Sunday, March 29, 2015

Mix-Ability - Graph Paper

This week's Mix-Ability challenge is to incorporate graph paper into our projects! It was nice to finally finish up my class kits, and have some time to play.


I started with a gel print from my file, and randomly brushed on some gel medium.  I stuck graph paper onto the print and burnished until the medium began to dry, then pulled the paper away. Some of it stuck, including the graph design. Not sure if that's a true 'transfer', but it worked! I did the same technique with a small scrap of reddish paper in the lower left corner.


I stamped the poppy (Unity Stamp Co.) onto graph paper, then pulled out Prismacolor Pencils... I worked from dark to light, beginning in the areas that I would have shaded first if coloring the poppy traditionally. To complete the poppy shape, I scribbled in a stem and leaf with a ballpoint pen.



If you haven't played along with the challenge yet, I hope you will! If you don't have graph paper handy, there's a download you can use - no excuses!


Hope you have a wonderful week!
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

DT Thursday: Gilded Relief technique

Welcome to Impression Obsession DT Thursday! I saved my tutorial samples to share with you today - yesterday +Lydia Fiedler shared a technique on Splitcoast that she calls Gilded Relief. In her samples she uses paper flowers but I wanted to try using die cuts... both cards here use the Open Scroll Butterfly die and the Ornate Rectangle Frame.

I started by die cutting the 2 pieces out of label paper - the lighter weight of the paper gave me a clean cut, and the light adhesive let me play around with the paper a little for just the right placement.


The white gesso I have is incredibly thick, so I used a black gesso to cover the watercolor panel for the next step.


I streaked in some other colors to give the piece some character - I used a pretty dry brush so that the black underpainting would still be seen through the layers. I added some stamping over the paint... and stamped with some paint...


The final step is to rub lightly over the raised areas using Inka Gold or another metallic medium - this color is called Old Silver. Even with the lightweight label paper, the dimension still shows... I'm so glad to know that, since I have a wooden box to alter - I think this technique will be a great way to give it new life!


Here's a closer look at the finished piece (sentiment is from the Maya clear set).



Thanks for visiting me today! xo
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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Chameleon Markers

Today on Splitcoast, in addition to Lydia's beautiful Gilded Relief technique (look for my sample tomorrow!), the Product Focus team is testing out Chameleon Pens! My set arrived the day before we left for our trip to Indonesia, so I haven't had a lot of time to really come up with an in-depth review, but I have had some fun playing with these, and I have a few samples in the PF gallery as well.


Some thoughts... I like them! The markers are a lot of fun to play with. I thought initially that the blending time would make me impatient, but I've found that I use that time to plan my next coloring location, and it hasn't bothered me at all. Typically I blend for 5 seconds before coloring again... unless I have music on, and then I completely lose track.


 The markers do have their limitations, and they're not meant to replace traditional alcohol markers, but they do play well together. For me, the strength of these markers is in their ability to blend in small areas. Their selling point is the gradated shading, and that's fun to work with.


The full set of markers comes with some replacement nibs, which is great. I had some streaking issues with the brush nib, but I actually preferred working with the smaller nib, because it was easier for me to keep it upright for optimum blending... I usually use a brush tip on its side, and that's not best for this type of blending.


One tip for mixing colors - on one of my samples I wanted to add some deeper blended shading with the black pen, and when I use it over my previous coloring, the blender fluid caused my coloring to fade just slightly... next time I'll do the black shading first and then color over the top.

If you've been curious about these pens, come check out the reviews and samples. You'll find tons of info and videos in Chameleon Pens' forum as well!
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Color Burst Tags

I've been spending quite a bit of time preparing class kits for this upcoming retreat - we are going to be away from home for most of April, so all my prep needs to be done before we leave... it's a little crazy, since I'm also trying to catch up on things from the time we were overseas, and get ahead a little bit on April's tutorials and projects, and work a stamp release into the mess as well!


