Tuesday, December 31, 2013

SOS132: last of...

is it just me, or did 2014 just totally *FLY* by at breakneck speed?! well, whether or not you feel like the year went past more quickly than usual, i'm pretty sure you'll have to agree that this is the last day of it; which makes today's challenge at shopping our stash the last, as well. and thus, appropriately enough, we're asking you to create a project which incorporates the last of... something... whether it be the last brad in the package, the last little scrap of a beloved patterned paper, or, well, any little "last of" you'd like to name! i try pretty hard to *USE* the things i love instead of hoarding them, but sometimes it's hard, isn't it? especially with vintage items, i confess to feeling a pang when i get to the last of something i probably won't be able to replace any time soon. in this case, it's the vintage slide mount; i had half a dozen of them, and used the fifth of them well over a year ago, so this seemed like the perfect time to make a card for a special someone, which would obviously be completely worthy of the last one. and here it is:

(vintage: slide mount filled with a bit of old greeting card; xo paper made by using diecut letters as a mask on notebook paper and spraying with baby pink glimmer most; butterfly transparency: hambly; patterned paper: cosmo cricket; goddess sticker: papaya art; thickers: american crafts; tiny brad: queen and co; other: scrap of copier paper, manual typewriter; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)
my favorite part--with the exception of the slidemount, obviously-- is the "xoxo" patterned paper, which i made myself by laying some diecut letters on top of a piece of notebook paper, adding a light coating of spray ink, and then discarding the diecuts. then i topped the base with a scrap of pink butterfly-bedecked transparency, and sewed on the chipboard sentiment. here's a close-up of the slide mount and the focal image, which i trimmed down from an old greeting card:

and now i know you'd like to check out what my fellow SOS design team members have created for your inspiration, and start planning *YOUR* last card of 2013!

Monday, December 30, 2013

dd25: the big wrap up!

despite the fact that there is (thankfully) no statute of limitations on papercrafting, and even though i truly believe that it doesn't matter *WHEN* you finish any particular project; as i worked on my december daily book, i had a really strong desire to finish it before the end of the year. and with this, the very last page, i have met my goal!

(vintage music paper and doily; echo park banner sticker; mambi ornaments; basic grey stitched bunting)
since this book, for me, was more about the preparations than christmas itself, i debated quite a bit as to whether i even wanted a page for the 25th. in the end i made a page, but it's basically just decorative, without any specific content from the holiday. the photo is one i took earlier in the month, it's the very beautiful and totally festive window of the paper source store in princeton. i think it's a pretty good compromise, and a nice way to end the story.

my favorite picture of ANY minibook is the side view which shows allllllll the pages completed and in their new home. so here's one of those, as well as one last shot of the front:

i found december daily to be every bit as fun and satisfying as i expected, but it's definitely challenging, and for sure one of those times when the more prepared you are, the more smoothly things will go. having said that, i'm already thinking about the possibility of doing it again next year; and also trying to make a kid-friendly version for the nieces and nephews! tune in next october to see if i figure *that* one out, ok?! :)

dd24: big macs and bernard

one of the stranger holiday traditions jeff and i celebrate each year is based upon our love of a now rather ancient BBC christmas special called "bernard and the genie" which was a sort of early 1990's take on the arabian nights, as scripted by richard curtis.* we watch it every year, usually on christmas eve, whilst eating a wonderfully light and nutritious meal of... yep, you guessed it: big macs!** :) what can i say, we are generally pretty healthy eaters, but very occasionally, i think ya just really need to wallow in the glorious gloppiness of total junk food, and thus we enjoy our tradition immensely!

(trees: cut from a catalog; instagrammed photo printed on kodak premium glossy paper; patterned paper: october afternoon, reminisce; journaling card: my mind's eye; foam and chipboard thickers: american crafts; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, scotch gluestick)
another super-simple page: the photo shows part of said sandwich and the (unfortunately very glarey) dvd cover; the funky trees were something i'd cut from a holiday catalog last year for... something (?)... and then not used, so they were lurking in my "cut out" folder; and since, for pretty much this entire december daily project my motto has been, "when in doubt, throw some thickers on there" we've got two more fonts joining in! and thus another page comes together like... welllllll... MAGIC! ♥♥♥

*who went on to write and direct a few things you might be more familiar with, such as "four weddings and a funeral" and "love, actually"
**it's a long story, based on jeff's favorite scene from the film; trust me, it makes sense in context. at least it does to us, lol! :)

dd23: shark socks!

i spent a decent chunk of the monday before christmas finishing the handmade part of nephew matthew's gift: a pair of shark-shaped slipper socks. (try saying THAT three times fast, lol!) i cannot say i love doing things at the last minute, but this year i also crocheted a few other presents, and customized postcard albums for all the nieces and nephews; plus these babies just had SO MUCH detail-- some of which i needed to try more than once to get right! and in the end, they came out very cute indeed, so eventually the page i had envisioned showing ALL the handmade gifts, morphed into a tribute to the sharks.

