Sunday, May 30, 2021

Hyacinth Bouquet

My favorite papercrafting category is definitely cards, but sometimes it's nice to make something a bit more substantial, and this fun bouquet of hyacinths fits the bill. I'm using Rinea's 3-D Hyacinth Die Set and some of their beautiful foils from The Ink Pad.

For the flowers I chose a soft turquoise foil with a little bit of a pattern and cut two of the curling flower shape (it looks a bit like a hair comb) for each large flower and one for each small flower. The die that looks like a crown is the leafy section which rolls up around the base of each flower. I chose double sided foil that is boldly green on one side and gold on the other.

There are instructions for assembling the flowers on the package, or you can find excellent videos on Rinea's website as well as YouTube. For my large flowers, I followed the directions exactly, except that instead of removing the long wooden skewer I used to form the flowers, leaves and stems into their spirals, I used Nuvo Deluxe Adhesive to adhere my diecuts to the skewers, so they had an extra-sturdy construction. I also found that I preferred to cover my stems with green washi tape rather than foil; but try both ways and see which you prefer.

When my flowers were assembled I "planted" them in a small Mason jar with clear floral beads to hold them up, but these would also work well on top of a package or glued to a pretty gift bag; there are more creative ideas for using this die set on Rinea's website and social media, too!

Friday, May 28, 2021

Bling It On (Again!)

We're still celebrating sparkly stuff like beads, glitter, gems, jewels and pearls over at Jingle Belles and we'd love for you to join our bling-based fun. Here's what I made this week:

This beautiful Ciao Bella "Snow and the City" collection came from Paper Anthology the winter before last, but I still really love it... for both cardmaking AND staging! I did a bunch of distressing and layering and then added a metallic diecut sentiment, and a poinsettia adorned with some oversized Eyelet Outlet Snowflake Bling.

Be sure to head over to Jingle Belles to see Stephanie's beautiful card and then start planning what you'll link up!

Thursday, May 27, 2021

More Stickers, Please!

I love stickers, generally and Appree Pressed Flower Stickers, particularly. These lovely photo-realistic stickers add the beauty of pressed flowers to any project, without the challenging fragility of the real thing. We've just added about two dozen NEW flower styles to our selection at The Ink Pad and of course I had to have some immediately! This shabby chic Traveler's Notebook page is one of two Appree projects on The Ink Pad Blog today, I hope you'll hop over and see the other one!

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Collaged Houses with StencilGirl® Stencils

I'm thrilled to be a guest on the StencilGirl® Talk Blog today, upcycling some funky nested papier mache houses my mom found when cleaning out her attic. I used these StencilGirl® Stencil designs: 

(Santiago by Nathalie Kalbach, Crazy Quilts Bold and Beautiful by Andrew Borloz, Ornamental Petals Screen by Gwen Lafleur, Ferns 6 by Cecilia Swatton and Lemon Button Fern with Masks Mini by Rae Missigman; plus (not pictured) Lizzie Mayne's Herring Bone Brick and Michelle Ward's Marrakech Mix)

To adorn these houses: 

Which each had twenty (20!) planes/panels on which to work; resulting in a whole lot of stenciled parts that looked a bit like this: 

When everything was attached, it looked more like this:

But if you want to see the finished trio, you're going to have to hop over to the StencilGirl® Talk Blog today... it's worth the trip though, I promise! ♥

That's Good Advice, Actually

One of my favorite dog sayings is "Wag More, Bark Less" so when I saw our adorable new Eyelet Outlet Kennel Mix Brads, I knew exactly how I would use them!

I love lettering and fonts, so I tend to make quite a few cards that are basically glorified word art, lol; but they make people smile and are fun to create. I also have a hard time passing up a cute set of alphabet stickers, so that's what I've used here; but of course stamps or a computer generated sentiment would work equally well. When adding stamps or stickers one at a time, I highly recommend using a background with strong horizontal lines, like this text paper; it helps A LOT with positioning! In addition to a bowl, a dog house and three bones from the Kennel Mix, I've added four Paw Brads, a Long Dog (they're on clearance!) and a Heart Brad to fill in the space around the words.

