Wednesday, November 30, 2011

birthday cake inspector... on official bizness!
aka my latest "monstapiece" of a birthday card:

("monstrous" digi-stamp by jesse edwards; patterned paper: creative imaginations, my mind's eye, ki, sei; fabric paper: love elsie; black glossy cardstock: ranger; dimensional cupcake sticker: mambi; labels: dymo; ink: stewart superior; white poster paint pen: sharpie; adhesives: tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape; other: staples brand clear inkjet labels--for paper piecing the monsta!)

usually the sentiment/joke is what inspires a monsta card, and this was no exception. monstas realllllllllllllllllly like birthday cake, and are always striving to think up new & plausible ways of gaining access. i can relate, actually; this may be why we get along so well! :)

however, my favorite part of this thing is the torn paper window through which the "inspector" is making his entrance. in retrospect, i'm not completely in love with the zebra paper here. but as you know, i'm never averse to doing more than one version of the same card-- (especially on "guy cards" since they're so much harder, imo!) --so i know i'll get another shot, and i'll show it to you when it's finished! ♥

Sunday, November 27, 2011

happy birdie 2U!

a while ago miss stephanie gave me the most beautiful charley harper memory game, which just happens to contain two each of about three dozen 2" x 2" glossy square chipboard cards printed with one of the artist's wonderfully graphic and retro-vibed artworks. i love that thing!

of course, if you give a crafty person something which contains *72* gorgeous little pieces of art, it won't be long before they start thinking, "hey! wouldn't those look GREAT on a card?!!" a mindset that, quite frankly, often freaks out "civilians". so i made sure to ask stef, in quite a casual way, "hey, wouldn't those charley harper memory cards be cool to say... theoretically... use in a collage or small artwork... ??!?!" i was pretty sure she would agree, which she did.

so after spending a bit of time to work myself up to opening the box, i delved into the lovely mini art prints. and i was right: they do indeed look GREAT on a card!!! see??!

(vintage: sheet music; recycled: cardboard heart; bird cards: charley harper memory game; fabric strips: studio calico; stickers: bo bunny, dymo labels, making memories, heidi swapp; adhesives: uhu gluestick, 3m foam tape, staples)

do you even have to ask *WHOSE* card this is? surely not! but in any case i will tell you: i gave it to stef on her birthday, during our fabulous new york trip! and YES i am going to blog more about that--and also more about hawaii--SOON, i promise! ♥

Friday, November 25, 2011

JB48: candy kisses

can you believe it's the very last week of our ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ 2011* prompts??! nope, i can't either, this year has just FLOWN past, but i can tell you that i've never been so calm the day after thanksgiving as i am this year, knowing that i have nearly all of my holiday cards already completed!!!

but there's still time to play along one last time, and well worth your while to do so, as we have a lovely sponsor this week, and they've put up a fabulous prize:

yes, that's right rogue redhead designs have not only given stef and i some of their gorgeous stamps to use in our creations this week, they're also going to let one lucky cardmaker loose in their awesome shop with a $15 voucher--woohoo! all you have to do is make a card that features holiday food or treats, whether that be candy canes, gingerbread, hot cocoa, roast turkey, plum pudding, or... well... whatever tasty treats you enjoy at the holidays! here are the plates i've used in my creation:

i have to tell you that all year long i've been seeing our awesome belles make the most amazing snow globe cards, and as soon as i saw the cute trees and adorable snowpeople in the SNOW HUGS plate, i just knew this was my turn! i've done an old school shaker card (i still love those things!) using this template i found online; it's got a transparency window and tiny snowflake sequins inside and i am very pleased indeed! :)

(rubber stamp plates: candy kisses and snow hugs by rogue redhead designs; ink: ranger; white embossing powder: psx; patterned paper: my mind's eye, bo bunny, doodlebug, prima, basic grey, sei; white glitter cardstock: doodlebug; black glossy cardstock: ranger; pearls: recollections; adhesives: tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape; other: staples brand clear ink jet labels, 3m inkjet transparency, vintage seam binding, snowflake confetti)

my "food elements" are the cupcake and peppermint from the candy kisses plate; they're perched atop a bow made of vintage seam binding that i stamped with permanent ink and the line of x's & o's from the snow hugs plate! i have a feeling you're going to see a lot more of that particular stamp. not to mention the gorgeous backgrounds that i hardly got to touch for this card!!! in the meantime, do hop over to JINGLE BELLES♥ and see the amazing CANDY KISSES cards made by stephanie and rogue redhead's own sharon briss and link up your your shot at the prize!!

