentiments one on top of the other and then I could work out what to do with the washi tape strip I'd made 

- in the end I settled for backing the washi strip with a snippet of the same Forest Glades card as used for the sentiment and gluing it onto the lower part of the card before then trimming off the side edges 

- glued the sentiment in place, above the washi tape

- added some self-adhesive 'Winter Berries Glossies' by Sweet Huni Designs

- to finish off, I added a single strip of the same washi tape to the envelope

** I do love the latest washi tapes over at AALL & Create. This particular tape does pretty much match when you add another 'off lined' layer on top, so that you can make at least a double height band using it, but not all of them do. Although, there is always some waste if you try the' matching' part so be aware of that !Ask me how I know, sigh.

I'd like to enter this little card into Darnell's current NBUS Challenge # 56 HERE - both the washi tape and the 'Winter Berries Glossies' were having a first outing. 

That's it from me for today - typing this on Halloween Eve, not even 8pm and the heavens have opened - thereby curbing all callers for the rest of the evening! And reeeeeelaaaaaax! 

Sunday 29 October 2023

Sunday snippets and 16th Birthday card

Last month, Grand daughter Mia reached the milestone of age 16. It's so hard to believe that the sweet baby we both cradled in our arms is now almost a young woman. How time flies!

Mia is a very 'girlie' young lady so it was right up my street to set to and make what I hope turned out as a modern yet feminine card for her special day:

Waste from the pink and silver snippets

I used:

- 7" x 7" white scalloped card blank - these have been languishing in a box for years

- a layer of Tonic pearlescent  'Luna Silver' card

- a lightly smaller layer of plain pink card from a pack of various shades of pink card by Creative World of Craft - called 'Endless Love'n 

- stamped the flower onto a snippet of white card - using a NBUS Woodware Bubble Bloom 'Clarissa' stamp and a VersaFine Clair 'Shady Lane' ink pad  

- coloured the leaves using a Polychromos pencil

- found some snippets of pink paper in various shades tucked into the back of a Lawn Fawn 'Watercolor Wishes' paper pad

- die cut a selection of pink circles, using Woodware's 'Bubble Craft' die. This is the small original version, they now also have a large sized one which I used for the 'Bubble Robin' card HERE 

- glued the pink circles onto the stamped image using a glue pen

- trimmed the image panel and backed it with a frame of Tonic 'Luna Silver' card before gluing it onto the card front

- die cut the sentiment twice using snippets of 'Luna Silver' card, layered them together and glued them to the card front. The sentiment die is unbranded but I have since realised the resemblance to a branded die

- final touch was a little blue butterfly from Katy Sue's fabulous 'A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies' pack of no less than 332 printed and die cut butterflies - tickled with clear Wink of Stella and stuck in place using a small piece of extra strong red line tape

The butterflies are going to be so handy for adding speedy little finishing touches to cards - clever idea Katy Sue! One side of the two A4 sheets is paler than the reverse of the same image - double clever idea!

I'd like to enter my card into the following challenge:

Darnell's NBUS #55 HERE. The Woodware stamp, 'bubbles' die, sentiment die and also the pack of those butterflies were all NBUS. I can't thank Darnell enough for her encouragement to focus on using up NBUS goodies. Now, if only she could influence the terrible drive to buy more stuff we all have - she'd be on a winner!

Dudley Pupdate: He got lucky and was 'excused boots' this week, thereby avoiding a bath as it was time to apply his monthly flea prevention drops to the back of his neck. Mind you, he wasn't happy about the full grooming session I did beforehand judging by his 'boxing hare' impressions! It's an agility workout ...... for both of us! 

He was so funny on Wednesday just before I set off for a hair trim - he brought Honka Duck for a play in an attempt to distract me. Poor Honka was flipped here and there whilst Dudley then crouched as if to say 'C'mon, it's fun - join in with the game Mama!'.  Tempting as it was, I tootled off to the hairdresser with his plaintive cries ringing in my ears. 

