Tuesday, January 16, 2018

in a sentimental mood

we're all talk this week at shopping our stash. the name of our challenge is, "getting sentimental" and the brief is to make your sentiment the focal point of your card or project. fun, right? here's what i made:

oversized letters made by tracing around ancient basic grey chipboard alphas onto cardstock and collaging with vintage paper; background paper: allison kreft/echo park; birthday die: paper trey ink (on a scrap of gelli print); watercolor panel made with not-very-diluted colorburst pigment powders in indigo and turquoise on strathmore watercolor paper and trimmed with an oldschool circle cutter!; elderly large and small star brads from my stash; black glossy cardstock: ranger; ink: colorbox; adhesives: scotch brand gluestick, elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape

i love big sentiments. which probably doesn't surprise anyone who has been here before. i have more alphabet stamps and die sets than anyone i know. and i still wind up, a fair amount of the time, using either a printout from t'internet or a set of oversized chipboard letters-- in this case an ancient set of basic grey's awesome "mini monograms" --as template for hand-cutting more letters. like this time.

ordinarily, the way i would make a set of collaged letters like this would be to 1) figure out how much space all my letters will take up; 2) randomly attach small scraps of vintage paper to that size of a piece of plain cardstock; and 3) trace the chipboard letters onto the collaged panel, then cut them out with scissors and/or xacto knife. and frankly, that's what i'll go back to doing in future, because it's easier and you get very similar results!

what i did this time, however, was 1) trace and cut the letters from plain cardstock; 2) attach scraps of vintage paper to each letter individually; and 3) trim up the excess with scissors and/or xacto knife. i thought this would give me more precise placement of collaged elements and a more interesting look. which... i guess it did a little bit... but not enough to justify how much extra cutting and trimming and fussing there was, imo. it's always good to try out new processes though, you never know when you'll stumble on to something that's way better than what you were already doing. not always though, as this little caper proved! :)

once i had my collaged letters i was ready to affix them to a colorburst-ed circle. i should probably confess right now that i actually made the circle FIRST... (which is just under 5" in diameter and trimmed from a panel on which i used up some extra indigo and turquoise pigment a while back) ...and in fact, i used the circle to decide what size, shape and color my letters should be. but i forgot to photograph that part of the process, so i thought i'd just tuck it in here at the very end, instead. you're welcome, lol. i "auditioned" quite a few background panels before deciding on this older echo park black and white text paper. finally i added the word "birthday" diecut from a scrap of gelli print and a few very verrrrrrrrrrry old silver star brads of unknown origin to balance out the top part of the circle.

there are loads more clever and stash-centric ideas to be had from my lovely design team sisters at shopping our stash. why not treat yourself to some eye candy right now? ♥

Sunday, January 14, 2018

a (smallish) barrage of collage

just in case you're at a bit of a loose end this fine sunday afternoon, and thinking, "gosh i wish someone would post some utterly random and unrelated bits of collage" then i am here for you, darlings! (you're welcome.)

arguably a cliche, but somehow a bird illustration and vintage sheet music never stop looking good to me. (the inside of a security envelope, torn bits of sewing pattern and the edges of trading stamps which didn't come off cleanly from their books are less easy to explain... so i won't...)

park your tiny collage in the tiny garage
yep. still obsessed with the 2x3" format and my rummage-sale-derived "illustrated motor cars of the world" book. these are both french cars from the late 60's and i haven't yet seen a minor bond villian emerge from either of them, but i believe it could still happen...

flower circle #1
because i can already tell this is going to be a recurring series...

is this still a collage??
yes, it's made up of commercial patterned papers. yes, they are diecut into diamond shapes AND i've placed them in a very ordered, geometric design. so i don't actually know if this is a "collage" as such, but it was fun to make. and i see a lot of possibilities for cardmaking and such.

float like a butterfly
one of my favorite collage exercises is called "glue as you go". to explain what i mean, i have to tell you that how i generally make a collage is to choose all of my elements, move them around on the page (quite a bit!), finally settle on a cohesive design that i like, and THEN glue everything down. for "glue as you go" i select an element and attach it. then i select the next element and attach it. then i select the next element... ok, you get the idea, i'm sure. the point is that you're attaching things without really composing, if you see what i mean? you are making a decision an sticking to it, in a literal and adhesive sense. it's harder than it sounds, or at least, it's hard for me. which is why it's valuable as an exercise! it sort of forces you to loosen up and roll with the fact that you attached something too soon and now it's covered up and your whole plan has to change. i rarely wind up with a finished product that i particularly like in this scenario, but every once in a while it happens... and this was one of those.

i hope your sunday is sunny...
either in a literal sense, 
or a fun and happy metaphorical way!

