Saturday, February 28, 2009

hold me closer, tiny monsta

technically speaking, these are not scraplings* but i made 'em using the folded off-cuts from bigger cards, so they're basically the same idea. i actually didn't know there was such a phenomenon when i made 'em...i just wanted to use up some leftover bits of transparency i had in my scrap folder, and i thought they'd make great little mini-monsta thank you notes.

i was right, as well.


(monstas cut from paperchase giftwrap; veterinary medicine envelopes from the lovely debb; transparencies: hambly; patterned paper& fabric paper scraps: love elsie, basic grey + bits from a japanese workbook; rub-ons: creative imaginations; stickers: paperchase; eyelets: making memories; punches: marvy, mcgill; other: dymo labeller, colorbox inks, zig pen, manual typewriter)

inside there are coordinating panels of patterned paper on which i wrote my little notes. these cards measure approximately 2 x 4.5"...but i mailed them in standard A4 envelopes wrapped in a bit of patterned paper to keep them from shifting around. life is too short to worry about things fitting exactly into envelopes, folks; if my cards arrive intact that is good enough for me!!! :)

ps: in case you were wondering why i needed said thank you' was for tracy, who sent me this FABULOUS valentine!

the other was for leslie, who surprised me with these AWESOME monsta bookmarks!!!

thank you, darlings!!!

*which are specifically 1.25 x 4.25"; here are some examples by their inventor; here is the first one i ever saw... (& it's still my favorite!) m'fellow caardvark miss tanis!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

so i made some inches

because sometimes i finish a project BEFORE bedtime... (not often, but it happens!) ...and i still want to play! plus, making inchies is way more fun than putting away all the little leftover bits and bobs, right?!

(patterned paper: basic grey, scenic route, sei, love elsie, vintage sheet music, pages from a japanese workbook; words cut from book scraps; cardstock: core'dinations; transparency: (doesn't this make COOL INCHIES??!?!?) hambly; embellies: doodlebug paperfrills & brad; mambi gems; queen&co felt; creative imaginations rub-ons; circle heart stamp: tyggereye art; punches: marvy, mcgill, ek success, martha stewart; inks: colorbox; pen: zig; foam tape: 3m)

...and then...
i made this weird little paper-pieced element, because the stamp was out, and i had a scrap of white patterned vellum, and a scrap of sparkly pink, just had to be done!

(stamps: pink paislee & unknown unmounted music definition; papers: core'dinations, doodlebug, paper co; inks: colorbox, ranger; foam tape: 3m)

...and then...
i invented the *ROUND* INCHIE!!!!!!
or, at least, i think i did; i mean, i've not seen such a thing anywhere else, but for all i know the online galleries have been full of them for six months and i'm the last to find out! :) anyway, i made a bunch of inchie-like-items, with teeny decorations, but instead of using the 1" square punch, i used my 1" circle punch.


(papers: michaels, core'dinations, imagination project, love elsie, ki, doodlebug, sei, creative imaginations,vintage sheet music, vintage game card, pages from a japanese workbook; words cut from book scraps; embellies: mambi gems; creative imaginations rub-ons, doodlebug paperfrills; making memories eyelet; ki lace paper; stickers: cavallini, sanrio, hallmark; stamps: hero arts; punches: marvy, mcgill, ek success, inks: colorbox, ranger; pen: zig; foam tape: 3m)

so what am i gonna use these for?

no idea. maybe cards...maybe thing i do know: occasionally i need to make POINTLESS stuff with no agenda and no purpose in mind. because even when i'm frantically busy, ART PLAY is not a luxury, it's a necessary part of the mojo-recharging process. in fact, what i realllllllllllly need is to get back to art journalling on a regular basis. but for now, these guys were definitely a fun way to spend the latter part of a couple of evenings!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

still krafty...but also...


