Sunday, November 29, 2009

look what followed me home, can we keep him??!

the other day while i was out walking i saw this little puppy

he was on his own and seemed a bit lonely, so i called to him

and asked if he wanted a new home

he said yes, so he's going to go and live with our eldest niece, jessica!

(i'm sending this book along too, so she can make him some little friends!)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

yet another sketch-based xmas card

my motto is, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" and since the method of making holiday cards based on sketches is currently working REALLY well for me, i see no reason to mess with that. this time i've used kazan's sketch 40:

2S4Y's sponsor for this week's challenge is JustRite Stampers and the design team made wonderful use of the large round element in kazan's sketch to show off some of JustRite's mix-n-match sets. getting in the spirit, i decided to break out my 3.25" Christmas Stamp Ensemble...which seems to have been discontinued since the last time i posted about it. ah well, there are plenty of other JustRite Christmas Sets from which to choose, and at the moment they are 20% off!

i had a bit of trouble photographing this baby, for one thing, the handstitching doesn't seem to show up very well. for another, in real life, the pink circle element DOES NOT CLASH with the rest of the card. but i'm out of photo-fussing time for today, so you're just going to have to trust me rather than the pics on those two points, ok?!

(patterned paper: we-r-memory keepers, basic grey, prima, plus some papersource red glitter giftwrap & some dcwv white glitter cardstock; glossy white cardstock: ranger; christmas stamp ensemble: justrite; ink: staz-on & psx; embossing powder: psx; swirly rub-on with gems: k&co; embroidery floss: dmc; seedbeads: mill hill; adhesives: tombow monorunner, scotch tape, 3m foam tape; hint for getting stuff to stick to glittery paper: it WON'T, you have to cheat! cut your mat to the right size, use a craft knife or punch to remove the center portion of the mat, and adhere with tape!)

i discovered these chrismas papers from we-r-memory keepers last year, and i love 'em. not only are they BEAUTIFUL, they're also super-clever: they have one 12x12" pattern on the entire front, but on the back they've got four different, coordinating 6x6" squares! how brilliant is that for card-making??!
you can see that i've used the red square for my background; rather awesomely it ALREADY HAD the corner element from kazan's sketch built right into the design! i stamped the snowflake from my JustRite Christmas Ensemble onto some subtle patterned prima paper, and embellished the inner snowflake with stitching and clear beads, and the outer ring of snowflakes with white beads.

the "happy holidays" sentiment looked pretty good in the original red ink, but it didn't quite stand out as much as i wanted, so i went back and stamped it again and embossed using white powder; then i neatly cut out just that bit and mounted it on foam tape over the original section of the stamp. i finished off the card with a pretty, swirly jewel-bedecked rub-on, and looked good...but i thought it needed one more little touch, so i poked a few holes and added some complementary hand-stitched swirls to the design. et voila!

Friday, November 27, 2009

MORE awesome happy mail!!!

you may remember that my lovely blogging friend leah the orange won my favorite things blog candy giveaway a couple of weeks ago. well she sent me an unbelievably cool thank you card, so of course i have to show you:

isn't it AWESOME?! it's got loads of hot pink and bling and possibly the best sentiment EVER! but that wasn't the only thing she sent! noper...leah decided to send me some of HER favorite scrappy things--wouldja LOOK at this loot??!

there are postcards... (which i didn't even know leah knew i collected!) ...and cool kraft labels, the most awesome newsprint ribbon, a variety of FAB stickers, grungeboard hardware, tickets, and some gorgeous patterned paper...including one with a background of CLOUDS!!! that leah, she's a goooooood picker, i tell ya! :)

thank you thank you thank you
oh smashing orangey one!!!

(ok now clear off, you lot...i gots NEW STUFFS to play with!!!) :)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

happy thanksgiving!

personally, i am not a fan of pumpkin pie*, so in my opinion, "nawt pie yet" is indeed the perfect state to which pumpkins ought aspire. i realize i am in the minority on this issue, so i do hope your pumpkin IS pie already, if you like it that way; and that whether or not you are celebrating thanksgiving today, your day is a particularly lovely one...

...preferably involving the pie of your choosing!

