Home Tutorials About Me Video's Cards for Sale

Tuesday 30 November 2010

Polkadoodles Winner

Time to draw the winner of my Polkadoodles blog hop post - to see the list of all the winners on each blog, go to Polkadoodles

I tried a new random way of choosing the winner - by random husband. I printed out all the names, chopped them up, and got Mike to pick one out, it was



send me an email, and I will get your prize in the mail, congrats, and enjoy your goodies

A couple of commission cards today. I get asked to make some very strange stuff - these are quite normal!

I was once asked to make a male card for a guy hitting the big 50. The couple who asked me to make the card didn't seem to know a lot about him, either that, or he was the most boring man on the planet. Did he have any hobbies - golf? tennis? computer? cards?


Ah, okay then, is there anything about him that makes his friends laugh, any defining characteristics?


'well there was the time he fell off that ladder and broke his leg, that was funny........'


Then there was the woman who wanted a special birthday card (40th this time) for a friend

No hobbies

Is she a girlie sort of person? Does she like a bit of bling?

'No, I don't think so' she replied doubtfully, then she brightened up 'she has got a pink sweater that she wears quite often'

So on to todays mission. A 60th birthday card for someone called Deb. Apparently these two women always send each other a birthday card with a crocodile on it - no, I didn't ask why, I should have done, it might be quite a story. I used the croc from Animal Kingdom cut at 2 1/2", first in white, then in green Basic Grey paper. I added two black metal dots for eyes. The grass was cut freehand

Then there is Nora, coming up to her 15th birthday, she plays the flute in a marching band at school, that's all I know about this kid.

The letters were cut with the Cricut, but I forgot to take a note of the cartridge. The flute is from Joys of the Season, and the music notes were from Hannah Montana. The tag and 15 circle are from Designer Calendar cut at 1 3/4"

I used the music note feature on Hannah Montana for the inside greeting..

Well, what would you have done?

See you tomorrow

Monday 29 November 2010

Another Quick Christmas Card

I know my North American blog friends love to see what's available in the UK, and this is my excuse for putting this card on here, there is very little originality on my part I'm afraid. The white die-cut sleigh card came from Papermania UK, all I had to do was cut an insert of navy blue, emboss that with my snow cuttlebug folder, and sand the dots so that they showed up white against the dark sky. I put some glitter on the sleigh, which doesn't show in the photo, and the sentiment was stamped with a Studio G dollar wood mount stamp from Michaels - the stars are glittered as well.
Our phone went on the blink last night, we tried calling from our mobiles, it sounded as if it was ringing, but no sound or dialling tone. So I went out and bought a new phone, when it was charged up, still no dial tone. We called our service provider, two red faces later, we realised that we hadn't reconnected the phone to the cable box after the decorators left. Ooops. Never mind, the new phone is very fancy :)
I hear it's bitterly cold and snowy in the UK - wrap up warm all of you, I will be joining in with the shivers in a couple of weeks when I come home. Unfortunately I am one of those people who really feels the cold, Mike is comfortable in shirt sleeves even in the winter. So our house is an interesting place to be during the winter months, I turn the heating up to the highest setting, he starts to wonder if he should call the plumber in to overhaul the boiler (furnace) because it is obviously malfunctioning.... whilst he is musing this, I nip and turn down the thermostat so it looks normal. Occasionally he gives me 'the look' and says 'you've been messing around with the thermostat again haven't you, you could fry an egg on these radiators'........and so it goes on, the heating-hide-and-seek-game we play all winter - it beats scrabble for entertainment value
Polkadoodle blog hopper alert - the winners are announced tomorrow

Sunday 28 November 2010

Four Quick Christmas Cards

First of all, no Polkadoodles winner on here today - my fault, I totally forgot to check in with the boss, and it has been arranged that all the individual winners from each blog, and the winner of the main blog prize will be announced on the Polkadoodles blog on Tuesday at 12 noon GMT (7:00 AM EST)
The blog hop closes at 12 noon GMT today
Good luck to you all
Four very quick Christmas cards today, I am having a bit of a panic as I haven't made anything like the number of cards I need. I think I need to have a mass-producing session. All four of these cards were made very quickly and easily using elements from the gorgeous tomato and chilli range of papers from Craftwork Cards. The papers are foiled so look very elegant, and putting quick cards together was a breeze

