Sunday, 24 May 2015 more ways than one.

Hi!! Thought today I'd share an image i just love from my new Serenity Fairy collection which you can find at the end of this post.

I'm not a patient crafter, I'm the kinda gal that needs instant gratification so if things take me too long I lose interest very quickly, I've never been the sort of person that can dip in and out of the same project over a few days like a lot of people gives me brain drain! even with decorating I'm the same - the whole entire room has to be done in the same day or it never gets finished, probably the reason I'm so desperately in need of decorating at home LOL.

Anyways, I've neglected my Prisma's for a while and I'm a big believer in just going with the flow and doing what you FEEL at that precise moment. I got the pencils out a few weeks back and I totes wasnt feeling the love so I put them away with a MEH! yesterday I got them out again, stroked and oo'd a little and got to work.

The reason I love pencils is the texture you can achieve and you can get such a soft look or you can layer and layer and get real depth depending on what you do with them. I see so much talk about using the blender pencil with Prisma's and I think this is a bit of a falsey really...yeah it's GREAT having the blender pencil but to be honest I think if you're treating your pencils right, you don't really need it and it prevents your work getting too 'waxy' if you keep it to a minimum.

As with any colouring medium, whether it's paint or watercolour or whatever - if you don't give yourself the skills of knowing about light and how colour works you'll never achieve 100% of what you can do and get what the medium can give you back.

With Prisma's, IN MY OPINION, it's very much about layering. Layer on layer on layer will produce the depth of colour and smoothness you want.
I also see a lot of hoohah about using xyz cardstock or paper for pencils....yada yada....

You can use ANY medium on ANY substrate and it will perform, it's just that it performs differently so it really depends on what you want to achieve. Again I see a lot of 'you should be using a paper with tooth like watercolour board'...erm for me, you should be using what you feel like! Ok so i know everyone wants to be the best they can but really, we should all stop trying to be what we perceive everyone else to be and just CREATE. If you let go of the chains of comparing your work to others who you perceive to be the best it will help you find the freedom in your work to improve as you see fit.
This whole thing is about DISCOVERY.
Discover what your Prisma's are like on a super smooth card compared to a watercolour card - you never know, you might like it!
Personally I much prefer my Prisma's on Super Smooth! Now admittedly, not every SS will be the same and as always I use my Ultimate Graphic 160gsm which for me performs for everything except watercolours. I dont like pencils on watercolour board unless it's a really really smooth board because the paper gives me more texture than I want. I want to dictate to the pencil how much texture I want, rather than the substrate dictating to me! Call me bossy I don't care, it's my piece and I want it how I want it! so there!

Anyway, so getting back to this, I like my points blunt so I can blend better and dont get hard lines, and I like my strokes verrrrrry soft like feathers.
Light feathery strokes.
Lots and Lots of layers - build up the colour gently and as you go you will find the blending happens on it's own with a softness you'll never achieve with a Blender pencil.
And remember - once you get that blender involved it pushes and waxes that pigment up so it becomes harder to then layer and move that colour around again.
I use the blender when i want to set the pencil basically. But that's my way.

I totally messed up the face on this by not leaving it alone when I should so I wanted to share my secret - I got a paintbrush and some Sansador fluid and basically removed some of the colour back out so I could restart on the face (it was the cheeks which I picked the wrong red up and ended up with an almost Aunt Sally across the cheek area). So brush it right out, really gently and slowly and then you can redo. a godsend.

By this time I'd lost the will to live I'd been faffing so long, so for once in my life I walked away. And finished it again this morning. Whoop! So in total I've spent about 3 or 4 hours on this compared to my normal max 1.5hr boredom threshold.

I forgot to add that I also added a titchy tiny bit of Vintage Photo Distress Ink...tiny bit with my DI marker in the hair to add definition in the darkest points and I used a paintbrush under her bum and legs on the mushroom just to get a nice smooth shadow (be wary if you try this, the inks sit ON the waxiness and move around a lot so you need a very light touch or you'll mess it up!)

And in the end I was quite chuffed, but mainly because I loved the mushroom.

The image is Serenity Blossom and you can get her here from the Polkadoodles website.


Friday, 15 May 2015

Anything But Square - Graph'It colouring challenge

Today is challenge day over at Graph'It and despite my eyes falling out by the time I get home from being glued to a screen for 9 hours a day solid, I've done loads of colouring lately for various things. I'm trying to be a much better blogger! hahah I hear you snort!

