Tuesday, 17 January 2017

What can I say?

Here's a HUGE 'Thank You' for all the very supportive comments you left on Sunday's blog post about the future of the Snippets Playground.

I was overwhelmed by the understanding - and also the delight that the Playground will continue. Of course it will continue until such times as I truly am unable to carry on. And I hope that's a looooooog way off :)

I've updated the 'rules' - on their separate page above to reflect the fortnightly time scales etc.

A couple of things are still a bit up in the air, such as how we choose/operate the Guest Designer spot - which I really think is a great idea (thank you to Jane J especially for first suggesting it). And also, Andrea's idea of a 'Gold Star' now and then is a really great one! I have some thoughts about how to make that even more fun needless to say ('Kiss Chase' three times around the Playground with Parsnip?).

I also love how you came across as welcoming more time to visit one another during a challenge fortnight. Andrea's really helpful suggestion to keep my number of picks down is one I'll have difficulty with until I'm really sure that people who deserve recognition are all being visited :) So - that's one you can all help with?! It would help me immensely to cut down the number of picks - but I don't want this Playground to lose it's heart and soul so no doubt 'motor mouth' here will still rabbit on too much!

Sunday, 15 January 2017

The future of the Snippets Playground

Thank you so much for your input about ways in which to ease things a bit for me, yet still keep the Playground running. I can't tell you how helpful your ideas have been - and one thing I did pick up is that there would be some very sad people if the Playground closes. Not least Parsnip and myself! So first of all, let me most emphatically assure you that whilst it's in any way possible I'll carry on with the Playground. I can't afford Parsnip's redundancy cheque in any case - he's already muttering about being worth his weight in gold here :)

Having weighed up Parsnip plus suggestions and options, this is what I propose:

- the Playground will now run for two weeks at a time, rather than the old weekly challenges

- for the minute we'll stick with just one entry per person per fortnight. I know that some of you welcome the fortnightly idea to have more time to join in (and indeed I had picked up that a few challenges had moved to fortnightly so thank you for pointing that out girls) yet some of you could probably make several snippets cards. But, whilst we still have prizes it seems fair to say just one entry and keep a level playing field - and it also eases my commenting and choosing picks of course, which is part of the objective! Of course, it might lift the bar a bit as you have more time to think up inspiring ways to use up those snippets - and I hope that we have some more great ideas in store from you :)

- challenges will begin every other Sunday at the usual times (00:00 GMT) and close at 11am on the next but one Saturday - same times of day as now

- my new Sunday Snippets post after the closing of a challenge will contain a fresh Mr Linky, my own snippets card and details of the prize to be won during the coming fortnight

- on the interim Sunday I'll post the name of the winner of the prize for the challenge which closed a week before - as well as a selection of 'picks'. The reason for this is to try and ease the mad rush I have each Saturday morning - even though I always try to at least have an outline post ready I still only add the final list of picks as well as doing the draw at the last minute once the Playground gates close. This sort of 'leap frog' arrangement will give me a whole week after the gates close to finalise and write up the picks as well as doing the Random number draw at my own pace. In truth, I've always avoided this idea as I really wanted to keep things on the 'boil' and totally current - but, it's taking its toll on my health as well as tying me to the laptop each Saturday, so I hope you can see why I'm making this change. I truly would love to be able to go out to archery with Len on a sunny Saturday morning - if only to walk around the local village and some very impressive historical ruins (ha, NOT the archers!!)

- I really like the suggestion of us having a Guest Designer now and then as well - who would have a snippets 'make' (remember it doesn't need to be a card) showcased in place of the card I would usually make on the day that the new Mr Linky appears! What would be fun is if we could mainly focus on innovative ways to use up snippets, although that's not a total requirement it's good to have new ideas and inspiration. I know that lately I've been lacking in new ideas myself so would really welcome this. We have a few ways to choose Guest Designers of course so I'm open to suggestions about this one! Volunteers, picked from folk (say) adding GD after their name when entering (I could use random selection for this which might be some added fun) - and of course I would allow plenty of time before a GD 'make' was required! I am sooooo off the thought of any pressure and certainly have no intention of putting pressure on any of you girlies.

It was so interesting to see how many of you came up with a lot of these ideas or similar and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your sweet words. The Playground WILL live to fight another day, I promise you!

Perhaps you might want to leave a comment on my proposals below?

I hope this made sense - shout if it doesn't!

