Sunday 25 December 2022

Male 'triangles' Birthday card


My snippets card below was made for a friend's hubby - it eventually arrived but was late due to a variety of reasons. Our Christmas stamps for the UK finally arrived here on Monday and Len took the pile of stamped cards to the big post box. More than that we just couldn't do - so meanwhile, if we normally exchange Christmas cards, then yours is on the way! I do know that some have arrived in the nick of time. Having said that, one card got as far as Swindon and then was returned for no good reason - probably only half way to its real destination.

My snippets card is an out and out 100% CASE of a card that Franka (Inkami) made for the Snippets Playground last November - so I won't enter it into any challenges. However, I'm using it as a reminder of just one of the many ways you can use up a few different colors of snippets:

The card
The coloured snippets, ready to be die cut (almost forgot to take a photo!)

I used:

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

- snippet of the same white card, die cut using a Paper Smooches 'Triangles' die and glued onto the card front

- coloured snippets of card, die cut using the same 'triangles' die for the infills - also kept some of the white fall out from the main die cut as infills

- then I had a lovely time gluing triangles into the main die cut - used a glue pen

- die cut a sentiment using a die from the Impression Obsession 'Birthday top edgers' set and glued it in place

- finished!

I even followed Franka's placing of the different colours when inserting the little triangular die cuts. I remember at the time thinking how pleasing her layout was - not too rigid yet not just a jumbled up result either. She's a clever lady!

There's a new challenge #444 over in the Snippets Playground HERE. The theme is 'Anything BUT Christmas' - which should get you thinking a bit! AND, a special prize from Sarn and myself!

Dudley Pupdate: So we went from ice to plenty of rain, and then some! Either way, Dudley has coped really well and is obviously becoming quite used to the feel of 'velvety soft grass' beneath his feet! 

Even though I doubt that he truly knows what Christmas is all about - he's really picking up on the 'buzz' and is into everything possible! A few treasured Christmas soft toys have had to be put out of his reach - he would just want to cuddle and love them as he's not at all destructive - but they're not all 'pooch safe' as they were here before 'his Nibs' arrived! 

Anyhow, we've bought him a soft toy from Santa - as if he hasn't got enough! I suggested to Len that we should go through his overflowing toy box and was told that Dudley loves ALL his toys and would be bound to notice if anything goes missing - even something right at the bottom that he never plays with. I beg to differ, but it made me laugh so much I dropped the idea.

And of course he'll have his own little white dish of Christmas Dinner with us today - we prefer chicken to turkey so he'll have some pieces of chicken crown, perhaps a whole cut up 'pig in a blanket', and some chopped up veggies - with a little tickle of 'no salt' gravy. For those who might not know - pigs in blankets are a fairly traditional accompaniment at Christmas Dinner time - thin sausages wrapped in streaky bacon and then popped in the oven to bake.

Have a lovely day! Hope you find time after Christmas to join in with the new Snippets Challenge.

Lots of love from Dudley and myself,

Sunday 18 December 2022

No time to craft right now!

 Christmas decoration with red candles and foliage stock photo

I was a bit late putting the finishing touches to our Christmas decorations - and it also took me much longer than it used to!  So no snippets card from me today, but the results of Challenge #442 are now in the Snippets Playground.

Postal strike update - basically it halted my plans to post most of our/my UK Christmas cards this year. Our Christmas stamps order from Royal Mail still hasn't arrived - almost four weeks since ordering them. I'm typing this on Saturday and STILL no sign of them. So we're scuppered basically. I'm so very sorry as some are destined for a good few of you - and I was for a while, also angry at those who are holding us to ransom at such a time of the year. However, I've stopped fretting as we can't change it and am now in 'what the heck, let's have a mince pie and a glass of sherry' mode!

Dudley Pupdate: Dudley is absolutely thrilled to pieces with the revamped back garden  and races round doing happy 'zoomies' on the large expanse of 'no maintenance' grass we've had laid. He totally loves it so if you're in two minds - Dudley gives it a HUGE 'thumbs up' (or should that be a 'paws up')?! No more washing muddy paws from the garden is certainly making him all the more delighted!

He had such a busy day today, checking on me, very slowly working on the last of the Christmas decorations downstairs, in between racing upstairs to Len who was replacing a pair of TV speakers ..... and then coming back down again - for me to come and let him outside and to watch his garden zoomies! 

Right now, he's literally flat on his back snoozing underneath my desk. He's has a hard day for sure!

Try to enjoy the coming week - my darling Mum always said, if it isn't done in time then don't worry - we'll manage. I know, always easy to say! And Mum never followed her own advice as it happens!

Sunday 11 December 2022

Thinking of you

It's always so hard to know what to do about Christmas cards for recently bereaved friends. On the one hand, 'jolly and bright' doesn't seem right, yet it also doesn't seem right to not at least show that you're thinking of your friend.

This year, I have two such friends - grieving for their loss of a spouse - so I made a couple of cards exactly the same:

I used:

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

- a snippet of Tonic pearlescent 'Navy Dazzle' card which I die cut using a 'Lil' Inkers Stitched Rectangles' die

- the Penny Black Stickeroo is from the 'Woodland Splendor' sheet popped onto a snippet of Tonic Studio pearlescent 'Majestic Gold' card

- then glued the rectangles on top of one another and then to the card front

- no sentiment, just added a plain insert to write a message

Some of you will already know that one of the friends is our lovely 'Snippets Playmate' Carol Longacre, whose much loved husband Butch died recently - we all send you our love and thoughts Carol.

If you care to skip over to the Snippets Playground HERE - Sarn has opened up a fresh challenge, her snippets card is so lovely! 

On the subject of cards, I ordered our Christmas postage stamps weeks ago from Royal Mail. I was updated to say they're finally on the way, and today is 12 days since that notification - but no sign as yet. Thankfully all the overseas cards have gone, along with a few UK cards - I did have some UK stamps left from last year. However, it's looking a bit grim with the ongoing strikes and I apologise right now that my UK cards will very possibly not reach people in time for Christmas. 

