Die cutting, Hero Arts, Ink Layering, Winter Wonder

Kriky it’s a Pink Robin…

I want to talk about robins. I received my much-anticipated Color Layering Robin in the mail a few days ago and couldn’t wait to rip it open and get started. Of course, I opened the package, grabbed the stamps, and flipped it over for the recommendation of colors. I always like to season my stamps when I get them, so I figured let’s use a scratch and stamp the image. I grabbed the suggestions. (See below) and stamped it out.

Sample colors of Color Layering Robin from package.

I liked the colors, but I didn’t have all the Hero Arts colors, so I had to substitute. I know it’s hard to believe but I don’t have all the HA inks — someday I will but that day is not today. It was okay but of course if I had the same inks, it would have been better.

I almost always start a project by doing a photo reference check, it helps me to have color schemes that work with the focal image. In this case the robin. I went to the mighty GOOGLE and typed in Robins. I got some great images for the red-breasted robin.

These are the three I found that I liked. Just because I am me, I scrolled a little further cause I like many color choices. Well in doing so look what I found.

Pretty in pink: the male pink robin
Australian Male Pink Robin

YEAH, cute, right? Well, you can imagine I had to use this photo reference. I loved his pink tummy and that blue grey top. I also thought what a great way to encourage people to looks at reference photos before they set out to create. I love the American, Red-Breasted Robin but I adore this little fella.

Next time you see a package suggestion for color scheme, remember it’s a suggestion. Pop on the googles and see if there are some other alternatives you may end up with this little mate.

Oh, for reference, my bird ink choices were 1. Taffy (Hero Arts Reactive), Weathered Wood (Ranger Distress Ink Tim Holtz), Eiffel Tower (My Favorite Things).

art supplies
Keeping Creating!
Blessings, Erika
Arteza, Challenges, Christmas, Christmas Cards, Copic Markers, Die cutting, Ink Blending, MFT, Paper Layering, Self Challenge, Winter Wonder

Mojo Challenge Make for Merry Little Birds

I had no mojo at all a few days ago and decided I need to push past this! Sometimes you just gotta make something to get the creative mojo flowing. You may hate what you create, or you may find you do some decent work when you are working through your block. I keep a person challenge list just for these moments to help me get off my booty and create.

I opened the random generator and gave it a spin. It came back with thirty-nine. I go to my handy dandy list and the challenge is a color challenge. Green, Grey, Pink, and Black. This is the result. I am happy with how it came out. I will say, adding the little texture with the buffalo check was what really brought it together.

I so enjoyed making this card and I feel that pulled off the challenge.

A note on my Mojo Maker list: when I finish a challenge like this one, I replace it with a new one of a like kind. This is how you keep your list 1. current with new supplies and color combos or whatever, 2. Have a mojo maker list that you can work from. For example, the new one I put in slot thirty-nine is to use brown as a focus color (but not coffee allowed).

No matter what always remember, the more you create, the more creative you will be. Avoiding a block or lack of mojo only leads to less creating. Please keep making even if you hate it. As my husband says, “they can’t all be your favorites”

school buddies
Keep Crafting! Blessings, Erika
Christmas Cards, Copic Markers, Die cutting, Monthly Stamp & Die Club, Pink & Main, Winter Wonder

Pink & Main – The Best Gift

How funny is it that the name of this month’s subscription is “The Best Gift”? Well, my BEST friend (read gift from God) – told me about this subscription. I trusting her impeccable taste signed up! I got my kit and was so pleased with it. I am excited to see that local stores now have the delightful little set too. I did get the subscription that was $24 for the stamp and die. (Hello, that is a great price!)

I was so excited to get my hands busy with this little fun set that I whipped out this little card. Someone will get this card for Christmas, and I just know they will feel the warm beary sweet card and the love that went into it.

I would suggest you check out this fantastic company and consider adding a monthly delivery to your stash. Here is the link to the subscription choices. I may be upgrading to the card kit soon.

Great idea
Keep Crafting my Awesome Friends, Erika!

