30 January 2023

So Dam Cute

This is the name of Jenn Shurkus's new virtual class. Some simple colouring and I really liked the Kraft cardstock with the stenciled background (I used my Flirty Flamingo from SU! on Strathmore Bristol Smooth). I have pretty much followed along otherwise what Jenn did in the class though I probably added a darker shadow to my beaver.

Supply List:
Stamps and matching dies: Wood You Be Mine (LF), So Dam Much (LF)
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Early Espresso (SU!), Xpress IT blending
Paper: Kraft (SU!), Strathmore Bristol Smooth, Neenah White #110
Dies: Heart Garland Backdrop: Portrait (LF)
Other: Foam strips (SU!), Birch tree stencils (LF), blending brushes (TE), Quickie glue pen (sakura), Dazzling Diamonds glitter (SU!), Copics, Nuvo crystal glaze
✿ Karen ✿

26 January 2023

Watercolouring with Kristina

Yes the one and only Kristina Werner was the teacher for our Mama Elephant class for my SCT Crop and Create class. Kristina is one of my stamping idols, my friend Judy Beetson and myself used to love watching her Make a Card Mondays and we both had a lot of fun colouring this Gorguss doll Ruby together. Looking at my blog post from 2015 I think my watercolouring skills were a lot better back then than now but that may have had something to do with the size of our image. You too can see that blog post if you click on "Gorguss doll Ruby" above.

Back to 2023, I had better stay on target and not reminisce about the past but I sincerely miss Make a Card Mondays and my bestest stamping buddy Judy. Kristina's class at the event was the 2nd main class on day 2 unfortunately it kicked off at my 5.30am, now as much as I love you Kristina I ain't getting out of bed at 5.30am. I knew if I did that would be my only class for the day as I would be back in bed sleeping after it finished. 

We got a pile of goodies in the class kit: the stamp set called Feel Better, matching dies, a stand alone Feel Better Soon die, Canson watercolour paper, water brush, Ranger embossing ink pad and Ranger white embossing powder - wow. Below are the 3 cards I KReated with the stamps and dies.

Aren't they just adorable and so appropriate right now as I either have bad hay fever or another summer cold! This set is so cute, as you can see there are 2 bunnies in the set and the die cuts there arms as well so they can be holding items. The bed also cuts above the duvet a slit so you can insert the bunny into bed!!! The class was called watercolor get well cards and we worked with Distress Ink pads to do our watercolouring. Kristina's tip was when using a water brush don't fill it with water just dip it in your jar of water to paint with. I mainly used my watercolour brushes I have here (#2,4,8) but as you can see I painted card 3 with it just for the sake of the lesson.

Here are the 3 cards and then in order of class but for the class we actually just coloured everything up and made our backgrounds. When all was dry (heat gunned) we stamped sentiments and constructed cards. For our homework we had already done all the stamping and cutting of panels, so we were good to go. I would actually have struggled to keep up as it took me 2 hours but I was wondering back and forth to the laundry to wash everything in-between. Main classes are 90 minutes and then 30 minutes Facebook Live so you can ask questions directly to the teacher.

Card One:

Card Two:

And last but not least card 3:

My watercolouring is a bit dark so I can see the trick is to water the ink smoosh on my palette a little bit more but also not have too much on my brush. 


25 January 2023

2023 Crafting Resolutions and Copic colouring skin and hair

A recent post shared my December colouring class from Kit and Clowder which I was really happy with the class was called Captive Charms but it used an image called "Queen of Fire" by Hannah Lynn and I was pretty happy with it all. 

One of my resolutions this year is to unsubscribe from receiving so many emails and watching so many videos on YouTube, there are too many goodies out there for me and I can't afford them all, so for the moment I'll stick to my current 3 favourite stamping companies, Pinkfresh Studios, Lawn Fawn and MFT Stamps (My Favorite Things) and Spellbinders embossing folders and stencils from any company - the latter 2 are around $15NZD so not a biggie if I like them a lot. 