And thanks also for the good wishes about my 'teacher training' venture as well. That expression was a euphemism for 'holiday' and right now Len and I are in sunny Portugal. Blue skies, sunshine and pleasantly warm - can't knock it. But, the little white furry snoop is keeping me up to date of course!

I'm trying hard to comment but am having issues with my baby laptop so currently am having to resort to my notepad - which is much more tedious of course. Plus, Dumbo has forgotten her FlickR log in details and a couple of other useful things. So I might be playing catch-up at some point - like when we get home!

Friday, 13 January 2017

18th Birthday card for Edward

One of Len's great-nephews just celebrated his 18th Birthday and this is the card I made for him:
I used:

- 6" x 6" square white card blank

- navy blue card cut slightly smaller than the card front and glued in place

- a whole sheet (shock, horror) of card from the DCWV 'Juniper Berry' stack, cut slightly smaller than the navy layer and then glued to the card front

- stamped the main elements of the image onto a piece of white card stock using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and the Woodware '18th Birthday' stamp set - and of course the Misti!

- then stamped the number 18 onto a snippet of greeny/blue card from the same patterned paper stack

- carefully fussy cut the number 18 out and glued it onto the white stamped image - making sure I ran a black Whispers marker round the edge of the fussy cutting first, this hides any little white bits that might otherwise show up :)

- trimmed the image panel to required size, backed it with navy card and glued it to the centre of the card front

I'm hoping to get my money's worth out of this stamp as Edward is followed by three more young men who will be turning 18 within a couple of years. Plan ahead! :)

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Cuttlebug Mania - Winter Wonderland

Gosh I really had to race to make this card ready for the new Cuttlebug Mania Challenge, where the theme is 'Winter Wonderland' - that can be Winter nature, snow, ice, Winter sports and so on.

You do have to use a manual die cutting/embossing machine for Cuttlebug Mania entries (it doesn't need to be a Cuttlebug but it must be manual, not electronic). And, you can't mix the two, it must be all manual please. Then make your entry, link into the challenge, link to the challenge in your own blog post and and make sure that you also say what products you used for any die cutting/embossing.

Details of our sponsor can be found over on the Cuttlebug Mania Challenge blog.
I used:

- 6" x 6" square white card blank

- then found I had an already stamped image using a House Mouse stamp called, appropriately enough, Joyous Noel. What tickled me when I bought this stamp ages ago are his little skates - paper clips! 

- then coloured the image using Whispers markers, mostly for speed and the very fine point they have at one end

- the backing paper is a snippet, in real life it's a delicate ice blue with silvery edging- from my Christmas papers box

- then I used Spellbinders Labels 8 dies to cut the image and a Core'dinations magenta coloured card backing/frame then just added some Anita's Christmas Dimensions stickers (peel offs, shame on me!), and Glossy Accents to the bell that the mouse is gaily waving :)

Normally I would make a thinner frame by drawing round the edge of the die I used for cutting the image, but this card just called for a little more of the cheerful magenta colour! Still giggling about those paper clips :)

Thank you so much for the input and lovely comments about the Playground. I have almost decided on the way forward - it will be a bit different and hopefully easier for me to keep on running it almost alone (with Parsnip!) but we'll still have our lovely Playground, yay! Tune in on Sunday for my thoughts.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 263 and 264

Well, that's the first week of 2017 flown by already! And, we have another 'two week' challenge in the Snippets Playground this next fortnight.

Here's the/our snippets card for this week - and in fact it's not my card at all! It was made by Janice HERE and I loved it so much it was an instant choice as a weekly pick. I also wanted to offer what Janice used as a prize. I was also very cheeky and asked Janice if I could use her card to showcase the goodies - she kindly agreed and so here it is:
Isn't it fabulous?! A perfect example of CAS and also so elegant. To see what Janice used to make her card please be sure to hop over to her blog! I really couldn't think of a better card design to showcase our prize(s) this time round - big hint there!

Now for a peek at my picks from the past week:

Absolutely brilliant New Year card, made by Trina! And, for extra fun, the clock itself is on a 'wobble spring' - great idea! You can see it 'in action'on a video clip over at Trina's blog too :)

Isn't this a great get well card, made by Barb? And super paper piecing as well, a perfect way to use up little patterned snippets of paper!

Lesley brought this 18th Birthday card to share - and it's one of the cleverest spinner cards I've ever seen. You really should go and peek at the little video clip showing it in action - such fun!

