Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Color and Relax Tuesday - Gears in the Wild

Hello coloring friends! I am still in the process of sharing some coloring projects that I completed over the past year to 18 months. The end of the week is packed with paper crafting posts, so I decided to share this one today, rather than on Saturday!

And for those who looked at this and said...RELAXING?!? Well, maybe this type of project isn't relaxing per se, but it is fun and challenging! I had this picture  on my "must color" list for a while, but was waiting for inspiration to strike. It finally did when I re-watched Avatar! The "glow in the dark" colors in that movie really inspired me to try a glowing, night setting!
This book is available in lots of places, but you can find it on Amazon HERE for about $11 (24 images). The page size is approximately 10" x 10", so a good size. And the pages are single-sided so you can use lots of different mediums and not wreck the back-side of any of the pictures!

I have the US version, which has off-white paper that is pretty thick. It feels like nice cardstock, with a tiny bit of texture, making it great for colored pencils. 

This picture is also in Colormorphia by Kerby Rosanes, which is a compilation book, and contains double-sided pages. At this writing Colormorphia is cheaper and contains more images to color; 80 pages, with several double-page spreads. 
In order to create a night scene, I painted the background black, using black acrylic paint. I used cheap Apple Barrel matte black acrylic paint. For the tiny areas I did use a Posca paint pen, but it was a slightly different shade of black, and was a little shiny, so I eventually went back over those areas with a tiny paint brush and the black Apple Barrel paint. Talk about NOT relaxing! I am not very good with a paint brush, so this process was a little stressful! 

Tip: I used a bit of low tack painter's tape along the left edge to make sure I did not get paint on the facing page and to keep a nice, crisp edge. This is more important if the facing page also has an image to color.
I decided to use Faber-Castel Polychromos colored pencils for this picture. It was a huge risk because I had never used them before! They were a new purchase at the time, and I was itching to break into them! I have the set of 120, which costs around $180 on Amazon and Blick's. I got mine a bit cheaper at Jerry's Artarama, but their prices are higher at this writing.

Polychromos are an artist grade pencil, and not a necessary purchase for coloring hobbyists, but....I wanted them, so I grabbed them when they went on sale! I am happy I did because they have fast become my FAVORITE set of pencils. They fit my coloring style, and they are available open stock, which allows me to replace individual pencils. 

Y'all, I have a lot of pencils sets...it is a sickness really...but these are indeed my favorites. My second favorites are a Chinese set that cost me under $30...so....there is no accounting for my taste! 
I am not going to list all the pencils I used because it won't matter if you know that information. I used so many colors, with so many layers to achieve the look I wanted, that unless you mimic my technique exactly, you won't get the same results by knowing which pencils I used. 

My advice is to make some swatches to see what combinations look good to you. You can always make a copy of your picture to experiment a bit before working directly into your book. (Most coloring books allow for you to make copies of pages, onto your preferred paper, for your personal use, but check the fine print in your book.)
I wanted to color various metals from bronze, to silver, to copper, to rust, to...just anything metal. I wanted to achieve what metal might look like if left in the wild, but was maybe coming "back to life."
This process was painstaking and took me a long time to achieve. The beauty of this paper and these pencils together was that I could layer and layer and layer the color to get the depth and shade I wanted. 

Note: I did NOT use any sort of blender solution or blender pencil. As a rule, I rarely reach for a blender solution such as Gamsol, because it never works well for me...and the odor can give me a migraine. I will only occasionally use a blender pencil. I find that the pencils themselves can do all the work! {smile} 
I made sure to color the lantern prior to coloring the flowers to make sure I remembered to show a bit of glow.
Since I had so many shades of metal, I didn't want a clown party of colorful flowers. I looked at a lot of pictures of flowers and of phosphorescent plants (is that the correct term?) before choosing my colors.

Here is where I find a bit of fault with the Polychromos pencil set. I am not a huge fan of the greens! Many of the greens are dull and need some under-painting or...something. I had a whale of a time getting the greens the way I wanted, but I stuck to it! 
I chose blue and purple for the flowers. There is just something about blue and purple that makes me think of glowing flowers, so that is the route I took! I decided on two different blue combinations and one purple/pink combination. 
Again, getting this all colored and shaded, with highlights and shadows was "a job of work" to quote Ralph Moody's grandpa (The Fields of Home by Ralph Moody). I spent many happy hours listening to TV shows or YouTube videos, sermons, pod casts, and some music while working on this during our moving process last year.
To me, the secret of finishing such a large and complicated piece is to bite off small chunks at a time. I like to work on single items, and in sections. For example, I colored all the metal first, but worked on it in sections. I then colored the leaves, then the flowers, and so on.

