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
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

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, Doodlebug Designs, Faber-Castell Polychromos, Heat Embossing, Ink Blending, Paper Art, Prisma, Simon Says Stamps, SSS - Monthly Kit

Christmas in July?!

In Arizona, Christmas means 67 degrees and sunny. Sure, we want to dream of Christmas all year long, especially in July and August. This weekend, I started my Christmas Cards. Night scenes are some of my favorite to create because I like the think about where the light falls from a full moon. I was playing around with a bunch of my Christmas stamps from last year. Doodlebug and Simon Says stamps came together to make a kit last year that I just loved! It landed on my desk again and I pulled some Lawn Fawn and another Simon Says Stamp kit set and this baby was born.

Believe in the magic of Christmas

I did color the craters in the moon with prisma and polychromo pencils. I added a few lights in windows to keep the eye flowing through the image. Notice they are creating a natural triangle. it really also lights up because the brightness of the moon.

Have a fantastic week. Merry July and hopefully you enjoyed the card.

My blending combo for the sky in order moving out from the center of the moon: Old Paper, Iced Spruce, Evergreen Baughs, Chipped Sapphire and Blueprint Sketch and finally a little Black Soot on the edges to give the light some pop.

Keep Creating

Erika

Heat Embossing, Hero Arts, Hero Arts Blog Challenge, Ink Blending, Interactive Cards, Lawn Fawn, My Monthly Hero Kit

Hero Arts meets Lawn Fawn

I recently undertook the daunting task of making refrence books for my inventory of independent dies. While doing so,I realized I have a lot of interactive dies I have NEVER used. (Those suckers aint cheap). I think because they don’t come with written instructions, so I kinda don’t use them.

After this process of die cutting ALL my independent dies — I didn’t do the coordinating becuase they are all housed in the sleeves with the stamps and I would never get that task done. I took to task that I need to learn to use them and make some interactive cards.

I started with the reveal wheel – I have it, but didn’t take time to use it. As the days have passed, I have used many of these wonderful dies and have really enjoyed the time making fun interactive cards.

Well, Hero Arts July 2021 monthly kit release combined two things I really like. 1. GNOMES (I loved them before they were cool) 2. Interactive dies. When I got my kit I knew just which interactive die I wanted to use because it would allow me to add EVEN more cute images to the card because it is the magic double slider surprise from Lawn Fawn. (YouTube Video, if you need it.)

I was right the results were fantastic. I just love how it finished up. I know you can’t see them, but the sky also has pretty little shiny stars. I would also point out that because this is an interactive card, the gnome poking out from the notch, is only adhered to the front of the flap. Be careful when adding him or you can get glue on the slider and well, don’t ask me how I know, but the slider will indeed fail to slide. (see in written instructions that would be a good WARNING)

I found out after posting online that this very month (July 2021) that Hero Arts had a challenge every month and this month it is interactive. (Totally a but happenchance thing). I do hope you enjoy this card and maybe are inspired to join me over on the Hero Arts blog to make an interactiec card this month (it doesn’t have to use the MMH kit – but HA products are probably the right way to go… I mean I know they are because well…. they are awesome stamps.) Let me know what you think in the comments!

Blessings

Erika

Hero Arts – July 2021 My Monthly Hero (images) -Open

SIDE NOTE FOR MAUNFACTURERS: UH manufacturers while many of us are visual and I totally appreciate the YouTube videos, we need the written instructions too! I do really well with written instructions and actually prefer them to YouTube. (I even volunteer to be the content writer of said dies if you provide the dies.)

Challenges, Copic Markers, MFT, My Favorite Things - Color

MFT Color challenge

You may not know this but one of my favorite stamp companies, MFT stamps, is updating and adding new colors to thier line up.

The new colors are fantastic! Fire Coral, Butterscotch, Candied Yam, Caribbean Blue and Riffle Tower. I have been enjoying them as well as the revamp of some of my favorite classics Sour Apple, Field Day, Limelight, Field Day and Milk Chocolate.

