Friday, August 31, 2018

the *SHAPE* of things to come

we're still making holiday cards that are NOT rectangular or square at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and you still have time to join the fun! oh and instead of an ordinary round card like usual, this time i've done something a bit more ambitious:

poinsettia and holly clusters made using heartfelt creations' stamps, dies, stamens and shaping mold; evergreen foliage die: tim holt/sizzix; ancient tag: making memories; alphabet stickers: echo park; patterned paper: basic grey; inks: ranger distress and archival; chunky glitter (and thus too big for this, next time i'll use superfine): michaels; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, beacon 3-in-1 adhesive, 3m foamtape

yes, it's a star fold card! i'm sure there are many videos and instructions, but i used this tutorial from crafting with joanie. i also got to test drive a new set of flower stamps, dies and shaping molds from heartfelt creations. elisabeth and i were blown away by these at stamp and scrap expo last weekend, so several different styles will be coming soon to paper anthology! including this set which is called poinsettia and holly clusters. if you are as much of a dimensional flower junkie as i am you will LOVE this system because not only is it super easy and much more affordable than premade blooms, you'll always have enough of exactly the right size and color for each project... because you can custom make them. the poinsettias on this card were my VERY FIRST attempt, and apart from the fact that i mistakenly used chunky glitter instead of super-fine, they look exactly like the beautiful ones we saw in the heartfelt creations booth! oh and did i mention that HC makes a variety of stems and stamens that really take these to the next level? (also coming soon to paper anthology!)

be sure to hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and see stephanie's card, then link up your own shaped card masterpiece!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

september/october classes

the new paper anthology newsletter is out, and *arguably* the most important date in it is the papercrafting garage sale on saturday, september 22nd. but also... there are some really great classes coming up, including these two that i'll be teaching:

Autumn Sunflower Decor Frame
We’ll construct this sturdy frame and decorative stand from diecut chipboard, then cover it in wood veneer and pretty paper. Then we’ll paper-piece a beautiful bouquet of sunflowers to fill the frame, adding textural elements such as specialty paper leaves, burlap and straw. This would make an awesome gift …IF… you're willing to part with it?

 Strip Tease
I'll teach you three new ways to construct beautiful, unique, autumnal backgrounds using nothing but leftover strips of patterned paper and adhesive. Believe it or not, there’s hardly ANY measuring or precision involved, and the methods you learn can be taken home and used with any paper you’d like to finish up. (Warning: this technique is a bit addictive, students are advised not to schedule anything very important for the day after class! :)

just a reminder that paper anthology is located on route 46 in kenvil, morris county, nj (here's a map) and that complete information about store hours, the garage sale, class dates and times, etc is on the website!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Fruit Rhymes With "CUTE"

A coincidence? Maybe not. Certainly our Eyelet Outlet Apple, Cherry and Banana Brads would seem to imply a connection. So I've made a trio of tags to celebrate!

Here's a shocking true confession: when I made these tags, I didn't realize that the Banana Brads had recently gone out of stock in the online store, so I apologize about that! On the other hand, it's great incentive to visit the Eyelet Outlet Booth at a CKC or Expo near your town. Since EO does 25-30 tradeshows per year, the odds are you'll find at least one within driving distance! The booth is a great place to find brand new items that aren't officially out yet, as well as older things with just a few left. There are also cards and samples galore, more bling that you can possibly imagine and tons of fab washi tape! Check our sidebar for this year's schedule.

Meanwhile, I can tell you that the Coloring Book Wide Flower Tape that's on all the cards is still very much available, as are many of the Skinny Tape accents and the adorable Cherry Brads!

And the Apple Brads are brand new from the Spring 2018 release. Don't you love that each packet has both pristine apples and super-cool cores? 

