Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Vroom, vroom!

A little (not so little now) neighbour, called Taylor, is ten tomorrow. It's safe to post this card I made for him, as he doesn't know about the blog:
I used:

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

- a snippet of SU's 'Smoky Slate' card stock, trimmed to slightly smaller than the card front and glued in place

- next layer is a snippet of white card stock - embossed using a Cuttlebug 'Diamond Plate' EF (the closest I had to tyre tracks) and trimmed to a teeny bit smaller than the 'Smoky Slate' layer - then glued in place

- next, out came the Misti and a Stampin' Up set of stamps called 'Rev Up the Fun', and this card is made totally using stamps from that set. Taylor's Dad has a motorbike and he loves to go for a little spin on it all togged up, sitting behind his Dad

- I stamped the bike onto a snippet of white card using Memento 'Danube Blue' - I'm a bit careful/mean and only buy colours like this in the 'Dewdrop' size if I rarely use them. The Misti is so useful to get a totally crisp image

- then, using the Misti again, I stamped the 'exhaust fumes'- checking for position with a snippet of scrap card, and SU's 'Smoky Slate' ink pad before doing the real thing

- whilst at it, still using the Misti, I also stamped a couple of the tyre tracks stamps - again with SU's 'Smoky Slate'

- more stamping - the sentiment onto a white snippet - using SU's 'Real Red'

- with the stamping all done I just used scissors to trim down the 'tyre tracks' and set them aside - I'd usually use the trimmer but scissors worked fine as I had a strong line to follow

- mounted the trimmed image onto a snippet of SU's 'Real Red' card stock, and did the same with the sentiment - only I switched and used SU's 'Smoky Slate' for that element

- added the 'tyre tracks' onto the card front using red line tape

- then added the sentiment and the image panels using thin sticky pads

All done!

Sorry if I haven't visited the Playground entries as promptly as I should - bit busy here but will be there ASAP! 

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #351 - results

Let's dive straight into the business at hand, with a little catch-up at the end of this post.
As always, it's so hard to pick just three of your lovely entries - but here goes anyhow:
Wowser, Alice came up with another wonderful snippets make. I totally love this die set - and what a wonderful way to use up loads of little snippets!
I just burst out laughing when I saw this brilliant card, made by Marianne! It's wonderful - and totally appealed to my sense of humour, a surfing penguin :)

And Majda brought this utterly fabulous 'twisted easel' Wedding Day card to share with us. LOVE it - you must go over to Majda's blog to check out other views of it! 
And here are two new Playmates - it would be lovely if you could hop over to say 'Hello' to them:
Ros (Crawford)
Thanks for joining in girls - hope you come back to play soon!!
So, we had two new Playmates this time, and a total of 46 entries. Lots of folk are busy gardening etc. right now as Summer finally seems to be on the way - and crafting often takes a bit of a back seat.

Now it's prize draw time, and our winner of the Clarity Stamp 'Lizzy & Rockery + masks set is: 
Jackie T
Congratulations Jackie, I think it's been a little while since you had a win here! Please send me your address, with your full name at the top as well so I can copy and paste or just write straight from the email onto the envelope - for speed and ease. It's also confirmation that you still would like the prize of course and I'll post your prize once I hear from you. Please put Playground Winner or similar in the subject line of your email in case it drops into my junk mail. Email address is on RH sidebar as always.

Remember folks, there's still almost another week to run on Challenge #352 - you can find it HERE. The prize is a lovely Craft Emotions die called 'Hogweed', kindly donated by Sarn
No new photos of Dudley once again - a lot of the week has seen me fighting to get better. At least I'm moving around the house now and only use the walking stick outdoors - even managed to get to have blood taken for some tests (seemed like half an armful to me!). I find out the results next week but almost know what they will be. Sky high readings due to this goat, sigh. I've also discovered something else about one of the meds I take, which might be contributory - but until I've seen the doc I won't really know. When you're going round in circles like this you do tend to grasp at any hope that you might have of pinpointing the cause.

Back to Dudley - he is soooo laid back about the hedgies now! Granted they're outside the fenced in patio area so Dudley can't get too 'close and personal' - but he's certainly not fazed by them at all. Thanks to Len and the garden hedgie ornament - talk about the 'Dog Whisperer'!!

This coming week is set to be a busy one, including a trip for Dudley to the grooming parlour. I found this on line - and did have such a chuckle:

Now you know why groomer's generally cost more than hairdressers do! Wish us luck - we're trying Dudley out in a doggie booster seat to see if that helps reduce his anxiety about going out in a car. We already tried some herbal calming drops last time and they did make a difference. Ideally, we'd love him to cheerfully hop up into the car, tail wagging and looking forward to the drive! I can almost hear him muttering 'In your dreams!'.

