Saturday, October 29, 2011

"D♥R♥E♥A♥M" banner (& giveaway!)

i cannot believe this is my last pixie dust paperie project using october's anniversary kit, BLUE MOON! how on earth did the entire month of october rush by soooooo quickly??!?!

this banner was a ♥DREAM♥ to make, and now the best part is, i get to give it away to one lucky reader of the pixie blog!!! why not hop over there and enter the drawing?

speaking of which, because of our prolonged travel plans and just generally running out of time all-round, i will be taking november off from my beloved pixie duties, but back and better than ever for the december kit, which i know you're going to LOVE as much as i do! in the meantime, i'll be checking in frequently at the PDP blog just to see all the loveliness my fellow pixies... and some lovely guest designers... have cooked up! hope to see you there, as well! ♥

Friday, October 28, 2011

JB44: not a CREATURE was stirring

i have a confession to make: this week's JINGLE BELLES prompt is one for which i've been waiting all year long! yep, in honor of halloween, we've got a CREATURE FEATURE for you! what we mean is that your card should have a living "creature" of some sort on it: an animal, a bird, a rodent, or whatever takes your fancy.

but to me, of course, there is only ONE WAY to go with this:

MONSTA CARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(a little backstory for those who've only met me through jingle belles: a couple of years ago i bought a roll of paperchase giftwrap in the (now sadly discontinued) "mini mutant" pattern, and for reasons that now elude me, decided the little aliens would be PERFECT for christmas cards! since then i've set a number of different monstas in all kinds of holiday situations: essplainin' to santa... proclaiming pride in their distinctive hue... trying to blend in with the holiday decor... and so forth; i nearly always do the sentiment/joke in dymo labels, i often work in some classic "love elsie" paper. i love ALL of the monstas equally, of course, but if you really pushed me to pick an all-time favorite, the little green guy featured below miiiiiiiight be my favorite!)

here, now, with great excitement and pride i present to you the first xmas MONSTA CARD of 2011:

(monsta cut from paperchase "mini mutant" giftwrap; patterned paper: love elsie, sei, prima, dcwv, old ledger paper; black glossy cardstock: ranger; border sticker: fancy pants; gems: recollections; label: dymo; inks: colorbox; adhesives: uhu gluestick, tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape)

and now i cannot wait to see what *YOU* will do this week! remember, you don't HAVE TO make your creature a monsta-- (though of course you can if you like!!!) --more traditional xmas fare such as reindeer, polar bears, elves, snowpersons, penguins and the like shall be deemed perfectly acceptable as well! :) head on over to JINGLE BELLES for all the details and to link up your fabulous CREATURE creation!!! ♥

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

a photo geography quiz!

what state has:

...a profusion of palms...

...heavenly hibiscus...

...serious surfers...

...and MANY happy tourists...

including-- (for the last few days) --this one:

if you guessed *HAWAII* darlings you are absolutely correct!!!!! :)

some of you may know that lovely husband jeff does a fair amount of travelling for work, mostly in the mid-atlantic region, on trips in which he sees little more than his plant, a hotel room and the interstate; but every once in a while he gets to go somewhere AMAZING... and this was one of those times! it came together at the last minute and for a while looked like it was going to fall apart just as suddenly, which is why i kept mum on the subject until we were actually HERE! at the moment i'm exploring waikiki and honolulu on my own; by the end of this week LHJ should be at liberty and then the SERIOUS TOURISM will commence!

i have some pixie dust and jingle belles projects pre-scheduled and i'll be popping in with updates from the road... just in case there are a few of you who aren't quiiiiiiiiite jealous enough yet! in the meantime:

ALOHA, DARLINGS!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

delicious blue moon cupcake

can you believe it's been a whole year since the pixie dust paperie made its debut??! nope, nor can i! but the calendar-- and pixie-in-chief kirsty vittetoe-- assure me this is the case, and we've been having ANNIVERSARY ALERTS all month over at the pixie blog, so it must be true!