Dudley Pupdate: Our back garden landscaping work is finally done. As with any big project, there have been been a few hiccups along the way but thankfully all sorted out now. Dudley's so funny - he's fussy about his feet and began to literally wipe them on the door mat during the messy part - as he came indoors! In fact, he's still doing it! At one point it was so muddy that he had to be carried out during the night if Nature called! Glad all that's over. 

PS, He is scheduled for a bath/shower on Monday - wish us luck!


Wednesday 7 December 2022

Wednesday Waffle - Monica Tebbs - Part 2

St. Trinians Jolly hockey by Ronald Searle on artnet

Last Wednesday I wrote about Miss Monica Tebbs, who was Senior Mistress when I was at a co-ed boarding school in Wilhelmshaven, Germany.

Fast forward to around 28 or so years ago, when some of the 'previous pupils' set out to form an Association, called 'The Wilhelmshaven Association' or 'TWA' for short. They undertook the mammoth task of trying to trace as many former pupils and staff as possible, not easy by any means! Over 7,500 pupils had attended the school during its 25 year 'life' in Wilhelmshaven. As well as a good few teachers, House Matrons and other staff. We had scattered to the four winds of course - Army kids are nomads and we'd spread all over the UK and the rest of the World.

The Association is still going reasonably strong and we've had reunions every two years in various UK cities - with sometimes hundreds coming along for the weekend (650 for the very first one at Newbury!). Covid didn't help of course, and more and more of us aren't willing or even able to travel the length of the country, depending on the chosen locations - and a fair few have sadly fallen off their perches and are no longer with us.

And, our Monica Tebbs used to attend Reunions for at least a couple of days/nights - right up until her final illness. We used to have the Reunions in pretty smart hotels - where the overnight room rates were more costly than nearby alternate hotels or B & B's. Those of you who joined Darnell, myself and others at the Grand Harbour in Southampton (Sarn and I have met up there with friends too) will have an idea of the sort of hotels and the room rates charged, that TWA Reunions are held in. We used that hotel as we needed a decent sized Main Function Room  and location - for between two and three hundred people for a start. And Monica was careful with her pennies so she never stayed in the Reunion hotel overnight.

On one such weekend, a pal from school days called Rod - RIP my friend (who had been the love of another school friend's life - so we were just pals, right?) and I found out that she was staying in a pretty seedy end of the chosen Reunion city and also that she was walking to and from the Reunion venue, alone and at times in the dark. So, on the more formal Saturday evening we collared Monica (as much as you dared to 'collar' such a formidable lady) - and said that that on no account was she to walk back to her hotel alone - Rod and I would go with her. Her lips were pursed as she stalked away muttering that she was being 'treated like a child'. All we had was her safety in mind of course.

Anyhow, Monica then began a game of cat and mouse with Rod and myself by taking great delight in 'working the room' and speaking to as many different people as possible - always with us loitering nearby. I even followed her to the ladies at one point and hid behind a pillar in the hallway to make sure she didn't make a run for it. As the evening wore on we noticed signs that Monica was preparing to leave - the handbag was firmly over her arm and she was going to try and race us to the exit. To do that, she had to pass our table so both Rod and I positioned ourselves ready to bring her down in a tackle - metaphorically speaking.

However, she turned the tables on us as she approached - by pronouncing very loudly that we were 'not to bother her and that she had a perfectly good pair of legs of her own'. Heads at the other tables turned and stared when Monica's familiar 'schoolmarm voice' rang out loud and clear.

And that's when I to this day think a red fog of insanity descended upon Rod because, quick as a flash and certainly before engaging his brain before his mouth he replied - 'Miss Tebbs - we are just going to accompany you. Not give you a piggyback ride to the hotel!'.

OMG, to this day I swear that you could have heard a pin drop and the sound of horrified gasps of ex-pupils, my eyes were out on stalks in sheer terror and Rod blushed bright red as if we were back at school, as pals, trying to set up the 6th Form Social Club, (OMG, another memory coming!). We stood there like a couple of naughty kids - waiting for the eruption. And waiting....................

............... And you know what we got? Monica with her eyes twinkling, trying to suppress an outbreak of the giggles as she practically squeaked 'Alright then, you two win, this time. But, I want 100 lines from both of you for insubordination!'.

We walked with Monica in the centre, back to her hotel arm in arm, one on either side and it was such a precious time. She bade us a formal goodnight at the front door of her chosen lodgings and sent us off back into the night with the words 'Mind you two, behave'. ☺

They certainly broke the mould when they created dear Monica!

PS. One of our earliest Reunions was back in Wilhelmshaven - and much of the school was still standing, unoccupied but made accessible for us. We had such fun and more than a few adventures - to be retold in a further 'Wednesday Waffle' - or perhaps even more than one. 

I spent most of that long weekend in tears - some of it was pure emotion but a lot was due to the endless laughter and crazy things that seemed to happen, almost 'on cue'. And yes, there was a hockey match - men versus the ladies - and we terrified as well as beat them!

And of course, our Monica was there, still very spritely in those early days.

I hope my love and tenderness for past times isn't in any way a problem for you. I've always written true tales from my heart and will do so when I can. Come back if you wish - you will be so welcome. xx

Sunday 4 December 2022

More money holders

I needed money holders to send to Kai in Germany, for her to use a PayPal transfer from us, and fill them with real Euro notes for the 'girls'. Len had rejected the 'Santa's suit' holders from a previous post - so they will go elsewhere. I then went for something more 'girlie' for Mia and Livi:

Both money holders, Mia's on the left

Mia's money holder - open, with the band off of course

I used - for each holder/wallet - which just looks like a normal card until you open it:

- a sheet of Hunkydory 'Adorable Scorable - Let it Snow' card, which is slightly glossy and ombre in the shading of the main background, Scored at 4.25" and 8.5" from the long edge downwards

- then folded the holder along the score lines into three, creasing well with a Teflon bone folder

- trimmed the smallest side to 2" and the bigger one to 3" so there would be an overlap

- sliced the whole triple folded holder across the width, using a guillotine and cutting it down to 5.5"

- to create the 'flap' for the money pouch I just used a large X-cut corner punch on the top corner of the narrower flap to round it off

- then used very narrow red line tape (one eighth of an inch wide) to securely adhere the bottom edge of the 2" flap to the main body of the money holder - forming a narrowish and long pouch for the Euros (the Hunkydory card was such that I didn't fancy tackling it with scissors to make a shorter 'pouch')

- then made a one inch high slip-off band using leftover card (yay, a snippet!), by scoring it and sticking it to together at the back to form the band, using red line tape

- final touches were a round Craftwork Cards Christmas sentiment from years ago - glued onto a die cut Sweet Dixie 'Layering Snowflake' snowflake (using a snippet) of white pearlised card

- then glued the snowflake plus sentiment onto the slip-off band

- finito!

