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CAS Sympathy Cards: Agapanthus, Technique Tuesday

Sympathy cards are SO hard to make. They just hurt the heart, even though you know they’re going to ease someone’s pain just a little.

But… I think this stamp I used has taught me my new favorite word. “Agapanthus.” Just say it out loud. “Agapanthus.” Isn’t it wonderful?

On the 1st of each month Technique Tuesday releases a new Greenhouse Society stamp set. They’re sooooo pretty! I’ve started a little collection…and you can check them all out HERE! Or go to the Technique Tuesday website to sign up for a monthly subscription and get them at a discount.

Technique Tuesday sent me Agapanthus, July’s stamp, since they just loved my card with their Hibiscus stamp….and I couldn’t resist. Because they sent me two, one for me and one for you! Read about the giveaway below.

CAS (Clean and Simple) Sympathy Cards: Agapanthus

I decided to stamp the image on Desert Storm; I thought it might be an interesting exploration to try doing flowers on a darker paper – I’ve colored other images on it, but not florals. I also show it on white, so you can see the color comparison between doing so on darker and lighter paper. Very interesting, at least to me – the coloring nerd! Watch the video below, or click HERE to watch in HD on YouTube..

I do like it on the white, but there’s something very unique and quite relazing about the desert storm color!

Sandy Allnock Sympathy Cards

Which do you prefer – the Desert Storm or the White? Maybe it depends on who it’s for….not really sure! 🙂



Yes, I have a stamp set to give away! The lovely folks at Technique Tuesday sent me two…one for me and one for you! Use the Raffelcopter below to enter…good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Below are links to the supplies I’ve used for today’s project; click on the picture or wording to go directly to the item. Affiliate links may used, which means if you make a purchase I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I truly appreciate your support toward the costs of running this blog! Read more.

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Magical Monday: Adventure Calls (Colored Pencil)


My trip is over and I’m heading to the airport as this post goes live….I’ll be missing my family and my students both! It was a great time of rejuvenation, laughter, food, creativity – and now it’s time to get back to regular crazy life! So I figured this stamp designed by the amazing Birdie Brown would be just perfect.

Magical Monday in Prismacolor Pencil

In college, I cut my illustration teeth on colored pencil (you can see some of that work HERE)…and I don’t seem to get them out very often anymore. Mostly because it takes me so much longer to color with them than with my other mediums – thus no magical background on my image today! lol. I honestly did consider it….but I shot this before leaving for my trip, and was a little frantic, so that wasn’t going to fit into the #ohmygoshihaventstartedpackingyet schedule. (I also chose NOT to do the Magic Colored Pencil technique this time…and just leave the fun paper texture in!)

Enjoy the video below anyway – or click HERE to watch in HD on YouTube!

The bunny in the stamp set is separate from the girl – so I had to do a little masking to put his ear in her hand so she could drag him to the airport with her.

And as you can also see, this stamped image can be added to #thehumanrainbow campaign on Instagram, wahoo! No need to limit ourselves to only Copics to shine a light on the diversity of the human race…it can be created with any medium!

And while I’m talking about the hashtag campaign – you just have to see THIS one by Maggie….it made me giggle! Gnomes are people too!

Note about pencil sharpeners: I’m still hunting the perfect sharpener for you all…..but what I’m finding is that a lot of the “auto-stops” on the sharpeners just don’t stop. They eat your pencil instead. Major bummer! But I’ve been buying sharpeners. A lot of them. I’ve told you about my amazing Panasonic that I’ve had since college – and it still works like a charm – but it seems to be out of production – though there are some used ones HERE and I’m telling you, I’ve had mine since college (read: Dark Ages), so it’s possible these sharpeners are still FABulous, and reasonably priced. I actually own two – I bought my second just in case the first ever died. And no, I’m not giving it up, LOL. Stay tuned as my budget allows and I’ll find one. #iamdetermined!

Sandy Allnock - Adventure Calls - Prismacolor

And I know lots of you have been waiting for a good pencil tutorial – stay tuned. I did just purchase the entire collection of 150 pencils (wheeeeeeeeeeeee!) so I’ll get to do some playing. (I had bought my previous collection in college, and wanted to be certain the colors I have are current when I use them.)

Special cards needed

I was so saddened to hear that Heidi Swapp lost her second-oldest son a few days ago. At a conference just a few months ago, Heidi gave the keynote, and she spoke so cheerfully and lovingly of her family and shared lots of photos with us. Picturing the anguish that her happy soul must be going through….oh my heart just breaks for her! I’m happy to see that the people at Persnickety Prints are collecting cards for her – please consider sending her something beautiful in the mail.


