Sunday, 26 June 2022

Rudolph Days Challenge - June 2022

I've been playing with some NBUS goodies once again, in an attempt to start using and stop buying stuff! That's the problem with the Snippets Playground, new things are always popping up!

I'd like to enter Scrappy Mo's Rudolph Days Challenge for June (it runs to the end of the month). Other challenges I plan to enter are listed, with links, at the end of this post:

I used:

- 8.25" x 4.0" white DL card blank, tent style (bit more about this below)

- the white panel was die cut using a die by Creative Craft Products from their Slimline and DL Nestabilities range, called 'DL Stitched Straight Edge' die set - I used the second largest die in the set

- glued the die cut panel onto a onto a backing of very slightly larger Tonic 'Inca Gold' mirror card - then the whole panel was glued onto the card front and set aside. I wanted to keep the gold border as thin as possible to live in harmony with the gold 'skeleton' leaves

- then used snippets of forest green plain card, 'Firestone Red' mirror card and 'Inca Gold' mirror card to die cut the holly leaves, berries and the 'skeleton' pieces to pop on top - using a NBUS set of Sizzix dies by Tim Holtz called 'Seasonal Sketch'

- used snippets white card and more snippets of the 'Inca Gold' mirror card to die cut the sentiment - two white layer topped with a gold one. The sentiment die set is certainly one that I spotted one or more of you lovely 'enablers' (Greta, Lynne?) using a while back and I rushed straight off to go onto a wait list until it came back into stock. It's by Poppystamps, is called 'Merry Christmas Poe Script' and I LOVE it!

- then I assembled all the elements and the sentiment using a very fine glue pen

- added all the elements to the card, using the same fine glue pen plus some thicker adhesive for the solid parts of the holly and the berry clusters

Being a glutton for punishment, I made three at the same time. Yup, the Christmas 2022 stock is building up really nicely!  

I'm very happy with these cards - the set of dies also comes with a poinsettia - which is lovely as well but somehow the holly stole the show for me! I have a plan for the poinsettia die - which might be best done sooner rather than later, whilst a few things are still left on my desk from the previous session.

One really neat trick I picked up from watching videos recently is an easy way to find and mark the centre of your work - for example I needed to find the centre of the width (from one side to the other) of the stitched panel to add the sentiment. So, I used a narrow strip of scrap card, cut it to the width of the panel and then folded it in half matching the two ends and make a nice crease line at the fold. Then just place it across the panel width and the crease line is your centre point. Mark a point using a soft pencil (easier to erase later on) and  then use your T-square to draw a fine line down the exact centre of your work. So simple and so much easier than struggling with tiny fractions of measurements on a ruler! I have a feeling that I've seen both Jennifer McGuire and Ann  Melvin showing this trick and it's so simple yet infallible! 

Now, along the way I also discovered that there are Craft UK DL cards and envelopes and there are large 'slimline cards' (possibly USA?) - and they differ in size. I won't go into all the detail but the large slimline cards are taller and yet narrower than the shop bought Craft UK DL cards that I've been used to. Just a little word of warning to be careful when buying large slimline dies and make sure you check the measurements. I now have a set of the taller slimmer dies here (mine are made for the USA market), for which I'll have to make not only the card bases but also the envelopes to match. No matter, I'll do it but mentioned it as it might save someone from making the same mistake as I did.

I'd also like to enter the following challenges:

Darnell's NBUS #39. The Poppystamps sentiment die set and the Sizzix 'Seasonal Sketch' dies were both having their first outing.

Peace on Earth Christmas Challenge #18. Anything goes.

Four lovely ladies will be receiving my 'ephemera' such as flowers and fancy embellishments, just as soon as I manage to sort through the boxes and then package stuff to send. The offer is now closed.

Pupdate - I thought there wouldn't be anything much to write about Dudley - in this recent heat he's spent a lot of time finding places to stay cool. However, the other evening it was time for his bedtime treat and I was sitting here at my desk when Len passed the 'much treasured by Dudley little bone shaped treat' over to me so I could give it to Dudley (we try to take turns!). And then we began to talk about something totally unconnected with Dudley and his 'treat' whilst I sat sort of waving the bone treat absentmindedly whilst illustrating a point to Len. And Dudley was beside me, obviously becoming irate as, all of a sudden, up he stood on his hind legs and firmly slapped his paw flat just like the palm of a hand onto the arm of my desk chair as if to say 'Excuse me Missus - I'm down here, still waiting for my treat'!! Len and I just looked at one another and said 'Did he really just DO that?'. Whereupon the little scamp stood up on his hind legs and did exactly the same thing again!! Nothing like a resounding slap of the paw to gain attention - and of course his treat! He does know to give his paw to say 'please' when he's asked - but this was more like a demand. ☺

And last but certainly not least - Sarn has posted the latest Snippets Playground challenge HERE. She's made a duo of lovely snippets cards and has a great prize on offer. And no doubt she will be dispensing some lethal concoction in the tree house!

Monday, 20 June 2022

Oopsie - the Christmas Tree fainted!

One of my favourite photos that was doing the rounds ages ago is a decorated Christmas tree lying on its side, with a very guilty dog sat beside it. The caption was - 'Thank goodness you're home - the Christmas tree fainted'. It still tickles my odd sense of humour!

Over the weekend I used the fourth and final puppy image from the MFT 'Happy Pawlidays' set of stamps to make this Christmas card:

I used: 

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

- image from MFT's 'Happy Pawlidays' stamp set, stamped using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and coloured with Pro markers

- die cut a sheet of paper from Whimsy's 'Blurry Flurries' paper pack using a die from the Lil' Inkers 'Stiched Rectangles' set of dies

- then die cut an almost complete circle from the upper left hand side for the image - using a die from a The Works set called 'Stitched Circles'. Would have preferred a circle die which cut the stitching around the edge of the patterned paper and not just the drop out piece but hey-ho, too late!

