Monday 30 September 2013

Less is More - sketch time

Over at Less is More this week, it's sketch time. A really CAS sketch and I did enjoy making this super-fast card:

I used:

- 5" x 5" square white card blank

- rub-on transfers from a lovely set by Kaisercraft called 'The Lake House'. This was in the lovely prize I won from Caz back in May.  The rose, once transferred,  was die cut using a circle die and I then held the same die on the actual card front and paper pricked right round it - ha, making sure that I already knew where the sentiment would overlap the holes 'cos 'sho nuff' they didn't quite have the right spacing once I got to the joining up point. I then just stuck the circle with the rose on onto the card and it's spot-on even despite the lying little toad of a camera :( I just worked out why, it's 'cos the raised embossed bit on the circle on the left hand side has caught the light making it look as if it's the very edge

- the sentiment is another rub on from the same set, just punched using SU's 'Modern Label' punch

- the final bit, which you can't see, I backed the inside of the card front with white card to cover the pin pricks :)

This is the sketch over at LIM if you fancy having a go as well:
Sorry I haven't been commenting on the Playground etc. today - bit of a 'blip' (understatement of the year!) in 'teacher's training arrangements' sort of shot the day apart - I think it's all sorted out now and will get round to you asap - mwah!


Sunday 29 September 2013

Pixies Crafty Snippets Playground - Week 92

Happy Sunday everyone! At 59 we didn't quite reach the magic number 60 in the Playground last week, that'd be a first for us - but each week does see more and more of you coming to play, which is really great. I hope it shows that the Playground is a happy place to be :)

Here's my snippets card for this week - appropriate given the nip in the air these past few days:
I used:

- 8" x 8" square white card blank

- stamped image is from the House Mouse 'Autumn Leaves' set by Joanna Sheen, stamped in Sepia and then coloured with Whispers pens and layered onto a snippet of orange card

- the 'patchwork' backing is what started this card off, I found three little snippet strips of Autumn leaves paper and just chopped them into squares then layered onto more plain orange card (all the plain orange pieces used on this card were snippets but my card swatch tells me it's SU's 'Pumpkin Pie')

- the brown backing card wasn't a snippet, it's by SU and is called 'Baked Brown Sugar' from their 2013-2015 In Color range. Looks rather like Kraft card to me :)

- then I still had some 'Pumpkin Pie' snippets, plus some big blank areas, so I added corners which were die cut using Joy! Crafts 6002/0135. To be honest I'd have called this die a nice name such as 'lattice corner' - and I bet it'll be great on white on white cards. I was very lucky to win this from Caz back in May - check out her first snippets Playground card a teeny bit further down this post, it's fabulous!

That's my snippets make, not one I'm overly happy with but I'm still gonna be cheeky and enter it over at House Mouse and Friends where the current theme is 'Monochrome' .

Onto this week's 'picks', difficult as ever of course. I think first of all we should welcome some new playmates:
I can't believe it's taken me so long to arm twist encourage the lovely Caz to come and join us in the Playground! We've followed one another since almost forever and it was only this last week it dawned on me that she hadn't ventured into the Playground!  And what an entrance she made - oh my goodness, I totally adore this beautiful Christmas card - so, so rich and elegant.
Brenda L scampered (grin) into the Playground for the first time with this lovely little poochie card. When you tie in the sentiment to the sweet little image sitting there with his lead - aaaw. And over on Brenda's blog there's a lovely photo of her own Jack Russell, who can also come and play if he likes :)

And our third new playmate is Jenny L, who brought this absolutely stunning Christmas card - I think that deep rich red and gold are perfect for Christmas and what a serene image! Welcome Jenny, lovely to have you along.

Onto just a few other picks:
I chose this card, made by Irene, for all the little snippets she used - and all the different embossing. Such a fabulous result - a lovely Wedding card indeed.
Cornelia made this card, using paint colour swatches for the banner! What a fantastic idea - anyone in danger or running out of snippets, just hit your local hardware store :)
Our Sam used LOADS of snippets on this 80th Birthday card, so beautifully too. Do look closely, there's so much care and detail - as always with Sam's makes.
And there was no way I could leave out this divine card. made by Debs. All those glorious butterflies made from snippets, love it!