Edited to add: Winner! Mendi Yoshikawa is the winner of the Inktense pencils from last week’s giveaway!


Below are links to the supplies I’ve used for today’s project; click on the picture or wording to go directly to the item. Affiliate links may used, which means if you make a purchase I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I truly appreciate your support toward the costs of running this blog! Read more.

Thanks for visiting me today!

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Copic Coloring Birds and Mice – House Mouse

It’s Copic tutorial time again here on the ol’ blog…and today I’m mixing it up a bit. And I wish I could say I’m singing along while coloring birds and mice, but ya know…nobody needs to hear that!

Copic Coloring Birds and Mice

This little House Mouse stamp is just the cuuuuuuuutest! It makes me want to go find a nice remote place to go out and sing a tune of my own. Really remote though. LOL! In today’s video I’ll show you how to get extra detail by mixing your coloring media…watch the video below or click HERE to watch in HD on YouTube!

Fun, wasn’t that? I love that there are things like supersharp pencils that you can use to add in detail that gets lost as you color. Sometimes a pen works best, but Prismacolors can give you a softer look. It helps when you’re coloring birds or little mammals – a pen can make the detail a little TOO sharp.

But to get the pencil tip into nooks and crannies, it’s really sharp. I use THIS sharpener, but it’s a bit high in price for some bizarre reason (I bought mine for about $50 while in college) – But there are a more sharpeners HERE, and the one HERE is a fraction of the price of mine and really good. If you missed it last week when I shared it, there’s a video on THIS PAGE on how to properly sharpen a pencil. Lots of good info in it.

Sandy Allnock Copic Coloring Birds n Mice

Specials just for you (ha)

  • If you’re an Ellen Hutson customer, be sure to always read the email she sends out at the first of the month. She gives you a coupon code in it, good all month long! (Emailed to customers only!) If you’ve never shopped there before, go pick up something so you can get the July code in your email. It’s well worth it.
  • Dick Blick coupon code for this week only, 15% off AND free shipping on $89+ orders – use code CDWR til Friday. Some of you were waiting on a coupon to shop for watercolor stuff, now’s a good time!


Below are links to the supplies I’ve used for today’s project; click on the picture or wording to go directly to the item. Affiliate links may used, which means if you make a purchase I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I truly appreciate your support toward the costs of running this blog! Read more.

Well I’m outta here for today after my little fun with coloring birds and mice….see you again in my next post!

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Magical Monday: Mondo Magnolia Colored Pencil Flowers


Happy Mondo Monday…I hope it’s a mondo great day for you! I thought I would throw a curve ball in everyone’s expectations and work on colored pencil flowers instead of a Copic video today. Hope you don’t mind!

Colored Pencil Flowers

Since it’s Magical Monday, I don’t explain my technique in the video, though you can certainly see it. I colored this on Neenah Cardstock with Prismacolors, though softer papers are a bit preferable for me; I use an extremely sharp pencil and fill in all the little spots between pencil lines in layers – to create a smooth blend. One layer of the flower went from dark colors outside to light inside, and the other layer was in the reverse.

Read more below about my technique and some colored pencil flowers tips…but first, watch the video below, or click HERE to see it in HD on YouTube.

How to properly sharpen a colored pencil

I find that I do go through more Prismacolors with my sharp-pencil technique, but it’s worth it to me for the look I get. A lot of the illustrations I used to do a lot of (you can see some HERE) use the same technique. I use THIS sharpener, but it’s a bit high in price – there are a bunch HERE, and the Xacto Sharpener HERE is a fraction of the price of mine and really good. I found a great tutorial video at the bottom of THIS PAGE on how to properly sharpen a pencil. Who’d a thunk there was so much to say about the topic? Great info though!

And guess what? I discovered you can buy pencils one-at-a-time at Dick Blick instead of sets that have colors you’ll never use. Or replacements for that one that you wore down to a nub! Cool beans eh? (Did you notice how small some of mine got?! I need a new Raspberry!) What I used on today’s flower: Spanish OrangeOrangeRaspberryViolet and Violet Blue.

Sandy Allnock Magical Monday Mondo Magnolia 2

I wanted my card to be CAS to show off all the labor of love on the flower – so I simply popped it with THIS, added a sentiment from the same Mondo Magnolia stamp set (in THIS ink)…and added tone on tone Glossy Accents hearts and dots around the sentiment, along with on the dark flower centers bits.Sandy Allnock Magical Monday Mondo Magnolia 3


Affiliate links used in this post, at no additional cost to you. Read more here.

