Thursday, July 21, 2011

Water Color Pencils

Someone on the Cricut Circle Message Boards asked about using Water Color Pencils to color and highlight a stamped or printed design. After posting an answer to her questions I thought I should make a sample of what I am talking about and then post it on my blog. (Gotta love the light bulb moments).

First, there are many brands of water color pencils including Crayola. I pulled out just a few of mine made by Derwert. I purchased just a few of these to play with and see if I like the quality before purchasing a whole bunch. While digging around I also found a box of Water Color Crayons I purchased from Close To My Heart. So I pulled them out too.

You will need a non-water soluble ink for stamping your design, think in terms of your inks for Copics...Or consider printing out Digi Stamp images, like I did for this exercise. You will also need a paint brush, water, and a paper towel.

Here is a sample of the 5 basic ways to use your pencils (plus a crayon sample)
1) Just color with them DRY just the way you would color with regular colored pencils.

2) Color with the Dry pencils just as above. Then give the whole picture a wash with a damp brush. Make sure to clean your brush and dab off extra water from the brush before using it on the next color.

3) Color with DRY pencils as you did before, but this time only wash parts of the picture to give different texture to different parts of the picture. I washed her raincoat but left her pants dry.

4) Use any of the ideas above but highlight (darken) areas by first dipping water color pencil in your water container, dab off water, and then sketch where you want to add dark shades.

5) Instead of laying color on to the image via pencil, use a damp brush. Dip your brush in water and then run the tip of the brush along the tip of the pencil, picking up color the same way you would from a pan of paint (think grade school water color boxes).

Then place the color on the image with the brush. This will give you the look of water color painting with a depth of color.

I really like the new "water brushes" that Pentel, Koi and others have come out with. Each brush has a synthetic brush that attaches to a refillable water reservoir. These actually come in several brush sizes/shapes. You have the ability to control the amount of water you are putting on paper by squeezing the barrel.

Lastly, I mentioned the CTMH crayons. I colored my little image with the crayons and then gave it an overall water wash. The colors in my box (Regal Colors)
I really like The look of water color so most of the time I load my brush and paint, but I really like the fact that I can change texture just by coloring with the pencils or wetting the tip to increase intensity. They really give you a lot of variety.

Cards for OWH

My post today is part of an ongoing box of cards I have been working on to send to Operation Write Home. Today's cards are Back to School themed cards. I used an old DCWV mat stack called The Grade School Stack for the mat and a 2.5 x 3.25 in rectangle accent.

The apples are cut from CM Cheerful Seasons Cartridge at 3.5". I inked the off white center and then ran them through my Cuttlebug with the Swiss Dot embossing folder. The kraft ticket was cut at 1.2" and is also from the Cheerful Seasons Cart (basic font function - Ice Skate cut). Here is a close up of the apple.

The sentiment stamp is from an inexpensive set of clear stamp sentiments I picked up at Michael's. I couldn't tell you what brand. I will be sending them off at the end of the week along. I hope to get a few more styles finished before then.

In keeping with the charity theme of this post, I am off to watch the movie about the Lt. Dan Band. By watching it, money will be donated to Gary Sinise's charities supporting the military and their families. Please consider stopping by the website and watching it yourselves. I have seen it once already and I can tell you it really is an uplifting movie about our American Heroes, their families, and the people who support them.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wow! A Year Already????

Well, as of today, I have been playing with this blog thing for a year. I had a good time poking through my posts to see what I have done. While I wish I could be more consistent creating and posting, I am pretty proud of all the new techniques and idea I have tried over the year.

Looking back at my first post I see that I described myself as, "My blog should reflect me; eclectic and borderline A.D.D. I don’t always stay focused on one thing but I do have fun."

I am pretty sure that the statement still holds true. And that my posts have reflected this as well. My posts have been pretty eclectic:

As I thumbed through the projects I have posted this past year the one thing that has struck me is that I really did not have as many classroom based projects as I had hoped, but I have finished a lot of projects none the less. I can not wait to see what new techniques come around for me to try, what challenges I might face, and where my creativity will take me.

