Tuesday, April 30, 2013

SOS99: by the numbers

this week, at shopping our stash we are ALL ABOUT NUMBERS! yepper, we're making cards that feature numerals in clever ways: you could use up your miscellaneous number stickers, or pull out your number stamps, grab some number-themed paper, or metal numbers... maybe a card in the shape of a "1" for a first birthday, or a LITERAL "big 5-0"?! anything with a number will work, so get your thinking cap on and have fun!  earlier this week, after a bit of searching, i managed to find (and unpack!) the box with all my pre-cut vintage/ephemera/collage elements in it... so i decided to celebrate by making this card! :)

yeah, except for a little scrap of MME cloud paper and some elderly thickers, this thing is ALL "found objects" and none the worse for that, in my opinion. i also got my sewing machine set up, with only a little delay when i realized that the only electrical outlet anywhere where i wanted to put it was BEHIND a very large and heavy piece of furniture! luckily, lovely husband jeff (and an extension cord!) came to my rescue and i was able to do my first decorative stitching in the new house! it felt ♥GOOOOOD♥ too, lol!

i hope ♥YOU♥ are feeling good today, but if not, i'm sure it would cheer you up no end to go and see my fellow SOS-ers' take on this fun challenge! ciao, darlings! :) :) :)

Friday, April 26, 2013

flying home for christmas!

this week at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ we have a super-fun prompt for you, we like to call it "flying home for christmas"! so what do we mean? well, how 'bout we all make holiday cards that feature something that flies... like rudolph, santa's sleigh, an angel, cardinals, christmas robins, a dove of peace,etc?! there are plenty of possibilities, so get as creative as you like, we cannot wait to see what you will do. in the meantime, here's my card:

(patterned paper: echo park, dcwv, basic grey + holly giftwrap from target; mini bingo card (enlarged w/my scanner): jenni bowlin; santa's sleigh picture card: october afternoon holiday miscellany; sentiment sticker: making memories; nested heart dies: cuttlebug; tree die: sizzix; border punch: recollections; chipboard border sticker: my mind's eye; ink: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, gluedots, sewing machine)  
yep, i went really traditional, but actually, once i had found the cuuuuuuuuuuute little card with santa and his sleigh on it, and grabbed my trusty ziplock bag full of xmas "leftovers" this thing sort of just made it self, thanks to this week's super sketchy sunday sketch from 365 cards!

i was also very inspired by this awesome springy and/or xmassy color palette from pile it on, but since i'm only linking to a few challenges-- less of a pile, more of a neat little stack, really!-- i might get disqualified, lol! :) :) :)

and as you know, most fridays, i like to link up with miss patrice!

speaking of links, we hope you'll add one your card to our "flying home for christmas gallery" at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ because for one thing, we loooooooooooove to see what you make, and for another, there might be a little random giftie for one lucky cardmaker, you just never know, do you, darlings?!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

SOS98: show us your BEST dollar store or bargain bin find!

because you know at shopping our stash we loooooooove to see what fabulous bargains you've snagged, but then we want to see you USE THEM, as well! so this week it's time to show off your awesome money-saving skillz! this one is right up my alley, because, as you know, i am a figure of some repute amongst cheapies! :) i like coupons, a good BOGO, garage sales, and the clearance aisle! so here's my card, which has a little bit of all kinds of bargains:

ok, so, what've i got here? well, the postcard stickers (which were part of a whole big 6x12"sheet) were a $1 find of my mom's, at pier one of all places! the prima flowers were from a particularly fab day on crafty steals; and the green and tan "papers" are actually two different bits of prima packaging... gotta love it! the doily was diecut by the awesome miss kirsty as part of one of our pixie dust paperie kits; but my favorite thing on this card is the vintage seam binding. i got it at a rummage sale... a real, proper, old-fashioned rummage sale, held in a church hall, with three rooms of junk and a big card table full of homemade baked goods next to where you pay. i think i spent .25 cents for a whole big roll, and could barely contain my delight. the grannies in charge, (GIC's, lol!) one of whom presumably donated said bounty, were utterly bemused that i was sooooo excited about that! :) :) :)

something else to be excited about is this week's retrosketch, which, as you can see, was integral to my design!

