Sunday, August 17, 2014

10 year old's Magical Birthday Card

I attended a 10-year-old boy's birthday picnic in the park the other day. I had to make a card super fast. When I need instant inspiration, I turn to sketches. I made this card using the Deconstructed Sketch #163.
I really like the Deconstructed Sketches because they strike a great balance between complexity and simplicity. I find a lot of challenges (especially colour ones) have too much going on. I find them overwhelming. Deconstructed Sketches, though, they have a great blend between interest and clarity.

Here's my dragon card:
I think this image is so sweet. It's part of the Sweet November line from C.C. Designs. I coloured it with Copic markers. I swiped my grey ink pad over the sentiment strip to create that texture. I made this card lightning fast compared to my normal rumination and creation pace. The next day, I thought of the poem for the inside while on lunch at work. The day after that, the card went to the recipient!

I used three colours of Copics: a base colour, a mid tone and a dark tone. The mid and dark tones I simply dotted over the image which I completely covered in the base tone (the lightest colour).
I fussy cut around the bottom and tail so I could fit the sentiment underneath. I hope this card was enjoyed! Funny thing, the gift sort of went with it. It was completely unplanned this way but we got Grimlock, the Dinobot as the gift. Dragon, dinosaur, close enough!

I've since made a few more with different dragon colours and papers. It was pretty simple!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Alcohol Markers Comparison

A while back, I picked up a set of Bic Mark-It alcohol markers. When I got them home, I wanted to compare them to my Copic Markers. I also purchased a pair of alcohol markers from Close to My Heart. (The CTMH ones were sold in pairs: a dark one and a light one of the same tone. Now, CTMH sells Shin Han Touch Twin alcohol markers now instead.)

So, I coloured some butterflies up and I'm going to share with you how it turned out.

I did not have all the exact same colours, but I tried to get them close. I like teal, so that's what I tried first.
On the left, we have the Copic markers: BG10 and BG72.  (Normally, you wouldn't blend a 1 and a 7 in Copics but I eyeballed them in the store and I thought they worked well together.) The copics blended the best.

In the middle, we have the CTMH markers in Twilight. I found the gap between the light and dark to be quite large. Even though you can see the two tones quite clearly, I think I managed to get them to blend well enough.

On the right, we have the Bic Mark-Its in Tranquil Teal and Hot Aqua. These take a little longer to get the blending effects to work. Again, these two colours were a little farther apart then I would have liked, but I think they still blended nicely.  I'm quite happy with my purchase of the Bic Mark-Its. It's great value for money and a great way to experiment with alcohol markers. Even though one of my markers came out bone dry and, when I sent it back, they sent me free stuff but not the marker I needed because they were out - despite that, still good value for money.

I wanted to see what other colours I could marry up in the Bic Mark-Its, so I tried some other combinations.
On the left, I used Pink Flamingo and Desert Rose. On the right, I used Fandango Pink and Plumtastic Purple. (What?) Yeah - purple and hot pink. Based on the cap colours, I would not have tried these colours. However, I know that cap colours are not always perfect. So, I pulled off the caps and tried them on a piece of scrap paper and I really liked how they worked together. They were farther apart then I would have liked, so I did have to work at it a little bit. It worked with the teal, why not with the pinks, right?

Here's a closer look at them.
They came out remarkably similar. The purple served to create a darker shade but, really, these two look like they came from a consecutive array of colours.

These are all great markers. I still notice that the Copics are a cut above but, are they so far ahead as to justify the price? Perhaps not for the casual crafter. (Totally for the serious artist though - and those who enjoy imagining we're one!)

Happy Colouring!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

High Hopes For the Boys Challenge!

I am a guest designer over at High Hopes Rubber Stamps in their Challenge #230: One for the Boys. I entered their last colour challenge with my Snowman card and my name came up in the random draw!  As a result, I won a free stamp and a chance to be a guest designer in this challenge.

I happen to have a wonderful High Hopes Boy stamp called Froggy Gift. I coloured him up with my Tombow Dual Tip Watercolour Markers.

This one is going to the Kards for Kids at Toronto's Sick Kids hospital card drive. I made sure to use Stickles glitter glue in place of bling around the mat of the image. I simply hand wrote the sentiment and popped it up on foam tape.


I can't wait to get my next "boyish" stamp from High Hopes!  I chose Robot with Balloon so I can make more guy cards for my nephews.

I have to say, it took me quite a long time to colour this image. I am so fussy, I couldn't just leave it alone. I kept touching it up and touching it up and messing it up and touching it up. I will say that watercolours are fairly forgiving. I can always re-wet it and keep going into it. However, I messed up his hat a zillion times. I blobbed the red right out of the lines. Took me forever to clean it up. Then I did it 2 more times! When my watercolour paper finally started to pill from my clean up efforts, that's when I drew the line and moved on! (I got red in his ear too near the hat. I fixed that too though.) Why is red so hard to work with! Whether it's waterolours or alcohol markers, red is so difficult to control! Anyone have some tips?

Overall, I think I'm a marker girl: instant gratification. You can muck with it a little, but once it's down, it's down. It's dry. Move on!

I learned from my last colouring card where I tried out my Pro-Markers. I remembered to stamp inside before assembling my card. This time I just have him peeking out from the corner. This is a large card (5 x 7 inches) so there's lots of room to write a message.


Hurray for High Hopes Stamps! They have lovely, wholesome images. Many of them are pretty big, but they have small ones too and scene building sets too if you are in to that. Check them out!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Christmas in July Snowman!

As promised, I played with my new Tombow Dual Tip water colour markers. I finally found this adorable High Hopes Rubber Stamps "Stackable Stanley" at a brick'n'mortar shop in Canada (One Crazy Stamper in Bolton, Ontario. They have an online shop too.) So, I snagged it and used it to enter the High Hopes challenge #228: Green, Blue, White/Cream.

I had planned to do an actually stacked image, but they only had the large Stackable Stanley; not the small one. So, I had to change up the design.
I'm quite proud how it turned out! I even used some twine, which is something I rarely reach for. I used water colours on Stanley: a very pale grey in his body, orange on his nose and brown and blue on his scarf. You can see it better in this close up (click the photo for a larger view).
I need a little more practice with the water colours. I've learned that I do not have the patience to let one section dry before moving to an adjacent section. So, I cheated and whipped out my heat gun to force it to dry!  Takes less than 10 seconds that way. (P.S. The sentiment stamp came from the sale bins at Michael's one year.)

I took a page from Amy Rysavy and decorated the inside with a hint of the outside. Do check out her blog. I really like how she does her cards - especially the creative ways she makes the insides match.
I was going to stamp Stanley in faint grey in the middle, but by the time I got this far in to the card, I chickened out! If it wasn't perfect the whole thing would have been ruined! I have to remember to do that part first next time!

I think Stackable Stanley is adorable. I might just have to get the mini version too. Then I could have a stackable snowman family!