Friday 30 July 2010

Week 30 Challenge - Generic Male & Female

Hi everyone, hope you're all busy busy busy colouring in for the fantastic Aquamarkers competition we launched last week! 
Image of Rubberstamping SetIf you missed all the info and excitement last week, you can see it here, we have teamed up with Letraset to give away a full set of 40 Aquamarker watercolour pens (RRP £79.99) to the winner of our great competition. All you have to do is make a card or project which you've COLOURED IN - now you can use watercolours, Promarkers, Copics, Prisma's, felt tips, pastels, acrylics, whatever the heck you want as long as you show us your colouring skills! The winner will NOT necessarily be the best artist in the world, we want this to be open to everyone of all abilities so quite simply, the one we like best will win, regardless of ability or age!  We also have some fabulous runners-up prizes of smaller packs of Aquamarkers too, so come on, get cracking, you have until the end of August to enter.  You MUST leave a link to your project in the COMMENTS section (not InLinkz) under this post before the deadline. See full details here.

Now, as promised last week to help inspire you and to show you what you can actually do with these lush markers, from now until the end of the competition I will be showing you a tutorial each week.  Make sure you check out last time's here if you missed it but this week I managed to find my camcorder AND the charger to give you a video which I always think is much much better than pics. I think this is only the 2nd one I've ever managed to upload properly so I'm sorry if it's a bit naff but at the end of the day it's all about technique and product I say LOL!  So once you've checked out the fantastic challenge this week which is below the video clip (warning, it's 22mins long so get a coffee and a slice of cake!!) get your pens out and start colouring!! 

Don't forget you CAN combine your competition entry with the blog challenge each week so you don't even need to make a separate entry! (BUT you MUST still upload it to the comments section as well as the InLinkz).  

So, on we go with this week's challenge and last week's winners:

The top three from Challenge 28 are: First Place: Maria  , Second Place: Karen , Third Place: Dora
Well done everyone and please contact Nikky for your blinkies!

This week I challenged the gorgeous Doodle Dollies to make something generic - ie a card or project which was suitable for a male or female recipient.  I'm in Crimbo mode now I'm afraid so that's all you're going to get from me from now on LOL, but I made this one using papers from Creative Christmas and two of our brand new Stamp Doodle rubber stamps (check them out they're fantastic) which is Christmas Mouse and the sentiment.
 I coloured in the lovely Santa with the Aquamarkers on my tutorial last week so I decided to use him here. Almost forgot, the tree strip border is from Jingle Jangles (if you havent seen either of these CD's yet tune in for the next Create and Craft Show next week on Friday 5th August at 12:00 - I will also be showing the stunning Fairy Flutterfly stamps as well for the first time!  Right over to the girls, who, I know you will agree, have made some stunning cards as always this week, a great variety of topics for the guys and the gals, which is great!...

Enfys - I fancied setting myself another challenge and making a card without any pattern papers at all, I like seeing 'white space' cards, but I am not very good at making them. I was going to use the front of the horse from All Around and Everywhere, but thought the backside would be more fun. I reckon this would be a good card for someone who is moving on to a new job............

Kris: I used both the Back to Nature (owls and tree) and All Around and Everywhere (heart backing paper) CD's for this card. I know I've said it a lot but Nikky's colors and designs do carry beautifully from one collection to another. The little owls are stampies cut out and mounted with foam tape. I did diecut the top sentiment but the "great day" sentiment is one of Nikky's.

Brenda I made a word book spelling BIRTHDAY using coordinating papers from Candy Doodles CD. I stamped the ladybird trail from the unmounted stamp set several time, cut into strips and ran them across the bottom of each page. The greeting on the front is from the new Paper Boutique Creative Christmas, I used the zutter to create a spine and tied it with cord and raffia.