I confess the birds and insects got a bit of a shallow treatment as I don't enjoy coloring those items. I wanted them to fade away just a bit. There are also two hidden objects in this picture (NOT a fan of those times 1000), but since one object is the lantern, I used that to my advantage.
I finally finished all the coloring! Then I decided I wanted a bit of a "firefly" sparkle around the outside. I added dots of paint all around, and I confess that I HIGHLY REGRET doing that now! I think I came pretty close to ruining the whole thing! Sometimes, I should walk away sooner! 
I love the metal, but my favorite part is the blue flowers. I love blue, especially deep, saturated blue. I think the flowers were a WIN! 
You can see here I tried to make the dragonfly blend into the metal and almost disappear. Bug camo, if you will. {smile}
If you are a long time Follower, you know I love metal gears and clocks. Coloring all these cogs and gears was indeed my HAPPY place. Working to make them look metal and dimensional was so much fun, and I learned so much about my abilities and how my pencils work! 
I recommend that you stick it out when working on something difficult or complicated. My daughter always says, "work through the ugly, Mom!" Sometimes, you need to work more, let it rest, stand back, then work again! It may take time to come together, but the end result is worth it!

I am happy you joined me today for some coloring fun! As much as I love getting back into my paper crafting goodies, I still love and enjoy coloring as much....or even more! I have a boatload of works in progress (WIPs), and I might do a video...a color and chat maybe...while I work on something...you never know!

Coloring book: Fanotmorphia by Kerby Rosanes
Acrylic paint: Apple Barrel matte black, Arteza gouache lilac, lemon yellow, white (for the dots)

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Color and Relax Saturday - Umbrella Girl

If you had a chance to read the blog during the pandemic lock-downs, you will remember that I had been doing a "Coloring Therapy Thursday" post, every now and then. Since I have started to work with some of my design teams again, I cannot always post on a Thursday, so...I will just pop up a "Color and Relax" post when I can get to it! These posts will usually feature coloring projects from coloring books or larger size coloring pages, not card projects.

Today, I want to share a coloring that I made last summer but never really had a chance to feature on the blog. 

The book is Whimsical World Coloring Book: Fairies, Mermaids,  Witches and More by Molly Harrison. This is the only book I have by this illustrator, but the illustrations are super cute and remind me a bit of Precious Moments drawings. The are very sweet and appealing, especially when I need a coloring "veg out" day! 

I think this is a self-published book from Amazon, so the paper is not very good. I scanned and printed the image onto Springhill White 80# Bristol Vellum cardstock, which has a bit of texture to it, making it great for colored pencils. 

I wish I had ordered the 90# or the 110# Springhill since I like a thicker cardstock for my projects. I am not sure those papers would go through my printer, but I will order one of them next time I need to replenish my stash and see how it goes!
Once I started to color I wish I had sized the image to be a tad smaller, since it is a big, children's coloring book sized piece of art! The book is 8 1/2" x 11" so the pictures are large and the line art is pretty thick. But, I love the cutie pie images, so I decided to keep going! 

I used Prismacolor Premiere colored pencils, the 150 set. The price is all over the map on these pencils, so check around for a good deal. I linked to Amazon, but sometimes they are not the cheapest place for these pencils. The set I have is old, but I purchased a second set in August 2020 for $90 and they eventually came down in price to just under $70. They are now back up to around $120! 

Note: I DO NOT have any affiliate links. I just like to show you where you can buy stuff! 

I am not a huge fan of Prismacolor pencils because they are a very soft, wax pencil, which is not my normally my choice of pencil. They don't hold a point very well, and they can be prone to breakage, but they do make it easy to add heavy layers of color and to blend colors together. 
I lost the list of pencils I used for this page, unfortunately. I colored this during our move last year, and who knows where I stashed my swatch cheat sheet! As you can see, I chose aqua blues and bright reds for her outfit. And I colored her to look like my daughter, so she has golden brown hair. {smile}
Once I had the little girl, her umbrella, and her kitten friend all colored, I decided to take a huge leap and try to add a background...of sorts.  I drew in the puddle, which didn't turn out too bad considering my vast lack of drawing skills.

I used Prismacolor NuPastel firm pastel color sticks (basically chalk pastels) to create the grass and sky. I have the 96 set, but I can only find the 48 set on Amazon for you.

