Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Rudolph Days - August 2018

Crumbs, Rudolph Day came around quick, after the previous one being at the beginning of August! Quick, hop over to ScrappyMo's HERE if you want to join in!

My mojo is still off on his Summer holidays and I was stumped for ideas. It's not for the want of Christmas card making stuff to use - just a totally blank mind!

The Playground toy box is quite healthy ready for the annual Christmas/New Year prize draw but I want to try and avoid making (or at least publishing) any snippets cards using my own duplicates as that's all part of the fun - I hope! I have a feeling I will be making some Christmas cards and perhaps publishing them ahead of time but not saying if the items I've used are going to be on offer until we hit Christmas and New Year time in the Playground - me bad!

In the end I rootled through my box of shop bought Christmas cards we've been sent in recent years - saved with up cycling in mind. And I came across a card with three sweet little painted robins wearing hats and a scarf on (bless them) - and I ended up CASE-ing one of my own cards of September 2016 so there's more than a touch of déjà vu here!

I was only saying in an email to a blogging friend at the weekend how I never seem to use a lot of stuff more than once - and then I go and almost replicate a previous card, how weird is that then? In fairness, I made three cards last time as I chopped up a card with nine little robins on - just made the one card this time though:
I used:

- 4" x 5.75" off white card blank, tent style. Pure and really crisp white wouldn't have looked right against the snowy backgrounds and luckily I had some card blank with the slightest tinge of 'creaminess' - which of course the camera has bleached anyhow!

- one triple window die from the Just Rite Frame Set 'Three in a Row' to die cut the apertures in the card front

- using the Misti I aligned a stamp from the triple stamp Inkylicious 'Seasons Greetings' sentiments set and inked it up using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and stamped it in place

- then cut one spare aperture from a snippet of card and trimmed it to about an eighth of an inch bigger than the aperture on the card front on all sides to use as a template as the three little robins were all perched along a branch on the original card and also very close together

- used the template to draw a pencil frame around each robin and then just snipped them out using scissors

- backed each aperture with red line tape and I added all the red line tape around the apertures for each single square before starting to add the images from behind (by eyeballing from the front of course) and then just peeled off as much backing as was needed as I went
 
- backed the inside of the card with a slightly smaller piece of the same off white shade of card stock using red line tape - finished!

Drat though, the original card was printed on high gloss paper and try as I might I just couldn't take a photo without some bounce-back of light!

It didn't take all that long to make and, with luck, I'll return to that box of cards to up cycle again - like a couple of dozen times at least as am woefully behind on my Christmas cards target!






Sunday, 26 August 2018

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge # 332 - results


It's cooler here right now and quite refreshing to be honest. I feel sorry for those who've been looking forward to August Bank Holiday though. Having said that, any holiday break is good!

No Guest Designer and no trip down Memory Lane with one of my old cards once again. Life seems to be so busy right now that card making and general blogging have taken a bit of a back seat. The Playground continues to be top priority of course, no matter what else might fall by the wayside in terms of crafty stuff!

So let's just get straight on with the picks for this fortnight.

First of all, we have a *Gold Star pick*:
This stunning 'exploding box' for a new baby was made by Hazel (KBrandy4). What a fabulous snippet buster, as well as being so beautifully designed and made. Just look at the little baby's shoe in the centre - squeal! I LOVE this! Please take your Gold Star Hazel (Right Hand Side Bar) as a token of being this fortnight's shining star pick- I just bet the recipients were absolutely bowled over!

I make no apologies at all for picking this marvellous card (plus matching items which you can see if you follow the link to Carol L's blog). Carol is a really regular player as well as a brilliant crafter and I fall in love with almost every single one of her makes and often feature her work as it's so inspirational - look at the patterns on the different panels for example. They say it's the little details that make a card and this is a perfect example of using snippets to achieve that.

Oh how I love this card, made by our own sweet Brenda L. Wonderful use of snippets and the colours go so well together too - I've always loved the combination of shades of blue and brown. Brenda is one very talented lady and I do urge you to hop over and check her blog out.

This is such a fabulous card, made by Vinita. So pretty with some wonderful die cutting - and look at those adorable little ladybirds! So cute. I haven't really seen any ladybirds this Summer - and not that many butterflies come to think of it.

And I just have to show another 'pick':
This adorable card was made by a young lady (aged just eight) named Remi - a lovely scene and how clever to slot the mermaid, merman and the narwhal into the scalloped cuts like that!  It's really great Remi!

