Friday 31 January 2020

Rudolph Days - January 2020

I came so close to missing entering January's Rudolph Days challenge over at ScrappyMo's. Am squeaking in at the last minute with this card I made yesterday afternoon:
I used:

- 5.5" x 4.25" white card blank, side opening

- piece of white card, die cut using Lil'Inker's 'Stitched Rectangle' set of dies

- Memory Box 'Snowflake Marquee' die, to die cut the centre of the stitched panel

- snippet of gloriously glittery (non-shed) silver card just over slightly larger than the white panel, onto which I glued the die cut white panel with two edges (top and one side) the width I wanted the end result to be

- then trimmed the other two edges (bottom and the other side) to match. The reason I did this proved to be a right decision. I was unsure how much 'wiggling' I'd be able to do when gluing together plain card and a rougher glittered card - answer proved to be zero. So at least I had two edges exactly lined up as I wanted them to be and the additional trimming worked a treat

- at this point I'd intended to heat emboss a silver sentiment - but a little rummage turned up some small silver Merry Christmas peel offs so used those instead, mostly for speed

- then glued the whole panel onto the front of the card and left it at that - clean, and hopefully elegant

I bought this die long before Christmas but this is its first outing. You can also use the 'waste' pieces from the die cut to make a design, also with a gap for the sentiment. Most images of cards I've subsequently looked at on the internet seem to favour this - but I'm more than happy with this way of using the die by cutting into a panel of card and backing it with a contrast. Largely as at least the design is placed totally evenly and level! And our Darnell did the same with a similar card recently so if it's good enough for her then it's good enough for me :)

Given a little bit of time, this would be great for 'batch baking' a few cards all the same but let's be thankful I even managed to make the one!

On the subject of Lil'Inkers - sad to say that Laura is closing the business down. She's had a huge sale running, but stocks are so low it's probably too late to grab a bargain. Many thanks to a sweet friend who gave me the heads up though.

Tuesday 28 January 2020

OK - so who gave Mrs Grumpy some Happy Pills?!

Just to let you know that my trip to the Post Office went off without a hitch today! I picked a quiet time and trotted in with my bag full of Grand Draw Prize packages. Then, to my horror, realised there was only one person manning the Post Office counter - and it was my friend ...... Mrs Grumpy. Gulp.

To my utter delight and everlasting joy, she was all sweetness and light - ploughing through all the packages, adding the postage to them and also giving me proof of posting for each one. At one point I said I was concerned when I was pulling out ever more packages from my bag and said perhaps we could skip the proof of posting and she said 'No worries. That's what we're here for'. Stunned, smacked with a wet kipper and so on - I came home a very happy bunny! Perhaps the long queue that had built up behind me might not have been so happy though. Can't win 'em all! Ha, was that a dagger that whistled past my ear as I exited the village shop?

So, if you won a prize - the UK ones are coming by 1st Class post and all overseas ones are Airmail of course.

I'd really appreciate it if you could quickly drop me an email when your prize arrives - purely so I can tick things off and eventually dispose of all the paperwork. No need to write anything more than - 'Prize arrived' or similar.

Sunday 26 January 2020

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #370

We came close to me not being able to set the new Snippets Challenge as there's so much going on. However, here it is - phew!

First, here's my snippets card, which is much more vibrant in real life:
I used:

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

- a snippet of white card - trimmed to a quarter of an inch smaller than the card front, meaning it's an eighth of an inch smaller on each edge of course

- chose a snippet of paper from the Carta Bella 'Beach Day' paper pad, with a matching strip in lime green from the same pad

- next stamped three pots and three cacti/succulents using Memento 'Tuxedo Black ink and stamps from the (now discontinued) Clearly Besotted 'Simply Succulents' stamp set and coloured them using Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils. Matched them to the backing zig zag paper but the camera thought otherwise of course!

- then die cut the pots and plants, before adhering them together on the back with little strips of ordinary sellotape so that the plant was slightly tucked underneath the pot

- now I knew the heights of the pots with their plants in I could slightly trim the patterned snippet, back it with the lime green strip, trimmed so that just a smidgen shows at the top of the strip, stuck them together with a tape line runner and then added the completed strip to the bottom of the white card panel I cut earlier. Trimmed the strip from the back in line with each side of the panel

- glued the panel to the card front and then added the little pots using thin sticky pads for a bit of dimension

I didn't add a sentiment for the moment - I would use a Clarity message sticker just in one top corner if I decide to add one at a later stage. If I do this same design again I'll hand/fussy cut the pots. As it is, I trimmed the white border from the bottom of the pots but think it would have been better trimmed all round. Although, the dies really are so good for cutting the plants themselves of course! Do wish I'd stopped and tried to line up the zig-zag pattern centrally - but this card was lucky to get made at all! What is really extra sweet is that the stamp set has a teeny stamp of two eyes and a smiley mouth (and a little 'hair bow plus what looks like a little hat) to add character to the plants - if you feel so inclined. It's a fun set with lots of possibilities.

