Friday, November 27, 2015

sometimes the leftovers...

...are better than the original meal! this is true for food... (may i offer you a turkey sandwich with cranberry sauce? oh, i see you have one already!) ...and also in cardmaking, which is why this fortnight at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ we're making cards that feature "holiday leftovers" by which we mean: paper scraps, offcuts, an image you colored or diecut or fussy-cut but never used, a small piece of ribbon too pretty to toss away, the last sticker in the packet or... whatever "leftover" thingybobs you have laying around. Of course you can mix in new stuff, too. because it'd be fiscally irresponsible *not* to partake of some crafty black friday sales, wouldn't it?! here's my card:

scraps of embossed watercolor paper previously tinted with various distress inks; vintage music paper scraps stenciled using a rather runny mixture of glazing medium and blue colorburst powders that i deemed too messy for the original project i was working on, but liked enough to save; peacock blue poinsettias from a garland i bought last year to hang on our stairs and which ended the season with some -AHEM- "bald spots" lol; snowflake punched from pink paislee patterned paper; october afternoon chipboard snowflake sticker; my mind's eye brad; paper accents white glossy cardstock base

once again, unintentionally, my card turned out to be composed entirely of scraps... what can i say? i've got A LOT of scraps! in this case, i found a few that were too small to make a whole card, so i teamed them up together, kind of like a quilt block. btw, that is one of my top tips for paper scrap usage: check out blogs and patterns and pinterest boards that relate to applique and quilting-- because sewing people definitely know a thing or two about how to turn tiny unrelated items into glorious art!!! ♥

speaking of glorious art, why not hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ where you can see stephanie's card and all the glorious eye candy in the readers' gallery!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

no, i didn't set the challenge this week... shopping our stash, that is. and in fact, this particular challenge, in recognition of the fact that it spans american thanksgiving with all of its lovely family, food, friends, football and other assorted ♥AWESOMENESS♥ is going to span two weeks, so we've tried pretty hard to make it extra-fab! i mention this because you may think when you hear that it's "no stamping" that it kind of sounds like my idea, lol. but no. it was a nice "freestyle" assignment for me, though. especially when i remembered i haven't gotten to play with the fusion gals in a bit (so that gave me a nice little jumpstart); but let me show you my card and then i'll tell you about it:

patterned paper: basic grey; colorburst powders (pre-mixed and used like especially blendy watercolor paints): ken oliver crafts; harlequin stencil: tim holtz (filled with faber castell "whipped spackle", highlighted with viva inkagold in soft pink, made a little more opaque with a white AC galaxy marker); outlining pen: faber castell pitt in XS; grey marker for shadows: tombow; white glossy cardstock: paper accents; watercolor paper: strathmore; ink: colorbox; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape runner, sewing machine

i did use both halves of the current fusion challenge, which is called "warm welcome". the sketch is off-the-charts cool; the colors are perfection (admittedly i "pinked them up" a little bit, lol!); the handwriting on the pumpkin was a great excuse to practice my hand-lettering (and machine-stitch outlining); and the flowers inspired me to watercolor with colorbursts, which is always fun.

head on over to SOS to see loads more gorgeous "no stamping" projects and leave a little love for my DT sisters! and remember you'll have *TWO WEEKS* to link up your very own masterpiece! ♥

Monday, November 23, 2015

inky AND collagey AND stencilly!!!*

the current theme at sisters with heart in art was set by *ME* (woohoo!) and it's "CIRCLES" so if you have an idea for a card, ATC, art journal page, photograph, sketch, or... well... whatever... take a pic of it, and post it to our instagram group with the hashtag #sisterswithheartinart so we can all come and love it! here's what i did; not at all what i thought i was doing at the time** but i think i actually love it more than the idea which was in my head, so that's nice, right?!

the central image is a stencil... carolyn dube's "opera house" by stencil girl products, actually, and i'm somewhat obsessed with it. most of the rest of the images were cut from magazines, though there are a few bits of music paper that were used to blot something inky or finish up tinted modelling paste or both-- it turns out that even the "rejects" of those are nice when you cut them up... so HOORAY i now have an excuse to save even more and weirder bits of paper!!! :0

would you like an excuse to play with your art supplies and glue things randomly into a journal??! because sisters with heart in art exist entirely to support you in your quest!!! ♥♥♥

*and YES, those are real words! ok sorta real. you knew what i meant, right? then they're perfectly adequate, lol! 

