Copic colouring frustration

I don’t normally post on a Saturday (too busy with family life – this AM we saw Despicable Me in 3D – fab, highly recommend it!)  but I spent yesterday doing some Copic colouring.  Not entirely pleased with the result.  Typical, the Copic class I had hoped to take was on the day DH was needed at the Tate with his iPad app and the next one isn’t for AGES.  anyway I found a great image online and decided to colour it and try to turn it into … well, not sure what.  Maybe a card, maybe something else.  I also wanted to mix in some stamps.  So the colouring went fine, the masking less well as I had a bit of a halo.  It was smudging on the Distress ink when it all went awry!  The cardstock wasn’t the best, although 220 gsm so not super thin, but the Distress ink (or my too vigorous rubbing) tore the card a bit.  And the darker shadow I tried the put around the figure wasn’t great either.  So now I am left with do I start again and treat it all as a learning experience or try to salvage it somehow?

I’m also less than happy with the printer ink, which has a tendency to bleed a sort of reddish colour, and the printed lines aren’t great at containing the Copic ink, running sometimes.

The thought of colouring him again isn’t hugely appealing, as it was a bit time consuming, and at the very least I think I would need to get some better cardstock first (luckily the new Hobby Craft opens near me this weekend!)

Here you can better see the rubbish shadowing and the a-little-TOO-distressed area:

Overall, I do love the image and 90% of the colouring.  I think the white part, with just a smidge of cool gray looks quite good, and I like the mix of browns and warm grays in his hair.  I may just set him aside fr a bit and see what I think in a week or so.

DD is quite the fan of Studio Ghibli at the moment so now off for another media hit in the form of My Neighbor Toturo.  I hope she’ll forgive me if I fall asleep during it LOL!



a Cute Card

OK, so after my post yesterday my sister sent me a message:

Where are the hearts?  The uplifting messages of love and joy?  Couldn’t
you get some “pretty” stamps this time instead of more creepy, gothic ones?

I decided your followers might not understand if I posted that and think I was stifling your creativity so I’m sending my comment personally instead.  But really…I have a challenge for you, and I KNOW you can’t resist a challenge…it is to make a mushy, lovey-dovey, SWEETLY SENTIMENTAL card where the STAMPS actually match the sentiment.  So, that means NO gothic Stampotique set on a sweet card.  See what you can do with THAT challenge – ha, ha, ha!

OMG!  What is she doing to me?  SO unfair. But I had to clarify.

Basically, this is OK

but this is not

and I can’t do a cute image then make it creepy by skewering it

Humm.  So I had a look and I really, truly, have almost nothing in my stamp collection that I would call “cute” – even that little girl was a gift, a stamped image included when I bought my copics.   So I went looking online and found a cute image to use.  I coloured it and put it on a card.

I thought the teddy bear was going a little over the top, perhaps inducing just a little bit of gagging in all but the true cute-afficionados, but there was no way to delete it (or, for example, replace it with Nosferatu or a skeleton bear, which would have violated the rules of engagement)

What the heck am I going to do with it, I wonder? My dad just had a hip replacement, so maybe I should have DD sign it and send it to him as a Get Well Card.

Oh, and I must link to the woman on YouTube who did the tutorial on the dotty background.  I thought it was very cute.  Watch hers – it’s miles better than my own and if you like cute, this is def. something you will want to have a play with.

Ah – I can see you have spotted something interesting hiding behind the card….Well, it would be wrong NOT to share…

Now THAT’s more like it! <tee hee>


WOYWW – 13/10/2010

I wish I could say that my desk was as clean as last week but it isn’t so! Check out Julia’s blog for more inspirational workdesks every Wednesday!

I’ve found a fun stamp company called Smeared Ink – it nearly appeals to me as much as the Stampotique ones. The images are a bit fun and a bit funky, very gothic and slightly creepy. Here is a card I made from a set called Nevermore. I got them from Make the Day Special here in the UK.

and here is another one, using one of the images and an image from a Corpse Bride colouring book online. The saying is a quote from the movie.  Not sure who I would send it to, but hey-ho!

I found another cool set of digi-stamps too but I think I’ll save that one for my Sunday-someplace-else!

Now all the kerfuffle is out of the way I will def. plan on getting around to the desks I missed out last week.  I felt all out of sorts not getting my weekly hit of inspiration!

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Layout – and a musing

I went to my local monthly crop on Saturday.  This time, instead of taking some altered project or another I actually pre-planned 3 layouts.  I completed one at the crop, made progress on the other two, and have nearly finished one of those at home today.  It’s funny – over the last year or so the kids have been very resistant to having photos taken.  We have also been quite busy as a family so days out have been few and far between.  In some ways, it explains my shift in focus towards stamping and more “arty” things, but every time I drag out photos and make myself scrap traditionally, I really enjoy the process, making me wonder why I don’t do it more!  The sense of accomplishment I feel when I complete a layout is always much more than when I finish some other project, no matter how much I may like that project.  I guess I feel that scrapping is somehow more important, will mean more in the long run, than the best art project that I make.

