Saturday, May 20, 2017

rough masking...

Hello my fabulous friends!

Today I wanted to challenge myself... Not just by participating in a challenge, but stretching myself beyond my normal comfortable rut...  Not that there is anything wrong with a nice rut, but sometimes you need to step out of it and try new things.

Stamps: Essentials By Ellen Fancy Thanks, Bokeh Dots, Courage
Ink: Altenew Sand Dunes, Frayed Leaf, Deep Iris, Lavender Fields; Clearly Kelly Urban set 

I very seldom do a true single layer card... as in, the stamping is done right on the front of the card base... I think it's because if I stamp on a separate panel, I don't have to be quite as afraid of messing up the whole card... But I wanted to challenge myself a little. 

I actually had a lot of fun with it!

I started out by stamping the sentiment. No, I didn't need to use a MISTI for this, but I wanted a nice crisp impression, and the MISTI ensures that if the first try is slightly splotch it can be fixed, no problem. 

Next I added three sketchy circles.. I LOVE these circles! They are so fun! 

The three-some arranged in a triangle is a common design principle that reliably looks pleasing to the eye. Odd numbers and visual triangles just tend to look good. 

 It's one of those things you learn in art class...

Next I added some clusters of flowers. These flowers are layers from the new Courage set. 

This set was designed to support Breast Cancer Research. This means a lot to me. I've known several women who have fought breast cancer. Both my Grandmothers died from cancer. My dad had cancer years ago (he's been in the clear for a good 10 plus years!). And currently my mom is fighting colon cancer. Cancer is such a horrible disease that affects SO many people in many different ways. Research gets us closer to a cure.. And a cure to one kind of cancer gets us just that much closer to a cure to other kinds of cancer. Together we can win a war that no one, on their own, could hope to beat. 

(sorry for the soapbox... back to stamping...)

Normally I am a meticulous masker... In other words, when I build scenes I start with the image in the fore front, then carefully mask it to add things in behind.... I wanted to stretch myself, so I didn't mask the flowers at all... They are layered right on top of the circles, and you can see the circles through the flowers... 

At first it really bothered me... (I'm a BIT of a perfectionist....) But when I let myself just relax with it, I ended up liking the look and the freedom of not having to mask.

I did do a LITTLE rough masking... I've been watching some videos of people building backgrounds using this technique... Where you mask your image (in this case my flower), but only very roughly. Instead of stamping the flower on another paper and fussy cutting it so it covers the image perfectly, I just tore a piece of post-it note into the approximate curve of the flower and went with it. 

It isn't perfect, but I really wanted to see if I could do the technique and like it. I love the results in other people's projects, but I wasn't sure I could pull it off... (did I mention I'm a bit of a perfectionist? LOL!)

Ok... Here's a close up of some of the stamping. 

I really liked the sketchy, imperfect look of not doing detailed masking.. And it has the benefit of being far less stressful and time consuming! Apparently masking is one of the reasons cards take me so long to make... This one was super fast and easy!

 This project was inspired by Ellen Hutson's PinSights challenge for May.. 
Aren't those colors just GORGEOUS???

There's plenty of time left to join in this challenge... 

Enjoy!
~Kassi

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

a little different blending...

Hello my fabulous friends!

I just wanted to stop in real quick today to share what I've been working on today (in-between the yard work and house cleaning)...

Stamps: Altenew Garden Treasure; Essentials By Ellen Fancy Thanks
Dies: Spellbinders Belly Band One
Paper: Strathmore Bristol; Heartfelt Creations Daphne Collection
Other: Pretty Pink Posh Sparkling Clear sequins, clear embossing powder


In the details...
Like I often do, I started out by stamping the images on Bristol paper with VersaMark ink and heat embossing with clear embossing powder. I didn't color it the same way I usually do though.. I wanted a more distinctive color change from the pink to the yellow than my usual technique would give. So, I started out by scribbling a little Light Brown Zig Clean Color at the base of a petal, and a little Pale Rose Clean Color at the top of the petal. I then took my water brush and blended the Light Brown up about a third of the way, and cleaned the brush. I then blended the Pale Rose down about a third of the way. I then used the middle third to blend the two colors together. I dabbed off excess water from the center portion to make the colors lighter. I did that for each petal. I really like the soft blend between the two colors!

