Monday, September 11, 2017

challenge, announcement, and cards... oh my!

Hello my fabulous friends!

Today I have some news and a couple different cards...

First... Have you been following me as I do play along with #thedailymarker30day coloring challenge? You can find my work on Instagram, and follow me by clicking HERE. You can find more info about the challenge in general by clicking HERE.

(Zig Clean Color on Mixed media Paper... Altenew Spring Daisy Stamp)

While you are there, go a head and search for #thedailymarker30day, and you will see tons of amazing work from others who are participating in the challenge that is sure to inspire you!

If you aren't playing along, you should! It's not to late to join in the fun... Just spend some time coloring every day.. that's it. Super simple! It's a great time to experiment or to just practice.

Second.... I have some SUPER exciting news! 

If you follow me on Facebook (click HERE) you've already heard, but...

I have been asked to join the LDRS Creative (Little Darling Rubber Stamps) design team!!! 

I'm super excited! I will be working with a team of very talented designers, and you'll be seeing more of their products featured on my blog in the upcoming months mixed in with my usual posts.

If you have never heard of them, you can find their store HERE
 (full of ADORABLE stamps, AMAZING dies, BEAUTIFUL paper, and MORE)
You can find the blog HERE

Now on to the cards...

This first one is a SUPER simple card...
Paper: Georgia Pacific 110
Stamps: Recollections I'm a Little Monster; KI Memories Celebrate Life
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black; VersaFine Onyx Black, Chameleon Pens
Dies: WRMK Circles

Isn't it adorable? The best part? It moves... That little kid moves up down, even does cart wheels! It's one of the simplest action cards I've done. I thought about doing a tutorial, but decided that the tutorial I followed by Jennifer McGuire was was excellent, and I'll just send you there to check it out... 

Next up... My nephew's birthday card...
Paper: Georgia Pacific 110, black card stock
Stamps: My Favorite Things Up in the Air; Mama Elephant Lunar Animals; WPlus9 Party Animal
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Espresso Truffle; Distress Ink Salty Ocean; Chameleon pens and color tops; Signo white gel pen
Dies: My Favorite Things Up in the Air

The background was done using Distress Ink and a some cloud masks I made out of scratch card stock. I kept things pretty simple, and colored the images with Chameleons pens and color tops... 

I love that you can mix stamp sets, even across brands! The monkey is from Mama Elephant's Lunar Animals (I cut off his legs so he fit in the basket),  the sentiment is WPlus9 Party Animal, and the rest are My Favorite Things Up in the Air.... They all fit so well together!

Until next time...


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

animating your stamps...

Hello my fabulous friends!

Several weeks ago, I shared a tutorial on making an animated card using Uchi's Design Animation stamps and dies... (see it HERE). In that post, I said that with a little extra work, it's possible to animate other stamps you might have already in your collection... So, today I wanted to share how you can do that...

I have the Flying Owls animation stamp set, but I wanted to make it more festive and Christmasy... In going through my holiday stamps, I realized that the Santa hat from Tim Holtz's Crazy Things stamp set fit the owl!! 

Paper: Georgia Pacific
Stamps: Uchi's Design Flying Owls; Tim Holtz Crazy Things
Ink: Memento Espresso, Tuxedo Black; Bic Ultra Fine Rambunctious Red; Chameleon (YO3, NU3, NU0, RD4, YG3, NG4, BR4, BR5, D)
Dies: Uchi's Design Animation Grid; Papercraft Mulit-Bow
Other: Ranger Glossy Accents

How cute, right?

Well, I could have let the hat stay stationary while the owl dances, but that's not nearly as cool as the hat wiggling around too... So, here's how to make it dance...

Step 1: Die cut an animation grid out of thin copy paper. This will serve as our mask. If you paper is too thick, it won't work.

Step 2: Temporarily adhere your mask to your card stock... I'm just using post-it notes, but any low tack tape will work.

Step 3: Stamp your image through your mask. Because you have to get your image through a mask, this takes more pressure than normal stamping.

