Friday, June 30, 2023

Christmas in July with Double Trouble

Christmas in July is upon us and at Jingle Belles once again we've teamed up with the gang at Double Trouble Challenge which means you'll have twice as many opportunities to link up AND to win prizes!

You can link up ANY Christmas themed project with Double Trouble. At Jingle Belles, we're excited to be celebrating the USA's Independence Day next week, so we're asking you to incorporate either stars or stripes into your card design (it needn't be red, white or blue) … just stars or stripes (or both) in any medium you choose.

Here's my Stars and/or Stripes card:

It's no secret that I love stickers, generally; Doodlebug stickers, especially; and D-bug Xmas stickers particularly! So I was pretty psyched to find a whole sheet of little houses and cars from their Candy Cane lane collection a year or two ago, which I built my card around. My stars and stripes are, as you can see, subtle... just one starry and one stripey patterned paper, plus some really fun glitter foam star stickers... but it just goes to show that the "Stars and/or Stripes" theme is pretty flexible!

Head over to Jingle Belles to see Stephanie's card and the fun little prize that one random cardmaker is going to score this time. Then visit the Double Trouble Challenge for even more Christmas in July inspiration!

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Thanks a PUNCH!

Here's a fun, fresh and fruity card featuring our brand new Eyelet Outlet Lemonade and Fruit Brads. On this card, the lemonade pitcher is cleverly standing in as fruit punch, to make the pun in the sentiment work.

The same pitcher can also magically transform into Margaritas when paired with the green glasses in our Cocktail Brad set; and don't forget there are Beer Brads, Wine Brads, Coffee and Iced Coffee,  Champagne (in our Wedding Set) and Soda Brads, so EVERYONE can enjoy their favorite beverages this summer in the Eyelet Outlet Online Store!

Monday, June 26, 2023

Wendy Vecchi Stars, Stripes and Flowers Card

July is the perfect time for stars and stripes (not to mention flowers) in red, white, blue... sunflower yellow and a little bit of kraft add a warm rustic vibe to this classic combo! Head over to the Ranger Project Page to see my step-by-step tutorial using Wendy Vecchi's MAKE ART Bravo and Birthday Bash Stamp, Die and Stencil sets.

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Week 4: ICAD Round-Up

Heading into the official start of summer, with lots more index card artistry!

Day 19: Mandala Monday

It's a vintage collage Mandala Monday featuring some beautiful Hindi text; a dandelion-related library catalog card and illustration from a gardening book; and punched circles from two different colors of index cards.

Day 20: Tranquility

O is for Ocean, which is the first thing that came to mind when I thought about the #dyicad2023 Day 20 prompt, #TRANQUILITY I got out all of my blue brush markers and made some waves.

Day 21: Postage Stamp

Putting the "mental" into "experimental" on with a Glue-as-You-Go collage, featuring one cent stamps plus floral washi stickers plus a few flower illustrations cut from an old, falling-apart gardening book. It's not perfect... (wish I had left more white space on the card in the postage layer!) ...but it's not bad. The point of the "Glue as You Go" collage exercise is to work loosely, commit to each element without dry-fitting or having a firm plan for what's next. You don't always get a finished piece you love, but it helps you become more confident that you can fix/adapt/improve on the fly and it's a great way to learn how to analyze what works and what doesn't; which will help you out a lot the next time! Perfect for ICAD really... 

Day 22: Unexpected

Rating the elements of this ICAD for their Unexpectedness Levels:
Pink + Yellow Color Palette: 2/10 (pretty expected)
Jaunty Random Stacked Triangles: 7/10 (kinda unexpected)
Handcut Goldfish: 11/10 (did NOT see that coming!)

Day 23: Enchanted Forest

...or in this case... Enchanted Florist! More painting + doodling with my Wendy Vecchi Archival Inks. One at a time, I smooshed three of my favorite (blend-friendly) colors (Rosey Posey, Bluebird and Sunflower) onto a craft sheet... spritzed with rubbing alcohol... and dipped the card into the ink. I repeated a few times with each color until I had a nice mix of blended and unblended color. After it was dry, I "looked for" the centers of the flowers in the random ink splotches and outlined them. Then I added concentric, rose-like petals. Then (this is the vital part!) I did Wendy's trick for turning a simple line drawing into a fun and whimsical doodle, which is to ADD A SECOND SET OF LINES! Simple... but it really really makes all the difference. I'd write more but you probably want to go try this for yourself and I don't want to slow ya down...   

