Saturday, December 29, 2012

everything's coming up... RAINBOWS??!

yepper. christmas was all about rainbows this year, specifically ones made of yarn. like this:

the amazin' stephanie saw this awesome "rainy day scarf" pattern on a super-creative blog called walker whimsy and sent me a link. of course i fell in love with it immediately, and then happily realized that our eldest niece, jessica, would also fall in ♥LOVE♥ with it immediately, so i made her one, immediately. :) and then i made stef one, too, because... well... just because! i should probably mention that this took place right around halloween, whilst we were without electricity for eleven days after hurricane sandy, and anything accomplished in the hours past dusk (around 5pm) had to take place by candlelight. so designing much of anything was what the adventurous crafter might call "challenging"; but the simple double-crochet construction made these totally DO-able; and the lusciously bright colors of cascade 220 really brightened up those dark nights!

it didn't take me long to realize that ALL of the nieces would enjoy wearing similarly fun scarves this winter, but i wasn't sure i could manage four more before christmas. and then it hit me: the littler nieces have been wanting to learn how to crochet, and in fact, we had some lessons over the summer. maybe they could make THEIR OWN rainbow scarves?! ok, the swirly clouds are perhaps slightly beyond a beginner, but i could mass-produce those. and afterall, the colorful part is only seven rows of perfectly straight-forward double crochet. and if practice makes perfect, they should all be DC *experts* at the end! i re-read the pattern, checking for flaws in my plan. i found one. in the very first line, the foundation for all the rows to come: "chain 240." hmmmm... i don't think 8-10 year olds are gonna quite be up to that kind of commitment. ok, nevermind.

but wait! the girls are all still reallllllllllllly into their american girl dolls, and LOVED the ponchos i made for them last year. in fact, that was a big part of why they all asked to be taught about yarn, because of the rich potential for DIY doll clothes! what if i devised a pared-down, doll-sized, child-friendly version of the scarf, and gave them "kits" containing all the colors of yarn and pre-fabbed clouds, for christmas, along with a few more lessons during the school holiday? yeah. that could work. i fiddled about a bit, making protypes. i went with single crochet instead of double, and settled for five rows rather than seven.

the first one was teeeeeeny. the second one was not quite right in terms of color. they were both swirly because that's what single crochet does when you make it into long, narrow rows. i decided the swirly-ness made it even cuter. i fiddled some more. i managed to cut the pattern down to an absolute bare minimum, "chain 75" and decided that it was probably a good thing american girl dolls don't actually require scarves for WARMTH, or need to wear them loose enough to not be strangled to death. but finally, i had something prettttty cute.

then i just had to make a whoooooooooooole lotta clouds. so i did. i made nice, bright, white, easy-to-see-by-candle-light clouds. yeah. lots of them. after a while even the fact that the yarn had a bit of sparkly thread running through it did not excite me. not even a little bit. i was sick of clouds. but it was totally worth it because finally i had four awesome "rainbow scarf kits" to bestow upon four awesome american girl doll-moms, on christmas day!

despite the not-very-enthusiastic look on kanani's face, the kits were a big hit. so much so that whilst the adults were still opening presents, the nieces and , at their request, were up in lindsay's room reviewing slip-knots and chaining! we're all getting together again this weekend for an intensive scarf-making workshop, and i can't wait-- let the crocheting commence!!! ♥♥♥

Friday, December 28, 2012

welcome to matthewville, please drive carefully!

as promised, here i am to show you what was in nephew matthew's BIG... (and somewhat lumpy!) ...package, which i showed in the gift-wrap wrap-up yesterday: one super-deluxe, custom-made bulletin board, on which to hang all of his important school papers: 

i should mention that the creation of a bulletin board was a special request* from my sister amie, who, coincidentally, is also matthew's mom! :) a couple of years ago, frustrated by the fact that there were just not enough cool and decorative bulletin boards available for less than a million dollars, she asked if i could make one for madeline; always game for a new challenge i said, "sure"! of course, something i only realized when i started this second assignment, is that GIRL-themed bulletin boards are actually quite a bit easier to make than BOY-themed ones. at least, they are if you are *ME*... which i am, lol! so i feel quite justified in linking up the results at the fabulous anything but a card blog, where this fortnight's challenge is to show off one's favorite (non card!) "make" of the year!

