SCS Cards for May – Sparkling Waters

Hi Everyone!

During my forth month as a design team member for Splitcoaststampers (SCS) for the month of May, the theme was Sparkling Waters.  The great thing about these themes is, you can interpret it any way you want – as long as water is involved.  So I used this opportunity to play with a bunch of different watercolor techniques.

In the card below, I used my Gansai Tambi set for the first time to color this dahlia. The card itself has a very traditional feel with the oval cut out and doily accent.

dahlia

For my second card, I used distress ink to watercolor these Spring Flowers after embossing the images in white. The velum over the colored panel gives the card a soft and dreamy look.

spring-flowers-2

My third card uses NO stamps. I watercolored the background using Zig Clean Color Real brush markers and used die-cut outs to decorate the card.  This is something I’ve never done before.

scribble-roses-2

On my forth card – I tried the no-line watercolor technique for the first time. I think that depending on the color you use, this technique can be very easy or more challenging. I did one after this one in yellow and had a much more difficult time getting a layered look.

peony-bouquet-no-line

My fifth card doesn’t use any water techniques.  I simply wanted to incorporate a water image – COFFEE.  MMMMMmmmmm….my favorite thing.  You can call it an addiction but I call it a habit of morning nourishment :).

oh-frappe-1

A neighbor of mine asked me to make a birthday card for her friend using coffee, so I created another card like it:

but-first-coffee-1

Finally, my 6th card is using the salt technique.  I used large kosher salt granules on a watercolor panel that wasn’t quite dry and the salt pulled up some color, creating a really cool background:

youre-a-star

I hope you enjoyed these cards!  I’ve got two more months of cards to share.  Sorry it’s taken me so long!  I’ll get to it eventually 😐

Here are the SUPPLIES for the cards above in the same order they are shown:

*Disclaimer: I am not being paid by any company to promote their products. I make cards using stamp sets and materials which I love and I love to share. To view where these items can be purchased, click on the linked abbreviations below (SU for Stampin’ Up!, SSS for Simon Says Stamp, EH for Ellen Hutson, AMZN for Amazon, LF for Lawn Fawn, MFT for My Favorite Things, etc.).

Card #1 – Dahlia using Gansai Tambi

Gansai Tambi Colors: 36, 63, 139, 58, 56, 53

WPlus9 Beautiful Bouquet - Dahlia
WPlus9 Beautiful Bouquet – Dahlia EH | SSS | WPlus9
Versafine Onyx Black
Versafine Onyx Black EH | SSS

Soft Sky Cardstock
Soft Sky Cardstock
Canson XL WaterColor Paper Pad
Canson XL WaterColor Paper Pad EH | SSS | JOANN

Recollections 110 lb
Recollections 110 lb

Simply Simmons Round Brush
Simply Simmons Round Brush
Gansai Tambi 36 color set
Gansai Tambi 36 color set EH | SSS | AMZN

White/Gray Big Shot
White/Gray Big Shot
Big Shot Magnetic Platform
Big Shot Magnetic Platform EH | SSS | AMZN
Standard Cutting Pads
Standard Cutting Pads EH | SSS | AMZN
LF Small Stitched Oval Stackables
LF Small Stitched Oval Stackables EH | SSS | LF
Embossing Powder Bag
Embossing Powder Bag EH | SSS | SU

Heat Tool
Heat Tool

Clear Embossing Powder
Clear Embossing Powder

Tea Lace Paper Doilies
Tea Lace Paper Doilies
3M Scotch Foam Tape
3M Scotch Foam Tape EH | SSS | AMZN
ATG Gun
ATG Gun EH | SSS | AMZN

SSS Friends Die
EK Success Cutter Bee Scissors

Mini MISTI - Laser Etched
Mini MISTI – Laser Etched
Martha Stewart Mini Scoring Board
Martha Stewart Mini Scoring Board EH | SSS
Teflon Bone Folder
Teflon Bone Folder EH | SSS

Absorber
Absorber

Card #2 – Spring Flowers using Distress Ink

Distress Colors: Salty Ocean, Shaded Lilac, Wilted Violet, Picked Raspberry, Spun Sugar, Lucky Clover, Cracked Pistachio


SSS Spring Flowers
SSS Spring Flowers

SSS Sending and Wishing
SSS Sending and Wishing
Stazon Jet Black Ink
Stazon Jet Black Ink EH | SSS | AMZN

