Tuesday, January 31, 2012

the reason we finally got roller shades:

because this sort of thing just kept happening and eventually lovely husband jeff got tired of rushing home to cut me free!

i hope your day is going a bit more smoothly than this kitteh's... or her human's for that matter! :) remember, if you do go bungee jumping, be sure to take a spotter, or at least a camera!
happy tuesday darlings!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

go wild on your birthday!

one of the things i tried to do with my pixie kits last year is prove how very flexible they actually are by making a cool "guy card" each month. i think that's a goal well worth continuing in the new year--plus it just so happens i know a lot of fellas who were born in january, lol--thus here is my entry for the LOVE NOTES kit:

the monsta image-- which i've paper-pieced using prints from the kit-- is from a (sadly out of print) set of digi-stamps by jesse edwards called "monstrous". there are more photos on the pixie blog, and details about all the cool stuff in the kit, like the awesome pink paislee wooden alphabet, and the fabulous crate paper "random" chipboard elements i've used, to name just two. GO WILD... and check it out! ♥

Friday, January 27, 2012

JB12-03: a banner holiday!

this week's ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ prompt is called "a banner holiday" and the assignment is to create a holiday card using our new (for 2012) blog header as your inspiration. just in case you've not seen it yet, it looks a bit-- ok, it looks exactly-- like this:

i put it together at the end of december and oddly enough for me, nearly all of the digital products i used came from the same kit: retro holiday art play palette by one of my all-time favorite designers, anna aspnes. at risk of sounding a bit (ok, a LOT!) braggy, i really love that thing, lol... but it was actually stef's idea to base a prompt around it, i swear!  :) :) :)

you can use any aspect of the header that appeals to you: the colors, the vintage-inspired style, the grungy/painty/inky aspect, the snowflakes, the bells, the glitter... use whatever bits you like and discard the ones you don't! feel free to be as literal or as abstract as you'd like, anything goes as long as it's creative and newly made!

here's the first of my two cards, i will show you the other one next week. i'm proud to say that this is the first week i have completely ♥LOVED♥ both of my cards equally, in fact i had a hard time choosing which to show first, which is kind of a good (if obnoxious, sorry!!!) problem to have, right?!  :)

(vintage: sheet music; patterned paper: imaginisce, plus scraps of basic grey and k and co packaging; cardstock: staples; snowflake stickers, pearls and bling sentiment: recollections; cardstock stickers: fancy pants; adhesive fabric border: studio calico; glitter chipboard flourish: k and co; jingle belle die: memory box (thanks lorraine!!!) misc: acrylic craft paint, white gesso, snowflake punches and sequin scrim used as stencils; adhesives: tombow monorunner, uhu gluestick, gluedots, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)

so obviously *my* inspirations were: the palette, the mix of elegance and grunge, the snowflakes, the bells, and a bit of the retro-inspired goodness. i've also thrown in a bit of red glitter chipboard... but then... admit it, you'd be SHOCKED i hadn't, right?! do stop by ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ to see miss stephanie's gorgeous card and link up your card by wednesday, february 8th!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

(non-crafty) things i've been doing...

celebrating the year of the dragon especially heartily, since i happen to have been born in 1964!

reading thirty three teeth by colin cotterill, a sequel to his brilliant first mystery set in 1970's laos, which i highly recommend; though it's absolutely vital to have read the coroner's lunch first, or you will be completely lost in this story!

paying, very happily indeed, the sum of $78 to my local subaru dealer in exchange for the information that the sudden weird-n-scary burning smell coming from my car was merely a piece of plastic that had somehow got stuck to --and melted on-- my muffler.

no, i didn't make this, i found it on a fun blog called geeky girls love sci-fi!

watching daniel craig: adorable, tanned and totally sexy in chaps. what? that wasn't the name of the film? really?? funny, 'cause that's what i remember about it!!!  :)

listening to blonde, joyce carol oates' novel about marilyn monroe, and enjoying it much more than anticipated thanks to the killer combination of oates' lyrical prose and reader jayne atkinson's astonishing performance.

not as tasty as daniel craig, but quite pleasant at lunch time!

