Friday, October 31, 2014

happy halloween, to all the boys and ghouls!

and kittehs!

and PUG-kins!!! :)

ok, halloween's over, time for christmas!

(the above is a dramatic re-enactment of what happens to me, chronologically... or perhaps chrono-ILL-logically... every year between october 31st and december 25th. in real life there are no cute kittehs or costumed pugs, but the speed of transition is EXACTLY right!)


ok, seriously, it is friday, which means it is a ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ day, which means i really do have a christmas card! you may recall that our current prompt is called, "not a CREATURE was stirring" and that we want to see cards with some sort of holiday-related, non-human lifeform (ie: reindeer, moose, robins, penguins, elves, snowpersons, fairies, monstas, etc) but i'm pretty sure i'll surprise you with this week's entry:

patterned paper: basic grey, making memories + part of the packaging from some basic grey holiday stickers; cardinal stickers: little b; sentiment flag: basic grey; glossy white cardstock: ranger; ink: colorbox; adhesive: elmer's gluetape runner

i know! sweet, sensible little cardinals!!! didn't see THAT coming, now did ya?! yeah, me neither! but when i was at paper anthology* last week, i found these uber-cuuuuuuute, totally detailed little felt dudes, and i just couldn't resist. they are tiny, though... like only an inch or so long... and i thought i was either going to have to make a mini polaroid or break out my slide frames, when i saw the current retro sketch (#138):

which made me realize they could also look nice on a tag; as it turned out, they perched on top of the sentiment banner i ultimately selected, but this illustrates pretty well what i love about sketches, they don't JUST give you a great idea of where to place everything on your card, sometimes they even help you choose the right ingredients!

speaking of ingredients, i happen to know that someone** at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ has made an utterly awesome xmas yeti card (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) that you really reallllllly have to see right now! ciao, yeti-loving darlings! ♥

*paper anthology is celebrating their THIRD ANNIVERSARY this weekend with make-and-takes, prizes, cupcakes and lots of other fabulous fun, so if you are within driving distance of kenvil, new jersey, you should totally come and play!!!

**and obviously, we know it's not me, so that leaves miss stephanie; did you ever envisage the week in which i would have sweet happy normal little cardinals and she'd have an xmas yeti??!?! because i can tell you right now that prospect NEVER occurred to me, lol! (i like it though!) ♥

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

when in doubt, add a cupcake!

that pretty much sums up my card-making philosophy. bling is good, too; and banners. it never hurts to use your favorite color, either; which in my case, is ♥PINK♥! (i may have mentioned that before...?) bearing in mind all of this advice, i sat down last night and made this:

patterned paper: crate paper, k and co, october afternoon, basic grey, prima; tag: pink paislee; velvet floral: petaloo; banners: crate paper; pearl flourish and border punch: recollections; twine: doodlebug; lace from my stash; ink: colorbox; adhesives: elmer's brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, glue dots, sewing machine

hey wait, i almost forgot the most important factor of all: start with a really awesome sketch! stuck on u sketches happens to have a brand new one, which i really love. i've condensed it quite a bit to fit everything inside my six inch square card... in retrospect, i wish i'd've left a little more white space, actually; but i think you can still see the bones?

there's loads more inspiration at stuck on u sketches, plus they have other challenges each month, for using diecuts and even some cool pocket-scrapbooking themes. you should probably go and check those out, darlings! ♥

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

we're playing *AROUND*... shopping our stash this week with a challenge we like to call, "rollin' rollin' rollin"! there are a few ways you can approach this one, so here are the official details:

Use round images 
(but NOT just one round die-cut!) 
Make a circle card 
Use a brayer 
(it's long and round and rolls) 
Use a Western theme 
(since we got this idea from the theme song of Rawhide!)

isn't it fabulous to have choices?! i went with a round card, because as much as i love making those, i tend to forget about them until someone says, "hey let's make round cards!"; i tried to bring in a bunch of smaller round elements within the circular design of the card, just because it seemed like a fun thing to do, and i liked how they looked:
patterned paper: k and co; florals and leaves: prima, recollections and petaloo; heart brad and pleated circle thingie: american crafts; "party" sticker and 1" circle punch: ek success; gem brad: oriental trading; ink: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, gluedots, sewing machine

my round cards generally don't open. i know some cardmakers feel like that's cheating, but i'm not a person who loves engineering for its own sake, so i'm willing to send the equivalent of a very fancy postcard (but in an envelope, of course!) and recipients frankly don't seem to mind! also, one of my favorite ways to trim a round card is with a border of scallops and if you don't bother with a hinge, you don't have to worry about having details glued to the top of the circle, woohoo.

