Saturday, January 27, 2018

Daily ColoringOpen

Open Card
This is another in the series of  "Wet Stencil" cards. These are card blanks that are covered with wet stencils (stencils used after a previous project). While the stencils are still wet, I place them over card blanks. I then wipe the ink off of the stencil onto the card. I then add additional color as needed (and have another wet stencil to use on a different card).

Four different colors of alcohol inks were used on this card.

Finish card (closed)

Outgoing Postcards

This is a postcard for a swap called Q is for . . . The card is going to a space and sci fi lover in Arizona. This is a card from a series of postcards based on NASA photos and shows Stephan's Quintet (a group of five galaxies) so it qualifies as the Q of the swap.

Having grown up in the 60s during the height of the Red Scare and the US vs USSR race to the moon, I have always been intrigued by postage stamps depicting space, space travel and science fiction. The two decorative stamps show space exploration through the eyes of USSR and Hungary . The CCCP stamp was issued in 1961 and the Hungary stamp was issued in 1963.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Outgoing Postcards

Today's postcard is part of a swap called "Year of the Dog" where we are supposed to send our partner a postcard with an image of a dog.  This card is from a set of dog postcards that raises money for pet adoptions from no-kill shelters. The money from the sale of these postcards goes to offset the care and adoption of these dogs.

For the postage, I used a 1994  Year of the Dog postage stamp and the new strawberry 3 cent stamp for the make up postage. I also provided two used dog postage stamps: a 1991 stamp from Malagasy Republica (now Madagascar) and a 1979 stamp from Great Britain.

Daily Coloring

Open card

Today's coloring is a little different because I am coloring with alcohol inks and stencils. I realized that I need a couple of quick note cards for a meeting this weekend. I was using these stencils and I had thought that I could use some blank cards and add a design to the cards using stencils that were already wet with ink.

Closed card

The cards are simple but effective in that all of them are one of a kind examples.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Daily Coloring

Coloring Page--Left Side
Today's coloring assignment is a little different. My sister-in-law is a big fan of turtles. Since I was sending her a care package of items she requested, I decided to decorate some blank paper to use as wrapping paper for the books I was sending her.

To design the paper, I pre-wrapped the items so I would know where the creases would be. I then used stencils to place the central figures on the page so once the paper was used I would know where they would appear on the final product. The top image is the left side of the paper which will be the top side of the "box".

Below is the right side of the paper which will be the bottom side of the "box".

Coloring Page--Right side
I layered color with my Copic Markers. This is a favorite stencil of mine and I have discussed layering colors for this image here. Below is the finished page with just the images colored in.

Coloring Page--Filled in
The paper seemed a little plain so I decided to use alcohol spray inks to add color to the background and to add depth to the two central figures. That empty space to the left of the sheet is that part that is the overlap once the "box" is wrapped.

Coloring Page--background color
 All that was left to do was wrapped the items. Here is the bottom of the stack of books.

Package wrapped--one side
 Here is the top side or featured side of the books highlighting the turtle.

Packaged wrapped--second side

Outgoing Postcards

This postcard is going to Romania. She specifically wanted a touristy card and a standard size. I have always loved this card because of the blue colors that are used.

For decorations, I used the 1939 released New York World's Fair stamp and 1997 Statue of Liberty stamp. This particular version of the Statue of Liberty stamp is one of my favorites because of the background colors used.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Outgoing Postcards

Today's postcard was part of the a swap called "L is for . . ." My swap partner didn't list anything in her profile regarding anything starting with L. I was going to take the easy route and send a Lion postcard but that seemed too simple. Since she lives in Florida, I thought that I would send a lighthouse postcard and postage stamp.

She did list in her profile that she liked birds so I added two used postage stamps featuring birds--one from Australia and the 1963 Audubon stamp from the U.S.

Daily Coloring

Cut an colored envelope
For today's coloring assignment, I wanted to try again with the Sharpie and Copic markers. I wanted to try a different technique in hopes that the Sharpie ink wouldn't feather when confronted with the alcohol inks.

One of the other alterations that I made was that I cut out the envelope first and then used the cutout for the stencil design. This allowed me to be sure to get the image/location that I wanted on the face of the envelope. When I stenciled and colored the entire sheet, I couldn't control how the images appeared on the actual envelope. By cutting the envelope first, I was able to guarantee the placement of certain parts of the stencil.

The trick for this envelope is that I sprayed the envelope with fixative after drawing the outlines and the coloring lines. I then let it dry overnight to set. When I colored with the Copic markers, there was much less feathering of the outlines. I think that I am getting pretty close to perfecting these techniques.
Envelope Face
Envelope Flap
Now all I have to do is find out how to send these envelopes in the mail.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Outgoing Postcards

Today's postcard is for someone in New Mexico who loves tourist cards and kawaii. Since she loves kawaii, I decided to send her a postcard highlighting Tokyo. The postage for this card is the Cherry Blossom Friendship Forever Stamp. This stamp commemorates the gift of the 3000 Japanese Cherry Blossom Trees to Washington D.C. as a sign of friendship between the two countries. The trees were a gift to President Taft in 1912. In return, the United States sent flowering dogwood trees.

