Thursday, April 9, 2020

It's a SHELFIE (Get It?!)

It's been a very strange time, recently, hasn't it? There's a lot of worry and uncertainty, for sure; but there are a few good aspects; one of which is that many of us are spending more time at home, and have more time to craft! Which miiiiight just mean that a slightly more ambitious project than usual, suddenly seems like a fun thing to try. Case in point:

Shocking true confession: I am not super-confident about coloring stamped images. I am also the World's SLOWEST Color-er! But when I saw Hero Arts' Bookcase Peek-a-Boo stamp set at The Ink Pad, I just could not resist it because I collect books and plants and... well, basically I love ALL the stuff in that bookcase image. So I was determined to give it a shot.

While I definitely did not improve my speed at all in this project... (no, I'm NOT telling you how long this took!!!) ...I feel like I learned a lot! For one thing, I love Ranger Black Archival Ink and Canson Watercolor Paper for coloring; because I know I'm safe, no matter how wet it gets! For another, with a big stamp, the MISTI is invaluable; if it turns out there's a spot that didn't quite get inked strongly enough, you just ink up again and fix it! When it comes to a big or complicated background, you should fill that in FIRST; and a pale shade of watercolor is an excellent choice. I chose the very lightest blue in my Gansai Tambi Watercolors, and I diluted it quite a bit! I used watercolor for many of the books and Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers for the rest. Whenever I decided a color was too strong or too bright, I toned it down with a little bit of tan watercolor, to get the beautiful soft palette of vintage books. I found that I could get a pretty good shading effect by painting each book just a tiny bit too dark, then painting over it with clear water and blotting the excess with a tissue. (Though Derwent Colored Pencils are also great for shading!) A medium-sized round brush was ideal for the background; I swapped it for a smaller filbert to do the spines. I did the details like the metallic silver on the camera and picture frame with a fine tipped paint pen, as well as adding just a touch of gilding to some of the fancier books. At the very end, I (sparingly!) used a clear Wink of Stella brush on the glass dome, spectacles, etc.

I hope you've got a bit of extra crafting time these days, and that you'll be inspired to try something new... OR... practice at that field you've always wanted to improve! ♥

thinks she might someday
LOVE coloring!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

It's an EGG-stravaganza!

Easter is only a few days away but I couldn't resist making one more special card with my leftover Eyelet Outlet Easter goodies!

I still had plenty of the adorable Chick Brads, but only three Colored Eggs. So i decided to "make a scene" lol, in the literal sense. I've got Cloud Washi and a Sun and Cloud Brad for sky; and punched two levels of patterned paper grass, so I could raise one on foam tape to "hide" the eggs. I scattered a couple of Mini Stitched Flower Brads in there too, for extra interest.

Wishing the happiest of Easters to everyone who is celebrating! ♥

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Stencils, Ink-Blending and the Dreaded One Layer Card!

Something you seldom see me do is a one layer card (!) with a plain white background (!!) I definitely start cards with the intention of them having one or the other; but then I get a big smudge and either fussy-cut or add more layers. But not this time! Ok, yes, there are gems in the sky and it's tempting to think they're covering up... well... something! But no, those are 100% optional, entirely gratuitous gems! Head over to The Ink Pad Blog to see the whole card and share my triumph, lol! ♥♥♥

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Do You Have Tiny Trash?

I do! That's the thing about papercrafting, especially collage; you wind up with loads of itty bitty scraps of paper, the off-cuts of trimming cards, and literally elebenty million half-inch-square backers from foam tape that, even if the trash can is right next to you on the floor, they will manage to flutter away and land elsewhere. Why are we discussing this? Because the people at Lotsa Style have a Mini Countertop Wastebasket that's cleverly designed (and 100% customizable!) so you can have the trash receptacle right up on your worktable and it'll look so nice nobody will even notice! See?

Ok, that "See?" was a bit of a trick question because I'm secretly hoping you DON'T see anything that looks at all like a wastebasket, or at least not until I point it out. See?

