Sunday, 10 December 2017

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Weeks 311 and 312

This time in two weeks I can bet that many of us will be fluttering around in a bit of a last minute panic. The best philosophy is to do what you can, but don't make yourself ill in the process - mind you, I'm a fine one to talk!

And goodness knows how I found time to make not one but four snippets cards! Because of the design I chose to make, I was (ahem) forced to make four at once - you'll see why below:
I used:

- 5" x 5" white card blank

- a piece of 5" x 5" white card on which to assemble the die cuts - much easier to assemble and then die cut down to a smaller stitched square afterwards

- snippets of sticky backed glitter paper from the XCuts 'Darks' pack (red, purple, lime and turquoise)

- then die cut one complete Christmas tree from each snippet of glitter paper - apart from the star. I die cut all the stars from a snippet of bronze glitter paper from the XCuts 'Metallics' pack

- that gave me four Christmas tree die cuts in each colour and four stars all the same colour

- next I carefully snipped across the top of each 'Christmas' word and stuck it onto the white card square - leaving plenty of space for even die cutting later on

- did the same with the word 'Merry' in a different colour and popped it on top of the word 'Christmas' - thereby 're-assembling' the die cut but in different colours

- worked right to the top - making the four card fronts as I went then topped them with a bronze sparkly star

- ran each panel through the Cuttlebug using embossing plates and a large unopened embossing folder for pressure - this makes sure the letters are firmly stuck in place and (IMHO) often gives a more professional finish

- die cut the panels using a stitched square die sized 4" x 4" from The Works (you can't get those die sets for love nor money right now!). As I had plenty of 'wiggle room' I was able to position the tree centrally in the stitched square - so it paid off doing the sticking first!

- glued the Christmas Tree panels in place onto the card fronts, using a slightly smaller square of fun foam between the card and the front panel to add dimension

I wish I could recall where I spotted this idea of slicing across the Christmas tree die cuts and using a mix of different colours. If it was you please let me know and I'll update the post to give credit for a super idea!

I found it easy to stack the words on top of one another as they should be, but if you're unsure then just cut a template from plain card as a guide :) 

In real life the cards look so bright, cheerful and very sparkly - I'll be making more of these for sure, when time allows.

Our lovely Scrappy Mo, who runs the monthly 'Rudolph Days Challenge' has come up with a super little surprise over HERE. She's running an additional challenge which began on 1st December and if you entered every Rudolph Days challenge from January to November, you're eligible to link in! Yay! I'm not sure if you need to make a special something to enter or not but, in any case, my snippets cards above are Christmas ones and I entered every month. Sometimes it was a struggle but I did it :)

And, after not playing there for absolutely ages, I would like to enter Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge 363 (where there's an option of 'Sparkle') as well as Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra for December.

Let's move onto this fortnight's prize:
Image result for lil'inkers christmas words tree die
Yup, it's a Lil'Inker Designs 'Christmas Words Tree' die of course. The light was just too bad here to take a photo of the packet without glare or total darkness, so this is copied from Lil'Inkers own website. Now you can see properly how the die looks. It's a lovely size at 3.5" square and can be used in one colour or very easily split up as I did. If you check on line by Googling the name of the die, you'll see that one colour looks really good (and a lot less work) - making it a really versatile die.

As always, the Snippets Challenge will run for two weeks and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 23rd December. The gates will open again at midnight UK time on the same day.

It's a maximum of ONE entry and please say in a comment if you wish to play and be a possible winner of the prize. Please also link back to the Playground in your blog post to be eligible for the draw.

Remember, if you link into the Playground and don't say clearly that you're wanting to be in the draw then you will be bypassed if your name comes out of Mr Linky. I'm sure you all know I ask for a positive 'yes' just in case you're playing only for fun. Thanks!

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 :)

Be sure to call back next week to see the winner of last fortnight's prize which is a Woodware 'Huge Santa' stamp set as well as an unbranded 'Ho Ho Ho' stamp set and my picks from the past two weeks. I'm aware how busy everyone is so I haven't asked anyone to be a Guest Designer - but do take a look as I might just have some little pre-Christmas surprises to give away!