As always, Parsnip and Dudley send their love, and so do I of course! And thank you so much for all the get well wishes - as Len would say, I'm working on it!

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #352

Well, we almost didn't have a new challenge this time round. I was prepared to extend Challenge #351 and allow folk to add a second entry - but Percy Veerance whispered in my ear 'You're no quitter' - so I ploughed on.

Basically, it's baaaack, and I'm laid up in bed once again - hopping round on crutches when I need to go to the loo. For a while now I've suspected that Mr Goat/Gout was still hovering in the background and hadn't gone totally away. To the point that I only just made the appointment for my blood test (for next week) to check things out (you need to be fully recovered for blood levels to be checked prior to starting the preventative meds) - I just knew it wasn't back to normal and the ankle bones on the other foot were complaining! Then 'wham' - back with a vengeance in that other foot a couple of days ago.

I'm so very glad our lovely Sarn, who was always the cause of a lot of mischief with her parties behind the bike sheds, had sent me a lovely set of dies for the toy box - and had also made a beautiful card as well. I can't thank you enough Sarn for your perfect timing and also the wonderful card and prize.

So, here's Sarn's card for this fortnight's challenge:
And this is how Sarn made her card:
  • I used a 5" square card base (side opening) and used snippets of white, plus SU Island Indigo and Mango Melody for everything else.
  • I die cut the Craft Emotions "Hogweed" die three times from different snippets of Island Indigo and Mango Melody, then glued the results to the base card in a pleasing arrangement.
  • The sentiment is from Precious Remembrance Shop's "New Day" stamp set. It was stamped onto a white snippet using SU Island Indigo ink, then matted and layered with further snippets of matching card stock.
  • The little star banner was created using two very old SU punches (long retired) with tiny snippets of matching card stock.
Oh how I love this card! Sarn sent me the original and it's gorgeous! What a wonderful set of dies (two of them in the set) and I do love the design, colours etc. of Sarn's card. And that sentiment is perfect - certainly my mantra at the moment!

And of course, the prize this fortnight is this (image taken from the internet, although the die set from Sarn is lying on my desk of course and I can't even get that far right now):

A Craft Emotions 'Hogweed' set of two dies, courtesy of our lovely Sarn. They do remind me very much of Memory Box's 'Chloe Stem' die - but these are more delicate I think. So pretty!

Edit: Apologies about the missing images. They showed up when I wrote and previewed this post. Hopefully it's fixed now - if someone can let me know it's OK that would be really helpful.

As always, the Snippets Challenge will run for two weeks and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 25th May. 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 want to be in the draw in a comment on here, then you will be bypassed if your name comes out of Mr Linky. I'm sure you all know I ask for a positive 'yes' on the blog post itself - just in case you're playing only for fun - otherwise I don't add you to my little list.

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

I strongly suspect that this setback will put the 'tin lid' on my planned few days away at my old school reunion at the end of May. To be honest, I had huge misgivings when I felt that things weren't properly back to normal so in some ways it's probably as well that it's flared up now and not whilst I'm away. Almost a relief as it was rather like the Sword of Damocles hanging there! It takes so long to be anywhere near able to walk properly that, barring a miracle, I won't be mobile enough. If I'd got there and then the flare happened, the logistics of getting me plus my car back from the Cotswolds really doesn't even bear thinking about. I guess I'd be riding up with the driver in a recovery truck, with my car on the flat bed behind - if I could even get up there!

No new photos of little Dudley this time. He's finally met the hedgies properly and thanks to Len's idea of using the garden ornament to get him used to hedgies he's quite laid back about it. But, he so wants to play with them - bless his little heart. Two of the hedgies were (ahem) having a courtship party the other evening, lots of circling and grunting - and we've also noticed a much smaller one (probably one of last year's babies) coming to feed as well! Len managed to get some photos of the two 'fully grown' hedgies:
'Can't you see - I'm a little bit busy right now, trying to impress the future Mama of my 2019 hoglets!'
'I've got my eye on you Mr Len, now hop it and leave us in peace!'
Lots of love from us all - Parsnip, Dudley and of course me - 

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

A little trick when using Mr Linky

Kathy A, one of our playmates asked me if I knew how to link several different cards, all from the same post, into the same challenge. Someone had posted it on their blog at sometime and I was a possible. It hadn't been me but it got me thinking. I had an inkling but couldn't quite get it right so I raised it with the people at Mr Linky and after a couple of messages to and fro I now know, and have tested, how to do it!