Helen has been a busy little bee - she used loads of snippets making this calendar for her Mum. Such a great idea - and each month has a different Penny Black image as the focal point. The calendar blank came from Papermill Direct (link over on Helen's blog) - as well as a peek at each month. I am so hoping to make one or two later on this year for 2018!

It's really great to see Viv managing to find some free time to play. I absolutely love this card, so fresh and clean - makes me think of Summer!

What a brilliant card from Jane W, the toucan is absolutely splendid and the punched Monstera leaves are a wonderful foil! And I love how the colours in the 'frame' are such a great reflection of the colours in the toucan as well. And a perfect sentiment as well!

And here we have such a lovely card, made by Janis. So evocative of days spent on the beach, carefully making sandcastles and then waiting for the tide to come in and fill our carefully dug out moats :) Happy days! And the netting is so clever - Janis pinched some surgical gauze squares from hubby's vet supplies :)

I really love this beautiful floral card - made by April. Such soft and gentle colours and great use of snippets too. Certainly makes one think of Spring - which won't really be too far off - I hope!

As always, I could carry on with more picks - but time is extra-precious right now. Goodness know how I found time to write this post to be honest.

We had 54 Playmates playing along this last week - with two new little friends joining us:
What a fabulous card from Christine Alexander! So stylish and the inlaid pieces are gorgeous! I think there's a link with our Loll - doing my Miss Marple bit again :)

Love this card too, made by Anna of 'Karasiowa' - a beautiful vintage piece, using loads of snippets and so very tactile as well.

Hope you come back soon to play along with us :)

This coming week's prize is, as usual, linked to a snippets card - not mine, it's Janice's card:

Xcut 6 x 6" Embossing Folder - Wicker

It's the Marianne Design Creatables - Shoe die (LR0291) and the Docrafts - Xcut Embossing Folder - Wicker. Both items are on order (the embossing folder has just arrived here in fact!) so I had to 'borrow' these images for now! You get a better idea of the finished effect if you look at Janice's card (above) of course.

The toy box is actually looking a little bit empty right now after all the Christmas prizes have flown off - but in a lot of ways that's a good thing. Fresh start and all that - although I DO still have some wonderful prizes that have been donated, yet to give away, some have been here for a loooong time as well! After that I might move away from the 'showcase the prize idea' as this craft room can't take much more!  But my plan is to still offer prizes, although perhaps not every single week - but these are just vague ideas at the moment. To be honest it's come close to me locking the Playground gates for good more than once over the last 12 months - but in the absence of anyone wanting to totally take it over I'm soldiering on for as long as possible. I was advised that a DT (Design Team) is like 'herding cats' so really don't want to even think about going down that road. I have really appreciated the times that some of you have stepped in to take over the commenting and weekly picks for me so please never feel that your efforts didn't make a massive difference!

Prize draw time now and our winner of the Lil' Inker 'Filled Christmas Trees' stamp set and pair of matching dies is:

Well done Jane! I know you play along really regularly and am so pleased your number popped up! Can you please drop me an email with your address in and I'll post your prize off as soon as possible. My email address is on the right hand side bar. 

And here's the confession - I'm going on 'teachers training' later this week so that was what all the panic and running round was after New Year. Right now I'm still scurrying round but feeling more in control having decided that some things will just have to 'slide'. In all the rush though I managed to overdo things with this ole back of mine so have been snuggled up to the heat pad for a couple of days. I think the heat pad will be coming with me!

So, the Snippets Challenge will run for two weeks this time and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 21st January. The gates will open again at midnight UK time on the same day.

A maximum of ONE entry and please say in a comment if you wish to play and be a possible winner of this fortnight's prize. You might wish to play for one or other of the items and if so please say in your comment and if you win then I'd do a second draw for the other part of the prize. I think they work so well together though. Please also link back to the Playground in your blog post to be eligible for the draw.

