Sunday, March 30, 2008

MICRO CHALLENGE: purple snurple!

the caardvarks "homegrown challenge" (featuring cards with a fruity or veggie theme) is just ending, and the new challenge does not start until saturday, so it seems like there is time for a super-quick MICRO CHALLENGE in between?

the theme?
yep, you guessed it: purple!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

what's that you say? you don't *LIKE* purple??!

ok...but howsabout: lilac, mauve, pansy, grape, violet, hyacinth, magenta, heliotrope, orchid or mulberry?


consider: royalty, wine, purple hearts, purple haze, the artist formerly known as the artist formerly known as prince, purple rain, flyin' purple people eaters, the blood of klingons (according to wikipedia! who knew?!) or perrennial sixties hard rock faves deep purple?!

i went very tradtional with this one. uh-huh. flyin' purple people eater! complete with custom-designed purple-people-eater chipboard accent, and a silly silly joke that no one un-related to me is going to find remotely funny. wanna see?

the outside:

the inside:

(purple people eater made from plain chipboard, acryllic paint, sharpie & uniball pens, glittery white stickles & a google eye from michaels; patterned paper: scrapbook wizard, making memories, current; glossy black cardstock: ranger; font: 3 hour tour)

text reads: how many one-eyed one-horned flyin' purple people eaters does it take to wish you a happy birthday?

answer: only one...which unfortunately is twenty-five less than it takes to get that song out of your head! (SORRY!) happy birthday anyway!

ok, sure, it's WEIRD...even by my standards! but i kinda like it. and i am prettttttttttty confident that my uncle ron will not receive *two* of these babies! not this year...not next year...not even if he lives to be 147. niiiice. :)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

that musta been some party...

...because i don't remember ANY of it!

darlings, i have a shocking confession to make: even though my parents and i spent several days at the 1964 new york world's fair, i spent most of my time either drinking or sleeping it off. yes, friends, i am not ashamed to admit that, at the time, i was... (as so many of us have been at some point in our lives) infant! :)

but i was there. and, as you know, i am a person who collects (some would say, "amasses in ridiculous volume") vintage pieces of paper. mostly i stick to postcards, though i have been known to foray into souvenir booklets if they are cool enough. so occasionally, if i stumble upon something connected with the 1964 fair, and if it's being sold at a reasonable price i snap it up. (& right there you have two VERY big ifs...b/c a lot of ppl collect world's fair stuff...and the prices reflect that!)

this is the favorite of my modest collection, the official world's fair story book (it says so, right on the cover! it has a little official badge & everything!) as you can see, it's called "a visit to the new york world's fair" and within it a pair of unrealistically (even by 1964 standards) wholesome and doe-eyed children take in the attractions of the festival. i got it at a garage sale. i think i paid twenty-five cents. ok, it might've been *fifty* cents. but it was worth splurging on, because it turned out to be a "two-fer"...look what was inside:

yep, a souvenir booklet from one of the exhibits! sinclair oil's, "dinoland" was apparently quite a draw, what with the massive animatronic beasties that move and roar and everything! (remember, at this point, disneyland is less than a decade old...and disneyWORLD is almost a decade away) the booklet is quite charming with very detailed illustrations of each of the dinos displayed, a bit of text describing them, and a subtle plug for sinclair oil at the end.

the other day my mom gave me this, which she found in a box in her basement. its's a little fold out booklet describing "the triumph of man" display sponsored by the travelers insurance company. it's got photos of each of the thirteen dioramas (diorami? dioramae?) and a bit about how each was selected as being pivotal. it's also got a red vinyl 45-record which apparently contains the complete narration and music from the display. thanks, mom!

...anybody got a record player...??!

