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Make white POP – Compare white pens (+ winners!)

Posted by on Feb 26, 2015 in Avery Elle, Copics, Featured | 20 comments

Sandy Allnock - Compare White Pens and more

We all want our whites to look white…not just our socks, either! There are a lot of different ways to color something to make the white pop, so today we’ll compare white pens and other mediums to see how they all look on desert storm cardstock.

The stamp set is a brand new one from Avery Elle – it comes with a couple of the cloud sentiments, so it works great for a variety of types of cards. Enjoy the video – and be sure to stay tuned to the end for the list of winners of my 10,000 subscriber giveaway a few weeks ago! Watch the video below, or click HERE to watch it in HD on YouTube.

Compare white pens and more

It was fun to play around with all of these white mediums – I had always wondered how they’d do in a head-to-head test. Each one has its place though; even though I don’t use the Sakura very often, and the comparison made it look like it lost – the pen makes a thin enough line that sometimes I pull it out to make a super-thin white line. One pen I didn’t include is Ranger’s Inkssentials…I have a dozen in my drawer that don’t work consistently, so I don’t tend to even think to pull it out to try. But I’m glad I did finally compare white pens and other mediums that are in my little pen cup!Sandy Allnock - White CloudsPop

I enjoyed trying different Copic Marker colors to create a variety of planes as well…and each of the winners in the giveaway will receive one of them! Woohoo!



So tell me….do you do side-by-side tests like this and compare white pens or other products? I don’t usually, I just use what works…but I learned a lot myself by trying this!

Home again, jiggety jig!

Posted by on Feb 25, 2015 in Featured | 36 comments

Hello, everyone! I’m HOME! Oh my gosh am I tired….and this isn’t a joke about my arms being tuckered from being in the air 18 hours. My feet are killing me from walking across Europe! :)

I plan to try to get things back to “normal” as soon as possible – but this gives you a little view of what working on my laptop looks like at the moment.


Yep, Punch is inserting himself into the middle of whatever I’m doing! This morning I was packing boxes (already opened and sorted thanks to the amazing help of one of our volunteers while I was gone – YAY!!!! Thank you Kristie!)…and Punch was all up in the middle of that too.


But I did get boxes ready to go out in the mail tomorrow…too tired to deal with more than computer work the rest of today! I have a few tasks on deck – picking winners from the 10,000 subbie giveaway, going through and responding to comments and emails from the last 2 weeks, downloading all my pics and sorting them out, figuring what the video schedule will be from all the inspiration I picked up. Wheeee!

I just have to figure out how to get this furbaby to lower his head so I can see the laptop screen above his ears.

Maybe I’ll nap instead.


Oh and my order for THIS and THIS came in the mail while I was gone. Play time soon…maybe this evening if I rest up!

Hippos, Birds, and Blossoms: New Products at Ellen Hutson

Posted by on Feb 23, 2015 in Copics, Ellen Hutson LLC, Featured, Watercolor | 496 comments


Hello, and welcome to the Winter 2015 Essentials by Ellen Release Hop! I’m excited about the release of today’s new products from Essentials by Ellen – so excited about them that I couldn’t stop myself from making TWO videos. Eeep! I be cray cray, eh? Just love what the amazing Julie Ebersole has created…let’s get busy and check out just a few – be sure to read all the way through because there’s an awesome giveaway too!

Check out all the new goodies in this release!!

Sandy Allnock - Hippos, Birds, in WIsh Big set: New Products at Ellen Hutson

New products: Wish Big and Mini Window Dies

This hippo is the BESTEST, isn’t he?!? He looks positively puzzled…which is my expression half the time! lol. And he’s got a sweet little birdie buddy to hang out with – which I also love, two friends who are different from each other but friends nonetheless. Our world can use more of that!

For my project, I created a watercolored one-layer card, and that big green balloon in the middle is a window peeking to the inside. Cuteness! I love that the die set has windows of all sizes – and even one that opens in the middle. Darling idea! Watch the video below or click HERE to watch it in HD on YouTube.

Here’s a peek with the window open…the “to you” is on the back of the window that opens, and that cake peeks through from the inside of the card. For those that noticed the oops: my hand landed in that paint! Argh. I turned off the camera thinking I might have to start over. But – I put a lot of water on it, dabbed it off, more water, more dabbing. Once it was dry I took a this eraser to it and it was all gone. YEAH! Magic for just over a buck!

Sandy Allnock - Hippo Birdie2u

And here’s that cake on the inside. I love making cards with a treat inside! (And now I seriously want some chocolate cake!)Sandy Allnock - Hippo Birdie 2u


Supplies for Hippo Birdie:

Note that I’m travelling – if I’m not able to add a link to these specific products click HERE to go to the entire collection of Essentials by Ellen!


