Sunday, February 17, 2019

new challenge blog: a place to start

my friend and SOS teammate chana malkah harris of redora lee designs has just inaugurated a brand new monthly challenge blog called a place to start, so of course i had to play along with the february challenge, which is to use a stamp or die that features inspirational words. here's what i made:

i belong to an awesome group of junk journal junkies that meet up once a month at paper anthology in kenvil, nj. we have an ongoing series of altered rolodex swaps with a different theme each time. the february theme, "DOTS" somehow, mysteriously, managed to stump me for aaaaaaaaages, until i stumbled upon this fun stampabilities stamp, "throw kindness around like confetti" which my friend anna gave me a while ago, but i hadn't yet used. and suddenly i had the whole entire idea. of course it's a well-known fact that i hate mass-producing anything, but i do quite enjoy making a series, if they can each be a bit different. so i rounded up plenty of paper scraps with "dotty" patterns, as well as some dotty tape and ribbon and started playing around. i diecut the heidi swapp memorydex card seven times and the ancient cuttlebug concentric hearts about twenty seven times, so i was in mixy matchy heaven. i'm not even going to bother to attempt to list products here, partly because there are soooooo many but mostly because it doesn't matter a bit... this "scraptastic" idea will work beautifully with absolutely ANY combination of things you love! 

the following sets of cards are completely unrelated, but if i ever posted them here, i neglected to tag them correctly, and thus cannot find them again. and i still really do use my blog as a webLOG of the things i make. for one thing, it's the easiest way to do a keyword search and find ALL of a category, even when that might stretch back months or years. so here are a few previous swaps and i apologize if they're "re-runs" lol!

november 2018

vintage sewing pattern ladies, set on top of heidi swapp memorydex cards diecut from the backs of some old sewing patterns that i fused with plain cardstock to make them sturdier. then i used the lacy fragment from the tim holtz/sizzix thinlits set, mixed media 2 and layered the whole thing over a scrap of patterned paper also diecut into the memorydex shape. flowers, buttons, machine stitching et voila!

october 2018

i love colorburst generally, and smooshing colorburst, specifically! for these guys (and possibly gals, it's hard to tell with monstas!) i diecut the memorydex shape from plain watercolor paper, then used several sizes of circle stickers to mask the eyes and some little fragments of old address stickers cut into triangles to mask the teeth. i placed drops of clear water onto the cards and added small amounts of several colorburst shades to the drops, then smooshed with a clear acrylic sheet to let the colors blend serendipitously. when they were dry, i peeled off the masks, added an appropriately varied amount of different sized googly eyes and machine stitched mouths. RAWR!

circa july 2018

all of the papers here, except the vintage text backgrounds, are gel prints or scraps of gel prints. and all of the shapes are punched circles or hearts, layered together to make mandala shapes. this is another super-easy idea that would work with literally ANY papers you love. to make the mandalas more dimensional, i used the bare minimum of adhesive on only the centers of each layer and then machine stitched around to make sure they'd stay attached.

be sure to check out the february challenge, "inspiration, please" at a place to start!


  1. Lauren, I seriously envy your eye for detail, color, and composition. These are so creative and so beautiful! When I joined SOS, I was always in awe of how you and Leslie always managed to come up with such unique projects! I love the hearts and those lace card are just breathtaking! YGG! Thanks for sharing your fabulous work at A Place To Start!

  2. I am blown away by all of these. Your trading buddies are so blessed to have such wonderful pieces to add to their collections. Each one is a bigger WOW!

  3. Lauren: I'm falling in love with each group's photo as I read your post!!! Excellent!!! Love the mix-match of colors and patterns AND layers!!! Well done!!!

  4. I always admired your amazing ability to combine textures and colors and fabulous details on your cards and this collection of art works just blew me away, once again, when I saw your card at Chana's blog.
    Beautiful, beautiful Lauren, WOW!!
    Thank you for sharing.

  5. What a gorgeous collection of eye candy...I especially loved the googlies.

  6. Hi, Lauren,
    Thanks so much for entering our February challenge at A Place To Start. We loved your entry and you have been honored as A Top Sprout. Please stop by to grab your badge. If you ever have time, we would love to have you as a GDT. Thanks again for both the shout out and that fabulous project.
    Chana Malkah, Owner
    A Place To Start Challenge Blog
    613 Avenue Create Challenge Blog


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