Monday, February 28, 2011

step back and *SQUINT*...

...and i think you might be able to see the latest sketchy thursdays offering in my card. maybe. or possibly not. it is a VERY loose version of the sketch, even by my own standards in these matters; plus, i've rotated it; and compressed the proportions quite a bit. so yeah... reallllllllllly loose. but you tell me. here's the sketch:

and here's my card, which was a total blast to make:

(vintage: paris travel guide, map (photocopied into greyscale) & notebook paper; digi: eiffel towel photo from internet, sandy krieger frame, house of 3 paper & tickets; : scrappystuff: patterned paper: hambly; glitter letter stickers: making memories; travel stickers & bling heart: mambi; filmstrip: tim holtz; adhesives: tombow monorunner, sewing machine)

and now i just hope miss heidi will forgive the liberties i have taken with her sketch. if so, i will say to her,


Sunday, February 27, 2011

whoever thought of this...

...i ♥ them!

i love EVERYTHING about it: i love the changing depth of field in the pic; i love the clever photoshopped giraffe (in retrospect totally simple...but i’d’ve NEVER thought of it!); i love the whimsical non-sequitur of both the photo AND the caption; i love the way the caption is placed for maximum impact. i'm just glad i was done my coffee when i saw this on icanhascheezburger last week, or i suspect serious choking would’ve ensued...would've been WORTH IT, though! :)

happy sunday, darlings!
i hope wherever you are, and whatever you're doing, something unexpected and wonderful happens today!
(probably for most of us this will not involve giraffes...but who knows...?!)

Friday, February 25, 2011

jingle belles: text me!

this week's JINGLE BELLES prompt... (we're already at CARD NINE, can you believe it?!) called "text me"!

this time we're incorporating text, fonts, and typography into our cards. this is one of my favorite things to do anyway, but then miss stephanie--who is a figure of some repute when it comes to sussing out the best sources of online inspiration*--made a whole entire pinterest pinboard full of fabulous ideas and then she found flickr's typography pool and...well...i might've gotten just the teeeeeeeeeeeniest bit carried away, what with all those great ideas swimmin' around in my head!

(patterned paper: love elsie, dcwv, echo park; glossy black cardstock: ranger; snowflake stickers: martha stewart & jolee's; metallic embroidery floss: dmc; adhesives: tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape, gluedots; other: vintage metallic ribbon)

so yeah: i've cut letters out of ONE text paper, and i've glued them onto ANOTHER text paper, and i've handstitched around them to make them stand out even more. and then i've added music paper and an extra helping of sparkleee silver. basically, it's a fantasia of FONTS!!! or...well...something. but i like it. :) :) :)

this prompt will last until next wednesday at 6pm; all the details are on the JINGLE BELLES blog, along with stef's gorgeous card, so head on over when you've got a minute to spare!

*if you do not read her "link love" posts every thursday you are MISSING OUT, i tell ya! not that you shouldn't read her blog EVERY day, obviously...but stef is awesome at finding the coolest links around, so thursdays are especially cool, imo! ♥♥♥

Thursday, February 24, 2011


ordinarily, we close out the card submissions at JINGLE BELLES on wednesday nights... but... this week our partnership with SKETCHY THURSDAYS is so special, and diana's sketch is sooooooooo cool, we've added an entire extra day!

so if you were hoping to play, but didn't quiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiite get there yet: WOOHOO! you've still got until 10pm (EST) tonight (thursday, feb 24th) to make your card...or even... to make another card??!?! like this:

(vintage santa image from a children's book; patterned paper: dcwv, k&co; cardstock: core'dinations; stickers: creative imaginations, echo park, 7 gypsies, recollections; edge punches: ek success, recollections; adhesives: tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)

don't forget to link it HERE (at jingle belles) and HERE (at sketchy thursdays) to have a shot at BOTH prize packs that are being given away by random draw tomorrow morning! good luck! ♥

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

PDP springtime pixie birthday card

today on the pixie blog, there's a lovely (she said, modestly) SPRINGTIME PIXIE birthday card, that i made using this month's kit of the same name! (what're the odds, eh??!) :)

i do hope you'll pop over and see it. while you're there, you might like to do a bit of scrolling because my fellow pixies have spent the whole month making ♥AMAZING♥ projects with this kit...and we have the posts to prove it, baby!