i mused for quite a while about the design, considering first a dinosaur theme, and then pirates (two of matthew's most current passions) before settling for something i thought might "age" a bit better: cars and trucks! as often happens when i've been pondering something for a bit, when the idea finally came, it turned out that my subconscious had done most of the work. all i had to do was sketch it (in the back of my datebook) when it arrived fully formed, while i was sitting in a restaurant one day with lovely husband jeff. (the curvy bits of road i imagined proved difficult to achieve, irl, so we skipped those!)

i had hoped to find a pre-made board with the right size and shape of frame, which i could paint black to create the "road" around the edges. when that didn't happen, we "frankensteined" a nice big corkboard from one source and an inexpensive (already BLACK!) poster frame from another. where i really lucked out was in wooden shapes to make the "town" at the top: all but the pine trees were pre-finished bits from michaels, which only needed a bit of tweaking!

i painted the (plain wood- also from michael's) pine trees and letters with acrylic craft paint, then outlined them with an ordinary sharpie-- this works wonderfully, btw, but eventually kills felt tips, so have a couple extra pens on hand!!! everything which is attached to the top and bottom of the board was done with a combination of hot glue, and, in the case of the higher layers, some stacks of foam tape to make a better connection between the lumpy pieces. i drew the "passing" lines on road with a white paint pen, and then finally it was time for my FAVORITE bit: i attached a bunch of little metal racing cars to the "road" with black sticky-back velcro, so they can be taken down, moved around, re-arranged, or even-- because it turns out most of them have enough clearance-- even RACED, assuming one is on a hard smooth floor!!!

ok, i believe i mis-spoke a moment ago, when i said the velcro-ed cars were my favorite part; actually THIS was my very favorite part:

matthew immediately NOTICING the velcro-ed cars on christmas day, and taking them down, right away, to RACE!!! welcome to matthewville, little man... please drive carefully! ♥♥♥

*i absolutely LOVE IT when my sister or brother give me a "hint" towards something one of the kids needs or wants; especially when it is something like a bulletin board, which frankly, a non-parent such as myself would never have thought of making! it's always fun to try new things, and all the more so when one can still see the gift in question, happily in use in the child's bedroom, years later! awesome! ♥

Thursday, December 27, 2012

2012 xmas gift wrap wrap-up! :)

hello, darlings! i hope you had a ♥FABULOUS♥ christmas if you were celebrating this week, or alternately, just an especially nice tuesday! we had a blast... and got to see ALL but one of our nieces and nephews, in three different states, over the course of several days! it was wonderful, but admittedly a little tiring. i actually think lovely husband jeff was somewhat relieved to get back to work on wednesday, just for a day of comparative restfulness, and a bit less driving, lol!

something which i find restful, or at least soothingly pleasant, is, as you know, wrapping gifts; especially if i can think up a cool or unusual way to do it. this year i used quite a few store bought gift bags-- mostly because target had AWESOME stuff for .50 to .99 cents each, which is kinda hard to beat, right? so i just personalized some of those, using foam thickers:

these red bags are from the same source; i added a digi-collage (composed of ornaments from vera lim's "joyful xmas" and a bit of rhonna farrer snowflake paper) printed on photo paper for maximum dimension and glossiness (thus the light bounce, sorry!) as well as some glitter chip letters, machine stitching, and real lace:

another use of digital images (this time mindy terasawa's "jolly little friends" from designer digitals) on a not quiiiiiiite 12x12 paper base adorns nephew matthew's BIG present... because when you are five, you want THE BIGGEST present, lol!

you *know* i love vintage xmas cards and have been lucky enough, over the years, to have been given the "collections" of more than one older friend who had saved them. i often cut out motifs to use on cards, but sometimes i can't bear to trim 'em and then i do this:

these next couple were from the december round of birthdays, and aren't xmassy at all, but this seemed like a good time to show them off. first up, papaya art glitter giftwrap plus vintage lace. i kinda didn't want to give this away, but i did!