- glued the patterned paper layer onto a snippet of baby blue pearlescent card which I'd trimmed to be a bit bigger than the patterned layer

- then glued the tree and ornaments in place - adding the 'innocent' puppy using thin sticky pads

- then, die cut the MFT 'Pawlidays' sentiment using a die from a set of stamps and matching dies by Poppystamps called 'Gilded Christmas Wishes' - and popped it in place using thin sticky pads

- added some clear Wink of Stella to the baubles and tops of the red bulbs as well as some gold Wink of Stella to the star on the 'fainted' tree

- finally, added clear glossy accents to the light bulbs - which needless to say hasn't been picked up by the camera, nor has the Wink of Stella shimmer, sigh

BTW, I never risk adding Glossy Accents directly from the bottle to cards, the result of bitter experience. I always squeeze a blob onto a scrap of paper and pick it up from there in smaller blobs to use, with a fine pointed paintbrush kept just for Glossy Accents, The bristles have solidified over the years yet it's so easy to use. 

Have really loved playing with the MFT Happy Pawlidays set of stamps and dies. It's rare that I find myself using almost every single item in a big set of stamps. I only missed using some of the sentiment stamps. A good reason to have another play sometime! 


Sunday, 19 June 2022

The fence peeker!

Dudley is totally the most nosy dog I've ever come across - just the rustle of a piece of wrapping paper - even if it's not the rustle of a packet of cheese - and he's there beside you, watching. It's the same with all deliveries and, apart from food, it's a ritual that he has to be shown everything as it's unpacked. The same when I make a card - he has to look very seriously at the end product and gently bow his nose to it, before it can be put to one side.

Earlier in the week, he was mooching around the back garden and homed in on his favourite place to have a 'nosy' into next door's garden - through their fence. There's a small gap where the fence panel meets the horizontal gravel board (their house and garden is built lower than ours) and Dudley likes to spy on next door's garden, family, children etc.

So there he was, bent down with his rear end and plume of a tail in the air to have a good 'gander' when all of a sudden he literally shot up into the air, hastily backed off and then began barking at the fence.

Len was in the garden and had seen the whole performance, so he went over to quieten Dudley down. Then, he too, bent down to look through the horizontal small 'gap'. And there, staring right back at him, was a pair of very angry looking eyes ........ belonging to 'Teddy De Shih Tzu' who lives next door! You don't mess with Teddy, so whether he'd tried a little snap at Dudley's nose we don't know - but it was quite comical! That'll teach Dudley to be a 'fence peeker'!

Then, the other day, I was thinking about the incident and remembered I made this card as a result of Len and I spotting a different neighbours' cat, spying on us through a knot hole in the fence - well away from Dudley's 'sneaky peek' position:

This was made way back in January 2012 (HERE on my blog if you really want to know more). At the time, using lots of flowers, pearls and lace was 'the thing' that many aspired to when making their cards. 

Life is much simpler now as new ideas, tool and techniques have entered the card making arena! But, at the time a good few of us thought they were very pretty. And I didn't have a clue about image manipulation - what I took on the camera was what I published!

I prefer how we are now, but suddenly remembered that I have a load of really lovely flowers stored in here. Wild Orchid crafts was a favourite place to shop! Plus lots of flat silk ones, leaves, lace, ribbons and bows - plus more for sure.

IF anyone reading this, sorry UK only though, would like me to fill and post a parcel box of flowers etc. to them - please feel free to email me, using my own email address on the right hand side bar. I would love to send you some totally free Happy Mail.

The Really Useful boxes currently housing all those embellishments are never touched these days and would be better put to use storing other stuff. If there are no takers within a couple of weeks or so then I'll try some online sites that I know of - otherwise they will be heading for the bin, which would be a shame.

Remember, the results of Challenge #429 can be found HERE. And there's still a week to play on the current Snippets Playground challenge!

Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Christmas Kickstart Challenge #63 - 'Pawfectly Pawsome' - reminder

Jumping in with a reminder that we're halfway through the current Christmas Kickstart Challenge HERE - where I'm delighted to be Jo's Guest Designer. It's one of my favourite challenges and always a pleasure to join in with the fun. ☺ The current theme is one for everyone - 'Perfectly Pawsome' - which can also include not only cats and dogs but also hamsters (hello Darnell!), mice (think Penny Black folks!) and any other creature with paws.

So, I made another card, admittedly using the same base stamp and die set (different image of course!), as I did for my GD card:

I used: 

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

- images from MFT's 'Happy Pawlidays' stamp set, stamped using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink

- did a lot of stamping using the same set all at once and had already die cut all the images using the matching dies and then coloured them all in at one sitting, using Pro markers

- then die cut the sentiment circle from Tonic Mirror card called 'Fire Stone Red' and set it aside before also cutting the same sentiment circle from a snippet of plain white card. The die I used is having its first outing and is made by MFT - called 'Merry Christmas Circle Frame' - I also set the white sentiment aside as I had a leetle plan in mind

- then, trimmed a piece of 'grey stars' paper from the 'Dovecraft 'Back to Basics - Monochrome' paper pack - doing my best to make sure that the stars were even along all the edges

- trimmed a piece of  Tonic 'Fire Stone Red' Mirror card to form a narrow border around the 'grey stars' paper'

- glued mirror card and grey stars paper onto the card front

- then positioned the inner circle from the sentiment I'd cut from white card into the centre of the stars paper panel on the card front, using Collall glue

- added the 'Fire Stone Red' sentiment circle around the white circle - using a glue pen

- then just glued the image in place onto the white circle, rather than using sticky pads, using a glue pen 

Again, no sparkle was added. I do so love the Tonic mirror card - they do quite a few different shades of red, so it's much easier to match up if you use red when colouring an image. My dream would be to win free run of their warehouse! With a huge lorry waiting to bring all the lovely goodies home of course!