And we had one new Playmate joining us as well this time:
Nandini
Welcome to the Snippets Playground Nandini - hope to see you again soon!

So that was one new Playmate this time round - and we had a total of 53 entries, we're bobbing along nicely given that you're only allowed one entry. And I know it's always 'anything goes' using one or more snippets, which also helps. That's how Jules ran the Playground and I've always been quite happy to run a relaxed challenge and will continue to do so. Obviously I look for clever ideas and ways to use snippets, and that's where the 'picks' come in.

Now it's prize draw time, and our winner of the Your Next Stamps 'Scratch Pad' set of stamps is:
 
This was a hugely popular prize  so very well done Kath! I'm sure you'll have great fun using it and hope you're doing a Happy Dance right now. Kath is one of our most regular players and looking back I don't think she's had a win for quite some time (I didn't count her sand eraser win approx. eight months ago as about 20 or so of you won those) - so this was certainly due.

AND, as an extra surprise, I managed on Friday to find one, sadly just one, extra set of the 'Scratch Pad stamps' in stock in the UK! It won't arrive here until next week, after the Bank Holiday, but I was really tickled to find it! So, let's run the random number  generator again and spread the love a little further:
Oh how lovely! Once again it's someone who plays regularly and also is due for a win (and I see Jane said that if she didn't win then she would have to go out and buy the set anyhow). Many congratulations Jane - well deserved and I'm sure you too will have a lot of fun using this set. I hope this is the closest that cats will get to Mark's lovely veggie beds etc.!

Do please send me your addresses girls, 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. I don't keep addresses of previous winners, even if they might be in my private address list - if that makes sense! It's also confirmation that you still would like the prize of course, not that I doubt it really! I'll post your prize(s) 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 #333 - just check back a bit and you'll easily find it. The prize is a MFT 'Birthday Candles' set of dies and a MFT 'Party' die as well

Hope you all have a lovely week ahead, and little Parsnip sends his love too!





Thursday, 23 August 2018

Thursday Tasters - Summer Herb and Ham Hock Frittatas

When I started this blog off, I often used to post new recipes I'd recently tried, or old family favourites. Not posted a recipe for ages, even though I do keep trying out new ideas when the mood is right.

On Tuesday afternoon I made these for our early evening light supper:

Summer Herb and Ham Hock Frittatas:


In truth, they're really picnic food. I made six as per the recipe in a muffin tin and they were just the right amount for the two of us with fresh on the vine tomatoes from the Isle of Wight (thanks Ocado, the best I've tasted for a long time!) and a garnish of parsley.

Ingredients:

Olive oil for greasing or muffin paper cases
4 large eggs, beaten
1 small garlic clove, grated (chopped very finely as I did or put through a garlic press would also work fine - and I used two garlic cloves BTW)
Handful of basil, finely chopped
Handful of chives, finely chopped
Handful of parsley, finely chopped
90g (or more if the packet is a bit bigger, don't worry too much about a few extra grammes) ham hock, which should have been diced/shredded before packaging
Handful of grated cheddar or parmesan (optional)

Method:

Preheat the oven to 190 degree C/ 170 degrees fan/gas 5 and grease 6 holes of a muffin tin, or use paper cases

Beat the eggs in a large bowl or big measuring jug (makes it easier to pour into the muffin tin/case later on!)

Add the garlic, chopped herbs, ham hock and cheese if using (and why wouldn't you - I adore a bit of cheese!?)

Season with salt (I omitted the salt) and pepper and mix well

Divide the mixture between the muffin holes evenly

Bake for 12 minutes, until the fritatatas are set and golden

Take out of the oven and leave to cool slightly before removing them from the tin

Once cool, store in a plastic container in the fridge until you're ready to hit the road (or eat them right away as we did!)

My lessons learned are:

This is a really delicious recipe and we both loved the results, especially in terms of flavour. I took  them out of the oven when they were nicely set and fully cooked but didn't want to risk them going too brown or burning - so they did look a bit pale, very much as an omelette would I guess.

I used muffin baking cases (I have enough muffin cases to last forever!) hoping it would make life easier. Peeling the cases off when the frittatas were still warm wasn't a great move so I would suggest leaving the frittatas in cases if you want them for a picnic but bake them directly in the muffin tins without cases if to be eaten right away whilst still warm/hot.

