Tuesday, May 29, 2012

cheryl nelson should really get half the credit for this!

afterall, it is she (well, ALL the CCCB ladies, but especially cheryl) who made me really LOVE doilies again, and without that little push i would never have made either the dogwood card or this one! but i'm getting a little ahead of myself... first... i should really say...

HELLO, darlings, and welcome to shopping our stash challenge #53 about which the lovely miss carla says this:

May Flowers 
Anything floral related- flowers, floral, roses, sunflowers, gardens, vases, potted flowers, etc; you can use paper with flowers in the design or use flowers as embellies as well (not just limited to floral images).

so that's easy, right? who doesn't love flowers?! whilst i was considering what to make, i was also surfing around a bit, and saw that the doilies and lace challenge at moxie fab world wants us to use a "doily or lace in an innovative way"; then i saw that the current assignment at the order of the opus gluei (where i've not played in waaaaaaaaaaay too long!!!) is ♥SEW WHAT♥ for which they ask us to, well, *sew* on a project. so i started thinking about ALL of those things, and grabbing some supplies, and at the end of a long, inky, painty, stampy, sewing-machine-intensive evening i had this:

(patterned paper: pink paislee; mists and inks in various blues and greens: glimmer mist, maya mist, radiant rain, smooch spritz, ranger re-inkers and distress inks, colorbox pigment and chalk inks;   other: paper doilies, individual fake white hydrangea blossoms from a michaels stem (plus some prima paper flowers), tiny pearls, sewing machine; adhesives: tombow monorunner, gluedots, scotch gluestick)

lovely husband jeff refers to cards of this type as "science experiments" because of the fact that i usually wind up standing at our kitchen sink muttering, whilst surrounded by vials and bottles and sprays, and apparently he always has the vague impression that i *MIGHT* just possibly blow something up. or at least stain it irretrievably. fortunately this time the only things which changed color completely were the (previously white) flower blossoms, the pink paislee mistable "darling doilies" paper, and a tiiiiiiiiny little section at the edge of our dish drainer where i let my stamps dry, which, now that i come to think of it, might have been a bit blue just there when we got it... no, honestly...

i did go a tiny bit crazy with a bunch of different mists; then i used a few understated pattern stamps to add more colors of blue and green in the form of distress and chalk inks, and then, when i had the background the way i wanted, i stamped the top half of donna downey's glorious hollyhocks... which became the "shadow" for my sewn-on petals. at the end, i added bits of real doily to the shiny resist ones on the paper, did a bunch more sewing, and called it a night. 

i hope you'll stop by SOS and see the super-inspiring DT examples, before heading off to ♥YOUR♥ crafty laboratory in pursuit of your own wonderful, super-fun, flowery experiments; then link them up before next monday, june (already! can you BELIEVE it?!) 4th!

Monday, May 28, 2012

happy mail, for you and for me! ♥

first a little trip to random.org to determine the winner of my blog candy giveaway... mr. random himself has personally chosen lucky number 11 which means the winner is...

please email me at llaurenb @ hotmail {dot} com so i can get your goodies on the way to you ASAP!

now here are a couple of lovely things which arrived in MY mailbox last week, which i just HAVE TO show off. first up, an early birthday present from my lovely norwegian friend linda brun:

yeah, basically, there's a little bit of every type of art supply i enjoy... YUM!!! but then, all of this paled in comparison when i saw the gorgeous canvas linda made me:

 i ♥LOVE♥ it!!!
(btw, "det gryr av var" means "it was the dawn of" which makes it even more awesome, no?!)

coincidentally, on the very same day, my lovely friend missus trash sent me a super-cool "just because" present, in the shape of an adorable felt bird, which of course i ADORE:

i'm showing it off standing next to the fabulous custom clutch she made me several months ago, (with the coolest robot in the world embroidered on it!!!) only because although i *KNOW* i wrote a post about it at the time... somehow... i cannot find the post... so i'm showing it again! (proof that i love and USE it constantly for carrying amigurumis-in-progress, there are my extra stitch markers, dangling from the zip!) :)

finally, a giant vote of thanks to everyone who took the time to leave a comment with regard to my dental woes, those words of encouragement were MUCH APPRECIATED! it turns out i will, be getting an "implant"... (sadly--or perhaps luckily?-- i mean a tooth, and not the first step in a pamela anderson makeover!) ... a process which will require 3-4 rather nasty appointments over the next six months and cost more than a trip to disneyworld. but... the periodontist and everyone in his office were lovely and VERY kind; and i'm told the lines will be much shorter than the ones for space mountain! not sure if i can get the staff to dress up as my favorite princesses, although at these prices i really think they ought to be a liiiiiiiiiiiiittle more flexible on that point. the next big day is june 12th, at which time i'll probably be hitting you up for some more good vibes!

in the meantime, to miss linda, missus trash, and all the rest of you i say,

thank you, thank you, thank you, darlings!!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

there's a new diana sketch!

i don't know about you, but i've been missing sketchy thursdays quite a bit for the last few months, so i was pretty happy to discover that the guest DT and sketch artist at the paper variety this month is none other than diana fisher, and she's done us proud!

of course, i'm only just managing to get my card in under the wire, but some things NEVER change, right? i'm pleased with it, though, and it's a quite a faithful version. see?

