Thursday, September 30, 2010

meet archie byrd*

this week's theme at something completely different is "birds" ...which is rather me, right?! also, it's the last week of september's marvelous ARCH format, so i had to get this baby made & posted at the very very verrrrrry last minute!!!

(vintage: book paper, postage stamps, and illustration of birds (used as a guide to cut layers of book paper and cardstock); digital: asian script brushes #4 (printed on inkjet transparency) anna aspnes, designer digitals; flowers: prima; cardstock diecuts: k&co; brad: my mind's eye; leaf mask: heidi swapp; spray inks: glimmer mist & diluted ranger re-inkers; pen: copic multiliner; inks: ranger & colorbox; adhesives: uhu gluestick, gluedots, tombow monorunner, sewing machine)

occasionally i feel unbelievably silly about the packrat tendencies that make me SAVE the birds i cut out for a collage and didn't use... the masked and inked background paper that didn't quiiiiiite work at the time... or the bits of transparency on which i printed extra chinese characters just to fill up the page; AND THEN there will come a night that i am able to grab my "leftovers" folder and make a little collage quite quickly just using those items and some pre-made store-bought embellies! so to my darling, patient, utterly understanding husband i say, "sorry honey...we are ALWAYS going to live surrounded by little boxes and baggies and folders full of 'cool stuff' i might need someday!!!" ♥♥♥

*don't judge me, ok?! titles are HARD!!! :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

i'm so excited!

i've been keeping a bit of a secret for the last month and FINALLY i am allowed to tell: my lovely blogging friend kirsty vittetoe, whose city crafter challenge blog i know a lot of you love every bit as much as i do, is now starting her very own kit club... it's called pixie dust paperie!

if that was not cool enough, i was absolutely thrilled when kirsty asked if i would be one of her designers! in this lofty post i am joined by some amazingly crafty ladies: lori hairston, jessy christopher, emeline seet, and zielonooka!

the very first kit, "FALL IN LOVE" goes on sale october 5th, but kirsty will start showing the designer projects this friday, october 1st! i am exceptionally proud and excited that one of *my* creations will be featured that day! it's quite a good one, too--i cannot wait to show it to you!

as you can see by my little teaser photos, i've made quite a few items--and so have my fellow pixies! one of the best things about the pixie dust blog is that kirsty plans to show a different project made with the current month's kit every single day it's on sale! so each time you visit, there will be something lovely and *new* over which to drool!

there's a great variety of items, too: from layouts and cards to minibooks and little gifts! but then the kit is rather amazing, so it's not surprising, is it?! you can see by the pics that there is definitely a bit of a shabby chic vibe going on here, the papers are LUSCIOUS, there are loads of embellies, and...well, you should begin budgeting your october crafts money to include this baby RIGHT NOW because you are soooooooooo going to want it!!!

in honor of our debut, kirsty is having a very special promotion: when you buy the october kit between the 5th and the 10th, you'll receive ONE of the following items, absolutely FREE (on a first-come-first-served basis) as a bonus:

- Pixie Dust Paperie November Kit

- Pixie Dust Paperie $30 gift certificate

- Pixie Dust Paperie $20 gift certificate

- Pixie Dust Paperie $10 gift certificate

- Pixie Dust Paperie seam binding crinkled ribbon (4 colors, 2 yards each)

so basically the sooner you order, the better your reward!!!

don't worry, i'll remind you to head right over there on october fifth so that you will be amongst the lucky ones who get the BEST STUFF! ♥

Sunday, September 26, 2010

BESTEST: legos

i've decided to start a new feature called "BESTEST" in which i will compile my current faves in various (mostly, i fear, silly) categories. if you think this is just an excuse to spend more time trawling google images for random stuff that makes me laugh...ok, yeah, well-spotted, you're exactly right!

i'm starting with LEGOS. i have always had a minor obsession with them, and lately i just keep running across new reasons to love 'em! i partially blame jana for this, since she pointed me towards #1!

