Friday, September 22, 2017

tic-tac... two?

yes, it's the second week of holiday tic-tac-toe at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ so you still have plenty of time to link up with us! just choose a row, a column or a diagonal from the board and get creative!

this week i chose the top row: RED + SNOW + FLOWERS:

if you're thinking that my background panel seems familiar, you are not having "deja vu" it really is similar to this card from the beginning of august. it has the same combination of ken oliver poinsettia stamps, red and green colorburst and liquid metals. here's a crafty secret for ya: whenever i'm trying out new techniques or essperiments-- especially one with a lot of sequential steps-- i'll often work on more than one panel at a time. because it is not at all uncommon for me to mess up on step 8 of 9! and it's so disheartening to have to start over from the very beginning, isn't it? so i'll start two or three similar things simultaneously, thus mistakes are much less of a problem, and if i wind up with more than one success, i have "extras"! at the time i was working on this, i had tried using nuvo drops for the first time and found that it was possible to make a huuuuuuuuge mess with them, lol! i also didn't think the green embossing showed up enough, didn't get super-clear images for some of the white embossing, and realllllllllllllly hated the bits of black embossing i had tried first at the bottom of the page. i corrected all of the above on my second attempt and used that panel, un-covered-up, for the first card. when i found this sheet again, i still hated the black, so i chopped it off immediately. i also discovered that if you are pretty careful, you miiiiiight be able to scrape off recalcitrant nuvo drops. once both of those factors were gone, i found i didn't mind the green as much. the messed up white parts were still messed up, so that's where i put the big flower stack... problem solved! it's a smaller card than the first, and it's got a lot more stuff on top, but i'm pretty happy with the result.

stephanie has an awesome card to show you, and the readers' gallery is pretty fab, as well! why not hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and check it out, darlings? 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Love You a Latte

It's the middle of September, which means it's time to join the lovely Amy Tsuruta and the gang at Coffee Loving Cardmakers for the Fall Coffee Lovers Bloghop!

Since I have the *PERFECT* ingredients-- Eyelet Outlet Coffee Brads-- I'm excited to jump on board.

The older I get, the more I appreciate Autumn: cooler temperatures, beautiful colors as the foliage here in the Northeast changes, and yes, a delicious warm caffeinated beverage are all things I enjoy, so I've tried to capture them in my card. I started by adorning the oversized copper "LOVE" diecut with a few paper flowers and the adorable Coffee Brads. I wanted to emphasize the sentiment a little bit more, so I added a couple of Pearl Hearts to the cups. Did you know that you can create your own custom bling and pearls, just by coloring them with alcohol ink markers? Thus I was able to make mine the perfect shade of golden yellow to coordinate with the diecut vintage paper leaves I had watercolored with all my favorite fall shades of ColorBurst. 

When it came time to build the card, I lined up some neat strips of Wide Brick Washi, Glitter Copper and Skinny Orange Tape so that I would have the perfect home for my compound sentiment. And whereas I may be the only coffee-loving American who doesn't love Pumpkin Spice flavoring in my coffee, that doesn't mean I don't love to mix a few Pumpkin Brads with my Coffee Brads, lol! 

I always start with a slightly bigger background than I think I'm going to need, so I don't run out of room. In this case, I wound up with a 3x6" offcut of woodgrain paper with the beautiful layers of tape, which seemed like the perfect size to make an extra little tag!

A few more leaves, a heart diecut, some smaller alphas and another Coffee + Pumpkin Brad pairing and I was good to go! Be sure to hop over to the Eyelet Outlet Blog and see what delights the other designers have whipped up for you this week! ♥

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

how do ya like them apples?