We had decorators in yesterday, so after putting the house back together, I slumped in front of the TV. Another TV advertisment caught my eye - I think they are called infomercials, and as a rule of thumb, they mainly seem to advertise the sort of thing that you wonder how you have lived for so long without...............well, that's the aim of them, like the Clean Feet I saw last night. However have I managed to wash my feet for all these years without one of these - a sort of plastic sandal with bristles that you put in your shower, then shove your feet backwards and forwards over the bristles to clean them. I can see the benefits for disabled folk with mobility problems, but they have all these twentysomethings gushing on and on about how their feet have never looked so young. Personally, having my feet looking young is the least of my worries, I am too busy concentrating on the bits that people see every day.
Then there was the Itty Bitty Brella - this is really what they called this, makes you wonder about the quality of their copywriters doesn't it? Apparently, so they told me, we have all been caught in a rainstorm, and battled to get out of the car and get our brollies up. Well yes, I open the car door, and still sitting in the car, niftily lean out and open my brolly, and for a nano second I am exposed to the elements when I climb out. Don't worry, the days of having a drop or two of rain on you are over. The Itty Bitty Brella is small enough to open INSIDE the car. Isn't that revolutionary? Of course it's Itty Bitty size means that you have to have an Itty Bitty sort of head to fit under it, and it certainly isn't wide enough to shelter the average set of shoulders, but if you know any Itty Bitty people, this would make a perfect itty present

Saturday 27 November 2010

We're Back......

So here we are - back from our fabulous break in New York. I haven't even unpacked yet, so no cards from me today, but just wanted to share this with you. We met up with Kath, my
Funky Hand and Craftwork Cards teamie who was in NY with her sister and brother in law. That was a fun evening - a transvestite piano player, some very odd characters..........anyway, here are the two grandmas of the FH and CWC teams out on the town

Kath brought out a card especially for me....................... isn't it gorgeous?
and when I got home, there was more mail. This lovely flower soft and Cricut card from my friend and neighbour Mary. Thank you so much Mary, I love it

and this fun Loralie fabric card from Eileen. Thanks so much Eileen, that was a lovely surprise

and this fabby card all the way from the UK from Jules, another Funky Hand teamie. Thank you so much Jules - love that funky bird!

My black Friday shopping was a disaster. Yes, I got up at 4.30 AM, yes I got to Macy's...........unfortunately I was about the 11,802th person to have the same idea - and that was just in the coat department!! I have never seen crowds like it, the store was so hot, after about two hours I had really had enough, and walked back to the hotel empty handed. Mike was still snugly asleep, and nearly fell out of bed with shock when I limped in empty handed.
Never mind...... today's another day
Come back tomorrow for the Polkadoodles blog hop winner

Friday 26 November 2010

Polkadoodles Friday - Twas the Night Before Christmas

Today sees a new challenge on Polkadoodles, to make a card based on the beautiful Christmas poem by Clement Moore

"'Twas the night before Christmas"

I took the first line of the poem quite literally, as for me, Christmas Eve is a most magical time, your head is full of carols and the timeless beauty of the Nativity. There always seems a hush over the earth somehow, after all the frantic preparations for Christmas day........ so I made my card to reflect this.
1. I used the magical tree stamp from Polkadoodles, and coloured some of the layers very lightly with tea green Promarker
2. I chopped the tree off to different heights, and mounted them onto a base card of navy blue with embossed snow (snow folder from Kars UK). I sanded the embossing so that the snow dots showed white on the card.
3. I handcut some snowbanks and inked them in blue, then stamped a Studio G sentiment
The star was cut from George at 2" and glittered
Be sure to pop over to see what the rest of the team came up with, and for any of you reading this bright and early in the UK, Nikky is on Create and Craft TV this morning at 9:00 AM (or you might catch the repeats). Don't forget also, if you missed the Polkadoodles blog hop this week, you still have until Sunday to enter - lots and lots of goodies up for grabs.
I have a very unreliable internet connection in the hotel, so I will save the anecdotes until we get back to Florida. I have every intention of getting up to hit Macy's and Lord and Taylor at 5am tomorrow, we leave for the airport at 11am. I couldn't possibly miss my chance of a New York black Friday.