Basically - the URL that you use when linking your card needs to be amended as follows:

1. This is the link to my blog post immediately before this one:

2. I can use that URL to post my first card/image to Mr Linky - but as you know, I can't use it twice.

3. So this is how you trick Mr Linky. You change the URL in the Mr Linky box when you want to add your second card - like so:

then for your next card you change it again - like so:

The #A and #B are only in red to highlight the change.

4. From that point on as you're doing each link, you use Mr Linky as normally you would by (presumably) selecting an image from your blog for the thumbnail.

You don't have to use A,B,C - so long as you make sure you delete /pixies-snippets-playground-challenge.html and then add the hash sign # with something unique after it for each time you link into Mr Linky on the same challenge. I just like the A,B,C as it's easy to remember - numbers work as well! It's that #A etc. as well as deleting the rest of the URL that's the key.

Mr Linky will then always take you to the same post on your blog - I've tried it out extensively using my own blog and the current Mr Linky for challenge #351 and know that it works!

If you're unsure, you can always try it for yourself by putting the full URL of one of your blog posts into the URL search box on the long toolbar at the top of your screen - changing it as I explained - and then hit enter.  And I just bet you go to the right place!

I know it's not often you're likely to need to add a load of cards from one blog post to one specific challenge but it does save writing out different blog posts.

My mind just wandered off (as is often the case!) and of course this is only good for challenges where the Mr Linky shows thumbnails for entries. Otherwise, the person running the challenge won't know for sure which card they're supposed to be looking at. More mind wandering, you could even get round that by having a number for each card on your blog post and then when you put your name into the name box on Mr Linky make it 'Di Card 1', 'Di Card 2' etc.

I expect it's also a way of having a second stab at doing a link in Mr Linky if by any chance you have problems with the first one.

Edit: It doesn't appear to be liked by Inlinkz though - and perhaps not even the blue frog linky gizmo. So, this is only for Mr Linky users!

Have fun!

First Holy Communion card - Olivia

Olivia (usually known as Livi), one of our/Len's Grand daughters over in Germany, has just recently taken her first Holy Communion (on Sunday just gone) and I made her this card from Len, myself and her lovely German grand parents:
 I used:

- 5" x 7" white card blank, side opening

- a layer of slightly smaller silver mirri card, glued to the card front

- a piece of Centura White Pearlised card stock, embossed using a Couture Creations 'Compassionate' folder, then trimmed down to a bit smaller than the silver layer and glued in place

- the cross was stamped using a stamp I bought in New Mexico when we met up with Kay a few years ago, made by Paper Inspirations and called 'Small Flourish Cross'. I used a Versamark Embossing pad then heat embossed using Stampendous 'Sterling Silver' EP - onto plain white card

- at the same time embossed the sentiment from 'Stamping All Day' and then heat embossed using Stampendous 'Sterling Silver' EP again

- next came the die cutting, and the sentiment was easiest - using a die from the DoCrafts 'Speech Bubbles' set

- ho hum! Then, it was time to die cut the piece of white card with the embossed cross on - not quite so easy, sigh. I adore the pair of matching MFT dies I wanted to use. But, the basic MFT 'Cherise label die' has a full metal backing to it - so I cut a template and then used that to position the actual die over the cross before doing the 'real' cut

- once that was done - although in the end I snipped off the twirly parts and backed it with the plain white layer that had come out of the template (don't ask me why one cut better than the other one did!) - it was time to face the more decorative top silver layer which frames the piece

- and, to my utter joy, that worked perfectly using a piece of silver mirri card from the same A4 sheet (yup, I do have to cut into fresh sheets of card despite having umpteen 'snippets') - mental note - need more silver mirri ASAP! And, the MFT matching 'Tiffany Frame' die

- all three layers were glued together and that was the main topper finished

- also die cut a further two layers to even up the sentiment, glued them together and ran a silver Calligraphy pen around the edge of the sentiment label just to add a bit of a finish

- used thin sticky pads to adhere the panel with the stamped cross on and the sentiment to the card front - done!

I spotted a blogger I follow using this lovely MFT set of dies and, being me, skipped right off to buy it. But can't remember who it was! So pretty and will also be lovely for Christmas cards - so thank you whoever you are for the inspiration :)

I made a very similar card for Livi's big sister Mia a couple of years ago, using a filigree die cut cross, no fancy oval panels and a slightly different embossing folder for the backing. But, apart from that, the two cards are really similar - kids do make comparisons!

