Friday, February 28, 2014

sketching around the xmas tree!

this might be my favorite week at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ of the year so far, because:

A. it's the first sketch challenge of the year

B. the sketch was drawn by the amazing stephanie
C. it's totally, TOTALLY, awesome! see?!

told ya so!!! with such a sketch in hand, who could possibly fail to make one of their easiest, quickest, and (if i do say so myself) (which, apparently, i do, lol!) cutest cards of 2014?! not me, that's for sure!

(patterned paper: my mind's eye, basic grey; bingo card: jenni bowlin; snowglobe diecut: crate paper; chipboard heart: basic grey; twine: doodlebug; ink: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)

i hate to say "told ya so!" twice in one post, but i'm pretty pleased with this card AND it was seriously the most enjoyable make of my year so far! because the shapes in the sketch are soooooo easily replicated, and the proportions are perfect. i seriously think you could do absolutely ANYTHING with this and it'd turn out brilliantly.

so now you really really have to dash over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and see stephanie's card, then grab up that sketch and get busy! you can thank me later, darlings! :)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

SOS140: heavy metal

this week at shopping our stash we want you to make a card based on your favorite song by black sabbath, metallica, or my personal favorite, megadeath. hahahaha-- just kidding! when we say metal, we're thinking more of embellishments such as charms, frames, brads, book plates, hinges... well, you get the idea, right? i bet you've got some oldies-but-goodies in your stash, don't you? so dust 'em off and let's use those babies! i had an embarrassment of riches from which to choose, but a packet of pretty silver filigree flower centers has been taunting me for ages; an example of something i absolutely LOVED and had to have, but then had a hard time figuring out how to actually use. so this challenge was exactly the spur i needed! here's my card:

(patterned papers, large layered flower, pearl flourish: prima; metal filigree sticker: momenta; cardstock flower diecuts + glittery chipboard diecuts: k and co; border sticker: crate paper; vintage: lace and doily; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, low temp hot glue, sewing machine)

one of my obstacles to using these gorgeous metal discs was that they somehow seemed too elegant to stick in the middle of a plain flat floral; whereas the oversized, fancier flowers already have their own centers. i resolved this by carefully removing the top layer of this gorgeous green prima bloom (which i saved for next time) and replacing it with the pretty filigree.

dang, that was EASY... why didn't i think of it sooner?! but then, if i had, i wouldn't have thought of it just in time to make a very kerrie-centric card for my cousin, so i've decided just to be happy right now! :)

a huge help in getting the placement and shabby chic vibe of this card the way i wanted it was the current cardabilities sketch (#93) with which i am *MOST* enamoured. can ya blame me? just look at that thing:

next up i bet you're as excited as i am to check out the amazing creations of my fellow SOS dt-members, so let's hop on over, darlings! ♥

Friday, February 21, 2014

seeing red! :)

we're still embracing the joys of the color red over at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and you still have nearly a whole week to join us, which we hope you will! in the meantime, here's my latest take on this bold hue:

(patterned paper: echo park; tags: basic grey; florals: prima; brads: doodlebug and creative imaginations; chip board word: recollections; red heart doily from my stash; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)

i used last week's (expired but still awesome) unscripted sketch, #243, for my layout, which i thought would work pretty well with some older tags i had laying about, and i think it did, actually!
meanwhile, clear it out challenge is also enjoying the color red, for which we can embrace any theme, so i'm going to link up with those ladies!

and now i hope you'll come on over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ to see stephanie's gorgeous card and check out the amazing reader's gallery, as well!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

newton's third law, in collage form! :)

don't worry, i'm not gonna get all sciency or anything (as if i COULD, lol!) but i realized as i was photographing my collage obsession piece, for which the prompt was, "handwriting", that jeff and i have our own embodiment of the premise, "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction". in our case, the more winter gets chucked at us, the more we long for hawaii! and apparently, the more i long for hawaii, the more i like making hawaiian-themed things. here's one, now:

i suppose you could argue that the vibe of this is more art journal-ish than collage-y... but really, where do you draw that line? should there even BE a line? checking out the various galleries at collage obsession you'll see so many totally cool, totally different takes and styles for each theme that you realize how wonderfully elastic the term "collage" actually is!

