Sunday, January 21, 2018

Give Me Coffee Card Set

How about something cozy and warm for your Monday?

I have a pair of coffee cards using Big Cups Stamp Set  and Cups Duo Dies from The Cat’s Pajamas.  Even though I don’t drink coffee, I have a husband who is a bit of a coffee snob.  He loves it.  He can taste the different notes in the flavour and he likes it brewed strong, so these would be cards he’d appreciate.  

On this first design I worked on the background by embossing the sentiment in white numerous times in a random pattern,  then sponging some teal ink overtop to show the sentiment and add colour.  Next, I used some random splatters from TCP’s set Watercolor Basics, to simulate coffee drops.  I coloured up that cute penguin to match the colour scheme and added the coffee cups from the die cuts that match.  

For the next card, I used another of the stamps from the set to allow Poochie to enjoy the warmth of the coffee on his belly and in his belly!  

I made use of the Watercolor Basics set again to create the cup stained background in Kraft ink, and then added the cute sentiment.  Poochie is just dreaming of how he’d rule the world.  

These die cut cups are really great to use and it ties the design together inside and out.  

Have a warm and cozy day - and if you’re a coffee drinker - enjoy a cup for me!  


Friday, January 19, 2018

The Ice Castles

I have a treat for you today!  It’s a bit of a departure from my normal posts.  This week we had a date night at an Ice Castle!  

For the past three years our city has built a massive ice castle using only water and icicles.  We’ve always missed it every year because of our schedule, but this year we made it a date.  It was spectacular!  So, I thought I’d take you on a mini tour.  It was the perfect day, temperature just above freezing, and we caught it right before sunset and it was the perfect light for photos.  This is outside the castle where the explain a little of the process of creating the structures.  It’s all icicles and water.  No other structure is used.  

The colour was amazing.  It really is this blue tone.  Just like the ocean reflects blue, so does the ice.  
They said the Ice Castles are in some spots 10 feet thick and the entire castle weighs about 25 million pounds.  It’s really impressive.  

Inside the castle are mazes, domes of ice, ice slides, a fire pit, and photo ops every corner you turn.  This was facing west as the sun was beginning to set.  I felt like we were in Narnia at the White Witch’s castle.  

This is one of the three ice slides, closed while we were there, but I still slid down another one.  

They have sections that look like crowns over top of you.  Against that blue sky, it’s amazing!  

It’s about 3 stories high, so it really does feel like a castle.  

This is looking up inside the maze.  Isn’t that impressive?  

They have an ice throne for pictures :)  Here’s me and my sweetie.  He’s the best.  

As the night begins to come, they have LED lights behind the ice that start to glow different colours, so you get yellow, green, turquoise, red, purple, and blue.  

They have a large wall section with dancing LED lights behind it that constantly change colour, it’s a bit like Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights.  

A specatuclar sky and a really fun date that I just had to share with you.  One of the parts I loved about it was that it embraces that we’re a winter city and that we can enjoy it!  They do have sites all over the US and a couple in Canada, and they’re well worth checking out! Hope you enjoyed the pictures!  

Rosé All Day Completed!

Earlier this week I showed you my initial progress on an art piece with Power Poppy’s new set, Rosé All Day.  Well, it’s complete!  I put some more time into it on Wednesday night in front of Season 2 of ER.  Man I loved that show!  Honestly it was a little challenging to decide what to concentrate on - the show or my colouring :)!  

The piece is just over 6 x 6 inches finished sized, and I placed it on my mini easel and for now it will go on our mantle.

It is primarily coloured with Copics, and I finished off some of the shading and line work with prismacolor pencils.  Even though most of the shades are in the RV copic family, I didn’t skimp, and used a whopping 46 markers on this design, so I’m not going to even attempt to take a picture of them.

I wanted each element to have it’s own “feel” and distinct shade of colour so you could differentiate between the elements of the design, but I also wanted it to have an overall cohesive aspect as well.  I tried to accomplish this by bringing some colours from other areas into each other so they would tie together.

For instance, in the roses, I used RV00, RV02, RV04, RC09, but I also added shadows with BV00 and BV02, plus a wee bit of B63 so that it tied into the more purple tones of the cyclamen and coloured pencil crayon (which I did with RV00, RV52, RV66 and B63).  The Redbud and ribbon are done in RV63, RV66, RV69.  Then, because I had some blue tones going on in the flowers, I did my paintbrush in B63, B66, B69.  It adds contrast, but takes on the tones of the shadows in the flowers.  No-line colouring has some challenges because you gradually start to lose your reference lines as you colour.  You can manage this by having another reference piece nearby to refer to, and in colouring you do need to add some definition in with your markers or pencils to your outer areas so you can see the shadows and a bit of the outline when it’s finished.

