Sunday, August 20, 2017

collage, collage, color and... more collage

time for a round up of this week's freestyle art:

in addition to being a place to make art, my sketchbook is also where i test pens, try out stamps, debate over ink colors, clean off stencils, and glue random bits of paper that i'm too lazy to clean up properly. so there are some collages that kind of organically evolve over the course of several weeks. this was one of those. on the night i finished it, i only added the top layer of paper scraps, the awesome vintage irish photo, and the colorbursted poppies. which took about 10 minutes.  

or 2 weeks and 10 minutes... 
if you allow for all the other layers...

conversely, this one was built from the ground up on the night i posted it to instagram. it's on a plain white background. which in this case works, because the frame of paper scraps really stands out, and forces your eye inwards to the vintage diving ladies. who *INSIST* on being the stars of this, and would most certainly not put up with any distractingly cool background hijinks on their watch.

just in case you thought there was not going to be any rainbow colorburst action this week... ohhhhhhhhh yes there is. first up, my second go with the skinny skinny artist pinstriping tape, which does indeed work considerably better as ONE single layer. the cloudy swirly-looking bits in each color are what you get if you add a single drop of platinum colored liquid metal to very wet colorburst watercolor, in a way that i saw ken oliver do in this video. pretty much totally in love with liquid metals now. ♥

during ICAD i had a bit of a mini-obsession with handcutting the layers of a mandala from vintage paper, colorburst pages, patterned paper... anything that came to hand, really. this is my first effort at a "full sized" piece in that method. it's about 9x9". the fact that some of the layers are made from watercolor paper means that they were harder to attach (i've done a bit of absolutely necessary machine stitching to go with the purely decorative machine stitching!) 

you can also bend them a bit to make the mandala petals stick up like a lotus flower. see?

this is one of the fastest collages i've ever made. until i had to find a background. which took FOR-flippin'-EVER!!! i have no idea why. i don't even really love the ledger paper i settled on, but at some point ya gotta glue things up and go to bed, kwim?

hope this finds you in the midst of the

Friday, August 18, 2017

old fashioned christmas

time for a brand new prompt at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and this fortnight we are celebrating all things vintage! as you know, i happen to loooooooove vintage paper and ephemera, in fact i even built my etsy shop, just enough stuff, around it! but for this challenge you needn't have actual OLD stuff; you can use vintage-style products or images; we've also got a few digital scans over at jingle belles that you are welcome to test drive! but basically, we just want to see holiday cards using whatever conveys an "old fashioned" vibe to you!

vintage goodies: sheet music, darkly patina-ed dictionary paper, greenscale forest-y illustration from an old christmas ideals magazine, lace "liberated" from my mom's trimmings collection; cherry wood veneer paper: altenew; glitter paper: american crafts POW; patterend paper: authentique, glitz design; cardstock: bazzill; ink: prima; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, scotch gluestick, sewing machine

I'm absolutely in love with this "small cabin" die from impression obsession, it has exactly the right amount of detail, imo. the first time out, i cut all the cabin bits from both plaid paper and sheet music and tried to use the inlay method to combine them, a procedure i found frustratingly fiddly. so finally i put a bit of adhesive on the backs of the plaid window frame and door/porch section, stuck them both to an uncut scrap of sheet music, and trimmed off the excess with scissors. it was *MUCH* easier, and i honestly don't think you can see the difference in the finished card!

my layout was inspired by this lovely roadmap from sketch saturday, which i think you'll agree is pretty flippin' awesome. sadly, i didn't realize until too late that it was LAST WEEK's sketch. so obviously i can't link up, but i still thank them for the inspiration! ♥

stephanie also has a gorgeous vintage-inspired card that you will love; and there may actually be a little prize involved this week...? so i'm pretty sure you need to hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ darlings!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Love and Butterflies

It's my day on the Eyelet Outlet Blog where I mention that I had the very great pleasure of meeting Suzanne Marchesano, the owner of Eyelet Outlet, and my design team sister Kim Venezia at the Stamp and Scrapbook Expo in Edison, NJ last week! Let me just say this: if you ever get the chance to visit the EO booth in person, TAKE IT, because seeing that many cool brads, washi tape varieties and types of bling all together in one place... not to mention ALL of the amazing samples made by the EO designers... is just sooooooooooo very cool! I guarantee you'll come away with loads of inspiration as well as fantastic products; though I confess I did get some really cool goodies, too! This week I'm all about butterflies!