Thursday 25 November 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends from the USA. I hope your turkey is tender, your sweet potatoes sweet, and your green bean casserole......(sorry, I don't quite know what to say about the green bean casserole :). May you have your fill of Pumpkin Pie, and most of all, may you have a day full of joy. I am thankful for all of YOU
My card today uses the red tiny flowers and spotty background from the Cutting Cafe if you haven't been over to Regina Easter's blog, be sure to do so, she is one of my crafting heroes, and you will certainly get inspiration over there. I printed the backgrounds out onto kraft paper, the sentiment is by Stampin Up, I handcut two kraft leaves, and the rolled red felt flowers were done with the rolled rose die from MFT. The colour looks a bit 'off' in the photo, which is annoying, in real life they are the exact colour of the red cardstock

Wednesday 24 November 2010

A pensive fairy........

I'm afraid I haven't a clue who made this little fairy stamp - no doubt someone will tell me and I can post it, it was from an image swap ages ago - she's pretty though isn't she? It was such a detailed image that I kept the card really simple. The labels were cut with nestabilities (long shaped labels), and the scallop border was cut with another die I got from MFT. I bought it because I really like using perfectly plain scallops on cards, and as far as I know, all the punches out there are quite fancy. I used a Studio G $1 ink pad in blue to ink all the edges. The base scallop card and sentiment oval is from Craftwork Cards - I thought she looked a bit pensive, so the 'thinking of you' sentiment seemed to go well

I added tiny bits of glitter, using a fine quickie glue pen then some glamour dust
Promarkers used:
skin - blush and soft peach
hair - sandstone and buttercup.
mushroom - satin and khaki
clothes - pastel blue and powder blue
Thank you all so much for your birthday wishes, loads of you leaving me messages here, and loads writing on my wall on Facebook (which I go on so rarely, that when I got a bunch of emails saying that someone had written on my wall, I was thinking 'wall? what wall? I haven't got a wall!'), and stacks of lovely emails as well. I am on a bit of a poor internet connection at the hotel, so any visiting of your blogs to say thank you, will have to wait until the weekend.
We spent a lot of time today at the Metropolitan museum. So there I was, looking at all the fabulous impressionist masterpieces thinking 'ooh, look how he coloured that shadow, I could do that with ice grey 3' - I tell you, alcohol inks are an addiction.
The hotel is lovely, the room service prices are astronomical - $25 for a plain ice cream, plus $5 delivery plus 20% service charge and tax. What a blessing that the first thing you see when you leave the hotel is.........................Dunkin Donuts!! And what a blessing that my friend Carol got me a DD gift card for my birthday. Thank you Carol - how well you know me. As for DD crazies, I haven't seen one yet, but I have seen some very strange looking people wandering about, including one woman who was probably an apartment dweller on the upper west side, running across the road, apparently oblivious to the yellow cabs hurtling past her as though they were at a race track, in her pyjamas and a pair of slippers (no, they didn't have twinkling lights on the toes)
I'll be back tomorrow, although my American friends will probably be up to their elbows in preparing turkey, stuffing and green beans - good luck with that :)

Tuesday 23 November 2010

It's my birthday

It's my birthday today, and as you read this, I will either be up in the air flying to New York, or hopping with excitement around 5th Avenue. I am taking my laptop, so will be posting as usual from there
I had these lovely handmade cards:
Firstly, from Lou, my Funky Hand teamie, thank you so much Lou, I love that stamp, must have a borrow of that one........

next from Joan, who is a regular visitor to my blog and has become a real friend. She hasn't been well lately, and I was moved that she remembered my birthday. I love the card Joan, thank you so much

and from Jessica, who is such a faithful blog friend, she visits and encourages me every single day, Jess, the card is lovely, thank you so much

on to my card for today. The image was coloured with promarkers
monkeys - sandstone and tan, pastel pink
pastel blue on the bubbles
pale green on the grass
ice grey 1 to shadow

Can you guess who I had in mind when I made this? The paper is from a gorgeous Sassafrass scallop stack that I got from Hobby Lobby, and the lettering is Heidi Swapp. The bubbles are shiny with glossy accents, which doesn't show on the photo

Yes, I am pretty sure it will be going to three year old Max. He is going to play one of the three Wise Men in his nursery nativity play, and his parents have been spending time teaching him the Christmas story.
'a sweet little baby was born on Christmas Day Max, his name was Jesus' said my son - Max looked on wide eyed.............'his mummy and daddy didn't have anywhere to sleep one night, and do you know what they did?'..........................................
Max pondered this for a while
'did they go on the internet?'

