Monday, March 20, 2017

Inspire Me Monday - Loose watercoloring

Hello Friends, How was your weekend? My name is Kathy Racoosin and I am always delighted to guest for Power Poppy's Inspire Me Monday.


At the beginning of the month you might have seen that Power Poppy was in a blog hop for "The Daily Marker 30 Day Coloring Challenge" If you are taking the challenge it's Day 20 . If you have been curious about the challenge and wondering if you want to give it a try .... feel free to jump in.



The great thing about a coloring challenge is it's more about coloring than card making. It's nice to have permission to not make a card and just color for the pure joy of it. For my project today I thought I would share some easy and relaxing watercoloring with distress inks. 



When you love every image in a stamp set like this "Succulent Singles" it's fun to use most of the stamps in the set by creating fun backgrounds. 


For this background I arranged the stamps in the center of the misti and rotated my card so I didn't have to keep moving the stamps. I was thrilled that my paper hanging off the edge worked. Whew!


My favorite backgrounds are one single image in a vertical row. In case you are wondering what ink I used ... let's just say next time I will use distress ink to stamp my images. 



Time only permitted to paint two of the backgrounds. I taped them off with some 3m painters tape because I wanted a boarder of white along the edges plus the tape holds them in place. 


I painted stripes in two shades of purple distress ink with a broad brush FIRST. Once the stripes were dry I painted with a variety of green distress ink on the succulents. It was nice to have a colorful background and not worry about painting around the images. 

The parts of the succulents that had purple from the stripes were easy to paint over and gave the images more of a color range. 


When everything was dry I used some glossy accents to glue them down on some green cardstock. (after glueing I stick the panel in a book so it will dry super flat)

The sentiment is from this beautiful stamp set called, "Loving Tulips" & I stamped the large hello with some black ink.

I hope you give this technique a try ... it's fun to try something different and it's great not to spend a lot of time painting a background. Thanks for your visit today and have a great week. Hugs, Kathy

Friday, March 17, 2017

Green is on the scene!

Good day to you, fine folks! Happy St. Patrick’s Day - and I’ve got a healthy pinch for anyone not wearing green. Or even if you are, maybe a pinch might give you a little extra oomph today. It’s Marcella here today taking the Friday slot, and DJ Jazzy Jules will be back next week to share the visual bounty of our peeps and our Bloom Brigade.

Not gonna lie, I’m kinda zapped after the last few weeks! Sharing peeks at all of the goodies from our Spring Fling collection, ogling dozens of cards by the AMAZING Bloomies (standing O for those creative women who share SO much inspiration!), and then packing up orders as fast as we humanly can — gonna need a nap soon. Maybe I’ll sleep in the car on our little weekend outing wth the kids. Although I can almost guarantee that there is going to be some HAMILTON soundtrack blaring much of the time, and a lot of singing and harmonizing. (LafayETTE!) We’re a bit late to the party with the Hamilton craze, but now 2/3 of the family is obsessed. The other 1/3 will be supplied ear plugs for the drive. (I am NOT throwing away my shot!)

Another thing that’s injecting me with zing as I pack up your orders today... it’s as if I’ve sniffed a bar of Irish Spring soap... looking through the springy green-tinged cards you are entering in our Power and Spark Let’s Go Green Challenge, hosted by Katie Sims. What a refreshing palette, and folks are really thinking outside the box from what I’ve spied so far. Keep ’em coming, we still have nearly two weeks — and if you revisit the link below, seeing what has been entered so far is enough to get you to want to go green.


I’m going to share just a FEW of these, but my goodness, they are ALL so clever and creative. I feel that the cards entered here at Power Poppy really UP the cardmaking game. I am so proud of everyone!! Let’s see some of the fun...


Jeannean blew my mind with her super-blown-up dahlia card using our Well, Hello Dahlia digital stamp. I first saw her card on Instagram (follow her @jeanneanmarshall) and didn’t even recognize the flower as my own illustration. She just enhanced it to epic proportions! And HOW CHIC to see the entire image rendered in shades of green. High five, Jeannean.

 
Now, here is a card that gives me goosebumps. Julie Gearinger’s expression of beauty and thoughtfulness for someone in need of prayers really elevates this botanical digi to fine art. Julie backlit the crocus, pussy willow, and snowdrop combination in Winter Pick-Me-Up with fresh washes of green and yellow, and by leaving the flowers white, succeeds in creating a card that is both calming AND uplifting. Think of other images that would work with this technique, and I encourage you to try it at home.


