Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Peace, Love and Coffee

One of my favorite papercrafting challenges is taking place this week: it's the 2017 Winter Coffee Lovers' Bloghop which is always a lot of fun. Especially since I have the considerable advantage of keeping a stock of Eyelet Outlet Coffee Brads on hand at all times! ;)

My sentiment is inspired by an awesome new stamp set from CAS-ual Fridays that my friend Amy Tsuruta used reallllllly well on this card. Since I don't happen to own it (...yet...) I decided to make my own tribute version! Obviously I needed a Peace Sign Brad, but to give it a little more holiday style, I added a hat from the Elf Brad set. A Holly bedecked Heart Brad came next; then a cup from the Coffee Brad set, with a couple of Christmas Cookie Brads. I used letter stickers for the main words, and my handy Dymo for the rest. I made a seasonal mat for the sentiment panel by neatly lining up strips of Holly Tape on plain white cardstock.

I liked the results so much, I immediately wanted to make a second version... so I did! This time I decided to orient my A2 card horizonally, and place the brads ABOVE the keywords instead of beside them. I used my vintage typewriter instead of the labelmaker, and typed the sentiment on a clear label, so that I could trim it to size and place it on my paper after setting the brads.

I hope you'll check out all the gorgeous projects in the Coffee Lovers' Bloghop, then head over to the Eyelet Outlet store to stock up on Coffee Brads and join the fun! ♥

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

in future, i'd like to be addressed as...

..."the ace of lace" and you'll see why in a minute. but first i need to tell you that this week's challenge at shopping our stash is called "let's play tag" and we'd like you to make-- ok, you're probably way ahead of me here-- a tag! it can be a stand alone item, or part of a card, or attached to a gift or present. whatever kind of tag you'd like to make, we promise to love it. here's what i made:

patterned paper scraps: dcwv, 7 gypsies, the paper co, graphic 45, glitz design, lilybee + vintage sheet music and india paper from my stash; glitter paper: best creation and american crafts pow; rhinestone brad: eyelet outlet; wooded stars: studio calico; bits of lace and seambinding from my stash; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, gluedots, sewing machine

yep, i made two tags, because coincidentally, i'm going to be seeing two friends, together, in a holiday context this week. so after i made the tags, i made bags to put them on:

to make the tags, i combined loads of diecuts in white and cream and gold, which helpfully used up a bunch of ancient paper scraps. i piled all the pretty things on top of hand-cut tag shapes that i made from plain cardstock scraps, because i didn't happen to have any premade tags that were big enough, lol.

to make the bags, i took ordinary plain white bags from the big box store, and hot-glued bits of lace neatly, all around the bags, one layer at a time. the only tricky-- or at least counterintuitive-- thing is that it's easiest to attach the layers of lace from the bottom up, rather than from the top down. so it's a bit crucial that you "lay out" your trimmings before you begin, and maybe add a few light pencil markings on the bags to guide your placement. oh and i find it a huge help to place a shoebox INSIDE the bag, to give me a work surface on all four sides!

why not hop over to SOS and check out the awesome tag-o-liciousness perpetrated by my lovely design team sisters? ♥

Sunday, December 10, 2017

more tiny collages

because it turns out that 2 x 3" is a really fun size to work with, especially in little groups!

i know that #PutABirdOnIt is kind of a papercrafting joke, but i still really like collages with birds. especially these egrets, who all came from the same page of a vintage bird book, and are pleased to have been relocated as a group.

and no, i'll *NEVER* get sick of flowers. in any context. ever. so there.

vintage hawaiiana... oh how i love you. especially 1970's alohawear advertisements.

my cousin andrew's five year old son, karson, voted for zoo animals on this set of collages, and helped me choose which ones to feature. 
(we made some cards together too; i've actually never met a five year old with as much design sense as karson has, it's pretty awesome!)

every once in a while i sit and fussycut images that are much too big, and then kick myself for not measuring or, you know, trying to generally have a clue, lol. but then sometimes, i come up with a solution that's literally outside the box. plus... butterflies + postage are kind of cool together. who knew??

hope you are having an awesome, not-too-frantic, december weekend!
(try to sneak in some fun creative time, even if it's just making address labels for your holiday cards, which is what i'm going to do RIGHT NOW!)

Friday, December 8, 2017

ALL the xmas cards

we've just wrapped up our 7th season at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ so this seems like a great time to show ALL the holiday cards* i made this year:

we'll be back on january 1st to start all over again... and we'd love for you to join us whenever you can!

