Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Birthday Blossoms

Is it just me, or do you think that nearly everybody would secretly like to have a teeny, tiny, non-embarrassing fuss made on or around their birthday? That's one of the many reasons why I love to make special cards for my friends and family. It's a GREAT excuse to break out some of the many cool styles of Eyelet Outlet Flower Brads, as well. I'm showing off this particular card on the EO blog today:


On this card I've used Fresh Flower Brights, Mini Stitched Flower Brads and... I've invented my very own NEW type of flower brad by adding Pink Enamel Dots to the centers of some suns from the Sun and Cloud Brad set, see?


I've scattered the different sized and shaped brads on top of some awfully pretty stamped flowers from a set called "Bold Blooms" by Pretty Pink Posh; whom I thank profusely for the $25 gc they donated to the Coffee Lovers' Summer Blog Hop... which I was lucky enough to win!* Once I had all of the Flower Brads arranged, I went back and added even more texture and interest by giving some of the stamped flowers tiny Pearl Bling centers or Matte Enamel Dots. Finally I added a diecut sentiment with a tiny Mini Butterfly Brad to dot the "I" in "birthday".


I hope you are having a happy and colorful day, but if not... why not add some Flower Brads (with or without flower stamps, lol!) to your life! ♥

*I was able to choose *THREE* cool PPP sets and only went $2 over my prize amount! and YOWZA they are sooooo cuuuuuuute! (You'll see one of the Xmas sets I chose later this week, too, so stay tuned!)

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

butterflies flutter by

this week's challenge at shopping our stash is called "butterflies, bees and bugs" and we want to see... ok, you've already guessed that pretty much ANY insect will do, right? i've gone with butterflies, as you can see:

vintage bits: cancelled postage stamps, sheet music, book paper; patterned paper: k and co, recollections + handmade mulberry paper; self adhesive drywall tape: home depot; ink: colorbox; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

my butterflies are in the form of older postage stamps; not vintage, as such, but older cancelled stamps that my mom and i found when we were cleaning out the apartment of an old friend last year. for my background i've used a combination of old book paper, sheet music (of course!), handmade textural (but sheer) mulberry paper, drywall tape (my new favorite "non traditional" papercrafting supply!) and i've also mixed in some well-hoarded scraps of my all time favorite k and co paper pad, "que sera sera" and some new(er) recollections paper. you can't really see it in the pics, but there are little gold foil accents that add so much shimmer when you see this irl. and of course you're all invited over... i'll put the kettle on! ♥


meanwhile, my SOS design team darlings also have many fabulous butterfly, bee and bug-based creations. why not stop over and see them right now; then off you go to link up your own masterpiece!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

still ICAD-ing over here...

although i must say that july seems to be racing past even more quickly than june; which is rather astonishing. but you know what they say, "time flies when you're making tiny, experimental works of art on index cards" or... you know... words to that effect. ;)

here are this week's cards from the amazing, if almost-over (how is that possible?!) 2017 index card a day project:

day 45: night sky
i haven't done as many colorburst watercolor ICADs this year, for the most prosaic of reasons: i only have a few extra-heavy, white tabbed cards (the kind that don't actually disintegrate when you use wet media on them) left! but obviously this NEEDED to be a watercolor! a blend of fuchsia, wisteria and indigo, to be exact.
(brace yourself for a massive watercolor phase in august though, lol!)

day 46: love
as in "love, comma, everything that i..."
(specifically layers and layers of vintage bits, with some machine stitching on top!)


(the machine stitching is actually in the shape of a heart, a fact that's only noticeable on the back of the card, lol)

day 47: layers
do you ever have an idea that is so persistent you literally cannot think of anything else until you've got it out onto paper? this was one of those. and OF COURSE it's not an idea i needed *now*! it's actually for one of my sept/oct classes. but i suddenly thought of a way to combine collage and stamping in a way that i'm not sure anyone else has combined collage and stamping. the collage is loosely overlapped scraps of vintage paper which fit inside a (rough) frame; the stamping is on 2 or 3 torn scraps of parchment paper and colored on the back with alcohol ink, then the fragments are "reassembled" to make one image. in this case a flower-- in the class it'll be a leaf!
(act surprised when you see the actual leafy cards at the end of august on the paper anthology class page, k thx!)
 
day 48: intersection
in lieu of actual paintings, however, i've been working in as many pre-painted colorburst scraps as possible, in collage form. 


