Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Do You Know How Many Types of Bling Eyelet Outlet Sells?

Ok, that's a bit of a trick question that I'm posing on the Eyelet Outlet blog today, because I actually don't know the answer. But it's *A LOT* lol! We have Individual Jewels (in many sizes), Swirls, Strips, Shapes, Bumpy Bling, even Bling surrounded by More Bling... all of which come in at least six colors; and then nearly every variety is also available in Pearls. Like I said, it's a lot of bling, so if you cannot find a variety you like in the Eyelet Outlet store, it may not actually exist on this planet. All of which may have tipped you off to the fact that my project this week is bling-related, lol!


One of the first things I thought of when I saw the new Fancy Bling Borders-- which are part of the amazing Fall Release, and will be in the shop verrrrrry soon-- was that their size and shape made them a substitute for places where I'd ordinarily use ribbon. And since they're very sticky, and quite bendy, I wondered if i could even use them in a 3D application, like say, on a gift package. Obviously, it'd have to be a special package, and reusable, so I separately covered the lid and the bottom of a small box with some glossy pink giftwrap. Then I trimmed a section of the border big enough to drape across one corner of my package, and wrap down onto the vertical surface of the box top. I un-peeled and stuck the center (horizontal) bit on first, then carefully pressed down first one side and then the other. When the entire segment was adhered, I trimmed the excess at the lower edge away with scissors.


The only thing you cannot do with the Fancy Bling Borders is tie them in a bow. But luckily Paper Flowers make an equally nice embellishment. Especially if you adorn them with even more bling, lol! On the smallest flower I used a Pink Flower Jewel. On the largest, I used another, but then surrounded it with Clear Oval Jewels and small Pink Gems. For the middle flower, I used a 12mm Round Pink Jewel with the Clear Edge, and surrounded it with Tear Drop Jewels, which are technically not quiiiiiiiite in the shop just yet, they're part of a huge update of new styles that will be coming ANY MINUTE! (& totally worth waiting for!)


Of course you cannot give anyone a package as fancy as this without a card. And it's going to have to be pretty bling, to hold its head up, right? Still playing with the "embellished flower" ideas that I used on the package, I made blossoms with 12mm Pink Jewel Centers surrounded by Clear Oval "petals". For stems, I carefully positioned some Champagne Bling Strips so they looked like they were bending in the wind, and added leaves made by cutting apart some of the brand-new, coming-soon Heart Jewel icons. This may be the heaviest A2 card of all time, lol, but I love how it came out!


I hope you'll be inspired to check out the many beautiful varieties of Eyelet Outlet Sticky-Back Bling and create your own stunning combinations! ♥

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

WOOD-n't it be nice?

time for another brand new challenge at shopping our stash, it's called "wood is good" and we'd like to see WOOD or WOODGRAIN on your projects. because we know you still have some of those little wood veneer shapes left from when they were The Big Thing a couple of years ago. or maybe, like me, you've never, ever, walked past a piece of woodgrain patterned paper --be it realistically brown, whimsically pink, or somewhere in between-- without purchasing at least one piece. and since we're all about using up those older goodies it's time to dust them off and do something FUN! for example, did you know that you can stain wood with ColorBurst??! if not, you probably want to watch this ken oliver video ASAP. but first, just take a gander at my card, k?

wooden letters from target's "kid made modern" line stained with peony, gamboge, chartreuse, cerulean and wisteria colorburst; patterned paper: echo park; cloud vellum that i have noooooooooo recollection of buying, and it must've been YEARS ago: american crafts/dear lizzy; (ancient) letter stickers: ki memories; sun and cloud brads: eyelet outlet; white kromekote cardstock: the paper cut; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

i should point out that this technique is only going to work on raw, unfinished wood. if the product has already been sealed or poly-ed, the color is obviously not going to sink in properly. in the video, ken uses burnt umber to get a beautifully realistic woodstain look. which i can see being handy for all sorts of things. but you know i had to try out as many other colors as possible. so that's what i did. i made a few little discoveries, which i'm happy to share, o'course! i started out thinking i'd need to use dark shades and plenty of pigment; but after a bit of experimentation, i discovered that i really liked the reverse better, at least for this particular project. lighter shades, applied a bit more sparingly, seemed to show the woodgrain more... go figure?! this is one of the many reasons that, as with any brand new technique, i highly recommend doing a "test run" whenever possible. thankfully, the wooden alphabet i used had plenty of extra letters, as well as punctuation and numerals. if you have only ONE of what you need, maybe try out your color on the back... just to see how it looks. in the interests of full disclosure: no, i didn't seal my letters after they were stained. mostly because i knew they were going on a card. if you're trying this with any project that's going to be handled, or come in contact with other surfaces --like a frame or box or decor item-- you'll want to seal it!