SSS Sending and Wishing Dies
SSS Sending and Wishing Dies
Embossing Powder Bag
Embossing Powder Bag EH | SSS | SU
Versamark Ink
Versamark Ink EH | SSS | AMZN

Heat Tool
Heat Tool
HA White Embossing Powder

HA White Embossing Powder

SSS | EH

Ranger Tim Holtz Mini Distress Inks
Ranger Tim Holtz Mini Distress Inks EH | SSS
Canson XL WaterColor Paper Pad
Canson XL WaterColor Paper Pad EH | SSS | JOANN

Recollections 110 lb
Recollections 110 lb

Simply Simmons Round Brush
Simply Simmons Round Brush

Vellum Cardstock
Vellum Cardstock
ATG Gun
ATG Gun EH | SSS | AMZN

Janome 6260 Quilter's Companion Sewing Machine
Janome 6260 Quilter’s Companion Sewing Machine
Martha Stewart Mini Scoring Board
Martha Stewart Mini Scoring Board EH | SSS

Mini MISTI - Laser Etched
Mini MISTI – Laser Etched

MFT Gold Sparkle Card Stock
MFT Gold Sparkle Card Stock

Xyron Creative Station
Xyron Creative Station

Card #3 – Scribble Roses using Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers

Not Listed: Recollections Shimmer Paper

Zig Clean Color Real Brush Marker Colors Used: 030 Blue, 035 Deep Blue, 080 Violet, 085 Deep Violet

Canson XL WaterColor Paper Pad
Canson XL WaterColor Paper Pad EH | SSS | JOANN

Recollections 110 lb
Recollections 110 lb
Zig Clean Color Real Brush
Zig Clean Color Real Brush EH | SSS | AMZN
Ranger Mini Mister
Ranger Mini Mister EH | SSS
MFT Brushstroke Birthday Greetings
MFT Brushstroke Birthday Greetings EH | SSS | MFT
MFT Scribble Roses
MFT Scribble Roses EH | SSS | MFT
MFT Simple Leaf Flourishes
MFT Simple Leaf Flourishes EH | SSS | MFT
Embossing Powder Bag
Embossing Powder Bag EH | SSS | SU

Basic Black Ink
Basic Black Ink
ATG Gun
ATG Gun EH | SSS | AMZN

Adhesive Remover
Adhesive Remover

Xyron Creative Station
Xyron Creative Station
Martha Stewart Mini Scoring Board
Martha Stewart Mini Scoring Board EH | SSS
Teflon Bone Folder
Teflon Bone Folder EH | SSS

Paper Piercing Tool
Paper Piercing Tool

Dymo Mechanical Embosser
Dymo Mechanical Embosser

Card #4- Peony Bouquet using Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers – No-Line Technique

Zig Colors: 026 Light Pink, 027 Dark Pink, 044 Deep Green, 047 May Green, 061 Light Brown

Altenew Peony Bouquet
Altenew Peony Bouquet EH | SSS | Altenew

Butterfly Basics
Butterfly Basics
MFT Black Licorice Hybrid Ink
MFT Black Licorice Hybrid InkSSS | MFT

Basic Black Cardstock
Basic Black Cardstock
Canson XL WaterColor Paper Pad
Canson XL WaterColor Paper Pad EH | SSS | JOANN

Recollections 110 lb
Recollections 110 lb

Pental Aquash Water Brush Set
Pental Aquash Water Brush Set
ATG Gun
ATG Gun EH | SSS | AMZN

Clear Block Bundle
Clear Block Bundle

Mini MISTI - Laser Etched
Mini MISTI – Laser Etched
Martha Stewart Mini Scoring Board
Martha Stewart Mini Scoring Board EH | SSS
Teflon Bone Folder
Teflon Bone Folder EH | SSS

Absorber
Absorber

Card #5 – Of Frappe!

Copics: W0, W3, R29, R39, E34, E50


EH Oh Frappe
EH Oh Frappe
MFT Zig-Zag Circle STAX
MFT Zig-Zag Circle STAX EH | SSS | MFT
Memento Tuxedo Black Ink
Memento Tuxedo Black Ink EH | SSS | AMZN

Early Espresso Cardstock
Early Espresso Cardstock

Crumb Cake Cardstock
Crumb Cake Cardstock

Crumb Cake Ink
Crumb Cake Ink

Recollections 110 lb
Recollections 110 lb
Copic Sketch Markers
Copic Sketch Markers EH | SSS | MERRIARTIST

White/Gray Big Shot
White/Gray Big Shot
Big Shot Magnetic Platform
Big Shot Magnetic Platform EH | SSS | AMZN
Standard Cutting Pads
Standard Cutting Pads EH | SSS | AMZN

