A few birthday cards made with RAKd images...thanks to my friends for keeping me stocked in images I don't have stamps for! :)
And a little something fun...I just picked up these Cuttlebug dies for a song, and pictured them immediately all dressed up with wiggly eyes! A little bling on the giraffe's spots, some colored paper piecing for the lion and the monkey. And of course these are on ovals cut by my new Nestabilities...I'm learning how to use 'em! Hopefully I'll post some cards tomorrow using these little babies:
A few birthday cards made with RAKd images...thanks to my friends for keeping me stocked in images I don't have stamps for! :)
A few more cards with a new set I picked up by Inkadinkado. I'm not altogether sure how to use stamps like this---a little too hip for my style, maybe? Anyway, I tried:
This stamp I opted to do a resist on; embossed with clear powder and heat-set it, then used the applicator thingie with the pad on it to smoosh red and orange distress inks, then wiped most of the ink off the embossing. The heart lace edge is done with a Fiskars border punch. Yeah, I know, it's foofy for being such a rough type of stamp. I can't help it. :P
I tried some different things with another stamp in this set. First, simply the stamp in black on a distressed piece of cardstock; the edge with the ribbon hangs out to show when the card is flat, and the ripped paper on the left wraps around the back of the card---because when I cut the right side to let the ribbon show, then it wasn't centered. Argh. But I kinda like this one.
I colored these next two with Copics, a little different colors in each. Distressed the edges in orange with the thingie again. I love the thingie. I just wish I knew what it was called besides the thingie. Anyway---the background on this card was made by Jan; she sent it to me this summer and I was hoarding it, but when I looked for paper that would go with this image, hers just lept out at me.
And here's a little more classic look from me. Pierced edges on the image, layered paper.
Oh and by the way, the sentiment "Now and Forever" does NOT come with the stamp. That banner is BLANK. How did I twist it around that banner, you ask? Well, first, I had saved the acetate that the heart stamp came with, and flipped it so I was looking at the back side. I put an acrylic block on it that has Tack n Peel on it (if your sentiment stamp is sticky enough you can use just a block, but the Studio Gs that I have aren't sticky enough to handle warping.) I aligned the sentiment through the block while looking at the backside of the acetate image, that way it all lined up when I turned it over and stamped it onto the image.
So there you have it! :) Nighty night!
Just one sweet Valentine to share right now...I'm making a ton but not stopping for pictures! I'm a woman on a mission. But this one was so cute I had to share it. The image is by Cats Pajamas, stamped in Memento; outlined in Copic marker; I added a little adhesive pearl for the eyes, and some clear Spica marker on the wings and arrow and collar beads. So simple but so darned cute!
I'll be back with more later, I have most of the rest of the week off...still debating whether I'll work Friday or not, that will depend on how much I get finished this week!
Especially for the gals on StampHaven...
The images on the left are colored with Copics; the right side is Prismacolor pencils.
Typically with Copics I work dark to light. However on an image like this where I want to leave white on his belly and tip of his tail, I colored just a little light color first to remind myself where that edge needs to stop. (Otherwise I get carried away!) The colored pencil style I use, however, always goes light to dark, in SUPER light layers using a really sharp sharp sharp pencil.
With the Copics I blob on some of the darkest shadow color. Pencil: start working in a little more color in the darkest areas, blending softly with the existing color as I go.
Copics: blob on a little lighter color, overcoloring the dark spots and building up moisture a bit. Since I was stopping to photograph along the way I had more trouble blending since it dried between; Copics blend easiest while still wet, though it's very possible to keep re-wetting the paper---it just takes more time. Still adding layers of color to the pencil version.
Now I've added yellow to both images to hype the color a bit more. There's just a little more saturation in the pencil version, it's just hard to tell. Be careful to build slowly in pencil or else it will get waxy and be harder and harder to blend and layer colors.