Priceless, a child of our time

If you are here for the Polkadoodles blog hop, scroll down

See you tomorrow

Monday 22 November 2010

Felt Flowers

I bought a rolled rose die from MFT and love the way I can cut felt with the die (using my cuttlebug). You can roll the flowers up tight, or leave them more open as I have done here. I dropped a blob of PVA glue in the centre of each and sprinkled that with tiny seed beads. The bird is a Fiskars punch, and the branch was cut from the Bloom cartridge on my Cricut. Sentiment label is by Craftwork Cards
edited to say I have been to the MFT site and they don't have the rolled rose die showing. It's a new product, so if you want one, I would email them and ask when they will be back in stock

Here's what the die looks like, and the felt when cut, but not rolled - you just start at the centre and roll up, glueing it as you go

I gave myself a much needed weekend off this weekend - time to alter the look of the blog, it looked very summery in it's old clothes, now it is all wrapped up for winter

I also had time to sit slumped in front of the TV for hours, something I rarely do. I watched a load of old rubbish, but there was one advertisment that had me crying with laughter.....someone has invented slippers with a LED light in the front, that apparently will stop you suffering all sorts of disasters. It made me wonder how I have been getting up at night and groping my way into the bathroom in the dark without breaking my neck. How lucky I must have been for all these years not to trip over a sleeping dog or cat, fracture my skull on a doorway or break a leg when going to soothe a crying child.

Now on the advertisment (which went on for some time, and was priceless), the light looks like a tiny LED bulb that lights up when you slip your feet into the slippers. But in the examples shown, (some camera trickery going on there without a doubt) these little lights were as bright as the headlights on a truck, indeed, you could probably safely guide a jumbo jet into land with nothing more than a pair of these miraculous slippers. They brought a whole new meaning to the term twinkletoes. I do hope you get to see the ad - watch out for the bit where a whole family are squashed up on the sofa all wearing their twinkly slippers (a nice feature was that the light switches off when you take the weight off your feet, and comes back on automatically to guide you safely into the kitchen to pour yourself a very large glass of wine in an attempt to blot out the mind-numbing effect of watching the ad) - I do hope that I am not talking to someone who has bought light up slippers for every member of their family, if I am, please do not be offended, as you know it doesn't take much to tickle my sense of humour!

scroll down if you are here for the Polkadoodles blog hop

See you tomorrow

Friday 19 November 2010

Polkadoodles Blog Hop

Win ALL this.............

Welcome to the Polkadoodles Blog Hop, which will run until Sunday 28th November at 12 noon GMT (7:00 AM EST)

If you have started hopping, and arrived here from Ruth's blog you are in the right place

Our theme is


One of the things in my life that I am most thankful for is the pleasure and joy I get from my little grandchildren, so I chose this as my theme for this week, and here are the Christmas cards I have made for each of them, using the Creative Christmas CD from Polkadoodles - although they look quite complex, these cards couldn't be easier to make, I simply printed out the decoupage pages, cut them out, and assembled them with silicone glue. A bit of bling, some glossy accents, a doodle or two, these cards were a doddle to make, but the children will love them

First Milo (age 18 months), who will get this jolly polar bear

His brother Max, (age 3 1/2) will get this very smart little drummer boy

Monty (aged 18 months) gets Rudolph, with a very shiny nose thanks to glossy accents!

and his big sister Kiki, age 6 will love Polly Polkadoodles in her fairy costume, dressed up with a bit of bling - the little sentiment circle was easy to print out on the CD, you can personalize any of the tags to make your cards truly unique

and what will YOU get? Well, the lucky winner who gets their name picked out of the comments on this post will get all this............. photo at the top of this post......

The fabulous and newest Polkadoodles CD A Sundae of Seasons

Some red doodle dewdrops - sweet little acrylic drops that sparkle and glisten

a swatch of fru fru ribbons - an assortment of gorgeous ribbons for your Christmas cards

and two Christmas stamps (I really love that little Christmas house)

I will also stamp all the Fairy Flutterbies for you, those gorgeous fairy stamps that Nikky designed, in memento ink, all ready for colouring with your Promarkers or Copics

In addition, Nikky is offering a 10% discount to all of you at the Polkadoodles store for the duration of the hop, don't forget she stocks Promarker singles as well as masses of other lovely stuff, and she ships free to anywhere in the world
Just enter HOPPITYHOP10 in the coupon box on ordering

What do you have to do?

