Tuesday, July 22, 2014

fruits and veggies...

...are an important part of a healthy diet; and this week, they're the inspiration for the new challenge at shopping our stash: we want to see projects with fruit or veggies (or both) on them! here's what i made:

(patterned paper: sei, my mind's eye, amy tangerine/american crafts, studio calico, bo bunny, ki memories; stickers: crate paper, fancy pants, american crafts, basic grey; glossy white cardstock: paper accents; ink: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)

yep, it's an anniversary card with a visual pun based on pairs/pears, featuring some very old... but still quite beloved... "fruit stand" paper from sei. i've made quite a few different versions of this joke over the years; as with "best fishes" on birthday cards, it's a favorite that i enjoying revisiting from time to time. plus, those pears are just soooooooooooo very appealing, aren't they?

i used cardabilities sketch #103 to guide my layout. admittedly, mine is a pretty loosey-goosey interpretation of the sketch, but it really did inspire me!

another "recycled" element of this design is the faux polaroid. it's one of my favorite ways to make a smaller-sized element, like these pears (which are only 1.5" tall) a little more substantial. there are some cute dies on the market, but really all you need is a square of paper to be your background (clouds work really well, imo) and a slightly larger bit of white to make the frame. i save my offcuts of glossy cardstock or photo paper just for the purpose. technically speaking, the inner corners of authentic old polaroids were not rounded; but i like the look, so mine usually are. i mean, if we want to get realllllly accurate i'm pretty sure i've never seen an authentic photograph of two pears hovering above the earth in a beautifully cloudy sky, either, so i think it's ok to stretch a point. :)

i happen to know that the lovely gang at SOS have been working hard to impress you with their latest projects, so please pop over there and admire the fruits... and veggies... of their labor! ciao, darlings! ♥

Sunday, July 20, 2014

running around in circles

but you know, in a ♥GOOD♥ way... and mostly on index cards! to tell the truth, the memory of shari carroll's interlocking rings card (CASE study #199) has given me a bit of an obsession with circles that overlap, interlock, and just generally interact with each other. if you scroll down a little, you'll see what i mean:

047: rings and a rainbow
rainbows seem to be a recurring mini-theme of my ICAD cards this summer. i'm not sure why, exactly, but i kind of like it. this background was made by placing a tiny drop of acrylic paint in each color of the rainbow side by side, then scraping the paint out over the surface with an old giftcard.

048: citrus and circles
the same idea, but different. i wish i'd done the stitching in white or yellow and then added one more tone-on-tone element. but i didn't. ah well. maybe next time.

049: watercolor lillies
couldn't resist going back to watercolor flowers with stitched outlines. lillies this time, inspired by an anuschka bag i saw in a magazine. pretty sure i'm gonna try hibiscus next! :)

050: circles under tissue
this is a fairly cool jane maxwell-ish background that i THOUGHT was finished until i photographed it. now i wonder if it needs one more thing. i could stitch on top... or add a sewing pattern lady... or even some more of those rings? hmmmmmm... can we call this one a work in progress?

hope you are having the most awesome of weekends!

Friday, July 18, 2014

taking a header

the ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ header, to be specific. and this fortnight we're using it as the inspiration for our holiday cards! ok, yeah, i suppose it might sound a little conceited, seeing as i was the one to *make* the header, but actually this theme was the suggestion of our lovely guest star and christmas-card-maker extraordinaire, marie bingaman. i mean... it would've been rude of me to argue, wouldn't it? :) so here's the piece in question, just to refresh your memory:

(digital image credits: paper: antique prints, jen allyson, design house digital; elements: christmas joy kit, mary pop designs, o'scraps; brushes: snowsprays #3, anna aspnes, o'scraps; glitter layer style: over the rainbow, studio flergs, scrapbook graphics; font: vogue, dafont.com)

and here's what i made:

(patterned paper: studio calico, glitz design, lily bee, prima, k and co; chunky silver glitter letters: mambi; sentiment sticker: my mind's eye; poinsettia die: velvet blossoms: prima; snowflake stickers: recollections; snowflake e/f and label die: tim holtz/sizzix; brad: oriental trading; scrap of lace from my stash; border punches: recollections and martha stewart; inks: tim holtz, colorbox; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, mini gluedots, sewing machine) 

ok, yeah, i had a serious advantage this time, since i did make the header and thus it's full of the digital versions of things i love to use in my real life christmas cards. things like bling, distressing, loads of layers, glitter, flowers, lace, and all that good girly stuff! one thing that may surprise you: apart from the poinsettia die, the sentiment sticker and the snowflakes, everything here came from my ordinary, non-xmas stash. it's surprising how often you can get away with that kind of thing, really, and i love doing it because i think it makes my cards just that little bit more unique.

