Friday, May 30, 2014

peace, part two

we're still celebrating all things peaceful at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ so you have plenty of time to make a holiday card with a peace sign, the word peace, or just a particularly calm and pleasant aspect! here's what i made this week:

(patterned paper: prima; holographic earth image cut from an old greeting card; vintage seam binding from my stash; foreign text chipboard alphas from my etsy shop; ink: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, gluedots, sewing machine) 

i semi-CASED myself this time, or at least, i re-used the same idea as on this card i made in 2012: specifically placing the sentiment, "peace" on top of an image of the earth; and also using the foreign text chipboard alphas from my etsy shop to spell out the sentiment, which i think adds a nice little extra touch. i have the feeling i'll be re-visiting this idea every year, just to see how many different ways i can make it work.

miss stephanie has made a particularly lovely card this week, and there are already quite a few lovely examples in the readers' gallery, so i do hope you'll hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and check them out!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

zine winner and ICAD preparedness training :)

many thanks to everyone who entered the drawing for the very awesome daisy yellow zine, issue #11, it was great to see some old friends there and meet new ones, as well! i've consulted the fine folks at and the two numbers chosen are #12 and #15, which means the lucky winners are:


congratulations to you both, please email me at llaurenb @ hotmail [dot] org and i'll get your names to tammy so she can send your pdf copies! (please note if you already purchased this issue, tammy will be sending you a refund, in lieu!) if you don't happen to be one of the lucky winners, you can still grab a copy at the daisy yellow etsy shop, and it's well worth the trip!!! 

and now, onto ICAD 2014:

(vintage gardening notebook divider painted with white acrylic craft paint; machine stitched grid with various illustrations glued on; rub-ons by basic grey (mostly cut apart and re-arranged to fit grid); leather flower sticker by k and co; sparkly nature stickers by hallmark)

if you've followed daisy yellow or my blog over the last couple of years, then you'll probably realize it's almost time for the annual index card a day project (aka ICAD) a super-fun exercise which takes place in june and july, and is designed to help us establish (or re-establish, or just amp up) a daily art practice. i have absolutely LOVED participating the last two summers, so of course i'm pretty psyched! tammy's been posting some warm-up exercises to get us all in the mood, plus there's a great FAQ here, and of course there's a totally drool-worthy flickr group! there's even a choice of super-cool, totally colorful graphics by miss tammy that you can post on your blog if you're participating. this one's my fave:

i've been playing around with some of the warm ups, which, unlike ICAD proper, don't have to be done on an actual index card. the photo at the top of this post shows my "grid" from creative warm up #5. strangely enough, quite by accident, i did wind up working in a space that's pretty close to 3x5! i decided to use this divider from a cool vintage gardening book as my base, so i painted out the text at the bottom of the page, which just happened to be around that size! how cool is that?! something that's been taking up quite a lot of my daydreaming time lately are the improvements we're hoping to to make in our yard and garden this summer: we want to replace the old fence on one side of the property; we need to re-grade around our basement windows; we're planning to plant a few more trees out front, etc etc; so i suppose that is how this evolved into sort of a visual wishlist! here's a photo where you can see the whole page better:

i've also made a portable ICAD creation station, as described in warm-up exercise #4. it's actually my collage "treasures" box* full of lovely small-scale vintage and found items, PLUS my portable travel-journal tool kit, with some additional drawing and coloring instruments. i've added a nice supply of index cards: plain, ruled, and a few to which i've randomly pre-glued interesting backgrounds. somewhere i think i still have some uber-bright neon green ones... i have to find those before sunday, for sure! :)

as far as how i'm going to keep and store the finished cards, i'm 99% sure i'm going to punch the cards and add them to a (big honkin') book ring as i go along. that's what i did in 2012 and it worked well. last year i started out with a small plastic index card holder box, but outgrew it within a month and ended up punching them later. but i'm still deciding about 2014.

are ♥YOU♥ going to ICAD this summer? i know, i know, we all have too many commitments already, and if you have kids, the summer means they'll be home all day long. but it's only one card a day, and it's soooooooooooo much fun! plus, this is such a great way to try new techniques, explore different media, play around and just generally step outside your creative comfort zone in a really really GOOD way; there's NO pressure to end up with a beautiful finished product... this is just for ♥YOU♥!!! plus, did i mention there's a kid version this year??! c'monnnnnnnnnnnnnn... give it a try!!!

