Sunday 31 August 2014

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 140

And it's September tomorrow - here's hoping for an Indian Summer before the leaves start to fall.

My snippets card is sort of 'countrified simple' this week - mostly due to lack of time crafting and blogging:

I used:

- 6" x 6" square cream card stock

- cream snippets from the snippets folder

- a JustRite Cling 'Burlap Background' stamp, which I love! I stamped a whole background, which comes complete with the frayed edges, onto a snippet of cream card using Versafine 'Vintage Sepia' ink then trimmed it and just glued it onto the card blank

- the flowers were made by stamping onto more cream snippets using the burlap stamp and Memento 'Rhubarb Stalk' plus SU 'Old Olive' ink pads

- the stamped snippets were die cut (then shaped too) using  a Time Holtz 'Tattered Florals' die (which I also used to make leaves by just splitting some of the petals)

- final touch to the flower was a snippet of the green burlap stamped card, punched with SU's Itty Bitty round stamp and then shaped into a dome (also known as 'Sarn candi!)

- the SU 'Wonderful Words' sentiment was stamped using SU's 'Old Olive'

Just to point out, given more time I'd have played with different coloured background card to stamp the 'burlap' onto - I bet there are loads of other ways to play. And I'd have spent more time making sure the stamp was correctly pressed down all over - but it sort of adds to the faded charm :) The stamp is BIG, it's 4.5" x 5.75" and it's a cling stamp, therefore unmounted of course. I might have an acrylic block big enough tucked away but for speed I used the thickest plate from my Cuttlebug.

Straight into this week's picks now:

I mostly post the weekly picks in numerical order, as I make a list as the week goes by. This card, made by Lesley G, was right up there as an early pick and for me it's the top pick of the week too! Lesley gets very excited when her cards are picked so I hope she's sitting down right now :) What I absolutely love about this card is how the guitar was made using SU's owl punch for the body, sound hole and also the tuning pegs - and the design of the card is great too. This is one that a few of us might be CASE-ing for sure! Stop squealing Lesley!! :)

Anne made this great card - I love the impact plus the clever sentiment! It reminded me of when Len shaved his moustache off as it was showing some grey flecks. I'd never seen him without one and he did one half first then popped his head out of the bathroom to let me see. I shouted 'Put it back, I prefer you with a moustache!', Not very helpful was I :(

I picked this card made by Pat because of the fabulous image and colouring. Even the ribbon is a snippet from a top (you know, the narrow ribbon to hold clothes on hangers) - but it's the amazing colouring that really, really got me!

You really must check out how Elizabeth made these wonderful petals and leaves on her snippets card - such a clever idea. See if you can guess and then go and take a peek for yourself!

I love this darling set of card with matching bag - made by Jenny L! Absolutely gorgeous poinsettias and a great way to use up snippets.

This card was made by Bonnie for Merry Monday's challenge. Those of you who don't know, Bonnie is on their DT and chose the theme of Christmas wreath - would you just look at how delicate that wreath is, and beautifully coloured too. I also just realised that the 'Holly Vine' die isn't in a wreath shape when you cut it - that was some careful placement Bonnie!

Thoughts here are turning to school and the Autumn term - some countries kiddies have already returned and some will return after the UK (Germany is around 18th September where our little grand daughters live). Veerle made this lovely House Mouse card to celebrate 'Back to School'. Oh dear, I just noticed one of the book titles in the middle of the pile 'Public Squeaking' - tee, hee :)

Here's something with a difference - our Sam hopped in with a 'brush roll' she'd sewn using up snippets. Brilliant! And of course, snippets can be fabric, lace, ribbon, card, paper etc. etc.

I absolutely had to show you this lovely card, made by Mary H - what fabulous colouring!

This is a great card, made by Sandy J - somehow apple pie and red gingham are such perfect partners. Plus, here's a clever tip from Sandy, you know those peel off or domed letters that always seem to have oddments left? I've got some on my desk right now and they both have the letters U and Y left over - find an M (there's usually more of those) and you've got YUM! :)

And finally, as we're heading towards Autumn I thought this card, made by Sue J, was a perfect way to finish this week's picks! Sue has a link to the digital images website where little Scarecrow Willie' came from  - I know I've bookmarked it!

And we have two new playmates this week:
Rebecca V came to play, encouraged by our Liz (Cavill) and brought this lovely bunting card. A great way to use up snippets! Rebecca hasn't been blogging for more than a month or so and it would be lovely if some of you could hop over to say hello. I predict that we'll be seeing some beautiful cards and that Rebecca will quickly go from strength to strength - take a look at this for example:
That's a first I think for me - can't recall ever showing two cards from a playmate's very first visit but if this card above wouldn't be a winning contender for a CAS or LIM card then I'll eat my sun hat!

And here's our second new playmate's entry:

Another card perfect for 'Back to School' - and I love the paperclips! Elly is the name of our new friend, she hails from the Netherlands and if you hop over I've spotted some great idea for bags and packaging over at Elly's blog! Do remember girls, when a blog is written in other than English you can usually find a translate button either at the top of the blog or in the sidebar. Google translate isn't brilliant but it's a huge help if you're a sticky beak like me and want to find out just how things have been made!

