Quick and Easy Grays

st pauls

I posted a card a while ago all colored  in grays, but I used about six or seven different shades.  I liked it so much and had loads of positive feedback I thought I would re-create the effect using one a Sheena Duuglass stamp.

I’ve only used 3 shades from the Cool Grays (or Ice Grays): IG3, IG5 and IG7.  The stamp is partly shaded so it makes it really simple to figure out where to add light and dark.

I’ve split each part of the image into thirds, but not equal thirds.  IG3 is the largest third, then IG5 and then lastly the darkest IG7.  

It took me in total about 10-15 minutes to make this card from start to finish.  The coloring itself only 2-3 mins as I laid the colour down really quickly and didn’t really take care as I wanted it to have a really rough inked look.

I think this may be my Christmas card this year that I send out! It’s totally flat and therefore not too much to post plus it’s really quick and easy!

Coloring on Kraft Cardstock


You can achieve beautiful results coloring on kraft card stock! I wanted to share with you a fun project I made recently using Neenah Desert Storm (kraft) card stock.

As the color is obviously darker than  normal white card stock, I created a color swatch before coloring.

I decided to color on both white and the kraft card as I know the colors in my mind and how they work on white card but using the desert storm it was like starting from scratch.

My next step is to color a whole new color chart directly onto the kraft so I will have an idea of how the colors will turn out.  If you want to do this you can download a blank color chart from the download section.


The image I have chosen is called ‘Bamboo’s Favorites’ (from the Party Paws range at Crafter’s Companion).  From the swatch above I could see that BG1 would be too light on the kraft card so my very lightest shade on the dark parts of Bamboo is BG2.

I still used BG1 on his face to give some shading. I’ve colored exactly as I normally would the lightest shade first, just to put a coat of ink on the card which makes blending easier and then going from dark to lightest shade in each color group.

For his face I used BG1,  BG2 and PP4 for his cheeks but I also used the blender pen to lighten and blend the color into his face. This made it a more subtle effect.


Then I’ve chosen the cardstock and papers to use on my project.  I always find it a help to buy matching sets of card as then the hard work is done for you.


And finally my finished card.


Shades of Gray


I came across a beautiful rose stamp from Indigo Blu and my first temptation was to color this in shades of red. Then I thought, “Why not try shades of gray?”

1.  In the image below I have colored the top rose in to see how I liked it and following are step by step photos for the center rose.  Then just follow the same process for the final rose.


2. First use IG1 to put a base coat onto the second rose.


2. Then start shading with IG7. I’ve followed the shading on the original image as this helps with finding where dark and light should be.


3.  Then using IG4 I have brought the color further into each petal.


4. Then using IG2 bring the color right into each petal only leaving a very small area.


5.  Then shade over each small area with IG1


6. To create further depth I have selected areas that I really want to be dark and have added a small amount of True Black.


7. Then I have followed the same process as above by starting with the darker shade and working to the lightest shade.  Next to the True Black I have added IG9.


8.  Add further shading with IG7.


9.  More shadng with IG4.


10.  Nearly complete with IG2.


11. Then finally IG1 in the lightest areaa.


12.  I’ve then colored the smaller roses and leaves with IG1, IG4 and IG7.

Then I made a very simple but effective card:



I hope you try this grayscale coloring technique soon!

I Love Fairies

I’m just popping in to share a bit of inspiration today! I’m not sure what it is about fairies but I just love coloring them. This beautiful fairy is Alva Color and I’ve listed the markers I have used below.

Skin, FS1, FS3, FS4, TN2, TN3, Lips CR3

Hair, EB3, TN2, TN3, TN4, EB5, EB8, GB9

Wings EB1, with added fairy dust

Flowers and clothes, PL1, PL2, PL3, CR6, DG2, DG4.

Creating Clouds With Your Blender

I’ve shown a number of cards using distress inks and a masking technique to create clouds but for this tutorial I have chosen to use the blender pen to create clouds, as I only wanted a few in the background.

For the background I have used IB1, IB2, IG2.