As always, each and every single snippets make is a total winner in my eyes - to check them out if you haven't done so already THIS is the link.

The normal weekly draw first - and the winner of the Woodware 'Noel' stamp is:

23 of of you girlies made at least three cards in total over the past couple of weeks to be in with a chance of winning of Ryn's 'Rising Bubbles' stamp - and the winner is:
Sarah (Sazzle Dazzle)
Well done Sarah - I'll post the stamp to you ASAP. Can you just drop me an email with your snail mail address in please? I think I still have it but would hate to post Ryn's stamp off to the wrong person!

Commiserations to everyone else - I do know that a few of you were really so keen to have this stamp, and I only wish I had another 22 to give away!

OK, so what's on offer this coming week then? Yup, there is a little hint in my snippets card - it's a bag full of Autumn leaves swept up from the Playground, snort! Would I be so mean? It's these little beauties:
It's two sets of two (in fact more) unmounted rubber House Mouse stamps making a single prize - I was lucky and found them over at Joanna Sheen's bargain shelf in her online store :) Thought they might be really tricky to colour but considering I did my snippets card today in such a rush they really aren't as hard as they look. With more time and care I'd have made a better job of the colouring, but that was purely lack of time on my part.

The Playground will run as usual this week with the gates closing at 11am UK time on Saturday 5th October. Maximum of three entries and please say 'No thank you' in a comment if you wish to still play but not be the winner of the prize this week, as shown above.

Mr Linky is below - do please let me know if you have any problems linking, I can sort it out for you quite quickly and am always happy to do so.

One final question girls, Mary H referred to the Playground as Pixie's Playground and it struck me that Pixie's Crafty Snippets Playground is a real mouthful to both say and also type when you want to play along. Which option would you prefer - Snippets Playground, Pixie's Snippets or Pixie's Playground? I truly don't mind but do feel it would make life just a bit easier and save a few seconds for you all when posting if we shorten the name. I think it might be nice to keep Playground in the name perhaps. Other options are welcome too of course - it's your Playground after all! If you're happy to leave it as is then I'll 'go with the flow' as they say.

Have a lovely week!

Di (and a wave from Parsnip)

Saturday 28 September 2013

Saturday Supper - Lemon and Thyme Chicken

Still really busy here and not doing much card making but I thought you might like a tasty recipe to try:
Lemon and Thyme Chicken:

Serves 4

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
8 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
10 small shallots, peeled
8 garlic cloves, unpeeled
15g fresh thyme, roughly chopped
2 small lemons, 1 sliced, 1 juiced
250ml white wine

Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a shallow saucepan. Season the chicken and shallots and, working in batches, fry the chicken until brown, then add the shallots. Add more oil as you go.

Place the browned chicken and shallots back in the pan and add the garlic, thyme, lemon slices and juice and white wine. Bring to the boil then simmer for 5 minutes.

Transfer to the oven and cook for 35 minutes or until the chicken is golden, cooked through and no pink meat remains.

I made this the other evening and altered nothing, for once. Served it with new potatoes and fresh asparagus - very tasty, with a hint of North Africa about it. 

Normally I shy away from chicken thighs but have to say they're a much moister cut of chicken for this dish so I obeyed the recipe :) And, there's half of the result in the freezer for another day too.

Enjoy your Saturday, I can't believe how full the Playground has been this week and am faced with the weekly worry of which 'show and tells' to feature when I do the write-up this morning. Grin, maybe I'll just close my eyes, go to Mr Linky and stick a pin in the screen a few times :)


Thursday 26 September 2013

A third Frugal Christmas card

Here's another entry for Nessa's Frugal Christmas challenge, where you should create a Christmas card using 'non-Christmas' goodies - although Christmas sentiments and backing paper/card are allowed:
I used:

- 4" x 4" square white card blank

- snippet of 'snowflake' backing card

- snippet of white sparkly mulberry paper, torn and layered  to resemble drifted snow

- snowman made using two buttons, a little snippet of bakers twine and two teeny snippets of black card for his hat :)

- sentiment is from LOTV 'Christmas Grungy Messages', stamped onto a snippet of white card using 'Real Red'

I'd spotted this snowman idea in Quick Cards Made Easy magazine this month - but had no idea how much sorting through the button boxes it would take to find two compatible buttons. But it was fun reminiscing - I even still have the huge orange buttons from a Mary Quant trouser suit, and that sure dates me!

