Saturday, November 28, 2009

Kraftin' Kimmie Challenge #8: Touchy Feely

KK porcupines front

I've got the fun job of hosting this week's challenge, and I chose the theme, "Touchy Feely", meaning, I want you to add a lot of texture to your cards. Whatever gives your paper an added texture, like embossing, flower soft, sanding, fuzzy fibres, whatever you like to do, it's up to you!
This is a sneak peek at one of four new images illustrated by Yours Truly that will be available at Kraftin' Kimmie Stamps starting tomorrow. Annie also has some new illustrations, and, Kim is introducing a new artist this month too! Check out all the Krafty Girls blogs to see the sneaks today (link on my sidebar) If you want to join in on the blog hop and have a chance at some yummy blog candy prizes, that's starts tomorrow too; that's Sunday Nov. 29. I won't be able to join in on the fun, unfortunately. We have a family emergency to deal with so I had to bow out. But be sure to start the hop at the Kraftin' Kimmie blog so you won't miss out!
For my porcupines "Bonnie and Clyde", who are awkwardly trying to kiss (tee-hee!) I added a variety of textures, like:

embossing with a Cuttlebug folder
flower soft on the grass
distressed edges
distressed paper - for the heart, I crumpled it to create wrinkles
embroidery thread
velvet ribbon
metal brads

I water colored Bonnie and Clyde using Twinkling H20's. After applying a thin wash of brown over their quills, I added some more quills using the same shade of paint, but much more thickly applied. You have to have a lot of paint on the brush and not much water. Plus you need a good water color brush that will come to a very fine point, making thin strokes like this possible. You don't need to spend a lot though; I get mine at the dollar store! They work good on grass and fur too.

I tried to apply the extra quills while the first layer of paint was still damp so that the lines would look softer. If you look at Bonnie, you can see that this worked out well, because the quill lines did fuzz up nicely. But by the time I got to Clyde, he had dried. (that rhymes). So the quill lines look more defined, without the softness. I probably should have dampened him up a bit first with a clean damp brush. Oh well, next time.

KK porcupines close

Thanks for stopping by, bless you!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

CASE of Anna Wight

Whimsy snowman front

I'm really happy I finally got some crafting time in! I am pleased to use one of my new releases from Whimsy Stamps. I call it "N'ice Friends". One of my favorite winter memories is making snowmen in the front or backyard. I could do it for what seemed like hours, which it probably was, because afterward I would come in with mitts and socks sopping wet, and my cheeks and nose bright red! Mom would sometimes have a hot chocolate waiting for me. Oh what sweet memories!!!
I love the quality of Whimsy Stamps, they are top of the line. And right now they have an amazing card making contest going on, which runs right through til Dec. 12. They are offering first, second and third place prizes of generous gift certificates for Whimsy Stamps! Plus you will even get a chance to vote for your favorite cards and help to decide who wins! Go here to check out the contest guidelines.
I must confess this is again a CASE of a card artist I admire very much. I love the work of Anna Wight at Sassy n Sweet Notes. Have you seen her cards and her stamp illustrations? She is so amazing, and her water coloring has always blown my mind. In fact, I owe a lot of what I know to studying her cards for hours on my computer screen! For this card, I put Anna's card up on my screen and CASEd it pretty close to what it was, at least in the sketch and style of embellishing.
I used the following Copic markers to color:
Background: E0000, 000, 00
Snowman's body: B60, 63
Carrot nose: YR12, 15, 18
Branch arms: E41, 43, 44
Bird's body: FB2, B28
Beak: Y32, 35, 28
Scarf and hat: BV01, 13, 17, B41, 45, G21, 28

On real snow, depending on the time of day, it can look warm gold to light amber at times in the bright sun, with very cool shadows from blue to violet. So I tried to remember that when choosing my colors for the snowman. That's why I put the very light E0000 to E00 in the background, and reached for B60 and 63 for the shadows. You can't see in the photo, but I put a single layer of E0000 all over the snowman where ever there was no shadow.

Whimsy snowman close

Well, I'm still not quite set up yet with a craft area, but I'm getting there. Perhaps I'll even dare to take a photo and show you my new digs in the coming days! Maybe, if I get brave enough!
Bless you!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Links to contests and challenges

There's always lots going on with the companies I design stamps for. I figured if I don't have time to make cards these days, I can at least post some links to the challenges and contests they are holding so you can have a chance for some fun and prizes.
Here are the links for the contests currently running:

Whimsy Holiday Contest is on, with huge prizes available to be won. It runs from now til Dec 12th. Check it out here!

