Friday 29 April 2016

Parsnip's little army

I said in Sunday's Snippets post that Parsnip had discovered the sweet little teddy bear die I bought recently. So it seemed only right to die cut a little army (six for now) and make a few cards to enclose with snippets prizes - just to stop him whining on:
I used:

- 4" x 6" white card blanks

- snippets of white Centura pearlescent card stock, die cut using Frantic Stamper's 'Teddy Bear' die

- little snippets of black card stock to die cut the little button eyes and nose - cute :) To adhere them I just popped a little bit of sellotape behind the die cut apertures left in the white bear's face and stuck his eyes and nose in place

- snippets of SU's 'Certainly Celery' card stock, die cut using Lil' Inker's 'Instant Camera' die

- on three of the cards I stuck Parsnip in place looking out of the Polaroid frame before backing the aperture with paper from Dovecraft's Back to Basics 'Bright Spark' paper pack

- on the other three cards I added the striped backing paper first and positioned 'Parsnip' to look a bit like he'd hopped up and was sitting on the frame with his legs outside, ready to make a bid for freedom

- then I stuck the almost completed frames onto the card blanks, leaving room for wording underneath

- using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a variety of stamps (plus the invaluable Misti) I then stamped the wording onto the Polaroid frames and the card itself. The sentiment sets I used are: Technique Tuesday's 'Stems', Stampendous ''Happy Messages' and Paper Smooches 'Sentiment Sampler'

Not satisfied with being the focus on these little gift notelets, Parsnip now wants a crash course in learning how to write!

Anyone want to adopt a little white bear? He's fairly well house trained, if a little bit excitable :)


Wednesday 27 April 2016

Rudolph Days - April 2016

That came around fast! It's time again for Mo's monthly Rudolph Days challenge where you have from the 25th to until the end of April to link up a Christmas card - with the chance of winning either a lovely poinsettia die or a really cute stamp.

Oh boy, did I struggle making my entry :( I had a lovely new Poppy Stamps die to try out and I just couldn't get a decent cut of the central snowflake part at all using anything more than just thin card. It was almost as if the die was blunt. I did Percy Veer though, trying many different combinations of sparkly card, sticky backed card, mirri card etc. etc. and eventually ended up with a result which didn't go into the bin. Not sure if I have a duff die or perhaps my Cuttlebug is feeling its age? :(
I used:

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

- a piece of Centura Pearlescent White card, embossed using a Sheena Douglass folder called 'Christmas Greetings' and trimmed to slightly smaller than the card front

- Poppy Stamps 'Snowflake Ribbon' die and (after much trial and error) satin deep red mirri card - which looks black in the photo!

- I stuck the die cut in place onto the embossed panel using very narrow red line tape and left a bit of overhang. Trimmed off the overhang from the reverse side to get a flush cut along the edges of the embossed panel

- next, die cut a larger snowflake from silver holographic card backed with medium grade sticky sheet, using a Memory Box 'Lindeman Snowflake' die and popped it on top of the deep red snowflake (that cut beautifully)

- final touch, a sparkly diamante snowflake embellishment in the centre of the layered die cut snowflakes

It's strange really, as you know I frequently buy duplicates of stuff so that I can offer one as a Playground prize. I really hesitated before ordering this die and decided to only get the one until I'd had a play with it - thankfully!

I've since wondered if the design of the die with the long tapered ribbons (which cut perfectly) and then a really heavily detailed snowflake bulking out the centre is part of the problem. I tried it at all angles using different shims and places on the plates - and the more I think about it the more I feel there's a connection between the design of the die and my problems. Sigh :(

Unless any of you sweeties have any thoughts? And you know what made matters worse? I'd already embossed and trimmed the backing panels for three cards when I began die cutting - being a stubborn mule though, I did in fact manage to complete three cards the same!

I've emailed Poppy Stamps, so far no reply but I live in hope.


Tuesday 26 April 2016

Cuttlebug Mania Challenge - 'Butterflies'

Time for another fortnightly challenge over at Cuttlebug Mania - and this time the theme is 'Butterflies' - one or more is fine. It was my turn to choose the theme.

You do have to use a manual die cutting/embossing machine for Cuttlebug Mania entries (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. 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 is Crafty Individuals and you can see the fabulous butterfly stamps they'll be giving to the winner over on the Cuttlebug Challenge blog.

