Wednesday, 12 December 2018

All I want for Christmas....

.... is my two four front teeth! A message from Dudley.
Maltese Clipart maltese dog 17 - 1024 X 1024
My baby teeth are coming out and new ones are ready to take their place - so far it's the four top front ones - bang on schedule for a Havanese! And just  two days later the new ones right in the middle are peeping through.

Sooooooooo, this is my vewy serious doggie world question - will I still be able to eat/chow down some chopped up chicken/turkey on Christmas Day?

OR, do I place an order for 'minced/blended/suck it through a straw please' in advance of the big event? Decisions, decisions, sigh.

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #341

The photo of my snippets card for today isn't very good I'm afraid. We had days on end of really dull and overcast weather with rain thrown in for good measure, then I was at the point where I really needed to take a photo before delivering this card to be taken to the wedding from Len and I by a friend of the bride. So what did we get when I rushed to take the photo? Blinding sunshine and bouncing light all over the place! Sigh - these things are sent to try us!

Anyhow, here's my snippets card for today and the inspiration for it came from an Anniversary card made by our Janice HERE. This is my version, which I made as an easel card:

I used:

- 6" square easel card made using white card stock

- snippets of silver mirri card for the heart and sentiment and snippets of sparkly silver card for all the borders. I went for more sparkle as it's an
'almost Christmas' wedding and I know that the bride has chosen Christmas music for the church blessing and no doubt there will be other festive and sparkly touches

- snippets of White Pearlescent card for the embossed layers and the background to the heart and the sentiment

- first of all I cut and folded the easel card pieces but at this point kept it un-assembled

- then cut the two sparkly borders for the front and the flat part of the card and glued them in place

- topped those with a background layer of white pearlescent card which was embossed using XCut's 'Polka Hearts' embossing folder - there had been a fair old bit of measuring up and careful trimming beforehand I can tell you!

- then die cut the heart from Stick-It backed silver mirri card using a gorgeous die from The Works called 'Swirl Heart' - I also die cut the smaller centre heart from white pearlescent card to add into the centre and bring it all the the same level

- adhered the heart to a snippet of white pearlescent card and trimmed it down to size before backing it with a border of sparkly silver card

- then die cut and assembled the sentiment strip (which acts as a 'stop' to hold the card upright) using another lovely die, so kindly given to me earlier this year by a very sweet friend (you know who you are!) - the die is called 'Congratulations' and is made by Creative Expressions

- the next step was to fix the easel card together using red line tape

- and then I added the image panel and the sentiment panel using reasonably thick sticky pads - and popped a pair of linked Wedding rings into the centre of the heart - hooray for peel offs!

- finished, phew!

The card took me almost two days to make, I kept being distracted by little Dudley and made a few mistakes along the way which meant I had to re-do bits. For instance, embossing one piece of pearlescent card on the reverse (shame it wasn't double sided pearl but there you go!) - silly little mistakes as I wasn't really concentrating. In real life the card looks very special though and I'm well pleased with it, I made up a box for it as well. I really dithered about personalising it with the bride and groom's names - but in the end opted for keeping it less cluttered.

The prize, as usual, is totally connected to this week's snippets card:
It's an Xcut 6" x 6" 'Polka Hearts' embossing folder, a The Works 'Swirl Heart' die and a Creative Expressions 'Congratulations' die. I do so love The Works dies - considering they're pretty inexpensive they cut beautifully, come out of the dies with ease and are well made and robust.

A nice bumper bundle and I won't split this prize at all. As I always say, if you win and really don't want everything (although they go together so well) then feel free to give anything away to a fellow crafter at your end.

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

It's a maximum of ONE entry and 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're wanting 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 ignore you on 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 :)

In two weeks time we'll all be in panic mode I expect getting ready for Christmas! But, do try and find time during the following fortnight to make and link a snippets make into the Mr Linky which will publish on 23rd December as most (if not all) days I'll be adding prizes into the pot for the Grand Christmas/New Year Draw! You will need to comment on any post showing the prize for that day if you wish to be added into the draw for that particular prize. One overall comment saying 'all prizes' won't cut it I'm afraid. Neither will racing through all the posts right at the end commenting on all the prizes be very fair - and it will show up on my dashboard. I know we're all going to be busy so I will allow some leeway of course.

