Monday, 11 December 2017

Birthday Surprise | ft Newton's Nook "Newton's Birthday Bash"


Hi everyone, thank you for stopping by. I hope you're having a great day.

It was my sister's birthday yesterday, she's always been a fan of kitties, so when it came to making her a card, my choice was pretty obvious. I didn't want to just make a plain card so I thought I would jazz it up a bit with a "surprise" gift card door.


To begin, I cut down a piece of 110lb Copic-friendly cardstock to fit the whole front of my standard A2 sized card base. I then used 1/4" strips of Post-It tape to mask the edges and across the panel.

I sponged Twisted Citron, Peacock Feathers and Mermaid Lagoon in the three little windows I made. Once that was completely dry, I used the largest die from Lawn Fawn's "Lift the Flap" die set to cut the flap for the gift card.

On a scrap of the same cardstock, I stamped this kitty image from Newton's Nook "Newton's Birthday Bash" along with the greeting in Memento Tuxedo Black ink and coloured it with Copic markers.

I added clear Wink of Stella to the bag to make it shimmer. I then popped it up on foam tape and adhered it to the door.

I used super strong two-way tape to mount the panel to the front of my card base and then added some coordinating sequins for a bit more interest.


Under the flap and hidden by the gift card I stamped this additional greeting from the same set, also with Memento ink.

To ensure that the flap would stay closed, I added a drop of Tombow Mono Multi glue and allowed that to dry completely before closing the door. This glue is amazing as it can be permanent if it bonds when wet, but is repositionable if it bonds after it is dry. Perfect for cards with doors or flaps that you want to open and close.

I hope you like today's card and are inspired to create something of your own. If you haven't already, please follow me on the right side bar or over on Facebook, so you don't miss any future posts. Drop me a line in the comments section below and let me know what you think.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Product Review Series | Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers and a Completed Card


Hi everyone, thank you for stopping by. I hope you're having a great day.

This past week on my Facebook page, I ran a poll to see what you were interested in for this week's review. Well the votes are in and 65% of voters wanted to see the Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers.

In April of last year, I did a post about these Zig markers and about the gauntlet I went through to get my hands on them. It didn't occur to me until just recently that I never actually did a review of them! Whoops!!

So here it is, as always this review will be long and full of pictures, so grab a coffee and enjoy! And don't forget there is a card at the end!!


My current storage system has them broken into three groups; neutrals, cools and warms. This isn't ideal, I'll be honest. I would love to find another way to store them but frankly I haven't gotten to it yet. I like the three mini mason jars as they just sit on my desk but when I come up with something new, I'll be sure to share it.

So a couple of things:

  • These are super vibrant. A little goes a long way - and that's good because they are pricey.
  • They blend super well. Don't feel like you need to buy the whole lot to get a good range of colour, any colours you may not have can very easily be created with a little practice.
  • Can be used with or without water (I'll have examples below)
  • They will reactivate after drying if new moisture is applied. Very handy for those times you may slip out of the lines.
  • They have an actual brush tip. It doesn't just look like a brush, it is a brush, so in a lot of ways it's like painting.
  • These come in open stock as well as packs of 12, 24, 36, 48, 60 and finally 80 (If you checked out my other post - linked above - you'll see why I got the 60 pack instead of the smaller one that I had originally wanted)


Here I just wanted to show you a close up of the brush tip. It is amazing. Like any other brush don't apply a lot of pressure - more pressure means a wider stroke and that's okay just be careful not to damage the tip.


There are about a million printable swatch cards online for these guys and that's fantastic. However my printer doesn't take watercolour paper, or Bristol paper or any paper that it doesn't like the look of depending on the day, so I made my own. This way I could keep them in basic colour groups, I could arrange them the way I wanted and I could omit any markers that I didn't actually own. 

Swatching is good for a couple of reasons (and I have a post coming up all about it), firstly it gives you a basic idea of what the marker feels like when you use it. How fast the pigment comes out and how much pressure to apply. It will also show you the true colour. I know they try and try to put the colour on the bottom of the marker or the pen but really they don't always match up - and that's frustrating to find out in the middle of a project.

There are two ways that I personally use the Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers.

The first is with Bristol Smooth paper. I use Strathmore 100lb Bristol Smooth - it's white but almost has a creamy colour to it. It's incredibly smooth and mostly useless for coloured pencil but it works like a dream with these markers.