Sarn and I were having a 'Playground Team Meeting' phone chat recently, whilst Dudley joined in with his 'play with me, nobody loves me' whines from underneath my desk. Sarn could hear the little concert going on so she can vouch for the fact that this ain't no made up stuff - basically, we have a Velcro dog going by the name of Dudley!! And I wouldn't change a single whisker.

There's a new Challenge over at The Snippets Playground HERE - do come and play! 

Love from both of us,

Wednesday 25 October 2023

Another card remembering Janis, NBUS and my monthly card for Rudoph Days

A 'triple purpose' card from me today - all challenges are dear to my heart. The Cat Lovers Blog Hop over at Christmas Kickstart to remember sweet Janis who left us earlier this year. Also Scrappy Mo's monthly Rudolph Days Challenge for October 2023 as well as Darnell's current NBUS Challenge. Here's my card:

I used:

- A5 white card blank, side opening

- piece of Tonic pearlescent 'Glazed Chestnut' card, trimmed to slightly smaller than the card blank and glued in place

- a layer of paper from a very depleted, carefully saved, pad of LOTV paper called 'Krafty Christmas', trimmed to slightly smaller than the chestnut frame and glued in place

- then onto the main image, which was stamped onto white card using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a stamp by the  Colarado Craft Company called 'Christmas Tree Cat'

- die cut the image using a die from Heffy Doodle's A6 set of stitched rectangle dies

- coloured the image using Pro markers, Polychromos pencils and also a sparkly gold Signo pen as well as touches of clear Wink of Stella here and there

- added the sentiment, from the same stamp set, using a VersaFine 'Vintage Sepia' ink pad

- glued the image panel onto a 'frame' of more 'Glazed Chestnut' card and then onto the already layered up card front - finis!

I've had this particular stamp set for absolutely ages, from back in the days when I used to make snippets samples for the Playground Challenge and the very thought of colouring it always terrified me! In the end, I decided to go for it - sink or swim! I most certainly don't think my efforts are anywhere near as wonderful as so many others - but, having had a break from using Pro markers as well as having the courage to also use coloured pencils did make the process flow more easily.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:

Darnell's NBUS Challenge #55 - the stamp set, almost my Nemesis, was having a first outing!

I reckon the fairy will win over the cat and fun and games are on the cards - the little mouse obviously thinks so! 

Sunday 22 October 2023

Sunday Snippets and Len's Birthday card

Having already shared Len's Birthday card from Dudley - here's my own card for Len:

I used:

- 8" x 6"  cream hammered deckle edged card blank, side opening 

- a layer/frame of Tonic's pearlescent 'Majestic Gold' card, topped by a slightly smaller layer of hessian patterned paper from a Stamps by Me 'Winter Story' paper pad

- the snippets on my card are a couple of strips of vellum and some additional pieces of leftover 'Majestic Gold' card that were tucked inside the card packet - I always hang onto the smallest Tonic card scraps as they're really handy for even tiny sentiments

- using Julie Hickey's 'Happy' and 'Birthday' profile die sets I die cut and assembled the sentiment and put it to one side

- then used a delicious NBUS die set by Pink & Main called 'Leafy Dies 1' to die cut the leaves and the top layer of 'veins'. The paper pad I used is also NBUS, made by Craft Consortiu 1m called 'Metal Textures' - some of the 'rusty papers' are perfect for leaves, if you choose carefully which part to use!
- I cut two of the 'solid' parts of the leaves for added stability then used a glue pen to stick them together before adding the 'skeleton veins' 

- time to assemble so I just popped the two sentiment words at top and bottom with two sprigs of leaves in between and called it done - I had a single sprig of leaves left over and glued that onto the front of the envelope

I'd like to add this card into Darnell's NBUS Challenge # 55. The Leafy dies and the 'Metal Textures' paper pad were having a first outing.

Also, Allsorts Challenge #751 is looking for 'Autumn colours' or 'Anything goes'. So, I'm linking into there as well.

