Monday, July 24, 2017

The Monthly Christmas Card, Sparkling and Twinkling

I've been at the Spectrum Noir watercolor sparkle pens again and I can hardly express how much I'm enjoying them.  I now have the Vintage Hues set (12 markers) in addition to the three others I started with, so I thought I'd try them out on the monthly Christmas card.  Christmas is a good time for sparkle, isn't it?  I know... anytime is a good time for sparkle!

So here we go with a favorite Power Poppy Christmas set called Heaven & Nature Sing.  It gave me a chance to try a few different colors.  The birds, however, were colored mostly with Twinkling H2Os as there were no suitable browns in the Spectrum set.  I may supplement my Spectrum markers later, but for now I'm enjoying the Twinks, my interest in them having been rekindled by the Spectrum sparkle pens.

The degree of sparkle you get with these pens varies depending upon how much water you use and how much you spread the ink.  Some areas may have very little sparkle and other areas will have a lot.  I like that.  It's a gentler effect.  The photo below shows where the sparkle gathered in this painting.  Please note that the camera made some of the sparkle appear silver, but it does not look silver when seen simply through your eyes.

Each color was brushed onto a plastic palette and picked up with a watercolor brush.  The green of the holly leaves is a mix of Emerald Green and Ocean Wave.  Ocean Wave is a rich teal blue and Emerald Green is more of a lime green.  I brushed them separately onto the palette and then mixed them together with a paint brush.

One more card ready for Christmas.  My total so far:  11.  Hey, it's better than zero.

Supplies are listed below.  Wishing you all a happy day!

Stamps:  Power Poppy Heaven & Nature Sing clear set  Paper:  Arches 140 lb hot press watercolor, Neenah Classic Crest Solar White, Bazzill light purple  Ink:  Palette Noir  Coloring:  Spectrum Noir Sparkle pens Vintage Hues set plus Emerald Green, Twinkling H2Os Dark Umber  Accessories:  Sequins, Spellbinders A2 Divine Eloquence, Spellbinders Labels Twenty Eight

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Double D Challenge: Black and White with a Pop of Color

Warning:  This pop of color might pop your eyes out!  It's Team Darlene's turn to bring you another Double D Challenge, and today it's Black and White with a Pop of Color.  Really, if you took the hot pink backdrop away this photo might not be quite so poppin', but lately I've been feeling like adding a little (or a lot) of color to my photos.  I might get over it eventually, but for now I'm enjoying it.

See our inspiration board below.  Not quite as bright as my card.

I've had these Dee's Distinctively Retro Cats dies for quite a while and they've remained "not yet used" until now.  It's not for lack of trying.  You see, I was very disappointed to find the die does not cut out the eyes even though it appears as such on the product package.  There's an eye opening in the die which is meant to emboss, but I'm afraid it doesn't do much of that, either.  They just don't have quite the personality without eyes, and my previous efforts to create eyes for them were unsuccessful.  However, a light bulb blinked on this time:

I cut the cats in white card stock, left them in the die, then traced the eye opening with a very fine (.005) black Prismacolor marker.  I did my best to give them eye slits, then colored each cat body with a black Copic marker, being very careful around the eyes.  Now I love, love, LOVE these cats!

The rest was a matter of dolling it up with flowers, ribbon, rhinestones, sequins.  All the flowers were cut in white and colored with Copics.  I dotted their rumps with a white gel pen.  The sentiments are from an Inkadinkado set.  Everything will be listed in the recipe.

We'd love to see what you do with our "Black and White with a Pop of Color" challenge.  Team Darlene and Team Diane, both, have inspiring samples for you, so POP over to Double D and check them out.  Have a purrrfect day!

Stamps:  Inkadinkado "Cats" clear stamp set  Paper:  Neenah 110 lb white, ancient Hot Off the Press gingham designer paper  Ink:  Memento Tuxedo Black, SU Pink Passion, Copics  Accessories:  Ribbon, sequins, rhinestones, Signo uniball white gel pen  Dies:  Dee's Distinctively Retro Cats 2, Die-namics Stitched Rectangle Frames, Poppystamps Flower Stack

Monday, July 17, 2017

Best Day at the Beach

Ever have one of those cards where you just couldn't stop?  Right.  This is one of mine.  It was going to be just the flip flops on wood grain paper with perhaps the splashy water die cut...

Well, gee, the hilly landscape was already cut; I just had to color it.  And I had these beachy dies I'd never used yet -- the shore birds and the rope/life saver corner...  Stuff happens.

