Tuesday, January 31, 2023

SOS489: Love is in the Air

It's two weeks before Valentine's Day, so you will likely not be shocked to find that this fortnight's challenge at Shopping Our Stash is to make something with a looooooooove theme; whether that be a Valentine, Galentine, Wedding or Anniversary card. Mine looks a bit like this: 

I love (and collect!) vintage typewriters, so when I saw this Penny Black "Just My Type" mini set at Paper Anthology a couple of years ago, OF COURSE I had to have it. Slightly more puzzling (and embarrassing, lol) is the fact that it is only just seeing ink NOW. But that's what's great about SOS challenges, they're specifically designed to make us look through our older stash items and actually USE them! I've paired the stamps with a bunch of XOXO's diecut with Tim Holtz/Sizzix Typo Lowercase Die from a scrap of pink and red gel print set on top of a piece of text paper from one of my somewhat-falling-apart vintage typewriter books. The background is another gel print (I'm totally inspired by the way Stephanie uses her gellies!) and the heart was pre-die-cut from a piece of ancient patterned paper which just happened to match pretty well. 

There's a whole lotta love awaiting you at Shopping Our Stash, in the form of beautifully inspiring cards from the design team. I hope you'll go have a look, then start planning what you'll link up with us this fortnight.

Monday, January 30, 2023

It's a Very Vivid...

...Mandala Monday, thanks to my Karin Markers, which are absolutely outstanding for both watercoloring* and also brush lettering! I often place analagous colors next to each other, so that they will blend harmoniously if there's a little cross-migration. Sharpies, Pitt Pens, Poscas and Ranger Letter It Fineliners are all fairly waterproof, so you can, if you like, create the lines first and then fill in with color. I often do the reverse, as on this piece: I paint all of the large shapes AND THEN outline them after they're dry. A heat gun will speed up the drying process; be sure to use it on both the front and the back of your watercolor paper, so that all the fibers are nice and dry.

Wishing you a colorful and productive week ahead!

*There are two methods for watercoloring with markers: #1. Scribble one color at a time onto a plastic palette, pick up the color with a waterbrush, paint the design. #2. Use the markers directly to paper, to sort of outline the areas you want to fill, use the waterbrush to pull the outline color into the rest of the space, it will automatically lighten the further you pull it. For either method, you're best off using watercolor paper-- it's specially designed to stand up to being worked on wet-- and also working on a smallish section at a time. You can use the same method with alcohol ink markers or ink pads, if you fill the waterbrush with Isopropyl Alcohol.

Friday, January 27, 2023

JB-23-03: Stuck On You

If you've already guessed that at Jingle Belles this fortnight we're celebrating that most basic --yet still highly crave-able-- of craft supplies (by which I mean STICKERS!) then you've got a head start and I'll get right to the part where I show off my card(s):

These adorable snowpersons and the cute sentiment strips came from the Elements sticker sheet in Photoplay's Christmas Cheer collection, which I got at Paper Anthology last fall. The dies from which the cute tabbed frames are cut (out of Ranger's Distress Woodgrain Cardstock) using a set of Elizabeth Craft Designs' Planner Essentials Dies that I special-ordered over a year ago, but somehow only just opened?? (Don't worry, I'll make up for it by over-using them now, lol!) The plaid paper is ancient October Afternoon, as is one of the washi tapes; the sheet music is from my stash of vintage and found papers; the Snowflake Brads are Eyelet Outlet.

I'm willing to bet you have at least a sticker or two in your crafty stash, so I'd love for you to dust those off and use them, then link up with us at Jingle Belles. Need a little more inspiration? Be sure to check out what Stephanie has made this week.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Brads of a Feather Flock Together

Eyelet Outlet Bluebird and Robin Brads are a fine addition to pretty much ANY card, but when teamed with a sweet set of birdhouse dies, cut from our Wood Washi they have literally found the perfect home. Sun and Cloud Brads set the scene, a bright blue Heart Enamel adds another pop of color and Script Tape makes an excellent mat.

This design could easily be adapted to make a lovely Valentine OR an anniversary greeting, and there are lots more embellishments perfect for either in the Eyelet Outlet Store.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Wendy Vecchi Rainbow Thank You Cards

We all need a few extra thank you cards at this time of year, so I've gotten out my rainbow of Archival Inks and Wendy Vecchi's Merci and More Stamp, Die and Stencil Set to make thank you cards that are bold, bright and beautiful. There's a step-by-step tutorial on the Ranger Project Page today and I'd love for you to hop over and check it out!