Many thanks once again to Jo for inviting me to be a Guest Designer over at the Christmas Kickstart Challenge and I'd really love it if you would come along and join in with the challenge - this is the LINK. It's still open until the end of the month so you have plenty of time.

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Allsorts Challenge #680

The current challenge over at Allsorts is 'Any stamped image' - right up my street! 

After making my DT cards for Jo's Christmas Kickstart challenge, which is HERE - I had some doggie images left over to play with - so I made this card for Allsorts:

I used: 

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

- image from MFT's 'Happy Pawlidays' stamp set, stamped using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink, die cut using the matching die then coloured using Pro markers

- die cut the sentiment circle from a snippet of white card and a further one (for the centre circle) from Tonic Mirror card called 'Fire Stone Red'. The sentiment die is by MFT called 'Merry Christmas Circle Frame'

- trimmed a piece of the 'Fire Stone Red' Mirror card to act as the first layer on the card front and glued it in place

- found a snippet of Neenah 'Desert Storm' card and embossed it using a Darice 'Paw Print Background' folder

- trimmed the embossed piece so that a fairly narrow border of red would show and then glued it onto the front of the card

- positioned the white sentiment circle to the bottom right of the card then added the red mirror card circle - using a glue pen

- then stuck the sweet little image in place using thin sticky pads

- added a couple of pale blue baubles to hide a smudge of red Pro marker add a bit of contrast

- added the sentiment which I'd stamped using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' onto a snippet of white card. None of my banner dies fitted properly so I used a longer die from the MFT 'Stitched Fishtail Flag STAX' set of dies. Tip: Just die cut the strip to the whole length making sure you have the V-shaped end of the die where you want it to be. Replace the die, settling it into 'notches of die cut stitches' at the length you want and run it back through your machine to die cut off the excess, leaving you with a nicely finished stitched straight end

- I added a tickle of clear Wink of Stella to the hat trim. pom pom and the pale blue baubles - just because I felt like it!

One really useful tip I picked up from Jennifer McGuire is that she always uses a T-square when adding items to cards,to make sure they're level. Sentiments and uneven levels are my downfall and since the logic of this this finally clicked into my brain - my T-square is now always out on my desk ready for action. It's been a bit of a game changer for me!

I'd also like to enter this card into Darnell's current NBUS #39 challenge for June - HERE. The MFT 'Merry Christmas Circle' die has been waiting to come out and play for ages - along with the paw prints embossing folder!

However, my basket of NBUS goodies never seems to decrease in size - bad me!

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Sunday, 12 June 2022

My snippets card for Challenge #430

A new challenge (#430) is now open over at The Snippets Playground HERE. To make my own snippets card I raided a favourite paper pad, tipped out the snippets from the envelope 'pouch' stuck inside the back - and this the card I ended up with:

And here's the pile of snippets I tipped out, a few of which I used - the rest were saved for another time:

I used:

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

- a piece of white card, die cut using Ann Melvin's 'Positively Paper Craft' 'Multi Panel' die set - which I love (her prices are so, so reasonable)

- then glued the 'frame' to the card front as well as the inner white parts which I'd cut all in one pass on the Gemini. Must admit, I fell back onto the original Gemini plates and used the magnetic mat for ease when positioning all the smaller insert dies into the main die

- fiddled around with the snippets of patterned papers (from Lawn Fawn's 'Really Rainbow' paper pack) until I thought the colours and patterns worked together OK

- then used my cute little Altenew die cutting machine to die cut all the coloured paper insert shapes before gluing them in place, using a glue pen

- next step was a sentiment and I used a literally 'hot from the mail' die set by Whimsy Stamps called 'Birthday Word and Shadow Die' which I'd spotted over at Sarah's snippets entry just a couple of days earlier!

- die cut the background for the sentiment Birthday word using a snippet of white card

- die cut the sentiment word using a snippet of black card then glued it on top of the background

- stamped 'Happy' onto another snippet of white card, using a stamp from Uniko's 'Simply Said' set of sentiment stamps and Versafine's Clair 'Nocturne' ink pad

- trimmed the word 'Happy' to size and backed it with a further layer of card just to lift it slightly 

 - glued both the stamped and the die cut elements onto the card front to form a two-word sentiment - yay, finally taking the time to use my set square for levelling

- finished!

I already said how much I love the 'Multi Panel' die I used here - brilliant for using up snippets and every bit as good as any other similar die set on the market, at a price that made me smile!

The Birthday sentiment die is brilliant and it comes with a 'stitched' background die as an alternative to the plain one, or you can use the Birthday word without any background - versatile! I stuck to the plain background as the card was already quite busy - and there was no other stitching on the card to tie it all together. I know it's naughty of me but I truly do recommend that you think about adding the sentiment set of three dies to your craft goodies. Mine was from 'Dies to Die For', bought whilst their Jubilee discount promotion was running.

I'd like to enter this card into Darnell's NBUS Challenge #39 HERE

So that's my snippets card and all that's left is 'Dudley's Pupdate'. He is a little terror for sitting looking very appealing when there's food around - no matter what you might be eating.