I made this for my flip flop and purple-loving friend's birthday.  The stamp set I used is Power Poppy's Best Day Ever.  Cute stuff in that set and perfect for some of the other beachy dies I haven't used yet, hmmm.

I have to say, I really love making and embellishing frames.  When I had the frame complete and ready to pop up on the card front, it looked so cute all by itself.  If I had the time I'd make up a bunch of different frames to use on cards later.  Ohhh, to get ahead one of these days... or learn to stamp/color/create faster.  Have a happy day!

Stamps:  Power Poppy Best Day Ever  Paper:  Strathmore Vellum Surface Mixed Media card base, Neenah 110 lb white, Simple Stories Snap Color Vibe and Wood & Notebook Basics designer paper  Ink:  Memento Tuxedo Black, Cool Caribbean (sky), Copics for coloring  Accessories:  Signo Uniball white gel pen  Dies:  Die-namics Stitched Rectangle Frames, Memory Box Big Splash Border, Cottage Cutz Rope Corner, Impression Obsession Shore Birds, Memory Box Banner Parade, Die-namics Mix and Match Banner

Friday, July 14, 2017

Double Giggles

Hi friends!  I have a lot of card needs for the month of July, so some of them have to be relatively clean and simple like these two cards today.  The first one is a birthday card for a guy friend.  Maybe it doesn't look especially masculine, but it could probably be either/or.  He's a very good friend so he'll appreciate it regardless.

Out came my SU! Giggle Greetings again and a not-yet-used balloon die.  The Poppystamps Celebration Balloon Collage is brand new to me.  Yes, I lifted the shopping ban just long enough to take advantage of a not-to-be-denied bargain.  I put the balloon die and the stitched die together and ran them through my Big Shot at the same time.  Very quick and clean.

I stamped on the panel after it was cut.  The cheese image was stamped again, cut out and glued in place.  A little glitter on the candle flame.  Strings on the balloons, taped in back.

While I had Giggle Greetings out I decided to make a second quick card.  I've used Giggle Greetings a few times, but not this particular image.  I gave it a simple frame and a ric rac border and added a funky stitched flower -- Poppystamps Stitched Bloom Trio.  Another new-to-me-had-to-have-it-at-a-bargain-price die.  The die set does not come with leaves, so I cut an extra flower in lime green, snipped off two of the petals and turned them around to make perfect little stitched leaves.

The sentiment inside the cherry card says "and sometimes it's just the pits".  Wouldn't you know, I no sooner made this card than I had a reason to use it.  It's already in the mail.

Till we meet again... stay well and enjoy yourselves!

Stamps:  SU Giggle Greetings  Paper:  Neenah 110 lb white, Bazzill aqua, designer paper scraps  Ink:  Memento Tuxedo Black, Copics for coloring  Accessories:  Stickles Stardust glitter glue, baker's twine, Scotch brand foam mounting tape (first card), enamel dot, Signo uniball white gel pen (second card)  Dies:  Taylored Expressions Stitched Rectangle Stacklets, Poppystamps Celebration Balloon Collage (first card), Impression Obsessions Rectangle 6-in-1 Frames, Poppystamps Stitched Bloom Trio, Taylored Expressions Ric Rac Borders (second card)

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Twinkling Rose

Hello, again!  First of all, I was tickled to read your comments about the Spectrum Noir Sparkle pens we discussed on my last card.  It's good to hear I'm not alone under that rock!  They were a nice surprise and I can honestly recommend them for watercoloring.  In fact, I followed Darnell's link in the comments and purchased a 12 marker set.  I'll be trying them out, but first I have some other already made cards that need sharing.

After the Spectrum Noir Sparkle card I immediately set about making today's card.  See, I was so inspired by those sparkle pens I thought I'd pull out my Twinkling H2Os and see how they compared.  Does anyone use them anymore?  Does anyone even sell them?  I have a drawer full.  Ages old.  They've languished in the drawer because I never found them all that easy to use and my results weren't great, but I feel differently about them now.

Whereas Spectrum sparkle pens sparkle, Twinks shimmer and perhaps twinkle a little.  It's an entirely different effect and virtually impossible to photograph to its advantage.  I tried in the photo below, but it almost makes it look worse, tsk tsk.

To get the very lightest shade of color I lifted it from the pot with a wet paint brush, smeared onto a plastic palette and then added more water.  Added darker shades directly from the pot.  Some say to spritz the pot with water, but I just swish a wet paint brush around in there.  I splattered with gold and umber.  Gosh, if nothing else, these paints are worth it just for the shimmery splatters.