Friday, March 28, 2008

i {heart} the DMV

ok, that might be a little strong.

i s'pose entangling oneself in bureaucracy is never going to be pleasant, but i definitely have increased respect for new jersey's motor vehicles department. once upon a time, visiting our local branch was a nightmare involving a tortuous stroll through a confusing variety of indistinguishable paperwork, followed by a protracted wait in a long line to get your forms, a second wait to turn them in, and potentially a third wait if you failed to complete something correctly. these days there is a concierge to give you the right forms for what you need to do, who also checks that you have brought the correct documents and credentials to complete your task.

i was in and out in about twenty minutes. in that time i managed to pay awdrey's sales tax, acquire a new jersey title, obtain my registration and transfer my license plates. in fact, the longest part of the process was attaching said plates to awdrey's bow and stern. of course, i was prepared: i had every conceivable paper pertaining to both my old and new cars. i had two forms of picture id. i had a screwdriver for the license plates. i had a book in case of a delay and a granola bar in case of a long delay. i didn't need 90% of what i took, but hey, you never know!

i'm not the only one to notice marked improvement at the DMV. apparently even the state of new jersey is impressed by the better service and faster turnover. so much so that i hear they're considering changing their official slogan from,

"DMV: Pack a lunch, make a day of it!"


"Yeah, well, we hate *YOU* too!"

and that, my friends, is progress, indeed! :)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

four weddings and a funeral

or in this case:

two awards, an AMAZING honor, and a blog makeover!
(many people don't realize that was the original title of the hit movie starring hugh grant and andie ya know...a bit o'film trivia for you there!) :)

the awards:
my long-lost card-makin', art-lovin', ingeniously inklin' sister stephanie presented me with the very cool "YOU MAKE MY DAY" award. which is pretty funny, since in fact she makes *MY* day at least six or seven times a week! thanks, stef!!! :)

my lovely australian friend ruby gave me the ARTE Y PICO award. (if you don't know ruby, you need to check out her blog right now...g'head...i'll wait!) one of my favorite things about ruby is that she never, EVER makes me aware of the difference in our ages (i'm just slightly older) or maturity levels (she's infinitely more grown up!) thanks, rubes!!!!! :)

the amazing honor:
the uber-talented ruby has been acquiring photos from others to expand the scope and depth of her (already formidable) scrapping skills. i sent her a few of mine, thinking she might like to have a go at the nieces. to my surprise she made a very cool LO about *me*!!! it's going to be featured with a bunch of her work at paperific in melbourne. if you're local, you should definitely check it out. (or you could just click here!)

the makeover:
ok, you've probably already figured that bit out. i've been wanting to change templates for a while. one of the reasons i went whole hog on paper adventure operation 10 was that i was planning on using the result as my new header. i actually *planned* to use a template that stretched all the way across your screen... (it's called "minima stretch" & it's exactly like this one...only wider!) ...but after fiddling with said header for nearly an hour, trying to make it stretch the whole width of the header segment, whilst keeping the same dimensions and NOT being six inches deep, i finally realized that i would either have to settle for the non-stretch version or drive to blogger headquarters and bludgeon someone to death with a stapler. and you know, the latter just seemed so ungracious, what with dear old blogger being entirely free and nearly always working so splendidly and my stapler is broken! :)

finally, a humble word to all my lovely blogging friends:
please accept my sincere apologies for the very shoddy quantity and quality of my recent visits to your lovely cyber-homes. normal service shall resume imminently! (you've been warned!)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

operation 13: SPRING

here's something that will probably never happen again:
i am posting my paper adventure page on the day the prompt was given!

new paper adventures debut each tuesday. generally, in a good week, i'll get to read the prompt on tuesday night or wednesday and then mull it over for a couple of days before i have time to sit down and make my page on friday night or saturday. this morning, miraculously, i got to check out elise's instructions first thing. i even had an inkling of what i wanted to use on my page. i grabbed my basic tool kit, some old bulb catalogs, a few prima flowers, and my trusty k&co alpha stamps and threw 'em in my work tote. "if," i thought to myself, "i actually get to take half an hour of non-working lunch time, i'll try making a really fast page. probably i'll hate it...but let's just see what happens!"

what happened was this:

i made it in literally 20 minutes...i glued and stamped as i went, without really's VERY "rough & ready"...and extremely light on journaling...

i am *absurdly* proud of it! this--for me--was the whole point of embarking on paper adventure: to shake myself up, to try new things, to work differently than i usually do.

