The Start to Copics

Hello Everyone!

Copics, Copics, Copics! I hardly know where to begin with this post because I’ve put so much thought into my purchase. When I became a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator last August, I was resistant to using their new Blendabilities markers – mostly because I was new to stamping and was so overwhelmed with the initial ink and color choices. Stampin’ Up! has 38 core colors in addition to the 10 In Colors which are always available and get rotated out every 2 years. That’s a lot of color choices!

It always takes me a lot of thought and conflict when I decide to take the plunge to do anything – because I usually can’t start small. Like with Copics, everything can be purchased individually or in sets. We all know that with anything – buying them in sets will save us money in the long run, but not everyone has the funds to start big. With Blendabilities, I did decided to start slow and originally purchased 3 sets – basic floral colors. Then when the Sale-A-Bration period started, I was able to get the complete set – all free with my crazy spending. I quickly learned how I would love these simple alcohol markers because they colored so easily and I love that they were not one-toned coloring. Before I could purchase the skintone set, they were discontinued. SHOOT. Because I love the way alcohol markers blend so well, I started watching more videos on alcohol markers which led me to Copics – so many crafters use these. There was no doubt that these were great. Then I looked into it and got stunned and overwhelmed by all the colors and the prices.

To find out the specifics about what’s available and other good info – visit the Copics website at Imagination International. Before I purchased anything – I reached out to them and they sent me a packet with the Copics brochures and Color Wheel.

Let’s start with the fundamental questions that I had. The prices and info I give are for Sketch Markers only (there are 4 different barrel sizes or types of markers: Sketch, Classic, Ciao, Wide) – they are the size that most crafters use and is what I purchased:

1) What are the best Copic color combinations I should start with?

I went from one blog to another reading about “Favorites” and “Best Color Combinations” and where I found myself frustrated was that this TRULY is a matter of personal preference. One person’s favorite is not the same as someone else’s favorite at all. Even the best of crafters use different color combinations. But…it’s makes perfect sense. Everyone has different styles and tastes. So it was clear to me that I couldn’t just go to the store and buy a set of 3 markers for blending without even knowing what these colors look like if someone says “for pink, I like to use xxx, xxx, xxx.” What shade of pink is it and am I sure I want this pink over other pinks? I was confused and frustrated. 

I also have heard in many videos and have been told that I don’t need all the markers. I’m sure there are a few markers I would never use and many of the colors are very similar- but when you buy them in a kit – the savings buy you those markers if you can afford buying the larger kits to get the complete set of markers. So in the end, I decided I was going to buy them all because I didn’t want to think so long and hard about it anymore.

2) Where can I get them the cheapest?

Local Craft Stores – Hobby Lobby ($6.99 per marker – online and in stores). Michael’s ($7.99 per marker – online and instores). Joanns ($5.24 per marker – online only). 

There are 358 copic markers. Was I seriously going to take my time buying one marker at a time to save with 40% off coupons? I have no doubt that some people do it this way. They have a lot more patience than I do. I live in a small town in the middle of nowhere and it takes me at least 30 mins to get to a craft store. Online shopping is not good for this because it’s not worth it unless shipping is going to be free for a one item purchase.

Many online art supply companies advertise Copics for $5.24 per marker (dickblick.com, oozak.com, jerrysartarama.com, merriartist.com). Their kit prices are the same too. My biggest advice is to check them all and check for specials. Right now, for instance, Dick Blick has 25% off any purchase over $229 and free shipping. That’s a wonderful deal and I wish they offered this last week. I called 3 different companies because all these online shops had out of stock items/sets and I wanted to see if any of them would let me order them on backorder. Only merriartist.com allowed this and have ONGOING discounts on purchases – you don’t have to wait for an advertisement like Dick Blick has today. 

So what I purchased are the 72 marker sets – A, B, C, D, E – if you get them all, you get all the Copic colors without duplication. Each set is $352.30 ($4.89 per marker). Dan from merriartist is great, by the way – he placed my order for me over the phone and I was pleasantly surprised by the 15% discount which no one else I spoke to offered. There’s also no tax since they are based out of Oregon – plus! My total price breaks down to $4.18 per marker. Sweet enough deal for me (though it stung a little bit when I saw the Dick Blick offer a few mins ago). 

