I recently came across the Daring Cardmakers blog (from someone else's blog, and I'm so sorry - I can't remember now whose it was).
*** Edited to add: Gina reminded me that it was her blog. :) **** Basically, they do a challenge once a week (at least), where they post about something that you need to include in your card. Anyone who wants to can make a card fulfilling the requirements, and then post a link to it in the comments. They post a new challenge every Friday, and my card actually fulfills last week's challenge, rather than the current one (hence the title of this post...). But I didn't quite feel up to crafting earlier this week, so it didn't get made until yesterday:
Last week's dare was called Animalia, based on the book by Graeme Base. (Which happens to be one of my favorite children's books. Check it out, if you don't know it already!)
For the Animalia dare, all you had to do was include an animal on your card.
Well, this was very convenient as I had already picked up this monkey paper with my brother in mind. I needed to make him a thank you card, and he loooooves monkeys, so as soon as I saw this paper I knew it was destined for his card. :)
I also tried something that I've been wanting to do for awhile now, but hadn't gotten around to yet:
I love 'lined' envelopes. I think it makes them as special as the card, and it's fun to coordinate the two. I had never done it myself before, and it was super easy.
(You might even notice that the circles on the paper I chose for the lining mirror the circles in the background of the monkey paper. No accident, that!)
And while we're on the subject of cards, here's a sweet one that came in the mail today from a good friend of mine:
Although she's a crafty-type herself (scrapbooking, mostly) she didn't make this card. But it really got the gears turning in my head. I love how ribbons were used for the 'bandages,' and I love that the animals are cutouts. I will have to give something like this a go myself. (And it ties in so well with the Animalia theme, too!).