This is the card I made:

I used:

- 5.5" x 4.25" white card blank

- a snippet of teal card as a narrow 'frame', glued onto the card front

- white card stock, embossed using a Craft Concepts folder called 'Dandelion Whisper', trimmed and glued into the teal layer. First outing for the folder, which I've had for a while now

- snippets of teal card in different shades from light to dark, die cut using Frantic Stampers 'Petite Butterflies' plate

- the plate die cuts eight (3 sizes) butterflies in one go, complete with bodies which you can use singly or layer up. I think they would be great fun in really wild colours mixed like hot pink, lime and tango orange for example

- I layered some of them up and left some single, using Glossy Accents and a cocktail stick before gluing them onto the card front and flicking the wings up

A really quick and fairly CAS Cuttlebug Mania DT make from me this time but it was fun playing with the butterfly die cuts and I can see this die being used a lot more.

Sigh, it was on offer at a third off so I tried to get one as a Playground prize, no luck though - they emailed a couple of days later saying they only had one available :( More annoyingly, they did the same with a lovely Christmas die I also bought and wanted one the same for the Playground toy box. I suspect they were trying to clear out their Frantic Stampers old stock. That's a pet gripe of mine when stockists don't have real-time stock levels shown - some of the smallest sellers can do it so why not the big boys?!

Grump over, hops down from soap box.

Why not make a snippets card covering both Snippets and the Cuttlebug Mania challenge? I'll be watching with interest :)


Sunday 24 April 2016

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 226

Hi there - another new week in the Snippets Playground! Without any further waffle, let's get straight on.

My snippets card today is THE most unashamed CASE ever - and it's a Christmas card so look away now if you're faint hearted and just think it's too soon for Christmas cards!

The story of this card: back in Week 204 in the Playground, Kim made THIS card, which I had as a weekly pick. Kim got the idea from elsewhere - but what really struck me besides the snowman as seen from above was her totally brilliant use of the swirling embossing folder, not seen that anywhere else for sure! It bugged me for ages and in the end I just had to make it (three the same in fact!) although I did also use a round swirling sentiment 'cos I already had that stamp and then made the arms a little differently (die cut them) and added a hat - but other than that it's a very obvious copy - made with much admiration of Kim's original card. And, at the back of my mind I just know that one of you girlies also did similar as well - please say if you did a 'viewed from above snowman' card and I'll add a link here:
I used:

- 4" x 5.5" white card blank (I almost used white Centura Pearlescent card stock to make the card blank but opted for plain 300gsm white - in the interests of economy :)

- piece of baby blue pearlescent card stock, embossed using a 4.25" x 5.75" folder from the Cuttlebug 'Coolio' set of four folders (an unusually modern set of folders) and trimmed to just slightly smaller than the card front before being glued in place

- white Centura Pearl card snippets, die cut into three circles using dies from the Tonic Studios 'Circle Layering' die set and edged with 'Crystal Ice' Stickles

- layered the bottom two circles onto the card front using Collall All Purpose glue

- next added the arms using ultra sticky tape underneath where the snowman's head would sit, die cut then trimmed from a snippet of brown card using a Memory Box 'Woodland Branch' die

- two little snippet strips of royal blue card had the ends fringes and were then added directly onto the underneath of the snowman's head - which was then backed with a thin sticky pad and added to the snowman's body

- used small and a couple of larger black self-adhesive gems for the mouth, eyes and buttons

- then added an orange carrot nose and black hat - hand cut from teeny little snippets

- the sentiment was stamped onto a snippet of white Centura Pearlescent card stock using 'Jet Black' Ranger Archival ink and a (sadly discontinued) sentiment from Elzybells

- die cut the sentiment using a circle die and glued it onto the card front before adding three small aurora borealis gems - look closely, they are there!

The reason I used black gems instead of my intended punched black dots was 'cos even without those this card is large letter rate. Plus, for posting it'll need a small piece of bubble wrap or similar to protect the snowman if it's posted rather than hand-delivered.

Thanks so much once again for the inspiration Kim!

Let's move straight onto this week's peek at the picks:

Lots of you have already hopped over and commented on this terrific card, made by Liz - who so often comes up with brilliant ideas. I especially love the 'Pin Art' effect of the threading in opposite corners - took me back a few decades to when I used to sit hammering 'pin head tacks' into material covered board with a paper pattern taped over the material (you tore it away after the pins were in place) to create crochet thread wall art. I made a gold and silver Penny Farthing bicycle on a black velvet background once - what a dust trap but it was a real talking point (the threading, not the dust!).

