Friday, May 31, 2013

more ribbonny goodness!

i have a confession to make: i have a serious "over-thinkin' it" habit!!! i don't need either of the ladies from monty python's penguin-on-the-telly sketch to run rings around me logically, i can do it all by myself! case in point: for this, the second week of our ribbon rendezvous at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥, i spent nearly an entire day lamenting the fact that i had already used the idea i wanted to employ for this week's card. before *finally* the answer came to me: so what??!?! who says you can't use the same idea twice, or a hundred times, if it's one you like, and you're still inspired by it?! so i CASE-d m'self. i'll show you the original card in a minute, but first here's the all-new, all-xmassy version:

(patterned paper: my mind's eye; glossy white cardstock: ranger; ribbons: making memories, michaels, we r memory keepers, american crafts; fancy embellished poinsettias: the girls' paperie; glitter letters and wordfetti sticker: making memories; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, sewing machine)

and now, here's the "original" from june of last year:

i have to say, i like BOTH versions, pretty close to equally, and let's face it, using only my current supply of ribbon, i could easily make another 47 of these... and not have any two be alike; then just imagine if i decided to combine ribbon with washi tape?! who knows, maybe i will make another 47! :) but for today there's just the christmassy one, it's over at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ along with an utterly gorgeous card by miss stephanie, as well as an amazing readers' gallery, just to inspire *YOU*!!! ♥

Thursday, May 30, 2013

what are you doing june 1st?

gina and i are doing index card a day, on the daisy yellow art blog and i could not possibly be more excited!

because, as g said, "we need a project!" and because, as i said, "we need to journal more!" and because last year was ♥AWESOME♥! here are a few of my favorite cards from ICAD 2012*:

(last year we drew and colored)

if you're an avid art journaler...

(and we stamped)
or a lapsed art journaler...

(and we stenciled and painted)
or you've always thought you'd like to try art journaling, but didn't really know how to start...

(and we collaged and quoted)
maybe you're feeling a little stale, or a little stuck, or just ready to try something new...

(and sometimes we did stuff that we didn't even know what to call when they were finished... and those were my favorites, lol!)
why not check out tammy's FAQ over at daisy yellow, grab some index cards, and give it a try? you don't have to make a commitment, or even tell anyone, if you don't want to... but who knows... ya might like it! ♥♥♥

*my biggest problem, preparing this post, was narrowing down to only choose *5* favorites from all the cards i made last year. when was the last time you were that excited about your output of artsy stuff over a two month period of time? ok, so right there you have the whole reason i ♥LOVED♥ doing this last year and why i'm thrilled to start up again on saturday!!! :)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

let's get trendy now!

i've been fit to burst the last few weeks, with a really ♥FUN♥ secret! i'm going to have a featured project in an AMAZING workshop being offered by three of my favorite crafty divas: amy tsuruta, yvonne yam, and julie tucker-wolek! want to know more?! here you go:

Hello there friends! Would you like some fabulous ideas for working with some of the hottest trends in crafting today? Why not come join us for a fun (*FREE*!!!) online workshop?

I'm joining this group of awesome ladies in the Let’s Get Trendy Now!3 workshop where we will be showing 5 trends: 

handmade embellishments 
and textured layers 

Not only will you be inspired by 32 never-been-seen projects, you will also get a chance to win some prizes if you play along with our challenges.

Just add your name to the linky tool and join us from 3rd to 7th June at the Let’s Get Trendy Now!3 site.

i really hope you'll come along and check it out, because it's completely free and the projects are going to be ♥AMAZING♥! plus there will be challenges, prizes, and all kinds of fun. in addition to the blog, there's a facebook page, too. hope to see you there all next week, and especially on wednesday, when my own card-- which i am UBER-excited about-- will be revealed!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

SOS103: graduation *OR* anniversary

one of my favorite things about the challenges at shopping our stash is how often we get to CHOOSE what to make, based on what sort of cards we actually need at the time. how convenient is that? this week is yet another example: since june is traditionally a month with quite a few graduations and anniversaries, we figure you might have a few of those occasions looming, so why not make a card for one or the other... or both?!

