Monday, August 31, 2015

Drawing with color

Hello friends! Hope your summer has been wonderful. It's almost September! How did that happen?
I'm here today to share some cards made for a challenge. My favorite artist is Henri Matisse. I have had the good fortune to see two exhibitions of his work in my lifetime. Once at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and more recently at the Tate Gallery in London. The show in NYC was a retrospective of his entire body of work and in London the show was just focusing on his famous cutouts. And that is what led me to creating this challenge.
Matisse said

“The paper cutouts allow me to draw with color. For me, it is a simplification. Instead of drawing an outline and then filling in with color-with one modifying the other-I draw directly in color...It is not a starting point, it is a completion.”

I asked some crafty friends to join me - in drawing with color - using shapes and color. 

Being cardmakers we use a lot of punches 

and dies to make shapes all the time, right?

I decided to use some dies and a punch to create the cards you see here.

The first card - I took some watercolor paper and a reinker and smooshed the color all over. I used my punch as I like to think Matisse used his scissors to cut out the colors and shapes I wanted. I arranged them in a square and used a starfish die and sentiment to complete my card. In this closeup you can see the colors and shapes in each shape that I punched out

 In this card I used a leaf die from PTI- very Matisse like shape don't you agree? I like to think this card has some of the movement of the shapes I see in many of Matisse' cutout pieces.

In this last card again I used a leaf die (as well as an impression plate for the background). I used more of that inked watercolor paper but also foiled one of the leaves with my Minc.

Okay that's all for today. I hope, if nothing else, you'll go online and look at Matisse's cutouts. Google it - you'll see so many beautiful pieces of his. The shapes are beautiful.
I hope to be back to blogging on a more regular basis. In the meantime however you can find me daily on Instagram

Monday, August 10, 2015

Challenges: 365 Doodle and Popup Challenge

Hi there kids! Yes I've been a bad blogger. I'd like to blame it on summertime - yes let's blame it on that! The schedule is off you know? I would like to invite you to follow me on Instagram as it's quite easy for me to post things there on a daily basis - and really its a whole lotta fun. I've been participating in a 365 Doodle Challenge run by a wonderfully talented illustrator, Johanna Fritz. Not only is she amazingly talented,  she's also such a friendly and supportive soul.  As a matter of fact, I'm finding the Instagram community a very positive and supportive group. If you like to draw or doodle the 365 Doodle Challenge might be for you - check it out!

Another Challenge that is coming up this weekend is The Daily Marker's Pop Up Challenge. It's going to be a lot of fun - and there is a giveaway right now on her blog. Over the weekend she'll have videos and prizes so it would be a great time to get out your stamps and markers and play along!
The Daily Marker - Kathy - also runs the 30 Day Coloring Challenge I participated in twice over the last few months. She's got another one coming up in October. If you like to color - this is definitely a challenge you don't want to miss.
Okay, I need to get going - errands to run, doodles to doodle. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Let's Play: Turning solid stamps into one you can color

Hello friends! Yes I'm back today with something I've been playing with over the past few days but I've been thinking about for a while. Get your favorite beverage and set a spell.....
I love to draw and color. And I've been doing that a lot lately - especially with Kathy Racoosin's 30 Day Coloring Challenges (if you don't know about these - please get yourself on over to Kathy's blog and do a search pronto!). And it's been so much fun. While the challenge was going on - and I wasn't drawing something to color or using some stamps to color - I discovered something. I have a LOT of stamps I cannot color. The horror! I have a lot of stamps and the vast majority are solid image stamps. Meaning there are no lines - you stamp a solid color. Now of course some of them are 2 step stamping sets that add wonderful dimension but, in short, there are no lines. I thought I wish I could use some of these stamps in the challenge.... but how? They aren't the kind of stamps you can color in with markers, pencils, or watercolors. Then I had an idea. I'm sure someone else has had this idea but I haven't seen it anywhere. It's actually kind of the opposite of the "no-line coloring" that's so popular now - except you're putting in lines. Follow me....
So here's an image from Avery Elle's Petals & Stems on the left. On the right - same stamp!
The flower on the left is stamped as is with a dye ink. The flower on the right - stamped as is with Tim Holtz Distress Ink, inked (basically tracing the image) with a Copic friendly pen then colored with Copic Markers.
Crazy right? Completely different look and all from the same stamp!
Okay you want to see another???
This time it's one of my favorite stamp sets - Papertrey Ink's Cutting Garden It's just got the prettiest flowers and leaves! It's a bit more elaborate than the stamp above so let's see what happens with that shall we?
Here I stamped using the set as is - a couple of different inks and a little masking to put the small flowers and leaves behind the larger image but pretty straightforward stamping. (The sentiment is also PTI - Graceful Greetings for the record). You'll note there are white lines indicating the petals - but that's where the stamp didn't stamp if you follow me - the negative. No lines.....
Okay now let's see what it looks like when I want to make it a stamp I can color in with Copics!