Watercolor Wonder Washi
Watercolor Wonder Washi (Retired)
ATG Gun
ATG Gun EH | SSS | AMZN

Clear Block Bundle
Clear Block Bundle

Mini MISTI - Laser Etched
Mini MISTI – Laser Etched
Martha Stewart Mini Scoring Board
Martha Stewart Mini Scoring Board EH | SSS
Teflon Bone Folder
Teflon Bone Folder EH | SSS

Absorber
Absorber

Card #6 – You’re a Star – Salt Technique using Gansai Tambi

Copic Colors: V25, BV11, RV04, R43, YR02, YR61, YG41, YG11, RV00, RV02

Gansai Tambi #64

LF So Jelly
LF So Jelly

EH | SSS | LF


Pacific Point Ink
Pacific Point Ink
Memento Tuxedo Black Ink
Memento Tuxedo Black Ink

EH | SSS | AMZN


Recollections 110 lb
Recollections 110 lb
Neenah Solar White 80 lb
Neenah Solar White 80 lb

EH | SSS

Canson XL WaterColor Paper Pad
Canson XL WaterColor Paper Pad

EH | SSS | JOANN


Memento Tuxedo Black Marker
Memento Tuxedo Black Marker
Copic Sketch Markers
Copic Sketch Markers

EH | SSS | MERRIARTIST


Simply Simmons Round Brush
Simply Simmons Round Brush
Gansai Tambi 36 color set
Gansai Tambi 36 color set

EH | SSS | AMZN

3M Scotch Foam Tape
3M Scotch Foam Tape

EH | SSS | AMZN

ATG Gun
ATG Gun

EH | SSS | AMZN


Brother Scan N Cut 2
Brother Scan N Cut 2
Mini Multi Medium Matte Glue
Mini Multi Medium Matte Glue

EH | SSS


Clear Block Bundle
Clear Block Bundle
Martha Stewart Mini Scoring Board
Martha Stewart Mini Scoring Board

EH | SSS

Teflon Bone Folder
Teflon Bone Folder

EH | SSS

PPP Cornflower 4mm
PPP Cornflower 4mm

EH | SSS | PPP

PPP Cornflower 6mm
PPP Cornflower 6mm

EH | PPP

PPP Cobalt 4mm
PPP Cobalt 4mm

EH | SSS| PPP

PPP Cobalt 6mm
PPP Cobalt 6mm

EH | PPP


Sequins Moonshine 6 mm
Sequins Moonshine 6mm

Sequins Moonshine 5mm
Sequins Moonshine 5mm

Absorber
Absorber

Stamping Sponges
Stamping Sponges

Pure Innocence – Hello Cupcake

My sweet friend, Karen’s birthday is this weekend. She lived next door to me at our last home and was the one who introduced me to stamping and card making a few weeks before my move to Ohio. I can’t quite adequately express in words how my life changed in those weeks. My little family of 5 left our home and ventured to a new place where we knew no one so that we could start the next phase of our life. I can say with absolute certainty that without my new found hobby to take with me to Ohio, I would’ve sunken to a deep dark depressive state by now. After a few months of settling in, work began to consume anywhere from 50-60+ of my week and it was that way until a few weeks ago. I spent every free minute doing what makes me happy – in my craftroom organizing and being creative. I give credit to Karen for this part of my life – and for such a valuable friendship.

The stamping community is amazing – filled without wonderful women who lift each other up in support. Without these women sharing their talent and advice, I don’t know that I could be doing what I do today. I still have yet to share my stamping love with someone here in Ohio – as everything I do is virtual – so there’s definitely a void that I wish I could fill. With that being said, I’m so grateful for all the support that I have received up till now through the Live Love Cards Community, my Stampin’ Up! upline – Cindy, and through other various blogs. Thank you again, Sandy Allnock, for mentioning my blog here. Her reference to my blog brought the most visits to my blog EVER in one single day – a total of 1,201 views compared to the 50-60 I get each day. That was truly a blessing and was INCREDIBLE. She is so incredibly talented in so many different ways. For examples of her awesomeness, you need to check out her YouTube channel. She did some amazing watercoloring today in this video and some amazing T-Rex Copic coloring in this video. She is so inspiring.

Sorry for my tangent! I had a lot to say! Let’s get to Karen’s birthday card, shall we?

I’ve collected a few My Favorite Things stamps from the Pure Innocence line to help me practice with Copic coloring – so I decided I would use one today to make Karen’s card.

