Friday, February 29, 2008

whatcha *ING*ing??!

yes indeedy...time for some random stuff i am currently enjoyin'...maybe you'll enjoy it, too??! :)

readING: spook country by william gibson. fast paced. lots of points of view. (each told from an authentic and individual-sounding voice) ...and i have NO IDEA what is going to happen next... (looooove that!)

watchING: wes anderson's the darjeeling limited on dvd. not exactly what i expected...but once i stopped trying to make it be rushmore or life aquatic...i enjoyed it quite a lot! (plus the first scene alone is EASILY worth the price of a dvd rental or movie ticket!)

listenING: to the audio book piece of my heart by peter robinson, from the library. pretty good british police-procedural-type mystery, which interweaves the investigation of two murders: one in 1969 and one in the present day. (...and i'm pretty sure i know whodunnit...)

drivING: where i want, when i want to, ON MY that i have my little car back!!! (in the meantime "much respeck" to m'friend & colleague joshua, who ferried me about cheerfully & without complaint for several days!) not to worry, however, the case for car-updatING has been well and truly made...thus i am also...

debatING: the relative merits of the toyota matrix and the subaru impreza for my next automobile...i definitely want a compact with AWD... (any thoughts for or against those models...or others...will be gratefully appreciated!)

photoshoppING: pictures of "dear abby" for my own nefarious purposes (to be revealed later!)

downloadING: awesome (free!) handwriting fonts by kevin and amanda! they have some awesome doodles/dingbats, too like the "pea stacy doodles" to name just one! (thanks, stef!!!)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

hello, kitties!

here is a random scan of a postcard i got at the hello kitty store in times square. what??! you did not know there was a hello kitty store in times square? ah, bien sur! also an m&m's store...and an mtv store...and a toys-r-us with a full-sized ferris wheel inside the store. nope, i'm not kidding.

i wonder if some new yorkers prefer the *old* times square, with its vast array of adult theaters, massage parlors, and the many colorful characters who frequented them? disney was one of the first companies to open a "straight" business nearby, perhaps 15 years ago. i've always imagined two of the "old school" business proprietors sitting in a seedy bar, hearing about their new neighbors for the first time. "oh geez," one must've said to the other, "there goes the neighborhood." "yeah," the other would've agreed, "there's no goin' back once THAT ELEMENT starts takin' over!" :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

sympathetically purple

sympathy cards are the one kind i don't usually make. aside from the general sadness of them, when you need one, you tend to need it right away, and to make something tasteful and comforting...quickly...well, yeah, let's face it: NONE of those things are my strong points, are they?! :) but being car-less over the weekend, for once i actually had a couple of free moments at a time when a sympathy card was needed, so i decided to give it a go.

it turned out a bit like this:

(cardstock: bazzill; patterned paper: basic grey, anna griffin; butterfly diecut: unknown from michaels; ribbon: queen&co; flowers: prima; rhinestones: jewelcraft; rub-ons: making memories; ink: colorbox)

ok, it turned out *exactly* like that, actually, although the little yellow flowers are slightly darker-looking in real life...and you can't tell from the scan that the butterfly has little glitter accents on it...but i think you get the general idea.

as it happens, the lovely elizabeth wickland has reminded me that the current my inner martha card challenge is to make a card using at least 3 different patterned papers. which, i think you'll agree, this card does admirably, (exactly three, in fact!) so consider this puppy a challenger, then!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

operation 08: SOMETHING OLD

hooray! two paper adventure pages, two days in a row! (and this one catches me DOUBLE HOORAY for that!) here's what elise blaha has to say about this week's assignment:

"This week, tell the story of something old.

Something loved. Something worn. Something passed down. Something treasured.

Or not.

Maybe your old object is something you need to throw away. Something that keeps breaking down. Something that needs to be retired."

this assignment could not have been better timed for me...because i just happen to have an old thing that's both treasured AND needs to be retired! for the last couple of months jeff and i have been talking about replacing my car, which is...DON'T really, i will be very insulted if i hear laughter...a 1985 nissan sentra. (STOP LAUGHING RIGHT NOW, i mean it!) (thank you.)

