Friday, September 28, 2012

snow far, snow good!

we're about halfway through this fortnight's ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ challenge, making cards which feature snow in any size, shape, color, or form, and thus it seems like a good time to show you this guy:

(patterned paper, tag, cardstock stickers and brads: basic grey; christmas words stickerz: EAD designs; tape: 7 gypsies; black pearl eyes: kaiser; rub-on snowflakes: fancy pants; cardstock: dcwv; ink: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand glue tape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)

i've used the right-hand side of this week's (2-page, layout) sketch from the basic grey blog:

one of my favorite things about basic grey is how well all of the various lines, past and present, work together. i've got some figgy, some jovial, that beautiful (ancient!) snowflake from fruitcake, and even some white from the basics line (possibly the most practical and truly useful collection ANYONE has made, EVER?!) and it all goes together perfectly, and to me, every bit of it looks as cool as the day it debuted!

here's a closer look at the layers; you know how i ♥LOVE♥ for there to be a bit of dimension and depth to everything-- when i work digitally i use drop-shadows; IRL, foam mounting tape is my best friend! there's some under the right side of the big snowflake (though the left edge is sewn flat); another layer under mr. snowman; and a bit more attaching the two small snowflake stickers to the larger one; thus, the tag, which is stuck to the snowman layer on its left side, has TWO layers of foam tape under it's right edge, adhering it to the white dotty background paper.

here's my top tip for making less look like MORE: how many blue snowflake rub-ons do you see? five, right? nope! there are only three, and they aren't very large, either, but by cutting two of them unevenly in half, they really go a lot further, don't you think? it's cool to put things right on the edge of the frame, as well, for a more dynamic look; the snowflakes at the top appear to be falling onto the card!

speaking of falling snow, that was monday's theme (day 208) on the 365 cards blog, so i'm popping this in over there; and it wouldn't be friday without checking out what miss patrice is up to on her blog, the old back porch!

if you have a couple of minutes, this week my ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ partner, stephanie, has made an equally cool snow card that is different from mine in every possible way-- i love it when that happens! for that matter the snow gallery is chock full of amazing cards that are sure to inspire, but don't worry, of course there's still plenty of room-- and time-- to link up YOUR masterpiece before next wednesday night! :)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

i made the cover of *CLAMOUR* magazine!

no, i did not spell that wrong. and no, i'm not ON the cover of a magazine; i literally MADE (a pretend) one! it was one of tammy's brilliant daily paper prompts from the daisy yellow art blog. see?

you should really click the link for this prompt and see the astonishingly lovely faux magazine cover tammy drew and hand-lettered, because it is absolutely magnificent! i'm not capable of anything similar; but on the other hand i am pretty good at collage, and have loads of fun things i've saved from real magazines, so i had a blast cobbling them together into one hilarious (to me!) pastiche. do i even have to tell you my favorite part is the "army ants" banner??! i clipped that, gigglingly, from the cover of a national geographic AT LEAST two years ago and have been saving for "just the right thing". which, clearly, was *THIS*!!!

tammy garcia of daisy yellow drew several lovely line art mandalas (to which she would like to assert her copyright) for this prompt, i printed my fave, colored it with markers, cut it out, and added a few bits and bobs to round out the page. 

for the second coloring book prompt i grabbed a fab hello kitty activity book that the amazing miss stephanie gave me for my birthday one year (which i LOVE!!) and combined some bits trimmed from a hawaiian-themed page with one of my own photos of waikiki beach on which i've used PSE's  "cutout" filter... plus a few more digitricks. the result makes me grin like a loon!

i believe i've mentioned before that my favorite aunt's favorite color is *WHITE*! so over the years, i've made a bit of a point of "practicing" and "trying to" combine as much of that color-- or rather, i suppose, strictly speaking, that absence of color-- together as possible. ironically, the one time i feel i have really REALLY nailed it... is NOW... making a journal page that would never be used for anything. there's a lesson there, i tell ya! (this may be the only thing i've made for DPP that doesn't make it into the journal; b/c i'm thinking i might sew it to a card base, actually, and save it for aj's birthday!!!) :) :) :)

