8/16/2017

Using Brusho Powders

Good morning!  Today's card uses Brusho Crystal Colours.  These are intense powdered paints and are fun to use.  The results are always unique and beautiful while the colors are bright and translucent.
Brusho Crystal Colours
I first took a panel of watercolor paper that was slightly larger than an A2 card and sprinkled it with the Brusho powders.  Then I spritzed it with water and let the water run by tilting the paper.  The powders dissolve quickly but you can see in places where it still retains some of the look of being sprinkled and somewhat powder-like.

Because I tend to be impatient, I used a heat gun to dry the paper, leaving it just damp.  At this point I stamped the large butterfly and honeycomb images so the edges would soften due to the moisture.  For the images I wanted clearer, I waited until the panel was dry to stamp.  I tore the edges of the panel for a more organic feel and mounted it to an A2 card.  The small butterfly was punched out and I adhered just the body so I could fold up the wings slightly.

My cards are often very controlled and tight, so the Brushos are a fun medium for me to play with.  They take me out of my comfort zone.  I've posted other cards where I've used Distress inks to create loose backgrounds, but even those are a bit more controlled than the Brushos! 

Stamps - Stampin Up! Butterfly Basics
Inks - Brusho Crystal Colous; Stampin Up! Crushed Curry, Chocolate Chip, Tangelo Twist 
Punch - Stampin Up! Bitty Butterfly punch

Thanks for visiting!

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8/14/2017

Fairy Tale Wishes

This is a card created as a Guest Designer for Cottage Cutz dies.  I love the Wedding Horse & Carriage and Wedding Chapel dies - they remind me of Cinderella! So I wanted to create a birthday card for a girl who loves fairy tales or could be used as a wedding card (just change the "wish" to "celebrate"!)

I cut the cardstock to 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 and scored it at the 4 1/4 mark to make a top folding A2 card.  All pieces except the word "Wish" are cut from the same vanilla cardstock and colored with Copic markers.

I used E37, E39, E47, E49 for the horse and cool greys - C00, C1, C4, C5 - to shade the carriage and wheels.
The chapel was colored with E50 and E 51 and warm greys - W3 and W5 - for the roof. The rose was colored in the same manner using R81, R83, R85 and G82, G94, G99.
To create the horizon line in the background I cut a free form mask using scissors. Then I used a sponge and a few shades of blue and green ink to create the grass and sky.  The white panel is slightly smaller than the front of the card.
I cut another panel out of vanilla cardstock the same size as the card front.  From this I cut an oval using the largest oval die from Basics Oval Set and embossed it to give it some additional interest.
 I played around with the arrangement within the frame and decided to have the steeple of the chapel outside the frame.
The last things added were the word "Wish" and the rose.  I did need to trim one set of leaves off the rose to fit the space.  I also added rhinestones to the center of the wheels.

Dies - Cottage Cutz

Thanks for visiting!

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8/11/2017

Magical Dragon and More Color Matching!

Happy Friday!  Are you ready for the weekend?  I know I am! Today's card features one of my favorite creatures - a dragon.  And this little guy is adorable.
The layout for this card comes from this week's sketch challenge at CAS Colours & Sketches and the colors are from Splitcoast Stampers Color Challenge.  I colored the cake and dragon with Copic markers matching as closely as possible to the colors for the challenge.  (Challenge colors this week are So Saffron, Pear Pizzazz and Berry Burst - matches listed below.)

I didn't want a plain background and did not have any paper that really inspired me so I pulled out an old giraffe print stencil, ink and sponges.  For the stenciling, I did use the exact ink colors specified in the challnge.  I thought that the green and yellow gave it a "dragon scale" feel rather than "giraffe" feel.  I used a stitched frame to set it off.

The sentiment needed to be more than just ink stamped - it needed some glitz - so I got out my MISTI.  I first stamped it in the berry color then again using Versamark ink, but only over the word "Magical".  While the Versamark was wet I added Heat 'n Stick powder.  Using my heat gun, I melted it and added some iridescent glitter to "Magical".
It really does add some sparkle.  I added a few clear sequins and that was it.

