Friday, May 31, 2024


We're moving into our second week of Crafty Tic-Tac-Toe at Jingle Belles, and doubtless you already know that the brief  is to pick a row (horizontal, vertical or diagonal) and a create a fabulous new holiday card featuring all three elements in that row; so here's another look at the board with ALL of its inspiring possibilities: 

This week I chose the diagonal that runs from top left to bottom right, which gave me Snowman + Red or Green + Tree(s). And here's my card:

I was gifted Lawn Fawn's "Snowball Fight" stamps and dies, and of course I couldn't wait to play with... AHEM... use them artistically in my card (that's better!) so I approached the board and the card with that aim in view. Technically I've got a snow-mouse rather than a SNOWMAN, but I am unrepentant about this minor example of cheating, lol! My GREEN comes in the form of said snowrodent's scarf as well as the TREES which I punched from scraps of one of my all-time favorite Lawn Fawn lines, Spiffier Speckles. I'd planned on making this into a shaker card, and thus created the raised heart aperture, but in the end I felt like the shaker sequins would've obscured the adorable details of the stamps, so I opted for the slightly simpler design you see here.

JB2411: Tree Skirt Tic-Tac-Toe runs until next Wednesday evening, June 5th; so head over to Jingle Belles now to see Stephanie's card and start planning what you'll link up with us!

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Countdown to ICAD: 2024

June first marks the kick off of the thirteenth annual (my twelfth year) of the Index Card a Day project, devised and hosted by Tammy Garcia* as a 61-day festival of committing to doing SOMETHING creative (more on this in a bit) on an index card, each day of June and July.

here's a little badge I made... just because

The number one, gut-level reaction at this point... and frankly, some years, it is also MY reaction... is, "OMG I don't have time to add ANOTHER task to every day of the next two months!" And of course we creative types also start thinking that the art we make will have to be beautiful finished pieces if we plan to post it publicly; and the perfectionist in us chimes in that we'll need to take elegantly staged photos; and the OCD pipes up to remind us that if we skip a day or stop midway through, everyone will have seen us FAIL and... and... and...! OK, let's stop right there. This really (really!) isn't about any of those things. This is about starting, or re-starting, or re-invigorating a daily art practice, with a focus on PROCESS over outcome. 

the cover of my 2024 (optional!!!) ring-bound book

Yes, there's a public aspect. It's a community, as a matter of fact, and it's full of supportive, kind, friendly people that I genuinely believe you will enjoy connecting with. And I do recommend posting publicly for that reason but, it's absolutely optional; you can lurk at first, if that's less intimidating. Personally I participate on Instagram (my account is @llaurenb and I'd love for you to visit!) with weekly blog wrap-ups and the occasional FB post. But you can do this secretly without telling anyone ever, if you prefer. It's up to you, HOW you ICAD, and in fact, that's a big part of point. You also don't need to make a little ring-bound book to hold your cards. I make one every year because I LOVE MAKING LITTLE BOOKS. Period. I'm not showing off, I just really enjoy that aspect and it kind of spurs me on to watch my thin, flat little book grow. But you can put your cards in a box or in your journal or just in a stack.

my (optional!) 2024 title page

Having said all of that, there is a reason that it's specifically called the INDEX CARD a day challenge; and YES, Tammy G really does want us to work on those flimsy, cheap, inelegant index cards from the office supply store! Why? Well, for starters, most everyone can afford a pack of index cards, you can even let your children participate. But also, this aspect makes the event about the creativity and NOT dependent upon professional level supplies and techniques. Because the goal isn't to make a finished piece, it's about doing SOMETHING creative. Every day. For ten minutes, even. Just pick up an index card and a device that makes marks and you're ready to roll.

some of my books from previous years

But wait... does that mean we have to DRAW?! Nooooooo, it does not. For the record, I can't draw representationally. Not at all. I do like to doodle, though. And I discovered, via my first or second year of ICAD, that I love drawing mandalas. (I truly did not know, until it came up in ICAD, what a mandala even WAS, I had to Google it!!!) But... doodling or drawing is not a necessity. You can make collages... you can practice your lettering... you can swatch all of your paints or inks or colored pencils... you can write poems or haikus or descriptive sentences... you can do some hand-stitching... you can stamp or gel print or color or... well, you get the idea. There's a lot of scope. You can try all of the above on different days; then go back and do more of the things you love.