Virtual events with stamps etc: I am also going to continue to get my SCT Crop and Create Cardmaking big box of goodies, next event is March so not long to go and also the virtual events with Pinkfresh Studios and that starts in approximately one month from today. They were both such great value last year.

Virtual events and use your own stash are also very cost effective classes with lots of inspiration.

I had originally budgeted on doing my monthly colouring classes from Kit and Clowder until I worked out I have 57 classes on file and I've only done 7 of them over the last 6 years. I have done a few of the mini bonus classes rather than the big class so being tough and decided I can't buy anymore new colouring classes until I clear some of the back log. Which is why at the moment I am doing a class from July 2017 (Lilly the dancing princess). Wanting to colour skin and hair more realistically was the reason I started Copic colouring in the first place but this class is also reminding me how hard it is to do them well. The first image below I coloured along with Alyce and her video tutorial and I was actually quite happy with it.

Of course I decided to tweak the skin to make the highlight on her right cheek lighter but I obviously did it wrong as I ended up with a really obvious ring with the shadow ink (E04) so decided I would colour up the 2nd image I had printed on the same page with the blend and I don't think my blend is as smooth but I managed it in less than 5 minutes. So a big win!!! My highlights on the cheek still need working on but was extremely happy with my second go at her teeny tiny lips I even got a highlight on her bottom lip! LHS is first image and RHS is just me "doing it".

It took me 2 days to get the courage and the time to do the hair as I can control my Copics to do a really thin line with a flick in a STRAIGHT line on a practice sheet but when I try and do it with a curve in an image for hair its pretty out of control and not very thin. This is my first go at doing it colouring along with Alyce and the video, it's actually not horrible if you don't look too closely.

This is my second go with me just doing it all by myself and to be honest I can see my hair flicks are thinner here and follow the outline better but somewhere in the middle maybe best to get more "highlights".

And side by side, again the LHS is me colouring along with Alyce and the RHS is me just going for it.

I'm actually happy with both, now I had better get onto also finishing of another class from last years SCT Crop and Create Class before my BIG box for the "Spring event" arrives soon.

✿ Karen ✿

24 January 2023

White on White

AAA card challenges has an interesting challenge which is easy but at the same time quite hard. I also wanted to make a card I would use and be proud to give it to someone.

I love their challenges as you have 2 weeks to play along so plenty of time to have a go. You might surprise yourself with "hey that's actually quite an effective card", even if you don't have a go check out the challenge for some cool inspiration from the DT and those of us that rose to the challenge!

Here's my card and look no stamps used at all!

Supply List:
Paper: Neenah White #110, white glitter from my stash ?American Crafts
Dies: Thanks scallop border (SSS), Spring foliage (PPP)
Other: thin foam squares (SP)
Challenge: AAA #232

Last but not least you know what is more challenging than the challenge is taking a photo of a WHITE card, it's actually very hard to do well.

EDITED: Yippee my card was chosen as a "runner-up" for the challenge.

✿ Karen ✿

19 January 2023

Captive Charms

I am always happy when I finish my last month's colouring class at Kit and Clowder only a few days late but really rapt with this class it's been a while since I've done skin and hair and a wee bit rusty but that is why you do a class to learn and practice.The class was broken down into 4 chapters and I have snapped my progress along the way. The original image was designed by Lee Holland.

I decided I had made her a kiwi fire princess as I seem to have given her a koru in her hair ;) She now has pride of place on my display stand until I complete my next image.
✿ Karen ✿

17 January 2023

Copic "maps"

When I first started colouring I used to colour in the same image with multiple blends, write the blend underneath and then save all in a wee book, I still refer to this book for my hair and skin colour combos even now. It's a great resource.

This was my first go at trying to work out how I would colour in this case a wee teddy brown way back in 2016 and you can see how that card worked out if you click HERE.

 Hopefully my Copic colouring has "improved" since 2016. I like adding a much darker shade of brown from another E series lately to enhance the shadow. But I do see above I was mixing the E50s and E30s even back then.

 As you may have seen I have been colouring in a lot of beavers lately so I have started a new Copic map to add to my wee book with space for a few more combos to be added. 