The results of Snippets Challenge #464 are over on the Snippets Playground HERE.

Dudley Pupdate: And we've had yet more rain here, so of course the little bundle of fur has had to be practically carried coaxed out of the house. Amazing how staunch he can be in his 'NO WAY' actions. Can't say I blame him though, it's been pretty cold and damp out there! He's scheduled to have a bath as soon as possible ...... so no doubt he'll be totally delighted! And no doubt Len and I will be totally drenched in revenge!

There's still one week of the current Snippets Challenge to go, hope to see you in the Playground soon if you haven't played already - make a card, come and play. No doubt Sarn will be there, waiting with plenty of hot drinks and dry warm towels, given the current weather! 

Love, as always, from myself and Dudley,

Wednesday 18 October 2023

A card from Dudley for his 'Dad'

Dudley 'ordered a card' for his human Dad's Birthday last weekend, and this is what his design team came up with:

I used

- A6 white card blank, tent style

- a snippet of turquoise paper (unknown origin, unless I flip through a load of paper pads here) - trimmed to the card front size and glued in place

- the cutest Snoopy and Charlie Brown cartoon, stamped by a lovely friend and enclosed in her own Birthday card to me - which also featured the same image. I kept the extra image safely hidden ....... with Dudley's card for Len in mind

- coloured the image using Polychromos pencils to match the turquoise paper and the red card as best as possible

- mounted the trimmed image onto a snippet of SU 'Real Red' card stock, which I'd die cut using the MFT Die Versions Corner Concepts 'Happy Birthday' die. I backed the image itself with two or three layers of leftover card just to lift it a bit bfore gluing it to the actual sentiment panel

- glued the image panel onto the card front

- then die cut the 'WooF' from teeny snippets of the same red card stock twice, glued the layers together and popped them onto the card front to finish it off

It was a pretty easy card to make, once I dug out the dies etc. - and also made sure that Len wasn't likely to walk into my craft room as I was working. Dudley was on lookout duties!

No NBUS challenge for me this time around, apart from the image itself - everything has been well used previously.

Sunday 15 October 2023

Sunday Snippets & remembering Janis Woolbright

There's some fun and games going on over at Jo's 'Christmas Kickstart Challenge #79'. Jo is running a 'Cat Lover's Christmas Challenge HERE, in memory of Janis Woolbright, who died suddenly in January of this year. Janis and her helpers ran the annual 'Cat Lovers Blog Hop' tirelessly every October and it's such a wonderful tribute to a beautiful soul.I1

The sponsors have been incredibly generous and what nicer way to remember a talented and well loved crafter?

Confession, being a doggy person, I did initially struggle to find any Christmas cat stamps but so far have unearthed a couple. Still need to go back and have another look through the Really Useful box of Penny Black Christmas stamps - there could be more lurking! 

This is my first entry - made very much with Janis, a cat loving crafter, in mind: 

I used:

- A6 white card blank

- a sheet of paper from Craft Consortium's 'Frosty & Bright' paper pad, trimmed to A6 size and glued to the card front

- stamped the image onto a snippet of white card using Versafine's Clair 'Nocturne' ink pad and a Penny Black wood mounted stamp called 'Xmas Crafts' 

- then coloured the image using Polychromos pencils, before die cutting it using a Heffy Doodles die from the set called 'A6 stitched rectangles' 

- I had a snippet of Tonic Pearlescent'  'Navy Dazzle' card lying on my desk so I used that to create a narrow 'frame' by trimming it a little, then gluing it behind the die cut Penny Black image

- glued the whole image panel onto the card front 

- finally, added the sentiment, in the same Tonic 'Navy Dazzle' from my little pot of small 'ready to roll' layered die cut sentiments

- stepped back and called it done!

Another one for the 2023 Christmas Card box here.

Of course, I'm adding this into the Christmas Kickstart Cat Lovers Challenge! Do please join in and help to make this a success! Well done Jo & Co.!!

