Wednesday, June 7, 2023


Belated birthday cards are something we all need now and again, but that doesn't mean they can't be colorful and fun! This sentiment, "2, 4, 6, 8... Guess whose card is really late?!" is made visual with the use of oversized vinyl numerals, a computer-printed sentiment in a sturdy typewriter font and two Eyelet Outlet Cupcake Brads, four Party Hats, six Balloons and eight birthday Candle Brads.

The Eyelet Outlet Online Store literally has brads, washi, bling, flowers, eyelets and sequins for EVERY occasion, so whatever sentiment you're dreaming up for your next card, we've got you covered!

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

SOS498: Let's Hear it for the Boys

If you've guessed that the new challenge at Shopping Our Stash is to create a card that features a man OR a masculine card for one of the the men/boys in your life, then well done you! Since we have a grand nephew with a birthday next month, I've literally made a BOY-ish card; but yours can be for a dude of any age. 

I found half a sheet of Doodlebug stickers featuring these adorable dinos, which is about as "on point" as one can get for a little boy, right? He is turning five and technically, I think these might be older than he is, which makes them quite stashy! The foliage dies are from two different (older) Lawn Fawn sets (Tropical Leaves and Happy Hibiscus); the Nestabilities ovals are some of the very first dies I ever purchased when my Cuttlebug was brand new; the papers are all older and none were full sheets, so I'm calling this a win in terms of using up older things!

Whatever age YOUR favorite "man" is, why not have a trawl through your stash of masculine goodies, then hop over to SOS and join this fun challenge, "Let's Hear it for the Boys" which runs until Monday evening, June 19th.

Monday, June 5, 2023

Wendy Vecchi #1 Dad Card

I find masculine cards more challenging to design and Father's Day always reminds me of that fact. But luckily, Wendy Vecchi's "Award Winning" Stamp, Die and Stencil Set is absolutely perfect for Father's Day... and pretty much any other occasion you can think of! Head over to the Ranger Blog to see how I've paired Wendy Vecchi's "Award Winning" Stamp, Die and Stencil Set with Chippies embellishments to create a card that any dad is sure to prize!

Sunday, June 4, 2023

ICAD Roundup #1

The Index Card a Day project started Thursday, June 1st, so I don't have an entire week's worth of cards, but I'm sort of thinking that Sunday is a good off-peak blogging day for round-ups, so let's see how it goes!

Day 1: Sapling

Ok yeah... technically, this is a full-grown tree, but afterall the point of Tammy G's 100% optional prompt list is just to get us STARTED... so I try not to overthink too much. For technique, I've used one of my favorite collage exercises, "glue as you go"; which... as you may have surmised... is where you choose each collage element and glue it immediately, without selecting the next element or dry-fitting or indeed doing ANY of the typical collage techniques. This sounds (and is) simple... but... it's more challenging than you may think at first; and thus quite a valuable addition to one's ICAD arsenal. 
(Note to self: try not to put the tiny random text element directly where the hole gets punched!)

Day 2: Polka Dots or Graphic Dots

I love the idea of the two sizes of punched out "dots" being negative space and the color coming from a second card layered behind the first. There was A LOT of white space, so I added the handcut letters. This is one of those times when I found the process and the ideas more appealing than the finished artwork, which is basically the EXACT thing that I want to happen during ICAD! 
(This is also a case where you will, at some point this summer, see a much more polished version of the 
same idea turning up as a finished card... so act surprised, k?!)

Day 3: Map

I have A LOT of vintage maps and atlases that I use as wrapping paper, as backgrounds, and yes, they are amazing in collage. The flowers came from an old falling-apart children's story book, the car is from a garage-sale aquisition about vintage cars... pretty much everything I love (except chocolate) is right here, in a convenient 3x5" format! 

Day 4: Off-prompt

 One of Tammy G's warm up posts had a bunch of handlettering, which reminded me of yet another thing I have to thank ICAD for! When I'm not sure what to letter, I usually go with an alphabet... this is just colorful letters, consistent shadows and partial outlines; but the BIG SURPRISE was that I somehow fitted in all the letters despite not taking any time to plan out spacing etc!


It's not too late to join the fun, ICAD2023 runs through July 31st. Worried about committing to sixty one days? Try it for a week. If you love it, keep going... if not, you'll have a week's worth of inspiration and ideas you might not have gotten any other way! 

