Wednesday, February 27, 2019

No Prob-LLAMA!

As you know, I can never resist a diabolical pun in ANY language, so here's a Spanglish version featuring the unassailably awesome Eyelet Outlet Llama Brads and some fab new Llama Tape, as well:

I chose the colors for the rest of the card based on the adorable rainbow llamas on the tape. Of course the EO Llama Clear Stamp Set has some awesome llama-based sentiments, but this time I used a trusty alphabet set to make my own. I made the mats using a fun watercolory pink tape that isn't quiiiiiite in the shop yet, but of course any more or less solid color tape would work perfectly. For the label shape, I covered a small scrap of cardstock completely with neatly lined up strips of tape, then diecut as usual. For the card front, to keep the waste to a minimum, I lined a strip up against each side, and trimmed very neatly, so that I would have a nice square edge to place along the next side.

Once all my "parts" were ready, all I had to do was assemble the card. I stacked the mats, set the Llama Brad, and added a bow made from wrinkly seam binding. Et voila!

I hope this week will find you with NO prob-LLAMA that cannot be solved with a bit of pretty washi tape and a few adorable Eyelet Outlet Brads! ♥

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

SOS390: fabulous february

even for the shortest month of the year, february seems to have flown past particularly quickly! so this fortnight at shopping our stash seems like a good time to celebrate some of the things that make february fabulous, such as the birthstone, amethyst; or the official flowers, iris and violets! here's what i made:

velvet violets and leaves, plus the ledger paper behind the pot: petaloo; clay pot fashioned using a clipart template from tonic studios embossed specialty paper; purple patterned paper: bo bunny; ink: ranger archival; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, gluedots

by an amazing coincidence, just before i started working on this, my friend elisabeth gave me a whole pack of some older but still very beautiful velvet violets with equally beautiful velvet leaves. so i knew immediately what i wanted to do. i printed out a piece of clipart in a shape of a clay pot, very much like the ones in which jeff's grandmother used to grow african violets. I used the clipart as a template to cut the pot from a scrap of embossed specialty paper in the right shade of terracotta. i cut out two of the rim, so that i could add a little dimension at the top of the pot, which is a little easier to see irl than in the pic, but yeah, it wound up mostly being covered by the leaves lol. i added a bit of shading with an archival ink pad and a sponge applicator. since the package was still sitting right on my table, i had time to notice that the cardstock from which it's made is this gorgeous distressed ledger paper. AND it just happened to be perfect colors to serve as my background. my purple mat is actually an ancient piece of halloween paper-- the black pattern is spiderwebs!-- but i don't *think* that's obvious the way i used it and the dark shade complements the flowers really well.

i hope you'll be inspired by fabulous february to play along with us at SOS. remember that we are fortnightly now, so you have until march 11th to link up! ♥

Friday, February 22, 2019

shine on!

we're still celebrating all things sparkly, glittery and/or metallic at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and you're still invited to join the fun!

patterned paper and journal card: sweet peppermint collection, prima marketing + ledger paper packaging with liquitex modeling paste spread through tim holtz's gothic damask stencil; green core'dinations cardstock stamped with impression obsession's "bold vines" cover-a-card in leaf green archival; gold linen specialty paper and edge distresser: tonic studios; snowflake die: echo park; circle dies: sizzix; gold metallic doily from my stash; heart pearls: eyelet outlet; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

this week i've gone all shabby chic with papers and a journal card (from which i diecut the sentiment circle) from prima's luscious "sweet peppermint" collection, designed by frank garcia. so i have lots of distressed layers with wonky machine stitching, and i've added sparkly/metallic elements via a golden doily from my stash and snowflakes diecut from one of tonic studios' awesome specialty papers. i've even worked in a bit of packaging from some older prima flowers, (it's the green ledger paper layer) to which i've added plain white matte modeling paste, spread through a damask patterned stencil. a few eyelet outlet heart pearls top the whole thing off. here's a totally gratuitous detail shot, just because i spent aaaaaaages with the distressing tool, getting elegant-but-natural-looking edges lol:

be sure to hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and see the beauteousness stephanie has created, then start planning your own shiny, sparkly, glittery creation!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Drop Me a Line