And of course, here's the prize for this fortnight:
A Clearly Besotted 'Simply Succulent' set of stamps with matching dies. See the eyes and mouth? Plus what I'm sure is a jaunty little hat (that's in the middle at the top of the set of stamps).

It's no good, I'm going to have to have a little play at creating a character! Besides which, Santa brought me a mini Misti (to complement my standard sized Mist) which I'm finding is great for quick access and stamping small items.

Sooooo, I bit the bullet and have treated myself to Altenew's Mini Blossom die cutting machine - it's also within easy reach for when I just need to cut a sentiment or even these little dies I used above. It only arrived today (Saturday) and I've had a very quick play - I love it! Much easier and quicker - as well as a help with this ongoing shoulder business (which is improving all the time, albeit slowly).

Have said previously - I make no apology for often having Clearly Besotted products as prizes, love their products and they don't break the bank if you're lucky enough to snap them up on clearance.

As always, the Snippets Challenge will run for two weeks and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 8th February. The gates will open again at midnight UK time on the same day.

It's a maximum of ONE entry, 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.

Remember, if you link into the Playground and don't say clearly that you want to be in the draw in a comment on here, then you will be bypassed if your name comes out of Mr Linky. I'm sure you all know I ask for a positive 'yes' on the blog post itself - just in case you're only playing for fun - otherwise I don't add you to my little list.

HUGE thanks to so many of you who have either sent craft items to Mary in the USA, or to me for onward posting. She's in regular touch and already is bowled over by your kindness.

I plan to post off the Snippets Grand Draw prizes (minus one still - Gail of Crafty Nomad where are you?) this week. In between turning round a hairdressers appointment, shopping trip, change of car and various other things. Then I'll be free to go through my own stocks and sort out Mary's parcel. Can I please ask that if you do intend to sent anything to Mary via me that you really try to get it to me by the end of this coming week. I would like to post my parcel the week after this coming one if possible (which will be the week commencing 3rd February). Ha, providing I'm not banned from the Post Office if I've had a run in with Mrs Grumpy when posting off the Grand Draw prizes!

Having said that, how lovely it would if now and then in the future, as you see fit, you post Mary some Happy Mail. I aim to do that - until she shouts that the house is bursting at the seams :)

Dudley is full of mischief as usual here. He insists on trying to bring home twigs he finds on his walks - not that long ago he tried to haul a branch almost as big as he is back to the house!

Last, but not least! ScrappyMo is running her Rudolph Days Challenge once again this year - HERE. You have until the last day of January to enter!

Lots of love from us all - Parsnip, Dudley (woof, woof!) and of course me,

Wednesday 22 January 2020

Mary update

The boiler got fixed. Mary, Richard and the animals are cosy again and also packages are already arriving at Mary's from within the USA. And Mary is delighted - and planning on sending out thank you cards - I wonder if she knows how many she'll need?!

Parcels are arriving here too, for which I think you from the bottom of my heart - for now I'm collecting them together in the hope of sending just the one or two biggish combined parcels.

I managed to get my head down today and got the Prize Draw parcels wrapped and ready to post, just as soon as I add the Customs Declarations to the overseas ones.

Please bear with me as I'm not sure if I'll get to the Post Office this week or not. Friday is always a bad day there (especially for Ms Grumpy), tomorrow is pretty planned out so I reckon it could be next week sometime.

I'm still short of two addresses but will go ahead anyhow and the late prizes will just have to wait until I post the next prize off in a couple of weeks time. I can't face the Post Office any more than I have to!

My car is finally in the UK so that changeover has to be added into the melting pot as well!

Why do I feel like a swan gliding along the surface, but like a duck paddling furiously below the water line?!

Monday 20 January 2020

Mary - the latest news

Just in case any of you are trying to get in touch with Mary, they have a bit of a crisis there right now. Their boiler broke down and they're still waiting for the repair guy 24 hours later - huddled under blankets on the sofa trying to keep warm.

So, Mary isn't ignoring you if you've emailed - what more can they have thrown at them?

Sunday 19 January 2020

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #368 results - picks and Grand Holiday Giveaway results

First of all - what a wonderful group you are! I've been swamped with emails asking for Mary's address so you can send her a card and/or something to boost her craft stash. If you haven't already seen the post then do please check my previous three posts.

