Wednesday, December 7, 2016

trees, trees and also trees (some of them plaid)

i'm not sure how it happened, but i wound up with fewer holiday cards than i actually need this year, so i'll be making and posting a couple more over the next week or so, as i finish up. one of the things i do in this sort of situation is look through my stash and choose a card or two i especially enjoyed making, and sort of, well... CASE myself, lol. this time i saw these fun colorburst trees from january, and thought, "yep! that'll work!" so i made a few more in a similar vein:

one of the reasons i chose this design is that i knew i had a bunch of the same "ingredients" left. by which i mean panels of watercolor paper on which i'd either used up some pre-mixed colorburst, or tried experiments in tinted modeling paste, or blended colors that didn't quite work or... well, something. one way and another, i often end up with panels like these; ones which, for whatever reason, were not quiiiiiiiiiiite right at the time i made them, but were too pretty to toss away. i never worry about that, though, because i know that they'll be perfect for *SOMETHING*, sometime.  For example, the blue ones make really good sky... add a torn strip of white glitter paper and you have the background of a faux polaroid landscape, such as the one all three of these cards make use of! Diecut some tiny trees from the green panels et voila! it's a winter wonderland! :)

this card might be my favorite of the group, because it uses two of my "glorious experiment" panels, a bit of leftover plaid from the "warm and cozy" mittens card a few weeks ago, and a cyanotype landscape from an old christmas ideals magazine that matched perfectly!

this one's got more little trees, a snowflakey ideals page, the last few snowflake rub-ons in an ancient packet, and a very dark and stormy emboss-resist colorburst panel that really was resist-able... till now!

and finally, i got to use up one of my other hand-painted plaid panels, a few more trees, a scrap of peacock blue cardstock, and a very blendy, aurora borealis sky that was a much-too-wet attempt at a watercolor globe this summer! it just goes to show that there are no BAD colorburst paintings, just ones we haven't found the right use for yet!!! :)

the current mojo monday sketch (#477) is rather fab, so i used it without much variation on all three cards:

and the theme for just us girls week #372 is "christmas tree" so i'm definitely on point for that one:

i hope you'll be inspired to look at some of your crafty "mistakes" with new eyes, and find a way to give them new life! ♥♥♥

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

SOS281: pretty packaging

a bit of a change of pace at shopping our stash this week, we're making gift or gift card packaging. which we think you'll agree is pretty useful, no matter what winter holiday(s) you celebrate! here's what i made:

giftcard-sized dangly pockets made with the envelope punch board by we r memory keepers; patterned paper: lawn fawn, echo park, doodlebug, glitz design; journal cards: elle's studio, studio calico, lawn fawn, pebbles, simple stories; chipboard frames: simple stories; chipboard alphas, cardstock stickers and twine: doodlebug; holepunch reinforcements: studio calico; washi tape: eyelet outlet, october afternoon, recollections, love my tapes; tags and doilies: from my stash; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

i made these fun little pockets with my envelope punch board, they  are the perfect size for gift cards, though actually, i'll be tucking a check into each of them before sending them off in the mail. in the meantime, i thought it would be fun to add a few more "bits and bobs" like decorated tags and some of those cool little journal cards that all the xmas collections seem to come with these days. i love those for card making, as well, but couldn't resist adding in a little collection of them here.

the theme this week at the simon says stamp monday challenge blog is "christmas gift" so i'm jumping in with those lovely and inspiring folks. i've also used the current layout from retrosketches (#241) which is rather fab:

there's loads more gift- and gift-card-giving inspiration from my DT darlings over at SOS. do give yourself that particular treat, as soon as possible! ♥

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Three Takes on a Poinsettia Brad Wreath Card

Hey there, it's my day on the Eyelet Outlet Blog again, where I've got a few new holiday cards that might just make you do a triple take. Yes, I've basically made the same card three times, each using the same fun Freshly Made Sketch (#265) and each featuring fabulous Eyelet Outlet Poinsettia Brads adorning a simple holiday wreath, but I've approached it in three different-- equally easy-- ways:

You know I love watercolor, so of course I had to have a go at painting a wreath! I started by lightly marking a 2.5" circle on a piece of watercolor paper, mixed a little Lime Green ColorBurst pigment powder with water and painted rough V-shaped branches all the way around the circle. When my paper was completely dry, I took a little bit of fairly concentrated Pthalo Green pigment, and used a fan brush to create a pine needle effect.