I saw a new colour combo to me the E47/33/31/30 (bottom LHS) which is why I tried it and I liked it and then thought I would try it against colour combos I have been using lately.

There's not a huge difference between them but I like the new colour combo the best. I saw this combo being used by Cloud9 Crafts when they made an adorable handmade envelope on a YouTube video, it's not very long if you want to check it out HERE. They also used a different green combo for the cat tail which wasE17/15/13 and G17/00/000 I seem to have lost my G17,so I used G16 above, I also added a wee highlight with my white gel pen.

The top LHS combo I found watching Lien from IdeaIntoReality using on a different critter and I used that brown combo on my CAS Birthday Bear card I blogged a few days ago.

The top RHS combo is a common combo that Lawn Fawn/Jenn Shurkus uses and I have been using it since I did my virtual class with Jenn on all sorts of critters.

The bottom RHS combo is just me removing the E57 from the top LHS combo.

I like colouring like this as you don't really have to be perfect and it's quick and easy at the end of the day but I like having a visual check I can see if I need it.

A friend of mine is about to start her Copic journey and I said it's sad but the Es to me are the most valued marker as you can do so much with them, they are also used for colouring skin and hair too.

✿ Karen ✿

16 January 2023

A colourful class

There's TWO things you know you are going to get in a Laura Bassen class rainbow colour and dimension , as "dimension is life". As I am home, I can do what I want and I didn't add dimension to the ink blended layer on my 2nd card (which is on the LHS below). Unfortunately my Scotch roll of foam is not as big as hers.

I'm whittling away my left-over classes from my SCT Crop and Create Cardmaking Delivered event, in anticipation of my new big box of goodies arriving in about a month's time.

Laura's class was a main class in that we got 90 minutes with her to make our 3 cards. I sucessfully made the first card "live" and then I think I paused the live stream to go and make a coffee and it hadn't paused, so when I got back she was on card 3. At the time I thought no worries I'll just sit back sip my coffee and enjoy the stream. Five months later here are cards 2 and 3. Card one which I think is maybe my favourite you can see the blog post from 6 October 2022  HERE and you'll also see the items we received from Hero Arts for this class in our box.

Laura's cards are always easy cards in the scheme of things and she uses colour and dimension to give WOW. For our second card I went with my mini distress inks for my rainbow blend and we ink blended a light layer of ink on our card stock:

She said you didn't have to be perfect as the next step was to ink blend through the stencil a much heavier, darker layer:

I love the stamped sentiments in our stamp set we received (Yah, Birthday Bundle) they look like they have a shadow layer but it's all one stamp.

We have smooshed the ink pads onto a palette and lightly watercoloured the cake image. So it was a quick and easy card to do and I have used that stencil on multiple cards since receiving it, it's really useful.

The last card was a rainbow of candles and we used our stamp positioner to move the candles, re-ink, move, re-stamp etc. Someone in the comments suggested having removable tape on an angle to keep our candles all lined up which was a great idea. We just eyeballed it I obviously didn't move my candle stamp far enough as I got 14 candles as opposed to Laura's 11. It's still a happy rainbow of candles and shock horror it's a one layer card apart from WISH which is popped up on foam tape. I used my Pinkfresh Studio inks for stamping as they are bright and cheery.

Well some more fun birthday cards for my 2023 stash which is just as well as I have a lot of birthdays coming up. Even more fun is that I now only have 9 more classes to go ..... So catch you all soon.

✿ Karen ✿

#cropandcreatedelivered #SCTbigboxevent

15 January 2023

Lots of fussy cutting

I have just completed my first virtual Vicki Boutin class which was from my SCT Crop and Create Cardmaking Delivered from way back in October 2022. Sickness and Christmas meant I never finished all my classes. After 5 years of working a graveyard shift I don't want to muck around with what little sleep patterns I have so I won't do a class before 6am my time; so at the time I think I did 2-4 classes per day in my day time.

I did all my homework/prep for all classes and this class had probably the most prep and I can see why she is renown for fussy cussing (cutting) we had a lot to do but it was something we used to do a lot of before dies and it's quite therapeutic to do whilst watching TV.

