Friday, November 30, 2007

many thanks...

(note: daniel craig does not feature even tangentially in today's post...i just like looking at him. you convalesce your way; i'll convalesce my way!)

...for all the well-wishes and happy thoughts, they are very much appreciated! plus, the good news is, i *think* they are starting to work! i feel quite a bit less dire today, and can stand up almost all the way straight. wahey!!!

extra-special thanks to VC for the clarice bean quote, which does indeed admirably sum up the value/effectiveness of worry! :) (i had not previously heard of clarice, but it turns out she is the heroine of a childrens' book that i think i may just have to order for all of the women in my family!)

additional good news is that i have managed to complete all but one of my caardvarkly duties, and i have hopes of getting the last one done today. jeff has set up the ironing board for me, so i can i work a bit...and go lay down...then work a bit...and go lay down... (i could keep going, but i think you get the drift!)

finally, i spoke to tonight's houseguest, and she reminded me that she lives in a home populated by a husband, 3 teenagers, 2 large dogs, several cats, 4 turtles, and assorted friends, pets, relatives, and hangers-on of the aforementioned. it seems that basically, as long as i don't take money from her purse, return her car with no gas in it, steal her sandwich while she's on the phone leaving only a drool-stained plate as evidence, or leave a suspicious puddle anywhere in her path, staying with me--even under the current conditions--is like a 5-star hotel. since i was able to promise confidently on all counts, we should be fine!

(...ok...i lied about the sandwich...shhhhhhhhhhhhh!) :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

an apology

the author wishes to apologize for the scarcity and general lack-luster-y-ness of her blog posts of late.

you see, unfortunately the author's back decided to go partially "out" right before thanksgiving, and the author's chosen therapy of two days of long-distance driving...with a resting-n-eating-a-lot day in between...was surprisingly ineffective in curing this problem.

thus the author has been laying on her living room floor since saturday during which time she has left the house only to visit the chiropractor (twice) and (once) to install a very fancy and complicated bit of christmas garland in the home of friends whose holiday gift is said decoration. (in this scenario lovely husband jeff ascended a ladder with fairy-lighted and ribbon-bedecked artificial pine-and-holly garland whilst the author stood in the middle of the room with a laser pointer directing the placement of silk poinsettias and little sparkly clusters of green berries. more proof, if any was needed, that LHJ *is* in fact a saint whose patience & generosity knows no bounds.)

the rest of the time the author has been at leisure to worry in a free-ranging and far-flung manner on a number of issues including, but not limited to:

  1. whether she will finish her assignments for the special and exciting caardvarks events that begin on saturday
  2. whether she will finish her xmas cards in time to mail them so they will be received before st. patrick's day; and whether she will be able to start...much less finish...the mini-books she had planned for the nieces' christmas gifts
  3. what on earth she will buy/make/give to everyone else on her holiday gift list
  4. whether there will ever be a lasting and stable peace in the middle east...not to mention the incipient questions of iran...north korea...and pakistani... (the author is remembering why she made the decision several years ago NOT to watch the nightly news on a regular basis)
  5. what it means that last night she dreamt she was canadian (??) and thus held a very large garage sale in order to finance a return to montreal...which oddly enough she was unable to locate on the map provided in said dream...
  6. whether she will EVER get back to the gym and any kind of regular exercise before she weighs 900 pounds (the author has noticed that laying around doing nothing does *not* make you any less hungry than running around like a crazy person...the author is rather miffed about this point)
  7. whether the houseguest she is expecting friday night has had a recent tetanus shot, and/or could be convinced that the wealth of dustbunnies currently residing in her house are deliberatly being cultivated and saved for some sort of avant-garde crafting project
  8. what on earth the state of her workplace will be when she finally returns to it
  9. whether her fellow bloggers will forgive her for being only semi-present on her own blog...and completely absent on theirs... (the author is pretty sure they will, since they are all very kind and extremely lovely!)
  10. whether it would be helpful and/or theraputic to write down some of her worries in hopes that seeing them in print would reduce their scale and anxiety-producing-ness (the author can now say, to that point, a definitive, "nope")
the author leaves you with a renewed apology and a reminder that by far the most effective way to torture hyperactive and/or worry-prone persons is to make them lay about for several days doing NOTHING but watch daytime television...which she is pretty confident was devised entirely by fiends whose only purpose is to inspire adults to leave their homes as quickly as possible in search of gainful employment.