seeing as it *IS* our anniversary, i thought it'd be fun to re-create the very first project i made last october, for the very first pixie dust kit, FALL IN LOVE: a super-embellished cupcake gift-card holder inspired by the amazing tresa black's (aka the stamp goddess) step-by-step fabulously artsy cupcake tutorial:

for this one i used the anniversary kit, BLUE MOON, which was perfect since the intended occasion for this particular paper confection is nephew matthew's fourth birthday.

lots more photos and details on the pixie blog; as well as info on how to enter this month's pixie challenge, "birdsong"... and maybe an anniversary surprise or two for you as well!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

embellished shopping bag

when i found these photos in a file the other day, i realized i never posted this "passionately purple" gift bag i made for niece lindsay's eighth birthday! since her main present was the fancy (if oddly shaped and hard to wrap!) princess crown i made with october's anniversary pixie dust kit, BLUE MOON, i converted a full-sized kraft shopping bag for the purpose:

i knew for a fact that miss l's official favorite color was still purple, but something i didn't realize beforehand is that her OTHER favorite color is aqua blue; by the merest chance the exceptionally elderly large alphabet stickers i chose to spell her name had aqua and white accents, so i built my design around them.

it just so happened that i had a few punched butterflies leftover from another project, so i die-cut some additional ones from purple scraps and made a... flock? swarm?? (what's the collective noun for butterflies? ...anyone...??!) of those babies. all they needed were a few pearls to make them super-fab!

finally, stuck for just the right trimming at the top of the bag, i sewed some very old purple ribbon to a long length of doubled-over broderie anglaise lace i found at a yard sale; hot glued it into place, and finished it all off with another butterfly and a few florals.

i don't think there's a single item involved in this project that's less than three or four years old--including the bag! but it just goes to show how "stash shopping" is not only a great way to save money... sometimes it's a great design choice, too! ♥

(vintage: lace; recycled: shopping bag; patterned paper: dcwv, bo bunny, prima, anna griffin, laura ashley, doodlebug, paper co, sei; letters: making memories; bling word: heidi swapp; paper flowers: prima; aqua flower: webster's pages; silk flower sprig & purple ribbon: michaels; border punch & pearls: recollections; adhesives: tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape, hot glue)

Friday, October 21, 2011

JB43: softly falling snow

i've mentioned before that my favorite weeks at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ are those in which we have a lovely guest star come along with a fabulous prompt and their own inspiring take on it, and this week is no exception. the very awesome noelle mcadams suggested we build our cards around ♥SOFT♥ and snuggly materials: felt, fabric, ribbon, tulle, flocking, flowersoft... well it's quite a long list, isn't it? and i'm sure you're already thinking up what you'd like to do this time, aren't you?

in the meantime, here is my card:

(selection of cotton quilting fabrics, xyroned onto index stock and die-cut; patterned paper: tim holtz, echo park; felt snowflakes & gem: hero arts; rub-on snowflakes: hambly; sentiment sticker: 7 gypsies; brads: oriental trading; pink sparkly tulle: kate's paperie; ink: colorbox; adhesives: xyron, tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)

if this looks slightly familiar, that might be because i did a reallllly cute felt-pieced reindeer for the baby it's cold outside prompt last february. when i mentioned to stef that i was bummed not to be able to do that again, she immediately said, "WHY NOT??!?!" which started me thinking: why not, indeed??!?! afterall, that's why we buy stamps, and dies, and more than one sheet of the same patterned paper, isn't it? precisely in order to be able to use a great idea more than once! so i made a brand new version of one of my favorite cards! this time i've used a sizzix die, and fashioned both the reindeer and the pink snowy hills on which she stands, from cotton fabric that i've xyroned onto index stock in order to give it a bit of "backbone"! since the deer is sooooooo adorable i didn't need much more: a few felt snowflakes, an appropriate sentiment, and a bit of stitching and i had wrapped this baby up!

