Tuesday, November 21, 2017

oh no it's the dreaded TIMED CHALLENGE, lol

this week at shopping our stash the challenge is to create a thank you card. but the twist (because you KNEW there HAD TO be a twist, right?!) is that you have to make it in 30 minutes!!! (and YES, you should set the timer!) i am not a fast crafter, you guys. but i did make a card in pretty close to the allotted time, and i do actually like what i made. so i'm calling this a win!

stickers: funny sticker world (critters), echo park (sun + grass), crate paper (pink scallop border), mme (alphas), michaels (tiny puffy hearts); patterned paper: my mind's eye (clouds) + echo park (polaroid); tapes: little b, love my tapes; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape

i have to admit that whereas i didn't exactly cheat... i definitely stacked the deck in my favor. i figured it'd be good to use all pre-made ingredients, so i concentrated on stickers and tape. i knew it would be a lot faster to do something i've done before than to think up an entirely new concept, so i gathered supplies to make a little scene inside a faux polaroid. i also felt it was absolutely essential to have a road map, so i grabbed the sketch half of the current fusion card challenge:


i confess that i thought about what i wanted to use in advance, and gathered most of my materials before i started the clock. i chose things that wouldn't involve very much fussy cutting and i didn't do any machine stitching. on the other hand, the lack of the latter is kind of bugging me, so there's a definite chance that i'll go back and at least stitch around the outside of the card before i actually mail this baby. ;)


hop over to SOS to see the amazing... and FAST... creations from the rest of my design team darlings! ♥

Saturday, November 18, 2017

junk journal junkies unite!

i had a complete and total blast at the first meeting of paper anthology's new junk journal junkies club last night! and somewhat to my surprise* i actually got quite a bit done!


in fact i made three signatures' worth of pages, bound them together and attached them into a cover** built on top of a 10x13" mailing envelope, which i had actually made the night before, at home.


the pages are a mix of older patterned paper (mostly light cardstock weight) and specialty papers like old notebook paper, semi-transparent graph paper, deli paper, sheet music, ledger paper... well, there's a little bit of everything, really. there are loads of torn edges because i'm still in a torn edge phase, and also i had elected not to lug my guillotine trimmer with me. some of the pages have been folded horizontally or vertically, to create little pockets that i secured with washi or decorative packing tape.


in terms of productivity, one of the things that realllllllly helped me was that i had spent a bit of time earlier this week thinking about what i wanted to work on, and gathering the specific supplies for that particular project. because honestly, sometimes having too many choices is as paralyzing to me as not having enough, lol.


this morning i added some beads to the floss i used to bind my book, then tied it shut with some luscious sari silk that my junk journal idol anna shared with me. btw, she has an awesome etsy shop... just sayin... as a matter of fact, i have an etsy shop, too, called just enough stuff and there are a couple of junque journal starter kits, similar to the ones you can purchase at paper anthology in kenvil, nj. where the next meeting of junk journal junkies will be held on december 15th!***

♥♥♥♥♥

*my ability to focus is either laser-like intensity or not at all, there is no middle ground with me, lol. so sometimes when there are loads of people and action and supplies, i get more interested in the social aspect of the group, and have a lot of fun without really accomplishing much. which is fine. but it's definitely a bonus to have a great time AND be productive, as well!

**i repurposed a gift wrap sleeve i made as a demonstration in august, in order to show all the steps in this blog post right here

***click over to the paper anthology website to email elisabeth and reserve your space OR call the store at (973) 927-1210. ♥

Friday, November 17, 2017

same strategy, different design

we're still making holiday thank you cards at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and i'm still kind of weaseling about a bit, not yet putting on a sentiment, jussssssssssssst in case:


i've made a pair of cards again, too. because frankly when you do the tape/quilt design (the process for which i showed in detail in this post from 2011!!!) it's kind of almost EASIER to make a few than it is to just make one, because you can mix and match the triangles after you cut them apart!


i've used a whole bunch of my favorite red and green eyelet outlet tapes, though i've tried not to be too xmassy, since these will likely be sent after the holiday. i've added paper flowers and some bling, as well, but i've kept them fairly flat to be postal-friendly!


stephanie also has a fab card to show off, why not hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and check that out right now!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Less Work, More Cards

I don't think I know anyone who has too much time on their hands. Especially crafters. Especially around the holidays! So I'm always excited when I stumble upon a way to make a whole bunch of cool Christmas cards at one sitting. In this case the trick was to combine premade mini journaling cards with Eyelet Outlet Brads. And that's what I'm showing off on the EO Blog today.