I had a sliced up Jazz apple the other afternoon. Of course, Dudley wanted a taste and he actually liked the little bit he had. A while later I was sitting at my desk, speaking to Len, with Dudley's paws up on the chair beside me - 'little nosy parker' always has to be involved. All of a sudden there was one almighty 'burp' - practically in my face. Dudley looked astonished, Len thought it was me (which amazed me as I never burp) - and I reeled back in shock! Would put some humans to shame for sure and he didn't even excuse himself. ☺  Doggy manners training for him!

Love from Di and Dudley!

Tuesday, 7 June 2022

Christmas Kickstart Challenge #63 - 'Pawfectly Pawsome'

I'm back as Dotty Jo's guest designer for the month of June - over at the Christmas Kickstart Challenge - HERE! Delighted to be asked again - and also having more time to play, as I keep saying.

I LOVE this 'paws' theme - and had no trouble deciding what stamp set to use for my card - and everything (for once) just seemed to flow perfectly:

I used: 

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

- images from MFT's 'Happy Pawlidays' stamp set, stamped using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink

- I did a lot of stamping using the same set all at once so I die cut all the images using the matching dies and then coloured them all in together, using Pro markers

- then die cut the snowy bank (wider than I needed for the end result) using a die from the Lawn Fawn 'Stitched Hillside Borders' set of dies

- die cut the 'frame' from a snippet of white card using a die from the Avery Elle 'Postage Stamp' set of dies

- then, trimmed a piece of paper from the 'Blurry Flurries' paper pad and glued the 'snowy hill' onto the bottom and them trimmed the overlapping sides of the hillside to fit

- then glued the panel onto the card front - bit of measuring when doing the initial cutting but easier than attaching the frame to the paper then adding it. And that little tip has taken me umpteen years to fathom out - although I do admit the frame I used has enough width to accommodate errors!

- so, the little scene was all set and I just needed to add the image pieces - glue the parcels in place then add the pooch using thin sticky pad pieces

- whilst doing all the initial stamping I'd also stamped some sentiments from the same MFT 'Happy Pawlidays' set so I then die cut one using a die from the Frantic Stamper 'Stitched Fishtail Banners' set of dies

- added the die cut sentiment to the top left hand side of the card - finished

I kept it sparkle free rather than 'over egg the pudding'. Just spotted the funny stripe behind the doggies ear - it's a little shadow as the pooch was adhered using sticky pads!

Many thanks to Jo for inviting me to be a Guest Designer over at the Christmas Kickstart Challenge and I'd really love it if you would come along and join in with the challenge - this is the LINK. It's open until the end of the month so you have plenty of time.

I'd also like to enter this card into Darnell's current NBUS #39 challenge for June - HERE. The MFT stamps and dies have been waiting to come out and play for ages!

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Sunday, 5 June 2022

Platinum Jubilee Weekend - 2022

What a joyful weekend this is to celebrate 70 years of our Queen's reign. Our house front is all decorated and we're doing our bit to show our loyalty and thanks, to the Queen. 

My card today was made to celebrate this a wonderful occasion, and to honour our Queen. I believe that our lives have been blessed by her steady hand steering our United Kingdom for such a long time - often through choppy waters:

I used:

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

- then I found a 'freebie' crown online, resized and printed it onto white card and set aside for now

- dived into the snippets folder and I found dark blue and red snippets to trim and create the frame so that I could then trim the white image background down to size

- glued all the layers together - after using a black micro pen to draw a curve for the 'bunting' - I used the edge of an oval die as a template

- the bunting was made using one strip of paper chains craft stuff  punched using a SU very old triangles/pennants punch - I needed to use a few pieces of Post It to wiggle the small pieces into the punch (a hint I remember picking up from Sarn many years ago)

- then it was time to fly! So I glued the pennants/bunting in place

- die cut 3 x numbers '70' in silver using a Tattered Lace 'Mini Numbers' die and silver mirri card, before gluing them onto the bunting

-  used a set of dies by First Edition called 'Alphabet Sans Serif' and die cut the E11R from silver mirri card and stuck them in place

- then used the same numbers die as I had for the '70's' and die cut it several times for the years of the Queen's reign - using the dark blue card as used for the frame

- glued those into place and then it was done! It's so hard to centralise when a string of letters or numbers are different widths - but I did my 'bestest'

The Red Arrows aerobatics team almost took our roof off on Thursday on their way to fly over Buckingham Palace! We didn't see them sadly - and they were gone in a flash anyhow. However, TV coverage of the whole weekend has been quite overwhelming and, whilst the atmosphere of actually being in London right now will be incredible - you do see more on the TV!

And here is Dudley Dog - showing off his Union Jack Bandana - looking up at Len standing behind me. He (Dudley) has been proudly wearing it for his walkies over the celebrations.

He's not really a dog for posing and this certainly isn't his best angle - he was sitting nicely but it makes him look like a round dumpling with teensy legs. Yes, he does have a sweet little wonky lower front tooth which doesn't normally show. We think it's endearing and makes him look somewhat vulnerable - but then, we're also rather biased:

The love in those eyes - Dudley wears his heart and soul (and often his hopeful tummy) in his eyes! 
Love from Dudley and Di xxx

Monday, 30 May 2022

Rudolph Days Challenge - May 2022

Gosh I'm running a bit close to the wire here with my Rudolph Days entry. It's mainly as I got myself bogged down by starting off a batch of totally different Christmas cards before realising that there was more to them than I thought!

