Sunday 30 August 2015

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 192 - PLUS free Ally Pally tickets!!

Edit - Sally over at Crafty Salutations has two one-day tickets for Ally Pally (19th/20th September) to offer to one of her followers. You can go with a friend for one day or on your own for both days - it's up to you. All Sally wants is for them to go to a good home. My name is in the hat for sure - why not hop over and add yourself into the draw by 3rd September if you'd like to be innit to win it?! You just need to be a follower and leave a comment - plus Sally's blog is a fun place (she's a great card maker, especially backgrounds and scenes - swoon!).

Back to the weekly blog post about Playground antics now - so what happened there then?! 92 entries this week - wahoo!! I couldn't believe it, as fast as I managed to clear the commenting, more of you arrived - what a wonderful turnout - and also what a headache doing the picks!!

But before the picks, my snippets card this week was made using a lovely stamp that Elizabeth sent to me - the image was an absolute joy to colour:
I used:

- 6" x 6" square white card blank

- a large snippet of SU's 'Wisteria Wonder' card stock

- a sheet of diagonally patterned DP from Wild Rose Studio's 'Wintry Christmas' paper pack, plus a long straight spotted snippet from the same pack - adhered down the centre just to break up the expanse of diagonal stripes

- the image was stamped onto a snippet of white card stock using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and the charming Molly Blooms cling rubber stamp, sent by Elizabeth, called 'Herb Box', then coloured using Faber Castell Polychromos pencils and Sansodor blending fluid

- then I die cut the image using a die from the Spellbinders 'Floral Ovals' set and added it to the card front - all done using Collall All Purpose glue

- instead of adding a little sentiment, I added a little butterfly from the Inkylicious 'Flutters 2' clear stamp set. Stamped using Memento Tuxedo Black' ink, coloured and blended as per the main image then tickled with clear Wink of Stella before being fussy cut and popped onto the image with a little piece of thin foam pad. It shimmers so prettily in real life

Let's hop straight into the weekly picks now. I've managed to 'twang' my back, happens on a regular basis, purely by twisting awkwardly. So, I'll type for as long as possible doing picks but might have to cut it a bit short:

I picked this card, made by Darnell, as it's such a perfect example of white on white. It's lovely - and if you know about Darnell's NBUS challenges, you'll be pleased to know that there's another NBUS coming up really soon (September 8th to 18th) - a great way to finally play with some of your Never Been Used Schtuff :)

This great card, made by Jane, features a 'Penny Farthing' bicycle. It did cause a bit of confusion to one of our lovely USA Playmates, but Jane has explained it so well now in her post. I chose this card because not only did I love it at first sight but also because it's a perfect card for a chap and I'm aware that I don't tend to feature those as much as I should!

I chose this card by Em because the design is so eyecatching, and also what a fabulous way to use up 'snippet strips'! One to try for sure - I just bet mine wouldn't be as evenly placed though!

Our Kath ('Plain and Simple' blogspot) made this great card featuring Rudolph. It's a great card to begin with - but what a clever idea to use brown paper (from a paper bag) to paper piece Rudolph's face. Brilliant!

Hettie (aka Sam) has been busy doing other things lately but she did manage to hop into the Playground with this beautiful Christmas card - I chose it because I think it's really beautiful, plus Sam also stamped the patterned background layer.

I'm so pleased that I managed to include a card from Karen (Ladd) at long last. For ages I've wanted to, but didn't think I could as Karen uses Flickr. The other day, when I saw this great scene, I sat and worked out that I could download it, then save it to my own hard drive and then upload it from there! Wahoo! It takes a bit longer than just the copy and paste I can do from blogs - but really happy that you get to see this great card!

This is a perfect CAS card, made by Jenni. Fabulous water colouring and such a fresh looking card! I just hopped over to pick up the image and also the link back to Jenni's - and spotted that Darnell had predicted that this would be a 'weekly pick' in our Playground roll call! Too right - it's wonderful!

I know that loads of you have fallen in love with this gorgeous card, made by Sarn. I absolutely love it to pieces, wonderful colours, great design (isn't the sentiment perfect?!) and most of all I just totally adore how Sarn has used her Memory Box 'Modern Landscape' die by using the two halves in different colours. Genius!

