Tuesday, May 23, 2017

it's the most wonderful time of the year!

by which i mean, the index card a day project* will start up again in just nine days, woohoo! you may be wondering what this has to do with this week's challenge at shopping our stash, and technically the answer is, "NOTHING" except that this week we'd like to see music notes on your project and i've used sheet music as the background for the covers of my ICAD2017 book. see?

sheet music from an old marked up book i found at a garage sale; my photo with heavily increased saturation and color levels, printed on kodak premium glossy paper; mica flakes from an art store; deco tape: love my tapes; chipboard thickers: american crafts; ink: stewart superior; bookring: staples; adhesive fabric sheets: michaels; chipboard: paper accents; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, scotch 3m craft gluestick, sewing machine  

ok, so apart from the sheet music, i have a heavily photoshopped picture i took at the new york botanical gardens a couple of years ago, which i've printed on glossy paper, trimmed into an oval shape, and added some shiny mica flakes. to grunge up the background a little bit, i added some clear plastic deco tape with text on it, a tiny bit of crackle modeling paste through a stencil, and some chipboard alphas with machine stitching to insure they won't decide to jump ship midway through the project. 

the endpapers inside the book are made from an adhesive fabric sheet i found in the iron-on section of a local big box crafting store. i was sort of excited to see them there, as we had been talking about adhesive fabric at SOS last week, during our "project runway" challenge! i always loved the stuff, so i was excited to see it making a comeback.

technically you don't need ANYTHING special to participate in ICAD, apart from index cards and a writing implement; and you most definitely do not need a special book. but i happen to like making little books, and something i have learned about myself over the years is that i can intend to keep a travel journal during vacation, or to watercolor every day in the autumn, or to make 61 index cards at the beginning of summer. but i'm a lot more likely to actually DO IT if i've already spent a bit of time and energy to make an official book with the title on it in chipboard letters, lol. and since i'm always excited about ICAD several weeks before it starts, i usually whip up a little something just to increase my odds of following through. some folks gesso their cards, or do collaged or painted backgrounds in advance to get them started, but i've found (perhaps a bit strangely?) that doesn't actually help me, so i just punch holes in a few different styles of index card and call myself "ready" lol.

on the other hand, you don't have to have any interest at all in ICAD to play along with us at SOS this week, and my dt darlings have loads of music note inspiration for you!!! ♥

*the founder and hostess of ICAD, tammy garcia, has an awesome website called daisy yellow art where you can read all about this event, but essentially: you get yourself a stack of 61 index cards; you do something creative (draw, write, paint, sew, collage, compose a haiku... whatever feels creative to you!) each day between june 1st and july 31st on one of the index cards; at the end of the project you have a stack of creative cards and have established, re-established or just re-ignited a daily art practice! it's fun, it's friendly and it helps boost both your creativity and your skills! this will be my 6th year and i have to say i love it more each time! ♥

Monday, May 22, 2017

minibook monday?!

if we are friends on facebook, you probably know that i generally like to start the week with "mandala monday". but having enjoyed a rather awesome art camp with the lovely linda brun last week, i have a few little books to post, so i'm gonna change things up! :)

linda discovered a fab place in nyc called "printed matter", which we thought was going to be a store full of art books, but it turned out to be EVEN COOLER than that!

it was not just full of art books, but full of artist books! some were traditional publications from small presses, some were self-published zines and some were limited edition, handmade treasures.

you may have already guessed that it was the latter category which i loved most, and could not wait to get home to try my hand at making!

this one has a new york theme, and was inspired by the work of misaki kawai, who incorporates a travel theme into many of her books, and does some really interesting folded pages.

it has a traditional stitched binding, though, being a bit lazy, i only made ONE signature and a folded cover, so it's a bit overstuffed. or rather, A LOT overstuffed. in fact, that crinkly seambinding tie is not just decorative... it's the only way the book stays closed, lol!

i am still clearly in a torn-and-layered paper phase, and i love the way the different sized and shaped pages have a collage-like effect, as they lay under, over, in front of, or behind the other pages.

the pages are a pretty random mix of vintage paper, gelliprints, colorburst experiments, photos, maps, train schedules, chopstick wrappers (!); i guess you could say there's a little bit of everything.

everything, that is... EXCEPT... a traditional narrative of any kind. which i suppose is something we generally expect to find in a book, lol. in fact, there aren't any words except the "found" ones in the various bits of text paper. i might add some later... or not... i suppose this is project is somewhere between a travel book and a collage? it's definitely a bit non-traditional, but i had a lot of fun making it, and i smile every time i see it. 

i'd love to stay and chat more, but i still have LOADS MORE book ideas that i can't wait to try out, so i will wish you the BEST MONDAY EVER and sign off for now, darlings! ♥♥♥

Friday, May 19, 2017

once in a BLUE moon...

...we have the "blue christmas" challenge at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ ok, technically, it's once a year, but that doesn't make for a very interesting blog post title now does it? anyway, we're into week two of the current one, so we're still rockin' the cards that are predominantly blue. i've gone a bit vintage this time:

cyanotype illustrations from a vintage ideals magazine; glossy white cardstock: paper accents; florals: petaloo, prima, michaels and some tiny blue ones of unknown origin; ink: colorbox; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape

the snowy scene is from a vintage christmas "ideals" magazine. i love that every issue i've ever seen has at least a few pages that are just shades of blue, a few that are just green or red or sepia; it's like a colorful version of greyscale! i've used a blue one here, as you can see. the lamp post was part of the same scene but was on the other side of a bit of a poem or text of some kind that i didn't want to include, so i fussy cut it, intending to fit it within my "tall card" shape. but i hated to cover too much of the house up, so i wound up letting it dangle off the edge, lol. it's a bit of an oddly-shaped, oversized card, that will need to go in with a package instead of being mailed in an envelope, me thinks! ;)

this week's theme on the simon says stamp monday challenge blog is home sweet home. i'm hoping that "home for christmas" counts??!

stephanie has made a rather lovely card that can be mailed quite sensibly. you really should hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and see it, darlings!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Ahoy, Summer!

Can you believe it's the middle of May already? I  find it hard to imagine we're only a couple of weeks away from Memorial Day! I was feeling Nautical-but-Nice (lol!) and decided to make a card which celebrates that fact, it's on the Eyelet Outlet Blog today. There are some awesome patriotic products in the Eyelet Outlet store and here are a few of my favorites:

It's no secret that I'm a bit of a Washi Tape enthusiast (I don't think it counts as "hoarding" if you USE them, right?!) and one of my favorite tricks for making a bold sentiment is to combine a few coordinating tapes, the diecut or hand cut my title from the resulting decorative border. In this case I'm rockin' the Red, White and Blue Stripe with Nautical Tape and Skinny Stars tape, though I confess I had difficulty choosing when I also had Blue Stars, Cruise Tape and Hearts; I've traced some oversized chipboard letters to form the word "Ahoy" and then mounted them on foam tape on my card so they'd stand out even more.

A bold red panel on a field of white makes everything pop, don't you think? And how adorable are those Red White and Blue Anchor Brads?! I'm definitely ready to sail off into summer now, and I hope you are, too!

I hope you'll stop by the Eyelet Outlet Blog today; and when you're there, I hope you'll scroll down to the post below and see what my lovely and amazing Wednesday partner, Miss Carri, has to inspire you even more! ♥

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

putting the FAB in fabric

this week's challenge at shopping our stash is called "project runway" and we want you to tap into your stash of fabric, whether that be in the form of fabric swatches, burlap or canvas embellies, fabric paper, fabric tape... if it's fabric, it's fair game! i have a bunch of cool fabric tape, actually, that often gets overlooked in my passion for the sheer variety of washi, so i made a point of combining them together this time!