opining that lean cuisine thai peanut noodles are infinitely tastier than similar weight watchers ones, or even (rather puzzlingly) than lc's own chicken in peanut sauce, for that matter!

dreading the end of adrian praetzellis' totally enchanting performance of kenneth grahame's the wind in the willows (librivox, version 3) which i've been listening to at bedtime via the free audiobooks app for iphone. how will i ever fall asleep again without the adventures of ratty, mole, and the amazing mister toad??!?!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

happy birthday girl frame

i know everyone thinks the special kids in their life are the cutest in the world, but SOMEBODY has to be right, and i'm pretty sure it's me! need some evidence? ok, here ya go, empirically... how cute is this face??!?!?

yepper, it's miss isabel, daughter of my best friend, trish. which doesn't make me biased, necessarily! if anything, it proves i have great taste, and thus my opinion is all the more to be trusted!  :) :) :)

i should probably mention that this is an older--and favorite--photo. the young lady in question will be turning three (3!!!) in a couple of months, at which time i shall bestow this frame and hopefully acquire a photo taken on THAT birthday to show how grown up she is now! i should also mention that every single bit of paper-crafty goodness used to make this project came from the pixie dust paperie LOVE NOTES kit, and that you can find additional photos and information on the pixie blog--check it out!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

SOS35: winter blues

wahey, i've done every shopping our stash challenge in january!!! unfortunately this is probably a fluke, and i expect to be back to my "intermittent" schedule in february and march, but i'm loving it while it lasts! so what's this week's assignment? let's ask miss carla:

Winter Blues
Shop your stash and pull out items that are blue. 
(You can have other colors, just be sure to use any shade of BLUE as the primary focus.)

i decided to use *EVERY* shade of blue as my primary focus!

(patterned paper: sei, ki, creative imaginations, bo bunny, dcwv; tag: basic grey; letters: american crafts; bling: heidi swapp; stamps: glitz, ranger, hero arts, studio calico; inks: ranger, stewart superior, colorbox, copic; label: dymo; adhesives: tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape, glue dots, sewing machine, staples)

i've gone super stashy here, which is sort of the point, really, eh?! only the black cardstock base was freshly cut, all else was from the blue scrap file (i keep all my papers-- except my pixie kits-- by color); the stars and "comet trail" were even pre-cut; the tag is absolutely ancient BG; ok, come to think, the letters are newish white vinyl thickers, but i used some neglected stamps, inks and even a couple of blue copics to re-color and somewhat "grungify" (yes, that is too a word!) them, so i call that stash usage, as well!

one of the most helpful ingredients that's not on the list above is the current deconstructed sketch--#35, which is open ended (so you can link up anytime!) as well as rather fab:

something sad that i only discovered belatedly last week is that sketchy thursdays has posted their very last sketch! of course i can completely understand how demanding it was, running that very popular blog for two and a half years--even though those gals made it look EASY, i realize it was a ton of work!!! i'm pleased they'll be keeping their facebook page active, and that there's an archive of the sketches on flickr and of course i wish diana, heidi, julie, and the whole entire wonderful, amazing, friendly crew all the best in their future endeavors; i'm definitely looking forward to seeing what's next for those talented lovelies. but on a personal note, i just have to say, with a tear in my eye,

 ♥ "ladies, you shall be missed!!!"

on the other hand, do consider yourself invited to drop by shopping our stash at any time, but if you're feeling those winter blues, this week should be especially fun!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

"sparkle" gift box

fancy little gift boxes-- i ♥ 'em!  i don't especially heart the price of the ones in the shops, however. especially when i know i can grab a plain papier mache star at michaels for a dollar, and use a bunch of fabulous pixie stuff--like, perhaps, january's fabulous LOVE NOTES kit--and do this...

...and then ALSO make half a dozen addition projects AND STILL have leftovers! plus, i just happen to love *making* fancy little gift boxes, ok? :) you can see more photos of this one, and read a little bit about the process, on the pixie blog. enjoy, darlings! 

