Thursday, March 31, 2011

(pink) limelight birthday card

i love thursdays! at least, i love EVERY OTHER thursday...and vastly prefer the ones which contain one of mandy's gorgeous LIMELIGHT sketches, like this one:

i went really literal this time. also really REALLLLLLLLLLY pink!!! in fact, anyone who is prone to migraines or epilepsy may want to don protective eyewear before viewing my card, ok?! :)


(patterned paper: echo park, heidi grace, sei; glossy white cardstock: ranger; ribbon & bling: michaels; rub-on: american crafts; ink: colorbox; adhesives: tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape; other: sewing machine, maya road mini acrylic album used as cupcake template)

told ya--i went a liiiiiiiiiiiiiiittle wild with the pink patterns--i apologize if it was more than your retinas could stand, lol! but see, it started with that ribbon from michaels' dollar spot... then i added in a bunch of echo park papers... a paper-pieced cupcake seemed like a nice focal point, what with the cool ribbon and all... what can i say? sometimes "pink-n-girly" is a slippery slope!!! :) :) :)

so now ♥YOU♥ want to play, right?! ok, here's what to do:

**Use the sketch provided to make a BIRTHDAY CARD!
**Key word for SCS upload is LLPC070.
**Post a comment with a link to your card on Mandy's blog by midnight of Sunday, April 3rd.
**Of course there'll be a lovely PRIZE awarded randomly to one lucky participant, who'll be announced on Mandy's blog Monday!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

...but a week at home is nice too...

(stef gave me this awesome vintage florida pc folder last fall!)

...although slightly anti-climactic if you had, say, just spent a quite a bit of time and energy packing, cleaning, working ahead, making a zillion arrangements, making a travel book, downloading some special sunshiney playlists, and just generally being very excited about a fun trip to florida!

unfortunately, sometimes "STUFF" happens and in this case the "STUFF" came copiously to lovely husband jeff in the form of the worst stomach flu ever. thankfully it hit him 12 hours before our departure and not actually ON THE PLANE. in fact, i am so grateful for that one amazing bit of luck that i have tried... (& mostly succeeded) (ok, i did say, "MOSTLY!") ...not to whine about this disappointing development. the only thing that sort of inconsolably upset me is that gina and i had REALLY BIG PLANS for last saturday!!!!! and whilst i can philosophically shrug off a week of sunshine, warmth, palm trees, fabulous food, and lazy days by the hotel pool...missing out on that was (and is!) a serious blow to my insouciance. (next time, missus! next time!!!)

nevertheless, i am trying to use this "found time" constructively: i'm working on NEXT MONTH's pixie kit, which soooooo rocks; i had a shaun the sheep marathon over the weekend; i got a FABULOUS new photoshop/digidesign manual (digital expressions by susan tuttle) which has already taught me more about using PSE the way i want to use it than all my previous books and tutorials combined (seriously!!! i am NOT a written instructions person...and yet...i "get" this!); i treated myself to a tiny (largely holtzian) shopping spree at my (semi)-lss (hi, bonnie!); plus, it turns out those sunshiney playlists work pretty well at the gym, too.

(see those ring binder thingies? yeah...i've got biiiiiig plans for those...)

the best news is that a still slightly shaky (& suddenly quite svelte!) LHJ is finally eating "REAL" food and sleeping through the night!!! which is really ALL that matters!

(i was goin' for a "citrus" theme with all the orange & yellow...sigh...)

and the travel book? well, i can always convert it for use on my california trip in april, right?


ps: Did you know there’s a new challenge blog in town with articles, swaps, interviews, videos, challenges, great prizes and MORE?! Check out Lily Pad Cards! (b/c in addition to currently having fabulous previews...there's a verrrrry cool giveaway with the most generous prizes imaginable!!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

it's a "party cone" party!