Tammy G's OPTIONAL prompt list for week 1 of ICAD2024

Tammy G provides a (100% optional!) prompt list each week, and posts on IG and FB most days with tips, techniques, encouragement and examples. And by the way, when I say the prompts are optional, I mean each and every one is optional; you can do the ones that speak to you and skip the ones that stump you, or vice versa. You don't have to commit to doing any ONE thing, or one style, or one media; just try to commit to doing SOMETHING each day. 

the box where I keep all of my assorted blank index cards

Here's the most important thing I'm going to say in this entire post (& then I'll shut up, I promise!) and it's about what to do if you miss a day... (because there will, inevitably, be days we get blown off course) ....or rather, what NOT to do: DON'T beat yourself up, DON'T throw away the cards you've done, DON'T, in fact, give it another thought. Pick up the next day and do something creative on an index card. You do not have to catch up, you do not have to apologize, you do not have to do ANYTHING except start again. If you're absolutely determined to have 61 cards, you can make two cards on an especially inspiring day OR you can finish your cards on August 2nd instead of July 31st. For that matter, at the beginning of this shindig, or on weekends or at creative meet-ups you might be so inspired that you work ahead, and then you'll have "extra" cards. But please, please, don't fixate on the NUMBER of cards, because really, that's just another type of attachment to outcome. Make as many as you can, enjoy making them, say hi to a fellow ICAD-ian or two and HAVE FUN! 

*aka @gypsy999 on Instagram; this year @indexcardaday also has its own IG account, as well; BOTH of these, needless to say, are well worth following. Oh and you can find me @llaurenb there too!

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Gnome Sweet Gnome

The adorable new Eyelet Outlet Girl Gnome Brads are making themselves at home, and have already made friends with our Gnome Brads

This gnome family has made their happy home in a mushroom cottage, surrounded by White Daisies and Mini Bee Brads with a Tiny Heart Tape Sky and Grass Washi. The Gnome Mushroom Butterfly Tape background is one of our thirty (yes, 30!) styles of Gnome Tape available in the EO Store.

The Eyelet Outlet Store has ALL the Brads, Bling, Tape, Flowers, Enamels and GNOMES you could possibly desire!

Monday, May 27, 2024

When in Doubt, Go RAINBOW!

Sometimes it's just too difficult to choose only a few colors, so I'll grab ALL the colors of my chosen medium (in this case my Tombow Dual Brush Pens) and go crazy! When watercoloring with water-based markers like Tombows, you can scribble some color off onto your palette and pick it up with a waterbrush; OR apply the marker directly to the piece and then spread the color around with the brush. In this case I did BOTH... and then flicked a bunch of water droplets on top and blotted them off with a papertowel. At the very end, I used a black Letter It Fineliner from Ranger to add slightly wonky, whimsical outlines. Et voila!

Friday, May 24, 2024

JB2411: Tic-Tac-Toe

This fortnight at Jingle Belles, we're playing a game of Tree Skirt Tic-Tac-Toe, which is kind of like "Beach Blanket Bingo" but... you know... more Christmassy; and with LOTS more embellishments! We'd love for you to join the fun, all you have to do is pick a row (horizontal, vertical or diagonal) and a create a lovely new holiday card featuring all three elements in that row. There are loads of possibilities, so let's get started.

