National Craft Month: Create a Play Journal

National Craft Month: Create a Play Journal

National Craft Month…who’s in to celebrate?? If you follow my social media you know I often do a monthly series…it helps give me something to focus on creatively, sometimes challenging but always practicing and learning. Last month was all #blackhistorysketches – what fun to explore portraiture!

This month I thought it would be fun to play with a lot of the stuff I’ve bought over the years that sits in drawers, unused and unloved. Products that could be super interesting either together or separately, with or without gessos or grounds – and just make some time for PLAY! So today I’m showing off my cute little play journal where I’ll try out a snippet of a bunch of different things. See the list in the supplies for some ideas on stuff I may use – but don’t hold me to it. LOL.

Note: Supplies are linked in the supply list at the end of this post. Compensated affiliate links may be used  – that means if you make a purchase using my links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support of my work on this blog!  Read more.

Watch the video below or click HERE to see it in HD on YouTube.

These (plus transparent) have been in my drawer for eons. I checked on some other gessos and uhm…..a few are dry as bones. But hey, I’m cleaning stuff out, right?

I don’t use my shiny Daniel Smith paints very much – so today seemed like a day to jump in and get rolling. These colors are Duochrome Emerald , Duochrome Hibiscus , Duochrome Cabo Blue ,Duochrome Arctic Fire , Iridescent Jade .

My pretty little book cover!

Whatever size paper you start out with, fold it to create 4 panels across, 4 down, then cut it like this.

The whole thing should be one serpentine piece of paper, then do a zig zag fold to create the book!

In case you need any crafty stuff, enjoy the sale this weekend:

Used in creating this book and cover:

DANIEL SMITH Watercolor Grounds:

DANIEL SMITH Watercolors:

Silver Brush Black Velvet Watercolor Brushes:

Other items I may be using this month…yes I have a ton of stuff!

Peekaboo Masking (+ winners!)

Peekaboo Masking (+ winners!)

Sometimes you have an image that needs to play hide and seek. To somehow peek around another image that is on the card. Like the 2nd rhino on my card in the Birth-Yay stamp set from MFT – the rhino on the left is part of one large stack of animals in one stamp…but the extra rhino is just by himself.

Note: Supplies are linked in the supply list at the end of this post. Compensated affiliate links may be used  – that means if you make a purchase using my links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support of my work on this blog!  Read more.

Always be thinking about which image is in the front. In this scene, the head of the rhino on the right is in the front. Then the other rhino, then behind it all is the back of the rhino. In this case, there was only a little curve-of-the back that could have been stamped, but a pen did the job easily.

The sentiment stamp I picked didn’t really fit on the front nicely…so I put it inside. There are lots of birthday sentiments in this set, but I used the more generic one so I can send this card as any kind of celebration!

The grasses, by the way, were just scribbled Albrecht Durer Watercolor Pencils which I smooshed around with a baby wipe to get that nice soft blending!

The finished card is just mounted on layers of cardstock. Super cute!

Winners!

The Best Dog Mom contest was sooooo hard to judge. So many awesome dogmoms and pupperkids!!! But…there can only be two crowns so here goes…Send me your addies and I’ll pack up the goodies!

Dana is Emerson’s mama…and she gives awesome skritches. 😍
Brenda’s pup Sherman T Potter chomps on corn on the cob like a champ! (The video is on Facebook!)

One Wreath Three Ways

One Wreath Three Ways

It’s always fun to get mileage out of our stamps – so why not try an atypical stamp set in a couple mediums, just to see what happens? I created these pretty wreaths in Distress Inks, Copics, and Pencil! The PinkFresh Oval Foliage stamp has so many possibilities!

Watch the video below or click HERE to see it in HD on YouTube.

Note: Supplies are linked in the supply list at the end of this post. Compensated affiliate links may be used  – that means if you make a purchase using my links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support of my work on this blog!  Read more.

Distress Oxide Ink/Watercolor is one of the ways most people may consider using a set like this – applying the peeled paint distress oxide ink then painting into it with a wet brush.

I added some berries to mine with a brush, as well as tiny details in the chipped sapphire to add some depth.

Next up: Copic! I stamped some “messy” partial leaves first, then laid down a couple colors (YG03 YG00) and restamped again in an uneven fashion to add some realism. I filled in some detail in G28 and added RV14 berries.

Finishing off each card meant layering the panels with green cardstock, popping it up on dimensional adhesive on the same color cardstock to keep the color to a minimum and let the wreath sing. Sentiments were stamped on matching paper and popped, cutting the banner on one side and tying a little twine for good measure.

The pencil version may surprise those who haven’t taken Colored Pencil Jumpstart – powdered pencil!

The tea strainer is the magic that makes it happen…scribbling the pencil into it to create powder, and lightly moving it around with a cotton ball.

