Thursday, April 30, 2009

52Q: 16

the best thing about emily falconbridge's 52Q art journaling project is that she asks questions i would never think of on my own. the worst thing about emily falconbridge's 52Q art journaling project is that she asks questions i would never think of on my own. this was one of the latter. i thought and i thought and I THOUGHT about this question. i still don't have an answer. i finally decided that not having an answer *WAS* my answer. (pretty tricky, eh?! wish i'd've thought of THAT ONE back in my 10th grade sociology class. i'm pretty sure i would've gotten an A+!!!)

question 16: what is the truth?
(materials on front: vintage game sheet, anahata katkin clipart, jenni bowlin rub-on letters, colorbox ink; on reverse: making memories journaling card, cavallini bird's nest stamp, manual typewriter)

text reads, "i have been--off & on--thinking about this for a SOLID WEEK...and still...i've got *NOTHING*! my mother, and a lot of other people, would say, "jesus" (or buddha...or mohammed...) with perfect certainty. and in some ways i envy that, but i don't feel it, and i cannot fake it. maybe someday it will bother me enough to go and seek out my own "capital T truth"...but for now i feel ok about sticking with lower case."

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

merci beaucoup, hero arts!

"how much loot can a person snag with one $50 HERO ARTS gift certificate?"

well, i am here to report that the answer to that question is: "quite a lot, actually!!!"


yepper, you see above the fruits of my "fresh face" win from last month. nice, eh?! it took me a while to choose from allllllll the good stuff in the online store, but i managed eventually. i went a leeeeeetle bit over...but then the lovely stef (my mentoress in all things stamp-related) told me about the "blogiversary discount" they were also having at the time...and my bucks went a bit further, even! gotta love HERO ARTS, i say!!! and once again i thank them for their generosity!

anyway, i was dying to play with my swag, and came up with this for a first go using the eiffel tower, which i stamped on a page from a vintage french dictionary, a few bits and bobs later, et voila:

(stamps: hero arts; patterned paper: k&co; kraft cardstock: hobby lobby (thanks, stef!!!); journaling card, stick pin & letter stickers: making memories; clipart bird: anahata katkin; flowers: prima; rub-ons: basic grey & american crafts; other: gems from michaels, vintage millinery pearls from the lovely debb, corrugated cardboard ripped from an old box, colorbox & bazzill inks; adhesives: tombow mono adhesive runner, uhu gluestick, 3m foam tape, gluedots & a bit of scotch tape securing the wired pearls to the back of the journaling card!)

i used a second stamp from this lot on my card, can you spot it? no??! want me to give you a little hint? okey dokey...two words:


these could easily become my new obsession, so lemme just apologize right now, in advance, for their obnoxious over-use on my part!!! but when you ink that houndstooth background up nice & dark... (i used colorbox pigment ink to get realllllllly dark, wet coverage) ...and stamp neatly on some nice flat paper primas... OOH LA LA, mes amies...c'est amour!!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

do you know about *THIS*??!

it's MAY 1st - 3rd

(yep, that's *THIS* weekend!)

instead of featuring the design team's work, this weekend at CAARDVARKS we'll be showing off *YOUR* amazing creations! and the best bit is...they don't need to be brand new, or even to any specific theme...we wanna see your best projects, your coolest cards, your proudest papercrafts!

to participate, just email: Caardvarks@Yahoo.Com with your entries by Wednesday, April 29th at midnight PST... (that's wednesday!) ...then check in often on friday, saturday and sunday see loads and loads of coolness!

all the details--including the exact details for submitting your artwork--are on this post right here!

(btw, the label above is not the official logo...which you can download at the CAARDVARKS blog...this one is just a digi-creation i made, playing with some new stuffs: distressed frame, ribbon, flowers: indian summer nights by marcie reckinger; flourishes: doodled shapes by vera lim; heart: gabriella by laura skathi; font: flowerchild)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

here be MONSTAS!

