Monday, June 18, 2018

happy mandala monday

do you have time for a few more index cards? (...let's pretend you 've said yes to that, lol...) awesome, here they are now!

day 14: flamingo
i've been doing some of the optional prompts, but usually not on their official day. in this case, a big part of my inspiration was making something with that cool, somewhat hoarded, vintage flamingo seal thingie... more specifically, making something i would get to KEEP!

day 15: cobblestones
for some reason i've very into making patterns this year, from torn, cut, diecut or punched papers. these "cobblestones" are made from a gel print featuring rainbow shades of colorburst that i tore into little pebble-y shapes and stitched upon, quite crazily, where the grout would be.

day 16: sea green
or rather, THE SEA (sorta) and it is green.
(more torn and stitched pattern action... ocean waves this time...)

day 17a
another pattern, this time punched and inlaid circles of various sizes. and then... surprise... stitching! 

day 17b
after i finished the card above, i had several pastel index cards with multiple circles punched in them, and i started shuffling them around, in various layer combinations. i think i almost like the collage of negative space circles more than the original idea. i'm pretty sure this is a concept i'll be revisiting.

day 18
and thus we come to one more mandala monday. this one is composed of fabric layers from a coordinating set of flower sack prints that my friend anna gave me. i think i should've alternated plain and printed fabric layers so the mandala shapes would stand out more, but i was having so much fun with the pretty prints! 

i hope you're having a really good monday so far, and that it will improve with age!

Friday, June 15, 2018

we're dreaming...

...of a white christmas this fortnight at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ so we're inviting you to come along and make cards that are (can you guess?!) predominately white!

patterned paper: photoplay, fancy pants; florals: prima, idea-ology; leaves: ken oliver crafts; snowflakes consist of colorburst and metallic embossing paste on watercolor paper, diecut with tim holtz/sizzix XL layered snowflakes die; brads: eyelet outlet; tape: little b; ink: colorbox; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, beacon 3 in 1 adhesive, sewing machine

if you saw this index card last week, you might remember my saying that i thought the idea of torn and layered bits of collaged paper might work pretty well in a card context. i stand by that idea, lol! this time i've used pieces of all the same patterned paper, torn into loose square and rectangle shapes, with a little bit of light blue ink on the edges to make the layers stand out. on top, i've added loads of lovely dimensional florals, a few colorburst + modelling paste snowflakes and a nice big chipboard sentiment. this is definitely one that will get mailed with a package, or better yet, handed to its recipient in december!

meanwhile stephanie has a gorgeous (mostly) white card to show you, why not hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and see that right now, darlings?

Thursday, June 14, 2018

4 ICADs and a chipmunk impersonating a meerkat

yep, i've got a couple more tiny bits of index card goodness to show you but first i'll answer the question i know you're asking yourself right now, "did she say 'a chipmunk impersonating a meerkat'?!" yes. yes, i did.

and now, some art:

day 10
another one staple collage. but this one's in french, bien sur!

day 11
mandala monday is still mandala monday, ICAD or not. this one consists of layers of leftover colorburst and gelato crayon essperiments that i stacked and cut and stacked and cut. then i sewed around the center a couple of times because this many layers of thick paper never really wants to stay attached, how ever much adhesive you use.

day 12
one of the (100% optional!) prompts from last week was zebra, and for some reason, a few days later, the idea came to me that i could possibly make a sort of cool rendition of a zebra type pattern with torn bits of gel print. this is one of those cards that was incredibly fun and satisfying to make, but i'm not sure it's all that interesting to look at. on the plus side, it was A LOT easier than trying to gel print on an actual zebra... bc they realllllllly don't like that...

day 13: chevron (yes, again)
i mentioned that the prompts are optional and can be used however one wants, and this year i seem to be proving that by using some more than once, others not at all, and none of them on their actual day. in this case, i revisited the idea of chevrons, having seen a card of tammy's that had a similarly scrappy, almost herringbone-like pattern on it that i really loved. i predict you'll be seeing this idea again...  possibly in card context... possibly also more than once!!! ;)

remember it's never too late to start a daily art practice, there's no need to catch up or keep up. do what you can to prioritize 15 minutes or so a day, but don't make yourself crazy. if you have 31 or 41 tiny pieces of art and a new habit at the end of july, that still TOTALLY counts, i promise. meanwhile, ICAD founder and hostess tammy garcia has some awesome tips to approaching this fun challenge!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

I'm Your Biggest Fan!

Father's Day is this coming Sunday, but there's still time to whip up a quick card or two featuring Eyelet Outlet Fan Stamps!

My favorite thing about this stamp set is that it's double duty and works perfectly with both the #1 Foam Hand Brads and also with the vintage-style fans from the Telephone and Fan Brads set.

I went sporty with my first card, pairing the sentiment "Have a FAN-tastic Day" with a Foam Hand and giant oversized letters I made using the super-fun Sports Tape.

I had already chosen a different paper for my second card when I stumbled upon this Echo Park "Vintage Fans" paper at my favorite papercrafting shop, Paper Anthology. The irony is that I was attracted to the *other* side of the paper which has a cool woodgrain pattern! Having seen the fans, however, needless to say it only took me about 15 seconds to swap out my original choice. This time I've added the Fan Brad right to the label shape which holds the sentiment, "I'm Your Biggest Fan".

Of course, these ideas aren't only for Father's Day, they'd be equally good for most any occasion, like Dad's birthday or any other milestone. For that matter, if you swap out "DAD" for a first name, or swap the letters for stars, hearts or a stamped image, the possibilities are nearly endless! I hope you'll be inspired to improvise... I think the Fan Stamps will blow you away, lol!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

orange you glad...

...we've got a color challenge this week at shopping our stash, and it's a beautifully BOLD one at that, see:

as soon as i saw these colors together they reminded me of a bunch of ancient diecut cardstock flowers from an MME collection yeaaaaaaaaaaaaars ago, the remains of which i found recently and had put on the "crafty garage sale" pile because i felt like i had pretty much outgrown them. but they really did have every single one of the colors, and since the point of our challenge is to find those really old items and figure out a way to USE THEM, i felt i had a moral duty, lol. 

my biggest problems were that the flowers were a bit too big, for one thing --made more for scrapbooking than cards, probably-- and also a bit bland. but essentially, i still kind of *liked* them or they'd've been in the "get rid" pile much earlier. as i was considering what to do with them, it occured to me that they had shapes that were not entirely unlike mandalas. so i solved the size problem by placing the larger ones out at the edges of my A7 cardfront, and the blandness problem by adding some doodles. i also adapted them a bit more by combining centers from one flower with petals from another and stacking a few layers together for a bit of height variation. and here's what i came up with:

cardstock diecuts: my mind's eye, altered with colorbox chalk-inked edges, plus doodles using faber castell's pitt artist pens and posca paint pens; circle punches: ek success and fiskars; patterned paper: creative imaginations, sei; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape

do i even have to mention that the rest of the flowers have come off the garage sale pile and have been reunited with the rest of the embellishments?! meanwhile there's plenty more color palette inspiration awaiting you at SOS... why not hop over and enjoy some of that right now, darlings?! ♥

Saturday, June 9, 2018

more icad?

yep... almost a week's worth! and here they are now:

day 5
so far this has been a VERY collage-intensive ICAD year. there's just something about torn vintage paper, machine stitching and index cards...

day 6
yep. a very collage-intensive ICAD year. i might've mentioned that, lol?

day 7
the prompt on this day was "haunted house" so i started with a vintage key... and then went back to the torn and inked papers collaged together. this one's a little different, though, because i can see this being a style that could cross-over into cardmaking.

day 8
*NOT* a collage!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :)
this time i splashed drops of alcohol ink onto a clear plastic index card divider thingie; then after it dried, i turned it over and added sharpie and paint pen doodles on the other side. i like the idea better than the results, possibly because i made this in the grips of the worst neck headache EVER and all i can see is how badly my head hurt right then. i think there are seeds of usable technique here, tho...

day 9
today's prompt is "chevron" so i made a little template and trimmed the shapes from a panel of swooshy rainbow colorburst watercolor. (reason #147 why i NEVER throw colorburst "rejects" away, lol... i always know i can use them for SOMETHING!)

if you're intrigued by the index card a day project, it's NOT too late to start! 
click the link to visit the ICAD base page at daisy yellow art.

what can you do on an index card?

