Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Mini Card Smiles for Miles

You know how we all eat MORE candy when they come in those little fun size bars? It turns out the same is true for cards... well, not the eating part, lol, but I find that once I start making mini-cards it's really hard to stop! Especially since an ATC format (2.5 x 3.5") showcases Summer-Themed Eyelet Outlet Brads so wonderfully well, as I believe I prove conclusively on the Eyelet Outlet Blog today!

In this case, my little "family" of cards was inspired by the fact that one of my Simple Stories 6 x 6" paper pads featured a bunch of scaled down journal cards, with little icons just right to be swapped for brads. Who could resist something as amazingly serendipitous as that, eh? You can see in the photo that one the cards has a smiley face EXACTLY the same size-- and expression-- as a Mini Emotion Brad and another has a sun just a tiny bit smaller than the one in the Sun and Cloud Brads. The Flip Flop Brads weren't actually pictured on their card, but the text is in the perfect colors and there was just enough room to attach them along the edges. Shifting through another collection from the same manufacturer I found a camera with an iconic center which precisely fit the Peace Sign Brads and another mini card that was a brilliant home for Mini Bee Brads... right down to the honeycomb pattern!

Once I started making the cards, I decided to combine the colors in the paper collection, add some dictionary text paper with strategically placed words, and highlight the designs with a bit of Washi Tape in coordinating shades and patterns.

Flower Tape with Cute Bugs looked adorable with the Mini Bees. Chevron Tape was a natural choice with that sweet camera and bold Peace Sign. The Blue Dots Tape always reminds me of bubbles in an aquarium (or the ocean?!) so that was perfect with the Flip Flops. And Smiley Face Tape was an obviously fab accent for the Mini Smiley. I've also used some Foil Dots tape and my very favorite, super-colorful Skinny Washi Set as accents.

When all the cards were finished, it seemed a shame not to make some tiny envelopes for them, using the leftover bits of paper and a little more coordinating tape; though these will be tucked into a gift or mailed in a larger envelope, since 3.5 x 5" is the smallest size you can mail on its own!

I hope you'll be inspired to look at your own paper collections and your stamp sets, to see which ones will pair perfectly with some super-fun Eyelet Outlet Brads! Meanwhile Miss Carri has another great project to show you, so why not scroll down below my post on the Eyelet Outlet Blog and see that right now?! ♥

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

sweet thang

this week's challenge at shopping our stash is called "you're so sweet" and thus we'd like to see cards and projects featuring... well... *SWEETS* lol! which could be anything from cupcakes to candy to fruit! always one to hedge my bets, i've got a little bit of everything!

patterned paper: simple stories, echo park, american crafts (amy tangerine + dear lizzy) cardstock and paper stickers: simple stories; tags: sei; cupcake, cherry and bright flower brads + chevron washi tape: eyelet outlet; glossy kromekote cardstock: the paper cut; adhesives elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

this card is probably the answer to the musical question, "how many embellishments is too many"? but then i can never resist a sweet treat irl or on a card! i've got some ancient tags, loads of cardstock stickers and icons, a few fab eyelet outlet brads and ALL THE COLORS of the rainbow.

i used this week's sketch saturday layout, though as you can see, by virtue of my over enthusiastic embellishing i've morphed away from the compact neatness of the sketch a bit. i thank them for the inspiration, however, and also for the shout out on my "tribute to snail mail card" from last week!

lots more sweet treats and eye candy for you from the DT at shopping our stash! ♥

Monday, May 29, 2017

it's minibook monday again!

because YEAH, that's really gonna be a thing until i run out of minibooks and go back to mandala monday, lol!!! which at this point, will probably be next week, so not to worry if you're not really diggin' the little books so much. on the other hand, i really like making these and have loads more ideas, so they will likely make periodic comebacks! :)

this one is pretty random, so the only semi "theme" about it is that there's a lot of orange and yellow involved.