ok, so yesterday i showed you the FAB-TASTIC monsta cards (& stamps!) that gina sent, i'm gonna show you MY half of said swap. first, here's the outside of my "pack" of four cards:

me being me, when we started talking about this idea, i started thinking about, well, TRADING CARDS. my brother and i had loads of these as ones, football ones, nature ones, and so forth...but to tell you the truth, they fascinate me more as an adult. they are, afterall, small pieces of paper, with pictures and text, that you are actively encouraged to accumulate and hoard. HOW *ME* IS THAT??!? so immediately i thought, "wouldn't it be cool to make MONSTA trading cards, with a pic of the monsta on one side and his or her "stats" on the other??!" now, i have a feeling that technically, ATC's are meant to have a design on one side and the maker's info on the back. see, this is why i try never to learn the rules of things. because if i KNEW 'em, i'd probably feel kind of bad about breaking them. :)

i had a fabulous time jotting down potential monsta names, and little lists of data which i thought would make good "fun facts". as is often the case in my projects, i had so many "little notes" that by the time i was ready to sit down and make the cards, there was not really any writing involved, as such, i just had to choose my faves and figure out how to format it all to fit on the cards! i am really pleased with how they turned out, and i hope that gina will enjoy receiving them as much as i loved making them!

ok, so do you wanna see them??!?! HOORAY!!!

and now, without further ado, may i present to you, for the first time on any stage: BEEBLE, THRONK, LARRY (her parents were earth-o-philes) and "???"...ladies & gentlemen, give it up for:

DA MONSTAS!!!!!!!!!!!

finally, here are the backs, which i will tell you right now--they're crooked. not as crooked as they look in the pic--they're also LUMPY on the other side, which doesn't help. no, what happened was, to "save time" i adhered the labels containing my "MONSTA FACTS" to the patterned paper...and then adhered the patterned paper to the cards. in retrospect, this was a fairly obvious error. my hope, however, is that people reading said "MONSTA FACTS" will be laughing so hard they make the cards shake, and thus won't notice. :)

i *THINK* the photo above will click big enough to be read...but just in case, the text on these reads:

BEEBLE (green): planet of origin: pluto (where they haven't heard about the "downgrade" yet so shhhhhhh!) favorite color: chartreuse cd of choice: anything by (fellow plutonian) david bowie happiest moment: being picked to dance on stage at a springsteen concert

THRONK (orange): favorite tv show: teletubbies...which is actually extremely profound and full of deep philosophical insights hobby: macrame after-school snack: crossing guards most embarrassing moment: biting the fingers of the first guy who tried to shake his hand

LARRY (blue): celebrity crush: richard simmons, who is worshipped as a god on her planet inspirational quote: "beep! beep!" weekend sport: horseshoes (remind her to take the horse off first!) dream job: building scale models of famous landmarks at legoland

"???" (pink): mysterious origins: not much is known about this monsta, not even his (or indeed her) name. which is probably just as well since he (or she) would not come if you called him (or her) anyway. and you'd be VERY sorry if he (or she) DID come......assuming you survived!

*MATERIALS LIST* fronts: monstas from paperchase giftwrap (glued to plain white index stock & cut out); pages from a japanese language workbook; love elsie fabric paper; vintage slidemounts (1,000,000 thanks to debb for the BUCKETS of inspiration these have given me!!!); jenny bowlin blank tickets; making memories and k&co alpha rubs; making memories star brads; colorbox inks; googley eyes from michaels; adhesives: xyron, uhu glustick, 3m foam tape, judikins diamond glaze; backs: creative imaginations ledger paper; text document created in broderbund's printshop and printed on avery fullsheet clear labels; fonts: ck rough hewn, teletype, cornerstone, mariah)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

the best ATC swap *EVER*!!!!!

at the end of last year, when i was in full-blown MONSTA PHASE and also becoming interested in ATC's, my lovely blogging friend gina (of tyggereye art) suggested we swap MONSTA CARDZ!!! of course, i was very reluctant and had to be begged and pleaded with for upwards of several nanoseconds before agreeing wholeheartedly! :)

yesterday i got an amazingly cool package in the mail. it had THIS awesome gina greeting card, featuring a design made with one of her gorgeous hand-carved stamps:

and then...there were the MONSTA CARDZ!!!

wouldja *LOOK* at those babies??! holy moly!!!

they are fun...they are funky...they are full of little details like hand cut embellishments, vintage ribbons, a cool handmade paperclay button, ruffly edges...just all sorts of cool touches!

but the very best part?! the MONSTAS are also made using hand-carved gina stamps...know how i know??! because gina sent me the stamps too!!!!!!!!!

yepper, these two little dudes (or...ummmm...dudettes?! sorry, madame!) are the latest addition to the bergold monsta sanctuary & boarding kennels! i cannot wait to start playing with them, so let me wrap this up with a giant

thank you

thank you

thank you, miss gina!
(what shall we swap *next*??!?!)

tune in tomorrow to see *MY* half of the swap...which is not nearly as impressively artistic...but on the other hand, much, MUCH sillier!!! :)

Friday, April 24, 2009

chocolate karma sundae :)

my lovely and talented blogging friend june houck gave me this, no?!

