Sunday, 2 October 2022

Forever Friends teddy card

Having a little rummage turned up the makings for two identical Christmas cards. I found two Forever Friends Christmas teddy tags along with some snippets of red patterned paper - stored together in a cello bag, I'd obviously paired the image and the snippets at some point - and this is what I made:

I used:

- mini slimline white card blank, side opening

- piece of slightly smaller white card

- the snippets of red patterned paper, trimmed and added as borders to the top and bottom on the panel of white card

- then stamped the sentiment using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a stamp from Clearly Besotted's 'Simply Said Christmas' set of sentiment stamps

- glued the panel to the card front

- added the bear tag using thin sticky pads, thankfully it didn't have a hole punched for twine. I vaguely recall it coming with a roll of matching Christmas paper many years ago

- then die cut a few snowflakes using a Penny Black 'Snow Family' die to die cut a selection of flakes from the leftover card used for the card blank, then tickled them with Clear Wink of Stella on a scrap of paper and left them to dry

- finishing touch was to add a scattering of the snowflakes using a glue pen

Two more cards for the box!

Len had his COVID booster earlier in the week, he felt one degree under for the following day but it only lasted for 24 hours and was nothing like he's reacted previously. Mine was booked for today (Sunday) but is now postponed until the middle of October. 

Dudley Pupdate: We managed to swap Dudley's old Honka Duck for a new one, then Len, in a daft moment, showed him the old one. So right now Dudley has both of the ducks - and the new one is decidedly neglected whilst he never lets his old favourite out of his sight! So, I'll have to wait until he's asleep and hide the old one again! On Thursday he had a bath/shower and all three of us had a good soaking, perhaps revenge for the duck swop?! 

There's a new challenge over in the Snippets Playground HERE. Hope you manage to join in!

Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Rudolph Days - September 2022

Time for another Rudolph Days challenge over at ScrappyMo's HERE. I made four really quick Christmas cards - two of each design and the first one is my Rudolph Days entry:

I used:

- 8.5" x 3.5" slimline white card blanks, tent style. I made my own card blanks using a UK size A4 sheet of heavy weight (300gsm) white card. Our A4 is only 8.25" wide so I had to make them 'down the length' of the sheet of card, meaning more waster/more snippets for ATCs perhaps

- next stamped the sentiments using stamps from Penny Black's 'Yuletide Wishes' set of sentiment stamps - and a Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink pad - onto the chosen images

- topped the card fronts with the Whimsy Stamps image papers - from the 'SurReally Cool Christmas' set of Slimline papers, using Collall All Purpose Glue

- super fast - four cards done!

Yesterday was Dudley's 'Gotcha Day' - four years since he joined us here. And he still manages to surprise us! Little does he know that plans are afoot to sneakily replace Honka Duck with a new one, today if possible. Followed by a bath/shower tomorrow - he's gonna be pretty fed up I can see! ☺

Sunday, 25 September 2022

Today is all about you

I did a quick scrabble around some snippets and toppers lying on my desk - and made this card in double quick time:

I used:

- mini slimline card, made from a large snippet of white card

- snippet of SU 'Wisteria Wonder' very slightly trimmed to fit the card front whilst leaving a narrow border, corners rounded then glued in place

- the floral topper was made up by yours truly ages ago and fairly recently rediscovered in a cello bag ...........hiding in a box of 'bits and bobs' - added using a chunky glue pen

- the sentiment is from a NBUS purchase of a Pinkfresh Studio packet of foiled sentiments - again, added using a chunky glue pen

- finishing touch - three 'raindrop' gems by 'Lucy's Little Things. I used Glossy Accents to adhere them - that stuff is SO unforgiving if it squidges at all, normal, but strong, glue for me in future!

The floral topper was part of a sheet of pop out die cuts ready just to layer up - possibly made by Kan Ban - but I can't be sure.

The set of sentiments is a mix of gold and silver sentiments on white backgrounds. Half gold script and half are silver script. Many are on die cut shapes, like the one I used for my card, and that's mainly why I bought the packet (for speed and ease) - although, others are on rectangles with foiled frames. I have to say that the wording on many of them isn't terribly inspiring to be honest (almost too 'funky', save your pennies!).

I'd like to enter this into Darnell's NBUS Challenge #42 HERE. The sentiments were having a first outing. 

AND, the Results of Challenge #436 are now over in the Snippets Playground.

Dudley Pupdate: Dudley, like most dogs, sometimes dreams when he's asleep. Usually a whimper or two and his little legs do a quick workout. But a couple of times he's really shaken us with a single, really forlorn and heartrending, howl whilst asleep. The first time it happened, months ago, we sprang out of bed convinced something terrible had happened. The other evening we were watching a TV programme about a 'lone wolf' and its plaintive howl was exactly the same as Dudley's. Sure tugs at the heartstrings - and reminds one that of course dogs are descended from wolves. Certainly, when Dudley dives into his evening meal I can totally relate to that one! He's fussy about what he eats so it took us a while to figure that out when he was a puppy but he's like a little vacuum cleaner now. And of course, he can hear the rustle of a cheese wrapper from the other end of the house!