The sentiments were placed in the lower 1/3 of the card – designwise it keeps the important parts out of dead-center so the eye moves around the wreath and not just stopping in the middle.

Prepping the Studio for National Craft Month

Prepping the Studio for National Craft Month

Whether you knew it or not – a holiday is about to come crashing down (delightfully!) upon us!! National Craft Month happens every March, and I thought this year it might be nice to have a little fun and encourage everyone to join in.

This weekend, I’ve been prepping the studio itself. Because….OH. MY. After filming three classes, and purchasing from Ellen and Blick both, trying to get ahead on videos because I have a five day (yes FIVE GLORIOUS DAYS) watercolor workshop with Brenda Swenson starting in just over a week, and keeping up with #blackhistorysketches…..well, this place got insane.

So yesterday I dug in. And I got the whole u-shaped desk cleaned up! Drawers below and everything. The dust bunnies were growling back at me, but I WON! I still have the REST of the room to go…lots and lots and lots of purging and re-organizing…but this was the ugliest visible place. The rest is cabinets and bins in the other half of the studio!

I’ve got a couple pics – and am numbering a few things I suspect there will be questions on; see the list below the photos for what they are. Hopefully this helps show you the current state of things; and no I will not be posting pics of drawers. Let’s just say there’s room in them now and I’m happy enough with that!

  1. The shelf is the top of a desk I had about 20 years ago. Really sturdy so it’s justified its existence!
  2. Yes, I have too many journaling Bibles! I bought a lot so I could test them and let folks know what they’re like; I’ve got enough that I believe they’re all about the same paper, and the only one that has thicker paper is the Illustrating Bible which I don’t like. Mediums don’t move the way I like them to.
  3. All my water-based pens. Zig clean color, Tombow, Marvy, Art & Graphic Twin.
  4. Black Capped Chickadees original…get your print HERE.
  5. Gemini Jr. for diecutting.
  6. Shelving from….maybe Ikea? It’s been with me over a decade so I don’t recall.
  7. Cardstock, finally sorted by color. AHHHHHHHH it feels good.
  8. Guillotine trimmer.
  9. Misc stuff. Envelopes, card bases, precut papers for stamping and coloring, stuffed toys, solvents….shelf below it has two long flat wooden cases, 1 for drawing supplies, the other is all watercolor tubes. Yeah I have a ton.
  10. Pile of extra pads of paper that have to find somewhere to live….the cabinet with the rest is just chock full. I keep buying paper coz I can’t find the old one – agh! I may leave that pile there and hope to whittle thiings down a little. How long til I use up 6 pads of Stonehenge!?!? LOL!
  11. A little Ikea set of drawers with ink blending stuff, water spray bottles, acetate scraps, other lil junk. Covered with patterned paper. Mugs of odds and ends on top.
  12. Office Depot white board with cups that have magnetic on the back. Keeps lots up off the desk.
  13. One of two Blick boxes, I couldn’t open it til I cleaned the desk! #reward
  14. Two barstools – one usually holds my Copic case, the other is a catch-all because the counters get so full!
  15. Wall lights aren’t anything special – got them at a lighting shop, I think they were called “Couples lights” because they’re for each side of a bed. They work nice if I’m not filming, but not for shooting video.
  16. My Arkon Kitchen Desk Table Stand with ipad hookiebob thing on it. They have all kinds of camera connectors and a phone holder etc so search their site to see what parts you need. (You can email them for help too.) I only use the ipad so I can listen to music, watch the news, or search for reference photos; it’s not used in video production. For 20% discount at Arkon use coupon code sandyallnock
  17. Camera is a Canon Rebel, older model now. I need a new one, Santa!
  18. Square panel Dracast lights are new in the last few months, and I like them. Mounted on tripods using this widget.
  19. Weekly flowers! I treat myself to flowers to remind myself that life is good and I don’t have to skimp on things that really do spark joy.
  20. Incredible Art Board is what I use to create videos on; often with a sheet of white cardstock on top when coloring so it doesn’t dirty it up too fast. They get filthy after a bit if I’m not careful – I try to keep them protected when not shooting. Once dirty, though, they’re perfect as boards for painting half-sheet watercolors.
  21. My nice easel that hasn’t seen much use…for one because I had until the last few months always painted flat. And for two because there was so much garbage around it I couldn’t access it without knocking things over! Part of the cleaning goal was to make this accessible, so I’m excited to start painting on it. The new lights are also able to move around better than the old ones, so I could maybe even film a watercolor class using the easel at some poiint.
  22. Found this cool 3-tin-cup stand at a vintage shop, and store all my brushes in it. Uhm yeah, I have too many.
  23. My Quietsharp pencil sharpener.