As I mentioned – a lot of the kits are on backorder. I got 3 of 5 kits yesterday – A, D, and E.

Copic Sketch Kits A D E - Side View

Copic Sketch Kits A D E - Top View

3) How do these compare to other coloring markers and techniques and why would I need/want these?

I was told that Spectrum Noir markers are not recommended – and I’m going to believe the first negative thing I hear because if I’m going to make an investment – I don’t want to regret them. I was also told that ShinHan Touch Twin Brush Markers are comparable to Copics and are a little less expensive. To compare, Touch Twin Markers are available in 168 colors and are $4.49 per marker. I haven’t done enough research on these to find a better deal or if you can get ALL the markers from sets without duplication. But I can say this – with all the video tutorials out there – there is so much more on Copics so I feel more comfortable spending a little bit more money on something that more crafters are using because this will affect how I learn their use and will be able to see how different color combinations blend. Also, I have noticed that there are only 2 60 marker sets – doesn’t equal 168 to me! It’s all or nothing with me….

Another reason I went ahead and purchased them ALL is because I know that I’ll never be satisfied until I have them all – I’ll always have a wishlist of colors to buy or I’ll watch a tutorial and think I need a color someone else is using. I don’t want to ever limit my creativity if I can help it. So I bit the bullet on this and talked myself into getting them all. Copics are just superior for coloring/shading. I don’t believe there is a wrong way to color with these.

I haven’t mentioned yet that these markers are refillable. AMAZING, right? So they are a one time purchase – and you just buy refills – which are available in EVERY color. When the nibs get ruined you just replace those too. Each refill bottle holds 25 mLs of ink – and you only use 2-3 mLs per refill – so think about how long these will last you! I don’t know about you – but I’m sold on Copics.

One more amazing resource I have to mention is Sandy Allnock’s Hex Chart – she worked long and hard to create this chart to make colors easier to see and choose for blending/coloring. I purchased her Hex Chart from her blog at sandyallnock.com and have started to color them all in with the markers I got last night. I can’t wait to get the rest in. I feel that with this chart, I don’t have to ask people what their favorite Copic combinations are – I can look for the color I want and choose complimentary colors using this Hex Chart. Such a great tool to have and I REALLY recommend it! Here is my chart colored with the 3 kits I got last night – sorry about the lighting – it was late, but I’ll post a better one when I have it all colored in:

Hex Chart Kits A D E

Copic numbers their colors by Color Family, Blending Group and Intensity. Here is Copic’s Color Wheel so you can get a better idea of how the Hex Chart is helpful:

2014 Copic Color Wheel

I mentioned in a recent post that my husband built me a unit to store these markers using egg crates from Home Depot. It doesn’t have the spacing to arrange my markers like it is arranged on the Hex Chart – which I would’ve loved, but I think it may be more helpful and easier to find markers if I store them by color family the way the Copics Color Wheel is set up. Here’s the unit again:

Copic Storage

Another must-have is the Copic Multiliners – these black markers are great for drawing and coloring with your markers and won’t bleed. They come in a variety of sizes and are also refillable. I don’t know about you – but the ability to refill markers excites me. You need to watch this amazing video that Sandy Allock posted today on Copic coloring and the use of Copic Multiliners – this woman totally blows my mind with her amazing coloring skills and her imagination is beyond me. By the way – Merriartist threw a free Multiliner in with my first shipment – they are so nice! I called them back yesterday and purchased a set of 10 – all their different sizes – and they’ll throw it in with my next order and did not charge me a shipping fee since my purchase total this time is less and doesn’t technically qualify for free shipping. I love small business-owned companies because they will definitely work with you! I made sure to give them a nice online comment – people need to know they are appreciated! Also – thank you to Lydia from Understand Blue who is a fellow Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator with such great advice and mentoring. I’m a ways from building relationships with any of these superstars – but I feel so blessed to be able to ask any questions I need to – whenever I need to.