And finally/at last, the prize draws have been made for our Christmas/New Year Grand Giveaway challenge.

First of all, let's go right ahead with the fortnightly picks:

What great use of snippets by Greta to make a funky Christmas tree. Very clever and so eye catching - I love it! Certainly an idea well worth remembering for Christmas 2020 cards.

This Christmas card, made by Robyn, is utterly fabulous! I love the depth of the beautiful scene and all the wonderful detail. Perfect for using up lots of little snippets too.

And last but by no means least - our Viv made this wonderful Christmas card. A few of you have nipped overto Viv's blog and commented and it's clear that you all love it just as much as I do. That poinsettia is so lovely - makes you want to reach out and touch it.

All my picks this time were Christmas makes - pure coincidence I promise!

Over the Holiday Fortnight we had a total of 65 entries. Those of you who came to play brought some wonderful makes as usual! The odds were quite good to win something - as always, I so wish everyone could be a winner though!

Prize draw time (BIG drum roll) and this time I used little slips of paper to make life even easier so you have to trust me. It makes life much easier when doing a big draw like this.

And so my friends, - here's the list of 18 lucky winners:

Prize A - Impression Obession 'Angels' die set plus Tonic Studios 'Peace Strip' double die set:
Becca #15

Prize B - Creative Expressions 'Snowman Edger' die plus Creative Expressions 'Festive Mini Christmas Wishes' die:
Glennis #48

Prize C - MFT 'Large Christmas Background' stamp and Memory Box 'MERRY' set of dies:
Greta #21

Prize D - MFT 'Snowfall Horizontal' stencil, MFT 'Classic Snow Globe' die set  (along with a pack of 10 matching shaker pouches), a packet of 'Jewels - Ice Cube Mix' shaker elements from Lucy's Little Things - plus a set of Clearly Besotted 'Simply Said Christmas' sentiment stamps:
Robyn #50

Prize E - Creative Expressions Sue Wilson 'Poinsettia Flower Square dies and a Sue Wilson 'Festive Mini Expressions - Christmas Wishes' die - times three:
Gail (Iona) #47
Janis in ID #39
Connie #54

Prize F - Nellie's Choice 'Christmas Silhouette' stamp (donated by Shaz in Oz) a Spellbinder's 'Wonky Rectangles' set of nesting dies plus a pack of Clarity Stamp's 'Christmas & Celebrations' word stickers:
April #28

Prize G - Impression Obsession 'Reindeer - F10007' stamp plus a Do-crafts Papermania 'Traditional Sentiments' stamp set:
Maxine #37

Prize H - four packets of assorted Christmas stamps - donated by Jackie T:
Helen #46

Prize I - Clearly Besotted's 'Jingle Bells' stamps and matching die sets - times three:
Lesley G #16
Heather Mills #36
Megan #44

Prize J - Woodware set of 'Sparkly Trees' stamps:
Alice #35

Prize K - Clearly Besotted 'Drink & Be Merry' set of stamps
Jane Willis #45

I did have a good giggle when Jane's name popped out for this prize! Serendipity methinks :) 

Prize L - Clearly Besotted 'Christmas Pudding' stamps and matching die sets - times three:
Val #2
Lynne in NI #40
Liz #8

I hope there are a few Happy Dances going on right now! As I already said above, really, really wish everyone could have won a prize - as I always feel after doing a big draw like this. I think over half the prizes will be heading out of the UK as well - so a couple of trips to the Post Office will be coming up.

I do need addresses for ALL winners please (with your full name as well please) so I can do some quick copy/pasting then print off the addresses easily. This still applies if you know fine well I already have your address - an trying to make this as easy for me as possible.

Just add the subject 'Holiday Giveaway' in an email and send it to my addy which is on the right hand sidebar. The sooner the better please although it will take me more than one trip to the Post Office anyhow! Last year I got a rather stroppy new member of staff (think shoulder with a log rather than a chip on it and you'll get my drift). She was almost rolling her eyes and tapping her fingernails when the packages kept on coming, even though I'd gone at a quiet time of the day. Her attitude hasn't improved sadly - I asked for some Airmail stickers before Christmas and she reluctantly handed me two! I think I'll need a zipper fastened to my mouth  in case she does a repeat performance this year!

Keep those snippets entries coming folks, you still have a week left to play HERE for Challenge #369! The prize is a Crafters Companion 'Three Baubles' set of dies (six dies in total) plus a Tonic Studios 'Large Merry Christmas' die. 'Festive Phrases'.