A huge welcome to both of you - please come and play with us often - we're almost at the time for baked potatoes in the bonfire :) Parsnip is hiding this year - he hasn't forgotten attempts to tie a rocket to his back and launch him into space last Guy Fawkes night!

Time now for the draw for the winner of last week's prize, the double pack of Christmas embossing folders and the 'Leaping Deer' die. And the winner is:
Congratulations Elizabeth! I have your address and will pop the package in the post this week :) It's over a year since Elizabeth won a prize, mostly due to opting out of the draw quite often I suspect. But this time I only had to run Mr Random once - Elizabeth popped out straight away and hadn't opted out, yay! :)

And this coming week's prize is, of course:

A JustRite 'Burlap Background' stamp of your very own :)

As usual, the Snippets Challenge will run for one week and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 6th September and will open again at midnight UK time on the same day.

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.

Mr Linky is below - please let me know if you have any problems linking, it's easy for me to sort out so don't struggle on alone :)

Some of you will have noticed that recently it sometimes takes me a while to comment on your lovely snippets entries. I'm trying to balance things a bit more here (running the home versus sitting in the 'woman-cave' for too long) - but will get to you I promise! 

Have a great week! And remember, there's a sticky post at the top of my blog - a free draw for a Joanna Sheen gift voucher. You just need to comment to be in with a chance!
Di (and the usual happy wave from Parsnip of course)

Saturday 30 August 2014

Blogger Reading List

Just wondering if others have lost their entire Blogger Reading List? No matter how much I refresh, I can't see any blogs that I'm following :(

Have been searching online to see if it's a known fault - anyone else got the problem? Am still shown on peeps blogs as following them - it's just the list on my own  dashboard that won't appear - keeps saying I don't follow any blogs.

Almost the same as the previous Blogger boo-boo. I bet someone is tinkering around with versions of the code - why won't they thoroughly test stuff before upgrading! Sigh.


Friday 29 August 2014

Digging around

....amongst some old photo files here and I found this, made almost six years ago for Grand daughter Mia, before I was blogging:

And this was the little sweater I knitted to go with it (or the other way round perhaps!) - Benjamin Bunny of course :)

Instead of trying to actually knit the design into the garment, I did Swiss Darning over the top of the knitted blank front- much more fun and a lot easier too.

The bunny stamp is still on my 'For Sale' page at the top of the blog - but I plan to remove stuff and post it onto a Facebook craft de-cluttering site shortly.


Wednesday 27 August 2014

A purrrrfect Birthday

Quick card from me today - using a couple of dies:
I used:

- A6 white card blank

- SU 'Real Red' snippet, die cut using the Memory Box 'Grand Happy Birthday' die

- snippet of black card, die cut using Cheery Lyn's 'Kitty Kitty Meow Meow' die - which is a little family of four cats. I then separated the little row of kitties and put Mama and one of the kittens along the top of the sentiment strip and the other kitten down the bottom left of the card

That left Papa cat, and I couldn't bear to totally separate him from his family - so he's sitting inside the card now :) How sad, sitting here muttering to a die cut cat.


Tuesday 26 August 2014

Rudolph Day - August 2014

I'm a day later for Rudolph Day than hoped, but the 48 hours or so bug seems to be abating, which is great news :) Plus I need to catch up with Playground commenting ASAP so my apologies for being late.

Anyhow, I managed to make not two, but three cards for Sarn's Rudolph Day challenge - mostly as the topper sheet I used had three images on and I couldn't choose which one of the cute faced critters might not be used and would end up back in the toppers box without his mates :)
I used:

- one 6" x 6" cream card blank and two DL off-white card blanks

- three toppers and two sentiments from KanBan's 'Festive Friends' - Blue' toppers sheet

- navy slightly shimmery card stock

- SU 'Crumb Cake' card stock

- shiny gold Josy Rose nail heads

Remember to comment on my 300 followers thank you candy (sticky post at top of blog) if you want a chance to win a Joanna Sheen voucher girls! :)


Sunday 24 August 2014

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 139

And another week whooshed by - there's been a nip in the air here lately which makes me think that we might have already had our Summer, sigh.

My snippets card for this week is a Christmas card - mostly as I'm trying to offer Christmas themed prizes every other week:
I used:

- A6 white card blank

- a layer of silver holographic card - found in the snippets folder

- the white layer, a snippet, was embossed using a Hero Arts/Sizzix embossing folder called 'Dots'. It's the closest I've found to the one used by Bonnie HERE, which was made for Cuttlebug by Kars called 'Snowfall' - sadly now retired. What's so similar is that the density of the flakes (dots) peters out towards the bottom of the folder plus the dots vary in size too. I love it!

- then I die cut the reindeer using the Memory Box 'Deer Trio' die and sparkly gold sticky back film which had first been stuck onto a snippet of white card. Little tip - when cutting sticky backed shapes stuck onto card it takes a good few runs back and forth through the die cutting machine to cut right through. Be patient and keep the die in place until you're sure the cut is clean - I used a couple of pieces of card as a shim for the final whizz through

- the sentiment is made using triple layered die cuts (snippets of black card) and Britannia word dies

I'd like to enter this into the current 'Merry Monday #122' challenge which is 'Black, Gold and Silver'. And a lorra white in my case :)

And I'd like to also enter this into Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra for August of course - I often forget that it's always anything goes over there with Hazel so any Christmas card qualifies!

