Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Thanks a Latte!

One of my all-time favorite Eyelet Outlet brad sets has to be the Coffee Brads, which come with white cups, red cups AND coffee beans. So of course I was pretty psyched when I saw the new Coffee Stamps which are quite literally made to go with the brads!

One of the reasons I love coffee themed products is that I love to join my friend Amy Tsuruta and the Coffee Loving Cardmakers in their seasonal blog hops and the summer one is going on right now!

I love that all the EO Clear Stamp sets are a mix of images and really great sentiments, sized exactly right to be used with the brads. For my first card, I stamped the "Cool Beans" sentiment  over and over (...and over and over...) on a panel of plain white cardstock, using lots of gorgeous bright shades of archival ink. 

Then I added the (literal!) cool beans by making some of the Coffee Bean Brads the centers of three different sizes of Paper Flowers. My mat is fabulous Splatter Tape and there's a little strip of beautiful watercolory Wide Flower Tape to add extra interest!

My second card features Butterfly Washi, which I used to make my background squares that hold the sentiment, "Thanks a Latte" stamped on a heart shape. I added Flower Tape, some fussycut butterflies, and a pair of Coffee Cups nested on top of Plain White Flowers for a summery look!

Need more ideas? There's daily inspiration on the EO blog not to mention more content on Facebook,  Instagram and Pinterest... and we add new projects nearly every single day! 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018


here's a shocking true confession for you: this week's challenge at shopping our stash is actually called, "pomp and circumstance" and the brief is to make a graduation card, which i think you'll agree is quite timely. but some of us didn't actually need a graduation card this year and asked if we could expand the challenge to also include generic congratulations cards. and by "some of us" i mean me. luckily, the rest of the team said yes. so here's what i made:

patterned paper scraps: basic grey, fancy pants, prima and... well a bunch of different grungy solids; star dies: nestabilities by spellbinders; congrats die: catherine pooler; ink: colorbox; glossy white cardstock: paper accents; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, nuvo deluxe adhesive, sewing machine

this is the stash-iest card imaginable, because the background was something i stumbled upon in my scraps file, ready made for... well, something, at some point and then not used? probably the stars that make up the collage were diecut from scraps originally, as well, so this is sort of doubly stashy. the "congrats" sentiment is from a set of pretty new catherine pooler dies but it's cut from a scrap of glossy white cardstock. all in all, an unusually flat card for me, but i think i like it!

there's lots more inspiration awaiting you from the team over at SOS, why not treat yourself to some eye candy, darlings? ♥

Monday, May 28, 2018

5 ways to make ICAD even more fun!

yes, it's that time of year again: the amazing index card a day project, devised and hosted by tammy garcia of daisy yellow art will take place between june 1st and july 31st and as always, you are invited to participate! check out the "ICAD base" tab at daisy yellow for all the info and/or join the facebook group or the gang over on instagram! meanwhile, here are a few tips i've gleaned over the course of playing along for the last six years...

DO use actual index cards!

yes, i mean the cheap, thin, flimsy ones from the big box store and not beautiful 120lb cold pressed watercolor paper cut to 3x5" size. the modest, disposable nature of REAL index cards is a big giant part of the point. it helps you focus on process over outcome. it helps you generate loads of ideas that might not work the first time. it helps you remember that the most important art supply is your creativity. this is IMPORTANT! don't cheat on this one, k? ♥

DO prepare (just a tiny bit!) in advance

gather your index cards, favorite pens and a few key supplies you'd like to use this year. put them together in a little box or bag that you can leave out where you like to work. brainstorm a list of ideas you want to try. flick through all those cool projects you've pinned. unearth the book on brush lettering you've wanted to try. check out the hastags on IG which most intrigue you. read some of tammy's awesome advice at daisy yellow. then, think about the best time to REALISTICALLY sneak 15 minutes of art time into your day. mine is usually 10:30 at night, it's my reward for having done all of the adulting that is required of me. if i had to get up and go find supplies at that hour, i'd never get any ICAD-ing done. for me, having my kit ready to roll is crucial. 

