Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Today was a 'Sketchy' One

I did some Spring cleaning this morning and to reward myself for being such a good girl I spent the afternoon making cards. Somehow it makes me feel less guilty that way and besides, a WHOLE day of Spring Cleaning might kill me! LOL Both of the cards I made today follow the sketch challenge over on Splitcoast Stampers. I really liked this sketch because alot of embellishment is unnecessary...which leaves me alot of room to do what I love best...COLOR!

The first card uses the new AI Greek Gardens stamp set. I did alot of coloring on this one and I tried my best to make the columns and the fountain look like they are made from aged copper. I did this using Copic markers in BG13 and BG11, with a bit of patina added using E55. I actually stamped the column 4 times since it isnt tall enough to cover an A2 card's background and I cut them to make them look a bit taller. For the focal point I double layered it, added some square clips because they look kinda like a Greek key and beaded the foliage in the front, because I like tedious work, lol! It took a long time but it was time I enjoyed. Here is a close-up of the beaded area.
The second card didnt take me nearly as long but it was equally enjoyable because I had fun making the intended images into something else. I used our new Three Wishes set which has sort of an Arabian Knights theme and gave a couple of the images a different flavor. I made the genie's bottle into a vase and the sun image was stamped 3 times to create flowers. Coloring this was easy, I just used a deep yellow maker over all the image, and outlined it with a darker mustard color. Then I added mustard dots in the center, outlined a bit closer to the edge in dark grey and added more dots. Then to pull it all together, I used a lighter mustard around the petals, so it looks like they are part of the center. I drew my own stems and added some shadow, then Voila...a vase of sunflowers!

For the background, I just cut up some Marrakech paper by Basic Grey and glued it on the back layer with spaces in between to give it a grout-like look. To finish it off, I corner punched the mustard paper and added some orange and yellow jewels.

Oh and one more thing...the Blog Hop Candy winner has been announced over on Kerri's blog. Congratulations to #30~Marie/bat3!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Coloring on Kraft Tutorial

Wow, that sure was a killer Blog Hop wasnt it? How are we ever going to be able to top that? How about with a super guest tutorial? Loretta is ready to share with us her secret for an eye-popping look with Kraft paper and Prismacolor pencils. Loretta has such an elegant design style and eye for detail...I love every thing she makes for us! When she suggested this topic for her tutorial, I jumped at the chance to have her share it with us since I have admired her colored pencil work in the past. So with out further ado, here is Loretta's guest tutorial.

Coloring on Kraft Tutorial- by Loretta Lock

First off, I want to say I’m not a Prismacolor expert. I’ve used them for about 25 years and I’ve experimented a lot and so I’m comfortable with how I use them. There is no right or wrong way to use them, just different. There are many tutorials for using Prismacolors, and I’m thankful to you for reading mine.

I use dark dye ink to stamp my images for Prismacolors. I find I’m impatient and so I don’t use pigment ink because I would have to wait for it to dry OR I would have to heat set it and I’m still impatient and there are too many steps involved. I’ve tried using emboss powder with pigment, then colouring, but the Prismacolors take the melted powder off the paper.

I love the way Prismacolors and kraft paper mix and mingle. Of course, I love Prismacolors on white paper too, but there is something that happens that is magical about Kraft paper and Prismacolors!

I often choose my colours based on the designer paper I’m using so the project is cohesive in appearance. I typically choose a light and dark of each colour I use unless it is for a large area. I will then choose a light, medium and a dark of similar colours (ie. Limepeel and Moss Green, Crimson Lake and Pink, Kelly Green and Celadon Green, etc)

I often work on a single area at a time to completion (ie. just the fountain, just the water, etc) but for this tutorial and the sake of brevity, I have first coloured all the dark areas. The fountain was coloured with the dark and light colours (shadows and highlights). In the places I want deeper shading, I colour more heavily with the Prismacolors and for the rest of the shadows, colour with a bit lighter hand so the colour looks a bit ‘grainy’. This will allow the colours to blend well.

Next, fill in the remainder of the image with the lighter colours, or medium colour for the fountain, slightly overlapping the colours in the ‘grainy’ areas. It looks pretty darn good as is! It has a bit rougher, artistic look to it and if you like it like this, leave it alone – it’s all good!

I don’t use Gamsol or other odourless mineral spirits very much anymore. I find even odourless spirits have a slight odor which I can’t tolerate well. And this last step is where magic happens! I use the Prismacolors colourless blender to blend the colours. I do one area at a time, working from light to dark. If I get a coloured wax build up on the blender, I clean if off on some scrap paper, much like using a blender pen. One of my favourite final touches is highlighting the image with white gel pen. The white really pops on the kraft paper and in this image it gives a little extra life to the water in the fountain.

Card made using the new Artful INKables Greek Gardens stamp set.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

HOP on Over and Enjoy our Newly Released Stamp Sets


It is finally that time again! The April release of Artful INKables stamp sets is available NOW! There are some really exciting sets for you this month, so hop along with us and see what is in store! The INK girls are hopping along with me today & showing off their stuff so after you are through enjoying what I've shared here please hop on over to Joanne's blog to see what she is sharing today. And be sure to follow the hop all the way to the end because there are some goodies along the way.

Today's card uses one of my favorites from the New Release. The set is called THREE WISHES and features both a boy and a girl genie as well as other great images to go along with the fairie tale.