Anyway... Since we'll be working with Color Burst at the retreat, I want to give the ladies an opportunity to really play with them, and I thought tags would be a fun and inexpensive substrate for trying some of the different techniques...


When things settle down (goodness, in MAY, I hope, at least for a little longer stretch...) I'll make some videos to share with you on how to use watercolor crystals such as Color Burst and Brusho for all kinds of techniques - backgrounds, stenciling, bleaching, watercolor, resist, dyeing, and more! I'll share the system I'm using for better application of Brusho powders too - it's working well for me and wasn't too expensive to set up.


These tags are from Office Depot - they're a great value, and fun to work with. The paper is similar to posterboard, with a shiny-ish side and a matte side - each surface works a little bit differently with the powders, so that's fun to play with too. They'll be great for gel prints too, so I'm glad I got some extras!

Here are some samples similar to what we'll make in class, using Art Squares from Inchie Arts - the images are from my line at Impression Obsession, and they're watercolored using Color Burst powders.


The 'you are enough' tag was for me - I needed that reminder today when I had to gracefully say 'no'!

Have a great week! xo
Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Mix-Ability: Spring Daffodils

I'm hanging out with the Power Poppy girls today - I've had to temporarily step back from my routine feature on their blog with all we have going on, but it so happened that I had a card made with the new Dancing with Daffodils digital set... and that's the feature today!


I so love these girls and it's fun to be hopping with them today. And daffodils are among my favorite flowers - so cheery! I loved the wild ones that popped up all over in the spring when we lived in Missouri.


This card was actually an experiment with Chameleon Markers - I wanted to try a little blending of mixed colors, instead of single-color areas. I've had a lot of fun with this marker set, and I'll share more about them soon. On the daffodils I laid down a solid yellow color base (YL2), then did a gradient blend with the Warm Sunset (YO3). On the smaller flowers, I did a gradient blend from one end of each petal with the Sky Blue (BL3) then started from the other end with Deep Violet (VO4). The leaves were done in a similar way. I used rubbing alcohol in a waterbrush to paint with the marker ink through drywall tape in a few areas to soften the background.


My card fits this week's Mix-Ability spring theme as well! Be sure to visit my friends below to see more spring beauties!


Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Impression Obsession DT Challenge: Happy Flowers

The Impression Obsession team's challenge today is to create a project that features florals! These cards were displayed at CHA, and seemed to be a favorite of those who visited the booth.


I got a lot of comments and questions on the type of paper I used for these cards, so I'll link it here... this is Shizen watercolor paper, and I bought it in the 100 pack of 5" x 7" sheets - that seemed to be a really great value, and it's been fun to work on something a little different.


I love the distinct texture of the paper, too - I usually prefer cold press to the smoother hot press papers, and I love the organic feel of the cotton fiber. Fun stuff.


These cards were painted using QoR watercolors, and they feature the Maya clear set.



Be sure to check out these other designers' blogs for inspiration -

Anna @ Sassy & Sweet Notes
Daniela @ For the First Time
Dina @ Mama Dini's Stamperia ---- you're here
Ellen @ The Serendipitous Stamper
Jeanne @ Inky Paws
Jenny @ One Krafty Kat
Karen @ Paper Lilies and Ink
Kittie @ Kittie Kraft
Laura @ Laura's Stamp Art Journal
Vicki @ Summerthyme Studio

Remember you can enter these challenges too, using your Impression Obsession stamps! See the I.O. blog for all the details - you might even win a $25 gift certificate!! We'd love to have you join us.
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Splitcoast Tutorial: Exploding Handbag

This week's tutorial over on Splitcoast is a fun way to present a gift or girly sentiment - it's an Exploding Handbag! (I was sure we were going to have TSA agents checking us out with a title like that, but Lydia assured me it would be ok...)



I used dies from Impression Obsession to decorate the flap of my handbag - there are new larger-sized rolled flower dies, and I thought it would be nice to have both sizes together to compare the difference. The 3 flowers at the bottom left are the smaller size.



