Sunday, 13 June 2021

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #405 - Ruby's Memory

Our wee Ruby 2005-2020

Hello again - thanks for calling by! Every third challenge is dedicated to dear sweet Ruby's Memory, in aid of the centre who originally rescued her, and this is our fourth one.

It's actually working in terms of more time for me to play as I'm finally able to post on here more than once a week - hooray!

So, here's the prize for this challenge - kindly donated by our lovely Val. As it's finally Summer and 'tea party' season - I picked out a few tea party themed items to make up a bit of a bundle. I also added in a pretty floral stamp set from Viv, which she sent me literally months ago:

So here's what the prize is:

- Crafter's Companion stamp set called 'Hello Summer' - lots of great sentiments are included as well

- Crafter's Companion set of two dies called 'Summer Afternoon' to compliment the set of stamps

- a Waltzing Matilda 2" x 2" doily die called 'Tiny Doily'

- and the sweet set of two stamps by Creative Expressions called 'Apple Blossom Spray'

Huge thanks to Val and Viv for the prize goodies! It means I can send off another donation to the rescue centre. By the way, if anyone ever wishes, I can let you have copies of USPCA's acknowledgement emails.

I won't split the prize by the way. All of the 'afternoon tea' themed elements go so well together and the apple blossom stamp is a lovely addition. Do feel free to play along and then, at your end, share the prize if you wish.

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

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

Remember, if you link into the Playground and don't say clearly that you want to be in the draw in a comment on here, then you will be bypassed if your name comes out of Mr Linky. I'm sure you all know I ask for a positive 'yes' on the blog post itself - just in case you're only playing for fun - otherwise I don't add you to my little list. And I won't be splitting the prize of course.
Please also remember that I only allow a total of nine other challenges, which makes 10 in total, when you enter a snippets make into the Playground.

It's so hot here - Dudley spends a lot of time lying on cool tiled floors. I would love us to get a doggy paddling pool but something (as well as Len) tells me that Dudley won't be keen. I suppose he could surprise us though! We have a cottage break booked by the sea in Dorset a few months hence (already delayed from 2020). It depends how things go with COVID of course but I would love to know what he will make of the beach and sea. As I already said, he might not take to it - he's actually quite a complicated little guy and sometimes too intelligent for his own good. On the other hand, he might even dive into the waves and set off paddling like fury in the direction of France ☺

Years ago, in a previous life, when I had Bichon Frises, one of them called Benjie adored the water. If we took him down to the local park and gently meandering river he literally would take a totally carefree flying leap from the river bank for a swim! Sending all the ducks flying and his bestie Dougal, our other Bichon, standing safely on the river bank, looking on in admiration, but with absolutely no intention of joining in. After the first unexpected swim we learned to always keep doggy drying towels with us. But the sheer joy on Benjie's face made it all so worth it.

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

Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Super fast snippets Birthday card

Despite having a perennial 'Birth Dates' book, it's only useful if I remember to check it regularly. Suddenly realised Len's Great Nephew had a Birthday looming and I needed a card for him 'toot sweet'.

A quick scamper around the internet turned up a few ideas and this is my take on one of them:

I used:

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

- snippet of black card stock, trimmed to very slightly smaller than the card fron and glued in place

- snippet of white card stock, trimmed to leave a bit of a bigger black border this time (3.75" x 4") - not glued onto the card front just yet

- snippets of paper which were tucked into the back of LOTV's 'Country Gent' paper pad

- trimmed three different patterns down to 2" wide then trimmed them crosswise keeping the plainer brown piece a bit narrower

- glued the pieces in place, using a Zig glue pen, working from the top and bottom towards just below the middle of the card, where I wanted to place the sentiment

- the sentiment is from Barbara Gray's everyday Word Sticker Collection - just eyeballed sticking that in place

- then dug out my trusty very dinky 'office hole punch' which accidentally fell into my handbag the day I retired and punched three circles from the plainer brown snippet

- stuck those in place - again working from left, right and finally the centre one - finished!