When that was completely dry, I added a few details in pen, cut around the wreath with scissors, and attached the beautiful Poinsettia Brads, a few tiny red "berries" from a Pearl Bling Strip, plus a sentiment fashioned from Merry Christmas Washi Tape stuck to plain white cardstock and trimmed into a neat little banner shape. And that was that!

If you hate to paint, here's another way to go: Use two circle punches to create a green cardstock ring, this will be the base of your wreath. Diecut or punch a dozen or so of your favorite greenery (I've got some Spellbinders' Mini Greens here) from several shades of green cardstock or patterned paper. Use a tape runner to attach the branches to the cardstock base in layers, trimming as necessary.

When the wreath is complete, add Poinsettia Brads and a washi tape sentiment and affix it to your card with a bit of foam tape, for dimension.

My third card started with a Pebbles cardstock wreath sticker, which was very lovely, but alas, quite flat. Until... I added Poinsettia Brads, Tiny Red Pearls and one more Merry Christmas sentiment! (Ok, yes, this one's admittedly a bit of a cheat, but we're into December now, so it's time to get the Christmas cards in the mail!) 

I hope you'll be inspired to grab YOUR favorite Eyelet Outlet Holiday Brads and think up some fun new ways to use them.

PS: Follow the Eyelet Outlet Facebook Page and Pinterest Board to see new ideas from the awesome Eyelet Outlet Design Team every single day!!!

PSS: I used Freshly Made Sketch #265 on all three cards, though I'm not sure the watercolor one is entirely CAS enough, so I'll understand if I'm disqualified. It's a great sketch though... see?

Saturday, December 3, 2016

resolved: all baubles should be SPARKLY!!!

it's no secret that i love christmas, colorburst, and sparkly things.* so here's a card that's all of the above. oh and i should warn you that i realllllllllllly like this one, so i might get a bit obnoxious. sorry. (well, kinda sorry.) :)

patterned paper: glitz design + a bit of vintage sheet music and half a doily; watercolor paper: strathmore; colorburst pigment powders: fuchsia and alizarin crimson, by ken oliver crafts; glitter embossing paste: viva decor, in "champagne"; stencil: flourishes by tim holtz/stampers anonymous; pearl bling strips: eyelet outlet; seam binding: paper anthology; adhesives: elmers brand tape runner, 3m foam tape, gluedots, sewing machine

you may well be thinking, "hey lauren, haven't you made a few similar cards this year, with colorburst-ed baubles that also have modelling paste on top and some eyelet outlet bling?" and the answer is: YES!!! i've made a few, in fact, and i might make a few more. because it's just so fun, and so easy, and the variations are nearly infinite! if you either draw a few basic bauble shapes, or print out some bauble shaped clip art onto cardstock, you will have a little set of patterns you can use over and over. i recommend a heart shape, a classic bauble, and a sort of elongated tear drop. and of course circles are always awesome!

for this particular card, i used the little heart and the classic bauble shape. i traced them onto water color paper painted with fuchsia and alizarin crimson colorburst, respectively. i painted on a messy layer of each color, and before it was dry i sprinkled a little more colorburst powder on to each, so i'd get some little flecks of more concentrated color. when they were completely dry, i cut them out with scissors. and then i applied some glitter embossing paste (viva decor in "champagne") through a stencil (in this case tim holtz's flourishes) and let that dry completely, too. seriously, the hardest part of this whole process is waiting for the various media to dry. though you can use a heat gun, actually, to speed it up. i wish i had taken a photo of the ornaments at that point to prove that my next step was ENTIRELY optional, because really, they already looked good! but i wanted the flourishes to show a bit more, so yes, i outlined them with a black extra-super-fine faber castell pitt artist pen. yes, i am crazy. honestly, you do not have to do that part, as you can see from the photo above, more than half of my other baubles haven't been outlined and they still look totally cool. but so do these, lol:

i've done quite a loose take on this week's atlantic hearts sketch challenge (#188) so i promise not to be insulted if i'm disqualified. it totally got me going, though, and it's quite fab as you can see:

the current simon says stamp wednesday challenge is anything goes, and i'm pretty sure i qualify, lol, so i'm linking up there! oh and just a reminder that you can still post your holiday greetings at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ until christmas eve. while you're there, why not click on a few links and make your fellow card-makers' day?

*not necessarily in that order** though!
**and dark chocolate eaten during a daniel craig movie still beats all of them!

