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'.