Thursday, 28 May 2020

Faux pour backgrounds

I'm still loving the Joanna Sheen 'Faux Pour' background papers - and the other day I whipped up a couple of general purpose cards, using a different design of paper plus a couple of new (unused but pre-owned) rose dies. I actually bought a job lot of five of these Poppy Stamps 'Rose Collection' dies in different designs from a Facebook Craft De-cluttering group - absolute bargain as well!

Here's are the two cards I made:

I used:

- 5.5" x 4.25" white card blanks, one used vertically with a side opening and the other used horizontally, tent style

- pieces of the same white card stock as a 'frame', trimmed to 5.25" x 4", for the faux pour paper and glued onto the card front

- then a layer of Faux Pour paper from Pad No. 1, by Joanna Sheen, - trimmed to 5" x 3.75" and glued in place

- die cut the two rose dies using my Altenew mini die cutting machine and more white card the same as the card blank. The rose dies are both made by Poppy Stamps and are called 'Rose Stem' and 'Country Rose Corner'

- die cut the sentiment words, again from the same white card, using dies from the Penny Black 'Hooray' set of dies

- glued the die cuts in place using a fine Zig glue pen - finished!

Little tip, each of the sentiment words has a 'dot' above the letter i. It was easy to leave those sitting in the die cuts, adhere the actual word then pop a little touch of glue using the glue pen onto the back of the 'dots' before laying the aperture from the die cut word over the glued in place word and gently pop the dots out onto the card front. Perfect placement and also much less chance of losing the little perishers!

Once again, I'd like to add my card(s) into Darnell's NBUS challenge #14. Love this challenge and it's really encouraging me to use the rather shameful mass of NBUS languishing here.  

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Rudolph Days Challenge - May 2020

It's Rudolph Days again over at Scrappy Mo's! You have until the 31st of the month to enter, if you haven't done so already.

I made a run of six identical Christmas cards, and the bright sunlight here has certainly washed out the dark blue a bit, as well as almost obliterating the embossing on the background, sigh:
I used:

- 5.5" x 4.25" (A2) white card blank, side opening

- a layer of darkish blue card, from a pack of several toning sheets of blue card, picked up in Hobbycraft before lock down, trimmed to 5.25" x 4" and glued in place with Collall All Purpose glue

- then a panel of white card measuring 5" x 3.75" which had been embossed using a Darice ''Snowflake Background' embossing folder, again glued on the card front

- made up the sweater using the same colour blue card plus a lighter shade of blue for the neckline, welt and cuffs. The die set I used is another NBUS item, made by MFT and called 'Comfy Sweater' - it comes with two sizes of sweater and has been around for about three years or so. I was lucky enough to buy mine from a Facebook Decluttering Group, unopened and never been used - another bargain!

- topped the sweater with a white snowflake, cut using a die from The Works 'Snowflakes' set of dies

- then the hunt for a sentiment began - I finally found one saying 'Enjoy the warmth of the season' and another one saying 'Warm holiday wishes'.  But I wanted mention of Christmas itself, sigh. Having then totally coincidentally received an email from Jane W, in which she mentioned that she frequently generates sentiments on her computer, I followed suit and printed off the words I wanted onto white card in dark blue. Something I'd totally forgotten about, yet years ago did it quite frequently. Thanks Jane for the memory nudge!

- die cut the sentiment using a die from Spellbinders 'Nested Pennant' set

- then added quite a lot of thin sticky pad pieces to the backs of the sweater and the sentiment before adhering them to the front of the card

- final touch, a teeny very flat little diamante gem in the centre of the snowflake, so it will still go at standard letter rate

It took a couple of afternoons to make six cards on a 'production line' - but very therapeutic at the same time.

I'd also like to enter this into Darnell's NBUS Challenge #14 for May as the sweater dies were new and unused.

Hope everyone is staying safe.

Sunday, 24 May 2020

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #377 - results

And we've had yet more sunshine and very high temperatures this week. Although just earlier this morning, Saturday, we had a sudden heavy downpour - which stopped as quickly as it started. The slight relaxation of lock down is still meaning that some are pushing their luck needless to say. We're just carrying on as we have been and keeping our heads down for now. We have a wonderful network of volunteers in our area, divided into 'hubs', and earlier in the week a lovely young chap collected my repeat prescription from a local chemist and delivered it here. And grocery delivery slots are easy to get hold of as well - all of which helps to keep any stress levels down.

Let's move straight into this fortnight's picks:
This card design, made by Karen L, is a great way to use up little snippets, of white or even coloured card. I love the squares popped up on foam tape to add dimension as well. I did smile when Karen said in her blog post that the stamp set she used here is about 17 years old - it just proves that some items never seem to look outdated.

