Tuesday, May 24, 2016

SOS253: anything but a card

it's a change of pace at shopping our stash this week, we'd like to see --as you'll have guessed from the post title-- ANYTHING but a card! i made a minibook:

scraps of text paper glued randomly to a 3.5x5.5" chipboard cover wrapped in a piece of ledger paper; various ranger distress and archival inks applied with sponge applicators; butterflies are composed of liquitex white modeling paste applied thru an ancient heidi swapp stencil. pink plastic thickers: american crafts; pink tiny alphas: glitz design; book ring: staples; adhesives: scotch gluestick, sewing machine

yes, it's my ICAD* book for this year. if you've ever visited my blog during june or july, you probably already know what i'm talking about: i've participated in the index card a day project since 2012 and it's always a highlight of my artistic year. you most definitely don't NEED a special book to take part, but i'm always excited about ICAD a few weeks before it starts, so i enjoy making one.

this one's got a torn paper background (surprise, lol!) with some ink on top... because it's such a good reflection of what i've been loving lately.

i've stocked it with a few different styles of cards: lined, unlined, gridded and even some tabbed divider ones. again... you don't need to have a variety, or anything fancy, but whereas you'll never see me strolling through the mall trying on clothes recreationally, i DO love shopping for supplies and each year i've treated myself to at least one new kind of index card.

the leftover cards live --year round-- in this little box, so they're always easy to find. i had the awesome experience of nieces and nephew participating last year, and now we periodically get together for "art camp". matthew, when he has a lot of different ideas, will often ask for some index cards; even if he has his sketchbook or other supplies available. to him, you THINK about art via index cards, lol. so mine are always available!!! ♥

there are lots more awesome projects to inspire you at SOS... hop on over and enjoy those now!

*the index card a day project is the brainchild of tammy garcia, from daisy yellow art. it officially takes place between june 1st and july 31st, but you can do it any time. the point is to make a quick and tiny piece of art on an index card for 61 days in a row. you can use it to start or renew a daily art habit, to polish skills, to try new supplies, or just wing it. there are facebook, instagram and flickr groups and hashtags (# icad2016 or #dyicad2016) but you needn't share your art if you don't want to (it is a reallllly nice, supportive community, tho). the point is to emphasize the PROCESS of art-making, as opposed to outcome... hence the use of humble index cards rather than more traditional art supplies. read more about it HERE!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

doodle, paint, collage, repeat!

last week, when i wasn't making cards or otherwise engaged, i was playing around in my sketchbook. here are a few things i worked on:

heart mandala doodle
i had intended to "finish" this --as in fill up the page & possibly add more color; but when i went back to it the next day, it kind of felt DONE to me, so i left it like this.

watercolor circles: before and after
my sister has just acquired her first sketchbook, so we've spent a fair amount of time recently texting and talking about --amongst other things-- how to think up what to do within its pages. one of my strategies is to start with a simple shape, like say, circles, and just randomly fill a page with them. usually it's a warm up, sometimes it morphs into or inspires a "real" idea, and occasionally the starter idea actually turns into a finished page. the point is to just get a pen or pencil or brush MOVING and see what happens next. in this particular case, i went back to the painted page and added a whole lot of really loose machine stitching, which was A) fun and B) looks kinda cool, imo.

sisters with heart in art prompt: "once upon a time"
a sort of fairy tale collage using elements from a bunch of different falling-apart old children's books that live in my collage area. (believe it or not, the light blue backdrop, the castle, and the blue trees at the edges were not only from three different illustrations, they were actually from different sources/artists!!!)

mandala with tiny pink hearts
another sketchbook strategy which answers the question: "hey lauren! WHY do you draw and paint soooooooo flippin' many mandalas, for pete's sake?!!" well, it's another "get that pen MOVING" scenario. most of my sketchbooking takes place after 10:30pm, by which time i have thoroughly depleted my stock of brain matter for the day. if i had to think up an original idea at that point, i'd NEVER get anything done. so i love art challenges and blogs that publish art journaling prompts; i make lists and pinboards of ideas i want to try out; and yes, when all else fails, i do one of my "comfort zone" activities. mandalas give you a built-in structure that can be taken in an almost infinite variety of directions, artistically. plus, i do just really like them.

sisters with heart in art prompt: "architecture"
another old-school paper and scissors collage, with an almost record-setting level of fussy-cut images. i confess that i hadn't actually expected to USE all of them on one piece, but that's what happened and i kind of like it, lol! :)

i hope you're having an excellent sunday, and that you'll be able to do something creative before it is over! ♥♥♥