I did make the slip-off bands a little 'slack' to allow for the expansion when Kai adds the Euros! (I don't like the term 'belly bands' for some weird reason). I'll just write a little message directly onto the flaps.

And we have the Snippets Playground Results from Sarn  over HERE for you to see.

Huge thanks to all those who joined in with the Grand Christmas Switch On in the Playground. I suspect that Dudley was a bit spoiled with tit bits. He slept for almost 24 hours after his marathon stint - pedaling the generator for the lights!

We've had workers here for over two weeks, don't even ask, and I was sitting chatting to Len downstairs this afternoon when who should spot the big bowl that the biscuits go in for the guy's regular tea/coffee times!?

Yup, Dudley of course - on his hind paws with one paw on my lap and the other one hanging limply ........... to beg for a digestive biscuit! The bowl was empty and ready to put away but he made the connection - with THE sweetest face of course. AND, that's after all the savoury nibbles he shoveled down in the Playground Party the other night!

I'm joining in with the Allsorts Challenge #705 HERE. The theme is 'It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas'.

Thursday 1 December 2022

Light up the Snippets Playground!

It's time to have the Grand Switch on of the Christmas lights in the Snippets Playground. Do hop over to take a peek - HERE - at 7:30 pm UK time - this evening!

I made a Christmas card in keeping with the lights theme:

I used:

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

- snippet of white card which I die cut using a NBUS die called 'Christmas Light Background' by Poppy Stamps

- coloured the strings of lights using Pro markers

- added little white lines to the bulbs 

- went on the hunt for a suitable single word sentiment to fit in between the lights and ended up using one from the Colarado Craft Company's 'Big and Bold' set of stamps called 'Holly and Berries'

- bit of fiddling around with the die cut and Misti to line up the stamp with the string of lights, before removing the die cut then stamping the sentiment onto the card front using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink

- added the die cut to the card front, using a glue pen on the frame and the lights - the 'cable' just sat in place nicely - apart from one little curl which ! popped down with a teeny dot of glue

- finishing touch was to coat the glass of the light bulbs with Glossy Accents - so really didn't need the little white lines

Got a shock when I realised that this die came out in 2014! I bought it during 2022 and it was in my Christmas NBUS basket. There's a sample card made for Poppy Stamps over on their blog, which I followed - mostly for speed. One could snip the strings of lights from the frame and use them in several other ways of course.  

And, being stupid, I made two the same when really time wasn't on my side!

Dudley is already really excited about this evening, having helped Sarn and I to do the decorating - he seems to be anticipating a few savoury nibbles as I've baked us all a tray full of sausage rolls plus a tray of cheese straws, to go with the mince pies. Dried fruits aren't good for pooches so no mince pie for him - all the more for us then!

It STILL beats me how Sarn and Dudley managed to manhandle (or should that be 'woman and dog handle') their (ahem) acquired Christmas tree back from the farm to the Playground! I worry that we'll hear that a tractor also went missing! Last seen on CCTV being driven by the tall, slim one wearing black and a balacava - with the little one also in black but with a white fluffy tail, also wearing a balaclava. The farmer swears he heard someone singing 'Oh Christmas Tree' around the time of the CCTV footage! 

Wednesday 30 November 2022

Wednesday Waffle - Monica Tebbs

A St Trinian's cartoon by Ronald Searle
Me on the right and Monica Tebbs in centre

Warning - this is going to be a long post so either pass by - or go for a wee and then make a cuppa ready for a read! I need to set the scene folks!

Ages ago, when I was an almost daily blogger I used to publish a weekly 'Tuesday Tale'. It basically was just me, reminiscing on a very varied life and the stupid things that have happened to me - always through NO fault of my own of course. ☺ Time constraints, life, health and also the Snippets Playground took over and so the tales sort of ended. However ....

............ a recent conversation with SaRn reminded me of a rather long tale that I never wrote about - but it still makes me smile all these years later. So here we have the first 'Wednesday Waffle' - whilst I'm still able to type and think at the same time! You do have to step into my world and wear the 'virtual reality' head wear though! Which means your imagination. And, as I just said, this post sets the background to a few tales.

Most of you know that I went to a boarding school in Germany from aged 13 to almost 18, not our choice, my Dad (British Army) was posted to Germany and it was the closest I could be to them and still get a decent education.

The school was divided into 'houses' with 'house mistresses' and 'housemasters' - yup, it was co-ed (YAY - thank goodness for something!) as well as being the really early forerunner of Comprehensive Schooling, well before the UK. So, we had an overall Headmaster and a Senior Mistress, for the girls. Let's focus on the Senior Mistress. We lived in fear of her and she was, to us at the time, so very strict - her name was Miss Monica Tebbs, whom I will now refer to as Monica much of the time. Slim, as upright as a pencil and also very severe - basically she scared a lot of us half to death!

School days were rather overruled by Monica looming during lesson time break intervals on the girls, looking for traces of forbidden makeup and checking if your skirts were rolled up (this WAS the 60's) and then making you unroll them so you trailed around rather like your Granny for the rest of lesson times. Then you had to go and collect your really wide belt from her at the end of the day - so you could go through the same process the next day - hopefully without being caught! 

Then at the beginning of one school year I was horrified to find out I'd been 'upped' into her 'A' group for English and truthfully almost ran away from school. She was a tough but very dedicated teacher - she called me a silly 'booby' on more than a few occasions (the word was innocent back then). But, she got me through the exams with good results and she, as much as me, seemed to be delighted!