Friday, January 12, 2018

we three (times three)

there's a brand new prompt up at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ today and it's called, "we three kings" although the emphasis here is on the three more than the kings; in that we'd like to see cards that have a grouping of three... somethings. it could be three strong circle elements, three packages under the tree, three adorable reindeer, or... well, you get the picture right? my card has three trees. see?

coincidentally, this next card has three trees, as well. :) i actually cleared out quite a lot of my holiday scraps while re-organizing before christmas, and part of the big clean up was to either toss or diecut any scraps that were too small for anything except tossing or diecutting. i'm hoping that having a little cache of pre-cut items will make "composing" my cards a bit faster; as well as making it possible to sometimes make multiples in weeks where i have more than one idea. so far, that plan seems to be working pretty well. 

because look, here's ANOTHER three trees in the next photo! something else you'll notice is that all of these are fairly flat cards, which can be mailed with just one stamp on them. because my other crafty resolution for 2018 is to try to make more cards that don't cost $3 to mail, lol. (if you've been reading my blog for more than a few months you'll realize that i make this resolution every year, and my good intentions rarely last much past february. but maybe this'll be THE YEAR i really follow through?!)

all of my cards were initially inspired by the sketch half of the current fusion card challenge, but since i freely admit that they strayed away from that pretty quickly, i'm not actually linking up. it's a great challenge, though, and they're celebrating their fourth anniversary just now, so i thought i'd mention it!

i'm probably never going to become a cardmaker who happily mass-produces, but even i don't mind making a few different versions of the same card, so this is a technique you may see off and on throughout the year.

ingredients for all three cards, most of which are made up of scraps and leftover patterned papers including: basic grey, glitz, crate paper, fancy pants, simple stories, pebbles, prima, echo park, creative imaginations; stickers: simple stories, echo park, studio calico; glitter paper: best creation; glossy white cardstock: the paper cut; tree die: echo park: punches: recollections, martha stewart; lace: from my stash; ink: colorbox; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

be sure to hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ to see what stephanie has made and link up your own tri-centric masterpiece(s)!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Totally Do-NUTS About You!

Let's face it, doughnuts are awesome. In real life, they're not something most of us can have in unlimited quantities, which is why I'm always thrilled to break out the Eyelet Outlet Doughnut Brads: they're fat-free, calorie-free, and full of cardmaking possibilities! I'm showing three of them on the EO Blog today:

Since we're in the middle of January, I think we're all sort of in Valentine mode, so I've made three cards that would work perfectly for the holiday, but aren't too specifically Valentine-ish. Because it's nice to have choices, right? The first one actually has hearts on it, but that was mostly because I love the colors of this Skinny Heart Tape with the Doughnut Brad that I've swapped in for the "O". I swapped a Heart Brad for the entire word "heart", as well, which makes my sentiment fit really nicely inside the label shape. I'm always on the lookout for papers with strong, straight horizontal lines in them. Ledger and notebook patterns not only look great, they're a great helping hand for placing my tape stripes neatly in the background!

One of the reasons I chose this colorful Dot Washi Tape is that it kind of reminded me of rainbow sprinkles, which are awesome with Doughnut Brads, don't you think? I made my background patterned paper by neatly lining up strips of the tape on a piece of plain white cardstock that I'd cut down to fit perfectly on my A2 card front. This time I moved the sentiment panel off to the right side of the card, but balanced it out by placing the letters towards the left side of the label.

I love pastel pink as much (or MORE, lol!) as anyone I know, but for my third card I chose to celebrate the chocolate Doughnut Brad. I made a background panel from Pink and White Dot Foil Tape, which I revealed unevenly by tearing some dark brown dotted cardstock... a bit like peeling the wrapper of a candy bar! I composed my sentiment with oversized vinyl letters and trimmed-down Dymo labels; and added a few strips of Skinny Brown Glitter Tape just behind the word "donut" for even more emphasis.

I hope your day has included both creativity and treats... btw, the Eyelet Outlet Store is a pretty good place to find both of those! ♥

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

old + new = exponentially more awesome

this week's challenge at shopping our stash is impressively new-year-centric. for "out with the old, in with the new" we'd like you to use something super old from your stash AND something not quite so old - new even! since that is one of my favorite things to do at any time, i was pretty psyched. here's what i made:

sentiment stamps: stampin' up; patterned paper: dcwv; rub-ons: prima (roses), american crafts (pink flowers, tiny circle flowers and red asterisks), fancy pants (red stars) and dove of the east (butterflies); vintage bits from my stash: trading stamps and torn stirps of red numerals from an old typing book; label die: nestabilities by spellbinders; glossy white cardstock: the paper cut; ink: ranger archival (black) and colorbox chalk (red); tri-tone colored pencils: koh-i-noor hardtmuth; adhesives: scotch brand gluestick, elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

ok, so, what's old and what's new? the stampin' up "you're delightful" set is new (from stephanie, my favorite SU demonstrator!); the map and ledger stack is fairly new (on sale at the big box crafting store just before xmas); all of the rub-on transfers are ancient (but i still love them); and the trading stamps which form the second-to-bottom layer of the collage (which are thus difficult to see, sorry!) are kind of both, in that they are obviously vintage, BUT... i've only had them for two weeks... they were part of my xmas gift from stephanie, who is amazingly good at finding things that will make me literally *gasp* when i open the package!