The leaves and remaining flowers where more my usual color layering.

The clear sequins were colored using my Peony Pink Chameleon Pen. I love doing this.. it turns out so pretty!  

I wanted to give the card a bit of a tattered and vintage feel, so I inked around the edges with Antique Linen Distress Ink. I then scruffed up the edges and went over the very edges of with a little Ground Espresso Distress Ink. I then took it over to my sewing machine and did a basic stitch around the edge. 

It's been a while since I've done that. My sewing machine has probably  been feeling rather neglected... Isn't it funny how our go-to techniques change? Re-visiting old favorites can be a lot of fun, and a great way to mix things up if you feel you're in a rut, or have creator's block...

I hope you have a wonderful day!

Enjoy!
~Kassi
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Thursday, May 4, 2017

amazing daisy...

Hello my fabulous friends!

After enjoying some serious sunshine this morning, the clouds have rolled in, and now I'm enjoying thunder... I have to admit, one of the things I miss about where I grew up, is the thunderstorms.  I love a good thunderstorm, and we very rarely get a GOOD one where I live now... 

Anyway....

On to today's project!


Paper:  Strathmore Bristol; WRMK washi sheets;
white card stock
Stamps: Altenew Spring Daisy,  Amazing You
Dies: Tim Holtz Mixed Media
Other: Angelina Fibers Gold Iris; clear embossing powder

I have had this random sheet of Bristol paper sitting on my work table for quite a while... I had stamped some different daisies and leaves from the Spring Daisy stamp set with VersaMark, and embossed with clear embossing powder for another project, and ended up not using these one.. I figured it was time to use them!

So, I watercolored my flowers and leaves using Zig Clean Color markers. Getting the exact color I wanted took a little experimenting. For my flowers, I ended up doing my light base layer in Light Violet so when the rather bright Pink was layered on top, it brought in cooler shadows and help tone down the color somewhat. With the little bits of Wine Red into the shadows it pulled it right to the perfect magenta color I wanted. 

I have learned that with these markers, you can get a TON of different colors by mixing up what colors you layer together. 

After fussy cutting each flower and leaf, I played around with the arrangement. When I got things how I wanted them, I covered the whole arrangement with Glad Press n' Seal, and pressed down.. making sure to rub over all the different components of my arrangement so they all stuck to the plastic.

Doing this allows me to pick everything up (without things shifting) and flip it over to add adhesive. After the adhesive is added to the back, I can put it on the card where I want it, and gently peel off the Press n' Seal off and add a little glue to any areas that may need it. I have never had any problems with the adhesive on the plastic ruining a project... it is tacky enough to hold it, but won't hurt it. 

I die cut this awesome background using Tim Holtz's Mixed Media die, and layered that on top of a card base covered with a WRMK black Washi Sheet.... 

I wanted to add a little texture and bling, so I put some dry adhesive on my card, and made a messy nest of Angelina Fibers. I then glued the flower cluster over top to help ensure they don't go anywhere.

I really like these thin tinsel like, fusable fibers... There are so many things you can do with them! 
For more inspiration and techniques using these fibers, click HERE.


This project was inspired by Altenew's May inspiration challenge... I love all the amazing projects that get entered into this challenge! So much inspiration! Check it out HERE!

Enjoy!
~Kassi


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Saturday, April 29, 2017

yellow, blue... and Altenew..

Hello my fabulous friends!

After a couple days with sunshine, we are back to rain... Oh well, more crafting for me. LOL!

You may recognize this flower from my last post... I wanted to color the same image with my Zig Clean Color pens... Same flower, different look. I love that!