and now i hope you'll hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ in order to see the gorgeousness perpetrated by noelle and stephanie, and then start plotting your own "softly falling" card!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

birdsong... the title and theme of this month's pixie dust paperie challenge! to enter all you need do is make a card, an atc, an altered piece, a layout, or any other paper crafting project you can dream up... and feature at least one bird! you've got until november 5th to link up, and you can read about the fab prize and see my fellow pixies' projects on the pixie blog; in the meantime, here is my card:

apart from the ancient bling word and some leftover pixie seam binding, i used only my leftovers from our special anniversary kit, BLUE MOON. i have to tell you that this month is the closest i've ever come to using my entire kit--and afterall, i did make a 24-page minibook, a banner, two large cards, a princess crown, a butterfly mask, and a cupcake giftcard holder! admittedly, i only have a couple sheets of patterned paper left... in scraps, at that! but i've still got plenty of cardstock, more than half a page of tags, most of a pack of thickers, almost all of my epoxy stickers, half a dozen chipboard birds, some vintage book paper, two-thirds of a roll of tissue tape, and a bunch of vintage buttons; if i sat down and thought about it carefully, i bet i could knock out 4 or 5 more cards! what can i tell you, these are pixie kits are ♥GENEROUS♥... and a lot of fun to play with, as well!

but don't take my word for it, head over to the pixie blog and see what my brilliant fellow pixies have done with their kits so far!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

SOS22: dia de los muertos

this week at shopping our stash, for challenge 22, miss carla has given us a fabulous inspiration picture and/or the task of using the upcoming mexican holiday "dia de los muertos" (which honors loved ones who have passed away) as our theme:

i'm not sure why, but as soon as someone says "dia de los muertos" i immediately think of frida kahlo! i suppose it's because she was a mexican artist who used themes of death and afterlife in her art?? anyway, i realize that might not be an automatic association for anyone else, so forgive me if my card's a bit OUT THERE, but i quite like it!

(frida photo from t'internet, printed on glossy photo paper; patterned paper: authentique; black glossy cardstock: ranger; flowers: prima, making memories & petaloo; borders: fancy pants and studio calico; stickers: fancy pants; beads: mostly from michaels; skulls and copper wire bought ages ago from toho shoji in nyc; ink: colorbox; adhesives: tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape, hot glue)

in terms of product everything except the spider web paper (gift from stef!) and the frida pic is serrrrrrrrriously OLD stash: various beads strung on copper wire, tacked with hot glue and twisted into shape (including some skulls i was "saving" for a special occasion!); a gazzillion older paper flowers in greens and yellows framing the focal image; a couple of tiny stickers as a sentiment and that's about it!

why not drop by shopping our stash this week, see the gorgeous DT cards, and maybe link up something of your own??! i'd love to see you there! ♥

Monday, October 17, 2011

a fair pair of square (cards)

if you stop by the pixie blog today you can see my latest pixie dust paperie project...

...or should i say projects, since it's actually TWO cards? i made them using this month's kit, BLUE MOON, which i had as much fun working with as i did assembling all the bits and bobs! of course the VERY BEST part of being a "kit designer" is seeing what other people will make using it, and in this respect my fellow pixies DO NOT disappoint!!! yet another reason to hop over there, eh??!?! ♥

Sunday, October 16, 2011

i have *NO* free time...

...which is why i just spent twenty minutes making a totally pointless piece of digi-art using one of the photos from the new york trip i took with stephanie this week:

the photograph is of my shadow on concrete, taken near chelsea market, where we had the most magnificent picnic lunch on tuesday, after walking the high line, but before shopping at the ink pad and visiting the museum at the fashion institute of technology.

i know that i could have spent the time it took to make this A LOT more productively; i could have edited some of the sensible photos i took, or written a cool description of the whole day like stef has been doing on her blog this week, or even checking off one of the gazillion things on my to-do list. but this was really fun and i like how it turned out. everything else will get done... i hope... and i'll have a much more sensible post for you tomorrow. promise! ♥

Friday, October 14, 2011

JB42: a caroling we will go!

not for the first time, we ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ are embracing holiday music in our choice of prompts... but this time, there's a twist: *YOU* get to choose the tune! yep, this week, we're asking you to create a card based on any christmas carol or holiday song you like; anything is fair game, from "oh holy night" to "dreidel, dreidel, dreidel" to "grandma got run over by a reindeer"!

here's a little story only a BIG LAUREN could write: we've been using song titles all year. many of 'em were my suggestion. i've used sheet music at least once a month in one of my JB cards. but when i sat down this week i went totally BLANK!!!!!!!!!!! :) luckily, i had my file of cool vintage xmas stuff close at hand and riffling through i found this sheet music, which set me on the right course (phew!):

