Wednesday, March 1, 2017

"Outside of a Dog..."

My favorite Groucho Marx quote is, "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read" and when I saw the brand new, soon-to-be-released, Eyelet Outlet Book Brads, I knew immediately I wanted to make a card which said that. So I did. And it's on the EO blog today:

My favorite thing about the Book Brads is that they coordinate realllllly well with the Book Washi Tape, so I wanted to use both products together. Of course, my lovely design team sister, Stephanie, recently made her own patterned paper using that same tape, so I had to think of an interesting variation. Having just made the "Chevron" collage in my sketchbook, it occurred to me to do a herringbone pattern. This was even easier, though, because thanks to the strong vertical lines of the books, it was easy to trim the tape perfectly straight with a snip of the scissors. And of course, being *tape* it's self adhesive. Gotta love that, right?

Another thing I love about the Book Brads is that each package contains the same pile of books in two different colorways: a sort of neutral tan, as well as bright primary colors. Also, you can position them as a stack, or line them up like they're on a shelf. And no matter which variation you choose, they look really nice with the tape, dontcha think? So I decided to make a bookmark, too.

All I had to do was adjust the shape of my computer generated text (the font is Comic Sans) and reprint. Since the size and shape was much more compact, I left off the Skinny Washi Tape4mm Summer Brads and Groucho-style Eye Glass Brads that I used on the card.

What's *YOUR* favorite quote? 'Cause I'll bet you anything that there are brads in the Eyelet Outlet store that could help you illustrate it! (...just sayin'...)

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

is it SPRING yet??!?!

it's the very last day of february, which means ( least we HOPE it means...) that spring cannot be too far away from the northern hemisphere. a fact we are pretty darned excited about at shopping our stash, so we thought we'd kick off the official dreaming-of-spring season with a bright and beautiful color palette. to play along with us this week, all ♥YOU♥ need to do is use three or more of these pretty shades in your card or project! easy peasy, right?

ok, so when i saw that there were not one but two gorgeous shades of pink included, i thought for sure i'd be making a really (really!) PINK card. but... oddly enough... that's not what happened. see:

patterned paper: american crafts (amy tangerine and dear lizzie), pink paislee, echo park, crate paper; stickers: echo park, amy tangerine; washi tape strips: basic grey; cardstock diecuts: crate paper; doily and brads from my stash; kromekote cardstock: the paper cut; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape

yeah, i know, it's really surprising that somehow i wound up using more yellow and green than pink. all i can say is, go figure! i did use lots of stash though: nearly all my patterned paper is scraps, plus i've got a few different (ancient!) heart brads of unknown origin. there are also some cool basic grey washi strips that i have had for aggggges and only just opened the packet; not to mention the crate paper cardstock diecuts that i promise i have NOT been hoarding... just saving for something special... admittedly for quite an extended period of time, lol.

this card is LOADED with embellies --even by my standards, lol!!! but i found the best layout ever, at stuck?! sketches (feb 15th) and it had sooooooo many fun little elements, i wanted to include as many as possible:

alas, i did not read the rules sufficiently, and it wasn't until i went to link up this morning (tuesday, feb 28th) that i realized that stuck?! only accepts LAYOUTS and not cards or other formats. which is a bit of a pity, i think, but of course it's their right to make any rules they want. regardless, i LOVE the sketch and found it completely inspiring, for which i thank them.

need some help matching the colors in this gorgeous palette? i can tell you offhand that pink paislee's "citrus bliss", heidi swapp's memory planner line and american crafts' dear lizzy "neapolitan" are all GREAT places to start. need more inspiration? check out the glorious SOS dt who are always rockin' it... just for you!

