Tuesday, February 26, 2013

TAG! you're it!!!

it's no secret that i go through "phases" in which i become totally obsessed; with a color, a set of products, a technique... whatever... i discover something i love and then that's ALL i want to do. case in point, having not done anything involving pocket cards for at least the last two years, i made one for niece riley a couple weeks ago. and BLAMMO, i was hooked! so imagine how thrilled i was when this week's challenge at shopping our stash was issued, and the brief was to decorate a tag, or incorporate a pre-made one into our project. so i did. and i put my tag... wait for iiiiiiiiiiiit... IN A POCKET! wahey! :) :) :)

(patterned paper and tag: pink paislee; banner and card-base paper: basic grey; dimensional cake sticker: crate paper; floral: prima; pocket element: teresa collins; ribbon: heidi swapp; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine) 
of course, the fun part about pocket cards is that you can also take the tag OUT of the pocket:

conversely, you can also put additional things INTO the pocket, like giftcards or little candies or secret notes. which i think i will probably do before i mail this one to my cousin, kerrie! :)

but first i'd like to invite you to go and see how the rest of the SOS gang used tags in their awesome projects, and then of course, we can't wait to see what ♥YOU♥ will do with this fun challenge!!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

a sketch so good... i needed to make TWO cards!

i mean, of course, the gorgeous card sketch by brenda barton which we've been using as our inspiration for the current ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ prompt! there were so many awesome ways to take it, i couldn't stop at just one! let me show you my card first, though, because i'm pretty excited about it:

(scanned and resized page from a 1953 copy of  "the night before christmas" illustrated by zillah lesko, printed on kodak premium glossy photo paper; patterned paper: dcwv, reminisce; deco tape and sparkly snowflake stickers: martha stewart; tag and brad: my mind's eye; acrylic snowflakes and red gems: recollections; lace: from my stash; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape)
i scanned and re-sized an illustration from one of the two lovely vintage copies of "the night before christmas" that miss gina gave me for xmas, printed it on glossy photo paper, then cut it out and mounted the whole thing on foam tape for extra dimension. i had remembered this particular picture as having a big yellow full moon, against which santa and his sleigh were shown... turns out... i remembered it wrong, there was no moon at all! so then i thought, maybe it wasn't in this particular book, and i checked out ALL of my different versions of the story. nope. could not find ANY full moon in any of them! i still do not know what illustration i am remembering so vividly, but i can tell you definitively that i do not OWN it, lol! so i just cut a big half-circle out of some glimmery white snow-flake patterned paper, and i think it works pretty well.

and now here's the sketch again, you can see i've been quite faithful to it; turns out, the plus side of fabricating a custom moon element was that i could make it fit precisely where it belonged!

someplace i think EVERYONE belongs this (and every!) friday is over at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ if only to see the beautiful cards created by brenda and stephanie; not to mention the magnificent takes already linked up in the sketch gallery by our awesome fellow belles! so off you go, darlings! ♥

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

SOS90: le papier tres vieux

as you may have noticed, the lovely miss carla has been on a mission this year at shopping our stash, not just to motivate us to use all the supplies we already have in new and interesting ways-- though she (and the rest of us SOS-ers!) are always up for that, of course-- but lately she's also been pushing us all to think about our OLDEST supplies: what was the first bling we bought? do we still have the first ribbons we acquired? and if so... LET'S USE THOSE!!! i love  these "stashbuster" challenges because they really do make me stop and think; and YES, often grab something i had forgotten all about and use it! this time the brief is to unearth our oldest designer paper, and use it in a project; make a card, a layout, a tag, ATC's... whatever you're in the mood to create!

before i show you my card, i have a confession to make: i'm really not sure what my first "official/designer" paper purchase was! i know it would have been inspired by design team projects at lifetime moments, the very first papercrafting store/gallery i ever followed online. i'm pretty sure it was either SEI or basic grey, as those are the first brands i was ever aware of in a lustful papercrafty way, and certainly the first "collections" i ever bought would've been by those companies; but i honestly cannot pin it down nearer than that. now as it happens, i need a birthday card for our eldest nephew, andrew, so i decided that in the interests of saving time and getting right to the FUN PART of the challenge, i would declare my first papers to be those of basic grey's, "color me silly" collection. thus i made this:

(patterned paper: basic grey, sei; border stickers: crate paper; alphas + arrow: basic grey; birthday sticker: EAD; journaling tag: cosmo cricket; (ancient!) chipboard rings (that i still love!): imagination project; star dies: nestabilities; ink: colorbox; adhesives: staple brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)
whereas i cannot say for certain that "color me silly" was indeed the FIRST designer paper set i ever bought, i can definitely tell you that it's still, to this day, one of my all-time favorites for making "guy cards" and i've replenished it many times over the years. i love the bold colors and collagey feeling; i love the perfect mix of size and scale in the patterns, and that there's just enough of a "grunge" element; and i really really love that pretty much any BG set can be mixed with any other line from that company to fabulous effect.

for my layout i used cardabilities sketch #69, which i think you'll agree is quite seriously awesome:

something else which is ALWAYS awesome is hopping over to SOS and seeing my fellow dt members' cards, and thus i heartily recommend doing so at your earliest convenience! ciao, darlings! ♥

Friday, February 15, 2013

let's get sketchy!

at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ it's our very first sketch of 2013 and we owe it all to our lovely guest star and supremely talented fellow belle brenda barton! it's a corker, too, so let's get right to it, shall we?!

yep. told you. good, isn't it?  i love that it's perfectly structured, but you can still take it in any direction you want. so i did!

(patterned paper: my mind's eye, studio calico, echo park; florals: prima; brad: making memories; twine: doodlebug; ink: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape)
i rotated the sketch 90 degrees clockwise, because i found the PERFECT paper in the MME "all is bright"* collection. now the great thing about this 6x6 paper pad is that the patterns are in a fabulous eclectic style, with little banners or collagey bits built right into each design. so only a crazy person would come along and fussy cut a few different ones from their various pages and combine them all together, right?! yes. that would be ME!!! :) so yeah, forgive me for being totally immodest, but i really like this one!

two other cards i really like this week were made by brenda and stephanie using this same gorgeous sketch, and can be found over at  ♥JINGLE BELLES♥. i do hope you'll stop over there and check them out!

*for the record, i think i have loved every single thing rhonna farrer has ever designed. and i really REALLY love her xmas stuff! just sayin'... :)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

♥happy valentine's day!♥

last night i made the world's fastest valentine card... (but perhaps also the most delicious?!) ...for my very handsome and adorable neighbor, john. ♥

(patterned paper: sei, prima, current, bo bunny, autumn leaves + origami paper;  pen: copic outliner; dove candies stuck on with gluedots)
lest you be worried about lovely husband jeff, you should know that he is 100% supportive of this relationship. for one thing, he likes john... who is six... and lives across the hall from us! :) at the moment john is very VERY "into" sending and receiving mail, a subject he started learning about in school a couple of weeks ago. since then, we've been exchanging letters and drawings, mostly by leaving them on each others' doormats; i honestly am not sure who is enjoying it more, though i *think* it might be ME! but then let's face it, there is nothing quite as cool as waking up to a "letter" with very neat pencil printing and a row of star wars lego stickers! look out girls of central new jersey, ten years from now you'll be in BIG TROUBLE! ♥♥♥

on the other hand, it's also quite fab to open one's mailbox and finding a totally unexpected greeting and a few treats from a lovely online friend! in this case the benefactor was my very talented fellow ♥JINGLE BELLEcyndie reis* who very sweetly sent me this gorgeous card, which of course i treasure!

there were candies, too, but someone may have scarfed those down too quickly for a photo to be taken! i'm naming no names, here. ok... yeah... it was totally me! :)

finally, on this lovely thursday, i'll leave you with one more holiday thought:

ok, seriously, in real life, this is probably a bad idea. unless you're both cats. or perched on a fence. or both! :) :) :)

happy valentine's day, 

*if you're not reading cyndie's blog you're missing out on both crafty inspiration AND some wonderful writing; she has a great eye as well as a fantastic sense of humor!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

it's birthday mania!!!

ok, strictly speaking, this week's challenge at shopping our stash isn't actually called "birthday mania"... but it could be... or at least, the brief is to make a card, layout, tag or any other papercrafting project with a birthday theme. since this week, as you know, niece riley is turning eleven, there was much joy and rapture; not to mention a certain amount of sewing, gluing and embellishing!