The Karma Award:
These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind of bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.

since i am fortunate enough to have many lovely blogging friends, there is NO WAY i could narrow down to just, i am just generally crummy at following rules! :) sooooooo, if you're reading this, i automatically consider a the recipient of *MY* good karma... (& vice versa!) ...and you may feel free to post this award on your blog if you would like to...or skip it if you'd rather not.

...either way...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

52Q: 15

and now for something completely different*

yes, it's my card for last week's 52Q!!! i made this one digitally, because i had more to say than i could comfortably fit with my handwriting...and because i felt the joke for the front needed to be done kind of graphic-design-ish-ly...and because i had some new digi-stuff i wanted to break out! yes, i do make most decisions THAT SCIENTIFICALLY, as a matter of fact. why do you ask? :)

if you're wondering, "hey lauren! how can you stand to have some of your 52Q's be physical while some just exist as files on your computer?!" i must tell you--OOF! NOOOOOO--i could *NOT* stand that...i print the digital ones out, adhere them to cards from my deck, and add them on to the 52Q ring.

question 15: what makes me me?

(software: broderbund printshop; background paper: indian summer nights by marcie reckinger; arrows: doodled shapes by vera lim; fonts: plastique,ck typewiter, stylus)

text on front reads, "fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency and an almost fanatical devotion to the pope. no wait...that's not ME...that's the spanish inquisition!"

text on back reads, "...but what DOES make me *ME*?! silliness...loyalty...positive outlook...creativity...OCD tendencies...good manners...loud mouth...hyperactivity...and an almost fanatical devotion to papercrafting."

*because this line MUST BE USED when planning to reference monty python's flying circus in any way whatsoever; that is THE LAW.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

baby bunny

you may remember that i won the most beeeeeeeeautiful and amazing baby quilt about a month ago, from miss katy of i'm a ginger monkey (as part of missus trash's magnificent craffle to aid the australian bushfire appeal!) the best part was that it happened just before my new lovely friend isabel was born!!! i am hoping to get up to new york to visit that adorable young lady in person quite soon, but i could not possibly contemplate such a meeting if i didn't have a fairly cool card--(heavy on the pink-n-fluffy!)--with which to welcome her. so i made this:

(patterned paper: imaginisce, basic grey; glittery pink cardstock & felt letter stickers: making memories; bunnee sticker: sandylion; pink pearl flourish (how cool is *THAT*?!!) & paper flowers: prima; brads: queen&co; felt heart: fancy pants; other: vintage white trim; adhesives: xyron; tombow monoadhesive runner; 3m foam tape)

of course, it's not NEARLY as cute as miss isabel herself...but then...*NOTHING* could it'll just have to do!!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

branching out

HOORAY for caardvarks challenges!!! yes, dearies, it's the 20th of the month, and just in time for earth day we have an appropriately green assignment: TREE CARDS!!! it doesn't get any easier than that, does it? just make a *new* card with a tree on it up on the 'varks blog by midnight, april 30th...and score a chance at some fabulous goodies from taylored expressions!

here is my card:
(patterned paper: american crafts, crafty secrets, basic grey; cardstock: bazzill; stamps: hero arts all occasion sentiments; chipboard buttons: michaels $-spot; inks: colorbox; pens: zig & sharpie; adhesives: tombow mono adhesive runner, uhu gluestick, 3m foam tape)

my favorite part of this is the "grass" composed of curvy stamped bits, the idea for which i stole from this card by the amazing stef from the hero arts challenge! it took quite a while to line up all the individual sentiments to fit the correct size and shape needed for my "hills"... (not difficult, just "fiddly") ...but i felt like it was TOTALLY worth it even before i got a coveted, "that looks *COOL*!!!" from lovely husband jeff!

be sure to head on over to CAARDVARKS for complete details on the challenge (& prize!!!) and to see the amazing forest of terrific tree cards from the design team!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

52Q: 14

i am ON FIRE with the 52Q, i tell ya! i think i am even starting to get the hang of working in a small (playing card/ATC = 2.5 x 3.5") format. or at least, i am becoming less hilariously inept at it...and rarely choose items from my stash that are more than two or three times bigger than the alloted space. go, me! :) ok, so here's the latest. oh yeah & did i mention that now i'm only one away from caught up? niiiiiiiiiiice.

question 14 - what is the last good book you read?