DO have a "default mode"

let's get real about this right upfront: there are going to be days that you don't feel inspired, haven't thought of a fab idea and aren't interested in the prompts. this is 100% normal, so don't even try to fight it. my default modes are mandalas and glue-as-you-go collages. sometimes, as i start doing one or the other, i find that i've suddenly thought of a brand new twist, and my imagination takes over from there. some days it's all i can do to just fill a card with *SOMETHING* and call it good. both are equally valid. the momentum of having made a card-- even one you don't especially like-- gives you confidence and makes it easier to sit down again the next day. some default mode ideas: zendoodles, stamping and coloring, doodling and coloring, lettering a favorite quote, making color charts or color wheels for various media (paints, pens, crayons, etc), testing out every single artist pen you own, making one-staple collages, doing contour drawings, writing poetry or haiku... the list is endless! having said that, this is NOT an all or nothing pursuit. it's entirely possible that real life commitments will force you to miss a day, a few days, or a week. don't catch up. don't apologize. don't quit. just start back up as soon as you can and keep going. finishing in the middle of august instead of july 31st still counts! so does finishing with 51 cards... or 15... do this YOUR WAY and have fun!

DO balance your social media life

in addition to being an awesome art-making impetus, ICAD has helped me make friends and connections literally all over the world. there's an amazing community of artists at every level of talent, skill and experience waiting to meet you, which is incredibly fun and valuable. but... i've found that for me, it's possible to get so immersed in the social aspects that i'm cutting my actual art time short. which is why i (mostly!) limit myself to one really good scroll of instagram per day, at a completely separate time from when i sit down to make my cards. you will figure out what works for you through trial and error.

DON'T succumb to "comparisonitis"!

if you don't hear one other single thing from this entire post, PLEASE listen to me now: during the course of the challenge, you may see cards that you'll perceive as being  "better" than yours; more polished, more skilled, more ambitious, whatever. let me stop you right there. don't compare. don't compete. don't criticize yourself. please, please don't. every single card you make has value. some because they came out well, others because they taught you something, still others because they were enjoyable to make. treasure your progress, strive to improve, and aim to enjoy the process. the act of "showing up" every day is already a victory... and having fun while you do it is the gold medal! ♥♥♥

Friday, May 25, 2018

snow far, snow good

it's the second week of our ribbon challenge at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and i've broken out the uber-cuteness, see?

patterned paper: katie pertiet, designer digitals; ribbon: doodlebug; bakery twine: from an actual bakery, believe it or not!; stickers: crate paper, pebbles, american crafts, doodlebug; plain white cardstock: staples; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

yep, i've got that adorable holiday-print doodlebug ribbon, some miscellaneous stickers and baker's twine that i saved from the bakery near my house, who still package things in a white cardboard box tied with the eponymous twine! (there may have been cannoli involved... that bakery makes awesome ones... just sayin'...)

i happen to know that stephanie has an utterly jaw-dropping card to show you this week, so i'm shutting up now to let you hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ all the more quickly!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Go Nuts for Donuts! ♥

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Eyelet Outlet's Donut Brads. And a few weeks ago, I found an awesome Donut Washi Tape in the EO store that pairs perfectly with them. So you can only imagine my joy when the new line of Eyelet Outlet Clear Stamps included a set called "Donut Stamps". Obviously I had to use all of those fine products together, right?! Which is exactly what I've done on the EO blog today!

For my first card, I stamped the sentiment, "I DONUT know what I'd do without you" on some soft pink paper in black ink, and a second time on scrap paper with dark brown.

The latter version I fussycut, and mounted over the background on tiny strips of foam tape, just for a little bit of added dimension. I affixed one of each of the three flavors of Donut Brad onto a matted square of dark brown paper and layered them onto the card over a strip of Donut Tape.

My second card features the fun donut stamp from the set. I used it to make a background by stamping it repeatedly in Archival ink on watercolor paper, then coloring with water-based markers that I brushed with a little water for a looser effect. I added the sentiment, "DONUT ever give up" inside a diecut label shape and adorned it with a Donut Brad and a Heart.

Need more inspirational ways to use the brand new line of Eyelet Outlet Clear Stamps? The design team provides daily inspiration on the EO blog, on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest... and we add new projects all the time, so check back often! ♥

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

bloomin' awesome

this week's challenge at shopping our stash is called, "april showers bring may flowers" and thus we'd like to see... you've guessed already, haven't you... a flower or flowers on your project. stamped, stenciled, hand drawn, dimensional, pressed or any other type of flower you'd like! pretty easy, wouldn't you say? here's what i made:

florals and birds: prima; ancient cardboard frame of unknown origin painted with equally ancient ranger crackle paint; patterned paper: prima, lily bee, basic grey; stencil: tim holtz; modeling paste: liquitex; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, hot glue, sewing machine

i found this ancient, extra-long spray of prima flowers while looking for something else entirely, and i suddenly knew exactly how to make it work on a card! i fitted it to the frame, then snipped off the bits that overhung at the top and bottom, placed them to best advantage inside the frame, and used a little hot glue to tack everything in place.

my first mat is actually the pretty green ledger paper that acted as a backer for the florals. i added a little modeling paste through a stencil and mounted the whole thing on scraps of shabby-chic-style off white papers with a little lace to add interest.

there's lots more flowery inspiration over at SOS, why not stop by and enjoy that right now, darlings? ♥

Saturday, May 19, 2018

One More, From the Shore

I had so much fun combining Eyelet Outlet brads with stamps from The Project Bin's "Summer Fun" set that I couldn't stop with just one card. So here's another:

This one features maybe my favorite sentiment from the set, "It's Always Summer Somewhere" which I stamped in black on a piece of patterned paper that looks like a vintage postcard.

I added a Sandcastle Brad, a Sun and a Tall Palm Tree and mounted the whole thing on a background I made from Shell Washi. Finally, I punched ed a compass rose from a coordinating piece of patterned paper and added a Compass Brad to the center. Easy Peasy... and soooooo summery!

Remember to head over to Instagram this weekend and be sure to follow and comment on all of the hop posts for a chance at some cool gift certificates from Eyelet Outlet and The Project Bin! ♥

Friday, May 18, 2018

Hopping Again!

The Eyelet Outlet team is hopping again this weekend, this time we've teamed up with the fine folks at The Project Bin! The action is over on Instagram where the EO and TPB designers have gone all out and you have a chance to win some sweet prizes, so be sure to check it out! I was working with the Summer Fun stamp set and I had a ball!

I stamped the "Vitamin Sea" stamp a whooooooole bunch of times, using various shades of Ranger Archival ink in shades of blue and green. Then I cut the images apart to make a sort of mandala, with a stacked, multi-color center featuring an Anchor Brad. For each of the petals around the center, I matted the stamped waves on a dark blue punched circle, then added a tuna or a swordfish--both varieties come in Eyelet Outlet's Fish Brads

For the next ring of shapes I punched tiny hearts and added a Heart Pearl to each. I made my background from some dark blue patterned paper with a subtle text print and added a band of Green Pattern Tape to add extra interest.

I hope you'll check out Eyelet Outlet's Instagram page to read all the details of how to hop and maybe even WIN a prize this weekend! ♥

tie one on!

it's time for a brand new prompt at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ so this fortnight we'd like to see holiday cards that include ribbon, lace, trimmings, fibers, twine, ric rac, rick rack or even rickrack! my card has a few styles, see?