(vintage craft book page; instagrammed photo printed on kodak premium glossy paper; echo park journaling card; american crafts foam thickers; dymo labels; staples brand gluetape runner)
i think this may be the fastest page i've ever made, mostly due to serendipity: the green journaling card and the green foam alphas just happened to wind up sitting next to each other AND the shark photo on my worktable and when i saw them all together i thought, "AHA!" a little adhesive and a few dymo lables later, et voila!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

dd22: (pictureless) brunch

as you know, on sunday the 22nd, we held our big family christmas brunch, and i think i mentioned that it went really well. thanks to lovely husband jeff, the food was amazing; the house looked great; for once, i had even thought in advance about logistical things like serving dishes, and utensils, and where to place the buffet/beverages, etc, to keep people moving and make it possible for everyone to access each item easily. so all in all a triumphant success, right? right!

except... wouldja believe... i completely and totally forgot to take ANY PHOTOS AT ALL??!?!!

yep. it's true. don't ask me how, but i was so focused, the idea of pictures utterly slipped my mind until i sat down that night to think about making a page for the day. you can imagine my feelings upon making this realization. because *HOW* do you document the perfect brunch without photos?! i mean, you can't. and the brunch was the story of the day. it actually took a couple of days to hit me: on such a day, the story might not turn out to be the brunch... maybe the story might actually BE forgetting to take photos? now *that* ya can make a page about! so i did:

(transparency: hambly; guest check digi element from 2peas' retired "christmas shopping" kit; foam thickers: american crafts; vintage doily; photos printed on kodak premium glossy paper)
as i was looking for something else online, i found a funny picture of a lego waffle, and suddenly thought, "what if i re-created the elements of the brunch, but with a twist?" so i found a happy family, a lovely hostess, a huuuuuuuge buffet, a delicious bellini, and a completely irrelevant weiner tree; printed them out, and made a little collage. i had the perfect vintage "base" page for this one... but the photos took up a bit too much room, so i decided to build the page on a transparency, instead.

i used a vintage style hambly transparency to float all of the elements on top. here you can see the underneath page, which is from a 1970's holiday cookbook:

no weiner trees* were harmed in the making of this page! :)

*someone-- probably my sister-- sent me the weiner tree photo a few weeks before the brunch, noting that it was clearly the epitome of a classy holiday dish. which it is, obviously! in my family, that's the kind of thing that becomes the visual equivalent of a "catch phrase" and will now be forever associated with elegant christmas entertaining. december party in the works? awesome! who's bringing the weiner tree??! :) :) :)

dd21: gift wrap

the saturday before christmas was pretty equally divided between cleaning during the day and wrapping gifts at night. i took some pretty good pics of the gifts, actually, and they're what i thought i'd use on this page, but somehow, at some point, the idea morphed into using the wrapping ingredients themselves, instead.

(star and music giftwrap from michaels and target, respectively; ribbons and glittery stems from michaels; kay and co sparkly letter stickers; making memories rub-ons; crate paper journal spot; vintage silver doily from stephanie; colorbox inks; typewriter + sewing machine)
page-wise it couldn't be much more simple: two kinds of giftwrap, two kinds of ribbon, a few glittery embellishments, a lovely silver doily... but here's a photo of the gifts themselves, so you can compare:

next up: the big brunch. yahoo! :)

dd20: decor crazy?

proof that there really is an "embellishment gene" and i have it fair and square: on friday, the 20th of december, my mother and i drove around to four different stores, looking for LED battery lights when it turned out that the ones i'd bought weeks ago glowed red instead of white. we found some, eventually, and came home to create a super-sparkly green and silver miniature christmas tree forest on my dining room table. because that's the way we roll!!! :)

(patterned paper: hambly + papersource sparkly red giftwrap; border sticker: crate paper; journaling spot: crafty secrets; chipboard thickers: american crafts; instagrammed pics printed on kodak premium glossy paper)
this page is built on a lovely (store-bought) gatefold christmas card our friends kim and dave sent us to celebrate our first holiday in the new house. as soon as i saw it, i knew i wanted to use it inside this journal! but even working really flatly, once i had added all the photos and things inside, it just didn't want to close properly. so i decided, instead of punching holes in it and adding it as a page like i originally intended, i'd make a little clear sleeve (out of the plastic cover from a photo album) to hold it. i love how it looks in the book, but WOW, it was verrrrrry hard to photograph! believe it or not, this is by far the best of the elebenty million pictures i took:

i've just about caught up on my pages, and will be posting the remainder today and tomorrow, so i'll see you again soon, darlings!

