Friday, 9 October 2015

Happy mail

I try to enclose a little card with each weekly Snippets Playground prize. Sometimes it's the Sunday Snippets card I made - at other times, my snippets card might not be suitable and that's when I set to and make something different - such as this card:
I used:

- 4" x 4" square white card blank

- flower and leaf stamp from the Uniko 'Pure Florals - Gerbera' sets, stamped using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink then coloured using Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils and Sansodor blending solution

- at this point I was planning to use the matching dies to cut out the leaf and the flower, but I'd gone over the outside line whilst blending in a couple of spots and the outline dies leave a white border, sigh. So, I fussy cut round them instead

- stamped the sentiment next, using VersaFine 'Vintage Sepia' ink and two words from the Winnie and Walter 'The Big, the Bold and the Happy' stamp set 

- then I added the leaf and flower using Collall All Purpose glue

- top right hand corner looked too bare, but adding Josy Rose nail heads or similar would have been too fussy IMHO - so I rounded it off using my Fiskars Corner Rounder scissors

- final touch, a tickle of clear Wink of Stella all over the leaf and the flower

Job done - another time I might even get the Twinkling H2O's out and have a play, gerberas do come in such lovely, vibrant almost jewel like colours:

These beauties were delivered on my Birthday the other week, from Len - aw :)


Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Wildlife on a Wednesday

Even though we're almost galloping into Autumn this week (torrential rain and a definite drop in temperature), last week we had some welcome visitors in the Playground/garden:
This gorgeous Red Admiral butterfly was sunning itself and Len managed to get a few photos. We've noticed a few late butterflies this year, usually they're all gone by now. Certainly the swallows left for their long journey to warmer climes a few weeks ago.

And we have some real fun and games with 'Horace and Doris' the hedgies, they turn up every single night to feed, so thankfully the discovery of a snoozing nest in the front garden didn't faze one or both of them.

Len has a proper little feeding station set up for them and they trigger the outside light when they arrive, but don't seem at all worried to be 'in the spotlight' so to speak. This is a photo he took last week - and I have no idea if it's the male or female hedgie, but suspect it's Horace:
The set up is on a paving slab sitting on top of the patio - to keep their little feet dry :)  The red you can see in the background is part of the leg of a low square plastic table which sits right over the feeding area, bought just for the purpose of keeping the rain off! So it's like a gazebo really - just a shame it's bright red and a bit 'in your face'!

On the menu? Spike's Dry Hedgehog food and a few ordinary peanuts - the water bowl is out of shot. Hedgies are VERY messy eaters - they flick the food all over the place, so it's a daily clean up job for their 'carer', bless him.

I have subsequently read that peanuts really should be crushed lest a hedgie gets one wedged in its back teeth and can't close its mouth properly (no dental sticks or toothbrushes in hedgie land). So now we have a dedicated pestle and mortar for use when preparing their nightly menu.

Mad or what?


Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Penny Black and More October challenge - Warm Autumn colours

The current challenge over at Penny Black and More is  'Warm Autumn colours'. Such a lovely theme and this is my entry:
I used:

- A6 cream card blank

- a dark brown mat, cut from a snippet of course

- backing paper from the My Mind's Eye paper pad called 'Sunshine'

- Penny Black stickeroos from the 'April in Paris' sheet - I think it should be Autumn in Paris as the colours are so rich and Autumnal on all the stickeroos. Little tip, I stuck the whole strip across the patterned paper and then trimmed it in situ, from the back with scissors - simple but useful idea, at one time I'd have tried to cut it to size first (you live and learn)

- wrapped a couple of snippets of aubergine wide organza ribbon and narrower satin ribbon down the left hand side of the patterned paper before sticking it to the dark brown mat

- then adhered it to the card front before tying a couple of snippets of the same ribbon into a knot. Another little tip, I always tuck a little piece of  red line tape underneath the knot or bow to stop it from moving about

A quick card but I do love the 'depth' in those stickeroos! No sentiment, this is just a card for general use.


Sunday, 4 October 2015

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 197

Yet another busy week in the Playground - with lots of beautiful makes and here's my snippets card for this coming week:
I used:

- 6" x 6" white card blank to start off with - more of this, and why, further down

- a snippet of bright pink card stock (my SU card colour swatch tells me this is 'Melon Mambo')

- the die cut the pink card snippet, having backed it with Stick-It adhesive sheet, using a Die-namics MFT die called 'Floral Fusion'. Love this die as it's great for covering the whole front of a card - and the possibilities for variation are endless

- then peeled off the backing paper from the adhesive sheet on the reverse of the die and carefully placed it along the spine of the 6" x 6" white card blank

- next step was to just trim each of the other edges along the line where the pink frame met the white card blank - a perfect way to make sure the die totally and squarely covered the front of the card without any 'wonky bits'

- stuck two snippets of white card on top of one another for extra rigidity and die cut a stitched rectangle using a die from the Lil-Inkers set, stuck it on the bottom left corner of the card using red line tape

