Thursday, 17 October 2019

Mia is 12 years old

It only seems yesterday that Mia was a baby and now she's heading into her 13th year, so is on the verge of being a teenager!

When we came home from Cornwall I had to really get cracking and make her card in time for it to reach Germany. Luckily, I already had a new die waiting to be used - so I kept the card fairly simple:
I used:

- a tall white card blank - approx. 4" x 8"

- piece of shimmery plummy purple thin card stock as the 'frame', which I glued onto the card front

- piece of patterned paper from a LOTV pad called 'Timeless Victorian', trimmed and then glued onto the purple layer

- then adhered two layers of the purple card together using Woodware double sided adhesive sticky paper just to make the die cuts more robust

- die cut the (new to me) Poppystamps 'Large Sugar Plum Faerie' and put it to one side

- then die cut the word WISH using MFT's 'Wish' die

- because I hadn't used really intricate dies they cut well, despite the sticky layer in between the thin pieces of card

- then added the word WISH using a glue pen, followed by the faerie (fairy) minus the wings which are cut separately anyhow

The reason I chose to make the fairy into a ballerina was partly as I'd seen it  elsewhere on a blog, probably one of yours so thank you if it was you! And, Mia is also a very good little ballet dancer.

Edit: I spotted the die on Gail's blog - here's a link to the post that inspired me!

Phew, I hate making cards in a rush but for once nothing went wrong! I deliberately didn't add Mia's name and age, the girls are both growing up and from the age of 10 onwards I try not to add those extra details unless it's a special birthday or occasion.

Happy Birthday Mia, hope you're having a lovely day!

And, we finally have Dudley booked into a new grooming place for next week. His Auntie Stephanie has had to go back to Kent to care for her Mum, and our local branch still doesn't do scissoring. We just might have hit lucky, and his new groomer, called Debbie, already knows and grooms/trims Havanese! I attached photos and she says 'He's a stunning little chap'. Bless him. Way to go Dudley ... my most loved and so sweet little man! After Len of course :) x

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Happy Birthday Len!

Today it's Len's Birthday, not 'a milestone one' but he's clocking up the mileage as they say - albeit just two years ahead of me anyhow :)

Again, the day after we came home from Cornwall, I locked myself in the craft room in a flat panic when I should have been 'doing wash loads'. I made a card for Len from me (see Sunday's Snippets post), a card for Mia in Germany and also this card - from little Dudley to his 'Dad' for his Birthday:
I used:

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

- then stamped the image and words onto a piece of white card using a really cute Woodware set of stamps called 'Puppy Boots', the Misti and Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink

- thankfully, with Dudley being mostly white, I just needed to colour his boots/wellies with blue Pro markers to match the blue card I'd chosen to use for the 'frame' layer - along with a little touch of champagne/peach colour for his ears

- next followed a fair old bit of careful trimming down of the image to keep it as centred as possible

- a piece of blue card for the 'frame' cut to size and glued in place onto the card front

- topped the frame with the image panel and there we were - all done!

You might think the pooch is a bit skinny looking compared to Dudley - but when he's wet he doesn't look all that different to the image - apart from the wellies!

I did add an insert, along the lines of 'Next time remember to get me some wellies too'. A reference to the image, which turned out to be SO apt, and the fact that Len was fine trotting around our little Cornish garden in front of the cottage in his wellies - but poor ole Dudley had to be toweled, rubbed and wiped dry most of the time. The morning dew, and what spasmodic rain we had, meant that 'rarely' did he escape a 'good ole toweling down'! Often it was before he was even allowed to poke his nose inside the cottage, poor little scrap. He's so funny, at one point he truly did look like the 'ET image in the bicycle', with his head wrapped in a towel.

But, as I said already, he totally loved the different outlook and the sheep, the sheep! We did laugh one evening when we knew he was indoors with us but we couldn't find him - and there wasn't that far to search either. So we left him and were on the sofa, idly chatting with the TV on after dinner. Eventually the floor length curtains began to move as this little lump shuffled along. He was behind the curtains, against the huge floor length window/doors - looking longingly at the field where the small flock of sheep were. Either that or he was stargazing?

