Friday, July 31, 2015

cookies 4 santa? now??!

ok, yes, we're moving in to august (!!!) which seems like a funny time to post a picture of holiday sweets; but is actually the PERFECT time to come and get a jump on your holiday card production with us at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥! this fortnight we're making cards based on any aspect of this gorgeous photo that inspires you, whether it's the colors, the shapes, the idea of leaving a note and cookies for the man in red... in short, you can use as many (or as few) elements as you find inspiring!


i had been worried i wouldn't have enough relevant stash items to be able to construct anything interesting, but as it turned out, when i really started looking, i almost had too many cool things-- not that i'm complaining, lol! in the end, i focused on the colors and the cookies; added in a couple of ancillary ideas from the picture (white woodgrain and snowflakes); and mixed in a few "extras" (trees, a santa hat) to flesh out my little cluster of elements:

patterned paper: glitz design, october afternoon; stickersand diecuts: pebbles, doodlebug; journal card: crate paper;
santa hat: jolees; acrylic snowflake: heidi swapp; brad: october afternoon; cardstock: core'dinations; adhesives:
elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

the lovely stephanie has taken a completely different-- but very appealing-- approach... why not spend a few moments drooling over that at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ right now, darlings?!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

diamonds *ARE* a girl's best friend

especially on greeting cards, am i right???!!? ok, yeah, i suppose some might argue that diamond jewelry is even better, but it's hard to see how that would add up to an awesome and inspiring challenge for shopping our stash. so instead let's think about the kind of bling that looks good on a card or scrapbook page or... well, whatever papercrafting project you feel like making this week, k?! i made a card. quelle surprise, eh?

vintage dictionary page; stencils: folk art and deco art, both from the decor section at michaels; stamps: crafter's companion, psx, tim holtz/ranger, glitz design, hero arts; florals: recollections, prima, petaloo; black rhinestone flourish: want to scrap; giant rhinestone with a lady's face on it: glitz design; inks: ranger, colorbox, stewart superior; gesso: liquitex; white fine point paint pen: sharpie; black glossy cardstock: paper accents; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, gluedots, sewing machine

ok, so, i know my flourishes kind of look like black pearls, rather than black bling, but they are gems, honestly. by the way, it wasn't until i was writing this up that i noticed i have a second set of "diamonds" on this card, having used a fabulous harlequin patterned stencil from the decor section of my favorite big box craft store. i'm kind of pleased with the serendipity of that! :)

for the colors and vibe of my card i've used my lovely blogging friend becca cruger's birthday bash mood board, which is fairly awesome. you should definitely jump over to her gorgeous blog and check out the details of this challenge because she's made some amazing cards for this. oh yeah and did i mention there are some pretty ♥FAB♥ prizes up for grabs?! ;)


you can see that i've used the colors of that cool pillow, the chippy-peely-distressed looking goodness of the painted wood, and the typography of of the sign... ok, in my case the last part is rather subtle in that it's expressed as text paper which is waaaaaaaay in the back under all the layers of ink and gesso and stamping and stitching, but it's there, i promise. here's a totally gratuitous closeup pic, just because for once, i actually took time to create a background from the ground up and i'm inordinately (some might say obnoxiously, lol) proud of that fact. and before you ask, yes, i machine stitched around each individual segment of the oversized quatrefoil stencil pattern; and YES, i am insane... thank you for noticing! :)


and now why not hop over to SOS, where my design team sisters-- who are diamonds, themselves, actually! --have made some utterly awesome bling-encrusted projects for your delight! ♥

Sunday, July 26, 2015

konichiwa, icad week 8

i can't believe we're moving into the last week of icad2015 already... where the heck has the summer gone, eh?! meanwhile, here are my cards from last week:

050: kimono
i don't draw people, so this one was a bit of a stumper until i remembered the little amigurumi kokeshi doll i crocheted a few years ago, and realized i could do a kind of kawaii version. so i did! :)

051: garden
i love all botanical gardens, and i especially love the new york botanical garden in the bronx. they have two huuuuuuuuuuuuuuge waterlily pools and i can never, ever, resist taking elebenty million pics, of which the one below is an example as well as the inspiration for this day's icad.



052: symmetry
symmetry in drawing is not my favorite thing for the same reason CAS cards are not my favorite to make; in short: it's HARRRRRRRRRRD, people! but i had a go anyway.

053: raindrops
this is wet-into-wet watercolor blending of pencil-outlined raindrops from a julie balzer stencil. jeff made me promise not to outline it in pen at the end, but the subtlety of the colors just doesn't show up in pics very well. irl, i really love this one, though.

054: envelope
i've been very happy with my decision to make this year's icad 100% drawing and doodling, but i'd be lying if i said i wasn't starting to really miss collage. so i drew a collage for this one!!! :)

055: france
trying my hand at some tiny icons, which were incredibly fun to think up and to draw. and yes, before you ask, france is TOTALLY full of gigantic, cross-eyed, beret-wearing cats. totally.

Friday, July 24, 2015

what ho? seriously?!

ok, the coolest thing about older "found" items is they are unique and wonderful; but sometimes, that means they really show that they're most definitely of a different time. like this vintage postcard that i scanned and used as the centerpiece of my second ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ "old fashioned xmas" card:

vintage postcard (scanned and printed on hp semi-gloss photo paper) sheet music and doily from my stash; patterned paper: pink paislee + the paper co; cardstock: core'dinations; florals: prima; brad: oriental trading; ink: colorbox; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape

ok, so, yeah: i'm pretty sure i've never made a card which contained the phrase, "what ho!" as part of the sentiment. very sure, actually; and have no plans to change that policy in future. but just look at the font, and the way the sentiment is set off in its own little rectangle, then there's the beautiful snowscape, the fun skier, the muted impressionist background of the mountains... well, the whole package, really. i thought it'd be hard to pair with papers and things, so i planned to just mount it on some vintage sheet music and maybe a solid mat, but about 10 seconds into my search i found the admittedly elderly scrap of plaid pink paisley paper that literally had all the same shades. woohoo. or what ho, even, lol! :)

i used sweet sunday sketch #278 to guide my layout, because, well, it's totally awesome as you can see:


just in case you need one more look at that sentiment, here you go, in a closeup:


and now i absolutely guarantee you want to hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ to see stephanie's card and remind yourself there's a prize on offer to someone who links an "old fashioned christmas" card with us this fortnight! ♥

Thursday, July 23, 2015

pass the (ICAD) ketchup, please!

this last group of cards brings us current to sunday 7-19. meanwhile, i'm still making the cards each evening and usually putting them on instagram before i go to sleep. there's been a really good hardcore group of ICAD participants on IG this year, and it's fun to interact with them and see what they're making!

043: definition
drawing tip of the day: choose the thing you feel like drawing, then figure out how to make it fit the prompt!!! :)

044: focus or blur
see drawing tip above, then imagine my joy when i realized i could pretty much render anything i wanted, just by sticking it inside a pair of sunglasses. hot pink, bling-encrusted ones, obviously!

045: saturday night live
you could argue that i went way overboard with details and flourishes and colors bright enough to singe your retinas. but if you remember the first couple of years of snl, you'd then have to argue that all those things really capture what it was like!

046: album cover
i went with a really stylized version of disraeli gears mostly because of the imagery and colors involved, though actually, i like cream, generally, and this album in particular. (but really... hot pink wings and flourishes!!!)


047: fashion
decided to try my hand at some vintage sewing-pattern-style clothing illustrations. can i just say, this is soooooooooooo much harder than it looks? to anyone who routinely draws clothes, and enjoys it, i doff my (unpictured) chapeau!