architectural drawing, paint chip and notebook paper from my stash; fabric tape: freckled fawn, love my tapes and little b; washi tape: eyelet outlet, doodlebug, freckled fawn, little b, october afternoon; alphabet stamps: tim holtz/stampers anonymous; ink: ranger archival; bookring: staples; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, staples

if this rainbow swatch book looks familiar, it may be because i posted a similar volume a couple of weeks ago, when i announced my may and june classes at paper anthology. i made a very similar book as a sample for the class and dropped it off at the store, but quickly realized that i needed an actual working copy to keep for myself and use as a record all of my inks, paints and markers! so this one will be the "keeper" and i've already started adding the colors i own.

i divided the book into sections, and i've scribbled swatches of my gelatos, pens and markers, but i've stamped all the inks, as you can see in the photo below. i've tried to keep like colors together, so it makes it easy to determine just WHICH SPECIFIC green distress ink i'd like to use for any particular project:

there are loads more awesome crafty uses for fabric on display at SOS, courtesy of my amazing design team darlings! do give yourself a treat and hop over to see them! ♥

Friday, May 12, 2017

blue christmas?!

this fortnight's prompt at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ is called "blue christmas" but it's hard to see who could be sad if they got to play with indigo and ultramarine colorburst, then diecut snowflakes from the result, and layer them on top of old skool basic grey patterned paper, torn vintage book pages and doilies, isn't it? as a matter of fact, i had a ball with all of the above!

apparently, i'm still in a bit of a "torn paper" phase, but i keep on liking how it looks, so i'm not even going to waste time worrying about that. a little bit of ink, some wonky stitching, and those biiiiiiiiiiig honkin' rhinestones and i was ready to call this one DONE!

i was inspired by mojo monday #496, but since i wound up putting the strips ON TOP of the panel, i'm not sure i haven't veered too far from the sketch at this point. i am very grateful for the inspiration, however!

miss stephanie has a gorgeous card to show you, why not banish the blues with us at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥?!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Thanks a Latte

Hi guys, it's my day on the Eyelet Outlet Blog again! I love making all kinds of greetings, but Thank You cards are especially fun, in my opinion. And since I can never resist a pun, a sweet treat or a caffeinated beverage, I'm a huge fan of Eyelet Outlet Coffee Brads.

I love that each packet contains white cups, red cups and coffee beans! For this card, I've used the red cups and paired them with our adorable Doughnut Brads. I chose papers in neutral brown tones, so those adorable cups and the "thanks" part of the sentiment would really stand out.

It's always fun to add an interactive element to cards, so this one has a tag hidden behind the sentiment panel. And yeah... I had to sneak in one more pun, "DONUT know what I'd do without you"! The Doughnut Brads come in a mix of three colors, but I've stuck with the chocolate/brown ones this time.

In the background you can see my second favorite trick for making my own customized patterned paper. Obviously my very favorite trick is to cover cardstock with a coordinating shade of Eyelet Outlet Washi Tape, but this one's good too: I fill a piece of paper with text that reinforces the message of the card. So in this case, I've typed "thank you" in lots of different languages on a creamy tan color of paper that ties in with the accent color of the cups AND the pastry color under the chocolate icing of the doughnut.

Nope, it's just not possible go wrong using Coffee or Doughnut Brads... preferably together! 

Thanks a latte for stopping by today! Donut forget, when you visit the EO Blog, to scroll down and see what my Wednesday partner, Miss Carri has to show you! ♥

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

all buttoned up

as you may well have surmised from the title, this week's challenge at shopping our stash is to use (...wait forrrrr ittttttttttttttt...) BUTTONS! which is awesome, because if you're anything like me, you've got LOADS of them, but kind of tend to forget they're there. here's my card:

buttons and ribbon from my stash; patterned paper: echo park, doodlebug, october afternoon; paper flowers: eyelet outlet; glossy white cardstock: the paper cut; embroidery floss: dmc; ink: colorbox; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, glue dots, sewing machine

ok, yes, i realize it's the most boring way in the world (possibly in the entire universe?!) to use buttons: as the centers of flowers. what can i say? it was a busy week, and i don't think i sat down at my worktable before about 8:30 on any given night, so there was not a lot of innovation going on, if you know what i mean. in my defense, the flowers in question are some amazingly lovely older eyelet outlet printed paper ones. and i've used LOTS of them, lol! :)

i was inspired by the beautiful pastel color palette from the house of cards may challenge (tho i did not use the secondary option of sequins, since i had the buttons):

i've also got a "hint of pink" which is this week's simon says stamp wednesday challenge blog theme!
as always, the SOS design team has gone above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to inspiring you... so be sure to hop over and check out their amazing creations! ♥