An awesome and very beautiful card, made by Carol. Quite apart from the fact it's a stunner with gorgeous water colouring, I wanted you to see those leaves. Such a great idea, made by using a crimper! Here's a link to a tutorial that Carol made for Operation Write Home - way back in 2010!

Sarah squeezed into the Playground just before the gates closed with this fabulous 'smooshed background' card. I think it's absolutely stunning - see how even the little hearts have been die cut from some of the background waste . Another of those cards which you just stare at and and wish you could come up with such a great design. I did giggle though, over at Less is More this week the challenge is to use sprays/mists. Sarah is of course on the DT and apparently managed to get spray (err) everywhere - including her walls!!

Little toot of my trumpet here - I was utterly delighted to be showcased over at Less is More on Friday with this card:

I worked out that I manage to get into the LIM showcase once a year - and it always thrills me to bits! Then, I was lucky enough to win over at Hazel's this week! Really ought to go and buy a Lottery ticket I suppose! :)

So there you have the weekly picks - and I hung on in there and managed to do 10!!

And we have a two new little playmates this week:
Jane J (I added the J as we already have a Jane) popped into the Playground twice this week. Her first 'show and tell' is this gorgeous journal double page - fascinating to see the 'step by step' as Jane made this too! I've often come across Jane's lovely blog when peeking at challenge entries so am delighted we have a new playmate!

I've been a fan of our next new playmate for ages! It's Brenda of 'Floral Fantasies' - yay! I'm sure many of you know that Brenda works tirelessly running several challenges - including Stamping Sensations, Allsorts and Penny Black and More.
I totally love this card, so soft and gentle. Wonderful pale, softly sheened mistletoe and I truly thought at first that the sentiment had been stamped - in fact it's a wonderfully intricate Tattered Lace die cut!

Onto the draw for the Cheery Lynn 'Choo Choo' train die and the Memory Box 'Modern Landscape Border' die now - and our winner is:
Well done Shaz! It's a while since your last win (about a year) so this was certainly due! I have your address and will post your prize off to you ASAP this coming week.

This coming week's prize is probably quite easy to guess - first of all it's a beautiful Molly Blooms cling 'Herb Box' stamp the same as I used today (Elizabeth sent one for me and one for the toy box - thank you Elizabeth - so, so much!). I think this stamp would be brilliant for any gardener, of either sex, plus I've added in an Inkylicious 'Flutters 2' clear stamp set the same as I also used today, 'cos it was knocking on the toy box lid demanding to be added in :)
The Snippets Challenge will run for one week and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 5th September. The gates will open again at midnight UK time on the same day.

Maximum of three entries and please say in a comment if you wish to play and be a possible winner of the prize. Also, if you already have one of them or aren't really interested in winning both of the packets of stamps but still would like to play for just the one - please say so and if your number is picked as the winner then I'll do a second draw for the other one.

However, the prize IS for both items unless I'm told otherwise in a comment. Do remember that you should also link back to the Playground in your blog post to be eligible for the draw.

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 :)

Di and of course, Parsnip!

Friday 28 August 2015

Fly away with me

I've had a new set of stamps sitting on my desk for a good while now, I won them over at Uniko (thanks again Bev!). Had a little play the other day and this is what I came up with:
I used:

- a white card blank, tent style, cut to 5.75" high x 4.25" wide (to suit the blue mat!)

- a snippet of white card stock, stamped using balloon stamps and accessories from Uniko's 'Balloon Bash' set. Ink pads used were Memento 'Tuxedo Black', 'Paris Dusk' and 'Rhubarb Stalk' - with Brilliance 'Moonlight White' for the stars and 'shaping' on the balloons 

- stamped the sentiment using Memento 'Rhubarb Stalk' ink again and a sentiment from Lawn Fawn's 'Hello Sunshine' set

- die cut the image panel using a die from Lil' Inkers 'Stitched Rectangles' set

- a snippet of dark blue card stock, which I know from my swatch is SU's 'Night of Navy', embossed using the largest die from Lil' Inkers 'Stitched Rectangles' set and then trimmed to suit

- then I just layered it all up using Collall All Purpose glue

The Uniko stamp set comes with both straight and curly 'lengths of string' stamps - I obviously used the curly one but flipped it the opposite way round for one balloon - and also made sure it looks as if the two strings are looped round one another. 


