Saturday, March 30, 2024

Tufted Titmouse Collage

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Mary (who posts as @millwoodstudioart on Instagram) sent me the most amazing happy mail (see second photo): notecards featuring all 29 hand-carved bird stamps she created for #feathruary as well as two stamps featuring a couple of my favorite birds (a tufted titmouse and a sandpiper) and a tiny hand-bound book made from library catalog cards, which I couldn't wait to collage in... preferably with hand-carved bird stamps! And now, finally, I have! (YAY!)

I'd write more, but it'd cut into additional bird collage time, so I'll just say THANK YOU, MARY!!!! ♥

Friday, March 29, 2024

JB2407: Cookies for Santa

This fortnight at Jingle Belles, we're asking you to create a card inspired by this fabulous collection of holiday cookies from Kristen's Cookies. When you share your card, make sure you let us know which cookie you chose and how it inspired you!

I chose the cookie with the Charlie Brown-ish xmas tree inside a snowglobe...

...and I have to confess that part of the reason for that choice was that when I saw it, my Cardmaker's Brain kicked in and went, 'you've got Memory Box Nested Globe dies and Spellbinders' Bottle Brush Trees!' Then, when I was retrieving said dies, I found my Honeybee Layering Holiday Bells set, which has that cool two-part bow, so all that was left to do was find some teeeeeeeny Hero Arts enamel dots, a Doodlebug sentiment and a coordinating blue scrap of patterned paper for the background!

Be sure to check out Stephanie's super sweet card at Jingle Belles and then start planning what cookie-inspired  deliciousness you'll link up with us this time!

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Easter Wishes

It's the week before Easter, and here's a card featuring Eyelet Outlet Rabbit Brads and adorable Rabbit Tape; Colored Daisy Brads, a Mini Bee, Floral Square Washi and Wood Tape.

The Eyelet Outlet Online Store has all the embellishments you need, for whatever holidays and occasions you celebrate!

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

SOS518: Spring Has Sprung

As you may already have guessed from the title of this post, the brief this fortnight at Shopping Our Stash is to create a Spring or Easter card! I chose the former:

This creation incorporates every age of my (considerable!) Wendy Vecchi stash from her Studio 490 days (Perfectly Plaid Background and Wild Rose Collage Stamp & Stencil combo) to her Ranger collection (A Million Thanks Stamp, Die and Stencil Set plus Archival Inks and Embossing Powders) right up to this year's beautiful In the Garden Collection from Spellbinders (Vintage Florals Die Set). I stamped and embossed the two backgrounds (in White and Watering Can Powders); stamped the big Lily once in Rosey Posey and once in Leaf Green; added color to all the images with the coordinating stencils and Archival Inks; did a little diecutting, outlining, machine-stitching and matting.... et voila

I hope you'll hop over to SOS to see the gorgeous cards from the rest of The Crew, then start planning what you'll link up with us this time.

Monday, March 25, 2024

New Inks + Flat Layers

I'm still fairly obsessed with the new Ranger Archival Shades (Wine Cellar, Cayenne, Mountain Lake, Beach Cruiser, Aubergine and Graphite) so it's probably no surprise that this Mandala Monday features all of them... plus the new Mountain Lake Stickles*.

The technique on this one is a little bit odd... I drew the outlines of all the big shapes first (using a .04 Black Letter It Fineliner on Watercolor Paper); then  painted them using drops from the coordinating Ranger Archival Reinkers, pretty seriously diluted with rubbing alcohol. When the panel was dry (which is FAST with alcohol; much faster than traditional watercolor!) I used a few Simon Hurley create Background Stamps (Bitty Botanicals and Handwritten) as well as several layers from Simon's Polka Dot Assortment Layering Stencil Set to selectively add more pattern and additional (undiluted) levels of the same colors.

At the very end, I added some white paint pen doodles (to sharpen the divisions between shapes), neatened up my outlines, and filled in a few more details before using a fabulously helpful Angled Brush to add Stickles, then calling it good. I hope this Mandala Monday finds you well and with lots of ideas for sneaking in creative time this week!

*Of course, all of the new colors are also available as Stickles; but this time I only used the deep blue of Mountain Lake.

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Aall & Create for One and Aall!

New Jersey crafters, I'd love for you to come and get INKY with me at Paper Anthology! In my new class, "Let's Get INKY" we’ll blend Ranger's Distress Oxide Inks on plain cardstock, through a stencil and atop white-embossing; then we’ll stamp, we’ll stencil, we’ll overstamp in Ranger Archivals, we’ll stencil a bit more, we’ll do a little bit of coloring (with Tombow Dual Brush Pens), we’ll diecut and… well, we will generally celebrate all the stamping techniques that made us love this hobby, but we’ll revisit them in new ways for a fresh, eclectic look. This class features stamps, stencils, dies and gorgeous butterfly ephemera from Aall & Create as well as Ranger Inks. Details dates and sign-up info on the Paper Anthology Blog!

