Tuesday, August 19, 2014

chip off the old block

this week at shopping our stash the challenge is called "chipping away" and the assignment is to use some of that long-neglected chipboard that i just know you have sitting around in various boxes and bags! don't worry, i still have quite a bit, too, especially leftover 6x6 sets; and every time i break into it, i remember how much i love it. but let me show the card (which was commissioned by my aunt for her friends' 50th wedding anniversary!) first and explain it afterwards. please excuse the pics, pretty much every single thing on the card is reflective in some way, making it a serious challenge to photograph. in real life the gold is not as shrill and harsh-looking, i promise; it's actually quite elegant!

(naked chipboard frame by fancy pants: i painted it white and adorned it with bits of a vintage gold foil doily, see photo below; patterned paper: mambi, pink paislee, chatterbox, recollections; florals: prima; brads: my mind's eye; rhinestone flourishes: recollections; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, scotch brand gluestick, scotch tape, sewing machine)

ok, so where's the chipboard? it's the frame, which is approximately 5x5" and was completely unadorned when i started. i painted it white, and glued bits of a vintage gold foil doily on top, to make a sort of filigree effect. it was a bit fussy to do, but i love the way it turned out!

the other "fussy bit" of this card is the heart, for which i hand wove strips of paper into a big enough area from which to trace and cut another chipboard shape. that process looked a bit like this:

not that you need to see it, but by golly it was a production... a fact which is very much not apparent from the finished card (especially to civilians!) so i'm determined to show SOMEONE, lol! :) in case you're wondering, by far the best way to get a finished bit of paper weaving to stay woven is loads of scotch tape on the back before you cut out your shape. of course, the little cut ends will still want to curl up on the front, so after i tacked the woven heart to some ivory cardstock i machine stitched around the edge to hold those babies down. there's also a little bit of lace on the panels beneath the framed heart, which i wrapped around to the back and taped in place. i probably didn't need to sew around the edges, but i think it adds to the overall design, so i did anyway. here's the card again, for reference:

and now i suggest a visit to SOS to view the gorgeous work of my lovely design team mates and start planning your own chipboard-bedecked masterpiece! ciao, darlings! ♥

Friday, August 15, 2014

warm winter wishes

this fortnight's card prompt at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ is called "the hanukkah song"* and the brief is to make cards for our friends and relatives who don't necessarily celebrate christmas. despite the title, you're not limited to hanukkah however; ANY of the "other" (aka non-christmas) winter holidays will work: kwanzaa, new year, hogmanay, solstice... OR... you can go completely non-denominational and make a general winter-themed card. that's what i did:

(digital products: vintage findings papers by jen allyson, design house digital; vintage christmas blendables #2 and text clusters #3 by katie pertiet, designer digitals; brushes from anna aspnes' "retro holiday" art play palette... collage printed on an inkjet transparency; real-life products: white texty patterned paper, green snowy paper and cardstock alphabet stickers: basic grey; other paper scraps: daisy d's, studio calico, crate paper; chunky white glitter thickers: american crafts; silver flowers and white felt snowflake: michaels; brad: my mind's eye; ink: stewart superior and colorbox chalk inks; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine)

i know i've said this before, but in my opinion it's still true: the old school basic grey cardstock alphabet stickers are some of the coolest ones ever made! here i've combined them with chunky (and glittery!) chipboard letters to make a sentiment to be the focal point of the card. the background is a digital collage i made in photoshop some time ago. it was actually the label i used to mail my holiday packages last year; when i saw it again recently, i thought it would make a nice base for a card, and i stand by that decision! a few border-punched cardstock strips, a silver flower and lots of machine stitching round out the design.

be sure to hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ to check out Stephanie's gorgeous card and start planning your own!

*in tribute to the awesomely eponymous ditty by the great bard adam sandler! :)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

is it possible to become addicted to watercolors?

not that i mind, actually; or that i want any help to quit, for that matter. but i do seem to be totally hooked on painting pretty much everything at the moment, and even treated myself to a couple of new brushes at michaels the other day. here are some daily paper prompts i made with them:

every time i make something intricate with a lot of stitching, jeff always flips it over to look at the seemingly "free form" sewn pattern on the back. sometimes he even says, "i think you should post THIS side!" which got me thinking: what if i took a magazine photo or drawing and outlined the entire thing with machine stitching, but then turned it on the other side and... what? colored it with markers? no wait... how about paints? this was my first attempt. below is the front side showing the original artwork, i think it's an erte drawing from the 30's; i liked that it had really strong lines but not too much fussy detail.

the brief here was to do three different varieties, so i chose to use the same colors, but vary the scale, the outlines, and the way i applied the paint. 

this one's pretty simple, but i like the colors and the way the circles intersect. (i made them by outlining the inside and outside of a roll of tape!)

the assignment was to make a grid of paint or marker colors, but i had my box of deco tape sitting in front of me and my plan to make a black and white tape grid in which the painted colors would live got out of hand. my favorite parts are the variety of different grids stitched on top of the tapes, especially the diagonal.

