#232

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Playing around with more tags. I bought this pack of tags in a variety store, quite cheaply. There’s about 50 in various sizes made of paper and comes with a small amount of ribbon. I wanted to see if I’d use them enough to justify buying a tag die set. I’ve never really used tags before, as we’ve always used a card to label gift recipients, but colouring them has been quite fun and simple to do between tasks or while watching things. Also, I can use them on cards and labels for boxes. I’m sure I could think of more uses if I tried.
The first one, with rainbow dashes, isn’t quite finished, because you can’t read the stamp well and I couldn’t find my white gel pen. This was more about the technique, which I had refined in my head, but hadn’t gotten to trying. It’s basically stippling with the chisel end of a marker. This could be done with calligraphy markers, sharpies or the side of a brush marker, to make a drop shape. You could also use tiny stamps with inks, even make your own mini stamps in pencil erasers. It doesn’t have to be multicolour, I just like the stippled rainbow look.
The kittens were from a valentine’s stamp set, and I’ve probably shown it before, but it look exactly like my cats, so I love using it. The only problem is that they are brother and sister, and getting them that close without them fighting would be unrealistic, let alone with hearts. But I can dream.
The fish was pretty straight forward, basic colouring. The water seems a little dark, but that will make any bubbles I add later show up nicely, and it’s such a nice colour. The round tags would be easy to make with the dies and punches that I have now, but I do like the tag shaped ones. The die set I have my eye on has all shapes and sizes of dies, so it might be worth it.
The final tag here, with the elephant was coloured purple with a background of yellow, I think because I’ve been seeing some lovely vivid images where the subject is a bright golden yellow, with a purple shadow, but it doesn’t go muddy in the transition. I think it goes more through red to get to the purple than straight through brown. I was thinking of this when I chose these colours. Putting on a lot of colour wasn’t the best on this unknown paper, as it bled quite well, and this was my second one, as the first was too dark and seeped too far to cover up.
Another advantage of the dies, is using your own paper, that you’ve practiced on. I was thinking that I could laminate the tags, since being paper, are quite flimsy and likely to rip, after you’ve gone through all the trouble to colour, stamp and decorate nicely. The copic marker did bleed through to the other side of the tag so easily, so to write a recipient, I’d have to glue another tag to the back if it.

#231

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A gift tag with a stamp coloured as my little cat, Willow.
I’m at the stage now, where money would be a lovely thing to have, and my strongest skill set, as you may know, is art and crafts. Unfortunately, my weakest point is people skills and selling myself, which happens to be higher in importance than creativity when selling arts and crafts.
I could always monetize this blog, meaning I’d have to take real photos and put ads in, but I’m not sure about doing all that.
Selling on etsy (or anywhere else for that matter) scares me. Sure there are plenty of things I could sell and I’ve seen plenty of things on there that would be below my standards of what I’d sell, but I still have a fear that something will go wrong. If I forget a package, or get sick and can’t work, I’d be so upset. I’m not good with stress and I’m unorganised and often lose motivation when left to my own devices. I’ve read countless selling guides, have selling calculator apps, lists upon lists of ideas of things to sell and everyone I know (and some I don’t) telling me that I should set up shop.
Although it seems like its all thought through and researched, I have a ways to go before I’ll be able to sell. Perhaps this will be a log of my journey.

#225

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Today I had the thought to punch or die cut shapes out of white card, then colour them in with copics. I know this isn’t the thought of the century, and everyone must come to realise it on their own, in their lifetime, but now was my time. I thought about colouring he paper before punching, but this way you can put colours specific to the shape, like shading. Also this doesn’t leave the chance of the white core of the paper showing. You could always make it one colour and use it to match coloured images on a card or something. I think I’ve seen people do that, on YouTube, but they didn’t do much blending which was more what I was focussing on here. The colours that I put on the butterfly reminds me of a rainbow ice cream that I love. Now I need ice cream.
I spent a part of today looking up craft room inspiration, as I’m going to buy a nice couple of cube storage shelving units. I drew up a diagram of what to put in each square, and where to put the fabric drawers so I could figure out how many I’d need. Because of my bad health, I need to plan everything out exactly, because I won’t have the energy or strength to change my mind or play around with furniture in the midst of cleaning. I’m hoping there’ll be enough storage. I’ll likely use some large containers for boxes, construction, wool and maybe fabric. I’m excited to the room to be finished. But its going to take a lot of time and effort, but hopefully I can earn the right to use an awesome room, by making it an awesome room.
My craft room is meant to be my sanctuary, but at the moment, I can barely get in there.