(vintage: sheet music; postcard: downloaded from t'internet & printed on photo paper; patterned paper: tim holtz, creative imaginations, paper co; decorative border: k&co; florals: michaels; brads: my mind's eye; edge punches: recollections, martha stewart; stickers: martha stewart, making memories; adhesives: uhu gluestick, tombow monorunner)

and now i hope you'll pick a song, make a card, and link up at JINGLE BELLES by next wednesday night so we can all come admire your cleverness!!! ♥

Thursday, October 13, 2011

butterfly masquerade... redux!

this month, while making my projects to celebrate the pixie dust paperie's one year anniversary, i decided it would be fun to look back at everything i've made with my kits this year and pick half a dozen or so to "re-make" in honor of this milestone! today's project recreates the butterfly mask i made for july's pixie group project, but in a completely different way, since this time i am using the BLUE MOON kit.

i honestly don't know which one i like better... but i can definitely say i'll be making EVEN MORE of these because they are just soooooooooooo much fun! hop over to the PDP blog to see more photos, etc! ♥

Monday, October 10, 2011

start spreadinnnnnnnnnnnn' the news...

hello, darlings!
guess where i am?

here's a hint:

and another hint:

here's my companion and i at the brooklyn botanic garden yesterday:

here's one of our favorite exhibits from the brooklyn museum:

here's the outstanding whitefish bagel and pastrami sandwich we shared last night at sarge's deli:

jealous yet??!?!?!
then i think my work here is done! :)

no seriously, stef and i are having a fabulous long weekend in new york city, the only thing that could possibly make it even better is if you were ALL here, too!!! back later this week, hope you're having a great one, too, wherever you are! ♥♥♥

Saturday, October 8, 2011

blue moon baby book (& a SECRET one day deal!!!)

today's project on the pixie dust paperie blog is this fun baby-themed minibook i made using the BLUE MOON anniversary kit:

at the risk of being increasingly obnoxious as the month goes on, i have to tell you i am inordinately proud of my projects this month--i think they are some of my very best work! well, i guess it's not exactly a mystery that if *I* chose all the items that went into the kit, they'd be things of which i am especially fond, and thus i'd be even more usually comfortable using them, design-wise, right? i hope you'll swing over to the pixie blog and see ALL the photos of this little book--i've shown the inside pages in detail, and talked about the specific products over there.

while you're there, perhaps you might like to pop into the pixie shoppe and see if there's anything which strikes your fancy??! like, perhaps, the BLUE MOON kit??!?!? i only mention it because, inspired by the very happy FIRST ANNIVERSARY of pixie dust paperie we are celebrating this month, pixie-in-chief kirsty vittetoe has gone just a liiiiiiiittle bit *NUTSO* with the great promotions and specials... so i took the opportunity to talk her into giving the very BEST possible deal exclusively to my blog readers! and here it is:



here's what you do:
Add a main kit of your choice into the shopping cart
and then any other kit into the cart,
type in coupon code AA7-Lauren during check out,
and the amount of the second kit will be taken off your total!!!

this special is ONLY good for today:
october 8, 2011
from 12:00 AM to 11:59 PM eastern time

so now my only question to you, darlings, is
*WHY* are you still here, lol??!
shouldn't you BE SHOPPING??!?!??!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

JB41: i'm dreaming of a ♥PINK♥ christmas

this week at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ we're doing something completely different, and even a bit philanthropic! in honor of breast cancer awareness month we're asking everyone to turn their holiday cards PINK this week-- in recognition of which, stef and i will each be donating a dollar for every card linked up by the deadline to susan g. komen for the cure!

i'm really excited about this one, because i am secretly (well, secretly until now!) hoping we'll get THE MOST CARDS EVER and raise loads of money for a fabulous cause!

also, i just really *like* pink christmas cards, too! :) :) :)

