Friday, September 22, 2017

tic-tac... two?

yes, it's the second week of holiday tic-tac-toe at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ so you still have plenty of time to link up with us! just choose a row, a column or a diagonal from the board and get creative!

this week i chose the top row: RED + SNOW + FLOWERS:

if you're thinking that my background panel seems familiar, you are not having "deja vu" it really is similar to this card from the beginning of august. it has the same combination of ken oliver poinsettia stamps, red and green colorburst and liquid metals. here's a crafty secret for ya: whenever i'm trying out new techniques or essperiments-- especially one with a lot of sequential steps-- i'll often work on more than one panel at a time. because it is not at all uncommon for me to mess up on step 8 of 9! and it's so disheartening to have to start over from the very beginning, isn't it? so i'll start two or three similar things simultaneously, thus mistakes are much less of a problem, and if i wind up with more than one success, i have "extras"! at the time i was working on this, i had tried using nuvo drops for the first time and found that it was possible to make a huuuuuuuuge mess with them, lol! i also didn't think the green embossing showed up enough, didn't get super-clear images for some of the white embossing, and realllllllllllllly hated the bits of black embossing i had tried first at the bottom of the page. i corrected all of the above on my second attempt and used that panel, un-covered-up, for the first card. when i found this sheet again, i still hated the black, so i chopped it off immediately. i also discovered that if you are pretty careful, you miiiiiight be able to scrape off recalcitrant nuvo drops. once both of those factors were gone, i found i didn't mind the green as much. the messed up white parts were still messed up, so that's where i put the big flower stack... problem solved! it's a smaller card than the first, and it's got a lot more stuff on top, but i'm pretty happy with the result.

stephanie has an awesome card to show you, and the readers' gallery is pretty fab, as well! why not hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and check it out, darlings? 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Love You a Latte

It's the middle of September, which means it's time to join the lovely Amy Tsuruta and the gang at Coffee Loving Cardmakers for the Fall Coffee Lovers Bloghop!

Since I have the *PERFECT* ingredients-- Eyelet Outlet Coffee Brads-- I'm excited to jump on board.

The older I get, the more I appreciate Autumn: cooler temperatures, beautiful colors as the foliage here in the Northeast changes, and yes, a delicious warm caffeinated beverage are all things I enjoy, so I've tried to capture them in my card. I started by adorning the oversized copper "LOVE" diecut with a few paper flowers and the adorable Coffee Brads. I wanted to emphasize the sentiment a little bit more, so I added a couple of Pearl Hearts to the cups. Did you know that you can create your own custom bling and pearls, just by coloring them with alcohol ink markers? Thus I was able to make mine the perfect shade of golden yellow to coordinate with the diecut vintage paper leaves I had watercolored with all my favorite fall shades of ColorBurst. 

When it came time to build the card, I lined up some neat strips of Wide Brick Washi, Glitter Copper and Skinny Orange Tape so that I would have the perfect home for my compound sentiment. And whereas I may be the only coffee-loving American who doesn't love Pumpkin Spice flavoring in my coffee, that doesn't mean I don't love to mix a few Pumpkin Brads with my Coffee Brads, lol! 

I always start with a slightly bigger background than I think I'm going to need, so I don't run out of room. In this case, I wound up with a 3x6" offcut of woodgrain paper with the beautiful layers of tape, which seemed like the perfect size to make an extra little tag!

A few more leaves, a heart diecut, some smaller alphas and another Coffee + Pumpkin Brad pairing and I was good to go! Be sure to hop over to the Eyelet Outlet Blog and see what delights the other designers have whipped up for you this week! ♥

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

how do ya like them apples?

