Monday, July 24, 2017

therapeutic coloring watercolor flowers

Hello my fabulous friends!

Today I have a super quick post...  

I don't have process photos... this was just an exercise in art therapy.  This past weekend was pretty stressful. My mom is in the hospital, and had to have a major surgery... She is doing good, but I've been a bit of a wreck! So I spent time with my stamps and markers to help calm my soul. Art really is very therapeutic! 

Paper: Strathmore Bristol, DCWV Holiday Glitz
Ink: VersaMark; VersaFine Onyx Black; Sharpie Pen; Chameleon Olive Green (OL3); Zig Clean Color Bright Yellow (052), Carmine Red (022), Light Carmine (021), Pale Pink (028), Light Gray (091), Gray Brown (094), Mid Green (046), Olive Green (043), Mid Brown (065)
Other: Pretty Pink Posh Sparkling Clear Sequins, clear embossing powder

While I know the colors aren't exactly the same as the colors in the Altenew challenge, that really was my jumping off point... I just ended up adding in some yellow to my corals and pinks. A few months ago, I was over at my parents' house and noticed some flowers on the table... My dad had brought home a bouquet of flowers for my mom.... in it, there were roses that were a mix of coral and yellow. They were so pretty! Looking at the Altenew inspiration picture, I couldn't help but remember those roses in my mom's kitchen. 


Well, I'm off to organize my studio... or color... you know, whichever. :)

Enjoy!
~Kassi

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

blooming heart animation...

Hello my fabulous friends!

I got some happy mail today.... my order of the NEW dies from Uchi's Design, along with a stamp set that isn't like any other stamp set I own.

Animation dies and stamps!!!


Ink: Altenew Frosty Pink, Coral Berry, Crimson, Frayed Leaf, Forest Glades; Smooch Gold Lame
Dies: Uchi's Design Animation Grid Banner; Paper Craft Muli Bow; Art C Jar & Label; Altenew Vintage Roses, Vintage Flowers
Other: Ranger Foil Tape


The concept behind this kind of animation is simple and has been around for a really long time... However, it's awesome to see it appearing in the card/scrapbooking market in a SUPER easy way!

Let's take a quick look...

For this card, I'm using the Animation Grid Banner die.  

Step 1: Die cut your grid. I cut mine out of white card stock to keep things simple, but you can use any color you want... 

Step 2: Create your outer panel. Basically, you need a window where your animated stamp will be, and a small slider slot. A light penciled center line will help you line things up. Use your grid banner to figure out the size of the window you want and where the slider slot needs to be based on what dies you are using to create them... I just went through my dies and found some dies that would work... You can hand cut a  window and slot if you prefer.


Step 3: Stack two squares of foam tape on top of each other on the tab...This is what is going to create the slider. 


Step 4: Test your slider mechanism... Place the grid behind the outer panel with the foam squares in the slider slot... Test to make sure it moves easily (but not too much wiggle side to side since the grid needs to stay straight for the animation to work), and make sure that when your slider is all the way up and all the way down down, only the grid shows in the window. 

Step 5: Lay your outer panel on your card base and lightly pencil in your window.

Step 6: Stamp your animation stamp in the window making sure to keep the lines straight up and down to match your grid.

*Sidenote: Yes, you can animate other stamps using these dies!!! There are more steps involved, including making a mask, and stamping multiple times. Using Uchi's animation stamps is the simplest way to get comfortable with figuring out all the moving parts... animating other stamps using these dies is a tutorial for another post.

Step 7: Test your stamped image by laying your grid and outer panel over the card base and sliding the slider back and forth to make sure everything lines up correctly.

Step 8: Decorate!!! I used a bunch of different Altenew Stamps...


Step 9: Glue your outer panel onto your card base by putting foam tape or adhesive around the very outer edges, making sure you leave enough room for the grid to move how it needs to. Place your grid on your card base and carefully press your outer panel over it, making sure your foam squares are sticking out of the slider slot, and that you don't get any glue on the grid.... 

Step 10: To finish it off, test again to make sure everything is working right, and decorate the top of your slider mechanism.... I used a butterfly. 

*Sidenote: You may want to include some arrows by your slider mechanism so whoever gets the card knows how to work it... I realized that a little late for this card, but it is something to think about. 

