Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Beader's Paradise

Okay.  So if you follow this blog, you know I don't get excited easily, but when I do -- Whoo baby!  I get sooooo excited!!!

Got an e-mail from one of Beader's Daily sponsors.  The e-mail said I could get $500 of stuff for $140 and free shipping.  Hmmmmmm...I was skeptical.

Well, I ordered, and my package came today with free -- did I say "free"? -- 2-day shipping.  I am dancing, singing, and smiling like nobody's watching.  Prima did not disappoint.  I got four big bags of beads and beading stuff.  I'll be making for me and everybody else for quite some time, may even open a store. LOL

Enjoy the pics.  I apologize for the lighting.  My bulb broke. 


Here's the link in case you want to get your own.  If you like beads, bead stuff, or jewelry, you really don't want to miss this.  Thanks, Prima.

As always --
Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Challenges Come, Challenges Go

I finally made another card!  The inspiration?  The continuation of this challenge was in jeopardy.   It's hard to find time to do everything you have to do much less things you want to do.  Not easy to make commitments.   Recently several blogs I follow have closed and/or stopped their challenges due to lack of participation.  Some of them I will really miss.  This made me question my participation. 

As a colorist I look for other people's images to color.   I can't draw a lick.  Believe me, I've tried.  Life is short.  The older you get, the more things you cross off your to-do list.  Drawing is one of my cross-offs, at least for the time being.  Most of the images I have were free images kindly offered by some very generous and talented folks.  There is something special about those who give away their good quality images without cost.  So I will continue to post my coloring swatches with these folks' images here as my way of saying thank you.

I entered this card into the Robert Jackson digi challenge over on Scraps of Color.  The theme was for what are you thankful.  I'm forever thankful for prayer.  What an awesome privilege!  To speak to the highest personage in the universe and be heard.  Never take it for granted.  I enjoyed making this card.  Tried to follow a sketch for the layout, but I cheated on the papers.  Used two-sided paper.  No matching problem there.  LOL

As always --
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I'm still here, and I'm still coloring.  In fact, during my blog hopping, I completed lots of swatches, and I will post pics later.  The bead bug has bitten me, and I've been working on my jewelry, and I will post pics of some of that, too.

So if you're still coming by to visit, I will have some thing up for your shortly.  In the meantime, keep inspiring and being inspired.  It's so fun.

As always --
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Still Blog Hopping

I'm still blog hopping.  There are so many blogs and so many talented people, and I continue to hop because I continue to be amazed at the artistry and creativity found in blog land.   I visit blogs of those who follow my blog, and I visit blogs that I have said I would visit and leave comments.  Of course, one blog leads to another blog and another blog and another blog ... you can get lost in a vortex.

I'll be the first to express my appreciation to the artists who share their images either as freebies on their blogs and websites as well as those who offer them for sale.  I support an artist's right to profit from their creativity and do not use any unauthorized images here on my blog nor privately. Strictly a no piracy policy.

I'm sharing a post here that I made on my Facebook page in response to the what's on your mind question.  It's just something to think about if you happen to be one of those folks who offer your images for sale.  

"What's on my mind today is the cost of digi stamps. Just about a year ago, you could get a really good digi for $1.00 and exceptional ones for $1.50. Then it changed to $1.50 to $1.75 for a good one; $2.00 for an exceptional one. Now most new digis come out priced at $4.00 to $4.50.

I certainly don't want to dictate what prices people charge for their items. However, I have yet to pay $4.00 for a digi stamp. Problem is I used to get 4 digis for that price. Prices go up, I know. But am I really going to pay $16 for four digi stamps? Nope. So I avoid the pricey ones. No matter how much I like the artist -- and I have my favs -- I will not pay $4.00 for one of their digis.

Several artists have collections of digis, i.e., Alice in Wonderland, Wizard of Oz, Nursery Rhymes, etc.  If there are 5 images in the set at $4.00 that's $20.00.  I don't bother trying to keep up with those collections because it limits my ability to buy digis I like from several artists rather than settling on just one or two.

I truly appreciate those who give their top-quality digis as freebies and/or keep their prices low enough that a person can purchase several and not have to pick just one."