I'm finishing this off on Saturday morning (ie. yesterday). It's been a fun week for Dudley and tonight will be a real test as I'm going to the Archery Club Christmas Quiz evening with Len. To be honest I'd rather stay at home but we do need to see if Dudley can cope with an evening in his indoor pen - along with bed, food, water and toys of course. Plus the radio will be left on for him to 'sing' along to! In fact, his sounds vary immensely and he almost yodels at times. I feel so bad that we have to try this but Len has rigged up an indoor CCTV camera so we can monitor him from where we'll be. And who knows, it may go well.

Yesterday (Friday) for example was a case in point. I got myself into a real tizz as Friday got closer and Dudley was being left alone at the groomers. He trotted into the main store quite nicely but was hesitant when we went into the 'grooming parlour' and he positively backed into a corner with his paws firmly dug in when he needed to be handed over to the girls! However, one worrying hour later I returned to collect him and guess what? He'd been an absolute angel throughout - hardly a murmur from him and the girls had fallen in love with him of course. In fact, the little scamp just gave me a glance and carried on licking the girl who brought him to be handed back. So much for a frantic little dog scrabbling to get back to 'Mum'! In loads of ways it's really heartening that he's not as fazed by these things as we thought he might be. And, he looks (and smells) utterly fabulous! He's fast asleep right now and with this evening in mind it isn't fair to disturb him to take a photo. Just think very white and fluffy with a coat that feels like spun silk :)

Hope you all have a lovely week/fortnight. And remember, if it doesn't get done before Christmas, things will still carry on so try not to get into panic mode with preparations. She says - being the world's worst! I actually have a list which lists all my to-do lists here!

Love from Parsnip and myself, and of course a 'woof' from Dudley ☺

Edit: Dudley coped amazingly well! He looked as if he was doing well on camera when we spied on him from the quiz venue. He was 'all of a quiver' when Len went into the house whilst I parked my car  - whether it was excitement at seeing Len or he'd been a bit stressed as the evening wore on we're unsure, but to be honest that little chap is proving to be tougher than we thought. Lots of play time and snuggles and he's absolutely fine!!

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Six more Christmas cards

I know, I'm a right pain driving up the tally of Christmas cards I've made this year - am so close to the target I set myself that Little Miss Stubborn doesn't want to give up just yet.

I made six cards, all exactly the same last week, during those miserable rainy days we had - I can see little fuzzy bits around the die cut sentiment in the slightly wonky photo, but it's so hard to grab any daylight just now that I had to settle for the best I could manage. Have just whisked those fuzzy bits away with a fairly stiff paintbrush:
I used:

- 4" x 4" white card blanks - I find Hobbycraft's A4 300gsm card is really great for making card blanks - it doesn't 'split' like some bought card blanks do when you fold them

- 3.75" x 3.75" square of dark blue pearlescent card for the background

- 3.75" wide strip (snippet) of white pearlescent card, backed with Stick-It and then die cut using the adorable Your Next Die 'Winter Scene Border' die

- fixed the die cut to the very bottom of the dark blue card background - at this point not stuck onto the card front in case I needed to trim a bit off the sides. I didn't in fact but best to play safe plus it's always easier to handle elements before the card is assembled'

- then die cut the sentiment using more of the white pearlescent card backed with Stick-It and Impression Obsession's 'Seasons Greetings' die. I'll be quite honest and say that it was a bit of a so-and-so' to remove all the waste from the die cut but so worth it - I put it down to me using Stick-It adhesive sheet and another time may well try using Collall All Purpose glue in a fine line bottle, or even a fine glue pen as Stick-It sheet just loves to play awkward on really intricate die cuts

- to position the die cut sentiment I used a strip of clear removable tape across the front of the blue panel for an alignment guide and popped the die cut sentiment in place before removing the piece of tape ready for the next card in the production line

- then ran the whole panel through the Cuttlebug using the CB embossing plates plus an embossing folder as 'packing' - the result looks as if the sentiment and little scenic strip are inlaid and there's no way those die cuts are gonna peel off

- glued the panel onto the card front and then stared at the card for ages

- asked Len, who agreed with me that something was missing - so I added three Josy Rose shiny silver star shaped hot-fix nail heads and was finally happy with the result

I'm really happy the way the border along the bottom breaks up a plain card and the fabulous big die cut sentiment works well with it rather than being on its own (IMHO).