I hope you'll be inspired to "strive for five" servings of Fruit Brads per crafty day! ♥

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

quit buggin' me!

no, i'm not having a go at you, that's really the name of this week's challenge at shopping our stash. so you've probably already surmised that we'd like to see an insect of some description on your project. yes, butterflies and dragonflies totally count. (phew!) 

butterflies and journal card: studio calico; cloud and sun: simple stories; heart brad: eyelet outlet; ink: ken oliver crafts; patterned papers: american crafts, basic grey, pebbles; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

i've got a truly weird and funky mix of elderly accoutrements here, and i'm proud of it, man! the ledger-patterned butterfly stickers and flowery journal card are from two completely different, years-apart, studio calico collections. the cloud paper (of unknown origin) was exactly that size and shape when i found it, shoved in with some of my 6x6 paper pads. the sun and cloud elements was cut from another small paper pad, and just happened to feature a printed heart the exact size, shape and color of an eyelet outlet heart brad, so clearly i HAD TO add one o'those! i knew where everything should go because my lovely instagram friend claire grantham, of ham'n'mule designs, provided this sketch saturday gem to inspire us this week:

be sure to check out all the insect-based inspirational goodness at SOS for a treat, then get started on your own bug-bedecked masterpiece! ♥

Friday, August 24, 2018

shape up!

we've decided to "shape up for the holidays" this fortnight at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ but don't worry, there's no diet or exercise involved! instead we're just making shaped cards: round cards, heart or star cards, shaped like stockings or gingerbread houses or snow globes; basically anything but a standard square or rectangle is fair game! with all of those choices, you'd think i'd come up with something especially creative, right? nope. round card, like usual, lol!

patterned paper: authentique, plus a bit of crate paper woodgrain; stickers: simple stories, making memories, basic grey, american crafts; silk poinsettia: we r memory keepers; velvet holly leaves: petaloo; red cardstock mats: core'dinations; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, gluedots, sewing machine

ok, no, i'm not one of life's natural engineers, so the fancy folds and super-cool shaped cards i love --and drool over-- on pinterest rarely become things i actually make, lol. i do have a pretty fancy idea for next week, though, i promise! in the meantime, please accept this standard 6" round card, built around authentique's gorgeous, retro-inspired, "jingle" collection that i got at my lss, paper anthology, in kenvil, nj. i should probably apologize in advance for how often you're going to be seeing these papers, because they're my favorite thing right now!

meanwhile, stephanie has an awesome card to show you as well, why not hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and treat yourself to some inspiration?!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

A Penny For Your Thoughts

Or in this case, maybe better than a penny... Artist Trading Coins! I've been seeing these 2.5" circles of artsy fun all over social media, and I've been dying to try out the format. It turns out, they're VERY fun --and a bit addictive-- to make. Plus, Eyelet Outlet brads are absolutely the perfect sized embellishment. I made a set of six coins for my first time out, but I already know I'll be making more!

I've mentioned before that I come from a punny family, so I always have lots of random word play in my head. Since this is quite a small format (ATCoins are generally 2.5" circles) just a line or two of text is the perfect fit. I formatted my puns in a free font called "Tahoe" but set off a few key words in a chunky, funky script called "Cry Kitty". I generally print my text on clear inkjet labels, which I trim down and adhere to scraps of patterned paper for a little more emphasis. I made the backgrounds using scraps of more neutral papers, in torn layers, with an accent of Wide Flower Tape in an understated henna shade.

For "All's WOOL That Ends WOOL" I was able to employ both a sheep from the Pig and Sheep set, plus a ball of yarn and needles from our Knitting Brads, while a pair of lovely Chicken Brads illustrate "Just WING It".

This one's a bit of a liberty, because I've actually used a Llama Brad on my "ALPACA" card... so shhhhhhhhhh... don't tell, ok? I couldn't resist adding a couple of Mini Ant Brads because it's a picnic!

I couldn't decide which style of Fox Brad (the packets contain both) to use for "Crazy Like a FOX" so I didn't choose... I added one of each!

Another tiny cheat: technically, these are Duck Brads, but I just couldn't resist the phrase "I've Got GOOSE Bumps"!

My original idea for "Don't Worry, Be HOPPY" was to use one of our adorable Frog Brads (the set has lillies and cattails in it, too!) but as it turned out, all of the other coins were more or less neutral colors, and the bright green frogs realllllllly stood out. So I swapped them out for a pair of handsome Rabbit Brads, instead. I probably shouldn't leave them alone for long though...

