Single Layer Salutes

hello one layer lori craig full

On Monday, my famous neighbor Laurie came over to visit for the day… We have a fun time when we get together! I loved playing with the goodies she brought over to show me, like these adorable birds from Concord & 9th – such a fun, newer stamp company run by Greg and Angie ~ the sweetest people ever!

Laurie and I laughed so much that neither of us got much stamping done, but I managed to pull off two quick flat cards that I’m calling single layer salutes and sharing with you today! I know they have multiple layers – but they are monochromatic and have no doo-dads or trim that will trip up the envelope at the post office! :)

This first card above uses Concord & 9th’s sweet Birdie Banners – so easy to use. I colored my birdie bodies with Copic, but you don’t have to… it’s got a 2nd step fill in for the body color and the banner options are adorable. I surprised myself by how easy the banners were to line up – the banner fill-ins are a 2nd step stamp, too! The sentiment was stamped with Banner Alpha Bits.

lovely vase full front lori craig

This next card is a little harder to show-off, but it’s lovely. Please trust me on this.  The Bouquet Die is gorgeous! Now I’m wishing I would have cut one in a color to really showoff for the camera while Laurie was here, but you can see it here. I paired the bouquet with ‘lovely’ from Wonderful Words.

lovely close lori craig

I used a sheet of sticker paper to cut my two elements, and then I pieced them together for a seamless look. Very simple, clean and flat for mailing. I love it in white, but would be beautiful in almost any color variation for a mono-chromatic look! Will be adding these dies to my collection and making several more of this design!

I’m a little off of my normal routine today, so mid-afternoon and I’m headed out for a quick jog. It’s a gorgeous (albeit windy!) afternoon here in Kansas, so I’m looking forward to it. Since I’m normally stumbling out of bed at 4:40 and running at 5am, I better make sure all of my clothes are on right-side-out! LOL

Thanks for stopping by today! Be back soon!

Multiplying Creativity and Wide Copic Roses

Copic Wide Roses Lori Craig

I’m sharing a very fun set of cards today, that were way out of my comfort zone! As in, I couldn’t believe I would attempt something like this (or dare to share!) because the roses weren’t stamped, they were drawn by me… freehand…and not with a pencil first but with Copic Marker!

I always told myself that I couldn’t draw or paint because everything didn’t come out of the pen looking like someone else’s masterpiece the very first time. I would say that I didn’t get the artist gene, but I never did much to explore or give it a chance either.  More and more over the last few years of diligent observation and study, I’ve started practicing and drawing and painting for my own pleasure, not for anyone else’s expectation or critique. Surprise: I like it, and the more I practice, the more I enjoy it.

This past winter I took an incredible watercolor class from Online Card Classes. The class was called Watercolor – Intermediate Techniques, but I hadn’t taken any classes previous, and I was able to keep up! I learned so, so much about so many different aspects of art and watercolor. There were many concepts that I have adapted to other mediums, especially Copic and how I use them. Today’s set of cards are one of those things.

1 expressive watercolor roses lori craig

The card above was one that I created for my class homework using watercolor and one brush with a combination of wet-on-wet and wet-on-dry watercolor technique. I used Windsor Cottman watercolor paints and Arches 110# Cold Press paper.

I am well aware that I need more leaf practice, but I was very, very happy with how my free-brushed roses were turning out with a little effort. So on Saturday night, as I watched the NCAA basketball tournament (sad for my Kansas Jayhawks, #goBig12), I was thinking that it would be fun to try the same idea with my Copic Markers.

Continue reading

Butterflies, Seattle and Calgary, eh!

HB HeroArts Lori Craig

After our Easter Sunday celebrations and dinner, I had some time to get crafty yesterday! I need a few cards, and I’m also prepping some samples and ideas to take to my next Copic Standard and Intermediate Certification classes and our awesome new Coloring Flowers Color Along in the next four weeks in Seattle (April 8 & 9) and Calgary, Alberta (April 22 & 23)! I’d love to have some of you join me! All of the details can be found HERE.

