Friday, August 30, 2013

lovely jingle sketch!

this week at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ we are thrilled to have allison fillo back with us, and she's brought us another AMAZING original sketch with which to make our cards:

being as it is such a wonderfully flexible design, i followed it really faithfully; however, since my largest panel was a scrap that looked better as a horizontal than a vertical, i went wiiiiiiiiiiide instead of tall. but that's the thing about a great sketch, you can make it ♥YOUR OWN♥!!!

(patterned paper: crate, bo bunny, basic grey, pink paislee, the paper co + vintage sheet music; poinsettia die: boss kut; velvet leaves: making memories; brad: my mind's eye; sentiment sticker: srm; vintage lace from my stash; ink: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, gluedots, sewing machine)
be sure to head over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and check out allison's and stephanie's gorgeous holiday cards! then take a little time to visit allison's blog, stampin' when i can! and finally, start planning your own bid for sketch card domination!!! ♥

Thursday, August 29, 2013

so much for keeping up!

with posting my daily paper prompt pages. but then, the best laid plans of mice and men do often go awry. which makes me wonder... why mice?? i mean, when thinking of animals who would excel at planning well enough to get second billing to men, i'm not sure mice are *my* first choice. because foxes are sly... which suggests intelligence and probably a bit of planning, or at least a willingness to WAIT to attain a goal. beavers are impressive architects, which implies a certain amount of prowess and the completion of many tasks, in the correct order. chimpanzees have been known to make and use tools in order to achieve an objective. but in terms of thinking ahead, it's hard to beat the clever squirrel, who spends the late summer months finding and storing away enough food to last an entire winter! on the other hand, i suppose i can see how, "the best laid plans of squirrels and men..." failed to offer sufficient poetical gravitas to robert burns. so mice it is. wanna see some journal pages?

019: the blues
this prompt was suggested and hosted by patricia from magenta matters, and it was a fave of mine. i used paints thru a stencil, did some paper collage on top, and finished off with some random... blue... rub-ons. et voila!

020: mail art
i know, i know, i should've made a REAL piece of art and mailed it to somebody, but i got carried away with my vintagey bits. ah well.

021: stamp a mandala
for once i did EXACTLY what i was told! (please notice and applaud, 'cause WHO KNOWS when/if it'll ever happen again, lol!) of course, then i added paper flowers. and lots of stitching. embellishment junkie? ummmmmm... yeah... that'd be me...

022: mapping
here's an idea that was sooooooooooooo awesome inside my head: paste a whole lotta maps together to make one big, new, uber-map of an imaginary place. in real life, it didn't quiiiiiiite work, or at least the result of this attempt does not look nearly as cool as i had hoped. maybe there is not enough variation in map styles or... well... ok, i don't really know why this doesn't excite me, but i'm fine with it being what it is. and who knows, i might take another crack at it one of these days!

023: draw a mandala
another big win for following directions!!! what are the odds??! but seriously, i really like this one. and i'm sure you'll be seeing more of these because they are so much fun!

024: ATCs
my favorite part of this page is actually not the ATCs themselves, although i like them. my favorite part is the clear plastic pocket thingie i constructed to hold the cards on the page. here's a shot that shows it better:

yeah... you can take them out, or move them around or... whatever! ok, admittedly, i'm probably the only one who finds this exciting, but don't worry, because i definitely find it exciting enough for ALL OF US, darlings!!! so you're welcome, lol! :) :) :)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

SOS116: for the boys

this week at shopping our stash it's the kind of challenge that's both awesome to play AND awesome to just go around seeing what everyone else has made. we're making cards with masculine designs, because you can NEVER have too many guy cards, or too many guy card ideas, am i right?! here's what i made:
(patterned paper: ek success, basic grey, glitz designs + vintage ledger paper adorned with CWS stencils; spray ink: mr. huey, glimmer mist; other ink: ranger distress inks, colorbox chalk and pigment inks, stewart superior india ink; felt stick-on ferns: prima; vintage green velvet trim + a scrap of brown grosgrain ribbon from m+j trimmings; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)
last week i had an excellent SOS-related real-life event, when my lovely teammate michelle and her fabulous kids came to visit! we had lunch, we toured the palatial bergold estate (lol!) and then michelle taught me some of the tips and techniques she uses to color with prismacolor pencils. (if you check out her blog, you'll see why i was THRILLED to have her expertise all to myself, in a "housecall"!) here we are at my kitchen table, in the midst of my own personal prisma training:

here are the images we worked on, we concentrated on hair and faces... with an emphasis on shading and blending... and blending... and blending!  turns out the biggest thing i was doing wrong up til now is trying to "do it all" in only a few layers. you have to start reallllllllllllllllllly light and build up. you also use MANY MORE COLORS than i ever imagined! each of these ladies has 6 shades for her skin, and nearly a dozen in her luxurious long hair. well, michelle's (on the left) has luxurious long hair, mine (on the right) isn't quite as impressive. but i definitely learned A LOT, and i treated myself the next day to a few extra pencils at michaels, so i can practice more.