2021, Christmas, Christmas Cards, Clean & Simple (CAS), Embossing Folder, Masking, MFT, Superstar Card Contest, Winter Wonder

CAS – Clean And Simple

Another fun category that I can roll with is clean and simple. I love this look. For the MFT Superstar Card maker contest this year, I had to wait for the stamps to come in. I saw them and thought… Yes, what better set than these to use for this contest. The stamp set is called Iconic Christmas available at MFT here.

I don’t usually purchase stamps for contest. I had seen them in the sneak peek and thought, wow those would be awesome for some CAS cards. The contest was on my mind while coloring my other entry for Coloring Virtuoso and this card popped into my head. I had to stop what I was doing so I could sketch it out. I LOVE this card. I don’t care what or who wins I really like how it came out. Simple to make and you can change it up a little here and there with changing the trees, sentiment, or colors. Seriously, you could make all your Christmas card in one swoop. Anyway, here it is my 2021 CAS entry.

2021 Clean and Simple Entry

I should also mention, the dry embossed trees in the background, were a stack of MFT tree dies I used to make the embossed look. I didn’t use a folder. I simply layered several trees and ran through a machine with paper to get that letterpress look. It took a bunch of tries to get it straight and to get it to line up. I had to cut edges of the branches and what nots to get it too look clean. I also realized I cut it a little short in a few places but figured it works.

2020, 2021, Arteza, Challenges, Colored Pencils, Faber-Castell Polychromos, My Favorite Things - Color, Prisma, Superstar Card Contest, Widow/Monarch

Superstar Challenge 2021

My Favorite Things Superstar Challenge

It’s that time of year again. It always sneaks up on me. This year, I have grown so much as a color pencil artist and using my copics and my color pencils in unison. I have taken so many classes and practiced a LOT with different mediums and combining them for a better overall result. I am using this entry not only because it was so much fun, but it honor Birdie Brown for all the beautiful stamps in my collection! Truly a wonderful artist and a blessing to the stamp community.

This year, I have been working on my favorite category for this contest for three days. I decided that I would free-hand draw my background not just for the contest, but for me.

Some things I was proud of in this entry and if I win or not, make me happy. The pirate ship. I drew that ship free hand and the wood. I added the detail and shading to give it a rustic look. (Using Slate Blue is amazingly helpful while doing that.) I drew in the rope behind the sail and remembered to add the shading on the boat. I put stitching in the sail. While my original idea was to use the “port hole” die cut from MFT, it was too big but I did use it as a reference. I also added the sea foam on the ship before I added the dolphin tail to show the action. I learned a new way to make clouds and LOVE how they came out. I took a class also that taught how to do bird feathers so I made sure I used that on my parrot. I added little curls to the pirate’s hair along with silver on the edge of his sword. The island was made to appear to have water crashing on the waves and I detailed out the palm frons and the sand on the beach. Finally, as the instructor I took a class from in January said, “The devil is in the details.” I wanted the birds on there, but I didn’t just want them to be black “m” in the sky. I stamped them in a Eiffle Tower ink then toned that down to appear to have white sea gulls, I even added a spot of orange for the beaks.

This year, I have taken great pains to make it a well rounded entry. I decided that I would free-hand draw my background not just for the contest, but for me. Last year, my coloring entry (see below) was very detailed. I used the MFT background stamp (which I love) as my focus. That may have been my mistake. So this year, I have taken great pains to make it a well rounded entry.

2021 Coloring Virtuoso Entry

Last year, my coloring entry (see photo below) was very detailed. (take a look at all those flowers in the window boxes!) I used the MFT background stamp, (which I love) as my focus. That may have been my mistake. I also didn’t design the card as much as it’s cute, It’s a little clunky. The road and the grass are a little after thought. The clouds were stenciled.

2020 Coloring Virtuoso Entry

Honestly, I was sad I didn’t get even an honorable mention last year, until I saw the entries that won. I was a little humbled and realized I needed to up my game (hence the classes and hours of practice.) I truly hope that this year the best people win. I don’t know if I am going to be one of them, I am okay if I am not, because I have grown so much this year alone as an artist. I even began making my own drawings (like actual art pieces) with color pencils. I really love to mix the medium with Copics. In my opinion, which counts for very little I am sure, it is the best two mediums for me.

