Saturday, February 26, 2011

Have you seen my missing mojo?

If so, would you ask it (ever so nicely) to return to me? Thanks, I'd appreciate it! ;D
I will admit that I've spent much of what I had on a new blog background. Which isn't perfect yet, but *is* a WIP that I intend to finish up soon!
I do have a card to show you. Not spectacular, but worth showing I think. Somehow it went completely sideways - you see, it didn't want to be what I intended! I was trying for the Neutral Shadows technique again, but a little altered. Well, look:
I stamped the image on a piece of asian newspaper (that I adhered to white c/s for strength) and embossed it with white powder. Using a small stippling brush I added Antique Linen Distress Ink around the branches and a little Peeled Paint to the leaves (which is not a part of the technique, but I couldn't resist). It didn't look the way I wanted it to - in fact it was *ugly* - so I spritzed it with Perfect Pearl Mist and set it aside to dry.
The background was another piece of the paper (again, backed with white c/s) and edged with more Antique Linen. I found the soft green ribbon in my stash and added it to the card. Once I added the main stamped panel I realized that it was too blah looking. I found some soft green Radiant Pearls in my stash and brushed some *very* diluted color over the back panel.
The white embroidery thread and asian inspired coin were the final touch before adhering the whole thing to a white base.
So. Not at all what I wanted, and certainly not as exciting as I planned. But in the end I think it works fairly well.
Thanks for dropping by!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Returning to a more familiar style

Recently I've been doing a lot of coloring with pencils and copics. There is always so much to learn - new techniques, old techniques that I've never done, new mediums... you name it! Don't get me wrong, I love to try new ways to do things, but sometimes I start to feel like a "jack of all trades, master of none". How about you?
This week I returned to my inky roots (no, my actual roots didn't get inky!) and got my hands dirty. Boy, were they dirty! :D
This gorgeous image is from a set by Hampton Art that I found at Michael's (they have a 50% off coupon this week!) recently. I paired it with a technique from the new TJ newsletter - Neutral Shadows. I think it would have gone a lot easier if I actually had stencil brushes (which I bought a GIANT set at JoAnn's tonight for $2.99 - expect to see this technique again!) to do it with. The stamp was embossed with white powder on white paper then (theoretically) brushed with a neutral color of ink (I used Pumice Stone DI). I couldn't leave it looking quite so plain IRL, so even though you can't see it here (I say that a lot, don't I?) it was spritzed with Ranger's new Perfect Pearl mist and sparkles like crazy!
The background piece started out as a plain piece of white c/s, run through the Clockworks embossing folder with Pumice Stone ink on one side. While the ink was still wet I dusted it with Heirloom Gold perfect pearls then spritzed it with Midnight Blue Glimmer Mist (instead of water) to set the perfect pearls. The piece(s) down the side are a Cuttlebug die cut - unfortunately they don't put any label on their products so I don't know the name of this die/set and I couldn't find it on the Provo Craft site. It's actually two of the same edge die, heavily colored with Pumice Stone and dusted with perfect pearls to match the background.
Although the stamp set came with some gears, they were too intricate for me to feel comfortable cutting them out. Instead I inked up the embossing folder again and used that to stamp on a piece of grunge board and cut that out (once it was cut out I inked it heavily and dusted with pp also). The world nail head was silver and didn't look good at all, but that was fixed with a quick dab of Latte alcohol ink. It isn't clear in the photo, but there was a bit of black lace woven through the teeth of the nail head before I attached it with pop dots to the gear.
The final element was the black enamel accents. I found a flourish that I liked, embossed it on a piece of leftover acetate and used that for a piercing template on the card. I didn't pierce deeply, just a pin prick! Once I had the design ready I went along dotting with the enamel accents (whoops, do *not* pay any attention to the flub!) I also used some white enamel accents along the side (on the die cut), but it was much too stark so I dusted those with even *more* perfect pearls while still wet!
I'll admit, this card looks pretty cool in the picture. Trust me on this, IRL it's shiny and dimensional and very, very cool! I *love* it! And I loved getting my hands dirty! :D
Thanks for dropping by!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Another Just Some Lines