Rubber stamps and clear stamps seems to have been replaced by digital images because of cost.  There are pros and cons with each type of stamp for both the buyer and the seller.  While keeping costs down for the buyer, digi stamps also decrease time, energy, and cost to the seller.  I'm sure things will balance out and settle at a place where both the buyer and the seller can benefit mutually.  In the meantime, to any sellers that are aware that cost could be prohibitive for some of their buyers and keep their prices reasonable, I say thank you, and I want you to know you are appreciated.

As always --
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Shoes and Tags

Yeaaaaaa, a new post!

Seems like forever since I posted something new.  I've spent the last month going to visit other blogs and making sure of the blogs I follow since the demise of the Goggle Reader.  You all have so much amazingly good stuff it's hard to just visit and comment without looking around.  So much fun.  

SOC's current challenge is Tags, Tags, Tags.  This one for you shoe shoppers out there. 
I had to get this tag done, didn't I, Dr. AA.  LOL
I'm going to laminate it and use it as a fob for my keychain.

The image is by Robert Jackson.  Robert has a collection of shoe images that I collect and color.  His latest collection is of drinks, like Margarita and Bloody Mary ... I colored the beautiful orange shoe with Copics, wrote them down, but can't remember where.

When I uploaded my the pictures from the camera, I noticed so many images I've colored and have done nothing with.  I really want you all to see these images from these artists, so I've got to get the lead out. 

In the meantime, as always --
Thanks for stopping by! 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Change...I don't like it, but it's happening...

Hello, Everybody.

I don't like change.   Just got a message that Monday is the last day for using the Google Reader.  I'll miss the pics of your lovely smiling faces that I find so encouraging and inspirational.  I'm so happy to have all you.

I am moving all of your blogs over to Bloglovin, and I have included a button at the top right-hand corner if you'd like to join me there.

Hopefully, I will still be able to keep up with you all.  My regular visits to your blogs will continue.  Take care and a happy crafting!

Got an e-mail reminding that Monday is the last day for Google Reader.  As you've probably heard by now that means that not only will you no longer be able to read your blogs through Google Reader but all those lovely, friendly faces you see on your blogs as followers will also go bye-bye!

I'm switching all of my fav blogs to Bloglovin so I can continue to follow you.  If you'd like to continue to follow my blog, please connect to Bloglovin.  You get all your updated blogs through an e-mail or by logging on to Bloglovin.  I visit all of my followers' blogs, so if you'd like to continue following my posts you can click the button at the top right-hand corner of my blog.  Still going to miss your lovely faces.
Hoping to continue to keep up with you and be inspired, as I always am, by your blog posts.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Shades of Gray

Sometimes when I read about a subject, I skip over the information that I find difficult to understand thinking that I'll pay attention to that later.  It's like when you read a book for the second time and pick up all sorts of things you didn't get in the first read.  Once your mind is not flooded with new information, there's room for more new information to sink in.  Huh?  At least that's the way my brain works.

The first time I recall reading about using grays with your colors or colorings to enhance appearance is from book on coloring long hair.  There it shows how you can go back over your finished project using gray to add depth.  I've also read enough about coloring to know that it's not black and white but gray that influences color shades and tints.

Now, because I know that doesn't mean I understand it.  From a scientific standpoint I probably won't.  At one point in my life I would have scoured any info until I understood, but the older you get you start to realize that you don't have to know everything about a thing to know enough to make use of it.  Huh?  Makes perfect sense.  We only live so long.

I started this coloring wanting to use some colors I don't use that often.  I used Promarkers, but I didn't write down the colors.  As you can see from the first picture, the colors are "off" and looked like two different colors rather than shades of the same color, not at all what I thought they would be, and I didn't like it.  Something in my brain tells me maybe this would be a good time to try out some of that gray stuff I've been reading about.  Couldn't hurt. 
I added gray to all of the purple.  I used a lighter gray for the light purple and darker gray or the darker purples. Started with the lighter grays and worked my way up until I was satisfied with the final color. 
Wow!  What a difference a little gray makes.  I loved the purples now, so much so that I completed the coloring instead of scrapping it.  Sassy Studio Design has its own name for her, but I call her Cher.  And I have a short pictorial on how I colored her hair for another post.

These next two pictures show the before and after of adding gray to enhance the layers in hair.  By adding gray in places where there would be a layer, you add fullness to the hair, lusciousness.  
 Amazing what you can do just by playing around. 
As always --
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Black, Blue, and a Pretty Red Shoe!