As well as Kennel Mix and Long Dogs, we have two styles of Paw Brads and one style of Paw Tape, Dog Silhouette Brads, cute Dog Faces and lots of fun Dog Washi Tape, too! Check them out in the Eyelet Outlet Store!

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Gnome Alone?

This fortnight at Shopping Our Stash the challenge is called, "GNOME Doubt About It" and if you've guessed we'd like to see gnomes, you're partially right; in fact ANY magical creature will qualify, so dragons, mermaids, yeti, fairies and leprechauns are all fair game. As would a unicorn, like I've got right here:

Before you ask: YES, I composed that entire, very long, sentiment by adding ancient Kelly Purkey and Doodlebug alphabet stickers one at a time, starting at the bottom and working backwards; and YES, I am crazy. Glad we got that out of the way, lol. But I genuinely do love stickers as much now as I did when I was ten, so while it was a longish job, I enjoyed it. You'll notice my background is lined paper, (it's real notebook paper, backed with cardstock) and that's not just a cute design statement; I would never even consider using so many letter stickers if I had to measure or worry about keeping them straight! The unicorn, sunshine and rainbow are all from Gina K. Designs' Unicorn Wishes stamp set, which seems to have gone out of print, but I still love it, so there. I've scattered a few Eyelet Outlet silver Star Sequins about to amp up the "magical" vibe; I've also used clear Stickles quite liberally throughout, but you can't tell from the photo.

Be sure to visit the mythical land we call SOS and see what the magical design team has created to inspire you, then join us!

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Did She Say, "ICAD" Again?!

Yes, I did say, "ICAD" and just a reminder that those letters stand for Index Card a Day, a creativity jumpstart from Tammy Garcia of the Daisy Yellow Art Blog. It runs June 1st through July 31st, and the point is to do something creative, on an index card, each day. It needn't be a finished piece; you could stamp, doodle, collage, haiku, collect quotes, practice your handlettering or... try a little bit of everything. You need only index cards and a writing implement to participate in ICAD, but if you do a bit of prep, you might find it easier to stick with the daily art habit. To that end, and because I happen to love making little books, each May I decorate a pair of chipboard covers, put them on a ring, and add index cards in various styles and colors. This year my cover features a few of my favorite StencilGirl stencils: Blooming Violet, designed by my friend Linda Edkins Wyatt, as well as Vintage Typewriter Alphabet (Lower Case) and Butterfly Journeys by Carolyn Dube which I found at The Ink Pad.

I made a collage of vintage paper, added my stenciled motifs in various Distress Oxide Inks, and outlined with a fine-tipped black Pitt Artist Pen. I added mats of BC Glitter Tape, which is super-sparkly without shedding at all, I'm really impressed with it, and excited that it comes in both Silver and Gold. Just in case you have no interest in index cards or a daily art habit, let me just say that these ingredients can also be used to make quite a pretty card; the only thing I did differently was to add a little bit of hand-stitching and then cut out around the Blooming Violet and mount it on double-sided foam adhesive.

Need a little more info on ICAD? There are daily prompts and weekly themes, which you can find on the Daisy Yellow Blog and Gypsy999's Instagram feed; they're entirely optional, and you can pick and choose. The only "rule" of ICAD is that you really should work on cheap, flimsy index cards from the office supply store, rather than 3x5" pieces of fine art watercolor paper. The point is that using inexpensive, accessible, nearly disposable supplies will encourage you to try lots of different ideas and not worry about making something lasting and perfect. Because this is about process rather than outcome. I know, it can seem wasteful of both time and supplies to sit down and work, but then you don't end up with a beautiful finished item? But trust me, the ideas you generate and the techniques you try out with no expectations attached to them, are very different to the ones that are part of an agenda. Plus... it's a lot of fun, and we all need more of that.

This will be my tenth year participating, and I can truly say I enjoy it more each time. Last year, during lockdown, my family started connecting on Zoom for an hour or two each Friday afternoon to ICAD together, and I'm looking forward to spending this June and July the same way with my niece, nephew, sister, aunt and mom... signing on from four different homes in two states! If you're hesitating, may I suggest that you commit to ONE WEEK? If you find it enjoyable and useful, you can continue; if not... you'll have given it a fair try! If you decide to participate on Instagram, be sure to use the hashtag #dyicad2021 and check out what others are posting, because you'll definitely be inspired and you might even make some friends. 

