Happy Friday, Friends! Have you been enjoying this week of inspiration with the latest Essentials By Ellen August Release? I know I have! And I LOVED working with these wonderful new Rustic Botanicals stamps by Julie Ebersole! Aren't they fun and ...
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Essentials By Ellen August 2017 Release

Happy Friday, Friends!  Have you been enjoying this week of inspiration with the latest Essentials By Ellen August Release? I know I have!  And I LOVED working with these wonderful new Rustic Botanicals stamps by Julie Ebersole!

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Aren't they fun and funky?!!  They stamped out beautifully with Distress Oxide inks (Peeled Paint, Twisted Citron, Picked Raspberry, Peacock Feathers, and Wilted Violet) on Julie's fabulous new Modern Graphics Paper Pack, using my Misti (<-- And yes, those lovely new Distress Oxide inks are all still in stock at Ellen's store!):

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When stamping a grouping of stamps like this, I love using the Misti and just position the stamps wherever I want them on the paper, then use the Misti's lid to pick up the stamps, ink them individually or all at once, then stamp!

And guess what? This wonderful black and white patterned paper pack is printed with toner, which can also be FOILED!!  So while at first glance my paper may look like black dots (well, above the dots ARE still black!), I used my Laminator to heat apply Gold Deco Foil, but you can also use a Minc Foil Applicator, if you have it:

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Originally, I was only going to foil the top third of the dots, but it turned out so pretty, I ended up foiling them all (so that's the reason for the small piece of foil you see above). Hopefully you can see all that lovely gold foiling in a close-up:

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I centered the Plant Ladies Say sentiment so that the dotted "i" in "is" was positioned with one of the dots in the patterned paper. Even after stamping over the patterned paper dot, it still adhered the gold foil! To finish my card, I trimmed the stamped panel down to 4" tall and used Heidi Swapp's Minc Toner Pen to apply toner to the bottom 1/4"+ of my  card base, then also gold foiled that lower edge.

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The stamped panel was popped up with foam tape over the foiled card base. Lastly, a gold sequin was adhered to the center of the right purple flower.

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You can find a list of other designers that have samples with this wonderful new Essentials By Ellen August Release for you today over in the CLASSroom. I hope you have a fabulous weekend!

WC Flower Signature-Sharon

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Beet the Heat!

Hello, Crafty Friends -- How's the August heat where you are?  Here in south Texas it is hot, Hot, HOT ... and don't get me started on the humidity, LOL!  But I'll take it any day, over the frigid, frozen temperatures some of you endure in the winter!  And while I love gardening, about the only time I get out in the August heat is to water a few potted plants the irrigation system doesn't reach (poor plants)!  That's why I fell in love this this adorable new Essentials by Ellen release, Leading Ladies-Plant Lady by Brandi Kincaid!

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Isn't that saying on her shirt hilarious?!!  And there are several more puny quips in this set:

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This set is part of a new Essentials by Ellen release from Ellen Hutson, available TODAY!  You can find the entire release HERE and I'll be back on Friday with another sample using Julie Ebersole's new Rustic Botanicals set!

As promised earlier last week, this is the entire image I colored using the custom RV65 color I created with an empty Sketch Marker and empty Various Ink bottle!  

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These are the Copic Sketch Markers I used to color Plant Lady's shirt, beet, boots, hat, apron, pot and greenery:

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And these are the Copic Sketch Markers I used to color Plant Lady's skin, dirt, spade, leggings, shadows:

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X-Press It Blending CardStarting with X-Press It Blending Card always ensures easily and beautifully-blended coloring. This paper was specifically selected for use with Copic Markers.

It is also:
- Acid-free and archival
- Ultra smooth, silky finish
- Laser and inkjet compatible
- True natural white surface
- Perfect for smooth marker blending
- Crisp special effects and bright colors
- Layer more colors in one spot without feathering

To finish my card, I trimmed the X-Press It panel to 3-3/4" wide, then used the pretty star/flower stitch strip die from Essentials by Ellen Stitching Lines to edge each side. The panel was adhered to a Taylored Expressions Plum Punch card base. The beet, spade, potted plant (all die cut with their coordinating Plant Lady dies), and apron were all popped up with X-Press It High Tack Foam Mounting Tape, to give those elements added dimension:

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I hope you are "beeting the heat" wherever you are this August and I hope to see you back here this Friday, for another sample from this Essentials by Ellen release!

