Saturday, July 21, 2018

Love One Another - Home Decor Watercolour

We’re back with another brand new illustration from Power Poppy in our 5 Days of Digis Kickoff!  Today it’s the spring gardeners dream, Love One Another.  

As soon as I saw this image I let out a gasp!  Not only does it combine some of my favourite spring flowers in a spectacular way, I also love the verse included.  We want that to be a hallmark of our family.  We all need that reminder of living out love for toward each other.   I think it is incredibly beautiful!  So, as I did with the image yesterday, this lovely digital got a super-size treatment and I made another 8 x 10 piece for our home, printed on Arches Cold Press 90 lb paper.

I took a few days to watercolour this one so that the layers of glazing could show through the work, and you’d get the sense of a depth of colour.  Watercolouring is done with a mix of Daniel Smith and Gansai Tambi watercolours.  I’ll admit the first few layers, I had my doubts that I could make it work, but I’m so pleased with how it finally came together.  I still think I paint a bit too “tight” and need to continue to practise on making it a bit looser, but I love the vibrance I was able to achieve and how cheerful it is.  On long winter days it will be a good reminder of spring coming.  

I’ll show you a few closeups of some of the elements.  I was able to give that luna moth some fun colour that I’m really pleased with, and even used my tiny #0 brush to lightly feather in the detail to his antennae.  

I looked up some colouring for beetles and found a fun one (as much as beetles can be fun), that was an iridescent teal with bronze.  Well, my Gansai Tambi Watercolours have a gold/bronze metallic shade that was perfect for making him come to life.  I also had a lot of fun with the caterpillar (I made him to look like a monarch caterpillar) on the bottom right which you can just catch a glimpse of.  

I gave a little varied colour treatment to the sentiment to make it sing.  I love this version of the verse from John 13:34.  "So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. (NLT).  Oh, I hope our lives continue to be characterized by love.  Tender, self-sacrificing, relentless, hope-filled, believing-in kind of love.  

Here is the image which comes with or without the sentiment, be sure to check it out HERE.

And now, more sneak peeks of this beauty can be found with the Bloom Brigade and Instant Gardeners HERE:
Christine (you are here)

Friday, July 20, 2018

Kindness is the Way for Home Decor

Happy Friday to you all!  We’ve got a gorgeous jam-packed few days ahead with Power Poppy’s 5 Day’s of Digis Release!  I’ll tell you, WOW you are going to love what’s in store.  Marcy’s really put her heart into these beauties, and we’re kicking it all off to day with a stunner that is FREE, FREE, FREE!  (I get just giddy saying that because it’s just like her to be so generous with you!)

Introducing Kindness is the Way!  Here is Marcys description of it.  

Our first 100% FREE download with a botanical theme — I am proud to offer Kindness is the Way here at Power Poppy. Whether you've never worked with digital stamps before and want to give it a risk-free try, or you are an experienced digital download aficionado in search of new flowers to color, this image is here for you! I've prepared an allover pattern of Gerbera Daisies in black and no-line versions. Then you also get two versions of the background with the phrase "Kindness is the Way" superimposed, using lettering that you can color in. Lastly, a single Gerbera Daisy is included in case you want to just keep things simple.

As you can see I decided to make a larger piece for my home decor.  I love that about digital images. They are so easy to manipulate to a much larger size without taking away from the integrity of the original drawing.  This is an 8 x 10 sized piece.  

We’ve done a lot of work around our house this spring and summer, and I’ve done a lot of painting inside the house, so now I’m looking to put different artwork on the walls.  I’ve always had this dream of having art with encouraging verses and words for us to be inspired by, so when I saw Marcy’s illustrations for this release I knew it was perfect for my theme!  You can see how it looks on our mantle in the photo at the beginning of the post. What family doesn’t need that reminder for how we treat each other and how we live in this world of ours!

I took my time and watercoloured this beauty in shades of blue, blue-green, grey and green with my Gansai Tambi watercolours on Arches Cold Pressed Watercolor paper.  I use 90 pound weight for digitals because it runs through my printer perfectly.  

Here is what it looks like in more natural light, so you can see more of the texture of the paper, which I always think is part of the beauty of watercolour.  

Here’s just a peek at what part of the digi looks like, there’s so much more in the actual FREE image. Pop on in to the store and pick it up!  And thank you Marcy for your kindness in bringing all of us such a lovely design!

I’ll be back tomorrow with some more from this release,’s another piece of watercoloured artwork!

And now here’s the rest of the Bloom Brigade and Instant Gardener team playing along today...

Christine - you are here

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Watercolour Fields

More practise pieces in my Watercolour Course for you today.  This time we’re practising brush strokes and creating impressionistic flowers by pressing your brush down at a 90 degree angle.  I wasn’t 100% sure I loved this one as I think it was too linear with the blooms all going the same direction, so to the rescue with some lovely vellum which softens the look and then a pretty sentiment die, Blessed from The Cat’s Pajamas, which I watercolored to match the card.  

A few iridescent gems help conceal the glue dots behind the vellum and add some sparkle.  