Leave a comment on this post, and make a note of the letter below, then click on the link to Claire's blog, leave a comment there, pick up her letter, and hop on to the next blog. By doing this you will be in with a chance to win 13 fabulous prizes. When you have all the letters, rearrange them into a word, and leave that at the main challenge blog

My letter is


I will draw the winner next Sunday, and mail the prize to anywhere in the world.

Tune in to see Nikky on Create and Craft TV with some new fabulous Polkadoodles products on Friday 26th November at
8:00 AM

Good luck!

Thursday 18 November 2010

Rosette Card

I have a bit of a thing about making these ultra-fashionable rosettes at the moment. Here's one I did using my favourite Craftwork Cards papers. The stripey label shape was cut from Storybook. They are easy to do, just cut a strip of paper about 1" wide, and start pleating into accordion pleats with your fingers, join the two ends. At this stage it will look like a little lampshade, punch two 1" circles and flattening the pleated cylinder, glue one to the front, and one to the back, this stabilizes the rosette. I punched along one edge before starting to pleat the paper

the butterflies were punched with a Martha Stewart punch

Don't forget to come back for the big Polkadoodles blog hop tomorrow, Nikky has been incredibly generous, and all the design team have some really fabby stuff to give away on their blogs...... here's a sneak peek at just a couple of the things from the package of goodies I will be giving away

See you tomorrow when you hop over here

Wednesday 17 November 2010


When I heard that Walmart had a special online offer for the Lite Cricut cartridges, I had to send off for a couple. As usual, I was late to the party, and got Handyman, but wasn't sure about the remaining cartridges at all, in the end I ticked the box for Carousel

The first thing I do when I get a new cartridge (after breaking my nails to get into the packaging) is to read the handbook. I read it as if it was a magazine, slowly, digesting every detail, then I read it again....... during this process, certain cuts leap out at me. The first one was the water ride, which I cut at 3". I added hand cut drops of water to fly up, and I splashed drops of glossy accents on the 'water'

Then I spotted the strong man, and the words Incredible Hulk jumped into my mind, so this is my punny offering with that cut - I thought it would make a good birthday card for someone to give to a boyfriend or husband. No, Mike will not be getting this card, he would fall about laughing if I sent it to him or think that I was making some not-so-subtle wifely statement

So I was waiting for my coffee alongside some guy. They brought his coffee and said ' cream, two sugars, right?'
'NO' he replied in a horrified voice 'just cream, no sugar'
So they went away to remake it
He then started to tell me how sugar was the hardest substance for the body to digest, he hadn't touched the stuff for 22 years - he was quite evangelical in his anti sugar stance. Of course, I agreed with him, having discovered some time ago that it is better to agree with everything anybody says in Dunkin Donuts. So there we were, me nodding in agreement, him carrying on, and on, and on about the evils of sugar...........
Then they brought out my coffee


See you tomorrow

Tuesday 16 November 2010

Advent Calendar for Alex

It's my daughters birthday in December, and last year I made her an advent box (video instructions for that on my sidebar). She loved it, so this year I decided to make her another one - it turned into a bit of a project. I will list the steps I took at the end of the post.
As she is a single girl having fun living in London, I thought handbags would be perfect............

the label at the top of the board
each little bag is decorated in a different way

I filled them with lip gloss, earrings, eyeshadows, chocolate.....it was fun finding stuff small enough to fit in the bag

