Sunday, November 30, 2008

no card left behind!

'member monsta thanks from last week, that i made a while ago and forgot to post??

did it again.

this one is s a *timecard* CARD...geddit??!
and yes, it has a(nother) monster onnit.
(not to worry...there are actually EVEN MORE monstacards on the way...b/c you know me: when i get obsessed...i get OBSESSED!) :)

(vintage timecard, eyelet lace & slide mount courtesy of the lovely debb--thank you!!! vintage sheet music & russian text from my own stash; monster cut from paperchase giftwrap; pink sparkly paper: doodlebug; flowers: prima; bling frame: heidi swapp; rub-on: american crafts; epoxies: michaels $-spot; inks: colorbox; other: dymo labels, foam tape)

this time i used the timecard as my card base...and i really love how it came out, although, as usual, in my "more-is-more" embellishment enthusiasm, i fear i have covered up way too much of it! (sigh) luckily, a bit more shows on the back:

apart from the vintage goodies, i have used mostly scraps and leftover bits to make this little greeting, which is only fitting as it's a card for my dear friend, the simply elegant june houck. now, if you don't know her, you may be wondering, "what makes june such a lovely lovely lady?" so let me give you just one small example: suppose she knows you like daniel craig...and daniel craig is featured in the parade magazine that comes with her sunday paper...she will email to check if you have seen it...and if not...she will send you hers. but she won't just cut out the article and fold it into an envelope--no sirree bob! not when said british stud crumpet is the cover boy! no, she will sandwich said magazine neatly between two sheets of cardboard, wrap the whole thing in brown paper, and stamp it "do not bend" to ensure that mr. craig will arrive unshaken, unstirred and unwrinkled!

and that, darlings, is what you call


Friday, November 28, 2008

this year, black friday is officially renamed:

pink-n-green sketch card friday!!!!!
(a trend i am sure is just moments from catching on all across the usa!)

yes, having finished kazan's fabulous sketch 14 over at 2S4Y

i am pleased and proud to show you this:

(vintage xmas postcard & sheet music from my stash; cardstock: core'dinations; patterned paper: love elsie & flair designs; cardstock stickers: pebbles inc & making memories; other: foam tape, colorbox inks, zig pen)

once again i have flipped the sketch left-to-right; this time it was at the very last minute when i realized that lining my items up in the other direction not only covered up the adorable reindeer's adorable tail; it also created an unfortunate text accident: the postcard covered up
just enough of the text on the love elsie paper that instead of "noel, noel, noel" it just said, "no no no"...which isn't particularly xmassy, now is it?! :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

thankfullness, i haz it!!!

for friendship:
for family:
for love:
on this very
happy thanksgiving day
wherever you are
(whether you are celebrating or not!)
i wish you all of these
and more!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

she's right you know, he's no john nettles!

missus trash sent me this on friday. i'd've posted it sooner, but i only just now stopped laughing enough to be able to type!

i don't want to ruin it by telling you anything about said video, so i will just say that it's a clip from the catherine tate show's comic relief's about 5 minutes's G- or PG-rated at most...and if you have any medical conditions which might be complicated by hysterical and prolonged bouts of hilarity, you should probably watch it in a doctor's office. oh yeah...there's another (unrelated) clip, from the same special...which features david tennant, that i also found very amusing indeed; that can be found here, should you need it.

happy tuesday, darlings!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

monsta thanks

lemme ask you this: does anyone else ever make a card they totally love...and photograph it...and send it off excitedly to its intended recipient...and then sit practically counting the minutes until said card arrives... (so that it can be posted without blowing the surprise) ...and then--here's the "does anyone else do this" part--i figure everyone has pretty much been with me until now:

totally forget all about it until two weeks later??!??!

this is not the first time i have done such a thing. i suspect it will not be the last time, either. in fact, at some point i will probably stop remembering that i forgot!!! will that be more or less upsetting, i wonder?? hmmmm...