Next I moved onto making macramé hanging plant pot holders, and hung them all over the place! Added to the cork tiled feature walls (remember those anyone?) it really was a bit of a 70's time capsule. I've often wondered how much the next owners of that house (they still live there all these years later) cursed us when they came to remove them - don't let's go down that road! That's why sticking anything at all to walls apart from kitchen and bathroom tiles is so off my list! We made the mistake of having some decorative wallpaper borders here about 20 years ago now - very much the fashion then but now we're trying to get the very last of the flipping things off it's a total nightmare!

Enough of the rabbiting already - let's move on:

Love these darling Babushka dolls, made by Carole J. Great use of snippets and such a clever idea to have a smaller one tucked inside the other one - really ingenious and lovely paper piecing Carole!

Laurie always comes up with new and innovative ideas for using dies - then shows them here and forces encourages some of us to run off and buy even more dies than we already have or need. Love this card, and what great paper piecing too! A perfect New Home card.

I totally love this Fathers Day card, made by Jackie T. A wonderful nautical design (clever porthole!) and lots of lovely die cutting using up plenty of snippets as well. Brilliant!

I totally went 'Wow' when I saw this beautiful card, made by Glennis. Glennis makes me smile, she make such gorgeous cards and is also a lady of few words. Right now she hasn't got the follower numbers she deserves (IMHO) so I'm asking that perhaps you hop over and add yourself. She will most probably do a (very quiet I'm sure) Happy Dance! This card is so beautiful, perfectly stamped in luscious colours and I just love the sentiment.

White on black is so 'in' right now and always reminds me of those Dymo labelling machines we had years ago. I know they've made a comeback but these days it's all electronics, back then you twiddled a dial round to set one letter in place at a time before squeezing the sides together to make the impression. I used to sit for literally hours (in a kaftan or flared trousers of course) labeling music cassettes, copied from my ex-OH's vast collection of vinyl (he copied and taped, I labeled as instructed, so we could play them in the car or caravan cassette players. Gosh, I do so sound like my Granny!

And here's another example of a really gorgeous card, made by Greta and also using the white embossing on black technique for the sentiment strip - love it! So bright and a real splash of Spring as well.

I could go on for hours here - but there's washing on the line calling to be ironed. I love that smell which seems to permeate the house when the iron is being used on linens and clothes freshly dried outdoors.

Do remember that previous Mr Linkies are always there in previous weekly posts if you get time to go and have a browse, or want to check out an idea you spotted - as always, there are so many fabulous ideas from you all that it's a real headache getting the number of picks down to something manageable.

We had one new Playmate this week:
Lesia entered this gorgeous April Showers card over at Cuttlebug Mania, I spotted that she'd used scraps/snippets and encouraged her to come and join in the fun over here. Such a sweet image and a perfect design.

Sending a huge and a happy 'Hello' to you Lesia - hope to see you back again!

Time now for the prize draw for the Uniko 'Pure Florals: Gerbera' stamp set, and the winner is:
Well done Andrea, it's almost six months since your last win and I do still have your address. In fact, I've just had a walkabout break and have packaged your prize already.Will post it this week - hope you have fun using it. It was a popular prize, not surprisingly really - and I did wish I had a few more to offer of course! Uniko's prices are creeping up so please - if you want a stamp set - order it ASAP. Bev keeps her prices as low as possible I know so just be aware that general costs are rising.

Now for this coming week's prize - a couple of (always new and unused) items, the same as I used for my snippets card:
 It's a four piece set of Cuttlebug embossing folders, called 'Coolio' in  (very modern and different with two dies sized 5" x 7" and the other two at 4.25" x 4.75", it also includes the design I used for my snippets card above of course) - plus, a Memory Box 'Woodland Branch' die.

Now, you don't need to make a snowman card of course - the folders are pretty funky and would be especially good for male cards I think - I can see robots for example! Plus, the 'Woodland Branch' die has umpteen uses besides snowmans' arms :) I've seen birds perched on it, baubles dangled from it, a cluster in a die cut vase with just a few small flowers (very Oriental!) - and many other ways of course. The vase can be cut from a bauble die BTW :) Sold you on them?

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

A maximum of ONE entry and please say in a comment if you wish to play and be a possible winner of the prize. If you only want to play for either the embossing folders or the branch die, just say so in your comment and if you win then I'll do a further draw for the other item. Please 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 :)

Hope you have a lovely week and I look forward to seeing you in the Playground.