Grin, has anyone noticed the Christmas card total on my sidebar? Oh what a sad person I must seem :(

Right, now onto this week's picks - a big headache as usual as there are so many beautiful entries, every single one of you deserves to be a pick of the week but I've had to select just a handful.

Liz has been making some great bookmarks this past week - the type that slip over the corner of a page. I think this one is especially clever :)

This really pretty card, using loads of snippets, was made by Anne F. Such a lovely design and the mauves look gorgeous don't they. Sigh, more dies on the wish list here!

I love this CAS Christmas card, made by Caroline. such a great way to use up little snippets.

I wanted to show this card, made by Kanda (Andrea) for two reasons. I just loved how the added flowers go so beautifully with the image that Andrea coloured. Also, Andrea has been unwell lately so I wanted to send her big hugs from all of us in the Playground!

Isn't this a fun card?! Made by Lesley G - super images and those googly eyes are fantastic!

Here's a change from card making, Sandra H is getting a start on her Christmas wrapping and transformed a bag beautifully! Depending what's put inside, I suspect the bag might be the biggest hit :)
And last, but not least, Mo has been trying out different styles and techniques. I totally love this beautiful butterfly card - just fabulous!

We have one new Playmate this week.

A big welcome to you Sharon! Come back and play again soon :)

Time now for the draw for the winner of last week's prize, the Penny Black 'Venetian Summer' stamp. And the winner is:
Congratulation AJ! I have your address (so long as you haven't moved recently!) and will pop the package in the post this week :)

And this coming week's prize is a 'double whammy':

Of course it's the Hero Arts/ Sizzix Textured Impressions embossing folder - which in fact comes as a sealed pack of two - 'Christmas Words' and the 'Dots' folder. Plus, a lovely Memory Box die which is slightly different to mine but I think it's equally beautiful, if not even better - called ''Leaping Deer' and it was kindly donated by Carol L ages ago. Thanks again Carol!

As I've said before, sometimes donated prizes might sit for a while in the toy box waiting their turn but each one will pop out to play as time goes by.

As usual, the Snippets Challenge will run for one week and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 30th August and will open again at midnight UK time on the same day.

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. As always, if you only fancy one part of the prize (ie. the set of folders or the die) then just say and I would do a second draw if your name pops out.

Mr Linky is below - please let me know if you have any problems linking, it's easy for me to sort out so don't struggle on alone :)

All prizes are up to date and were posted early last week - apart from today's winnings of course :)

I woke up this morning feeling several degrees under and it's got worse as the day has gone on.  So haven't been doing handstands in the Playground while it's quiet there :)

Have a great week!
Di (and the usual happy wave from Parsnip of course)

Saturday 23 August 2014

On the way to a paperless society

I defy you not to laugh at this,  but put that coffee cup down  before clicking on the link!

Told you! Sorry this is just a link peeps, I tried to embed the video but it wasn't playing ball - unless I was doing summick wrong - which is more than likely :(

SQUEAL - at midnight we just saw TWO baby hedgehogs at the feeding station! They're healthy and very hungry - Mum and Dad were there earlier so we were right that there were previously those two adult hedgies cosying up now they brought their new little Prickles :)) Hopefully the little ones will fatten up nicely in time for their hibernation - there's still time before late Autumn we hope.

So funny - Len just scampered out to the garden to refill the feeding bowl (and I suspect put a second bowl out 'cos I can hear chinking outside) - he's like a proud Grandad :)


Friday 22 August 2014

Some of my favourite things

The current challenge over at Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge 190 is 'A few of my favourite things'. With time being at such a premium here, I opted not to go for stamping and colouring images or die cutting - which would usually be high on the list! I also avoided glitter and sparkly stuff but did incorporate the following favourite things into my card: a square card blank, Penny Black Stickeroos, Lily of the Valley papers, spotty ribbon tied with a bow, metallic cord and a charm. Not bad, six things I love to use:
I used:

- 6" x 6" square white card blank

- Penny Black Stickeroos from the 'Snowy Christmas' sheet

- plain green and plum snippets of paper from LOTV's 'Woodland Wishes' paper pad. As always, I stuck the snowman image and the greeting onto the paper backing/frames before trimming down to size - you can just bet it'll be 'wonky' if you try to stick directly onto anything. Doesn't matter so much with shaped Stickeroos but too risky where it's important not to have edges/lines askew 

- then I added a few peel off stars from the same Stickeroo sheet

- the ribbon came from my ribbon box, topped with a bow and then a metallic green cord bow with a snowflake charm

Thankfully this card came together in about 30 minutes from start to finish - I hate missing Hazel's Christmas Card challenge, and I did miss last week :( This is also for Hazel's monthly Christmas Card Challenge Extra - where it's always 'anything goes'.

Friday and the weekend beckons, I'm out on Saturday afternoon but hope to finish the Playground write-up for Sunday before I go - fingers crossed!