this week's challenge at shopping our stash is called "apple of my eye" and i'm pretty sure you'll already have sussed that we'd like to see projects which incorporate apples. it can be a loose interpretation, though, so things like apple blossom, or apple pie would also qualify. OR, although it is not yet officially sanctioned, if you manage to work in an i-phone, a macintosh computer or fiona apple, i promise to go to bat for you with the SOS judging committee and insist that's a valid representation of the theme!!! meanwhile, i  chose the classic fruit, albeit quite a stylized version. it's from the ancient SEI "fruitstand" collection (thus making it particularly stash-o-licious) the papers of which i bought several times over and have never failed to enjoy using, including right here:

the only problem with choosing your embellishments first, is then you have to go back and find something you can embellish with them! which is somewhat "cart before the horse" lol. i'm not sure i've ever seen a cupcake with an apple on top, but in fairness it's a BIG cupcake and it's got TWO layers of frosting, which hopefully will provide enough support. my top layer of icing has white embossed swirls made by one of my verrrrrry oldest and most beloved stamp sets: rhonna farrer's "flourishes" which i've had for at least ten years and maybe longer! thus i'm jumping in with the "anything goes" challenge at retro rubber!

hop on over to SOS to see the amazing creations from my dt darlings, and start planning your own apple-related masterpiece! ♥

Monday, September 18, 2017

lotus mandala: step by step

the last time i posted a handcut mandala, a few people asked how i made it, so when i used some of the fruits of saturday's uber-fun gelli printing marathon with stephanie to make another, i took photos of the steps! if you're pressed for time, these pics can also be seen as a flipagram in my instagram account.

ok, let's go!

papers, scissors, dry adhesive, a pencil, optional ink (for edges) and something you can use to draw a fairly neat circle this case the cool teal protractor thing that stephanie found in an art supply store in nyc.

start with a circle
you can trace a roll of tape or a glass, or use a stencil or diecut. it's pretty helpful to start with a somewhat symmetrical circle, though. after this we'll wing it. i like inked edges, especially when i have this many competing prints, but they are completely optional.

i used dry adhesive to tack my circle to another layer of paper, then sketched a petal shape or two. sometimes i divide the circle neatly into quarters, then halves, and mark all the sections; this time i just started cutting. as you can see, the lower left is pretty wonky, because i ran into the edge. it somewhat evens out in the next step though. but mostly i'm just lackadaisical about things like this, and fun is better than perfect, imo! :)

again, i attached the completed bit (circle + scallops) to the paper i wanted to use next. this time i made sure to center it, so i'd have enough room! i sketched a couple of half circles to see how they'd look. i liked them, so i cut them all the way around.

more petals
because i have A LOT of patterns here, i wanted to keep the shapes pretty simple, so i just stuck to petals, scallops and circles. in retrospect, i wish i had swapped out a few of the prints for plain cardstock, because it's pretty frenetic, but there ya go.

another circle
this time i used a compass. i don't know why i insist the circular layers be fairly precise, while the shaped layers can be wonky, but that's what i usually do, lol.

more scallops
if you don't like handcutting, you can make them by punching loads of circles and attaching them from the back, so they look like scallops. in which case you'll want to use a bit more adhesive on those layers. 

another circle
again with the compass. it's actually slightly smaller than the layer in front of it, but it peeks out from behind. 

at this point i went to the sewing machine and added a ring of machine stitching to each of the three circle layers. because i like the way it accents and outlines the shape, but also...these layers are of different paper weights, and the stitching ensures that everything will stay firmly attached. it also allows me to leave the petals and scallops loose, so i can curl them up slightly for the "lotus" effect!

finally i mounted the whole thing to one last gelli print, trimmed it into a square, matted it on black glossy cardstock, and added one more bit of stitching.

et voila! 

not into sketching or hand cutting? 
use punches, dies, doilies, templates, decorative scissors... the possibilities are endless! 
all you need are stacked layers and a little imagination!

Friday, September 15, 2017

ho ho ho... tic tac toe?

it's that time again, when we bust out the ever popular holiday tic-tac-toe game at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and invite you to pick a row, a column, or a diagonal, then make a card using those three things and link it up!

i chose, the left hand column, "red... glitter... santa" and here's my card:

patterned paper: basic grey, doodlebug, sei; tape: eyelet outlet; glittery snowman, tree and snowflake stickers: doodlebug; doily border: crate paper; december and red stripe stickers: echo park; adhesives: elmers brand glue tape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

ok, so the red is pretty visible, and the santa element is on that sweet eyelet outlet santa and snowman washi tape. admittedly the glitter is a little hard to see, but the doodlebug snowman and some of the the snowflakes are glittery stickers. i mention this because i know some people do not enjoy loose glitter in their homes, and these are a great "work around" as are eyelet outlet glitter washi tapes and american crafts "pow" glitter papers; both of which also diecut beautifully!

i used last week's atlantic hearts sketch, so obviously i won't be linking up with them, but it's a great sketch:

stephanie also has a wonderful card that i know will inspire you, why not hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and enjoy that right now? 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Pumpkins For Everyone

Did you know that dozens of beautiful, brand new tape designs were added to the Eyelet Outlet Store in the last few weeks? Today I have a trio of cards made with what might be my favorite: Wide Pumpkin Washi! I love the soft, elegant design of this tape, the watercolor look of the pumpkins, and the fact that it's accented with pink flowers and soft green leaves.

One of my favorite "tape tricks" is to cover a piece of cardstock with it, then use it exactly like any other patterned paper, which is what I've done with the Wide Pumpkin Washi on my first card. To ground the design I added a triple row of Pink Bling Strips and topped it with a pink Paper Flower stack, accented with one of these sweet Pumpkin Brads.

I'm always excited to see Green Paper Flowers. Why? Well they're fun on their own and make a great bottom layer of a flower stack, but mostly, I like to cut them apart and use the flower petals as leaves. I've used two petals from one of the largest flowers exactly that way in my first card, but in the second, I got a little fancier, and cut some medium and small flowers apart into individual segments. Then, using a green Pearl Bling Strip as a base, I recreated the vine design on the Wide Pumpkin Washi, and used it as an accent for a multi-color flower stack.

Something that always amazes me is how different one tape can look when it's set against different backgrounds. For my third card, I applied the Wide Pumpkin Washi as an accent on my pale pink card base, then set it off with two strips of Pink Bling. This time my flowers are two shades of pink, and accented with one of the pretty new Pearl Gems.

Need even more Eyelet Outlet inspiration? In addition to daily content on the fabulous EO Blog, we have an awesome Pinterest Board with projects by all of your favorite designers, as well as an amazing Flickr Gallery!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

emboss like a boss!

you may already have guessed that this week's challenge at shopping our stash is to incorporate *EMBOSSING* into your card, but possibly you have not realized that what we actually want to see is both dry (with a folder or stylus) AND wet (using powder or paste) embossing! don't worry, once you get your head around the idea, it's pretty easy, i promise. the proof being that even i managed to pull it off, lol!

multiple shades of colorburst pigment powders, as well as cut-n-color flower stamp and die sets "flowers 1" and "flowers 2" by ken oliver crafts; various wow and zing embossing powders; sheena douglass embossing folder: the crafter's companion; patterned papers: pink paislee, october afternoon, glitz design, lily bee; inks: ranger, prima, stewart superior, versamark; pearl brads: eyelet outlet; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

it's funny, because the night before i made this card, i had re-found a bunch of ken oliver cut and color mandala flower images that i had made one day whilst minding the store at paper anthology. i had a great time stamping them over rainbows of colorburst-ed paper and then heat embossing with loads of cool embossing powders, experimenting with pretty much every color combination imaginable. (and yes, a few that turned out to be unimaginable, which will never make it onto a card!) but a bunch of them were really lovely and i was thinking that i should make them into a card... and then this challenge came up, which was perfect. for my dry embossing, i used a beautiful sheena douglass e/f that i'm embarrassed to say i rarely use, not because i don't love it (i do!) but because there are whole months that go by in which i seem to have forgotten entirely that i have a bunch of gorgeous embossing folders that i rarely use. this one has a loose floral design which paired really well, so i just added some very light inking to showcase the design without letting the colors compete too much with the mandala flowers. i kept the rest of my papers very neutral, as well, but they have a bit of tone-on-tone pattern that i tend to use in place of plain cardstock.

there's lots more inspiration to be found at SOS where my design team darlings are embossing like bosses, check it out! ♥

*my "LSS" as they used to say back in the day, is a fabulous papercrafting store called paper anthology in kenvil, morris county, new jersey. it's the store in which i teach, hang out, and occasionally "mind the store"... the latter being shorthand for days in which i get to sit in a room full of art supplies, play with all of my friend elisabeth's cool stuff, and she thinks i'm doing her the favor, lol??!?! :) :) :)