So, I switched horses mid-gallop and made a Penny Black 'Masterpieces Made Simple' card as I had a few ready cut frames handy:

I used:

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

- snippet of the same card to cut the 'frame' using a die by MFT called 'Stitched Rectangle Scallop Edge Frame' 

- image from the Penny Black 'Masterpieces Made Simple set called 'snowfall serenity'

- stamped the sentiment onto the image using a Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink pad and a Kirsty Wiseman 'Many Greetings stamp 

- then backed the image with fun foam and set aside

- backed the outline scalloped frame with Tonic 'Majestic Gold' pearlescent card then glued onto the card front

- finally, glued the image into the frame - finished!

I'd like to enter this card into ScrappyMo's Rudolph Days Challenge for May.

And, also into the current Allsorts Challenge #678, where the theme is 'Anything but Birthdays'. 


Sunday, 29 May 2022

Getting ready for the Platinum Jubilee

..............and of course had to kick off Sarn's new Snippets Challenge HERE with a card:

I used:

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

- all patterned papers from an ancient Forever Friends 'Best of British' paper pack - either from the 2020 London Olympics or perhaps the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, which makes it 10 or 12 years old

- die cut the papers, plus a snippet of plain white, using a great new die from Ann Melvins small but so reasonably priced online shop. It's called 'Pin Wheel' - and here's a link to Ann's shop. Stuff sells out quickly but seems to be restocked pretty fast

- then just glued the main dark blue background piece onto the card front and filled in the spaces using the curved pin wheel pieces (love that the insert pieces have stitched edges)0

- stamped 'let's celebrate' using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a stamp from Lil' Inker's 'Just Sayin' stamp set

- then I added a little Yeoman of the Guard (aka Beefeater) teddy bear 'topper' - which also came in the paper pad - after stamping the word 'hello' using the same set of stamps and ink pad. I should have added a '70' to the rosette but my dies are bigger and would look silly

This was my second go at making the card - basically I hand wrote greetings on the first one and it looked a mess!

As it was a first outing for the pin wheel die, I'd like to enter this into Darnell's NBUS Challenge #38.

So, we're ready and waiting in the Playground - the bunting is now strung around the Playground, Union Jack paper chains adorn the inside of the Playhouse (making those took me back to my childhood), hand held flags for waving are all lined up, the food preparations are organised to within an inch of their lives - and Sarn will be waving bottles around as she makes up various lethal concoctions cocktails for you all to try out! There's also an extra little surprise for you - go and see!

Dudley is beside himself with excitement as he's going to be Sarn's 'barman assistant' (not sure if she knows yet) and he has a sweet little Union Jack bandana to wear as well. He's been practicing his 'tray above the head carrying' skills.  Must take a photo of him which will be posted during the celebrations - if he can still stand up! Apparently, so he tells me, waiters get to lick up the slops as well as eat any food they can scrounge!!

And, although drinking vessels will be provided by Sarn - I'm going to take my own. It has survived many, many house moves around the World (Army child) and is still without a single chip or crack:

Although our Queen has been our Monarch for 70 years, her actual Coronation wasn't until June 1953. We Brits do know how to put on a big show of pomp and pageantry but of course it took many months of planning and preparation. Not to mention the installation of a good few 'new-fangled' black and white televisions in private homes. Of course, I was fast asleep in my pram and missed it all, snigger! History lesson over for today ☺

See you in the Snippets Playground!


Thursday, 26 May 2022

Allsorts 13th Birthday Challenge # 677

Huge congratulations to Brenda and her lovely Design Team - 13 years of the Allsorts Challenge - phew! One of my favourite challenges and a great place to find stimulation and ideas.

The theme this week is 'Anything for a Birthday' and I sat working until quite late yesterday evening, determined to join in the fun. This is what I made, two cards very similar to one another - just reversed the colour of the big die cut word:

The gorgeous shine on the die cut word

I used:

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

- two Concord and 9th 'Everyday Tintables' card fronts, coloured using soft blending brushes with Distress Oxides in 'Peacock Feathers' and the gorgeous 'Saltwater Taffy'

- at the same time I coloured a couple of white card snippets all over using each of the same Distress Oxide colours ........ I had a leetle  plan in mind!

- both of the 'tintables' panels were trimmed down and mounted onto backing 'frames' of black card and glued onto the card fronts

- next, thanks to an idea from Ann Melvin, I laminated both pieces of the plain Distress Oxide colored card - on the front only. So easy to do when you know how - just back the whole area where the card pieces are place in a laminating folder with copy paper or similar. The backs of the coloured pieces of card are then left unlaminated when you cut the laminating pouch open to reveal the contents - simples and also really easy to glue onto your work! Hint from Ann - don't laminate the back and front - your die cutting machine won't cut cleanly through the back layer

- then I die cut the laminated word 'friend' for each card using a die by Winnie and Walter called 'In A Word: Friend Cutaway'- and it comes out looking just as if you'd coated it in Glossy Accents, wahoo!! ☺

- stamped the 'BIRTHDAY HUGS' words onto a snippet of white card using a Versafine Clair 'Nocturne' ink pad and just hand trimmed them - the stamps are by MFT from their 'Label Maker Sentiments' set 

- layered the die cut word 'friend' onto two more white die cuts to add dimension

- then just glued the main and smaller sentiment words in place using a glue pen

- finally, added three 'Bubbles' embellishments to each card - and called them done

The Ann Melvin demo in the link above uses strips of washi tape and I've also seen another version where she laminated plain coloured card. The Glossy Accents effect really is gorgeous in real life. Not seen her laminating Distress Oxide coloured card as I did - but to be honest, any flat paper or card would work fine as far as I can see. And if you want to economise, then place your card pieces to be laminated face down on either side of the pouch with two sheets of paper in between! I promise it will make more sense if you spend five minutes watching Ann's video.