Monday, February 27, 2017

modular mandala canvases

last summer i designed a mandala that was split into four equal pieces of canvas wrapped board, that could be re-arranged into different configurations. i called it a "modular mandala" and ever since then i've been wanting to make another one... but bigger... so finally i got hold of four 8x8 canvases and went to work. here's the static version, you can see a flipagram on facebook or instagram! ♥

supplies: ranger archival and distress inks applied with a fingertip sponge applicator over a collage of torn vintage paper; shading with gelatos and distress crayons; little bits of liquitex while modelling paste, applied through various stencils, for texture; pen outlines in faber-castell pitt artist pens of various sizes and a bit of posca paint pen

Friday, February 24, 2017

the coast is clear... ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ where we are still making holiday cards that have at least one "see through" element, such as: glass, a transparency, vellum, acetate or "ghost" shapes, clear stickers, lucite buttons, shrink plastic, or, well, whatever else you can come up with! here's what i made this week:

"joy to the world" in 'porcelain' font printed on highland brand inkjet transparency film; thick acrylic snowflake of unknown origin, painted lightly with white craft paint; heidi swapp "ghost shape" snowflakes from years and years and years ago; patterned paper: craft and you design + lilybee + deli paper stenciled with tim holtz snowflakes in liquitex modeling paste, layered over vintage sheet music; florals and foliage: petaloo, prima, making memories, recollections, imaginisce; pearl brads and stickyback pearls: eyelet outlet; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, gluedots, sewing machine

one of my favorite tricks for adding custom sentiments is to computer generate the text, in one of my favorite fonts, sized to exactly the dimensions i require and print it on the correct media. for interior sentiments i love to use the clear shipping labels made for inkjet printers, which i buy from my favorite office supply store. i format and print an entire sheet at a time, so that i always have common sentiments in a few different fonts on hand; and on a white or light cardstock background, all but the text is nearly invisible. for exterior sentiments, one of my favorite tricks is to print an oversized sentiment on to a transparency sheet made for inkjet printers.* sometimes i'll add digital brushes or other elements to incorporate the sentiment in a frame or collage; sometimes i just print the words on their own. this card has an example of the latter technique: "joy to the world" is rendered in  a font called 'porcelain' (which was free from and then layered over a pretty scrap of paper, then loaded up with florals, festive greens and some pretty eyelet outlet pearl embellies.

i've used the sketch half of the current fusion card challenge a bit ummm... "maximally?! but i *think* you can still see it, right?

stephanie has another clearly awesome card to inspire you and there are some very cool examples in the readers' gallery at the bottom of the original post, as well! all of these goodies are-- you may have guessed --over at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ darlings!

*for more information on this technique, here is a post i wrote a couple of years ago with some pretty good info, if i do say so myself. (which... apparently... i do, lol!)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

a barrage of collage? (yes, please!)

i'm still having a great time with the daisy yellow wonder31 prompts and apparently i'm still in a bit of a collage phase. my favorite thing about my sketchbook is that i can just roll with whatever mood i'm in on any given night!

this went a bit more towards herringbone, but you get the idea. and YES, those are all 1/4" strips of paper that i sliced to size with my guillotine trimmer and affixed with a tape runner. NO, it wasn't particularly fussy to make, actually; it came together quite quickly. as long as you are always butting the short ends up to one of the long strips, they kind of automatically stay straight, which is helpful. i didn't even need a ruler! 

"zebra" and "circles"
pretty self-explanatory, once you realize that i was combining two prompts.
(but no, technically, this one isn't a collage, lol; it's rendered with tombows and pitt pens.)

"tarot or playing card"
i went with tarot, because i love this teal and red deck from the 1960's; i made a one-staple collage because... well, i just felt like it, i guess! :)

"wallpaper, redux"
a second go at an earlier prompt, made with the leftovers from the first one.

"text or texture"
whaddaya mean, "OR"??!?!?! i'll take BOTH, please, and plenty of each!!!

"darkness" and "light"
when i saw these prompts listed on successive days, i knew right away what i wanted to do!
(for the record: i cut two squares of black paper and two squares of white and assembled them into the quadrants. then i drew the mandala, using several sizes of black pitt pen on top of the white and gelly roll + posca pens on top of the black paper.)