Join me for National Craft Month

I would like to challenge you — especially my students — to join me in a little creating every day. But in a little different way than usual. Make a #playjournal and let’s try some new things! Make a little journal like mine, or buy one, and just create something. Use a medium or product you have that hasn’t seen love in a while. Try a 2-inch snippet of a technique you saw someone do on YT. Test out a borrowed medium or tool and see what it does. Combine things that might or might not work, and be open to learning something! I suggest a small journal, or just do a little piece of a page each day; if you get motivated to do more, of course, that’s great, but just commit to yourself you’ll spend just 10 minutes a day playing. It’s good for the soul!

I’ll be doing that in my own little #playjournal. As I cleaned, I found lots of things to play with while cleaning….a bunch that I won’t be able to link you to, but I’m gonna be using some unloved stencils, mediums, and more, and see what I can learn!

Click on the pic below to see my play journal page with a quick video showing how to make this little book!

One last thing

…today’s Bible journaling video! For anyone who doesn’t know, I’ve got a whole channel that has a new video each Sunday.

Hope you get some time this week to get your workspace tidied up so you can get messy all through March with me!

Dust Bunny Card!   (Mixing Colors for Fur)

Dust Bunny Card! (Mixing Colors for Fur)

Is this not THE cutest little Sweet Bunny you ever did see?? I had to order it right away – and I’m gonna be coloring it as much as I did that crazy giraffe last year, I think. Sooooo cute!

Note: Supplies are linked in the supply list at the end of this post. Compensated affiliate links may be used  – that means if you make a purchase using my links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support of my work on this blog!  Read more.

Watch the video below or click HERE to see it in HD on YouTube.

I loved this lil bunny so much I didn’t even add anything to embellish it–just added it to the card base…

And if you’re wondering why this card is called Dust Bunny….this is the sentiment on the inside. For what occasion should I send this card??? LOL!

Here’s the paint set used in this video:

Sketcher sets Includes: Hansa Yellow Medium (EH DB) Quinacridone Rose (EH DB) Ultramarine Blue (EH DB) Cerulean Blue Chromium (EH DB) Monte Amiata Natural Sienna (EH DB) Transparent Red Oxide (EH DB). My additions: Nickel Azo (EH DB) Serpentine Genuine (EH DB) Undersea Green (EH DB) Cobalt Teal Blue (EH DB) Sedona Genuine (EH DB) Bloodstone Genuine (EH DB) Moonglow (EH DB) Payne’s Gray (EH DB) Neutral Tint (EH DB) Lunar Black (EH DB)

There’s a sale going on for 25% off these Altenew goodies using code meetALTENEW- and I had these two cards made in all my practice for the upcoming rain classes using Starry Flowers, which are in the sale category. Yep you’re welcome! Classes in copic, watercolor and pencil are coming March 1, if I can get all the voiceovers done and videos uploaded over the next week…wish me luck!

And one more tidbit: for the Rainy Days classes, the Copic colors I’ll be using are these – in case you want to add one or two to an order this week. But remember you can substitute. With colored pencils I generally assume everyone has a good selection of colors since they’re much less expensive; and for watercolor, you’ll be able to mix colors, most likely, but I’ll be using my main 2019 palette (not all colors in it but if you have substitutes you’ll be just fine). A white gel pen is recommended for all the classes OR a fine brush and some acrylic white paint of some kind if you don’t find a gel pen works for you.

Best Dog Mom Card + contest!

Best Dog Mom Card + contest!

I made some cute Comic Strip cards – with a much easier technique than the one I did HERE a few years back. And this time – it’s with the cute Puppy Parents stamps I bought by Sunny Studio!

A little treat for you today: a giveaway contest for dog mamas!

see the end of this post

Note: Supplies are linked in the supply list at the end of this post. Compensated affiliate links may be used  – that means if you make a purchase using my links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support of my work on this blog!  Read more.

There are six breeds on the stamp set with mamas or papas and puppies – so I made two cards with the same idea. See below the pinnable graphic for a few extra tips!

The little scene bits I used in these cards are taught in the Hex Art class – do my students recognize any of them?

The pups in the stamp set can be colored to match your own dogs:

I changed the fluffy white pup into a Bernese!!

Best dog mom contest

I want to give these two cards to two lucky winners. How do you win? Post a pic of you showing some love to your pup! That can be cookies, hugs and kisses, their favorite park…..but new pics, please! The most creative shots will win a card and some doggie goodies – I’ll be “hiring” some judges to pick so it won’t be up to just me. Where to post them, you ask? A few options:

  • Preferred: on my Facebook page, post it underneath the image of my two cards in comments there. (That way they all stay together).
  • If you don’t have Facebook, then post on your blog, instagram, flickr, wherever, and put a link in the comments on this post.

If you have no dog: go get someone you DO know with a dog to pose for you! You can keep the card yourself or give it to them.