the author implores you to use this knowledge only for good, and never for evil.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

une autre carte postale

there is nothing particularly french about this entry...but i'm running out of ways to say, "here is another postcard" in my title, so i thought i would be vaguely continental. plus, i am still intermittently thinking of paris je t'aime; which, as you know, i really, really enjoyed & highly recommend!

anyway, here IS another postcard:

this is from my friend david, a lucky so-and-so who has just sailed to england on the QM2, and who knows that i have an particular love of cruise-line and airline postcards. this one is extra-special, actually, because it was postmarked, mid-voyage, by cunard! (i didn't realize they even still DID THAT!)

also, you can see in the top photo that david has helpfully pointed out the location of his cabin! luckily, it's on the starboard side--if he'd been to port, i guess he'd've had to wait and buy a card on the return trip! (lol) :)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

a teeny tiny stroke of genius-ish-ness

do you love swatchbooks of rub-ons as much as i do? i think they’re fantastic because you get pages and pages of rubs, all grouped to a theme, at a reasonable price. The only thing I don’t like about them is that they are held together by a very short bookscrew, so it can be difficult to use the middle ones without tediously taking the whole book apart.

that is…until NOW!!!!!

one giant staples book ring later: every rub in every book is easy to find, easy to use & easy to store. i totally rock. woohoo.

now that your rub-ons are organized, you might as well use a few of them on a card and submit it to the current caardvarks challenge, right?!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

the jeans of DESTINY!!!

ok, that’s a slight exaggeration…but truly, I have found me some wonderful denim!

they're called levis 512: perfectly slimming jeans
...and by golly, they *ARE* all three!

they look like jeans…but feel more like leggings; they are softer than regular denim and much stretchier. these babies smoosh your belly *flat* and yet they are 100% totally and completely comfortable. admittedly, they are pretty high-waisted... (well how else could they do the disappearing belly trick?) …since i never tuck anything in, this isn't a problem. they’re slim-fitting in hips and thighs but end in a nice understated flare. oh yeah …and did i mention they come in TALL sizes!!! i’ve bought all three colors. better get ‘em fast though…because any time i like an article of clothing this much it tends to be discontinued almost immediately!*

*i was kidding when i wrote that...but i've just checked the official levi's site...and these jeans are not listed. jc penney and a couple of other stores have them, but that's it. dang.

Friday, November 23, 2007

woohoo it's *MORE* xmas cards!

are you sick of these yet? well, that's a pity because i am only about halfway done!

today's entries again feature the bigger (...& some might say gaudier...) frame cards with the sparkly-gold enhanced ornaments. it took me a few tries to figure out how to use these effectively. you can't be too subtle, or the design gets overpowered; however if you go TOO crazy, you're into an unpleasant overload of warring patterns and colors. (it's dead tricky, this design lark!) i think i have more or less hit a happy medium with these babies:

(patterned paper: dcwv, basic grey, vintage sheet music; chipboard tree: ki memories; brads: queen&co; holiday magic tag: fancy pants; sheet music flower & holly leaves are my own design; candy sticker: dcwv; rub on letters: making memories, american crafts, scenic route; rub-on curlicue stitches: doodlebug; straight stitches i drew with a white uniball pen; other: colorbox ink, jewelcraft gems, foam tape, crop-o-dile for making holes in chipboard)

ps: LHJ says "hi" and "thank you very much" for all the wonderful birthday wishes! we spent his birthday (and thanksgiving) visiting his sister and her family. them what spawned LHJ...aka his parents...were here too, so it was a 50% bergoldian reunion. we are heading home--turkey-stuffed & in a pleasant tryptophan haze--later today.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


lovely husband jeff, florida, may '07
(if you look into his eyes, you can see the reflection of me and my camera. this makes a for nice photo...and an even better metaphor!)