(cardstock: unknown; patterned paper: doodlebug, scrapbook wizard, 3bugs + vintage sheet music & scraps of copier paper; stamp: pink paislee; gem: mambi; pen: zig; foam tape: 3m)

i know what you're thinking:
"who am i, and what have i done with lauren?!"

it's not like i didn't *try* to keep adding layers and pattern and embellishments...but somehow this sweet little paper pieced birdie resisted all my blandishments and just kept insisting this card was finished. finally i had to respect his wishes.

speaking of cards which feature kraft still have plenty of time to enter the current CAARDVARKS challenge (until march 3, in fact) ...which is *SO* worth doing, seeing as the prize (from kraft girl kits) is rather fab! why not pop along to 'varks and check it out?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

frankie say...thanks (again)

turns out, flamingoes are not just good at posing for postcards and eating shrimp...they are also exceptionally fine at expressing gratitude! who knew??! to prove it, here's frankie f. gracing another thank you card in his own inimitable style:

(hand-carved flamingo & circled heart: tyggereye art; patterned paper: making memories, 3 bugs, basic grey, bit of an old greeting card, dcwv, sei, vintage ledger paper stamped with palm leaves (rubber stamp plantation), anna griffin; cardstock: core'dinations; flowers: prima; epoxy brads: making memories; ribbon: michaels; other: fiskars shape template (oval), colorbox inks, zig pen, 3m foam tape)

note to miss june: with the exception of the pink cardstock base, every single bit of paper on this card is a is the ribbon!!! (don't worry, though, i still have PLENTY left!) :)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

operation 52: RESOLUTIONS

wouldja believe...

(can i get a drumroll here? or maybe a trumpetty fanfare thingie?? yeah...a fanfare's probably better!)

i have *FINISHED* paper adventure!!!

ok, so it was a one-year project which took me 14 months. i don't care. as far as i know, there is no statute of limitations on papercrafting. i am just pleased and proud to have DONE IT...and especially to have picked it back up after it totally got away from me at the end of october.

the final assignment, from the last week of 2008, was appropriately enough, "RESOLUTIONS". for the last couple of years i have semi-jokingly made a new year's resolution to be more selfish! not in a nasty, self-absorbed way... (hopefully!) ...just to try to stop falling into little traps i have a habit of setting for myself, such as feeling like i am responsible for helping out anyone remotely in my orbit, with any project or endeavor, at the expense of my own time and energy. or being "guilted" into taking on something i'd rather not do. (heck, sometimes i guilt *MYSELF* into doing things i'd rather not do!) or just generally being so critical of myself that nothing i do ever seems good enough. which is ridiculous, since i would never THINK of treating anyone else like that!

all this seemed like rich fodder for the very last page in my big fat bulgy paper adventure book; and being quite wordy, i thought it'd make a nice digi-word-art type o' i broke out some of the many distress/grunge fonts i have been collecting...and the cool chandelier brushes i enabled amy into (in a manouever which totally boomeranged!) and just basically went a bit nuts...and i am actually quite pleased with the result!

(software & background graphics: broderbund printshop; chandelier brushes: scrap-n-fonts; fonts: bleeding cowboys, jamai stevie, mom's typewriter, pea stacy doodle script, sidewalk, cocaine sans, pea missy unicase; photo paper: kodak premium)

text reads, "2009: the year i FINALLY, once-and-for-all, learn how to give myself a break and treat myself as nicely as i treat others. (the OTHER golden rule!)"

in conclusion, i would like to thank the miraculously wise and amazingly talented miss elise blaha for devising and playing hostess for such a great year-long adventure. i had fun, i learned A LOT of things, and best of all...i now have THIS little baby, to keep forever:

(can i get another, more conclusionary fanfare thingie? thanks!!!)

miss elise has said she'll be leaving up the prompts for this project indefinitely, so why not check them out here? if you want--for some reason--to see ALL of my pages, you can click this link...or the "paper adventure" label below. there is a flickr group (to which i must finish uploading) with pages from the many cool people who PA'd last year, and it is here.