Cutting a long story short - fast forward to me on Tynemouth Station back in the UK, having just left school and going off to work on my fortnightly stint of a Saturday morning. A dear elderly lady, almost smelling of lavender and wearing a very elegant hat, stopped me and said 'May I please say what beautiful posture you have'. I'd never really thought about it - but I did know that the posture came from Monica and us girls balancing books on our heads during detention! Mrs Lavender and I became friends and often met up for our early Saturday morning train journeys - me to the office and she off to see her son and family. Yet I never found out just who she was, sort of a guardian angel perhaps? One week she just stopped getting the train, which is sad as she did me such a huge favour.

Anyhow, Mrs Lavender pricked my conscience and I wrote to Monica Tebbs to thank her for everything she had done. From then on we were sort of intermittent correspondents - she knew I got engaged, married, changed jobs, moved house several times. I knew she returned from Germany and taught in the UK, lived with her sister, and then retired to Peterborough. And that could have been the end of the tale but ........

--------almost 30 years after I left the school, someone decided to set up a group for the old school and also arrange a HUGE reunion at Newbury Racecourse. Some of my future Waffles are bound to cover more  - but we ended up, several hundred of us 'traced ones', piling into the venue. And after a while, WHO should loom into view - Monica Tebbs! She instantly homed in on me (hiding a ciggie behind my back - for a friend to whisk away as I smoked at the time), she knew who I was and that a ciggie has been taken away 'I smell cigarettes' she said - and  I felt like a teenager once again. She then said that she'd kept my initial thank you letter for all those years - and it was just like the intervening years just disappeared - poof!

And so - the bond was made once again - but this time we were friends more than teacher and pupil - although she still did scare me, and in fact all of us to be truthful!. The second part of this - and really the funniest part will be posted on next week's Wednesday Waffle - I think I've rabbited on enough - and to be honest it still gets to me that she really was so human underneath, just 'wanting the best for her girls'. 

My life is so much richer for knowing her, more so later in life when I could understand why she did what she did. Little final point - somehow I found out from a third party that when she'd had some sort  of tricky situation to sort out, complete with keeping her renowned stony face - she would go into the staff room, almost slide down the inside of the closed the door and practically cry with laughter. God love her, a special lady - my friend Monica. 

Part 2 next week - tune in Sarn!

Sunday 27 November 2022

'Santa suit' Christmas money holders

About a week ago, I set to and made three money/cheque holders. The size is perfect for euros as I carefully measured up -  but Len had me 'switch horses mid-gallop' so they will now be going to different recipients. Back to the drawing board for the girls and their Mum in Germany - he wanted 'pretty'! Anyhow - this is what I initially made and they will head off to Ipswich:

The money holder, closed

The money holder, opened up with pouch for money on the right hand side

The snippets I started out with. The silver looks gold, but it truly isn't, it's an adjustable 'warmer light' setting on my 'over the desk' lamp. And - I didn't use the very big red snippets in the end - opting for full A4 sheets of card - slap my wrists!

I used - for each holder - which just looks like a normal card until you open it:

- a sheet of Tonic UK A4 sized 'Red Velvet' pearlescent card - scored at 4.25 " and 8.5" from the long edge downwards - with 3.25" remaining

- then folded the holder along the scorelines into three, creasing well with a Teflon bone folder. The narrower width of 3.25" was to make the 'holder' part

- sliced the whole triple folded holder across the width, using a guillotine and cutting it down to 6.25" high

- to create the 'flap' for the money pouch I cut across the 3.25" narrow portion at 2" from the bottom, then down from the top crease line to meet the point where the first cut met the crease (easier to see what I mean by looking at the 2nd photo above), I used a guillotine (for one card) and long sharp scissors for the other two. Neither are easy to be honest but my slight preference is for using the scissors

- rounded the corner of the newly created 'flap' using a large X-cut corner punch

- before going any further I trimmed a snippet of white paper and glued it on the inside of the money holder, ready to write a message to the recipient - bit of forward thinking, for once, there!

- then used very narrow red line tape (one eighth of an inch wide) to securely adhere the bottom edge of the flap to the main body of the money holder - forming a little pouch

- topped the 'pouch' section with a sentiment, die cut using Tonic Studios 'Mini Moments - Merry Christmas' and a snippet of silver mirri card - if I lose it tomorrow - that sweet little die owes me absolutely nothing

- decorating the front of the card was truly the fun part, I used white, black and silver snippets for all of it - as well as a die set made by Joy! called 'Vintage Jeans - Buckle and Belt'

- it's really self-explanatory, but for my own records, the white 'fur' was 1" wide, cut from a snippet of plain white card, the plain black belt portion die for the 'no punch holes' side was far too short so I just cut a .75" wide longer strip of black, again from a snippet

- assembling the belt and buckle was slightly fiddly but still pretty easy - and I stuck the bottom edge of the assembled belt in place at about 1.25" from the bottom of the holder - using red line tape - then carefully pulled off the top layer of tape from behind the belt piece using very lethal and pointed tweezers

- the die set even included a little 'retaining excess belt length', or whatever you call it, die in the set so I cut one and stuck it in place

- the buttons come in four different designs but only used two of the designs as I liked the double button holes and also alternated them - again using red line tape to adhere them - finished!

I have to say that the attention to detail in the design of the Joy! die cutting sets is quite hard to beat.

But, let's talk about about the set of dies I used for this folder/card. There's more detail to the dies - which am sure means running the buttons as well as the belt through the die cutting machine, to emboss them but I wasn't too fussed about going to those lengths. In fact, I only bought the set of dies as they were in a 'super reduced sale' a while ago. You can easily achieve very similar results using a plain black strip of card for the belt, small square, oval round quite tightly nested dies for the buckle (look at your punches - they might do the trick!) - then possibly real buttons or small punched circles for the buttons. Pokey tool for the button holes or a white marker - and away you go!

This is my snippets card to kick off challenge #442 over in the Snippets Playground. Go HERE  to join in the fun!

I'd like to enter this money holder into the following challenges:

Rudolph Days November 2022 Challenge

Darnell's NBUS Challenge #44 as I used the Joy! NBUS set of dies

Dudley Pupdate: We've had work being done here for over a week now and sweet Dudley, during the day time, has been at his absolute wit's end with all the different sounds, deliveries, comings and goings etc. Being on duty has meant no time for his daytime naps, so he's out for the count at bed time! Mind you, so are we.

