Thursday, June 21, 2018

and now for something completely different...

...we interrupt your regular schedule of cards and ICADs to bring you a tiny knitted sweater:

because we are thrilled to welcome our very first grand-nephew, young hudson hagar, born to our eldest nephew and his wife a couple of weeks ago. of course a guy's very first "welcome to the world" present requires something a bit special in the way of wrapping, so i used eyelet outlet washi tape and baby animal brads to dress up a plain white box and some store bought ribbon. i designed the box to coordinate with the baby card i made for hudson a couple of months ago.

for my fellow knitters out there i should probably mention that this excellent, top-down, no-seams pattern is a free ravelry download called "baby sophisticate" by linden down; i used one supersized skein of barcelona big yarn by loops and threads in a colorway called lapis lazuli. ♥

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Newsflash: Cuteness of Sock Monkeys Definitively Confirmed!

Ok, it might not actually be news that all sock monkeys are cute and Eyelet Outlet Birthday Sock Monkey Brads are especially so, but I'm not sure it's ever been on television until now. See:

I was lucky enough to win a flash prize from The Stamps of Life for my EO Coffee Stamp cards in the latest Coffee Loving Cardmakers' Blog Hop, and one of the items I chose was the TV2Stamps set and coordinating dies. Apart from just how cool it is generally, I thought the tv set would be a great size for making little scenes with my brads, and I stand by that decision. I made a little cluster of birthday brads... in this case the Birthday Sock Monkey, a Cupcake and a Candle Brad... but really the possibilities are endless.

In case you need more *FLASHES* of inspiration, remember that the Eyelet Outlet Blog, Facebook page and Instagram feed have daily doses of inspiration from my awesome fellow designers! ♥

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

she's a craftin' machine

do you love the title of this week's challenge at shopping our stash? i do... altho i confess that every time i read it, i get the jackson five's infectious 1970's single, "dancin' machine" stuck in my head for all eternity. so i apologize if i just got it stuck in your head, too. but what's the brief this week? we want you to use one of the many "craftin' machines" we all love so much: diecutter (mechanical or electronic), sewing machine, xyron, etc; to make your creation. oh, and be sure to tell us what you used if it isn't obvious, k? i used my xyron, and in fact, i cannot imagine having attempted this project without it. but first let me show you what i made:

craftin' machine: xyron 9" adhesive machine now known as xyron creative station; wooden letters: handmade modern line from target; patterned paper scraps: echo park, authentique, fancy pants, k and co, prima, creative imaginations, anna griffith, photoplay, foofala, glitz, pion designs and... there might be a few more, but i think that's most of them!; adhesives: the aforementioned xyron, some beacon 3 in 1 adhesive for the letters + scor-tape to affix the panels to the card

if you saw this index card last week you'll know that i was already playing around with this idea on a much smaller scale. today's card is an upgraded, slightly fancier version of the same chevron or herringbone effect on the index card, though this time i've used patterned paper scraps in shades of tan and brown for a more coordinated look. but before i even started thinking about the design, i made the most important part, which was the base. i ran a 5 x 7" piece of plain white cardstock through my xyron machine, which put a thin, dry layer of adhesive from edge to edge. then i cracked the paper backing so i'd be able to easily remove it, and trimmed the panel down to 4.75 x 6.75". this is a little trick i learned a few years ago, to apply the adhesive FIRST and then trim down your paper, otherwise there is always a little bit of stickiness around the edges of the paper, which i don't like. ok, so i have a panel of cardstock that's the right size and sticky. now what?

this is when you start creating the pattern. if you want a true herringbone, you need to cut all of your paper scraps to exactly the same width and length, and start at the center of your paper. i was going for a slightly more casual look, which coincidentally required A LOT less measuring, lol, so i just cut my strips to random widths. the one crucial factor is to make sure they're all cut quite straight, and that the short edges at top and bottom are perpendicular to the length of the strip. if they aren't, you'll have little gaps of background paper that show through. i used my guillotine chopper to get nice straight, square cuts, and i was good to go. i placed one strip at a diagonal towards the left side of my paper. then i placed a second strip at right angles to the first. then i just alternated back and forth until my entire panel was covered in strips.

then i used the handy guillotine once more to neatly trim off all the excess at the edges. finally, i made a very simple sentiment panel. i had actually intended to add a second "craftin' machine" into the mix here by using my sizzix to diecut a fancy label shape, but i honestly felt like it overpowered the design of the herringbones, so i wound up just affixing my natural wood letters to a strip of patterned paper and matting with the same deep brown as my folded A7 card.

there's lots more inspiration from those amazing "craftin' machines" known as the SOS design team. why not check out the lovely creations they've made just for you! ♥

Monday, June 18, 2018

happy mandala monday

do you have time for a few more index cards? (...let's pretend you 've said yes to that, lol...) awesome, here they are now!

day 14: flamingo
i've been doing some of the optional prompts, but usually not on their official day. in this case, a big part of my inspiration was making something with that cool, somewhat hoarded, vintage flamingo seal thingie... more specifically, making something i would get to KEEP!