Weekly challenge at Squigglefly: Christmas card, using non-traditional colors. Sounds fun!

Weekly challenge at Wags 'N Whiskers: Buttons Galore. Just use buttons to embellish your project!

Weekly challenge at Kraftin' Kimmie Stamps: Merry Christmas, Happy Winter. All you have to do is make either a Christmas or a Winter theme card. That's simple enough!

And for the company I used to draw for, here is the weekly challenge at High Hopes: Santa. Just make a card using one of their Santa stamps!

Have fun with the contests and challenges!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Reolocation

Hi Precious Peeps!
Right now it feels like my life is a deck of cards that is being shuffled! I'm in the midst of a relocation, which means I have zero time for making cards or blogging. We have moved to a city about five hours drive south of where we were. It will be awhile before I have a crafting area again. Work comes first. I can still draw, and that I am doing! You'll see what I've been up to in a couple of weeks!
In the meantime, I will be working on getting a new craft area set up so that I can get back into cards. I really miss it. A girl can't be all work and no play!
Just thinking of you, and wanted to say hello!

Wow, what a kind and uplifting response! Thank you blogging friends, for your words of support and for praying too! Wow, you are overwhelming me with your kindness! XO

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

On The Tenth Day of Christmas...

On the tenth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Ten Lords a leaping

Whimsy Santa front_1

In case you landed here randomly, you have come into the middle of a blog hop for Whimsy Stamps! If you have come here from Vicki's blog, you're right on track!
We are "singing" the Twelve Days of Christmas on this hop, so each person's post begins with a verse from the song. We hope you'll really be in the mood for Christmas by the time you reach the end! Denise will be your last stop with some details on how you can enter to win all four of my debut release stamps, along with some other surprises. (btw, the quality of these stamps is top of the line, deeply etched red rubber!)

Now for my card:
This is "Jolly Puppy Kisses" which I drew for my new release with Whimsy. I just love to draw Santa! Every time I do, it just puts me in a really good mood!
I colored Santa with the following Copics. I broke it down into sections so that you can see how I rendered each area:

Beard and eyebrows: W00, 1, 3, 5, E70
Trim on suit and hat: BV20, C5, E50
Mittens: E30, E70
I used all these colors sparingly, and left a lot of the white space, well, as white space, with no colors added. White is difficult to render because it really reflects a lot of what is around it. Yet it has shadows on it too that you have to choose a color for. I wanted the white of his beard to look different from the white of his fur trim and mitts too, so I chose different color sets for each of those white areas.

Skin: E00, 01, 04, 11, R02, 81, 83
Boots and Belt: C0, 4, 5, 7, 9
Belt Buckle: Y28 and Stickles
Red suit: R35, 37, 39, 89
Stocking: G28, B12, C4 for shadows
Pup: E53, 55, 15, 18
Background and ground: R0000, 000, 00, B0000, 93, 60

I have discovered that by using the lightest shades, in this case R0000 and B0000 for the background, I can make it look like softly sponged edges! I'm really happy Copic came out with those very light colors!

If you want to continue on with the hop, your next stop is Lisa's blog!
Have fun hopping, and singing the Twelve Days of Christmas with the Whimsy DT Choir! ;-D

Whimsy Santa close

Sunday, November 8, 2009

CASE of Jeanne Streiff

Maxwell snowboarding front

This is a shameless CASE of a card from one of my fav. all time card artists! Check out what Jeanne did with Maxwell HERE. Of course, as usual, I could not do it as simply as she did... I just had to add a snowflake, or two, or twenty! LOL I find Jeanne's cards simple and uncluttered, yet so stunning! But when I try to do it, I think, "I could add this... and that... and the other thing... and before you know it, I have crossed the line from simple to complex! Oh well, I tried. I just couldn't help myself with the snowflakes... and the Diamond Dust...
Maxwell snowboarding closeup