I was inspired by the gorgeous Butterfly Music Wide Washi Tape, which I've paired with Butterfly Brads, Butterfly Profile Brads, and Mini Butterfly Brads, to make a card and a tag in two different colorways. I should mention that all of the butterfly varieties come with an assortment of colors in the same packet, so you don't have to choose just pink or just yellow... you can have the whole rainbow on one card if you like!

At the show on Saturday, Suzanne told me a really cool idea she had for using our Long Bling Strips to frame silhouetted shapes, so I definitely wanted to give that a try. I've used them on straight outlines before, but it didn't occur to me that I could bend them into softer lines, around curves?

It worked really well, though. I took a Pearl Black Bling Strip, started at one end of a butterfly diecut I'd fashioned from cardstock covered with Music Note Tape, and kept following the contour all the way around. I *LOVE* how this came out, so you'll definitely be seeing the technique again!

To finish up the card I framed the Butterfly Music Tape with some Pink Argyle Tape and loads of machine stitching.

For the tag, I used most of the same ingredients, but in a scaled down version, and with yellow butterflies instead of pink. This time I used the leftover Pearl Black Bling Strips as a border to the Butterfly Music Tape, which is one of the fastest ways to get totally elegant dimension and texture on any project.

Of course, since the Bling Strips are 12 inches long, come four to a packet, are available in both gem and pearl versions, and sport LOTS of colors...there's sure to be a variety that's perfect for whatever you'd like to make today! ♥

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

chillaxin' and relaxin'

did you know that today (aug 15) is national relaxation day? ok, nor did i, until i saw this week's challenge at shopping our stash. but now that we're all aware of this crucial fact, it's no surprise that what we'd like is for you to create a card or project that illustrates something you find relaxing. personally, i like the beach; it's the one place in the world where i can just sit still*. and, as my lovely blogging friend sue crease will attest, i'm always especially happy when i have a good excuse to add a totally gratuitous flamingo to my project, wahey! :)

loads of ancient stash-using bits in this card, woohoo! patterned paper: echo park, my mind's eye, amy tangerine, basic grey; stickers: doodlebug, photoplay, echo park; glossy black cardstock: ranger; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape

i was inspired by a great sketch at sketch saturday:

since this card is for my niece lindsay, who is quite a beach bunny, i'm also jumping in on the current simon says stamp wednesday challenge blog theme which is "for a child".

why not celebrate national relaxation day with a leisurely stroll through the amazing projects by my DT sisters at shopping our stash?!

*if you know me IRL, you'll realize what a big deal it is, for an old-school hyperactive type like myself to sit still, lol. ♥

Sunday, August 13, 2017


would this be a good time for some random sketchbook goodness that i've perpetrated during the first two weeks of august? (be a sport and say, "yes" k, otherwise the whole rest of this post falls kinda flat.)

having spent the first two years of my colorburst watercolor enthusiam trying to apply the pigment neatly in controlled ways, i'm now really into drips, drops, runs and spatters! obviously. :)

it is written: "any random collage is enhanced by the presence of a 1970's sewing pattern lady". ok, technically, it was written by me. but that doesn't make it wrong, surely?

again with the messy colorburst. in this case, the outer bits started to run unexpectedly, so i just went with it, and the result is actually quite a bit cooler (imo) than what i was originally trying to achieve. this is why PLAYING with art supplies is such a crucial endeavor in the laurniverse.

i have a ginormous art crush on a collage artist called sophie klerk. this piece was 100% inspired by a collage she made a couple of weeks ago.

an experiment with pinstriping tape, that very nearly almost worked, lol. it turns out that you don't want to put more than one layer of this tape down at any one time, bc the upper layers will not be sufficiently attached to your paper to mask it. which is a bummer if you want perfectly crisp lines and pure colors; OR a positive boon if you want them to mix grungily at the borders!!! ;)

hope you are having an awesome weekend that includes at least a little bit of art play and LOADS of gorgeous bright color, darlings! ♥♥♥