this one combines a gloriously illustrated page from an actual vintage (though seriously damaged!) children's science encyclopedia with some paper source gift wrap that features penguin classic editions; plus some very funky hand-dyed ribbon:

i'm not sure how lindsay marie's birthday bag got lost in the shuffle, but i only just found the picture! i used a sketch for the placement, and about 17 pounds of embellies, including vintage eyelet lace that i hot-glued around the top edge. it was a BIG HIT with the birthday girl, and i have to say i was touched to see it in her room the other day, holding a few "treasures"! :)

tomorrow i'll show you what's INSIDE matthew's "big present", so do drop by then if you have a minute! ♥

Sunday, December 23, 2012

the last xmas cards of 2012

actually, they are not christmas cards as such, but money enclosures, which we're giving our eldest niece and nephew; so i wanted them to be the same and yet different! and they are, see?

(patterned paper--mostly scraps: echo park, basic grey, sei, mme; kraft cardstock: hobby lobby; ink: colorbox; ribbon: making memories: pen for faux stitching: copic multiliner; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape)

for the layout i used the current mojo monday sketch, which i think you'll agree is quite fabulous...

...i even included the little bow.  in my version, it's the thing that holds the flap closed, so the money will stay in! :)

i happened to have a couple of very cool stripey airmail envelopes that i thought would be perfect for these; they're either vintage or vintage-style, i'm not sure which, but it doesn't particularly matter to me, they are just FUN! i also had some boxes of xmas candy, so i stuffed everything into store-bought bags (wouldja believe 50 cents at target??!) which i personalized with alphabet stickers. et voila!

we are now officially ready for our day trip to maryland for an early "christmas" with jeff's family. can everybody pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeease cross their fingers that it will not snow today on the I-95 corridor? ta v much! ciao, darlings! ♥

Saturday, December 22, 2012

longwood at christmas

being fortunate enough to live only ninety minutes away from lovely longwood gardens in kennett square, pennsylvania, we've visited many times over the years, and have never, ever, been disappointed. this week we finally got to spend a day during the holiday season, and i don't think we'd even been there fifteen minutes before jeff, his parents, and myself had all decided to make it a annual tradition! so please consider this my first installment of christmas photos from longwood gardens!

longwood has recently instituted a timed ticket system for festivals and other particularly busy times, including the entire holiday season. it's quick and easy to purchase online, and ensures that you will not arrive on a day when they are fully booked with tours and cannot accommodate you. as with most tourist destinations, weekdays are less crowded than weekends; and morning is generally less crowded than afternoon and evening. on the other hand, the rather famous display of outdoor christmas lights does not begin until 3:30pm.

don't worry too much about the weather. we happened to arrive on a december day which was unseasonably warm (almost 60F!) and were thus able to do a bit of strolling through the grounds; but even when it's bitter cold or rainy, the two main conservatories are "the big show" christmas-wise, and can easily fill several happy hours; more if you are even a little bit into photography. (had i been in possession of the car keys, we might, even now, STILL be taking pictures in the orchid room ... three days after our arrival, lol!) (which is why i am never allowed to drive on these occasions!)

speaking of photography, yet another thing to ♥LOVE♥ about i-phone is the fact that my husband, who has never had any particular interest in wielding our "real" digital camera, suddenly enjoys taking pictures! this is quite a recent development, and i am really excited about it. as i edited the shots from this trip, i actually had the luxury of TWO totally different viewpoints! it amuses me that probably close to half the shots we took "overlap"  (each of us having shot similar subjects) but the other half are completely different, and it's so interesting to see which things we each choose to record. for example, while i was taking this picture of the cactus room with a cool "xmas tree" built out of potted succulents...

...jeff was taking THIS photo of me taking that photo! :)

even if one is only planning to visit the conservatories, there is quite a bit of ground to cover at longwood. my mother-in-law is no longer able to do a great deal of walking, and we've had mixed results as to accessibility when visiting other public sites; but the longwood folks are BRILLIANTLY well-prepared to assist anyone who needs help!

there are enclosed golf-cart-style "shuttles" from the visitor center to the conservatories, in case of bad weather, or even for those who would just like to save the half-mile, gently-uphill walk. for those with their own wheelchairs, scooters, or strollers, the christmas displays are almost 100% accessible, and easy to navigate.