(vintage: sheet music, lace, sewing pattern and fashion illustration; decorative tape: hambly, freeview, tim holtz; rub-ons: fancy pants; cardstock border sticker: crate paper; hydrangea petals: michaels; fabric rose: tim holtz; letter stickers: k and co; adhesives: tombow monorunner, scotch gluestick, gluedots, staples)

the other thing i like about this one is that it's the picture i had in my head when i saw this week's city crafter challenge, "a rose is a rose"; because i knew i still had some of those fancy pants rub-ons with the big cabbage roses, and that they'd be fun in a sort of funky collage card. i stand by that assessment, actually!

some of the other awesome goodies in this card were part of the super-cool happy mail i received this week; i'll tell you more about that tomorrow, and also announce the winner of my "SOS blog candy" giveaway, so do scroll down and enter if you haven't yet! ♥

Saturday, May 26, 2012

that's shoe biz!*

ever since miss stephanie joined the DT at unscripted sketches, i've been wanting to join in on the fun over there... it's EMBARRASSING that it took me this long, but better late than never, right?! i'm just glad i've got what i think is a pretty cool card for sketch #159:

(vintage: buckle and ribbon; patterned paper: prima, basic grey, graphic 45, sassafras, fancy pants, hambly; rose: prima; stamp: unity; ink: stewart superior + colorbox; adhesives: tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape, glue dots, sewing machine) 

oof, i almost forgot to show you the sketch:

my color palette--and the floral shoe, for that matter--both come from the inspiration photo for colour q #138:

when i saw it, i just happened to have a leftover bit of the flowery paper from which my shoe is made sitting on my desk, and i realized it not only had ALL of the colors of the palette, it actually resembled the fabulous shoe from which the colour q gang was taking inspiration. and then i realized i still needed a card for MY favorite shoe-freak-- my sister amie-- whose birthday is next month; so i thought i'd have a go. i grabbed a photo of a high heeled pump from a google image search and printed it out to use as a template, then cut each bit out of a different patterned paper, like you do when paper-piecing a stamped image. then i added the mats, ribbon, buckle and a fun stamped sentiment to flesh out the unscripted sketch, did a bunch of machine stitching... et voila!

at the very end i thought it still needed ONE MORE THING... so i added that big prima bloom... which lets me sneak into city crafter's "a rose is a rose" (challenge #106) though not quiiiiite in the way i had intended, so i'm hoping i'll still have time to pursue my original idea for that one, as well. in the meantime, i bid you a fond farewell, sole sisters**!!! :)

ps: if you haven't entered the drawing for my blog candy, scroll down to this post and leave a comment!

*sorry, worst title EVER! 
**on the other hand, that ending line TOTALLY puts the title into proportion, doesn't it?! :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

pillowbox gift card holder

i have to confess that if anything, i'm having even MORE fun at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ this year, since we've gone fortnightly; apart from anything else, i just *love* having two go's at each prompt, it's a chance to "push the envelope" a bit more... or in this case, perhaps more accurately to, "embellish the pillowbox until it exceeds recommended weight limits" lol! :) :) :) yeah. i might've gone very sliiiiiiiiiiiiightly overboard with the swirly rub-ons. and yet, upon reflection, i actually don't think i'd remove a single one of them, even if i could. so there! 

(pillowbox template: assorted pillowbox set by  regina easter, the cutting cafe; patterned paper: fancy pants, sei; transparency: hambly*; fuzzy velor paper +snowflake brad: doodlebug; lace snowflake paper: ki memories; velvet puffy flower (with center replaced): creative charms; rub-ons: making memories; bling swirls (trimmed and re-constructed): recollections; ink: colorbox; adhesives: tombow monorunner)

i absolutely love this pillowbox template from the cutting cafe, i've had it for years and years** but it's still my "go to"; it comes with a bunch of different windows and frame shapes, but again, this one is my fave.  i cut the base of the box out of the same paper from which i made my gift card folder last week, and sort of vaguely planned to go with the blues and reds again, but i'd got out (then not used) these velvet flowers whilst making madeline's princess crown, and one of them wound up sitting on top of the template along with some white scraps and i had a bit of an "AHA!" moment so i went with it.