Friday, 23 September 2022

Happy Birthday Joe, at 17

Len's great-nephew (he has four of them) has just turned 17. I almost forgot his Birthday, which was on the day of our Queen's funeral, and in fact had even forgotten I made and asked Len to post this card in the 10 days of public mourning. However, goodness knows how, it turns out I did remember to take a photo, which I found on my camera just the other day:

I used:

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

- a piece of dark blue shimmery card, found lying on my desk in 'the pile' waiting to be popped into the snippets folder. Trimmed to an eighth of an inch smaller than the card base all round then stuck onto the card front

- then I dug out a new paper pad from one of my NBUS baskets on a shelf behind where I sit to craft (for me it's the best way to ensure I use new things and don't just file them away to be forgotten)

- the paper pad is really gorgeous and was bought with the red tartan in mind for some Christmas cards I have planned - however, this blue tartan/plaid was perfect for my needs

- the paper pad is called 'Tartan' , made by Craft Consortium, a UK Company - the darker colours are so perfect for male cards

- trimmed the tartan paper from all sides to look as balanced as possible and then added a three quarters of an inch or so strip of plain dark blue shimmery card in place across the card - before trimming the sides off

- glued the tartan panel to the front of the card, with the outer dark blue framing it

- then stamped a sentiment using an ancient Lili of the Valley stamp and Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink - I could have dug around the ink pads for a Navy Blue but I was basically almost running on 'empty' at that point in time

- I'd used a scrap of white card the same as the card base to stamp the sentiment on and then punched it out using a SU round punch - one and one eighth of an inch in diameter I think- and stuck it in place using a piece of very thin sticky pad

One super fast and simple card - made thanks to a video of very similar 'male cards' I'd spotted online, but can't find again, as so often happens.

So there we go - almost back in the saddle, I hope!

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

Hello again!

Sarn and I are popping back up from the Period of National Mourning, after the loss of our beloved Queen, Elizabeth the Second. Nip over to The Snippets Playground to see what the new challenge #437 has in store!

I have no card to offer as time here in Great Britain has almost stood still with shock initially, for 10 days, much of it in painful silence, watching TV and grieving for our Queen. 

But, on the upside - Sarn did use yesterday to clean the Playhouse, oil the swings and sort out the stuff we both just dropped, 10 or so days ago, ran off and left. I got sent to the wholesalers for even more Autumn cocktail ingredients - with orders to look for Halloween decorations! UK isn't too hot on Halloween, help! And little Dudley has been stoically sweeping up Autumn leaves and basically giving the place a good polish! Anyone for a highly polished slide ride courtesy of an over keen Havi - wheeeee!? 10 pence a go - as charged by the little gangster! So, I think we're surfacing and at some point very soon things will return to the old mayhem! HMTQ wouldn't want us to carry on grieving - but to remember her with joy and love - for sure!

Do come and join us HERE!

Sunday, 11 September 2022

Four Penny Black 'Masterpiece' cards

It's Sarn's turn to post today and it's the results of Challenge #435 over in the Snippets Playground, HERE.

For my snippets card(s), I had a flick through the numerous sets of Penny Black Christmas 'Masterpieces'  here and pulled out four Winter cottage scenes to play with:

I used: 

- 5.5" x 4.25" card blanks, made using white linen card (same texture as the little images) bought from The Paperbox. Two are long side opening and two are short side opening

- the images needed slightly trimming to fit behind four already die cut frames, also using the white linen card. These were left from when I die cut a whole bunch of frames using a die by MFT called 'Stitched Rectangle Scallop Edge Frame' - I love the frames but they really need care when fixing an image behind as they're very narrow with not much room to play 

- glued the images to the inside back of the frames, using a glue pen

- then flicked through the 'impending cr*palanche' on my desk and pulled out a few snippets that were waiting to be filed in my bulging snippets expanding filing folder. Every single one was on my desk. which shows the chaos I'm currently working in!

- trimmed four of the larger snippets to cover almost all of each card front, leaving just a narrow border and glued them in place

- then used my Altenew mini die cutting machine and the sentiment die I've used so much lately (Tonic Studios 'Mini Moments Merry Christmas' ) to cut four sentiments using more varied snippets, and glued them in place using a glue pen

- glued the framed 'Masterpieces' in place, using Collall All Purpose glue, as usual for large pieces

- the only snippets I can easily name are the green ones, they were tucked inside a pack of Altenew 'Forest Glades' card which is such a lovely shade of green. Still on my desk from its last use, sigh

- another four for the box of 2022 Christmas cards!

The two images with the green backing card came from the 'pinecones and peace' set, the image with the black backing card is from the 'home for christmas' set - and the image with the shimmery deep blue backing card is from the 'snowfall serenity' set.

Penny Black really are onto a seller here, certainly where I'm concerned. Buddly Crafts had three new sets of Christmas designs in when I was over there just the other day, looking for something else - and yup, they did sort of fall into my basket!

I'd like to enter the first card into the current Christmas Kickstart Challenge #66 HERE. The theme is 'Home for the Holidays'. I wasn't cheeky enough to write three posts to 'bag' three entries into Jo's fun challenge - which  means I need to have a bit of a think and a hunt through my stamps and dies!

Thursday was a dark day for our whole Nation, countries of the Commonwealth and a lot of the rest of the World when our beloved Queen Elizabeth 2nd died. From knowing she was very unwell, and fearing the worst earlier that day, to the final confirmation of her death so many of us almost held our breath, lest a puff of air would make a difference. She was utterly true to her vows when she became our Queen - right until the end. The rainbows over both Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace just prior to the Queen's death being announced seem to almost have been a sign from her that in the end, all will be well. RIP after a such a long and very varied reign your Majesty. I do believe that King Charles will do his utmost to honour the legacy left by his beloved Mama and will rule wisely and kindly. Long live the King.


Sunday, 4 September 2022

Pink daisy for a friend

It's time for a new Challenge (#436) over at the Snippets Playground HERE. My turn to host and give Sarn a bit of a break.

For various reasons my snippets card was made fairly quickly - using bits and pieces within easy reach - late into the week just gone, so it ain't gonna win any prizes - but it's rather sweet:


The end result is the first image, and the snippets I grabbed to work with are just above here.

I used:

- 6.25" x 3.25" mini slimline sized white card blank, tent style

- a couple of snippets of the same white card were lying abandoned on my desk and the Lawn Fawn 'Watercolor Wishes' pad, with the envelope of snippets inside the back cover, was literally within arms reach - so I collected those I wnted to use together

-the card background was made using trimmed down blue for the sky and green for the grass - all from the Lawn Fawn paper pad - I just hand cut a sort of 'gentle wave' across the piece of green paper to make it look a little more natural then glued both papers onto the card front

- used my Altenew mini die cutting machine (oh, how I truly love this little baby!) to die cut the daisy from plain white card and coloured snippets of paper - all using Lawn Fawn's adorable 'Delightful Daisy' set of two dies. It's such a simple die design but I love it!