(patterned paper: paper pizzazz, fancy pants; dragon cut from a magazine, colorbox inks; manual typewriter; reverse: digital elements: arty frames: vera lim designs*, gypsy girl flower brushes from scrapartist; fonts: dirty ego (free from misprinted type**) ld patty whack; prima flower, making memories rub-on, gem from michaels)

text reads, "favorite book of recent memory... THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO by stieg larsson***...i just could not put it down"

*absolutely the NICEST place i have ever shopped online: an amazing selection of great digital kits and elements, including quite a large section of sale and bargain stuff, PLUS i got a really nice email welcoming me when i registered to the site AND a free kit as part of the anniversary celebration...not to mention a *PERSONAL* reply when i emailed to say thanks. yeah. i was REALLY impressed already, and this was before i even found out that ms. lim is one of PRIMA's "hybrid" designers. so there ya go. check out her site!

**another site I LOVE, though i have had no contact or interaction with its founder, eduardo recife. i just go on there regularly to drool over his art and download the fonts and brushes he generously provides for free!!! if you like digi-collage and/or grungy typefaces, you should probably go and see!

***yes, this was MONTHS AGO...and i assure you i've read plenty of other books since then, many of them excellent. but this one REALLY sticks in my mind as an un-put-down-able, stay-up-all-night, reading voraciously in every spare second, damn-it's-over thriller...hence i chose to commemorate it. plus, i had that cool dragon, kwim?!

Friday, April 17, 2009

52Q: 13

HOORAY for two 52Q cards in two days! i am on a roll, here! :)

question 13: what was my worst (or best?!) hairstyle experience to date?

(as you can see, i went with *BEST* lol!!!)

(class pic from sophomore year, scrapworks rub-ons, sharpie, basic grey paper on reverse)

text reads, "of course i don't suppose ms. hamill was all that thrilled about a million silly teenaged girls walking around with her hairstyle circa 1978, for that matter. to add insult to injury, it never did help my ice skating one bit, either!"

a quick note to those of you who've been following my 52Q cards since the beginning: does this pic look familiar??! holy moly, if you had asked me in january what the odds were that i would EVER use this photo for anything...much less use it TWICE in a public forum...i'd have thought you were insane. sheesh. this "art" lark is full of surprises, innit?! :)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

52Q: 12

oof, it's been a couple of weeks since i have worked on my mini-journal for emily falconbridge's 52Q project, so this seems like a pretty good time to start catching up on that. right. where was i, again?? oh yeah.

question 12: what are you grateful for right now?

(page from an old dictionary (it's the definition for gratitude, though i've pretty much obscured it); vinyl letters from the office supply store (stolen--ahem--"liberated" from work); making memories rub-ons; teeeeeny tiiiiiiiiny black flower nail gems from the divine terrie bailey; stamps: tim holtz harlequin (again--you can't see much due to subsequent layers; sorry, tim!), rubber stampede leopard print, rhonna farrer flourish; other: colorbox & ranger inks, zig pen; reverse: dena paper. making memories magnetic stamps, hero arts flower)

text reads, "turbo tax ♥ i-pod ♥ SPRING!!! ♥ blog friends ♥ saladworks ♥ digi bargains ♥ LHJ! ♥ on demand tv ♥ 100 calorie packs"

of course the thing for which i am most grateful at all times is the fact that i lead such an amazingly charmed life that my entire list consists of little treats and big conveniences! just like 99% of my "problems" list at any given are acutally nothing but minor inconveniences. pleasePLEASEplease don't think for a moment that i take things like plentiful food, clean water, good health and a safe home for granted; i assure you that i do not. but the question did read "grateful RIGHT NOW" rather than "eternally grateful" i decided to go with more ephemeral items. plus, you know...they are only tiny little cards!!! :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

jane austen* alert!

if you LOVE pride and prejudice buy this right now!!!
no, seriously.
g'head...i'll wait!

ok, ok, i s'pose you don't have to pop for the full price dvd... (though amazon's price is extremely good...better, in fact, than our distributor at the video store; i'm a bit miffed about that, actually...but i digress!) could rent it first, that'd be fine. but i do urge you to SEE IT! and let me just say that whilst i am myself quite an ardent fan of miss austen, for the most part i have not been impressed with the sequels, modern day novels, or pastiches of pride and prejudice, et al. the jane austen book club, for example. you may have noticed that at no time on this blog have i urged you to read the book or see the film. that was not an oversight.