there are also wheelchairs and scooters available on-site for an inexpensive fee ($4 and $15, respectively, for the day) and that's what we chose. the motorized scooter we rented for mom was easy to operate, and she was able to manoeuvre it nearly everywhere that we were able to walk, with the exception of the dupont house, and inside the building which holds the restaurants; luckily there was "scooter parking" right outside, and neither required much of a walk!

speaking of restaurants, there are three on-site: the cafeteria, an informal cafe, and a fancier proper restaurant; they are all located in a building called "the terrace". i believe the two latter venues offer beer and wine as part of their menu; but we almost always choose the cafeteria, since it offers plenty of tasty selections and gets one in and out the most quickly. there are hot and cold sandwiches, entrees that vary each day, and some great choices for vegetarians; as well as many beverages, sweets, and side dishes. 

no matter where you dine at longwood, you will be able to order some of their superb mushroom soup, and if you even vaguely care for such things i highly recommend it! it's quite rich, but if you pair it with one of the excellent fresh salads, your meal will not be too ruinous, plus, you're doing all that walking, so you can afford to splurge! :) but seriously, if you like mushrooms, you have to at least try it! (ultimate proof of its surpassing awesomeness: in a choice between it and dessert, i always choose the soup!!! this is not something a rabid sweet-tooth type like myself does every day!)

finally, save a little time at the end of your visit for the wonderful gift shop! it's not cheap, but the quality and selection of items is impressive, and (also true of the restaurants) the proceeds help support this wonderful non-profit organization. if you happen to like gardening, or christmas decorations, (or both!) you will definitely not be disappointed!

i hope you've enjoyed this little tour, especially since i think you may well be destined to get one EVERY year at christmas now, lol! again, i highly recommend the gardens at any time of year as being a fun day out, and if you're going to be in the area any time soon, be sure to check it out! ♥

Thursday, December 20, 2012

i feel *SLIGHTLY* less guilty...

...about my thanksgiving weekend papaya art store binge* now that i've used some of the proceeds (ie this divine glitter giftwrap) to make a gift for someone else:

actually i made two of them; for my friends, janet and liz. i used a couple of dollar store gift boxes that were frankly... well... i hate to criticize another designer's vision, but these things were ugly. i should've taken a "before" picture, but, as usual, i only thought of it after. (sigh) ah well. i actually covered the box and the lid permanently, rather than just wrap them, and i've attached the dragonfly to the bow, and tied the ribbon in such a way that it can be easily slid off to see what's inside, and then slid back on again. because something that's happened a couple of times in the last few years is that recipients of my fancier packages have flatly refused to open them until i have promised to "do 'em back up again" before i leave. so i've had to get a bit cleverer during the initial process to make that easier! plus, this way, the boxes are re-usable.

here's liz's:

the dragonfly ornaments were from a craft fair, or possibly christkindlmarkt, last year... or maybe the year before? i bought a bunch of them, and thought i'd given them all away at the time. i don't know why i didn't, but-- long story short-- i found a few "escapees" on the gift shelf in my attic. i had just been drooling over the glitter paper, actually, and when i happened to see them sitting next to the ugly boxes, i had an "AHA!" moment, and suddenly knew how i ought to present the artisan chocolates and bookstore giftcards i was planning to give.

here they are together:

i was under the impression i'd done a step-by-step tutorial of the box-covering process, (maybe for a pixie dust paperie post??) but cannot find it now. i might have to make another early in the new year, and shoot all the steps, because i've actually developed a pretty good system over the years and would LOVE for someone else to learn from my "trial and error"... mostly error... attempts which proceeded it! ♥

*in my defense, there was a REALLY GOOD SALE, and amy shared her coupon, and i used it mostly** to stock up on presents! 