Claire - I have used one of the brand new plastic templates available from Polka Doodles - "Misery Boots" to create a get well card. I have used various Polkadoodles papers to layer up the design - have to say I just want to give him a cuddle. Gold Promarker for sentiment and stitches. I'm sure he could cheer up any poorly Lad or Lass!
Nettie: Ok, so I have a confession......I feel like I have cheated on this one. I have made a Wedding card which of course is for a male and female. This is an easel card and I have used an image and background paper from the Love and Cherish CD. I just love this cute image, which is one of many on the CD.
Tracy - For my creation this week I chose to do a new home card as I have found both single men and women are buying homes on their own now. I have used the NEW stamp doodles house, and my papers are from the Love and Cherish CD and also All Around and Everywhere CD.
Jenny I've gone for a simple 'Thinking of You' card based on an image from the Back To Nature CD. I think it shows how versatile The Fairy Flutterfly Stamp sets are... I've used the butterfly from the Babsie set and the sentiment from the Meeshelle set. The butterfly is coloured with gold and silver Promarkers... love them!
Fliss - I've made a simple card using the striped papers from the Dad's Birthday Bundle download together with plain green paper from the Sugar Birdies CD, the peacock silhouette from the Shake A Tail Feather section of the Back To Nature CD and a greeting from the Daisy Doodles stamp set. A little ribbon and some brads made the finishing touch.
Lisa - I used the All Around and Everywhere CD this week to make my generic male or female card. I just love the little birdie on this CD and the background paper, sentiment and button image are from the same CD. I just love how those cute little buttons are all ready to be punched out and used as if they were real buttons! I punched two holes in it and threaded some twine through it and PRESTO! Cute button!
Dee: I have used one of the brand new Polka Doodles templates 'Dee's Double Diamond' for my double shaker card. I used the decoupage and papers from the Mr Twitty collection on the Paper Boutique Vol 1 cd. I also did a few squiggles and dots with a gold Promarker pen and used the branch paper punch from Martha Stewart with a couple of Prima flowers.
Ruth: I've used the circle backer from Candy Doodles along with the cheeky monkey and backing paper from Paper Boutique Vol 1. Added some wobbly eyes and balloons and it was a First Birthday card for a little cheeky monkey!

Please remember the maximum number of challenges you can enter your Polka Doodles creation in is 10 (including Polka Doodles) and the deadline is 12noon on Sunday 8 August. Good luck!
Don't forget!! You MUST leave your competition entries in the COMMENTS section NOT the InLinkz below which is for blog challenges only. (If you don't have a blog but still want to enter you will need to leave a link to your photo on photobucket etc, email entries will not be accepted).


Friday 23 July 2010

Week 29 Challenge - Christmas In July

Kris here, but before we get to this week's challenge I'm going to turn this over to the lovely Nikky and she's going to tell you about our MEGA contest. You're not going to
want to miss this because...well because...oh Nikky, just tell them!

"Well, what an entrance, feel like Royalty now LOL!!
Ok, here we go...hang onto your pants girls and boys,

we have a MEGA competition for you and even MEGA-er-er prizes!!

For the past few months I've been working very closely with Letraset who are the clever people behind the fabulously lush Promarker brand and have been doing some product testing etc for them. Now, this month, hot off the press, Letraset are relaunching their fabulous AQUAMARKER brand

which are basically a WATERCOLOURING marker pen unlike any other I've used.

Aquamarkers have been available for years but in the past they have generally been used by Artists and professional Graphic Designers etc. BUT now we crafters have discovered them Letraset have listened to what we're asking for and are now adding a further 20 colours to the brand which takes the range up to 40 fantastic colours, BUT as they are watercolours you basically can mix any number of colours and shades you want to achieve the massive gamut of 256million squillion colours! Well, ok maybe not quite 256 million squillion, but not far off!

As I've had my hands on the only set of nImage of Rubberstamping Setew colours in the UK other than a set in Letraset HQ I've had time to play a little the last couple of weeks, so, I have managed to twist the Marketing Director's arm very hard and he has kindly agreed to donate a FULL SET OF NEW AQUAMARKERS (40 pens, RRP £79.99) to the winner of our fabulous competition!
In addition there will also be some runner up prizes of smaller packs of Aquamarkers too, so a fantastic chance to win for everyone! want to know what you gotta do don't you?WELL, basically we all LOVE colouring in don't we thought we would make this a colouring competition so ANYONE can have a go! We want you to make a card, scrapbook page or any other papercrafting project where you have used a colouring technique - this can be either watercolours or you can use your Promarkers, Sakura pens, Prisma's, watercolour pencils etc, basically any type of medium that gives you a watercolour-type effect.
Now, don't forget this is open to anyone who just loves to colour so don't think that you will only be in with a chance if you're the world's best watercolouring expert - the winning entry could be someone who shows promise and if we think that person could improve their technique massively if they had great products, it could be anyone! So come on, have a go, we want to see your fabulous creations!!
The closing date for entries is 12:00 gmt on Sunday 29th August, so you have LOTS of time to enter and get some practice in! In the meantime, make sure you check back here every Friday as each week until the closing date I will be doing a mini tutorial step by step to show you some techniques using both Promarkers AND Aquamarkers.
The Judges decision is final. Entries will be judged after the closing date and the winners will be announced on the blog (details to follow)

