28 September 2016

Copics 101 - The journey begins!

I've been meaning to blog for ages about "learning to Copic colour". I must admit for a very long time I have watched in awe as all my favourite bloggers colour in cute images with Copics & went WOW!

And for a very long time I resisted as the cost of a pen is quite a lot of money but I guess you get to a stage in your crafting life where you don't really need anymore ink, stamps or tools & actually buying a few Copic markers seems affordable/doable PLUS one of my local craft stores (Memory Crafts in Ellerslie, Auckland) advertised they now stock the whole range of Copic Sketch & Ciao markers & they were starting a 4 week introductory course ($60 for the 4 classes) plus you would need to purchase a small no. of markers for each class.

This seemed a fabulous offer & a good way to dip my toes in the water. The tutor is Linda Booker & she is an awesome teacher & so patient. So for 4 Saturdays I poddled off to Ellerslie & learnt the basics of Copic colouring.

These basics apply to ALL alcohol markers - you need an alcohol proof ink ie Memento & to get the best results you need blending card stock, in NZ we have access to XpressIt blending card which Memory Crafts also sells. Since my 4 week course I have discovered online card classes & digi stamps (but that will be another day's story or 2) & most printer ink is alcohol proof. Stazon is no good, as it is waterproof not alcohol proof.

Just a quick snap of the images I coloured over the 4 weeks, I also learnt to make brick walls using my Copic blender pen (which is not a blender pen at all but a bleach pen). The bottom picture is the 4 projects as made by Linda our tutor for reference. You can see the brick wall behind the crazy cats.

I must admit at the end of the 4 weeks, or if I'm honest at week one I was sold but I was still really bamboozled about what colours to buy as with a choice of 358 colours it's quite confusing to put it mildly.

I found this post by Jennifer McGuire really helpful which she published way back in 2010. Back then they only had 334 colours too. So I took Jennifer's advice for some favourite combos as she is one of those bloggers I have watched over the years & gone WOW at her colouring. Now my next dilemma was I could see all these fabulous blending templates on Pinterest & the one I liked the look of the most & thought would suit me the best was one from CopicOz who's blog has been incorporated into Copic Australia, which is a real shame as they had some fab stuff on it. Being the cheeky kiwi I am I contacted the blog creator directly & Kath very kindly sent me the templates which I printed out with a printer on XpressIt blending card stock. Some of Jennifer's colour combos I loved & some were OK.

I use this sheet so much I must actually make some more combos now I have more markers. It also helped me to practice my blending heaps.

My favourite colour combos: Listed lightest >> darkest
Red : R24, R46, R39
Yellow : Y11, Y15, Y19
Green : YG03, YG13, YG17 or/and YG21, YG25, YG17
Blue Green : BG10, BG11, BG13 (and maybe some darker shading with BG49)
Violet : V12, V15, V17
Pink : R81, R83, R85 - think crushed velvet - very scrummy
Peach : YR20, YR61, YR02
Blue : B02, B04, B06

Well that is a long enough post summarising my first 4 weeks of learning to colour. I'll be back with my next installment on learning to colour skin & hair next :)

✿ Karen ✿

25 August 2016

I'm off on holiday for ~ 2 weeks

Hi everyone just a quick note to see I'm going to be MIA for just over 2 weeks back in NZ September 12.

First part of my trip away is a 4 day train trip from Darwin to Adelaide  on the Ghan then we're going to drive the great Ocean  Road to Melbourne, well the royal we is ;) in other words Pete is

Catch you on my return.

Home & babies will be ably taken care of by an old friend - I hope they behave for him.

✿ Karen ✿

22 August 2016

Thoughtful Branches

Just sharing an awesome card I made at a class with Sally Williams recently. Fingers crossed this makes the SU! catalogue for real as it is just adorable. At this stage though SU! says limited time only to purchase to the end of this month. I'm off to Aussie for a 2 week holiday & I have had a lot of treats lately with monthly card kit purchases etc so it broke my heart to say I can not afford it at the moment but I did love the card. The bundle is really versatile & has some fab fonts. It's $110 for the bundle of 23 stamps & 9 framelits.

I really liked the new petal burst EF that I can afford and I also liked how Raspberry Ripple complemented the new in-colour Sweet Sugarplum which I also love.

There's heaps of great ideas out there on Pinterest with this bundle, so if you'd like to own your own contact Sally before August 31st. She's got the recipe on her blog of all the products used too. I think on this day I'm day 2 of our Ghan train trip about to arrive in Alice Springs. I can't wait for my flight over Uluru or Ayers Rock. I am sure it is going to be AMAZING!
✿ Karen ✿

13 August 2016

It's party time!

Hi all I've been wanting to use my Party die from SSS forever so when I saw the theme from the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge was Go Wild with animals, wildflowers or colours. I decided that I'd make a bright colourful shaker card for my friend Fee for her birthday. She maybe in her 50s now but she she shook it up real good & had a huge grin on her face.

My base card is 5-1/4" square as I needed quite a bit of room to fit on the bird, pressie & balloons. I also discovered that the largest SSS stitched circle die was the right size to make my hole in the top base card, it was just a smidgeon smaller than the party die which glued very nicely to the "stitch".

I used my Copics to colour all & then added quite a lot of Wink of Stella to make more sparkles, than the lime green glitter. Here's a snap with my phone on my work desk late at night showing a selection of the Copics used :

Stamps: Bird Crazy, Crazy Things (both Stampers Anonymous)
Paper: Thick Whisper White, Xpress-It Blending Card, Green Glitter paper (CTMH)
Ink: Memento Black, various Copics
Dies: Large Party Circle (SSS), Stitched Circles (SSS), matching Bird Crazy & Crazy Things - adore the fine details these dies have - look at those balloon strings
Other: Sequins ($2 shop vial), WRMK Fuse tool to make my acetate bag, foam adhesive strips (SU!), clear Wink of Stella brush (ZIG), Glossy Accents for the bird's eyes

Well there's some lovely colourful & fun images on the challenge site so have a peek or join in on the challenge too.

Have a fab weekend all, my tummy is still groaning from birthday lunch which was a long Italian lunch held to celebrate Restaurant month in Auckland & obviously for us, Fiona's birthday.

✿ Karen ✿

4 August 2016

Mondo-licious Hydrangea

When I saw this stamp set I knew instantly I had to have it as it's so beautiful - it's also really versatile, so I look forward to making some more cards with it.

My first play was with water-colouring with my distress inks plus I was really fortunate a friend had just returned from a paper crafting show in Aussie where she had picked up some Nuance powders so I got to make some washes with them too. To be honest there wasn't much in it, the Nuance wash was a tad brighter (it's the left hand side card). But I liked the background wash the "traditional way" with my Ranger Distress inks (right hand card). I'm sure Tim Holtz would roll over in horror at the thought of being "traditional" ;)

I embossed the flowers & the word (which comes with the stamp set). I used my black Versafine ink so I could clear emboss it which solves all the problem of tiny dots of black embossing powder being in places you don't want it to be. The stamp set also has matching dies which made cutting it all out rather easy. I used foam tape to mount up & added a few clear sequins for raindrops.

The stamp set is Mondo Hydrangea (Essentials by Ellen) and can be purchased only from the Ellen Hutson store & I would recommend getting the matching dies as well.

I also used this stamp as it was out to whip up a sympathy card, "Thinking of You" can cover so many reasons & I dulled it all down & made a very dull pink background wash & paler lilac-coloured flowers.
✿ Karen ✿