I'm so excited about these swatches.  This is why I color.  I don't know where my coloring journey will take me, but I'm having fun just coloring things.  Faces, hair, and other girly things are my favs, so I'm thinking it may be an extension of my days of playing with dolls.  Plus, it's both soothing and relaxing. 

So, here's to black and blue.  This is how I've learned through coloring swatches is the easiest way for me to achieve blue-black hair.  I color as I would for black hair, and then go over it with a blue (True Blue) marker.  This is one of the lovely ladies from Sassy Studio Designs, and I colored her with Promarkers.



 Some kind of wonderful!
Done with the black and the blue.  On to the pretty red shoe. 
Image:  by Robert Jackson
Not a woman in the world that wouldn't want to wear this shoe.  The shoe is fabulous.  The coloring is fabulous.  It took lots of practice, and I nailed it.  I'm happy, happy, happy. 
As always --
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Been Coloring Freebies

So these are swatches I colored this week. Feel free to use them in your personal projects.  Do not share the images.   You should direct them here to get a colored version and from here they will be given info on where to obtain a black-and-white image.
Skin:  Soft Peach, Sun-kissed Pink, Ivory,
Pink Lobster
Hair:  Tropical Orchid, Pink Carnation, Pink Lobster, Blossom,
Pink Mittens, Fuchsia Pink, Plum, Mulberry, Cerise
Clothes and Accessories:  Ice Grey #1 - #5, Black, Pastel Blue,  Tawny Owl
Purple, Spring Lilac

Skin and Hair:  Sandstone, Tan, Caramel, Cocoa, Henna, Umber,
Sun-kissed Pink, Dusky Pink
Hat and Clothes:  Cool Grey 2, Cool Grey 5, Burgundy, True Blue, Blue Pearl,
China Blue, Midnight Blue, Artic Blue,  Indigo Blue, Cobalt Blue

Hair:  Ivory, Sandstone, Buttercup
Skin and Eyes:  Soft peach, Blush, Ivory, Powder Blue
Flowers:  Grass Green, Lush Green,
Meadow Green, Gold
Dress and Shoes:  Peach, Baby Pink
Warm Grey
Ice Greys #1 - #5
Sharpie White Highlighter

Pastel Pink
Baby Pink
You can leave any questions you may have in the comments section.  I will do my best to answer them.  If you leave a comment with access to your blog, I will be sure to visit you.  Same if you become a follower.  I often visit my followers' blogs.  And, depending on the circumstances, I can color an image to your own color specs, if desired.  Whatever you do, just have fun with them.  I did.

As always --
Thanks for stopping by.


Sunday, March 31, 2013

I get so excited when I "fix" something.  I've learned to fix things because I mess things up.  This beautiful image is "Rose" by Lena Raven.  You can find her gallery here:

I had so much fun coloring all those curls, and painstakingly colored them one at a time so they would be as perfect as I could get them.  Figured I'd better do the curls first and if they didn't go okay, I'd toss it and start over.  The curls turned out really well, so I continued on to her skin.  The first pic shows what happened.   I haven't learned the how and why of the colors becoming mottled.  So this is what I had.

The first thing I did was go over it with a coat of Ice Grey 1, which is a very light grey.  Yuck.  I went over it with the colorless blender.  Double yuck.  Go back over again with the Coral, Sunkissed Pink, and Blush.  Worse yuck. 

Somewhere in the back of my mind, back where the add grey suggestion had been, came another suggestion -- colored pencils.  So with the pencils I started.  I tried peach first.  Then some more peach.  Next I thought maybe use mineral spirits with the pencil.  Couldn't get any worse.  So with a stub and mineral spirits I went at it until it blended.  Not much better, but not too bad.  Then I thought, okay, try white.  So I went over it with a coat of white pencil, then another coat.  Not bad at all.  What if I added the mineral spirits?  So I did.

After smoothing the white with spirits, I had a smooth shiny surface.  I went back over with the original Promarker colors.  And this is the results. 

The original is not something I would use on a project, but it photographs nicely and would probably scan just as well.  I'm so happy because I thought I would lose those beautiful curls and pink ribbons.  LOL

I get out my markers and play with them.  This is how I learn about the inks and papers and colors and other media.  The reason this worked, although not perfect, is because the colored pencils and spirits laid down a waxy coat and alcohol markers can be used on a waxy coat.  When I start a swatch, the best outcome is that I can use it in a project, either the original, a photograph, or a scan.  For the next week or so, I will look at this piece here on my work table and smile.  I'll feel joy, and I'll feel happiness.  And that's why I color.

