Friday, September 19, 2014

sneaking in under the wire

i hardly ever schedule a second post the same day OR put more than one card into the same post, but i actually made multiple cards in one night (!!!) and they were based on sketches which end tonight. so here we go:

fish ATC created on strathmore watercolor paper with koi paints and faber castell pit extra superfine marker; patterned paper: studio calico, basic grey, american crafts, bo bunny; alphabet stickers: recollections; stick on pearls: kaisercraft; white glossy cardstock: ranger; ink: colorbox; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

i've made at least a dozen versions of "best fishes" birthday cards, probably more, just for my brother alone. it's a standard "guy card" motif for me and the part i love best is seeing how many different ways i can interpret the idea. this is definitely the first time i've ever drawn and painted my own fish, however, so i'm a bit proud of that. though i hasten to point out that i was very strongly inspired by these fab fishes that kira nichols posted some time ago, which i found via pinterest! for the layout of this card i used sweet sunday sketch #236 which is rather awesome AND happened to have some little circles that fit right above where my fish's breathing bubbles were!  (i flipped the sketch so the fish ATC--which i'd painted a few weeks ago--would be facing INTO the card; that is one of my design pet peeves, i don't like to send them staring... or in this case swimming... off the card.)

here's another idea i use quite a bit in guy-card-making, the "oh snap" belated/camera card. i've even done a paper-pieced camera before, back in april for an SOS challenge; luckily i had made a couple of extras, so i'm using one up now:

patterned paper: american crafts + scraps of A LOT of different manufacturers: making memories, my mind's eye, crafty secrets, basic grey, love elsie, sei, etc; brads: basic grey + oriental trading co; white glossy cardstock: ranger; label tape: dymo; ink: colorbox; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape
the layout is retrosketch #132 and i've used it pretty faithfully, actually:

well, that's me signing off for the night! hope you've had an utterly awesome international talk like a pirate day! happy cARRRRRRd-making ye scurvy landlubbing dARRRRRRlings! :) :) :)

possibly the most minimal card i've ever made!

seriously! i've made a card with like three things on it, and it's practically FLAT, as well! what the heck is going on here?! well, this fortnight at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ we're making cards using an utterly brilliant CAS sketch by our lovely friend amy tsuruta, so i suppose i was inspired by her fine example. see?

patterned paper and chipboard snowman: october afternoon; tag: cosmo cricket; sentiment sticker: echo park; snowflake brad: oriental trading; glossy white cardstock: ranger; ink: colorbox;

it also helped that the october afternoon paper has that whole gorgeous xmassy cityscape on it that i just couldn't bear to cover up. in fact, to fit the most of it on that i possibly could, i made a tall card, something i don't do often enough. but now let's have a reminder of amy's fabulous sketch:

for full details on how to link up your own holiday masterpiece and to see amy's and stephanie's cards, check out the original post at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ darlings!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

meet dave the minion!

i've made some pretty cute amigurumi in my time, but i think that nephew matthew's seventh birthday present... dave the minion, by name... may have attained the apex of both adorability and authenticity in the yarnly arts. but you tell me:

mind you, any crocheting project that involves as much fussy finishing* as this one really NEEDS to result in utterly mindbending cuteness AND be immediately recognizable as what it is meant to be; in this case a supporting actor from matthew's favorite movie, despicable me

there were quite a few uber-cute minion patterns available online. i chose this one, which is by patricia castillo and available for *FREE* on her blog, partly because her sample was so awesome, partly because the instructions were clear and well-written, but mostly because, in addition to dave, a pattern for the fabulous minion cupcake was also included. this might've been a factor even if, for last year's birthday party, matthew and his mom had not made special minion cupcakes for all his guests. but in fact they had, so that sort of sent me over the top!!!

one of the very coolest things about my sister** is that when her kids want to make something, it really *IS* the kids doing as much of the work as age, ability and safety will allow. obviously amie guides them in choosing projects that are attainable for them and she's definitely hands-on supervising the entire time; but the kids are reading (or listening carefully to) the directions, measuring and mixing ingredients, setting the timer for the baking process and... best of all... decorating the finished masterpiece! everyone's favorite minion cupcake from the party last year was the one in the middle of this picture, he of the dashing mustache! he was, in fact, matthew's first attempt at a smiling mouth. there was a brief moment in which it was possible that a just-turning-six-year-old baker miiiiight have been a bit disappointed with the slightly wonky result until his sous chef/mama suggested he put another little line beneath, and make it a MUSTACHE! because in minion-making, and indeed in life, perspective is everything, darlings!!! :)

*for those of you who don't crochet, let me essplain that every color of yarn and virtually every cake-n-minion part you can see in the photo represents a different, separate and often tiny (!) piece of crocheting that needed to be stuffed, sewn on and have its two ends securely woven in. this process literally took an entire evening! yowza! hard to argue with the results, tho! aloha, minion dave!

**admittedly, she's an elementary school teacher with a master's degree in early childhood education, but also she's just an AMAZING mom by any conceivable standard. ♥

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

hello, my name is NIFTY!

this week's challenge at shopping our stash is called "who's who" and what we want to see is the image of a person somewhere on your project. so you could make a layout full of family photos, a canvas with one special portrait, an ATC with a stamped image of a person, or even a card with a beautiful lady you cut out of a vintage sewing magazine! if the last idea sounds a bit far fetched to you, i should probably show ya my project, lol!