This was a mini class but we still received in our box a stamp set, some dies to match the stamp set but not a die for every stamp and a fab stencil. One of our dies was a gorgeous envelope die which I know I will use again.

I was really looking forward to this class as it was a bit messy/mixed media so when I thought to myself I have to start on all the classes I hadn't done this was the first one I chose to do.

We made a slimline card and I learnt to do stencil stamping/kissing, which is such a great idea. In a nutshell it is:
  • ink blend through a stencil with your ink colour (fossilized amber)
  • rather than clean the inked stencil mist with a little water
  • flip and press into a new card panel
  • hold in place and ink blend a new ink colour through the back (saltwater taffy), she recommended using a clean foam dome so as not to contaminate your ink pad but my foam appeared to be just pink when I was finished but looking at my panel I didn't really mist heavily enough or have enough ink. Vicki got a much heavier coverage with her wet fossilized amber than I achieved.

The slimline card:

What fun colourful cards and all the fussy cussing, oops I mean fussy cutting was so worthwhile.

Wow this is my 1000th blogpost, I started blogging late 2007, so 15 years to reach 1000, some years I have blogged lots and some years hardly at all. The non-blogging periods are normally when I take a step away from crafting. I really seem to be enjoying crafting at the moment so I'm sure I'll reach the 2000th post in less than 15 years. I don't always blog everything but maybe I'll try and blog more to get there faster next time.

#cropandcreatedelivered #SCTbigboxevent
✿ Karen ✿

First play with Distress Watercolor Pencils

I'm sure I am not alone I saw all the fab people online playing with Tim's new brainchild last year and went and bought all 3 sets and then never touched them! I have told myself this year to stop watching so much stuff online so I can't be tempted and I don't have to own it all. One of the bloggers I love said recently "I am not a craft store, I don't have to have everything" and that is so true.

Scrapbook & Cards Today have a FREE magazine  you can read online. It is fab and chock full of scrapbooking and card making ideas. I would purchase a hard copy but shipping to NZ is horrific (they are in Canada) so I'll just read online. They also do lots of free stuff and yesterday had scheduled a Facebook Live with Jenn Shurkus who as you know I love, using my new stamp set from Lawn Fawn Wood You Be Mine and using distress watercolor pencils. They have a 2 page story with Jenn and 2 others using the distress pencils in their current magazine (Winter 2022). You can see that 2 page spread HERE and if you want to read the whole magazine online you can check it out HERE.

Jenn made it look so easy but I found it quite hard to build up layers and I did dry in-between. I followed Jenn's colouring methods, sometimes dry pencil to paper, then wet and spread with my paintbrush. Sometimes I used wet paintbrush to pencil, the only thing different is I added some Vintage Photo to one of my beavers (LHS one).

Some pencils seemed really pigmented which is what I thought looked really fab when I saw the original lives promoting the distress pencils (Candied Apple, Picked Raspberry, Tattered Rose, Vintage Photo, Salvaged Patina) and some seemed really dry and I could not really get a good water reaction happening (Walnut Stain and Kitsch Flamingo). I also found you don't want to paint over your lines as it dulls the lines with almost a white film/pigment. I went over the worst lines with my black sharpie fine pen. 

I am going to have a go at recreating this card just using my mini Distress Inks and watercolouring with them but if I am honest I don't think I needed these pencils in my life. Even though my background doesn't look as smooth as Jenn's I really like my splotchiness.
✿ Karen ✿

14 January 2023

Time to restart challenging myself in 2023

It's a new year and life is nearly back to normal, think I have one more trip to the beach to squeeze in with my partner but feel confident to say I can start looking at my favourite challenge sites and start doing challenges again. Saying that some of my favourite sites are still on their "holiday breaks" so I can ease myself back in slowly and very thankful that both AAA challenge sites were perfect IMO. I love bears and I have a lot of birthdays coming up in the next 2 months so I have combined their current challenges to create this cute "bear" birthday card which is CAS.

