Saturday, August 15, 2015

gossamer blue inspiration blog hop :: august :: jar of tags

It's the 15th of the month, which means it's time for the Gossamer Blue Inspiration Blog Hop!  Hopefully you've been finding these monthly tours helpful; we do it to give you plenty of ideas for using up the contents of your GB kits.  I always come away with some great concepts from the other girls.  You've probably just arrived from Patricia's blog and she's definitely had some brilliant ideas!

My project today couldn't be simpler...a jar of super-duper easy tags.  I always have a lot of embellishments left from my monthly kits; most of them I tell myself I'm going to save and use later.  Sadly, though, I rarely ever get the chance to revisit them, so this month I told myself I'm going to find a way to use up as much from August's kits as possible.  The beauty of a kit subscription is that there will be another one (or 8!) next month, right?  So...No. More. Saving! 

August's kits come with a lot of small elements--puffy stickers, enamel dots, adhesive brads, to name a few--and to utilize them, all I did was take multiple sizes of white strung tags (these are Avery brand, sized 3/4" x 1" to 1 3/4" x 2 3/4") and put one or two of those embellishments on them.  Really.  I made 50 or so small tags in about 15 minutes and now I have an entire jar of them for all my needs.

  While some of them are summery, most of them aren't so I'll be reaching for these when I need a tag for teacher's gifts, thank you notes, and maybe even some birthday presents.

The stamps in the kits also worked well for this project.  

And so did the cork shapes and washi tape!  

And did I mention die cuts?  I think you get the point.  

If you want to take it a step further, make up a jar for someone else.  It's a practical, inexpensive, handmade gift.  I quickly whipped some up for a friend of mine and even embellished the tags on the jar (simply) with some alpha stickers and a glitter heart die cut.

If you have similar embellishments to use up from past kits, I encourage you to get them out and make yourself loads of tags!  Use those kits up!  You don't even need to use these white tags; I have a feeling that paper scraps would work just as well, and by using scraps, you're working double-time to shrink your stash.  Out with the old to make room for something new...

If you don't own August's kits yet, you're in luck because there a few left (links below).  Check out the GB Shop and then be sure to visit Sian Fair's page (or vice versa :).  She's the next stop on the Blog Hop and her blog is simply gorgeous!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

gossamer blue :: august :: enclosure cards

For most of us, summer is a hustling and bustling time.  It's full of vacations, picnics, reunions, showers, weddings, parties; I could go on.  It's all very well and fun, but most of those things often require a gift, and, if you're on the go all the time with a hectic summer schedule, you may find yourself falling short on time when it comes to wrapping or making cards and tags.

Using this month's Life Pages cards, along with glassine envelopes and a few embellishments, I came up with a basket of gift enclosure cards that should get me through the rest of my summer and maybe even take me into autumn.  It's quick and easy if you want to do it, too!

To make the enclosures, I gathered some of my favorite LP cards and packaged them in glassine.  Depending on the size, I used either an envelope (2x2 / 4x4) or a bag (3x3.75).  {You may need to slightly trim each card.}  Mostly, the cards speak for themselves and sometimes there's room to compose a short message.  If not, I'll insert a blank card behind it with my hand-written well wishes.

The possibilities are simple but endless when you stick to a few simple components:
1. glassine bag/envelope
2. Life Pages card
3. embellishments--tags, stickers, fabric, washi tape, die cuts
4. clothespin for secure closure
So easy!

I generally let the LP cards do most of the favorites are the ones with minimal but striking graphics, like this 'Shine, shine, shine' sentiment.  The color is gorgeous and I love the typography so it was easy to slip it into a glassine bag and allow the message to show through (albeit, the bags are less transparent than the envelopes).  A strip of bright yellow fabric and clothespin from my personal collection paired with the pink and orange tag from the Bits & Pieces kit makes for a warm greeting.  And may I tell you how much I love that this month featured rolls of washi tape in some of the kits?  I don't think I'm alone in my washi compulsion.  It goes so well with this little ensemble so I used a piece to help secure my bag closed.

Another set...this one completely different but just as summery with that yummy pink ice cream! There are so many patterns at play here, and even the type in the ice cream scoop creates a pattern, which is brilliant!  For this card, I also added a transparent photo sticker from the LP Themed Add-on kit--'chill out'--for an extra detail.