Monday, February 21, 2011

wish you were here

i realize that the majority of projects i make with the pixie dust paperie kits tend to be on the feminine side, loaded with pixies and flowers and embellishments; but this is because that's a style i enjoy and not because the kits themselves aren't flexible. case in point:

today's card... very much a "guy card", you'll notice made enitrely from the SPRINGTIME PIXIE kit. it's featured on the pixie dust blog today, along with additional photos and a bit about the products and techniques i used to make it. i'm quite proud, actually--especially of the photo corners! ♥

Sunday, February 20, 2011

matching gift bag? (got it!)

a matching gift bag is always nice...especially when you only realize at the very last minute that you don't have a box to accomodate a gift for say, your inlaws' anniversary gift. i used this week's regular sketchy thursdays sketch, (as opposed to the special "second chance challenge" card sketch made especially for this week's jingle belles prompt, i mean); it looks a bit like this:

most people use these gorgeous sketches for layouts. every once in a while someone like myself makes a card... (about which diana & heidi & the gang are very gracious and generous with their kind comments!) ...or, say...a giftbag. well, hey, a good sketch can be used for ANYTHING, right? from an ATC to a canvas to a layout to a card, you just adapt the elements to fit your project!

in addition to being inspired by the sketch itself, i totally love what sketchy thursday design team member tomomi did with her layout this week, especially the bunting she added to the top! knowing i already had a card with a butterfly banner...and leftover punched butterflies from making that banner...well, it seemed silly not to use them up.

i've been wanting to try hand-cutting a title for a while now. i wasn't sure how well my penmanship would stand up to this treatment, and i confess to "neatening" it a bit whilst cutting, but i think it looks surprisingly good, actually, so you'll be seeing this again, i think. :) the only tip i'd give to anyone wanting a similar effect is to write with a big marker on scrap paper, staple it to your patterned paper...

cut the inner bits (of the a's and e's and o's) with a craft knife FIRST...and then, finally, use scissors to carefully cut around the contours of your word.

i attached mine to the bag with thin strips of foam tape, after inking around the edges to give it a little more dimension...and hide any small scissor-related boo-boos. et voila! i think my work here is done.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

what i ♥LOVE♥ most about challenges... that they push me to make something i would never have come up with on my own! the card below is a really good example of that, which is why i mention it. but first, lemme tell you which challenges i'm talking about. in this case, it's this beautiful pencil lines sketch (#225, i believe):

in combination with the current design dollies colour palette of green, purple and ivory:

it was the "ivory" that really got me. because i sometimes use purple... (it's niece lindsay's favorite color!) ...and i might've made the leap to putting it with green (purple flowers & green leaves, mebbe?); but then, i'd've most likely gone with white or kraft for my neutral. which is a pity since ivory is just SO NICE with purple and green! see?

(patterned paper: pink paislee, glitz design, basic grey, prima, bo bunny, making memories + more tiny purple scraps than i can count! butterfly punches: martha stewart; edge punches: martha, fiskars, recollections; heart dies: cuttlebug; alpha stickers: k&co; alpha chipboards: michaels (from leslie-THANKS, missus!); tissue tape: tim holtz; bling flourish (w/considerable surgery to make it fit): oriental trading co; inks: colorbox; adhesives: tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)

i also wouldn't have thought to make an anniversary card in these colors, except i suddenly realized i needed a card for LHJ's parents, and i had already commenced to happily envisioning the combination of the aforementioned challenges. so i stayed with those, but switched quickly into "LOVE" mode. :)

please excuse the wonky lighting. i left it slightly too late to take photos, and then ran out of time completely; but i think you get the idea. mostly. by the way, the anniversary in question celebrates my lovely in-laws' *57th* year of wedded bliss. even now, they truly are one of the couples jeff and i look at and say, "now THAT'S the kind of marriage to have!" thanks, mom and dad, for showin' us how it's done!!! ♥♥♥