Progress with the shoulder is slow but it's steadily improving. I certainly won't be doing cartwheels anytime soon though! We'll be taking Dudley to the groomers before too long, I don't think I can handle him on my own just yet so it will be joint effort. We did have a laugh the other morning, his ears are now getting quite long and need of a trim - he was lying dozing with his ears flopped over his eyes - just like a little sleeping mask! 'DO NOT DISTURB'!

Love from Parsnip, Dudley Dog - and of course me,

Friday 17 January 2020

Mary Craft Appeal - more news

First of all, massive thanks to all who have responded to our show of love for dearest Mary.

I've had to ask that requests for Mary's email addie or her snail mail addie in order to send cards, wishes and any craft goodies to are only sent to me via email please. A comment just means it can take some time and guesswork - a direct email to me allows me to email right back. I really can't flip flop between the two right now and then search - much as I would love to.

Also, we know that many of us don't keep our stamps,and more so our dies in the original packaging. My own dies are in files on magnetic A4 sized sheets in files and they weigh a ton. I keep notes of the makers and names of dies in the front of each file.

For lightness and ease of posting can I suggest that if dies aren't in the original packaging, then you just tack them using DST - low tack if possible onto a piece of card stock (hooray for snippets!), then pop each die or set of dies into a poly or cello bag to suit the size - and, IF you do remember the name of the die or die set then you just write this straight onto the piece of backing card - another idea from me .... and my wonderful pal Sarn! Love ya babe :)

I'm off to bed at 10pm - it's been manic today! And I ache! x

Mary Craft Appeal

Can I please ask that you contact me via my email address on RHS of my blog page, if you wish to have Mary's address - do not leave just a comment but do follow up with an email please. I can't carry on with noting comments and then flipping around my email searching out your email addresses - it's taking me ages.

Please do carry on - it's just a bit overwhelming today!

Love and thank you,

Thursday 16 January 2020

Mary McMillan (Glitter Grammy Plays With Paper blog)

Please read this! 

The other day we had our Christmas card to Mary McMillan (USA) returned. In the past she was such a very loyal Playmate, who I assumed had eased off from crafting. This was now the second Christmas I'd heard nothing and naturally, 'being me' decided to play sleuth. But what I found out when I emailed was way beyond my imaginings - just stop right there and please take a look at this:

This is what remained of Mary and Richard's home, after they were caught up in the Camp Fire in Northern California, a year past November. They escaped with only the clothes on their backs, their beloved dog, a folder with important documents in and one vehicle in which to make that escape. Other than that - they were left with absolutely nothing, zilch, nada. Eventually, after months of searching, one of their four cats was located by their son and Freckles is back with them. Who knows what happened to the others though?

I've wept since finding out .......... and been told off by Mary lest we both cause flooding! She and Richard are finally settled into a new home in Illinois - close to some of their family but many miles from friends of many years standing. And I think it must be lonely without them. All of Mary's little crafting group of pals escaped safely but are now scattered in different areas as well.  

I've offered (my idea) to hunt for some precious dies and stamps that Mary lost - although she's very philosophical considering the trauma. Trauma which left her unable to remember how to even make a card, let alone cook a meal. She is slowly getting back on track and happily has joined a local craft group - but imagine losing close contact with so many friends in one fell swoop. And, as she wryly said, 'Well. it solved the problem of who should have what when we're no longer here'.

I also said I'd ask you if any of you have any craft supplies you would like to send to help out. I suspect that Mary would have refused but didn't like to hurt my feelings! I can be a little bit obstinate when faced with certain things!

I'm thinking that Mary can buy new stuff without a problem - but just think that she's lost so many items that can't be replaced. Many are out of production for example. I've had to comb through her blog to get a feeling for what might be suitable to send to her to rebuild her stocks. For instance, I'm desperately hunting for the Memory Box 'Piano Border' die. It's out of production and barring a minor miracle all I can now hope for is that someone, somewhere will sell one to me or even donate their own die. What's one die out of the, probably, hundreds we all have tucked away? EDIT! Huge thanks to Alice who spotted the Memory Box 'Piano Border' die for sale over in the USA! I've nipped in and ordered it, to be delivered straight to Mary's new address. So that's one ticked off the list :)

Mary wrote these words in her most recent email today:

Please tell people I’d really love to receive cards.  As for sharing the story ........ I’d like people to know that when you loose every physical possession, you mourn. But when you loose the close proximity of  your circle of friends, you mourn as though there was a death.  I thank the internet, texting, cell phones, blogs for keeping people in the lives of one another.  I often think of our pioneer days when families moved away, sometimes thousands of miles.  I think how precious every written communication must have been.  I think of how many months passed as people waited to hear about family and friends.  And I see how lucky we are in these modern times.  I hope each and every person takes a minute to hug a fellow crafter.  I hope each person sends a note to someone saying hello, I miss you, or I thank you for being you. It is so very important to keep in touch with others.   On November 7th my friends and I were planning on a craft get together on the following day.  Had we only known what the following morning would bring.    All of us lost our homes and every possession.  But none of us lost our lives.  Not so lucky were 86 others. 