I think this may be the last year I make cards for quite a few people though. Obviously crafting friends will always receive hand made cards, as will family and close friends. But, it's becoming more of a chore than a pleasure given the number of cards we send and receive - especially as Dudley does need quite a lot of attention. Plus, a few friends are going 'electronic' and some others even use free sample Christmas cards they've been sent by charities. I know it's the thought but this gal is gonna start thinking a bit more about priorities!

Took Dudley out for his first solo drive with me yesterday just to our local dentist to deliver a Wedding card and then straight back home. He was wearing his little 'walkies' harness and hooked up to the seat belt slot on the front passenger seat beside me. Did you know that Havanese can almost 'yodel' when stressed? In between heavy panting - poor little sausage! Was it my driving I wonder? However, he's back to his normal naughty self again!

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #339 - results

Oh boy, it's been so wet here this past week - but Dudley doesn't mind the rain too much thankfully. And, he's even finding the vigorous towel 'drying off session' when we get back indoors to be fun as well. At first the little tinker was growling but we've moved on from that stage and he revels in it, just wait until the Puppy Pampering Spa session lined up for Friday! I have to go away and leave him for an hour and although the girls seem really lovely it's the first time he'll be in the hands of strangers without either Len or myself being there. Gulp.

Anyhow, let's get straight on with the fortnightly picks.

The challenge coincided with the 100th Anniversary since Armistice Day which ended the First World War - and not surprisingly we had a few entries using the Memory Box 'Prim Poppy die. In quite different ways though - here they are as a reminder:
Shaz in Oz made this beautiful card - what a lovely background as well, such an unusual embossing folder.

Kath B inlaid her die cuts on this card and came up with a great way to insert those little white cut out pieces - I always manage to lose one or two along the way despite keeping them in a little plastic lid whilst working.

Viv used the same poppy die to create her lovely card - I just love the shadow effect. To find out how Viv did it hop on over to her blog - very clever and one to try out for sure.

Still on the theme of poppies, here's a different die set:
Linby made a beautiful batch of poppy ATCs and very kindly sent one to me - they're even lovelier in real life. I have my Dad's military medals from his Army career, they're in a big. flat, padded wooden cigar box along with matching 'miniatures' for dress occasions. My Grandad's World War One medals are in there as well (Pip, Squeak and Wilfred). I intend to pop the ATC in the box with the medals as it seems absolutely the right place to keep a special momento of the recent anniversary. Thank you again Lynn!

I'd love to add more picks but am short of time - as always now. It's a struggle getting round to Playgroun entries but I am picking away at it when there's time! And of course am also trying to make a few cards to showcase our Christmas/New Year Draw prize. All in between the usual pre-Christmas preparations

No new Playmates this time but again we had a total of 51 entries. We do keep bobbing around that total - which is heartening. I've said before that I have a number in mind and if we drop below it then the Playground gates will close - but we have some way to go yet!

Now it's prize draw time, and our winner of the Stamping Bella 'Straight Up Floral' set of stamps and the Impression Obsession 'Thoughts' die is:
Well done Emma - I'm sure this is a first win for you. And it's a double whammy this time as you're also one of my picks!

Do please send me your address, with 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 #340 - just check back a bit and you'll easily find it. The prize is a Stamping Bella 'sweaty chicks' set of stamps - really cute and amusing too.

