19 December 2011

Oops a day late (but it is Christmas)

Please forgive the tardiness of my post, last minute shopping followed by a trip to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie meant all yesterdays good intentions went awry!!

Any way better late than never here is the latest

"Anything but a card"

I decided to make some placecards for Christmas Day

I had great fun with Liquid Applique and Stickles - and the place cards are made using an old Quickutz die I had in my stash.

For those who wish to play along, please post your entries HERE
(You have TWO weeks)

And may I take this opportunity to wish you all a very



9 December 2011

Make it Crafty Challenge time....

OK, this time Zoe set us the following task:

"Recolour an image from earlier in the year............and share both"

Not too daunting a task until you have a migraine for 3 days, then find yourself left with a head that feels like it's full of marshmallow! I've had the concentration span of a goldfish since Monday so not surprisingly my initial Copic recreation went in the bin - major booboo.  Hence I finally opted for pencils - at least I could erase the mistakes!!!

Anyway, here goes, this is the original image I coloured with Copics way back in August

and here is the new version:

I chose a completely different colour palette (yellows, oranges and browns, oops and turquoise hair) with Caran D'Ache Supracolor Soft pencils on Kraft card.  Oh and before I forget, yet again I remembered to choose my background papers first - see, I'm learning!!

As in my previous rendition, the flooring was added by yours truly with a Copic multiliner and the super cute little Christmas stamp was a new acquisition from LOTV.  The flat backed pearls were from my teamie Elaines' store Quixotic Paperie.

Why not give it a go, this is an easy peasy challenge - at this time of year you don't need uber difficult challenges especially if you're brain is as mushed up as mine currently is!!  Why not hop on over to the gallery to see what my teamies came up with which will hopefully inspire you to join in HERE

In the meantime I'm going to enter my little golden elves into some challenges myself:
Bizzybecsstore - Christmas
Sundays with Crissy - Anything goes
Bearly mine Challenges - Un-traditional Christmas
Celebrate the Occasion - Christmas (no green)
Creative Card Crew - 'Tis the Season
Oldie but Goodie Challenge - Christmas (no red or green)
Papertake Weekly - Anything goes
Tuesday Throwdown - Celebrate the season

Crafty Hugs and Christmas Wishes

4 December 2011

Brrr it's so cold I've turned blue!!

Although, I am a tad chilly it's not technically me that's turned blue so much as my card!!

This week over at Dustin Pike's Blog we're challenging you all to come up with a

Here's mine:

And I was so good this week, I picked out my paper first and then co-ordinated the colouring accordingly - normally I merrily colour my image then pull my hair out struggling to find an appropriate paper!  I feel a New Years Resolution a brewing!!!

Copics Used:
 B91, B93, B95, B97, B99 oh and B0000 and B000 for snowman with a touch of grey to help with the shadows.
Make it Crafty snowflake chippies were covered in white ink then Copic'd to match!

So come on dear blog visitors -  put your greens, golds and reds to one side and come up with something totally awesome and post it HERE for your chance to win a free digi!

In the meantime I'm going to enter these little chaps in the following challenges:
Catch the Bug - Anything goes
Stamptacular Sunday - Colour Challenge (Blue, Black or Brown and Tan)
SSDS Challenge - Holiday card
Prairie Fairy Fridays - Beat the winter blues
Stampin with the dragon - Anything goes Christmas
Totally papercrafts - Let it snow

As always thanks for dropping by

25 November 2011

Can you colour white?

Make it Crafty Challenge
"Colour White"

I guess it is easiest if I post my image first:

The image was coloured with Copics, the background was airbrushed with Caran D'ache pencil additions to the hair and clear gel pen on the halo.

I am going to try and do a "How to" section with the Make It Crafty Challenges from now on - in an attempt to make my posts a little more fun and fingers crossed - informative!!

How to Colour White
(well Jane's method anyway)

I've coloured the above image with Copics, but whatever medium you opt for will require similar colours to get this effect:

The temptation when you are faced with a white dress or at this time of year, snow, is to leave the area completely uncoloured.  But that just leaves you with a very flat, somewhat boring image and if we're honest none of us want that.

To avoid this you actually need to colour the shadows and thereby give the impression of a white object - in this instance the little Angels dress and bow.

If you still think I'm being daft look at "white" objects around your house and you will see that none of them are pure white - they are basically shades of grey - to show what I mean here is an image of my radiator below:

Shock, horror - it's not plain white!!