oh and not to confuse matters, but if, a few years ago, you happened to enjoy, as i did, a very clever book of the same title ; i should probably mention that the two products have absolutely nothing to do with each other. which is a bit confusing, actually, but there ya go.

briefly the plot of the film... (which was an itv presentation a year or so ago) that amanda price, a 21st century woman obsessed with pride and prejudice generally and mr. darcy in particular, stumbles upon a portal in her bathroom... (nice touch, dontcha think?!) ...which leads into the novel. one evening miss elizabeth bennett wanders into amanda's flat, and amanda decides to take a little peek into longbourne. just for a minute. just to see. she's coming right back, of course, and anyway, even if she stayed for a bit there's no way she'd be able to mess up the plot of the world's best known and most popular romance...right??! ;)

(no, but it's good though; trust me!!!)

*sorry, there are no papercrafts in this post. there will be tomorrow, though, i promise! in fact, if you don't like jane austen at all, there is not much point in reading this post, because it really is JUST jane austen today. there are some very cute kittehs here which you might enjoy. if you're not into silly cats, here is a link to a very verrrrry cool art journaling site! or perhaps you'd just like to marvel--and i do mean marvel--at something extremely creative we can do with our money if it turns out to keep bein' realllllllly bad at buying us much of anything. failing these alternative entertainments, perhaps you could use the extra time to catch up on your email this morning? :)

Monday, April 13, 2009

nothing new... show you, that is. i actually have *made* a few things, but they are deadline- or surprise-based, so i cannot post them yet. plus the last week or so has been quite heavy on the "life maintenance" ...i finished the taxes, (can you say, "last minute"?) had a lovely easter dinner with a niece and a nephew who have now surely exceeded the national guidelines on how much ♥CUTE♥ can be stuffed safely into one small person, AND (best of all) had a whole entire three-day weekend with lovely husband jeff (who's been away yet again) for the first time in nearly a month!

i did hop over to designer digitals the other day when they had a super-cool deal on some beeeeautiful digital butterfly "rub-ons"! did you know they have a special every sunday where they introduce new stuff and they make two of the $4 items just a quarter each??! if you go here you can sign up for the email which reveals the deal of the week! of course i went along and spent 25 cents on butterflies...and then it just seemed rude not to spend another $11 on one or two bits to use WITH the butterflies... :)

and of course, if one has new goodies--whether paper or pixel-based--i b'lieve it's a RULE that you must play with them aimlessly and try to make something completely pointless! (so i did!)

(software: broderbund printshop--yeah, i am *learning* photoshop bit by bit, but when i want to do layers of text and images...i am STILL just more comfortable (& a darn sight FASTER) in printshop; collage butterflies, fancy stamped background, ledger grid: katie pertiet, designer digitals; skinny calendar: 2peas freebie; distressed edge: printshop; fonts: uncle typewriter, anthology, bleeding cowboys (all freebies from either dafont or fontfreak)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Saturday, April 11, 2009


like most papercrafters, i take pride in finding different and unusual ways of using my supplies. in this case, i have taken some of the by-now-infamous (to laureny blog afficionados) paperchase MONSTA giftwrap...and used it... (sit down, folks, because this is going to be quite a shock!) ...i have used it...

TO WRAP A PRESENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


i told you it was SHOCKING! i hope i have not given anyone palpitations or coronary distress. not to worry. i will be back to my normal procedure of cutting out the MONSTAS and making cards and things with them really, really soon! :)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

it's a re-run......a DOUBLE re-run!!!

if you've been 'round these parts for a while, you'll have realized that (perhaps foolishly) i rarely re-make an idea i've already done, and i seldom make more than one of the same card; christmas time, when i am waaaaaaaaaaaay behind and it would be a really REALLY good idea to do so!!!

but this was a bona-fido emergency (i need two guy cards & i needed them...literally...YESTERDAY!) so last night i made *TWO* more cards like this one from last january.

