Friday, February 22, 2019

shine on!

we're still celebrating all things sparkly, glittery and/or metallic at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and you're still invited to join the fun!

patterned paper and journal card: sweet peppermint collection, prima marketing + ledger paper packaging with liquitex modeling paste spread through tim holtz's gothic damask stencil; green core'dinations cardstock stamped with impression obsession's "bold vines" cover-a-card in leaf green archival; gold linen specialty paper and edge distresser: tonic studios; snowflake die: echo park; circle dies: sizzix; gold metallic doily from my stash; heart pearls: eyelet outlet; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

this week i've gone all shabby chic with papers and a journal card (from which i diecut the sentiment circle) from prima's luscious "sweet peppermint" collection, designed by frank garcia. so i have lots of distressed layers with wonky machine stitching, and i've added sparkly/metallic elements via a golden doily from my stash and snowflakes diecut from one of tonic studios' awesome specialty papers. i've even worked in a bit of packaging from some older prima flowers, (it's the green ledger paper layer) to which i've added plain white matte modeling paste, spread through a damask patterned stencil. a few eyelet outlet heart pearls top the whole thing off. here's a totally gratuitous detail shot, just because i spent aaaaaaages with the distressing tool, getting elegant-but-natural-looking edges lol:

be sure to hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and see the beauteousness stephanie has created, then start planning your own shiny, sparkly, glittery creation!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Drop Me a Line

Diabolical Pun Warning Level: Very High 

I'm not fishing for compliments......but I really (reely!) love the Eyelet Outlet Fishing Lure Brads, so I made a card to celebrate:

In the spirit of full disclosure: I have not gone fishing since I was a child, and even then, it was not a 100% voluntary experience, lol; especially the part that involved touching worms (*shudder*) or fish! But these lures are so pretty and so colorful I was hooked! (Ok, sorry, but once you start on fishing puns, it's hard to stop.) I have no idea if, in real life, one would use more than one lure on a line, but design-wise, I liked combining a few of them, so let's pretend this makes sense, k? I placed my sticker sentiment --I cannot possibly over-state the helpfulness of graph paper on these occasions-- and positioned my brads, but didn't set them. This let me sketch lightly, in pencil, a path for my two lines, before machine stitching. At the very end I added a bass (I'm pretty sure that's a bass, but I guess it could be a trout?) from the Trout and Bass set. 

You don't need to go back to school (geddit?) to learn some great ways to use the EO Fishing Lure,  and Fish Brads, just check out the EO Blog often to SEA what the design team is up to! :)

Sunday, February 17, 2019

new challenge blog: a place to start

my friend and SOS teammate chana malkah harris of redora lee designs has just inaugurated a brand new monthly challenge blog called a place to start, so of course i had to play along with the february challenge, which is to use a stamp or die that features inspirational words. here's what i made:

i belong to an awesome group of junk journal junkies that meet up once a month at paper anthology in kenvil, nj. we have an ongoing series of altered rolodex swaps with a different theme each time. the february theme, "DOTS" somehow, mysteriously, managed to stump me for aaaaaaaaages, until i stumbled upon this fun stampabilities stamp, "throw kindness around like confetti" which my friend anna gave me a while ago, but i hadn't yet used. and suddenly i had the whole entire idea. of course it's a well-known fact that i hate mass-producing anything, but i do quite enjoy making a series, if they can each be a bit different. so i rounded up plenty of paper scraps with "dotty" patterns, as well as some dotty tape and ribbon and started playing around. i diecut the heidi swapp memorydex card seven times and the ancient cuttlebug concentric hearts about twenty seven times, so i was in mixy matchy heaven. i'm not even going to bother to attempt to list products here, partly because there are soooooo many but mostly because it doesn't matter a bit... this "scraptastic" idea will work beautifully with absolutely ANY combination of things you love! 

the following sets of cards are completely unrelated, but if i ever posted them here, i neglected to tag them correctly, and thus cannot find them again. and i still really do use my blog as a webLOG of the things i make. for one thing, it's the easiest way to do a keyword search and find ALL of a category, even when that might stretch back months or years. so here are a few previous swaps and i apologize if they're "re-runs" lol!

