Friday 31 July 2020

Rudolph Days Challenge - July 2020 and NBUS #16 Challenge

At long last, I managed to finish off the batch of 10 very Christmas similar cards I've been working on intermittently for a few weeks. I knew from the outset what I was aiming for - but soon learned that there were umpteen steps (times 10 of course) to get there!

Here are three of the resulting cards:
For each card I used:

- 5.5" x 4.25" white card blank

- a piece of white card approximately the same size as the card front, which I covered with double sided adhesive sheet and then covered that with paper from Crafters Delight pads called 'Starry Night' and also 'Watercolour Galaxy', by Leska Hamaty. Bought from Amazon UK HERE - and there's a huge selection to choose from including plaid and many, many other designs.

- I needed to back the papers with card as they are fairly thin and I also wanted to die cut them using a 'Stitched Rectangle' die by Lil' Inkers

- then cut some strips of white card, approximately 2" x 5.5" - which were then die cut along one long edge using a Lawn Fawn 'Stitched Hillside Borders' die

- die cut the sides and bottom using the same stitched rectangle die I'd used for the main panel. Two reasons, to get a perfect match in width and also to continue the stitched edge right around the finished panel

- next stamped the sentiment plus a little heart, using stamps from Lawn Fawn's 'Winter Skies' set of stamps, Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a mini Misti

- glued the 'hillside' onto the bottom of the main panel, then glued it to the card front and put it one side for now

- stamped the flying Santa and his reindeer plus an assortment of trees and 'critters' onto white card

- coloured the trees and 'critters' using Pro markers (carefully selected to pick out elements of the sky background where possible) before then die cutting them, and the flying Santa(s), using dies to match the 'Winter Skies' set of stamps

- however, the fun part was coming - I sat and played for ages arranging the little scenes onto the card fronts - then glued them all into place - and went to lie down in a darkened room to recover

What a marathon and I did almost lost the will to live along the way - it seemed endless! But, I'm quietly pleased with the results and didn't drop any major 'boo boo's' along the way. Finding those backing papers was a dream, they're gorgeous!

And entering into Darnell's NBUS challenge #16 as the papers, stamps & dies plus the hillside dies were having a first outing.

Phew, just squeaked into both challenges at the last minute!

Sunday 26 July 2020

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #383

Hot and humid week here - and Dudley has spent a lot of time in front of various fans - looking like he was going to take off!

It was his Birthday on Wednesday - low-key as he's generally a laid back kinda guy, but still a fun day. He had some cards, as many zoomies as the heat would allow and lots of cuddles - doesn't take much to keep our pup happy!

Many thanks to all you lovely people who left good wishes on his Birthday post HERE.

Anyhow, here's my snippets card for this fortnight - and it's young Dudley's Birthday card, from Len and myself:
I used:

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

- a background piece of paper from Whimsy's 'Rainbows' paper pack. I wanted this pack so much for another reason that I ended up recently having it sent from the Simon Says Stamp in the USA. My current passion is rainbows and it's a super pack of double sided paper!

- then, before  I matched the background if I'm honest, I chose a couple of  matching plainish yellow snippets from Lawn Fawn's 'Really Rainbow' paper pack, another paper pack that I love

- next I broke out the pack of sentiments stamps and there was almost enough to overwhelm me - but I had a plan

- took one piece of yellow snippet and used  stamps from Lawn Fawn's 'Critter Chatter Pets' set of sentiment stamps to stamp rows of words, using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink across the piece. To be fair, it wasn't as easy as I hoped but got there in the end

- now I had a black words on yellow stamped background (remember, I'm often in a hurry here so my horizontal spacing could have been better IMHO) - but the words butt nicely against one another across where you're stamping thanks to the straight and equally spaced side  edges to each stamp

- then trimmed the full sheet of Whimsy 'Rainbows' paper down to 5.25" x 4" so it would sit nicely on the white card blank

- I wanted a large 'speech bubble' die to create an aperture but didn't have one and suddenly thought I could create my own without shelling out for a die I would rarely use by die cutting an oval using a Spellbinders die into the 'rainbow' sheet and then just snipping a 'v shaped notch' - easy peasy and works a treat!