(red glossy cardstock & page from a notebook; value chart from a car manual; photoshopped pic of a nissan sentra... (not mine, but one like it!) ...miscellaneous stickers & rub-ons by: making memories, fresh cuts, 7 gypsies, creative imaginations, boxer scrapbooks, marah johnson; other: paper clips, staples, colorbox inks; uncle typewriter and ck typewriter fonts)

ok, ok, i know it needs to be done, but for some reason i have been dragging my feet. the other day, whilst out and about, the car and i had a small mechanical mishap, which resulted in the two of us being brought home by a very nice lady called jan, who drives a tow truck. which got me to thinking about *WHY* i am so un-excited about parting with the car, particularly as it means for the first time in my life, i'll be getting a brand new car, that i choose, that has never been owned or driven by anyone else, ever!

(closeup of the altered car photo; the text gives stats of the car, "make: nissan, model: sentra, year: 1985, mileage: 65,000, purchase price: zero, monthly payment: zero, resale value: zero, luxury/cool factor: less than zero, sentimental value: priceless" the phrase in white is the what i say when teased about driving a near-antique, "two more years...and it's a classic!" )

in the course of completing this page i realized that a big chunk of my reluctance stems from the fact that this car (which had been my mom's for a decade before i got it) was "handed down" to me right after my dad died, and that it had been his idea to do so. i am slightly surprised to find that (quite uncharacteristically) i'd become a bit sentimental about that fact!

once i could see what i was doing, it suddenly became completely obvious, and completely easy to let go and feel totally fine about it. because i know that the *IMPORTANT* gifts from my father are not things at all. they're intangibles like a logical mind, and the ablility to stay calm in a crisis, and a great--if admittedly weird--sense of humor. i see these gifts every time i sit down to do my taxes, every time i watch my brother with his children, every time i hear my sister telling a funny story. and none of that is going anywhere. plus, oddly enough, having commemorated the car, and the story, in my little book... (sorry, i'm afraid going to use a cliched scrapbooking truism here!) ...well, it really is a way of keeping it forever! i come! :)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

operation 07: BOLD STATEMENT

right. i'm a week behind on paper adventure. i b'lieve i mentioned that already. except, now i'm not. because it's here. last weeks entry, that is.

(glossy black cardstock: ranger; patterned paper: doodlebug, mambi; brads: making memories; rhinestone star: mambi; other: zig writer, foam tape, fonts: mariah & wizzard)

ok, lemme essplain. the assignment was to, (and i quote) "make a bold statement". so i did. originally, i had a much more traditional idea, and something more substantial to say. (with journaling and everything!) but then, the other morning, my inner edina took over, and this idea literally woke me up. ok, it's not a particularly sensible statement; and it's certainly not a profound statement; but i think you'll agree it *is* a BOLD statement! and thus, my work here is done.

(ps: i'm hoping to get operation 08 done over the weekend, and be officially declared "back on track"!)

Friday, February 22, 2008

XOXO LOVEFEST: week four

those of you who've been following february's month-long LOVEFEST over at caardvarks know that so far, on successive fridays we have tackled

baby love,

this week we conclude with...
(can i get a drumroll, please?)

(to those of you planning to embark upon an actual love relationship, please note: this MIGHT NOT be the *ideal order* in which to experience those four delightful phases of love. naturally, this is entirely between you and your significant other...i'm just sayin'...)

anyway, the caardvarks DT have, as ever, surpassed all previous records for variety and delightfulness in caardmaking. oh yeah, and the folks from queen kat designs (who've sponsored this entire shindig, provided the designers with cool stamp sets, AND made with excellent prizes for each week's challenge!) have pitched in with wonderful examples, too. g'head and check out the gallery!

here is my humble offering:

(patterned paper: love elsie, basic grey, bampop, ki, scenic route, sassafras lass; frame: bampop; photo from an old book; photo corners: heidi swapp; other: colorbox inks, foam tape, flowerchild font, zigwriter)

text reads, "you and i will always be friends (you know too much!)"

