Thursday, December 29, 2022

Birthday Bash in Blue

Birthday cards are always fun to make and send; which is just as well, since I'm pretty sure most cardmakers create more individual birthday cards than any other style throughout the year. I made this fun, inky version using Wendy Vecchi's Birthday Bash Stamp, Die and Stencil Set with Archival Inks and Statements Chippies. I'd love for you to hop over to the Ranger Projects Page to see the tutorial that goes with it!

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Eyelets and Brads and Tapes, Oh My!

I'm having a lot of fun choosing my "Five Favorites" from the cards and projects I made this year in various categories; today seems like the perfect time to post my Eyelet Outlet faves. Please note that the caption under each picture is linked to the original post on the EO Blog, where you can find individual links to every single product I've used.

This was one of the biggest projects I did in any category this year. It was arguably a CRAZY thing to make, which is probably why I love it so much! In a related vein, I made a Rainbow Brad Book, where I arranged all my favorite EO Brad Styles by color. If you happen to visit a crafty trade show next year, look for both of these in the Eyelet Outlet Booth!

Diecuts and brads are wonderful together and this Birthday T-Shirt Card is a pretty good example of that. By the way, I have additional ideas for this set of Hero Arts' T-Shirt Infinity Dies and I've also got a brande new set of Lawn Fawn Balloon Dies as well, so get ready for some BIG Brad Cards in 2023!

Another crafty shortcut perfect with my EO Brads and Tapes are the sheets of journal cards that come in sets of patterned paper. This particular variety of adorable tags is from Prima's Luna collection by Frank Garcia; but all the backgrounds and accents are EO Tapes and the tags feature a bunch of seasonal brads.  

I can NEVER resist a chunky sentiment in any context and this one features the three tapes I probably used most in 2022: Wide Sky Washi, Grass Tape and Brick Washi. Plus Daisy Brads and a sweet Mini Ladybug, o'course.

Being a Cancerian, of course I love the ocean in real life and also in papercrafting form. This card features the Starfish from our Sea Shore Brads, a pair of handsome Seagulls, loose Pearl Bling and a beautiful Ocean Tape with foil accents. But Eyelet Outlet has LOTS of other beachy goodness like Fish, Sandcastles, Shells, Flamingos, Palm Trees and more!


I've still got some EO Goodies... and Brad-centric ideas... that I haven't used yet, so I'll be ringing in the New Year on the Eyelet Outlet Blog next Wednesday, January 4, 2023!

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Jingle Belles 2022 Flashback

Inspired by Stephanie, who does "Five Favorites" posts in various categories each December, I'm looking back at all forty-eight weeks of my Jingle Belles cards for the year and choosing some highlights. Here they are, in no particular order:

1. My second entry in our Jingle Belles' "Not a Creature Was Stirring" prompt features my beloved Lawn Fawn Car Critters stamps and add-ons. They're also fun to color, but I usually cannot resist a patterned car, so paper-piecing often wins out.

2. Back in May we celebrated a "Masculine Merry Christmas" and I paired Penny Black's Masterpieces Made Simple artwork from Paper Anthology with Eyelet Outlet Brads for the fastest four-card set EVER! 

3. "Peace on Earth Day" is absolutely always one of my favorite Jingle Belles themes, and this super-easy card featuring the last little bit of leftover Yeti giftwrap makes me smile.

4. I adore this Tim Holtz/Sizzix Ice Skates die, but it always takes a bit longer than I think it will to piece out all the parts; thus I use it only a few times a year. This time was for our "Winter Fun" prompt.

5. I can't possibly let any list of favorites go by without picking a collage card! This one from our vintage-centric "Old Fashioned Xmas" challenge has all my faves: sheet music, green stamps, washi tape, stickers... 


We'll be starting up the 2023 Jingle Belles season on January first and we'd love for you to join our fun. There's no need to commit to EVERY week, but... if you do... you'll have forty-eight (48!) holiday cards completed by the beginning of next December and I think you'll enjoy the feeling of being ready (or nearly so) to stresslessly mail them out as much as Stephanie and I do each year!

Monday, December 26, 2022

Take Five!

This being the last Mandala Monday of 2022, it seems like a good time to look back on all the mandalas I made this year and pick some faves. It was considerably harder than I thought, but here are five, in random order:

1. I made this sticker mandala at the height of my obsession with season two of "Only Murders in the Building"; perhaps the New-York-iest television show EVER. It uses a lot of well-hoarded (tiny!) Pipsticks plus a few other bits and bobs.

2. Every favorites list I ever make will likely feature at least one collagey thing; this ICAD Ink-Over-Collage mandala features Wendy Vecchi's Summer 2022 release of Archival Inks in Rosey Posey, Morning Glory and Peachy Keen.

3. Thanks to Stephanie, I have several different types of Magic Pencil sets (which I don't use enough... note to self for next year!) but when I do, I think of an especially wonderful trip to NYC's Metropolitan Museum of Art with my friend Paul, who bought me my first Magic Pencil in the gift shop.