I like to start with the palest grey and build up to the darkest shades - believe it or not from C00 right up to C5, blending as I go. I also added a dash of BG0000 and B0000.  The only parts that I have left uncoloured are parts of the right sleeve and the two front folds and parts of the bow - everywhere else has been coloured with various shades of grey.

Why not give it a try yourself - and enter this fortnights challenge, posting your entry HERE

...............and I'd like to enter my little Angel into the following challenges:
Make It Monday - Anything Goes
Creative Card Crew - Monochromatic
Deep Ocean Challenge - "C" is for Christmas and Cool Blue
Digital Tuesday Challenge - Sparkle and Shine
Papertake Weekly - Christmas Crackers

Happy colouring

20 November 2011

Christmas Card Challenge

Dustin's Design Team Challenge

Christmas - Anything Goes!

This little gem was from Goody Bag 3 but if you like Dustin's snowglobes he has drawn some fab new ones that are currently available in his
100 Days of Christmas - $20

...............and here is one of them
ideal for those of you who celebrate Christmas wearing shorts!!!

So come on lets see how many entries we can get this time
"the more the merrier, ho ho ho!"

Post your entries at Pike's Playground for your chance to win a Doodle Dragon Digi

As always, thanks for dropping by

16 November 2011

Published in Pixels

Our very own Dustin Pike is featured in the November issue of the online magazine
Papers and Pixels

As one of his DT I was lucky enough to get my little old effort used in the article, how cool is that!

Apologies for the lack of a Copics colour list,  I had to get this done in a hurry to beat the publishing deadline, but oh boy I had fun adding texture and depth with a mixture of Copic techniques, gel pens and glitter, not to mention the beautiful die cuts from Memory Box and Die Namics.

Copics techniques:

The Penguin hat and scarf is really simple - just dots of a slightly darker colour on top of a pre-coloured image.

For the Polar Bear I just built up layers of dashes, starting with the palest greys and working up to the darker ones.  As you can see the knack is to be brave and leave gaps between your pen strokes.  I've found this method the best for me to get fur, try it out for yourself, I'd love to hear how you get on and whether it works for you too.

As for the dies, although I used the Snowflakes Corner die, I opted to resist the urge to place it in the corner of my card, using it instead to break up the straight lines of the central image.  Yes it means a lot of the die is hidden behind the penguin but it sort of works - what do you think?

Ribbons, Snowflake paper, machine stitching, glitter glue and a Viva Decor Pearl pen finished it off.

 I thought I'd enter these little chaps into a couple of challenges
Craft your Passion - Let it Snow
Digital Tuesday - Christmas Time
Oldie but a Goodie - Let it Snow
ABC Christmas Challenge - Christmas Sports (Polar Bear Racing????)

If you like this image and others I've posted lately why not pop over to Doodle Dragon Studios and see what digi's Dustin's been doodling.

Thanks for dropping by

11 November 2011

I challenge you to...........

Colour an image with a light source from a lantern or candle within the image!

Yee gads, I hear you shout (or words to that effect)

That is the challenge we are currently running over at

If you have a current copy of the new Magnolia Ink magazine you may have seen Zoe's guide on how to colour an image with a lamp - hence she decided to set us the challenge to try it too!

Well, ahem, where do I start on this one - having stamped out my image I masked her with Eclipse masking tape (awesome stuff) and covered the snow area with a roughly torn piece of kitchen towel and set to work with my Copic Airbrush (Oh boy that piece of kit is fun to use)

Then the hard work began, colouring by hand.  As with Zoe's tutorial, you must pay attention to your light source, but equally to the shadows - and don't forget to use your greys!!!

I had a blast with the snow, it is probably the most realistic representation of fresh snow that I have achieved since I started using Copics - not quite there yet, but I am getting there - and if I am totally honest it is a little too "white" for this composition.

That's enough arty waffle..............here is the list of stuff used:

Magnolia - Midwinter Tilda
Craft Creations Christmas Scrolls - Red
Ribbon from stash
Die-Namics - Fancy Flourish
Make it Crafty - Swirly Corners
Copics (see below)

OK this is the bit I love - inviting you guys to have a bash at our latest challenge and ask you to post your entries in the gallery HERE

In the meantime I am going to enter this little girly in to the following:
Charisma Cardz - Cutesy
Cute Card Thursday - Reds for Remembrance
Little Miss Muffet - Simplicity
Stampavie - Anything goes
Anything goes challenge - Stitches, real or faux

As always thanks for dropping by

8 November 2011

Copic Storage

Oh my, I've spent so many hours trying to solve the problem experienced by many a Copic owner..........STORAGE!

