#445

Busy busy busy. Almost like I forgot to keep blogging…

Anyway, I’ve been balancing between multiple projects, trying to keep the mess at bay and sleep. Not all going to plan, but slowly progressing while keeping myself busy.

A couple of things I have discovered to improve my cardmaking that I can share, making the blog more than pretty pictures.

The first, pictured above, is making patterned papers look fancier. There are heaps of ways of getting cheap paper, or paper that is a bit plain, and turn it into the expensive looking ones really easily. High grade papers often have dimension, glitter and glossy areas on the patterns. You can personally decorate patterns using a variety of materials, including glossy accents, glitter glue, shimmer pens, gel pens, fine liners, markers and so on. It’s very lenient, as it will depend on your tastes and what paper you have in your own stash. The paper shown in the picture was from a card kit that came with a magazine. I liked the pattern, but I experimented by adding a shadow to one side and I like it much more. Try different designs and use whatever you have to accentuate patterns and come up with your own creations.

The other discovery came about when I was thinking about how bad I am at stamping, and I don’t like the mixed results when trying to get a good impression. This lead to the idea of scanning in the plastic stamp sheet that comes with the prestamped images. This worked well for me. Ensure you have a white sheet of paper behind when scanning, and this allows you to have the images on your computer to resize and print at any time. I was able to enlarge some stamps I have and print them in light grey, a colour I don’t own in ink pads. I had been stamping out all my stamps to keep on the computer anyway, but this way it’s already been stamped nicely.

I hope these tips help. I have a huge amount of ideas for blogs. Getting to them is another story.

Go forth and create.

#418

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Oops! In all the fun and confusion of figuring out live streaming, I’ve forgotten to blog! I’ll try to remember to blog what I’ve done on the streams, for those not able to attend.
Since I’ve been putting a bit of time into digital painting, and getting sore after using the pen for three hours, I needed a break, and am trying some watercolours again. I found a hardcover sketchbook that I bought years ago, but didnt get around to use, as although it was fairly cheap, it has nice paper and was saving it for something nice. I figured since my drawing has been going so well, I thought it was time to use the nice paper. It has a nice grain to it, and as I trialed today, is lovely at absorbing water. The paper is actually a lot nicer than buying cheap watercolour paper, and I have quite a lot of pages in the book.
Now you may have noticed my newly developed “ice cube try as pallette” technique. The steps are complicated, but try to keep up… find a cheap or old ice cube tray… and use it as a paint pallette. Since watercolours are activated with water, it doesn’t matter if they dry in the pallette. A tackle box is also great for this, as it has a lid to keep dust out. Alternatively, use plastic wrap over your pallette. This only works with watercolours, and gouache, NOT acrylic or oils.
So, this piece isn’t finished, I have plenty of layers to go, and have to try and make the cherry blossom petals stand out from the hair somehow.
Also, my partner suggested I start calling my followers my Raspberry Flock.
Baaaaaa.

#417

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Frixion pens by Pilot came out a few years ago, and was marketed as an erasable pen, which was pretty cool, especially for inking drawings, and things. Back then there were only a couple of colours, bit now there are so many types. We stopped using these pens after discovering that once the pen passed through a laminating machine, the ink disappeared, though we weren’t sure why at the time. The other day, I had this video pop up in my YouTube feed, and had to go out and buy another frixion pen, and use it for this great technique. It turns out that it was heat that erased the pen (usually the heat caused by friction- thus the name.) So, following the video, the technique worked perfectly, and it’s nice being able to sketch out in pen, and not worry about it ruining everything, as it basically disappears after heated. There is a slight residue where the lines were, but if you use this to make a clean scan, that won’t matter. I’m not sure how it will work with markers and pencils over it, though. Pen Ink seems to work fine, though, as long as the frixion ink has dried.

Today, I have a YouTube channel spotlight in the form of DoodleDate.

I was resting my hands from drawing in preparation for tonight’s twitch stream, so I was watching a bunch of videos, and I love the idea of this channel. The couple who created the channel, Steph and Adam, are both illustrators, and they get together and have a time where they sit, talk, sometimes go out and eat at cafes and draw together. Luckily for us, they record these sessions, and watching them is lovely. Each one is unique and they often undertake art challenges, such as the three marker challenge, or swapping their pencil cases. I love the idea of a doodle date, and pitched it to my partner, who can draw, but doesn’t do it nearly enough, and he agreed to try it out. Now I can plan a nice indoor picnic, I think. It sounds fun.