i needed an anniversary card this week; ok, more accurately, i needed it *LAST* week, but it's going to be sent this week, and i hope the couple in question will think it worth the wait. i definitely had a ball making this one, it's full of allllllll kinds of stash, of every description, thrown in there together: i've got real vintage (the cool bird illustration + the ivory eyelet) copied vintage (the sheet music--copied onto index stock to make it stronger... but also... i was afraid i might mess up the first one, so i made an "insurance" copy!) i've  retrieved some elderly stash (the metallic bronze cardstock + a few scraps of basic grey paper that i've used as mats); tapped some newish stash (those glitz giant rhinestone thingies + 7 gypsies deco tape) and employed some "found objects"... in the form of the faux dogwood flowers, which were ripped from a stem at the back of a vase in my dining room, lol! :) the best part, fun-wise, was machine stitching the dogwood branch on the paper behind the flowers. which, of course, you can't really see because the flowers are right on top of it... but it's still kinda cool in a "moral high ground" sort of way! :) :) :) i took a photo before i assembled the card:

i lightly drew a branch shape on my cardstock in pencil; not because i was going for perfection or botanical accuracy or anything cool like that (lol!) just so that i'd more or less keep the design within the space i'd allotted in my collage. then i machine stitched with dark brown thread back and forth along the pencil lines, adding branches to the stem, and twigs to the branches, as i went along, until i had something i thought looked pretty good. and then, yeah, i went back and glued the flowers on top! :) but in real life, you can actually see a bit more of the sewing from various angles; plus, it was REALLY fun to do, so i'm ok with it being a "subtle detail" instead of a big "feature element" in this case!

now off you go to see what the rest of the SOS gang have done, because as always, there is a FAB mix of styles and techniques, and we've got both anniversary and grad cards galore, so whatever you need to make, we've got you covered, darlings! ♥

Friday, May 24, 2013

it's time to tie one on!

because the brief this week at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ is to make a holiday card which features ribbon. and you can't get much simpler than that, right? so let's go!

(patterned paper: prima, making memories; florals: making memories, recollections; velvet holly leaf: prima; brad: we r memory keepers; lace: from my vintage trimmings box; ribbon: michaels, american crafts, may arts; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, xyron, 3m foam tape, gluedots, sewing machine)

in addition to my usual friday custom of linking up with 52 card pickup, this week i'm also sneaking in just under the deadline at unscripted sketches, having used this gorgeous plan of theirs:

as soon as i saw the sketch, i hit upon the idea of using those fabulous xmas inchies from artchix studio, but it was only whilst rooting through a stack of smaller papers that i found this:

only the BEST. PAPER. EVER. in terms of using inchies on a card, am i right? it's from a super-old mat stack of prima's called "rock on love" that one of my favorite designers, adrienne looman, did for them years ago, and i still have a little bit left. i'd love to tell you that it was my plan to unearth and use this stuff all along, but truly, it was a complete fluke! but hey, i'll take it! :)

and now i'd like to take ♥YOU♥ over to jingle belles to see stephanie's card and start planning what you want to do, when you join us this week! because you are gonna join us, right? pleeeeeease?! trust me, you'll have fun now, but in december, when you're completely free of the holiday-induced card-making stress, you'll be ecstatic! ♥♥♥

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

SOS102: what's in your tool shed?

ok, this week at shopping our stash we're having my ♥FAVORITE♥ kind of challenge, because we can make ANY type of project, using any colors, any ingredients, any theme, any sketch, any... well... ANYTHING we choose. so what's the challenge, then? you may have guessed it from the title, actually, "what's in your tool shed?" because yeah, we want you to find a tool (punch, cutter, piercer, crimper, crop-a-dile, eyelet setter, etc) that you haven't used in ages... or maybe ever?! ...and use it. simple, right? any tool. just be sure to tell us what it is, because you know how we love to hear "the story"; and if you can incorporate scraps, leftovers, upcycling or anything else "stashy" too, so much the better!

i chose to employ my sadly neglected cuttlebug and for the first time used a cool rolodex card die i bought some time ago on a super-discount sale but hadn't yet test-driven. wahey!

(patterned paper: studio calico, provocraft, october afternoon, amy tangerine + bits of a vintage map + an illustration from an old gardening book; my own instagrammed photo of our house, formatted in PSE9 using segoe script font, printed on kodak premium photo paper (which... for the record... irl is NOT all horribly crosshatched and grainy, but for some reason just REFUSED to photograph well; apologies!) tape: bazzill, recollections; rolodex die: quick kutz; diecutting machine: cuttlebug; white index stock: staples; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, scotch gluestick, staples)
and yes, for the record, it's yet another use of that same instagram pic of our house, of which probably everyone but *ME* is thoroughly tired. but it happens to still be my favorite, and since i was the one making the cards, i won! :) this time it's the centerpiece of the "change of address" cards that i made, marathonically, in a rare fit of mass-production; which, by the way, totally reminded me why i swore off mass-production in the first place. yikes. is it just me, or is there nothing DULLER in the craftiverse than making elebenty gazzillion of EXACTLY. THE. SAME. THING. especially when the genius who develops the prototype thinks it'd be super-fun to have a wholllllllllllllle bunch of "casual" layers. yeah. can i please request, darlings, that next time i design a project which needs mega-duplication, one of you step in to act as spotter and "talk me down" from such folly. seriously. please. i must be stopped. thank you. :) :) :) having said all that... i do really like how this came out, and having already heard from the very first recipients, it seems to be a bit admired, so there's that. ♥