*if you've never taken a pic of your "card pile" may i highly recommend starting the tradition this year? when you're midway through 2018 and feeling a bit uninspired, it will cheer you up and keep you going to remember how many awesome ones you made this year!!! ♥

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Mele Kalikimaka...

...means Merry Christmas in Hawaiian, as any Jimmy Buffet or Bing Crosby fan will tell you. As you know, I love to make Hawaii-themed cards all year round, so I don't see why I should stop at Christmas time, especially when I've thought up a truly spectacular pun AND there are so many awesome Eyelet Outlet products to convey a tropical, beachy theme. I'm on the EO Blog with this fun card today:

My crafty BFF (and fellow EO designer) Stephanie gave me a stamp set called "Polynesian Paradise" for my birthday, and I am absolutely in love with the adorable Hula girl who inspired my sentiment. I thought she'd look especially cute on a Christmas ornament, with a Fresh Flower Brad in her hair, and I stand by that decision. I made a second ornament by neatly lining up strips of Flamingo Washi on plain white cardstock, then tracing a homemade heart-shaped ornament template and cutting it out. I added a Flamingo Brad on a couple of small white Paper Flowers, then "hung" both the baubles from Pearl Bling Strips cut down to fit the space.

One of my favorite ways to use EO brads is to make custom sentiments for my cards. I love alphabet dies and stickers and I always think it's fun to mix and match them. In this case I've used a white all-caps font, but then highlighted "hula" by using larger green letters. The thing that really makes them shine, though, are the Tall Palm Tree and Sun Brads. At the end I couldn't resist a Heart Brad or three just to tie the whole design together.

I hope you'll have as much fun preparing for the HULA-days as I did making this card! ♥

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

shake, rattle and/or roll?

this week's challenge at shopping our stash is called, "i like to move it, move it" and we'd like to see projects that have an element of movement, so add a wobbler, make a shaker card, play with a slider design, or heck, even stamp characters and give them googley eyes! put your thinking cap on and have fun with this one!

patterned paper: basic grey, mambi + vintage text, sheet music and ledger paper; plastic window: a bit of packaging i saved; tree die: sizzix; ancient jar of microbeads i've used on every shaker card i've ever made and there are still plennnnnnnnty left: beedz; burlap poinsettia and velvet holly leaf: petaloo; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

yep, i made a shaker. being the least engineery of cardmakers, in situations like this, i tend to flop right down into my comfort zone. plus... i really do actually LIKE shaker cards and i never make enough of them. for this one i made a white-on-white collaged background from various text, ledger and music papers, then diecut my favorite (ancient!) sizzix tree out of the center. i up-cycled a piece of plastic packaging to serve as a window, then applied a gazzillion tiny wedges of foam tape to "seal" the area right around the tree, added (also ancient) microbeads and sewed the whole panel to my folded (ancient basic grey patterned paper) card, just as an extra added level of defense against escaping microbeads. ;) i seriously considered leaving this as a flat and cheap-to-mail card, but at the very end i caved and added a poinsettia and holly leaf. because that's the way i roll...

hop over to SOS and see what my amazing dt darlings have come up with to inspire you! ♥

Friday, December 1, 2017

heavy metal holiday!

we're still rockin' the metallics at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and you still have loads of time to join us, which we hope you will! this week my card features silver and copper... not a combination i've tried before but i have to say i really like it:

idea-ology metallic cardstock background in silver, embossed with a sheena douglass e/f from the crafter's workshop; baubles handcut (using my own homemade templates) from strathmore watercolor paper painted with prussian blue colorburst; glitter copper tape, pearl brad and bling strips: eyelet outlet; copper embossing paste: dreamweaver; grey cardstock cardbase: bazzill; doily, lace and copper giftwrap from my stash; ink: colorbox; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

i'm still fairly well smitten with the idea-ology kraftcore metallic cardstock, so this time i've used it as my background panel. a concept i was 100% happy with, until it came time for photographs. (...grrrrr...) because seriously, even when embossed and sanded, this stuff is *SHINY*! I'm still loving my gloriously dramatic prussian blue colorburst, as well, which i've painted onto watercolor paper and then later added copper accents in the form of embossing paste for the larger ornament and a diecut poinsettia on the smaller one. i've trimmed the baubles with eyelet outlet bling strip hangers, a pearl brad, and there's a bit of glitter copper tape peeking out in the background there, too.