i usually make the large circle using an old fashioned geometry-class compass, and i create my scallops by punching a whole bunch of small circles out of scraps. to attach those, i run a line of gluetape around the back of the large circle, and stick them on so that about 1/2 of each smaller circle shows on the front. when all the circles are attached, i run another line of adhesive on the inner edge and cover the back with a second large circle, to hide the "mechanics" of the scallops. i often machine stitch around the perimeter of the front of the card, as well, but that's really just for decoration.

be sure to check out all the fabulous design team projects at SOS and link up your own masterpiece! ♥

Sunday, October 26, 2014

if you thought ♥PINK CHRISTMAS♥ was a stretch...

...howsabout PINK HALLOWEEN*???!?! that's the current challenge at the sisterhood of snarky stampers, and it's a doozie, don't you think?! technically, it's called "H is for Hopeful Halloween" and you can choose between making a breast cancer awareness themed project OR a halloween project... but... if you choose halloween it has to be MOSTLY PINK!!! i have to admit this one even gave me pause, and there are not alllllll that many crafters who love pink as much as i do! but eventually, i came up with this:

haunted house cut from some dcwv patterned paper; tombstones etc fashioned from doodlebug and 7 gypsies scraps; moon and background created using artist's loft watercolor paints on strathmore watercolor paper... then stamped with rhonna farrer flourishes using ranger archival ink; other stamps: purple onion text + tim holtz crackle pattern; sentiment** and bats drawn with faber castell pitt pens in medium, superfine and extrasuperfine and shadowed with a grey tombow marker; gems: recollections; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape

i took my cue from a couple of the (awesome!) SoSS design team projects, in which the designers used pretty traditional halloween images, but used pink where a more traditional rendition would most likely have gone with orange or gold. after that, it was pretty easy! the only fiddly bit came after i decided to color the plain white windows of the patterned paper haunted house a sort of orangey yellow. i actually finished and assembled the whole card and went to bed, thinking i was done.

the next morning, when i saw it again, i found the window color just completely jarring. luckily i realized that it would not be that hard to affix small pieces of pink patterned paper over each of the windows. so that's what i did. it took a while to cut allllllllll those little suckers out and fasten them on, but i definitely think it was worth the effort!

and now i hope you will check out the amazing projects at SoSS and consider linking up your own ♥PINK HALLOWEEN♥ masterpiece before noon on friday, october 31st!!!

*yes, i will at some point get back to a normal schedule in which projects that are NOT pink get made and shared, i promise!!! :)

**i've been looking at, reading about, and practicing hand-lettering all summer, and this blog post is one of the best ones i've found for creating "faux" calligraphy; the secret is to write the whole phrase in your THINNEST pen, leaving some extra space around the letters; then fill in just your downstrokes with a thicker line. easy, peasy!

Friday, October 24, 2014

it's not officially xmas card season...

...until you've made the first MONSTA CARD!!!

patterned paper (mostly scraps): american crafts, love elsie, doodlebug, cosmo cricket, my mind's eye, creative imaginations, sei; monsta from paperchase giftwrap backed with a scrap of cardstock and fussy cut; white glossy cardstock: ranger; cloud punches: fiskars; pens: faber castell pitt superfine and extra superfine; ink: colorbox; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

ok, *now* it's officially xmas card season! it's also time for a brand new prompt at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and this fortnight it's "not a CREATURE was stirring" for which we'd like to see any type of non-human being in a holiday context. some examples? reindeer, robins, the grinch, penguins, elves, the christmas bunny, polar bears, moose, snow people, yeti, flamingoes... ok, you get the idea, right? surprisingly (or NOT!) i chose a monsta, and in honor of the mindblowingly AMAZING turnout for pink christmas 2014* the color choice was pretty obvious, too! :)

i used sweet sunday sketch #241 to guide my layout, in what is admittedly a bit of a loosey-goosey way (or perhaps "laureny" is the better adjective, lol?) but it's a fine sketch indeed and can easily withstand my hijinks!