*and YES, in answer to all of the lovely belles who have asked: we *ARE* coming back in 2012!!! it's going to be structured slightly differently, but we'll be making our cards all throughout the year again, and we'd love to have you join us!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

prepare for cuteness overload!!!

(told ya!)

to my american darlings,
i wish you a very

to my international darlings,
tomorrow is friday!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"mahalo" card

i think you should prepare yourself for quite a few projects with a "hawaiian theme"... starting, ummmmmmmmmm... now! :)

(transparency: hambly; patterned paper: k&co; hibiscus sticker: creative imaginaions; chipboard letters: heidi swapp; other: cotton fabric, beach mat, vintage silk flower petals, oriental trading co lei flowers; adhesives: tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)

"mahalo" means thank you in hawaiian. this card is for my (non blogging) friend cheryl, who went slightly wild in michaels recently, on my behalf. not only was this an incredibly sweet thing to do, she also managed to choose realllllllllllly awesome "tropical" products that i totally love!

mysteriously, none of that stuff made it on to this card!!! instead, i've got a palm-tree-festooned scrap of fabric from a packet of off-cuts i got from a shirt vendor at the aloha stadium flea market; a bit of the free beach mat* we were given at hawaiian village; some verrrrry vintage silk flower blossoms... and some regular scrappy bits & bobs. go figure. in retrospect, i wish i had placed the green leafy patterned paper on the outside of the card instead of the inside; because i think the white grid of the transparency "dilutes" the color and pattern too much. but other than that, i really like this one, and i hope cheryl will too.

aloha, darlings!

*xyroned onto some plain old index stock, to keep it from falling apart into a zillion bits of loose sea grass when cut to size, the way my first attempt did. live & learn, darlings, live & learn. :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

a grungy hybrid* baby card

i needed to make a baby card pretty quickly. and i was stumped. until i saw this week's sketchy thursday offering:

and then, "KABOOM!" the entire concept of my card, including which materials to use, came to me all at once. dontcha love it when that happens??!?! thanks, ST!!! :)

i made the digi collage first, obviously, and test printed it on regular paper, dry fit the photos and thickers, and generally "test drove" the whole configuration pretty thoroughly to avoid wasting my my beloved sticky-back canvas.** i ♥LOVE♥ how it came out!

(sticky back canvas: claudine helmuth; black glossy cardstock: ranger; photo paper: kodak ultima; glitter letters: american crafts; butterfly: webster's pages; fonts: jamaistevie & hurricane, free from; "a little magic 5" brush by vera lim; ink: stewart superior; adhesives: 3m foam tape, sewing machine)

the baby in the photos is charli renee, she is the GRANDDAUGHTER (!!!) of our very dear friends kim and dave. the reason that word is bold and in all caps is that this is the first GRANDCHILD (!!!) born to a couple who are exact contemporaries of jeff and myself (they got married just before us, jeff was in their wedding, and dave was jeff's best man; their kids were born after we were married, and we've watched them grow up, etc, etc) so it is very slightly*** freaking me out, because charli's dad, michael (whom she strongly resembles) was this age like FIFTEEN MINUTES AGO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! holy wow!!! and yet, *WE* have not aged at all! ...weird... :) :) :)

i was having sooooo much fun with this, that i made a girl version:
and a boy version:

and saved them both as .jpgs, to share with you. i printed mine to fit a 6x6" card base, but you can resize them to your needs. enjoy!

*the adjectives "grungy" and "hybrid" apply to the card; the baby in question is quite clean, and entirely human, i assure you! also very VERY cute, as you can see!!! ♥♥♥

**which works extremely well in my completely ordinary, not-very-expensive inkjet printer, in case you were wondering.

***of course by, "very slightly" you'll have deduced that i mean, "a really REALLY lot!!!" :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

why yes, i DID make a hawaiian travel book!

how kind of you to ask! it's not done yet, mostly because as soon as we got home i was back into deadline city, but i figure i'll show you the "bones" of it now and the finished product later.