"dawn's sunshine mandala"
this is unrelated to the wonder31 event; it's a 20x24" canvas made by request for my lovely friend and eyelet outlet dt coordinator dawn mercedes barrett, after she admired the big mandala diptych i made last year. it's distress and archival inks over a collage of torn vintage paper, with a bit of modelling paste for texture and a few EO pink gems for sparkle.

i've just had a few "surprise" days at home, owing to the fact that the starter on my car unexpectedly* decided to just. stop. working. thankfully, it did so in my garage, leaving me stranded here, rather than out and about, which i really appreciate. and better yet, it turned out to be something that jeff could replace fairly inexpensively; how lucky am i to have a HANDY husband?! apologies to the ladies who had signed up for my tuesday class at paper anthology, and thank you for understanding the last minute cancellation! ♥

*unexpectedly to me that is; for all i know, it has been plotting this for weeks??! i have the feeling that our lawn mower is a bit of a mischievous rabble-rouser... 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

laissez les bon temps rouler!

we're a week away from mardi gras, but at shopping our stash we are always keen on a party, so we've started early. this week we'd like you to create a card or project that reflects the spirit of carnival or fat tuesday. need help to get started? think masks, beads, parades, partying, drinking, dancing, etc. need more help? check out the gorgeous work of my design team darlings at SOS. but first, here's what i made:

mask template found online, re-sized to 3x5 and trimmed from american crafts pow glitter paper and ranger glossy black cardstock; patterned paper: 7 gypsies; florals: prima, petaloo, oriental trading co, making memories; black gem flourish and feathers: michaels; miscellaneous brads, gems and metal dots from my stash; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, gluedots, sewing machine

this was yet another time when i realized that i had absolutely NO PRODUCTS which related to the theme. i couldn't find so much as a decent-sized vintage book illustration that would work. so i decided to fall back on the gorgeous rich mardi gras colors of purple, green and gold. i found a clip art template for an elegant mask and sized it down to fit on my card. as you know, i hate to spend cutting time on a single layer, so i chose glossy black paper as well as glitter gold paper to give myself a choice. as it turned out, i liked the glitter gold mask with a glossy black drop shadow, so i layered them, sewed them together and set about embellishing with flowers, beads, feathers and anything else i could find in the correct colors.

when i saw atlantic hearts sketch #199, i knew it was perfect for this, so i used it, even though i knew the challenge would close before i could link up; those panels were just too cool to resist! especially when i remembered that i had an ancient 6x6 paper pad (from 7 gypsies, as it turned out) with a black and white harlequin pattern. when i found the tablet, it had a bunch of different black and white designs that coordinated beautifully together!

there's lots more mardi gras inspiration at shopping our stash! grab your crew, strut on over et rejoins la fête, mes chéries! ♥♥♥

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Turtle-y Awesome Tags!

It's my turn on the Eyelet Outlet Blog again, where I'm still crushing bigtime on the brand new, soon-to-be-released, animal brads! There are so many great designs this time, I could not resist giving you another little preview of some that will be in the Eyelet Outlet Store very soon! I also couldn't use just one... or even two... so here's a three-fer of handmade tags. But first, fair warning: if you happen to be a person who hates puns, look away now!

I'm in love with all the new brads, but the Llamas miiiiight be my favorite. I mean, seriously, just look at that cute face!

Since I wanted the characters (and ok, yes, the puns, lol!) to be the stars of this tag set, I haven't used much else in the way of embellishments, just little stacks of vintage paper, some fun hand-stamping, and a few strips of solid color tape, from my favorite Skinny Washi Set.

The Fox Brads come in mixed packs, with some of the foxes standing up, and others taking a little nap. I'm pretty sure it was planned that way because the designers knew it would be impossible for us to choose only one type of fox!

Finally, the Turtle Brads have found their way --slowly but surely-- into my heart. Because, YES, they really are turtle-y awesome!!!

There's something new on the Eyelet Outlet Blog every single day, so I hope you'll stop by tomorrow and see what my friend Barbara has to show you!