Sunday, January 21, 2018

paris travel books are ALWAYS a good idea!

unfortunately, i haven't been to paris yet, and thus have had no need to make one for myself. luckily, though, my friend amy got to go last autumn, which i decided was the perfect excuse to get my "ooh la la" on!


at 8 x 10" this book is quite a bit larger than the ones i make to take with me on a trip, and the ones i make for my etsy shop. but since i was constructing this after the fact, i wasn't that worried about size. and in fact, the bigger pages mean that amy can paste in more photos and souvenirs and things!


another consideration when i was determining what size book to make is that i had quite a few larger items i wanted to include. such as this page from an old history book that shows the construction of the eiffel tower, the pronunciation guide from a children's french lesson book i've trimmed and layered over it, and even the commercial patterned paper i used on the front cover.


when i thought about how much i'd need to trim off (and thus waste) it made me cringe a bit. so although it might sound silly, it truly is the #1 thing that made me decide bigger was better.


i think by know everyone know how much i like to mix old and new, elegant and funky. and the more you do that in a travel book, the more it allows for the inclusion of EVERYTHING we collect on trips; including those that we might not think "go with" a more homogeneous design. so yes, there is a map of the louvre my mom brought back a few years ago...


...next to a glittery eiffel tower from a calendar page, interspersed with a hambly transparency. 


another fun calendar find: hello kitty cycling past the arc de triomphe!!! meanwhile, you'll notice that instead of hand-binding the book, or even using a fun sprial binding, i went with two simple book rings. they aren't as fancy looking as the alternatives, but they allow amy to add, subtract and move around the pages, which seemed like a pretty important consideration.


more funkiness: a page from a 1960's french comic book, which i xyroned to some thin patterned cardstock to make it sturdy enough to be a stand-alone page.


a neat illustration from a fairly recent magazine, included just because it fit and i liked it. (most of my design decisions are made using those two very scientific considerations, lol!) 


a copy of, "alouette" from a book called, "world's greatest easy-to-play songs" which i found at a garage sale and absolutely fell in love with.


i put the title on the front cover using two different styles of vinyl thickers. they were not the first ones i tried, by any means, and when they turned out to be my favorites, i was frankly kind of shocked. but i do think they work. 


i wound up with a rather collage-style cover made of new products because i LOVED the eiffel tower paper, but that oddly shaped piece of  was all i had. and you can see right off: it's not big enough, lol! so i added a strip of vintage-inspired ledger paper and taped the whole thing together with a few strips of washi... which i repeated on the back cover to make it look more intentional!

et voila!
this concludes my paris travel book tour for today.
♥♥♥

here in new jersey it is *FIFTY* degrees, so i'm off outside to take a walk! i hope it is sunny where you are, or if not, that you have found something fun and creative to do indoors!

Friday, January 19, 2018

three flowers and a sketch

we're still rockin' the "we three kings" prompt at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and thus we're including three of something rather prominently on our cards. in this case i've got three red flowers, with eyelet outlet sticky-back pearl centers. see?

vintage postcard from my collection, scanned, re-sized and printed on canon glossy photo paper; patterned paper: blue fern studio, authentique; gold glitter paper: american crafts POW; red flowers: recollections; small pearls: eyelet outlet; distressing tool: tonic; ink: prima; glossy white cardstock: the paper cut; skinny gold cording from a package i think; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, gluedots

in retrospect, i rather wish the flowers were a tiny bit smaller, or the scanned and re-sized vintage postcard i used as focal image was a tiny bit bigger. ah well. they are not, and i'm ok with it. luckily i had the awesome current layout from sketch saturday, whom i'd like to thank for the shout out to my love, always card from the end of december. i also thank the nice folks at "fred she said" for the beautiful digital stamps i got as a prize. i had intended to use them this week, actually, but alas i failed to make the sketch, the images i chose and the "three" directive from JB all work together. but you'll be seeing them soon!


meanwhile, stephanie has also made a gorgeous card to inspire you so why not hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and check that out, darlings?!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

All You Need Is Love (& Maybe Some Washi Tape?)