- used a glue pen to adhere the 'skeleton outline' of the daisy onto the solid white die cut background piece

- then carefully added all the coloured pieces, using a glue pen, to fill in the skeleton outline 

- time to add a sentiment and I had an old favourite in mind from the Stampendous 'Happy Messages' set of sentiment stamps - which I stamped using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink

- already knew where the daisy die cut was to sit - so just glued it in place using a glue pen

The set of daisy dies is having a first outing, so I'm adding it into Darnell's NBUS Challenge #42 - HERE.

A Dudley tale - he's done it for ages now, but it's one of his first routines of the day. It's the same every time, a little gallop, a spring onto a low footstool at the bottom of the bed , a launch and then the 'thump' of him landing on the bed when I stir in the morning. Eeek, followed by as good a wash as he can manage to give any exposed part of me as I wake up. It's certainly the fastest way to get one sitting up .......... fighting a crazy smiling licking Havanese full of joy wanting to kickstart aother day of fun and frolics - or should that be frolicks perhaps?!

Remember to come and play in the Snippets Playground Snippets Playground, please tell us what you use and post your entry - over on our new challenge HERE!

With love from Dudley Dog and me,

Sunday, 28 August 2022

'Tis the Season to be jolly .........

Here's my  card for ScrappyMo's Rudolph Days Challenge for August:

I used:

- white DL card blank, tent style

- first of all I coloured the pre-stamped Penny Black 'Snow Family' image using Polychromos pencils and Sansodor blending fluid - matching the colouring to the background paper 'scene' I'd selected to use

- die cut the image using Penny Black's 'Snow Family' set of dies and tickled the pale grey fluffy pom poms on their hats using Clear Wink of Stella

- used a piece of SU 'Wisteria Wonder' card for the main backing - die cut using a die from Phill Martin's Slender Collection set called 'Elegant Eyelets' and glued onto the card front

- the background paper is from Whimsy's 'Frozen' Slimline paper pack - LOVE this set of papers so much! Trimmed the paper to nicely sit on top of the die cut backing card - just a sliver from the top and sightly over 3/4" from one side

- stamped a sentiment onto the bottom left of the 'scenic' panel using the Misti, Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a stamp from Clearly Besotted's 'Simply Said Christmas' set of sentiments 

- glued the 'scenic' panel onto the card front so that the 'Wisteria Wonder' layer formed a frame 

- then added the die cut 'Snow Family' using thin sticky pads to add a little dimension (but still keeping it under the limit for standard postage letters) 

- the 'Snow Family' die comes with some lovely snowflake dies and I used the three smallest ones to die cut a selection of flakes from the leftover card that the main image had been stamped onto, then tickled them with Clear Wink of Stella on a scrap of paper and left them to dry

- finishing touch was to add a scattering of said snowflakes using a glue pen to 'lift' the background

In real life the colours are a little more vibrant and of course, just to make life easier when the Christmas panic sets in, I made two exactly the same. Partly as I found two ready stamped images and couldn't bear not to use both of them. I suspect that a sweet friend sent me the stamped images ages ago. Before I bought the same 'pre-loved' stamp several years later ............. then I followed it up with the matching set of dies, probably within the last 12 months or so. Funny what you come across when looking through boxes of stuff you've almost forgotten about. ☺

Another Christmas Challenge that I love is 'Peace on Earth' - it's always 'Anything Goes' but their mood board does have a snowman on it. So I'd like to play along with their current Peace on Earth Challenge #22.   

And, I just found 'Christmas with the Cuties' Challenge #62. Anything cute and Christmas, with an optional theme of 'Frosty the Snowman, was a jolly happy soul'. I just had to join in as my sentiment includes the word 'jolly' - as all snowmen should be! I think it's my first time playing over there - but there's at least one familiar DT name! Hi Sarah. ☺

As both the 'eyelets' DL dies as well as the Penny Black 'Snow Family' die set are NBUS - I'd like to join in with Darnell's NBUS Challenge #41

The results of Challenge #434 are over at the Snippets Playground HERE

Dudley alternates between being very solemn and then running round like a crazy dog! On Thursday evening Len sneaked up the 'bedtime treat chalk bone' as Dudley was snoozing in the hallway. Swiftly, Len popped it onto my desk and whispered 'Hide it' - and we reckon it truly could have been done in one massive bound from downstairs - there was Dudley beside me waiting, paws up on my desk chair, tongue out with a cheeky smile, literally as I reached out to pick up the treat! He's a total scamp!

Then there are the times he looks at life through the serious end of the telescope and spends time almost meditating with some of his most loved toys, and of course his 'bestie' Honka Duck. On Friday, whilst taking a piccie of today's card by placing it on our bed (hunting for light!), I looked up and Dudley was steadily watching me, from his position surrounded by toys on the bed! Usually he would move, but this time he didn't and I managed a quick and sneaky photo:

I really love this 'spur of the moment' photo of him. Dudley isn't a dog who poses nicely when asked - you have to take 'pot luck'. He has one paw on top of, and protecting 'Honka',peeping from behind him is a cheeky chick toy and beside him are an upside down flying squirrel .......... plus a much loved hedgehog, sent by his much loved 'God-dog Mum' when he arrived here almost four years ago now. Yup, he still has it and uses it as a little pillow often during the night, so cute. Version 2 is on my desk, 'awaiting Mama's surgery' as it's got a  split seam (ouch!), but let's not tell him that!

The thing that really gets me is the depth, wisdom, and even a tinge of sadness in the look in his eyes, talk about 'Let me look right into your soul Mama'!

Or, to look on the bright side, most likely, 'Hey Mama, where you gonna try and hide the next treat?'!! Let me try my pensive look on you - ha!'.