(pocket + chipboard: teresa collins, patterned paper: basic grey, echo park, amy tangerine, sei; bunting: basic grey;felt cupcake: recollections; rub-ons: EAD designs; ink: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, gluedots, sewing machine)
i had A TOTAL BLAST making this, and for sheer elderly, forgotten-about-stash usage, i think it is kinda hard to beat, but i'll essplain that part in a minute. you see it all started with a sketch. this one, from deconstructing jen:

as soon as i saw it, i thought, "that center panel should be A POCKET!"; because, yeah, even when talking to myself i use a lot of bold print, all caps and exclamation points. :) then i unearthed a verrrrrry old sheet of teresa collins punch-out cardstock elements which mostly consisted of pockets and little cards to go in them, so i was all set. then i added a few more tags. then i embellished the heck out of everything! then i built the rest of the card around the pocket element. then... belatedly... i discovered that the pocket really really reallllllllly needed to be sewn on if it was going to be as overstuffed as this and still stay attached. then i discovered that some of my cards and tags had been a pretty tight fit and had to basically squeeeeeeeze them all back in. but they fit. luckily. phew.

(tags: teresa collins, heidi grace, cosmo cricket; stickers + elements: echo park, love elsie, sei, hello kitty, ; alphas: making memories, doodlebug; strawberry brad: doodlebug; washi tape: recollections, hambly; ribbons: american crafts, heidi swapp, michaels; ink: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner)
you can see i used the colour q palette again, even though i knew that challenge would be over by the time i posted this. for one thing, my worktable was still covered with pink and red and smashing orangey bits.* for another thing, i just really like this combination!

speaking of combinations i really like, the SOS design team has done stellar work, as usual, and you will heartily enjoy seeing it! so off you go darlings, to check it out! ♥♥♥

*jaffa cake, anyone?! :) :) :) 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

i live to wrap!

ok, not quite. but as you know, i do ♥LOVE♥ wrapping gifts, the more elaborately the better; and then i love making a fancy gift bag to hold them; and then i especially love giving them to a very special niece, in this case riley elizabeth, whose *ELEVENTH* birthday was celebrated this weekend!!! (where exactly did that whole entire decade go... because seriously... it seems like we just had her FIRST birthday party fifteen minutes ago!) anyway, here's the bag that held the loot, i am proud to say it was quite a hit with that young lady!

(patterned paper, journaling card + transparency, alphabet stickers, stick pins: basic grey; florals: prima; small label tag: k and co; happy birthday rub-on: EAD designs; bunting rub-on: hambly; cupcake ribbon, plain white giftbag + tissue paper: michaels; ink: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, gluedots, sewing machine)
now, i realize most of the sketches out there in the papercrafting challenge world are created for either layouts or cards, but really, a good sketch can be used for ANYTHING, and is always a great starting point if you're in a hurry. in this case i grabbed the current sketch from the basic grey blog, a whole bunch of my favorite BG supplies, and one or two other odds and ends and came up with my design post haste!

since riley's actual birthday is on valentine's day, i often incorporate plenty of hearts... as well as reds and pinks... into the cards and presents i make for her, and this week the palette at colour q was BRILLIANT for that; it's "brilliant" in every sense of the word, actually!

here's a closer shot of the gift bag, with the birthday girl's name on it. actually, riley's favorite part was the big sparkly pink flower! 

you can probably tell more easily from the big photo than from this one, that the entire design is built on a 7x9" panel of dark red paper, and every single element is attached securely to THAT rather than the bag itself; then the whole panel is attached to the bag using only 4 or 5 little squares of foam tape. which is enough to keep it securely on the bag, but make it easy for the birthday girl to detach the panel and hang it on her bedroom door, or the bulletin board in her room. because it's important to enjoy the sensation of being THE FABULOUS BIRTHDAY GIRL for longer than the span of one little party, don't you agree?

happy birthday, riley elizabeth, and i hope this is just the start of your best year yet!!! ♥♥♥♥♥

Friday, February 8, 2013

let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

...but ONLY on cards, ok??!?! :)

like this one, my second go at the awesome "HO HO H20" prompt at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ suggested by our lovely guest star, miss linda of snail's space!

