Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Rudolph Days Challenge - October 2021

Mo, over at the Rudolph Days Challenge, is (in addition to her usual lovely prize) giving away an extra prize this month, as a tribute to our lovely friend Kath, who we lost in August of this year. To qualify for a chance to win a great Woodware 'tall and slim' stamp set, you have to use paper piecing on your RD entry. That was one of Kath's favourite techniques and she also loved Woodware stamps. So very fitting Mo - a lovely idea!

I pondered about using my own 'identical to the prize' stamp set but, in the end, the lure of a NBUS and totally unopened stamp set won! Even though I'm not playing for the Woodware stamp, it seemed right to use paper piecing.

And this is the card I made:

I used:

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

- piece of white card stock, onto which I stamped the really huge holly outline and also one of the many sentiments in the same set which is Colarado Craft Company's Big and Bold 'Holly and Berries', using a Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink pad plus the Misti

- next, used a few snippets of paper from LOTV's 'Woodland Wishes' Christmas paper pad, onto which I stamped the holly leaves and berries

- inked in the tiny pieces of branch, using a dark brown Whispers pen, no way were they being paper pieced ☺, then fussy cut the three holly leaves and the berries before running a black Whispers pen around the outer edges

- actually adding the fussy cut magenta berries and two plain and one patterned leaves using a glue pen was easy in itself but they did have to go on in a particular order due to some overlapping teensy details as well as a couple of little slivers of white background at the edge of one of the berries

- trimmed, trimmed and trimmed the image panel down until I thought there'd be nothing left of it - it ended up at 5" x 3.75" in the end, just the right proportions for a USA A2 sized card

- then cut into a fresh sheet (shock, horror), of 'almost plain' magenta paper from the same LOTV pad and trimmed down a backing 'frame' just an eighth of an inch bigger than the image, on all sides

- glued the 'frame' layer to the card front and then added the image panel - using Collall All Purpose glue

You can probably tell that with some cards I begin with the image, before deciding on the final card size. Just as well, as I had one problem after another making this card. I even lost the first set of 'stamped berries' to be paper pieced and no end of searching would reveal where they'd hidden. Edit: Needless to say I found the missing set of stamped berries the following day, on the floor behind my chair! I also accidentally tore up a holly leaf whilst searching! Needless to say I'd already packed away the stamps set ink pad, Misti etc - I know - too confident right? In  my defence, I was only being good and tidying up as I went along - but yet another lesson learned.

The card was originally to be a totally different shape (square), and much larger size, but the 'forces' were against me - sigh. However, I will have another bash, possibly for a batch of them - next time using Pro Markers! It has to be one of the trickiest paper pieced cards I've ever made. 

I'm quietly pleased with the fact that it's not 'quite' traditional Christmas green and red and think you could only really get away with that by doing paper piecing.

Kath - I promise you - I battled on down here and, at times, only the love kept me going.

I'd also like to enter this onto Darnell's NBUS #31 Challenge HERE - the stamp set was new and unopened.



Sunday, 24 October 2021

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #413 - results

 

Now for the picks from our previous challenge. Many thanks to Sarn, our Head Prefect and creator of much mischief as well as lovely cards, for being our Guest Designer.

And here we go:

It's always great to see really clever ways to use up snippets - especially those longish strips we all seem to accumulate! Sandra H brought the above card to share and it's a lovely example of how to make the most of your snippety strips.

Wowser, what a wonderful selection of Halloween treat bags, shared with us by Carol L. Mind you, sharing via a blog post doesn't taste as yummy as in person! No doubt there will be Halloween treats in the Playground Treehouse though.! Really lovely to see you back playing with us Carol!

What a card, made by Jane W! Tons of snippets used and the detail is stunning. I thought the 'berries' were clear 'dewdrop' gems but Jane actually used clear liquid pearls - really effective as well.

 

Sharrie joined us for the first time from her new blog, bringing this lovely card - all the colours I love as well!

I accidentally didn't introduce you to Samantha, a new Playmate from Challenge 412 - and this is really pretty card she shared:

Come back and play soon! 

That's our joint picks from Challenge #413 in the Playground, we had 46 entries in total and one new Playmate. Now for the prize draw which is a Stampin' Up 'Vertical Sentiments' set of stamps - from Sarn. And the winner is:

Kathy K

Congratulations Kathy! Knowing your style of crafting, you're sure to use your prize to its full advantage!