i've said this before and no doubt i will again, but BY FAR the most crucial step for me actually KEEPING a travel journal whilst on vacation is to make a dedicated book for it before we leave. bottom line--for me--if i haven't put in a bit of time & work already, i am not sufficiently committed, and in the fun chaos of traveling and the less-fun chaos of re-acclimating when we get home, my good intentions evaporate. so i make a cover and cool pages in advance. (ali e. has been talking about her "december daily" this week and she calls this bit her "foundation".) i made a plain chipboard cover, and two different digital collages, for my date and theme pages; i printed one of the yellow ones for each day of the trip and one of the white ones for each potential sight i thought we'd take in:

(paper: color splash kit by deviant art for somerset digital magazine; brushes: travel clusters #1 and messy stitches, both bykatie pertiet, designer digitals)

this time i actually made two different digital collages for my date and theme pages; i printed one of the yellow ones for each day of the trip and one of the white ones for each potential sight i thought we'd take in. i saved them as .jpgs, and you're welcome to share them. (email me if you want .pdfs instead!)

(paper: notebook paper pack, katie pertiet, designer digitals; brushes: travel clusters #1, katie pertiet designer digitals; mermaid's treasure box kit, mystique, o'scraps)

each night of the trip, i spent about 15 minutes or so writing down an outline of what we did each day. this, in my opinion, is another CRUCIAL thing--to write it down on the day! because the details FADE! it can be a list, it can be narrative, it can be just notes if you like. you could even do this bit on your computer, but i like to write in the book; because again, i have a long and glorious history of starting --and abandoning-- travel journals. the more i write IN THE BOOK, the more committed i become to the project!

while we were in hawaii i acquired plenty of fun things to put in the book. some were purely decorative, like this FAB vinyl sticker:

most were the sorts of ephemera one collects whilst travelling. when it comes to ticket stubs, stickers, takeaway menus, business cards and other small bits, i like to get them right in the book, preferably when i write the day's summary.

big things become their own pages. i just punch holes, and in they go:

medium-sized things like postcards and brochures can go either way, and when i'm not sure what i want to do, i'll often put them into the 1-gallon ziplock bag i bring with me, so i can decide later. but most things go right in, because watching the book *GROW* is one of the best bits!!!

when we got home, nearly everything i've shown you was already DONE. i spent a few hours last weekend finishing up the "writing bits". because while i really have to do the daily pages on the fly; the themes and sights sometimes need a bit of time to percolate inside my head, if i want to write about not only what we did, but also what we impressions we took away with us.

i have a few more bits and bobs i'm considering adding, and of course i need to make the cover. (which is my favorite part, so i always save it for last!) i'll come back when it is done and show you the finished product!

ciao for now, darlings!

Friday, November 18, 2011

JB47: the hanukkah song

this week at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ we are running down the home stretch of our early-holiday card-making program; can you BELIEVE this is week 47 of 48??!?! nope, nor can i! what in the world are we going to panic over in december if we have nearly all of cards made already??! i dunno, either... but i can't wait to find out! :)

since we are so close to finishing up, we thought this was a good time to stop and think about all the people who are special to us, and make sure we're including everyone! so this week we're asking you to make cards for your friends and family who don't necessarily celebrate *CHRISTMAS*! this could take the form of, as the title (based on my favorite adam sandler ditty!) suggests, a hanukkah card, or you could make a card for the solstice, for kwanzaa, or for new year! or how about something with no holiday as such, just a lovely wintery theme; or, like m'colleague stef, you could wish someone peace! there are lots of cool ways to go, and i cannot wait to see what you will do with this!

and now here's my card:

(menorah image from t'intenet; patterned paper: bay designs; transparency: hambly; chip letters: american crafts & mambi; adhesives: tombow monorunner, sewing machine)

note to self: do not use 10 different shiny/reflective surfaces to make cards that need an excellent online photograph!!! sheesh! you'd think i'd've learned that one by now, eh? but NO, apparently not! i made my card out of a transparency base, used glossy patterned paper and TWO kinds of sparkly silver letters, one of which basically qualifies as a bunch of tiny MIRRORS. so please believe me when i say the card actually isn't--as it looks here--completely wonky; i just needed to hold the camera at a weird angle! irl, this is quite a nice card, honestly!!! :)

remember, you don't have to make a hanukkah card, though of course you can! ANY winter holiday (kwanzaa, solstice, new year, etc) or any non-holiday winter theme will qualify! link up between now and next wednesday night at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥!

