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Watercolor Hibiscus – Zig Clean Color Pens


Is it summer yet!?!? Oh my. I’m ready now that I got to create a watercolor hibiscus card! Many thanks to ZIG for sharing a few of these dynamo pens with me. It’s an expensive gift, since now #ineedtobuyallthecolors!!

Watercolor Hibiscus Card

Zig sent me a few of their Clean Color pens, and I started out testing them on some different papers. I discovered the pens definitely like watercolor paper most….I guess I would too if I were a pen like these! The colors are SO vibrant…and they say “Real Brush” on the sides of the pens, and they really mean it. These aren’t your average foam-type nib, they’re actual bristles! You can use them with or without water – just look at how beautifully they turn into watercolor by watching the video below on coloring the watercolor hibiscus stamp by Technique Tuesday – or check it out HERE on YouTube in HD.

I loved seeing that the pens can be purchased individually – buying a set can be a little pricey (even the set of 12 here or here is a mini investment), so we can collect them one-by-one like we do our Copics, yay! (I might need a hex chart for these…lol) Be prepared to be gentle with water around these markers…the instant they get wet they’re ready to play! But it does dab off pretty easily on the paper used on my card.  It was definitely great to see that the ink I stamped with didn’t bleed at all, too.

Sandy Allnock - Watercolor Hibiscus2

Some of you probably want to know what my black watercolor brush is – I’m leeeeeaning heavily on the Silver Brush brand right now; it’s a blend of natural squirrel hair and black synthetic filament – I find I get good control, the shape springs back after each stroke, and the tip is precise. I have some more brushes I’m testing (omg you should have seen my purchase the other day…one or two of each brand! cha-ching!), but if you’re chomping at the bit – there’s a set of three HERE (a 1, 8, and 3/4 wash) – or you can also buy any of the line individually HERE. I’m partial to a 2, 4, and 6 myself, with an oval wash – 2 and 4 are used on this card.

Sandy Allnock - Watercolor Hibiscus3


Affiliate links used throughout this post, at no cost to you. Read more.

One other thing I hadn’t yet mentioned – if you like painting a watercolor hibiscus, you might also like the rest of the Technique Tuesday florals – check them out HERE. I didn’t even know they had a monthly stamp!

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Ellen Hutson Bloghop: How to stamp on vellum – with dies!


Welcome to the Spring 2015 Essentials by Ellen Release BlogHop! I’m so happy to be a part of it….I’m so proud of my friends Julie Ebersole and Ellen Hutson for taking the leap into producing more awesome products to help our wallets stay lean! Today for my hop cards, I want to show you how to stamp on vellum – with dies!


How to stamp on vellum with dies

When I received the new release stamps and dies from Ellen Hutson, my mind went right away to big bold floral cards. And oddly – to pink and purple!? (Who has taken over this body?) And also to the vellum that Ellen makes, too – it’s nice and thick, makes inks look even softer from the back, and since in my card shared in their newsletter didn’t have a video companion, I wanted you to see the vellum in motion. Thus, stamping with dies was born for my cards! Watch the video below, or click HERE to see it in HD on YouTube!

These cards were helped along by the Craft Assistant and Magnetic Material of course…I’ve shown the use of them with airbrushing, but they made all the difference in holding the paper steady so I didn’t get fingerprints or grease on the paper. It really is amazing what you can do with these products when it comes to learning how to stamp on vellum!


The bloghop fun begins in the CLASSroom and there is also a Grand Giveaway! To enter, be sure to leave a comment there, and at every stop along the hop by May 5th!  Winners will be announced May 8th.

I am the lucky one to give away the Amazing Women stamp set! WOOHOO! Since my cards are intended for amazing women in your life, write a comment in the form of a quick note “to” an amazing woman in your life, then go email or text her that comment. (Why not, right? We really do need to encourage each other more!)


Keep hopping!

Next stop on this amazing bloghop full of inspiration: Joni Nina Andaya! (And if you don’t already subscribe to her and stalk her Instagram, I’d highly recommend it!)