The stamp set I chose is Power Poppy's My English Rose.  Guess I was in a rose mood that day, but this truly is a beautiful stamp.  After coloring I thought of this oldie but goodie paper collection -- My Mind's Eye A Beautiful Life -- and, sure enough, the colors were a perfect match.

Okay, I'll try to finish up now...  Are your eyes glazing over?  I added some simple die cuts for embellishment.  The Tattered Lace Oriental Blue Bird die was layered three times and a branch/bird in the center trimmed off so it wouldn't cover the painting.  One of the trimmed off birds is perched on the top left corner of the image panel.  I'll list everything in the recipe below my signature.

I'm glad I held onto these paints.  I have a few other things I'd like to try now.  This is all way too much fun!  Have a happy day!

Stamps:  Power Poppy My English Rose  Paper:  Arches 140 lb hot press watercolor, Memory Box Sage, My Mind's Eye A Beautiful Life designer paper, Ink:  Palette Noir, Tinkling H2Os for watercoloring  Accessories:  Tattered Lace Oriental Blue Bird die, Impression Obsession Fancy Cut Out Border die

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Lots of Stamp Room Photos

Welcome to my humble and very clean and tidy stamp room.  Does it always look like this?   Ha!  In my dreams!  Note the Swiffer duster on the desk... oops.  Just a touch of realism.

Truthfully, ever since The Big Purge and The Redo I've kept the room very tidy.  When there's a work in progress it can get out of hand until I remind myself to pick up as I go along.  It's supposed to be a happy place, right?

So... I've been meaning to share photos of the new and improved room.  I love seeing other peoples' stamp rooms, so I hope you'll enjoy a visit.  It's nothing fancy, but it's home.  One of these days I'll put some blinds on the window, but for now I'm simply happy with the clean, well lit, openness of it.

In the first photo I'm standing in the doorway looking into the room.  It's approximately 12' x 12', so it can easily get crowded.  And it did get crowded before the redo.  I gave up a lot of stuff in order to be happy stamping in a small space.

The little white table under the window is where I do all my coloring.  It had to be petite enough for my small space.  Height, width, depth, knee space... I could not find a suitable table anywhere, so Rich made this one per my exact specifications.  And I love it.

I guess we'll go clockwise around the room.  It's a short trip over to some storage cabinets.  The tall cabinet holds paper.  Nothing but paper.  There's a chest of doodads on top of the tall cabinet.  The  shorter cabinet holds mostly ribbon, with some cute and colorful button jars displayed on top.  See the plastic containers on the center shelf?  Those are for Copic various inks (refills).  Two containers give me room to grow.

Below you can see into the paper cabinet.  Tubs of 6x6 designer paper in quart storage bags (ziplock top cut off for easy access) with the scraps also in the bags.  There is some degree of organization -- pretty, cute, masculine, holidays.  Shelves of 12x12 Bazzill and Core'dinations card stock.  Whites in the drawers on the bottom shelf.

Drawers of ribbon in the other cabinet.  Bottom shelf for miscellany.

The top drawer of the cabinet is full of ribbon, too.  I hardly use it, gave away a ton of it, but still have lots.  All that purging didn't cut me short one bit.

Here we are at the next corner already.  I have to close the stamp room door to access the right half of the closet, but I don't mind.

Can't help myself... I love the buttons.  Purged bunches of them, but left these, sorted into color groups.  They double as stamp room decor.  Before the redo I didn't have room for decor.  All the wall space was used up with storage.

Inside the closet -- lots of stamps and organized storage.  Lazy Susans (turntables) on top make it easier to get at things.

Pictured below is the Stamping Command Center where card construction takes place.

More Stamping Command Center.  When I saw this big computer desk at Staples years ago I knew it was just what I needed.  Two of those baskets on top hold not yet used stamps, dies, and embossing folders.  I'm slowly whittling them down to size.

Some stacked storage inside the desk:

Moving around to Wall #4...  More of the Stamping Command Center, my sewing machine, die cutting center, and embossing stuff.  I was saving the Susan Wingert print for when the room was finished.  Cute, isn't it?  Embossing powders and Nuvo drops are kept in an old spice rack which I spray painted.  The two baskets hold my dies with room to spare.  I made envelopes and category dividers for all of them.  I also have a magnetic binder for my original die storage, but it wasn't long before I realized it was totally inadequate, seeing as how I became so enamored of dies.

The bottom drawer of the desk and the whole file cabinet are full of 8 1/2 x 11 card stock and whatever specialty papers.  A ridiculous lot of it.  You can see my Copic carrying case tucked down there beside the black file cabinet.  I keep all my Copics in the case and just slide it over to me when I color.  There's a color chart in there, too.

And now we're back here again.  It's a small room with a whole lot of fun packed into it.  Every in its place and plenty of open floor space.  On the corner shelf unit are stamps and a basket of embossing folders.  The photo storage boxes hold miscellaneous stamps, loosely categorized and room to spare.  The drawer cart by my coloring table holds a variety of coloring mediums, and gives me extra surface to set something if necessary.

All the lamps are Ott lights and there are three daylight bulbs in the overhead fixture so it's like sunshine in there day or night.  I like a lot of light when I'm "working".

My goal is to never ever let my room get over crowded again.  Everything must fit into the available storage and if it doesn't fit, something has to go.  I've quit buying colored card stock and designer paper for obvious reasons.  I'm trying to use all the not yet used stamps and dies before I buy more.  That's NOT easy, friends!

My stamp room, small and unremarkable though it may be, is a magical place for me.  You know what I'm talking about, don't you?  Hmm... maybe I'll head in there now and see what I can color up.

Thanks for visiting!  I hope you had a good trip!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Roses Watercolored with Spectrum Noir Sparkle Pens

Here in the US we're coming off a long holiday weekend and I sure hope everyone who observed it had a nice time.  We finished up with beautiful weather, had some fun with family and friends, and I even got to do a little stamping.

With this card I tried something new to me.  When our local paper craft store was going out of business I bought a set of three Spectrum Noir Sparkle pens.  Honestly, I had no idea these were meant for watercoloring.  Yes, there I am... under a rock again.  I assumed they were like Wink of Stella with color and, indeed, you can use them that way, but they're a little intense.  After seeing Connie watercolor with them a few times I finally decided to give it a try.  Thanks, Connie!

The photo above doesn't show the sparkle, but you can see how nicely they work for watercoloring.  Since I was limited to three pens I chose these Power Poppy roses for my trial run.  I combined two sets -- Everything's Even Rosier (buds and sentiment) and My English Rose (full bloom).

In the next photo you can get an idea of the sparkle these pens lay down, but there's actually way more sparkle than I could capture here.

They worked so beautifully and I loved them so much I wanted to run right out and buy more.  However, I decided to read some reviews on Amazon first.  There was talk of the sparkle rubbing off and the pens leaking out during shipping.  I did notice some sparkle came off during handling, but that's nothing new with glitter.  I'd not let that stop me from buying more of these pens.  There's still plenty of sparkle after all the business of constructing the card.  I'm hoping I can find them locally.

The colors I used are Solar Red, Emerald Green, and Blue Topaz.

More card ingredients are listed in the recipe below my signature.  I hope to see you here again real soon!

Stamps:  Power Poppy Everything's Even Rosier (bud and sentiment) and My English Rose (full bloom)  Paper:  Arches 140 lb hot press watercolor, CTMH Citrus Leaf, Core'dinations white card base, Echo Park Fine and Dandy designer paper  Ink:  Palette Noir, Spectrum Noir Sparkle Pens for watercoloring  Accessories:  Queen & Co crystal rhinestones, Die-namics Wonky Stitched Squares, Memory Box Precious Hearts

Friday, June 30, 2017

Party Like a Puppy

Hi there!  One more cute card for this week as it's all I've got done for now.  Not a whole lot of stamping going on here lately.  This one was made way back for a June birthday.  I used a Bugaboo digi from their Birthday Puppy set.  Three images in the set and all cutie patooties.

I colored this puppy black like my birthday friend's little black Cocker Spaniel, not that this pup is a Cocker Spaniel, but, hey, it's close enough.  Good thing I have dog loving friends seeing as how I have a hard time resisting cute dog stamps.  It's colored with Copics on Neenah Classic White.  Glitter was added along with a few extra black speckles.

Speaking of party puppies, Tuesday was Wally's birthday.  Eight years young.  Here's our handsome guy:

And, not to be forgotten, I'll include our pretty LuLu:

I love them both so much it hurts, but I've probably mentioned that a time or two.

It's another busy day for me.  Does one ever catch up?  Summertime adds even more activities to the agenda, sheesh.  I'll list supplies below my signature.  Have a happy day!

Stamps:  Bugaboo Birthday Puppy digi stamp set, SU sentiment  Paper:  Neenah Classic Crest Solar White for image, Neenah 110 lb white for embossed panel, pink, green, old BasicGrey designer paper  Ink:  Printer, Memento Tuxedo Black, Copics for coloring  Accessories:  Stickles Stardust glitter glue, Cuttlebug Scrollwork embossing folder, Memory Box Cross Stitched Frame Borders, Memory Box Banner Parade (including heart)
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