Anyway today is all about Anything Square and I've used our sponsor image for this one. I colour up first - it always surprises me when I see people say they choose their papers first.
Of course it's each to their own but when I colour an image I don't have a plan really - ALWAYS start with skin because thats the biggest booboo part, then hair, that's an even bigger booboo possibility. So I just pick the colour hair I fancy there and then and see where that takes me. You can then co-ordinate the clothing to contrast because you have many many more colour choices for clothing. Simples!
And then - biggest choice of all, choose your papers at the end! The papers should compliment (in my opinion) not dictate. It's like choosing your carpet to match your wallpaper - you wouldnt really do it that way around would ya? Anyway, s'up to you and I'm no Kim Wok Chung or whatevs his name is!

Now, SKIN, let's talk SKIN with Graph'It. I've been using GI's for 2+ years now and there is only one combo i really have found I love and stick to and it's this one which I've listed below - it works every time for me. And whilst we're here I really need to reiterate something:
If you don't, you're going to be unhappy as hell quite honestly! 
The biggest reason you need to colour in your chart PROPERLY (and I dont mean some half-assed scribble here, get 3 layers of colour in each block and NO WAY should that colour have streaks in it - this is the ONLY way to do it! believe me!)
On Graph'It the numbers kinda fool you a little. Because this is a new brand of marker, they clearly cannot just suddenly produce a million marker colours all in one go, even though we'd love them to. So, GI have been VERY clever. Because the inventor used to work for both Copic and Letraset, she knew what she wanted. And this brand is in it for the long term, not a fly by night, cheap craft product that's low quality and will be here today gone tomorrow.
So the colour chart is set up FUTUREPROOFED
These numbers will be filled as and when the range grows. But if you think about it, of course there are gaps!
But, as a user, you MUST take this into account and remember it!!
If you don't, your colour blends WILL NOT WORK and you will end up with dirty smudging where you've been mixing the wrong colour families together.
It kills me, but I see this ALL the time, even with 'experienced' users. You MUST remember this to get success!
Once you have coloured in your OWN chart - PROPERLY - this will be more obvious to you so long as you're not colour blind and look properly and follow my advice, which is borne from experience in the early days - i very quickly learned why I was getting patchy faces! URGHHHH measles!

For instance, PINKS....
5110, 5115, 5120, 5125, 5130, 5135 etc....
So you look at this list and can see there are 5 number gaps between each colour, right? Yep!
BUT there is another thing here! 5110 and 5115 DO NOT BLEND!
Well, they do, but they're different colour families on the colour wheel! 
If you put 5110 and 5115 next to each other, 5110 is clean and 5115 has some grey/blue in it. 5115 is a dirty pink. So mix a clean and a dirty and you get patchy and not great.
Instead, look at the chart - you can SEE the tones that work together and they skip around a little because within the pinks we have RED pinks and BLUE pinks. If all the numbers were filled they would blend right across the colour wheel but you need to take account of the gaps.  Generally (but not always) you will find a PAIR of colours next to each other, or maybe 3, but generally it'll be a pair, skip one and then the 3rd colour you need.
ie Purples or rather Violets as theyre known in the colour world: 
6110, 6120, 6125, 6130, 6140, 6150 is a great example of this:
6110 and 6120 can be mixed as they're both so pale but really they shouldnt be. 
6120 really belongs with 6130 and 6140 (I'm typing without my colour chart so this might be a little one out) and then no way would you go 6110, 6130, 6150 - 6150 is a Red Violet and is a totally differnet colour and should never be mixed with any of the numbers in front of it! 
But the only way you see it is by doing the colour chart the way i do it.
Now, I am working with GI to bring a revised chart with the colours split into the colour wheel more so it's more obvious to those of us who aren't colour experts and pro designers. And I've also requested that they split this further into some proper blend sets too because that will make it so much easier, but this is a mammoth job so it's underway and when it arrives i will be one happy bunny indeed! 

Anyway, enough of the lecture but it's something I wanted to iron out once and for all because i KNOW this will help you massively if you are a GI user. 

So back onto what I made - this has turned into a mammoth post, sorry! 

I coloured this little chicky up (see the GI blog for more info) a couple of weeks before i made the card and when I went back to her she looked such a little misery I made her a little cloud of doom LOL.
  I knew my good friend would love this having the same twisted SOH that I do and she is going through a really tough time right now, she needs some motivation to keep her going when everything is hitting the fan so I just kinda went with the flow and threw the other bits together. I put her slouching on the frame cos she is just soooooo MEH!! with her attitood dont ya think? Slouched there like the world is about to come to an end!