(both digital images by tiddly inks)
michelle also brought me this gorgeous gift box that she made FROM SCRATCH; no silhouette here, just luscious papers and a boatload of talent! the crocheted flowers were inside... three guesses who made those... NOT me, lol! :)

speaking of uber-talented creative people i ♥LOVED♥ meeting irl, the lovely amy tsuruta send me a gorgeous house-warming card and a few little goodies i can't wait to dive into:


and of course all of you darlings are invited to visit, as well! in real life, if you're coming to new jersey or new york; or virtually... at shopping our stash, where we've got our GUY CARD MOJO on... and we hope ♥YOU♥ do, too!!! :)

Monday, August 26, 2013

monsta monday: cyborg edition

this week, meet robort, a crobot who's enjoyed a successful modeling career as a highly sought-after cover-bot. after hours, robort's a cyberdude and always ready to rock, roll and reboot. he enjoys data-processing and re-runs of the bionic woman. he once dated one of the back-up drives that backs up one of the back-up drives at paypal, but the relationship ended badly. there are 10 types of people in the world... those who understand robort and those who don't! 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

house tour, anyone?

i realize it's taken me an age to post these, but basically, just we had justgotten the entire downstairs unpacked, set up and decorated, when we made the sudden and unexpected* decision to refinish the floors! so of course we had to pack... up... everything; have all the work done; and wait (and wait... and wait...) for it to dry and cure completely. then unpack and arrange everything all over again. this time we're prettttttttttttttty dang sure it's staying this way for the foreseeable future!

ok, so starting with the entryway, as you come into the house:

in the midst of the floor saga, we were given the hand-me-down pink couch. which, on paper, seemed like it would fit really well in the entryway, where i wanted some "stopgap" seating. as it turns out, it's waaaaaaay too big for where i planned to put it. so we've done a re-shuffle, and swapped the seating for these two rooms. i'm still not in love with the result, but i can totally live with it until i find my dream couch. or possibly my dream chaise longue? this one is a serious contender at the moment.

moving through the next arch... (which, can i just pause here and say,"ARCHES!!!!!!!" definitely a big style point for me in this house, i love them!) get to the dining room:

this floor was in pretty good condition, but it was very pale, and when we decided to re-do everything, we went with the darker color throughout. jeff insists i also show you the following photo, which was taken standing in the next arch, but looking back. so you can see back to how the dining room connects up. luckily there's a BIG PINK COUCH to orient you, eh?! :)

off to the side is the kitchen, which is a bit dated. in a few years, we'd like to renovate, but yet another selling point was that it is perfectly use-able until then! my favorite part is the table area with those big sunny windows overlooking the backyard.

at the moment, we've got a card table and folding chairs, but between the tasty food and the nice view, that doesn't seem so bad!

finally the living room, which can be accessed via the stairs you saw in the dining room, or by going around the corner from the eat-in area of the kitchen.

the only furniture we bought for this room is the entertainment center; everything else came from our apartment, where the sectional was a "space saver". weirdly enough, it somehow also works to anchor this much larger room. which is awesome because it's still in good condition and it's comfortable!

and YES, there's a spiral staircase. i mention it because whereas i find it somewhat disconcerting, everyone else LOVES IT! personally, i keep expecting hugh hefner to swan down it in his pajamas, but it *is* a nice shortcut to the master bedroom. and yes, there's a "regular" staircase too; much to the relief of our movers who somehow missed seeing it the first time they came through the dining room. you should've *SEEN* the look on their faces! :)

and now my camera and i are going to take a little rest, but we'll be back soon with some pics of the art lair and maybe the master bedroom? in the meantime, happy saturday, darlings!!! ♥

*we were expecting to tile our entryway. period. but when we pulled up the carpet and lino... SCORE! we found the same lovely hardwood that connected up with the two adjacent rooms. thus instead of covering it up again, and because the other two rooms had mysteriously been stained completely different colors with NO effort to transition neatly between them, we decided to make the leap and just do THE WHOLE JOB all at once. a vast (and seriously messy!) undertaking, but sooooooo worth the time and money! ♥♥♥

Friday, August 23, 2013

saint nick-tac-toe!!! :)

hello and welcome to my favorite post title of the entire ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ year, as devised by miss stephanie, much to my delight! because yes, we're still playing xmassy tic-tac-toe, and i will show you the board again in a minute. but first, here's my card, which i really like!