*ok, technically it's an empty fabriano box in which the awesome miss amy mailed me a little present last year; because she totally knows i'm the kind of gal who swoons over a beautiful box, and saves it to store treasures!!! thanks, amy! ♥♥♥

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

stapled AND sewn?!

question: when is it acceptable to "break the rules" in collage?
answer: sorry, that was a trick question; there really aren't any rules in collage!

ok, yes, there are rules of composition, color-combining changes everying, balance is important, etc, etc; but to me the bottom line is: if *YOU* like what you've made, then don't worry about anything else!

case in point, i set out to make a stapled collage, specifically as a reminder that the giveaway of the awesome daisy yellow zine (issue #11, in which my "stapled collage" article appears) ends tonight, and you should comment on the original post right here to be included.

i saw that this week's prompt was "books" at the take a word challenge, and got right to work finding first the utterly swoon-worthy harlequin romance book cover (!) and then quite a few other book pages and book-related items to go with it. and i set everything up in layers that could be stapled together at just a few points, because i was making a stapled collage.

but then, at the end, i decided it really really needed some sewing, too. so i sewed, too! because who's to say that a stapled collage can't also have sewing, eh? certainly not our heroine, miss destiny, who remained silent-but-beautiful throughout the entire process. which pretty much proves my point, i think, don't you?! :)

and now i hope you'll scroll down and enter the daisy yellow zine giveaway, because i know you will LOVE that thing as much as i do... soooooo many cool ideas from miss tammy within! then head on over to take a word and check out all the cool artwork made for the "books" prompt! ♥

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

SOS 153: background check

this week at shopping our stash we've got what might be my all-time favorite challenge title, "background check" and we'd like to see projects for which you've created your own background paper using stamps; whether it's one big background stamp, or a few smaller stamps to make a pattern. i'm still apparently stuck in the "glamour and grunge" mood, so i wound up with a card which reflects that. and yes, for the record, i started with a piece of plain white glossy cardstock! :)

(stamps: rhonna farrer/autum leaves, tim holtz/stampers anonymous, purple onion design, stampin' up; mists: studio calico and tattered angels; inks: distress and archival by ranger, pigment and chalk by colorbox, permanent india ink by stewart superior, opaque white by staz-on; clear embossing ink and powders: psx; clear pink acrylic letters: heidi swapp; heart dies and die-cutting machine: cuttlebug by provocraft; scraps of patterned paper for hearts: recollections, melissa frances, glitz design, creative imaginations, basic grey, sei, best creations, anna griffin, echo park; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, sewing machine)

i should probably also mention that this is a big honkin' card, in fact the finished dimensions are 6x12"! because once i started stamping, i just couldn't stop, lol! i did emboss resist in two colors (white and pink) i sprayed a couple of mists, i did ink blending, i overstamped in black and soft pink and grey... yeah... it took most of the day on sunday, but then admittedly, i got "stuck" a few times and had to wander off until i came up with a new idea to try.  it probably would've been cool to take photos while i was working on it, but i didn't think of that. alas, i never think of that until after i'm done. but here are my supplies. and no, i'm not kidding:

almost everyone at SOS is a much more accomplished (and sensible!) stamper than i am, so this week even more that usually, you really REALLY need to check out the awesome DT cards! off you go, darlings! ♥

Saturday, May 24, 2014

glamour and grunge

this week* at sunday postcard art the theme-- set by one of my all-time favorite collage artists, miss electra-- is GLAMOUR, so of course the challenge was calling my name! nothing says, "glamour" to me more than bollywood cinema: the costumes, the scenery, the dance numbers... hard to beat, right? there are, franky, very few NON-glamorous bollywood actresses, but aishwarya rai is arguably the most lovely of them all:

