Live out Loud

I have students already!!  Thank you so much to everyone who has signed up to my classes – yay!  I’m actually feeling rather relieved as well because I was going through that moment of self doubt you get before the first guest turns up at a party.  Will anyone actually come?!?!?!!

It’s a joy to see some familar and not so familiar names and I’m really excited about spending five weeks playing with stamps teaching you some of my favourite techniques.  (Did I say ‘playing’ out loud …?)

Talking of out loud, if you are signed up to the Graphicus email newsletter, you may have spotted this card in your inbox earlier today.

Hundreds of people contacted us (well, ok, about six) to ask where they could find the sentiment shown on the card.  It’s from this set

called Live Out Loud which you can find on the website here.  The sentiment is one of my all time favourites and definitely a Desert Island Stamps must have.

Smokey and the Bandit

Monday is usually a good bunneh-watch day as I work from home on a Monday, so I can keep the camera to hand ready to snap any likely wildlife.  However these bunnies have been evading me all weekend and it seems they like to pose for Adrian as he managed to snap these two this morning.

Don’t you just want to scritch that cute little belly!!

I’m delighted to see the Essence of Nature contest entries rolling in – I tried to leave some comments over the weekend, but Blogger got a bit shirty with me and kept telling me there was a problem, so I will have another go when there’s less internet traffic, see if that helps.

Meanwhile, I’m incredibly frustrated that I haven’t got a lot to show you art wise at the moment.  I’m working on loads of stuff and have been churning it out, but it’s either for new stuff that isn’t released or it’s for my online classes which I can’t share either.

However, here’s a card that was made last year that the Guild had in their newsletter, but I don’t think I ever showed it here.

It was made with this stamp set called Bird Song.

It’s a lovely little set and I just realised while looking it up that it’s on special offer at the moment.  Well there you go, I honestly hadn’t remembered that when I picked out the photo.

Well I better get back to all that work I mentioned, but I might just have a quick bunneh check first …

Copic Practice

The final instruction on our Copic class was to practice a lot!  So I have been a good pupil and have been busy playing practising.

This first card is one that I started at our last open days, before I took the class.  It’s using the Seashell Collage themeplate and I’ve since tweaked it a little, added some splodges of green seaweed around the base of the posts and a touch of Angelwings Shimmerz paint to the seagull.

It is stamped with Tuxedo Black Memento ink onto glossy card.  Now glossy isn’t always the best card to use with Copic markers as it is not very absorbent and doesn’t take long for the colour to build up on the surface and stop blending.  However, as I was going for a steaky look deliberately to get the effect of waves, that was fine for this card.

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The background paper is from the Damask Delights CD and the coloured image has been layered onto white card embossed with the bird swirl Cuttlebug folder.  The deep turquoise card has one edge punched with a gorgeous new EK success punch I found in America (coming soon to the Graphicus shop/website).

Here’s  a close up of the colouring:

copic seagulls

Here’s another style of bird altogether – it’s Oliver Twitter and friends!

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This is stamped onto a matt white card and puts into practice a couple of blending techniques that we learned on the class.  The sky is done with the clear blender pen and a couple of shades of blue.  (I’m sorry I can’t tell you what colours I used on any of these projects, they were done without tutorials in mind, so I didn’t make any notes of colours as I was working.  I will do some tutorials in future posts with notes of what colours I use.)  The blue has been faded into the white with the blender pen – it definitely takes practice to get this one right.  The shadow at the base of the tree also uses the blender pen – I saturated the area with the blender pen before using the warm greys to create the shadow, then used the green and the blender pen again to ‘bleed’ the colour and give it a soft edge.

The brown patterned paper in the background is Basic Grey Phoebe (or Pheobe as they’ve spelled it on the packaging?!).  It seemed to have the right quirkiness for the stamp.

Finally, here is the beautiful hyacinth and it was a real challenge to do the glass of water.

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I need to practice this one a bit more, the glass needs a little more shading to make it look curved.  I’m pleased with the hyacinth itself though.  This was stamped onto the pearlescent card that we put in our Essential card pack.  It’s a beautiful card that I use a lot, but not ideal for Copics as the absorbency is a little patchy because of the tiny flakes of mica that are mixed into the card itself.  The stamped piece has been edged with one of the same Copic pens that I used to colour with.  The chisel end of the Ciao markers are great for running around the edge of a piece of card.  I liked it so much I layered it onto white and edged that too to give the double frame.  The background card is one I’ve had for ages from Craftwork Cards and is embossed with twinkly flowers all over.

I have two magazine deadlines this week and as usual, I can’t put those on the blog until after they have been published which is a long time in the future.  So I may go a bit quiet, but at some point, I will share a very  colourful pair of photographs of Adrian and I in Florida.  I’m just waiting to see how big the bribe gets from Adrian to NOT publish the one of him …

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PS – for those asking, I have now lost 10lb since changing my eating habits.  We did allow ourselves a naughty weekend though as we were working at a food festival, so we saved up some spare calories and I enjoyed a beautiful strawberry cupcake on Saturday and the most divine raspberry pavlova ice cream today.  Mmmmm…..

Birthday Bird

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This card has been sat around in pieces for weeks – a relic of the mountain of prep that goes into a TV show.  Each time I get back from filming, I’m faced with this chaotic pile of the bits that didn’t make it, the poor relations and the extra (“here’s one I did earlier”) pieces that never ended up being used.

People often ask me about cards I do on TV and I have a confession to make now, well two actually.  Firstly we don’t have Sky, so I  never see the shows on TV myself.  Secondly, after filming a show, my brain seems to shut down and I often can’t remember even the next day what I actually did.  I seem to have selective TV amnesia – I even asked my GP about it once a few years ago and she asked what I had for breakfast – I couldn’t remember if I’d had toast or cereal.  She told me to come back if it ever got to the stage when I couldn’t remember if I’d even had breakfast or not!

So if you ever stop me in the street and compliment me on a specific card I made on a show, I will smile vacantly and thank  you politely.  But if you ask how it was made, I’ll probably start to sweat and tremble before blurting out “it wasn’t me” in a blind panic.  It’s certainly got me into some interesting conversations at work, not least when I’ve been confused with someone else (you are the blond one aren’t you?).

Anyway, this little orphaned bird piece here sat for weeks in my ‘bits’ box and last night I was trying really hard to tidy up and ignore the pile of new stamps on the table that needed testing.   Somehow one of the greetings found it’s way onto an acrylic block and next thing you know the teal blue StazOn was eagerly pressing up against it whispering “play with me … you know you want to”.

So my crafter’s logic decreed that I could have a temporary break from the tidying if I actually made a completed card instead of adding to the bits box.  Ta-dah!  A finished card. If I remember rightly (and I think we’ve just established that my memory can’t be relied on) the background is brayered with Fresh Greens Kaleidacolor, then overstamped with the same inkpad using the collage background from one of the Butterfly Collage sets, before the main image was stamped in black StazOn.

The blue swirly background isn’t showing up too well in the photo as the flash has bounced off it – it’s Brilliance inks and the funky doodle swirls – another piece from the bits box.  Actually, that piece was far too small for the card, so what looks like one long background strip is actually a very small strip at the top and a bigger one at the bottom.  Very thrifty!

Well, I’ve put off the tidying long enough.  I have crafty friends visiting at the weekend, so have to have the room tidied.  I may be some time …

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