I had a really concerned email from a lovely bloggy pal the other evening, wondering if all was OK as I hadn't posted anything that day. Things are busy here right now with some 'teacher training' coming up - so posts may well not appear on a daily basis. As my pal and I both observed, why do we go into a frenzy of cleaning before these things?

BUT, the Playground will continue as usual, although I may have to 'tweak' opening and closing times in a couple of weeks and you'll be kept up to date about any slight changes for sure.


Wednesday 25 September 2013

Rudolph Day September 2013

This is my offering for Rudolph Day, run by my lovely buddy Sarn over HERE:
I used:

- 4" x 4" square cream card blank

- backing paper from a pack I bought in New Mexico by The Paper Studio called 'Cozy Little Christmas', cut carefully to make sure there are four squares running each way of course with the four middle ones hidden, OCD strike again!

- square of cream card

- snippet of green toning patterned card

- Scrabble letters from a free download here - in real life they do look like wood but the light here was dreadful for taking photos so they now look pink-tinged. The sheet of letters, which I just printed onto card (another time I might cover them with Glossy Accents), happily had three of each of the letters N,O,E and L - so I made three cards the same while I was at it :)

I've seen this idea in Blogland in a few places, but it was Helen over at It's All Fiddle Fart who recently reminded me in this post. Thanks Helen!

It's also for Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra for September, where it's always anything goes.


Monday 23 September 2013

Less is More, use felt or fabric

What?! I almost had palpitations when I saw this week's challenge over at Less is More, to use felt or fabric :(

And then I remembered that I did have some felt after all, in one of the Christmas goodies boxes. 'Sho nuff', I found some ordinary red felt with silver sparkle in it and also some self adhesive green felt. Red, green, green, red - it took just a few minutes to work out the limitations and way forward:
I used:

- 7" x 7" square white card blank

- Spellbinders Poinsettia die set to cut and layer the red felt part of the poinsettia, topped off with little gold gems. Then three leaves die cut from the green self adhesive felt - I love the way the veins really show up so well where they've indented the felt

- sentiment was stamped onto pure white card using Funstamps 'Best Wishes Message' stamp and Memento 'Northern Pine' ink pad. It was then covered with Woodware Ultra Sticky sheet and die cut using Nesties Labels Eighteen die, then the top part of the sticky was revealed before the whole thing was dunked into clear teeny tiny micro beads. Yeah right, I gawped at the way the beads had dulled the white down to almost cream - but plodded on by mounting the sentiment onto a snippet of green, cut using the same die as a template

- final touch was double embossed lines round the outside of the card

My 'in-house' critic likes it muchly ('very tactile' were his words) and doesn't think the 'off white' sentiment looks at all odd. Ha, I reckon that's 'cos I was getting ready to bake a cake when he saw it!

ALSO, this is for Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge where you have to 'stamp' this week (I checked with Hazel and a stamped sentiment is fine), plus it's also for Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra. 


Sunday 22 September 2013

Pixies Crafty Snippets Playground - Week 91

Helloooooo girlies! I think this last week was a bumper one in the Playground, over 50 entries and they were still trickling in as I type this on Saturday morning, a couple of hours before locking the gates at 11am UK time. Later on: Final count - 54, wahoo!!

My snippets card first - really clean and simple, although carefully cutting out the insides of the letters to paper piece was a little bit tricky-woo, but I think that was due the the paper being almost card thickness:

I used:

- 7" x 5" white card blank

- Woodware Clear Magic stamp called 'Huge Noel' - and it is big and bold at 5.5" x 2.5" - a real 'statement' stamp

- snippets of paper from Echo Park's 'Season's Greetings' double sided paper pad - I always tuck snippets inside the front cover of patterned paper pads and every single letter came from a little snippet. A little tip that Jules gave me ages ago - always use the glue pen or whatever on the main image, it makes life much easier than trying to fiddle with sticky pieces of paper

