Monday, May 31, 2010

say hello to my feathered friends!

ok, technically, they are gina's feathered friends...'cause she designed them, see??!

yes sirree, that girl is ON FIRE with the digital kits--this is her *fourth* full-sized release in just the last couple of months! you can check them all out in her etsy shop, plus she has a gorgeous and totally FREE butterfly looking glass mini-kit so that you can try out digital design before you make a commitment. (of course there are still plenty of hand-carved stamps in her etsy shop too, if you're not quite ready to make the leap!)

(all digital images from the feathered friends kit by gina cunningham, tyggereye art...printed on 3m inkjet transparency & avery full-sheet labels; handmade paper: pearl paint; patterned paper: basic grey (layered behind tree trunk) + vintage sheet music; kraft cardstock: bazzill; leaf die: cuttlebug inks: colorbox; adhesives: tombow monorunner, uhu gluestick, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)

as you know, one of my *VERY* favorite things to do when i make hybrid cards is to vary the media on which i print my elements. i think this gives a lot more variety and interest, and it sort of exponentially multiplies the things you can do with any one kit! i print on plain paper and cardstock...sticker paper (for a lovely glossy look!) ...and i especially love to print elements on transparencies!

in the card above i combined several elements of the kit using broderbund's printshop software...i placed the tree trunk on top of the green tree patterned paper, and sized everything 5x5". then, after the transparency was printed out, i layered it over some vintage sheet music.

every time i talk about printing on transparencies i get a few questions, so here are some general tips:
  • THE MOST IMPORTANT THING: you MUST use transparencies that are made for inkjet printers!!! if you try to print on hambly you are going to get an inky, smeary mess! i like these by 3m which i get much more cheaply at my local staples (ok, they're still pretty dear at nearly $40 for 50; if you've got scrappy friends maybe you can club together and share a box?)
  • be sure to print on the *TEXTURED* side! (this is the key to not side has a slightly "rough" texture to hold the ink!)
  • the above means...if you have text or anything that needs to be oriented in a specific direction, you need to select "transparency" or "iron-on" as your printing medium OR check the "print reversed" in your printer's dialog box (i actually have forgotten to do this and used the transparency anyway with the "pebbly" side up--they are too expensive to WASTE!--and you CAN get away with it...but it looks better if the shiny side is on top!)
  • when printing PHOTOS or digital patterned papers, this techniques works best on lighter, clearer images...if you have very dark or very detailed images they may lose a bit in translation (or you can lighten them a bit in photoshop!)
i hope i have inspired you to try this out...because it really is A LOT of fun! do feel free to ask for more detailed info if you need it, and i will do my best to help! ♥

Sunday, May 30, 2010

heart the art-week 22 (book)

i ♥LOVE♥ this week's HEART the ART prompt! ok, i pretty much love them every week, but this one was particularly cool: gina wanted us to record for posterity what book we are currently reading...or the latest one we loved, if they are not the same. fortunately, i am loving my current reading group book, the lacuna by barbara kingsolver, and how cool is it that frida kahlo is one of the characters, so i could use one of her self-portraits (cut from a museum brochure) on my page:

(patterned paper: daisy d's, creative imaginations, doodlebug & cross my heart; leaf stickers & butterfly punch: martha stewart; flower dies: cuttlebug; brads: oriental trading; ink: colorbox; tissue paper & decorative packing tape: michaels)

of course, the portrait took up almost the whole page! (did i mention i am finding my 4x6" pages too small?? i've decided that in future, my art journal needs to be 5x7", at least!) so i made it into a little flap using some decorative packing tape...and it's not even close to centered...and...

ok, so the logistics of this one got away from me, but i still love it anyway! i mean how can you look at frida and her parrots and NOT smile??! and the whole point of this little adventure--to me-- is to play around, try new things, work more loosely, record some stuff that's happening right now, and just generally have fun! mission accomplished! ♥♥♥

Saturday, May 29, 2010

live simply, embellish generously! :)

i'm sure we're all wishing 2sketches4you a very happy 2nd anniversary this week, and i do think kazan's celebratory sketch is particularly fab!

my card features a few AWESOME tyggereye art goodies, sent by the lovely gina as a special surprise: a fabulous fabric heart embellishment with a handmade button for one thing, and some lovely hand-dyed lace for another:

(digi elements: paris holiday kit, o'scraps; patterned paper: prima, my mind's eye, sei; gems: recollections (recolored w/copics); rub-on: fancy pants; stick pin: scrapbook creations; ink: colorbox; xl rickrack: american crafts; adhesives: tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape & gluedots)

so i didn't need to add too much more to pull the card together, and all in all i really like how it came out!

