Sunday, February 18, 2018

new stitching + watercolor obsession!

ok, so everyone knows that i love to watercolor with colorburst pigment powders, and i've done quite a few pieces where i used machine stitching on top, either as an accent or an outline, usually with black thread. but last week on instagram my friend tammy started posting some amazing abstract creations on which she stitched first... with white thread... and then added ink or paint on top and let it color the stitches as well as the background. so of course i had to try it. a few times, actually! ;)

my first creation involved freestyle leaves, painted with pthalo, chartreuse and turquoise colorburst with a cornflower blue background. i feel like i overworked/overmixed the color a bit, but experiments are for learning, afterall!

here's what that piece looked liked before i added the color, just so you can see, i really did use plain white watercolor paper and thread.

 (a quick note about paper: you definitely need to be on a nice heavy watercolor paper for this! i like strathmore's yellow tablets, from the big box crafting store. they're good quality without being extravagant, i feel like i can play around and "ruin" a few pieces while i'm figuring out how to do something.)

my second creation went a bit manic-botanic! this time one of the things i learned is that the thread doesn't necessarily wick up the color in any predictable way. so if you have ANY combination of colors that might make brown --or a really dark brownish purple-- such as alizarin crimson and turquoise-- even if they aren't next to each other, they might mix unevenly. which i kind of like, actually, now that i know it's going to happen.

my third creation was made specifically to be able to use the BACK of the paper, because i noticed in the course of the first two that the colorburst would saturate the stitching on the reverse, without showing through on the paper. 

like this:

cool, right? i'm not sure what i'm going to do with this piece of knowledge, but i'm excited about it. i also like the fact that if my piece gets a little too wet i can blot off the excess with a piece of book paper, and that the stitching with act sort of stamp-like. 

as it did here:

again, i have no idea what significance these facts will have in future --if any-- but i'm enjoying the exploration of this process, so i'm pretty sure you'll see this again.

i hope your weekend did not hold too much snowfall,
and that you will find time to do some creative experimenting today!

Friday, February 16, 2018

breaking news from the world's SLOWEST colorer

i've stamped and colored, wahey!!! and obviously i'm SUPER-excited about that, even though it took me most of an evening (and multiple examples of shading from the lawn fawn and pretty pink posh blogs) to color two teeeeeeny reindeer, a sled and a couple of trees. oh but first i should probably remind you that all this is in aid of the fact that we're moving into the second week of "a-coloring we will go" at JINGLE BELLES. ok, so here's my card:

stamps: lawn fawn reindeer, sled and presents + pretty pink posh evergreen trees: all colored with tombow markers and shaded with prismacolor pencils; snowy hills dies: penny black; patterned paper: pebbles, kaiser, bella blvd + that cool text paper is from a digikit by mye de leon called "peppermint winter" via snap click supply; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine  

having already confessed to the slowness and inefficiency of this endeavor, when all is said and done, i do quite like this card AND i think it's by far my best attempt at shading. i'm not sure coloring will ever be a quick and easy option for me, but i do feel encouraged enough to think i'd like to practice a bit more often. meanwhile, since my trees and hills were made with a fab set of penny black dies, i'm jumping in with the simon says stamp wednesday challenge blog's current theme, "add a diecut".

and now i hope you'll hop over to JINGLE BELLES where stephanie and our lovely guest star, marianne, have awesome cards to show you as well!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Lots of Love

Happy Valentine's Day, everybody! In my opinion it's never too late to send a pretty Valentine out to someone special; or for that matter, to send an all-occasion greeting that just happens to have some hearts on it! I've used some of my favorite Eyelet Outlet Tapes, Enamel Dots and even some Balloon Brads to make a couple of cards that are all heart! Those are on the EO Blog today.

My first card was inspired by a layered heart die that I saw recently on social media. It's quite a new product though, and I haven't seen it in a store yet, which made me wonder if I could make my own version using a heart template and my trusty scissors. And it turned out that yes, I could!

After I traced the heart outline, I used the curves of the stencil to divide the shape into five segments that were more or less even, without being straight. Then I cut out around the heart. And finally, I cut the sections apart... but... I stayed just a scant 1/8" or so away from the dividing lines, so that there would be a bit of a gap between the segments when I reassembled them, without changing the shape or size of the heart.