Friday, February 18, 2011

jingle belles: CARD EIGHT

i'm really excited about this week's JINGLE BELLES prompt! we've teamed up with the wonderfully creative gals at SKETCHY THURSDAYS which means we've got an exclusive sketch by diana and TWO chances to link it up: once at jingle belles, and then a second time at sketchy thursdays! plus... there's going to be a prize awarded on each blog!

here's the sketch, which i think you'll agree is quite wonderful:

and here's my card:

(vintage illustration from "ideals" magazine; patterned paper: hambly, basic grey, pink paislee; cardstock: core'dinations; ruffles: pink paislee; leaf ribbon: may arts; wired pearls & poinsettia: michaels; acrylic snowflake: heidi swapp; wire & bead snowflake: jolees; rub-on sentiment: basic grey; ink: colorbox; adhesives:tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape; other: sewing machine)

this fun "crossover" means that in addition to seeing stef's card, and the cool prize that will be awarded to one lucky cardmaker this week on the JINGLE BELLES blog, you'll want to check out the gorgeous inspiration by the awesome sketchy thursdays team, and THE OTHER prize that's being given away on their blog!

to sum up: TWO prizes on TWO blogs and you only need to make ONE CARD to have a shot at both! (can i get a "WOOHOO?!") just link up your sketch-based finery at ST and JB by 10p EST on thursday, february 24th! see the post at JINGLE BELLES for complete details!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

limelight: stringing us along :)

i don't know about you, but i can never get enough of mandy's gorgeous limelight sketches. they're the kind you really need to print and save...'cause you KNOW you're going to want to use them again in future! case in point:

this week's sketch. it's simple, yet awesome. you could take this thing ANYWHERE! oh and did i mention this week's product focus is to incorporate string or twine into the design? of course we can use it any way we'd like, but one cannot help noticing that the sketch has kind of "telegraphed" to us the perfect place to put a bit of string or twine, should we need some inspiration! thanks, mandy! :)

here's my card:

(kraft cardstock: hobby lobby; patterned paper: dcwv, sei; tab: sei; chipboard alphas: heidi swapp; charm: pebbles inc; "string"'s actually dmc embroidery floss...i wanted it to match ok??! :) inks: colorbox; adhesives: tomobow monorunner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)

i know what you're thinking. you're thinking, "hey lauren! that's a lot more 'clean & simple' than you usually go!" what can i tell you? that amy girl must be a really good influence!!! ♥ on an added--and completely unrelated--side note i realized when i was photo-ing this card that pretty much every product i used is AT LEAST 3 or 4 years old. apparently, i was having some sort of little "retro" moment? but i like it, and i needed a "guy card" so i'm going with it! :)

and now you'd like to know how *YOU* can get in on the action, am i right??! well here ya go:

**Use the sketch provided and try to incorporate some TWINE or STRING!
**Key word for SCS upload is LLPC067.
**Post a comment with a link to your card on Mandy's Blog by Sunday, February 20th, at midnight.
**PRIZE** this week Limelight Designer Lynn Miller got to choose one of her favorite products... it's the Webster's Pages 6x6" Vellum and Die Cut Kit (the kind i used to make my pixie dust birthday book!) and it'll be awarded randomly to one lucky cardmaker!♥