in this case i've assembled a few bits of vintage hawaiiana (the postcard and newspaper clipping) and some souveniers from our trip (funky stickers and part of a tourist map). i've added in handwriting by filling the vintage ledger page background with my favorite and jeff's favorite memories from our 2011 trip. i've also made some big bold handwritten-- and handcut-- titles which read, "aloha and mahalo"... the hawaiian words for hello (also goodbye, and love) and thank you; which you hear constantly in our fiftieth state.

now i can't wait to check out the other entries at collage obsession... won't you join me?!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

SOS139: embellish me!

this week might just be my all-time favorite challenge at shopping our stash. i mean, we've had a *LOT* of good ones, and sometimes the ones i've found the hardest have proven the most inspiring (or vice versa!) but this was really fun AND i like the way my card came out, too! anyway, before i show the card, i should probably tell you what the challenge is, right? it's called "embellish me" and we want you to make your own embellishment! how fun is that? it can be anything from a crocheted doily, to faux buttons, a fun paper-pieced banner, one of those stunning rolled roses, a hand-cut title (in your own handwriting?!) or even... dare i say... custom die-cut letters, like these:

(my very own vintage map chipboard letters; basic grey old skool green letter stickers; crate paper ledger background; scraps of patterned paper for banner: basic grey, october afternoon, prima, my mind's eye, crate, sei; ink: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine) 

if those map-based letters look familiar, it might be because they were one of the very first products i put into my etsy shop, and they continue to be one of my faves! last week i made a big batch of them to list, and i sort of re-fell-in-love with them, so when i read this challenge i knew exactly what i wanted to use! i've paired them with ancient basic grey letter stickers, which i still really love. my little banner is made from loads of tiny paper scraps in blues and greens; i just snipped the ends, inked them up and stuck them on the card by applying adhesive only at their very tops, so that when i sewed over them, the lower ends would be loose, like a "real" banner. here's a closeup of the embellies in all their funky glory:

possibly the only thing more fun than playing along with this challenge is seeing what everyone else makes! so why not hop over to SOS and start with the lovely DT cards, which are DEFINITELY worth the trip! ciao, darlings! ♥

Saturday, February 15, 2014

the collage that just didn't want to be collaged

thanks to winter storm pax* i had another surprise bonus cower-at-home sort of day this week, so i decided to treat myself to a bit of free form, just-for-fun collage-making. except... it wasn't. the topic this week at collage obsession is "steampunk" which i totally love, so i figured this'd be a gimme. i cut out loads of lovely gauges, gears, cogs, wheels, engine parrts, victorian ladies, flying machines, and funky rube goldberg inventions. see?

everything you could possibly need for an awesome steampunk collage, am i right?  except... it wasn't. i moved things around and around, but nothing came together. so i went outside and cleared off the bushes which were so bowed over with snow and ice that bits of them were laying on the ground.** then i came back and moved things around and around, but nothing came together. i emptied the dishwasher and helped a computer-phobic friend learn to facetime over the phone. then i moved things around and around, but nothing came together. so i vacuumed the house. then i came back and moved things around and around, but nothing came together.

since this was meant to be a fun snowday activity, i began to think that it was time to give up and move on to something else. except... it wasn't.  because after i jettisoned 95% of the things i had cut out, i started to get a little glimmer of something cool. then i found this gorgeous cloudy background paper behind the introduction of a book about the history of flight. and then everything came together! dontcha just love a happy ending?

so yeah, out of the elebenty thousand bits i gathered and cut out, i only used SIX. (six!!!) possibly a low-end record for me, collage-wise! i guess sometimes less really is more. wow. how 'bout that! does this mean that a watched pot really doesn't ever boil, either? a few more gratuitous snow-based days at home and i may be tempted to test that one, too! :)

*dear weather authorities, please stop naming these things, it only encourages them! love, lauren (as do videos like THIS ONE but it's so awesome i just had to share it!) :) :) :)
**yews are pretty hearty, right? how 'bout arbor vitae? and rhododendrons?? ack! please say these guys will bounce back!

