Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Little guitar player

Stuck for ideas for a Birthday card for a neighbour's little boy, I asked my in-house critic and his immediate response surprised me. Apparently, he'd noticed Josh, with his little spindly legs, trotting to and from school with a guitar slung over his back now and then!

That was a good enough starting point and this is what I ended up with:
I used:

- 6" square white card

- a second card the same, sliced in half across the spine

- scored the main folded card right across the centre and folded it to act as the 'prop' for the easel

- two identical pieces of designer papers from the Studio Calico 'Snippets Collection' paper pad (how appropriate is that then?), trimmed down, backed with deep blue card and glued onto the inside of the easel, as well as onto what would be the 'standing up front piece of card' 
 
- then stuck the easel front onto the folded section of the base card using red line tape 

- I downloaded the digital image from LOTV - it's called 'Playing Guitar' and die cut it using a die from the Lil'Inkers 'Stitched Rectangles' set  

- backed the image panel using a snippet of deep blue (SU's 'Midnight Muse' btw) card stock and glued it in place on the card front

- then die cut the letters for Josh's name and age from more of the deep blue card which was backed with Stick It adhesive sheet and glued them in place - using my usual trusty sets of dies 

- used the Misti to stamp the sentiment onto a snippet of white card, using Memento 'Danube Blue' ink and a stamp from the Penny Black 'Special Thoughts' sentiment set

- then die cut the sentiment using another die from the Lil'Inkers 'Stitched Rectangles' set of dies and backed it with a frame cut from a further little piece of deep blue card

- fixed the sentiment panel in place using thick sticky pads to act as a 'prop'

One finished card - and it was made well ahead of time for a change as well!


Sunday, 12 November 2017

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Weeks 307 and 308

What a change in the temperature here - certainly a bit of a nip in the air and surely more people have to be thinking about Christmas by now? It's a bit hard to avoid really, given the TV adverts and supermarkets displays. Len was in a local supermarket the other morning and they were playing Christmas carols already - wonder what the staff will feel in six weeks time?!!

So, here's the thing. As the snippets challenge is only fortnightly nowadays it's made life a lot easier and this year I won't be doing the 'extra snippets card and prize per day' that I've run a few times over the festive season. I might pop something extra in but haven't decided as yet.

Needless to say, there are already a few Christmas themed prizes in the Playground toy box (bought during the year before I made this decision) and I propose to start offering those in the challenges running up to Christmas. Just to get you in the mood :)

So, here's my Christmas snippets make for this fortnight - and what a time I had taking the photo. That blue mirri card literally does act like a mirror to the extent you could see loads of detail - including the whites of my eyes at one point! In the end the best I could do, whilst almost swinging by my toes from the ceiling light fitting in the craft room, still has dark shadow behind the die cut, sigh. Trust me, it's all a lovely rich shiny blue with no dark areas at all in real life:
I used:

- A6 white card blank, tent fold

- snippet of silver mirri card stock, cut just smaller than the card front and glued onto the card front then set aside 

- snippet of glossy dark blue mirri card with little silver stars dotted here and there (wish I could remember where I got this as it's such a lovely design), trimmed smaller than the silver mirri layer and set aside  (NB, do not glue to card front yet)

- snippet of white card stock trimmed to around 2" in height and a bit wider than the dark blue 'stars' layer

- then stamped the sentiment, using Memento 'Mediterranean Blue' Brilliance ink and a stamp from the Paper Smooches 'Christmas Sampler' set onto the white strip of card. I fathomed out it needed to be done at this stage for easier alignment in the Misti :)

- made sure the sentiment stamping was fully dry and added Stick-It to the back of the white card strip before die cutting the Nativity scene,  using the really lovely Sugar Peas Designs 'Nativity-Scape' die

- they really thought this die through and above the cutting for the scene itself, a Star of Bethlehem is also included - so it cuts in one pass. Plus, despite the intricate design, it cuts like a hot knife through butter

- once the scene was die cut, forethought made sure it didn't need any further trimming at the bottom edge, it was lined up with the ready trimmed piece of dark blue starry card and gently pressed into place

- flipped the layer over and trimmed of the excess from the die cut on either side (that's why I didn't glue the blue layer to the silver one - so I could trim the die cut down with sharp scissors)

- added the Star of Bethlehem and then popped one small, clear crystal, sparkly gem in the centre - finished! And, it still goes as normal letter rate too.