#224

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City appointment after payday equals art shop! I filled in some gaps in my copic collection, and bought nine new colours and a refill for one of my most used skin colours. I also picked up a pad of A4 bleedproof marker paper when I was there. The guy who served me gave me a free copic colour chart mouse pad, which is pretty nice. I asked him how he knew I liked copics, I must have a vibe about me.
The marker paper I got was the art shop brand, so I thought it’d be better than the cheap brand from the newsagent, but it reacts weirdly to the copics. The cheap version has a wax or plasticy coating on the back, which prevents bleeding through, but still allows blending. The art shop paper seems to have the resistant material mixed into the paper, preventing layering and blending is a bit harder. Plain marker lines and dotting texture works fine, but it seems to pick up the multiliner ink much easier, which was annoying.

#223

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Welp. I was right about the seeping issue. Took a while and the only thing that kept me going was the thought of the fun of peeling the masking liquid off- which wasn’t as satisfying as I’d hoped. It had to be rubbed off and left a big pile of greenish eraser type residue on the desk. It is still quite a nice effect, and shows that my range of copics despitely needs more light colours (which I’m hoping to fix soon :P).
Still there’s plenty of application for this technique. When I saw it done, the artist used one colour, then coloured all the white with a lighter shade to create a fairly subtle pattern.
The colours didn’t in as much in places that I didn’t blend much, regardless of the thickness of the masking fluid.

#222

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Playing with masking fluid, also known as liquid frisket. I used it on a page in my copic Bristol book, so I could blend colours. It was meant to be a zentangle doodle type thing but I got bored and just did a bunch of dots and things. I also wrote a quote on some watercolour paper to play with later. I love the look of the crisp white against watercolours, when the mask is removed, so I hope the copics look just as nice. I was unsure if the copics would creep under the frisket as it seeps into the paper to blend, but it didn’t in a video that I watched, so it should be ok. This was also an experiment to how thick the liquid needed to be, as I think a thinner layer would be harder to pull off the paper. One of the thicker dots came off as I was blending over it, so I had to pat the colour in those areas. It’s been a long time since I’ve tried masking fluid, so it all feels like new. The big reveal in any masking exercises is exciting, and you don’t have to cut out fiddly shapes.

#221

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Yesterday, I bought myself a cheap card holder to decorate, so in between cleaning, I made this character. She isn’t based off anyone, and just developed by herself. I’m not sure why but I imagined her with purple hair from the start. She looks a bit bare on the case alone, so I think I’ll make a loyalty banner, because it’s a loyalty card holder. Also, I might put some sparkly bits, cut out of shiny paper. The case is plastic, so I have to make sure it sticks well. I might have to use really strong glue, then cover it. Being in my bag will give it a lot of wear and tear. I know contact will peel at the edges, but it’ll protect the image. Tricky. I’ll have to ponder more on this.

#220

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Today I made a copic holder with paracetamol boxes that I had saved. This would work with toothpaste boxes or various sized boxes. Because each compartment is fairly small and I used a lot of packing tape, it’s quite sturdy. I can add on more later if needed, and when it’s finished, I can cover it with paper.
Copics are meant to be stored sideways, because it allows the ink to run evenly to both ends, so I might have to figure out a method of keeping the box upright when I’m not using them.

#218

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Today I was watching YouTube videos while I attempted to recover from the heat, and was watching videos from the gorgeous BayleeCreations. In one video she mentioned that she super glued printed circles of the copic colour numbers on her copic ciao markers. I thought this was a good idea, especially since all but three of my markers are the ciao type. All other copic markers have the number printed on the lid, and since the lid isn’t always a good representation of the marker, it’s hard to tell, without picking it up. Each copic colour has a name, but the number system gives a better idea about the colour. It’s explained better elsewhere, but each colour has a family initial, (for example, R for reds, G for greens, BV for blue violets) after this is two numbers. The first is saturation. The higher this number the duller the colour. The second is brightness, and the lower the number, the brighter and lighter it is. This is why when you look at a copic colour chart they aren’t all in order, and you may find a 34 goes better with a 24 than a 33. This is meant to make it easier, but it takes a bit of getting used to. So I decided to label my markers. Instead of printing the numbers out, I punched a bunch of circles with a regular office punch, wrote each colour while holding the circle with my finger nails. It felt a bit like playing tiddlywinks, as they flew all over. I also had to make sure the fan wasn’t directly on me, either, as that would end in tears. Once written out, I glued them to the marker lids with glossy accents. I don’t have a good reputation with super glue, so I was avoiding using it.

If you’re interested in copic colouring videos, check out Sandy Allnock’s YouTube. She has amazing copic skills, and creates cards that focus on colouring to create awesome scenes. She also has a blog and does a load of things with the Simon Says Stamp company.