I've got two different sizes of scalloppy trimming by pink paislee that is meant to be misted or inked to match your project, but in this case, the natural color already matched so i left it plain. the wide printed ribbon is from graphic 45 and was given to me by leslie hanna. the velvet flower trim is from a holiday ribbon assortment by doodlebug that i've bought at least 3 or 4 times and always use up pretty quickly. my background is a page of pretty snowflakes from a vintage storybook, which i kind of regret not cutting down a bit more before wrapping all the ribbon around it, but once everything was ON THERE i decided to leave it be. the focal point is a beautiful vintage postcard which i scanned, reduced slightly and printed on semi-gloss photo paper.

stephanie also has an amazing card to show you, why not head over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and feast your eyes on that, darlings!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Have you HERD?!

Eyelet Outlet has just released a fun line of rubber stamps to coordinate with our brads! Oh and speaking of brads, we're got a bunch of brand new ones! All of the above made their debut at this weekend's trade show in Detroit, and will be added to the online store very soon, but meanwhile here's a sneak peak of just a couple new things: The Animal Stamps which feature sentiments which pair perfectly with our adorable farm animal brads, and the newest addition to the farm family, Horse and Pony Brads:

You can see that I've also added in some of the other farm animals: Cow and Goat Brads, plus a Sheep from the Pig and Sheep set. I've stamped the "Greetings from the Herd" sentiment on some woodgrain paper and added a Sun and Cloud Brad just slightly behind it, to finish off the little landscape scene.

The Animal Stamp set features five awesome sentiments that go perfectly with all of the cool farm animals we already have. It also has a cow stamp and a goat stamp, based on the brads of the same names, so there are endless possibilities for using each on their own. Or even better, together! There are more stamp sets on the way, as well, including ones that coordinate with our Fan Brads, Coffee Brads and... my favorite... Donut Brads!

The Horse and Pony Brads come in a set of 12 that features both light and dark brown adult horses and some utterly adorable foals that coordinate well with either or both!

Be sure to check back at the Eyelet Outlet blog frequently over the next few weeks because the designers will be featuring more of the new spring releases and you'll definitely want to stay tuned for that!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

for the kiddos!

this week's challenge at shopping our stash is pretty simple: make a card for a kid. any kid, any theme, any products, any colors you like! easy peasy, right? here's what i made:

patterned paper: amy tangerine, echo park; tags: basic grey, october afternoon; stickers: pebbles, echo park; ribbon: making memories; glossy white cardstock: paper accents; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, scor-tape

lots of oldies but goodies here: adorable undersea creatures, a couple of random tags, amy tangerine cloud paper, tiny scrap of ribbon and a sticker sentiment. all wrapped up in the current sketch saturday sketch, which is #513 if you're scoring at home:

not feeling the whole kawaii mermaid vibe? there's lots more kid-centric inspiration going on over at SOS, check it out, darlings! ♥

Saturday, May 12, 2018

one more flower-encrusted card

it turns out that one i had all the dimensional florals out to make my SOS cards the other day, i couldn't quite stop using them! i think i *might* be in a "flower phase" lol!

patterned paper: jillybean, glitz design, florals: prima; leaves: petaloo; trimmings: paper anthology; edge distresser: prima; pearl swirl: eyelet outlet; ink: ranger; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, beacon 3in1, sewing machine

i'm also definitely in a shabby chic/distressed type of mood these days, as you can tell from the curled and tattered edges that i've stitched a bit further in, so that i could let them be loose and funky. pretty sure all of this is inspired by the fact that i started following prima marketing on instagram recently, and every time i see the amazing layer-upon-layer creations from their DT i feel the way i did when i saw my very first prima projects on a papercrafting board, circa... what... 2002 or so?? you can't say i'm not consistent, eh?

i'm off to two different annual local rummage/garage type sales today, hoping to stumble upon some fab bargains... wish me luck, darlings! ♥

Friday, May 11, 2018

home (again) for the holidays

we're still making holiday cards with *buildings* on them at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and you're still cordially invited to join the fun!

patterned paper: craft and you design, authentique, basic grey + best creation white glitter paper; snowflake dies: tim holtz/sizzix; chipboard snowflake: basic grey; brad: october afternoon; ink: colorbox; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

this week i let the patterned paper do most of the work for me! i zeroed in on this beautiful vintage-inspired scene on a piece of designer paper i got at paper anthology last autumn, and knew exactly what to do with the results thanks to the fine folks at sketch saturday, who came up with this:

meanwhile, stephanie also has a card to show you, plus the "little TOWN..." readers' gallery at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ is really getting good!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

A Bouquet That Lasts Forever

Mother's Day here in the US is this Sunday, May 13th, but you still have plenty of time to make your mom a beautiful bouquet that will look equally nice next Mother's Day! All you need are some Eyelet Outlet paper flowers, brads, bling and washi tape, plus a strong, fast-drying adhesive, some wooden skewers ...or popsicle sticks if you're crafting with kiddos... and a small jar to hold your finished bouquet.

Start by making flower stacks: it's good to combine sizes, shapes, and colors. Luckily all of our EO flowers come in sets with small, medium and large flowers, and there are loads of styles! In this bouquet I used purple, white and green Solid Color Flowers, plus Butterfly and Red Dot Flowers. My stacks range from just two flowers glued back-to-back, to stacks with three layers on each side. (I wanted the bouquet to look nice from every direction, so I made all of my flower stems double-sided.)

For the flowers with Pearl Brad centers, all I had to do was assemble my stack, hold them together with a brad, and then glue one flower to the back, in order to cover the brad prongs. For the blooms with Enamel Dot, Heart Pearl and Flower Jewel centers, I used dry adhesive to layer the flowers. Once I had a nice mix of flowers, I added the stems --which are bamboo skewers from the grocery store. I used a small amount of hot glue to attach the pointy end of the skewer firmly between the flower layers, but if you're crafting with kids, a strong adhesive like Aileen's Fast Grab Tacky Glue or Beaon's 3-in-1 adhesive also works well.

Once all my flowers had stems, I added leaves. I made them by cutting large Green Paper Flowers in half, applying a tiny amount of hot glue to the "stem" and then folding the flower halves around the stem. Then I used my spring-loaded wire snips to trim some of the bamboo skewers to different lengths, so that my bouquet would have a more interesting shape. Strong craft scissors or a utility tool would also work.

Now I just needed a vase. I chose a small glass bottle, but really any small container would work, since you won't be needing to add water! I recommend a vessel with a narrow opening, though, because it makes the bouquet stay together more neatly. If you use something with a wider neck, you might like to use some washi tape or a ribbon to keep the flowers from shifting around. I dressed up my clear glass bottle with a strip of Wide Flower Washi and then used bits of white Pearl Bling Strips to make it even fancier.

If this isn't enough inspiration for your Mother's Day crafting, check out the 30+ new styles of Washi Tape just added in the Eyelet Outlet store! (The City Washi miiiiiiiiight be my favorite... what's yours?)

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

flutter by, butterfly!

there are some pretty cool things with wings out in the realm of nature, but one of my all-time faves is the butterfly, so i'm pretty psyched that this week's challenge at shopping our stash is to use one (or more) on our projects!
patterned paper: scraps of basic grey glued together to make little panels + an older prima print as base; florals: prima, petaloo, recollections and some that are so old i honestly don't know whence they came; 2part, layering butterfly die: quickutz; ink: ranger; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, beacon 3 in 1 glue, sewing machine

i made two similar cards because it just so happens that i have two nieces being confirmed this month and they will be celebrating together! i've used loads of absolutely ANCIENT stash here, as well, so obviously i'm pretty proud of that. the torn and layered backgrounds are leftover bits of older basic grey papers that i had torn to make funky pages for a junk journal about a month ago. i couldn't quite face tossing them all, but most were too small to save. then i thought, "i wonder if they'd be cool all glued together into a bigger piece?" and it turns out... yeah... they were!