(materials for both cards--wow, it streamlines the writing-up process to multi-task--patterned paper: ki & bam pop; glossy cardstock: ranger; rub-on letters: american crafts; letter stickers: basic grey; cupcake sticker: martha stewart; other: colorbox inks, zig pen, 3m foam tape)

i am either getting lazy, OR... (ooh!) ...i may be evolving to a whole new level of almost diabolical common sense and efficiency! look out, martha stewart: i've got cake *AND* robots-from-space!!! :)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

continuing the "pink-n-fluffy" theme:

here is another of my lolz that has been inconceivably and inconscionably ignored by both i can has cheezeburger and i has a hotdog. and this one's a goodie, see??

ok, ok, so they *MIGHT* have me on a technicality with this one: i'm fairly sure this is not an airedale. but it is very, VERY hard to tell under that bonnet*...thus i feel i should be given the benefit of the doubt! ah well. we dog-captioning humor geniuses are never REALLY understood until we're dead.

happy wednesday anyway, darlings!!!

*BONNETS...for dogs...wrong on sooooo many levels, and yet giving rise to sooooooo many questions: where does one buy dog bonnets? WHY does one buy dog bonnets?? who exactly *makes* dog bonnets? what does a dog bonnet fabricator put on their tax return under "occupation"? how exactly do they answer, when asked at cocktail parties, "...and what do you do?"??! yes, the questions are endless, but alas, my morning blog time is not! have a lovely ponder, darlings! :)

Monday, April 6, 2009


one of my own informal "rules" for undertaking CAARDVARKS design team assignments is that i really really don't like to go out and buy anything specifically for a particular theme. because it's not like i don't have ENOUGH STUFF...and to me, part of the challenge is figuring out how to make what i've got work in new and interesting ways.

however, on this occasion, before i was halfway through making maddie's princess giftbag for the current FANTASY challenge, i had lit upon the idea of making A WAND, and quite quickly i realized i didn't have anything from which to make one. of course, if *I* had had a wand, i could have magicked up the stuff to make a wand. (is that even legal??!) but since i didn't, i went to michaels, where for just a few dollars i was able to gather the necessary materials... (a small dowel & a papier mache star) ...which i could glue together and paint. ...BUT the kids' crafts aisle, i saw pre-made foam-n-plastic princess wands for 99 cents! the moral of this story: sometimes it actually saves you time, to dawdle aimlessly in a store!!!

but before we get a-wand-ing, let's talk about the card:

i don't think there is anything particularly mysterious about this bit, but i'll tell it anyway. (as with all my stuff, if you have questions, please email or ask in the comments. i do my best to get back to everybody, however, i'm not always what you'd call *quick*!)

i knew i wanted the crowned initial to be the centerpiece, and of course i wanted the giftset to coordinate, so that narrowed my choices. i'd already painted the crown when i made the tiara for the gift bag, so that was all set. i had some lovely pink making memories sparkly chipboard letters...but they were the wrong shade, so i traced the "M" onto some old sei paper, cut it out & inked the edges. i affixed the oval rhinestone frame to some making memories patterned paper and cut that out. i had a bunch of little flowers and beads and things leftover from the bag, so i sat and moved a whole bunch of bits around until i liked them, glued everything to the silver metallic cardstock, and then trimmed it up and made a card base to fit around it.

this is how i almost always make cards: the bits first, and then the base at the end. yes, i realize this is backwards. welcome to my world!!!

having a pre-made wand SERIOUSLY streamlined the process on this part: i traced the star onto some making memories & sei patterned papers (the back of the wand has just a pink polkadot covering, but is otherwise plain) and cut out about an eighth of an inch *inside* my line, so that there would be a teeny bit of white showing all round, and no annoying trimming up to do. i outlined with a silver gel pen, inked and attached them. then i decorated the handle with a tulle bow, a silk rose, silver wired ribbon twists and a few primas, hot-gluing everything in place.

again, a lot of people would've done the handle last, but since i wanted the fluffy bits to coordinate with the bag, it was easier to do THIS first and then choose the other star parts after. (remember in school, when you took tests, they always told ya to fill in the bits you're sure of FIRST, and then go back to the other questions? well, i still do that, in lots of spheres of life. it works, i promise you!) i placed the rhinestone star on a scrap of glittery silver cardstock & cut out around it; i traced a medium-sized chipboard star onto more dotty sei paper and cut & inked that. then i popped both layers on foam tape and stuck 'em on. it looked good...but i couldn't help thinking it needed a final touch. one flower sequin and a stick-on rhinestone later, and i had a wand fit for a small blond adorable princess!!!

now all that remains is the HARDEST PART of the whole project: waiting until may 14th for princess madeline to have her birthday!!! i think it's gonna be a verrrrrrry lonnnnnnng month! :)

in the meantime, don't forget to hop on over to CAARDVARKS where you can see the new design team's take on the FANTASY challenge and get details on how *your* card could win the fabulous prize from two spotted dogs!