want to see what else gina sent?

more yummmmmmmmy lace...a flamingo button embellie...felt cupcakes...some awesome owl ribbon...and of course a totally gorgeous card. but wait, you haven't seen my VERY FAVORITE thing yet--it's this guy:

uh-huh. it's my very own personal watchover ninja voodoo doll!!! the package says his purpose is, "to control your frustrations with idiots and help you show patience." i've already hung him from my rearview mirror!!! :)

speaking of gina, you might remember that in our last ATC swap she made me the most awesome set of three handpainted wizard of oz cards. i got them framed, of course, but it took me a little time to choose the perfect place to hang them. i put 'em right over my computer:

here's a closeup of the piece:

believe it or not, i had it done at michael's using one of their custom framing coupons, and i could not be happier. they had a great selection of frames and mats, and sue, the woman who waited on me, could not have been more helpful! we chose a plain black leather frame and a sparkly red mat and i LOVE IT!!! thanks, g!!! :)

ps: the new HEART the ART prompt is up...and it's a goodie!!! ♥♥♥

Friday, May 28, 2010

i've been digi dabbling again

my favorite designer has a new kit coming out on monday, and everything you see here (except the font*) is in that quite a lot more! so you miiiiiight just want to check out tyggereye art over the weekend. you know, just in case there are more sneaks or something??!?! :)

*porcelain, downloaded free from

Thursday, May 27, 2010's a card!

a graduation card, for our eldest niece, to be precise! i've combined two challenges for this... papercrafts magazine go-to sketch #3, which looks a bit like this:

...and this week's jacksonbelle tuesday challenge to combine one neutral color (for which i chose white), one color other than black (for which i chose pink) and black (for which i chose black!) :) and here's my card:

(patterned paper: ki, creative imaginations, doodlebug, sandylion, 3 bugs in a rug, basic grey, making memories, prima; lace cardstock: ki; glossy black cardstock: ranger; rub-ons: basic grey, fancy pants; pearls: kaiser; ink: colorbox; text is computer generated in a free font called "quill" with a piece of printshop clipart for the hat)

i apologize for the slightly wonky photo angle, but almost everything on this is shiny, from the shimmery background paper to the sparkly butterflies...even my favorite glossy black cardstock was working against me! but i like how this came out and i hope our jessica will, too!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

this is *CRUEL*...

...and quite possibly libelous...

...but very, VERY funny!!! :)

(& i sort of don't have anything else this morning, so why not go check out the rest of the amusing photos at i has a hot dog while you're at it?!)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

from norway, with chocolate! :)

am i a lucky duck or what? this was in my mailbox yesterday:

...from my lovely friend linda! how amazingly cool is that handmade book mark?! and the prettiest paper napkins i have ever seen! (which, i kind of think some of those could wind up as experimental art journal fodder--napkins make GREAT sheer layers, kind of like tissue paper...i'm just sayin'...) oh yeah and believe it or not, it turns out there is something i like better than melkesjokolade (milk chocolate)...and that is MORK sjokolade (dark chocolate)!!!

takk, takk, TAKK, missus!!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

heart the art: weeks 20 & 21

i realized last night when i was finishing these babies up and putting them into my book that although i've completed and posted all but these two HEART the ART pages, i have not uploaded to--or visited-- the HTA flickr gallery in weeks! yikes! (if you haven't checked it out, it's well worth the trip!) ok, so it's a two-fer today on pages:

week #20--HOLD BACK:
throughout my entire life, 90% of the times i've been in trouble, it's been because of my mouth! one of my worst faults in this realm is to lose my temper and speak without thinking. it doesn't happen all that often, but when it does, the results are just never, EVER positive. i am working on it. :)

week #21: UP 'TIL NOW:
the vertigo/dizziness situation regarding lovely husband jeff is ongoing. he actually has *TWO* significant doctor appointments this week. there is a possibility that we may be closing in on the cause of his dizziness, and--here's the tricky part--if they are right, it would be a FIXABLE thing! we're trying not to get TOO excited, because we've actually had a few false starts at this which turned out to be who knows! but if anyone finds themselves with some free time on wednesday morning or friday afternoon and wants to send a few positive vibes in LHJ's direction, we will sure appreciate it! it would be SO COOL if there was a light--one that's NOT attached to a TRAIN--at the end of this tunnel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ♥♥♥

ok, well, not that i was stressing about lagging slightly behind the last few weeks, but it always feels good to be caught up at *SOMETHING* doesn't it?! ...and how especially cool to enjoy that sensation on a MONDAY MORNING, eh??!!! :)

