March 11, 2018

Floral Smile Card

I recently saw that The Flower Challenge is looking for a new design team member! So I decided to play along with their latest challenge. It’s pretty easy, Anything Goes!

gold n rose smile card

Think I used enough flowers? Ha Ha! The background paper is by Echo Park and the flower dies are by Altenew. I don’t usually use an odd colour for leaves but this time it seemed to work perfectly. Adding green really wouldn’t have worked although I guess a sage colour might have been ok. The heart die is by Hero Arts and I made the tag by hand but used the reinforcer die from a tag set by Neat n Tangled. No matter how many tag dies I have, I never seem to have he perfect length and width I needed! Does that every happen to you? The stencil I used on the tag is by Prima. And last but not least, the sentiment is by Papertry Ink! I shopped at almost every store in my stash for this one!


I really hope the powers that be at the Flower Challenge enjoy my card. I really enjoy the challenge of being on design teams. I work best with deadlines!

Enjoy, Rebecca

Crazy 4 Chickens?

Sadly Crazy Designer Bonnie had to step down from the team but before she left she gave us her challenges for the month. This week she challenged us to use chickens as inspiration. Apparently she had chickens for over 40 years! I can only imagine how delicious those eggs would be! If you don’t have any chicken in your stash, feel free to use the closest bird stamps or papers you have.

c4c 18 eggs in nest

Yes, my card features eggs not a bird, but if you look carefully, you’ll see the birds I stamped on the cardstock in the background. A lot of what I used is from the Hero Arts kit from last month. The eggs and nest are die cuts, the branch is one of the stamps and even the small butterfly and tiny leaf branch were in the stamp set. I coloured the eggs with watercolour and sponged ink onto the nest except for the leaves which I coloured with pencils. After the eggs were dry, I flicked on some very dark brown watercolour with a tiny brush to get the smallest dots.

The watercolour I used is quite chalky which is normally terrible for watercolour. But this pan in particular works amazingly for lettering (use a brush to apply it to your calligraphy nib) and the chalky look was perfect for the eggs too. It’s a handmade watercolour by DesignsByRachelBeth on Etsy. Her darker colours are not chalky at all and have luscious pigments. I highly recommend them.

Fun challenge right! Pop on over to the Crazy 4 Challenges blog to join us this week. Be sure to link up your fowl creations by Friday midnight!

Enjoy, Rebecca

March 04, 2018

Let Them Eat Cake!!

We had yet another dessert challenge this week at Crazy 4 Challenges! Yummy! Isn’t cake the best? My favourite is chocolate with fudge icing, ganache and caramel sauce! Although I have so many favourites!

c4c18 eat cake

This cake is by Flourishes but sadly the relaunch didn’t go as planned and it’s closed again so this stamp set isn’t available. But this cake was exactly the right size for this card! I stamped it in a medium grey with my MISTI leaving the stamp inside.

The image was coloured with pencils to add some shading to the cake and colour to the plate. I used mostly warm greys and gold pencil (which didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped) then placed the image back in the MISTI to stamp it with Versamark and embossed it with gold powder. I did this so the pencil tip wouldn’t damage the embossing as happened to me once before. Sadly some of the careful shading I did disappeared. I knew that the lines would be much fatter after embossing so I tried to compensate for that but not quite enough. It’s something to keep in mind if you decide to try this.

The pink die cut and heart use paper from Echo Park from the June Simon Says Stamp kit from last year. The heart die is by Hero Arts and the ornate panel die is cut from the A2 Devine Eloquence set by Spellbinders. The sparkler is from the Happy Day set by Concord & 9th. I drew in the ‘stick’ using a dark grey gel pen. It looks a lot like the colour of a real sparkler.

Enjoy, Rebecca

February 24, 2018

Berry Kindness

I am in love with all the new kindness sentiments the card making industry is producing right now. It seems like almost every company out there now has a sentiment set dedicated to this type of sentiment! What a lovely sentiment to share! The world can always do with more kindness.

c4c 18 berry kindness

Our theme at Crazy 4 Challenges this week was yummy food! Rather than use a cake or cupcake like I have before for this type of challenge, I went for the new (to me) Beautiful Berries: Summer set from PTI. I used Blueberry Sky and Aqua Mist for the base of the right berry bunch. You wouldn’t expect the aqua mist right? But true blue is uncommon in nature so I added the touch of aqua by stamping right over the first blueberry sky stamping. I did the same with the darker blue using Enchanted Evening and Hawaiian Shores.

The pink berries were stamped with the 3 lightest shades from the Altenew Cherry Blossom mini ink cube set. I used Green Parakeet and New Leaf for the leaves. The background was embossed with the woodgrain texture plate and inked lightly with parakeet and limeade ice. The sentiment is by Neat n Tangled from their Kindness matters stamp set.

I’m looking forward to seeing all your entries for this week’s challenge. You have until Friday at midnight to link up your project!

Enjoy, Rebecca

February 23, 2018

One Image 3 Ways

I have a different type of post for you today. Colouring is all the rage so a comparison was in order. Copic vs watercolour vs 2 brands of pencils using the same peony image; Blooming Bunch by Studio Katia.