One thing that has astonished me is how only one or two people I know seemed to be aware of all this - and no-one has yet stopped to think what we could do. Or if they did then I'm not aware of that.

Because we CAN do something - trust me! First off we can send Mary a card, be it funny (she has a great sense of humour) or whatever - just to let her know we're thinking of her, we're gonna be the wind beneath her wings to help her on the road to crafting again - or even just to let her know we care and want to help. 

I am happy to accept any donations for Mary from your pre-loved craft stash if you're in the UK (apart from a lorry load of snippets!!) as well as cards of course. Email me if you need either Mary's or my address), I would suggest that you take a look at Mary's blog to get a feel for her 'style' if you're thinking to donate anything. And I would then make up a parcel to send to Mary from the UK. If needs be I can book a flight and nip over with it :) Joke! Do bear in mind weight and size please if you do decide to help out. And please remember, we're trying to help Mary to get back on her feet and also to give her inspiration. If you have anything to donate, then I very politely ask you please to make sure it's useable - if you wouldn't want it as a gift then imagine how bad that might make someone already suffering from such an experience feel. These are my words, nothing of this ilk has come from Mary. I think the greatest gift to her would be our love and to know how much we care - a card is a great way to show this as well as it can be such an inspiration.

If you're in the USA and want to send something to Mary then please drop me an email for her address so you can send to her directly - the same goes with any donations of pre-loved goodies. I've very quickly whipped out one of my most loved stamp sets (my Habico Santa) - plus a new and pre-loved set of SU stamps and dies I've seen Mary using and I know she will do a much better job than me with them.

I thank you so much for reading this far my dear girls - I try hard in this life to make it a happier place, often through the Snippets Playground. And, how wonderful if we can turn all that fun and love we have for our Playground into something so, so positive for Mary. 

Bless you, and thank you, if you read this far. I think you will have - because I know my girls and their kind hearts. Any questions do please email me.

Can I please ask that you contact me via my email address on RHS of my blog page, if you wish to have Mary's address - do not leave just a comment but do follow up with an email please. I can't carry on with noting comments and then flipping around my email searching out your email addresses - it's taking me ages.

Please do carry on - it's just a bit overwhelming today! You darling girls - as always! xx

Sunday 12 January 2020

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #369

I'm baaaaack! There's quite an improvement in the shoulder - so long as I don't go doing anything silly like stretching up to lift heavy things or anything too repetitive. The ironing has been left well alone (even though I can't find anyone local who does ironing any more - apart from big laundries. In the past I've used a couple of ladies who eventually either moved or got themselves a full time job.) and for now I'm just folding stuff straight from the dryer. To be fair, I generally do that but some things I can't get away with! And, as you advised, I'm also keeping the shoulder mobile so it doesn't freeze up. Thank you all so much for your very kind words when I had to take a step back, the break was a huge help and your comments are so much appreciated. Mwah - what a lovely crowd you are!

So let's get this show on the road again - with quite a nice prize to celebrate eight fun years of me running the Snippets Playground.

And first of all here's my snippets card for this fortnight:
I used:

- 6" x 6" square white card blank, side opening

- snippet of white card, trimmed to 5.75" x 5.75" and put to one side after running a gold calligraphy marker around the edges to add a little bit of definition

- using a Crafters Companion set of 'Three Baubles' dies I die cut three solid baubles from very precious snippets of deep red satin mirri card

- then using the outline dies plus the inner filigree dies I cut the top layer for the baubles from snippets of X-Cut gold adhesive-backed glitter sheet

- then die cut the sentiment from another snippet of X-Cut gold adhesive-backed glitter sheet

- it took me a while to think of the best way to attach the baubles to the card front panel, in the end I threaded through then looped and tied some gold cord at the top of the baubles (using a poky tool then a darning needle to thread the cord through the hole)

- before adding the baubles I added the sentiment to the card panel, putting it through the Cuttlebug to make sure it adhered well - and I also ran the baubles through the Cuttlebug for the same reason

- then backed each bauble with red line tape and stuck them in place across the card, adhering the gold cords to the back of the panel with more red line tape (NB leaving the protective red layer on!)