Speaking of the stream, I’ve been working on some overlay images, as well as trying to get a cat cam to work. (The cats didn’t go near it all night.)
Starting of next Tuesday at 8pm Australian Central standard time, I will be streaming for 3 hours at twitch.tv/raspberrysheep just remember, Tuesday streams get a bit weird and there is swearing and frivolous activities, so if you’re looking for something nice and family friendly, do not come to that one. I will be making a nice one during the day (when all the weird people aren’t around) probably on a Friday. Hopefully that one will be a little more structured, and have more teaching, while being at an easier time for other countries to watch. I’d love to hear any questions or suggestions for lessons and let me know what you’d like to see on the stream.

Goodnight my sheepy peeps.

#382

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I was trying out some things that I saw in videos. Now that I’ve finished cleaning, I can create things again.
I’m still keeping to a fair bit of drawing, though the muses in that area aren’t flowing greatly.
Firstly, the CD stained glass sun catcher. I was sent a video on Facebook about making old CDs into suncatchers by removing the laser layer to make a clear disc, use a stained glass liner, which I had, then fill in the sections with I’m assuming was alcohol ink, as it was transparent and adhered to the plastic. The first problem I had was I tried using DVDs. Apparently the backing layer on these are completely different and hard to remove, so I searched deeper, finally finding some really old CDs (you can tell the difference between them, as the CDs are greenish, whereas DVDs are more blue purple on the bottom.) I finally got a few discs clear, and marked on a design with a Sharpie. I knew I didn’t have alcohol inks in bottles, so I tried with my Copics, which is why it’s all streaky. This also caused the Sharpie to lift onto my Copics, erasing the lines I made. I haven’t even gotten to the lining stage yet, so I’ll have to have another go. I might have to search for more old CDs.
The other craft that I tried is these paper stones. The video that I watched used bigger circles and put them on rings, but I just wanted to try making the gems for now. You make these by punching out a bunch of circles or shapes in different colours of construction paper. You then glue them into a pile until you get a nice size to work with. Leave these to dry, and then use sand paper to shape and reveal the coloured layers of the paper. After this you seal them with sealant or nail polish, and then use strong glue to make them into jewellery. Since I only used a glue stick to adhere the layers together, I need to seal it really well, so they don’t split. By the end of these few I did, I was bored of sanding and had paper dust everywhere. They look cool and are super easy. I already have a few more ideas that I’d like to try for this.
So, lately I’ve been thinking of making videos for my raspberrysheep YouTube, which hasnt been touched yet. I know I’m not a master at anything, but I’m sure there’s plenty I could teach you guys, and it has to be easier explaining in a video than written here. I have a couple of ideas, but please, ask questions and let me know what you’d like to see in the comments.
Hope to see you soon 🙂

#310

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All the paper. So much paper.
I decided to make a horde logo in paper mache. The Horde is a faction in the game, World of Warcraft, that we play. It’s a nice looking sigil, and much simpler than the opposing faction’s logo, which is a lion. I was going to make it out of clay, but decided while I’m covering paper with more paper, I may as well try a technique out. If all the pieces of the logo were connected, I wouldn’t have left the back piece complete. So, I printed out two logos, onto cardstock that were exactly the same size, and cut  one out, leaving the inner section intact, and cut the other out into the two pieces. I also cut a bunch of strips, all exactly the same width. I began constructing the logo by making little cylinders with the strips of card, and gluing them to the base shape inside the lines of the logo. The more you add, the sturdier it’ll be. I then glued the top layer to the cylinders, matching up the logos from above. After this, I used washi tape to adhere more strips around the edges, making the logo into an enclosed shape. This made mine all florally. Next step was to cover in paper. Because the paper mache isn’t making up the structure of the piece, I shouldn’t need to do a lot of layers. I might just add some tissue/gesso for a nicer outer layer, then paint it black and red with a coat of sealant. This technique can be made any size, just use thicker cardboard the larger you go, and can use toilet rolls for the cylinders, and paper tape instead of washi tape. Letters are often made this way, but you can use it for many shapes. Maybe even use multiple layers, or add paper clay for details. Like all crafts, they are just bases for you to elaborate on and project creativity.
I really should stop these side projects during birthday season. I have three cards and two presents to get done in less than two weeks. Duty calls, but for now, some beauty sleep.