Parsnip is was strutting round here - like a flipping peacock. Whilst on line browsing for something altogether different I found a really sweet little teddy bear die and of course had to have it for the little cards I make to enclose with Playground prizes. It's Parsnip to a tee - and he went all silly when he saw it on the desk here. As I always do, it was then popped into one of the files holding magnetic sheets in sturdy pouches and a note kept of the name at the front of the file before being put into my sliding wall of shelves.

During the early hours of Wednesday morning I heard scrabbling round in the craft room and a lot of huffing and puffing. I crept out of bed and tip-toed to take a peek and there was Parsnip, in his light blue stripy PJs, up to no good as usual! He was struggling to lift the Cuttlebug across the desk and start die cutting 'multiple Parsnips'! Ambition - to make an army and rule the craft world apparently! Goodness knows how he didn't kill himself - which he might well have if he'd got to the stage of heaving the relevant file of dies down from a shelf. I recited Elf and Safety Regs to him then tucked him firmly back in bed - threatening to tie him down with a rope through his PJ sleeves. He snivelled, wiped his little button nose on his sleeve, gross -  and said he's gonna tell you all how mean I am! If he does then I'll be posting a photo of him in his PJs on here in retaliation!

Good grief, my life is now ruled by a small white fluffy bear? 

Di and, of course, Parsnip

Friday 22 April 2016

I wouldn't choose it as wallpaper

..........that was the verdict of my in-house critic when he spotted today's card on my desk:
I used:

- 6" x 6" square white card blank

- papers are all from the Echo Park 'Hello Summer' paper pad - I'm determined to finish the remaining few sheets and the snippets tucked in the back - come h*ll or high water!

- first of all I die cut the word 'Hello' using another Frantic Stamper card band die - this one is called (unsurprisingly) 'Hello', into a full sized lime green sheet of paper and trimmed the edges to just a bit less than the card blank size 

- next I backed the word using a snippet of pinky-red paper from the pad and cut it to the same width as the lime green layer - after taping it in place. I'd forgotten my usual trick which is to add the backing paper first and then trim the two layers together, to ensure a perfect fit at either side. Luckily it worked anyhow :)

- then added the 'wallpaper', which again reminds me very much of a retro dress I had a lot of years ago - when retro was 'hip' and we were creating history - snort

- then glued it all to the card front

Len and I didn't know one another back in the days when retro was actually the fashion of the day first time round. Good job maybe - some of the clothes I wore would perhaps have given rise to 'And you're really going out in that?'. Hey, wait, that was my Dad's expression.

Anyone remember the very distinctive perfume called 'Pagan'? It came in a tiny little bottle in a black box with a 'warning leaflet', which basically said it would bring out the primitive in men - as well as 'don't wear it if you're only bluffing'. I made the mistake of letting my Dad see the little warning leaflet and forever afterwards, if he smelled me wearing 'Pagan', he would beat his chest and roar like a gorilla! All these years later (far too many years) I still miss his impish and often quite crazy sense of the ridiculous.

Good grief, I Googled it and you can still buy Pagan all these years later (£4.99 from Amazon)! I ordered a bottle, just for old time's sake, it arrived in double quick time and smells exactly the same :)


Wednesday 20 April 2016

Merry Monday #201 - Purple, White and Silver

So, the current challenge over at Merry Monday is to use purple, white and silver for your entry. Here's mine:
I used:

- 4.75" x 4.75" square white card blank

- a slightly smaller layer of deep purple/aubergine card, it looks almost black in the photo :(

- a (slightly smaller again) layer of white card onto which I stamped the little sentiment using a Memento 'Elderberry' Dye ink pad and a stamp from my well-used 'Many Greetings' set by Personal Impressions

- glued the layers to the front of the card

- die cut a Penny Black 'Whirl Wreath' from silver holographic card, backed with Stick It adhesive sheet and popped it onto the card front

- die cut the bow using the other die from the Penny Black 'Whirl Wreath' set and more deep purple card, backed with Stick It adhesive sheet - then popped it onto the wreath

- added some bling using light purple sparkly gems in different sizes

I'd also like to enter this card into Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge (Anything Goes) as well as Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra for April (always Anything Goes).