Love from Parsnip and of course from me,

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Sympathy card

I needed a Sympathy card straight after holiday:
I used:

- 5" x 5" square white card blank

- piece of baby pink backing card just slightly smaller than the card front, glued in place

- piece of white card, cut just slightly smaller than the pink layer of card - but not yet glued onto the card front

- snippet/band of SU's 'Pear Pizzazz' card stuck across the white panel (using tape runner all over the area green card for a firm stick)

- then I used a Memory Box die called 'Geneva Vine' to die cut across the green panel, reserving two of the green pieces which fall out in the process

- backed the cut out aperture with medium strength double sided sticky sheet

- die cut the same 'Geneva Vine' from a snippet of dark green card and pressed that into the sticky backed aperture, also filled in the two spaces with the light green card

- at this point I added the sentiment using the Misti, SU's 'Old Olive' ink pad and a sentiment from the Stampendous 'Happy Messages' set

- die cut the same die shape from a snippet of the baby pink card and tickled each flower with a pale pink Zig watercolour brush whilst it was still in the die itself, just to add some deeper pink to the flowers for definition

- snipped each flower from the die cut and glued them in place using a glue pen

- glued the whole front panel onto the pink backing panel (which was already on the card front)

What's different about using the die as I did is that the green single layer die cut piece sits quite embedded, as the backing is cut two layers deep. Then, adding the flowers on top, brings them level with the backing layer. A little point but in real life it certainly adds some dimension.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 307 and 308 - results

Little Parsnip has been in charge for a week whilst we had a pre-Christmas break in Portugal :) Home again now and it was a nice way to ward off our UK Winter for just a little bit longer ..... which seems to have arrived whilst we were away.

And here's our Guest Designer for this fortnight:
It's Shaz from Oz - yay! And this card is absolutely amazing, wonderful use of snippets and just perfect for Christmas. And, the backing started off life as a part of a cereal box! To find out more do hop over to Shaz's blog HERE and all will be revealed. Meanwhile, here's a little more about Shaz herself:

First of all, I want to thank Miss Di (and Parsnip) for the hard work in running this challenge each fortnight, my favourite challenge if truth be known! And thanks for the great honour of being your GD too!!

To my background ... I have been doing Calligraphy since early teens, and card making for many years as well, earliest card from kindergarten, age 5!

In 1990 I discovered in the joys of inky stamping and heat embossing (which will always be my first love :D). In 2009 I progressed to the brayer, 2010 the Cuttlebug, and started blogging also in Nov. 2010.

I live on the magnificent beachy coast of northern NSW, Australia. I am a Christian, I trusted in the LORD down here at the beach. It was over 50 years ago, after a Beach Mission Service, it is only five mins walk from where I now live!

I simply love using snippets and exploring new ways of using them... just with this snippetty card I made a grand discovery! A cereal box makes the most amazing water colour paper! Take a peek here! What fun!

And, instead of a photo of Shaz, we have the beautiful header from her blog which is a gorgeous example of her calligraphy work.

Thank you so much for being our GD this fortnight Shaz and for being such a loyal Playmate as well.

Time for the fortnightly picks now:
Mrs A has been such a busy bee lately, and she still found time to scamper in waving some brilliant Christmas 'shaker' ornaments. The rings used to create the shaker frames are empty double sided tape reels (clever little sausage).

Then Heather nipped in with a perfect way to use up loads of snippets and end up with a brilliant, elegant and very sparkly Christmas card - love it!

And finally, Jules of 'Always with a Heart' brought a selection of her delightful 'teeny tiny' Christmas cards to share with us. I just love this sweet little robin (am almost sure it's Penny Black) and the tartan/plaid backing paper is such a lovely match to the image.

We had a total of 43 entries and no new Playmates joining in the fun -but those of you who came to play brought some wonderful makes as usual!

Prize draw time now and our winner of the Sugar Pea 'Nativity-Scape' die and the Paper Smooches 'Christmas Sampler' set of sentiment stamps:

I was so happy to see Connie's name pop out - she normally plays just for fun but this time was hoping to be in with a chance of winning - and her name came straight out. Do hop over and check out her snippets entry too - it was on my short list as a potential pick this fortnight. Can you please drop me an email with your address Connie and then I'll post your prize off to you as soon as possible. My email address is on the right hand side bar.

Keep those snippets entries coming folks, you still have a week left to play HERE for weeks 309/310 remember! The prize is a Woodware 'Huge Santa' stamp set along with an unbranded 'Ho, ho, ho' stamp set. I will split the prize if you only want to play for part of it.

Love from the little white peril Parsnip - and of course me,

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Pre-loved stamps

I recently sold quite lot of my Stampin' Up stamps on Facebook - but (sigh) along the way I did give into temptation and buy some pre-loved ones. I did give each one serious thought and a lot more left the building than arrived here.