Friday, May 21, 2021

Bling It On!

We're BLING-ing on the Holidays at Jingle Belles this fortnight, by adding gems, glitter, pearls, sequins and anything else shiny and sparkly we can think of to our cards! Here's what I made:

My Eyelet Pearl Silver Swirl Bling is fairly understated, but I love how it adds instant elegance. The flourish  was not quite the right shape for my torn Simple Stories musical patterned paper, so I snipped it apart and reassembled it to fit better. That peacock blue poinsettia from the big box store has a little glitter on it, and the Papaya Art sentiment sticker has more. I'm happy with the resultant level of sparkliness, especially since my card is still pretty flat and mailable!

Be sure to check out Stephanie's beautiful blingy card at Jingle Belles and start planning what you'll link up with us this fortnight!

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Go Wild!

Is it just me, or are masculine cards actually harder to make than feminine ones? Maybe it's a sign that I rely too heavily on kawaii and floral images, but I definitely have to think a bit harder to make an awesome "guy card". Luckily, Dare 2B Artzy's Slim Tropical Leaf Border die set makes it very easy to create a jungle setting in slimline form! See more pics of this "WILD" card and read about the process on The Ink Pad Blog!

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Feline Groovy

Have you seen the new Eyelet Outlet Feline Brads? If not, let's PAWS (k, sorry!) to check them out as the stars of some funny ATCs:

On Instagram, I follow about ten friends/family members, fifty artists, and half a million cats. So I see a lot of funny cat sayings, and occasionally remember to write those down. One of my favorites of recent memory is, "Have you ever wondered what your cat has named you?" I formatted the words in a free font called Simplicity, and printed it out onto soft lavender paper, which I matted with strategically placed Paws Tape and then onto a black 2.5 x 3.5" Artist Trading Card.

Here's another funny (but true!) thought, "You can train a cat to do anything... that it wants to do"! Yep, that sounds about right!

Be sure to scroll around the Eyelet Outlet Blog to see the fun ways the design team have been using all of our Spring 2021 Brads!

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Stencil Sunday: NEW Lemurian Gardens

We are excited to have three brand new Lemurian Gardens Stencils from StencilGirl, designed by our friend Linda Edkins Wyatt, now available at The Ink Pad. The first set comprised two 6x6" stencils (Leaf and Tulip) as well as three mini 4x4" stencils (Lily, Spiral and Pansy). The second set consists of Lemurian Leaves (6x6"), Blooming Violet (4x4") and --possibly my current favorite-- the 8.5x11" ATC Mix-Up, which I've used with nine different Oxide Ink blends, featuring the newest Distress color, Salvaged Patina.

It's no surprise that Salvaged Patina blends wonderfully with all of the blue and green Distress Oxides, but I was pleasantly surprised that it was also possible to bring in some yellows, greys and pinks as well! I like to blend my oxides using old-school fingertip Sponge Daubers, because of my mild case of carpal tunnel syndrome. However, it must be said that Picket Fence Studios' Life Changing Blender Brushes really do live up to their name!

My favorite blends, so far (starting at top left): 1. Lucky Clover, Cracked Pistachio & Salvaged Patina; 2. Salvaged Patina, Cracked Pistachio & Twisted Citron; 3. Salvaged Patina, Speckled Egg & Kitsch Flamingo; 4. Salvaged Patina, Peacock Feathers & Scattered Straw; 5. Salvaged Patina, Mermaid Lagoon & Rustic Wilderness; 6. Cracked Pistachio, Salvaged Patina & Weathered Wood; 7. Broken China, Salvaged Patina & Speckled Egg; 8. Salvaged Patina, Speckled Egg & Victorian Velvet; 9. Seedless Preserves, Mermaid Lagoon & Salvaged Patina.