this month's pixie kit came with not one but two pretty white embossed paper cones for us to decorate, embellish, and fill with candy or little presents. would you believe i managed to mess up *BOTH* of mine??! yep. i was a bit miffed, actually. but then it occurred to me that they were only cut, scored and folded paper...and hey...that's what i do! :)

so i decided to use one of my sadly failed experiments as a template, flattened & traced it carefully onto a piece of the pink paislee "sweetness" paper from the kit, and made version THREE:

if you're going to try something similar, i would suggest doubling the paper or xyronning it onto a bit of plain index stock, for extra added strength, but other than that, this one came out really well! i love how the flowery pattern of the paper travels around the cone, giving each side its own decorative elements.

i wanted to add a bit of extra interest to the front, so i die-cut a two-layered butterfly and a heart and embellished them with ink, rub-ons, and a bit of our signature crinkled pixie dust seam binding from the kit.

i used more seam binding to make a tie-closure and hanger, as well as a pretty flower that i adorned with a tiny tim holtz bauble. which is sweeter: the candy or the holder? i think it might be a tie! :)

...but... the sweetest thing of all is that our entire crew of pixies made party cones this month...and you can see them all today on the pixie blog!!! can i get a "♥WOOHOO♥"?! ta very much!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

rock star (pixie) birthday

one of my favorite challenges to myself in the last few months has been to try and make one full-on "guy card" from each of my pixie dust paperie kits. i did it last month; i did it in december; admittedly, november's was holiday themed, but still quite masculine. however, when i first saw this month's FLORIBUNDA KIT --full of soft feminine papers, elegant embellishments, and flowery goodness--i confess i was not entirely sure i could pull it off. luckily, i was WRONG:

it turns out that bright colors, some dymo labels, the judicious application of ink, and some hardcore stitching were all i needed. woohoo! more deets on the pixie blog...where guy cards ♥ROCK♥! :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

jingle belles: card 13

this week's JINGLE BELLES prompt is based on yet another festive song. this time, for "the holly and the ivy" we're incorporating holiday foliage into our 13th card of the year!

i used pixie-in-chief kirsty vittetoe's current pixie sketch to compose my card; she generally posts one on the pixie blog at the 20th of the month; you've got until april 5th to use this one & link it up for a shot at a prize!

as for festive foliage, you can see i've covered all the bases: my card has holly (in the form of vintage fussy-cut illustrations, stickers, and printed cardstock frames); some mulberry paper ivy leaves; poinsettias of the home-made AND store-bought variety; and a mistletoe-bedecked tag! i think this *MIGHT* be my favorite card of the year so far...i'm glad it's still a bunch of months before i have to give it away! :)

(vintage: bird cut from greeting card; holly cut from an old book; sheet music; patterned paper: basic grey, dcwv, sei; bingo card: jenni bowlin; florals & ivy leaves: prima; frames and tags: making memories, dcwv, my minds eye; stickers: mrs. grossman; gems: mambi; brad: creative imaginations; ribbon: may arts + misc. scraps; label: dymo; inks: colorbox; adhesives: tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape & doublestick tape, gluedots; other: sewing machine)

as usual, i've got a zillion layers, and lots of elements overlapping each other. recently, when i ran out of the 3m foam mounting tape to which i'm utterly addicted, i discovered that "pop dots" are NOT the same thing! for starters, they are twice as thick as the lovely stuff i buy at the office supply store; and for another i don't think they stick as well. so i am quite firmly back to my old habits and feeling much happier about collage again! :)

head on over to JINGLE BELLES to see miss stef's lovely card...and think about what you'll do for "the holly and the ivy"!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

that's a really big "M"

i believe i've mentioned before how much i ♥love♥ this month's pixie dust paperie kit, FLORIBUNDA. it's not JUST because i love pink paislee products... although of course i do; it's not JUST because every single item is perfectly coordinated to make projects fun & easy to complete... although of course they are; but what i love most about this kit is, it inspired me to make THIS:

it's a wall-hanging for niece madeline's room, of which i am inordinately proud. i'm also very slightly not wanting to actually give it away...because i like it so much; so just as well her birthday is in may, and not march, right?! :)

details of the construction and additional photos of said lovely letter can be found on the pixie blog... along with lots and lots of other ideas for this kit which has been ROCKED most exuberantly by my fellow pixies all month! ♥♥♥

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

it's a *SPRING* ing list!