~try out new techniques or supplies~
(like alcohol inks or colorburst)

~practice old favorites, like coloring with copics or colored pencils~
(the daily marker 30 day coloring challenge is taking place right now, btw, you could combine it with ICAD by stamping and coloring on index cards while you practice shading or blending!)\

~do something you've never done before~
(because hey... it's an index card... it's ok to "wreck" a few!!!)

there's no need to catch up or keep up...
 just start where you are and go on for as long as it's fun!

Friday, June 8, 2018

put a RING on it

a metaphorical ring, that is. on your holiday card for the "christmas belles" prompt at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ which doesn't end til next wednesday, so you've still got time to join us!

jingle belles die by memory box used on best creation gold glitter paper; patterned paper: kaisercraft, photoplay; cardstock diecuts: october afternoon; snowflake stickers: doodlebug; alphas: basic grey; tiny flowers: tim holtz/idea-ology; vintage trim from my stash; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

another collage-y style card with lots of tiny embellies: a glitter diecut tree, tag and deer, two snowy patterned papers, snowflake stickers, teeny tiny white flowers, my all time favorite memory box xmas die for those glorious glittery jingle bells, a little vintage trimming and that's it. surprisingly enough, this is quite flat, as well, so i think i might've just made my 3rd or 4th card for the year that can be mailed with one ordinary first class stamp. wahey!

hop on over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ to see stephanie's card and check out the "christmas bells" gallery while you're there, darlings!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

We go Together Like... (Pick One)

One of my favorite Eyelet Outlet Clear Stamp sets has definitely got to be the Donut Stamps, and as much as I love the donut-related stamps in that set, for me the most useful stamp might just be the one that says, "We Go Together Like..." because there are just SO MANY ways to use it and so many pairs of Eyelet Outlet brads that make it work! Here are a few right now:

One of my favorites of the New May 2018 Brad Sets are the Jeans and Tee Shirt Brads. In each pack you get six pairs of denim blue trousers and six shirts of assorted colors, so they are super versatile!

The Chicken and Waffle Brads are also new, and again, they are just so fun you want to use them over and over. Although I feel I should probably warn you that, if you're anything like me, the Chicken and Waffle Brads may cause cravings for actual chicken and/or waffles, so please crave responsibly! :)

Neither the Coffee nor Donut Brads are new, but they never stop being AWESOME, imo! You'll have noticed that I've essentially made the same 3.5x5" mini card for each of these designs, using a fun reproduction library card and polka dot patterned paper in coordinating colors.

I've used the same two tapes: Chevron Washi and one of the black and white Pattern Skinny Tapes on top of torn bits of dictionary paper that relate to the brads. In this case, I've used a Chicken Brad and a Rooster Brad on top of the definition for "Hen".

And finally I've combined some bacon and an egg from our Breakfast Brads (the packets also have slices of toast!) on top of the definitions for various egg-related words.

Of course this idea would work for pretty much ANY combination of brads you can imagine, so I hope you'll be inspired to make your own versions! ♥

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

no raindrops, no roses...

...but i have used a few of "my favorite things" to make this set of ATC's for this week's challenge at shopping our stash. why not grab a few of YOUR favorite products, papers, colors, techniques, embellishments or... whatever... and join us!

vintage book paper and illustrations from various sources; washi tape: october afternoon, love my tapes; rub-on transfers: fancy pants, 7gypsies, hambly; stamps: stampendous, stamper's anonymous, lime citron, stampin' up; ink: ranger; adhesives: scotch/3m gluestick, elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape

i made these little cards for an ATC swap with an instagram friend from shanghai, china. i am secretly hoping that she only follows my IG and not my blog, too, because these will likely not quiiiiiite have arrived before my post goes live.

probably everyone who has even one thing i've ever made will realize that the "favorites" here are all the vintage illustrations and papers, plus the layers of collage with stamping and rub-on transfers, and the little touches of my all time favorite embellishment: washi tape.

coincidentally, the theme for our swap was favorite summertime activities, so i based my cards on gardening, travel and of course art, which is technically a year round favorite but summer=ICAD which is particularly fun!

i hope you'll be inspired to join us this week at SOS. meanwhile my lovely design team sisters have really outdone themselves, so why not enjoy their creations right now! ♥

Monday, June 4, 2018

i can, therefore ICAD!

