Sunday, 14 July 2019

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #355 - results


And it's still roasting hot where we live - I suspect Dudley is very glad to have much less coat right now! Although, it's already growing back and he looks so cute - just like a certain white fluffy bear I know.

Once again - huge difficulties choosing just three of your lovely entries - but here goes with this fortnight's picks:
Susan S came back to play after being absent for a while - and I just adore this card. Mermaids are so popular right now and this is a real beauty. Wonderful colouring and such a lovely design as well.

Janis made a mini album for her son's 30th Birthday - celebrating '30 cats in 30 years'. What a wonderful result (you have to go and check it out on Janis's blog HERE for the full impact) - and tons of snippets used as well. Brilliant!

Sue T made this absolutely beautiful card - it really is absolute perfection, as well as being really elegant and also using plenty of snippets. Someone is going to be so thrilled to receive this card at Christmas!

I had to sit on my hands to stop myself from running off and buying the dies that Sue used but I already have a few poinsettia die sets as well as holly, greenery, 'swirly' and Christmas sentiment dies that I can combine - she says frantically trying to convince herself! But, this set really is a beauty!

I recently gathered all my unused stamps and dies together and they almost fill a deep A4 Really Useful Box - so I'm on a self-imposed ban on buying any new stuff in the next few months.

We also had a new Playmate:
This super card was made by Gilby, who is our Liz's great nephew. Starting early at nine years old - I bet his Dad was delighted!
54 entries, including Gilby. Well done everyone!

Time now for the prize draw which is for a Clearly Besotted  'Perfect Pigs' stamp set along with a matching set of 'Perfect Pig' dies, and the winner is:
Well done Alice - all the more so as I just checked out your comment and you really were so keen to win this set of stamps and dies! So, a really happy result - the first number chosen belonged to someone who was just playing for fun so it was even luckier for you! 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 #356 - you can find it HERE. The prize is an Impression Obsession 'Kite' set of dies and a 'Your Next Stamp' set of two 'Cloud' dies.

No new photos of Dudley - and right now he's fast asleep under my desk so it isn't fair to disturb him. He's taken to quietly sliding into that space, it's a big corner desk so he's nicely tucked in there. Sometimes I don't even know he's there, other times all I feel is a silky brush from him as he quietly makes his way in - Len and I often refer to him as 'Stealth' as he just glides around so quietly - unless he's having a mad half hour of 'The Zoomies'!

The preventative meds are still doing their job (fingers crossed) and it's now almost four weeks - blood tests yet again for me on Tuesday followed by an appointment with my GP a week later to see how things are going. It's likely the dosage will be 'upped' as he's starting off low to try and avoid any major flare ups. Too right as well! Would rather it was slow and steady than go through that lot again :)

Love from Parsnip, Dudley - and of course me,






Sunday, 7 July 2019

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #356

Oh boy - it's still hot down here in Hampshire! We really could do with just a little bit of rain to clear the air as it's so humid and heavy right now.

Anyhow here's my snippets card for this coming week:
I used

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

- snippet of slightly smaller piece of light blue card, an eighth of an inch smaller on each side

- backed the light blue card with white fun foam, again cut a bit smaller than the blue card, and adhered it to the card front using Collall All Purpose Glue - just to lift it up a little bit

- then rummaged through the snippets folder for some scraps and die cut the clouds using white card and MFT's 'Cloud' Trio' set of dies

- then die cut the kites, lines, tails and little stabilising 'bows' from snippets of red, green, yellow, red and white and carefully popped them into an upturned lid I keep on the desk - through (bitter) experience. I used a lovely die set made by Impression Obsessions called 'Kite' - what else?! 

- then added the lines and clouds to the background using a glue pen - allowing some parts to hang over the edge - which I then snipped off from the back to be sure of a straight and clean cut

- still building the scene - I then added the main part of each kite - using thin snippets of sticky pad to add dimension, then added the little bows using a glue pen (this time I didn't use the 'sectioned' part of the die cutting set but that would be fun to try (say) using pretty patterned papers for a girls card)

- next I needed a few words so I used an MFT set of 'Label Maker Sentiment' stamps and the Misti with Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink for stamping. The Misti comes in so handy when stamping very solid stamps like these as I find, even with a newish ink pad, it does take more than one go to get a nice clean black finish

- then I just carefully fussy cut the words, you can actually buy a set  of matching MFT dies but I truly think they would be more trouble than they're worth - a nice sharp pair of medium sized scissors and decent light and they were done in no time at all

- then used red line sticky tape to adhere the words where I wanted them - all done!   