The decorative stamps are from my collection.

Daily Coloring

Today's little assignment included some color choices that were unexpected. I started coloring yesterday's page when I realized that I had not separated day 22 from day 23. Some of the green from yesterday's leaves leaked onto this page. To try and hide some of the ink, I decided to make my version of Shrek. In order to hide so of the darker leakage, I created a grey shadow all the way around the creature to dissipate some of the green leaked color. Overall, I am very pleased with the way it turned out.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Daily Coloring

Today's coloring assignment--my little blue grey kitty. I always try and use these daily exercises for a greater purpose. Granted, sometime these types of commitments are tedious. Sometimes the commitment can be overwhelming. And sometimes, they can be mindless and dedicate fun. I try to use them as stepping blocks to further goals.

Today's assignment was an experiment in layering color. I am not a big fan of the color grey and of course, the Copic markers come with about 50 different shades of grey. I wanted to try and replicate the blue grey colorings of the "blues" shade of cat (and dogs) that is very popular today. I also wanted to experiment with "seal points" as found in my favorite breed of cat--the Siamese. The seal points were done in a darker shade of grey. The blue accents on the face were done with the same blue as the swirls on the bottom flower and then covered with a light grey shade.

The ears, nose and heart eyes were done differently-- the grey was layered first and then the pink was layered on top of the grey. The unlayered pink is shown on the tongue.

In closing, all daily creating can be useful. Use the time wisely if  you need but don't feel compelled to have meaning in these every day challenges.

Outgoing Postcards

I seem to have come across of a lot of cat lovers in my postcard exchanges. This one lives in Alaska. The above postcard is from a series of Japanese postcards. The Japanese people love cats (and all animals) so I was glad to come across this series.

To go along with the cat theme, I included postage with cats. The new postcard rates went into effect today. Standard postcards are now 35 cents. First class 1 oz postage (non-traditional sized postcards) increased to 50 cents (new forever postage stamp price). International 1 oz postage remains the same at $1.15 (forever global stamp price).

I included two Japanese cat stamps for decoration.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Outgoing Postcards

This postcard was for a postcard exchange called K is for . . .

The recipient's name was Karen so I was going to be slick and send her a postcard with the letter K and be done with it but then I rethought the situation. She collects State Map cards like the one above so I decided to send her K is for Kansas.

The postage was a different situation. I struggled with what to use until I looked at the card and realized that the State Flower of Kansas was the sunflower. I knew I had a book of the sunflower stamps so I used it for postage. I only needed 34 cents but went with a 42 cent stamp because it fit the theme.

I then looked in my stash of "flower used stamps" and found the two stamps below: one from Maldives (issued in 1975) and one from Germany (issued in 1964).

One of the benefits of collecting stamps is finding the history of the stamps. But also, I have learned so much more about geography by collecting and researching stamps. I never would have know about the Republic of Maldives, let alone its location. What I did find out is that the stamp that I thought was a sunflower was in essence a stamp celebrating marine flora (in this case, coral).

Friday, January 19, 2018

Outgoing Postcards

This was a fun card to put together. The card is going to a Space lover in Staten Island, NY. This is someone who has received postcards from me before so I wanted to do something special for her. She loves Star Wars (especially the latter episodes) so I decided to send her a Star Wars illustration postcard (unfortunately, it is from the original episodes). The size is a panorama sized postcard (4 inches by 9 inches). It only requires a single Forever Stamp if mailed within the US.

For the decorative stamps, I used: a 1965 Russian Space Stamp; a First Man on the Moon Stamp issued in the US in 1969; and a 1993 Fantasy Space Ship Stamp.

For the postage, I used a Modern Age Wonder Woman stamp.

Daily Coloring

I have already spoken of my love for the book above. In the post here I discussed how the pages worked with Copic markers and I mentioned that I wanted to see how the pages did with Prismacolor pencils and my Gamsol blending solution. I am really happy with the way the page turned out.

I liked the outer flowers better in that I used a different coloring/blending technique. For the solid red, solid orange and solid blue flowers, I blending the colors on the page and then added the blending solution. The color variations are slighter and less pronounced until you view them up close.

For the other four flowers (upper left and right, lower left and right) I didn't blend the color on the page. I colored concentric circles of color but only overlapped the colors a little. All of the blending occurred when I blended with the solution. The color variation is much more noticeable.

Now the question is do I color the background or not? I am thinking about doing an ombré effect.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Outgoing Postcards

Today's postcard was sent to the Ukraine. The person did not have a filled out profile so there were no particular requests for stamps or style of postcard. When this happens, I will always send a touristy style New York City postcard.

Since the recipient didn't specifically state that she collected stamps, I used the generic Global Forever stamp which is currently valued at $1.15 which is the cost for sending out a less than 1 oz piece of mail (whether a postcard or envelope).

