Friday, July 31, 2020

Let the Challenges Begin!

Paper Anthology is back for a brand new Summer edition of Creation Staycation! It runs through Sunday, August 2nd, and all crafters, world-wide, are invited to join us on the Paper Anthology FaceBook Page! There will be a total of eight brand new challenges, hosted by Elisabeth Ostrowski, Linda Duke, Shari Morris and yours truly, with...

Ok, yeah, we're just barely sneaking in under the wire for Christmas in July, lol, but it is still July for four more hours, so let's go for it! I'm guessing you've already got the gist of what we're looking for here, but I'll spell it out: Get a jump on the Winter Holidays by making a Christmas or Hanukkah card or layout!

I love nontraditional colors for holiday cards (and PINK for pretty much anything, lol) so I went "summery" with my palette. My A7 card has layers of sheet music, doilies, tiny paper flowers and a bit of Prima's "Pretty Pale" collection. But the star of the show is definitely Penny Black's "Glorious" poinsettia, which I diecut from watercolor paper and colored with Distress Oxides, using sponge daubers. Not gonna lie: I'm really happy with this one. 

Want to play along? Come and hang out on the Paper Anthology FaceBook Page! ♥

Holiday Leftovers

Leftovers from the delicious meals of the holidays are definitely one of the delights of the festive season, but this fortnight at Jingle Belles what we're looking for are cards made with CRAFTY leftovers. Like the "extra" diecuts that didn't end up on the card for which you cut them; the last few stickers on the sheet; a piece of ribbon or twine from the end of the roll. Basically, we want you to find that little pile of things you saved because they were too pretty to throw away, then use one (or more!) of them on a card! And please remember to tell us what your "leftovers" are if it is not obvious.

I recently designed a holiday-themed "Class in a Kit" for my LSS, Paper Anthology which featured stacked windows of diamond, oval and circle shaped mats. Which means I now have a lifetime supply of diecut circles, ovals and diamonds. Not a bad "problem" to have, lol! 

I managed to use six of the diamonds to create my distressed argyle pattern, which I topped with a couple of fabric poinsettias and the leftover bits and pieces of Eyelet Outlet Swirl Bling that I had trimmed to fit on various other cards.

Hop over to Jingle Belles to see Stephanie's lovely card and start planning what "leftovers" you'll be serving up in card form!

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Creation Staycation, SUMMER Edition!

I'm excited to announce that Paper Anthology is back for a brand new Summer edition of Creation Staycation! Starting at 4pm on Friday, July 31st and running through Sunday, August 2nd, we'll have EIGHT brand new challenges, plus Zoom meet-ups on Friday and Saturday nights. Not to mention discussion topics, quizzes, sales and specials, and... waiiiit forrrrr iiiiiittttt... PRIZES! Join us on the Paper Anthology FaceBook Page! ♥

More Reasons to Love Dina

Of course we already adore the irrepressible Dina Wakley; at The Ink Pad we are big-time, lifelong fans! Having said that, I've just taken her awesome "Focus on Gloss Sprays" class via FaceBook Live and I'm kinda hooked on those now! Technically the first twelve colors arrived at TIP in March, just before NYC mandated the temporary closure of most brick and mortar businesses. So we didn't have a lot of time to play with them, but in a way I'm glad to have "saved up" this little creative treat. Lots more info and pics on The Ink Pad Blog today, I'd love for you to hop over and see them. ♥

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

It's Time to SHELL-abrate!

Christmas in July is winding down, but there's still time for a few more holiday cards with just a little touch of the beach!

I made a loose wreath of diecut foliage to fit my 5" square card and decorated it with Shell Corner Brads and Shell Brads, then added a couple of handsome Nutcracker Brads to flank my computer generated sentiment. I scattered a few small blue Pearl Bling around for extra interest.

For my second card I used the foliage to create more of a spray shape on which to scatter more Shell and Shell Corner Brads and this time I threw in a few Snowflake Brads too.

Definitely not the most traditional cards I've ever made, but I know a few beach-lovers who I think will be pretty happy to see these in December.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Flowers, Everywhere

And one of the best and most convenient forms that beautiful blooms can take, from a cardmaker's perspective, is to be made into stickers; like these Vintage Flower Stickers from The Ink Pad. I've combined them with some very cool MT Die Cut Letters Tape, that I'm entirely smitten with; you can read all about these cards on The Ink Pad Blog today! ♥

Saturday, July 25, 2020

The Penultimate Week of ICAD?