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

PDP pixie wishes card

one of the many cool things in february's pixie dust paperie kit, SPRINGTIME PIXIE is the 12x12 cardstock sheet of graphic 45's "once upon a springtime" postcards. i used one of 'em...and some cardstock and some lace and some g45 flowery patterned paper... (all of which are also from the kit) to make this whimsical birthday card:

there are more photos of it on the pixie blog today, including one which shows how i cut around the flowers on another piece of G45 paper to make the dimensional frame, so i hope you'll sneak over there and see it. of course, if you are currently having a serious discussion with a frog, or indeed any small amphibian, i am happy to wait my turn; we pixies have *EXCELLENT* manners, you know! :) :) :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

and the dragon winner is.......

and according to the fine folks at, the winner is #4!
so according to the comments, that means a small green amigurumi named


will be packing his tiny crocheted suitcase to go and live with the lovely


cheryl, best to put fresh batteries in the smoke alarms, stock up on beef jerky, and email me (llaurenb @ hotmail dot com) with your snail mail address, cause this guy is keen to travel!!!

many thanks to all who entered! if i ever need to name another dragon, or indeed any small cute creature, i know exactly who i'll ask first...there were some AWESOME names sent in!!!


Monday, February 14, 2011

is it just me?

or does today feel even monday-er than usual??!

on the other hand,


oh yeah, and you still have until midnight to enter the DRAGON DRAWING if you'd like to do so!

but even so, it still feels realllllllllllllllllly, seriously, totally, way too mondayish to me right now. :)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

PDP helpful sally card

how much do you love the october afternoon "wild cards" that come in this month's SPRINGTIME PIXIE kit??!?! yeah, me too!!! this one's my favorite:

there are more photos and more product details about my thank you card on the pixie blog today. i hope you'll hop over there and check them out! ♥

Friday, February 11, 2011

jingle belles: CARD SEVEN

this week at JINGLE BELLES we've got another lovely guest star, the uber-talented lisa of papergrace designs, who wrote in* with a most clever suggestion: it's sort of a REVERSE color-palette challenge; instead of telling us which colors we have to use, it tells us that which we may not. uh-huh, you read that right. this week miss lisa gives us,

"no red, she said!"

how cool is that??! ♥♥♥

i decided i wanted to see how far i could "push the envelope" color-wise..but...still use mostly store-bought, purpose-made CHRISTMAS STUFF from my stash. it turned out, i could go prettttttttttttttttty darned far; and except for some ordinary glitter thickers, i used ALL holiday products. (nice!!) here's m'card now:

(transparency: hambly; patterned paper: pink paislee, prima, best creation, ki; stickers: jolees, k&co, martha stewart; letters: american crafts; brad: mme; ink: colorbox; adhesives: tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape)

i fell in love with the combination of the glittery gold snowflake transparency and those fabulous trees i fussy-cut from this paper. after that, i just sort of built up the design: a few layers of punched snowflakes, held on with a brad... sparkly, laser-cut stickers to echo the snow theme; and the aforementioned glittery white letters to form my (minimal) sentiment.

finally, a matted label INSIDE the card to write on ...and... to emphasize the frame shape on the transparency. i wish i had the ability/camera that could capture how much sparkle and how many layers of light this thing gives off. i guess you'll have to trust me when i say that it's MUCH more glittery in real life! :)

and now it's YOUR TURN: how will you interpret, "no red, she said" ?! will you go craaaaaaaaaaaaayzee with a zillion neon brights, or pare all the way down into monochromatic tones? will you go out on a limb thematically as well as in your palette, or stick to something more traditional? anything goes know... ick-snay with the ed-ray!!! :)

*she emailed us at jinglebellesrock [@] hotmail [dot] com...and you can too! we'd love to hear your suggestions for a prompt, and if we use your idea, we'll invite you to be our lovely guest star for that week! sound fun??!?! then make with the emailing, (cyber)post haste! ♥

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

here be dragon giveaway!

i think it's time for another amigurumi giveaway, don't you?! and of course nothing spreads the valentine-y message of love and friendship more effusively than a small green friendly dragon, does it?!