for more lovely cards, and tales of extraordinary money-saving valor, why not hop over to SOS and see my fellow designers' take on this fun challenge, whilst you prepare to wow us with your own fabulous finds! ♥

Friday, April 19, 2013

recycling redux

would you believe this is the very first card i've made in the new house? how is that even possible?! i mean, we've been here two and a half weeks! but holy wow does the time ever FLY by, and it seems like we are always painting, unpacking, washing, drying, polishing or arranging something... or headed out to either home depot or bed bath and beyond to grab a few more urgent "necessities", lol! i am really glad i had managed to work so far ahead before the move, because it's taking me a bit longer to get settled than i'd imagined. having said that, life is goooooooooood and we're having a lot of fun "playing house" up here!:)

meanwhile, at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ we're headed into the second week of our "earth day special" in which we are making cards which utilize one or more elements which have been re-used, re-cycled, up-cycled, or in some way rescued from being thrown away or discarded. so why not get out your scraps, your trash, your treasured and saved pieces of old giftwrap or pretty packaging and come join us! here's what i made this week:

(recycled elements: b+w toile contact paper, panel from an old xmas card, scraps of patterned paper and glossy black cardstock; matte black cardstock card base: core'dinations; florals: prima)
the eagle-eyed amongst you who happened to read last weekend's "new house update" post might recognize that black and white toile print. because it's one of the off-cuts from the cool dollar-store shelf paper i used to line some cabinets! i only had a few scraps left when i'd finished, but they were so pretty i decided to build my whole card around one! i've also got the trimmed down panel from yet another pretty store-bought xmas card i saved last year from the "sent" pile. this one has a very glittery white-on-white print as a background which my photo has completely failed to capture, but trust me, irl it looks cool!

i also used this week's merry monday sketch, which is exceptionally appealing, as i'm sure you'll agree; though, in the spirit of being "green" and not printing out the sketch, i attempted to do it from memory, which essplains why i've got the flowers on the wrong side, eh? :)

i am also linking up at 52-card-pickup... and unlike the last several weeks, this time i'm actually going to REMEMBER to link it up, i promise, patrice!!!

speaking of linking up, miss stephanie and i hope that you will join us in our early earth day celebration over at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

merci beaucoup, darlings!

by which i mean: thank you very much for all of the very nice comments and emails with regard to the doings at the new house! we are very fortunate, and very happy! i *AM* working on getting back to a normal online schedule, i promise, and hope to be around a lot more in the very near future. but thank you for your patience whilst we get settled!!! ♥

in the meantime, it is tuesday and thus time for the new challenge at shopping our stash! this time we'd like you to text us!

Challenge 97: Text or Letters:
use script themed images, text-themed papers, images, stamp a bunch of letters for a border, abc's, use a section of an old book, dictionary, etc.

ok, so i know what you're thinking, you're thinking, "hey lauren! my card has a sentiment on it! which counts as text, right?! so i'm DONE" welllllllll... ok, technically, you are correct; but this time we're actually looking for slightly *MORE* of a statement than that; in addition to just having WORDS on your project, we're really looking for the text to be a bit more of a conscious design element! so have a think, check out the DT projects, and really get creative! plus you know we always love it when you use your stash... the older the better! :)

here's my card:

(patterned paper: prima, basic grey, echo park, glitz design; floral: prima; texty chipboard letters: my very own etsy shop, just enough stuff!; inks: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape)

yep, i went all out! i've got three different text papers, a texty flower, and my own diecut foreign text letters from my etsy shop! is it text overload? well, maybe. but, as mae west said (admittedly in an entirely different context, lol) "too much of a good thing... is *WONDERFUL*!"

i'm currently wishing something wonderful for every single one of us today, so let's get out there and FIND IT! ciao, darlings! ♥♥♥