june first, in addition to beginning the official unofficial countdown to summer, was also the kickoff for the 2018 edition of the index card a day project! if you need more info about the event, or how to join in, be sure to check out daisy yellow art. meanwhile, here are my first few ICADs!

 day 1
tammy garcia creates a 100% optional prompt list for each week of ICAD, and if i had to guess, i'd estimate that it's probably about half and half whether the participants use them or not. it's a wonderful resource, and i love having a fallback for nights when i don't have a plan in mind, but sometimes i just wing it and this was one of those. a one staple collage made from scraps of torn vintage paper, chosen mostly by color.

day 2
one of the prompts on this week's list was "ROLLERCOASTER" and for some reason i had a farily abstract idea about a sort of stylized zen doodle version of the cyclone at coney island. you know... like ya do, lol...

day 3
my favorite thing about ICAD is that it can be literally ANYTHING you want, including something completely different every single night. it's also portable, which is perfect if you happen to be away from home at any point. in this case i shoved a few index cards and favorite pens into my travel art kit and room 323 of the hilton express in elkton, maryland, became my studio space for the evening! 

day 4 
the very first mandala i ever drew was during my freshman year of ICAD in 2012. i never could have guessed that would be the start of SEVEN summers full of index cards and who-even-knows how many mandalas?!

i hope your week is off to a good start, but if not, there's still plenty of time to brew a second pot of coffee and turn this monday thing around!!!

Friday, June 1, 2018

christmas bells, those christmas belles...

time for a brand new prompt at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and this fortnight we belles are all about BELLS! that's right, it's an eponymous challenge that you can interpret any way you'd like, as long as you put a bell onnit! :)

chipboard bell: october afternoon; alphabets: echo park and recollections; flower stickers and patterned paper: basic grey; cardstock: bazzill; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

i've got a little bit of everything on this one. i started with that chipboard bell. i looked everywhere for a pre-printed sticker or journal card that said "jingle all the way". i honestly can't believe that i do not own such a thing. but if i do, it managed to elude me. so instead i made do with alphabet letters and some flower stickers. all on top of a piece of patterned paper which had the collage effect and faux polaroid right on it. i added a little stitching for texture and a couple of mats. easy peasy.

stephanie also has a fab card to help you ring in the new challenge! why not hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and enjoy that right now?

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Thanks a Latte!

One of my all-time favorite Eyelet Outlet brad sets has to be the Coffee Brads, which come with white cups, red cups AND coffee beans. So of course I was pretty psyched when I saw the new Coffee Stamps which are quite literally made to go with the brads!

One of the reasons I love coffee themed products is that I love to join my friend Amy Tsuruta and the Coffee Loving Cardmakers in their seasonal blog hops and the summer one is going on right now!

I love that all the EO Clear Stamp sets are a mix of images and really great sentiments, sized exactly right to be used with the brads. For my first card, I stamped the "Cool Beans" sentiment  over and over (...and over and over...) on a panel of plain white cardstock, using lots of gorgeous bright shades of archival ink. 

Then I added the (literal!) cool beans by making some of the Coffee Bean Brads the centers of three different sizes of Paper Flowers. My mat is fabulous Splatter Tape and there's a little strip of beautiful watercolory Wide Flower Tape to add extra interest!

My second card features Butterfly Washi, which I used to make my background squares that hold the sentiment, "Thanks a Latte" stamped on a heart shape. I added Flower Tape, some fussycut butterflies, and a pair of Coffee Cups nested on top of Plain White Flowers for a summery look!

Need more ideas? There's daily inspiration on the EO blog not to mention more content on Facebook,  Instagram and Pinterest... and we add new projects nearly every single day! 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018


here's a shocking true confession for you: this week's challenge at shopping our stash is actually called, "pomp and circumstance" and the brief is to make a graduation card, which i think you'll agree is quite timely. but some of us didn't actually need a graduation card this year and asked if we could expand the challenge to also include generic congratulations cards. and by "some of us" i mean me. luckily, the rest of the team said yes. so here's what i made:

patterned paper scraps: basic grey, fancy pants, prima and... well a bunch of different grungy solids; star dies: nestabilities by spellbinders; congrats die: catherine pooler; ink: colorbox; glossy white cardstock: paper accents; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, nuvo deluxe adhesive, sewing machine

this is the stash-iest card imaginable, because the background was something i stumbled upon in my scraps file, ready made for... well, something, at some point and then not used? probably the stars that make up the collage were diecut from scraps originally, as well, so this is sort of doubly stashy. the "congrats" sentiment is from a set of pretty new catherine pooler dies but it's cut from a scrap of glossy white cardstock. all in all, an unusually flat card for me, but i think i like it!