- then glued the front panel to the card front - leaving the red line tape protective layer in place meant that the panel still had maneuverability (coo, big word there!)

- and the finishing touches were three little bows made from a snippet of narrow gold lurex ribbon and held in place with very narrow red line tape

Dreadful lighting here today (Saturday 11th). Mirri card is hard to photograph at the best of times - but at least you can see how the backing shows through the gold filigree top layer - even though the red satin card is a deep rich red in real life. Such a shame that Joanna Sheen no longer stocks it - nor can I find any other stockists that carry the deep rich red version, sigh.

I bought the sentiment die a while ago, with the idea that it would make a very simple, long, narrow Christmas card with no other additions - and I still think that. But, as a prize I wanted to add something more to it, hence the set of bauble dies I used.

And here's the prize for this fortnight:
A Crafters Companion 'Three Baubles' set of dies (six dies in total) plus a Tonic Studios 'Large Merry Christmas' die. All one prize, which I won't be splitting. And now the Playground Toy Box is totally minus any Christmas prizes - hooray!

As always, the Snippets Challenge will run for two weeks and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 25th January. The gates will open again at midnight UK time on the same day.

It's a maximum of ONE entry, 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.

Remember, if you link into the Playground and don't say clearly that you want to be in the draw in a comment on here, then you will be bypassed if your name comes out of Mr Linky. I'm sure you all know I ask for a positive 'yes' on the blog post itself - just in case you're only playing for fun - otherwise I don't add you to my little list.

Don't forget to check in next Sunday to see the names of the winners in the Grand Draw which ran over Christmas and New Year. I intend to do the draw during this coming week - and have already printed off slips with your names on for Dudley's 'pick and mix' ............. from a clean doggie bowl :) Already trimmed into little strips, they just need to be folded and away we go!

No photo of Dudley once again this time round - he's been a little treasure this week, so affectionate and yet gentle at the same time. Almost as if he knows! Having said that, we've been going to bed pretty early (so I can rest this shoulder now that I can sleep reasonably comfortably again) and the little monkey was up doing what sounded like a 'sand dance' from around 3am this morning. No sooner did he settle down then off he went again! Of course, when Len got up for archery at silly o'clock - Dudley curled up and went back to sleep for a couple of hours! It reminds me so much of when he was a little puppy and we both were tottering around feeling as if we were undergoing torture by sleep deprivation!

Lots of love from us all - Parsnip, Dudley (woof, woof!) and of course me,

Saturday 11 January 2020

Playground is re-opening at midnight!

Just to let you know, normal service in the Playground will be resumed from midnight, as per usual, with a new challenge, running for two weeks. Hope to see you joining in!

Friday 3 January 2020

The next Playground challenge

Things have got quite a bit busier than ever here. Sort of squeezing until it's almost hard to breathe. Taking down Christmas decorations for example before Twelfth Night seems to be top of the list, yet I know it'll be slow work with this shoulder. Although much improved, it ain't taking much to set it off hurting like mad again - who knew that folding some laundry just earlier would be so painful for example. We haven't even had our planned roast beef joint for New Year's Day yet! But, I'll be up at the crack of sparrows tomorrow to pop it into the slow cooker for sure!

So, in order to relieve the pressure I've made a decision. It's only a short term one so never fear - normal service will resume ASAP I promise. If something has to give in the next couple of days it will (sadly) be the next Snippets Playground Challenge post/new prize, which I should really post first thing on Sunday.

That really will give me some much needed time space to concentrate on an overflowing pile of ironing (which WILL be done slowly and carefully I promise) .......... after I've done as much as possible to return the house to its pre-Christmas state and also tried to sift through more decorations to donate to our local charity shop rather than hurriedly packing them into boxes until next Christmas. So, the next Sunday (ie. 12th January), we'll have a new challenge to celebrate another anniversary of me running the Playground, and the following Sunday the results of the Grand Draw.

In some ways I feel I've failed a bit but also think I need a week's break from commenting and checking the blog - also it's time I pitched in to help Len more - he's been carrying the load for long enough, ever since I had that awful gout episode. Am sure you'll understand and I need to ease things for Len as much as possible right now.

