More Steampunk class cards...

I don't know if there are any spots left still, but here are two more of the cards for my upcoming All Occasion Steampunk Copic card class on March 21st at The Scrapbook Page:

This is Mercius... don't you just love that name?!  The steampunk images are from a line of stamps from Simply Betty Stamps... I'm on her design team, too :)  This pic was done on the scanner, so the colors are really muted compared to the real thing.

And these other pictures are too green, but it shows depth better.

Yep... waaaay too green.  We'll be using papers from Graphic 45's Steampunk Debutante line... LOVE it!
This is Annie... very muted color combo, but I really wanted to use both sides of this paper.  Annie may be my favorite image from this line so far.  Anyway, don't forget to sign up for the class!

That's it for today, kids.  I'm off to play and then go give a little talk about papercrafting to a local Girl Scout troop later :)

What do you think?


Help for Katie

Cancer seems to touch all of our lives in some way.  Maybe it's a family member, friend or co-worker.  A mother of your BFF, an aunt or a web-o-sphere buddy.  It's real, and it sucks.  No matter what kind it is.  Many of you may know all about Katie Renz's battle with cancer, however if you don't please go here: http://www.help4katie.blogspot.com

Katie seems like an amazing woman, and I want to help... and you can help too!
All you have to do is make a $15 donation, and you get this lovely digital stamp collection:

This is the second edition set for Help for Katie.  Some fabulous contributors have come together to donate the monies from this set to help Katie and her family.

Though Katie has stomach cancer, I thought I'd use this opportunity to create a card for the mother of a very dear friend of mine who has breast cancer.  The sentiment is totally fitting for my friend and her mom... I mean, not that they are bitches... well... ok... my friend IS a self-proclaimed bitch, so there ya' go :)

I colored-up Simply Betty Stamp's Katie digi with Copic markers and used the cardstock and paper from The Angel Company's Lily Anna collection.  Super clean and simple card to keep the focus where it should be :)

Don't forget to donate to the Cause at the Help for Katie blog!


I'm the Guest Designer over on the TAC Savvy Blog today!

Happy almost Friday!  First off, I would like to thank Mischelle & The Angel Company for asking me to be a part of this fun & excitement-building month of stampiness  { that would be "happiness" with stamps ;) }  You should definitely bookmark the TAC Savvy Blog... there is a lot of February Fabulousness going on over there!

Disclaimer:  this is one LONG freakin' post... so get comfy :)

Today I will be showcasing the stamp set Sunshine.  And I know what you are thinking... 
 ... yeah, right... The Mistress of the Macabre will be working with a sunflower and a happy sentiment?!

{insert loud thud here}

I'll wait for you to pull yourself up off the floor & back into your chair...

Hi!  Welcome back, and yes!  It's true :)  The moment I saw this set I loved it.  And the first time I colored one of the images, I loved it even more!  These particular images lend themselves to be easily used with a large range of coloring media... and you know I loves to color ;)  So today I'm showing you how the same image looks using three different coloring techniques.

First up, the good ol' standby:
Prismacolor pencils and mineral oil 
blended with artist blending stumps
I ACTUALLY made a video of this technique and edited it... but even after cutting it down (and very choppy, by the way) it is still like 9 minutes long.  Oi.  Me thinks no one has THAT much patience to watch a technique video, so I didn't upload it :)

When I color with Prismas & MO, I tend to work dark to light... similar to when I color with Copic markers.  I make sure that I leave some white areas so that I can just swipe over them to wash them with a bit of color to create natural color highlights.  This is a more realistic highlight rather than just leaving an area completely white.  Sometimes I also use the white Prisma to further blend... this particular pencil doesn't give you an "in-your-face" wash of white, but instead is very subtle.

Pencil colors used:  Mineral Orange, Goldenrod, Yellow Ochre, Light Umber, Jasmine, White (petals)
Dark Umber, Dark Brown, Tuscan Red, Light Umber, Goldenrod (center)
Kelp Green, Olive Green, White (leaves)

Next up:
Lyra Aquacolor Crayons and the Niji Waterbrush
When I hosted my very first FunShop before becoming an Angel with TAC, these Aquacolors were my first half-price item :)  Love love LOVE them.  And the Waterbrush makes life so easy.  These two items together make you feel like you can be an artist... silly, I know... but it's true.

Notice that this image is much lighter... in color and in the feeling of it overall.  It is much more blended, but the depth is also more subtle.