Ok, I fell hard for this little parakeet perched on teetering teacups by Judy Woodland. Look at that shading!! The various green and turquoise hues work SO well together! And she’s placed her sentiment (these images are from the Short Stacks clear stamp set) in the ideal spot — perfectly framed by those wonderful decorative strips of paper. ANNNND I love that the patterns play up the patterns in the teacups! Tiny white polka dots just MAKE this card. Judy Judy Judy, this is so very precious. 


Can we be real for a second? When I see a card that captures the spirit of my vision for a stamp — the concept I have for it in my head as I’m developing an idea — I feel my adrenaline surge. I think to myself: YESSSSS!!! I probably also say it out loud, because I’m excitable like that. Gail (@ionabunny)’s card featuring our Action Santa clear stamp had me so giddy, I actually made Doug come in to my office and look at it with me. This is just brilliant. The retro vibe of this stamp is perfectly showcased with these “flat” colors — by flat I mean, not shaded. The choices of lime green and light teal are fresh and fun, but still have the old-school look when paired together. Gail’s white cut-outs that suggest Santa’s zoooooooming trajectory are extremely clever. This card made my day.

See? Looking at your cards and coloring of my stamps is like fuel for my soul. And I can’t get enough, so I hope you all will keep sharing with us. Don’t forget to add the hashtag #powerpoppy when you’re posting on Facebook or Instagram. And everyone with a smart phone or tablet needs to get on Instagram. Cardmaking is like an inspiring wonderland over there — it’s so easy to share your cards, take process shots, and find your tribe! Follow me there @marcellahawley and @powerpoppy!

One last card to share today.... because we’re gonna close with a botanical bang!


Maggie (follow @rahzicrafts on Instagram) shared this card with my Hellebores digital stamp earlier this week. Just how do you think I reacted? I mean, look at it! I commented to Maggie about how awesome it is, her coloring looks like a botanical print or something — like, total expertise happening here. She responded that she hadn’t known what a Hellebore was when she started on the card and had to Google it. There, my friends, is proof that you don’t have to know anything about flowers to make the showstopping cards. You just have to Google images that show the various colorations, and practice coloring them. Maggie, bravo! And I also appreciate her cute card photo styling. Details, people, details! 

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Our Bloomies worked sooooooo hard the last several weeks, preparing for our release — and if you haven’t scrolled back through to see the beauty, I encourage you to catch up this weekend. Just such genuinely inspiring work — thinking outside the box in terms of coloring styles, composition, technique — always someone breaking new ground! Speaking of, we have two Bloomies today with cards you just have to see, both featuring one of our brand new clear stamps!





Everybody, just a reminder that we have FREE SHIPPING until Saturday night if you buy three or more clear stamps...


Thank you for sharing your time with us this week. I feel on top of the world and I wish you top o’ the morning... have a great one! A friend of mine posted this on the Facebook, and I just love it, from the poet, Yeats:


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Spring Fling's Final Reveal - All Sets Available NOW

Well guys, it’s been a MOST delightful week sharing special peeks at our new collection of stamps. Today, we’re going to recap one that you got to see earlier this month when Kathy Racoosin of the Daily Marker created a showstopping group of cards with a stamp I designed at her special request! Did you happen to see Tiger Lily XL? It is the FIRST stamp in a new collection we’re starting featuring super-sized flowers in clear polymer. Lots of detail, large areas to color to really have room to fit your marker and pencil tips! These guys are large and in charge — they come on a 5" x 5" stamp canvas, and in this case, the flower itself is over 4" wide!


Kathy’s video coloring tutorial using Tiger Lily XL was a huge hit, and a revelation to many, as she colored it up with Sharpies, that clever lass. Then a few days later, she was back at it again, this time with colored pencils and a whole new color scheme. Be sure to go give this a peek, too, then pick up the stamp for yourself to add your own unique spin.




I’m just about to get right to the blog roll here for today’s final reveal by the hardest working team in the stamp business, The Bloom Brigade! Can we get a round of applause for them? Or even better, a standing ovation? Or wait, the BEST thing: stopping by their blogs to leave a cheery note. They have truly outdone themselves on this release, I’m sure you agree. But first, a brief announcement:

Today the entire Spring Fling Collection of stamps is in the Power Poppy Shop! 
I’m offering a lil special offer now through Saturday:

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FREE SHIPPING 
when you purchase 3 or more clear stamp sets
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US and Canada: Select "FREE SHIPPING" from the dropdown menu when you are checking out.

