Wednesday 7 November 2012

To You From Me

Hello everyone, I hope you are all well and having a good week. My week is going well so far, I've been colouring and crafting and managed to get a DT post done and published only a couple of hours late! ha haa.

So this is a Colouring Inspiration post for Make It Crafty, using the gorgeous Melody. She is available as a digi image and comes with the cushion as a separate image, so you can either use her alone, merge her with the cushion, or merge her with another background instead.    I decided to take up Zoe's challenge of non-related colouring mixing; that is, blending colours from different families. So often when we colour, we'll use shades from the same colour family to add our shading and highlights, but it's fun and interesting to mix it up a bit and shade with something from a different colour group.


In this image, I've used copic markers to colour the dress in non-related colours. The background of the fabric is coloured with a turquoise marker (from the Blue-Green family) and shaded with a marker from the Blue family. And I used a marker from the Yellow family for the flowers and an orange (Yellow-Red family) to add shading. The cushion also has some non-related colour mixing, this time some pale orange (Yellow-Red family) and some browns (from the Earth colours family). I think the end result looks a little more vibrant than my usual way of choosing colours to blend, so I'll be using this technique again.

These are the shades I used on this card:

Dress: BG13 + B05 + B34; Y17 + YR04 + YR07
Skin: E000, E00, E21, E11, E13; R20, R22
Hair & Boots: N2, N4, N6, N8, N10
Cushion: YR000, YR20, E31, E35

My good news is that I'm able to sit up at the table to colour more half-lying on the sofa working at odd angles and losing my markers down the sides of the cushions. And I celebrated my return to uprightness by promptly dropping a bright orange marker on my half-finished colouring (doh!!!!). I cleaned it up best I could, but I wasn't going to bin it just because of that, so if you do happen to see my little orange boo-boo on the card, pretend you didn't notice it (wink).

Card Recipe
Scalloped 15x15cm card blank
Image: Melody Digi stamp, from Make It Crafty
Colouring: Copic markers
DP: Pocket Full of Posies by DCVW
Stitched paper is some very old stash from Lakeland
All mats are black cardstock
Ribbon: Crafts U Love
Dies: Spellbinders Nestabilities Lacey Circles and Standard Circles Large; Marianne Creatables 'Forest Branch'
Sentiment is gift from a friend
Heart from stash

I'd like to enter this in these challenges:
ATCs With Attitude - Anything Goes
Card Crafters Circle - Patterned Paper
Kaboodle Doodles - Anything Goes
Moving Along With The Times - Stitching
Papertake Weekly - Anything Goes
Pink Elephant - Favourite Colouring Medium
Stampin For The Weekend - Anything Goes
Stamp N Doodle - Use A Digi

Thanks so much for dropping by today and looking at my card - I hope you like it. Enjoy your week!

Saturday 27 October 2012

Sweet You

Hello everybody, hope everything is good with your world. Well, I'm ever so slightly sad because it's my last week as Guest Designer with Sweet Stampin' (sniff) but only slightly sad because I've really enjoyed being a Sweetie for the month of October and I was glad of the incentive to get crafting again.  And at least now I can enter their challenges again, he hee. Have you seen their prizes? Definitely worth winning.

The theme for this week's challenge is What's Cooking/Something to Eat. So I've made a card using this sweet little girl holding a bowl of fruit. How do you like them apples?

I already had this cutie coloured up, she's done entirely in pencils, not a copic marker in sight this time. A friend sent me this image and I have no idea what she's called or where she's from, so if anyone has an idea, please let me know so that I can credit and link to the artist. *(Edit: the lovely Elaine has again come to my rescue and told me that this is an image from The Greeting Farm, and she is called Twinkle Tots Lottie....thanks Elaine!)

