Refresh. Recharge. Retreat.

workbench-Lori-Craig

What lies ahead maybe one of my longest blog posts ever, but I have so many pretty pictures to share… I just got home yesterday from a fabulously refreshing retreat… it was a weekend of laid back stamping and crafting that I had been invited to by a friend. It was held at the Whatever Craft House in Newton, KS… just about (lucky me!) 30 minutes from my home. Don’t my Copics look right at home on the welcome bench?

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The event circled around a fabulous workroom with plenty of space for your 15 newest (since I only knew 2 people before I went) friends! Can you even?

workroom 1 Lori Craig

Jen Shults and I may have both come home with fabric to make bunting for our craft rooms. Bunt everything!

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This was my personal space for the weekend, and I had plenty of room for my tools and new Copic Carry Case that I received for Christmas. The light-weight case is made of plastic and aluminum, and it will hold an entire collection of markers with plenty of room for other crafty necessities. I use empty 36-piece clear cases to organize my markers inside the case.

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Lots of yummy food over the weekend. This was from our lunch one day at the Bread Basket in Newton, KS. It was a super delicious soup, salad and sandwich shop where everything is homemade. No frozen piecrust here. Your grandma would approve. I had a taste of a friends pecan/coconut/chocolate pie called “JACKPOT”… and this restaurant definitely was, all the way around.

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Our workspace was on the main floor, but up this back butler staircase and around the corner is a piece of crafty slumber heaven.

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The bedrooms were just as cute as you’d imagine they would be… This was mine.

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All the bed covers were beautiful, old quilts.
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Fun colorful curtains and wall decor. 

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I got a lot of cards made through the weekend, and this was one of my favorites. The cool folks at Concord & 9th sent everyone this adorable Pop Art Pineapple stamp/die set. It had been in and out of my cart several times, so I was THRILLED!

wood-project The first craft project we did was a wooden heart kit that many of the girls purchased from Heart by CC. I loved this project. I just wish we would have taken a photo of all the different finished pieces because they were all different.

 

 

paint-paletteDoesn’t this just scream HAPPY?

 

 

 

 

 

 

hearts Lori Craig

Here is my finished heart. I used Special Walnut stain on the back board and acrylic paints for the individual pieces. After staining and painting, I applied a thin layer of wax paste to my pieces, but you could totally skip that step. I think I was the only one who did that, and it wasn’t obvious in the end. You can see a lot of samples for this project by look at this Instagram feed.

felt-art-project Our next project was a felt flower wall hoop. We used a collection of rolled and flat flower dies with felt from Taylored Expressions. Taylor’s felt is so, so nice… Beautiful, rich colors and great 100% wool felt quality. Cuts like a dream in the big shot.

 

 

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Here I was playing around with my layout before I glued pieces to my hoop.

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My finished project that I’m hanging in my office. {{love}}

hearts Lori Craig The last non-stamping project that we did was a little nail, string art piece. We painted a wooden block and then used a heart shaped die as a template to nail little tacks, then we used string to twine around the nails. So easy and adorable. Loved this one, too!

 

 

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Finally, here’s a little watercolor that I did from an image that had been at our work station upon arrival. I have a little detail work to do, and then I think I’ll be framing this for my office, as well. I’ll be sure to share when I’m finished.

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This was our full group on the porch before dinner on Saturday night. So many beautiful new friends. Laurie Willison and Amy Kolling were fabulous hostesses! I’m so grateful for the invitation to attend and their new-found friendships. Love.

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So, my Copic Carry Case and I are home, sweet home again, but already dreaming of going back… Something about being around so much color and vibrant personality. It’s so, so good for the soul.

Thanks for indulging me such a windy post. I appreciate you stopping by. I have more finished cards and projects to share, so I’ll be posting those through the week. See you again soon!

Fresco Leaves

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A few weeks ago, my friend Lydia offered a beautiful tutorial in the Weekly Inkling for a beautiful technique called Faux Fresco, and I was in love with the look! I really want to say Fresca – and grab a grapefruit soda from my fridge every time I say that word… I’m not so much of a technique girl, but I knew I had to try it!