Using the blends I made above, I added the nine designs from Linda's ATC Mix-Up Stencil as follows: to Blend 1, I added the large spiral in Rustic Wilderness; to Blend 2, I added the rosebuds in Broken China and Shabby Shutters; to Blend 3, I added the abstract teardrop pattern in Chipped Sapphire; to Blend 4, I added the lily in Spiced Marmalade and Rustic Wilderness;to Blend 5, I added added the abstract tribal square in Blueprint Sketch and it faded away into nothing, so I had to make a new blend of Squeezed Lemonade, Cracked Pistachio & Salvaged Patina, which worked well; to Blend 6, I added the large rose bud in Kitsch Flamingo and Mowed Lawn; to Blend 7, I added the more detailed spiral in Faded Jeans; to Blend 8, I added the tulip in Dusty Concord and Evergreen Bough; and Blend 9 also turned out to be a bit too dark to layer a detailed flower, so I made a new blend of Speckled Egg, Salvaged Patina and Shabby Shutters, to which I added the pansy in Seedless Preserves and Evergreen Bough. 

I decided to add all the completed ATC cards to an accordion booklet, made from a 15x4" piece of watercolor paper which I scored and folded at every three inches. 

I secured a piece of seambinding behind the cover image, which I tied into a neat bow, to hold the booklet closed.

I hope you'll be inspired to experiment and find out what your favorite Salvaged Patina Oxide (or regular    ) blends are; then try layering a favorite stencil or stamp over top as an accent. There are additional ATC Mix-Up Varieties, as well as lots of other lovely StencilGirl selections available at The Ink Pad.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Ring in the Old... in an old-fashioned or retro vibe with us at Jingle Belles, where we're still making cards with vintage style and you're still invited to join us! Here's what I made this week:

I'm still in a serious collage phase, so I will basically take any excuse to tear and combine vintage text paper and sheet music! That's what I did here; then I used a Tim Holtz Mixed Media Xmas die to cut poinsettias into the card; and then I added some small paper ones with Eyelet Outlet Poinsettia Brads and some velvet holly leaves. An appropriate sticker sentiment (Simple Stories, I think?) and I was good to go.

Hop over to Jingle Belles to see Stephanie's card and a photo of the fun little prize that one random cardmaker will score by linking up with us this time!

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

It's Another Pun... but in FRENCH!

As you know, I can never resist a diabolical pun in ANY language; thus when I got my hands on the lovely new Colored Daisy Brads from Eyelet Outlet, my first thought was to make a card with the sentiment "Merci Bouquet". So here it is:

I had envisioned this design as having several additional EO Brad styles and maybe some washi tape, as well; but in the end, the Colored Daisy Brads completely resisted taking a co-star role and demanded to have the entire card to themselves! But in future, I can see mixing in other Flower Brads, Butterfly or Mini Butterfly Brads, Mini Ladybug or Bee Brads... maybe even some Rabbits, provided they've already eaten lunch. Do scroll around the EO Blog and be sure to check out the Gallery at the EO Store, to see how the other amazing design team members are using Colored Daisies and the rest of the new brad styles in their beautiful creations!

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

It's FIN-tastic!

This fortnight's challenge at Shopping Our Stash is called, "Here Fishy Fishy" and if you think we're looking for projects which feature our fin-bedecked aquatic pals, you're way ahead of the game! This would be a great time to get a jump on Father's Day cards; or even maybe just a little kid birthday, as I've done here:

I've had Lawn Fawn's "Critters in the Sea" stamp set* for at least eight or nine years and I still find myself coming back to it over and over. The critters are a lot of fun to color, or... as I've done here... to paper-piece. I also make a couple of "Best Fishes" cards per year, in styles ranging from realistic to uber-cute; clearly this is the latter, so I've used Doodlebug and Pink Paislee alphabet stickers for the sentiment. I torn apart a piece of well-hoarded, not-quite-solid, Basic Grey patterned paper and layered it over a background featuring all my pale blue washi tapes, added the fishy friends, et voila: une carte avec poisson!

Swim on over to SOS to see additional aquatic awesomeness and link up your own FIN-tastic creation! 

