Friday, 25 May 2018

One for my records, for Taylor

I always keep a post of cards that Len designs, and then I make up, for our little neighbours.

This one is for a young chap who still has his heart set on being a policeman when he grows up:
Not much work on my part, although the star shaped badge was printed separately and had to be fussy cut then added to the card front.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Butterfly Challenge #100

I don't seem to have enough time to join in with many challenges these days - the Playground takes up a lot of time, plus I generally only post twice a week on here. Often a challenge has passed by before I've even had a chance to think about it!

However, Mrs. A is celebrating her 100th Butterfly Challenge over the next four weeks and I couldn't let that pass by without playing along.

So here's my card:
 And this time the 'wheel' looks like this:
I picked a butterfly of course (top left of the image panel) plus the colour hot pink - both in the backing paper - plus the fuchsias are partly hot pink as well. There's also what could pass for harvest gold in that paper! On hindsight, I could have heat embossed the sentiment - thought of that one too late though! However, I'll settle for the butterfly plus the colour hot pink from the wheel.

I used:

- white card blank, tent style with the lower edge cut using a Lawn Fawn 'Stitched Scalloped Borders' die

- stamped image from the Penny Black 'delicate florals' set - stamped using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and coloured with Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils

- whilst the image was still on a square of card I added the sentiment using the Misti (which likes things tucked into corners or along a straight edge even when using the magnets). The sentiment is from the Clearly Besotted 'Say what?' stamp set (love the selection in that set!) - stamped using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink of course

- then die cut the image using a die from The Works set of 'Stitched Circles' - to place the die I held it in place with the cutting side uppermost so I could see where the stitched lines would go, ran a soft pencil around the inside edge, flipped the die over and held it in position with removable sticky tape

- trimmed a piece of turquoise card, trimmed and glued onto the card front

- then trimmed a piece of patterned paper from the Kate Knight 'Totally Tropical' paper pad which was a magazine freebie way back in 2011! Trimming the paper was a bit heart stopping as I only had one sheet of patterned paper with a butterfly on - the butterfly is as far up and to the left as I could make it

- then glued the paper to the turquoise layer on the card front and also glued the circular image panel in place

Normally I centralise most image panels but needed to have that butterfly on show - it just wasn't in the right place on the paper no matter how much I jiggled it about - but my in-house critic likes it!

The backing paper reminds me of a dress I had - way back in the dim and distant past. If I say I used to wear it with white knee length boots that gives a bit of a clue about the era!

This card is for a very dear friend - Happy Birthday chick! Mine's a Bacardi and Coke with ice and lemon please :) Cheers! x

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge # 325 - results

Royal Wedding Day today! The sun is shining for the happy couple down here in the South of the UK and Windsor is such a lovely place for the wedding.

Let's get straight on with the post - I'm typing this on Saturday morning and the TV in my craft room is calling to be turned on so I can watch events - so this will be quite a quick post!

First of all, we have a new Guest Designer, but most certainly not a new crafter! It's Susan Renshaw of 'Calling All Crafters' who is our Guest Designer this fortnight. Susan has been playing along with us for a while now:
And here's what Susan wrote about her card:

Once again I went with the mosaic idea but this time paper piecing into a die from STAMPLorations. All the card pieces are from my scrap bank apart from the cream card base which is a 5 by 7 inch. I added a strip of ribbon with a tiny scrap tied around it and the wooden butterfly embellishments. More details will be on my blog…

If you remember, Susan was one of our picks last time with the brilliant mosaic pelican card!

Bless her - the GD card above was her third idea, bit of a perfectionist like so many of us. I'm stunned by the amount of paper piecing - just fabulous!

And here's Susan to say hello to you:
Isn't it wonderful how happy you Playmates are - all the more so when crafting of course!