november 2018

vintage sewing pattern ladies, set on top of heidi swapp memorydex cards diecut from the backs of some old sewing patterns that i fused with plain cardstock to make them sturdier. then i used the lacy fragment from the tim holtz/sizzix thinlits set, mixed media 2 and layered the whole thing over a scrap of patterned paper also diecut into the memorydex shape. flowers, buttons, machine stitching et voila!

october 2018

i love colorburst generally, and smooshing colorburst, specifically! for these guys (and possibly gals, it's hard to tell with monstas!) i diecut the memorydex shape from plain watercolor paper, then used several sizes of circle stickers to mask the eyes and some little fragments of old address stickers cut into triangles to mask the teeth. i placed drops of clear water onto the cards and added small amounts of several colorburst shades to the drops, then smooshed with a clear acrylic sheet to let the colors blend serendipitously. when they were dry, i peeled off the masks, added an appropriately varied amount of different sized googly eyes and machine stitched mouths. RAWR!

circa july 2018

all of the papers here, except the vintage text backgrounds, are gel prints or scraps of gel prints. and all of the shapes are punched circles or hearts, layered together to make mandala shapes. this is another super-easy idea that would work with literally ANY papers you love. to make the mandalas more dimensional, i used the bare minimum of adhesive on only the centers of each layer and then machine stitched around to make sure they'd stay attached.

be sure to check out the february challenge, "inspiration, please" at a place to start!

Friday, February 15, 2019

all that glitters... gold. or sometimes silver. with the outside possibility of copper, bronze or rose gold! on the other hand, sometimes all that glitters is GLITTER! which is my very roundabout way of telling you that this fortnight at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ we're all about metallics and/or glitter! this could be in the form of metal embellies, metallic or tinsel embossing paste or powder, glitter paper, glitter tape, glitter glue, or even metallic paper like i've used. basically, if it's shiny or sparkly, you're good to go!

silver metallic reindeer diecut from idea-ology metallic kraft-stock paper, using tim holtz sizzix "reindeer flight" die and embossed with an older sheena douglass e/f from crafter's companion; patterned paper: hambly, elle's studio, echo park, kaiser; lace from my stash;label dies: nestabilities; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

i've mentioned before how much i love idea-ology's metallic kraft-stock paper. the original variety was an 8x8 tablet with eighteen sheets each of silver and gold. nowadays there are lots more colors (and yes, to my fellow new jersians, many of these are available at paper anthology!) but i've used silver this time. i backed it with a little scrap of plain white cardstock. not because the metallic cardstock isn't strong enough, but because i knew i was going to emboss in the next step and that reindeer has teeeeeeny little legs. i diecut the handsome reindeer, then embossed but didn't sand to reveal the fabulous kraft color that's under the metallic layer, which gives you a completely different look.

be sure to hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and see stephanie's beautiful card, then start planning your own glittering masterpiece!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019


Every once in a while, I get an idea SO CRAZY I have to drop everything and attempt it immediately. This is one of those. The amazing thing is... it actually came out very much like the picture that was in my head. (I will leave it to you to decide if that's a good thing or not, lol.) I also think I may have set the all-time record for most Eyelet Outlet Brads used in one post. Because there are 45 brads, from 29 different style sets on these two panels which are each just a tiny smidge over A2. I've given the complete list with links below, but really, the best part about an idea like this is that you can make it work with pretty much ANY combination of brads you love!

Many of my crazy ideas just *appear* out of nowhere, but in this case, I had actually seen two different inspiration pieces recently. This heart shaped graphic for Crate Paper's LaLaLove Collection and a two-halved card by Elodie Lusseau using Pink Paislee's Auburn Lane line. I saw them at different times and definitely didn't connect them immediately, but at some point they kind of joined up in my head and that's when I started working. I gathered up lots of little sticker sentiments I thought could work in a Valentine context, and pulled out a bunch of brad styles. Generally, I do a "dry fit" layout first, but in this case, I kind of just had to wing it. I found it easier to start at the bottom of each half and fit each brad on individually, as if working on a jigsaw puzzle; scattering the sentiment stickers here and there by size, theme and color as I went along. Here's a shot of my worktable when I was about half done. Minimalists: look away now!

