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!

Friday, 16 July 2010

Week 28 Challenge - "Stamp Away!"

Just a reminder for everyone...don't forget to check-in next Friday 23rd July for news and details of our totally faberoo MEGA competition we will be hosting... We have some fantastic prizes to giveaway in conjunction with a leading UK manufacturer, so make sure you check it out, you really will not want to miss out on entering, we're all desperate to unveil the details and we know you're all going to love it!
* * * * * * * *
Hi everyone,

C'est moi, Lou! I have chosen the theme of this weeks challenge and have decided to call it . .

"Stamp Away!"

What does this mean then . . . ? To decorate your project this week, you can only use your stamps! That right, you can't use any Polka Doodles or ANY designer papers to make your backgrounds, just your stamps. You can also use your fav stamps for your main image and sentiments too. I was a little wicked and challenged the DT to only use the "Fairy Flutterfly" stamp sets only . . hee, hee, hee! If you haven't seen these gorge stamps (!?!), pop over to the shop and check them out.

Now before I share the "stamp-i-licious" work of the DT, the winners from Challenge 26 ,which was to create a decorative item are:

First Place: Nikbee
Second Place: Collette
Third Place: Maria Matter

Congratulations! Please contact Nikky for your blinkies!

Resist background created with butterfly and flower from Meechele Fairy Flutterby set and distress inks, main image is Fairy Flutterby Gracie, coloured with Copics and decoupaged, Martha Stewart border and corner, flowers and pearls to embellish.

I am seeing spots this week!!! I love the little lady bug that comes with Gracie so I have used him as my inspiration! I cut spots from black card with a circle punch and added them to some red card! Gracie has been stamped and cut out with nesties and coloured in with le plume and promarkers!!!

I really enjoyed making this card and especially the bright colours. I have used cutie Maggie for this one. I coloured her using Promarkers and also stamped her butterfly wings onto acetate, to give it some extra dimension. I stamped the sentiment onto some plain paper to create a background.

Here's Maggie, perched on her toadstool, she is my favourite fairy, I think it's those specs, they make her look so cute.

I have used the Meeshelle Fairy Flutterfly set, I have used a pearlised piece of lilac card then stamped butterflies with versamark all over then embossed with holographic embossing powder to make a background. All the stamps on this card are from the same stamp set. Meeshelle has been coloured with distress inks, and lots of stickles have been added for that lovely sparkle.

I used a selection of the Fairy Flutterby Stamps to create a backing paper and used Gracie (my fav!) as my main image. The ribbon was white and coloured with Promarkers

I've done a paper pieced version of Babsie & stamped the background with the flower from her stamp set. The sentiment is made with a combination of the letters from the Babsie & Meeshelle sentiment stamps - anyone for a hug?

I decided to try out some dreamy soft background by using H2o's and spritzing with water before stamping. I have used Babsie as my main girl and combined butterflies and flowers from the other sets to make the background. Some added flowers and a little doodling.

I decided to do a resist style background with a difference using Promarkers and Distress ink. the flower I used for this came from the Babsie set and full details on how to do this technique are on my blog. I used the Gracie set for everything else and stamped and coloured all the elements with Promarkers. I made this as an easel style card and added just a little embossing and inking to pull it all together.

I've used Babsie as my main image, colouring her with Promarkers to match the shaped card. The two toadstool clumps are from the Maggie stamp set and those have also been coloured with Promarkers plus some Liquid Pearls. The red organza ribbon just adds the right amount of fairyness to it!

I used the Fairy Flutterfly Babsie with the background wings from the Meeshelle stamp set. I can't even begin to tell you how enamored I am with these cute little fairies!! I made the background by stamping the smaller butterfly in versamark ink onto kraft cardstock and filling a few of them in with pink glitter.

Good luck in entering our challenge! You have until Sunday 25 July at 12noon GMT to enter!


Friday, 9 July 2010

Week 27 Challenge - Summer Theme

Welcome to another Friday and another Polkadoodle challenge!
Just before we get started with the challenges, just a reminder that Polka Doodles will be exhibiting at the Doncaster Summer Crafting show next week on Sat 17th and Sun 18th July - Nikky hopes you will be there and please pop in and say hello - there are LOADS of brand new exclusive products which will be launched at the show so make sure you get in for first dibs!! (But, if you do miss it she's also just confirmed this week that PD will also be at the Harrogate GNPE show in September this time, yahoo!).