Hello Cupcake

I used quite a few different products from different companies – the clouds using a Stampin’ Up! set, the sentiment from Simon Says Stamp and the grass border die from Lawn Fawn.

Hello Cupcake 2

Her purple dress looks a lot darker than it really is in real life and my video makes the cupcake look florescent – I apologize for that!

Hello Cupcake 1

Here’s my video:

SUPPLIES:

[Copic Colors] outline: 100; hair: E39, E29; skin: E50, E30; cheeks: R30; cherry and sprinkles: R27, RV25; cupcake icing: G000, G00, BG32; cupcake base: Y00, Y0000, Y21; dress/shoes: BV000, BV11, V09


Memento Tuxedo Black Ink
Memento Tuxedo Black Ink

Soft Sky Ink
Soft Sky Ink

Wild Wasabi Cardstock
Wild Wasabi Cardstock

Neenah Solar White 80 lb
Neenah Solar White 80 lb

Recollections 110 lb
Recollections 110 lb

Whisper White Cardstock
Whisper White Cardstock

Big Shot
Big Shot

Big Shot Magnetic Platform
Big Shot Magnetic Platform

Big Shot Magnetic Platform
Standard Cutting Pads

LF Grassy Border
LF Grassy Border

Stamping Sponges
Stamping Sponges

Copic Sketch Markers
Copic Sketch Markers

2015-2017 In Color  Markers
Tree Builder Punch

ATG Gun
ATG Gun

Paper Snips Scissors
Paper Snips Scissors

Sprinkles of Life
Sprinkles of Life

MFT Hello Cupcake
MFT Hello Cupcake

SSS Handwritten Borders
SSS Handwritten Borders

Storing Scraps & an update on my Copics

Hi Everyone!

I haven’t crafted this weekend – but I’ve done a lot of organizing. The rest of my Copics arrived on Friday, as well as an Amazon order for some sheet protectors – which I have been waiting for to revamp my storage of my scraps. So I wanted to share with you how I did this. I got this idea from Carissa Wiley. You can see it in her video here. She stores her paper in magazine holders like I used to store mine. My magazine holders here are handmade using USPS boxes, cut down and covered with postal wrapping paper (is that what you call it?) Here’s a picture of how I used to store my paper:

DIY Paper Holder

I now store my paper horizontally in two tall units that my husband built for me. I was perfectly happy with how it was stored before, but my husband had an itch to build – so I let him – and I’m happy with how it turned out :). As far as scraps go, I’ve always stored them in a plastic file box, separated by file folders. But I saw Carissa Wiley’s paper organization video and I thought it was genius to use sheet protectors to store scraps – why hadn’t I thought of that?!? I kept trying to think of how I could store my scraps with my full sheets and this is it!

Here is how it looked before yesterday. It was ugly – and took up extra space in my craftroom that I didn’t care for:

Storing Scraps Before

I purchased some heavy weight sheet protectors (see them here) and cut the 3 ring portion off them as seen here:

 Storing Scraps 2

Then I used my Dymo Label Maker to make labels for each cardstock color for each sheet protector:

Storing Scraps 3

And now, each compartment holding full sheets has a sheet protector holding scraps of the same color. This is also nice because it’s now labeled – I used to have a sticky note at the bottom of each cardstock pile with the names of the colors, but I couldn’t see it.

Storing Scraps     Storing Scraps 1

Now my file box holds receipts – orders from SU and other stores and is hidden away in the closet :).

Who is ready for Copics??? I wrote about the storage unit my husband built here and about my decision to get ALL the Copics and where I got them here. It’s a HUGE decision and I wish everyone the best of luck with their decision to starting a Copic collection – it took me months of thought, contemplation and waiting, but it’s finally all here and I’m so excited to share what it looks like. I explained previously that I purchased Sandy Allnock’s Hex Chart “designed to show the visual color relationship between Copic marker colors.” You get two PDF files – one hex chart that is blank – for you to color using your own Copics – and one colored by Sandy to see all the colors compared to what you have so you can decide if you need to buy additional colors to compliment what you already have. This chart is so helpful visually – as the Copic numbering system and the colors on the Copic Sketch plastic caps are not always true to their ink color. Here is a picture of my colored Hex Chart, which I have colored and laminated (I had to run them through the laminator several times to get a seal all the way around-  there are two sheets – a second sheet for grays).