Sandy Allnock Coloring Bold Blooms

New products: Bold Blossom dies, Bold Blooms stamps

And now for some dies! As you know, I like to share ideas for those who don’t like to color – or who are coloring-challenged. This video shows both the easy way – stop before you get to the harder part – or doing more coloring to make the flowers even more dimensional. Either works great! And in addition to the standalone Bold Blossoms dies, there’s a Bold Blooms stamp set shown in the video (used for the sentiment) that has similar flowers, and there’s a die set that matches it. See it all over at Ellen Hutson’s site.  Watch the video below or click HERE to watch directly on YouTube!


Supplies for Bold Blossoms:


wish_big_EESTJ-013-15And, yay!!! I also get to give this new stamp set, called Wish Big (graphic attached) to a lucky someone!  Please leave a comment to enter my giveaway!

There is also a Grand Giveaway in the CLASSroom!  To enter, be sure to leave a comment there, and at every stop along the hop by March 2nd; winners will be announced March 4th!

Bloghop Links!

I’m so humbled to be in such amazing company with some of my crafty heroes! *gasp* Go see what they have to offer!

So go see Teri’s blog next – she always has amazing creations to share!

After you’ve had a chance to peek at the whole new line – what’s your favorite must-have item in this release of new products?

A quick hello!

Posted by on Feb 22, 2015 in Featured | 42 comments

Buongiorno! I can hardly believe I’m in ROME! Or Roma as it’s called here. (So why do we call it Rome!?) This is the final leg of this amazing journey, and I’m over the moon at being here!

I wanted to put out one last reminder about the giveaway….you have til I get back Tuesday night to leave comments on any of my videos! So if you’re snowbound on the east coast, maybe catching up on my silliness could help you pass the time!

Also when I return, I’ll be working on getting my blog subscription delivery into the new system. I was told I can export current subbies into that (crossing fingers) but to be sure, you can opt in using the link in the sidebar (if you’re looking at the desktop version) or at the bottom (if you’re viewing this on mobile).

If you’re not an Instagrammer and haven’t followed along with my pics, you can click HERE to see them even without an IG account (commenting requires log in). I’ll be putting together one or more videos with the nice pics from my big camera…I think I got quite a few beauties!

A couple questions that have been asked while I’m gone:

Q-Have you done [tourist activity x] yet?
A-Most likely no. I’m NOT on the tourist track. I’m visiting things I fell in love with in art history and couldn’t wait to see live. I also am seeking more local flavor than anything…so I’m not wasting time on tours, rides on monuments, etc. I’m feeling like I’m disappointing a ton of you by not doing those things, but after wasting precious hours on others’ ideas that I didn’t enjoy, I’m passing up recommendations now. Bucket list only…short time left!

Q-What crafty shopping have you done?
A-Absolutely NONE. Those who know me also know I’m no shopper. I haven’t even picked up any souvenirs! (Or purses or shoes or anything.) Besides there are not even any craft shops here, from what I’m told by crafters who live here. Also—see the last question. This is an art trip not a craft trip, even though I know this will influence my crafting later. :)

Q-Are you taking lots of photos and video?
A-photos YES! Filling cards and recharging batteries. Videos? Not much. Filming the painting hasn’t worked out, and besides, these are more of studies than finished works anyway. I’ll have a little video footage to splice into my trip vid though, along with ambient sound recordings like church bells and choirs. :) The IG pics are the few I remembered to snap on my phone…I’m without a computer so there’s no way to post the good shots til I return.

Q-How are the cats faring?
A-Reports from the housesitters is that all is well. Punch sneaks out when no one is looking, his scaredy cat nature wins out over his desperation for snuggles. I’m guessing he’ll either snub me or be glued to me when I get back later this week!

That’s about it…I’m Blogging from my phone so this pic will likely go weird, but figured I’d at least share one photo that hasn’t been posted elsewhere! This was from Paris.

Easter card: Stained Glass Butterflies

Posted by on Feb 20, 2015 in Clearly Besotted, Featured, Lawn Fawn, Paper Smooches, Watercolor | 29 comments

Sandy Allnock - Easter card: Stained glass butterflies
For today’s Easter card, I thought I’d do something inspired by what I hope to see a lot of: stained glass! I hope I’m seeing lots of old churches in Europe…and perhaps painting a few windows by old glass masters!