*i don't like carrot cake, either...or any sweet made from rhubarb. imo, vegetables should play to their strength and remain sidedishes, leaving the dessert realm to those better qualified to pull it off successfully: fruits, nuts, chocolate and so forth. but that's just me. :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

head's up

or in this case, HEADER'S up. the new blog header, i mean. when i looked back through last year's posts for 52Q-question #43, i realized that the paper-pieced one with the deer was made in october of 2008...and much as i still loooooove that thing, an entire year is a bit long on one artwork, imo! since i've been having so much fun choosing and playing with digi-elements, i decided to make something a little different.

so whaddaya think?

(materials: my real-life notebookpaper collage, scanned, cropped & resized; digi elements: chandelier image & shadow: scrap-n-fonts; hipster plumes korners & edges no.4: anna aspnes, designer digitals; damask brush & inked edges tool kit: house of 3; fonts: bleeding cowboys & broken 15)

i think it's kind of fun and dramatic and a bit wintery. i used my notebook paper collage as the base... (however this is not THE thing i told you about that i had in mind; that's still coming, after the person whose birthday card it is receives it, probably next week) ...some assorted digi-stuffs, and a couple of my favorite fonts. i'm pretty pleased with it, actually.

i have a new avatar pic, as well. which i didn't need to post here...but somehow i can never figure out how to get it to load on the sidebar without linking to it online. so it's here.*

i'm definitely going back to changing my header out every 3 or 4 months, though. i think it's more fun to have lots of different ones which rotate; some created digitally and others made the old fashioned way. maybe the *next* one will have monstas??! ;)

*eta half an hour later: my photo is HERE...where it's not is on my sidebar...and in the course of trying to PUT IT on my sidebar, i have managed to make my profile inaccessible! (even though when i access it through dashboard, the "make profile accessible" box *IS* checked. and i saved it. abuncha times.) and i am completely out of time for this now until the weekend. arrrrgh. blogger...some days it's WORTH EVERY PENNY, eh?! (arrrrgggggh!)**

**eta--AGAIN--an additional hour after THAT: i managed to nip back online for 15 min and i *think* i've fixed everything now. my profile's re-linked, and my photo is (finally) on there. it's HUUUUUUUUGE, but i'll worry about that at a later date. surely someplace in the world it's an acceptable hour at which to have a margarita. i'm off to find that place! :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

can you tell i was feverish when i made this??!

maybe just a smidge, right?! ;)

well, i was feverish...and achey...and grumpy...and possessed of a runny nose & hacking cough. which is why i was home on a day that lovely husband jeff was at work. which is how i could make a card for him that would actually be a surprise! (99% of my cardmaking takes place in the living room whilst sat next to the man in front of the tv!)

(monstas cut from paperchase giftwrap; page from an old book; ranger glossy cardstock; dcwv glitter cardstock; (which... HOORAY!... i've finally found a way to really PERMANENTLY attach stuff to it: helllllllllo, sewing machine!!!) sei & wordsworth letter stickers (each practically old enough to be considered "vintage", lol!) plus a few vinyl letters from staples; tombow mono runner & 3m foam tape adhesives)

LHJ and i don't generally "do" gifts to each other on our birthdays, christmas, etc. which other people tend to think is a bit sad, but here's our thought process: we are so amazingly, wonderfully, hugely FORTUNATE as to not really *need* anything. we have lovely and amazing friends and families who show up on our big occasions wth presents and cards and treats-a-plenty. when we were first married, we bowed to the pressure of "it's-a-holiday-GO-BUY-A-GIFT!" and, i mean, you've BEEN THERE, right?! yeah. it ain't pretty.

so we resolved: SKIP the big occasions...but...when either of us happens upon something we think the other will love, we buy it & give it, right then, for no particular reason. or...when either of us happens upon something we *personally* want (but can't realllllly justify buying) we get it anyway... and then go home and thank the other for the thoughtful gift! :)

of course, we don't *IGNORE* birthdays or anniversaries! instead of presents, we hide little notes, or candies, in each other's lunches, or cars. there are phone calls at work, or appallingly-sung messages left on the home machine as a surprise. post-it-note banners have been known to appear on the bathroom mirror just before dawn. excursions are made to favorite restaurants, or to the beach, or a museum. i draw monstas with funny greetings. jeff stops at wegman's and gets all the ingredients for my favorite dinner. it's completely different than what everyone else does...but it works for US!

having said all that, it just so happened that i stumbled upon two things in the last two weeks that i KNOW jeff would really like AND i had excellent coupons in my hand both times. so it seemed silly NOT to grab up the newest nigella cookbook and a tony bourdain dvd!

and now, before i sign off for the day, i'am going to shock you by showing a use for my beloved paperchase MONSTA giftwrap that i've never attempted before:

i have actually
(& it worked really well, actually!) :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

i went a little kerrrrrr-AAAAAY-zee!

