I hope you have been enjoying this Bank Holiday weekend! Where we live, Saturday and Sunday were actually quite pleasant, but the rain has returned with a vengeance today! We've spent quite a bit of time at home and in the garden over the weekend; our old hen Buffy is very poorly and in need of a lot of TLC, so it hasn't been an entirely 'crafty' weekend, needless to say I am all behind again, but never mind, our pets come first.
Now for some good news!!!! A few days ago I entered my first evert blog challenge - the House Mouse Monday Challenge...and guess what? I won a prize!!! I couldn't believe it when I checked this morning.
I don't get a lot of time to sit and 'play' as a crafter...there is always a pile of commissions, I'm now preparing for the workshops I'm teaching with my friend (and I am loving that this chance has happened) and I work three days a week in a job that has left me with a lot of stress of late...so playing with the Sarah Kay stamps recently is the most I've really done. However, when I saw that last week's challenge was "anything goes', I made myself sit down and make a card...and it paid off. I think House Mouse and LOTV had to be the first challenges I entered because I love the stamps and style of cards you can make with them. The lovely comments from the House Mouse Team on my blog entry have also really encouraged me to keep on finding the time to enter!
I have also been asked to join the Design Team of another site, but more on that when/if it happens!
Do you remember when I started posting my designs for the one Sarah Kay stamp in preparation for our workshops? I said at the time that I would definitely buy more of them, so a few weeks ago when I was in Out of the Blue, Chipping Sodbury, I bought another one...
I love this image..she reminds me of the Holly Hobby dolls, bags, cards that were around when I was a kid. In fact as I was colouring her, she reminded me so much of what my bridesmaids looked like at my wedding! They wore blue and the material was Laura Ashley (dresses and pinafores made by my dear auntie Mabel, who sadly passed away just a few months ago). The only difference is that they wore floral circlets in their hair.
I didn't actually photograph this one very well and for this I apologise - it was just a very quick twisted easel made to try out the stamp and to make a card to send to a friend for her birthday. I used papers and paper flowers from stash. The flourishes on the base are from a Spellbinders Flourishes die set and are actually dark green. I also used Grand Labels 23 to die cut the image (shaded with Milled Lavender distress ink), a little stamped and embossed butterfly I had left over from my preparations for our last workshop and I cut the felt flower from Spellbinders Floral Creations. The button in the centre is a plain wooden button that I coloured with a Promarker.
The little girl is coloured with Promarkers and as I read some blogs this morning, it made me ask a question about other crafters preferred colouring materials....I do watch Create and Craft (too much!), in fact it keeps me company when I am working in the craft room on my days off..of course the premise of this channel is to sell...it's great that they have given us the monthly classroom with Barbabra Gray; I do get a bit annoyed that we never get enough of Sue Wilson's demos because there is always so much on sale and it sells out so quickly and sometimes one of the Companies that sells there seems to be on so much that I'm sure they have shares!
Back to Promarkers....I know there are a lot of different pens etc out there, both alcohol based to water based and the Companies that come on to sell always want to push their product as the best, of course they do - that's business! My dad was an artist and also a cartoonist, he knew about Promarkers long ago and I was dabbling with them before Create and Craft started selling them through the brilliant Nikky Hall from Polkadoodles. Personally I think her demos and tutorials are the best as far as Promarkers and any other pen on the market art are concerned. But the many different types of pen available can get very confusing, especially for people who are just starting to craft. I do actually know someone who has bought various pens from all the different makes and types (and spent a fortune in the process) and just doesn't have any idea where to start (she lives the other end of the Country or I'd help!). I can only tell her to decide what really suits her and stick with it. I know that's easier said than done isn't it?
Through friends I have tried Copics and Whispers and some others, but for my personal colouring tastes nothing will ever replace the Letraset pens, be it Promarkers or Flexmarkers. Colouring pens are all expensive, especially when you have got all the sets and are buying them individually. I have just found that they give the best finishes and colours. Okay, Copics you can change the ink...but that suggests it will run out...I have been using my Promarkers for years and use them almost daily. I can honestly say that in the past 5 years, I haven't replaced one of them!
Of course I don't only use Promarkers - I like colouring and blending with my distress inks and whilst I haven't used them for a while, watercolour pencils too..it's all about having fun and using the tools you like in the end, isn't it?
Thanks for stopping by and sorry it's such a long post today, enjoy the Bank Holiday, whatever the weather where you are!