Please send me your address, even if you know that I know it already, 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 Ruby's Memory Challenge #414 which you can find HERE. The prize is an Echo Park 'Candy Cane Christmas' set of dies plus a Neat & Tangled 'Medallion Flower Builder' set of dies, kindly donated by Kathy A who is also our Guest Designer.

We tried out the Mangar Elk 'rescue/rising cushion' the other day - with Len on the floor as guinea pig just in case there were any issues. It works a treat, although Dudley wasn't too sure about it when the air pump was running. 'What sort of dragon-like beastie is that then?'. Naturally, we both hope it's never needed but it sure beats a wait of several hours for help to arrive! 

Here's Dudley catching a few extra ZZZZzzzz'z on our bed before I made it the other day. And yup, that's the latest 'Stinky Monkey' beside him (still not as loved as previous ones) - plus his very first very grubby now 'rustle and squeak hedgie' puppy toy from Sarn, over three years ago - which he still loves and often uses as a pillow! 

He looks so sweet and innocent - but trust me, there's mischief brewing as soon as he's awake! Folk have mentioned that perhaps his name ought to be 'Tinker' - well, that's always been one of his nicknames from almost the word go! So you were right in suggesting it.☺

And, for your entertainment, here's Dudley 'spinning for a treat' - a little ritual after he's done a 'poop' each day. His record is seven spins in one go! The 'lunge' at the end is because Len always pops the treat on a unit beside my desk for me to give to him. And if I'm not fast enough he (Dudley) hops up and down like a demented Easter Bunny! If you have the sound on, he's panting a bit as he just did a few racing laps of the garden (zoomies, to celebrate a successful toilet mission) he then charged indoors and raced up the stairs, two at a time to my craft room, where he knew I'd be waiting to give him a treat.

Sorry, I just can't 'crack' uploading the video onto Blogger - here's a link to it on YouTube, it's also on Facebook:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJsl-A5-rrI

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




Friday, 22 October 2021

'Silly Snowmen'

The current challenge over at Christmas Kickstart for October is 'Make one for a loved one'. Our lovely Playground friends Jo (who runs this really great monthly challenge) and Lynne in NI (Ruby's Mum, as well as this month's Guest Designer over at 'Kickstart') would love you to join in! I have lots of loved ones in my family, circle of friends, bloggers - and of course Len and Dudley. In fact, I think this first card is just perfect for Len ............ from Dudley Dog - 'There is snowone like you'. Dudley idolises Len and if he could speak I'm sure those would be his exact words:

 

And I made a batch of six altogether, using the same set of stamps, different backing papers as well as sentiments - two identical ones of each card. Here are the other two:

I used:

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

- the snowmen images and sentiments are all from the fabulous Funky Fossil 'Silly Snowmen' set of stamps, which I'm sure I spotted over at Kathy K's blog, as well as possibly elsewhere

- stamped the snowmen and sentiments onto snippets of white card - two of each of the three images and same for the sentiments - all using a Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink pad

- and then, I looked closer at that 'waste of money' Crafters Companion 'Watercolour Christmas' paper pad that I moaned about the other week. All papers are double sided and some, not all, are very decent it turns out (forget the silly die cuts they included - my mission is to somehow use that flipping paper pad!)

- coloured the snowmen using Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils to pick out or contrast with the backing papers

- fussy cut the snowmen and set them aside - some of it was really tricky, especially the sledge inside the runners where I ended up using a craft knife as well as my little sharp scissors. A matching die would be amazing for this particular stamp if you want to add it to a patterned background

- die cut the sentiments using dies from the Frantic Stamper 'Stitched Fishtail Banners' set of dies - a tip about these and other similar sentiment dies below this list. Also, the dies are 'solid' so the best way to use them is to die cut a template with the die and then use that to position the resulting aperture over the stamped sentiment then 'nestle' the die itself into the template and die cut once again - a bit of removable tape for both the holding of the template over the stamped sentiment, as well as more to hold the die in place once it's 'nestled', works a treat

- next die cut the selected 'reversed' sheets from the 'Watercolour Christmas' paper pad using a 'Square Stitched' die from The Works here in the UK. They certainly used to do some brilliant dies but you needed to be quick off the mark - another tip below about cutting these

- then added the patterned squares to the middle of the plain white 5" x 5" card blanks using Collall All Purpose glue

- positioned the snowmen and the sentiments and then stuck them down using a glue pen - all done!