b/c YEAH, i save all the little bits that didn't work out how i wanted at the time, and the offcuts on which i painted the extra pre-mixed color. to you they may look like a mess, but i see TREASURE from which i can construct funky mandalas on top of a vintage maps! ♥

day 49: off prompt
a "simple" idea that wound up taking FOREVER, lol. and another use of the rainbow hoard, actually. hand-cut chevrons, in rainbow colors, arranged in a sort of starburst pattern.
(this took sooooo muuuuuuch longer than that sentence implies, but 'nuff said...)

day 50: sun or moon
more scraps and leftovers. the bits that make up the mandala/sun/flower were from a gelatos class; b/c i have to demo the technique each time, so i wind up with duplicates. i expect that normal people toss those, or make them into cards? ok, let's face it, i have no idea what normal ppl do, lol, and it'll never apply to me anyway, so i stick them in with the colorburst "leftovers". on the plus side, i always have something interesting to grab at times like these, so i'm callin' that a win! ;)


♥♥♥
i'll be (wo)manning the shop at paper anthology today, so if you're running errands anywhere near kenvil, nj, stop in and say HOWDY! 

Friday, July 21, 2017

here comes santa claus!

it's time for a brand new prompt at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and this fortnight we are celebrating the big man himself, so we'd like to see cards that feature santa, kris kringle, father christmas, pere noel, julenissen or whatever version of jolly old saint nicholas happens to be your favorite! i've gone with a classic, if slightly historical santa:

santa image from a dover postcard reproduction of illustrations by thomas nast; flower tape, paper flowers and pearl brad: eyelet outlet; pattered papers: recollections, blue fern studio, jen hadfield/pebbles, mme; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

one of my biggest tips for scoring interesting, offbeat finds at book sales, thrift shops and rummage sales is to make sure you walk down every aisle, scope out every category and take a peep in every area. why? because sometimes people define things differently than you would. i once found an amazingly lovely MINT copy of an edward gorey pop up book... in the kids' section... for 25 cents! apart from that, it's always possible that other browsers may have changed their minds and put something back incorrectly. i also always look for a "reject" cart or table near where you pay for purchases. people may decide against something right there at the register, and if he cashier hasn't had time to replace it, there might be a pile of COOL things right in front of you. oh and i've never been to any kind of sale where there wasn't a "junk box" in which everything is free or ridiculously cheap. i've found creased (but lovely) postcards, incomplete games, funky union badges, cool single rhinestone earrings and even letterpress in such catchall spaces! why am i mentioning this now? because last fall i found these two pristine books of reproduction holiday postcards in a box with kids' coloring books.


i'm playing along with this week's atlantic hearts sketch challenge (#221), and i thank them very much for the shout out i got for another cool christmas card i made a couple of weeks ago.


once again i was tempted to make all those fab little flags out of washi tape, but i decided to change it up a bit, so i made the pennants out of paper scraps and topped them off with a strip of gorgeous eyelet outlet washi instead. i used this pretty black and white flowers tape, which --as the name implies is NOT colorful-- so i added my own tinting with a few alcohol ink markers. strictly speaking, it's not even a holiday tape, but i liked how it went with the vintage flora on the postcard. i topped the design off with a beautiful EO paper flower stack and a large pearl brad.


stephanie has her own santa-centric card to show off to you. why not head over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and see that right this minute?!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Beach is Always a Good Idea!

Here's a shocking true confession: I am not that great at stamping + coloring. But one of my birthday gifts from my craft-bestie and fellow EO designer Stephanie Severin was an adorable Hawaiian-themed stamp set* that I knew would be perfect with ALL of the various Eyelet Outlet Sea Shell Brad Varieties, so I couldn't wait to use it. It's featured in my post on the Eyelet Outlet Blog today, actually!


I painted a beachy little watercolor background using ColorBurst pigment powders.** I attached my title (alphabet stickers and trimmed-down Dymo Label Tape) leaving a gap for the border of shells I wanted to use, which included some Shell Corners, Sea Shore Brads, Shell Brads and even a Sandcastle Brad. Here's the most important step in my card-making process, which I've said before but it bears repeating: I dry fit the elements, including the brads-- on which I usually flatten the prongs a bit-- so I can see how everything works together! Then, I snap a pic on my phone, so I will remember what order I had everything in, and which bits were over or under something else. Only then do I start poking holes in my background! ;)


Finally, my favorite thing about sweet little character stamps like these, is that the scale makes them PERFECT to mix in a few more brads! In this case, the cute hula girl had a bloom behind her ear that I covered with a Fresh Flower Brad; and you know that as soon as you construct some bamboo lettering a Seagull Brad will immediately come and perch upon it!!!