The leaves were fun to do, particularly those amazing varigated cyclamen leaves, I did them with a combo of G21, G24, G28 with some B10, B11 and B66 for the shadows.  This was one spot I added prismacolor pencil at the end giving the depths some blue-green and the highlights some yellow-green so that they tied into the more yellow green of the stems.  Super fun project to work on. Sometimes you just need a bigger piece to stretch you.  Thanks for enjoying the journey with me!  

Be sure to stop by the Power Poppy Blog to see what Marcy has in store today and also my Bloom Brigade sisters playing along with inspiration.  Don’t forget that our weekly Hues to Use Challenge is going on, as well as our monthly Power & Spark - Grab a Map Challenge.  You could win anything from a guest spot on the blog to a $50 gift certificate to the Power Poppy store!  

Christine Okken (here)
Julie Koerber
Katie Sims
Stacy Morgan

and Marcy at the Power Poppy Blog

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Farmyard Chick

How about a bright and cheery design to start your Tuesday?  Today I’ve pulled out the adorable set, The Whole Herd from My Favorite Things to create a sweet little birthday design.  

Farmyard and gingham pair so perfectly together, and with those fluffy yellow little baby chicks following mama along, I had to do a bright yellow gingham background.  See how the last one is doing his own little dance?  There’s always that one hey?  

The colouring on the hen and chicks is with Copics, and the blades of grass are with Prismacolour pencils.  I just find the thin pencils are great for making individual blades of grass.  

It’s wee bit of fun papers, a little bit of button and twine to accent.  Having them over to the right side helps balance the off-centre layout.  The sentiment is popped up to give it the look of a labeling machine label.  

Inside is the birthday greeting.  

Hope your whole herd is well, and that you have a great week ahead!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Rosé all Day in Progress

Have we got a treat for you today!  Marcella has given us a brand new digital image that is stunning! It’s called Rosé All Day, and you’re going to be wowed!  It’s an amazing combination of flowers that are naturally reds, pinks, and whites (and any derivatives of these shades... pinky-purples, corals, peaches).  The bouquet features Roses, Redbud branches (Cercis canadensis), Cyclamen hederifolium, a Fern frond (for contrast) along with "ivy-leaved Cyclamen" leaves - they are quite dramatic. Marcy has worked in a few paint brushes and a colored pencil, along with a ladybug and bumblebees. Its such a beauty!

We’re also helping kick off Kathy Racoosin’s 30 Day Coloring Challenge today!

Though I don’t have a completed design, I started working on a larger piece that I’ll end up putting on an easel or framing.  I’ve printed it up large, about 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 and I’ve used the version of the image that works for “no-line” colouring.  I wanted to give the image that rosey-pink theme for all my flowers.  I’ll finish it up later this week and show it off to you once it’s done.  

I’ve done some basic laying down of colour, and once that’s done, I think I’ll possibly give it some detail with pencils to finish it off.  

Here are some of the Power Poppy girls giving you some sneak peeks off this amazing design today.  

Kathy Racoosin 
Kathy on Instagram
Barbara on Instagram
Elizabeth  on Instagram
Jessie on Instagram
me! Christine
and Marcy at the Power Poppy blog

Friday, January 12, 2018

Plant Kindness, Gather Love

How are you doing on this Friday in your part of the world?  It has been so cold here again, that we need something really vibrant for a card today.  I pulled out one of the CardMaps Sketches from Becky Fleck and a great digital image from Power Poppy called Plant Kindness.  I’m making a series of cards for my sister in law and one of her requests was for gardening cards.  She has a massive garden and always plants new and interesting vegetables each year, so this image is just perfect for her!

I found a few great sheets of older designer paper that had a really wild print on it and thought it would make a perfect map for my colouring and a backdrop for the image.  

Here’s the CardMaps Sketch I based it off of, I just used an oval rather than the circle, so that adjusted all the other panels too.  

A little wood veneer heart and some twine finish it off.  

Don’t forget that you can enter our Power Poppy Power & Spark Challenge this month to Grab a Map  from one of Becky Fleck’s CardMaps this month.  Enter at the Power Poppy Blog and you could win a $50 shopping spree to the Power Poppy store!  And you can also enter just by commenting on the CardMaps Blog for a $25 shopping spree!  Lots of ways to win this month.   

For some more sweet inspiration today check out my Bloom Brigade sisters here:  

Christine Okken
Stacy Morgan
Tosha Leyendekker

and the Power Poppy Blog