I hope you'll be inspired to try your hand at a few Artist Trading Coins, starring some of *your* favorite Eyelet Outlet critters! ♥

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

hot, hot, hot!

it's a timely challenge this week at shopping our stash, we're feeling, "hot, hot, hot" so we'd love to see something summery/weather-related OR perhaps you prefer your heat in the kitchen (cooking or baking) OR in a restaurant via chilli peppers or other spicy treats? be creative and have fun!

colorburst backgrounds painted on strathmore watercolor paper diecut with heidi swapp's memorydex dies; pink paper scraps of far too many origins to list, but luckily ANY pink paper would work; texture sand and tiny blossoms: little birdie; crowns: jolees stickers or diecuts with eyelet outlet bling; lots and lots of random letter stickers from... well, everywhere, lol! adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, gluedots, nuvo deluxe adhesive
i went all beachy, mostly because i was in the mood to paint with my colorbursts AND i had an awesome new flamingo die from stephanie that i was longing to test drive! everything else is pretty ancient stash, and very mixy-matchy. my junk journal junkies group at paper anthology has been having a series of memorydex swaps, for which this month's theme was "queen bee". in this case the "bee" became "beach" (say them both fast, lol!)

if you're looking for the perfect colorburst "recipe" for the easiest watercolor beach background ever, may i suggest a nice big brush and some yellow ochre with just a teeny touch of sepia for the sand? leave a tiny hairline of dry paper (or wait for the beach to dry completely) then paint a strip of rich turquoise ocean. when that's nearly-- but not quite entirely dry-- come in from the top with a clean brush and some rather diluted cerulean sky, but let it overlap the turquoise a bit, so that you get that nice blendy horizon line. for bonus points, after everything is BONE dry, use an old brush (or your finger) to swipe a little bit of liquid adhesive (i love nuvo deluxe!) randomly across the beach and sprinkle on some texture sand! warning, this is a bit addictive, you probably won't be able to stop at ONE!

when it was time to add my flamingos, my SOS "use what you have" ethic really kicked in. so i assure you that NO large pieces of paper were cut into for this project, i just raided the pink scraps file and used up lots and lots of tiny leftover bits! then i mixed and matched the prints to assemble eight uniquely lovely "beach queens"! this spellbinders die is absolutely awesome and has just the perfect amount of detail, there are even two different styles of legs. i cut some facing in each direction-- so technically YES, some of my cuts are "backwards" --but i like the variety. my only tiny complaint is that there is no separate die for the beak, so i handcut teeny pieces of black paper. btw, did you realize that flamingos' legs are also a pinkish shade? (thank you mr. google for settling that for me!)

when it was time to add my sentiment, i realized i didn't have enough of any one type of sticker for all of them, so i mixed and matched. my crowns are half a package of jolee's stickers and a few tim holtz diecuts adorned with fancy eyelet outlet bling.  

there are lots more ideas awaiting you from the HOT MAMAS of the sos design team. why not treat yourself to some inspiration? ♥

Friday, August 17, 2018

a-sketching we will go

by which i mean: we're still making holiday cards based on stephanie's awesome sketch at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and you're still invited to join us! here's the sketch:

and here's my card this week:

circle icons: simple stories; patterned paper: elle's studio, echo park; border stickers: making memories; sentiment sticker: october afternoon; ink: colorbox; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape

this is one of the fastest cards i've ever made, because it's not only been 100% faithful to the sketch, i've also used all readymade items to complete my card. there are circle icons that i've punched and matted on slightly larger circles, border stickers as a ground for the circles, and an ancient (but awesome) sticker sentiment. easy peasy, and that's another flat/mailable card is added to my stack for december!

be sure to hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ to see stephanie's card, then start planning what you will make with this wonderful sketch!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Go Wild!

It's a jungle out there, but fortunately, there are Eyelet Outlet Jungle Mix Brads to help us cope. I'm on the EO blog again today, with a couple of cards I hope will impress you with their animal magnetism.

For my first card, I paired the Elephant, Monkey and Giraffe from the Jungle Mix with a diecut sentiment made from woodgrain patterned paper and some of my favorite Animal Print Tape. Since there are four letters in "WILD" I also added a tropical Tall Palm Tree Brad to balance things out.

I love how the first card came out, but I really wanted the animals from the Jungle Mix to stand out even more, so for my second card I fashioned my sentiment from three shades of solid green to provide more contrast. I added another Tall Palm and mounted the whole thing on a woodgrain panel adorned with a strip of Wide Flower Tape in a beautiful henna brown. A few patterned paper leaves focus the eye on the area where the sentiment sections join up and make everything just a little more Jungle-ish, don't you think?