when i saw the challenge topic, that line (which i saw at some point on a store-bought greeting card) popped into my head immediately, and i thought of kim, my best friend from high school, who now lives in florida, and with whom, not too long ago, i had a conversation about the fact that once you've known someone for more than 25 years, (especially if you were both teenagers when you met) you just cannot afford to lose them for any reason...because apart from everything else, they're bound to know where the all the bodies are buried!
(so to speak.) (of course, in our case, there are no *actual* bodies!) (why? what've you heard??!) :)

the eagle-eyed (and highly flexible) paprcrafters amongst you may notice a certain very-nearly-almost-not-quite-but-oh-soooooo-close similarity to a rather wonderful sketch challenge running at the moment. yes, indeed, i refer to nicola's 4th sketch which ends tomorrow and thus i decided i needed to both HURRY UP and double up in my efforts in order to get an entry in under the wire. i don't think i have really done this one justice, though, (sorry, n...i owe ya one, ok?!) so certainly you should head over to my paper world and see some really goooood versions of this excellent sketch!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

bondliness abounds!

i never post twice in one day. lately, in fact, i've felt quite on top of things if i post once in two days. but for THIS...i felt a second round was an inarguable necessity. in fact, if i were the gruff but lovable newspaper boss in a 1940's film about reporters (as played by spencer tracy or jimmy stewart) i'd have run through the house shouting things like, "stop the presses!" ...and... "hold the front page!" ...and... "get the boys back here gladys, we're putting out a special edition!!!"

why, you ask?? well, first, the lovely kitty, in response to my sadness at only turning up a fully clothed daniel craig this morning, sent me a link to this:

thank you kitty. mmmmmmmmmmmmmm-hmmmmmmmmmmmm. oh yes. thank you very much indeed! you are a true friend to have stumped up so quickly in my hour of need. now that was enough to set me up this evening as a very contented blogger indeed...

...but then the equally lovely (but infinitely more twisted) monkee maker--who has recently discovered picasa and become a bit of a photo-editing junkie--emailed me this. words cannot express the delight and...ummmmm...bemusement (and hilarity! and shock! and delight again...followed by even more bemusement!) with which i viewed this masterpiece:

"the name's jeff....lovely husband jeff"

but wait...there's more. oh yes indeedy. fasten your seatbelts, ladies, and remember: he's a happily married man, and i am licensed to kill. (ok, not licensed, as such. but i think you get m'point)

ready? ok here ya go:

since there is nothing i could possibly add (well, nothing that could be posted on a wholesome family-friendly blog such as this!) i shall sign off for the second and final time of the day.

besides, i have to go and explain his new-found t'internet pin-up status to my husband. :)

this is NOT a real blog post!

(...just so you know...)

i've got nuthin'.

no show-n-tell! i was counting on having paper adventure operation 07 (last week's assignment) done last night. i almost made it, too! in fact, it's soooooo close to done i can taste it...but it's not quite done...and it's not at all photo-ed!

no links or pictures! i generally save funny things as i see them online, but lately, i haven't been online much. (castles and so forth.) ordinarily at this point i would quickly google "daniel craig photos" and pop in the one with the least clothing, but sadly, i think i am even gonna run out of time for that today.

worst of all, unless i think of something amusing really REALLY quickly, i've got NO JOKES!!! and, in case you were wondering, it turns out that the very *best* way to NOT think of anything amusing is to try to make yourself think of something amusing really REALLY quickly.

g'head! try it!

are ya funny yet?

well are ya, punk??!

(OOF, sorry, in the heat of the moment i became clint eastwood for a moment there. i apologize. that's never happened before!)

ooh, but one thing i DO have is

info for kate ardron

who asked about how i made the structure of the princess castles. kate, those were actually store-bought minibooks made by creative imaginations for their "bare essentials" line, and seem to be quite readily available at crafting and scrapbook stores. in fact, here is one i found from an online store in the UK, but you may even find a local northumbrian source! i expect you could make one from chipboard, tho, if you were feeling adventurous! rather than folds, the BE books were a series of castle-shaped panels, with hinges between them, made from a thick sort of paper tape. i'd've preferred cloth bookbinding tape, for added strength, but you could use ribbon, or colored duct tape, or index stock reinforced with clear packing tape! if you make one, come and show me a link because i would love to see it!!!

speakin' of things i love to see:

his bondliness, being bondish. note to MM: he's not *pouting*...he's brooding!
it's TOTALLY different. totally. :)

yeah, yeah, as it turns out, i DID have time to go and grab me some delicious danielcraiginess over at google. because let's face it, a life so full of hustle and bustle as to prevent one from stopping to savor nature's beauty is no life at all, now is it? i apologize for all those clothes...but it was the best i could do on short notice!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

some lovely parting gifts!

