Friday 30 October 2015

Birthday card for yet another male

It's no secret that I really struggle with male Birthday cards - teenagers are the worst I find. Also, October and November are really busy months for Birthdays so there's not much time to download digis and/or have colouring sessions. This is the card I made for one of Len's great-nephews:
I used:

- DL white card blank, tent style

- piece of red card from the snippets folder, die cut using the Memory Box 'Grand Happy Birthday' die, trimmed a little and then added to the bottom of the card blank (I'd used Stick-It adhesive sheet when cutting the die)

- using Ranger 'Black Archival' ink and stamps from Indigo Blu's 'Loud Music' set I then just stamped three images above the die cut greeting

Quite a quick card to make, if you discount the couple of hours (no kidding!) I spent hunting round for ideas!


Wednesday 28 October 2015

In my thoughts and in my heart

We all know that Sympathy cards are so very difficult to make, especially when they're for someone you just wish you could scoop up in yours arms and hug.

I recently made this card for our blogging friend Brenda, after hearing that her much loved husband Dwayne had passed away:
I used:

- approx 4.252 x 5.75" white card blank

- next cut a piece of white card, slightly over sized and embossed it using a Cuttlebug 'Pinking Stitch' embossing folder and trimmed down to size

- worked out where I wanted the sentiment to fit and before stamping it I die cut the flower aperture using Penny Black's 'Bashful' die

- next, added the sentiment using Memento 'London Fog' ink and a stamp from the Inky Doodles set called 'In my Heart'

- used the die cut flower from the card front and also die cut another flower head, coloured both with Whispers markers

- then added some sticky film behind the aperture and popped the whole flower in place followed by gluing on the top layer - to make the flower look fuller

- stuck the whole image layer onto the card front, still using Collall glue until I find out how to use tape without positioning it wonky

- added three plain sequins

- final touch, clear Wink of Stella on the petals and leaves - then some 'Tea Dye' Distress Stickles to the centre of the flower

Made with a heavy heart but a whole lot of love.


Tuesday 27 October 2015

Cuttlebug Mania - Trees (Autumn/Christmas) and Rudolph Day

The latest challenge over at Cuttlebug Mania is a really seasonal one - it's 'Trees - Autumn/Christmas'.

However, you do have to use a manual die cutting/embossing machine (it doesn't need to be a Cuttlebug but it must be manual, not electronic). And, you can't mix the two, it must be all manual please. I've seen some lovely entries using a mix of the two making them ineligible, which is such a shame. Then make your entry, link into the challenge, link to the challenge in your own blog post and and make sure that you also say what products you used for any die cutting/embossing.

Our sponsor this fortnight is Crafty Individuals - wahoo!

I dithered about for ages before making my DT card, which is also my entry for October's Rudolph Day Challenge over at Scrappy Mo's. This is what I ended up with:
I used:

- 4.25" x 5.5" white card blank, tent style

- piece of blue backing paper, cut to fit, from LOTV's 'Frosty Christmas' paper pad

- Centura Pearlescent white card stock from which I die cut the Memory Box 'Debutante Frame'

- next, using more white Centura pearlescent card, backed with Stick-It, I die cut the Memory Box 'Lamp post Frame' and part of the Memory Box 'Modern Landscape Border'

- ran the 'Debutante Frame' - which is the solid background, and also the little piece of the Memory Box 'Modern Landscape Border' through the Cuttlebug using the Cuttlebug 'Snowflakes' embossing folder

- layered all three on top of one another to create the scene and then added it to the card front

- stamped the little sentiment using silver ink and a stamp from the Personal Impressions 'Many Greetings' set

- punched out the sentiment using SU's 'Modern Label' punch and layered it onto SU's 'Modern Label' ends punched from a snippet of the blue paper - by just snipping the blue punched piece in half and then tapering it towards the centre it just provides a touch of blue to pick up the background paper

- final touches, Stickles 'Icicle' here there and everywhere plus some lemon Stickles in the lap itself and the window and doorway of one of the houses. Plus a couple of domed iridescent embellishments at either side of the sentiment 

- then I rounded off the bottom corners using We Are Memory Keepers' corner chomper/rounder

I really set out to make a totally white on white card but ran out of Centura white card :( As it was, the in-house critic thought it was too 'wishy-washy' anyhow - can't please 'em all!

