July 29, 2016

Annual Idea Book 2016 -2017 - Sneak Peek Two

Welcome to sneak peek two of our upcoming Close To My Heart Annual Idea Book 2016-17. The launch will start August 1st, so you are only 3 days away from seeing all the new and exciting products yourself. 

Remember to order all items from the "Going Soon!" list you might like until July 31st, otherwise they will be gone! You can click HERE to see what is still available!

Let's continue our little sneak peek. I gave you a few ideas on what is coming your way in last Fridays blog post. Here are a few more changes and items you will get excited about:

- Cricut Cartridge:

Yes, we have 3 of our beloved CTMH exclusive Cricut Cartridges leave us, but in comes a brand new one that will get your crafting mojo flowing... Welcome "Cricut Flower Market Collection" to the Close to My Heart family. Over 700 different items and so many projects, this is a must have no matter if you are a card-maker, scraper or home-decor maker.

- Organization:
Yes, the Rolling Tote is leaving us too, but we will have some awesome new storage items to show you. I am just saying...."Di-Cluttering your counter and getting organized has never been easier!" And yes, all our awesome storage contains remain in the Idea Book. They are one of a kind and simple wonderful for storage, transportation and more. You don't have one yet? Oh, you have to try them! Click HERE to see all sizes that are available! 

- Paper Packs: Looking through the new Idea Book you might ask yourself: "Where did the paper packs go?" Well, this is a change in program. In the old Idea Book you found six paper packs that were available for you to order for the length of the Idea Book cycle. Now these paper packs will be featured in the upcoming Seasonal Expressions Books and will only be available during the lifespan of the book. What does this mean to you? Paper pack will be available for 3/4 months and then retire and new once will be introduced. This guaranties a constant flow of new designs, new ideas and wonderful papers to work with. How many of these packs will be in the Season Expressions Books I don't know yet, but I will keep you updated in August when I get the chance to see the first book. You will be able to see them on September 1st!

- Stamp Sets: To bring more stamp sets and different designs, you will find only a few stamp sets in the annual Idea Book, but there will be more sets coming in each Seasonal Expressions Book. How long these will be available I don't know yet. We used to be able to order all stamps at least a year after they were shown in the Idea Book. I am not sure if this policy will continue with the Seasonal Books as well or if those sets retire by the end of each book too. More information regarding this issue will be coming your way in August as well.

- ...and more: There are many more new embellishments, thin dies, ribbons, Washi tape, glitter pens etc in the new Idea Book. Glitter paper and trim...

- Pocket Scrapbooking: I know not everyone is keen on the new trend in pocket scrap-booking, but I found it can be combined with the traditional page making in many ways. So I always mix my designs up and incorporate the pocket pages with my "normal" pages. There are many new products for pocket scrap-booking available. Acetate photo overlays, clear and gold embossed watercolor papers (and you get to fun to add the watercolors :-) ) and some super exciting new page-protectors. Can you think of partial pages???

Well, like I said at the beginning, we are only 3 days away from the launch of the new Close To My Heart Annual Idea Book. You can find the online version of the Idea Book on my website starting August 1st. If you like your own personal copy of the book or any of the upcoming Seasonal Expression books, feel free to contact me for more information. 

July 27, 2016

Barbeque Grill Box

Today I would like to share a project with you that my friend Elke in Germany had done for a customer. Hard to believe that this barbeque is made from paper. Great idea for all the men in your life ;-)

The base of the grill is made as a box. The top on the other hand is added extra and believe it or not, you can open the lid. Sadly I don't have a picture from the inside, but she used a piece of black cardstock raised on foam dots on the inside. To indicate the grid, she used a silver marker. I think I might have to try this myself one of these days! Just too cute, isn't it?

If you like to see more of here projects check out here blog by clicking here.

Her blog is in German, but you can leave her a comment in English...no German knowledge necessary...LOL

Have fun browsing and stay tuned for more things to come...

July 22, 2016

Annual Idea Book 2016 -2017 - Sneak Peek One

The countdown started... 10 more day until the brand new Close To My Heart Annual Idea Book will be going life. As a consultant, we get to see the new books a few weeks ahead of everyone else...Yes, that's only one of the perks of being a consultant :-)

Many changes have been made too the books over time and the new book will be no exception. As we change over time, so does the Annual Idea Book and the Seasonal Expressions Books coming later in the year. You can check the new Idea Book out online starting August 1st, click HERE to start browsing.  So lets sneak and see what's happening:

The list of products that will retire by the end of this month has been out for a while and when you check my blog HERE, you will see the section "Going Soon" which contains all papers, inks, stamps etc that won't be available after July 31st. So make sure to order them before the new Idea Book goes life!