I used a stencil made from a die cut cloud shape to create the clouds in the sky. I just rubbed the chalk over the stencil, and ta-da clouds! For the grass, I went back in and drew in some grass "spikes" with a green pencil, over the top of the chalk. I used a cotton make up remover pad thingie to rub the chalk onto the paper. (So scientific!)
I confess that the photos do not do this little picture justice. In person the color is very vibrant and rich looking. I had a lot of fun with the folds of her dress, too. I think it looks a little like velvet.
The only issue I had was coloring her skin with the pencils. I am so used to using Copics that using colored pencils for skin sort of threw me off my groove! I just need to practice! All in all, it was fun to just coloring something that gave me the illusion of childhood for a few hours!

I hope you can spend some time coloring something today...just for the fun of it! I will be back soon with more Color and Relax posts.Plus I will have Power Poppy images at least twice a month for you during Inspire Me Monday and The Blossom Challenge

See you soon!

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Liberty Dwells Here

Hello, Ribbon Friends! I am up on the Really Reasonable Ribbon Blog today! I loved the May Ribbon Club (Patriotic Assortment) so much that I decided to make another project with some of the ribbon! There is so much ribbon in each of the Ribbon Club Assortments that I can never use it all up in one sitting, so I keep the package on my desk for a month or so to see how much of it I can consume before putting it away! 

And yes, friends, I do put my ribbon away in a timely manner! I like to have it all sorted and stashed so I can find what I need when I need it! 

For this project, I created a 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" card out of Flag Blue cardstock. I found some patriotic paper in my stash, which I totally forgot I had. I bought two packs of 6x6 paper a few years ago and it must have come at a time when I did not need patriotic paper, so it got shuffled into the stack and forgotten! GASP! 

I also spent some time digging around in my embossing folders! I cannot say when was the last time I had those out! The sentiment is a FREE digital stamp from Power Poppy which  you can find HERE
Now, let's talk about these scrumptious ribbons! I created a big, loopy bow out of the 5/8" Red Diamond Satin ribbon. I then made two smaller bows with the 3/8" Patriotic Strips on Satin ribbon. I used hot glue to glue all the bows together in a nifty stack!

I added the flowers and a sparkly star to the cluster. I think the red flower is perhaps an out of stock item, but you could substitute a Red Trellis Rose instead. I added one Ivory Open Rose (15mm) and one Royal Blue Open Rose (15mm) to the flower cluster.
I love this patriotic creation! With Memorial Day, Flag Day, and Independence Day coming soon, I will have lots of cards to choose from to either mail or to decorate my desk! Like I said the other day, I just have a majot "THING" for red, white, and blue! 
Thank you so much for stopping by! It has been a lot of fun reading your comments here and on social media. I really missed creating and interacting with all of you! 

Really Reasonable Ribbon Supplies Used:
Scor-tape (1/2")

Other Supplies Used: 
Cardstock: WorldWin Flag Blue Smooth and Silky, Hammermill White
Decorative paper: Divinity Designs Patriotic Collection 6x6
Embossing folder: Cuttlebug Stars
Digital stamp: Power Poppy FREE image HERE
Sparkly star embellishment: my stash
Die cuts: Heartfelt Creations Eyelet Circle and Basics Small, Circle Basics Large
Adhesives: hot glue, ATG, foam tape, Art Glitter glue

Monday, May 16, 2022

Inspire Me Monday - The Blossom Challenge - May

Hello and welcome to the Blog! The Power Poppy Bloom Brigade is bringing you a monthly challenge the third Monday of every month, starting TODAY! The lovely and super talented Christine Okken is your hostess each month! The challenge is called The Blossom Challenge and will be a different theme or type of challenge each month! 

This month the theme is: April Showers Bring May Flowers. So grab a Power Poppy image and create a project celebrating the flowers of spring! To top it off, the BEST Power Poppy spring images are on discount at 25% OFF too! 

Note: You do NOT have to make a card! If you like to color at 8 1/2 x 11, you may print your image at that size and share your finished coloring page! 

Our challenge WINNER will receive a $20 gift card to use at the Power Poppy Store!! The challenge is open until noon on June 17th! Link up your project to the Power Poppy Blog for a chance to win!

Now here is a look at my inspiration project for the challenge, April Showers Bring May Flowers! I love spring flowers, but living where I do spring flowers are not the same as where i grew up in Pennsylvania. Here in the southern part of the California Inland Empire, spring can be colorful, but you won't see many tulips or daffodils, or other spring flowers. Spring comes quickly and becomes summer in the blink of an eye! I love the spring flowers of my childhood, but really only see them in forced pots or bouquets these days. 