mission accomplished! :)

Monday, March 24, 2008

operation 10: GOT TALENT?

i know what you're thinking. you're thinking, "the mad old bat has finally gone completely mental AND lost the ability to count, to boot!" which is understandable, seeing as how i posted paper adventure operation 12 (LUCK) saturday and operation 11 (HABIT) last week. but you may recall that i skipped the talent one... (due mostly to a lack of time just then) here it is now:

the outside:

and the inside:

(patterned paper: basic grey, k&co, bengali newspaper; gold-embossed lakshmi: hindi greeting card; clipart: anahata katkin; ghost butterfly& pink gems: heidi swapp; chipboard swirls: fancy pants; flowers: prima; flower sequins: queen&co; rub-ons: basic grey, doodlebug, american crafts; photo corners: ki; fancy paper clip: nunn design; pens: american crafts, signo, zig; alphabet stamps: k&co; inks: colorbox; other: foam tape, jewelcraft gems, brass paper fasteners, acryllic paint, seed beads, ribbon scrap, tiny heart stickers)

the text reads: "MY TALENT: making simple things complicated...but in a *good* way!"

because as you know, i enjoy embellishing. yes, i know that sometimes less is more. and yes, i am even capable of loving clean lines, minimalism, and the perfection of simplicity. but if you give me a bunch of plain assorted craft items... (perhaps you'd feel they consitituted enough supplies for several projects) ...the chances are quite good that i would use half of said products to adorn the other half...and then combine them ALL into one big giant greeting card! but i guarantee i'll have had enough FUN for several projects...which is kind of the point, right? :)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

operation 12: LUCK!

yes, indeedy, it is paper adventure time again and this week elise has asked us to consider the subject of ...LUCK... whatever that might mean to us, good or bad.

a couple of the prompts--including this one--have coincided almost eerily with something i have been thinking about anyway. the concept of luck has been on my mind lately, as a matter of fact.

i've noticed that when something unexpected and bad happens, people--including myself, i hasten to say--tend to immediately & quite naturally think, "why me?". that's human nature. when something unexpected and GOOD happens, we may or may not question it... hopefully we are at least *grateful* and think, "wow! that was lucky!" but there is a whole realm of other stuff that most of the time we (and again, i include myself in this!) don't even notice or count as luck!

like, say, having been born NOW... (as opposed to any other time in history) ...when an individual can be expected to have the most control over their own life and destiny. (think about the feudal system...anybody out there like to trade your life for serfdom??! thought not! me neither!!) or living where there is free education available for everyone... (sure, we can argue quality & equity & so forth) a matter of fact, parents face trouble if they DON'T educate their children. heck, even some of my *problems* are actually good luck in disguise...for example...WEIGHT: i've struggled with it my entire adult life. but if you flip it around what i'm actually saying is, "i live where there is such a plentiful amount of food that i have become OVERNOURISHED" do i *realllllllllllly* want to complain about that??! upon reflection, maybe not.

sorry, sorry, i know i am rambling. i should shut up and make with the page, right? so i think i will. :) here ya go:

(glossy magenta cardstock was the back of a mailed brochure (hence the wrinkles) that was just too pretty to toss away, so i tore it to size and made a page out of it. very very old duck sticker: mrs. grossman (I THINK!); cardstock & rub-on letters: basic grey; cardstock arrow: oriental trading co; other: foam tape, sharpie pen)

text reads: "conceived in a democratic country, in the second half of the 20th century, to educated middle class parents who loved and wanted me. ten fingers. ten toes. five senses. all standard equipment present & correct in good working order. i was quite literally *BORN LUCKY* (and everything else is gravy!)"