Sorry this is such a lengthy post – I’m trying to include as much info as I can and I hope this is helpful to everyone. If you have any questions, please comment below and I promise to get back to you right away. I would also appreciate any feedback or comments you might have. Thanks for enduring through all this – have a blessed day, Everyone!

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Celebrate Today Birthday Wobble Card

Hi again!

Here’s my next card as promised. I want to be consistent with my posts and have a hard time deciding what I want to do sometimes. My son, Evan is turning 6 in 2 weeks so I thought I would go ahead and make his birthday card. I wanted it to be fun and playful, so I’ve added a wobble function to one of the balloons on this card.

Celebrate Today Birthday Wobble Card2

I also used gold thread, which I’ve never used before to add a tassel and I love how it turned out.

Celebrate Today Birthday Wobble Card

I also got to use my new MISTI tool on this card, which I had not planned on doing so that was a nice surprise :).

Celebrate Today Birthday Wobble Card1

Here’s my YouTube video for the full tutorial:

Supplies:

Metallic Thread purchased at Walmart – not listed below.


Celebrate Today
Celebrate Today

Balloon Framelits Dies
Balloon Framelits Dies

Soft Sky Cardstock
Soft Sky Cardstock

Whisper White Cardstock
Whisper White Cardstock

Rich Razzleberry Ink

Rich Razzleberry Ink


Soft Sky Ink

Soft Sky Ink


Pacific Point Ink

Pacific Point Ink


Wild Wasabi Ink

Wild Wasabi Ink


Garden Green Ink

Garden Green Ink


MISTI

MISTI


Action Wobbler
Action Wobbler

Stampin' Pierce Mat
Stampin’ Pierce Mat

My Storage Update and New Investments

Hi Everyone!

I’m super excited about this post. I don’t have a new card – sorry! But I have a reason for it! I’ve been buying new toys – which I refer to as investments (hehe). Spending is bad – but building my crafting collection is NEVER going to be a bad thing. So I want to show you want I’ve been up to this past week.

I kind of swoon over things I see that other crafters use – BAD. Then I think and ponder – weigh the pros and cons – think about whether or not I really NEED those things – for like….weeks and months…before I make the jump and actually buy things – BAD. I say it’s bad because I really waste a lot of energy and time thinking and pondering when I should go ahead and get it if it’s not a financial issue – for which I am truly very blessed to be able to say. Nonetheless – prior to paper crafting, I had never been much of a spender on myself. Having 3 boys young and working so hard for so many years have really made me selfless. BUT – I’m being totally selfish about crafting and I think that for once, I can say that I’ve earned it. We all deserve to be happy and do what makes us happy.

My husband gets giddy about wood work – which is fantastic because he gets his high from making me storage units. 🙂 He’s currently planning on building a pergola for our back yard and I have no doubt he will – but he’s also very busy with work so I will let you know about that when he’s done with his project. We’ve been busy for the past week planning new landscaping, fencing for our new home, planting new flowers and herbs. On top of all that – I have my own personal plans for my craftroom.

As many know, Stampin’ Up! had to discontinue their Blendabilities alcohol markers. I thought LONG and HARD about investing in Copic markers as an alternative product. But truly, I do not think they are equals. Blendabilities were unique in that they were SU colors – which I loved. And to be honest – I was afraid for a while to buy non-SU products because I felt like maybe I was betraying my duties as a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator. However, I have decided that I shouldn’t limit my creativity and have followed up on the rules of being an SU demonstrator – I simply cannot be paid by other companies monetarily to use their products – which I am not. So I’m ok to use and share my use of other products. That being said – I love Stampin’ Up! and am proud to be a demonstrator even if I don’t have many customers – I love their products and enjoy them for myself. I’m not doing this as a business so I’m perfectly content.

Copics are such a huge investment – but they are also a lifetime investment. After a few months of talking about them to my husband, I decided to take the plunge. I will talk more in depth about my purchase and how I came to my decision to purchase them on Wednesday or Thursday when I have my new storage unit filled with my awesome new markers. So here’s the first thing I want to share – my new Copics storage unit which I helped my husband make last night. It’s made using a wood frame and some egg crates from Home Depot. I’m so excited to fill it up and will post a new picture on my future post. Right now, I only have the 3 copic markers to the right of the unit and a bunch of Tim Holtz’s distress markers at the bottom of the unit.