Friday, June 2, 2023

A (Masculine) Caffeinated Christmas

For the month of June, we Jingle Belles will be teaming up with the amazingly talented gang at the Caffeinated Christmas Card Challenge, for their "Challenge #18: Coffee + Masculine" to make holiday cards that feature both a caffeinated beverage (coffee, tea or cocoa) and a masculine vibe. This month their Super Sponsor is Rubbernecker Stamps, so you'll definitely want to link your cards at Jingle Belles AND at CCCC for a chance at some cool prizes!  

Here's what I made:

I used darker colors, concentrating on neutrals and deep blue, plus lots of texture. My focal point is a "snowflake" made of Eyelet Outlet Coffee Cup Brads, interspersed with various shapes and sizes of Pearl Bling, surmounted by a Snowflake Brad. The sentiment stamp and Cable Knit Embossing Folder are from Taylored Expressions; the woodgrain vellum is from Lawn Fawn.

Head on over to Jingle Belles to see what Stephanie has made and get a glimpse at a tiny prize one lucky Jingle Belles linker will score this fortnight!

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Let's Flamin-GO!

Where do card ideas come from? EVERYWHERE!  In this case, a friend sent me a Star Trek meme (see below) that I realized would make a very fast and easy card featuring an Eyelet Outlet Flamingo Brad, a Sandcastle, Tall Palm and our Sun and Cloud Brads with an accent of Sequins and a mat of Pink and White Dot Tape

The sentiment is formatted in a font called In Your Face Joffrey, which was free at; all I had to do was print it out, add brads and embellies et voila!

Whatever joke, quote, saying or motto YOU would like to re-create in card form, I'm pretty confident that the Eyelet Outlet Online Store has all the Brads and Washi you'll need to make it work!

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

It's ICAD Time Again

Thursday is June first which means the Index Card a day Challenge, devised and hosted by Tammy Garcia, will kick off its thirteenth season! You don't need ANYTHING special to participate, just some index cards and a way of making marks of some description upon them. This is my twelfth year participating and since I happen to enjoy making little books (and having a dedicated little book for each year's index card art has kept me motivated!) I converted my favorite ever Wendy Vecchi card into a cover; admittedly mostly so I could keep the card for myself! :)

Let me address one really common question right up front: YES, the index cards you work on really should be the cheap, flimsy kind from the office supply store and not high-quality watercolor paper trimmed down to the correct size. This event is about showing up for yourself and doing SOMETHING creative every day, to establish or re-boot your daily art practice. This is about PROCESS more than OUTCOME... and a big part of the point is that you really truly do not need fancy supplies to participate. You also don't need to achieve a finished, polished piece of art each day. Think mark-making, think ink-swatching, think random collage; consider trying a new technique, or getting out those watercolor pens, or inking up those stamps that are still in their packages. Visit the ICAD Base page at Daisy Yellow Art for lots of pre-season activities as well as tips, techniques, badges, ideas and (once we kick off) there will be (100% OPTIONAL) weekly themes and daily prompts for those days when you don't have something in mind. One of the pre-season activities is to make a title card, and here's mine:

Another excellent idea is to assemble a little group of supplies that can sit in a basket or box or tray that you can easily access each day. Because, if you're anything like me, when you suddenly remember ICAD at 9:30pm and you have to go and find your index cards, your pens and your adhesive... that's going to seriously take the wind out of your sails. Since my niece, nephew, sister and mom have all participated in ICAD for the last few years, we've amassed and shared quite a few styles of index cards and dividers, so I have choices! Some years I've focused on one style or technique: collage, lettering, doodles, etc; but mostly I go with the flow. I use the prompts when they appeal to me, though generally not on their specific day; if I really love a prompt I might do it a few times... some I don't do at all.

If you're thinking about joining the fun (it IS fun, I promise!) you really should visit the ICAD Base at Daisy Yellow, and I also humbly recommend this "tips and advice" post that I wrote a couple of years ago. You might like to follow Tammy G on Instagram (she's @gypsy999) for lots of inspiration and for advance peeks at the prompts. If you post on IG, the best hashtag is #dyicad2023 and I think you'll be delighted at the sense of community and camaraderie that surrounds this inspiring event. Oh and yes, I post my cards daily on IG (I'm llaurenb) and then do a weekly round up here on the blog.