Day 24: Bubble

During a two month project like ICAD it's important to acknowledge that some days we have more time and energy than others. My strategies for low-energy days include: embracing my comfort zone activities; "copying" something I've made before; and revisiting my favorite prompts. Conversely, on high-energy days I tackle more ambitious ideas and if I'm really on a roll, I might work ahead and make more than one card at a sitting. But honestly, part of the point of a daily art practice is learning that it IS possible to make art on days you're not particularly inspired; and accepting the fact that a few days of making art you don't love is not the end of the world. In fact, sometimes that "spectacular failure" you were embarrassed about... it might turn out to be the doorway to a really great innovation, two weeks later. We're nearly halfway through ICAD and all I can say is KEEP GOING! If you've missed a few days, re-start without worrying about catching up. The exact number of cards you complete and/or the date you finish is not the crucial thing, I promise! 
(PS: My easy, peasy take on the Bubble prompt consists of handcut, stacked, patterned paper circles on a vintage library catalog card.)

Day 25: Dictionary

A super-simple card with just a few elements: An orange and the characters for orange from a very fun set of Chinese language flashcards my friend Liz gave me; a bright yellow index card; the definition of orange from an old, falling-apart English dictionary and from the same source... a total bonus... the "OPQ" tab from the dictionary which fell off its page while I was putting the book away!
(ALWAYS embrace serendipity, that's my motto!)

I'll be back next week with another ICAD Round-Up, in the meantime, I post these daily on my Instagram Account and my previous Round-Ups can be found under the ICAD Blog Label.

Friday, June 23, 2023

Masculine Christmas Continues

At Jingle Belles we're still making holiday cards with a masculine vibe, and since we're still teamed up with the Caffeinated Christmas Card Challenge, if you add some coffee, tea or cocoa you can link up on their blog as well. Did I mention there are (randomly awarded) prizes on both sites? CCCC's is from their Super Sponsor, Rubbernecker Stamps and at Jingle Belles we've got some fun Penny Black goodies!

Meanwhile, here's my card:

I added lots of distressing to my journal card, three mats and two accent strips for extra texture and interest, plus an Eyelet Outlet Pine Tree and Deer Brad, then finished off with a sticker sentiment. It's not the fanciest card I've ever made, but it's flat and mailable (possibly needing an extra ounce, lol!) and it's another addition to my holiday card stash while we're still only in June... so I'm callin' it a win! 

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Cruisin' Into Your Birthday...

...with the brand new Eyelet Outlet Driving Brads, which feature the super-sporty tires used in the corners, as well as the steering wheel that's below the sentiment line. Pair them with Map Washi, Tire Track Tape, a Compass Brad and our Classic Cars for a birthday card that your favorite Gearhead will love!

Visit the Eyelet Outlet Online Store to see all of the new Summer 2023 Brad Styles and keep your eye on the EO Blog to see the fabulous creations our amazing design team makes with them!

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

SOS499: Sentimentally Yours

It's a bit of a tricky one this fortnight at Shopping Our Stash as we put the emphasis on the SENTIMENT. So pull out those quotation or sentiment stamps; or maybe look into your already stamped/printed stack and see if you have any waiting to be used? The challenge is to use a sentiment or quote as the focal point of your card... no colored images or stamped images. Let's make THE WORDS the focus on this project! Are you ready? Here's what I made:

Being a diecutting enthusiast, I have a few sentiment dies. Ok, it turns out I have quite a few sentiment dies! More than I actually realized until I them all out. Sooooooooo... change of plans: Instead of choosing one sentiment as my focus, how about if I filled the entire card front with diecut sentiments in a variety of sizes, shapes, fonts and colors?! After a few false starts, I actually just randomly began gluing them onto some gridded paper and hoping for the best! Amazingly, this worked pretty well, though I did wind up getting out a couple of smaller alphabet sets to fill in the spaces. I cannot tell a lie, I LOVE how this came out!