It also qualifies to enter into Gail's Tic-Tac-Toe Challenge, which is being run within the whole Janis event. My line is the right hand side downwards one of patterned paper, scraps and stamp. Brilliant idea!

Sarn is at the helm in the Playground this coming fortnight with a new Snippets Challenge - #465 to be exact. Go HERE to join in.

Dudley Pupdate: I'm sure some of you will recall the saga of the 'Stinky Monkeys' when Dudley was younger and how we had to secretly 'replace the old with the new'. Eventually, Dudley's affections switched completely over to Honka Duck and we were left with some brand new unloved neon pink and green monkeys! One of them he keeps in his cocoon of favourite toys .......... but there were several other brand new ones in need of affection. 

Around 10 months ago, during the back garden revamp, we had a 'proper' log cabin built in one corner of the garden. A while ago, when Dudley was out there with us having a little snooze, we decided that one of the spare monkeys would be company for him in the cabin rather than it languishing in a drawer unit containing 'all things Dudley' in the garage. He knows that Honka Duck lives indoors thank goodness and so far, so good apart from the very occasional sneaky try to take his beloved Honks for a quick tour of the garden!

However, now - whenever either of us goes towards the cabin during the daytime - Dudley is there in a flash waiting patiently to be let in to see his 'Garden Monkey' for a quick 'Hello' lick and to check he's still there safe and sound, tucked into one of the chairs! We prefer to think it's his 'maternal instincts' rather than paranoia! 

Today is Len's Birthday and we plan to just have a quiet day with a pleasant evening meal at home. And possibly some cabin time with Dudley .................. and Garden Monkey!
Take care, with love from Dudley and myself,

Sunday 8 October 2023

Sunday Snippets and a happy smile

October is a busy month for Birthdays here so, for today's snippets card, I took yet another short cut and this time used a Penny Black Stickeroo. A good while ago I stuck every single Stickeroo in my possession onto what I judged to be snippets of toning card stock and popped them all into a single cello bag to sift through at leisure. That really makes life much easier when the mad dog of panic is snapping at your heels (not Dudley I hasten to add!). I did note the set that each one came from on the backs of each 'mounted Stickeroo'. And this is my card for today:

My snippets are  non-standard sized card blank, snippet of thin foam and snippets of green card, all found on my desk - plus the Penny Black Stickeroo that started it all off!

I used:

- A6 (but quarter of an inch narrower due to operator error) white card blank, tent opening. It was a happy mistake a while ago when I was making some card blanks. The PB Stickeroo image being long and narrow fitted in just nicely, thank you very much! 

- the mounted Penny Black Stickeroo which I trimmed ever so slightly (it was on an ancient snippet of SU Designer Paper to pick out the pink as I recall) - is from the PB 'Touched by Love' set

- then glued the image panel onto a very slightly larger snippet of green card. This green card stock is called 'Forest Glades' by Altenew and I hit lucky buying a pack here in the UK ages ago. No longer stocked over here it seems and it's such a favourite of mine - think of a deeper shade to SU's 'Certainly Celery' and you're getting there

- glued the image panel onto a snippet of thin white foam sheet, trimmer to about quarter of an inch smaller all round than the image panel

- used a precious teeny snippet of the Altemew 'Forest Glades' card to die cut a couple of 'Smile' die cuts using a Penny Black die from their 'Hooray' set of dies then glued it in place

- final touch, something just didn't 'gel' so I used an X-Cut large corner rounder punch to nip off the bottom left hand corners of the card!

Sarn has posted the results of Challenge #463 over in the Snippets Playground HERE. Some lovely choices from Sarn as 'Picks' - and congratulations to the prize draw winner too! No names here, go and see for yourself. 😆

Dudley Pupdate: The entertainment continues here. Dudley's utterly predictable morning ritual is to have his little bowl of doggie breakfast (in between checking there are no available nibbles to be scrounged from our own breakfast of course). 