My favorite thing about the pocket scrapbooking craze that hit a few years ago is the fact that nearly all the big paper companies started producing sheets made up of 12 or more little cards with sentiments and scaled-down designs right on them. These are such a boon for cardmakers as well as scrappers. This sheet from American crafts has three dozen 2x2" designs! Not only are they super cuuuuute, the scale is exactly right to add a lot of my favorite holiday styles of Eyelet Outlet brads. Before I cut into the paper, I sat down with my box of Christmas brads and laid out the ones I thought would look coolest. Then I snapped a quick photo with my phone, so I'd remember which ones to use where. Then I got to work separating the cards. Since this particular page was paper-weight, before I did anything else, I used my Xyron machine to cover an entire sheet of thin white cardstock with adhesive, and used it to back the page of cards. This made it a lot sturdier, and kept it from wrinkling when I set my brads.


My first two cards are classic A2's so I was able to fit four designs on each. On the first I added a Christmas Cookie to the plate on the card, a Snowflake to the center of the red flower, I gave the cute printed snowman an awesome new Sled Brad to ride, and my adorable Mitten Brads were just a teeeeeeny bit bigger than the pair in the original design-- even the strings line up perfectly. I mounted the embellished cards to a mat of rich red and trimmed out with a strip of  Red Dots Washi and a little classic baker's twine.


For my second card I chose a beautiful prussian blue cardstock and grabbed that Red Dots tape again, with some velvet flower trim on top. I went vertical this time, though, and rounded the outer corners of the mini cards for a different look. It was easy to add a Cardinal to the sprig of holly, a Poinsettia Brad atop that yummy cupcake, a Holiday Tree and Snowman in front of the little trees, plus a very handsome Moose Brad to the florals surrounding the Merry Christmas banner.


For my third card I went long! At 4x8" this one will fit (with a little room to spare) in a #10 envelope. Or, if I add it to the front of a wrapped present, or slip it into a gift bag, I won't need an envelope at all. This time I chose three mini cards with white backgrounds, and got a little more imaginative with my additions. The Cardinal seems very much at home next to the globe, doesn't he? A Heart Brad is the perfect addition to a sprig of mistletoe, and a Prancing Deer was exactly the right touch for the pretty banner. I made mats for each card... and accented my ribbon tie... with some Glitter Copper Tape for extra sparkle.


I chose four kraft designs for the last card, but plussed up a bit to a 5x6" card (which will fit beautifully in an A7 envelope) to give them a little more breathing room. I embellished the elves' existing Hat and Candy Cane with EO brads in those designs, added a Holly Brad to the sprig of holly, covered the printed tree on top of the car with a (perfectly sized!) Pine Tree Brad and nestled a Poinsettia Brad into that little spray of flowers. I added two strips of Pine Tree Washi, a little red ribbon and one more Snowflake Brad and called it good!


I'm guessing you have plenty journal cards in your paper collection, and many of them are exactly the right size to coordinate with your favorite EO Brads! What's that? You don't have enough brads?! Well, this is a great time to hit the Thanksgiving Sale at the Online Store, where all brads and bling are 20% off when you use the code "turkeytrot"! Hurry though, the sale ends this Friday, Nov 17th! ♥

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

let's go!

this week's challenge at shopping our stash is called "transportation" so we'd love to see projects that involve a conveyance of any kind: cars, trains, planes, boats, campers, hot air balloons, bicycles, or, if you're deeply in xmas card mode, how about a sleigh?! i have been slightly obsessed with making collages from a book i got last spring at a garage sale called, "illustrated motor cars of the world" so as soon as i saw this week's theme, i knew exactly what i wanted to make:

beautiful, two-toned, 1959 trabant from "illustrated motor cars of the world"; various bits of vintage text paper, map and charts from my stash; ledgery butterfly stickers: well hoarded studio calico from 4 or 5 years ago that i still love; rub-on transfers: october afternoon, pink paislee; rubber stamps: cherry pie (crackle) rubber stampede (foliage); washi tape: little b, love my tapes; spiral wire and binding machine: zutter bind-it-all; ink: ranger archival; adhesives: scotch brand gluestick, 3m foam tape

if you follow my instagram or catch the sketchbook round-up posts i do here periodically, you'll know that for the last couple of months i've been playing around with the combination of rubber stamps (and/or ancient rub-on transfers) washi tape and vintage paper collage... in my own messy/grungy style, o'course! and i feel like all of that practice is starting to pay off now.