(materials #20--charcoal illustration from art art book; flaming letters hand cut from a magazine; uniball pen; sewing machine. materials #21--brainscan photos cut from national geographic; notebook paper cut to the shape of a k&co label, matted on a scrap of glossy cardstock from an advertisement; doodlebug letters colored & outlined with copics)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

here be braggin'

for which i apologize, but i love making travel books generally, i enjoyed making the one from our recent new york trip especially, and now that it's finished i am both inordinately fond, and inordinately proud of it! the best part is, 90% of the materials which went into it were free things we picked up on the trip: brochures, menus, business cards, tourist maps, and the like...all the things a packrat like myself tends to want to amass whilst travelling were given a perfect home!

first here's the book as it looked when i left home: it's basically just 4.5 x 9" homemade chipboard covers (sized to accomodate the average tourist brochure!), and some pre-formatted pages for writing what we did each day. everything is punched and hung from a metal bookring:

i took my travel scrapping kit with me, (basic supplies packed in a plastic school box: adhesive runner, hole punch, a few pens, mini stapler, gluestick, etc) and each night i wrote down the basics of what we did on that day's page, and punched & added whatever fun things we collected. at the end of the trip it looked like this:

when i got home, i finished the writing and added a bit more "caption style" journaling with my dymo labeller. it really only took a few hours, but the few hours were spread over a week or so.

then all that remained to do was print some photos and decorate the book's cover, but that's where the project got a bit stalled, due to dithering: should i make photo collages, or single prints? should i use a panoramic format or regular 4x6's? or maybe i should i make a whole bunch of mini prints and attach them to the pages they illustrate? yeah, i got a little bogged down. then last night i suddenly got excited again and all in a rush i made my decisions and finished the book! yippee!!! :)

first, here's the cover:

i went with a subway map background. i love maps on the cover of travel books...they kind of put you RIGHT THERE again, dontcha think? a few rub-ons & dymo labels, and of course you need a centerpiece:

i got the cool diecut skyline card at the museum of modern art. i didn't want to do much to it, so i just matted it and added an equally iconic title: i love new york. ('cause i do!) but wait--you haven't seen the BEST PART yet:

yep, it UNFOLDS!!!!!!!!!! how cool is that??!?! ok, confession time: this one element cost more than everything else in the entire book--i think it was $10! i kind of had a qualm when i saw the price, but i couldn't resist; of course now that it's ON the book looking awesome, i feel like it was totally worth it!!! (on the right you can see one of several basic grey magnetic snaps which i used to keep it from unfolding constantly!)

to me a plain metal bookring just SCREAMS for ribbons...and...for something dangly! :) stef got me this awesome "NYC" compass and i knew right away it was going on my book!!! i found the mini-license plate in a souvenir shop, and the little apple is from a pack of charms i got at the ink pad.

here are a few highlights from inside the book:

at "top of the rock" they gave us these really cool booklets to identify all of the nyc landmarks. i wanted to included mine in the book, but i didn't want to punch holes in it, so i made a sleeve from the flattened out pillow box one of our desserts came in (don't worry, it's clean!) the brochure is snug enough not to move around much, but can be taken out easily.

i mentioned that the question of photos was one of my biggest debating points. finally i settled on something completely different:

i printed them on inkjet transparencies, at the same size as my hand-written journaling pages (4 x 8.5") so they would overlap...but not totally obscure...the text. as i was placing them, i discovered an added bonus: when you flip 'em over, they let the *PRECEDING* page of the book show through, too!

here's a closer look at what i collect when travelling. this stuff is from the metropolitan museum of art:

you can see my pre-made journaling page, on which i've written a bit about our visit, it has a tag from the shop and the little museum badge attached to it; there's the official brochure, plus a few poscards from the the one from the temple of dendur i've clipped a photo of stef & i which a fellow visitor was kind enough to snap for us. there's a photo of the met's mascot, william the hippo (taken by stef) printed on transparency, and the little handout from my favorite exhibit of victorian photo-collages.

finally, here's the whole sprawly thing:

i love that everything inside is a slightly different shape and size. i think it adds so much interest when you turn each page and get glimpses of what comes before and after!

thus i conclude the longest blogpost ever...only slightly shorter than the trip itself! :) thank you very much for coming along with me!!!