I really enjoyed making this card but the secret is to plan each step ahead a bit like an engineering project. Also measure very carefully to get the right balance between the sentiment, the scene and the sky before you begin to even think about die cutting the Nativity-Scape itself. One tip is to be prepared to use tweezers to remove any little scraps of backing paper if you do decide to use Stick-It self adhesive sheet - those little palm trees have the narrowest trunk and in every case the backing paper tore at that point. But gosh, what a stunning die!

Also, although I went for a night sky, I've seen some fabulous makes on line where the backing was coloured with Distress inks like a vivid evening sky and the die was then cut from black card. Lots of potential and genuinely one of the most beautiful Nativity scenes I've ever come across.

Which, of course, leads us into this fortnight's prize:

Yup, it's a Sugar Peas 'Nativity-Scape' die and (once again, even though we've had this as a prize previously, 'cos it's such a lovely set) the Paper Smooches 'Christmas Sampler' set of sentiment stamps.

As always, the Snippets Challenge will run for two weeks and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 25th November. 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 die and the stamps set, 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 :)

Speaking of Mr Linky, he seems to have slammed the Playground gates at 10am rather than 11am yesterday - I think it's to do with the clocks changing after I'd set the link widget up. Sorry if you got caught out.

Be sure to call back next week to see the winner of last fortnight's prize which is two 6" x 6" Studio Calico 'Snippets' paper pads along with two Woodware 'Numbers' stamp sets, another lovely Guest Designer and my picks from the past two weeks.

Love from Parsnip and of course from me,


Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Rejoice!

Last week, panic began to set in about achieving my Christmas card making target in time. I may still fall back on a few shop bought cards but whilst rootling through a box of ancient Christmas toppers etc. - I came across some mulberry paper poinsettia flowers in a little packet. They needed to be layered up though, so were put aside as a 'possible'.

And then, rootling a bit further in the same box, I came across some gold 'curled hunting horn' die cuts - literally dating back to many years ago! This was long before I had a die cutting machine, in fact back then I'm not sure if I'd even heard of being able to cut your own dies!

They were sold by Kirsty Wiseman when she owned 'Dies to Die For' before Tracey took over - and at the time I bought quite a variety of ready cut dies from Kirsty (the 'Three Wise Men' silhouettes were fabulous). And so, this card, along with four other ones exactly the same, was born:
I used:

- 4" x 4" square white card blank

- then die cut a smaller square of white card, using a die from The Works 'Stitched Squares' die set 

- cut a square piece of dark green card, just a little bigger than the die cut white square

- assembled the flowers with the green leaves behind using Collall All Purpose glue and the last of a Papermania's 'petal pouch' called 'A Silent Night'. Looking at the small print on the packet. the green leaves are meant to be holly leaves - hey, ho (or should that be 'tally ho? - snigger)

- now I could work out the placement of the sentiment before sticking everything down, using the Misti, Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a stamp from the Paper Smooches 'Christmas Sampler' set

- glued the green layer to the back of the white 'stitched layer' and popped them onto the card front

- added the gold die cut hunting horn (it even came with some stitched detail - all those years ago) using Collall glue in a Woodware fine tipped applicator

- topped the horn with the flower and leaves

- finished off by adding three gold satin finish Josy Rose nail heads to the centre of the flower

I spent ages looking online to see which way up a hunting horn would be displayed (as opposed to held when giving a good old 'toot'). Looked like it doesn't matter so I went with how I thought suited adding the sentiment and the flower.





