Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Avery Elle Sneak Peek: Chevron Bits & Border Dies

I'm so excited today to be giving you a sneak peek of two dies that I designed coming out for May at Avery Elle!  The card above uses the Chevron Border die (the sentiment is also from the new release)!  As you can see this die perfectly fits an A2 card (the die measures 5-1/2" X 1-1/4").  You can use it as a border die or use it to quickly cut diamond pieces that can be used to build all kinds of patterns!

The design of the border die was inspired by this chevron card that I created almost a year ago.  I designed the Chevron Border die to give you a similar look but a lot quicker and easier.  The second set I designed is called Chevron Bits.  This set has 6 dies in all.  Some coordinate with the Chevron Border and some are totally new shapes.  These dies are all separate pieces so you can use them for positive and negative die cuts.    

The card below uses the diamond shape from the Chevron Bits set with pieces from the Chevron Border to create a new totally custom look!  I'm a big fan of getting the most out of your tools, and with these dies, there are endless possible combinations!  This is just the beginning of what can be done with these dies:) I hope the projects I've shared today whet your appetite for the Avery Elle May Blog Hop on May 2nd!  

The new release will be available on May 2nd in the store and Jamie is showing more sneak peeks of the rest of the release over at the Avery Elle blog now!  There are lots of goodies this month, so go check them out!  
Mahalo and Aloha,

Thursday, April 25, 2013

CASE Study Week 4

This is my last week with CASE Study and boy has it been a fun ride!  The DT cards and the entries every week have totally KNOCKED ME OUT!  I can't thank Chupa and the DT enough for such a wonderful month!  For my last week, Chupa has chosen a card this card that I first blogged about in this post... 

I love the airy-ness in this card and the cloud effect is one of my absolute favorites to do (as seen in this card and this card)!  So for my CASE card, the clouds were the element I wanted to carry over.  This time I did one of my favorite things to do, an interactive card!  I did a spinner card with a cute little plane stamp/die combo that I had from PTI. 

One of my pet peeves with spinner cards is the card base not match the top layer.  My card OCD kicks in when it doesn't match (crazy, I know).  So for my card, I made sure that the base layer (the card base) had matching clouds for a seamless look.  To make the clouds, I used my trusty cloud template (that I purchased here) with some Distress Inks. This is sooooo easy to do, and the look is so much fun! 

Thanks so much for stopping in today!  A HUGE THANKS to Chupa and the gals over at CASE Study!!!  It goes without saying that the talent pool over there is deep, but more importantly they are such a wonderfully kind bunch of ladies.  Thank you so much for the honor!  It's been an amazing month!  

Mahalo and Aloha,

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Avery Elle April Release Highlight: Link It Up

Hi guys!  Today Kasia and I have our final April release projects to share!  I'm working with the stamp set Link It Up!  This set includes 3 border stamps in fabulous modern chain patterns!  

This is one of those sets that just sneaks up on you:)  Once you start using it, you realize that it is so versatile!  I decided to stamp it across the top and bottom of my card in a soft gray (Wet Cement from Hero Arts for those taking note;)  For a bit of color, I used Copic markers to color in the boxes created by the pattern.  

To finish it off, I stamped and fussy cut the large bloom from Petals and Stems and stamped a sentiment from All Squared Up.  I love how all these sets work together!

Thanks so much for stopping in today!  Hop on over to Kasia's blog today too! She's highlighting the set Bonjour !

Avery Elle is gearing up for May's release, and I hope to see you back the first week of May!  So much goodness next month:)

Mahalo and Aloha,

Friday, April 19, 2013

Mama Elephant April Stamp Highlight: Flashy Letters

***please scroll down for my Waltzingmouse Stamps Flower Show post***

Hi guys!  Today is the last day of the Mama Elephant April release highlights!  Thanks for visiting everyday and for all your sweet comments:)  The final set of the release is the super fun Flashy Letters!   (Which are available on the site NOW by the way) 

This set is all the things I love about Mama Elephant!  Bold, graphic, and versatile!  The lines on this font are so lovely that I had to go full on CAS with this one:)  I stamped the sentiment in my favorite Versafine Onyx onto a linen texture cardstock panel.  Then I cut the sentiment directly down the middle.  Behind the gap, I adhered a piece of metallic gold to the card base.  The split panel is lifted up a bit with foam tape.  And that's that:)  Something about the classic simplicity of this card just makes me happy!  

