Friday, August 17, 2018

Friday Feels!

Happy Fri-YAY Peeps! It's time to cue up all 
the "good feels" and bring you....

Your Good Vibe 5 Hit List

1. Playing with Poppies Jessie Banks is at it again with that wonderful water brush of hers! This time, she's taking some new liquid watercolors for a test drive and putting Power Poppy's Poppy XL in the spotlight. Click HERE to see her add all that beautiful shading with the flick of a brush!

2. Raising It Up! Be still my heart. Can you even handle the beauty Susan Wymer created with Power Poppy's Azaleas Forever digital stamp set? That background! The die cut squares lifted off the card! Check out her blog HERE for all the deets. Can you say CASE? I can!

3. What are YOU????? I can almost hear our Power Poppy Pup Mr. Tibbs checking out that creature in nature and saying, "Are you gonna play with me?" Meantime, the deer is wondering what the heck that large-eared furry ball is. I, no doubt, know that the deer's heart probably melted a wee bit at the sheer cuteness of the sight. Take it in people! Love our Power Poppy Pup!

4. Confidence Clock  Imagine looking at that beauty every time the second hand ticked? This is the brain child of Alyce over at Kit & Clowder and it is pure GENIUS! Sigh. Really, all I can do is sigh. While this little number was at the center of a recent retreat, Alyce is always sparking creativity over at Kit and Clowder HERE!

5. Shades of Blush & Bashful Anyone else love the Steel Magnolias reference? Well, Jeannean Marshall put those shades into action. She said she adored the Lady Slipper Orchid Digital Stamp Set, so she blew it up to truly take center stage! The background stamp shares "the beauty of a woman." Perfect in EVERY way Jeannean, just perfect!

And that,  my friends, is it! Be sure to pop back in as we kick off the week with another Inspire Me Monday! Amy Shulke -- that amazing colorista -- will be in the house to share some coloring tips. Any time that fine lady shares, it's pure gold so you aren't going to want to miss this one folks!

Until then, enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Sharin' a Little Sunshine!

Hello Happy Stampers! How’s your week shaping up? Fun? Creative? Full of Pizazz? We sure hope so, because it's a regular creative party here on the Power Poppy Blog and we are ready to throw up another round of ....

If you missed us last week, we are tossing up a new challenge – with a brand new theme each week – to help you approach crafting from a different point of view! Some challenges will stretch your creative brain. Others might make you laugh! And, others still might be designed and shared by YOU! No matter what the case, if you play along with us, link up your creation below for a chance at a $25 gift code to the Power Poppy Shop.

If you missed our FIRST challenge this month, click here and get caught up. After all, this linky lasts throughout the whole month, meaning each entry is one more shot at the prize.

On to this week’s challenge!

Yesterday on Inspire Me Monday, Ally Cope shared a video tutorial showing us how to add a little sunshine as we color up our creations! If you’ve ever wondered how some card makers get this “glow” effect to their coloring, wonder no more. Ally breaks down the colors — including a cool palette of hues — and the idea behind adding those gentle rays of light! So, cue up the VIDEO here, and then, all you need to do is show us your project.

I followed my own advice and took her tutorial step by step. Here's my creation:

After watching Ally's video, I decided I would dip into my stash of images that I stamped and cut out with my Silhouette Cameo. I absolutely love the Planning for Magnolias stamp set by Power Poppy and coloring it up makes me smile. So, win-win! Try a new technique. Use a cool stamp set! (The good vibes sentiment is found in the Cheerful Columbine set).

Just to give you an idea of the range of Copic Markers I used to pull off this effect, here's a glance...

Just like Ally suggested, I started with the yellow hues first, trying to visualize just where that sun was rising on my image and touched those areas with a little Y00. After I was done with that, I hit just a teeny weeny portion of the highlighted area with Y11 and blended with Y0000. From there, I started coloring in the pinks and made sure when I got to my lightest shade, R00, I blended with the shades of yellow, giving my yellow a more peachy, rosy glow. I will say, the rays of sun on my creation are a little vibrant in real life. I wish my camera was better at capturing them!

I will be honest, when it comes to casting that glow, I am not great at this yet. I think you need to train your brain to “see” things as they are in nature — not just how you “think” they are in nature. So, I am going to try to do a little mini study of light on my own to see if I can try this again after some practice.

