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!!! 

Monday, October 20, 2014

getting cocky...

...PEA-cocky, that is! apparently, i'm in a bit of a peacock phase, but it's not entirely my fault. the other day stephanie sent me a link to the current challenge (#236) at just add ink, where the inspiration board looks a bit like this:

cool, right? of course you don't have to do anything with an actual peacock on it, but i had so much fun drawing and painting the peacock feather card last week, that i was feeling pretty literal. i didn't really want to make the same thing again, though, so i started playing around and doodling and then i thought, "i know! i'll make a peacock mandala!"* so i drew all the shapes:

and it looked pretty good, but peacocks are all about COLOR, aren't they? so i filled in with marker.**

and then last night i made the whole thing into a card, because hey... it's what i do! :)

peacock mandala drawn with faber castell pitt pens (in S and SX) on strathmore watercolor paper; colored with tombow markers and highlighted with a sakura white gelly roll pen; patterned papers: cosmo cricket and otober afternoon

the challenge at just add ink closes on wednesday morning, so you still have time to get cocky... PEA-cocky, that is! :) :) :)

*which wouldn't necessarily be most people's first thought, unless you do ICAD every summer, where there are always at least a few mandala prompts thrown into the mix, and it turns out they are pretty addictive!

**i had intended to use watercolors, but the mandala became so full of tiny, fine detail, that markers seemed a little more controllable to a person with middle-aged eyes at 10:30pm.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

"hex" is another word for evil spell or curse

that's an etymological fact i'd advise you to remember should you ever embark on an afghan, purse, or other crocheting project with a hexagon motif that needs to be attached on all six sides. here's a little rule of thumb for you: if the sides of the individual hexagons buckle or warp at all as separate patches, the effect will be multiplied tenfold when they're all sewn together. if you can't produce totally flat motifs, start over-- perhaps with a completely different pattern-- or go do some nice relaxing trigonometry, or have a root canal, or something *FUN* like that. trust me. not that i'm bitter. ok, maybe a little. mostly because, in common with all truly difficult crafting experiences in which the finished product is less than ideal irl, the totebag in question photographed beautifully:

yeah. that's the last straw, really, isn't it?!

i should probably mention that i made this as a gift for someone very special, i chose the pattern based on how gorgeous the colors were, and i do not begrudge one second of the time it took, i LOVE making things for my friends and family! the problem is that the pattern was not well written, or even accurate; something which might be a tad annoying if penned by an independent knitter sharing it on ravelry or her own blog. this was a professionally written pattern, offered by a yarn manufacturer--NOT lion brand, i hasten to say; i've never had a bad pattern from them! :) if i had paid for these instructions, i'd be naming and shaming the source in public; seeing as it was free, i'm just going to shut up but warn you to read any hexagon-based yarncraft patterns all the way through quite carefully, especially the finishing instructions and if you think to yourself, "i'm not sure that makes sense" or "they don't seem to provide much in the way of advice or photos for making the hexes into the bag" ...RUN AWAY!!!

the good news is, i learned A LOT from this project, which is why i decided to post it, with rants included. i learned that i'm pretty good at figuring out what to do in the absence of sensible instructions; i learned the best way ever to make super-sturdy crocheted handles for totebags*; and, especially, i learned that there's serious satisfaction involved in finishing a job successfully, even if you don't really love how it came out. i also learned exactly why "hex" is another word for evil spell or curse. :)

*the one awesome thing in this pattern as written was the method for constructing the handles; they are solid, sturdy and will not (as commonly happens with crocheted handles) stretch out and get saggy over time. well-done, handle pattern writer! now could you have a word with the cretin who thought up everything else? ta v much!

Friday, October 17, 2014

daniel craig wants you to make a ♥PINK♥ xmas card!

ok, that's a big huge lie, for which i should be heartily ashamed. but i'm not, darlings... not even a little bit... because the reason i wanted your attention is so i could remind you we're celebrating PINK CHRISTMAS at JINGLE BELLES and you still have time to link your pink holiday cards! want to see my card? admittedly, it's not a patch on the bodacious beach bod of mr. d. craig, but it's not too shabby i think:

patterned paper: autumn leaves/rhonna farrer, k and co, making memories, echo park (seniment) and vintage sheet music from my stash; poinsettia die: boss kut; brad: my mind's eye; adhesives: elmer's brand gluetape runner, scotch glue stick, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

ok, yeah, it's much less pink than my one from last week, but i wanted to make the point that you don't need to make an all-pink card, by any means. again i've used mostly non-holiday products, except for the beloved/hoarded rhonna farrer tree and the echo park sentiment. i'm not sure i've EVER used pink and mustard together, but i really like it, so my guess is you'll be seeing such a combo again in future!

speaking of the future, i hope yours includes checking out stephanie's and jessi's newest pink creations and then linking up your own PINK CHRISTMAS card at JINGLE BELLES!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

ORANGE you glad i didn't say banana? :)

sorry, i don't know why the famous banana knock-knock joke has been stuck in my head since i read that this week's theme at collage obsession is orange... but it is... hence the title; sorry if i got it stuck in your head now, too. you could use this to knock it out, but then you'd have minions singing ersatz beach boys harmonies in your head for all eternity. which is not necessarily a bad thing, is it?*

ok, so, on to the collage: my new motto is, "when you don't know what to do, do it really REALLY enthusiastically!" so i have. see?

giant orange dahlia trimmed from an old calendar; ed hardy bird stencil cut from a hindi magazine page; gothic arch made of basic grey "solid" paper, decorated with flower mandalas and swirls using faber castell pitt pens (S and XS) and a white gelly roll on top; later i popped it onto a sheet of copier paper and trimmed around it with deco scissors because the two orange shades matched so well you couldn't really see the arch enough. (b/c YEAH, that's how scientific my collage process is, lol!)

yeah. it's verrrrrrrrrrrrry orange! this is one of those times that i love every single ingredient, but i'm not sure they really gel together terribly well as a collage. i absolutely loved drawing the mandala doodles, though, so i'm calling this a win for process, if not outcome. which totally works for me! check out the awesome orange readers' gallery at collage obsession, won't you? ♥

*if you answered "yes" to that question, then for pete's sake DON'T click the link b/c seriously the minions are the most powerful earworm in the history of song. worse than "the name game" even... which up until now i didn't think was possible!