I've seen the wreath part of this die used as a double layer, which works really well. This was enough fiddle faddling on for me though :)


Tuesday 19 April 2016

A different fold from me today

I never seem to have enough time to play with fancy folds these days, and they certainly are my Achilles tendon heel - so for this card I made a stepper card as a change:
I used:

- white card stock, die cut using the Presscut 'Step Card Cutting' die set. A tip with this die, I love it to pieces but it really does pay to use a scoring tool and some sort of score board to further score the lines produced by the die before doing any folding in order to avoid paper fibres tearing at the folds and looking a bit ragged

- the backing paper panels were die cut using the same set and a piece of fuchsia pink patterned paper from Wild Rose Studio's 'Annabelle's Meadow' paper pack

- the image (complete with little butterflies) is from LOTV's (sadly discontinued) 'Cute Cottage Garden' Art Pad, trimmed well down and the corners rounded using an XCut corner rounder punch

- the sentiment stamp I used (with a Memento 'Gray Flannel' ink pad) comes from the MFT set called 'Tickled Pink' (bought primarily to go with the MFT flamingo dies but so useful for other cards as well)

- then just glued everything to the card base - it's times like this that glue really comes into its own - less chance of stuff being 'on the wonk'- used another sheet of the patterned paper, different design but toning, to line the inside of the card and also added a panel of white card with rounded corners for a message

- final touch, a couple of satin finish fuchsia pink Josy Rose nail heads at each end of the sentiment strip


Sunday 17 April 2016

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 225

We've had much better weather lately - wonderful sunshine! Yay! The birdies are busily pinching bits from the garden for their nest building and that's always a welcome sign that Spring is on the way. Having said all that, it did throw it down with rain most of Friday :(

My snippets card today is a really quick and easy one, I spotted the original design over on Bev's blog. Bev is the owner of Uniko, I love her stamps and dies and this is what I made:
I used:

- 4" x 6" white card blank, tent style

- a snippet of yellow card, split across the centre and glued onto the card front to leave a white panel showing

- snippets of orange and green card onto which I stamped a gerbera flower and a leaf using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and stamps from Uniko's 'Pure Florals: Gerbera' clear stamp set. I love that with this set comes with outlines of the leaves and flowers as I used here as well as solids (which you can ink up of course and then the outlines are left clear to show the backing card you used)

- next I fussy cut round the flower head and the leaf, then used a black Whispers brush marker to run round the outside edge where I might have trimmed a bit too close. Don't do this with a Pro marker though as it will most probably 'bleed'

 - next I worked out where I wanted the sentiment to sit and, using the Misti, lined up and stamped both parts of the sentiment from the set. I did a little practice on a piece of paper to be 100% sure I had it straight :)

- then glued the leaf and flower head in place and called it done

I do have the matching dies for this stamp set, but for this particular card I wanted to trim close to the edge of the flower and leaf rather than leave a white border round the edge. It's therapeutic and quite easy to fussy cut round these images and I rarely use the dies.

Let's move straight onto this week's peek at the picks:

Val brought this lovely card to share with us. In fact, our Kathleen had also used this same stamp recently (Week 222) and it too was worthy of being a pick. I love how Val paper pieced this really funky flower and then used the same papers for the backing layers. It's another of the fabulous Woodware stamps that are so popular right now, they really are coming out with some wonderful designs!

I chose this card, made by Helen, as it's so fresh, cute and CAS. It's also a perfect example that even one small snippet (the cupcake case) is enough to get to come and play in the Playground :)

On the other hand, lots of pretty snippets are welcome as well :) This is such a pretty card with so many layers and beautiful details, made by Lia, I especially love the tag which can be pulled out!

Jane J scampered in waving this stunning card -  published in the current issues of Craft Stamper magazine. I think it's fabulous - to see just how Jane set about making this card, do hop over to her blog - all the info. is there!

And here's another lovely example of lots of detailed layers, made by Alice.  Lots of lovely die cutting and I just love how the sweet little Gorjuss Girl is peeping out of the frame :)

Oh boy, you're in for a real treat if you hop over to Sonia's blog to take a closer look at this mini book! Not only is it absolutely beautiful with plenty of snippets used - but there are THE most detailed instructions on how to make your own! Plus, a terrific video of her daughter showing how to make the pockets for the book from one single sheet of 12" x 12" patterned paper. I'm certainly raring to have a go at making one!

Berry Happy Birthday
I hopped back to CAS when I picked this lovely card, made by Charlotte. Such a clever sentiment and it just shows how snippets plus some simple stamping can make a great card!

Ha, then I hopped back to lots of detail and plenty of layers and snippets used - with this gorgeous card made by Anne F. You must admit, I do vary my picks a bit - it's probably 'cos I've never really settled down to making one particular style of card. Not due to talent/versatility - just 'cos I can't make my mind up most of the time! Love this baby card - and what a fabulous doily die that is. I tried hard to resist temptation but one will be appearing as a Playground prize at some point in the future - along with the corner die, which is available at a vastly reduced price (with extremely reasonable postage from Canada to the UK)  here.