i miiiiiiiight have left it there if i wasn't also inspired by the current corrosive challenge-- (#149 flowers and doilies and bling, oh my!) --in which we're asked to combine at least two out of the three. and let's face it, when you have lots of rub-on flourishes, a couple (or LOTS!!!) of tiny bling ones just really enhance the whole flourishy mojo, don't they? incidentally, i do know, on the face of it, there's not much SENSE in stacking flowers and snowflakes together; but i still do it all the time and i always love the look, so i see no reason to stop now!

the great thing about using a pillow box for giving gift cards, imo, is that it looks like a slightly more "substantial" gift... and in fact, it can actually BE a more substantial gift, because you've got room to slip in some little candies and/or tiny presents in addition to the g/c itself. inside mine is a coordinating card in which i can write a little note, a michael's g/c***, and a holiday clear stamp... all wrapped in some coordinating tissue paper:

but remember, you needn't make a fancy set to play along with us at JINGLE BELLES this week... you could do a pocket card, or incorporate a little envelope into your design, or even alter/improve a store-bought gift card holder. so c'mon along and join stef, myself, and our uber-talented lovely guest-star gina cunningham as we see how "gifted" we can be! ♥

*can i just say how UTTERLY BUMMED i am to hear that in preparation for "winding down operations" hambly studios will no longer be designing new product?! i don't know if this means that they will also stop producing their current lines, and if so, what the time frame will be; but any way you slice it, the world of art supplies has just lost another really great company in terms of both cool/innovative design and high quality product. very sad. 

**i *think* i may have won it in a challenge at 2sketches4you! hands up all who still totally miss laura, kazan and the gang! (me! ME!!!)

***ok, technically this is my michaels' loyalty swipey card thing, bravely playing the role of "holiday gift card" howsabout a round of applause for that stellar performance?! :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

konichiwa, princess plum blossom!

aka "AMY-gurumi"! ♥♥♥

i've been knitting more than crocheting lately, and not really doing too much of that; but when i saw this chibi kokeshi doll pattern by susan morishita* in her etsy shop, amigurumi friends studio, i totally fell in looooooooooove and just HAD TO make it ASAP:

of course by the time i was halfway through i was completely hooked on amigurumi again; i mean what's not to like? ami's are teeny, they attain a nearly unbeatable level of cuuuuuuuuuuuute, and they require only the most basic skills**. plus, crocheting is one of the things you can easily do when you are stuck  laying on your living room floor for several days, in the midst, perhaps, of a bit of a "bad back episode" (which... YEAH... i was, and still am, a bit... ack!)***

i made this adorable little lady for another adorable little lady you may know--ms. amy tsuruta--and
found out today that she has arrived safely at the other end of our nation; i do hope they will live happily ever after together! ♥♥♥

*i was so pleased with this project that i zapped a photo to susan, who posted it on her blog and facebook-- how cool is that?! btw, i highly recommend the "amigurumi friends" patterns not JUST for their massive adorability factor, but also, the instructions are clear and easy to follow; there are plenty of photos, especially of the finishing technique, which i think is the hardest bit and the most important to do right. go check out the shop!!! ♥

**if you can single crochet, increase and decrease, you've pretty much mastered the sport! it is absolutely essential to mark your rows on both your work and your pattern, tho...and to count every single row accurately; i am famous for "fudging" inaccuracies in other crafts, but ami's do kind of need to be precise.

***in addition to this, one of my crazy sub-standard teeth has apparently been plotting secretly against me for MONTHS--either that or, as summer approaches, my dentist has his heart set on an in-ground swimming pool--in any case, tomorrow i'm headed off to see a periodontist about getting some very expensive, totally horrifying, and ALSO not-covered-by-insurance (ACK!!!) work done. did i mention my SERIOUS DENTAL PHOBIA??!?!??!?  if you are not doing anything special at 8am EST on thursday, please send some serious bravery vibes in my direction, k? ta, darlings! ♥♥♥  

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"shopping *MY* stash" blog candy giveaway (+ birthday princess crown)

have you been checking out the entries over at shopping our stash for the special two-week birthday bingo challenge? if not, you ought to high tail it over there, for they are quite spectacular! so much so, that i was inspired to create another project for this occasion. it's a birthday princess crown, for niece madeline, who turned eight last week!

i know, i know, it's a bit KERRRRR-AYYYY-ZEEEE, even for me; but i made one for miss riley last year and another for lindsay marie this past autumn, and i guess knowing this would be my last shot spurred me on to bold new levels of embellishment, both front and back, inside and out!!!