isn't this adhesive-backed fabric from michaels gorgeous? i think i already mentioned that i'm psyched that sticky fabric is making a comeback; i always loved that stuff! 
(even better news: in this incarnation, the adhesive actually WORKS... which in previous versions was not always the case, lol!)

lace paper also seems to be coming around again, too. it looks nice over top of random gelli prints, dontcha think?

chinese childrens books and bits of map are always a good idea, imo! 

i like being able to see various pages above, below, behind, and-- in the case of lace paper-- THROUGH other pages.

having pages of all different sizes also adds to the "collage" feeling.

i love it when i buy used books and magazines at garage sales and there are handwritten notes inside, i always save them. ♥♥♥ to the lady who neatly copied these instructions for crocheted granny squares!

i know some people don't like ex-library books because they have plastic covers, pockets and stamps; i, of course, actively seek them out!

and finally the obligatory gratuitous "open book" shot.

hope my US friends are having an awesome memorial day weekend, and that the rest of the world is having a pretty fine monday!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

more collages?

as you know, i'm super excited about the fact that ICAD* officially starts on thursday** and while i have not been able to participate in all the pre-ICAD festivities, on the day that tammy posted the "one-staple collage" warm up exercise, OF COURSE i had to drop everything and make a one-staple collage on an index card. because that's the way i roll. meanwhile, there are a few full-sized collages from the last couple of weeks that i haven't posted, so this seems like a good time to show you those, as well.

one-staple index card collage
asking the musical question: 
how many things can you stack in a 3x5 space and still see them all? 
1) a tabbed index card base 
2) a scrap of vintage ledger paper 
3) a strategically torn piece of garden plan 
4) another (different) type of vintage ledger paper
5) common plant names from an english/thai pocket tourist dictionary;
6) a small section of green paint chips 
7) a flower illustration from a tiny, falling-apart, 1910-ish field guide 
8) butterfly punched from a "chinese for kids" workbook page. the answer is "EIGHT" then! :)

mother's day collage
lately i've seen quite a few cool collages on instagram where, instead of being fussy cut, the elements are all arranged kind of geometrically. which i find fascinating and cool. so of course i've had a few tries at this and i'm sure there will be more. i don't think i've really "cracked it" yet, but as with the one-staple format, changing the rules really makes you look at EVERYTHING differently, which is often quite inspiring.
(ps: i don't know the people in the vinatge photo, but it says on the back, in beautiful copperplate handwriting, "yvonne ward and isabel greer at cargygray ireland, 1957")

bird collage
again, playing somewhat with the grid idea, though the four arched doorways were on one page in a falling apart fodor's guide to india, c1975. the birds are cut from a beautiful paper napkin and i love the way they are a tiny bit see-through once you peel them down to one layer! 

avalokiteshvara gridded collage
in the midst of my gridded collage mania, i found a cool schematic in an old needlework book for a sort of strange 1970's stitch sampler, where blocks of pattern are layered over and under each other... (the sampler, shown on another page, was of course executed in shades of lemon yellow, avocado green and burnt orange, as all decor items were federally mandated to be in the 1970's) ...for the most part, i'm not a "scan-and-duplicate" collage artist, but this was SO COOL i needed to scan it. plus, that meant i could print it out on a transparency and place most of my layers under it, on the grid!
(yes, i know, i get inordinately excited about things like this, lol!)

*the index card a day project, aka ICAD has been hosted by tammy garcia on the daisy yellow art blog for the last seven years; this will be my sixth year participating! ♥

**the (totally optional!) prompts for each week are posted on the sunday before, which means that anyone who is chompin' at the bit to get going could snag the prompts TOMORROW and start working a teeny bit early. not that i'm going to do that... ok yeah... i'm almost certainly going to do that... ;)

Friday, May 26, 2017

oh HOLE-y night?!

yep, we can never resist a holiday pun at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥... the more egregious the better, lol! so what could we possibly mean by "oh HOLE-y night"?! if you guessed that we're making cards with windows or other apertures cut through them, you are exactly right!