vintage simplicity sewing lady and order form from my stash; patterned paper: crate, basic grey; glossy white cardstock: ranger; doily die: cherry lynne designs; ink: colorbox; adhesives: xyron, elmer's brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

it's no secret that i *LOVE* vintage paper, right? afterall, i have enough of it to assemble the themed ephemera packs i sell in my etsy shop. if you happen to be on the east coast, you can also find them at paper anthology in kenvil, nj and the ink pad in manhattan two awesome bricks-n-mortar papercrafting shops that i guarantee you will love exploring! for a while i've had paper packs that feature sheet music, foreign text, christmas and nature-related goodies; right now i'm in the midst of trying some new compilations and one of my faves is called "crafty lady". it's a mix of old and new paper goodness with an artsy theme and i've tried to represent a lot of different creative hobbies like sewing, knitting, painting, lettering, macrame, photography... well, let's just say there's a little bit of everything i could think of... and a few things i'd've never imagined, but found anyway, lol! :)

the lady on this card (and the luscious pink order form behind her) came from a 1965 simplicity sewing magazine i totally fell in love with at a thrift shop. i thought she'd be the perfect star of a funky girlish birthday card, and i stand by that decision. this particular card is going to anna and barbara and the gang at the ink pad, who have just celebrated their 16th anniversary. i think you'll agree that's quite a feat, especially in the wild retail world of new york city; so if you're planning a trip to the area i hope you'll drop by and wish them a happy sweet sixteen!

to celebrate the fact that my lovely friend amy tsuruta is back on the fusion card challenge blog, i've used both aspects of the current challenge, which consists of a rather fab sketch AND an inspiration photo with a gorgeous (pink!) 1960's corvette stingray:

speaking of challenges, i hope you'll join us at SOS this week; meanwhile you can check out what m'lovely colleagues have made to inspire you! ♥

Friday, September 12, 2014

sketching along!

this fortnight at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ we are very lucky and very pleased indeed to have our lovely friend, the uber-talented amy tsuruta, hanging out and making holiday cards with us; and we're even more thrilled that she's brought along one of her fabulous sketches! see?

i mean seriously: how fabulous is that? you can take that sketch ANYWHERE, am i right? from totally minimal CAS to ultra-mega-maximalist goodness. guess which of those i chose, lol!

patterned paper: bo bunny, mambi + vintage sheet music and doily from my stash; florals and leaf: petaloo; gold foil sentiment: best creation; woodgrain doily sticker: echo park; reindeer die: tim holtz; adhesives: elmer's brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, xyron, sewing machine

ok, yeah, there's lots of pattern and lots of layers here, but then, i'm a girl who likes lots of... well... everything! and as far as i'm concerned, christmas is the PERFECT time to over-embellish! :)

amy's and stephanie's cards are much more restrained, yet absolutely mouth-watering and i know they are going to inspire you to make xmas cards galore. so head on over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ right now, darlings!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

i ♥ watercolor paper!

i realize i've said that a few times this summer, but somehow i just keep marveling over what a huuuuuuuuuge difference it makes to paint on paper that's actually meant to get wet. i know, i know, it's such an obvious point, but somehow it keeps surprising me, lol! here are some more daily paper prompts, many of which involve watercolor paper, and indeed, watercolor paints, as well!

dpp035: messing around with paint with natasha white
this was meant to be more of a jackson pollock inspired exercise, but since i wound up doing it in my living room at 10pm, it became less "flinging of paint" and more "brushing on of paint in quite a random blendy hopefully still interesting way". i did add some splattery bits at the end, after placing my paper in the kitchen sink. (because i'm pretty sure the expressionists never had to clean up after themselves!)  :)

dpp036: pen testing
i got a set of pens at michaels this summer, and i did the "line test" at the front of my book, but you can't always tell from that exactly which pen you want in a given situation. so this time i drew a little bird and did some lettering with each one. i like to put things like this and my color charts right in the watercolor sketchbook i'm most likely to use, so they're easy to refer to.

dpp037: block letters
ok, not to be obnoxious, but i really like this one. probably because after i'd done the lettering itself i couldn't resist the temptation to add in the heart and rays and "finish" it! (which, yeah, is soooo not the point of this exercise but every once in a while a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!)

dpp038: color grid with hanna andersson
i kind of cheated on this one, or at least, i went off on a tangent; but since i think that somewhat *IS* the point of the exercise, i just rolled with it. i still really like the idea of masking bits before painting and then going back and adding something in the negative space. so i did! :)

dpp029: paint lines
i did have distinct lines at the beginning of the exercise, but midway through they became blendy stripes. so again... i just rolled with it...

dpp040: create a list
here's a time when watercolor paper wasn't the best choice: if you want smooth script from a fine nibbed pen, you really need paper that's totally smooth. good to know!

happy thursday, everyone, 
let's get out there and win one for the gipper!!! 
(or, you know, if you aren't sporty just g'head and have a moderately 
nice day in which you're kind to yourself and others!)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

did you know...

...that september is national chicken month? no seriously, i swear i'm not making this up. it's a bona fide occasion, sponsored by the national chicken council, which i'm also not making up. there's even a snazzy national chicken month logo, which i am really really NOT making up! see?

believe it or not, i do have a POINT with all of this, because in honor of national chicken month-- (but, alas, independently from the national chicken council)-- this week at shopping our stash we are looking for projects which feature a BIRD... it doesn't necessarily have to be a chicken, but it can be if you want, and in fact many of my fellow dt members have made AWESOME chicken-based projects which i know you'll enjoy! sadly, i didn't manage to pull off such a fowl-featuring coup, but my card does have two lovely little birdies:

patterned paper: crate, american crafts, echo park, october afternoon, sei; glossy white cardstock: paper accents; florals: recollections; brad: crate paper; ink: colorbox; adhesives: elmer's gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, gluedots, sewing machine

i used the latest sketch from stuck on you sketches, which i think you'll agree is rather fab:

and now why not head on over to SOS to see the gorgeous projects? but the next time you're feeling hungry, remember to...

(you're welcome, darlings!) :) :) :)