And, remember that you can also use up some snippets at the same time - as well as entering into Rudolph Day! Three challenges for the price of one card :))


Sunday 25 October 2015

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 200!!

Well, that one snuck up a bit, although a couple of you did already spot that this would be Week 200 in the Snippets Playground!

Celebrations are in order I think - but first here's my snippets card and a perfect excuse to use pink:
I used:

- 6" x 6" white card blank

- quite a few pink snippets, starting with a largish one as a 'frame'

- topped that with a snippet of pink flowered card from First Edition's 'Sweet Owl' paper pad - next I die cut the flamingos and the heart using the fabulous 'Flamingos' die set by MFT, and a few little snippets of pink, grey and black card (all backed with Stick-It adhesive sheet)

- at that stage I could work out which sized Lil' Inkers 'Stitched Rectangle' die would work best so I then die cut a rectangle and placed the adorable flamingos where I wanted them to be, with a pink heart (which also come with the die set) in between

- the black eyes could have been die cut but I found a very small hole punch which is the perfect size

- then came the sentiment and I used Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a sentiment from the super co-ordinating stamps set by MFT called 'Tickled Pink'. Stamped onto a snippet of pink card and just trimmed to size

I love, love, love this co-ordinating die and stamps set, huge fun to make up the flamingos and  there are so many terrific sentiments to choose from I had to ask my 'in-house critic' to pick one! Needless to say I did look on line for hints about how to assemble the flamingos and had a right old giggle when I spotted that a few folk had accidentally switched the pairs of legs over so that the feet on the ground were facing backwards :)

Right, no hanging about, straight onto the picks from this last week, and it's been one of the most difficult weeks to choose just a few. Eve rightly commented that she didn't envy me, having seen to many absolutely fabulous snippets makes that you brought to show. Anyhow, here's just a few, do try and hop over to last week's other entries for a peek - some stunners there!

This is one of those makes that totally rocks you on your heels - Sonia made this utterly fabulous box and the detail is just stunning! My top pick of the week for sure! It's all beautifully photographed and explained in her blog post so I do hope you'll nip over for a closer peek!

I picked this terrific card, made by Kath, because it serves as a great reminder never to underestimate just how effective patchwork squares from snippets can be.

And here's another great use of snippets, made by Carol L , an Origami Christmas tree! What beautiful colours, and it's made from just four squares of snippets paper.

I'm so taken with this idea I did a little search on the internet and came up with THIS tutorial, dating back to 2008 - so where have I been all that time to have missed such a great idea? Thanks Carol for the inspiration and thanks to LeeAnn for posting the tutorial all that time ago!

This is a super Christmas card with loads of detail, made by Donna. You truly should hop over for a look, the inside is absolutely beautiful as well!

Val was first into the Playground this week, and I immediately picked this card for my 'possibles' list (which can be well into the teens before I have to weed it down on Saturday mornings when writing this post). It's so pretty and I love the combination of dies and flowers with that beautiful apricot  - fabulous!

Jane J created a brilliant Christmas card - and she drew the Man in the Moon herself, how clever is that then? Plenty of snippets used too - great work Jane!

Autumn is well and truly here now, and this fabulous card made by Pam sums it up so perfectly! LOVE, love this card with those wonderful leaves!

And as we're into the run-up to Halloween, I thought I'd finish with this brilliant shaker card, made by Diane H. Apparently the spider is a she - how silly of me, of course it's the gingham bows that are such a give away :) Too cute for words!

That's eight picks and I could keep on going with a load more but the ironing is leering at me from the utility room, sigh :(

Time for the draw for the Presscut 'Step Card Cutting' set of dies - loads of you were keen to win this set! Yet another time when I wished I had a good few of them to give away but there could only be one winner:
Oh, that's really lovely. Maura has been playing along with us since mid-June and this is her first win. I'm sure lots of you will have spotted that she's often on the weekly picks list, so I'm sure you'll all be really happy that Mr Random chose her! Maura, can you please let me have your address so I can post the die set off to you ( Thanks, and well done!