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #363

I did post on Thursday, apologising for not being on top of commenting, due to the fact we've been down to Cornwall for a relaxing week in a cottage right on the edge of Bodmin Moor, very close to the Cheesewring for those of you who might know the area. I'll add more further down this post, including a video of Dudley - if I can get it to upload!

Another bit of an apology, a bit of bad planning on my part means we have another (albeit different)  'underwater' scene for my snippets card and prize again. It's Len's Birthday this coming Tuesday and the day after we got home I shut myself in the craft room to make a card from me, as well as one from Dudley (which will appear later). And my card is this fortnight's snippets offering:
I used:

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

- I had a snippet of Tim Holtz 'Sparkle' card inked with shades of turquoise, handily lying on my desk so I trimmed it to size as the background and stuck it onto the card front using Collall All Purpose Glue

- next used a snippet of white card onto which I stamped the manatees, bubbles, a few other little elements and also the sentiment words I chose - using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and of course the Misti. They all came from the Lawn Fawn 'Manatee-rific' set of stamps, which I've had for ages with Len's Birthday in mind

- coloured them using Pro markers, then die cut them using the matching set of dies and just cut the sentiment strips freehand - popped them into a little plastic dish for safekeeping as I'm a dab hand at losing small dies and die cuts these days

- then die cut the main frame with the 'sea grass' using the biggest die from Lawn Fawn's 'Bayou Backdrop' set of dies and a snippet of green card. In reality, the 'sea grass' is supposed to hang down from the top of the frame like overhanging trees over water, as in a bayou - I've written a little bit below about how this idea came about as I did have some inspiration with the idea of adding an extra touch of green shading to the 'sea grass' using a sponge dauber and an 'Old Olive' SU ink pad before removing the die cut from the piece of green card 

- then, using the same source of inspiration, I die cut the same frame again from a snippet of white card and carefully snipped the 'sea grass' away from the frame leaving just a white, rectangular, stitched frame, which I glued onto the green frame

- glued the whole frame onto the card front

- then added the manatees and other elements using a glue pen

- finally, added the sentiment strips using red line tape

And that was Len's card all done, in the nick of time. And here's why I chose to make this card. A good few years ago we went to Sentosa island, just off Singapore, to visit Underwater World and were totally entranced by a 'dugong', which is a close relative of the manatee - not the same but still a close relative. She was one of the gentlest creatures I've ever seen, called Gracie, and we both fell in love with her - Len especially. I've written here about him swimming with a sea otter in Thailand. She had been rescued as a baby when her mother was sadly drowned after being tangled in fishing nets off Singapore and lived for a good few years in Underwater World where she was so loved and well cared for. Much as it's not usually right to keep any wild creature in captivity, IMHO, Gracie wouldn't have survived if she'd been released back into the wild without her Mum to guide her.

I used both the boy and the girl manatees on Len's card - the girl is supposed to be offering some 'greens' to her chap, and it'll probably make him smile.

As I said, I'd had the Manatee stamps and dies for ages and whilst half asleep in the early hours one morning, suddenly remembered I'd seen a Lawn Fawn die (the 'Bayou Backdrop'), which I then thought could be flipped and used as sea grass. Imagine my surprise when a bit of Googling turned up a card almost identical to what I had in mind - someone had beaten me to the idea, and even used the manatees stamps and dies! That blogger turned out to be a lady in the UK called Laura and she has a great blog! She's full of ideas and also has tons of useful videos as well - you can reach her blog HERE. And also see how similar my card is to hers HERE. Huge thanks Laura for the inspiration for the little extra touches I hadn't thought of. I did end up with a fairly close CASE of Laura's card, but have already been in touch - and of course this won't go into a challenge. And Laura was lucky enough to swim with manatees in the wild - what an experience that must have been.