Wednesday 20 August 2014

Just saying Hello

I tend to get through a fair few 'general' cards here and yesterday I found a coloured image lurking on the desk which seemed fine for one such card:
I used:

- A6 tent style white card blank, right hand bottom corner rounded using We Are Memory Keepers Corner Chomper

- backing paper from Papermania's Capsule Collection 'Aqua' paper pack, cut to size and the corner rounded to match the card blank

- the image was a pre-printed oval from Craftwork Cards which I coloured with TH Distress Markers. The image is on pearlised card which meant that the distress markers sort of 'ran' a bit but I quite like the sort of 'accidental cloisonné' effect :)

- then the image was just layered onto an oval of white card, die cut using a Spellbinders 'Floral Oval' die

- the sentiment is a discontinued Elzybells sentiment, stamped using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and punched with SU's 'Modern Label' punch

- a couple of black Josy Rose nail heads to finish

Isn't hindsight wonderful, I discovered Elzybells not long before they had their massive closing down sale but only bought one of everything I could lay my greedy little paws on. Just think of the Playground prizes we could have had - sigh :(


Tuesday 19 August 2014

Less is More - animal

The current challenge over at Less is More 185's theme is to have an animal on your card. I sorted through meerkats, dogs, cats, meeces - the lot - before returning to my old favourite. Spike the Hedgehog - who continues to grow at a rate of knots, is a nightly (very noisy) visitor and is eating us out of house and home:
I used:

- A6 tent fold white card blank

- Penny Black Stickeroos from the 'A Bunch of Love' sheet

- sentiment stamp is sadly discontinued, made by Elzybells and stamped using Memento 'Gray Flannel'. Then die cut using a Docrafts 'Speech Bubbles' die which was popped onto the card using a thin sticky pad

- bottom right hand corner was rounded using We Are Memory Keeps Corner Chomper

All Playground prizes were posted on Monday and at the time of publishing this I'm just about to play catch up with Playground commenting too, yay! Real life got in the way recently :)


Sunday 17 August 2014

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 138

Well, there's been a decided change in the weather here - there's almost an Autumnal nip in the air at the moment. But, that hasn't deterred lots of you (65 entries!) from coming to play in the Snippets Playground :)

This is my snippets card for today - it makes me think of holidays in Europe:
I used:

- 6" x 6" square white card blank

- snippets of SU's 'Real Red' card stock plus snippets of paper from the MME 'Sunshine' pad - the black and light ochre band across the middle has a gap in the centre underneath the image 'cos the patterned paper wasn't wide enough

- Penny Black stamp called 'Venetian Summer', stamped using Versafine 'Vintage Sepia' ink pad and coloured with Polychromos pencils and Sansodor blending solution. My original plan was to paper piece the dress, hat and bag/purse but I switched horses mid-stream after one failed dress cutting session! Before and after after mounting the image onto Real Red card stock, I ran a Gold Calligrapher pen round the edges to link up with the gold edging on the ribbon I planned to use

- the ribbon was a little snippet tucked in the ribbon box

- the corners were die cut using a small Real Red snippet with Whimsy Corner dies and then some black gems popped into the holes in die cut shape

Quite a quick make really. Next time I'll Percy Veer with the paper piecing and perhaps keep the backing very plain - but I wanted to use a few snippets this week having cheated a bit recently :)

OK, now for this week's picks - my list built up over the week was HUGE so in the end I numbered the possibles and then drew the names out of a hat. With the exception of one very special snippets make - you'll see that at the end of the list :)

This great card, made by Cathy R really shows what a few snippets can do - an idea well worth stealing emulating :)

I love this hollyhocks card, made by Carol L. So pretty and a lot of patience went into sticking those flower centres in I should think!

Well? I defy you not to  grin right back at this clown - isn't he great - all made by Sue using die cut and punched shapes. Even better, Sue told us just how she did it too!

Loads of you really loved this Christmas card made by Bonnie. It's absolutely beautiful and that pine cone looks set to pop right out of the screen :)

I just love this card, made by Karen P. Brilliant use of leftover inks and the way the butterfly fits in with the lemon/yellow band is perfect!

Lucy W made this lovely card for her Mum. I'm a pushover for GorJuss Girls anyhow and, quite apart from this being such a pretty card, I love the idea of adding similar patterned paper to the centre of the doily.

Sam went wild with snippets this week and made not one but eight snippets cards - all using the same brilliant stamp, but subtly different :) Great work Sam - the one above is on my desk here as I type :)

Isn't this a darling card, made by Greta? Lovely paper piecing and the background just ties it all together so well!

I think this card, made by Liz C, is brilliant! Rainbows always look lovely on cards and I just love the design.

And - we have a very special final snippets make of the week:

Yay! After a blogging break - here's our playmate Victoria and her 'Princess Snippet' :) What a gorgeous photo and how nice to see you Victoria! I bet there'll be a little queue of folk wanting to come and take a peek now, play nicely girls! :)

No new playmates this week - unless you count Victoria's beautiful little baby girl of course.

Time for the draw for last week's prize - the Memory Box 'Tapered Candles' die plus the goodies to make some ribbon flowers.

Before I do the draw - just look at the lovely snippets card that Kath made, we must have been working on them at almost the same time totally unaware what the other one was planning! I love the simplicity of this, in contrast to the one I made, and plan on making a batch bake of them.