In fairness, these took me a few days to make, just pecking at them here and there in between other fun things going on.

My two extra tips are:

1. I'm sure a lot of you may well have worked this one out, but it's worth repeating if you haven't. I had the correct width/height for the smaller 'one line' sentiments but the overall length was too long in both cases. I die cut the sentiment making sure the beginning of the sentiment was where I wanted it to be in the die. So then I was left with the flag end having too long a gap of plain card. The way around this was to replace the die cut flag in the die, making sure that the 'flag V end' was as close to the sentiment as I wanted it to to be with the excess overlapping the V shaped end of the die, wedged it snuggly into the precut stitched 'slots' - held it all in place with removable tape and then ran it through the die cutting machine a second time to cut off the excess from the V end.

2. If you're die cutting background panels for a couple of identical cards for example, like my square stitched panels, from paper - in particular a patterned one where you want the the alignment to be identical on two cards - then don't be afraid to layer two pieces of paper on top of one another with the patterns lined up of course (using one edge or a similar method) and die cut them both in one go.The worst that can happen on a simple die with a stitched edge is that you may need to run one through the machine again to get the detail, with the die cut nestled back inside the die. I didn't need to do that and the patterned paper is double sided and fairly sturdy. It could be worth experimenting with slightly more detailed dies but I'm really not too sure about that as an idea. 

Another six for the box but I'm no longer showing my 'total made' on my sidebar. I know how many I have in my Christmas card Really Useful Box - just on a piece of paper inside the box. The numbers are growing nicely enough for my reduced needs and that makes me happy.

I'd also like to add this into Darnell's NBUS challenge #31, it was a first, but certainly not a last, outing for the really fun Funky Fossil 'Silly Snowmen' stamp set. 

Sadly out of stock at the moment if anyone wants to order one, sigh. A real shame they're missing an important trick which is to register your interest and be emailed once they come back into stock. Do they really understand the way the mind of a crafter on a 'must have mission' works?




Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Birthday card for Mia - 2021

Mia, the eldest 'not so little', grand daughter over in Germany just celebrated her 14th Birthday. It only seems like yesterday when she was a little tot!

Mia is still very much into dancing and I used a 'pre-loved' stamp set, bought from a de-cluttering FB group, for her card - I just love the pure joy of the dancing figure:

 I used:

- 5.5" x 4.25" white card blank

- snippet of white card onto which I stamped the dancing figure from SU's fabulous 'Beautiful You' set of stamps - using the Misti and Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink pad

- dotty patterned paper from Dovecraft's 'Back to Basics 11' paper pack in lilac and soft green, the green was snippets and also cut into a whole sheet of lilac

- next stamped the dancing figure onto a snippet of the dotty green using the Misti and Memento 'Tuxedo Black', fussy cut it and edged right round the cut edge, sideways on, with a black Whisper pen

- used a glue pen to adhere the fussy cut dress and hat portion of the figure onto the white panel

- then, and only then, did I die cut the image panel using a Creative Dies 'square 'Wonky Stitches' die

- used SU's 'Certainly Celery' for all the plain green 'frames', again - one snippet and then cut into a whole sheet

- first layer onto the card was a slightly smaller piece of 'Certainly Celery' as the main 'frame'

- then backed the image panel with a slightly bigger frame of 'Certainly Celery' and set it aside

- trimmed a piece of the lilac dotty paper to just a bit smaller than the green frame and popped a strip of green dotty paper over the lower area to 'pull' the image and rest of the card together. I glued it in place and then trimmed off the excess from the back

- then I took the second try at a stamped sentiment, from the same set - which in truth had stamped way to heavily at first attempt, just below the dancing figure, sob - thankfully before I actually decided on the die cutting size and shape

- die cut the sentiment, using a very useful 'flag' shaped die from the MFT 'Mini Mail' set of dies

- then used the waste from the die cut 'flag' to draw around the inside edge onto green card and trim/fussy cut to just a bit bigger than the sentiment - making sure I didn't chop the longer end too short

- glued the image panel in place followed by the layered sentiment 'flag'

- mused for ages and just couldn't find a lilac gem to match so settled for a Lucy's Little Things 'Bubbles' domed embellishment as a change from a white pearl, glued in place using Glossy Accents, as a finishing touch

I do so love this stamp set of SU's and will certainly use it more frequently. It has three 'figures' in total and each one lends itself to paper piecing. Plus lots of lovely sentiments.