Die sets used: Penny Black's Bloom/Magical; Catherine Pooler's Spot On Sentiments; Spellbinders' Simply Perfect Mix and Match Sentiments; Lawn Fawn's Hello Border; Concord & 9th's Yay Dies; Sunny Studio's Happy; Essentials by Ellen's Totally Fabulous;My Favorite Things' Connected Alphabet; Impression Obsession's Typewriter Alphabet; Lawn Fawn's Henry's and Cole's ABCs. Other supplies: colorful scraps of cardstock (mostly My Colors and Core'dinations) in too many shades to list; Tim Holtz Idea-ology Metallic Kraft-core; gridded patterned paper of unknown origin; Eyelet Outlet Sequins.

Head over to SOS to see how the other Crew Members have tackled this challenge, then start thinking what YOU will make to link up with us this fortnight!

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Index Card Round Up: Week 3

Still loving the freedom of making a completely random piece of art on an index card each day, with no pressure to end up with a perfect finished piece... just playing and trying different ideas!

Day 12: Glyph (sorta)

A somewhat tangential take on yesterday's "GLYPH" which has several meanings in various contexts, but "hieroglyphic character or symbol; a pictograph" probably sums up the general idea best. I got an entire little booklet of safety icon stickers for less than a dollar on a mega-thrifting excursion with my friend Heather last year, and ever since I've been meaning to use them in a sticker mandala. And now I have! :)

Day 13: Superstition

Tuesday the 13th isn't (as far as I know) a source of superstition anywhere, but I still love that Tammy G elected to imbue this prompt with a bit of numerical significance. My handcut and paperpieced rendition of a black cat is placed against a full moon, thus also giving a tangential nod to the MOONLIGHT prompt from yesterday.

Day14: Typewriter

I am lucky enough to own a few vintage typewriters and I love using them to add text to cards and collages; also... they're pretty cool for staging. The typewriter on the index card is a Remington clipped from a slightly grainy 1940's magazine advertisement, it's surrounded by random lines from a typing textbook and the word "daisy" stamped in a typewriter font. I typed "daisy" repeatedly over an illustration of daisies, then fussycut and added them to the index card. The typewriter in the photo is my 1952(ish) Smith Corona portable, with beautiful two-toned green keys.

Day 15: Sea Glass

I wasn't entirely sure where I was going when I started painting random shapes in blues and greens. When I was done painting, I wondered if I should outline them? When they were outlined, I wondered if I should add doodles? I try not so succumb to, "What if I wreck it?" anxiety, but let's face it, we ALL feel that way sometimes, so here's my top secret strategy: Each time you get to a place where you fear you might "wreck it"... take a photo! Then fearlessly take the next step! 

(All of my favorite blue and green shades of Wendy Vecchi Archival Inks, painted using a waterbrush full of isopropyl alcohol. Outlined and doodled upon with Ranger Letter It Fineliner Pens.)

Day 16: Alphabet

Here's an example where I loved the idea... but not necessarily the finished card. My concept for #ALPHABET was to handletter a (repro) library card, then add found text to each letter. There's not particularly anything WRONG with the result, it's just somehow *not* quite what I was hoping for. If and when I figure out why not, you'll probably see another version. In the meantime, Day 16 was a triumph of process if not outcome, which is what ICAD is all about!

Day 17: Sunflower

About as literal as you can possibly get, just layers and layers of handcut patterned paper petals around a brown center, with a little machine stitching to hold it all together.

Day 18: Off Prompt

Every year of ICAD there are a couple of prompts I need to Google, and in 2015 or so, one of those was "OGEE" which turned out to be a style of pattern that I knew and liked, but never realized it had a specific name, lol. Since then, I've drawn or paper-pieced an index card version each summer, and here's the latest version, handcut from patterned paper scraps and machine-stitched for extra texture and durability!

Friday, June 16, 2023

EVERYBODY'S on the Naughty List?!