Ink: VersaMark, VersaFine Onyx Black, Sharpie Fine Pen,  Zig Clean Color Bright Yellow (052), Deep Green (044), Turquoise Green (042), Peacock Blue (038), Dark Brown (062)
Paper: Strathmore "Bristol", DCWV "Glitzy Pastels", Paper Studio "Country Road"
Other: Clear embossing powder

To start things out, I heat embossed several leaves and flowers with clear embossing powder on some bristol paper.

The flower was painted with Bright Yellow. After it dried, I added another layer of the same color into the shadows and blended it to help build the dimension.

(You can find a detailed tutorial on how I paint with these markers HERE)

The leaves are painted with a combination of Deep Green and Turquoise Green. (isn't that a pretty color combo for leaves?)

The little flowers were painted with Peacock blue

I added in some Dark Brown into the center of the flowers and the stamen.

I decided to add in a little more detail to the yellow flower, so added some stroke lines using Bright Yellow.

To finish things off, I fussy cut along the bottom edge of the flowers and matted it with some Glitzy paper... That was attached to the card base with foam. The sentiment was stamped in VersaFine ink.

The colors for this card were inspired by Altenew's April Inspiration Challenge. It's such a fun combo! 


The challenge is ALMOST over, but you still have a little time to join in the fun!

Enjoy!
~Kassi

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

chameleon pens and shimmery detail...

Hello my fabulous friends!


Today I wanted to share a fun twist with layering stamps, and also give a brief intro to Chameleon Pens.  
(Sorry it's picture heavy... I planned on doing this as a video, but ran into some lighting and camera set up issues... until they are fixed, I'm stuck with photos.

       

Ok... So for those who don't know, Chameleon Pens are an alcohol based marker that has a built in blending chamber to allow you to achieve multiple tones of the same color with a single pen. 

I have seen good and bad reviews for these... I can only share my personal experience, and that is limited. I was not paid, nor even asked to write this, however  I was sent these 5 pens as part of a design team thing.. that being said, I have enjoyed playing with them so much my parents bought me, for my birthday, not only the entire 52 pen set, but also the new color tops that have yet to hit the market... I believe the kickstarter thing said they would be shipping out sometime in May. I'm super excited!

I will say that there is a learning curve to them... but I would expect that when picking up a new medium or tool, so I don't see that as a negative, just inevitable. 

They are also longer than a normal marker.... this is because of the mixing chamber. I haven't felt that there is much of a problem with that since I generally take the chamber off when I'm coloring anyway.

 Ok... let's break this pen down... They have a brush nib on one side, and a bullet nib on the other. There are two caps (obviously)... one of the caps is a special cap that not only caps the marker, but ALSO caps the mixing chamber. The mixing chamber is filled with a colorless blending solution (the same solution that is in the blender pen), and has a nib inside the chamber.

These markers are refillable, and all THREE nibs are replaceable. 
The idea is, you take off the mixing chamber, and the cap for whichever nib you want to use (it works with both the bullet and brush nibs)

Then you put the marker nib into the chamber the same way you cap a pen and hold it vertically with the mixing chamber on top.

See how the mixing chamber nib is touching the marker nib? When held upright, the blending solution is pulled, by gravity, into the marker. This is called fusing. The longer you fuse, the lighter and longer the tonal blend will be.


Then you color... you can see that it transitions from a hint of pink into the darker pink as you color out the blending medium. 

*note: Don't leave the marker in mixing chamber while the pen is laying down... the colored ink will wick into the colorless blender... If this accidentally happens, hold the marker in the proper fuse position until all the colored ink has been pushed back into the marker...  If you can't get it all out, you can replace the mixing nib. However, if you leave it for long enough that the colored ink wicks all the way through the blending nib into the chamber, the only fix is buying a new pen.

So, you can get something like this using only one pen.

Now, to be honest, while it looks cool, it isn't really my style... it doesn't look organic enough for a flower... So... Here is what I do...