to my fellow crocheters, i should mention that the pattern for this little guy came from simple arts planet on and is without doubt the clearest, most thorough, and best illustrated ami pattern i've ever used!

for those of you who'd prefer to acquire your dragons fully assembled, this little guy is keen to travel! just leave your very best dragon-name suggestion as a comment on this post. enter as many times as you like before midnight on valentine's day (that's next monday, february 14th); i'll draw & announce a random winner the following morning.

good luck, dragon-loving darlings!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

it cannot be spring soon enough for me!!!

unfortunately, the new jersey weather seems to currently have quite different ideas about that. luckily, as of yesterday, the february pixie dust paperie kit, SPRINGTIME PIXIE, is officially for sale in the pixie shoppe! but before you dash over there to buy it... (or, if you prefer, AFTER you dash over there to buy it?!) stop in at the pixie blog, ok? why? well, there are a couple of reasons: for one thing, i am VERY proud of today's project, which is an accordion book in a little wooden box thingie, that looks a bit like this:

ok, actually it looks *EXACTLY* like that! but i still think/hope you might enjoy seeing the inside of it, as well as perhaps reading a bit about how i made it.

for another, miss kirsty has just begun the fifth round of giveaways, and in addition to some highly crave-able pixie goods, there are a couple of absolutely beautiful items handmade by pixie zielonooka, and since i know you want a shot at winning those, so be sure to check out this post!

if, whilst you are there, you should happen upon a fellow commenter called "RITA" who types in all smallcase, uses lots of "!!!'s" and adorns her words with little ♥HEARTS♥ it won't be me, assuming a false identity just for a chance at the prizes. honest, it won't. ;)

Friday, February 4, 2011

jingle belles: CARD SIX

this week's prompt at JINGLE BELLES is taken from the song, "baby it's cold outside" and the brief is to use felt on your include an image of a hat, scarf or mittens!

i have had an idea for "paper piecing" ...but using felt... kicking around inside my head since LAST christmas, so this seemed like a good time to give it a go. it turned out to be quite easy...but there were one or two little tricks i discovered, so i thought i'd share a mini tutorial with you!

1. choose, size, and print your image

i love the little reindeer on this paperchase giftwrap, but at 1.5" he's pretty tiny, so i used my scanner to copy & enlarge him to just under 5" tall.

2. attach pattern to felt

i used staples to tack my paper pattern...obviously OUTSIDE the lines of my finished reindeer.

3. cut base image from the most dominant color

before cutting, i xyroned my sheet of tan craft felt onto some white index stock to make a nice sturdy base that will support the decorative additions.

4. cut out & attach the decorative bits

in this case, the reindeer has a brown antler and four hooves, a red nose, a white and black eye, and some tiny white spots. i used my original pattern to cut everything from the appropriate colors of UNBACKED felt. i used aleene's tacky glue, applied with a paint brush, to bond the layers of felt together. the tiny white spots are punched out of paper, and attached the same way.

5. admire your gallant deer!

since this little guy's adorability level was somewhere between a cute embellishment and a beloved family pet...i could not resist using tiny needles and some fine scrap yarn to knit him a little scarf. ('cause baby, it's COLD outside!)

6. make a card!

rudy's so cute that my card didn't need much else: a couple of patterned paper panels, a few snowflakes, a bit of felt rick-rack and a little tag were enough to complete my card. only at the very end did i realize i had subconsciously used amy's gorgeous sketch from last week again-- but hey, it's a great sketch so why not?!"