As you know, this month at Jingle Belles, we've teamed up with the Caffeinated Christmas Card Challenge. This fortnight the prompt at Jingle Belles calls for Masculine Christmas cards and we have a fun little prize. If you add Coffee, Tea or Cocoa to your card's design, you can also link up at CCCC where they also have a completely different prize, theirs is from their super-sponsor Rubbernecker Stamps!

Here's what I made:

I used Rubbernecker's Coffee Bean Background, stamped in a deep rich brown, then added their Coffee Cup Die pieced in black and white, adorned with a strip of festive red and green holiday plaid, and accented with an Eyelet Outlet Santa Brad, a Sleigh with a couple of Gifts and some Coffee Bean Brads. My sentiment is taken from a meme I spotted somewhere on Pinterest, I used my classic Dymo Labeler to create the text!  

So Remember: if your card is Masculine + Christmas you can link up with us here at Jingle Belles; if it's Coffee + Christmas, you can link up with Caffeinated Christmas; if you incorporate Masculine + Coffee + Christmas you can link up on both blogs for a chance at two different sets of prizes!!! Our Jingle Belles prompt will wrap up at 6pm (EST) on Wednesday, June 28th and the keyword for galleries and Flickr is JB2313.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

It's a Soda, Pop!

What could be more appropriate for Father's Day than an absolutely diabolical "Dad Joke"?! Especially one created specifically to show off our brand new, super-fun Eyelet Outlet Cooler and Soda Brads! The first part of the sentiment is computer generated (this free font is called Modern Typewriter) and the second part is diecut, then adorned with brads. A mat of Multicolored Dot Tape and some white Round Sequins emphasize the bubbly aspect of carbonation, and finish off the design.

Have you seen the rest of the new 2023 Eyelet Outlet Brads? The Lemonade & Fruit Set and Driving Brads have also joined our Rose, Cactus and Cruise Brads from earlier this year and all of those (plus LOTS more) are available in the EO Online Store.

Monday, June 12, 2023

New Class at Paper Anthology!

Join me at Paper Anthology, in Kenvil, New Jersey, for a colorful three-card class featuring some of my favorite Wendy Vecchi Studio 490 stamp sets and background stamps. We'll use a super-simple masking technique to create vibrant multi-patterned backgrounds, then add washi tape, typerwriter font sentiments and big, bold, beautiful blooms colored with their coordinating stencils and a gorgeous palette of Wendy's Archival Inks from Ranger. Visit the Paper Anthology Blog for all the details, dates, times and other info you need to sign up!

Sunday, June 11, 2023

ICAD week2

Wrapping up the first FULL week of Index Card a Day and if you're not on Instagram, you are missing out; there are soooooo many amazingly creative people making art on index cards in every style imaginable; and this year I'm especially excited that my craft bestie, Stephanie, is participating as well!

Day 5: Mandala Monday

It's hard to see the magical sparkle on this card, but trust me, it's there, thanks to golden star stickers and little hits of a clear glitter pen over some of the petals. I scribed the central circles for this mandala with my old-school compass; watercolored pink, orange and yellow Tombow Dual Brush Pens picked up with a waterbrush; then outlined the result (when dry!) with a Ranger Letter It Fineliner. Text added with my 1930's Olympic Elite typewriter.

Day 6: Wildflowers

A bunch of smaller scale collage elements including a Sewing Pattern Lady, glossy wildflowers, a reproduction vintage bus ticket, and part of an illustration (with caption) from a somewhat worse-for-wear collage fodder book, Georgian Architecture. On a pale pink, vertically oriented index card.

Day 7: Zebra or Stripes

Flashing back to a prompt I skipped last week, but then I suddenly wondered if it'd be cool to TEAR one index card (blue) into zebra-ish stripes and glue the pieces onto another (white) card... YEP, it's pretty cool! Remember that the prompts are there to inspire and assist you; use them whenever and however you'd like; or even not at all if you're having fun doing your own thing! 

Day 8: Butterfly

Being a "more is more" maximalist kind of gal, I am quite surprised to have made this collage which has only FOUR elements...?! But it feels balanced and complete, so who am I to argue with the serendipity of two German scrap butterflies and a photo of knitting instruction on top of a gorgeous gifted Swedish library card. 