And, if you're going to eat them right away then why even bother making muffin tin sized ones? Another time, and we did love them so it will be on my list for a repeat performance, I'd do something differently.

I'd up the number of eggs to six and then just make one delicious omelette to halve and share. Yummy!








Sunday, 19 August 2018

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #333

And just where did THAT two weeks disappear to then? Crumbs, time flies when you're having fun!

The 'Scratch Pad' crazy cat snippets card last time proved to be a hit - and lots of you played along for the prize as well - the result of the draw will be published a week from now.

Lets get straight on with my snippets card - get out the paper hats and streamers:
I used:

- 5.5" x 4.25" white card blank, tent style (see below for an unexpected adjustment I had to do along the way)

- a whole sheet ...... shudder ...... (which I then trimmed down) of green paper from the fabulous Lawn Fawn 'Really Rainbow' paper pack

- a snippet of white card, a bit smaller than the green layer - and an assortment of small snippets from the halved envelope which I'd stuck into the back of the same Lawn Fawn paper pack to save snippets in - I find this system works well for me as you can easily find co-ordinating scraps of paper from the same pack all kept together

- then I worked on the white layer by first of all backing the selected snippets of paper (striped, yellow, red and some of the leftover green) with thin white card (using medium weight double sided adhesive sheet snippets as the sandwich layer - it looked like patchwork but it's hidden and I hate even throwing out a small piece of double sided adhesive sheet!)

- next I took the MFT 'Birthday Candles' die set and cut into the white panel right where I wanted to inlay the die cuts later on

- then I die cut the big flames from the candles into the white panel - they line up beautifully in one go - higher if you wish of course but this was my very first 'play' so i kept them just on top of the wicks

- big breath next as the next step was to die cut the word 'party' into the white background, using an MFT 'Party' die - I cut it at an angle (confess time here) mostly as I truly didn't see any way of me getting it looking straight! And, squeal, it worked!

- so, I had the background of apertures (kept in a little plastic lid) ready to use and then just used more double sided adhesive (Stick-It Double sided sheet this time - and yes, more little snippets) to back the apertures cut into the white panel and then added the die cut candles and flames, as well as the word 'party'

- at this point I went and had a little lay down to recover - even though things were rolling along smoothly I was waiting for a problem - as you do!

- rolled the white layer of inlaid card through the Cuttlebug - and blow me - one edge which wasn't lined up within one eighths of an inch of the actual sticky back stuff ended up with a line across it

- went for yet another lay down and sobbed gently

- solution, trim the flippin' top edge off the embossed piece of white die cuts layer and also trim the card and backing panel slightly - one reason never to assemble a card until the end!

- glued the (now a little bit shorter) green 'frame' to the (now a little bit shorter) card front

- added the little red heart shaped flame centres, using a glue pen

- something was still missing so I had a rummage through my packets of sequins and added a little scattering of them (from the Lucy Adams 'Misty Rainbow' packet - see more detail below)

These are brilliant dies to use and can be for invitations or equally for a Birthday card. The party die would be good for the likes of New Year and other celebrations as well.

I like to add a few sequins to plain cards now and then if they just look too bare and I discovered Lucy Adams a while back and just love her sequins and shaker mixes. She sells from her own on line shop in the UK HERE where I buy from - and Simon Says Stamp in the US also stocks her mixes HERE. One word of warning - the selection really is huge with loads of themes and delicious colour mixes, so if you do go and peek, then please don't blame me if you end up spending a good few pennies!

And of course, here's this week's Snippets Playground prize:

It's your own MFT 'Birthday Candles' set of dies and a 'Party' die as well. I won't be splitting the prize BTW. If you win and truly don't want to keep part of your prize then, as I've said before, feel free to pass it onto a crafting friend - but I do think they make a great pair!

As always, the Snippets Challenge will run for two weeks and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 1st September. 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 - 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 :)

It's been a rough week for both of us here - we seem to be kicking colds and other bugs around between us, first one of us is unwell and then within days the other one goes down with the same thing. Today (Saturday) is the best I've felt for almost a week and of course crafting has taken a bit of a back seat, apart from my snippets card!

Love from Parsnip (he's wearing a surgical mask to avoid catching anything!) and of course from me,


Sunday, 12 August 2018

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge # 331 - results


Wahoo - we had a HUGE downpour here on Friday afternoon - and it's a bit cooler right now, which is quite welcome I must confess.