One thing I tried that didn't work was to laminate the MFT words and then fussy cut them. I think it's the action of the scissors on small pieces but they were just going to peel apart from the lamination covering - luckily I'd had my doubts and had also stamped extras! The little dots above the letter 'i' in the laminated word friend came out from the die cutting process perfectly though.

One way round it might have been to run the MFT scissor cut words back through the laminating machine, between a folded piece of copy paper. Another one to try at some point!

I confess that I then moved on to laminate some pretty napkins - using matt folders. Watch this space!

I also love those 'tintables' card fronts and had forgotten I still had them, minus one used ages ago. They are already covered with 'resist' patterns or words, all ready for some blending work. Mind you, I deffo. need to work on my blending skills.

When doing the blending I tried out a new gadget - a Waffle Flower 'Mini Stencil Mat'. Basically it's a soft floppy silicone sheet with a lip around one side and the top - which you keep your work butted up against. It does away with tape and of course, much like the Misti and other stamping platforms, your work goes back into exactly the same spot if you take it away to have a look. Really easy to clean as well. I just bought the Mini Version (about A4 size) but there is also a larger one available. I got mine from HERE.

I'd also like to enter these cards into Darnell's NBUS Challenge #38 HERE. Several new things, both of the Distress Oxides were having a first outing and also the Waffle Flower stencil mat.

Sunday, 22 May 2022

A thank you card

I wanted to send a card to a friend and, when I won a prize over in one of her challenges recently, it was perfect timing! It's to say 'Thanks' both for the prize and also for her generosity with prizes for the Snippets Playground toy box.

As often happens - I hit problems along the way - but I do include how I 'fixed' them below:

I wonder if this is familiar? For a long time the recipient, Brenda of 'Floral Fantasies' had dancing poppies as her blog header - and this card was made, using my prize from Allsorts, with that happy image in mind.

I used:

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

- snippet of the same card to cut the 'frame' using a die from a NBUS set of dies by MFT called 'Stitched Rectangle Scallop Edge Frame' and set it to one side for later

- then, the fun began. My lovely prize from Allsorts was an IndigoBlu stamp called 'Wild Flowers' - which I adore. I stamped it using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink onto a carefully selected and very lovely gently coloured rainbow piece of paper from a paper pad by Honey Bee called 'Team Tie Dye'. Sigh, and then I got a smudge of ink just a bit above the image, even using the Misti. Totally my own fault!

- having got that far I plodded on and dug out another co-ordinating piece of paper from the same paper pack, which luckily uses the same shade of yellow, to use for the upper part of the card

- fussy cut around the top of my stamped image then glued it below the upper background piece

- used a red Pro marker to colour in the poppies

- stamped the sentiment using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' and a stamp from the Sweet Dixie set called  'Big Sentiments' 

- cut the image panel to the size I wanted and then glued the image onto the back of the 'frame'

- then just glued the image, already glued within the frame, onto the card front onto the card front (don't that sound easy?!) 

- final touch - some of Lucy's Little Things 'Raindrop' gems 

I'd been hunting for some stitched rectangle frames with the smaller scallops for ages! Talk about doing a full scale search of the internet.

I'd like to enter this card into Darnell's NBUS Challenge #38 for May. A first outing for the frame dies.

Also, at 'We Love Stamping' Challenge for May (For a lady or girl).

And, also over at 'Stamping Sensations' Challenge for May (AG with the option of floral and fauna)

Phew, three challenges once again. The Playground always comes first but it's so good to have the time to play more - thanks to Sarn! 

And, speaking of Sarn - remember to hop over to the Playground to see her post for today, with the picks and also the result of the prize draw - HERE.

Dudley has been pretty well behaved this week. He's very interested in anything that needs to be unpacked or opened. It's a bit like having a doggy quality control inspector in the house!

As always, his beloved Honka Duck is never very far away from him:

I was bending down in front of him to take this photo. Dudley was in a world of his own, spreadeagled on the floor with Honka in his mouth. His eyes were half open but even when I asked nicely, he wasn't gonna look up and say 'Hello'. Sorry 'bout that! 

Ha - just wait until he has to pose nicely wearing his Jubilee bandana in a couple of weeks time. I know, ain't gonna happen knowing Dudley Dog!

Other plans are under way and Sarn has already come up with a suggestion for a special cocktail for the occasion - hic!

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Christmas Kickstart #62 - Mini-Slimline

The current challenge for May 2022 over at Christmas Kickstart, HERE, is 'Mini-Slimline'.  Really great theme and I literally just had the very thing to hand ........ raring to go! And, I was homed in on sparkle - right on cue for the current Allsorts Challenge - yay!

A good while ago, I think before Al was so unwell, I won a very 'tricky-woo' looking die over on Rudolph Days Challenge. My Cuttlebug was playing up like it had lumbago and, with everything else that Mo was coping with, I sort of wrote the prize off. However, last week, right out of the blue it arrived here! Thanks again Mo! A lovely surprise!

I set to and quickly made this card for my entry:

I used:

- mini slimline white card blank - sized 6.00" x 3.25"

- snippet of silver pearlescent silver card (looks more grey in the photo), backed with 'die cutting double sided adhesive paper' then die cut using the Gemini. Used the new die from Mo, by Nellie Snellon, called 'Forest with deer and squirrel', and then put to one side

- knowing the full size of the die cut, I could then trim down another snippet of card - this time black with tiny little pieces of silver sparkle embedded all over - to just a little bit bigger than the landscape die cut - it was a close call as well, even with extra full sheets of the stuff here!

