Sunday, March 29, 2009

copic coloring - tutorial 1

For our first tutorial, I'm going to go over the basic technique of copic coloring. These markers are amazing, but please know it takes practice. So, if your first attempt (or first few attempts) are not satisfactory to you, keep at it. It will come.... Also note I am a bit freespirited in my crafting, so sometimes I do go over the edges a little bit in my coloring by mistake, as these closeups will show. Its ultimately ok with me, because I am no expert and am constantly learning myself, under the expert tutelage of I Like Markers - Marianne Walker's blog. What I am imparting here will be what has worked for me, but for the master - visit Marianne....

The key to a nicely colored image - just like a layout - is depth. Laying down a single color is nice but somehow seems incomplete, no different than adhering a photo directly on a big sheet of paper with nothing else, and then calling yourself done. So, before we begin, make yourself a shadow guide. I've used the insert from one of my embellishment packs for mine - a simple sharpie does the trick (though you have to go over the lines a few times to get it dark enough)

When you have stamped your image (I've used versafine with clear embossing powder on georgia pacific paper), the guide will visually guide you as to where the shadow should go, depending on WHERE the sun is behind your image. Here, I'm working with the tree from the Eco Chic set from Unity Stamp Company, and I've laid the shadow guide over it - the end of each line is the end of where your sun ray would have gone, and therefore, where your shadow should be the darkest.

Here, at high noon, the sun is directly over my tree, and the shadow would be directly beneath it.

Contrast that with here - sun is in early afternoon, and shadow would now be to the bottom left

Getting started, just color your image like normal, with your lightest color, holding your pen upright and moving in small circular motions. If you are using the brush tip, remember it is flexible, so practice a bit on a scrap piece of paper til you get the feel of the motion vs. color transfer, then color away.... It doesn't have to be perfect - but do cover all blank spaces.

Next, lay your shadow guide and get an idea of where your shadow needs to go.

Now, take your medium color, and color your shadow approx. 1/3 of your image inwards...

Next, take your third and darkest color, and apply a thinner line at the edges of your shadow

See the transition lines where your markers meet? Yuck. Now, here's the magic of the Copic. Take your lightest color again, and go over the darker areas and the lines, again in small circular motions, and watch those ugly lines blend away. It is important here - be patient, and keep your pen upright with only a slight angle, and circle circle circle with your pen tip... (please ignore the stray line - its hard to take a picture with your left hand when the right hand is coloring)

When you're done, those lines have disappeared. A note here. By the time you've reached this blending step, your lightest color has dried. When you go over it again to blend in your darker areas, you will see that when the light marker goes over the dried part of that same color, it is now noticeably darker - by about 1/2 a color value. SOOOO, to keep it all fairly smooth, eyeball it and apply as much as that lighter color over the prior colored areas to ensure a uniform color.

You use a lot of color in this process - if you've done it right, it has saturated your paper, and the backside looks somewhat like this. It will take some practice before you find the right level of saturation for you. For me, in my dry climate - if I do too much saturation, my colors can bleed, so you can see that my top branches (where there is less shadow) uses quite a bit less ink than the bottom part.

Now, for the leaves. SAME technique, but now, since my surface area is much smaller, use your markers with a much lighter touch so as to stay within the lines - there is not a lot of surface for circle circle circle on the leaves. There is no magic as to how - you'll get the feel for it. Here we are, lightest color first. Pretty - but flat:

Shadow guide to remind myself where to place the shadows:

Medium color about 1/3 way in:

Darkest color at the edges

After blending with the lightest color: Here, the first time I blended with the first color, it seemed to blend too much of the shadow away - so I repeated the steps with the medium and the darkest color, and blended a second time.

(Just a followup on my note above regarding pen angles and bleeding - it is possible to oversaturate, and the ink can bleed, esp. if your pen angle is too slanted and its kind of pushing the ink ahead of it. Practice, and you'll get the hang of what works for you.

And because I messed up with that hand slippage due to camera incompetence, I cut my image out, and here is my card:

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lifetimemoments friday 3-27 part 2

When we are on vacation, the days are often jammed packed to take maximum advantage of the limited time we have available. But often, when I scrap the trip, I break the layouts down to individual ones focused on a single sight or event. For our trip to Kyoto, we were only there 1.5 days and we really did jam it all in to fit it all in. A big part of the story is how we tried to do that, how we felt, and just how comprehensive a single day became. And so, I decided to scrap the day, morning to sleep - I love how it really does convey the day and how it felt.....

TFL. Wendy

Friday, March 27, 2009

Lifetimemoments friday 3-27 part 1

Re-printed from the LM Style Newsletter - 3-27-09

Mirriam Webster defines "day" as "the mean solar day of 24 hours beginning at mean midnight." Your “every” day seems routine - day in and day out, but for minor changes, the 24 hours appear to follow a basic pattern that feels, well, unremarkable. But, think back to yourself - 5, 10, 15 years ago. What was your day like then? I can bet - it was different. Significantly so. With each "day" providing an amazing snapshot of who you are at that point in your life, where you are, what your likes/dislikes are, etc. I challenge you. Can YOU recreate a day from fifteen years ago? The fact is we always think we will never forget – until that day life takes over, and we do.