Thursday, March 20, 2008

tutti frutti (...and veggie...)

just when you think those CAARDVARKS cannot possibly think of a another challenge that is new or different or more exciting, they come along and prove ya wrong! to wit: starting today the new assignment is to make a card featuring fruits and/or vegetables. i made four...well, they're a set of notecards, actually. here they are:

(glossy cardstock: ranger; patterned paper & rub-ons: sei)

ok, ok, i realize these SEI fruitstand papers are 947 years old, but ya know what? i still love 'em! and this seemed like the perfect occasion on which to break them out again and play around and have some fun. so i did!

speaking of things that would be really fun to play around with: did you know that caardvarks' debut CAARD KIT is called "rainbow sherbet"?

the 'varks have partnered with itty bitty scrap shack in this new venture. the kits will be limited edition and offered monthly. this one features an absolutely awesome exclusive stamp by bethany kartchner :

is that *COOL* or what?! uh huh. thought so! you can do a subscription or go a month at a time. check out CAARDVARKS for all the details! :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

photo mosaic tutorial

by now we've all seen these fun and funky arrays of assorted photos. my esteemed blogging colleague monkee maker has been known to make excellent ones using picasa. paper-crafting guru ali edwards often uses big huge labs' mosaic maker to compile images from her flickr faves, as i have done, below. both of these ladies are talented artistes in many fields including this one.

...but...sadly...many of their mosaics suffer from the same common mosaic-making problem: that of not featuring even one photo of daniel craig!!! (WHY????!) it's a puzzle. to remedy matters, as a public service, i have put together a little ditty of my own. this is how it's done ladies. this is how it's done:

1. Daniel Craig, 2. "Bond 22" Teaser Poster by MVK, 3. Rodaje en Venecia, 4. Daniel Craig, 5. Daniel Craig, 6. Nice, 7. dCraig41, 8. Happy Birthday Daniel, 9. Daniel Craig, 10. Daniel Craig, etukansi, 11. Casino Royale Aston Martin, 12. Daniel Craig, 13. Casino Royale 4, 14. Layer Cake on Blu-ray, 15. daniel_craig_06, 16. 007

Sunday, March 16, 2008

operation 11: HABIT

when you say the word "habit" to me, there's only one. ok sure, i have plenty...good and bad...but the main, primo, ultimate, really-hard-to-break, big kahuna of habits was smoking. i was hardcore for fifteen years. at the time i quit, that constituted half my life. i knew it was stupid, i knew it was disgusting, but i was HOOKED.

then i met an acupuncturist called kathy goldstein, who saved my life in so many ways i cannot even count them. plus, she helped me ditch the evil weed. it wasn't easy. to tell the truth, there are still days (luckily they're infrequent, now) when i want a cigarette so badly i am practically drooling. that's when i remind myself how hard i had to work to quit. then i think about the tobacco industry spending millions of dollars a year hiring lobbyists and attorneys to protect themselves, and advertising agencies to attract new customers, and scientists to figure out how to make what is perhaps already the most addictive substance in the world even more addictive. i ask myself if i'm willing to give them one more dollar of my money. today's answer is a resounding,


i'll worry about tomorrow's answer tomorrow.

(ashtray image from the internet, printed on kodak premium photo paper; dymo labeller)

(text inspired by a conversation i had with lovely husband jeff when i read this assignment. in the course of it i rattled off the exact amount of time which had elaspsed since i quit smoking, and received an incredulous, "YOU'RE STILL *COUNTING*???!!" in response. yep. i'm still counting. maybe i always will. ...BUT... i'm still not smoking. go, me!) :)

(ps: i know what you're thinking. you're thinking, "hey-- lauren never did "operation 10: GOT TALENT" did she?" and you're quite right, i did not. but i'm working on it. and when it's done, you'll be the first to see it. but see, i knew this one was going to be MUCH faster, so i decided to play out of order. because it's not a PAPER's a PAPER ADVENTURE! savvy??!) :)

read about this week's paper adventure assignment, "HABIT" here.
read more by paper adventure's elise blaha here.
see the 85-member paper adventure flickr gallery here.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

did she say "PENGUIN PANTS"??!

yes, i did.

not to worry, it isn't the latest crazy fashion in's a super-cool line of rubber stamps!

like these:

nice, no??!

these are examples of three lovely sets from the penguin pants oeuvre: the large set is called heavenly hennas, the medium one is let's play games and the small one is made by. all of these...and loads more...can be found on the penguin pants rubber stamps website.

