Tuesday, May 3, 2016

(gah!) PINK 2: alien encounter??!

if you play along regularly at shopping our stash, you may remember that back in january we had a special challenge in our late friend leslie's honor; well we're back again with a second (gah!) PINK challenge, but this time in addition to seeing PINK on your project, we'd like you to incorporate a "UFO"... no, not the alien kind... just an UNFINISHED object or leftover from another card; you know what we mean, right? the background you made but never used; the image you colored so carefully and then swapped out for something else in the end; the 27 hearts you diecut before realizing only about six would fit?! yep, that's what we're talking about, so go grab the box or baggie or file folder in which you keep those sorts of things and while you're at it, find something (gah!) PINK to include as well! here's what i made:

patterned paper: (very very OLD) rhonna farrer for autumn leaves, basic grey, recollections, glitz design, doodlebug + some pink gingham giftwrap from long lonnnnnnnnng ago; white kromekote cardstock: the paper cut; flourish die: tim holtz/sizzix; butterfly punch: martha stewart; flowers and pearl brads: michaels; adhesives: staples brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

as we know, i like (gah!) PINK... quite a lot, actually. i also change my mind fairly often in the course of making... well... ANYTHING, really. so i generally have quite a few UFO's and a fair proportion of them are (gah!) PINK! so i was quids in for this one, lol! here are the things i "pulled" thinking they might work together: a medium sized hand-cut heart, a few argyle diamonds leftover from the mother's day card i made for the eyelet outlet blog, a butterfly diecut of unknown origin, a bunch of pink silk flowers that were surplus to requirements in this SWHIA collage, a chipboard + giftwrap flourish that must've been made right after i bought that TH die, because the little bits of black die material that come off in the first few passes were still clinging to it:

shockingly enough, i used almost everything in the pile, though i did wind downsizing the butterfly, and i STILL have a couple of argyle diamonds left, which is fine since i still have some argyle ideas floating around my head. the big serendipitous "surprise" in all of this is that i actually found a piece of ancient brown patterned paper with a diamond pattern on it, which was a GREAT size to hold the argyle diamonds... so instead of measuring, etc, i just popped them onto this pre-made background, added some machine stitching, et voila!

this week (#410) at sketch saturday one can choose any sketch from #215 onwards, so i went with #218... yes, i've used it pretty loosely, but i *think* you can still see it...

and now i invite you to hop over to SOS and see the other fabulous (gah!) PINK projects; be sure to leave my wonderful dt darlings some love as well, won't you?

Monday, May 2, 2016

April Showers Bring...

...MAY FLOWERS! This year, despite a fairly mild winter here in the northeastern United States, I (Lauren) am especially excited about Spring, so when Eyelet Outlet teamed up with Rubbernecker Stamps, I may have gone a little flower crazy, lol! If I had to pick ONE favorite stamp, this divine Poppy might well be it; there's just no bad way to use it. For this card I've teamed it with a few of the flowers from the Springtime Inchies set, which I stamped over little circles of ink applied with a sponge applicator, so they'd resemble the beautiful loose style of the poppy. I added a few Grey Jewels, some Pearl Heart Brads, old school Round Eyelets (which, for the record, I still love!) and Purple Enamel Dots. I matted the whole panel over a square of cardstock edged with Glitter Black Washi Tape, added the "Basket of Flowers" sentiment, and called it a day!

I can never, ever, resist a flourish, especially a flowery one, so I couldn't wait to get my hands this gorgeous Vine Flowers stamp. When I first saw it, I knew I wanted to use it to frame a band of Pink Flower Washi Tape and this is one of those occasions where the card I made looks exactly the picture in my head! (Don't you love that?!) I added a Paper Flower stack with a Clear Edge Purple Jewel and some Purple Swirl Bling, and as soon as I was finished, a flock of Mini Butterfly Brads and the Mama Butterfly came to visit!

The Springtime Inchies set also includes some beautiful birds, butterflies, and hearts... and it occurred to me that the latter, if stamped above the Vine Flowers, might look like they were growing in a field of flowers. I used some Paper Flower petals-- painted with green watercolor-- as leaves, and this family of Mini Ladybug Brads liked them enough to make their home here!