Friday, September 8, 2017

sing a song of christmas

we are still celebrating holiday music at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and making cards inspired by our favorite songs OR which incorporate sheet music. won't you join us?

patterned paper: simple stories, authentique, making memories; wooden heart: studio calico; plaid ribbon of unknown origin (probably off an xmas pkg, lol) from my stash; ink: colorbox; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, 3-in-1 glue (to *securely* attach wooden heart to the bow) by beacon adhesives

i went uber-simple this week and used all ready made bits, including these cool little square icon-like journal cards which i thought were absolutely the PERFECT way to interpret this week's fab layout from sketch saturday:

stephanie also has an awesome card to show you, why not hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and check that out right now!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Give Me an "L"! Give Me an "M"!

No, I'm not leading a cheer squad, just fancying up some plain monogram letters with Eyelet Outlet Washi Tape, Bling and Brads for my niece, Lindsay, and my nephew, Matthew, who both have birthdays coming up. Check it out on the Eyelet Outlet Blog!

I started with plain, kraft-colored, papier mache letters from the big box store, that are approximately 8" tall. Thanks to my colorful stash of washi tape, I had a plan that did not involve any tracing, cutting, painting, or even inking of edges! I began with the "L" since it had the more straightforward shape, and wrapped tape, in more or less spectrum order, from the top to the bottom. Since all the planes are square, this just meant lining the layers up neatly and overlapping the patterns at the back of the letter.

The only tricky bit was the tippy-top of the letter and the top and bottom of the horizontal stroke at the bottom of the "L", which I covered in neat strips of whatever tape I planned to use next on the front of the letter, in this case the Red Dots Tape and Orange Fans . In addition to those, I also used: Heart Tape, Admit One Tickets, Tape Measure, Cooking Tape, Skinny Green Stripe (two strips for a chunkier look), Blue/White Dots, Skinny Blue, Blue Check (again two strips), Cupcakes, Purple Zig Zag, Rainbow Chevron, Love, Smiley Face, and Crayons.

Once the entire letter was covered, I broke out the bling to add a little bit of sparkle! I love the brand new Fancy Long Bling Strips, they come in several styles and they're not just great looking, they stick on really well AND are flexible enough to wrap around the letter! Before I started attaching them, though, I laid out the styles I thought I wanted to use, and moved them about a bit, until I got the perfect mix. Then I cut each of the strips just slightly larger than I needed, and, with the backing still on, checked my potential placement a second time, to make sure that I would not wind up with a big, un-bend-able stone right on a corner that would not be able to lay flat. Then, I peeled and stuck on the bling strips, from front to back, trimming any overlapping stones and getting them to line up as neatly as possible at the back. The designs I used include two types of Fancy Long Bling, Green Pearl Strips and Purple Jewel Strips.

After I had the strips in place, I added some individual gems, including Blue Flower Jewels, the brand new Heart Jewel Bling and Red Heart Pearls.

The slanting lines in the center of the "M" made it a little more challenging, but not overwhelmingly so. I elected to just wind the tape around in strips, the same way I did with the "L". This means there's a little "jog" at the back of the letter where the two ends of each tape meet up, but I trimmed them neatly, in the same way each time, and decided to call it a "Design Decision"! I've got a bit of a transportation theme going on for Matthew's initial, so I incorporated multiple strips of Road Tape and Map Tape into my design. In addition I used: Blue Check, Skinny Blue, Red DotsHeart TapeSmiley Faces, Admit One, Dots, Skinny Green Stripe and Tape MeasureOnce my background was completed, I started adding vehicles to the design. I've got: a Work Truck, a Bicycle and one the brand new adorable Pickup Truck Brads that are coming to the store very very soon! Not to mention a Cupcake, some Sun and Cloud Brads and an Airplane from the Travel set. I've also got some fun sentiment Arrows from the Road Sign Set and the Bicycle Set.