As always --
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

My First Coloring Freebie

I'm going to try to post these at least once a week on Wednesday, by Thursday for sure. There may be times I will post once a day or several in one day. 

Here is one of my favorite images from Sureya on Deviant Arts.   Sureya's gallery is full of images that are excellent to practice techniques with.

I colored her in Promarkers.  The only colors I wrote down are for her hair:  Burnt Sienna, Caramel, and Cinnamon.  For the gold trim I used a gold glitter pen.  This one is free for all.  There will be times where being a follower will work in your favor, but that's your choice to make. You may download either or both.  Just make sure you give credit where its due.

Please upload your work to any or all of the galleries listed below.  I frequent them often so I will be able to see your creations.  And, of course, comments are always welcome.  A comment could be as simple as "TY" for "thank you" or  you can share a coloring tip with us.  I just want you to tell me what you think. 

The Outlawz Challenges blog's gallery

Scraps of Color gallery

Through the Craftroom Door gallery

You can post on one or all three. If you check out the challenges you may be able to enter your project and win something.

As always --
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Crossroads and Freebies

I've reached a crossroad.  I started this blog so that we could have a place to learn and encourage each other to color.   I've learned about markers, colored pencils, digi stamps, papers, and inks.  

So, what now?   Challenges?  Design teams?

I'm not very good at card making without a kit, and I really don't like having to make them, which is what you do to enter most challenges.  Reading the requirements for a design team member makes me want to take a pill and lay down.  Never mind the qualifications. The responsibilities to be on some teams gives me palpitations.  Since I'm already one french-fry short of a happy meal, my doctor would become suspicious at the increased drug usage and may want to send me to rehab.  LOL

I have decided to post some of my coloring and swatches here as freebies.  You may use them for your personal card or crafting project only.  Ask for an okay if you want to use it for something else.  I will let you know the artists of the images and where you can get a copy of an uncolored image.  There are some great images artists make available to us without charge.  We know what Angel Policy and Terms of Use means.  Please respect the work of others as you would want your own work respected.

I hope you find something inspirational or useful when you visit here.  I am always inspired when I visit your blogs and galleries to see your amazing cards and crafts.

So I'll be staying in my lane and keep coloring.  I color because of the joy it brings to my heart and the peace it brings to my mind.  Coloring is my happy place.

As always --  
Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Markers, a scanner, and PhotoShop

So, I got my new scanner all set up to play around with this picture.  This is one of my Sassy Studio Designs.  It's called "Christmas Present."  In case you weren't aware, Regan at SSD has decided to put family first and spend more time with her little boy.   So there will be no more freebies from SSD on Fridays.  Total bummer!

This photo shows the colored image on copic coloring card stock.  This is the image I scanned onto the computer to use in Photoshop.  If you look closely, you can see that I could not have used the same markers when coloring her bottom bow.  The bow is the actual color I wanted to use and I colored it first.  However, it's obvious I did not use the same maker for the other part of her clothing.  Why I thought this would be a good image to play with in Photoshop and see what I could do.

I purposefully colored her very dark with my tan Promarker.  It was nice to be able to manipulate the colors.  Here the color of the entire image, her skin, hair, and clothing is lightened.   The difference in the colors is more noticeable, too.

Even lighter here.  And I wanted to try a technique of going back over the hair to give it some thickness or fullness with one of the grey markers in areas throughout the hair.   So I printed her out and worked with markers on the new Photoshop image and scanned it again.
This is the final result.  But you know me.  I never know when to really leave my images alone, so I kept playing with it.  At least when you're working on the computer you can undo or not save any results you don't like. :)  I still wanted to see if I could get those red colors looking more the same.
In the process of trying to get the red colors to look more the same, I had to lighten her up quite a bit.  But this is where I left it.  I think I should be able to fix all the flaws in this image, but I don't have those skills yet.  So I'm sure I'll pull her up one day and play some more in Photoshop and learn something new and wonderful.  I would love to be able to fix the darker shading lines on her arm, make her blush a bit lighter, and of course, fix those reds.  Then one day I should be able to change the color of her clothes entirely.  Woooo, hoooo! 