I hope you'll be inspired to look at your stamps AND your Eyelet Outlet Brads and find more combinations that will be perfect together. If you need some ideas, the EO Blog has brand new inspiration every single day!!!

*Polynesian Paradise by My Favorite Things, a set that Stephanie knew I have been drooling over since it was released a couple of years ago! ♥

**Cerulean for the sky, with some Turquoise added in the sea; Gamboge with a tiny (TINY!) touch of Sepia for the sand.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

we've seen the light(bulb)

at shopping our stash, that is. which is why this week's challenge is called, "you light up my life" and coincidentally also why we'd like to see projects with lightbulbs on them: as a focal point, as part of a patterned paper, in a lantern, as a chandelier, on a christmas tree or... perhaps even in the form of an adorable eyelet outlet light bulb brad?

ancient patterned paper scraps: imaginisce, amy tangerine, pink paislee + some newer bits of echo park and simple stories. sentiment sticker of unknown origin; birthday die and twine: lawn fawn; lightbulb brads: eyelet outlet; scraps of white glossy cardstock: the paper cut; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, stick it adhesive sheets by ken oliver crafts

that is one of my favorite brad styles, actually, and i've always felt a bit sad that i don't use them enough, so this time i decided to make a sort of background paper that would show them off. i've used this beautiful skinny lawn fawn happy birthday die to make patterned paper once before. though only once, because applying gluestick to those tiny delicate words was kind of tedious. so i was interested-- if a bit skeptical-- when my friend elisabeth suggested using "stick it" adhesive sheets. because of course i've tried applying xyron adhesive to cardstock sheets and then diecutting. yeah, they *stick* really well, but it's a bear and a half trying to peel them off the back of the diecut words. the stick it, though, had no such issue; it peeled off easily and cleanly. i can see my super-detailed dies getting A LOT more use in future! ;)


something else that is both practical and awesome is this week's sketch saturday layout, on which i have only just realized i rotated the bottom layer. huh. howboutdat?! :)

be sure to check out the "light bulb moments" experienced by the rest of the sos design team, won't you darlings? ♥

Sunday, July 16, 2017

*WHERE* exactly did this week go??!

seriously, i'm pretty sure time is passing much more quickly than usual. and not just because i've been having fun doing ICAD with my nieces and nephew. though i have. and it is *AWESOME*! here are the cards i made this week. you might be shocked to see there is quiiiiiite a bit of collage, lol!

 day 39: ampersand
i used an oversized ampersand from a pack of chipboard letters to trace the shape onto a panel of gelato crayons over white emboss resist that was leftover from a class last winter. (a have a few more discarded versions of the flower flourish design, so act surprised when you see something similar in future, lol!) and then i layered it over... waiiiiiit forrrrrrrrrrr iiiiiiiitttttttt... a random vintage paper collage! ;)

day 40: steampunk
of course the first thing most people think of when they hear the term "steampunk" is fish-based flying machines.
obviously.
(srsly, i have no idea, this is just what happened, k?)

day 41: roots
a bit tangential, admittedly. but this was partially a collage for my mother who wonders why i can't make some ICADs that are *pretty* lol.

day 42: onomatopoeia
for the record, i am NEVER going to be able to spell that word without looking it up. meanwhile, another collage... with another vintage car on it...
(i could probably do a whole month just of those cars, but i'll spare you...)

day 43: off-prompt
a collage with more layers than anything else in this post, and yet it's almost entirely FLAT. ingredients include:
a stamped index card
part of a vintage map
a nature dictionary description of hibiscus
a scrap of sewing pattern (in French!)
a Japanese tag
three kinds of vellum
 two kinds of tissue paper
scraps of awesome birch bark patterned giftwrap
a metric measuring chart
and six different rubber stamps, including the palm trees which my friend barb brought back from hawaii for me years and years ago and which i still absolutely love

day 44: blue
still a collage, but this time a collage consisting of previously made colorburst essperiments, including several unsuccessful attempts to paint a watercolor galaxy; a tinted modelling paste idea that i like but it didn't work of what i wanted at the time; and an offcut of the cerulean sky from friday's jingle belles card. thus proving there are no *surplus* colorburst pages... just ones you haven't used yet...

hope this day finds you on your way to doing something FUN! if you need me this afternoon, i'll be at my mom's house, with the kiddos, wreaking collage-based havoc all over her kitchen table, darlings! grab your gluestick and come play!!! ♥♥♥