Stamps - My Favorite Things BB Magical Dragons, My Favorite Things BB Happy Hippos (Both with matching dies), My Favorite Things Rainbows of Happiness (sentiment)

Copic Markers - So Saffron YR30, Y21, Y32;  Pear Pizzazz YG93, YG97, G94; Berry Burst RV69, RV63, RV55

Thanks for visiting!

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8/09/2017

Adding Emphasis with a Die Cut

Today's card features a graphic image emphasized using a die cut.
die cut, bird, bloom art stamps
I created the background using distress oxide inks on craft mat and dipping the paper in them. I heat set the inks between layers. I stamped the bird in Chocolate Chip then inked the edges in Early Espresso and stamped again. To add some emphasis on the bird  I used a stitched circle die to cut out the bird's chest and head and a stack of circles in Early Espresso card stock.  This method of adding dimension does several things - it gives a bit of color to the edge of your piece that is popped up off the card, it adds stability to the card, and it emphasizes your focal point in very subtle way. 

I've started using this method recently and I love it!  The only caveat is that you need to be precise in lining up the die cuts so your stack is straight.  I normally use Tombow glue so I have a little time before it sets up and is permanent.

Stamps - Bloom Art Stamps Spring Bird

Thanks for visiting!


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8/07/2017

Designing with Kraft Paper

Happy Monday!  I have two cards today.  Both were made for the Color Throwdown Challenge this week.  Really wonderful colors - green, kraft and white.  Both cards use beautiful stamps from Bloom Art Stamps.  
Colored pencils on kraft paper

Kraft paper gives a very rich look on projects but presents certain challenges with color. Since colored pencils are a more opaque medium, they sit on top of the kraft paper and retain much of their color.  But dye inks tend to soak into the paper so when using them on kraft they can lose some of their vibrancy.
Colored pencils on kraft paper
I used Prismacolor pencils for this card.  I love Prismacolors for their blending ability although on this card I really only had to blend the green shades - the white and brown background shading was created by using different pressures of the pencil. When coloring some of the smaller areas with the white pencil, I inadvertently colored over some of the lines.  To darken them and make them crisp, I drew over them with a multiliner. I also used it to color the edges of the top panel after fussy cutting it out.

Stamps - Bloom Art Stamps Peonies Garden Collection
Pencils used - Lime Peel, Chartreuse, Moss Green, Light Umber, White

For the second card I stamped all images on the kraft cardstock.
Ink on kraft paper
The background florals were second generation stamped in several shades of green.  Knowing that they would lose a bit of vibrancy on the kraft, I picked fairly bright greens.  The bird was stamped in the Baked Brown Sugar ink and I used a sponge dauber with Soft Suede to ink the top edges of the bird stamp to add a little depth.  I used the same technique of inking the stamp and sponging around the edges to create the two tone main flower.
Ink on kraft paper
I wanted to frame the bird and add some white to the card.  I decided to use a stacked die cut for the frame.  This technique gave me a subtle white border to the frame. The die I used is a My Favorite Things pierced rectangle. I cut the top out of kraft and six additional ones from white cardstock.
After gluing the stack together, I cut down the bird panel to fit the frame and adhered all to the card.  Finally, I fussy cut the flower and adhered it and sequins to the card.  I just felt it needed some bling!

Stamps - Bloom Art Stamps Spring Bird and Bird Paradise
Inks - Old Olive, Lemon Lime Twist, Summer Starfruit, Baked Brown Sugar, Soft Suede

Thanks for visiting!



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8/04/2017

Wedding Doves Die Cut Card

Happy Friday!!!  Are you ready for the weekend?  I know I am!  And to make this Friday even more exciting - today I begin a term as a Guest Designer on the Cottage Cutz blog.  For those of you who are not familiar with Cottage Cutz, they are standalone dies that make for some wonderful cards.  They have a variety of styles - from basic shapes to intricate scene builders.