And a little bit of information about Susan as well:

I am a retired teacher, a mother of 4 and grandmother of 3 – my grandson with be 18 this month but my granddaughters are younger. I currently live in the UK, Derbyshire, living round the corner from my elderly parents to whom I give a great deal of support. Over the last 20 years, I have been an expat, living in Australia, Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi and India. My three sons and their families still live in Australia but my daughter is a teacher and lives near Cambridge. My husband still works – he was in Egypt for much of last year and is now in Abu Dhabi again. Rather than living overseas, I now just take the opportunity to visit him when I can. I have been a crafter all my life, turning my hand to quilting, embroidery, crochet and more. I became more interested in papercrafting when I was living in Abu Dhabi and this is my current passion. I make cards but also enjoy making ATCs and playing with mixed media. I think I use my Big Shot every day but I also enjoy stamping. I am not a great colourer! …My style is my own ranging from conventional to more ‘off the wall’. You will see from my blog that I am on a number of DTs. I like to take part in ATC and other craft swaps and I also enjoy attending crafty retreats whenever I can. The photo is from a recent Craft retreat with UK Stampers Network.

So, a very busy lady and a very dedicated crafter - with a fair old bit of globe trotting under her belt as well.

Thanks so much for being our Guest Designer Susan - we're delighted you could take on the role for this fortnight. And Parsnip is offering his services to carry your baggage next time you visit your husband in some exotic country! You gotta admit - that little bear always has an eye on the main chance! 😀

And now for the fortnight's picks - this time I've gone for some ideas you might want to try for yourselves:

Alice whizzed in early on in the challenge with this lovely Christmas card. I love it, but what else was in the post really caught my imagination and I hope it will interest you as well:
This is only one of many photos on Alice's blog post - which you can find HERE. Basically, Alice uses snippets to maintain a stock of ready die cut shapes and stores them in pockets in binders as shown above. It's really such a great idea - if you have the time to do this I'm sure it would save loads of fiddling round when working on a project. I'm a 'cut as I go' gal - but I really can see loads of merit in Alice's idea!

Liz is always coming up with great ideas for card shapes, and this time she showed us a real corker! A great card to begin for a lovely lady named Kitty who is 103 years young and still an avid supporter of Bristol Rovers Football Club. And the extra twist is the shape itself. The basic shape is known as the 'Impossible Card Fold' - the effect is very much like an easel card but the card blank is cut (very cleverly) from a single sheet of card!

I immediately Googled it and found a very good tutorial which I followed to the letter. And blow me, some of the measurements for the layers of paper to add to the card weren't correct! By all means look at the link. but do be aware that the finished article will look a bit off balance - you can actually see that on at least one of the end results on the video, the margins on either side aren't even - and really makes my teeth itch!

And here's my half finished attempt before I decided to leave it alone and go no further so you can see what I mean - I did try to use a paint tool to draw an arrow or two to point to the offending area, with no luck:
Can you see that the right hand side upside down L shape layers of the orange and patterned paper don't have an even border around them? There's a wider margin of white card on the lower right part and also the upper left part of the card? Such a shame and also a waste of some pretty paper as well, sigh. Little Miss Picky strikes again!

So, I suggest you just look at the basic card blank cutting part of the video I linked (which is very clearly explained) and work out your own sizes if you add layers of paper - Liz had done that very successfully with her card. There are tons of tutorials to be found - but the Royal Wedding is calling to me and I'm typing as fast as I can here!


Trina P brought us this great card - and another idea to try out from a very talented Playmate! I've shown a couple of photos above so that you can get the overall idea. It's known as an 'in and out card' - I first spotted this die cut aperture idea over on Jennifer McGuire's blog. Trina has helpfully included the link over on her blog post so you can hop over there for more about this card at the same time.

And we had three new Playmates joining in the fun this time:
A huge welcome to you all and these are really lovely cards, all featuring butterflies as well! Do please hop over to say hello to our new Playmates.

So that was three new Playmates this fortnight and 58 entries. That's really good going considering you can only play once each fortnight.

Prize draw time now and what a popular prize as well. Our winner of the MFT 'Marbled Background' stamp and also the MFT 'Wish' die is:

  Trina P
Well done Trina! That's a double whammy this fortnight, being one of our 'picks' as well as the prizewinner :) Bet you're doing a Happy Dance right now!