  1. can pretty much fix *anything* mechanical: cars, plumbing, machinery, appliances, name it
  2. loathes raspberries
  3. grew up in the last completely non-dysfunctional family in america
  4. eats those orange crackers with the peanut butter in them for breakfast nearly every day
  5. hates crowds and cities and would live in the woods...a la grizzly adams...if he could
  6. played the trombone in elementary school (...and still likes "heavy metal"...)
  7. has yet to find a recipe he could not adopt, adapt or improve
  8. snores at a level which drowns out jet engines
  9. has eyelashes which grow so luxuriously long that he trims them with nail scissors!
  10. gets up for work at 4:30am...and is thus generally in bed by about 9pm...
  11. denies that he secretly has a little crush on rachel ray
  12. regards the inventor of the necktie as a fiend of the highest order
  13. is entirely free of all "macho man" baggage & behavior...until you cut him off in traffic...
  14. was the life-long best friend of his maternal grandfather, poppa
  15. has called me at lunch nearly every day of our married life...just to say "hello" and "i love you"...
  16. intensely dislikes shopping, but insists on coming with me because, "there might be heavy things to carry"
  17. cannot fall asleep without checking the weather channel...and listening to some of that coooooool music... :)
  18. writes the grocery store list in the order of where things are in the store (and will quietly erase & re-write items i have added, if they are in the wrong place!)
  19. is...unwillingly, but scrapping-n-design buddy (he's started to have some really good suggestions, as well!)
  20. would eat olives...any kind of olives...with every meal
  21. does not particularly care about or follow any professional sports
  22. is slightly embarrassed that i am writing this (he's being given ultimate veto power, however; i'll be surprised if rachel ray makes the cut!)
  23. likes to sit by the window where the bird feeder is and watch the avian antics
  24. knows *EVERYTHING* about me...and loves me anyway...
  25. feels there are not many non-dessert items which aren't improved by adding either...a little hot sauce...OR...a lot of hot sauce...
  26. is big and strong and tough and rather intimidating at work...but putty in the hands of nieces and small furry pets
  27. has only visibly panicked once in all the years i have known him: the time i sliced my hand open on a wine glass that broke while i was washing it
  28. needs to know, geographically, EXACTLY where he is at all times, and will pore obsessively over maps before and during any trip or vacation (his mother does this, also!)
  29. looks great in absolutely every shade of blue
  30. has no problem with a messy house but must have a pristine car--inside and out--at all times (...and must have ME have one, too...)
  31. is regularly reduced to tears of hysterical laughter by the tv show "america's funniest animal videos" (personally, i don't find the show funny; however watching jeff watch the show IS truly hilarious)
  32. likes to point out national electrical code and OSHA violations to me when we are out & about
  33. knows the dates of precisely *two* birthdays: mine and his; *period*
  34. still hasn't quite got over "x-files" being cancelled
  35. knew what lasik eye surgery was before anyone else did...and only waited several years to have it done because *i* was nervous
  36. had never ridden in a taxi until this summer
  37. loves: horror, sci-fi, kung fu, and movies in which a bug, mutated by a strong dose of radiation, grows to the size of a volkswagen microbus and menaces society
  38. hates musicals (but liked "moulin rouge" and "muriel's wedding"!)
  39. has four titanium bolts in his lower back (which...contrary to ours and everyone else's expectations...don't set off airport metal detectors)
  40. does not enjoy opening presents (??!)
  41. has hair that doesn't grow long so much as *wide*
  42. types with two fingers, keeping both eyes firmly on the keyboard...and regards anyone who does not type thusly as performing an unbelievable feat of houdini-level magic
  43. thinks the tv remote controller is there to be used, by golly; if god had wanted us to watch an entire program at a time we'd all still have televisions with dials on them!!!
  44. loves to cook, but hates to plan meals
  45. is genuinely the kindest man i have ever met
  46. has a wife who *adores* him!!!
  47. is 47 today


Tuesday, November 20, 2007


...three cards in a tub!

well, they are not actually in a *TUB*, they are in the new caardvarks' challenge...but that didn't rhyme very well, so i went with "tub" instead. anyway, as i mentioned, the new challenge is up and it is called: rub me tender, rub me sweet! (you're not going to believe this, but for once, there is a diabolical pun being perpetrated that had nothing to do with me!!!) you've got until midnight, november 30th*, to go wild making cards which include rub-on transfers. the winner will recieve fame, glory, their name in lights on the empire state building, and a delicious vegetarian lunch prepared by tv chef emeril lagasse.

ok, ok, technically, you don't get any of those things. but there *IS* a prize, and since it's from the embellishment studio, you definitely want it! :)

here are the cards i made for the challenge:

(pattern paper: dcwv + vintage sheet music; small diecut ornament, word strips & tag: fancy pants; larger ornament is a plastic cup traced for the circle w/FP ornament top added to it; vellum noel: dcwv; stickers: basic grey, sandylion, sticko, martha stewart; rub-ons: autumn leaves, fancy pants, foof-a-la, basic grey, making memories, creative imaginations other: ribbon scraps, colorbox ink, foam tape)

as you can see, i am still workin' the christmas frame cards...but i had no trouble incorporating rub-ons into that scenario. i've got layers and layers of those babies: on the ornaments, in the background, as bits of text, as accents, and around the frame openings. aye, there's the rub! (ok, that diabolical pun WAS all mine!)