He (Dudley) knows I'm typing about him as he just popped out from under my desk to say 'a big hello, from your Friendly Security Guard'. His timing always cracks me up!

Love from both of us - Dudley and of course me,

Sunday, 21 August 2022

A cosy penguin Christmas card

I'm still plodding on, making up the batch of die cuts (I cut them a while ago) into up cycled Christmas cards. I find that when other things become too hot or whatever, it's good therapy not to start off totally afresh. Just take what might have been thrown out with the garbage - and up cycle it, ready to 'ride out again'. The other day I fished out (already culled and popped away) a bunch of shop bought cards fronts saved from previous Christmases - and found plenty more to be going on with after i use the ones already die cut from 2021............. including five or so robin images! What is it with friends and family sending us robin cards? 

Anyhow, today's snippets card (just one snippet of silver mirri card used for two card elements I confess) was in the original batch of dies cuts I've been using lately - and this is the result:

I used: 

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

- a piece of patterned paper from the Crafters Companion 'Frosty and Bright' paper pad - some luscious papers in this pad in shades of pink and turquoise mostly - trimmed to one eighth of an inch smaller all round than the card front

- used the 'inward curved corner' on my small X-cut corner punch on all four corners of the paper and then glued it in place on the card front

- the paper was carefully chosen to go with the penguin's sweater on the saved image - which I'd die cut using a Lil'Inkers 'Side Stitch Rectangle' die

- mounted the penguin panel onto a narrow background border of silver mirri card and set him to one side 'for later' - as our beloved Queen said about her marmalade sandwich!

- then used the rest of the silver mirri card snippet to die cut the greeting using - once again my current favourite - Tonic Studios 'Mini Moments Merry Christmas' die, only one layer this time 

- glued the image panel and the sentiment onto the card front and went away for a think

- it needed something in the line of snowflakes or 'summick - but I don't have the strength to use small snowflake dies on thick card (hoped to use a frosted piece saved from the original card front but it was too tough and I didn't have a small enough die)

- in the end I found some small snowflake self-adhesive gems in a very neglected box of Christmas embellishments, so I added two of those and it really did lift the image panel!

And, I did push the snowflake pieces closer to the centres once I saw the photo enlarged above. It's a sweet idea to use different sizes of gems to make up a little embellishment but sometimes the manufacturing accuracy is a little 'off'. So there we have it, one more Christmas card to add to the box for 2022. Photo looks a bit blurred to me, but it was the best of the bunch!

Now, most importantly, do please hop over to the Snippets Playground HERE, where Sarn has kicked off a fresh challenge. Numbers were much lower than usual for the challenge which just closed, but the weather was hot, it's Summer Break time for many etc. etc. so we 'roll with the punches' as they say. Many thanks to those of you who did play along - much appreciated.

Dudley pup date. Hmm, a mixed week with him as he had total 'HH - ie. Havanese Hysterics' when he was in my car to do the 'drop Len's car for service' - bring him home and then do it in reverse about five hours later. Of course he (Dudley!) did the screaming hyena act almost all the time.We've said it's potentially due to us not taking him out for a drive very often - for that read that 'we usually go out singly and leave him at home with the other one of us'. He's only been left 'Home Alone' once and we watched him via CCTV most of the evening! 

We hope that before the Summer is over we'll make the effort to take Dudley out with us for a mid-week pub lunch - with a drive thrown in - to show him that drives can be for fun reasons and not just 'business stuff', the vet or grooming. 

I have a lovely place in mind, in a local village with typical Hampshire thatched roofs, and the pub, which is a converted watermill, welcomes dogs. Yay! On a nice day we could sit outside and also show Dudley the river which flows past the lawns as well as the lake with the ducks and swans. It's a huge sadness sad that the pandemic, which broke when he was still a pup, and our own caution, have curtailed such opportunities. Let's see if we can broaden his horizons - as well as our own! I noticed that Len was happy to not wear a mask when he was at the car dealer's, and he's been to a local supermarket a couple of times now (spending soon to be obsolete old £20 notes) and has done the same. For those of you currently throwing caution to the wind - I envy you, although we're a bit slow catching up! 

Sunday, 14 August 2022

Final up cycled robins - for now!

I've come to the end of my pile of robin die cuts, made from the fronts of shop bought cards, sent to us in 2021:

I used:

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

- a sheet of paper from First Edition's 'Gilded Wonder' paper pad, trimmed to just a little less then the card front and glued in place

- hunted high and low for some sort of card, any card, to die cut a sentiment to go with the robin or even the beautifully flittered gold panel on the sheet of paper - zilch!

- in the end I die cut three layers from the same snippet of white card that I cut the card blank from, using my current favourite Tonic Studios 'Mini Moments Merry Christmas' die 

- glued the sentiment layers together then added them to the card front - using a glue pen. Top left to make the most of the flittered gold design on the paper

- then added the die cut robin using sticky pads (the robin was die cut a while ago using a die from The Works 'Stitched Circles' set

- hmm, not quite right as there was a blank taupe space top right looking very lonely and out of balance, so I walked away and left it - whilst we bathed Dudley on Monday afternoon in fact

- whilst fighting the 'Dudley tidal wave', I remembered some NBUS self adhesive Memory Box Open Studio 'Christmas Fairy Crystals' sitting in the front of a basket waiting for their first outing. And sure enough, one of the orangey red shades works perfectly with the robin's red breast - so I stuck three onto the top right hand corner

Finished! A super fast card to make - but hunting for the backing paper etc. probably took several times as long as actually making the card.

Fighting Dudley was a slight exaggeration really - I brushed, combed and snipped some bits before his shower/bath. Bless his heart, when I sit at the table in Len's room to groom Dudley, he (Dudley!) snuggles his muzzle with a resigned sigh into my cleavage for comfort! As if to say, 'you win'. And he didn't fight too hard this time during his shower. He was then wrapped up like a wet white burrito on my lap - where we patted him as dry as possible before the manic 'zoomies' began!  