- next, covered the back of snippet of black card stock with snippets of Stick-It adhesive sheet (you can patch these easily so never throw away any leftovers!) and cut three sentiments - using a Waffle Flower 'With love' die then layered them on top of one another

- added the sentiment to the stitched rectangle and also added a couple of little pieces of pink which were waste which popped out from the die cutting

- then went a bit mad with black pearls in three different sizes :)

Showed it to the in-house critic - 'a bit in your face isn't it' was a observation - not the die cuts, it's the bright pink that made his teeth itch! :) I do think it would be really pretty in pale colours, or white and silver for example (and would work beautifully as a stencil I'm sure) - but wanted to show the die off properly so you could see all the detail, 'cos it's part of this week's prize of course!

Now straight onto the weekly picks:

This sewing machine one of those snippets makes that stops you in your tracks - brought to show by Alice (ScrAPamondo) - and absolutely stunning with so much detail! There's even a little drawer at one end. It never ceases to amaze me how ingenious and inventive you girls are!

Our Sam (aka Hettie) made this wonderful box card for her parents' Diamond Wedding Anniversary. What a totally sparkly and  fabulous creation - I LOVE it. Such a lovely idea to incorporate photos of their actual Wedding Day too!

Jane J recently had a holiday on the Island of Rhodes - and she did some crafting whilst there. I think this is such a great idea - a holiday Moment incorporating many happy memories to savour once back home - even the circles were made by using the tops of bottles as tools!! I did giggle a bit, do hop over to Jane's blog to see the photos - she was even crafting on the flight over to her holiday!

And from sunshine we hop straight into snow :) This gorgeous Christmas card was made by Carol L - I picked it because it's so fresh and clean, with wonderful use of snippets too! I don't have this actual die but am sure the Memory Box 'Pine Border' quite similar dies could be used to CASE this elegant card, with a little bit of jiggery pokey :)

Carole L has been making a slower than hoped recovery from surgery (we've both been sitting on the bench in the Playground watching you lot have conker fights) so please let's wish her well. And, I picked her card because it summed up how snippets and a couple of shapes can make for a really elegant card. The rose die is a Penny Black one BTW.

And here's another lovely pink rose, brought to us by Pat. Such beautiful water colouring and the die cut framework is absolutely lovely.

And last, but by no means least, here's a really gorgeous card - brought to the Playground by Diane H. I think it's absolutely beautiful and it's such a wonderful take on the inspiration photo over at Diane's - probably one of the best takes I've even seen in fact! See if you agree:

So, that's the weekly picks - always such a difficult job to choose as each and every entry is always a real delight.

We have two new playmates this week:
Sonia entered three times, and this pen pot is one of her beautiful makes - a very talented lady!

A crafter who added her name as Repolainen brought this fabulous owl card - I do so love how the feathers make such a gorgeous finishing touch!

Hope to see you both in the Playground again!

And of course it's time for the draw for last week's prize of the Winnie and Walter 'In a Word: Friend Cutaway' die and the Marianne 'Don and Daisy - DDS3324' stamp.

This was serendipity for sure, I ran the number generator and the first person out, although they'd commented, hadn't said one way or the other about the prize so I take that as a 'no thanks' - which is absolutely fine. Ran the Random Number Generator again and who should pop out:
I squeaked with sheer delight here as Sarn was really keen to win this prize (most weeks she just plays for fun) and had entered three times. It's absolutely pure coincidence - but a very happy one that her number got drawn!

Next, our prize for the coming week and, as already said, it's a Die-namics MFT 'Floral Fusion' die - very kindly donated to the Playground toy box by Darnell, a good while ago. And, I've added in a Waffle Flower 'With love' die. So both items are duplicates of the ones I used today:

As I've said before, I really do have a Playground toy box here along with a little notebook to keep track - so if you sent a prize and it hasn't appeared yet, rest assured it will!

The Snippets Challenge will run for one week and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 10th October. The gates will open again at midnight UK time on the same day.

Maximum of three entries and please say in a comment if you wish to play and be a possible winner of the prize. Do say if you only want one or other part of the prize (one or both dies) but both are up for grabs as one prize of course. And please also link back to the Playground in your blog post to be eligible for the draw.

I've emphasised the bit about saying 'yes please' if you want to be in the prize draw as I do have a slight suspicion that the first person drawn this week might well have wanted to be in the draw - but they didn't say so - so I did a re-run. Am sure Sarn will be delighted though :)

Mr Linky is below - please let me know if you have any problems linking, it's easy for me to sort out so don't struggle on alone :)

Di and of course, Parsnip!