With the Copic image, I took the light color I started out with (milky white) and started blending and mushing colors. I added a little more of different colors as needed....It's a little streakier than I'd like, but as I said, stopping really made that more work. Not to mention the photos not looking quite like the originals! I added a little blue and green to the outsides of the image to make the fox pop....it's a lot easier to get soft color with a pencil than a Copic.
This photo warped the color on the images, sorry! Phooey on my camera. :P
I just realised Christmas Day is almost over—and blogger may even say it's done by the time I click "Publish." But—I'll still say it anyway: Merry Christmas!
I'm not nearly as bummed/frightened as this video may seem...I just LOVE SOCK PUPPETS! Yes, the truth is out. I love them. On my feet, I love socks. On my hands with wiggly eyes and yarn hair, I love socks.
Someone call for help.
I know, I know—some of you have missed these photos terribly. Others—feel free to skip this post :) I finally have time to lay these out again; the thousands of cards that came in during the Christmas season kept me so busy I could barely count them as I got them out of the boxes. :)
On the new stamping board/gallery, Stamp Haven, there's an event in the making—a week of stamping challenges and classes! Check out the WinterHaven thread at StampHaven to see the discussion of what's coming...be sure to register and practice uploading so you're ready to roll when WinterHaven is here!
I know I promised some Copic tutorials a while back—here's the first one! It's more related to the products themselves, so if you're looking to decide which Copics to buy, I hope this can help. But first let me say, no one NEEDS Copics. If you have markers you love, use them til they're dead! If you prefer the look of MCPT or twinkling watercolors, rock on! But if you're interested in Copics, this is my two cents worth!
Types of Copics. They all use the same inks, and coloring techniques will be about the same (depending on nibs only, not on the marker itself), but each has different features you'll want to take into account. I have a few of each, but my purchases have been the Ciao markers—I've had a few others given to me, which is helpful so I know more about what makes them different!
Ciao. These are the ones I got, and I have to admit, it was because I'm cheap! (these are roughly $3 per marker depending on where you get them—comparable with Tombow/Marvy). The barrel is round, so they do roll (the other two have shapes that stay put), and the barrel is also the smallest so they need refilled sooner than the others. (Link to a set of 12 for ~$35.) Some websites say the Ciaos are for "beginners" but don't let that bug you! The level of your coloring won't be different depending on what shape the marker is in your hand.
Sketch. These have a oval-shaped body, so they don't roll off their table, and they have a larger barrel than the Ciaos, so they last longer between refills. The markers are about $4.50 ish online ($6 in stores). (Link to a set of 12 for about $53)
Original. These have the largest barrel—therefore they hold the most ink, lasting longest between refills. They're also around $4.50 ish online ($6 in stores). (Link to a set of 12 for about $53) These come with a chisel nib (they all do) and the small nib is a hard but rounded nib (see photo below).
The reason I'm even writing this post today is because of something I found about nibs for the Original markers. I purchased replacement nibs for the two Original markers I have (given to me at the Copics class I took in Nov) because I really like brush nibs. But the small hard nib is NOT interchangeable, so I had to put the new brush tip in the chisel end. And the brush nibs for these are considerably smaller than the regular brush nibs for the Sketch and Ciao, but at least it's a little softer. I'm really glad I never opted for the Originals, it would not have made me happy to find this out about the brush tips.
Refilling. No matter which style markers you use, the cost for refilling is the same—the reinker bottles (they're called Various Ink Refills) are $5.25+ each, and the number of times they refill a marker is dependent on the size marker barrel, however the ink still colors the same number of images no matter the size of marker. Now, $5 sounds expensive—but consider that it makes your marker last a LONG time. I mean a LONG time. How often do you have to buy a new Tombow to replace a dry one? These will outlast those by a longshot.
Remember, however—you need a reinker for each color marker. Eventually, at least. I purchase a few reinkers when I have some budget to do so, and I prioritize which markers I use most. Many of the colors I bought and have been using haven't even begun to dry out yet, so you'll get a good bit of usage out of them before you need to spend any money on refills. I bought a set of 24 reinkers for myself for Christmas. :) Ho ho ho for me!