International Customers: Select "SPECIAL OFFER SHIPPING" from the dropdown menu, and you will receive the same discount as our domestic customers.

Stamps do NOT have to be from the new release, they can be any sets that are available for purchase, even SALE stamps (I’ve put a bunch on sale for a limited time only!)
Offer ends March 18, 2017 at midnight central.


Would you like to see the Bloomies’ last cards featuring this collection? Come take a look... I seriously hope you have a hankie nearby, because these are so creative they could bring a person to tears!


Thank youuuuuu ladies! You totally kicked a-double-ess on this release and I am SO excited to work with each of you, my sweets!!

And now.... let’s reveal all of the sets, and remember, a few of them have coordinating dies now available!



Be sure to check out the Coordinating Dies for Natural Beauties, limited quantities, pre-order and your stamps and dies will ship after March 20.





Be sure to check out the Coordinating Dies for Succulent Singles, limited quantities, pre-order and your stamps and dies will ship after March 20.







Be sure to check out the Coordinating Dies for Loving Tulips, limited quantities, pre-order and your stamps and dies will ship after March 20.









Be sure to check out the Coordinating Dies for Peony Muse, limited quantities, pre-order and your stamps and dies will ship after March 20.




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WHEW!!! I think that’s it!! If I think of anything else, I’ll circle back. I think I need a nap. But no time, I gotta go start packing up orders! 

Thanks so much for your beautiful comments all week, you are such kind and generous people, each of you. xoxoxo!!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Spring Fling Day 4: Peony Muse and Artful Display

Hi friends! Yesterday was such a whirlwind of activity, it almost feels like a blur. We announced the winners of our jumbo stamp Giveaway (did you see who won? So fun!) along with two flower-filled stamp sets. Today we’re sharing two more sets, and we’re THISCLOSE to tomorrow’s final set and release day! 

So are you guys into decorating? Along with staring at plants, decorating is my favorite sport! I like to dream about how I’m going to decorate perhaps even more than the physical act of decorating. Paging through magazines voraciously, stopping, staring, dreaming, planning... and sometimes actually following through to bring the beauty I see in magazines into our home. Here are photos of a few spaces in our house that make me happy. You may notice a theme... check out the walls for groupings of objects. We’ll return to that topic shortly...


Our “entryway” — or more aptly called “the stuff you see when you walk in the door that’s behind the couch”. Often piled with backpacks, musical instruments, soccer bags, shoes, rollerblades, you get the picture. Where are they in the above photo? Why, I shoved them into the area behind me to take this nice photo. Because I wanted you to look at the grouping of the frames and plates on the wall. Aren’t they fun? This scene is composed of framed images that all have meaning to me: a Majolica asparagus plate given to me by my mom years ago, a framed print of seashells (again from my mom, boy was her decorating game strong!), an old French lithograph from a chair catalog that I picked up on Portobello Road in London over 20 years ago, and on the bottom row, a very cool photo of my Auntie Bea when she was a child in Poplar Bluff, MO, and a vintage plate from my Grandma Bonnie. 

In this entry area, all of the objects have a color theme of brown, cream, and turquoise — and the various shapes of the items make them all work together. Yay!


Next up is this shot from my living room leading in to our dining room. Old plates and vintage Minton tiles arch their way up the wall, and when I walk under it, I feel so happy. The colors of the objects all have that turquoise theme, but on this wall, things also have a bit of green or yellow. I purposely looked for items with turquoise accents any time I was out bebopping around antiques shops or trolling eBay. Note that we have another grouping of art and plates in the dining room. Clusters of visual beauty with colors that complement and shapes that aren’t exactly alike, but echo one another as you move room to room. And yes, we currently have an old sofa in the dining room... it’s a long story.


Hey look, more plates and framed antique-y stuff! The oyster plate up top is one of my favorite things in the house. Each oyster-cradle looks as if it’s been edged in a gilded blanket stitch. I don’t like oysters but I LOVE oyster plates!


From the dining room into the sunroom (psst... it is no longer a sunroom; last year we transformed it into a bedroom for one of our four kids). But still, check out deez plates and platters and frames! A collection of vintage lemon juicers, Portmerion botanical plates, and framed vintage prints makes my heart sing.