And the winner is:
 Cathy R
Well done Cathy! According to my little book here, it's  over a year since you last won a prize. I can't find your address so could you please let me have it and I'll post your prize off ASAP (

And here's this coming week's prize:
Of course, it's a Penny Black 'Venetian Summer' stamp. Although I didn't use it, the set also has the word 'Gorgeous'.

As usual, the Snippets Challenge will run for one week and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 23rd August and will open again at midnight UK time on the same day.

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.

Mr Linky is below - please let me know if you have any problems linking, it's easy for me to sort out so don't struggle on alone :)

Tomorrow is the follow-on from my Creative Blog Hop post. First of all, thank you for your lovely comments and secondly, why not head over to Elizabeth, Sam and Mary H to see what they've written.

Sigh, I found some prizes that I'd forgotten to post still languishing here - I'll be hot footing it to the Post Office tomorrow. Have a great week!
Di (and the usual happy wave from Parsnip of course)

Friday 15 August 2014


A couple of weeks ago I joined in with one of the latest crafting fads 'fun things to do' and bought a set of Brushos. For those who don't already know, they are little drums of highly pigmented water colour ink powder - and when they come into contact with water/moisture the results are amazing! You can use them for water colour painting, ink and wash, stencilling, wax resist - the list goes on. For my first play I just did a 'spray and sprinkle':
I used:

- 5" x 7" white card blank

- a piece of Crafter's Companion 300gsm water colour card (I'd forgotten I had that!), a Ranger Mini Mister and just three or four of the Brusho colours. First I liberally sprayed the water colour card with water and then very gingerly tapped a teeny bit of the colours here and there onto the damp card (safest way is to poke a hole in the top of the little pots and use them much like pepper pots). Then I misted a bit more - and that's the result above :) 

- after being left to dry naturally, I trimmed the piece of water colour card and then divided it into three, mounting each rectangle onto a mat of deep pink card stock

- those were popped onto the card blank - then I sat and gawped for a couple of days, unsure how to finish such a vibrant explosion of colours

- white won the day - die cut 'smile' from Penny Black's 'Hooray' set plus four small butterflies die cut/embossed using SU's 'Beautiful Wings' Embosslits

- final touch - a few small pink gems on each butterfly

Gosh that was a fun first try, what's amazing is that each 'colour' is actually made up of several colours so when the water hits them they spread out like a little explosion.

Care is needed when using Brushos as they will stain if you have any mishaps. I just used some newspaper to protect the desk, an apron, kitchen roll and disposable latex gloves. I don't believe you need to work outside (say in the garden) - I'm the clumsiest crafter around yet I managed fine.


Thursday 14 August 2014

Less is More Week 184 - Foliage

And not only that, it's also one layer week too over at Less is More - double trouble. But, I immediately thought of a little SU stamp from the 'Easy Events' set and this was the result (times two 'cos I made two the same):
I used:

- 6" x 4" tent style white card blank

- using a square Spellbinders die, and a pricking mat underneath for some 'give', I ran a ball ended embossing tool round the inside of the die to emboss the square 

- SU's 'Easy Events' stamp set, the tiny mistletoe and sentiment stamp - which I cut apart

- the mistletoe sprig was stamped using SU's 'Certainly Celery' and coloured using a green Whispers pen

- sentiment was stamped using a Tim Holtz 'Festive Berries' distress marker to colour the rubber, and using the same red marker, I drew a little bow at the top of the mistletoe sprig

- rounded off bottom corner using We Are Memory Keepers Corner Chomper and then just added pearls for the mistletoe berries

Job done!


Wednesday 13 August 2014

Love - heart

The other morning I was 'sat sitting' here, toying with some embellishments that came in the drawers of my lovely hexagonal desk carousel (yup, I succumbed!). One little packet of embellishments had lots of half pearls in different colours and I opened them and just started to push them round separating the colours and making shapes - and an idea was born!

I used:

- 5" x 5" square white card blank

- raspberry red half pearls which had to be stuck individually using Glossy Accents. For the heart outline I used the old trick of embossing a heart outline on the reverse of the front of the card, using just a ball ended tool. That was the guide - I started sticking from the bottom, up each side of the heart as I was sure the pearls wouldn't meet exactly in the centre at the top. And I was right, call it 'operator error', so I just added a further pearl to create an overlap and make it look 'arty farty deliberate'

- the sentiment was die cut from black card, three times and glued together in layers using Glossy Accents before being added to the card



Monday 11 August 2014

The Creative Blog Hop (TCBH)

It's the start to a brand new week and also my turn to join in with The Creative Biog Hop, which is held each Monday. Quick explanation, TCBH is the brain child of a blogger, whose identity seems to have disappeared along the way as the hop progressed. The hop includes all kinds of artists: watercolour, paint, mixed media, and card, as well as writers, photographers, and all sorts of needlework artists.

The idea is for us, as Bloggers, to get to know each other better - some describe is as a game of 'Tag, You're It'. Each Blogger answers four questions about themselves and afterwards they "tag" three more Bloggers and so on and so on it goes.

