Sunday, October 31, 2010

plenty of brushes...but no floss!

during the recent NECK EPISODE (from which i am thankfully recovered, ta v much!) i could not do anything for more than about five minutes at a time, which made it a weirdly great time to play around with photoshop, since i can never do THAT for more than five minutes anyway before swearing or tears ensue! :)

one of the things i've been wanting try out is blending modes. i love the idea that pretty much EVERYTHING can have a transparency level at any point between 0 (completely translucent) and 100% (completely opaque)!

here are some of the more interesting essperiments from that week...i haven't actually made them into anything yet, but hopefully they're a bit cool on their own?!

here's a recolored gypsy chick grungy cardboard paper, a few anna aspnes brushes & a vera lim overlay.

a very very saturated & high contrast version of my own lotus photo, blended with an o'scraps paper (clouds & text) and a laurie ann "rhinestone rain" brush.

here's anna aspnes' butterfly brush again...done REALLY BIG and less opaque, layered with a bunch of her asian script brushes, and circles of crowns; the background image is a very close-up photo i took of my mom's hydrangeas, with the color popped waaaaaaay up, blended with a piece of katie pertiet's folded & distressed notebook paper.

i find this one overpowering, but it was my mother's favorite (by far!) so i am showing it anyway. there are about 30 individual brushes used on here, but mostly they are from rhonna farrer's distressed edge toolkit, and scrap artist's "bits of history" set. again i started with one of my flower photos (my mom's impatiens) & blended it with a katie pertiet graph paper that i recolored pink.

here's my favorite: it's the lotus photo & the o'scraps clouds again, but i bent the colors in another direction and carefully added an anna aspnes music brush to bits of the sky. the frame is also anna aspnes. (i'm a fan...can ya tell?!)

this concludes my blended photo some point i hope it will be followed by a "what i did with those blended photos" post! :)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

heart the art: week 41 (CONTINUE ON)

some of my HEART the ART pages are more universal than others. this, i think, is more of an "other"...which is probably why i love it! for week 41 the lovely miss gina's prompt was CONTINUE ON. for some reason, those words made me think of elizabeth zimmermann's famous* quote, which has at least as much significance in life as it does for knitting, imo:

given that this was my "gut reaction" to the prompt... (i try to go with those, in an art journal context) ...i thought i'd like to use the quote, but how to make it *VISUAL*? then, quite coincidentally, mari sent me a bunch of utterly luscious ribbon yarn, and all i could think was, "i want to knit up that gorgeous cerulean blue and put it on my page!" so i did. i've got some knitting directions for a background...some embossed & torn cloud shapes leftover from another project...and i printed my words on an avery clear label, which i affixed to the card from some my mind's eye ribbon, because it was pretty AND it happened to be sitting on my table when i needed a bit of card to put my words on. and that's it! oh yeah, except for the knitting needles...just for fun, rather than binding off the little swatch, i decided to slip it from my real needles onto some miniature ones that i made from LHJ's shish kebab skewers & hot-glued to the page, to illustrate the "knitting on" concept. what can i say? i kinda ♥ this one! :)

*famous to knitters that is; if you are not a knitter...or perhaps even not a knitter of my may not have heard of the late lamented elizabeth z; which is a pity, because she was ♥cool♥!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

it's that time again!

can you believe it's already been a whole MONTH since the preview of the first pixie dust paperie kit, FALL IN LOVE? no, nor can i! but the calendar...and pixie-in-chief kirsty vittetoe assure me that this IS the i think it's time for some teaser pics of november's kit!

ok, i don't think it'll shock you to find it's a bit christmassy...

...but it's pretty and romantic, as well.

a soupcon of cute never hurt anybody, did it?

and yeah, definitely christmassy!

of course, here in the northeast, we often get a bit of SNOW at christmas time!

