Tuesday, May 31, 2016

earth, wind and fire... plus special guest star: water! ♥♥♥

NO, i'm not having a 1970's r+b reunion over here, this week's challenge at shopping our stash is called "the four elements" for which we'd like you to choose one or more of the following: earth, water, fire and wind... then make a card or project which represents at least one of those in some way. need some hints? ok, howsabout a goldfish in a bowl or a mermaid by the sea for water; birthday candles or rocket ships with afterburn for fire; a beautiful landscape or desert scene for earth; and a cloudy sky or hot air balloon for wind? i went a little bit tangential*, because i didn't quiiiiiiite "get" the brief at first, so i used WATERCOLORS to paint some flowers. fortunately, the flowers are growing in the EARTH... which isn't pictured, but it's there, ok? trust me on this! :)

flowers painted on strathmore watercolor paper with color burst pigment powders mixed with water (essentially you're making your own liquid watercolor paints in tiny batches and then mixing the colors on a palette or just in layers on the paper; outlining pen: faber-castell pitt in XS nib; pink gingham patterned paper: bella blvd; glossy white kromekote: the paper kut; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, sewing machine

ok, yeah, i know what you're thinking, you're thinking, "hey lauren, are you still totally in a watercolor phase then?!" and pretty obviously the answer is, "yep!" what can i say? i like painting, generally, and painting flowers, particularly, and i'll pretty much take any excuse to sit down in the evening and do just that. there are worse things to be addicted to, right?

be sure to check out the SOS gang where you can see lots more gorgeous inspiration, including projects by our lovely new design team members, stacey, maria, mimi and cyndi! be sure to say hi to those guys and welcome them to our neck of the woods, ok?

*you can probably get away with being a bit tangential, too, because afterall, it's meant to be a creative challenge... if you can figure out a way to EXPLAIN how your project fits one of the categories, i think i can assure you we'll be happy with what you've done. furthermore, anyone who submits a project which features the 1970's rock/pop group earth, wind and fire will almost certainly be featured in the shout-outs next saturday, even if i have to strongarm the other SOS team members into agreeing with me on this point, lol! so there's that to look forward to! :) :) :)

Saturday, May 28, 2016

best fishes to the dads and grads!

it's my day on the eyelet outlet blog again, where i'm posing a question to my fellow cardmakers: is it just me, or are "guy cards" harder to make than girl cards? i think they're harder... or at least... i don't seem to get as many lightbulb moments, so I'm always extra excited to find products that do half the work for me, like these completely awesome eyelet outlet fish brads!

seriously, cardmaking doesn't get much simpler than this, does it? i watercolored a bit of ocean, stocked it with fish brads, and stamped a sentiment. job done!

o'course, not everyone loves to paint (and if you aren't into it, don't worry... i'm probably obsessed enough for both of us!) in which case, another great way to construct a water scene is to just tear and layer a few paper scraps. then all you need are some more fish. in this case, some supercute trout and bass brads.

once again, I didn't need much else, so i stamped a sentiment and did a little bit of machine stitching before calling it a day. i made a tall card this time, which i always absolutely LOVE until i have to photograph and edit it, lol!

need more ideas for grads, dads and other lads? check out the "boy" and "sports" sections at eyelet outlet! you can thank me later, darlings! :)

Friday, May 27, 2016

the blues are still blue*...

...but what the blues are definitely NOT doing this fortnight is appearing on holiday cards at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ because we've "banish(ed) the holiday blues"! here's what i made this week, you can see it has no blue. it does have a lot of neutral tones, much like last week's card, but that is just sort of a coincidence, they weren't made at the same time or anything:

journal card and tan geometric paper: pion design; gold transparency scrap: hambly; cardstock border strips: my mind's eye; patterned paper: craft and you design; florals: petaloo; leaf: prima; german scrap: from my stash; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, gluedots, sewing machine

i used a pre-made journal card for a centerpiece, and it just so happened that it went really nicely with cream and gold and white, so that's what i composed my background from. this week's sketch saturday sketch (#413) was very helpful in terms of placement:

stephanie has made a lovely card and the totally blues-free readers' gallery is looking pretty stellar as well, but don't take my word for it, why not verify these facts at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥?!