Upstairs in my refreshed office space, and look, more stacks of cute stuff. I haven’t finished putting up the artwork on the walls, but you can pretty much rest assured that there are going to be framed images and plates! It’s just so fun to arrange them in all different ways.

One thing I wanted you to gaze upon... do you see the doggie in the window? I mean, doggie on the shelf? That guy is a Staffordshire spaniel from the late 1800s, part of a pair (the other one is downstairs manning another vignette somewhere). These pottery figurines have been collectible for years, and my Grandmother Dorothy was a dealer of English antiques, so I inherited some doggies from her. They are quirky but eternally cool. My mother also gave me a set of Staffordshire dogs that I cherish, ones she bought at auction when she and my dad were first married. You’ve got to do a Google image search to see all of the interesting variations!

So.... was that enough decorating for you? Are you ready for something crazy? I have brought my obsession with creating arrangements of plates and artful objects into the stamping realm. Introducing: Artful Display.


The stamps in this set are like what you’d find after a day of thrift store shopping or a lucky binge at an estate sale — all the makings for fanciful cards that will delight you AND the person who gets your card. I know if I received a papercrafted treat with decoratively arranged plates, I would think to myself, “The person who sent this is quite possibly the coolest person ever.” 

Wait till you see the Bloomies’ cards!!!! You may have seen them already since I’m a a few hours late posting this blog. :) 

On to the next stamp set preview. Is it fair to say that this one ALSO tugs at my ever-lovin’ heartstrings? Yep. Due to this simple fact: I. LOVE. PEONIES.


They’re the best, no need to debate it. Above is a handful of ’em from my garden, featuring such cultivars as ‘Do Tell’, ‘Lights Out’, ‘Coral Charm’, and ‘Sarah Bernhardt’. (That sweet white plant dotting the background is Anemone canadensis, also called windflower, which I willfully allow to roam all over my yard as you can see...)

So I already have a few digital and clear stamp sets featuring Peonies. Why another one? Well, folks, because this time, I went BIG. Also, you can never, ever, ever, EVER have enough Peonies. Introducing Peony Muse...!!


Composed of two lush peonies in various phases of opening, plus a tight bud, leaf clusters, and hand-drawn sentiments offering love, light, and prayers, this set is really pretty great. You can create a whole hedge of peonies or just a single focal point. I confess to playing with these for a few hours just trying different combinations.

And.... IT HAS COORDINATING DIES!! They'll be in the shop by early next week. Happy dance, anyone?

I’ve gone on talking for WAY too long... and what I REALLY want you to see are the cards made by my artistic, adorable, highly imaginative design team, the BLOOM BRIGADE! Popping from blog to blog seeing their work is truly one of the highlights of my life — it’s a thrill to see what they do with a humble drawing to turn it into a card-sized masterpiece. Go girls, go!



Awrighty.... tomorrow, the final reveal (which many of you have already pre-ordered, tee-hee) and ALL the sets will be available for purchase! Be sure to wait till tomorrow, because we just might be having a special offer so you can save if you buy multiple sets.... :)


P.S.: Today is last day you can get in on the Kit and Clowder Online Coloring Class featuring Power Poppy. I have literally seen peoples’ coloring ability get turned on their heads — AMP UP your skills! Alyce has all kinds of package discounts and I can guarantee, you will love the feeling of community and support offered by the other students, the “Clowdies” - so cute! Visit their Facebook Group to check out some of the results of taking the class. You’ll freak out, and then realize that you could take this class and draw in this style, too. Why not? Once you sign up, you can take the class whenever you want. Just have to sign up by March 15 (which is actually March 14 in the US, Alyce is based in Australia. Oi Oi Oi)

Sending out LOVE and good vibes to you today!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Spring Fling Day Three: Loving Tulips and Sweet Memories

Just a note here before we begin. I did not mess up Daylight Savings time! But I did oversleep... because I was up until 3 am going through all the Giveaway entries... good golly was that exciting. More on that later.

OOoooooOOoooooOOO we just keep on keeping on with the fun this week, are you loving it as much as I am? Two full days of Spring Fling previews are under our belt, three sweet stamp sets have been shared, and today we have two more to add to the stack of temptation! If you haven’t seen any of the other sets yet, take a moment to scroll through our blog to catch up on the juicy cards and creations the Bloomies have been whipping up! Plus you can see my new haircut. Yes, the breaking news and most important information can be found here, including the status of my out of control mane.