(ok, ok, enough! it's KILLIN' ME not to show you more RIGHT NOW, i tell ya!!!)

previews start today on the pixie dust blog, designer projects debut november 1st, and the kit will be for sale from november 5th in the pixie shoppe! ♥♥♥

heart the art: week 40 (PRIORITIES)

HOORAY for getting back into "catch up" mode in the world of HEART THE ART! here is my page for week #40: PRIORITIES:

this is the kind of art journal page i love most: the kind where you just grab stuff and stick it down without too much thought. almost everything on here was either sitting on my desk or in the "junk bowl" next to my work table. the ostrich i cut out of a magazine a couple of weeks ago...i just love the expression on her face like she's shouting something...and now i know WHAT! (cool!)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

lovin' the layers!

my favorite thing about working with the pixie dust paperie kits is the sheer effortlessness involved! by selecting a fabulous mix of papers, trims, embellishments and extras that are perfectly balanced and coordinated, pixie-in-chief kirsty has done all the work for me, and i can jump right into the "play" of combining the ingredients in any way i want, knowing that it's pretty much IMPOSSIBLE to go wrong!

i've noticed that i am using my border punches a lot lately, probably because i want to squeeze as much pixie goodness as possible onto each creation!!! today on the PDP blog, the featured project is a baby card i made, which looks a bit like this:

why not head on over and check it out?! ♥

Monday, October 25, 2010

and the winner isssssssssssssssss:

accordion to the calculations of the fine folk at the winner of the halloween ♥MONSTA♥ giveaway is...wouldja believe? contestant #1*??!?! which, in this case, means that the lovely miss


should email me using the address on my profile page in order that i can ready cthulhu for his (or her?!) journey! congrats to both dawn and cthulhu, i hope you will have a very HAPPY HALLOWEEN together! ♥♥♥

*i realize that statistically speaking, if you're going to choose a random number out of a series of numbers, EVERY number automatically has an EQUAL chance of being picked...but i don't think i've ever heard of #1 winning...have you?! kinda cool, really: no longer will i worry that if i am the first commenter i have NO CHANCE! :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

sunday is funday!

today's project on the pixie dust paperie blog is a set of rather cute--and rather practical--small thank you cards i made using the very cool maya road journaling cards from the october kit, FALL IN LOVE. why not drop in and check 'em out?!

ps: there is still time to enter my halloween giveaway...why not scroll down a few posts and leave a comment for a chance to win your very own amigurumi ♥MONSTA♥ ?! :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

ok, it's not as bad as it *LOOKS*...

...but yeah, i did spend most of this past week knee-deep in chiropractic shenanigans due to a neck that just decided, for no good reason, to completely stop working!!! i'm actually feeling muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuch better now; on a scale of 1 to 10 i would say i am about a 7.5...whereas last sunday i was a negative 37!!!

the main thing now is that i'm still massively behind on things like comments (SORRY!), and i didn't do ANY challenges or make much of anything this week, so the crafty bits may be a bit thin on the ground for the next few days. luckily, i still have a couple of pixie dust projects "in the pipeline"! in the meantime, i hope you're having a FABULOUS weekend.

the next time you're passing by, why not take your chiropractor a cupcake? they're lovely, chiropractors...we probably don't appreciate them enough! ♥

Friday, October 22, 2010

many MANY gorgeous things...not made by me

i've mentioned before that i have the most wonderful friends in the world...but it bears repeating, especially when i am lucky enough to be spoiled rotten by the sort of mail that's been showing up 'round these parts lately--holy moly! i'll show these chronologically because trust me there is NO WAY i could pick a favorite!!!

these "just because" goodies and this AMAZING, layery, blendy, stampy, inky masterpiece of a card came from my very sweet, uber-talented venn, linda for no reason at all, she was just saying, "hi"!

my darling stef is one of those people that if she sees something that reminds her of you...the next day it is in the mail to ya!!! latest example: how utttttttttterly awesome are those artist greeting cards?! not to mention the awesome london roadmap stamp, and the coolest halloween card EVER!

if there is a more "share-and-share-alike" person in the world than mi amiga mari, i certainly have not met them! in her latest care package she sent fabulous art paper, rub-ons to die for, MONSTA BOOKMARKS (!) and a whooooooooooole lotta different types of ribbon yarn! yummmmmmmmmm!

oh yeah, and did i mention the NOTEBOOK??!?! mari took a dimestore find and made it into one of the coolest pieces of art i've ever been given: she stamped, she painted, she embellished, and she re-did the original cover SO utterly PERFECTLY that i didn't actually believe it wasn't brown to start with! YIKES!

the phantastically phabulous ms. phinner and i did schedule a swap in which i *knew* i was getting a piece of her original art in exchange for an amigurumi grim reaper, but i had no idea WHAT i would get... or that it'd come in the most awesome "hello kitty goes punk" be-decked box... OR that there would be EDIBLE LEGOS inside too!!! :) :) :)

but of course the star of the show is this lovely lady who is called claudia...and i loooooove her! she is the most fabulous cerise pink, she is flower-strewn and bead-encrusted, her hair is this amazing pink mesh, her frame is inky and distressed and FABULOUS!