Thank you for dropping in all week!   I hope that you get a chance to drop by the rest of the DT to see what fun they had with this alpha set! 
JJ Bolton (you are here)

Mahalo and Aloha,

April Waltzingmouse Stamps Flower Show

Good morning all!  How about we celebrate this lovely Spring Friday with a flower show?  Specifically a Waltzingmouse Stamps Flower Show!  I have been a fan of Claire and Waltzingmouse Stamps for a long time.  In fact, the WMS Sketch Challenge was the very first card challenge I ever entered!  So, of course when she asked if I would join the Flower Show blog hop, I was ALL IN:)  Let's get to the flowers, shall we?  

For my first card, I used WMS's lovely Folk Art Medallion stamp set.  This builder set has so many wonderful elements that just fit together perfectly!  I started by stamping the large flower medallion and added in all kinds of elements in bright cheery colors.  Then I stamped the small circle medallion in the same colors and cut it with my circle punch.  To temper some of the hot colors, I created a vellum frame overlay to go over both of the medallions.  This softened up the colors and gave me a place to stamp the sentiment (from Say It Loud).  

Here's a closer look.  I love how you can have a complex background but it doesn't look too busy (or at least I hope not!).  

My second flower card uses the WMS stamp set Camellia.  This card is heat embossed in gold onto black card stock.  The corners have a bit of metallic cardstock to frame the embossed panel.  Complete easy, but really dramatic!  {After repeated tries, I only got one good pic of this card!  If anyone has any tips on capturing black and gold, I'm all ears.}  Doesn't that Camellia stamp beautifully?  

That's it for me!  Now I'm off to see what the other gals have created!  You know it's going to be amazing!  Here's the list of flower show hoppers today...

To celebrate the flower show, Claire will be hosting a challenge to CASE one of the projects from the flower show blog hop!  Don't worry, you've got until April 23rd to create your own flower projects:)  One lucky person picked at random will win 5 stamp sets!  Check out the WMS Blog for details!  

Thanks for stopping by!  And big thanks to Claire for letting me play along:)

Mahalo and Aloha,

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mama Elephant April Stamp Highlight: Central Park

***please scroll down for my Avery Elle/A Blog Named Hero post and my CASE Study post***

Hey y'all!  Welcome back for the next Mama Elephant's April release highlight!  The new release is already available in the store as we feature the new releases one by one:)   The third set to highlight is Central Park!  You've already seen me use this set this week during the Stampede, but I've got one more card to show you:)

I'm a big fan of NYC, so you know I love this set!  My sister and I used to take regular trips up to NYC and we loved every minute of it!  Each trip lasted only a few days, but those trips were packed with fun train rides, stays at gorgeous boutique hotels, and shopping for EVERYTHING IMAGINABLE!  It also included lots of scary cab rides, lol!  Well, this cab ride isn't so scary;)

What a shocker, I used the cityscape stamp (again).  I love the large scale of it!!  I split it in two to make a background and plunked a cute yellow cab right in the middle.  The "road" was made by masking the shape and blending black Distress ink over it.  I used a white gel pen to create the road lines.  [The trick is to draw in the lines shortest to longest to really emphasize the perspective]  Really fun to do!

I hope you enjoyed the card today!  Please be sure to visit the other Mama Elephant team members and see what they did this fun set!
JJ Bolton (you are here)

Come back tomorrow for the last highlight from the April release!  Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Mahalo and Aloha,

A Blog Named Hero Collaboration Week: Avery Elle & Hero Arts!

***please scroll down to see my CASE Study post***

It's a special week for the Avery Elle DT:)  This week we taking part in collaboration week over on the A Blog Named Hero challenge site!  ABNH is the brainchild of Mary Dawn and Linda and they host weekly challenges using Hero Arts products.  During collaboration weeks, the challenges pair up Hero Arts with other crafty companies!  That means all this week, the AE DT (love acronyms;) will be sharing projects that combine Avery Elle products with Hero Arts products! You don't even know how much I love this combo:)   ***grinning like a crazy person*** Let's get to the cards, shall we?