 The dies are by Sizzix, first time I used these I got them in their bargainous sale and I love them. I always always cut in white so I can then colourise the cuts to match what I'm making. I am so lazy it's a massive inconvenience for me to reach down to my feet to pickup my Big Shot and move stuff on the desk to put it there so when I cut, I cut, and I cut loads together, so doing them in white saves me a ton of time and lots of energy. I coloured them with the black coarse sparkle Pan Pastel which is a perm fixture on my desk now, I cannot live without the blighter, I have often wondered what it would look like as eyeshadow! 
The little squares I wanted to be Stampbord but then realised Leonie flipping Pujol STOLE all my stash!! shock horror, she's such a lightfingered madam!! So I had to impro and purely by luck my Pan Pastel'd fingers came across some spare Docrafts/Papermania tiles in the bottom of my toolbox so I flipped em over and added some scrawl. 

Skin: 4125, 4150, 4150 & 3120 mixed using Mix'It palette, 4135 outer cheeks and 4145 inner cheeks. (9402 added later as extra shadows under the hair and 9400 used as shadows around the eyes)
Hair: 9502 added on top of 9400, 9403, 9405, 9407, 9409
Clothing: 4125, 4150, 9400
Wings: 4125 (use this loads, can you tell?), 7220, 7240, 7260, 9406, 9408
Plus my faithful cannot be without Graph'It Shake White pen - THE best white pen ever!!

Sunday, 10 May 2015

We Love 2 Create/Pan Pastel/Stampbord Challenge

Hey! Happy Sunday!

I am loving our new look Pan Pastel/WeLove2Create challenge and it's great now the theme is a bit easier, often when we do mixed media I think we get more carried away in the moment so it's a case of making things fit the challenge LOL. 

Today I have one of the pieces I made as a sample for the Stampbord show on Create and Craft last month. This was SOO quick and easy to do but I love how it turned out...Pop over to the blog to find out how I made this...

Friday, 8 May 2015

Polkadoodles challenge - Things with Wings

SO I had to colour up this lovely Oddella image this week, I just couldnt wait and it just so happened she fit this challenge whoop whoop! This is Oddella Fairy from my new 

When I designed this range I really had vision for going all grungey, distressed and 'alternative' down the zombie/vampy route with my eye firmly on Art Journaling but I also wanted her to be usable by everyone, I know slashed faces and big teef aren't everyone's cup of tea LOL!
I have to admit she ended up a bit prettier than I intended but I have left room for her to have an ugly cousin later haha!

The papers I used are Paper Heaven 4 and 5 available on download as part of the Octavia collection and having already been asked if there will be more in the Oddella range, the answer is yes yes and yes and definitely more papers! So keep watching out over the coming weeks if she is your thang. I coloured her with my Graph'It markers and used Pan Pastels to distress the background...

I basically used a very limited colour palette with my Graph'It markers, mainly warm greys as you can see and the 72's for the Aqua tones plus skin and that was really it. I used a black Graph'It Fineliner to add definition in the hair - watch out for those coming soon they are amazing.

Finally I added Phthalo Green Pan Pastel around the outside edge to distress the image background and then added Black coarse sparkle Pan Pastel on top to really grunge it up nicely. Have to say I do love this card : )

If you love Oddella make sure you check out the coupons on the website ; )

See you soon! 

Graph'It Colouring Challenge - Anything Square

Hey! I'm here at last! 
I just wanted to share my make for today's Graph'it Colouring challenge, I really loved colouring this up. Not one of my images but I do like to use other people's products too LOL!  Make sure you pop over and see the rest of the fab colouring and enter the challenge, it's an easy one I guarantee you can enter!

I LOVED using this fab image called Brittanys First Day and I just love the Oddball images....such a great chance to use some colours you don't normally tend to pick in our everyday crafting girliness! LOL! I really wanted to do a 'Scene' (I think that's what the Young Things call it these days haha) ...
I have to admit she is wearing shades because of an eye boo-boo which basically was a result of too much faffing and hesitation when doing the specs! But I kinda like it in the end...sorry for the slightly blurry pic...papers are from Polkadoodles Octavia range here....Paper Heaven 4 & 5 downloads...
Graph'Its used: 
Skin: 4125, 4150, 3120, 3150, 9403 (Used Mix'It palette to mix 4150 and 3120), cheeks  lips 4145, 4135
Hair: 9402, 9404, 9406, 9408, 5255
Clothing, Glasses, Boots: 4125, selection of 9400's for shadows, 5255 red

See you again really soon! Don't forget to go and enter the challenge - you can win some lovely Digis from Oddball Art! 
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