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!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Wee Fairy in Promarkers!

Got me some Promarkers to try out!  Some of you may remember how I found my old Letraset Tria markers (greater than a decade old) and learned that they play nicely enough with my Copic markers. Promarkers are also made by Letraset. The Tria has three nibs: chisel, bullet and ultra fine. (After 10+ years, my ultra fine nibs are dried out but the other two work just fine.) Promarkers have two nibs: bullet and chisel.

So, I decided to try out some Promarkers and picked some up on a store closing sale where I also got this Wee Stamp: Rowan Fairy.  (Wee stamps are utterly adorable! They are sold directly in digital form, but you can get the rubber format from Whimsy Stamps. By the way, One Crazy Stamper in Bolton, Ontario, Canada carries Whimsy Stamps product and they have fast shipping!)

The "I Love Promarkers Challenge #228" is Girls, Girls, Girls, so this crafty delivery I got in the mail had just perfect timing.
Click any image for a larger view.
Isn't Rowan gorgeous? (The line art, not necessarily my colouring!) I didn't have enough Promarkers, so I also used my Tria markers. I wanted to use a darker skin tone for a change so I went for a more African American fairy look. Here's what I used:

Skin
TRIA: 471, 470, 469

Dress
TRIA: 265, 123 + colourless blender
PROMARKER: Prussian (V464)

Leaves:
PROMARKER: Forest Green (G356), Pine (G635) and a Promarker Colourless Blender

Branch
TRIA: 470, 469

Red Grapes
PROMARKER: Maroon (M544), Plum (V735)

Hair
I went all out on the hair: five colours! I usually use two colours for everything, and three for hair.  This was definitely a personal record! I find black hair such a challenge to colour.  From reading comic books in my teens (many many moons ago), I know that "black" can be represented by blues, purples and shades of grey. I went for a blue mix on this one and a dark grey for the darkest base.
TRIA: 652, 541, 432
PROMARKER: Denim (C917), Midnight Blue (B624)

Wings
TRIA: 284 and a pile of Colourless Blender

I wanted to use dots of some kind just floating on the page.  I don't have any enamel dots. I tried gems, but the colours didn't work. So, I used buttons. Then I added a C.C. Designs sentiment (that I bought for all my fairy images!).
I wanted only a hint of colour in the wings. I don't have a very pale blue or yellow, so I primed the paper with colourless blender and then added a tiny bit of the blue and then used the colourless blender again.  Using a boatload of colourless blender caused bleeding outside the image. So, I decided to make my image halo in the same blue. At the end, I took a Sakura clear Stardust pen to the wings.
Here's a glimpse at how I figure out what colours I want to mix.
I colour in the excess space around my stamp or else on a scrap piece of paper of the same stock. I have more Wee Stamps to try out, but my next marker challenge will be watercolours!  I've picked up some Tombow Dual Brush Tips water-based markers and I'll give that a go.

What do you like to colour with most?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Christmas In July CIJ 2014

In each of my charity workshops, we usually make 3 cards.  I try to ensure 1 of 3 is a Christmas/Holiday card.  It's the only way I get a head start on my cards for the year!

In my last workshop, we made criss-cross cards.  I used a cute penguin stamp by Stampendous that I got at Michaels on sale after Xmas.

A criss-cross card is a flat card with a pull out insert.

I masked the penguins and sponged on the blue ink.  During the class, I attempted to colour spritz it with my copic blue. It turned out just as well (but, boy, does that thing give your arm a workout!).

I'm preparing "triple stamping" cards for an upcoming workshop.  I've used another Stampendous stamp on the sample:
I liked using the warmer colours on the snowflakes. It was just a little something different for this Christmas card. I also spruced up Santa's outfit with a little sparkle with my Sakura gel pens.

Click picture for larger view.

It's less than 6 months to Christmas guys!  Have you started your crafting?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Father's Day - Inked Embossing Folder Card

There is a technique I've been meaning to try. In truth, I have tried before, but never with satisfactory results. The technique is faux letterpress with an embossing folder.

My first attempt, the ink bubbled on the plastic embossing folder.  It would not lay flat and create any sort of decent coverage.  Now, I wonder if it was the folder.  Perhaps different companies use different plastics.

I tried these cards with a brayer.  I heard it provides more even coverage.  Personally, I found that the direct to embossing folder technique worked better than the brayer.  Even though it still does not get perfect coverage, it gets enough to look vintage or shabby-chic.

I made this Father's Day card for my dad with a 5x7 gears embossing folder made by Darice.
What allows the less-than-full coverage to work is filling in the gaps with a patina colour: rust, or green, even a darker shade of brown.  On this card, I used a dark brown on the folder, green on the raised gears with a direct-to-paper technique and then sponged a lighter brown all over the whole thing.


I made another with the same technique.  This one, I gave to a couple getting married. I used the same dark brown on the outside and then red on the raised floral pattern. You can see what I mean by the less-than-full coverage on this wedding card since I did not use a third colour to fill in the gaps.


I hand wrote the sentiment.

These cards came together fairly quickly.  FINALLY - a satisfactory result!