* this challenge is of slightly shorter duration than the typical caardvarkian endeavor, because we are clearing the decks for the first week of which BIG DOINGS will take place! as you know, i am as good at keeping secrets as...ummm...well, the first person you can think of who is really, really BAD at keeping secrets...and being sworn to secrecy is physically painful to me; but i'm not going to blow the surprise!

Monday, November 19, 2007


this may well be the *CUTEST* card i have ever made in my entire life. and yet...i really like it! plus, i have an aunt who will love it!!! in fact, i suspect these little hamsters...or mice...or whatever they are...were cut from an xmas card sent by this particular aunt several years ago. ah, the great circle of life...who knew it applied to greeting cards, too?! :)

(images from an old xmas card; ki memories patterned paper; creative imaginations rub-on stitches; foam tape)

many, many thanks for the terrific "card makeover" suggestions on yesterday's post! the "add-an-inner-frame" idea does indeed improve the look. also, i have discovered that i can remove the collage from the frame without damaging either one (i only put it in with doublestick tape) so there is the possibility of adjusting it to fit one of the smaller red frame cards, like said hamsters are sportin', above. or i could MAKE a quick card in a different color/pattern. i just have to decide if i like the collage part...with the suffocating shower of sweets...enough to bother. ...jury's still out...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

today, i present:

a card i don't like
as much as other cards i have made

in fact, i am pretty close to actively disiking this one.

i like the idea of it...and those tiny paperchase puffy candy stickers look cool with the vintage b&w illustration. but the decoration of the frame card is somewhat overpowering...and i wish the treats were positioned in a thinner arc, set higher above the childen--maybe even floating up into the top of the frame? at the moment, it looks like the little darlings are in real peril of being suffocated by said sweets. "DANGER!" i'd like to shout to them, "there's a candy flash flood! run, children, ruuuuuuuuuuuuuun!"

IF... i manage to get 50 cards finished pre-deadline... (which admittedly is a fairly big "if") ...i might consider making a few non-frame cards, and ditching this one. but we'll see...maybe it'll grow on me!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

so (rein)deer to my heart

a few more cards from last weekend. i'm loving these little guys...the deer i mean! they are from a garage-sale-acquired, hanging-on-by-a-thread 1950's era little golden book edition of "rudolph the red-nosed reindeer" which was illustrated by...wait for it...richard scarry!!! remember "what do people do all day"?!! that was a book i adored as a very small child because it had so many great illustrations...all sorts of little animals dressed as firemen and chefs and chiropractors...that you could make up your own stories when there wasn't a handy grown-up about to read to you. as an adult, i love that while his animals are distinctly cute, they never stray into "cutesy"...if you know what i mean...thanks to a rich vein of humor throughout all of his work.

(jounaling tag: k&co; snowflake stickers & rub-ons: making memories & martha stewart; alphas: creative imaginations; other: vintage book illustrations & text, snowflake giftwrap, foam tape)

sadly, these are the last two of the light aqua frame-cards. i have more of the red ones with the holly on them...and then some larger ones with ornaments. i think i might be able to work a few reindeer into the red frames. buying things in the post-xmas sales results in rock-bottom prices, but you take what you can get on quantities!

PS to tracy (added later!): i also did not realize that this copy of "rudolph" was illustrated by richard scarry, until, mid-card-making, and LOVING the reindeer, i decided to find out who the illustrator was...and i looked at the credit page! i think this was *quite* early in his career, when he was purely an illustrator and not yet an author in his own right. (the book is from 1958 i think; a full decade before "WDPDAD")

my favorite characters from WDPDAD, in addition to "lowly worm" (whom, of course i love! ...but who'd NOT love a worm wearing an alpine hat...?!) are "able baker charlie" (a mouse, who produces wonderful bread & treats) and "wrong way roger" (a mouse pilot...who flies a very, VERY small plane!)

tracy (who is quite the illustrator herself, as a matter of fact!) sent me two FABULOUS richard scarry links: a wonderful, whimsical biography of the man and a neat flickr page that compares the 1963 and 1991 editions of "the best word book ever". enjoy! (thanks, t!!!)

Friday, November 16, 2007

cue three dog night again!!!


a little more "joy to the world" for ya:

(metal word: making memories; sticker: chatterbox; rub-ons: foof-a-la & creative imaginations; other: images cut from old christmas cards, vintage sheet music, vintage christmas poem, foam tape, glitterglue)

of course, being as it's friday, you've probably got the "joy thang" covered already, dontcha?! :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

stamp-n-stitch: a tutorial...sort of...

perhaps "a collection of random thoughts & hints" is more like it! i am not so much for step-by-step instructions (either giving *or* following them!) but i had a BUNCH of fun playing around with the caardvarks' hand stitching challenge, and there's still time for you to get in on it, too! (deadline is midnight, saturday 11-17)

one of the things i realized when elisa and i were talking about this last week is what a difference terminology makes. for example, neither of us are particularly interested in--or much good at--sewing. but as soon as we got on to discussing embroidery, we both had a ton of ideas!

supplies: you definitely need cardstock for this, or patterned paper glued to printer paper to sturdy it up; thin paper wants to rip after a few stitches. i'm not big on specialized, uni-tasking turns out that a piercing tool is MUCH better than anything else for making the holes; you need something quite sharp, or else you will have puckery wrinkles in your paper. oh yeah, and just as the craft-mags have told us: an upside-down mouse pad is the perfect thing to pierce into! embroidery floss gives a smooth look with a faint sheen; needlepoint yarn has a more homespun/rustic look; you could also try silk ribbon...variegated or metallic thread...thin yarn...raffia...even household string!

a rhonna flourish stamped with an inkpad on sei patterned cardstock

method: not being very much of an artist myself, i love the idea of using rubber stamps to provide a super-quick framework for my stitching. varks' guest designer celeste brodnik rather brilliantly points out that by stamping on the back of your cardstock you can get the effect of free-hand drawing, but i also liked letting a bit of the ink show for a two-toned, two-textured look. it is fun to play around with adding extra bits of stitching and/or leaving some of the stamped image un-stitched.

the above, embellished with 6 strands of black embroidery floss, some silvery beads, and a marah johnson velvet flower brad

variations: if you stamp using colored inks (or markers) and stitch with more than one thread color you can get quite a sophisticated multi-toned look with very little work!

a different rhonna flourish, accenting a glitter-painted, sequin-adorned heidi swapp flower

i mostly stuck with narrow lines and backstitch, but you could fill in an outline stamp with satin stitch, or cross-stitching, or any other sort of decorative embroidery that doesn't require a lot of flexibility. lazy-daisy stitch, of which i had high hopes, is sadly NOT a possibility on cardstock! ...but then...who says you can't stamp on fabric and then glue--or sew-the resulting panel onto your project?!

a sasafrass arrow stamp stitched in several ways & accompanied by a bunch of creative imaginations rub-ons (note the "puckering" phenomenon caused by piercing holes with a not-quite-sharp-enough needle!)

more ideas:
  • use a crop-o-dile to punch holes in painted or raw chipboard (or acryllic?) shapes and stitch right through them!
  • outline a text stamp, or underline specific words to make them stand out; dot your i's with small beads or french knots (there ya go elisa...more french knots for you!)
  • make a frame for a stamped image by stitching a circle or rectangle around all--or part--of the design
  • sew beads, sequins, buttons, tiny felt or paper flowers--or any combination of these--to the centers of large stamped...or drawn...or silk...blooms
  • highlight a bit of the design in patterned paper with stitches
  • blanket stitch along the edge of a card
  • use iron-on pattern books instead or...or in addition to...rubber stamps

for more inspiration, check out the *amazing* caardvarks' hand-stitched gallery ......then come along and have a go!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

colds 3, lauren 0


i am on my third cold since fall. though by "fall" i mean since mid-september when the season officially began, and not the last week or so when the weather has actually commenced to being fall-like here in new jersey. even i could not have squeezed in three colds since then.
...but still...


on the plus side, i took this fun little quiz this morning:

The Movie Of Your Life Is A Cult Classic

Quirky, offbeat, and even a little campy - your life appeals to a select few.
But if someone's obsessed with you, look out! Your fans are downright freaky.

Your best movie matches: Office Space, Showgirls, The Big Lebowski

...cult classic, eh...? yeah, that sounds about right! :) speaking of movies, paris je t'aime comes out today on dvd, and is as charming, quirky, and multi-faceted as the city itself!

bon jour, darlings!

*that is a grumpy-n-irritable "arrrgh" and not a piratey "arrrgh". one of the many advantages of piracy is that generally speaking, you don't get a lot of colds; what with the warm caribbean** weather and a diet full of vitamin-c rich tropical fruit. which is good because it is very, very difficult to get affordable health insurance coverage, even at group rates; what with the risky lifestyle, high incidence of alcohol-dependency issues, and frequent knife-fights. plus you know, not that many agents are willing to make ship-calls these days. so i s'pose it all balances out, really.