I have received a couple of emails regarding concerns of items listed, so let's start with these:

- Inks:
No, not all our ink pads and colors are retiring!!! Our ink pads have been re-designed and will come might a magnetic closure in the future, therefore all "old" pads are on the retiring list. Take advantage of them while they last, since the new ink pads will be about $1 more.
There is a change of 7 New Colors in the "Adventure" pallet, which leaves "Pacifica", "Lagoon"and "Cranberry" of the old pallet and adds the following new colors to it: Pansy, Emerald, Willow, Lemon, Tangerine, Blossom and Raspberry

- Flip Flaps:
No, they are not leaving us!!! The package and sizes have been changed for the new season. 3x4 and 4x6 will come back, but the package will only have 12 instead of 15 flaps in it. They will have 6 of each with the adhesive on the long and short side. The 12" combo-pack is no longer available (sold out) and will be replaced by a pack of 12 flaps 6x12. There will also be new sizes of flaps coming your way. So if you like the "old" packages, make sure to click HERE and order them while they last!
UPDATE 7/25 Flip Flap 4x6 are sold out!

- Paper Packs:
This is a very exciting change to our existing paper packs. The annual Idea Book will contain only the "Fundamental Paper Pack". These are re-designed and come in the three basic color pallets: Whimsy, Adventure and Enchantment. 24 sheets, 2 of each double-sided designs come in one package. Wording, stripes, dots, you named it, they are all mixed up in these packs. The Basic color packs are split up even more ...Wood, Gold, Silver, Acetate to name only a few and all 12x12! 

This is only a little sneak peek on what is coming on August 1st. Stay tuned and check back next week so find out more about the new and exciting things coming for 2016 - 2017. The online version of the Close To My Heart Annual Idea Book 2016-17 can be seen on my website starting August 1st. Click HERE to see the new Idea Book! If you are interested in personal copy of the Idea Book, please contact me for more information on how to get it home!

July 19, 2016

Watercolor Paint Projects

Here are a few of my Gansai Tambi watercolor paint projects:

I didn't use a lot of water in this project which enhanced the vibrant colors and made them really stand out.... So what do you think? Leave a comment and let me know which technique you like the best and which one you would like to try...

July 18, 2016

Watercolor Technique: Paint

Last but not least, let have a look at watercolor paint. I have a set of Gansai Tambi watercolors which are awesome, but not cheap. If you decide to invest into a set, make sure you made yourself familiar with water coloring and the different techniques otherwise you might get overwhelmed with these.

They are very creamy and vibrant. You need watercolor paper to archive the best results.

In the sample below I used a more advanced technique. I stamped my image with Ranger distress ink "linen" onto watercolor paper. The distress ink will leave only a light image and since it is a water-based ink, it will disappear in your color and leave a no-line image behind.
I started with flower petals that weren't touching, so the water soaking into the paper would not mix with the next one. Make sure the colored petal is dry before you start on the one butting up to it. Little by little I filled in the petals, making sure to use different hues of a color to shape the flowers and leafs.

For the finishing touch, after all my flowers and leafs were dry, I added a little bit color to the background. I added more color round the image and feathered it out towards the edges. Always making sure not to get into the already colored flowers and leafs.

There are so many more techniques you can try with these colors, but for now that the one I have documented.... need to keep creating :-)

See more finale images on tomorrows post....Thanks for joining me for this little excursion and if you are interested in learning some of these techniques or trying out some of the water color mediums, let me know and we can schedule a little class to get you started.

July 16, 2016

Watercolor Marker Projects

Here are some sample with ZIG or Aqua markers and a variety of techniques:

This is the ZIG marker scribble technique that was explained on yesterdays post and here is the finished card with it. 

This was another ZIG marker project this time using them as paints with water. I painted them first on watercolor paper and then cut the rose out. I adhered it to a piece of black cardstock so the colors would show even more.

 ...and here are some more samples:

July 15, 2016

Watercolor Technique: Markers

Today we will check out the ZIG Clean Brush and Spectrum Aqua markers. Each set can be blend within the markers or with water. Important for both brands, you need special paper so the blending will work.

Both kinds of markers can be used in many different ways. If you intend to blend the markers without water, you have to use Bristol mixed medium or the Strathmore Bristol 100lb papers. Blending the markers this way will create very vibrant colors.

A more softer look can be archived if you use them with a water brush. I usually scribble the markers on an acrylic blog or my Ranger craft-mat. I then wet my brush and pick up the color from the blog/ mat. This way you can use them like paint. These are just two different ways to use them...but there are more.

This is a piece of Bristol Mixed Medium paper that I stamped with some flowers. I used VersaMark Watermark ink and embossed the flowers with white embossing powder. 