- adhered the backing to the speech bubble aperture using a glue pen

- then stamped the little dog, coloured and die cut him using a die from the adorable Lawn Fawn 'Say What? Pets' set of stamps - using Pro markers for the very soft colouring

- stamped the sentiment strip onto a snippet strip of the same plainish yellow paper from the Lawn Fawn 'Really Rainbow' pack, trimmed it top and bottom then adhered to the patterned 'speech bubble' rectangle, with some overhang

- trimmed either side of the strip to fit and then added the whole panel to the card front

 - added the little die cut dog, just sitting on the sentiment strip

- final touch - added a peel off in silver and gold holographic design for Dudley's age - 2!

Bit washed out looking in the photo but in real life it's very vibrant and the black stamping is a real solid black, this bright sunshine is so unforgiving. A fun card to make and to be honest I was spoilt for choice with all the sentiments plus a dog, cat and birdie just in the 'Say What? Pets' set - let alone the other sentiments set of stamps!

And needless to say, here's the prize for this fortnight:
It's a little bit special to celebrate Dudley's Birthday and a nice prize to use for pet owner cards. It's the 'Lawn Fawn Say 'What? Pets' set of stamps and matching dies as well as the Lawn Fawn 'Critter Chatter: Pets' set of stamps - same as the ones I used for Dudley's card. The sets are suitable for dogs, cats and birds - and there are even a few fish sentiments in the 'Critter Chatter' set of stamps.

As always, the Snippets Challenge will run for two weeks and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 8th August. 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.

As I used two sets of stamps, a set of dies - and also the Whimsy 'Rainbows' paper pack for the first time, it means I can join in with Darnell's NBUS #16 challenge HERE!

It's July's Rudolph Days challenge over at ScrappyMo's don't forget - runs from 25th to the end of the month.

Apologies, I haven't posted off the winners 'Art Deco stamps' prizes yet from challenge #381. I forgot I needed to order A5 hard backed envelopes from Amazon - they're here now but still in quarantine. I'll post early next week! 

And, we have a photo from Dudley's 2nd Birthday! It was taken by one of the CCTV cameras, so the quality isn't brilliant - but here's the little guy anyhow - just lying on the frizzled grass, sniffing the fresh air - having had a good poke around the garden, hence the mucky mouth ☺:

Stay safe my lovely friends.

Lots of love from us all - Parsnip, Dudley and of course me,

Wednesday 22 July 2020

Dudley is two years old today!

Happy Birthday to our darling boy!

Taken the day we first met him aged about 6 weeks, with his Mum, Dad and siblings. Our lives have never been the same since we fell in love with this precious little bundle.

Tuesday 21 July 2020

Hope & Chances Charity kit - July 2020

I managed to get hold of July's charity paper craft kit from Hope & Chances. Apparently they flew out of the door so you do have to be quick! The easiest route is via the link above, which is Christine's blog - and her card kit posts goes live at 6:30 am UK time on the first Sunday of the month.

This is the finished card:
The kit came with everything (ready prepared), apart from the white pearls, glue and and sticky pads.

Oh, and I coloured the leaves and flowers using Tim Holtz Distress Ink pads (Peeled Paint and Fossilised Amber) - as a first real outing for my lovely blending brushes. I bought the brushes back in January and, they're really for cosmetics (loads of you had them so I followed suit needless to say) but up until now had just tinkered with them to see how they work - which I'm sure means I can link this card into Darnell's NBUS Challenge #16.

This is the link to the brushes I bought, although there are some very similar sets available at decent prices.

Christine always writes really clear instructions for her kits and I love how this kit had additional gold die cuts included to add as 'drop shadows' behind the white die cuts. The backing paper is by Anna Griffin and is absolutely gorgeous!

I showed the end result to Len and he immediately said 'how professional' - followed by 'ha, it's one of the charity kits isn't it'. No fooling him then!

Sunday 19 July 2020

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #381 - results

Still having a good deal of hot, sunny and often humid weather here. And it was a bit of a step forward for me the other day - I went to a nearby chemist to collect a repeat prescription, rather than ask for one of our wonderful local volunteers to collect it! Yay ☺  All the people I saw in or near the shops were wearing masks, including yours truly needless to say - which was rather reassuring as it isn't compulsory until later this week here in England. And the protective measures taken in the pharmacy itself were certainly quite impressive.

Let's move straight into this fortnight's picks:
I love this card, made by 'Janis - the skunk hunter' - named by me due to her close call with a young skunk recently. Wonderful colours, pink and grey always go so well together, and I love the circles around the image - great use of snippets!

I was delighted to see Diane H playing along with us once again, I always miss folk when they stop joining in with the Playground. This card is so fresh and very pretty - perfect use of snippets of course. And yes, I did go on a hunt to try and buy that set of stitched flowers and leaves dies for a Playground prize. With no luck, sigh.

Donna T made a whole set of super bookmarks, using snippets. I do love to see when people lay out their snippets and take a photo before getting to work - something I forget to do myself. This is such a different style of bookmark - and a great idea!

And, as so often happens, I really couldn't cut my list of picks down to just three - so here's a fourth one which was made by Susan S. I love so much about this card. First of all, the snippets paper and card colours are gorgeous and pick up the very cute image colours perfectly. I love that the plaid of the parcel picks up a snippet design so cleverly - and how about hand cutting the image and frame in a wonky fashion? Clever and very eye catching!

We also had two new Playmates:
Linda W

Angel Koch (Instagram)

So, that's my picks and I do hope they've given you some inspiration for ways in which you can use up some of your own snippets. 

We had 51 entries in total, and two new Playmates this time.

Now for the prize draw, which is for a 'Deco Roses' image stamp and a set of 'Deco Sentiments' - both by Woodware. The prize was  pretty popular, with lots of you saying 'yes please' and I managed to get my hands on another set of both the same sets so in fact there are two winners:

Congratulations ladies! Oh this did make me smile - I finally mastered the knack of using Royal Mail's Click and Drop service for overseas prizes - and you're all based in the UK! To be honest, that doesn't happen very often when there's more than one prize on offer - I think someone's having a quiet smile at my expense! Please send me your addresses, even if you know that I know it already, with your full name at the top as well so I can copy and paste for speed and ease. It's also confirmation that you still would like the prize of course and I'll do my best to post your prizes later this coming week. Please put Playground Winner or similar in the subject line of your email in case it drops into my junk mail. Email address is on RH sidebar as always. The sooner you let me have your addresses the sooner I can post all three prizes in one go.

Remember folks, there's still almost another week to run on Challenge #381 - you can find it HERE. The prize is a a Spellbinders 'Optical Illusion Kaleidoscope' set of dies. Not a load of entries so far, normally by the end of week one about two thirds of the entries are in and linked up.

This coming week - it's our darling Dudley's 2nd Birthday, on Wednesday 22nd. Hard to believe it's two years in September since he came to join us - he's giving us so much joy and plenty of laughter with his antics - with the odd fright as you know. One of his most spectacular was when he decided to squeeze through the partly open barrier at the top of the stairs as a small puppy - and tumbled all the way down, hitting each tread as he went. Standing at the top and unable to stop him in time I screamed - as you do - and Len, who had just gone down the stairs and left the barrier partly open, whipped round and did the most incredible rugby save, literally catching one furry little ball in mid flight before he hit the tiled hallway floor! Not sure whose heart was beating the fastest out of the three of us to be honest.

I'll have to be sure to take a photo or two of him - not that we're having a cake of course, nor does he need any new toys! I think that a card and some extra cuddles will do him fine. And perhaps a small steak for dinner - along with a teeny glass of Prosecco (joke!).

Don't forget that it's the July Rudolph Days challenge over at ScrappyMo's - beginning on Saturday 25th. I'm battling on with a big 'batch bake' of 10 almost identical Christmas cards here and hope to have them finished to enter one. Been making them for at least three weeks now!

Been suffering with shooting neuralgia across the top of my head for a few days now, making sitting crafting quite uncomfortable. And brushing my hair ain't much fun either! I finally gave in yesterday (Saturday, the day I'm typing this) and took a couple of co-codamol and the relief was incredible.

Love from Parsnip, a happy wave and woof from Dudley - and of course hugs as always from me. Stay safe - and keep on crafting.

Sunday 12 July 2020

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #382

AO delivered the new microwave and took our old one away, exactly as planned, on Monday. I thoroughly recommend them if you're UK based. Let's hope that's the last appliance to be replaced for a little while - she says, eyeing up the iron and waiting for it to be next.