1. best lego-photo-a-day website: lego365

"if you see a faded sign by the side of the road that says..."

it's by a guy called dan. he likes legos, and photography. he makes me choke on my first cup of coffee several days a week. but, you a *GOOD* way! i'm more than halfway through the archives and wondering what i will do after that. weep, probably.

2. best lego book: i lego ny by christoph niemann. simply brilliant. brilliantly simple. quintessentially new yorky. a lot of people are getting this for xmas, i think!

3. best eddie izzard comedy routine illustrated by animated legos: this james bond one; better by far than even the most delicious pair of jam trousers! :)

4. best lego food: a tie between this lego that looks like food...and this food that looks like lego! either way, i now want to build something, and have a snack. not necessarily in that order.

5. best real-life lego experience: a trip to the san diego legoland in summer, 2007

my secret fantasy dream-job? building the exhibits in miniland!!!

i'd like to tell you we went because my friends live 10 minutes away and have a membership because their kids love it...and all of that is true...but in addition to trips to the zoo, the museums of balboa park, huntingdon library, and other cultural highlights, i specifically asked to be taken here, and had (at age 43) the most fun of the whole group!!! (& i'd LOVE to go back!)

honorable mentions: ♥♥♥ guggenheim museum lego kit, lego software, the brothers brick, nathan sawaya's life-sized lego sculptures, lego tardis ♥♥♥

Thursday, September 23, 2010

ok, van gogh!*

arrrrrgh it has been TWO WEEKS since i've done a challenge at something completely different, which is especially upsetting because this month's format is ARCHES! i looooooooooove arches!!! sheesh. anyway, sliding in at the very VERY last minute with this week's theme of stars i decided to cheat and (sort of/kind of) copy van gogh's starry night. because if you're going to copy...pick something AWESOME, right?!

since i am emphatically NOT an oil painting genius, my version consists of spray inks, watercolors, and hand- and machine-stitching for texture. ok, it's a loose version. very loose. no town, no trees, no mountains...i stuck with the much-easier-to-render stars and swirls. of course, my canvas is a lot smaller (roughly 7x6"); on the plus side, i do still have both my ears! :)

tune in next week when i'll be re-creating boticelli's la primavera entirely out of elbow macaroni.**

*speaking (tangentially) of the band "ok, go!": i did not think anything could beat the here it goes again video for sheer creative hilarity; but that was before i saw THE DOGS!!! :) :) :)

**kidding! (it's a funny mental picture though, isn't it? i'm seeing an entire gallery of the uffizi devoted to masterpieces made of pasta!) (...i should really not write blogposts whilst hungry, should i...?!)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

heart the art: week 37 (question)

last week's HEART the ART prompt was QUESTION. this page is really really really not where i thought i was going with it...but it's what i made and i have to say i that i think i like it A LOT! :)

generally, when i "go digi" for these, it's for practical reasons; usually because i have more to say than will comfortably fit on a 4x6" page in my big sprawly handwriting. and that is actually why i did it here...but somehow instead of just dropping in my photo and adding the text and maybe a frame, i wound up almost making a mini LO! i'm not entirely sure how that happened, but i had a great time doing it, which is sort of the point, right?!

by the way, in case you are wondering, *YES* that is jeff's genuine lunch, right after i assembled it, last wednesday night, for the first time in nearly six months BECAUSE HE WENT BACK TO WORK ON THURSDAY!!!!!!!!!!!

here's the short version of what happened regarding his vertigo: after A LOT more tests, and a whole terrifying sub-plot of seeing several neuro-surgeons, due to the discovery of an anomalous artery near his aural nerve... (which might've led to an operation that is not TECHNICALLY brain surgery, but has the same risks) ...while we were waiting to get in to see yet another specialist, jeff went on a second round of stronger steroids, just to see if there was any chance there was still inflammation left from the original ear infections (last jan) that might be persuaded to vacate the premises. and there was. and it did! and his symptoms cleared up--AND (more importantly) STAYED GONE after he stopped the medication! there are still some follow-up issues, and also a chance the full-on dizziness could come back the next time he gets a sinus/ear infection; but for RIGHT NOW he is FINE, he is thrilled to be going to work every day, and there is GREAT REJOICING throughout bergoldia!!!!!!!!!!!

