All caught up

Miracles do happen. I have just scheduled the last of my catch-up card blog posts.

Yes, it’s true! I have finally written up all the cards I’ve made, every single one that had been sitting on my desk just waiting to be put up on the blog. All the cards I made during the Daily Marker colouring challenges. All the cards I made during my brief blitz on my PHD (projects half done) box. And the others that I just didn’t get around to blogging. There are quite a few of them, but I’ve scheduled them to go up every three days so hopefully you won’t get too bored…

Luckily I always write down the supplies I use as I go along — I have a notebook specifically for that purpose — and if I don’t take pictures of a card as soon as it’s finished, then I’ll do it once I have a couple that need photographing. So it has “just” been a case of putting it all together with a few words and scheduling it on the blog.

I’m not kidding myself that I won’t get behind again, but it feels so good to have an empty drafts folder.

Well, there is the napkin-fold card, but I haven’t decided if that’s one hundred percent finished yet. I made it just to try the technique, but then my other half assumed it was for a particular friend of ours so I’m leaving it on one side to see if it needs anything else doing to it…

How to colour like me

Every now and again I’ll see someone saying that they wish they could colour like someone else. There were even a couple of people said similar things to me in the comments on my Daily Marker blog hop post the other day. I’ve said it myself enough times; looked at other people’s art and despaired at ever being that good.

To the people who wish they could create something like my rainbow hair card: if you can colour at all, you can, with a bit of practise, colour like that. I started making cards less than three years ago and I made my first card with Copics just over two years ago. I am not an artist, other than some computer-based bits I hadn’t done much of anything creative since I was at school (which was quite a while ago), and I most definitely have not been practising every night.

This post is my advice for anyone who wants to improve their colouring.

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Obviously I knew that taking part in the Daily Marker 30 Day Coloring Challenge blog hop yesterday would mean that people would actually be visiting my blog — I originally started it just so I could keep track of the cards I was making — but I really wasn’t prepared for the number of comments… And yes, there are prizes at stake so that does encourage people to comment, but even so… the comments are still coming in and I am truly overwhelmed by them.

I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to leave their thoughts.

This is really hard to say out loud — I am very English — but… Yes, the card is awesome, thank you for recognising that 🙂 I would normally be all self-effacing, but seriously, I put a lot of work into that card and I’m not going to try and be coy and pretend that I am not massively happy with how it turned out…


Get your markers ready…

The Daily Marker 30 Day Colouring Challenge is back. Or at least it will be soon. Kathy Racoosin has just announced that the next challenge starts on November 1st and continues for the whole of the month, which is conveniently thirty days long making it near impossible to lose track of how far through the challenge we are (unlike the last one which started on the 5th and made me do mental arithmetic for a month).

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Bad blogger

So. I have, for one reason or another, been a rubbish blogger this year. I created this blog so that I would have a record of the cards I make and I just haven’t managed to do that over the last few months; I’ve got a few cards fully written up and posted, but there’s a bunch more that just haven’t been done 😦 I have photos of them and I have supplies lists, but the process bits just never got written.

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Copic marker maintenance

charts and maintenanceCrafting is not all creating and shopping, there is also a certain amount of organising and maintenance to be done.

I signed up for Sandy Allnock’s Copic Jumpstart class next month, so I figured it was time to freshen up my colour charts and, at the same time, check over my markers and do a bit of basic maintenance. I also wanted to check whether there are any Copic refills I should pick up to start my Various inks collection.

My supplies:

  • a standard Copic chart
  • Sandy Allnock’s hex chart
  • Copic cleaning solution
  • alcohol wipes
  • cotton buds
  • cotton wool pads
  • scrap of Neenah card
  • kitchen roll

grubby Copic

My process, working one colour group at a time:

  • check that the right caps are on the marker; guess how I learned this lesson…
  • colour in the charts; I love the hex chart, but finding the right space for some colours can take a moment, especially when you’re just starting …
  • if the marker feels like it might be a bit dry, check it on the scrap card and make a note to get a refill if needed
  • clean above the nib and wipe off any marks on the barrel; I rarely use the chisel tip so I’m focusing on the brush tips this time
  • clean inside the cap
  • return the marker to its storage

The alcohol wipes are great for cleaning around the nib, but they do dry out pretty quickly so I tend to use those only for the grubbiest markers where a bit of extra elbow grease is required. For the others and for the inside of the caps, I use a cotton bud moistened with Copic cleaning solution. If the cotton bud gets a bit too wet I use a bit of kitchen roll to dry the marker before putting the cap back on. Part way through the process I remembered I had some cotton wool pads as well; those came in handy when I was working my way through the eternity of greys…

This is a time-consuming job, but a necessary one, and my markers are now all lovely and shiny.