Today's card could be for an anniversary, wedding, or engagement.
I love cards that use only die cuts.  There is something very polished about them.  This one is no exception and you could easily change the colors to match a wedding party.  The layout for this card came from this week's sketch challenge on Splitcoast Stampers.  I had originally laid out his card vertically in almost the exact design, so when I saw the challenge on Splitcoast Stampers I just changed the orientation and did two larger flowers rather than three small ones as originally planned.

To learn more about how the card was put together please visit the Cottage Cutz blog.

Dies used: Cottage Cutz Pair of Doves, Live Laugh Love, Nested Stitched Doily Set, Plumeria and Leaves

Thanks for visiting!



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8/02/2017

Stampin Up! Delightful Daisy DSP with Stamping Bella Edna Blows a Kiss

Today's card is another sketch challenge card - this time from the Stamping Bella blog.
The card features Edna blowing a kiss.  Somewhat difficult to see in the photo, I stamped the fairy dust she is blowing off her hands in Versamark ink and heat embossed with a clear glitter embossing powder.  This is an embossing powder I make by adding glitter to clear embossing powder.  I save the extra in an empty prescription bottle.  (Great use for those bottles by the way!)

Since I have Edna sitting on a daisy I decided to use the Delightful Daisy designer paper.  The paper, colors and design sort of  went hand-in-hand.  After I decided on the paper based on the main image design, I chose the colors based on the paper.

Edna is colored using Copic markers.  Her wings are covered in Wink of Stella. To add a little something extra I punched out the leaves and used rhinestones in the corner.  I believe you can't have too much bling on a card featuring a fairy!

Thanks for visiting!




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7/31/2017

Stampin Up! Delightful Daisy CAS Card

Good Morning!  Today's card was made for three challenges - Splitcoast Stampers Color Challenge CC645 - Daffodil Delight, Wild Wasabi, Pacific Point; Splitcoast Stampers Clean and Simple Challenge CAS349 - Friendship card and CAS Colours & Sketches sketch challenge for 7/25/17.  The thing I love about sketch challenges - the layout is already done!  And for me that can be the most time consuming part of making a card.
Stampin Up, Delightful Daisy, Dragonfly Dreams
The flower stamp I used is designed to be stamped and punched out twice, then assembled as a three dimensional layer on a card offsetting the petals.  Since I was not punching this out and layering it, I needed to mask the daisy to get the second layer of petals.
Stampin Up, Delightful Daisy, Dragonfly Dreams
This was a very easy image to mask.  The only time consuming part was that I needed three masks in order to get two daisies!  I used 3M 2 inch wide Post-It tape for the masks.
Stampin Up, Delightful Daisy, Dragonfly Dreams
I stamped everything in grey on watercolor paper.  The I used a combination of watercolor pencils and dye ink to color the image.  The pencils are handy when you have tight spaces you want to watercolor.  This color challenge specified Stampin Up! colors and although not required to use them (just get close) I chose to use them since I own the colors in a combination of pencils and ink.
Stampin Up, Delightful Daisy, Dragonfly Dreams
When using the pencils I like to use an aqua painter that is just damp.  I find this gives me more control (and it is always easy to add more water if needed.)  I did use a dark brown that was not part of the challenge for the centers and used the Pacific Point for shadows in the brown and green

When I was finished with coloring, I cut out the flowers and five rectangles of the same size in Pacific Point.   Then I stacked and glued the blue rectangles and glued the flowers on top.  This stacking technique gives a nice color to the edge of the piece that you are popping off the card.

The banner was made by heat embossing the sentiment in white and die cutting it out.  I really had to resist the urge to add some bling, but I decided to leave everything clean and simple!

Thanks for visiting!

Inks/pencils: Stampin Up! (Wild Wasabi and Basic Grey), Stampin Up! Water color pencils (Daffodil Delight, Pacific Point, Early Espresso)
Stamps: Stampin Up! Daisy Delight and Dragonfly Dreams (sentiment)


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7/28/2017

Paper Piecing a Copic Marker Colored Image Using a Distress Oxide Ink Background

Happy Friday!  Today's card features Distress Oxide inks and Copic markers.  I love both, so this was an especially fun card to make.  I first thought that by paper piecing the mermaid's tail from a background I had created with the Distress Oxide inks I would save some time.  Not so, I probably could have colored her much faster but I love this look for the mermaid tail.