(aishwarya rai photo from an old bollywood magazine; brick digi paper from the "boys urban world" kit by 4 shades of blue; butterfly punches in various sizes: martha stewart; gems: recollections; stick-on bindi gem from butala emporium, jackson heights, ny; stamps: purple onion design, rhonna farrer for autum leaves, stampin' up; ink: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, scotch gluestick, sewing machine)

for some reason, as soon as i started thinking about this theme i immediately hit on the idea of glamour and grunge, so i knew i wanted to add lots of industrial elements (i thought this was going to be a stapled collage!) plus tons of distressing. my magazine photo of aishwarya was a little too big for SPA's 4x6" format, so i made a slightly smaller copy onto photo paper. turns out my scanner is powerful enough that it picked up a little bit of the text that was on the reverse side of the page! i kind of liked how it looked, so i added to the effect with text stamps, and then flourish stamps, and... well... i might've got a tiny bit carried away, but it sure was fun!

i've been wanting to make something with a torn window ever since i ran across this gorgeous collage by erwan soyer and this seemed like the perfect time. i had to fiddle with the size of my digital brick wall paper a bit, but once i had the scale right, i loved how it looked. i always intended to have butterflies emerging from the edges, but i tried using some i punched from an old hindi newspaper, then patterned paper ones, then glossy text paper... and nothing worked. luckily, i had had to fiddle with the digital brick paper earlier on, so there were extra scraps laying around; pretty sure the brick butterflies are my favorite part!

if you love collage and inspiration, i hope you'll check out all the fabulous links in the comments of this post at sunday postcard art! meanwhile, my zine giveaway is open through next wednesday night, so i hope you'll check out this post to read all about it! meanwhile, happy memorial day weekend to all my american darlings, have fun and be safe!!!

*ok, so, i only realized when i was adding the links... I MISSED THE DEADLINE for this challenge!  ack!  oh well, my card is made, the post is written and i had a blast doing this, so no big deal! still, many thanks to electra and sunday postcard art for the inspiration! ♥

Friday, May 23, 2014

peace on earth

it's the friday before memorial day weekend, so of course i've got a lovely new christmas card to show you! yes, i know, it sounds insane; but by making just one christmas card per week over at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ i'm insuring that my december will consist of doing other things besides mass-producing a gazzillion stressful cards, which... trust me... been there, done that; i'll stick with THIS brand of crazy, ta v. much! :)

this fortnight our prompt is "peace on earth" and what we're looking for are holiday cards that feature a peace sign OR the word peace OR just evoke an especially peaceful feeling. (if you choose the last option, throw in a little line explaining how it's peaceful to you!) i did quite a bit of experimenting this time, and i've been going back and forth all week debating whether it works or not. i think it kinda does. (maybe?) but you tell me:

(recycled dove and snowflake xmas cards; best creation sparkly silver glitter paper; k and co sparkly white chipboard snowflakes; oriental trading co silver brads; a bit of vintage lace; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)

i printed a clipart peace sign and used it as a template on my glamorous glitter paper, which i used as a frame for the pretty dove from a very sparkly silver christmas card i saved last year. then i grabbed another "rescued" card with  shimmery snowflakes... (this one was saved by my friend cheryl; because once people know you "upcycle" beautiful old paper, you get given quite a bit of it, which is AWESOME!!!) ...and i added some dimensional chipboard snowflakes using star brads. then i mounted the whole thing to a freshly made 5x7" card blank to which i affixed a bit of lace that kind of dangles off the edge, and in the right light... or possibly the right mood... kind of looks like snowflakes. at least that was the idea. does it all come together??  i *think* so. was it fun to make?? heck, YES! so i'm callin' this a win! :) :) :)

over at ♥JINGLE BELLESmiss stephanie has a lovely card to show you that does not need ANY question marks or complicated explanation whatsoever! c'mon over and check it out, darlings!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

a is for "ATC" and "ARTICLE" and A giveAwAy, also! :)

ETA friday morning: sorry to re-post but i was soooooo excited that i accidentally published this without waiting for the gorgeous zine pics from tammy! duh, lauren! :) 

i'm happy to be playing along with collage obsession again, after a couple of weeks away.  this time the prompt is, "a is for..." and we get to complete the phrase. meanwhile, the other super-cool thing that happened this week is the new daisy yellow zine (issue #11)* was published, inside of which is an article miss tammy commissioned me to write about my favorite technique, stapled collage! could i BE more excited?! (ummm... NO!!!) :) :) :)

ok, first here's my entry for collage obsession. i decided to see how many A's i could fit into a 2.5 x 3.5" space. so we've got ATC, alphabets (english and chinese!), acrylic, alligator-in-an-airplane (obviously!), agapanthus (the purple flower which kinda looks like fireworks) and in the very back, a bit of aqua atlas. i'm pretty sure you'd have to attend an art show on sesame street** to see more A's in one place, and except for the background, it's all held together with one staple. gosh, i looooove doin' that!