Here's a close up for you!

Do you think it looks better if I actually stick it in the sunlight? ;-)

And that, my friends, is it from me. I can’t wait to see how your cards and creations bask in a little glow of the sun’s rays!

  • Create a card or project that basks in the sun's radiant glow. If you used a photo, like I did, as inspiration, be sure to link it up or show it off! We'd love to see. 
  • Use Power Poppy stamps if you have them, if not, you might win some if you're randomly chosen. Each month, we'll round up all those that play in any of the month’s Creative Confetti challenges, and draw a name from the entries to win a $25 GIFT CARD for the Power Poppy Shop!
  • To enter, link up your creation below, sharing the direct link to your card from your blog, Instagram, or card gallery. 
  • Our link will be open all month for you to play along with us! Try one Creative Confetti Challenge or partake in them all for extra chances to win.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing a little sunshine with us. We can't wait to see you get those fingers inky and share what you've got. It makes us smile each and every time!

a.k.a The Creative Confetti Thrower

Monday, August 13, 2018

Inspire Me Monday: Get That Glow!

Howdy all!  Welcome to another Inspire Me Monday.  I'm your hostess Allison Cope and today I’m going to be working my glow, girl!

Actually I’m going to be sharing my coloring process of added a glow to the beautiful Hellebore flowers from the Hellebore & Hyacinth stamp set.  I’m going to be coloring with Copic Markers and then added some detail using some Polychromos Pencils.

Come and join me at my crafty desk…  I sure hope you have grabbed a beverage of choice because this one is a little longer than one of my normal videos.  Enjoy...

Thanks for joining me today.  Here’s another quick look at my finished card.  I finished off the glass vase and the shadow on the ground off camera.

Here is the list of Copic Markers and the Polychromos Pencils I used for the entire card’s focal image…

Thanks for joining me today.  I hope you’ve enjoyed my tutorial and it inspires you to add a glow to your next project!

~ Allison Cope ~

stampsPower Poppy (Hellebore & Hyacinth)
cardstock:  Bee Company (Marker Paper), Recollections (110# White)
inks: Memento (London Fog), Copic Markers, Polychromos Pencils, Catherine Pooler Designs (Melon Ice, It’s a Girl, Party Dress, Royal Treatment, Black Jack)
dies: My Favorite Things (Stitched Rectangles)
stencil:  Altenew (Halftone Stencil

Friday, August 10, 2018

Good Vibe Friday is happening!

Your Good Vibe 5 Hit List

1. The Most Beautiful Blackberries  When coloring a cluster of berries, how do I know what details to focus on, and what I can leave out? Amy of Vanilla Arts has the secrets to the most beautiful berries - subscribe and get info on her latest class HERE.

2. Want to WIN up to $200 in prizes? There’s still time to enter your Kindness is the Way (a FREE digital download) project in the Kit and Clowder/Power Poppy coloring contest! First, take Alyce’s FREE coloring class, then share your artwork HERE on Facebook to be entered to win. Contest ends August 16.

3. Let Your Home Inspire You  Isn’t Cindy Lawrence’s  soothing beachy seaside card the coolest? Her palette and embellishments were all inspired by her living room! We challenge you to pick a space in your house to inspire your next card — you might win $50 in our monthly Power & Spark Challenge if you share it with us right HERE.

4. Sunshiney Day  Just a photo of my beautiful daughter, Lulu, who is turning 16 on Sunday, and who totally tolerates her mother taking her to the Missouri Botanical Garden.

5. Get More Out of Your Flowers Struggle with picking a floral color palette? Need help with shading petals? I’m sharing a bunch of tips for coloring realistic (yet whimsical!) flowers in my Inspire Me Monday post this week — visit me HERE.

Come see what the Bloomies have been up to this week — their cards always get my wheels spinning to create.

Hope seeing these gorgeous photos and beautiful cards have added some juicy juice to kick off your weekend. Join us Monday for a new tutorial with the amazing Ally Cope — that girl is ALWAYS thinking outside the box!

Enjoy this wonderful gift of a day.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Welcome to Creative Confetti!

Hello Happy Stampers! Have we got exciting developments for YOU. Over the past year, we’ve been leading off Tuesdays with a burst of color inspiration to whet your weekly appetite for creativity. Well, after amassing an array of Hues to Use challenges, we decided to up the ante and get a little crazy here with our weekly challenge! Say “hello” to....

