Monday, July 27, 2015

Watercolor Stamped Inchies

Just wanted to share a couple of cards I made with a few great products: new stamps from Balzer Designs, Art Squares from Inchie Arts, Zig Clean Color markers, and my MISTI!

These tile stamps from Julie are a lot of fun to work with... I lined up the Art Squares in the MISTI, which made perfect placement easy every time.


I inked the stamps in a solid color first, then used a Zig marker to highlight one section of the design. The dye ink pushed the inkpad color away, and saved time coloring in every section individually. A quick mist with water and a stamp... times 4! It's a fun block print look, with a watercolor feel. The Art Squares take the ink so readily (these are the 2" squares).


I love how these images tile together with a simple rotation. Really striking, and a simple card to make.


I used the same technique on this card, but with smaller squares (1.5").


The word stamp is from one of my new clear sets, Christmas Brush Words... it's got some single words and combinations that are great for any occasion, too. More of those sets to come!

Click here for more Inchie Arts products!
Have a wonderful week!
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Splitcoast Tutorial: Inkless Images

This week's tutorial over at Splitcoast is a twist on paper sculpture, using stamped images as a guide. The tutorial is called Inkless Images.

I used this image as the pattern for my card - I love this technique! What a fun way to look at your stamps in a new light. 

Couple - Large
 Here's my finished card - the stamped image is on the back side of the paper sculpture and acts as a guide for cutting.


 I stamped the image 4 times, and these are the pieces I cut to layer.


The image made it easy to know where to add details - I used a stylus along the lines, and also embossed a couple of the pieces to add texture.


For a more rounded edge, I used the cap of a Sakura pen.


Here's a closer look at the image - I added lines to the woman's hair with a smaller stylus. I love the texture the embossing folders added.


The grass borders are die cuts (Grass Border, Small Grass Border).


Here's the card again - I love this image, and I love this 'twist' on it.



Hope you'll give it a try!
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 20, 2015

For sale... updated

I've added some more Touch Twin markers to my sale page - if you missed them last time, hurry - they go fast at just $1.00 each!

Thanks for stopping by!

Mix-Ability challenge: Transference

Thought I'd take a break after last week's blog hop, so I'm finally posting my Mix-Ability card from Friday's post. This week's challenge is to use a transfer technique. I used the gel medium method Lydia describes HERE to transfer this adorable baby from magazine page to card...


The only magazines I have here are Real Simple, so most of the pictures were either of food, household, or beauty items. Love how this turned out though... and it's going to work nicely for an upcoming Dare To Get Dirty challenge (shhh!) too! The sentiment is one of my designs, which is between companies right now.


I added some distressing around the edges of the photo with white acrylic paint, then embossed a script stamp in the corners to break up the design just a little.


Have a great week! Try something new!
Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Impression Obsession Sneak Peeks - Day 3

The Impression Obsession team is showcasing new images for the Fall/Winter season! You can visit the I.O. Blog each day this week for links to the previews. Be sure to leave a comment on the I.O. Blog and each designer's posts throughout the week for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate daily from Impression Obsession!

In this collection, I have several stamps around the theme of houses and moving - probably because we were hoping to move at the time I was designing... 


Since I was working on my Watercolor Powders tutorial and catalog samples at the same time, quite a few of my catalog samples feature techniques shown in the video. When I'm under pressure and my desk is a mess, I tend to work with what's out. Here's one card that you might recognize from the video -- the focal image is called Collage Houses and the pieces of those houses are also available in a funky little mix-and-match clear set!  


One more card with the new house stamps - thought this one would be cute for a new neighbor or housewarming party. The background was sprayed using a stencil - the chevron lines go all the way across the stencil leaving long openings, so I tucked my card through the stencil to use only a few lines.


I used my MISTI to do the repeat stamping of the sentiment - so easy to line up!


Stamps I used: Welcome, Key Background

Be sure to check out these other designers' blogs for inspiration, and comment for more chances to win! Remember the challenge too!

the Impression Obsession blog
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
 

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Impression Obsession Sneak Peeks - Day 2

The Impression Obsession team is showcasing new images for the Fall/Winter season! You can visit the I.O. Blog each day this week for links to the previews. Be sure to leave a comment on the I.O. Blog and each designer's posts throughout the week for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate daily from Impression Obsession!

**If you normally play along with our challenges, this week's challenge is to create a holiday project-
any holiday will do! There's another chance to win for you! :)


This card was a fun experiment using watercolor mediums on glossy photo paper. I'm still experimenting but I'll put together a video soon when I have more figured out. For this card I used Brusho, dye inks and watercolor markers. The photo paper takes an indelible 'print' of the inks, which really works well with the dynamic motion of the watercolor powders and makes layering fun. The colors are so vibrant, too.


I have some brush words in this release - just a couple of larger rubber stamps and a clear set of mix-and-match holiday words for a fun variety of greetings. I'll have more in the next release - if you have any requests please let me know!


