Sunday, August 30, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
this one was fun to think about and fun to make. i made a rule for these...ok, not a RULE as such...but when i started this project in january i really wanted to it be something that was fun, uncomplicated, and kind of more raw & experimental that what i usually do. because let's face it: i can think myself to death!!! so i sort of made a mental manifesto to work small (hence the playing cards), work fast (glue-as-ya-go whenever possible), and to KEEP GOING even if the card seemed like it was going to come out "wrong".
Thursday, August 27, 2009
i'm not much of a supply hoarder... (having waaaaaaaaay too much of everything does not count as hoarding. it's just being really REALLY prepared. which is totally different! totally.) ...but i have been known to save something i love for "just the right project". occasionally i am embarrassed at the length of time it can take for such a project to materialize. in the case of the sticker above, however, it was well worth the wait, since this really is *EXACTLY* the right use for it...annnnnnnnnnd...i get to KEEP the finished product!
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
clematis...on a lattice...gratis!
reading: london: the biography, by peter ackroyd. it is very, VERY good. it is VERY, very lonnnnnnng. but since it's organized thematically, you can read a chapter here and there without losing the narrative thread. i suspect i'll be reading this on and off for quite some time, in between other books. which is nice, since it's an extremely enjoyable book!
watching: duplicity (out on dvd today) with clive owen and...ummmmm...some girl...reddish hair...didn't catch her name. :) if you like slick, clever, twisty, big-budget hollywood suspense thrillers with a bit of comedy and romantic entanglements, it doesn't get any better than this. even if you *don't* generally like such films, you might like to give it a try. be sure, however, to pay attention to the time/location captions between scenes. if you're NOT paying attention (because, perhaps, you're making cards at the same time?) you'll either be terribly confused, or find yourself in the company of an increasingly unamused husband. (i speak theoretically, of course!) :)
wishing: i spoke french, so that i would sound as cool and clever and amusant as the characters in the film moliere. of course, i would still need a script-writer, and source material based on the work of a 17th-century genius playwright. but still...
eating: the best chinese noodles i've ever had in the suburbs. at a CHAIN RESTAURANT of all things! nonetheless, i admit freely to being totally impressed by the food at p.f. chang's. enough so that i want go back...for lunch...sort of daily, actually...
dreading: next month's electric bill, which may well be impressive enough to call "william"! the traditional sticky, hot, humid new jersey summer weather has arrived later than usual...and it's making up for lost time in a big, big way! oy vey.
loving: (despite the worst trailers in the history of tv...which is saying something, dontcha think?!) being human on bbc america. the final episode of the first series airs this saturday, but if you've missed it, don't worry: bbca are NOTORIOUS for giving a second chance...and a third...and a fourth... which, in this case, is a good thing because it's one of the most clever, amusing and utterly original shows i've seen in quite some time...and i don't think anyone is watching it! you could be forgiven for thinking it's another twilight/true blood clone based on the adverts, but trust me, it's completely it's own thing!
what's at the top of *YOUR* favorites list right now?
Monday, August 24, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
clearly, another card was called for. something a little less minimalist...a little more vintagey...but still pink and inky...fun and funky. here ya go:
Friday, August 21, 2009
first, the story: i've been trying to get over to 365 cards and make a super sketchy sunday card for as long as my lovely blogging friend amy has been on their design team. (this is now a seriously EMBARRASSING number of months! but sadly, the beginning of the week is just never my most creative time!!!)
quite a few times i've saved and printed the week's sketch. several additional times i've also got out the stuff i would have used to make the card based on the saved and printed sketch. this time i actually MADE THE CARD! could i *be* more proud??!?!
and now i shall break my "if you can't say anything nice..." blogging rule, to bring you two small product warnings:
#1) staples has stopped carrying UHU gluestick & now sell avery instead. i figured, "gluestick is gluestick, right?" and bought the 6-pack of large sticks. turns out, all gluesticks are not created equal. some (UHU) give good even coverage and pretty much hold any piece of paper to any other piece of paper without let or hindrance. and *some* do not. anyone want 5 1/2 large inferior gluesticks??!
#2) oriental trading company (one of my faves for discount scrappy things!) now has gem flourishes that are every bit as cool-looking as the prima ones, for a fraction of the price. WAHEY, right??! ummmmmm...not so much. turns out the pricey bit of a gem flourish is the adhesivey stuff that holds it all together and allows it to (more or less) hold its shape when removed from the backing. these DO NOT HAVE that quality. i wrangled and tangled and untangled and flipped and flopped and cursed the one you see before you for AT LEAST 10 minutes. seriously, you could land a mackeral with less trouble! (...though admittedly a mackeral would not look as cute onna card...) come back expensive prima flourishes, all is forgiven!!!
*ok, ok, minimalist in a laureny way, anyhow; but hey! there are single layers of plain cardstock here...without pattern or...well...ANYTHING...on 'em! dude! that *IS* the very definition of minimalist, surely??!?! :)
Thursday, August 20, 2009
this is also my card for the brand new CAARDVARKS challenge, which starts today and runs through midnight, august 31st. this time we're sponsored by the lovely folks at my stamp box, who've challenged us to make *new* cards using their logo colors: black, white and hot pink!
of course, this was a very difficult task for me, these being colors i soooooooooo rarely use!** but i muddled through, and strangeness notwithstanding, i am quite pleased with the result!
be sure to bop on over to the 'varks blog to see the rest of the crew's take on the challenge, and cast an eye upon the lovely MSB goodies that shall be *YOURS* if you make the winning card!
*feel free to say this in your best barry white voice. or your best r2d2 voice. or your best marvin-the-paranoid-android voice. all of these are quite fun!...isn't it great to have *OPTIONS*??! :)
**if you are buying this, then you're definitely new here: WELCOME!!!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
my favorite part of this card is how dimensional the scoops of ice cream are! recently i saw (i wish i could remember where, to give credit!) a fabulous card with really puffy, dimensional clouds on it; to get the look the brilliant cardmaker had stuffed them very lightly with cotton!!! it turns out to be a simple process and it pays off BIG-TIME on your card!
here's what you do:
sketch your scoops: use the back of your paper, and don't cut yet; the edges want to rip during the distressment process, so leave a little margin of extra paper
distress your scoops: i dampened mine and crumpled them multiple times; when they were dry i sanded the raised bits from different directions till i had a nice random pattern...when i was completely done, i cut the shapes out and inked the edges
stuff your scoops: apply small dots of foam tape around the entire edge of your scoop, then cup the edges up a bit so you have a little hollow which you can then fill with a bit of fluffed up cotton ball; position the scoops on top of each other, adjusting the stuffing as necessary.
et voila: a sugar-free treat that won't melt no matter how hot it gets!
♥ Lauren ♥ (you are here!)
♥ ♥ ♥ happy hopping!!! ♥ ♥ ♥
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
♥ Lauren ♥ (you are here!)
Monday, August 17, 2009
of the running order:
♥♥♥ HOP TILL YOU DROP ! ♥♥♥
Sunday, August 16, 2009
this was another super-fun, freeform, play-based atc session: i didn't have any stickers i really liked for the front so i decided to make my own using masking tape distressed with inks, stamps, stickles and markers. i was having so much fun, in fact, that i kind of forgot to MEASURE the letters to make sure they would fit. and thus, they did not fit. 15 seconds of judicious pruning & re-gluing later, all was well. you just gotta show 'em who's boss...that's all! :)
and if you enjoy that one, just wait until next month! we've got a special showcase of lovely new lines from GCD studios. trust me, you won't want to miss it!
in the meantime,
HAPPY SUNDAY, darlings!!!
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
the occasional LOLcat.
un-philanthropic not to get a blizzard,
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
this one is not christmassy, as such; though it would make for a fairly nice semi-fancy holiday gift presentation. heck, if we swapped the little flowers for poinsettias...or threw a few holly leaves on there, it'd "theme up" pretty quickly! but at the moment this one is more valentine's day, i s'pose.*
to make the stamped transparency in the window i used some of the more generic greetings ("joy", "warmest wishes") from the hero arts holiday sayings clear-stamp set, and then filled in with additional text from the all-occasion sayings set. one of the things i like about BOTH of those greetings sets is that they include a range of sizes and shapes and fonts...it's so easy to line a bunch of them up together on one acrylic block like i've done here and make a little piece of word art!
the box is of course done with the antique brocade "cling" stamp. i was slightly nervous about lining up the stamp since the "clings" are not clear like the acrylic stamps...but they are so nice and thin...and so neatly trimmed at the edges that i had no problem aligning the multiple images i needed to cover the whole pillow box!
the two hearts on the card are the bits i trimmed out to create the window and frame of the box. as they were sitting on my table when the box was done, practically screaming, "hellllllllllllllo! we'd make a really nice MATCHING CAAAAAAAAARD!!!" it seemed churlish not to make one.
there is still plenty of time to enter your very own freshly made "winter" creation in the current caardvarks challenge, and since the prize is a nice pack of BRAND NEW hero arts goodies...by golly, what are you waiting for???!?! :)
*in actual fact it will probably hold a gift card and some fancy chocs for my brother and s-i-l's anniversary the day after thanksgiving; by the time i was about halfway through construction, it was so clearly saying "sandy-n-bill" to me that i finished it off accordingly. so not xmassy...but another thing done really EARLY for the busy holiday season...SWEEEEEEET! :)
Monday, August 10, 2009
my favorite bit is the journaling tag with the sentiment stamped on the "rays". the tag is a newish one from sassafras, the stamp is of course from the hero arts holiday sayings set. (it's one stamp which reads, "peace~love~joy") it already fit almost perfectly in the space provided, and i considered just stamping it and letting it overlap, but then i got a bit fancy and decided to mask (with post-it notes) before stamping so that there would still be a nice crisp edge on the rays.
the best part of all: when finished, this card earned a coveted and completely unsolicited, "oh wow!" from lovely husband jeff. musta been the masking. ;)
*can i just say how *THRILLING* it is to have a few xmas cards done in august??!?! ok, so it's only half a dozen...but still!!! every year i say i am going to adopt the magnificent stef's brilliant idea of making one per week all year...and of course every year i wait till november, then panic. but doing some early feel sooooooooo good...i think i could be motivatin' myself here! :)
Sunday, August 9, 2009
the only other thing i'd like to point out about this card is this: how many christmas products do you see in this picture? the stamps we've already mentioned, of course, but the in fact there is only one other, and it's the three chipboard poinsettias. everything else--the paper, the ribbons, the chipboard letters, the journaling card--are just everyday all-occasion products from my stash*! and yet...it still looks quite christmassy, albeit in a non-traditional way. and seeing as how i am often unable to find great holiday things around the holidays...this is a trick i will bear in mind!