One of the stamp sets (I think it's about four years ago it came out?) just screamed to be used for a lovely blogging friend's Birthday a couple of weeks ago:
I used:

- A6 card blank, using SU's 'Pear Pizzazz' card stock

- the white layer was made using a piece of Strathmore Mixed MediaVellum surface 300gsm paper, with a rectangular aperture mask taped over the front. I used a Lil' Inkers Stitched Rectangle die to cut the aperture piece from a snippet of white card - and kept the stitched centre for future use as I was only using the outer part for now

- once the mask was taped in place, I just swiped and gently rubbed in two Tim Holtz Distress Oxide colours (Peeled Paint and Worn Lipstick') using a rounded cone/pear shaped makeup sponge

- removed the mask and then stamped the flower in place using a stamp from the SU 'Simply Sketched' set and Ranger 'Archival Black' ink

- at the same time I used another stamp from the same set to stamp the sentiment with the same black ink

- used an Olive Green Whispers marker for the stems as it has a really fine tip at one end

- then coloured the flower and bud using Ziggies and a waterbrush

- glued the panel to the card front and ran off to the Post Office - just in time!

One point, the set was unused, but wood mounted. So my SU Stamp-a-ma-jig was a real 'must' when positioning the flower and sentiment - never get rid of things like that even when there are Misti's to be had. Certainly not if you have lots of wood mounted stamps as I do - and I ain't about to even think about removing them from the wooden blocks.

I've done similar things with die cut apertures as a mask before and really should knuckle down and get more practice as it's such fun.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Weeks 309 and 310

Oh good grief, one month today Christmas Day will have been and gone. Mind you, I love the days following Christmas when there are plenty of leftovers to nibble at, repeats galore on TV (not so exciting) and finally we can relax.

Remember, from yesterday it's 'Rudolph Days' challenge over at ScrappyMo's, so this is my entry for November. You have until the end of the month to join in - loads of us from the Playground play over there so you'll find quite a few familiar friends.

My card today was such fun to make and used up lots of little LOTV snippets:
I used:

- A6 white card blank, tent style

- a piece of plain 'Kraft' paper from the LOTV paper pad called 'Krafty Christmas' as a backing for the white layer, cut slightly smaller than the card front and glued in place. Then set the card aside whilst I worked on the image layer

- piece of white card for the image and sentiment, cut slightly smaller than the Kraft layer

- using the Misti I stamped the image using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and the main stamp from Woodware's 'Huge Santa' stamp set

- I left the Santa stamp in place and stamped once again, onto plain white paper this time and I'll explain why in the next step

- now I had the stamp still sitting on the lid as well as a stamped image held in place in the base of the Misti. This meant I could position my little snippets for the individual letters easily, one at a time and making sure that each letter in turn on that piece of white paper I just stamped on was completely covered 

- at this point I stamped the sentiment 'Ho Ho Ho' using the Misti again. It's always good to do as much stamping as possible before adding a lot of work (paper piecing in this case) to a card that might be ruined if you have a 'mis-stamp'

- btw I stamped the 'Ho Ho Ho' sentiment onto the image panel using the same ink pad and an unbranded stamp bought from eBay (more about the lovely seller below folks!). The sentiment comes with twirls at either end but I masked them off so the 'Ho's' would fit

- now I had the five letters ready to fussy cut - they all came from the LOTV 'Krafty Christmas' pad (stored in the back of the pad in an envelope 'pocket'). The hat was from a little snippet of red paper tucked away in the back of LOTV's 'Merry and Bright' paper pad and the fur trim and pom pom were stamped onto white card

- fussy cut all the pieces and have two little tips. I used a small SU round punch to punch out the white pom pom and also used the same punch to cut the pom pom away from the bottom of the hat on the snippet of red paper so the curves would match up

- the other tip is something I learned a good while ago through trial and error. See the centre of those 'a's'? It's so much easier to use a small hole punch (1/8th") to punch out the centre and then cut the rest away - in fact I also did that where the letter 'a's' curled over. Much easier for access and certainly less likely to fail than using a poky tool to start it off

- then ran a black Whispers brush ended marker round all the fussy cut letters - it adds definition, hides the white edges of the paper ......... and also disguises where you may have trimmed too much off 😉

- glued all the letters in place followed by the hat and trimmings - using a Zig glue pen and (as always) putting the glue onto the stamped letters on the white card - not onto the fussy cut letters (a really handy tip I picked up from Jules)

- lastly, added a coating of clear Wink of Stella for a little bit of sparkle to the hat trimming and pom pom

One final tip about these Woodware huge letter stamps is, if you're paper piecing them (although coloured markers would be fun, as well as easier), lay the papers you want to use side by side and shuffle them round to get as best a balance as possible. And if you forget how the letters are 'stacked' then either check back here or Google for an image - they're placed in the following order on my card: S,first a, t, n and the last a - then the hat finished off with the trim and pom pom.