having fallen in love with this journal page by birgit koopsen, i decided to see if i could recreate the beautiful, large, deeply pigmented, blendy droplets by using distress reinkers and a spray mister. ummmmm... NOPE! not even close!!! back to the drawing board, lol! :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

back in the day

this week at shopping our stash you've got a choice as to how you approach our theme. it's called "old fashioned" and you can choose to use images that evoke history (horse and carriage, vintage typewriter, antique box camera, a couple in 1920's clothing, etc) OR you can use a tool or technique that has somewhat evolved out of style... such as setting eyelets with a hammer and punch, or using a coluzzle (remember that?!) or other old-skool template to trace and cut shapes. there are only two rules: if you assay the first choice, you can't just do a general "shabby chic" style, there has to be something visibly antique on display; and if you choose option two, you have to tell us what "old fangled" technique you've used. i went with the first option, and here's how it came out:

(vintage map and antique images cut from old, falling-apart books; patterned paper: basic grey; black glossy cardstock: paper accents; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, xyron, sewing machine)

i have to confess that i'm not absolutely in love with this, but it a) fits the brief and b) features an antique car and vintage map that our chiropractor (whose birthday card this is*) will love. and c) it's DONE, which is pretty awesome, too, so i'm goin' with it!

hop on over to SOS to see what the rest of the gang has created, and be inspired to devise your very own old fashioned masterpiece! ♥

*what? you don't celebrate your chiropractor's birthday? really??! ok, this is one of those things that either already makes total sense to you or i could not possibly explain well enough to convey. jeff and i both have chronic back issues and have seen the same guy for like 20 years; at this point he's pretty much a member of our extended family. so yeah, once a year, i make a bit of a fuss. :)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

collage ahoy!

in case you were wondering when bits of randomly combined paper were going to make their appearance in my daily paper prompt collection, the answer is, "NOW"! :)

possibly my favorite kind of collage to make is the "more fun than cleaning up all these tiny scraps" variety, where i really do just grab every miscellaneous thing within reach and try to combine it. sometimes that results in a real mishmash, but this one came out pretty well, actually. (please note that i twisted this prompt for my own purposes!)

more papers from my dripping and blotting essperiments last week. i didn't really love any of them in their native state, but punched and stacked and sewn together they become a bit more than the sum of their parts. (...and clearly this summer's mini-obsession with circles is not over yet...)

some nights when i sit down at 9pm with no ideas at all the process of "powering through" results in something fresh and new and awesome. this was not one of those nights, lol. but i practiced hand-lettering (and numbering) and tried every color of paint in my new travel watercolor set, so WAHEY!

Friday, August 8, 2014

the shape of things to come

we're still celebrating cards that are not square or rectangular at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and we'd love for you to join us. i realize it's only august, but you know as well as i do that as soon as the kids go back to school in september, it's a fast downhill shlalom to halloween; and then fifteen seconds after that it'll be the december first. so the more cards we make now, the less that will be lurking around to bite us in the... (AHEM!) ...proverbial during the holiday season. plus, shaped cards are *FUN* aren't they?! thus, the world needs more of them! i realized the other day that i had not made any round cards yet this year. how is that even possible?! well, never mind, i've made one now, and it's kinda cool, i think. but you tell me:

(patterned papers: tim holtz, crafty secrets, making memories; glitter paper: doodlebug; sentiment sticker: hambly; doily sticker: echo park; brad and backer: my mind's eye; 1" circle punch: ek success; poinsettia and glittery gold leaves: michaels; ink: colorbox; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, sewing machine)

i used CASE study #202 as my inspiration, and you can see i liked the kraft patterned paper, the bold flower and the horizontal sentiment, specifically. the challenge ended earlier this week, but it's still worth a look since both the DT and readers' gallery cards are fab!

hop on over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ where you still have nearly a whole week left to link your own gorgeous creation on the shape-up post!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

starburst tangent

tammy has started a fab new series on the daisy yellow blog, called tangents and tactics. they're sort of amped up journaling prompts. in addition to giving you an idea and some examples of how it might be interpreted, she's provided a bit more specific/step-by-step information about method and materials, and even a little video! just another way to make it easy and fun to dip a toe into the art journaling arena. the first tangent is a starburst, and if you make one, there's a starburst tangent link love to display yours and leave some admiration for the creations of others. meanwhile, here's mine: 


speaking of tammy, she's written a very cool thing about daily art practice, in this post; my favorite part is the bit in smaller typeface, set off by "disclaimer". not to give it all away, but she makes the distinction between creating a journal full of beautiful finished pieces of art and making time for playing and experimenting and embracing new things. don't get me wrong, it's fabulous that there are soooooo many gorgeous inspirational sites and books and pages to be found online; but the less awesome flipside of that is (i think of it as "the pinterest effect") we can sometimes psych ourselves out, and start thinking things have to be perfect to be shared, or maybe even to be worth doing in the first place! and to me that feels so antithetical to a creative life.

ok, so, having explored the "TANGENT" concept in every conceivable sense, lol, i'm now gonna go make something pointless and crazy, just because i can! how about you?! (say yes, say YES, darlings!) ♥♥♥