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Using Empty Copic Markers to Create Custom Colors

Hello, Crafty Peeps!  I'm here today to share with you just how easy it is to create your own custom Copic color!  Did you know Copic has empty markers available in three different sizes --  Classic Markers, Sketch Markers, and Wide Markers?  And they come with the same nibs as their filled marker versions!  You can use these empty markers for a number of things, but my favorite way to use them is to create my own custom Copic color.  Maybe you are saying, "Why would I want to do this, when there are 358 colors of Copic ink?"  Most often, I use custom Copic colors to fill blending gaps, such as this -- my favorite RV63 and RV66:

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These are some of the newest Copic colors and while it is entirely possible to use them together in a blending group (after all, we've been doing it since they were introduced, right?), having another color to bridge that wide gap would just make things a little easier, wouldn't it?  :)  So here I am today, creating that custom middle color!

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To get started, you will need an empty marker -- I chose an empty Sketch Marker, along with an Empty Various Ink bottle.  I started by removing the tip/nozzle of the Empty Various Ink bottle, then squeezed in a ratio of half Colorless Blender and half RV66 Various Ink. Test swatches on paper, using a cotton swab, and then add either more Various ink or more Blender Solution, depending on whether you need to make the ink darker or lighter. Alternately, you could start with lighter RV63 Various Ink and add a few drops of the darker RV66 Various Ink, until you achieve the shade you'd like ... I just thought starting with the Blender and RV66 would be quicker.

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I thought my first attempt (in the photo above) was great (and I named it "RV64"), but I thought it could be just a tad darker, so I added 0.5cc more of the RV66 Various Ink and ended up with just the right combo, I thought -- I name it "RV65" in the photo below:

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On the "RV65" Custom Sketch Color I created, I made a note of the proportions on the side of the Empty Various Ink bottle so I can repeat the color, if ever needed. I also labeled the Various Ink bottle and both ends of the Empty Sketch Marker with RV65, using my label maker.

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Keep in mind that filling a brand new, empty marker takes about 1.5 - 2cc’s EXTRA ink to saturate the sponge inside the marker than if you were refilling a standard, already used marker, so be sure to make enough custom ink color to entirely fill your empty marker!  I made 8.5cc and still have 5cc left, after filling the entirely Empty Sketch Marker.

Other uses for empty markers:

  • Add another substance entirely (other than Copic Various Inks) to an empty marker, like using food coloring so you can airbrush frosting on a cake or cupcakes, or airbrush food colors on cookies!
  • Use a dye ink refill from your favorite ink pad, to create a coordinating marker!

Keep in mind paint-based inks will not work, as the pores will dry out and ink will not flow properly.

Here's my beautiful new RV63-Custom RV65-RV66 blending group:

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And here it is in action, in a little sneak peek:

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I'm sorry I can't reveal the entire colored image until Sunday, August 6, but please be sure to check back then, to see my full card AND a fabulous new release from Essentials by Ellen

What uses can you think of for an Empty Copic Marker?  I'd love to hear your ideas in the comments below! 

WC Flower Signature-Sharon

     


High Five To That!

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A Note From Ellen Hutson: Last November Ellen Hutson began celebrating our 10th anniversary with the theme United We Flourish. And what does "United We Flourish" mean? It means that our company would not be here without the amazing companies we work with, the designers who create stunning projects showcasing the wonderful products being created AND you, our fabulous customers! YOU are such a vital part of our creative community - you inspire and encourage us! Your response to United We Flourish was overwhelming and heart-warming. We heard repeatedly from you that you appreciate how our little company works together with the other manufacturers we carry to bring you their products and education showing how to use those products. To thank you for your constant support and encouragement, we have partnered with some of our friends to offer exclusive limited edition stamp and die sets! These sets will be available for a limited time (most likely 3-6 months) after each release, depending on how quickly you snap them up. The theme of these stamps sets are uplifting and fun.