This week’s color challenge included most of the new colors. The 161st challenge was to use Fire Coral, Butterscotch, Caribbean Blue, and Eiffle Tower.

I had a great time playing with the new and came up with this. Fun colors and this super cute image from Fast Track Friends came together and made this card.

Altenew LLC, Challenges, Colored Pencils, Copic Markers, Faber-Castell Polychromos, Hero Arts, Ink Layering, MFT, Paper Art, Self Challenge, Techniques, Uncategorized

Koi, Oh Koi – Mix it up with multiple stamp sets

Stamps – Hero Arts -Lotus Flower, Koi Fish – Altenew Inks – Hero Arts ,Catherine Pooler, Tim Holtz, Copic Markers and Polychoromos colored pencils; Stencil – My Favorite Things

Have you ever had a moment when you get a new stamp set that you say, “Oh, Boy, I know what I want to do with that!” I love how this card did that!

I had two stamp sets show up on the same day and I had one of those moments. I opened my happy mail and set them out on my desk so I could put them in the storage sleeves and these two stamp sets, from Hero Arts and Altenew, popped an idea into my mind and Koi, oh Koi did I love it.

I did ink over the image of the koi to give it a look of being underwater. I thought it came out great when I used the “Pool” stencil from MFT to give the water a look of motion. Simply using an ink that is slightly lighter (TH Tumbled Glass) over the new Catherine Pooler Cummerbund ink that I used with the stencil. I did put the ink over the image of the koi. (Which made me nervous– but hey, it’s only paper right.)

It’s sometimes hard to imagine mixing stamp sets and stamp sets from different companies even more so when it comes to images. I try to stretch my stamps by mixing them with not only images from within a company line but look outside the company as well. In this example, it worked great.

I encourage you to make something and combine many companies images. It is fun and a great challenge.

Blessings,

Erika

Altenew LLC, Challenges, Copic Markers, MFT, Paper Art

MFT Sketch Challenge

MFTSC529

Beautiful new release this month with NEW colors of ink and cardstock. Most of us have heard the Pantone colors being yellow and grey and of course I love that color combination. I decorated my house with these colors a few years ago.

Sketch Challenge this week was really cute and I love how quickly this card came together in my mind. I did spend time assembling this card once I had the idea and a few things changed from my original thoughts. That is something I love about sketch challenges. Well, all challenges really. I love that they are a “launching pad” for a creative session.

This was the sketch this week:


Every week there is a sketch challenge at My Favorite Things. Click here for more information.

Remember, you can always go back and use the previous sketches or other challenges to get your mojo flowing.

Blessings my friends!

Erika

Challenges, Copic Markers, MFT, Paper Art, Uncategorized

Superstar Card Contest

Well, it has rolled around again and I am going for it in two categories. Color Virtuoso and Clean and Simple. I am excited to share my creations for the contest. I am both proud of myself and I am nervous for getting back in the game. I’m also considering looking for a Design Team to join. It has been a while but I am in my own craft room again so that makes it a little more fun. I also know that I love working under deadlines and truth be told, I kinda miss it! So why not. I always loved working on DTs.

Enough about me, I wanted to share my cards for the Superstar Card Contest. So, here they are:

Coloring Virtuoso – I spent a lot of time making sure each house was different and adding texture to the buildings. I also had to alter the puppy to make him to not be itching his ear.

For the Clean and Simple Category, I used a set that is most often used as a “fall” card. Lots of orange and reds. I went another way. I also didn’t make a “fall” card. I really enjoyed making this card and sharing it. I am very happy with the result of this one.

There you go now I wait, with a flip floppy stomach. I don’t know why it makes me so nervous other than having another person judge your work šŸ™‚ I like them and I know that’s all that matter but there is so much talent out there, so many better than mine. What I do know is you can’t win if you don’t enter šŸ™‚

Be blessed my friends!