Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Copic Colouring - Cute Dragons

Well, I finally did it. I've been mulling over Sandy Allnock's Copic Colouring class series for a couple of years. I really want to take the scenery mini classes but I thought it best to take the Copic Jumpstart class first.

I did take an in-person class in September 2018 with two instructors from the U.S. at a scrapbook store. They gave us the set of makers we needed to use for class. I learned a bit, reinforced some existing knowledge, and attempted to understand light and shadow but it still evades me. I understand the shadows from the main light source. It's where the light would bounce back and hit other areas kinda behind or at the edges of the light source that I always get wrong. And, for some reason, I struggle with cast shadows. Mine always look utterly unnatural.

Anyway, the Jumpstart class lets you use what *you* have. Since the in-person class provided all the markers you needed, it made it seem easy. Sandy's class encourages you to use what you have and find combinations that work. I am not a big experimenter, myself, so I've spent a number of years amassing the markers (or alternates) needed for the class so that I would not have to spend time figuring out something that works before being able to do the lessons. I've also noted down combos I've found in videos over time and, with Sandy's class, I now have a nice and neat way to catalogue them! (More on that later.)

Here's my first stamp image colouring from Lesson #2: Blending. (Click picture for larger image.)

I love these dragons by C.C. Designs Rubber Stamps. I only coloured the bodies at this point. When I finish the rest of them, I think will use them on some cards or notepads or something. I stuck to a blending group for this one. However, now that I have Sandy's catalogue system, I've found a different dragon-green combo I'll probably use going forward.

She gives a blending practice chart. I've put the combos I like on it - most are from class using the alternates that I have, and some from the internet. Then, I cut them apart and put them on a binder ring. That way, it doesn't matter what order I colour them in on the page. Plus, if I do any I don't like, I don't have to worry about "the ugly one" that ruins my page. By cutting them out, you get the added bonus of not having to worry about colouring outside the lines! I can put all the like colours next to each other and hold them to my project to see which one I want to use. It's the same idea as having ink swatches. I now have blending group swatches to catalogue my blends!


For example, the teals are my favourites (the blue-green family). BG72 was one of the first markers I ever bought. I bought it to do softened, winter rooftops on a village stamp I got. Back then, I had no idea about the blending families or even how Copics blend at all. I bought them because they were streakless markers. After this exercise, my BG72 is pretty much all dried out but at least I know what to blend it with now (once I buy a refill for it).

First, I stayed all in the BG family. Then, I tried Sandy's idea of a violet shadow. Rather than an RV, I used my BV04. The shadow has a purplish tinge, but it's okay. So, to get rid of the purplish tinge, I tried a C5 and a C7. I liked the C7 better, so that's what's on the swatch. You can see that the other two give much better contrast in the shadows than the blending family does.

(You can see the back of Sandy's brighter teal combo that uses an RV in the shadow area. Even the backside is pretty!)

I'm on to the light and shadow lesson next. It's not my first try at learning it. We'll see if this style of class helps it sink in!

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Interactive Pull Tab Cards Workshop

Hi Creative Community! I just hosted an interactive card class. We made pull tab cards. I combined things I saw in different videos to make the mechanism that we used. I'll link the best video I saw at the end of this post.

Here are the samples that I made:
(Click any photos for larger views.)

The little reindeer was my favourite. I got that idea from Jennifer McGuire who did it as a double slider card reveal. (Click link to see her video.) The reindeer is completely hidden behind the wreath and pops up when you pull the tab. The wreath and sentiment are from a Stampin' Up! set and the reindeer is from Hello Bluebird ("Yeti or Not" stamp set).

Here are Claire's cards:


I made the coffee mug with the tall dome shaker globe die from Your Next Stamp. I made the handle from a new die set I got by Marianne Design, but you could make it yourself with nested heart dies or punches. The steam and sentiment are also from the "Thanks a Latte" stamp set by Your Next Stamp. The background script is from a background stamp by Gina K. Designs. Then the pull tab is all the way down, the heart-shaped steam is hidden inside the cup. I noticed my steam seems damaged. The hearts don't stamp all the way around like they show on the packaging. It's okay though. Since it's steam, I'm fine with my hearts being incomplete.

Here are Debbie's Cards:


The cloud card was made with one of my new die sets: "Finishing Touches: Stitched Hills and Clouds" by Creative Expressions. It has 3 hills and 2 clouds in the set which are just shy of 6 inches long. That will create a great variety of hills and clouds for the two card sizes I use most often. In the middle, we used a home-made stencil and some Salty Ocean Distress Oxide ink to make the clouds in the background.