Wednesday 26 August 2015

Less is More - Week 238 - Sketch

Oh I do love this sketch over at this week's Less is More challenge:
It's crisp and clean - and you can flip or rotate it. BUT, dozy mare that I am, I didn't spot the fact there's a sentiment in the bottom right corner until the point at which I'd finished my card(s) and was writing this blog post, sigh :( Then again, quite a few entries haven't followed the sentiment placement and a few of the DT cards haven't followed that either - phew - so maybe it's just optional? Whatever, I'm still hopping over to play as I hate to miss LIM and I totally love this sketch!

This is what I initially made (two the same):
I used:

- 5" x 7" white card blank, tent style

- a slightly smaller white panel

- a cut down to size piece of BoBunny paper from the 'Blitzen' pad. Great to find a use for those papers with an image down in one corner, I can see this sketch being used again with similar paper designs

- a little strip of orange core-dinations card just to break up the junction between patterned and plain

- then stamped the sentiment using SU's 'Tangelo Twist' and a sentiment stamp from Woodware's Clear Magic stamp set - 'Christmas Bubble Tree'

And then whilst everything was out I flipped the sketch and made two more using a different paper from the same pad:

So that's four more for the box, yay!


Tuesday 25 August 2015

Batch baking Christmas cards

I realised that my target of 12 Christmas cards per month might not be hit in August, so had a little bit of a batch baking session. I made six cards, three of each colourway:
I used:

- 4" x 5.5" white card blanks

- pearlescent white 'Centura' card, deep red satin mirri card and gold mirri card for the candles and entwining ribbon - die cut using a Memory Box 'Tall Taper Candle' die (having backed the card with Stick-It adhesive sheet

- plain white card onto which I layered and pieced the candle and entwining ribbon

- deep red satin mirri card and gold mirri card to back the image layer

- layered everything up using Collall All Purpose glue

- to finish off I added a gold peel off sentiment, at that point after what seemed like hours of work, no way was I gonna risk stamping and embossing in gold!

After uploading the photo I noticed that although the 'entwined ribbon' on the left card is gold all the way, the reddish hue in the bottom part of the gold mirri is the reflection of the top I was wearing when I took the photo! Apart from setting up the camera, running out of the room and taking photos remotely it's just something I have to live with I suspect - unless anyone has any easy solutions? Anyone suggesting 'Don't use shiny mirri card' will be immediately sent to stand on the naughty step!! ;)

And, although I do love this die, so much so that I gave one away as a Playground prize back in August last year, there's definitely a knack to using it if you want to fill in the candle and ribbon with die cut pieces. I think it looks really elegant with just the outline, but this time round wanted to experiment a bit.

I've found the same problem it with some other dies too - if you're not careful when assembling the die outline and 'filling in' pieces, the outline could be slightly distorted which ends up causing problems with unwanted overlapping or even gaps.

My way round this was to cut all the pieces I wanted to use, sort out what was what and line them up in little rows. Then, I carefully peeled off about a third of the protective backing from the adhesive which was on the die cut outline, starting from the bottom - and stuck that bottom third onto the card panel I was using. That gave me something of a starting point for the bottom half of the candle and two of the ribbon twists. Then it was just a case of carefully working up the length of the outline, peeling off about a third of the backing again, gently applying the outline and adding in the inserts - and the same for the top third.

By doing the process in stages (OK, so it takes a little bit longer but so worth it!) you're applying the framework of the image bit by bit rather than in one fell swoop where there's much more chance of distortion. Ask me how I know this :)

I just KNEW I'd read thoughts about using this die elsewhere, and just found it over at Cathy's blog. Her solution would work wonderfully well too - especially if you're gluing the pieces in place rather than using the sticky adhesive backing.