Already? It seems that July flew past even faster than June, which was already pretty quick. I don't want to wish the summer away, but I could *definitely* do without the oppressive humidity that central NJ is currently experiencing. It's normal for the time of year, but that doesn't mean I have to like it, lol. I do like making art on index cards, however; and here are the ones I made this week:

day 48: what the duck?
this is the world's fastest collage, made very late at night, using the tray of pre-cut-out collage bits that i save for emergencies. so yeah... it's a weird combo, but i kinda like it...

day 49: off-prompt cut-out window collage
i saw a cool collage... ummmm  somewhere... that had a window cut out, so the top layer was only a thin frame around the rest of the collage. i'm quite sure you'll be seeing additional versions of this idea!!!

day 50: international postage rainbow
yep, off-prompt again. and still totally in love with rainbows of any description...

day 51: flower doodle extravaganza
this background, as well as the one from the rose frame, and the next two upcoming cards; were all smooshed colorburst on thick divider cards that i made randomly, just because it's fun to smoosh colorburst. sometimes i have a specific idea in mind, sometimes i just play and see what happens. this was the latter, lol.

day 52: hopscotch, redux
the little girl was a pre-cut-out element; the dominoes were in a crossword/variety puzzle book. 

day 53: blue or blueberry
colorburst + doodles = joy ♥

day 54: outline
this is an older julie balzer stencil from TCW that my friend anna found in a box of miscellaneous stuff at the ink pad. of course, she had me at "hawaii" lol; but as it turns out, my favorite thing about this card is the idea of tracing the stencil design very neatly, coloring it, and then adding a SECOND, messier, outline. again... i feel quite certain this is an idea you'll be seeing more of!


hope this week treated you well and that you'll have some fun and crafty time over the weekend!

Friday, July 24, 2020

Photo Inspo!

We're still making holiday cards based on this fabulous decor scheme at Jingle Belles and you're still invited to join us. Just choose one or more element(s) you like in the photo and use them in your card!

This week, I went a bit less literal, so this time instead of a card that resembles the photo in any way, I have a card in which I've chosen some of the elements to reinterpret. For example, the banners on the fireplace are represented by this patterned paper's star and circle garland pattern; the sparkly tree decorations get a nod from my glitter foam star shapes; the bottle brush trees and tiny houses are interpreted by pretty cardstock cut outs; and of course there's lots of nice white background!

patterned paper and journal card cut-outs: my mind's eye; foam glitter stars from the big box store;
gloss white cardstock: the paper cut; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine

Hop over to Jingle Belles to see Stephanie's beautiful card and link up one (or more) of your own! ♥

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Brush Up Your Handlettering

One of the keys to improving your hand-lettering is, of course, practice; there's no getting around that fact. But... it's also extremely helpful to have good tools! And for brush lettering, that means high quality pens like these Karin Brushmaker Pros from The Ink Pad. By the way, they're also great for coloring. Lots more about colors and varieties, including these luscious new neon shades, on The Ink Pad Blog today! 

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Santa's Summer Fun

Online papercrafters seem to embrace the "Christmas in July" phenomenon a little more each year, and I'm all for it. Because let's face it, the job of making fifty or more holiday cards is just too big to do in December. Here are a few smaller cards I've created, using premade tags plus lots of adorable Eyelet Outlet goodies!

I designed this trio of cards to fit in 4-bar envelopes, so they measure just a hair under 3.5 x 5". I made the backgrounds and sentiment/accent borders by neatly lining up strips of Eyelet Outlet Washi Tape on plain white cardstock, then trimming them to size.

One of my best holiday "brad tricks" is to add majestic Antler Brads to sweet little cartoon reindeer stickers or stamps. They always look adorable and make me smile. I also added a small Snowflake Brad (the packs contain both small and large flakes) and two large ones to my background, which is made of Gingerbread Tape. The border band features one of my favorite Merry Christmas Tapes.