The little Fairy Crystals were having their first outing so I'd like to enter this into Darnell's NBUS#41 Challenge.

Also, entering the current Christmas Kickstart Challenge#65 - 'Never in a Nativity'. My second robin card for this fun challenge! 

And, for the time being, we have a lovely white and very fluffy Havanese called Dudley here! He's working hard on trying to remain chilled, hunting out cool spots on tiled floors around the house etc. Yesterday, Len went round to a neighbours' with some wrongly delivered mail. Whilst there, he played with their - much friendlier than Teddy the Terror - little girlie Shih Tzu. She's adorable, they both are, but Tinkerbelle (named by their little girl, what else) is the more friendly. When Len came home. Dudley went ballistic - 'Sniff, sniff - how DARE you play with another pooch'! I was waving his calcium bone treat at the time - but did he care, as he would usually launch into the real need for his midday treat - NOPE?! Just shows that the smell of a lady dog will beat a treat hands down!

It's so very hot here though and in the UK we aren't geared up for it with air con. and such so we're all struggling.

Anyhow, the results of our previous 'Christmas in July' Snippets Challenge, run by Sarn, can be found HERE.  

Numbers are low on my/our current Snippets Challenge - I can't blame you with the heat that so many of us are trying to cope with! It's a nice prize, so do come and play!

Love from Di and Dudley - no more 'Phantom Piddler' puddles from him, thankfully!

Wednesday, 10 August 2022

Up cycled 'Santa flying high'

I still have a few due cut images from shop bought cards we were sent for Christmas 2021. The one I used for today's card was from a sizeable 'gently sparkled' card with a sentiment printed on the lower part of the card - mini slimline was my instant thought when deciding how to use the image:

I used:

- 6.25" x 3.25" mini slimline sized white card blank, tent style

- a snippet of silver mirri card, no particular brand, trimmed down to just under the size of the card front and glued in place

- the image had already been die cut couple of weeks or more ago, using a Lawn Fawn stitched border 'Mini Slim Stackables' die - so I glued that on top of the silver backing, leaving just a narrow silver border showing as a 'frame'

- then die cut the sentiment from another snippet of the same silver mirri card using a Tonic Studios 'Mini Moments Merry Christmas' die and my ever so useful Altenew mini die cutting machine (for those of you who die cut small pieces whilst watching TV or being with the family in an evening - I can't recommend this sweet little machine enough)

- finally, glued the sentiment onto the card front using a glue pen

Finished, in next to no time at all. And of course the gentle sparkle has to be seen in real life - cameras do try to have it all their own way.

I thought it was a risk chopping so much of the card away and losing most of the 'forest' - but then I might as well have just stuck the card front as a whole onto a card blank!

I'd like to add this card into the Christmas Kickstart Challenge #65. The theme is 'Never in a Nativity'. Somehow, I don't think Santa and his reindeer would have rocked up at the stable bearing gifts. ☺ 

Sunday, 7 August 2022

Through the window snippets card

I recently bought a few Stampin' Up goodies and couldn't resist the 'Better Days' set of stamps. I loved the rather versatile and classic look, and to me it instantly shouted 'paper piecing!' (Hello Lesley!!) - even though it does come with some gorgeous stamps to create the stamped hills using inks, a background stamp and also a couple of sentiment stamps.This was my first play with the set - which is perfect for snippets of course!


The lovely ombre shaded Lawn Fawn coloured paper snippets, waiting to be 'fussy cut', main image is at top left and also my rough paper  'template for placing snippets' - is at the top right hand side

I used:

- 5.5" x 4.25 white card blank, tent style (for a change)

- the rustic brick/stone background was created using a Sizzix Tim Holts rustic brick wall die given to me some years ago, embossed onto white card and then rubbed over with a soft brush and Stampin' Up 'Smoky Slate' ink, just to tone down the white

- trimmed, then glued the brick work panel onto the card front

- the centrepiece 'window' was created by stamping the main image onto a snippet of white card using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink then fussy cut leaving a narrow border

- whilst the mini-Misti was out, I also selected a few snippets from my usual 'envelope inside the back cover of a pad storage' - from Lawn Fawn's 'Watercolor Wishes' pad, photo of them above, and stamped the relevant parts of the main stamp onto them

- this was made really easy to do by stamping the full image onto a snippet of white printer paper and nestling it into one corner of the Misti then used that to eyeball and position the snippets one after the other to stamp the most relevant parts that I wanted - it worked really well and a great way to save even MORE snippets! A photo is shown above of my pre-fussy-cut snippets. Top left it the main image and the other main image ws on spare paper to use a a guide

- fussy cut all the coloured paper snippets for the sky, sun and three layers of green fields and then ran a black Whispers brush pen around the edges to cover any white edges

- used a glue pen to adhere each piece onto the backing image, always adding the glue to the main image. All these years later I always think of that tip from Jules when paper crafting

- then fussy cut around the 'window' image outline, put that central panel aside and basically went off to bed to dream about the next steps i wanted to take!

- I'd stamped the sentiment whilst doing the other pieces so that was waiting

- before then, I ran a sumptuous gold calligraphy pen edgewise right around the main panel and set it to one side

- then hunted right through my dies and couldn't find a die, even with tweaking, to suit the sentiment - drat!

- so, I careful trimmed the stamped sentiment, also from the SU set, but left plenty of spare white card at either end

- a bit of measuring and some pencil marks and then punched the ends of the sentiment using a 1" SU punch to create the 'tails'

- then ran the same gold calligraphy pen around the whole sentiment strip and we were good to go!

- added the main panel to the card front using thin sticky pads

- then added the sentiment strip, at a jaunty angle, using the same brand of thin sticky pad

At first I hated the result as it just wasn't 'me', and the sentiment still doesn't 'do it and just seems a bit odd, or am I too old to understand?'. BUT, the scene is exactly what I wanted. The rolling fields and the shaded sky were all stamped onto and then fussy cut around pieces of Lawn Fawn's 'Watercolor Wishes' pad, utilising the differences in shade both for the fields and most of all for the sky - with no additional shading added! So, technique won over prettiness I suppose!