*Out of curiosity, I checked Lawn Fawn's website and discovered that "Critters in the Sea" was released in 2010, and along with many others in the "Critters" line, it's still in print! (PS: I've now made myself crave a BUNCH more sets, especially "Critters in the Arctic"!)

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Bring on the Flowers

Happy Mother's Day to everyone who is celebrating! Since this seemed like an especially good day for a beautiful female image... or flowers... (or both!) I've used Hero Arts Flower Power Layering Stamps and Die Bundle to make two fun and colorful cards. The results are on The Ink Pad Blog.

 (PS: Flower Power is also available without the die, as a stand-alone stamp set!)

Friday, May 7, 2021

Bring on the Doilies!!! :)

We're celebrating "The Spirit of Christmas Past" this fortnight at Jingle Belles, which means we're creating cards with a vintage vibe. That might mean incorporating actual vintage items; OR using new papers, dies or stamps with an old-fashioned feeling. What do we mean by "vintage"? Pretty much any timeframe in history! Your "days of old" could be Regency England, Midcentury Palm Springs, or even just the fond days of your childhood Christmases. Just in case you have nothing that will suit, I've  scanned a few vintage postcards and some sheet music from my own collection and placed them in the Jingle Belles post for you to right-click and save to your computer, then print them out at whatever size you'd like.

Meanwhile, here's what I made this week:

Some of my all-time favorite items to use on vintage-style holiday cards are sheet music and doilies. There are lots of modern versions of both of those, and I love my music-inspired patterned paper and doily dies. But in this case, I went with actual OLD sheet music, paired with the highly textureal, but slightly yellowed doilies I found at a thrift shop over the weekend. The postcard image on my card is also vintage, but in this case I scanned the original and printed it slightly smaller, to be a better fit on my A7 card. Torn mats of patterned paper, machine stitching and a little bit of Eyelet Outlet washi tape add texture and interest. 

Be sure to visit Jingle Belles to see Stephanie's beautiful card, grab scans of some fun vintage items from my own collection, and check out the sweet little prize that's on offer to one random cardmaker who links up with us this fortnight.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

All Around the Town

Impression Obsession's Slim Scenes Large Town stamp set is both beautiful and useful for themes like a new home, a new job, a milestone at work, or trips into and out of your favorite city. The set has both a solid skyline stamp and an outline one, so of course I wanted to test-drive both! I've paired them with Picket Fence Studios' Slimline Nested Rectangles die set and Fancy Congratulations Sentiments stamp set; and added color with my Karin Brushmarkers. The results... in both slimline and A2 card form... are on The Ink Pad Blog today.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Comma, Comma, Comma, Comma, Comma...

CHAMELEON!!! I'm leading off with the sentiment from my second card, just in case it doesn't kick in right away. Because today's post is a blizzard of lizards, thanks to the adorable new Eyelet Outlet Reptile Brads!

When I heard we'd be getting a brad set that featured chameleons and geckos, the very first phrase I thought of was, "Leapin' Lizards"! I'm not sure why, exactly, because I don't think I've ever uttered those words before; but it struck me as both funny and useful, so I wrote it down in my little book of ideas. I used alphabet stickers to create the words on this card, but I'll also put a little jpg word art below, in case anyone would like to right-click and save it. Three blended circles of Oxide ink and some leafy "Perfect Vine" diecuts from Catherine Pooler finish off my design.

I can't take credit for the Culture Club inspired sentiment, it's yet another case of my seeing a silly t-shirt and stealing the phrase right off it! I used the five largest commas I could find in my collection of chipboard alphabets and one handsome chameleon. The original shirt design didn't have additional info beneath the word art, but I discovered in a casual poll of friends that by saying, "sing it" they got the joke faster; so I thought I'd put those instructions right on the card. I made a mat of Circle Washi Tape, because it had all the right colors and added a fun sense of movement.

Here's the word art, you can right-click and save, then print it at any size you'd like. This will also be on the Freebies Page of the EO Blog

Be sure to visit the Eyelet Outlet Blog often, as the design team are having a lot of fun with all the new brads: in addition to the Reptiles we've got a fun new Kennel MixColored Daisy BradsTropical Birds and Felines; there's definitely something for everybody!