Friday, January 20, 2012

JB12-02: take two

one of the things i'm especially loving at JINGLE BELLES this year is the opportunity to have TWO GO's at each prompt! because whilst i am constitutionally unable to mass-produce, i nearly always have several ideas for any theme, and sometimes it's hard to choose. so here again is miss kirsty's sketch, just to remind you of its fabulousnesss (fabulosity?):

and now here's my second card:

(vintage "cozy corner" story book scanned, reduced to 50%, and printed on photo paper; patterned paper & alphas: reminisce; other stickers: echo park, karen foster, october afternoon; chipboard: fancy pants; red cardstock: dcwv; ink: colorbox; adhesives: tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)

the inspiration for this one--apart from the gorgeous sketch and a few new papers i scooped in the post-holiday sales-- was one of my favorite christmas presents, a drool-worthy vintage copy of the night before christmas that my girl gina gave me which i absolutely adore:

before you even ask: NO, OF COURSE I WILL NEVER EVER ALTER OR HARM THIS BOOK!!! yes, i do use genuine vintage things in my work, and in my ephemera packs; and yes, i think in the right circumstances it's absolutely fine to do so (which basically, for me, involve the books being in a condition already past the point where people would be able or want to read--much less collect--them!) a subject i've discussed both recently and historically. that doesn't mean i just indiscriminately destroy beautiful old books, especially ones in lovely condition! this is a treasure, and an instant favorite out of all my copies*, and the fact that gina remembered i collect these is yet another reason on the very long list of why i adore her! thank you, missus! ♥♥♥

ok, so being PRECIOUS, i needed to scan it; and being that the original book is also about 9x9" i also reduced the size considerably before printing it out on photo paper; i could have--and in future probably will--use a matte finish, but the book does have a faint (if slightly aged) glossiness to it, and also i just think the fidelity of color images is better on photo paper; plus a variety of surfaces add interest to a card, in my opinion. when it was printed, i used it just like any other element... with the sketch to guide my placement... and card #4 for 2012 is in the bag--wahey! 

once again i remind you there is still almost a whole week left in which to make and link up a version of kirsty's sketch and get a shot at that fabulous prize! c'mon over and GET YER JINGLE ON  today!!!

*yes, i totally meant to take a photo of the different copies i have before we put the xmas stuff away, and NO, i didn't remember to do so. i will do it in december, i promise!!! :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

multi-tasking giftcard holder

i am not a person who can easily approach a WHOLE BUNCH of challenges with one project, but every once in a while i'm able to find two or three i think will mesh pretty well, and it's always a bit extra fun to combine them.

this time i've had a go at city crafter's "pretty inside and out" (week #92)... for which we're asked to create a card on which the decoration is not merely exterior; as it happens, that's something i don't do nearly enough, so of course i was inspired!

as i was thinking up what exactly to do, i happened to see this fabulous palette for EAD designs' current color challenge (#20) on my pal amy's blog (she's actually the hostess for this!) and at stef's AND also miss gina's; needless to say, they all made amazing cards!

in the meantime, i realized i needed a giftcard holder... like... YESTERDAY! once again, the amazing amy t. was came to my rescue, with this great idea and mini tutorial i found on her blog a while ago; it was super easy to follow, and i'm quite happy with the results.

so here is the outside:

and here is the (hopefully) equally lovely inside:

in retrospect, i wish i had only used the basic grey "sultry" paper on the inside, and something plain (or at least plainer) on the outside; i think the floral pattern's a bit much as a base... but there ya go... sometimes you have time for a "re-do" and sometimes not. at least i have the comfort of knowing for sure my friend jax will not receive TWO of these babies! :) :) :)

plus i've slipped a saladworks giftcard and some bling inside... and added a ghirardelli chocolate bar and super-fun cupcake-shaped lip gloss on the outside... so i think i can skate by. happy thursday, darlings! ♥

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"j'adore" card

believe it or not, this ISN'T a valentine!  nope, it's a sort of non-denominational, "thinking of you" card, and i am rather proud of it:
o'course, if you want to make some awesome valentines, this month's pixie kit, ♥LOVE NOTES♥ is what you need! you can read all about it on the pixie blog, and at the same time see other fab projects made with the same ingredients. if you are planning to make valentines--or anything with a heart on it--be sure to link up at this month's challenge, and check out the jaw-dropping loveliness created by our brand new, amazing, challenge DT! see you over there! ♥