I hope you'll be inspired to plant a garden on your cards, as well as outdoors, this Spring! ♥

Sunday, May 1, 2016

holy mackerel, it's MAY 1st!!!

which means that fox and hazel's "30 days of watercolour" is officially over; though of course you can still *DO* the prompts, and for that matter, she's doing a 31-day version for may! i'm forcing myself NOT TO JOIN IN, even though i had a blast in april. i need to do something besides watercolor at some point. (...also... ICAD2016 starts june 1st, lol!!!) :) :) :) here's the last few prompts and then, starting tomorrow, non-watercolory posts will predominate again, honest. well, mostly. probably. ♥

day 23: layers
i know, it's hard to SEE the layers here, but this is one of the slowest things i've ever painted b/c i actually waited for each layer of color to dry in between. UNHEARD OF PATIENCE in the laurniverse!!!

  day 24: motto
i chose a favorite quote from the 14th dalai lama, which i try to keep in the front of my mind; kindness *IS* always possible. it's sometimes easy/tempting to forget that... especially when driving in heavy traffic... 

day 25: ombre
i'ts an ombre hombre!!!!!!!!!!! geddit??!???!??!
(ok, yeah, sorry... i crack myself up, though, on a daily basis)

day 26: branches
the fastest dogwood blooms in the history of paint. i'm not in love with these, but seeing as they LOOK LIKE dogwood and were accomplished in about 10 minutes laaaaaaaaaaaate in the evening, i'm callin' it a win!

day 27: salt
i've yet to use the "salt-on-wet-watercolor" technique to my satisfaction, and i still haven't done it with this one, but it was fun!

day 28: indigo
at the end of this particular day, the only thing i wanted to do is paint something big and loose and smooshy where i didn't wait for the colors to dry... so i did... :)

day 29: drip
another common watercolor "thang" i've never really made work... until NOW! go, me!!!

day 30: galaxy
it turns out there's an actual technique and tutorials for painting galaxies... who knew??! as usual, i mostly winged it, but having read thru this article, i did nab the idea of adding INK to my wet watercolor to intensify the black areas. i used hickory smoke distress ink b/c it's what i had, and i needed to "encourage" it with my brush to have it blend in with the paint, but it worked really well i think. i added a big glittery "THANKS" to @foxandhazel for hostessing, to my fellow IG participants for their fun feedback and to you guys for following along and not rolling your eyes at me when i showed post after post of these things all month long!

thank you, darlings!!!

Friday, April 29, 2016

warm washi wishes

we're still celebrating the joys of decorative tape at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and there's still a fun little prize from our lovely sponsor eyelet outlet for a random cardmaker who links up with us this fortnight, so why not join in the fun? here's what i made this week:

eyelet outlet washi tapes: holiday dots, ornaments, pink foil with white dots, music notes; sticky back bling: bumpy hearts, pink flower jewels (recolored with an alcohol ink marker), pearl strips; paper flowers in red and white; kromekote glossy cardstock: the paper kut; scraps of polka dot paper: doodlebug; adhesives: staples brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

this is one of my go-to tape techniques because it's EASY; it always comes out great each time; and (especially, lol!) you get to use a whole bunch of different tapes all at the same time!!! ♥

for once i actually remembered to take a pic before cutting the squares apart, so you could see just how very easy this is. you fill a (perfectly square) scrap piece of cardstock (or 1/2 fill in this case, i wanted there to be some of my original panel showing) with strips of various eyelet outlet washi tapes; to get a bit of variation, either use tapes of different widths, or overlap a few of them. in this case i worked diagonally, but for other styles you can lay the strips parallel to one edge, or even criss-cross for a sort of plaid effect! when you're all done, you cut the panels up into triangles (think quilt blocks!) and re-arrange them back together. how many triangles? it's up to you! 4... 8... 16... heck, you could probably do 32, if you have that kind of patience; these cards have eight segments each. to mix it up a little bit more, i covered two panels-- with the same tapes, but over different background papers; then i *swapped* four squares from each card. i arranged them in different patterns, and finished them with slightly different eyelet outlet paper flower stacks and sticky back bling

need a little more tape-based inspiration? stephanie has a fab card to show you and there are not one but TWO lovely designs from our awesome eyelet outlet design team cohort dawn mercedes barrett... so please do hop over to the ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ blog for a glorious eyeful of inspiration!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

think ink!