My second card has an Ornament Tape background that I especially love because it's printed so that you can line up the half ornaments at top and bottom to increase the illusion of looking at one solid sheet of patterned paper. I added a few gold Star Sequins to the star ornaments, as well as the background of the tag on which Santa and Mrs. Claus Brads are standing in front of the tag's tree. I added a Star Enamel to the top and made a band using scripty Merry Christmas Tape plus Ho Ho Ho Washi.

The last card features a tag with a super-cute Santa to whom I've given a Candy Cane Brad and a Holly Brad to decorate his hat. I added a few white Snowflake Sequins and mounted the tag on a background of fun Red Tree Tape whose pattern runs vertically. I used Christmas Tape with white, green and red lettering for a whimsical sentiment.

If you'd like more Christmas in July inspiration, please tune in to a special feature this weekend via FaceBook Live in which our own EO design team darling Janet Axtman of Sugar Shine Designs will be showing off many more beautiful cards and greetings. All the details on the Eyelet Outlet FaceBook Page!

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Black and White

We're embracing the classic combo of black and white this fortnight at Shopping Our Stash and all you have to do to join the fun is make a project which is predominantly those colors. I made a card!

Plenty of ancient stash usage right here: the pearl flourish and floral are both seriously old Prima; the brad is MME and many of the tapes are Eyelet Outlet ones which have gone out of stock, but I still really like them. I could make a bunch more cards like this just using black and white tapes, but that is another story, lol. The method for this "quilt like" card is super simple and works with pretty much any combination of patterns you like.

step 1: cover a square
...with washi tape or paper strips. you can work parallel or diagonal, or even back and forth, but you need your square to be nice and plumb and you want to cover it completely.

step two: cut it into four triangles
you can stop there, and rearrange the triangles to make a pretty pattern as above; or you can cut the four triangles into eight triangles, like i've done below. for that matter, you could cut the eight triangles in half and get sixteen, or probably thirty-two, but that would be getting kind of teeny and fussy for me!

step three: shuffle the pieces
...rearranging them until you get a design you like. you could also make multiple squares, cut each of them into the same number of pieces and MIX the pieces together. once you have a combination you like, trim a piece of coordinating (or contrasting) cardstock just a bit bigger than your original tape square, and affix the pieces. et voila!

Be sure to hop on over to SOS and see the amazing cards my design team sisters have made to inspire you, then link up your own black and white masterpiece! ♥

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Cavalcade of ICADs

Another week has marched its way past, I hope it was a good one for you! Here are my index cards for the week:

day 41: scribble stick rainbow
i spent the afternoon taking dina wakley's amazing "focus on scribble sticks" class via facebook so of course my ICAD had to reflect that fact!

day 42: gradient
blended oxides on a library card... avec vintage poisson from an old book!

day 43: octopus mandala monday
ok, it's definitely an octopus, just not that much of a mandala, lol.

day 44: life on mars
a one-staple collage based on the fact that our nightly viewing this week has been a re-watch of the bbc's awesome 1970's flashback crime drama, "life on mars".

day 45: off prompt
i had never heard of an "ogee" pattern until ICAD c. 2015, but now i love drawing them. this one is funky and floral.

day 46: diagram
a very loose and random collage of an electrical schematic and bits of map atop maria mcguire's "doodle it geometric landscape" stencil from stencilgirl!

day 47: off prompt collage
i realized at 11:45pm that i had not posted, or indeed MADE an index card for the day. hence i got out the tray with all the pre-cut collage bits and assembled this in literally 10 minutes. weirdly enough... i kinda love it! :)

Friday, July 17, 2020

Photo Inspo!

This fortnight at Jingle Belles we have an amazing photo inspiration to spark your creativity! You can use as many (or few!) elements as you like from the picture; just be sure to tell us what inspired you if it isn't obvious!

How to make holiday Scandinavian wood snowflake ornaments. These simple wood plaque ornaments are easy to make and you can paint or stain the wood whatever color goes with YOUR holiday decor! 