this week i'm linking up with the paper players (PP372) who have a very very cool sketch ...that i rotated!

stephanie has a gorgeous card to show off... why not hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and give yourself the treat of seeing that right now?!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

little books in all shapes and sizes

i've just listed a bunch of handmade, spiral-bound blank books in my etsy shop, just enough stuff. they are all different sizes and shapes and have different types of paper inside. something for everybody... or at least, something for everybody who likes funky little books that incorporate vintage game boards, old boxes and illustrations, lol!

is 5 x 3.5", top bound, and has lined notebook paper inside

is about 4.75 x 7.5", has 15 sheets of strathmore cold press watercolor paper, and the covers are made from the box of a 1964 edition of the game "kismet".  

is so-called because there's a little bit of everything from cardstock, graph paper, tracing paper, kraft paper, vintage text and illustrations. it measures 6.25 x 4.5" and has covers from the super-cute box of a 1970's game called "rose petal place".
is just about 5" square, and has blank cardstock pages and covers made from game cards from a 1980's game called, "what's for dinner".

...miiiiiiight be my favorite, but don't tell the others, k? it's 3.25 x 3.5" and has super-fun collaged covers over blank cardstock pages. the gallant and adorable 1959 trabant sedan is the perfect companion for all of your adventures!

there are also paper packs, travel books, junk journal assortments and a few december journal kits left, so check out just enough stuff!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Merry and Bright (...times two...)

December first is fassssssssst approaching, which means it's time to get *SERIOUS* about making our holiday cards. Stephanie and I work on ours all year round, via Jingle Belles, but I nearly always find I need a few more right at the end, which is why I'm so glad to have a stash of Christmassy Eyelet Outlet goodies, like these awesome Holiday Light Brads I'm showing off in a couple of ways on the EO Blog today.

There are probably a gazzillion great ways to use these, but I'll confine myself to just two... for now. My first thought was a strand of Xmas lights, in a tumble, with a swirly cord. Since I had to do the machine stitching before I set the brads, I not only dry fit where I thought I'd want each bulb to go, I also drew, very lightly in pencil, the path I thought the swirl should take. 

After I was done the decorative sewing, I set the brads, attached my sticker sentiment with foam tape, and went back to attach the panel to my 6x6" card. I used white thread this time, instead of black, so the strand of lights would get more attention than the perimeter of the card. 

My second idea was to attach the Holiday Lights where they most naturally belonged: on evergreen branches! My first set were diecut from some realistic-looking pine-green cardstock. Which, oddly enough, turned out to be exactly the wrong color choice, since the bulbs didn't stand out nearly as much as I expected. So I went back and this time chose a pale green shade with a very faint abstract pattern, which looks NOTHING like an actual Christmas tree, but showed off the brads to much better advantage. 

Attaching the foliage to my A2 card, I applied adhesive only to the stems of the diecuts, leaving the pine needles a bit loose, so I could curl them up for more dimension. Because, of course, I knew that when I set the brads on top of the foliage, they would act as a second attachment for the diecuts. 

Now that the thoughts of brightly lit branches are in my head, I'm excited to go to the Christmas tree farm next Sunday! But first, maybe I'll make a few more cards... ♥

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

snow far, snow good

we are having "snow much fun" this week at shopping our stash; by which i mean we'd like to see cards with ♥SNOW♥ on them. since "on a card" is by far the best place for snow, imo, (being infinitely preferable to, "on the roads" or "in the forecast" for example) let's get to it, shall we?

i'm quite proud of my stash usage this week because pretty much every single item involved in both of these cards is older than my nephew matthew. who turned *10* in september! the snowman and snowflakes are the oldest, they are aaaaaaaaaaancient doodlebug stickers that i really like, but never quite knew how to use. i'm not sure i've done them proud, but i have used them up; and i've got two perfectly serviceable cards out of the venture, so i'm calling it good.

i've also used up some scraps of elderly KI memories paper and a DCWV sticker that turned out to be absolutely perfect to fill in the much too big gap of white glitter paper snow on the second card. things that are not old in this post are the aforesaid best creation white glitter paper of which i use 5 or 6 sheets every single year, mostly for snowy foregrounds... (why does no one else make a good, diecut-able, white glitter paper??!) ...and the set of trees-on-hills dies by penny black* that give instant perspective to any landscape.