Day 9: Magenta or Fuchsia

The infamous One Staple Collage* is a beloved ICAD tradition, and thus I am excited to display my first of the #dyicad2023 season; embracing today's optional prompt of "Magenta or Fuchsia" which I somewhat expanded to embrace a bunch of shades of my favorite color... PINK! 
*The One Staple Collage is, as the name implies, a collage in which all of the items are held together with ONE STAPLE. It's slightly harder than you might think, as it depends on clever and creative stacking of elements. I would gently suggest NOT choosing your most beloved and rare items for this exercise, but if you love traditional collage, you might want to try this!

Day 10: Off-Prompt (or Wildflowers, Part 2)

Wendy Vecchi has been drawing the coolest doodle flowers, which she then paints with her signature Archival Ink palette and a waterbrush filled with Isopropyl Alcohol. I did the same thing, but in reverse: I painted all the shapes first, then added doodley outlines on top after they were dry. Which... when painting with rubbing alcohol instead of water... is FAST! Also, it's hard to tell from a photo, but painting with Archivals and alcohol literally NEVER warps or wrinkles your paper, which is a considerable advantage when you're working on index cards!

 Day 11: Off-Prompt

Whenever I need to trim up a lot of edges, especially of mandalas or other watercolory things, I kinda hate to throw all the pretty scraps away, so sometimes I save them, glue them randomly to something and make a quilt-like pattern or a background. Like this one! 
(PS: Yet another reason I love keeping my ICADs together on a book ring is the ability to sprawl out the cards for a funky group shot of what I've made so far!)


Friday, June 9, 2023

Coffee + Christmas = Inspiration

We're still creating with Coffee (or Tea or Cocoa) & Christmas this week at Jingle Belles... AND... if you make your card holiday coffee card masculine too, you can also link-up at Caffeinated Christmas Challenge #18. There are prizes on both challenge sites, so it's worth thinking about, anyway. Meanwhile, here's what I made this week:

I can never resist a pun OR a chunky sentiment. Since I don't own a "Fa-La-La-La Latte" stamp I just made my own word art version using Lawn Fawn's Henry's ABCs alphabet dies, which I cut from various scraps of red and green cardstock, then embellished with Eyelet Outlet Holiday Coffee Cup, Santa Hat and Holly Brads. My patterned paper choices include an ancient stripey scrap of unknown origin and some fairly recent Lawn Fawn Knit Picky from my favorite papercrafting store, Paper Anthology, in Kenvil, NJ.

Be sure to visit Jingle Belles to see the cool Gina K stamp set one lucky random cardmaker is going to score this fortnight; then head over to Caffeinated Christmas to see what their super sponsor, Rubbernecker Stamps, is giving away!

Wednesday, June 7, 2023


Belated birthday cards are something we all need now and again, but that doesn't mean they can't be colorful and fun! This sentiment, "2, 4, 6, 8... Guess whose card is really late?!" is made visual with the use of oversized vinyl numerals, a computer-printed sentiment in a sturdy typewriter font and two Eyelet Outlet Cupcake Brads, four Party Hats, six Balloons and eight birthday Candle Brads.

The Eyelet Outlet Online Store literally has brads, washi, bling, flowers, eyelets and sequins for EVERY occasion, so whatever sentiment you're dreaming up for your next card, we've got you covered!

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

SOS498: Let's Hear it for the Boys

If you've guessed that the new challenge at Shopping Our Stash is to create a card that features a man OR a masculine card for one of the the men/boys in your life, then well done you! Since we have a grand nephew with a birthday next month, I've literally made a BOY-ish card; but yours can be for a dude of any age. 

I found half a sheet of Doodlebug stickers featuring these adorable dinos, which is about as "on point" as one can get for a little boy, right? He is turning five and technically, I think these might be older than he is, which makes them quite stashy! The foliage dies are from two different (older) Lawn Fawn sets (Tropical Leaves and Happy Hibiscus); the Nestabilities ovals are some of the very first dies I ever purchased when my Cuttlebug was brand new; the papers are all older and none were full sheets, so I'm calling this a win in terms of using up older things!