*for the record-- or perhaps the mp3 download-- "the blues are still blue" is the title of my favorite belle and sebastian song. just thought i'd share that with you. :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

SOS253: anything but a card

it's a change of pace at shopping our stash this week, we'd like to see --as you'll have guessed from the post title-- ANYTHING but a card! i made a minibook:

scraps of text paper glued randomly to a 3.5x5.5" chipboard cover wrapped in a piece of ledger paper; various ranger distress and archival inks applied with sponge applicators; butterflies are composed of liquitex white modeling paste applied thru an ancient heidi swapp stencil. pink plastic thickers: american crafts; pink tiny alphas: glitz design; book ring: staples; adhesives: scotch gluestick, sewing machine

yes, it's my ICAD* book for this year. if you've ever visited my blog during june or july, you probably already know what i'm talking about: i've participated in the index card a day project since 2012 and it's always a highlight of my artistic year. you most definitely don't NEED a special book to take part, but i'm always excited about ICAD a few weeks before it starts, so i enjoy making one.

this one's got a torn paper background (surprise, lol!) with some ink on top... because it's such a good reflection of what i've been loving lately.

i've stocked it with a few different styles of cards: lined, unlined, gridded and even some tabbed divider ones. again... you don't need to have a variety, or anything fancy, but whereas you'll never see me strolling through the mall trying on clothes recreationally, i DO love shopping for supplies and each year i've treated myself to at least one new kind of index card.

the leftover cards live --year round-- in this little box, so they're always easy to find. i had the awesome experience of nieces and nephew participating last year, and now we periodically get together for "art camp". matthew, when he has a lot of different ideas, will often ask for some index cards; even if he has his sketchbook or other supplies available. to him, you THINK about art via index cards, lol. so mine are always available!!! ♥

there are lots more awesome projects to inspire you at SOS... hop on over and enjoy those now!

*the index card a day project is the brainchild of tammy garcia, from daisy yellow art. it officially takes place between june 1st and july 31st, but you can do it any time. the point is to make a quick and tiny piece of art on an index card for 61 days in a row. you can use it to start or renew a daily art habit, to polish skills, to try new supplies, or just wing it. there are facebook, instagram and flickr groups and hashtags (# icad2016 or #dyicad2016) but you needn't share your art if you don't want to (it is a reallllly nice, supportive community, tho). the point is to emphasize the PROCESS of art-making, as opposed to outcome... hence the use of humble index cards rather than more traditional art supplies. read more about it HERE!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

doodle, paint, collage, repeat!

last week, when i wasn't making cards or otherwise engaged, i was playing around in my sketchbook. here are a few things i worked on:

heart mandala doodle
i had intended to "finish" this --as in fill up the page & possibly add more color; but when i went back to it the next day, it kind of felt DONE to me, so i left it like this.

watercolor circles: before and after
my sister has just acquired her first sketchbook, so we've spent a fair amount of time recently texting and talking about --amongst other things-- how to think up what to do within its pages. one of my strategies is to start with a simple shape, like say, circles, and just randomly fill a page with them. usually it's a warm up, sometimes it morphs into or inspires a "real" idea, and occasionally the starter idea actually turns into a finished page. the point is to just get a pen or pencil or brush MOVING and see what happens next. in this particular case, i went back to the painted page and added a whole lot of really loose machine stitching, which was A) fun and B) looks kinda cool, imo.

sisters with heart in art prompt: "once upon a time"
a sort of fairy tale collage using elements from a bunch of different falling-apart old children's books that live in my collage area. (believe it or not, the light blue backdrop, the castle, and the blue trees at the edges were not only from three different illustrations, they were actually from different sources/artists!!!)

mandala with tiny pink hearts
another sketchbook strategy which answers the question: "hey lauren! WHY do you draw and paint soooooooo flippin' many mandalas, for pete's sake?!!" well, it's another "get that pen MOVING" scenario. most of my sketchbooking takes place after 10:30pm, by which time i have thoroughly depleted my stock of brain matter for the day. if i had to think up an original idea at that point, i'd NEVER get anything done. so i love art challenges and blogs that publish art journaling prompts; i make lists and pinboards of ideas i want to try out; and yes, when all else fails, i do one of my "comfort zone" activities. mandalas give you a built-in structure that can be taken in an almost infinite variety of directions, artistically. plus, i do just really like them.