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

SOS35: across the border

here's a bold statement for ya: not only do i think shopping our stash is one of the cleverest concepts in challenge blogs EVER, it's also my opinion that miss carla is one of the very best challenge-thinker-uppers (yeah, that's a technical term!) working today! i am always excited to find out what the next theme is going to be, because i know it'll make me stop and think... and then come up something i would not have thought of on my own. so what are we doing this week?  here's the brief:

Challenge 35 - Across the Border 

Use any border punch 
Create your own border out of what you have on hand.

i needed a "guy card" in a hurry, so of course i raided my scraps-n-leftovers box. i found some pre-cut borders... (and punched a few more) i found some biggish scraps... i even found the cloud paper cupcake top that i had apparently cut out but not used for a previous card. then i remembered a pack of space alien stickers with only a few left, so i used 'em up! and here's my card. i cannot say it is the best thing i've ever made, but it's cute and fun and certainly brightly colored, eh?! mission accomplished!

(border punches: ek success (notebook and large scallop) and recollections; cardstock base: ki memories; patterned paper--all scraps--sassafras, prima, making memories, dcwv, sei, mme, origami paper; stickers: memories complete + sandylion; labels: dymo; ink: colorbox; pen: uniball signo; adhesives: tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape, xyron)

why not pull out YOUR scrap box, grab a couple of punches, round up some leftover bits and bobs and see what awaits you... ACROSS THE BORDER! then hop over to SOS this week to see the DT's creations as well as the amazing gallery of readers' cards! :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

now i want long hair, and a pet chameleon!

because i watched "tangled" last night. unfortunately, niece madeline was not here to watch it with me, but i chose it on her recommendation, and i agree wholeheartedly with her enthusiasm for the film.

if you're not really into the whole disney/musical genre, two other films lovely husband jeff and i have enjoyed recently are the entirely delightful (but definitely strongly R-rated) irish cop comedy/drama "the guard" starring the incomparable brendan gleason; and the slow-to-get-going, but ultimately quite involving british indie/horror/sci-fi/comedy flick "attack the block". we've also been watching quite a bit of both the old and new versions of "hawaii five-0"... but mostly for the scenery! :) :) :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

"100 hearts" valentines minibook

i know i've said this before but it's totally TRUE:  there are lots and lots of reallllly cool things you can do besides make valentines using january's pixie dust paperie LOVE NOTES kit, but if you want, or need, make some love-themed projects, boy oh boy is this ever the right set of stuff for you to be getting on with! here's a minibook i've created, using those luscious items:

there are lots more photos and plenty of product details on the pixie blog today, i'd love for you to check it out!!!  

as many of you know, i'm pretty partial to valentinian papercrafts, myself, since my niece riley elizabeth happens to have been born on february 14th! what you may not realize--and i find it pretty hard to believe, actually--is that she will be TEN YEARS OLD exactly one month from today!!!!!  how is that even possible??! i swear it has only been TEN MINUTES since LHJ and i were at the hospital, excited to be the aunt and uncle of this little widget:

and now here she is--with little sis lindsay marie on christmas day--in her capacity as an international hat model:

so of course the only thing i wonder now is, HOW DID AN ENTIRE DECADE FLY BY SO QUICKLY??!?!?!??! don't worry, it's a rhetorical question, i realize everyone with children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews feels exactly the same way. and there is no point in even TRYING to get used to ANY change, because by the time we do, the kidlets in question have grown again, and are on to the next phase, leaving us even more perplexed. best to just sit back and enjoy the ride!

love you, miss riley! 
i hope your next ten years will be as wonderful, fun, giggly, happy and healthy as these have been.  
just maybe... could they possibly go by a liiiiiiittttttttle slower?  