1.  Firstly stamp your image using a die based ink pad. Then color in the sky with IB1 using the chisel nib.

2.  Using your blender pen draw the rough shape of a cloud to fit into your sky.  Then using circular motions blend out the color in the center of the cloud.

3.  Outline your cloud to create some depth with IB1. Even though this is the same color as the background you will still see a line.

4. Using IG2, add further depth to parts of the cloud outline and even move into the cloud as shown in the image below. Then add a small amount of IB2 into the valleys of the cloud shapes.

Then carry on working adding more outline and use your blender more to remove more color.

5.  I have then added another two clouds in different shapes to my image and I have placed my die over the top to make sure I have enough.

Here is another look at my finished card, with the complete colors listed below:

Hair: TN2, TN3, TN4, TN7, EB3,

Skin: FS3, FS4, TN2, CR3

Clothes, shoes and hat: BG1, BG2, BG4, BG7, EB1, TN1, EB2

Flower and grass: GB3, EB1, DG2, DG4

Do give this technique a try!

Happy Birthday Bebunni

A perfect image to color and add to a 10th Birthday card for my grand daughter, Gracie.  I’ve chosen Hip Hip Hooray and have listed the colors used below.

I normally color animals in with grays and I’ve done the same today, however I knew I wanted my finished card to be purple so I have added some purple tones to Bebunni.


Bebunni: IG1, IG2, IG4, IG6, IG8, LV1, LV2, CR3, plus blender on his fur to add some texture

Ears: EB1, PP1, PP3

Bow: LV1, LV2, LV3


Adding Color to Vellum Embellishments

I found some beautiful papers to match to my Spectrum Noir colors and for this card I have used mainly yellows and greys.  I also wanted to use my Spectrum Noir pens to color my embellishment.  I have lots of vellum in my stash and sometimes I forget about it and don’t know what to do with it.

I decided to make a quilling flower but the color wasn’t quite right.  I tinted plain white vellum with the pens I used to match my main image.

1. I’ve cut two layers of vellum using the Die’sire Sunflower small die from Crafter’s Companion UK and then using LY2, LY3, and CT4 I’ve added color, graduated from darker in the center to lighter on the outside of each petal.

2. Assemble your flower using a quilling tool.  You will find an excellent video clip by Leann Chivers on You Tube, where she shows you exactly how to do this:

Here’s my finished flower and I have added a black sparklet to the center but you could use a button, or glitter or pearls, whatever you have at home.

3.  Here is my finished card.  I know it takes time to color each petal and make the flower yourself but I love it when I have spent some time and effort to make something beautiful and it’s individual to me, as I could never buy a flower like this.

Colors used :

Skin: FS2, FS3, TN2, CR3, CR6
Hair: EB1, TN2, TN4, EB3, EB8
Clothes: LY2, LY3, CT4, BG1, BG3, BG5, BG7, BG9
Basket: EB1, TN2, TN4, EB3
Grass and Flowers: EB1, LY2, CT4, DG2, DG3
Apples: CR3, CR6, CR8, DR1

A Little Bit Summery

We have had such lovely weather her in England lately and I’ve been making so many Christmas cards,  I decided to use Sheena’s Dahlia stamp and color it with really vibrant colors for a change.

I’ve used an image I found on the internet of a real dahlia to use as inspiration:

The colors used on this project are:
EB1, LY2, PL1, BP5, PL3, CG1, CG2, DG4, IG1, IG5,  Blender

1.  I have isolated one petal to color at each stage so you can see how the method works and then you will just need to repeat for all petals.  First I colored the petal in EB1:

2. Then I added a touch of BP5 to the tip:

3. Next I used PL1 to drag the color in towards the center:

4. Then I colored over all of this with LY1.  This will bleach out the color of the PL1 and BP5, but this is how I wanted it to work as it mutes the colors:

5. I then used CG1 and CG2 color the center of the petal at its base:

5. Over the top of the petal use the blender pen to take some of the color from the petal, mainly over the top of the LY1:

6.  That’s it for all of the petals, apart from to add a little depth later.  I’ve shown you images of my further progress below.