sisters with heart in art prompt: "architecture"
another old-school paper and scissors collage, with an almost record-setting level of fussy-cut images. i confess that i hadn't actually expected to USE all of them on one piece, but that's what happened and i kind of like it, lol! :)

i hope you're having an excellent sunday, and that you'll be able to do something creative before it is over! ♥♥♥

Friday, May 20, 2016

banish the holiday blues

it's time for a brand new prompt at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and this one is not only kind of fun, but also a bit loosey goosey. for "banish the holiday blues" you can make any style of holiday card you'd like, using any technique, theme, images and ingredients, BUT... you can't use any blue! easy peasy, right? here's what i made:

patterned paper: studio calico; merry tag: "counting christmas #3" set of tags by katie pertiet, designer digitals (printed on kodak premium glossy photo paper); red and plaid tapes: martha stewart; glitter gold tape: eyelet outlet; florals and velvet holly leaves: petaloo; ink: colorbox; sand colored cardstock: bazzill; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, gluedots

this is one of the fastest cards i've made all year, and that is 100% thanks to this week's awesome retro sketch (#215) which instantly helped me decide not only how to place my ingredients, but actually which ones i wanted to use, which was awesome!

stephanie has also made a lovely card to inspire you, won't you hop on over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and enjoy that right now?

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

SOS252: sounds of the sea

we're feeling beachy keen at shopping our stash this week, so we're making cards (and other projects!) that celebrate the ocean, the seashore, fishes, sandcastles, sea horses... well, you get the idea, right? i made a card, because hey, it's what i do! :)

scraps of LOTS of different patterned papers, torn and stuck on as layers: creative imaginations, prima, recollections, glitz design, doodlebug, october afternoon; dimensional palm tree stickers: creative imaginations; seashore and shell corner brads: eyelet outlet; chipboard glitter letters: k and co; adhesives: staples brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

this is not the card i thought i was making, lol! the card i thought i was making also said "ALOHA" and had palm trees, but somehow my intended hibiscus, hula girl and watercolory goodness took a little vacation and this happened, instead. and i'm fine with that. in fact, in some ways, it's better than the idea i had in my head. plus, it's kind of a "guy card" which is nice; i never seem to amass extras in that category, so i consider it a bonus!

the lovely bathing beauties at SOS have also made some wonderful and creative projects to inspire you, why not check those out asap?! ♥

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Hooray for the Red, White and Blue!

Here in the United States, early summer is time for a few different patriotic holidays: Memorial Day (5-30) is coming up, not to mention Flag Day (6-14) and Independence Day (7-4). I have to confess that these are not holidays for which I always send cards, but Eyelet Outlet has so many cool patriotic products, I found that this year I couldn't resist!

If I was going to pick a favorite, the Flag and Hat Brads might be it. They're just so fun and festive! On the other hand, the Blue Nautical Washi is really pretty, and somehow when I was looking at those jaunty flags and thinking about summer, the idea of making pinwheels just seemed totally natural. I have to confess that mine don't actually SPIN... they're just decorative, but they're so easy to make and I love how they came out.

I took a square scrap of thin patterned paper, covered the back with washi tape (I've also used the Music Note tape) and drew lines connecting the opposing corners to each other, but leaving about half and inch at the center intact. I cut along all four lines, then bent one point of each triangle in towards the center, securing it with a glue dot.

When all four "petals" of my pinwheel were complete, I added a White Paper Flower and a brad to secure it. For my card base, instead of patterned paper, I cut a square mat from an old pair of jeans (if you don't have "extras", ask a friend to save their kid's next stained, torn and outgrown pair!) tacked it lightly to my card base with a tape runner, then sewed around the perimeter with my sewing machine, to add texture and interest.

But back to those Flag and Hat Brads-- as much as I like them separately, I love using them together even more, so my second card features a whole line of them! I used my vintage typewriter and favorite alphabet stamps to create the sentiment on a scrap of stripey blue paper... which made me think about what other fun embellies I could add in stripes? 5mm White Pearl Strips and 4mm Red Pearl Strips make this a bit flag-like, I think; and a little more Blue Nautical Washi rounds things off nicely!