And here's another great card design, this one was made by Kath, to remind you of ways to use up little snippets. The rainbow theme is especially topical for many of us right now since it became the symbol of 'hope' during this pandemic. And the addition of the two embossed lines is a neat trick both in terms of placing the butterflies and also adding definition to the card.

And finally, I chose this card (made by Gail/ionabunny) as it uses up lots of little snippets for a start. And, it's also a great reminder that you can look at a die and only use part of the design. The lovely green wreath is made up of several pieces, snipped from die cuts which actually feature a deer's head. By cutting four times, Gail got enough pieces of greenery to make the wreath - and not a single deer's head to be seen. Clever stuff!

So, that's my picks and I do hope they've given you some inspiration for ways in which you can use up some of your own snippets. 

We had 50 entries in total, with no new Playmates this time round.
Now for the prize draw, which is for Clearly Besotted's Rainy Day stencil with their 'April Showers' set of stamps and matching dies. And the winner is:

Well done Gail, it's a while since you won a fortnightly prize and I know you always try to join in. Double Happy Dance for you this week - a 'fortnightly pick' and also prize winner! 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 we're finally allowed out to play again! 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 #378 - you can find it HERE. The prize is a set of Lil'Inker sentiment stamps called 'Just Sayin'. I did chuckle at the number of you who were doubtful about even attempting to make a herringbone pattern background - I promise you, it's easy and good fun - have a go, I dare you.

Do remember that it's the monthly Rudolph Days Challenge over at ScrappyMo's from the 25th to the end of the month!

Dudley is doing fine, and it's definite that he sits on his hind legs to ward off being groomed - little tinker! He now bends forward whilst doing his 'bunny sit' making even grooming his 'undercarriage' more difficult than it needs to be. 

One funny little trait he has is to react to certain things by whining/whimpering and running around with Stinky Monkey in his mouth. He does it if either of us goes out leaving him with the other 'half'. And lately we've noticed another 'trigger'. Len generally makes a cup of fresh coffee around mid-morning and often calls out to ask 'Do you want juice today?'. Some days I have a glass of fresh orange juice and other days I don't so he always asks beforehand. And that two way exchange of just a few words is enough to set Dudley off running around with Monkey in his mouth having a proper little conversation with him! Needless to say, Monkey never whines or whimpers in response though. 

Some recent photos of Dudley Dog to finish off with:
I KNOW you have a treat hidden in your left hand Mama! Slurp.

It's time someone cleaned these flagstones!

Getting ready to start my panting session at the sight of a grooming brush being picked up!
Love from Parsnip, a happy wave and woof from Dudley - and of course hugs as always from me. Stay safe - and keep on crafting.

Saturday, 23 May 2020

New Hope and Chances mini kit on sale!

Christine has just put another charity mini kit of two cards onto her Hope and Chances blog, sold in aid of the NHS.

If you want one, be fast as they sell out in double quick time!  Here's the link.


Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Friends are special treasures

I wanted to make a run of cards, to enclose with the backlog of Snippets Playground prizes which are still here, waiting to be posted off to the winners at some point. I made a run of 10 cards, all the same, using a sentiment stamp which is a great favourite of mine 'Friends are special treasures'. I always think of SaRn when I use this lovely stamp set as I first spotted it over on her blog, a good few years ago now. And also, during this lock down, my blogging friends have become even more precious - if that were possible. Len calls it my 'lifeline to the World' - and he's so right at times.

And once again, I did a bit of cheating. This time with the NBUS Altenew floral border on the cards, see what you think:
I used:

- 5.5" x 4.25" (a2) white card blank, tent style

- cut some 6" x 6" squares of card using the same white card (I actually just halved some of the same card blanks I often use to cut down for the A2 size). These panels were destined to be trimmed down further but if you read on you'll hopefully understand why I did this

- and this is the 'cheats bit' - I used a NBUS product by Altenew (bought it from Seven Hills Crafts) called 'Vibrant Spray Die Cut Tape'. Oh boy, how I LOVE this stuff!
Vibrant Spray Die Cut Tape
- for each front panel I cut a length of the die cut tape approximately 6" long, peeled off the backing and then adhered it along the bottom edge

- next, I lined up the panel in my guillotine so that one bottom edge of the die cut tape would be cut straight across. Just a question of making sure no white card was left showing, whilst keeping as much of the floral design as possible, and plenty of spare card left above the tape

- then I trimmed the sides to 5.25" width and then across the top of the panel at 4". That allowed me a little bit of 'wiggle room' on either side of the panel to line up the edge cuts as well as possible taking the floral pattern into account. Any slightly 'odd' looking tall parts of the design at the very edges can be easily peeled back and trimmed with small scissors to give a more pleasing effect.