I couldn't find the MFT word stamps in the UK (I've had mine for a while now), but Uniko do some lovely sets - I have one which a sweet crafter bought for me a while ago and, like all Uniko products, it's great! I didn't use my Uniko set on the card as my blank spaces weren't right, next time I'll plan ahead more! Thanks again Sue! x

The prize this fortnight is:
An Impression Obsession 'Kite' set of dies and a 'Your Next Stamp' set of two 'Cloud' dies. Again, I couldn't find the MFT 'Cloud Trio' set of dies for the prize but the Your Next Stamp set is every bit as good IMHO. And I used two cloud sizes almost identical to the prize ones when I made my card. As always, the Snippets Challenge will run for two weeks and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 20th 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.

Dudley will be one year old on 22nd July and I'd forgotten just how much joy a doggie would bring to us - and how much work as well! He's so enchanting, you can't help but love him even when he's being a little pickle! Much to my quiet delight I took him for a walk during the week whilst Len was out - he behaved beautifully (after getting over the shock that after some months it was Mama taking him out!). We did about three quarters of a mile on one of his favourite routes, which might not sound much to many of you but was a huge step forward for yours truly.

On the subject of Dudley, we took him to the groomers on Thursday as his adult coat had begun to 'blow' over the past few weeks (basically changing from puppy coat to adult coat which generally begins at around one year old, and can take up to six months) so keeping on top of his tangles was almost impossible. Within half an hour of a full groom at home, making sure he was free of tangles, they came straight back. Basically, it wasn't a good situation for Dudley - deep mats can cause health problems and are also quite painful either to be removed or even before they're removed as they can cut off the blood supply. So, right now, Dudley looks like a little shorn sheep with a lovely plume of a tail and his wonderful long silky ears left untouched. His dear little face looks just as it did as a puppy - although of course the top knot has gone. I always thought he would look cute with a teddy bear/puppy cut - and no doubt he will .... as soon as it grows back just a bit! As for Dudley, he's absolutely fine needless to say, and also much cooler! Although, I think he feels it's just a bit undignified to have his 'crown jewels' exposed as they are at the moment - so he's taken to wearing dark glasses when he goes out for a walk. 

Here he is, taken yesterday, waiting at the top of the stairs for Len to return from archery:
 Lots of love from us all - Parsnip, Dudley and of course me,


Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Less is More #398 - one layer and spots

It's absolutely ages since I joined in with many of the challenges I used to play in (when I had more time), and one of those is Less is More.

I have a big Really Useful Box, stuffed full of unused items such as stamps, dies and stencils (or NBUS as Darnell would say). Some are to be used for my Snippets Playground challenge samples, and some are items I either bought just for me, or have been sent by lovely friends.

This card is a mixture, the stamp set is a one off that I fell in love with and bought last year - there was only one in stock, and it doesn't seem to be available here in the UK right now. However, the stencil has a duplicate in the Toy Box and that will be on offer, sometime fairly soon.

So - the theme is one layer over at Less is More #398 - and you also have to include spots. This is my offering:
I used:

- 6" x 6" white card blank (in fairness, Hobbycraft's card blanks are a teensy bit smaller even though they quite cheekily sell them as 6" x 6" (the envelopes are 6" x 6" though) and I usually trim them down slightly to 5.75" x 5.75" - as I did in this case

- the stamp set I used is such a fun one - it's by Your Next Stamps and is called 'One in a Chameleon'. Really great images and also some very cheesy sentiments as well. Also I especially like that the images lines are lovely and thick, which makes them perfect for masking

- stamped the chameleon and one of the flowers onto a piece of Woodware Magi-film, using Ranger Archival ink (wasn't sure whether Memento would possibly smear when I was fussy cutting the images so played safe) - and then spent ages carefully fussy cutting out the two masks

- then stamped the chameleon and the flower onto the card front, using the Misti of course

- popped the masks onto the images on the card front and then adhered the stencil in place using some low tack tape before stencilling the green spots using an Altenew 'Feeling Dotty' stencil, SU's 'Wild Wasabi' ink pad and a Clarity stencil brush

- removed the stencil and the two little masks then coloured in the flower and the chameleon using Whispers brush pens

- then added the two sentiments (using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink) with the help of the Misti and some clear acetate with grid lines on for the initial alignment - and naturally also did a check before 'going for it'!