The prize this fortnight is a bit of a bumper one:

A Lawn Fawn 'Manatee-rific' set of stamps with matching dies - plus a Lawn Fawn 'Bayou Backdrop' set of dies - on this occasion I will split the prize - the 'Manatee-rific' stamps and dies as one part and the 'Bayou Backdrop' as the other part. However, the whole bundle can be won as one prize if you prefer that. Just say so in a comment - and please feel free to play for the whole bundle as they do compliment one another so well. Love that the manatee set can be used for so many occasions by switching the sentiments around.

As always, the Snippets Challenge will run for two weeks and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 26th October. The gates will open again at midnight UK time on the same day.

It's a maximum of ONE entry, please say in a comment if you wish to play and be a possible winner of the prize. Please also link back to the Playground in your blog post to be eligible for the draw.

Remember, if you link into the Playground and don't say clearly that you want to be in the draw in a comment on here, then you will be bypassed if your name comes out of Mr Linky. I'm sure you all know I ask for a positive 'yes' on the blog post itself - just in case you're only playing for fun - otherwise I don't add you to my little list.

And a little more about our week in Cornwall. The cottage was (as we already knew) quite 'compact', solid granite and also warm and cosy - it was a converted piggery and we'd seen the conversion being started about 14 years ago when we stayed in a different cottage at the same farm.  We were high up on the edge of Bodmin Moor (abut 300 metres high) and could usually see for miles across the valley. The cottage was very privately situated with a fenced in garden so we could let Dudley have a good old romp around. Len still kept a very close eye on him, the drop at the far end of the garden was around 20 feet, had Dudley managed to wriggle his way out. We were also very conscious that he had to be kept away from any long grass as, during our Advantix scare, we'd shampooed the area along his back where it had been applied - leaving him potentially vulnerable.

So, there's a little video clip below which I really hope you can see. I took the video using my Canon camera, standing just outside the panoramic sliding doors at the front of the cottage. You can hear the radio playing in the background if you turn the sound up - also some noise being made by Len and Dudley :)  Len was keeping Dudley on the move and away from any long grass at the edges. AND, for his grand finale, Dudley decided to sign off by crouching to have a wee - before trotting a little bit further and doing a little encore! He's never, ever lifted his leg when going to the toilet - and it's very endearing. He always turns around and looks a bit surprised to see what's going on as well, silly dog! He was fascinated by the sheep in the field below needless to say.

I'm so glad you finally get to see Dudley in 'play zoomies' mode!

If you have any problem viewing then here's the URL which will take you to YouTube - had to upload it there before being able to embed it into the blog. What a palaver, I take my hat off to folk who add videos to their blogs on a regular basis! If it works then I do have more footage, perhaps for next week, which pans around showing the distant tin mine shafts etc as well as more 'zoomies'.

And finally, we were fast asleep but I have permission from Lyn and John (the owners) to add their photo of the sunrise we would have seen from the cottage garden. It was taken one morning from their farmhouse .............. whilst we three were still giving it the big Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz's!!
 Image may contain: cloud, sky, twilight, nature and outdoor

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

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Home again!

Just a quick post to say we're back home after a week in Cornwall and I promise to catch up commenting on your Snippets Challenge entries ASAP. The internet was slow and to be honest we were both just loving the chance to relax and let Dudley be the centre of things.

This is him relaxing after running around the garden of the cottage we rented down there - grubby and no modesty at all!

He had his annual shots and MOT today at home (bad planning really as we're both shattered) - but he passed with flying colours. Seems to be doing OK with no reactions to shots either so that's good news.

He adored his time away, yet was so happy to cosy up once we were back home again. He also cosied up whilst away - perhaps he's just a cosy kinda dog?! And yes, we did take his full (squishy) toy box with us and almost every single toy he owns .... in case he missed them, sigh.

More will follow on Sunday's post but I wanted to let you know that we're not neglecting you - just that little 'Dudley' break got in the way! :)

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #361 - results

For various reasons, of a happy nature, this week's 'picks and prizewinner post' is potentially briefer than usual. Let's see how I go.

Dudley is fully recovered and full of beans these days - wonderful to see, and he's such a happy boy!

