Friday, February 15, 2019

all that glitters... gold. or sometimes silver. with the outside possibility of copper, bronze or rose gold! on the other hand, sometimes all that glitters is GLITTER! which is my very roundabout way of telling you that this fortnight at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ we're all about metallics and/or glitter! this could be in the form of metal embellies, metallic or tinsel embossing paste or powder, glitter paper, glitter tape, glitter glue, or even metallic paper like i've used. basically, if it's shiny or sparkly, you're good to go!

silver metallic reindeer diecut from idea-ology metallic kraft-stock paper, using tim holtz sizzix "reindeer flight" die and embossed with an older sheena douglass e/f from crafter's companion; patterned paper: hambly, elle's studio, echo park, kaiser; lace from my stash;label dies: nestabilities; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

i've mentioned before how much i love idea-ology's metallic kraft-stock paper. the original variety was an 8x8 tablet with eighteen sheets each of silver and gold. nowadays there are lots more colors (and yes, to my fellow new jersians, many of these are available at paper anthology!) but i've used silver this time. i backed it with a little scrap of plain white cardstock. not because the metallic cardstock isn't strong enough, but because i knew i was going to emboss in the next step and that reindeer has teeeeeeny little legs. i diecut the handsome reindeer, then embossed but didn't sand to reveal the fabulous kraft color that's under the metallic layer, which gives you a completely different look.

be sure to hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and see stephanie's beautiful card, then start planning your own glittering masterpiece!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019


Every once in a while, I get an idea SO CRAZY I have to drop everything and attempt it immediately. This is one of those. The amazing thing is... it actually came out very much like the picture that was in my head. (I will leave it to you to decide if that's a good thing or not, lol.) I also think I may have set the all-time record for most Eyelet Outlet Brads used in one post. Because there are 45 brads, from 29 different style sets on these two panels which are each just a tiny smidge over A2. I've given the complete list with links below, but really, the best part about an idea like this is that you can make it work with pretty much ANY combination of brads you love!

Many of my crazy ideas just *appear* out of nowhere, but in this case, I had actually seen two different inspiration pieces recently. This heart shaped graphic for Crate Paper's LaLaLove Collection and a two-halved card by Elodie Lusseau using Pink Paislee's Auburn Lane line. I saw them at different times and definitely didn't connect them immediately, but at some point they kind of joined up in my head and that's when I started working. I gathered up lots of little sticker sentiments I thought could work in a Valentine context, and pulled out a bunch of brad styles. Generally, I do a "dry fit" layout first, but in this case, I kind of just had to wing it. I found it easier to start at the bottom of each half and fit each brad on individually, as if working on a jigsaw puzzle; scattering the sentiment stickers here and there by size, theme and color as I went along. Here's a shot of my worktable when I was about half done. Minimalists: look away now!

You can see I have quite a few leftovers, but this was one of those times that it was good to have a large pool of different sizes and colors to draw from, because as I got to an edge, I sometimes had a very oddly shaped blank spot that needed... something. And honestly, I couldn't probably have guessed what that would be when I started out. The brads that made the final version of the left side are: the sun from our Sun and Clouds set, a pair of Colorful Sunglasses, Mini Ladybug, the champagne flutes and silver-colored engagement ring from the Wedding Brads set, a few Mini Bright Stitched Flowers, a Funky Bee Brad and some Mini Bees, a Peace Sign, the white cup from our Coffee Brads, a Donut, Bee Happy from the Spring Bubble Brads, Palm Tree, Flamingo, a Sandcastle Brad, a couple of Hearts and a Yoga Cat

On the right-side card, the brads are: one red and one green Margarita from the Cocktail Brad set (which also includes red and white wine), Love You from our Saying Bubble Brads set, a handsome green Gnome, a Mini Emotion Brad, a Mini Bright Stitched Flower, a couple of Hearts, Hello Sunshine from the Spring Bubble Brads, a Brown Teddy Bear and a pink one from the Colorful Teddy Bears set, a silver Eiffel TowerMini Ladybug, a couple of stacks of Book Brads, a yellow Light Bulb, a green ball of yarn and the needles from our Knitting Brads, a Cute Deer, a red velvet Cupcake, and a yellow Duck Brad

When the two heart halves were complete, I affixed them to A2-sized backgrounds using the reverse patterned paper selection, to which I had carefully lined up strips of brand new Heart Washi Tape, XO Gold Foil Tape and a fun Skinny Washi pattern. But again... you could use pretty much any combination you like, and there are some really awesome NEW tapes in the store; they're conveniently placed at the top of the tape section with an asterisk, so they're easy to find! 