- stamped the sentiment onto the panel using the 'Friends are special treasures' stamp from the Hero Arts 'Live Life' set of sentiment stamps, the Misti and another NBUS item, Versafine's Clair 'Nocturne' ink pad (huge thanks to Kathleen for recommending this - it's brilliant!)

- final step was to glue the panel to the front of the card blank - simples!

These really were great fun to make, particularly for a batch making session, and I've spotted an idea for a different design using the same tape. The way things are going it'll be while until I get those packages posted so there will be a few more winners by then and a few more message cards to be made to include with prizes.

I adore the Altenew border, and you actually get 5 metres on a roll, so although the initial outlay isn't exactly cheap, you'll get a good few cards out of it! They have other designs but this is my favourite, I would be thrilled if they bring out one in a Christmas design needless to say.

A couple of things, the Altenew tape border is very slightly 'off-white' and my card stock here is all bright white. I would have hopped into the car and nipped down the road to Hobbycraft for a pack of slightly off-white card blanks - but of course that's not an option at the moment.

I do love the Versafine Clair 'Nocturne' ink pad, it gives such a strong black stamping straight away. However, it's so juicy that you can actually see a faint shading on the reverse of the card, so possible best avoided for one layer cards - unless you sneakily back the inside of the front of the card with a slightly smaller panel of card of course.

Both the above points are purely down to my tendency towards OCD when crafting, this I freely admit!

I'd like to enter this into Darnell's NBUS Challenge #14 May 2020. I love this challenge, so thrilled that Darnell has brought it back. Of course the Altenew tape is my NBUS item, as well as the Clair 'Nocturne' ink pad.

Typing this when I really should be baking. It's too late to begin now so it looks as if I'll be forced to do some more crafting. At long last, I feel as if Mr Mojo is peeking round the door ready to return - I have loads of ideas for Christmas, snippets and other occasion cards racing round in my head! Hooray, it's not before time.

Sunday, 17 May 2020

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #378

And another week in lock down flies past. Things have been slightly eased in England - which, needless to say, seems to be a signal for a few people to push the boundaries, and their luck, further than they should. Parents are letting their kids out unsupervised, non-family members are calling on people and social distancing is often being ignored even when people are out walking, queuing, going around supermarkets etc. Human nature working against humans in many cases - or just lack of basic common sense.At this rate we might well see a second 'peak'. Rant over - let's move onto happy things!

Here's my snippets card for this fortnight, trying a technique I've wanted to play with for ages:

I used:

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

- a snippet of  white card sized at 5.25" x 4", covered with 'medium sticky' double sided adhesive sheet

- a selection of quarter inch wide strips cut from snippets tucked in the back of Studio Calico's 'Snippets Collection' 6" x 6"paper pad - in six different colours/patterns.

- there are lots of videos showing how to make a herringbone panel - this one is my favourite. I used adhesive sheet instead of a tape runner - either would work fine

- spent a very contented time adding the strips to the sticky panel - it struck me that this would be a great craft project to take on holiday (hollow laugh), to make up a load of backgrounds. All you'd need is panels of plain card covered in adhesive paper, with the protective layer left on until needed of course, and a whole load of quarter inch strips of snippets (perhaps kept in separate cello bags for each 'set' of paper strips you wish to use - I think papers from the same pad would generally work well for this pattern - gonna tackle my LOTV Christmas snippets next, plus small scissors. Not recommended for a breezy beach though - beach, what flipping beach?

- the next step, once the herringbone was completed, was to snip off the overhanging ends of the strips - I'd done this after a fashion as I went along so as not to waste any small pieces but trimming the remaining ends from the back of the card panel evens it all up

- then I was faced with a panel which wasn't exactly equal on opposing sides where the chevrons finished - it's the nature of the beast and the video I linked to above accepts this as part of the process

- so I carefully trimmed the herringbone panel, a little bit at a time and ended up with a piece measuring 3.5" x 4.75" - which still kept the A2 card balance/proportions and evened up the pattern edges so they were nice and balanced (OCD again!)