Friday, February 20, 2009

feelin' krafty

which is a little like "feelin' groovy"...but in a much more hip, modern, card-makin' way...and thankfully does not involve either simon or garfunkel. :)

but *WHY* am i feelin' krafty?

well because it's time for a new CAARDVARKS challenge and for this one the only requirement is to include an element (or elements!) made from kraft paper or cardstock... (or heck, feel free to use an old grocery or lunch sack!) ...but make a new card, make it krafty, and link it up on the 'varks site by midnight, march 3rd for a shot at the prize...which is very well worth winning, i assure you. full details are on the caardvarks blog, along with the design team's magnificent contributions, and pics of the loot one lucky card-maker will score!

and now, without further ado, here is my card which was spawned using all these krafty feelings!

(patterned paper: prima, fancypants; kraft cardstock: 2peas; kraft artisan label: k&co; rub-on sentiment & chipboard scrolly border: my mind's eye; diecut felt: queen&co; flowers: petaloo; stick-on pearls: michaels; lg butterfly: hero arts stamp (on the back) & then cut out; sm butterfly: marvvy punch; other: colorbox inks, sakura glitter pen, foam tape)

Thursday, February 19, 2009


yepper, that's me!

my new blogging friend mari... (who makes AWESOME cards btw, you should really go and check them out on her blog. see the one with the *birds*? i think it's my favorite!) ...was kind enough to give me this prize:

..which we both agree makes up for in style what it lacks in grammar. on the other hand, i've found that if you imagine the text being spoken by the divinely accented javier bardem, it suddenly seems not only correct, but rather cool.

need some help with that? here ya go:

(you're welcome!)

oh yeah, mari also turned me on to the funniest website i've seen since i can has cheezeburger. it's called cakewrecks and it features...well...cakes that are....ummm...kind of not very appealing to look at. sort of self-explanatory, i s'pose...but well worth a few moments of your time.

speaking of surf-worthy destinations: my friend and mentor missus trash is having a crafty raffle (craffle??! nah...nevermind...) to benefit the australian red cross bushfire appeal. do your bit for a good cause AND score a chance at some prime goodies! full details on this post.

last but not least, today at CAARDVARKS you'll find mini-spotlight profiles on each member of the design team which you might enjoy. i know i did! the new challenge starts tomorrow, so check back for that...the prize is particularly tasty...that's all i'm sayin'...

ciao for niao, darlings!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

getting better...finally...

for a while there, i was feeling a bit like mrs. premise's cat!

(this monty python's flying circus sketch is 8 minutes long, but the cat part is only the first 45 seconds; i just have NO IDEA how to edit youtube clips!)

adding to my joy at being much less plagued by the cold from H-E-double-hockey-sticks:

  • the new i-pod is stocked with all my cd's...and still has room for more
  • a girlfriend told me about cara cara oranges, which are juicy & flavorful but with much less acid than regular ones
  • michael woods' the story of india is a visual feast
  • i've got a backlog of scrapmags AND managed to grab a very nice used copy of the elsie recipe box
  • for once i am slightly ahead on CAARDVARKS assignments*...and looking forward to mini-spotlights on m'colleagues well as a brand new challenge on friday
  • very very BEST of all: lovely husband jeff returns today after a 10-day work trip!!!

what is cheering YOU up today?

*which is why i have nothing new that i can show you yet!

Monday, February 16, 2009

frankie say relax

ok, in this case it's actually frankie the flamingo...and in fact *he* say, "thank you very much" to my lovely stamp-carving friend gina at tyggereye art...but i am not a gal who can resist an 80's-song-themed blog title, so i just went with it!

i'm never one to shy away from bright colors or lots of embellishment at any time, but a fabulous flamingo stamp really does seem to need a bit of tropical excess, dontcha think? yeah. so did i. so i used up most of the smaller flowers from a pack of glittery diecuts and threw a few other bits and bobs on there to keep them company. on the journaling card i typed "thank you" in lots of different languages for an international flair, et voila!

