Friday, August 18, 2017

Clancy and the cats

The commissioned pieces continue - I shipped this little Schnoodle off to his family in Montana this week... this is a mini 5"x7" portrait, which is a sweet little size.

My current project is this larger mixed media portrait of two kitties - you may recognize them if you follow Lydia on social media!

Still many layers to go, but it's coming together, and it's always exciting to see these precious animals come to life. You can follow my progress HERE and find out more about ordering your own piece HERE!

Cheers! Have a great weekend!
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Splitcoast Tutorial: Vertical Step Card

 This week's tutorial over on Splitcoast was one that had been requested several times - one of my authors needed a prompt, so I asked if she'd be willing to give it a try. Not only did she create a Vertical Step Card tutorial, she made it soooo easy!

Robin created a piercing template for the cut and score lines - I was surprised how quickly the base of this card was DONE! Hope you'll try it out. You could decorate every surface of the card, and I've seen them done with letters down the steps as well - I just wanted to use the step feature to add dimension to this little underwater scene. I made it using dies from Impression Obsession, and some backgrounds I had stacked up from an experiment that I abandoned.

Here are some better views of the pop-out feature of the card - it does fold flat for mailing in a regular A2 envelope, which is brilliant.

Impression Obsession stamps and dies I used: Fish Set, Mini Shell Set, Sea Plants, Beach Silhouettes clear set

If you're looking for something new, this is a fun one to try!
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Whimsy Stamps guest designer!

I have a few cards to share using images from Whimsy Stamps - look for a feature of their stamps every few months here! I just can't help myself.

I offered a peek at some of these cards the other day in my ink review, but I really wanted them to have their own glory day. This card was made using stamps from the Christmas Scene Builder set, but I wanted something that wasn't really holiday themed. Here's the set - so many possibilities!

I started this background by swiping ink across a piece of watercolor paper, then misting the panel and adding some kosher salt while it dried. The cityscape is stamped twice, but the first impression is grey and doesn't show very well. The moon is die cut and piece in (I added the watercoloring to cover a spot), and the stars are embossed with white detail powder.

This second card was also made with the same set - I have a handcut stencil that I used for the hill areas - I sponged the hills lightly and stamped the trees over the edge of the stencil, then misted each layer to activate the ink. 

I stamped some snow using white acrylic paint, just for a little more depth to the scene.

This second set is a brand new one from Whimsy - the artist isn't new to the team, but she's stepping out from the digital section with a couple of gorgeous clear sets. 

This one is called Summer Blooms, and it was such a fun pairing with my lifetime supply of Flower Soft.

I shared my technique the other day for the background - here's a closer look. I scored the lines first, then used grey, brown, and black ink to create a woodgrain effect.

By the way, if you love these images or love to color, and you're looking for a design team position, Whimsy has an open call for designers! You can find all the details HERE.

Thanks for visiting me today! 

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 11, 2017

More commissioned portraits, people portraits, and ordering information!

Since the first dog portrait I posted, I've had more requests, and I'm having so much fun over here! Keep reading if you'd like me to commemorate someone special in your life. Here are 2 more dogs that I've had the privilege to draw (check my Instagram feed for progress shots!) - Here's Peanut, a sweet Jack Russell terrier...

And this is Molly, a Maltese mix...

And then on a whim between pets, I dug out an old picture of my son to see if I could do people, and well....

So I've set up a page with ordering information and some price estimates, and you'll find the link to that page below and also at the top of the left column here on my blog - if you're interested in commissioning artwork, please fill out the form you'll find at the bottom of the page, and you will be added to my waiting list. You'll be able to see your place and my progress there. Portraits make great gifts, so you may want get your name in early if you have a holiday gift in mind!

I'm learning so much, and I'm so grateful for the new direction and encouragement I've received - doing the portrait of my son reminded me just how special these keepsake portraits really are, and it's an honor for me to be able to preserve your memories in this way. Thanks for looking!
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Impression Obsession DT Challenge: Orange and Turquoise

The Impression Obsession team's challenge today is to create a project using orange and turquoise as a color challenge.

I dug into my scrap stash for this card, piecing strips of orange paper together for the sky...

...and a sample piece from my Watercolor Imprints tutorial for the water at the bottom - that one is done with Distress Oxide inks.

Stamps and dies I used: Heron & Lake die, CAC Mosaic Tile, Serene Scene clear set

Be sure to check out these other designers' blogs for inspiration -

Anna @ Sassy & Sweet Notes
Chris @ Cat Tales and Paper Trails
Daniela @ For the First Time
Ilina @ Creativity Within
Jeanne @ Inky Paws
Jenny @ One Krafty Kat 
Karen @ Paper Lilies and Ink 
Kelli @ Stamping with a Dream 
Kittie @ Kittie Kraft
Laura @ Laura's Stamp Art Journal
Vicki @ Summerthyme Studio

Remember you can enter these challenges too, using your Impression Obsession stamps! See the I.O. blog for all the details - you might even win a $25 gift certificate!! We'd love to have you join us.
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Product Review: Clearsnap Premium Dye Ink mini pads!