**tell me i'm not the only one this happens to: you set out with A PLAN and the next thing you know you've used THE PLAN as a blueprint for doing everything except that which was in THE PLAN...? i'm not complaining, i'm just marvelling how my art brain takes over at times, i just hope it doesn't start doing that when i'm driving or paying bills or other activities that aren't ummmmm.... "creativity-friendly"! :)

Friday, November 20, 2015

leftovers *BEFORE* thanksgiving?!

ok, yeah, it sounds a bit bass-ackwards, but that's what we're recommending at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ this fortnight! not leftover food however, instead we're making holiday cards that use scraps, offcuts, an image you colored but never used, the last sticker in the packet or... whatever "leftover" bits and bobs you have laying around.  oh and be sure to *tell* us what your leftovers are so we can marvel at your cleverness! here's my card and then i'll essplain:

except for the cardstock base, ALL the ingredients for this card were "leftovers" woohoo! (tho of course your card can also include as much new stuff as you'd like!) paper scraps: pebbles, ki memories, studio calico; ribbon scrap: making memories (i THINK?!); brads: basic grey; orphaned "jingle" sticker: creative imaginations; santa and sleigh: previously fussy cut from a scanned and resized vintage children's book illustration, but not used at the time; glossy white cardstock: paper accents; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape

but first: can someone pleeeeeeeeeease reassure me that i'm not the only one with a sub-category of supplies that look like this? (...tho presumably yours is less messy and doesn't involve grungy old envelopes...)

in my defense, i make a lot of layery, collagey cards, and i tend to "dry fit" things together before committing to an actual design. so i tend to wind up with LOADS of stickers cut away from their backing sheet, diecuts that were made in several colors before i decided which i liked, and all the usual bits of paper that were too small to live in my ordinary file-folder-like storage but to big to toss away. on the plus side, this sort of arrangement means that for the card above i was able to use ALL "leftovers" and still have plenty of choice, lol!

i used sketch saturday #387 again because i suddenly thought that those little "wings" coming out from the focal section would be cool as a bit of RIBBON threaded through the back of a journal card and fastened down with brads. admittedly this is impossible to see in the main photo, so here's a better shot:

head on over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ to check out stephanie's lovely card and start planning your own "leftover" masterpiece!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


just in time for thanksgiving here in the us, this week's challenge at shopping our stash is, simply, "thanks" and you can use it to make thanksgiving-themed items, or ordinary thank you cards, or heck, you could get a jump-start on holiday thank you cards! though if you're that organized and ahead of the game, i'd kind of appreciate you keepin' it to yourself, kthx. ♥ i went with "ordinary thank you card" after stumbling upon a few nearly-forgotten pink paislee items and instantly being re-smitten.

journal card: (it's actually 2 pink paislee scraps, frankensteined together!); patterned paper: basic grey, pink paislee, echo park; washi tape: little b and october afternoon; yellow fabric thickers: american crafts via the lovely miss leslie, ta v much!; flowers: a very old white hydrangea stem from michaels that is now very nearly bald, lol; brads: oriental trading co; ink: colorbox; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, gluedots, sewing machine

see the cool journal card in the center? wouldja believe it was the offcuts of two different ones that i strategically patched together with washi tape? part of me is uber-proud of this manoeuver; the other part is dismayed to have my "save-every-stupid-scrap" mentality validated. but there ya go, life is like that. something about which i am utterly unconflicted is the use of a sketch saturday layout in the making of awesome cards; as week #387 proves quite conclusively:

another thing that's always a great idea, is checking out the glorious work of my SOS teammates, so why not avail yourself of that treat right now, darlings?! ♥