Friday, March 22, 2024


We're heading into our second week of our super-sparkly BLING-centric theme at Jingle Belles and you're invited to join us. Just make a brand new holiday card that has some jewels, gems, pearls, stickles, glitter paper or any other sparkly element and link it up with us for a chance at a fun little random prize.

I applied Izink Diamond Glitter Paint (in a luscious shade called Rose Foudre) through an older TCW snowflake stencil, let it dry, then matted it on white Non-Shed Glitter Paper, I added multiple fussycut layers of a snowflake-looking Stamplistic Mandala stamp, each of which I had embossed with a different Ranger Embossing Powder (Love Letter, Gold Tinsel, Pink Tinsel and Copper, to be precise) and then I stacked up and adorned with sticky-back rhinestones.

Be sure to visit Jingle Belles to see the Readers' Gallery and of course Stephanie's beautiful card; then start planning your own sparkly, BLING-y masterpiece!

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Aubergine, Beach Cruiser and Mountain Lake

The six brand new (gorgeous!) Ranger Archival Colors came out on Monday, and I cannot stop playing with them in various combinations. My first card used all six shades and there's a full step-by-step tutorial on the Ranger Project Page. This card uses just the two blues (Beach Cruiser and Mountain Lake) with Aubergine and Graphite accents; though once again I've stenciled OVER a white-embossed stamped background, in exactly the same way as the tutorial card.

This time I white-embossed Simon Hurley's Handwritten Background Stamp* and used Simon's In Bloom layering stencil set to apply the Beach Cruiser, Mountain Lake and Aubergine Archivals on top; then I wiped off the excess inks with a rubbing alcohol wet wipe, to keep the background embossing nice and bright. On the second panel, I did the same white embossing, but just used a Mini Ink Blending tool to add the inks on top, without the secondary pattern from a stencil. Finally, I used the new shades to stamp some of the blooms (and a sentiment) from the Watercolor Flowers clear stamp set, which I cut out and added some coordinating Stickles** with the super-useful new Angled Brushes as a sparkly accent.

Of course, the very first thing I do with new inks is SWATCH them! Above you can see a little 3x3" ring-bound book I made to hold all of my Archival Inks, as well as the new pages I made for these six colors. I find swatches very handy indeed, because you can compare every color to every other shade and see how they relate to each other. If you embark on a swatching project of your own... this may sound weird and counter-intuitive... I highly recommend using more than one stamp or stencil and also, don't make your pages too perfect! Because if you add and/or subtract colors in future you don't want to pressurize yourself to spend ages finding the stamps you used last time or to make the pages exactly the same or perfectly aligned; these are SWATCHES, they're there to work for you! Save any perfectionist tendencies for your projects or better yet, let them go and just have FUN!

Here's one more shot of today's card, just because I took some extra pics, so of course I want to use them, lol. I hope your week has been fun and creative but if not, take heart... the weekend is nearly here!

*The Handwritten Background Stamp is out of stock as a single item, but can still be purchased as part of Simon's new Release Bundle; though if you missed it, any background stamp with small to medium text will work, as will any fairly dense background, for that matter!

**All of the new colors also have Reinkers and coordinating Stickles, which you can purchase separately or as bundles... check out the Ranger New Product Page to see all the different combos.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Somebunny Wishes You a Happy Easter

Eyelet Outlet Brads pair beautifully with all of your smaller critter stamps! For example this Lawn Fawn Bunny is just the right size to be friends with one of our adorable Chick Brads, while the egg stamp from the same set was perfect for creating some colorful eggs from patterned paper scraps, then adorning them with a Pastel Rabbit, a Heart Brad (with stamped carrot!) and a Stitched Flower, as well as some strips of Bunny and Carrot Washi Tape. The background features Wide Sky Washi and some Zig Zag Tape.

The Eyelet Outlet Online Store has all the embellishments you need, for whatever holidays and occasions you celebrate!

Monday, March 18, 2024

NEW Ranger Archival Colors!

Today at Ranger we're celebrating the debut of SIX gorgeous new Archival Ink Colors: Wine Cellar  (a deep rich red); Cayenne (a medium-hued red with orange undertones); Beach Cruiser and Mountain Lake (two lovely medium blues that go with everything); Aubergine (a gorgeous purple that perfectly splits the difference between red- and blue-toned); and Graphite (perhaps the most beautiful and useful shade of grey EVER?!) Oh and did I mention that not only are there Ranger Archival Reinkers for all of the above, there are coordinating Stickles for each shade, as well!