The Statue of Liberty Air Mail stamp was issued in 1961. I like it because it features my favorite color--orange. The Ely's #10 Locomotive Stamp was issued in 1994 and commemorates the beginning of the modern locomotive. The third stamp is the Korean War Veteran's Memorial stamp and was issued in 2003.

Daily Coloring

For today, I wanted to share something a little different. This is a coloring page I designed using the Americana stencil called Oopsy Daisy. The page is smaller than the actual 12 by 12 stencil. I outlined the flowers using a Sharpie fine tip black marker. I used an extra fine tip Sharpie to fill in the the positive space with coloring guidelines. I call them coloring guidelines because the same motif is used for all of the petals of the same flower. If you look at the yellow flower on the center right of the coloring page, you will see that all of the coloring lines are vertical in orientation. With busy designs, this helps a person to identify which element goes with each other.

The page was filled with color using TomBow Dual Tip Markers. This page will be the basis of a separate project. I outlined the page on one day and then let it dry completely overnight. I added color on the second day.

I would have preferred to use my Copic markers but the alcohol in the markers makes the Sharpie outlines feather.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Outgoing Postcards

This is another New York City postcard that is being sent to Taiwan. The person likes touristy postcards and Disney. I like this particular photo because it is a great evening view of New York City. 

The three decorative stamps include the New York Statehood stamp that was issued in 1988, the New York Public Library Lion stamp issued in 2003 and the 1962 Dag Hammarskjold stamp. According to Wikipedia, Dag Hammarskjold was a Swedish diplomat, economist and author who served as the second Secretary-General of the United Nations from April 1953 until his death in a plane crash in September 1961.

For postage, I used one of the current forever stamps from the Disney Villains collection.

This is what usually happens when I prepare these postcards. I get so excited in finding a theme, used postage stamps for decoration and the perfect current postage that I forget to take a picture. Here, I caught myself before getting to far.

Daily Coloring

I realize that there are gaps in the coloring of some of these calendar pages. If you embiggen the image above, you will see there are some white spaces in the castle. The main reason this happens is that there is very low lighting at my current work station. I am in a temporary work station without good overhead lighting. So I never really know the real colors that have been used or if there are any missed areas until I get home and photograph the page. The situation should change in a week.

When you see pages without these little areas, it means that I colored the image at home with my full complement of markers.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Outgoing Postcards

This was a fun postcard to put together. This is going to a music teacher in Arkansas. She displays the postcards she receives in her classroom so her students can learn about geography and other topics. Living in NYC, I couldn't help but send her a card relating to Jazz and the Harlem Era of Jazz. Having the Louis Armstrong postage stamp was a blessing. Also, having the Igor Stravinsky make up postage stamp was just icing on the cake.

Daily Coloring


Here is today's coloring assignment. It isn't something that I would normally color. Plus, I was limited by the markers that I had at work so it came out differently than I would have expected. Not that I'm not happy with it, but it is different.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Outgoing Postcards

This postcard is going to someone in New Zealand. She collects State map postcards from the United States and likes to observe ethnic celebrations. I chose to decorate the postcard with three different Statue of Liberty used stamps. For the postage, I used the Hispanic Food stamp series celebrating empanadas.

Daily Coloring

I am participating in the 30 Day Coloring Challenge on Instagram. I almost feels like cheating since I was already planning on coloring every day in my Coloring a Day Calendar. Regardless, here is my coloring assignment for today.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Daily Coloring

This little elephant was so much fun to color. It's amazing what can happen when you color with the lights on.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Daily Coloring

This was an interesting coloring assignment. I didn’t have time to color at work because I was very busy. I got home and was so tired from my gym workout that I decided that I would wake up early and color in the morning and then post my assignment on the blog.

And then I got insomnia and couldn’t sleep. So I dragged myself out of bed and grabbed the first markers I could get my hands on—in this case, my TomBow dual tip markers. I have mentioned that there is a slight sheen/slight glossy finish to this paper. While that is good for Copic markers, the TomBow markers didn’t do as well. The ink pooled in some areas and streaked in others. There was absolutely no blending available and the colors didn’t layer either. And now, you know.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Weekly Coloring 2

For this weekly coloring assignment, I decided to use my Prismacolor pencils since I was so disappointed in the bleed through of the Copic markers in Week One. This was a fairly simple pattern to color. I used a red, a yellow, and two shades of orange. The pattern I chose was the following: red for the three item motif of two triangles and one square; yellow for the rhombus; light orange for the s-shaped motif, and medium orange for the solo square (sometimes divided in half on the diagonal). The idea was that the medium orange square was a culmination of all of the colors intersecting.
The below image is simply the color on the page.

The below image is the page with the colors blended with Gamsol. This blending fluid allows the colors to spread so the color evens out.

As you can see, nothing bleeds through to the other side. While there will be some discoloration on the reverse as the Gamsol evaporates, eventually everything will dry out and become clean. I sped up the process by drying it with an hot air gun (set on the lowest setting). I don't know if there will be any smudging on the reverse side if there is already writing on the side. In other words, if you have already written out a week's schedule, I don't know how the Gamsol will react with either the ink or marker. You might want to try a sample before using it.