Who wants to win stamps and make an easy card?

Today I have a limited supply project and a giveaway! You can win the stamps by ArtNeko I used to make this card:

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I considered editing down this video to make it about 5 minutes. I thought who needs a 17 minute long video on making such a simple card. I watched the video looking for spots to chop but every bit I though of chopping contained a tip that someone might find useful so if it feels too long feel free to skip ahead or watch it is double speed (click the gear at the bottom to speed it up) I figure it is better to leave the extras in for those who want them.

Supplies:

  1. Art Neko Sympathy stamp & Framed Plum Blossom stamp (use coupon code Lindsay10% for a 10% discount of non-sale rubber!)
  2. Archival Ink
  3. Spectrum Aqua Markers and Tombow Blender Pen
  4. Hot Press Watercolor Paper
  5. Cardstock (kraft) and pattern paper scrap
  6. Grosgrain Ribbon
  7. Adhesive (ATG and hot glue)

Note about the Bow Making Tool, I was having some technical issues on my shophandmade store where I sold the Bow Making Jigs my hubby made, if you would like to order one you can send me an email at artstudiosofbangor@yahoo.com and put “bow making jig order” in the subject line and I can send you a PayPal invoice. The Jigs are $20 plus shipping ($6 US Priority Mail, $16 international first class) and handcrafted from beautiful, durable hardwood.

I hope you found the tutorial on blending and all the random tips useful! If you want to win the stamps I used simply leave a comment below, I will draw a winner at random in one week (3/31/15) and this giveaway is open to everyone on the planet!  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!

Tutorial: How to watercolor with markers!

Hi friends! Today I am going to show you how to watercolor with watercolor markers. You can follow along with any watercolor markers you have and I say watercolor instead of water-based because there are some acrylic and poster paint markers and pens out there too and technically they are water-based but not watercolor. That means you are good to go with any of your basic watercolor markers, even the kids kind. That said, I will be using the extremely lovely Spectrum Aqua pens that I got from Hallmark Scrapbook. They work with any of the other watercolor markers you have so if you are considering buying some get a set with colors unlike what you already own. It’s a great way to start out! The only other thing that is important is to use watercolor paper, it is essential for blending, Today I am working on the same 140lb Strathmore cold pressed cards I use for most of my watercolor tutorials.

When you are choosing a brush you want a synthetic. A natural sable/camel/pony hair brush will hold too much water for this technique and not be stiff enough to push the color around and a natural hog hair brush is too rough and can damage your paper. A waterbrush is a synthetic but any nylon round in the #5 to #8 range will suit you just fine. Don’t stress about it, if you want to learn how to paint you have to put that brush to paper!

Tips!

  • Sketch with the fine point to avoid depositing too much color on the paper.
  • Work on small areas at a time, it is easier to blend if the ink is wet.
  • For larger soft washes with no streaks scribble the markers on a plastic palette, plate or tile and add water and use a brush to apply it.
  • Wet the paper before adding the wash for a smoother blend.
  • You can vary the line (aka stroke) of the brush marker by working on the tip for a tiny line or applying more pressure for a thicker line. Practice this technique to get experience with your markers!
  • For extra control when water-coloring stamped images (make sure to stamp them with waterproof ink) use a brush tip blender pen, many companies make them but I enjoy the Stampin Up and Tombow brands. The Dove Blender can also be used, I have not tried it but it but many stampers I trust love the it plus it comes with extra nibs and a bottle of blending ink so you might be set for life there! The blenders for alcohol markers will not work for this. To color with a blender you need to scribble the marks on a palette or dish and pick up the ink with the blender pen then start to color your image, start at the darkest area because it will gradually fade as you color with it. It is a great way to get a soft blend. Hot press (aka smooth) watercolor paper is best for this but cardstock can also be used pretty successfully. *If your blending pen goes dry or you run out of blending solution you can make your own by mixing equal parts glycerin and water.
  • Play. You won’t learn unless you use your markers. You will not harm them or use them up… well, if you do use them enough to use them up you deserve another set LOL! You buy supplies to use them so make sure you don’t let them become too precious to use!

I hope this tutorial helped you get more from your watercolor markers! Thanks to Hallmark Scrapbook for sending me the new Spectrum Aqua markers, I am having quite a bit of fun with them. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Christmas tag workshop and a winner!

Hi Friends! Today I am going to show you a quick way to batch out some Christmas tags but first I need to announce the winner of the Art Neko stamp giveaway! The winner is…Faith Newkirk Harris! Congrats! I have sent you an email, reply to that to get your prize! I wanted to post a quick project tonight using some of the lovely Art Neko Christmas stamps in my collection and I wanted to use my homemade (faux Wink of Stella) glitter pens so I came up with this and hey, we all need more gift tags this time of year!

Sure these are simple but I think they are cute and useful and I really like the way the glitter pens turned out. I am glad it was able to go over the Tombow markers without smearing, that is the power of heat setting folks! Do you think they look like Wink of Stella pens? I have never used the real McCoy so you will have to let me know:) Thanks to Art Neko for providing the giveaway and thank you for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

What? A free Saturday? Can it be True? (and a pencil/marker demo!)