I used the BRAND NEW digital stamp, Sketches of Spring Vol. 1 for my card front. I love coloring bouquets of various flowers and this beauty is perfect. The bouquet contains several types of daffodils, fritillaria acmopetala (pointed-petal fritillary), and a tulip viridiflora. (Yeah, so I have no idea what those flowers are...I color them, but I don't grow them! I know daffodil and tulip...the rest I copied from Marcella's description!)
I printed the gray outline image onto tan cardstock at 5" x 7" to make a nice sized image to color. My finished card is slightly larger than 5" x 7" but it still fits into an envelope made for 5" x 7" cards. 
I kept this card very simple. I stamped a greeting onto the front with gray ink (the sentiment is from the retired clear set So Grateful). I used a white pen to create a stitched border around the card, then I added a few enamel dots. So fast and simple to make! 
I colored the image with Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils. I did not keep a list because it took me a few days to color, and I was also in the middle of rearranging my craft space, so the pencils kept getting moved around! 

I added a little gray gel pen to the flower stamens for highlight, but that is all the gel pen I used on the main image. 
I have been wanting to try coloring a white flower on tan cardstock, using colored pencils for long time, and I finally decided to get on with it! White is very hard to make look white, and I confess I was a little worried when I got to this stage, but when I added the orange and green bits, the flower began to look more white and less gray.

I kept going and decided to color all three daffodils the same way. I really was unsure what color those little bell-shaped flowers should be, but I know that tulips come in many colors. I did some Google "research" and found some pictures of flowers to use for a reference. 

I ended up with an orange tulip and a blue "bell flower." The pointed-petal fritillary is not actually blue, but in my world, you can color flowers any old way you wish! {grin} My goal to color with realism only extends so far! {giggle}
I hope you have fun with the challenge this month, and please tell your friends! It will be great to have a lot of participants in our FIRST Blossom Challenge at Power Poppy!

Make sure you visit the Shop, because there are a few NEW things to grab! Plus there is a 25% off sale on the spring offerings!

To see all the inspiration, and to read the challenge details, visit the Power Poppy Blog HERE

Inspiration List

Power Poppy Blog
Barbara C.

Power Poppy Stamps: Sketches of Spring Vol. 1 Digital Stamp, So Grateful Clear Stamp (Retired)
Cardstock: WorldWin ColorMates Smooth and Silky Sapphire Blue, WorldWin Treasures White, Neenah Desert Storm 80#
Gel pens: Pentel Pigment Gel Ink White, Gelly Roll  Moonlight Blue Grey
Ink: Memento London Fog
Enamel dots: Echo Park Travelers Notebook Coffee and Friends
Die template: Heartfelt Creations Eyelet Rectangles and Basics
Adhesives: Scor-tape, ATG, Art Glitter Glue

Friday, May 13, 2022

Really Reasonable Ribbon May Blog Hop

Welcome to the Really Reasonable Ribbon May Blog Hop! I cannot believe a whole month has gone by already! My mind is still in  April and here it is the second week of May! I feel like I am going at hyperspeed! 

You should be coming to my blog from Ginny's Blog After visiting me hop on to Kathy's Blog next! (The full blog list is at the end of the post.)

At the end of the hop, comment on the RRR Blog post, answering the question listed, for a chance to win the May Ribbon Club Assortment shown below. The Design Team appreciates your comments, too! 
The May Ribbon Club is called Patriotic Assortment. This is always one of my favorite collections each year! I look forward to the Patriotic, Halloween, and Christmas assortments the most! 

I have another BRAND NEW home decor panel for you today! I am getting close to finishing up the series...at long last! (See below for the full list of panels already created.)
This 6" x 6" chipboard-wrapped home decor panel is a celebration of American Independence Day. I love red, white, and blue together, probably because it is the colors of our flag! I display my panels on a little easel stand on the desk.
I used the Authentique Liberty paper collection plus some stickers from the Authentique Liberty and Glory collections. I also used one piece of Bo Bunny Anthem paper. I am fast depleting my old patriotic paper stash! 

I love that some paper collections come with coordinating stickers, cut-apart images, even die cut pieces! I just adore the vintage look of these papers and that sweet image! 
I created a big, loopy bow with the Red Satin with Grosgrain Edge ribbon, and glued it to the project. I used some hot glue to shape the bow the way I wanted it. I then added another bow using the Patriotic Random Stars on Satin ribbon and added it to the top of the red satin.