Diabolical Pun Warning Level: Very High 

I'm not fishing for compliments......but I really (reely!) love the Eyelet Outlet Fishing Lure Brads, so I made a card to celebrate:

In the spirit of full disclosure: I have not gone fishing since I was a child, and even then, it was not a 100% voluntary experience, lol; especially the part that involved touching worms (*shudder*) or fish! But these lures are so pretty and so colorful I was hooked! (Ok, sorry, but once you start on fishing puns, it's hard to stop.) I have no idea if, in real life, one would use more than one lure on a line, but design-wise, I liked combining a few of them, so let's pretend this makes sense, k? I placed my sticker sentiment --I cannot possibly over-state the helpfulness of graph paper on these occasions-- and positioned my brads, but didn't set them. This let me sketch lightly, in pencil, a path for my two lines, before machine stitching. At the very end I added a bass (I'm pretty sure that's a bass, but I guess it could be a trout?) from the Trout and Bass set. 

You don't need to go back to school (geddit?) to learn some great ways to use the EO Fishing Lure,  and Fish Brads, just check out the EO Blog often to SEA what the design team is up to! :)

Sunday, February 17, 2019

new challenge blog: a place to start

my friend and SOS teammate chana malkah harris of redora lee designs has just inaugurated a brand new monthly challenge blog called a place to start, so of course i had to play along with the february challenge, which is to use a stamp or die that features inspirational words. here's what i made:

i belong to an awesome group of junk journal junkies that meet up once a month at paper anthology in kenvil, nj. we have an ongoing series of altered rolodex swaps with a different theme each time. the february theme, "DOTS" somehow, mysteriously, managed to stump me for aaaaaaaaages, until i stumbled upon this fun stampabilities stamp, "throw kindness around like confetti" which my friend anna gave me a while ago, but i hadn't yet used. and suddenly i had the whole entire idea. of course it's a well-known fact that i hate mass-producing anything, but i do quite enjoy making a series, if they can each be a bit different. so i rounded up plenty of paper scraps with "dotty" patterns, as well as some dotty tape and ribbon and started playing around. i diecut the heidi swapp memorydex card seven times and the ancient cuttlebug concentric hearts about twenty seven times, so i was in mixy matchy heaven. i'm not even going to bother to attempt to list products here, partly because there are soooooo many but mostly because it doesn't matter a bit... this "scraptastic" idea will work beautifully with absolutely ANY combination of things you love! 

the following sets of cards are completely unrelated, but if i ever posted them here, i neglected to tag them correctly, and thus cannot find them again. and i still really do use my blog as a webLOG of the things i make. for one thing, it's the easiest way to do a keyword search and find ALL of a category, even when that might stretch back months or years. so here are a few previous swaps and i apologize if they're "re-runs" lol!

november 2018

vintage sewing pattern ladies, set on top of heidi swapp memorydex cards diecut from the backs of some old sewing patterns that i fused with plain cardstock to make them sturdier. then i used the lacy fragment from the tim holtz/sizzix thinlits set, mixed media 2 and layered the whole thing over a scrap of patterned paper also diecut into the memorydex shape. flowers, buttons, machine stitching et voila!

october 2018

i love colorburst generally, and smooshing colorburst, specifically! for these guys (and possibly gals, it's hard to tell with monstas!) i diecut the memorydex shape from plain watercolor paper, then used several sizes of circle stickers to mask the eyes and some little fragments of old address stickers cut into triangles to mask the teeth. i placed drops of clear water onto the cards and added small amounts of several colorburst shades to the drops, then smooshed with a clear acrylic sheet to let the colors blend serendipitously. when they were dry, i peeled off the masks, added an appropriately varied amount of different sized googly eyes and machine stitched mouths. RAWR!

circa july 2018

all of the papers here, except the vintage text backgrounds, are gel prints or scraps of gel prints. and all of the shapes are punched circles or hearts, layered together to make mandala shapes. this is another super-easy idea that would work with literally ANY papers you love. to make the mandalas more dimensional, i used the bare minimum of adhesive on only the centers of each layer and then machine stitched around to make sure they'd stay attached.

be sure to check out the february challenge, "inspiration, please" at a place to start!

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!