Friday, December 27, 2013

(belated) ♥MERRY XMAS!♥ (+ dd19)

hello, darlings!
i hope you had an amazingly lovely christmas full of only the good kind of surprises... not to mention your share of fun, treats and presents! we've had a wonderful week, albeit one with quite a bit of driving time amassed; but when you're on the way to see the people you love, time passes pretty quickly, doesn't it?

ok, so, you might be wondering, "hey lauren! what happened to december daily?!" and the answer is, i was on schedule with taking photos and thinking up what i'd write about each day, but around monday morning or so i realized i could either work and post like a mad person to stay on top of things, or let it slide in favor of enjoying the holiday and catch up afterwards. and do you know... for once in my life... i chose *SANITY*!!! go figure! this whole maturity thing rears its head at the weirdest times, lol! :) but the result is, not only did i enjoy christmas eve and christmas day a whollllllllle lot more, now that i'm getting back to making the pages, it feels even more fun, to remember what we did in the lead up to the holiday! bonus!!! 

(patterned paper: pink paislee; vintage-look ephemera pieces: pink paislee, echo park, october afternoon; alphas and "story" sticker: girls' paperie; tape: love my tapes and some from a package lovely linda b sent me! digi green stamps from an old 2peas kit called holiday shopping; labels: dymo... which have made an appearance on nearly every page along with my manual typewriter... there was no "plan" for that, but i LOVE how it looks and also the fact that i can fit in a lot more words than my big loopy handwriting would permit, lol!)
you'll have sussed that december 19th was the day my mom and i made our annual trip into manhattan to check out all the beautiful department store windows, see the tree at rockefeller center, visit the holiday markets, and just generally revel in the joys of "christmastime in the city". it's always a super-fun day, and this year, despite the day being rather cold, was no exception. i took plenty of photos, of course-- (and in fact i've only used a few of them here!) --so it was pretty obvious that one 5.5x8" page was not going to be sufficient. thus a special fold-out was clearly called for! i used the outside flap to hold a little collage and our itinerary, whilst the interior holds selected pics with little dymo label captions:

(patterned paper: echo park; sentiment sticker: october afternoon; deco tape: love my tapes, freckled fawn, k and co, martha stewart, my mind's eye, little b; labels: dymo; instagrammed photos printed on kodak premium glossy paper)
one of the things i'm totally LOVING about this project is that i've been trying to work pretty flat, and somehow, amazingly for me, it's turning out to be possible to still make things i really like! the other big insight for me has been finding out i don't need to include EVERY. SINGLE. THING. either via journaling or photos; it's enough to preserve a few favorite moments or images. this page has both... and thus i think my blogging work is done for the day! 

ciao, darlings! 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

dd18: fa-la-la-la-la (la-la-la-laaaaa!)

it's probably not a secret that i *LOVE* xmas music, i have about 2.5g of it, loaded onto its own little ipod shuffle and i spend most of my listening time during the month before christmas letting it randomly select songs for me. i thought it would be fun to make a page with my top ten favorites this year. so i did. see?

(vintage ideals magazine page, owl cut from a christmas card, echo park journaling card and tree sticker, mambi chipboard heart, vera lim digital ornament and present icons printed on glossy photo paper; staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, manual typewriter)
the background is another christmas ideals page, the fab owl is cut from an old xmas card, and the rest is just stashy goodness i thought went well together. i've been using my vintage typewriter a lot during this project, which makes me very happy!

speaking of happy, we hosted our family brunch today, and it was totally fun. lots of laughs plus lots and LOTS of food, with tons leftover, so if you happen to be in central new jersey over the next few days, and find yourself feeling a bit hungry, do stop by for a snack, darlings!!! ♥

Saturday, December 21, 2013

dd17: oh *VINTAGE* tree! :)

i know what you're thinking. you're thinking, "hey lauren! didn't you already post photos of your tree?!" and technically, you are correct. except... actually... this year we have *TWO* trees! yes, that's right: two full-sized, real christmas trees. i'd be embarrassed by this excess, if i didn't love them both soooooooooo very much! the second, auxiliary tree (standing by just in case the main tree is unable to fulfill its duties, lol) is a blue spruce that we've set up in our sunroom, and i'm delighted to announce that i had enough vintage ornaments to cover the entire thing without needing "filler" ornaments. wahey!

(vintage page from ideals magazine, instagrammed photos printed on kodak premium glossy paper, pink glitter thickers, making memories rub-ons, doodlebug glitter paper, journaling typed on scraps of avery clear labels and stuck on to page)
of course i had to build the page about the vintage tree on vintage paper. that's the law, isn't it?! :) there were quite a few options in various ideals magazines, but i bet i'd've missed this one if i hadn't already printed my photos and realized that they'd totally cover the doggie:

not that i don't love dogs, but in this case, i think the page works a bit better sans chien! more "catch up" days are in the works, but at the moment our big project is getting ready for tomorrow's family holiday brunch, so wish us luck, darlings!

dd16: brunch ready

on monday we were deeply embroiled in the planning phase for our upcoming family brunch. we finalized our menu, started making a (lonnnnnng!) grocery shopping list, and i unpacked and washed my beloved lenox christmas dishes for the buffet. we are brunch ready!!! :)

it's probably no big secret that i loooooove macro photos, and i'm pretty happy with this one. part of my joy in the december daily project is that it's not only made me look around every day and think about what aspects of the holiday we're involved with, but then after that, i need to think of how to make that visual, too. thus i'm taking pictures of our ornaments, our garland, our trees, and... today... our china. pretty awesome, really.