Friday, August 11, 2017

peaceful poinsettias

it's the classic crafty dilemma: you want to play with stamps and colorbursts in your art journal, but you need to make a christmas card. the solution? figure out a way to make the art journal playing session into a card. thankfully, we're still celebrating "peace on earth" at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and since the requirements are to use the word "peace" on your card OR use a peace sign OR create a scene that evokes peace, i found that by choosing the first one, it was definitely a do-able task:

poinsettia stamps, colorburst pigment powders and liquid metals: ken oliver crafts; background stamps and inks: tim holtz/ranger; peace die: spellbinders; cardstock: bazzill; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape

since i knew this was going to be a christmas card, i tailored my choice of colors and stamps accordingly. for my background, i got out alizarin crimson, cadmium scarlet, fuchsia and lime colorburst, and added in liquid metals in verdi gris and iron oxide. i had a lot of fun sprinkling and spritzing the colors to get a panel that was mostly red with some pops of green in it. then i set to with a few text and pattern stamps in various shades of red and green to add more dimension. by then i had a panel which looked like this:

after everything was well and truly dry, i went back and stamped the poinsettias in the reddest portions of the panel and embossed them in white. i had been planning to diecut the poinsettias --it's a ken oliver cut-n-color set-- and stamp the word "peace" in an oversized alphabet, but i decided that i really liked the whole panel as it was, so i changed tactics and diecut the sentiment instead. i cut it from a deep red cardstock and it looked good, but it didn't stand out quite as much as i'd've liked. in digital design, when this happens, you just add a drop shadow. as soon as my mind registered that fact, i realized it was possible to do that irl, if i cut it again, from a scrap of black cardstock and layered it, just slightly offset, behind the red. so that's what i did. problem solved.

stephanie has also got a beautiful new card to show you. i hope you'll hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and see that right now!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Just Hoppin' By...

...with a fun and easy birthday card that uses our adorable Eyelet Outlet Frog Set Brads

Each set includes frogs, cattails, and lily pads with both purple and yellow flowers. So you can make a whole little miniature scene! 

I've built my tiny frog habitat inside the fun music-themed chipboard letters from my Etsy Shop, Just Enough Stuff; then placed it in a "pond" made with Blue and White Dots Washi water set above a Skinny Green Washi shoreline.

Don't FROG-et to check out all the other cuuuuute critter brads in the Eyelet Outlet Store and check out the designer inspiration every day on the EO Blog! ♥

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

spice up your life

just in case you're wondering about the title of this week's shopping our stash challenge, let me just tell you right off that it isn't food- or even color-related. nope. we'd like to see... (wait for it, because i'm preeeeeeeettttttty sure you won't guess this one, lol!) ...a card inspired by one of the spice girls!!! ok, yeah, i confess that the first time i read that, i did a double take and a miniony, "whaaaaaaaaa??!?!" but then i did a quick mental review of the spice girls: scary, sporty, baby, ginger and posh and realized there are A LOT of ways to go with this! plus, secretly, we on design teams like hosting the occasional challenge that is a bit hard to guess; that way we can see who only reads the titles on an aggregator site and links to 47 challenges without actually bothering to read the any of challenge blogs' pages. bwahahahahahaha! (ok, it might only be me who enjoys that, and i'm a bit sheepish to admit it, but there ya go.)

meanwhile, i decided to go with "posh" as my inspirational spice girl, and here's my card:

only just realizing that there isn't much in the way of papercrafting products here, unless we count the dreamweaver crackle embossing paste and liquitex gesso? other than that there is still stash, but it's vintage or upcycled: a page from a vintage horitcultural dictionary, with the aforesaid embossing paste thru stencils from tcw, wendi vecchi and penny black; a swatch of bamboo and one of sheer fabric; a pearl applique from M&J trimmings; vintage seambinding, leaf illustration and rose photo; thin chipboard substrate: paper accents; adhesives: xyron, sookwang tape, gluedots and lots and lots of machine stitching!
ok, yes, even for me, this has A LOT OF STUFF and it's all top-drawer! a friend of mine who designs custom window treatments recently shared a bunch of older/surplus swatches with me, so i now have an utterly luscious little hoard of luxury fabrics AND some neat wood and bamboo samples, like the one i've used here. since it's a bit heavier than the typical card fodder, i fused my vintage paper background to some lightweight chipboard, and used the sewing machine to attach the fussy-cut chiffon fabric and the pearl applique to the bamboo panel, and then again to secure the bamboo panel to the background. it was definitely a bit slow-going (i had to manually advance the machine to span all of those wider wooden slats) but i feel like everything is on there quite securely and there's definitely enough texture and interest... even for ME, lol!

plus i think you'll agree: it's pretty darned POSH, right?!

be sure to check out the rest of the spicy goodness from my design team darlings over at shopping our stash! ♥