...ok, not parting gifts, as such...but you may remember that recently i was the lucky winner of the "hot pink and acetate" card challenge on elizabeth wickland's blog, my inner martha? well, my prize arrived today, one would expect from that good is, of course, FABULOUS!

it also seems to defy one or two of the laws of physics.
lemme essplain: see this adorable little diecut paper purse?
(ok, i am soooooooo back to wanting a cricut again!)

well, alllllll of this cool stuff was inside it:

beautiful handmade flower magnets, specially inked "wish" tags, a sweet mini-notepad, awesome heart-shaped playing cards, "love" brads, a diecut fleur de lis, annnnnnnnnd a little pack of clear stamps with the coolest cupcake ever! i'm not sure how elizabeth DID that...but i am certainly both impressed and grateful!

oh yeah, there was a small ghiradelli chocolate bar in there, too. i am embarrassed to say that it was eaten more quickly than my digital camera could record...even on the very very fast "twilight" setting. (some might say "devoured", and it would be hard to argue that point strenuously, and rude, too, especially with my mouth full of chocolate!) :)

and one last little bit of cuteness:

yes, it seems like ms. elizabeth is grooming up a second generation of her crafting dynasty... inside my package's wrapping was some lovely artwork by young ellie!!!

thank you thank you thank you, oh wicklands, great and small!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

the princessiest princess castle books in the world, EVER!

hooray! they are done!!!

and if i do say so myself...they look goooooooooood! :)

but let's look closer, shall we?

here's riley's book...from the front...

(materials list and basic method are below)

...from the side...

and, standing, castle-ish-ly:

btw, the amazing photographs in riley's & lindsay' books were taken by my sister-in-law, sandy, and her sister, cindy. when i found these neat "bare essentials" minibooks last fall, i requested princess pics (without saying why) and my brother was kind enough to make me a cd from their trip to disneyworld last august.

probably the hardest part of the entire project was narrowing down from hundreds of adorable choices to eight 2.5x3" pics; two 3.5" squares and a 3.5x5" cover photo. truly, it was almost impossible--there were SO MANY good ones!

here's lindsay's book:

i went back and forth about whether the two sisters' books should be exactly the same or totally different...eventually i compromised by using all the same photographs and patterned papers...but placing them different combinations, so they would be equal... (an important consideration when your recipients are 4 and 6!) ...yet unique!

my youngest niece, madeline, hasn't been to disneyworld yet, but she loooooooves all things princessy and i wanted her to have a book like her cousins. so instead of capturing one trip, for maddie, i combined photos from a number of different occasions: dressed as cinderella last halloween, going to "princesses on ice" last xmas, at her birthday party, playing dress up, and so forth. (many of these pics are courtesy of maddie's father, john; my relatives are very nice about sharing...especially when they know there is a project in the offing!) ;)

one thing i did not have for this book was a correctly shaped portrait for the cover, so maddie's name page is the front; but i used the same papers and basic format as for riley and lindsay; again, so it would be obvious that the books were THE SAME...but personalized!

finally, a shot of the books IN ACTION

here are the girls opening them, as snapped by jeff at riley's birthday party the other night. i am pleased and proud to say they were a big hit!

maybe my favorite compliment of the evening (aside from the little girls' obvious excitement and huge hugs and shouts of "THANK YOU, AUNT LAUREN!", obviously!) came from sandy's elder sister, who is quite an elegant and sophisticated professional woman...

debbie (sighing): lauren, i wish you were MY aunt, so you could make ME one of these!
me (thinking she meant for her daughters): for megan and leah?
debbie: nonono, for ME!!!
lauren (laughing): do you have pictures of yourself dressed as a princess?
debbie (immediately): no, but if that's what it takes, i'll get some!