Do please send me your address, with full name at the top so I can copy and paste - for speed and ease. I'll be off to the Post Office ASAP this coming week once I hear from you. Please put Playground Winner or similar in the subject line of your email in case it drops into my junk mail. Email address is on RH sidebar as always.

Remember folks, there's still almost another week to run on Challenge #326 HERE. The prize is a Waffle Flower 'Succulents' stamp set with matching dies.

And, as promised - here's a better photo of Spike the hedgehog at his feeding station. Bearing in mind that it was taken in the dark, with just an outdoor light for illumination, and you have to be very fast - I think Len did us proud! I did think he had taken two photos but it's only the one for now:
He's just had a drink from the little bowl of water that's out of shot (hence the wet patches from underneath his chin) - and is about to nudge the feeding dish lid up to get at his food. No doubt Len will be out there again trying to get more photos - but generally we just leave the hedgies to feed in peace and peek at them from a window in the kitchen.

I do hope you're having great weather right now - I'm just about to settle down to watch the Royal Wedding properly.

Love from the little white peril Parsnip, who is sat here with his flag ready to wave it at the TV whenever required - and of course me,

Friday, 18 May 2018

Hedgehog news!

Make sure to check out the Sunday Snippets Results post this week.

Not only do we have the fortnightly picks and a really great Guest Designer - but also a guest appearance from one of our wildlife photographers :) Err, well - a couple one of his photos at least! I thought he'd taken two but he only emailed one to me so the other one mustn't have been up to scratch! He gets more like a crafter every day!!

This guy (Len of course) almost lay flat on the ground to capture better images of Spike at the feeding trough for you girls. Bless him, our hero.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Just a note - times two

The other day I sat and coloured in some Penny Black images - and subsequently made a couple of them into notelet cards. You can never have enough of those!

Here they are:
I used:

- 5.75" x 4" white card blanks, side opening

- stamped images (I used Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink) were coloured with Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils and a stamp from the Penny Black 'delicate florals' set 

- the sentiment was added using the Misti, Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a stamp from the Paper Smooches 'Sentiment Sampler' set

- then die cut the image panel using a die from the Creative Dies 'Wonky Stitches Nesting Rectangles' set of dies

- used more white card to die cut the next size up in the same set of dies - so it was just fractionally smaller than the card front. In fact, I die cut this panel first and then trimmed the card blank to suit

- glued the plain white die cut panel to the card front

- then glued the image panel on top, after backing it with white fun foam for dimension

I do love the Penny Black 'delicate florals' stamp set - so quick and easy to colour yet (IMHO) they really do stand out in a crowd :)

Edie: The lovely Brenda from Floral Fantasies hopped in and said this would fit in with the May Penny Black and More Challenge (which is Anything Goes, always a favourite) - so I'm off to link in! Wahoo, a challenge after all!

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Challenge #326

We have two hedgehogs visiting the garden to feed every night - and of course they have a fresh bowl of water left out for them as well. So cute, they lap just like a little dog or cat would - but almost impossible to take a photo of them. I'll see if I can add one or two right at the end of this post.

Let's dive straight into my snippets card:
I used:

- 5.5" x 4.25" white card blank, tent style
- snippet of green card, trimmed to an eighth of an inch all round smaller than the card front and glued in place then set it to one side

- snippet of white card for the stamped panel - again trimmed to an eighth of an inch smaller all round than the green panel but not yet glued in place

- time to do some stamping using the Waffle Flower 'Succulents' set of stamps

- first of all I stamped three succulent 'outlines' onto a snippet of green card, using a Brilliance 'Moonlight White' ink pad

- then, onto a snippet of white card, I stamped two solid succulents using Adirondack 'Mountain Rose' and 'Peach Bellini'. I was using the stamps for the first time and, as some stamps will do, the stamping was a bit patchy. I could have remedied that as I was using the Misti but decided it looked a bit different with some parts lighter than others

- die cut the succulents using the matching set of dies. Now, here's a heads up - there are five succulents in the set of stamps (plus a lovely selection of words), but only four dies in the matching set! So, I hand cut the solid 'Peach Bellini' flower but what a dope I am! Writing this just now I had a closer look at the set of stamps and one design comes in both an outline as well as a solid stamp - so of course you use the same die to cut either one of them, duh! I did think it was odd as Waffle Flower are a really good company and it was most unlike them to not have a die for each succulent