Saturday, August 8, 2009
this card uses *two* stamps...but i'm pretty sure you'll only see one of them until i tell you. ok, so obviously the chipboard letters feature the fabulous antique brocade background "cling" stamp...but what else?? well, i've actually also done quite a bit of distressing using a script merry christmas from the holiday sayings set of clear stamps. granted, the look is subtle...especially since i've added rub-ons and so forth over top; but i really like the effect of stamping the words lots and lots of times...just around the edges of the green panel...with various amounts of a dark brown ranger distress ink on the stamp. i think it goes really well with the vintage-vibe ledger paper, also!
and now i'm going to interrupt my usual crafty waffling to bring you a tutorial of sorts. (GASP!) yes, i know, i am not big on the step-by-step instructions... (i tend to think anything *I* could figure out will already be well known to the rest of the world; and generally i am right about that!) ...but this comes at the suggestion of lovely husband jeff, because even though he WATCHED ME alter these chipboard letters, when he saw the finished card he was still completely convinced that i'd swapped out my original product choice of bright white letters. so allow me to "show my work" so to speak (i'm using scrap bits of the letter centers for this just to demonstrate):
Friday, August 7, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
(ok, ok, IT IS this one!!!) :)
as you can see, i'm still in sort of the same vibe as my last two projects...and again i've used some of basic grey's fabulously subtle snowy patterns... (i dunno about you, but my first thought for picking xmas papers is almost always BG!) ...but this one is a little more grown up. i've used the tiny holly stamp from HERO ARTS make-your-own-snowman set on a tree cut from a BG holly-patterned paper, one of the greetings from the holiday sayings set, and a small snowflake from the same. to round out the wintery feel i've got some rows of HERO ARTS pearl bling as well as a bunch of teeeeeny tiny kaiser pearls to accent the holly.* some dimensional blingy snowflake stickers to emphasize the snowy theme and we're all set!**
*all right, so technically holly berries are *RED*...but these ones are...ummmmmmm...not ripe yet! (yeah, that's it!!!) :)
**the snowflakes illustrate my "top tip" for economical sticker use: how many white snowflakes do you see? six, right? uh-huh...BUT...i've only used ~three~ stickers! by placing the larger snowflakes towards the edge of the panel, it not only makes the scene look more natural, you can use the bits you trim off one side at the other edge, giving the illusion that the panel is full of all different sizes and shapes of snowflakes!
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
the hinged-lid metal tin is from some cool cavellini stickers i happened to have. said stickers now live in a baggie, because even though I KNOW i have seen the empty metal cd tins *SOMEWHERE* it was not at best buy, staples or michaels...or at least the ones i checked didn't have them NOW. (grrrrrrrr--doesn't it figure?!) i even think creative imaginations' "bare essentials" line has something of this sort...and probably oriental trading co, as well...but i kind of ran out of time, so i just used what i had! i'm quite sure if you wanted to make something similar, a bit of judicious googling will find you an appropriate product before the holidays!
"snowday survival kit" in the post below?? here it is, "make-your-own-snowman" will be available at HERO ARTS, later this month:
so will the holiday sayings set (i will show some cards which feature this, later in the week!):
the antique brocade "cling" stamp is already one of my *VERY* favorite all-time stamps, and you'll be seeing it quite a bit this week...and in the future!!!
HERO ARTS are showing sneak peeks and previews of their winter goodies all this week on the HERO BLOG...they have contests, techniques, inspiration and all kinds of other good stuff for stampers and paper enthusiasts all year round, so why not drop in from time to time?
(materials used: rubber stamps: hero arts; patterned paper: basic grey, rob & bob, dcwv; lamination/magnet stock + adhesive: xyron 900; ink: staz-on; markers & pens: tombow, zig + prismacolor pencils)
since there are so many projects involved, i've decided to spread them over the next week or so, in order to give details on each one. today i'm going to show you my "snow day survival kit"!
it's one of those little 6x4" clear acryllic pails from michael's that i decorated & stuffed with small goodies. it's got everything you need to while away a day of inclement weather: hot chocolate for sustenance obviously, and of course some mini-marshmallows! then there are a couple of little crafty kits & a puzzle book from the $1 aisle, for something to do. it also *had* an emergency candy bar, as well...until about...ohhhhhhhh i dunno...15 seconds (max!) after the photos were taken, that is! (it WAS a genuine emergency, i do assure you!)