Friday, November 13, 2015

hungry yet?

i don't know about you, but i could eat holiday treats pretty much ANY time; ok who are we kidding, i could eat *any* type of treat pretty much any time, i've definitely got a sweet tooth! it's much less ruinous to the waistline, however, to come on over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and make cards which feature such yummy christmas foods as gingerbread, cocoa, candycanes, sugar plums... or yes, there's always figgy pudding!

patterned paper: pebbles, october afternoon, my mind's eye, basic grey, fancy pants; figgy pudding sticker: echo park; journal card: elle's studio; twine: doodlebug; textured brown cardstock: bazzill; ink: colorbox; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine 

i have to confess that i don't actually enjoy *eating* xmas pudding... but there are sooooooo many cute images out there and i can never resist those! this one is an echo park sticker from a couple of years ago that i was unconsciously hoarding, lol. i paired it with an elle's studio journal card and half a doily that was just fortuitously hanging out in my "offcuts" envelope. i've used the current retro sketch (#189) to guide my layout:

seriously, you should hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ for one thing, stephanie has an awesome card to show you and for another the figgy pudding readers' gallery is fantabulous! ♥

Thursday, November 12, 2015

is there a 12-step program for stencil addicts??

...not that i'd *GO* you understand... i was just wondering. i think i'm past the point of no return, actually. as proof i offer my journal page for this week's sisters with heart in art prompt, which is "hues of blue":

can you guess how many different stencils i used on this? (if your answer is, "too many" then just scroll down, it gets better, lol) let's count them, shall we: 1. my own handcut buddha from over the summer; 2. heidi swapp butterflies; 3. stencil girl "dots and dashes"; 4. folk art large quatrefoil; 5 and 6. tim holtz flourishes and flowery lace. ok, so six... that's not too many, is is... nahhhhhhh... not even a whole baseball team, for pete's sake!

here's last week's SWHIA prompt, "thankful" for which i didn't use any stencils, just a handwriting background and a sort of tattoo-style design i drew because i've always loved that old school ed hardy look:

this next one we're back to stencils... but only ONE; it's called "1700's building" and it's also from stencil girl, who make these utterly brilliant 9x12" stencils where you can use the whole thing and fill a page or layer it in segments or... whatever. for this one, i was totally "enabled" by my instagram friend saskia, who used it soooooo magnificently that i HAD TO have it! (had to!) next time i think i'll put it over a less-busy background; but i just wanted to have a "play" and this page was an abandoned collage that had a few scraps of vintage paper, a little bit of leftover colorburst, and some handwriting. (i no longer tear out "reject" pages from my sketchbook... i know that at some point i will add to them or cover them up, or use them to test paint colors or... well, i just feel like it adds something to how i work/play if i leave EVERYTHING in there...)

so what are ♥YOU♥ addicted to right now? and would you give it up, if you could, or do you --like me-- find it more fun to wallow and enjoy? discuss. :) :) :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

cowboy boot... rhymes with "CUTE"!

this week's challenge at shopping our stash is called "howdy, partner" and the brief is to use something found in the wild west of the united states, such as horses, cowboys/cowgirls, cowboy boots, native americans, buffalo, cacti, tumbleweeds... you get the idea, right? i confess that when i read the description i had a tiny little panic because i was fairrrrrrrrly certain i did not own anything that would even remotely work. i searched my stash pretty carefully anyway, because often there's an item i've forgotten, or even entirely failed to notice because the theme is so far off my radar. but no, not this time. not. one. single. thing. ugh. which, as it turns out, was kind of good, because it meant i had to build something from the ground up --i decided on a cowgirl boot-- and the result is pretty flippin' adorable if i do say so myself. which... apparently... i do, lol! :)

cowgirl boot paper-pieced using a clipart image; vintage sheet music of streets of laredo from an old childrens songbook-- resized and printed on plain white cardstock; patterned paper: prima, my mind's eye, american crafts, crate, frances meyer... plus some small scraps of faux embossed leather saved for reasons i cannot possibly imagine, but i was really glad i had done it, lol; ancient, paleolithic era leather flower: k and co; brads: mme; measuring tape ribbon and star charm: tim holtz; ink:colorbox chalk in dark brown and charcoal; pen: faber castell pitt outliner in XS; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape and gluestick, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

