Friday, December 5, 2008

taking stock...

...CARDSTOCK, that is!

it is caardvarks challenge day, darlings, and this time we are eschewing the joys of patterned paper in order to see what kinds of creativity we can unleash using cardstock! "why?" you ask? well, aside from the fact that it's a good idea to occasionally step away from all the amazing variety of prints out there and really focus on design*...the very good and very generous folks at core'dinations sent each of the caardvarks' dt a selection of their quite astonishingly cool products.

and when i say "a selection" what i actually mean is pretty much sent us each a
rainbow inna box
(a box that weighed eight pounds, might i add!)
wanna see??

are you drooling yet?! thought so. ;)
from top left: black magic in "spellcaster"'s black on one side and a color on the other! PERFECT for distressing...or even just for making a card that's black outside and light-toned within; super assortment in "nostalgia"...there are 80 sheets in FORTY--yes, four-zero--shades!!!; vintage collection in "retro mod squad"'s got a slightly glossy two-toned texture on one side--like beautifully hand-dyed linen--and a lighter shade inside and on the back ; and 4.5x6.5" super assortment in "so mod"...i love this smaller size for guilt-free punching and cutting and using a whole bunch of colors at once!

but wait, because it turns out that this stuff doesn't just loooooooooooook does, of course...but looks are *almost* the least of it.

(having said that, can i just say three words here? range of colors!!! holy moly...the large assortments have shades that are like a half-tone apart! there had to be a painter involved in developing these; even LHJ was seen flipping thru the larger assortment pad going, "wow! the colors are all different...but so close!" when you can impress husbands with your art supplies, you've done all right, i'd say!)

really, though, it's the quality... (heavy & solid; yet malleable to folding/tearing/distressing/playing!) ...the color core... (it ain't white inside...there's a perfectly coordinated, just-the-right-amount-of-contrast inner layer!) ...the creativity of the products... (can you say "black magic"? hellllllo, gorgeous!) ...the practicality... (every sheet is textured on one side, and smooth on the other; so if you want to stamp, or write smoothly, just flip that baby!) ...that impressed me the most. it's good stuff. so much so that i will seek it out in future. seriously. i'll even pay retail!!!

we made an extra-large inspiration gallery this time, so i'm going to split my contributions into two posts. for today, i'll show the projects where i mostly focussed on the multitude of color choices, and the way the various lines coordinate and enhance each other.

when in doubt, start off with a cupcake; that's my policy & it serves me well.
i mounted a pale pink 4x6 sheet on a black magic cardbase with pale pink interior; (the scallopped white layer is a slight cheat; i used staples' cheap glossy photo paper for a teeny bit of sheen that's much more apparent IRL) the cupcake top is vintage collection dark pink with heidi swapp fuzzy rub-ons as icing (again, the texture is rather cooler than in the photo) the black magic cupcake wrapper with a pale brown interior is scored and sanded to be chocolate-cake-ish; the dark pink heart on top of a texturey prima in my head looks like one of those edible glace flowers! other supplies: prima crystal flourish, ek success glossy chipboard word, colorbox inks, foam tape.

"monsta notes"
yes i've made an attempt at monsta design! (it had to be done) mostly i used punches and chipboard shapes as templates; the squiggley bits i drew myself. the green one is secretly my favorite, but SHHHHHHH don't tell the others!!!
the cards are constructed from black magic and each has an interior shade which coordinates with its exterior. each features a vintage collection panel thinly matted on a slightly lighter bit of 4x6 super-assortment paper. the monstas are made of tone-on-tone 4x6 shades with black magic accents. the making memories silver brads which attach the michaels' zebra ribbon did not photograph well, but look cool IRL. other supplies: googly eyes from michaels, colorbox inks, zig & signo pens, foam tape.

"mod & merry"
apparently i was feeling the pain of patterned-paperlessness on this one...i actually used the solid cardstock to make my own pattern. if you know of a 12-step program in central nj, please email me. :)
again, a black magic cardbase... (sheesh i LOVE that stuff!) ...this one has a green interior. i used 3 sizes of ek success & marvy square punches on multitudinous shades of pink & green scraps of all the collections. (there were even some mid-tones i left out rather than start a whole sheet!) i layered them quite wonkily, but lined them up straight. i can think of A LOT of other shapes this same idea would work with, and at some point you'll probably be seeing some! other supplies: ki chipboard tree, heidi swapp chipboard letters, karen foster gel sash & slide, making memories brads, foam tape. (yes, i DO use foam tape on every single thing i ever make, actually. no, i am not interested in a 12-step for that, but thank you for asking!)