And now we come to Dudley's week. Fine - apart from me discovering he'd done a sneaky piddle indoors! I spotted the area with my beady eye and, having a 'nose like a bloodhound check' identified it right away! I doubt if Len is doing sly little piddles, so it had to be Dudders and I know the smell of his wee too! No chastising as he wasn't caught in the act. A dog does a little pee and then moves on, IMHO! Oh Dudley, you scamp! Luckily it was easily sorted out and the repellent de-odouriser spray to get rid of any odour after cleaning in case either of them Dudley makes a return visit, is a godsend! 

My Dad used to tell a tale, supposedly from his childhood, about a teacher in a class, constantly finding little puddles in the classroom, where a child had been 'caught short'. Eventually she addressed the whole class and told them that the culprit needed to own up, in secret, and they and the teacher would then work out how to deal with the problem. No punishment and no worries. So all the children dutifully closed their eyes after the teacher said that when their eyes were closed, the culprit for the puddles had to come and wrote their name of the back of the blackboard which sat on an easel, as they did in the olden days! Everyone closed their eyes - silence. Then after a short while a chair was scraped back from a desk and little feet pattered to the front of the classroom. The seemingly endless sound of chalk squeaking on the back side of the blackboard was heard - and then the little feet pattered back to their desk. Teacher said the kids could all open their eyes but she couldn't resist taking the look for the name that had been so laboriously written on the back of the blackboard. Whereupon she skidded in a fresh puddle and landed flat on her back. As she tried to raise herself up she saw the name of the 'culprit' scrawled on the back of the blackboard ........ 'THE PHANTOM PIDDLER STRIKES AGAIN'.  ☺ The end.

Sometimes this blog is a bit like my life history! Sorry if you only came for the 'how I made the card' bit!

Good grief - I almost forgot to tell you - we're back to any kind of snippets in the Snippets Playground, please tell us what you use and post your entry - over on our new challenge HERE! xx

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Another up cycled robin

Yours truly die cut four, possibly more, robin images from the batch of shop bought cards we'd received from family and friends last Christmas - for some reason robins were a popular choice! This is another card I whipped up the other day:

I used:

- white DL card, side opening

- a die cut robin image from one of last year's cards sent to us. The die I used is a Presscut 'Oval Stitch Hole' die then it was set aside

- snippet of Tonic mirror card 'Fire Stone Red', cut to totally fit the front of the card perfectly - had to be - due to the width of the robin oval image to be honest

- piece of DSP from the 12" x 12" pack of Lawn Fawn's 'All the Dots' paper pack bought as a mistake, (remember that 12 x 12 papers images are often much larger than their smaller 6 x 6 friends!), trimmed to just a bit smaller than the red mirror card layer and then the corners given an inward curve using an X-Cut small corner 'double' curve punch

- at that point, I used a snippet of leftover 'dots' paper and flipped it over to the opposite side pattern and then cut a strip for the sentiment - straight across although the pattern itself is very lovely and also diagonal

- glued the striped strip onto the dotted strip and let it dry

- meanwhile I die cut the sentiment using a teeny snippet of 'Fire Stone Red' mirror card and a Tonic Studios 'Mini Moments Merry Christmas' die (one of my favourites for small places!)

- then snipped the now dry striped band to the width of the dots paper (from the back as always) and added that panel to the red mirror card card front - using a glue pen

- next just glued the oval 'robin' panel in place and then the die cut sentiment onto the striped strip - using a fine glue pen

It's remarkably easy to order a 12" paper pack by mistake .... if you're in a bit of a hurry - just one wrong click and momentary loss of concentration is all is takes. Sigh. Once the order arrived I realised my stooopid mistake and then rashly ordered the 6" square pack as the pattern on the 12" is certainly a lot larger. My idea was and still is to make some matching envelopes to use up the 12" paper. But it worked well for this DL card IMHO.

Len fell in love with this card, despite my worries that it's perhaps a bit 'over fussy'. The dots from the backing paper being echoed in the image background really caught his eye and he immediately picked up on that point of detail. So my idea worked eh?! 

And hooray, I can enter this card into one of my favourite challenges over at Christmas Kickstart Challenge #65. The theme is 'Never in a Nativity'. So it's snowmen, gnomes, penguins - in fact anything that you wouldn't find in a Nativity scene. You have all of August to go and play! See you there as I want to go back and add more. Robins fall into the 'Never in a Nativity' category - yet there is a touching story about the robin and how it got its red breast.

'The story goes that the Robin felt Christ's agony during the Crucifixion, and went to pull a thorn from His brow. One version says that some of Christ's blood fell upon the birds breast, while another version says that the bird was wounded; both versions agree that the Robin was blessed for the act of heroism'. From the internet.

A very sweet story. We have a resident robin in our back garden - he tolerates a mate during the nesting season but they're generally very territorial and, I've said previously, will fight ferociously to protect 'their patch'. 

Sunday, 31 July 2022

A touch of tartan - up cycling for Christmas

One of the Christmas card fronts I die cut last week ready to up cycle has a 'touch of the tartan' in the pile of wrapped gifts - and that was my starting point for this card:

I used:

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

- the up cycled image from a shop bought kraft card sent by a friend last Christmas, die cut using a Presscut 'Oval Stitch Hole' die

- a panel of green tartan paper, which was a snippet already cut to almost the right size and tucked inside the back of the paper pad 'envelope pouch'. The paper pad is one of my very favourite LOTV pads called  'Classic Christmas' - and there's not much of it left in the pad!

- then a further poke around the same 'Classic Christmas' snippets pouch pad turned up a strip of red tartan paper - a fairly good match (IMHO) to the tartan wrapped gift in the image panel to pull it all together 

- glued the strip of red tartan across the green tartan , snipped the really small overhang off, then glued it to the card front

- final step, after spending ages dithering over a possible sentiment and deciding against it, was to glue the oval image panel in place

A little hunt through my crafting downloads in the middle of writing this post turned up LOTV's 'Classic Christmas' papers in digital form - hooray! I bought them back in 2017, forward planning there! ☺ 

I've posted the results of our 'Christmas in July' themed Challenge #432 over on the Snippets Playground HERE.