many MANY thanks for all of your well-wishes, prayers, good thoughts, kind words and friendship...which really reallllllllllllllly helped and meant more than i can express! ♥♥♥, darlings!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

millefiori* crocheted scarf

this is the hand made portion*** of niece lindsay's birthday present, and it was not only exceedingly easy to make (a great beginner crochet project, if anyone is looking for one!) but also quite fun!

that mouth-wateringly lovely variegated yarn was hand-dyed by my friend cheryl a few years ago; at the time i think i made a couple of little baby hats but somehow i kept "saving" it for just the right project. and now i am SO GLAD i did, because this really is the perfect thing to show off the entire range of beautifully bright colors, isn't it?!

i didn't have an actual pattern for this (though there are TONS of free ones online!) i more or less winged it after looking at a bunch of similar items: i love the gorgeous vibrant shades of this scarf, i like the clusters of lots of teeny blooms on this one, and here are some wonderfully clear & helpful instructions for the main type of flower i made, although the super-cool & very fancy "wild irish rose" at the very end of the scarf came from this book; and after i mastered the basic flower shape, i was just sort of making up different combinations of centers and petals so that i would have a range of sizes and shapes!

i am hoping to get a photo of miss lindsay modelling this at her party in a couple of weeks, at which time you will see the scarf in its full glory! ♥♥♥

*ok, there are not quiiiiiiiite 1,000 flowers here. technically speaking, there are only 31 flowers here; but "the baskin-robbins** scarf" just doesn't sound all that elegant, does it?

**rats! i want ice cream... :)

***all children in aunt lauren's realm get the same "real present" on pretty much every occasion: a savings bond. which is practical, but mind-numbingly dull. so aunt lauren also makes something she thinks the child will enjoy. for the really small fry, aunt lauren also throws in an inexpensive little toy ... (a sticker book, a puzzle, a simple crafting kit) ...b/c this not aunt lauren's first rodeo and she knows that to anyone under the age of six there is just no substitute for something that can be played with IMMEDIATELY!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

happy, happy, happy


yo ho ho! ye'll be needin' a pirate name, me salty dogs!
(i'm ahead of the game with larrrrrrrren, obviously!)

if you need more help, you could take this pirate quiz.

if you get confused, me hearties, a pirate translator can be found at this U.ARRRRRR.L.

this graph provides an alarrrrrrrrrming statistic!

if ye're feeling arrrrrrrrrrtistic, why not try some pirate arrrrrrrrmigurumi?

or perhaps ye'd prefer a pirate hat?
(avec built in eye-patch, naturellement!)

it'd go nicely with this pirate (monkee) shirt!

this pirate game looks fun--(it's an ARRRRRR.P.G.!)

but beware of pirate legos!

if ye gets tired of bread and water, there's pirate cake!
(watch out for sea monsters though, ye scurvy landlubbers!)

these pirate dingbats may well have been used by long john silver himself! there's also pirate cliparrrrrrrt!

i'm sure captain hook could've used one of *THESE*!
(the "glow in the darrrrrrrrk" feature is useful, indeed!)

if you're hurt (in an arrrrrrrrrrgument?!) there are pirate bandaids.

and apparently, me old sea dogs, there's AN APP for this!!!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

i was only going to print some cute cars...