Copic Storage

I had to open up my sewing table to make room for this unit – but I am grateful to have the option! I just have to keep Liam (my two year old) out of it when he starts to get curious.

Sewing Table Set Up

My craftroom has a conglomerate of different work surfaces from nightstands to dressers that are not being used – but I’m making it work with what we have right now. We don’t plan on staying here after my husband’s residency so this is all temporary right now.

Prior to today, I had my ink storage unit arranged by Color Category the way Stampin’ Up! categorizes their colors: Neutrals, Subtles, Regals, and Brights. This is how I had them arranged before:

Stampin Up Ink Holder

I rearranged it this morning to sort them by color family. The empty slot on the left is for a new “In Color” which I will get when the new catalog is active (June 2nd, 2015). The main reason why I did this was because I wanted all the non-SU ink pads to be on the far right column of this unit instead of in the spare spaces at the bottom of each color category as I had in the picture above. My OCD had to be re-routed.

Stamp Storage Rearranged

Also – I wanted to point out that I store these “other” ink pads upside down to preserve the ink quality. To make them easy to identify, I used my Dymo label maker to label each pad. Here’s a close up picture:

Other Inks

That’s all for storage right now!

One of the other things I’ve been pondering about is the MISTI (Most Incredible Stamp Tool Invented). It truly is a valuable tool – even though I’ve been telling myself for months I can make due with acrylic blocks and rely on my hands to position and ink sentiments and stamps. If I’m pondering for so long – I should JUST GET IT – so I did. If you’re curious and have never heard of it – you can YouTube it. There are soooo many great videos on this tool. It was created by a fellow crafter who had frustrations and is still being manufactured on a smaller scale – so I’m also glad to support her. Visit mysweetpetunia.com if you’re interested in visiting her website. I’m sure I’ll be using this tool in the future on my videos as well. Disclaimer – I’m not being paid by anyone to endorse these products! I truly think they are fabulous and wanted to own them. I just noticed that it is on sale today – I’ve NEVER seen a sale on this before! Ugh…if only I had a waited a few days. Oh well….

IMG_0642

Another purchase this week that I’m excited to get: Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers. I’m excited about this product because it includes very bright vibrant colors in brush form and is all the rage right now. Yes – I’m a sucker and a follower. I’m also really excited about these markers because I’m also working on my brush lettering skills. I do some calligraphy and have only used flat-tipped ink markers. So I’m happy to be able to try brush lettering with these.

My goodness…I’ve literally spent a fortune on ALL of the products mentioned in this post. I have to say, though, that I don’t regret any of it. They are all great things for a crafter like myself – and I’ve made the decision to keep moving forward and to not limit my creativity (where finance is not an issue, of course). I’ve been so blessed and am so grateful to be able to do all of this. Hopefully one day, when I’m not working 50 hours a week, I will be able to do more than I am able to do now.

To close, here are my pretty new succulents. They looked a little weathered and unattended to at Home Depot – but have really livened up overnight! I LOVE THEM!

IMG_0645IMG_0643I’m planning on making a card post very soon! Happy Memorial Day, Everyone!

Silver Lining – Sprinkles of Life

Hello Everyone!

I created a pretty lengthy card today – and spent LOTS of time editing this video and narrating (ask my husband). They’re downstairs watching Harry Potter and I wish I was down there too! But….I’m determined to finish this video tonight. Who’s looking forward to a 3 day weekend? Oh wait…I have to work Saturday. 😦

Anyhow ~ I’m showcasing two new products by Stampin’ Up! These are not available yet but will be as of June 2nd! Stay tuned because – wow – there are so many new fun sets in this upcoming annual catalog. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t have any customers as a demonstrator – so I don’t buy catalogs to sell – keep in mind that the products are available online and you can view them all at stampinup.com. Sorry about that!