(vintage greeting card; instagrammed photo printed on kodak premium glossy paper; making memories journaling card; echo park letter stickers and tab; inside: basic grey patterned paper and webster's pages vellum) 
this page is built on one of the vintage christmas cards that i "extended" with a patterned paper interior. so i've got my photo and title on the outside, and the interior holds our menu:

i've been trying to work pretty flat with this project, and mostly succeeding; there are no lumpy embellishments, no fluffy flowers... but occasionally i just have to bust out the foam tape and give my layers a little height. i'll most likely need to swap out for larger bookrings before the month is over, but that's why staples sells those things in a variety pack, right?! :)

dd15: under the tree

sunday, december fifteenth, had a little christmas surprise in store for me, and sadly not the good kind of surprise. instead, my wonky old back decided not just to go out, but to go pretty severely into spasm as well. nice. :0 but at least there was something awesome to look at from my perspective on the living room floor, so i built my page around the view:

(patterned paper: basic grey, my mind's eye, echo park, reminisce; journaling card: my mind's eye; sticker: daisy d's; rub-ons: making memories; adhesive: staples brand gluetape runner)
pagewise, this is pretty straightforward: all stashyness, in the form of patterned papers, stickers, rub-ons, an altered journaling card, and of course another instagram. oh yeah, and some tiny little gems stuck onto the tree, for extra sparkle. and thus another day is documented!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

SOS131: one color!

yes, that's right, we're in the mood for monochrome* at shopping our stash this week. in fact, we're sooooo in the mood** that this challenge will run for an entire fortnight, so you've got plenty of time to get in on the fun! you could make some thank you notes, get ahead on january birthdays, or maybe make one more xmas card? totally up to you! i made one more xmas card. see?

(patterned paper: my mind's eye, dcwv, reminisce; super-old velvet paper that i wish, wish, wish i had more of: sei, chipboard frame: my mind's eye; sentiment banner and ribbon: recollections; ink: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)
once again i decided to use the rather awesome sketch from unscripted, and when i went over there to grab it, imagine my surprise and delight to find that this pair of cards got a shout-out from those lovely ladies, for which i thank them!

and now i know you're longing to see what my amazing SOS teammates have got up to this week, so off you go, darlings, to check it out! ♥

*you may also incorporate neutrals in your monochromatic palette.
**oh yeah, and completely coincidentally, it's also christmas next week, lol! :) :) :)

Monday, December 16, 2013

dd14: salute to xmas telly

i'm a little embarrassed to admit how very much i enjoy a selection of holiday tv specials and movies each year. some of my faves date from childhood, while others are more recent; but there are definitely certain things i *NEED* to see every single december, or else it just doesn't feel like christmas to me. this page lists the most crucial ones:

(vintage heart-shaped doily; recycled christmas party invitation; printed transparency of unknown origin; october afternoon journaling card; american crafts thickers; (ancient) gin-x rub-on alphas; mme + recollections washi tapes; 14 cut from reminisce xmas number paper; adhesives: scotch gluestick, staples brand gluetape runner, sewing machine)

the picture of hermie and rudolph is a trimmed-down party invitation i had saved in my xmas card box, because i just knew that thing would come in handy someday*!!! :) i'm not sure you can tell that the background paper is a really an extra-thick, plastic-y transparency. i have no idea who made it, i've only ever seen this one variety and it's from a couple of years ago. which is a pity because the texture of it is cool and i can easily imagine lots more ways to use something like this! anyway, here's the back, so you can see what i'm talking about:

the red heart doily is from a pack that gina and i found in a thriftshop last year. and everything else is ordinary stashy type things! it's a bunch of oddball items all smooshed together, really; which probably explains why like this page! :)

*it's exactly this sort of dangerous moment which totally reinforces a person's packrat-ish tendencies. not that i have those, lol. but if i did, this would totally convince me it's a good thing!

dd13: i've been MALL-ed! :)

can you believe we're past the halfway point of december daily already? which also means we're that much closer to christmas, too. a fact that's either awesome or a cause for panic, depending on how prepared one is. in my case, it's kind of both! because somehow, over the weekend, i seem to have impulsively invited my entire family to brunch next sunday. yikes! ah well, on the plus side, if my house isn't quite ready i'll have lots extra of pairs of hands to help me finish, right?!* meanwhile here's my page from friday, the thirteenth, on which i made the dreaded week-before-xmas trip to the local retail palace.

(patterned paper: october afternoon, dcwv, my mind's eye; instagrammed photos printed on kodak premium glossy paper; yellow fabric thickers: american crafts; labels: dymo; ink: colorbox)
once again, two photos*** plus some thickers and typed journaling. i'm sensing a pattern, here! but hey, it ain't broke, so i'm not even vaguely thinkin' about fixin' it!