He then eats his Multi-Vitamin pill with no encouragement (popped in his dry food bowl) - wags his tail a few times and goes off to hunt for his precious pal 'Honka Duck'! He does sometimes forget where he left Honka the night before as I do close my craft room door overnight (lest he should hop up and find the scissor carousel or decide to have a rummage through my waste bin) - but we always take note and steer him in the right direction. The sweetest thing is how a Havanese trots - his little paws go ninety to the dozen, trit-trot, trit-trot! - and from behind, the view is of one very waggy and rather fluffy rear end. You need a trim young man!

But, for now, busy, busy and his only thought each morning is that there's a day to be faced by the 'Honka and Dudley Team' - stand well back!

There's still one week of the current challenge left to run! Make a card and come and play - there's a chance to win a nice prize if you join in the draw! See you on the swings!

Sobering thought, as I was typing this I looked at the date of 5th October and realised that my darling Mum was born 100 years ago today. Bless her, she only lived for 46 of those years - and I do know for sure that she would have adored Dudley Dog! And he, no doubt, would have been her utterly devoted little pal.  

Love, as always, from myself and Dudley,

Wednesday 4 October 2023

Penny Black Masterpieces for fast cards

The other day I made five cards in one batch bake for Christmas 2023, using some of the huge stack of Penny Black 'Masterpieces Made Easy' toppers I have here, no two are the same I might add:

I used:

- 5.5" x 4.25" white card blanks, all side opening

- each card then had a scalloped layer of white card glued on top, die cut from the same white card stock, using the largest die from the Taylored Expressions'Petite Scallop Rectangle Stacklets' set of dies 

- left the Penny Black toppers at their full size for this particular run of cards and trimmed suitable card stock to be a narrow backing for the images

- then mounted the images onto pieces of flat, thin and cut narrower craft foam before gluing all the layered on to the card itself

- final touch was the double layered sentiments, which I'd worked out and also made a pot full of beforehand. Using my current favourite Tonic Studios 'Mini Moments Merry Christmas' die of course 

- the toppers came from the following sets of Penny Black Masterpieces, left to right and top to bottom: 'Icy Winds',' Reflections', 'Critters Cuddles', 'Across the Miles' and finally 'Christmas time'.

Out of interest, Penny Black have brought out at least two new Christmas 'Masterpieces' topper sets. They aren't exactly a cheap addition to a card, but I feel they're worth it for speed and possible impact! IMHO of course.

Sunday 1 October 2023

Sunday snippets and Christmas 3D embossing

It's the First of October and Autumn is certainly settling in here. The sun is lower in the sky, nights are beginning to draw in and a couple of early mornings the central heating has kicked in.

Time for a new Snippets challenge #464 HERE and this is my Christmas snippets card:

A closer look at the 3D embossing

The snippets I used. Unsure what colour I wanted to use for the sentiment I die cut three different colours - and kept the unused (the red and blue as it turned out) sentiments for another day!

I used:

- DL (UK sized) white card blank - tent style

- piece of white card, embossed using a Nellie's Choice NBUS 3-D embossing folder called 'Snowy Landscape'

- trimmed the embossed piece of card to .25" smaller all round than the white card blank

- trimmed a piece of SU's 'Real Red' card to measure very slightly larger than the embossed panel, ran a silver calligraphy marker around the edge then glued to embossed panel on top of the red one

- glued the red framed embossed panel onto the card front

- the sentiment was die cut using a snippet of Tonic's Pearlescent 'Luna Silver' card and my much loved Tonic Studios 'Mini Moments Merry Christmas' die - twice then layered one on top of the other

-  glued the sentiment to the card front - finished!

I'm very wary of 3-D embossing folders and used my hand cranked Cuttlebug to do the embossing - at least that way one can feel if the pressure is too much rather than risk damaging the Gemini. 

This card is for Darnell's NBUS Challenge #55 over HERE. My NBUS was the embossing folder of course!