well anyway, i apologize for the MONSTA bad lighting, but hopefully you can get *something* of an idea of the card i made for debb to thank her for the cool goodies she sent me! i typed "thanks" in lots of languages on one of her awesome vintage time cards...and of course there is a MONSTA... (this was officially the first monstacard; in case historians ever ask) ...and a bunch of other stuff. i am pretty sure she won't have received another of these...not ever!!! :)

(patterned paper: bo bunny, basic grey, cherry arte; + monster glued to index stock & cut from giftwrap; + vintage timecard; letters: k&co, miss elizabeth, ki, sei, american crafts; epoxies & stickers: mambi, best creation, love elsie, michaels $-spot; flowers: making memories; rub-ons: love elsie, basic grey; other: colorbox inks, provocraft roller stamp; zig pen, foam tape)

Friday, November 21, 2008

rein(deer) check

wouldja believe i not only got ANOTHER 2S4Y sketch card done before the saturday night deadline... (this is 2 weeks in a row, folks--i'm schmmmmokin' here!) ...but i actually made it on a WEEKNIGHT?!? (consternation! uproar!*) yes, i am kind of a superwoman, actually. thank you for noticing.

ok so first the sketch:
(miss laura's #13 for those of you scoring at home)

and then the card:
(you'll notice i have rotated the sketch 90 degrees)

(patterned paper: scenic route, love elsie, dcwv, mustard moon, sei; felt brackets: american crafts; word stickers: unknown...but probably dcwv; fabric tab: scrapworks; rub-on check mark: polar bear press; other: colorbox inks, zig pen, foam tape, piece of american crafts decorative edge paper used as template for scallops)

this cute little reindeer was cut from a gift tag... (possibly from borders after xmas the year before last, but i would not swear to it) ...he is another compromise between the monsta xmas and sensible christmas genres. i don't think there are going to be too many truly sensible christmas cards this year on my part. ah well. sensible is over-rated, innit??!

*only kristie will get this joke...and i'm fine with that...for anyone else who's interested, it's one of the least significant lines from a rather obscure monty python sketch called "dim of the yard" ;)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

photo finish!

this time those wily caardvarks are changin' it up by assigning us a PHOTO CHALLENGE! cool, no? so what do you do? well first you take a gander at this lovely photo:

then you find some feature of it which inspires you, and then you go off and make a card based on your own particular inspiration. link up your masterpiece to the fabulous caardvarks' flickr gallery by midnight, december 3rd, and then sit back and wait for the praise to start rollin' in!!! if you need a few ideas of different ways to go with this one, check out the caardvarks blog or the amazing dt cards already in the flickr gallery!

but first, do you want to see MY card for this challenge??! (say yes! say YES! plllllllllllllllllleeeeeeease say yes!!!) ok then, if you insist, i will show you:

(monster cut from paperchase giftwrap; patterned paper: crafty secrets, making memories, doodlebug, pieces of a map, american crafts, scrapbook wizard, scenic route; cardstock: bazzill; ghost heart: heidi swapp; rub-on: my mind's eye; chipboard button: love elsie; stick pins: joann essentials; epoxies: around the block; other: raffia & rickrack from my stash; colorbox inks; dymo labels; fiskars border punch)

ok, i know what you're thinking. you're thinking, "lauren has uploaded the wrong card for this challenge! there's no CORN on there...and for pete's's BLUE!!!!!!" but no. this *is* the right card and it's blue for a reason: i didn't actually have any supplies that were particularly autumnal, much less corn-based. and being deeply ensconced in "monstaphase" i really wanted to make another funky monstacard. plus, i wanted to prove that you can really turn ANY challenge into something that is YOUR style, if you're willing to think a little...and maybe go out onna limb. the scalloppy rows (made using a fiskars border punch and lined up to overlap each other) are inspired by the ears of corn. the tannish/greenish background is inspired by the husks. and the raffia is self-explanatory!