DPP#53: write
for this one i cheated a teeny bit, but in a GOOD way, lol! i've been craving a second shot at tammy's brilliant "slow journaling" idea (my first attempt met with in technical difficulties due to  infamiliarity with water soluble wax crayons); so i took it here! this time i've done the rainbow in watercolors (great practice mixing colors!) and thus had no trouble writing on top with a copic multi-liner. i did actually do some "proper journaling" instead of using a quote; i wrote-- appropriately enough-- about the rainbows in hawaii! ♥

i'm fairly proud of the fact that i managed to keep up with ICAD during june and july and with DPP until just recently*, but i am just the teeniest bit behind at the moment, so please bear with me; i'm still hoping to finish with the group on sunday or monday!!!

*did i mention september is NUTS in both jeff familiy and mine? between our two sides there are 7 birthdays and our own wedding anniversary in the space of about 3 weeks! sometimes i feel like the "holiday rush" starts on labor day weekend around here, because it honestly will not be totally calm and with "weekend breathing space" until january now! but, you know, in a GOOD WAY!!! ♥♥♥

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

when the olympic officials finally come to their senses and acknowledge giftwrapping as a sport...

...i'm pretty sure i'll have a shot at a bronze medal; maybe even silver!!! :)

ok, yeah, so you already know i  am obsessed with making presents as fancy and fabulous as possible. and yeah, i realize it could be argued that it's silly to go to a lot of trouble for something that's going to be UNDONE almost immediately; but i LOVE doing it and it is secretly my belief that nearly everyone instantly becomes (metaphorically) a delighted five-year-old when an unexpectedly awesome-looking gift (or cake!) which was made especially for them is bestowed!

here are a few gifty items from my family's bumper crop of september occasions. we happen to have *3* generations all born on the same day, september 19th: my mom, my brother, and of course that newly minted five-year-old, nephew matthew! (alas, none of them are pirates, though i still have hopes of the latter!) first, my mother:

you might remember this crazy uber-layered card i made for city crafter's monochromatic challenge; if so, you'll see whence came all of the inspiration for the package and gift bag. i went back to those same supplies: lingerie lace*, silk flowers from a garland, and music paper. the present is wrapped in the instructions insert from a vintage sewing pattern, and when i "packed" the bag i used a bit of the actual pattern as "tissue paper"! (and if you're thinking, "hey lauren! why a wrapped present AND a bag?!" well... ummmm... the card has one of these same big, puffy roses, so there was really no other way of concealing it's exuberant beauty!!!) 

the lady at the state store wrapped my brother's bottle of wine in one of their mylar bags** and a couple of curls of ribbon. i added the stickers and LOTS MORE ribbon, to coordinate with my custom-made envelope (the paper is giftwrap) which holds the over-sized "super bill" card i made for him during laurel seabrook's "inspired by superheroes" challenge! 

finally, nephew matthew, whose triceratops i showed you over the weekend, also got a (dino-themed, naturally) lego set and the EAD dino stickerz card i made waaaaay back in february. this is the project i originally intended for the current texture challenge at the lovely carla's anything but a card blog! because to me, digital creations can sometimes be a little bit... well... *FLAT* unless one is thinking about texture all the way through the creating process.

a really simple way to add life and dimension to one's digistuffs is with drop shadows. ok, no, technically this is not actual texture, but it makes a huge difference, nonetheless. my digi dino panel was made using mindy terasawa's "stomp" stickers and printed with my ordinary inkjet printer on an 8.5x11" sheet of super-glossy kodak premium photo paper; and truly, it comprises 90% of the design, but the other 10% is the texture--and it DOES matter! because of course, i could have put the name-- and even a scalloppy border-- on there digitally. i planned and "left room for" those elements as i was laying out the design, but then i printed the panel without them, and constructed the name banner with scraps of patterned paper and nice chunky foam thickers; mounted the panel on a bit of black to make it pop, added all different sizes of circles around the edge, punched from one of doodlebug's awesome (elderly!) plaid papers, and mounted the whole thing on more black oaktag. the last being the only thing i had to hand-cut in this entire process. the result is fun, personal, and sturdy enough to remove from the bag and hang up on, oh, i dunno... maybe a certain special birthday boy's bedroom door??!