Let's Get the Gelly Rolling

When you consider their low price, ability to write on most surfaces, long-lastingness (let's pretend that's a word, lol) huge range of colors, styles and ink types, the "humble" Sakura Gelly Roll Pen is a bit of a treasure, really! I don't use my collection often enough, but here's a super-colorful Gelly Roll Mandala Monday:

Friday, January 20, 2023

Jingle, Jingle, Jingle

It's the second week of our "Christmas Bells" prompt at Jingle Belles and this one is extra special for me as this design is part of my very first Holiday Jumpstart Card Kit from Paper Anthology. I'll tell you more about that in a minute, but first, here's the card:

Admittedly, there's only one jingle bell in Creative Expressions' Jingle All the Way die, but the sentiment is also bell-related, so I feel good about my choice. I cut the centerpiece from silver metallic paper and backed it with a perfectly sized diecut oval (also in the die set) on which I've ink-blended Distress Oxides in Chipped Sapphire, Prize Ribbon and Salty Ocean. I added texture to the background with Taylored Expressions Sheet Music Embossing Folder, which I softly inked as well. A few accents of Liquid Pearls, and a seam binding bow complete the design.

So what's this Holiday Jumpstart Kit from Paper Anthology? It's basically everything you need (except ink and adhesive) to complete FIVE copies of the card above. To illustrate, I chose to make the five sample cards using five different colorways, and I've included the recipes for those in the kit, but you can make them all the same OR rock your own favorite shades. For that matter, this design will work with ANY combination of blendable dye or hybrid inks you love. In the kit, you'll get: 

  • Five white A2 tent fold card bases; 
  • Five white panels embossed with the Sheet Music design; 
  • Five plain white ovals of nice sturdy cardstock to create your own blendy goodness; 
  • Five silver metallic cardstock "Jingle All the Way" diecuts;  
  • Enough white seam binding to create five bows; 
  • Complete directions, product details and full color photos. 

These kits are available in-store and online at Paper Anthology. If you'd like a little bit of a (ahem sorry, gotta say the name again lol) Holiday Jumpstart, I hope you'll check them out.

Meanwhile, the "Christmas Bells" challenge runs at Jingle Belles until 6pm on Wednesday, 1/25/23, so I hope you'll go and see what loveliness Stephanie has created to inspire you!

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Honey, Bee Mine

Puns and brads make the BEST Valentines, and if there are a few styles of Eyelet Outlet Washi Tape in there too, so much the better. This card features Bumble Bee Brads, Heart Brads, vertical Heart Tape and Love Washi, all of which adds up to a HONEY of a Valentine a cardmaker can BEE proud of!*

The Eyelet Outlet Store has lots more brads, tapes, sequins, bling and other embellishments to give your Valentines ...and ALL your papercrafting projects... your own unique style!

*apologies, but you know I can NEVER resist a diabolical pun!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

SOS488: Winter Fun

If you've already guessed that the new challenge at Shopping Our Stash involves incorporating any fun winter activity (skiing, skating, sledding, snowmen, snow angels, etc etc) into your card then WOOHOO, you're absolutely right, and here's what I made:

My favorite aspect of challenges is that they push me to go in directions I wouldn't necessarily have thought of. The downside of that is: sometimes I discover I somehow have literally NO products that will work for a specific topic. This was one of those times. HOW is that possible?? I own at least 57 Lawn Fawn stamp sets with critters doing every conceivable human activity. Except, as it turns out,  winter sports. Luckily, as I was cruising through my holiday papers to make a Jingle Belles card, I came across the remainder of Ciao Bella's Snow and the City collection from a couple of years ago, and I found this pretty ice skating girl, with coordinating tags and papers. I considered making a holiday card, but then I realized that while these items are definitely WINTERY, they aren't necessarily holiday themed. And since my cousin's birthday is coming up and I really needed to make her a card, I just went a bit wintery and snowy and feminine. The sentiment is from an ancient Paper Smooches stamp set, with a Tim Holtz sticker beneath. I found some really cool glittery, pebbley red paper in my stash and the red sheet music is older Simple Stories. This is an A7 card, which is slightly bumpy because of the seambinding bows, but I really like how it came out.