(patterned paper: studio calico, echo park, basic grey, making memories, autumn leaves; journaling label: my mind's eye; character rub-ons: imaginisce; glittery sentiment rub-on: creative imaginations; bling: recollections; ink: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape)
ok, so 90% of the work was done by the half-packet of adorable imaginisce rub-ons i had left; a further 7% was taken care of by consulting the tic-tac-toe board below (i chose the center vertical column) and that left only 3% actual effort on my part, which mainly consisted of rubbing-on the rub-ons and choosing mats. easy peasy! here is that board again... you know... just in case you have a hankering to play along?!

ok, yeah, so neither the calendar or the thermometer is showing even the least signs of christmassy-ness yet... but december will be here before we know it, complete with a heapin' helpin' of card-making panic! so why not get a little bit ahead with us at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ eh?! we'd love to see *you* in our links list!!! ♥

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

keeping up!

with posting my daily paper prompt pages, i mean. trying to be a little more resolved and organized about photo-ing as i go; so i don't wind up with additional embarrassing 8-page posts. so here's a nice little three-fer for ya! yay! :)

016: dictionary love
i DO love dictionaries, as a matter of fact: i love collecting them, i love looking stuff up in them, i love using them in art.* i found the alan watts quote online; the line-drawn-lady was on the cover of a catalog.

017: chandelier
the fixture in question is from a very old (but still available!) set of digi brushes, i had printed it out on a transparency (probably to fill in a page; inkjet transparencies are not cheap!) which i found the other night; it's the centerpiece of my BIGGEST stapled collage to date, woohoo. i have to confess that i needed three strategically placed staples to hold this one together; i just couldn't keep everything on there AND visible with only one this time.

018: travel
ok, technically, the brief for this one was to create a travel art kit, but since i already have a long-established one of those (there's a photo midway through this post!) i decided to go off on a tangent. so i did. and i like it! :)

*the books i use in my collages are already-damaged and bought specifically for that purpose from book sales, garage sales, and the pile of orphaned coverless things which seems to dwell in the foyer of every library throughout the world. if you ever wonder, "WHO buys those?"... now you know. :) i've written a couple of post about cutting up books, and i'm especially proud of this one, which describes my oprah-style "lightbulb" moment on this subject; this one's ok, too; and this one has a pretty good footnote on what i call "dead books walking". suffice it to say that beautiful, pristine, perfect or rare volumes not only NEVER meet such a fate at my hands, they have a large and most-honored place in my home! ♥♥♥

ps: weirdly enough, the one category of people who never even cringe when they hear that some of the less-than-perfect volumes i buy are destined for my art lair and not my bookshelves are... wait for iiiiiit... LIBRARIANS! because no one better understands the vastly impossible logistics involved in trying to reverently and permanently preserve every single copy of every single book in the world. afterall, just how do you think all those ex-library books wind up FOR SALE at booksales, anyway?? yeah. circle of life, my friends. circle of life.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

SOS116: use your oldest hardware

this week at shopping our stash you've got another fabulous chance to break out those oldies but goodies! this time we're focused on hardware. of course brads, eyelets and the like are pretty obvious; but maybe you still have ribbon slides, frames, or even those little metal + vellum tags that were so very popular back in the day? (leslie has used those BRILLIANTLY this week... seriously... you'll be either unearthing your own immediately or wishing you had some!!!)

sometimes i'm hindered trying to recall what item in a given category i acquired first, but not this time... i remember quite vividly the very first occasion on which i watched in awe as the owner of my local (now sadly defunct) rubber stamp store used an anywhere hole punch, an eyelet setter, and a big honkin' hammer to attach paper flowers to a greeting card. needless to say, i left the shop with a punch, a setter, and a supply of those very eyelets! and i happily re-visited all three of those to make this card: 