This is Maxwell Snowboarding, and he is from this month's release over at Kraftin Kimmie Stamps. When you purchase him, Kimmie throws in the saying, "Snow much fun!" at no additional charge.
I colored Maxwell with Copics, and sponged Bahama Blue ink by Memento around the outer edges while the image was still in the Spellbinders Die. That creates a nice crisp white edge around the outside of the panel that I love.
I put some MS sparkle in the Polar White Flower Soft snow I had added under the leaf. But don't do it like I did! I first adhered the Polar White. When that was dry, I ran the FS glue all over the "snow" to try and put a layer of glue down on top of it... it picked up a lot of the Polar Soft which clumped on the nozzle, really badly! I was able to pull it off, no problem, but it removed a lot of the snow! I think next time I should just put the snow and glitter on at the same time and not try to apply the glitter afterwards!! Anyway, it still looks "cool", pun intended. ;-D
Thanks for stopping by today peeps! You're a blessing to me!

Mike and I are in the midst of relocating to another town. In the interim, til we're settled and have internet access in the new place, I might have some days where I can't get online. Because of that, and because I have been getting a lot of spam comments lately, I had to turn on "word verification" for comments. This is only temporary though, and I'll go back to "comment moderation" once we're settled. Thanks for your patience!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Butterfly Caller

Butterfly caller front

I bought this irresistible gorgeous digital image called, "Butterfly Caller" from a good friend and fellow illustrator Chris Dark. Although we have never met in person, we have met online and help encourage one another in our business ventures. Chris means so much to me, and is so kind and supportive. I sure would love to meet her face to face!
I love her fairies and this beautiful Butterfly Caller; they are so whimsical and enchanting. I was so pleased to actually get time to color this one up! I hope Chris is happy with what I did with her art work! Hi Chris! Waving!
Sometimes people ask me if I like to use other images, other than what I draw myself. The answer is yes of course! There are so many images I adore and would love to use. My personal favorite stamp artist, if I had to narrow it down to one, would be Shelly Commisky who draws for Whipper Snapper. Other favorites include Chris Dark (of course!) Mo of "Mo's Digital Pencil", Anna Wight, also of "Whipper Snapper", anything that comes out of Elizabeth Bell's pen, Magnolia, Bildmalarna, Hanglar and Stanglar, Kettos of Stamping Bella, Gorguss Girls, Inky Antics, and more.
The fact is, I have many stamps I designed that I haven't had time to ink up and color myself! Yet I feel very strongly that I have a responsibility to use the images I draw. One of the reasons I feel that is because it helps advertise the stamps and helps the companies I draw for to succeed.
I guess you could say that the reason you don't see me post much from other stamp illustrators is because I simply don't have time. I'm not complainin', just explainin'!
That's why I am so excited about this post! I actually found the extra hours to make a card from one of my favorite artists in the business, my dear friend Chris Dark!!!!!
Here's a close up of Chris's beautiful fairy with my Copic coloring and sponged ink (around the edges and into the background):

Butterfly caller close

God bless you, and thanks for looking and for reading, and don't forget to go see Chris's marvelous art work at her site HERE!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Announcement: New Drawing Gig!

I have been keeping this a secret for awhile now, but today the news is going public... I am so happy and excited to tell you that Denise Lynn of Whimsy Stamps has asked me to come on board her team as an illustrator. I already have done some images for them and they will be released in the very near future. I am so blessed to be on the Whimsy Team, and so excited about the new line of stamps coming!
You'll get to see soon!
Check out their company blog and their challenge blog.
Bless you!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Spread The Love For Jaimie Blog Hop

Jaimie's card close CA

This is a very special Blog Hop post today. I hardly know where to begin... Here is the story of an eleven year old girl who needs us to reach out to her right now. This may make you weep (as it does to me whenever I think about it):

"On October 4th, 4 teenagers armed with knives broke into a home in a small town in New Hampshire. Alone and sleeping inside were a mother and her 11 year old daughter. These 4 boys broke into this home with the intent to rob and kill anyone inside. They stabbed the mom, Kimberly Cates, to death and left her daughter, Jaimie, for dead in their driveway. It was a completely random act, their home was chosen only due to its secluded surroundings."