now let's talk ♥GIVEAWAY♥! the lovely tammy has generously given me two copies of the brand-spankin'-new daisy yellow zine to give away!

the gorgeous table of contents for issue #11 of the daisy yellow zine, courtesy of miss tammy

what's inside? well, in addition to the stapled collage article*** by yours truly, there are eighteen incredibly beautiful, color-saturated pages of inspiring content to fuel your art-making imagination, including art journal prompts, brilliant ideas for unfinished journals (b/c we ALL have those, am i right?) thoughts on flash fiction (which i totally want to try now!) index card love, good creative habits, tips, techniques, and of course it's all illustrated in tammy's lusciously beautiful, colorful style. truly a feast for the eyes and a jump-start for the mind! i'll choose two winners randomly from the comments on this post at midnight, wednesday, may 28th, and post the names next thursday! sound good?

excerpt of one of the articles from daisy yellow zine, issue #11, courtesy of missy tammy and also the guest contributor... hey wait!  that's ME!!! :) :) :)

now i just need to remind you to check out collage obsession AND the daisy yellow art blog. good thing we've got a long weekend coming up, because you're definitely going to need some extra creative time to use all the fab ideas you'll acquire there! ciao, darlings! ♥

*issue#11 of the daisy yellow zine is available in .pdf format in the daisy yellow etsy shop for $8.00; there's more information on this post at the daisy yellow art blog!

**or this week's gallery at collage obsession, for that matter! 

***for which i made two brand new stapled collages i'm pretty danged proud of. just sayin'... :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

happy birthday ♥SOS♥!

would you believe the shopping our stash challenge blog is THREE years old already??! i haven't quite been on board since the very beginning like leslie and alica and deena, but i joined midway through the first year and have had a total blast ever since! if you've never played along, i heartily invite you to dust off some of your most treasured older supplies* and see if you can't think of a cool new way to use 'em! this week the challenge is super-simple and perfectly appropriate: we want to see birthday or anniversary cards. easy peasy! here's mine:

(patterned paper: recollections, kay and co, glitz design, pink paislee, making memories + papaya art glitter giftwrap + cool vintage doily from stephanie; florals: prima; leaf diecut: kay and co; brad: my mind's eye; happy birthday rub-on: fancy pants; ink: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)

i'm not sure you can tell from the photo, but the silver-grey leafy bits in the background paper are actually highlighted with silver glitter. i'm not sure you can tell from this next photo, either, but it's arguably slightly better than the first one. plus it shows the layers on the cupcake, which i really like, lol, so there's that!

something else i really like is being part of the awesome SOS team, so i hope you'll take a little time to visit their blogs, see their gorgeous projects, and leave them a little loooooooove:

thank you, darlings! 

**hence the name, "shopping our stash"; we're trying to use what we have instead of perpetually chasing the latest and greatest. or, if you prefer, we're using up older stuff to make room for a few new goodies. it's up to you! :)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

tea for two?

or in this case, just one; but the one in question is my aunt judie, so it has to be extra special. aj--in common with the rest of the women in our family-- loves and collects vintage china and glassware. we're all especially fond of tea sets, too. so when i saw the tea party challenge at shabby tearoom, i immediately thought, "THAT is the one for me!" here's the card i came up with:

(patterned paper: mambi, pink paislee, creative imaginations; teacup image from a vintage postcard enlarged and printed twice on kodak premium glossy paper; florals: prima, recollections, petaloo + tiny ribbon flowers with pearl centers from the trimmings shop; resin flower brad of unknown origin; vintage lace and a strand of tiny flower trimming from my stash. adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, gluedots, scotch tape (to secure ends lace and ribbon on back), low temp hot glue gun (for bulky flowers) and of course my trusty sewing machine!)

here's the inspiration pic from shabby tearoom (#218); in addition to the general vibe, they specifically requested we add a teacup (or other tea accessory) plus lace or ribbon and pearls. check, check and check!