- checked the placement of the succulents but before sticking them in place I added the two word sentiment using more stamps from the same set and Adirondack  'Mountain Rose' ink again

- then glued the white panel onto the green one and just added the green succulents with dabs of glue and the other two with thin sticky pads - hint, where the lighter (Peach Bellini) succulent overhangs right onto the white card I used two layers of thin sticky pad pieces so that it sits evenly

I've had the stamp set for a while, and it's now discontinued. On hindsight, I didn't really need the matching dies but spotted them on a USA website as a real bargain. Only once they'd despatched the order did they let me know that they only had one in stock (yup, I'd ordered one for the Playground as well). So you can imagine I was not a happy bunny having paid postage assuming two would be sent and certainly will never order from that particular supplier ever again. So, the search was on for a second set of dies and I eventually tracked one down just recently, again a bit of a bargain - happy dance here and all's well that ends well!

So, here's this week's Snippets Playground prize - and you're no doubt already well aware of just what it is:
It's a Waffle Flower 'Succulents' stamp set with matching dies and I'm making this one single prize needless to say - all the more so after the hassle over tracking down the set of dies! But, you can make gorgeous cards by stamping directly onto the background of course, lots of ideas if you Google the name of the stamp set. I was pressed for thinking time so opted to use die cuts - and snippets of course!

As always, the Snippets Challenge will run for two weeks and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 26th May. 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 in a comment on here, 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.

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 of MFT's 'Marbled Background' stamp and also the MFT 'Wish' die, plus a Guest Designer and fortnightly picks of course.

Here's a rear view of Spike the hedgie at his feeding station - sorry it's in shadow, really trick to get close enough without him either curling up into a ball or running away. You can see his little snout to the right - he's got a damp little nose it seems:
And, Len did manage to take one of the pair of hedgies on a dinner date a couple of nights later:
So sweet, the original Spike is standing to one side and letting the other one feed. And that is a slightly ginger coloured/bare patch on the feeding hedgie's rear end - it seems quite well but at some point might have had an argument with a strimmer perhaps. And if you look, you'll see that the feeding hedgie seems to be wearing a hat! In fact, it's Len's little device to keep the food bowl covered (the hedgies know how to nose the lid upward but it then flips back down once they back away from the bowl due to a quite light and thin piece of stone as a counterbalance). It's to keep neighbourhood cats and also birds from pinching the food!

Parsnip has been very quiet this past week - always a sign he's up to no good!

Love from Parsnip and of course from me,

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Santa's Elves

I totally fell in love with the MFT 'Santa's Elves images on a very sweet friend's blog. Next thing I knew, she'd stamped and die cut a little bunch for me to play with. You know who you are my friend, and many thinks again! But of course, now they're on my very long 'wish list' :)

I made six cards in total, two of each design:

I used:

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

- black, very slightly sparkled, card (looks a bit like the dark sky out in the wilds far away from light pollution when it's just filled with swathes of twinkling stars) - die cut using a Spellbinders die from the 'Wonky Rectangles' set. As usual I then ran a ball ended tool around the ready cut die whilst it sat in the die itself to add the little inner raised edge

- the little images, which I spent a very happy afternoon colouring with Pro markers

- my friend had also thoughtfully included some stamped sentiments and I used the elf themed ones, just trimmed them down and then backed with a slightly larger snippet of SU's 'Real Red' card stock

- and all I had to do on Bank Holiday Monday was sit and assemble the cards, and I was extra lazy and just used a small tape runner so I hope they hold together OK! Another six for the box

Such adorable images and you can mix and match to your heart's content. I must say that this is one of those stamp sets where the matching dies are likely to be so helpful - I certainly wouldn't fancy fussy cutting some of the intricate detail!

Sitting here in a heatwave, thankfully with a fan belting away, it was a bit surreal making Christmas cards I must confess.

And I'm also a bit behind with Playground commenting - blame the sunshine!