Thursday, August 18, 2016

Feeling Fall

Here’s Day 3 of the Nature + Nurture Collection at Power Poppy, and we’re bringing you the very sweet seasonal set Feeling Fall.  It has three autumnul vignettes to get you in the mood for crunching leaves, warm beverages and cooler rainy weather.  

As soon as I saw this adorable plaid wellington boot I knew I had to colour it up first.  

I was so taken by that sweet plaid theme, I decided to make some plaid background paper with my Copics to match the boot.  All I did was swipe the chisel tip of my Copic marker over a section of XPress It Blending cardstock in vertical and horizontal planes, and then added a bit of a Copic multi-liner to give the plaid some definition.  It makes a great background to tie the pattern in.  

Here’s a closer view of the colouring.  I found a few cute maple leaf buttons in my stash, cut off the back and added them as accent.  

Here’s the inside of the design with another touch of plaid and some die cut maple leaves.  

Here’s the Copics I used

I know you’ll enjoy a trip to see what the Bloom Brigade has in store....

Allison Cope
Christine Okken
 (you are here)
Cindy Lawrence
Julie Koerber
Kathy Jones
Katie Sims
Stacy Morgan
Tosha Leyendekker

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

In Praise of Sunflowers

We’re back for Day Two of the amazing Nature + Nurture August Release from Power Poppy!  And for all of you who’ve been anxiously’s In Praise of Sunflowers.

This set is one I really love because it puts these beautiful sunflowers that Marcy has previously released in digi form, now in polymer with awesome sentiments.

This beauty was fun to colour up with my Copics.  To contrast the warm yellows of the flower, I added a soft bluey-green background and found some great chevron paper for the background to pair it with. I think the contrast from soft blue to bright warm yellow really makes that sunflower shine.  

Behind the main panel, I added a vertical strip of white paper that I had used some embossing paste with a burlap stencil on.  I like the bit of texture for the background, and it mimics a bit of the sunflower center.  

A close-up of the flowers, with a smattering of enamel dots to accent and a tiny bit of grossgrain ribbon on the corner.  

Here’s the Copics I used to colour.  

Here’s the Bloom Brigade bringing you sunshiney sunflower inspiration today. 

Allison Cope
Christine Okken (you are here)
Cindy Lawrence
Katie Sims
Stacy Morgan
Tosha Leyendekker

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Prairie Cheer

Today is the start of a beautiful week of 3 new release sets at Power Poppy, called Nature + Nurture.  I think you’ll love the hallmark Marcella Hawley whimsy in store.    To kick it all off today we’re showing off Prairie Cheer.  It’s all designed to bring you a smile while showing off the beautiful parts of the prairie flora.  

As a prairie girl, I am always touched by the beautiful sight of fields and fields of crops, like this beautiful wheat ripening and ready for harvest.  

On watercolour paper, I stamped the wheat stalks with white Craft ink and embossed with white embossing powder.  Then I took some Soft Suede reinker and watercoloured the background, in a way that almost looks like a sepia cloudy sky.  The sentiment is stamped and lightly washed as well.   That really is the same tone as the Soft Suede cardstock, but when you watercolour it, it seems to take on more of a rust tone.   

I stamped some more of the stalks in the background and added a simple strand of twine to the bottom and a couple of brads to accent.  I kept it very clean and simple, and masculine with the warm rich tones.  

A peek at the simple stamping on the inside.  

The Bloom Brigade will have so much more lovely Prairie Cheer to show off to you today....

Allison Cope
Christine Okken (
you are here)
Cindy Lawrence
Julie Koerber
Kathy Jones
Katie Sims
Stacy Morgan
Tosha Leyendekker

Monday, August 1, 2016

Underwater Birthday

Happy Tuesday stamping friends!  Today I’m back with a new challenge I issued at The Cat’s Pajamas, and I’ve called it Water.  There are so many fun ways you can go with this theme....and TCP has lots of great stamps with water themes, or ice themes, snow themes....or you can go with a watercolouring theme too.  

I decided to do an under-water/ocean theme with this great set from TCP called Seas the Birthday.  I stamped the fun little octopus onto watercolour paper and used my Inktense pencils to give him some purple and bluey-green, with a yellow candle.  

For the background I took some re-inkers (Wild Wasabi, Pacific Point, Bermuda Bay) and washed in an oceany background with a waterbrush on a 4 1/8 x 5 1/4 inch piece of watercolour paper.  Then I took a stitched die, cut a frame from the panel and then flipped the outer frame 180 degrees.  The inside of the frame is sunk in and the outer frame popped up.    

For some seaweed accent I used the TCP CutUps die, Leaf Scroll, tucking it into the frame, then adding a couple of enamel dots and baker’s twine for accent.  