It was all a bit of a last minute rush and I spent a good bit of spare time over Easter working on the card - a little bit at a time - in between taking Dudley for trims, cooking us some nice meals, taking time out in the garden sunshine etc. It needed to be in Germany fairly quickly and when working under pressure I find it best to stop and walk away rather than keep pressing on and end up making mistakes!

Len loved the result and I do hope that Livi did as well! And, amazing postal service, I posted it on a Wednesday and it arrived on the Friday just a couple of days later - still with a week and a couple of days to spare!

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #350 - results

Ha, one of the joys of retirement - I totally forgot that this is a Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK! Running behind and lots of other stuff going on so let's get rolling with the fortnightly picks:

No new Playmates this time, although we had a total of 55 entries!

As always, it's so hard to pick just three of your lovely entries - but here goes anyhow:
This is such a perfect twisted easel Easter card, made by Jackie T. I love all the Easter colours and so many lovely layers as well!  Everything is so perfectly lined up and the little bunnies are a very sweet touch. Gorgeous work Jackie.

Then we jump ahead to Christmas - and this totally fabulous card, brought to share with us by Susan B. I think the embossed (paste) brick background is a beautiful piece of work on which to show off the wreath. Which is just wonderful - all punched from little snippets of green and some white card. And the sentiment fits so perfectly as well. Love it! 

And my final pick is a very clever 'treat holder' made in the shape of a dress by 'The Creative Twins'. It's so pretty and I also think you can work out how to make your own from the photos and really clear instructions added by the twins. Thanks girls!
Now it's prize draw time, and our winner of the Clearly Besotted 'Panda Planner' set of stamps, plus a £15 gift voucher (which was kindly donated by Clearly Besotted) is :
Congratulations Lynne! Please send me your address, with your full name at the top as well so I can copy and paste or just write straight from the email onto the envelope - for speed and ease. It's also confirmation that you still would like the prize of course and I'll post your prize once I hear from you. Please put Playground Winner or similar in the subject line of your email in case it drops into my junk mail. Email address is on RH sidebar as always.

Remember folks, there's still almost another week to run on Challenge #351 - you can find it HERE. The prize is a Clarity Stamp 'Lizzy & Rockery + masks set (which does have two perspex stamp mounts as well if you really want them.

No new photos of Dudley I'm afraid - but his adventures continue to amuse us - Len taught him how to put his paw up for treats (in fact he's so taken with it that he'll do a right paw 'high five' anytime!) - so cute :) Need to take a photo when I get a chance!

And, he has finally met the hedgie! That was too funny - he did an absolute double take - looking from Art the garden hedgie ornament to the real one and sort of shaking his head in disbelief! Then, he was in his penned in area and hedgie was safely outside, he began to bounce around and crouch with his tail wagging. 'Come and play' he seemed to be saying! No growling or barking either.

Len couldn't get a photo of them both together (obviously) - but this is Spike taken whilst Dudley was beseeching him to play:
As always, Parsnip and Dudley send their love, and so do I of course!

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Rudolph Days - April 2019

ScrappyMo's Rudolph Days Challenge is one event I won't miss - it helps to boost my very small (for me) supply of cards for Christmas 2019 for a start! And Maureen is such a sweet lady you really should join in if you don't do so already! I can still see me buying a lot of cards this year - and having come to terms with that - do feel less stressed about targets etc. Amazing what we put ourselves through isn't it?!

This is what I made - hopefully 'simple but effective':
I used:

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

- a 'ready made up' topper, which was included in an order from Tracey at 'Dies To Die For' some while ago. Am not sure that my recent orders have included little 'freebies' - but this one from an old(ish) order has been on my desk for quite some time, patiently waiting to be used

- backed the topper with a scalloped circle, using a snippet of matching red card and a scalloped edged die by Spellbinders, then glued both layers together

- time to look at the card blank and, though I wanted to keep it simple, it was too plain. So, I used my Scor-pal to run tram lines down the right hand side and across the bottom of the card front

- then stamped the sentiment using a stamp from Uniko's 'Most Wonderful' set of sentiment stamps and my usual Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink pad - and the Misti of course. I did need two stampings for the intensity I wanted, so thank goodness for the Misti!!

- finally  just added the little topper using thin sticky pads. The pads are so thin that, although they add dimension, they also post as a normal letter rate card! Mine are usually made by Sellotape and I buy them online

So that's my total now up to 27 cards made for Christmas 2019.