(hand-carved flamingo stamp: tyggereye art colored in with tombow brush markers; patterned paper: christina cole, dcwv; cardstock: bazzill; journaling card: sassafrass lass; diecut flowers & bling heart: k&co; lace: prima; cool heart playing card from elizabeth wickland; other: colorbox inks, zig pen, 3m foam tape)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

operation 51: HOLIDAY!

i know what you're thinking. you're thinking, "ah! operation 51! that implies lauren has reached the penultimate paper adventure assignment...but then...lauren never does ANYTHING in possibly it is a completely misleading idea!"

but no, you were right the first time: this is in fact the next to last page for my book! and we're only six weeks into the following year. go, me!!!!!!!!! :)

for HOLIDAY i decided to go super simple and document a favorite part of the festive season for lovely huband jeff and myself: decorations. we both love them, and we were very pleased to discover, the first christmas we were married, that our personal policies as to quantity (LOTS!) style (SPARKLY!) and location (EVERYWHERE!) overlapped perfectly.

(photo of our pink butterfly tree printed on kodak premium paper; kraft cardstock: bazzill; patterned paper: fancy pants; chipboard journaling card: my mind's eye; word stickers: love elsie, making memories, dcwv, k&co; alpha stickers: k&co; butterfly punch: marvvy; butterfly stamp: hero arts; stick-on pearls: michaels; pens: sharpie; inks: colorbox; other: foam tape, colored pencil)

text reads, "we are definitely not 'less is more' people when it comes to christmas decorations. in fact, we tend to say, 'the more the merrier'!!!"

Friday, February 13, 2009

lookout! she's got a gun!

a glue gun, that is.

a crafty girl NEEDS one, you know,
because even in this age of high-tech space-age adhesives,
if you want to permanently adhere some pink maribou trim to a pink paper giftbag
(& who amongst us DOESN'T want to do that from time to time, eh??!)
you're gonna need hot glue.

and as long as you're about it, you'll probably need some pink flowers, some fancy spot-laminated paper, some rhinestones, some bobbley trim, and some glitter letters, too. because in the exciting fast-paced world of fancifying giftbags it's either


(giftbag & specialty trims: michaels; patterned paper: basic grey, sandylion; chip letters: making memories; flowers: prima; gems: mambi; other: hot glue, foam tape, colorbox inks, marvy circle punch)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

♥ hello, cupcake! ♥

ok, remember that "five addictions" poll thingie from the other day? can we stretch it to six, in my case?* thanks. 'cause i think i'm gonna need to add amigurumi. particularly amigurumi food; which is perhaps the only thing on the planet cuter than amigurumi animals!

(told ya!!!)

i found the pattern for this cupcake on nimoe's blog, where there is also a very good tutorial to accompany it. her version has the cute cartoony face sported by most amigurumis. in future versions** i will no doubt assay this, but this time i've opted for decorative sprinkles instead, fearing that the highly mature first grader and supreme court justice*** niece riley, who will be seven on saturday, might find such frivolity beneath her dignity. in these weighty matters, an aunt cannot be too careful! :)

*i could maybe borrow one of leslie's...she only has three, the poor dear sad healthy darling! :)

**and there will be future versions. oh yeah. count on it.

***strictly speaking, riley elizabeth is not yet an incumbent of this lofty office, but she is already practicing a suitably decorous demeanor, just to be safe.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

have a heart

another one, that is...for the current CAARDVARKS challenge! well, it's not exactly difficult to make another new heart card the week before valentine's day, now is it? especially when february 14th is also niece riley's seventh birthday. this one is 8" square and incorporates an embellishment or two. :)