048: disco
apologies for what has turned out to be the most persistent earworm of all time: the talking heads' "life during wartime" a song i totally loved until i drew the lyrics for an icad and got it stuck in my head for elebenty consecutive days. :0

049: black and white
i had a hard time narrowing down which of the gazillion ideas i had, so i just used all of them. problem solved! ♥

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

fun and games

this week of (100% optional) ICAD prompts (week 6: july 6-12th) were all related to different games, and i enjoyed coming up with ideas to go with each... some more literal than others!

036: backgammon
obviously a super-stylized take, but seriously, if i ever saw a backgammon set like this in a store, i'd buy it *instantly*!

037: chess or checkers
totally psyched that i was able to produce chess pieces which are somewhat dimensional looking, since shading is by far my worst thing! (but the less said about the background, the better, lol!)

038: mah jongg
i actually thought, going in, that this'd be a slam dunk. for one thing, i happen to own an utterly lovely vintage mah jongg set from which to draw the pieces, which are only dimensional squares and rectangles, for pete's sake! no idea why i flubbed it so badly, but the great thing about doing a 61 day project is that it's only one day; and somehow the ones that don't work out make the ones that *DO* work out seem even better! :)

039: monopoly or bingo
can you say, "comfort zone", lol?! having so thoroughly dis-enjoyed dimensional rendering of mah jongg pieces, i went with realllllllllly flat, doodley, mandala shapes inside the vague suggestion of a monopoly board.

040: yahtzee
again a sort of knock-on effect from mah jongg is going on, this time in the form of my asking myself, "seriously... who can't draw DICE??!" and then sort of sidestepping the dimensionality issue by drawing a dice-based patterned paper.

041: bridge or gin rummy
i traced around a real playing card with a pencil to get the outlines of mine to all be straight and the same size, then drew and painted my suits. and for the record, yes, they're all aces because that's a really good hand... AND... because it's easier and more fun to draw than four eights. 

042: scrabble
again, i've "cheated"-- if we want to call it that --by using a ruler to measure and mark the sections of the scrabble board, before doing the tiles and lettering by hand. i've also fudged a bit with regard to colored squares, to make a prettier pattern, with more pink in it. so there!!! :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

don't get stressed, get DE-stressed

this week at shopping our stash we've got a fun one that's a little bit of a different take on the creative process, so why don't i let our fearless leader, leslie, essplain:

Okay, this rang a bell with me. My pal Sandy Allnock made a fun video for OWH for April Fool's Day. It took the Ranger Distress Inks, gave them new names, and she threw in lots of beach themes. So the idea behind this challenge is really to make a card based on someothing that helps you to re-laaaaaax. Could be beach, barkalounger, hot tub, field of flowers, whatever helps you relax.

so as soon as you say "relax", the first thing i always think of is hawaii, which is by far the most beautiful and stress-free place i've ever been. and as you know, it doesn't take much to make me want to head off on an "aloha" theme, so that's what i did:

(mostly scraps of) patterned paper: k and co, melissa frances, scenic route, my mind's eye, doodlebug, prima, fancy pants, sweetwater; glossy white cardstock: paper accents; stickers: creative imaginations, sandylion; deco tape and ancient acrylic letters used as a template to spell "aloha": heidi swapp; ink: colorbox; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

there are a lot of ways to go with a hawaiian theme, and i've often taken it rather flowery and feminine, but this time i wanted to make a birthday card for my brother-in-law, john, who likes hawaii almost as much as jeff and i do. so i tried to make it a little more masculine with a surfboard, a neutral background and a cool tiki guy. ok, yeah, there's some pink and a few flowers, but those are pretty much EVERYWHERE in our 50th state, so i think it's ok. for the record, my favorite part is the lei sticker which i snipped apart, fasted around the center of the last "A", and re-attached so it was dangly. my reward was that when i showed this card to jeff, it was the first thing he noticed! 

hop on over to SOS to see many other lovely DE-stressful cards made by our DE-lightful DE-sign team! :) :) :)