You can see I have quite a few leftovers, but this was one of those times that it was good to have a large pool of different sizes and colors to draw from, because as I got to an edge, I sometimes had a very oddly shaped blank spot that needed... something. And honestly, I couldn't probably have guessed what that would be when I started out. The brads that made the final version of the left side are: the sun from our Sun and Clouds set, a pair of Colorful Sunglasses, Mini Ladybug, the champagne flutes and silver-colored engagement ring from the Wedding Brads set, a few Mini Bright Stitched Flowers, a Funky Bee Brad and some Mini Bees, a Peace Sign, the white cup from our Coffee Brads, a Donut, Bee Happy from the Spring Bubble Brads, Palm Tree, Flamingo, a Sandcastle Brad, a couple of Hearts and a Yoga Cat

On the right-side card, the brads are: one red and one green Margarita from the Cocktail Brad set (which also includes red and white wine), Love You from our Saying Bubble Brads set, a handsome green Gnome, a Mini Emotion Brad, a Mini Bright Stitched Flower, a couple of Hearts, Hello Sunshine from the Spring Bubble Brads, a Brown Teddy Bear and a pink one from the Colorful Teddy Bears set, a silver Eiffel TowerMini Ladybug, a couple of stacks of Book Brads, a yellow Light Bulb, a green ball of yarn and the needles from our Knitting Brads, a Cute Deer, a red velvet Cupcake, and a yellow Duck Brad

When the two heart halves were complete, I affixed them to A2-sized backgrounds using the reverse patterned paper selection, to which I had carefully lined up strips of brand new Heart Washi Tape, XO Gold Foil Tape and a fun Skinny Washi pattern. But again... you could use pretty much any combination you like, and there are some really awesome NEW tapes in the store; they're conveniently placed at the top of the tape section with an asterisk, so they're easy to find! 

Wishing everybody a very Happy Valentine's Day tomorrow! ♥♥♥

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

SOS389: make your mark

it's a fun and easy challenge this fortnight at shopping our stash: color anything you want, using markers! this is especially (and coincidentally) quite timely since kathy racoosin is in the midst of another daily marker 30-day coloring challenge! here's what i made:

polynesian paradise stamp set: my favorite things; colored with tombow dualbrush pens and shading added with prismacolor pencils; patterned paper scrap background: echo park + glitz design; stickers: echo park; shell corner and sea shore brads: eyelet outlet; ink: ranger archival (for stamping) colorbox chalk (for edging); adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

i've mentioned before that i find realistic coloring- with shading and highlights etc- a bit challenging. so it's definitely good to practice more! stephanie gave me the adorable my favorite things' "polynesian paradise" stamp set for my birthday a couple of years ago and it's still definitely a go-to. my coloring process is to "base coat" each of my stamped elements with the lightest shade of tombow i think it will need, then add shading with prismacolors, as i find it easier to have a light touch with the pencils. for the record, i'm still the wolrd's sloooooooowest colorer! :)

one of the things i especially love about mft stamps is that they're exactly the right size and scale to add in some eyelet outlet goodness. in this case, shell corners and seashore brads. the landscape that sets the scene for the stamped and colored elements is made of torn paper scraps, with a sticker sun and surfboard from two older echo park collections. here is a completely gratuitous shot of the chameleon from the stamp set, because he is my favorite:

i hope you'll join us and "make your mark" this fortnight. if you need more inspiration be sure to check out the amazing dt creations over at SOS! ♥

Saturday, February 9, 2019

this is why i crochet! ♥

in case there was any question about it, this photo that our niece jazzy sent of our grandniece, gracie, with the bunny i made for her birthday solves the mystery pretty well!

this amigurumi bunny pattern by laura eccleston is available FREE on the happy berry website! where there are many, many other adorable free patterns as well; some are even available made up as kits.

my version was made using vanna's choice by lion brand yarn, in beige, pink poodle and raspberry; on a j-hook to get a nice tight stitch, which is what you want for amigurumi.  

my only innovation was that instead of making a pom pom tail, i crocheted and stuffed  a small white circle. by sewing it on at just the right angle, it formed a tripod with the legs in front, and allows the bunny to sit up securely! this is definitely a trick i will remember in future!

although it's probably an optional extra right now, as i don't think this bunny is going to be sitting alone for a while yet! ♥♥♥