We are thrilled to present the second one to you ... G’Day Mate stamps and die combo by Avery Elle exclusively for Ellen Hutson LLC:

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I used these sweet, adorable Downunder animals along with the recent Essentials by Ellen Crafty Ladies Say stamp set AWESOMELY huge sentiment to create today's card:

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For the fine details of those sweet koala bears, I used Copic's new Sketch Replacement Fine Nib ... I definitely give that a high five!!  :)  You've been asking for it for years, and Copic delivered!  This nib allows you to color and redefine small areas without the sometimes imprecise flexibility of the Super Brush nib. You can adapt any Sketch marker for Fine Nib use, OR just get another marker or two, or set -- to add your Fine Nibs to!  ;-)  The Fine Nib is made of super sturdy fiber which holds its shape.

The photo below shows the new Fine Nib on my 0-Colorless Blender marker (top), compared to the normal Super Brush Nib:

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To create my card, first I stamped that fabulous huge Crafty Ladies Say "High Five To That" sentiment using my Misti, then positioned and stamped the sweet animals with Memento Tuxedo Black ink:

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After coloring the koala bears with the Copic N-series Sketch markers shown below in a dotting/stippling motion to create some fluffy texture to their fur, I used my 0-Colorless Blender with the new Fine Nib to help soften the dots and blend them together a little:

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Just think of all the fine details you can also color with this new Fine Nib, when it's on your Sketch color markers! These are the rest of the Copic Sketch colors I used to color the image:

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To finish the card, I glittered the butterflies, koala noses, leaves, cockatoo crest and nose with Clear Wink of Stella marker. Then I scattered clear sequins in 4mm and 6mm sizes. The panel was die cut with a stitched die, then mounted to a Bazzill Candy Hearts card base.

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Don't you love that awesome sentiment?  :)  I think the sweet G’Day Mate animals make it even cuter!

Be sure to check the CLASSroom blog all this week, for more fabulous inspiration using this new G’Day Mate stamp and die set!

Sharon-signature

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Christmas in July!

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Hello and welcome to Christmas in July!  There's nothing like thinking about cooler weather and getting a head start on holiday cards than in the middle of the hottest part of the summer -- right?!!  :D  Plus, a SALE doesn't hurt, either -- Just click the banner above to shop the Christmas category! The Ellen Hutson team has a little blog hop going on today for you, to help get you in the holiday cardmaking spirit!  We hope you'll join us -- You can find a list of all those participating today over in the CLASSroom. Here's my project, in a chilly shade of blue!

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When last year's Essentials by Ellen Holiday 2016 stamp and die release came out, I never got the opportunity to use the beautiful dove from Julie's Bird Shapes die set, so I was elated to get to use it now!  Isn't it gorgeous?!

More inspiration for #WorldWatercolorMonth -- I created a quick background using my Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors: #57 Turquoise Green (very watered down).  After washing the background with the lighter Turquoise Green wash, I splattered it with a darker/less watered down Turquoise Green and a mixture of both Bluish Gold and Antique Gold, both of which come in the 36-color set. The watercolor background was die cut with the large stitched panel from MFT's Blueprints 15 die set, then mounted onto a Curious Gold Metallic card base.

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Next, I die cut the large dove from Essentials by Ellen Bird Shapes from watercolor paper, dipped the edges in Versamark (using a Versamark Pen for the tighter-to-reach areas between the wings) and gold heat embossed it. The gold really makes the white of the dove pop against the background -- I love the final look!  The "olive branch" the dove is carrying is from Brandi Kincaid's Homespun Holiday stamp and coordinating Homespun Holiday die sets. I gold heat embossed it onto watercolor paper, then watercolored it with the darker #57 Turquoise Green watercolor.

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The beautiful sentiment from Julie Ebersole's Season To Sparkle stamp set was also gold heat embossed -- there's nothing like little touches of metallic shimmer to really say "holidays"! The Peace word from Julie's Holiday Words die set was cut from watercolor paper and watercolored with the Bluish Gold and Antique Gold watercolors. The Peace word, dove, and branch were all popped up on X-Press It Foam Mounting Tape, to add interesting dimension.

Easy-peasy ... done!  Are you in the holiday spirit now?!  :D  Please be sure to visit the CLASSroom, to find a list of the other designers also participating in today's hop.  Happy weekend!

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