It's always so much easier to place the likes of slips of paper and punched dots by working from the outside towards the centre -  lesson I learned the hard way a long time ago.

Typing this post and taking then editing the photo has taken much longer than it took to make the card - luckily everything just fell into place for once. Bit like the hole punch falling into my handbag really ☺

Ha, Len had a close call when he commented 'oh, it's just like fabric/wallpaper samples'. Soon held his hands up in surrender when he saw my face - a mix of 'gosh, you could be right' and 'gotta death wish honey?'

Sunday, 6 June 2021

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #403 - results

Well, at long last we seem to be really moving into Summer! About time too as well.

First of all, the picks:

I picked Vicky's card firstly as I love the design, colours and freshness. The snippets element totally sealed it though - I adore those lovely flowers! Vicky used a heart shaped punch and snippets of designer paper and see how perfectly the flowers are aligned with the polka dot pattern. Perfection - and such a lovely way to create flowers.

Here's another card using snippets very imaginatively - made by Shannon (SHartl). It's a sunburst card and always such fun to make, there are plenty of tutorials on YouTube if you fancy having a go! I particularly love how Shannon has used black as a contrast to the lovely pinks and greens - and the vertical sentiment is just perfect!

And last, but not least, Jane W hopped over with this gorgeous card - more pinks and greens. This is a really lovely example of playing with a load of snippets, a couple of dies and arranging them in a design that's a real delight to the eye. I really love how Jane used the beautiful flower spray and also tied it together so neatly by stamping some leaves on the sentiment panel. Gorgeous!

That's my picks from Challenge # 403. We had 39 entries and no new Playmates. Number of entries in the current challenge are disappointingly low so far - just 18. Still one week left to play along though - and Susan has donated not only her time but also a really great prize. Where are you all hiding?

Time for the draw now - no hanging around this week! The prize is a set of Sweet Dixie 'DIY Tools' dies, and the winner is:


Congratulations Vicky! After your generous prize for the 'Ruby's Memory' draw recently I was so pleased to see your name pop out. Along with being a pick as well, buy a lottery ticket as these things often come in threes ☺

Please send me your address, with your full name at the top as well so it can be can be copied and pasted for speed and ease. It's also confirmation that you still would like the prize of course.  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 one more week to run on the current Challenge #404 HERE. The prize is a really lovely Hero Arts 'Knitting' stamp set and matching Hero Arts 'Knitting Frame Cuts' - kindly donated by Susan B our Guest Designer.Perfect for knitters as well as cat lovers.

Dudley is still into mischief here. Need I say any more? I did some baking yesterday afternoon and he never left my side, every time I looked down there was a little hopeful face gazing up at me. It was compounded by the fact that at the same time I was cooking a joint of pork in a sauce in the slow cooker for 'pulled pork' - it smelled and, later on, certainly tasted delicious. Yes, he did get a little taste put to one side before I returned the shredded pork back into the sauce. Talk about cupboard love ☺ By the way, I actually cheat and use quite a lot of the Schwartz range of slow cooker packet mixes since I got back into the swing of using a slow cooker at least once a week. It takes away all the measuring out of herbs and spices etc. - I only had to add tomato ketchup, cider vinegar and brown sugar for a delicious barbecue style sauce.

Right now he's lying on his back with his front paws sort of 'flopped' and head to one side having 40 winks - at the top of the stairs. I'm sure he's plotting on one of us tripping over him and all the way down!

Love from Parsnip, myself and the usual happy 'high-five' and woof from Dudley.

Friday, 4 June 2021

Hello, hello, hello!

I just played with some washi tape with a difference - 'Rainbow Splatters' by Pink Fresh Studio. My order containing this recently came from Katrina of Bumbleberry Papercrafts, who deserves a shout out here. Her prices are very good, service is great and she stocks a lot of USA craft goodies as well - including A2 sized envelopes. I know some of you already buy from Katrina - and I truly recommend that you hop over for a little browse. And of course, both Seven Hills Crafts and Dies to Die For are great favourites of mine too. 