BTW, with my maths hat on I realised right away that if there are no broken links in the hop, the growth would be exponential with spreading branches multiplying to the point that from just that one blogger on week 1 it would progress to 3 on week 2, 9 on week 3, 27 on week 4, 81 on week 5 on so on. Doesn't seem like so much until you reach week 20 and the figure by then is 116,226,144 - yup, that IS over 116 million! Mind blowing stuff.

So how did I come to join in? Come and meet my 'Tagger'.
Yay, it's the lovely Darnell - whose blog is djkardcreations and someone very well known to most, if not all of you peeps, who visit my blog.

My Photo

Darnell began her journey into card making back in 2002 and, after ten years she finally graduated to the most adorable craftroom in the backyard/garden which she calls her Playhouse. Darnell started her blog on October 14th 2011 in true Darnell fashion - her very first post just says' Here we go! I'm taking this thing for a test drive........'. :) And what a ride it's been so far, in the space of less than three years Darnell has become one of our most loved bloggers, always entertaining (with a vocabulary all of her own), a fabulous card maker and almost 600 followers. She has an almost overwhelmingly kind and generous heart and I'm so honoured that I was chosen to be tagged by her to join in the hop!

My Interview - you might want to skip this part as it's not very exciting!
I was always interested in crafts right from early childhood. My Mum was a talented artist who taught me so much - sadly she didn't pass on her amazing skills at water colouring though, sigh. But, I learnt so much from her in terms of dressmaking, patchwork, embroidery, knitting, playing with fabrics - and of course paper! I made my own clothes for many years (really until it became so much less cost effective) and always had some knitting, patchwork or cross stitch on the go.

Then suddenly 20 plus years ago, - a pretty gruesome accident on holiday left me with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (that's the old term for it) and months of being wheel chair bound before finally learning to walk all over again. But, it was a great lesson in life as I was living alone at the time and needed to keep myself occupied. Do you KNOW how dire children's TV can be day in and day out? I had no home PC so I sent away for some card making catalogues via a craft magazine and thus was born an addiction.

When I moved here with Len, my absolute saviour, bit by bit the crafting goodies grew and I took over the dining room table, with this much loved trolley from Costco as my only storage. Mostly so the dining room could easily revert to it's proper use.

Then, in 2009, we extended the house and part of the deal was that I'd have my own little craft room - yay! It's too messy to show you much right now but this photo gives the general flavour of one wall with sliding doors from floor to ceiling behind which loads of Really Useful Boxes are hidden -  I guess this photo shows about an eighth of the available shelf storage

Then behind my desk there's a tallish open bookcase with just two shelves taken over (as yet) with open storage boxes for paper pads, embossing folders and SU stamps.
Oh, and the top of the bookcase holds a big custom made stand for Pro Markers like this.

Of course the very deep corner desk is pretty loaded, there's also a wire trolley underneath the desk, drawers underneath one side and also low storage units on either side which contain even more Really Useful Boxes.

So that sets the scene maybe - basically I'm a hoarder and also a 'butterfly' crafter. Time to answer those four questions and maybe you'll see why this place is already bursting at the seams:

1.  What Am I Working On Now?

Sigh, OK, I'm caving in - THIS is about a third of my desk right now:
It sort of sums up what I'm working at the moment - I'm sort of in betwixt and between as they say. At the back is the much considered white carousel for craft tools - I love it so much but still haven't cleaned and put away some of the many mugs and pots I used to use for tools. On the glass mat lies this week's Snippets Playground prize - sort of abandoned after I took a photo for yesterday's post. My own snippets card is to the right along with stuff I used to make it with. To the front is a pre-loved Judi-Kins stamp which just arrived this past week - and it's there as a reminder to have a play with art journalling. Just out of shot on the glass mat is a box of Brushos (sort of crystal dye paints)  - I know that Sarn and KathyK especially have been going crazeeeeeee over these and I'd ordered mine at almost the same time as Sarn but so far have been just gawping at the box trying to summon up the courage (and space!) to have a decent play.

2.  How does my work differ from others in my genre?

I'm not sure that my work can be categorised in any way, shape or form - I work very much like a butterfly, hopping about and trying new techniques. One thing that might define my work is that (despite the state of the desk!) I like neatness and order. Even if a card I make is quite busy with lots of embellishments, I spend forever positioning things and playing about with them before finally 'going for it'. That's why art journalling and playing with Brushos for example seems so daring :)
This card is one example of the 'neat freak', I spent hours playing around over a couple of days before I was happy with it - way back in 2012. Snigger, I just finished it last week - JOKE!!

On the other hand, this card (made very recently) recently took no more than 15 minutes to make.

One thing that's different about what I do is of course to look after the Snippets Playground 'challenge'. It was an idea launched originally by Jules and when, after the year she'd promised, I couldn't bear to think of no more weekly snippets therapy - I took over the Playground keys. 