so what creative spin will YOU put on this challenge?? can't wait to see everyone's cards!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

somewhere between

sensible christmas
monsta christmas

there lies a little thing i like to call

and it looks quite a bit
like this:

(patterned paper: bo bunny, love elsie, doodlebug & a making memories journalling card which i punched into a 3" circle; flamingo: meri meri; snowflake punch: paper source; gems: mambi; rub-ons: hambly; wordfetti: 7 gypsies; epoxy sticker & ribbon: michaels $ spot; other: foam tape, scalloppy scissors, colorbox inks)

i know what you're thinking. you're thinking, "hey lauren! what on earth do FLAMINGOES have to do with christmas??!" and frankly i do not have any kind of answer for you. i just really like flamingoes... (hey--what's NOT to like about a bright pink bird??!) ...and i'm especially fond of these sparkly dimensional ones from meri meri...i bet i have gone through at least 3 or 4 packs of these in the last few years. i buy them every time i see them in a store...i never have a plan for them...and yet, somehow, they ALWAYS get used.

ok, so does anybody else do that, or is it just me? what impractical crafty things have you bought on impulse...and then made into something ♥FAB♥?

Monday, November 17, 2008

we interrupt your regularly scheduled monstaphase

to bring you an inexplicably sensible christmas card:

(patterned paper: basic grey, american crafts, sei, scenic route; tag & sparkly letters: k&co; eyelet lace & golden star bead thingie: courtesy of the lovely debb; other: colorbox inks, fiskars scalloppy border punch)

don't get me wrong. it's not that i didn't try to work a monster into this design! i did try...annnnnnnd try...and tryyyyyyyyyyyyy! but the card said, "nope. sorry. not this time." and stuck resolutely to its sensible christmas card guns. you've got to respect integrity like that, really. so in the end i left it alone and went forth to ply my monstas elsewhere. but don't worry...


Saturday, November 15, 2008

(told ya)

let the
monsta phase
commence!!! :)

(patterned paper: american crafts, basic grey, dcwv + red sparkly giftwrap; vintage slidemount, eyelet & rickrack courtesy of the lovely debb; monsta cut from paperchase giftwrap; puffy felt flower: paper source; chipboard button: love elsie; fibers: basic grey; stickpins: joann essentials; epoxies: around the block; other: colorbox inks, dymo labels, fiskars border punch, foam tape)
this was a super-fun, super-fast card to make! partly because i followed kazan's delightful sketch #13 from 2 sketches 4 you; partly because i had cool new stuff (monsters + vintage goodies) i was dying to use; and partly because i took a tip from the lovely june houck and grabbed my xmas paper scrap file for the card base (a pre-folded offcut from a bigger card) and the layers of decorative papers.
grand total of xmas cards made to date: ...ummmmmm...2...which, ok, on the downside, is only about 4% of what i need...but on the upside, represents a 50% increase over last week!
hope the weekend finds you well and brings you LOTS of time to make stuff!!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

here be (adorable) monsters

i think i feel a new obsession coming on!
i bought a roll of fabulous paperchase giftwrap at borders last week. (30% off--cha-ching!) i wrapped a few birthday presents, then glued the offcuts to index stock and started cutting the monsters out. c' freakin' cute are they??

i have the feeling we'll be seeing quite a bit more of these fellows...and soon... ;)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

i'd like to thank the academy...

oof! hang on a second. wrong award. apparently i have *not* won an oscar, afterall. in fact, it seems that they don't even have a "BEST CARD" category! you have to make a film or something. what's THAT about??!

luckily, my lovely blogging friend amy has given me this prize, instead:

which i think you will agree is much *prettier* than that rather vulgar golden statue thingie anyhow! my only worry now is: will daniel craig still be attending the ceremony??! yeahhhhhhhhhhh...bound to be!

thus i say to amy thank you very VERY much, and right backatcha!!! (if you haven't been to her blog, you must go now; this very talented lady, amongst other things, is a such dab hand at minimalism that she makes even me--queen of "more is more"--long to be able to embrace clean lines and white space!)

and now i must nominate others. unfortunately, i have a small problem. as you know all of my lovely blogging friends are COMPLETELY AMAZING and thus choosing just five is physically impossible. therefore, in the spirit of KREATIVITY i am changin' the rules:

1. if you're reading this and would like to be tagged...YOU ARE TAGGED!