Airbrushing. There's a cool airbrush kit you can get that basically blows air alongside the marker nib—so you can airbrush any color you have. The Original and Sketch markers fit into the unit you have to purchase in order to airbrush; the Ciaos need a little shimming since their barrel wasn't made to fit in the airbrush unit. I don't own the airbrush thingie (yet!) so I don't know a lot about it, but we did try it at the class.
I know there are other differences, but here's what I see as the pros and cons to help you decide which kind to invest in:
Ciao—less expensive initial investment, more work to refill more often, comes with nice brush and chisel nibs.
Sketch—more expensive, don't need refilled as often, don't roll off the table, fit nicely into airbrush unit, comes with nice brush and chisel nibs.
Original—more expensive, don't need refilled as often, don't roll off the table, fit nicely into airbrush unit, comes with hard rounded nib and chisel tip, and the brush nib available for this marker is smaller than the others.
PS My links go to CopicMarkers.com—not because I have any investment in their company, but because I like their customer service and their prices. They are out of stock on occasion depending on what's being ordered when they go to trade shows, but they're very good about getting back to you to let you know what's on order.
I still have Christmas papers left...so I sorted through them to pull out ones that can still be used for Valentines. I am determined to leave as little leftover Christmas images, paper, and embellishments for next year as I can! (This year I wanted to go shopping but couldn't because I had SO much left from 2007!) So you'll see a little holiday cheer coming through my Valentines! :)
RAKd mousie...lots of lovely distressing, and I used my new threading water punch finally! You can just see the scallops peeking out from the inside of the card. (This is one of those with a 4.25x5.5 flat base, and the smaller card part that opens (the distressed portion) is adhered to that base. Does that make sense?)
A little bit of Peanuts true love. Even though Lucy's got a certain 'tude about her, I think her style of true love is a lot like some loving marriages I know of!
A new little stamp I bought, I just love this kitty!
And another soon-to-be-favorite new stamp. What a BLAST to color this little guy!! The design is another CASE, I can't remember who though; I sketched the layout into my little book of sketches and never wrote down the originator.
At work, instead of an expensive Christmas party, our company's having a gathering and a "duel"---we'll be battling baked goods and gingerbread houses! My entry for the former will be my Oreo-cream cheese bonbons:
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
4 cups crushed Oreo® cookies
2 cups chocolate baking chips
1 tbsp. shortening
On high speed of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add cookies and beat until well combined. Refrigerate 2 hours until chilled enough to roll. Roll dough into 1" balls. Over double boiler, melt chips and shortening until smooth. Dip balls into mixture and thoroughly coat. Place on wax paper to harden. Store in refrigerator.
And I've been working most of the weekend on my gingerbread house for the competition! I sure hope it stays together; the round hut is looking a little weak on day two, but it's been shored-up so maybe it will last. (Or I could make a new base for it Tuesday night!) Judging is on Weds and Thurs, I think. Any gingerbread house is enter-able, but a World Vision-themed one is suggested, so I went for an African scene with items from our Gift Catalog! And yes, this is a shameless plug; the catalog is my main project every year, so every gift you give in honor of your loved ones from the catalog is more job security for me! Not to mention it really helps little gingerbread people around the world. :P
Fortunately I had the presence of mind to photo as I went along. I started by making a base for the scene. I wanted something sturdy that I could stick things "into" - and after seeing a gingerbread house kit at the store using rice krispie treats, I knew just what to do! I rolled out cocoa-infused rice krispie dough (?) into a long rectangle! It's on a piece of cardboard, and the whole thing is edged with rawhide dog treats. (They ARE edible---just not by humans!) I liked how they really lined the thing with a clear edge; the krispies were a little mushy!Next was the main hut; I wanted a round house, so I rolled out a piece of gingerbread dough, cut it to the size of a piece of chipboard I used as a model. I tapped brick lines into it before baking, though most of that did go away. After it had been baked I lifted it carefully and rested it on a round can of the right diameter while it cooled; the dough cracked a little but looked more authentic, so I didn't worry about that too much. (Mistake!) Once cool, I cut holes for pretzel windows, using frosting as caulking. I secured the home by placing it on the base, tossing a little flour inside so I knew how large to make the ground beneath it; I removed the house and frosted a circle a little bigger than the house, and stuck the house to it. The frosting sticking out under the outside is covered with sunflower seed kernels.