Sunday, 5 November 2017

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 303 and 304 - results

Oh whizz, bang and sparkle - here in the UK it's Guy Fawkes Day! Our local community centre had their fireworks display last night - we stayed warm and cosy at home :)

'Trick or Treat' on Tuesday was fun as usual - we had lots of youngsters trotting up to the front door and I spent the whole evening bobbing up and down from a sensible chair placed within easy reach of the door. It's the little ones that crack me up - sadly many of them are growing up now but at least even those older ones that turned up had made a good effort! Parsnip was in the lounge, peeking from his vantage point and calling to me when it was time to adjust my teensy witches hat (on a headband) and hop up again to answer the doorbell.

Let's get straight on with our Guest Designer for this fortnight:
If this fabulous card hadn't been posted by our Guest Designer it would have been a fortnightly pick for sure! I just love the 'bargello' effect of the background snippets, such a great technique - and the LOTV paper pad is one of my favourites! And such luscious colours as well.

Have you guessed who made this lovely card? It's our Kath of 'Handmade by Kath' - one of our very loyal Playmates and often one of my picks as well! To find out how Kath made this lovely card, do hop over to her blog HERE. There's a neat trick to making these 'bargello backgrounds' which I'm sure she'll share with you :)

And we have a really great photo of the lady herself:
What a lovely photo - you 'girlies' always look so happy!

This is what Kath said about herself:

I've always enjoyed crafting and started knitting and sewing clothes for my dolls when I was young.  Since then I've also done crewel and cross stitch embroidery, woodwork, flower arranging, cake decorating and sugarcraft, and tried a few other things along the way.  I now enjoy cardmaking and love making cards for family and friends as well as entering card making challenges, especially Di's Snippets Challenge.  I love this challenge as it's a way of trying to keep my snippets mountain under control.  Amongst my many snippets I always seem to have a lot of thin strips so have used some of these for the bargello background on my card.  When I'm not cardmaking I enjoy walking and going away in our campervan - my photo shows me sitting on the step after a long walk in North Devon a few weeks ago!

Thank you so much Kath for being our Guest Designer and for sharing your card plus letting us know a little more about you. And also for your very kind words about the Snippets Challenge of course :)

Drum roll now - it's time for the fortnightly picks and, as always, so difficult to choose:

And, a Gold Star to start with:
I absolutely love this tag, made by Donna from lots of snippets left over from some other work she'd been doing. It really is gorgeous and I do encourage you to hop over to Donna's blog HERE and see the close-up photos of this beautiful piece of art. Please feel free to take your Gold Star from the RH sidebar Donna!

So, we started of with 'not a card' and, in order to whittle my choices, down I stuck with that theme so here we have some snippets makes for you:
What and also a great wall hanging. I just HAD to pick this, made by Sue T. Fabulous use of lots of snippets as well. Mrs A and I and I made something similar at Coventry just over a year ago (sigh, mine is behind me as I type - leering and waiting to be glued together - to be honest am so scared the whole thing would fall apart as still am dithering on the glue).

I really love this bag, made by Pen from scraps! Loads of piccies on her blog and it is a reminder that absolute ANYTHING can be a snippet!

And last, but not least - this really caught my eye:
How cute is this for a piece of Birthday cake? LOVE it Majda - gosh, even the layers are there in the stripes! It's worthy of a place in the Great British Bake Off (TV series here in the UK which ended the other evening). And the pink Unicorn is absolutely darling of course.

Please don't be despondent if your entry didn't make the 'picks. It really is just fun after all and who am I to choose at the end of the day? I try to find ideas and things to amuse and inspire you. AND, don't feel the need to second-guess a theme. I usually have no idea until I'm writing this post, earliest would be as I go through during the fortnight and something just 'clicks' as a way to help me to prune the list of picks down. Some fortnights there may not be any theme that comes into my head.

We had a total of 54 entries and one new Playmate joining in the fun:
Bonnie Lynn

A huge welcome Bonnie Lynn, and hope to see you playing along with us regularly!

Prize draw time now and our winner of Avery Elle's 'Ribbit Ribbit' stamp set
I almost did a happy dance here for Chris when her name popped straight out! She's been having a rough time with her health lately, rougher than usual, and deserved something to cheer her up! Sometimes Mr Random really does kinda spook me!