Dudley Pupdate - a quiet week really. Dudley is certainly happier that the scorching temperatures have dropped somewhat. So are we! Having written that the other day, they seem to be climbing again!

Wednesday, 27 July 2022

Rudolph Days Challenge July 2022 - up cycling

The other day, I grabbed a handful of shop bought (great source) Christmas card fronts, saved from Christmas 2021 that we'd been sent, and had a little session using the Gemini, die cutting the elements I wanted to 'up cycle'. It's a good way to do it by having a 'session' as I did. I wrote which die I'd used on the back of each die cut and also kept a few snippets of the same card fronts to potentially use for sentiments, on some cards, not all.

A day or so later I rustled up a very quick recycled card from the batch, in readiness for the current Rudolph Days Challenge over at ScrappyMo's HERE:

I used:

- 5.75" x 5.75" square white card blank, side opening

- the gorgeous gold embossed edged front panel of a card which originally had a lovely embossed Christmas tree die cut on it - it's kept kept to one side to be played with another time. We've had the same 'tree' card (probably from the same friend who feels that hand made ought to be repaid with a special card) which I up cycled last year I think/know!

- the centre of the panel had the very slight and thin remnants of the glue from sticky pads on but, I knew that would be covered by the image I wanted to add

- trimmed the front square panel to the same size as the card blank and glued it in place 

- then pulled out a die cut really adorable robin image, from the front of another card, which I'd previously cut using a 4.5" diameter 'Stitched Circles' die by The Works

- glued the image onto the card front

- I always add printed or stamped inserts with Christmas greetings into our cards, so didn't spoil the front of the card by trying to add a sentiment

Very simple I know, but if the up cycled elements are pleasing, then try to work the card around them and let them shine and have a second outing. Better than being swamped with too much unnecessary 'stuff'. IMHO only of course!

Sunday, 24 July 2022

Laminating paper napkins

A while back, I discovered Ann Melvin and her numerous online card making videos, particularly different ways to use a laminating machine. One technique had me gripped - laminating paper napkins, you can watch it HERE. So, I dutifully sent off for a selection of paper napkins as well as some matte laminating pouches (I bought A5 size pouches which are perfectly adequate for my needs), my existing folders were all glossy ones. And this is a Christmas card I made:

I used:

- 7" x 6" white card blank, tent style (bit more about this below)

- rounded the corners of the card blank using my We R Memory Keepers corner half an inch rounder (it cuts through two layers at once, so I would be sure of them matching exactly when the card is closed)

- I'd laminated the image a few weeks ago, following Ann's video and using a rather Scandinavian or possibly German style of napkin

- mounted the image onto white card using double sided adhesive sheet, trimmed it to size and rounded the corners with an X-Cut half inch corner rounder

- then made a backing 'frame' using Tonic pearlescent 'Red Velvet' card, again with the corners rounded

- glued the image panel onto the card front

- grabbed a long narrow snippet of leftover Tonic pearlescent 'Red Velvet' card and trimmed it to half an inch width using my old faithful Woodware rotary trimmer with the changeable blades (I used the 'deckle' blade)

- glued the strip across the width of the card and trimmed any overhang from the back of the card using sharp scissors

- the sentiment was stamped using left over white snippets from trimming an original 8" x 8" card right at the start of making the card blank (I never use huge card blanks these days so didn't feel at all guilty)

- for the sentiment I used a stamp from the Poppy Stamps ''Gilded Christmas Wishes' set of stamps , the Misti and Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink

- then die cut the sentiment using a matching die from the same Poppy Stamps set

- finally. popped the sentiment onto the deckle edge strip using thin sticky fixers

I made six all the same! At this rate I ought to be finished all my Christmas card making well ahead of time. 

The images really do look and feel like vellum when laminated using matte (or matt) pouches - a fun way to use napkins. I'm so glad I never disposed of my Woodware rotary trimmer - still have loads of different blades, even some spare ones, cutting track inserts and even a spare handle. 

The reason the cards ended up measuring 7" x 6" is that I needed the 7" width for the image panel, 7" x 7" would cost Large Letter postal charges (eek!) and 7" x 5" just didn't leave enough space for a decent sized sentiment below the image. So, I'll set to sometime soon and make some envelopes, rather than leave them until the last minute.

By the way, I found some USA large size slimline envelopes at Bumbleberry Papercrafts HERE. 50 for £4.99 so not too badly priced either. They're longer than DL envelopes and perfect for anyone who, like me, slipped up and bought USA sized slimline dies, thinking the measured the same as our DL ones. Bumbleberry also stock mini slimline envelopes by Gina K. But, they are far from being a realistic price (£7.99 for eight) and would probably cost more than it takes to make a small card, so I'll just make my own.

Pupdate - during the excessive heat last week, Dudley had little inclination to go looking for mischief. Basically we were all trying to keep as cool as possible. We celebrated his 4th Birthday on Friday, all quite low key. He proudly wore a new 'Birthday Boy' bandana the whole day and looked adorable. ☺ This is he:

It took umpteen shots to even capture this one as he doesn't pose nicely for photos.

As soon as the nights were cooler than in the midst of the heatwave - he's been sleeping on our bed all night, making up for lost time we think. 

And last but certainly not least - Sarn has posted the latest Snippets Playground challenge HERE. The theme is still 'Christmas in July'. A lovely card made by Sarn plus another cocktail recipe await you over in the Playground!