And here's some low-down on the 'Ho Ho Ho' set of stamps. All my 'Ho' stamps were quite small (in fact the Woodware stamp set comes with a little 'triple Ho' which I've used separately elsewhere). But - I wanted a 'triple Ho' as more of a statement and after Googling I found a lovely set of stamps on eBay. The seller (a lady called Liz who is here in the UK) is a delight to deal with, super fast service and she has a lovely selection of goodies in her eBay shop - which is HERE

Let's move onto this fortnight's prize:
Yup, it's a Woodware 'Huge Santa' stamp set as well as an unbranded 'Ho Ho Ho' stamp set (I was so pleased with the sentiment being bolder and bigger than others I've seen that I had to run back and buy a set for the Playground).

As always, the Snippets Challenge will run for two weeks and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 9th December. The gates will open again at midnight UK time on the same day.

It's a maximum of ONE entry and please say in a comment if you wish to play and be a possible winner of the prize. As I already said, the prize is as above and I will happily split the stamps sets, in which case I'd do further draws for the other item. Please also link back to the Playground in your blog post to be eligible for the draw.

Remember, if you link into the Playground and don't say clearly that you're wanting to be in the draw then you will be bypassed if your name comes out of Mr Linky. I'm sure you all know I ask for a positive 'yes' just in case you're playing only for fun. Thanks!

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 :)

Be sure to call back next week to see the winner of last fortnight's prize which is a Sugar Peas 'Nativity-Scape' die and a Paper Smooches 'Christmas Sampler' set of sentiment stamps, another lovely Guest Designer and my picks from the past two weeks.

Love from Parsnip and of course from me,

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Making Spirits Bright

Panic truly was setting in a couple of weeks ago when we hit November and my Christmas card count was lagging behind. So, I set to and made seven cards in one 'batch bake', each one the same.

Shame on me, in the couple of years since I bought this fun stamp set (pre-loved), I've only ever used it the once:
I used:

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

- stamped the festive cocktail onto Strathmore white 'Mixed media' card using Ranger 'Archival Black' ink. The image already has the sentiment alongside the glass stamp and is from SU's 'Making Spirits Bright' set

- coloured the image using Tim Holtz Distress markers and a couple of Ziggys - plus a gold gel pen for the ribbon bow then set it aside

- die cut an aperture in a piece of Christmas red card stock using MFT 'Rectangle Peek-a-boo Window' die

- then die cut the whole red panel using a die from the Lil' Inkers 'Stitched Rectangles' set of dies

- die cut the images (with a further little bit of extra trimming from the top afterwards) using a square Spellbinders die about quarter of an inch wider then the aperture. This saved fiddling around with measurements as I wanted a neat rectangle of card behind the aperture just in case it could be felt - as it was it can't but worth taking extra care over

- then added very narrow red line tape around the back of the aperture itself and carefully placed it over the trimmed image. Safest way to do this isn't to just plonk it in place but just remove the protective backing from the bottom edge to line that up, stick it down when happy and then (using pointy tweezers) peel off the backing from the other sides one at a time - finishing with the top edge. Perfect placement every time without the risk of that super sticky red line tape ruining a card - I didn't use glue as it can be prone to oozing or not being close enough the the edge of the frame

- cut a piece of shiny gold mirri card just slighty smaller than the card front and glued the image panel to it (using Collall All Purpose glue)

- glued the gold framed panel to the front of the card - finished

Hmmm, it's better in real life but the peek-a-boo stitched die is definitely best cut using white card - it stands out much more clearly.