there's lots more inspiration awaiting you from the team over at SOS, why not treat yourself to some eye candy, darlings? ♥

Monday, May 28, 2018

5 ways to make ICAD even more fun!

yes, it's that time of year again: the amazing index card a day project, devised and hosted by tammy garcia of daisy yellow art will take place between june 1st and july 31st and as always, you are invited to participate! check out the "ICAD base" tab at daisy yellow for all the info and/or join the facebook group or the gang over on instagram! meanwhile, here are a few tips i've gleaned over the course of playing along for the last six years...

DO use actual index cards!

yes, i mean the cheap, thin, flimsy ones from the big box store and not beautiful 120lb cold pressed watercolor paper cut to 3x5" size. the modest, disposable nature of REAL index cards is a big giant part of the point. it helps you focus on process over outcome. it helps you generate loads of ideas that might not work the first time. it helps you remember that the most important art supply is your creativity. this is IMPORTANT! don't cheat on this one, k? ♥

DO prepare (just a tiny bit!) in advance

gather your index cards, favorite pens and a few key supplies you'd like to use this year. put them together in a little box or bag that you can leave out where you like to work. brainstorm a list of ideas you want to try. flick through all those cool projects you've pinned. unearth the book on brush lettering you've wanted to try. check out the hastags on IG which most intrigue you. read some of tammy's awesome advice at daisy yellow. then, think about the best time to REALISTICALLY sneak 15 minutes of art time into your day. mine is usually 10:30 at night, it's my reward for having done all of the adulting that is required of me. if i had to get up and go find supplies at that hour, i'd never get any ICAD-ing done. for me, having my kit ready to roll is crucial. 

DO have a "default mode"

let's get real about this right upfront: there are going to be days that you don't feel inspired, haven't thought of a fab idea and aren't interested in the prompts. this is 100% normal, so don't even try to fight it. my default modes are mandalas and glue-as-you-go collages. sometimes, as i start doing one or the other, i find that i've suddenly thought of a brand new twist, and my imagination takes over from there. some days it's all i can do to just fill a card with *SOMETHING* and call it good. both are equally valid. the momentum of having made a card-- even one you don't especially like-- gives you confidence and makes it easier to sit down again the next day. some default mode ideas: zendoodles, stamping and coloring, doodling and coloring, lettering a favorite quote, making color charts or color wheels for various media (paints, pens, crayons, etc), testing out every single artist pen you own, making one-staple collages, doing contour drawings, writing poetry or haiku... the list is endless! having said that, this is NOT an all or nothing pursuit. it's entirely possible that real life commitments will force you to miss a day, a few days, or a week. don't catch up. don't apologize. don't quit. just start back up as soon as you can and keep going. finishing in the middle of august instead of july 31st still counts! so does finishing with 51 cards... or 15... do this YOUR WAY and have fun!

DO balance your social media life

in addition to being an awesome art-making impetus, ICAD has helped me make friends and connections literally all over the world. there's an amazing community of artists at every level of talent, skill and experience waiting to meet you, which is incredibly fun and valuable. but... i've found that for me, it's possible to get so immersed in the social aspects that i'm cutting my actual art time short. which is why i (mostly!) limit myself to one really good scroll of instagram per day, at a completely separate time from when i sit down to make my cards. you will figure out what works for you through trial and error.

DON'T succumb to "comparisonitis"!

if you don't hear one other single thing from this entire post, PLEASE listen to me now: during the course of the challenge, you may see cards that you'll perceive as being  "better" than yours; more polished, more skilled, more ambitious, whatever. let me stop you right there. don't compare. don't compete. don't criticize yourself. please, please don't. every single card you make has value. some because they came out well, others because they taught you something, still others because they were enjoyable to make. treasure your progress, strive to improve, and aim to enjoy the process. the act of "showing up" every day is already a victory... and having fun while you do it is the gold medal! ♥♥♥