(materials: two layers of thin recycled chipboard xyroned together & trimmed to size to make book covers; white cardstock pages formatted in broderbund printshop; 4990810font downloaded free from; accordian-folded skyline of new york city greeting card purchased at the MoMA design store; heidi swapp chipboard letters; creative imaginations rub-ons; dymo labels; stewart superior india ink pad; basic grey, american crafts & current patterned papers; staples bookring; ribbon, rhinestone heart sticker & epoxy sticker from michaels; basic grey magnetic snaps; photos printed on 3m inkjet transparencies & kodak premium photo paper; making memories brads & paper clips; all other materials acquired on our trip...MTA subway map, postcards, business cards, menus, brochures, bits of packaging, floor plans, etc...most of these were free!!!)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

heart the art: week 19 (basis)

i really like what gina did for last week's HEART the ART prompt (#19)--but hang on and i will let her explain:

"In life there always seems to be an underlining structure to things. Plans and projects start with a base idea. Our structure starts with our bones. Houses start with the blueprint plans or next from the actual inside frame. What it bowls down to is that I wanted to make a page about the foundation of something currently in my life. The basis of a concept or idea that might not otherwise get documented and put out there. This week's heart the art prompt is... The basis of a concept/idea/plan/feelings(something)..."

i love this idea, and i really had to THINK hard about what i wanted to say. one of the underlying structures of my life and behavior is the golden rule. i try to recommit myself every day to the concept of treating people the way i would like to be treated; and (some days, more importantly!) NOT treating people in ways i would NOT want to be treated. even if they aren't offering me similar consideration. (this is crucial: you can't expect or demand reciprocality!)

of course i fail at this every single day! but then the next day i wake up and start over. ok, ok, occasionally i get discouraged and skip a day...but then THE DAY AFTER that, i wake up and start over! for such a simple and moral and ethical idea--a version of which has been found in the philosophies of almost every civilized culture and every major religion--it sure can be *DIFFICULT* to carry out!!! what's up with that??!?!?

(staples cardstock; prima patterned paper; (un-seeable) scraps of vintage text papers--sheet music, dictionary entries, foreign text, business forms, etc; heidi swapp & michaels alphabet stamps; pattern stamps: tim holtz, cherry arte, stampin up; inks: stewart superior india ink pad, ranger distress inks, colorbox chalk inks, tombow markers; rub-ons: basic grey; rhinestone heart: michaels; other: staples)

this looks like a really simple, flat, inky quick page, doesn't it??!! HA! much like its subject matter, it was A LOT more complicated than you would think! i used this very cool method (that stef found!) for making a background: i collaged scraps of lots of vintage text papers. then i gessoed. or rather, then i OVER-gessoed to the point where i obscured most of my text collage! (luckily, i saved the nun--i am very pleased about that!) then i inked & misted & background-stamped. then i hand-stamped the text. then i inked & misted & foreground-stamped. then i added some white rub-ons. and yet, it looks like a really simple, flat, inky, quick page!!! but it was all good *FUN*...which is the really important thing. and somehow, i think it kind of works for this! ♥♥♥

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

a new kit BURSTING onto the digi scene!

well, i may have already let the cat out of the bag about gina's new DINO LOVE digital kit, but today i am letting the dinosaur out of the birthday card, in honor of the official release at the tyggereye etsy shop!!!

this card is a perfect illustration of how hybrid papercrafting can get you places that neither plain scrapping or plain digi can. i love that all of the papers & images i used are 100% scalable and look utterly fabulous whether they are half an inch tall (like the dino button), or four inches wide (like the palm trees inside), ...or eight inches square (like the outer card panel) ...or...well... as big or small as i can print them! it's like having every paper collection in EVERY size--with nothing to store!

plus, i can effortlessly add text and embellishments (like the starburst through which my little friend is making his escape) right on my patterned paper*. no template, no tracing, no gluing required.

of course, i could've used drop-shadows to make a *VERY* cute and totally appealing all digital card; but to me there's no substitute for the depth and texture you get with real layers of paper. here i've popped the dino on one layer of foam tape...and raised the front panel from the back on *three* layers. the fact that i sized the palms a bit smaller and manoeuvered them into the opening adds to the feeling of movement, dontcha think?

ok, now tell the truth: as adorable as this guy is...if he wasn't leaping OUT of the card, you'd want to leap INTO it, wouldn't ya?! (yeah, me too!) i guess that's why miss gina calls it "DINO LOVE"! ♥♥♥

(all images from the dino love digital kit by gina cunningham, tyggereye art; additional materials: cry kitty font downloaded free from; pop icon brushes downloaded free from; kodak premium photo paper; staples inkjet cardstock; colorbox inks; adhesives: tombow monorunner & 3m foam tape)