I'm linking into Darnell's current NBUS challenge #31 - it was a first outing for me using my 'Beautiful You' stamp set, and possibly only its second ever outing (the previous owner had only used it once). 



Sunday, 17 October 2021

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #414 - Ruby's Memory

Our wee Ruby 2005-2020

Hello again - thanks for calling by! It's time for another snippets challenge dedicated to sweet Ruby's Memory, in aid of the centre who originally rescued her, and this is our seventh one.

The prize for this challenge has been kindly offered by Kathy Asper - who is also in the spotlight as a guest designer for this fortnight as well. First. lets take a peek at the three lovely cards Kathy made:

 



I love all three of these cards - each one showing how well snippets work on die cuts for Christmas cards. To find out how Kathy made them, do hop over to her blog HERE.
 
And, Kathy has generously donated two sets of dies - both make up a single prize which won't be split. The prize will also be posted directly to the winner by Kathy:

 
The prize is an Echo Park 'Candy Cane Christmas' set of dies plus a Neat & Tangled 'Medallion Flower Builder' set of dies. Just perfect to play with before Christmas!

As always, the Snippets Challenge will run for two weeks and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 30th 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 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.
 
Dudley has been in disgrace here, for only as long as it took for his sweet little face to melt our hearts. So, all of one minute probably. Len was cutting the grass in the back garden and Dudley spotted a neighbouring cat lurking underneath a bush on Dudley's patch no less! He made one frantic dash, the cat soared over the tall fence like a rocket and Dudley returned with his head hung low absolutely covered in sticky seed heads, bits of grass cuttings and also muddy paws.
 
'I only wanted to introduce myself' he moaned - as he was brushed to within an inch of his life and then had his paws and tummy given a good wash. 
 

A few of you will have already seen this as I posted it on Facebook - once we stopped laughing (discretely of course). One of our neighbours commented and asked was it one of theirs (it was). She saw the funny side when I said that Dudley only really saw the tail end properly. ☺ 

However, Dudley redeemed himself in the early hours of Friday morning when he was out in the garden for a final toilet trip before bedtime. He suddenly stopped mooching around and alerted Len to this little creature underneath the arbour:

A baby hedgehog, being held in Len's cupped 'gardening gloved' hands and probably the size of an orange. Light as a feather as well, so we need to watch out for it and, if it returns to feed again, weigh it in case it needs to be taken to a local hedgehog rescue place. I know it seems a shame to take a hedgehog away from its Mum and possibly its siblings. However, it's already fairly independent and without expert help it just wouldn't survive hibernation if it weighs under 500 grammes. Watch this space and let's all hope for the best.

Thank you from Len for all your Birthday wishes! And yup, he did love his Birthday card I made for him, posted on her on Friday 15th October.

Lots of love from Dudley Dog and of course me,



Friday, 15 October 2021

Len's Birthday - 2021

Today is Len's Birthday and boy was I stumped for a card idea! I have a few in the 'everyday' box of cards and one of those was perfect from Dudley - but I wanted something he hadn't seen before from me.

Eventually, Vicky's brilliant card that she made HERE popped into my mind and that was the starting point. She used a die set, won in the Snippets Playground, so I took it from there as I've had the same set of dies waiting since May to be used. I would have loved to do a total CASE of her card but that seemed like a step too far, so I came up with this:

 I used:

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

- a snippet of Tonic 'Red Vellum' pearlescent card, trimmed to leave just a narrow border

- a snippet of Neenah 'Desert Storm' card, die cut using Poppy Stamps 'Fading Dot Border' die the trimmed to create a sort of 'tool peg holder board' along the top and bottom

- adhered that strip to a strip of the 'Red Vellum' card (which I'd cut in one swoop to the same width as the backing panel) and then trimmed it top and bottom to leave just a small margin. I did this step to allow me to move stuff around rather than adhere the 'peg' board straight onto the red panel

- then die cut a selection of woodworking tools from a snippet of silver mirri card, using the Sweet Dixie 'DIY Tools' set of dies and the Altenew 'Mini Blossom' baby die cutting machine - ready to work out the positioning of the whole card front