For my first card, I used the smaller macaron stamp and coordinating die from the Avery Elle set Bonjour.  I totally can't resist little rainbow colored macarons:)  I paired the macarons with THE PERFECT Hero Arts sentiment from the Glow Girl stamps set.  I also used some of Hero Arts great shadow inks for the macarons.  (Note to self: Get all the Hero Arts inks, lol!)  

For my second card, I used the same macaron stamp, but this card is for a slightly different audience:)  What was a dainty French macaron is now a yummy moon pie!   This one is for my good-ole boy husband who introduced me these Southern treats! 

For the sentiment, I used a Hero Arts stamp from the Darling Sentiments set. I love how the sentiment looks in white on black cardstock.  I stuck the little sentiment "chalkboard sign" into the moon pie with a toothpick.  

The moon pie looked a little lonely all by himself, so I stamped a strip of Hero Arts envelope pattern to add to the left side. That Envelope Pattern stamp is hands down one of my most favorite Hero Arts stamps EVER and I use it all the time.  It has great subtle texture without taking over the whole card:)

Thanks so much for stopping in today!  Hop on over to Heather's blog today too to see what AE/ABNH goodies she has to share!

Mahalo and Aloha,


Live Colorfully Card
Avery Elle Bonjour stamps and dies
Hero Arts Glow Girl stamps
Hero Arts Butter Bar, Bubble Gum ink

To the Moon and Back Card
Avery Elle Bonjour stamps and dies
Hero Arts Envelope Pattern stamp
Hero Arts Darling Sentiments stamps

CASE Study Week 3

Oh my, it's already week 3 of my month with CASE Study!  Can I just say that I am BLOWN AWAY by all the folks that are playing along!  I've definitely been busy visiting all the entries and they are just wildly, wildly creative!  [I wasn't sure if I was supposed to comment lest anyone get the idea that I'm trying to influence the vote, lol!]  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for playing along:)  For this week, Chupa has chosen a card that I made for the second round of Gallery Idol.  I first blogged about this card in this post... 

The original card was a total blast to make and I'm embarrassed to say how much I played with that card after I made it;)  For my CASE card, I pulled 3 main elements from the original: bold color, a reverse die cut, and an interesting filler!  The result is this card...

I started this card by cutting the custom sentiment onto a panel using my Silhouette.  Behind the die cut panel is an acetate "pocket".  The pocket is just 2 acetate panels with foam tape sandwiched between.  The double-sided foam tape goes all around the perimeter of the acetate to create an air-tight pocket that you can fill with your filler material.  (I left a little hole at at the top where I could add the filler)  Can you guess what the filler is?  Colored sand!  

A while back, I picked up this multi-color pack of sand at Michael's with just this kind of card in mind.  The sand almost looks like colored glitter but it's so much cheaper.  So just like those sand bottles you did in 4th grade, I filled up that acetate pocket layer by layer.  The fun level on this project is a 10! 

The trick to this project is to really load up the acetate pocket.  Add the sand, shake out the air pockets, add the sand, shake out the air pockets.  Loading the pocket as much as you can will keep the sand from shifting.  The last step it to plug up the fill hole with a small piece of foam tape.   

To put the card together, I glued the die cut panel over the filled acetate pocket (make sure you glue on those small pieces inside the "4", "A", and "P").  Then I glued both of those to the front of the card base.  This card is certainly not mailable (lol), but I was surprised by how well the colors stay separated!  

Thanks so much for stopping in today!  I cannot wait to see what the DT and YOU have in store for this challenge:)

Mahalo and Aloha,

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mama Elephant April Stamp Highlight: Bling

Hey y'all!  Welcome back for the next Mama Elephant's April release highlight!  The new release is already available in the store as we feature the new releases one by one:)   The second set to highlight is Bling!