ON TO THE STAMP PREVIEWS...

Have ya seen our little peeks at this set yet? The one I spent some time coloring one beautiful morning, and was so excited playing with my tubes of paint that I decided to make a photo shoot on my dining room table with all my “little stuff”...


I woke up and had this vision in my head of arranging the stamps around an inspiring blurb, and for me, this verse is helpful. It’s hand-lettered, not a part of the set, but you could add anything you want inside a scattered circle of Sweet Peas! I shot a few details of the process as the image was coming alive on my watercolor block...


These are the stamps from our new clear stamp set that I think is one of most fun things I’ve played with in a while!! To create this set, I started with our digital version, Sweet Pea Show, which I drew earlier this year. It has been quite the hit with colorists across the world much to my delight, with a rainbow of colors and creative approaches. But the fun part of this clear version is that I took some computer-aided clippers to the vines! The result is a stamp set with a whole BUNCH of single sweet peas in various lengths with subtle variance in scale, along with new drawings of pea pods, tendrils, peas, and a fresh batch of small curlicue sentiments that go with it. It’s all too sweet! Introducing Sweet Memories.


You can do so much with this set, and I know it’s one that I will return to agin and again because it’s gosh darn FUN to play with the twisting, twirling tendrils and our flouncy, fancy hybrid sweet peas. These are no standard peas, my dears. These are special, just like you! hehe! :) Seriously I mean it, though. Special peas for special peeps.

On to the NEXT new stamp set preview for today... let’s just hop right in, shall we? Isn’t everybody everywhere just Loving Tulips? Find me one person who does not like a tulip. The simplest ones are hard to pass up, and the French, Parrot, and species tulips are downright jaw-dropping. So let’s check out this set that might ring a bell with ya....


Do you recognize that pitcher of prettiness? It’s based on one of our most popular digis everrrr, Tulips in Hobnail Pitcher. But I refined the clear stamp version a bit, and it’s just as awesome and fun to color as the digi. PLUS, this one comes with a spotty sentiment that I hope will win your heart as it did mine. The swoopy scripty “Hello!” is based on a vintage greeting card I found, and attempted to recreate — but with a polka-dotty vibe just to be extra lively.

This new set will also have COORDINATING DIES — yes, I am going there — and they will be in the shop next week!

ADDENDUM: Our alert cardmaking friend Maria V. inquired as to whether the dies for Loving Tulips will fit the digital stamp. I’d like to report that they will fit with a small adjustment. The digital stamp needs to be slightly reduced when you go to print. You'll just change the size to 97% in the print dialog box and the artwork should nestle right in. This was not my intention, but due to variance needed when manufacturing the clear stamps, the digital image is not a perfect match. If this becomes too tricky for folks, we may upload a "die-friendly update" to be available to anyone who has purchased Tulips in Hobnail Pitcher. Stay tuned, darlings!

Now let’s run ’round and see what creative cards are on display for today by the talented Bloom Brigade design team, who are just totally outdoing themselves on this release, I’m sure you’ll agree:



Thank you sooooo much, Bloomies!! And thank you so much to my wonderful customers who have been burning up the internet with their kind comments so far during our previews.

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And now it’s time to announce the winner of the Power Poppy Giveaway — you know, the one where we are giving away the ENTIRE SPRING FLING COLLECTION of 8 stamps to one entrant and a friend who was tagged.

We got approximately 80 ba-jillion entries from our blog, Facebook, and Instagram — and I want to tell you that by the end of going through all of them (I was awake until 3 am!!) I wish I could give them to every single one of you. If I ever win the lottery, I’m totally going to. 

But for this time around, we have one winner, who tagged one friend...



*** BARB ENGLER ***

Barb, Congratulations to you!
You win all 8 stamps in our collection, and the friend you tagged wins 8 stamps, too. That friend is Lisa Tilson.

Please send us a note at bloom@powerpoppy.com with both of your addresses so we can get those stamps on their way to both of you lickity split. Can't wait to see what you make with them, ladies, I hope you’ll share photos of your work with us.

THANK YOU ALL so much for entering, for your beautiful, loving, and sometimes very moving comments... this was great fun and I think we’ll have to do it again!!

See you back here tomorrow, yes? TWO MORE stamp sets will be coming out to play, and we’ll be one day closer to everything being available to purchase on March 14. 

Enjoy your day,