- sentiment is also from the same stamp set, stamped in Memento 'Tuxedo Black' with heart in mouth after the paper piecing was done. Normally I'd always stamp any sentiment that's going straight onto a card before adding images etc. - for fear of wasting a lot of other work if it goes 'wonky'

- had thought about adding strips of other paper from the same pad around the edges as it looked a bit stark but instead opted to emboss double lines right round using the Hougie board - less is more :)

And what a task you've set me this week - your snippets makes are going from strength to strength. I don't want to just select using the random number thingy apart from prizes, am not keen on having a voting system and don't have a team to help me out. To be honest, in my only foray into a DT (you didn't know about that did you?!) I could see that collating the views of several people would be a nightmare. Maybe you disagree and have other ideas though?

And if you're curious abut the DT business, it was about 18 months ago when a team was being reformed. During the run-up to the relaunch, and I was even making DT cards for forthcoming challenges by that point, I found out that the challenge would in future be published on Sundays so I stepped down 'cos the Playground is more important.

Anyhow, enough drivel, here are what I think are the picks of the week:

Just had to show you  this fantastic use of snippets, made by Tilly. Such a clever result purely from using punched circles, a couple of googly eyes and a great sentiment! It really made me giggle.

I picked this card, made by Cathy R, because not only does it use snippets but take a closer look at those butterflies! I have this die set of two butterflies and would never have thought to carefully fill in the top 'lacy' layer with a mix of the black and rust colours. Brilliant idea Cathy!

How about this for brilliant co-ordination of papers by Victoria? And the snippets owl is adorable isn't he? :)
And what a great Halloween card! Made by our Mary H, spooky and just perfect don't you think? And just look, what a brilliant idea to use a little wisp of cotton wool for the fog in the tree :) A really clever card Mary.

I could add tons more as every single make is fabulous girls - please don't be disappointed if I didn't show yours, it certainly doesn't mean they are any less wonderful.The best way to check out all the lovely entries, if you haven't done so already, is to nip back to here and look through Mr Linky.

OMGosh, I need a lie-down after all the brain wracking here.

But, if I'm to bake a cake and also do some ironing (ack) I have to move on so it's this week's winner of the Memory Box 'Bells are Ringing' die and the Inkadinkado Christmas Silhouettes stamp set:

This really has tickled me no end here! Nessa is currently running a Frugal Christmas Challenge over on her blog - 'cos she disposed of most of her Christmas card making goodies!! The idea is that we make a Christmas card, or several, using non-Christmas stuff - although Christmas sentiments and paper ARE allowed. 

Well, now you have a few things the stamps to get cracking with Nessa! Talk about first time lucky. Can you please send me your snail mail address and I'll post your prize ASAP ( Well done!

And the prize this week isn't exactly difficult to guess is it?

Yup, it's a Woodware stamp the same as the one I used today -  and it comes complete with four small sentiments too :) I think it's brilliant for snippets paper piecing and could look stunning if you used double sided adhesive sheet (which I think you'd need to stamp on one side of the unpeeled adhesive so you do get the outline, using Stayzon or similar so it doesn't smudge) before snipping out each letter, peeling off the backing and then one at a time fixing them over the main stamped image and adding coloured fine glitter, press it in firmly and whisk off any excess (I use a huge soft Avon blusher brush) before moving onto the next letter in a different colour. Just a thought, although I haven't tried it yet! It might just end up like a sticky mess :(

The Playground will run as usual this week with the gates closing at 11am UK time on Saturday 28th September. Maximum of three entries and please say 'No thank you' in a comment if you wish to still play but not be the winner of the prize this week, as shown above. It might be an idea to also say if you're trying for the 'Rising Bubbles' stamp - sometimes I have to second-guess. You still have time, some people have already qualified by making three cards already, but remember that your three entries can be spread over last week and this coming week, or even all three this week.

Mr Linky is below - do please let me know if you have any problems linking, I can sort it out for you quite quickly and am always happy to do so.

And, once again I have a card all ready for Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge - 'cos the theme is 'stamp, stamp, stamp'. And, being ahead of the game, I might be tempted to have another go with something different. And it's also for Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra which is always 'anything goes'.