(patterned paper: sei, the paper co; eiffel tower fabric paper: michael miller memories; snowflakes: jolees; roses: prima, recollections; plastic and fabric thickers: american crafts; ribbon: tim holtz, ki memories; ink: colorbox; adhesives: uhu gluestick, 3m foam tape, tombow monorunner, sewing machine)

i know a lot of people wonder *HOW* i mail cards that are as lumpy as this; but a lot of my cards go into packages with gifts. also, i am well known at the post office as the lady who sends A LOT of cards that are reinforced with corrugated cardboard and taped securely into padded jiffy mailers. yep, it costs a little more, but i enjoy the freedom of making unique and crazy cards! :)

i hope you'll come and join us at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ this week, make a card--or two, or three--and help us make some money for a wonderful cause! inlinkz closes at 6pm next wednesday, so what are you waiting for??!?! ♥♥♥

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

once in a ♥BLUE MOON♥!

it's october 5th! it's october 5th!!!

sorry, but i'm just a little bit excited! because, as i mentioned the other day, my dear pixie-in-chief kirsty vittetoe gave *ME* the very great privilege of assembling this month's pixie dust paperie kit--which is called BLUE MOON--and today is the official release!

here's the official kit photo from the pixie shoppe:

you can see loads more photos today on the pixie blog; or you can read the entire supply list here; or see some DT project teasers on this post! by the way, every day this month you'll see a new and different project on the pixie blog using this kit, made by me or one of my amazing fellow pixies! oh and be on the lookout for kirsty's special ANNIVERSARY ALERTS this month... because we've just celebrated an entire year of pixie goodness and when pixies party, EVERYONE has fun!!! :)

there's A LOT of good stuff in here, if i do say so myself; well heck, it *IS* a pixie kit, afterall! the papers are mostly double-sided and have loads of blue (hence the name!) but also touches of yellow, pink and red; plus lots of luscious neutral shades to tie everything together. for embellishments (the best bit, right?!) there are cardstock tags, chipboard birds ready to be decorated, fabulous super-fun epoxy stickers, a huge rhinestone and pearl flourish, gorgeous creamy linen flowers, fabric thickers, tissue tape... c'mon admit it, you would know this was MY kit just from the list, wouldn't ya??!

in addition to having all of my favorite kinds of stuff, this kit also has a little bit of my ACTUAL vintage stuff!

there's sheet music OF COURSE, because you know how much i love it--this particular book was from 1908, i believe. (the title is "modern music"!!!) you'll also get a beautifully patina-ed dictionary page (1950's, i think) with some cool little line-drawing illustrations; a page from a russian machinist's manual (i tried to specifically select ones with cool charts on 'em); some french vocabulary cards--bien sur; and of course you're going to NEED a few vintage buttons! finally, my absolutely favorite supply of the moment is denim "ribbon"--actually long strips torn from old jeans--that i think looks awesome nearly everywhere.

i hope you'll stop by the pixie blog and read more about it, and stay tuned for another pixie project of mine on saturday! ♥

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

ANOTHER exciting thing...

...that is starting in october... is my ETSY shop!!!

this is something i've been dreaming about, plotting and planning for the last year or so, and it's finally come true! i've started small, but hope to add more--and different--products as i go along. eventually, i'd like to have some journals and other things i've *MADE* in there, but at the moment i'm focusing on supplies for papercrafters, specifically, themed ephemera packs for collage, art journals, cardmaking, scrapping, etc! my "product line" (if i may be so bold) is called "JUST ENOUGH STUFF" and the packs look something like this:

see, everyone knows how much i ♥LOVE♥ using this sort of ephemera in my cards and artwork-- everything from music paper to playing cards to foreign text paper, vintage illustrations, leftover board game pieces, even bits of lace and ribbon and old millinery supplies! well, being the sort of person who likes that kind of stuff, of course i am drawn to garage sales, flea markets, thrift shops, rummage sales, etc. basically if you're in central new jersey or eastern pennsylvania and you set a sign out in your yard or at your church or firehouse, and you wait long enough... eventually, i *WILL* show up!!!

so of course over the years, i've amassed quite a cool collection of goodies. more, in fact, than one crafter could use in a lifetime... or ten!!! :) but here's the thing i realized a couple of years ago: the fun part is to have a nice SELECTION! especially if someone else can do the time- and space-consuming part that involves finding ten--or twenty--DIFFERENT books of sheet music, so that as crafters we can have the fun of lots of VARIETY, without all that "hunting and gathering"!