PS I’m not anti-cat.…but this stamp set has pups in it! If they ever make a kitty parents stamp set, we’ll do this again, ok?

Chubby Bunny Easter Party

Chubby Bunny Easter Party

Chubby bunny! Chubby bunny! Chubby bunny! Did any of you play that game when you were kids? We’d keep putting more marshmallows in our mouths and see how long we could keep sounding coherent. Miles of silly sugar-powered laughs!

Well this card isn’t that level of silly, but it’s pretty fun anyway. I stamped almost all the bunnies (one ended up on the envelope), and gave them a little garden to enjoy, too.

Note: Supplies are linked in the supply list at the end of this post. Compensated affiliate links may be used  – that means if you make a purchase using my links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support of my work on this blog!  Read more.

Watch the video below or click HERE to see it in HD on YouTube.

When stamping and masking, have a black pen on hand that works with the medium you’re coloring with…then the masks needn’t be perfect, you can just draw in little bits that didn’t get connected.

And don’t forget the envelope! That’ll definitely tell your recipient this is HAPPY mail. No bills!

Happy 3rd birthday Vienna! (Watercolor Dog Card)

Happy 3rd birthday Vienna! (Watercolor Dog Card)

Happy third birthday to my sweet Vienna! We’ll hopefully be spending a couple hours at the park – her favorite place to go run run run!

I don’t know if it’s her actual birthday today, of course; she arrived at my house in September and we could only guess at her age. Which would put her birthday around this time of year. I picked valentines day because, well, I’m single and need something else to celebrate today, ya know? So we celebrate my girl each year!

Note: Supplies are linked in the supply list at the end of this post. Compensated affiliate links may be used  – that means if you make a purchase using my links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support of my work on this blog!  Read more.

Impression Obsession came out with a couple cute stamps – My Best Friend, and Love Language –I wasn’t sure what size they were when I ordered them, but Love Language is a little bigger than My Best Friend – so I ended up making a card with a foreground stamp and background stamp by stamping “off” the first pass of ink on the background image. That way it only stamped a little of the ink, and made it lighter in the background.

Watch the video below or click HERE to see it in HD on YouTube.

If you need to see the colors from my palette, check out this post.

This is probably us today….. mud and smiles!

Watercolor palette:

  • Nickel Azo (EH DB)
  • New Gamboge (EH DB)
  • Aussie Red Gold  (EH DB)
  • Yellow Ochre (EH DB)
  • Burnt Sienna  (EH DB)
  • Burnt Umber (EH DB)
  • Perylene Maroon (EH DB)
  • Anthraquinoid Scarlet (EH DB)
  • Pyrrol Scarlet  (EH DB)
  • Quinacridone Rose (EH DB)
  • Imperial Purple (EH DB)
  • Moonglow (EH DB)
  • Cobalt Teal Blue (EH DB)
  • Iridescent Electric Blue (EH DB)
  • Cobalt Blue (EH DB)
  • French Ultramarine Blue (EH DB)
  • Phthalo Blue GS (EH DB)
  • Indanthrone Blue (EH DB)
  • Serpentine Genuine (EH DB)
  • Sap Green (EH DB)
  • Green Apatite Genuine (EH DB)
  • Perylene Green (EH DB)
  • Payne’s Blue Gray (EH DB
  • Neutral Tint (EH DB)

Customize Bird Stamps

Customize Bird Stamps

Note: Supplies are linked in the supply list at the end of this post. Compensated affiliate links may be used  – that means if you make a purchase using my links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support of my work on this blog!  Read more.

I often customize stamps to be what I’d like to see – and this Songbird stamp set has been on my desk for quite a while, knowing I’d make a bunch of birds out of the one stamp!

For those familiar with Copics, figuring out colors shouldn’t be all that hard….especially if you’ve taken Copic Jumpstart and learned about Glazing! You can turn any of your markers into the right colors for any type of bird. The tough part is the markings.

Google the bird you want to draw, and you’ll get tons of images – then start scrolling to find a bird in an approximately correct position so you can see all the markings clearly.

Some birds will have a longer tail, different shaped beak, etc – you can mask off those portions when stamping, or do as I did and just draw right over those parts!

Coloring with a  limited color palette

Coloring with a limited color palette

I wanted to make a clean and simple colored card – with a limited palette. Not limited markers, but the number of visible colors being really streamlined. I think I accomplished the goal, whatcha think?

Note: Supplies are linked in the supply list at the end of this post. Compensated affiliate links may be used  – that means if you make a purchase using my links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support of my work on this blog!  Read more.

Watch the video below or click HERE to see it in HD on YouTube.

Colors used – with an overall effect being a clean and simple palette.

Masking only involved masking the big bear’s arm, and masking away the dog leash entirely and drawing it back in so it led to the little bear’s paw.

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