Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Rudolph Days Challenge - June 2019

It seems quite a while since May's Rudolph Days challenge - run by the lovely ScrappyMo HERE. I like the monthly prompt to add to my stock of Christmas cards, and this time round managed to make seven cards for the June challenge, all the same:
I used:

- 5.5" x 4.25" white card blank, side opening on the short edge for a change

- a piece of slightly shimmery silvery grey card, trimmed to an eight of an inch smaller than the card front, all round (ie. 5.25 x 4") for the backing to frame the finished image panel

- white card onto which I stamped the tree background and falling snow from the Stampin' Up 'White Christmas' set of stamps, using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink

- then added the sentiment, also from the same set of stamps, trimmed the image panel down to just slightly smaller than the silvery grey layer as I wanted just a narrow silver grey frame and set the panel aside for now

-  next stamped the car and added the tree on top onto slightly thinner card as I was going to fussy cut them after colouring - thank goodness for the Misti, brilliant for 'batch baking' a load of cards all the same

- coloured the car with the tree on top using my much loved Whispers brush markers and then spent what seemed like a lifetime carefully fussy cutting seven of the little perishers! Why seven? Ah - that would be telling (basically there was a casualty when stamping the tree background which I couldn't save early on in the process - not even using the Sand Eraser)

- then I returned to the background itself and used a grey Whispers marker to colour the trees then tickled them with Clear Wink of Stella

- used a glue pen and some glitter dust to add some sparkle to the snow line and the snow in the sky area

- layered the image panel onto the silvery grey card then added that to the card front

- finally, stuck the car in place using a thin sticky pad

Despite almost losing the will to live with the fussy cutting, it was good fun making these cards and it also boosted my 'tally' to 43, wahoo!

I'd been hankering for this set of stamps for a while (I think they first came out in 2014) and was lucky enough to find a totally new set on a Facebook De-cluttering site a while back. Plus, they're clear polymer which, in combination with the Misti, did take a lot of the 'angst' away from the stamping process when building up the scene for the background and the tree on top of the car so it could all be cut in one piece.

We have a neighbour with a very similar car - but perhaps the sentiment isn't right for folk you see more often than some :)

I saw a few very similar designs on the Internet using this stamp set - the one I followed is by a SU demonstrator but I can't find it again, sigh. But, thank you - whoever you are :) One thing I would change - I would not add the glitter blobs to the falling snow, better to have left them well alone and she did. AND, that car has no driver!!

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #355

Here we go again, a new challenge fortnight in the Snippets Playground - and this is my card:
I used

- 5.5" x 4.25" white card blank, tent style

- slightly smaller piece of white card

- snippets of white card onto which I stamped three little piggies using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and stamps from Clearly Besotted's 'Perfect Pigs' set of stamps

- coloured the piggy images with Pro markers and then die cut them using the matching set of dies. I love Clearly Besotted dies as they don't need templates, I just eyeball the alignment (not always perfectly but that's down to operator error)

- then I took the piece of card which I'd trimmed to slightly smaller than the card front and die cut three circles - and at that point realised that there would be too much of a gap at the top of the image panel so I trimmed that, and the card blank down by quarter of an inch. leaving the side to side measurement the same size

- backed the piece of white card with a snippet of Dovecraft Back to Basics patterned paper - which only just fitted, phew

- then stamped the sentiment using the same black ink again and also stamped three small hearts from the same set of stamps, which I then coloured using Pro markers

- backed the image panel with some fun foam and glued it to the card front

- finally, stuck the three little piggies in place using thin sticky pads

Really enjoyed making this card - it would look every bit as good just using one little piggy (perhaps with the 'Miss You Pig Time' sentiment from the set), but I wanted to show more than one pig as it's naturally up to be won!

So, the prize this fortnight is:
A Clearly Besotted  'Perfect Pigs' stamp set along with a matching set of 'Perfect Pig' dies. These really sweet stamps and dies are now discontinued, which is such a shame as they're so cute! As usual, I bought them a little while back and only now got round to digging them out to have a play, as well as offering duplicate items from the toy box. I've noticed that Clearly Besotted do move on quite quickly with their designs, so my advice is to buy as soon as you can - or keep a really close watch for up and coming discontinued items. Unlike a few other stockists, Clearly Besotted themselves do some amazing end of line discounts!

As always, the Snippets Challenge will run for two weeks and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 6th July. 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 playing only for fun - otherwise I don't add you to my little list.

I thought there would be no photos of Dudley again - but on Thursday we took some after his regular brushing session. A video clip would have been such fun but you'll get the idea from the photos that were taken in quick succession:
Looking so cute and his coat perfectly brushed
We really ought to be more aware when Dudley grins - it means that mischief is coming
Sure enough - he made a dash for the sofa at the far end of Len's study and started to dig for Britain! Thank goodness we have a protective cover in place :)
Phew - that was exhausting - digging over and all your hard work undone Dad!
But - when I look at you like this - you just melt ... and I know it too!
He certainly is likely to always be like a puppy - one minute he's pristine and the next he makes a dive for anywhere he can mess himself up again! Hard to believe he was 11 months old yesterday though. Along with being such a little pickle, Dudley is now quite happy to trot out onto the back lawn whilst the hedgie is feeding. In fact, we think there are possibly three hedgies - mostly taking it in turns to come and feed but sometimes more than one will arrive and generally they wait patiently until the first arrival has finished eating - so cute!

Lots of love from us all - Parsnip, Dudley and of course me,

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Cross stitch Christmas card

Recently I was thinking about what crafts I could do easily that are small and easy to take on holiday. Knitting and cross stitch have been past favourites. And then I spotted a tag that I made last July and wrote about HERE (an MFT 'Cross Stitch Tag' die set the same as I'd used was a Snippets prize as well). It's worth taking a peek at the post if you didn't see it first time round - there are some tips on using the die set. However, coming up to a whole year later, the finished tag was still on the desk waiting to be used on a card, shame on me. So this is what I ended up with:
I used:

- A6 (UK size) white card blank, tent style

- a piece of slightly smaller patterned 'Merry Christmas' paper from the LOTV 'Krafty Christmas' paper pad - just glued onto the card front

- and then my ready made tag glued on top - finished!

In truth, this was so fast it's almost embarrassing to write a post about it - but I like to keep a record of each card I make ☺

Next job is to make up a little box with some die cut cross stitch blanks, patterns, the relevant embroidery floss, couple of needles and a small pair of scissors ready to grab whenever I feel the urge - a great way to make some Christmas toppers.

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #353 - results

OK, so who left the taps turned on then? Day after day of rain - thankfully we live quite high up and so far (she says) have never even been close to flooding.

Writing this on Saturday and Len is helping to set up the 'have a go archery' at the local village carnival. I'm home with Dudley - firstly we don't want to leave him at home alone for what could be a long day and you can't take dogs, and secondly to keep on taking it a bit easy whilst the last knockings of my tootsie problems clear up. Thankfully, the massive swelling caused by stopping those evil pills (rebound action) did dissipate after about 10 days as predicted - so now it's a case of venturing further and further but not doing too much in one go. It's just lovely though to be able to wander - even around the local supermarket checking out what fruits etc. are in season instead of relying totally on home delivery services. Len plans to be home before the big parade kicks off the carnival itself - which will be nice as he's promised to bring home a couple of the wonderful Cornish pasties that one stall sells. 

Oooer, speaking of Len - he just arrived home, with the promised dinausaur shaped (and sized!) Cornish pasties for supper tonight. Yummy :) And, there's rain in the air, yet again, so I suspect some folk will get a bit wet at the carnival. Such a shame after all the work that goes into it. 

As always, it's so hard to pick just three of your lovely entries - but for once I actually had just three already short listed, and that makes life easier here:
I totally adore this cute 'new baby' card - made by Lynne in NI. The detail is just lovely, beautifully coloured and the whole card is just perfection.

I picked this card, made by Lilian, as not only does it use snippets but it's also such a beautiful image of a kingfisher - wonderful colouring as well! Sorry the image is smaller than usual, when I enlarged it, it went too blurred.

And another beautifully coloured image - brought to share with us by Helen. Helen is a real lover of Penny Black stamps and always adds so much additional detail such as the stitching around the panels - love it!

We had three new Playmates - a bit like buses - some challenges there are none and then three roll up all at once :)
Karen Letchworth
We also have Charlotte Wood-White playing along, her entry is number 50 but you'd have to scroll down to find the image on Facebook. And, as she's using Facebook, my attempts to add the photo of her entry here have only succeeded in messing up my blog post so I've had to leave it out.

Three new Playmates this week (a huge welcome girls!) and 53 entries - how heartening and music to my ears.