**ok, yeah, and possibly maybe also one or two tiiiiiny and totally necessary things for myself. :) :) :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

i've achieved total SCRAPPINESS! ♥

by which i mean: every single bit of paper in my little set of 4x4(ish) thank you cards, including the glossy cardstock card bases, was either a leftover or an offcut! the little strips were from the big box of little strips (which, yeah, i pathologically save; mostly because i love cards like this!); the snowflakes are old (but still well loved); the brads are ancient (but ditto); and the twine was a heretofore unused gift. pretty sure i just hit the frugality hall of fame, right??!?!?! :) :) :) which is awesome, since this is my project for the new challenge at shopping our stash, which kicks off this morning and will run twice as long as usual, thus for TWO weeks, seeing out the end of 2012 by wrapping up on december 31st. the brief is to make a papercrafting project with a winter... but NOT HOLIDAY... theme. so think snow, snowmen, mittens, penguins, polar bears, sleds or sleighs, a fireplace, hot cocoa, daniel craig... no wait... i think we'll save him for summer, actually, because we don't really want to cover him up too much, do we, ladies? ;)

ok, what was i talking about, again? oh yeah. thank you cards. not as handsome as d. craig, but kind of appealing in their own way, see:

(since everything here is scraps i'm not sure i know whence it all came, but here's my best shot: glossy white cardstock: ranger; dark blue cardstock: core'dinations; patterned paper: love, elsie, dcwv, my mind's eye, sei, doodlebug, echo park, we r memory keepers, and a bit of a mask+misting experiment on off cuts of photo paper; snowflakes: recollections; brads: making memories; twine: the twinery; ink: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, scotch tape (holding the twine on the back) sewing machine)

i had the bases all ready to sew up, and knew i wanted big snowflakes as accents, but wasn't quite sure as to how i'd used them. then i saw this week's sketch at unscripted-- problem solved!

i also FINALLY managed to work in the "piggyback" challenge this week-- at least i think so; the brief was to make a real feature of the circle element by doing something interesting to it... does stacking up snowflakes count??! (if not, i guess i'll just have to try again next month!) :)

and now why don't ♥YOU♥ try heading over to SOS, where it's a veritable winter wonderland of papery pulchritude! (plus the cards look reeeeeeeeeeal niiiiiiiiiiiiice!) :)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

it's the last day to post...

...any tags you've made for the "12 tags of christmas with a feminine twist" challenge at ellen hutson's classroom blog. but it's worth hurrying for, because one random linker who makes and blogs about a tag inspired by any of the 12 days will win a $150 shopping spree in the ellen hutson store, how COOL is that?! here's the last of my entries, it's based on kitty caracciolo's inky masterpiece from day 5:

ok, so in terms of layout, colors, and content, i've been VERY faithful to the original; but as you can see, in terms of technique, i went FULL ON into my comfort zone, which, as you may know, is sadly... ahem... not-at-all-technique-y. i like collage. i always have. i enjoy cutting out teeeeeeeny tiiiiiiiny* deer from one vintage greeting card, and making snowy hills out of another glittery-trimmed one, and finding yet another card with shimmery trees similar to the gorgeous die cut ones in the inspiration piece. oddly enough, there is not one single bit of commercial crafting product on my tag apart from adhesives, just the aforesaid "frankensteined" christmas cards, and a bit of vintage seam binding. but i realllllly like how it came out! 

here's a really WEIRD angle for ya, but i wanted to show the dimension i've incorporated by popping the various layers up on foam tape. and yeah... before you ask... the deers' heads are on about four stacked pieces each, so that they LITERALLY stand out! :)

in other news, we DID get our tree** yesterday, and i think it's going to be quite lovely when it's finished. but despite working on it for most of the evening (thank you AMC channel for running "white christmas" back to back!) it's still not quite done. jeff provided the lights, and i got the ornaments on there before conking out; tinsel is just going to have to wait a bit because today is fully booked with the traditional checking-out of the annual local gingerbread house competition with our (now college aged--HOW did THAT happen??!) god-daughter jackie; not to mention niece madeline's second triumphant year as a cherub (talk about your "type-casting" lol!!!) in her church's nativity pageant tonight. 

hope your day is full of all things merry and bright! ♥♥♥

*fairly often i am asked-- especially by civilians, but sometimes by fellow crafties-- if i use teeny tiny scissors for cutting things with a lot of detail, and the answer is, "nope". i use a big honkin' full-sized pair of fiskars which fit my big honkin' full-sized hands comfortably; i just use the fulcrum of the blades to cut in a very controlled manner and move the paper around rather than the scissors, if that makes sense? and no, i never, ever, use a craft knife if i can help it; those things are murder on the old carpals, i tell ya! :) :) :)

**next year can someone please remind me that decorating a blue spruce is like sticking your hands repeatedly into a box full of angry porcupines? ta v much!!! a douglas fir is looking preeeeeeeettttttty good to me right now, actually! :)

Friday, December 14, 2012

still makin' tags...