**yes, technically, you could be a pirate ANYWHERE in the world that has a body of water big enough to support ships and treasure; however there are very compelling reasons no one has made a big budget, blockbuster, 3-picture series called "pirates of the bering strait". savvy??!

Monday, November 12, 2007

oh dear

or should i say, "oh DEER"? reindeer, that is. on christmas cards. these christmas cards:

(snowy-treed background & reindeer are from old, falling-apart, garage-sale copies of "christmas ideals" and "rudolph the red-nosed reindeer" respectively; heart paper: sei; journaling spots: k&co; stickers: sandylion & sticko; rub-ons: basic grey & fancy pants; gems: jewelcraft)

those are two of the six or seven i completed over the weekend. which is rather less than i was hoping to make. but luckily it's still only november i have a bit of time left. it's gonna flyyyyyyyyyyy by though, isn't it?! yikes.

happy monday, darlings!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

the one that got away

last night, i spent 20 minutes looking for a small orange rhonna farrer flower rub-on which i had cut out of its backing sheet and set aside to use. i looked everywhere: my work table, the floor around it, the couch beneath me, even *under* the couch and between the cushions! but it was just GONE without a trace. in the end, i used a different one and forgot all about it.

this morning as i was drinking my coffee, i saw lovely husband jeff looking at my arm, first with concern, and then amusement. "what?" i asked, eloquently. (it was 8:30 & my first cup of coffee.) "i thought you were bleeding...but you're not," he said chuckling and pointing to a spot on the underside of my forearm, near the elbow, where he saw this:

ps: this is what i was making, it's a page for my 3BT book:

in retrospect, i think the flower looks just as good on me as it would've on frida! :)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

sticks and stones may break my bones...

but andy goldsworthy would turn them into art!

the sticks and stones, i mean. he would probably not use my bones. but i could be wrong, because in addition to rocks and wood, he's also been known to create sculpture (it's the wrong word, really, but it's as close as traditional art terminology comes to what AG does) from leaves, wool, dandelions, reeds, moss, snowballs, and icicles!

i was going to link you to sites which feature goldsworthian work...but the fact just don't capture it. because it's all so ephemeral and unique. photos can record it, but they aren't enough. nope, to really "get it" you need to see this:

it's the absolutely hypnotic documentary rivers and tides in which a film crew followed andy goldsworthy for an extended period of time (a year, i think) and recorded him talking a bit about his life and work...but mostly...they just stood back and let him make art. which is brilliant. because as interesting as he is when he's speaking, he's twice as eloquent with bits of shale, or ice, or ironstone ground into powder.

i mention this because said film came on television the other night, and even though i was on my way to an early night AND i have seen it 57 times AND actually own it on dvd...i still sat down to "watch five minutes", got hooked (like always), and watched the entire film. again. i could try to explain why this happens...and how i'm not the only one to whom it does happen...but i know i would fail miserably at such a task, so i will just say: film good, you watch! yeah, i think that sums up my stance rather well. :)

while we're talking about art documentaries, i might as well mention who gets to call it art and how to draw a bunny. both of those are more traditional "talking heads" documentaries (a la pbs' american masters program) , but well worth a few hours of your time, if you like that sorta thing. (i do like that sorta thing...quite a well we know!) the former is a profile of henry geldzhaler, the metropolitan museum's first curator of "contemporary art" and features contemporaneous interviews with pretty much anyone who was...or is...anyone on the new york gallery scene from 1960 on; the latter is a slightly more offbeat look at the career of the vastly overlooked ray johnson, whose greatest "work" might well be considered to be his life...and death...

speaking of pbs, art:21 has apparently been around for a bit, but somehow i am only just discovering it now. it's got sort of a magazine format, and each episode features 3 or 4 "up-and-coming" artists, from all disciplines. if i ever manage to reliably figure out when it's advance... (so far i have only caught bits & pieces; some of which were repeats) ...i'll let you know!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

monkeh, monkeh, monkeh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

guess what came in the mail the other day??!

ok, you'll never guess so i will show you:

yes, i received a lovely package from the vicious chicken!!!