(i know, i know--*SO* unlike me!)

you know what those physic dudes say: "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." yesterday i showed you a card that was calm, restrained, and full of restful white space. this one isn't ANY of those things, which is quite hilarious when you consider that i made it using scraps from the other one.

but i've got ahead of myself. first the sketch:

it's this past week's super sketchy sunday (day 260) from 365 cards, and i LOVE IT. i'll be using this again for sure. though perhaps not quite as...ahem..."exuberantly" as this:

(patterned paper: paper co, dcwv, vintage sheet music; cardstock: core'dinations & staples; frosted acrylic: shortcuts; rub-ons & gem flourishes: prima; diecut snowflake & brad: making memories; ink: colorbox & bazzill; adhesives: tombow mono runner, gluedots, 3m foam tape; other: sewing machine, edge distresser, basic grey chipboard snowflake used as a template)

i have to say this was one of the most fun cards in the world to make! i'd pre-cut the snowflakes earlier in the week (more on that in a minute) and i had the scraps from the layered tree card sitting next to me. the prima rub-ons were brand new... (someday SOMETHING made by prima will stay intact for more than a day in my house!) ...and i knew immediately i wanted the outflung flourishy bits from the sketch to be crystals.

it took me a few minutes to figure out how i could *support* the crystals if they were going to flourish themselves right off the card base, but as soon as i found a leftover sheet of shortcuts' frosted acrylic, i was good to go. i affixed the gems to the snowflake, starting in the center, and then when i got out to the edge i placed a larger-than-necessary bit of acrylic under the snowflake to catch the "overhanging" ones. i anchored the acrylic securely to the back of the flakewith gluedots, and then trimmed carefully around each flourish. et voila!

finally, two words about said gorgeous snowflake: NEVER AGAIN. i traced a basic grey chipboard ornament that i absolutely adore, and i LOVE the result, but cutting this baby out was a B*TCH and a half. you know me, my middle name is "fussycutting" but yeeeeeeowza! all those little curls and curves and reverses which make it look so lovely and so intricate were waaaay too much on the old carpals. i cut three layers of this at once...and two of 'em are on this card. the third will show up at some point and then i will...regretfully...go back to ordinary store-bought flakes!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

keep the xmas card sketches coming, wouldja please?!

because they are definitely helpin' me get going on the holiday greetings!!! for example, this sketch:

card positioning systems' #142, to be precise, was of invaluable assistance last night in the making of this card:

(patterned paper: paper co, k&co, doodlebug, basic grey, love elsie, vintage ledge & a bit of plain white computer paper; cardstock: staples; big honkin' felt rickrack: american crafts; metal snowflake & gem brad: making memories; snowflake sticker: k&co; ink: bazzill; embroidery floss: dmc; adhesives: tombow mono runner, 3m foam tape, gluedots)

as you can see, for the first time in about 3 weeks, i have *NOT* machine stitched on this card. nope. i went back to hand-stiching! ( just needed *something*...but there's a practical reason, too--that gauzy india paper makes it rather hard to adhere anything securely on top!) i am quite pleased with the newest version of my torn-layers xmas tree, as well (fair warning: you'll be seeing THIS again, folks!) : i traced a bazzill "big chip" for the cute shape, used a whole bunch of tiiiiiiiiny green scraps to build the layers from the bottom up, inked very lightly in medium gray around the edges and popped the whole thing on foam tape. the white background was a complete accident--i was headed in a totally different direction--but when i found this piece of filmy sparkly goodness, i did an abrupt about-face. i love the finished product, i think it's almost a bit heidi van laar-ish*, don't you??! :)

check another card off the BIG LIST, missus claus!!!


*HAPPY BIRTHDAY, heidi!!! ♥♥♥

Friday, November 20, 2009

it's not officially the holiday cardmaking season until i've made the first monsta card

ok, *NOW* it's officially the holiday cardmaking season!


the eagle-eyed sketch fanciers amongst you will have spotted that my card is based on laura's awesome sketch #39 from 2sketches 4you:

speaking of 2S4Y, imagine my surprise when i stopped by the other day to grab the sketch and discovered my photo underneath this cool badge:

quite a fabulous honor, for which i thank kazan and laura! it's also a lovely coincidence, since, as a matter of fact, this blogger 's 2S4Y!