my favorite xmas monstas are still the ones from my original roll of paperchase giftwrap and they're admittedly on the dinky side. one of my favorite ways to bring a bunch of small elements together is to make them into a little scene inside a faux polaroid. i save the offcuts of photo paper and glossy white cardstock just for this purpose. you can make them ANY size, of course, but most of mine are pretty close to the actual size of  the actual polaroid photos from my (1960's and 70's) childhood.

and now why not check out miss stephanie's awesome "creature feature" card and start planning your own bid for holiday card domination at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥!

*thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who linked up gorgeous pink cards, told their friends, and generally made this the ♥ BEST ♥ YEAR ♥ EVER ♥ for pink xmas!!! you guys raised more than $500 for the susan g. komen foundation and we could not possibly be more proud or more grateful!!! ♥♥♥

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

rantin' and raven

the current prompt at collage obsession is "RAVEN" which is appropriately cool and seasonal, don't you think? for some reason i had a hard time with it, though. partly because i had too many ideas; which is not something i like to complain about, but in this case a lack of focus hindered me. luckily, in the midst my dithering period, i slammed my thumb in the storm door!* i don't mean "luckily" in the traditional sense, because it really hurt quite a lot; but in the midst of the epic moan which ensued, the phrase "rantin' and raven" popped into my head and after that my collage came together quite easily!

fairly often i make a random paper collage as a background for a more traditional focal point, but this time i swapped that around, and i really like how it came out. i confess to "cheating" a bit... my original version of the raven had fewer papers, and they were not ideally spaced, so after cutting him out i strategically tore and glued on a few more. the "rant" was typed on a cool old accounting ledger card i got at a garage sale, using my vintage typewriter. it's kind of more a moan than a rant-- i just typed a whole bunch of stupid, trivial things that were bugging me, until i had filled enough space to hold the raven. as a bonus, i actually felt a lot happier after i was done complaining, lol.

check out the readers' gallery at collage obsession, there are some beautiful (much more traditional!) takes on the halloween and gothic theme there! ♥

*which... ok, yeah, i am most definitely a figure of some repute amongst klutzes, but still... HOW do you even do that??! even my lovely husband, in the midst of his sympathy, couldn't help but question the logistics of such a move. arrgh.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

you are so ♥BOO-tiful♥ to me

this week at shopping our stash we're making halloween cards, which is pretty handy, since that happy holiday is next week; but if you're ahead of the game, you could also make any other type of card using halloween colors. because we're all about options at SOS! :) here's my (halloween!) card:

witch icon inspired by bo bunny's boo crew paper (see below); patterned paper: basic grey, bo bunny, dcwv, crate paper, doodlebug, recollections, pink paislee, paper co; floral: prima; ink: colorbox; pen: faber castell pitt, superfine; adhesives: elmer's brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, gluedots, sewing machine

i started thinking about this assignment last week, right after the new wednesday challenge went up on the simon says stamp blog* and it's color coordinates this time, which are perfect for halloween, so that's what i wanted to use.

i knew i had scraps of bo bunny's "boo crew" paper left-- an old fave of mine and EXACTLY the right colors-- but the pieces were pretty small.

the more i looked at the sweet little witch, though, the more i thought how she would be great on a card, if only she were bigger. then i started thinking about the shapes that make up the witch: her face is a circle, set in a cupcake base... i could totally make those. eyes? tiny hole puncher circles inside small punched circles... consider them done. the hat and the hair needed a couple of tries to sketch on the back of the correct colors of patterned paper, but they were pretty basic; when she was all assembled, i set her on top of an orange circle, like on the paper, and set the whole thing on top of some basic grey purple spider webs et voila: one uber-cuuuuuuuuuuuute card-sized witch!

speaking of cute, i happen to know my fellow SOS dt members have some awesome halloween creations to inspire you, so why not stop by and check those out?! ♥

*where they were nice enough to randomly choose my peacock feather card from last week as the prize winner for a $50 gift certificate! can you say SHOPPING SPREE?! :) thank you very much, simon says stamp blog!!!