"torn-ament of christmas trees"
i flat-out stole this least the torn layers part. the problem is, i have NO idea where or when i saw it. if it's yours, you have my apologies and thanks!!!
the dark blueish green cardbase is from the 12x12 super assortment (yes, i know it looks black in the photo!) again i used scraps of pretty much every color of green from every collection, typed bits of the lyrics of "O Tannenbaum"... (in german & english, obviously!) ...on some of them, then i tore & layered, tore & layered until i got some decent sized pieces and ONLY THEN (this is the crucial part) made them into triangles using my guillotine trimmer. the yellow stars are more misc. scraps from different collections which i crumpled & distressed & sanded & inked & cut into shape. other supplies: white sparkly dcwv cardstock (yes, a TOTAL cheat, and i admit it; trouble is, SNOW needs to be **SPARKLY** folks!!! if core'dinations make sparkly stock i will happily convert, ok?!!!)

here endeth the first lesson from the big book of cardstock. tune in tomorrow to see more cards, which feature tearing, sanding, scoring, wrinkling, distressing and other fun stuff!!!

*yes, i know, i gasped too, at the very idea. no patterned paper??! MOI???!?!? but i genuinely do feel like the scariest challenges are the ones i most NEED to at least attempt. and while i will probably never turn into a solid-color clean-n-simple zen mistress, this was a valuable exercise in re-thinking habits...and i am even somewhat proud of my results! why not make a card and upload it to the 'varks flickr gallery on or before 12-18??!


  1. oh wow!!! "merry" is so organized! I feel so comfortable with the grid (learned that in composition class!!!)

    the "artistic" side of me loves the torn papers and the text.

    you rocked the plain cs!!!

  2. Sweet Mother of Pearl lauren.....LOVE what you've done...soooo much to see so I'm going to have to tap back in later tonight to really sit down and "ooohhh & ahhhhh".....but for now...the cupcake...the monstas...the merry christmas and the torn trees rock the house sista!!!

  3. OMG, I covet your paper packs! But I have no where to put them, so I will just enjoy seeing what YOU do with them. LOVE, love, love, the Monsta set! I might have to try that some time. Looks like fun!!!!

  4. looking at all that paper laid out in the first picture even had ME 9the uber-non-paperer) feeling somewhat envious! AND then you went and made amazing things with them!

  5. Lauren you are amazing! These are awesome! LOVE them! And the fact that you snuck some monstas in this challenge too...way too cool!

  6. Girl your cards are amazing!!! Totally eye catching. ANd yes I am drooling over all that cardstock goodness. I thought those monsta cards were ATC's at first! Wouldn't they make great ones?

  7. OMG so much beauty in such little space! I really need to get my act together and do more caardvark challenges!!!

    Great job!

    btw... have I mentioned recently that you leave the best comments, uhm, EVER?! Love you! And let's please liberate the amazon warehouse soon!

  8. GEEEEBUS!!!!

    I'm speachless..and that like NEVER happens!!

  9. I bow to you, Queen of Fabulousness and Creativity.

    That challenge would be way too much for me, though those pads of cs are to die for! You created monstalicious cards :)

  10. I had so much fun reading both of your posts and looking at all of your creations again. Thanks so much for my International Brotherhood of Deceptively Cute Monstas ... they are the best ... and so are you!

  11. Your inspirational cards for the Caardvarks blog are simply STUNNING!
    My craftiness has had a bit of a down lately, but because of you I just had to make a card for this challenge - you'll find it on my blog or in the flickr gallery.


  12. Oh man! So many gorgeous cards in one post! How?? How do you manage to make fabulous card after fabulous card?! Please show us some of the bloopers so we rest can assured that you aren't super-human after all!

    Love love LOVE those modern Christmassy ones.


    ps. I realise that you obviously are super-human so won't actually have any bloopers to show. Maybe you could make some up?

  13. I just made the torn-ament of Christmas trees project w/ my 4 yr old daughter and they turned out soooo cute! Thanks so much for the idea :)


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