7.  At the center part of the whole flower I have darkened the green area with DG4, and made sure the tips of the petals are quite dark with BP5:

11. Then to darken the tips I have used PL3 to add further depth, then I have used IG1 and IG5 to edge the whole of the flower.  I used IG1 first, then a thin line of IG5 then blend them both together.

Here is my finished card using distress inks (Peeled Paint, Squeezed Lemonade and Picked Raspberry) on top of the same image stamped in Versamark ink and embossed with white embossing powder.

I hope you are encouraged to try this coloring technique!

Creating Folds In Dresses

I am sharing a step-by-step tutorial for creating folds in dresses.  I really do think it creates a fantastic effect, instead of having a flat colored image.


I have used the ‘Belle of the Ball’ stamp from Crafter’s Companion.  The folds on her dress are created with JG1, GT3 , GT2, and GT1.  I then used just a little touch of the blender pen to highlight.

Here is the step by step process I used to color this image:

1. First use the lightest color, GT1, to define where the folds will be.  The image already has a guide where they may be but you can add a few of your own if you wish and or extend them.

2. Then if you are happy with these go over with the darkest color JG1.

3. Using the mid tone GT3, start next to the darkest tone and color more of the white card in.  Leave white on your image though as this will create the highlight.

4. Then with GT2 color next to GT3, all the time moving more into the dress area.

5. Then repeat the process with GT1 going over your original lines.

6.  Color next to this with GT3.

7.  Then again next to this with GT1.  The aim is to create layers of color that will build up the intensity each time.

8.  Back to the darkest color again.

9. Then the mid tone:

10.  Then GT1:

11.  And next, JG1 again:

12. And then, a bit of GT3:

13. Then color over the white space with GT1 and this will leave the highlights.

14.  To complete I have used the blender pen very sparingly to highlight the white areas slightly and then to finish I have used added depth over the darker areas with JG1.

15. Then color the hair and rest of the image as you wish.  I’ve listed the rest of my colors used below.

The full list of colors used are:

Dress & Gloves; JG1, GT3, GT1, Blender, GB1, LY3, LY1

Hair: TN3, TN4, TN8, GB10, EB3, EB4, DR7, IG7, Black

Tiara, Earrings and Pearls: GB1 & GB3

Fan: GB1, LY3, LY1

Face: FS2, FS3, FS9, TN2, CR3, CR4

Eyes: DG3


Adding Highlights and Working With the Blender Pen

How glamorous is this image?  I just love this cocktail dress as the shape just calls out for highlights to be added to add curves to the overall effect.  Therefore I have used the same  technique as Jennie when she colored the plant pot on the strawberry kisses stamp.

To create the impression of a curve the outsides need to be darker while moving to a lighter shade towards the center of the object.  With the dress on the card below I have colored each individual section separately so I can work with the ink while it is still wet.

The aim is to leave a light stream of highlight on the surface.  First I colored one of the skirt sections with IG1, then on either side of the section I started with IG9 and got lighter and lighter until I reached the middle, blending over the highlighted section with IG1 again.

This way the highlight doesn’t disappear under all of the coloring.  Then to add further dark shade I added true black to the edges of each section where I thought more shade would be.

In this close up I could also see that I had gone over the edges a little.  I never noticed until I had finished and photographed the card so I went back with my blender pen and removed the grey ink.  I then covered back over with the EB1 which is around the outside of the image.  You can see the difference below if you look closely.

On the image above you can see grey ink spilling over the dress just above her right knee, and the next curve of the dress to the right,  but below I have pushed the ink back into the dress with the blender pen and then waited until it had dried and retouched with EB1.

I encourage you to give this technique a try, and not be discouraged if you come out of  the lines a bit.  Your blender pen can help fix almost everything!

Colors used:
Skin FS2, FS3, TN2, CR3 for cheeks, lips CR3 and CR6
Hair, EB1, TN2, TN4, EB3
Dress & Shoes : IG1, IG5, IG7, IG9, True Black
Finishing touches,  DG1, DG4, BT2, BT4, BT7, BT9, CG1, CG3
Outside image, EB1