As my collection grew so did the storage dilemma - initially I used the plastic boxes that the Copic sets come in, adding more as required.  I stored them on their sides to keep the pens horizontal - holding the boxes together with parcel tape. 

Unfortunately the pens are only gripped at the end and as you can see they dip downwards and the more boxes you stack the worse this gets - when you pull one pen out several follow!!
Not to mention this type of storage is not overly stable and even after adding blu-tac to stick the boxes to the wall I was greeted several times with a cascade of Copics all over my desk.

I am sure I don't need to tell you that various solutions are available - Totes, Racks, Cubbies and boxes but I wanted something that keeps the pens horizontal and allows me to store them in colour order and gives space for additional pens.

One solution then caught my eye - some people were using "eggcrate louvre" as used in suspended ceilings.  However, I personally didn't like the wooden dowels that were being used to suspend the eggcrate - so I challenged my hubby to come up with a cleaner solution.

And here it is..............

This little beauty will take 396 Copic Sketch!!

If this is a solution that would work for you too here are the details you might find useful:

Storage Box - we chose a "Really Useful Box" (11 litre) because unlike a lot of boxes its square inside - no annoying internal bulges.
2 x Eggcrate Louvre - I got mine online as they aren't so easy to find here in the UK
Transparent silicone sealant
Hack saw
Handy-man Husband (Oh boy, the mess I would have made trying to do this myself)

Oh and I mustn't forget the Sizzix mat that was sacrificed..... you can see a portion of it attached to the front on the box - it was well worth cannibalizing the poor mat as it makes the whole box rock solid - I did not want the pens falling all over my desk anymore!!  I am not saying you have to chop up your prized Sizzix mat, it's just what we used - you just need something of reasonable density to ensure the stability of the unit.

And in case you were in any doubt here's a side view:

Because the eggcrate is siliconed in at the base of the box and the top the pens are held securely and of course without the use of dowels you are not losing valuable pen space!!!

*****Additional Info*****
I've had quite a few emails asking where you can source the items required to make this storage unit, so here goes:

Storage Box:
In the UK, Really Useful Boxes are quite common, mine came from Hobbycraft.
Rest of the World -use Search Engine for suppliers
Any similar box will do, it just looks smarter if your box is square inside and saves you cutting your Eggcrate into a strange shape and of course maximises marker storage.

Eggcrate Louvre:
USA - Try Lowes or Home Depot
Rest of World - use Search Engine (that's what I did)
size of squares: 15mm x15mm

NB. This storage system is suitable for:
Copic Sketch
Copic Ciao
*****New Information*****
I have had a couple of emails recently asking how you attach the top eggcrate to the box.
Cut your eggcrate to size and before applying silicone sealant around the edge of it attach 4 pencils with wire, one in each corner.
Having applied the sealant carefully place the eggcrate inside the top of your box.
Now adjust/twist the wire so that the pencils lay firmly across the corners of your box, this enables you to hold your eggrate securely in place whilst the silicone sealant dries.
Once dry simply untwist the wire and remove the pencils
Then all you have to do is to put in all your markers

I am chuffed to bits with my new storage - it stands with pride on my desk and the knowledge that it has room for quite a few more pens is a bonus!

What do you guys think??

7 November 2011

It's Maggie Monday!

Well that's what I'm calling it today any way!

And why you may ask, well it's a good excuse to show you one of those Swedish cuties that I have such fun colouring. 

This one is a sweetie and I thoroughly enjoyed colouring her dress.  I've also been playing around with tracing paper, adding white dots to create a delicate lace like effect.

Here's what I used:
Magnolia - Tilda with a small gift
LOTV - Corner Swirls & Christmas Circular Sentiments
Stempelglede - Vintage Garden
First Edition Paper - Festive Treats
Tracing Paper
White Gel Pen
Copics & Caran D'Ache pencils
Ribbon from stash
Sewing Machine
Distress, Memento and Chalk inks
oops and nearly forgot a dot or two of Liquid Pearls

And I thought I'd enter her in to a few challenges:
Crafty Catz - anything goes
Just Magnolia - anything goes
Catch the bug - anything goes
Dream Valley - anything goes
Magnolia Stamp Lovers - Christmas Challenge

Thanks for dropping by

6 November 2011

Anything goes at Dustin's!

OK, everyone Dustin has an "anything goes" challenge - so get your creative juices flowing and come join in the fun over at Pike's Playground!!!