featuring a few of the things i am enjoying right now:

reading: the thousand autumns of jacob de zoet by david mitchell. this is a reading group selection that i confess i was not entirely sure i'd love, but it's so involving and so very well written that i was won over completely by page three!!!

watching: (or rather, re-watching, and i suspect not for the last time, either!) anthony minghella's brilliant adaptation of the no. 1 ladies detective agency for hbo. (and regretting more than ever the loss of such a cool guy at such a young age!)

learning: A LOT of fabulously inky new stuff last weekend from jen starr's "altered journey" class at my (semi) lss, creative inkling. got to play with loads of cool tim holtz goodies, as well! i'll do a whole post about this later, b/c i am VERY proud of my little book!!! (hey mari: i know TECHNIQUES!!!)

marvelling: daily over pricey-but-WORTH-IT bliss softening socks, which really REALLY do work brilliantly even without lotion or cream on the very dry, cracked, stubbon skin of my feets.

making: lots of projects with april's upcoming pixie dust paperie kit including an uber-cute "school days" mini book for niece madeline, of which i cannot show more than this yet! (& it's KILLIN' me!!!!!!!) eating: too many of these...but they are delicious and possibly the chocolatiest (yes that is SO a word!) thing you can have for 100 calories? (note: the "nutter butter" flavor... which i thought, as a big p/b fan, might even be better ... sadly... should be avoided at all costs!)

listening: to the sherlockian by graham moore on audiobook. i *LOVE* audiobooks...somehow i never ever outgrew the idea of being read it more than doubles the number of books i can "read" at any one time! :)

planning: not one but two VERY last-minute trips, to florida (this friday) and california (mid-april)... both are short-notice and long stories, but in excellent, happy ways! so please forgive me if i am even worse than usual in terms of email & comments!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥, darlings!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

cats and dogs get ALL the attention...

..but mice* are funny, too:

and it's hard to beat hamsters for sheer enthusiasm!

we felt slightly bad about laughing at repeated viewings of this...but a quick youtube search revealed dozens of such videos, most of which show one or more adorable dwarf hamsters running at turbo speed, flying quite spectacularly off the wheel and then getting back on as quickly as their tiny legs can manage it to do it again...and AGAIN! since, clearly, there is no injury or indeed embarrassment on the part of our small rodental friends, i say we allot a small portion of this rainy monday to wholehearted hamster-hijinks laughter...does that work for you?! :)

*when LHJ saw the mouse photo he asked me a question, in tones of purest puzzlement: "what do you think they were really doing, though?" excellent point, honey. what DO we think they were really doing??!

Friday, March 18, 2011

JB12: sketchy santa card

friday is my favorite day of the week since it means another awesome JINGLE BELLES prompt! this week we've got a fabulous sketch drawn by our lovely guest star allison fillo, author of not one but TWO rather wonderful blogs: stampin' when i can is full of her gorgeous work plus it has a round up of sketch challenges each week; and share the mojo is a collection of inspiring and cool projects to which ANYONE may add!

not surprisingly, the sketch is terrific, and will immediately give you a ZILLION ideas:

see? told you!!! :) i nearly ran rings around myself logically, from having so many good vibes off that thing! finally, i found the best round element EVER--santa's sleigh against the full moon, taken from an old ideals magazine--and everything else fell into place:

(vintage: santa illustration; patterned paper: love elsie, my minds eye; chipboard coaster: gin-x; stickers: creative imaginations, 7 gypsies, love elsie, making memories, my minds eye; ribbon: pixie dust paperie; adhesives: tombow monorunner, uhu gluestick, 3m foam tape, gluedots, sewing machine)

my stack of stuff on the right is a whole bunch of different word-fetti's...many which are nearly old enough to also be called vintage; plus there's some pixie seam binding (my fave!) and an elderly chipboard "coaster" frame. since i had soooo many layers there, i somewhat stylized the accent on the left edge; instead of flowers or snowflakes i went with punched scallops, which i think/hope serves the same balancing purpose.

i'm sure you're planning to head on over to JINGLE BELLES to see allison's and stef's i won't bother to mention the deadline info (3-23 at 6pm)...or the little prize... :) :) :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

limelight on st. patrick's day?

how perfect is *THAT*??! :)

of course mandy has done us a brilliant sketch, as usual:

and considering the date, it'd be sort of odd if we weren't incorporating a bit of ♥GREEN♥ into our cards, now wouldn't it?! speaking of which, this time mine is a slightly less literal version of the sketch, but it's IN THERE, i promise!