Note: getting it to stamp well through the mask can take some practice, and some images are better suited for this than others. I suggest doing some test runs just to get the feel of it.

Step 4: Without moving your mask, color in the image through the mask... I used an ultra fine tip marker for this... Don't let the thin strips of the mask move around while you are coloring... the crisper your lines, the better. Also, due to the animation, simple coloring is better than trying to do some complicated shading or pattern.

Step 5: Shift your mask so it COVERS what you just stamped/colored... the colored part should completely disappear. Temporarily tape it in place.

Step 6: Stamp your image again, slightly shifted from how you had it originally. Don't move it TOO much or the animation will look jumpy.. Again, practicing on a scrap paper will help you figure out how much to move it.

Step 7: Color through your mask again.

At this point, you can test your animation by sliding your grid back and forth... Without the grid, the image will look really weird, but once you put the grid over top and start sliding it, magic happens!

Step 8: OPTIONAL- For mine, I wanted the owl to be wearing the hat... The owl is already an animation stamp, and just needed to be stamped. I used a MISTI to help line up the owl lines with the lines I already created with the hat.  I also wanted the tummy to be plain, so after I inked up the stamp, I wiped the ink off the heart before stamping. 

Step 9: Use a fine tip marker to do any needed touch up... I masked off the white part of the hat so I wouldn't accidentally color too far up my lines. 

Step 10: Assemble and decorate your card how you would like... 



Tuesday, August 29, 2017

watercolor wood grain...

Hello my fabulous friends! 

Today I wanted to play around with backgrounds... I used to do backgrounds all the time on my cards, then I fell in love with the simple clean look of plain white space... I guess I just like switching things up every once in a while!

Paper: Strathmore Bristol Smooth; Coredinations
Stamps: Essentials By Ellen Mondo Peony, Fancy Thanks
Other: clear embossing powder

My colors were inspired by this month's Ellen Hutson Pin-sights Challenge. I wanted to use the pink as my main color, but pull in that raspberry purple into my shadows. And I loved the bright green of the leaves in the photo, so I tried to mimic that in my card.

I started by stamping my image in VersaMark ink onto Bristol smooth paper, and heat embossing with clear embossing powder.. I loved doing this when I'm watercoloring with the Zig Clean Color markers. 

Maybe I'm weird, but when I first start coloring an image, I don't like it.. (for a long time I would quit at this stage thinking that it was ruined, now I keep going, knowing it will be fine)

After getting a couple colors down, I start liking it... 

Then, when I'm about to add in my deepest shadows, I start second guessing myself... What if I mess up now? I like how it looks now, what if I don't like it once the next layer is added? 

I try not to let that stop me either, because adding that extra bit of contrast in there really makes the image pop!

One of the best tips I've gotten for both watercolors and alcohol markers is that you shouldn't give up on an image too soon.

I wanted to add a background at this point... I loved the weathered wood in the inspiration photo, and wanted to try to recreate that. 

So... Here's how I do a wood background with Zig Clean Color Real Brush Makers...

Scribble some ink onto an acrylic block (or other non porous surface). Because I'm going for a weathered wood look, my base color is Green Gray (093). It's a darker gray, but we'll be using so much water it will end up a lot lighter in color.

Using a wet flat brush, pick up some of the ink from the acrylic block and cover your background with color... If the color is too dark or doesn't flow easily across your paper, add more water. If you want a darker color, add more ink, or let this layer dry and do another layer. 

It doesn't need to be a perfectly smooth wash... wood isn't a perfect solid color... To avoid getting harsh lines, keep your leading edge (the edge between where you have painted and where you haven't) wet... if the ink drys it can be hard to get rid of the hard line. 

Let it dry... Sometimes it's hard to tell exactly what it will look like while it is still wet, so letting it dry between layers helps you gauge if you need more color or not. 

I wanted to add a bit more contrast right around the flower, so I took the marker directly to the paper and scribbled in some ink around the edges of the stamped image.

