Tuesday, March 3, 2015

SOS191: (not so) heavy metal!

we have a fun challenge for you at shopping our stash this week, we want to see your oldest hardware. think eyelets, brads, buckles, ribbon slides... if it's metal and can be used as an embellishment, dust it off and put it on a card! sometimes i really have to think about what my oldest this or that might be, but this time it was really easy, because despite its being some years ago now, i specifically remember my friend lisa, who owned my favorite local crafting store back in the day, showing me how to use an "anywhere" hole punch (with a hammer!) to place cuuuuuuuuute flower-shaped eyelets in the center of a card, and then use a special tool (also with a hammer!) to set them. OF COURSE i bought some of the cuuuuuuuuute flower eyelets as well as the hole punch and setting tools. and promptly put a big dent in jeff's good cutting board the first time i used all of the above at home.  i didn't think i still had any of that first batch, and truthfully, the ones on my card might be from a subsequent purchase, but the originals were definitely of the same size, shape and style, so i'm calling it good! to get the full effect of the authentic nostalgia-based experience, i also used the everywhere punch and setting tool with a great big hammer to place paper flowers right in the middle of my card. awwwwwww! :) :) :)

ancient eyelets of unknown brand from a local crafting store that's (sadly) been closed for nearly a decade (and these were bought well before then) set with old-school bang-with-a-hammer setting tool thingie i bought at the same time (which coincidentally answered my, "i wonder why we all stopped using eyelets and switched to brads?!" question); pink paislee pre-printed 2x3" birthday themed cards trimmed to 2" square; florals: prima, recollections, making memories, basic grey; glossy white cardstock: paper accents; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

i used the sketch from the current fusion challenge, though sadly not the cool bowties:

i actually started off using the color scheme, too, but the kind of veered off-course on that part when i found the old-but-still-fab pink paislee 2x3" embellishment card thingies...

...and realized that by trimming them down i could instantly make a pretty cool cheater's version of twinchies; for the record, i stand by that decision and am pretty psyched that i still have some left for future experiments!

and now why not head on over to SOS to see the nostalgic (not so) heavy metal embellies of my design team darlings and the fabulous cards they've made to hold 'em!

Monday, March 2, 2015

speaking of quilt-inspired cards...

...here are a few more ideas i came up with, and since they're all made 100% from paper scraps, i can link them up with the fab "use it up" challenge on the city crafter blog, woohoo! :)

i *LOVE* making cards out of scraps! sometimes i will use actual quilting patterns to come up with ideas, but these four were just the product of punching or trimming shapes and then moving them around until i liked how they looked.

i sort my scraps by color and keep them in folders in one of my filing cabinets. i put solids and prints, paper-weight and card-stock weight, of every manufacturer all together, sort of like a painter's palette, because that's how i tend to use them.

the card above is another take on maud vantours' fabulous folded paper installations that i saw on pinterest a few months ago. this is my favorite version because the ink on the inside edges makes them stand out so much more!

i had so much fun making these that they-- and maybe even a few other ideas i have up my sleeve-- will be the subject of my next set of classes at paper anthology. if you happen to live within driving distance of kenvil, nj, i hope you'll check out the march newsletter for full details! :)

Friday, February 27, 2015

inspiration, please! :)

we've got a photo inspiration this fortnight at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and we're basing our cards on some aspect of this gorgeous, vibrant, non-traditional, glittery, fabulous holiday table:

image source is this page at lushome which has LOTS of other gorgeous xmas tablescapes and decor inspiration for that matter!