You may be wondering how I got those to stay on, seeing as how I could not reach the backs to open the prongs? Since I knew the "M" was hollow, I just made a hole with my paper piercer like I would for any other project, but coated the prongs of each brad with a little bit of 3-In-1 Glue before poking the prongs into the letter. For the larger brads, I added a little more glue to the back surface of design for additional sticking power. (I should mention that all of my nieces and nephews are well above toddler age and unlikely to attempt putting monogram letters into their mouths!)

I hope you'll be inspired to try your favorite Eyelet Outlet embellishments on your next 3-D project! ♥

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

"now trending" the theme of this week's challenge at shopping our stash, so obviously we'd like to see your take on one of the many popular images, techniques or products that are hot in the papercrafting world just now. i realize that seeing those words in connection with *ME* is kind of hilarious, lol; and if you suspected that i had very little idea what actually was currently trending in the card-making world, you're quite right! luckily, the SOS team had some suggestions (arrows, pineapples, stars, mustaches, flamingos) and my craft bestie stephanie tossed me a few more ideas (marble, gilding flakes, distress oxides, nuvo glitter or dots, mermaids, narwals, galaxies) so i was good to go. i chose galaxy and i'm pretty pleased with the result:

galaxy background created on strathmore watercolor paper using colorburst watercolor pigment powders by ken oliver crafts in shades of: lamp black, indigo, prussian blue, violet, wisteria, cerulean and ultramarine; flicks of white acrylic paint on top for stars; moon and stars drawn with a template on scraps of watercolor paper painted with gamboge colorburst and gold liquid metal; alphabet stickers: american crafts' thickers (moon), kelly purkey flat white letters (to the) and heidi swapp white chipboard letters for the rest; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine 

i bet i've watched 50 different videos in the last six months or so, on instagram and youtube of people making galaxies and then hand lettering or stamping or painting a silhouette landscape on top. this video by ken oliver is one of my favorites, especially if you want to use colorburst as your medium. in the video, ken uses the "spritz and sprinkle" technique, which works really well; but this time i decided to try the "smoosh" technique, because i love the blending effects i can get that way. so i put drops of clear water all over my 5x7" panel of watercolor paper, added various concentrations of different colorburst pigments, then placed a piece of clear acrylic over top to SMOOSH the colors together. i did this in a few layers, until the colors* had built up to where i loved them, then let the whole panel dry thoroughly, before adding white stars** on top.

i constructed my sentiment from three styles of letter stickers, including the luscious chunky glitter thickers that spell out "MOON". for the moon and stars i used an old-school plastic template to make the shape on top of a "rejected" yellow colorburst + gold liquid metals experiment, then cut them out with scissors. i originally mounted the completed panel to a glossy black 5x7 card, but it somehow didn't quite stand out enough, so i added a super-skinny white mat and called it good! since "anything goes" this week at the simon says stamp wednesday challenge blog, i'm linking up with those lovely folks.

be sure to check out all of the amazing ideas from my trendy SOS darlings, then start planning the amazing creation that YOU will link up with us this week! ♥

*if you're wondering about specific colors, for my version of a "realistic" night sky type galaxy, i used approximately 50% lamp black, 10% prussian blue, 10% indigo and the remaining 30% divided pretty randomly between ultramarine, cerulean, wisteria, orchid and violet. believe it or not, i didn't use ANY green, but there is a bit of green pigment built into the black and it serendipitously left some little greenish/grey areas i really liked. if you want more of an aurora borealis look, swap out the purples for as many greens as you happen to have, and try to concentrate them towards the center, or in a swathe. when i'm going for a specific effect my first stop is a google image search for say, "aurora borealis" and my second is a pinterest search for "aurora borealis watercolor". i will look at a bunch of different ideas, noting the bits i especially like or dislike. then i usually go off and do my own thing, which will not end up looking anything like any of the inspo pics, lol. but it does REALLY help me to have a starting point --grounded in reality-- before i let my imagination run wild.