since i knew i'd be seeing my aunt in person, i didn't really have to consider making a card that was flat or mailable. so i didn't. not even a little bit! :) i used my bulkiest flowers and loaded on the trimmings. enough so that i actually had to break out the hot glue gun to make sure everything was on there good and tight! i also added quite a bit of machine stitching to the panel. there are horizonal bands across the tiny flower trimming and the scalloped border strip; as well as an outline around the entire perimeter. as with most of my sewing, it's a nice decoration, and i love how it looks, but mostly, it's intended to keep textural items like the lace (which i've wrapped around the center panel and taped on the back) securely in place.

i wish i could also make some yummy little cakes like the ones in the photo, but my kitchen skills pretty much consist of planning meals, stocking the fridge, and cleaning up after lovely husband jeff has prepared a delicious dinner. luckily, there's quite a nice bakery on the way to aj's house! ♥♥♥

Friday, May 16, 2014

more sketch fun!

we're having even more than our usual heapin' helpin' of holiday fun at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ this fortnight, because we've teamed up with one of our favorite christmas card challenge blogs, ♥TIS the SEASON♥ for the most christmassy fun you can possibly have in the middle of may! the lovely TTS ladies provided their sketch, we belles chimed in with a request for blingy goodness, and obviously sheer gorgeousness has ensued! here's a reminder of the fab sketch:

and here's my card this week:

(sparkly xmas label: papaya art; patterned paper: my mind's eye, basic grey, october afternoon, pink paislee; journal card: fancy pants; pearly snowflake brad: oriental trading co; (re-arranged) bling flourish: recollections; ribbon and trim from my stash; glossy white cardstock: paper accents; border punches: ek success, martha stewart, recollections; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, gluedots, sewing machine)

it's kind of hard to believe i still have any sparkly papaya art glittery christmas stickers left, since i enjoy using them so often! but they come in a big ol' tin, so i can glam things up to my heart's content! (which, as you know, is a pretty lot, lol!) :)

so now why don't ♥YOU♥ not grab the sketch AND some sparkly goodness, so that you can link up one card at both ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and ♥TIS the SEASON♥? there's a prize on both blogs,in case you need a little extra incentive, not to mention tons of inspiration. join us, darlings! ♥

Thursday, May 15, 2014

classic basic grey still looks fab, doesn't it?

at least it does to me. the sultry line was a particular fave (all that pink!) and i still love it, actually; plus i seriously doubt that anyone will ever make "solid" colored papers that i like more than the artfully distressed looking bg ones. so there. to celebrate still having such goodness in my stash, i broke out a bunch of it to make a giftbag which holds niece madeline's birthday presents. see?

(patterned paper: basic grey, recollections, making memories, anna griffin, creative imaginations, girls' paperie; chipboard letters: kay and co; butterfly die: quickutz; border punches: recollections; doily from my stash; ink: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)

i used the current mojo monday sketch (#345) pretty darned faithfully for once; assuming you can get past the part where the role of the circles is being played by butterflies, instead. po-tay-to, po-tah-to! :)

maddie's actual (10th!) birthday was yesterday, and her family party is on saturday, to which we are really looking forward. it is rumored that a full complement of nieces and nephews will be in attendance, which becomes less of a "gimmee" as they grow up and develop social lives and schedules of their own. life has certainly changed over the course of the past ten years and it's both scary and exciting to think how much more dramatically it will change in the next ten. yikes! meanwhile,

happy birthday 
and many more!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

yes, it'll totally be my fault when you have "rockin' robin" stuck in your head all day long!

if it's any consolation, it's been stuck in *MY* head for several days; ever since i made this card for the current challenge (#151) at shopping our stash which is called, "sing it to me" and involves making a card inspired by a song. i chose "rockin' robin" because i found this adorable fabric sticker in my stash and thought it'd be PERFECT for my mother-in-law, who is an avid birdwatcher and also just happens to have four children! :)

(patterned paper: basic grey, pink paislee, prima + packaging by prima and making memories; fabric sticker: crafty secrets; fabric flower and leaves: prima; mistable border sticker (which i haven't misted, this time): pink paislee; rhinestone flourish: recollections; ink: colorbox; vintage: doily; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, gluedots, sewing machine) 

i used the current cardabilities sketch (#98), which is awesome. but then, cardabilities sketches generally are, aren't they? i flipped the sketch horizontally, only because the birdies were going to cover the best part of the ledger paper.