Thank you for being a part of the first step in this journey. I can honestly say that many of the things posted here are a direct reflection of my friends, and the many wonderful ideas I see posted on blogs that many of you have as well. I could not do it without you.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Beautiful Papers & Harry Potter Memories

Do you ever find yourself buying paper because you just love it, but have no idea how you will use it? I have found myself in that dilemma a few times lately. I just had to have EVERY piece of  Creative Imaginations' Harry Potter paper line when it came out. The problem is ...they are too beautiful to actually cut up or cover up!
As you can see I also could not resist the beautiful layered die cuts I found back in Jan/Feb at the Scrapbook Expo. I am just not sure how to use these papers in a scrapbook...the papers could be the page all by themselves.

 Not that I don't have pictures to go with them. We have made it a point to read each book at least twice (funny story - later on that), and watched each movie (many at midnight opening day). I have even listened to each of the books on CD at least 10 times a piece. (This is my preferred entertainment while quilting or crafting - love Jim Dale's voices!)

Two adorable children dressed up and ready to see HP and the Goblet of Fire (book 4) at a midnight showing.
We even helped sell the books as they came out. That story first. We have a good friend who owned a children's book store. She asked us to help her employees open at midnight to sell book 4 when it first came out, as she was going to be out of town. We had a blast with this and made it a priority each time a new book came out, actually planning the release parties for book 5, 6, and 7, including food, games, and prizes.

Back to funny story about the books. I had read the first 4 before my husband started reading them. He was on book 2 or 3 when I left to spend some time in Virginia with a friend. I get a phone call from my Dear Hubby a few days into my trip, saying he is mad at me. I have no idea why. But he goes on to explain...he was soooooo into the story he was reading he stayed up until 3 am and had to call in sick he was so tired. Obviously, it was my fault as I got him hooked on the books. ha ha ha.

Anyway, tonight is the midnight showing of the last piece of the story. I will be seeing it with several of my friends. DH has chosen to get some sleep so he can get to work in the morning. (perks of having the summer off for me...) I will try to get some more pictures of the crazy kids and their costumes, the crowds waiting, the enthusiasm for such a wonderful series of books and movies. Then I suppose I should finally figure out how to use all this wonderful paper.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Missing You Card

I am trying really hard to use only my stash this summer and not do a lot of shopping. This may be more difficult than I thought as my favorite LSS is going out of business this month and sooooo many goodies are on sale. But I digress.

I made a few more cards in my attempt to have a box of cards to send Operation Write Home. This missing you card was for their 4th of July card making party. We had to use a fish bowl. Mine is from Create a Critter cut at 3.5". Nemo is actually a leftover cut from another project. I think I cut him at 3.5 also.

I used a  Copic pen to outline the bowl cut, and inked the tan "sand" paper cut. I realized after I have finished that I used glitter (Stickles) on the speech bubble and the bubbles leading to it. OWH has a policy of no glitter because it gets on everything and can be seen by night vision goggles. This endangers our service men and women. So I guess this copy of the card I will have to send to a friend. Meanwhile, I think I have enough scraps to make a glitter free version for my OWH box.

Well, I am off to see if I can remake this card, and also find something for my baby brother's birthday.....

Sunday, July 3, 2011

OWH-More Challenge Entries

Here is my entry for Challenge # 11 Pinwheels

4th of July Challenge Hop

The gals at Operation Write Home are sponsoring a blog hop that really is a card making challenge. How? Every two hours a different blogger is posting a s simple card challenge. Once you have completed one of the challenges be sure to post it on the blog to be eligible for all sorts of give aways.

Jump on in! Here is the link to the two day hop.

Here are a few of my challenge inspired cards.

Challenge #6: Howl at the Moon (include a moon in your card)

Challenge #10: Color Challenge (use the same image or cut in two color formats) -
I chose to play with my Copic pens to color this stamped image in Spring and Fall colors.

Challenge # 9: Easy as 1-2-3 (one designer print paper, 2 shapes or images, 3 word sentiment)
 I plan to keep playing along with OWH today. I hope you will come join me.