(materials for card & wand: undecorated white foam wand, pink tulle, silver wired ribbon, "fuzzy" eyelash trim, silk roses, single & heart-shaped rhinestones: michaels; patterned paper: sei, making memories; pink cardstock: core'dinations; silver glitter cardstock: dcwv; oval rhinestone frame: heidi swapp; rhinestone star: mambi; chipboard crown: maya road; paper flowers: prima; flower sequin: queen&co; rub-ons: creative imaginations & making memories; adhesives: 3m foam tape, uhu gluestick, tombow mono adhesive runner, judikins diamond glaze, low temp hot glue gun; ink: colorbox fluid chalk; silver gel pen; sakura; black pen: zig writer; metallic acryllic paints: folk art; other: glitter nail polish from the $ store.)

Sunday, April 5, 2009


welcome to another CAARDVARKS challenge! this time we're a conjuring up a FANTASY theme: princesses, spacemen, knights in shining armor, vampires, monsters, aliens, faeries or fairy tales...wherever your own fancy takes you! just make a new card & head to the caardvarks blog to link it up by midnight, april 18th. while you're there, why not drool over the brand new design team's MAGNIFICENT creations...check out the FAB prize from two spotted dogs...and maybe even hop around to see other readers' cards?! (i can assure you, the latter is a trip worth making every single time!)

oh and did i mention we've got a new feature? it's called CAARDS and MORE! last month laura davis made an this amazing fry box, and this month pamela smerker has a gorgeous art piece...and i have...waittttttttttt forrrrrrr ittttttttttt...a PRINCESS GIFT SET!!!

afterall, it is a FANTASY theme! and you know, when a gal turns *five*...that's half a decade, can't just hand her any old present in any old wrapping! so i thought that this year niece madeline really needed something extra-special, extra-cool, and extra-princessy!

to go with the special project feature i'll be giving more than usually detailed instructions (which in my case means...ummmmm...some!) and there are even closeup photos below to go with them! (you can blame nathalia for that!) since there was so much to tell, i decided to break it into two posts, with the gift bag today, and the card & wand tomorrow. to speed up the narrative flow, i've put a complete list of products at the end of the post. so let's get started:

the crucial bit is the name panel. five-year-old girls *like* to see their names spelled out in sparkly pink letters. well, heck, don't we all??! i traced--and slightly shortened--a page from maya road acrylic album onto some pink patterned paper to get that nice artisan label shape. i cut out, outlined & inked it, then glued it to a piece of sparkly silver cardstock and cut out again about an eighth inch around the whole thing.

the tiara is made from fancy pants chipboard flourishes. i painted them with metallic silver craft paint, then a couple of coats of metallic pearl white & finally clear glitter nail polish. all of this was done in an evening while watching tv & i let the whole thing dry overnight.

i adhered the rhinestone heart sticker and its attendant chip pieces to a scrap of pink paper for stability & cut out around the whole thing. i decorated all the swirls with rhinestones in graduated sizes and finally added a little detailing with a silver gel pen before popping the whole thing onto foam tape & affixing it to the panel. "princess" is a rusty pickle rub-on sentiment; the pink stickyback acrylic letters which spell "maddie" came from joann fabrics in the early 14th century. the panel is attached to the bag using more foam tape. yes, i attached it BEFORE i decorated the bag. i know there are people who can compose a balanced piece inside their head and have it come out right. i'm not one of them!!!

i used my hot glue gun to affix white "maribou" trim around the entire top of the bag, followed by a swag of sparkly white rosette trim and then sparkly white plastic "fuzzy" trim. (this is also glued around the edge of the wand, where it can be better seen in the pics; irl it's much more noticeable on the bag!)

next i used a bow-making frame & floral wire to make a 5" compound bow from white and silver wired ribbons and pink tulle. i made a center decoration for the bow out of some large pink-printed primas, a flower bead, a faux pearl, a pink silk rose, and a white butterfly decoration from last xmas. i hot-glued them to the center of the bow which i attached to the handle on the left side.

at this point i *thought* i might be done, but a little break from the project revealed that the whole thing looked seriously, SERIOUSLY top heavy. (i told you--i CANNOT compose anything balanced in my head!) after another little break... (i generally work in spurts like this, between bits of "real life") ...i decided that some swirls of wired beads would "ground" the top part and help it work better with the panel. i randomly strung various sizes of faux pearls and some little silver flower beads onto jewelry wire, anchored the ends, and made little swirls which i held up against the bag until i was happy. when i liked how it looked i wired one end to the handle and used more hot glue to tack it in a few places for stability.

finally i embellished with additional rhinestone-centered layers of prima flowers, and made some little dangles of a thin metallic silver wired ribbon to hang down on either side and further "anchor" the top of the bag to the rest of the project.

et voila!!!

