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!



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


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! 

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!


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!


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. :)