and now may i be so bold as to suggest a trip to shopping our stash to check out what my lovely DT-mates have concocted with the contents of their tool sheds. g'wan. you know you wanna! :)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

putting the "doll" in dolphin

ok, so, i promised to show you the dolphin i crocheted for niece madeline's birthday, and i will; though i confess i'm not in love with this one. mostly because i don't think i did a brilliant job on the sewing up, attaching of fins, etc. it's still pretty cute, though, and as often happens on these occasions, maddie (and the rest of the gang at her party!) were so impressed by the fact of a crocheted dolphin materializing under ANY circumstances, that the details just sort of slid by. which is nice. :)

speaking of things that make one smile just by virtue of their sheer improbability, i absolutely HAVE TO share this pic my sis texted me on the day of maddie's "kid party",which had a campfire theme*. she and madeline made this gorgeous horse cake**, can you believe it?!

oh yeah... and the birthday girl is pretty adorable too, dontcha think?! 

happy *9th* birthday, 

*my sister, amie, a brilliant elementary school teacher currently doing the part-time work, full-time mom gig, comes up with the most amazing activities for her kids and their friends! the campfire party featured make-your-own bandanas, twig art, a REAL campfire with songs and games and smores, etc etc; i keep trying to get an invite to these things, they are THE social events of the year!!! :)

**amie says i have to say it was made with this recipe from!

Friday, May 17, 2013

now even *BRIGHTER*

we've been making cards that are merry and bright at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ but i bet you didn't think i could beat last week's flamingo goodness on that score, did you? nor did i, for that matter, but it happened all the same! g'head and grab your sunglasses before scrolling down... i don't want to be responsible for retinal damage. ready? 
here ya go:

(background papers formatted in broderbund printshop using bohemian typewriter font; patterned paper, glossy cardstock and glitter paper scraps: bo bunny, dcwv, k and co, doodlebug, the paper co, pearl paint, making memories... and many more! ribbon: michaels; bling heart: mambi; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, gluedots)

so yeah, let's sum up: merry? sure. bright??!  OH YEAHHHHHH!!! :) :) :)

if you remember the inspiration photo from last week, it won't take long to see where i got the idea for this one:

as for the layout, the fine folks at fetch a sketch could not have devised anything more helpful if i had specifically asked them for a wreath-friendly design!

i'm linking up with patrice's 52 card pick-up, and you can, too! you might also want to scoot on over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and see the festive goodness that stephanie has whipped up for you! then grab your neon colors and come and join us!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

want to make the fastest card EVER??!

if so, this is the week for you at shopping our stash, because this week we're having a SCRAP ATTACK! what does that mean? it means that apart from your card base (or background paper, in the case of layouts) we don't want you to cut into ANY new, full, sheets of paper to make your project, just pull out your scrap box (or bag or file or folder) and *USE* some of those gorgeous off-cuts you've been saving!

(everything you see, except the texty prima flower, was a scrap or a leftover from another project that somehow did not get used, but saved for "next time"; turns out next time is NOW, lol! i've got a pre-folded kraft card base; a pre-computer-printed sentiment (when i'm using clear labels i always fill the whole sheet; if i don't have enough content to do so, i add generic sentiments in various fonts and colors); all the papers are from the scrap file-- they are basic grey, pink paislee and some gold-leafed art paper from pearl paint, i believe; even the doily was in the white scrap folder, woohoo! i just added a bit of distress ink and stitching, et voila!)
i arrange all of my scraps by color, in files. 

here in the new house, these live in the top drawer of one of two very elderly, hand-me-down filing cabinets, which lovely husband jeff just finished spray painting glossy white for me (one was previously tan and the other a sort of rusty mustard color).

said cabinets now reside in the very first dedicated art supply/crafting space i have ever had, which, as you can imagine is very VERY exciting!!!