5. By far the easiest type of mandala to make, with NO DRAWING required, is the kind that uses punched shapes--mostly circles and hearts. For this version, I used vintage and found papers for the layers with a nice big spray of gardening magazine peonies on top.

5. Watercolor is my go-to for coloring mandalas; whether it's using actual watercolor paints, Tombow Dual Brush Pens, or, as in this case, ink pads "smooshed" onto the Wendy Vecchi Craft Sheet that's attached to the back of my STAY-tion, where I picked up the color with a waterbrush. These beautifully luscious shades are all from Simon Hurley's create. Dye Inks collection.


I'll be back next week with a brand new Mandala Monday design to welcome in the brand New Year! In the meantime, I hope you will be able to squeeze a little bit of art time into this last fun and hectic holiday week of 2022!

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree...

...with a fun ornament card! Ornament shapes make a wonderful home for pretty much ANY style of Eyelet Outlet Brad you love, but our Poinsettia Brads look especially pretty on a background of tiny flowers (some diecut from our Sparkle Red Glitter Tape!) and foliage. Music Note Washi instantly puts a holiday tune into our head, and a stamped plaid background set off by mats of more Sparkle Red Glitter Tape really shines!

Whether you are decorating for Christmas or celebrating Hanukkah, I hope your week will be full of light, love and laughter!

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

SOS486: Time for Presents

You may already have guessed from the title that the new challenge at Shopping Our Stash is to feature presents on your card OR make a Thank You card for gifts you've received. Both of these lend themselves nicely to holiday themes, but having realized that I would need a kiddo birthday card early in January, I decided to get a jump on that occasion instead.

My presents are stamped on scraps of patterned paper using Wendy Vecchi's Doodle Celebration set, which only debuted last summer, but... all the other items used on this card are at least a few years old and some are distinctly elderly. For example, my sparkly animals are fussycut from a Creative Imaginations paper I bought when my nieces (now college aged) were small; the flowers are Scenic Route, which I think closed nearly a decade ago; and the colorful faux polaroids are Echo Park circa 2017. I've rounded up a few older brads for extra texture and turned the entire thing into an oversized slimline card.

Be sure to visit SOS to see what the other designers have made to inspire you!   

Monday, December 19, 2022

MM50: Funky Flakes

It's a Soft and Snowy Mandala Monday... that is, the MANDALA is soft and snowy, whilst thankfully the Monday is sunny, clear and cold. Hope that the week before Christmas (or the week OF Hanukkah) is treating you well! 

Ranger's Letter It Fineliners plus a few Zig Dot Markers
 and a tiny bit of watercolor in my Dina Wakley Blue Edition Journal

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Five Favorites: Wendy Vecchi

Every December I love reading "Favorites" posts on blogs and social media... you know, when people do a round up of the projects they loved most during the year. I always think to myself, "Someday I'm gonna do that!" and it looks like this might be the year! In honor of the fact that yesterday was Wendy Vecchi's birthday, I think I'll start with my favorite Wendy Vecchi MAKE ART projects... in more or less chronological order. (Click the links below each photo to see the original posts with all of the specific product details.)

The brilliant "seeds" of this came from Patti Behan at Ranger, who suggested using the hearts from Wendy's Merci and More Stamp, Die and Stencil set to make four-leafed clovers for a tutorial that ran on St. Patrick's Day. I wouldn't have thought of it, but once she said it, I was wholeheartedly ON BOARD! 

Not an official Wendy project, and it only uses a fraction of her Designer Series Archival Inks, but I really love this mandala, so it's IN!

Wendy's three newest Archival shades --Rosey PoseyPeachy Keen and Morning Glory-- came out in June and I was instantly obsessed. I love everything I made for the release, but these funky, grungy, ink-over-collage ATC's miiiiiight be my favorite. 

Another awesome suggestion from Patti, could I make a NON-holiday card using Wendy's Christmas in July release stamp sets, Doodle Christmas and Doodle Holiday. Yes. Yes, I could! 
(My favorite part? The flowers are the ornament cluster from Doodle Christmas, stamped upside down!) 

Did you know that the shopping bag stamp from the Let's Shop Stamp, Die and Stencil set has a coordinating die that lets you make gift-card-sized  DIMENSIONAL giftbags? Brilliant or what??! 

Ok, yeah, technically this is number six out of five, but I looooooove wrapping gifts; I really love using my papercrafting supplies to decorate them; and I especially love how Wendy's Doodle stamps, as well as her Chippies and Washi Tape Assortments combined to make this set super-festive!


Just a reminder that the Ranger Blog, Project Page and IG Account are amazing sources of inspiration and ideas for using ALL of the wonderful Ranger projects. Also, Wendy Vecchi's Instagram is entirely awesome (be sure to check out Tip Tuesday each week!) and the MAKE ART with Wendy Vecchi FaceBook group is a super-fun place to hang out!

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Holiday Style is in the Bag!