day 15: cobblestones
for some reason i've very into making patterns this year, from torn, cut, diecut or punched papers. these "cobblestones" are made from a gel print featuring rainbow shades of colorburst that i tore into little pebble-y shapes and stitched upon, quite crazily, where the grout would be.

day 16: sea green
or rather, THE SEA (sorta) and it is green.
(more torn and stitched pattern action... ocean waves this time...)

day 17a
another pattern, this time punched and inlaid circles of various sizes. and then... surprise... stitching! 

day 17b
after i finished the card above, i had several pastel index cards with multiple circles punched in them, and i started shuffling them around, in various layer combinations. i think i almost like the collage of negative space circles more than the original idea. i'm pretty sure this is a concept i'll be revisiting.

day 18
and thus we come to one more mandala monday. this one is composed of fabric layers from a coordinating set of flower sack prints that my friend anna gave me. i think i should've alternated plain and printed fabric layers so the mandala shapes would stand out more, but i was having so much fun with the pretty prints! 

i hope you're having a really good monday so far, and that it will improve with age!

Friday, June 15, 2018

we're dreaming...

...of a white christmas this fortnight at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ so we're inviting you to come along and make cards that are (can you guess?!) predominately white!

patterned paper: photoplay, fancy pants; florals: prima, idea-ology; leaves: ken oliver crafts; snowflakes consist of colorburst and metallic embossing paste on watercolor paper, diecut with tim holtz/sizzix XL layered snowflakes die; brads: eyelet outlet; tape: little b; ink: colorbox; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, beacon 3 in 1 adhesive, sewing machine

if you saw this index card last week, you might remember my saying that i thought the idea of torn and layered bits of collaged paper might work pretty well in a card context. i stand by that idea, lol! this time i've used pieces of all the same patterned paper, torn into loose square and rectangle shapes, with a little bit of light blue ink on the edges to make the layers stand out. on top, i've added loads of lovely dimensional florals, a few colorburst + modelling paste snowflakes and a nice big chipboard sentiment. this is definitely one that will get mailed with a package, or better yet, handed to its recipient in december!

meanwhile stephanie has a gorgeous (mostly) white card to show you, why not hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and see that right now, darlings?

Thursday, June 14, 2018

4 ICADs and a chipmunk impersonating a meerkat

yep, i've got a couple more tiny bits of index card goodness to show you but first i'll answer the question i know you're asking yourself right now, "did she say 'a chipmunk impersonating a meerkat'?!" yes. yes, i did.

and now, some art:

day 10
another one staple collage. but this one's in french, bien sur!

day 11
mandala monday is still mandala monday, ICAD or not. this one consists of layers of leftover colorburst and gelato crayon essperiments that i stacked and cut and stacked and cut. then i sewed around the center a couple of times because this many layers of thick paper never really wants to stay attached, how ever much adhesive you use.

day 12
one of the (100% optional!) prompts from last week was zebra, and for some reason, a few days later, the idea came to me that i could possibly make a sort of cool rendition of a zebra type pattern with torn bits of gel print. this is one of those cards that was incredibly fun and satisfying to make, but i'm not sure it's all that interesting to look at. on the plus side, it was A LOT easier than trying to gel print on an actual zebra... bc they realllllllly don't like that...

day 13: chevron (yes, again)
i mentioned that the prompts are optional and can be used however one wants, and this year i seem to be proving that by using some more than once, others not at all, and none of them on their actual day. in this case, i revisited the idea of chevrons, having seen a card of tammy's that had a similarly scrappy, almost herringbone-like pattern on it that i really loved. i predict you'll be seeing this idea again...  possibly in card context... possibly also more than once!!! ;)

remember it's never too late to start a daily art practice, there's no need to catch up or keep up. do what you can to prioritize 15 minutes or so a day, but don't make yourself crazy. if you have 31 or 41 tiny pieces of art and a new habit at the end of july, that still TOTALLY counts, i promise. meanwhile, ICAD founder and hostess tammy garcia has some awesome tips to approaching this fun challenge!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

I'm Your Biggest Fan!

Father's Day is this coming Sunday, but there's still time to whip up a quick card or two featuring Eyelet Outlet Fan Stamps!

My favorite thing about this stamp set is that it's double duty and works perfectly with both the #1 Foam Hand Brads and also with the vintage-style fans from the Telephone and Fan Brads set.

I went sporty with my first card, pairing the sentiment "Have a FAN-tastic Day" with a Foam Hand and giant oversized letters I made using the super-fun Sports Tape.

I had already chosen a different paper for my second card when I stumbled upon this Echo Park "Vintage Fans" paper at my favorite papercrafting shop, Paper Anthology. The irony is that I was attracted to the *other* side of the paper which has a cool woodgrain pattern! Having seen the fans, however, needless to say it only took me about 15 seconds to swap out my original choice. This time I've added the Fan Brad right to the label shape which holds the sentiment, "I'm Your Biggest Fan".

Of course, these ideas aren't only for Father's Day, they'd be equally good for most any occasion, like Dad's birthday or any other milestone. For that matter, if you swap out "DAD" for a first name, or swap the letters for stars, hearts or a stamped image, the possibilities are nearly endless! I hope you'll be inspired to improvise... I think the Fan Stamps will blow you away, lol!