I'm up on the Ranger Project Page with my first make to feature these fantastic new shades; it's a card on which I've white-embossed Simon Hurley's Bitty Botanicals background, then used Simon's The Loo! stencil on top, to make a very detailed multi-color ombre tile effect... with accents of glittery Stickles, of course! I'd love for you to jump over there and read all about it.

MM12: Distress Watercolor Pencils

It's the twelfth Mandala Monday of 2024 and I've gone a bit grungy playing with my Distress Watercolor Pencils from Ranger. For this one I drew all the outlines first (using three sizes of Letter It Fineliners, which are impressively water-proof!) and then went crazy coloring, shading, flickling, brushing and blotting all of the blue and green Distress Watercolor Pencils from sets 1-3. At the very end, when the piece was thoroughly dry, I added a few details with a white paint pen, then made it into a 5.5" square card.

Friday, March 15, 2024

BLING On the Holidays!

This fortnight at Jingle Belles we're BLING-ing on the Holidays by making cards that incorporate jewels, gems, beads, pearls, glitter, stickles or anything sparkly. Here's what I made:

This card has a lot of elements (and A LOT of sparkle!) but it came together quickly because nearly everything on it was a leftover! The background was stamped with Simon Hurley's Bold Holiday Blooms and embossed with Ranger's Green Tinsel and Lime Tinsel Embossing Powders. It was one of several panels I made while playing around with said glittery e/p's to create this post on the Ranger Project Page; (the Emerald Green Archival-Inked mat was made at the same time). The strip featuring two offcuts of green patterned paper and some Eyelet Outlet Fancy Long Bling I found in my EO box when retrieving the tiny Pearls and the Jewel Brad that's holding the silk poinsettias (I took apart an ancient poinsettia garland from the big box store a few years ago and am still enjoying the fruits of that labor) and pre-diecut glitter paper snowflakes. I have no idea where that giant pale green holly leaf came from, but it was the perfect size, shape and color so on it went!

Our Jingle Belles BLING It On challenge runs until the evening of Wednesday, March 27th. Be sure to hop over and see Stephanie's amazingly gorgeous (PINK!) Bling Tree card and start planning what you'll link up with us this time! 

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Bunny Kisses

Eyelet Outlet Rabbit Brads are adorable at any time of year, but obviously they're excited to be the stars of the show just before Easter! Here they've hopped onto a supercute word-art journal card, which is also adorned with White Daisy Brads, a few bright green Leaf Brads, and matted on fabulous EO Carrot Washi Tape! Large and small scallop dies from Wendy Vecchi Heartfelt Thanks and Scallops die set by Spellbinders. 

Whatever holidays you celebrate, Eyelet Outlet has the perfect Brads, Tapes, Bling and embellies to adorn your cards. Don't forget: it's officially Tradeshow season... check our Tradeshow Schedule to see when the EO Booth will be coming to your town!

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

SOS517: Round and Round

If you've already guessed that this fortnight's challenge at Shopping Our Stash involves making a card or other project with a strong theme of circles or dots... well done! That means I can get right to my (super stashy!) card:

I started with the beautiful aqua-blue Hambly patterned paper with the rows of circles; stumbled upon a large circle frame I had diecut from some fab dark woodgrain paper but then (apparently) never used; filled the frame with a fun cloudy sky (MME I think, from 4 or 5 years ago?) then loaded on lots of fabulously dimensional tropical-themed stickers from Paper House Creations that somebody gifted me a while back... long enough for me to have forgotten who and when, but if you're reading this and recognize them, THANK YOU! In the last month or so, I have become completely re-smitten with my various corner rounders and punches and apologize if you're getting tired of seeing them, lol.

Our SOS517: Round and Round challenge runs until Monday evening, March 25th. Why not unearth some older goodies from your own stash and join the fun!

Monday, March 11, 2024

Mappy Mandala Monday

I'm celebrating this Mandala Monday by parking my tiny car collage in the tiny car garage! I stumbled upon this fun library catalog card on which I had apparently, at some point, started drawing some mandala shapes... but then, for reasons which now elude me... stopped and abandoned said card. So it seemed like a good idea to finish the mandala, add some color, a scrap of map, a peachy rose and a tiny vintage car. Hope your week has started off well!

Friday, March 8, 2024

Prepare to DIE(cut!) (Again!)

It's week two of our celebration of diecutting at Jingle Belles and this week I've used three dies to make two versions of one card. See?

