Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Cheers, My Dears!

It's hard to believe we are in the last week of December already... boy this year flew by! I've been thinking about the new year, and I'm pretty excited about 2018, which is what I'm talking about on the Eyelet Outlet Blog today!

Ever since the first time I saw this beautiful ambery shade of Eyelet Outlet Bling and realized it was called "Champagne" I have had the idea for this card.

I downloaded a piece of copyright-free clipart to use as templates for my glasses and used two strips of Glitter Gold Tape, torn at the top edge, and trimmed neatly at the bottom for the champagne.

My favorite part of this card are the bubbles, made from Champagne Bling Strips that I snipped apart. I think they really look like bubbles, but also... (here's a designer secret for you!) placing them carefully, I was able to hide the seam where my two vertical pieces of tape meet inside each glass! ;)

I made my own patterned paper for the background, by typing "Happy New Year" in a bunch of languages and formatting the text at 9-point size in a free font called "Sunshine Poppy". I saved the file, and it will be on the "Freebies" page of the Eyelet Outlet Blog for you to use, if you wish. I added the year in glittery stickers and matted the whole panel on a piece of cardstock bordered in Skinny Glitter Black Tape.

I hope 2018 will hold everything you wish for! ♥

Sunday, December 24, 2017

christmas is in the bag

so it turns out that washi tape is a bit addictive, especially when it comes to decorating holiday giftbags, lol! here are a few more i made for the nieces and nephew we will see tomorrow... they are all the same design, but use different tapes, bows and initials. 

for jillian 

for lindsay marie

for maddie

for matthew

for riley elizabeth

whether or not you are celebrating christmas, i hope you are having a wonderful, happy, stress-free day and that tomorrow will be everything you hope for!

peace, love and glitter to everybody!!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Very Merry Monograms

If you're anything like me the week before Christmas is all about getting those holiday presents wrapped and delivered, either in person or via the mail. Today I'm on the Eyelet Outlet blog with a fast and easy idea for personalized gift bags, and best of all, it uses something I know you already have in your crafty stash: gorgeous Eyelet Outlet Holiday Washi Tape!

Customized monograms are simple to make, thanks to the fact that our computers come loaded with beautiful fonts. Having measured the front of my plain white, medium-sized, big-box-store gift bags, I knew my oversized initials needed to be just under 8" tall, and no more than 6" wide. Since these bags are for two of my favorite kids, Carlos and Isabel, I tried a few different styles before settling on a free font called Vexler Slip. I gave the letters a medium thick outline in black, but no fill color, so that when I printed them on plain white cardstock, I could apply the washi tape directly on top of the outlines, and still see exactly where to cut out when I was done! Then came the fun part: playing with all my pretty red and green tapes!

I decided to start in the middle of each letter and work towards the top and the bottom in a sort of mirror image arrangement, but honestly there is no bad way to do this and neither precision nor a plan is needed! In fact, this would be a great project for the kiddo's to do: let them go wild adding as many (or few) different styles of tape, in whatever order or pattern they like, until the entire monogram is completely covered with washi. 

There's really only one absolutely necessary step, that comes when all of your tapes are on, but before you cut the letter out: be sure to burnish the tapes really well, to make sure every single one is firmly stuck down. You can use a bonefolder for this, or I use the hard plastic handle of my scissors. Then it's time to cut neatly around the outlines, which, as you can see, are still perfectly visible through the tape. Et voila! Fancy holiday monograms that can decorate a card, a package, or even be strung together to spell out a holiday greeting!

I've used mine, as we know, on a pair of gift bags for my young friends. You can seriously use ANY combination of tapes for a project like this, but in this case my letter C features: super-cute Green Santa TapeHolly Tape, Skinny Merry Christmas, Solid Skinny Bright and Pastel Green; while the design behind the letter on Carlos' bag also has: Skinny Gold Dots, Red Dots, and Vertical Red Trees

Remember to look at all your tapes in the planning stages; I've got quite a few non-holiday reds, greens, pinks and even gold mixed in with my more specifically Christmassy patterns. Basic designs like dots, stripes and solids really do go with everything. On Isabel's initial and bag, I used: Santa Washi Tape, Red DotsMerry Christmas, Skinny Pink Tape, Wide Tree Tape, and Season's Greetings.

Of course good design is important, but really... EVERY gift that's given with love looks beautiful under the Christmas tree, doesn't it?

Wishing the happiest and most joyful of holidays to you and your family! ♥♥♥

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

(gah!) PINK!!!

we've got a very special challenge this time at shopping our stash: first, it'll run for two weeks instead of just one; but also, it's a tribute to our late, great, friend and former SOS leader, leslie hanna, whom we still miss very much. so of course we thought it only fitting to make cards featuring the color leslie absolutely loved... or rather, loved to hate: (gah!) PINK!!!

loose floral watercolor painted with peony, fuchsia, wisteria and lime green colorbursts on strathmore watercolor paper, then cut into small hearts using a set of (absolutely ancient!) provocraft/cuttlebug nested heart dies as templates; love stamp: mft; typewriter alphabet stamps: graphic 45; elderly scraps of cardstock that were just the right size (dontcha love that?!): core'dinations (shimmery charcoal) and bazzill (gah! pink!); glossy white cardstock: paper accents; permanent black pen for outlining: pitt artist pen in S nib by faber castell; inks: ranger archival and distress; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

it's no secret that i love pink as much as leslie disliked it. we often laughed at how complementary our tastes were; as well as the fact that we envied each other's opposite skill sets: leslie wished she had what she called my "collage gene" whereas i always drooled over the fact that she could do CAS design with amazing ease. this card isn't quiiiiiiite "clean and simple" it's more like "grungy and simple" i suppose; mostly bc to this day i cannot use black ink on white cardstock without getting a big smudge. so i deliberately incorporated a bit of mess right from the start, so that my later unintentional booboos would look like "i meant to do that" lol!

i started out with a very loose floral that i painted with my favorite pink shades of colorburst (fuchsia and peony) as well as a tiny bit of wisteria for the flower centers and some lime green leaves. i cut my handmade patterned paper into small heart shapes, outlined and inked the edges and set them aside while i built my grungy but white-space embracing (well, sorta) background. the set of graphic 45 alphabet stamps are one of my all-time faves, but, being wood mounted, they are difficult to line up precisely. on the other hand, once you know that, you can design around their beautiful imperfection. which i did by making a bit of a background for where i thought the hearts would go, using one small "love" stamp from an MFT sentiment set that stephanie gave me, and two shades of pink distress ink (spun sugar and picked raspberry) plus a little bit of off-stamped black ink. then i tacked the hearts on with just a teeny bit of adhesive and machine stitched through the not-quite-center of each one. 

i'm playing along with sketch saturday, who've provided this beautiful sketch to inspire us this week (i have flipped it horizontally):

i hope you'll check out all the gorgeous (gah!) pink creations from my design team darlings at SOS, then start planning one of your own!  ♥♥♥

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... ♥