Be sure to check out all of the design team goodness at SOS and then start planning what you'll link for this "Winter Fun" challenge!

Monday, January 16, 2023

Viva Magenta!

It's a Viva Magenta Mandala Monday, celebrating both Pantone's marvelous choice for Color of the Year 2023 AND the fact that my sister found the cool plastic eraser pen thingies that I really love and got me a few for Christmas. (The pink one is obviously my favorite, though they all work perfectly well!) I built this mandala around a diamond-shaped diecut that just happened to be on my worktable when I started drawing. I'm pretty sure the layout of this mandala is based on something I saw on IG or Pinterest, but apparently didn't save. (If it's yours let me know and I'll be happy to give credit!)

Friday, January 13, 2023

Belles and Bells

This fortnight we're ringing in the new year and putting the accent on BELLS at Jingle Belles, so we'd like to see cards with sleigh bells, church bells, jingle bells or... well, whatever kind of bell you can think of. I went with an older die* that my fellow Jersey Girl and cardmaker Lorraine (of Paper Vernissage) gave me in the first or second year of Jingle Belles, and which I still find very useful and beautiful!

For this card, I cut the bells out twice: once from a scrap of velvetty-textured cardstock in a bold cerise and a second time from metallic gold, which I've used as a sort of drop shadow behind the pink. The sweet deer and most of his coordinating pink papers are from Prima's Candy Cane Lane collection; there's also some older Prima and a few anonymous scraps. I was in a shabby chic kind of mood, so I did a bunch of distressing, sanding, inking and stitching; though this A7 card is quite nicely flat and mailable.

A small (exciting!) side note: more than HALF of my 2022 holiday cards were mailable using ordinary postage! Admittedly many of them needed either an extra ounce or a second full-price stamp but still... it's a personal best that made me quite happy. I'm definitely going to attempt a similar feat this year!

Meanwhile, Stephanie's card is waiting to inspire you at Jingle Belles; you should probably hop over and check that out.

*It's Memory Box's Jingle Bell Border and seems to have been discontinued for a while; apologies if that is a bummer. I assume there are similar dies available from somewhere.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Valentines Down on the Farm

Valentine's Day is just a month away, but luckily Eyelet Outlet has all the brads, washi tape, bling and enamel accents you could possibly need to make cards that are uniquely yours. This pair of punny valentines feature our Pig and Sheep Brads with hearts of Pink & White Dot Tape and diecut X's and O's of Tiny Heart Washi with computer generated sentiments (the very useful free font is called Bohemian Typewriter).

Check out the Eyelet Outlet Store for lots more embellishments, as well as the always inspiring Ideas Gallery!

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

SOS: Pajama Day Redux

There's still a week left to run on our Pajama Day challenge at Shopping Our Stash, click over to see the design team's cards and link up your own pajama-inspired masterpiece! I had a few bits and bobs leftover after making last week's card, so I threw them together to make a second version, this one's more flowery, thanks to Lawn Fawn's Happy Hibiscus and Tropical Leaves die sets, which I cut from handpainted papers.

Here's a reminder of our post-Thanksgiving family Pajama Day photo, which inspired both my cards:

Join us at SOS if you have some time! 

Monday, January 9, 2023

Wavy Gravy Mandala Monday

I always like to essperiment with new styles of mandala; this one is a sort of deconstructed version... or maybe melted is a better description... of the traditional layers, each drawn in several colors of Tombow Dual Brush Pens, then outlined. 

Here are a few digital remixes of the wavy gravy mandala, 
which I made using filters and levels in PSE9:


Sunday, January 8, 2023

Pink Lemonade Minibook

My friend Gina is one of the most creative people I know and absolutely the best at drawing recognizable creatures (a fact which I envy A LOT!) people, plants and pretty much everything else. Lately she's been firing up her Redbubble, Etsy and Zazzle shops and filling them with the most beautiful digitally collaged stickers and printables for planners, cardmaking and more; not to mention pillows, mugs and other cool accessories. They are DEFINITELY worth a look if you're looking for any kind of custom gift or just some fabulous eye candy for yourself. A few months ago, Gina sent me a bunch of printed sheets with fish, cats, bunnies, portraits and more. I love absolutely ALL of them, but the jungle animals done in PINK were (surprise!) my favorites. For her birthday, I decided to make them into a minibook. Gina made a video of it, which is very cool indeed. My still photos aren't quiiiiite as impressive but... I still love them.