*for this tutorial, I have stamped the image on regular card stock using VersaMark ink. I then heat embossed with clear embossing powder. You don't have to heat emboss, you could just stamp the image with any ink that doesn't react to alcohol markers... I just chose to emboss.

Step 1: Using the bullet nib, add ink into the areas you want darkest using a flicking motion. For this step, don't fuse the marker... use it just like you would any other alcohol marker.

This step adds both depth to the shadows, and a little bit of texture to break up the tonal transition so it doesn't look quite so uniform across the petal. The the length of the flick and how many lines you add is up to you, and will change depending on what you are coloring.

Step 2: Fuse your pen and color your first petal with side to side strokes starting in your LIGHTEST area and moving into your dark areas. Make sure to overlap your strokes slightly

How long you fuse depends on the size of the area you are covering and how quickly you want it to blend back into the full color... Until I got an instinctual feel for it, I stamped an extra image on a scrap paper for me to test out different fuse lengths.  For this petal I did about 10 seconds.

Step 3: Fuse your pen again (I fused for about 6 seconds). This time color the petal using up and down strokes starting in the middle (marked by the little triangles) and working to the outside. 

Step 4: Fuse again, and repeat doing the other half of the petal.

Doing this adds some dimension and shadows to the petal giving a  more rounded look. It also, again adds texture and breaks up the uniform tonal change into something a little more organic.


Here the flower is finished using only 1 marker. 

Here you can see them side by side... Going through the extra steps gives the flower a lot more dimension and an organic feel.  You can choose which way you like the best, or come up with your own way.. this is just what I like to do.

Ok.. Now, let's take this a step farther.

This is where the layers to the layering stamp come in...

Step 5: Stamp the detail layer with the least amount of surface area (what is normally done in your darkest ink) with VersaMark. I'm using my MISTI because I find it the easiest way for me personally to get the perfect alignment on layers.

Step 6: Brush some Rangers Perfect Pearls over the image using a dry paint brush. The powder will stick to the VersaMark.

I'm using the Perfect Pearl color of Perfect Pearls, but I've done others with gold and it was very dramatic and pretty!

Step 7: Using a clean dry paint brush, brush off any loose powder. You are left with a beautiful shimmer adding detail to your flower.

Here it is with the light catching it.... isn't that AWESOME? 

You can add the Perfect Pearl details using the same technique but coloring the image with different markers, watercolors, or even stamping the the solid stamp as intended. It's just a fun way to add a little extra 'WOW' factor to your stamping. 

Ink: VersaMark; Memento Rich Cocoa; Chameleon Pens Peony Pink (PK4), Green Apple (GR1), Mellow Yellow (YO2)
Paper: SEI Poppy; white card stock, kraft
Other: Ranger Perfect Pearls Perfect Pearl; Pretty Pink Posh Sparkling Clear sequins; Angelina Fibers Blue Magic Crystalina; embossing powder



Enjoy!
~Kassi
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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

simple thanks...

Hello my fabulous friends!


I want to thank you for your patience.. I haven't posted in a while.

A couple weeks ago, I sustained a head injury... I'll be fine, but I've had a lot of headaches, dizzy spells, and a hard time concentrating. Every time I sat down to try to create something I just couldn't do it... It has been very frustrating!

I was finally able to put together a simple card today, so I think I'm on the mend! 
YAY!

Inks: VersaFine Onyx Black; Altenew Warm & Cozy set; Hero Arts Lime Green, Green HillsVersaMark
Paper: Die Cuts With a View
Other: White embossing powder

This is a simple card that was very quick to put together. I stamped the flowers in black, then stamped in the various layers of color. I've been wanting to try out my new orange Altenew inks, so I thought this was a great opportunity. 

After stamping,  fussy cut along one edge of the flowers and layered it over some patterned paper. I also heat embossed the sentiment on one of the stripes from the patterned paper so that the color matched perfectly.

I'm thinking that I might make a few more in different colors like fuchsias and yellows since I have leftover patterned paper. This is the kind of card that is super easy to mass produce!