as you know, one of my favorite things about august was the series of SCD torso challenges, which culminated in an international swap! here are my gorgeous trophies, they are by (l to r) hazel, zoe, laura and joanne. WOW!!!

the delightful carol from SCD was in charge of parcelling up the torsos, and we decided to have a couple of our own little swaps, as well. she invented a great "3-2-1" format: you pick a theme and make 3 inchies, 2 twinchies and 1 ATC. our first category was FACES, and as you can see carol flippin' well ROCKED it with red!

then we did PLACES, and *again* i was totally and completely blown away by her creativity and awesome collage talent!

oh yeah and the package in which they came there was this outstandingly FAB mini-card, plus a bunch of totally cool and drool-worthy goodies for me to play with:

i do not think blogger has a font that is big enough or bold enough to convey how much i love absolutely everything on this page...and even if such lettering existed it would still not cover how much i adore the folk from which they came, but for now i will settle for sending a giant

thank you


♥ thank yooou!!! ♥

to all the lovely people concerned! xoxoxo

Thursday, October 21, 2010

halloween ♥MONSTA♥ giveaway!

what's cute and ♥green♥ with arms, wings, and tentacles?! drat, i was hoping you knew, cause he (or she?!) is sittin' right next to me!!! and he (or she?!) is longing to take a little trick-or-treating trip to SOMEONE'S house in time for halloween!!!

wikipedia describes h.p. lovecraft's creation cthulhu as being part dragon, part octopus, and part alien entity...but as translated in creepy cute crochet terms he (or she?!) is entirely adorable!

to enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post telling me what you're going to be for halloween this year OR your favorite costume from your trick-or-treating days OR what you'd secretly like to dress up as if you were a person who dressed up for halloween! i will close the comments at midnight on sunday, october 24th and choose a winner by random draw.

monsta love, darlings!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

pixie dust scraplift challenge!

in addition to assembling fabulous kits and posting daily inspiration for using them, one of pixie-in-chief kirsty vittetoe's most brilliant plans for the pixie dust paperie blog is to host a monthly challenge. this time the brief is to choose any project from this month's design team offerings and scraplift it. of course the hardest part of this is choosing *WHICH* project...because they are all so very awesome!!! but after much deliberation, i decided to go with emeline's "precious" layout:

i love the cascading rows of patterned paper, each accented with a different punched border for extra interest; i like that the overall soft and romantic feel is punctuated with a slightly funky twist; and i really dig the clusters of small embellishments that emeline has used to create SO MUCH style! of course, i don't scrapbook, as i made (surprise!) a card! :)

(patterned paper: prima, house of three, love elsie + vintage book paper; cardstock diecuts: k&co, making memories, sei; stickers: sandylion, ek success, creative imaginations, making memories, k&co, house of 3; florals: prima, making memories; chipboard word: ek success; brad: my mind's eye; gems: mambi; pins: michaels, joann essentials; butterfly punch: ek success; border punches: martha stewart, fiskars, recollections; ribbon: michaels; inks: colorbox; adhesives: tombow monorunner, gluedots, 3m foam tape)

ok, it's a loose interpretation of the sketch, but i think you can see "the bones"?! my background layers consist of some lovely new prima & house of three papers, but nearly everything else on here was either a scrap or a "leftover" from another project, so despite the abundance of embellishments, this was a weirdly economical way to use up a lot of bits and bobs!

be sure to check out the pixie blog for all the details of this challenge...for example...did i mention there are ♥PRIZES♥??!?!?!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

sew much sewing!

today's card has lots and lots of machine stitching, both decorative (as an accent around the border) and practical (to hold the chipboard letters in place on top of lace trim); not to mention a bit of handstitching with embroidery floss (the fanciful butterfly trail):

people sometimes ask me if there is a trick to handstitching on cards and there isn't really, aside from the fact that you DEFINITELY need to make your holes beforehand. i use the good old heidi swapp petite paper piercer-- which is also the first thing i'd grab if a burglar broke in, that thing is SHARP!--and work on top of an old mouse mat to protect my tabletop. i usually draw very lightly in pencil where i think i'd like to stitch, and when i'm happy with the design i poke my holes (as evenly spaced as possible), erase the pencil marks, and then get sewing. on this card i've used all 6 strands of DMC embroidery floss, for maximum impact. i nearly always use backstitch (& did so here), but holbein stitch is completely BRILLIANT for situations in which the back of your work will also be visible; for example...working on a transparency, where the combination of old-fashioned stitching and ultra-modern acrylic are--in my opinion--rather awesome!