PS: Last week’s winner: Linda S! You’ll be hearing by email about your prize. Yay for you!


Listed below are all of the items I used in these cards…as well as links to all the items in the new release. Affiliate links are used in this post, click here for more information.


Wasn’t that fun? Once  you learn how to stamp on vellum with dies, you can make a whole sheet to get a bunch of cards out of it! I love when multi-use takes the cost out of our craft supplies.

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Bird Crazy Stamps – Crafty Friends


If you’re a fan of Tim Holtz’s bird crazy stamps, you’re not alone! Whenever I need a little smile, I just stamp one and color it – just for fun! And I’m pretty excited to have gotten a little shoutout this past weekend from Tim himself! 🙂

Bird Crazy Stamps!

I just love these birds! There’s something so expressive about them – what fun! I decided I wanted to do something using all six, but they don’t exactly fit on an A2 card, so this piece will go on the wall in my craft room. It has some adaptations to the stamps to make them extra-cute! Check out the video below, or click HERE to watch in HD on YouTube!

I made a card with the same technique and one of the bird crazy stamps – the whole card base is watercolor cardstock, so it’s one layer. I added some Glossy Accents to the glasses, too! This card will go with my gift in a crafty gift exchange…I think it’s perfect for that! The card base for this one is the Canson.

Sandy Allnock - Crazy Crafty Birds2

PS You might also be interested in this card made with the Crazy Birds!


Below are links to the supplies I’ve used for today’s project; compensated affiliate links may used, which means if you make a purchase I receive a small commission (not at Purple Onion)at no extra cost to you. I truly appreciate your support toward the costs of running this blog! Read more.

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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?

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Impressions of High Tea: Watercolor pencils


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? 

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Watercolor Graduation Card – Spec-tacular!


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!

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Stencil-in-Stencil Techniques


I’m going to start out this blog post with an apology…I’m writing this with a cat across my hands and laptop. Punch is being such a pain – and his paw keeps accidentally (ha!) tapping the space bar or a key. So if there’s anything weird in here, or if I give up early – well, I’m blaming it on Punch! 🙂

Stencil in stencil techniques

The stencil techniques for today had been originally part of the 24 Tags series – it was much plainer as a tag, but I do like it much more with the watercolor and stencilled background!  If you can’t see the video below, click HERE to watch it in HD on YouTube.

I think stencil techniques will be something I revisit, I have some cool stencils that’ll be fun!

Things of note

  • Just saw Mockingjay and LOTR yesterday – both awesome! Recommend against 3D though, not a fan.
  • Want a little Copic coloring challenge? Check out the Copic blog for a digi with a 12 part tut. I played along – I’ll post mine on Instagram later today.
  • I would LOVE to have THESE guys over my house.
  • Yesterday I posted my 24 winners! There’s a bonus giveaway, be sure to check out another opportunity for a freebie!
  • Excited about WOTE’s movie coming today!


Below are links to the supplies I’ve used for today’s project; compensated 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.

Just gotta love new stencil techniques, eh?

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24 Tags of Christmas 2014: Day Five


Today we have something just a bit different….I had a whole different tag and whole different technique shot and nearly edited for today — and lo and behold, a stamp set arrived in my mailbox that was so cute I *had* to make it into a set of tags! It’s one I designed for Simon Says Stamp a while ago and it’s releasing today. Yes RIGHT NOW! Shopping links are in the dooblie doo here and on YouTube in case you, like me, fall in love with Bruce! If you want to watch the video below in HD on YouTube, click HERE.


Meet Bruce! Oh my goodness. He seriously has my heart in his little hand! (These are my names for the stamps – yes, yes, I talk to my stamps….so sue me for being weird!)

Sandy Allnock 24 Tags Day Five 3

And here’s frightened little Jeremy….hiding in his mailbox.

Sandy Allnock 24 Tags Day Five 2

And this is Wendell….he’s a little afraid someone will steal the gift before he gives it to you.

Sandy Allnock 24 Tags Day Five 1And Miss Penny…who is just so shy she couldn’t tell me her name, so I named her after my little crafting buddy.