Pretty cool huh? It looks completely different doesn't it? Again, I stamped with a Distress Ink (Fine Linen), then used a Copic Friendly pen to trace the petals and colored it with Copic markers.  Just for the record my Copic friendly pen for this isn't a Copic - it's a pen I draw with - it's a Pilot G-Tec-C4. Love that pen. But I've used it a ton and it works perfectly well with Copics.
Okay - are you curious about what would happen if you wanted to watercolor using this technique? I'm so glad - I tried that too!

And here's what it looks like colored in Zig Clean Color Markers and embossed with white embossing powder. Kinda pretty. I had to do this a little differently - using a Zig Embossing Pen - which I don't think are available anymore. It's basically the same as a Versamark pen (I couldn't find mine). You draw with the embossing pen over those lines in the stamp then add embossing powder, heat with your heat gun and go ahead and color. I did try with clear embossing powder - it works nicely. I'm not showing a sample here because again I had to use the Embossing pen - and that ink has a blue tint to it - and that blue tint stays trapped under the clear and you get pale blue lines - here with the white embossing powder you see none of that.

Just so you can see what it all looks like before I added color to the images here's a few pics I took while I was trying all of this out.

When I started with this I pulled out a few stamp sets. This rose is from Papertrey Ink's Rosie Posey. I stamped the rose in Fine Linen Distress Ink and then added the pen. I'll don't have a pic of the colored rose. I was going to watercolor this rose - stamped it - then inked with my Pilot pen - should've used my Pitt Pen which is waterproof - so you know how that went. I had the black ink running - ugh. I shall have to go back and try the rose with the Pitt Pen in watercolor because I think it would be pretty beautiful.

 I hope you can see this. This is before I heat embossed the image and added color. You're seeing the distress ink and the embossing powder there. When you color it in the Distress ink really isn't an issue

And here's the image stamped in Fine Linen Distress Ink, then inked in pen before I colored with Copics. I think besides coloring with Copics I loved this part the best. You really don't have to be someone who draws on a regular basis. You are just pretty much tracing what's there. And you can edit if you like. Say you want fewer petals ... you just draw in the ones you want! I was a little concerned having that much Distress ink in contact with my Copics. I happen to have a duplicate of one Ciao marker - so I tried with that first - thinking if it got ruined I always had the other pen. I swear it did not damage my pen.
So what do you think? I think I can now get a lot more life out of the stamps sets I own - and that's an amazing thing! And when I purchase solid stamp sets in the future I've got another technique in my arsenal to color them any way I'd like. Yay!
Okay that's quite enough for today right? I'll close saying that Kathy Racoosin is hosting another Coloring Challenge in either September or October - and if you love to color - you need to join in the fun! And please come over to Instagram, if you haven't already, follow me there - say hi okay? I really would love to know what you thought about today's post - can you comment below please? Thanks so much for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Cat card

Hello friends! 
Not feeling creative in the post-titling department apparently right? LOL
Just wanted to share a card I made yesterday. I got off schedule with my "Dear Ones" cards. Too much stuff going on and being away at the beach threw me off schedule. And I really wanted to send my husband's Aunt a card. She's also a cat lover. 
I'm sort of in love with this line of stamps from Stampendous - called Pen Pattern. Everything looks like a doodle sorta. And you know I like a good doodle :-) I found these 2 stamps - the background is called Pen Pattern Light and the cat stamp is aptly named Pen Pattern cat :-). I thought that cat looked so sweet and cozy - like my Westley (or my girl cat Willlie for that matter) - all snuggled up on a rug. So the colors are inspired by the rug we have in our family room. It's all grey, cream and red. I colored the cat, fussy cut him out and mounted it with some foam tape onto the colored background. I'm not going to lie - the background took a while to color - more of the decisions of what color where kind of thing. But I love the coloring - it really was so relaxing and enjoyable. And for this Aunt - I'd color all day long the most intricate pattern there ever was -she's just so dear to me. 
That's it for today kids. I am working on a few cards with an interesting twist I think. I'm just playing around with them a bit before posting and hoping for tomorrow. It's all about getting more from the stamps I already have - and can't we all use that? Yeah I think so. Have a good day!