Everyone knows I love Eyelet Outlet Washi Tape, and that one of my favorite uses is to make my own patterned paper, by neatly lining up strips of tape on plain white cardstock. But did you know that some tapes can be "stacked" to make a bigger design than you can see within one strip of tape? In fact, both of today's cards on the Eyelet Outlet Blog are made using just one style of tape-- this gorgeous Wide Music Washi.


I made the backgrounds for both cards in exactly the same way, by adhering the Wide Music Washi to a piece of plain white cardstock in strips, and lining each subsequent strip up very neatly so that the design on each segment match perfectly and the fully assembled panel looks seamless. This is not difficult, just a little bit fussy, but if you work carefully and take your time, you get wonderful results! It took four strips of tape, layered vertically, to make the complete design of this tape. You can see below that because I was overlapping the (clear) top and bottom edges by about 1/16" there was a little "blurry" bit at each level. I think it'd be absolutely fine to leave that as is, but being a bit persnickity, I wondered if I could take a very fine tipped permanent pen and fill in the black just a little darker. And I could! After a bit of practice, I even got faster at it. I made two panels that measured approximately 4 x 5" and then started to plan my cards.


For the first card I decided to use our Fancy Long Zig Zag Bling Strips to make a frame. This meant I'd need a card big enough to hold the tape panel AND the frame, so I made an A7 card blank from glossy black cardstock and adhered my tape panel to the center of it. I "dry fit" the bling by leaving it on the clear plastic backing, laying it on top of the design and trimming it to size. When I knew exactly where I needed to place each piece (so that the "point" of the teardrop gem was just overlapping the printed panel) I removed the backing and set each section in place.


I made the rest of my sentiment on the computer, using a free font called "Vogue" at 24 point size, and printed it out on plain white cardstock. I matted the strip for the first card on a piece of Cruise Tape so that my words covered the anchors and ships' wheels that are on the tape, but left that elegant braided border, which I think is the perfect finishing touch.


My second card is a standard A2. For this one I thought I'd leave off the bling, but bump up the texture factor by making an extra partial tape panel which contained the word "Love" and the sweet bird in the design... then fussy-cutting the bird and the letters, so I could raise them on some foam tape.


I borrowed this technique from old-school decoupage, and while it seems like a small touch, it adds a bit of dimension and a lot of elegance, in my opinion. 


Once my 3D pieces were attached, I added the sentiment. This time it's trimmed into a little flag shape and framed with a scrap of the same glossy black cardstock from which I made the card base.


I'd like to write more, but now I'm kind of anxious to find out if any of my other Eyelet Outlet Washi Tapes can be stacked into a bigger design! I'll report my discoveries on the Eyelet Outlet Blog!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

in a sentimental mood

we're all talk this week at shopping our stash. the name of our challenge is, "getting sentimental" and the brief is to make your sentiment the focal point of your card or project. fun, right? here's what i made:

oversized letters made by tracing around ancient basic grey chipboard alphas onto cardstock and collaging with vintage paper; background paper: allison kreft/echo park; birthday die: paper trey ink (on a scrap of gelli print); watercolor panel made with not-very-diluted colorburst pigment powders in indigo and turquoise on strathmore watercolor paper and trimmed with an oldschool circle cutter!; elderly large and small star brads from my stash; black glossy cardstock: ranger; ink: colorbox; adhesives: scotch brand gluestick, elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape

i love big sentiments. which probably doesn't surprise anyone who has been here before. i have more alphabet stamps and die sets than anyone i know. and i still wind up, a fair amount of the time, using either a printout from t'internet or a set of oversized chipboard letters-- in this case an ancient set of basic grey's awesome "mini monograms" --as template for hand-cutting more letters. like this time.