But, Chris was only playing for the stamps so that still leaves the aperture die and this is who Mr Random came up with:
Now that was a stroke of luck as well, 'cos Alison was only playing for the die! So we have two totally happy Playmates this time round.

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 305/306 remember! The prize is TWO 6" x 6" Studio Calico 'Snippets' paper pads along with two Woodware 'Numbers' stamp sets. I will split the prize(s) if you only want to play for part of it.

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





Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Happy Birthday Olivia!

Just a couple of weeks after big sister Mia's 10th Birthday Len's little grand daughter Olivia is eight today. I look on both the girls as if they were my own grand children and they in turn call me GranDi - which is so sweet.

Livi's main loves are horses and football (as well as dragons and dinosaurs) so I kept away from anything too girlie but still picked a really cute LOTV digital image to make this card:
I used:

- A4 white card stock, cut to 6" width but left full length so it would go through the Cuttlebug

- Presscut die set called 'Step Card Cutting' - firstly to cut the main body of the card. I don't have extended plates for the Cuttlebug  but whenever I use this die I tape the main cutting die in place on the card stock with removable sticky tape then after cutting one half just move the uncut card and die (which is still in place) up between the plates and then cut that part

- folded the card on the score lines and it was ready to decorate

- next die cut four scalloped panels using papers from the Dandelion and Daisy 'Picnic Patch' pad and backed them with very slightly bigger straight edged panels of SU's 'Wisteria Wonder' - this gave better definition between the pale patterned paper and the white card blank

- added the panels to the card front

- the image is a LOTV pre-coloured digital image called 'Annabel - Saddle Up', printed onto card and then die cut using a die from the Lil'Inkers 'Stitched Rectangles' set

- backed the image with a slightly larger snippet of SU 'Marina Mist' card

- then die cut the age and name using my usual dies and more SU 'Marina Mist' card which was backed with Stick It self-adhesive sheet

- added 'Olivia' and her age (8) to the image panel and ran it through the Cuttlebug using embossing plates plus an embossing folder which squeezed the little additions almost flush with the image panel

- the sentiment is die cut using more Stick It backed SU 'Marina Mist' card and an Impression Obsession 'Birthday Top Edgers' die 

- silly me had already stuck the bottom patterned strip onto the card front. Rather than rish wrecking the card front by trying to use the Cuttlebug to impress the lettering used a curved 'burnishing' tool to make the sentiment stick firmly (little fingers love to pick at things!)

- finally, I used a shaped die which comes with the set to add more patterned paper inside, topped with a scalloped white panel to write on

The diagonally patterned paper was a bit tricky to juggle with but I got a pretty good pattern match in the end.

Hope you have a fabulous day Livi! Big hugs from Grandad and GranDi - all the way to Germany.






Sunday, 29 October 2017

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 305 and 306

Well, here comes Winter and the long dark nights. We changed the clocks here in the UK (well, at 2am on Sunday if we're being pedantic). So, it's time to snuggle up and start thinking about Christmas really. Almost into November folks!

But, we have a few Birthdays amongst friends as well as family before then so my snippets card this week is one I made for Len's great-nephew's 16th Birthday, which is on Tuesday of this coming week.

I will hold my hands up straight away and confess that this is very similar to a great card that Kath (Handmade by Kath) linked into the Playground back in May of this year - here's the link. I'd run straight off to buy the stamp set and then when I came to use it last week, without realising, I came up with almost the same design as Kath - except that I only used one of the two sentiment stamps from the set. To be honest, due to it's design, I suspect there are a limited number of ways that it can be used - certainly a DL card is a perfect companion!

Anyhow, this is what I'm rabbiting on about:
I used:

- white DL card

- two long snippets of paper from the 12" Studio Calico 'Snippets' paper pad (best to at least cut these before doing any stamping in order to get the positioning right). Yup, there IS a lovely contemporary paper pad design called 'Snippets' - which a lovely blogging friend surprised me with as a gift a while ago!

