Sunday, 24 April 2011

Thru blurry eyes...

So, you're wandering through life, albeit more of a fat crafter's chubby legged sprint than a wander - you have all your well-laid plans set out for the next 2 months, deadlines schmedlines, to do lists that just keep getting longer and longer and you decide to book a couple of days off somewhere nice. First time in 6 years. Just 2 days, mind, can't spare any more hours than 48 and the ginger ninja's won't allow being left home alone any longer (we know they're ok on 2 nights because they only move off the bed for a wee and to eat). So you book it. And then the week before you're due to go all hell breaks loose and it's postpone, postpone, postpone! Meh.

GNPE at Harrogate in March was completely mental this time round. We thought it was mental last time but this time we had a stand twice the size and you still couldnt have fit one more person on it or in it at several times during both days. Kris and I are always really humbled at how the popularity of Polkadoodles is really growing and going to shows is just awesome for us to meet you all and really get feedback from everyone on what you want, what you like, what you don't like, it's so so important for us as a small company and we only wish we had the resources to do more shows right around the UK, but we just can't manage it until we have a much bigger team behind us. Unforch there's only one of me and until some Stephen Hawkins geek-type brings in human cloning I just cannot do any more than we do at the moment. Unless you don't want any new products for months on end and somehow I think that wouldn't sit well! After all, it's not about me, it's about the stash and I think some pro-crafters would do well to heed that message at times! I seem to be encountering lots of ego's at the moment and I just can't quite figure that bit out...personally I still find the whole public recognition thing all a bit embarassing - don't get me wrong, it's exremely flattering but with my potty-mouth I do find the whole "not swearing" in public thing a real difficulty LOL! Especially on TV where you can't even say the most trivial "crap" words either! I think the OH is secretly really pleased about this, I know he hates it when I sound like a Navvy but I really can't help my tourettes-tendencies, I lay the blame firmly at the newspaper industries door as a young and impressionable 18 year old. I just can't help it and I think it's because I'm always of the mind "why use 10 words when you can use one quite nicely!" LOL. Oh well, it is slowly being beaten out of me I think, until I start to go off on one. I dont think I have ever or shall ever be described as a lady :D

So we've had the usual manic few weeks here, oh for the times when we had nothing to do or think about other than the next scooter rally, but when I do try to free up some spare time I end up bored silly! Think I'm one of those peeps who were just born to be working all their lives, so whoever buries me can you please chuck a couple of promarkers and that last half-finished card in the box with me please!! I was recently asked at short notice to demonstrate a Pick of the Week on Create and Craft which was Aquamarkers and Promarkers from Letraset, which I couldn't really fit in but I had to rejig things because I wanted to do it - if only I'd known what I was letting myself in for! 16 shows in 5 days was a complete killer and if I'm honest it's taken me about a week to recover! Think I'm about there now, amazing how when you sit down designing all day that your feet can't take being stood up all day instead! Anyway here are some of the things I made on the shows...
Flowerpot from *Sprinkles of Kraft* CD - 
background is made with Aquamarkers and the image is coloured with Aquas too...

Winnie and Walter on a swing from Sprinkles of Kraft...
coloured with Aquamarkers, butterfly and backing papers are also from the CD...





This is my favourite image from the Sprinkles CD, I totally adore daisies and I designed this girl so she was hugging a giant flower she's found...secretly this is what I would feel like if I found a giant daisy I would never want to let go...really pleased I managed to capture that huggy feeling in her face...again, coloured with Aquamarkers, really soft colouring on this one...

Love these birdhouses, Aquamarkers again, I have to say having used them so much over the week I am in love with them and they have actually sent my Promarkers to the back shelf if I'm honest...

...I still love my Promarkers but sometimes I struggle to see if it's an image I coloured or printed off the PC and I love how the watercolours of Aquamarkers show me every single brushstroke and give so much more depth and interest to the subject...and that they are so translucent you can still get the colour coming through from underneath rather than just blending into a new colour...


I also love that you can get a supremely soft look like here with the faces, it's just literally a light wash of colour swept across the faces...but then by hardly using any water at all you can achieve these bright red raspberry pink boots and all the highlights in between....


...and another one of the girls from the CD...I really tried to give this a vintagey feel and I'm really happy with how it turned out...look at the awesome kraft paper background - they are digital papers with texture that makes them look like real kraft paper - even when you layer with the real thing, they're just awesome! Love the soft colouring on this one, give a real summery feel (those flowers took bloody ages to cut out!)...


...on the swing again, love the softness of this...


...and finally, a Promarker card. Note how the colours are so much stronger and even though the blending is still there - it's so smooth.  I really do prefer the depth of the brushstrokes in the earlier work. But then I do have phases and crazes and no doubt this one will pass very soon LOL!! Don't forget you CAN use your promarkers and aqua's together, don't worry about the inkpad unless you put Promarkers on top of your watercolours as the inkpads will bleed but I find I like it better the other way round anyway.  As the Promarkers act like a sealer on top of the Memento inkpad it doesn't bleed!

I just remembered that I also did this beauty late last night, my 10.30pm creative urge came over me and I just had 5 promarkers close to hand, love this image, again from the Sprinkles CD...


Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Quicksticks!

Hi everyone! A very very quick post from me - I know so many of you bought the Aquamarkers last week on the POTW so I thought I would do an online class - if ur interested can u please let me know below. It will be a LIVE class & u will be able to comment as we go along so I can respond live to questions. So let me know if ur up for it, depending on demand I might do a daytime and an evening one so everyone has chance to join in even if they have other commitments that day. : )