Back to the washi tape, it's the widest one I've ever had at 5.5" wide and 11 yards long. What's really clever about it is that it comes with a 'grid lines' dividing bit in the pattern at every 4.25" as you unroll it, so it's perfect for an A2 (USA) card front. Plus - the way it's designed is that you get three distinctively different 'rainbows' - divided by the  grid lines. I totally LOVE it! Hope that's a bit clearer than mud!

I made three cards, hence the 'Hello, hello, hello', in a little production line, the other day:

I used:

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

- piece of white card trimmed to 5.75" x 4.25"

- one panel of the Pink Fresh Studio 'Rainbow Splatters' washi tape. As the tape is so wide, I didn't chop a whole panel off in one go - knowing my luck, it would curl back on itself. So this is what I did: unroll a little - just an inch is enough - place the long edge of your piece of card along the end of the unrolled piece of washi , flip it over so the piece of card lays flat on your work space, glass mat preferably, and gently unroll the tape from the roll onto your piece of card, constantly smoothing it as you go. It's a bit of a tough one to get going but once you have the knack and ignore You Tube videos where they pull off a whole panel at once, then you're good to go. Any creases will smooth out using a bone folder or the palm of your hand

- then I trimmed the panel to 5.25" x 4.00" and glued it to the card front using Collall All Purpose glue

- die cut the word 'hello' from a snippet of muted gold card, using my Altenew mini die cutting machine a die from the MFT Die-namics 'Hello There' set (it also come with the words 'hi' and 'there') - then twice twice from snippets of white card

- stacked the three layers of the 'hello' together, with the gold on top, using a Zig glue pen

- glued the word 'hello' onto the bottom right corner of the card - done

The three cards were super fast to make and I love that they're quite different, despite being the same layout. 

So hard to take photos with the current sunshine, even with curtains closed, the colours on all three cards are much brighter in real life.

The 'splatters' are advertised as 'gold' and I admit that I did expect a brighter and possibly shiny gold. The little splatters do catch the light briefly if you wave the cards about. I don't have much more of that lovely muted gold card stock left - literally just a few snippets, but plain white would also work well for the sentiment, or even black. 

I was tempted to risk using my Cuttlebug as my shoulder seems to be on the mend, but resisted and stuck to the Altenew Moni machine. Otherwise, I wanted to have a go at die cutting the panel using a 'rectangular' stitched die. Not too sure how the washi will react to being die cut with a load of little perforations. Probably OK and I did keep a little scrap of trimming to try it out when I feel surer of not knocking what progress I've already made.

A lovely friend just got herself an electric die cutting machine and am pea green with envy here! I need to knuckle down and clear a couple of book shelves then move stuff around a bit to set up a dedicated cutting area. I don't need a big machine and will keep the Cuttlebug as a fall back - so far the Gemini Junior seems to tick all the boxes for my fairly unambitious needs.

I'm entering this into Darnell's NBUS Challenge #27 for June 2021 - HERE.

Grab our badge to display on your blog.

And, with Em's encouragement, I'm also entering into The Rainbow Card Challenge#30 - where the challenge theme is 'Radically Rainbow'. I have no idea how I haven't come across this challenge before now - it looks like fun with a new colour each month and two Radically Rainbow themes per year.

No idea what's going on with the Snippets Playground, numbers have plummeted lately. I bet everyone's been out enjoying the sunshine whilst it lasts!

Sunday, 30 May 2021

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #404

Hello again! At last - we have lovely sunny and warm weather here in the South of England! AND, it's a Bank Holiday as well - it normally rains over Bank Holidays. so the sunshine is a wonderful bonus.

Time for another snippets challenge and also another lovely Guest Designer. This time it's Susan B, all the way from Canada! And we have not one but two really sweet sample cards:

Susan will tell you all about how she made her lovely cards when you hop over to her blog, link above, and I do so love the pretty blues that Susan chose for her cards.