On a happier note, little Dudley just had be SO full of mischief today! And of course that slows things down as he needs attention, playtime and cuddles. He really is such a little tinker - we need eyes in the back of our heads, even though we keep thinking he's growing out of being a puppy. I was so tired last night I dozed off in the lounge and must have had a tissue on my lap. When I woke up - guess who had had a whale of a time ripping it apart! Nope, NOT Len :)

With love

Thursday 2 January 2020

Pixie's Snippets Playground - #368 - Prize L

Today is the final prize in the Grand Draw - and this is the sample card I made:
I used:

- 5.5" x 4.25" white card blank, side opening 

- then chose a little green plaid strip snippet from the envelope stuck in the back of LOTV's 'Classic Christmas' paper pad - so I could match the colouring of the images

- snippets of white card stock onto which I stamped the biggest Christmas puddings, holly leaves and berries using Brilliance Dewdrop ink pads in 'Coffee Bean', 'Pearlescent Ivy' and 'Rocket Red' and stamps from Clearly Besotted's 'Christmas Pudding' set of stamps

- then stamped the 'yummy little pudding' words using the 'Coffee Bean' ink pad again - took the risk and just eyeballed it so I could use the pudding die to cut it out, and it worked out fine

- die cut the pudding pieces and the sentiment using dies from the matching set

- assembled the puddings using very narrow pieces of red line tape to add the holly leaves and berries and put them to one side

- added a very slightly wider strip of red (another snippet from the same paper pad) to two plaid strips - using a tape runner

- then added the strips to the top and bottom of the image panel using a tape runner again and trimmed off the excess at both edges, from the back

- finally, popped the two puddings and the sentiment in place using thin sticky pads and I chose to add the puddings lower than the sentiment, partly to balance it out and partly as I didn't trust myself to get all three absolutely level - at least I give you the warts and all background!

The set includes three smaller puddings and I just thought, whilst typing this, one pudding on its own, flanked by capital letters (stamped or die cut) could spell out the word JOY for a rather different Christmas card. I have some letter dies that that I think could work quite well. Watch this space :)

And today's prize is another one where there are three chances to win:

A Clearly Besotted set of stamps with matching dies called 'Christmas Pudding'. I wasn't too sure about them once I'd bought them, a while ago now - but they're good fun to use and make for some pretty quick and funky cards.

I've said previously that Clearly Besotted have some cracking clearance deals fairly regularly - in fact, I've just nipped in and ordered a couple of future prizes as the Playground toy box is getting a bit low now that all the Christmas stuff is out of it. So, I make no apologies for the frequency in which they've appeared in this draw - and will continue to appear in future challenges. Disclaimer, I have no connection with Clearly Besotted - my only connection is that I buy from them and at one point they did give me a gift voucher to offer as a prize to you lovely ladies. I got their written gratitude for showcasing their products - which is all I ever want. They're a small company, basically run by two sisters with a lovely lady who does the dispatching side of things - and I like to support small businesses when I can. Plus, they do make wonderful stamps and die sets! Regarding the clearance deals, keep an eye on them if you're interested as, if you like matching dies, those seem to run out first.

At the end of all of the celebrations I'll do a massive draw session for all the prizes using the one Mr Linky - which is on the main snippets post HERE along with details of exactly how to join in - so you do need to have entered one snippets make over on that post during this fortnight to be in with a chance :) Maximum of one entry please - to keep things fair for those who may not have time to craft. Mr Linky closes at 11am on Saturday 4th January so you do need to have added a snippets make by then to be eligible for the draw.

Commenting for all prizes will also be turned off at 11am on Saturday 4th January to coincide with the draw closing.

I just added up and there are 18 prizes in this draw (some are three chances to win the same thing, mostly Clearly Besotted needless to say). So that's pretty good odds I think!

Just leave a comment on this post if you would like the chance to win today's prize.

We were really lucky on New Year's Eve, no fireworks nearby to speak of (after the first burst at 6pm) and Dudley was fine all evening. We did pop his onesie on just in case though, towards midnight, as a precaution.

And, even better news is that we've now gone 36 hours without the RCD tripping out the power sockets. By the process of elimination we're as sure as can be that it's some outside lighting in the front garden (post lamps on the garden walls). And, it can be sorted out apparently - Len is on the case! We are a bit concerned that all this wet weather will have played a part so Len is going to change the lamp bulbs for low wattage and use a transformer where they plug into in the garage. Ha, the last thing we need is some local nosy eedjit to get an electric shock. So strange, we always thought the guy who installed them when the wall was built as part of the extension about 10 years ago was a bit stupid using an existing ring main power socket instead of adding them into the lighting circuitry - now, we're very glad he actually did that!