SO make sure you check in here next Friday for the next tutorial - we can't wait to see all those entries!
Ok, let's get started with this week's I'm using the fabulous Aquamarkers and one of the Polkadoodles brand new rubber stamp designs which you can get here...I hope you find this tutorial helpful and hope it inspires you to have a go at some colouring...
Aquamarkers are waterbased so I've used Stazon solvent based ink to stamp my image so it doesnt run when it gets wet. I'm going to use a mixture of normal paintbrushes and a waterbrush pen.

Aquamarkers are double ended - you have a chunky brush end for making fantastic washes and applying heavy coverage but you can also use the thinner tip for fine detailed work as well...
I'm starting by working some colour onto my non stick mat (or use an acrylic block, acetate, plastic etc) so I can pick up the colour and work some water into the pigment.
I'm using my waterbrush pen initially to pick up the colour from the mat and apply it onto the image - I work from the outside of a section into the middle as I want greater depth of colour around the edges. Because I'm using the waterbrush the pigment colour is becoming diluted so I'm getting a very light colour - great for blending but as this is Santa I need a lovely deep red instead...
So now I've swapped over to a dry-ish paintbrush and I'm adding colour to the brush direct from the pen itself - this means I'm not diluting the colour at all. Many pens would start to lose the colour on the nib doing this but the Aquamarkers are so rich in pigment they allow me to do this time and again without any loss of colour (if they do fade at the nib turn them on their end to allow the colour to flood back to the point - also, quick note - you should store your Aquamarkers and Promarkers on their side because they're double-ended). You can see how much deeper the colour is now as I'm adding it to the image.
Keep blending the colour, if your brush becomes too dry add more water - here I've gone back to my waterbrush to blend the colour better and add some moisture.
You can also use the pen direct onto the paper to add a really rich swoosh of pigment to your image. This works especially well on a cartridge paper, in the tutorial I am only using a standard piece of smooth card.
Don't forget you can layer your colours with Aquamarkers, just like normal watercolour mediums.
Now I've added additional colour with green and blended to add some shading and highlight.
Now I'm using the fine nib to apply colour directly to the hat.
And now as I need a paler tone for the skin I've gone back to my waterbrush pen to thin the colour for the face. I will layer the colours to add extra colour to the cheeks and nose. Again, to get shading and a depth of colour, make the outside edges of each section of the image slightly darker by adding additional colour or by blending from the middle outwards so colour "pools" to the edge. See in the image below how I coloured the mouse's face...
...and now I'm blending his face from the centre outwards, just by adding water to thin the pigment...
(you can re-wet an area which has completely dried and work it again, even if it's been dry for days)
Now I'm using a pale blue to add colour around the edges of his beard, and the fur on his outfit - adding a pale blue to a white image gives the illusion of coldness, ie snow or ice...
Now, to give my character even more depth, I'm also adding the pale blue around the outside of the whole image, wetting it again with my waterbrush as I go round to blend it slightly. This makes the character look as if he is standing proud of the page by giving him a slight shadow on the paper. Again, the blue gives a "cold" feel to the image so it makes him look like he's in a snowy environment. You can use the same technique with a pale pink to give an idea of a "warm" environment or yellow for sunshine etc.
And finally, our finished image (excuse colour on this pic, photo came out a bit naff and doesnt show the same richness but it is the same image throughout!) - note how the shading and blending have really given it a realistic and more artistic look.
My final finishing touch is to use a fine white pen (Sakura souffle is my favourite) and I've added fine lines as highlights where the light would touch the image. Again, this gives the image a real depth and just adds a finishing touch - don't go too mad with this though, less is more!

So, this is the first tutorial - I really hope you've found this useful and that I've given you some useful tips. Don't forget to join me next Friday for the 2nd one!
Right, I'm handing back over to the lovely Kris for this week's challenge!...
Before we get into the details of this week's challenge we need to announce the winners of En's Summer Challenge. They are:
As always, please contact Nikky for your blinkies. We'd like to thank each and everyone who participated because we LOVE to see your fabulous creations!