Here's the prize from Susan for this fortnight - images taken from the internet due to camera glare:  

The prize, VERY kindly donated by Susan, is a Hero Arts 'Knitting' stamp set and matching Hero Arts 'Knitting Frame Cuts'. Please be aware that the sentiment 'Sweater Weather' on the little girl card isn't part of the prize.What a great prize - especially with the surge in knitting during the past' year and a bit'. AND, it's pussy cats too. Thanks so much Susan!

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

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

Remember, if you link into the Playground and don't say clearly that you want to be in the draw in a comment on here, then you will be bypassed if your name comes out of Mr Linky. I'm sure you all know I ask for a positive 'yes' on the blog post itself - just in case you're only playing for fun - otherwise I don't add you to my little list.
Please also remember that I only allow a total of nine other challenges, which makes 10 in total, when you enter a snippets make into the Playground.
My hair appointment earlier this week went off very smoothly with all the protective measures in place. I still didn't feel 100% comfortable despite that, but perhaps that's not a bad thing for the time being. Things are somewhat in the balance and we're all hoping the Indian variant of COVID doesn't go absolutely wild.
Today, Saturday, we bathed Dudley. Well, he's put in the bath with no water in and we just switch over to the shower mixer. Lesson learned from a good while ago when he was in a partly filled bath and made a bid for freedom ...... it was like a tidal wave! The little monkey managed to sit up doing his 'boxing hare' impression - which gave Len a great opportunity to wash his tummy with ease. He's like a lovely sweet smelling white ball of fluff now - currently sleeping off the experience under my desk ☺

Stay safe and be kind.
Lots of love from us all - Parsnip, Dudley and of course me,

Friday, 28 May 2021

Rudolph Days Challenge - May 2021

Whilst hunting all over the place here for a particular stamp, with matching die, in order to make my Rudolph Days Challenge card for May, I opened my box of saved 'shop bought' Christmas card fronts and immediately spotted possibilities for three cards to make. What was all that about then? All of a sudden Mr Mojo came rushing back into the craft room and in about a couple of hours I came up with these three cards:

I used:

- 5.75" x 5.75" off-white square card blank, side opening

- gently removed the stocking topper from a lovely plum coloured Christmas card, then removed the thick sticky pads from the back of the topper and set it to one side

- hunted through my huge stock of Christmas papers and found a lovely beige paper with gold flittering from First Edition's 'Gilded Winter' paper pad

- trimmed it to 5.5" x 5.5" and glued it onto the card front

- then cut a plum coloured scalloped circle from some of the original card - using a very old Spellbinders scalloped circle die

- glued a round gold Christmas sentiment on top of the plum circle, made by Craftwork cards, and also pretty ancient

- then added bits of thin sticky pad to the backs of the stocking and sentiment and popped them onto the card front 

final touch - just three Lucy's Little Things 'Rose Gold' sequins, added using very narrow and tiny pieces of red line tape

I used:

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

- a carefully trimmed piece of Kanban 'Christmas Wobbler' background card - glued to the card front - love this scenic pack for quick and easy backgrounds!

- the Christmas tree topper was removed from the original very simple white card, and the original sticky pads carefully removed. 

- then stuck the tree onto the card front using thin sticky pads

- nothing more needed, finished!

I used:

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

- silver mirri card for the first layer, glued onto the card front

- topped that with a trimmed piece of red and white paper from a Fizzy Moon 'Festive Fun' paper pack

- then die cut the 'frame' for the image panel I wanted to use, because it makes me smile, using a snippet of silver mirri card and a die from The Works set of 'stitched squares'. Cheap as chips and great quality dies

- trimmed the image to fit 'inside' the silver frame and glued it in place

- 'meep' - glue oozed onto the silver 'frame' and then smudged when I tried to remove it so I just went over it with clear Wink of Stella so it all looks a bit 'distressed' - just like I was at the time

- adhered the image panel to the card front using thin sticky pads - job done!

That amazed me to be honest. I recently did a radical 'cull' of Christmas card fronts I'd been saving, some went back years and years, and that was a huge help.

Also, hunting through my Christmas papers was an eye opener. There are so many lovely and untouched papers to be played with. I like to strike a balance between 'over fussing' upcycling, but then at least showing that I made an effort as well. 