I hope that you'll be as WILD as I am about our Jungle Mix Brads! ♥

Tuesday, August 14, 2018


this week's challenge at shopping our stash is called, "LEAF it to me" so i bet you can guess what we'd like to see, right? ok, just in case you're still on your first cup of coffee, i will tell you, we want to see LEAVES, lol! mine are diecuts, from altenew's "rose flurries" set, with which i am still entirely smitten.

rose flurries die set: altenew; plus the very lacy light green sprig is a tim holtz/sizzix die from a set of holiday foliage;  colored cardstock in 3 or 4 graduated shades to make up each flower: bazzill, core'dinations, my colors and the paper cut; patterned paper: photoplay, prima, marion smith designs and the girl's paperie; plain white cardstock: staples; adhesives: nuvo liquid adhesive with the teeny tiny applicator tip is a MUST with these tiny layered diecut pieces! plus elmers brand gluetape and 3m foam tape for the rest of the ordinary layering
this being a newish (6 months?) set of dies, my cards don't seem all that stash-centric, until i tell you that nearly all of the 70-or-so individual diecut pieces* on these guys were leftover from a class i taught at paper anthology this spring, and using them up meant i could empty the bead-storage divider case in which they had been sitting since then. that's why there are two cards, because i was determined to use every... last... piece... dammit! :) :) :)

all of the patterened papers in the backgrounds of the cards are older scraps, with the exception of the pink woodgrain, which is brand new, from prima's luscious "havana" collection. (it's the "b" side of the paper; i often love the reverse better than the front side of the paper, lol. that tells you everything you need to know about me, probably!)

there's loads more leafy inspiration, for every season, over at shopping our stash. why not go check out the amazing creations the DT have cooked up for you?♥

*this constitutes just a few tiny flower pieces less than one extra set of the diecuts needed to make all three cards in the class. i always bring and extra EVERYTHING to class, especially when the individual "bits" are as tiny-- and potentially lose-able-- as these are!

Friday, August 10, 2018

sketch time (hooray!)

each year at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ if we're very very lucky, miss stephanie will devise a card sketch for us to follow. and this year's is here right NOW, see?!

i really like this one, i think it's got almost endless possibilities AND it's a fab opportunity to use a bunch of smaller stamps or stickers, which i sometimes find challenging. it's also a great opportunity to make a "tall card" which i did; though of course you could expand or contract in any direction to make a standard A2 or a square card, if you prefer!

stickers: doodlebug; sentiment: crate paper; patterned paper: doodlebug, echo park; glossy white cardstock: the paper cut; hear punch: fiskars; deco scissors: michaels; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape

check out the gorgeous card stephanie made, and start plotting your own version of world sketch domination at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

It's Five O'Clock Somewhere!

That being the case, this is the perfect time to celebrate with a bit of a cocktail, in card form! I'm up on the EO Blog today, to remind you that Eyelet Outlet has many styles of adult beverage brads, from Beer to Champagne to Wine and Cocktails, there is something to suit every taste! I've made a few variations, because it's no fun to drink *alone* right?!

Lately I love to make altered rolodex cards, and I've been lucky enough to get into a fun swap group, which is helping to grow my collection. For this set of Cocktail Cards, I diecut the rolodex card shape from various bright patterned papers, added strips of Washi Tape and affixed my various Beverage Brads on little tags. For my sentiments, I printed most of the text in a typewriter font, then chose to highlight a word or two by spelling it out in letter stickers. I used neutral stickers in the same font as my bright colors, to create a sort of drop shadow effect, which made them show up even better!

For my first sentiment, "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" I wanted a party atmosphere, so I chose to combine a few different brad styles, including a mug from the Beer Brads set, a glass of white wine and a margarita from the Cocktails set, and some Colorful Sunglass Brads to add to the tropical vibe.

For "Why Limit Happy..." I used both the mug and one of the bottles from the Beer Brads, as well as an appropriately festive Emotion Brad. I've set off the sentiment with some Blue Dots tape and a Skinny Yellow tape.