here's a shocking true confession for ya: i LOVED rub-on transfers. still love them, in fact. maybe more than rubber stamps, which i know are many cardmakers' favorite supply. the problem with rub-ons, though-- and i suspect this is why they are no longer very popular-- is that the quality varied considerably; in fact, it was possible to bring home a full-price, brand-new, name-brand package and have them entirely fail to rub-on properly. admittedly a huge drawback. unless... you're using them in a collage context (as i have been recently in my instagram collages) in which case, having them go on imperfectly is kind of weirdly cool.

this is the first time i've built a full sized (A7) card around a collage of vintage bits + rub-ons, but it won't be the last because i really like how it turned out. of course, as murphy's law dictates, seeing as how i was counting on the largest rub-on (the roses, which are prima, and probably 7 or 8 years old) going on in a rather funky, intermittent manner, OF COURSE it transferred PERFECTLY, lol! but luckily my idea still worked. and, to make up for that, some of the tiniest ones, which were a bit newer, that i thought i'd "fill in" any blank spots with, went on very badly indeed. the funny thing is, you cannot just say, "well this manufacturer just made an inferior product" because i've used several other varieties from the same company, bought around the same time, and stored exactly the same way, which went on well. go figure.

the final new thing i've used on this card is the set of koh-i-noor hardtmuth tritone "magic" pencils that santa brought me. so far, i've used them to do some line doodles, but this is the first time i've colored something in with them. and yes, all of the letters were done with one pencil, so you can see where there really are three shades in each, and you get a nice variety as you go along.

speaking of a nice variety, as always, my design team sisters at SOS have outdone themselves when it comes to providing inspiration for you. be sure to check that out, as soon as possible, k? ♥

Sunday, January 7, 2018

(not quite) mandala monday

technically speaking, it won't be mandala monday for almost another twelve hours, but i just finished listing some fun mini sketchbooks and watercolor sketchbooks that i made. they're in my etsy shop, just enough stuff, and i really couldn't wait to show them off!

the books are different sizes, shapes and have various paper types, so click the caption beneath each photo to read the complete details in the listing!

this one is just over 4x6", has blank, white, light-cardstock pages, and a hand-drawn, ink-colored mandala split between the front and back covers

a smaller book, just about 5" square, this one's pages are made of canson mixed media sketchbook paper, which is my favorite type of general-use paper and it's great for collage, sketching, etc; you can even do a bit of watercoloring if you don't get too very watery, lol

the biggest book of this lot, it's nearly 5x7" and has pages of the same mixed media sketchbook paper as above

just about 5" square, this one is filled with strathmore cold press watercolor paper, which is a really nice, middle quality choice-- sturdy enough to stand up to real watercolor painting, but not so fancy that you can't just play without feeling guilty

very similar to the one above, but a slightly more rectangular page. both of the last two are top-bound because i find that sometimes i'm fighting the binding when it's on the side, so i thought i'd see if this helps (and i think it really does!)

i do hope you're having a wonderful day and that you'll get to spend at least part of it doing something creative and FUN, darlings!

Friday, January 5, 2018

how is it possible...

...to have arguably the best die ever for making ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ cards, own it for an entire year, and never have used it??! this is the question i asked myself repeatedly over the weekend, and frankly the answer is just totally depressing: apparently when i put away this awesome cut-plorations "jingle all the way" die after receiving it for xmas 2016 from santa stephanie, it had slid down to the bottom of the flip-thru storage box i use for my holiday dies. and since i couldn't see it, it just ceased to exist. but no more, because LOOK:

patterned paper: stampin' up + vintage sheet music; santa tag from target, saved from xmas 2016; "jingle all the way" die from cutplorations, the diecutting dept of STAMPlorations; heart sticker: doodlebug design; scraps of glitter and glossy black cardstock from my stash; tartan ribbon: michaels; glossy white cardstock base: the paper cut; adhesives: stick it by ken oliver crafts, elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

ok, yeah, this might be my favorite die now, so i apologize in advance for over-using it during the next six months, lol! this time i cut it from red glitter paper backed with stick-it adhesive from ken oliver crafts and layered it onto a second cut from a scrap of glossy black cardstock. then i off-set the two just slightly, so that the black layer acts as a sort of "drop shadow" to the red glitter, making it stand out more against the red ribbon on my card. other brand new bits i'm showing off are more gorgeous 6x6" papers from the stampin' up set, "quilted christmas" which also came from stephanie, my favorite stampin' up demonstrator!

speaking of stephanie, she also has another beautiful card to show off, using some of the goodies santa brought her this christmas, you should really go check that out at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ shouldn't you, darlings?