PLUS, please remember that on Wednesday it's Rudolph Day over at Sarn's - always a fun challenge so perhaps this coming week we might have a few more Christmas cards on here that are also for Rudolph Day :) You've gotta start sometime. 

Edit: Nessa has very sweetly asked me to put the Memory Box bells die back into the Toybox and give someone else a chance to win it. Soooooooo, rather than muck about, I'll just use it as a future prize. Perhaps on a week when I can't make a snippets card tied into them there bells :)

Di (and a wave from Parsnip)

Saturday 21 September 2013

Quick little cards

Having packed most of my 'non-Christmas' cards ready to post off to Rach to raise money for the RNLI - Dumbo here suddenly realised I only had a handful of cards left, and those were Birthday ones or already earmarked. Quick action required for some 'general'but still important cards and first of all I made these two little cuties:

Good ole Stampin' Up to the rescue!

I used:

- 3.75" x 3.75" square white card blanks

- stamps from SU's 'For the Birds' set, coloured with Whispers pens - which don't 'bleed' at all so there's no need to worry about layering or possibly backing the inside of the card

Whoosh, super fast but such a lovely stamp set.

Today I'll be writing up the Playground as usual ready for tomorrow  - but it's gonna be a VERY tough one as there are soooooo many fabulous snippets makes from you all this week. I really don't know where to begin - help!!


Friday 20 September 2013

Sunflowers - golden days at the end of Summer

I love sunflowers, such happy flowers and they always make my heart sing. I was so lucky to be gifted some LOTV vouchers by a little group of friends (you know who you are, mwah!!) a while ago and have been hanging onto them like a little squirrel for ages. Finally I spent a voucher earlier this week and one of the items I bought was LOTV's Wild Flowers Art Pad. They come pre-coloured and imagine my delight when I found a fabulous sunflowers image. So I made this card:
I used:

- 6" x 6" square white card blank

- two shades of plain yellow Core'dinations card

- patterned papers from Echo Park's 'Hello Summer' double sided paper pad, including the chevron snippet

- image from LOTV's Wild Flowers Art Pad (pre-coloured of course!), die cut with a Nesties Labels Eighteen die and an embossing tool run round the edge before removing the image from the die. The backing yellow frame was hand cut as usual

- no sentiment, I wanted the lovely sunflowers to make the statement - plus I had little space left anyhow. I love the simplicity of the flowers just individually in plain jars/bottles too

A lot of years ago I went for dinner and an overnight stay with a friend, when I first moved down to London to work. I took her a huge bunch of pink peonies as a thank you for dinner (plus a bottle of wine of course!) - a stroke of luck as they turned out to be her favourite flowers.

The next morning I saw she had popped the peonies into a very simple vase on a coffee table, against a plain wall, with nothing else on it - apart from a botanical book open at a page showing pink peonies. Such a clever idea and really striking. Some folk are just born artistic!

Edit: My buddy Sarn just alerted me to The Curtain Call Inspiration Challenge, where the inspiration is this photo: 
So I'm entering today's card to play along. It look like a fun challenge having peeked at previous inspirations :) Thanks Sarn, mwah!


Thursday 19 September 2013

Thanks a bunch

I recently made a few thank you cards and this was the first one:

I used:

- DL white card blank

- Penny Black 'Love Blush' stamp, stamped with VersaMark onto Clarity coated/silk card and allowed to dry. Then it was rubbed over with Tim Holtz 'Peeled Paint' using a 'sponge applicator thingy with a wooden handle' before being polished off with a piece of kitchen roll. NB. I didn't use embossing powder and heat set it, although that is an optional step extra of course, it was purely stamped with VersaMark and allowed to dry properly before going any further

- the image was then die cut using a Nesties Labels Eighteen die and an embossing tool run round the edge before removing the image from the die

- a piece of green patterned card (a QCME magazine freebie by Pink Petticoat) was trimmed to fit diagonally down an oblong snippet of white card and stuck down before I added three embossed lines. Little trick, which is probably obvious, don't do the initial emboss from the back of the piece of card - do it from the front first so you can see the line of the patterned paper you want to follow, then flip the card over and run down the lines again from the back