in the photo above you can see how many different sources i used to make my "deluxe sheet music assortments". here is what it looks like when you grab one sheet from each:

and HERE is what it looks like when someone (that'd be ME!) packs them up neatly into a notebook-ready page protector, and puts a pretty topper on them:

so far i have three different themes: sheet music, foreign text, and nature... but i have LOTS more ideas for the future!!!

currently, each theme is available in two different sized packets: a petite assortment (10+ sheets in each) and a deluxe assortment (20+ sheets). i also have "eclectic decks" of cards in which you get more than *52* different cards in a "full deck" (these include playing cards, flash cards, vocabulary cards, game cards, etc) or 26+ in a "half-a-deck". those look like this:

all of these different selections are in my etsy right now and available for purchase. ...OR... if that's a bit more vintage stuff than you'd like to start out with, i'm VERY pleased to announce that in addition to loads of lovely BRAND NEW product, some of my own personal ephemera collection is featured in this month's pixie dust paperie kit, BLUE MOON. that goes on sale tomorrow, in the pixie shoppe, at which time i'll be talking a bit more about it!

finally, if you're the sort of person who likes to SEE things in person before buying them, and you happen to live within travelling distance of new york city, i am beyond happy to announce that a range of "JUST ENOUGH STUFF" packets are available at the ink pad, in their new location at 37 seventh avenue. even if you have ZERO interest in my vintage bits and bobs, if you're able to stop in there, i highly recommend the trip, as anna and barbara and the whole gang are some of the nicest--and most creative--folks in new york city, and the selection of rubber stamps and papercrafting supplies is UNBEATABLE! if you go... and trust me, you SHOULD GO... tell 'em lauren sent ya!

i'll be bragging more... or rather--AHEM-- "discussing my new etsy venture in further detail" (yeah, that sounds better!) in future, so stay tuned! in the meantime,

♥wish me luck, darlings!♥

Saturday, October 1, 2011

it's a very exciting day!

today at pixie dust paperie we are celebrating our anniversary! can you believe that an entire YEAR has elapsed since pixie-in-chief kirsty vittetoe made the dream of starting her own papercrafting kit club come true?! nope, me neither, but i am so proud and happy that she invited me to share the fun each month, making projects and meeting fellow pixies from all over the world! if you have a little time today, why not stop over at the pixie blog and say "congrats" to kirsty on this very cool milestone?!

and just like the first day of every month for the past year, today also marks the first "designer preview day" for the new kit, and i am quite honored that the project in question is mine, and it looks a bit like this:

it's an official princess crown, made especially for niece ♥lindsay marie♥ whose birthday is tomorrow! (you might recall that i made a different crown in february for lindsay's sister riley elizabeth.) i hope you'll hop over and check out the official post, because i am pretty pleased with how this turned out, but you just cannot get the whole idea in ONE photo!

but first i am very excited indeed to reveal that this month's special anniversary kit is called BLUE MOON was put together by yours truly! yes, for the second time (the first was in january) miss kirsty gave me the honor of choosinge all the ingredients, and boy did i ever have a GREAT TIME!

i've packed in as many of my favorite crafty necessities as humanly possible: fabulous double-sided papers... elegant fabric flowers... ready-to-alter chipboard... fun epoxy stickers... an awesome alphabet... some tasty vintage goodies from my own personal stash... and OF COURSE it wouldn't be a "laureny" kit without a bit of bling in there, right??! :)

yep, i'm very proud of what's IN the kit, and i'm extremely happy with the projects i've made, but i'm even more excited about what my fellow pixies cheryl nelson, kirsty vittetoe, and our special guest designer jill sarginson have done! don't take my word for it--you can see a little sneaky peek in yesterday's pixie post!

i hope you'll stay tuned for three more awesome designer days coming up, followed by the "big reveal" on october 5th. oh and you'll want to check in at the PDP blog as often as possible this month because i happen to know that kirsty has a few surprises up her sleeve and you never know what might be going on over there if you don't visit! ♥♥♥