*i know a lot of people like adobe photoshop, and i do own PSE5 which is a very handy and powerful piece of software, but these files will work in pretty much any graphic design or art program you have! i use broderbund's printshop 23 for 99% my digital/hybrid compositions because i find it easier to manipulate layers of papers and images (you never have to lock them to move to the next step), and because printshop assumes you will be using text in a variety of ways and makes it easy and intuitive to do so; whereas PSE's text almost an afterthought...or at least PSE assumes the PHOTOS are the stars of the show. on the other hand, printshop is *NOT* wonderful for editing photos and has NO blendable layer capability. basically what i am saying is, if you already HAVE art- or graphics software you like, try downloading a free digi-kit (like this one of gina's mebbe??!) and using it in a program with which you are already comfortable before you make a big investment of time or money in software or supplies!!! :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

the best things in life... (& in collage) ...are FREE!

case in point: here is a project of which i am VERY proud indeed, and it contains approximately $2 worth of materials*!

but first, i should say that the entire inspiration for this came from darling stef, who saw that the gothic arches challenge blog's current theme is BOLLYWOOD, and knew i would want to play! i spent most of sunday afternoon working on my collage, and frankly, it was going nowhere fast. in frustration, i decided to leave it alone, and go out for my exercise walk. while i was walking, i found an 8x10" piece of scuffed and broken 1/4" lucite by the side of the road, so OF COURSE i picked it up and OF COURSE it was the thing that made the whole collage work!!! :)

i know it sounds crazy, but see, part of what i was trying rather unsuccessfully to do was to layer magazine images copied onto transparency over other magazine images...and everything was sort of mushing together a little too much. the layer of lucite in between was just enough to give a bit of depth while still showing both images at the same time.

ok, so do you want to see the collage, then?

i hope my "arch" is prominent enough! i used one of the very cool templates provided on the gothic arches blog (donna's, i believe) enlarged to about 150% and then cut out of patterned paper so that only the FRAME of the arch remained. as usual, i got a bit carried away with my embellishing, so there is less of the outline left than i had intended!

i realize you can't really see that the whole collage is built on my piece of found lucite, so here's a better shot of the foundation:

here is a closeup that gives a better idea of how the lucite spacer helped to separate the layers. i glued my "base" (the b&w scene of lovers from a bollywood film, some hindi text from a magazine, and a few mehndi designs) to a scrap of cardstock which is attached UNDER the lucite; i glued the "middle layer" (that gorgeous transparency copy of aishwaria rai's eye's, an illustration of palm trees from a mughal manuscript & an architectural diagram from an indian travel guide) ON TOP of the lucite, but under the patterned paper arch, and then the embellishments are layered OVER the arch, and in some places, spilling onto the lucite!

i really like how this turned out and i offer my thanks to the folks at the gothic arches challenge blog for devising such a cool theme, and also to miss stephanie for pointing it out to me! ♥

*the "store-bought" materials, which all came from my stash, include 1/2 a piece of bo-bunny "gypsy" patterned paper; 1/2 a pack of michael's rhinestone flourishes; a couple of anahata katkin glossy cardstock clipart images; and 1/10th of a set of k&co "wild saffron" rub-ons. the rest of the collage consists of magazine and book images, and copies of other images made with my inkjet printer onto kodak photo paper, 3m inkjet transparency or plain paper, depending on the texture i was going for. i used a martha stewart border punch for the cool lattice look at the bottom and sides, and a combination of gluestick, adhesive runner & foam tape to attach the images. the found piece of lucite was trimmed to size by lovely husband jeff using a glass-cutting tool.

Monday, May 17, 2010

it's DINO-mite!!! :)

gina's newest digi-kit i mean. or rather i should say gina's *UPCOMING* digi-kit, since technically it's not out yet, but i got special dispensation to give you a little sneak peek!

how fun are those dinosaurs??! not to mention the word art, plus there are TWO alphas & some really cool journaling blocks. but even if you don't like ANY of that... (which frankly seems impossible to me, but let's pretend, ok?!) ...even if you don't like any of that, this kit is worth having JUST for the papers! there are a couple of totally awesome patterns, but as a matter of fact, my faves are those amazingly vivid solids! they have just enough grungy "texture" to be interesting, without overwhelming whatever they are paired with. i absolutely ♥LOVE♥ them, and i hope you do, too... 'cause i think you're gonna be seeing them a lot!

as generally happens when gina is nice enough to let me preview a kit, i just could not wait to play with it, so i used diana's current sketch from sketchy thursdays which looks like this... make a card, which looks like this:

(all images from the "dino love" kit, gina cunningham, tyggereye art; additional supplies: ranger glossy black cardstock; kodak premium photo paper; white matte cardstock from staples; foam stickers & ribbon from michaels; palm tree brad from oriental trading co; fonts--3 the hard way, 3 hour tour & bleeding cowboys--all downloaded free from; sewing machine, paper distresser, colorbox & ranger inks)

how fun is that for a little boy's birthday? or for a dino-loving little girl's birthday? or perhaps for a brother-in-law who's just a teeny bit older than me, but i like to give him a really hard time about it??! ;)

this kit will debut in gina's etsy shop soon, so keep your eyes peeled on the tyggereye art blog!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

toujour le tour (eiffel, that is!)

do you ever get stuck on one set of images or colors or techniques? i do. all the time. i'll make ten pink cards, followed by ten cards with birds, followed by ten cards glimmer-misted within an inch of their lives. at the moment i am quite keen on the eiffel tower. and a tealish turquoisey blue. and the amazing new "bloomers" trim from webster's pages. but then, if you've read my blog the last week or so, none of this is news to you, so let's get right to the card, ok?!

first let me show you the sketch i used, it's kazan's 52 from 2S4y...i ♥LOVE♥'s already in my "print & save" notebook!

pursuant to my "turquoisey blue" obsession, i was excited to see this week's color challenge at design dollies:

ok, in all honesty, i was only 2/3 excited about this color challenge: i love the black and the turquoise...the yellow...hmmmmm...i wasn't as sure about that one. i tend to be a bit yellow & orange challenged, actually. but being the brave and intrepid card-maker i am, of course i did what brave and intrepid card-makers always do in these situations: i cheated! :) ok, sorta-- i used gold instead of a true yellow. i didn't really even use MUCH gold, for that matter, but i think it still counts. i hope it still counts. (hey leah! does it still count??!)

(digistuffs used in collage, all from designer digitals...tropic grunge paper, gretchen thomas; floral art #2 brushes, anna aspnes; collage printed on 3m inkjet transparency & layered over a vintage french dictionary page; patterned paper: paper co, basic grey, vintage sheet music; eiffel tower sticker: frances meyer; bloomers flower trim: webster's pages; bling flourish: prima; alphabet stickers: k&co; other: vintage lace dyed with various shades of glimmer mist & radiant rain; beads & gold thread from my stash; adhesives: gluedots, tombow monorunner, sewing machine)

i used an extra digital collage i had printed out on inkjet transparency when i made this butterfly card for the "font throwdown" a few months ago; here i layered it over a bit of vintage french dictionary. i used an eiffel tower sticker from my stash, some brand new dymo-inspired alphabet stickers, leftover glimmer-mist-dyed lace from my mom's mother's day present, some layers of wonky hand-cut scallops, the aforementioned bloomers, and a few other bits and bobs that were laying about. and that's about it really, but after a week of not very much crafting, to me this represents a REALLY GOOD friday night! :)

Friday, May 14, 2010

this week wasn't very creative

between the pain and the drugs following my little dental adventure, i didn't accomplish much. i'm hoping the weekend will see a return of time, attention span, and creativity! in the meantime, here's a little digi-collage as a sort of down payment, and i hope you have a very:

(digital elements: ledger paper & tickets: french ooh la la kits, rhonna farrer, house of 3; distressed edge tool kit: rhonna farrer, house of 3; eiffel tower: french kiss elements, anna aspnes, designer digitals; pink flower clusters & grunge effects: floral art #1 & #2, anna aspnes, designer digitals; paper flowers & leaves, pink sparkle cluster, buttons: my drama queen kit, vinnie pearce, pixel canvas; beads on wire: paris holiday kit, o'scraps; font: cry kitty downloaded from; software: broderbund print shop 20)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

heart the art: week 18 (heart)

this HEART the ART page has been sitting next to my desk for nearly a week, taunting me. it needs one more thing...but i have NO IDEA what that one thing is. so today, i made an executive decision to call it "provisionally done", punch a hole in it, and stick it in my HTA journal. if i have a brainstorm of what to add i can always come back and do that, but i am also willing to allow for the fact that this *MIGHT* just turn out to be one of the small handful of journal pages i have had in each year's project that i just don't absolutely love. and i am FINE with that. as cathy z once said...and i take comfort from it at least once a week... "sometimes good enough is good enough!" (& sometimes "done" is better than "perfect"!)