patterned paper: glitz design + vintage sheet music; cardstock: bazzill; poinsettia + velvet holly leaves: petaloo; greenery: tim holtz thinlit dies used on scraps of green patterned paper and cardstock; wood veneer: photoplay; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, xyron, gluedots

i acquired a couple of new die sets at paper anthology this week, and tim holtz's "holiday greens" was one of them. i love florals and greenery at any time of year, but maybe most of all at christmas. so of course there was no question that my window card was going to involve some festive foliage. i used two successive sizes of nestabilities' "labels two" to cut and mat my window, and added a beautiful burlap poinsettia as the focal point. visible through the window inside the card, there's some vintage sheet music and a wood veneer sentiment to round out the design.

stephanie also has something rather lovely to show you, why not hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and check it out?

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Post With the Most

Don't get me wrong, I love technology, but there's something about finding an actual card or letter in the mailbox that makes the whole day brighter, don't you think? I love to send snail mail to my friends and family, especially cards! So I was pretty excited when I saw these Eyelet Outlet Mail Brads:

And I really love that each packet contains both mailboxes and envelopes!

Speaking of envelopes, I've become somewhat obsessed with making my own custom ones, that match my cards! And my favorite decoration for them is (of course) Washi Tape

In this case, I've used the same mixture of tapes on both my card and the matching envelope: Red White and Blue Striped Washi, Air Mail Washi, Skinny Heart Washi, Gold Script Tape and my favorite Hearts Tape. I've used them in straight lines on the card, to highlight the focal image with the Mail Brads on it; but placed them at a diagonal on the envelope, to add extra interest to the vintage dictionary paper. 

I've placed the Red White and Blue Striped Washi, around the edges of a pale blue cardstock panel on both the card and the address label, and trimmed it to slightly less than half its normal width... to mimic the look of old-time airmail envelopes. 

A few hand-cut hearts and a label-maker sentiment seemed to enhance the nostalgic mood, and instantly we're back to the 1970's, when this lovely old eight cent stamp could transport your kind thoughts across town or country!

I'm also linking up with Brown Sugar Challenge Blog's current theme, "Washi Tape" (challenge #251):

Meanwhile my lovely Wednesday partner, Carri, has something wonderful to show you, so I hope you'll scroll down and see that when you're over at the Eyelet Outlet Blog! ♥

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

it's the most wonderful time of the year!

by which i mean, the index card a day project* will start up again in just nine days, woohoo! you may be wondering what this has to do with this week's challenge at shopping our stash, and technically the answer is, "NOTHING" except that this week we'd like to see music notes on your project and i've used sheet music as the background for the covers of my ICAD2017 book. see?

sheet music from an old marked up book i found at a garage sale; my photo with heavily increased saturation and color levels, printed on kodak premium glossy paper; mica flakes from an art store; deco tape: love my tapes; chipboard thickers: american crafts; ink: stewart superior; bookring: staples; adhesive fabric sheets: michaels; chipboard: paper accents; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, scotch 3m craft gluestick, sewing machine  

ok, so apart from the sheet music, i have a heavily photoshopped picture i took at the new york botanical gardens a couple of years ago, which i've printed on glossy paper, trimmed into an oval shape, and added some shiny mica flakes. to grunge up the background a little bit, i added some clear plastic deco tape with text on it, a tiny bit of crackle modeling paste through a stencil, and some chipboard alphas with machine stitching to insure they won't decide to jump ship midway through the project. 

the endpapers inside the book are made from an adhesive fabric sheet i found in the iron-on section of a local big box crafting store. i was sort of excited to see them there, as we had been talking about adhesive fabric at SOS last week, during our "project runway" challenge! i always loved the stuff, so i was excited to see it making a comeback.

