Friday, September 17, 2021

Tic-Tac... Two?

It's our second week of crafty Tic-Tac-Toe at Jingle Belles and you still have time to join the fun. Here's the board:

And here's my card which incorporates the central row with Brads + Diecuts + Ribbon:

Taking those elements in order, there's an Eyelet Outlet Poinsettia Brad tucked slightly under the cardinal, as well as a scattering of some red Round Brads; the cardinal and the poinsettia he's perched against constitute my diecuts (they're by Taylored Expressions and Penny Black, respectively) and I'vge stacked three or four ribbons leftover from an ancient Doodlebug collection.

Head over to Jingle Belles to see Stephanie's card and link up your own!

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Inkbox Gothic

It's always fun to try new formats and lately I've been seeing a lot of 3x3" square "inkbox" cards which I thought might be the perfect size and shape for showing off some of my favorite Eyelet Outlet Halloween Brads.

Technically, inkbox cards are meant to have rounded corners (I believe they're called inkbox because they're the size and shape of a Distress Ink Pad?) but this time I (literally) played it straight! I paired some fun little sentiment stickers in purple, orange and a sort of mushroom shade with coordinating torn scraps of patterned paper, then added Bat Brads, Spiders and Mini Spider Brads, a Witch Hat and a Pumpkin. I love how these came out and can't wait to make a few more!

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

SOS454: Back to the Books

This fortnight at Shopping Our Stash we're celebrating back to school season with a challenge that features BOOKS! Does that sound like fun? Yep, I thought so too!

Here's a shocking true confession: I made a card similar to this in April, which also used Eyelet Outlet Book Tape, Wood TapeBook Brads and Coffee Brads, as well as the adorable stamps from Waffle Flower Crafts' Books and Coffee stamp set (that I was lucky enough to win from Doodlebugs.wa in the last Coffee Loving Cardmakers Blog Hop). But I have quite a few reading friends who would enjoy a card like this; also... I was kind of in the mood to stamp and color! So I made another version. This one features my all time favorite reading quote, from Groucho Marx, which I formatted in a nice typewriter font and printed out before trimming it into shape with one of my trusty Nestabilities Label Shape sets. I matted the whole thing up on a Beary nice page from an elderly dictionary.

Be sure to visit SOS to see what the rest of the design team have made to inspire YOU... then start planning what sort of bookish masterpiece you'll be linking up with us!

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Merci Bouquet

I've been loving the new Wendy Vecchi Archival Inks from Ranger, and having a lot of fun using Periwinkle, Goldenrod and English Ivy... a trio which were literally made to go together! Today I've added in two older WV shades, Cactus Flower and Watering Can, and used the "Bravo" Stamp, Die and Stencil Set to create an oversized floral still life collage.

As someone who is not what you'd call a natural colorer, I love using the coordinating stencils to lay down my base color, then stamping the correct floral image on top, and using the die to cut the whole thing out. For this card, I built a background from random layers of torn book paper; added a vellum vase and stamped some of my flowers on text paper. 

If you want to create an instant "scene" it's a really good idea to add a horizon line, which literally grounds the other elements in your design. My tabletop was created by masking off an area about 1.5" from the base of my card, adding detail with the diagonal stripes stencil from Wendy's "Birthday Bash" set, then covering that part of the design with some ancient and quite translucent washi tape. After I had assembled the vase and all its flowers, I added a finishing touch of texture and shine by applying Perwinkle Liquid Pearls to the dots within the flourish stamp.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I should mention that I like big cards and some of the ones I make don't actually fit in standard envelopes. I don't worry too much about that.* This one is 6.5x8" and will either get displayed on top of a wrapped gift or I'll make a custom envelope for it.  

*Except at Christmastime, that is, when I mail out about sixty cards. I've been trying harder, in the last few years, to make the majority of my holiday greetings flat enough to mail for a dollar or less. ('s a work in progress, lol...)

Friday, September 10, 2021

Holiday Tic-Tac-Toe

Everyone loves playing Tic-Tac-Toe, right? Our Jingle Belles version just the kick your Mojo needs to get started on your next holiday card. Choose any row, column or diagonal... incorporate those three elements into your card... and link up with us at Jingle Belles!

I chose the center column of: Bling + Diecuts + Tree(s) and here's my card:

I've used a couple of ancient and beloved dies: Memory Box's Marvelous Pine and Tim Holtz's Reindeer Flight; taken an Eyelet Outlet Champagne Swirl Bling apart and pieced it back together a bit more compactly; and added a sentiment sticker strip. A few mats in coordinating colors plus a tiny bit of machine stitching and I was all set.

Be sure to head over to Jingle Belles to see Stephanie's beautiful card and start planning your own Tic-Tac-Toe masterpiece!

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Fall is Fun

Technically, autumn will not begin until September 21st, but as soon as the kiddos head back to school, it seems like we all shift gears into "Fall Mode" doesn't it? So this seems like a good time to break out a few Eyelet Outlet Pumpkin Brads, some beautiful Sunflowers and even a sweet little Fox!

I chose my colors from the truck, which I fussycut from an autumn-themed journal card. I diecut long, leafy flower stems out of a few shades of green to compose my sunflower field and added some Black Jewels to the hubcaps. The woodgrain mat was made by carefully lining up strips of Wood Washi along each edge of my pre-cut white cardstock layer, and letting them overlap at the corners.

once lived down the road 
from a sunflower farm!

Monday, September 6, 2021

Stamped Mandala

It's Mandala MUM-day, thanks to the beautiful flowers in Wendy Vecchi's Thank You Stamp, Die and Stencil Set and her newest Ranger Archival Ink shades: Goldenrod, Periwinkle and English Ivy.

This time, I did all of my stamping on watercolor paper, so that I could try "watercoloring" with the Archival Inks. Or, more accurately, I should say PAINTING with the inks, because, of course, the Archival formula is permanent, so you can't dilute it with water. But I was intrigued by the idea, so I filled one of my waterbrushes with 91% isopropyl alcohol (and then I labeled it with a piece of tape, so I wouldn't get it mixed up with my other waterbrushes) dispensed a few drops of my Goldenrod, Periwinkle and English Ivy Reinkers onto my craft mat and started painting. 

I discovered that less is definitely more with this method, and you don't want to over-work your stamped image; but basically you can indeed to something quite similar to watercoloring and you get a lovely soft result, with subtle shadings! I also found that while the technique works fine using drops from the reinkers, the color is SO concentrated, that unless I wanted a really dark shade, I preferred to smoosh the Archival Ink Pads onto my craft mat, mist very softly with rubbing alcohol, then pick up the slightly less intense color that way.

I stamped the bottom and second-from-top layers as single units on solid pieces of watercolor paper, but did the rest of the leaves and the largest flower on scraps, then used the coordinating dies to cut them out. I discovered that I got a little more separation between layers... and more of a "mandala like" design... by adding a circles of coordinating cardstock. Most of my layers are flat, but I've popped a couple up on foam tape for even more dimension and drama.