anyway, the prompt was #18, "from the heart" and i actually am 100% happy with my thought for this one, something i think we all sort of know in the back of our minds but don't really entirely process until a few years after our last grandparent is gone: there is no one in life who loves us in quite the same way. our spouses actively CHOOSE to build a life us. our friends go out of their way to make us feel special. our children, nieces & nephews love us unconditionally--and have the cutest ways of saying so! our parents make amazing sacrifices and efforts on our behalf every day--before we're even born--and love us despite our shortcomings.

but our grandparents... they even kind of *LOVE* our faults, and they'll tell everybody!!! just as they will insist we are the best at anything and everything we attempt, because to them, we ARE! i was lucky enough to have four wonderful grandparents until i was nearly an adult, two of whom--my mom mom and pop pop--are pictured here with my brother and i a few years (or rather decades!) ago:

(vintage photo printed on distressed & sanded core'dinations whitewash collection cardstock; may arts leafy ribbon; dmc embroidery floss; sandylion heart sticker on basic grey cardstock; dymo labels; ranger distress ink; uniball pen)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

meet george and martha



ok sorry.

and yes, i am out of hand with the googley eyes on foodstuffs.

(but i still find this joke...and photo...HILARIOUS!)


a few updates:

  • yes, madeline *LOVED* her birthday present!
  • yes, my mom did actually get a bit misty when she saw the photo of the two of us on her gift bag...and then called me back sunday night to thank me again.
  • lovely husband jeff is still home from work, battling his vertigo issues, but the medication is helping and the diagnosis of this being the residue of a serious ear infection from earlier in the year (as opposed to something new, big, and scary!) is looking more and more likely!
  • i had a little medical...or rather dental...adventure of my own yesterday: what started as a minor toothache on saturday became a major toothache on sunday and by monday morning i was in the most pain i have EVER been in! turns out i had a serious abscess under one of my crowns and needed an emergency root canal. ...did i mention i am BIGTIME dental phobic...??!?!???! yeah. not a fun day, but i have to say that i was SERIOUSLY fortunate in being able to get first an emergency appointment with my own wonderful dentist, who got me sneaked in right away at his preferred endodontist, who could not have been nicer, kinder, or more considerate!!! so all in all i feel like a pretty lucky--albeit sore in the jaw area--bunny. couldja pass the floss, please??!?! :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

do you think it's ultimately disappointing...

...if the present inside the gift bag is less cool than the bag itself??

actually, i think i am ok this time, because the mother's day present within is a very beautiful garden book from the metropolitan museum of art, and one of the butterfly bouquets i made last week. i hadn't even intended to make a fancy bag for them, but when i was digging around in the family photos for madeline's bulletin board i came across this one, circa 1967, and i thought it'd be pretty cool, assuming i could clean it up a bit.

my intention was, after brightening the image in photoshop, to play with blending modes a bit, add a few decorative layers, and come up with something that was 99% done when i printed it out, so that i could just mat it and be done. that didn't happen. turns out, i went BIGTIME old school, and spent most of the evening adding "real life" layers and textures and embellishments. but i think it was worth it:

the lace (from michaels, which started out white) is hand-dyed with various shades of glimmer mist and radiant rain. the black edges, and the swirls at the corners are a designer digitals' frame, but i stitched over them with the sewing machine. the gorgeous flower is NOT handmade, i just cut it off some of this amazing trim from webster's pages, and added a vintage lucite button. i FINALLY found more of the pale green may arts leaf ribbon* i adore, and to celebrate, i used at least a yard of it here! there are little silvery dragonfly brads from the ink pad in nyc, as well as some old fancy pants rub-ons, and a bit of recollections bling. here's a close-up that gives a better idea:

and lest you think i have wasted all of this work on a bag...the entire decorative panel--photo, lace, etc-- is attached with foam tape and can be removed and hung elsewhere. if my mom doesn't want to do that, i think i might just have to snatch it back!!! :)


*when i did this before i got questions, so i will essplain the method to get whirly swirly vines without sewing yourself to the page; it is FIDDLY in the extreme, but not actually difficult: 1. layout the curves of ribbon roughly the way you'd like it to look 2. tack a few leaves in place with teeeeeny gluedots 3. place the paper with the semi-attached ribbon under the foot of your sewing machine 4. carefully, using the hand-crank, sew along the "vine" part of the ribbon

(note: it is impossible to be absolutely precise at this...the ribbon will want to shift and you sort of have to go with it; however, any BIG mistakes can always be covered by a few more leaves that you snip & apply with gluedots!)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

the cure for bulletin boredom?