each bag closes with a velcro dot

Materials used:
16" x 18" blank canvas
aqua and white acrylic paint
martha stewart glitter
All papers by SEI
velcro dots
Forever Young Cricut cartridge
Designer Calendar Cricut cartridge
Lacy Labels Cricut cartridge
Fabulous Finds Cricut cartridge
1. With a dry brush I brushed the canvas in random stripes in aqua paint. I added white to the aqua to dilute the colour, and brushed some of that on. I finished by brushing white paint and sprinkling that with glitter whilst the paint was wet.
2 I cut 25 bags from the forever young cartridge at 3", and decorated them individually - I ran some of them through the cuttlebug to emboss before glueing them. I attached a velcro dot to close the flap, and two more dots on the back to hold the bag onto the board
3. I cut 25 assorted labels at 1 1/2" from Fabulous Finds. The numbers 1 - 25 were cut from designer calendar at 1", and glued to the labels using a xyron machine. I threaded the labels with red twine, and knotted around the handles. To keep the labels in place I used a small foam pad on each one (they were flopping around all over the place without this)
4. The sentiment was done on the computer, then, using the centre point feature on the expression, I cut lacy label 3. I folded a strip of card and attached it to the back of the label, then used drawing pins (push pins) to hold it in place. The ribbon was attached in the same way, to the frame of the canvas.
It should be arriving in London any day now......I hope it's survived the journey!
Regular readers of the blog may recall that I have had a few squirrel incidents in the past......remember the one that drowned in the water fountain in our garden at home? Well, it seems that USA squirrels are no better behaved that their British counterparts. I was driving the other day, and the car started juddering and shaking, so of course, I headed straight back home. When we had a look at the engine it was COVERED with bits of nuts, acorns and shells. Now we have a young oak tree close by, but how on earth did the acorns get under the bonnet (hood)? The car was towed to the garage, where they took one look at the debris and announced, in tones of doom 'you have squirrels'
Apparently the little pests, when it gets a bit cold, sneak under the car and climb up to a warm spot on the engine, and sit there munching on their dinner. Then for dessert, they munch their way through the electrical wires in the car. So we are a few hundred dollars poorer, the car is now safely locked up in the garage, and I have collected a whole bucket of little acorns - lucky for them I don't have a catapult!
See you tomorrow

Monday 15 November 2010

The winner is....................

After sorting the comments out, I entered 1097 into Random.org and it came up with

Who is....................drum roll


(honestly, I spent about four hours printing out all the comments, I need only have printed out the first page! I reckon computers gang up on you and have a laugh.......)

I love making someone happy, but I hate that a lot of you will be saying 'oh darn it' or something less printable.... don't forget that I will be giving away a monthly blog candy of some Promarkers (not the complete set, but nice candy to add to your collection), so keep checking in for that, and the monthly Polkadoodles giveaway as well. I have a few requests for specific videos, so will get around to that as well - after I have finished my gin and tonic and had a long lie-down in a dark room to get over the whirlwind of the past 2 weeks. If anyone wants a how-to video (on something that I know how to do!), email me and I will do my best to make one for you
So once again, thanks Letraset for offering this amazing prize, and thanks to all of you for your encouraging comments and interest
Back to normal service tomorrow... see you then I hope

Sunday 14 November 2010

Thank you all.........................

Well, here we are at the end of a rather hectic, but very enjoyable couple of weeks. I have certainly enjoyed myself, and loved reading all your comments. Now I have to go and do some work to make sure the winner is picked fair and square. I am printing off all the comments, there were a few where people hadn't realised that the comments would not show up at once, and posted again and again when they didn't see their comments, panic panic, so I am sorting that out, and allocating everyone a number. Entries after noon today will be too late

The result will be announced tomorrow

Here is a message for you all from Letraset

Letraset would like to thank everybody who took the time to enter the ProMarker giveaway and we have been absolutely amazed at the response! We have been encouraged by all the supportive and positive comments about ProMarkers, and would like to thank everybody who took the time to post on their blog and link back to Enfys' giveaway, helping to spread the word.

ProMarkers have become extremely popular in the UK, allowing crafters to achieve great professional results at a reasonable price. We are delighted to see this popularity spreading, and are now seeing lots of great work and designs coming not just from the UK and USA, but from all across the globe!

If you would like to get in touch with us, please find contact details on our website, blog, or find us on Facebook. We are always happy to hear from you, and would be pleased to see your work or answer any questions you may have.

Once again, thanks to every one of you who entered the draw, and most of all, thanks to Enfys for all her hard work over the last two weeks

Here again are the links to some useful numbers for Promarkers

Carpe Diem Store


Ace Art Supplies

MacPhersons (USA distributors)

email: info@macphersonart.com

Polkadoodles (UK - free worldwide shipping)


and for inspiration visit

A Passion for Promarkers blog

Passion for Promarkers Weekend Workshops

Lili of the Valley demonstration videos

Some great news - if your name does not come up tomorrow, take heart. Letraset is going to be giving me some promarker blog candy (no, not the full set, but some to add to your collection.....) EVERY MONTH. So be sure to keep popping back for that. If you remember, I have a monthly giveaway sponsored by Polkadoodles as well, so lots of chances in the future to win some goodies for yourself

and finally....................from me, a little thank you video with some tips on things to avoid when making a video............tongue in cheek of course, and I am being very brave publishing this because I hate the way I look on videos.