All we ask is that you use a Doodle Dragon Studios image - the rest is up to you!
Post your entries HERE

I decided to do a Dudley - well he was responsible for me finding Doodle Dragon Studios after all.

Doesn't he look a dapper chap in his shiny armour.

As you can see I had fun with pins, dies, punches and ribbon, but as always my favourite part was the colouring................how about you?

and look I even remembered to take a pen piccie

Ooh and talking of pens, how many of you are getting frustrated with a lack of decent storage solutions for Copics - especially if like me you want to keep them in colour order!!

Well if you are then you won't want to miss my blog post later on this week here at Box of Colours.


29 October 2011

Make it Crafty Texture Challenge

Make It Crafty Challenge:
"Create your own texture using your colouring medium"

Woah! Don't panic - honestly this is much easier than it sounds!

Here's my DT project:

Let's take a closer look......

Textures and techniques:

I started with the upper background which I coloured in BV01, then sprayed some Isopropyl onto a small natural sponge dabbing it on to the Copics - it gives a beautiful dappled effect.  I then added dots of BV02 and RV10 - dabbing on more alcohol until I had this soft speckled look.

Then I coloured the lower half in V91 and V93 after which I sprayed Isopropyl on a piece of denim and pressed it on to the Copic area (remembering to mask off the top piece first) - it gives a really subtle lined effect, best seen near the boys feet. 

As for the girls clothing, her spotty skirt was created simply by colouring it in with various shades of  red then adding tiny dots of blue - we don't always walk round in plain clothes so why should she!  The texture on her sweater was achieved with Caran D'Ache pencils (sharpened to a point) - in an attempt to resemble knitwear - what do you think?

The boy was just as much fun - the seams on his jeans - that's an easy one - just apply your colourless blender to the coloured jeans until you've got the depth of fading you're after!  As for the argyle pattern on his jumper - it's simply black, grey and white pencils, mimicking the shadows I'd already created using Copics. To give his hair extra dimension, which I never seem able to achieve with just Copics I added extra colour again with Caran D'Ache pencils (what would I do without them?)

One thing that doesn't show up well in the pictures is that I added clear Jelly Roll Glaze to the rubber parts of the Converse style footwear - it's just enough to give them a slight sheen.

And finally a few dots of White Gel pen - a word of advice, don't get carried away with highlights - "less is more" is my motto!

I'd like to enter this card in to the following challenges:
By the cute and girly : Anything goes
Heart Song Inspiration: No sentiment
Creative Card Crew: Fall'in for you


Post your entries in the Make it Crafty Gallery HERE

Thanks for dropping by

28 October 2011

Magnolia Christmas

I smile whenever I colour this particular Tilda as she was my very first Magnolia stamp!

I have her sitting inside a Stempelglede Grunge Ornamental Circle (lg) and added a dash of colour with Liquid Pearls, White gel pen and ribbon.

And if like me you need a little bit of inspiration to get those Creative Christmas juices flowing why not treat yourself to the new Magnolia Ink Magazine - it's full of Festive Crafting goodness and an interview featuring Zoe McGrath from Make it Crafty!

Tilda was coloured with Copics (sorry no list) and as per Zoe's tutorial in Magnolia Ink I've used lots of greys!!!

I'd like to enter this card in the following challenges:
Just Magnolia - Christmas
Make It Monday - Anything goes
Simon Says Stamp - Anything goes
The Paper Shelter - Anything goes
Charisma Cards - Anything goes

Thanks for dropping by

24 October 2011

Pike's Playground Challenge...and it's shiny!

Firstly, I must apologise that this should have been posted yesterday, unfortunately I've been out of action for a few days - family stuff followed by a pesky migraine!

Pike's Playground Challenge:
"All things shiny!"

Anyway, here is my effort - and I assure you it is shiny even though it doesn't look it in the photograph!

Apologies for the lack of a Copics list but I was having fun playing with Perfect Pearls Mist - it's on the backing paper and the doily has several layers of it.
Then I added a bit of glitz courtesy of Crystal and Frosted lace and topped it off with satin ribbon and pearls to finish!

Come on this challenge is a great excuse to play with that glitter (unfortunately I always end up wearing the stuff) - so "do your thing and add some bling!" and post your shiny creations HERE

Please remember you must use one of Dustin's Doodle Dragon Designs and he's got some super cuties that are ideal for Christmas over at Doodle Dragon Studios HERE

Thanks for dropping by

14 October 2011

Blog Candy Winner and new challenge

Firstly, may I just say a huge thank you to everyone who joined in on the Make it Crafty Blog Hop,  I hope you all had as much fun as we did.