So that brought me within sight of the annual Christmas card target - wahoo! To be honest, this year has been a struggle due to Mr Mojo going off on walkabout as well as me trying to reduce the time spent at the desk - which certainly is a big trigger for this wretched back. I might have to rethink things for this coming year and ease off a bit on the 12 per month Christmas card target - I've done it for five whole years (2013 onwards) and got quite a shock when I worked that one out! Looks like some folk (such as non-crafters) will be getting shop bought cards in future - I could never stop making Christmas cards but the pressure of producing so many is getting too much.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 305 and 306 - results

Well folks, we're galloping towards Christmas now - at  rate of knots! I managed to hit my Christmas card target and now any cards I do make will be much less pressured. Of course, the task of writing them all is no mean feat either, but if a hand made card makes someone happy then it has to be a good thing.

Let's get straight on with our Guest Designer for this fortnight who has some lovely tags to share - perfect for using up little snippets:
I just love these adorable tags! You can use the die cuts  left from negative dies to get more value from your snippets - brown or plain red wrapping paper, string and away you go! Parcel wrapping all sorted out :)

And it was Alison of Cranberry and Eggplant who made these and is our 'dancing in the spotlight' guest for this fortnight:
Another happy smiling face too!
This is what Alison said about the super tags and herself:

'Like many of you I have been crafting in one way or another for as long as I can remember. I'm also a bit of a hoarder, I have to hide my scraps from myself and keep them under my bed so no-one knows how much I have, not even me.

I'm always looking for ways to use up plain snippets and tags are a great way to use those thin strips which are always left after cutting a card base from A4.
I confess this idea is not original but it's from an online retailer rather than a blogger so I don't feel any guilt in copying. I saw the tags with the snowflake shaped hole, which I though were very pretty. Then I was left with the cut out snowflakes so I made another set with those. These are my design but not as clever!

Thanks to Di for having me as a GD, running The Playground and showcasing all the wonderful creations which get more amazing each week.' 

Thank you so much Alison for your lovely words and also for sharing a great idea. I have a loads of strips left over from cutting card bases so this is an idea I'll be pinching :)

Time now for the fortnightly picks and, as always, so difficult to choose:

And my first pick absolutely jumped out as a Gold Star card, made by Val of 'Aquarius Blog' it's just gorgeous!
To find out how Val made this wonderful card and the glorious satin-looking bird - do hop over to her blog where she explains it all. Well done Val and please feel free to take the Gold Star badge from my sidebar.

I had a lot of difficulty whittling down the rest of the picks and I chose the final three because I wanted you to see what can be achieved with minimal snippets on generally very CAS cards:
Charlotte (Lady Joyful) has given a perfect explanation of how she made this camouflage  technique card, giving the word 'thanks' much more definition by layering it onto multiple layers of pink die cut words. There's also a little tip as well on how to build up the word layers that's a really neat idea. Shaz in Oz has done a layered sentiment in the current challenge and used a similar technique. Always learning from you girls!

Steffi shared this brilliant Christmas card with us - what impact from the clever placement of three circular snippets and a sentiment! Those of you who might be in a panic trying to made a few Christmas cards in a limited amount of time might like to try this one? Granted you need a good eye for design to place those circles just right but I'm sure that Steffi would be happy for you to use her idea.

Right at the very end of the fortnight, Alison nipped into the Playground waving this really great card and it's another very clever idea. The Christmas tree is brilliant, and would stand on it's own if you're really pressed for time - although I do love how Alison matched the backing paper to the tree, pulling it all together. And, there are instructions to be found via a link in Alison's blog HERE. I made a few of these Christmas trees some years ago - they are such fun and certainly pack a lot of impact!

We had a total of 45 entries and no new Playmates. Numbers of entries seem to be falling - even compared to March, when we had this new format, we were up in the 70's. It could be that with Christmas approaching folk are extra busy I guess. Having said that, it does seem that many challenges are also finding a drop in entries. Who knows, perhaps those who predict that blogging will eventually run out of steam have a point?

Anyhow, let's stay positive and move onto the prize draw. Our winners of the 6" x 6" Studio Calico 'Snippets' paper pads and Woodware 'Numbers' stamp sets are as follows:
Both of you were playing for a complete prize of paper pad and stamp set - well done (and how weird to have two consecutive numbers popping straight out, but that's the whole thing about random numbers I guess)!

Can you please drop me an email with your addresses girls (it's also double confirmation that you were playing for the prize) and then I'll post your prizes off to you as soon as possible. My email address is on the right hand side bar.

Keep those snippets entries coming, you still have a week left to play HERE for weeks 307/308 remember! The prize is a Sugar Pea 'Nativity-Scape' die and a Paper Smooches set of sentiments called 'Christmas Sampler'. I will split the prize if you only want to play for part of it.

Love from the little white peril Parsnip - and of course me,