what song is inspiring you these days, and what will you make to show it off? why not hop over to SOS and see what my lovely colleagues have done, whilst you're thinking it over! ♥

Sunday, May 11, 2014

happy mother's day!

hope all of you moms out there are having a ♥FAB♥U♥LOUS♥ day! i made this card for my mother, whom i saw on friday and will see again midweek, but probably won't see today, so i thought i'd blog her a happy mother's day, instead! 

(flocked paper and pink brad: my mind's eye; patterned paper: basic grey, kay and co, american crafts, kaisercraft; acrylic hearts: heidi swapp; rub-on letters: ki memories; flower and pink rhinestones: michaels; twine: doodlebug; ink: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, gluedots, sewing machine)

i used the current palette at colour q which is rather ravishing* i think you'll agree. i have to tell you that in real life, my darker shade of pink looks A LOT MORE like "strawberry slush" than it does in the photo. which is a bit of a shame, seeing as all you can see on t'internet is the photo. ah well. it's pretty close, honest! and you are all officially invited over to see the card in person... how's that?! :)

and now back to your regularly scheduled mother's day celebrations! if you're stumped for what to do, may i suggest chocolate and papercrafting??!?! (you're welcome, darlings!) ♥♥♥

*assuming you like pink... which i do... i may have mentioned that once or twice! :)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

tis the season... to ♥JINGLE♥!

i'm pretty excited about the upcoming fortnight at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ because we've teamed up with one of our favorite christmas card challenge blogs, ♥TIS the SEASON♥ (hence the early thursday posting!) for a super-fab DOUBLE header: the TTS folks brought one of their awesome sketches, and you know how much we belles looooooove our bling, so the brief for this one is to incorporate the sketch AND some sparkly goodness! easy, right? for a little extra incentive may i point out that you'll be getting TWO link ups with just one card... and... did i mention that there's a prize on both blogs, as well? not too shabby, eh? especially when you have a sketch as fab as this one:

awesome, am i right? you could do just about ANYTHING with that! here's my card:

(patterned paper: love elsie, echo park; florals: petaloo; bling flourishes: want2scrap; brads: my mind's eye; glossy white cardstock: paper accents; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, gluedots, sewing machine)

i've always loved pink on christmas cards, and really don't think i can be the only one, judging from how many holiday paper lines include pink! meanwhile, my favorite thing about the pocket scrapbooking craze is the fact that every designer collection comes with at least a few 3x4" cards. i know they're meant for journaling, but they are the PERFECT size for cards, don't you think? and yeah, i confess, i'm totally addicted to glossy white cardstock again!

we've split this week's design team inspiration cards between ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and ♥TIS the SEASON♥ be sure to check out-- and link up-- at both blogs for a chance at two lovely prizes!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

sos150: photo inspiration!

don't you just ♥LOVE♥ photo inspiration challenges? well, if not, let's pretend you do, ok? otherwise this post is going to have serious trouble getting off the ground! because, as you've no doubt guessed by now, this week's challenge at shopping our stash is to create a card or project inspired by this photo:

you may have noticed that when i'm slightly stumped i become incredibly literal. in this case, i don't have tons of buttons or the desire to make a clock, but i do have several sizes of circle punches and some white vinyl thickers. so i did this:

(patterned paper: creative imaginations + scraps of dcwv, love elsie, october afternoon, my mind's eye, ki memories, sei, authentique,
junkitz, making memories and... ok, i think that's about it! white vinyl thickers: american crafts; white glossy cardstock: paper accents;
circle punches: ek success, marvy; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine) 

apart from the fact that i really like how this looks, it used up a whole bunch of tiny blue and orange scraps AND it resulted in a totally flat, cheap-to-mail guy card! dontcha just loooooooooove it when that happens?!

check out all the gorgeous projects at shopping our stash and start planning what ♥YOU♥ will make this week!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

we saw a rainbow yesterday!

it's only the second time since we've been in this house, so we were pretty excited! it also sets the stage pretty nicely for today's project, which just happens to involve a rainbow... of yarn!

