Friday, 29 July 2011

playing with browns

Bit of a hodgepodge of reasons for this one.. hubby had a clear out a few days ago and there were 3 fabby cream brocade buttons that just had to be snipped off before the waistcoat went to the recycling. Those ribbons got me thinking.. I've never done an image card in nothing but my favourite brown tones so there was 2 things I wanted to do with it. Then on KennyKs challenge blog the theme is pocket cards and I havent really done one of those either. Next came a thread on one of the forums about feeling guilty about buying stash.. well I'd just sorted out my markers and had a pang of guilt of having a full set of polychromos that have been used so rarely I've not even needed to sharpen the flesh tones. So here we have it.

Kenny K image coloured with just about every brown, yellow ochres and orange polychromo there is. My own nested shape cut with scal, vanilla grosgrain ribbon and ornament stamp & retired papers from SU. MS & SU punches, and flowers from wild orchid.

I'm entering this one in to

Kenny K Crafty Girlz
- pocket card
Truly Scrumptious - buttons and bows
Totally Gorjuss - punches or dies
DYSU Challenge - yellow, orange and brown
PixiedustChallenge - monochromatic card in favourite colour.
paperpretties - no markers

pinkink 2

I thought I was cutting it dead fine or a tad too late with this one for the pinkink sketch challenge. Then I looked again and they're a fortnightly challenge so I could have spent a few minutes longer getting it just right (d'oh lol)

Rockstar papers, su & ms punches, su sentiment and music note wheel, perfect pearls, wild orchid flowers and the tilda I started to colour on my copics versus spectrum noir pens post.

She's coloured with copics, with bg & yg shades.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

spectrum noir versus copics

I decided in the fairness of testing the spectrum noirs against the copics I'd weight things in favour of the spectrum noirs just in case my dislike of crafters companion was influencing me. To weight things I restricted myself to bg01, bg05 and bg09, all in the same blending family but the 3 most extreme to blend together. I already know that bg01 is going to be a lot darker than the spectrum noir 171 or 178 and I'll get less of a highlight. In normal usage (and if I had them all lol) I'd have used a bg000, bg02, bg05, bg07 & bg09 to get maximum shading.

This time I'm using stampinups whisper white paper and because I coloured side by side it allowed the ink to totally dry between shades. Not a single bit of bloom so I'm a lot happier with the results.

Technique wise I went with more of a flick motion and along the lines of the flick hair video on colour me copic blog.

On the left is the spectrum noir in 178 and the right is the copic bg01

The pic hasnt shown it very well but I added some 171 to get a more graduated effect before adding some 68 midtones then some 65 for the darkest shadow. I've used bg05 for the copic midtone and bg09 for the darkest. I havent attempted any blending, just laying down the colour.

I've used the midtones to blend the darker shades, both images show just how large a difference there is between the mid & lighter colours.

This time I've gone back over with the lighter colours to blend mid to light.

In real life there is still more blending to do and it needs more dark on both images.

The spectrum image has been gone over twice more with dark, medium & light and I had to use a lot more ink/blending strokes whereas the copic only needed a few more light touches.

It could be my imagination but the lighter spectrum colours seem to bleach out the darker colours more than copics do.

I'd probably use either image if I'd paid more attention to proper highlight placements.

Will I buy more spectrum noirs? Nope, not unless I've had a chance to play with other colours and find the colours blend more naturally.

Spectrum noir 2nd impressions

First testing finished. I did try using light medium, light, dark, medium, light method but that was sooo bad I have up and went to dark medium light blending.

Photo is better than the real life image where the difference between the light and medium shade is extremely harsh, specially on the arm and hat. I wouldnt use this image even if the ink hadnt have bloomed.

Using 65

Adding in 65 and blending over about 1/3rd of the darker shade.

Added in 171 , again blending over about 1/3rd before adding some more 65 and blending that in to the 68 again. You can really see the harsh lines between the 171 & 65.

I've gone back over again and tried harder to blend the 3 shades together. The ink seems a lot juicier than my copics and promarkers and even on neenah and leaving a minute or 2 between colours you can see where the colour is blooming across the edges.

