Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Fresh Face of Echo Park

Crisp, clean, colorful and how I'd describe the style of the relatively new company called Echo Park Paper Company.  I've admired every single line they've come out with and knew when I saw the Summer Days line that I had to have some fun with it!

Using the carnival inspiration of the paper called Scene from the Summer Days collection, I paired it with a Ferris Wheel from Lawn Fawn's new stamp set, Admit One, to create this ode to the county fair.  I stamped and colored the Ferris Wheel twice using my Copic markers, then cut the circular wheel out and mounted both with foam tape for a 3D effect.  With a bit of their Rainbow paper and pink polka dotted ribbon to add some horizontal balance toward the bottom, I finished off this A2 card (4.25" wide x 5.5" tall) with the sentiment "You Make My World Go Round".   I couldn't get enough of the fun patterns this collection offered, so I went ahead and decked out the interior of the card with the swirly goodness of the flipside of Scene and then two tickets created with another image from Admit One.  I added "Happy" and "Anniversary" to the tickets -- perfect!
Polka dots make me smile so I had to use the yellow & white side of Rainbow for a card I hope to give my sister very soon.  She got laid off a few weeks ago and is doing her best to find another.  I know she'll appreciate the bright and cheerful Echo Park patterns here.  The office-themed sets from Lawn Fawn called Just My Type and Just My Type, Too lent themselves nicely to this card, especially the old fashioned typewriter with its "good luck" banner.  Another A2 (5.5" wide x 4.25" tall) card, this time set horizontally, holds the nifty little glassine bag with a couple Tiny Attacher staples, Charcoal Black Baker's Twine and a big red button.  The glassine bag contains the tag that says "On your new job" with a push pin topper or pull.  The sentiment was created using words from Just My Type, Too and Harold's ABCs.  A little Distress Ink along the edges gives it the well worn look I like.  Inside it simply says "congrats".

I consider the last card I made completely different -- less bright and cheery and more vintage sophisticate (if that's even a term).  This 5.5" square card of kraft paper holds a nice chunk of Fabric Store from the For The Record collection.  I took crafty to the next level and sewed both straight and zig zag stitches along the edge of the paper, then added a strip of old newsprint patterned paper from the same collection slightly below the center line and zig zag stitched a line along its bottom and the top of a strip of crocheted lace.  I thought this really brought the Grandma out in the card!  For a big pop of dimension I made a chunky 3D flower using another pattern from the For The Record line that reminded me of a quilt.  A faux suede leaf, some tiny red rhinestones and a custom printed banner that reads "A stitch in time..." finishes off the front of this card.

Inside is pretty simple with a custom printed sentiment, "It's been a while...How are you?" along with another coordinating strip from the collection and three more tiny red rhinestones.  Simply put and simply lovely, if I do say so myself.
So, this wraps up my Fresh Face fashion show for Echo Park Paper Company.  My fingers are crossed that they shine brightly enough to attract the company to consider me as a "Fresh Face" designer!  And, you should stay tuned for your chance to pick up Echo Park's very newest collection kit, Country Drive.  It arrives at Paper Made Bakery later this week!  Can you say whoo hoo?!

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

So, You Wanna Be A Copic Rock Star?!

If you have even an inkling of Copic passion, you'll know that Marianne Walker is a sort of Copic marker guru and she's just co-authored an outstanding book to help anyone become a Copic rock star -- Copic Coloring Guide!  Marianne says, "People have needed a Copic coloring book for a long time now, and we finally listened. We've been working for months on this book. This book is for beginners who want step-by-step tutorials on how to start coloring and using Copic markers. Each step-by-step technique is shown with many beautiful card examples, made by a great group of very talented papercrafters."

Paper Made Bakery has just gotten a shipment of these awesome books in stock and I can personally attest to the simple, easy-to-use format.  For those of us who are visual learners and enjoy the chance to practice at our own pace, this book is going to be a wonderful addition to your crafting repertoire!  Even if you've taken Copic coloring classes (or are even a certified designer, like me), you'll enjoy having this book as a reference.

Lots of people have asked me what Copic marker colors they should start their collection with.  We all know that's an almost impossible question to answer, but I also know how important it is to have a starting point.  I've asked the experts, and Googled the rest, to come up with what I think are some good color choices to get you started.  Of course, what you're coloring determines your color choices.  Some of the trickiest choices are for coloring people.  There are zillions of skin & hair colors/tones, so we'll start with a beige-y color that you can layer to create a deeper tone, as needed.  The skin color of choice seems to be E00 (Skin White) with a cheek/blush color of R21 (Sardonyx) or R20 (Blush).  Deferring to Marianne as the expert, here is a link for providing some more insight into creating various other skin tones.  A nice brown for hair might include E57 (Light Walnut).

Other favorite items to color are florals and greenery.  Now, of course, these items come in a rainbow of colors, but if you were just starting out and wanted a couple good colors to begin your collection, I would suggest YG61 (Pale Moss) and YG63 (Pea Green); RV81 (Rose Pink) and RV85 (Rose Red) are good choices as well as RV63 (Begonia) and RV66 (Raspberry).  These will get you a wide variety of pinks, purples, and reds for your favorite florals.
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