I fell in love with that bright white fireplace, and the mantle bedecked with small white houses and rainbow colored trees. I had some ancient Studio Calico houses with exactly the right vibe; and the perfect size to pair with punched trees from every bright shade of glitter paper in my collection. I even found some non-holiday washi tapes to give the feeling of the bunting beneath the mantel, and anchor the little village. Rather than recreate the dangly banner, I expanded on the idea of a fantasty xmas landscape and added some sparkly clouds!

patterned paper: doodlebug, my mind's eye, studio calico + various rainbow scraps of glitter paper from dcwv, best creation and american crafts; tiny houses: studio calico; tree punch: fiskars; cloud punches: ek success; large tape:mt via the ink pad; skinny tape and pearl bling: eyelet outlet; glossy white cardstock: the paper cut; adhesives : elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sookwang scor-tape, sewing machine

Be sure to hop over to Jingle Belles and see Stephanie's beautiful photo-inspired card and start thinking up what YOU will make! ♥

Thursday, July 16, 2020

We (heart) Dina Wakley

Over the years, The Ink Pad has been privileged to host in-person classes with creative, inspirational artists from around the world and one of our all-time favorite teachers is Dina Wakley. We're looking forward to the day when we can resume such "real life" events, but in the meantime, we've been loving her online demos and classes via FaceBook. I (Lauren) got to take her "Focus on Scribble Sticks" class last weekend and cannot say enough good things about it. Not only does Dina have an amazing and unique talent for making art; she's also an excellent teacher who can explain what she's doing, encourage others AND she thoroughly understands how her products work. Which means that we "civilians" can get great results using them. Coincidentally, we have all three sets of Dina Wakley Scribble Sticks in stock at The Ink Pad; not to mention quite a few other fine Dina Wakley Media products! Hop on over to The Ink Pad Blog to see and hear lots more about my Scribble Stick Obsession!

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Inspired by Real Life

Once again my card inspiration is taken from a clever t-shirt that I saw with this sentiment on it. Of course my first thought was, "HEY! I have Eyelet Outlet Llama Brads, plus Llama Tape and even some Caution Tape!" so I figured I could probably whip something up. Like this, maybe?

I formatted the text in a fun free font called Chicken Pie Height and added a double pointed clip art arrow. I printed it on an Inkjet Clear Label and affixed it to some soft green graph paper, then set my handsome Llama Brad just above the arrow. (BTW, I've saved this little bit of word art as a jpg in case you'd like to make your own "llama'stay" card. You can right click and save the image below; it will also be on the Freebies Page of the Eyelet Outlet Blog!)

I made a split background by neatly lining up Llama Tape on the top half of my card panel and Purple Checked Tape on the bottom. I added a trimmed down strip of Caution Tape on the diagonal for maximum impact. Then attached the sentiment panel on top. And that's about it!

Just a reminder that whatever silly sentiment you can dream up, I'm pretty sure that Eyelet Outlet has a brad style to help you make it into a fun, personalized card! ♥

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Art Featuring Art Supplies... always fascinating and beautiful to me. Which is why I love this Hero Arts "Crafting Tools" Bold Prints Stamp from The Ink Pad. It's a 6" square, which means you can cover a lot of real estate, lol! But if you felt like making, say, an A2 card, you could still use it in a scaled-down fashion, keeping all the impact! Everything you need to know is on TIP Blog this morning! ♥

Saturday, July 11, 2020

I Can, Therefore ICAD

Another week of art (and, for that matter, life...) is behind us, I hope yours went well. Here are my index cards for the week:

day 34: arcade
i skipped this prompt last week; but then i found my stencilgirl "1700s building" stencil by caroyln dube and realized i could use it to create an architectural arcade. so i did!

day 35: lantern
if i could magically wish myself one attribute, it would be to draw objects realistically. i'm not complaining or being negative, and right here i've managed something that is fairly recognizable as a lantern dangling from a sakura branch, so i'm happy about that. but if i could magically wish myself one attribute... 

day 36: ocean
(mandala monday)
this was going to be a drawing of mostly ocean with small mandala-style sun in the corner, but the sun took over, lol; because climate change is REAL!!! :) 

day 37: hydrangea
the simplest ever collage: a soft background, text from a garden book and a sparkly sticker.

day 38: off-prompt
funky swirly zentangle pattern copied from my friend lorraine's awesome "OCEAN" card.

day 39: off-prompt again
a colored-in dictionary illustration, framed in a vintage slidemount; hand drawn foliage and torn paper. all my faves. :) 

day 40: another collage?
yep, i'm on a roll... strips and ruffles; torn and rolled; glued and sewn.

hope you're having a wonderful, creative weekend!