and now i think i'll go and look up socchi on the atlas. you know, just in case the call should come!!! :) :) :)

*are you wondering how to attach sheer lace to a bag WITHOUT a sewing machine and WITHOUT the adhesive showing? yeah, so was i, lol! what i eventually did was tack the top edge with a solid line of hot glue (knowing the subsequent trim layer would hide it) and then, to keep the rest from flapping in the breeze, i c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y put tiny dots of the same low-temp hot glue under each of the opaque flowers and smooshed them on to the bag with the side of my hand. yes, it took forever, and yes, occasionally, some of the glue seeped through and it was HOT. this is why i used the side of my hand and not my fingertips, i've learned that lesson a few too many times. :0 incidentally, this is why i have a low-temp hot glue gun and have been forbidden by lovely husband jeff ever to upgrade to the high-temp kind; apparently he enjoys being married to someone with at least a couple of unscarred fingers! :)

**i NEVER say no to free giftwrapping, especially when the store has exactly the right size and shape to accommodate a specialty item. if you choose the plainest option, you can always ADD embellishments, and you've saved time and money on the "basic" supplies!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

furry or feathered friends

this week at shopping our stash we're celebrating our furry or feathered friends in card or project form! make something which features birds, dogs, cats, llamas, or... well... whatever YOUR favorite furry or feathered animal happens to be! can you guess what *I* chose? yeah, you can, can't you?!

(patterned paper: kaiser, studio calico, american crafts; bird sticker: papaya; rub-on sentiment: fancy pants; pennant and flower brad: studio calico; inks: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand glue tape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)

it's no secret that i loooooooooooove birds and use them A LOT in my projects. this particular anahata sticker is one i have been saving for just the right project, and since SOS is all about celebrating and using what we have, i thought this was a great time to bust it out!

i used this great sketch from the flourishes boutique timeless tuesday challenge even though it ended last night and thus i am not technically eligible or even linked, it's still quite fabulous, don't you think?

this week the 2 sisters challenge blog is looking for things with wings, while the musically-inspired songbird challenge blog is defying gravity, so i'm popping in with both of those, as well.

and now i hope you will pop in at SOS and see what the rest of the design team has made for your inspiration and delight! ♥

Monday, September 24, 2012

old + new + tape = BEST INCHIES EVER?!

i was pretty excited last week when my lovely city crafter challenge blog friends announced that the challenge for week 127 would be to incorporate inchies into a project; ever since i made my second postal card for the last JINGLE BELLES prompt i've been in a serious inchies mood! this time i knew i wanted to make a birthday card for niece lindsay. i'd envisaged the finished product being rather more *PURPLE* (her favorite color!) but other than that, i'm quite pleased with the result:

(patterned paper: amy tangerine and bo bunny plus scraps of doodlebug, pink paislee, prima, my mind's eye, dear lizzy and more; rosettes: amy tangerine, dear lizzy; tapes: love my tapes, october afternoon, recollections, hambly; brads: amy tangerine, doodlebug, october afternoon; tin pin: october afternoon; epoxy stickers: ki, michaels, susan branch; large pin and flag: pink paislee; small pins: making memories, little yellow bicycle; rub-ons: basic grey, american crafts; ink: color box; adhesives: staples brand glue tape runner, 3m foam tape, gluedots)

the other reason i was excited is that i've been thinking for a while that maybe the most PERFECT way ever to adorn inchies would be with washi and deco tape... and that the result would look quite a bit like the card i imagined for my second shot at love my tapes' september challenge which is  to incorporate tape in a grid design. unfortunately, i (incorrectly!) remembered that challenge as being open until the end of september, whereas it actually finished on friday. ah well. i was still completely inspired by the fabulous, fun layout tina walker made, and i KNOW i will use this technique again and again!