Friday, January 6, 2023

Thank You, Santa!

Over at Jingle Belles, we're still showing off the goodies that Santa brought us. Or... as in this case... the goodies we chose for ourselves, in order to help the big guy out! I saw Doodlebug's Candy Cane Lane collection online in December and asked my friend Elisabeth from Paper Anthology to order it for me; and like all the Doodlebug sets I've ever seen, it's actually even cuter in real life!

Nearly everything on the card is from Candy Cane Lane: the paper with the cute houses, the dimensional truck and tree stickers, the sentiment strip, and the little hearts and snowflakes. I made a shaker window using my ancient heart Nesties, filled it with a snowy sequin mix leftover from a class last year and set it all on a blue plaid background from an older D-bug set. This card is an A6 and despite the layer of foam tape to accommodate the shaker window, is flat enough to mail... woohoo!

Hop over to Jingle Belles to see what Stephanie has made and check out the cool little prize that one randomly selected cardmaker will score, just for linking up with us this fortnight!

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Birthday Balloons

Nothing says "Happy Birthday" quite as well as a big bouquet of balloons, does it? In real life, you couldn't actually adorn the balloons with Eyelet Outlet brads, but in card form you can, and thus, these diecut balloons are decorated with Lollipop Brads (they're on sale!), Birthday Candles, Unicorn and Rainbow Brads, an Emotion Brad, a Cupcake Brad (also on sale!), on a background of Happy Birthday Washi, matted with Orange Fan Tape.

Of course balloons are awesome for plenty of other festivities besides birthdays and the Eyelet Outlet Store has brads, tape and bling that will enhance any occasion!

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

SOS487: Pajama Day

The first 2023 challenge at Shopping Our Stash is called "Pajama Day" and we'd love to see you make a card inspired by pajamas. We'd also like for you to include a photo of the pjs that inspire you. I'll start with that picture:

In my extended family, we actually HAVE Pajama Days! This one was the day after Thanksgiving and my sister, niece, nephew, aunt and mom were here to make art, eat turkey disco fries and watch "Elf". And heck, you might as well be COMFORTABLE, right?! I'm the one on the left in the leopardy printed pjs, so I've added the leopard print to my card in the form of some older Eyelet Outlet washi tape. I've also got a few hits of black (from my top) and some zebra ribbon (inspired by my mom's pjs). As long as I was going a bit jungley, I figured I'd include some EO Lion, Tiger and Giraffe Brads, plus lots of lovely Lawn Fawn Tropical Foliage. I used ancient alphabet stickers for the top half of my sentiment and computer generated the rest using a free font called Bohemian Typewriter from dafont.

I hope you'll join our Pajama Day fun; if you need more inspiration, be sure to check out the design team cards at SOS!

Monday, January 2, 2023


Happy New Year! For the first Mandala Monday of 2023, I've broken out lots of my favorite Wendy Vecchi Archival Ink colors for some ink-over-collage action! 

Wendy Vecchi Designer Series Archival Inks in Sunflower, Tea Rose, Rosey Posey, Cactus Flower, Bluebird and Leaf Green; Letter It Fineliners and of course the awesome Helix Circle Maker Tool

Sunday, January 1, 2023

What Did Santa Bring You?

It's January first, which means, of course, that it's about time to get started on those 2023 holiday cards, right?! Ok, yes, that does sound a little bit funny to "civilians" but we cardmakers know that making 50 to 60 cards IN DECEMBER is quite exhausting, which is why Stephanie and I each make one holiday card per week at Jingle Belles from January through the end of November.

Our first cardmaking prompt of the year is an easy one: we KNOW you probably got a few crafty goodies for Hanukkah or Christmas, but if not, unearth something you bought in the post-Thanksgiving sales (or treated yourself to in December) and use it to make your first holiday cards of the year. I was lucky enough to get a beautiful set of Vicki Boutin Washi Tape from my friend Gina, which I used to make some super-fast backgrounds...

...and I treated myself to some of Ranger's Distress Watercolor Pencils, which were absolutely ideal for coloring Wendy Vecchi's Doodle Christmas poinsettias!

I also dug into some of my leftover diecuts, holiday stickers and Eyelet Outlet Cardinal Brads and here are the two A6 cards I made:

Be sure to head over to Jingle Belles to see what Stephanie got from Santa AND what she made to inspire you!