- final touch, a coating of Glossy Accents on the eyes - and I also checked that the Glossy Accents wouldn't react with the pupil of the chameleon by trying it on a snippet of card first - me not always as daft as me looks!

Finished! As I said, this is such a fun set of stamps and it's ages since I did any masking so am quietly pleased with the result. I did Google to look for ideas to colour in the chameleon and came across some images where folk had used the colours of the rainbow - which I admit I unashamedly followed and then I thought I'd do the same when colouring the flower). And I do love his little 'two-fingered salute ☺

It also struck me that, as it's a celebration of World/Gay Pride at the moment, it's quite appropriate.





Sunday, 30 June 2019

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #354 - results


One extreme to the other down here in Hampshire - now it's roasting hot! But, not as bad as Europe is having.

In Southern Germany, where Kai and the grand daughters live, apparently they went to the local swimming pool to try and cool off - and it was standing room only ............. in the water! I had to giggle - the image popped into my head of every now and then a cry of 'about turn' and everyone turning 180 degrees in unison - to make sure they don't get too fried on one side or the other of their shoulders! I think they gave up and went home in fact :)

It's too hot to spent too long at the laptop, and I also have a few things to be getting on with so let's press straight on.

As always, it's so hard to pick just three of your lovely entries - but here goes, and I literally had to put six names in a hat and draw three of them as I just couldn't choose.

Ah, but on top of the three we also have a *Gold Star* pick - not had one of those for a while:
And it's our very talented Jane of Jane's Journal who gets a *Gold Star* - to add to one she won back in 2018. The amount of work and detail in this card is amazing - lots of layers and tons of snippets used as well! I love it Jane, so much depth and the sentiment actually made me well up here!

And our three picks are: 
Chandini (our twins) who hopped in with this great shirt shaped card. I've seen paper folded shirts as card 'toppers' before, and made my own in the past, but have never seen a card actually folded into a more casual shirt shape (and opening like this one does) other than a 'dress shirt with a tie'.  Very clever - and one that some of you might want to try for yourselves perhaps!

Now this card, which Sandy brought to share with us, is very inspirational. With the right papers, and a few snippets, you could make a load of really great Christmas cards in (hopefully) super-quick time! I'm certainly going to whizz through my hoard of Christmas papers and rustle a few up.

And I also picked this card, made by Chris for Darnell's fabulous 'Twofer' card challenge. I love the fresh and clean look - and it's great to see Chris crafting once again. If you hop over for a peek then you'll also see the other 'Bees' card - which is also brilliant!

No new Playmates this time round week and 52 entries.

Time now for the prize draw which is for a Concord & 9th 'Lily' set of stamps and a set of The Works 'Stitched Circles' dies, and the winner is:
Gail (ionabunny)
Well done Gail - I know from a quick check that it's at least a year since you won one of the normal fortnightly prizes. 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 #355 - you can find it HERE. The prize is a Clearly Besotted  'Perfect Pigs' stamp set along with a matching set of 'Perfect Pig' dies. These are discontinued so it could be your best chance of laying your sticky little paws on them!
No new photos of Dudley - sorry. He's off for a trim this coming Thursday and I've spoken to his Auntie Steph in Winchester and forewarned her that we really think it's time for a puppy cut. I only found out very recently that, between about 12 and 18 months old, Havanese get their adult coat and many people do find that a puppy cut is the best whilst that's going on due to the endless de-matting needed. I can vouch for that one!

Dudley loves to lie on the cool tiled floors around the house - and we also have a 'cool mat' for him as well. To be honest, the breed comes from Cuba so they're generally well able to cope with the heat - but of course it's good to give him all the options to keep cool.

So far so good with the preventative meds, it's coming up to two week since I started taking the pills and (apart from a few niggly pains which have been more like a little reminder) so far so good. Fingers firmly crossed.

Love from Parsnip, Dudley - and of course me,





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.