Wow, I got a bit carried away there and showed eight picks. Mostly as I'd written a lot of this post during the week and was sitting here waiting for 11am on Saturday morning so I could do the prize draw before pressing publish.

We had two new Playmates this week:

I  love this fabulous flowery card, made by Martha - wonderful colours and such terrific stamping.

And Maria F (I've kept the letter F as we've have other Marias playing) hopped in with this fabulous card. Such a clever technique, those of us who have commented did wonder if Maria had carefully added little white spots over the coloured ones by carefully gluing little circles of vellum or similar in place. Not so - it's embossing paste, and such a great idea!

Sending a huge and happy 'Hello' to our new Playmates - hope to see you back again!

Time now for the prize draw for the Lawn Fawn 'Hedgehugs' stamps and matching dies and the winner is:

I'm so pleased to finally see Alice's entry chosen by Mr Random as a winner. She's been playing most weeks since February last year and is often in our Peek at the Picks (this week again in fact!) so it was about time for her first win!

Can you please email me your address Alice (my email address is on my sidebar to the right) and I'll make sure your little 'hedgehugs' are wrapped up all cosy and posted to you ASAP.

Now for this coming week's prize, as if you hadn't guessed:
It's a stamp set the same as the one I used today. The flowers are lovely and bold and the sentiments combine beautifully. I bet you could try out the technique that Martha, one of our new Playmates, used with this set!

I didn't get the matching dies to offer as part of the prize though. As I said, I rarely use mine and am not totally convinced I did the right thing when I bought my own set a good while ago.

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

A maximum of ONE entry and please say in a comment if you wish to play and be a possible winner of the prize. Please also link back to the Playground in your blog post to be eligible for the draw.

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 :)

Hope you have a lovely week and I look forward to seeing you in the Playground - here's hoping for more sunshine. Parsnip is impatiently waiting to climb into his dungarees and do a bit of painting. I've warned him to leave wet paint notices wherever he's been working - no guarantees though so there will be rags and turps/paint remover at the side of the gate for you to clean yourself up after playing!

Di and, of course, Parsnip

Friday 15 April 2016

Merry Monday #200 {Multi-Challenge Celebration!}

Merry Monday are celebrating their 200th challenge with a choice of themes this week. I truly thought I wouldn't find time to join in but it's amazing what a bit of determination can do when you try, especially as my card for last week's Merry Monday challenge had an Honorary Mention, which thrilled me no end. Here are the options to choose from - plenty of scope there for sure!
After rootling round a bit in my backing papers and stamps I picked the Snowman Theme - and came up with this:
I used:

- 6.75" x 3.75" white card blank

- first I stamped the snowman onto a snippet of white card using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and an adorable Penny Black wood mounted stamp called 'Warm & Cold' - then coloured him in using Whispers brush markers

- fussy cut round the snowman and sliced across the bottom so the image would sit straight along the backing panel bottom edge

- the ready frosted snow scene backing panel was really a life saver (and maybe cheating a bit) but it did complicate the card measurements a lot. I've explained why and how I overcame the complications further down this blog post. I suspect the panel was from Kanban in the dim and distant past, it came with a silver border which had seen better days so that was first to go

- after trimming the backing panel to the carefully calculated size, I stamped the swirling sentiment using Memento ''Mediterranean Blue' ink and an Elzybells stamp

- then glued the snowman in place along the bottom edge

- glued the completed 'scene' panel onto a backing layer of slightly larger silver mirri card and then onto the card blank

The reason for the slightly odd sized card blank came about as a result of the backing 'snow scene' panel I used. It wouldn't have looked right on a full DL sized card and was too wide for the small long card size. Plus, I didn't have any envelopes that would be suitable.

So I worked backwards. Out came the Enveloper Pro leaflet and I found details for making a 7" x 4" envelope, using A3 paper (which I already have to hand for some odd reason). Next I calculated that a card measuring just quarter of an inch less along the top and down one side would be a good fit for a 7" x 4" envelope. And, the design of the backing panel had enough excess/spare sky at the top of the design to be able to cut it down to suit.

So, although you may think you're beaten at first, it pays to sit and fiddle around with possible measurements and options before giving up.

And, I found two more of the backing panels in my toppers box, so made three in one session. Sorry!


Wednesday 13 April 2016

Joy To The World

....... and a sigh of relief that finally am beginning to catch up with my plan to make 12 Christmas cards per month as I did last year.