(patterned paper: doodlebug, teresa collins, my mind's eye, sei, creative imaginations, echo park, dcwv; glossy white cardstock: ranger; pennant flags: pink paislee; florals: prima + making memories;  rub-on sentiment: fancy pants; circle punch: ek success; eyelets and tools from the late lamented stamp pad in new hope, pa; ink: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, gluedots, sewing machine)
i really really didn't do justice to this very cool sketch from the october afternoon blog; nor did i wind up using any OA products, but it's definitely worth checking out! i may have to have another go, actually, but i just totally ran out of time.

something that is well worth a bit of YOUR time is a trip over to SOS to see the gang's cards! you'll be inspired, i promise... plus you can link up with us, too!!! :)

Monday, August 19, 2013

monsta monday?

turns out, my bff's birthday at the beginning of august was just the spur i needed to turn a large ziploc baggie full of colorful little crocheted bits into not one... not two... but *THREE* awesome amigurumi creations!* so i figure i will string them out over the next couple of weeks, just to add a little variety to the ol' blogstead. ready? ok then... meet tsai:

hellllllllooooo ladies! i am tsai. yes, yes, i know you find me irresistible; afterall, you're only human... or... whatever. in turn i deeply admire you, particularly your excellent taste! 
tsai hails from the land of crochet bakemono, which technically makes him a monster, but he prefers the term "love god". he's made of yarn, felt, and pheromones. tsai's hobbies include being chased by legions of adoring ladies, being caught by legions of adoring ladies, and the films of antonio banderas; who, by the way, has modeled his entire career on tsai. luckily for antonio, tsai's a lover... not a fighter. grrrrrrrrr. ;)

*what can i say? i like the crocheting part a lot more than the sewing-all-the-bits-together part of amigurumi. sad but true; i'm a finish-o-phobic. :0

Saturday, August 17, 2013

giant bumper crop of art journaling

hooray for catching up! although actually, i've never been more than about a day behind in making pages for the daily paper prompt. the bottleneck always comes is in the photo-n-post phase. this time it's a little embarrassing. i blame the summer cold i've been fighting, the main symptom of which seems to be extreme laziness! :)

008: window/faded
i'm still obsessed with cutting holes in my pages and then strategically filling them in. this is my favorite version to date. the doilies, butterflies and dalai lama quote are on this page. the soft faded face illustration is on the page behind... with a soft faded pink transparency on top.

009: faded
oh yeah and a whole bunch of sentiment rub-ons, too! mostly because i always have a ZILLION extra of those and wanted to play around with new ways of using them

010: ogee pattern
still diggin' the water soluble wax crayons, and trying to practice blending them so the colors are smooth... without taking off ALL the pigment in the process. and yeah, my ogee is a little OMG... but i still like it!

011: stitched paper
the majority of my pages have stitching on them, but for this one i planned it from the start and the stitching is actually holding most of the paper scraps on the page; with only a tiny bit of dryline glue to keep the (semi) log-cabin-quilt pattern from shifting around.

012: round
all of these were found in my "pre-cut" file, except for monet's waterlillies which is a postcard that serendipitously arrived from my friend deborah on the day i made this page.

013: grid
a collage made on a ledger page grid using scraps of paper which all have grids or numbers or both. why?? why not!!! ♥

014: saturated color/another grid
more water soluble crayon blending; this is actually a chart which shows what each crayon looks like in action, because not all of them really look like the labels suggest.

015: words
i found this ♥AWESOME♥ audrey hepburn quote online... in english... a few weeks ago, whilst googling for something completely different. and by golly, paris *IS* always a good idea! (but then audrey would never steer us wrong, would she?!)

Friday, August 16, 2013

it's christmassy tic-tac-toe!

at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ this week, i mean. we've got a fancy game board and everything. see?!

the rules are pretty simple; and, i mean, we've all been playing tic-tac-toe since we were little, right? get three in a row... or in a column... or in a diagonal. then make a card. ok, specifically, a HOLIDAY card. but i figure if you're hangin' out with us at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ you're already up for that, right? here's what i made.

