Tuesday, February 28, 2017

is it SPRING yet??!?!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, February 27, 2017

modular mandala canvases

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

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

Friday, February 24, 2017

the coast is clear...

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

a barrage of collage? (yes, please!)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

laissez les bon temps rouler!

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Turtle-y Awesome Tags!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, February 17, 2017

let me make myself perfectly CLEAR

at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ this week, i mean. our new prompt is called "it came upon a midnight clear" and we want to see... (can you guess?!) ...holiday cards with at least one see-through element! what kind of element, you ask? howsabout: glass, a transparency, some vellum, acetate or "ghost" shapes, clear stickers, lucite buttons, shrink plastic... in other words, whatever you like! basically, if you can see through it --and figure out how to attach it!-- you can link it up! i made a card on a transparency base. i LOVE making those! riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight up to the time i have to (clumsily) photograph them. (grrrr.) but i think you can get the idea of what i've done, right?

snowflake transparency base: the late, great, hambly screen prints; patterned paper: kaisercraft; poinsettia flowers and glitter snowflake: michaels; blue clear-edge bling, clear swirl bling, small round brad and wide glitter winter washi: eyelet outlet; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, gluedots

i've only got a few precious hambly holiday transparency sheets left; despite the fact that my lovely blogging partner and crafty bff, stephanie, has managed to find a few more for me each year since hambly have gone out of business. this year she also found something called foiled acetate, from a new-to-me brand called hunkydory that i really like, as well. for this card i followed the current sketch saturday layout and had a fun time deciding which elements of the sketch should be placed on the outside of the card (the snowflake/poinsettia stack, plus the bling swirl and gorgeous new extra-wide glitter winter washi tape from eyelet outlet) and which on the inside (a cardstock mat from kaisercrafts's "silver bells" line).    

of course, you don't need to make a clear card, just use at least one clear element!!! need a little more inspiration? check out the gorgeous card stephanie made this week at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

SOS290: heartless

happy valentine's day, darlings! ♥ we've got a bit of a tricky one for you this week at shopping our stash. are you ready? seeing as how we're beginning this challenge *ON* valentine's day* we'd like to see something romantic; but... (here comes the tricky part!) ...you cannot use hearts!!! once you wrap your head around it, this is a pretty cool idea. here's what i made:

doughnut brads and coffee brads: eyelet outlet; typewriter journal card: my mind's eye; alphabet stickers: kelly purkey/simon says stamp; patterned paper: basic grey; adhesives: elmers brand glue tape, 3m foam tape 

a couple of things got me over the need to use hearts for this, and in the spirit of full disclosure of course i'm going to tell you what they were. first, i had a packet each of eyelet outlet coffee brads and doughnut brads. and i've been longing to use them together! second was finding the mme journal card with the typewriter and the blank page, which is exactly the right size for two brads and a typed sentiment.

but maybe the biggest thing was the curtain call inspiration challenge which ended last friday, so obviously i knew i'd be too late to link up with them, but their theme was "XOXO" and several of the design team's cards had background papers with that design. i didn't happen to have any store bought paper with those on, but i did have ledger paper and alphabet stickers... cha-ching! card FINISHED!!! 

of course there are LOADS of ways to take this, and my clever SOS dt darlings have thought of lots of them to help inspire you. why not check those out right now?! ♥

*in my family, february the 14th is more commonly known as "riley's birthday" since my niece just happened to have been born on this day in 2002. those of you mathy types will have noted that is FIFTEEN years ago... HOW did that time go by soooooooo fast, eh??!?! luckily we adults in the family are aging at a completely different and much slower rate, lol! :) :) :) 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

ALL the colors!!! ♥

my entire wardrobe is black and navy. my entire home is beige and white. and then there's my ♥SKETCHBOOK♥!!!

i'm really loving the daisy yellow wonder31 prompts and i've been playing along with them most nights and posting them on instagram. this swirly, circle-y piece used my entire collection of neglected gelatos and distress crayons. not to mention most of my gel pens. 

you can tell which nights i'm especially tired, because i will take whatever the prompt is, and basically make it mandala-like, thus attaining my creative comfort zone! :) 

pretty sure i'm going to be going through a collage phase generally, and a one-staple collage phase specifically!

i started out thinking about a pinwheel quilt block and wound up... ok, i'm not really sure where i wound up, lol...

more collage!!! (told ya!) and yes, the flowers and butterfly were cut from two different pieces of vintage wallpaper.