as you can see, it's still quite a mess at the moment, because i've been concentrating on getting the "public spaces" of the house unpacked, furnished and decorated. with that process is in pretty good shape, i hope to be working on-- and eventually *IN*-- the art lair more, and will be happy to share my progress with you. i'm planning to dress the filing cabinets up a little bit, and will show you them again when that has taken place. (ps: i have lots more house pics to share, it's just a question of sitting down and uploading them, writing blog posts, etc; which still has not been happening as frequently as i'd like; ah well, i will get there eventually!) :) :) :) 

anyway, back to the card: to make the design process even quicker, you can always start with a sketch. i often use allison fillo's brilliant round-up feature at stampin' when i can; in which she has a place each week where all of the current challenges can link their sketches, and thus one can see them all in one post, which is soooooooo helpful! this time i started my card using the current retro sketch, but you can see that my design morphed away from it quite a bit, so i've decided not to link up; but i thank them all the same for the inspiration!

speaking of inspiration, i know for a fact that my SOS team mates have a heapin' helpin' of it for you over at the old homestead... why not drop by and sneak a peek, darlings! ♥

Friday, May 10, 2013

may your cards be merry and bright!

because this week at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ we are celebrating the warmer, brighter, sunnier days by making cards with super strong colors, we've even got an inspiration photo to get you thinking, see?

don't worry, you needn't use ALL of those colors; actually you can use any shades you like... just make them BRIGHT! want to see what i made? (be a sport and say, "yes" here, ok?otherwise the rest of my post will fall a bit flat. ta v much!)

(patterned paper: autumn leaves, my mind's eye, echo park, creative imaginations, doodlebug, love elsie; stars, frame, border sticker: mme "merry and bright" collection, of course!; glitter flamingo sticker: meri meri; star trim: making memories; adhesives: staple brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)
for some reason the first thing i thought of was flamingos. then i kind of second-guessed myself and thought i should do something that was more obviously like that fabulous inspiration wreath. but then i third-guessed myself and decided i should go with my first instinct, afterall. so i did. in the last few years one of my favorite holiday color combos has been hot pink and bright green; since this seemed to fit the prompt, and also to complement the flamingo idea rather well, i didn't even bother to second-guess that idea, i just got right to work! :) i found the ancient rhonna farrer xmas paper with the "merry and bright" sentiment almost immediately; i added in  a few other embellies just to round off the design; ran the whole thing through the sewing machine and voila! another card for the december pile!

of course i'm linking up with patrice at 52-card-pickup; but also, i used this week's mojo monday sketch for my layout:

and now pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease jump over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ with me, because i just cannot wait for you to see stephanie's totally AWESOME card!!!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

it's new header day! it's new header day!

and about time, too, eh?! not that i didn't love my old blog banner, but i do like to change things up once a year or so, just for the variety, and it's been a bit longer than that at this point! usually header-making is something i do on my laptop, on long car trips, but i guess we just haven't been traveling as much with the move, etc?!

digital elements: city maps #1 (manhattan) and lace from collageables #4, both by katie pertiet, designer digitals; multimedia flowers #1 and artplay palette #4 stitching both by anna aspnes, o'scraps; ephemera clusters by juliana kneipp, design house digital; washi love tape pieces by robin meierotto, dhd; antique prints paper by jen allyson, dhd; chunky stitching from spudunkity kit by corina nielsen, funky playground design; fonts: bohemian typewriter, porcelain; software: pse9
anyway, thanks to a longish wait at subaru yesterday, i was able to grab a few of my favorite recent acquisitions and knock this baby out! i figure that the specifics of digi-collage constitute one of those things you either already KNOW how to do, or don't really care about, so i'm going to limit myself to image credits, but as with all the things i make, i'm happy to share whatever minor insights i might have, and will gladly answer questions, if i'm able. in general, my best digi tip is, if you're only going to learn ONE THING in photoshop, it really ought to be layer styles; specifically the application and variation of the drop shadow. because there is no quicker way to elevate a combination of varied elements, and also make them much more dimensional (and thus realistic-looking) than by giving the impression of depth, and it's hard to beat shadows for that, in my opinion. so there. you now know my best digital-collage-making secret! you're welcome, darlings! :) :) :)

eta thursday morning: sorry for the re-post, after seeing the header full-sized on the big monitor i went back and tweaked a few of the background flowers, added some stitching, etc; isn't it funny how things can look totally different, just depending on the format??