Isn't technology amazing.  I can scan all of my colorings and print them from Photoshop.  If I had to do 100 invitations, I could just print them off.  Of course, they'd be flat, so I'd have to do some embellishments or print off extra and use pop dots to give it some dimension.  I think these are things I should be able to do with Photoshop.  But you all know I only bought it because it was a good price and lots of you sang its praises and told me it was worth it.

Time will tell.  My Photoshop adventures have begun.  But for now I'm back to my markers.  I don't have the patience to work with Photoshop often.

I hope you found something inspiring or helpful from this post.  Keep coloring and crafting, and stay out of trouble.  As always --
Thanks for stopping by!
P.S.  When you leave a comment, I always click on your names and visit your blogs or leave you an e-mail.  Just saying :)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

You Can Do This With Just One Marker

It's been over a week since I last posted something.  I've been coloring and have lots of swatches.  There's something I would like to tell you about each one of them.  Don't know if I'll get through all of them, but some of the most memorable ones I know I'll post.  a Robert Jackson image called "The Bather."

This is something I've been wanting to demonstrate about Promarkers.   This picture was colored with only one Promarker color, tan.  That's it.  Each layer of color gives you a darker, deeper color in the same tone.  I'm not sure how many layers there really are in the first picture, but I figured it would be about two or three at the time I started with the pictures.  This beautiful image is one of Robert Jackson's, and it's called "The Bather."

2x or 3x
Once I got to this point, I figured I'd just go all the way.  So the rest of the pictures show the color changes as I put down each layer.  The last picture that shows some of the different color levels or tones you can get from just one color of marker.
Of course this works with any of the Promarkers as well as other markers.  It seems to me to be more noticeable with Promarkers than Copics because Copics have lots of colors.  With Promarkers you have some "in between" colors that are "missing."  By just adding layers of colors, you can pretty much get some of those "missing" colors with Promarkers, and probably other alcohol markers, allowing you to do a pretty good job of blending and shading.   If you could see close up you would notice I even fuzzied her slippers and added texture to her hair. Happy, happy, happy.
Go play with those markers, people.  Take something out and color it.  This is the only way you can find out how the markers work so you can make them work for you. 
Keep coloring, crafting, and stay out of trouble.  As always --
Thanks for  stopping by!

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Challenge, Some Hair, Some Skin, and a Recipe

I've completed a card for the Outlawz Creative Freebie Challenge.  We're given two images to color.  To qualify for the next challenge and two more images, you just need to color one or both of the images and post your project.

I wanted to try a new hair color combo and a new skin color combo, and I also wanted to try fur on the bear.  The bear is cute, but it's not furry to me.  So I'll have to keep working on that.

What I want to show you in these pictures is that there is no set way to color.  You learn the basics by learning what others do in videos, on blogs, or in tutorials, classes, and what you read in books.  After that it's up to you.  If you want to do flicks or circles, if you want to start with your light color or your dark color, if you want to start with the skin first, or the hair first, these are all choices you make to bring a coloring to your liking.  You're the artist.

Here goes.

I started with the light and colored the entire area with YR21.

Then I used the darkest color, YR24, and colored in where I felt the darkest areas were.

 And lastly, I used the medium color, YR31, to fill any the areas between the dark and light.

Some folks would stop here.   I didn't.   I went over the entire area with the lightest color, YR00.
Once that's done, you just have to work with it, tweak it here and there, to make it your own.

I used the same technique on her clothes, started with the lightest pink.

Think of coloring like a recipe.  First you make it according to the directions.  Then add a little of this, a lttle of that, not so much of this, not so much of that and, voila!  Now it's your recipe.  Coloring is no different.   Sometimes you have to make it over a couple times before you get it just right.  If it's something you enjoy, you'll try again and again to get it just right.

I really hope this helped to inspire you to continue coloring.  It is so fun and relaxing.  Who doesn't color?  We're been coloring since we were small children.  Bet your coloring now looks better than when you were five.  LOL

Here's my finished card.

*NOTE:  Trina pointed out that I had put the colors for the jacket in this image and not her hair.  I have corrected them.
Hair - YR21, YR24, YR31, YR00
Jacket - R81, R85, R83

As always --
Thanks for stopping by!
Challenges Entered: