Friday, April 20, 2018

peace on earth day

if you've played along with us at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ in other years, you'll probably know that thanks to kathe deck, whose brilliant idea it was in 2011, we do a reuse/recycle/upcycle challenge every year right around earth day, and since it's that time again, guess what the brief is this fortnight? yep, the amazingly fun earth day special! here's what i made:

one of my favorite things about this challenge is figuring out which recycled things each person has used. because a lot of the time, the cards are so amazing, you'd never guess they are made from "non traditional" ingredients, so to speak! we've seen everything from diecuts made of flattened-out soda cans, plastic salad containers converted into shrinky-dink-like elements, scraps of carefully saved giftwrap, illustrations from a catalog, pictures off a particularly pretty tissue box... well, as you can imagine, there's a whole list of great ideas! this time i went with two of my favorite recycling targets: a bit of pretty papercraft packaging and one of the store-bought holiday cards i received last year:

i'll admit that using the amazingly pretty cardfront really felt like cheating, lol! because let's face it, it doesn't need much, does it? i added some fabric poinsettias to the middle of the printed one and attached them with a jingle bell brad. i adorned some of the printed holly berries with sparkly eyelet outlet gems. then i matted the trimmed down panel onto a piece of gold glitter paper, followed by a mat cut from the packaging. et voila. i called it DONE.

stephanie, of course, has something amazing to show you as well, so why not hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and check that out whilst thinking about what *YOU* can pull out of the recycling bin or wastepaper basket to make your own earth day masterpiece!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Sunshine and Watercolor

It never ceases to amaze me how inspiration is everywhere! Last week I spotted a $2 stamp and embossing folder combo at a big box crafting store and realized that the cuuuute rainbow stamp was *EXACTLY* the right size to combine with our Eyelet Outlet Sun and Cloud Brads. So obviously I had to buy it, lol, right?!

You may have noticed that I often show a couple of similar projects in the same post, so I'll share one of my secrets with you: when I'm having trouble deciding between two ways to go, I'll start working on both ideas at the same time. In this case, my indecision was whether to paint the embossed rainbow panels with bright, full-strength shades of ColorBurst pigment powders, or to use diluted pastel versions. Often, when I'm in the process, one of the ideas will not work out, so I abandon it and keep going with the other. This time, I liked them both; so I was able to make two different cards.

To get the fun "white lines" effect on both cards, I used the rainbow embossing folder to texturize a panel of watercolor paper in the usual way, but before painting it, I rubbed across the raised bits with an ordinary white candle from Ikea to give it a very light coating of wax. That acts as a resist, so when you paint the watercolor on, it beads up on the raised parts... you can actually paint away quite messily and still get a really fun effect. For the dark version, I used full strength ColorBurst shades and let them air dry completely. For the pastels, I diluted the pigment with a little extra water, and then blotted the wet color with a tissue before it dried. In both cases, I completed the background/sky first and filled in the rainbows second. This seems counterintuitive, but it was a game-changer for me!

The vivid colors of the darker rainbows were a great match for this beautiful multicolor Striped Washi Tape, which I've flanked with a fun stripey pattern from the Rainbow Skinny Set on top of some notebook paper backed with plain white cardstock. I attached the Sun and Cloud Brads to my stamped and colored rainbow before cutting it out... thus I was able to leave a little extra cardstock behind the brads for support! This card is 4.75 x 6.25, to accommodate a slightly larger heart shape and "dilute" the darker colors with a little extra white space.

The pastel rainbows were soft enough to be a background for a typical A2 card, so this time I used a smaller heart shape from my leftover notebook paper, and added my Dymo Label sentiment right on top.

I hope I've brought a little bit of sunshine into your day... in the form of Sun and Cloud Brads! Be sure to stop by the Eyelet Outlet Blog for brand new design team projects EVERY day of the week! ♥

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

best fishes

guy cards are harder to make then girl cards. fact. and maybe not quite as much fun... if you happen to love loads of flowers and bling and stuff on your cards. so it's really helpful when your favorite challenge blog, such as shopping our stash, comes along with a brief called, "yo! dude!" that asks you to make a masculine card, right? yep, i thought so too! here's what i made:

fish illustrations from an old, falling apart, garage sale book; vintage trading stamps from my stash; paper: creative imaginations (graph), lil davis (lt blue), filler from a picture frame (greenish) + a not very interesting gel print on deli paper (dk blue); alphas: pink paislee; greyish shimmery cardstock: core'dinations; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

i cannot even count the number of cards i've made with the sentiment, "best fishes" but i know it's got to be a fairly high number at this point. i've probably made at least fifteen just for my brother. (and i'm still not tired of the genre, either; so "sorry" or "you're welcome", lol!) this time i chose a couple of larger protagonists, who happen to have been amongst the illustrations in an awesome old book i found called "wondrous world of fishes" which totally lives up to its name. rather than trim them down, i decided to make an A7 card.

my background is bits of torn paper stuck on to an ancient bit of graphed patterned paper. i've got a scrap of pale blue vellum, a glossy ombre panel that was filler in a picture frame, part of a blue-ish/greenish/greyish gel print, and a few vintage trading stamps that did not come off their pages cleanly... but still seemed too cool to toss out. my sentiment is composed of older, glittery, vinyl alphabet stickers that were the PERFECT size and shape. alas, i can't find more like them, and i'm about out of vowels now, so this might be one of the last cards to feature their sparkly goodness. unless i learn polish or something.

there's A LOT more inspiration to be found at shopping our stash. why not hop over and feast your guy-card-loving eyes on some of that right now? ♥

Friday, April 13, 2018

♥creamsicle christmas♥*

we are headed into the second week of our dreamy inspiration photo challenge at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ so you still have plenty of time to join the fun! here's the pic again:

and here's what i made this time:

patterned paper: basic grey, studio calico, lilybee design, echo park; washi tapes: freckled fawn, october afternoon, studio calico, hambly; white glitter paper: best creation; ink: colorbox; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

i mentioned last week that for anyone who's not a fan of the bright orange-- or perhaps just doesn't have much in the way of orange supplies-- there are a couple of ways to go: you can ignore the colors completely, and focus on selected elements like the tree, the fireplace, the presents, etc; OR you can just tone them waaaaaaaaaaay down. in actual fact, this card is closer, proportionally, to how much bright color is in that room compared with how much white + neutral there is. again, i've got nothing in the way of "holiday" supplies, except for that awesome memory box die, "marvelous pine". i do have a bunch of different whites-- including a whitish woodgrain and some white glitter paper for a bit of sparkle it's hard to see in the picture. my pops of vivid color come from washi tape, and i've put the entire panel onto a much softer orange background.

don't forget to hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and check out stephanie's second card; not to mention the amazing work that's already in our fab readers' gallery!

*someone on facebook last week pointed out that that the colors are kind of sherbet-ish... and i had to agree... yet another reason to love this inspo pic, eh? :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Gift Wrapping Is My Bag, Baby!

I may have mentioned that before. But I never get tired of making extra-fancy presents for my friends and family. Especially (...but not limited to...) the kiddos. It's amazing how quick and easy it is to make a plain boring giftbag from the big box store into something infinitely more colorful and fun... with Eyelet Outlet Washi Tape! So there just might be a couple of bags on the EO Blog today that look a little bit like this:

You've seen me make washi tape into patterned paper before, just by applying tape in neat strips on plain white cardstock. And that's what I did this time to make the star bag, but instead of choosing one pattern of tape, I made a washi rainbow! I used a homemade star template from my computer to trace the star and cut it out with scissors. Then I matted the whole thing onto a scrap of glossy black cardstock and cut it out again. For the heart bag I used a store-bought stencil for the shape, and this time I applied the tape in a sort of plaid pattern, alternating between placing the tapes horizontally and vertically, so it would be more interesting. I matted that one on a coordinating shade of purple. I machine-stitched around the edges of both shapes to add a little extra texture.

I affixed both shapes to their bags using a few pieces of foam tape. But first I wanted to add a little more color to the bags. The nice thing about washi tape is that it comes in lonnnnnnnnnnng rolls... so you never have to worry about how wide or tall your project is. I marked an even point on the right and left sides of the front and back of each bag. Then I applied my tapes carefully, one at a time, in long strips that went alllllllllllllllll the way around the bag! By starting inside the fold at the side of each bag (and working neatly) I was able to hide the place where each strip of tape overlaps at the end of its run. I love how it looks seamless, and I can tell you that when non-papercrafters see something like this, they have NO IDEA how you've done it! (So when you make your own version, if you want to tell them it was *MAGIC* your secret will be safe with me!) ;)

On the star bag, I used: Red Dot Tape, Blue Stars and a couple of Skinny Print Tapes for variety; the star itself has: Heart Washi, Orange Stars, Crayon Tape, Blue Stars, Purple Checked, Skinny Yellow Dots, Skinny Green Stripes and Confetti Tape.