here's another somewhat gratuitous photo, because this one shows that the letters are popped up on foam tape for even more dimension, and the layers of paper that make up the background are left loose at the edges. (the latter because it's a cool look i discovered during ICAD and have been trying to figure out how to do in a more mainstream card context!) if you're wondering did i use special adhesive for the vellum? nope. just use my plain old tape runner thingie. i did place the adhesive strategically, so it's hidden under the wooden letters and the letter stickers. of course, i later added stitching to the stickers, as well as a couple of cute eyelet sun and cloud outlet brads, so really i didn't even NEED adhesive, afterall!


be sure to check out all the other ways that "wood is good" over on the SOS blog, darlings! ♥

Sunday, August 20, 2017

collage, collage, color and... more collage

time for a round up of this week's freestyle art:


in addition to being a place to make art, my sketchbook is also where i test pens, try out stamps, debate over ink colors, clean off stencils, and glue random bits of paper that i'm too lazy to clean up properly. so there are some collages that kind of organically evolve over the course of several weeks. this was one of those. on the night i finished it, i only added the top layer of paper scraps, the awesome vintage irish photo, and the colorbursted poppies. which took about 10 minutes.  

or 2 weeks and 10 minutes... 
if you allow for all the other layers...


conversely, this one was built from the ground up on the night i posted it to instagram. it's on a plain white background. which in this case works, because the frame of paper scraps really stands out, and forces your eye inwards to the vintage diving ladies. who *INSIST* on being the stars of this, and would most certainly not put up with any distractingly cool background hijinks on their watch.


just in case you thought there was not going to be any rainbow colorburst action this week... ohhhhhhhhh yes there is. first up, my second go with the skinny skinny artist pinstriping tape, which does indeed work considerably better as ONE single layer. the cloudy swirly-looking bits in each color are what you get if you add a single drop of platinum colored liquid metal to very wet colorburst watercolor, in a way that i saw ken oliver do in this video. pretty much totally in love with liquid metals now. ♥


during ICAD i had a bit of a mini-obsession with handcutting the layers of a mandala from vintage paper, colorburst pages, patterned paper... anything that came to hand, really. this is my first effort at a "full sized" piece in that method. it's about 9x9". the fact that some of the layers are made from watercolor paper means that they were harder to attach (i've done a bit of absolutely necessary machine stitching to go with the purely decorative machine stitching!) 


...but... 
you can also bend them a bit to make the mandala petals stick up like a lotus flower. see?


this is one of the fastest collages i've ever made. until i had to find a background. which took FOR-flippin'-EVER!!! i have no idea why. i don't even really love the ledger paper i settled on, but at some point ya gotta glue things up and go to bed, kwim?

hope this finds you in the midst of the
BEST
SUNDAY
EVER!
♥♥♥

Friday, August 18, 2017

old fashioned christmas

time for a brand new prompt at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and this fortnight we are celebrating all things vintage! as you know, i happen to loooooooove vintage paper and ephemera, in fact i even built my etsy shop, just enough stuff, around it! but for this challenge you needn't have actual OLD stuff; you can use vintage-style products or images; we've also got a few digital scans over at jingle belles that you are welcome to test drive! but basically, we just want to see holiday cards using whatever conveys an "old fashioned" vibe to you!

vintage goodies: sheet music, darkly patina-ed dictionary paper, greenscale forest-y illustration from an old christmas ideals magazine, lace "liberated" from my mom's trimmings collection; cherry wood veneer paper: altenew; glitter paper: american crafts POW; patterend paper: authentique, glitz design; cardstock: bazzill; ink: prima; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, scotch gluestick, sewing machine

I'm absolutely in love with this "small cabin" die from impression obsession, it has exactly the right amount of detail, imo. the first time out, i cut all the cabin bits from both plaid paper and sheet music and tried to use the inlay method to combine them, a procedure i found frustratingly fiddly. so finally i put a bit of adhesive on the backs of the plaid window frame and door/porch section, stuck them both to an uncut scrap of sheet music, and trimmed off the excess with scissors. it was *MUCH* easier, and i honestly don't think you can see the difference in the finished card!


my layout was inspired by this lovely roadmap from sketch saturday, which i think you'll agree is pretty flippin' awesome. sadly, i didn't realize until too late that it was LAST WEEK's sketch. so obviously i can't link up, but i still thank them for the inspiration! ♥


stephanie also has a gorgeous vintage-inspired card that you will love; and there may actually be a little prize involved this week...? so i'm pretty sure you need to hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ darlings!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Love and Butterflies

It's my day on the Eyelet Outlet Blog where I mention that I had the very great pleasure of meeting Suzanne Marchesano, the owner of Eyelet Outlet, and my design team sister Kim Venezia at the Stamp and Scrapbook Expo in Edison, NJ last week! Let me just say this: if you ever get the chance to visit the EO booth in person, TAKE IT, because seeing that many cool brads, washi tape varieties and types of bling all together in one place... not to mention ALL of the amazing samples made by the EO designers... is just sooooooooooo very cool! I guarantee you'll come away with loads of inspiration as well as fantastic products; though I confess I did get some really cool goodies, too! This week I'm all about butterflies!