...for the "12 tags of christmas with a feminine twist" challenge at ellen hutson's classroom blog. the designer examples are soooooooo amazingly awesome that it's seriously very DIFFICULT to choose which one to attempt next! now *that* is the kind of creative "problem" i looooooooooove to have, don't you?! this time i've made an admittedly loose version of sharon harnist's lovely tag from day 1:

 (vintage: lace trim, seam binding, gold doily, and lady cut from a holiday card; patterned paper: pink paislee; embossing folder and distress inks: tim holtz; gold foil sticker: best creation; poinsettia (adorned with gold stickles): we r memory keepers; bird charm: prima; leaf ribbon: may arts; adhesives: 3m foam tape, gluedots)

i was pretty excited when i saw the gorgeous background and realized i *HAVE* that snowflake embossing folder!!! i didn't have the stamp for her pretty little christmas queen, however, so i rummaged through a bunch of old xmas cards i've saved over the years for just such moments, and found this victorian lady. however, the abundance of yellow tones in the image made her just somehow not quiiiiiiite work with the pretty reds and greens of the original, so i went more monochromatic with a lot of white, cream, and gold. 

is it weird that i've been showing the detail photos first and then the shot of the complete tag? if so, i apologize, it's just that i find the shape of these makes 'em kind of a challenge to photograph-- especially when they are loaded with shiny reflective bits, too! maybe some day i will be able to do my projects justice with the pictures they deserve, but as you can see, it was NOT today! :0

i've got one more tag to show you, either tomorrow or sunday, depending on how much "life maintenance" gets done today; we are hoping to get our tree tomorrow (this is very late for us, but that's how things are running this year!) and there is A LOT of cleaning and space-making which needs to be done first! wish me luck, darlings! ♥

Thursday, December 13, 2012

and *THIS* is my favorite...

...of the "12 tags of christmas with a feminine twist" tags i've made so far, for the rather awesome challenge on the classroom blog. this one's based on claudine helmuth's fab and funky example from day 2, with which i am utterly enamoured!

(patterned paper: love elsie, ki, sei + a scrap of vintage sheet music; rub-ons: love elsie (i deployed a few of them on a bit of clear acrylic packaging, so i could pop them on foam tape for dimension, but still see through them to the goodies behind!); "merry" tag: my mind's eye (with the "so" added in k and co alphabet rubs); ribbons: michaels + vintage white trim; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)

my tag is not a patch on claudine helmuth's, obviously, but again, when one considers that i didn't have ANYTHING she used (how is that even possible??!?!?!) i think i did ok improvising. i've got quite a bit of my belovedly hoarded "love elsie" xmas goodness here, and well, i mean, it's PINK... with cute little cartoon trees... and that sweet car!!!

speaking of christmas trees, this week's challenge (#124) at papercraft star is to include at least one on your card; clearly mine do not look ANYTHING like the elegant one in the inspo pic, but that's ok, you can use ANY christmas tree!!! 

i might have to have another shot at this challenge, though, because i've seen what my lovely friend ros-- a papercraft star DT member-- made for this. holy WOW! you really have to go and see it for yourself!!! ♥

even if you don't have time to make a tag (though i predict you'll be unable to resist once you see all the amazing designer examples!!!) you can still grab a chance at some pretty yummy $25 giftcards to the ellen hutson store just by leaving a comment at each day's post, so do check out the 12 tags of christmas with a feminine twist!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

this is lovely husband jeff's favorite...