I did my usual thing with the papers, and inked and handstitched them. Then, flushed with excitement at finally working out how to make these intricate Floral Oval dies cut properly in my cuttlebug, I went ahead and used them twice in one card! The smaller one is popped up onto some 3d foam pads for a little dimension, and the stamped image is popped up on another layer of pads. A strip of flower trim bisects the layout (there's a really nice sheen on these flowers which the camera hasn't caught), and a gauzy bow in apple green sits by a sentiment that I printed onto SafMat and affixed in the corner of one of the papers.

Close up of the sentiment and bow

Card Recipe
Image: Twinkle Tots Lottie, from The Greeting Farm
Colouring: pencils
Designer Papers: Memory Box 'Brioche' and Melissa Francis '5th Avenue'
Dies: Spellbinders Nestabilities Floral Ovals
Ribbons from stash

I'd like to enter this card in these challenges:

Brown Sugar Challenges - Anything Goes
Delightful Sketches - Stitching
Emerald Faeries - Anything Goes
Fashionista Challenge - Anything Goes
Papercrafting Journey - Ribbon or Twine
Poodles Parlour - Anything Goes
Stampin For The Weekend - Anything Goes
Stamptacular Sunday - No Rules
The Squirrel & The Fox - Use a Ribbon
Through The Craft Room Door - Anything Goes

Thanks so much for stopping by to visit today, and I do hope you like my card. Happy crafting!

Saturday 20 October 2012

Halloween at Sweet Stampin

Hi everyone, I'm here with my third Guest Designer project this month for Sweet Stampin, and the theme this week is Halloween - wooo hoooooooo!!

This is actually a page layout that I did last year using images from Make It Crafty, I was trying my hand at colouring a dramatic sky. All the colouring - the house, sky, headless horseman and pumpkin in the corner - is done with Copic markers, and the bats were hand-cut from black paper.

I'll be back next week with a new project, until then have a great weekend, and Happy Crafting!

Saturday 13 October 2012

Autumn Tilda

Hello everyone, aren't you just loving the sunny autumn days we are having right now? This weather was kind of the inspiration for my card today, which is my second Guest Designer card for October for Sweet Stampin. The theme is Autumn Leaves/Trees, and I decided to go with an early-autumn feel where the leaves are just starting to turn golden.

My diecut leaves are green, golden and brown, much like they are in the gardens right now. I had to google sunflowers to check that they are actually in season at this time of year (they are!) because I really wanted to use this Tilda's my favourite one to paper-piece (which very craftily gets me out of some colouring). I actually paper-pieced her clothes and shoes in 4 parts, and lifted the ends of the layers in her dress for some extra dimension.

Layers of paper-piecing

The scalloped frame is a diecut mat and I cut an aperture in the centre through which you can see the image.  However, now that the card is all assembled it looks like I simply stuck the image on top of a mat...doh! I should have done that, it would have been a lot easier and quicker LOL.

The backing paper was aged with ink, distressed and handstitched. A die cut with a sentiment, some lace, rose ribbon, pearls, rose and a little glitter finish it off.

I'd like to enter this card in these challenges:
2 Sisters - Anything Goes
Crafts & Me - Anything Goes
Crafty Mess - Anything Goes
Crafty Sentiments - Anything Goes
Cute Card Thursday - Paper Piecing
Deep Ocean Challenge - Anything Goes
Divas By Design - Anything Goes
Gingerloft Challenge - Stitching
Magnolia Stamp Lovers - 2 different shapes of diecuts (my Doohickey Rose Leaves, and the Spellbinders Nestie used for the sentiment)
Oldie But A Goodie - Inspired by a song (mine is All I Have To Do Is Dream by The Everly Brothers) (items more than 6 months old are: image, sentiment stamp, lace, all inks, rose ribbon, rose on leaves, leaf die cuts, scalloped mat, glitter, papers & mats.....almost everything! LOL)

I hope you like my card today - thanks so much for stopping by. Have a good weekend, and happy crafting!