Cards Details: Genie and bottle are colored using copic markers. The Palace in the background piece is stamped on glossy card stock, masked and sponged to depict sand and sky. It was then colored using SU! markers since they dry better on glossy cs. The back layers of card stock are SU's Sage Shadow, the center DP is by My Mind's Eye and the corner accent is cut from a piece of DP by DCWV. The bow is made using our new satin stripe May Arts ribbon (available in the store now).

The New Release sets available today are:

Three Wishes

Greek Gardens

Celestial Bodies

Bouquets and Butterflies

We also have 3 adorable new charms that will coordinate with some of these sets and as mentioned above, 6 new colors of May Arts ribbon. Now it is time to hop on over to the talented Joanne Travis's Blog to see the great project she has to share using one of the new sets. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Another Peek...

We are one day closer to our NEW RELEASE BLOG HOP! The INK Girls and I are getting so excited!! I really hope our new sets are as big of a hit with you all as they have been with the Design Team! LOL

So today I'm giving you a peek at another new set to be released on Wednesday. This one is from a set called Greek Gardens.

The column was colored using copic markers and the border was hand doodled with a fine tip black pen. I did some paper tole on the leaves and fruits of this card as you can see in the close up picture below. The big leaf is layered 2 times and the fruits 1.

I tend to color my images as I see fit and then mimic the colors I used in the rest of the card. As you can see, I used the grey of the column to frame column piece, the burgundy of the fruit is found in the decorative paper background and the green of the leaves is the card itself. I layered two different green ribbons together on the card and used the narrower one to make the bow accent. This ribbon is made by May Arts and is now available in our store along with 5 other fun colors.

Now you may be wondering what the 3 little embellishments on the left side are. Well, they are buttons *grin*. I covered the button holes with a diamond dot sticker by Stampendous. I thought it made the buttons look alot more elegant that way, dont you?

Please be sure to check back tomorrow to see the new sets and all the FABULOUS samples the girls have created to share with you!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sneak Peek

Good Morning everyone! I hope you all had a nice weekend.

I have a fun surprise to share with you today...a Sneak Peek of one of the NEW RELEASE sets that will be available this Wednesday!! This card uses stamps from the new set called Celestial Bodies....a fun whimsical set that can be used for any occaision.

Now before I share how I made this card I want to let you know about 3 things. First, be sure to visit me and the rest of the INK Girls on Wednesday April 15th for our BLOG HOP. There will be prizes and we will be showcasing all 4 of the new sets that will be available for purchase that day! Second, go and see Holly's blog RIGHT NOW because she has another sneak peek card to share with you. And lastly, I want to let you know about a fabulous ARTFUL INKABLES SWAP Being hosted by Holly (TOY) over on SPLITCOAST. Most of the INKGirls are participating so if you join in you will get some really gorgeous cards using current Artful INKables stamps.

Card Details: Images colored using Copic Markers and cut out. I stamped the sun on a light blue circle of card stock and layered the cut-out sun over it so that the rays stood out a bit from the base. Then I layered the moon over the sun using pop dots.
The background was a happy accident. I was trying to come up with something vibrant that could be either day or night sky. So after many false starts I tried a polished stone background using a medium blue ink and some gold craft ink...but that didnt totally please me either. So I took a vial of gold leaf flakes I've had in my drawer for eons , shook them over the sticky areas where the craft ink was and pressed them down with my finger. Voila! Vibrant background! I finished it off with a bit of navy ribbon that had moons and stars on it that I got at JoAnn and added some dots to the border of my Marigold card stock. Oh, and I made the greeting arched by sticking it to my acrylic block curved instead of straight...neat trick, huh? Dawn Lusk taught me that! The rest of the sentiment is shown inside with another stamp from the set, a shooting star.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Guest Tutorial: Easy Made Clouds From Cardboard Template

Since I am busily getting ready for next week's New Release, I dont have any new samples of my own to share with you today. But Dawn has prepared a fun tutorial for you showing how she makes her beautiful clouds in the background of her cards. This is a cheap tool solution that produces wonderful results, dont you think?

As for Dawn, she is NOT a cheap solution but a wonderful result of our DT seach a few months ago! :-) Im so thrilled to have her talented help to showcase our stamps. Plus she is a kind soul who is always cheery and sweet. Getting to know her has been a real treat! Stop by her blog to view more of her talented designs.

Easy Made Clouds From Cardboard Template

Scallop scissors
Thin cardboard (like from a cereal box)
Sponge (dauber, make-up sponge etc)
Ink (I used Distress inks, but dye inks will work also)
Stamps ( Thought I’d Bug You by Artful INKables)

Step 1:

Cut a strip of cardboard with the scalloped scissors, it doesn’t have to be evenly cut. I like to make it long enough to fit across my cardstock so it extends off the edges. You can see my template has been used and abused!

Step 2:

Stamp and mask your image.

Step 3:

Starting at the top portion of your card, sponge off the edge of the template. Angle the template as you start working down the card to give your clouds a more natural look. Remember, you can always add more color but you can’t remove it!

Step 4:

You can add other shades of blue or even purples…or try adding a little yellows and oranges here and there! I added a darker blue at the top and several other areas, again changing the angle of the template as I sponged.
*So what do you do with the ground if the clouds don’t cover your entire surface? I tore a piece of copy paper unevenly in half, using one to sponge off lightly for the sky and the opposite piece (which fits like a puzzle piece) to sponge off for the ground.

Step 5:

Finish your card and have fun!