Sunday 20 November 2022

Christmas wishes snippets card

If there's a drought and water shortages next Summer, I'll scream! The rain here has been unrelenting for weeks and there's a permanent dampness in the air. Despite the house being warm, the humidity levels are up and down, which isn't good for arthritis. Poor Dudley, never a fan of going to the toilet in the rain, is so fed up and has become an expert in crossing his legs for as long as possible!

One rainy afternoon I made this snippets card:

I used:

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

- snippet of silver really super-sparkly card, trimmed to an eighth of an inch smaller all round than the card blank and glued in place using Collall All Purpose glue

- a sheet of DP from the NBUS Fairy Hugs Craft Papers 'Misty Whisk' paper pad, trimmed to an eighth of an inch smaller all round than the sparkly silver layer and glued in place using Collall All Purpose glue 

- the trees were made using an NBUS unbranded set of two dies

-  for the green Christmas trees I used just the plain outline die - and then embossed them using a 'Twirls and Swirls' embossing folder by Taylored Expressions

- the centre tree was die cut using the plain outline die and a snippet of the sparkly card, then topped with a 3D effect die cut tree using a mossy green snippet of card - of course in real life you can peek at the card at an angle and see the silver layer twinkling at you!

- glued the green trees onto the card front then added the 3D tree using thin sticky pads

- the sentiment is by Craft Expressions, called 'Festive Mini Expressions - Christmas Wishes', die cut twice from a snippets of the mossy green card and the top layer die cut using the sparkly silver card

- glued the three layers together using a glue pen and added the sentiment to the top right hand corner of the card - finished!

Such a shame the super sparkly silver has once again defeated my camera - there are hints of it here and there so perhaps you can imagine the rest. ☺ The patterned paper pad I used has some interesting abstract designs, mostly featuring the sun or moon on the front with co-ordinating abstract patterns on the back. I was idly flicking through the pad when this particular paper shouted 'use ME' and I remembered the NBUS Christmas tree dies. And so a card was born!

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:

Christmas Kickstart #68 where the theme is 'Trees, Trees, Trees!' Such a lovely theme, must try to make a second entry if I find some time.

Allsorts Challenge #703 'A/G with option trees/leaves' - that was a bit of luck!

Darnell's NBUS Challenge #44 - the Fairy Hugs paper pad and the unbranded tree dies were NBUS.

Dudley Pupdate: Earlier in the week, Len gave Dudley Part 1 of his trim - his legs and 'undercarriage' still need to be done. I suspect I'll have to perch on a stool opposite to Len and hold Dudley on the grooming table on his hind legs like a boxing hare, facing Len to have his undercarriage done. Right now he looks adorable - and his trimmed areas are so soft and silky, very much reminds me of when he was a little puppy. You know that little groove that doggies have running down the centre of their skulls - it's much more exposed now and he adores a gentle stroking there! We suspect he's feeling the difference due to being 'shorn' as he's taken to sleeping most of the night snuggled between us on our bed.

The Results from Challenge #440 are now up and running in the Snippets Playground - and there's still a week left to join in with Sarn's current challenge #441. Hop over to the Playground pronto - Sarn is sure to have something nice in the way of warming food and drink to share at break times in the tree house.

Sunday 13 November 2022

Remembrance Sunday

Today is Remembrance Sunday here in the UK - my snippets card was made with that in mind:

I used:

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

- really pretty piece of patterned paper - most probably from a little selection of SU paper that I was sent by my SU demo. at the time (I never throw anything away - and this paper was perfect for my needs the other day!)

- trimmed the paper to an eighth of an inch smaller all round than the card front and glued it in place

- then took a snippet of white card from the pile on my desk - along with snippets of moss green, red, black and pale green, all from the same pile - and promptly forgot to take a photo of them to show what I began with!

- used the Memory Box 'Perky Poppy' die to cut the poppy stem, leaves and bud in pale green with the flowers in black and red 

- then, used a glue pen to adhere all the poppy pieces onto the white card panel

- mounted the image panel onto the slightly larger moss green panel, before adding that to the card front using Hunkydory 2mm thick sticky pads - just as a change from thinner pads

- the sentiment was cut from a sheet of sentiments in the Creative Expressions 'Wordies Sentiment Sheets - Birthday' and glued in place by raising the left hand side from behind with a narrow snippet of black card to make sure that the right hand side would sit directly onto the poppy stem and the whole sentiment would be level

- added a narrow strip of the patterned paper down the inside of the card - I normally make a plain insert but this could be a real time saver, as well as adding a nice touch

- final addition was three clear self adhesive 'Fairy Drops' made by Memory Box and sold under their 'Open Studio' brand - so quick and easy to use, with three different sizes in the pack of 100 drops, a new favourite here! BTW, I used the middle sized ones on my card.

So, that's my snippets card for this week folks. Sarn has a new challenge up and running over in the Snippets Playground HERE. Quick, hop over and see her lovely snippets card and also the prize she's chosen for the current challenge.

Dudley Pupdate: A quiet week due to rotten wet weather, with no rides for me - again, sob. We bathed Dudley midweek and once we all dried off he looked so lovely - for 24 hours or so! Still white and smelling of baby talc from the doggie shampoo - despite all the thorough rinsing. However, it's time for a hair cut, otherwise he'll end up looking like a small Yeti - he's well on the way right now!

Back to my card for today, I'd like to enter it into Darnell's NBUS Challenge #44 HERE. My NBUS goodies are: the piece of patterned paper as it's the first time I've opened that little gift packet, the sentiment strip (the pack comes in white on black and black on white and I would probably use all of the sentiments to be honest) plus the clear Fairy Drops, quick, easy and no chance of glue smudging!

That's all from us for now.

Love from Dudley, and of course,

Friday 11 November 2022

Wednesday 9 November 2022

'Spirited Snowmen'

The current Challenge #701 over at Allsorts is 'Sparkle and Shine'. I love a bit of sparkle and shine, on Christmas cards especially, and came up with this:

I used:

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

- topped the front of the card with baby blue pearlescent card for the 'shine', die cut using Lawn Fawn's 'Stitched Windy Backdrop' cover plate

- then, using snippets of white card, stamped a skating snowman - using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a stamp from SU's 'Spirited Snowmen' set

- coloured the image using Polychromos pencils , including using the Polychromos silver pencil for the skate blades

- die cut the image panel using a die from a now discontinued set of four dies, marketed originally by The Works and sold under the M&C label - called 'Oval Frilled & Stitched'. I found them on eBay, brand new for £6 the other week - bargain!