("paintable" paper: prima; fuzzy cerise velour cardstock: doodlebug; snowflake stickers: martha stewart; water soluble wax crayons: reeves; ink: colorbox; adhesives: 3m foam tape, sewing machine)
i used this week's awesome retro sketch as my inspiration, i was pretty excited that one of the seven or eight remaining prima "paintable" 6x6 papers i own just happened to have the PERFECT layout to let me play!!! i colored in their design with water soluble wax crayons, added in as many sparkly snowflakes as i could fit into those cool frames, and then went ker-ayyyy-zee with my sewing machine. all totally good fun, i assure you!

but the biggest coincidence of the week was not finding the perfect paper to fit the sketch. nope. not even close! for that one, you'll have to jump over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and see stef's card, because there is no way you'll believe me if i just tell you! first let me just say that no, we don't ever confer about what we're making; and although i emphasize that she's almost always finished and uploaded her card first-- often before i begin mine, lol-- i try not to see it until i'm done, just so i WON'T be tempted to "copy" her, lol!!! :) :) :) (ps: while you're over at JB, why not check out the reader's gallery and start planning your own gorgeous card?!)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

bring out your bling! bring our your BLING!

and bring out your *oldest* bling, at that! because this week at shopping our stash, miss carla has whipped up another awesome ♥STASHBUSTER♥ challenge in which she is asking us to dust off our most elderly and neglected supplies... and fall in love all over again. this one has my name written ALL OVER IT, dontcha think?! because i got on the bling bandwagon early, and i never did hop off! as a matter of fact, back in the day, i used to use fine tweezers and diamond glaze applied with the point of a toothpick to attach tiny loose flat-backed gems one... at... a... time... (yes, i was crazy, thank you for asking!!!) :) so whereas a lot of people complained at how expensive the lovely self-adhesive bling was when it first appeared, to me it was worth every penny! i think the first such product i ever saw was made by heidi swapp. (she came out with a line of deco tape about ten years before the washi craze, too, come to think of it. out in front of the curve, miss heidi has been, for most of her career, it's pretty impressive!) anyway, i must've used 20 packets of circles, squares and even words, but my faves were always her nice straight lines! so here's one of those... with... (ahem!) one or two other embellies, as well!

(patterned paper: pink paislee, basic grey, graphic 45; "muse" glitter sticker: papaya! by anahata katkin; green bling strip: heidi swapp; other glittery stickers from costco (my aunt found them AGES ago!); flower gem stickers: basic grey; paper flowers: prima; colored rub on (center strip): pink paislee; text rub-on: fancy pants; white and cream rubs (doilies, pompoms, bunting): hambly; shimmery chalks (rubbed carefully into JUST the white and cream rub-ons, so they would stand out from the white-on-white background): pebbles; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)
ok, yeah, it's been a while since i went this crazy with layers and layers and layers of rub-ons, glitter stickers, bling-embellished stickers, paper flowers, shimmery chalks, more rub-ons, more stickers, more... well, ok, i think you get it, lol! it was soooooooooooo totally engrossing, too, i have not had this much fun in AGES! possibly, i need to get out more, eh?

if you need a lovely little inspiration vacation, do hop over to SOS and check out the stellar work of my DT sisters, i promise you'll be glad you did! ♥♥♥

Friday, February 1, 2013

ho ho h20?!

yepper. that's this fortnight's prompt at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥, as devised by our lovely guest star, miss linda, of Snail's Pace; it's also BY FAR my favorite post title of the year so far! but what does she mean by "Ho Ho H20"?! it's actually as simple as it is awesome! she's asked us to create a holiday card which features icicles, snow, frozen ponds, or any water-related imageOR use water-based products on your project, such as watercolor paints, water-based markers or sprays, etc. cool, right? yeah, we thought so too! i had planned on making something inky and intricate, with loads of sprays and maybe some watercolors, too, and definitely an ethereal and art-journal-y snowflake theme. so of course what came out was THIS!

(patterned paper: my mind's eye, echo park; cardstock and felt stickers: basic grey; "brrrr" sticker: daisy d's; brads: one heart one mind; ink: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)
yeah. not exactly ethereal. or art-journaly. not even a little bit. i blame ren and stimpy... (stephanie's husband, rod, named these BG snowman guys that a couple of years ago, and it stuck, lol!) ...i found them on an older BG sticker sheet whilst searching for something else, but as soon as they were on the scene THEY TOOK OVER the whole card. so i guess you'll have to wait until next week to see me get inky! :)

i flipped this week's fabulous unscripted sketch horizontally...

...though, of course, the minute everything was glued on i realized i could have just changed the position of ren and/or stimpy. duh, lauren. but i like them this way, so no harm, no foul, eh?! what can i say, it was definitely a "roll with it" sorta week.

over at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ it's a "get totally inspired" sorta week, and i suggest you hop over and see what water-based gorgeousness miss linda and miss stephanie have produced! it's worth the trip, i guarantee!!! ♥