I'm having lots of fun playing with this fun way of adding movement and interaction in cards. I hope you do too!

Enjoy!
~Kassi

Sunday, July 16, 2017

adding depth with colored pencils...

Hello my fabulous friends!

As you know, I recently got a whole big set of Chameleon pens. Alcohol markers are fairly new to me... as in, this year.  I'm still learning. 

I've been spending a lot of time online trying to pick up techniques and pointers on working with alcohol markers.. I've also spent a lot of time playing and practicing.... For every project you see me post, I guarantee there are TONS of practice images on scrap paper scattered over my table so I can test and try colors, blends, techniques, etc. that you never see!

This week, I wanted to experiment with some no line coloring, and using colored pencils over the alcohol markers to create more dimension. (I also did some experimenting with color layering...)


I used two shades of gray Chameleon Pens to build my shadows, then colored over that with Crimson Red... Then went back in with more gray, and more red... until I was happy. Once the whole flower was done I added deeper shadows with black and red colored pencils, and lightened some areas with white.

 I'll be honest, I'm using super cheap kiddie colored pencils... It's what I have. They didn't blend well, nor could I build many layers with them.  That being said, I LOVE the depth and detail the colored pencil gives to the overall look!

 It's definitely something I will keep using,  and a set of good colored pencils is now on my wish list!

Paper: Georgia Pacific 110# white card stock, Paper Studio Glam Glitter 
Stamps: Altenew Amazing You
Ink: Clearly Kelly, Altenew Crimson, Chameleon Pens Warm Gray 7 (WG7), Warm Gray 3 (WG3), Crimson Red (RD4), Olive Green (OL3), Peony Pink (PK4), Colorless Blender (CB), Detail Pen (D)
Other: Colored Pencils, Pretty Pink Posh Sparkling Clear Sequins (3mm & 4mm)

Here's a close up of the finished flowers and leaves.. Not perfect, but I'm learning! 

The Sequins were tinted pink by coloring them with Peony Pink Chameleon pen... I love that I can make clear sequins any color I want with alcohol markers!


Today's card was inspired by Altenew's July Inspiration Challenge... 


I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Enjoy!
~Kassi


Friday, July 7, 2017

polka dots and birthday cards...

Hello my fabulous friends!

This week's weather has been beautiful, and calling out for a little exploring...

This beautiful spot was found when my friend and I decided to walk a dirt road we had never explored before... The road was short and ended in a little camp spot above the river... When we followed the steep dirt trial (complete with an old rope) down to the river, we found this....  
  

After spending time at the river, I was ready to spend time working on next year's birthday cards...

Ink: Distress Ink Salty Ocean, Memento Tuxedo Black, Chameleon Pens, Chameleon Color Tops
Stamps: My Favorite Things "Up in the Air"
Dies: My Favorite Things "Up in the Air"

People may think I'm slightly crazy, but when you need to have 110 birthday cards & gifts, and 75 Christmas cards & gifts done for church by mid December, you gotta start thinking about it early.... 

I needed to keep the design fairly simple (since I have to make so many) but I also wanted it to be fun, after all, this is for the kids!

The background was done by blending Salty Ocean Distress ink over the edges of the card. These adorable images are from My Favorite Things "Up in the Air"...  They are colored in using Chameleon Pens and Chameleon Color Tops.

The Chameleon Pens and Tops let me get the beautiful color changes on the balloon, and the highlights and shadows on the elephant quickly and easily. While I know the coloring is fairly basic, I have to make a ton of these, so simple is my friend!

To add a little more interest, I decided to make the flags polka-dotted...


I started out by coloring in eery other flag with Lavender... Nothing fancy, just filling in the flags with color...
Then I colored the remaining flags with Turquoise... again, nothing fancy, just solid color

Here comes the magic... Using the bullet tip of the Colorless Blender, I just dotted the flags... This lightened the color in those dots creating fun polka dots in no time at all! 

Now that I have my prototype done, I only need to make about 109 more... LOL!

Guess I better get busy!

Enjoy!
~Kassi





Thursday, June 29, 2017

Chameleon pens and tops...

Hello my fabulous friends!

I'm sorry I've been MIA lately... It's been a little crazy around my house. Both my sisters came to visit with their babies, and we've been getting my mom ready for major surgery.