I then took a small round brush with lots of water and blended it out.

If you do this, you can avoid a weird water line around your image, by using a paper towel to blot up any standing water.

When your background is completely dry, draw in your wood grain... it's just lines and knots... 
Every piece of wood is different... The pattens and widths of you lines can vary as much as you want.  

You can leave it like this if you want.

I wanted the background to be a soft so the focus stays on the flower and the sentiment, so I just took my flat brush and lightly went over the background with clean water.  Don't scrub it, or your lines will disappear.. Just do a light wash of water to soften the lines. I put more water on some areas than others to create variation and a distressed look.

I finished it off by adding a little Pumice Stone Distress Ink around the edges using an ink blending tool to form a vignette, and added a sentiment. After that I just mounted it on a raspberry card front, keeping it nice and simple. 

Wood grains are a fairly simple thing to watercolor since they can vary dramatically and still read as wood. Give it a try sometime!


Friday, August 25, 2017

cascading flowers tutorial..

Hello my fabulous friend!

I have some exciting news...

It's almost time to start the next round of #thedailymarker30day coloring challenge!!!

It starts Sept 1, and goes through Sept 30

Keep an eye on The Daily Marker website, for awesome inspiration from the woman who runs this fun challenge!

For those who don't know what this is, this is a laid back challenge that basically just encourages you to spend some time coloring each day for 30 days... and share with others what you've done. Any medium, any techniques, any theme... Just COLOR!  And everyone is welcome to join in the fun!

For me, this is a time for me to really focus on coloring... mastering new techniques,  improving with various mediums, and just plain put in the time it takes to improve.  

 I post my daily colorings on Instagram, so be sure to find and follow me there

Any tutorials and finished projects will get shared here and on Facebook, but Instagram is where you'll find my every day colorings. 

Speaking of coloring... How about a quick tutorial?

Paper: Strathmore Bristol, glimmer paper 
Stamps: Altenew Peony Bouquet, Oriental Orchids, Painted Butterflies
Ink: VersaFine Onyx Black; Zig Clean Color Real Brush makers; Sharpie
Other: sequins

Cut Britol paper to 4.75 in by 3.25 in. Stamp flowers cascading diagonally across card using VersaFine Onyx Black ink. 

Using Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers, scribble in some Light Violet (081) and Light Gray (091) into the area the shadow would be the darkest. Work one petal at a time for best blending.

Using a water brush, blend the color out from the darkest shadow to where the lightest highlights are. Repeat with each petal. 

Scribble Olive Green (045) to the areas you want darkest on the leaves and stems and blend out with water brush.

 Fussy cut along upper right side of the flowers.

 Using a liner pen, add a doodled boarder around the remaining sides of the panel. Stamp sentiment using VersaFine Onyx Black ink.

On a scrap piece of Bristol paper stamp some butterflies using VersaFine Onyx.

 Color butterflies like the flowers. Add some unblended gray streaks by flicking the marker lightly starting in the darkest areas and flicking out into the lighter areas. Color the body with Dark Gray (095).

Blend with water brush, then cut out.

Cut silver glimmer paper to 3.5 in by 5 in. Attach to the front of a 4 bar card (3.5 in by 5 in). Layer on colored flower panel. Attach butterflies using foam tape. Add sequins.


Friday, August 18, 2017

stamped sand dollar ornament...

Hello my fabulous friends!

Yesterday, this incredible sparkly goodness arrived on my doorstep... 1 pound of glitter!!! 

No, I'm not crazy... well, maybe I am... I have 125 Christmas gifts to make for the kiddos in my church... They will be VERY sparkly this year!!!

*and my studio will be sparkly for the next 10 years probably!!!*

Having that glitter sitting there, and thinking about Christmas (and, if I'm being honest, procrastinating working on the gifts)... I started getting some ideas that I wanted to try out... 

I wanted a colored, stamped image on a sand dollar... 