- a snippet of  white card was used to stamp an Elzybells sentiment in SU's 'Old Olive', then punched out using SU's 'Word Window' punch, then popped onto a snippet of the sponged green 'Peeled Paint' background which had been punched out using SU's 'Modern Label' punch

Did the supermarket run today and got 'Miss Supermarket Personality of the Year' working on the checkout I unfortunately picked. One of those who totally delights in throwing stuff through ten times faster than you can cope just for the sheer fun of it. Wish you'd seen me juggling with one packet of linguine and another one of spaghetti like a circus clown - oh, and also just add three escaped apples into the mix, five items in one performance. Sigh - am applying to the 'X-Factor Talent Show' as there are skills I didn't know I had just waiting to be exploited :(


Wednesday 18 September 2013

My first Zentangle

A lovely buddy bought me goodies to kick me off on the Zentangling road - there's a loooong way to go yet but I thoroughly enjoyed playing. Amazed how time flew and how relaxing it is:
There are mistakes (quite a few) of course but it's a learning curve that's gonna be a lot of fun :) And it's a perfect way to still feel in touch with the joy of crafting when on holiday with just a few supplies, when the time comes.


Tuesday 17 September 2013

Just a tiny touch of More is More

..........and a lot of care and love came with these cards from Germany last week:

From Mia, our lovely grand daughter - aged almost six and now writing her name and also 'Mama' very well :)
From little sister Livi, aged almost four - the Queen of 'grab it and stick it on' :) No sticker was left untried!
And the envelope, with no room for an address :) So Mama had to pop it into another envelope.

I had loads of beautifully hand made cards from my lovely blogging friends, but I think you'll understand that these two cards just stole my heart :)


Monday 16 September 2013

Frugal Christmas card

One of my newest followers, the lovely Nessa over at The Crafty Laydee, has set a little challenge, it runs until 29th September and there's a lovely prize to be won too.

The challenge is to make a Christmas card using goodies which are not Christmas-specific. What a fun idea, and I knew right away what I wanted to make as a particular die set here, Spellbinders Nested Lacey Pennants, has always screamed Christmas trees at me:
I used:

- 6" x 6" scalloped square white card blank

- the front of a black card blank which came with a silver double frame but the outer edge wasn't very well 'silvered' so I chopped it down to the inner silver frame

- Spellbinders Nested Lacey Pennant die and a snippet of white card. I then ran the die cut 'tree' shape through the Cuttlebug using my Quickutz 'Vines' embossing folder - which shows up much better in real life, sigh

- the little red pot for the tree was made by punching an oval from a snippet of red card using SU's 'Large Oval' punch and then cutting one end straight across

- you know all those 'almost used' little acetate sheets of small gems we all seem to have? I gathered all those together and found a surplus of red and clear crystal gems so I popped red ones onto the body of the 'tree' following the embossed 'vine' lines and then added clear ones round the outside

- and in a little box of sequins I even found a silver star shaped sequin for the top of the tree

Job done! I loved thinking outside the box rather than just grabbing Christmas stuff to use. Thank you Nessa for a fun challenge - and why don't you girls have a go?

You are allowed to add a 'real' Christmas sentiment if you wish, that's one thing it's OK to use that's specifically Christmas. I didn't add a sentiment as I quite like the clean and crisp look of my 'frugal tree' :)

Oooer, and I can also link this card into Craftyhazelnuts Christmas Challenge where you have to hand cut, punch or die cut this week - and also Craftyhazelnuts Christmas Challenge Extra where it's always 'anything goes'.


Sunday 15 September 2013

Pixies Crafty Snippets Playground - Week 90

Wow, we're up to week 90 in the Playground - and I bet it won't be long until we reach the magic 100.