...from the same set i used for matthew's banner ...and put them on a STORE-BOUGHT birthday-themed giftbag!!!

but then i thought they looked a bit sad just being one solid color, so i thought, "ok i will paper-piece them...but THAT'S ALL!"

of course the paper-piecings were sooooo cute that it seemed a pity not to outline and embellish them...but i'd still stick them on the store-bought giftbag.

shortly afterwards, i found the b&w striped patterned whilst looking for something else, and it struck me how much it looked like a "highway" down which some adorable paper-pieced vehicles might drive...surely a little piece of that would enhance a store-bought giftbag even more?!?!

when i went looking for the clouds, and the paper with the traffic signs on it, i finally admitted to myself that i was going to full-on decorate a plain giftbag from michaels! from there, it was a slippery slope to chipboard letters in a couple of fonts, layers of foam tape, cute stickers, and machine stitching!

however, i totally DREW THE LINE at making a matching card!!!

ok, ok, there is a tag, on the back of the bag. just a teeny *LITTLE* one! made from the scraps of the bag! really, it'd've been more trouble to put them away!!!

don't bother sending me links to a paper-crafting twelve-step program...'cause there's NO WAY i'd go!!! :) :) :)

(~materials~ giftbag, tissue & ribbon from michaels; digital car brushes: kiddie conveyance by hero arts from 2peas; patterned paper: basic grey, oriental trading, my mind's eye, making memories, ki, sei, october afternoon; chipboard letters: heidi swapp, prima; stickers: recollections, mambi, love elsie, martha stewart; brads: making memories; ink: colorbox, stewart superior; adhesives: tombow monorunner, uhu gluestick, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)

Thursday, September 16, 2010


when i was getting ready to send my torsos in for the SCD swap, the lovely carol asked if i would also like to trade ATC's with her...well ♥YEAH♥!!! of course i would! :) knowing that i tend to get "on a roll" and have trouble stopping at ONE idea on these occasions, carol came up with the awesome idea of doing three inchies, two twinchies and an ATC; our theme was faces; here's what i made:

i went a bit vintagey...and there's sort of a slight "sub-theme" of cakes for some reason! (probably because i am always half-dieting...and always half-wishing there was a bit of cake in real life!) :)

i will show carol's half of the swap, and my bounty of torsos from the something completely different gang, when they arrive!

(~materials~ vintage: ladies (& gentleman) (& cakes) cut from old magazines & books + some text and a cool chart; word stickers & tiny flowers: making memories; tiny pearls: kaiser; rub-ons: sei & fancy pants; butterfly punch: martha stewart; ink: colorbox & stewart superior; labels: dymo; adhesives: uhu gluestick, tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape)

Monday, September 13, 2010

this blogpost contains 535 calories and 21 grams of fat*

no, seriously. see?!

well hello, missus yum!

ok, technically, it has zero calories and zero fat; plus it's high in fiber! yep, it's made entirely of paper, with a little bit of chipboard and a soupcon of ribbon. before you ask, i cannot take *ANY* credit for the design... (which is 100% lifted from this amazing fabulously artsy video tutorial by the stamp goddess!) ...or even for *finding* the design, which was sent to me by my darling stef. but i know a good thing when i see it, and i wanted to make one of these the second it saw it, BEFORE i even knew...

decapitation never looked so good

...YES!!! it's a giftcard holder, too!!! see, the upper portion of the "cake", under all those luscious layers of "icing"... (made from ribbon, paper flowers, and cardstock that was crumpled and shaped while wet) a styrofoam ball which has been cut in half and then re-attached leaving a slot in the center, for the giftcard to slide inside!

i'm gonna need a cupcake with my coffee, please

the card is held with a small notebook clip, the top of which is cleverly disguised by a painted and glittered bead and a frothy layer of whipped cream--actually a piece of textured cardstock that's been wet, scrunched to fit, and hot-glued around the clip after it was dry.

low on glucose...but not on glue!

i know what you're thinking, you're thinking, "hey lauren! this looks complicated--was it hard to make?!" surprisingly, the answer is "NO!" the fabulously artsy tutorial is excellent, and extremely clear! (those of you who know me, will realize that if *I*--famously "instructions challenged"--am saying this, it MUST BE true!) frankly, the fact that it's a VIDEO tutorial makes all the difference; because you are watching her make one, step-by-step; and so you know going in that she used things you already have...and techniques you can already do!

deliciousness target acquired...bullseye!

ok, there are a couple of "fiddly bits": i had trouble spacing the accordian folds when attaching the cupcake "wrapper" to its chipboard base... (you can see it's slightly wonky, but i know exactly what i'll do differently next time!) ...otherwise it was quite clear cut and apart from the styrofoam ball & notebook clip i did not even have to BUY anything to make this!!!