When I roll these flowers, I use my smallest jewelry pliers to hold the end while I wrap the die cut around the tips - it works great!


I.O. Products used: Spiral Flowers dies, Spiral Flowers Large dies, Open Scroll Vine die, Banners and Tails die set, Warm Fuzzies clear set

Hope you'll try this out!
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Splitcoast Tutorial: Sweet Bunny Bag

It feels like so long since I blogged! With last week's focus on the new die release, I didn't get a chance to share about the tutorial over on Splitcoast - it's this cute bunny treat bag! The sample for the tutorial is Easter themed, but we only had Indonesian coffee candies in the house, so I went with a coffee theme for my bunny.


I used dies from The Cat's Pajamas (small circles), Nellie Snellen (small ovals in ears), Spellbinders (all other ovals), and Quickutz (coffee mug) to complete the project. It went together really quickly and was a lot of fun to make!


Of course... it needed a tail. :)



Thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers during our trip overseas. It was a quick trip - just 3 weeks - but we accomplished all we needed to do there. It was very hard to say goodbye to these dear friends, not knowing when we'll meet again... but we know without a doubt that we are loved, and that this is the right decision.


Thanks for visiting me today! xo
Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

MIX-Ability - metallics

This week's Mix-Ability challenge is to use metallics, which seem to be pretty trendy this year!


My desk has been buried this week in kit pieces and class prep for the Great Yosemite Stamp Escape, but I shoved enough aside to make space for this card.



I created my background using Color Burst by Ken Oliver Crafts and a home-made spray also created with the product. I prefer a muted palette and these powders are rainbow vivid, so I toned them down by making a brown mixture to spray into them instead of clear water... I started with a little red and green, then added and tweaked until I got the right tone.



Some texture was added to the background using stencils and drywall tape. When it was dry, I stamped the poppy and brushed bleach over the image... that was magical.There's a sprinkling of chunky gold EP over the card, and an inlaid die cut word painted with gold Lumiere paint to fulfill the challenge for this week. So much fun!
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Impression Obsession - All About the Dies - Day 3

This week the Impression Obsession designers have been sharing lots of ideas for using the newest release of IO dies!   You can visit the I.O. Blog each day of the hop for links to the previews. Make sure to comment for a chance to WIN!

A few weeks ago I shared a tutorial on Splitcoaststampers called Colored Glitter Inlay - I made this panel using that technique. It's a fun one! The technique is done using clear microfine glitter and alcohol markers. I used Chameleon Markers on the leaves here for a subtle gradient, and Touch Twin Markers for the brown base.


I chose not to apply glitter to the white areas, so they would stand out from the glitter. I tamped an Embossing Buddy onto those areas to take away the 'stick' of the adhesive paper. The ribbon I used is from The Stamp Simply Ribbon Store.


I.O. products used: Maya, Open Scroll Leaf

Just for fun... this card was inspired by an Olive Garden commercial!

Be sure to check out these other designers' blogs for inspiration -

Daniela @ For the First Time
Dina @ Mama Dini's Stamperia ---- you're here
Ellen @ The Serendipitous Stamper
Jeanne @ Inky Paws
Jenny @ One Krafty Kat
Karen @ Paper Lilies and Ink
Kittie @ Kittie Kraft
Laura @ Laura's Stamp Art Journal
Vicki @ Summerthyme Studio

The more blogs you visit each day… the better chance you will have to win a $25 Impression Obsession Gift Certificate!!! Each day of the hop, one of our blogs will be chosen randomly and a winner will be selected from comments on that blog at 10pm CT. The winner will be announced the following day along with the participating blogs for that day. Two prizes will be awarded on the last day of the hop. One will be for Wednesday ’s comments and another will be chosen from all the comments left throughout the week.

Thank you for joining us!

Thanks for stopping by!