the butterflies were from a quickutz die set and had been pre-cut for (but not used in) an earlier project. the prima --and prima wannabe, lol-- flowers are just a small part of my dimensional paper flower hoard that i don't use as often as i once did, but they look so pretty in jars on a shelf in my art lair that i'd be fine with them staying just as decorations, at this point!

there are plenty more examples of butterfly-bedecked art to inspire you over at SOS. why not flutter over and enjoy those right now!♥

Saturday, May 5, 2018

May/June Classes

The new class list is up on the Paper Anthology website and there are a LOT of great options, including these two classes I'm teaching. S so if you're anywhere near Morris County, NJ come on up and make some stuff! ♥

Everything’s Coming Up Roses:

We’ll use Altenew’s incredible “Rose Flurries” 3D die set and an entire palette of graduated cardstock colors to construct all of the multi-layered roses and leaves from the set, then make them into beautiful all-occasion cards suitable for anything from a festive birthday to a kind words of sympathy.

A Second Helping of Gelatos:

We’ll create two colorful blended backgrounds with Faber-Castell’s luscious gelato crayons, then use stencils to add– and SUBTRACT!– even more color. We’ll add extra pattern with some free-form stamping, a few pen details, create our own custom-shaded modeling paste and test out Lauren’s newest obsession: Faber Castell’s Glass Bead Glitter Gel. 5×7″ card bases, envelopes and diecut sentiments will be provided, or students can work in their own sketchbooks or art journals if they prefer!

Friday, May 4, 2018

Let's Go to the *HOP*!

This weekend, the Eyelet Outlet design team is participating in an Instagram hop with the design team from Pink and Main. What does this mean? Well, for one thing, a chance for YOU to win a $25 gift card from each company, not to mention a boatload of inspiration on how to combine P&M stamps with EO brads, tape and bling! What do you have to do? Just complete the entire round of hop participants, following each IG account and commenting on each post, by Sunday night. Easy peasy!

I chose Pink and Main's Candid Moments stamp set, and once I started playing with it, I found I had too much inspiration to make just *one* card, so this post shows off not only my official IG Hop card, but two others, not to mention links to all of the products I used!

My IG card used one of the sweet cameras from the set, and one of the sentiments. Though I confess that the latter started life as a stacked sentiment and midway through I decided it needed to be one long strip for what I had in mind. The nice thing about clear stamps, however, is that you can often take scissors and carrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrefully snip the stamp apart to rearrange the phrase the way you want it. Which is what I did with "Have a picture perfect day". Then I used brads and some tiny once-inch squares of patterned paper to make the "pictures" in question. I used: Mini Butterflies, Truck Brads, a Flamingo and a Tall Palm Tree, the Eiffel Tower, Sun and Cloud Brads, a Beach Umbrella, a Pine Tree and a Moose Brad!

I really love my first card, but I have to confess that one of the reasons I chose the Candid Moments set is that I knew I had EO Camera Tape, which also features some fanciful, slightly bohemian, patterned cameras; in fact I used them for inspiration when coloring the P&M camera stamps! But I didn't quite manage to work the tape into the design of the first card, so clearly I had to make another! This time I made a background with the tape, colored a different camera to match, and stamped "Oh Snap" on the label shape that holds the camera.

Having made a tape-centric background, I started thinking that a stamped one would also be cool. So I took the "Smile" stamp and about ten shades of Archival Ink, and wound up with this fun handmade patterned paper. I colored one more camera... mounted it on a strip of Pink and White Dot Tape, added a few Pastel Enamel Hearts and called it a day!

I hope you'll click over to the Eyelet Outlet Instagram account and join the fun, I;m confident you'll find it's well worth the trip! ♥