Friday, January 13, 2012

JB12-02: sketching through the snow!

helllllllo and happy friday the 13th! of course, to me, friday means ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ so they all feel pretty lucky... but this week we are fortunate indeed to have another very lovely guest star, who's also a very good friend AND our first official sponsor of the year, so that makes this friday especially cool in my book.

can you possibly guess who it is? will it help if i mention she's drawn us a rather gorgeous sketch and is offering a gift certificate to her rather fabulous online papercrafting shop to one lucky cardmaker who links up with us this time? howsabout if i show you the sketch in question:

yepper, it's my very dear pixie-in-chief, ms. kirsty vittetoe, come to help us kick off the year in style and i could not be happier!!! if you have a minute, do pop over to JINGLE BELLES and say hi to her, and to stef, and see their magnificent cards, ok? it's worth the trip, i promise! plus you can read the details of the *prize* and hear about a special pixie offer, just for jingle belles!!! ♥

i cannot wait to show you my card. i should say right now, i actually made two, and i like both of them, but i'll post the other one next week and then you can decide! :)

(patterned paper: tim holtz, sei, frances meyer, echo park; florals: irene's garden, imaginisce; vintage inspired card & wordstrip: october afternoon; stickers: fancy pants, mme, 7 gypsies; brads: oriental trading; ink: colorbox; adhesives: tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)

well, heck, kirsty's sketch is--as always--fabulous and thus most of the work was already done for me; but still, i like this combination of red and kraft, old and new, xmas stash and regular... it's all got a certain balance that appeals to me.

of course, the thing that MOST appeals to me right now is getting as many of my lovely card-makin' friends as possible to come and play along with us at JINGLE BELLES!  i'm sorry if i'm starting to sound like a bad televangelist on this subject, but i cannot possibly convey to you how much more *awesome* december 2011 was, compared to the last 5 or 6 previous, and it's because my holiday cards were already finished. believe me, i know ALL the arguments against embarking on a project like this: i wasn't sure i'd have time... but the fact that it was permanently on my schedule each week made all the difference! i wasn't sure if thinking about christmas all year wouldn't sort of "dilute the magic"... but if anything, it MULTIPLIED it! i wasn't sure i could sustain my inspiration for 11 months... but it turned out that for me, the "inspiration-killer" was having to make 50 similar cards in a short period of time; whereas making one per week, to a different theme, was completely revitalizing.

ok, ok,so i will stop (for now, lol) trying to convince you... but at the very least do pop over to JINGLE BELLES and soak up a little inspiration. who knows, you might decide you'd like to give it a try! ♥♥♥

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

everything i love about challenges...

...is summed up in this one card!

but before i show it to you, let me tell you about the challenges which inspired it. first there's city crafter challenge blog, week #91: back to black. ok, you KNOW i love CCCB generally, they have awesome themes every week, one of the best DT's online (which includes my lovely friends kirsty and ros!) and the guest designer this week just happens to be my very oldest and dearest blogging friend, the simply elegant (and simply wonderful!) june houck. so obviously you know i was always gonna show up for this one, but it just so happens the challenge this week was REALLY challenging, and i mean that in a very verrrrry good way: we have to include a silhoutte image in our project and it has to be *BLACK*... hence the name. i really had to think about what i would do, though frankly, i didn't think for that long, because once i had seen the first of june's two gorgeous cards i knew i needed to black emboss something!

then there's the other inspiration, which is deconstructed sketch #33. i saw it on leslie's blog, along with her awesome card, and i knew i had to get in on it; which is why i'm putting in a second post today instead of waiting, i'm squeeeeeeeeeaking in just under the deadline!

ok, so NOW, finally, here is my card:

(vintage: sheet music, re-sized and printed on creamy index stock; patterned paper: glitz, authentique (thank you, stef!); flowers and text stamp: prima; bling: recollections; bird stamp: inkadinkadoo; clip: making memories; chipboard: fancy pants; ribbon: may arts (thank you, linda!); mistable ruffle trim: pink paislee (thank you, mari!) inks: ranger, colorbox; embossing powder: psx; adhesives: tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape and doublestick tape, sewing machine)

the reason i say this sums up everything i love about challenges is: there is NO WAY i would've made this card on my own! for one thing, i would NOT have thought of using a silhoutte image--especially a black one; and if i had wanted to, i'd have been stumped thinking, "oh i don't have any"... because it took june's card to make me realize ANY solid stamp will work for this! then even if i had gotten that far by myself, i wouldn't have reached for ruffles and chipboard and put the two flowers up top if i wasn't following the sketch. so basically NO ELEMENT of this card would have existed in the way it does now, and i'd've been a sadder and lesser crafter!