(base of crown made from 12x18" heavy duty oaktag; patterned papers (nearly all scraps!): creative imaginations, doodlebug, dcwv, echo park, anna griffin, sei, prima, mme, bo bunny, ki, and maybe a few more miscellaneous scraps!; florals: prima; ribbon + lace trim: michaels; rose trimmings: webster's pages; brads: american crafts; pins: pink paislee, joann essentials, k and co; gems and pearls: kaiser, martha stewart, recollections; butterfly punches: martha stewart; border punches: martha stewart, fiskars, recollections; stamps: autumn leaves, pti; inks: colorbox, ranger, stayzon; pen: copic multiliner; adhesives: xyron, tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape, gluedots, hot glue, sewing machine)

since, as i mentioned, this is a special SOS two-week anniversary challenge, we are still rockin' our awesomely inspirational bingo card; so you can choose ANY row or column you like, you just need to have five consecutive items!

i've used the diagonal row which starts at the top left space this time, so i've got: 

(butterflies + flags + 1 border strip) 
(brads + butterfly accents + some of the pennants) 
(LOTS and lots of extras!!!) 
(the laces and bow which hold it together) 
(check! multiple shades, even!)

and now here's the blog candy giveaway: 

in true spirit of shopping our stash, i thought it was appropriate that my candy consist of things i already had... but unaccountably hadn't used or even opened... stuff i either "outgrew" or just bought too much of! so one lucky winner will receive a really mixed bag of older (but complete and pristine!) products of which this picture gives you an idea:

what's in there? oof--what ISN'T in there might be quicker to answer, lol! ok, well, there's an american crafts 12x12" paper pack, loads of alphabets, a bit of chipboard, felt embellies, ribbon, tags, stickers, journaling cards, and... well, there might even be a few "surprises" that i add in over the course of this week; feel free to enter as many times as you like, by leaving a comment on this post. the winner will be chosen by random draw and announced next monday, may 28th. good luck, darlings! ♥

ps: even a remedial black-thumbed non-gardener such as myself knows that the flowers on yesterday's card are DOGWOODS and not magnolias! i was just... ummmmmm... testing you, yeah, that's it, testing!!! :) :) :)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

(semi) minimal (sorta) anniversary card

i rarely blog in the evenings, the main reason being it's almost IMPOSSIBLE to get a great photo in my house after dusk... but i've got an early start in the morning, and city crafter wraps up tomorrow evening; and since i am totally in ♥LOVE♥ with both linda's sketch and the DT's inspiration pieces, it's now or never. so here's my card:

(patterned paper: pink paislee, cosmo cricket, prima; alphas: basic grey; brad: american crafts; border punches: recollections; other: doily, scrap of magnolia giftwrap, magnolia blossoms off a silk flower stem; ink: colorbox; adhesives: tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)

now here's the sketch (technically it's week #109) which is totally brilliant, no?!

if you cruise over to CCCB to see the DT samples, you'll notice that i totally "lifted" almost all the elements of my card from one or another of the gals, there were just sooooooo many brilliant ideas on display. i've gone a bit more minimal (for me!!!) and worked in as much white as possible since this card is for my aunt and her husband, and this is their sort of "vibe".

the other colors are from the gorgeous spring-like palette at CR84FN, #54 to be exact; though i've reversed the proportions a bit and used more blue than green:

i was excited because as soon as i saw it, i remembered that i had that little scrap of magnolia giftwrap, and i knew it would be PERFECT for this, and also that my aunt would love it! 

and now i just need to link this baby up then find an envelope... good night, darlings! ♥

Friday, May 18, 2012

g/c's with GC!!! ♥

ok, so technically, this ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ prompt is called "on the first day of christmas"... and our true love is giving to us... a gift card in a gift card holder!* but in actual fact what's been written in my own calendar since we started talking about this idea is the much more informal title of this post, because this fortnight we are lucky enough to have lured back one of my all-time favorite lovely guest stars, and bestest of blogging buddies gina cunningham!!!

it was gina who pointed out that one of the things we *ALL* need around the holidays is a cool way to present the awesome gift cards which solve so many of our present-based dilemmas: they're great for everything from teacher gifts to hard-to-buy-for husbands... and pretty much everyone in between, as well! so this time we're asking you to make a holiday gift card holder: it can be as simple as a card with a pocket built in, or as elaborate as you'd like to make it; little boxes, decorated tins, hand made folders or wallets; from a kit, from scratch or just dressing up a store-bought product, we want to see your MOST creative ideas!

i've done a lot of different types and styles of these over the years, but probably the one i've made most often is based on this totally fabulous amy tsuruta tutorial and combines the twin virtues of being easy to make, but still looking quite sophisticated. gotta love that, right?!

so here's the outside:

which must make this the inside, eh?