(a post with the worst photos EVER...for which i apologize, but this thing is big--2' x 3'--and it was hard to just fit the whole thing in the frame!)

a couple of weeks ago my sister mentioned that miss madeline has been wanting a bulletin board for her bedroom. the problem wass that the ones they've seen in the stores fall into two categories: fancy and small...or large and plain; whereas maddie has loads of artwork and treasures to display, but an ordinary corkboard just will not do! i could see this was a case where crafty aunt lauren needed to come to the rescue with a birthday present fit for a princess!

i bought the biggest plain-framed corkboard at wallmart, which i fancied up by covering it with pretty pink and silver filigree handmade paper from pearl paint in new york. (i used my xyron to apply nice strong adhesive all over the back of the paper, then cut it into small pieces--about 5" x 2"--to apply them easily and neatly to the frame.) i used a few yards of white trim from a sewing shop to cover the inside edges, and make the whole thing look a bit more finished.

for a little extra drama, i bought some wooden door-frame decorations at lowe's to go on the top and the bottom of the frame. these i painted with fuschia acrylic paint and pearly glaze, and i enlisted lovely husband jeff's expert carpentry help to affix them to the bulletin board with small brass screws, which i covered with tiny pink kaiser pearls. a few florals and rhinestone flourishes made a nice accent at the top and the board was finished!

of course, i could've stopped there, but that's an awful lot of cork to leave undecorated, even temporarily, so i thought a little photo collage might brighten things up:

one thing proud aunties have in spades are loads of "extra" photo prints, so i took a few of my faves featuring miss madeline and made a little grouping. this is when i realized that a fancy bulletin board needed some fancy push pins! as it turns out, prima flowers hot-glued to regular old thumbtacks look pretty good, and they look even better with a pink rhinestone in the center! finally i cut a few over-sized letters out of patterned paper...just so there would be no question as to whose board this is!!! :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

heart the art--week 17 (thoughts)

cracking on with the HEART the ART catch-up process, here is my page for week #17: THOUGHTS:

(yellow glossy cardstock saved from a brochure; rainbow pattern & "la cabeza" from vintage books; a bit of an old nyc subway map; martha stewart butterfly punch used on scraps of patterned paper, old maps, chinese text, a mini calendar, play money, etc; sei & karen foster letter stickers--& a few oultines; hero arts glass beads; copic outliner; colorbox ink; uhu gluestick; 3m foam tape; manual typewriter)

i started out with this cool brain illustration from a vintage spanish text book i found at a booksale, and that fun "rainbow graph" from an art book. i cut the rainbow paper just slightly larger than i needed to fill my page, sat down at the typewriter, and just typed whatever thoughts came into my mind. then i cut it to size, made my little collage, and added the title letters. i actually thought it was done then, but at the very last minute i thought of adding the butterflies...and i'm glad i went with that because they're my favorite part!

i have to say i am very pleased with this one; considering i started out with no idea of where i was going or how i would get there, i really like where i ended up!


so what are some of YOUR random thoughts today?
tell, tell!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

heart the art--week 16 (ephemera)

can you even *BELIEVE* it is may already?! nope, nor can i. on the plus side, it means i made it an entire third of the way through our HEART the ART year before falling more than a week behind--go, me! :) however, being as gina's prompts are so clever, and it is so much fun to make my pages, i know that i will be able to finish a couple of weeks outstanding and still get in there on saturday for a fresh new batch of inspiration at tyggereye art! but first, week #16...EPHEMERA:

this was the prompt from the saturday i went to new york, so it only seemed right to combine a bunch of my leftover travel "bits" and make a page about the trip. ok, it turns out i had quite a few elements i wanted to work in, so i cheated a bit and made not one but TWO overlays using scraps of an inkjet transparency, and came up with this three-layer, over-stuffed, over-loaded, mega-collage which REALLY sums up new york to me!!! :)

the first level has a doodle & a few glitzy stickers for a title...level two has images from magazines, a little bit of vintage travel guide, and things cut or punched from brochures we collected in the city--including a bit of napkin from my favorite gelato place! level three is a postcard from the top of the rock observation platform; i love that it just happens to have the same light we saw the night we went's just getting dark, but the sky is still kind of blue...what a pretty backdrop by which to see the lights of the city!

i had intended to gesso or paper over the reverse side of the transparency pages at the end, but when i went to do that, i found that i actually quite *liked* the completely random collection of text and images that were on the back of the things i cut i just left them showing!

i have two more pages i am hoping to complete and show, but my main occupation this week is finishing niece madeline's sixth birthday present in time for her party on sunday--wish me luck!