everything you see above (except the floss) came from october's pixie dust paperie kit, FALL IN LOVE! there are more photos on the pixie blog...including one of the piece of packaging (!!!) i used as part of my card's frame!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

i ♥LOVE♥ a road planner with a sense of humor!

this is a genuine street sign for an actual road near my mother's house in bucks county, pennsylvania. i SWEAR i am
not makin' this up:

(i'm pretty sure superman's cover is blown now, though...
he must be pretty ticked off!)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

it's a bird, it's a plane, it's...the *SOAPMOBILE*??!

well, yeah. or at least...the very cool vintage car that belongs to soapology in the west village, one of the cool shops kirsty vittetoe and i visited when we met up in new york last week. see?

(please forgive the overly digi-embellished photo...but i just got THIS GORGEOUS KIT and i had to play with it! had to!!!)

we also went to the ink pad of course*, and kate's paperie, and the (new to me but rather FABULOUS) b&h photography superstore**. we had lunch at tawa tandoor*** and later grabbed a lovely sit-down and a snack at chocolate bar, right across from the ink pad; the only drawback of this scenario was that it meant when we passed the hitherto-undiscovered-by-me but apparently *OUTSTANDING* grom gelato, we were not in a position to even consider stopping in...but don't worry i will get some NEXT TIME and give you a full report!

thanks, kirsty, for an absolutely lovely day...when're you comin' BACK??!

*b/c when papercrafters get together, art supplies MUST be ogled...discussed at length...and (in the fullness of time) ...purchased! it is written!!! :)

**which lives up to its name just by virtue of the AMAZING system of conveyor belts which send your choice of products from inventory to the sales floor to the checkout counter without the help of human hands (i would not rule out ELVES though!!!); not to mention an intricate but genuinely helpful system for queueing customers that surely makes the soup nazi weep with joy!

***there's *GOOOOOOOD* indian food in midtown??! WHO KNEW!!! :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

baby love minibook...inspired by pixies!

this fun minibook i made is featured on the pixie dust paperie blog today!

there are loads more photos over there, including the interior pages (it's a blank book i'm giving as a "new baby" present) which are loaded with fabulous melissa frances papers, webster's pages trims and stickers, and loads of other goodies from the october kit, fall in love! why not drop by and have a peek?! ♥

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

a (last-minute) *TRIPLE* play!!!

i like to think i am as good a multi-tasker as anyone else, but in fact when it comes to challenges, i seldom manage to do more than double up with... say... a sketch and a color combo. this time, however, i've even worked in a *THEME* which means i am good to go on three challenges with one card! a new personal best! :)

i've combined this week's sketchy thursday sketch (that closes in...about 15 minutes...) which is, naturally, FAB-U-LOUS:

i've followed (pretttttty closely) the current (GORGEOUS!) color scheme at design dollies of turquoise pink and white; and i've worked in some lovely winged creatures for the take flight theme at the city crafter challenge blog!

and here's my card:

(patterned paper: prima + rhonna farrer digis from house of three; glossy cardstock: ranger; stickers: ek success; butterfly punches: martha stewart; inks: colorbox; font: porcelain; gems: mambi; adhesives: tombow monorunner, gluedots)

and now i think my work here is done...and done...and DONE! goodnight, all! ♥♥♥

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

been there, done that!

(do i even need to tell you this comes from the divine and hilarious lego-a-day photo website?! naaaaaaaaaahhhhh, surely not. happy tuesday afternoon, darlings...from me... and the moody blues!)