Thursday, February 3, 2011

in the limelight...seeing red...

hooray! it's time for limelight papercrafts sketch #66! and it's a goodie, too:

i love the way mandy's sketches always have enough to get you going...but you still have plenty of freedom in your interpretation! that's basically what you want in a sketch, right?!

this week's "product challenge"...with valentine's day fast to incorporate some red embellishments. i apologize in advance to the paper crafters on the eastern coast of the US who plan to take part in this: i have used ALL of the red embellishments in this region. sorry. you could nip over to the limelight store though, where there are discounts galore!!! :)

(patterned paper: creative imaginations, echo park; flowers: prima, michaels, doodlebug; brads: doodlebug, queen & co; rub-ons: prima, american crafts, fancy pants, autumn leaves, michaels; stickers: k&co, susan branch; bling: recollections; adhesive: 3m foam tape; other: sewing machine)

see? you thought i was kidding, right? but no, as i told you: i have used ALL of the red embellishments on the eastern seaboard! :) i'd try to be a little more repentant about that, but i don't think you'd believe me anyway, because making this card was just SO MUCH FUN!

my very favorite part isn't all the fab red goodness, however, my favorite part is the scalloppy edge. so much so, that i've given it a photo of its very own:

i'd originally planned to either trim the right side or add ribbon (or something) to the left, but as the card developed i decided i really LIKED the asymmetrical look, so i left it. 'cause yeah! i'm a crazy crafty rebel--and i've got the super-abundance of red embellishments to prove it! ♥♥♥

and now, here's a little something for those of you who enjoy a bit of official "FINE PRINT":

**Use the sketch provided and try to incorporate some RED embellishments!
**Key word for SCS upload is LLPC066.
**Post a comment with a link to your card to the sketch post on Mandy's blog by midnight, Sunday, February 6th.
PRIZE ~ White Liquid Applique and an Odd Bird Planet "Me and You" stamp; winner is chosen randomly from all participants...GOOD LUCK!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

be careful what you wish for!

having spent the last week saying, shouting, whining, and pleading, "NO MORE SNOW!" in various tones of voice, this morning we woke up to (...wait for iiiiiiiiiiiit...) ICE! yeah. thank you. snow will be fine, and i will shut up now. :)

on the plus side, i made a card! i used this lovely map from sketchy thursdays:

and incorporated the "LOVE" theme* at the city crafter challenge blog, to come up with a bit of an anniversary card:

(patterned paper: echo park + handmade india paper; cardstock diecuts: urban lily; cardstock stickers: echo park, creative imaginations; trims: making memories & american crafts; flowers: prima; brads: michaels (thanks, leslie!); adhesives: tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)

ok, the sketch is a little smooshed...but it is THERE, honestly! i actually laid this out at first as a bit bigger...and rectangular... card, and then decided to "compress" it a bit in order to fit into a 6x6" envelope. i kind of slightly wish i'd gone with my first instinct, but i still think it's quite a pretty card; also i'm sort of shocked to find i'm quite loving the color GREY at the moment. who knew??!

if you are in the mid-atlantic region of the US...or indeed anywhere that weather conditions are a bit take extra good care today, darlings! or better yet: STAY HOME AND MAKE STUFF!!!** ♥♥♥

*let's all say that in our best "barry white" voices, shall we?! thanks. that was fun!
**just tell the boss, "lauren said so!" yeah. that'll work! :) :) :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

ok, who pressed "FAST FOWARD"??!?

seriously. because january just blew past me like a runaway train! and now here we are on the first of february, and i'm fixin' to send you all over pixie dust paperie blog to see previews of the new kit! how did this happen??!

well anyway, i am inordinately proud of today's project; quite unfairly so, really, seeing as pixie-in-chief kirsty v actually did most of the work for me by (yet again!) selecting the coolest products around and combining them rather brilliantly so that a papercrafter like myself is ready to START MAKIN' STUFF as soon as the box is open!

this month, the very first thing i made was a birthday book, for my mom:

there are loads more photos of it (covers, pages, embellies, etc!) on the pixie blog...and since it uses quite a wide selection of the lovely ingredients in this month's kit, you'll get a sort of sneaky peek at what's in there, too! ;) you can already tell from this that there's serious graphic 45 goodness going on...and some rather fab chipboard frames...if i also said "websters pages" and "vellum" would that interest you at all...?? off you go then, darlings! ♥