on the other hand, i'm thinking the people from retro sketches might gasp (and perhaps weep?!) when they see what i've done with this week's gorgeous minimalist retro sketch #20. don't worry, you guys, think of me as the card-making equivalent of the person at the BEGINNING of the show "what not to wear", ok?! :)

i don't think i will be the source of any controversy at so artful challenges, because i've not only used all the colors in their gorgeous magic garden inspiration, i've even thrown in some of the circley shapes AND i've definitely got the "fiesta" spirit that the picture evokes! (i know, i know, it was only a COLOR challenge, but i really found a lot more to love in that cool photo, so i went with it!)

is it just me, or does blogging "live" on the morning of the last day of a challenge make anyone else feel like a disorganized mess? what in the world did we do before auto-scheduling, eh??! it must've been like the DARK AGES, lol!

happy monday darlings! 
(is that too much of a contradiction in terms?! nahhh...)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

if at first you don't succeed... TRI-ceratops!

it's been quite some time since i've shown you anything i made out of yarn, hasn't it? this is not because i haven't been knitting or crocheting, but (rather more embarrassingly) because i've been an incredibly lazy so-and-so about FINISHING my projects once the knitting or crocheting of all the bits is completed. i currently have all the parts for two crobots, a couple of other ami's, and several barbie doll sweaters sitting idly in a knitting bag; i mention this in hopes the shame of revealing it publicly will spur me on!

actually, i think that step might be redundant, because the thing that really motivates me is seeing a photo of a fabulous project when it stops being parts and is instead a proper little character, like... ohhhhhhhhhhh i dunno... THIS GUY right here?!

he is for nephew matthew, of course, whose ♥5th♥ birthday party (how is that possible??!) will take place later today. i used this easy-to-follow crochet pattern by june gilbank, available at planet june; the same place i got the pattern for horace the stegosaurus, whom i made for matthew earlier this year. i just hope stegosauruses and triceratopses are not natural enemies or anything. that would be embarrassing!!! :)

i'm linking this up at my lovely friend carla's new challenge site, anything but a card--because she doesn't just mean any PAPERCRAFT except a card, she means ANY craft at all!!! the current challenge is for projects which incorporate texture. this little guy is quite nubbly, so i think that counts! and now i am off to wrap him up, and place him in a cool dino-themed gift bag i made, which i will show you... tomorrow? (or whenever i get around to uploading the photos, lol!) :)

♥happy saturday, darlings!!!♥

Friday, September 21, 2012

dashing through the...

...snow? really?? on september 21st?!

ok, yeah, it seems unlikely, until i mention that contextually, we're talking about the latest prompt at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ for which we are asking you to incorporate some of the wintery white stuff, whether that takes the form of snow flakes, snow balls, snow storms, snowmen (and/or snow-women!), snow-covered houses, or... well... anything you can think of which is snow-related!

i found this sweet little re-sized bit of sheet music in my holiday stash, leftover from a prompt the lovely marie bingaman came up with last year called "suzy snowflake", so i went with flakes! :)

(patterned paper, tags, chipboard pieces and pearl circles: basic grey; vintage style tag: christmas labels by the digital paper shop; pearl flourishes: want2scrap; felt and glitter snowflakes: recollections; blue journaling spots: k and co; other: vintage doilies, snowflake cut from an old xmas card, sheet music from t'internet, resized; inks: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand glue tape runner, 3m foam tape and doublestick tape)

i was completely inspired by the current sketch on the basic grey blog. yes, once again, it's a layout sketch. what can i say, i use all sketches interchangeably, and in fact i often prefer the layout ones because they tend to suit my "maximalist" style the best, lol! i know there are places in which only one type of project is solicited, and while of course i respect the rules and preferences of all the wonderful challenge-setters out there, i am occasionally stymied by that "segregation"; surely it's a compliment and a sign of an AWESOME and totally flexible sketch if people are inspired to do something CRAZY with it, no? (but again, i do my best to follow rules and completely understand that i might get disqualified!) 