I've also been so busy playing with my latest addition to my art supplies that I haven't really been finishing projects as much as experimenting and learning.  

My birthday present finally came!!!


The complete set of Chameleon Color Tone pens! Aren't they pretty???

You've seen me work with these a little in the past, but I only had 5 pens...

And the NEW Chameleon Color Tops!!! They are the same colors as the pens, but are total game changers!

So, what are the Color Tops?

Well, if you recall from my last Chameleon Pen post (HERE), the color tone pens come with a mixing chamber on the top filled with clear blending solution. By putting either the bullet or brush nib of the marker into the mixing chamber and holding it vertically (with the clear on top), you are able to dilute the original color to just a hint of a tint, and as you color out, the color works it's way back to the original color... giving you a beautiful one color gradation. 

Awesome!

Then comes Color Tops...

They are the EXACT same thing as the mixing chamber that comes on each pen but instead of being filled with clear blending solution, it has COLORED ink..
(the same ink as the pens, so they are also refillable!)

So you can now go from a light to dark (or dark to light) using two colors instead of having white as your highlight (I LOVE that!)
You can mix colors that you generally can't mix without getting a muddy mess... like Tangerine and Turquoise... Simple smooth transition!
You can go from BLACK to a Red... Or red to black... again with a smooth transition.
You can transition between two similar colors like a purple and blue...

You can even stack multiple colors... like yellow-orange-red


And...

You can still throw the clear mixing chamber into the mix!
So many possibilities!


Usually I stick to finished projects, or tutorials with finish projects... but I've decided to share a little of my learning process for these pens. The fact is, they do have a bit of a learning curve... It's not too hard to get the basics down of creating a gradation, but to get the detail and control that I want, it is taking some time to figure out. I'm ok with that though. I didn't expect to be a master right out of the box. I enjoy the learning process. 

I'm still experimenting and learning with these pens, but here's something to get you started...

I'm using Mama Elephant "Lunar Animals" stamp set, stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black ink (good for alcohol markers), on cheap Georgia Pacific white card stock.

Let's do a monkey... my nephew's birthday is coming up and I think a monkey card would be fun!

Started by adding some pink to the cheeks.. I'm using the bullet nib of PK3 at full strength for this. I like to dot for a softer edge. 

Ok... for the face, I used the NU3 pen with the NUOO Color Top...

If you read my last Chameleon Pen post, than you probably know how I colored the face....
 Start with the light color in the middle, and work your way down.
Fuse again.
Start with the light color in the middle and work your way up.
Fuse again.
Start with the light color in the middle and work your way left.
Fuse again.
Start with the light color in the middle and work your way right.

This should leave you with a lighter area in the middle of the face and darker edges... you can fine tune that technique to fit what you are coloring to achieve lights and darks where you want them... I'm just keeping it simple for this little guy. 

Notice going over the pink softened it.... but it didn't lose them... That's why I like to dot... Blending on the paper won't always get rid of all your lines. 


Ok... Now For the head and body... I used the BR5 pen with the BR1 Color Top

I love that the Color tops let me get a beautiful gradation without any white areas.

Some PK2 in the ears, and BK4 on the nose... And this little guy is good to go!

Isn't he cute?
I added some white highlights on the nose and eyes for a little extra pop. I used a tiny bit of acrylic paint because I don't have a white gel pen that works.... I REALLY need to get me a new white gel pen!

I know this is a very simple example, but since I'm still learning these pens, I had to start somewhere. 

I understand that these pens aren't for everyone. But I'm enjoying them!

Have a wonderful day!

Enjoy!
~Kassi



Saturday, May 20, 2017

rough masking...

Hello my fabulous friends!

Today I wanted to challenge myself... Not just by participating in a challenge, but stretching myself beyond my normal comfortable rut...  Not that there is anything wrong with a nice rut, but sometimes you need to step out of it and try new things.

Stamps: Essentials By Ellen Fancy Thanks, Bokeh Dots, Courage
Ink: Altenew Sand Dunes, Frayed Leaf, Deep Iris, Lavender Fields; Clearly Kelly Urban set 

I very seldom do a true single layer card... as in, the stamping is done right on the front of the card base... I think it's because if I stamp on a separate panel, I don't have to be quite as afraid of messing up the whole card... But I wanted to challenge myself a little. 

I actually had a lot of fun with it!