Sunday, May 7, 2017

May/June Classes

It's always exciting when the new Class List goes up on the Paper Anthology website! I've got two fun and colorful classes this time, so if you're in or around Kenvil, NJ, come and play!!! ♥

Birds of a Feather

Using the new Fresh Florals Color Burst collection, Lauren will teach you her absolute *FAVORITE* ColorBurst trick: how to “smoosh” drops of pigmented water into colorful ink blots that resemble fluffy, adorable, slightly zany birds. We’ll add eyes and beaks (don’t worry… there’s a trick!) do a bit of squiggly outlining (the messier the better!) and then… get the flock out of here! 

Please note: You TRULY do not need any drawing talent whatsoever; you will be able to do this! The biggest danger is that your birds will be so cute, you won’t want to give the cards away! That and the diabolical bird puns Lauren will be making throughout the class, obviously. (We apologize in advance for that part.)

Rainbow Swatch Book

How many times have you bought the wrong color ink (or paint or marker) because you couldn’t remember which ones you have? OR (even worse!) used the wrong color on a project because the shade was actually quite a bit different on paper than it looked on the cap? Here’s the answer to the artsy girl’s prayer: one super-cute, colorful, handmade book with thirty 5×7″ plain pages; plenty of room to swatch every ink, paint and marker you own! What’s that? Your color collection just got bigger? This baby is bound with a single book ring… you can make it bigger, make it smaller, or completely re-arrange it any time you want to! Not to be pushy, but you *NEED* one of these! 

(Please note, during class we will be constructing and decorating the chipboard covers, cutting the pages, and assembling the book. Students will fill in and label their swatches at home, after class!)

Full details regarding dates offered, supplies and price can be found on the Class page at Paper Anthology!

Friday, May 5, 2017

...my true love gave to meeeeeeee...

Thanks to a great suggestion from our friend Lela Meinke, we're still rockin' with the classic holiday tune, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ so here's a reminder of the options:

Create a holiday card for your *TRUE LOVE* 
(or for any extra-special person in your life)
Create a holiday card with HEARTS on it 
Create a holiday card that references any aspect of 
"The 12 Days of Xmas" that appeals to you 

Here's a reminder of that dozen rather distinctive gifts! 

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: 

Twelve Drummers Drumming 
Eleven Pipers Piping 
Ten Lords a Leaping
Nine Ladies Dancing
Eight Maids a Milking 
Seven Swans a Swimming 
Six Geese a Laying 
Five Golden Riiiiiiiiiiiiiings 
Four Calling Birds 
Three French Hens 
Two Turtle Doves 
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree 

patterned paper: doodlebug design, echo park, basic grey; enamel dots: eyelet outlet;
adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

This week I really DID go with the "easy" option of hearts, lol, thanks to having serendipitously stumbled upon this super-cute Doodlebug holiday paper! (...though for that matter, I don't think we can rule out the possibility that marching, parade-style, behind Santa's cute Vespa are, in fact, 12 Drummers Drumming followed by all the rest of the gang...) Meanwhile there's another fab sketch at Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge, and I've made use of it:

Stephanie is quite literally ROCKIN' the 12th Day of Xmas over at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and you really need to see her awesome card RIGHT NOW!!! :)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

What's Black and White and Glam All Over?

This trio of elegant cards that are perfect for Mother's Day, on the Eyelet Outlet Blog today, for one thing! Not to mention every single one of the beautiful Eyelet Outlet embellishments I've used to make them. Including what might possibly be my all time favorite tape: Black and White Flower Wide Washi.