Hex Chart

When I went to fill up my storage unit, I had a hard time deciding how I wanted to put my markers in – try to mimic this hex chart or to store by color families as organized on Copic’s colorwheel:

2014 Copic Color Wheel

I didn’t have enough rows on my storage unit to follow the Hex Chart to a tee – but I did a little cramming and re-arranging and in the end, I think it turned out pretty well:

Copics 2

There’s plenty of space left if new colors become available. I have my Multiliner SP Pens stored to the right.

***Deep breath*** I’m so glad this process is over. I’ve spent too much time thinking about it, planning it, and way too much money on it!  I don’t know how other crafters begin with a few pens here and there – I would have too much anxiety thinking about it all the time. But I know they’re pricey so I get that this is how some people have to begin. Fortunately, working overtime for 7 months gave me some playing money. At least – that is how I’ve justified this purchase.

I need to do more coloring very soon. Stay tuned!

Copics 1

UPDATE:

I’ve received a lot good feedback and along with that, a lot of questions about this unit so I wanted to post a little update to talk a bit about the dimensions and how to make it.  As I mentioned, my unit doesn’t have enough rows to mimic the Hex Chart. If I were to do it ALL over again, I would’ve counted the number of rows and columns on the Hex Chart first. But I think the building process would’ve remained the same.

I count 20 rows and 22 columns on the Hex Chart – to be safe, lets make the crates the size of 25 rows x 30 columns (each crate hole is 5/8″x 5/8″). You’ll need two egg crate pieces (buying one panel is enough – I think it was about $13 at Home Depot for one panel).
Then build a box using wood panels that are at least 6″ wide (I measured the panels on my box to be 7 1/4″ from the front of the unit to the back of the unit). I think 6″ panels would be perfect for this project. We just used what we had on hand. Make sure it will fit around the egg crates just right (I’d say no more than 1/4″ bigger – you don’t want the egg crates to move and you want both pieces to be in the right place in order for your markers to sit perfectly aligned). You’ll have to decide how far back you want your markers to sit. This is where you’ll place your backing (MDF board or plywood, or any other flat board) as a stopper for the markers. So you’ll have 5 sets of shims to hold each egg crate and the backing in place. This was how we created this box. If you think of a better way to hold your egg crates and backing in place, go for it!
I’ve drawn up a diagram of the side view.  I hope you find this helpful and that it makes sense.
Copic Storage

Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers + Card

I ordered a 60 count set of the Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers from Amazon about 3 weeks ago and it was being imported from Japan. The tracking info stated that it would be delivered between 6/22 and 7/14 – so I was pretty excited when the doorbell rang yesterday and I had to sign for something from Japan! These markers are so unique: though they are waterbased – they blend well like Copics – but are for use on watercolor paper. They are not refillable – but I hear they last a long time. Their tips are made of real brush fibers instead of the typical felt nibs – so you can do brush lettering with them too! I’m excited about this feature.

Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers 1

My first goal, of course, is always organization. I have a very small crafting space so everything has to have it’s place. Jennifer McGuire has done some amazing tutorials on these markers – so be sure to check out her YouTube channel. She also organizes her pens this way and I found it to be very helpful and it was exactly what I wanted – so I duplicated it. I created color swatches for the tops of these pens using watercolor paper, the ink colors and a Ranger detailer brush. Once a sample of the watercolored ink is dry, I used a standard whole punch and punched it out. Then I glued it on the top of each cap with Multi Medium Matte glue. I started out with this MMM glue and then switched to the Tombow Mono Liquid Glue – no reason – I just wanted to see if it would stick as well and it did. Then I colored half of the swatch with the true ink color (untouched by water). So – you’ll see what it looks like as a marker and as watercolor. To finish the look, I topped it off with Crystal Effects (similar to Glossy Accents) – I think this provides a protective barrier for the swatches. Plus – it looks great! 🙂

Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers 2

These desk cubes are from Amazon (will be listed in the supplies section below). I got two – one unit for my distress markers (which I didn’t have a storage solution for before now). Distress markers have to be stored horizontally – so this is a great solution. The Zig markers can be stored either way – but personally – I like for all my markers to be stored horizontally – I think it’s easier to see the colors and to grab them for use. These cubes are 6″x6″x6″; Zig Markers are 6″; Distress markers 7″-so it overhangs just a tad, which doesn’t bother me.

Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers 3

You can really watercolor with these markers – I made a quick card to show that you can create a watercolor background using the Zig markers – just like you can with Distress markers. You really don’t have to have both kinds of markers – you can really create the same looks with either. They are just unique in their own ways – not to mention the colors are very different.