I'd like to enter these cards into Rudolph Day for August over at ScrappyMo's, where it's always 'anything goes'.

And of course, I deliberately used gold on the cards so I could play along over at Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge this week (use some gold) - and I'm also entering into Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra for August, where it's also always 'anything goes'.


Sunday 23 August 2015

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 191

Another little neighbour had his 2nd birthday during this past week - it's Max's little brother Charlie this time. I'd asked his Mum what Charlie liked, having made the excavator card the other week for Max, and amongst Charlie's favourites things are trains - so a train it was! And this is my snippets card for the week, every single scrap of card came from the snippets folder too:
I used:

- 6" x 6" square white card blank

- a (large) snippet of SU's 'Real Red' card stock

- snippet of 'cloudy sky' backing card, made by Kanban and bought ages ago, stuck over the 'Real Red' layer

- snippet of SU 'Mossy Meadow' card stock, die cut using a Memory Box 'Landscape Border' die, trimmed down to fit and then stuck over the 'cloudy sky' backing card

- snippet of SU 'Certainly Celery' card stock, die cut using a Spellbinders 'A2 Curved Borders One' die, trimmed down to fit and then stuck over the 'Mossy Meadow' layer

- snippets of red and blue card stock and Memory Box 'Tiny Village' die set, which was a present from ScrappyMo,  added these to the hillsides

- a snippets strip of dark brown card stock to sit the train on

- snippet of SU 'Real Red', die cut using a Cheery Lynn 'Choo Choo' train die - which was then stuck along the top edge of the brown strip. I was quite concerned that the die cut might not be too easy to remove from the die itself - but it worked like a dream without any need for waxed paper and all the little windows etc. popped out beautifully 

- also die cut more of the 'Landscape Border' just to fill in here and there on the 'Certainly Celery' Layer, along with a further little house

- printed 'Happy Birthday Charlie' onto white card stock and just drew and then fussy cut a 'puff of steam' around it

- drew and fussy cut another 'puff of steam' and topped it with a '2' which was die cut from a snippet of SU 'Real Red' card stock using a Memory Box 'Classic Numbers' die

- drew and fussy cut one more small puff of steam - then stuck all three onto the card using thin pieces of sticky pads

And moving swiftly onto this week's picks:
This was immediately going to be a pick of the week, brought to the Playground by Lynn (Jimlynn). A brilliant card, such a cleverly made scene (get the crab's eyes!) - and I love how the darling bear (possibly Parsnip with a suntan!) 'planted' his surf board in the sand :)

But, even just as important is that fact that our much loved Playmate Lynn found the time to make and blog this card. I posted here a little while back that Jim (Lynn's husband) had a stroke and I know that so many of you pitched in to send cards, keep Jim and Lynn in your thoughts and prayers. Well folks, Jim is coming along nicely - certainly out of hospital and I think also home from rehab. Your positive thoughts are still needed please - and even though Lynn is obviously shorter on free time right now to blog hop and comment in return - I bet she'd appreciate a little hello from you. AND, if you do hop over - please peek at this card too - I loved it straight away, but then rolled round laughing at the irony of the sentiment combined with the 'little blue bird of happiness' - I've never seen such a perturbed/disturbed expression on a bird! :) Lynn's sense of humour is still the tops!

Isn't this a fabulously rich and beautiful card? Made by Greta and I just think it's gorgeous - wonderful gold stamping on the brayered background. Perfection - there's just something so luxurious about it!

Sue J hopped into the Playground three times this week, each time with a potential pick of the week - but I stuck to my original choice in the end. Plenty of snippets and little details such as the 'poinsettias' being made from the alternate background papers really added to this already lovely card - and of course that LOTV image is one of my all-time favourites. I always giggle over the wee angel's dingly, dangly socks hanging from her feet :) Sue is someone else who's been in the wars, now almost recovered from what sounds like spectacular acrobatics over Woody, one of her pooches :(

The next couple of cards were brought to us by Playmates who are regular picks of the week - but there's absolutely no way I want you to miss these makes!