Paper piecing, Stamping Bella, Mermaid, Distress Oxide
When I saw Elaine demonstrate this technique of coloring on Distress Inks with Copic markers on the Stamping Bella blog, I knew I had to try it.  Previously, I was not aware that you could color over these inks with Copics but you can.  The inks do show through, so depending on what you are coloring you'll need to account for a color shift.  In this case, just some grays were used to give shading and dimension to the tail since the background itself makes a great looking fish tail!

I first made the background by smooshing the inks on a craft mat, spraying with water and then dipping the paper into it.  I used a heat gun to dry between layers.


Paper piecing, Stamping Bella, Mermaid, Distress Oxide
When I liked the results, I stamped the image on a piece of acetate and moved it around to find where I liked the resulting pattern on her tail.  Then I stamped the image in roughly the same spot.
Paper piecing, Stamping Bella, Mermaid, Distress Oxide
First I roughly cut the image out of the paper, then fussy cut around it.  If the sides had any bits of white showing I touched it up with a black marker.  I then used a few neutral grays over the Oxide inks to add some dimension to the tail.
Paper piecing, Stamping Bella, Mermaid, Distress Oxide
When the mermaid was finished I adhered the tail.  You'll notice in the photo there are two mermaids.  Well, one never got finished because I had a Copic accident (AKA a big leak) on the one on the right.  Yet another reason to color more than one image at a time.  Since I hadn't glued the tail down yet I wasn't too upset - I can color another.

The background of the inside shaker was made by stamping and coloring the kelp, then using a Molotow masking pen to cover it.  I blended the Oxide inks with sponge daubers and then flicked water onto it to create bubbles.  After everything was dry I peeled the masking fluid off.  My last step was to complete the shaker and add Wink of Stella to her seashell!

For a simple card, this took a bit of time but I think the result was worth the effort!

I entered this card on Stamping Bella's Bellarific Friday inspiration challenge and Splitcoast Stampers Clean and Simple challenge for July 24, 2017.

Stamps: Stamping Bella Tiny Townie  Mermaid and Under the Sea sentiments
Distress Oxide inks: Worn Lipstick, Abandoned Coral, Salty Ocean, Broken China, Faded Jeans
Copic markers: Mermaid - flower RV21, RV23, RV37; shell B0000, B52, B93, B95; skin E000, E00, E11, hair E09, E29, E97; tail shading N1, N2, N3; Kelp G20, G21, G46
Dies: My Favorite Things Inside stitched scallop and Stitched rectangle

Thanks for visiting!

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7/26/2017

More Copic Color Matching

Good morning!  After Monday's post on matching your Copics to specific colors I had a question about which tone I use to match the color.  It was something I really had to give some thought to, because I DON'T think about it as I'm matching colors, I just do it.  My first inclination was "well, THE color you want your image to be" but as I thought about the question some more, it made sense.  


matching Copic markers to specific colors, My favorite things stamps
Do I match to the light, medium or dark shade?  For those who don't use Copics, generally when shading you will pick a light, medium and dark marker in the same color family.  All markers have two numbers - the second being relative darkness; the higher the number the darker the shade.  I decided to use another Splitcoast Stampers color challenge card as an example.  This challenge was to use Rich Razzleberry, Sweet Sugarplum and Smoky Slate.


matching Copic markers to specific colors
You can see by this photo that RV95 is almost an exact match for the Sweet Sugarplum with RV91 and RV93 just lighter versions.  Since I wanted to keep the dragons lighter (they have nice round features which I knew should be highlighted) I picked the two lighter shades and RV0000 to begin coloring.  I knew I could use the RV95 in my shadows if needed.

matching Copic markers to specific colors

The match for Rich Razzleberry was trickier as no one color stood out as a "match".  I chose V01, V06 and RV19.  In theory V09 should have been dark shade, but it and V17 were too blue.  With Copics you really need a color reference since they're a lot like lipsticks - what you see on the package may have little relation to the color inside!  And even with their logical numbering system, you can still have that outlier. (Just look at V04! It does not look like it falls in sequence with the V0 family.)  When blending from different color families you need to experiment.  Eventually it becomes easier as you become more familiar with the colors.