Friday, February 14, 2014

rudolph the *RED* nosed reindeer!

don't you love our title at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ this week? can you guess what the prompt is? i'll give you a hint: the caps and asterisks give it away. because we're not asking for critters, we're lookin' at a color here... *RED* to be specific! here's my (red!) card, now:

(vintage: red doily and santa (who's scanned from an old greeting card, re-sized slightly smaller, and printed on photo paper; patterned paper: my mind's eye, dcwv, echo park and what i think is sadly the last decent sized chunk of sei red velvet paper... sigh... i loved that stuff!!!; stickers: reminisce, daisy d's and a mindy terasawa digital bird, leftover from another project; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)

i used the current sketch at seize the sketch, i think you'll agree that it's rather amazing, a fact which the cards of amy and jessi (and the rest of the marvelous dt!) illustrate perfectly! (i've rotated it 90 degrees to the left, as you can see.)

and now why not head over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and see the gorgeous (red!) goodness stephanie has produced for you, and start planning your own (red!) card! ♥

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

SOS138: oh, shiny!

this week at shopping our stash we're embracing all things sparkly, shiny and shimmery. actually some of us do that EVERY WEEK, lol; but this time, it's written right into the challenge, so i've tried to excel myself. i've got a glitter rub-on, a shiny enamel pin with rhinestones, a bling border, and some sparkly, shimmery, glitter-encrusted resin flowers. i think my work here is through!

(yellow patterned paper + cloud patterned vellum + fabric brad: crate paper; sparkly bird rub-on: k and co; sparkly flower pin + lg blue floral + leaf: recollections; sparkly resin flowers + sm aqua floral: prima; banner: heidi swapp; vintage doily from my stash; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, gluedots, sewing machine)

i mentioned last week how much i ♥LOVE♥ the current sketch at cardabilities, and that i planned to use it again; i hadn't thought it would be quiiiiiite as soon as this, but hey, it really is that awesome, so why not, eh?

and now why not hop over to SOS to see what my lovely design team darlings have made for your inspirational pleasure? you can thank me later! :)

Monday, February 10, 2014

semi-random enjoyments... and a winner! :)

first the winner. ok, no, actually even before that, i should do the explanation: see, it turns out, i had one of the "secret" prizes from last week's EAD blog hop, so i get to reveal the winner (drumroll, please?!):

so if she'll please email me at llaurenb @ hotmail (dot) com i'll get a tiny (sadly not EAD-related) package of goodness in the mail, asap!

and now the random enjoyments!

a lot of collages, as you know. at the moment, one of my favorite techniques is "glue and go" in which you attach each item as you find it, without considering where the next thing will go; it's a fantastic exercise in terms of working more "loosely", which is what i love about it; though not necessarily productive of beautiful finished pieces. definitely more about process than outcome, but i'm posting two recent collages made that way, just for the heck of it.  :)

a lot of old tv-crime-drama marathons: miami vice, midsomer murders, original law and order; plus bbc america has been rockin' the james bond and doctor who playlists. apparently, i am EXACTLY the demographic for whom they are programing; if i see that i can put on one channel and have it play all night, i will instantly drop my remote and become enslaved! (in my defense, i'm usually working on cards or collages and really only want background noise!)

voraciously to assorted audiobooks, thanks to my new audible membership and i-phone app. if you're used to paying i-tunes prices, it's quite a good deal. plus they have awesome sales, like the one this weekend in which several hundred "first in the series" books were offered for $5 each. apparently, some people may have gone a little crazy during that one, and sprung for 3 or 4 titles, including this (magic librarians!) and this (grim reapers!)! (ok, yeah, sooooo... it mighta been ME, lol!)

a lot of amy's organic samosa wraps for lunch. the closest you can get to a samosa, for 250 calories! (note: they are even better with tamarind sauce!)

the crimes of paris a fascinating part-history, part-true-crime title, that's totally making me want to go to paris even more than usual!

how much i miss this page-a-day calendar, and (secretly) (ok, secretly up til now, lol) hoping it'll go on clearance at barnes and noble!

clothing, sheets and towels any time i want to... in my very own laundry room! (yeah, we've been in this house almost a year and i'm still waaaaaaaaaay too thrilled about that!)

about hamsters in sweaters. ever since i saw this guy on daily squee last week. gonna need some sock-weight yarn, tiny needles and a hamster. STAT!!! :)

