AAC is Back & Sign-up to Win Tickets to the Heirloom Stamp Show!

Hi friends! I spur-of-the-moment called Kathy and Lorraine yesterday and asked them if they could shoot an Ask a Crafter episode, turns out I had enough questions in the jar for 2 (yay! there will be an AAC next week too!) I really wanted to have them on because we are getting so excited for the Heirloom Stamp Show in West Springfield June 6-7 and Heirloom is giving me 12 tickets to give away! Just leave a comment saying you want to win tickets if you will be in the W. Springfield Massachusetts area June 6-7th so I can make sure someone who can use them wins. Also note if you could use an extra ticket, that way if fewer than 12 sign up I can make sure that none go to waste. I will give the email addresses of the winners to the folks at Heirloom Productions and they will email you printable tickets (no need to put your email in the comment, I can see it on the back-end, that is why I am doing to contest here and not on YouTube because it is hard to get hold of people there if they win.) I’ll pick a winner next Wednesday. Oh, and I am teaching 2 watercolor for stampers classes on June 5th at the convention center. There is room in the Watercolor Techniques for Stampers class but the Using Watercolor to Stamp is almost full (it might be sold out because you can’t register online for it anymore, you have to call) so if you are interested in either of those classes sign up now! I also think we ought to have a meet up, maybe at Chili’s Friday night, or at Micheal’s Craft Store…anyone?

OK, enough of that, I don’t want anyone to be sad if they do not have a stamp show near them (heck, we have to drive 5 hours so I feel your pain, at least I have good company for the ride!) so let’s get on with the show!

That WAS fun! I am so glad I got caught up on projects and was able to squeeze in time with the ‘girlfriends! Thanks so much for spending some of your busy day with us and til next time happy crafting!

Basic Color Mixing & Brush Use in today’s Video (learn to paint a sunset!)

Hi friends! Sorry I did not have  a post for you yesterday, I was completely wiped out after a day at the Made in Maine Expo. I shared some pics during the day on the Facebook page if you are curious. I was a great show and a lot of fun. I have to say that I am a bit sore from lugging product up and down stairs (cutting boards are heavy!) But all-in-all it was a good time, and I left with less than I brought. I will have a recap later this week and tips for selling at a higher-end craft fair in case you were considering it! Tonight I am going to do something many of you have requested. I am going to go back to basics and we are going to mix 3 colors to make all the colors we need for a painting, we will talk a bit about color theory and I will also show you my two most used kinds of brushes and show you why I like them so you can pick the best brushes for the job. Watch the video for all the tips! Before you ask: I am working in my Canson Mixed Media Journal and the plastic palette is the Jones palette and I have had it for 15 years but it is still available at many retailers (Jerry’s Artarama has it for about $20) the brushes I am using are by Royal & Langnickle, I like the Majestic and the Aqualon lines and you can find them at many retailers.

OK, on to the video!

I hope you try this one even if you don’t think you can paint. You can even use children’s watercolors (Prang is really good actually and you can grab those anywhere!) The most important thing is that you try. You will learn so much about color mixing just by experimenting with the paint. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Fast or Slow, you choose with today’s painting tutorial!

Hi Friends! Sorry I forgot to post yesterday, I just realized it but hey, as a special treat I have 2 videos for you tonight. I had several people mention that they would like a speed painting so I decided to release this tutorial as a speed paint with a voice over and  a real-time live narrated one too. You can pick the one that is best for you!

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Here is the quick video:

Here is the long video:

Thanks for everyone who told me that the plant in the tutorial is an Angel Wing Begonia. Hopefully it will root in water and we can plant it! Thanks so much for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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Watercolor Bookmarks!

Hi Friends! Small projects are a great way to try out new techniques. I used a combination of stamping, drawing and water-coloring to make these 3 bookmarks:

DCF 1.0

I used a few Caran D’ache watercolor pencils I recently purchased at MerriArtist, I ordered these and some other goodies last Saturday and got them on Tuesday! Fast service, great prices and wonderful customer service. I am not affiliated with them but they did give me a coupon code to share: 10off for $10 off an order of $100 or more and free shipping. Today I am reviewing the Caran D’ache Supracolor pencils, Caran d’ache water brush (a gift from MerriArtist) and Aquabee 90lb watercolor paper (a real bargain!) Have a look at the video for the tutorial and review.

Video!

After the picture was dry I cut it into 3 panels. I inked the edges and added some stamping with black ink. The edge swirls are by Autumn Leaves, the corner flourish is by Inkadinkado and the Chinese calligraphy is retired from PSX. When I was happy with the look I ran it through my laminating machine (I got my laminator from LTD commodities for $17 and the refill pouches come in a 100 variety pack for $5, another steal of a deal and it has worked well for me for a couple of years, unfortunately I could not find a link to this online.) You can also use contact paper or packing tape to laminate them even cheaper! The lamination really enhances the color and will protect the bookmarks (and your books) from color migration. I also wanted to mention the there is another watercolor pencil by Caran d’ache called “museum” which are more light-fast and expensive that are probably better in quality. I did not know about them when I ordered these or I would have bought a few to compare. I do not know how light-fast these are but the laminating will help prevent fading.

DCF 1.0

I think I see more bookmarks in my future! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Paint with me! Cherry Blossoms!

Hi friends! I have lost track of my weekend! No blog post yesterday so I intended to get this post up this morning so you would have time to paint with me before the weekend was over but alas time got away. Girl Scout cookies came in and we had to get them sorted and accounted for before we delivered. I had a box of caramel delights left over at the end and I just about came unglued before finding the bag it was missing from. The thought of opening every order I had bagged up to find the delinquent cookies would have put me over the edge. I am so glad it was missing from the first bag I checked. Phew, time to relax and blog. Better late then never right? Grab a waterproof black pen, watercolor and paper and let’s paint a springy picture!

I really like the way my lighting looked in this video, I was experimenting with an adjustment in my editing software (it was over 20 minutes and my camera starts a new file after 20 minutes so i had to edit those bits together anyway) and it seems to brighten the picture without washing out the colors so it is more true to life. What do you think? I also used a different setting on my camera. There is always something new to learn even after 900+ videos, there is always something new to keep it fun! I hope you enjoyed this watercolor play-date and til next time 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!

Stamp with me in Springfield!

Hi friends! I just wanted to give you the heads up that I will {hopefully} be teaching 2 stamping and watercolor classes at the Heirloom Stamp Show in West Springfield  Massachusetts in June. Are you going? I’d love to meet you! I have so much fun there every year! I wanted to make sure my blog readers get first dibs on the class (only 16 students are allowed in each class) so if you want to be notified when sign ups are posted leave a comment on my class page and I will let you know. The classes will likely be on June 5th or they could be held on the 6th or 7th. Who knows, maybe they would let me repeat the class on Sunday if the Friday spots fill up…now that would be cool! Here is a preview of the two classes:

DCF 1.0 DCF 1.0

Please visit my class page for more info and samples. If there is a good response I might teach at other conventions! If you are wondering if there is a Heirloom Stamp Show in your area you can visit their website  or Facebook page (you could also tell them how much you’d love to take my class! Just kidding….not kidding, tell them! Kidding…not.) I hope you are finding some time to be crafty this weekend. It is snowing again up here in Maine (shocking) so I think we will be inside and crafty tomorrow! Thanks so much for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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