#300

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Yay! 300 daily posts!
You may be wondering where I bought these cool looking gems and bee from, but I made them. Cool, huh? Using old nail polish (I love buying it but can’t apply it if my life depended on it, so I use them from craft,) I filled some small moulds full of nail polish, and waited for it to dry. When it dries, it kind of depletes, leaving a shell, so I refilled it once more with the polish, and when that dried, I filled the rest with glue, all before taking it out of the mould. The bee was a lot trickier to get out of the mould, but that was a sculpey mould, and wasn’t as dense as the other, Mod Podge brand mould that I used, which works so well. It takes quite a while for each layer to dry, and our house now smells like a nail salon, but I think they look awesome. The glitter polish seems to look best on the smooth cabochons, and more detailed ones are better with plain or superfine glitter. I have another bunch of experiments drying at the moment using the Mod Podge mould, including two colours and all the different shapes. Now that I think about it, I have a Wilton mould that might act similar to the Mod Podge one. There’s a whole bunch of moulds that I’d like to buy.
I’m working slowly on the website. Really slowly. Getting back into the swing of coding is fun, but there’s a lot that has changed. It’s less HTML and more CSS, and when did DIV replace tables? Eh, even getting the layout and colours right is tricky. Don’t even talk to me about the logo. I printed out a test and the raspberry colour was pixelated orange with unreadable words.
I brought out my tablet today after watching a video on Photoshop colouring techniques that I hadn’t seen before. Unfortunately, one of my cats decided it was a good time for cuddles, and kept stepping on my keyboard, changing my settings all the time. At least they don’t get messy stepping on my digital painting.

#245

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The other day, when I was playing with the water colour pencils, I created a few blobs of colour. I had seen a picture on pinterest and a blog showing chicks, bunnies, piggies and mousies using a blob of watercolour and a pen. They are so cute and so simple, I had to try. By using the watercolour pencils, the shapes weren’t too random, so I had to add a lot of water. I ended up with two birds, a frog, a pig, a blue pokemon (?) and a three year olds representation of a human. All turned out pretty cute. I added some white pen to some things for dots or patterns. I’d like to do this again with tube watercolours and a larger soft brush for random splodges. This would be perfect as a diy paper pattern. Either on cards, down a bookmark, as wrapping paper or make a scene with the critters like they did in the blog. This could also help to create simple cartoon characters or creatures. You could wet your page, if you want, put on some colour, then find a figure in the resulting shape. Try it out, you can adjust it to your skill level, making it as simple or elaborate as you want. Just have fun!

Day #143

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Plaster of Paris.
This material is kept close to my heart. Whether it’s painting cookie monster as a kid, casting and painting cats with my brother or being the only one the teacher entrusted to mix the plaster properly in sculpture class in college.
I’ve been looking for months for plaster of Paris, which suddenly disappeared from the store I used to buy it. Today I walked down to the hardware store, and brought a kilo bag of it.
I have a couple of tips, that I’ve learned, to share. First off, mixing. If you’re mixing a big batch, the best way to mix is in a giant bowl with your hand. It’s useful to have two people, as you do not want any moisture getting near the plaster bag. Fill the bowl with about a third to half of cold water. Moving very gently back and forth with your hand, add a small amount of plaster at a time. Wait for it to dissolve before adding more. Move slowly, so you avoid making bubbles. The mixture will be ready when you lift your hand out of the mixture and it will be covered with a slightly thick milky film. Once the mix is ready, you’re ready to create. You can either create a mould for clay, take a cast of a mould or pour into a disposable container for carving. When taking or creating moulds, the best way to get details is to use an old paintbrush to coat the area where the plaster will be going while it’s still runny. Once coated, get a plastic spoon and spoon it gently onto your project. If you time it right, it’ll probably be getting thick towards the end of the process. Try to make more than you’ll need, I’m not sure that adding layers of varying degrees of set plaster would be as strong. Plaster can be sanded and carved with ease. It is quite heavy, so unless your pieces are tiny, they may not be suitable for cards or paper crafting. I’m planing on gluing mine to a wooden box to decorate it for a friend. Plaster of paris is porous, so doesn’t need any preparation before painting. It’s an all round excellent medium to work with for all ages and skill levels.

10/10 would recommend.

Day #109

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I was watching YouTube today (big surprise) and on the channel Threadbanger they have Man vs Pin, where the guy tries out things from pinterest to test their validity. In the video he was trying out nail polish wire flowers and failed hard. He eventually got tacky glue and covered it with that first but it really isn’t necessary. I deduced that his petals were too wide- the smaller the space the easier and he was trying to paint it on like an invisible petal was there. The idea is to form a surface exactly as though you were making a bubble. You need a lot of polish on the brush, so its nearly dripping, and slide it sideways along the section. Once the polish makes a surface, you’ll be able to see any thin spots. You need to rotate the flower to even out the polish or it will pop. It’s very easy once you get the hang of it, doesn’t take long and they look so pretty (the pic does no justice.)
Before adding the polish, you need to make the flower, just get some thin, flexible wire and twist petals, a stem and maybe a leaf or two. There are tutorials on this on the net but I just played around until I liked the look.
I used a polystyrene block to stick my flowers in as they dried. It’s quick drying but I think if you laid them down, all the polish would end up in one direction.