I had to make the hut a home (ha). Even though no one can see it once done. The fire is made with tootsie rolls for wood, surrounded by Capn Crunch cereal, the beds are wafer cookies (I added pillows made of white chocolate chunks after the pic), and the chairs are caramels. The floor was dusted with some cocoa powder.
Next the roof. This was the hardest part! I cut a circle using a plate, both from cardboard and from the dough. While the dough baked, I cut a slit in the cardboard, and snugged it to make a cone-shape. When the dough was done, I sliced a triangle out of it and wrapped it on my cone (which was also on top of a bowl to give it a little height) and let it cool on that. I never did work out how the cone could retain shape without support, so the cardboard form is the only non-edible portion of my scene. To add the thatching, I made a frosting drizzle and added coconut----coconut mixed with some ginger to color it!
And the roof was secured to the hut walls using frosting. I let a little extra cocoa spill out of the home across the scene. Yes, they have dirt issues in Africa!
Next I built a little animal pen out of wafer cookies, using frosting for the grout. I let it be all messy, it added a little authenticity to it! One window is on the other side, and the roof was made from more rawhide dog treats.
You can see here the beginnings of a potential collapse of the round house. Eeep! I secured some of these cracks with frosting, and added some rawhide poles inside to bear a little of the roof's weight. I'm totally empathising with people in Africa trying to get their homes to hold up under stress!! The animal pen was secured to the base using the same method as for the house, and is also surrounded by sunflower kernels to cover excess frosting.
And yes, that's Betty Crocker frosting you see in the background. I had some several-year-old cans of leftover frosting in the fridge, I had been saving them for SOMEthing and now I knew what. It's not tasty but with a little water added I was able to make browns out of the little white and chocolate frostings I had!
Next I added fencing. Pretzel sticks! They sit nice and securely in the rice krispie base.I took some time to frost all the people and animals, which you'll see shortly! These next photos were taken in better light on a different counter. First, the rear view:
And from one side....
And the front! Look at all the happy people and critters!
First, meet the lady of the house, Nyasha. She's wearing the lastest in frosting fashion, using many kinds of sprinkles to add patterns and decoration! Yes, I got the tweezers out for this one!
(She and her husband and animals stand up by leaning on pretzels.)
Next is her happy husband, Chrispine, and a good provider! See? He works at World Vision and is dressed smartly in a company t-shirt. He's even wearing matching orange shorts!
Now let's meet their prized animals...livestock! First is their favorite animal, their dairy goat Gertie! Their goat provides them with milk for nutrition, extra income at the market as they sell milk, and since it's a girl goat, they'll get some offspring that will help their little cookie family for a long time to come.
And here we have Chuma the chick in brightly colored array! Chuma gives the family a future full of eggs to sell in the market as well as to eat, and they also will end up with more chickens and some to sell as well. Plus Chuma is just so cute and fuzzy!
Pallu the pig is peeking out from inside the animal pen; unfortunately Pallu's destiny is to make a yummy Christmas dinner for the family, but not before making more little piggies to sell at market and to raise for next year's holiday feast! Cory the cow will be providing the family with milk, with calves, and eventually with hamburgers! Mooooooooooo.......don't tell Pallu and Cory about their destinies, they're happy so far!
So here's my little scene all packed up to go to the competition later in the week. I'll be checking in on the hut's status to see how it holds up....if I have time Tues night I may rebuild it just to be sure, but if this holds, it might be good enough for the judging, we'll see!
Wish me luck in both contests!! The only prize up for grabs is braggin' rights....winners will be posted on our intranet, and I'd love to see my name up in lights for a few minutes, LOL!