Here are the details about the challenge:

  1. Every other Tuesday a new challenge will be posted on The Cat’s Pajamas blog and our Facebook page.
  1. If you want to play along you just upload your design to The Cat’s Pajamas blog page using the InLinkz button by the Monday, 11:55 EDT before the next challenge.
  1. You are not required to use a Cat’s Pajamas stamp or die but if you have them we would love to see them.
  1. On the following TCP Tuesday, the winner will be chosen from the previous challenge and will receive a Cat Cash Voucher for $10 or $15 if a TCP product is used.
Pop on by The Cat’s Pajamas Blog to see who’s playing along to day with our water theme!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Gratitude Project - Week 30

\ˈgra-tə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\

The quality of being thankful:  readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. 

Just a few sweet photos of the week that bring me gratitude.  

Our youngest son returned home after 8 days away in another province with a great friend.  They spent the week at their cabin on the lake and he learned to fish!  It was something he set as a goal for this year, and he had such a blast with them catching 9 fish over the week.  This was the big one, a 20-ish inch sturgeon.  My friend took this picture after he reeled it in (he had snagged it on the tail so it was such a workout getting it into the boat).  The pointy nose of the fish is still outside the frame.  It was a fish he was so proud to catch and release.  Apparently sturgeon grow about 1/2 inch a year, so this one’s been around a while.    I feel so grateful for the week he had bonding with his friend, boating, fishing, paddleboarding, swimming, tubing...all so much fun.  It totally filled up his tank, and we feel so blessed he could go, and so blessed for such great friends.  I love seeing our kids thrive and grow.  

Today we spent a good portion of the day bringing in some of the fruits of our labour :)  I harvested all the peas, pulled in 2 zucchini’s and then starting picking cherries.  My word, we have so many!  We took off 16 lbs today and I’m sure there’s 100+ more pounds still on the tree.  I’ll have plenty to share, and I just pulled a cherry pie out of the oven that smells wonderful.  I feel very grateful for the beauty of abundance in our yard, so grateful for how God waters and grows all of it, and how we get to enjoy it!  

Friday, July 29, 2016

Step by Step Watercoloured Sunflowers

Did you see the beautiful digi that Marcy released a few weeks ago?  It’s called Sunshine of my Life.   What a gorgeous array of sunflowers in a vase.  I was really looking forward to giving it some colour, and decided to print the image on a lighter poundage watercolour paper to watercolour for a larger piece.  This took me several days to work on to get it finished.

I printed the image in a lighter rust-like ink to be about 5 x 7 inches.   At first I was thinking I’d split the image and create a couple of cards with it, but as I was watercolouring I decided to make it into a frameable piece instead.  I love sunflowers and it was worth all the time I spent colouring it to then be able to put it on a wall, or set it on the mantle.  

You can see that my printer was starting to run low on ink so there are sections of the image that printed more rust and some that printed pink.  It won’t matter because you’re really going for a no-line look and by the time it’s all coloured up you won’t be able to tell.  I kept it a pretty loose watercolouring style to keep that rustic look.  

The yellows and rusts of sunflowers go great with the contrast of darker blue so I washed in the background first using Inktense Pencils and my water brush.  Normally I work from left to right so my hand doesn’t lay on finished work as I’m watercolouring, but for some reason on this day those flowers on the right were calling my name first!  I really like Inktense pencils because once you’ve activated the colour fully and it dries, it’s permanent so it won’t reactivate again, so you can add layers of different colour without it getting muddy.  

I was imagining the light coming from the top left so the background is deeper on the right side, and the highlights in the flowers are on more on the top left as well. 

Here I’ve added some more colour to the leaves and a few more of the flowers as well as starting some blue and green shadowing around the vase and added some cast shadows for the lowest bloom on the right.  I gave the flowers different shades of yellow, orange, rust and brown to keep the bouquet interesting.  

Here’s the finished watercolouring, I added some warm tones for the vase, to tie in some of the colours in the flowers, and added some blues and browns in the shadows of the vase.   Then I trimmed it down to be just a bit larger than 5 x 7 inches, finished size.  

Today I found a simple navy frame at Michaels that was on sale, and thought the blue would pair nicely with the background...and the fake picture inside the frame when I bought it was a field of sunflowers, so it just called my name!  Sorry for the bit of glare on the glass, no matter which way you go when you’re photographing glass its really hard not to have some glare.  

A wee bit closer shot of the finished frame.  I’m no Van Gogh...but these sunflowers make me smile.  

The Bloom Brigade has more bits of lovely to show off to you today here:

Christine Okken (you are here)
Julie Koerber
Katie Sims
Stacy Morgan
Tosha Leyendekker