ordinarily, the way i would make a set of collaged letters like this would be to 1) figure out how much space all my letters will take up; 2) randomly attach small scraps of vintage paper to that size of a piece of plain cardstock; and 3) trace the chipboard letters onto the collaged panel, then cut them out with scissors and/or xacto knife. and frankly, that's what i'll go back to doing in future, because it's easier and you get very similar results!


what i did this time, however, was 1) trace and cut the letters from plain cardstock; 2) attach scraps of vintage paper to each letter individually; and 3) trim up the excess with scissors and/or xacto knife. i thought this would give me more precise placement of collaged elements and a more interesting look. which... i guess it did a little bit... but not enough to justify how much extra cutting and trimming and fussing there was, imo. it's always good to try out new processes though, you never know when you'll stumble on to something that's way better than what you were already doing. not always though, as this little caper proved! :)


once i had my collaged letters i was ready to affix them to a colorburst-ed circle. i should probably confess right now that i actually made the circle FIRST... (which is just under 5" in diameter and trimmed from a panel on which i used up some extra indigo and turquoise pigment a while back) ...and in fact, i used the circle to decide what size, shape and color my letters should be. but i forgot to photograph that part of the process, so i thought i'd just tuck it in here at the very end, instead. you're welcome, lol. i "auditioned" quite a few background panels before deciding on this older echo park black and white text paper. finally i added the word "birthday" diecut from a scrap of gelli print and a few very verrrrrrrrrrry old silver star brads of unknown origin to balance out the top part of the circle.


there are loads more clever and stash-centric ideas to be had from my lovely design team sisters at shopping our stash. why not treat yourself to some eye candy right now? ♥

Sunday, January 14, 2018

a (smallish) barrage of collage

just in case you're at a bit of a loose end this fine sunday afternoon, and thinking, "gosh i wish someone would post some utterly random and unrelated bits of collage" then i am here for you, darlings! (you're welcome.)

#putabirdonit
arguably a cliche, but somehow a bird illustration and vintage sheet music never stop looking good to me. (the inside of a security envelope, torn bits of sewing pattern and the edges of trading stamps which didn't come off cleanly from their books are less easy to explain... so i won't...)

park your tiny collage in the tiny garage
yep. still obsessed with the 2x3" format and my rummage-sale-derived "illustrated motor cars of the world" book. these are both french cars from the late 60's and i haven't yet seen a minor bond villian emerge from either of them, but i believe it could still happen...

flower circle #1
because i can already tell this is going to be a recurring series...

is this still a collage??
yes, it's made up of commercial patterned papers. yes, they are diecut into diamond shapes AND i've placed them in a very ordered, geometric design. so i don't actually know if this is a "collage" as such, but it was fun to make. and i see a lot of possibilities for cardmaking and such.

float like a butterfly
one of my favorite collage exercises is called "glue as you go". to explain what i mean, i have to tell you that how i generally make a collage is to choose all of my elements, move them around on the page (quite a bit!), finally settle on a cohesive design that i like, and THEN glue everything down. for "glue as you go" i select an element and attach it. then i select the next element and attach it. then i select the next element... ok, you get the idea, i'm sure. the point is that you're attaching things without really composing, if you see what i mean? you are making a decision an sticking to it, in a literal and adhesive sense. it's harder than it sounds, or at least, it's hard for me. which is why it's valuable as an exercise! it sort of forces you to loosen up and roll with the fact that you attached something too soon and now it's covered up and your whole plan has to change. i rarely wind up with a finished product that i particularly like in this scenario, but every once in a while it happens... and this was one of those.