I liked the more randomness of these flowers going different directions as if they were blowing in the wind, the vellum still seemed like a good choice here because it helps the sentiment stand out a bit more.  Again this is an awesome die from The Cat’s Pajamas called Live Love Laugh CutUps Dies.  

Soft watercolour on the sentiment and gems again to finish.  

I’ll be back on Friday with a really BIG piece I’ve been working on with some brand new Power Poppy!  Excited to show you!  

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Watercolour Week - Radiate Joy

It’s a sizzling summer here, so I’m going to cool it down this week and make it all about watercoloring!  I mentioned before that I’m taking an online watercolour course (Watercolouring for Card Makers:  Intermediate Techniques).  I’m about half way done the class.  I don’t go through it too quickly so I have time to practise, do the assignments, and also do regular life!  Two thumbs up from me for what I’ve been able to learn.  Though I have some background of watercolouring, that was way back in high school and goodness knows that was a long time ago.  

Today’s card is one of my exercises from the class, to work on layering of colour.  Because watercolours are usually quite transparent, when you layer one colour on top of another colour, all the colours show through.  It’s called glazing.  The most important part however, is allowing each layer to dry before adding the layer overtop.  How you can tell a layer is dry is that the paper is warm to the touch, not cool.  If it’s cool, it’s still damp and your colours will get muddy, or you’ll get what’s called “bloom” where you introduce too much water into a spot that’s drying.  I talked about that in this post.  This is one of the reasons watercolouring is such a patient process, you have to wait for the drying time.  You can use a heat tool between layers, but I don’t always like to do that.  It pushes around your colour sometimes in a more artificial way.  

Anyway!  On to the card!  I embossed the dotted layer with a Tim Holtz Stencil, Bubbles, in clear EP on Arches Cold Pressed Watercolour paper.  Then, I used a simple circle die on my cardstock and randomly washed in one of the warm colours, using the die cut circle as a template on the paper.  I usually painted about 3 circles of the same colour somewhere on the panel, cleaned off my circle die, and then left it to dry before adding another colour.  Then you just take your time and layer the different colours with as many layers as you like.  I was using a combination of Daniel Smith Watercolours and Gansai Tambi Watercolours. It’s important to choose colours that are analogous colours (or beside each other on the colour wheel).  If you choose complementary colours (opposite each other on the colour wheel, they’ll just layer to make a muddy brown.  For instance, if I was using yellow, I wouldn’t add purple, or do red and green together.  So, here I’ve used yellow, orange, red, and a pinkish-red together.  

You can see where colours layer over each other you get a “new” colour.  I used the same technique for my sentiment using Power Poppy’s incredibly encouraging set, M-Powering Words.  Man I love that set!  It’s got such great sentiments!  I embossed the Radiate Joy first, and then watercoloured over top.  

Just some simple orange-a-liscious seambinding and buttons complete it.  I feel like it does radiate joy, and hopefully it will encourage the receiver!

Thanks for dropping by gang!  Enjoy your Monday!  

Friday, July 13, 2018

Stroller for the Little One

It’s always delightful to welcome a new life into the world.  Two beautiful friends of mine are having baby girls soon.  And both of these little girls were longed for and prayed for, for a long time.  I feel so happy for them!  So, it’s especially fun to make baby cards again.  

This sweet blooming stroller image is from the precious set from Power Poppy aptly called, Precious Baby.  Everything was coloured with Copics in fun citrusy shades.  I like that more than traditional blue or pink sometimes.  

I’ve paired it with one of our Inspire Me Monday Challenges because that’s the theme of our Power & Spark Challenge this month!  This one was called Four Sketches from 2016, where Julie gave us four different sketches we could be inspired by.  I picked one of the sketches and it was all easy from there.  
I’ve added some simple accents, a trio of enamel dots, and some baker’s twine.  Keeping the scale small because that works for a baby card too.  I stamped the sentiment twice using my MISTI, first in apricot ink, and then just inking some of the stamp in Coral ink.  It has a nice ombre feel.  

You’re invited to join us and be inspired by any of our past Inspire Me Monday posts.  Here’s a link to the Project Archives.  If you play along you could win a $50 shopping spree to the Power Poppy store!  

Allison Cope
Christine Okken
Cindy Lawrence

Katie Sims
Stacy Morgan

and Marcy at the Power Poppy Blog

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Masculine Moto

A friend recently ordered some cards and one of her requests was for birthday and masculine.  I know her husband rides motorcycles, and her sons ride dirt bikes, so this image from Power Poppy - Move the Soul, was a perfect pick. I actually enjoy making masculine cards, but with my love for florals, sometimes it's hard to find images that will work.  So it’s always good to have a great masculine set.  

I paired the image with some fun scripted paper that has the feel of movement, so you really get the feeling of motion.  I feel like it has a lot of energy to it, which is what I was going for.  Coloured up with Copics in blues and greys.  

The sentiment and mats are all done on a metallic black paper, I’ve added some sparkle to the chrome and headlight - which is always hard to photograph.  I also embossed the sentiment and stamped the tire tracks along the bottom to ground the image and add some fun.  

Copics:  B21, B24, B26, B28; C3, C5, C7, C9