technically you don't need ANYTHING special to participate in ICAD, apart from index cards and a writing implement; and you most definitely do not need a special book. but i happen to like making little books, and something i have learned about myself over the years is that i can intend to keep a travel journal during vacation, or to watercolor every day in the autumn, or to make 61 index cards at the beginning of summer. but i'm a lot more likely to actually DO IT if i've already spent a bit of time and energy to make an official book with the title on it in chipboard letters, lol. and since i'm always excited about ICAD several weeks before it starts, i usually whip up a little something just to increase my odds of following through. some folks gesso their cards, or do collaged or painted backgrounds in advance to get them started, but i've found (perhaps a bit strangely?) that doesn't actually help me, so i just punch holes in a few different styles of index card and call myself "ready" lol.

on the other hand, you don't have to have any interest at all in ICAD to play along with us at SOS this week, and my dt darlings have loads of music note inspiration for you!!! ♥

*the founder and hostess of ICAD, tammy garcia, has an awesome website called daisy yellow art where you can read all about this event, but essentially: you get yourself a stack of 61 index cards; you do something creative (draw, write, paint, sew, collage, compose a haiku... whatever feels creative to you!) each day between june 1st and july 31st on one of the index cards; at the end of the project you have a stack of creative cards and have established, re-established or just re-ignited a daily art practice! it's fun, it's friendly and it helps boost both your creativity and your skills! this will be my 6th year and i have to say i love it more each time! ♥

Monday, May 22, 2017

minibook monday?!

if we are friends on facebook, you probably know that i generally like to start the week with "mandala monday". but having enjoyed a rather awesome art camp with the lovely linda brun last week, i have a few little books to post, so i'm gonna change things up! :)

linda discovered a fab place in nyc called "printed matter", which we thought was going to be a store full of art books, but it turned out to be EVEN COOLER than that!

it was not just full of art books, but full of artist books! some were traditional publications from small presses, some were self-published zines and some were limited edition, handmade treasures.

you may have already guessed that it was the latter category which i loved most, and could not wait to get home to try my hand at making!

this one has a new york theme, and was inspired by the work of misaki kawai, who incorporates a travel theme into many of her books, and does some really interesting folded pages.

it has a traditional stitched binding, though, being a bit lazy, i only made ONE signature and a folded cover, so it's a bit overstuffed. or rather, A LOT overstuffed. in fact, that crinkly seambinding tie is not just decorative... it's the only way the book stays closed, lol!

i am still clearly in a torn-and-layered paper phase, and i love the way the different sized and shaped pages have a collage-like effect, as they lay under, over, in front of, or behind the other pages.

the pages are a pretty random mix of vintage paper, gelliprints, colorburst experiments, photos, maps, train schedules, chopstick wrappers (!); i guess you could say there's a little bit of everything.

everything, that is... EXCEPT... a traditional narrative of any kind. which i suppose is something we generally expect to find in a book, lol. in fact, there aren't any words except the "found" ones in the various bits of text paper. i might add some later... or not... i suppose this is project is somewhere between a travel book and a collage? it's definitely a bit non-traditional, but i had a lot of fun making it, and i smile every time i see it. 

i'd love to stay and chat more, but i still have LOADS MORE book ideas that i can't wait to try out, so i will wish you the BEST MONDAY EVER and sign off for now, darlings! ♥♥♥

Friday, May 19, 2017

once in a BLUE moon...

...we have the "blue christmas" challenge at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ ok, technically, it's once a year, but that doesn't make for a very interesting blog post title now does it? anyway, we're into week two of the current one, so we're still rockin' the cards that are predominantly blue. i've gone a bit vintage this time:

cyanotype illustrations from a vintage ideals magazine; glossy white cardstock: paper accents; florals: petaloo, prima, michaels and some tiny blue ones of unknown origin; ink: colorbox; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape

the snowy scene is from a vintage christmas "ideals" magazine. i love that every issue i've ever seen has at least a few pages that are just shades of blue, a few that are just green or red or sepia; it's like a colorful version of greyscale! i've used a blue one here, as you can see. the lamp post was part of the same scene but was on the other side of a bit of a poem or text of some kind that i didn't want to include, so i fussy cut it, intending to fit it within my "tall card" shape. but i hated to cover too much of the house up, so i wound up letting it dangle off the edge, lol. it's a bit of an oddly-shaped, oversized card, that will need to go in with a package instead of being mailed in an envelope, me thinks! ;)

this week's theme on the simon says stamp monday challenge blog is home sweet home. i'm hoping that "home for christmas" counts??!

stephanie has made a rather lovely card that can be mailed quite sensibly. you really should hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and see it, darlings!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Ahoy, Summer!