 Or rather, it's ON the bag! And, for that matter, other surface you'd like to decorate; because Eyelet Outlet brads and washi tape are wonderful for adding a festive holiday vibe to so much more than just cards! Like, for example, this plain white bag from the big box store:

To make your own custom washi tape diecuts, just line strips of your favorite tape up neatly on scraps of plain white cardstock and diecut as usual. These chunky letters feature, from left to right, Red Santa Washi, Vertical Tree Tape, Poinsettia Tape and vertically oriented Heart Tape. By choosing tapes with similar colors, they mix nicely; if you'd like more variety, add other shades. On top of the letters, we have some festive brads, including: Santa and Mrs. Claus, a Snowy Tree, a Poinsettia, a Holly Brad and a Snowman. To marry the letters to the bag I created a border by adding five strips of Garland Washi, flanked at the top and bottom by Glitter Green Skinny Tape. I carried all the tapes around to the sides of the bag and trimmed them neatly inside the crease. A bow... with a Candy Cane Brad... and a bit of red tissue paper, and this plain jane white bag is now a lovely customized gift! Instead of a holiday sentiment, you could adorn a big with washi tape initials or names; or use any of your favorite holiday shaped dies like ornaments, trees or even reindeer!

The Eyelet Outlet Store has brads, tapes, bling, enamels and sequins for literally ANY occasion you'd care to celebrate!

Monday, December 12, 2022

Hello, Monday!

It's a Simply Symmetrical Mandala Monday with a hope that your week is off to a smooth start!

Pitt Artist Pens by Faber-Castell in my Canson Mixed Media Sketchbook.


Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Here We Come A-Caroling

The Eyelet Outlet Caroler Brads are out on the town, singing their joyful holiday song! 

It's a beautiful night under a Star Night, Star Bright sky, with Sparkle White Glitter Tape snow glistening on the pretty Penny Black Build-a-House diecut village. Accents of Brick Washi and Wood Washi are scattered throughout the homes, with scraps of tan, brown and white patterned paper adding variety. A Wreath Brad, some Snowy Trees and a friendly Snowman complete the design.

The Eyelet Outlet Online Store has all the Brads, Tapes, Bling, Enamels and sequins you need to create holiday cards, tags, giftwrap and more; and the EO Blog has all the ideas you need to inspire your next creation!

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

SOS485: The Holly and the Ivy

This fortnight at Shopping Our Stash we're celebrating Christmas plants and greenery such as fir trees, poinsettias, evergreen boughs, mistletoe and of course, holly and ivy! I've got a little bit of all of the above lol!

Those Sticko Poinsettias have to be five or six years old, though having found a small cache of them and been re-smitten, I will likely use them up pretty sharpish. There are two Simple Stories washi tapes with botanical themes that came in a fab birthday box from my friend Gina this summer; some tiny (ancient!) enamel holly stickers of unknown origin; stamped holly leaves from Wendy Vecchi's Doodle Holiday stamp set; and pretty much EVERY smaller holiday sentiment stamp I own making up the background, including some Hero Arts that have to be ten years old, some Pretty Pink Posh that are four or five years old and a couple from Wendy Vecchi's Doodle Christmas which is not very old, but is a huge current fave with me. I was slightly shocked to learn that the Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous alphabet stamps making up the large "MERRY" debuted in 2004?? I don't think I've had my set as long as that but... the older I get the faster the years seem to roll past so I guess it's possible. Just a warning that I really enjoyed this "stamped collage" technique, so you will definitely be seeing more cards in this style!

Meanwhile, do pop over to SOS to see amazing cards from the design team in LOTS of styles... one of them, at least, is bound to inspire YOU!

Monday, December 5, 2022


It's the 48th Mandala Monday of 2022 and this one is made with the leftover punched circles and hearts from a fantastic class I taught last week at Charleston Place Senior Living Apartments in Kendall Park, NJ. Many thanks for Anna Chiang and the gang at Charleston for a very fun afternoon and some extremely yummy chocolate! :)

Friday, December 2, 2022

Wrapping Up Jingle Belles 2022

We've finished the 2022 Jingle Belles season, and Stephanie and I hope that everyone had as much fun getting a jump on their holiday card production! Having made a few multiples during the year, I wound up with just over 60 cards. Now all I need to do is sign them, stuff them into envelopes and head down to the post office!

We've posted one last link-up for the year at Jingle Belles, you can use it to share your last-minute holiday cards and, if you have a few minutes, cruise through the other cards to be inspired and maybe leave a comment or two. Meanwhile, Stephanie and I are taking December off, but we'll be back just after the New Year rings in on January 1st to start another year of stress-free holiday cardmaking in style!

Many thanks to everyone who helped to make this year our most fun EVER; we'd love to see you back again at Jingle Belles in 2023!

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Wendy Vecchi Holiday Gift Wrap

One of my favorite parts of the holidays is the chance to be a Wrap Star, lol! Partly because a beautiful presentation makes a gift even more special; but also... I just really love using my stamps, inks, tapes and embellies to decorate boxes and bags. If you head over to the Ranger Blog, you can follow along, step-by-step, as I use Wendy Vecchi MAKE ART Stamps, Chippies and Washi Tape to turn plain jane bags and boxes from the discount store into the prettiest presents under the tree!