3. Why do I create what I do?

As Darnell said - it gives me pleasure. It's a great way to relax and I often lose track of time - Len jogs me now and then to make sure I keep moving about and don't totally seize up - once he gets past this sign on the craft room door:
There is huge pleasure in sending a hand made card to people, and also donating cards to raise funds for charities. The art journaling is different of course, for once I get to keep that :)

The other angle to crafting, and really it's more the blogging aspect, has to be the Playground. There are some weeks when I'm really tired and making my own snippets make (generally trying to use something the same as what will be the weekly prize) writing the weekly write-up with the picks of the week, welcoming new playmates, choosing prizewinners etc. etc. looks so very daunting when I turn the laptop on. Then I just become drawn in and it's a lovely feeling when the write-up is complete and scheduled. The best part is seeing lovely people coming to play - and not only that, it delights me even more to see folk hopping round amongst one another like a really friendly little community. I probably spend waaaaay too much time reading what you've commented to one another about snippets makes :)

4. How does my creative process work?
 Ah, it varies such a lot! Let's go through the priorities:

- the Snippets Playground is always top priority. If and when the day comes that I can't give it my full attention then I would hope that someone else would take it over who would love and care for it and our playmates as much as I hope I do. So, although I sometimes fall a bit behind, commenting on entries is top of the list unless there's an urgent card to make or other things such as housework etc. really have to be done :) As I comment I jot down a note of the possible weekly picks, new playmates, names of folk who say they don't want the weekly prize - and where I'm up to with commenting on entries (most important and if I ever lose that weekly note it'd mean a lot of reworking!)

- next, it's still the Playground. As soon as I open the gates at midnight on a Saturday, I'm already thinking about what next week's snippets make will be.  As you know, it's normally based around the weekly upcoming prize so I choose that as the starting point, sometimes more than one item which would work together or make a prize seem as equal as other weeks. So, by Friday evening at latest I like to have my Sunday snippets card made and what I used written into a skeleton post (possibly with the topping and tailing with maybe details of the prize plus the Mr Linky code)  ready for the following day.

- each Saturday, with an occasional change if I'm otherwise engaged, I spend most of the morning writing up the rest of the snippets weekly post. I know, I could do this as the week progresses - but I like to have the full picture of entries and my possible picks so I do leave it until the last minute. And of course there's the prize draw which can't be run until after 11am here, once the Playground gates close.

- I keep one of those everlasting Birthday date books and check that at the beginning of each month and also the start of each week to see when I need to make/send cards.

- each day I check my dashboard and try to comment on as many blogs that I follow as possible, in addition to the top priority of the Playground. 

- the remainder of the time is mine to play with and I do check out some favourite challenges as the week unfolds - Less is More, Hazel's Christmas Card Challenge, Merry Monday, to name a few. It's also a must to join in with Sarn's Rudolph Day of course :)

- the process of actually creating a card, as you might guess, varies HUGELY! Sometimes I want to use a particular stamp or a new technique so that drives the process. I might be following a colour challenge, which is something I've only ventured into recently for some reason. Sketch challenges tend to be at one or the other end of the spectrum for me - either I love a sketch or I scream and run away, it's all or nothing where sketches are concerned!

- one thing is now absolutely and without fail part of the colouring process - if I want to use any sort of designer paper in the background I always choose those first, plus any ribbons etc. I might want to use and colour the image to suit.

- the design of the card is usually governed by the image or stamps I'm using - I like LOTV Art Pads loads, and will sit for ages placing frame dies over images in a pad trying to work out the best cut and how to work that into a design I might have in mind. Only rarely will I sit and sketch out a design.

- now here's a last thing about the design process. I don't sleep too well and can often be found at the laptop in the early hours, followed by reading an e-book in bed hoping for sleep. Even after turning the e-reader off and settling down, my mind will wander to possible card designs - and guess what, that always sends me straight to sleep - and the next morning I can't remember what I'd partly designed in my mind's eye! Sigh :(

You'll be happy to know, that's The End :)

What happens next.
It is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to the three fantastic bloggers that I have tagged. These wonderful artists will continue the hop next Monday, August 18th. Please make a note to return to their blogs and follow the hop next week!

In no particular order we have:

Elizabeth of  The Silverscrapper's Craft Space
My Photo 

I chose Elizabeth because she was one of my very first followers and a true friend. I love her blog, her work and clear explanations, and she still finds time to do scrapbooking, sewing and other things. Also, I spent a lovely day with Elizabeth a couple of Summers ago (along with Jan and Julia) and found her to be every bit as delightful in real life as you picture from her blog.

This is what Elizabeth wrote:

‘My name is Elizabeth and I live on the West Coast of Scotland with my husband and our much loved cat, Bonnie, aka The Boss. I've been crafting in one way or another since I was 4 years old, when my granny taught me to knit. I like to learn new crafts and will try just about any technique that appeals. As a keen family historian I was delighted to discover scrapbooking 18 years ago when on a study year over in the USA ... at last, a fun way of preserving personal and family history. That inevitably led to cardmaking – all those leftovers were crying out to be used somehow! More recently, I've taken up crochet again, after a break of 20 plus years and even more recently, with the acquisition of a lovely new sewing machine, I'm in the process of reviving my sewing skills. And, if that isn’t enough, I've now enrolled online for two classes, one on watercolouring for cardmakers and the other for scrapbooking a kit.  When I’m not in my craft room playing with pretty patterned paper, I can be found  in my garden tending my roses.   I began blogging, almost 4 years ago, initially to give me a place to record my craft projects but now it includes just about anything that interests me too.’