What can I say? This little girl image from Just Some Lines has the *best* hair for me to learn how to color! :) I have practiced on some other images, but they're not ready for their public debut yet (heh, or maybe ever). You should know, there is *at least* one more card with this little girl coming - with black hair (yup, I think I've got it figured out! woo hoo!).
So, as I said last time, I watched a great video about coloring brown hair on YouTube. I'll admit that it isn't perfect - but it is far, far better than anything I've managed to produce when left to my own devices! ;)
Once again I used the Level Up technique from TJ - this one came together a little better than the last. It's just a matter of learning where to cut your layers and which parts will look best on top. This particular one only has her legs colored on the base image. Then a layer with the shoes, the dress and her face. A layer with her hair and arm next, followed (finally!) with the top layer of hair. I think I left enough support this time! ;)
In case you're interested in this sort of thing, I used E25, E33, E51 & a touch of E57 for her hair. I also used C9 & 7 for her shoes, BG10 & 72 for her dress and E00 & 21 for her skin. Unfortunately it's almost impossible to see that the flower in her hair and the one in her hand was colored with red Smooch.
The base layer of the image was stamped with the Hero Arts Friends definition stamp (after I masked her legs) with Scattered Straw distress ink. Once that was dry I stamped the HA polka dot background and heat embossed with an embossing powder from Cow Town called "Cow of Many Colors" - isn't that a great name? :) It changes color the longer you heat it - which is why some of the dots look almost green/blue and some look orange/gold. Awesome!
The base layer was cut with nesties first - then I glued on all the layers for the little girl. Running it through my 'bug with all the layers seems to smash it down a bit - and I didn't work this hard just to smash it! *lol*
After it was cut I edged the panel with a little Antique Linen Distress Ink, added a bit of lace and some pearls and called it done. You can tell that I popped it up a bit over the dotty background paper. What you can't tell is that the yellow of the definition stamp and the yellow layer actually go very well together. They very, very nearly match.
I swear the camera has a mind of it's own. *sigh*
Thanks for dropping by!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Two different looks

First, let me say that these two cards are the *same* card. I bought an adorable image from Just Some Lines and couldn't wait to color her. :) I used a Technique Junkies technique called Level up - which requires a significant amount of fussy cutting (not my favorite thing to do!) but allows me to color messily. This particular image was printed four times on a sheet of paper, then certain parts of the image were colored, cut out and adhered over the base image. Make sense? ;)
As you can tell, the scrapbook paper I used for the last card I posted was still on my table. So I used that for the color palette, mat and flower accents. The girl was colored with a mish mash of pencils and OMS - Copics around the edges. The sentiment was printed on a sheet of card stock and cut out with a nestie. Of course I used the same 'dotty' technique around it - it looked a little too plain without! Some smooch and pearls on the flowers and part of one of those swirly flourishes and I thought I was done.
A bit later, I was trying to color black hair on a different image. Oy! Now *there* is something that truly defeats me! I finally got the bright idea to see if there were any tutorials on YouTube - sure enough, I found a couple (that I will attempt to try at a later date) that made it look
doable. Somehow I ended up watching several different videos about coloring hair, mostly with Copics, and I found this one. I pulled out several of my Copics (close to, but not exactly the same numbers as she uses) and gave it a try. Wow! It being my first try I wasn't expecting much - but I was amazed at the results. Unfortunately, (a) the hair was colored with markers and looked too vibrant with the girl done in pencil; and (b) I was working on a girl that was printed about 1/2 inch larger than the original image used on this card. *sigh* (I am working on a Copic colored version of this card - look for it sometime soon.)
The good thing about watching the video was that it gave me some ideas about coloring hair - even with pencils. However, there was no way I was going to be able to match the size of the image again exactly (save those files!) and I just didn't want to waste a bunch of time trying to get close enough.
So I did what any crafty crafter would do... I used an eraser! ;D
I erased a roundish section of hair in the middle of that larger area and a smaller section on her bangs. After adding some yellow, red & brown to those sections I went back and added a touch of black to the ends and where her part would lay. Not a lot! Just enough to give it some more contrast and dimension.
Aside from the fact that this picture is better (go figure - this one was taken *inside* because it is literally 5 degrees outside today and the other was taken *outside* a few days ago when it was nearly 70 degrees) I can honestly say that she looks more dimensional to me. How about to you?
Thanks for dropping by!