(materials: monsta cut from paperchase giftwrap; patterned paper: dcwv, vintage ledger paper, paper source glitter giftwrap; glitter cardstock: dcwv; santa hat sticker: recollections; metal snowflake: making memories; fibers: basic grey; snowflake sticker: k&co; fuzzy heart brad: doodlebug; ink: colorbox; adhesives: tombow mono runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine...and yes, at some point i will stop sewing on EVERY SINGLE CARD...perhaps early in 2010...2011 at the *very* latest...)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

the sandpiper makes his greeting card debut!

(before we get going, lemme just warn you: i am inordinately...some might say OBNOXIOUSLY...pleased with this card, as the following post makes all too clear. if you're not in the mood for braggy, self-satisfied, blog is NOT the place for you today. of course, in the time it took me to write this disclaimer, i *could* have just toned down the post, couldn't i? and yet i did not. go figure.) :)

you may remember that a week or so ago i received an awesome sandpiper stamp hand-carved by the lovely gina of tyggereye art. i don't think i mentioned at the time that one of the reasons i had to have this particular stamp is that, as soon as i saw it, it reminded me very strongly of some pics i took in florida a couple of years ago at a beach LHJ & i visited near the home of my late maternal grandparents. when i saw the stamp, the memory of that particularly happy evening came rushing back to me, and i knew right away i wanted to make a card which combined gina's beautiful drawing with one of my photos, and some fun vintagey bits. i don't always have a perfectly clear destination in mind when i start making a card, but this time i did, and somehow i was confident that i would also be able to translate what was in my head onto the page.

and i was *RIGHT*!!!
wanna see?

(hand-carved sandpiper stamp: tyggereye art; beach photo: lauren (printed on kodak premium gloss paper & then distressed); vintage bits: text from a russian book, sheet music, copper metallic ribbon, shells from a rummage sale necklace; patterned paper: graphic 45, paper company, current; cardstock: staples; inks: ranger & colorbox; coloring of bird: copic markers, prismacolor pencils, staz-on (white) & bazzill (dark grey around edges) ink pads, uniball white pen for eye; adhesives: xyron, uhu gluestick, tombow mono runner, 3m foam tapehot glue gun; other: sewing machine, edge distresser, clear glitter glue)

one of the things of which i am most proud on this card is my coloring. i've confessed this before...and you'll have noticed yourself...i am generally *not* a great colorer, when it comes to shading, and putting in highlights and blending and so forth. but this time i wanted to be as realistic as possible*--and actually, gina has carved so much detail into the feathers and around his little eye, that it wasn't at all difficult to see exactly WHERE i should put which color. also, i happened to have one of my bird books out for something else, and being able to look at a real sandpiper gave me the rest of the info i needed.

photo of actual sandpiper...check
(tacky) necklace made of (cool) tiny shells...yes, please!

here's a close up of the sandpiper (mounted on foam tape for extra dimension) which also features the ribbon, shells & stitching:

after printing my 4 x 6" pic on glossy photo paper, i sanded and distressed the edges before tacking it with tiny dots of adhesive to a torn mat of vintage sheet music and a neatly trimmed piece of patterned paper. then i machine stitched as close to the photo's edge as possible to secure the layers. in retrospect, i realize that sub-consciously i used laura's sketch 38 again when i stitched a vertical panel to the spine edge of the card before applying the finished panel (but then, it's absolutely NEVER a bad idea to emulate ANYONE from 2S4Y, is it??!) and after i hand-cranked the sewing machine to attach my scrunched up length of vintage metallic ribbon, i hot glued the tiny shells in place.

of course the only possible destination for such a card would be the stamp artist herself, so i immediately sent this baby off to gina, who, i am happy to report, has received him safely and given him a very good home! i still have a few additional sand-piper-based ideas...which i will probably not get to until after xmas...but somehow i think this one will always have a special place in my he{art}!!! ♥

*by which i mean, "as realistic as possible given that i have stamped him on a page from a beautifully yellowed old russian-language machinists' manual." obviously. :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

52Q: 45 (song)

it's hard to believe we're down to single digits for 52Q now...and even harder to believe that the deadline for xmas cards, gifts, shopping, packing, and mailing is several weeks less than that! but let's take a deep breath and go back into "holiday denial state" for a few blissful moments longer whilst we consider last week's card, eh?!

question 45: "which song do you have on repeat right now?"