Here's what I made:

I chose the center column and thus had Embossing + Red or Green + Diecuts to work with. I broke out the Big Box of Bits and Bobs and lucked into the grocer's kraft panel (Simon Hurley Evergreens embossed in a combination of Ranger's Lime Tinsel and matte Green Embossing Powders, with a couple of Raspberry Liquid Pearl hearts on top); the glossy mat with the green stamped foliage from Wendy Vecchi's Doodle Holiday set, and all of those diecut Penny Black Layered Poinsettias to which I've added green Eyelet Outlet Snowflake Bling

JB2411: Tree Skirt Tic-Tac-Toe runs until Wednesday evening, June 5th; so head over to Jingle Belles now and see Stephanie's gorgeous card and start planning what you'll link up with us!

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Not Enough Shelves!

Apparently, there are a few people in the world who think that some of us have too many books?! This is an understandable error, but in fact, as Mr. Bear (from Waffle Flower's Books & Coffee Combo stamp set) points out, the actual problem is NOT ENOUGH SHELVES! For this card, the shelves were created by neatly lining up strips of Eyelet Outlet Book Tape. The computer generated sentiment (created with a free font called Bohemian Typewriter) leaves room for a trio of Book Brads and is matted on a panel of Wood TapeCactus and Heart Brads add extra texture and interest to this cozy little scene.

Here's a Handy Shopping List featuring all the items used to create this card:

Book Brads
Book Washi
Wood Tape
Cactus Brads
Heart Brads

Visit the Eyelet Outlet Store for an incredible selection of Brads, Tapes, Bling, Enamels, Flowers and so much more!

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

SOS522: How Does Your Garden Grow?

If you haven't already guessed that this fortnight at Shopping Our Stash we're looking for things that grow in a garden, then frankly, I'm a bit surprised, but just go ahead and re-read this rather long sentence and you'll know for sure. Of course you can make a card that features vegetables, or even, I suppose weeds... but... if you're ME, of course you're going to go with flowers!

I didn't set out to make a subtle, nearly-monochromatic card, but while looking for something else entirely I stumbled upon the dwindling remains of Prima's Pretty Pale collection (c. 2019?) --including these metallic-tinted blooms which I had apparently cut out and never used-- so I immediately changed direction. I had a lot of fun tearing, sanding and distressing all of my layers, and was super-excited when I found a nice big piece of pink woodgrain paper (PINK woodgrain!!!) from Authentique's 2018(ish) Romance collection. I chose a kraft cardbase and did a bit of machine stitching mostly for the look, but also, when you have lots of layers, it never hurts to anchor them pretty well, right?  

I hope you'll visit SOS to check out the cards the rest of The Crew have made and then start dreaming up your own garden-centric masterpiece. 

Monday, May 20, 2024

Glossy Accents Shower Cards

I'm up on the Ranger Project Page today with a pair of cards featuring Letter It's Shower Stamp Set, Simon Hurley's Happy Hearts Layering Stencils and Ranger's Glossy Accents... as well as Archival Inks, of course! I'd love for you to hop over and check out the full tutorial.


It's a Multi-Tag Mandala Monday drawn with Letter It Fineliners in my Dina Wakley 6x6 Kraft Journal from Ranger... the size and shape of which is making it a current fave. I staggered/overlapped the tags* then added all the shapes, and finally colored and shaded with a mix of Tombows and Prismacolor Pencils. 

Wishing you a fabulous and creative week!!!

*Apologies in advance for the fact that this technique is likely going to be a Serious New Obsession!

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Flower Collage Cards

Would this be a good time for a couple of random flower collage cards? That's a rhetorical question because, imo, there's really no bad time for those... which is probably why I make so many, lol. These amazing roses are cut from gorgeous paper I got a while ago at Pearl River Mart  (a must-see if you’re visiting NYC’s Chinatown; or the smaller store in Chelsea Market, under the High Line) I had a nice big sheet of it (maybe 18x24"?) and I'm pretty sure I've ONLY used it for cutting out the flowers for collages made with torn and layered vintage paper! Non, je ne regrette rien... 