2. if you're reading this and would prefer not to be tagged...YOU ARE EXCUSED!


3. if you're NOT reading this...YOU ARE DISQUALIFIED!!!

(please note that whereas rules 1 & 2 are flexible, i will be making no exceptions to rule 3. thank you. that is all.)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

goodies galore!!!!!!!!!!

i am sure you have heard me say it before, but one of the most fabulous (& utterly unexpected) facets of blogging for me has been how many amazingly kind, talented, and friendly folk i have met! just that anyone takes the time to READ my ramblings is already lovely...then i get wonderful comments...and's sooooo cool!

as if all of that isn't wonderful enough, occasionally someone just totally BLOWS ME AWAY with their extra-special, over-and-above generosity. case in point: my lovely blogging friend debb was talking about some fabulous flea market finds she acquired recently. this little haul happened to include some vintage timecards, of being me...i naturally expressed my admiration and jealousness. the next thing i know, debb is offering to *share* them with me...and practically before i can blink there is a packet in my mailbox with NOT JUST the aforesaid vintage paper goodness, but loads of other glorious goodies. see?!

there are millinery pearls...and fun confederate money...vintage lace & trim & notions...awesome little envelopes with lines for writing cards...and the coolest cardboard slidemounts i have ever seen in my life.

can you believe it??!

i don't know what i did to deserve such largesse, but for it, and for debb, i am exceedingly grateful! ♥♥♥thank you!!!♥♥♥

and now, if you'll excuse me, there are new lovelies to be played with and i must heed their call!!! :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

hey, monday!

that's all i had to say, really
glad i got that off my chest
'cause here i come!!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

crafty obsessions

the other day my lovely blogging friend gina (aka tyggereye, if you follow caardvarks or paper adventure; you should check out her art & her etsy--she HANDCARVES her own rubber stamps, amongst other things!!!) was talking about how she goes through stages where she'll get hooked on a particular technique or style or type of craft...... (for example making 25 digital layouts in a row) ...and for a certain length of time become utterly unable to make anything else.

of course i personally could not relate to that in any way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

and now, in a totally unrelated matter, may i show you a card which encompasses my three most current addictions: the 6x6" square format...the use of a silhoutted deer in a little pastoral scene...and of course the infamous concentric circle stickers:

(patterned paper: basic grey & prima + vintage sheet music; ring sticker: memories complete; word stickers: 7 gypsies; other: colorbox inks, zigwriter pen, foam tape, ek success butterfly punch)

so my question is, do YOU go through crafty "phases"? and if so, what obsession currently holds you in its sway??!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

this was the card that almost was the card that was

for the chocolate challenge, i mean. (sorry...was that unclear in some way??!) :)

sometimes i very excitedly make an early card for a caardvarks' assignment...and then later i decide either that i don't like it very much...or i just come up with what i think is a better take on the theme. in this case, the cupcake card was both (imo) a better card generally, as well as just being waaaaaaaay more chocolatey.

but i figure i might as well show you my first effort anyway:

(patterned paper: basic grey; heart diecut: fancy pants; chipboard birds & tree trunk: maya road; other: colorbox inks, sharpie & uniball pens, foam tape; ek success heart punches & heidi swapp chipboard hearts used as templates)

these basic grey "blush" papers remind me of fancy old-fashioned boxes of valentine chocolates with their rich brown tones & faintly distressed look (which i enhanced with several shades of colorbox brown ink). i made this immediately after the g thanks card from the monogram challenge (in which various sizes of punched circles served as the foliage of a funky tree) when it occurred to me that you could make trees out of other shapes, as well. i still think the idea of hearts is a good one...but i might use a fewer of them...and possibly cluster them more closely together. it's not that i *dislike* this card-- (and in fact lovely husband jeff chose this one from a selection of several possible anniversary cards for his sister and her husband) --but i cannot help thinking it could've been a bit better...i just don't really know HOW! you have heard me say over and over again...a handcrafted card that is made and sent with love cannot help but be, by its very nature, a good thing!