just in case these weren't quite enough princess castle book pictures for you, i've made a webshots album with gi-huge-ic photos of every page of all three books. you know, in case you're suffering from a pink-n-sparkly deficiency or insomnia or something!

supplies used: plain white castle-shaped cardboard "bare essentials" minibook by creative imaginations; patterned paper: sassafras lass, doodlebug, reminisce, paper fever, scenic route, autumn leaves, creative imaginations, making memories; stickers: sei, ki mambi, pebbles,; photocorners: heidi swapp; flowers: prima, doodlebug; brads & sequins: doodlebug; decorative heart pins: joann essentials; rhinestones: jewelcraft; bling crowns: mambi; other: foam tape, stickles, zigwriter

basic method: i made a template by tracing each panel of the blank book and used it to trace and cut multiple panels of patterned paper just slightly smaller so that each face has pattern on it...with a little border of white around the edge. before adhering the paper, i outlined each piece with a fine point zig writer. the idea was to make the white of the book work WITH the design, and also to make the outlining interntionally imperfect, so that anything that got put on slighlty wonkily would look ON PURPOSE! after each panel was papered i added photos printed at home on kodak premium paper, and then i embellished...being careful to keep things fairly flat, particularly on the interior seams to allow the books to fold relatively flat. the flags are patterned paper adhered around decorative pins. LHJ used a teeny tiny hand drill to make small holes in the top of the books and i used diamond glaze to cement the pins in the chipboard.

i am *always* happy to answer specific questions or provide additional info about projects, techniques or supplies...
just leave a comment or email me! :)

ps to my paper adventure pals: i got a bit side-tracked with this project last week, but not to worry, i will be making--and posting--operations 7 & 8 later this week (and coming to see yours)!

Monday, February 18, 2008

last things first!


because if you've spent an entire week making people princess castle minibooks, you can't just chuck 'em at them and say, "here ya go!"
plus, i have to say the project itself wound up being distressingly low on bling...well, ok, did i use lots of lovely clear glitter glue throughout the books...but there were hardly ANY rhinestones! (GASP!)

this was partly because of the nature of the accordian-fold books (which kind of demanded i make FLAT pages so they'd lay correctly) but also, with a limited area... (the use-able space on each panel was only about 3x5") and a LOT of photos...and a LOT of colors...well, it turns out even i occasionally recognize a crafting situation where less is more, so to speak! (who knew??) so i really needed to get some big honkin' rhinestones in there SOMEWHERE and the bag was it!

(glossy white giftbags: current; patterned paper: reminisce, plus scraps of making memories and scrapbook wizard for the flowers and leaves; florals: heidi swapp & junkitz; rhinestones: jewelcraft)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

rats, it's gone right to voicemail!

hi. you've reached lauren. i can't come to the blog right now, owing to a hideously long list of weekend chores, errands and commitments, but i wanted you to know that the three princess castle minibooks are finished (ta-daaaaaaaaaaaa!*) and a truly obnoxious amount of photos will be coming to your screen very, very soon!

in the meantime, why not enjoy a cheesily photoshopped picture of some valentine roses that lovely husband jeff brought me** on thursday?

please leave a message at the sound of the beep.


*and also, "PHEW!!!!!!!!!!!"

**he brought a sweet little fruit tart, as i'm kinda hoping that "you are what you eat" thingie is not LITERALLY true! ;)

ps to terrie b: no worries, girlfriend, i've SOOOOOO been called worse!!! :)

ps to lori: step away from the sharp objects...RIGHT NOW...!!! (and also, "waaaaaaahhhhh--heal fast!")