Secondly I am happy to announce the winner of the
Box of Colours Blog Candy Bundle

Congratulations Joyce, your parcel of goodies will be on it's way to Canada shortly!

Now it's time to announce the new
Make it Crafty Challenge

"Colouring snow"

No, I don't mean, dying snow silly colours and taking piccies of it, although that would be kind of fun (if you could find snow in October that is)

It's the challenge of colouring something white:

For me personally when colouring snow, or indeed anything white with my Copics I use the following colours:
BG0000 Snow Green
BG000 Pale Aqua
W00,W0, W1,W2 Warm Greys

The temptation with white objects is to leave them uncoloured, but if you look around the house at white objects you will quickly see that they aren't in fact pure white - they have shadows, contours and are usually made up of various shades of blue and grey.  You may also notice that shiny white surfaces often reflect the colours of objects around them and indeed lights in the evening.....

Hence my choice of one of the new Make it Crafty Festive Elements digis available HERE

Not only am I able to demonstrate the depth you can achieve by using warm greys but you can see how the light from the lamp is reflected in the snow and in this instance, the ribbon too.

Why not have a go, it's easier than you think!!

Please post your entries
at the

9 October 2011

Boo!! Did I scare you?

Guess it's that time of year again when ghosts and ghoulies and things that go bump in the night come out to play................as a result the gals at Pike's Playground decided that the theme this time would be:

(Halloween colours)

Oh the tales I could tell with this one.........before I go any further, I love the Die-Namics (black) and Memory Box (orange) dies - they are so delicate and perfect for the size of cards I make - I love them!  However, initially I only had black ones on my card and for some reason I decided to embellish the swirls once I had glued them and the pumpkin image on the card!!  So I picked up my Spica Pitch Black and Sakura Black Gelly roll and off I went - BIG MISTAKE!
Thank goodness I used a Quickie glue pen to stick them on, they peeled off nicely - but I had to carefully lift off the pumpkin image first - yee gads, when will I ever learn not to fiddle!!

In future I shall stick to merging digital images as I did here and concentrate on mastering that - I am getting better with Photoshop Elements - an amazing achievement for me as computers are really not my thing!! LOL (just ask my son)

Here's a close up:

The eagle eyed amongst you may be able to spot a hint of smoke coming from the purple witches flask - it's really simple to do - just doodle scribbly circles with a white pencil - the colour sits on top of the Copics. Woosh lines (well that's what I call them) were added to the Orange witches pot with the same pencil - try it, if you don't like it you can always erase it (guess what, I erased my first attempt!!)

Well enough blathering, here's the list of ingredients and challenges I want to enter this in to - and don't forget if you have any questions feel free to ask.

Image: Dustin Pike
Paper: Graphic 45 Halloween in Wonderland
Misc: Die Namics and Memory Box dies
Colouring: Copics (see below)

Die Creative - Autumn colours
Stamp with fun - Halloween
Shabby Tea room - Shabby autumn
Digital Tuesday - We like to party
Tuesday Throwdown - Halloween
The Paper Shelter - Halloween Party

Now readers, I'm entering these challenges and I'd love to see your wonderful creations over at Pike's Playground - please remember that you must use one of Dustin Pike's digis.
You've got 2 weeks to play, so come on, get those oranges, slime greens, purples and blacks out and join in the fun!


7 October 2011

Christmas card....finally

Oh boy, this year I am so behind making Christmas cards and with my arm injury taking yonks to heal I fear I may have to ............dare I say it "buy some" yee gads, the shame!!

But here is another seasonal project, using one of Mo Mannings fabulous images:

Image: Mo Manning NP Employee No 5533
Paper: First Edition Paper - Festive Treats
Colouring: Copics (sorry no list) and Distress Ink
Additional: LOTV Christmas stamp, ribbon, charm and pearls from stash

I'm entering this cheeky little chap in the following challenges:
DP2 Challenge - Patchwork
Craft your passion challenges - anything goes with a ribbon twist
Craft Challenge - Bright colours
Sweet Stamps Blog - anything goes

4 October 2011

Happy 1st Birthday

Woo hoo, I can hardly believe it my blog is celebrating it's 1st Birthday today!!

Dustin Pike's dino's are having a party to celebrate!!

Don't forget, if you'd like a chance at winning the

make sure you've left a comment on the
Make It Crafty Blog Hop Post

You'll also find details about how to claim your Make it Crafty freebie on this post.

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