Here is the one I did at the crop – while it might be tempting to claim I just threw it together, in reality it took most of the day.  But I do love it.

It also seems to confirm a shift in my style – once I hoarded stuff I loved, looking for ways to make it last, not wanting to use too much of my best supplies on a single layout, feeling proud of making one that used minimal supplies.  NOW, I go for the more overloaded look, layering supply after supply, cutting bits from big sheets of pap using one item from a sticker sheet if it fits, and not worrying that I won’t have “that bit” available for a later layout using tat paper line or collection.  It feels right, this focus on making the best layout I can without compromise.  I am doing more fiddly things too, like stamping the little acorn on multiple sheets and paper piecing it.  I am also using pop dots like they are going out of style, bringing much more dimension to my pages.

It makes me wonder how many scrappers have also shifted away from pure scrapping.  Now, at a point in my crafty life when I have more stuff than any one person SHOULD have (which you know if you saw my WOYWW last week!) the shift in style makes sense, where a shift away from scrapping as intensely does not.  So I will plan on using my monthly crop for SCRAPPING first and other stuff second.  At least that way I know I will get some pages done on a regular basis!  And with the in-laws arriving for quite an extended visit and a guaranteed photo op or 10, I should finally have some decent new photos to work with.

For now, I plan to finish off the other two layouts and hope my enthusiasm remains high.

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Sunday-someplace-else (Anastassia Elias)

More loo roll art.  The creator says “I cut the small paper shapes that I stick inside the toilet paper rolls. I use tweezers to manipulate the paper shapes. I select the paper of the same color as the roll. It gives the illusion that the paper figures make part of the roll. I need few hours to make one piece.” Anastassia Elias (see her portfolio here and her blog, which has other collage art to see, here)

And this stuff is WOW.  It’s amazing enough when you see it as-is, but with the warm lighting the whole piece just comes to life:

I couldn’t pick a favourite, I just think they are all fab.


I got a blog award!

My first one ever, from Sunshine Girl, a fellow WOYWWer  – how exciting. It’s been quite a full week, and I haven’t had the time to be creative at all (my desk is still clean, if you saw my WOYWW post, and that is truly shocking) but I did want to try to pass on the award to as many bloggers as I can manage of the 15 required. So here are 10 of my favourite places to visit:

Efemera Ink – I just love all her projects. So inspiring.

Dan99 – love his templates and his art.

Kool Kitty – Nat makes cards that I would love to have made.  Bright and breezy and surely a joy to receive!

Linda_E – I love her work for the deeply saturated colours. A feast for the eyes.

VoodooVixen – world traveler and minibook maker.  She often includes full instructions so you can play along.

Canny Crafter – fab projects, sewing, cooking and more.

Scrapdolly – now mostly digi-scraping, and she has taken to it like a  fish to water.  Wish I could do as well

Country Heart and Home – another great-mix blog.  Lovely recipes, fab scrapping, cards, all sorts of things to interest you.

Banana Frog – love the stamps, and always inspired by the projects.

Waltzing Through Life –  Pam does lovely pages, with interesting techniques.

So here is your award:

I’ll add the last 5 blogs in another post.  Some of the ones I had in mind have already been awarded and I don’t think you are meant to repeat them!

I do think it funny to get a lovely award in the very week when I am neglecting my blog badly.  I fear the blog award police will hunt me down and take it away LOL!


a rather shocking WOYWW

Settle in, folks, as this is likely to be a long one. I had to clean my room in anticipation of the BBC arriving so I figured as long as I had to do it, I might as well document it.  It’s far from perfect, but it’s about as clean as my room has been since we moved in.

Addendum: Just cause people keep asking – DD skates with a group called SPICE (link and info in the previous post) and SPICE gets funding from Children in Need. They suggested DD to be the focus of one of those “send us your money” pieces they screen on the night – not as effective as some of the very sad stories at tugging at people’s heartstrings, but having a feel-good story every once in a while helps keep the balance, I suppose. Anyway, they are going to come here (once again I say OMG!) to film a bit then will film her on the ice on Sunday.

Starting from the door that heads out to the BIG front hall (which was always a sort of playroom for the kids, although to be honest they don’t really “play” there anymore so now it has my sewing stuff in it along with bookshelves)

You can see my HiTi (for photos) and my Epson 1400 (for everything else).  The underneath cabinet holds printing supplies, labels, ink, papers, etc.

Next, the computer, with my dual-monitor set up.  I could never go back to one, no matter how big.  Oh, and my MASSIVE cup of iced tea.  My Sis gave me this giant thermal mug – she got it when she was in hospital a while back.  So nice to make a BIG drink and not have to hop up every hour to refill it.  It must hold a 1/2 gallon of liquid.