Sunday, April 14, 2013

during our first two weeks in the new house...

trees were planted...
seven norway spruce, lookin' good, along our back property line.
parquet was re-finished...
lovely husband jeff, a figure of some repute at our local home depot!
shelves were painted...
yep, i had pink (and white!) paint leftover from the closet
or lined...
dear dollarama, i♥u!
or neatly filled with possessions...
(and sometimes, all three!) 
in the apt, all of these "overflow" kitchen items lived in the (easily accessible, but still a flight of stairs away) walk-up attic; so this seemingly humble cupboard is a pretty big deal!!!
furniture was purchased...
a few miscellaneous items from my favorite "overstock" store
or cleaned up... 
this rocker was purchased for my teenage bedroom;
does that make it an antique?
or shifted from room to room...
(and, in the case of the kitchen-- site of the aforementioned parquet-- shifted back again, later!)
having all one's appliances IN ONE ROOM turns out to be a really great idea!
in addition,
and perhaps most excitingly,
 lots more stuff 
little white hyacinths

big pink hyacinths

riotous yellow forsythia

and rhododendrons, which, in 24 rainy hours, LITERALLY went from hardly having buds, to full-on flowering!

to sum up: life has been very good, and very VERY busy!!!
hope you are having a great weekend, darlings!

Friday, April 12, 2013

peace on EARTH DAY!

if you've played along with us at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ in the last three years (and i hope that you either have, or are planning to, because i LOVE to see my friends over there!!!) and if you've ever made cards with us in april, you'll probably be expecting this prompt, this week, because we always like to celebrate EARTH DAY by making holiday cards that do a bit of re-cycling, up-cycling, re-using, re-puposing, or generally rescuing something which might've otherwise ended up in the trash! it's one of my favorite challenges of the whole year, for both the making-- and then especially-- in seeing what others have made! but let's start with my card, ok:

(recycled cardinal greeting card; upcycled white panel from crafts packaging; reused red ribbon from a gift; patterned paper scrap and card base + off cut of chipboard banner sentiment: my mind's eye; ink: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, sewing machine)
my very favorite thing to recycle on christmas cards is... CHRISTMAS CARDS!!! which sounds silly to write or read, but i think everyone crafty probably knows what i mean? even if we don't often *send* store-bought cards, we most likely receive some each year, and many of them are just much too lovely to toss out! in this case, the pretty, almost charlie harper-ish panel with the cardinal is most of a post-holiday thank you note that my friend cheryl received this year and saved just for me! you cannot really tell from the photo, but it's lightly pressure embossed, so that the bird, tree trunks and branches have a tiny bit of dimension. in the spirit of earth day i tried to be as frugal as possible, so the red panel is a leftover scrap, the white panel is the backer from some small making memories frame embellishments, the ribbon came on a parcel, and the chipboard sentiment was the trimmed-off bit of a long border sticker i used quite some time ago, but thought, "that one little piece could still be useful!" ...and i think i was right about that! :)

valiantly assisting me in my quest was this lovely retrosketch from a few weeks ago, on which i changed the proportions slightly:

currently i'm linking up with patrice's 52-card-pickup, as well!

and now i hope you'll follow me over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ to see the lovely creation stephanie has devised, and then start thinking up what you will make for our earth day special!!! ♥

Friday, April 5, 2013

a card which qualifies for "the express lane"

thanks to our lovely guest star, lisa hausmann, we're still celebrating all things glittery, sparkly and be-jewelled at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ this week! not that some of us (ok, *ME*!!!) need any excuse at all, and in fact, have a more challenging time with an assigment to make cards WITHOUT such embellishments; but sometimes life tosses ya a softball, and you have to make hay and run with it! (ok, yeah, i'm pretty sure that sentence comprises non-matching halves of at least three totally non-pertinent sports metaphors; be generous and just scroll down to the card, ok?! thanks!) so what did i mean by my post title, then? well, despite the high levels of glitz and sparkle, i've only used SIX ITEMS on my card, which i think might be an all-time record of restraint for me!!!