Just for fun, I am adding in the original “sketch” The blue are updates. You can see how the idea changed.

How very far we came from this to the actual card.

Cardstock Creations, Die cutting, Fall Vibes, Paper Art, Paper Layering, Self Challenge, Spellbinders

A Spellbinder Story

Spellbinders Non-Traditional Fall Colors

I am that girl that likes to make seasonal cards with non-traditional colors. I like traditional colors but sometimes in the middle of the red and green season, or orange, brown and read seasons I like to mix it up. That is how this card came to be. I had been working on a Christmas card and thought I wonder how these colors would play on a fall card.

I grabbed my new Spellbinders Fall Leaves and my super skinny alphabet and went to work. Gotta say, I don’t hate it. I stacked the white on white leaves to give them pop and really loved the look. I would also like to add, Spellbinders makes amazing dies. They cut beautifully and score when they are supposed to score and are the highest quality I have used in a long time!

Now for the story. At one time I worked as a concept designer at Fun Stampers Journey, and then they were owned by the same investment company and Spellbinders warehouse was right next to ours. In fact, they kind of shared a space in that when I walked to the photo/video production for something we cut through part of Spellbinders warehouse. I wasn’t a fan of the “look” of the intricate designs that seemed to be Spellbinders “look”. I would like a few things now and again, but I wouldn’t say Spellbinders was a go to company for me.

I love that not only do we change as artist, but bless those companies that keep up with trends and produce the things we really want. Spellbinders is one of those companies for me. About a year ago, I started noticing some super cute stuff coming out from Spellbinders. I started looking for the new releases at my local store (Scraps of Love). They would show me the cute samples that had been made and I kinda loved them. Soon, I found myself purchasing more and more Spellbinders and then my husband gave me a Glimmer Hot Foil System and I was HOOKED!

I have been bound by Spellbinders! I purchase often from them and look forward to the next release. They still carry some of the dies and products that kept me away from them for a long time, but now I see the artistry in those dies.

This story is more to share that just because a company didn’t appeal to you before, doesn’t mean you should count them out! You change as an artist and so do companies looking to find a place in a very competitive market. I am glad I gave Spellbinders a second chance because they have upped the game and thus making me do the same!

Just like this card, I took a new look at fall colors and found I really liked how these cool colors played with the fall leaves. I also took a new look at a company I had previously seen as “not my style” and found so many items I loved as they like me have grown and changed over the years.

Craft Blessings My Friends

Erika

Christmas, Christmas Cards, Color Pencils, Day Five, Day Four, Day Three, Day Two, Die cutting, Emboss Resist, Fall Vibes, Heat Embossing, Heros of the Community, MFT Summer Camp, Watercoloring, Winter Wonder

It’s been busy but NEVER too busy

Oh boy, I have had a week. Lots happening in the last few days, but even in all the stresses of life and the craziness of having a family and pets and work and laundry and … I could do this all day. However, I must have downtime. In my downtime I read or create. The My Favorite Things Summer Camp 2021 session was a hoot. I got a late start, but I did manage to finish them all. I almost gave up because of all the extra duties I had to finish but the surest way to get me to finish something is to put it on a list…. so I did this in my creative journal.

DAY TWO: Watercoloring

For watercolor, I wanted to try something different. I got some of my black watercolor paper and

Day Two: Watercolor

embossed the Pretty Peony stamp in cream embossing powder then used my gem and opal water colors and I love how it came out.

I also finally had a place to use my fun dark gems.

DAY THREE: Emboss Resist

Day Three: Emboss Resist

I have emboss resist many things in my crafty life, and I love the way it looks. I really like that MFT video had us focus on the “elements” not just a background emboss resist. It was fun making these pumpkins with this method.

I also did the clouds just cause I was on a roll. The thing is, I discovered add texture on the pumpkins was really fun and easy. I just smaller blending brushes and pounced over the base colors to make each pumpkin unique

DAY FOUR: Background Bonanza

Day Four: Background Bonanza

I admit it didn’t come out as I expected but I really like it. I wanted to put a fun little teacher scene on this card, (this is for my sister, she’s a teacher and she is going back to the classroom to teach this year.) but it just didn’t show the fun alphabet. I cut them out three times and put them on the front of this card to give it some dimension.