- checked the positioning and glued the 'tool peg board' to the Red Vellum' front panel and trimmed off both sides (from the back)

- die cut the sentiment from another snippet of silver mirri card using the Altenew 'baby' die cutting machine and an IO die from the 'Birthday Top Edgers' set Impressions and trimmed the bottom off to just leave a narrow border

- glued the whole front panel to the card front

- glued the sentiment just above the 'peg board' , using a glue pen

- added the die cut tools to hang down from the 'peg board'

- added a hot fix silver Josy Rose nail head to each corner

It's a super-appropriate card really as one of 'Handyman Len's' Birthday presents is yet another type of electric saw to play with.

I'd like to add this card into Darnell's NBUS Challenge #31 as it was a first outing for the set of DIY Tool dies.



Sunday, 10 October 2021

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #412 - results

Time for the prize draw and of course the fortnightly 'picks'. Autumn is still hovering with variable weather from day to day. Today (Saturday) is lovely and sunny, with a turn for the worse forecast for this coming week. Wish it would make its mind up!

First of all, the picks:

This is one of my all time favourite dies and Lynne has used it so beautifully. Very CAS and so pleasing to look at - and that could be snippets from a LOTV paper pad I reckon!

I absolutely love this card, made by Janice! So many pretty snippets used for the flowers and foliage - all echoing the patterned paper used for the welly - really clever.
 

 
And April raced into the Playground waving this delightful card featuring a polar bear in a jar! It's gorgeous and lots of lovely snippets used! Beautiful shading on the snippety foliage too.

One new Playmate this time:

I've seen Cara's name a lot around Blogland, she's a very talented card maker and I'm delighted to welcome her to the Snippets Playground. What a gorgeous card - do come back and play again soon Cara!

That's my picks from Challenge 412 in the Playground and I've stuck to the three picks limit, plus our new Playmate. My list of potential picks was so long that I had real difficulty whittling it down to three - some really fabulous snippets makes to choose from! Can I please remind you to give an indication of what snippets you used - I don't need the 'full works' but if there isn't any indication then I have to exclude your entry as a possible pick as well as from the prize draw. I even had to do that with a couple of really lovely potential picks. We had a bumper 53 entries in total. When you think about it, that's all the more impressive as I limit the number of entries per person to just one per challenge.

Now for the prize draw which is an Altenew 'Poured Acrylic' paper pack and a Lawn Fawn 'Giant Happy Birthday to You' die - and here's the winner:

I just couldn't believe my eyes when Sarn's name popped out as I ran the Random number generator! The first person whose name came out wasn't playing for the prize so I ran it for a second time and I can't think of a more deserving winner. Sarn, who is our current Guest Designer, has been such a stalwart in the Snippets Playground, especially whenever I've got myself into a pickle and she's stepped in to help out - and she doesn't usually play for a prize so I think this truly was serendipity! And, we also have another reason to celebrate Sarn's luck as she is now on the Allsorts Design team over HERE. Quick - get thee hence Sarn and purchase a Lottery ticket - good things run in threes!!

Congratulations Sarn! Please send me your address, even if you know that I know it already, 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.

As soon as I have your address I'll pop your prize in the post. I have a trip planned to the post box on Tuesday morning if you get back to me quickly!

I think this is one of the most popular prizes I've offered for some time and 45 of you actually played for the prize!

Remember folks, there's still almost one more week to run on the current Challenge 413 which you can find HERE. The prize is a really great set of Stampin' Up stamps featuring topiary and vertical greetings - kindly donated by Sarn our much loved 'Head Prefect' who is also our Guest Designer for Challenge # 413. I happen to know that Sarn has posted another card using the same set of stamps - which you can see HERE.

One of Dudley's favourite treats is to be given the 'inner tube' from either a kitchen roll or a toilet roll. He doesn't really rip them to shreds as he would have done as a puppy but still gets some fun out of tearing a few pieces off - leaving one of us 'pawrents' to clear them up of course. I gave him one the other day then once he lost interest I popped it into the craft room waste bin ready to go into the main recyling bin. A good while later, there was Dudley having another chew at it - having slipped past me to underneath my desk whilst I was sitting there, and then quietly rootled around in the waste bin to help himself before sneaking back out with it! His middle name ought to be 'Stealth' - silent and very subtle with it.

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