Laurie blew me away with this card, everything about it is just so 'right'. See how the backing paper goes so well with the snippets tree? It's in the Merry Monday challenge link ups too and must be a winner for sure!

Pat is another one of our regular picks, and there was just no way this fantastic Golden Wedding Anniversary card wasn't going to be shown here.The front of the card is acetate, a super idea - and Pat carefully backed the heart etc. so that it looked perfect from the inside as well!

Minions really are taking the World by storm right now - and Mary Anne brought us this really great little chap to show - so clever! I keep thinking I should knuckle down and make a Minions card - there are lots of tutorials out there to follow :)

This is such a pretty card, made by April. I love the colours and also the jaunty placement of the top layer. I did grin, April apparently 'pinched' some snippets from a friend for the flowers - I've offered to post her a box full of mine if she likes :)

I just love this card, made by Jean! So wonderful how the colours of the background ribbon and the orange layer are perfectly matched to the colouring of the image and that gorgeous butterfly. Which, has some clever touches added by Jean - nip over and read about the antennae!

Time is zipping by (writing this on Saturday morning), a very generous neighbour who goes fishing called by with some fish for us and I ended up standing chatting to him for quite a while! My fish pie is on the menu this week now - if I remember I'll jot down the way I make it, take a photo and post it on here sometime soon. It's ages since I posted a recipe on the blog! Too busy cooking up a storm with snippets I suspect :)

Best press on with our three new Playmates now, and two of them are the grand children of our Playmates - start 'em young:

These really cute cards were made by ScrAPamondo's nine year old niece - aren't they just adorable? I love the patchwork look to those owls :) And I found out that the little crafter is called Aurora - what a beautiful name!

Nate, who is the grand son of Karen (Hasheck) made this terrific Minion card (told you they're popular!) for his - as yet unborn - new cousin. So talented of Nate to make the card in such a clever shape too! I think, but am not 100% sure, that it's also Karen's first trip into the Playground - hope to see you again soon Karen!

Jenni hopped in waving this totally stunning card - another entry which literally brought me up with a start this week! It's just perfection isn't it?! And you truly have to hop over to Jenni's and read her funny comment after her hubby asked what sort of person would she send a card to with the lifesaver sentiment on. I giggled for ages over it! And, whilst there, do check out her cards - some wonderful inspiration to be found - so we hope you'll be back to play with us regularly Jenni!

Now for the prize draw, the Woodware 'Jigsaw' and 'House' punches if you remember, and I do so wish I had loads of them to give away as many of you thought they would be such fun to win. But, with only one winner, this is who popped out of the Randon Number Generator:
And it just shows how random Mr Random is - Helen only began playing with us at the beginning of August (although she did play when Jules was running the snippets challenge) so a nice quick win there kid! Can you please drop me an email with your address and I'll post the punches off to you this week (

And this coming week's prize is:
Yup, it's linked to my snippets card (as is the case when I can manage it) and this time it's a couple of dies the same as I used for little Charlie's card, a Cheery Lynn 'Choo Choo' train die and also a Memory Box 'Modern Landscape' die (which is so, so useful for many cards - fabulous for Christmas backgrounds of course!).

The Snippets Challenge will run for one week and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 29th August. The gates will open again at midnight UK time on the same day.

Maximum of three entries and please say in a comment if you wish to play and be a possible winner of the prize. Also, if you already have one of the dies or aren't really interested in winning both of them but still would like to play for just the one - please say so and if your number is picked as the winner then I'll do a second draw for the other die.

However, the prize IS for both items unless I'm told otherwise in a comment. Do remember that you should also link back to the Playground in your blog post to be eligible for the draw.

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 :)

And do remember, it's Rudolph Day this week - starts on Tuesday 25th and runs to the end of the month - over at ScrappyMo's, and there's a lovely Memory Box 'Stitched Holly Leaves' die as a prize. I'll be playing as usual - why not combine a snippets card with a Christmas card for Rudolph Day (whisper, after this one there's only three more until the real thing!).

Di and of course, Parsnip!