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Enjoy!
~Kassi 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

twinkle twinkle little bear...

Hello my fabulous friends!

Remember the 30 day coloring challenge in March? Well, here is one of the images I colored for that challenge....

This is an old stamp from Crafters Companion, but I love it, and I thought it would be perfect to welcome my cousin's baby later this summer.

I kept it pretty simple to finish it off... I layered it on some patterned paper and then onto a card base. I also added a sentiment. The sentiment is actually one stamp, however I only inked up a portion at a time so I could use different colors and make it fit how I wanted it to. 

Stamps: Crafters Companion Shooting Stars; Unity Twinkle Twinkle
Ink: VersaFine Onyx Black; VersaMark;  Zig Clean Color Pale Rose (230), Olive Green (043), Mid Green (046), Pale Green (045), Haze Blue (302), Orange (070), Light Pink (026), Brown (060), Pale Pink (028), Light Brown (061), Mustard (067), Bright Yellow (052), Oatmeal (064), Light Gray (091), Blue (030), Dark Brown (062), Green (040), Cornflower Blue (037)
Other: Clear embossing powder, white embossing powder

Now to store it in a safe place until it's time to send it and not forget where that "safe place" is... 
Wish me luck! LOL!

Enjoy!
~Kassi

Monday, April 3, 2017

blue flowers...

Hello my fabulous friends!

It's a new month, and that means new challenges!

Today I'm playing along with Altenew's Inspiration Challenge...

 Aren't those color GORGEOUS?!?!

It's definitely not a color combo that I normally work with, but I'm kinda really LOVING it! Especially the blue with the teal... swoon!

 That's one of the things I love about participating in challenges... It forces me out of my normal 'ruts' and I find new ideas that I adore!

 Here's my take...

Other: clear embossing powder; Pretty Pink Posh Sparkling Clear sequins


I started by stamping the images with VersaMark on bristol paper, and heat embossing it with clear embossing powder. I then put down a layer of Cornflower Blue, and added in some Blue and Turquoise  Green in the shadows, blending it out with water.

(If you want to see a step by step of how I do varigated flowers with Zig Clean Color markers, you can check it out by clicking HERE and HERE...)

BTW... The black you see along the bottom edge in that photo is actually the BACK side of my MISTI... It is magnetic, so I just use the MISTI magnets to hold my paper in place while watercoloring. Pretty cool, huh?  It makes it super easy to adjust, and move around while I'm working.

The leaves were done first in Deep Green, then Turquoise Green  was added in... I actually am really loving that color combo, and my 'go to' green blend for leaves may be changing!

I had a hard time getting the yellow flowers just how I wanted, so even though they are tiny, they are a blend of 3 colors... Bright Yellow, Lemon Yellow, and Light Brown. 

I then stamped my sentiment (using two different stamp sets... I love that you can do that to create your own sentiment!)

And hand sketched a border using a Distress Marker... I love that they have the plastic nib on the one side so you can doodle fine lines with them!

To finish things off, I added some 3mm clear sequins... However,  that didn't quite look right, so I colored them yellow with the YO2 Chameleon pen... Since these pens are alcohol based, they work beautifully on plastic. Use the bullet nib so you don't damage the super soft brush nib.  (You should be able to use whatever alcohol markers/inks you have to do this...)

What I do, is take a 3 pieces of masking tape... The first one goes on my desk sticky side up. The other two go on the ends of the first piece, sticky side down to tape the tape to my desk.. Then I can just stick the sequins onto the sticky tape and color away. It has enough tack to hold the sequins while coloring, but they come off really easy when you are done. It works great!

(and yes, I know the picture above shows pink sequins, but it is a lot easier to show in a photo how well the markers change the look of the sequins with a darker color. The yellow is light and subtle (which I LOVE, but it doesn't photograph quite as well...)

Anyway... There is actually some sunshine today (3rd day in a row!!!! I think we are going for a record!)  So I'm going to go soak it in. :)

Enjoy!
~Kassi