I had also wanted to color the butterflies from the Hero Arts My Monthly Hero – I loved the bugs that Marianne drew for this kit! All of the contents of this kit work together for cards as clean and simple or as detailed as you dare! Very fun!


butterflies lori craig

I colored my butterflies wings with Copic Sketch Y32 and YR04 – flicking the colors together from opposite ends of the inner wing. Because I was coloring to mimic the Monarch species, it was easy to color in the black and white spots on the wings after smoothing out the color. The colors I used for black were C4/C6/C8.

After my wings were colored, I cut them with the coordinating die, and I do want to mention how easy these were to line up. I was worried that I’d never be able to cut the antenna straight (I am impaired sometimes when it comes to die line up!), and it lined up perfectly for me every time within the die! I didn’t throw a single butterfly away!

After cutting, I used the blunt point of a paint brush to dot the speckles of the wings with Opaque White. Such a bright vibrant, opaque white! The larger circles were filled in with a brush tip of the paintbrush.

Tip: When painting with Opaque White,  you’ll achieve smoother results if you paint multiple thin layers that dry in between, as opposed to trying to dab all of your color on in one application.

get well hero arts lori craig

I finished my cards off with some coordinating cardstock and a snippet scrap of polka dot paper – I liked how the white dots were a re-occurring theme. The sentiments come from the coordinating Hero Art’s set Ribbon Messages Stamp & Cut!

I was full of trying new things this weekend, and I do have another fun project to share tomorrow…maybe my favorite thing that I’ve made in a long time! Have a great night, and see you again soon!

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Printing Images for Copic Compatibility

 

power poppy full image lori craig

I’m often asked in Copic classes about printers for digital stamps (like this beautiful Countryside Bouquet from Power Poppy!)  that are compatible with alcohol inks. I’ve had more than my share of printers through the last 7-10 years, and more often than not, I’ve ditched them for cardstock issues, not ink compatibility. It is so hard to find a printer that will feed cardstock and thicker mediums without dog-earring the corners or jamming. For me, I’m happy to say those days are over!

power poppy close lori craig

For the last few months, I have been working with one of my co-workers at Splitcoaststampers on a collaborative project with Epson SureColor Printers, and I have enjoyed using with the SureColor P600. We published an overview of this printer at Splitcoast this morning, and you can find the full skinny here.

 

power poppy full image lori craig

To test digital ink for Copic compatibility, I follow a tried and true method that I learned from Marianne. I print a sample image on XPress It Blending Card and color right up TO the printed ink, but not over it with my marker nib. (When I’m not sure about compatibility, I don’t want to run my marker nib over an unknown substance!) I saturate the paper with Copic ink – a small, small spot will do. As the ink spreads over the printed ink, you’ll be able to watch the printed image either hold tight or it will start to run and meld. If it holds tight, you have a match!

power poppy on wood bg lori craig

My Countryside Bouquet was printed on XPress It Blending Card and colored with Copic Markers.

  • oranges – YR02, YR04, YR07, R24
  • yellows – Y32, Y35, Y38
  • pinks – RV21, RV23, RV25
  • greens – G21, G24, G28, G40, G43, BG93

My image was mounted on some pretty Lawn Fawn plaid patterned paper and accented with sequins. The sentiment is from the Fanciful Feathers set from Wplus9 Designs.

Thanks for stopping by today! I’ve got two other decor pieces to share with you from my printer project, so stop by tomorrow! Have a fabulous, colorful day!

 

 

Coloring My Monthly Hero

IMG_0231_lori-craig-mymonthlyhero-full
MMH-300x359I’ve had this fun image from the  printed image pack included in the Hero Arts March My Monthly Hero kit colored on my desk for several days. The images in the kit come pre-printed on XPress It Blending Card. Marianne’ Flower stamps, pre-prints, dies and a beautiful Copic friendly ink are also included.  This has been such a great kit to work with!

I actually wanted to share this card last week, but I was stumped for color choices of this snail. Snails aren’t in my normal arsenal of images to color, but this one is cute, and I loved the flowers!

FullSizeRender (1) So I pulled a trick from my image coloring playbook and did a quick google search for “snail images“. This cute blue and green snail popped up about half way down the page, and I knew it would be a great color blend with the brightly colored florals and leaves I had already finished!

Don’t be afraid to search images for things that you are coloring! The hints that pop up for colors, shades, shadows, etc. can all be very helpful!

