Wednesday, November 22, 2017

So Thankful

As we in the United States prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow, I'm feeling especially grateful for family, friends, health, creativity, and for the Eyelet Outlet team, who are truly some of the nicest and most talented folks you could ever hope to meet!

It was impossible to resist making just one more Thanksgiving card with my favorite autumnal supplies, so I didn't even try not to, lol. This time I applied that awesome watercolor-y Wide Pumpkin Washi to plain white cardstock, added a band of Skinny Orange Tape to the top and bottom, then diecut my letters. I used an orange brush marker to ink the edges just slightly, and popped the letters up on thin strips of foam tape to get a little more dimension.

For my focal accent I stacked a Pumpkin Brad on top of a diecut pumpkin and attached a tiny yellow Mini Stitched Flower Brad and a Mini Leaf. By letting some of the brads overlap each other, it makes for a more cohesive cluster, which perfectly fills the center of a large white Paper Flower. One of my favorite "flower tricks" is to snip apart a few medium-sized green paper flower petals to use as leaves, and I love how they finish off the design.

To trim out the orange gingham patterned paper, I added Clear Bling Strips on top, and a skinny (skinny!) border of Glitter Gold Tape, set off by my favorite retro finishing touch: a border made with scallop patterned deco scissors!

Wishing the happiest of Thanksgiving Days to all of my American friends and a particularly awesome Thursday to the rest of the world! ♥♥♥

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!