No Guest Designer and no trip down Memory Lane with one of my old cards this time as I'm in a bit of a rush here - let's get straight on with the picks for this fortnight. I looked at my list of potential picks and spotted that three of them were in pretty shades of blue, so that's my 'picks theme' this time around:

I chose this Wedding card, made by Katrina B as it's just enchanting and such a lovely shape as well! And, if you hop over and look at Katrina's post you'll see just how beautifully it matched the Wedding theme! And of course it used up some snippets too.

I adore this sweet little kitty shaker card - brought to share by Nina. It's beautifully made and so professionally finished. I've obviously just been over to Nina's blog to pick up the image and was so surprised to see only two comments had been left. Do please hop over and say 'Hello' - and perhaps become a follower as well. It's really hard blogging when at times you feel as if there's no-one out there really looking at what you do.

And last, but not least, Chris turned up with this fabulous sea themed card. I always love anything with seahorses on - they're such gentle creatures and fascinating to watch closeup. Love the background that Chris created and the addition of some little shells and the netting gives the whole scene such great dimension. Love it!

No new Playmates this time round - and we had 47 entries.

Now it's prize draw time, and our winner of the MFT 'Cross Stitch Label' die set is:
I think this might be Susan's first Playground win (hooray!) - and if this had been a few weeks ago I could have handed the prize over in person as we met at the fairly local Copics Class recently :)

Do please send me your address Susan with full name at the top as well so I can copy and paste - for speed and ease. I don't keep addresses of previous winners, even if they might be in my private address list - if that makes sense! It's also confirmation that you still would like the prize of course, not that I doubt it really! I'll be off to the Post Office 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 #332 - just check back a bit and you'll easily find it. The prize is a really fun Your Next Stamp 'Scratch Pad' stamp set - so (especially if  you like crazy cats) then do come and play!

Hope you all have a lovely week ahead, and little Parsnip sends his love too!





Friday, 10 August 2018

Santa's Hat

Very recently I spotted some adorable tags over on a lovely friend's blog, made using the Penny Black 'Santa's Hat' stamp AND a matching die!

That was news to me - my stamp, as is my friend's, is wood mounted and the date on mine is 2012 - and I'm sure there certainly was no matching die back when I bought it a few years ago. In fact, I've subsequently seen matching dies for Snowy (another PB favourite) - and he's been around for many years!

Before I tried to get hold of a die (can't find them in the UK right now), my friend offered to lend me her own die to check it out just in case the size had changed - Penny Black sometimes do that when (for example) they add a much loved image into a polymer set. I was so glad of the offer, but said just a die cut would be good enough for me to check. By return of post, six plain die cuts arrived! And sure enough, they're the right size. And, being me, I decided to go ahead and make six little die cut images of course - waste not want not. Not as easy as you might think!

Here's the card and below the usual 'I used' blurb I've added a bit more about stamping onto blank dies using a wood mounted stamp - when you can't use the Misti of course, so you really are working 'blind'

So, I ended up with six of these:
I used:

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

- the Penny Black 'Santa's Hat' die cut and my own 'Santa's Hat' stamp - and Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink

- details of how I got round the 'stamping blind' part are below, if you're interested as I already said

- once the little fella was stamped I then coloured him using Pro markers and put him to one side

- the embossed layer used a real favourite folder of mine by Quickutz called 'Holiday Words' - probably one of the first embossing folders I ever bought - and white card

- mounted the trimmed embossed layer onto a background of red card stock just to add that extra pop of colour and glued it to the card front

- added the hedgie to the card front, using thin sticky pads - and then just tickled the fur and pom pom on his hat with clear Wink of Stella

The fur and pom pom on his hat look a bit grey in the photo - that's the Wink of Stella for you - here's a closer look of the subtle shimmer. Coo, isn't a close-up unforgiving:

I had to really give some thought about stamping onto ready cut dies. It's not how I would normally work, even with clear polymer stamps I stamp first and then cut (although I know others might do it the other way around)  - and even then I die cut a template to make sure the die is placed perfectly evenly on the image.