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The technique calls for waterproof coloring mediums and embossing folders, so of course, I would choose Copic Marker as my medium. I had this pretty embossing folder in my stash. I think something with a fairly substantial design works best. I loosely colored the raised leaves and branches of the embossed design.

I was really tempted to stop here because I loved the look of the coloring on the raised embossed card stock, but I kept going…

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I followed the tutorial instructions with acrylic paint and a sanding block to create the finish. I actually did skip the last suggested step of clear embossing because I loved the matte finish revealed on my leaves after the sanding step.

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The leaf panel is so soft… It has almost a vellum look to it. I added a layer of greet glitter Deco Tape to the edge of my panel.

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And a sentiment from Wplus9 to finish off my simple card front. Do you have any embossing folders that would work well for this technique? Would love to see!

I’m just home from a fun craft retreat, and I have lots to share this week. Hope your Monday is off to a beautiful start!

Year Around Bouquets

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Beautiful floral bouquets are always in season! I think many readers might know that I’m crazy about sunflowers… I love this little Sunflower Bouquet from Taylored Expressions. In November, I was visiting Jami out in Southern California, and she was playing with Zig Clean Color markers. I had heard a lot about them, and I wanted to give them a try.

The background on this card was created by dipping a piece of glossy cardstock into Copic Various Ink that was splattered on a craft mat. Love how vibrant it is, and that it picks up the colors of the bouquet.

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Here’s the sweet Mixed Blooms Bouquet. These images were stamped with black pigment ink on a mixed media cardstock and then embossed with iridescent ice embossing powder before coloring with Zig Clean Color and an aquabrush.

It’s absolutely no secret that I’m a Copic lover, and I know many people will say how do they compare. It’s truly like apples and oranges because the Zigs are a waterbased product and Copic, of course, is alcohol. The inks behave very differently when they hit the paper.

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I like the looseness of the color around these blooms that the water provides as color shifts, but I know most of the time I want more control over where the ink actually stays on my canvas.

I have a variety of water based color mediums in my collection, so I do see room for both in a person’s art supply stash.

Thanks to Jami for sharing them with me for the afternoon. Now, I’m not having to just sit and wonder… I have both of these stamps, so maybe I’ll get them both out and duplicate the look with Copic – just for grins.

Thanks for stopping by!

Pulling for Ewe

pulling for ewe Lori Craig

I’ve been coloring, coloring… This is another card I colored for Kathy Racoosin’s 30-day marker challenge. I’m a day or two behind, but still making progress. I have a long swim meet to sit through enjoy this weekend, so I think I’ll be caught up by Monday.

This image is from the Taylored Expressions set Hello Spring! So fun… My main Copic colors are R20/R22, Y32/Y35 and BG11/BG13. Simple and springy.

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To make my little bullion fringe bunting, I used the Skinny Mini Party Banners from Taylored Expressions, cut from white and simply dotted lightly with Copic Marker.  Just a squish dot with the pen nib. So easy…
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I colored my sheep with gradually darker shades of my lightest pinks – just gently adding in some fluffy swirls. Finally, I added a little Gold Glitter Deco Tape from XPress It to the top of my card to finish it off.

pulling for ewe Lori Craig

If you are in the Seattle area, my April 8 & 9 Standard and Intermediate Certifications along with the brand new Coloring Flowers class were opened for enrollment this week. The feedback on the flowers class has been GREAT! It’s a shorter evening class, so I hope it might work for some of our Copic friends who have a hard time attending full day classes.  You can find all of that info and sign up links HERE.

I better go pack my swim bag and find my lawn chair for the weekend! Be back soon!  Thanks for stopping by!

a life she loved

DM 01 Lori Craig

I’ve been getting ready for a new year of coloring and Copic classes. My friend Kathy Racoosin is hosting a 30-day color challenge, and I felt like there was nothing better to prep for my classes in St. Louis the first weekend in March! If you are in the St. Louis area, come see me!

This is a Taylored Expressions image from the set When Your Heart Speaks. Love.