why not toboggan, sled, or sleighride your way right on over to shopping our stash and see the amazing snow-centric creations by those wizards of blizzards, my SOS design team darlings?! ♥♥♥

*here's a hint about similar looking dies that come in a set: NUMBER them on the back if you don't want a depressing pile of "dang i cut the wrong one again" diecuts to accumulate in your workspace. ;)

Saturday, November 25, 2017

a biggish collection of tiny collages

if you hang out with me on instagram, you'll know that my latest freestyle art obsession has been making tiny (2x3") chipboard-mounted collages, usually in sets of two or four. i'm having fun playing in a completely new way with vintage paper, rubber stamps and tape; also it's a great way to use up some of the smaller illustrations that would get lost on a big project.

the first set i made was way back in may, and featured these tiny sewing pattern ladies. any new project that starts with sewing pattern ladies can hardly help but be awesome, am i right?

some of my collages start by choosing an illustration, cutting it out, and building around it. others make use of bits that were intended for something else but not used. this is an example of the latter, and arguably the flowers are too big... but i like how they grow right out of the frame.

these tiny fish nearly got tossed out, because they're not even half an inch tall. i can see that i'm going to become an even worse hoarder now, since even TINY things work really well for this.

all of these flowers were in one cluster in the little flower book where i found them. i'm not sure why i thought they should go on a background made from a map of metropolitan baltimore, but i stand by that decision...

at some point i realized that even quite a big flower could work on this size of canvas, or rather canvases

my obsession with the "illustrated motorcars of the world" book from this summer amped waaaaaaaaaaaay back up when i discovered the cars are EXACTLY the right size for tiny collages.

playing with scale again... and with dividing the flowers in interesting places. pretty sure you'll be seeing this technique again. (and again... and again...)

hope that all my american friends had an awesome thanksgiving and that my international friends are having the very best weekend of november 2017! 

Friday, November 24, 2017

baby its *GOLD* outside!

we're actually embracing ALL the metals at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ this fortnight, but whereas copper and silver are equally lovely on holiday cards, they don't work at all as puns, lol! and as it happens, i've gone for the gold this week; or rather the golds, plural, since there are five different metallics on my card! a fact i was verrrrrrry excited about, until i tried to get a decent photograph, and then let's just say NOT. SO. MUCH. so please excuse the funky angle of my pic, but honestly, life's too short you guys!!!

patterned papers: dcwv, autumn leaves, october afternoon + 2 gold embossed giftwraps that i xyroned onto cheap white cardstock to make them sturdy enough to diecut; glitter paper: american crafts POW (gold) and doodlebug (creamy white); tattered poinsettia die: tim holtz/sizzix; doily die: cheery lynn creations; glitter tape and pearl brads: eyelet outlet; adhesives: xyron, elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

so let's count those glittery bits, shall we: the mat of my card (which is repeated as the top layer of the big poinsettia) is a grey and gold glossy paper from a wedding stack that i have honestly used for more xmas cards than anything else; in fact the two white-on-white flourishy papers are from the same source. (if you want tone-on-tone elegance in silver, white and gold... look for wedding stacks!) there's some eyelet outlet glitter gold tape dividing the two panels and some gold-mounted pearl brads to hold the flowers together. there are two different glitter papers... gorgeous gold and a creamy white that i've never quite known what to do with because it's really too yellow for snow, unless you want to make hilarious reindeer cards. (turns out it's awesome for poinsettia layers tho!) there are two gold giftwraps (because YES, i'll save the paper off my gifts if it's beautiful and/or sparkly!) that i backed with thin white cardstock to make them strong enough for diecutting. and i think that's it, altho the diecut doily is a sort of odd golden yellow that tones in rather nicely with all of the above, i thought.

i was completely inspired by the fab current sketch saturday layout (#490):

stephanie has her own gorgeous take on holiday heavy metal... why not hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and check that out right this second?!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

So Thankful

As we in the United States prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow, I'm feeling especially grateful for family, friends, health, creativity, and for the Eyelet Outlet team, who are truly some of the nicest and most talented folks you could ever hope to meet!

It was impossible to resist making just one more Thanksgiving card with my favorite autumnal supplies, so I didn't even try not to, lol. This time I applied that awesome watercolor-y Wide Pumpkin Washi to plain white cardstock, added a band of Skinny Orange Tape to the top and bottom, then diecut my letters. I used an orange brush marker to ink the edges just slightly, and popped the letters up on thin strips of foam tape to get a little more dimension.