I decided to start with the Altenew Inspiration Challenge for August. I love the teal color combined with brown leaves... it's different, and elegant..  

Here's the final ornament...

Paper: cheap tissue paper
Stamps: Altenew Christmas Rose  
Ink: Memento Rich CocoaAltenew Volcano Lake; Chameleon Pens Aqua Marine (BG4), Turqoise (BG3), Bark (BR5)
Other: sand dollar, ribbon, polished hemp, glitter, Mod Podge

Now on to the HOW-TO....

Step 1: Tape some tissue paper to some scratch paper. The tissue paper is thin, so the ink will bleed through. You want to give it a place to go so it doesn't end up in places you don't want it. 
(yes, that would be experience speaking...)

Step 2: Stamp your image on the tissue paper using an ink that won't smear with alcohol markers... 
I like Memento.

*Note: This specific stamp set is an exclusive set that came free with the Simply Cards and Papercraft  magazine (issue 157) However you can do the same thing with other lined images or layered stamps.

Step 3: You can free hand the details if you want, but if you are using layered stamps, you can cheat... Stamp the detail stamp onto some scratch paper using a dark ink (Altenew Volcano Lake happened to be on my desk, so I went with that.)

Step 4: Line up the stamped detail under the stamped tissue paper... Because the tissue paper is thin, you'll be able to see through it.

Step 5: Add your details using your dark color.. I'm using Aqua Marine (BG4), and using the detail stamp as my guide.
Allow to dry (doesn't take long, but if your tissue paper has any type of coating, you'll want to make sure it's dry so the paper doesn't get too wet.)

Step 6: Color your petals using your lighter color... I'm using Turqoise (BG3) fused with the colorless blender for 2 seconds on each petal.
*make sure to test your fuse times... each color will need different times, and your tissue paper might be different than mine as far as how it takes the ink... Just do a couple quick test swatches on the extra tissue paper. 

Step 7: Color the center... I used Bark (BR5) fused with the colorless blender for 2 seconds. I also added some dots once the color was back to full strength.

Step 8: If you want, you can skip this, but I decided it needed something more... So I made a quick mask with a post-it and added some leaves. 

*make sure whatever you use for a mask is low tack so it doesn't hurt the tissue paper.

Step 9: Color the leaves... I used Bark (BR5) fused with the colorless blender for 2 seconds each leaf.

Step 10: Trim out your image. It doesn't need to be perfect.. I like to leave just a little white halo around the edge just to make sure I don't lose any detail. 

Now it's time to prep the sand dollar... 

Step 11: First make sure it is clean (including the sand that likes to hide inside) and COMPLETELY dry. I let mine sit out in the sun for a couple days.

Step 12: If you are using a sand dollar from the east coast (Keyhole sand dollar), it probably already has holes. If you are using a sand dollar from my neck of the woods on the west coast (Pacific sand dollar), you'll have to drill your own hole. I like to use a hand drill for this... They aren't real hard, so a hand drill gives me more control, and it really isn't to tough to get through.

Step 13: For this step you need to work kinda quick... the sand dollar will want to soak up your glue super quick...
Put a layer of Mod Podge on the sand dollar, then press your cut out image onto the wet glue, and cover with another layer of Mod Podge. Make sure you smooth the tissue paper down, and add a little extra  Mod Podge where ever you have an loose edges. Be gentle, the wet tissue paper is VERY fragile and likes to tear...

I used a make-up wedge to do this, but you can also use a paint brush (just make sure to wash it out as soon as your are done so you don't ruin your brush). 

Let this dry...

You can stop here if you want,


I like to take things a step farther...

Step 15: Add another layer of Mod Podge and cover in fine clear glitter.
 (It looks bad now, but let it dry, and brush off any extra glitter, it will be fine)

See!!! Look how sparkly and pretty!!!

Step 16: Decorate as you please... I kept things simple, and used some thin polished hemp string for the hanger, then a pretty ribbon... A little hot glue works great to add embellishments.