knowing how much i adored the teeny tiny pg tips mascots which can't be obtained here in the states, the gracious and generous vc offered to send me one of my very own! as if that wasn't enough, tipsy (for thus i have named him) was wrapped up in the coolest monkeh giftwrap you have ever seen AND came with an awesome note, a tasty snack, and the bit of teabag box which explains his orgins...i think i'll save that, you know, for the baby book! :)

speaking of books, apparently tipsy is a budding writer, and has been penning an account of his first few days in his new home. so now, without further ado, i shall turn today's post over to my young friend, and let him tell his story, his way!


coming to america:

one monkeh's tale of transatlatic trauma & triumph

story, concept, design, art direction & creative stylings

by tipsy the chimp

photos by...that american woman...didn't catch her name...

well, i can't say i find the u.s.a. all that glamorous yet; i hoped it'd be a bit more like "the O.C."! ah well. is the kettle on, love?

help! i've been sent to live with barbarians!

maybe i can post myself home. what's that? flippin' heck--in a box??! do they not have a business class?

thank heaven for good telly! is this the episode with kristin scott-thomas?

at least i can still see my friends! blimey, she's gorgeous......i wonder if she's single?

i s'pose america's not all bad; afterall, it's a big country...with BIG muffins!

i guess maybe i could stick around for a little while!

...and my own room, too? all right, i'm staying!

(no knitted monkehs were harmed in the making of this photostory...however, the iced muffin met with a sticky end!)

joy to the world!!!

just to be clear: that's the christmas song joy to the world and not the three dog night song joy to the world! not that i would like to be on record as *OPPOSING* joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea, obviously......or to you and me, for that matter! it's just that for today's blogging purposes (more fruits of this weekend's xmas-card-makin' blitz!), i fear three dog night don't really set the right mood:


that doesn't make you feel very christmassy, now does it?! (no offense, lads! you know i'm a big fan***!)

ok, but look at these babies:

(supplies for all: dcwv & basic grey paper; sei velvet paper; ki memories chipboard fancies; papyrus felt characters (on a super, super sale last jan!); making memories velvet alphas; basic grey & making memories rub-ons; cosmo cricket tag; sandylion snowflake gem; plus: rickrack, foam tape, colorbox ink, bits of an old xmas card)

now those are christmassy!!!

***all right, that's not strictly true. asit happens, i'm not particularly fond of three dog night--but for pete's sake don't tell them that, ok?! the last thing i need is a bunch of depressed former pop-stars laying about the place again, darlings!!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007 what else is new...?!

ok, that's the last bad sewing pun, i promise!


unless i think of a reallllllllllllly good one***!

but my point is...i made another hand-stitched card last night! i hadn't planned on it, but my friend elisa & i were talking about the amazingly beautiful new marah johnson metal brads, (b/c she reads m'blog, you know; does marah johnson! oh yeah! i am hot stuff! so we were discussing the complete gorgeousness & desirability of those brads, and the caardvarks' hand-sewing challenge, and it came to pass that elisa dared me to make a card using said brads AND mj lovestruck papers AND french knots.

so i did.

(marah johnson brads, rub-ons & cardstock stickers; prima flowers; dcwv patterned paper; dmc embroidery floss; colorbox ink; foam tape)

admittedly, it doesn't have a lot of french knots. (it's got three: one at the end of each stitched swirl; it was going to have more...but didn't) also, technically speaking, i did not have any lovestruck paper; so i used dcwv rockstar paper and added lovestruck rub-ons and cardstock stickers. i should mention that there IS also some very, very cool marah johnson rockstar paper ...but i didn't have any o' that, either, so i used the dcwv. and i think it works really well, actually! (the white bits of the paper are flocked, btw!)

ooh and did i mention that some of the scrapbook layouts in the lovestruck gallery are elisa's? yepper! you should go and gaze upon them, they are lovely!

***by which, of course, i mean a reallllllllllllly BAD one! you know something like:

...and sew it goes...

which, come to think of it, makes an excellent sign-off line!

(or a pop song, even!)

ok, that's the last one!

...for today, anyhow...


ps to melissa: i haven't done your challenge yet...mostly because...i don't have any chewing gum! btw, my monitor is now covered with the coffee i was drinking when i read my comments, and it's all your fault!!! :) anyway...if memory serves...i b'lieve double-dog-darers go first, don't they...?!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

oh christmas trees! oh christmas treeeeeeeeeeeees!

ok, sorry, i promise to stop singing if you'll look at xmas cards five through nine, which feature... ta daaaaaaaaaaa! tree shapes...filled with rub-ons, buttons, prima flowers, epoxy stickers and leftover chewing gum! (ok, not really chewing gum--eeeeeeeew!--i just wanted to see if you were paying attention.) (btw: if you did read that and/or this, well done! i'm just sorry it's not a bit more interesting!) this semi-homemade card lark is fab, i tell you, and so flexible, you can do anything! plus it's quick: i made 10 cards on sunday, for a total 14 so far. (that's 36 to go, for those of you scoring at home!) i will show them in smaller groups over the next few days, kind of like a card-making mini-series... ('member those?) ...ladies and gentlemen, may i present, richard chamberlain and jane seymour in...