Here's my snippets card for this week:
I used:

- A6 white card blank

- white card embossed with Crafts-Too's 'Snowflake Banner' embossing folder

- Memory Box die called' 'Bells Are Ringing' and lots of snippets. I made three the same using lovely soft silk effect red mirri card and gold self-adhesive sparkly film - just popping the gold pieces into the inside cut out parts of the bells. That left me with gold sparkly 'outer' parts for another three bells. For those I did some playing round, one using the red silk mirri card - OK, OK, I confess - the red mirri pieces had already been scooped into the waste bin here and I could only rescue enough to make one complete pair of bells :) But, more snippets rummaging in the folder which is bursting at the seams and I found some little pieces of clear self-adhesive sparkly film in red and clear. The one above is my favourite, I think the bells look better with the 'frame/outer' part in thicker card

Also, and this is quite important, a bit like peel offs, the self adhesive 'frames' can end up just a smidgen stretched so that it can be tricky making sure the inner gaps are covered properly. My future rule will be firm card for the outer with either the sparkly or possibly contrasting firm card for the inner parts. Still with me? I thought not :(

These are the others so you can see what I mean about the different effects you can get using this lovely die:

I think this last one would be great, without the snowflakes of course, on a Wedding card too.
As I was about to take the photos I realised I'd missed out the sparkly little 'clanger' on the left bell on the card above. Perhaps a fortunate error, 'cos no waaaaay was I gonna get everything out again and die cut one so I just used a Sakura glue pen and some Glamour Dust to fill the area. And that led onto thinking that you can do the same instead of using the glitter film, either by adding glue and sprinkling glitter or even (if you feel up to the work) die cutting double sided self-adhesive sticky sheet for the 'inserts' and then adding whatever sparkle you wish.

Phew, for some small cards that was a very long and rambling explanation but I ended up with six cards to show for it.

So, onto this week's picks, tricky-woo as ever to choose:

Amazing card from Cathy R - I love it and how clever to use the 'daisy edge' border for the window dressing. Love the 'flicking' tail too :)
Apart from snippets, Kimbo's card used the 'faux silk' technique on the image panel - certainly one to try out and a stunning result!
Two beautiful cards from Viv, and I've shown both of them as it shows so well why you should never throw a negative away once you're die cut a shape. Snort, I'm guilty of doing that but these cards made me vow to change my ways. Reading more closely I think that Viv did cut the die a second time but the principle is there!
Elizabeth brought this really classy and elegant card to show, all white is so perfect for Christmas!

Crumbs, every card shown here so far has been white/blue so let's look for some different colours - how about this?
I really giggled when I saw this happy card, brought to the Playground by Lynn H :) And THEN I spotted some follow up comments -  no, no, no - we are NOT having a baby pig to play with in the Playground!
And Debs squeezed, in literally with minutes to spare, as I was typing this - with this lovely card. I adore how the flowers all pick up the colours of the image and papers!

We also have KathyK playing with us now - do please hop over and say Hello. Kathy makes fabulous cards and much more besides - I hope you come back to play again!

OK, so onto the draw now and the winner is:
Wahoo, well done Mo - and I didn't have to do re-draws this week. ICan you please drop me an email with your address in, to save me from searching here - thanks!

And onto this week's prize, as if you haven't already guessed:
Yup, it's the die I used in today's cards - 'Bells Are Ringing' by Memory Box.
Plus, a lovely set of Christmas stamps by Inkadinkado called 'Christmas Silhouettes'. I can just see these stamped and embossed.

AND, it's been six weeks since we had a Ryn Tanaka  stamp on offer:
It's called 'Rising Bubbles' and it's one of those two week things like last time. All you have to do to be 'in it to win it' is to make a total of THREE snippets entries over this week and next - so that might be three in one week, two one week plus one in the other, it's up to you. Of course you can still make a maximum of three entries in one week which would also count. I haven't used my own stamp as yet but can see loads of different things to use this lovely stamp for. I'm offering it now while there is still time for the winner to have some fun before the mad rush of card making before Christmas :)

The Playground will run as usual this week with the gates closing at 11am UK time on Saturday 21st September. Maximum of three entries and please say 'No thank you' in a comment if you wish to still play but not be the winner of the prize this week, as shown above. It might be an idea to also say if you're trying for the 'Rising Bubbles' stamp - sometimes I have to second-guess.

Mr Linky is below - do please let me know if you have any problems linking, I can sort it out for you quite quickly and am always happy to do so.

It's very rare that I have a card all ready for Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge - but this week I do 'cos the theme is 'cut it out', either by hand, using a die or punch. I think you already gathered I used a die :) Coo, being ahead of the game I might be tempted to have another go with something different. And it's also for Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra which is always 'anything goes'.

Di (and a wave from Parsnip)