IMG_0231_snail

Notice on the blues and greens, I didn’t concern myself with perfect, smooth blends – they weren’t perfectly smooth on my reference photo, either! I laid the blue and green of the shell color together keeping the edges wet. The dotted blues were added after the base layers dried. The dots and spots when added to the dry layer will retain their circle shape.

IMG_0231-close-up-lori-craig-mymonthlyhero

The colors I used here are a combination of:

  • orange flower: YR12/YR14/YR18/R27
  • pink flower: RV62/RV66
  • daisies: Y32/Y35
  • big bright leaves: YG01/YG03/YG07
  • tall thin stems: YG61/YG63
  • snail: YG01/YG03/BG53/BG57/YG61
  • misc grays and earthtones for rocks and dirt

We are finishing up our spring break week, and it has been such a beautiful family week! Here’s a picture for you! image

 

Thanks for stopping by! Have a a great week!

Hopping with Hero Arts

 

hero hop lori craig march 2016 B

Happy, happy Monday! I am definitely happy to be sharing something so fun from from my friends at Hero Arts today!

MMH-300x359I’m a fan of their My Monthly Hero monthly card and stamp kits, so I was really excited when I realized that Marianne and the Copic Marker team would be collaborating with them this month!  The kit pairs so well (perfectly!) with the teaching content of our new Copic Flowers Class and Marianne Walker’s Coloring Foundations Book ~ Flowers!

 

my-monthly-hero-march2016

The March My Monthly Hero kit contains: 12 coloring cards printed on XPressIt paper, coordinating stamps and dies, an Intense Black ink cube (alcohol marker-friendly), extra XPressIt paper, assorted notecards, and a package of gems.

There are three optional add-on for this kit:

 These kits are only available while supplies last (I missed one of my favorites a few months ago because I waited too long to order!). When they are gone, they are GONE. (My Hero Arts friends mean it!)

hero hop lori craig march 2016 C

On the card I’m sharing today, I repeatedly stamped this cute image from the set Marianne’s Flowers over a card front sized piece of XPress It Blending card and then added Happy Birthday from Ribbon Messages. My flowers are colored with Y32, Y35 and Y38. I had done a little caucus on my Instagram last night requesting votes on potential flower centers… In the end, voter turnout was a little soft, and I made an executive decision to color the centers brown with the E20s. (You can follow my Instagram HERE.)

My leaves are colored with G40, G43 and G46. And, the background of my card is colored with BG00, BG11 and BG13.

The trick to coloring the large background is to keep the edges of your ink wet as you work across the design. Wet ink blends better. So, I tend to work in quadrants, completing one at a time and then moving on.

hero hop lori craig march2016

I was teaching this exact class in St. Louis over the weekend, and I’m headed to Seattle, Calgary and Sacramento soon! So if flowers are of interest to you, please check it out here.

I do hope you have a chance to check out the ROCKSTAR ladies on the hop today! They are all beautiful souls, and I’m excited to see their fabulous coloring and fun projects!
Marianne Walker
Marianne Walker
Sharon Harnist
Cindy Lawrence
Lori Craig — you are here
Debbie Olson
Michelle Houghton
Mariana Grigsby
Libby Hickson

I have more to share from this kit tomorrow, so check back!

Thanks for stopping by, and have a wonderful Monday!

love you

various full final lori craig

I had a project that I wanted to share with you today that features Copic Various Ink for vibrant color without coloring!

When I think about Various Ink, my first thought is refillable markers, but used straight from the bottle, the Copic Various Ink is so vibrant… especially on non-porous surfaces, like glossy card stock – used here. I just drip ink refills onto a kraft mat and dab my cardstock into the ink for instant, quick dry, vibrant color, but there are some pointers I can share to help make your efforts eye-popping!