you can use as many aspects as appeal to you in the photo, whether it's the neon colors; the shapes of the tree, the reindeer or the baubles; the fancy flourishy patterns on the placemats; the glitter, the snowflakes... or all of the above! i went with the colors and the ornaments:

only NON-xmas patterned paper was used on this card-- most of it scraps!-- and manufacturers include: creative imaginations, kay and co, cosmo cricket, doodlebug, best creation and sei; white glossy cardstock: paper accents; white glitter snowflake stickers: martha stewart; snowflake brads: doodlebug; tiny brads: queen and co; silver ball-bearing-esque bling lines: recollections; decorative scallop scissors: michaels; ink: colorbox; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape

i have to confess when i first saw this photo, as much as i liked it, i came *VERY* close to psyching myself out of making a card. because honestly, my first panicky thought was, "i don't have ANY christmas papers in those colors!!!" a search of my stash soon revealed that in fact, i *DON'T* have any christmas papers in those colors, but it turned out i didn't need them, since i had quite a few ordinary papers in those colors, which i used in conjunction with clipart to fussy-cut the bauble shapes. then i added snowflake stickers and bling and some fun shiny silver pearl borders to act as hangers and called it good. for the record, the blue text paper is upside down; a decision i stand by since the position of the flourishes kind of looks a bit like the branches of an abstract christmas tree. i shall send this card to someone my age, and feel confident that without their reading glasses they'll have NO IDEA that tiny text is facing the wrong direction! :)

need a bit more inspiration? be sure check out miss stephanie's gorgeous card at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ before you start planning what *you* will make! ♥

Thursday, February 26, 2015

are you tired of watercolors?

if so, i apologize, and promise not to be upset if you'd rather click over to the lolcats, instead! because yeah, it's another painting today:

this one is for lovely husband jeff's lovely parents, who'll be celebrating their 61st (!) wedding anniversary in march. i've mentioned before that i basically hit the lottery in terms of in-laws, but it bears repeating; not every girl is as lucky as i am! jeff specifically asked if i would paint something for the occasion, and he helped me decide on the details as i went along. i was inspired by two very different tree paintings i saw on pinterest: this one had hearts instead of leaves, while this one had the cool swirly bark. this is the first painting i've done without a detailed sketch; before i began i only drew in the shape of the tree trunk and the banner, and sketched some very thin pencil lines to give a sense of branches, then went right in with watercolors. i was worried about being able to work neatly enough, but it turned out not to be a problem. unexpectedly, the lettering was the most nerve-racking part of this, since i saved it till the end and then went a bit too heavy on the outlining, but i think it looks ok. i'm still deciding if it needs anything else before it becomes a card, but i'm pretty sure it's done and that i'll most likely just add a mat or two, similar to the friendship quote from the other day.

tomorrow i promise to post a regular (christmas) card with lots of product and plenty of embellishments! :) :) :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

palm trees optional

many challenge sites invite you to think outside the box, but this week at shopping our stash we're thinking "out of the jar!" what does that mean? let's consult the official SOS blurbage for clarification, shall we?

Challenge 190: Out of the Jar 

Use any product that came in a jar 
(flower soft, glitter, perfect pearls, embossing powder, etc) 
Use a jar image 
(stamped, drawn, cut from patterned paper, etc)  
Decorate an actual jar

there's a lot of scope here, right? yeah, you can definitely come up with something fab and i can't wait to see it! meanwhile, having withstood an especially wintery week here in the northeastern united states, this is what i made:

aloha jar painted on strathmore paper with artist loft watercolors, outline in black XS faber castell pitt pen; sunglasses constructed by printing out a clipart image, stapling it to several layers of patterned paper and handcutting the parts; patterned papers: basic grey, american crafts, my mind's eye, echo park; glossy white and black cardstock: paper accents; ink: colorbox; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

when i saw this week's theme, my first idea was to use one of the uber-cute mason jars from american crafts' dear lizzy neapolitan line, which i still totally love. unfortunately, none of the ones i had left were quite right for the card i wanted to make for my father-in-law's birthday. eventually, looking at the shape and style of the jars, with their sort of naive watercolor goodness, i started wondering if i could possibly draw or paint something that might work? i fiddled around in my sketchbook, drawing mason jar shapes and potential contents for them, and actually managed to come up with two ideas* i liked enough to make a "real" version of:

the thing that bothered me about the first few jars i drew was the fact that they weren't symmetrical enough; because whereas i think you can get away with the contents being a bit wonky and cute, the jar kinda needs to look right. so here's a shocking true confession for you: to get a good solid foundation for the rest of the drawing, i cut out one of the jars from the dear lizzy paper and traced around it in pencil on my watercolor paper. cheating?? sure! but then, so is using a compass to make the center of the sun a perfect circle, and printing out a clipart image to use as a template for the sunglasses. why not use the right tools to make a job easier and more fun? then you can move more quickly to the "good parts"... like painting palm trees and choosing papers! :)

speaking of fun, i happen to know there are some awesome "out of the jar" cards awaiting you at SOS... why not hop on over and check those out right now?!

*yes, the other finished jar, containing "lots of love" will definitely get used on something in future, not to worry, you'll be seeing that again for sure! :)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

dreaming of spring!

we've had a cold, snowy, frosty week here in the northeastern united states. ok yeah, i realize we've got NOTHING to complain about compared to, say, new england or canada; but i am a serious weather wimp and it's the end of february and i'm really reallllllllllllly looking forward to temps in... oh i dunno... maybe the high 40's? is that too much to ask? meanwhile, as i waited, i decided to paint myself a little spring:

being a hard-core lover of papercrafting products, it feels really weird to make something from the ground up, so to speak; but in fact the only "supplies" i used on this were the mats, which consist of some elderly navy blue velvet paper and some cerise cardstock. the central panel started off as plain white watercolor paper, on which i drew some very faint pencil lines to keep my words from leaning upwards and to the left, which for some reason is generally what they want to do on a blank page. i sketched and inked the c.s. lewis quotation first, then worked on the flowers around the outside. i've been practicing blending paints, especially working "wet into wet" which is tricky, but looks awesome when it comes out right. having said that, i'm not above going in at the end and touching up a wonky line or adding a little extra depth with a copic. there are no rules in art, darlings! :)

meanwhile i hope you are having a particularly nice sunday, and that you'll get to sneak in a little creative time to make something fun! ♥♥♥

Friday, February 20, 2015

warm washi wishes

we're still rockin' the tape-centric holiday cards at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and you still have lots of time to join us-- which i hope you will. here's what i made this week:

washi and other decorative tapes by: martha stewart, october afternoon, my mind's eye, love my tapes, bazzill, freckled fawn; florals: we r memory keepers + michaels; velvet leaf: making memories; brad: we r memory keepers; glossy white cardstock: paper accents; adhesives: 3m foam tape, gluedots, sewing machine

i'm one of the few women in my family who doesn't make quilts, mostly because i just don't enjoy sewing on fabric, lol. but i definitely love the cool effects you can get by combining different patterns and shapes, so i tend to make quilt-inspired cards pretty often. this card is one of the easiest versions of a "paper quilt", even when you glue together strips of scrap paper; using washi tape, it's about the fastest card alive! don't believe me? i'll prove it:

step 1:
cut a square out of white index stock approximately half an inch smaller than you'd like your finished card to be; cover it with strips of tape. try to vary the widths of your tapes, and leave a tiny bit of white between them.

step 2:
cut the finished square into quarters.

step 3:
cut the four quarters in half, so that your cuts go "against the grain" --or perpendicular to-- the strips. sew around the perimeter of the eight triangular pieces if desired. (this is especially useful if you're using paper strips instead of tape; it ensures none of the little ones try to peel back up!)

step 4:
re arrange the eight triangles to make a nice pattern. add a flower or other "focal point" if desired. mount to a folded card using foam tape. et voila:

my favorite part is that because you can vary the colors, patterns, combination and arrangement of tapes, every card is different... the perfect compromise for those of us who hate to "mass produce" but sometimes need some extra holiday cards in a hurry! :)

meanwhile, there's abundant goodness awaiting you at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ in the form of an amazing readers' gallery and a new washi-licious card by stephanie ... why not check those out right now?!