Now the contest is exciting, BUT! we also have our weekly challenge and I don't think I'll get too many groans for this. We all get tired of making Christmas cards long before the actual day but I think that's why we have CHRISTMAS in JULY! If you haven't seen the wonderful new Creative Christmas CD (Paper Boutique Vol II) then prepare to be inspired and we've all had samples to play with from the lovely new Stamp Doodles range of rubber stamps which were launched at the Doncaster Summer Crafting show last weekend - over 50 brand new designs to choose from! The design team has done a super job as always and I think you'll want to join in.

There are no real guidelines this week - just make a Christmas card. We look forward to having you share your cards with us. Deadline for entries is 12noon GMT on Sunday 1 August and please link your creation via the widget at the foot of this post. Good luck!

For my card I used the wonderful wreath template from the new Creative Christmas CD. You can make a shaped card with this or use the wreath with sentiment as a topper as I did. I did cut all of the leaf layers and as Nikky says on the CD she made them as easy to cut as possible. My backing papers are from the Jingle Jangle CD (from last Christmas) and I added a little birdy from the Candy Doodles CD that I colored with Prismas and OMS.
Brenda I made a stepper card, cut three different sizes fairies from the new Paper Boutique Christmas CD, added lots of glitter, stamped sentiment from the Christmas stamp set and a border punched from Martha Stewart embossed snowflakes.

Lou: I have made an easel card using the fabaroo NEW "Creative Christmas" CD - Paper Boutique 2. The image, Candy Shop, has been layered up several times and I have bravely (gulp) used glitter to ass highlights to the snow. I say bravely as I am not a glitter girl I'm afraid. The backing papers and sentiment are also on the CD too.

Nettie: For my card this week I have made a side stepper card using the new CD Paper Boutique 2. I printed the Poinsetta flower templates onto some of the CD's red papers and layered up.

Enfys - I used the Polly fairy from the new and gorgeous Christmas templates Cd, the paper is from the same CD. Polly was given rather a hefty glittering, and her crown and wand were coloured using the gold Promarker pen.

Lisa - I used the Stamp Doodles image of the little Christmas Cottage and Trees for my card this week and the sentiment is from the Christmas Doodles Rubber Stamp Plate. I added some sparkle to the card with some snowflake sprinkles. This little house is just ALL FULL OF CUTE!!
Fliss - I chose to make a tent shape card and printed out 2 colour variations of the lovely snowflake paper from the new Paper Boutique 2 Creative Christmas CD on both sides of the card. I cut an oval shape from the front and turned this over to the contrast side and added a cut out cute penguin from the CD. I then glittered some of the darker snowflake paper and punched out some snowflakes to embellish the card. I added a greeting from the CD to finish.
Stacey - I have enjoyed this card as it has glitter, gems and a fairy!!! The paper is from the Paper Boutique 2 Creative Christmas CD and the fairy is one of Nikkys fab stamps and she is called Bevvieboo!!! I have inked along the edge of the card and paper for a frozen look. I used my promarkers to colour in the stamped image!!!
Tracy This Poinsettia is from the NEW Stamp Doodles range. I stamped it three times and cut it out and layered it up after glittering around the edges. The backing paper is from the NEW Paper Boutique 2 - Creative Christmas, the sentiment and holly is from Christmas Doodles stamp set.
Claire I have created a small easel card using the fab Stamp Doodles doodly tree which is then coloured with Promarkers. I also stamped and coloured some shrink plastic for my mini trees. The background paper and sentiment used is from the new Paper Boutique cd - Creative Christmas. Silver Promarker to doodle.
Jenny This week I challenged myself to use up some leftover bits and pieces. I've made a mini festive mantelpiece with leftover pieces from the Fireplace decoupage on the Creative Christmas CD. The mini cards, soldier garland and bow garland were all made from cut out pieces of patterned paper from the same CD. All that was needed then was some bling!

Dee: I've used one of the new Polka Doodles rubber stamps as the main focal point of my Christmas Card. I really love this jolly Santa and mouse image. You just have to look at them and you can't help smiling. I used backing papers and a border strip from Jingle Jangles cd. I also used a gold promarker pen round the shaped elements of the card to highlight them.
Tracie: I used one of the new Stamp Doodles and some papers from Creative Christmas to make a Tri fold card.
Ruth: I've used the Sleigh shaped card from Paper Boutique Vol 2 - Creative Christmas - cut out all the elements and then layered it up how I wanted. A bit of glitter glue here and there and a gem too - it's a Christmas card after all! The back of the card uses a paper from the same cd. I think I'll be making a lot more of these!!

Please link up your creation with the widget at the end of this post and the deadline is 12noon GMT on Sunday 1 August. Good luck!