I think my in-laws will be a bit surprised to get a Memorial Day card, but in a good way, lol! ♥♥♥

Friday, May 13, 2016

whoooooooooooole lotta shakin' goin' on!

we're still celebrating interactive* cards at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ with the lovely sybrina, and you still have nearly an entire week to join us, which we hope you will! here's what i made this week:

the background is composed of lots of torn scraps of vintage paper with white or off-white backgrounds, placed pretty randomly on a not quite 5.5x7 panel; then i applied various shades of blue ranger distress and archival inks to the top 2/3 of the card with sponge applicators. i placed the sizzix xmas tree die pretty carefully on the panel, so it'd cut the tree sitting straight along my designated horizon line. then i went back and added ranger white texture paste through a TH harlequin and flourish stencil to be the snowy ground; and viva decor silver glitter paste tinted with a TINY amt of ultramarine colorburst thru a TH snowflake stencil in the sky area. then i did the hardest part: waited for the whole thing to dry completely!!! :) finally i glued a scrap of inkjet transparency behind the tree opening, and placed 2 layers of foam tape *seamlessly* all the way around the cut out tree shape, so that microbeads would be unable to escape. then i added the tiny clear microbeads and applied the green dcwv chevron paper backing. i matted the whole thing on some dark green core'dinations cardstock and attached it to a folded kromekote white glossy card. et voila! 

yep, it's another shaker card. yep, it's the same colors as the last one... and it even has another blue burlap poinsettia, lol! but it's quite a different vibe, isn't it? clearly we can see i'm still obsessed with ink over torn layers, and loads of stenciled texture paste. the surprise (to me) was that i could incorporate those elements into what is otherwise a pretty "normal" xmas card. also thought it'd be fun to use the NEGATIVE space of a diecut for a shaker card... by no means a new idea, but one that i never feel like i take enough advantage of, so i did this time. go, me! :)

stephanie and sybrina also have lovely new cards to show off, won't you go and feast your eyes upon them now, darlings! ♥

*what do we mean by interactive? well, a card that does more than open and shut, really. some examples? shaker cards, slider cards, pop-ups, box or explosion cards, cards that incorporate games or puzzles, super-funky folds or... well, there are lots more ideas in the readers' gallery, and the original "shake, rattle and roll" post has some links to pinterest and tutorials!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

♥april showers♥

ok, yes, i realize if you live in the northeastern united states... (where we've experienced an extravagant abundance of rain in the last two weeks) ...the word "showers" is the last thing you want to hear, but this time it's 100% confined to papercrafting, i promise! this week's challenge at shopping our stash is called "april showers bring may flowers" and we've got multiple choices as to how you approach it: you can go with umbrellas or rain in any context... OR you can make something with flowers... OR you can make a card or gift for a baby shower or wedding shower. lots of ways to take this, so use whichever works best for you.* here's what i made:

diecut cardstock flowers-- yes, those are all SEPARATE flowers, there was no patterned paper used in this project, though i realize that's what it looks like lol: my mind's eye, urban lily, sei; M printed onto cream colored scrapcardstock using "ziggy" font; sheet of giant green cardstock from staples; big flower clip from the clearance aisle at joann fabric; adhesives: staples brand gluetape, sewing machine

yep. i went with flowers. ~SURPRISE~! i do have a pretty cool stash-usage story, though. last week when i was unearthing my UFO's, i found an entire ziplock baggie full of those cardstock punch-out flowers that were a very big deal for like six months back in... 2004 or so?? i think every company made some, and it's entirely possible that i bought one sheet of each. :)

somehow, despite the fact that i used them fairly often at the time and have continued to do so intermittently ever since, i still had A LOT left. meanwhile, niece madeline's 12th (twelfth!!!) birthday is next week and her family party was this past saturday. her gift was pretty bulky so i needed a big gift bag, which meant a big decoration. i decided on a giant monogram (an M, obviously) and thought it would be cool to fill it with the diecut flowers.

i stand by that decision, despite the fact that unless you're actually close enough to TOUCH it, the flowery M just looks like it was made out of a particularly exuberant 1970's-style patterned paper. it's a pretty patterned paper, though... and maddie loooooooooooooved it! i backed the completed letter with a little mat of mint green cardstock to sturdy it up, and attached it to the gift bag with a minimal amount of foam tape, so she can take it off the bag and hang it on her door or somewhere in her room as a sort of decor piece. the big flower is on a clip, so i just clipped it to the letter, so she can choose whether to leave it on there or wear it in her hair or on her jacket or... whatever... 

need a little more inspiration for april showers and/or may flowers? my SOS design team darlings have lots to spare... check it out! ♥

*it isn't specifically mentioned in the description i received for this challenge, but i'm going to go out on a limb and speculate that if you make a card which features the pilgrims' ship the mayflower, that would also be acceptable, and i, for one, would be VERY impressed lol!  :) :) :)

Sunday, May 8, 2016

totally collagical

so it turns out that last month i was so excited about "30 days of watercolour" i forgot entirely to post the collages i made for #SistersWithHeartInArt. duh, lauren! here they are, in reverse order, starting with the current prompt-- though actually, the themes never expire, you can do them in any order, or just pick and choose the ones that speak to you.
i'm back to my peeling poster wall collage idea; this is my third (i think) attempt and maybe my favorite, though i've actually had a lot of fun every single time! one of my IG friends suggested i try distressing the underlayers as well as the bits on top... not sure *how* i hadn't thought of that myself, but it was a lightbulb moment and i've used it here.

i was excited about this one even *before* i found the teeny tiny vintage illustration of an actual bird's nest. after that i was pretty much cackling with glee... :)


again i stress that the SWHIA prompts are meant to inspire, so you can take them in ANY direction you'd like; and for that matter, if you use them as a "starting point" from which your finished piece morphs away... nobody's going to disqualify you! sometimes i *am* very literal, though, so i made this into a limited supplies challenge, for which i chose: vintage paper, a circle punch, a circle stencil, glitter embossing paste, and my favorite pen.* 


this is one of my all time faves, i think. b/c yes, it's got lace, and pink, and flowers, and vintage paper and it's loose and messy but still a bit pretty and elegant. yep, i love how this came out, and i'm immodest enough to say so in so many words, lol. so there! ♥

*for the record, my favorite pen is a black, permanent ink faber-castell pitt artist pen with an XS/.1mm nib; which nobody is paying me to say, and alas, nobody is providing me with for free! yes, micron makes good ones, too; copic's outliners are great --and copic-proof, which is important if you use alcohol ink markers to color with! in fact, there are loads of good pens out there, and i think i had tried most of them, lol. i mention all of this because i encourage you to keep experimenting until you find YOUR pen... (and yes, you'll know when you do, lol!) ...it really makes a difference! :)

Saturday, May 7, 2016

new class schedule...

is posted on the paper anthology website, woohoo! so if you're in or around central nj* check it out, won't you? there are some wonderful classes in may and june that i'm not teaching, and two pretty good ones (at least, i hope so!) that i am. multiple dates and times, so consult the class info page for details! meanwhile, here are my official pics and blurbs:

Layer Palooza**
Join Lauren for a fun and funky exploration of mixed media collage techniques. We’ll build three 5×7″ torn paper backgrounds, then add texture, color, doodles and –of course– bling! We’ll ask and answer a lot of questions, such as, “Does texture paste go under or over ink?” (YES!) and “Did I just ruin this?” (NO!!!) We’ll play and experiment and yes… we’ll make mistakes …then figure out how to fix them! Bring your spirit of adventure and wear washable clothing! :) Please bring you basic class kit, including a good GLUESTICK! (Lauren will have plenty of supplies for everyone, but students are welcome to bring their own favorite collage ingredients, ink colors, gelatos or stencils if they’d like to. You may also work in your art journal or sketchbook if you’d prefer.)

Washi Wonderland 2***
Join Lauren and her amazing (or appalling?!) collection of washi tape, where we’ll prove it’s hip to be square by making two 6×6″ cards with their own uniquely gorgeous handmade envelopes. We’ll combine tape with a little bit of vintage paper and a whole lot of clever cutting (none of it by hand, though!) to create two cards perfect for dads, grads or just about anyone else. Make your cards using exactly the same ingredients as the samples… or branch out and experiment with different colors and patterns! Please bring your basic class kit. If you have an Envelope Punch Board please bring it along! (If you don’t have an Envelope Punch Board, Lauren apologizes in advance for the fact that you’ll TOTALLY WANT ONE after this!!!) :)

*paper anthology is located in morris county, nj; at 717 us highway 46, in kenvil, to be exact; here's a mapquest map of that location!
**yes, i make up my own class names; yes, i'm horrible at it, sorry!
***told ya i'm horrible at names! :)

