Sunday, 6 February 2011

February blues...

I don't think I like February. Dunno why, it's kinda like the equivalent of a Tuesday though - just after Christmas but long enough you forgot about it and a loooooong long way till the end of the year again. Hmpphh.

So before I get into loads of pics, a quick reminder - I will be demo'ing at Embsay Crafts, Skipton on Saturday 12th Feb this week and I can't wait! It's been so long since I demo'd in store and shockingly, this is my first in-store demo for a Polka Doodles retailer can you believe! I just never have the time these days and as a small company it can be really hard for me to manage my time so I can do this more often (by the way if your local store doesnt stock PD then nag them LOL) so I am ultra excited to be visiting Embsay and will try my best to give all Katy's customers an interesting and inspiring day! Come join us!

I will also be demoing at Jays Crafts in Milton Keynes on Sat 26th Feb for the first time so if you're around the area please come say hello, it's always great to see a friendly face! I'm in Milton Keynes for 3 days that week as I am attending the fabulous ArtsyCrafts Tim Holtz Workshops and I am beyond thrilled!! Whoop whooop, a few hours with Sir Tim, what more could a crafty girl need!! I think I will make a fool of myself swooning and no doubt I will be reduced to a girly squeakish whimper if I get to speak to him but I just don't care! I love altered art and steampunk but I rarely get chance to dirty up these days, I'm secretly worried I might need some practice before throwing myself at Timmy's feet, but hey ho!

And then the day after, Sunday 27th I will be at Create and Craft for a 10am show, so that's me away from home for 4 whole days, all alone! The OH will be beside himself, we rarely spend time apart so it's always kinda strange when we do - god knows what the house will be like when I get back, can you imagine!? Well, actually I'm really trying not to or I might not go home, the place is akin to Mr Trebus' house as it is...

Anyway, February is a bit manic and it's already been another busy old couple of weeks and I need to show some pics of the latest bits and pieces so here we go, this will be pic heavy...

We launched the follow-up set of Neighbours stamps on Create & Craft last week - needless to say these awesome little stamps sold out yet again, man I just can't get enough of these in stock our manufacturer can't keep up with us at the moment! So if you're still waiting for yours on waitlist then I'm sorry but we are trying as hard as we can to get them out to you!
Here's a few samples from the show...


This was one of my main demonstrations, using only Promarkers and obviously stamping with Memento black inkpad...everything on this card is flat, the only thing that is layered is actually main image which was just cut out and glued flat and the "special wishes" sentiment which is stamped onto kraft paper and then cut out, but the scallop frame around it is still flat on the card...
from memory I think the colours I used were (using Sky as a reference, from top to bottom):
Burnt Umber, Henna, Cinnamon, Caramel, Tan, Sandstone, Blush, Satin, Ivory and Ice Grey 3 or 4.

You can achieve the dimension just by using highlights and shadows - Promarkers/Copics are fab for this technique. If you're going to go for this select 6 or 7 colours which are all similar tones and then scribble them onto some scrap card next to each other to try and simulate what your sky will look like - it'll work with any colour family but the important thing is to ensure you have the correct tones, ie dont use a "bluey"pink with a "red" pink etc, but if you do a mini sky swatch first and blend them top to bottom you will make sure you get the right colour choices before you ruin your stamp work.
Once I'd glued the image onto the card flat I stamped the scallop over the top corner, again in black, then stamped the message onto kraft paper and cut it out then glued it over the top so it leaves the stamped scallop edge.
I then took an grey marker and shadowed round the edge of the scallops so it actually looks like shadow from matting and layering and then extended this right around the main image, drawing round the edge of the image to give it a framed look. Funnily enough one of the other C&C guests on after me was watching this in the green room and he totally thought I'd actually framed the stamping with a proper mount. He doesnt do crafts and was totally blown away with the fact it was all a flat image - he said he'd gone and picked the card up off the counter in the studio after I left for a break, just to make sure! hee hee...