Stamps I used: Brush Poinsettia Large, Thank You, Snowflake Flourish, Cover-a-Card Diamond Maze

Be sure to check out these other designers' blogs for inspiration, and comment for more chances to win! Remember the challenge too!

the Impression Obsession blog
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
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Impression Obsession Sneak Peeks - Day 1

The Impression Obsession team is showcasing new images for the Fall/Winter season! You can visit the I.O. Blog each day this week for links to the previews. Be sure to leave a comment on the I.O. Blog and each designer's posts throughout the week for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate daily from Impression Obsession!


As always, I'm excited to share with you *my* new designs for the season. Some of them you'll recognize as stamps that had been available previously from other companies. For me it just made business sense to unify my label under one company, and that company is Impression Obsession!  This release is a mixture of new and old, clear and rubber, all with the same heart of sharing courage and spreading joy.


This card is actually a shaker card - I stamped and masked the silhouette image (Peeking Out), then sponged and stamped over the mask to create the background using Joy to the World and Snowflake Flourish. The window area is cut out, and I layered a piece of acetate over the opening before putting a filled Shake-It Shaker Pouch on the back side of the panel. It's filled with a whole bunch of glass microbeads.


The sentiment is stamped on an Inchie Square from Inchie Arts, and that heavy twine came from 2Berry Creative. Be sure to check out these other designers' blogs for inspiration, and comment for more chances to win! 

the Impression Obsession blog
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
Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Mix-Ability challenge: Doodle Pug

This week's Mix-Ability challenge was to doodle - instead of doodling around a stamp image, I decided to draw one! I've been wanting to do a pug for a while - this one really makes me smile.


The image is printed on Kona paper, which was on clearance at Blick some time ago - it's made from recycled coffee bags, and that's just cool. I watercolored with Distress ink for the darker shading, and used Derwent Coloursoft pencils for the details.


Pugs and hugs - have a good weekend!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Watercolor powders - paper choice

In addition to my info post on watercolor powders, I wanted to share a few samples that I made on different types of paper. Be sure to experiment with the papers you have at home - each one takes color a little bit differently!

Most of my card samples are done on watercolor paper, which just makes sense since the product is used with water... hot and cold press papers can be used. Cold press paper has a textured surface, while hot press papers are smooth.


Canva-Paper is a heavy card with a linen texture to it which kept some of the color blends separate - I love that.


Canvas acted similarly...


Coffee filters naturally wick color out, and soften the colors...


Glossy photo paper absorbs the color pretty quickly, so instead of a blend, the results are more spotty. This piece was monoprinted with a stenciled first and then layered with more color. You can also transfer color onto glossy photo from another colored piece - I sprinkled Color Burst onto a coffee filter and then laid that onto the photo paper to make a print.


Clay-coated cardstock tends to absorb color quickly too, in some areas more than others, depending on the amount of water used... this is great for sort of impressionistic garden scenes, like the one below. I use Mohawk Color Copy Ultra Gloss.



Cotton watercolor paper produces a very smooth blend, as it's highly textured and takes a lot of water. This is the Shizen 100% cotton paper.


Shipping tags are coated on one side and matte on the other - each side has its own unique results...


Hope those visual samples are helpful as you play!
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Watercolor Powder Products

For several months I've been playing with watercolor powders, and I wanted to compile all my thoughts in one place - hopefully this will be helpful in enabling you to better use the powders you have, or give you information to make an educated purchase if you're considering adding some of these powders to your stash.


For comparison here, I've purchased Color Burst, Brusho Crystal Colors, Lindy's Stamp Gang Magicals, and Bister powders.

What are they?
In general, they are a watercolor paint product.  They are useful for a wide variety of basic techniques which can be combined and layered forever with different results every time. The product comes in a powdered form; some powders are finer than others. Many are dye-based.


The product can be mixed with water and used in many different ways. Powders can also be mixed with other liquid, gel, paint and paste mediums to customize the colors of those products. None of the colors are really 'pure' colors - there is a blend of several colors within each bottle or pot that creates its own blend when activated to produce a given color. The color of the powder can actually be deceiving. Look at these greens for an example:


A green blend may include blue, yellow and brown powders. Orange has a blend of pink, orange, and yellow. Black contains blue, brown, and grey. The colors may remain separate with a light misting of water. With more water or blending, they will combine to the intended color. This is the black Brusho powder with a light misting, just enough to activate the colors:


Crazy and fascinating. :)

On to brand specifics...

Brusho is a product from the UK which has been produced by Colourcraft for over 50 years (there are 3 generations working at the factory now! Love that.). The product is available in 32 colors at this time. A tub of powder retails for close to $5, with 15 grams of product per bottle.The colors range from vivid colors to deep neutrals. I love the color range in the Brusho line - the blends within each color are fascinating to me, and within the selection there are quite a few colors unique to their line. The powder dissolves completely in water, and reacts with bleach, both properties of dye-based inks. The product is described as 'crystalline' which is an accurate description - this brand is much less powdery than the others, which is useful for product placement and distribution. The packaging leaves a little to be desired, but I've found a way around that, which I'll share below. (You can see in the picture below how I labeled the pots before transferring the contents - each lid was covered with a pool of clear acrylic glaze, mixed with the powder inside.)