(patterened paper: pink paislee + vintage sheet music + vintage illustration; cardstock: core'dinations; stickers: meri meri + unknown shamrock; ink: colorbox; corner rounder: ek success; adhesives: tombow monorunner, uhu gluestick, 3m foam tape; other: sewing machine)

i built my card around the fabulous vintage couple (in green!) found in the very damaged but beautifully illustrated copy of a sheet music collection called "songs of the gilded age" which i picked up at a book sale a couple of years ago; and the one lone sequinned shamrock i found in my sticker box whilst searching for something else. with regards to said shamrock: i have no idea whence it came...or how it got there...but it was JUST RIGHT for this card, so i thank the lucky leprechauns in charge of serendipitous craft supplies! :)

would you like a place in THE LIMELIGHT this week??
here's what to do:

**Use the sketch provided and try to incorporate the color GREEN!
**Key word for SCS upload is LLPC069.
**Post a comment with a link to your card on Mandy's blog by Sunday, March 20th, at midnight.

did i mention there's a lovely PRIZE?? it'll be awarded randomly to one lucky participant, who'll be announced on Monday!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

L♥O♥V♥E to make pixie cards!

especially using pink paislee's "parisian anthology" featured in this month's pixie kit, FLORIBUNDA! i have puchased this "beautiful butterfly" paper at least six times on my own, and yet it is still such a favorite that to see it in my box of pixie goodies was like greeting an old friend!

this month pixie-in-chief kirsty vittetoe also provided us with PP's funky fabulous mixed font alphas, and some floral patterns from the "sweetness" line; along with an entire pack of tim holtz ornate plates, and some glitz rub-ons, and a whole bunch of equally cool elements that i have not used here; which you can see in the pixie shop or being expertly wielded by my fellow pixies on our blog! ♥

Monday, March 14, 2011

this particular scenario seems unlikely...

...but i do hope your day is excellent in unexpected ways!


Saturday, March 12, 2011

tiny trinket box

one of the things i love best about making things with the pixie dust kits each month is the opportunity to play around with new and interesting products. for example: march's FLORIBUNDA kit contains an entire package of amazingly glamorous tim holtz baubles:

the great thing is that whereas sometimes in my "personal" crafting life i can feel a bit intimidated by something completely different...for some reason as soon as i put on my "pixie cap" i become an intrepid inventor trying to think of THE COOLEST thing to do with each item! :) i actually came up with what i think are a few good ideas for the baubles, but this one is my favorite:

yep, it's one of those .59 cent papier mache boxes from michael's, reincarnated as an authentic french eighteenth century pearl-footed trinket box. ok, well, maybe not quite...but c'mon... it's pretty cute, right?! want to know how i got the "feet" on there? well, it's on the pixie dust paperie blog can cruise over there and read about it if you wanna! ;)

*my fellow pixies (kirsty, jessy, zielonooka, kandis, keri lee, and this month's very special guest miss cheryl!) have thought of some really great "bauble" ideas as well, which is why it's not a bad idea to check out the pixie blog regularly. i have to say that even though i visit every single day, i've NEVER come away without learning something. how cool is *that*??! ♥♥♥

Friday, March 11, 2011

JB11: cool yule!

this week's JINGLE BELLES prompt is the suggestion of miss leslie aka the crooked stamper. it's a non-traditional color palette that i like A much so, that i think you'll be seeing these colors again in both holiday and non-holiday contexts!