You know that Mama Elephant is known for it's fresh and fun sentiment sets and they've done it again with this set!  If you love to do bright and colorful backgrounds, this is the just the set you NEED!  (Can you say blended ink, sprays, or washi tape?)  Of course, after I said that, I totally went for a different approach;)  I decided to emboss my sentiment using multiple embossing powders in the brightest colors I could find! 

This card is actually 3 pieces: the card base, the pink panel (cut on an angle), and the embossed panel with the sentiment (also cut on an angle).  To get that perfect color match, I embossed the edge of the pink panel with the same embossing powder as I used for the sentiment.  To get a really bold saturated stripe, I used scortape instead of Versamark to adhere the embossing powder.  I love how all the neon pops off the black!  

Thank you for checking in on me today:)  Please go visit the other Mama Elephant team members and see what they did this hot set!
JJ Bolton (you are here)

Come back tomorrow for the next highlight from the April release!  Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Mahalo and Aloha,

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Mama Elephant April Stamp Highlight: Tree Friends

Hey peeps!  You've seen the peeks all week from Kryssi and stampeded with the whole gang, now it's time for Mama Elephant's April release highlights!  If you didn't already know, the new release is live NOW and available for purchase in the store!  The first set to highlight is Tree Friends!

This set is just screams Spring, and honestly, who isn't ready for Spring now?  For my card, I channeled my softer side and used shades of pastels instead of my usual rainbow shades;)  I stamped the beautiful large image of a tree in full bloom and went to work with my Copic markers.  

To break up all the open space, I fussy cut around the tree and layered that over a stamped card base.  The pink card base is stamped in pink with the wide polka dot stamp from the Basic Borders set.  Aren't those little forest creatures adorable?

That's it for me today!  THANK YOU for stopping in!  Please go visit the other Mama Elephant team members and see what they did this lovely set!
JJ Bolton (you are here)

Come back tomorrow for another highlight from the April release!  Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Mahalo and Aloha,

Monday, April 15, 2013

Mama Elephant April Stampede

Hey people!  Welcome to the Mama Elephant April Stampede!  You've already seen the first looks at the April release on the Mama Elephant blog, and the new release is now live and available for purchase in the store here!  For the stampede, I'm using the new set Central Park!  

Obviously, this set was designed with New York in mind, but it has so many fun images!  I of course gravitated straight to the large cityscape image!  To take advantage of the large scale, I used the stamp behind a word I die cut with my Silhouette.  I blended inks to create a summer night but kept the glow around the buildings:)  I love combining stamping and die cuts!

To celebrate the new release, Mama Elephant is giving away 3 gift certificates worth $20 each to 3 lucky people!  Winners will be chosen at random from the collective blogs in the Stampede.  Winners will be announced on the blog Friday, April 19th.  

Here's how to qualify to win (leave a separate comment for each):
1) Leave a comment on this blog post
2) Become a follower of the Mama Elephant blog
3) Like/share Mama Elephant on Facebook
4) Follow/tweet about Mama Elephant on Twitter

Are you ready to stampede?  Here's the list of designer blogs you'll be visiting.
JJ Bolton (you are here)

Thank you so much for stopping by!!  Come back tomorrow for the start of the DT stamp highlights!  

Mahalo and Aloha,

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Avery Elle April Release Highlight: Bonjour

***please scroll down for my CASE Study post***

Hi guys!  Today Heather and I have more April release projects to share!  Today, I'm working with the stamp set Bonjour and the coordinating dies!  Seriously, how cute are those macarons!  Total cute overload:)

So who wouldn't love a box of colorful macarons for their birthday?  (Okay, the real thing may be a little bit better, but this is just as fun;)  With the coordinating dies, this card was super, super easy and quick to do.  Don't the dies cut perfectly?  I absolutely love how Jamie has designed the dies with a narrower space around the stamped image.  Since the die is open in the middle, it's a cinch to center perfectly over the stamped image.  No more wonky die cuts, lol!  For the box, I used the border stamp (embossed in gold) to dress it up a bit.  The sentiment is also embossed in gold with a couple of the flourish stamps.  

Thanks so much for stopping in today!  Hop on over to Heather's blog today too! She's highlighting the set Link It Up!

Mahalo and Aloha,

CASE Study Week 2

Hi guys!  It's week 2 of my month with CASE Study and this week Chupa has chosen one of my favorite cards!  I first blogged about this card in this post...