- then stamped the sentiment using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a little stamp by Clearly Besotted from their 'Let It Snow' set of stamps, discontinued

- stuck the image panel onto the card front, using thin sticky pads

- finally, die cut some snowflakes from a snippet of very sparkly silver card, using using a Penny Black 'Snow Family' die set - and glued them in place, shame the lovely crisp silver sparkle just doesn't want to be picked up by the camera though

And yup ....... I made another one exactly the same whilst everything was out on my desk. 

The set of The Works dies are NBUS so I'm also skipping over to Darnell's to join in with NBUS Challenge #44.

Sunday 6 November 2022

A card for Josh

A neighbour's eldest boy celebrated his Birthday on Saturday (yesterday). He's now 14 and that's a sort of 'in between' age - too old for LOTV cute images/Lego and such - yet not old enough for more 'manly cards. No doubt that will come though!

So, I opted for a fairly neutral style:

Needless to say, the colours look a bit washed out - rather like our weather right now. Dudley is drawing up plans to build us an Ark!

I used:

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

- a slightly smaller layer of Neenah 'Desert Storm' - which was a snippet

- a slightly smaller piece of patterned paper from Craft Consortium's 'Ink Drops - Ocean' pad

- glued both layers in place onto the card front

- then dug out a couple more snippets of the same 'Desert Storm' card and die cut the sentiment twice. For the sentiment I used a die by Lawn Fawn die called 'Giant Happy Birthday to You' - SO useful!

- glued both sentiment layers together using a glue pen

- adhered them to the card front using a glue pen

- despite the card being for a 'young man' I did feel it needed something more - so I glued three white sequins in place and that was it, finished!

The results from Challenge #439 are now available over in the Snippets Playground HERE. Hop over and see if you're a 'pick' - or perhaps the winner of the prize on offer.

Despite the rain I did manage to fit in a trip in my car to have my hair chopped (rather overdue) and also to collect a repeat prescription, which involved a long queue and some dithering people in front of me. Am now signing up to a local pharmacy to deliver directly here without me needing to put in requests. This new pharmacy is in the same parade of shops as my GP as well as my current pharmacy so if it goes 'pear-shaped' it's close enough for me to go in person and sort things out. 

However, the rain has made it impossible to venture out for a decent 'ride and walk Dudley' trip. It's a bit like giving a child a packet of sweeties to become excited about and then taking them away. I've really missed it - having the Purple Peril and then being 'grounded' is a bit cruel of Mother Nature. 

Dudley Pupdate: Dudley speaking - well, I got through Halloween without too many 'woofs'. I stuck with my favourite and most sinister bandana all evening - we forgot to take any photos though! The camera was on the coffee table all ready to go - but in all the excitement we just forgot and 'enjoyed the moment' as they say. I had a fair few cuddles (from some very pretty teenage girls, my favourite!), and almost left home with some of the most loving callers! Mama soon chased me back indoors though - spoilsport! Tell you what, I slept like a little log right through the night - just exhausted by it all. And no chocolates for me of course - but I did get a few Doggie Choccie Drops, as consolation. Back to Mama now. x

See you in the Playground!

Lots of love from myself and the little perisher, Dudley,

Wednesday 2 November 2022

Mia and Livi's interactive 'reveal wheel' Birthday cards

Allsorts Challenge are celebrating their 700th Birthday this week - so I'm entering the pink card as it's 'Let's celebrate - any special occasion'. Very appropriate - well done to Brenda and the team! There's still plenty of time to join in the fun and also lovely prizes to be won.

Just a couple of days after Len's Birthday, Grand daughter Mia celebrated her Birthday - Autumn is a busy time in our family for Birthdays. I planned to make her sister Livi's card for 1st November at the same time so asked their Mum what colours the girls liked.

Mia is very girlie so and pink, white and gold are her favourites. Livi is the rebel/tomboy who likes blue, black and neon orange!

It was much easier to make the two cards, stage by stage, at the same time as they are both 'reveal wheel' cards and this was my first try at using the set of dies:

Mia's card

Livi's card

I used:

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

- 5.25" x 5.25" square of plain coloured backing card (Tonic 'Rose Platinum Mirror' fo the pink card and neon orange for the blue one

- 5" x 5" square of patterned card for the main layer - pink is from Craft Consortium's 'Ink Drops' paper pads - pink is from the 'Candy' pad and the blue is from the 'Ocean' pad (I love these papers!)

- then I used Gemini's 'Sentiment Reveal Wheel' set of dies and stamps to create the working parts of the card(s)'. I won't go into all the detail - but the set does not come with the promised set of instructions, so I had to find a demo. video on You Tube

- after assembling the card(s) I tucked the 'waste' from die cutting the half moon shape at the right hand edge of the card underneath where the edge of the wheel is all ready to turn -  it looked unfinished otherwise, IMHO

- having added the additional parts of the stamped sentiments to the front of the card - I just added a couple of die cuts to the bottom left of the card. Poppy Stamps 'Rose corner' for Mia's card and an unknown stamp from a rose and leaves set - I suspect it might be a Tonic Studios die set as it's black

- and that was them, all done! Then I had a lie down in a darkened room to recover

What a palaver, first of all - having no instructions is bad - I now know that others have complained about this as well. The video I found was a very hurried demo, on a selling show and some important points were skimmed over. I ended up dizzy with having to keep rewinding the wretched thing to grasp each step. Thumbs down to Crafters Companion for little instruction and also inferior silicone stamps - made in China.

However,  next time will be easier - and the girls loved their cards! I might just have a go at making one for Len for Christmas .......... whilst I can still sort of remember the steps involved, and before his card is at the end of the line - as usually happens. ☺


Sunday 30 October 2022

Tumbling numbers Birthday card

Today's card is my snippets card for our new Challenge over at The Snippets Playground HERE.