this time my car collage is on the front cover of a little (3.25 x 3.5") spiral bound blank book i'm adding to my etsy shop, just enough stuff. i've been on a roll making little books, actually, so i'll have a few more to show off very soon! of course i had to add coordinating vintage paper for the inside cover, and take the overall design to the back of the book, as well.


meanwhile, you have until next monday night to link up a transportational project with us at shopping our stash. be sure to check out the DT examples for loads more inspiration! ♥

Sunday, November 12, 2017

miscellaneous round-up of miscellany

miscellany that needed rounding up, that is. miscellaneously. of course. by which you'll have guessed that once again i have a backlog of totally unrelated artsy things and decided to clump them all together. you're welcome, lol.


there's a new junk journal junkies club starting up at paper anthology. the first meeting is friday night (11/17) and if you're anywhere near kenvil, morris county, nj, i'd love for you to sign up and come along! (complete details are on the PA website!) this is one of the little journals i made when my friend anna (who is the queen of elegant junque journals!!!) was here a few weeks ago for a playdate!


i got a fab stash of alcohol inks at the papercrafting garage sale in september and made loads of fun experimental panels; some on yupo and some on regular glossy paper. this is one of the yupo ones. what an awesome surface to doodle on... yowza!


here's a flamingo sticker mandala i made in my sketchbook recently. yep, this is yet another weird little niche craft i keep coming back to. my sticker mandalas are not a patch on the ones i saw on honestly wtf last year --which in turn were inspired by a sticker artist called lauren venell-- but they are always a ton of fun to make!
 (i vehemently deny that i only make these to garner comments from my nieces on instagram, altho clearly that is a nice fringe benefit, lol!)


finally, here's a "cleanup collage" from my sketchbook. it's got scraps of torn vintage paper (some with modelling paste) ancient rub-on transfers that no longer transfer perfectly, a single diecut frame from the bag of scraps i bring home from paper anthology periodically to clean out, a rose i cut out for something else but didn't use, a lone diecut butterfly who didn't fit in the project for which he was intended, and loads of utterly random, grungy stamping. all of which i expect will convince you that when i say "clean up collage" i really do mean i've made a collage from all of the random stuff that was on my worktable, which i was too cheap to throw away and too lazy to put away!!! :) :) :)

♥♥♥
hope you are having an awesome weekend, and that you'll take some time to make something FUN just because you want to! 
♥♥♥

Saturday, November 11, 2017

bursting with color!

in other words, here are a few colorburst projects i've made lately:


an autumnal sketchbook collage that uses up the last couple of "demo leaves" from the leaf card class i taught in sept/oct at paper anthology. for the record: NO, i never, ever, get tired of colorburst-ed autumn leaves!


but then i never get tired of florals, either. 
these are verrrrry loose and combine cerulean with indigo...


...whereas these are a slightly more structured blend of fuchsia, peony and wisteria!
(not to be mysterious, but both the floral pieces are actually going to be ingredients in something i'm still working on...)


end-of-the-night doodles on an offcut of watercolor paper on which i had previously used up some rainbow shades of pre-mixed colorburst. i tend to accumulate quite a few of these loose ones, and they are really fun to doodle on. 


but then when they're "done", i tend to just put them in a box together, which always seems a little dull. at least my sketchbook pieces get to keep each other company. so last week it occurred to me to bind all the "extras" into their own little book, and doodle on them whenever the mood strikes me. 


behold, the little book of doodles!


don't the loose rainbow pages look happier already?

i cut a larger cloud painting in half, to use for the covers...
and then i doodled on the clouds, too! 


i feel like this is a project that i will be enjoying for a good long time. 
every time i see my little book of doodles, it makes me smile! 
♥♥♥

Friday, November 10, 2017

THANK-ful for the holidays

we are getting close to the end of our ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ year, so this is a great time to take stock of how many cards we've completed, go back and add sentiments inside the cards, make sure they all have envelopes, etc etc. being as we're coming up on thanksgiving, it's also a good time to think about the cards we're all going to need after the holiday... so this fortnight we're making thank you cards!