Silver Lining - Sprinkles of Life 3

I had a lot of fun watercoloring and making this card up as I go. The kit is called Sprinkles of Life and is so fun and versatile. I decided to go with a more solemn card this time – but it’s hopeful! Every cloud has a silver lining! It coordinates with the new Tree Builder punch – which is so fun. I can’t yet create a supply icon for these two items but other supplies will be listed below.

Silver Lining - Sprinkles of Life

I used a lot of different techniques on this card – watercoloring, embossing, embellishing with crystal effects, etc. I hope you like it!

Silver Lining - Sprinkles of Life 2

Silver Lining - Sprinkles of Life 4

Here’s my YouTube video:

SUPPLIES:

Items not listed: Sprinkles of Life stamp set, Tree Builder Punch, Canson XL Series watercolor paper, Stampin’ Up! Paper Piercing Tool, Simply Simmons Brush #6.


Soft Sky Ink

Soft Sky Ink


Pink Pirouette Ink

Pink Pirouette Ink


Pumpkin Pie Ink

Pumpkin Pie Ink


Garden Green Ink

Garden Green Ink


Marina Mist Ink

Marina Mist Ink


Melon Mambo Ink

Melon Mambo Ink


Versamark Ink

Versamark Ink


WOW White Pearl Embossing Powder
WOW White Pearl Embossing Powder

Memento Tuxedo Black Ink

Memento Tuxedo Black Ink


Aqua Painters
Aqua Painters

Crystal Effects
Crystal Effects

ATG Gun
ATG Gun

Smoky Slate Ink

Smoky Slate Ink

May 2015 Paper Pumpkin Kit – Birthday Bundle

The May 2015 Paper Pumpkin kit is here and it is my favorite kit yet – so much fun and I really love the colors and design.

I was so excited to come back from “vacation” after 10 days to receive this kit! It comes with materials to make 4 gift bags and 6 cards with envelops.

May 2015 Paper Pumpkin 2

I love it! Perfect for those times when I have to find something last minute!

May 2015 Paper Pumpkin

May 2015 Paper Pumpkin 1

Here is my video, enjoy!

Paper Pumpkin 24 hour Offer

I usually wouldn’t advertise – but this deal is too good to pass up!

For the next 24 hours, you can get your FIRST month of the Paper Pumpkin kit for $5!!! This INCLUDES shipping! WHAT?!?! May’s kit was just previewed on YouTube – so check it out if you’re interested in getting this kit for $5. Keep in mind that this is usally 19.95 – so it’s SUCH A GREAT DEAL! You can stop after you get this first month if you want to – no strings attached.

Go to mypaperpumpkin.com and sign up! If you want to enter my name as a demonstrator – that would be awesome too! The promo code is 24HOURS. I wish I could get this kit for $5. I’m encouraging anyone who has never subscribed to at least try this for $5. It’s SOOO worth it when everything comes in a box – as a first time subscriber – your kit should come with an acrylic block too. If you watch the video – you’ll see that May’s kit comes with 4 gift bags and 6 cards with envelopes, a stamp set and embellishments to make your cards/bags. AHHH! I’m so excited about it!

Here’s the video if you want to see it for yourself. Again – if you’re interested, go to mypaperpumpkin.com and subscribe and be sure to use me as your demonstrator when prompted. Thanks everyone! Have a great night!

Lace Wedding Card

Seems to be a year of weddings for me. This is my 4th card – but it was actually requested by a coworker who liked a card I made previously. I made this card a while ago in pink (Blushing Bride) and you can see the original post here. I quickly made this card yesterday and thought I would share it with you today.

I Love Lace WeddingIt’s so pretty and I really love the lace.

I Love Lace Wedding 2

Enjoy my YouTube Video:

SUPPLIES:


I Love Lace
I Love Lace

For The New Two
For The New Two

Stazon Jet Black Ink

Stazon Jet Black Ink

Wisteria Wonder Ink

Wisteria Wonder Ink

Vellum Cardstock
Vellum Cardstock

Whisper White Cardstock
Whisper White Cardstock

Wisteria Wonder Cardstock
Wisteria Wonder Cardstock

Gold Baker's Twine
Gold Baker’s Twine