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Challenge Get Well card

Hi friends... yes... another post this week! Crazy I know... but lets go with it!
I was watching a Sandy Allnock video and her accompanying post linked to another blog called Understand Blue. On that blog there was a giveaway for some Inktense Pencils. Well I don't always jump on these giveaways (I'm like... I'll never win) but this one had an interesting requirement for the giveaway - to send a get well card to the Costco greeter at the blog writers (Lydia) local store. I thought I love that idea! I may not win any pencils (probably not) but I can do my good deed for the day. (I like to score some points with the big Guy each day. It can't hurt.)
I am in a bit of time crunch - just tons of things to do today - so I kept it simple. I found this bandaid stamp (i think its Stampendous or Judikins but don't hold me to it) in my stash and added some Purple Onion Designs alphabet stamps; colored with Copics. And if you're a long time follower you may recognize this card is a lot like a card I did waaaaaay back in 2008. Heck it was so long ago it took me a while to find it - I'd posted it on Splitcoaststampers. I must say I don't know what I was thinking when I made that one - I like this one better. I hope it makes Alex smile.
You should join in too -  you might win some pencils and make a guy happy all at the same time!
Okay that's all for me today. Gotta go mail that card and run a few errands. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Well hello friends. Yes I've been a bad blogger. And I do apologize. We've been busy around here and blogging was the thing that got left by the wayside. I took a few trips and now I'm back home. At the moment wading through a pile of laundry and trying to get some things back to normal. It's going to take a few days.
We went to the beach house twice. During our first visit there I had the time to do a bunch of coloring. Before I left home I stamped a lot of images - one of them being this lovely one from Purple Onion Designs. I stamped this one with some Tim Holtz distress inks and tried my hand at no-line coloring (using some some distress ink pens - watercoloring). Since watercoloring is my nemesis I wanted to try and give it a go one more time and I really was happy with how this came out. (at first you don't succeed and all that!) Hopefully I'll post some more things I colored, while I was away, in the coming days. Thanks for hanging in there with me!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Hello Sunshine

Hello Friends! Hope you all enjoyed the holiday weekend. It was quiet around here - good for getting some things accomplished. I told you I've been purging and reorganizing The never ending project it seems. I'm trying to think of it more as steady progress toward a final solution to this room! Anyhow my husband and I took a little drive to Ikea and purchased a shelving unit. He put it together and my daughter helped me move it into my room yesterday. I'm kind of thrilled with it. It's close to waist-high and perfectly fits my printer and big shot  (and some baskets of dies) on top and can house my Silhouette portrait, more dies, Xyron, AG Minc,  label maker, embossing folders, Project Life stuff and a little bit more. I'm still rearranging things or I'd throw in a picture. Maybe soon.
Where's the card Tracy? You knew there was one right? I had started making some cards using Papertrey Ink's Bowl of Sunshine last week when I got together with my friends June and Amy (hi girls!). I'd intended to make these my "June Dear Ones" cards - and I may still. But I wanted  to send a card to an old friend  (we'd met last week for lunch when she was passing through the 'burg.) So I decided to use one of the cards in progress. I'd already embossed the front of the card with a StampinUp! embossing folder (using a Tim HOltz diffuser plate to create that main section that's plain). I just needed to add the image that I already die cut and stamped as well as stamp the sentiment. The sentiment is from the Hello Sunshine set - also PTI). Pretty quick and easy and I like the color combo a lot. 
Okay that's all from me today - thanks so much for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Happy Birthday Little G

Today is my little niece's birthday. She is far away from me - on the other side of the country - but I sent along some presents and a bunch of handmade things that I hope she enjoys.

Back last year before Christmas I'd made my niece an apron to wear when she baked Christmas cookies with her mom (my sister). I think I posted a photo. Regardless, at the time I'd also purchased this cupcake fabric to make her an apron for her birthday. I thought she'd love the cupcakes and it would be fun for her to have another apron made just for her. This time I created one large pocket on the front (the Christmas apron had two pockets.) I used pink ricrac to trim everything and some wide grosgrain ribbon to tie at the neck and around the waist.