 The Splitcoast Product Focus team has been working for weeks with these adorable mini Premium Dye ink pads from Clearsnap - we'd love for you to come over and see our reviews and samples! This is the color set available now - fun colors with lots of room to expand.

My favorite thing about these mini felt pads is the size - my hands are small, and these are so easy to hang on to!

Here's a peek at the inside - the size of the pad is perfect for quick swipes on a craft sheet or across watercolor paper for backgrounds and faux watercolor effects.

Here are some peeks at what I did with the inks - I'll share the full cards on another day so they get the stage. On the bicycle card I stamped in Mud Pie, then made a small palette with the ink on an acrylic block, and filled in a few of the details and splattered the background.

For the background panel, I scored some lines then swiped down the panel with Mud Pie, Fog and Coal inks for a faux wood grain. A little misting with water brought out some pink tones from the Mud Pie ink - so fun!

This background was done 'direct-to-paper' using Jelly, Fog, and Coal inks, then misted and sprinkled with kosher salt. The skyline was also stamped with Coal ink (several impressions using the MISTI).

For another background, I swiped Fog and Jelly inks on a craft sheet, and laid my watercolor paper into the misted ink for a softer background (this one was salted as well). I used a homemade stencil to sponge in the hills, stamped, and misted again to let the ink bleed just slightly.

Also - remember this card? The girls were stamped in Coal ink and colored with Copic markers - no bleeding!

These inks have all the properties you'd expect of a quality dye ink - water reactive, fast drying, vibrant color, crisp stamped images... in a tidy and cute little package!

Come read our review and see the samples the team has made - they're beautiful! And stay tuned for these cards in a guest post for Whimsy Stamps!

Thanks for stopping by!

Splitcoast Tutorial: Embossed Ribbon

I'm filling this week's tutorial slot with a technique sent in by one of our members, my friend Holly! Did you know you can emboss ribbon with your die cutting machine?

This stamp is one of mine, found HERE, and the die is from one of our new artists at Impression Obsession - it's HERE. I made this sample using silk ribbon, which I felt got the best results, but if you click over to the video you'll see the results on 3 more ribbon types.

The hardest part for me was the drying time - water just doesn't evaporate quickly in between two pieces of plastic! Might be a good evening project, to allow overnight drying. 

Give it a try!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Iris Garden

Just a few more days left for the Dare To Get Dirty challenges over on Splitcoast! It's been fun to connect with our Fan Club and do some unique challenges together. My irises happened to fit perfectly for one of the Dare To Get Dirty challenges today, so I colored it up pink just for fun!

I printed the page at 3" wide (I think that is the size), so I could layer it on my card front. The coloring was done with Copic markers, and the sentiment is one of mine from Impression Obsession.

This image is so versatile and pretty - if you'd like to have one for yourself, you can purchase it for instant download in my store! 

Have a wonderful weekend!
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Splitcoast Tutorial: Step Pop-Up Card

This week's tutorial over on Splitcoast is an elegant Step Pop-Up Card. Here's mine, which fits a couple of our Dare To Get Dirty challenges this week! 

This card is designed to stand on its own, and it's got a pop-up element as well as a little depth for a scene on the inside cover. My background inside the card was done using Clearsnap dye inks spread on a craft sheet, misted and printed. The girls were stamped in the same dye ink, and colored with Copic markers.

I don't normally mix stamps from different companies, but I do relax that rule for challenges like these. The girls are from one of Phyllis Harris's images at Unity Stamp Co, the beach background is from Bad Axe Trading Co. (no longer in business), and the quote stamp is one of my designs that's still available from Our Daily Bread designs. The arch die is from Spellbinders and the fence is from Impression Obsession.

Dare To Get Dirty is a week of fun, challenges, and prizes for our Fan Club members at Splitcoaststampers! So much of our site content is free, but there are some special 'perks' and members-only content for paid members. Dare To Get Dirty is our annual "thank you!" to the members of our Fan Club. This year we are throwing 35 challenges at them in the course of a week! It's a lot of fun behind the scenes, hosting the challenges and encouraging these sweet ladies as they jump in with us and see what it's like to get a little Dirty! Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Pet Portraits - Jake!

I spent some time over the last week working on a commissioned piece for a friend - this was a first for me in many ways, but it was so much fun to put my skills to practice, and to come up with a portrait I'm really proud of! Here's Jake:

I decided to work on matboard, because it's got a great texture, and it's very durable for lots of layers of color. I did my underpainting with watercolors, just to get the blocks of color where I wanted them, and to avoid having white show through where the dog just wasn't white.

From there I moved to colored pencil, and I found that I preferred the harder, oil-based lead of Polychromos pencils. I do have a few other brands mixed in though! These are the colors that I used:

Here's a picture mid-process - if you ever want to follow the progress of my work, please follow me on Instagram! I love sharing over there, and I've got another project ready to go! Here I've started deepening the color in the face and adding in details. I really had to start with the eyes, to give him some life and personality.

After more patient layering, I worked my way down, finishing off with that gorgeous thick ruff. Such a beautiful boy.

If you're interested in having a pet portrait done, please contact me - I'd be happy to work with you!

Thanks for stopping by!