Let's get going with this fortnight's picks:

First of all, we have a *Gold Star* pick, which absolutely blew me away:
This brilliant card was made by Becca, who uses Flickr. It's very fiddly for me to get Flickr images across to my blog but I managed and, also, some of you won't be able to view or perhaps comment on how Becca made this terrific sneaker card over on Flickr. I'm making a real exception this time around and copying what Becca wrote underneath this as I think some of you will be very interested to 'have a go' - so much work and so, so cleverly made!

I just bought this fabulous sneaker die set from MFT and I just love it! I have 6 nephews and I really need more masculine items in my stash; this is perfect! This will be Timmy's 15th birthday card next month. I started by making the sneaker into a shaker; die cut it from watercolor paper and then using an exacto knife, cut out the space shown. I then used twisted citron (TH distress) to w/c the sneaker. I then die cut the bottom piece for the sneaker from w/c paper as well as the three strips (one from black cs and two from dp). I adhered them all together with liquid glue. I die cut the teeny tiny holes from lime cs and adhered them w/liquid glue. I threaded some lime green/white twine into the holes and secured them to the back. I added acetate to the shaker window back and then very thin foam strips to close in the window and all over the back of the sneaker. I added a strip of B&W dp (BoBunny) to the bottom of the card and then figured out my placement of the sneaker and 2 part sentiment. I stamped the sentiments (MFT 'Big Birthday Wishes') in Versafine onyx black & clear embossed. I then put together a mixture of bits for the shaker in lime green and white and gathered it onto the card where the shaker would be (rearranging a few times to get it right) and then carefully laid down the sneaker atop; perfect! I stamped the circular sentiment (MFT 'Be Original') on vellum with black & clear embossed and then die cut it with it's coordinating die and adhered it to the shaker window with vellum tape. To finish the card, I stamped the stars (MFT 'Be Original') with the twisted citron ink. I really love how it turned out and think Timmy will love it.

Well done Becca! I know you don't have a blog but when you do set one up, feel free to take the Gold Star button from my RH side bar! x

And onto my three picks now:
First of all, I picked a really clever idea for a card, made by Maxine. We're often stumped for ideas of ways in which to make cards more personal to people's hobbies/likes etc. And this card, for a Sudoku fan is perfect! And, it still uses some snippets of course.

I love this Christmas card, made by Janice. It's CAS and also a great reminder of just how effective paper piecing can be. I wouldn't mind a £1 coin for every sheet of patterned paper I still have lurking in the craft room.

Darnell always comes up with brilliant designs and her snippets entry this time is no exception. Yet another great use of snippets, all working together so beautifully. Needless to say, Dudley has fallen in love with Nellie - Darnell's adorable new dog - they look very alike in many ways (Nellie and Dudley I mean!!). Not sure if Nellie's into 'cradle snatching' though as she's just a little bit older than Dudley :)

We had 49 entries and no new Playmates this time round.

Time now for the prize draw which is for an Avery Elle 'Mimosas' set of stamps with matching dies, and the winner is:
Shartl (Shannon/Sachi)
Well done Shannon! 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 #362 - you can find it HERE. The prize is a Lawn Fawn 'Sea-Horsin' Around' set of stamps with matching dies - plus a Sugar Pea 'Waves' stencil.

I do have what might turn out to be some fun video footage of Dudley doing 'zoomies' outdoors - once I have time I'll upload it, probably be next Sunday now though.

Love from Parsnip, a very enthusiastic wag from Dudley - and of course hugs as always from me,

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #362

I did post on Thursday that Dudley is back to normal - phew! What a worry it's been and it's so wonderful to have him sticking his nose into everything. He's eating heartily and his 'system' is back to normal ...... so no need for Len to have to collect the dreaded samples after all! And his weight is back up to 6.4kg again.

We've had torrential rain here, like a lot of the UK has. Several places were flooded and a local cinema had to be evacuated during Tuesday afternoon's monsoon downpour. It's not something we're often affected by but when the rain is non-stop, after a long dry spell, it's bound to cause issues. At least the pathways and grass in our local park had a good 'wash down' which, if Dudley did pick up a bug on one of his walks, should lessen any future risk.