Hi Friends! Do you hear that? Silence. Everyone is still asleep, I have a cup of chicory coffee in my mug and I am looking forward to a day with nothing planned. It is starting to feel like fall too, it is a bright crisp day full of potential, my kind of Saturday! A couple of days ago the folks at Tombow sent me a set of Irojiten colored pencils to try out. I had been admiring them from afar since they came out because of their beautiful book like packaging. In today’s video I am going to show you how they work with a little help from my favorite Tombow product, the Dual Brush Pen. The stamp I used is from Lost Coast Designs.

Can you believe my markers are 20 years old? I love a good long-lasting marker!

Here is what you need to know about the Tombow Irojiten pencils:

  • They are a hard pencil that can be sharpened to a resilient point.
  • Slow wearing.
  • They resist smudging.
  • They have less wax so less “bloom” or waxy build up.
  • Good for detail work or sharpening up soft edges.
  • The full range contains 90 colors including 10 fluorescent colors that glow under black light.
  • According to the package they are highly lighfast (resists fading.)
  • The lead is glued in the barrel to further protect from breaking when sharpened.

These will take a bit of getting used to if you are used to soft waxy pencils. I recommended you try them on their own, and then use them with the other pencils you have for more versatility. They are highly pigmented so they work well with solvent. The lead is hard but there is a lot of color/pigment in there! These will not replace your softer pencils but enhance them allowing you to get more detail with in a painting.

I hope you found this demo helpful, if you have any questions let me know in the comments. The Irojiten pencils and Dual Brush markers can be found on the Tombow website or your favorite art supply retailer!

Need More Marker Ideas? We’ve got ‘um!

Hi guys! Do you have waterbased markers? Marvy LePlume, Whispers, Distress, Tombow, Memento, Stampin Up or others? Today I am going to share a few techniques with you. Some might be old favorites, some might be new but hopefully by the end of the video you will see how versatile your watercolor marks are! Also, I’ll let you know what I think of a new waterproof inkpad I bought. Enjoy the video! 😀

That card won’t win any awards but it was fun and isn’t that the point? The stamp I used is from Art Neko (formally About Art Accents) and it is available as a single image, a plate of 10 designs or a set of 6 plates with all 50 states birds and flowers plus bonus stamps, they are gorgeous and perfect if you love to color! Well, that’s it for me tonight, one of my favorite shows that has been on break for weeks because of March Madness is back on, I’m gonna watch me some Elementary! 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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Stamp Winners & a New Tutorial!

Howdy folks! Last week I hosted a giveaway from the generous and fabulous About Art Accents and we had so many people enter the first night, and with it being Christmas ans all, the owner said I could pick two winners! Yay! and (drum-roll please) here they are! Kim Ferguson and Jackie P! Congrats ladies, you have some fabulous surprise stamps coming your way! Be sure to check your email for details! Speaking of great stamps, check out this chickadee stamp from About Art Accents, it is part of the 50 state birds & flowers collection:

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I think though, after the weather we have had in Maine this week I should have given my tree some snow and icy glitter! BTW BIG THANKS to all of the road crews, tree cutters and linemen (and women) who worked tirelessly through the holiday from as far south as Rhode Island to get the power back on in Maine, we would still be in the dark if it wasn’t for you! Sorry about that brief aside, I’m just feeling grateful to have electricity 😀 Anyway, here is the tutorial:

I hope you got enough tips and techniques there to make it worth watching a 20 minute video. Here is a look at the cards close up.

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Tips!

  1. Make an envelope (I use the Kreate-a-lope) and use the scraps to decorate you card!
  2. Speaking of scraps save them in files sorted by color, that way you won’t need to cut into a full sheet of cardstock for paper piecing or when you just need a bit of a color. Plus you get interesting pattern and color combos when scraps mix and mingle!
  3. Speaking of paper piecing, take a look at your punches, what else can you make from the tired old shapes, my notched circle punch became a pine-cone, a balloon can become an Easter egg, dig out the old tools and use them in a new way!
  4. Switch out scissors for a craft knife and ruler, you will be surprise how quickly you can cut smooth banners and even mats, your die cutter will get lonely!
  5. Before you run to the store to buy the latest and greatest think about the tools and supplies you already have and see if you can duplicate it! Creativity is a muscle, use it or lose it! I think we can all enjoy that workout, am I right?

Thanks to About Art Accents for letting me pick two stamp winners this month and thanks to you for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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Paint Gladiolus in 8 Minutes with Watercolor Markers!

Howdy folks! I’m happy to report that my back is better today! Next time I get into a bounce house I will stretch first LOL! The other day a YouTube viewer asked if I could do a tutorial on painting pink gladiolus flowers, so I did.

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Instead of using watercolor paint I used water based markers. You can use any brand: Tombow, Distress, Crayola, LePlume, Faber Castell, Whispers or Stampin Up. The key to this is to work on watercolor paper. You will also need a bucket of water and a brush or a waterbrush. Watch the 8 minute video to see how fast and easy it is!

This project was a lot of fun and it is a new way to use a supply most of us already have…in fact it might be fun to bring just my markers and waterbrush the next time I go out in nature to paint! If you have any questions please leave a comment and I will get back to you. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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