Friday, February 15, 2008

XOXO loooooooovefest: week 3

yes, indeedy, those caardvarks they never sleep! not during february, anyhow, and not when queen kat designs are on hand to sponsor a challenge each friday with fabulous stamps as prizes. (woohoo!) this week's theme is anniversary cards...silly ones, funky ones, cute ones, romantic ones...the DT gallery has a little bit of everything...but there's plenty of room for more, so get going and let's see what YOU make!

in the meantime, here is MY take on the challenge:

(QKD "sparkles" stamped w/colorbox creamy brown chalk ink & embossed w/bridal powder; patterned paper: all my memories, k&co; illustration from a vintage book; cardstock sticker: jenni bowlin; gem stickers: stampendous; butterflies made with an all night media punch and by tracing 2 sizes of heidi swapp ghost butterflies)

i wanted to go a little old fashioned, a little romantic, a little bit elegant, and i think i may just have succeeded in making a card to honor one of the longest and happiest marriages i know: that of lovely husband jef'f's parents who will celebrate 54 years together (FIFTY FOUR!!!) in march. i had not actually planned to go fact i kept trying to bring in a pop of bright color somewhere on this baby...but the vintage sepia-toned illustration just looked so much more important when surrounded by similar colors, so finally i bowed to the idea of a card done in creams and tans and browns. i had to flatten out the butterflies to scan the card, but in this close-up you can see that they're only attached with a line of dry adhesive at their centers, so that their wings can be folded upwards, as if they had just settled here for a moment. (awwwww!)

happy anniversary mom and dad! and happy anniversary caardmaking to the rest of us!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

happy RILEY'S BIRTHDAY to you!!!

apparently, some folk think of this as VALENTINE'S DAY...but not in our family! nope, for us it better known as the day that eldest niece riley made her grand debut, six years ago this afternoon!

being the little sweetheart that she is, she has always been happy to share the day, and certainly there have always been enough treats and presents and heart-shaped cupcakes to go around!

luckily she's a gal who enjoys the color pink-- (which is good, since i think she was 2 or 3 before her mother dressed her in anything else) --and has no objection to heart-strewn clothing or objects...since there are always LOTS of those available around her birthday!

miss riley is ALWAYS up for a party: friends, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents?! bring 'em on!!! the big family celebration will take place on sunday afternoon, by which time her aunt lauren is now cautiously confident she will have completed the three little princess books intended for riley, sister lindsay, and cousin madeline.

in the meantime, today will bring presents from mommy and daddy, and cupcakes at school, and phone calls from the rest of the family to say,

*happy birthday riley elizabeth!!!*

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


we have paperage!

wanna see?

we have colors besides pink...which somewhat surprises me.

i had thought that keeping the backgrounds monochromatic would help to unify the different colors in the photographs, but it turns out that bringing in bits of those other colors...and judicious hits of white...just looked infinitely better.

we have outlining, around the edges of each of the patterned papers.

i also tried outlining ON the photos...but doing *both* turned out to be too much. (this is why i try things out before i glue 'em on. it's slower...but safer!) photo batch #2 is borderless and lightly inked around the edges. (i am definitely going to use this idea on *something*, though, b/c i love the look of it!)

up next:

embellishments...or as i think of it...


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

sure it TASTES good...

...but are you sure it prevents cavities??!*

(ok, i haven't ACTUALLY done this...yet...but i'm getting scattier by the day, so i've a feeling it's just a matter of time!)

*my alternate hilarious tomato paste joke was, "boy they sure do make a lot of specialized adhesives these days!" but i thought the toothpaste line was funnier...and the picture cracked me up!

ps: lovely husband jeff does not have a blog, but if he did, he could easily fill an entire post with his enthusiasm for tomato paste sold in tubes rather than the annoying and un-re-seal-able little cans from the olden days. some themes from such a post would dwell heavily on: convenience, freshness and lack of waste as exemplified by this packaging; with perhaps a small digression into his theory that brands which come in tubes are inherently of higher quality, having been properly thought out by italians who like to cook. it's a pity LHJ doesn't have a blog, really, because he is quite diverting on this subject! :)

Monday, February 11, 2008

ATTENTION all pink & sparkly things...

...please report to my worktable, immediately.


you already have.

well done.

soooooo...whaddaya get when you mix all of this...

(ok, probably not all of that...but a bunch of it...)

with three of these:

...and a whole mess o'...


actually, that's a trick question with two possible answers:

answer #1: three adorable princess minibooks in time for niece riley's birthday party next sunday afternoon

...or, alternately...

answer #2: a nervous breakdown

in the meantime, i'm afraid what you get is an aunt lauren who spends every non-working, non-sleeping moment knee-deep in the sparkly pinkness! so please excuse me if in the next 4 or 5 days i do not spend much time at your blog...or my own.