Friday, February 10, 2017

snow far, snow good!

we're still celebrating the white flakey stuff at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ so you still have plenty of time to make a card that features snowflakes, snowmen, or even a snowscape, like this one:

vintage pc from my stash, scanned, re-sized and printed on kodak premium photo paper; patterned paper: mme, photo play; cardinal brad: eyelet outlet; floral: prima; holly stickers: mrs. grossmans; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

yes, my card is a bit more traditional this week, lol! mostly thanks to the beautiful vintage postcard which i scanned and re-sized just a bit smaller, before printing out on semi-glossy photo paper. i've used this week's sketch saturday layout as my road map:

both stephanie and our lovely guest star leslie turner have also once again made gorgeous snowy-based creations to inspire you... why not go and see them right now at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ darlings?!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

SOS289: winter blues

this week's challenge at shopping our stash is EASY, but it's also a tiny bit counter-intuitive, so be sure to really read the brief properly, k? we want to see projects that use the color blue predominantly... but... they cannot have a winter theme! i, for one, am always ready to leave winter behind, preferably on my way to hawaii, lol. so this was pretty easy for me.

journal card and surfboard sticker: doodlebug; patterned paper: echo park, mme, authentique; brads and flatback resin flamingo: eyelet outlet; cloud punch: fiskars; white kromekote cardstock: the paper cut; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, gluedots, sewing machine

of course, you don't have to go all the way to summer or tropical, just avoid anything wintery, and use lots of blues. but i just could not resist the opportunity to pair doodlebug's "fun in the sun" collection with some fun eyelet outlet shell and cloud brads, plus this seemed like the perfect time to deploy my very last flatback resin flamingo!

looking for more evidence that the cure for winter blues might be BLUE THINGS?! because my SOS dt darlings make the case pretty convincingly. go and see! go and see!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Did You Say, "Yoga Cats"?!

Yes. Yes, I did say, "Yoga Cats", they are one of my favorite new Eyelet Outlet brad designs, and I'm on the Eyelet Outlet Blog today showing them off! In fact they're so new they are not even in the store quite yet, but they'll be there any minute and you're going to want them because LOOK! HOW! CUTE!:

The cats come in two colors and three poses, and I wanted to show off as many as possible, so I made them into inchies to fit the front of my (horizontal) "tall" card.

I've mounted the inchies on a little bit of foam tape so they could float on top of my favorite new washi tape, which is extra-wide and has a design of whimsical vines and mandala-like flowers. I've used ancient old skool Basic Grey alphabet stickers (which I will never stop loving!) to fashion an appropriate sentiment.

There are lots of brand new Eyelet Outlet products getting ready to make their debut in the store. Be sure to keep checking the Blog and the Eyelet Outlet Facebook Page to see the projects our amazing new design team members will come up with to show them off! ♥♥♥

Sunday, February 5, 2017

au revoir, pattern january!

et bon jour daisy yellow wonder31! as you know, i had a blast playing along with anika starmer's #patternjanuary event on instagram. so much so that i was a bit bereft at the thought of being left to my own devices for february. luckily tammy g of daisy yellow jumped in with a new venture. thus, here are the last sketchbook pages of january, and the first few of the new month:

i never get tired of drawing (...or painting, or stamping or doodling...) flowers! these were done with tombow markers and faber-castell's pitt artist pens

i'm not sure what on earth made me think about macrame this long after the 70's, but i did. and it was really REALLY fun to draw!

last summer i found some amazingly cool vellum stickers at target and used the whole entire set of 450+ in like 2 weeks, making mandalas and other patterns during ICAD. luckily, at xmas, i found MORE OF THEM!!!!!! :)
(and yes, they seem to still be available on target's website!)

yep, it's a pomegranate mandala. nope, i didn't really see it coming, either, lol.
"fruit salad"
when i'm stumped for an idea whilst drawing or lettering, i often just fall back on alphabetical order and write (or in this case, draw) a list!

and thus, we wave goodbye to january and HELLO to the shortest month!

is the first of the #dywonder31 prompts. a lot of people would say the total absense of white space might rule this thing out pretty quickly; but it's only got one layer, one color, one line, one medium...
 (let's face it, my minimal is never going to be like ordinary minimal, is it?!)

"snow globe"
for the record... this is the kind of snow i like... the fictional kind!!!
(this page is white gellyroll pen over smooshed colorburst in indigo, cerulean and violet)

doodle-y ones!

i was starting to miss collage, so here's a one-staple one, with a little bit of everything from my childhood in suburban philadelphia. i'm almost positive my mom made me the outfit the little sewing pattern girl is wearing... she did make a lot of my clothes when i was little and certainly i had at least one blouse with the really puffy sleeves... 

ok, so that turned into a lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnng post, but i'm all caught up now! and i have a nice sensible cards with only a pic or two pictures on deck for the next couple of days, darlings, i promise! ♥♥♥