Saturday, February 8, 2014

ciao, italia!*

having been firmly in collage mode for the last few weeks, i've been excited to discover some very cool new-to-me challenge sites. this one is called sunday postcard art, for which projects of ANY technique or media can be submitted; the "twist" is that all artwork must be made to the size of a "continental" postcard, that is to say, 4x6". i *LOVE* the double challenge of depicting a specific subject (which changes weekly) whilst also working to a particular size, so i jumped right in with the current theme... italy!

all my images are snipped from various vintage books and pamphlets. i do sometimes scan things and reproduce them (especially when i want to re-size something) but one of my favorite parts about using originals is the fact that the various textures, weights and patinas of the different papers provide a lot of nice contrast and interest in what is often quite a flat art form. i realize you can't see such distinctions in my (seriously mediocre) photos, but in real life, it adds another dimension to the piece. plus, i'm often just too lazy to plan that far ahead, lol!

i hope you'll visit sunday postcard art, and be sure to check out the comments of each post where the links to readers' art can be found!

*the original title for this post was, "imagine how tall michelangelo's GOLIATH would have been!" until i decided it was too long, and possibly too silly. but seriously, if michelangelo's david is seventeen foot tall, on a six foot base; goliath, the giant, would've had to be... what? thirty or forty foot? which i guess essplains why he's not shown, eh? actually, it turns out that it was a little bit of a controversy, or at least it went against 14/15th century tradition, that michelangelo makes no reference to the big g in this artwork. it seems most contemporary depictions showed david in action, slingshot poised; or with the head of the vanquished goliath at his feet. which is why most art scholars think that this particular sculpture is meant to represent david before the battle. gosh i love wikipedia, don't you?! :)

Friday, February 7, 2014

text me... again! :)

we're still having a blast with the "text me" prompt at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and we'd love for *YOU* to come along and play. what's that you say? it's much too early to be making christmas cards again already? ok, yeah, i know it seems nuts... but believe me, in december, you'll be glad you did! :) here's my texty take for this week:

(patterned paper: mambi, echo park, my mind's eye; white glossy cardstock: ranger; ink: colorbox; twine: doodlebug; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape)

i snapped up a 12x12" tablet of mambi's xmassy glitter and metallic cardstock at michael's for 70% off right after christmas. it has a couple of beautiful text prints, including this lovely black and white one. i cut the houses from another sheet in the same tablet, so that i could place them closer together; adding a few little hits of hot pink and glossy white to make them stand out more.

i used this week's retro sketch (#100, congrats!) for my layout, and i think it works pretty well.

now why not hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and see what stephanie has made? check out the readers' gallery too, while you're there, it's already FULL of inspiration!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

more snow... this time with *ICE*...

...which rhymes with "nice" but has NOTHING ELSE in common! yeah. definitely not a fabulous weather week here in the northeast. unless you run a snowplowing business, in which case, it's pretty much a dream come true. did you even know lamborghini made snow plows? bling-encrusted ones? very tasteful!!! in the last week i'm pretty sure i've paid for at least a tire on one of those babies! :0

on the plus side, being stuck in the house means i got to play along with collage obsession sooner, woohoo! this week's prompt is called "nature's home" and the inspiration image is a gorgeous shell, though i've gone off in a completely different direction, as it turns out.

ok, i seriously doubt if anyone is surprised to see me using birds, are they, lol? i'm still playing with the "fractured landscape" idea as well. as for the rest, it just sort of happened, which is my favorite way to make a collage! speaking of favorites, i suggest you go check out the gallery at collage obsession, it's well worth the trip!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