Friday, May 6, 2016

shake, rattle and roll

time for another brand new prompt at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and this week we're pretty excited because both the idea and the awesome title, "Shake, Rattle and Roll" came from our lovely friend and fellow belle, sybrina k, who is not only a very talented cardmaker, but also introduced us to a great organization called send a smile 4 kids which collects and sends handmade greetings to in-patient children at hospitals around the country, so be sure to check that out! meanwhile you may be wondering what the brief is this time? well, basically we want to see cards that have an interactive element* of some sort: shakers, sliders, pop-ups, games, fancy folds, hidden pockets, those cool "box cards" that have been making the rounds... well, you get the idea, right? here's what i made:

wintery deer image from an old xmas card; window made from a scrap of inkjet transparency; patterned paper: pebbles; florals: petaloo; microbeads of unknown origin... from my last LSS that closed a few (ok, many!) years ago; adhesives: staples brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

yep, it's a shaker card, shocker, eh??! i love making these, but i rarely do so without a push, so i took the opportunity and ran with it. (for that matter, i may take it again NEXT WEEK and run with it one more timet, lol!) i used a greeting card i saved a few xmases ago as the interior of the shaker; a scrap of inkjet transparency for the window (i like to sew around it to make absolutely sure it's ON THERE!) and clear microbeads as the shaking part of the shaker card. had planned on adding a bit more decor to the outside of the card, but it seemed like the sweet little deer got lost when i did that, so in the end i went with a strip of paper and a couple of burlap poinsettias, as suggested by sketch #272 from sketch saturday, since it's an archive week and we can pick from an assortment:

sybrina and stephanie each have something absolutely wonderful to show you, so please hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and check it out!

*need help with the "interactive" part of this fortnight's assignment? there are lots of Pinterest Boards and Tutorial Forums that are filled with ideas, or you can use one of ours: check out the JB blog to see what we (and later this week, the readers, lol!) are up to!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

(gah!) PINK 2: alien encounter??!

if you play along regularly at shopping our stash, you may remember that back in january we had a special challenge in our late friend leslie's honor; well we're back again with a second (gah!) PINK challenge, but this time in addition to seeing PINK on your project, we'd like you to incorporate a "UFO"... no, not the alien kind... just an UNFINISHED object or leftover from another card; you know what we mean, right? the background you made but never used; the image you colored so carefully and then swapped out for something else in the end; the 27 hearts you diecut before realizing only about six would fit?! yep, that's what we're talking about, so go grab the box or baggie or file folder in which you keep those sorts of things and while you're at it, find something (gah!) PINK to include as well! here's what i made:

patterned paper: (very very OLD) rhonna farrer for autumn leaves, basic grey, recollections, glitz design, doodlebug + some pink gingham giftwrap from long lonnnnnnnnng ago; white kromekote cardstock: the paper cut; flourish die: tim holtz/sizzix; butterfly punch: martha stewart; flowers and pearl brads: michaels; adhesives: staples brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

as we know, i like (gah!) PINK... quite a lot, actually. i also change my mind fairly often in the course of making... well... ANYTHING, really. so i generally have quite a few UFO's and a fair proportion of them are (gah!) PINK! so i was quids in for this one, lol! here are the things i "pulled" thinking they might work together: a medium sized hand-cut heart, a few argyle diamonds leftover from the mother's day card i made for the eyelet outlet blog, a butterfly diecut of unknown origin, a bunch of pink silk flowers that were surplus to requirements in this SWHIA collage, a chipboard + giftwrap flourish that must've been made right after i bought that TH die, because the little bits of black die material that come off in the first few passes were still clinging to it:

shockingly enough, i used almost everything in the pile, though i did wind downsizing the butterfly, and i STILL have a couple of argyle diamonds left, which is fine since i still have some argyle ideas floating around my head. the big serendipitous "surprise" in all of this is that i actually found a piece of ancient brown patterned paper with a diamond pattern on it, which was a GREAT size to hold the argyle diamonds... so instead of measuring, etc, i just popped them onto this pre-made background, added some machine stitching, et voila!

this week (#410) at sketch saturday one can choose any sketch from #215 onwards, so i went with #218... yes, i've used it pretty loosely, but i *think* you can still see it...

and now i invite you to hop over to SOS and see the other fabulous (gah!) PINK projects; be sure to leave my wonderful dt darlings some love as well, won't you?

