Sometimes you just need to relax and color!

Hi friends! We never get too old to color. I think that is why stamping is so popular, we get to be a kid again but this time we get better art supplies (unless you are my kids who get to use all of my stuff LOL!) It was funny, my children (10-year-old twin girls and 12-year-old son) have been on a color by number kick and commandeered my Spectrum Noir pencils to color the intricate designs. They know how to treat nice supplies and so I let them ūüôā I like to see art supplies being used. Don’t let them be too precious that you never use them! I was having a rough time¬†painting day the other day and I realized it was because I was really trying to come up with a nice watercolor tutorial for you guys that I was forcing the process, nothing was working and finally I gave up and decided to color this image: bouseblog I did not attempt to narrate it, I did turn on my video camera in case (despite all other efforts that day) in came out OK and it was really happy with it. The image tool about 17 minutes to color and the card took 4 minutes to make. I sped it up for the video, hope you don’t mind. Video! Supplies:

  • Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens
  • Tombow Blender
  • Archival Ink in Black
  • Fully Content House Mouse Stamp from Stampendous
  • White colored pencil
  • Tile or plate for scribbling markers on
  • Watercolor paper
  • Cardstock and pattern paper
  • Seam Binding/ribbon
  • Bow Making Jig: My hubby makes these out of beautiful hardwoods, if you want to order one you can email me at artstudiosofbangor@yahoo.com with “Bow making Jig order” in the subject line. They are $20 plus shipping (USA Priority mail $6, First Class Canada $10, Everywhere else $15) Let me know where you want it sent so I can apply the correct shipping.

You can use whatever watercolor markers you have for this technique. You can substitute watercolor paper for cardstock but it does not always blend as nicely, I’d test on a scrap of you cardstock first so you don’t waste it. Above linked products are from Hallmark Scrapbook, I am an affiliate there and if you click a link and make a purchase I receive a small portion of the sale. ¬†Oh! They also have all of their We R Memory keepers Punch Boards on sale for 50% off, $9.99 each! And I was thinking of this because I need to make a custom envelope for this card and I could not believe they were all so cheap! I love the envelope punch board because you can make boxes and bows with it too. I am thinking about grabbing the flower punch board while it is on sale, what do you think? Have any of you used it? I like to use flowers on projects and it looks fun! So, the next time you are feeling stressed do a little coloring! I have a new real-time watercolor tutorial filmed and it will be up in a few days, I guess I just needed to chill a bit before that would happen. ūüėÄ Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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Cute as a Bunny!

Hi friends! despite the fact that I woke up to snow falling this morning I have been feeling a bit springy today. Before you know it baby shower season will be in full swing. I have an idea for a quick and easy thank you card that can be made in batches and would be a thoughtful gift for a baby shower host to give to the soon-to-be mom:

bunny2

I always thought it was important to send thank you cards after a shower. But with a new baby things get busy. If a shower host, who has all the names and addresses of the guests because she invited them, made this set of cards for the new mom and included addresses for all the guests it would be so appreciated. Bonus points if you keep notes on all the gifts received;) You could even enclose a book of beautiful postage stamps and a pretty pen! (Of course I might just be an old fart and maybe people don’t do thank-yous anymore but you know what, it would make someones day to know they were appreciated and an email just does not show the same amount of care as a handwritten note.) That’s just my opinion, I welcome yours in the comments below:) Watch this video to see how easy it is:

Supplies

Directions:
1. Cut 8.5″x11″ cardstock in half to make 2 invitation size cards.
2. Add strips of washi tape to the bottom.
3. Tie bakers twine to the fold.
4. Stamp Bunnies and sentiment.
5. Color.

bunny5

I hope you enjoyed this project sponsored by Papermart. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

My Secret Trick for Soft Blending with Watercolor Pencils

Hi friends! I was playing with my watercolor pencils a lot this weekend and it occurred to me that you may have never heard of the tool I used to get soft even blending with these pencils. It is a water-based blending marker. My favorites are Stampin Up or Tombow but you can also get them by Dove, Letraset, Marvy LePlume and probably others. It is basically a marker filled with equal parts water and glycerin. One of my viewers even cleaned out an old marker and filled it herself because she could not buy them in her country. Watch this video to see how easy blending watercolor pencils with a clear water-based blending marker is, PLUS frugal card making tips!

Now, just to be clear I prefer this method for coloring stamp art because the images can be kind of small, for drawing and painting freehand I prefer a water brush or a synthetic brush and a bucket of water. Try both methods and see what you prefer. Make sure you use a water based blender because the alcohol ones do not work well for this and they make the colors stain through the back of the paper (not good if you want to make a one layer card.) A water-based blender will set you back about $3 but a good one can be used for years! I hope you found this tutorial useful and you are inspired to try it with your watercolor pencils soon! The Prima Watercolor Pencils I am using are from Hallmark Scrapbook. Happy crafting!

DIY Stencil Paste & a Valentine!

Good evening friends! I just got back from the kids’ school where we went to the family Valentine dance. It was packed with children dressed to the nines, it was k-4th grade so it was really fun, the kids danced and did not worry about “looking cool” they just had fun! Here is a fun little Valentine I ¬†made this week with my DIY stencil paste:

DCF 1.0

Stencil paste can be pricey! But I found a cheap alternative that can be colored any color you like using ordinary acrylic pant, have a look. Please note, it is really fun spreading out the paste and playing with it, but 2 or 3 swipes across the stencil should really do the trick. (Do as i say, not as I do LOL!)