this week's challenge at shopping our stash is called "apple of my eye" and i'm pretty sure you'll already have sussed that we'd like to see projects which incorporate apples. it can be a loose interpretation, though, so things like apple blossom, or apple pie would also qualify. OR, although it is not yet officially sanctioned, if you manage to work in an i-phone, a macintosh computer or fiona apple, i promise to go to bat for you with the SOS judging committee and insist that's a valid representation of the theme!!! meanwhile, i  chose the classic fruit, albeit quite a stylized version. it's from the ancient SEI "fruitstand" collection (thus making it particularly stash-o-licious) the papers of which i bought several times over and have never failed to enjoy using, including right here:

the only problem with choosing your embellishments first, is then you have to go back and find something you can embellish with them! which is somewhat "cart before the horse" lol. i'm not sure i've ever seen a cupcake with an apple on top, but in fairness it's a BIG cupcake and it's got TWO layers of frosting, which hopefully will provide enough support. my top layer of icing has white embossed swirls made by one of my verrrrrry oldest and most beloved stamp sets: rhonna farrer's "flourishes" which i've had for at least ten years and maybe longer! thus i'm jumping in with the "anything goes" challenge at retro rubber!

hop on over to SOS to see the amazing creations from my dt darlings, and start planning your own apple-related masterpiece! ♥

Monday, September 18, 2017

lotus mandala: step by step

the last time i posted a handcut mandala, a few people asked how i made it, so when i used some of the fruits of saturday's uber-fun gelli printing marathon with stephanie to make another, i took photos of the steps! if you're pressed for time, these pics can also be seen as a flipagram in my instagram account.

ok, let's go!

papers, scissors, dry adhesive, a pencil, optional ink (for edges) and something you can use to draw a fairly neat circle this case the cool teal protractor thing that stephanie found in an art supply store in nyc.

start with a circle
you can trace a roll of tape or a glass, or use a stencil or diecut. it's pretty helpful to start with a somewhat symmetrical circle, though. after this we'll wing it. i like inked edges, especially when i have this many competing prints, but they are completely optional.

i used dry adhesive to tack my circle to another layer of paper, then sketched a petal shape or two. sometimes i divide the circle neatly into quarters, then halves, and mark all the sections; this time i just started cutting. as you can see, the lower left is pretty wonky, because i ran into the edge. it somewhat evens out in the next step though. but mostly i'm just lackadaisical about things like this, and fun is better than perfect, imo! :)

again, i attached the completed bit (circle + scallops) to the paper i wanted to use next. this time i made sure to center it, so i'd have enough room! i sketched a couple of half circles to see how they'd look. i liked them, so i cut them all the way around.

more petals
because i have A LOT of patterns here, i wanted to keep the shapes pretty simple, so i just stuck to petals, scallops and circles. in retrospect, i wish i had swapped out a few of the prints for plain cardstock, because it's pretty frenetic, but there ya go.

another circle
this time i used a compass. i don't know why i insist the circular layers be fairly precise, while the shaped layers can be wonky, but that's what i usually do, lol.

more scallops
if you don't like handcutting, you can make them by punching loads of circles and attaching them from the back, so they look like scallops. in which case you'll want to use a bit more adhesive on those layers. 

another circle
again with the compass. it's actually slightly smaller than the layer in front of it, but it peeks out from behind. 

at this point i went to the sewing machine and added a ring of machine stitching to each of the three circle layers. because i like the way it accents and outlines the shape, but also...these layers are of different paper weights, and the stitching ensures that everything will stay firmly attached. it also allows me to leave the petals and scallops loose, so i can curl them up slightly for the "lotus" effect!

finally i mounted the whole thing to one last gelli print, trimmed it into a square, matted it on black glossy cardstock, and added one more bit of stitching.

et voila! 

not into sketching or hand cutting? 
use punches, dies, doilies, templates, decorative scissors... the possibilities are endless! 
all you need are stacked layers and a little imagination!

Friday, September 15, 2017

ho ho ho... tic tac toe?

it's that time again, when we bust out the ever popular holiday tic-tac-toe game at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and invite you to pick a row, a column, or a diagonal, then make a card using those three things and link it up!

i chose, the left hand column, "red... glitter... santa" and here's my card:

patterned paper: basic grey, doodlebug, sei; tape: eyelet outlet; glittery snowman, tree and snowflake stickers: doodlebug; doily border: crate paper; december and red stripe stickers: echo park; adhesives: elmers brand glue tape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

ok, so the red is pretty visible, and the santa element is on that sweet eyelet outlet santa and snowman washi tape. admittedly the glitter is a little hard to see, but the doodlebug snowman and some of the the snowflakes are glittery stickers. i mention this because i know some people do not enjoy loose glitter in their homes, and these are a great "work around" as are eyelet outlet glitter washi tapes and american crafts "pow" glitter papers; both of which also diecut beautifully!