CARDS, part two:

(supplies are for all 5 cards; if you want to know a specific product, email or leave a comment, but there's nothing particularly exotic here: patterned paper: basic grey, dcwv, anna griffin, provocraft; rub-ons: ki memories, scrapworks, american crafts; foil stickers: sandylion; flowers: prima; epoxies: love elsie, autumn leaves, ek success, sue dreamer, michaels' dollar spot; other: noel & holly buttons from michaels...last year... foam tape, jewelcraft gems, scraps of red cardstock, colorbox inks, sharpie pen)

totally obnoxious, gratuitously braggy ps: didja see that yesterday marah johnson (of lovestruck fame) left me a comment?! she liked the card i made using her super-gorgeous pink velvet flower brad (it's the bottom card in the post below...the one w/the eiffel tower in it...) and no, i didn't link it to her or anything, so i don't know how she found it, but HOW COOL IS THAT?! :)

Monday, November 5, 2007

sew far, sew good

yes, indeedy, the new caardvarks' challenge starts today and it's called (drumroll please) sew on and sew forth! the you've probably to include some hand-stitched-goodness upon the front of your card. the DT went kerrrrayyyzee with fabulous examples this time, plus we have a lovely guest-designer, celeste brodnik with a few tips to get ya started. and o'course the caardvarks' are always makin' with the fab prizes: this time there's a new sponsor, the scrapping spot, providing some very yummy autumnal paper goodies!

i have to say that this one kind of scared me...ok, scared is the wrong word...but usually when the challenge is announced i think of a few ideas right away (many are bad & get discarded!) ...or at the very least i have an inkling of what i will do; if not a whole design, i can envision a concept, or a product, or a way to incorporate the "challengey bit" into a card. this time, i had nothing--not so much as a glimmer of a seed of an inspiration! not right away, not the next day, not until i actually sat down last weekend to make the card. and then i saw this small piece of anahata clip art, with the "sunrays" that go off the edge, and there was practically an audible ~DING~ inside my head! after that, i had so many--or in this case--SEW MANY ideas (sorry, but this whole subject just SWIMS in bad punnage!) that i could hardly keep up. here are three that "made the cut" and became cards:

(anahata katkin clipart; my mind's eye pattern paper; love elsie epoxy button & cardstock words; ki icicle word; colorbox ink; page from a chinese travel guide; leftover bits of paternayan persian needlepoint yarn; foam tape)

(my mind's eye & creative imaginations patterned paper; prima flowers; queen&co brads; michaels' ribbon; colorbox ink; dmc embroidery floss; foam tape)

(sorry about the world's worst scan! the rainbow effect is from it being so lumpy!

(provocraft & sei patterned paper; eiffel tower cut from michael miller fabric paper; marah johnson velvet flower brad; rusty pickle transparency frame; rhonna flourish stamps; plus: vintage sheet music, dancing couple cut from an old book, embroidery floss, misc beads; foam tape) it's your turn! :)

Saturday, November 3, 2007

it's beginning to look a lot like...


believe it or not, this is the one kind of card i generally don't make, because i am not particularly into mass producing operations; plus there are usually so many "giftie" things to make at this time of year, i'd just as soon concentrate on those.

however, this idea is stolen from (AHEM) in tribute to... (that's better!) my mother-in-law, who rather brilliantly invented the semi-home-made christmas card last year. she took a box of store-bought "photo frame" cards, but instead of filling them with photos, she made little collages cut from pretty christmas cards she had saved over the years. is that *FABULOUS* or what?! you skip all the dull engineering bits: cutting and scoring and folding and trimming to create the boring old card-base......and go straight to THE FUN PART: decorating and embellishing!!! i was lucky enough to stumble upon these very pretty frame cards after xmas last year. they were on sale. very very much on sale. so on sale, the store practically paid me to buy them! niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice.

btw, since these all have bits on them that i trimmed out of old cards and/or books, i'm submitting them to the daring cardmakers' challenge, which this week is to feature hand-cut elements on your card!

...four down...forty-six to go! :)