i'm also linking this up in the vintage challenge at crimbo crackers, and for christmas is just around the corner challenge at just keep on creating. because christmas *IS* just around the corner, and by golly, i'm gonna be READY! (at least in terms of cards, lol!)

i'm embarrassed that i occasionally forget to do it (i did last week, sorry patrice!) but i generally submit my holiday cards with 52-card-pick-up on the old back porch. if you don't currently read that blog, you should! miss patrice is sooooooooo rockin' the clean and simple card aesthetic every single week! ♥

speaking of places i hope you'll visit, why not head over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and see stephanie's gorgeous snowy masterpiece? it's worth the trip, i promise!!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

inspired by... AUTUMN! ♥

by now i expect everyone knows that one of my all time favorite challenge sites is inspired by which of course is hosted by the lovely laurel seabrook. so you can probably guess how excited i was when that good lady asked if i'd like to guest design with her some week. "just tell me *WHEN*!" i said immediately; turns out, it's today!

so without further ado, here is the inspiration photo:

and here is my card, which is absolutely, completely, totally, 100% UNLIKE what i was planning to do:

(vintage: book paper for leaves (using cuttlebug dies); woven rattan background: the paper co; pumpkin clip art: from t'internet; patterned paper: authentique, scenic route, 7 gypsies; journaling card: basic grey; happy rub-on: my mind's eye; flower stickers: martha stewart; other: denim from an old pair of shorts (xyroned onto index stock); inks: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand glue tape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)

you see, i had thought i'd make a "guy card" for my brother-in-law. i figured i'd start with a fabulous antique truck image and then build up from there, working in some of the textures from the photo-- metal, wood, etc. great idea, right? yeah, i thought so too! with ALL THE VINTAGE stuff i have... wouldja believe... i could not find even *ONE* truck photo, drawing, or illustration??! NUTHIN'! so instead i went MEGA-literal with the colors, the pumpkins, and the general fall goodness. i really like how it came out, and it's perfect for my aunt marilyn's birthday in mid-october; but i'm still feeling a bit vexed at bein' thwarted, lol! :) :) :)

so what elements of that gorgeous photo are speaking to you right now? the colors? the textures? the pumpkins?? why not start with one... or all of those... but with the idea in mind that you're willing to follow wherever the inspiration takes you?!

another great place to begin is over at inspired by, where you can see laurel's project and read all the details for linking up your own! ♥ 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

happy ITLAPD, me hearties!!!

international talk like a pirate day, that is. this is actually the tenth OFFICIAL anniversary of my favorite spurious holiday, thus we should celebrate all the more he-ARRR-tily, landlubbers!!! grog for EVERYONE! ok, yeah, it's ARRR-guably a bit early for that, isn't it? howsabout just a double helping of piratical lols, then?! shiver me timbers!!!

if you'd prefer a film, scallawags, may i suggest the pirates: band of misfits, produced by the estimable ARRRR-dman animation (home of wallace and gromit, as well as shaun the sheep!) and as swashbucklingly funny of a movie as i have seen in quite some time!

if you find yourself with a big decision to make today, here's a bit of help with that, just print it out and add a spinner, or tack it to the wall and fling broadswords at it until you get an answer! 

finally, what better time than ITLAPD for a bit more ARRRR-tjournaling, me ole scurvy dogs?! here be some pages i made, inspired by the most recent daily pape-ARRRR prompts:

i've been obsessed with circles all summer. this time i added a zillion punched circles to the background, which is covered with a green page from which circle shapes have been removed! (and yeah, a little quote from the dalai lama never did anyone any harm, either!)