Now it's prize draw time, and our winner of the LOTV set of stamps called 'Happy Bears' is:
Oh well done Nicky, I'm pretty sure it's ages since you won a prize 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 #354 - you can find it HERE. The prize is a Concord & 9th 'Lily' set of stamps and a set of The Works 'Stitched Circles' dies.

No new photos of Dudley once again - sorry. Basically, we've not really had much time to turn around whilst the outside work was going on. Thankfully it's now finished and looks great!

Now all I have to do is to steel myself to begin taking the preventative meds - which apparently can cause gout flares as it dissolves the crystals in the joints - nice huh? But, it has to be done if there's to be a way forward, just not exactly a nice thought. Thinking positive perhaps I'll hit lucky and be OK - but, I was at the front of the queue when they were handing out rotten luck I suspect.

Love from Parsnip, Dudley - and of course me, 

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Male Birthday card for 20th Birthday

It was Len's great-nephew's 20th Birthday recently, and I went through the usual gnashing of teeth trying to think of what sort of card to make. His Facebook page didn't give much away so I resorted to opening up a few Really Useful Boxes and peering hopefully inside them. And then, I spotted a load of 'Scrabble' pieces - produced especially for crafting. And that's what kicked it all off - here's the result:
I used:

- 6" x 6" square Kraft card blank, side opening

- a sheet of paper from the Paper Cellar 'Mens' paper pad, just slightly trimmed to leave a little border. I like the open topped cars in the pattern

- 'Scrabble' letters to spell out Brad's name. They're make of thin (balsa?) wood and I found them in Hobbycraft, under their own label, a good while ago

- the letters came with some double sided sticky circles on the back but I carefully removed those and used Collall All Purpose glue to glue the pieces in position

- finished off by adding a 'Craftwork Cards' sentiment, again bought ages ago. As often happened with these sentiments the circle had been cut just slightly 'off' leaving a fine white border in places, so I carefully trimmed right round to even things up

- then ran a black marker around the edge before adding the sentiment to the card using thin sticky pads

For being totally without inspiration at first, I'm glad this worked out as it did - and it got a thumbs up from my 'in-house critic' too!

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #354

Time for a new challenge! Let's get straight on with it. This is my snippets card:
I used:

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

- a snippet of 'lightly patterned in grey paper' I found tucked inside the back of a much loved Teresa Collins 'Sweet Afternoon' paper pad. In fact, the papers are double sided and this was the reverse of one sheet that I'd used a bit of - I just trimmed it slightly to be a smidgen smaller than the card front
- then a snippet of white card and a lovely set of stamps by Concord & 9th called 'Lily'

- I used the Misti and first of all put my snippet of white card to the left hand corner to stamp the lily itself with Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink - just did it once as I was coming back later

- most importantly, I left the lily stamp on the lid of the Misti whilst I carried on with the rest of the stamping (just protected the base of the Misti with a snippet of scrap paper to avoid stamping directly onto the platform again with the lily stamp for now)

- then, I moved the stamped lily across to the right hand corner and placed the centre portion of the lily in place, picked it up with the lid and stamped it using SU's 'Daffodil Delight' ink

- added a few spots using another little stamp in the set and SU's Pumpkin Pie' ink (and a small clear acrylic block so I could move from place to place easily)

- time to move the image panel back across to the left hand side and re-stamp the black outline of the lily so that it comes up clearly on top of the coloured stamping

- added the sentiment - using black ink again and also a piece of ink jet printable clear acetate with a grid printed onto it - which is invaluable for aligning sentiments! Put the image panel onto the Misti tucked into one corner and pop the acetate grid lined piece on top of that, also tucked into the corner. Then add the sentiment stamps using the lines to get them straight, pick them up with the lid as usual, remove the acetate and do your stamping onto the card itself. I always do a test run anyhow (OCD strikes again!) and of course I had the piece of paper I'd used to protect the base, with a perfect lily (albeit faint) stamped so I could check the final look

- had a bit of fun finding a 'stitched circle' die - from a set by The Works - of the right size. In the end I decided to go with a die cut with one straight edge and I do like it! Die cut the image first and then trimmed it using a guillotine for the one straight edge

- glued the image panel onto the piece of patterned paper first to make sure it was nicely at the very edge and then glued the whole panel onto the card front - using Collall All Purpose glue

Although I was sort of forced down the route of trimming one part of the circle to be straight - I'll be doing it again for sure. It's for a friend who returned home from the school reunion last weekend and her Mum died the following day. She knew it was imminent but as she's really the cornerstone of our reunions (Secretary and chief 'gopher') she went ahead with her role at the reunion but zipped away first thing on the Sunday to get back to see her Mum, for what turned out to be one last visit. She didn't tell a soul what was going on either, bless her.