here's a totally gratuitous close-up of the boot, because it had a number of fairly small parts i had to cut out and ink and attach; plus machine stitching on the very verrrrrrry edge of those was somewhat tedious, and i've been fighting a cold all weekend. so frankly, i just feel like i need to put a second photo in this post, please excuse me. but i will point out that the thing that really makes paper-piecing work (imo!) is exactly this sort of tiny fiddly detail, which is not particularly --ok, let's be honest, it's not at all fun to do --but i think is worth the effort:

as it turns out, i did wind up having *one* western-themed item, and that was a piece of sheet music for "the streets of laredo" that i found in an old children's music book. i had ruled out its use because at 8x10" it was too big a card background even for me! but then i remembered i could scan and resize it, so i did. i based my proportions around the current layout (#386) from sketch saturday, which illustrates exactly what i looooooooove about sketches, because see that tilty backgound mat? it's pretty much my favorite part of the card, and i would not ever (EVER!) have thought of doing that, not if i lived to be 107 and made cowgirl boot cards every single week. but debra from sketch saturday thought of it, for which she has my admiration and thanks! ♥

speaking of admiration, you can spend plenty of yours on the luscious DT cards at SOS... why not go and do that right now, darlings?!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

what to do with leftover colorburst

but first let me essplain: yes, colorburst can be used in its powdered state and you can do many fun and interesting things to get serendipitous "bursts" of color... hence the name. but one of my favorite ways to use it is just to put a small amount of each color into a compartmentalized palette --ideally with a few empty pans between each, so i can mix in the adjoining ones to get more shades-- then wet each color separately and use them exactly like regular watercolor paints. which is how i wind up with leftovers. because once it's wet, you have to use it up. so i do.

another cool thing about it already being wet is that you can get awesome "wet into wet" blendy techniques. on the other hand, you can add the colors one at a time, let them dry, and layer over with another color later. i did a little bit of both on these fish:

but most of the time, the "using up" process is happening at the end of the night when i've already worked on my primary project, so there's a pretty good chance i will not have another GREAT IDEA or the energy to embark on one. so sometimes i just paint lines. does that seem boring? well, maybe, but it's the good kind of boring, imo... the kind that's just repetitive enough to be sort of soothing... which is awesome just before bedtime. plus, just as the majority of drawing is about line control,a big chunk of painting is about brush control and knowing which brush to use when. and lines are great for that. they make nice backgrounds, too:

sometimes i only have a little colorburst left over, or only a few colors. i've been known to paint squares or circles (or wedges or stripes or... whatever) on a big piece of watercolor paper over several evenings, until it's full. it can take a while, but there's no statute of limitations on watercolor, lol. when it's finally finished, sometimes i stencil over the top, or use it as a background. sometimes i just go crazy with a really juicy pen and call it done. :)

speaking of done, i think i am. so i bid you a fond farewell and a happy artsy day, darlings! ♥

Friday, November 6, 2015

gettin' figgy with it! :)

figgy pudding, that is. because we're celebrating the foods of christmas at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ this fortnight. won't you join us? here's my card:

patterned paper: pebbles, elle's studio, echo park; chocolate brown cardstock: core'dinations; cardstock cookies and popcorn sticker: pebbles; candy cane flair: studio calico; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

you can see i've concentrated on the sweets and treats... two of my favorite things about the holidays! there were several years of my childhood in which we really did string popcorn and cranberries for our tree. i remember that it took aggggggggggggggggges to complete; mostly because we kids (and my dad!) ate most of the popcorn before it could become garland, lol!

i've used miss leslie's awesome crooked stamper sketch challenge #10 for my card's layout, i think you'll agree it's pretty easy to see why!

head on over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ to see stephanie's card and link up your own fabulous feast-based greeting!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