I made it for Len's Great-Nephew, Ben, whose Birthday is actually on Halloween (every year too, ☺) - so I used Halloween colours in keeping with our optional Playground theme of Autumn/Halloween. 

I must stress that this card is an absolute CASE of a card that won Nicky a Gold Star HERE back in November 2018. I notice that our lovely Nicky hasn't posted anything on her blog since July so, if you're looking in Nicky, do think about coming for a little play, you are missed. Many thanks for the inspiration from several of your past entries!


I used:

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

- all snippets were already on my desk, the black card is good quality watercolour card, left from some I was playing with

- cut a deep purple backing layer and a slightly smaller black one for the main panel and set them aside

- die cut the numbers from deep purple and neon orange using a die set of 'candle numbers' from The Works. I trimmed the flame off the top of each die cut, to keep the card as masculine as possible 

- then die cut the 'Birthday Wishes' sentiment using another snippet of deep purple and an Impression Obsession 'Birthday Top Edgers' die

- glued the purple 'tumbling numbers' to the piece of already trimmed to size black card, leaving some of them overlapping the left hand edge

- then glued the sentiment in place, followed by the orange 21

- flipped the panel over and trimmed off the overlaps from the back

- glued the black panel to the deep purple surround then glued that onto the card front

- finished!

I just popped over the The Works' website to see what dies they might be selling right now. I knew the candle numbers - which were their own M&C brand - had long been discontinued. I was sorry to see that they no longer sell any dies under the M&C name - such a shame. That set of candle numbers only cost me £4 - and I also hit lucky with a few other die sets back in 2017/18. All of them were super value and are excellent cutters, sigh. There ARE a smattering of the dies (the actual brand to look for is M&C) on eBay - I ought to know as I just whipped in and bought a couple of brand new sets for the Playground Toy box, yay! Needless to say at slightly inflated prices but still jolly good value, particularly when you take free postage into account. However, the eBay M&C pickings are pretty thin on the ground now.

So, it's a new Snippets Challenge - Halloween is almost here - go and check out the theme! 

Tomorrow (Monday) is Halloween itself and, after a couple of years of abstinence, we're going to 'set up shop' for trick or treaters.

Dudley 'Pupdate': Dudley speaking - well, what can I say? The week has been very wet and I hate wet paws so have had to be (yet again) physically lifted up and dumped out into the garden a few times. One or other of my 'hoomans' then stays on guard beside the door making sure I do what I've been put out to do. Something called 'Halloween' is on the horizon and the 'pawrents' have been wafting around trying on silly outfits, messing around and planning things for Monday evening. Ha, little do they know that I intend to bark and howl at every single person coming to do 'trick or treat' here - until I have a cuddle of course. Mama has given me a choice of TWO different Halloween bandanas - I like them both so will be doing costume changes throughout the whole evening - leaving the pawrents exhausted and vowing to never, ever to do it again! Snigger! x

Finally, did you remember to change your clocks?

With love from Di and Dudley,


Thursday 27 October 2022

Rudolph Days Challenge October 2022

It's the latest Rudolph Days Challenge, over at ScrappyMo's - and here's my entry:

I used:

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

- a very slightly smaller panel of Tonic 'Majestic Gold' pearlescent card

- then a slightly smaller again layer of patterned paper by Magnolia called 'A Christmas Story - Angels Calling'

- then die cut the holly sprig from a snippet of white card using Penny Black's 'Holly and Berry Branch' die - also die cut the berries area from a snippet of red card

- dug out what ended up as five lightish green small sized stamp pads - from SU and also Tsukineko then used a couple of small makeup blending brushes to colour the leaves

- coloured the 'twig' part of the die cut as well as the very parts where the leaves join the twig with a brown Zig marker and coloured the berries with a red Zig marker

- carefully fussy cut around the red die cut berries and glued that piece on top of the main die - it was a perfect match so really I hadn't needed to colour the berries, that was done in case I slipped up at all with the fussy cutting

- then glued the holly and berry die cut onto the card front

- added a Memory Box 'Christmas Fairy Dewdrops' embellishment to each holly berry

- die cut the sentiment using Tonic Studios 'Mini Moments Merry Christmas' die, one from a snippet of Majestic Gold card and the top layer from another snippet of the same red card I'd used for the berries. Then glued them together, before giving the finished sentiment a coating of clear Wink of Stella and giving it a short time to dry

- glued the sentiment in place using a glue pen - finished

Love how those berries shine in a muted way! There's some 'light bounce back' in the centres - but in real life it's not there). I fished the lovely 6" x 6" sheet of Magnolia patterned paper out of a box I rummaged around in about a week ago for the green and gold backing paper for the poinsettia cards I made. The contents date back to around 2008! There might be one or two sheets of the same paper still lurking in there for duplicates - but I know it's long been discontinued, sigh, a shame as it's such a gentle and soft pattern which makes a nice Christmas background without overly dominating the card. My quest is to try to checkpoint myself and see if there are more pieces of the same patterned paper to be used for duplicates - especially now that it's been made once. Always makes re-iterations simpler.

It was a first outing for the Memory Box dewdrops, as well as the Penny Black holly die, so I'd like to enter this into Darnell's NBUS Challenge #43.


Sunday 23 October 2022

Poinsettias for Christmas

The current Challenge #67 over at Christmas Kickstart has a lovely theme - 'Poinsettias and Posies'. I finally found time to make a couple of cards, exactly the same, as my entry. Here's one of them:

I used:

- a white DL card, tent fold - which actually ended up at 8.25" x 3.75" to look more balanced

- dug out a couple of identical pieces of very old patterned paper by Craft Creations called 'old Christmas Wording on Green Texture' and trimmed them down to 8" x 3.25"

- die cut three apertures from the paper using a NBUS MFT 'Slimline Stitched Square Trio' die - and put the centre square's waste to one side for later use

- then glued the patterned paper onto a piece of Tonic 'Inca Gold' Mirror card

- using snippets of white card I die cut three squares using the MFT die and inset two of them in the outer apertures

- ran a gold Calligraphy pen around the edge of the square of white card waste I'd set aside a couple of steps back and glued it and the 'set aside' patterned centre square's waste together, then added it onto the centre aperture using 2mm thick large sticky pads. The gold edge was really so that, from the side, the edges of the square wouldn't look stark white - and it works well. I initially had tried just having it flush to the rest of the card front but raising it on foam pads really made such a difference

- in fairness, I made the poinsettias right at the start of making the card as i wasn't sure if the aperture's would be the right size etc.

