Brush Marker Comparison!

Hi Friends! Today I am comparing 6 of the most popular brush markers on the market to see how they hold up and if they play nice together.

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Honestly I like all of these but they each have unique qualities that different artists might prefer. Here is a handy checklist to print and record notes on as you try other brands yourself. brush_marker_comparison_chart

Now watch the video!

Here are the markers I used today (affiliate links used when available, thank you for your support:)

So now that you have the information you can go forth and color. Also, if you already have a bunch of chisel tip markers you can use them with your brush markers. I suggest you try a couple from each company before investing in a huge set and get different colors because they do play nice together. I keep all of my alcohol markers together for just that reason. Experiment ad have fun! If you have any questions let me know in the comments. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

 

Santa’s Magic Key!

Hi Friends! I have been a bit wiped out the last 2 days but I think I feel my energy coming back! I wanted to get this post up early today in cast you don’t have a chimney and need a way for Santa to get in your home to deliver presents!

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If your child is worried that there is no chimney to come down they can leave a magic key outside, only Santa has the magic to use it to open your door! The cute Santa stamp is from our sponsor ArtNeko. This video also contains a relaxing coloring tutorial, if you need a bit of relaxation today give it a look!

Remember to mention “the frugal crafter” anytime you order from ArtNeko to receive a 10% discount or free shipping over $50. I better get back to my holiday work, being sick yesterday put me behind! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Let’s Draw then Color with Cheap Markers {that look expensive!}

Howdy folks! You know how it is, you browse the galleries and shops online coveting the lovely new stamps that have been colored in with the most expensive of markers. Then you came to your senses and decided to visit my blog because you know I’ll show you how to do it cheaper and what’s more you will have a one-of-a-kind creation that others will try to copy. Today we will draw a cyclamen flower (you CAN do this, it’s easy!) then I am going to show you how to color it beautifully with ANY alcohol markers and to prove my point I am using Sharpies. You will need a colorless blending marker that is alcohol based, any brand is fine but it must be alcohol based if you are using alcohol markers. If you don’t have one it will be hard to get the colors really light. Most large craft stores have the Prismacolor brand markers and they work great, pick up a clear one (retail $4.50) with your coupon and you will be all set. Ready? Here we go!

You can do this technique with watercolor markers and a waterbased blender pen too but you don’t want to keep going over the paper or you will damage it. If you are using waterbased markers blend it once and leave it. So, do you feel like you can draw this flower? I did it upside down so I KNOW you can do it right side up:) Just think of everything you could draw and ll the money you could save on stamps…OK…I seem to remember something about a pot calling a kettle something or other…well, we don’t need to give up our stamps but it is a nice option don’t you think? BTW another great thing about alcohol markers is that you can color over ink-jet printed images and they won’t bleed, there are millions of free coloring pages online or digital stamps you can buy (in my shop for instance, shameless plug) so you can skip the drawing and get to the fun of coloring. ¬†ūüėÄ ¬†Either way, you do not have to spend a lot to get the look you want. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Terrific Tags & Two Tutorials {on marker blending!}

Hello friends! I was in the mood to play with markers the other day and I remembered some cute stamps that came in an old issue of Cardmaking & Papercraft magazine, I actually bought the magazine because of these cute stamps!

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Some of the images I colored with alcohol markers and some I did with water based markers. With all of the hoopla over Copics and other alcohol based markers (Promarker, TRIA, Prismacolor, Spectrum Noir etc.) I thought I’d do a tutorial on blending them. It an be confusing what to buy, then, when we get them home we forgot how we were told to use them. Well, this tutorial is for you, especially if you don’t have many markers. I’m going to show you a technique called priming that will help you blend colors that are not too close together. All you need is a clear alcohol based blending marker and some permanent markers (Bic Mark-its and Sharpies are an affordable option and they will work with the expensive art markers too!) Well, enough talking, let’s get coloring:

OK, so maybe you never invested in alcohol markers because you already invested in water-based/watercolor markers ( Tombow, LePlume, Whispers, Memento, Stampin’ Up and Distress are all examples of water-based markers) hey, I don’t blame you, they are super versatile, each one can be used like a mini ink pad, but they are great for coloring as well. Today I will show you how to blend them on regular cardstock using a water-based blender pen which is basically a clear marker filled with a water/glycerin mix. You can use a damp round paint brush (damped with water and glycerin if you don’t have a blender pen. Another benefit to watercolor markers is that the color usually will not bleed through cardstock.