Thanks to all of you for enjoying this ride, and making it so worthwhile for me. You're a grand bunch!

See you tomorrow x





With huge thanks to Letraset, the UK makers of promarkers, I am able to offer

a complete set of 148 markers to one lucky follower of Going-Buggy

This prize has a value of £225 or $330

This post will stay at the top of the blog for two weeks, during which time I will be showing a few videos and ideas on how to use Promarkers, plus a lot of cards of course.......
Scroll down for later posts...........

To be in with a chance, all you have to do is:

1. Leave your name on this post, making sure I can identify you if you win

2. Link to the contest from your blog please - this has been requested by Letraset
(if you don't have a blog, of course you can still enter..)

3. Visit Going Buggy every day whilst the contest is running, to see the video links and tips

and that's all you have to do - easy peasy

The topics that will be covered include,

colouring skin, colouring different hair colours, colouring clothes, colouring teddies, shadowing, two tone colouring, sepia tones.......... lists of Promarker colours that blend well together, lists of starter colours - and a lot more. I have been a very busy bunny for the past week or two

Finally, don't forget that I am not an expert, nor do I pretend to be one, just an ordinary crafter who has never taken any colouring classes. a lot of you seem to like my stamped image cards, so just remember if I can do it, you certainly can, and have fun doing it as well

As always, this is open to all you lovely Going Buggy followers from anywhere in the world. The comments must be made by noon EST (5pm UK) on sunday 14th November. The winner will be drawn by random generator after that time, and published here on 15th November

If you subscribe by email to my blog, click on the link at the bottom of your email to bring you over here, click on 'comment' under this post, leave your name and a means of identification in the comment box, (message board name, your town, or some identifying phrase), if you don't have a google account, tick 'anonymous', then click 'publish' NOTE: your comment will not appear at once as I moderate them to prevent spam, but it will show up later that day.

So good luck, I hope you enjoy finding out a little about these fantastic markers, and once again, thanks to Letraset for donating this fantastic prize

USA stockists of Promarkers:

Saturday 13 November 2010

Ribbons and gems.....

Here's a couple more tips on using your promarkers, and here is the card I made in the video. It's a bit of a rubbish photograph, I didn't take it until the light had gone, so there is a lot of bleaching of colour with the flash