2nd impression... not impressed. These pens are being marketed as easier to blend as they've been put in to blending families but if I had to make a recommendation I would say to add a shade in between 171 and 65 as there's just far too big a difference between light and medium. It's probably the same as using a bg11 copic with a bg15. With a lot of practise they're probably going to be ok but these arent pens for those with the attention span of a gnat (me sometimes lol) and those that expect to pick up a pen and turn instantly into a virtuoso artist.

Will practise some more... back later lol.

spectrum noir first impressions

First thought was ooh these are chunkier than I thought they'd be. They're even chunkier than the promarkers and feel quite uncomfortable in my small but really pudgy hand, not just because they're larger but being square they dont sit as well. Pen thickness is a personal thing though so I'm not going to mark them down for that.

Nice to have a pen that doesnt roll off the desk though. Nib wise the nibs are not far different in size to the promarkers.

The colours on the pen lids don't appear to go together. I did a first test swatch and it could be my eyes but I would say there are 2 distinct colour tones, one being more of a greeny sea turquoise the other a petrol blue turquoise.

There are light, mid and dark tones in each trio although at first glance it's hard to see which light shade goes with which colour way, looks very much as though you could get away with both as 178 is decidely lighter than 171.

I've got no gripes or whinges about the coverage and once the ink is down I don't think anyone would ever know which brand of pen had been used.

For those used to copics way of numbering (letter denotes colour family, first number the tone and the next numbers the strength of colour with 0 being the lightest) the numbering system on the spectrum noirs is going to drive you loopy. There seens to be no obvious pattern to the numbering. Like copic sketch the number being onthe lid will be handy when hunting in a case but not so great for those who want to keep them in a drawer.

Off now to do a real test with a couple of stamped images.. now which stamp shall I chose lol.

crafters companion spectrum noir pens

There's been a slight buzz in a couple of uk forums about the launch of new alchie pens from crafters companion. Same sort of pens as copics and promarkers but a lot cheaper and they will be refillable although at the time of writing this there's no idea about how much or when the refills will be available. As we speak I've got a set of turquoise pens winging their way to me. As soon as they're in my grubby mitts I'll do a side by side test.

Now I'll admit to being dubious about them, not because I'm a copic girl at heart but because everything I've ever bought with crafters companion logos has been poor quality or badly thought out. Just a few bad buys have been

ultimate embossing gizmo, flimsy cheap construction that's had issues with hinges and the ruler. The cutter is worse than an old rusty stanley knife. The embossing channels are too chunky which leaves misaligned gatefolds and leading edges.

Sticknspray, marketed for coating the back of ums and claims made that it could be enough to hold the stamp up to 60 times... I was lucky if it held a 2nd. Claims were also made that it would hold posters.. nope doesnt do that for me either.

watercolour paper.. claims on tv about how good is was for blending watercolours. Came last when I tested it against other watercolour papers. Even the cheapest of the cheap from whsmiths was better.

cds, first flower fairy cd was horrendous, pictures printed pixellated and the fairys all looked as though they needed a razor up and down their legs. Later cds have had misaligned images and missing files. As we speak several months on and a patch for the fairyopolis cd still hasnt been sent to people waiting.

There have also been complaints about their trimmer not being very accurate or easy to use but I havent tried it myself.

Anyways I'm off to stalk the postbox.. hopefully the postie will be here soon and I'll post back what I think of them.

Friday, 22 July 2011

blue green xmas

Not sure about this one, I've combined paper salon papers with SU baja breeze card stock stamped with a snowflake and embossed in white.

Baja breeze seam binding, sentiment from perfect punches set and wild orchid flowers mixed with branches from the SU bird punch and some stickles. All of the papers have been distressed along edges and matted on some deep brown pearl card which again has been distressed.

The sugar nellie (after getting Clint the Cowboy as a whimsy stamp last week when in fact he's a kraftin kimmie leads me to believe my memory isn't what it was lol) which I've had for yonks is stamped on neenah and coloured with bv0's & bg10's with touches of e30's and e0's.

Layout is from sketchnstash challenge blog
and the theme is winter blues from Sweetstamps Blog

Friday, 15 July 2011

New challenge blog

Not sure how I found it but Pink(ink) Sketch Challenges started off this week and I had to have a play with their first ever challenge.