I traced each of my finished heart sections onto a piece of plain white cardstock to which I had neatly applied strips of Pink Dot Washi, Orange Star Tape, Skinny Green Stripes, Blue Houndstooth Pattern Tape and Purple Dot Tape. I popped each segment up on foam tape and mounted them (with tiny gaps in between) on top of some texty patterned paper I made just for these cards. The text reads, "hugs & kisses & rainbow wishes" and is formatted in a free font called "Broach". I created a page that's white with black print and one that's black with white print. Both of these will be archived on our Freebies Page, so feel free to grab that to use on your own creations!

For my second card, I was thinking of the balloon bouquets my niece Riley has often received on her birthday, which just happens to be today--Valentine's Day! So those bouquets always had a heart balloon or two mixed in with some ordinary colorful balloons. I decided to recreate that look by diecutting small hearts from some of the leftover "tape papers" I had made for the first card --in this case Pink Dot Washi, Skinny Green Stripes and Blue Houndstooth Pattern Washi. I mixed the heart shapes with some of our Bright Balloon Brads and layered them all on top of my text paper, on which I machine stitched some balloon strings. I punched two small holes on either side of the stitched strings, threaded through some very skinny purple ribbon, and tied it into a bow at the front of the card.

I hope you will be inspired to take the hearts we all love on Valentine's Day and use them to spread the love all throughout the year! ♥

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

you stamped with *WHAT*?!

the title of this week's challenge at shopping our stash may already have given you a pretty good clue as to what we're looking for, but just to be clear, we'd like you to use something that isn't a stamp to stamp on your project. yes, you can also use actual stamps, as well as any other products and accessories you'd like. be sure to mention the "non traditional" stamping item in your post if it isn't obvious, ok? here's what i made and then i'll tell you about this adventure, lol.

found objects for stamping: acrylic sink mat thingie, bottle cap and papertowel tube; russian text book paper from my stash; cardstock: bazzill; large chipboard letters used as templates: pressed petals (honestly, they are so old i don't even remember that company, lol!); small chipboard letters: heidi swapp; distressed screw brads: eyelet outlet; super thin, die-cut-able wood veneer: altenew; heavy body acrylic paints: liquitex and golden

a few months ago, i bought this cool acrylic sink mat thing at the discount kitchen supply store, because i thought the pattern would be really cool in a gelli printing context.

i used a brayer to coat it with heavy body acrylic paint, and it made an ok impression, but i wasn't in love with the result. so then i also played around with the cap from my bottle of pellegrino, and also with the tube from a roll of paper towels. i can't say i find any of these earthshakingly cool, but together they made some fun grungy backgrounds that i think will be cool in collage or junk journals. meanwhile, for this project, i decided to keep it really simple and just cut out some oversized letters for a masculine birthday card. i added a small "2u" on the large HB, matted them on peacock blue cardstock attached to wood veneer with these super-fun eyelet outlet screw brads, and called it a day!

there are loads more design team projects to inspire you over at SOS, why not treat yourself to those right now, darlings? ♥

Friday, February 9, 2018

a-coloring (or a-colouring) we will go!

it's time for a brand new prompt at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and this fortnight we were lucky enough to have a brilliant one suggested by one of our favorite, faithful, cardmaking friends, marianne of marianne's cards 'n stuff, who thought we should make cards that feature ANY of our favorite coloring media (markers, pencils, crayons, inks, watercolor, etc) in any way we want, whether that's coloring stamped images, creating fun backgrounds or getting as creative as you'd like. you can probably guess it didn't take us long to say, "YES PLEASE" to that! here's my card:

colorburst pigment powders and mineral burst shimmery brush-on elements by ken oliver crafts; watercolor paper: strathmore; glittery embossing paste: dreamweaver; white modelling paste: liquitex;  bling strips, gem snowflakes and paper flower: eyelet outlet; silver metallic cardstock: idea-ology; embossing folder: sheena douglass for crafter's companion; greenish patterned paper: heidi swapp; seam binding and doily from my stash; ink for edging: colorbox; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

ok, so no shock here, i've used some of my favorite blue shades of colorburst to pretty randomly create funky, highly-pigmented watercolor backgrounds, then i've trimmed the result into bauble shapes which i've adorned with modelling paste, gems, flowers and... well, a little bit of everything girlie and sparkly, because that's how i roll, especially at christmas time! ;)

quite fortuitously (because honestly, we NEVER confer ahead of time!) stephanie has stamped with gelato crayons and played with super-fun alcohol inks, while marianne has colored with markers and shaded with pencils. so there's a little bit of everything to inspire you at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ this time!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Sew Far, Sew Good

I come from a family of quilters. And I think, secretly, my mother was a tiny bit disappointed when I grew up and showed no interest at all in sewing. Until, that is, I discovered papercrafting; because whereas I still have no interest in sewing fabric, I love to sew on paper... especially cards! And what could possibly enhance a sewn card more than Eyelet Outlet Thread Brads, Scissor Brads, and Tape Measure Washi? There are two such cards on the Eyelet Outlet Blog today!