When using watercolors, you can use a wet-on-wet technique for subtle shading or transparency, or wait for the colors to dry between applications for a bolder & more opaque look.  I used both of these techniques here.  Again, I worked from dark to light, and used similar shading/highlighting nuances as when using Prismacolors with MO.

What I like most about Aquacolors, is that you truly have a limitless color palette.  You can mix so many colors, add black to make it darker, add water to lighten... on and on.  And BONUS... you can color directly to rubber stamps, mist with water, and stamp your image to create a wonderful watercolor silhouette.

Did you know you can remove watercolor paint from paper?  Simply empty your brush of all pigment and wet the area you want to whiten, lifting off the color from the paper & swiping it off on a towel.  This may take several passes, and you want to be careful of over-saturating your paper, but it works.

Aquacolors:  13082, 13083, 13084, 13004 (petals); 13075, 13092, 13076, 13080, 13083 (center); 13074, 13068, 13070 (leaves)

Ok kids.  The last technique covered today:
Copic Markers
Yeah... you knew that one was coming :)  I'll admit it.  I was one of those people that said I would NEVER get into Copics because they are too expensive... and they're "just markers".  I've been eating crow ever since.  I'm hooked.  Let me put it into perspective for you:  I used to be a craft store clearance aisle girl.  I would buy all of this sale stuff thinking that I'd eventually make some cool altered items for gifts, etc.  Ya' wanna know where all that stuff is now?  Yep, on my shelves gathering dust or in the boxes marked for the garage sale :)  

This is what I do now:  I still fill my cart with those sale items, but then I count up how much money I would spend on, let's face it, junk.  I then figure out how many Copics that would buy, and I put it all back.  I save that amount of money and put it toward buying more markers.  :)
Yes... yes I do.

Ok, enough story time...  onto the last bit of coloring goodness for today  :)

As you've gathered from reading THE FREAKIN' NOVEL that I just wrote above, I'm one of those people that color dark to light when using Copics.  I think I use less ink in the long run, and I don't worry about over-saturating my paper (which then leads to ink bleeding outside the image).  If you compare the three sunflowers showcased, you'll notice that this one is by far the boldest & richest in color, detailed yet blended, and the most realistic (in my opinion).  I'm sure that the card details (lace, pearls, etc.) help in swaying my mind, but if you focus on just the flower itself in each instance, you can see what I'm sayin' :)

I used a stippling (dots) technique for the center, feathering (flicked lines) technique for the petals, and the usual blended circle motion for the leaves.

Copics:  YR24, YR23, YR21 (petals); E59, E29, E09, E25, E35, 0, YR23 (center); G99, G94, G82, 0 (leaves)

So if you made it all the way to here without getting too bored, I thank you!!  :)  I will continue to see if I can figure out the whole video-tutorial thing, and if I do I will post it on my main blog, FosterDesignHouse.  I plan on making tutorials for many more techniques, so you may want to check back :)  And be sure to come back to the Savvy blog for more February Fabulous-ness all month long!

 ****edited to add:  I FINALLY got the Prismacolor blending video uploaded to YouTube... and it's a long one :)  You can view it below or HERE on YouTube.

What do you think?


Last two Fairy cards for my upcoming class...

I'm swamped with work, so this post will be full of pictures, but not-so-much with words
{was that a sigh of relief I just heard?!}

Don't you just love pink hair?!  Doesn't her skirt look like an upside down crocus or maybe a tulip bud?

I saved my favorite for last!  Love love LOVE her :)

Sweet and slightly dark, right?

LOVE how her hair turned out!  And what about the sheer sleeves?

Again, I can't share the details of these cards unless you take the class... sorry ;)
The class will be held February 21st from 6:30-8:30 at The Scrapbook Page.

So, what do you think?


A sunny card for a cold winter's night...

I thought I'd share another one of the All Occasion Fairy cards I'll be teaching on Monday, February 21st at The Scrapbook Page.  And since it is soooooooo freakin' cold outside, this one just may bring a little sunshine into your life :)

This is Darby and Bumbles... aren't they both the cutest?!  And just look at those bright colors... can't believe it was me that used them, can ya'?  I know!  But I need a little warmth & sunshine right now:   the past few days have been totally sucky... and not in a good way... I'm just sayin'.

ACK!  Cah-yoot-ness!!  Just look at that face.
So, iffen you want all the details for this card, you have to come to my class :)  Suckers  ';)

And don't forget to tune in to Mischelle's blog on Thursday February 17th for my Guest Designer stint over there... I'm still trying to work on a video for that... 
uh, yeah... riiiiiiiiight...

What do you think?