Then, I suddenly realised I'd missed a few Birthdays during this lock down, which really upset me. One was Len's great nephew who recently turned 21 - and despite it being very late, I couldn't let that pass without a card (and the usual cheque).

So, here's my snippets card for this fortnight:
I used:

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

- assorted snippets of blue card - all from a partly used Hobbycraft pack

- added a full layer of medium blue card to the card front, covering it completely - the blue card wasn't heavy enough to dive into a fresh sheet and make the whole card blank blue

- then topped the card front with a slightly smaller layer of dark blue card

- next, time to play with a NBUS set of four dies by Spellbinders called 'Optical Illusion Kaleidoscope'

- first of all I drew around the outside of the large die, using a white card snippet and pencil, to make a 'frame' for the next step and hand cut it

- die cut the large die using a snippet of dark blue card and glued it on top of the white hexagon using a Zig glue pen

- die cut six small hexagons from a snippet of white card, and glued them in place using a Zip glue pen

- die cut six small diamonds and six small triangles from snippets of the medium blue card and also glued those in place using a Zig glue pen

- then, using my rarely used Woodware rotary trimmer, carefully sliced the large made up hexagon in two across the centre

- glued the two halves of the hexagon at the top and the bottom of the card front

- stamped the sentiment using a snippet of white card, a selection of stamps from the Hero Arts 'Whimsical Numbers' and the word 'happy' from Winnie and Walter's The Big, the Bold and the Happy' stamp set - plus my mini Misti and Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink pad

- then die cut the sentiment using a Tonic Studio's 'Circle Layering' die

- drew around the outside of that same circle die onto a snippets of the medium blue card and fussy cut it before gluing behind the sentiment as a 'frame'

- finally, glued the sentiment circle in place

Despite feeling the pressure, I did enjoy making this card and it's interesting how it looks quite 3D, depending on which part of the pattern you focus on. I confess to finding a card to CASE on Spellbinder's own website - which seemed just right for a chap. Leaving the hexagon whole produces a more feminine feel, IMHO. I also liked how a sample card on the site used just the central star 'skeleton' to build up snowflakes. And you can also leave the whole frame unfilled for a real optical illusion effect. Some ideas to try next I think.

And needless to say, here's the prize for this fortnight:
It's a Spellbinders 'Optical Illusion Kaleidoscope' set of dies - absolutely perfect for using up snippets!

As always, the Snippets Challenge will run for two weeks and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 25th July. 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.

I had a lot of trouble this week when trying to link an entry from a new Playmate's Instagram account. Got it to work in a fashion eventually, but I know others of you use Instagram to link here and wonder if you ever hit 'unable to find' image error message issues? I worked round it by saving the whole IG post to my own laptop then picking the image up from there - but obviously I can't do that each time for our new Playmate. And I think she only works using her phone. Surely, one should be able to use Instagram and do an entry directly from your phone? I've raised a ticket with Mr Linky - and we're in discussion. One thing that makes me wonder is - do any of you set tight security settings which may invoke https rather than http? Darnell already gave me some info. about the one she uses - thanks for that chick!

It doesn't seem as if anyone has had any luck tracking down a new toy for Bella:
Not to worry - it always was a long shot anyhow. A lovely friend has offered to make one, but that really is one heck of a thing to take on.

Speaking of dog's toys, Dudley finally chewed through one cheek of his Monkey toy - so he's now onto 'Stinky Monkey the Fifth'. I don't mind snipping an ear off a toy if it's coming loose and can't be repaired but as soon as any inside stuffing is visible and can't be repaired, sadly it has to go to the great toy box in the sky. I promise you, I did not fancy sewing up a soggy wet monkey's face! I did the swop whilst Dudley was out for a walk with Len the other morning and hid the old monkey well out of his way, leaving the new one exactly where he left its predecessor. We acted really casually, and after a few suspicious sniffs - Dudley accepted the replacement, picked it up and wandered off to get to know it better. Ha, he must know I'm writing about him - he just came and slipped past my legs to curl up under the desk ☺

As I used the set of dies for the very first time, it means I can join in with Darnell's NBUS #16 challenge HERE!

Thanks also for your feedback about the no-line colouring. I'm going to try various ideas as soon as I find time - much appreciated!

Stay safe my lovely friends.

Lots of love from us all - Parsnip, Dudley and of course me,