*be a sport and lie to me here, ok? because clearly i'm suffering from holiday insanity.**

**proof of my overloaded mental state: i *KNOW* there's the opportunity for a funny funny santa/sanity pun here, but i can't quiiiiiite come up with one. sanity and mrs. claus? nah. sorry, i guess i'm gonna have to owe you a joke!

***"yule love this" was a sign in one of the stores-- american eagle, i think-- that totally made me laugh, and flashback to all the hilarious fake holiday promos in "scrooged". i didn't see the solid gold dancers, though, unfortunately. however i was pretty psyched to find a small temporary branch of see's candies there over the holidays!!! which my west-coast darlings might not realize is a very recent development here in the northeast. i'm now secretly hoping an in-and-out burger will magically appear there next summer!!! :)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

dd12: oh christmas tree

here's a page i like a little better than the last one. YAY! it's dedicated to the big tree in our living room. which i *THINK* is done being decorated, though i'm considering adding tinsel. something unexpected that this photo revealed to me is that whereas in real life i have not minded our bay window only having the plain white walls and plain white venetian blinds left by the last owners of our house, in the picture it really does look stark, doesn't it? i'm now thinking of painting in the spring, and ordering the padded valences i saw at lowe's. so it turns out december daily is not just a fun experience, it's a valuable home decorating tool, too. who knew?! :)

(patterned paper: my mind's eye; glitter alphas and tiny stars: making memories; tiny alphas: studio calico; journaling card: prima; instagrammed photos printed on kodak premium glossy paper)

the page is built on the back of one of the pockets i made when i was setting up the book; i've been using the pre-made pages about half the time; though if there's nothing that speaks to me on a particular day, i'm fine with making something new. in this case, the dark maroonish red just seemed right to me, and neutral enough to support two photos, two sets of sparkly letters and a journaling card. which is all ya need, really! ♥

dd11: merry x-MESS!

one of the facts of holiday life, at least for us, is that the period of time between having a lovely, clean, nicely decorated non-holiday house and having a lovely, clean, decorated-for-christmas house is the ugliest, messiest, most chaotic week imaginable! whilst i was bemoaning this fact AND that it was getting in the way of my fab seasonal documentation, i realized that this wasn't interrupting december daily... this actually WAS the story; at least it was right at that moment! so bring on the mess and let's instagram some photos of it, shall we?!

(vintage pages: from an old craft book and ideals magazine; tag: pink paislee; thickers: american crafts; ribbon: sei; labels: dymo; ink: colorbox; instagrammed pic printed on kodak premium glossy photo paper)
i had a reaalllllllllllly clear picture in my head of what i wanted this page to look like. and *THIS*... alas... isn't even close to that. for one thing, i've covered up way too much of the photo. and the letters don't stand out enough. and the tag is just, i dunno, wrong. but there's no cryin' in baseball, and there's no "do overs" in december daily.* cathy zielske, in a similar situation, once said something that i continue to think is absolutely profound: sometimes good enough is good enough. dude! sooooooooooo totally WISE!!! plus, hey, i've documented a mess... with a mess. there's a kind of weird symmetry to that! so let's move on, and maybe day 12 will be more aesthetic! :)

*at least there isn't at my house because time is just waaaaay too short. if you need/want a do-over, g'head. on the other hand, why not try embracing the imperfection, at least for now. you can swap out in january and i promise NO ONE will be the wiser! ♥

Saturday, December 14, 2013

dd10: snow day!

day ten was the first real snowstorm of the year here in the northeast, so of course i had to go outside and take a bunch of photos of the house and yard with snow on them!* this is my favorite pic from tuesday, of the norway spruces planted right after we moved in, sportin' their snowy chapeaux for the very first time!

(vintage: pages from christmas ideals magazine; glitter chipboard letters: mambi; instagrammed photo printed on kodak premium glossy photo paper; journaling typewritten on a scrap of avery clear inkjet label)
page-wise, this is really minimalist for me, but i had the beautiful illustration from an old ideals magazine, and the photo of our yard, and it really didn't need much else, imo, so i stopped. you'll notice that this page is narrower than some of the others. that's because i accidentally trimmed a few to the wrong measurements when i was making the base of the book. i could've decided not to use the "ruined" pages, or saved them for something else; but since i was also using some old xmas cards and other oddly-shaped items, it didn't really seem to matter; and actually, i like the way you get a little peek of what's coming up next. vive le difference, mes cheris! ♥

*i can only imagine what our new neighbors think, having watched me, over the last 8 months, enthusiastically taking photos of our garden's first buds, our first flowers, first weeds (yes, i AM serious!), the new lawnmower, our new garage door, our first autumn leaves, etc, etc, etc!

dd09: makin' a list

december 9th can most easily be summed up as the day i realized: OMG! it's december 9th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yeah. there's always a moment in december where i totally  *PANIC* and think, "well, there is NO WAY i'm gonna be ready by the 25th... i wonder how difficult it is to convert to eastern orthodox?" this usually results in a bout of furious list-making, and the consumption of many sugary foodstuffs. then i get back to work. so that's what i did on monday.