Monday, October 11, 2010

welcome to church of england:

cake or death??!?!

ok, sorry, those of you who are not fans of my favorite british comedian, eddie izzard, are now completely lost, for which i apologize. it's a line from one of his routines which you can watch here, in lego form, if you are so inclined.

the reason it came up... (& i wish i could say that i noticed it myself but *NO!* the lovely ms. phinner had to point it out to me!) just so happens i crocheted both of these adorable and yet utterly opposite amigurumis in the same week! that's a bold new height of silliness, even for me! :) of course, once the idea was in my head, i had to photo them together and use the line; and the result is possibly my favorite ami photo *ever*...i cannot wait to add it to my ami mini-book!!! ♥

Sunday, October 10, 2010

again with the trimmings!!!

today's project is a gift bag i made for my mom's birthday, using lots and lots and LOTS of lace and trim from the october pixie dust paperie kit, "fall in love"...and a zillion hand-cut, inky, wrinkly, distressed paper flowers. what can i say? once you start makin' grunge flowers, it's kind of hard to STOP! :)

more details and more photos over at the pixie dust blog, where NO PROJECT ever goes un-embellished!!! ♥♥♥

Thursday, October 7, 2010

heart the art: week 39 (& SCD!)

our heart the art prompt for week 39 was AUTUMN, which coincided nicely with this week's SHADES OF AUTUMN theme at something completely different; so i made a multi-taskin' 4x6" page that covers both in one fell swoop!

unlike most of my HTA pages, this one has content on the back, as well:

because as much as i do genuinely enjoy the crisp days, cool nights, and vivid colors of fall in the northeastern united states...i can never quiiiiiiiiiiite stay "in the seasonal moment" enough to ignore the fact that these will inevitably be followed by WINTER. bleck.

my favorite parts of this page are texty, fluttery, many-toned, diecut autumn leaves. wouldja believe i spent most of an evening making those?? uh huh. it involved watercoloring (with more enthusiasm than skill!) on various scraps of old book paper & then stamping on top of that...

backing the thinner bits with index stock & diecutting the leaves with the cuttlebug...

swiping the intricate edges (to very little effect) with distress ink ...and finally... wonkily outlining them in black pen.

as you can clearly see from the photos i took afterwards of the leftovers: at NO POINT until the very verrrrrrrrrrrrrrry end of all that did it look like i was going wind up with ANYTHING good! but while i was working, i was half-consciously thinking about bruce mau's amazing incomplete manifesto for growth* (yes, STILL--ever since january!) in this case the relevant points are 4, 6, 8 and 13; and...especially...#3, "process is more important than outcome"!

in the end, as it happens, i am rather *thrilled* with the outcome, but at no time during the process did that seem likely, so i am rather proud that i kept going anyway! ♥

*if you don't know what i'm talking about, why not take five minutes to read these brilliant, inspiring & practical thoughts on thinking and working more creatively? if you DO know what i'm talking about, why not take five minutes and RE-READ these brilliant, inspiring & practical ideas for thinking and working more creatively?! :)

that pixie girl is back again!

this time i made a card that uses almost all of the gorgeous webster's pages "le jardin" trimmings that are in the october pixie dust paperie kit, plus some other bits and bobs:

there's a bit more in the way of text and pictures over at the PDP blog, plus loads of other designer projects to inspire you, and of course the shoppe is OPEN now, selling kits and other yummy goodies!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

in celebration of...

...remembering how to get photos off my phone and into my computer, i thought i'd post a few random ones from august! (from which you'll have sussed that i've been MEANING TO remember how to get get photos off my phone and into my computer for a while now!)

my friend trish and i made a little excursion to brooklyn general store in carroll gardens. this place is part yarn shop, part fabric shop, and entirely fabulous!

even if we did not like that sort of thing... (which, trust me, WE DO!!!) would have been worth the trip just to see this magnificent KNITTED TREE that stands at the front of the shop! very possibly the most impressive piece of yarncraft i have ever seen in my entire life. (sorry, i wish it was a better photo!) totally amazing!

unfortunately, the knitted tree has attracted knitted squirrels. ok, just the *ONE* squirrel, but he is four foot tall and could easily chase your rottweiller up a (non-knitted, and hopefully quite sturdy) tree!!! luckily, the local bird population does not seem to mind such things:

in addition to the decor, the selection of goods was marvelous, (yarn galore, AMAZING fabrics, good selection of tools, ribbon to die for, and the largest array of sewing & knitting books i've ever seen in one place!) the saleswoman was incredibly friendly and helpful, and the shop is a totally delightful place to while away an afternoon.

mindful of the fact that i'd be carrying my weekender backpack first on foot, then on the subway and bus, i was pretty restrained in my purchases; but i did get some gorgeous ribbon (you can see a bit at the bottom of this arch thingie) and i couldn't resist some very fun & funky oilcloth...even BEFORE i saw these great 1950's brochures at oilcloth international's website!

isn't it great when the biggest problem you have is deciding WHAT TO MAKE FIRST??!?! ♥♥♥