By the way, if you live in the UK and desperately want this die set I'm sure that Icon UK is the cheapest around. I buy most of my dies from them!

Onto the prize for this next week - and of course it's your own set of MFT 'Flamingo' dies and the co-ordinating 'Tickled Pink' set of sentiments, aka Prize A - one of these is on offer, as a co-ordinating pair. It would be unfair to split them up - they're used to one another by now :)

The Snippets Challenge will run for one week and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 31st October. The gates will open again at midnight UK time on the same day, while the witches are still on the prowl :)

Maximum of three entries and please also link back to the Playground in your blog post to be eligible for the draw. As always, I only include folk who say a positive 'yes' for the prize in a comment. In the past I sometimes had to do redraws after publishing winners so decided this was easier. Plus, some weeks the prize is made up of different items, some of which folk may or may not want.

BUT WAIT - there's more!

I really couldn't let our 200th week go by without something special so I'm ALSO offering two Sizzix stamp and die sets. One is a Tim Holtz Alterations set called 'Holiday Joy':

And the other one is called 'Ornaments #3' (but it's not a Tim Holtz one).

I have to confess that I bought these sets in a brilliant Sizzix sale a good while ago and it means there's actually three prizes in total if you include the MFT Flamingos - and that means more chances to win! There are no special conditions this time, such as entering over a two week period - all the prizes, jelly, ice cream and cake will be on offer during a week long party this week!

In a nutshell, you can say 'yes please' to all three of the different sets of stamps and dies or you can pick just one or two .......... or none of course! I'll do the draw for A, then B and then C. 

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 :)

Have a great week and I hope you find time to join in the celebrations - I did hear whispers of pumpkin carving behind the bike sheds too! No prizes for guessing WHO started that little lot off :)

Today is the 600th Anniversary of The Battle of Agincourt and Len is off to an archery event at his club ............ dressed like this and taking his longbow in the spirit of the day where they'll be shooting from afar at a target different to the normal bullseye ring ones -  I can't even see it in the distance!
He had a 'dress rehearsal' here yesterday, so I grabbed the camera and chased him out into the garden for a photo call :) The hood does fold down and there's a cosy little knitted cap on his head underneath there - so at least he'll have a fighting chance of seeing where he's aiming!

Hope you remembered to change your clocks? And do remember that it's Rudolph Day over at ScrappyMo's - it runs from today until the end of the month. A good time to combine your Christmas card with snippets :)

Di and of course, Parsnip!

Friday 23 October 2015

Mia's 8th Birthday

Our little grand daughter Mia had her 8th Birthday recently. She's mad about horses and loves her riding lessons, so the choice of theme for this card was already decided on a while ago. She also loves the colour blue, and that had a little bit of a bearing as well:
I used:

- 8" x 8" square white scalloped edge card blank

- plain blue SU card stock 'Marina Mist' for the main frame and the frame (which was die cut using a Lil'Inkers 'Stitched Rectangle' die) round the beautiful horse image 

- covered the main frame with a piece of lighter blue trimmed down paper from LOTV's 'Bear Necessities' paper pad 

- wrapped a snippet of white satin ribbon down one edge then stuck the whole thing to the card front

- tied another snippet of white ribbon round the attached strip of ribbon just in a knot and added a little 'Princess' charm to it, using opalescent cord

- next die cut the greeting from white card using the Memory Box 'Grand Happy Birthday' die and popped that down in the right hand corner of the card before adding '8th' - die cut from more white card using a Memory Box 'Classic Numbers' die and Tattered Lace 'Every Day Anniversary Alphabet (D695)' dies

- at that point I could see where to position the image, so next that was glued in place

- added 'MIA' to the image, die cut using white card and Tattered Lace 'Every Day Anniversary Alphabet (D695)' dies

- final touch, three white paper flowers (possibly 'Prima'), which already had the plain gemstone centres - glued in place using my glue gun

Ha! Then of course I needed to make up a box to protect it en route to Germany :) Hope you had a super Birthday Mia - and that Mama has recovered from the Birthday party!