(patterned paper: basic grey, sei, creative imaginations, dena, 3bugs, paper fever, scrapbook wizard, sassafrass; flowers: amanda blu, heidi swapp, urban lily, prima; metal-rimmed sticker: paperchase; ribbons & rickrack: making memories, michaels, vintage; rhinestones, studs & gems: mambi, heidi swapp, michaels, teeny nail gems from terrie bailey (THANKS!); brads & snaps: doodlebug, making memories; sequins: queen&co; buttons: joann essentials)

edited to address the lovely miss june's question: i've made more than one card with this sort of sunburst design, and to tell the truth it was a big of a booger, because me being me, i have always just more or less eyeballed and cut wedges, lining them up as well as i could. of course as soon as you asked, it came to me in a flash that the only thing required to make this super easy is to measure and draw a little grid. you know, like this (how did i *not* think of it before--DUH!!!*) :

i used a sharpie, a postie note, and equal increments because it's 8am, but you would use the desired backing paper (the bit that'll show through on every other "ray") and very light pencil markings. you could also make your solid & patterned wedges bigger/smaller like my card above, which is roughly--VERY roughly, in fact--two to one. thank you june, i am very glad you asked!!! :)

*and right there is EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW about lauren, folks! sheesh!!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

seven days ago...

...i kicked the weekend's ass...

dis time
iz udder way 'round


this is not one of my lolz...i am only including it as an illustration of how i feel this morning...have you ever had a cold come upon you in the night with enough velocity



you up??!?!?!??!

(yeah, me neither, till last night; have to say, i don't recommend it, actually.)

i am going back to bed.

if at any time today you hear a low moaning sound coming from the direction of new jersey...that'll be me...sorry...

(ps: chocolate biscuits are an excellent source of vitamin c, right?! thought so. thanks.)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

i am fabulous...and ummmmm...historical?!

...not to mention "LUCKY" and "HONORED"...that my extremely lovely & super-talented friend kristie morrison has seen fit to bestow not one but *two* delightful blogging awards upon me!

first, it's the marie antoinette award, which looks a bit like this:

i am not sure exactly what connection lies between the 18th century french aristocracy and 21st century online journaling ...and if i see a guillotine coming my way i am OUTTA HERE...nevertheless i say,

♥ merci beaucoup! ♥

the second award is this one:

and as part of the ceremony i am meant to list five of my addictions. which is really hard for narrow them down, i mean! but here goes:

1. i-pod, i-pod, i-pod: mine finally and irretrievably died on tuesday night and by the time i got to best buy yesterday afternoon i was a walking re-enactment of the less amusing scenes from trainspotting. seriously.

2. t'internet: it's not that i'm online all the time. it's just that i need to be ABLE to be online all the time. yes, there is too a difference! ok, it's really more of a (largely theoretical) moral high ground.

3. caffeine: i don't drink, smoke, take drugs, cheat on lovely husband jeff or play the ponies. get between me and the coffeepot between 7:30 & 9AM and you're taking your life in your hands. you've been warned.

4. books: to tell the truth, i'd've not even clocked this as an addiction if kristie hadn't listed it as one of hers. for me, saying, "i'm a reader" is like saying, "i breathe every day". since the second grade i've never not been in the middle of a book, with a stack from the library next to the bed.

5. art & art supplies: potentially there are 5...or 500...addictions within this addiction, but lemme sum up: i **NEED** to make stuff! preferably involving paper and glitter and weird old vintage bits, but in a pinch i will crochet or knit or stitch or photshop stuff...

and now technically i am supposed to pass these prizes on to other bloggers, but how OH HOW could i possibly narrow down to just a few of my nearest and dearest online friends???! so instead i will just say, if you are reading this, please know that *I KNOW* you are
and deserving of all good things!

now get out there
and grab y'all
SOME WEEKEND, darlings!!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

i left my heartcaard... CAARDVARKS...
because it's
new challenge day!!!

would you like to see it, though??
(ok, i'm really hoping you said, "YES!" just then...because i'm planning to show it to you. right now, as a matter of fact.)