I travelled back east in July where my family lives and we spent a couple of days at the lake with them. I wish I had had this card to give to my cousin; we have countless memories from childhood summers spent at our grandparents' house on the lake...running around in flip flops (or maybe just bare feet), in and out of the water, collecting shells.  We've tried to re-create some of those days for our own children in the last few years.  I might just end up sending this one to her.

Here is a good one for a reunion with an old friend...but, it's also just right for a wedding!  Simply remove the 'YOU + ME' tag and you're all set!

I have enough LP cards and embellishments to tackle every season with a project like this.  And if we think summer is a busy time, wait until we're in the midst of the holidays, right?  I think I'll be really happy to have something like this ready-made when it comes to surprise get-togethers and last minute gifts.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

gossamer blue :: july :: pink and gold packaging

You may have seen this last month on the Gossamer Blue blog, but in case you didn't, I'm re-posting it here.  I hope I never outgrow pink & gold...

July's kits were full of bright, happy colors that are so perfect for summer.  While I loved working with the full spectrum of rainbow hues on my other projects, I just couldn't resist my favorite color palette of blush pink, gold, and a bit of black.

The first thing I see when going through the monthly kits is the big picture.  That means my brain is focusing on all of that color and automatically wants to take the products and produce something like this...

I love projects like these mini cards (they photograph so well, for one!), but they are a bit of a departure for me, as I tend to gravitate toward softer colors, for some reason.  It's always good to step outside your comfort zone and challenge yourself, but admittedly, it was a sweet moment when I was able to break down the kit pieces and isolate the blush pink and gold in the midst of all the bold, primary-esque tones. 

Hiding amongst the reds, oranges, and blues this month were the slightest bits of pale pink--stickers from Shimelle and vellum circles, both in the Main Kit.  I adore pink and gold as a soft, sweet palette (I hope it's not passé yet), but I also love what happens when you add black to the mix; it's like going from the bridal shower tea to the bachelorette party!

Another thing I'm excited about is that the Life Pages cards now come in these kraft bags because I can always find a way to incorporate them into packaging.

'Happy Hello' was the first card I made and it started when I put a pink sticker over the 'Today's Top Story' card from LP Kit #3.  There is a smidge of the spring green showing and a thin black line, both of which I liked for their classic design elements.  Initially, these tags were going in an entirely different direction, but as I got into the project and began putting the phrases together, I let the cards and color palette define themselves.

The 'Hello' card went in the direction of layered, trendy, almost geometric, but the ideas and aspects I was trying on the other two cards for that same look weren't working.  I was sure I wanted to keep black as a component, though, so I had to find a way to incorporate it elsewhere.  The first thing I did was use black glitter clothespins to secure the tags to each bag.  They looked pretty bare, so I tried black twine, black ribbon, and a couple of black and white washi tapes from my stash, none of which I was happy with.

Then I remembered the black and gold labels by Seven Paper and they worked like a dream!  They had the edge I wanted and I loved that they were a true black so they really pop against the white cards.  They're sticky so they work just as well as tape, too.  I chose fun phrases and snipped a V out of them, and the packaging was complete.  Oh, and a little lace, of course.

The gold foil stickers (Main Kit), also from Seven Paper, were another facet I used on each card.  The tags don't have to match exactly, but a few like elements gives the set a cohesive feel.

In the July kits, with their full spectrum of colors, I managed to come up with something entirely different (nearly color-less), so it just goes to show that if you look carefully, Gossamer Blue kits have you covered for any situation!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

gossamer blue :: august :: summer cards

I'm getting back to my paper crafting roots today with a handful of cards that I made from the Gossamer Blue August kits.  Have you checked out the kits yet, or subscribed?  There are a few that have already sold out so you'd better hurry!

I'll admit that sometimes, when I'm crafting, I start putting different elements together and I don't always know what I'm going to end up making--a card, a tag, a package, something else?  In many ways, if I sit down and tell myself to make a card, the process takes longer because I've given myself the limitation of only making a card.  But if I sit down to craft and I'm just gathering bits and pieces to make something--anything--the compositions seem to come together much faster.