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This is an image that was in a faces and hair class that Copic offered several years ago, and I thought she’d be a great sample in my class portfolio. I colored this for day 2. Braided hair is so fun! Her hair is done with the E30 Copic family. The darker skin complexions are a bit of a challenge for me, and I know practice is the only way I’ll get better – here I used E01 (because I can’t find my E11!!) E13 and E15 for her skin.

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This was for day 3. I used a loved stamped set from Taylored Expressions called A Life She Loved. I may end up coloring one more from this set and framing a little tryptic for my crafty office. Coloring glass is something we tackle in our Clothing and Accessories Copic Class.

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This little lady from MFT Stamps has been inked on my desk for a few years. I colored her yesterday morning for Day 5. Such a cutie! Her hair is also colored with the E30s family, but her skin is much lighter complexion. I’ve used E51, E21 and E000 (my secret weapon Copic facial concealer!)

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My parents are visiting this weekend, but I got up this morning and colored this poppy image from Stampin’ Up! before we get busy with some errands and hanging out… I love a Saturday when I’m busy hanging out! Don’t you!? Coloring Flowers with Copic is a new class that we are offering this year, and I’m looking forward to teaching that in St. Louis, as well!

We’ll see how I hold up on the 30-day challenge. You can find a lot of Copic inspiration using the Instagram #thedailymarker30day! If you aren’t going to be in St. Louis, you can see our full year’s schedule of Copic classes on this page. I hope our paths will cross at some point soon.

I also hope you have a fabulous Saturday…hanging out or otherwise!

Thanks for stopping by!

Whatever You Are…

kirarina tag

I love the idea and the look of hand-lettering on projects, and I’ve been practicing in the car, volleyball games, at night in front of the tv… I’ll keep practicing.

Last weekend, I was playing around with the Kirarina Wink pens from Imagination International, because they write on glass, acetate and plastic…lightbulb. So, even though acetate doesn’t photograph very well, I thought I’d share this project for a slightly different take on “stamping” and “hand-lettering” for a more  hand-crafted look.
FullSizeRender (25)First, I stamped my butterflies (from my favorite Sparkly Dreams from Verve) in a row with the MINI MISTI. I know there are a lot of toys that get oohs and aahs in our craft, but I am serious when I say I love using the MISTI.  I can re-stamp for crisp impressions every, single time – with perfect alignment. I’m not trying to sound overly dramatic, but it really has renewed my enjoyment of stamping!

Mini-MISTI-comparison What I’m using is the MINI MISTI that was shown at the Craft Hobby Trade show earlier this month. It is perfect for people like me who have trouble finding the top of their desk because of all the creative expression piled on top! :) Here you can do a little size comparison. I put a little piece of washi tape on my corner to use as a lifter when I’m opening and folding the MISTI.

FullSizeRender (27)Once my butterflies were stamped, I created a tag from the Verve Flourished Tag set out of acetate, layered it over a sentiment stamped on a post-it note from the same Verve set that I love. And, I basically traced the pretty handcrafted letters onto my acetate with the Kirarina Wink.

 

Kirarina-Wink1The Kirarina Wink pens come in 18 beautiful colors – including a fabulous white. They have a firm nib, and a beautiful opaque ink with a tad bit of shimmer. For this card, I used the new Emerald, and there is a beautiful new Violet, as well.

 

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I added a tad bit of stark white glitter behind the clear tag and beautiful crisp Shine Bright sequins from Verve.

 

 

kirarina tag

So, basically, the thought I want to leave you with today is… to embrace different aspects of paper crafting, think outside of the box and try new things, and above all… whatever you are… even a tracer!… be a good one! 

Happy Kansas Day & Combo Watercolor

Combo Watercolor Lori Craig 1

In honor of January 29th – officially, Kansas Day, I’m sharing a fun technique that incorporates both of my creative loves: paper crafting and photography!