On the heart I added a stack of Paper Flowers with an Enamel Dot center, and these tapes: Pink Checked, Purple Zigzag, Pink Dots, Skinny Pink Dots and Skinny Pink Checks plus Heart Tape; with Wide Star Washi and Skinny Glitter Tape on the bag. But really... both of these designs would work with literally ANY combination you'd like to use! You could work in a specific color group--either the recipient's favorite combination, or to commemorate a school or team. Or use the entire rainbow--either randomly or in the ROYGBIV spectrum. You could even combine tapes thematically, for an occasion like a birthday or holiday. The only limit to the variation is your own imagination!

Need even more great ideas for using Eyelet Outlet Washi Tape, Brads or Bling? Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see all the latest makes from our amazing design team! ♥

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

aloha and mahalo

we're "headed to the beach" this week at shopping our stash, and for me, that always means making something a bit hawaii-centric. so i did:

beachy paper and sticker: echo park, paradise beach; glitter paper: best creation; brown patterned paper: basic grey; thickers: american crafts; lei sticker: from the dollar store??; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

this time i've used some specifically beach-themed papers from echo park from a couple of years ago, paired with ancient yellow chipboard thickers (it's not a coincidence they are SEWN on there, lol!) and a dimensional lei sticker so old i'm actually not sure where it came from. it looks pretty good here, however, so sometimes hoarding pays off, eh? :)

there's loads more beachy inspiration awaiting you at SOS. why not hop over and enjoy some of that right now, darlings?

Friday, April 6, 2018

♥ORANGE♥ you glad it's christmas?

this fortnight at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ we have a really fun and funky inspiration photo which i absolutely love! ...but... i confess i'm a little worried that when you first see it, you'll think the same thing i thought when i first saw it, which was, "omg! i've got NOTHING in my xmas stash that's even close to those colors!" but pleeeeease stay with me here, because it turns out i was able to make a couple of really cool cards anyway, and i bet you can too! because remember you can take your inspiration from ANY aspect of the photo which appeals to you. you don't have to use everything! ok, here's the pic:

yes, it's got quite a bit of orange, and no, you probably don't have any xmas paper with orange in it. but truly, you won't need any, i promise! because although the pops of orange might be the first thing you see, really, the majority of the items in this photo are not orange... they're white! but let's ignore the colors, and start thinking about the elements, instead: there's a fireplace, with stockings hung up! there's a tree, with baubles! there are beautifully wrapped gifts! i'm guessing you've stamps or dies which would work for one or all of those scenarios, don't you? remember: you don't need to recreate the picture! so you could easily rock the colors without the elements, or vice versa! for that matter who says you can only use xmas products to make xmas cards? not me, and in fact, hardly anything in either of my cards is seasonal-- so there! see:

snowflake dies: tim holtz/sizzix; tapes: october afternoon, prima, love my tapes, little b, hambly, freckled fawn; journal card: crate paper; gems and enamels: eyelet outlet; glitter paper: best creation; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

the first thing i thought about when i saw this photo was that i have loads of (non-holiday) washi tape in pretty much every shade shown, so i decided to make a sort of lattice background with the colors and let my centerpiece be a cluster of white and silver snowflakes. then i found this cool crate paper journal card that had nearly the exact same teal as the accent pillow in the foreground-- score! so i scaled back my snowflakes to a slightly smaller size to fit around the journal card, et voila! since there are three of them, and the brief this week on the simon says stamp monday challenge blog is "a trio of something" i'm linking up there.

as always happens when i start playing with washi tape, i wound up with more panels than i needed, so i thought i'd try one more card. i made a white tree-- inspired by the one in the photo-- for the center of this one. i added a little bit of the natural wood color of those ottomans in, as well.

xmas tree die: sizzix; tapes: october afternoon, prima, love my tapes, little b, hambly, freckled fawn;  gems and enamels: eyelet outlet; scraps of patterned paper: basic grey; wood veneer paper: altenew; doily scraps from my stash; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

i hope i've given you a few ideas to get you started on this fun challenge but if you need a little more inspiration, hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and see what stephanie has made! then put on your thinking cap and come play!!!