but i don't want to keep you here all day when there are AMAZING cards by marie and stephanie over at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

who knew it would be so difficult to choose PAVERS?!

do you have any idea just how many brands of engineered stone there are for making patios and walkways? ok, neither do i, but i can tell you it's A LOT, and they vary considerably as to price* and availability! then you have to choose a shape, a size, a finish, a colorway**, the pattern in which you want to place them (this, i now know, is called "the bond") and any borders or trim you need to finish the design. if you managed to deduce from all of this that we are doing a bit of hardscaping around our lovely chateau, you are quite correct. if you're wondering why i'm telling you all this, i'm not really sure except it's pretty much all i've thought about this week, so please bear with me. hey, i know, want to see some ICAD's?! :)

043: like a dream
your basic magazine/book collage, but kinda fun, right?

044: watercolor leaves
still experimenting with paints and markers; still quite clearly in love with alisa burke!

045: strips and circles
remember the stitched circles card from the other day? behold: the leftovers!!!

046: jane maxwell-ish... again!
what can i say? i♥ silhouettes and funky backgrounds. and PINK! :)

*when i say "vary" i mean that they  range from expensive... to REALLY expensive... yikes! :0

**if you ever embark on such a project be sure to drive however far you have to in order to find a dealer who has samples arrayed outdoors, so that you can see what they really look like. because i assure you, you really cannot tell at all from photos in a catalog or even three little stones in a showroom! tip for the day, darlings! you're welcome, lol. ♥

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

can't get enough?

this week at shopping our stash we're celebrating artistic addiction. intrigued??! then i'll tell you that this week's challenge is called, "i can't put it down" and what we want to see are projects using whatever it is that you're using tons of lately. so you've pretty much got carte blanche to do what you like; just be sure to tell us what element is your current obsession; whether it's a fabulous new (or old!) product, a beloved tool, a favorite technique or... whatever! at the moment i'm hooked on sketching my own fanciful flowers, (a la alisa burke) painting them with watercolors, and adding detail with markers or (as in this case) with lots and lots (and lots!) of machine stitching.

how much stitching is there? well, i put a completely full bobbin of thread in the machine when i sat down, and it ran out as i was doing the outline around edge of the painted panel which attaches it to the card. so there's a pretty lot, lol. here's a closeup which shows a little more detail:

i've made a few of these on index cards during ICAD, and even more in my journal. but it turns out they are even more fun to do when you use proper watercolor paper! ok, admittedly, that's a pretty obvious observation, isn't it? (duh, lauren!) see, it's not that i didn't realize it WOULD be better, i just had no idea how much better. so now i'm even more hooked. i'm afraid there's every chance you'll be sick of flowers by the end of summer. sorry in advance for that, darlings! :)

the gallery of design team creations at SOS is particularly colorful and inspiring this week, so be sure to check it out! ♥♥♥

Monday, July 14, 2014

going in circles

do you play along at CASE study? the lovely amy tsuruta-- who just happens to be one of the fabulous guest designers this month-- has me totally hooked on it! this week's inspiration is particularly cool, but first i'm going to show you what i made:

(patterned paper: sei, ki memories, american crafts + circles punched from a vintage childen's dictionary; florals: prima; brad and backers: my mind's eye; ribbon: teresa collins; glossy white cardstock: paper accents; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, sewing machine)

and now here's the inspiration card. seriously, how amazing is this:

you can see that i focused on the sketch, especially those fabulous overlapping circles with white outlines. mine are machine stitched, and i love the look, but i wish they stood out a bit more. 

in retrospect, i should've used black thread instead of white; or gone with a bit more contrasting of a background. ah well. c'est la vie. i still quite like this, and it was soooooooo fun to make! which is the whole point, really, isn't it?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

more ICADdery!

have i mentioned how much i ♥LOVE♥ this project? ok, yeah, like elebenty million times over the last three summers. but every year the index card a day project totally sparks my love of making "pointless" art that is only for me, and generally reinvigorates my creative energy. so yeah, i'm probably going to continue to enthuse about it publicly. anyway, here are a few more cards:

040: torn layers collage
for me ICAD is roughly divided between adventurously trying NEW stuff (particularly using paint and other wet media) ...OR... rewarding myself by making tiny little collages that don't make any sense, but do make me really really happy. obviously, this is one of the latter. :)

041: watercolor + pattern
i spend a fair amount of time trying to disguise or ignore the lines on most of my index cards, but every once in a while it's fun to embrace them!

042: plotting and skulduggery
the text and photo came from two different magazines, plus i'm pretty sure the japanese text is upside down; but i still really LOVE this one!

what are you doing this weekend? whatever it is, i hope it's fun, and creative, and maybe involves a tiny bit of plotting and skulduggery. but... you know... in a good way, darlings! ♥♥♥