since i don't have a garden or even any non-cacti houseplants, i decided to use some artificial leaves from a decorative garland. thus, i didn't get much detail such as the veins and stems which look so verrrrry cool in tammy's example; so i filled in with the sewing machine! :)

for this one we could combine ANY two of the previous daily paper prompts. i went with "random paper collage" and "zentangling". the result is WEIRD... but i like it!

i used some photos of texture and also some actually textured materials. i cannot say i am thrilled with the composition, but what can i say, it was like 11pm and i was flagging. it was fun to make, though!

speaking of fun, go grab a couple of colors of paint, a foam brush, and a few paint-resistant circle-shaped objects! it's ok, i'll wait!!! just go a little nuts on some heavy duty paper and tell me you don't feel better! (you can't, because you WILL!)

if you don't have paints or time for the one above, g'head and do this, instead. my favorite is the zebra pattern, though the clouds are also fun.

and now back to your regularly scheduled wenches and rums, d-ARRRRRRR-lings!!! ♥♥♥

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

you're not the (em)boss of me!!!

this week's challenge at shopping our stash will be a breeze for EVERYONE... except me. and frankly, it was only a bit of a stumper in my case because sometimes i am such a ninny! :) the (very simple and straightforward) brief is to create a card or project which incorporates embossing-- either the dry or heat kind. easy peasy, yes?! as it turns out i did both: i've scored a double outline around my smaller blue panel; and heat embossed my sentiment. why it took me ages of thinking and trying and messing things up for no good reason i just COULD NOT TELL YOU... but at least i got there in the end!

(patterned paper: american crafts, scenic route, sei; cardstock: core'dinations; bird and flower stickers: martha stewart crafts; seam binding: pixie dust paperie; rubber stamp: hero arts; embossing ink and powder: psx; scoring tool: scor-it; adhesives: staples brand glue tape runner, 3m foam tape, gluedots; other: sewing machine)

i used this week's awesome retrosketch, it's #29, in fact:

i grabbed these utterly luscious colors from the current photo (#178) at cupcake inspirations which is kind of making me crave a cupcake... or an umbrella drink... or both, lol! (ok, yes, admittedly it's a bit early for either of those here on the east coast, but one cannot ignore THE MUSE, can one??!)

speaking of things it's silly to resist... go and have a peek at all of the lovely DT cards at SOS, i promise it is ALWAYS worth the trip!!! ♥

Saturday, September 15, 2012

it's a (neapolitan) banner day!

it's not often i make a project entirely from one paper line, but the dear lizzy "neapolitan" 6x6 paper pad has been burning a hole in my creative pocket for a couple of weeks now; and there is no denying that using a pre-coordinated set of patterns really speeds up the process of making something where you want maximum variety while still having one cohesive design. like, say... a name banner for a certain adorable one year old?! (please forgive the terrible photo, there is no where in my home that has BOTH five foot of empty, plain wall space AND great lighting!)

(vintage: seam binding; patterned paper: american crafts; wooden alphas: pink paislee; lg butterfly die: quickutz; butterfly punches: martha stewart; border punch: blue hills studio; pearls: kaiser; flowers and brads: making memories; ink: colorbox; white paint pen: sharpie; adhesives: staples brand glue tape runner, glue dots, hot glue, sewing machine)

the very sweet and appealing miss charli is the first grandchild of our dear friends kim and dave. to me it seems like only fifteen minutes ago since her daddy was this age, but this afternoon we celebrated her first birthday as well as her auntie's engagement, so clearly i am behind the times. this is what happens when you are old enough to be a "great aunt" i guess, lol!  :) :) :)

here are some closeups in which you can see the details of the banner a bit better.  

due to time constraints i went with the one set of papers, one type of embellishment (butterflies), one kind of flower; and i tied everything together with white to make it look fresh and young and cute!

i am only just BARELY squeaking in under the wire at a fun new challenge site devised by my lovely SOS colleague miss carla; this one is called anything but a card... care to guess what kind of projects they are looking for over there?!

this fortnight the theme was "anything goes" and the deadline is midnight, so you'll really have to hustle, but the new one will begin in the morning, and then you'll have two whole weeks to plot and plane!

i'm also jumping in on city crafter's absolutely awesome polka dot palooza challenge this week, though i confess this is actually NOT the project i had in mind for that, and i'm still hoping to sneak in another before monday night, fingers crossed!

happy weekend, darlings!