My cocktail recipe is nothing like as imaginative or exotic as Sarn's are - basically my first thought was cranberries as so many of us associate them with Christmas. So my offering is:

Vodka Cranberry - also known as Cape Cod Cocktail

Vodka Cranberry Cocktail - Cape Cod Drink - Mom On Timeout
Image from the internet

So easy to make. 1 oz. vodka, 4 oz. cranberry juice, wedge of lime - plus a little 'simple syrup' if you like it sweeter. Fill a whisky tumbler two thirds full of ice (really?). Pour in the vodka and cranberry juice and stir. Add a little squeeze of the fresh lime wedge then pop it onto the rim of the glass as a garnish. For a longer drink, just double the ingredients and use a highball glass. Float three or so cranberries on top if you have them to hand. Personally, I'd leave them out for fear of anyone 'virtually' choking on them, unless you provide a virtual straw to drink through! 

Love from me and a woof from Dudley.

Sunday, 17 July 2022

Christmas Stickeroos

I rustled up four Christmas Snippets cards, two identical ones of each design, the other afternoon: 

I used:

- the last of some light cream card stock to make cards sized 5.5" x 4.25" (tent style) and 4" x 4" (side opening)

- I'd already stuck some Penny Black 'Berry Delight' Stickeroos onto snippets of Tonic pearlescent 'Majestic Gold' card so I just trimmed them down properly and rounded the corners

- then set to rifling through snippets of light cream and also Tonic Mirror 'Fire Stone Red' card for backing layers

- trimmed those to size, rounding the corners of the cream layer

- used the Misti and Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink to stamp sentiments onto the cream layers - using stamps from Uniko's 'Christmas Sentiments' set of stamps

- then glued the red and cream backing card layers onto the card fronts

- glued the Stickeroo image on its gold panel onto the card front

- finished!

The camera is a funny thing isn't it - in real life the pretty images look as if they're just mounted onto a pearlised card backing - but if you look at the photos above - they can give the illusion that they're set into a shadow box. Weird! 

I rounded the corners using a new (to me) X-Cut Small 2-in1 Corner Rounder punch -  bought to round the corners on some envelopes I plan to make. It also does an inwards curve which I've seen a few people doing lately and want to try for myself. 

So that was something NBUS I used making my cards and I'm off to join in with Darnell's NBUS Challenge #40 HERE

I'd also like to enter the Holly card into the current Allsorts Challenge #685 Challenge HERE.

It's been far too hot this past week to tackle the promised sort out of the flowers etc. that I'll be sending to a few people. This coming week is set to be even hotter so please bear with me.

It's also Dudley's 4th Birthday on the 22nd. We have no special plans other than me making a card and perhaps getting him a Birthday bandana.

Speaking of Dudley, thank goodness he was trimmed just before this heatwave hit us. He's been very restless during the night and has been wanting to be out in the garden sniffing the night air several times a night - in the small hours. The other night I was fast asleep and Dudley was pestering Len to be allowed out for the umpteenth time, around 1:30 am. Len played possum and Dudley did settle down until around 4am - when he had his paws up on Len's side of the bed, asking to go out yet again. This time Len took him down and let him into the garden. That poor little dog had been hanging on, really needing to poop! Lesson there, no matter how many times he asks to go out - one of them could well be for more than a sniff of the night air! Me? I slept through it all. ☺

Sarn has been shaking up some brilliant cocktails in the tree house. My own offering is still under wraps - still waiting for the gold leaf flakes to arrive don'tcha know?! Wink.

Remember, the results of Challenge #431 can be found HERE. And there's still a week to play on the current Snippets Playground challenge - the theme is 'Christmas in July'.

Wednesday, 13 July 2022

Snowman in a Jar

When I spotted that the current Challenge#64 over at Christmas Kickstart was 'Show Us Your Snowfolk - out came my NBUS basket - with a Woodware stamp set fairly quivering in excitement to at last be coming out to play. And this is the card I ended up making:

I used:

- A6 white card blank, side opening

- covered almost all the front of the card with paper from the LOTV 'Frosty Christmas' paper pad, die cut using the largest die from the Heffy Doodles 'A6 Stitched Rectangles' set of dies

- to be fair, I had already worked out all the colours etc. I wanted to use, before choosing the backing paper for the card front

- then I set to making the snowman in a jar using a NBUS Woodware 'Snow Jar' set of stamps

- used Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink to stamp the jar main image of the set three times - twice onto plain white card, then the sky portion onto paper from Sticker Kitten's 'Celestial' paper pack

- then trimmed the main jar as a whole, ran a black Whispers brush pen right round the cut edges and set it aside

- next trimmed the 'sky background' from the 'Celestial' paper, ran a black Whispers  brush pen right around the cut edges and set it aside

- then did the same with the second full stamping onto white card - this time trimming all along and around the snowman - again running around the edges with black pen

- coloured the snowman's carrot, hat and the robin (plus a little separate robin from the same stamp set) using Polychromos pencils

- to assemble I used a medium glue pen and adhered the snowy blue sky onto the main jar panel then coloured the stamped 'snowflakes' using a white gel pen

- then glued the snowman and hillside part of the scene, all one piece, onto the 'sky' layer - wallop, it suddenly sprang into life!

- now I had the jar panel all ready, and having left the screw portion of the neck clear, I could add a length of black and white gingham ribbon with a little knot at the front - used red line tape across the back of the neck to secure it

- added the 'Snowman in a Jar' to the front of the card using thin stick pads to add dimension

-  popped the extra robin I'd cut and coloured earlier so that it sits on the rim of the jar, used a tiny piece of red line tape and a sliver of thin sticky pad

- whilst stamping right at the beginning, I'd also stamped both sentiment strips which came as part of the set and trimmed them using scissors  

- added the sentiment strips using the same medium glue pen

- final touch, a few subtle tickles of clear 'Wink of Stella' on the tree, hat brim and pom pom, here and there on the snowy hillside and a touch on each snowball - none of which show up on the photo but that's nothing new, sigh

- finished!

And, of course I made two at the same time.☺

I'd also like to enter this card into Darnell's NBUS Challenge #40 HERE. The 'Snow Jar' stamp set was having a first outing.