Stained Glass Easter card

The elegant butterflies from Clearly Besotted were perfect for this technique, with a variety of butterfly sizes. There are lots of flowers that would work with this idea too –  anything with small, medium, and large images that can be made into a pattern like this. I’ve used markers to color this, but you can use almost any medium – just make sure you stamp in an ink friendly to your medium of choice. Enjoy the video below, or click HERE to watch in HD on YouTube!

Here’s a close-up of all those fun butterflies on my Easter card…the sentiment is from the new Avery Elle Easter Blessings set – the one that was shown on OWHtv recently, with a version of this very same technique! (You can watch that video HERE.)

Sandy Allnock - Stained glass butterflies2

This angle shows you that frosted, cloudy-glass look from all that embossing powder. And see those little Glossy Accents dotting around the edge? Sweet!

Sandy Allnock - Stained glass butterflies3

If you’re an OWHer, remember that every Easter card is due in by Feb 28th – not much time left, so hurry and get those bunnies hoppin! I need to pack boxes like mad when I get back, and fill em with bunnies. :)


Question of the day…what’s your favorite image for an Easter card?

A Peerless Watercolor Stroll in Paris

Posted by on Feb 18, 2015 in Featured, Peerless, Stampin Bella, Watercolor | 39 comments

Sandy Allnock - Peerless Watercolor in Paris

Bonjour tout le monde! Je suis Sandy, et j’ai un tableau por vous aujourd’hui! Peerless watercolor, heading for a peerless city: Paris! I’m practicing a little of my college French…ooh la la!  I hope I remember more of it by the time I arrive in Paris this afternoon. I was blessed to discover that during the recent (ugh) news from Paris, I was able to almost completely understand newscasters speaking French…though I’m challenged to say much of anything anymore! Oh my French teachers would be so sad. But maybe it’ll be like riding a Parisian bike!

Peerless watercolor

In the video I’ll show you my first Peerless watercolor painting of an actual person image…I’ve done techniques, flowers, and a little object here and there, but this is more ambitious than I perhaps should have tried? But it was a fun try at least! This is the 4th take…the others didn’t come out very well, and though this had its challenges, I decided to call it DONE! Enjoy the video below or click HERE to watch it in HD on YouTube!

Sandy Allnock - Peerless WC Paris Stroll

I’ll let you know how my little book for my Peerless Watercolor set works out; the Bonus Pak (Small) is the one I purchased but I linked you to some other options too. You can google for storage solutions for the other size of Peerless too, but know that these “2×2″ pieces are actually a little larger. They appear to be handcut, since each is different – which, to me, is a nice thing, I like feeling as though someone cut a chunk of painted paper especially for me, and that it wasn’t some “perfect” machine. In the video I show you what I did with my extra pieces that had to be cut off.

Ps–that cold moved into my chest but not til after seeing great sights in Scotland! Once I get to Paris later today, I’ll lay low for the evening and get rolling on Thursday. Pray! :)


Have you tried Peerless watercolors yet? Or is there another type you love to paint with?

Tartan and Argyle (ish) Watercolor background

Posted by on Feb 16, 2015 in Featured | 29 comments

Sandy Allnock Tartan Watercolor background

Hello from Scotland! I’m visiting with the supersweet Debby Hughes right now – oh my GOSH I’m so excited to get to see her on her home turf!

Watercolor background

I thought I’d take a little Scottish inspiration from fabrics for today’s project. I looked for ideas on the internet – and wanted to figure out something to do with those patterns in watercolor, since I’ve been in watercolor mode preparing for this trip. Today’s video shares the results – using some masking fluid and easy waterocloring to make 2 versions of a fun soft watercolor background! Watch it below or click HERE to see it in HD on YouTube.

I think I like the argyle better til I look at the tartan….then I’m sure I like the tartan on the smoother side of the Strathmore. Then I like the argyle better for the way it came out so soft where colors mix…oh man. I can’t decide. Can you?

Sandy Allnock Argyle Watercolor

Here’s a still comparing the two patterns on the two sides of the paper:
Sandy Allnock Tartan and Argyle
Ps…for those who are praying folks—please pray against this cold! My sister had one and I had held it off, but before getting on the train this am, I felt sniffles and a sore throat coming on. I had given my travel insurance (ie my cold meds) to her, and hope I fing more on the way to the train today…this cold ruined her trip, and I don’t want that same fate. Pray! :)


Do you have a favorite kind of watercolor background that you like to make?

Impressions of High Tea: Watercolor pencils

Posted by on Feb 13, 2015 in Featured, Janes Doodles, Watercolor | 25 comments

Watercolor pencils - Impressions of High Tea by Sandy Allnock

I’m in London! Oh my! Somebody pinch me, okay?