Friday, December 2, 2016

50(ish) cards!

can you believe we've just wrapped up our fifthJINGLE BELLES♥ card-making season?!* but afterall, it's december 2nd and we've been making one card a week since january 1st, so i've got quite a stash. see?

i actually still need to make another card or two, so i'll still be posting xmassy stuff, but boy oh boy am i glad to be wrapping up this holiday chore in december, rather than just starting it! we'll be back at it again on january first, though... and we'd love to have you ♥JINGLE♥ along with us throughout 2017, so consider yourself officially invited to our papercrafting party on new year's day, darlings! ♥♥♥

*if you can't, it might be because you remember we started in 2011, and thus this was actually our SIXTH jingle belles season. as was just pointed out to me. proof that time totally does fly when you're having fun. :)

Thursday, December 1, 2016

it's december first!!!

battle stations, everybody: the holidays will be here in like FIVE MINUTES!!! but there's still time to make a few more cards and things, like this one right here:

patterned papers: american crafts, crate paper, making memories, we r memory keepers, dcwv, pebbles; assorted holiday washi tapes: eyelet outlet; ancient but still cool tree stamp: DOTS; ink: ranger archival; white kromekote cardstock: the paper cut; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape

i've used the rather fab current sketch from retro rubber challenge for this:

so of course i needed to use a stamp that's more than a year old AND mention its age. i'm not actually sure how old this D.O.T.S. christmas tree is, but i'm fairly sure it belonged to my sister, and that she gave it to me (with a bunch of other stamps) a year or two after my niece maddie was born, so that's gotta be 10+ years.

in this case i've paper-pieced it, by stamping the tree on a bunch of scraps of green patterned paper, then cut each layer from a different pattern to make a funky-fab quilty-style tree. i've paired it with a whole bunch of my favorite eyelet outlet holiday washi tapes, too, standing in for the strong horizontal and vertical lines of the sketch.

hope you're having a great week, but if not... cheer up, tomorrow's friday! ♥

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

did you say "bargello"?!

yes, in fact, we did say bargello. because this week's challenge at shopping our stash is called "paper strip art" and we'd like to see projects that make use of the bargello technique! if, like a-week-ago me, you have no idea what that means, please click the link, which takes you to an awesome step-by-step tutorial by joan ervin on splitcoast stampers. it is actually very easy and a lot of fun to do, which is evidenced by the fact that a technique-free-zone such as myself was able to make not one, but TWO cards, pdq! see?

patterned paper scraps (i'm honestly not sure whence all of these came, but really... you can use ANY scraps you have on hand!!!): doodlebug, studio calico, elle's studio, crate paper, my mind's eye, october afternoon, we r memory keepers, prima, echo park... ok, i THINK that's it...);  florals: we r memory keepers, making memories; brad: october afternoon; ribbons: doodlebug + some white grosgrain that i think i may have accidentally stolen from my mom's sewing room :),,, cardstock stickers: reminisce and creative imaginations; kromekote cardstock: the paper cut; adhesives: xyron, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

i made the panel for the snowman one first, which is how i discovered that you really shouldn't use a text paper as one of your patterned papers, because in addition to being cut into chunks too small to read, it will likely wound up oriented the wrong way around and just look really weird. also, while i like the red-on-red color palette, and the uniform size, the lack of contrast made the bargello pattern itself kind of fade into the background a bit too much for my taste.

so when it came to card two, i chose patterns without a "right side up", added more colors and varied the width of the strips. so the bargello pattern is much more the star of the show! i think it's definitely handy to be able to play the pattern up or down, though, and however you do it, the bargello technique* is an AWESOME way to use up offcuts of patterned paper, right?!

i'm linking my cards up to the "poinsettias OR snow is falling" challenge at winter wonderland, since i have one of each, lol! :)

jump on over to SOS to see what my design team darlings have done with this clever idea! ♥

*one other technique-based insight gleaned between cards 1 and  2: after you've shuffled your strips around a bit to get a pattern you like, apply adhesive all over a panel of plain white cardstock slightly larger than you'd like your card to be, and stick your paper strips to it, rather than applying adhesive to the strips themselves. i used my 9" xyron machine and it worked BRILLIANTLY, but you could easily use an ATG or even a glue stick! i also found that a bit of machine stitching around all the panels, enhanced the quilt-like vibe of these pieces, whilst also ensuring that even the tiniest bits of paper, stuck right to the edge, would remain securely attached!