If you save Christmas cards to upcycle, I do recommend that you don't keep too huge a selection to choose from. Be a bit brutal and ask yourself if the image itself shouts 1990's - if so then ditch it. Otherwise it really is likely to end up looking just like an old Christmas card that's been played with. Look critically at the images and ask yourself if they would look up to date once you've played around with them - if not, be ruthless and pop the rest into the bin! Then, spread out the cards you have left and look through your neglected Christmas papers - holding cards and papers alongside one another. You could be really surprised - I certainly was! I easily found the makings of these three cards  - with the assistance of Dudley watching in curiosity. I spread everything out on our bed so I could actually pick out paper pads and wave them over the card fronts.

I'm certainly no expert so the above paragraph is very much how I see things. It isn't necessarily right! Back in the dark ages I started off by using an old pair of pinking shears to make Christmas tags - very probably as a child to be honest. Some would say I never moved on very much! Grin.

I went a bit over the top with sequins when 'staging' the cards - but it's a lesson learned. Less is more in future. Mind you - it does show the lovely variety of sparkly bits in three different 'Lucy's Little Things' packets of shaker stuff/sequins. 

And, so far, I still can't find that missing stamp and matching die either. Sob.

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Dragonfly Garden

I recently had a little splurge on some Stamping Up goodies, and one item was the really pretty 'Dragonfly Garden Bundle' of stamps and co-ordinating dies. I knew exactly who I first wanted to use the set for - a very special friend who loves 'flying and fluttering' pretty insect as well as the colour pink:

Here's the result:

I used:

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

- piece of smooth white card onto which i stamped the wild flower image using a Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink pad

- selected the pink papers from an Echo Park paper pad called 'Be Mine' so I could select the right shade of pink for the image colouring

- coloured the wild flowers image using Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils

- stamped the dragonfly onto more smooth white card using a Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink pad

- coloured the dragonfly image using Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils, including the silver one in the set

- then went over the wings using a clear Wink of Stella brush pen for some gentle sparkle 

- punched out the dragonfly using the co-ordinating punch, punched two more dragonflies from plain white card and layered the three together using a glue pen

- trimmed the plain deep pink and the script papers then glued the plain pink layer onto the card front

- punched one long edge of the image panel using an ancient Fiskars punch - as close as I could to making the punched out pattern  equidistant at the top and bottom.

- then trimmed the panel to sit properly aligned on the pink script panel and also trimmed the plain left edge. That panel trimming process was possibly the most fiddly part and I've since wondered if I should have created the blank panel first and then done the stamping and colouring as my heart was in my mouth lest I spoiled it!

- glued the image panel onto the pink script panel then added the result to the card front

- next I used a much loved Stamping Up wood mounted stamp to stamp the sentiment, die cut it using a die from the Lil' Inkers Stitched Rectangle A2 set of dies

- backed the sentiment with a trimmed snippet of left-over deep pink paper and glued it in place onto the card front

- added the dragonfly to the card front using little pieces of thin sticky pad, stood back and went 'Hmmmm' - I didn't particularly like the stark white border around the 'critter' so I went around the edge using a silver Wink of Stella brush 

- by this point I was now going 'Hmmmm' over the white area at the top left of the panel - it seemed to make the right hand bottom of the card look too heavy - so I added three sequins in a similar blue to the dragonfly (using Glossy Accents) onto the 'white space', which just pulled the whole card together, IMHO.

- stamped a sentiment onto an insert and added to the card - finished!

The sequins are from Little Things from Lucy's cards and the mix is called 'Bubblegum'. In the USA, Simon Says Stamp carries stocks of Lucy's 'little things'. They don't have her UK full range - but I bet you'd easily find enough to spend your pennies on!

Am entering this card into Darnell's NBUS #26 Challenge - HERE.

I used loads more pencils (for blending, especially on the dragonfly) than those in the photo - but didn't want them to overpower the card itself in the photo. Sigh, but I couldn't pick up the subtle glimmer of the dragonfly, still getting to grips with the new camera.