(patterned paper: pink paislee, basic grey, echo park; vellum: webster's pages; thin die-cut-able wood: the paper co; mini bingo card: jenni bowlin; florals: prima, we r memory keepers, making memories; brads: my mind's eye; reindeer die: tim holtz/sizzix; heart dies: cutllebug; scaloppy scissors: ek success; other: doily from my stash + vintage plaid ribbon pinched from my mom's sewing room when she wasn't looking! ;) ink: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, gluedots, sewing machine)
i guess i should probably point out that it's definitely not necessary to make a card that *matches* the game board, and in fact, i only did it sort of accidentally. but i made the board and the card in a back-to-back session, so clearly there was some "creative overlap", lol! :) i used this awesome sketch from feeling sketchy... but i had to flip it horizontally because of where the flowery corner was on my pretty webster's pages vellum. i'm linking up at 52-card-pickup, as well. which i do most fridays. (and you can, too!)

something else you can, and should, do... is head on over and check out stephanie's card at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥... and then link up with us, because we love to see your gorgeous cards!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

wrapping up the summer giftwrap wrap-up

i really like wrapping presents. i may have mentioned this before. a few times, actually. but i keep on liking it, so i guess i'll keep on saying so. and occasionally posting photos of stuff i've wrapped. like now!

people often ask how i mail my over-sized, lumpy-bumpy cards. well, the baby gift above is one of my answers: you don't always NEED an envelope!

below is another example of the same thing, you can KINDA see the card, and it's decorating the parcel, but there's still an element of surprise when you undo the ribbon. (in this case the "wrap" is an old sewing pattern.)

don't get me wrong, i looooove commercial gift wrap, but i like to play around with other options, too. above you can see a pretty tea towel that was part of the gift, which i've used to enfold another little present.

maps are great, too; and the illustrations from oversized, falling-apart books can be rescued and used to make a one of a kind envelope, like the one in this picture:

(speaking of pictures, i realize mine are particularly dreadful this time; mostly i'm snapping these on my phone late at night!)

ok, so maps... sometimes they're a bit plain, in which case, i'm pretty sure they WANT YOU TO stamp and color on top of them!!! :) and heck, adding some vintage lace and maybe a crocheted flower couldn't possibly hurt, could it?! nahhhhhh!

here's an idea for dressing up candy bars. why would you want to? well, i dunno about you, but i give cash or a check pretty often, and you have to put those *SOMEWHERE*. these little sleeves were made from cutting down the envelopes from a couple of old sewing patterns. i tucked the money inside, and tied on a pretty bow. easy-peasy!

ok, one more map idea: how about using it to wrap a tube? in this case, it's a sleeve of chocolate biscuits, but this would work for a bottle, or tennis balls, or even a fancy scroll entitling the bearer to free baby-sitting or a pedicure! again, there's no reason you have to use the map as is; the queen and prince philip came from my "cut out" folder (but diecuts or stickers work just as well...let's face it, we all have TONS of supplies, right?!) i used an off-cut of the map plus a few alphas on the envelope. 

here's my favorite gift in this post, and it's got a really funny story attached: my aunt brought me this beautiful orchid as a housewarming present, and of course i was wowed by the fact that the bag matches it PERFECTLY... and i said so. at which point she, my uncle, and my cousin nearly fell over with laughter. can you guess why??!

yep! apparently *I* made that bag, like three years ago, and put a gift for them in it!!! it was too nice to throw away, they said; thus it got saved.  so it seems like the really pretty presents... sometimes... THEY COME BACK!!!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

SOS114: palette OR woodgrain

this week at shopping our stash, a picture... or at least, a visual inspiration... is worth a thousand words:

so obviously we want you to make a card or project using this palette as your inspiration. you can use the colors, either individually or all together; or you can take the general woodgrain idea and run with that; OR you can do a little of both. i did a little of both:

(patterned paper: basic grey, my mind's eye, daisy d's, fancy pants, studio calico, the paper co, and a bit of glossy fern-printed cardstock that was the base of an old greeting card; woodgrain alphas: amy tangerine; ink: colorbox; cloud punch: fiskars; deer + tree paper-piecing patterns were from an ancient copy of scrapbooks etc; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)
actually, i fear i may have done too much of both. there's a lot going on here. which, admittedly, can be said about *MOST* of my cards, and my life generally, lol; and usually i like it. but i'm not so sure about this one. on the other hand, it has got the colors, AND three types of woodgrain, AND that super-cute deer. so i think i'm going to chalk this one up as "done" and "on time" and leave it at that!

for some VERY cool takes on this challenge, get thee hither to the SOS blog, where my dt sisters have ROCKED the woodgrain *and* the colors in a big, big way!!! ciao, darlings! ♥