Wishing everybody a very Happy Valentine's Day tomorrow! ♥♥♥

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

SOS389: make your mark

it's a fun and easy challenge this fortnight at shopping our stash: color anything you want, using markers! this is especially (and coincidentally) quite timely since kathy racoosin is in the midst of another daily marker 30-day coloring challenge! here's what i made:

polynesian paradise stamp set: my favorite things; colored with tombow dualbrush pens and shading added with prismacolor pencils; patterned paper scrap background: echo park + glitz design; stickers: echo park; shell corner and sea shore brads: eyelet outlet; ink: ranger archival (for stamping) colorbox chalk (for edging); adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

i've mentioned before that i find realistic coloring- with shading and highlights etc- a bit challenging. so it's definitely good to practice more! stephanie gave me the adorable my favorite things' "polynesian paradise" stamp set for my birthday a couple of years ago and it's still definitely a go-to. my coloring process is to "base coat" each of my stamped elements with the lightest shade of tombow i think it will need, then add shading with prismacolors, as i find it easier to have a light touch with the pencils. for the record, i'm still the wolrd's sloooooooowest colorer! :)

one of the things i especially love about mft stamps is that they're exactly the right size and scale to add in some eyelet outlet goodness. in this case, shell corners and seashore brads. the landscape that sets the scene for the stamped and colored elements is made of torn paper scraps, with a sticker sun and surfboard from two older echo park collections. here is a completely gratuitous shot of the chameleon from the stamp set, because he is my favorite:

i hope you'll join us and "make your mark" this fortnight. if you need more inspiration be sure to check out the amazing dt creations over at SOS! ♥

Saturday, February 9, 2019

this is why i crochet! ♥

in case there was any question about it, this photo that our niece jazzy sent of our grandniece, gracie, with the bunny i made for her birthday solves the mystery pretty well!

this amigurumi bunny pattern by laura eccleston is available FREE on the happy berry website! where there are many, many other adorable free patterns as well; some are even available made up as kits.

my version was made using vanna's choice by lion brand yarn, in beige, pink poodle and raspberry; on a j-hook to get a nice tight stitch, which is what you want for amigurumi.  

my only innovation was that instead of making a pom pom tail, i crocheted and stuffed  a small white circle. by sewing it on at just the right angle, it formed a tripod with the legs in front, and allows the bunny to sit up securely! this is definitely a trick i will remember in future!

although it's probably an optional extra right now, as i don't think this bunny is going to be sitting alone for a while yet! ♥♥♥

Friday, February 8, 2019

(s)mitten by shaped cards

we're still making cards that are not square or rectangular at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and you're still invited to join the fun. here's what i made this week:

patterned paper, flower layers: basic grey; velvet flower trim: doodlebug; velvet leaves: 7 gypsies; sentiment sticker: echo park; felt snowflake, lace, button, twine: from my stash; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, scor-tape by sookwang, gluedots
here's another example of choosing a clipart image and re-sizing it to make the perfect card. in this case, the mitten is about 6" tall and nearly 4" wide at the thumb. yes, i raided my treasured hoard of classic basic grey papers, both of these papers are from the dasher  line, i believe and the fabric flower layers are from blitzen and aspen, i think. 

i layered up all of my design elements to make the prettiest and most fanciful mitten imaginable, then i affixed it to a folded piece of red cardstock and c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y cut around the whole thing to make a card that is mitten-shaped but does actually open in a traditional way.

be sure to hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and see stephanie's card, then why not link up something fun of your own?

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Did Someone Order Breakfast?

Because I have two yummy Breakfast ATC's for you that contain zero fat, cholesterol or calories. They feature the awesome Bacon, Egg and Toast Brad Set from Eyelet Outlet!

I love making Artist Trading Cards, the official dimensions of which are the same as a playing card: 2.5 x 3.5". I'll tell you a secret... most of my ATC's (including these) are made directly on top of a playing card from an old deck that's missing a few cards, which gives me a nice strong substrate on which to work. I made the Toaster ATC first. It features two pieces of Toast from the Bacon, Egg and Toast set plus some pink hearts from the super-useful Multicolor Enamel Hearts set. I used a strip of Skinny Washi to create a horizon line behind the toaster.

In case you're wondering what happened to the Eggs and Bacon from the set, my second card contains the answer, lol. Again I've used Skinny Heart Washi to divide two layers of patterned paper. For the record, the idea for my cracked egg was stolen from (AHEM) I mean inspired by (that's better!) my fellow EO designer Kim Venezia of Katydid Cards. She made this awesome pair of cards that use the Egg Brads with the Bacon, Egg and Toast set as well as our own EO Breakfast Stamps last June!

Wishing you an EGG-cellent day with all of your favorite treats! ♥

Friday, February 1, 2019

getting in shape!

don't worry, there's no dieting or exercise required this fortnight at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ we're just making holiday cards that aren't rectangular or square. I went with a fancy bauble shape. see?

patterned paper, florals and chipboard: prima marketing; creamy cardstock for card base: bazzill; gold kraftcore metallic cardstock: idea-ology... embossed with a maggie holmes e/f and sanded lightly; pearl flourishes: eyelet outlet; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, scor-tape by sookwang, gluedots 

here is my secret for making shaped cards without a traditional template: CLIP ART! i do a google image search for the shape i want to use, find a copyright free version that appeals to me, download it, and print it out at the size i need. this particular bauble shape is one i chose several years ago, and the hard copy i had was a bit too small, so i used my second favorite template trick, which is a version of how we all learned how to make symmetrical paper hearts in the third grade: i folded a piece of cardstock in half, placed the too-small bauble along the fold and traced around half of it... but... at a distance of about 3/4" larger than the shape. when i cut it out, i had a larger bauble shape that was symmetrical and ready to use as a template! then i went to town with papers from prima's "pretty pale" collection and loads of flowers and pearls!

check out stephanie's awesome card at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and link up your own masterpiece!