(monsta cut from paperchase giftwrap; fabric paper: love elsie; patterned paper: scenic route, creative imaginations; glossy black cardstock: ranger; rubber stamp: pink paisley; cardstock stickers: kelly panacci, provocraft, boxer; clear sticker: oriental trading; gems: mambi; other: heart playing card (thank you, elizabeth wickland!) mongol watercolor pencils; colorbox inks, zig pen, foam tape)

you'll have guessed by now that the theme of the challenge is to make a *NEW* card featuring a heart or hearts. it can be a valentine...but it doesn't have to be. full details on the prize... (quite a good 'un!) ...a look at all the fabulous design team creations... (spectacular, like always!) ...and info on how to link up your card...are on the 'varks blog. why not pop over for a little look-see?!

my card is the one i made for the amazing & generous jolene johnston to thank her for the awesome goodies she sent me last week. it was SUPER-FUN to make...i love alllllll the bits that are in it... (& there are plenty of 'em!) ...and i especially enjoyed distressing, doodling on, and amassing them all together.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

amigurumi, macaroni, and...JAM...?!?

i s'pose you're wondering what those three things have in common, aren't ya? very possibly, up until sunday, they didn't have *anything* in common, unless you count the fact that they can all be found within a brisk walk of union square. until my friend trish and i changed all that, thank you very much!

we had lunch at S'MAC, where their mission is...and i quote..."to push the boundaries of what can be done with macaroni & cheese"! they are succeeding in that quest, by the way! i had the sampler platter* or, at least, some of it. (even with help, i could not eat more than about half!)

next we made a quick stop at JAM paper & envelope, so i could score some tasty discounts! (if you're flexible & willing to trawl the closeout section, the prices are hard to beat; twenty-five 6 x 9.5's for $4...5.5 x 8's for $6...and you needn't choose white, either; even online this is my first stop for specialty envelopes, but in person is the best deal!)

our last stop was the newly opened lion brand yarn studio, where they are putting a seriously strong "new york boutique" spin on an old craft store favorite! seriously, when you think "lion brand" does THIS pop into your mind?!

yeah. me neither! :)

we took a beginning AMIGURUMI class from will--possibly the world's most patient & polite twenty-something--in which nearly every class member was able to complete one of these little babies:

although mine had to have his wings and tail attached on the train ride home. i'm not sure that i am crazy about his beak, either; i made a dimensional one instead of embroidering...and now he's a bit "cyrano de BIRDgerac" for my taste...i might have another go later!

speaking of LATE...ciao, darlings!!!

*i don't have all that many firm rules for living, but one reallllllllly strong one is, "if a restaurant has a sampler platter, i shall order it!" it's not greed, i assure you. it's the passion of the pure scientist! :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

continuing the postal theme

here's another one of the LOL's i made last know...the ones i can has cheezburger unaccountably & unjustly rejected

(not that i'm bitter)

(ok, maybe a BIT bitter)

anyway, here it is:

happy tuesday, darlings!!!

(hope the mail brings you good news today!)

Monday, February 2, 2009

ANOTHER great mail day!!!

if this keeps up, i'm probably going to have to kiss my postal carrier on the lips. i hope she won't mind!!! ;)

ok, so this time, i *knew* what was coming. see, i commissioned my lovely friend gina to hand-carve me a flamingo stamp like one that she made for herself. yeah. you read that right. in addition to card-making, scrapbooking, digi-designing, and journaling, gina HAND-CARVES her own rubber stamps! can you *believe* that??! they are awesome, as well! her blog is called tyggereye art...and so is her etsy shop!


there is frank, on the left. (frankie flamingo, that is!) and on the right are two cool BONUS stamps gina made for me as well! how cool is that?! oh yeah, and there was a card, too:

gorgeous, isn't it?! i have to tell you it is only about 1/1,000,000 as cool in a pic as it is in real life...this thing has texture and dimension and...WOW!

thank you thank you miss gina!
now if you'll all please excuse me...
i have STAMPS TO PLAY WITH!!!!!!!!!! :)