Sadly the card is a bit too blingy to get a decent photo but in real life it's quite subtle even though there's lots of metallic silver and glitter.

Image is from CC designs and it's her first inking. I've used wow silver tinsel ep and watercoloured her with pretty in pink, bashful blue and so saffron markers from SU with a medium flesh watercolour pencil. There is a hint of perfect pearls painted on to the showflake skirt.

Backing papers are a mixture, the snowflake rows is from a dcwv pad but the other 2 are using stamps, powders, bashful blue & pretty in pink ink & cutndry pads on white card.

Diecut snowflakes from glitter card, some pastel glitter mizhuhiki cords, sentiment & punch from SU. Everything is backed with elegant eggplant card stock.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Is my mojo back?

Not sure if my mojo is back for good but while it's visiting I'm making full advantage of it lol. Good timing tho as I have a list of cards I need to make this week.

This one is a thankyou card for one of hubbies friends. Not your typical thankyou image but Trevor hosted a cowboy & indians camping weekend party for about 150 people. It coiincided with the Newbury show... beer or stamps?? bit of a no brainer for me stamps won hands down lol. Shame though as everyone had a fantastic time.

Back to the card, I've used a new whimsy stamp on neenah card and coloured with copics. b93,95,97 b39 c3, 5, 7 e000, 00, 02, 43, 47, 49yg11, 63, r46, bv29 & y17 Layout is from Truly Scrumptious although I've taken liberties with it.

Papers are predominently from SU Elegant Soiree (my most favourite papers of all time) with a strip from dcwv rockstar. Very vanilla & soft suede cardstock, su lattice embossing folder, nesties and a sentiment from SU.

New card

Monday is my sons girlfriends birthday and she's pretty much a rockchick so another new Kenny K stamp was just perfect for the occasion.

I've used sketch 147 from cupcake challenge blog with what else but rockstar papers which have been grunged up a bit with weathered wood distress ink. The nestie is my own cut with scal and again grunged with weathered wood and a hint of bundled sage. Sentiment from SU and cut with one of their punches. Black pearls to create a flourish and a bow tied from some material I had in the cupboard.

The image is coloured with copics and cased from the header of Kenny K challenge blog which was coloured there by Cheryl Valader. She's cut out by hand and I've tipped the edges with bv29 before lifting her with some 3d tabs.

Must admit I'm chuffed to bits and over the moon with the image as it's my first non binned attempt using deep reds and greys. Huge long list of colours, sorry. r32, 35, 37, 46, 59. C0, 1, 3, 5, 7. B00, 02, 05, 63. yg11, 91, 95. Skin is e000 & e00. Hair, e08, 29, 31, 33, 35, 37

Monday, 11 July 2011

Anniversary card

It was our wedding anniversary on Sat, gulp 23 years..

This is the card I made for hubby.

Quite aptly the papers are from a pad called Love Letters and I teamed it with a wonderful stamp from Mo Manning. She's coloured predominently with rose carmine watercolour pencil with naples ochre for her hair, stickles to her skirt & scarlet & juniper wc pencil for the flowers. White card ran through a papermania embossing folder and coloured with blushing bride ink. The sentiment is one that came with the stamp and is mounted on bravo burgundy card & cut with a punch from SU. Wild orchid roses and sections from a marianne die to finish. I was quite pleased with how it came out, specially her hair because when I first met hubby I had bleached blonde hair which was in a very wild 80s curly bob.

Kenny K bday card

I love having new stamps and my good friend Noreens birthday gave me a good excuse to ink up 2 of my newest purchases. Couldnt have been timed better as as KennyK challenge blog is having an anything goes challenge and celebrating it's 1yr bday with a blog hop.

The girl is one of Kenny Ks fab images and she's coloured with watercolour pencils. The blue background is a new 6*6 backing stamp from impression obsession which resist embossed on white card then grunged up with several blue distress inks, predominently faded jeans.

Wild orchid roses and SU seam binding tinted with faded jeans ink, 2 whimsy stamps to make the sentiment, scrap of basic grey paper, label 4(?) nestie and a guitar charm to finish.