My actual crafting desktop – the bins on the wndow ledge hold stuff I need all the time, adhesives, of all kinds, sewing stuff like needles and thread, clothespins for holding stuff while I wait for it to stick, my most commonly used punches, my CM circle cutter, and the CD case box has all my hole punches, pinking shears and decorative scissors (the maybe 4 that I actually use) and Cropadile.  To the left are my mists, in letterboxes. The rotating caddy to the right of the bins has things like rulers and craft knives, scissors, pokey tools, files and emery boards, some brushes and pens/pencils. UNDER the desk, leaving just enough room for my feet, is my clear stamp storage on the left and ink pads and mounts and tiny alphas.

That is a better shot of the stamps, stored in CD cases.

Moving on….

It sort of got missed out, but just to the right of where I sit is my Copic storage box, and my pen holder with all my Sharpies and Bic Permanent markers, and my BIG Bite.  More stamps (mostly foam ones, alpha sets and otherwise) and ink pads and related stamping supplies and BIG punches under, and more small drawers (Asda, £4) that house things like alcohol inks, tags, felt borders, decorative tapes, metal bits, brads, eyelets, bling, etc. with paper bags and boxes of stickers, diecuts, rub ons, etc on top (sort of out of the picture)

Skipping over the door on the other side, more shelves

Alpha sticker, Thickers, etc, in a desktop letter tidy or two, sorted by colour.  Books and mags below and files for things like transparencies and specialty papers. The bin you can see just at the far right has silk flowers, mosty dis-assembled from stalks.

Paper and cardstock above, more wood mounted stamps below. And my Cricut.

I am guessing this Ikea unit might have been the precursor to the Expidit?  It is open at the sides, with longer middle shelves.  It has, OMG, so much stuff on it.  Sides have my old ZIP-E-mate and embossing folders as well as the few Spellbinder dies I have, my mid-size Xyron, and the pre-cursor to the Cropadile (HUGE, heavy, but works really well – called the Long-Reach pro and DH carried it back from CA and a business trip once, the star) Let’s see, top is ribbons, mostly in old coffee jars and laundry tubs, then paints and Liquid Pearls, and the shallow drawers have ephemera and collage bits.

More ribbons and lace, Hermafix, card blanks and a stack of mountboard I got for free from the local framer, hiding my massive scrap-bin.  Then boring stuff, like the UKS badges and Trolley coins (which I am slowly running out of) and the little boxes they get mailed in and some business papers and just clutter, which is usually hidden by the open door!

And just a shot across the top, where I display some of my projects – you can see the pink bird, the girl in the cage, the Midwich Cuckoos Milk carton, the iPhone stand and a bin full of mini-books – and more.

Phew.  It still looks like chaos, to an outsider, but I mostly know where everything is.

So that is my WOYWW – a first and last, I bet, where it is more or less organized.  I’ll be cleaning for most of the rest of the day, in between tending DD after her tooth pull (look back to Tuesday to see more about both the teeth and the BBC tie in) so forgive me if I don’t get on to your blog today.

Happy WOYWW! And pop round to Julia’s place to join in the fun.

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Unpleasant day

I am not a blogger who unloads buckets of personal detail on my blog.  I know there are those who prefer a craft-info-only craft blog, as well as those who prefer the mix of craft and life but that really isn’t a factor for me and my handful of readers – it’s a personal choice as I just don’t feel comfortable sharing all the ins and outs of our family life with (potentially) anyone who stumbles on this place so I don’t.  But my DD had 5 teeth pulled yesterday (hence the no-post) and the timing couldn’t be worse as there was a last minute scheduling of a BBC film crew coming to the house (I’ll pause while you look around YOUR house, which is perhaps like MY house, clean, comfortable, but not in the pristine state you would wish it to be if you knew it could potentially be seen by the nation on one of the biggest fundraising nights on TV, Children in Need, and then go O M G!) on Thursday.  DDs skating group, SPICE (Special People on Ice) gets funding from CIN and they nominated DD to be the subject and there we are.

You can just about see DD in the red trousers in the middle.

So I will not be posting much, because I will be cleaning, esp. my scrap room.  On the upside, my WOYWW post is likely to be a real shocker LOL! A clean desk, after months of chaos?  That should be interesting.

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Sunday-someplace-else House of Cards

If you looked at my House of Cards from Friday this may interest you. I had SUCH a lot of fun making this little structure, and as I have 100s of discarded decks (DS does a LOT of magic and wears them out fairly often) I thought I would take my own advice and maybe make a more “scrappy” version, including photos and embellishments. Rather than repeat myself with the basic house of cards assembly, I went looking for variations. OMG! Some of the ones are simply amazing – not at all appropriate for what I want to do, but unbelievable feats of engineering nonetheless.

THIS guy (Bryan Berg) is the master.


I did a very short YouTube video to show how I constructed my HOC, which you can see here. I can’t even imagine making something  like these!

Have a great Sunday!