Also, more exciting news this week...we can't say TOO much, but make sure you checkout this blogspace on Friday 23rd July for news and details of a MEGA competition we will be hosting...we have some fantastic prizes to giveaway in conjunction with a leading UK manufacturer, so make sure you check it out, you really will not want to miss out on entering, we're all dying to share the deets!

Anyway, back to business, this week Enfys has set the challenge of:

A Summer Theme
Just think of all the lovely bright colours you could use - and have a look at the Design Team samples below for some wonderful inspiration!
Before I forget, here are the top three from Week 25:

First Place: Sandra P
Second Place: Crafty Fairie
Third Place: Donzabub
Well done! Please email Nikky for your blinkies!
Now onto the Design Team samples! Good luck with the challenge - the rules are at the bottom of the post.

I used papers from All Around and Everywhere to cut out this little boat and sun from my Cricut. If you print your paper onto white card, it tears beautifully, that's what I used for the 'waves'

Brenda For the Summer theme I have used the Heritage section of Back to Nature CD, re-sizing the paper to achieve smaller butterflies and printing onto acetate. The border is punched with Martha Steward embossed butterflies and the large butterfly is cut with a Cuttlebug die using a coordinating paper from the same collection.
Stacey - For this weeks summer theme I have decided that Meeshelle is in need of a summer holiday so I have sent her off in her summer love bug!!! The car is from Paper Boutique Vol 1 and the papers are from All Around and Everywhere!!!
Kris: Here's a little summer card using one of my favorite of Nikky's drawings - Summer Polly. I also used a variety of papers and flowers from a bunch of CD's and I'm sorry to say most were printed before I got smart and started marking the backs-LOL! Hope you like it!

Jenny I opted for some scrummylish delish strawberries from Candy Doodles! The bowl is made from part of a cupcake case also from Candy Doodles. In fact all of the elements came from Candy Doodles, except the pink frame which came from All Around and Everywhere and the butterfly which is part of the Meeshelle Fairy Flutterfly stamp set.

Ruth: I've not yet used the bunny rabbit from Paper Boutique Vol 1, so perfect opportunity! I used the A5 size and used the majority of the layers - used foam pads to achieve the depth. The paper behind is also from the same cd and I've added a little bit of edge doodling.

Tracy - For my summer theme I have chosen to use Back To nature for my image and backing papers. My flowers have come from the All Around And Everywhere CD. And for my butterflies I stamped them using the Fairy Flutterfly stamp Meeshelle.

Tracie: I used butterflies and backing paper from Candy Doodles and Sentiments from All Around and Everywhere to make my simple card.

Nettie: When I think of summer, I think of flowers and bright skies. I have used the All Around and Everywhere CD for this one. I have used ribbon for the stem's of the flowers and I have made the sentiment spin. Sorry you can't quite see that is this picture.

Kerry - Went for a summer boating theme using papers from All Around and Everywhere. I cut the little boats on my Cricut and layered them with paper. Added some 3d gloss for water droplets.

Fliss: Nothing says more to me about Summer than the flowers and butterflies in my garden so my card has both of these. I've used several CDs here as the pretty paper is from Sugar Birdies, the flowers from Paper Boutique 1 and the butterflies are from All Around and Everywhere. I finished off with a little bling on the butterflies.
Claire I have gone for Nikki's fab tortoise and flowers and for a bit of fun cut Fairy Flutterfly Maggie off her toadstool so she can ride on the tortoise's back. I think he looks very happy with his new friend!

Lisa This week I used the Back to Nature CD and made a card with a flowery garden theme. I love the bright flowers and the sweet smell of summer! My Mom always plants a butterfly garden in the summer and I love to sit and watch all the butterflies enjoying the flowers!

Good luck in entering - you have until 12noon GMT on Sunday 18 July to enter and please remember the maximum number of challenges you can enter with your Polkadoodle creation is 10 (including Polkadoodle).