Friday, 2 October 2015

Butterfly Challenge #39 - K is for Knots

The current challenge over at Mrs A's Butterfly Challenge is 'K is for Knots'. I made a really quick card to join in the fun - in truth the beautiful papers did most of the work:
I used:

- 6" x 6" white card blank, tent style

- a snippet of SU's 'Melon Mambo' card stock

- patterned paper from the 'Botanica' Collection by Craftwork Cards, trimmed to size and adhered onto the Melon Mambo card square. Thankfully I tried Collall glue with a teeny piece of white card and a snippet of the patterned paper - sure enough, the glue was going to show through so I had to resort to a Stix2 tape runner

- the banner is from the same paper set, adhered with same tape runner onto a snippet of white card for rigidity before being trimmed to shape with scissors and stuck onto the top part of the front panel

- found a snippet of lemony yellow ribbon and put that along the top of the panel before then gluing the whole panel onto the card front

- final touch, little piece of lemony yellow ribbon tied in a knot around the strip of ribbon - and held in place with a little piece of red line strong adhesive tape behind the knot

Gosh, so pleased I tested the reaction of the Collall wet glue before potentially ruining the whole panel. What alerted me was that the paper is matt and not overly thick and therefore was likely to be pretty absorbent - lesson to remember there.

I'd spotted this wonderful paper over at another blogger's and raved about it. A sweet blogging buddy immediately sent me her own pack, which had apparently been a magazine freebie. Too sweet - mwah, and thank you again!!

Yesterday we had the front garden borders tidied up, dramatically thinned out and mulched ready for the onset of Winter. The gardener found what seems to be a hedgehog nest (underneath a huge strappy leaved plant we'd got him to cut right down so it would regenerate) so great care was taken not to wake 'snoozing Spike' and he's now had an extra layer of bark mulch carefully added on top of his home - even left his little doorway clear for him to come and go! We think it's just a Summer sleeping place, they usually make more substantial nests for hibernation. Having tiptoed round we decided against trying to take a photo, but this image I found on the internet is practically identical - he'd obviously gathered loads of fallen leaves over a period of time :) Edit - he was back around midnight foraging in the back garden and feeding and drinking at his little restaurant, so at least we didn't chase him away - or it could even be a nest from last year. Oh, and there sure are two of them visiting each night, often jostling for position at the feeding station :)

So, you never know who's sleeping just where round here!


Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Less is More - Week 243 - Something shiny

The current challenge over at Less is More is 'Something shiny'. Over at Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge 248 it's 'Stick it down' - plus I'd also like to enter this into Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra for September where it's always 'Anything goes':
Gosh the light was weird when I took this photo! The trees are actually peel off stickers, with the difference that some parts are sticky but others aren't, so they have layers which don't adhere to the card itself - giving a 3-D effect.

I used:

- DL white card blank. tent style

- scored lines top and bottom, half an inch from the edges, using my Hougie board

- three gold and clear 3-D Christmas tree peel offs - no name on the packet :(

- peel off 'Merry Christmas' sentiment

And, needless to say I made another one the same whilst I was playing!


Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Cuttlebug Mania Challenge - No Squares

The Cuttlebug Mania Challenge this fortnight is 'No Squares' and all you have to do is to use a manual die cutting/embossing machine (it doesn't need to be a Cuttlebug but it must be manual, not electronic). Then make your entry, link into the challenge, link to the challenge in your own blog post and and make sure that you also say what products you used for any die cutting/embossing. We're a nosey lot and do like to know just what you've used :)

Our sponsor this fortnight is 'Digiscrapkits' - over here.

Digi Scrap Kits - Artwork by Trina Walker (Clark)
Most of my card are square these days, with a few oblong ones thrown in for good measure - but after some head scratching I came up with a rocker card, and not a right angle to be seen:
I used:

- a pre-coloured image from The Hobby House called 'Spring Bringer', die cut slightly smaller using a die from the Tonic Studio's 'Circle Layering' set (I wrote quite extensively about this set about 10 days ago in a Christmas rocker card post)

- layered the image onto a snippet of SU's 'Crisp Cantaloupe' card which had been die cut using a Spellbinders 'Scalloped Circle' nestie

- stamped the word 'Hello' onto the image using VersaFine 'Vintage Sepia' ink and a sentiment stamps from the Stampendous ''Happy Messages' set

- to make the base I used the two largest dies in the circles set, cutting one from SU's 'Pistachio Pudding' and then a slightly smaller one using a sheet of Craftwork Cards 'Vintage Rose' paper

- glued them together and then scored the circle right across the centre and folded it to form the rocker base

- stuck the image panel onto the rocker base using red line tape. That was a bit tricky-woo to make sure it was all lined up fine, and whilst concentrating on the lining up I took my eye off the ball, sigh. So there's a deliberate mistake but no way was I going to rip the image layer off without wrecking the whole card. The flowers on the paper are upside down (of course they're the right way up on the back, which is the side I meant to use as the front), but then again, the flowers the little girl is carrying are also mostly upside down - so that's alright then :)

You have two weeks to join in with Cuttlebug Mania - hope you find time to come and play!