For my focal accent I stacked a Pumpkin Brad on top of a diecut pumpkin and attached a tiny yellow Mini Stitched Flower Brad and a Mini Leaf. By letting some of the brads overlap each other, it makes for a more cohesive cluster, which perfectly fills the center of a large white Paper Flower. One of my favorite "flower tricks" is to snip apart a few medium-sized green paper flower petals to use as leaves, and I love how they finish off the design.

To trim out the orange gingham patterned paper, I added Clear Bling Strips on top, and a skinny (skinny!) border of Glitter Gold Tape, set off by my favorite retro finishing touch: a border made with scallop patterned deco scissors!

Wishing the happiest of Thanksgiving Days to all of my American friends and a particularly awesome Thursday to the rest of the world! ♥♥♥

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

oh no it's the dreaded TIMED CHALLENGE, lol

this week at shopping our stash the challenge is to create a thank you card. but the twist (because you KNEW there HAD TO be a twist, right?!) is that you have to make it in 30 minutes!!! (and YES, you should set the timer!) i am not a fast crafter, you guys. but i did make a card in pretty close to the allotted time, and i do actually like what i made. so i'm calling this a win!

stickers: funny sticker world (critters), echo park (sun + grass), crate paper (pink scallop border), mme (alphas), michaels (tiny puffy hearts); patterned paper: my mind's eye (clouds) + echo park (polaroid); tapes: little b, love my tapes; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape

i have to admit that whereas i didn't exactly cheat... i definitely stacked the deck in my favor. i figured it'd be good to use all pre-made ingredients, so i concentrated on stickers and tape. i knew it would be a lot faster to do something i've done before than to think up an entirely new concept, so i gathered supplies to make a little scene inside a faux polaroid. i also felt it was absolutely essential to have a road map, so i grabbed the sketch half of the current fusion card challenge:

i confess that i thought about what i wanted to use in advance, and gathered most of my materials before i started the clock. i chose things that wouldn't involve very much fussy cutting and i didn't do any machine stitching. on the other hand, the lack of the latter is kind of bugging me, so there's a definite chance that i'll go back and at least stitch around the outside of the card before i actually mail this baby. ;)

hop over to SOS to see the amazing... and FAST... creations from the rest of my design team darlings! ♥

Saturday, November 18, 2017

junk journal junkies unite!

i had a complete and total blast at the first meeting of paper anthology's new junk journal junkies club last night! and somewhat to my surprise* i actually got quite a bit done!

in fact i made three signatures' worth of pages, bound them together and attached them into a cover** built on top of a 10x13" mailing envelope, which i had actually made the night before, at home.

the pages are a mix of older patterned paper (mostly light cardstock weight) and specialty papers like old notebook paper, semi-transparent graph paper, deli paper, sheet music, ledger paper... well, there's a little bit of everything, really. there are loads of torn edges because i'm still in a torn edge phase, and also i had elected not to lug my guillotine trimmer with me. some of the pages have been folded horizontally or vertically, to create little pockets that i secured with washi or decorative packing tape.

in terms of productivity, one of the things that realllllllly helped me was that i had spent a bit of time earlier this week thinking about what i wanted to work on, and gathering the specific supplies for that particular project. because honestly, sometimes having too many choices is as paralyzing to me as not having enough, lol.

this morning i added some beads to the floss i used to bind my book, then tied it shut with some luscious sari silk that my junk journal idol anna shared with me. btw, she has an awesome etsy shop... just sayin... as a matter of fact, i have an etsy shop, too, called just enough stuff and there are a couple of junque journal starter kits, similar to the ones you can purchase at paper anthology in kenvil, nj. where the next meeting of junk journal junkies will be held on december 15th!***


*my ability to focus is either laser-like intensity or not at all, there is no middle ground with me, lol. so sometimes when there are loads of people and action and supplies, i get more interested in the social aspect of the group, and have a lot of fun without really accomplishing much. which is fine. but it's definitely a bonus to have a great time AND be productive, as well!

**i repurposed a gift wrap sleeve i made as a demonstration in august, in order to show all the steps in this blog post right here

***click over to the paper anthology website to email elisabeth and reserve your space OR call the store at (973) 927-1210. ♥