(patterned paper: basic grey, my mind's eye, kaiser; stickers: basic grey, crate paper, fancy pants, best creation, my mind's eye; rub-ons: mambi; gaffer tape: 7 gypsies; brad: creative imaginations; florals: prima; ribbon: making memories; label die: nestabilities; edge punch: martha stewart; inks: colorbox; adhesives: xyron, tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape; other: sewing machine to create the pocket... but you could easily use a strong adhesive or decorative tape around the edges instead!)

you can see that i've made mine a little bit bigger than in amy's tutorial, that being because i started out with paper that was 12" wide, and rather than trim i just left it. instead of making the base from plain cardstock and adding panels of patterned paper, i xyroned two different patterned papers back to back and then scored and folded the "mega paper" which makes a nice sturdy finished product AND by virtue of choosing a cool section of both sheets did most of my decorating for me... i just had to add embellies, which is, to me, the FUN PART!!! :)

i used EAD designs' may color challenge (#24) as my palette:

and i could not resist this sketchy thursday** "revival" sketch which was featured last week at a new-to-me challenge called platinum scraps:

wow, that's a lot of text and pictures for one little project, isn't it? so i think i will shut up now and send you over to JB to see what stephanie and gina made, because i know you want to get started on your own holiday gift card holder!!!

*stef came up with this title, which i think is AWESOME, like all of hers are!!!  :)
**i dunno about you, but i REALLY miss sketchy thursdays! i was excited to see that diana is GDT and sketch artist at the paper variety this month; gotta get a card in next week for that!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

happy birthday ♥SOS♥!!!

can you believe the shopping our stash blog is celebrating its first anniversary already?! nope, me neither, talk about a year just FLYING BY! but i can assure you that this is, in fact, the 52nd week in which miss carla and her merry band have been challenging us not only to be more creative papercrafters, but also to think about and USE the things we already have in fun and fabulous ways! i, for one, can absolutely ALWAYS use a bit of help with both of those, so i'm thrilled to be along for the ride!

this week's dare is quite a special one; so much so that we're going to give you TWO WEEKS to play along. i'll explain in a minute, but first i just can't wait to show you my card, so here it is:

(patterned paper: basic grey, prima, bo bunny, anna griffin; adhesive fabric paper: dcwv; felt fern stickers: prima; lily of the valley stickers: martha stewart; card stock border sticker (embossed w/cuttlebug dots): fancy pants;  leafy ribbon: may arts; deco tape: 7 gypsies; flower trim: tim holtz; scalloped muslin trim: pink paislee; adhesives: tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape, gluedots, sewing machine)

ok, so i mentioned this is a SPECIAL week--two weeks, in fact--and here's why: this time ♥YOU♥ get to choose your own challenge, using this super-fun bingo card! just pick ANY consecutive line of 5 elements and get creating!!!

i went with the long diagonal row which starts in the lower left-hand corner, so i've got:

(the tan bottom background "paper" and the ruffles) 
free space 
(plenty of extras!!!) 
(fussy-cut flowers and border sticker)
(admittedly, a very small amount--i ran the border sticker thru my c-bug; but also my nesties have that little embossed "edge" which sorta counts, right?!)

i used deconstructed sketch #51 as my roadmap--ok, so i totally loaded up on the embellies, but the sketch IS under there, honestly!!! :)

i've also played along with laurel seabrook's 23rd inspired by challenge, mostly by virtue of using the colors in her gorgeous inspo pic, but also i've got a few ferns and lots of leafy branches in tribute to the prints in that shot:

in terms of STASH-USAGE this might just be the best card i've done yet: i didn't cut ANY full papers (except my cardstock base), the nestie shapes were leftovers, the papers from which i cut the flowers and butterfly are ollllllllld; the lilies of the valley and felt ferns are very old--and were UNOPENED till now; so i'm pretty proud of that:

i should also mention that in honor of this special event there miiiiiiight just be some blog candy lurking about at some point--either this week or next, who can say?? which may just make it even more desirable than usual to check out my DT sisters' blogs; of course alicacarla, crystaldeenaleslielynn, and paige are ALWAYS fabulous sources of inspiration and creativity, so you'll definitely enjoy the trip. then c'mon by SOS and link up your own card or project! ♥♥♥

Sunday, May 13, 2012

now *THAT's* a lovely bouquet!!!

whether you are celebrating as a parent, a child, or even a pet-parent, i'd like to wish everyone a very happy mother's day, and hope that you will spend this lovely sunday doing something you enjoy! as you know, *I* enjoy recreational gift-wrapping, so here are a few timely examples of that:

one of my favorite ways to use older or even less-beloved stash is to decorate packages. these glittery k and co die-cuts are from the last of the packet after i'd used most of "the good ones" on cards; but there's no denying that against the coincidentally well-coordinated wrapping paper i chose for my mom's present, a few of them stacked together on a bow look rather nice. LHJ pointed out that the card is a two-fer... and looks almost equally nice upside down, lol! :)

speaking of lovely husband jeff, his lovely parents are just finishing up a bathroom reno, so i thought a few spa products and a "bed bath and beyond" gift card would be a nice treat for his mother this year. cvs, of all places, had these cool re-useable oilcloth bags that are quite fab enough already... but you know i can NEVER resist an opportunity to embellish!

a few oriental trading co flowers and some bead-store leftovers later, and voila! garden party, anyone? (the big flower laying sideways is my attempt to camouflage a long-handled back scrubbing brush which just DID NOT want to stand in the bag to be photo-ed!)