And here's my snippets card for this fortnight, using a set of stamps and dies I've had for a while, but not everything I used to make the card is duplicated in the prize I'm offering:
I used:

- 4" x 4" white card blank

- snippet of white card, die cut using the biggest (4" x 4") die from MFT's 'Stitched Square Scallop Edge Frame' set of dies

- snippet of white card, 'Broken China' Distress ink pad and Sugar Pea's 'Waves stencil. I used a Clarity stencil brush whilst the stencil was held in place on the piece of white card

- trimmed the 'background waves' panel to 4" x 4" and stuck it onto the card front

- then die cut a couple of snippets of Neenah 'Desert Storm' card using a stitched edged die from Spellbinder's 'Curved Borders One' set of dies, trimmed them and added them to the waves panel to depict the sand dunes under the sea - deliberately using a tape runner (the reason why is further down)

- next added the white scalloped frame using narrow red line tape, so that was the background piece all sorted out

- next I stamped the sentiment, seahorses, bubbles and a heart from the Lawn Fawn 'Sea-Horsin' around' set of stamps onto another snippet of white card using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink

- the seaweed is a solid stamp so I stamped four of the clumps using a couple of quite old, small, square SU green ink pads (Certainly Celery' and Old Olive')

  - die cut all the little stamped elements using the matching set of dies and carefully trimmed the sentiment down to the size I wanted

- then it was just a case of building up the little scene and adding the pieces using a glue pen. Having just used a tape runner on the little 'sand dunes' meant I could carefully lift them to tuck bottoms of the seaweed underneath - bit of forward thinking for once!

- finally, added the sentiment strip using red line tape

And the prize this fortnight is:
A Lawn Fawn 'Sea-Horsin' Around' set of stamps with matching dies - plus a Sugar Pea 'Waves' stencil - and all items in the photo make up one prize.

I'm sure most of you know that I stopped the option of splitting prizes a while ago  - which makes life easier and also helps to save some postage. But, a couple of very sweet people have said they were playing just for fun as they don't live in the UK. All prizes that I offer will be posted to anywhere in the World folks and I would hate for anyone to feel they shouldn't play along purely through living in a different country. This Playground is our 'happy place' and you should play for prizes if you want to win them, regardless of where you live.

As always, the Snippets Challenge will run for two weeks and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 12th October. The gates will open again at midnight UK time on the same day.

It's a maximum of ONE entry, please say in a comment if you wish to play and be a possible winner of the prize. Please also link back to the Playground in your blog post to be eligible for the draw.

Remember, if you link into the Playground and don't say clearly that you want to be in the draw in a comment on here, then you will be bypassed if your name comes out of Mr Linky. I'm sure you all know I ask for a positive 'yes' on the blog post itself - just in case you're only playing for fun - otherwise I don't add you to my little list. I sometimes spot people saying in their blog post that they're playing for prizes but am afraid that I ignore that. As Scrappy Mo says over on her Rudolph Days challenge, it's not a lot to ask for people to leave a comment on the challenge blog post itself if they wish to be in the prize draw.

And finally, since his recovery, Dudley seems to have taken up smoking big fat cigars:

He looks a bit like Dracula here - I think his fangs look a bit scary! And yes, that is a hide bone chew. We know there are very mixed opinions about them but even before we had him from the breeder he was keen on them. We're very careful to remove any small pieces he manages to chew off as well as not leaving him alone with a hide bone chew. And to be honest, even when you do everything by the book as we did with Advantix, absolutely everything you can give to a dog has both good and bad reports. He loves them, and to us it showed how well he'd recovered when he finally became interested in a chew again.