colorburst-ed snowflakes made with tim holtz's "layered snowflakes" die, from painted, embossed and modelling paste-ed strathmore watercolor paper; patterned papers: basic grey, my mind's eye, hambly, autumn leaves + sheet music; doily scraps from my stash... ok technically some are from my mom's stash, lol; glitter paper: best creation; extra storebought snowflakes: recollections + october afternoon ; brads: mme, eyelet outlet; ink: colorbox; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape, 3m foam tape, sewing machine 

i have a shocking true confession to make: there has never been a year in which i don't wind up needing at least one or two extra cards at the very last minute. usually because someone i wasn't expecting to, kindly sent me a beautiful handmade card! on the other hand, i'm not someone who always likes to put a sentiment on the outside of her cards. by now i think you may have guessed what i am getting at here, right?  the cards you see above are exactly the right tone to be thank you notes. they will almost certainly be thank you notes. but i haven't put a sentiment on the outside or the inside yet... just in case i need a couple more cards at the last minute. it's called "hedging your bets" lol!


as for the cards themselves, i'm still pursuing my, "make a few similar cards while you've got all the stuff out" strategy. in this case, "all the stuff" for the bases consisted of some dearly hoarded ancient basic grey not-too-xmassy blues and greens, the very last sheet of shimmery hambly snowflake paper, some not-very-old bright white sheet music, and the off-cuts of doilies from all the cards this year that had partial doilies on them.

here's the basic recipe for colorburst diecuts: take a piece of "extra" watercolor paper that was painted, spritzed, sprinkled or smooshed with colorburst in the appropriate colors for your project... (i wind up with these on a regular basis. in this case, my first few attempts at our embossing challenge did not turn out how i wanted at the time, but they were still colorful and fun, so i saved them for later!) ...add some stamping, stenciling, modeling paste or glitter paste randomly to the paper. allow to dry completely. use your favorite die (in this case, it's tim holtz's "layered snowflakes" bigz die) to make them into useful shapes. et voila! snowflakes for EVERYBODY! ♥♥♥

as a focal point, i diecut some super-saturated, super-textural colorburst snowflakes in a few sizes, inked the edges really well so they'd stand out from the backgrounds, and added brads as well as extra layers, extra glitter, or both!


i was very inspired by the current atlantic hearts sketch challenge (#237), though as you can see, i played with rotation and proportion quite a bit, so i admit that some of these are more like "kissing cousins" to the original, lol! i'm also linking up with the simon says stamp wednesday challenge blog whose current theme is "snow white" for which you can use either element, which is good bc my snow is blue, lol!


stephanie has a beautiful thank you card for you to drool over at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and a second tag to see on her blog, as well!


♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Thursday, November 9, 2017

giftwrap through the ages

although by "ages" i mean, "in the last month or so" as opposed to the eternal ages of man... which would be a much longer post. i considered the title, "two bags, one package and a tin bucket thingie (no weddings or funerals)" but that seemed kind of long. i often find titles to be the hardest part of blogging, does anybody else feel that way? anyway, to sum up the purpose and intent of this entire post, here are a few things i've wrapped recently that i quite like:


a question i get asked fairly frequently on social media is, "what do you do with all your random watercolors and collages and things?" well, a great many of them are in sketchbooks or art journals where they admittedly don't serve a continuing purpose. but since they helped me learn or practice some sort of skill or technique, i feel like they've earned their keep in that sense. i also have a big basket of loose work, some of which might eventually become cards, or if they're really big, they might get framed and given as a gift. others might become the decorative panel on a custom gift bag. in this case, a colorbust painting of loose and drippy flowers in niece lindsay's favorite color (purple!) got trimmed down, matted, and had some chunky chipboard letters sewn on top. for the record, when you see bags like this, the decorated panel is stuck on with just a few pieces of foam tape, so it can be removed easily if the recipient wants to save it. (although all my nieces and nephews have a few gift bags hanging up in their rooms somewhere, lol, which always makes me smile!)


my mother and aunt are famous for saving me "interesting" envelopes, boxes, bags... and, in this case, a tin. it's about the size of a paint can, and i think it must've held popcorn or some sort of snack? the name of the company was on the lid and also printed around the bottom of the cityscape. i made a panel to cover the former-- with nephew matthew's initials in huge metallic cardstock letters-- and two layers of washi tape to cover the latter. 