Whatever age YOUR favorite "man" is, why not have a trawl through your stash of masculine goodies, then hop over to SOS and join this fun challenge, "Let's Hear it for the Boys" which runs until Monday evening, June 19th.

Monday, June 5, 2023

Wendy Vecchi #1 Dad Card

I find masculine cards more challenging to design and Father's Day always reminds me of that fact. But luckily, Wendy Vecchi's "Award Winning" Stamp, Die and Stencil Set is absolutely perfect for Father's Day... and pretty much any other occasion you can think of! Head over to the Ranger Blog to see how I've paired Wendy Vecchi's "Award Winning" Stamp, Die and Stencil Set with Chippies embellishments to create a card that any dad is sure to prize!

Sunday, June 4, 2023

ICAD Roundup #1

The Index Card a Day project started Thursday, June 1st, so I don't have an entire week's worth of cards, but I'm sort of thinking that Sunday is a good off-peak blogging day for round-ups, so let's see how it goes!

Day 1: Sapling

Ok yeah... technically, this is a full-grown tree, but afterall the point of Tammy G's 100% optional prompt list is just to get us STARTED... so I try not to overthink too much. For technique, I've used one of my favorite collage exercises, "glue as you go"; which... as you may have surmised... is where you choose each collage element and glue it immediately, without selecting the next element or dry-fitting or indeed doing ANY of the typical collage techniques. This sounds (and is) simple... but... it's more challenging than you may think at first; and thus quite a valuable addition to one's ICAD arsenal. 
(Note to self: try not to put the tiny random text element directly where the hole gets punched!)

Day 2: Polka Dots or Graphic Dots

I love the idea of the two sizes of punched out "dots" being negative space and the color coming from a second card layered behind the first. There was A LOT of white space, so I added the handcut letters. This is one of those times when I found the process and the ideas more appealing than the finished artwork, which is basically the EXACT thing that I want to happen during ICAD! 
(This is also a case where you will, at some point this summer, see a much more polished version of the 
same idea turning up as a finished card... so act surprised, k?!)

Day 3: Map

I have A LOT of vintage maps and atlases that I use as wrapping paper, as backgrounds, and yes, they are amazing in collage. The flowers came from an old falling-apart children's story book, the car is from a garage-sale aquisition about vintage cars... pretty much everything I love (except chocolate) is right here, in a convenient 3x5" format! 

Day 4: Off-prompt

 One of Tammy G's warm up posts had a bunch of handlettering, which reminded me of yet another thing I have to thank ICAD for! When I'm not sure what to letter, I usually go with an alphabet... this is just colorful letters, consistent shadows and partial outlines; but the BIG SURPRISE was that I somehow fitted in all the letters despite not taking any time to plan out spacing etc!


It's not too late to join the fun, ICAD2023 runs through July 31st. Worried about committing to sixty one days? Try it for a week. If you love it, keep going... if not, you'll have a week's worth of inspiration and ideas you might not have gotten any other way! 

Friday, June 2, 2023

A (Masculine) Caffeinated Christmas

For the month of June, we Jingle Belles will be teaming up with the amazingly talented gang at the Caffeinated Christmas Card Challenge, for their "Challenge #18: Coffee + Masculine" to make holiday cards that feature both a caffeinated beverage (coffee, tea or cocoa) and a masculine vibe. This month their Super Sponsor is Rubbernecker Stamps, so you'll definitely want to link your cards at Jingle Belles AND at CCCC for a chance at some cool prizes!  

Here's what I made:

I used darker colors, concentrating on neutrals and deep blue, plus lots of texture. My focal point is a "snowflake" made of Eyelet Outlet Coffee Cup Brads, interspersed with various shapes and sizes of Pearl Bling, surmounted by a Snowflake Brad. The sentiment stamp and Cable Knit Embossing Folder are from Taylored Expressions; the woodgrain vellum is from Lawn Fawn.

Head on over to Jingle Belles to see what Stephanie has made and get a glimpse at a tiny prize one lucky Jingle Belles linker will score this fortnight!