Wednesday 21 October 2015

Guitar card for the Birthday Boy

First of all - thank you so much for the comments about my embossing folder issues which I wrote about yesterday - lots of great suggestions - which will be tried before the folder ends up in the waste bin I promise :)

As already said, it was a special Birthday for Len last week and  some of you know that he's a keen guitarist, at the last count he had five guitars in various genres and that's why his cards from me often feature music or guitars. I'd seen some brilliant guitar shaped cards on blogs and some featuring cards with guitars cut from templates (Pat made a beauty not that long ago in fact!).

Whilst searching for templates I stumbled across a more abstract style that really took my fancy - and to be honest I didn't trust my free hand cutting round a template even if I managed to find one either!

I can't track back to where it originated to give credit but there were at least a couple of versions on line. No instructions on any of the cards I spotted but it wasn't difficult to fathom out what to do and this is what I ended up with:
I used:

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

- SU 'Early Espresso' card stock for the main layer, cut just a little smaller than the card blank

- snippets of black and SU 'Whisper White' card stock, die cut with circle dies from the Tonic Studio's set

- layered those onto one another to form the 'sound hole' and then, using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a stamp from SU's 'Sincere Salutations' set, stamped the greeting

- at that point I could work out just where I wanted the 'sound hole' to sit so that was stuck in place next

- using gold cord for the strings I wound it around the card - all in one piece - held in place by ultra sticky tape at the back

- at that point I glued the whole front piece to the card front

- next punched the 'bridge' using SU's 'Word Window' and 'Whisper White' card and stuck it in place, making sure it was very slightly curved over the 'strings', then added a black Josy Rose nail head at either end

- then sneaked a plectrum from one of Len's guitars and drew round it onto a snippet of red card before fussy cutting it

- stuck it in place with a little piece of thin sticky pad and then added the magic Birthday numbers, using gold peel offs

Yup, the card was a hit - even though you can't get much of a tune out of it :)


Tuesday 20 October 2015

A little bit of dry ambossing

First of all, thank you to everyone who hopped in with ideas about what to do with the huge number of hand made cards I have that are looking for a good home. I'll let you know the outcome, mwah!

This is my latest card:
I used:

- 5" x 5" square white card blank

- a snippet of plum coloured card trimmed slightly smaller than the card front and popped into place

- a piece of paper from the Wild Rose Studio 'Butterfly Garden' paper pad (free with QCME magazine ages ago), cut down to size

- snippet of cream card stock, embossed using a recent freebie with QCME magazine - a butterflies embossing folder which is beautiful but it did so want to cut right through the card stock I used

- trimmed the embossed panel to size and stuck it onto the Butterfly Garden background

- added a little strip of plum card to break up the join between the embossed panel and the patterned paper. As usual, I deliberately had the plum card strip longer than needed and just trimmed it down with scissors (from the back) after it was stuck in place

- stuck the whole panel over the plum background with a border showing

- added gold 'Happy Birthday' peel off strips down the plum centre strip

Any ideas about the embossing folder malarky? It's quite thick plastic and took some cranking through the Cuttlebug which I did fear for at one point - am sure I once read something about adding a sheet of sacrificial paper to folders which threaten to cut your card - problem is that might make the tightness situation even worse :( Shame as it's a lovely folder too.


Monday 19 October 2015

A question - surplus cards looking for a good home

I've just been packaging up yet more cards, doing inserts, adding envelopes and popping them into cello bags. When I went to put them in the box of existing 'finished' cards I realised that there are many more in there than I could possibly use. They're just sitting doing nothing.

Does anyone know of a UK based charity that would like about 50 for starters? They're not Christmas ones just general ones like Birthday, Anniversary, Wedding and such.

I'd be very happy to post off a box full if they're going to help raise some funds.