(patterned paper: my mind's eye, studio calico; glittery xmas stickers: papaya art; bling flourish: recollections; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape) 
see what i mean?! cardbase... center panel... 3 glittery stickers... rhinestone flourish... that's it. holy moly, this thing is practically *MINIMALIST*!!!  ok, just who exactly AM i, and what have i done with lauren??!???!???! :) :) :)

in retrospect, i wish i'd've stitched around the white panel before gluing down the other elements. but, since they overhang on all sides, the thought just does not appeal, so it's not happening. other than that i'm pleased with this card, and feel like there is definitely enough interest and texture and glamour in the papaya art stickers alone to carry the rest of the design. also, i owe the "good bones" of the layout to this awesome mojo monday sketch from a couple of weeks ago:

speaking of fun places to link up cards, i'm off next to 52-card-pickup to submit this one, won't you join me? then let's head over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and see the gloriously gorgeous things lisa and stephanie have made, especially to delight us. after you, darlings! ♥♥♥

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

*NOT* your normal paper!!!

this week's challenge at shopping our stash is special in two ways: one is that it will run for TWO weeks--so you'll have twice as long to link up with us! the other is that it involves using less-traditional types of paper, which as you know is one of my very very favorite things. this time i've chosen vintage book pages, but you don't have to; you could use use a specialty paper you had to have-- glitter paper, honeycomb paper, corrugated paper (or crimp your own), canvas, cork, etc; or even newspaper, wrapping paper... well, you get the idea, and the list is pretty endless, so howsabout i just show you what i've made, because i'm ♥VERY♥ excited!

(vintage book paper and illustrations from too many different sources to name, but almost all of them have some sort of "home" connection; the reverse of each page is a lined or striped or checked scrapbooking paper, in order to make it easy to write on, since i really do want this to be a WORKING journal; vintage photo sleeve is from last year's las vegas thrifting rampage with miss kirsty, it contains an instagrammed pic of our new home, with ink and stitching around the edges; other products used: wood grain paper + number stickers + hearts: american crafts; stone paper (in next pic): anna griffin; journaling cards: k and co; ribbon: may arts + tim holtz; felt cloud stickers: recollections; "to do list" is a post-it note!; ink: colorbox; adhesives: xyron permanent, staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine; binding wires and machine: zutter bind-it-all)

yep! it's a house-shaped journal i made using my bind-it-all, to record and save all of our paint chips, receipts, business cards and all the fabulous firsts of home-ownership! and for the record, it's one my favorite "makes" ever!!! ♥

i'm sure i'll be showing more of this as the months go on, i actually have quite a few more pages filled in now, but have not had lots of "extra" time for photos while we've been gearing up to actually MOVE IN to the new house! i am also planning to make some of these for my (sadly neglected) etsy shop, in the fullness of time!

i made a bunch of pocket pages, since i knew i'd want to include loads of "real life" things, but be able to access them again; the first pocket has the receipt from the (biiiiiiiiiig honkin'!!!) bank check we took to settlement, as well as the business cards of our realtor, mortgage guy, and lawyer.

i'm also planning to incorporate some pre-made pockets, like the one below, which came from oriental trading co many, mannnnnnny moons ago. in this case, it's holding the folded 8.5x11" sheet on which we wrote the list of things we needed to buy and do on the very first day we owned the house. these included changing the locks, calling the utility companies, and giving home depot 97% of our remaining monies, lol! :) :) :)

the reverse side of the spread is a photo... (because i'm making it a priority to PRINT AND PASTE *real* pictures as i go along, for once; and not just carry around a phone full of digital images!!!) ...of our first meal in the new house: tuna salad, saltines and pickles, eaten at a card table set with folding beach chairs, in what will eventually be our formal dining room. for the record, whereas i've had fancier lunches than this, i don't think i've ever ENJOYED one more!!!

something i think ♥YOU♥ will enjoy is popping over to SOS and seeing the gorgeous things my lovely colleagues have made! so off you go, darlings, but come back soon! ♥