HGTV_Color-Wheel-Full_s4x3.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.960

My first tip for color popping blends is color selection! For combinations that blend well together, select two to three colors that are touching or close to each other on the color wheel. These colors will naturally blend with an eye-please effect. If you choose colors that are directly across from each other (like blue and orange or pink and green), the normal result can be a big mud puddle because colors opposite from each other typically create brown when mixed.

various close lori craig final A

For my card today, I used Copic Various Ink Y08, RV06 and YR04 – yellow, pink and orange. Notice how they are all on the same half of the pie if you slice that color wheel up?

dry-blend-Copic

My next tip is more along the line of know what look you are going for to achieve the desired result, not that either one is right or wrong 100% of the time. :)

In the sample above, I dropped ink on the kraft sheet and dipped one color at a time, allowing just a few seconds between colors so that each could set and dry. The dry time is really so, so fast with the Various Ink… This single color at a time method allows for an ink splotch look with distinctive splats of each color.

wet-blend-Copic

In this sample, I dropped all three colors on my kraft mat at the same time and then smooshed my cardstock into the color. The result is a much runnier, more fluid blend of color. I liked this look, too!

Tip: If you don’t have every color of Various Ink that you want to utilize, grab your favorite marker and scribble lightly onto your kraft mat, spritz lightly with blender solution and dip your cardstock.

love you various lori craig final

I accented with die-cut black blooms from Concord & 9th’s new Floral and Flutter die. Love these wispy petals and the dies cut like butter for me. I think I cut about 10 each of the flower and the butterfly, and I didn’t have any rips or half-cuts in the whole bunch!  Finally finished with a ‘love you’ sentiment embossed in black with a simple pearl!

various full final lori craig

Thanks for stopping by today!

 

Stamping Away Notebooks

notebook stack lori craig

One of the things on my to-do list before I left for my retreat was make a little giftie for all the people attending… I had only met two of the ladies before, so I definitely wanted to show them a little love, and as a list maker… I knew that these kinds of events inspire a lot of lists of things you want to remember, make, see, do or buy. So I created a little journal for all of my new friends.

sensa-square

I am in love with these little SenseBooks that Imagination International started carrying last year. This is the 4″ x 6″ pocket size, and the pages are available ruled, grid or blank. I really like that they have a table of contents and that the pages are numbered (the 4×6 version has 135 pages). You can write or sketch your own little chapters, and they are cheap enough that I can have multiples going at the same time.

You can purchase the notebooks with or without covers, and I wanted something simple and unique, so I created my own covers with a thin, kraft paper. I used a roll of kraft wrapping paper, and ripped each sheet to size using a straight edge – I liked the raw, ripped look. I keep a roll of this on-hand because it’s great for quick gift wrapping, table covering for parties or events and random projects.  You could also use sheets of brown paper bag paper. I don’t recommend traditional cardstock weight for this because you want the jacket to wrap easily around the notebook and lay fairly flat.

screen-shot-notebook-cover-template

For my little gift notebooks, I thought a cute cover would be fun, so I created a jacket template in Photoshop. I used the height of the notebook and allowed width to span the front, back and spin with almost 2″ on each side for an inside flap. On the above picture, I show a pink mock-up of the space where the front cover will end up resting on my jacket so I know where to position my text. I just deleted the pink layers before printing.

I printed my book jackets on the Epson SureColor P600 – which I like because it handles many different media types, thicknesses and paper sizes – it will print directly from rolled paper or canvas. So fun!

 

notebook stack lori craigI created the Kansas state outline by tracing a free google image in Photoshop. Next, I layered my text over the Kansas image. The text on the cover reads:

My little book of big, big ideas from Stamping Away Kansas. Stamps I need, tools to make my life easier, recipes I want to try, books I want to read, things I want to do. Important stuff to remember. lists of all the pretty, hip, tasty, cool and awesome things.

notebook with pen lori craig

You can see other photos from the weekend here, and I think everyone came home with lists of fun things, a lot of finished cards and projects and memories too numerous for this little book of big ideas.

Thanks for stopping by!

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?

workroom 2 lori craig

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!

workspace-Lori-Craig

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.

BreadBasket-Pie-Case-Lori-Craig

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.

stairs-to-crafty-slumber

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

pink-bedroom

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

bedroom-butterfly

All the bed covers were beautiful, old quilts.
hoops-bedroom

Fun colorful curtains and wall decor. 

pineapple-card-lori-craig

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.

 

 

grateful lori craig

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

grateful-hoop

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!

 

 

watercolor-retreat-blooms

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.

full group

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.

hoops

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

fresca full lori craig

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!

fresca colored lori craig

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…

fresca leaves front lori craig

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.

fresca leaves close lori craig

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.

fresca full lori craig

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!

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