...of the 3 or 4 tags i've made for the "12 tags of christmas with a feminine twist" challenge at ellen hutson's classroom blog. miss stephanie, who is always au courant with whatever is fun and fab on t'internet pointed this event out to me, citing its incredible inspiration AND the seriously fabulous prizes, and if you've not gone over there yet to explore i *highly* recommend the trip! in fact... g'head and check it out... i'll wait...  :) :) :)

hi! i'm glad you came back! wasn't that FABULOUS, though? you left a comment at each day's post, right? because there will be a drawing for TWELVE (12!!!) $25 g/c's to the ellen hutson store! and one random linker who makes and blogs about a tag inspired by any of the 12 days will win a $150 shopping spree! the deadline is sunday night, so you still have a bit o'time to make something awesome. but first, here's the tag i was telling you about, it's based on jennifer mcguire's gorgeousness from day 4:

(vintage: birds, cut from ein "fugle atlas" + copper metallic ribbon; patterned paper: pink paislee; snowflakes: jolee's, making memories, my mind's eye; brad: making memories; thickers: american crafts; inks: ranger; adhesives: 3m foam tape, gluedots)

i think it's not a bad version, considering i didn't actually have a single product which jennifer mcguire used in hers, lol! i just improvised, but i think i came fairly close. i used some "mistable" paper as my base, and activated the resist bits with a couple shades of blue distress ink; my avian friends were cut from a vintage german bird book--they were pre-trimmed for something else, but then not used, so that was really handy; my snowflakes are stickers and diecuts, and i've spelled "joy" with glitter alphabet chips.

here's a closer shot of the birds and a few other details:

you know that i'm a demon for dimension and texture, so i've popped the birds on a layer of foam tape, used some metal snowflake stickers that really stand out, and machine-stitched over my letters for a little extra security! because as far as i can tell, the primary goal of chipboard-- or indeed any rigid material-- is to escape from one's project ASAP; and whilst sending a tag that says, "oy" might sum up a fair amount of genuine holiday feeling, it's not really the mood i was aimin' for here! :)

back tomorrow with another tag. ciao, darlings! ♥

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

sentimentally yours, from SOS

have you already guessed the brief at shopping our stash? my title should give you a clue, and the photo of my card ought to help a bit, as well! but just in case, let me spell it out for ya: this week we're making cards in which a sentiment or quotation acts as focal point, rather than the more usual central IMAGE.

as a font-fancier of some repute, i considered composing my central panel digitally this time; but as a proponent of enthusiastic stash-usage, i re-thought that strategy at the last minute, and instead went seriously old school with two different types of ancient ki rub-ons, two colors of my beloved basic grey old school alphas, and an oversized EAD vinyl word rub-on. i'm sure you'll recognize the text as something scrooge says towards the end of "a christmas carol"-- it's a favorite holiday sentiment of mine, and some pretty good advice, i think, too! 

(patterned paper: my mind's eye, bo bunny, echo park, basic grey; vinyl "christmas" rub-on: EAD designs; blue alpha rub-ons: 2 sizes of ancient ki memories... that... for the record, i still LOVE; alpha stickers: basic grey; twine: doodlebug; small heart sticker: fancy pants, the two larger hearts were cut from patterned paper using other (non-matching) FP sitckers as a template; ink: colorbox; black pencil for outlining: prismacolor; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)

i feel compelled to mention that while this card looks ok in the pic... (this is my third attempt at re-lighting and changing background, and this is BY FAR the best version, alas) ...irl, this thing is SO MUCH COOLER! in fact, you're all invited round to see for yourselves!!! :)

i was "inspired by" laurel seabrook's 53rd photo prompt in some ways that are fairly obvious (the grid design, the pops of bright red against white, the twine on the little package) and some that are not quite so clear (my staggered hearts were meant to mimic the hanging wreaths, and i had even planned to give them ribbon accents, but the quote took up more space than expected, and frankly i just ran out of room!); one of my favorite things when i play along with laurel's challenges is seeing how close my finished card comes to my initial idea; sometimes it's a pretty straight line, sometimes it's obscurely circuitous, but it's ALWAYS a fun ride!!!

speaking of fun, this week's unscripted sketch (which i rotated 90 degrees) is pretty awesome, dontcha think?

something much less awesome is that i've been forgetting to link up with 52-card-pick-up in the last few weeks, so here's a card for miss patrice with my apologies! ♥

and now i think you will enjoy a little stroll over to SOS to see the other designers' cards, and thus i will stop talking so you can be on your way! happy tuesday, darlings; and happy hanukkah to all who are celebrating!!! ♥♥♥