Friday 21 August 2015

MM # 169 {Lt. Green, Dk Green and Red!}

The challenge this fortnight over at Merry Monday is Light Green, Dark Green and Red - and this is the luscious inspiration photo:
I also wanted to make my weekly card for Hazel's Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge ('something old') and also her Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra for August (anything goes). So I went rootling through my oldest Christmas stamps and this is the card I came up with: 
I used:

- 6" x 6" square white card blank

- large snippet of SU 'Real Red' card stock, topped with a slightly smaller snippet of SU's 'Certainly Celery' card stock

- a piece of white card stock and in the centre of the back I placed a Spellbinders circle die - the 3" cut size and just ran an embossing tool around the inside of the die to give me a 'guiding circle' when stamping

- I used a 2006 Rubber Stamp Tapestry peg stamp set called 'Boxes and Bows' with the following ink pads - SU's Certainly Celery', 'Mossy Meadow' and 'Real Red', plus the little pieces of foliage were stamped using an Encore ' Gold' Ultimate Metallic ink pad. I've had the inkpad for donkeys years, along with a silver one - and wondered how come they're still so lovely and juicy - checked the bottom of the pads and they're made by Tsukineko in Japan, one of the best ink pads makers IMHO

- finally I trimmed the piece of white card down to fit on top of the red and light green card layers (another instance where it's a good idea to leave the final trimming of an image layer until the end) - and then stamped the sentiment in the middle of the wreath using SU 'Mossy Meadow' and a stamp from the Personal Impressions 'Many Greetings' sentiments set

Ha! I remembered why I don't use these wooden peg stamps very often, especially this particular set - my OCD side gets the twitches as you feel like you're effectively stamping blind if you are a precision freak like me :( So I only made the one!


Wednesday 19 August 2015

Less is More Week 237 - 'Congratulations'

Wow, such a wide brief for this week's theme challenge over at Less is More - 'Congratulations'. 

I already had the germ of an idea after making my snippets card for this last Sunday's Snippets Playground - where you can win a Woodware punch the same as I used on my card, plus another one shaped like a darling little house. Just make a snippets card and come around to play. This is what I made for Less is More:
Probably one of the simplest cards I ever made!

I used:

- 4" x 4" square white card blank

- snippet of black card stock, measuring 2" x 1.5"

- two snippets of metallic linen effect card stock, one gold and one silver, punched using the Woodware 'Jigsaw' punch (approx. 1" at the longest part) and the two pieces interlocked and stuck onto the black oblong piece of card

- sentiment from SU's 'A Word for You' stamp set, stamped using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink

After the thinking process, this was (obviously) made in a jiffy :)


Tuesday 18 August 2015

New Mexico NBUS!

Slap my wrists, I haven't used this lovely stamp since buying it almost three years ago in the fabulous store called 'Guadalupe' in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Time to put that right, and I made three little cards all the same whilst at it - to enclose with Snippets Playground prizes:
I used:

- 4" x 4" square white card blank

- then used the NBUS stamp, made by Stamp A Mania 'called 'Framed Window' and Black Archival ink to stamp with

- then I coloured the image using first of all Distress Markers - deeesaarster dahlings!! The colour ran beyond the nice permanently stamped lines as soon as they caught sight of any water, a much too intricate design to take well to Distress Markers - lesson learnt and it went in the bin

- so, I tried my Whispers Markers, much better! I usually just use Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink with Whispers Markers but found that the Archival ink (which I'd used due to my intentions of colouring all the images with water based Distress Inks) was much better when colouring a whole image, more about this below :) I deliberately kept the colouring a bit patchy/rustic like a few paintings we saw in New Mexico, honestly!

- then trimmed the image down to the fine black lined edge, ran a black marker round the edges just to make sure no bits of white could be seen

- mounted the image panel onto a snippet of thin black card stock

- added the word 'hello' to the bottom right hand corner of the card using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a sentiment stamp from the Stampendous 'Happy Messages' set

- then just stuck the image panel onto the card front using Collall All Purpose glue

Some low down on the Whispers pens.

I've had my set of 36 pens for well over 10 years, long before I had Twinkling H2O's, Aqua Markers, Pro Markers or TH Distress Markers. I think they possibly preceded those products in the crafting world, although am not 100% sure of that. They came with their own stand and sit permanently on my desk within easy reach.