AAA cards wants "bears":

and AAA birthday cards "anything birthday goes":

I have one favourite bear stamp set which I got in 2016 and I have used all the bear images in the set apart from one, so I have inked up that one and coloured with my Copic markers today.

Copics used (dark>>light):
Bear body: E59/57/33/53
Bear muzzle/nose/ear lobes/cheeks: E53/51, W6/4, R20
Mint-green icing: G05/03/02/000
Cake: Y04/02/00
Cake board: E47/44/43
Hat: G09/05/03

Supply List:
Stamps: Beary Special Birthday (MFT) and matching dies
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Versafine Clair Nocturne
Paper: Xpress-IT blending, Neenah white
Other: Additional A2 Layers (WF), stamping foam squares (SP), white gelly pen (Sakura), Crystal glaze (Nuvo), Copic markers

Well he's a wee cutie and his tummy looks a bit like mine post-Christmas. I am not sure why it's taken me 6 years to ink him up but I think we'll see it much sooner again. Both challenges have 1-2 weeks still to run so there is plenty of time to join in the fun. I never really worry about having enough cards in my stash since I have started doing challenges and I give away a lot to family as RAK's or as gifts and I also don't feel so guilty about all the supplies I have accumulated over the years too. So if you haven't made any New Year's resolutions I challenge you .... to enter some card challenges.

EDITED: AAA cards runner-up :)

✿ Karen ✿

10 January 2023

Wood You Be Mine?

This was the name of the Lawn Fawn Create with Us class from the weekend. If you haven't seen one before they are a very relaxed and quite slow paced class with Jenn  and Kelly Marie. You can download from their website a PDF showing supplies used, prep to do before "class" if you want to create with them plus a step-by-step Copic colouring guide.

As a recently converted "fawnie" I joined the hype for their latest release which was Valentine's Day. At my age V-day isn't a biggie but I normally make my partner a card but the cute wee beavers in the release can be used with the other Lawn Fawn critters to make scene cards. Someone on the live stream commented that you can send cards to all your gal pals and make it Happy Galentine's Day which is a nice idea. 

I was crafting along to this class with my stamping bestie Sarah and we both thought we would send cards to our wee nieces as we know how excited young girls get about Valentine's day.

Card One

Card Two

I pretty well used everything as per the PDF file of supplies with the following being used instead as I didn't have the "right" supply:
  • Falling Hearts stencil (LF) - they were using last year's heart stencil and I think it would definitely have worked better for the ink-blending background card on card 1 but I actually think the falling hearts stencil worked best for the second card where you blended into the blue
  • Card One: I used Catherine Pooler inks: Catching Rays, Do Si Do and Cummerbund for the blended background. I added extra hearts from SSS Mini Hearts dies (I just used the CP inks to colour some white card stock) and added Nuvo Crystal Glaze on top.
  • Card Two: I used  Distress Oxides: Saltwater Taffy and Salvaged Patina  I added an extra string of hearts from Heart Garland Background: Portrait (LF) and then lots of  Nuvo clear sparkle pen to the red hearts and wee bow, inside there are more garlands and a cute wee saying "Hope you have a dam good day".
  • Coloured card stock : Sweet Sorbet (SU!), Flirty Flamingo (SU!), green DSP was from Pleased as Punch pack (SU!)
Both Sarah and I enjoyed that immensely. I have a class with Jenn Shurkus later in the month using the same supplies again so looking forward to that.
✿ Karen ✿

8 January 2023

My Christmas mail

I've been wanting to share my homemade Christmas cards I received before I started my new stamping year. My best friend swore she posted my card away Monday 19th December but irrespective of what the NZ Post website says (I think they say the cut off was Dec 23) my card didn't turn up till yesterday the 7th of January. But here they are in no particular order and it's not unsurprising as most of my stamping friends I have discovered through SU!, that the majority of my cards were SU!

I hope SU! gives my stamping friends some prettier colours next year in their DSP, this years offering were a bit dull. But even so I am very thankful someone took the effort to make and send me a card.

Which one is your favourite?? I actually like them all so thank you if you were kind enough to send me a card. It certainly brightens my day when I receive them.
✿ Karen ✿