The benefit to watercolor markers is that you need fewer colors and it is quicker. The benefit of alcohol markers is that you can fuss with the image as long as you like. Whatever your preference you can get a similar effect from either type of marker. Can you tell what ones were done with alcohol markers and what ones were done in watercolor markers?

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OK, you’re keen eyes probably can but I think they look super and it will be handy to have all of these tags on hand for upcoming birthdays! Here is a tip, the next time you color a ¬†bunch of images grab a pad of paper and make a bunch of tags. I used to just color them and stuff them in a drawer but since I always need gift tags and grabbed my large shipping tags, tulle and leftover tissue paper flowers from Papermart and a pad of Fancy Pants paper (my 6″x6″ bin of paper was overflowing so I wanted to use some up!) and made some tags. I made faux brads/card candy by punching circles out of some of the scraps and doming them with a ball end stylus and hot gluing them to the tags. I had only itsy bitsy shards of paper left over after this and a batch of new tags for my trouble. Not bad:D I hope this helped you get more use out of your markers. If you have any questions leave a comment and til next time happy crafting!

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A Marker Mingle & WOYWW!

**Hey, you can still sign up for the stamp giveaway on yesterday’s post!***

Howdy folks! I’m still sick (in case anyone cares) so today I listened to audiobooks and indexed my markers. I figured it rated slightly higher than lying on the couch and watching TV. I’d been on the fence as to whether or not I wanted to put all of my different brands of markers together in one rack. So, today in a¬†decongestant¬†and caffeine stupor I did just that:

Now, play nice markers! Oh, yeah, it is Wednesday (almost for me anyway) so here is another pic for What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday. I’m surprised¬†my box of tissues didn’t show up in the picture as I have been such a snot factory (I can sure paint a picture with the words) the last few days. Did I mention Vegetarians aren’t supposed to get colds? No. I think it’s an outrage…oh well. I also put my waterbased¬†brush markers together. I mostly just use these for multi color stamping so they don’t need to be in any particular order. In fact I like seeing the odd color combos that happen in the disorganized heap. Ya know, I don’t remember buying this many markers…I think they breed in there LOL!

So here’s the deal. Copic¬†does a wonderful job of representing to color of the marker ink on the marker cap. Prismacolor¬†has labels on the ends but the colors are way off and Promarkers¬†have no color on the caps. So I grabbed a small circle punch and some sticker paper and made my own perfect color reference labels for the ends of the caps!

 

See how in the video. Let me just remind you that I have a cold, hence the voice. On the upside I am a bit mellower in this vid. Small  favors.

I realize that I really did not need to make a video but I am a better talker than typer¬†so I could share more this way. Heck, if you don’t like it you don’t have to watch right? Hmmm, I think I am a bit cranky, I apologize, I’ll get a good night of sleep and hopefully be done with this cold foolishness in the morning. Til next time happy crafting!

Shaken, not stirred…

When I saw the idea to make a shaker postcard on the Giddy Giddy blog the other day I knew I had to try it! I made this card using 1 sheet of cardstock, a little glitter and stamps from About Art Accents. Oh, I also want to mention that I used my new FAVORITE COLORING TOOL-MY LETRAJET AIRMARKER AND PROMARKERS to color most of this!

 

Here is the back:

 

Look, when you shake it!

 

How-to:

Start with a 6″x8″ peice of cardstock and fold in half to make a 4″x6″ card. Stamp/write postcard info on back. Stamp something¬†on the inside back. Cut a window out of the front and decorate front of card. Use double stick tape to adhere clear window¬†to inside under the cut-out.¬† Add a border of double stick tape around the inside again, pour in some glitter and or punched shapes and press the card closed to seal it.

Now, ¬†you will need to use a regular first class stamp to mail this because it is thicker and heavier than a standard postcard but just think of the “wow” factor! How cute would it be to make a snow-globe christmas card? If you are worried about postal machinery damaging your card you can mail it in a clear envelope so you still get the postcard feel.¬†¬† This card qualifies for the following challenges: Art Impressions Stamps Challenge, Crafty Sentiments, Meljens Designs, Paper Crafting Journey, Shelly’s Images, Stamp Insanity, Some Odd Girl¬†(complimentary colors-yellow & purple), Flutterby Wednesdays, My Mum’s Craft shop,¬†¬†Clear It Out!, Ladybug Crafts Ink TLT Challenge¬†(the bamboo stamp in the bottom front of card is my fave), My Time To Craft¬†(G is for glitter), Oldie But Goodie Challenge and Try It On Tuesday!