Here are Norma's cards:


The balloon basket, critter and sentiments are all from one stamp set by Your Next Stamp called, "Basket Animals", which I believe is retired now. It's not shown in the photos, but when you pull the tab out from the side of the card, the balloon moves sideways across the card front and we stamped a "Happy Birthday" message on the pull tab stick.

Here are Terri-Lynn's cards:

These cards were a hit but they were very time consuming to make, despite me having done almost all of the design ahead of time. Learning how to make the pull tab mechanism was the true focus of the class. I love playing with the result, but I would not mass produce this type of card. These are definitely special deliveries!

If DIY is not for you, many companies make pull tab slider dies (and other kinds of sliders). Two that pop into my head are C.C. Designs Rubber Stamps and Lawn Fawn. If you do want to give the DIY version a go, I really liked this Interactive Bunny Card Tutorial video by Laura Dovalo.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Monster Card for Guys

After I made the last mixed media card, I was afraid it was too much. My style is clean and simple, so this mixed media exploration is quite outside my comfort zone. The idea of artistic freedom - that there's no wrong way for mixed media to turn out - is freeing, but not the way I tend to work.

So, I decided to make another monster mixed media birthday card for another February birthday boy and, this time, tone it down quite a bit.

This monster is from the same C.C. Designs Monster stamp set that I used on the last card. I did more ink smooshing and more stenciling on Strathmore Bristol Smooth paper. I really wanted silver circuitry, so I used my silver Nuvo drops this time to stencil. The product is a little thin to stencil with. It leaked under my stencil which made smudged designs and it dried and tore the paper when I removed the stencil. (In this case, it's okay. It added to the texture of the mixed media piece.)

I used some half-backed pearls that I made with hot glue and green glitter nail polish (coated with floor polish for a permanent, shiny finish). I also used a couple snippets of ribbon. I rarely use ribbon, but I have lots of it. So, I was pleased how well the colours in this ribbon matched the piece and it really did add a nice smooth, shiny texture.

I die cut the sentiment from a larger hexagon and die cut some smaller ones to put behind the stamped image that is popped up on foam tape.

I coloured the monster with  my alcohol markers. I have a poor selection of greens, so I used a mix of Copic Markers and Spectrum Noirs. (I have since purchased some more Copic greens!)

I haven't made a handmade birthday card for this birthday boy before. I tend not to for guys because I have 3 nephews so I run out of ideas for guy cards quickly. Thus, my poor brothers-in-law tend to get neglected in the birthday card department. I make for my nephews, my husband and my dad. By then, I'm out of ideas! But, it was time he got a handmade card from me.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Mixed Media Masculine Card

So, I'm still new in the world of mixed media. I just love watching videos of how so many incongruous things can come together into one congruous piece. I decided to try it out for my nephew's 13th birthday. Cutesy cards just didn't seem to suit this time. I recently purchased these darling monster stamps from C.C. Designs Rubber Stamps. I knew it was perfect for guys! So, that was my planned focal image.


I'm not sure I got the whole congruous part down yet! But I certainly used a bunch of different techniques on this card:

  • Stenciling with texture paste, dyed with mica powder, through a circuit board stencil. Mica powder sheen was completely lost. Randomly sprinkled silver embossing powder on it and heat embossed it.
  • Ink smooshed with metallic (Finnibair) acrylic paint
  • Similarly smooshed the tag and the stamped ticket (cut in half and layered behind tag)
  • Stamped clocks and stars in the background
  • Stenciled stars on the tag with my Nuvo Glimmer Paste (moonstone). LOVE that stuff.
  • Added die cut stars (layered 3 thick for dimension) and half-back pearls
  • Added green micro beads randomly with multi-medium mat glue (for more texture)
  • Tried to pull all the pieces together with a splattering of black acrylic paint
  • Popped the tag and monster up with foam tape


If it's not congruous, it at least has the grunge effect going!
(Click image for larger view)

I coloured the monster with Copic Markers. I wanted him to look fuzzy, so I used flicking instead of blending too much. I thought about putting googly eyes on him after he was coloured, but I spent so much time getting his eyes nice, that I didn't want to cover them up! In hindsight, I should have shaded his belly a little. Oh well.


My nephew said he liked it. (And I'm sure he liked the cash inside too.) This is an A6 card: 6.25 inches by 4.75 inches. I did the mixed media on Strathmore Bristol Smooth paper. I have a 9 x 12 pad, so a quarter sheet is 6 x 4.5. Perfect for this size of card!