And speaking of cute and amusing, Dudley has a new special place where he likes to lie - on a little faux sheepskin doggy mat - on a table right beside Len's desk where he can keep an eye on him! Not sure who's watching who though. Havanese are known to be climbers who love to lie or sit in high places - he loves to do a tightrope walk along the back of one of the sofas here, under strict supervision as it's a long way for a little pup to fall!
Just look at those big brown eyes - he's a real heart breaker when he gazes at you! Right now he's lying in a doggy bed in my craft room doorway with his head hanging over the side, fast asleep.

The brightly coloured monkey arrived here with him from the lovely Cherie who owns his parents, along with a paw printed fleecy blanket and a little tennis ball. Monkey is his really beloved toy he always goes to when it's time for a nap and it's never far away from him, often dangling from Dudley's mouth by the tail - I've had to repair it once so now Monkey looks like he's had plastic surgery on his chin!He would be devastated if anything happened to Monkey - so needless to say I tracked down and bought a standby one which is hidden away just in case it's needed at some point. Of course it won't have that 'puppy whiff' from being chewed but better than nothing I hope.

Edit after seeing Scrapamondo's concerned comment: Monkey's eyes are just embroidered with a little bit of black and white thread although they might look shiny in the photo they are not plastic, just very realistic embroidery. And I check all of Dudleys toys over daily - plus he only has dog friendly toys with no parts that can be chewed off. But thanks for your concern Alice x

Hope you all have a lovely week ahead, and little Parsnip sends his love. He's been surfing the internet today for more Christmas presents for Dudley - I'm just a bit worried about the miniature saddle as I think Parsnip has ideas about being 'Bear John Wayne! - and Dudley sends his love too! Woof!

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Rudolph Days - November 2018

Hooray, I managed to make a batch of four cards for November's Rudolph Days challenge over at ScrappyMo's! I made two of each colour - both used the same layout for ease:
I used:

- 5" x 5" square, slightly off-white card blank - side opening

- piece of gold mirri card, about quarter of an inch smaller than the card front - glued in place using Collall All Purpose glue

- topped that with a slightly smaller piece of plaid paper (red and also green) from the LOTV 'Twas The Night' paper pad

- die cut the Lil' Inkers 'Noel Word Antlers' from a snippet of dark brown card which was backed with Stick-It adhesive sheet beforehand

- snippet of the same off-white card as the card blank

- then I added the Noel antlers die cut plus the 'nose' - placed a bit down from the centre of the letter O to look a bit more like a nose

- and only then did I use a The Works 'Stitched Squares' die to cut the final square out - that makes it much easier to make sure the word is positioned exactly as you want inside the square as well as the pressure making sure the die cut is well adhered

- backed the image panel with a slightly bigger piece of gold mirri card and then glued it onto the card front - done!

So that's another four cards bringing the total to 110. You can really vary how you use this sweet little die of course - as is the case right now in general, I was in a bit of a hurry but you could cut the antlers from a different colour to the word - and even cut the nose part from red of course! Now that would be perfect for Rudolph Days! But I also wanted to keep the slightly Scottish look to these cards and though a red nose might be a bit flippant. You could even add a couple of little black gems or dots as eyes I guess.

And you never know, a 'Noel Antlers' die may make an appearance in the Grand Christmas/New Year Holiday draw! 

Sadly, the Works don't seem to have the 'Stitched Squares' dies in their line of dies any more - which means that if you do see dies you like in The Works (UK), snap them up as their range seems to change quite rapidly.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

A note from Dudley to Santa (probably not his last one either)

Image result for Dear Santa I can explain image
1. I did a big dump in the (thankfully tiled) hall last Friday and then literally straight after I did that an unaware Daddy opened the door to our Avon Lady, he hadn't even seen it as it was partway up the hall as well as being still 'hot off the press' - and even I didn't see it coming either! I ran and hid whilst my two hoomans tried to cope with Dettol spray, strong K Roll and a lot of smiles - like we're a 'house of hobo's' for goodness sakes, it was only a dump - albeit a real corker, snigger. Our Avon Lady hightailed it out of here though and I don't even smell that much! Mama can usually detect it from a loooong distance but Daddy has little or no sense of smell - ha, wait until he puts his slippers on next time! I think our Avon days are numbered though. Who cares, they don't do puppy food.