When I was creating my GB projects for August, I was working on all of them at the same time.  That's generally how it goes each month when I break out my kits.  I love the freedom I have to make whatever my heart desires, and in August, for example, I ended up with quite a few projects; I even have a couple unfinished pieces.  I can't promise they'll ever be completed, mind you, but they still sit just 2 feet away from me...hoping.

This yellow card with the flamingo was actually going to be something else...a 4x4 enclosure card (which you'll be seeing many more of later this month!), but no matter what I did, I could not get a finished product that I loved.  But when I tried a rearrangement and piled everything on top of a 4x4 folded card instead, I liked the results much better.

And here, I was desperately trying to get this to be a tag.  The 'Life is Good' tag is already a tag, for one, and I liked the simplicity of the bike sticker with it.  The problem?  Since the bike is a sticker, I'd need to tediously trim some white paper to put behind the part that is not adhered to the tag or it's going to stick to everything it comes into contact with.  My other option was to add a patterned paper or another kind of backing, again, so the sticker had something to rest against.  I wasn't crazy about either of those choices.  So I grabbed another 4x4 folded card, added a doily and some gold thread, and I liked what I saw.

The finishing touch was the 'in the sunshine' sticker underneath the tag; it balances the yellow from the bicycle's handlebars and seat.  That may not have been possible to add if this was a tag.

This 'free' experience doesn't come without it's little problems, though.  When you're sitting down to create and you have no limitations (or limited limitations!), staring at a huge pile of new papers and embellishments can be overwhelming without having some kind of direction.

In those situations, I generally find my groove after awhile and the projects begin coming together.  With these kits, in particular, I made a lot of stuff!  6 cards, 12 enclosure cards, 3 large tags, and a jar of 20+ mini tags (also, more on that later this month!).  That's what happened when I allowed myself to create without limitations.  I didn't start out by saying I would make this, this, or that.  I just started creating and up until the very last minute, I didn't actually know what my angle was!

I usually do try to have sets of things (cards, tags, gifts) because a set tells a better story than random pieces thrown together...ahem, like I've got here today ;)  BUT, when you make a coordinating set, you give yourself restrictions and my point today is about not setting boundaries and just being free to color outside the lines.

Because sometimes, you just have to go where the day takes you, even if it's a bundle of mismatched greeting cards.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

gossamer blue :: august :: mason jar tags

Well, hello there!  It's the first day of August--that's kind of impossible, right?  A new month means new kits from Gossamer Blue, which is always good news!  The August kits celebrate everything summer and I liked them so much, I got a little carried away making projects!

I'll be sharing them all over the course of the month, starting with my first project: a set of tags featuring Mason Jar Pockets.  You can find the pockets in the Bits & Pieces kit (along with some other must-haves!).  This was actually the last project I made and kind of an afterthought, just using up some leftover scraps on my desk.  It's ended up being one of my favorite projects for the month, though!


For the kinds of projects I do, the best kits always have lots of little bits (enamel dots, cork and wood shapes, stickers) and die cuts--die cuts are the absolute best!  The August kits contain a plethora of these embellishments so it was easy to add details, which I think are what help make my compositions interesting--it's all in the details!  (Pretty patterns help, too, of course!)

To create the base for two of the tags, I used packaging--this one uses the card backing that the Mason Jar Pockets came with (it's cream with a strip of aqua 'water').  When you have the heavier elements like the chipboard mason jar and tassel, it's nice to have something rigid behind them.  So many companies now are using pretty package designs so I always try to utilize it.

This tag features packaging from the pack of Fancy Pants die cuts that are found in the Life Pages Themed Add-On.  It's a soft blue fan design and it's subtle so it's not overwhelming when paired with the busy floral pattern and bright pink and yellow elements.

I've definitely jumped on the tassel bandwagon and I'm not sorry!  Texturally, I'm in love with what they add to a composition.  They're not too difficult nor expensive to make, either, yet they give tags and gifts such a pretty look without much effort.

Be sure to check out the kit reveal and gallery on the GB site today!  There is so much to see over there and I don't want to enable you or anything, but you probably want to make a big cup of coffee and browse for awhile.  It's a summer Saturday--relax!