thank you, challenge devisers and hostesses, everywhere! you're performing a wonderful service, and  i, for one, really appreciate it!!! ♥♥♥

january pixie challenge: ♥LOVE NOTES♥

you probably know that my dear pixie-in-chief kirsty vittetoe holds a little challenge every month on the pixie blog. she sets a theme, invites papercrafters to create any sort of project they'd like, and awards a prize! it's always fun and inspiring, and thus i recommend checking it out! this month, there's an even better than usual reason to do so, in that the last few days have featured the creations of our brand new challenge design team... and those are VERY MUCH worth seeing, i assure you!!!

not to be outdone, of course i had to have a little go at the valentined themed ♥LOVE NOTES♥ challenge. you can probably guess the brief, can't you? make any type of project you like, but it has to either contain the word "valentine" OR have the image of a heart on it somewhere. having made some pretty cool valentine stuff using this month's LOVE NOTES KIT, i decided to go with the heart.

you'll notice that apart from the blue graph paper heart (actually an off-cut from another of this month's projects!) i didn't use much of the LOVE NOTES kit in my card. not because i didn't have enough supplies left, i assure you... (pixie kits are GENEROUS, i have never, EVER used one up, despite the fact that i generally create half-a-dozen projects each month!!!) ...but mostly because for christmas, the lovely miss kirsty verrrrrrry kindly gave me the only pixie kit i've missed out on--november's PINK ROSE COTTAGE and i am IN LOVE with pink paislee woodgrain paper.  (in love!!!)  everything else is a leftover from one or other of the pixie kits:  sass diecut flowers from SUMMER OF LOVE; american crafts key from MY FUNKY VALENTINE, etc; the only thing that came from my "civilian" stash was the sentiment made up of the yellow stickers, which is from a glitz designs sticker sheet.  

have *YOU* made any valentines yet? if not, this would be an excellent time!  or for any other love-themed projec-- just think HEARTS and/or "valentine" and link up before the end of the month on the pixie blog!!! ♥♥♥

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

SOS34-all that glitters...

wahey, it's tuesday, and time for another fabulous challenge at shopping our stash!  let's get right to it, k?  here are miss carla's instructions:

Challenge 34  
All that Glitters or Sparkles or Shines 
use anything sparkly, blingy, shiny or glittery
use an image by our lovely sponsor Dilly Beans 

and here is my project, it's a 2012 weekly planner i made from scratch using a calendar template in broderbund's printshop and my lovely new* bind-it-all:

i know what you're thinking.  you're thinking, "hey, lauren! for someone who generally 'drives the bus to bling-town' this is not allllllllllll that sparkly!!!" and let me just assure you no one is more surprised than i am about this! :) but there *IS* a bit of a bling flourish & the numerals have been liberally brushed with distress stickles, a fact that was not captured in ANY of the 9,000,000 photos i took. sorry.

sooooooooooooo maybe i should've made something else that really rocked the bling casbah and saved this for another day?? nuh-uh. because what this baby lacks in bling it makes up in MEGA-LEVELS of stash-usage: every page is (mostly quite elderly) scrapbook paper printed with a week's worth of dates on one side and xyroned onto vintage paper for the other side.

the bits that make up the cover collage are offcuts (vintage dictionary & hindi newspaper), leftovers (die-cut prima paper, part of a bling flourish, crate paper butterfly leftover from this month's pixie kit) or real-life ephemera (ticket, tag, fortune from a cookie). the only NEW things in this whole project were the BIA wire and the base of the chipboard covers; and admittedly, the latter easily could've been made with a recycled bit of card.

here are a few of my favorite pages, actually ALL the pages are my favorites, but there are 60 of them so i'll spare you, lol.  the set-up is the same for each: dates on one side; the other holding vintage goodness which can be art-journaled upon, collaged-up, or left as is, throughout the year:

as you know i have A LOT of book-sale aquired, falling-apart vintage books** and paper, it's the core of what's in my etsy shop in the form of ephemera packs, eclectic decks, etc. this year i think i might just add a few little hand-made books and journals, since they are SO MUCH fun to make.