After I'd made these little cards I Googled 'Sugar Loaf Whispers Strokes' pens and found out some interesting facts. First of all, they're water based! Who knew? I certainly ought to have known as I've successfully used them to colour actual stamps and 'huff' before stamping - so no wonder Memento stamped images had a tendency to bleed if I did much more than just add a tickle here and there.

They most probably will 'pill' card stock if you don't work with very light strokes or if you go over the same area more than once or twice, I certainly find this and it applies to even the best of card BTW.

Then I went looking to find where the markers could be bought and also the cost of them nowadays. First of all, the cost - from what I could glean they're not readily available and even when I found them in the UK, they can cost about £3 each - more expensive than Pro Markers. I did find what seems to be the same product, marketed by Darice and costing around a dollar fifty each in the USA - quite a difference huh?

They can be purchased from Amazon but the reviews are very off putting. The 'pilling' was an issue that invariably annoyed folk (possibly not being gentle enough) but more seriously the quality of the product seems to have totally nosedived :( Peeps were complaining about the flimsy and shoddy construction, the brush ends being frayed and even pens being already dried out when they arrived after purchase!

Things have obviously changed since I bought mine all those years ago - so my advice is to be very wary if you're ever tempted to buy Whispers. After all this time, mine work as well as when I bought them - but given the little bit of research I did the other day, if they do go to the great pen cloud in the sky at some point, I won't try to replace like with like :( Such a shame as I would have loved to be able to write more positively about Whispers pens but things move on, and not always for the better :(

Making these cards really set me off hankering to return to New Mexico where the doors and window frames truly are that wonderful vivid blue in many of the old (and newer) adobe buildings. And the light there is just amazing - an artists dream to paint in 'The Land of Enchantment'. No wonder Barbara Gray loves it there!


Sunday 16 August 2015

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 190

I've had to manage the Playground all on my lonesome this week, even Parsnip went on strike 'cos he missed Eve :( It's been another busy week with loads of fabulous entries as always. I often have a little smile and wonder if your snippets truly are going down - or are they increasing, like mine?

My card today used up a variety of little snippets, and I even daringly threw some of the waste into the bin rather than snip a little square or rectangle from it to keep for another time:
I used:

- 6" x 6" square white card blank

- a biggish snippet of SU 'Real Red' card stock

- an A4 sheet of white card stock, onto which I printed the sentiment 'I love you to pieces', towards the bottom - when I trimmed it later, the unused strips were saved of course :)

- eight little snippets of coloured card, from each of which I punched two jigsaw pieces - making 16 in total. I used a Woodware jigsaw piece punch, which is almost 1" at the widest point

- using a very soft pencil I then lightly drew up a grid of 16 boxes above the sentiment, and also drew lines across and down the centre of each box to be sure of precise placement of the 16 jigsaw pieces (that OCD again!), then I glued the jigsaw pieces in place using a 'Zig Squeeze and Roll' glue pen.

- measured and trimmed down the SU 'Real Red' card stock and the white piece of card stock which was now decorated and ready to go. That way I could work out the right measurements to trim them down to - much easier to give oneself a bit of leeway and leave the finite measuring and trimming until the end in this case

- glued the red layer onto the card blank and then rubbed out the pencil lines on the white jigsaw patterned layer (they had helped me with measuring the trimming down, which is why I'd left them). Then glued that layer on top of the red one - both done using Collall All Purpose glue

I did make up the design myself, but I subsequently found loads of on-line fun ways to use jigsaw shapes, I'll be trying a few out over the coming weeks. And, the little jigsaw shapes made by using this super little punch do actually link together really neatly - in fact my first play was to make a solid block of the jigsaw pieces but then I decided to space them apart for this particular card.

Now let's check out this week's picks:

Cathy R made this wonderful card using such lovely MFT dies - and of course plenty of snippets too. I love the simplicity and such a perfect design for a baby with those 'blocks'.

How about this beauty for a riot of the most fabulous jewel-like colours, and of course some jewel like gems as well! Made by Jenny L.