speaking of caardvarks, did you notice that we have a new crew member? that's right, the lovely & amazing heidi van laar (who, amongst other things, is a new 2S4Y design team member, also!) is an excellent addition to our group and we welcome her enthusiastically! (be sure to check out the many delightful cards on her blog!)

an fyi blogger note: 'member yesterday when i "unposted" this (to get my xmas card up before deadline) and lost the two comments which had already been made?? well, it turns out they CAME BACK when i reposted!!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

it's beginning to look...

...a teeny tiny christmas! (well, ok, that's a slight exaggeration, but i have finally made ONE CARD, at least!) wanna see??! ok, but first the sketch, it's my fellow caardvark laura's #12 over at 2S4Y, and thus rather fabulous, like those tend to be:

i do the sketch most weeks...but i think i have only completed it by the deadline two or three times, so it's quite exciting to me when that happens! :)

(patterned paper: ki, love elsie, prima, making memories; transparency: hambly; ribbon slide: making memories; ribbon & felt snowflake stickers: michaels; dimennsional snowflake stickers: sandylion; circle punch: ek success; edge punch: fiskars)

you may notice that the nice vertical band on the edge of the sketch doesn't run the entire length of my card; you was getting late...i was lining up edges of four patterned papers and a transparency... (having for some silly reason decided to leave a band of white cardstock showing around the perimeter) ...and i accidentally trimmed the bottom bits the entire width of pattern instead of stopping at the green. by the time i realized they were on there--in the entirely permanent and unmoveable way that adhesive only really seems to adhere when you don't want it to--so i did what any great artist would do: left it that way and decided to call it a "design decision"!!! :)

ps: in the excitement of not only completing the card but having time to put it up this morning, i had to remove a previously scheduled post, which apparently already had two comments that i never even got to see b/c STUPIDLY i didn't realize they'd be deleted when i went back and hit "save as draft"! so i thank and apologize to whichever lovely friends that might've been! me & blogger...even after all this time...we're still gettin' to know each other over here!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

move over, daniel craig:

there's a new heart-throb in my life!
he's super-smart...he's super-cute...and now he's

i have never been more proud of my country!

...and i am not just saying that because this man was my choice...
(though emphatically, he was)

even before i knew the results of yesterday's election, there were certain things of which i was already absolutely certain: that voting would take place in an orderly and legal fashion; that however contested the outcome, any wrangling or dissent would be confined to the courtrooms and the media; and that no matter what ultimately happened, the rule of law would be observed, and there was zero chance of a coup-type maneouver taking place.

the fact that we can say that about EVERY ELECTION with 100% confidence shows what a privileged & fortunate nation we are!

the fact that we set records for voter turnout is, to me, an unbelievably positive thing. whomever had won, i would have been heartened just to think that the true will of a truly involved populace was reflected in the outcome.

the fact that both candidates made speeches of incredible graciousness and generosity gives me hope that we can all sit down together and work constructively for change that will not only benefit us now, but next year, and next decade, and in the next generation. and yes, there certainly is hard work to be done, and there are hard choices to be made.

but today, at least,
i truly do believe:
YES, we *CAN*

chocs away!!!

the new CAARDVARKS challenge is utterly irresistable: this time our theme is one of my favorite things in the whole wide world! wanna guess??