thank you, stamp goddess, for sharing your creativity in such a practical and clear-cut (not to mention fun!) way; and thank you miss stephanie for sharing your amazing link love with me!!! ♥♥♥

*and yes, i know, you want a REAL CUPCAKE now, and it's all my fault! i do apologize, honestly, but it had to be done, dontcha think?! ♥

(~materials~ 3" styrofoam ball & most of a roll of 1/4" ribbon from michaels; 6" square of chipboard or recycled cardboard (it won't show!); 9 med. sized bazzill paper flowers; 1/2 sheet american crafts patterned paper; 1/4 sheet core'dinations card stock; 1/8 sheet specialty white textured cardstock (but you could use the regular textured kind); 3/4" wooden bead; red acryllic paint; red & clear glitter; small notebook clip; large my mind's eye pearl brad; 4-5 sticks of hot glue...maybe more! (yes, i am serious...this is a GLUE INTENSIVE project...and no, cold glue or 3-in-1 is not gonna cut it!)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

heart the art: week 36 (TOGETHER)

this week's HEART THE ART prompt is TOGETHER. coincidentally, it happened to fall just two weeks before a significant wedding anniversary; yep, as of september 21st, lovely husband jeff will have been my lovely husband for twenty five years!!!

really the most prominent thing i feel about this is: HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?!?! because i swear it was only like 15 minutes ago that i was 21 years old and wearin' the big fluffy hair and big fluffy dress that new jersey state law mandated circa 1985. and suddenly i blinked and


a quarter century just zipped by like it was NOTHING!!!

other than the fact that clearly there are serious liberties being taken by the folks in charge of timekeeping on this planet, i must say that i am genuinely still as deliriously happy as i was on that day, unutterably grateful to have had all these lovely years, and very much looking forward to ANOTHER twenty five with my sweet guy!


Friday, September 10, 2010

speaking of monstas...

...not that we were...but if we had been speaking of monstas, here is one who'd definitely like to have been included in our conversation! :)

this was one of those times when the supplies did so much of the work that it practically felt like cheating: i cut out the monsta...i placed the cupcake sticker on the chipboard speech bubble... (a BRILLIANT idea i stole from this set of mindy teresawa digital stickers!) ... and i trimmed this piece of sassafras paper to fit:

...and that was 99% of the card, really. ok, yeah, i hand-cut some rows of scallops, and ran my sewing machine around all those cool funky clouds, but really just to make it look like i put a little work into this thing. can't let those monstas have *ALL* the fun, now can we?! :)

(~materials~ monsta cut from paperchase giftwrap; sassafras thought bubble and patterned paper + scraps of love elsie, prima, and vintage sheet music; paperchase cupcake sticker; dymo labels; ranger glossy black cardstock; 3m foam tape, tombow monorunner, sewing machine)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

an awesome project...with un-awesome photos...


so i'm afraid you're just going to have to trust me when i tell you that this banner, made for nephew matthew's third birthday party next week, is *MUCH* cuter in real life. unfortunately it's like 6 ft. long and my house is not overflowing with bare, well-lit walls on which to get a great photo, so i've snapped it on my totally non-glamorous dining room carpet. and the shots of the individual letters are not as cool as when you see them all together. hopefully, once it's hung up in his room, my sister can snap a nicer photo! but in the meantime, here it is:

using this set of hero arts digi-stamps as templates, i paper-pieced each vehicle using a variety of boy-ish patterned papers. (mostly older basic grey and newer sass...with some ki thrown in here and there!)

the letters are old school basic grey chipboard, painted with glossy black acrylic and mounted on foam tape.

i raided my stash of bigger brads for hub caps, and discovered--to my suprise- that pale blue paper made better windows than either white paper or vellum!

i sandwiched the ribbon between the cardstock-backed paper cars and plackets of index-weight paper, for increased stability...

