Friday, September 27, 2013

shape-up for the holidays!

this week at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ we are making shaped cards. by which i mean anything *except* the usual square or rectangle. so you could make round cards, heart-shaped, santa's hat, a snowman, a gingerbread house or... well... anything you want, that isn't square or rectangular! sound like fun? well, then, come and play! and i was having so much fun i made SEVEN cards! :)

(patterned paper: creative imaginations, pink paislee, dcwv, crate paper, echo park, daisy d's; florals: prima; holly leaves: making memories; heart brads: doodlebug; other brads: my mind's eye; ink: colorbox; adhesive: staples brand gluetape runner)
this is about as close as i get (or want to get) to mass-producing holiday cards; but i do like to send each of the nieces and nephews their own individual cards... but i want them all to be quite similar. this time i used two digital elements-- presents from a retired mindy terasawa holiday kit-- as my inspiration. i printed one of each at the size i wanted my cards to be (approximately 5x6") and then used the printout as a template to paper piece each individual card. i like that they all coordinate without actually matching!

speaking of things to like, why not head over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and see what stephanie has made to delight you this week. then start thinking about SHAPES and join us!!! :)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

have a very *HOPPY* birthday!

this week at shopping our stash, we're making cards for kids, and since the point is, as always, to use up our older supplies, i knew immediately that i wanted to use some of my beloved basic grey "lollipop shoppe" frogs. yes, i know this paper is exactly the same stuff with which mrs. noah created handmade cards on the ark, but i am defiant in my continuing love for it. so there! ♥

(patterned paper: basic grey, making memories, creative imaginations; glitter thickers: american crafts; labels: dymo; ink: colorbox; pen: sharpie; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)
i used this week's unscripted sketch (#223), which i think you'll agree is rather awesome:

something else which is always amazing and wonderful to me is the astonishing creativity of my SOS design team mates! i hope you'll head on over and check out this week's crop of inspiration! :)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

in lieu of monsta monday...

...would you settle for shark sunday??!?! because it just so happens that i've recently knitted a shark. which might be the best sentence i've typed all year, actually. because when it comes to cool crafting phrases, i think, "i've recently knitted a shark" is hard to beat! ok, i suppose, "i've recently knitted a life-sized shark" would be even better. but i'm pretty sure i don't have enough yarn for that, so this little amigurumi-sized one will have to suffice. for now.

sharkey was a birthday present, by special request, for nephew matthew, who's just turned six. at the moment, he's VERY into all things aquatic, especially sharks; thus i made a cool digi-panel for his gift bag, using a fabulous shark illustration miss gina created a while ago:

you might think a knitted shark in the hands of an adorable 6-year-old would be impossible to top in terms of birthday party cuteness. and you'd be right. until you saw the cupcakes that matthew and madeline made for the party:

for the record, my sister amie did do a little helping and a lot of supervising, but most of the mixing and decorating of these cupcakes really was done by the kids; they LOVE to cook and have taken classes fairly frequently at their local wegmans for the last couple of years! 

speaking of cuteness, matthew, and sharks, here is the man himself having finished the 100+ piece puzzle that was also in his birthday bag the other night:

my sister sent this in a text the other day. she probably sends me a random photo of one or other of the kids at least once a week, usually just with a one-sentence description of some sort. this one said, "cue the theme from jaws" and made me smile for the rest of the day. it also made me have the theme from jaws stuck in my head for the rest of the day, but that's a pretty fair trade-off, imo.

happy birthday, matthew 
and many happy returns! 

Friday, September 20, 2013

this one's even vintagier!*

by "this one" i mean my latest card for our vintage-style christmas card prompt at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and by "vintagier" i mean that it has even more awesome elements than the one i made last week. want to see? please note: you're welcome to say no, obviously; but such a course kind of messes up the rest of my plan for this post, which revolves around your having seen the card. no pressure, though... :)

ok, so here's the card!

(vintage bits: ideals magazine page + doily; patterned paper: daisy d's and pink paislee; gold and vellum poinsettia: prima; gold press on sentiment: best creation; adhesives: scotch gluestick, staples brand gluetape runner, low temp hot glue, sewing machine)
the background is part of a page from an old christmas "ideals" magazine. i was lucky enough to be given a pile of these when my uncle's mother died a few years ago, and i am utterly in love with their funky charm! the illustrations are probably my favorite part. these little bunnies were actually at the bottom of a page from which i had already cut a larger and more prominent element, and it was frankly hard to see *HOW* i would use the oddly shaped bit that remained, but i couldn't bear to throw them away. this week i found them again and was STILL puzzled how i could use 'em... until... i saw sweet sunday sketch #193, and everything fell into place!

and now i think you should head over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ because stephanie's card is to die for!!! oh yeah, and you could link up to win a fabulous prize, as well, which is always nice, too! ♥

*yep. i've OFFICIALLY run out of good blog post titles. hoping for a weekend special at big lots. :) :) :)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

got (elderly) flowers?

do you remember when prima first came out with their little mulberry paper blossoms? because i do... vividly. they came in big jars, with only one or two colors in them, and it seemed *impossible* to choose which one to get. i guess other people had the same dilemma, because while i was trying to decide i saw someone on ebay who was selling a little craft organizer with an assortment of colors and sizes. i bought one, immediately, of course. i've used some and added some and used more and added more and... well... i've still got a pretty full organizer, though probably most of its current contents are second or third generation flowers:

at the moment the purple section's a bit depleted looking, however, because this week at shopping our stash the brief is to use your oldest flowers (or oldest flower stamp, if you prefer) and i've sewn over a dozen onto this gift bag for niece lindsay's upcoming birthday:

florals: prima + oriental trading co; patterned paper: colorbok, bo bunny, lily bee, making memories, dcwv; chipboard letters: gcd design; brad: making memories; pearl: recollections; border punches: recollections, ek success; ink: colorbox; various bits of lace from my stash; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, gluedots, low temp hot glue)
please excuse the truly appalling photo; i ran out of daylight, then time, and finally, patience. the layers are not actually all crookedy and weird, either, i swear! but this thing is oversized and super-shiny and... well, i think there's a vague possibility it may have secretly joined the witness protection program at some point, because i know it really, REALLY did not want me to take an accurate/attractive photo. in real life it's pretty cute, though, i swear! in fact, you're all invited over to see it in person, at which time light (but not well-lit, alas) refreshments will be served! :)

do stop at SOS on your way, though, because the rest of the DT have made cool projects and taken excellent pictures. go and see! go and seeeeeeeee!!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

deconstructing the stapled collage

today i have the very great honor of being tammy's guest hostess for the daily paper prompt on the daisy yellow art blog, and i hope you'll come and visit me over there! my topic is the thing i've been obsessed with all summer long: the stapled collage! i'm showing a brand new example, plus a few old ones. my intention was to photograph my "process" of composing the layers of the collage, but it turns out i work waaaaaaay too amorphously for that idea to be successful. who knew, lol?! so instead, i just did my thing, but stopped at the crucial point after i was happy with my composition, but before i had attached anything. and then i worked backwards and photoed each layer, so you could see the sequence... only, in reverse! not to worry, i have no plans to make a habit of this sort of thing, but i confess it was kind of fun, just this once. :)

would you like to see the "official" finished product? it's pretty similar to the first photo up top, but there's a much nicer picture if you hop on over to the daisy yellow blog! see you there, darlings! ♥♥♥

Friday, September 13, 2013

vintage views

friday is my favorite day of the week, new prompts at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ are my favorite fridays, and fun, funky older pieces of paper are my favorite ingredients, so how could i *not* be ecstatic that we're making cards with a vintage vibe this week?! oh yeah, and did i mention there's a prize?! but i'll get to that in a minute, first here's my card:

(vintage: sheet music (scanned and reduced a bit), flowers cut from gift wrap, doily; patterned paper: basic grey, my mind's eye, echo park; ink: colorbox; border punches: martha stewart, recollections; label die: spellbinders; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, scotch gluestick)
you can see i've got a few vintage bits going on this time, including a slightly reduced scan of some sheet music that is one of the images included in this week's Jingle Belles post, which you can use, too, if you'd like; the other is one of my favorite old holiday postcards! of course you don't have to use REAL vintage things, or even scans thereof; the shops are chock full of vintage-style paper crafting products, and those will work every bit as well! on the other hand, if you like vintage stuff, there's a chance to win a cool holiday ephemera pack from my very own etsy shop, just enough stuff! (the winner will get a $10 g/c, too!)

why not check out all the details at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and start plotting your own card right now?!!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

did somebody say, "technique"?!

as you know, i'm generally a technique-free zone, but when shopping our stash asks me to show my favorite stampy one, of course i have to have a go! so i decided to make with a little emboss/resist. like this:

(stamp: judikins; embossing ink and powder: psx; inks for coloring: colorbox, ranger, tombow; bag + tissue paper: michaels; lace and leaves from my stash)

i used an extra large backgound stamp, and colored it in with a mixture of chalk inks, distress inks, and a few marker highlights. i based the color palette on this giant velvet prima bloom. here's a closer look:

if you'd like to see some other awesome stampy techniques... or show off one of your own... why not hop over to shopping our stash for inspiration galore?! see you there, darlings! :)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

(another) super-sized art journal post

still loving the daily paper prompts, generally, and my (rapidly filling up!) vintage ledger art journal, particularly. still finding it hard to photo and post them in a timely manner. so basically this sunday finds me exactly as usual, lol!

029: finishing
this prompt was sort of "freestyle" so i elected to make a super fast collage using only scraps, leftovers, and off-cuts that were sitting on the coffee table next to where i work in the evenings. and not only because it saved me having to clean them all up. which... ok, yeah... it also did! :)

030: invent a font
something i've never done, but want to do again, now!!!

031: art materials color palette
i've been wanting to make one for my brush markers, because sometimes the caps kind of... welllllll... lie!

032: puzzled
the brief was to use a bit of a crossword or other puzzle on a page. i filled the squares in by sewing on lines of tiny flower sequins. weirdly enough, when i checked the back of the book, all of my answers were correct! :) :) :) 

033: messing around with paint
this prompt was guest-hosted by natasha white, and it was a fun one whose title pretty much says it all. as a side note i should maybe mention that i could not seem to get my flung paint to land in anything but droplets of various sizes. maybe i was using too little paint? or too small a brush? eventually, wanting a bit more "connectivity" between my droplets, i spread them around with a brush and then kind of smooshed them together by folding the paper in on itself. i definitely succeeded in making a mess, however, so i feel fully vindicated in that regard.

034: block letters
as with the font assignment, another one that made me think, "i should draw with markers more!" and so i should! (for the record, the list represents all of the states i've been to so far; except i forgot texas!)

035: color grid
this prompt was hosted by hanna andersson and was most enjoyable! i decided to use water-soluble wax crayons, and i machine stitched my grid instead of drawing it with a marker; but other than that i followed directions completely. go, me! 

hope you are having a happy, fun, interesting, relaxing sunday... and that you will find a little time to do something ♥CREATIVE♥ today!!! :)

Friday, September 6, 2013

sketchy... again!

over at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ we're still making cards based on allison fillo's fabulous sketch. i'll show that to you again in a minute, but first here's my card:

(patterned paper: pink paislee, october afternoon; journal card: studio calico; die cut bunting bits: pink paislee; twine: the twinery; rub ons: k and co; ink: colorbox; red cardstock: staples; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape)

and now here's that wonderful sketch again:

you can see that i was 100% faithful to the layout; but then, it's just about the perfect starting point for ANY direction one would like to go, don't you think? and now i hope the direction you'd like to go is over to jingle belles to see stephanie's gorgeous holiday card, not to mention the readers' gallery which is already AWESOME... but still has plenty of room for ♥YOU♥!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

a liiiiiittle behind...

...on my daily paper prompt pages. partly because we're verrrrrry much looking forward to jeff's parents' visit to see the new house on saturday, and have been engrossed in lots of small last minute projects. partly because the labor day weekend turned into a marathon of shopping, shopping, and more shopping in order to acquire all those little bits and bobs that finish off a room. and partly because i just had waaaaaaay too many fun social opportunities in the week or so before school started, including multiple play dates with the nieces and nephew... and there's literally NOTHING in the world i won't blow off to go and spend an extra afternoon or two crocheting with riley, lindsay, madeline and matthew*!!! ♥

025: nature journaling
another example of me setting out with the intention of following the prompt much more literally than actually happened in the end. on the other hand, it's hard to regret, or apologize for, how far i strayed in this case, since this is one of my favorite pages of the summer! but then, being comprised almost equally of souvenirs from our hawaiian trip and vintage hawaiiana... and being my fave STAPLED COLLAGE so far... it kind of figures, right?!

026: slow journaling
this one i did EXACTLY as directed, and  enjoyed the process as much as the outcome! i tried a new blending idea using my watercolor crayons... not sure it was completely "successful" but it's definitely interesting! :)

027: swirly writing
more blending. writing on a curve. hand-cut stars. the words of dante gabriel rossetti. what's not to like?

028: do over
the direction on this day was to finish a prompt we had started OR take another pass at a favorite; i combined "mapping" with "the blues". part of me is embarrassed by how much of this summer i spent in my collagey comfort zone, but another part is so jazzed by all of the ideas and inspiration i'm having that it never seems to last for long! ♥

*the girls are really getting good at chaining and single crochet, and are working away on the rainbow scarf kits i made them at christmas for their american girl dolls. strictly speaking, matthew's input on these occasions is limited to practicing slipknots, choosing which color any of us ought to use next, and spontaneously belting out the WORLD'S BEST karaoke rendition of "eye of the tiger"!!!**

**i swear i am not making this up. and just for the record, you have not lived until you've seen/heard a not-quite-6-year-old do this. i highly recommend leaving beverages out of such a context, however. trust me. :) :) :)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

best fishes on your birthday

this week at shopping our stash, we've got a fun one for ya! here's the official description:

School or Office/Workplace Theme 
Use something that depicts school or a workplace/office theme: careers, office humour, or use a school supply or office supply on your card... paperclip, sticky note, ruler sticker, etc.

don't you just love it when you've got soooo many cool choices? i did a little of everything. see?!

(vintage: fish illustration, book paper, chart, map; patterned paper: pink paislee, studio calico + notebook paper; stickers: october afternoon; tape measure ribbon: tim holtz; other: paperclip, staples; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m gluestick)
this card is for my brother's birthday. i bet i've made him AT LEAST a dozen "best fishes" ones over the years, it's kind of a challenge to see if i can think of a new way to interpret it! in this case, i went vintage and collagey, since that was the mood i was in.

why not stop over at SOS and see what an awesome, creative, inspirational mood my fellow DT-members are in. it's always worth the trip!!! ♥

Monday, September 2, 2013

monsta monday, part three

i've saved the best for last. ok, well, actually i love all of my ami's pretty close to equally, but this one is from the creepy cute crochet book, and those are hard to beat for sheer creative awesomeness:

nina is a stealthy and ruthless ninja whose hobbies include stealth and ruthlessness. by day she stalks her prey, but by night... nope... actually by night she stalks her prey, too. nina's pretty much all prey-stalking, all the time. did we mention she's VERY cute? also stealthy. and ruthless.

while we're on the subject, i'd like to post my all-time favorite joke from graphjam:

i should mention that in the year or so since i found this, i've shown it to almost everyone i know and i'm still THE ONLY ONE who finds it funny. which... let's face it... this is not the first time in my life that has happened, lol. but i'm thinking that jessi or jan or possibly leslie might also chuckle, at least a little bit! ♥♥♥

Sunday, September 1, 2013

i had the nicest dream about daniel craig last night! :)

i'm totally serious. :) :) :)

something else that sounds like something i would make up, but again, this time i have not:

yep. that's my actual fortune from the chinese food we ordered friday night! kind of want to keep going back to that restaurant until i score the legendary, "help! i'm being held prisoner in a fortune cookie factory!" 

in the meantime, i'm off to give bed bath and beyond the rest of my monies in exchange for some awesome bedding to adorn our guest room. possibly this, but using a few less layers; because that is A LOT of pattern! (and remember it's *ME* saying so, lol!!!) LHJ prefers this, and it's on clearance. but i'd have to buy a duvet to put in it. decisions... decisions...