We’re tossing up a new challenge – with a different theme each week – to help you approach crafting from an unexpected angle.

The challenge topics may surprise you. They may get you thinking or make you laugh. We will even be asking you to help us choose with a Power Poppy Poll. Of course, we'll continue to ask guest designers to come on board to share their talents with everyone —that‘s one of our favorite parts.

Creative Confetti offers MONTHLY PRIZES, giving you a catalyst to create like never before!

Let’s get to our very first challenge, shall we?

Did you know in days of old, birthstones were thought to have legendary powers for those that wore them? Some stones brought luck and prosperity. Some signified courage and others still were thought to bring health and energy! So, why not let your creative light shine by making the color of your birthstone take center stage!

Since I am a November baby, I went old school birthstone and am rocking the amber hues of...

Today, citrine is acceptable as is blue topaz. But, this was my first memory of my birthstone so I used these rich hues to inspire my creation. According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, topaz symbolizes love and affection and is believed to give the wearer increased strength and intellect. To that, I say, “Bring on the topaz!”

If you look at my inspiration photo, you see not only deep shades of amber but also a hint of brown in the shadows. As I looked, it was super easy to see that sunflowers would bring that same pop of color. While I love Power Poppy's sunflower illustrations, I imagined something a little different than the composition of In Praise of Sunflowers or the digital version, Sunflower Power. I wanted a band of accents, so I turned to a cousin of sunflowers, the gerbera daisy! These little blossoms are from the digital stamp set, Gerbera Daisies. 

As you can see, I printed up a few, colored them up with Copic Markers (Y15, Y17, Y32, Y35, E17, E31, E33, E25), accented with white gel pens and then cut out so that I could create that little accent on the bottom of the sentiment (stamped from the My English Rose stamp set). I also popped them up with a bit of foam tape to make them stand at attention! ;-)

From there, I grabbed some coordinating cardstock in kraft and amber shades and just went to town layering this all up.

So, can you bring out the vibe from your birthstone in your next card or creation and join us in this VERY FIRST Creative Confetti challenge? We sincerely hope you answer “Yes!”

  • Create a card or project that basks in the color of your birthstone! (Be sure to try to include a photo of your birthstone or link to your inspiration!)
  • Use Power Poppy stamps if you have them, if not, you might win some if you're randomly chosen. Each month, we'll round up all those that play in any of the month’s Creative Confetti challenges, and draw a name from the entries to win a $25 GIFT CARD for the Power Poppy Shop!
  • To enter, link up your creation below, sharing the direct link to your card from your blog, Instagram, or card gallery. 
  • Our link will be open all month for you to play along with us! Try one Creative Confetti Challenge or partake in them all for extra chances to win.

Thanks for stopping by to check out our first Creative Confetti Celebration! Get ready for a barrel of fun to come! In the meantime, we hope you get your craft on and join us this week! 

~Until next time!

a.k.a The Creative Confetti Thrower

Monday, August 6, 2018

Tips for coloring flowers with new eyes

Sitting in my favorite spot near the window with my coffee,  coloring Love One Another, an illustration recently released as a digital download for Power Poppy.

Hey there, friends! It’s your botanical buddy Marcy here to share my very first Inspire Me Monday column. When I see the imaginative ideas shared on the Power Poppy blog by our beloved contributors, it really gets me in the mood to MAKE. It is also a little intimidating! These folks are REALLY GOOD. Thankfully, they are also really encouraging, helpful, and generous with their time and talents, and want all of us to feel like we can conquer any project we set our minds to.

Today I’m sharing tips that I’ve picked up through years of being an illustrator, gardener, and soaker-upper of the visual richness around us. My goal is to help you to enhance your coloring skills. So let’s get started!

1. Think like a florist

When preparing to color a botanical image, facing a tray outfitted with a rainbow of watercolors, a caddy overflowing with Copics, the mind whirls. Where, O where to begin with the color scheme? And when faced with an image that has multiple flowers, this can send our fearless crafter into a tailspin – there are sooooo many choices! How to decide which colors work well together? 