and now it's time to send you on your way, with my hopes that you will have a sunny, happy, treat-filled day! ♥♥♥

Saturday, May 12, 2012

even ♥PIXIES♥ have moms, you know!

which is why, for the may challenge at pixie dust paperie, pixie-in-chief kirsty vittetoe has asked us to create a project that relates to mother's day!

it can be a card, a layout, minibook... or perhaps some sort of special gift you'd like to make for your mom on this occasion?

i made a card... because, well... it's what i do!!! :)

(vintage: illustration and text from a czech children's book; patterned paper: basic grey, creative imaginations; prima, girls' paperie; vellum: susan branch; florals: prima; butterfly ribbon: may arts; white ruffle ribbon: tim holtz; ink: colorbox; adhesives: tombow monorunner, scotch gluestick, 3m foam tape, hot glue, sewing machine)

i started with the vintage illustration, obviously; i mean what could be more ♥PERFECT♥ for a pixie-inspired mother's day card?! as it happens, my own mother is a big fan of fairies--and vintage illustrations--as well, so i'm hoping she'll love this one as much as i do! i mounted the illustration on some thin white cardstock (to strengthen it) before fussy-cuting it and mounting the result on a couple of layers of foam tape. the mats are (once again--can you tell i made this on the same day as my 2nd jingle belles embossing card?!) two different nesties* that i really love together**, set on a background of layered patterned paper and some text from a children's book, embellished with some suitably ethereal florals and a lovely pink butterfly!

you have until may 31st to link up your mom-inspired projects at this post on the pixie blog; up for grabs is a generous $15 gift certificate to the fabulous pixie shoppe, so put on your crafty thinking caps and get creative, darlings!

*one of which came from miss leslie's blogiversary candy; ta missus! ♥
**i also used card patterns sketch #164 again, which wrapped up last night, but that doesn't stop it from being fantastically helpful and inspiring, does it?! :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

you're not the (EM) boss of me!

because this fortnight ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ is the (em)boss of me: we've been making cards that incorporate either heat- or pressure-embossed textures and i have to say that our fellow belles--who absolutely ALWAYS rise to every challenge we think up--seem to be especially inspiring at the moment, so why not hop over to the gallery and check it out?!

but first, here's my second card, for which i've used a couple of different cuttlebug embossing folders, one of which (the floral one, in addition to the oval nestie mat!) came from miss leslie's awesome blogiversary candy which i was lucky duck enough to win a couple of weeks ago!

 (patterned paper: cosmo cricket, basic grey, 7 gypsies, echo park, sassafras, pink paislee; kraft cardstock: hobby lobby; cardstock pointsettia sticker: basic grey; fabric poinsettias: prima; sentiment rub-ons: tps studio; scallopy trim: crate paper; pearls: kaiserkraft; oval and fancy dies: nestabilities; embossing folders: cuttlebug; edge punches: ek success and fiskars; ink: colorbox; adhesives: tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape, gluedots, sewing machine)

speaking of luck and winning and being super-excited, i was thrilled to have my mother's day tulips card in the super six over at card patterns last week, an honor for which i thank those inspiring ladies most heartily! so of course i couldn't wait to have a go at their latest sketch (#164). i went with landscape instead of portrait, ovals instead of circles, and pointed my little sentiment pennant the wrong way, but other than that was completely faithful:

as far as the "embossing" part goes, irl this thing has texture galore, but since you can only see it via my typically mediocre photos* i thought a closeup might help you to see that i used the floral plate on the top oval mat, then highlighted the effect with a little bit of shimmery chalk and a verrrrrry thin (.01 i think) copic outliner; the polka dotty kraft colored band has also been embossed--with dots--and chalked:

and now i cannot wait to see what YOU will do, so head over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and link up some embossed goodness!

*of course, as always, darlings, you're all invited to pop by at any time and see it in person! just let me know, i'll have a fresh pot of coffee ready and everything! ♥♥♥

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

ancient squares of coordinating paper

(that i still quite love, actually!)

i'm pretty sure that the VERY FIRST set of official "designer paper" i ever purchased-- and it has to be at least 7 or 8 years ago, when i was first posting cards to a (now sadly defunct) online gallery called lifetime moments*--was sei's "twitterpated". i saw a whole series of design team projects featuring the set, and as the fairly new aunt of miss riley elizabeth--born on VALENTINE'S DAY--i just had to have it. i cannot imagine how (and why!) i still have some left... (mostly i think i forgot about 'em!) ...but i do, and they came in very handy indeed when i wanted to make this card last night for lovely husband jeff's sister and her lovely husband:

(patterned paper: sei (yep, ALL of it, weirdly enough for me, i used just the one collection!); ink: colorbox; gem flourish: prima (cut to fit); font: mom's typewriter (printed on an inkjet clear label); label: dymo; pen: copic multiliner; adhesives: tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape)

i used another fabulous (but expired) sketch from elle's studio but i'm going to show you anyway, because i have a feeling that i'm going to use this one a few more times; for one thing, it is the PERFECT sketch for combining a bunch of patterns and/or using up scraps--like, say, if you wanted to make something for the current SOS challenge, lol?! :)

it's funny, because i think if anyone had mentioned on monday that they desperately needed** some SEI papers, i'd've immediately offered mine without a qualm. and now, suddenly, i'm thinking those babies look pretty cool again. weird, no?! ...but in a kinda good way... ♥

*i met my lovely blogging friend kathlene there; hey kathy--remember LM??! ♥
**you know, in one of those papercrafting emergencies which are so common these days! :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

SOS51: papiers beaucoup!

this week's brief at shopping our stash is not only a FABULOUS one for helping us use up all those extraneous paper scraps... it's also right up my alley.  to wit:

Challenge 51:
use three or more designer papers
(note: that's 3 different patterns... they don't have to be from 3 separate companies!)

can i get an, "oh yeah!"?!

being a figure of some repute amongst patterned paper addicts, of course i was excited when i saw this one!* so i immediately devised a plan of attack, which was basically to get out my pink scraps folder and use as much from within as humanly possible! the destination of all this pink and flowery goodness was a large gift bag for niece madeline's upcoming *EIGHTH* birthday, which now looks a bit like this:

(patterned paper: dcwv, recollections, creative imaginations, basic grey, making memories, doodlebug, sei, sassafras, junkitz, daisy d's... annnnnd... nope, i THINK that's about it, lol; florals: prima, recollections, making memories; epoxy stickers: susan branch, making memories, love elsie, sticko; chipboard letters: k and co; adhesives: tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)

admittedly, i used a few more than three patterns. fifteen more, actually. i think this may be a new personal best!!! ♥♥♥

i used this gorgeous sketch from elle's studio, which i found through the latest "round up" at stampin' when i can; unfortunately it seems to be from LAST week and has already expired, so i can't link up with them, but it was still super-inspiring, as you can see! (for that matter, their current sketch is also fab!)

i had sooooooooooo many cool scraps that i decided to fill in the whole 8.5 x 11" page... (i later trimmed about an inch off to fit the bag better) ...with a sort of patchwork effect, and then i stitched back and forth along each edge to enhance the "quilt" feeling.

at the end i added the birthday girl's name, and fashioned a little garland out of stacked florals in same sorts of colors as the papers. each one has an epoxy center (instead of a brad or a rhinestone) so that i could stitch over those, as well! as a matter of fact, i had sooooooooo much fun stacking and combining my (rather neglected of late) stash of small and medium paper flowers that i think i'm now as smitten with them as when i saw my first bottle of "got flowers" in a scrapbook store! prepare for an upcoming bout of "flower mania", darlings!!! ;)

i hope you will think of a fun way to use three (or MORE!) of ♥YOUR♥ patterned paper scraps this week and link up with us at shopping our stash!

*for the record, i am equally excited about NEXT WEEK, seeing as week 52 will mark SOS' first birthday!!! obviously a SPECIAL challenge is called for... and we have a GREAT one!!! ♥♥♥ 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

a few "currents" from this neck of the woods

lovely husband jeff's 2003 mazda tribute-- which STUNNED 2 different dealers with its (apparently) record breaking 249,653 mile odometer reading-- with this lovely new kia sorento:

welcome to our driveway, we hope you'll be very happy here!

lauren: three bags full by leonie swann; an amusing and totally clever murder mystery in which the victim was an irish shepherd, and--i swear i'm not makin' this up-- the detectives are his *SHEEP*!

jeff: the 2012 kia sorento owner's manual. obviously. :)

(or will be tomorrow night) the long-awaited second series of sherlock! (woohoo!)

what i've dreaded hearing for the last few weeks, whilst the tribute was making an OMINOUS NOISE

at the lolcats! nothing new there, but i continue to marvel and appreciate that there are new ones every day, collected lovingly in their own website for us to enjoy. god bless t'interwebz!!!

some pretty awesome blog candy from miss leslie, who's been totally ROCKIN' the washi tape, btw; ta v much and happy blogiversary, missus!!! :)

some unassailably fab vintage bits and bobs in the latest round of book, rummage and garage sales.

highlights from the acquisitions dept: plastic numeral tiles, german vocab cards, gorgeous "large print" sheet music, funky binder, various card games, display "house" made of wooden rulers, vintage maps... sigh... i ♥ spring!

listening to
lauren: a hat full of sky, written by terry pratchett, read by stephen briggs; the further adventures of 11-year-old trainee witch tiffany aching and the nac mac feegle, eponymous heroes of the wee free men.

jeff: the soul-stirring, inspirational sounds of a 4-cylinder, 191 horsepower, 2.4 liter gasoline direct injection engine. (to each his own, honey; to each his own!) 

so what are ♥you♥ 
right now, darlings??!