also yummy...but in this case, incorrect

no, no, no...not this time. but it's very nearly as tasty. do you give up?? ok, i'll tell you. it's

make a new card that reflects the theme in any way you'd like, and upload it to the new caardvarks flickr group by midnight on november 18th! there you can see the design team's cards as well as those of your fellow challengers, and even leave comments for your favorites, if you like!

in the meantime, here's a little peek at my card:

(my chocolate recipe: sei, paper company, ki, basic grey & core-dinates papers; vintage beads (attached with diamond glaze); michaels ribbon; sticko sentiment; colorbox inks.)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

sweet & scalloppy

recently, i fell in love with this fabulous design by lisette gibbons when it was the "bonus sketch" at 2 sketches 4 you. so naturally, as a sign of my devotion, i downloaded it immediately, printed it out...and let it sit on my desk under a pile of junk for a fortnight. :)

and then the other night i found it again and made this:

(patterned paper: crafty secrets, sandylion; journaling card: making memories; florals: heidi swapp & amanda blue; chipboard letters: target $-spot; cardstock sticker: memories complete; rhinestone frame: heidi swapp; ribbon: michaels; rub-on stitches: doodlebug; ink: colorbox; pen: zigwriter)

i am trying to get ahead on birthdays & anniversarys for the rest of the year, so that i can embark on holiday cards at some point. i am debating whether to mass-produce the latter or make them all different...probably i will do a bit of both. seeing as how it's officially NOVEMBER it is time to get serious!

Monday, November 3, 2008

round two

technically speaking, this the FIRST round card* i made. but since it was destined (rather embarrassingly belatedly) for the lovely stephanie severin's birthday, i posted the birdie one whilst i waited for this to arrive at stef's!

this is also one of my favorite things i have ever made. not to be conceited, but there ya go. you are looking at one of the rare occasions where, if an artistic fairy godperson were to materialize next to me, proffering a magic wand able to effortlessly change any aspect of my finished product, i would politely say, "no thank you".

(conversely, you know that i will always be the first to point out whatever flaws or shortcomings i can see in my work. to me, part of the process is to be able to look at finished items and assess them realistically; noting both the bits that have gone well AND the things that i'd like to do better next time. afterall, that's the only way to learn and grow, right?!)

(8" ring sticker: memories complete; patterned paper from a japanese language workbook; swirls cut from vintage sheet music (using fancy pants chipboard scrolls as a template) clipart: anahata katkin & michaels decoupage butterflies; gem flourishes: prima; inks: colorbox; the quote around the edge of the circle reads, "happiness is a butterfly, which when persued, is always just beyond your grasp; but which, if you sit down quietly, may alight upon you" --nathaniel hawthorne)

like many of my favorites, this came together quite quickly; un-like 99.9% of my projects, i started off with absolutely NO PLAN! i had just purchased the lovely black crystal flourishes & knew i wanted to use them...i found the infamous circle stickers when i was flicking through the sticker file...i had had the idea of tracing chipboard flourishes to make a low-key but fancy background a while ago, but hadn't used it yet. the quote led to the butterflies...the butterflies needed a place to perch...the whole thing needed a background. and voila it was done! i was about to say, "i wish they were all this easy!" ...except...that wouldn't be nearly as exciting, now would it?! so i will settle for 100% satisfaction being a rare and treasured treat!

*i made it about 10 days ago; coincidentally, around the same time, the bonus sketch by joke posted at 2S4Y was also for a rather FABULOUS ROUND CARD!!! (which i only saw at the end of last week) how funny is that?! clearly this is a great idea whose time has come!!! :)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

suddenly the round card seems quite sensible, doesn't it?!

in comparison with this collage i made for my friend paul, i mean. of course when you first see the photo, it just looks like it is long and narrow; there isn't really a sense of scale. so perhaps i should tell you that this baby measures 5.25 x 24 inches. ...oh yeah...and did i mention it's a birthday card??! :)

it is made entirely of images clipped from magazines, on a framework of a few overlapping sheets of extra long index stock. i THINK it is done...but there is always a chance i will go back and add a little something...we shall see.