SOS226: light my fire

here in the us, we put the clocks back last saturday night, when daylight savings time ended for 2015; which kind of reminds us that in the northern hemisphere it gets dark quite a bit earlier at this time of year. so we're celebrating ♥LIGHT♥ this week at shopping our stash, which means we want to see some source of light on your project. whether that's the sun, a light bulb, the spotlight, a street lamp, fire place, candles, christmas lights, a menorah; well, you've probably got the picture; or should i say, "you've seen the light"?! ok, no... i definitely shouldn't say that... in fact, i'm sorry it even came up. soooooooo... wanna see my card???

scraps of yellow patterned paper: k and co, pink paislee, doodlebug, crate, glitz, american crafts, studio calico and... nope, i think that's it; watercolor sky made with artist loft paints on strathmore paper; glossy white cardstock: paper accents; chipboard and pleather thickers: american crafts (via miss leslie, ta v much!); deco scissors: michaels; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

yep, i went with the sun. as a light source --and a metaphor, actually-- it's hard to beat. plus, there are so many fun ways to visualize the sun in a cardmaking context. i've used the patterned paper circle + rays more than once, and i'm sure i'll continue to do so, because i always have little scraps laying around and i always love using them up. in this case i've put them atop a watercolored sky and added my sentiment in a few different types of thickers. not exactly reinventing the wheel, but i like how it came out.

something else i like is seeing what all my lovely SOS teamies will do with any given challenge, and i think you'll enjoy that too, so off you go, darlings! ♥♥♥

Monday, November 2, 2015

what to do with leftover stuff

more sketchbook/art journal catch-up for you today. all of these are a bit random, but the thing they have in common is they're what i did with supplies leftover from other things i had worked on that day, or sometimes the past couple of days. this doesn't necessarily produce an awesome finished pieces, but it's interesting as an exercise. and it's waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more fun than cleaning up, lol!

ok, so leftover gesso: i was at the end of the container, actually, which had got a bit gloppy and it was hard to reach at the very bottom. so i poured the remains onto a paper plate and then just swiped it onto random book pages --with a brush, with an old gift card, with my fingers-- in whatever designs seemed interesting. i have a bunch of these now, that i can grab whenever i need a base. this one wound up underneath my drawing of "autumn leaves" for 365 doodles with johanna fritz:

leftover modelling paste, sewing pattern and aloha lady. oh and some book paper, too: these were all from different days; i tend to let vintage paper offcuts sit in a pile near my work table, so i can grab them when i have extra paint, modelling paste, embossing paste, colorburst... whatever... it seems a shame to waste it, so i'll use whatever stencil or tool is already dirty and just swipe on the leftovers. sometimes the results sit for ages, sometimes they get tossed out, sometimes there's another leftover item the next night that seems like it'd work well. this page got a little bit of all those techniques, lol: 

leftover torn paper, acrylic paint, tinted modelling paste and sequins: another multi-night scenario-- i used the paper scraps to make a background. i put some waaaaaaay-too-bright blue quatrefoils on another night. i put the white hexies on another night. in between there were various stencils with distress inks and some schoolbus yellow acrylic paint that seared my retinas. again, i stress that these pieces are more about process and seeing what will happen after the next layer and the next... but having said that, they sometimes really grow on me!

this one's kind of a hybrid leftover, it's a rejected background and an orphaned mandala: the background was my first attempt at a home for the "aloha" collage i posted a few days ago. it was way too dark, and the flourishes didn't show up much, and the hearts were, ummmmm... UGH... etc, etc. meanwhile the completely unrelated mandala was painted freehand on a scrap of watercolor paper with leftover colorburst watercolors one night. and i liked it but... whaddaya do with HALF a mandala?? so both of these just sat for a while, until i saw this awesome post of francisa nunes' and i thought, "AHA!" so i combined them. and i really like them together much more than either one on its own:

so what do *YOU* do with leftovers? save 'em? toss 'em? keep the ones that seem promising until you run out of space? i'm always interested (you could say NOSY lol!) in other peoples' art-making habits, so i'd love to hear what you do! ♥