Colored pencil flowers are a great way to kick off May – so I hope you pick up this set and color it with something amazing. With it being such a big open flower, there are tons of ways to do it! (I’m pondering zentangle!)

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


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!

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24 Tags of Christmas: Day Four


Today’s tag is more than just a gift tag…it would do a great job as a gift card holder too! (Watch the end of the video for that!) I’m picturing a bunch of these hanging on the family tree on Christmas morning with movie theater gift cards in them…a family outing, courtesy of Santa?!

Enjoy the video below, or click HERE to watch it in HD on YouTube.



  • Cut a sheet of 8-1/2″ x 11″ cardstock in 4 strips (8-1/2″ long x 2-3/4″ wide)
  • Score at 3/4″ and 4-3/4″

If you’ve missed any of the previous tag videos in the series – I’m adding them all to one playlist HERE.

As promised, closeups of the tags…multicolored first:

Sandy Allnock 24 Tags Day four 1

All white lights, with Glossy Accents….

Sandy Allnock 24 Tags Day four 2

Red and green bulbs only, with white pencil highlights…

Sandy Allnock 24 Tags Day four 3

And oh so pretty peacock feathers ink! YUM. And do you see that one bulb where it crosses over from one panel to another and the bulbs seem to align? That was totally unplanned, but WAY cool!

Sandy Allnock 24 Tags Day four 4

From the response thus far, it seems this tag series is going over quite well….couple more days to go!


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No Line Coloring Technique

Hello there! Welcome to my post today with my no line coloring technique!

No line coloring technique

My little card is actually *gasp* a “Look ma, no Copics!” card!! I’ve been thinking about coloring on Kraft for a while, and I’m down to my last sheet of this awesome paper…so now that I used the last sheet, I’m adding it to my Black Friday shopping list. YEAH! Without further ado…here’s my video for this card…and if you can’t see it below, click HERE to watch it in HD on YouTube!

If you’re new to my blog and YouTube channel, I’d love to invite you to subscribe! I share lots of fun, crazy, and creative things around here, and love to share ideas. I’m also on Instagram and share a lot more BTS (behind the scenes) type things there, if you’re into that kinda stuff.

And last but never least…shopping links are below in case you just have to have this lil birdie in your stamp room! He’s so sweet. And he’s perfect for the no line coloring technique, since I bet you want to try it now. And I’ve also linked up my colored pencil sharpener, I get lots of questions about what kind I use to get such a sharp point. And of course a number of pencil sets, depending on how much you want to get into it. I bought all mine in open stock over the years, that’s why mine sometimes have different type of labelling on them – but they’re the same awesome products made by Prismacolor.

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Magic Colored Pencil Technique….and Patreon announcement!


Magic Colored Pencil Technique

I have another video to add to the collection…using the Hero Arts All the Time set! And…it’s not a Copic tut, so for those who think I’m a one-trick pony, think no further! 🙂 Papers are from Studio Calico’s Hey Day 6×6 pad.

And now…Patreon!

I signed up for this new site recently, and I’m curious to see how it’ll work. It seems the more videos I put out, the more people ask how they can support me personally for all this content. I tried that with Stage-It, and for a lot of reasons that’s not panning out the way I’d hoped. I prefer to give you guys higher quality content, and the webcam thing just wasn’t doing it for me….and scheduling it so everyoen could make it – another toughie. But Patreon – which is the brainchild of the brilliant Jack Conte (half of Pomplamoose) – is a fascinating model to me. Here’s how it works:

  1. You sign up as a patron, or a sponsor, of your favorite creator(s). Like me. If you think about the YouTube subscription emails that come to you – which are the ones you click on to watch right away? Those are your favorites.
  2. You pick the amount you want to give for each upload. You can even set a cap so you don’t go over a dollar amount, in case the creator goes nuts and uploads a ton! You can change the settings anytime later too!
  3. The creator gets busy creating. Having some income from producing their work gives them incentive to keep it going – and make it worth your while! They may now be able to afford equipment or supplies needed, hire services that are needed for their videos, heck, they can maybe get an extra hard drive for processing all that content. (lol)
  4. The content remains free throughout all this. Think of it like public radio or tv – it’s out there, anyone can access it, but those who know its value give to support it.
  5. The creator can offer incentives.

#5 is where I need your ideas. Patrons are going to be able to weigh in more heavily on what they’d like to see as incentives! It could be things like choosing an image for me to color. Picking supplies or a sketch for some kind of dare. Giving me a wild topic to somehow mash into a funny crafting video. Or just a Google hangout with patrons so we can chat about stuff. Who knows! What ideas do you have?

Patreon site