Monday, May 2, 2016

April Showers Bring...

...MAY FLOWERS! This year, despite a fairly mild winter here in the northeastern United States, I (Lauren) am especially excited about Spring, so when Eyelet Outlet teamed up with Rubbernecker Stamps, I may have gone a little flower crazy, lol! If I had to pick ONE favorite stamp, this divine Poppy might well be it; there's just no bad way to use it. For this card I've teamed it with a few of the flowers from the Springtime Inchies set, which I stamped over little circles of ink applied with a sponge applicator, so they'd resemble the beautiful loose style of the poppy. I added a few Grey Jewels, some Pearl Heart Brads, old school Round Eyelets (which, for the record, I still love!) and Purple Enamel Dots. I matted the whole panel over a square of cardstock edged with Glitter Black Washi Tape, added the "Basket of Flowers" sentiment, and called it a day!

I can never, ever, resist a flourish, especially a flowery one, so I couldn't wait to get my hands this gorgeous Vine Flowers stamp. When I first saw it, I knew I wanted to use it to frame a band of Pink Flower Washi Tape and this is one of those occasions where the card I made looks exactly the picture in my head! (Don't you love that?!) I added a Paper Flower stack with a Clear Edge Purple Jewel and some Purple Swirl Bling, and as soon as I was finished, a flock of Mini Butterfly Brads and the Mama Butterfly came to visit!

The Springtime Inchies set also includes some beautiful birds, butterflies, and hearts... and it occurred to me that the latter, if stamped above the Vine Flowers, might look like they were growing in a field of flowers. I used some Paper Flower petals-- painted with green watercolor-- as leaves, and this family of Mini Ladybug Brads liked them enough to make their home here!

I hope you'll be inspired to plant a garden on your cards, as well as outdoors, this Spring! ♥

Sunday, May 1, 2016

holy mackerel, it's MAY 1st!!!

which means that fox and hazel's "30 days of watercolour" is officially over; though of course you can still *DO* the prompts, and for that matter, she's doing a 31-day version for may! i'm forcing myself NOT TO JOIN IN, even though i had a blast in april. i need to do something besides watercolor at some point. (...also... ICAD2016 starts june 1st, lol!!!) :) :) :) here's the last few prompts and then, starting tomorrow, non-watercolory posts will predominate again, honest. well, mostly. probably. ♥

day 23: layers
i know, it's hard to SEE the layers here, but this is one of the slowest things i've ever painted b/c i actually waited for each layer of color to dry in between. UNHEARD OF PATIENCE in the laurniverse!!!

  day 24: motto
i chose a favorite quote from the 14th dalai lama, which i try to keep in the front of my mind; kindness *IS* always possible. it's sometimes easy/tempting to forget that... especially when driving in heavy traffic... 

day 25: ombre
i'ts an ombre hombre!!!!!!!!!!! geddit??!???!??!
(ok, yeah, sorry... i crack myself up, though, on a daily basis)

day 26: branches
the fastest dogwood blooms in the history of paint. i'm not in love with these, but seeing as they LOOK LIKE dogwood and were accomplished in about 10 minutes laaaaaaaaaaaate in the evening, i'm callin' it a win!

day 27: salt
i've yet to use the "salt-on-wet-watercolor" technique to my satisfaction, and i still haven't done it with this one, but it was fun!

day 28: indigo
at the end of this particular day, the only thing i wanted to do is paint something big and loose and smooshy where i didn't wait for the colors to dry... so i did... :)

day 29: drip
another common watercolor "thang" i've never really made work... until NOW! go, me!!!

day 30: galaxy
it turns out there's an actual technique and tutorials for painting galaxies... who knew??! as usual, i mostly winged it, but having read thru this article, i did nab the idea of adding INK to my wet watercolor to intensify the black areas. i used hickory smoke distress ink b/c it's what i had, and i needed to "encourage" it with my brush to have it blend in with the paint, but it worked really well i think. i added a big glittery "THANKS" to @foxandhazel for hostessing, to my fellow IG participants for their fun feedback and to you guys for following along and not rolling your eyes at me when i showed post after post of these things all month long!

thank you, darlings!!!