However, it can be done with a whole lot bit of fiddling around - like this:


Out came my trusty Stampin' Up 'Stamp-a-ma-jig first of all and I stamped the hedgie as one would usually do, onto the acrylic sheet. I then took a die cut hedgie and adhered him to my glass work mat, using removable tape runner. That allowed me to maneuvre the image on the acrylic sheet in place over the plain die cut and butt the T-shape where I wanted to stamp. The photo above shows it all set up ready for me to remove the acrylic sheet and then do the actual stamping onto the die
This is the hedgie being stamped, the die cut is hidden underneath.
And out he pops, ready to be coloured - as good a stamping as I could get! I did discover one minor thing in this journey - apart from the fact that I really do need to see a shrink for attempting this one! When you use a Stamp-a-ma-jig in this way, it's impossible to line the stamp right into the side and top of the T part of the gadget. So, I moved the acrylic image which was placed over the die cut piece of card the tiniest fraction as I positioned it and the actual stamping compensated - if that make sense! Out of the six images, I had one that I'm really happy with in terms of equal borders, shown above - and of course that finished card I chose to take a photo of wasn't using the best placed image, but it's too late now anyhow 'cos it takes ages for me to take and then edit photos.

Would I do the same process again? I guess so but it was very fiddly and I truly believe that it's very hard to get the alignment absolutely spot-on, but a blind man on a galloping horse wouldn't notice - with luck! Meanwhile, the same lovely friend has sent me her die so I can now stamp a load of hedgies and then die cut them afterwards using a template to cope with my OCD - wahoo! The place will be awash with little prickly beasties :)

And, it's been far too long since I joined in with Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge (now on #397). So I'm remedying that right now - it's always anything goes but this week I also cover the optional extra of wet or dry embossing. Hazel is a real trouper for juggling so many balls with her challenges  - why not play along as well?

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #332

Here we are again, ready for another fresh Snippets Challenge - anything goes so long as you use one or more 'snippets/scraps'.

Least said about the continuing heatwave the better really - but we'll surely pay for it later on in the year due to cattle needing their Winter feed already and the lack of rainfall also affecting crops.

My snippets card for this week is still here on my desk as it really makes me smile. In fairness, I'd seen this idea with the torn top pieces a good while ago - and my  memory was jolted when I spotted a very similar set of stamps and also a sample card. The stamps were at the Dies to Die For pop-up shop the other week and maybe that's where I spotted the sample card, or it could have been on line last week when I was browsing. Anyhow, here's my snippets card - and I defy you not to smile:

I used:

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

- a snippet of pink card from the snippets folder, which was almost the right size but I held off trimming it right down until I'd made the image panel

- a snippet of white card, bigger than I would need for the eventual size

- stamped the cat, claw scratches and also the sentiment using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and stamps from the delightful Your Next Stamp 'Scratch Pad' set of stamps

- next coloured in the cat using Faber'Castell Polychromos pencils - matching the pink on the cat to the snippet of pink card I'd chosen

- then had to do a bit of measuring and working out how big I wanted the image panel to be - trimmed it to size and also trimmed the snippet of pink card to form a frame

- heart in mouth lest I wrecked the thing, it was time to do the little 'rips'. I used a water brush to just moisten a couple of lines down the card, above the claw marks and carefully tore down the lines before folding each side back - took me back to my mulberry paper tearing days!

- then just glued the layers together onto the card front and called it done

- am still thinking about whether or not to add glossy accents to the cat's eyes - am leaving it as it is for now

Oh what fun this stamp set is and this particular card isn't the only fun design of course. It was so quick and easy to make, with minimal colouring needed, and purrfect for a cat lover of course. Or anyone needing a bit of a laugh or cheering up. When you turn the card upside down, the expression on the cat's face is priceless!

AND, it qualifies for the current Less Is More Challenge #377, which is 'Pets' - yippee, I love to play over there :) There might be a bit too much on the card, but I hope not as I still see plenty of white space and it really was such a joy to make. A few stamps, little bit of colouring. a couple of rips/tears and some layering. Oddly enough, one of the DT has a card using the torn paper idea - I made this last week well before the new challenge appeared though.


And of course, here's this week's Snippets Playground prize:
It's a Your Next Stamp 'Scratch Pad' set of stamps, same as mine. We had a doggie set of stamps recently so I figured it was time for some feline friends to take centre stage and also be a prize.

As always, the Snippets Challenge will run for two weeks and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 18th August. 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 - 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 :)

Be sure to call back next week to see the fortnight's picks and the winner of the MFT 'Cross Stitch Tag' die set. Not as many entries so far this fortnight but who can blame people with the heat, holidays and also cross stitch isn't everyone's idea of spending time crafting. But it's lovely to see so many people still entering just for fun.