(sorry for the late post, folks, i accidentally set up for NOON instead of midnight! that pesky am/pm thing is just sooooooo confusing, lol!) :) :) :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

i know this one! I KNOW THIS ONE!!!

it's no secret that i adore my lovely blogging friend amy tsuruta. if you're reading this, and you're a paper-crafting blogger, most likely *YOU* adore my lovely blogging friend amy tsuruta, as well. she's that kinda gal!!!

so it is a bit of a shame and an embarrassment to me how INFREQUENTLY i play along with her awesome flashback friday challenges! she's up to #17 and i've maybe done like three, how PATHETIC am i??! but the truth is, most of the time i either just plain do not remember what my first (place category here) was; ...or... worse yet, it was from my pre-blogging days, when i posted to a gallery that no longer exists, and i cannot easily access the photo i would need. both of those totally bum me out.

but this week when i read the brief: re-post your first banner, i actually knew EXACTLY when i'd made mine, AND i blogged about it! CHA-CHING!!! i can play!!! :) :) :)

so here it is, my "riley" banner, made for the eponymous niece's 8th birthday in 2010 (ok, so admittedly not that impressive of a "flashback"!) and my original blog post (which has close-up photos of each letter/pennant) is right here! YAHOO!!!!!! :)

and now please join me in (slightly belatedly) wishing
the lovely
a very happy fourth blogiversary!!!
t'internet would not be nearly as cool--or as friendly--without you, missus!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

a random hawaii photo & a suggestion

did you know that the official state flower of hawaii is specifically the YELLOW hibiscus?? that's just one of the many interesting hawaiian facts i learned riding the waikiki trolley!

therefore, this particular blossom that i snapped one day with my i-phone is not an official state flower, but's it's still kinda lovely, no??!

if you have 5 minutes to spare, why not go and read this post of elsie larson's about why it's important to cultivate ALL of your ideas... even the bad ones!!! if you don't have 5 minutes to spare, consider blowing something off, 'cause yeah, it's that good!

you're welcome, darlings!!! :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

put down your beverage...

...before reading this one:

yeah. told ya. i nearly choked on m'coffee, too!!!

(i hadn't read any lolcats whilst we were in hawaii, thus i had a lovely backlog in which to wallow over the weekend. awesome!)

happy monday, darlings!

Friday, November 11, 2011

JB46: stuck on you!

this week at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ we are super-excited to have a FABULOUS sponsor we're pretty sure you already know and love:

that's right, the very awesome EAD designs not only provided stef and i with some totally awesome product this week, they are going to be giving a $25 gift certificate to their online store to one lucky random holiday cardmaker who links up with us before next wednesday night!

i know you'll be wanting to start making your own card ASAP, so i'll show you mine quickly and let you get creating! but first here are the gorgeous EAD clear stickerz sheets i used:

are those GORGEOUS or what? yep, it didn't take me much to work at all to fashion those babies into a card that's about as fun and festive as you can get! see?

(stickerz: deck the halls and retro christmas by EAD designs; patterned paper: echo park, imaginisce, love elsie; tag: k&co; brads: doodlebug; glossy white cardstock: ranger; ink: colorbox; adhesives: tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape)

now i know you want a shot at that very generous EAD gift card, so what do you have to do? just make a holiday card that incorporates stickers or rub-ons... (they don't have to be by EAD, but i bet you have some and i bet you LOVE them!) ...and link it up at JINGLE BELLES by next wednesday night! one random winner will get to go on an EAD shopping spree, so enter early and enter often! ♥

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

aloha, hawaii!

as you read this, we will be about halfway home on the mega-flight from hawaii.

wish us a safe trip and i'll have lots more photos soon!

mahalo, darlings!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

snow far, snow good

it would seem that whilst lovely husband jeff and i have been frolicking on the sunny sands of oahu, the weather of mid-atlantic states has gone completely NUTSO and decided to unleash a major--and unseasonably early--snowfall!

so while we were seeing this:

and this:

and even this:

niece madeline and nephew matthew in eastern pennsylvania were able to build a snowman BEFORE they'd been trick or treating!

but it's not all palm trees and sunshine here in hawaii you know, darlings! for whilst we haven't had any snow, there has been a considerable amount of ICE:

and i can't imagine WHAT the meteorological implications are of seeing this guy in the lobby of our hotel:

but then i suppose even penguins need a sunny holiday from time to time, don't they darlings?!