Saturday 6 October 2012

Guest Designer at Sweet Stampin'

Hello everyone - it's a busy few weeks for me as I'm Guest Designer at Sweet Stampin' for October....yay! I found their blog a while a go and it quickly became one of my favourites, so when they asked if I'd like to play along for a month, well you can imagine I was pleased!

The theme this week is Through The Window, and I thought that this would suit a scene I merged up some time ago but never got round to colouring. It's an indoor scene, obviously, but there's another scene which can be seen through the window. The inspiration for this card came from the wonderful Joanne, who used this cute Robyn's Fetish image months ago and I fell in love with it. Of course, I had to do it my way so I added a few background images from Make It Crafty to create this cute little scene for a boy's Christmas card:

The background stamps are the window, table and flowers (called By The Window); the snow-covered tree that you can see through the window (called Large Pine Tree, from the Winter Objects collection of images), and the picture frame on the wall (from a digi called Fireplace). Do you see the picture inside the frame? It's a watercolour scene I did some years ago, and I quite like the thought that it possibly includes the same tree that you can see through the little mouse's window, just painted from a different direction. This is a scan of the watercolour:

I added some dots of silver ink to the sky to make stars:

The papers have been distressed around the edges with distress inks, and one of the papers has been handstitched. The sentiment is printed on the computer and also distressed and aged with a little ink. The ribbon, poinsettias, leaf and pearl are from my stash. 

This is also a Colouring Inspiration project for Make It Crafty, and you can read more about the colouring HERE (from 7th Oct).  It was quite a challenge to colour the reflection of the lamp on the wall - I had to study my own bedside lamp and take photos to try and work out the colouring!


On a personal note, I wanted to say a big thank you for the comments, emails and even cards that lovely bloggers have sent, they meant a lot. I am still feeling weak and don't have any answers from the docs yet, but am sort of getting into a new routine with it all and as you see have even taking up a bit of crafting again. As I always say: you can't keep a crafter down! lol.

I'd like to enter this card in these challenges:
Bunny Zoe's Challenge - Distressing
Cards For Men - Animal Magic
Crafts & Me - My Sentiments Exactly
Crafty Mess - Anything Goes
Deep Ocean Challenge - Use More Than 2 Colours
Inky Impressions - Let's Hear It For The Boys
Paper Shelter - Distressing
Papertake Weekly - Anything Goes
Pixie Dust Studio - Anything Goes
Tuesday Throwdown - Cute & Cuddly
Thanks for visiting, enjoy the rest of your day, and of course Happy Crafting!

Friday 24 August 2012

An update, and thanks

Hi friends, firstly thanks for all the lovely comments on my last card. I've been pretty ill again and ended up in hospital after being taken to A&E one night last week. They kept me in a couple of days (the first time I've ever been in hospital, but at least there were a couple of hunky doctors!), and when I came home I was very weak and unwell. I've started to feel a bit brighter now so I wanted to come on and say sorry for not having visited many blogs. After the latest card, I was slowly getting round some blogs, a few each day, but I've not really been up to it since I came home - apologies if yours was one I didn't make it as far as. It's all I can do right now to feed myself and do simple basic stuff in the home, and I have to spend a lot of time lying down which doesn't help. Somehow, I will have to master the art of colouring in a horizontal position, ha haa.

Anyway, I read the comments on my card while I was in my hospital bed - it was soooooooooooooooooooo nice to be able to see them and they really made me smile. Thanks so much!

I've got to have some more tests, but you know how long you have to wait for appointments these days, so not sure when I'll know more. In the meantime, I'm taking really good care of myself and although I still don't feel up to crafting, I've been playing the piano when I've felt OK to sit upright instead. Also, I'm hoping to slowly pop along to say Hi and see what you've been up to.

I haven't got any new cards to show, so this is one I did ages and ages ago, just so my blog post isn't just boring text, he hee.