...but when it's hung on the wall, the cars still need a little lump of blue-tack to keep them from dangling at odd angles. (what can i say? i am better at crafting than engineering!!!)

the traffic symbols between each letter are a dingbat font called "road sign + warning" that i downloaded free at

and there you have it, the perfect gift for a three-year-old on the go...or at least i hope it is!
happy birthday,
little dude!!!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

it's ♥SUN♥ day! (could you BE more literal, lauren??!)

as i think i've mentioned before: titles are the hardest part of blogging, imo; so i never, EVER, overlook an easy one--no matter how obnoxiously obvious it might be!!! :)

but why is sunday significant, you ask? well, all week i've been thinking about what i would make for this week's city crafter challenge, which is LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE. being as this week is hosted by my lovely friend cheryl nelson and the guest designer is my equally lovely friend amy tsuruta, i thought i should do something especially nice! and then i saw heidi's sketch at sketchy thursdays:

right. so i've got "SHINE"... and a big half circle in the middle of my page... hmmmmmmm... whatever shall i do next, lol??! *THEN* i saw these gorgeous yellow rose bobby pins by glamasaurus--the etsy inspired challenge featured artist this week-- and when the idea of yellow, turquoise and roses mixed in with my other inspirations... it all sort of fell into place:

originally the card ended at the blue cardstock panel (which opened as a top-fold), until the VERY LAST pass of the sewing machine to secure the lovely websters pages rose trim in which i accidentally sewed the card shut!!!!!!!!!! (arrrrrrrrrggh!!!) but actually, i had been thinking it was a wee bit small, and wondering if i ought to mount the whole thing on a larger panel, perhaps with a white mat in between? so i took the sewing mishap to be a sign that *YES* i should do just that! ;)

of course, i could have posted this saturday night, or monday morning...but for some reason, i decided to do it on ♥SUN♥ day. go figure!!! :)

(~materials~ a lot of miscellaneous yellow patterned paper scraps xyroned with permanent adhesive and then torn into small "mosaic-like" pieces & attached to some fancy pants chipboard; vintage sheet music watercolored and sprayed with various inks; core'dinations cardstock; ranger glossy cardstock; crocodile embossed vinyl art paper from pearl paint; sassafras border strips; websters "bloomers" trim; doodlebug alphas; stewart superior india ink pad; adhesives: tombow monorunner, uhu gluestick, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)

Friday, September 3, 2010

♥ T.G.I.F. ♥

the other day when i was paper-piecing the stamps for this week's HEART the ART page, it suddenly struck me how funny it would be to dress the grim reaper in a more casual set of case he was invited to a party or... ummmmm... something! as generally happens when i have not nearly enough time and way too much to do, i could not let go of that thought until i had made myself a completely random and pointless ATC:

yep. i feel better now!!! :)

ps: lovely husband jeff would like you to know that the delicious cocktail featured here is a marga-REAPER!!! thank you, honey. ♥

happy weekend,

Thursday, September 2, 2010

torso: week four(so)

(ok, sorry, titles are always my weakest blogging link!!!)

for this, the last week of torso-shaped ATC's, the theme at something completely different is "...OF THE SEA". of course this was verrrrrry easy indeed because as soon as you think "torso" and "sea" you pretty much immediately come up with only one mental picture, right??!?!?!

♥ well, helllllllooooooooooo! ♥

despite the inarguable beauty and perfection of both my argument and the image in question, i can forsee being disqualified on the grounds that neither googling nor drooling can fairly be counted as artistic pursuits; so just to be safe i made a vintagey/collaged torso, as well. sorry daniel, you were my first choice, though, obviously! :)

(vintage: illustrations & poem from two children's books, accounting card (that YES, did really have "tulip coral" typed on it!), shell ribbon; prima flower; ranger distress ink; wired pearls from michaels; adhesives: hot glue, gluedots & uhu gluestick)

and now i am off to pack one torso from each week of august and send them to the lovely carol for the big swap!!! tomorrow being the first friday of september, there will be a whole new format at SCD...can't wait to see what is next!