In the picture above, I have stamped this floral image from Clearly Besotted with CTMH Archival ink. Using Archival ink is incredibly important as it is waterproof, and these are water-based markers, so you see where I'm going with this.

I work in small areas, adding the darkest colour where I want the deepest shadow to be, then add the lighter colour and blend the two together. The smooth surface of the Bristol paper keeps the marker from drying as quickly as it would on regular cardstock, allowing you to blend. Don't wait too long though as it will dry. 

I keep a paper towel handy to wipe clean my lighter colour. While the brush will pick up the darker colour it will not seep up into the brush nor will it ruin the tip so feel free to blend away.


For this second example I am still working on Bristol Smooth paper because I love the smooth texture, but this can be done on watercolour paper as well.

I prepped this piece with my powder tool and stamped the rose image from Clearly Besotted with VersaMark ink and heat embossed it with silver embossing powder.

For each petal I added a fine line of my blue and then pulled it out using the clear Wink of Stella glitter brush pen. You can also do this with water, but I wanted my flower to sparkle. I repeated this process with each petal, wiping off the glitter pen whenever it was picking up too much colour.

I did the exact same process with a green for the leaves and stem. I wanted to show this close up as it is also the completed card for today. There are only two markers used for the colouring of this entire flower. One blue and one green. 

Overall I'm incredibly happy with these markers. You can use them the way I have described above, or you can scribble them on a palette and pick them up with a brush. These have all the best things about watercolours and all the best things about markers - rolled into one!


For this completed card, I coloured the flower from Clearly Besotted as I described above, I then masked it off and lay down a stencil and spritzed a light blue mist through it. Because this is Bristol Smooth paper, the areas where the liquid pools in the corners of the stencil will be more intense than if it were pulled into the paper.

Once that was dry I heat embossed the greeting in the same silver.

I hope you enjoyed today's review and card. If you have any questions about this product or a suggestion for a future review, please drop me a line in the comments section below and let me know. If you haven't already, please follow me on the right side bar or over on Facebook, so you don't miss any future posts. 

*disclaimer: I am not sent products to review, nor am I paid to review them. I review the products that I find interesting, that I use and that I have purchased. All reviews are based on my experience with them and are my opinions only. I am not given reward, incentive or payment to write a review.

This card is for:
Muse Challenge 

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Happy Holidays Series | Northern Lights ft. Lawn Fawn "For You, Deer"


Hi everyone, thank you for stopping by. I hope you're having a great day.

For today's Holiday card I wanted to try something I had seen on Pinterest. Northern Lights! I've never even attempted this before, and I'm not incredibly thrilled about how they turned out, but they certainly aren't bad for my very first attempt and I'll definitely be trying them again in the future. I loved how the rest of the card turned out so I thought I would share it anyway.


To begin, I stamped the back side of these reindeer from Lawn Fawn's "For You, Deer" with Memento Tuxedo Black ink on 110lb Copic-friendly cardstock. I coloured them with Copic markers and then cut them out with the coordinating dies. I popped them up on foam tape and set them aside.

I used Peacock Feathers, Mermaid Lagoon and Twisted Citron for the first layer of my galaxy sky. I then began to layer on the blues starting with Faded Jeans, Blueprint Sketch and then Chipped Sapphire. For the darkest edges I used Black Soot, then set the panel aside to dry completely.

I used the "Stitched Hillside" Border dies by Lawn Fawn, I didn't want the stitching on the hillside so I used the other side of the cut. I used some Nuvo Embellishment Mousse to add a bit of shimmer and colour to the top of the hills. Once that was dry, I prepped the bottom with my powder tool and heat embossed my greeting using Copper embossing powder by Recollections.

Before assembling my card, I splattered some Copic Opaque white over the sky to create the stars and bright gouache paints to make my Northern Lights. I wanted to capture the movement of the lights so I started lighted with light green and added darker green and bright blue in an upward flicking motion with a dry stiff brush.

Finally, I assembled my panel and mounted it to the front of a standard A2 sized card base.

I hope you like today's card and are inspired to create something of your own. If you haven't already, please follow me on the right side bar or over on Facebook, so you don't miss any future posts. Drop me a line in the comments section below and let me know what you think.