Friday, May 20, 2016

banish the holiday blues

it's time for a brand new prompt at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and this one is not only kind of fun, but also a bit loosey goosey. for "banish the holiday blues" you can make any style of holiday card you'd like, using any technique, theme, images and ingredients, BUT... you can't use any blue! easy peasy, right? here's what i made:

patterned paper: studio calico; merry tag: "counting christmas #3" set of tags by katie pertiet, designer digitals (printed on kodak premium glossy photo paper); red and plaid tapes: martha stewart; glitter gold tape: eyelet outlet; florals and velvet holly leaves: petaloo; ink: colorbox; sand colored cardstock: bazzill; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, gluedots

this is one of the fastest cards i've made all year, and that is 100% thanks to this week's awesome retro sketch (#215) which instantly helped me decide not only how to place my ingredients, but actually which ones i wanted to use, which was awesome!

stephanie has also made a lovely card to inspire you, won't you hop on over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and enjoy that right now?

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

SOS252: sounds of the sea

we're feeling beachy keen at shopping our stash this week, so we're making cards (and other projects!) that celebrate the ocean, the seashore, fishes, sandcastles, sea horses... well, you get the idea, right? i made a card, because hey, it's what i do! :)

scraps of LOTS of different patterned papers, torn and stuck on as layers: creative imaginations, prima, recollections, glitz design, doodlebug, october afternoon; dimensional palm tree stickers: creative imaginations; seashore and shell corner brads: eyelet outlet; chipboard glitter letters: k and co; adhesives: staples brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

this is not the card i thought i was making, lol! the card i thought i was making also said "ALOHA" and had palm trees, but somehow my intended hibiscus, hula girl and watercolory goodness took a little vacation and this happened, instead. and i'm fine with that. in fact, in some ways, it's better than the idea i had in my head. plus, it's kind of a "guy card" which is nice; i never seem to amass extras in that category, so i consider it a bonus!

the lovely bathing beauties at SOS have also made some wonderful and creative projects to inspire you, why not check those out asap?! ♥

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Hooray for the Red, White and Blue!

Here in the United States, early summer is time for a few different patriotic holidays: Memorial Day (5-30) is coming up, not to mention Flag Day (6-14) and Independence Day (7-4). I have to confess that these are not holidays for which I always send cards, but Eyelet Outlet has so many cool patriotic products, I found that this year I couldn't resist!

If I was going to pick a favorite, the Flag and Hat Brads might be it. They're just so fun and festive! On the other hand, the Blue Nautical Washi is really pretty, and somehow when I was looking at those jaunty flags and thinking about summer, the idea of making pinwheels just seemed totally natural. I have to confess that mine don't actually SPIN... they're just decorative, but they're so easy to make and I love how they came out.

I took a square scrap of thin patterned paper, covered the back with washi tape (I've also used the Music Note tape) and drew lines connecting the opposing corners to each other, but leaving about half and inch at the center intact. I cut along all four lines, then bent one point of each triangle in towards the center, securing it with a glue dot.

When all four "petals" of my pinwheel were complete, I added a White Paper Flower and a brad to secure it. For my card base, instead of patterned paper, I cut a square mat from an old pair of jeans (if you don't have "extras", ask a friend to save their kid's next stained, torn and outgrown pair!) tacked it lightly to my card base with a tape runner, then sewed around the perimeter with my sewing machine, to add texture and interest.

But back to those Flag and Hat Brads-- as much as I like them separately, I love using them together even more, so my second card features a whole line of them! I used my vintage typewriter and favorite alphabet stamps to create the sentiment on a scrap of stripey blue paper... which made me think about what other fun embellies I could add in stripes? 5mm White Pearl Strips and 4mm Red Pearl Strips make this a bit flag-like, I think; and a little more Blue Nautical Washi rounds things off nicely!