3 ways a

Here are all three version together. I tried to use similar colours but I did white emboss the watercolour version, gold embossed (after colouring) the pencil image with simple black stamping for the Copic flowers. This image is so intricate and detailed that no-line colouring would have been quite tricky given the size of the image. It was also quite tricky to edit this photo with the varying contrast! So for each colouring method below I’ll give you the pros and cons plus my overall impressions for my own colouring and skill level.

3 ways b

First up is the soft watercolour. This one is deliberately quite different than the others as I didn’t want to stay within the lines, define one petal from the next (except for the largest ones) or create realistic shadowing.

Pros: This is really fun! No stress, just paint mixing and slightly messily add the colour. Beginners can have a fun look quickly. Mid-priced paints, brushes and paper are easily available and work very well. There is something about painting that takes you back to being a kid in the best way  possible! Results can vary from rustic to sophisticated to playful with not too much effort. Portable. They are simple enough to set up and if you know colour mixing, you can travel with a very small number of colours in a travel palette.

Cons: Not usually a realistic or smooth style unless you are pretty experienced. If that’s the look you desire, this may not be your best medium. Mixing colours can be intimidating for someone who isn’t used to it. If you have full-set syndrome or always like to buy artist quality, you could be set back quite a bit of moo-lah! Can look very flat if you simply paint in an area without any shading.

My Take: this was the easiest, least time consuming and most fun. I will definitely approach this type of image using watercolour over and over.

3 ways c

The second version uses Copic markers. I used the flicking technique which you can do doubt see in some places as I’ve been working on achieving contrast more so than perfect smooth blends.

Pros: This was the most realistic to my eye. From a distance, the shadows look the most realistic. I love having a ton of colours to choose from without having to mix. That being said, I did blend the flower on the right. I wanted a peachy-corally pink and Copic seems to skip from very orangey pinks to purpley pinks with only the dusty rose shades of R80s in between!

Cons: If a colour you want isn’t there you can’t just mix it on a palette. You can make your own marker, use glazing (working in layers, that’s what I did here), or blend on a palette and pick it up with one of your markers. The super smooth blending we all try so hard to achieve isn’t the most realistic for organic subjects. I especially noticed this in the top left flower. Full set syndrome costs a pretty penny!! To me, these are only semi-portable. I always need a lot of markers so they aren’t ideal. But many people travel with a case for their markers so it can be done.

My Take: I’m a pretty experienced Copic colourist so these feel at home in my hands. But I don’t think they are the best medium for organic shapes for me. Even with the flicks I didn’t blend, it still feels too perfect. I may experiment with adding some coloured pencil especially to the shadowed areas of the top left flower.

3 ways d

Last but certainly not least are the coloured pencils or pencil crayons (Can/UK). These took the longest for me for sure. Double the 60 min I spent Copic colouring and quadruple the 30 min I spent on the watercoloured version, yep, 2 whole hours!! I stamped this on in kraft and worked on it before re-stamping in Versamark and embossing in gold when I was done. I did this to prevent the pencil from chipping the embossing which has happened to me before.

Pros: Mid-priced pencils are very cheap. They work on almost any paper and can be used on dark or mid-tone papers too! Even expensive pencils are still less than $2 each which laughs in the face of the $8-10 Copic Sketch marker and $15-25 Daniel Smith watercolour tubes. (approximate and in CAN $) Pencils give you instant texture even if all you do is apply a single colour to an area. They are very portable with most sets coming in a reusable package or tin.

Cons: These take time to apply! Definitely the longest of the three mediums. You may or may not like the texture achieved by these. I prefer to blend them with either my lightest colour or a white, ivory or pale grey. You can also use a blender pencil. This is an extra step I’d rather not take. (It is possible I’d be happier with a smoother paper. I’m still experimenting.) Even with full sets, you may feel like you are missing some colours you’d like especially if you are used to the infinite colours of watercolour or a huge collection of Copics. With watercolours, there are many premium brands which are fairly easy to find so any are a good choice. There is really only one brand of premium alcohol markers. Deciding which pencils to buy is a bit harder. Different brands are more a matter of taste than anything else so someone moving from mid-priced to premium might have a hard time deciding which will best suit them.

My Take: I might have spent more time getting greater depth in the shadows but my hand and wrist had enough! This will definitely NOT be my go-to for quick cards unless the colouring portion is minimal but I will use it a lot for textured images like critters, tree back, dirt, rocks etc. I’m trying to get used to the pencil texture as I’m more used to the smoothness with Copics and watercolour as I use them far more often. Can you guess which is Polychromos and which is Prismacolour? First I’ll tell you why I used both. I struggled to get three distinct pink shades just like I did with the Copics. So after colouring two flowers, the two lower ones, I switched from Poly to Prisma. I still ended up with a shade that was close to the lower left flower but just different enough. Adding the little yellow flicks to some petals helped sell it as a different variety of peony.

I love all three of these in the end and I fully intend to use all 3! By doing this experiment and even writing this post out for all of you, I have kind of sorted out which to use and when. I’d never pick crayons or watercolour for a metallic image, Copics reign. They are also best for me for a complex image. Most of my flowers from now on will be watercolour likely with some pencil for the deepest shadows. When I want to take something with me, I’ll grab my pencils. For pure fun and playtime, watercolours all the way.

I hope this post helped you or inspired you to do your own experiment. I’ve been posting far more on Instagram than here on my blog. Head on over and follow me! BecCreates1

Enjoy, Rebecca