Watercolor pencils and a cuppa tea

Today’s card is of course inspired by the London leg of my current European adventure. The adorable tea set is from Janes Doodles, and I created this fun, artsy, impressionistic background to go with it.Perhaps while on this trip I may get some “real” impressions of high tea -planning to hit Harrods— instead of my artsy impressionism! Enjoy the video below colored with watercolor pencils, or click HERE to watch in HD on YouTube!

I loved how adding that one popped frame using these stitched rectangle dies added so much to the card…dimension with minimal interruption to that fun colored background!

Sandy Allnock -- Impressions of High Tea


Surprise bonus: this stamp set is on sale right now!

Which brand of watercolor pencils do you use? 

Watercolor Graduation Card – Spec-tacular!

Posted by on Feb 11, 2015 in Art Impressions, Featured, Watercolor | 20 comments

Watercolor Graduation Card - Sandy Allnock

Watercolor graduation card

Congratulations to my “baby” sister! She is walking across the stage at the graduation ceremony in London today, so I’m sharing the watercolor graduation card I made for her…I’m “refreshing” the Stamp Sketching idea from about a month ago, and playing with my Kuretake watercolors too. Enjoy the video below or click HERE to watch in HD on YouTube!

For the card assembly, I angled the panel with the image on it – I needed room for my sentiment idea. I had a couple of these folder tabs sitting in a drawer forever – so wanted to fit them on the watercolor graduation card. I used the “Bravo” from the Spectacular set, the “Proud” from Lil Hoot, and Congrats was in an old dollar-stamp-set.

Sandy Allnock - Watercolor Graduation Card 2

I’m posting photos from my trip on Instagram, so be sure to check in over there periodically to see how my trip is going! :)

PS! I’m finally convinced that I need one of THESE… Video to come after I get home and get mine:)


Hoping this is cute enough that my sister isn’t sad she gets a watercolor graduation card rather than a Copic one!

Magical Monday: Neytiri fan art

Posted by on Feb 9, 2015 in Copics, Featured, Magical Monday | 26 comments

Neytiri fan art by Sandy Allnock

Avatar Neytiri fan art? Yes please!

I’m about to leave on my European vacation…so I thought today’s Magical Monday should also go on the road – to a land of make-believe! I really liked the movie Avatar – and the characters were designed so beautifully, so I decided to create some Neytiri fan art inCopic Marker, and I’ve colored in my watercolor style. I just love how the glow of the skin came out! Enjoy the video below or click HERE to watch in HD on YouTube…WARNING! Have your volume button handy, it wasn’t til late last night I discovered I hadn’t gone back to make some fine-tune adjustments. It’s pretty EPIC music given the movie, but…uh. yeah. It gets a little loud as it gets epic! :)

I’ve not been known to create Neytiri fan art or any other kind of movie piee, really – well maybe my Scrat portrait counts? :) But if you have suggestions for something I should try, let me know in the comments. Maybe I’ll tackle some of your ideas.

Neytiri Fan art by Sandy Allnock

Real-time version available as a class!

A lot of you have been asking for more real-time videos…if I did them all in real-time I think I’d lose a ton of folks, since my longer ones already have higher abandon rates than the shorter ones. BUT…for this one I did a little extra work for those who really really really want more. I re-edited this video. Yes, I did it twice! I know, I know, that’s just crazy, and double the work. But some features of the class version:

  • Video runtime is 32:43. Edits out only hunting for colors and refilling markers.
  • Includes voiceover, but beware. 32 minutes of ANYONE talking is…well, a lot!
  • Shows the lightbox for creating the initial sketch

This class will NOT teach you to draw. I’m ust saying. Nor is it a step-by-step instructional video. But for those who want to watch the techniques in real time and hear me chatter on, you can do so in the class – and if you decide to purchase the class, you’ll be helping out with my European adventure, since the funds for this will be helping out with that expense! (I leave today, wheeee!)

IMPORTANT NOTE: I’m not going to be available to help you get into the class. So this is important: doublecheck your email address as you fill out your information. The receipt sent to that address will contain your link and password for class; I can’t tell you the number of times folks mistype their address and then email me that they never got the receipt. I won’t be able to get that for you until I return, so please make sure you check all your information carefully.

Okay. Now that all that is out of the way: here’s the link…and the class is discounted until I return from Europe!

Neytiri Class


Things of note

  • For those who noted that I forgot to add pics of my backpack for the trip, those items have been added to the end of yesterday’s blog post.
  • Go check out this blog – I hear one of my videos will be posted today! :)
  • If you’ve created any Neytiri fan art, or if you’ve seen any cool drawings – drop me a link in the comments!


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