I got this 6 oz tube of latex caulking for 99 cents at Mardens but I checked at Lowes online and they have a 10.1 oz tube for $1.50 (you need a caulking gun to dispense it though) or a 5.5 squeeze tube for $2.78, that is a still a bargain when a 4.5 oz can of stencil paste is $9 and you can make it any color you want. Score! This is a case where cheaper is better, unless you want black or clear stay away from the silicone caulking which is pricier. Clear would be cool for glittering and black would be nice to leave black or maybe dust some pearl-ex on but if you want the most versatile, quick drying and economical stuff get the cheapest white latex (might be called acrylic) paintable caulking you can find and start creating some bodacious 3D stencil artwork! I hope you enjoyed today’s frugal find and til next time happy crafting!

Let’s color! (A quick demo of Intense pencils)

Happy Tuesday! First off I am so very happy to report that I cleaned all day yesterday (yuck) and my house is still clean today (yay!) No thanks to my dog who thinks all of the rainy¬†ditches¬†along the side of the road are her personal wading pools. I can go to my studio today feeling¬†virtuous¬†as I play with paper, beads, paint or whatever else¬†strikes¬†my fancy. That is If I don’t pull something with all of this patting myself on the back, ha ha! Today I am going to share a card I sent to a friend of mine who had her appendix out last week, I thought the colors would cheer her up ūüôā

DCF 1.0

I stamped the image with Stampin Up Basic Black (because I happen to be one of the rare birds who like that ink) and colored it with inktense pencils. If you¬†have¬†never used them before they are wonderful, they are a watercolor pencils but super vivid and¬†once¬†you wash over them with water they become semi¬†permanent¬†meaning you can paint over them (gently) and the color won’t lift…watch out for the reds though, they can smear a bit¬†if¬†you are not careful. These are my favorite pencils and they cost about the same as other artist quality pencils. That said you can do the same¬†techniques¬†with any¬†colored¬†pencils just be¬†careful¬†when you go to wash over the¬†colors¬†that you don’t smear everything¬†underneath. Watch the video to see them in action:

With markers being all the rage right now many stampers forget about the humble watercolor pencil but I urge you to try them again (or for the first time!) They are inexpensive vs. markers. One watercolor pencil has 100 times the ink/color as a marker and a pencils costs $1.50 or less vs. $3-$7 for a marker. They blend easier so you don’t need as many colors and they are great for kids too! If you are looking for a less expensive, but quality watercolor pencil set the Karat¬†brand¬†is good and I think you can get a 24 pack at staples for under $20. You can find the Inktence at the big craft stores as well and use a coupon but I think if you want the big set you ¬†are better off checking Blick Art¬†Materials, Cheap Joe’s or ASW Express and see what deals they have going;)

DCF 1.0

 

To simply finish this card I¬†layered¬†pattern¬†papers from the Floral Fair stack (DCWV) onto a kraft card base and threaded a length of baker’s twine (papermart) through a bunch of buttons and used glue dots to adhere it to the prepared card base. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Tips for crafting with kids

One of my favorite activities to do at Christmas is to craft {surprise!} and I really like to take quiet times with my children to help them make special gifts too.¬†Wether you are showing a child how to knit, food crafting or simply gluing macaroni to construction paper I’ll give you some tips on making your crafting time with children fun and stress free.

1. ABP-Always Be Prepared This scouting motto should be you crafting motto when working with kids. Assemble all of the supplies you need for a project before you invite you child to craft with you. These few moments of preparation will save you and your child frustration during your crafting process and crafting is all about relaxing and enjoying your time.

2. Pick a time to craft when you have nothing else going on and when you child is not tired, hungry or cranky (or you either for that matter) keep it a fun and relaxing time.

3. If you have other kids that are too young to do a particular craft give them something they can do too like stringing beads or buttons on pipe-cleaners then twist it in a loop and let them hang it on the Christmas tree. Play-doh is a fun kid craft activity too! Or if they are really young you can craft with your older child when they go for a nap.

Above is a photo of a card kit. I will be making cards today with 11 girls in my daughters Daisy Scout Troop. Each girl will make 2 cards. In each kit I have:

  • 2 card bases
  • 2 18″ lengths of¬†fibers {novelty yarn}
  • 2 stamped images {House Mouse}
  • 3 panels of 4″x5.25″ pattern paper
  • 2 panels of 1.5″x4″ pattern paper
  • 5 die cuts (3 tags and 2 hearts)
  • glue stick
  • 3 glittered foam shapes

I places all of the above materails in an envelope so each girl will have her own. I will have shared supplies like decorative edged scissors and markers on each table to share. Here is what I made using the supplies in a kit:

 

It won’t win any awards but it is cute, fun, quick and easy and isn’t that the point of christmas card crafting? The girls will be giving their cards to members of the local senior center when we go caroling later this month ūüôā

I happens to be out turn to bring snacks to the girl scout meeting today too, since we had a “snow day” yesterday my kids were home to help me decorate these cupcakes:

I got the idea from the cover of the new Family Fun magazine {although I do not know how they broke their pretzels so perfectly}

Thanks for stopping by. Escape from the holiday hussel¬†and bussel this month and take some time to craft with your child, you’ll be glad you did! Til next time happy crafting!

mice+cupcake=cute!

Happy Monday! Do you have a stash of stamped and colored images just waiting to be used? I do, I often forget they are there or sometimes I don’t want to use them because my coloring skills were not as good back then. I decided to use this one even though it is not perfect on a card for my daughter. Waste not, want not right?

She just loves House Mouse, this image was one of the first ones I colored with copics (last year!) I had stamped out a bunch of my mom’s HM stamps on Paper Co. Cardstock and colored it on the spot with my brand new Copics. It is not the greatest color-job but I kept it anyway thinking I might put it on a card and so I did ūüôā

This card qualifies for the following challenges: Creatilicious (colors challenge), Oldie but a Goodie (Pink & Girly) and the sketch (I put the vertical layout on a horizontal card) from House Mouse & Friends.

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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