I think my in-laws will be a bit surprised to get a Memorial Day card, but in a good way, lol! ♥♥♥

Friday, May 13, 2016

whoooooooooooole lotta shakin' goin' on!

we're still celebrating interactive* cards at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ with the lovely sybrina, and you still have nearly an entire week to join us, which we hope you will! here's what i made this week:

the background is composed of lots of torn scraps of vintage paper with white or off-white backgrounds, placed pretty randomly on a not quite 5.5x7 panel; then i applied various shades of blue ranger distress and archival inks to the top 2/3 of the card with sponge applicators. i placed the sizzix xmas tree die pretty carefully on the panel, so it'd cut the tree sitting straight along my designated horizon line. then i went back and added ranger white texture paste through a TH harlequin and flourish stencil to be the snowy ground; and viva decor silver glitter paste tinted with a TINY amt of ultramarine colorburst thru a TH snowflake stencil in the sky area. then i did the hardest part: waited for the whole thing to dry completely!!! :) finally i glued a scrap of inkjet transparency behind the tree opening, and placed 2 layers of foam tape *seamlessly* all the way around the cut out tree shape, so that microbeads would be unable to escape. then i added the tiny clear microbeads and applied the green dcwv chevron paper backing. i matted the whole thing on some dark green core'dinations cardstock and attached it to a folded kromekote white glossy card. et voila! 

yep, it's another shaker card. yep, it's the same colors as the last one... and it even has another blue burlap poinsettia, lol! but it's quite a different vibe, isn't it? clearly we can see i'm still obsessed with ink over torn layers, and loads of stenciled texture paste. the surprise (to me) was that i could incorporate those elements into what is otherwise a pretty "normal" xmas card. also thought it'd be fun to use the NEGATIVE space of a diecut for a shaker card... by no means a new idea, but one that i never feel like i take enough advantage of, so i did this time. go, me! :)

stephanie and sybrina also have lovely new cards to show off, won't you go and feast your eyes upon them now, darlings! ♥

*what do we mean by interactive? well, a card that does more than open and shut, really. some examples? shaker cards, slider cards, pop-ups, box or explosion cards, cards that incorporate games or puzzles, super-funky folds or... well, there are lots more ideas in the readers' gallery, and the original "shake, rattle and roll" post has some links to pinterest and tutorials!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

♥april showers♥

ok, yes, i realize if you live in the northeastern united states... (where we've experienced an extravagant abundance of rain in the last two weeks) ...the word "showers" is the last thing you want to hear, but this time it's 100% confined to papercrafting, i promise! this week's challenge at shopping our stash is called "april showers bring may flowers" and we've got multiple choices as to how you approach it: you can go with umbrellas or rain in any context... OR you can make something with flowers... OR you can make a card or gift for a baby shower or wedding shower. lots of ways to take this, so use whichever works best for you.* here's what i made:

diecut cardstock flowers-- yes, those are all SEPARATE flowers, there was no patterned paper used in this project, though i realize that's what it looks like lol: my mind's eye, urban lily, sei; M printed onto cream colored scrapcardstock using "ziggy" font; sheet of giant green cardstock from staples; big flower clip from the clearance aisle at joann fabric; adhesives: staples brand gluetape, sewing machine

yep. i went with flowers. ~SURPRISE~! i do have a pretty cool stash-usage story, though. last week when i was unearthing my UFO's, i found an entire ziplock baggie full of those cardstock punch-out flowers that were a very big deal for like six months back in... 2004 or so?? i think every company made some, and it's entirely possible that i bought one sheet of each. :)

somehow, despite the fact that i used them fairly often at the time and have continued to do so intermittently ever since, i still had A LOT left. meanwhile, niece madeline's 12th (twelfth!!!) birthday is next week and her family party was this past saturday. her gift was pretty bulky so i needed a big gift bag, which meant a big decoration. i decided on a giant monogram (an M, obviously) and thought it would be cool to fill it with the diecut flowers.

i stand by that decision, despite the fact that unless you're actually close enough to TOUCH it, the flowery M just looks like it was made out of a particularly exuberant 1970's-style patterned paper. it's a pretty patterned paper, though... and maddie loooooooooooooved it! i backed the completed letter with a little mat of mint green cardstock to sturdy it up, and attached it to the gift bag with a minimal amount of foam tape, so she can take it off the bag and hang it on her door or somewhere in her room as a sort of decor piece. the big flower is on a clip, so i just clipped it to the letter, so she can choose whether to leave it on there or wear it in her hair or on her jacket or... whatever... 

need a little more inspiration for april showers and/or may flowers? my SOS design team darlings have lots to spare... check it out! ♥

*it isn't specifically mentioned in the description i received for this challenge, but i'm going to go out on a limb and speculate that if you make a card which features the pilgrims' ship the mayflower, that would also be acceptable, and i, for one, would be VERY impressed lol!  :) :) :)