Below is my trial run with colors.  You can see I used the inverse of shading on the large dragons wings.  And it appears I did not even use RV95, my match for Sweet Sugarplum.


matching Copic markers to specific colors, My favorite things stamps
If I had been coloring a solid, flat area I would have definitely used the RV95, but with shading I chose to go with lighter colors and match the highlights since using the RV95 could get the image dark really fast.  If the color I'm matching is a light to medium shade then I'll try to match to the highlights or mid-tones.  If the color is dark, I'll try to match more the shadows. Remember - it's much easier to add color than take it away!

I hope this helps with picking markers when trying to match a specific color.  If you have any questions please comment or email me!

Stamps: My Favorite Things Magical Dragons
Die: Penny Black Imagine
Cardstock: Stampin' Up! Rich Razzleberry and Whisper White
Copic markers: Little dragon RV0000, RV91, RV92; Big dragon RV0000, RV91,RV93, V06, Wings V01, V06, RV19; Feet and belly N0, N1, N2, N3
I also used a LOT of Wink of Stella on this card!

Thanks for visiting!

7/23/2017

Copic Marker Coloring to Match Specific Colors

Good morning! I hope everyone had a great weekend.  Today's card was made for the July 18 color challenge on Splitcoast Stampers.  The challenge was to use Garden Green and Cherry Cobbler along with white (and for extra fun try to make it a Christmas card.)  While these are specific colors of Stampin' Up! inks/cardstock the challenge does say just to match as closely as possible if the inks or paper isn't available.  I wanted to use Copic markers in coloring the image so I knew needed match the colors.


match a specific color to copic markers
An easy way to match Copic markers to any color is to use a color chart with a hole punched in it.  The color chart I use can be downloaded from the US Copic marker distributor, Imagination International, but you could easily make your own. To make the chart I used the paper I normally use for coloring and filled in the squares with my markers and hole punched the center.  It's important to do this as opposed to using a pre-printed color chart.  This gives you an accurate representation of your coloring.


match a specific color to copic markers
Then you slip a sample of the color you're trying to match behind the chart.  You can easily see the closest match.  Rarely is any one color perfect but it's so easy to adjust.

Usually I color more than one of the image at the same time.  At least one becomes my trial image to experiment with color and shading.  If I'm lucky I'll have a couple of good images to use for cards. If an image just isn't coming out right I may have several "trials" and only one useful image!  As you can see below, I don't necessarily color the complete image when it's just to adjust color and shading.

match a specific color to copic markers

I'll color all images at the same time - so all my reds on the trial and actual image, then the skin tones, then the greens, etc.

I do like how this little guy turned out.  And I did use the actual shades of green and red paper for the background so I feel very challenge compliant.  (I can get a little particular about stuff like that!)

Stamps: My Favorite Things - Santa's Elves
Die:  Poppy - Believe Loose Script
Copic markers: Reds R35, R37, R39, R59; Greens G40, G43, G46; Fur trim N0, N1, N2; Skin E000, E11, R00; Hair E39,E47; Jingle bells Y21, Y26, Y28

Thanks for visiting!


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7/19/2017

Edna and Ethel (kinda like Lucy and Ethel, only in the 21st century!)

Happy Wednesday morning!  Today's post features one of my favorite stamp characters - twice!  Stamping Bella's "Edna the Fairy Godmother".  And since I stamped her twice, I named the second one Ethel.  I'm featuring this card today since I will be visiting the friend the card was created for and the sentiment just fits the occasion.  (And we've been known to act like Lucy and Ethel.)


stamp masking, copic coloring, design decisions

I stamped Edna on the left and then created a mask for her hand with a post-it note.  Ethel was stamped on the right.  Both images are colored with Copic markers.  To get the translucent effect of the glass I colored Ethel's hair first (a bit lighter than the rest) then went over it with a colorless blender.  I then topped it off in BG0000.  This technique works well for creating a glass effect.