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 :)

Have a lovely week! I'll be watching and hopefully commenting from elsewhere. Love from Parsnip (poor baby, he'll be in charge of the Playground aka 'Home Alone' ) - and of course me,

Friday, 6 January 2017

1st Birthday card for Jack

One of our little neighbours just celebrated his 1st Birthday. After all the Christmas cards I made for the Playground Celebrations, I just sat and stared into space for ages with no idea what to make for him - in the end I came up with this:
I used:

- 5" x 7" white card blank

- piece of pale blue pearlescent card just slightly smaller than the card front, glued in place

- patterned paper from the LOTV 'Bear Necessities' paper pad, trimmed a bit smaller than the blue backing card and glued in place

- the image is from the LOTV 'Babies' Art Pad, die cut with a Tonic Studio's circular die and then layered onto a scalloped circle of pale blue pearlescent card

- then I backed snippets of chocolate brown and pale blue pearlescent card with Stick-It adhesive sheet

- from the brown card I die cut the sentiment and the '1st' using a Presscut 'Happy Birthday' die and numbers and letters from the Memory Box 'Classic Numbers' and the Tattered Lace 'Alphabet - Anniversary Classic' dies

- and from the pale blue pearlescent card I die cut the letters to spell out Jack's name

- positioned the letters and numbers where I thought they looked best and then stuck them in place - burnishing to make sure they say put

- finally I glued the assembled image topper in place and called it done!

Some of you might have picked up that I was struggling with my much loved pink Cuttlebug here in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Thankfully, Santa brought me a new one (I'll get used to the retro shape and bright green in time - although the folding handle is a revelation, great idea!). I used the new CB for this card and was astonished at just how easy die cutting can be - I'd obviously forgotten as my old CB became old and cranky (sounds like me!) with much less pressure, meaning I had to fiddle around adding shims for a decent cut!

Wahoo, happy dance here! And Santa did consult me beforehand - rather than waste the little stock of cutting plates I have as spares I decided to stick with a Cuttlebug. Takes up less space than some of the other models as well - but one day I'll have a bigger one as well, maybe :) Just need to clear some space and move a few things around.

Many thanks to the prize winners for sending me your addresses so promptly! All prizes apart from Kitty's were posted off yesterday - I think Kitty is having computer problems so will just have to wait until I hear from her. I have a slight feeling she did move house so am not going to risk sending her prize to the wrong address :) 

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Pixie's Snippets Playground Weeks 260/261 Celebration - Prize Results

At last, it's time for the prize draw which so many of you entered over Christmas. A HUGE thank you to everyone who played along - and I only wish every single one of you could be a winner.

There were 16 different numbers to draw for the prizes, and you'll have to take my word for the Mr Random results. In order to show just one actual gizmo result on here I have to do a screen shot, copy that into the clip board, then drop it into a piece of software (I use GIMP) edit the image to pick out just the result box before copying it into the blog post. Times 16 would take me far too long as am sure you'll understand!

Here we go!

Prize A - Cheery Lynn 'Winters Neighbourhood Border' die, Impressions Obsession 'Evergreen Tree' dies, Lawn Fawn 'Winter Bunny' stamp and matching die, MFT 'Surf and Turf' slider die set and two packets of the super little 'Spin and Slide Discs'

#33 Liz

Prize B - Creative Expressions 'Let It Snow' die

#45 Kath

Prize C - Crafts-Too 'Let It Snow' embossing folder (6 to be won)

#18 Jackie T
#52 Trina
#61 Kitty
#48 Sandy
#55 Glennis
#16 Karen L

Prize D - Crafts-Too 'Merry Christmas' embossing folder and an Xcut 'Christmas Tree' die

#6 Mrs A

Prize E -  Creative Expressions 'Christmas Shadow Box' die set

#2 Val

Prize F - Small Bauble 1 stencil and a Small Winter Cabin stamp set from Inkylicious, plus a white Sakura Jelly Roll pen

#10 Jane (Jane's Journal)

Prize G - Penny Black slapstick 'Sweet Snowman' stamp plus Uniko 'Stunning Snowflakes' stamp set

#41 Linby

Prize H - Clearly Besotted 'Rockin' Robin' stamps set plus matching dies

#7 Chris (Smith)

Prize I - Habico 'Christmas 4' stamp set (3 to be won)

#43 Pat
#8 Lynne in NI
#40 Sue T

As I already said above, I do so wish you could all have won a prize! It was interesting that quite genuinely, no-one won two prizes. Sometimes that Random number thingy spooks me a bit!

So all I need now please is your addresses so I can post the goodies off to you ASAP, for reasons which will become clearer in a week or so. Just drop me an email (my address is on the RHS sidebar) with your address and can you please also put your full name in the address to save me some time. Please also confirm that I haven't got in a muddle and you really do want the prize you won. It'll make sure I don't make any errors. If you put WINNER in the email subject line then I'll be able to spot them quickly too.

You'll understand soon why I'm running round like a scalded cat here BTW! :)

Thanks girls - and a huge thank you to everyone for joining in the fun! 

Love from Parsnip, and of course me!