Our hope is that everyone hopping around today will stop for a moment and think about Jaimie and her father and what life must be like for them now. One moment in time has changed their lives forever. We are asking that everyone reading this message please take a moment to make a card and send it off to Jaimie. You can make something very simple or much more involved, but please share some words of hope and love and let her know that people do care and want the best for her. Please send your card to the address below:

Jaimie Cates
c/o Mont Vernon Fire Station
Main Street
Mont Vernon, NH 03057

You can read more about Jaimie HERE and find out more details about this card drive. That link takes you to a blog that was created just for this cause. Some companies have donated products as prizes for randomly chosen participants in the blog hop who send a card to Jaimie. Their way of encouraging participation. Personally, I don't need the motivation. The story was enough to seize my heart.
The Blog hop will end on Monday, November 9th at 10am EST. That is when the draws take place for the random winners of all the blog candy that has been donated by our generous sponsors.
There is a link on the blog for Jaimie (right side bar) for you to donate money to Jaimie's family via Paypal if you wish to help that way. I am sure Jaimie's medical expenses will not come cheap.
This LINK takes you to a news article that tells how how she is doing. It also has a picture of Jaimie. Here is another link to a news article with a public statement from Jaimie's father David .

If you have landed on my blog randomly and want to start at the beginning, go to KATHARINA'S blog.
If you have arrived from CINDY'S blog, you're right on track.
Your next hop is at SIMONNE'S blog.

This card is going to Jaimie.

Jaimie's card front CA

Thanks for coming by for a visit today. Sorry about sharing such a sad story, but I thought you might like to know so you could help bring some cheer to Jaimie.
Bless you, dear readers. Let's count our blessings today.

Also wanted to announce the winner for yesterdays blog hop for Kraftin' Kimmie Stamps:
The sixteenth commenter was chosen by Random Integer Generator and that is
Angela. Here's her posed comment:
This is so cute!! Love the way you have coloured him and those snowflakes are gorgeous,
hugs Angela x

Congratulations Angela! Please contact Kim of Kraftin Kimmie Stamps to give your your mailing address!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Kraftin' Kimmie Stamps New Release BLOG HOP!!

Penguin close up

Hello All! Today is the day Kimmie's Krafty Girls are showcasing the new release and the blog hop is on! If you have arrived here randomly, you might want to check out the hop from the beginning, so start at Kraftin Kimmie Stamps blog and make your way through all the Krafty Girls' wonderful galleries! There are prizes to be won on each of the Krafty Girls's blogs of course! So get commenting on all the DT's creations and get your name entered multiple times for the random draws! Winners to be announced on the KKblog Monday!
If you are following the hop, you will have arrived here from Vicki's wonderful blog. When you're done on my blog, your next stop is Michelle. Hope you're having fun!
All the November release stamps are now available including four new Crissy’s Cuties (drawn by Yours Truly) four new Moonlight Whispers images (drawn by Annie Rodrigue) and a fantabulous new set called Kimmie’s Holiday Sentiments created by the incredible Jeanne Streiff with 44 fun phrases!
This penguin stamp named "Oliver" comes with a saying, "Just chillin' " so when you order it from Kraftin' Kimmie, she throws in the sentiment too at no extra charge.
And btw, today you have a chance to win a surprise pack of Kraftin' Kimmie Stamps if you leave a comment on this post! I'm picking a winner on Monday morning!

And now for some deets on my card:
This is a CASE of a card I saw on Bev Rochester's blog here. Isn't her card amazing? I don't think I did it justice; however, I am so grateful for her inspiration. She is one of my absolute favorite card artists! I just love the aqua and white combination.
I colored Oliver with the following Copics:
C0, 3, 5, 7, 9
BG32, 34, 75
E50, 55 (on his tummy, which I covered up later with white acrylic paint because it was too brown) :-p
YR65, 68, E97, 99 on his beak and feet
BV20, 23, 29 for the ground
BV000, 20, W3 on his hat fur trim which I also covered up with white acrylic paint, but mostly because I love how it gave his tummy some texture and I wanted to do the same for his hat!

Penguin front

The background panel is a sheet of DP that I stamped on randomly with a swirl from the Jeanne Strieff collection at Rubbernecker, and a little snowflake and poinsettia from Imaginisce. They were a gift thrown in one time when I bought some stash from Scrappin' Great Deals. (LOVE that place!) I used some Spellbinders dies in combination with some Martha Stewart punches for the snowflakes. After I put them together, I added "Twinklets Diamond Dust" which is crushed glass (got it off E-bay).
I colored the pearls with BG34 to match everything. That's what is great about Copics; the color sticks to any surface!
Well, good luck on the hop!
God bless you!