Friday, May 17, 2024

Taking (Card)Stock

It's week two of our Jingle Belles celebration of Cardstock Christmas for which absolutely NO patterned paper is allowed. I usually semi-panic at times like these, but luckily my Wendy Vecchi stamps, Chippies and 3D Embossing Folder stepped in to save the day!

I stamped half a dozen poinsettias from Wendy Vecchi's Doodle Christmas Stamp Set and a bunch of holly leaves from the Doodle Holiday set, embossing them in Ranger Lilac Pearl and White Embossing Powders, respectively. I colored them with Petunia, Peat Moss and English Ivy Archival Inks, then did a bit of fussy-cutting before adding Sunflower Liquid Pearls to the centers. I stamped the large swag of greenery from Doodle Holiday in English Ivy across the chunky chipboard "Joy" from Wendy's Statements Chippies; then mounted all of the above on a cardstock panel to which I gave quite an impressive bit of dimension with Spellbinders' Flowers & Foliage 3D Embossing Folder. One skinny Petunia mat later, my 5.5" square card was complete!

You still have until next Wednesday evening (5/22/24) to join our Jingle Belles' Cardstock Christmas fun, which we hope you will!

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Unicorn Sanity

Where do card ideas come from? EVERYWHERE! In this case, a fun meme from social media became a card featuring adorable Eyelet Outlet Unicorn and Rainbow Brads, set against a frame of Pink Foil Tape and a background made by neatly lining up strips of Multi Color Dot Washi on the diagonal.

The sentiment is rendered in a free font called Jolly Dream from, printed on plain old white cardstock... (with sufficient space left for unicorns, of course) ...then augmented with the brads. If you can dream up a card idea, the Eyelet Outlet Store almost certainly has the brads and tapes to make it work! 

Monday, May 13, 2024

Rainbow Stripes

It's a Rowdy Rainbow Mandala Monday featuring about fifteen different tone-on-tone shades of Tombow Dual Brush Pen with white Posca highlights and outlines courtesy of my skinniest Letter It Fineliner; in my Dina Wakley 6x6 Kraft Journal from Ranger. Hope your week is off to a colorful, creative start!

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Holiday Jumpstart: Sparkle

Holiday Jumpstart: Sparkle is Paper Anthology's May holiday card kit, which features (and INCLUDES) Hero Arts’ Ornament Fancy Dies, a seven-die set that’s so useful and versatile, we predict you’ll be using it for years to come!

Paper Anthology’s Holiday Jumpstart Card Kit is our pre-packaged kit that includes everything you need (except adhesives) to complete FIVE copies of this new original holiday card design. It’s called “Sparkle” based on the sentiment AND because the ornaments feature three bold, bright shades of Non-Shed Glitter Paper, as well as silver metallic cardstock for hangers and sentiments. This kit is available for $43 in-store and online; CLICK HERE to go directly to the product page. 

While there, check out Paper Anthology's amazing selection of paper, stamps, dies, inks, tools and basically all the papercrafting supplies you could wish for!

Friday, May 10, 2024

Cardstock Christmas

This fortnight at Jingle Belles we're asking you to step away from the designer paper … yes, put it away … none allowed … not even a scrap … because this time the assignment is to create a holiday card using only cardstock. You can tear it, ink it, stamp it, spray it, emboss it, diecut it … but stick to only cardstock for your holiday card design.

Here's how we "took stock" this week:

My name is Lauren and I'm a scrap-hoarder! I confess that it's difficult for me to throw away scraps and off-cuts, so a few times a year, I make quilty or, as in this case, stripy backgrounds to use them up. This version features various shades and textures of red, white and green cardstock; from smooth and glossy to chunky and glittery; arranged to resemble peppermint candies. Fabric poinsettias, plastic leaves and holiday flair complete the design.