The flowers are all from the RRR Shop too. I used Two-Tone Sapphire Blue Lotus Flower for the main flower in the cluster. I added red, white and blue roses in various sizes (see the supply list below) to the cluster.

I surrounded the cluster with some faux metal stars and some ephemera.
Just looking at the picture of the farm gives me memories of my home town and all the 4th of July celebrations we used to enjoy. The older I get the more I pine for those country days, when things seemed simpler and slower. I often wonder if our rosy childhood memories are a tiny foretaste of the peace and contentment we will have in heaven. 

Hop over to Kathy's Blog to see what she has for you!

Thanks for joining me for the monthly ribbon hop. Make sure to visit the other team members. And b
e sure to answer Bonnie’s Question of the Month to be entered into a drawing for a FREE Ribbon Club Assortment.If you’re not a member of the Monthly Ribbon Club yet, now is a great time to join. 

Here is the RRR Blog Hop Order in case you get lost!

Really Reasonable Ribbon's Ramblings
Gloria - YOU ARE HERE!
Really Reasonable Ribbon's Ramblings 

If you want to make some pretty decor for your desk, here is a list of all the panels in the series so far. As you can see, there are more panels to come!

: If you would like to see more information, and see a tutorial for making a panel for yourself, check out the original tutorial 
HERE. The basic concept is the same for every panel, but by changing the size of paper strips and adding different images, sentiments, and embellishments, you get a NEW panel every time!

Winter - Authentique Frosted Collection
Valentine's Day - Authentique Love Notes Collection
Spring - Authentique Dreamy Collection
St. Patrick's Day - Authentique Dublin Collection
Easter - Authentique Cottontail Collection
Mother's Day - Authentique Flawless Collection
Summer - Authentique Meadow, Seafarer, Calendar Collections
Father's Day
4th of July - Authentique Liberty, Glory Collections; Bo Bunny Anthem Collection
Back to School
Halloween - Authentique Twilight Collection
Thanksgiving - Authentique Gracious Collection (original tutorial)
Christmas - Authentique Nostalgia Collection

Cardstock: WorldWin Papers (color unknown)
Printed paper: Authentique Liberty, Bo Bunny Anthem
Stickers: Authentique Liberty, Glory
Ephemera: from my stash
Star brads: The Paper Studio Spare Parts
Chipboard: from my stash
Adhesive: ATG tape, hot glue, Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L foam squares, 3M foam tape, Scor-Tape (1/4" and 1/2", Art Glitter Dries Clear Glue
Tools: paper trimmer, craft knife, hot glue gun, WRMK Layer Guide, Zutter Bow-it-All

Monday, May 02, 2022

Inspire Me Monday - Welcome Spring!

Good morning! I am over on the Power Poppy Blog today, sharing an Inspire Me Monday project! Head on over there for all the details. 

My image was colored with Copic markers, gel pen, and a little colored pencil for detail. The finished card is 6" x 6".

I used a large circle die to cut out the colored image and popped it up with some foam tape.
I dragged out some very old, but still very pretty 6x6 paper pads to make my card! 
I used a die cut sentiment to turn this card into a birthday card, but you could use any sentiment you wish.  

For extra details on this project, head on over to the Power Poppy Blog. I did list all my supplies below for you!

Coloring supplies Used:
Copic markers: Tans: E31, E41, E50, E51, E55, E95, Y28; Oranges: YR04, YR15,  YR18; Greens: YG01, YG03, YG06, YG09 YG17,YG21, YG25 G03, G14; Pinks: R81, R83, R85, V05, RV02, RVB55; Shadows: C0, C5, C3; Background: Colorless blender, B0000, B000
Gel pens: Gelly Roll Souffle pink 920, Moonlight Rose 421, Uni-ball Signo white
Colored pencils: Faber-Castell Polychromos Prussian Blue, Walnut Brown, Venetian Red, Ivory, Light Cadmium Red, Black
Water-based marker: Tombow N15 Black

Other Products Used: 
Cardstock: WorldWin:Licorace, Midnight, Hammermill 110# white
Printed paper: Carta Bella So Noted, My Mind's Eye Lime Twist (both 6x6 pads)
Die cuts: Graphic45 Folder and Sentiments, Spellbinders Grand Circles
Adhesives: ATG, 3M foam tape, Art Glitter Dries Clear glue