Stealing a trick from my super-inspiring design team sister Stephanie Severin, I thought it might be fun to try the same tape on a couple of different backing papers, just to see how it changed the design. I knew it'd look great on white (it does!); I thought it'd be cool on grey (it is!); but it really didn't occur to me that you'd even be able to see it on black. Somewhat to my amazement, that's actually my favorite! The other thing I love about this beautiful wide washi is that it has a very long repeat... I managed to wrap it around all three of my five-inch central panels before I came back to the same section!

Having got such varied results with just one tape, I thought it would be fun to limit the rest of the ingredients on all three cards, to see how different I could make them. So I've got the same White Paper Flowers, the same shape of Swirl Bling (in Pearl Black, Clear and Pearl Silver) and I've even used very similar positioning. On the white card, I framed the Black and White Flower Tape with Music Note Washi, stamped one of my flower layers for contrast, and added Bumpy Heart Bling to the center.

On the black card, I let the tape stand alone, centered the flowers with a Heart Enamel, trimmed the panel with Black Pearl Bling Strips and made a skinny mat out of Glitter Black Washi Tape.

For the grey card, I sandwiched the Black and White Flower Tape between two strips of Skinny Pawn Washi and chose a Round Black Enamel Dot to match the Pearl Black Swirl.

I hope I've inspired you to try using the same ingredients as differently as possible! Meanwhile, Carri has something great to show you today, too... her post is directly below mine on the EO blog, so be sure to scroll down and check it out! ♥

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

let's get ready toooooooooo...

FUSSYCUT!!!!!! that's right, we're back to basics in a big way this week at shopping our stash. no dies or punches are allowed, we'd like to see you hand cut something to use on your card, whether it be a simple label shape, a stamped image, or a bit of vintage illustration, like i've got here:

butterfly cut from a falling-apart old nature book; patterned paper: recollections + vintage sheet music; funky lace from my stash; a bunch of ancient prima "got flowers" which are very nearly old enough to be called "vintage"... at the very least they are "classic" at this point!!!; ink: ranger distress; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

i confess that i had a completely different idea in mind before i saw the new inspiration board at fusion card challenge. but it's MUSICAL BUTTERFLY, people!!!!!!!!! challenges just do not get much more laureny than that, now do they??! :) clearly i've played with the proportions and gone more vintage-vibed than art journally. but still!

there's loads more fussycutting inspiration from my design team darlings over at SOS. stop by and get you some o'that! ♥

Monday, May 1, 2017

sketchbook catch-up: day two

i mentioned yesterday that i had somehow amassed my sketchbook goodness than i could comfortably fit into one post, so i split it into two. today is less collage-related, but the ones with titles were also made as part of rae missgman's "artmarks thirty day challenge" which has taken place on instagram during the month of april.

you'll have noticed that i often revisit certain ideas at intervals. this is one of those: layers of circles... punched or painted or handcut... layered neatly or wonkily... overlapping or lined up to make a pattern... i come back to circles over and over. i'd apologize, if i felt even a little bit sorry about that, lol.

when i'm stumped i will just tackle the prompt in a completely literal way. in this case that meant making strong vertical lines. i thought by the time i filled the page, i might have a really clever idea. i didn't, so i just filled the colorblocks with doodles.

this time the prompt dictated both the materials and the idea. i wanted to make textural spirals, out of paper. patterned paper was too bulky. plain tissue was a bit dull. then i found some cool patterend tissue... (in retrospect, i wish i hadn't added the stitching since it flattened the tissue a bit too much.)

i love colorburst and i love pens. some nights it's impossible to choose between them. seeing as i worked on this while re-watching the movie, "minions" i'm a bit surprised that there isn't more yellow... or bananas!

a colorburst blotting page that got turned into something a bit abstract, with pen doodles that somewhat tried find shapes inside the overlapping watercolor. 
(what can i say, they can't all be masterpieces, lol!)

for some reason, i rarely mix collage, paint and doodles. NO IDEA why not, and i sort of think that might change in future!!! 

i hope your monday will be as bright and cheerful as this colorburst mandala!