I started out by stamping the sentiment. No, I didn't need to use a MISTI for this, but I wanted a nice crisp impression, and the MISTI ensures that if the first try is slightly splotch it can be fixed, no problem. 

Next I added three sketchy circles.. I LOVE these circles! They are so fun! 

The three-some arranged in a triangle is a common design principle that reliably looks pleasing to the eye. Odd numbers and visual triangles just tend to look good. 

 It's one of those things you learn in art class...

Next I added some clusters of flowers. These flowers are layers from the new Courage set. 

This set was designed to support Breast Cancer Research. This means a lot to me. I've known several women who have fought breast cancer. Both my Grandmothers died from cancer. My dad had cancer years ago (he's been in the clear for a good 10 plus years!). And currently my mom is fighting colon cancer. Cancer is such a horrible disease that affects SO many people in many different ways. Research gets us closer to a cure.. And a cure to one kind of cancer gets us just that much closer to a cure to other kinds of cancer. Together we can win a war that no one, on their own, could hope to beat. 

(sorry for the soapbox... back to stamping...)

Normally I am a meticulous masker... In other words, when I build scenes I start with the image in the fore front, then carefully mask it to add things in behind.... I wanted to stretch myself, so I didn't mask the flowers at all... They are layered right on top of the circles, and you can see the circles through the flowers... 

At first it really bothered me... (I'm a BIT of a perfectionist....) But when I let myself just relax with it, I ended up liking the look and the freedom of not having to mask.

I did do a LITTLE rough masking... I've been watching some videos of people building backgrounds using this technique... Where you mask your image (in this case my flower), but only very roughly. Instead of stamping the flower on another paper and fussy cutting it so it covers the image perfectly, I just tore a piece of post-it note into the approximate curve of the flower and went with it. 

It isn't perfect, but I really wanted to see if I could do the technique and like it. I love the results in other people's projects, but I wasn't sure I could pull it off... (did I mention I'm a bit of a perfectionist? LOL!)

Ok... Here's a close up of some of the stamping. 

I really liked the sketchy, imperfect look of not doing detailed masking.. And it has the benefit of being far less stressful and time consuming! Apparently masking is one of the reasons cards take me so long to make... This one was super fast and easy!

 This project was inspired by Ellen Hutson's PinSights challenge for May.. 
Aren't those colors just GORGEOUS???

There's plenty of time left to join in this challenge... 

Enjoy!
~Kassi

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

a little different blending...

Hello my fabulous friends!

I just wanted to stop in real quick today to share what I've been working on today (in-between the yard work and house cleaning)...

Stamps: Altenew Garden Treasure; Essentials By Ellen Fancy Thanks
Dies: Spellbinders Belly Band One
Paper: Strathmore Bristol; Heartfelt Creations Daphne Collection
Other: Pretty Pink Posh Sparkling Clear sequins, clear embossing powder


In the details...
Like I often do, I started out by stamping the images on Bristol paper with VersaMark ink and heat embossing with clear embossing powder. I didn't color it the same way I usually do though.. I wanted a more distinctive color change from the pink to the yellow than my usual technique would give. So, I started out by scribbling a little Light Brown Zig Clean Color at the base of a petal, and a little Pale Rose Clean Color at the top of the petal. I then took my water brush and blended the Light Brown up about a third of the way, and cleaned the brush. I then blended the Pale Rose down about a third of the way. I then used the middle third to blend the two colors together. I dabbed off excess water from the center portion to make the colors lighter. I did that for each petal. I really like the soft blend between the two colors!

The leaves and remaining flowers where more my usual color layering.

The clear sequins were colored using my Peony Pink Chameleon Pen. I love doing this.. it turns out so pretty!  

I wanted to give the card a bit of a tattered and vintage feel, so I inked around the edges with Antique Linen Distress Ink. I then scruffed up the edges and went over the very edges of with a little Ground Espresso Distress Ink. I then took it over to my sewing machine and did a basic stitch around the edge. 

It's been a while since I've done that. My sewing machine has probably  been feeling rather neglected... Isn't it funny how our go-to techniques change? Re-visiting old favorites can be a lot of fun, and a great way to mix things up if you feel you're in a rut, or have creator's block...

I hope you have a wonderful day!

Enjoy!
~Kassi
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