Can you believe it's the middle of May already? I  find it hard to imagine we're only a couple of weeks away from Memorial Day! I was feeling Nautical-but-Nice (lol!) and decided to make a card which celebrates that fact, it's on the Eyelet Outlet Blog today. There are some awesome patriotic products in the Eyelet Outlet store and here are a few of my favorites:

It's no secret that I'm a bit of a Washi Tape enthusiast (I don't think it counts as "hoarding" if you USE them, right?!) and one of my favorite tricks for making a bold sentiment is to combine a few coordinating tapes, the diecut or hand cut my title from the resulting decorative border. In this case I'm rockin' the Red, White and Blue Stripe with Nautical Tape and Skinny Stars tape, though I confess I had difficulty choosing when I also had Blue Stars, Cruise Tape and Hearts; I've traced some oversized chipboard letters to form the word "Ahoy" and then mounted them on foam tape on my card so they'd stand out even more.

A bold red panel on a field of white makes everything pop, don't you think? And how adorable are those Red White and Blue Anchor Brads?! I'm definitely ready to sail off into summer now, and I hope you are, too!

I hope you'll stop by the Eyelet Outlet Blog today; and when you're there, I hope you'll scroll down to the post below and see what my lovely and amazing Wednesday partner, Miss Carri, has to inspire you even more! ♥

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

putting the FAB in fabric

this week's challenge at shopping our stash is called "project runway" and we want you to tap into your stash of fabric, whether that be in the form of fabric swatches, burlap or canvas embellies, fabric paper, fabric tape... if it's fabric, it's fair game! i have a bunch of cool fabric tape, actually, that often gets overlooked in my passion for the sheer variety of washi, so i made a point of combining them together this time!

architectural drawing, paint chip and notebook paper from my stash; fabric tape: freckled fawn, love my tapes and little b; washi tape: eyelet outlet, doodlebug, freckled fawn, little b, october afternoon; alphabet stamps: tim holtz/stampers anonymous; ink: ranger archival; bookring: staples; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, staples

if this rainbow swatch book looks familiar, it may be because i posted a similar volume a couple of weeks ago, when i announced my may and june classes at paper anthology. i made a very similar book as a sample for the class and dropped it off at the store, but quickly realized that i needed an actual working copy to keep for myself and use as a record all of my inks, paints and markers! so this one will be the "keeper" and i've already started adding the colors i own.

i divided the book into sections, and i've scribbled swatches of my gelatos, pens and markers, but i've stamped all the inks, as you can see in the photo below. i've tried to keep like colors together, so it makes it easy to determine just WHICH SPECIFIC green distress ink i'd like to use for any particular project:

there are loads more awesome crafty uses for fabric on display at SOS, courtesy of my amazing design team darlings! do give yourself a treat and hop over to see them! ♥

Friday, May 12, 2017

blue christmas?!

this fortnight's prompt at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ is called "blue christmas" but it's hard to see who could be sad if they got to play with indigo and ultramarine colorburst, then diecut snowflakes from the result, and layer them on top of old skool basic grey patterned paper, torn vintage book pages and doilies, isn't it? as a matter of fact, i had a ball with all of the above!

apparently, i'm still in a bit of a "torn paper" phase, but i keep on liking how it looks, so i'm not even going to waste time worrying about that. a little bit of ink, some wonky stitching, and those biiiiiiiiiiig honkin' rhinestones and i was ready to call this one DONE!

i was inspired by mojo monday #496, but since i wound up putting the strips ON TOP of the panel, i'm not sure i haven't veered too far from the sketch at this point. i am very grateful for the inspiration, however!

miss stephanie has a gorgeous card to show you, why not banish the blues with us at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥?!