I came to America at the age of 4. We had 3 wooden trunks that carried the entirety of our wordly possessions, which was not a whole lot of stuff, after decades of displacement and loss caused by a world war, a civil war, the aftermath where both my paternal and maternal grandparents lost significant amounts of their "things," and eventually, their lives, orphaning their children. And having lived through the trauma of the wars, the material deprivation, and then the loss of their parents, my parents have only bits of memories of a life they once knew. How often I longed for anything that could show us - just a bit - pictures of the every day - what was life like? Who were they? And where did we come from, before an entire ocean brought us to an entirely new place, new language, new culture? And how can I make sure my children know that part of their heritage?

I never knew what my parents went through, until in college, my professor assigned us to write our own histories for our senior thesis. I went back and painstakingly recreated many "days" in an attempt to figure it all out – geneology in a historical context. In the process, I learned so much, and for the first time, really understood where I came from, and what my parents have experienced and gone through to get my sister and I to our life today. In that exercise, I found me - and I found them.... I consider this to be one of the most life-changing tasks that I have ever undertaken, so crucial to helping me have a foundation to be comfortable with who I am. And even now, when I look back and evaluate where I’ve come in the most recent 5, 10, 15 years, it helps guide me in where I want to go.

And I submit - taking the time out to document your solar day from time to time will be invaluable one day to someone. Maybe it will be you? That time when it all felt so difficult - to look back in 5 years to realize not only did you persevere, you are so much happier and it was all good in the end. Maybe it will be descendants, who, in the mean time, may have moved across the country, or even to another country, trying to figure out who they are? Maybe it will be a great-grandchild one day, lost in a sea of confusion and isolation, only to see in your everyday details hints of who THEY are, and in the process, where they came from. Mundane? Never. Your collections of days are as interesting and telling as any blockbuster novel - they will tell your story one day. And that, my friends, I submit is an amazing gift to your descendants, and to the world. So, I challenge you to take the time to document a day. Do it periodically. Create a layout to give your story dimension and context. Create many of these. Tell your story.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

hip hop thursday 3-26

Its thursday again and we're celebrating Friendship and May Day!!

Did you join me from Patter's blog? If not, start at Angela's blog and hop along with us. :)

Who is your best friend? For me, from the age of 16, it has always been my DH (we married when we were a bit older)... I love him dearly and am so very blessed....

My first project this week uses the Feel the Joy set. It is so gorgeous and elegant, I was inspired to create a card much more muted than I normally do - I love how it turned out - I may really get into this card style....

My second project has this cute eclectic stamp from the March Kit of the Month Simple Life

Colors used: Goldenrod, limepool, marine green, scarlet lake, and yellow from Koh-i-noor

Remember to join Unity in the forum this Saturday for the World Inspirational Blog Hop!!

Thank you for stopping by!!!

Your next stop is Jeanne's blog. Enjoy the rest of your hop! Hip Hop!

Monday, March 23, 2009


Oh, this paper from the new french company, au-dela des cimes is such a joy to work with....

also used:
March Kit of the Month from Unity Stamp Company Simple Life

journaling reads:

a little bit nervous before the trip began, they burned off energy with a bout of goofiness

TFL. wendy

Sunday, March 22, 2009


journaling reads:

"she was so completely certain that the "next" sign would be in English. And so she methodically and with total faith read each and every one of them. Hinoki-Cho Park, Tokyo."

Unity Stamp Company Feel the Joy

Click here for remaining product links.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

adding depth to a card

Sometimes when I am working on a stamped card, I look at my finished colored image and get a bit overwhelmed by the white space. (Which is strange, because other times, I love the crispness of it). Here is a Tilda image I finished coloring today (COPICS) for a thank you card:

There would be nothing wrong with simply adhering this to a card like this. BUT, today, alas, my mood was contrary and I wanted to add some depth. I decided to lightly add a sky and grass.

Start with a nice round sponge - you need the round edges to get a soft application of color. cheapo me buys these and cuts them into 4 (You will need a separate one for each color to keep the colors pure)

Just grab your sponge, round side out, and ponce on your ink, then on your card til you get the effect you like

When done, make your card like normal. Here, I am using the new KI Memories DayDream line.

I caution - you really do need those round sponges. Here, I tried being really cheap and using a cut up cosmetic sponge. You can totally see the harsh lines (I put a little black ink on the sponge too to make the lines a little more visible, as well as really ugly red HTML arrows (sorry - I'm not very PSE proficient - couldn't figure out hwo to draw an arrow...)

Friday, March 20, 2009

lifetimemoments friday 3-20

Its friday again and we're working with YELLOW!!

Yellow is always an intimidating color for me, but I find I really do love it in layouts.