being a paperholic, of course i have loads of 12x12" scrapbook paper too. for this book mostly used cardstock-weight to make thick, heavy, STRONG pages, but since i knew they'd all be backed with a second layer of paper, some thinner things (like these hilarious elephants) snuck in.

the big eye is from a (not particularly old) magazine, i just happened to like it. the finished planner measures 8.5 x 6.75" and is about an inch thick. which, as it turns out, is the top-end of how much you can stuff into a 1.25" set of BIA wires and have the pages turn all right.  phew.  :)

this one might be my favorite: since a lot of the books i rescue are distressed and discarded library copies, they have the remnants of that usage, including end papers with pre-made pockets in them. am i the only one filled with delight at this thought??!***

sorry to go on and on, but as you'll have noticed, i am inordinately proud of this and i am SO EXCITED that i get to keep it and use it all year! but of course the most important thing to tell ya is that the current SOS challenge: ALL THAT GLITTERS will run all week long and you should c'mon over and PLAY!!! ♥♥♥

*LHJ and i don't really "do" holiday or birthday presents to each other. however, if one of us knows the other really quite wants something in particular, like, say... oh, i dunno... a bind-it-all... they might well decide to perform seriously heroic levels of enablage using a major holiday as the excuse. i'm not saying that's what happened here, but on the other hand if you are ever considering a bit of an indulgent purchase and you'd like a guy to make you feel ok about it, lovely husband jeff is THE MAN!!! :)

**i realize that fellow bibliophiles who've only just met me are probably appalled right now. let me just say that NO HEALTHY BOOKS were harmed in the making of this journal, or in fact in the making of ANY of my projects or ephemera packs. i use 100% book-sale finds whose fate, should they not be purchased, is otherwise the pulper or the dumpster. for the most part, these volumes also have serious flaws--like a bunch of missing or torn pages, extensive markings, moldy covers, and so forth. even so, i make sure they're not valuable, and if they are i sell or donate them, instead. believe me when i say that as an avid reader and book collector myself, i've thought about this subject long and hard, and even written about it, in a post that could be called "DEAD BOOKS WALKING"; in fact libraries discard, sell-off and recycle millions of books a year! i take some of them and make them into art... or at least, into useful, pretty things. :) 

***ok, maybe i am. ah well.  :) :) :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

one more "wrap star" moment...

...just because this one actually does involve proper papercrafting!  these are the gift card holders i made, using this great template by kristina werner, for our eldest niece and nephew's i-tunes gift cards:

(patterned paper: echo park; stickers: american crafts, recollections, paperchase; ribbon: michaels; red glossy cardstock: jam paper; ink: colorbox; eyelets (inside, unseen): oriental trading co; adhesives: tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape, xyron)

i stuck to the instructions pretty much straight down the line. one exception being that i adhered a piece of coordinating patterned paper to the back of the holder AND to the reverse of the red cardstock for a little more interest inside the holder.  also, instead of securing inner pocket (which, again, is INSIDE--sorry i should have a pic of that!) with brads, i used small eyelets; partially because i thought they'd be stronger, but mostly so i would not have the ugly metal "legs" of the brads sticking out on the back of the holder. 

yes. i am that "detail-oriented" (feel free to use a different expression for that... but not to my face, ok?!) :)

i used small lumps of blu-tack to secure the g/c holders to the back of these little (store-bought) candy boxes which i trimmed up with the kids' initials, a little wired holly trim, and some more of those cute ornaments from hilo hattie!  mele kalikimaka, darlings!!! ♥

Sunday, January 8, 2012

oof! forgot to show these!

not that anyone really *needs* to see how i dressed up my christmas gifts... especially in JANUARY... but i looooooooooooooove wrapping and it's just not something you can discuss in depth with "civilians" lol.  so bear with me.  who knows, maybe you'll get an idea for next year?

i posted the digi-collages i made for the kids' gift bags earlier, but here they are actually ON the bags:

you can see i didn't do much beyond adding their names in thickers, (with a line of stitching on the chipboard ones for extra security) a wired ribbon bow, and some coordinating tissue paper.

one of the little "extra" gifts i picked up in hawaii were these pretty (plastic) plumeria hair clips for the girls; they made the perfect finishing touch!