- to make the poinsettias I used the NBUS dies in the Sizzix dies by Tim Holtz called 'Seasonal Sketch' - and snippets of Tonic ''Red Velvet' pearlescent and 'Inca Gold' Mirror card

- then glued the slightly offset gold layers on top of the red ones, before finally adding them to the card front

- finished - another two for the box!

The patterned paper that I used is so lovely in real life (I also have some in deep blue as well as in rich deep red) - the 'information strip as most 12" x  12" papers  do bear, shows that the design goes back to 2008! And that was in the days when I bought a lot of my stuff from Craft Creations. You chose from either a paper catalogue or a very clunky online 'shop' - and then submitted your order on a paper order form, which you posted off with a cheque for the relevant amount. It all seems rather pre-historic now. ☺ 

One lesson I learnt is that the 'stitched edge' to the three apertures doesn't show up well on dark quite heavily patterned paper. However, the die will be really great on plain paper and card of course - plus it guarantees that all three squares are lined up properly!

I'd also like to enter my card into Darnell's NBUS Challenge #43. The poinsettia dies and also the MFT 'Slimline Stitched Square Trio' die had their first outing.

No news to report from Dudley. Right now he's cuddled up on our bed with Honka Duck (still the same old duck, bad mistake to let him see the old one after we'd hidden it and given him a new one). With all this wet weather, which he hates, it's not been easy shoe-horning him out into the garden to go toilet - just before bed in particular. He seems to have magnets built into his paws and rear end and you just can't budge him! Len has had to physically lift him outside - whereupon he then wees for England (Dudley not Len!) - which shows that he would have been pestering to go out in the early hours of the morning - little tinker!  

A little message for those to whom I promised to send decorative flowers and such during my proposed 'sort out' session. Basically I hit a mobility problem as well as a nasty leg infection so they are still on hold, for now. Don't give up - I will get there, I have your addresses and .... I need the space!

There's a new post over in The Snippets playground, with the results of Challenge #438 - HERE.

Sunday 16 October 2022

Happy Birthday to Len!

Yesterday was Len's Birthday - and Dudley commissioned a card for his beloved 'Dad' from me:

I used:

- DL white card blank, side opening

- snippet of black card, trimmed to a bit smaller than the card front and glued in place

- another snippet, this time of white card, trimmed to a bit smaller than the black layer

- then dug out my Altenew 'Poured Acrylic' paper pack and cut into a whole new sheet! Basically to add one and a half inch bands across the top and bottom of the white panel

- die cut the Creative Expressions 'Mini Woof' using a turquoise snippet from the patterned piece of the 'Poured Acrylic' paper - so I could check the alignment of everything

- then used Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink to stamp the fun sentiment ('Don't worry, I ate all the candles so nobody will know your age!') and the adorable pooch onto the white panel - his ears, eyelids and the pads of his paws were coloured pale peach using a Polychromos pencil. However the light when I took the photo has almost faded them - but they're there, trust me!

- stamped the pooch's bandana onto a tiny scrap of the turquoise part of 'Poured Acrylic' paper, fussy cut it and ran a new black 'Tombow Brush Pen' around the edges to hide any potential white edges from showing. After over 15 years of use, my black Whispers brush pen finally dried up/ran out of ink - it was the most used of the set of 36 markers and owed me nothing

- glued the turquoise bandana in place onto the pooch (now looking very much like Dudley in trouble!) using a glue pen

- glued the die cut 'woof' onto the image panel - and thought that was it finished

- however, the 'white space' was too stark with a mainly white dog - so I used a small paw print stamp by 'Fun stamps' and black ink to add some extra interest

- now it was finished!

I went bonkers with the little paw print stamp on the envelope, a gift tag, the inside of the card under Dudley's 'signature', and even on the back of the card besides the words 'Commissioned by Dudley'!

I'd like to enter this card into Darnell's NBUS Challenge #43 HERE' The NBUS is the Penny Black stamps set - oh, and the little 'Woof!' die as well!

And, this card also qualifies for this week's Allsorts Challenge #698 over HERE - hooray! So many weeks I just don't get the chance to join in, so it's great when the week's Allsorts theme works in my favour! The theme is 'Add a sentiment'- and I think the cute little sentiment voicing the pooch's 'don't blame me' trip fits the bill very well!    

Len loved his card from Dudley - and, even though I cheated and bought a ready made laser cut 'sailing schooner 3D card' from me (time was not on my side) - he was really pleased with that too. A few other lovely cards and of course pressies from Dudley and myself - a happy day! Nice evening meal - worked well.

The week has been busy with bits and bobs so we only managed one excursion on Tuesday with the 'Purple Peril' - which some of you rightly guessed is a wonderful purple mobility scooter! The feeling of freedom is incredible.

Thursday was my COVID vaccination day, in town. I was lucky and had both the COVID as well as the flu vaccination - one in each arm. Yay! So far so good - a bit tender but nothing to be concerned about.

Dudley was there outside the 'Health Hub' in the shopping Mall and he waited with Len whilst I disappeared to be 'dealt with'. He was SO good - he just watched everything going on round about him and kept close to his Buddy Len. Dudley is such a curious dog - always interested in what's going on and I think the outing to somewhere totally new and quite busy really stimulated him. Without even trying, he really charmed loads of people as well. It's only recently that 'non-assistance' dogs have been allowed into the shopping Mall, we didn't see anything untoward so there's a chance that the move won't be reversed. Obviously not all shops will allow them inside but for us it's a great step forward.

Sarn (and I) work hard to make Playground a fun place - and, to that end Sarn has opened up a new Snippets Playground challenge HERE

Also a little heads up that in two weeks time so NOT just yet girls. I'll be hosting a new challenge on 30th October. We don't often have 'themes' but we will be looking for Autumn, Halloween and/or the associated colours in your entries for the challenge that opens 30th October ................. not just yet, I'm just giving you some advance warning so you can plan ahead! It's not mandatory but would be fun we think!

With love, from Di and Dudley