PS: if i haven't surfaced by saturday...can somebody fax me a pizza??

Saturday, February 9, 2008

operation 06: COLOR!!!

hooray, it's paper adventure time again!
and this week's assignment was
here's what elise had to say:

"This week, channel color. Write about, or think about, or sing about your relationship with color. Or your inability to see color. Or how you hate all color. Or how you live for color. Think about what colors you are drawn to. About the colors you wear. The colors you choose to have in your home."

i realized fairly quickly that by far my strongest feeling about color is that i need ALL of them--every single one! there may be colors i like more than others, or color combinations i use more than others, or colors i would never, EVER, wear...but to me, there are NO "extra" colors! from there i started thinking about the spectrum, and the phrase "ROY G. BIV is my best friend" popped into my head...and stayed there!

i had the idea of bits cut from magazines right away, and strips pretty soon after. i was planning to make a more traditional collage...with lots of coordinating embellishments for each color...and the phrase running across the collage...but somehow the strips didn't want to become a collage, they wanted to stay separate, and furthermore, they wanted to stay PLAIN. from there the white background, white chipboard, and black outlined letters just fell into place.

since there are seven 1.25"strips in my spectrum, and my book is only 8" long, i decided on a fold-out page. i thought about decorating--or writing on--the folded over bit, but once you go minimalist, the idea of leaving things *plain* seems more and more appealing. (i know, i know...*I* can't believe it's ME saying that, either!!!) plus i love the way a teeny tiny bit of the plain white letters shows above the flap.

but then, when you open the page, you've got all the colors of the spectrum

in all their glossy glory!


(photos cut from magazines; heidi swapp chipboard letters; ki memories alphabet rub-ons)

Friday, February 8, 2008


february's month long series of caardvarks challenges sponsored by queen kat designs continues! last week's valentine challenge garnered more AMAZING creations than i could have ever imagined, but now it's time for a new theme.

this week's assignment: BABY CARDS!!!

(queen kat heart stamped with fuschia colorbox ink and embossed with psx bridal powder; ranger glossy cardstock; pebbles cardstock photo stickers; mambi phrase sticker; scrapbook wizard patterned paper; queen & co felt flowers; doodlebug brads; other: zigwriter, foam tape)

i have raided my stash and found some rather elderly items...for example these pebbles, inc black & white cardstock stickers... (i confess i've very nearly tossed them on more than one occasion) ...that suddenly seemed kinda cool again! i stamped the heart from my QKD stamp set with pink pigment ink and actually embossed (with sparkly bridal powder) for the first time in ages! a scrap of patterned paper, an almost equally old clear sticker, some felt flowers et voila my baby card is complete!

wanna see what the rest of the DT made?? go and check out the baby love gallery! (g' know you wanna...)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

minibook mania!

ok, so everyone knows my favorite thing to make is cards! and lately, my other favorite thing to make is pages for paper adventure. but my other *OTHER* favorite thing to make is mini-books! look, here's one now:

(patterned paper: my mind's eye, bengali newspaper; flower clipart: anahata katkin; rub-ons: daisy d's, american crafts, making memories, lil davis, american crafts; ghost butterfly: heidi swapp; cardstock sticker; wild asparagus; other: foam tape, colorbox inks, plaid acryllic paint, papier glass finish)

this particular book is my third volume of "three beautiful things". (i started keeping a 3BT journal last july, inspired by clare grant's fantastic blog i've talked about the idea generally, and volume one and volume two in other posts, which you can read by clicking the links in this sentence.)