This was a 'batch bake' of five cards, exactly the same:
I used:

- 4" x 5.75" white card blank

- the beautiful 'angel with harp' image, from the LOTV pre-coloured 'Christmas Angels' Art Pad was die cut using a 'Rounded Banner' die, by MFT

- then I stuck an A4 sheet of gold sparkly self-adhesive film onto a sheet of white card and using the 'next sized up' die in the MFT 'Rounded Banner' set, die cut the frame - then glued the image onto the gold frame

- a slightly smaller piece of the same white card stock I'd used to make the card blank, embossed using a Cuttlebug 'Swiss Dots' embossing folder - leaving some flat space for the sentiment at the bottom

- stamped the sentiment using Memento 'Northern Pine' dye ink pad and a stamp from the Creative Expressions 'Joy To The World' stamp set

- next I added an embossed line above and below the sentiment. Easiest way to do this is to score the lines gently onto the front of the card so you can see what you're doing then flip it over and score firmly along those lines from the back so they sit up proud

- glued the white panel onto the card front

- added the angel in gold frame image, using  thin sticky pads. I did try glue at first but the raised Swiss dots weren't having any of it :(

The Swiss Dots folder is perfect for partially embossing a card front or panel. I used it sideways on and then, to add a couple more rows of dots, just moved it down making sure it was perfectly settled in place on the embossing folder and then embossed those additional two rows from the bottom of the piece of card.

And a stroke of luck, the current challenge over at Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge this week is 'Use green - a little or a lot'. I used green to stamp the sentiment and the image also has a little bit of green holly and ivy in it.

And, I'd also like to add this into Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra for April, where it's always 'Anything goes'.


Tuesday 12 April 2016

Cuttlebug Mania Challenge - 'April Showers'

Time for another fortnightly challenge over at Cuttlebug Mania - and this time the theme is 'April Showers' (ie. anything to do with rain).

You do have to use a manual die cutting/embossing machine for Cuttlebug Mania entries (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. 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.

Details of our sponsor can be found over on the Cuttlebug Challenge blog and this is the card I made:
I used:

- 5.75" x 5.75" square white card blank 

- an outer frame for the whole card front, cut from a snippet of SU's 'Marina Mist' card stock, glued onto the card front

- then a patterned layer of quite retro card stock, from the Echo Park 'Hello Summer' paper pad glued, on top of the blue layer - I had a dress made of material almost identical to this, way back in time

- the image was stamped using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a really sweet stamp I've had for ages by Sugar Nellie called ' Splashing Maggie' (think I've only ever used it once before ........... I have TOO many stamps!)

- coloured the image using Whispers markers and paper pieced the outside of the umbrella using a little snippet of spotty paper from the 'Hello Summer' pad - then added Glossy Accents to the puddles and water splashes  

- the frame was die cut using a brilliant new die I bought recently called 'Rectangle 6 in 1 Frames', by Impression Obsession (no doubt I spotted it in the Playground at some point) and another snippet of SU's 'Marina Mist' card stock - then glued onto the image

- after gluing the image with frame to the card front, die cut some white clouds  (used MFT's 'Cloud Trio' die set) - and a sun (using a Joy! die from the 'Sun and Moon' set)

- popped those in place with thin sticky pads - realised too late that perhaps I could have embossed the clouds with a lightly dotted folder I have, and/or defined the edges of the clouds with a little bit of ink pad tickling, sigh :(

- the sentiment was stamped using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and the words stamp which comes with a Stampin'Bella image called 'Uptown Girl - Lolly and her brolly'

- trimmed it to size and backed it with a slightly larger snippets of  SU's 'Marina Mist' card stock before gluing it in place

- the lower part of the sentiment looked a bit bare to me so I created a couple of flowers using one of SU's 'Itty Bitty' punches and a couple of hole punches for the double layered centres then glued them in place

I'm down to just a handful of sheets of this lovely 6" x 6" double sided retro paper now, plus some snippets tucked into a halved envelope stuck in the back of the pad. I have another card in mind using more of the same pad - and will be really sorry when it's finished :( Mind you, me actually finishing off a paper pad is a very rare event indeed!

Edit: Many thanks to Liz for letting me know that this card fits the current challenge over at The Craft Barn - which is' April Showers'. Shame on me, I really like The Craft Barn and didn't realise they ran a challenge!


Sunday 10 April 2016

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 224

What a mixed bag of weather this past week - on Tuesday it was absolutely glorious in the Playground, and 24 hours later we had high winds, and cold, heavy rain. And so the weather continued to play games with us here.