I started by formatting a sentiment (using free fonts called Vogue and Mom's Typewriter) in just the right size to fit within my favorite heart punch. I traced around the heart shape very lightly in pencil to give myself a guide, then machine-stitched around it using the highest number of stitches per inch possible on my machine. I used white, pink and blue thread because they were the closest color matches to the spools in the Thread Brad set, which also contains a pretty bright green and black, as well. When my stitching was complete, I set my thread spools at one end, and a Scissor Brad at the other, then added my heart shaped sentiment inside the stitched frame.

I was happy with how my first card came out, but the other sewing themed item I wanted to use was our Tape Measure Washi, which just didn't work for that design. So for my second card, I traced the heart again, but simplified my swirly thread line a bit, and stuck with just one black Thread Brad. This time I punched a heart from plain white cardstock, then covered it with strips of tape, without bothering to line them up at all... I wanted it to look like a measuring tape that's just been thrown, mid-use, into the bottom of one's sewing basket. I added a Scissor Brad next to the spool of thread, and finished off with a cute sewing machine sticker from my stash.

There are lots of other puns that would work well with these brads, such as, "Miss You SEW Much", "Hope Your Birthday is SEW Happy" or "You Are SEW Awesome" so I'm pretty sure you'll see me revisiting this idea again in future!

Hope you've enjoyed this SEW much that you'll visit the Eyelet Outlet Blog again tomorrow to see what new ideas my design team sisters have to inspire you! ♥

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

let's go surfin' now, everybody's learnin' how!

ok, technically, i don't know how to surf. and since i don't even swim terribly well, it's probably not something i'll be trying any time soon; but who can resist a beach boys lyric, eh?! meanwhile, the reason surfing came up at all is that this week's timely, olympic-inspired challenge at shopping our stash is to feature a sport, any sport at all. since i'm not sporty, myself, i knew that my choices were going to be dictated by whatever vintage illustrations i could find to incorporate. luckily i discovered this cool little blurb and pic in an early 1960's children's encyclopedia, and it paired really well with some older tropical themed papers from my stash:

hawaiian surfers and text from an old encyclopedia; patterned papers: a few different older echo park collections; cardstock surfboard diecut: ancient basic grey; kraft cardstock: recollections; embossed panel is a wax resist technique made with a cuttlebug/provocraft embossing folder and turquoise, cerulean and prussian blue colorburst, see below for details; ink: colorbox; adhesives: elmer's brand gluetape, 3m foam tape

since i was getting all tropical and watery, this seemed like a great time to try out a cool emboss/resist technique i saw on instagram. in this method, you use an embossing folder to apply the pattern to your paper, then a special clear wax resist crayon to coat the raised parts of the design, then you add the waterbased color medium of your choice... mine was colorburst, obviously... in shades of turquoise, cerulean and prussian blue. since i didn't have the special resist crayon thingie, i cast about for what i did have that might work. i came up with a white crayola crayon, a white gelato crayon, and in a totally random, "i think i saw this on the carol duval show when i was home sick one day in 1990" flashback moment, a plain white taper candle from ikea. one of these worked BRILLIANTLY, one sorta/kinda worked, and one didn't work at all. want to guess which was which?

it was the candle that worked brilliantly (never bet against carol duval, you guys!!!) the crayola that worked somewhat, and the gelato that did nothing whatsoever in this context. i should probably mention that i used inexpensive cold press watercolor paper on all three versions. 99% of the time when you see me using colorburst, it's on watercolor paper, which i buy at the big box store every time they have a bogo, which is every few months. i like strathmore best, though canson is also fine. you can use regular cardstock, if you are careful, and don't overdo the water. since i'm not naturally gentle, and since i like to have the option to add multiple coats and generally overwork the paper, i just start out with the watercolor paper to save time. btw, i never throw away the "rejects", i save them to use as diecuts, backgrounds, or art journal ingredients. there's really no such thing as a bad colorburst essperiment in my world, just ones i haven't found the right use for... yet

there are loads more olympic-gold-medal-level, sport-themed projects over at SOS to inspire you, why not check those out right now, darlings?! ♥