Tuesday 14 August 2012

Guest Designer at Deep Ocean Challenge

Hello blogging friends, it's been a long while since I made a blog post - I have some health problems and haven't been well enough to do any crafting or blogging, I'm afraid. My card today is the first thing I've made in ages! I must say it's been nice to have a tidy work table these last weeks, lol, but having said that it was great to do some crafting again. Can't promise I'll be back any time soon, because apart from some Guest Design commitments, I'm going to wait till the urge to craft returns.

Now, when the lovely Franz asked me if I'd like to have a guest design spot at Deep Ocean Challenge this week, I really couldn't resist - they have such a talented team over there that it was an honour to get to play along with them. The theme for the new challenge is Deep Blue, and I interpreted this as the Deep Blue Sea. So I merged a couple of Make It Crafty Under The Sea images and made an underwater scene. The colouring is done mainly with copics, with a little pencil colouring on top in places.

I used some nice blue green shades of textured card for the background and the mats, and I embossed the paler shade with some dots. The embossing folder is actually snowdrops, but I think they look like bubbles. Some lace trim on one side of the card, and some gem branches, a flower and a bow made from some blue-green gauzy fabric finish it off.

Images used: Mermaid Lola, Mermaid Castle, and Sandy Sea Floor, digi stamps from Make It Crafty.

Here you can see the sparkles I added to the mermaid's tail, which didn't show up in the other photos. I also added some bubbles with a white gel pen after I took the pictures:

I'd like to enter this card in these challenges:
A&T Challenges - Anything Goes
Colour Me Creative (CMC) - Create a Background 
Craft A Scene - Anything in the Great Outdoors
Crafts & Me - Use A Digi
Emerald Faeries Challenge - Bling
Love To Create - Sparkle
Southern Girls - Water Play
The Squirrel & The Fox - The Sea
Totally Gorjuss - Lacy Lacy
Whoopsie Daisy - Anything Goes

I'm looking forward to visiting blogs this week, I won't be able to comment on every card individually, but I do look at all the ones I've missed since I've been offline. I better keep myself supplied with cups of tea and settle in for a long session, he hee.

Have a good week all.

Thursday 21 June 2012

Step-by-Step colouring of Tilda's curly hair

Hello lovely bloggers, I have a little colouring tute to share today, but first some nice news.....I am being featured today on a fabulous blog called Craft Corners in their 'Best of the Web' section. The blog is about all sorts of handicrafts, not just papercrafting, and it has some great ideas that I wouldn't mind trying myself. Nice if you want a browse round a new site sometime, it's the kind of place I like mooching around in when I can't sleep. There are a few other bloggers featured in this edition, too: a quilter, a mixed-media artist and a stitcher.


I've been colouring again. My good friend, the lovely Chrissy, sent me a Tilda image and asked how I would colour her very curly hair. I had no idea how to and I put it on the back burner of my mind to think over......for about a year or two! Anyway, in the mood to play recently, I found the image she sent me and decided to sit down and see if I could do something with it at last. I promised her I'd take some step-by-step photos and here they are.

I used this image recently to make a gift can see the blog post about this box by clicking HERE.

This Tilda looks as though she has African American hair, or at least very very tight curls, so my usual hair techniques would not work here. This is how I planned and coloured the image.

Such tightly curly hair is a mass of darkness, which I decided I'd colour using E47 as my main colour with E49 as shadows, but to begin I needed to define some curls - I decided to colour the curls with a lighter edge to define them from the rest of her hair.

Step 1
I began by mapping out some curls by using a lighter-coloured marker - I'm guessing and feeling my way at this point so if I make a mistake it won't be such a big deal because I'll be coming in with a darker colour soon. The drawing of the hair is made up of lots of curves, and I'll be using these as the curls. Leaving the outer edge of the curves uncoloured, I laid down some E35 in all the areas that are going to be coloured darker later:

Mapping out with a lighter marker


Step 2
When I'm happy with where the curls are, so I go in with the colour I want her hair to be: E47. I put this ink in exactly the same places where I mapped out my trial colouring, but if you are more confident you could miss out the mapping stage and go straight in with your main hair colour:

Laying down main colour


Step 3
Next, I take my deeper hair colour that I am going to use for shadows (E49), and I add some to small parts of the image: round the bows and on the outside of the curves within the hair. This will give some depth to the image and accentuate the curls:
Adding some shadow areas


Step 4
Then I go back in with my main colour (E47) and blend in the shadows:
Blending the shadows

You can see that I did the 2 sides of her hair in different ways: on the left side I used the E47 minimally to blend in the shadow areas, and on the right side I actually coloured over the whole of the E47 area. At this point, I didn't know which side I preferred, remember I'm working this out as I go along.