And doesn't a girl need matching potholders? Of course she does. (sometimes i get started on these little brainstorms and think midway - "what was I thinking?") And since I can't do anything really simply I decided I'd need to sorta quilt these little numbers and add more ricrac. They came out pretty cute but lets just say they were more involved than the apron. (between the batting, the ricrac and some stuff that i forget what you call it but its got some properties that help keep hands from feeling the heat - made for things like potholders - you sew in a layer of that inside....). They are pretty darned cute though so in my mind - time well spent!

Now I needed a card - i chose that Penny Black set again - so appropos for my niece.
 and some tags for all the different presents - i used the Enclosed flower die from PTI to cut them out and added some die cut leaves also from PTI. I stamped them all with lots of polka dots (to coordinate with this most cute wrapping paper i had)
Oh there was a lot of curling ribbon too. All so it would be nice and pretty for this little girly girl. While I'm typing this i realized I might have a little bit of fabric leftover to make her doll an apron too... hmmmmm.....
Okay - that's all for today!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Dear Ones cards for May

Hi there friends! It's time for more "Dear Ones" cards. This month I was determined to use a set from Papertrey Ink called Topiary Trio. I had to have it months ago and yet I still hadn't used it! This is a rarity for me - when I buy - I use LOL. But for some reason this set, which I adore, kept getting pushed to the back of my stamp bin. Anyhow, I played around with the stamps and finally decided to use just one of the little topiaries (and one pretty sentiment). I used the dies to cut out the image on white cardstock as I'd decided to stamp the stem/trunk and the container and use colored cardstock for the round leafy ball (what do you call that anyway?? - i think you know what I'm talkin about!) I used my Misti to do all the stamping - and I gotta say again here that Misti was one of the best tool purchases I've ever made. Not only did I crank out the stamping parts of these cards in no time flat - i was actually talking to my friend June (HI JUNE!) while I was stamping - something I normally cannot do. I gotta be concentrating ya know what i mean? But that Misti took all of the work (and concentrating) out of the mix and I could just chat, drink coffee, and stamp. I used the Lil Inker stitched rectangles again and the patterned paper is all from the Fine Linen Pattern Pack from Papertrey Ink. Pretty simple cards but I think they look rather elegant! And perfect for the recipients. That's all for today kids! Thanks so much for stopping by.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A few things to share

I know I know - I've been awol on the blog for a little bit. I just checked and it's been a few weeks and for that I apologize. I've been busy doing various and sundry things. Lots of instagramming which is so fun, a little more craftroom purging, cardmaking and sewing, and scrapbooking. I've been trying to finish up my daughter's 1st year album (she's 24.... its about time right?) but there always seem to be distractions and other things requiring my time. I'm sure you can relate. I thought I'd share a few things I've made lately.
I made this birthday shaker card for my nephew's wife using an adorable Penny Black Stamp set. I know it seems a little... juvenile? for a grown woman but I'm tellin you the girl likes some pretty shiny sparkly stuff and I thought she'd enjoy it something to make her feel like a little kid again - and she did. (Note the little blue box bottom left colored up like a box from Tiffany - this inclusion was not lost on her. And what girl doesn't like to receive a little blue box? heck I've even saved the boxes :-))

I made this next card for a grand niece's birthday. I had ordered this adorable stamp set from Simon Says Stamp - Baby Animals. Oh the cuteness! I couldn't wait to use it to make this birthday card. Lots of masking and coloring so a lot of "work" but it was so much fun and I was very happy with the results. And so was the recipient (well her parents loved it... :-))

Finally here's another card using that same Baby Animals stamp set. When I first saw this stamp set I thought the little animals looked like finger puppets - so I figured why not follow that through and make a card. To simplify matters, I cut the hand using my Silhouette Portrait. I fussy cut the animals after coloring them with Copics. And after much deliberation I decided to leave it with no sentiment on the front - the recipient can't read anyway! (another grand niece is having a birthday... we've got babies all over the place in my husband's family!)

I shall be back to show you some more things I'm making! Lots of birthdays mean lots of cards, gifts and tags. Thanks for stopping by!