Penny Black's Glorious Poinsettia is my focal image and I cut it several times from green and from red to make it more substantial and to emphasize the petals and leaves. I also used two of the three dies in Tim Holtz's Sizzix Mixed Media Christmas set to create background patterns using negative space, then layered the pierced backgrounds onto contrasting colors. As you can see, I have no problem at all with combining multiple patterned papers; and NO, for the record, I've never met a Christmas plaid I didn't love!

Jingle Belles' diecutting challenge runs until next Wednesday evening, March 13th. Hop over and see Stephanie's card, take a look at the Readers' Gallery and start planning what you'll link up with us!

Thursday, March 7, 2024

The Embossable Dream

One of the best ever embossing folders has to be Wendy Vecchi's 3D Flowers and Foliage, featured in her Spellbinders' From the Garden Collection. It's nice and big; it embosses deeply; and you can turn it literally in any direction without feeling upside-down or off-kilter!

This time I embossed some grocer's kraft cardstock and a LOVE Chippie (from the Statements set), then painted all of the raised flowers and leaves with Wendy's designer series Liquid Pearls from Ranger. I diecut the smaller blossoms and leaves from the Vintage Florals set, and mounted the whole thing on a light green mat, made "edgier" by the largest frame in the Heartfelt Thanks and Scallops set. Not to brag, but I LOVE how this turned out!

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Hello, Spring

Technically, it's still a few weeks before Spring begins, but... it's NEVER too early to start daydreaming about warm weather and flowers, right? This journal card already had some printed chicks and eggs, but there was still room for Eyelet Outlet Chick Brads, Colored Eggs and White Daisies. Pink Dot Washi Tape sets off the large and small sentiments for extra impact.

Check out the Eyelet Outlet Online Store for all the EGG-cellent brads, tapes, paper flowers and embellishments you need for every occasion from Spring to Easter to birthdays and beyond!

Monday, March 4, 2024

It's a Broody, Moody, Bloomin' Mandala Monday...

...thanks to all of the fabulous blue and purple shades of Wendy Vecchi Designer Series Archival Inks from Ranger! I drew a semi-symmetrical flower/mandala shape with several sizes of black Letter It Fineliner Pens on an offcut of watercolor paper, then painted it by (sequentially) smooshing Sky Blue, Cornflower, Night Sky, Cactus Flower, Petunia and Violet Archival Inks onto my craft mat and picking the colors up with a waterbrush full of Isopropyl Alcohol. I also flicked various colors onto the wet or dry surface; and a couple of times when there was a lot of extra ink on the mat, I turned the piece upside down and randomly blotted up the color. At the very end, I added additional details with a white paint pen and finally chopped the whole thing in half and made it into a pair of 5.5" cards.

Saturday, March 2, 2024

The WRITE Stuff

I love to crochet, I may have mentioned that, lol. A lot of the things I make are teeny tiny and crocheted in the round, but this time I WENT BIG and made this Crafty Pencil Pillow, using am adorable pattern from Ashley Stallsworth who is on Ravelry and Instagram as A Crafty Concept

Details for yarncrafters: I used Vanna's Choice from Lion Brand Yarn and a J hook. The yarn colors are: Mustard (barrel of pencil); Fisherman (wood); Charcoal (lead); Silver Heather (eraser holder); and Pink (eraser). The pattern is well written and easy to follow; finishing was minimal and straightforward. This Crafty Pencil Pillow worked up quickly and was a lot of fun to make.

Friday, March 1, 2024

Prepare to DIE(cut!!!!)

This fortnight at Jingle Belles we're making... Holiday Cards to DIE(cut) For! So break out your newest dies, your oldest dies, your favorite dies... (or maybe even those really really teeny tiny complicated ones that you only use once a year?!) ...and come join us.*

I adore this Tim Holtz/Sizzix Snowglobe #2 die set, but it has 26 separate dies, so as much as I love it, realistically, I only actually attempt it a couple of times per year. But there is NO arguing with the results, because seriously HOW CUTE are those tiny houses?! Apparently, the last time I used it, I organized the dies into three groups and wrote a cheat sheet (see pic below) to remember what pieces to cut from the same patterned paper and what to cut from a variety of different papers, and that considerably streamlined the process, so it's possible you'll be seeing it a lot more in future. This might be the ultimate die set for breaking out all the paper scraps of one color and going to town... or in this case... going to a tiny color-coordinated village, lol! I swapped out the trees and stars from the set in favor of Eyelet Outlet Snowy Pine Tree and Snowflake Brads.

Our Jingle Belles Holiday Cards to DIE(cut) For challenge will run until Wednesday evening, March 13th, and we'd love for you to stop by, check out the inspiration, and start planning your diecut-centric card!

*FYI: You can also use punches or items cut from electronic cutting machines like Cricut or Silhouette!