Pros: amount of product per pot, best price per gram, vivid colors
Cons: Poor package design


Color Burst is made by Ken Oliver Crafts - it's a relatively new product with 12 colors total (there were 6 in the original release, and 6 more are shipping to stores now). Unique to Color Burst is its eye-dropper packaging - the small nozzle allows for more direct application of the product, and a light shake or squeeze of the bottle is enough to easily direct powder to your project. The bottles retail for about $5 each, with about 8 grams of product per bottle. Again, the powder dissolves completely in water, and reacts with bleach. Color Burst powders are very vivid colors - the first release was all primary and secondary colors. Because these powders are very fine, they react very quickly and dramatically with water.

Pros: packaging, reactivity with water
Cons: price, limited color selection



Lindy's Stamp Gang Magicals are another dye based product. These powders are also very fine. There is a wide range of 91 colors (91!), which includes the shimmery Magicals mixed with mica powders, and Flat Magicals which are just pure color. The powders come in sets of 5 colors for $17 - there's about 3 grams of product in each pot. The colors coordinate with other products in the Lindy's line, from sprays to embossing powders. I have the least experience with these powders, but they're beautiful, and I love that the range of colors extends into pastels and metallics, in addition to some unique colors that don't appear in the other lines (especially pinks). Their main use seems to be as a base for mists, or mixative with paint or other mediums. The mica shimmer in the Magicals is beautiful.

Pros: vast/unique color line, mica shimmer, continuity with other lines
Cons: price, only sold in sets


Bister is traditionally made by boiling the soot of wood or walnut shells, and is used for pen and wash drawings or as a wood stain. The line of Bister powders that is sold by I Brake for Stamps comes from the Netherlands. There are 8 colors in the line. They come in a small pot (about 3 grams of product) and retail for $1.65 each. This product has the heaviest 'grain' of the 3 compared here - the product is actually almost flaky, and very inconsistent in size, as if it were crushed by hand rather than being produced mechanically. The colors are more earthy and dark than the other synthetic products. They can be mixed into spray mists, but they don't seem to fully dissolve like the other powders. I love the brownish tones, as my palette tends to be more earthy.

Pros: organic quality, earthy colors
Cons: small pots, few colors, inconsistent grain, doesn't completely dissolve in water


What do they do?
It's difficult to give a side by side comparison of the powders and their properties, even within one brand, since it's hard to measure the amount of powder in a shake or sprinkle, or to control the amount of water misted, how or how much colors will blend, where or how they'll move, etc.  I did put together a technique video for Splitcoaststampers so I'll share that here - there are such a wide variety of fun techniques to try. It was actually hard for me to do just one at a time! I get caught up in play time, and asking 'I wonder what happens if...?' - which will be the best way for you to get to know your product too.

Here's the video:


Eye Dropper Bottles
I've been really pleased with the method I used to repackage my Brusho and Bister powders, so I wanted to share that with you. The Brusho pots are a little difficult to work with, and an open pot of powder on my desk is a dangerous thing!  It's recommended to poke a small hole in the lid with a piercing tool, and I did try that, but again, that's difficult to control, and... then there's a small hole in the lid. Having lived in the tropics, I wasn't really sure how the product might eventually be affected by humidity.

I liked the bottle format of Color Burst, so I purchased some dropper bottles on ebay - these are 15 ml plastic dropper bottles similar to these ones (though I purchased from a different seller). I also purchased some small funnels to ease the transfer of the powder. This size accommodates a full pot of Brusho perfectly.


For each bottle, I made a small label so I'd know the exact color of the product inside - as I mentioned above, some of the powder colors are deceiving. I transferred the Bisters to bottles too, made a color swatch, and reused the labels from the small pots.


I'm happy to have found a system that works well for me - it's nice to have the color swatches on the bottles, too.
Recommendations
Now you're asking "Which one is best?" or "If you had to choose one...?" - and I never know how to answer those questions, since all 4 products do work the same in general, but each product has qualities that are unique from the others.

Based on price and color selection, Brusho is my first choice, with the widest color range and best price per gram by quite a wide margin. Compared to Color Burst, it's almost twice as much product for the same price.

Here's a small price comparison chart, just for fun:

ProductColors in rangePrice per containerProduct per containerPrice per gram
Bister81.653 g0.55
Brusho324.9415 g0.33
Color Burst12 (soon)5.008 g0.63
Magicals913.403 g1.13

 That said...

The fineness of the Color Burst powder gives it a slight edge on drama.

I do like the organic Bister tones.

Magicals are beautifully shimmery and there are some pastel and lighter tones that don't appear in any of the other lines...........

So decide what's important to you..... appearance? price? color range? and use what you love. Or get them all!


Feel free to email me with questions or post them with your comments - I'll answer them in a separate post or try to clarify here. Thanks so much for visiting! (Some links in this post are affiliate links that give me a small cash commission when you click through to purchase, at no extra cost to you.)
Thanks for stopping by!