I hope this idea inspired you as much as it did me! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Easy Marker Blending!

Happy Saturday folks! Today¬†I am having my first ever yard sale and I am sneaking away from pricing stuff to have a cup of coffee and do a quick blog post. I hope I don’t get any “early birds” because¬†I don’t get going until at leat 9am ūüėČ Also I have to give a big thanks to my friends Glenna¬†and Steve who helped us set up last night, I can’t believe how much one can accumulate!¬†

OK, now on with the crafting!  Today I am going to show you my process for blending with ProMarkers (I used the classic set of 12) but this will work with all of your alcohol ink markers:

First I add my darkest shadows, then I color over them with my medium value blending the color out, and then I color over the entire thing with my lightest color. Yep, that’s it, how easy is that!

OK back to work! wish me luck on my first yard sale and til next time happy crafting!

Easy Airbrushing!

Howdy folks, boy am I having fun with my new Letrajet air marker. For those of you who do not know it is a airbrush dohickey that you can snap your promarkers into and turn them into an airbrush.  I have been playing with it all week so I will be comfortable enough to shoot a how-to video. Today I want to show you a very basic airbrush card. I call it freehand airbrush:

 

I colored the sock monkey image (stampin up) with markers then used the Promarkers in my Letrajet to spray in the background. Other stamps are from October Afternoon and I was surprised at how nice the quality was because I gout them on sale cheap from Jo-ann.com when they had a 40% off sale! ūüėČ

No masking or anything fancy, you simply spray the ink around the image. It is best to choose colors that will not ruin the piece¬†if som overspray¬†hits it. The backgrounds on these cards took seconds and got rid of the stark white background.¬† One tip I learned is to start your spray off the edge of the paper and move your hand while spraying to avoid blotches. It is hard to mess up with the air marker! I’ll have a video for you soon, I’m having so much fun with this!

This was my first attempt, I had watercolored the image then sprayed in the background. Tip: Use darker colors than you think you want as they show up much lighter when sprayed! I had best luck with colors from the Vivid Promarker blending sets.

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Are you mad for markers?

Hiya folks! I just wanted to tell you that an article I worked on and researched for months is finally out in the July 2011 issue of Scrap & Stamp Arts Magazine!

SSA July 2011

I reviewed 12 brands of markers (t’s a tough job but someone’s gotta do it…) and rated them spreadsheet style on factors such as price, unique features, color range, medium (alcohol, watercolor, xylene, India ink), workability, nibs and¬†whether¬†they are refillable or not. Also there are tips on how best to use each type of marker. So if you are in the market for ew markers or just want to get more use out of the ones you have I hope you will give my article a read, it is on newsstands now or you can order a copy from Scott Publications.

Thanks for listening to me toot my own horn (what’s new, right!?!) and til next time happy crafting!

Perfectly Stamped Ribbon!

Another rainy spring day in the Northeast…talk about a broken record..all the more reason to stay inside and craft I guess! I wasn’t intending on making a video but I got to playing around with my Hug Snug Seambinding and rubber stamps and I had the best luck ever stamping on ribbon:

I used Hug snug seam binding in the color “Natural” from Sewtrue.com. I like the natural color because it has a lovely off-white vintage color to it but you can use whatever color¬†you like. I set it on a foam mat (you can use a mouse pad or a sheet of fun-foam) and stamped the sentiment (Purple Onion Designs) repeatedly along the ribbon using Versafine¬†Onyx Black pigment ink but any pigment ink should work. Let the ribbon dry a few minutes before using but don’t heat set it or it may curl up on you. Here is a video on making the ribbon and also coloring the focal image using the new Vivid Promarker blending kit:

That was so fun! BTW the Hug Snug Seambinding is also great for making Vintage crinkle ribbon, check out my tutorial here.  The colors I used on the scallops stamps (also from Purple Onion Designs) are More Mustard, Cameo Coral and Mellow Moss classic dye ink from Stampin Up and if you told be a week ago that those colors would be pretty together I would have suggested that you have your head examined but heck, I guess I was wrong (will wonders ever cease?)

This card qualifies for the following challenges: Crazy Challenge, Make it Monday, Simon Says Stamp and Show…, Emerald Faeries, Card Makin’ Mamas¬†and Crafty Catz

Thanks for stopping by, I guess I will start on the big kitchen repaint project today,We have decided to paint the kitchen a deep cornflower blue (it is currently apple green) and I have to repaint the ceiling white (never done that before) so wish me luck! Til next time happy crafting!

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