Friday, September 14, 2012

the postman always stamps twice!

not that you have to *STAMP* to get in on the action at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ this week; just make a holiday card featuring postage (real or faux) or postal images; OR make a holiday postcard; OR make a card with a coordinating envelope. this time, i went with option three:

(holiday inchies: artchix studios; patterned paper: dcwv, studio calico, crate paper, basic grey; stickers: creative imaginations; tape: recollections; rub-on: fancy pants; ink: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand glue tape runner, 3m foam tape)

i used this AMAZINGLY serendipitous sketch-- #175 from unscripted sketches; could there *BE* anything more perfect for using inchies??! i don't think so! :)

my original plan was to snip the inchie images from their sheet using my "postage stamp" decorative scissors, but it turned out the scale was just a bit too large and the resultant squares did NOT look like postage stamps, so i decided instead to use the third challenge option and decorate an envelope to match my design, which was totally fun, i need to do that a lot more often! 

something you definitely do NOT have to do for the challenge is make an envelope from scratch! but (for reasons that are far to complicated and laureny to explain!) that actually IS what i did, and if you'd like to see the process step-by-step (??!) it's in the post just below this one!

or you could just hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and link up your own postal-related holiday card! this prompt is open until next wednesday evening, so you have plenty of time... and there's a fairly cool prize, so you have a great reason! ♥

make your own CUSTOM envelopes... without a template!

despite my best efforts, i occasionally make cards that are not a standard size. i either tuck them into a gift bag or mail them in an oversized envelope-- and to me both of those solutions are perfectly fine-- but for some reason, this week i found myself wondering how hard it would be to MAKE a custom-sized, coordinated envelope, and the answer turned out to be, "not hard at all!" here's how:

what you'll need:
a piece of paper that is at least 1" greater than twice the height of your card, and 2" wider than the width of your card; scissors and/or trimmer; ruler; pencil; dry adhesive-- a tape runner is ideal for this!; optional coordinating patterned paper for lining, if desired.

 1. mark
the points just outside all four corners of your card on the paper that will serve as the outside of your envelope (i've done big dots so you can see them, but you can do it lightly, so it won't show).

 2. score and fold
straight, parallel lines between the two marks at the top, and between the two marks at the bottom; trim any excess paper if necessary--note that you need the top and bottom folds to overlap by about an inch, and you'll need about an inch extra at each side to create your pocket.

(optional step: if you'd like your envelope to have a coordinated liner, trim a piece of patterned paper to exactly the width of your card and the same length as the distance from the bottom fold to 1/2" before the end of the top flap--see photo below for a better illustration of this; adhere to your base paper before continuing)

 3. snip and fold
the overlapping edge bits at each side of your center panel, these are the base of the "pocket" which will hold your card; angle the cuts very slightly inwards, to keep them out of the way of the fold.

 4. trim the excess from top and bottom panels 
again you'll want to create a slight angle; as the bottom panel will become the pocket itself, while the top will be the envelope's flap. again, for illustrational purposes i've marked thick pencil lines: you can see that they both taper very slightly inwards so that the outer edges are about 1/16th of an inch narrower than the attached edges. this is just so your envelope will be square and not have any "extra" overhanging paper.

5. CAREFULLY glue ONLY the left and right edges...
...of the bottom panel to the little folded bits on each side; you don't want any extra adhesive, otherwise you'll be gluing the pocket shut. (which will not be helpful!) :)

6. slide in your card and ADMIRE your work!
after all, you've not only created the perfect envelope for THIS card, you've learned how to make a custom-sized, coordinated mailer for ANY card... without templates, or even any measuring... just a few folds!!!

♥GO, you!!!♥