wherever you are this week, i hope there are blue skies on your horizon, if only in a metaphorical sense; meanwhile, i'll be back soon with a few more snaps of LITERAL ones from our trip!!! :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

JB45: it came upon a midnight *CLEAR*

i know what you're thinking, you're thinking, "hey lauren! the JINGLE BELLES puns are getting weirder!" yeah. it's hard to disagree with that, but what can i say? we are, after all, on week 45 (of 48) and i can only think up so many good titles in a year, ok??! :) also, i love the this theme so much, i didn't mind that we had to stretch a bit to get there. so have you guessed what it is, then? perhaps the emphasis of *CLEAR* has given it away? yep: this week we're asking you to make a holiday card that contains at least one see-through element: glass, plastic, a transparency, some vellum, acetate or "ghost" shapes, clear stickers, lucite buttons... whatever you like... if you can see through it (& figure out a way to attach it!) put it on there and link it up!

here's my card:

(transparency: hambly; vellum: webster's pages; stickers: k&co; bling word: recollections; rub-ons: basic grey & making memories; adhesive: tombow monorunner)

i love making holiday cards--and even regular rest-of-the-year ones--out of transparencies. probably because i love *LAYERS* so much and the clear base gives you sooooo many possibilities on that score: you can use both the inside AND the outside to add interest, texture, and more cool elements! plus the "wow factor" of civilians wondering HOW you got everything on there is hard to beat! :)

the only thing i don't love about such cards is taking their picture! i am not a super-skilled photographer at the best of times and having infinitely more ways to capture a light bounce or reflection DOES NOT help! which is why i've snapped this thing from a few angles in hope you'll get the idea!

in addition to the gold snowflake transparency card base, i've got some holiday vellum inside the card, and i've rounded out the design with a few stickers, a couple of rub-ons, and a fancy bling word on the front of the card. i have to say i am pleased with this one, and can only tell you that if you like it AT ALL in the photos... well... it's actually much cooler irl!

so what will *YOU* do this week? go all out with full-on see through card? or perhaps more sensibly make a regular card and add in a bit of patterned transparency or vellum? or even just sneak in a couple of plastic or acetate elements?! remember you can use inkjet transparency sheets from the office supply store to make any of your digital files "clearly" more exciting!!! whatever you decide, link it up at JINGLE BELLES by next wednesday night!!! can't wait to see you there! ♥

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


"card" might be the wrong word...

...for some of the birthday greetings i make. case in point:

remember those elvis stickers i used for june's blue christmas card? i still have most of the sheet left! i also have the tradition of making the weirdest card possible for my chiropractor's birthday. it's his own fault really. he will say things like, "well you definitely won't ever make one stranger than THIS!" ummmmmmmmmmm... i might, actually! :)

the last few years i've done "legendary crooners". he likes them; me too. i've done sinatra, obviously. and dean martin starred in another "not really a card" scenario. i did a different version of elvis two years ago, but i am ok with repeats if concept's different; after all, elvis had more than one hit, didn't he?! :)

i don't think he ever sang... or thought... or could've imagined... this phrase, however. nope, this one's all me:

in case you're wondering about the mechanics, no, i did not use a ruined pair of sunglasses for this... but i suppose you could. actually, this is a pair of 3-D glasses we got when we saw the 4th pirates of the carribbean movie this spring. i brought them home because i liked the sort of retro rayban shape of them, and the fact that they fold up almost flat; and i thought i might do something crafty with 'em. i was envisioning a graduation card, you know, something along the lines of, "the future's so bright... i gotta wear shades!" but they seem to be making A LOT of 3-D films lately, so i figure i'll get another shot.

when you make something too lumpy or bumpy to fit in an envelope what do you DO with it? i generally attach it to the gift, if there is one. like this:

you can see that my love affair with maps as giftwrap continues; as well as the thrall of torn denim "ribbon". i've used a little blutack under the specs so they don't fall off in transit. fortunately we're hand-delivering this, the next time our backs get adjusted!

and now you'd probably like to see a photo of someone silly enough to put on said elvis glasses and pose for a grainy i-phone photo, wouldn't you??! yep. i thought so:

never let it be said i don't stand behind my work, darlings!!! ♥♥♥