(materials list for gift bag: "maribou" trim, pink tulle, assorted ribbons & trims, silk roses, butterfly, "pearl" beads, rhinestones, feathers: michaels; heart patterned paper: sei; silver glitter paper: dcwv; paper flowers: prima; chipboard flourishes: fancy pants big boards; "princess" rub-on: rusty pickle; pink acrylic letters: joann essentials; heart pins: boxer scrapbook; adhesives: 3m foam tape, uhu gluestick, tombow mono adhesive runner, judikins diamond glaze, low temp hot glue gun; ink: colorbox fluid chalk; silver gel pen; sakura; black pen: zig writer; metallic acryllic paints: folk art; other: misc jewelry wire & beads; glitter nail polish from the $ store.)

a quick note about the HUGE list above: 99% of these products are older things i had in my stash. i mention this for two reasons. #1: b/c a lot of them may now be unavailable... (like those sparkly pink plastic letters from joann's!) and#2: b/c to go out and buy all this stuff would cost a PRETTY PENNY; far more than i'd personally be comfortable spending on ONE project!

on the other hand, i really, REALLY, really, don't think you NEED to have the same stuff to achieve a similar effect; you could use ruffled ribbon or pleated fabric instead of maribou trim; you could stamp or print a clipart a tiara instead of painting chipboard pieces; a pre-made bow & one of those curly ribbon cascades would make an equally nice adornment to the handles. i guarantee if you are crafty enough to have read this far, you've got SOMETHING you could use that would wind up looking *fabulous*! why not raid your stash and see what you can come up with?!

feel free to ask questions via comments or email and i will do my best to answer!

tomorrow: the card and the wand!!!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

even littler things...

...mean i forgot to post these inchies with the rest of my hero arts projects for the last CAARDVARKS challenge!


on the other hand...if i had posted them last week, i wouldn't have anything interesting to show you today. so i s'pose it all works out afterall.

(rubber stamps & clear gems: hero arts; papers: my mind's eye, love elsie, basic grey + vintage ledger, japanese & hindi text & words from an old book; glossy black cardstock: ranger; gem stickers: stampendous; music brad: hot off the press; other: sakura glossy black gel pen, colorbox & ranger inks; tombow & uhu adhesives; mongol watercolor pencils; pilot silver paint pen; clear stickles)

speaking of CAARDVARKS challenges, the new one starts tomorrow, and it's a goodie! *plus* we've got a fabulous bunch of brand new design team members joining us--be sure to check out this post to meet them all and see a bit of their work!

oh yeah, and did i mention that in addition to a card, i've made a special project for this challenge?! uh huh--and i'm quite proud of it, as well--so be sure to stop by tomorrow and hear more about that!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

little things mean...

...i have been "playing" when i should be working, usually!

this "little thing" is no exception. the other night, when i had finished the card that became one half of my mother's day card production for this year, i started playing around with the leftover bits of cardstock and paper & chipboard... (and--quite unconsciously--with heidi's sketch!!! see--i told you this was one we'd all be using again and again!) ...i made a scrapling. sort of. i don't think it's exactly the right size. but it's close. and it's the right shape. i'm callin' it a scrapling. scrapling purists, feel free to boycott m'blog. i shall understand. :)

(patterned paper: prima, plus vintage sheet music; kraft cardstock: hobby lobby; diecut flowers: k&co; rub-ons & chipboard border: my mind's eye; sticky pearls: michaels; inks: colorbox; other: zig pen, 3m foam tape, uhu gluestick, tombow monoadhesive runner)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

in retrospect...

...i kind of "get" why this particular funnee capshun was not chosen for i can has cheezburger or i has a hotdog. i do not think i have seen even *one* bondage joke...however tangential...on either of those sites.

yet another example of me being WAAAAAAYYYY ahead of my time, eh??!

happy wednesday, darlings!!!