On the "Cheers My Deers" card I used two champagne flutes from the Wedding Brads set, with some tiny gems snipped from a Fancy Long Bling strip, rising up from the glasses. I've drawn attention to the little tag by adding strips of bubbly-looking Pink Dots and Blue Dots washi.

To illustrate "When Life Gives You Lemons..." I used one of each shade of margarita from the Cocktail set, adorning one of them with a Beach Umbrella that is cleverly multitasking, lol.

I hope you'll be inspired to serve Eyelet Outlet Beverage Brads at your next papercrafting party! ♥

Tuesday, August 7, 2018


it's a pretty cool challenge, imo, at shopping our stash this week. we want to see projects with solid, silhouette-style images! they can be stamped or diecut or... well, i suppose you could do the old school trace-and-cut variety too, if you'd like. i went with diecuts though. see?

"row of poppies" die by memory box, cut from scraps of glossy black and white cardstock by the paper cut; background composed of strips cut out of colorburst-ed watercolor papers, in too many shades to mention; ink for edges: colorbox; cardstock mats: core'dinations; adhesives: xyron machine (for mosaic background) elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

obviously the most traditional style of silhouette image is done in black, so that's the card i made first, and i *like* it... but i since i chose to use quite a busy background-- it's another version of the herringbone "scraps" pattern i made for this card in june, but this time the scraps are offcuts of watercolor paper, painted with colorburst-- so i felt like the glossy black image of the memory box poppies just didn't stand out quite as much as i wanted it to.

so for my second card, i used a glossy white diecut, instead, which pops quite a bit more, i think.  

both versions are made exactly like the original herringbone card (there are directions and some process pics in the original post) i xyroned a panel of cardstock, attached all of my strips to it, and trimmed neatly around the edges. this time i also added a bit of machine stitching. then i affixed the silhouettes with little slivers of foam tape, so that it would literally stand out from the background.

speaking of designs that "stand out" my SOS design team sisters have a bunch more to show you, why not check those out right now? ♥

Friday, August 3, 2018

layers and layers

we're still making cards inspired by our ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ blog banner, and you're still invited to join the fun!

this week i again chose to use the basic color palette of neutrals with pops of lime, silver glitter and teal. i also tried to do a version of the header's very layered background, though instead of digital elements, i used a variety of elderly rub-on transfers, which kind of unintentionally added to the "distressed" vibe of the collage! but there are echos of many of the same shapes, including those shiny scattered gold stars.

white and grey patterned paper: basic grey; background is decorated with MANY styles of rub-ons, many of which did not rub-on terribly well, including some new, brand-name, not-cheap ones that i will not embarrass here by naming; glittery snowflakes and poinsettias (taken from a garland): michaels; smaller white flower: creative imaginations; blue metallic specialty paper of unknown origin; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, beacon 3 in 1 adhesive, sewing machine

be sure to check out stephanie's lovely creation, then link up one (or more!) of your own at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

the great 2018 ICAD wrap up

the index card a day project ALWAYS makes june and july fly by, but this year seemed to go especially fast! here are the last few cards, and at the end, my little handmade ICAD book as it appeared on day 1 and day 61!  

day 58: favorite color
if you asked me my favorite color every day for a month, you'd probably get 30 different answers. but... it must be said... i do love PINK! :)

day 59: staple
or in this case, staples, plural. fourteen, in fact. for my second-ever 14-staple collage!

day 60: mandala monday
if you really did ask me my favorite color every day for a month, there's a decent chance, on a couple of days, i'd say, "RAINBOW"!!!
(preferably a colorburst rainbow!)

day 61
one consistent thing in all of my years of ICAD, is that my day 61 is always a big THANK YOU to my art heroine, tammy garcia, for devising, hosting, inspiring, commenting, cheerleading and generally logisticizing (yes that is too a word) index card a day with unflagging enthusiasm every year. it's a HUGE undertaking, not to mention a huge gift to everyone who participates, for which i'm incredibly grateful!

ICAD book: day 1
slim and trim...

ICAD book: day 61
full of delicious memories and inspiration!

many thanks to everyone who has followed along/endured all of the index card art over the last two months. should you, for some bizarre reason (chronic insomnia??) need to see all my ICAD blog posts, click this tag. if you'd like to just see all the cards, they're in order on instagram, and are in their own album on facebook.