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

SOS100: mother's day or ♥PINK♥

yes, that's right, this week at shopping our stash you get to choose your own challenge by making either a mother's day related project *OR* one that's predominantly pink... and by predominantly, our team of judges has determined this should mean 60% or more of your project should be pink. if you've read my blog even ONE OTHER TIME, you'll have no doubt already guessed which option i selected, and may have additionally sussed that the 60% threshold was no problem for me. of course, it really NEVER is a problem for me, but especially not when niece madeline margaret has a birthday coming up, which she does (her 9th! can you believe it?!) so i made this:

(patterned paper--mostly scraps and pre-cut items, wahey: crate paper, glitz design, my mind's eye, amy tangerine, doodlebug, anna griffin, basic grey, fancy pants, scrapbook wizard, crafty secrets, creative imaginations; thickers: american crafts; pearl flourish: prima; gems: recollections; border punches: recollections, fiskars, easycut craft; ink: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)
i haven't decided yet if said embellished panel is going to be the adornment for a pretty gift bag or the topper for a biggish card, so i'm keeping my options open. either way, if i come up with something really fab in terms of gift wrapping, i'll be sure to photo and post it! i should have photos of her main (handmade) gift later this week, too. i have, at maddie's request, crocheted a little dolphin for her. all the parts are done, i just need to stuff it and sew it together. isn't it weird how the "finishing" in yarn projects, despite being the smallest proportion of work always seems to take the longest, and require the most effort? why *IS* that? or is it just me?! anyway, i will have it completed in time for her party on saturday night, and i hope it will be a big hit!

and now i'm sure you're longing to head over to SOS and see what my totally awesome fellow DT-mates have created, and whether they've made something for mom or taken the second option. of course, we all know leslie* will have chosen ♥PINK♥ but the others may well surprise you, so do go and take a peek!

*ok yeah, i'm totally lying, leslie is actually not at all a fan of "light red" but luckily SOME OF US are willing and able to pick up the slack!!! :) :) :)

Monday, May 6, 2013

holy moly! a post on *MONDAY*??!

given my lamentably lean blogging schedule lately, your shock is understandable. but seeing as how we've been in the new house a full month, and we're (kinda/mostly!) unpacked and settling in, it's time to get back in the swing of things! plus, having missed the last two amazingly lauren-centric challenges over at city crafter (clouds and bon voyage!!!) i was determined not to let the current deadline for "spring has sprung" fly past me. so let's get right to the card, which is for my mother-in-law, and needs to be mailed, sharpish!
(turns out, most of the ingredients for this one were not "product" in the traditional sense, but here goes a vague list: scan of vintage postcard, printed on kodak premium photo paper; a bit of lovely prima packaging that's been trimmed and distress inked up a bit; scrap box strips of patterned paper from... i think... my mind's eye, studio calico and crate; some michaels-based silk flowers on which spray ink essperiments were performed some time ago; re-colored (with alcohol markers) kaiser pearls; prehistoric heidi swapp photo corners; machine stitching; and rounding off the adhesives category some staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, and gluedots! ta-da!)
and now here is the photo inspiration from CCCB, how fab does that vintage postcard scan pick up the colors, eh? i was pretty excited about that, lol:

i also used this rather awesome graphicat sketch #25 for my layout:

and i'm happy to be hopping in on the corrosive challenge blog's mother's day event, where my lovely SOS teammate miss carla is on the DT!

and now i shall be hopping off into the day, which is a monday... and a bit cloudy, in these parts... but i vote we make it awesome, anyway. who's with me, darlings?! ♥♥♥

Friday, May 3, 2013

still flyin'!

at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ that is; we're moving into our second week of the super-fun "flying home for christmas" prompt, for which stephanie and i have made another round of holiday cards featuring something which flies. this week, we've both (quite coincidentally) gone with birds for our focal image. stef chose a beautiful cardinal for her clean and simple masterpiece; whereas i used a glittery papaya art sticker with this super-cute sparrow:

(holiday glitter sticker: papaya art; patterned paper: prima, melissa frances, my mind's eye; cardstock: core'dinations; embossing folder: cuttlebug; pearl gem pin: melissa frances; other: vintage seambinding, sandpaper; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape)
in addition to linking up at 52 card pick up this week, i have a couple of other shoutouts; for one thing, my layout is based on this week's gorgeous retro sketch:

for another, i'm very much in love with the current palette at color throwdown, though i'm not sure i've quiiiiiiiiiiiiiiite got the blues right on my card, so i won't be insulted if i am disqualified on that account. however, i was entirely inspired by them for my choice of colors, which i would not have thought to combine on my own, and i love the results!

speaking of results, if you'd like to have a lovely stack of ready-made, unique, totally beautiful holiday cards which need only to be addressed and mailed in december, why not join us at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥?! see you there, darlings!