I encourage you to think like a florist. Arranging flowers is merely being an artist with plants — finding compatible colors, textures, and forms to create a pleasing composition. It’s the same thing when you are coloring a bouquet. So let‘s look for beautiful combinations of flowers that someone else has already made into an awesome display - and make it our own. Seek out photos of actual bouquets (and gardens!) where someone has done the work of creating a cool color scheme. It not only saves you time and brain cells, there may be very subtle shifts in color that you’ll notice work beautifully together, things that may not have occurred to you when just sitting down at your craft table, trying to draw on your memory.

A bouquet I nabbed at Pike Place Market in Seattle this spring — the scent was as delicious as the hues.

The bouquet above, of tulips, daffodils, and viburnum, is just the kind of arrangement that can provide a gorgeous jumping off point. Notice how the coral-pink of the tulips is picked up in the pale rosy buds of the viburnum. The whitish/ivory tips of the tulip petals (with a tinge of light green!) echo the viburnum flowers and buds, and the petals of the daffodils. Even the inner petals of the daffodils have a flush of coral-orange, which you could adjust to be the same color as the tulips in your artwork. All presented on a lush layer of green leaves, which you could use for a background color with your paints/markers or with cardstock and paper.

Note: Thiis isn’t the photo I used for reference to create today’s artwork... I was inspired by the colors of the iris photos I found and tried to think like a gardener... “What tulips would I plant next to those irises if this were a garden?”

2. Use reference photos of plants

Due to my background as a botanical illustrator, I aspire to achieve a somewhat realistic look with a painterly vibe. I am not really one to make daffodils hot pink or shade my leaves orange. Now, this isn't to say that I don’t admire the whimsical coloring of folks who take things into another realm, because I totally do! But if you’re hoping to “up” the realism in your coloring, nothing beats looking at the actual subject matter. Use reference photos — there are about 10 gazillion of them on the internet just waiting for you to find the perfect one to inspire your coloring. Google images is your friend! Just type into the search window: “Purple Bearded Irises” (or the specific color/plant of your choice) and hit the “images” tab to start exploring.

For the piece I’m sharing today coloring Love One Another, I needed lots of photos of irises. My favorite source for fabulous, unique hybrids is Schreiner’s Iris Gardens in Oregon. After getting lost in the beauty of their offerings, I finally settled for a purple/blue/white theme with yellow/orange accents. 

Image source: Schreiner’s Iris Gardens
Is this a knock-out or what? I am going to color one of the irises in the illustration with this exact same color scheme, and even attempt to emulate the veins in the petals. Using my HP inkjet printer, I printed out Love One Another at 150% of the original size onto Waste Not Paper cardstock. I like it to be large so that I can have some room to move around with the paintbrush. I changed the opacity to 30% so that the black outlines weren’t so heavy.

While coloring, I have my iPad screen with this photo staring right at me the entire time I’m coloring. (You could also print out the inspiration image.) I then look, look, look, and look some more at the inspiration photo. I am one who starts with the lightest areas of color, and I work my way to deeper tones through layers of color (I learned this from Mr. Dean, my 10th grade art teacher, who we all loved. Thanks, Mr. Dean!).

I look to find the lightest areas and lay down that color with my tiny watercolor brush. Notice how I have followed some of the lines of the original drawing with my yellow. I’m sort of adapting the style of the iris in the photo to the iris that was actually drawn, so it is not exact. A light wash of yellow all around the petals is a nice foundation. Some tiny areas along the edge are left white, to allow for highlight.

Next, I’ve gone in with a little bit richer yellow-orange to dab, dab, dab into the ruffly crevices. This helps create some contrast. Just dab this color onto the places in the petals where I have indicated shading in the original drawing.

For the uppermost iris petals (referred to as “standards”), I’ve painted with the very lightest smidgen of paint onto the shadow areas. I used a washy bit of yellow with some washy aqua, just to hint at the subtle shadows.

I also tackled the yellow “beards” – the fuzzy caterpillar-looking things that jut out from the base of the petals. After studying my reference photo, I give each of the three beards a light wash of yellow, leaving a few tiny areas white. I notice that the innermost area of the beard is orange, and as it recedes, it is almost rusty. I add a little purple and green to the orange-yellow on my brush to get a dulled out, deep color to tuck into the crevices of the petals. Later I’ll go back and add more beard detail with colored pencils.