**this is the first time i've gotten the white "splatter" effect of stars to come out the way i wanted, so of course i'll share that secret, too: in the past, i've used white acrylic craft paint, thinned with water, which made it liquid enough to splatter well, but unfortunately it was not opaque enough to stand up to a dark background. this time i concentrated on making the mix... well... more concentrated, lol. i combined glossy white acrylic craft paint, white gesso, and thinned it out further with some white chalkboard spray ink! something i forget every single time i do a splatter effect is that a BIG BRUSH gets you not just more splatter, but BIGGER droplets, as well. so you want a medium sized brush at the very largest, and you'll just keep adding layers until you've got the right effect. i found it looked more "galaxy-like" when i selected an area in which to concentrate the splatter and sort of stayed on that axis while i was flicking the paint. if you accidentally get a big drop or a smear, carefully blot it off with a paper towel. it will dull down the colors behind it a bit, but it adds that realistic "cloudy" effect you see in space photos. in fact, if you feel like your galaxy is TOO dark, or too consistently colored, i'd recommend strategically applying and removing a bit of white (or light colored) acrylic craft paint. good luck, and may the force be with you! :)

Saturday, September 2, 2017

yes it's ANOTHER round up :)

because i haven't posted my collages or colorburst essperiments in a week or so, lol, so here ya go:

i found the coolest ever japanese kids' card game a couple of years ago in san diego, and i immediately set aside this adorable bunny as a sort of mascot. then, the other night, i was making a "clean up" collage and suddenly he was the perfect centerpiece. 
(ps: the torn, tattered, and seriously yellowed glassine envelope that i've used to frame mr. bunny makes me want to go through every box of random papers at every rummage sale from now on, just in hopes of finding more torn, tattered, and seriously yellowed glassine envelopes. hubba, hubba! ♥♥♥)

i am still obsessed with trying to replicate the collages of sophie klerk. i expect i will be for a while. the strip ones that run a series of images across in a line are some of my favorites. this one has a "pink" theme, as you'll have noted.

this little guy was a smoosh bird i had done as a demo when my friend lorraine was here one day. i had also been showing a couple of ways to blend colorburst (or keep colors close but separate) with a brush. a few days later--august 21st, actually-- these serendipitous shapes suddenly looked very eclipse-like to me, lol!

a "cleanup collage" that i made rather than put away a bunch of assorted bits of paper and tape that were on my table. also, fezzes are cool!

stephanie, whose link love posts every thursday are amongst my favorite things in the whole entire blogiverse, also emails me links to things she thinks i'll like-- with pretty much a 100% success rate as to that! i'm now thoroughly obsessed with koosje koene's sketchbook skool videos, but the tangential thing i was fascinated with in this one is that she said one of her beloved tools in her basic kit was the sort of rainbow colored magic pencil found in the kid art department. which set me off on what i suspect will be a continuing series of line drawings which come out in whatever color sequence the magic pencil decides to dispense!!!

another of my recent instagram art crushes is marissa seguin. i love ALL her art, but i'm especially fascinated by a series of whimsical collaged buildings she did over the summer. at some point, i'm guessing i'll attempt collages like those, but on this particular night, i just wanted to get out my colorbursts and paint... so that's what i did!


Friday, September 1, 2017

a caroling we will go

it's time for a brand new theme at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and this time we're celebrating one of our favorite things about the holidays: the music! so what does that mean in terms of card-making? well, we'd like to see cards that feature sheet music, or sheet music patterned paper, OR you could base your card design on your favorite holiday song or carol; just be sure to tell us which one it is, ok? i went with sheet music inspired patterned paper, this beautiful greyish/taupe and white example is from a crate paper collection several years ago:

patterned paper: crate, anna griffin, kaiser; ornament, brads and journal card: mme; snowflake border sticker: basic grey; pearl strips: eyelet outlet; white kromekote cardstock: the paper cut; ink: colorbox; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

i've added in a diecut ornament, a couple of brads and a matching journal card from my mind's eye, and used mats made from patterned paper scraps in coordinating colors. oh and i couldn't resist glamming up the hangers from which the baubles descend with some eyelet outlet pearl strips.

i was inspired by the current sketch saturday layout (#478), though i've rotated the design 90 degrees clockwise, and my "stripes" are the horizontal bars of the sheet music.

stephanie also has an awesome card that's well worth singing about. why not hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and see for yourself?