I absolutely love love love this little scene, I think it's the colouring that's floating my boat, I love aqua and there's lots of it on here, but this is such a pretty, cheerful image I love it...this time I used watercolours. I've been very lucky lately that Kuretake UK have been asking me to test lots of their products for them and although I had used some of their Zig products in the past I'd totally forgotten how awesome their Art & Graphic twin markers are...these are a brush pen (dual ended with a brush and a super fine nib) but they are just fantastic to work with and for me, personally, they blow other watercolour pens out of the water. 'Scuse the pun! I'm going to stock these as soon as I get chance to sort it out, the pigment in the pens is totally lush and if you're a rubber stamper the brush means you can just directly colour onto the stamp itself. Now, I've done this many many times before with other pens and I always found I didnt get great results and the pigment usually "pools" when you stamp because it's not the right consistency but the A&G pigment is so rich it doesnt do this...if you look closely you can see the little green bushes and trees have been done this way - a great image and no pooling!...


And the same stamps virtually just masked differently and coloured in more subtle tones, again with the Zig Art & Graphic twins, I really can't praise these enough, and they have a really great selection of colours...

...and the final one of these little beauts, this was before I made it into a card and uses the A&G's again but with the fabulous brand new "Wink of Stella" glitter pens from Zig (watch out these are released later this month and they're a must have!)...these ultra-fine tipped glitter pens are all sparkly and lush - again, very rich and bright pigments, perfect for calligraphy, just normal colouring in, layering on top of calligraphy pens, markers etc, but here I actually added a little water and watercoloured with them for a more subtle sparkle. You can't really see it on this pic, glitter is hard to photograph, but I love these...man, I need ALL the colours in ALL the Zig range now!...


Yesterday was my first class of 2011 and the first one since November, the girls were chomping at the bit to get underway but sadly we spent so much time gossiping we didnt finish a thing LOL - those girls can't half chinwag! It's a real struggle for me to fit this class in my schedule these days and now we don't have a shop taking stock along is a real PITA from a stocktaking point of view, it took us 3hrs just to put it all back again yesterday and we didn't even pack much. I've been thinking of stopping the class because of the time and I always feel like I end up rushing the projects and feel bad I'm not doing my lovely ladies justice - most of them on my class have been with me for 2 or 3 years at least now and I know they really look forward to the monthly get-together so I've been really wrestling with my conscience what to do.  I would like to move it to a bi-monthly full day event so we get more quality but they're worried that if they can't come it will be a whole 4 months that they miss LOL - so I can't really win! But, yesterday we finally all agreed on a change - we're doubling up! So now instead of 2.5hrs we're going to go to 4 hours instead so we can have a packed lunch and get into some nice meaty projects without having to rush all the time! I have no idea why we didnt do this ages ago but I can't wait for next month now, I'm so pleased we finally made a decision and did it! Wahey!
So because we didn't finish the projects we started yesterday I promised to load them here so they can finish off at home, so here ya go girls!....

First up, the cheeky Hippo from Paper Boutique III...


I showed the girls how to add dimension with pop-ups rather than just using 3D foam or silicon glue in the traditional way...I love dimension and depth on my projects and this way gives me so much more movement...

...and as well as the bubbles on the template I also added some of our Doodle Dewdrops to get the water droplets - they look fab in real life, all watery and bubbly! (LOVE dewdrops!)...

...and then our 2nd project, using the lovely Fairy stamps and Sundae of Seasons CD...I picked this card because I wanted to show them how you can use your stamps with CD's perfectly...


I think sometimes because we get so into CD crafting we forget to use other stuff with them as well and this little card is a perfct example...here I just printed off the table and chairs from SOS and then used the Fairy stamp, she was sitting on a toadstool here so I just cut it away and she sits on the chair perfectly! So cute! I used a combo of coloured stamps from the CD and then used Promarkers to colour the other images such as the cherries and the pie, adding some Glossy Accents for the glazed look. Just a nice, quick (supposedly!) sweet card.

Right, I think that's quite enough for today I think! Ooo tune in later this week though, I hope to have some very exciting news to reveal, I am bursting my big girl nickers with excitement, dying to reveal...you know when you do a girly little jiggy half jump up and down...well that's me right now, every time I think about it!!
xx