Next I scribbled different blue ZIG colors around the images (Pic.1). Next I used a water spray bottle and misted the whole piece until the color started to flow and my lines disappeared (Pic.2). Due to the embossing the flowers really show and the little water puddles will dry up (Pic.3)  

Smoothing is another great technique that works great with these markers. I scribbled my Spectrum Aqua markers on my Ranger craft-mat (Pic.1), using three different kinds of blue. Next I sprayed water onto it so the colors get runny(Pic.2). Next you take your watercolor paper and lay it on top of the color mess :-) (Pic.3).A little messy technique, but fun. You can move the piece around to make sure it is completely covered...then let it dry!(Pic.4)

Here are a few pictures how it looks like when you use the ZIG markers as paints. The water makes it easy to shade each petal. Love the vibrant colors!

July 14, 2016

Watercolor Pencil Projects

Here are a few impressions on cards I made using only watercolor pencils:

Here is the rose I showed you in a step-by-step process yesterday. after I was done coloring, I cut the rose out and adhered it to some black cardstock. Naturally, the inside had to be special too...and practical since I had to cover the adhesive shown through the acetate ;-)

Yes, my favorite golfer was colored in simply with the watercolor pencils and on regular cardstock...told you! Easy and so much fun!

Last but not least two examples of my tri-fold cards pre-finished. All coloring here also done with the same watercolor pencils ....

July 13, 2016

Watercolor Technique: Pencils

Today we will look into watercolor pencils and how they work. As I mentioned in previous posts, these are my absolute favorite mediums! No matter if you are a beginner or a pro in water-coloring, these are perfect since you don't need a lot of extras to use them. So what do you need to get started?

1. A good set of watercolor pencils like our Close to My Heart pencils which come in a nice set of different colors. Perfect to start with...click here
2. A small thin brush or small water tank brush...click here
3. A couple sheets of white cardstock, not to thin!
4. Archival or StazOn black ink or any ink that is not water based!!!!  
5. A nice stamp set

Let's see how I got started: 
First I took a strip of white cardstock, wrote the name of the color on it and colored a little circle underneath. Next I used a brush with just a tiny little bit of water and smooched out the color so I could see how it would look like once water is added to it. Water will make the color appear brighter!

I used a funny ladies stamp set from ArtImpressions and inked it up in StazOn ink. I used our plain Close to My Heart daisy white cardstock to stamp on. You don't need watercolor paper with the pencils if you are not going to use a lot of water.

Next I started to color my ladies in. As you can see in the picture "before" I didn't color the objects completely in. You want to keep in mind while coloring in, that you have a darker side on an object (shade) and a lighter one (light source). I also place some color on their clothing (very light) and added a littler darker color along shaded areas. 
One trick I learned recently was to always leave the middle of a persons face open...hard to vision, but you will see at the end how it turns out. Also leave the top of the head, shoulders etc white as well. 
Once everything is "colored in" or I would call it prepared, we grab our brush! 

You want to wet your brush and dry it of on a paper towel. To test how much water is still on your brush, I always brush it over the back of my hand and it should leave only a little trace of water...I know it is not much, but this is all you need! Now you start with one color, e.g. the blue shirt of the lady on the right. Begin in the lighter area and move to the darker part. You will see how nice the color flows and all streak from the pencil will disappear. Clean your brush before you move to the next color. Sometimes the color will spread a long way that's why I only color the object have way in, e.g. the foot bowls.
If you look at their faces, I when around the outsides and carefully evened out the middle, still keeping a white spot. Doesn't this make the face look more 3-D? Make sure to leave some of the white on top of the hair etc.

Well, what do you think about your first watercolor piece? Wasn't this easy? A little practice will go along way and all this with only a handful of supplies!

Here is another example of how I start my coloring:

I used three different color pencils for the rose. A very light peach, a medium orange and a darker red. I started with the lightest color and colored all rose petals in. Next I used the orange and added some shading to the petals. The shading is at the bottom of the petals and on the sides for the more round shapes. 

Looking at picture 3 I thought the light color was a bit too light, so I went over it again to make it a bit deeper. Next I used the dark red to give the rose petals more dimension. Going back and forth between these three colors and adding more until I felt I got the right mixture (picture 5). Always start light and keep adding.. In picture 6 you can see how I started to use the water brush on some of the petals, going from the lightest color to the darkest. If you get too much color on your brush, clean it off on your paper towel. You don't want to loose the shading by getting too much red into the peach. (Lower, second right and upper petal are brushed with water in pic.6)

 Finally all petals are done with water, I started with the leafs. I used three different shades of green. Starting with the lightest over the whole leaf, then adding the medium from the middle of the leaf half way out and last a little bit of the dark green along the vein of the leaf (picture 8). A little bit of water on the brush, I went from light green to dark, brushing off excess to keep the shading. My final rose picture can be seen in picture 9.

 Don't over-complicate the coloring at the beginning. Just have fun and see how the colors will react with water. The more you practice the more you get used to the shading. If you are interested in a class on how to water color, contact me. I would love to show you how!