A bit more about the technique, in case you'd like to try this idea. To streamline the assembly process, I started by running a piece of plain white cardstock through my Xyron machine, (full-sheet adhesive also works) trimming it into a square just slightly larger than I wanted my finished piece to be, peeling off the backer paper and working from the middle outwards, adding the strips. I took a bit of time to line them up precisely and to alternate shades and widths of the strips. When the panel was full, I burnished the strips to make sure they were well-affixed, got rid of all the over-long ends with my guillotine trimmer, rounded the corners and added machine stitching around the perimeter. In actual face, that last step is not strictly necessary, since the pieces really are ON THERE, but it's a guarantee against peeling ends and I love how it looks. 

Head over to Jingle Belles to see what Stephanie has made and start planning your own Christmassy Cardstock Creation. This challenge runs through the evening of May 22nd. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Favorite Mug

Everyone probably has a favorite mug for drinking their morning coffee or tea, but if you stamp your own with Wendy Vecchi's Studio 490 Mug Art Stamp Set and use Eyelet Outlet Brads and Tapes to decorate them, EVERY mug can be your favorite!

In the photo above, the combinations are as follows: Popcorn and Ticket Brads paired with Movie Brads on a background of Ticket Washi Tape; a handsome Toucan from the Tropical Birds set atop Cloud Washi and Funky Bird Tape; a Flamingo and two Cactus Brads on Cactus and Flamingo Tape with a border of Pink Dot Washi; Beer Brads and a Lizard from the Reptile Set over Wood and Gear Washi Tapes; Colored Daisy Brads and a Mini Ladybug on gorgeous Wide Sunflower Tape; and finally a Unicorn Brad on a rainbow canvas of Multi Color Dot Washi.

The Eyelet Outlet Store is bound to have a Brad and Washi Tape combination that will be YOUR favorite! 

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

SOS521: Water, Water, Everywhere!

This fortnight at Shopping Our Stash, we'd like for you to create a card with a large body of water; like an ocean, lake or river, if you SEA what we mean, lol! Here's what I made:

As soon as we start talking about water and those that dwell within, I'm usually already getting out my collection of Lawn Fawn sea creatures, of which I have quite a few, stretching back at least ten years. Quite often I paper-piece the little dudes for maximum cuteness; plus it's a brilliant way to use up patterned paper scraps, so that's what I've done here. I used stamps from Lawn Fawn's Critters in the Sea set as well as two mini sets, Seahorsin' Around and I Like You (A Lotl). I stamped two of the sentiments from those sets but spelled out "Birthday" using letters from Henry's ABC's die set. My "ocean" is part of a map-centric patterned paper from 49 and Market's Sunburst collection and the filmstrip is an older die from Elizabeth Craft Designs.

The "Water, Water, Everywhere" Challenge (SOS 521) runs until the evening of Monday, May 20th. Why not check out what the fabulous Crew have made to inspire you, then start planning what you'll link up with us this time.

Monday, May 6, 2024

Bold & Bright

It's a coolish, greyish day in central New Jersey, which seems like the perfect time for a big, bold Mandala to brighten up your Monday! This one features Wendy Vecchi's Garden Party stamps from Spellbinders; radiant, radiating, rainbow shades of Wendy's Archival Inks from Ranger; and a whole lot of MAKE ART and Studio 490 stamps and stencils applied over and under the hand-drawn mandala shapes I rendered with my Letter It Fineliners

I work on mandalas in many different ways to keep things interesting, but for those interested in process, this piece went... roughly... like this:

  • Lightly pencil-sketch a few concentric circles, centered on an 11x11" piece of bristol board. An old school compass is good for this, you can even trace rolls of tape or your nested circle dies, but I do also love the Helix Circle Tool!
  • Apply Archival Inks with a Mini Ink Blending Tool and Domed Foams, working in rings from the center outwards and allowing them to blend wherever they overlap. Colors are: Prickly Pear, Bluebird, Night Sky, Cactus Flower, Rosey Posey, Peachy Keen, and Sunflower... then around again to Prickly Pear, etc.
  • Stamp the large floral cluster from the Garden Party set in the center in Watering Can Archival.
  • Add background patterns by stamping a variety of small elements and portions of large background stamps more or less randomly, in coordinating colors.
  • Draw the basic structural lines with a .01 or .04 Letter It Fineliner, again working from the center outwards; starting with the two large concentric circles, adding large petal shapes and large circles between the petals.
  • Add detail lines and shapes such as the rings of smaller circles and petals, plus the secondary "shadow" lines inside or outside the larger shapes.
  • Using sticky notes to mask if necessary, neaten up the loose rings of color with Ranger Detail Blending Tools; for example I applied more Bluebird ink to the area around the Garden Party florals so the circle border is a darker green; I pulled more Peachy Keen out into the large hand-drawn petals; darkened the ring of smaller circles around the center, etc.
  • Add more definition with a white paint pen in the form of lines, dots and small hearts, then outline with a .01 Fineliner.
  • One final neatening up of shapes and shadow lines with coordinating brush pens wherever necessary.

Friday, May 3, 2024

Santa Claus... Comin' to Town! Metaphorically speaking, that is, this fortnight at Jingle Belles; as we continue our celebration of "The Man With the Bag"! Here's what I made this week:

I treated myself to a couple of 49 and Market paper packs, including Christmas Spectacular 2023 from which came all of the papers above. I had to force myself to stop at four layers, lol! The frame around that Authentique Santa journal card is from a set of Tim Holtz Idea-ology Vignette Covers which I bought specifically to use as frames on cards. The burlap poinsettia is the last of a pack from Petaloo. I may have gone a teeny bit overboard in terms of both distressing and machine stitching but... nahhhhhhh... I love it! :)

This challenge runs at Jingle Belles through next Wednesday, May 8th, so you still have time to join our Santa-centric fun, which I hope you will!

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Bloomin' Beauties

I'm constantly inspired by Wendy Vecchi and Cassie Lynch, especially when it comes to the building of "flat layers" by which I mean adding lots of inking, stamping and stenciling in a "collagey" style... thereby achieving the appearance of dimension and texture WITHOUT the bulk or weight of physical layers. I'm still practicing at this skill, but I think today's background is pretty good!

I "smooshed" several shades of Wendy's Archival Inks from Ranger (Bluebird and Prickly Pear to be precise) onto the Craft Mat attached to the back of my MAKE ART Stay-tion, spritzed with rubbing alcohol, then picked up the result with a panel of cardstock. When it was dry (which is nearly immediate using alcohol and Archivals) I added a cascade of stamped leaves in Leaf Green; some text in Night Sky and a few stenciled dots in Bluebird. When my flat background was complete, I added a few torn strips of Wendy's Washi Tape, and added flowers from the Spellbinders' Vintage Florals Die Set, which I stamped Perfectly Plaid in Tea Rose and added some Sunflower Ink on top. I started out with leaves and centers that were Fern Green and Bluebird, respectively, but at the last minute I swapped them for plain which which somehow simultaneously made them blend in AND stand out better?!

If you are not following @wendyvecchi and @mk_knits on Instagram you are missing some VERY good stuff, I tell ya! Additionally, Facebook users will enjoy the Make Art with Wendy Vecchi Group, where you can get lots of ideas and inspiration from fellow Vecchians, as well as post your own Wendy-centric creations. Either way, be sure to catch Tip Tuesdays which are absolutely always full of beauty and practical tips!

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Happy Birdie

Eyelet Outlet Bird Brads of a feather flock together to make the sunniest and happiest of birthday cards! Our Bluebird and Robin Brads share the stage with a handsome Profile Cardinal on stacked backgrounds of Wide Sky Washi and Music Note Tape. Yellow Colored Daisy Brads provide a nice snack for a Mini Ladybug, while a Mini Bee Brad heads home to his hive.

The Birds and the Bees.. not to mention Ladybugs, Dragonflies and LOTS of other critters can be found in the Eyelet Outlet Store!