 
I was inspired by the gorgeous Butterfly Music Wide Washi Tape, which I've paired with Butterfly Brads, Butterfly Profile Brads, and Mini Butterfly Brads, to make a card and a tag in two different colorways. I should mention that all of the butterfly varieties come with an assortment of colors in the same packet, so you don't have to choose just pink or just yellow... you can have the whole rainbow on one card if you like!


At the show on Saturday, Suzanne told me a really cool idea she had for using our Long Bling Strips to frame silhouetted shapes, so I definitely wanted to give that a try. I've used them on straight outlines before, but it didn't occur to me that I could bend them into softer lines, around curves?


It worked really well, though. I took a Pearl Black Bling Strip, started at one end of a butterfly diecut I'd fashioned from cardstock covered with Music Note Tape, and kept following the contour all the way around. I *LOVE* how this came out, so you'll definitely be seeing the technique again!


To finish up the card I framed the Butterfly Music Tape with some Pink Argyle Tape and loads of machine stitching.


For the tag, I used most of the same ingredients, but in a scaled down version, and with yellow butterflies instead of pink. This time I used the leftover Pearl Black Bling Strips as a border to the Butterfly Music Tape, which is one of the fastest ways to get totally elegant dimension and texture on any project.


Of course, since the Bling Strips are 12 inches long, come four to a packet, are available in both gem and pearl versions, and sport LOTS of colors...there's sure to be a variety that's perfect for whatever you'd like to make today! ♥

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

chillaxin' and relaxin'

did you know that today (aug 15) is national relaxation day? ok, nor did i, until i saw this week's challenge at shopping our stash. but now that we're all aware of this crucial fact, it's no surprise that what we'd like is for you to create a card or project that illustrates something you find relaxing. personally, i like the beach; it's the one place in the world where i can just sit still*. and, as my lovely blogging friend sue crease will attest, i'm always especially happy when i have a good excuse to add a totally gratuitous flamingo to my project, wahey! :)

loads of ancient stash-using bits in this card, woohoo! patterned paper: echo park, my mind's eye, amy tangerine, basic grey; stickers: doodlebug, photoplay, echo park; glossy black cardstock: ranger; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape

i was inspired by a great sketch at sketch saturday:


since this card is for my niece lindsay, who is quite a beach bunny, i'm also jumping in on the current simon says stamp wednesday challenge blog theme which is "for a child".


why not celebrate national relaxation day with a leisurely stroll through the amazing projects by my DT sisters at shopping our stash?!

*if you know me IRL, you'll realize what a big deal it is, for an old-school hyperactive type like myself to sit still, lol. ♥

Sunday, August 13, 2017

~freestyle~

would this be a good time for some random sketchbook goodness that i've perpetrated during the first two weeks of august? (be a sport and say, "yes" k, otherwise the whole rest of this post falls kinda flat.)

having spent the first two years of my colorburst watercolor enthusiam trying to apply the pigment neatly in controlled ways, i'm now really into drips, drops, runs and spatters! obviously. :)

it is written: "any random collage is enhanced by the presence of a 1970's sewing pattern lady". ok, technically, it was written by me. but that doesn't make it wrong, surely?

again with the messy colorburst. in this case, the outer bits started to run unexpectedly, so i just went with it, and the result is actually quite a bit cooler (imo) than what i was originally trying to achieve. this is why PLAYING with art supplies is such a crucial endeavor in the laurniverse.

i have a ginormous art crush on a collage artist called sophie klerk. this piece was 100% inspired by a collage she made a couple of weeks ago.

an experiment with pinstriping tape, that very nearly almost worked, lol. it turns out that you don't want to put more than one layer of this tape down at any one time, bc the upper layers will not be sufficiently attached to your paper to mask it. which is a bummer if you want perfectly crisp lines and pure colors; OR a positive boon if you want them to mix grungily at the borders!!! ;)

hope you are having an awesome weekend that includes at least a little bit of art play and LOADS of gorgeous bright color, darlings! ♥♥♥