They come in several sizes and colors, but mine is basic white and measures around 8.5 x 3.5 x 5.5" which is ideal for my space. It came with tiny plastic liner bags which I don't really need, but if I was using this, for say, kitchen scraps, they'd be perfect. 

I had a bunch of ideas for decorating this: Washi? Deco tape? Stickers? Appliques? The choices seemed endless; and there's a gallery on the Lotsa Style Website with some awesome versions! But since my first love is collage and my Art Lair is... ummmmm... "eclectic" lol... that's the way I went. I chose a nice wide vintage map of NYC and a bit of ledger paper for my background, so I could wrap the design alllllllll the way around. I added some pretty floral washi tape in coordinating colors on top and finally, the piece de resistance, some giant peonies from a falling-apart vintage garden book I rescued at an estate sale. 

There are lotsa fab products in the Lotsa Style Shop, I hope you'll hop over and check them out. If you choose a Mini Wastebasket, use the code LLAURENB30 to get 30% off! ♥

Friday, April 3, 2020

Old-Fashioned Fun

Over at Jingle Belles, we're still celebrating A Very Vintage Xmas with old or new elements that have some vintage charm. Here's what I made this week:

The robin postcard is from my own postcard collection, so rather than use the actual card, I scanned and reprinted. The other advantage of this method is that I could resize it just a bit smaller, so it fit more comfortably on my A7 card. The poinsettia illustration in the lower background is part of a page from an old Ideals Christmas Magazine. The rest of my elements are new (or at least newish, lol) from my lss Paper Anthology: the beautiful grey plaid Simple Stories paper, Petaloo burlap poinsettia and lovely realistic Prima holly leaves, not to mention the doilies and twill ribbon. I don't think I've ever made a holiday card with this much GREY on it, but I quite like the result!

Be sure to visit Jingle Belles to see Stephanie's beautiful card and check out the fun little prize that's at stake this time. (Hint: it's vintage goodies from my own Etsy shop, Just Enough Stuff!)

Thursday, April 2, 2020

A Plan for April!

Since it seems like most of us will be spending a significant portion of the next month at home --The Ink Pad staff included-- I've combined a fabulous Hero Arts Bold Print cover stamp and uber-sparkly Meri Meri alphabet stickers to make a card that states my new motto: "Eat, Sleep, Create, Repeat!"

This 6" square Hero Arts stamp has Never Seen Ink, so I'm joining the second "Stay Crafty with Hero" challlenge. The stamp is called "Crafting Tools" and I had so much fun watercoloring it with my Gansai Tambi paints. I stamped the image in VersaMark Ink (by far the best embossing ink stamp pad I've ever used) on Canson Watercolor Paper, then embossed with Hero Arts Black Embossing Powder.

For the sentiment I used my old school labelmaker to make Eat, Sleep and Repeat... but emphasized "CREATE" by spelling it out with Meri Meri Glitter Alphabet Stickers that I adhered to a scrap of black glossy paper and fussy-cut, so they'd have a little more visual weight.

I hope you're keeping well and using your extra home-time to be extra crafty! ♥

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

No Foolin'!

The calendar says April first, but we are getting SERIOUSLY cute over here, thanks to the Eyelet Outlet Pastel Rabbits and Bright Stitched Flower Brads! ♥

Inchies are always a fun way to showcase small items like brads, and making a grid of inchies is a nice way to fill a card. I used a 1" and a 1.5" square punch on lots of little paper scraps in shades that coordinate with the adorable Pastel Rabbits. But before I got to that point, I did a fast mock up to pair the Bunnies with the Stitched Flowers so that there were no repeats next to each other, then I snapped a pic with my phone so I would remember!

I left the last two (or perhaps the first two?) squares of the grid empty, so there would be a place to put my sentiment. After I attached all the Bunny Inchies with foam tape, I embellished some tiny Pearl Bling and mounted the whole thing on a white 6" square card.

I hope you'll hop over to the Eyelet Outlet Store and check out all of the fab Easter goodies!