Pupdate: Dudley has the most beautiful white plume of a tail which he generally carries rather jauntily curved over his back. Whilst playing with him a week or so ago I could feel that there was some 'clumping' of the plume hairs going on. It then took me two 'de-matting' sessions with a lot of cuddles and love plus even a bit of nursery rhyme reciting to try and distract him! He's a very determined little dog when it comes to certain things he doesn't like - he will resist all the way. He even tried the anguished and pleading looks - which almost broke my heart. The comfort I do have is that I know it wasn't hurting him as he's very quick to squeak - and also, the time spent means he doesn't need to be tackled with scissors or worse still clippers! Basically, the long fine silky hair gets a tiny tangle in it which then grows rather like a seed, gathering up other hairs to try to form a matt - which needs gently teasing apart one little bit at a time. A long and quite stressful job and there were a good few of those pesky 'seeds' to be tackled. Gone are the days when Dudley was small enough for me to tuck underneath my armpit with his head poking out looking behind me so I could get to his tail easily - he used to look rather like a set of small Northumbrian bagpipes! 

I didn't dare mention to Dudley during our 'up close and personal' tail grooming sessions that he's actually got the very beginnings of a 'doggy hum' - which means a bath is on the horizon! Poor little guy - another 'treat' in store! We celebrated his 'Gotcha Day' during the week - five whole years of fun and frolics.

Love from Dudley - and of course me, 

Wednesday 27 September 2023

Christmas decoupage and some challenges!

I recently posted a set of decoupaged  'robin Christmas cards' on here - and it reminded me of what a gentle and relaxing technique it is. 

I then spotted someone selling, in a FB 'Decluttering Group', a huge (24!) Christmas bundle of Katy Sue's die cut Christmas decoupage sheets. I've assembled a few images and really love them. This is the first completed card:

I used:

- 6" x 6" square white scalloped card blank, made by Craftwork Cards - it's years since I used a scalloped card and have fallen in love with them all over again - just as well as I have a box full of them in various sizes!

- decoupage sheet called 'Bear with Snowman' from the Katy Sue 'Christmas decoupage bundle' 

- popped out all the pieces, keeping them in their respective layers - snipping off the little 'pips' of card where they'd been attached to the whole sheet as I went

- and this is where things almost went askew (to put it politely) - I usually use thin snipped up sticky pads for the assembly process - but had a wild idea that Pinflair silicone glue for decoupage would be quicker and even cheaper and so had ordered some from Amazon

- I really love the end result but almost gave up in despair partway through - that stuff is sticky and oily at the same time and I hated using it!

- layered the completed decoupage panel, using Collall glue, onto a 5.5" x 5.5" square piece of Tonic 'Firestone Red' mirri card - having run a silver calligraphy pen around the edges of both the image panel and the red mirri card 

- then glued the whole panel onto the front of the card

- added a little tag which also came in the decoupage sheet, having also run a silver calligraphy pen right around the edge - I added the label using thin sticky pads as by then the silicone glue had been given its marching orders - amazing how quickly the tube goes down as well - not a money OR time saver

- before sticking the tag to the image panel I made a dinky little bow using red metallic cord and glued it onto the tag using a tiny drop of 'Glossy Accents', which I'd weighted down using a thick very heavy old acrylic stamping block to let it dry and not make a leap for freedom!

- finished off by adding a couple of the 'extras' including a border strip from the decoupage sheet to the envelope - not something I usually think of doing but am always impressed when others decorate their envelopes!

So, my big lesson was that silicone glue and I do NOT get along well together - it took ages to clean up my glass mat as well as any tool that had come near the stuff - thank goodness for  having a bottle of 'Sticky Stuff Remover'!

Another thing I realised was that some of the topmost layers on the few images I've assembled so far are too small and fiddly to add without jeopardising the look of the whole  thing. So I just glue those flat onto the topmost layer using a glue pen. I'm referring to really teeny, tiny pieces - and it doesn't spoil the 3D effect in any way.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:

Darnell's NBUS Challenge #54 - the whole set of decoupage sheets was my NBUS item