another in the continuing series of giftwrap sleeves like the one in the tutorial at the bottom of this post from july. i devised the sleeve concept-- in which the wrapping is secured only on two sides, and the gift can be slid out without undoing the decoration-- so that people who didn't want to "wreck" a fancy present by opening it, would be able to still see what i've given them. i came up with the idea of stitching multiple papers together so that i could use the sleeve idea on bigger gifts. this sleeve is composed of several wallpaper swatches, an index from a vintage atlas, and some gorgeous paper-backed asian fabric i got in chinatown and have frankly been hoarding for several years.


another bag, hooray! this one has some vintage lace hot-glued around the top, a big silk flower, and some of the extra prototype colorburst leaves from a recent mixed media card class i taught at paper anthology. i confess i especially like this one. 

♥♥♥
wishing you a wonderful weekend that involves a little bit of time doing something FUN and CREATIVE... just for yourself!!!
♥♥♥

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

One Card Three Ways: Christmas Ornament Edition

It's November and just turned chilly... so I'm starting to really think about Christmas and feeling pretty excited about finishing up my cards. I know most cardmakers like to mass-produce one holiday design, but I don't enjoy that so much. Something I don't mind, though, is making a couple of different versions of the same card. So today I have a set of ornaments that represent my three favorite categories of Eyelet Outlet products: Brads, Bling and Washi Tape! I'm up on the EO blog today showing those off!


For my Bling card I used some papers I had pre-painted with ColorBurst pigment powders, and used stencils with inks and embossing paste on top. I created the bauble shapes using some hand-cut ornament templates I made for myself a few years ago, but there are plenty of beautiful dies available to shortcut that procedure for you. I wanted to work in as many bling varieties as possible, so I've got Clear Edge Jewels, Square Jewels, Single Jewels, Single Pearls, Heart Pearls and I've even used a bit of the new Fancy Long Bling on the round bauble, which I arranged as a mirror-image, then placed a few extra large Pearl Bling Jewels inside the openings created by the zig zag design. I made the tops of the ornaments from Glitter Silver Tape and constructed my own patterned paper by filling an A2-sized inset panel with Music Note Washi.


For my Brads card I pieced the ornaments from a neutral palette so the Christmas Cookies, Poinsettia and Prancing Deer would stand out really well. I made the tops of the baubles from Glitter Gold Tape this time, to fit the color scheme better.


For the Tape card I chose bright shades of traditional red and green. I covered the bauble shapes with tape, then burnished well and trimmed them neatly. I used Holly Tape (with a small Paper Flower and Enamel Dot) for the heart ornament; Red Dots with an accent of Vertical Red Tree Tape for the elongated shape and highlighted strips of Merry Christmas Tape with an accent of that cute green Santa Tape sandwiched by Skinny Stripes Tape for the round shape.


Whether you like to make your holiday cards singly, all at once, or somewhere in between, I guarantee Eyelet Outlet has all kinds of embellishments that will make your job easier... and much more fun, too! Be sure to check the EO blog regularly for loads of seasonal inspiration from the amazing team! ♥

make holiday cards all year round at Jingle Belles... 
and you can, too!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

autumnal argyle

this week at shopping our stash we have a gorgeous color palette to inspire you:


i have to confess that i cheated slightly on the "stash" part because the last time i was at paper anthology i just happened to see a beautiful floral patterned paper from kaisercraft that had ALL the colors from the palette, so technically i bought something new, for a stash challenge. on the plus side i definitely got the "shopping" part right, huh?! ;)


everything else involved in making this card is quite elderly, though, so there's that. the velvetty flowers, the jewel brad, the cardstock... even the technique is a "re-run" of something i hadn't done in ages, a paperpieced argyle pattern like this one and this one. because yes, apparently hand made argyle is going to be something i return to periodically. in fact, i just asked elisabeth at paper anthology to order this set of nesties for me, so i can have an almost infinite choice of sizes.


but even without any special tools, it's actually quite easy to do. i made a little plastic template, traced it onto my patterned paper, and cut the shapes with my trusty guillotine trimmer. then i arranged them on my card... (hard to see in the pic, but my background paper has a very light ledger pattern and those horizontal lines make precision sooooo easy!) ...tacked them lightly with my tape runner, and added lots of machine stitching to enhance the look.


of course the challenge is just to be inspired by the colors, and the SOS design team has lots more cool ideas on how to do that... why not hop over and see what they have done? ♥