those good folks were kind enough to present the CAARDVARKS design team with the goodies above, which we will be featuring in a special gallery in april. at which time they'll be sponsoring a challenge for you to participate in too!

but i couldn't wait a whole month to rip into these awesome sets, i just had to make something RIGHT i used nicola's current sketch at my paper world to make a little message for the penguin pants people:

(rubber stamp: penguin pants; patterned paper: sei, love elsie, ki, paper pizzazz; cardstock: bazzill; letter stickers: love elsie; eyelets: making memories; pens: zigwriter, tombow; other: colorbox inks, psx embossing powder, foam tape)

of course, you don't have to wait until april, either, for a shot at winning some awesome rubber. the current CAARDVARKS challenge, caard trip, is being sponsored by cornish heritage farms who are offering a brand spankin' new set of clear stamps by kim hughes! you know you want ' make a transportation-themed card...then head on over and link it up before midnight on the 18th. in the meantime, why not check out the gallery?!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

mrs monkeemaker made me cry...

...well, not cry as such... but i did become distinctly misty when i got home last night to find a transatlantic package in my mailbox. see, it turned out, for no very good reason, and without any warning at all, my lovely blogging friend kerry, aka monkeemaker, had made and sent me a beautiful sock monkee of my very own...AND kept it totally a surprise! i've named my new friend sockrates. he's going to be awdrey's mascot and my official co-pilot!

inside the package was a lovely fabric bag...because you see monkeemaker doesn't just knit, she sews too! (she also writes divinely, takes amazing photographs, and is a philanthropist. in fact, if i didn't like her so much, i could easily become just a wee bit jealous of the MANY fields in which she excels!)

of course tipsy was quite excited to receive a package from his homeland!

hmmmm...i wonder what's in the sack?!

it's a monkee!!! a monkee from HOME!!!

oh lad, am i glad to see you!

you can help me with my plan to get home!

tipsy, son, i think i have an idea...

you steer, and i'll shift!

i think we're fact...i can't even find bristol on this map!

sooooooo...the american lass thinks she can *bribe* us to stay??!

wait here, sockrates, whilst i investigate!

ok, admittedly, as bribes go...this is a pretty good one!

chocolate chocolate chip, you say? and america is FULL of these??!

wellllllllll...maybe we could stick around for a little while...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

driveway makeover!



yeah, that's better! :)
new car update, anyone??!
  • she's been named AWDREY (for the AWD which is tatooed prominently on her bumper)
  • we've logged nearly 100 miles together for a grand total of 268 (she had 180 when i picked her up...nope, i haven't asked... water under the bridge!) ;)
  • i have very nearly stopped needing to chant, "don't downshift, don't downshift" outloud whilst negotiating corners!
  • we are still waiting for the last piece of official (pennsylvanian) paper... needed to go to the DMV ...and get more pieces of official (new jersian) paper
  • i've aquired a shiny new travel mug for my goin'-to-work coffee, which fits in awdrey's cupholder (bye bye krispy kreme doughnuts mug with nearly all of your printing rubbed off! i'll miss ya!!)
  • i now understand why people with nice cars worry about where they park and if the place in question is likely to have stray shopping carts rolling about and crashing into pristine paintwork!!! (oof! the burden of property, darlings!)
  • jeff has had a test-drive and pronounced her--and i quote--"a great little car!"

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

taggitty, tag, tag, TAAAAAAAAAG!

my simply elegant friend june tagged me with a fun six random things meme!

here are the rules:

1. link to the person who tagged you (see above!)
2. post the rules on your blog (!)
3. share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself (see below)
4. tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs (see further below the "see below" above!)
5. let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their site (see the same "see below" as #4)

ok, are six non-important, non-scary, quirks/habits of mine (in no particular order):

1. i crack my toe knuckles
2. i have never seen the point of non-chocolate candy
3. i've worn a dress exactly once in the last 10 matron of honor at my sister's wedding (after lobbying hard for palazzo pants!)
4. i need to turn the map upside down to go south
5. i cannot stand to leave my fingernails un-polished for longer than it takes to manicure them (but toenail polish is optional)
6. i can only eat ice cream with a plastic spoon

and now the crucial issue of tagging others; i have my own little tradition for this (you can count it as a seventh quirky bonus habit, if you like!) it goes something like this:

1. if you 're reading this, and you want to be tagged...YOU'RE TAGGED!
2. if you 're reading this, and you don't want to be tagged...YOU'RE EXCUSED!
3. if you're NOT READING're disqualified!