Step 5
OK, so after this I want to add some colour to the curls themselves, so I use the paler colour E35 on the white areas only, I didn't blend in with the darker colour as I didn't want the highlight to get lost at this point:
Giving the curls some colour


Step 6
Now, at this point I switched to a dotted stroke for 2 reasons: as the image is now quite dark, it's harder to be precise about where the dark marker tip lands (for me anyway, maybe my eyesight isn't so great but I can't distinguish the end of a dark marker tip against dark colouring) so a dot is safer.....less ink comes out and less chance of messing up. PLUS dotted strokes add to the textured feel of the hair.

So, I dot some of the darkest marker (E49) into the shadows again to deepen and extend them:
Dotting to add in and extend the shadows


Step 7
And then I dot some of the main (E47) colour around to blend the dark dots and add more colour:
More dots to blend


Step 8
I'm not happy with the curls - there is too much E35 showing and I want to reduce the size of the highlighted areas. I take another colour, E44, and dot this around, extending into the highlight areas to make them smaller:
Reducing the highlights with a shade slightly lighter than
the main hair colour


Step 9
I could have stopped at this point as I'm happy enough with it. But I decided to take my E44 marker and again added some dots over and around the curls to tone them down a little, and you can see the result of this in the finished image below. The hair is still warmer because of the E35, but gives more the effect I was hoping for.

Here is the finished image:

Hope this was of some use. Please let me know if you use it - I'd love to come and see your work.

Happy colouring!

Saturday 16 June 2012

Needed a little Tilda love

Hi everyone, I hope the gloomy UK weather isn't getting you down, and for those not in the UK I am sure that you have better weather than here!. Mind you, the rain has really made the gardens lush and green, which is so very beautiful.

I have a new project to share today which you can see HERE. Because I know that not everyone likes Magnolia images, I have made a new blog to indulge my love of all things Tilda, and will be putting my Tilda projects there from now on. Here's a little peak:
The photos are not great quality because my trusty camera has given up the ghost, so they were taken using my phone. Which means I can't blog any more till I get a new camera, waaaaaail!

Have a good weekend, all.

Monday 11 June 2012

Colouring Challenge: non-blended hair

Hi everyone!  Hope you all had a good weekend and that the week ahead has only nice things in store for us. Thanks so much for the lovely comments for my last card, you make my day you really do.


It's all change at Make It Colourful. The fortnightly challenges have now ended BUT the colour addicts still love a challenge so we've all moved over to the Make It Crafty store blog and have become Colouring Inspiration design team members. We'll be choosing our own colouring challenges from a list that Zoe has given us, and as we all post on the blog on different days during the month there is something new to see and hopefully be inspired by every couple of days. Look for us in the Colouring Inspiration section.

Also on the store blog, you'll find inspiration for using Make It Crafty projects in the Design Team Inspiration section, and lots of colouring and craft tutorials in the Techniques section. So something new to see every day.

My card

My card today is my first project in my new role, and it is hopefully OK to blog as it should have arrived at it's destination by now (wink!).  I chose Zoe’s challenge of Hair With Fine Detail, i.e. no blending, and I used Copic markers with a little pencil overshading in parts. The hair I did with Copics only.