A word to the wise: lay the letters out on the front of the card before you begin sticking them down. This helps to avoid running out of room or squishing the last few letters up.

I added the black over the “hi” as the sentiment. It really turned out fun. THe background was able to pop forward a bit and give support to the image I colored to look lke my cute sister.

This one was FUN! I knew just what I wanted to make. The wreath is actually from the Spring release with

DAY FIVE: Delightful Die Cutting

DAY FIVE: delightful Die Cut

This was a hoot to make because I knew just which die I wanted to use. It was from a spring release and the wreat was perfect. I used some white, sparlke blue and holographic papers to die cut the snowflakes and placed them all around then using some winter birds was a nice addition. The sentiment was too good to pass up. I did cut it to make it a stackable sentiment, but I really enjoyed making this one.

Now that Summer Camp 2021 is over I am so happy I took the time to complete all the projects. It was a wonderful relaxing time for me to sit back and remember there is so very much more to life than the busy crazy stuff. Making cards to send out to friends and family really is fulfilling for me.

Keep Crafting Friends!

Erika

Copic Markers, Day One, Die cutting, Heat Embossing, Ink Blending, Interactive Cards, MFT, MFT Summer Camp, My Favorite Things - Outside the Box, Paper Art, Prisma, Stencils

Summer Camp at MFT!

It’s a beautiful day and I finished my first camp assignment! Shaker boxes. I am excited because I love how this assignment came out. Let’s not waste time, here is my first assignment

I made this fun “Out of the Box” and added a fun shaker on the front. I added the mermaid tail on the bottom to give a perception depth as well as the fish are secure in the shaker. I had to use two layers of foam tape so I stuck one fish between the layers and one on the top layer. The puffer fish is simply stuck down with adhesive. Also added a little kelp here and there for some fun. Of course the back drop has her friends frolocking in the waves behind her on a sunny day. I mean this is how I want to spend my birthday. How about you?!

Please leave comments and follow me on Instagram. Have a fantastic week. I am already on project two and hopefully will finish them all before the deadline!

Keep elevating your art!

Erika

Christmas, Christmas Cards, Colored Pencils, Copic Markers, Foiling, Hero Arts, Paper Art, Prisma, Spellbinders

Monday Crush – Hero Arts

Shop Box release – Available only in stores currently

Hey, Hey, Hey! Well, I mentioned that Hero Arts in support of local stores (YAY!) has a “shop box” that is only available in said local stores. When it came in to the best LSS (Scraps Of Love) the girls let me know as I am crushing hard on most everything Hero Arts right now. I pretty much purchased everything available from the box. I went ga-ga over this amazing stamp set (Holly Berry) then I added the Spellbinders Elegant Holiday Glimmer Sentiments and the Essential Duo Lines using my Glimmer machine.

I enjoyed coloring this Holly Berry so much and love how it came out. I hope you enjoy it too! Please feel free to leave a comment below. It helps me know if I should continue this content.

UPCOMING: I have the instructions for the “Flippin’ Awesome” Lawn Fawn interactive die cut almost ready. I will add a page to my blog for the interactive die written instructions.

I hope you have a most excellent day!

Erika

have the best day ever
Die cutting, Heat Embossing, Hero Arts, Ink Layering, MFT, Stencils

Be a HERO, with a little Dad joke!

Okay, this sentiment is what made me buy this set. Honestly I was watching the Sunday Fun Day live at Scraps of Love when they showed this adorable set. They card they showed as an example had the dad joke “whale, whale, whale I heard it’s your birthday.” I laughed out loud. I knew I had to have this set for three reasons. 1. I love orcas most of all animals with the exception of Dash. 2. Dad joke. My kids are so funny they really love dad jokes–lucky for them, their dad has plenty. 3. Hero Arts has been my jam lately.

I paired the Color Layering Orca the Hero Arts Underwater Pillar die, made a watery background with the My Favorite Things perfect pool stencil and the Hero Arts school of fish background set to make this fun little card. I hope you enjoy it.

Please, leave a comment if you are so inclined.

Keep Crafting

Erika