in the laurniverse, the BEST projects almost always have the WORST photos! this oversized (approx 13x36") gift for nephew matthew was probably my favorite. i used the same mindy terasawa digi stickers as on the gift bag (just A LOT bigger) and some seriously elderly basic grey monogram letters.  the green "grass" panel and the dinos are both heavyweight cardstock and attached using only a couple of squares of foam tape b/c i *KNEW* matthew would want to hang them on the door to his room... which he did!  :) :) :)

this year, many of my gifts had a hawaiian theme, which i enjoyed hinting at on the outside of the gifts as well. i bought A LOT of these adorable xmas ornaments at hilo hattie, and they were a big hit.

my fallback "guy gift" is candy and money in a cute container. i scored some fun "chinese takeaway" containers (& the best dark-chocolate-covered pretzel balls in the world!!!) at our local "bulk" candy store; the fun luggage tags were like $1 at long's drugs in honolulu!

what do you do with a gift that's too big for a box but too oddly shaped to wrap in the traditional way? for this one (the holiday recipe box i made using my CHRISTMAS IN PARIS pixie kit) i just grabbed nice wiiiiiiide gift wrap and made a "bundle"!

here's the exact same set of products: gold wrap, green glittery wired ribbon and part of a stem of orchids, all of which came from michaels. when i have a bunch of little gifts for the same person, i like to make a "tower" just so i will remember to bestow them all... plus it LOOKS a lot cooler than five tiny boxes. by the way, the best use ever for leftover alphabet stickers is to put the initials of your recipients RIGHT ON the package. unfamiliar with the range of styles made by various craft companies, civilians are completely baffled when, as in this case, there's a gold glitter monogram on their gift. g'head and tell them you did something REALLY difficult and clever... my lips are sealed!!!  ;)

finally, given that i so often make giant and/or oddly shaped cards, people wonder what i do about envelopes. well, sometimes i just skip 'em entirely. oddly enough, no one seems to mind!

thus concludes our giant bumper holiday edition of "giftwrapalooza"! do feel free to bookmark this page in case you suffer from insomnia in future!!!  :) ciao, darlings! ♥

Friday, January 6, 2012

JB12-01... card two! :)

as i mentioned last week, we've decided this year to post new prompts at JINGLE BELLES every other friday. which means that there will be a total of 24 different themes this year, rather than the 48 we amassed last year by posting each week. we hope that having a longer time in which to link up will encourage more folks to join us and play along-- because the gift of a non-frantic december is one we think every paper crafter deserves! ♥

but what does it mean to those of us who actually need to hit the ground running at holiday time with 50+ cards?? well, clearly we need to be creating more than one card for each prompt! we can accomplish this by planning from the get-go to make two of each design we create; or by taking two totally different approaches to each theme. i suspect-- being, as i am, possessed of a short attention span-- that i will tend to mostly do the latter... but it's nice to have both options for times when life gets a bit hectic, right? remember that however you do it, this is still going to equal out to having made ONE UNIQUE CARD PER WEEK, just exactly like we did last year!

here's my second take on "NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT(S)". on this occasion i've used gift wrap (the holly leaf paper) as a background; AND fussy cut a bit of the same gift wrap (the holly accent) AND also popped in a chipboard image of some pretty parcels. oh yes, and do you see the AWESOME "jingle bells" diecut?!  wouldja believe our lovely belle miss lorraine of paper vernissage sent me that for christmas along with one of her own gorgeous cards from last year?  how cool is that??! thank you, missus, i love it--and i know i'll use it all year long!!! this time i've cut it from holographic silver paper backed with cardstock, and i think it looks festive as anything!

(holly leaf gift wrap & ribbon from an xmas present; patterned paper: sei, october afternoon; tags: american crafts & sei; bingo card: jenni bowlin; chipboard stickers: k&co; letter stickers & pins: making memories; "dec25" sticker: creative imaginations; epoxy sticker: around the block; bards: oriental trading co; die: memory box; ink: colorbox; adhesives: xyron, tombow monotrunner, 3m foam tape)

two cards for the first prompt of the year--mission accomplished! have you started your cards yet? if not, why not hop over to JINGLE BELLES and join us.  because it's time to get crackin'... christmas is only 353 days away, you know!!!  ;)