- peeled off the sticky backing then adhered the die cut to the black semi-sparkly background and put it to one side for now. It's always best to either run the whole assembled panel through your die cutting machine (slight risk of distortion there to be honest) - OR, do as I did and flip it face down onto your glass mat then give it a really good rub with the Stamping Pressure gadgets that so many of us are loving right now. Bingo - adhesive backing stuck perfectly!

- then stamped the sentiment in the bottom right corner of the card, using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a stamp from the Woodware 'Tall Tree Gnome' set - happened to be available waiting to be stored away and also the size etc., so itt seemed right

- then glued the image panel onto the card front

- finished off with some different sized clear diamante gems to either side of the sentiment, for extra sparkle!

I really adore this new die, how cool would it look with poinsettias or snowflakes at one of the corners huh? It does take patience to cut, then place the die onto the background. I learned some things I probably would do differently along the way. eg. in future - place the die cut and then trim the outer frame to fit. But - really worth the effort and, SO many different colour combinations can be used as well! Len doesn't like black on Christmas cards so this got the thumbs down for colour but he did like the overall design and die cut.

I would like to enter this into Christmas Kickstart #62.

AND, of course into the current Allsorts Challenge # 676 'Add some sparkle'.

And, equally, into Darnell's NBUS #38 HERE.

And there's another one done for the Christmas card box. Fair to say, the die did intimidate me so I only planned on making a single card - but, would be very happy to make a batch now!

Of course, Mini-Slimline envelopes are as rare as hen's teeth here in the UK. All envelopes and suitable envelope dies are out of stock everywhere I've looked (and so expensive too!) - so here goes with my 'envelope maker scoring gizmo'! Always summick!

Sunday, 15 May 2022

Decoupage rescue!

The other day, whilst doing a bit of craft room sorting out, I came across some Dufex decoupage pieces - which I'd assembled eons ago and then carefully stored in clear cellophane bags. So my snippets card for this fortnight's Snippets Playground challenge (just started over HERE) was pretty easy to rustle up:

I used:

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

- the Dufex foiled 'honeysuckle' decoupage was assembled ages ago - probably bought as part of an A4 sheet at a craft fayre

- used a Penny Black set of dies called 'zig-zag stackers' to cut a panel from a snippet of white linen card, the same I used for as the main card body

- then stamped the sentiment directly onto the image panel. Used the Misti, Memento 'London Fog' ink and a Woodware 'Deco Sayings' sentiment stamp

- glued the die cut panel onto the card front 

- glued the Dufex topper onto the die cut panel

- added three iridescent gems from a shaker pack called 'Snowdrops' from Lucy's Little Things  range of crystal shaker card fillings - done!

It's hard to capture the beautiful foil of Dufex - every bit of the image is shimmery foil. I'm not totally sure whether they're still in business to be honest. A quick online search has thrown up a few smaller UK places still stocking Dufex decoupage and other images though.

It's been a busy week here for various reasons so apologies for the fact that my snippets card only used some leftover white linen card as my snippet to die cut the layer with the pretty zig-zag edge. But, it was a snippet I promise!

I'm still absolutely loving the Gemini Junior - with the still unbent pale green plates. All these years and I never even thought to have a dedicated space for die cutting stuff. So much easier!

Dudley is still up to his antics and the other day he went missing - again. Len had been in and out of the garage and the door into it from the utility room was propped open. When I peeped round the corner - there was Dudley, up on his hind legs in the garage, having a jolly good try at opening a drawer in a storage unit ...... where he knows his favourite treats are kept! When I wagged my finger at him (whilst trying not to laugh) he then pretended he'd been doing nothing - talk about looking guilty! I think he's likely to be checking out weight lifting courses to improve his upper body strength behind our backs!


Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Allsorts Challenge # 675

The current challenge over at Allsorts Challenge# 675 is 'Favourite stamps and/or dies'.

I have loads of stamps and dies that I really love, as am sure we all have. But, there's 'that special one'  - a wood mounted stamp that I return to more than most. It sits on a narrow set of shelves, with some other favourites, right above one side of my curved desk. Straight in my line of vision when I'm swiveled round to work at the laptop. I've had it for more years than I can recall - it's so old it doesn't even have a name and I'm almost sure it was pre-loved when it came to live here! I have loads of other, much more intricately designed, stamps - but this one just sings to me! And this is the, admittedly quick, paper pieced card I rustled up the other day for the current Allsorts Challenge, see link at top of this post:

I used:

- A6 white card blank, side opening

- snippet of plain white card, onto which I stamped the image, using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and an Anita's 'no name' stamp - probably collecting its pension by now! 

- stamped the same image onto a snippet of patterned paper, found in the back of Wild Rose Studio's 'Annabelle's Meadow' paper pack

- used another sheet from the same pack to die cut the patterned darker blue layer, using the Heffy Doodles A6 'Stitched Rectangle - Outside In' set of dies

- die cut the image panel, using a smaller die from the same Heffy Doodles set

- fussy cut the 'gift box' sections out of the image,which I'd stamped onto patterned paper, quick run around the edges with a black Whisper brush pen and then glued them in place, using a glue pen

- glued the patterned paper and then the image panel onto the card front

- finished!

Last week, I spent some time fairly very ruthlessly blitzing my huge stock of patterned paper pads and packs. However, one paper pack, a constant favourite, which escaped 'the cull' - is the one I used today. In fact - I even have a spare paper pack plus a pack of the lovely 'Annabelle's Meadow' co-ordinating toppers. And hooray - vindication for saving the papers at the very least, when I found them to make today's card! 

I'm always dubious about mixing patterned papers - it can work well, but it can also end up looking 'like a dog's dinner' if you don't have the knack of mixing various papers properly. Use them from the same pad/pack is my advice, if you want to have a chance of it working, as the colours will co-ordinate nicely - and the dyes will at least all change similarly in the camera's eye!