Friday, August 4, 2017

♥PEACE♥ on earth

it's time for a brand new theme at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and this time we're going with "peace on earth". you have a few different choices for this one: you can incorporate the word "peace" in your card, use a peace sign, or even just evoke a scene or image that feels peaceful to you. so put on your thinking cap and see what you can come up with! i was headed in a completely different direction when i re-discovered my stash of colorful eyelet outlet peace sign brads!

patterned paper: doodlebug, echo park, elle's studio; peace sign brads, heart brad, red enamel dots, skinny stripe washi tape: eyelet outlet; sentiment sticker: doodebug; bakery twine: from an actual bakery, i swear!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :) adhesives: elmers brad glue tape, 3m foam tape, ordinary scotch tape (to secure the twine at the back of the panel), sewing machine

i was inspired by this awesome "road map" from tuesday morning sketches:

stephanie also has a brilliant card to show you. why not hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and check it out, darlings?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Are You Ready For Your Close-Up?

I never stop being amazed by the things that can inspire me. Eyelet Outlet Brads and Washi Tape are an endless source, obviously, but this week I found some cool new ways to use them, thanks to a $2 camera stamp from the bargain bin at a big box crafting store. The three cards I made are all on the Eyelet Outlet Blog today!

My first idea was to pair the camera with the Selfie Brad set. I love that the packets contain six smart phones and six "Selfie" badges, and that the phones come in a few different colors. Although obviously, my favorites are the pink ones, lol! That being the case, I paper pieced the camera stamp in some neutral grey papers with an accent of Skinny Stars Washi. I used a Pink Heart Enamel for the lens and a Pink Enamel Dot for the button, with a small clear gem as the flash.  

My next idea happened because when I made the "Beach" card a couple of weeks ago, I had a pineapple-- with adorable Sunglass Brad--  and a palm tree all ready to go, but wound up not needing them. Somehow they became the stars of their very own faux polaroid, with a sky made from Blue Dots Washi and torn Glitter Gold Tape as the sandy beach. Of course I needed a Sunshine Brad and I paper pieced another camera, this time using Skinny Green Stripe Washi with Yellow Enamel Heart and Dot accents

Faux polaroids are quite a favorite of mine, so my third card uses another one. The sentiment "Oh Snap" works really well for anything from a belated birthday to a get well card, so I kept the rest of the embellishments pretty simple so that it could be used for many different occasions. I used the leftover pieces from the first grey camera, but this time I used Red Enamels and Skinny Clouds Tape to accent the body. I "matted" the strip of camera-patterned paper with Glitter Silver tape, just to make it stand out a tiny bit more. I actually had the whole card put together when I spotted another pair of Sunglass Brads sitting on my work table, and I just couldn't resist adding them as well. 

The next time you have trouble choosing between more than one card idea, why not get out your Eyelet Outlet embellishments and make them all?! ♥

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

christmas in... august?

that's right! just when christmas in july is safely over, this week's challenge at shopping our stash is called, "countdown to christmas" and we want you to make just one more hot weather holiday card. i was secretly kind of excited about this, because i still had a new pretty pink posh stamp set from my coffee loving cardmakers' summer blog hop prize* that i hadn't test driven yet. so this was the perfect chance.

"holiday pals" stamp set: pretty pink posh, colored with tombow dualbrush pens and prismacolour pencils; brad accessories (glasses, elf hat, antlers): eyelet outlet; patterned paper: doodlebug, elle's studio, dcwv, american crafts + loads of ancient tiny green scraps for the paper-pieced trees; fence die: lawn fawn; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, gluedots, sewing machine

by now i think everyone knows that coloring tiny creatures so they have a bit of shading and so forth is pretty much my achilles heel. so i'm not even going to mention how long it took me to make these three cuties "card ready"... luckily they are so adorable that it was worth it! one of the reasons i chose this set (it's called "holiday pals") is because i had the feeling some of the cute eyelet outlet brads, like the elf hats, glasses and antlers, would work perfectly with the critters and i stand by that decision. midway through cutting out ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL those trees i was regretting my decision not to spring for the coordinating die set, and i would not rule out a return trip to the P3 online store, lol!

i'm playing along at sketch saturday, and since it's a "fifth saturday" we could choose any sketch from the archive. i went with #273 because it's awesome, and also, i thank it for remining me i had that cool fence die, which would work really well with the P3 stamps!

and now you really need to check out my SOS dt darlings' work over at shopping our stash! ♥

*i was lucky enough to win a $25 gc to pretty pink posh, with which i was able to choose THREE stamp sets and only went over my total by $2 woohoo! ♥