2. Mama went out late on Sunday for last minute shopping and for the very first time forgot to close the door to her craft room....stupid is as stupid does they say. When she came home both her and Daddy did think I was very quiet - peeking down at them whilst they put shopping away and then disappearing from view. Yup guys, I found the waste bin under her desk - tissues, bits of discarded paper, card and receipts - dog HEAVEN. But you know what, I KNOW someone was giggling as she picked up all the chewed pieces and the trail of paper I left - I do aim to please :)

3.  And the last thing I did over that two days was to defiantly stand in the middle of the lounge, late evening and have a massive wee! TAKE THAT made a return performance! It's so funny when they shriek and run for cleaner, a scrubbing brush and paper towels - I quite like this puppy lark to be honest.

But, please take me off your naughty list!

Love and woofs from Dudley!

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #340

Hello again - and we're two weeks closer to the Big Fat Man in the Red Suit calling! And I am sooo not prepared. The one thing I'm bashing away with is trying to make Christmas cards - which is a good point at which to remind you that ScrappyMo's Rudolph Days Challenge begins today and runs to the end of November!

And we'll be having our usual Christmas/New Year Holiday draw over the festivities with plenty of prizes to be won - more details on here nearer the time!

Here's my snippets card for this fortnight's challenge - and you'll have to excuse the fact that it's another Stamping Bella stamp set I used - hot on the heels of the last challenge, but really quite a different set altogether, I think:
I used:

- 5.25" x 4.25" white card blank, tent opening

- snippets of pale green and bright pink card from the snippets folder - which I trimmed down and added to the card front using Collall All Purpose glue

- a snippet of paper from the Lawn Fawn 'Really Rainbow' paper pad which I used to match with the backing card layers and also the colouring in of the image

- snippet of white card, trimmed to size, onto which I stamped the image and the sentiment using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and both stamps from the Stamping Bella 'sweaty chicks' stamp set. Had to do a bit of fiddling using the Misti with an acetate grid placed over the card to get as straight a stamping as possible before then stamping onto the white panel

- coloured the image using Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils and Sansodor Blending Solution

- trimmed the snippet of striped paper to 1" height for top and bottom and added it to the image panel using a tape runner before trimming off the sides (Tip: always do this from the back to get a straight cut)

- glued the panel to the card front and that it - done!

I just love this stamp set - great fun to colour and bound to make most people smile :) The camera has really picked up what the naked eye can't see - strokes etc. on the chicks' bodies even though I used blending solution! Short of going over the bodies with a Pro marker am not sure how to correct this as it looks fine in real life! Not got the time to fiddle round and risk ruining it either.

The prize, as usual, is very much connected to this week's snippets card:

It's (of course) a Stamping Bella 'sweaty chicks' set of two stamps - the image of the three chicks plus the sentiment. Ha! Len says the chicks look like a row of potatoes! Couch potatoes perhaps? Boom, boom!

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

It's a maximum of ONE entry and 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're wanting 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 ignore you on 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 :)

Here's a photo of Dudley, taken earlier this week:

He has his first appointment at the groomers booked - just a Puppy Pamper session with a bath, blow dry, ears and eyes cleaned, claws clipped and any excess hair removed from his pads and feet. They are under strict orders not to touch anywhere else with scissors for now! His coat needs to be allowed to grow and gain some more weight and body before we go down that road even though he's a bit like a wriggly sheepskin rug - plus the hair on his muzzle has to grow so it lies flat. I read somewhere that a little slick of Vaseline will help to keep the hair from sticking up in front of his eyes - but first catch your puppy! Sigh, he always looks so solemn when I get the camera out as if he thinks trouble is brewing - this is a little dog who is usually hopping about with a happy smile on his face and his tongue poked out! He can hear the rustle of a cheese packet from the other end of the house and is very partial to a piece of raw carrot.

Love from Parsnip - who has taken it upon himself to sort out Christmas presents for Dudley, keeps him out of even more mischief! So far we have a very tasteful Christmas turkey squeaky toy with long dangly rope legs! And of course a 'woof' from Dudley ☺