- then I stamped the numbers part of the Woodware 'Numbers' stamp set along with 'many happy returns' using Memento 'Gray Flannel' ink

- next I flipped the rest of the striped snippet over and used the matching yellow back of it to re-stamp the '16'

- fussy cut the yellow coloured 1 and the 6 and used a glue pen to adhere them to the card front on top of the relevant numbers

- then added the previously cut two strips of patterned paper to the top and bottom of the card (I was feeling brave and used a tape runner to do this)

A quick and easy card to make (perfect for a male or female if you use appropriate colours) - although another time I think I'd just use a Pro marker or similar to colour the numbers rather than spending ages carefully fussy cutting them out. I like this idea as it does make the recipient stop for a second - and it's brilliant for male cards too of course.

Which, as is generally the case, leads us into this fortnight's prizes - note the plural there:
Just for the fun of it, I added a 6" x 6" Studio Calico 'Snippets' paper pad to the Woodware 'Numbers' stamp set as it's one of the best contemporary pads I've seen.

They took a bit of tracking down but were half price which was a bonus. However, the postage was outrageous just for a single pad, so I ordered two for the same postage all in - subsequently discovered they're sent from Spain so the postage is (almost) forgiven (bless though, they did include a little flat heart shaped lollipop in the package as a little thank you)!

And I also bought a second 'Numbers' stamp set - which means there are two prizes the same this time round - stamp set plus paper pad. The paper pad is actually only 6" x 6" but it could still be used with this stamp (which is about 7.5" long) - I'm sure you'd find ways! Mind you, it would have a ton of other uses as well. And of course the prize can be split - I will post the prizes to anywhere by the way.

The Snippets Challenge will run for two weeks and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 11th November. 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 stamp sets and paper pads, in which case I'd do further draws for the other items. 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 Avery Elle's 'Ribbit Ribbit' stamp set and MFT's 'Rectangle Peek-a-Boo Window' die, another lovely Guest Designer and my picks from the past two weeks.

Love from Parsnip and of course from me,

Thursday, 26 October 2017

I finally lost the plot!

I indulged in one single unbranded die from eBay a little while ago- I have no idea if it's a copy (I hope not) but it sure gives value for money! It has lots of little individual pieces in total on a square plate - and looked like it would be fun to play with.

Good grief, it really did test my patience - and to make things even sillier, Dumbo set out to make six cards all the same. In a lot of ways it was a good move (given all the different pieces and little snippets of card used) to run six off in one go - but it took almost forever! Plus, I almost ended up with 'crankers elbow' from using the Cuttlebug to die cut six times 17 little die cut pieces per Santa!

Anyhow, here's the result:
I used:

- A6 white card blank

- really ancient backing paper (dated 2008!) made by Craft Creations Ltd called 'Snowflakes On Dark Blue' - trimmed slightly smaller and glued onto the card front

- the unbranded die (called 'Santa') and lots of Stick It backed snippets of card in red, flesh, light grey, black, yellow gold, blue and shimmery white

- as I die cut the pieces I was careful to store them in plastic dishes before then assembling the Santas onto rectangles of white card

- then die cut the images using a die from the Spellbinders Labels Eighteen set and added the edging by running a ball ended embossing tool around the die cut piece while it was in the die

- glued the image panels in place

- used scraps from the image panel die cutting to stamp the 'Ho Ho Ho' using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a stamp from Woodware's 'Huge Santa' stamp set

- punched the sentiment out using SU's 'Word Window' and then layered it onto a red backing which was punched out using SU's 'Modern Label' punch

- glued the sentiment in place then went and had a long lie down to recover!

I had to give Santa a grey beard and moustache 'cos of using the white background - he would have blended in too much otherwise I think. So, this is a Santa who uses Grecian 2000! Remember that stuff that men used to use when they spotted a few grey hairs appearing? You could spot it a mile off!

Santa's little eyes were sooooo fiddly but I didn't trust myself to draw them freehand :)

Much as I loved using the die set, I have a feeling it's gonna be quite a while before it comes out to play again!

EDIT: Good grief, I almost forgot that this is for October's Rudolph Days Challenge - run by the lovely Mo.