she saw this amazing room re-do (which kinda makes me drool, actually!) at the lettered cottage and thought, "let's make xmas cards!" so we did. you can see leslie's and stef's cards at JINGLE is worth the trip to do so, i assure you! you can see my card here, right under the fabulous sketch i used; a sketch which i would like to *CREDIT* of course, but sadly, being an idiot, i didn't bookmark whence it came, and the source info is not on the sketch or in the .png file name (it's just called "february challenge sketch") so if you recognize it, give me a shout, ok?

please excuse the oddly angled photo below, but after spending more time trying to capture this image without glare, reflections, or those big UFO-lookin' balls of light than i originally spent making my card...i gave it up as a bad job and settled for "wonky but accurate". i assure you that in person, it's quite a cool card, and you're all invited round to see it, ok?! :)

(patterned paper: the paper co, basic grey, pink paislee, webster's pages, hambly; kraft cardstock: hobby lobby (thanks, stef!); transparency: hambly; tag: my mind's eye; bling: oriental trading co; glitter letters: making memories; tree die: sizzix; edge punches: ek success, recollections, martha stewart; ink: colorbox; adhesives: tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)

this concludes my card description for today, i hope you enjoyed it and that you'll be inspired to head on over to JINGLE BELLES and link up your own kraft, white and pale blue xmas masterpiece between now and next wednesday (3-16)!!! ♥

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

new york day!

wouldja believe: it's actually even bigger than it looks from outside!

yes, those are three of the happiest words in the laurniverse! i love spending a day in the city, it doesn't even matter all that much what i'm doing, although in this case i was with my lovely (non-blogging) friends janet and liz* and we went to possibly my favorite place in the world: the metropolitan museum of art; so pretty much a "five star" lauren day, all round!

cherry blossoms so pretty even my cellphone pic cannot ruin them!

at the museum, in addition to quite a bit of aimless rambling, we saw the cezanne's card players, which not only featured five or six full-sized paintings, but also several dozen additional studies & sketches and commentary on both the subject of such scenes rendered by earlier flemish & dutch painters, and also the men who served as models for cezanne's works, who were mostly workers on his family estate.

not friends of cezanne...just me having fun with another phone snap

we had lunch in the trustee's dining room...always a SERIOUS treat, particularly when ended with one of their tiny and perfect molten valrhona chocolate cakes! (which i was far too greedy to even THINK of photographing, sorry!!!)

i finally learned to pronounce "avalokitesvara"! (ah-vah-lo-KESH-ver-ah i right, liz??!)

then we took in treasures from the forbidden city where despite many grander works ...not to mention the marvel that was the architecture and landscaping of the qianlong emperor's private retreat... THIS bit of paper and metal and gilding and ink was my favorite item (apologies for the quality--it was dark & behind glass):

anyone else seeing asian-themed shadowboxes in my papercrafty future?!

on the drive up to the met, we detoured around to park avenue to take in a 10-block temporary installation of public art by sculptor will ryman:

the "BEST" of my will ryman roses pictures

these giant fanciful roses dot the center island of park avenue between 57th and 67th streets from now through may...

my favorite of the will ryman roses pictures

...a fact of which none of the three new jersians in our car would have been aware, had not a rather nice iowan sent me this article!!! :)

can someone sculpt a can of eco-safe bug spray QUICKLY please?!

in addition to the spectacle of the ENORMOUS and totally charming flowers themselves, a closer look reveals that they have details like thorns...and even dashing co-stars like beetles and butterflies of commensurate size!

speaking of size...i have a bit of a bombshell to report:

i hope this doesn't affect tourism! :)

it seems the empire state building is quiiiiiiiiiiiiiiite a bit smaller than city authorities would lead us to believe, as proven by this photo i snapped on the way home. it's still quite cool looking though, don't you think?! :)


*hi guys! thanks for a great day...when do you wanna go back?! :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

hey look: it's *WONDER* card!

do you *WONDER* what i mean? well, i made a card using city crafter challenge blog's SPRING FLING color challenge hosted by the lovely and amazing cheryl nelson:

and i used pencil lines sketch #227:

and i came up with a card that looks a bit like (ok, EXACTLY like) this:

(patterned paper: pink paislee, basic grey; canvas sticker: crafty secrets; chipboard word & flowers: k&co; tulle flower: prima; ink: colorbox; adhesives: tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape & doublestick tape; gluedots, sewing machine)

and now you'll have seen that "wonder" comes from the cool chipboard word (which leslie gave me, ta v much!); but i bet you'll *WONDER* how it happened that *I* could use a scheme of pink, blue, green and cream and the PINK would be the least-used color??! yeah, me too! :) all i can say is that between the pretty canvas sticker and the chip word...and somehow blue and cream took center stage, leaving green and pink as accent colors. go figure. i like it though, not least because it does look and feel quite spring-like to me...something i am DEFINITELY ready for the weather here in the northeastern US to emulate! mayyyyyyyyyyyybe this will help??! ♥♥♥

Friday, March 4, 2011

JB10: home for the holidays

this week's christmas card prompt was sent in by one of our favorite lovely fellow JINGLE BELLES...miss rose of rose's happy place! she was inspired by the song, "(there's no place like) home for the holidays" and had the brilliant idea that we should make cards that capture whatever that song might mean to each of us, whether it be memories, traditions, or even a particular LANDSCAPE! how cool is that?!

my card is both literal--in that there's actually a picture of a HOME on it--and metaphorical, since it captures one of my favorite childhood memories, the annual christmas eve reading by my dad of clement c. moore's holiday poem, "the night before christmas". it may sound goofy, but i THINK it's the one thing my family did every single year without fail, and i'm pretty sure we did it right up until the year i moved away from home! the tradition continues, too, in the next generation; as my brother and sister both read it each year with their own children now! ♥

(vintage book illustrations; patterned paper: basic grey (with the words to "night before xmas" printed in "diploma" font); cardstock: core'dinations; stickers: making memories & recollections; bling & pearls: kaiser, recollections, k&co; glitter glue: stickles; inks: colorbox; adhesives: 3m foam tape, tombow monorunner, sewing machine)

these days, at booksales, i am always on the lookout for cool copies of the poem; the nice ones i collect as books (i probably have 7 or 8 different editions); the damaged ones i use in my cards and collages. this particular illustration was the frontispiece from a very beautiful and sadly completely ruined edition. i've used most of the other undamaged illustrations from that copy, but this one i'd been saving it for just the right thing, and finally (thanks to rose!) i knew this was it!

the only problem is: since it uses vintage bits, i could obviously only make ONE of these cards...and i have TWO siblings with whom i share this memory. it may very well take me the rest of the year to decide who gets it! just as well we've started early at JINGLE BELLES, eh?! :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

pearly king and queen in the limelight

i know that every time i post a limelight card i say that it's my favorite of mandy's sketches, but honestly, it is true every time. especially NOW!!!

a *ROUND* card with layers of flowers and butterflies on it and a space for some glorious ribbon?! seriously. what's NOT to love. especially since this week the product focus is on PEARLS...which i never, ever, object to using!

of course you don't have to put flowers and butterflies can put stars and robots...or hearts and cupcakes...or perhaps even birds and roses? :) but i love the way mandy's sketches are sort of complete mini-works of art in themselves!

(patterned paper: autumn leaves, doodlebug, pink paislee; clipart birds: anahata katkin, papaya!; pearl flourish: prima; crinkly seam binding: pixie dust paperie; tag: k&co; circle sticker: creative imaginations; heart & word stickers: echo park; edge punch: recollections; adhesives: xyron, tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape; other: hindi newspaper; fancy pants chipboard frame used as a template; decorative scissors)

this card has many of my "old favorites" on it: glossy clipart birds, hindi newspaper, a pearl flourish, the super-addictive crinkled seam binding that comes in every pixie dust paperie kit, and i've used my favorite funky chipboard frame as a template to cut a couple of layers of patterned paper on which to rest my circular design.

and now, since i know you cannot wait to make YOUR version of this awesome sketch, here are the details you need to know:

**Use the sketch provided and try to incorporate some PEARLS!
**Key word for SCS upload is LLPC068.
**Post a comment with a link to your card on Mandy's blog by Sunday, March 6th, at midnight.
**A lovely PRIZE is awarded randomly to one participant, and will be announce on Monday!