Four Feathers Watercolor with Zig Clean Color BM 1

Four Feathers Watercolor with Zig Clean Color BM

I wanted to use vellum on this card because I want to use it in Darlene Devries’ Live Love Cards June Challenge.

Four Feathers Watercolor with Zig Clean Color BM 2

I also want to mention that this card is inspired by Carissa Wiley’s Card in the Pretty Pink Posh Watercolor Blog Hop. You can visit the Blog Hop here or click on the image. So I’ll be entering this card there as well in addition to on Darlene’s Vellum Challenge. 2 for 1 – YAY!

watercolor.bloghop

Here’s my video on the storage of Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers and a quick tutorial on this card:

Supplies:

Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers used on the card: 028 pale pink, 026 light pink, 021 light carmine


Zig Clean Color Real Brush
Zig Clean Color Real Brush

Canson XL Watercolor Paper Pad
Canson XL Watercolor Paper Pad

Recollections 110 lb
Recollections 110 lb

Basic Black Cardstock
Basic Black Cardstock

Crumb Cake Ink
Crumb Cake Ink

Stazon White and Refill Ink
Stazon White and Refill Ink

Feathers Framelit Dies
Feathers Framelit Dies

Banners Framelits Dies
Banners Framelits Dies

Ranger Detailer Water Brush
Ranger Detailer Water Brush

1/4

Tombow Mono Multi Liquid Glue
Tombow Mono Multi Liquid Glue

ATG Gun
ATG Gun

Mini Multi Medium Matte Glue
Mini Multi Medium Matte Glue

QC Precision Tip Applicator Bottle
QC Precision Tip Applicator Bottle

Deflect-O Desk Cube
Deflect-O Desk Cube

SU Dots & Stripes
SU Dots & Stripes

Four Feathers
Four Feathers

LYB Love, Laugh & Smile
LYB Love, Laugh & Smile

Vellum Cardstock
Vellum Cardstock

Crystal Effects
Crystal Effects

*Disclaimer: This is a supply list that I’ve created myself and have links to the site where I think you can get the best savings or more specifically, where I may have purchased these items. For this reason, only one site will be listed for each item. Please note this in no way means the item can only be purchased from the site listed here. J

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!

Coloring with the Blender Pen and Aqua Painter

I’m back today for a coloring comparison between the Blendabilities markers, blender pen, and aqua painter. As some of you know, Stampin’ Up! has discontinued their Blendabilities markers due to unacceptable manufacturing issues. You have to appreciate a company that cares about the quality of their products. We are all very sad about it, but know that Stampin’ Up! will come out with something in the near future to rectify this issue. The Blendabilities were soooo popular. When I started this hobby in August of 2014, I was completely overwhelmed by all the choices. As a beginner, I purchased the complete line of Stampin’ Write Markers and thought that was all I’d need. But as I tried my first few Blendabilities sets, I was hooked and it was ALL I used for coloring.  I’m glad that I invested in the entire set with the exception of the skin set before they got discontinued. Anyway – I’m grateful that there are other ways to color as well and today, I posted a video on a comparison and the technique of coloring with the alternatives – the blender pen and the aqua painter.

Coloring

Unlike with Blendabilities markers, you’ll want to use watercolor paper with the blender pen and aqua painter. You also have to use Stazon permanent ink. If you don’t use a permanent ink to stamp your images, the image will bleed while you color. You want to keep a crisp image as you color. My samples are colored using the Blended Bloom stamp and Bermuda Bay ink.

Here is the original card I made using Blendabilities:

Coloring-Blendabilities

The Blender Pen:

Coloring - Blender Pen

The Aqua Painter:

Coloring - Aqua Painter

Side by side comparison with Blendabilities on the left:

Coloring - Blendabilities vs Blender Pen

blender pen

Coloring - Blendabilities vs Aqua Painter

aqua painter

There are definitely differences – and it’s all about the look you’re going for (and how hard you want to work to achieve the look you’re after). Personally, I prefer the blender pen over the aqua painter – it’s much easier to control; to add color and to blend). I almost would prefer a paint brush and a cup of water over the aqua painter for this reason (you can’t control the amt of water that is released while coloring). This is my true and unbiased opinion. Regardless of my opinion – I think they are both FUN ways to color and you can do a lot of neat things with either technique. I hope this was helpful for people who hate that Blendabilities markers are no longer available but want to color with other options. You can definitely make your project look beautiful no matter the technique you choose!

Here’s my video, enjoy!