Sunday 18 October 2015

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 199

Phew, thanks so much to Eve for taking the pressure off me this past week - both by commenting and also choosing the weekly picks. It's been a busy time here, from the beginning of the week and then Len had a special Birthday on Thursday and we've been celebrating :)

My snippets card was made to be given to the Birthday Boy from all the garden wildlife he so diligently looks after - and hedgies seemed to be a good choice for the image:

I used:

- A4 white card stock, cut to 6" width but left full length so it would go through the Cuttlebug

- Presscut die set called 'Step Card Cutting' - I first spotted this fabulous set over at Liz's blog, and in fact she sent me the card she'd shown too! Needless to say, my little feet didn't touch the ground - whoosh, I was off to order it!

- first I cut the main body of the card. I'd read someone in a review saying that you needed extended plates if you just had a small platform as I have on the Cuttlebug. Not so at all! I just taped the main cutting die in place on the card stock with removable sticky tape then after cutting one half just moved the uncut card and die (which was still in place) up between the plates and then cut that part - simples

- folded the card on the score lines and it was ready to decorate

- next die cut four scalloped panels using green snippets from the snippets folder (I suspect they could be Papermania paper) and added those to the stepper card

- the image is a Penny Black stamp - pre-loved and called 'For You'. Stamped using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and coloured using Pro Markers

- then die cut the image using a die from the Spellbinders 'Distressed Rectangles' set

- added 'It's your birthday' to the image using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a stamp from SU's 'For the Birds' set then stuck the panel in place

- the 'Hope you have a perfect day' was stamped in Memento 'Tuxedo Black' and the stamp is an ancient Elzybells one (sadly discontinued)

- cut down the sentiment and popped it onto a backing frame of orange card (another snippet) and stuck it in place

This die cutting set is absolutely brilliant - I even used one final die once I'd printed off the greeting to go inside - it's actually shaped to sit beautifully inside the card. Thanks for pointing me to this great set Liz!!

Let's move straight onto Eve's picks from last week, and why she picked them:

39. Carol L.   Because that owl is just adorable. Her paper piecing is perfect and with the added colouring it brings it to life. Love the colours too!

40. Sparkling Pink (Ileana).  The Promarker colouring on this card is amazing and it looks like a bit of paper piecing too – stunning!

42. Jackie T.  This fabulous scene is magical. Everything is perfectly placed and the sky looks dreamlike with that flying Santa image.

43. Diane H.  Wow! A crisp, clean card which looks like a work of art.

56. Alison C.  When I first saw this card I thought that Alison had punched out patterned paper but she has actually stamped those squares – fabulous! It also looks like a real fabric quilt.

I did giggle, Eve hit my problem - absolutely unable to whittle down to a top three - and even then I'm sure there were many other entries she could have included above! Well done to everyone who entered, whether a pick or not.

We have two new Playmates this week:

Sara made a wonderful snippets card - and created the beautiful background by using real fallen maple leaves, inks and her brayer. Fascinating to read how she did it on her blog post - go see :)
Ellen came to play next, all the way from Norway, bringing us two fabulous cards to show - this is her first one.  Love all the vintage detail, so pretty!

Welcome to the Playground Sara and Ellen - we do hope to see you again.

And of course it's time for the draw for last week's two prizes of SU stamp sets, kindly donated by Eve. First out and the winner for Prize A, the 'Nature's Perfection' and 'Simply Wonderful' sets is:
Elizabeth was happy to be in with a chance for any of the stamp sets and it's lovely to see her win as she doesn't often say 'Yes please'.

And the next winner, for Prize B, 'A Happy Thing' set is:
And this was a happy choice too as Lynn was only playing for the 'A Happy Thing' set - apparently she doesn't have any bird stamps and also Eve's lovely 'lemons' card using the same set had inspired her!

So, we should have two happy bunnies :) I just checked and it's well over a year since either of you girlies had a win - plus I do still have your snail mail addresses so will pop your prizes in the post this coming week.

And for this coming week, I bet you already guessed what the prize is?!
Yup, it's your very own Presscut 'Step Card Cutting' set of dies - and as I already said, you can use this set perfectly well on something as small as a Cuttlebug too!