SOS137: ♥valentiny!♥

ok, yeah, we confess: this week at shopping our stash, the challenge is kind of a gimme; because we know that most likely you need to be making a love-themed project or two about now, so we'd love for you to come and link them up with us. sound good? yep. we thought so! here's what i made:
(patterned paper--all scraps, wahey: basic grey, prima, studio calico, american crafts, glitz design, sassafras, recollections, heidi swapp; cardstock letter stickers (mounted on foam tape): reminisce; florals: prima, petaloo; circle punch: ek success; ink: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine, hot glue gun)

you may remember that i have a very lovely niece called riley who was born on valentine's day. which means, for the twelfth consecutive year, she will be getting quite a few heart-themed cards and packages. i'm kind of hoping mine will be the ONLY hand-pieced, machine-stitched, heart-shaped paper-quilt-adorned gift bag, however; and i think i might be safe in that assumption, lol. here's a photo of the assembled bag:

the bag is one of the larger sized plain glossy white ones they sell at michaels; to the top of which i've attached (with my trusty low-temp hot glue gun) two layers of vintage lace and one of pale pink trim. the oversized heart is tacked on with just a few pieces of foam tape, so it can be easily removed and hung on the birthday girl's bedroom door.

i took this beautiful color palette from this month's paper sweeties challenge (#16), "be mine" and used scraps from my stash to make the quilty heart-- an excellent way to use up little squares AND some pretty small strips of leftover paper, so i think i'll be using this technique again.

in the meantime, i know you'll love seeing all of the different takes on "valentiny" gorgeousness as practiced by my amazing fellow DT-members at SOS, so off you go, darlings! ♥

Monday, February 3, 2014

EAD valentine hop

the lovely amy tsuruta and the rest of us EAD tribute artists are back with some valentine *LooOOoOOoooOOvE* for you, and this time i (modestly, lol!) like my card so much that i cannot wait one more minute to show you!

(lion, hearts, and valentine stickerz: EAD designs; patterned paper: american crafts, echo park, recollections, studio calico; tab stickers: sei; tiny index card: amy tangerine/american crafts; "and" brad: my mind's eye; embossed labels: dymo; border punch: fiskars; ink: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)

miss amy gave me the EAD stickerz i used this time: that adorable lion, the "valentine" word and the hearts actually came from two different sets that i combined together. i added in a bunch of other miscellaneous bits and bobs to make my little valentine collage and finished off with a dymo label sentiment. now all i have to do is hide this thing for another ten days, so lovely husband jeff doesn't get a peek at it before the big day!

i'm linking up with city crafter's "love story" challenge, which you should totally go and visit because, as always, the DT have created amazingly lovely eye candy!

speaking of valentine treats, there are a few "surprise" prizes hidden throughout the hop, and the more comments you leave on the EAD tribute artists' blogs, the more chances you'll have to win! so get hopping, darlings!

Lauren Bergold: that's me! :)  

Sunday, February 2, 2014

happy (almost) birthday riley elizabeth!

can you believe niece riley will be ♥TWELVE♥ on valentine's day? holy macaroni, there is a decade+ that's totally blown past at record speed! seriously, it seems like she was a baby just yesterday and now she's (nearly) all grown up! where did the time go? well, at least a bit of my time, over the years, has gone into making special cards and presents for these occasions. i'm almost finished a granny square pillow for the girl's big day (which i'll show you when it's done!) but for the moment i've got on with making her card, and i'm pretty pleased with it:

(patterned paper: recollections, prima, basic grey; resist paper: pink paisley,sprayed with a couple shades of tattered angels pink glimmer mist; cardstock rose and heart stickers: basic grey; burlap butterflies: maya road; pins: pink paislee, basic grey, making memories; rhinestone flourish: want2 scrap; other: velvet ribbon from a sewing store and vintage doily from my stash; ink: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)

i used the current sketch (#92) from cardabilities, which i think is AMAZING... as are the dt examples AND the readers' gallery, so you should totally check them out! i kind of flipped the sketch upside down, but otherwise, i think you can see it pretty well:

here's a close-up of some of the embellies, i've got a real smorgasbord here, lol. i started with just the sketch, half a vintage doily and basic grey's big cardstock rose, but eventually wound up with velvet ribbon, burlap butterflies, various stickpin flags, some pink rhinestones and... well... ok, yeah, there's a bunch of stuff, but i like they way it looks together! :)

hope everyone is having a lovely groundhog day, notwithstanding the fact that punxsutawney phil *did* see his shadow, thus dooming us to six more weeks of winter... you'd never know it here in new jersey, it's nearly 50 degrees and sunny; the warmest day we've had in ages, so i think i'll enjoy the sunshine while it lasts! ciao for now, darlings! ♥