i realize that a lot of people think a rainbow starts with red and orange, rather than
dark pink and light pink... but not in MY family, lol!

as you know, for about the last year or so, the nieces and i have been very into crochet generally, and rainbow crochet specifically. i made rainbow scarf kits for the american girl dolls last christmas, and even a couple of full-sized rainbow scarves. for riley's birthday in february i made a rainbow granny square pillow. i thought madeline might like something similar, but she had a better idea*:

things made of yarn are much harder to photograph than things made of paper.
do you know HOW LONG it took me to line these up??!

headbands, like a set she saw on pinterest! luckily, i was able to find a fabulous (and free!) pattern on ravelry, so i got right to work! these things are an easily memorized combination of chains and slip stitches, can be made of ANY yarn** and only took about half an hour each to make, leaving me with extra time and extra yarn. so i fooled around and made a couple of american girl doll headbands, too:

the other great thing about birthday kids semi-knowing what their present is going to be:
it makes it possible for a mom to measure both the child's head and
their american girl doll's head without suspicion arising. big win!

then i decided that this many headbands needed their own color-coordinated carrying case. but which color?? hey, i know: how 'bout ALL OF THEM?!! :)

one of my favorite things about this project is that i finally learned
the awesome invisible or "clean" fasten off method!

i made the purse by adapting another cool pattern i found online; mine's wider and taller, with a slightly larger handle area. i added a button closure as well, just because i thought it looked more finished--plus, the headbands made it a little bulgy. the only problem is, in the course of the online-pattern search, i found a lot of really cool crocheted bags! there's this one, and these, and who could resist this?! i think i may need a second cup of coffee and little more yarn... (ciao, darlings!)

*our nieces and nephews all know that at least part of their birthday and christmas presents from us will be handmade. i usually ask, a month or two in advance, if they have an idea of what they'd like. depending on the kid and the occasion, answers can range from, "surprise me!" to, "could you make me a knitted shark in realistic colors, please?" occasionally, one of the kids (or their parents) will see something specific online that they really like, and send me a link. i ♥LOVE♥ those times!!! :)

**you make them to the length you need, rather than a specific number of rows, so gauge is completely irrelevant. which, if you're a knitter or crocheter, you will realize is completely AWESOME!!! for the record, i wanted to add crocheted flowers like some of the examples had. this plan was politely but firmly vetoed by the headband-wearer in question!

Friday, May 2, 2014

more layery goodness!

we're still "bundling up" at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ this week, making holiday cards with three or more layers of paper, or cardstock, or embellishments, or... all of the above, like on my card. see?

(patterned paper: october afternoon, bo bunny, pink paislee, basic grey; cardstock dove sticker and leaves: basic grey; chipboard sentiment sticker and brads: my mind's eye; florals: prima; vintage: lace and doily; ink: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, mini gluedots, sewing machine)

having been happy with the strategy of employing super-skinny-mats to double the amount of layers on last week's card, i did the same thing again. well, heck, if it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? thus i was able to accommodate *NINE* layers-- possibly a personal best!

i used one of the excellent and beautiful april 2014 cardmaps sketches to design my card:

my original "layout" had more (and bulkier!) flowers as well as trailing pearl flourishes at the top right and lower left of my focal point. but one of my crafty goals this year is to at least *THINK* about  practicalities while i'm in the midst of the card-making process. would it ruin the overall effect to use flatter flowers instead of 3D roses? would shaving half an inch off the whole thing (in order to fit into a standard envelope) compress or change the design beyond recognition? when the answers to questions of this nature are "YES!" i immediately forget entirely about being sensible and make the card i ♥LOVE♥. however, in this case, the answer was, "no"... so i scaled back just a teeny bit. and i realllllllly like the result! here's a closeup of the layers in question:

i will always produce gigantic, lumpy, bumpy, non-envelope-friendly cards, that's just a fact of my crafty life, and i'm happy with it. i never want to compromise the fun or inspiration of making exactly what i want to make, even when that results in literally "pushing the envelope" lol. but sometimes a little planning can result in an equally pleasing card that costs half as much to mail, and on those occasions, i say, "why not?!"

and now, why not check out stephanie's beautiful card and our awesome readers' gallery at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥?!