(vintage: envelope and images cut from an old xmas card; patterned paper: october afternoon, pink paislee, love elsie; seriously elderly alphabet rub-ons (that still work perfectly, ta v much): making memories; and yes there's a clump of yarn stapled to one of the lists b/c i lost the ball band and needed to take it to michaels to be matched; i was going to pull it off when i was finished, but it's soooo very representative of how i tend to do things, that i thought it really had to stay!) 
i think you can tell that the center of this page is built on one of the awesome vintage air mail envelopes that stephanie gave me a while ago. that's because it's actually holding some of the many, many lists that will allow me to get through the rest of the month. here's a peek at a few of those:

ok, so i know you're thinking; you're thinking, "hey lauren! what do dogs and a cat having a snowball fight have to do with this or any other day?!" and the answer is: not a dang thing!!! :) i just liked them and they sort of framed up the envelope nicely, so i cut them from an old xmas card and glued them on. because that's how scientific my process is, lol!

off to post day 10 while i'm still on a roll!

dd08: cards in the mail

playing catch-up a little bit here on december daily; i'm slightly behind in terms of pages, and a bit further behind on posting the photos, but luckily there is NO statute of limitations on papercrafting!!! :) plus, i really am enjoying both the process and the fact that we will have this wonderful record of our first christmas in the new house! 

(patterned paper: pink paislee, american crafts; letter stickers: american crafts; rub-on letters: making memories; label maker: dymo; photo printed on kodak premium glossy paper; labels made with digital elements from katie pertiet, anna aspnes, vera lim + more and printed on avery full-sheet labels; fonts: manuscript, bohemium typewriter; ink: colorbox;vintage: page from an old book as reverse of previous day)
ok, so, sunday december 8th was all about signing and packing up my cards in preparation for getting them in the mail. i have to say (for the UMTEENTH TIME, sorry, lol!) that i absolutely looooooove having my card-making done by thanksgiving via ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ the last couple of years! i vividly remember alllllll the many years in the past in which i was still frantically making cards on december 8th, and i do not miss that experience. not even a little bit! something i'd like to work on for next year: making more FLAT cards!!! (since this has been my goal every single year, since before i even started blogging, i am not exactly holding my breath, but i really need to TRY!)

page-wise, i've got a photo of my card pile, and i've pasted in one of this year's address labels. i love making a digital collage in photoshop with a bunch of brushes and things, then i save it as a .jpg and use broderbund's printshop to do a list merge with my address book. other than that, there are two-toned thickers and some chopped up dymo labels and everything's on a lovely sea of pink. what's not to like? another day DONE; wahey!♥

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

SOS130: tic tac... two?!

ok, not really. this week's challenge at shopping our stash is the more traditional tic tac toe, using this board:

i needed a couple of holiday-ish cards that were the same, but different, so i used the opportunity-- and the left hand column of flowers, brads, and diecuts or punches to make these:

i think you can see the elements pretty clearly, but just in case, i've got three big flowers clustered on each card, pretty green pearl brads holding on the white blossoms, and my layered accent strips are composed of border-punched patterned paper, a little lace, and jingle bell diecuts!

i used this week's lovely unscripted sketch-- admittedly in a bit of a loosey-goosey way-- to guide my layout; i made long cards because i happened to find those cool green vellum envelopes and thought they'd be the perfect accent!

and now i'm sure you'll want to check out what the other lovely SOS ladies have made for your delight, so off you go, darlings! 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

dd07: over the river and through the woods!

ok, technically, there's no river... and the woods are actually fields and fields and fields of christmas trees! but every year when we visit the peterson farm, where jeff's godfather and his family are on their fourth generation of helping folks choose the perfect holiday tree, i am very aware of the history and tradition involved. we had thought it might rain yesterday; and it had rained extensively on friday, so we went prepared (and dressed for!) a mudfest of woodstockian proportions. in the end, it wasn't too bad, and though cold, the sky was blue and pretty clear, and we had an awesome day! ♥

(vintage page from "christmas" magazine; patterned paper: dcwv, basic grey, echo park; hambly transparency; IG photo printed on kodak premium glossy paper; making memories journaling card; prima flowers; basic grey brad and border sticker; adhjeisves: staples brand gluetape runner, sewing machine)
i'm almost a little embarrassed to admit it, but we came home with two full-sized (6-8ft) trees this year! what can i say? it's our first year in the new house, and there are two AWESOME places to put a tree, and after debating their merits for a little bit we just said, "let's do BOTH". debate over, lol! i'll show the trees in question when they're suitable bedecked.

in the meantime, the page is actually a two-fer, as well. i had this lovely painted page that's on really thick textured stock from a vintage "christmas" magazine, and intended to attach my photo and journaling right on it, but i felt like they covered up too much. thus i built the page on a snowy silvery transparency instead, so you can flip over and see the original, too. all in all it really was a day for wonderful compromises!

dd06: randomly awesome winter wonderland

on friday i didn't do anything particularly christmassy, but on my way in and out of new york via penn station, i noticed, as i do every year, the extensive array of gloriously sparkly decorations on view at that otherwise rather conservative bastion of transport. i genuinely have no idea who first stood amongst the hustle and bustle of the main concourse there and thought, "oh yeah! this is the PERFECT place for some serious holiday BLING!!!" and certainly there is no evidence of their presence or insight during the other eleven months of the year. but i love that someone DID think that, and then somehow got either port authority, amtrak, or the city of new york to pay for the vision to become a reality. so this year, i stopped for a minute on the way to catch my train, and snapped away at the result! ♥

(patterned paper: dcwv, love elsie, pink paisley; tree composed of torn and layered core'dinations cardstock, diecut with a sizzix tree die and embossed with a cuttlebug e/f; ticket strip: house of three digital kit; snowflake stickers: sticko; glitter numeral: mambi; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine) 
this page was the slowest to come together of any in the first week, and i could not tell you why. it's still a bit of a jumble, but then, that kind of weirdly fits the topic, eh? i've got a torn and layered diecut tree, some layers of border-punched paper, lots of sparkly bits, and of course the IG pic that started it all. it kind of threw me off when i placed the page in my december daily book and realized it was facing the back of the last page which has a very colorful and stylized illustration of the three wisemen from ideals christmas magazine! but hey, it's the holidays and everyone is welcome to come and hang out! hooray for just FINISHING instead of obsessing forever over small details! :) :) :)

dd05: a celebration of vintage ornaments

it's no secret that i love vintage... ummmmmmm... EVERYTHING! :) so i seriously doubt it will shock anyone to discover that i have a particularly treasured collection of vintage christmas ornaments. it began with a few that we were given after jeff's grandfather died, got a bit bigger when my mom's friend betty downsized and was looking for a good home for the ones her mother had amassed, and has been occasionally added to from various thrift shops and rummage sales. this october i hit the jackpot at a local sale, where i found more ornaments (some of which were in their gorgeous 1940's boxes!) and the loveliest little santa-bedecked box of hooks. what made it even better was that i got to meet the lovely seniors who attend the church at which the sale was held; i think they were secretly convinced i was slightly nuts to be sooooo very excited by these "old and damaged" baubles, when i could get some nicer, newer, fancier ones at the nearby mall, but they were much too polite to say so, lol!

(vintage: page from an ideals magazine, cut to fit and backed with a clear inkjet transparency to make it more durable; patterned paper on reverse of other page: my mind's eye; puffy sticker from the dollar store; rub-on alphas and numerals: making memories; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, xyron, sewing machine)
since i have a bunch of ornaments from various sources, i thought it would be fun to document all of them this year. because many of them are still packed in boxes awaiting the arrival of our tree, i needed to do this in an open-ended way, so i made a little pocket to hold the photos i've already taken, but it's big enough to add more later in the month.

the base of this is a page from an old ideals christmas magazine, the pocket is an off-cut of transparency (oh hambly, how i MISS THEE!!!) and the rest are miscellaneous rub-ons and stickers from my stash!

dd04: gingerbread

december fourth featured another favorite annual event, we like to check out the somewhat famous local gingerbread contest each year. it's about a forty-five minute ride from our house, so we tend to tie it to a meal out and meet up with friends from that neck of the woods. this year we had a wonderful dinner at the porterhouse pub with our friends kim and dave, then strolled over to check out the gingerbread and the christmas lights at peddler's village.

(vintage: cookies and candies from an old xmas cookbook, backed with index stock and cut out; patterned paper: studio calico + some pink paislee packaging + my mind's eye on the back of the facing page; journaling tag: making memories; fabric covered chipboard numeral: american crafts; instagrammed photos printed on kodak premium glossy paper; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape)
page-wise, this is about as simple as it gets: a couple of instagram pics, some fussy-cut vintage cookie and candy elements, and a few sentences to sum it all up. glue and go... job done! ♥

Friday, December 6, 2013

card pile!!!!!

to me, one of the best things about participating in a long-term challenge, whether it be art journaling, ATC's, layouts, index cards, or... whatever... is that when you get to the end, you have a big pile or stack or album *FULL* of the work you've done over the course of the entire term. in this case, the project was making a single christmas card for the last 48 consecutive weeks at *JINGLE BELLES* and thus i was able to take this photograph the day after thanksgiving: 

in terms of satisfaction, a photo like that is hard to beat, right?! counting multiples, i've got fifty-two cards, as well as my thank you notes completed. each is unique and different, plus (and to me this is a really BIG plus!) every single one was fun-- and stress-free-- to make! that's not to say i won't enjoy playing in some challenges over the next few weeks, but i'm very glad indeed that my december activities list will not include the frantic mass-production of holiday cards!

we'll be starting up at *JINGLE BELLES* again on january first and we'd love for you to join in the fun! meanwhile, you can link up any new cards you make during december at this post, for the admiration of all who see them! 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

dd03: toys for tots

apparently, my december daily is going to mostly be a record of the things we do every holiday season. turns out, we have a lot more traditions than i realized! one of our very, very favorites? filling a cart at whatever store has the toys for tots drop-off* and then leaving all the goodies in the donation bin. i'm of the opinion that in terms of SERIOUS shopping fun, this is unbeatable; you should try it!