♥♥♥
i hope your sunday is sunny...
either in a literal sense, 
or a fun and happy metaphorical way!
♥♥♥ 

Friday, January 12, 2018

we three (times three)

there's a brand new prompt up at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ today and it's called, "we three kings" although the emphasis here is on the three more than the kings; in that we'd like to see cards that have a grouping of three... somethings. it could be three strong circle elements, three packages under the tree, three adorable reindeer, or... well, you get the picture right? my card has three trees. see?


coincidentally, this next card has three trees, as well. :) i actually cleared out quite a lot of my holiday scraps while re-organizing before christmas, and part of the big clean up was to either toss or diecut any scraps that were too small for anything except tossing or diecutting. i'm hoping that having a little cache of pre-cut items will make "composing" my cards a bit faster; as well as making it possible to sometimes make multiples in weeks where i have more than one idea. so far, that plan seems to be working pretty well. 


because look, here's ANOTHER three trees in the next photo! something else you'll notice is that all of these are fairly flat cards, which can be mailed with just one stamp on them. because my other crafty resolution for 2018 is to try to make more cards that don't cost $3 to mail, lol. (if you've been reading my blog for more than a few months you'll realize that i make this resolution every year, and my good intentions rarely last much past february. but maybe this'll be THE YEAR i really follow through?!)


all of my cards were initially inspired by the sketch half of the current fusion card challenge, but since i freely admit that they strayed away from that pretty quickly, i'm not actually linking up. it's a great challenge, though, and they're celebrating their fourth anniversary just now, so i thought i'd mention it!


i'm probably never going to become a cardmaker who happily mass-produces, but even i don't mind making a few different versions of the same card, so this is a technique you may see off and on throughout the year.

ingredients for all three cards, most of which are made up of scraps and leftover patterned papers including: basic grey, glitz, crate paper, fancy pants, simple stories, pebbles, prima, echo park, creative imaginations; stickers: simple stories, echo park, studio calico; glitter paper: best creation; glossy white cardstock: the paper cut; tree die: echo park: punches: recollections, martha stewart; lace: from my stash; ink: colorbox; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

be sure to hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ to see what stephanie has made and link up your own tri-centric masterpiece(s)!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Totally Do-NUTS About You!

Let's face it, doughnuts are awesome. In real life, they're not something most of us can have in unlimited quantities, which is why I'm always thrilled to break out the Eyelet Outlet Doughnut Brads: they're fat-free, calorie-free, and full of cardmaking possibilities! I'm showing three of them on the EO Blog today:


Since we're in the middle of January, I think we're all sort of in Valentine mode, so I've made three cards that would work perfectly for the holiday, but aren't too specifically Valentine-ish. Because it's nice to have choices, right? The first one actually has hearts on it, but that was mostly because I love the colors of this Skinny Heart Tape with the Doughnut Brad that I've swapped in for the "O". I swapped a Heart Brad for the entire word "heart", as well, which makes my sentiment fit really nicely inside the label shape. I'm always on the lookout for papers with strong, straight horizontal lines in them. Ledger and notebook patterns not only look great, they're a great helping hand for placing my tape stripes neatly in the background!


One of the reasons I chose this colorful Dot Washi Tape is that it kind of reminded me of rainbow sprinkles, which are awesome with Doughnut Brads, don't you think? I made my background patterned paper by neatly lining up strips of the tape on a piece of plain white cardstock that I'd cut down to fit perfectly on my A2 card front. This time I moved the sentiment panel off to the right side of the card, but balanced it out by placing the letters towards the left side of the label.


I love pastel pink as much (or MORE, lol!) as anyone I know, but for my third card I chose to celebrate the chocolate Doughnut Brad. I made a background panel from Pink and White Dot Foil Tape, which I revealed unevenly by tearing some dark brown dotted cardstock... a bit like peeling the wrapper of a candy bar! I composed my sentiment with oversized vinyl letters and trimmed-down Dymo labels; and added a few strips of Skinny Brown Glitter Tape just behind the word "donut" for even more emphasis.


I hope your day has included both creativity and treats... btw, the Eyelet Outlet Store is a pretty good place to find both of those! ♥