Hedgies are still doing fine it seems (still eating and drinking every night) and the other wildlife here is much the same as ever. The birds are very grateful for fresh supplies of water twice a day - thankfully we had a bit of rain about a week ago which filled up the water butts. That will keep the bird baths going for a while. One hint, blackbirds absolutely adore apple cores - but better than that, they go crazy over an apple cut in half and laid face up on the grass (I buy the 'less than perfect' ones from Ocado. I think it's the juicy fruit pulp they love. Some evenings we'll go out to sit in the garden and there will be a blackbird pointedly kicking around the empty shells of both halves of an apple - waiting for fresh supplies! Perhaps they're secret cider drinkers ☺☺☺

Love from Parsnip and of course from me,


Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Rudolph Days - July 2018

I know, it's now August, but Mo has had to delay the July Rudolph Days Challenge - so it should now run from 1st to 7th August.

And it gave me some much needed time to come up with my entry this time around. The other Saturday I met up with Mrs A, down here in Hampshire, at a Copics Class being run by her lovely daughter Faye. And, Tracey of Dies to Die For was there with a 'pop-up shop' - so it really would have been very rude not to buy something of course :)

Amongst my (ahem) haul there was a lovely little set of stamps with various sentiments, some Christmas gifts/parcels and three sweet little deer. So, not being one to do things the easy way, I stamped eight of each of the three deer and the same with the little Christmas parcels. I then happily coloured them whenever the mood was right. And then it was time to cut them all out - sheesh, I KNEW I ought to have bought the matching dies. In fairness Tracey didn't have any left so I took a close look at the dies on line as well as some die cut images on cards, which I found as examples on line. Ha, I can do that 'she said'. So far I've cut out all the little (18 that I stamped and 24  coloured)parcels and just ten of the deer as they really are a bit tricky-wool. I still have slight reservations about images which are die cut leaving a white border right round - it's almost the 'norm.' now and all I can think is that it allows for a little bit of 'play' when you're doing the die cutting.

So, I used one design of deer and one design of gift/parcel to make my entry for Mo's challenge - times eight of course, in an attempt to boost my flagging Christmas card target for this year:
I used:

- 5" x 5" white card blanks, side opening

- in fairness, as I said, the little deer and parcel were both already coloured and cut out. I'd used Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a couple of stamps from The Greeting Farm's 'Dashing' stamp set - and the Misti of course! Do be aware that MFT have stamps and matching dies also called 'Dashing' so if you like my little fella be careful to order the right one from the right company!

- I'd then coloured the little deer with Pro markers, as well as the parcel. I also added a few little white dots to his back (using a Signo white pen) just to add some interest as I hadn't done any fancy shading and it broke up the expanse of his back (as well as looking cute of course). Also added clear Wink of Stella to the fur and bobble on his little hat for a little bit of glisten

- so there I was, with a little deer and a Christmas gift/parcel and absolutely no idea what to do next - so I walked away and had a think for a day or two

- ping! Then it just hit me - he needed to be framed (obviously) with some form of background, so this is what I did

- die cut a Lil' Inker 'Instant Camera' frame from white card stock then stamped the sentiment 'Jingle all the way' using the Misti, Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and one of the sentiments from the 'Dashing' stamp set

- I backed the aperture in the frame with a snippet of pale blue patterned paper I found tucked in the back of the LOTV 'Frosty Christmas' paper pad. I found six in fact, obviously left from a previous play, and also a further two with snowflakes on (I do prefer the little trees though for this particular card). Backing this frame can be a bit tricky and I find that the very narrow red line tape works a treat if you're careful as it's unforgiving if you make a mistake

- for sturdiness I then backed the area of the aperture behind the paper using the waste fall out from when I die cut the frames (again with red line tape) - an extra step but it certainly makes for a much better finish (IMHO) as you end up with a nice solid little topper for your card

- added the Christmas gift and the little deer onto the blue background using a glue pen

- then cut a square of white card stock just about quarter of an inch smaller all round than the card front, using a die from The Works 'Stitched Squares' set of dies 

- embossed it using a Darice 'Snowflake Background' embossing folder

- glued the embossed panel to the card front

- finally added the little framed scene at a jaunty angle to the card front, using thin sticky pads

And, it's still slim enough to post at our standard letter rate - result!

And now to carry on with the other 16 little deer and 16 parcels - sometimes I start things and really don't think it through just how long it'll take. But, I won't be beaten - even if it's a couple of weeks until I tackle them!