a little bit of a change-up challenge at shopping our stash this week; we want to see LOTS of ink... but no coloring in! so you can stamp... but as outlines or using solid stamps or as resist; or you can do one of the gazzillion direct-to-paper ink techniques, use stencils, fill a page with handwriting or doodles or... well, you can do anything inky EXCEPT COLOR! don't worry, it's easier than you think and as a public service the SOS ladies have made awesome examples for your inspiration!!! here's what i made:

vintage papers from my stash, torn and glued together somewhat randomly; stencils used on top: quatrefoil by folk art decor; hexagons by teresa collins; various shades of blue and green ranger archival and distress inks applied and blended on top; wood veneer pieces by american crafts... tinted with liquid colorburst in a few shades of blue and green; letter stickers: plastic stars: pink paislee; tapes: freckled fawn, recollections, hambly; outlining pen: faber-castell pitt in size XS; black glossy cardstock: ranger; adhesives: scotch gluestick, 3m foam tape, staples

there are plenty of weeks where me-being-me is a bit of a crafty hindrance, but luckily this wasn't one of them. i love stencils, generally; and i especially love to make the patterns reallllllly blendy with lots of different shades of ink, so that's what i did. one new thing i tried (having seen it on pinterest!) was "dyeing" some nekkid wood veneer shapes with colorburst, which worked really well, actually! i did have to go back and re-outline (with a sharpie) the incised words "right here" on the little banner piece, b/c the color soaked right into the wood and you couldn't read it, but otherwise, it worked perfectly and i know i'll do this again!

need more ideas of how to use ink without coloring? check out the fabulous work of my design team darlings over at shopping our stash! ♥

Sunday, April 24, 2016

H2-OH-my-gosh... there's MORE??!

sorry if you're getting thoroughly tired and fed up with watercolor, but the month's* almost over, so bear with me, k? ♥

day 17: squares
may have gotten a teeeeeeeny bit carried away with the doodles... 
(this actually fills a sketchbook page, lol)

day 18: song lyrics
i sing along with the radio or a playlist ALL DAY LONG, 
but if someone says, "write down some song lyrics" i go 
***...utterly blank...*** 

day 19: yellow
hey lauren, didn't you notice that the next day was going to be 'yellow' when you did a bright yellow sun for song lyrics?

day 20: alcohol
many thanks to @foxandhazel for showing a little demo of a technique of dropping rubbing alcohol onto wet watercolor... and hello, new obsession! 

day 21: purple
eerily enough, this was the totally coincidental, pre-set-far-in-advance prompt on the day that prince died. 

day22: tulip
i was going for a bit of a "realistic" shading effect which realllllllllly didn't turn out AT ALL... so i downshifted into funky illustration mode, lol.

*i've been playing along with @foxandhazel's "30 days of watercolour" via instagram; everyone is welcome to join in --for as many or as few days as they'd like-- and those days COULD take place in may or june instead of april, for that matter!!! i'm finding this to be a great way to stretch my skills and try new things, but it's flexible enough for beginners or even kids who want to try out their paints in a fun way! check out fox and hazel's blog or instagram account for details!

Friday, April 22, 2016

walkin' in a ♥washi♥ wonderland

if you've been here before, you're probably already aware that i have a mini-obsession* with washi tape. something you might not realize is how many gorgeous varieties of tape are available at eyelet outlet. so this week at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ we are killing two crafty birds with one stone: we're making holiday cards that feature tape (it can be washi, deco, glitter, fabric, packing, etc; from any manufacturer) and we're sponsored by eyelet outlet, who'll be providing a fun little prize! here's my card:

i realize that when i say, "for this challenge i had TOO MANY ideas" it's the creative equivalent of, "no matter what i eat, i just cannot seem to gain weight!" and expecting sympathy. but sometimes, too many ideas are just as un-fruit-ful as too few. in this case, tho, once i slowed down and thought about each one, i was able to incorporate quite a few of my ideas into this card. i was inspired by the ornament washi tape; in fact it might be my current favorite, but don't tell the other tapes, ok?! ;)

the first thing i thought of was to make some ornaments similar to the ones on the tape. i started making them out of patterned paper (like the green one on the right, which is adorned with some eyelet outlet paper flowers and some clear edge bling) but then i realized the golden one should really be sparkly, and it just so happened that i also own some glitter gold washi tape, which i applied in strips, just to add a little more interest. while i was doing so, i realized that the design of the holiday dots washi tape could also be applied in strips, but if i lined up said dots neatly, it'd look like patterned paper, so that's what i did next.

obviously my ornaments needed hangers, and nothing beats bling for that, am i right? the white pearl strips reminded me i also have smaller pearl bling strips in red that'd be great for setting off the original piece of tape i started with, so i added those at the top and bottom. of course i knew exactly how to arrange everything because i had the super-cool current (#408) sketch saturday right in front of me:

need some more awesome "washi wonderland" ideas? why not stop by ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ where stephanie has another gorgeous card to show you. while you're there, check out the details on that eyelet outlet prize and start planning your own bid for world washi domination, darlings!

*the term "mini" being relative, o'course; compared to... say... the alps, my stash of tape is actually quite small... :) :) :)