Sam of Hettiecraft:
My Photo

I picked Sam for a few reasons - I love this girl! She's a really good buddy, like Elizabeth, and we've been lucky enough to meet a few times and also spend some time crafting together at WOYWW crops. Sam has such energy and embraces so many different crafts such as card making, scrapbooking, quilting, lace making, dress making not to mention chicken and bee keeping. I'm sure to have missed something vital but you must get my drift.

This is what Sam wrote:

'Hello there

I was kinda honoured and scared when Di asked me to join her on this Creative Blog Hop.  First off I need to write a small bio of myself so here goes…

I have been crafting since I was around 4 years old when my Mum used to give me scraps of fabric and a needle and thread so that I could make matching outfits for my dolls.

I have tried most forms of crafting including scrapbooking, card making, dressmaking, lacemaking, knitting, crotcheting, tatting, quilting, patchwork, painting, wallpapering, car maintenance, relining a Trabant ceiling…yes I am in the course of renovating a Trabant with Hubby!   Needless to say I have many projects on the go at any one time.

I am lucky to have a very tolerant Hubby who built me my very own craft room under the eaves of the former walk in loft.  He also makes great tea and coffee and often brings refreshments up to me when I am deeply into whatever project I am working on.  He also is a pretty good cook too! ' 

I wondered what a Trabant was too by the way :) I lifted this piccie from Wikipedia!

And last but not least, we have Mary of Carolina Cards (by Mary H)
My Photo

Now, I've never been lucky enough to meet up with Mary but she has become a great friend over the time we've been following one another. I might be wrong but I think we originally linked through a lovely mutual blogging friend, Bernie? Mary makes me giggle, a lot, and is someone else who doesn't hold the horses when explaining how she makes her beautiful cards.

This is what Mary wrote:

“Hi my name is Mary H, and I’ve dabbled in many crafts over the years..primarily in the sewing genre. I collected fabric for quilting, as I now collect stamps, dies and embossing folders. In 2002 we relocated from our So. Florida home to Upstate South Carolina, after being retired for 2 years. When we’d visit South Carolina, there was a shop called Calligraphy House that was near our family’s home. Of course it made me curious, and I found out it was a stamping/scrapbook store. Neither of which interested me one whit. However, the very shrewd owner invited me back into the classroom to watch some of her customers at work. Hmm…they were stamping, coloring and making some pretty art. It was intriguing as I like color, enjoyed coloring & paper dolls as a child. Of course I had to buy some supplies, which went home and never came out of the packaging. I even got her web address and ordered some supplies (not stamps…just art materials) via the internet. Fast forward a few years, and our SC house has been built & the only people I know in this area are relatives. I would browse around in the store while our belongings were in storage, but didn’t feel I could get involved, as our finances had to be prioritized towards the house, not hobbies. Once I had the option to consider starting something new, rubber stamping seemed interesting, since I had a lot of the art materials, such as watercolor crayons, Pearl Ex, etc. The stamp shop now had a new owner, and she encouraged me to take some classes, but I was very intimidated by the idea of ‘A Class’. It did seem a way to meet new friends, in the first class, I felt so totally out of my depth. All the people I met had been making cards for many years, had tons of supplies, were extremely skilled and I knew nothing about any of it. It became a wonderful way to make friends, and everyone was so kind in helping me learn how to do things. In the process, I also learned lots of things about this area, places to eat, fun places nearby to shop - about stamp conventions.

I started a blog in March 2012, mainly due to the urging of several friends. I loved reading stamping blogs, but I visit other genres too. I kept telling these folks “What the heck do I have to write about that anybody wouldn’t be bored to death to read? And my cards are not good enough for John Q Public to see.” About the same time, I talked to my doctor about my funky memory, my lack of being able to focus as I used to.  My previous work life involved lots of multi-tasking, working under pressure situations to meet deadlines, making sure others completed their assignments, staying extremely focused, etc, and it was extremely stressful every day. When I retired, I basically just started vegetating. I already knew I was basically a mild Type A personality, so just not having goals is not a good thing for me. My doctor said I needed to keep my brain active by learning something new. The blog seemed like a harmless little way for me to learn something new. Nobody but me would probably ever see it anyway. But I’d be learning something about how to set up a blog.  It was a most entertaining adventure from the very start, which has been frustrating, enjoyable, rewarding with learning new skills, but most of all: for all the wonderful bloggers I’ve met, many of whom now feel like long time friends. All these bloggers have been so kind with their comments, & so generous with their help and advice as I’ve continued in Blogland. My very first card submitted in any challenge was at Pixie’s Snippet Playground, and I made a total mess of the process the first few times. Midd Pixie fixed my mistakes, encouraged me and gave me tons of help, for which I’ll always be so grateful.

Other things that I love - not necessarily in priority order are: my husband and daughter, reading, napping, staying up as late as I choose and sleeping likewise; watching old movies on tv, or watching a lot of the British series that are shown on Masterpiece Theater. I think I must have been British in another life! (But I’m a certified Southerner in THIS one). “

So there you have it girls! 

Last but not least, here's a button that Darnell had created - it's a good thing, if you've been tagged to pop it onto your side bar. I was honoured to be asked by three more people to join in this and a very similar blog hop since Darnell 'signed me up'.


If you got this far, you really do deserve the 'sticks like chewing gum' award of the week - mwah!

Normal service will resume just as soon as I recover :)