now to answer some questions
Question: when you blend a darker shade with light, does that mess up the lighter pen tip?
Answer: No, not at all, you do not get a transference of colour onto the nib. There must be a technical reason for that, but I don't know what it is
Question: I saw on Create and Craft TV that you should always store your Promarkers horizontally. You store them vertically. Don't they dry out?
Answer: Create and Craft TV are wrong on this one. I asked the guys at Letraset this specific question. The ink in the Promarkers is such high quality, and the molecules in the ink are so fine, that you can store vertically or horizontally. I have noticed NO drying out of my pens with vertical storage
Question: I notice you blend colors with colors rather than a blender pen. Is this normal with this sort of marker?
Answer: Yes. You are probably used to using a blender pen with watercolour pencils, where the blender melts the wax and makes it possible to move the colour around. With alcohol ink, you lay down a sheer layer of ink, then build that up in layers to add your shading
Question: I have been onto the Letraset site and saw that they make alcohol ink Tria markers in 300 colors. Whats the difference between them and Promarkers?
Answer: Tria markers have three nibs, including an ultra fine one, they can be used in conjunction with the Promarkers. They are aimed at the professional market - architects, fashion designers, advertising agencies, animators etc etc all use Tria. They are refillable by a cartridge system, or ink bottle refills. They are more expensive than Promarkers.
Promarkers are aimed at the craft market and manga artists. I own the complete set and find that the colour range is excellent and more than adequate for my needs
Question: In one video you show how you color with a blender pen onto blank paper. Can you explain a bit more about the blender pen?
Answer: An alcohol ink blender actually pushes the ink away, sometimes it looks as if it is erasing the colour from an image. I am still getting to grips with the blender myself, but find it useful to saturate parts of an image that you want to leave white, then the ink that you apply to the rest of the image sort of blends and feathers into the blended area. I sometimes use it to take away colour - say at the front of a pair of jeans for example
Question: Sometimes when I color a large area with alcohol markers I get a streaky effect. Any tips?
Answer: I think you will find that if you use a small circular motion with the pen, rather than broad strokes (you can do this with the wedge end for quickness), you won't get a streaky effect. I got quite a lot of streakiness when I was using Copic markers, I don't seem to get that now I am using PM's - there is probably a technical reason for this as well, but I haven't a clue what it is
Question: I am really interested in the airbrush system. I have seen some amazing work done with the copic airbrush. Can the Promarker airbrush be purchased in the USA?
Answer: You need to email Macphersons, the US distributor of Promarkers to ask this question. There is a link to their site on my sidebar. You can also purchase direct from the Letraset site in the UK, their mailing costs are very reasonable. I am hoping to try one out soon, and will do a review when I do
Question: Why are there so many grey shades? I have noticed this with Copics as well and don't understand. I have watched your videos about shadowing, but still don't understand why there needs to be so many grey markers
Answer: Greys can be used as a 'mixer' colour with a great many shades. For instance, warm grey 4 & 5 makes fabulous brown fur, or dark brunette hair. Some of the paler greys can be used with other colours - blues and grey for a sea or lake for example
Question: How long did it take you to learn how to use alcohol markers?
Answer: I am still learning, and when you look at some of the truly fabulous artists out there, still a beginner. My advice would be to surf the web and gather together every scrap of inspiration you can. I have been using them for about 2 years - I started with Copics, and changed to Promarkers. They are truly easy to use and get great results
Question: Thank you for your starter list of colors, but I can't afford to buy 45 markers all at once, I can buy about 25. Any advice?
Answer: I would go for the first 25 colours on the list. You can add the rest later
Question: doesn't using the alcohol markers to ink sentiments damage the rubber stamp?
Answer: Well I suppose it would if you left it on the rubber, but I keep alcohol free baby wipes close by, and swipe one over the stamp as soon as I have used it. I haven't noticed any deterioration in the rubber or acrylic
Question: I have some Copics, but after watching your videos and checking out how well priced Promarkers are, I am going to switch over to Promarkers (I hope Santa is reading this) Will the Copic colors I have work with them? Will my Copic blender pen work, or will I need a Promarker one? Thanks
Answer: Yes, you can use your existing Copics in conjunction with the Promarkers, they are both alcohol based pens. You CAN'T use your Promarkers (or Copics) with Tombow or Stampin Up water based markers. The Copic blender will work fine
Okay, I hope I answered your questions. I'll be posting tomorrow, I've got a jokey video for you, and getting ready for the big draw, winner to be announced on monday

Thursday 11 November 2010

Colouring white clothes with Promarkers

First of all, here's my Polkadoodles offering for this week. The design team were asked to make a bag/container for a gift. I found a little white tin, and covered it with my favourite gingham paper from the Sundae of Seasons CD. I printed out the digi stamp of the bucket and apples, and coloured them with my promarkers. The apples were given a coat of glossy accents - they look almost good enough to eat.... Quite a few of you have asked if you can use promarkers with printed digi images, I do it all the time, and have never had the printer ink smear.

a few more apples, and a bit of ribbon around the tin. I have filled it with cinnamon scented sachets, so it smells really good. Be sure to pop over to the blog to see what the rest of the team came up with, and join in the fun if you like challenges.

Next week, we have a big Polkadoodles blog hop, with some great prizes to be won at each of the blogs - I will give you some sneek peeks next week. You won't want to miss it.

Promarkers used: apple green, lime zest, meadow green, poppy, pear green, caramel, tan, terracotta

and here is the chef you will see me colour in the video. Note how the subtle grey shadowing adds depth to the image, although his coat remains white

and here's the finished card. Cardstock is by core-dinations, the red gingham is DCWV, and the CHEERS letters are Thickers by American Crafts

and a white on white on white card made with this sweet little angel from Lili of the Valley. I have found that the trick to making a white card, is to use texture, inking and depth. So all the layers have been embossed with the cuttlebug, the edges inked, and each layer was lifted up with foam pads. Sentiment oval by Craftwork Cards

the grey shadowing on her clothes adds real depth to the image

Skin - ivory and pastel pink
shadowing - cool grey 1 and 2
hair buttercup and mustard
berries crimson
leaves holly pine and meadow

I'll be back tomorrow with a quick round up of some extra tips for using your promarkers, if you have any questions, email me so that I can answer all the queries at once. I will try and answer all your questions in my next post

See you then