The prize this fortnight is:
Ha, caught on camera once again she says noticing the reflection! The prize doesn't include me - it's a Concord & 9th 'Lily' set of stamps and a set of The Works 'Stitched Circles' dies. The stamp set comes with a couple more sentiment stamps so it doesn't have to be used as a 'Thinking of you' card. For speed, and also to keep a CAS look, I didn't colour the whole of the iris in but it certainly lends itself to nice watercolouring or similar.

As always, the Snippets Challenge will run for two weeks and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 22nd June. 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 playing only for fun - otherwise I don't add you to my little list.

Work on the outside of the house is ongoing - but the results are just astonishingly good. No cutting of corners and total perfection. So, it's worth the slight upheaval for longer than we thought - just to know everything is spot on. And this is a guy working entirely on his own as well - quite amazing. Rain stopped play on Friday, although in any case there was one final delivery to arrive so it's just as well. The delivery did arrive - but not until 4pm in the afternoon as we were the last delivery of the day on their schedule, which would have been too late in the day - that certainly was serendipity.

There's been a few tales coming back from last weekend about reunion happenings - a few folk had to cancel last minute for one reason or another (including me of course), our President had to miss the Saturday evening dinner dance as her husband became unwell and they went home, and there were some self inflicted injuries. One sprained ankle, one leg broken in three places (larking around by the swimming pool) and one chap regained consciousness after the Saturday evening dinner dance with a whacking big gash in his head (needed seven stitches, so not tiny) - and he had absolutely no recollection of what had happened! Mind you - let's say that all of the injured, which were of the male variety, had been worshiping at 'the altar known as the hotel bar' all day! And no doubt there were a few hangovers in any case. Sigh - these aren't kids either!

I'm doing OK but now have swollen feet and ankles due to a 'rebound' action from being taken off the diuretics suddenly. It's a typical reaction apparently so just have to be patient for a week or two.

No new photos of Dudley this week, although right now he's looking snowy white and fluffy. Len took him for a walk in that dreadful rain on Friday and the poor little fellow was soaking wet when he got home, looked like a very dirty drowned rat. In fact, he was apparently quite frightened as Len took a detour to post some letters for me - but Dudley knows his usual route and wanted to come right back home 'toot sweet'. Time for an immediate warmish bath - which in fact he coped really well with - and he soon looked pristine again. It's so nice when he accepts that some things are done for his own good.He slept like a baby after it was all over.

Lots of love from us all - Parsnip (who is overseeing progress and handing up hammers and such to our 'roofing man'), Dudley (on general guard duty) and of course me,

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Treescape Aperture cards

A little while ago (back in March) I watched a Claritystamp video - featuring Paul Church - and absolutely loved what he was doing. So, I sent off for some goodies and last week finally managed to have a little play.

I rapidly discovered that Paul has a way of making things look so easy and it seemed as if all my work (I made five similar cards) might have been in vain. But, I made some changes and still got a very similar result:
I used:

- 6" x 6" Claritystamp square black card blanks - which I trimmed down to 5.75" square to be sure the edges weren't spoiled by the Cuttlebug (I can see a Big Shot or similar in the offing, once I make some room for it!)

- then I die cut the front of the card blank using a Claritystamp die called 'Treescape Aperture' - the pieces fall out beautifully and I really love the quality of the dies

- followed Paul's tip to run the card through the Cuttlebug with a piece of white paper on either side of the die cut to sort of flatten the die cut as they do tend to be a bit 'bowed' due to the volume of cutting

- at that point (I was making five cards) I put things to one side for the day

- when I returned the following day, those cards were 'bowed' once again and that wasn't going to look good with the loose double 'Northern Lights' insert Paul had used

- so, I just backed the die cut area with a square of Claritystamp 'Northern Lights' which is about quarter of an inch larger than the aperture all round and stuck it in place using a tape runner along each edge

- then, to cover that I added a square of black card stock, just a bit smaller than the card front and of course that flattened the card front nicely as well

- finally added plain white inserts with a large sized 'celebrate' word stamped inside - using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a stamp from MFT's 'Big Birthday Wishes' set of sentiment stamps

These cards can be used for Birthdays or even just general use such as being included with Playground prizes!

I made matching envelopes as well using the same 12" x 12" papers - which Paul Church also showed in his video - you can find it on YouTube HERE.