I took inspiration from the colorful cardstock and the puzzle-like design and created this card...

When this card is closed, it looks like a simple reverse cut design, but it actually opens up like this...

The card was assembled from 5 different pieces cardstock.  The white base measures 5"X5" and the colored pieces measure 5" X 5-1/4".  The extra 1/2" is used as a tab to adhere the flap to the white base.  Starting from the outermost flap, I cut the largest square.  I used that die cut to center the next layer and so on until all 4 layers were cut.   

Here you can see the 4 layers cut out and ready to be attached to the white card base.  Each folded tab is adhered to the white base using narrow scoretape onto the 4 sides of the card base.  

The last step is to stamp the sentiment onto a vellum strip and attach it to the inside of the yellow layer.  This card is so much fun and now I'm thinking what other nesting dies I could try:)

Thanks so much to everyone for playing along!  It's been a blast checking out everyone's cards!  

Mahalo and Aloha,

Paper ~ Avery Elle Ultra Smooth Pure White/Aquamarine/Lemongrass/Mimosa, PTI Berry Sorbet
Stamps ~ Hero Arts
Dies ~ Spellbinders Squares
Ink ~ Versafine Onyx

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Avery Elle April Release: Funky Monkey

***please scroll down for my CASE Study post***

Hi guys!  Today Heather and I have some new April release projects to share!  Last month we had a hipster hippo and giraffe.  This month we've got a sassy little monkey!  And this little guy has some pretty cool accessories;)  

For my card, I took that little guy and gave him a bunch of friends in rainbow colors!  And they're all "hanging" from a bit of twine that I stitched into the card.  For fun, I used matching washi tape on their bellies:)  (Note to self: get more washi!)  Anybody else singing to themselves...five little monkeys jumping on the bed..;)

Thanks so much for stopping in today!  Hop on over to Heather's blog today too! She's highlighting the set Rounded Diamonds!

Mahalo and Aloha,

CASE Study in April

Today I have a fun little secret to share:)  I have been invited by Chupa of the CASE Study Challenge site to play muse for the month of April!  What a wonderful surprise that was!  Most of you know how it works, but for those who don't, here's the deal.  For every week in April, Chupa has chosen one of my cards and we all play along CASEing it (me included)!   The card that she's chosen for the first challenge is this one that I blogged about almost a year ago in this post...

Shortly after, I did a tutorial on how it was done in this post.   For my CASE Study card, I wanted to get that same feeling, but didn't want to completely duplicate the technique.  So this time I went with a reverse die cut version.  

I started off by stamping my favorite flower stamp from Avery Elle's Petals and Stems set.  I stamped it right in the middle of a 5"X5" (folded) card base.  Then I stamped the same flower onto a 5"X5" card panel.  To get the exact same alignment, I used a stamp positioner (in this case a Stamp-a-jig).  Then I cut the 4 petals from the stamped panel.  I cut the shape of the petals with my new Rounded Diamonds dies which matches the overall shape of the original card.  Then I cut each letter out of each petal.  

To create a bit of depth, I used the same ink I stamped with and a Fantastix blending stick to subtly shade the flower.  To make sure the petals and the background looked seamless, I taped the petals over the background and then did my shading.  (If you're wondering, I use Post-It label repositional tape for this purpose).   I think this technique looks so cool because the overlay layer is the exact same image as the background layer.  When you look at it from an angle, there are no white spaces under the die cuts and the flower almost looks like it's floating!  

I hope you enjoyed my CASE today!  I do hope that you all will play along too!  Thank you so much to Chupa for the invitation!  I can't wait to see what the DT has in store:) There are some of my absolute favorite people in the world on that team (Ms. Jeanne;).

Everyone have a wonderful day!

Mahalo and Aloha,

Paper ~ Avery Elle Ultra Smooth Pure White
Stamps ~ Avery Elle Petals and Stems
Dies ~ Avery Elle Rounded Diamonds, Clear and Simple Stamps Alphabet
Ink ~ Fresh Ink Strawberry
Other ~ Tsusineko Fantastix, Copic marker