now i have nothing against store bought mini-books--there are loads of nice ones out there, just waiting for to be customized. but sometimes you can't find just the right one for a particular project, and anyway they are SO easy to make! this new book has covers which are 5 1/2 x 5 1/2" partly because i wanted to work in a square format and partly because i had a whole stack of 5 x 5" glossy black cardstock offcuts leftover from making nephew matthew's birth announcements in october, and this seemed like a good way to use them up! :) (3BT1 was a 7 gypsies swatchbook, 2 1/2 x 7"; 3BT2 was 4 x 6" and made by me; i also made my paper adventure journal from scratch, it's 5 1/2 x 8 1/2")

i started out with two nice thick squares of chipboard, painted the edges, glued on squares of patterned paper and sealed it with papier glass finish (similar to diamond glaze) for extra strengh and a little bit of shine. i've made books with sewn or spiral bindings, but for daily journals i like to hold ‘em together with book rings (you can get a variety pack at staples for about $3) so that i can add, subtract or move around the pages. i punched the holes with my crop-o-dile, but a fairly sharp hand drill (like for woodworking) is also an easy way to get nice neat holes.

i tend to stock my little books in advance with about half as many pages as i think they're going to need. i use scraps of cardstock and heavy paper in the requisite sizes, and add more pages in as needed. most days i decorate one page, write my “three beautiful things” and i’m done. but some days i have more time, or ideas to try out, or i just feel like playing, so i will occasionally decorate “extra” pages which can be used when time or creativity is at a premium. i have also found these little books to be of great value as a sort of “design lab” to try out ideas seen in magazines or online…to experiment with new techniques…and to use up my scraps and break in the cool new supplies i cannot wait to use.

i’ve also found it’s a really good way to “warm up” before starting to work on a larger project or idea. this is has totally surprised me, even though art journalers have been saying so for YEARS, but somehow--perhaps stubbornly--i didn't really believe it would hold true for ME! “why,” i would ask myself, “would i waste time, energy and materials on something that no one else is ever going to see?!” but it turns out the nameless and numerous “they” we are always hearing about were TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY RIGHT on this point: this process doesn't sap your creative energy, it actually DOES revive and envigorate it! who knew?! (ok, clearly everyone except ME, but thank you very much for not rubbing my nose in that!) :)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

wouldja like to buy a (knitted) monkee?

well, you can't.
but if you're feeling a little bit lucky...and a little bit generous...
you just might WIN one.
this one:

you see, my lovely blogging friend monkee maker, who is as good and kind as she is hilarious and talented (which, trust me, is saying something!) is having a raffle to benefit the ellenor wiseman trust, in which said superb simian is one of the prizes. here's another:

yes, that IS a knitted muffin!

a knitted raspberry and white chocolate chip muffin, to be precise.

there are more, prizes, too! tickets are just a pound each (that's a british pound sterling...which right now is roughly equivalent to about $2 american; which you can send via paypal) with 100% of the proceeds going to the trust! monkee maker is donating the prizes and the postage to send them to winners anywhere in the world!

for complete details check out this post on monkee maker's blog! whilst you're there, you might like to look around a bit: there's adventure, excitement, sock monkees, knitted monkees, monkee socks, and even...

...yep, that's a monkee sock sock monkee*, all right!!!

so now my only question is: what are you still doing *HERE*??!

*he...or perhaps she? not a prize in this raffle...she's just one of my personal favorite monkee maker creations, pictured here an inducement for you to check out MM's blog!

Monday, February 4, 2008

double your pleasure, double your fun!

i generally try to make one card for each challenge in which i participate, but sometimes...well, sometimes mister clock is just *NOT* my this time i had to double up. thus, i present to you a card which is my entry not only for nicola's sketch #3 at my paper world, but also the first card challenge over at maisymary's findings which i thought was just make a "thank you" card. (alternately, you can make a black and white and pink card.) of course, when i went back and re-read the rules, i realized the thank you card was also meant to include flowers *and* brads which aren't one's usual style. seems like i kinda sorta slightly missed that bit in the first reading. it's got some really really old flower-shaped purple eyelets on it, though...does that count?? (sorry, pearl--i'll do better next time!) anyway, here's the card:

(patterned paper: sei, basic grey, anna griffin; tag: oriental trading; letters: dcwv, american crafts; eyelets: making memories; trims: queen & co; making memories; other: colorbox inks, jewelcraft gems, foam tape) (please note the green tag and the background of the grapes paper not only DON'T clash in real life, they actually go together quite nicely also, the card is not crooked. i could NOT get a good picture of this sucker no matter what i did, so finally i gave up! )