Sandy Allnock 24 Tags Day Five 4

You can use any water-based markers to do this – Memento, Tombow, Distress, Marvy….whatever you like! If you need to pick up some markers, I’ve linked to a couple different kinds in the supply list below.

And as promised in the video – here’s a quick idea for kids valentines using this set…the template for the matchbook card is from yesterday’s tag video…except on this one, I used a brad, and punched a half-circle to help it fit without running into the brad when it’s tucked in by little fingers. They don’t have to be colored nice like this with Copics, though – crayon coloring by your kids would be adorable. Fun, eh?

Sandy Allnock Little Monsters Valentines

Have a SUPER Friday, everyone!!

Things of note


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24 Tags of Christmas 2014: Day One


I’m so excited! I’ve been working hard on a series of tags to share this week…lots of fun techniques, different coloring mediums – and even one with no coloring at all. Crazy, right? There will be videos for six – count em, six – days in a row…four tags made in each set. Sometimes it’s the same tag, other times it’s variations on one design.

Today’s first set of tags are watercolored images using a brand new set called Winter Pals. So cuuuuute, isn’t it? Check out the video to see how I made them, and then scroll down to see closeups of each tag. If you can’t see the video below, click HERE to watch it in HD on YouTube.


The individual photos show some closeups of the tags…I just love these lil guys!

Sandy Allnock 24 Tags Day One 1

Sandy Allnock 24 Tags Day One 2

Sandy Allnock 24 Tags Day One 3

Sandy Allnock 24 Tags Day One 4

Thanks – and a giveaway

One of the reasons I’ve worked so hard on these is because I wanted to find a way to say thank you! To my friends…my followers, subscribers (ohmygosh over 8000 on YT now!?), and commenters….my students, my mentors, my patrons, and all my business partners. This has been such an amazing year, even with its ups and downs — and I couldn’t have made it through without support from so many people.

This series of tags is more than sharing techniques…it’s a gift to you! I’ll be choosing 24 winners from comments here on my blog and on the videos on YouTube, from shares on Facebook and Twitter and blogs, reposts on Instagram – lots of ways you can enter to win! Just tag me in that social media – or drop a link here on the blog – to let me know.

Things of note

  • I found out new cool stuff about dogs from Hank HERE. At the end of the video is a $20 off coupon code for science-y gifts!
  • Kinda sad news….Jupiter the YouTube cat passed away from cancer. 🙁
  • I am positively blown away that my jokes video hasn’t gotten any thumbs down yet!? Wha? How can people dislike an artistic video and lyet eave bad jokes untouched? LOL. Whatever. My hater must like puns.
  • Tonight I’ll be taking part in a fundraiser event for Royal Family Kids Camp – for abused and neglected kids. If you’d like to make a donation, please do! It’s a great program that I’ve participated in before – I led worship and was in the drama, playing Frolic the Sheep.  I’ll be doing a reading at the fundraiser – and I had to go out and get a Benaroya-Hall-type-fancy outfit to wear. It’s not a gown, but I was stoked to find THESE and THIS that look stunning together. Gotta do my nails and hair today! I’ll post pics from the event on Instagram.


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Whimsical Architecture, Inktense Pencils


And now…for something completely different.

I didn’t really know where this one was heading, but…I had been playing with THESE pencils, (which come in THIS set too, and I can’t wait to get it) on THIS paper. I tried this with a few images, and not all worked…but the snowman came out fab. If you can’t see the video below, click HERE to watch directly on YouTube.


A note about the linked brush set: It’s a 1, 6, and 12 – instead of the 2, 6, and 8 that I bought individually. You don’t wanna know what I paid for mine individually at the art store. Eeeep!


Below are links to the supplies I’ve used for today’s project; click on the 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.

——— S U P P L I E S ———

Simon Says Stamp 100# Doll Pink
Ranger Archival Ink Pad JET BLACK
Grumbacher Watercolor Brush set
Art Impressions Stamp Set Merry Christmas To All
Marine Navigation Parallel Plotter
Electric Pencil Sharpener