- then layered the herringbone panel onto very slightly larger rectangles of yellow and red paper, from the same paper pad, to add narrow frames

- at this point, it had too wide a white border for my liking when placed on a 5.5" x 4.25" card blank- so I lopped quarter of an inch from the top as well as the opening side of the card blank

- glued the three layers onto the card front, using Collall All Purpose Glue

- then I stamped the sentiment using a NBUS sentiment from Lil'Inker's 'Just Sayin' stamp set - onto a snippet of white card, using the Misti and a Versafine Clair 'Nocturne' ink pad

- trimmed the sentiment rectangle and then 'ticked' which box I wanted to use before layered it onto a background/frame of the same yellow and red paper I'd used for the herringbone rectangle frame. All too often I've ruined something right at the 'last knockings' so I always try to think in terms of 'damage limitation'

- added the sentiment rectangle to the card front, using thin sticky pads to add a little bit of dimension

I loved making this card, especially the herringbone background. It's the selection and slicing of the papers I found to be more onerous - actually building up the herringbone itself is very satisfying!

Am loving the Lil'inkers sentiments set of stamps, most are slightly sassy and I'll use every single one of the stamps at some point

And I can enter this card into our lovely Darnell's NBUS Challenge #14 HERE, due to using the fun Lil'Inkers set of sentiment stamps for the first time. It was a second outing for the Clair ink pad but more details of that this coming week as I sort of flipped my posts around a bit. I do encourage you to join in with Darnell's challenge if you haven't done so already - now is an ideal time to crack open some Never Before Used Schtuff and this current challenge runs to the end of May.

And here is the prize for this fortnight:

It's 2,000 quarter inch wide paper strips! Joke - tee, hee. In fact, it's a set of Lil'Inker sentiment stamps the same as the one I used today - called 'Just Sayin'. As I mentioned previously, Lil'Inker have closed their business, sigh, but I got my paws on these before they become as rare as hens' teeth.

As always, the Snippets Challenge will run for two weeks and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 30th May. 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 only playing for fun - otherwise I don't add you to my little list.

No photo of Dudley as I type this on Saturday morning - he's back from his walk and is flat out fast asleep under my desk.

But there have been some developments on the grooming front. Remember that I said that Dudley was sitting up nicely like a bunny rabbit when I groom him and I was beginning to wonder if it was him being helpful or just employing evasive tactics by sitting on his tail and rear end?

Sigh, I think it might be the latter as he's taken to playing hide and seek when we approach '4pm grooming time'. Initially he was hiding under my big corner desk, pressing himself further and further back so that Len has to crawl in to get him out. Next, he ran and hid in one of his cosy beds in our bedroom, curled up pretending to be asleep - if he couldn't see us then perhaps he thought we couldn't see him either. Then he got extra sneaky and we had to really hunt for him - he'd only gone and hopped into his cage which lives behind a door in the lounge! It's so hard not to giggle when he finds somewhere new to hide away - there's never a dull moment with him that's for sure!

Stay safe my lovely friends.

Lots of love from us all - Parsnip, Dudley 'aka The Invisible Man' and of course me,

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Hope and Chances - May 2020 card kit

The Hope and Chances card kit for May, sold in aid of the Whizz-Kidz charity, is such a pretty one, sadly now sold out. You have to be so quick to buy these now, they're flying out of Christine's craft cabin door! They go on sale on the first Sunday of the month - June's kit is in aid of The British Hedgehog Preservation Society. I'll most certainly be hoping to get my paws on that one.

This is my finished card, I stuck to the initial design:
The kit came with everything included, apart from glue and either ink pads or pencils to colour the leaves and petals. The cream is a deeper shade than shown in the above photo - bright sunshine here when I took it!

I layered two pieces of cream card onto the A5 card front, topped it with two lovely 'fleur de lis' long die cuts and a square frame. Then coloured the leaves and flowers using Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils, two shades for the leaves and two for the flowers. It reminds me of a Clematis Montana with pink streaked flowers that we had in the back garden until fairly recently.

The sentiment also came with the kit so it was just a case of tucking that into the leafy stem and attaching it to the card front. 

Kath (from the Snippets Playground) has already posted about her card here. She cleverly did some tweaking to the kit layout and sentiment, unlike me who rather predictably followed the layout exactly. And she also added Clear Wink of Stella to the flowers and leaves, an idea which I pinched, after colouring and before attaching to the card. Thanks Kath!

Then I had to rummage right through my deep A4 Really Useful Box of pearls, gems and other small embellishments. I have tons of packets of pearls but they were all too white - then I found just a few creamy white different sized ones in an open packet. Bingo!

Our CCTV picked up a fox on camera the other night. In itself that's not too unusual, but it was heading into the dense display of shrubs and such in the front garden. Possibly just for a nosey but it's also a perfect place to make a den and bring up a family! Watch this space.