(i'm sorry, but i'm afraid i cannot make ANY exceptions on point three! but if you choose #1, leave me a link, i'd love to hear YOUR quirks!)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

i owe nicola an apology, too...

...because even though the sketches at my paper world get posted for two entire weeks each...and even though said sketches make it just about impossible NOT to make a fabulous card in minutes...i managed to totally not make ANYTHING AT ALL for sketch number five!

however, to atone for my slothful ways, i managed to already finish my card for sketch number six...which was only posted yesterday--GO, ME!!! (sorry to be braggy, but if you know anything about me you know that to have something done on time...much less such a massive rarity that i may never have another chance to be smug about it!) here is a card for lovely husband jeff's lovely father's birthday. (if you can say that 3 times fast and it is after 3pm in your locale, you may have a margarita, wahey!) (although my lovely friend ruby's will need to be tequila-free...sorry, rubes!) i realized midway through that it also qualifies for the current CAARDVARKS challenge, which is to make a card with a transportational theme:

(ship picture and map cut from old books; patterned paper: dcwv, my mind's eye, textured glossy origami paper; cardstock border sticker: wild asparagus; ribbon: we-r-memory keepers; compass sticker: k&co; flourish diecut: dcwv; photo corners: heidi swapp; other: colorbox inks, foam tape)

a word about cutting stuff out of books: the first time jeff saw me do so, he literally *GASPED*...and truthfully, i felt a pang as well. i love, revere, and collect books. i have hundreds of them that i would never, ever consider doing anything but read! the book from which this beautiful painted image came was a 1920's anthology of poetry and short stories for children, purchased at a garage sale for 25 cents. its cover and spine were not just falling apart, they were so imbued with mold that i had to take a benadryl before i could even touch it...and then i sat in my driveway (b/c trust me you would not have wanted this object in YOUR house, either!) and gently removed and dusted off the undamaged pages towards the center of the book. granted, this is an extreme case, but the books i buy and take apart are all damaged in some way: they've been written or crayoned in, they've been torn, they've gotten wet, they are missing pages or covers or spines...they've pretty much already ceased to be books in any meaningful way. the "tipping point" for me on this issue came when i happened to be at a used book sale just as they were closing down. i noticed a number of boy scouts and their leader waiting around, and asked why. they'd come to take away the leftover books, i was told. "oh isn't that nice," i thought, "they will donate them to needy children and hospitals and old folks' homes!" turns out, they take 'em to a special recycling place where said leftover books are pulped. the boy scouts get paid by the pound for the paper. suddenly the old books i had seen, with those neat maps in them, the children's books with the beautiful illustrations, the travel guides with their funky 1970's tourist photos...the ones i didn't want to read, i just liked "bits" of...were all DEAD BOOKS WALKING. suddenly, the idea of buying a few of them, and (after checking that they were not marvelously rare and worth millions) perhaps just using the "bits" seemed not so much like destruction, but actually a way of saving and honoring them! now, i'm not suggesting that everyone should go out and buy books to cut them up. what i am saying is...depending on the exact books and the exact might not actually be a cardinal sin to do so. having said that, i kind of hope the librarians at my local branch are not reading this...just in case! :)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

i owe lori an apology

do you know my lovely friend lori? in addition to being an amazing artist, sparkling wit, and engaging blogger, it is my belief that she has the best avatar on t'internet!

lori's blog is called faerie window...and it's full of beauty, charm and inspiration! she has an etsy shop, too, (also called faerie window--what are the odds?!) which is full of lucious, handmade, totally original, vintage-inspired goodies. i ordered a few items late last week and they had already arrived on tuesday...and this is the first i am mentioning it! lori, i apologize! your lovely creations deserved better attention than i gave them, but i promise it was only due to a seriously overloaded week!