Combo Watercolor Lori Craig photo

You might remember this post I shared in September about this beautiful 40-acres field of sunflowers near my parents home in northeast Kansas. The sunflower is our state flower! I knew immediately that I wanted to use the photo to create notecards or greeting cards. I wasn’t sure what approach I was going to take, but I wanted to get whatever I was going to do done for Christmas gifts… so I needed to start early, by December 22 at the latest! HAHAHA! December really was a crazy month for our family, so I got to the print stage of my project and it’s been on my desk waiting… patiently.

lori craig waterlogue

I wanted to use the photo but stay somewhat true to my papercrafty roots, so I ran the photo above through an app on my iPhone called Waterlogue. (It’s available for Android, too!) It is my favorite way to play with beautiful landscape or floral photos that I take, and I often use them for screen savers or as a little text-blessing that I pass along to a friend or family! The ap takes your own photo and transforms it to a beautiful watercolor file – there are several options to play with. You can save the watercolor file in .jpeg format,  just like you would a photo image. Here’s a fun site that shows a lot of different images created with the app, Made with Waterlogue.

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I printed off a stack of 5-6 of the prints in a 3.5″ size on 110# hot press watercolor paper and trimmed them with a Pierced Square STAX Dienamic from MFT. I printed onto my heavy paper with an Epson P600 printer which is perfect for crafty printing because it prints on many different types of media – heavy, thin, canvas, watercolor, etc.

You might notice that in the Waterlogue conversion I lost the cloud and horizon detail. That’s not uncommon because it is very difficult to expose for the flowers in the foreground and the horizon line at the same time, and there doesn’t end  up being enough contrast for the app to fill it in. I love the flowers by themselves, but I wanted sky! Pretty blue sky!

Combo Watercolor Lori Craig 3 So, this morning, armed with a little bit of knowledge from an amazingly awesome watercolor class I am taking this week at Online Card Classes called Watercolor for Card Makers – Intermediate, I busted out the blue tube watercolor and a small round brush and proceeded to add my sky back in. To get a muddled blue, I wet the sky area lightly with water and then dropped in a little bit of watery blue paint. The ink on this printer stays put for mixed media projects, and I had no printer ink runs or bleeds from the addition of the watercolor paint. (I haven’t had the printer very long, so I’ll test it for Copic and stamping ink compatibility soon!)

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Because these are going to be a gift, I wanted a nice smooth panel with my watercolor design, so I took a tip from Jennifer McGuire and cut squares of fun foam at 2.75″ to mount my watercolor squares to the card fronts. Helps keep the panel flat and smooth!

 

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I added a sentiment from Simply Stamped Sunflowers from Taylored Expressions to a cream panel and accented with sequins, then I applied the cream and photo layers to a card base of Summer Sunrise cardstock from Papertrey Ink – fitting since I took this photo just after sunrise! – for a fairly quick project.

 

Combo Watercolor Lori Craig 1I like the term Combo Watercolor for this process – a combination of digital and traditional painting, and I can’t wait to comb through my photos and makesome more!

Tip: Print a small image test from your printer and on the paper media that you want to use. Test for a reaction to watercolor or other mediums before you go to elaborate creative measures. Just as you would test a digital stamped image!

If you try it, I would love to see your work. Send me a link to your project on your blog or at Splitcoast.

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So thanks for visiting with me today, and Happy Birthday to my beautiful homeland! Happy Kansas Day! 

happy hello.

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After getting a shredded envelope returned to me in the mail (Yes, the card face was padded with a piece of buffer cardstock. Yes, it had sufficient postage for hand canceling.), I’ve been working on flatter cards for safe mailing because I am resolved to send more cards this year!

This happy hello was fun and would be easy for mass production. I had noticed a similar design in the Splitcoast gallery (but I forgot to mark it to my favorites!) The stamp set is Garden Flowers by Lia from Hero Arts. I love all of her fun designs. Most of them are smaller silhouette images that work great for quick cards, but they still have a lot of class factor!

heart flowers window I cut a quick mask with a stacking heart die from MFT. When I make masks, I always use a thin copy paper so that my stamped images go right to the mask line. Thicker cardstock produces a halo. If I’m making a full card front and using a negative space for my mask, I try to cut from a full 1/4 sheet of copy paper with the mask positioned exactly where I want it. This makes it easy to line up on my actual card front and keep square. I always secure the mask with temp adhesive, washi tape or 3M painter’s tape for sensitive surfaces before I start stamping.

heart flowers shimmer lori craig One of my favorite ways to dress up a stamped image without weight or bulk is using the atyou Spica Glitter Pen for shimmer and shine. The pens are inexpensive, smooth to the touch after application and best of all, I don’t have to mess with glue, glitter or clean up. #winning! Here, I’ve applied used the gold and clear pens over all of my stamped images. It works great over waterbased ink or Copic. In 24 colors, you can shimmer and shine all over the place.