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

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Rudolph Days Challenge - September 2019

Time once again for ScrappyMo's Rudolph Days Challenge. I really thought I'd miss it this time round, with Dudley being unwell, but found some spare time over the weekend after all. And, I'm entering this into Craftyhazelnuts Christmas Challenge too - where it's anything goes .... so long as you don't 'bare yer bum in Fenwicks' shop winder! Explanation below this post :
I used:

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

- piece of the same brand of white card, which I embossed using Craft-Too's embossing folder called 'Snowflake Banner', then trimmed to one eighth of an inch smaller all round than the card base and glued it to the card front

- stamped the bauble using Taylored Expressions' 'Iconic Wishes - Christmas' stamp and die set and Altenew 'Enchanted Gold' pigment ink pad (luscious, although I still think that Delicata has a slight edge!). Huge thanks to Mo for gifting me this stamp and die set last Summer - it's lovely!

- then die cut the bauble using the die which came with the set (in the UK, we call them baubles rather than ornaments in case you wonder if there's a difference!)

- glued the bauble die cut to the front panel of the card

- die cut a bow using Penny Black's bow from the fabulous 'Whirl Wreath' die set using a snippet of deep red satin mirri card and glued that on top of the bauble

- next, die cut holly leaves and berries using snippets of dark green plain and deep red satin mirri card - and, interestingly, my Poppystamps 'Stitched Holly Leaves and Berries' die was also a gift from sweet Mo!

- and called it done

Believe it or not I made six the same whilst Dudley was resting under my desk. Mostly as I needed to just do something a bit mindless for a couple of hours to relax, if that makes sense. He was quite poorly and it wasn't a happy time for us. Seeing your beloved pooch lying with a hot and dry nose just listless and almost where he's well out of the way is heartbreaking. The little monkey is making up for it now - racing round the house doing 'zoomies' and generally in 'Dudley Plus' mode!

BTW. I got the idea for using the Penny Black bow die cut with the bauble from Laurie's blog - thanks honey!

And now for a proper Dudley update. I certainly think we have our little bundle of mischief back on form! He's eating really well and is even tackling 'Naturo dinners for dogs' with chicken, rice and vegetables. And, his 'output' is nice and solid once again - betcha didn't need to know that really but the nurses at the vet's told us that it would be the last thing to return to normal. So, with fingers and toes crossed, we're living in huge hopes here.

Explanation of the 'bare bum in Fenwick's window'. My roots are North East of England, despite being a nomad all over the World for many years whilst Dad was in the UK Forces. I was born in Newcastle General Hospital eons ago (they're still in recovery, like me). We returned to the North East when my Dad had his final posting, just before I left school in Germany aged 18 - ha, they thought I wouldn't find them 'cos they moved during term time ...... but I did. And I lived, worked and married there until things in life changed so much that I sort of ran away to London and the South of England for a new job - and to escape a lot of hurt and sadness.

A Geordie's humour is raw and can be right to the basics, it took me some time to get used to it I admit - but they're mostly the most wonderful people I know. So, if there was an issue, people who spoke 'broad Geordie' which my Dad would most certainly have not tolerated, but I heard elsewhere and stored in my memory bank, would exclaim, to express disbelief, shock or horror some of the following 'Wey pet, ahl gan to the foot of ower stairs' (goodness knows what that meant! Why would one go to the lowest tread of the stairs and gawp upwards except to ask for help from above I guess?). And another one was 'Ahl bare me bum in Fenwick's shop winder' aka window - so it's pronounced like 'wind - err'. Basically - 'Good grief, I am so surprised I will drop my pants and show my naked rear end to everyone who has the misfortune to be passing the largest department store in Newcastle, based on Northumberland Street which is the poshest shopping area of its time'.

Fenwicks, which has branches throughout the UK, is in fact a Newcastle company family, despite the London and York connection, as well as elsewhere. 'Yer canna keep a Geordie doon pet, when ahl's sayed an' dun'. I'm evil really and, although not really brought up in the North East, I do love to tease my Len now and then with the local vernacular I picked up and saved in the memory banks when living and working up there - such as 'Hey ye ower there, hoy yer 'ammer ower 'ere - and divvent gi' me any sh*te either'. Which loosely translated means 'I say, my good fellow over there. May I borrow your hammer - if so, do please pass it across to me - and don't waste time arguing about it'.

Can you tell I'm a happy and very relieved bunnykins here?! Snigger.