Got the giggles here at the thought of some trespassing eedjit - shaking, teeth chattering, hair on end, eyes revolving in their sockets, lighting up the whole street thinking 'Whaaaaat just hit me?'. Snort. Oooer, I do have a bit of an evil streak :)

Love from Parsnip, Dudley and of course me,

Wednesday 1 January 2020

Pixie's Snippets Playground - #368 - Prize K

Happy New Year! At the time this publishes, the clock will just have ticked into 2020. We might be up and about, or not - depending on the fireworks situation. I've never been overly keen on New Year celebrations - they often seem so forced, IMHO.

And, the hunt for the thing that's tripping the RCD continues. It tripped again this morning around 7:30. We're closing in on the cause - it seems to be connected with dawn and dusk (Little Miss Marple suggested that but of course can't take any credit, sheesh) - and Len has removed all the time switches which operate things such as lights, cameras etc. We know some of the parameters, yet still haven't pinned it down. Having said that,we didn't have the usual 4pm one today (dusk here in Hampshire) - which seems to be narrowing it down. It's a bit like playing Sherlock Holmes really. Gonna buy Len a deerstalker hat, cape and a Holmes style pipe when he's managed to sort this mystery out!

Anyhow, I did manage to make a sample card for today's prize - yay!
I used:

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

- snippet of white card stock onto which I stamped the image and sentiment using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and stamps from a Clearly Besotted set of fun stamps called 'Drink & Be Merry', including the sentiment and also the snowflakes

- then chose a little strip snippet from the envelope stuck in the back of Lawn Fawn's 'Really Rainbow' petite paper pack - so I could match the colouring of the images

- coloured the images using Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils and the snowflakes with a Signo Silver pen

- then very carefully trimmed the image panel to fit the complete card front

- added a narrow strip of red to the striped snippet - using another snippet which is two shades of red - with careful juggling and trimming I managed to get a narrow strip with the darker red at the top

- added the striped strip of paper to the red strip I'd just created, using a narrow tape runner

- then added the whole strip to the bottom of the image panel using a tape runner again and trimmed off the excess at both edges, from the back

- finally, glued the whole panel onto the card front - finished!

Important - I did wonder if I should have 'grounded' the bases of the glasses but as the card was totally finished, photographed and this post written I left it....... but have since added some grey shadow, which does make such a difference. They're no longer levitating like alcofrolic balloons:).

These images were an absolute delight to colour using pencils - and safer for this flipping shoulder! When I coloured the Clearly Besotted reindeer with Pro markers the other day, I managed to lift the big acrylic purpose made stand they live in from the top of a fairly high book case onto my desk - but really don't think I did myself any favours stretching to put it back afterwards! It's quite heavy as it's fully loaded with around 150 markers. Lesson learned and not one I'll repeat. Got my wrists slapped by Len for that one!

And today's prize is:
Here's the image from CB's website so you can see the sentiments properly:
Drink & Be Merry
A Clearly Besotted set of fun stamps called 'Drink & Be Merry'. This is so weird, I only bought these very recently and yet the set shown on their website actually has one or two fewer stamps such as the 'snowflake' and the word 'Hic'. I do think the girls 'tweak' their products and add more things as they think of them. The stamps are produced here in the UK, and  their dies are made in the USA - I admire them for that. The sentiments are good fun and one of them is especially great - 'Jingle bells, gin-gle all the way' - perfect for Jane W who has some fun 'gin based' stamps? :)

At the end of all of the celebrations I'll do a massive draw session for all the prizes using the one Mr Linky - which is on the main snippets post HERE along with details of exactly how to join in - so you do need to have entered one snippets make over on that post during this fortnight to be in with a chance :) Maximum of one entry please - to keep things fair for those who may not have time to craft. Mr Linky closes at 11am on Saturday 4th January so you do need to have added a snippets make by then to be eligible for the draw.

Commenting for all prizes will also be turned off at 11am on Saturday 4th January to coincide with the draw closing. To give people a fighting chance of checking and commenting on today's prize and the very final one, I will be adding the last prize on Thursday 2nd January 2020.

Here's a little 'heads up' that the forthcoming fortnight's prize is very likely going to be Christmas related................. again, I hear you sigh. It's too good to rush the making of a sample, and I so want to make one for it, plus I think it stands on it's own as a fortnightly prize quite nicely.

Just leave a comment on this post if you would like the chance to win today's prize.

Hope that 2020 is kind to all of you - with happiness and health at the top of the list! Followed closely by crafting, and trying to reduce 'Mount Snippets' of course, grin :)

Edit - would you believe it - 6pm and already the fireworks have begun. Thankfully in the distance, but one little chaps 'onesie' is being popped onto a radiator nearby,  in case we need it as a sort of thunder shirt.

Love from Parsnip, Dudley and of course me,