(patterned paper: love elsie fabric paper with clouds, (this is my biggest "discontinued product regret" in the whole world...WHY did ki *not* keep this stuff in print??!?!) basic grey, cd advertisement, vintage sheet music; cassette tape rub-ons: hambly; brads: hot off the press; journaling spot: making memories; other: colorbox inks, manual typewriter; adhesives: uhu gluestick, tombow monorunner)

text reads, "on a continuous loop, every single night at bedtime...BUDDHA LOUNGE"

ok, so mine's not a song, as such, it's a genre: i have to have soft music at night. if it's too peppy, it keeps me awake. if it's elevator-y & annoying, it keeps me awake. if it has lyrics in english, i will start mentally "singing along", for which i am almost always...wait for it...AWAKE.* as you can imagine, this considerably limits the cd choices! i have a lot of classical, (i really love this set...though i didn't pay ANYTHING LIKE this price...i guess it's out of print?) and then around the holidays i have classical and sort of historical christmas cds, (this one from the metropolitan museum is a big fave!) and just recently, i've discovered the buddha lounge series and currently i'm rather hooked on those!

*are you sensing a trend here? i am NOT a great sleeper. never have been. hardly anyone in my family is. (arrgh.)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

owlways happy to get mail!

my lovely blogging friend amanda surprised me with this fabulous card the other day:

don't you just love that adorable owl? my favorite part is his (or her? oof--sorry, madam!) eyes--they're little black pearls and they just give that cute face such instant dimension and expression. (i'm definitely getting some of those ASAP!)

as if getting an awesome handmade "just because" card wasn't enough, amanda made me some verrrrrrrrry cool holiday tags, as well:

aren't they pretty? i love their clean graphic style!
amanda makes loads of fun things out of paper...and you should SEE what this girl can do with *felt*!!! but don't take my word for it, check out her blog and etsy shop!

thank you very VERY much indeed, miss amanda!

(i don't care what ANYBODY says...i would let
you babysit my pets ANY TME!)
(ok, i *might* get them GPS collars, first!)

Monday, November 16, 2009

my amazing psychic powers have divined...

...that the author of this lol:

has at least two children.
probably boys.

happy monday, darlings!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

it's beginning to look a *LITTLE* like christmas!

thanks to kazan's sketch #39!

lovely, isn't it?

for a while there, it was also beginning to look a little like i wasn't going to finish in time to meet this week's 2sketches4you deadline, but i pulled it off at the very last minute. here's my card:

(vintage sheet music and illustration from dickens' "a christmas carol"; patterned paper: love elsie & bo bunny, cardstock: coredinations; border strip: my mind's eye; sparkly branches: martha stewart; poinsettias & holly leaves: prima; brads: making memories; wordfetti sticker: 7 gypsies; ink: bazzill; pen: copic; adhesive: tombow monorunner)

loads of vintagey xmas bits, a few older scrapbooking products, plus a few newer ones; lots of layers, a little machine stiching, et voila! let the christmas card making begin in earnest...and also here in new jersey!!! :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

playin' with: WATERCOLORS!

lately, art-wise, i've been doing a lot more essperimenting than completing stuff. the combination of some free time, a considerable backlog of "art play" ideas, and the new art journal has been a real tonic to me! blog-wise, i'm pretty sure this means you'll be subjected to more ramblings like this where you don't get to see a completed project, just lots of half-formed ideas and funky weird stuff; but that's what i've got right now, so that's what i'm goin' with. having said that, if you decide to skip this post and head right to the lolcats today...i totally understand!

my favorite thing about watercolors is how the color is floaty, and uneven, and so beautifully has a mind of its own! coincidentally, this is also my LEAST favorite thing about watercolors. (it sort of depends on the day!) i am (slowly, sloooooowly) starting to get an idea of how to make things lighter or darker and how to keep the colors separate or make them more blendy. sort of. a bit. at the same time i am embracing their funky unpredictable nature! (this is BY FAR the easier of the two!)

here's a little scene i painted, it started out just on the envelope... (which was from my credit card statement; but i decided it'd make a nice pocket for some longer journaling*) ...and then i decorated the card inside...and finally i decided to do the page before i attached the rest. there's some hand stamping here, as well, and some verrrrrrrry old glitter-rub ons that adhered imperfectly, and some doodling. the text on the pull-out card reads, "why is hidden journaling *SO* irresistible? because it's HIDDEN...duh..."