1) Be Yourself Truthfully

This one uses Sassafrass Lass, and talks about how proud my daughter was when we finally finished the huge hike in the hills of Kyoto

2) a good kind of familiar

journaling reads:

"No matter what I said, I could not convince her that a lot of the food here in Japan was the same stuff we ate at home. The first few days were rough, she would not eat. Thank goodness for McDonald's - not only was it open 24-7, which helped our jet lagged bodies, it was totally familiar..."

TFL. Wendy

Thursday, March 19, 2009

hip hip thursday 3-19

Its an eggstravaganza kind of day!! HIP HOP everyone and welcome to your first stop on the {bunny} hop today...!!

Did you join me from Angela's blog and see our fun game (and prize) this week? :)

Cosmo Cricket has always been one of my favorite paper crafts manufacturers. They are funky and hip and always a whole lot of fun, with a product line that is always energetic and cutting edge eggciting. This week, I'm playing with the hello sunshine release, so bright and cheerful. I love that each collection always comes with a journal card sheet that feature journal cards that are the perfect scale for card making...

On this one, I used the "you and me" journal card with the Unity Stamp Company March Kit of the Month Simple Life

colors used:
cool gray 50, cool gray 70, slate gray, non-photo blue, poppy red, dark brown, marine green, limepeel, apple green

On my second card, another journal card provides a nice backdrop for the tree, also from
Unity Stamp Company March Kit of the Month Simple Life and the "enjoy" sentiment from the February Kit of the Month Endings and Beginnings

Colors used:
limepeel, marine green, pumpkin orange, and terra cotta

We are also so inspired by the beautiful stamps and cards featured this week on Stamp It week at Moxie Fab World. We are honored to see Unity in the mix... :) Be sure to check it out and leave some love for papercrafts...

Thank you for stopping by!!!

Your next stop is Natalie's blog. Enjoy the rest of your hop! Hip Hop!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

cool hat

I found this awesome pattern for a hat that had an opening for a ponytail... I thought I'd give super nice wool a shot and i must have been raised in a barn, because while I liked it, will I defer only to using this $16/skein yarn instead of my beloved simply soft heather ($2.50?) - probably not. With my lifestyle and with active kids, the ease of the wash and wear of the simply soft is really welcome.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

feeling orange

I was sitting here staring at these huge stickers from my sassafrass Pocket Full of Posies, and thought it'd be perfect for a card...

Stamp is Chichiboulie by Stamping Bella.

This is LMCS20.

TFL! Wendy

Friday, March 13, 2009

lifetimemoments friday 3-13

This week features the new My Minds Eye releases - I'm using Bella Bella Bellezo....

(journaling on this one just describes the history of muir woods)

TFL! Wendy

Thursday, March 12, 2009

hip hop thursday 3-12


It's Thursday and we're hopping again!! Welcome welcome welcome!!

If you haven't joined me from AnneMarie's fabulous blog, start at Angela's blog and do the blog hop with us!!

This week, we're having hip hop REWIND!! YEPPERS. We're focusing on our favorites "oldies but goodies" and I am using Gratitude=Joy, which remains one of my all time favorites from the Unity releases.

For this first one, I also used the butterfly from the February KOTM. The blue velvet heart is embossed with the Distressed Dots. (for the technique on distressing velvet paper, see here...)

My next project is SC219 sketch this week, a really fun one... The butterfly is from the October KOTM, and it is hard to see, but I have the word "enjoy" from the February KOTM watermarked on the pink.

Thank you for stopping by!!! Be sure to check out Angela's blog after 11 for some fabulous Hip Hop specials!

Your next stop is Renee's blog. Enjoy the rest of your hop! Hip Hop!

Friday, March 6, 2009

lifetimemoments friday 3-6

Today, I'm working on my niece's baby book. I realized she's 9 months now and I need to get moving on it b/c I would like to give her her first year book on her birthday.

Please click HERE for paper product links. This is KI Memories' new Daydream line, and the February Kit of the Month from Unity Stamp Company.

TFL! Wendy

Thursday, March 5, 2009

hip hop thursday 3-5

It's Thursday and we're hip hoppin' again!! Welcome to the your latest stop.

If you haven't joined me from Jennifer's blog, start at Angela's blog and do the blog hop with us!!

This week, we're releasing a new stamp YOU + Me = Happy. So, the question of the day is - what makes YOU happy? For me, that is so easy to answer.... My family means everything to me and makes me so happy and grateful... (This was our Christmas photo this past year - taken by Araxi Dertavitian.)

This week, my family is welcoming my new niece, EK... I can't wait to meet her. I made a welcome card, using the new Little Sprout kit

Next up is my fabulous February Kit of the Month Endings and Beginnings (limited quantities still available) and splitcoast sketch SC218.

Colors used: Jade Green, Slate Gray, Pumpkin Orange and Terra Cotta

Thank you for stopping by!!! Be sure to check out Angela's blog for some fabulous Hip Hop specials!

Your next stop is the super amazing and always fabulous AnneMarie. Enjoy the rest of your hop! Hip Hop!

ETA: for those of you who asked, the lace cardstock is creative imaginations.