The digi image I chose to colour is Ginger House Wife and it doesn’t have a lot of fine detail in the hair, so it can be coloured fairly quickly without blending. I used short, light feather strokes with just the very end of the tip of my copic markers to achieve this layered look. The shades I used were: Y17, YR23, YR27, E37, and E19. Y17 is the colour that I wanted my hightlights to be – the parts where the light catches the hair and we see a shine. So I laid down a base layer of this colour first. Then I took the next colour (YR23) and made feathered strokes from the hairline towards the highlight and from the ends/outside of the hair towards the highlight, then with the next darkest shade I went over the same areas but with slightly shorter strokes so that the lighter-coloured layer underneath still showed through. To make sure that the inks didn’t blend I let each layer dry before putting the next colour on, just to be sure that I complied with the challenge!

Ginger was merged with another Make It Crafty image, Home Sweet Home. I think they go well together, don't you?

Tip: Get the stroke right

When making these feather strokes, practice using only the very end of the tip, keeping your stroke light – you are hardly touching the paper at all really. At the end of the stroke, lift the marker upwards so that the marks on the paper taper off to a point. This gives finer strokes with a tapered end so that you can more easily achieve the effect of strands of hair and texuture with strokes that are defined and not smudged together. This is the sort of line you are aiming for:

You can see how the copic marker brush tip makes a much finer tapered point than does the promarker regular tip, I don't have a fine promarker tip to compare (sorry).

If you're going for defined layers, let your ink dry before putting the next colour on - you can see the effect of feathering onto wet and dry inks:

The wet ink on the left causes the strokes to blur into each other, whereas the dry ink on the right makes the strokes much crisper.

Marker Recipe:

Hair: Y17, YR23, YR27, E37, E19
Skin: E00, E01, E11, R20, R22
Dress & Shoes: R32, R35, R37, R39
Stair carpet: YG61, YG63, YG67

I kept the card fairly simple as the coloured image is quite large, so just a couple of sheets of Papermania paper, some gold mirri card and a Prima flower were enough.

I'd like to enter this in these challenges:

Bunny Zoe's Crafts - Girls Girls Girls
Crafty Ann's - It's a Girl Thing
Oldie But A Goodie - Anything Goes (my papers are a few years old)
Papertake Weekly - Anything Goes
Stampin Sisters In Christ - option 2) Just an image on your card (no sentiment)
Touch Twin Challenges - Getting Hairy

Thanks for dropping by today and for any comments you'd like to leave. Have a good day and happy crafting!

Thursday 7 June 2012

Tags or Tickets at Sundays With Crissy

Hello everyone, how are you all? I'm here today with a card for our challenge at Sundays With Crissy. The theme this month is Tags or Tickets, so if your project has either of these on it, or if your project IS a tag or a ticket then it fits the bill perfectly. I've used a tag in my project which is where I stamped my sentiment. 

This was another chance for me to use this gorgeous image by Crissy, Rose Butterfly. I used it last month too in a different colour scheme, but it's too nice an image not to give it another outing. 

With the tag tucked in place

I wanted to create a Shabby Chic look, so I took these gorgeous papers by Prima and aged them by inking and distressed them round the edges, and added some handstitching. The image was coloured in copics and also handstitched. The tag is one I made some time ago for my DT project for Dream Valley Challenges which you can see HERE. The sentiment is by Tim Holtz and is stamped onto the reads: "What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it". The tag was then tucked behind the sentiment and can be pulled out.

The tag taken out - you can see the sentiment now
I'd like to enter this card in these challenges:
Bunny Zoe's Crafts - Anything Goes
Come And Get It Challenges - Flowers and Butterflies
Crafts & Me - Lace
Crafty Cardmakers - Distress It
Papermakeup Stamps - Tic Tac Toe
Papertake Weekly - Anything Goes
Ribbon Girl - Use ribbon or lace
Southern Girls - Things With Wings
Whimsy Inspiration - Things With Wings

I hope you'll come along and show us your projects with tags or tickets this month. You have till the end of the month to enter and could win your choice of some fabulous digi images. Happy crafting!