(vintage: xmas recipe page; photo printed on kodak premium high gloss; patterned paper: my mind's eye, imaginisce; chipboard thickers: american crafts; chipboard present: my mind's eye; border sticker: crate paper; deco tape: k and co; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, scotch gluestick) 
page-wise, apparently i'm going to use a lot of 4" instagram pics this year. i've also unearthed a few sheets of christmassy numerals in my stash, and they are coming into play most handily. my favorite part of this is the funky moose guy... i have NO IDEA where he came from, but he was obviously destined precisely for this purpose!!! :)

*all the US branches of toys-r-us have a donation bin, you can also find plenty of local places via the official toys for tots website!

dd02: lights!

this being our first year in the new house, it's also our first experience with outdoor lights. thus, lovely husband jeff spent a fair amount of saturday and sunday afternoon up a ladder, first installing a whole bunch of little white hooks, then hanging the lights from them. my job? unwrap all the strings of lights, then stand below proffering them, whilst making herculean efforts not to imagine freakish but fatal holiday-ladder-based accidents. 

design-wise, we went uber-simple: just your basic icicle lights, on the eaves of the front and side of our corner-lot house. there were no big surprises, really, except that i don't think either of us realized HOW MANY eaves we have, or how many lights it would take to cover 'em. also, they are REALLY bright, and it keeps kind of shocking us to see an uneartly bluish LED glow outside the windows of rooms which are usually dark after dusk. frankly, if the tardis* arrives in our front sitting room during december, i'm not entirely sure we will notice!

(vintage: ledger paper; instagrammed iphone pic printed on kodak premium photo paper; patterned paper: basic grey; rub-on letters and numerals: making memories; labels: dymo; ink: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, scotch gluestick)
ok, so, the simplest page imaginable: a few interesting (to me anyway) calculations and another single, square photo. this one was surprisingly hard to achieve, actually. it turns out if you wait until it's fully dark, you don't get anything but blinding glare against inpenatrable darkness. on the other hand, if you don't wait until it's fully dark, you can't even see the lights. my solution was to take pics at dusk and then kind of pump up the saturation and contrast in instagram. the result isn't perfect, but i think it's ok. it doesn't need to be art, it just has to record our first year of bein' a winter wonderland. mission accomplished, lol! :)

*super-excited to discover today that there will be a doctor who xmas special this year! i had assumed that the recent 50th anniversary special (one of the best episodes EVER, imo!) meant we'd be forgoing the usual holiday festivities. HOORAY for being wrong! :)

dd01: bring it on!

already i'm loving december daily; and already i'm discovering that whereas i'm totally fine with actually making the page on time, i somehow really have trouble taking and posting the photo each day. since this has happened every time i've participated in a daily project (such as ICAD and DPP) it's not exactly a shock, right? anyway, please bear with me as i post three times on some days and none at all on others! :0

(vintage: sheet music; instagrammed i-phone photo printed on kodak premium glossy photo paper; patterned paper: teresa collins, echo park, doodlebug; cardstock sticker: my mind's eye; glitter letter stickers: making memories; (ancient) rub-on alphas (that i still really love!): scrapworks; ink: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner) 
ok, so, in our house, thanksgiving night is all about starting up the fun things we save for the holiday season. christmas music and bayberry candles are probably our two favorite seasonal items--we will enjoy them every single day now, until the new year. since we are always most excited to welcome their return, it seemed like the perfect place to start december daily!

*a few years ago, the williamsburg candle company went out of business, and took the "perfect" bayberry with them. since then we've tried a wholllllllllllle lot of different brands. we've stumbled upon a couple of cool craft-fair vendors, and the more common cape cod candle are pretty good, but nobody quite captures the scent in the same way for us. if you happen to have a bayberry jones and a favorite brand, won't you share??! thanks, darlings! :)

Monday, December 2, 2013

i'm pretty sure...

...the "D" in "EAD designs" stood for delightful! i mean, seriously, just look at this gorgeous bold sentiment and the sweet baubles... i dare you not to smile! :)

(clear stickers and the most awesome rub-ons ever: EAD designs; transparency: hambly; patterned paper: october afternoon; bling flourish: recollections; flower sequins and tiny brads: queen and co; ink: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape)
welcome to another EAD designs day, we had so much fun last time, we decided to do it again! today the theme is "holiday". i noticed when i was getting my stash of christmas cards together that i hadn't made many transparent cards this year. partially because my stash of hambly is sadly dwindling... so it seemed perfect to pair a few of my treasured EAD goodies with this half sheet of 12x12 hambly goodness!

and now i know you're dying to surf around and see what the other EAD tribute artists have done this month; plus there will once again be a few (four, i think!) prizes on offer randomly to folks who comment on all the blogs, so why not get hopping!

Lauren Bergold (that's me!)