The Snippets Challenge will run for one week and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 24th October. The gates will open again at midnight UK time on the same day, just before we turn our clocks back and then really step into shorter days.

Maximum of three entries and please also link back to the Playground in your blog post to be eligible for the draw. As always, I only include folk who say a positive 'yes' for the prize in a comment. In the past I sometimes had to do redraws after publishing winners so decided this was easier. Plus, some weeks the prize is made up of different items, some of which folk may or may not want.

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 :)

Thank you so much again to Eve for all her help this past week - I do have a little list here of names of playmates who have offered to have a turn at being Prefect for a week and it's good to know that help is out there.

Have a great week, and thank you all for your wonderful comments and support to one another - and especially your support to Eve who worked so hard! This is what she wrote in her email when she sent her picks to me yesterday morning - and I fully endorse her words, it's you girls who make the Playground so very special:

'I would like to thank everyone again for their warm comments and for making me feel very welcome. The playground really is the best place in blog land.'

Di and of course, Parsnip!

Friday 16 October 2015

Addicted to CAS - 'Sparkle'

I just worked out that this is only the sixth time I'll have entered into the 'Addicted to CAS' challenge. I think it's because the new challenge posts on a Saturday almost at the time I'm writing up the Snippets Playground so it sort of slips past me on the dashboard. I aim to put that right 'toot sweet' and the current challenge code word is 'Sparkle':
And this is what I made, knowing I had a perfect sentiments stamp set to kick start things:
I used:

- 6" x 4" white card blank, landscape style with the opening on the right

- a slightly smaller piece of the same white card stock, with a star die cut in the top left quadrant

- next I stamped the sentiment using two stamps from the MFT 'You were meant to sparkle' set and Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink. The set comes with a large SPARKLE and lots of other wording to combine with it

- die cut a star the same size as the aperture from a snippet of glittery/sparkly silver card - using a die from the MFT 'Stars' set

- popped piece of double sided sticky behind the star aperture with the sticky face showing through the aperture and then popped in the die cut glittery star

- went round all edges of the reverse of the 'star front-piece' with Collall All Purpose glue, leaving the protective backing on the reverse of the added in die cut star area. This meant that patch wouldn't stick to the card blank and I could still have some 'wiggle room' so then I just added the front to the card blank

- decided to 'light up' the word SPARKLE using teeny little clear gems (and, as ever, it was impossible to capture the sparkles properly on camera, sigh)

A fun card to make, and also made so much easier by the lovely sentiments stamps set I used! And I quite like the landscape side opening style as a change :)


Wednesday 14 October 2015

Less is More - Week 245 - Autumn

The current challenge over at Less is More is 'Autumn' - with the added caveat that it's 'one layer'. I sat here wondering what to do and then remembered that a while ago, after asking the opinions of those who play along in LIM, the rules were amended by the team to allow inlaid die cuts on 'one layer cards' - so long as the card was still flat. Thank you so much girls, from that change sprang this card:
I used:

- 6" x 4" white card blank, tent style with the bottom right hand corner rounded using Fiskars 'Corner Rounder' scissors

- three snippets of card in brown, rust and yellow and leaf dies from the Spellbinders 'Fall Foliage' set. Shame on me, I've had these dies for ages and this is the very first time I've used them

- next stamped the sentiment using Tsukineko Brilliance ' Pearlescent Chocolate' ink pad and a sentiment from a lovely little set by Technique Tuesday called 'Stems'. The darling stamp set was enclosed in a Birthday card the other week by a very sweet friend, mwah, thank you again :)

- opened out the front of the card, laid it on the Cuttlebug cutting platform and then placed the die cut leaves where I wanted to cut and just replaced them with the three dies before running the card front through the Cuttlebug

- cut a single piece of card a smidgen smaller than the card front and covered it with double sided adhesive film before rounding the corner. I used stronger stuff than Stick-It as the sticky had to adhere the whole piece of card firmly inside the card front

- peeled off the extra layer of film and stuck the inner piece of card behind the front of the card, leaving the leaf apertures backed with sticky

- then it was just a case of popping the leaves in place to complete the card

I think doing this write-up took longer than it did to make the card!