here's something i've always wanted to try...extending an existing scene into my own page. in this case it's a magazine photo of a sailboat. i was playing with the cuttlebug's mosiac embossing folder and it made this neat tiled effect...then i tore around the edges to make it like an old ruined fresco...then i glued it down and painted around it. at the end i used a white uniball pen to make the horizon and the white line in the foreground (where the photo stopped & the advertising began in the mag) and then at the very end i wasn't sure if it was done or not, so i outlined everything in black...which, in retrospect, i don't really like very much. but that's how these journal escapades go...i don't PLAN fact i try consciously NOT TO plan, just to let them evolve. because in the end the playing part matters much more to me than the finished page.

this next one isn't actually in the journal--at some point i think i will probably make a card out of this, which is why i haven't glued it into my book. i tried out the cool "seashells collage" folder that stef sent me on a piece of core'dinations' whitewashed cardstock . i embossed the image, then ripped around the edges, sanded the raised bit of the image, and did a little bit of inking here and there. and it looked gooooooood...but i still thought it needed i got out the watercolors and started dabbing 3 or 4 shades of blue and purple around randomly. i put some on...and wiped it off...mixed the colors up...added a bit...take some more off... until, at the end, i was really happy with it.
this next one is the weirdest, and thus my favorite. :) i have a SERIOUS art crush on dina wakley and am MASSIVELY inspired by her fabulous, free, colorful style; this page is my art brain "on dina"! i cut hearts out of scrap-paper and stuck them down with removable adhesive. i watercolored big outward halos of pinks and reds, then removed the masks and painted inside them with a mixture of gesso & acryllic paint. i stamped with bubblewrap and an empty paper towel roll in dark red, then i stamped with a music stamp in a flourish in shades of pink, and finished by randomly flicking the watercolor brush at the page. somehow the bubblewrap pattern looked like rosebuds to me, so i added some pen doodles, and wrote my journaling, and at the very end i did a little handstitching.

and that's about it for today, i think. so tell me:

what have YOU been playing with lately??!
(share, share!!!)

*side note about hidden journaling: you know how art journal people are always saying that they use their journals to express & work out all their negative thoughts & feelings? well, i was pretty dubious on this point, for myself--i thought, if anything, it'd make whatever negative things i expressed even more concrete and i'd be stuck with them forever! but on this particular day i was VERY hurt and angry indeed, and decided to give it a go. i wrote down all of the mean, nasty, unkind, ugly things i was thinking...and then...i stapled the card shut and started decorating and embellishing and doodling and...well, i bet i spent an hour from start to finish. and at the end of it...i'll be darned...i seriously did feel MUCH BETTER. now, when i look at this page, i can remember what i wrote and why...but i don't really FEEL it in the same upsetting way, because somehow the ART part outweighs the JOURNALING part. interesting, no?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

happy mail is here again! :)

so i ordered an unbelievably cool sandpiper from my very favorite stamp designer in the whole wide world... (the lovely and amazing gina of tyggereye art!) ...and it arrived yesterday. it's even cooler irl than it looked on her etsy, which is saying something, i assure you!

gina made me a beautiful card, as well. she is my hybrid design heroine for both cards and LO's, not to mention art journaling. i am constantly seeing things on her blog that i just want to flat-out copy! (like this...and THIS!!!)

and as if THAT wasn't enough, she made me some utterly AWESOME christmas tags! (which i will try VERY HARD to actually use on gifts for other people...though possibly not THIS year!)

thank you thank you thank you miss gina,
you rock in every conceivable way!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

52Q: 44 (decision)

two weeks in a row being up-to-date on 52Q??!?! yeah, i can't believe it either. but this week's was quite an easy one and i made a really simple digi-card and that was that. caught-uppy-ness, come to mama!!! :)

question 44: how do you make decisions?

(software: broderbund printshop; fonts: brando, amaze; photos from t'internet)

text reads, "I think & over-think. I analyze & consider & make lists of all the pro's & con's. After I've looked at the problem from every conceivable angle, I put the whole thing out of my mind for a couple of days. Then the next time I think about it, I go with my gut instinct......and it's almost always right."

unusually for me, this one is pretty plain, but it says what i wanted to say, and it looks ok, and they can't all be super-complicated mini-masterpieces. bring on week 45...i'm *READY*!