i used last week's atlantic hearts sketch, so obviously i won't be linking up with them, but it's a great sketch:

stephanie also has a wonderful card that i know will inspire you, why not hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and enjoy that right now? 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Pumpkins For Everyone

Did you know that dozens of beautiful, brand new tape designs were added to the Eyelet Outlet Store in the last few weeks? Today I have a trio of cards made with what might be my favorite: Wide Pumpkin Washi! I love the soft, elegant design of this tape, the watercolor look of the pumpkins, and the fact that it's accented with pink flowers and soft green leaves.

One of my favorite "tape tricks" is to cover a piece of cardstock with it, then use it exactly like any other patterned paper, which is what I've done with the Wide Pumpkin Washi on my first card. To ground the design I added a triple row of Pink Bling Strips and topped it with a pink Paper Flower stack, accented with one of these sweet Pumpkin Brads.

I'm always excited to see Green Paper Flowers. Why? Well they're fun on their own and make a great bottom layer of a flower stack, but mostly, I like to cut them apart and use the flower petals as leaves. I've used two petals from one of the largest flowers exactly that way in my first card, but in the second, I got a little fancier, and cut some medium and small flowers apart into individual segments. Then, using a green Pearl Bling Strip as a base, I recreated the vine design on the Wide Pumpkin Washi, and used it as an accent for a multi-color flower stack.

Something that always amazes me is how different one tape can look when it's set against different backgrounds. For my third card, I applied the Wide Pumpkin Washi as an accent on my pale pink card base, then set it off with two strips of Pink Bling. This time my flowers are two shades of pink, and accented with one of the pretty new Pearl Gems.

Need even more Eyelet Outlet inspiration? In addition to daily content on the fabulous EO Blog, we have an awesome Pinterest Board with projects by all of your favorite designers, as well as an amazing Flickr Gallery!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

emboss like a boss!

you may already have guessed that this week's challenge at shopping our stash is to incorporate *EMBOSSING* into your card, but possibly you have not realized that what we actually want to see is both dry (with a folder or stylus) AND wet (using powder or paste) embossing! don't worry, once you get your head around the idea, it's pretty easy, i promise. the proof being that even i managed to pull it off, lol!

multiple shades of colorburst pigment powders, as well as cut-n-color flower stamp and die sets "flowers 1" and "flowers 2" by ken oliver crafts; various wow and zing embossing powders; sheena douglass embossing folder: the crafter's companion; patterned papers: pink paislee, october afternoon, glitz design, lily bee; inks: ranger, prima, stewart superior, versamark; pearl brads: eyelet outlet; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

it's funny, because the night before i made this card, i had re-found a bunch of ken oliver cut and color mandala flower images that i had made one day whilst minding the store at paper anthology. i had a great time stamping them over rainbows of colorburst-ed paper and then heat embossing with loads of cool embossing powders, experimenting with pretty much every color combination imaginable. (and yes, a few that turned out to be unimaginable, which will never make it onto a card!) but a bunch of them were really lovely and i was thinking that i should make them into a card... and then this challenge came up, which was perfect. for my dry embossing, i used a beautiful sheena douglass e/f that i'm embarrassed to say i rarely use, not because i don't love it (i do!) but because there are whole months that go by in which i seem to have forgotten entirely that i have a bunch of gorgeous embossing folders that i rarely use. this one has a loose floral design which paired really well, so i just added some very light inking to showcase the design without letting the colors compete too much with the mandala flowers. i kept the rest of my papers very neutral, as well, but they have a bit of tone-on-tone pattern that i tend to use in place of plain cardstock.

there's lots more inspiration to be found at SOS where my design team darlings are embossing like bosses, check it out! ♥

*my "LSS" as they used to say back in the day, is a fabulous papercrafting store called paper anthology in kenvil, morris county, new jersey. it's the store in which i teach, hang out, and occasionally "mind the store"... the latter being shorthand for days in which i get to sit in a room full of art supplies, play with all of my friend elisabeth's cool stuff, and she thinks i'm doing her the favor, lol??!?! :) :) :)