The layout took me awhile to decide but I liked the way the stripes countered the dots on their outfits and the scallop die mirrored the ruffles. The scallop dies has small holes which again mirrors the dots.  When choosing the papers and other elements for your card, making deliberate design decisions can really make the card standout.  I'll be discussing this in future posts.

Of course I needed to add some bling - so the glitter paper was a must!  Their wings are covered in several coats of Wink of Stella and I added the three rhinestones.

Thanks for visiting!

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7/17/2017

Happy Monday morning!  I thought this card would be great for a Monday morning.  I'm really into sentiments and I love this one.  We should all start off our week on a positive note - what a wonderful world!




The background on this card is made using the same technique I described Friday, but I used regular Distress Inks for the blue colors.  I love how luminous they are - they are translucent rather than more opaque like the oxide inks used Friday.  You can see the difference in the sand at the bottom.  I used the oxide inks there and they give a totally different effect.  I also added "bubbles" to the background by using a dot stencil and several colors of the ink along with heat embossing the dots with clear embossing powder.  The sentiment is embossed in gold.

I colored the mermaid, the clown fish and the shell with Copic markers.  Her tail, the fish and shell are all covered in several coats of Wink of Stella.  I added glossy accents to the fish to give him some additional shine.  All are cut out using the dies for this set and popped off the card using dimensional dots.

Stamps/dies: My Favorite Things Birdie Brown Mermazing, Sentiment by Impression Obsession

Thanks for visiting!


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7/15/2017

Good morning!

This is a card I created for this week's color challenge on Splitcoast Stampers.  The challenge was to use particular shades of green and brown along with gold, and to include Christmas greenery if possible.  




The card was simple to create.  The bird is stamped with Versamark ink and heat embossed in gold. I used a stitched tag die cut to cut him out and added the three gold stones to the side.  To make the tag stand out, I used a sponge and the Old Olive ink along with splatters of Soft Suede ink. After adhering the bird tag to the card with foam tape I added the gold thread and greenery.  The greenery was die cut using Stampin Up!'s Pretty Pines dies and the edges are sponged with ink to give a bit of dimension.

Stamps used: Bloom Art Stamps Bird Paradise 
Inks: Stampin Up! Old Olive, Soft Suede
Dies: Stampin Up! Pretty Pines

Thanks for visiting!


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7/14/2017

Welcome to my blog! This is my first post and I thought the quote on this card appropriate for the occasion.  While I have been meaning to share for awhile (and even had this site set-up) I finally decided that the only way to get started is to START. So here is my small start:





This card was an experiment in techniques that I had not tried before - no-line coloring and Distress Oxide inks.  I used Stamping Bella Tiny Townie Water Lily stamped in a light beige; then I colored her using a Copic marker underlay with Prismacolor pencils on top.

The background was very fun to make! (And messy too which made it that much more fun.)  I stamped Broken China and Cracked Pistachio oxide inks on a craft mat, misted with water then layed my paper in it.  I did this several times, alternating between using one of the colors or both (they will mix a bit on the mat) and  drying with a heat gun in between colors. At one point I used a small amount of Faded Jeans ink.  I love these inks!  When you dry them before adding another color they layer beautifully, and they dry to a gorgeous matte finish.

I did not start out to make this particular card, but I felt the background looked very Impressionist - Monet to be exact - so what better focal point than Water Lily!  As for the sentiment, I looked for a Monet quote but Van Gogh was the closest I could get. At least he's an Impressionist.

Stamps used: Stamping Bella Tiny Townie Water Lily, Danielle's Favorite Art Quotes
Distress Oxide Inks: Broken China, Cracked Pistachio, Faded Jeans
Prismacolor Pencils: too numerous to name!

Thanks for visiting!!!


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