Monday, November 9, 2009

both sides now*

the other day june asked me how i conceal the adhesive inside clear cards, and as i was getting ready to email her back, i realized that this might make a good blog post. (ok, ok, what i actually realized was i didn't HAVE a blog post, but with some judicious padding and a few pics i could make this into one. so i did. sometimes it's THAT SCIENTIFIC, folks.) :)

before we get started, i need a favor, please: i need you to pretend that these photos are somewhere near consistent in lighting. or at least not embarrassingly bad and awful. yes, i know they ARE embarrassingly bad and awful--in fact i've bumped the contrast up in some of 'em to make the adhesives as visible as possible; but since they're only for illustrative purposes, work with me, ok? thanks.

right, so the question was, "how do i conceal the adhesive inside clear cards?" and the short answer is, i don't. or at least not completely. anticipating the follow up question, "doesn't that bother you?" nope. i don't really worry about it, and here's why: most "civillians" (aka--non craftees) just do not look closely enough to notice! seriously. trust me. trust me!

having said that, i do try to minimize the appearance as much as possible. which is one of the reasons i prefer printed transparencies to plain for card bases...adhesive is a lot less noticeable when there's something else going on. case in point, my 2S4Y sketch card from this weekend. would you like to see the back?

can you see the adhesive?? cause all i've done is tombow around the edges, as neatly and as straight as possible. g'head, click the photo bigger if you want. irl, it's visible...but it's pretty faint. and it's done quite neatly. and it's the back of the card.

wanna see the inside? here ya go:

this time, i've used rectangular pieces of foam tape on the flowers and the journaling card. it's 100% visible. but it's placed among rectangular lampshades and couches and so forth, so i don't THINK it's the first thing you notice. actually, if i had really cared about it, i could have placed my foam bits carefully *ON* the couches, etc; which are completely opaque.

if you look to the right, you see the back of my handstitching which follows the scalloped trim; and again, it's unconcealed. i could've used holbein stitch to make the back look exactly like the front. if it was in the middle of the card, or on a clear transparency, i might have; but it's tucked way into the spine, so i just made sure i started and ended neatly, and took care weaving in my ends.

here's a different clear card that i made in august. this transparency has less printing on it:

this time, you can definitely see the line of the tombow runner. you can see the hardware end of my brad. you can see the clear gluedot stuff they put on the back of gem flourishes. does it look awful?? ok, i realize it's entirely possible that it DOES LOOK AWFUL to you, in which case i'll have quite helpfully convinced you never to embark on clear cards. you're welcome! :)

here's an even more glaring example, in a card from last spring (which uses one of gina's AWESOME hand-carved stamps, btw!):


ok, so i made a neat rectangle, which is centered and lines up with the grid. other than that, i am utterly unapologetic. because i happen to LIKE the look of the raised panel on the outside more than i DISLIKE the foam tape on the inside. if martha stewart wants to show up at my door with a tastefully decorated truncheon and the miranda warning embroidered on a cushion, i'll go quietly. whilst you savor that mental picture ask yourself how i got the lace cardstock on there, though...

and the answer is: i xyroned it! in my case, more for easy even coverage than anything else. but i think you'll agree, THAT really is verrrrrrrrrry hard to see, even irl. it's probably impossible in the photo. which proves that if you DO care about how the inside looks, the problem is not insurmountable. howsabout a side-by-side (by-side) comparison on a CLEAR transparency:

far right: tombow. VERY visible indeed through the unpatterned acrylic. even i don't care for this.

center: xyron. there's maybe a slight shadow; more of a darkening of the paper color, which is even all-over the shape. i'm fine with it.

left: i've lined up and glued a circle of the exact same size to the inside of the card. they cover each other precisely, so that there is not a bit of glue to be seen anywhere; yep, it's the ultimate disguise.

so what have we learned?

that "invisible" adhesive is possible with a little pre-planning?

that visible adhesive isn't the end of the world?

that lauren will go a long, LONG way to make a blog post outta NUTHIN'?


*with no disrespect to judy collins, this is one of my all-time LEAST FAVORITE songs. rounding out the top five in this category: "send in the clowns", "midnight at the oasis", "wind beneath my wings", and last, but by no means least, "my heart will go on". of course, merely by mentioning them, i will have every one of these songs stuck in my head for all eternity. i blame celine dion. for all of it. i suspect she's had a hand in global warming, too. somebody call al gore & turn her in, ok?! :)