Ah, unless of course it's a dedicated snippets project, then the whole idea is to use up those scraps! ☺ Almost a 'home goal' there!

Sunday, 8 May 2022

Dudley update and a results post over on Snippets

We have the latest 'picks' and the draw winner results over HERE, in the Snippets Playground, as am sure you all know by now. Go and take a peek! 

Dudley is his usual crazy dog self. Len opened the door into our back garden very late the other evening, for what we hoped would be Dudley's bedtime 'call of nature' - and, whoosh, he was out like a rocket! Not one single woof - but he'd spotted a very sneaky local cat, who hides underneath the arbour waiting for prey at night. Ha, said cat certainly beat the World High Jump Record when leaping over the six foot high fence! Dudley Dog looked most bemused - he only wanted to play or make friends! 

But, speaking of friends - he can and sometimes will make his feelings abundantly clear if you upset his apple-cart in any way. I have written about him previously when he pushed his head into a corner of a sofa with his back firmly turned to Len and quite plainly sulked - whilst we two almost cried (silently) with laughter at his 'Diva performance', but last week deserves another mention. 

At bed time, guess who was already on his back - snoring - sprawled across right across our bed? Yup, Dudley of course - as usual. Len tried to gently move him and it was like a sleepy Tasmanian Devil sprang into life. I stood back with mouth open at one angry white ball of 'floof' before he charged off in a very vocal and grumpy strop. A little while later we peeped out of the bedroom door and there he was, lying spreadeagled on his front at the far end of the landing, Honka in his mouth, AND - very pointedly keeping his back turned to us in a real 'huff'. How can you not crack a smile or even laugh at that sight! He ignored Len totally when he tried to coax him, just 'blanked' him, and in the end we just left him to come out of his 'teenage rage' in his own time - and it worked fine, at least an hour later though, so that pup has stamina! Of course, then he came back with licks and wanted cuddles - what do you do? Don't even ask!

We finally swopped his very first Honka Duck for a new one, before it became a total health hazard. And, to coin a phrase, Dudley took to the new one 'just like a duck to water'! Snort.

Happy Days! 

Thursday, 5 May 2022

Summertime 'Gnomies'

A gnome isn't just for Christmas and a little rootle through my basket of NBUS goodies turned up a set of non-Christmas gnome stamps with matching dies .... with Summer gnomes on. 

I wanted to create a scene for the current Allsorts Challenge and a further 'rootle' made me check out the Whimsy 'Enchanted Forest' Slimline paper pack that had never been used (bought ages ago, tut, tut!). 

The gnome stamps are quite small, even if you use more than one on a wide card, then 'PING', a little light bulb suddenly flicked on. Who actually said that the background papers HAD to be used for slimline cards? With some inspired juggling about, I would be able to get a mix of two smallish oval/square backgrounds from each sheet - and that's exactly what I did. Some of the papers now have the other half safely tucked inside the packet(s) for future use, thereby stretching the pack contents, meaning more cards can be made. And this can be applied to other papers in Whimsy's Slimline range  - which I did for one card!

Here's what I  ended up making:

I used

- two 4" x 4" white card blanks, and two 5.5" x 4.25" white card blanks - all are side opening

- stamped, then coloured, all four gnomes (using Polychromos pencils) from the 'Your Next Stamp' 'Happy Gnomies' set

- at the same time I also stamped a selection of sentiments using three different sentiments from the 'Happy Gnomies' set and a single sentiment from MFT's 'Itty Bitty Celebrations' set of stamps ('Doing a Happy Dance' - so cute) - using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink

- die cut all of the gnome images using the matching dies - and my Altenew mini die cutting machine. Even though I'm once again fully kitted out and love all of my die cutting capabilities - that sweet little Altenew machine is so handy!

- then die cut the sentiment strips using two of MFT's 'Itty Bitty Strips' dies as well as the 'gnome with balloons' sentiment - using a Frantic Stamper 'Stitched Fishtail Banners' die

- to assemble the cards, I die cut one design of oval background from the 'Enchanted Forest' paper pack, plus one from an (again unused) Whimsy 'Glorious Sky' Slimline Paper Pack - using a die from Presscut's 'Oval Stitch Hole' set

- then cut two different designs of square backgrounds from the 'Enchanted Forest' paper pack - using a die from Lawn Fawn's 'Outside In Stitched Square Stackables'

- the oval card images were mounted, using glue, onto the 5.5" x 4.25" card blanks, which had already been topped white card, embossed using SU's 'Square Lattice' Textured Impressions folder and then trimmed to slightly smaller than the card front

- the square card images were mounted, using glue, onto the 4" x 4" card blanks - having first been backed with a slightly larger square/frame cut from snippets of Altenew's 'Forest Glades' card stock (one of my current favourites)

- then it was just a matter of adding a gnome image and a sentiment to each card front, using a glue pen - finished!

The planning stage took almost as long as making the cards - even though I actually doubled up on each design and made two the same of each one. That's eight cards on standby, for friends and also some of our neighbourhood kids.

I'd like to enter the 'Hello Friend' card into the current Allsorts Challenge Week #674, where the theme is 'Anything Goes, with the option of Scenic'.

And, I'd like to enter the  same card into Darnell's NBUS Challenge #38 for May. My NBUS on this card is the gnome stamp and die set, the Whimsy Slimline 'Enchanted Forest' paper pack plus MFT's 'Itty Bitty Sentiment' die strip.

I had great fun making these cards, it's such a treat to have spare time to make cards 'just because'! Hooray for Sarn jointly running the Snippets Playground!