Friday, May 4, 2012

embossing around the christmas tree

so i'm thinking you are probably WAY ahead of me already, and have guessed that this week at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ we're asking you to create a holiday card which features embossing. it can be of the "dry" variety, made by using an embossing folder (or stencil and stylus!) or the "stamped" variety obtained by using embossing powder and a heat gun. for that matter, you could use a scoring board to create a texture, or one of those "old school" corrugating thingies... or heck, even grab up some of those pretty pre-embossed papers i've seen out there! as always, we long to see YOUR take on this, so if you can think of a way of embossing which i haven't mentioned, that's probably fine, too! :)

i decided to do a couple of things, one of which (if you know me at all) will shock you: i've done A TECHNIQUE!!! even though it involved a *LOT* of steps, including watching a whole entire jennifer mcguire video, and THEN stamping, and THEN unearthing my prehistoric heat gun and clear powder to emboss, and THEN using about six different colors of ink and blending until my arm ached, the emboss/resist method is no longer a stranger to yours truly!


 (paper: basic grey; glossy white cardstock and distress inks: ranger; swirly flourish stamps: rhonna farrer for autumn leaves; white acrylic letters and clear acrylic snowflakes: heidi swapp--embossed with paisley cuttlebug e/f; felt snowflakes and rhinestone flourishes: michaels/recollections; rhinestone brad and rub-on letters: making memories; other inks: psx embossing, colorbox chalk inks; adhesives: scotch gluestick, 3m foam tape)  

my card is as direct a translation of jennifer mcguire's inspiration card as it was possible for me to create once i realized I DON'T HAVE ANY SNOWFLAKE STAMPS! which, admittedly, was a bit of a stumper, until it occurred to me that i do have lots of OTHER types of snowflakes and my inkiness could consist of the swirly, flourishy gust of wind that was blowing some of them into my title. or whatever.

the other potentially big setback was when i discovered that my ANCIENT embossing ink, which goes on pale blue, but then dries clear when you emboss it... (OR SO I THOUGHT!!!) ...actually goes on pale blue, but then dries pale blue when you emboss it!!!  luckily, i was planning to do the background in blues and greens anyway, and i had the nice bright white letters to stand out against that.

just in case i hadn't managed to quite pull off said inky hijinks, i'd already developed a backup plan: i had dry-embossed the pearly white acrylic letters that make up the rest of the word "SNOW" using a paisley embossing folder. you might need to embiggen (as leslie would say) the photo to see it, but in real life it gives them a subtle but much more noticeable texture that i really like!

and that concludes my adventures in technique... at least for the moment! ;) now i cannot wait to see what ♥YOU♥ will do, so please link up with us at  JINGLE BELLES between now and wednesday, may 16th!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

i don't know WHAT happened here...

...but i *think* i kinda like it! :)

my card for this week's city crafter challenge--week #107--that is. for which the lovely ros requests we use both tulle AND text. those being two of my FAVORITE ingredients, i dove right in. i was planning to make something soft and romantic with a bit of a "shabby chic" feeling to it--not unlike miss ros' card, come to think of it. but that's not what happened. it's not even close, actually. what happened was a bit more on the funky grungy side. like this:

(digi-stuffs, printed on an inkjet transparency: cherry sugar sunshine by girl friday, digichick designs; inky overlay by vera lim designs; mom's typewriter font; real stuff: various bits of foreign text, backed with scraps of chipboard and cardstock; notebook paper; super heavy black oaktag paper; tim holtz heart die and cuttlebug alphabet dies; tulle from michaels; stamps (that you really can't see, but they were fun to use) by: tim holtz, dina wakley, making memories, unity; adhesives: tombow monorunner, 3m foam tape, xyron, sewing machine)

yeah. it's kinda weird. but in a GOOD way. i think. probably. i think i like it... but at the moment i confess it's sooooooo far away from the picture that was in my head when i set out that my eyeballs haven't quiiiiiite caught up.

it was an absolutely blast to make, however: i did a LOT of stamping and masking and inking... and then covered almost all of that up in the end, and fitted my words on a transparency that got layered over the top of my super-artsy background. i've used a bunch of different foreign text papers to make my diecuts, and i think they came out well. i LOVE the way the tulle looks as a frame, i'll definitely be doing that again. and since this might be my favorite quote of the buddha, just spending the time thinking about, playing with, stamping (later covering up) and then typing and formatting those words was "worth the trip" so to speak. another one for the "point three"* file? hmmmmmmm... i'll let ya know, darlings! ♥♥♥

*point three of bruce mau's incomplete manifesto for growth: process is more important than outcome. thank you yet again, bruce, that has helped me every single day for the last two years!!!