But, Spike the hedgehog is back in town - coming out each evening to feed. In fact, we don't think he hibernated properly over the Winter months as every now and then he would come to eat and drink. Len keeps the feeding bowl of dry food underneath a low garden table - and the bowl itself is also covered with a leverable lid of 'Len the Inventor's' making. Would you believe that Spike nudges the lid up to eat and then it pops back down in place when he's finished :)

This is my snippets card for today, inspired by the return of Spike:
I used:

- 4" x 5.5" white card blank

- a snippet of patterned paper from LOTV's 'Country Gent' paper pad for the backing layer

- snippets of white card onto which I stamped the little hedgies and heart using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and the super-cute Lawn Fawn 'Hedgehugs' stamp set 

- coloured the hedgies and heart using Whispers marker pens then die cut them using the matching set of dies

- glued the hedgies and heart onto a circle of white card, die cut from a snippet using a Tonic circle die, then added the little sprigs of grass using the fine end of a green Whispers marker

- the sentiment was stamped using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and then die cut with a Spellbinders 'Nested Pennants' die

- then just glued the image and the sentiment onto the card front

I do love these sweet little hedgies, the little lady hedgie even has an eyelash - and I gave her a bit of a blush on her cheek as well :) Needless to say I first spotted this set being used on one of your blogs - I really should keep a note of where I see new ideas/goodies :(

I have mixed feelings about dies which cut round an image leaving a white border - but in this case I think it's needed due to the hedgie spines - and of course popping them onto a white background helps as well. If only I'd centred them properly so it doesn't look as if the lady hedgie is backing off the circle. But, the pennant IS straight - flipping camera again!

Let's move straight onto this week's peek at the picks:

This delightful baby card was made by Barb - and it shows that rabbits aren't just  for Easter :) So cute!

I love this card, brought to share by Kate. Lots of snippets used and such a clever idea to add the 'lacing' across the front of the card.

Karen P has been getting messy this past week - and I love this circular wall hanging! Every bit of detail is lovely but for me it's the adorable little bunnies that just pull it all together perfectly. (I'm having a week for bunnies!)

Loll hopped into the Playground with this fabulous card, made for her DH's Birthday. Wonderful design and Loll shared a great idea which certainly would save time and mess in the long run. I tend to put off using gilding flakes due to the massive clean up operation afterwards - so how about making up some sheets of card already covered in gilding flakes, ready to stamp and cut when needed? Loll gives some important tips so be sure to check those out if you're going to try this idea.

I do so love this card, made by Jenny H. It's actually a Spellbinders Flower Pot die for the pot shape - but I wouldn't let that deter you from having a go even without the die. It's certainly an inspiring idea that I'm sure you enterprising lot could work on :) The flowers and swirly greenery tumbling from the pot are terrific! A very clever card Jenny!

We had four new Playmates this week::
First was Petra, with this fabulous card showing brilliant use of so many textures and gorgeous colours.

Next was Fiona with a really gorgeous card using lots of lovely SU products.

Aileen joined in the fun next, I'd been encouraging her to come and join us. And what a stylish card - love it!

And finally, Pirjo hopped into the Playground with this wonderful Spring card - totally adorable!

A really big welcome to our new Playmates - hope to see you back again!

Time now for the prize draw for the wonderful selection of celebration goodies, kindly donated by Jules. And the winner of the bumper prize is:
Well done Jenny - it's coming up to a year since your previous win, so it's obvious that Mr Random thought it was your turn! I have your address here and will post the prize off to you this coming week. I know, from the work you produce, that we can watch out for some lovely creations using the goodies.

Jules was sweet enough to also send me the same selection for my very own use and I'll be having a play as soon as possible here :)

Now for this coming week's prize:
Small is beautiful - it's a sweet little Lawn Fawn 'Hedgehugs' stamp set plus matching dies, the same as I used for my snippets card.

The Snippets Challenge will run for one week and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 16th April. The gates will open again at midnight UK time on the same day.

A maximum of ONE entry and please say in a comment if you wish to play and be a possible winner of the prize. The prize is both the hedgie stamps and matching dies, obviously I won't be splitting them. Please 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 :)

Hope you have a lovely week and I look forward to seeing you in the Playground - psssst, I actually know where the secret supply of hooch is but I turned a blind eye :) Besides, I don't like little bears tittle-tattling when he finds out your secrets!

Di and, of course, Parsnip (who means well really)!