Tip: Rather than “writing’ the glitter onto my card, I hold the pen softly and gently brush it onto my card. This eliminates indentions in the paper and obvious application marks.

heart flowers full lori craig The glitter is hard to photograph, but you will know it’s there, and so will your recipient!

I hope you have an amazing day full of your favorite things. I’m going to continue my week of paper crafting, painting, coloring and watercolor bliss! Shine on, friends!

love you. that’s all.

love you lori craig watercolor

I love teaching, and I also love learning new things! Today I am practicing some new-to-me watercolor techniques that I’ve learned at Online Card Classes with the talented Dawn Woleslagle from Wplus9 Design. I’ve not really done much watercolor…at all. So, this was my first attempt at a watercolor background. I thought I’d screw it up, but Dawn’s instruction was great, and I was really happy with the outcome.

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There were a lot of great supply option recommendations, and I realized that I liked the tube watercolors to pan, so for this card I used Prussian Blue and Sap Green Cotman watercolor and a flat brush to create the design. I took the background and added a simple sentiment from a loved Concord & 9th set, Love You. Mean It. I think this works for a great masculine card, and I’m excited to try some other fun backgrounds!

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I had the opportunity to meet Greg – half of the fantabulous Concord & 9th leadership team at CHA a few weeks ago. Crafty people are such good people!

The long, cold days have been good for my crafting lately, and I’ve got several things to share over the weeks, so… see you soon! Have a great day!

Back from CHA and Seasons Givings Winner

I’m back from a great week of Copic Classes and the Craft Hobby Association trade show in Anaheim, California! It was wonderful to see so many paper crafters, as well as the new products coming for the new year!

Thank you all so much for the beautiful comments on the Seasons Givings blog hop! Loved your grateful thoughts to start a new year! My winner is posted below, but I also wanted to share some of my favorite CHA moments…

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I didn’t take too many photos, but I have a few… my photos are about the people. Echoing other shares I’ve read this week, there were lots of pretty things to look at on display, but paper crafting people make the experience like no other…

This first photo is from Plaza Square Park in historic Orange, California. A little chilly the day we visited, but beautiful none-the-less.

Tosh-Cindy-MeHere I am with my Copic teammate and friend, Cindy Lawrence and the fabulous Tosha Lyyendekker. We enjoy chatting about all things paper and crafts, but with Tosh in California, Cindy from New Hampshire and myself in the midwest, it’s fun to just chit chat about life in general. Love them!

 

copic-class-messWhile I was gone, I taught three fun workshops in Anaheim – Coloring Faces and Hair, Vintage Values and Monotone and Coloring Cloths and Accessories. I love teaching these classes, especially seeing a student’s progression through the two days – often students who have never colored with Copic before! Transforming and FUN!

 

jami-and-cindyAfter two full days of Copic classes for me, it was time to walk the show floor. This is Cindy and one of my longest known paper crafting friends, Jami Sibley in a full size teepee the Spellbinders booth! It’s always great to chit chat about the new finds and brainstorm ways we could envision using so many fun new tools!

 

 

 

lydia-dina-lori And, such a great moment of the show for me was brief but fabulous as the Splitcoaststampers Crew – Dina Kowal – our insanely talented artist in residence, our amazingly fun and organized community manager Lydia Fiedler and myself were all together for about 10 minutes! Love working with such talented women!

I feel rested, revived and inspired after the trade show, and I’m looking forward to a fun new year!

Thanks so much for all of your support and encouragement of myself and your fellow paper crafters. We are a special collective, caring group, and I love that!

For my Seasons Givings hoppers, my winner is Robyn Smith, like so many of you and myself, she was most grateful for her family this year! I’ve emailed Robyn, and I wish each of you a beautiful, beautiful new year!

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