A huge WOW from me when I spotted this fantastic make, brought to the Playground by Diane H. You absolutely must go over to Diane's blog and see all the wonderful detail - plus pointers to show how Diane set about making this gift packet - which she then inserted packets of seeds into for a gardening friend. Brilliant idea!

This card is a 'virtual thank you' from Lynn (Lynn's Crafty Corner), for her recent Playground prize. I do so love this die - and the ribbon is such a perfect match don't you think? It was actually a scrap from a package - just shows you should never throw even snippets of ribbon away!

I just love this Christmas card, made by Helen. Great little image and such a clever touch to add the faux stitched snippet strips of paper behind it! Great how the red in the patterned paper really makes the polar bear's little parcel on his nose 'pop'.

Having a little smile here, one of our Playmates has an aversion to penguins on Christmas cards as Santa lives at the North Pole and penguins live at the South Pole (and other places, but not at the North Pole). I'd never stopped to think about that one before. Added to which, quite rightly, she is adamant that the only place that penguins and polar bears would meet is in a zoo :) as polar bears live in the North. So it's possibly a little bit naughty of me to 'light the blue touch paper' - I know that there are quite a few LOTV Christmas images showing both polar bears and penguins together. Tee, hee - I wonder if I ought to send our little Playmate a card using one of them this Christmas :)

I think this is such a pretty card, made by Ileana. Lots of snippets and some beautiful colouring of the Saturated Canary image. Love how the embellishments (ribbon/flowers) match the image colours perfectly too!

This is another card and a great idea to layer the washi tape onto snippets of card stock and if you look closely at the glorious flower there's some wonderful sparkly gold dots to be seen - love it!

Maura always makes such fabulous cards and this one really caught my eye - isn't the sentiment with the pink flamingo so clever? Lots of snippets of course and a perfect design too. Ahem, and of course this card turned out to be an 'enabler' for me - watch this space :)

And last, but by no means least, Eve hopped in with this really gorgeous card. So elegant and I adore all the sparkly silver embossing, a card which just exudes style.

Wahoo, nine picks this week - I was ahead of myself during the week writing the basics of this post so had extra time yesterday to include more picks than usual. It's not something I'd have time to do very often though :(

And, we have a new Playmate this week:
It's a young lady named Annie, who is Linda's Grand daughter. We already have one Annie in the Playground so I'll refer to our new Playmate as Pixie Annie - one of her preferred names for the blog she wants to have includes Pixie in the name. Good choice there Pixie Annie, and a really lovely card, love all those flowers and lovely butterflies!

Time now to pick the winner of the Memory Box 'Prim Poppy' die and the Couture Creations 'Compassionate' embossing folder - and the winner is:
Wahoo, Meg's name came straight out (sometimes I have to run the Random Number Generator more than once if it picks someone who doesn't want to be in the pot for the prize) - and what's even nicer is that this is Meg's first Playground win. She first joined in the Snippets Playground in June 2014, so this was more than due!

I don't have your snail mail address Meg so could you please drop me an email ( with it and your prize will be posted off to you this week. Well done - good things come to those who wait :)

And here's the prize for this coming week:
It's two Woodware punches, approximately 1" or so in size, making up the one prize. On the left is a 'Jigsaw' punch and on the right is a 'House' punch. You might well remember the house punch when I went crazy over this fabulous card, made by Liz, the other week:
And of course I used my own jigsaw punch on today's card. Both punches have endless possibilities and, even though they aren't exactly lightweight, I will post them to anywhere in the World if the winner happens to live outside the UK.

The Snippets Challenge will run for one week and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 22nd August. The gates will open again at midnight UK time on the same day.

Maximum of three entries and please say in a comment if you wish to play and be a possible winner of the prize. Also, if you already have one of them or aren't really interested in winning both of the punches but still would like to play for just the one - please say so and if your number is picked as the winner then I'll do a second draw for the other punch.

However, the prize IS for both items unless I'm told otherwise in a comment. Do remember that you should also link back to the Playground in your blog post to be eligible for the draw.

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 :)

Di and of course, Parsnip!