so what did i get? well, i fell in love with this little bunny box: could i NOT??! lori made these as easter favors, but i plan to use mine to hold nephew matthew's christening gift. (which, like all my christening gifts, will be a savings bond; yes i know it's dull, but it's *so* practical. babies become teens REALLY quickly you know...and teens tend to want things like snowboards & i-pods & cars...and savings bonds painlessly double their value before that happens. i rest my case!)

then i saw this little darling:

..and i decided matthew's auntie (yeah, that'd be me!) needed a little something as well. this is called a "faerie-go-round" and believe it or not is at least twice as cute in real life as it looks here. (yes, i know that seems impossible, but you're going to have to trust me!)

needless to say everything arrived beautifully packaged and tied with fancy ribbons. there was a sweet note from lori, and some very appealing handmade tags as a little bonus. so if you're needing a little pick-me-up, i can highly recommend the view through the faerie window!

Friday, March 7, 2008

say hello to my leetle friend

delivered: march 7, 2008
at: 11:45 a.m.
to: lauren (& jeff)
weighing: 3,064 pounds
measuring: 173.8 inches

it's a bouncing baby subaru!!!

yes folks, after several weeks of researching, comparing, test-driving, haggling, and chasing various pieces of paper around two states, i have a new car!!!!! (and by new i mean--for the first time in my life--not just "new-to-me" but actually brand new!) i am still waiting on one more piece of paper before i can sally forth to the dmv and do battle, but in the meantime it is lovable, drivable, and alllllll mine!

i apologize for the totally crap photos...BUT...seeing as i took them with my phone...AND...managed to figure out how to send them to the picture-hosting site...PLUS...learned how to download/edit them, i am feeling quite obnoxiously proud and geek-girrrrrly. also, by the time i got the car home this evening it was pouring with rain!

(btw, i haven't purchased the automotive equivalent of two-toned saddle shoes...the pic was taken at the dealership before the white protective plastic covering was removed from the car...which for the record is a 2008 impreza hatch-back.)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


you know, in the course of february's massive LOVEFEST activities, with a cool new challenge every friday, it was easy to forget that the "normal" caardvarks challenges take place on the 5th and 20th of the month. and i think you'll find that today's the 5th. uh-huh. yep, i'm pretty sure. soooooooo...that makes it challenge time, then...doesn't it?!

this time we embark upon the exciting world of transportation: cars, boats, planes, trains, bikes, rocketships, motorcycles, cablecars, hot air balloons, horse-n-buggies, james-bond-style personal jetpacks...your choice...your theme...your ideas...just make it transportational, and submit your link by midnight, march 18th, to have your creation added to the CAARD TRIP gallery.

and now...without further is MY card:

(picture cut from a children's book; patterned paper: basic grey, making memories, ctmh; cupcake: paper bliss; rub-on letters: scrapworks, american crafts; decorative pins: joann essentials; ribbon: michaels; other: colorbox ink, foam tape)

this is for one of our nephews on LHJ's side of the family. andrew will be twelve in april and he has loved cars, trucks, and all other motorized vehicles his entire life. so when i saw this cool illustration in a children's book from my "garage sale cut up" pile...i knew immediately that it would be perfect for this challenge...AND for our young racing fan!

Monday, March 3, 2008

operation 09: TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT

this week's paper adventure assignment is about advice. here's the brief, as described by the lovely paper adventuress elise blaha:

"This week, document a piece of advice.

Advice you took. Advice you did not take. Advice you should have taken. Advice you gave. Advice you wish you could have given. Think big, think little. Think wardrobe, think new career."

so i thought...and i thought...and here's what i did:

(purple textured cardstock: unknown; rub-ons: rusty pickle; eyelets: making memories; fonts: di, ck typewriter, 3 hour tour; dear abby photo downloaded from the internet)

(a note to the non-american and/or non-my-age reader: abigail van buren was a newspaper advice lady--the brits would call her an "agony aunt"--for years and years, starting in the 1950's or 60's. "Dear Abby", as she was known, became the standard and almost a kind of brand name, not only for that sort of newspaper column, but almost for advice-giving, generally. if someone had a moral or social dilemma, or just something about which they could not make a decision, their friends might well tell them (either seriously or in sarcasm) they had better "write to dear abby". conversely, someone butting in with unwanted opinions or instructions might well be asked with some outrage, "whodoooya think you ARE, dear abby??!" bascially, she was a nice, middle-class, middle-aged, sensible woman who provided a voice of reason and friendly helpfulness to millions. certainly she would *never* say, "FUGGEDDABOUTIT" in a kind of pauly-walnuts-from-the-sopranos voice as i have made her do above, in a way which lovely husband jeff does not find AT ALL funny, even though it has cracked me up for the entire weekend! and yes, that is really her photo, circa 1970.)

this is in the nature of a "note to self". it's intended to remind me not to give in to the frequent temptation i feel to give people advice. because in my never works...unless by "works" you mean, "effectively ends the situation with everyone involved being angry at me"! (and i sooooo don't need any help with THAT, thanks!) :)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

'amember these??!

yes, of course you do; how could you forget the princess castle books from last month? especially since i went on...and on...and on...about them at the time. ;) well, it turns out you're gonna have to listen to one more post about 'em. and it's a rather braggy one, at that, i fear.

see, here's what happened: the very lovely and talented cheryl mezzetti, who leads creative imaginations' design team (CI being the makers of the reyna castle books which formed the base of this project) stopped by m'blog last week, left a very nice comment about the princess castle books, and invited me to post them on CI's gallery. which was very cool, especially since i didn't know there was such a site, and now i am thrilled to have found it, and seen all of the AMAZING projects that people have posted there! ...but i digress...

a few days later, cheryl emailed me to say that the folks at creative imaginations really liked the castles, as well, and would i let them be featured on the CI blog? well, as you can imagine, i had to agonize about that for nearly a nanosecond before replying, hesitantly:

YES, PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!

and the next thing i know, THIS POST was featured on their blog. how cool is THAT??! well, needless to say, i am very excited and honored and grateful to have a project featured there...and not just any project... but one of the most fun (c'mon, they're princess castles!!!) and most special (they feature my three favorite girls in the universe!) projects i've ever made. i'd pretty much have to say it doesn't get all that much better than this, folks!

thank you cheryl mezzetti, thank you creative imaginations, and most of all, thank you, small princesses!!!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

(a super-challenging) MICRO CHALLENGE!!!

super-challenging to *MOI*, that is!

but first, the details caardvarks is doing one of their fast-n-furious, 24-hour mini-challenges--yes, the MICRO CHALLENGE is back! this one is called JUST SAY NO and you have until midnight tomorrow (sunday, 3-2) to complete a card for this challenge and post your link in the comments of the micro post.

what's the assignment? you can do any theme, color, occasion, size or shape; you can use any embelishments, accessories, stamps or must JUST SAY NO to patterned paper!!!!!!!!!! (GASP! ok, so now you can see why i had just a bit o'trouble with this one, right?!) :)

you can see the DT's cards here, including mine, which looks like this:

(glossy white cardstock: ranger industries; flowers: prima; brads: making memories; rub-ons: making memories, mambi; acryllic frame: heidi swapp; glitterglue: stickles)

i'm not 100% happy with this. and not just because it's got a plain background. weirdly enough, i'm ok with that. nope, it's mostly the flowers that are bugging me, and i believe it's because i decided to be clever and anchor them to the frame *before* the frame was on the card, so that i wouldn't have all kinds of brad ends inside the card. so the flowers are attached un-naturally close together and stiff-looking. plus...and i cannot believe it is ME saying this...there are too many of 'em!!! so the moral of this story is: serve the DESIGN FIRST and let the mechanics take care of themselves! but hey, it's a sad project indeed from which one learns nothing! and i definitely learned an important lesson! cool.

soooooo...anybody know a blind flower-loving minimalist with a birthday coming up??! :)