For the purple areas, I’ve used light washes of blue and purple, sometimes I’ll pick up a little magenta and mix it in, always adding more water and sometimes blotting the brush on a separate paper, keeping the paint very diluted and building up with minute strokes. At times I’ll pick up more paint on the brush and let it do what it wants on the paper. I’m continually looking at the reference photo. How does the purple coloration interact with the yellow? It is almost feathered. So I am doing tiny, tiny strokes to work the colors into one another.

I draw veins freehand along with painting directly on top of the veins in the original drawing, depending on the look I’m going for. The reference photo iris has lots of venation, and I am trying to capture that in my flower. I’ve left plenty of highlight areas so that the petals appear to undulate.

Notice that the veins in the reference photo do not stay purple the entire length of the vein. Near the base of the petal, they are more yellow-orange-brownish, as the yellow and purple in the petal merge. I have tried to get that color mixed with my watercolors (done by mixing yellow into purple on my palette).

I use Winsor Newton watercolors and gouache, save for this little lavender lump in the foreground, which was a gift of Daniel Smith squeezed directly onto my palette by my friend Lori Gardener Woods.

3. Choose a variety of varieties

Here‘s perhaps the most fun tip of all, coming from a person who loves uniqueness and mixing up lots of patterns. You do not have to color all of the flowers the same way. Of course you CAN if you want to, and it will be beautiful. But remember that you are free to color these babies however the heck you want. I decided to let the yellow/purple/white iris at the top of the illustration hold its own, and to try to capture the spirit of this striking variety for the second iris in my piece:

Image source: Schreiner‘s Iris Gardens
Now this iris had a very rich coloration, with a bit more magenta in the purple than in the first iris. I look and look and look at the reference photo. I literally SQUINT to try to study where the shadows fall, and pay attention to where I need to leave things light and bright for the highlight areas. It is this difference in light and dark that the petals find their lively snap!

Try squinting as you look at the photo above. It’s kind of amazing how the shadow and highlight areas become more prominent, isn’t it?

Notice how the petals are composed of layers of washy color. I’ve gone over and over the same area with light layers of varying shades of blue, purple, and magenta, achieving depth and intensity with my watercolors. In some areas of extreme shadow, I’ve gone ahead and used the paint color at full strength. And sometimes I’ll add dark brown to really go deep.

This is all before I brought out my new Prismacolor colored pencils to get more definition and zing. Oh mercy me!

So, how to handle the three tulips in Love One Another? I tried to think like a gardener on this one. I loved the white standards on the iris at top, and the highlights on the petals of the bottom iris led me to want to leave something white in each tulip, rather than to color them all the way in. 

I remembered seeing Rembrandt tulips while touring the Tulip Time festival in Skagit Valley, Washington with my friend Sharyn this spring, and decided to do some Googling.... 

Basically with these tulips, I’ve taken total creative license, looking at my reference photo and then creating my own tulip hybrids from the purple, blue, and magenta tones that show up in the two irises. I’ve even brought in some yellow, splashed inside and outside the petals, to pick up on the vibrant iris beards. 

To make everything more complicated, I got out my colored pencils, and using quick tiny strokes, I added feathery detail to each iris, tulip, leaf, stem, and insect.

I gave the background a washy background composed of pale warm yellow with tinges of green and brown, and then went through the entire thing with similar shades of colored pencils, using cross-hatch lines to add interest and movement.

Finally, I shaded the lettering, Love One Another using the same blues, purples, and magentas as the flowers.

The finished product...

I hope my tips have been helpful for you, and open your eyes and mind to ways you might enhance your own work. Thank you so much for spending time with me today!

Friday, August 3, 2018

August Power & Spark: Home Sweet Home!

Hello all and welcome to a new month with a new challenge! It’s all designed to create a bit of creative spark within you! Are you ready for us to take the lid off this new challenge? It's a fun one! Ms. Cindy Lawrence is our hostess with the mostess; and she's challenging us to keep the inspiration behind our creations, close to home! Check it out! 

HOW TO PLAY: Being inspired for this challenge is as simple as looking around your home. Is there a color scheme you crave? What about a pattern featured in a home decor accessory that could spin off into an idea for a card? Here's what Ms. Cindy had to say about this month's Inspired by Home Power & Spark Challenge!

This month, I’m challenging you to create a project inspired by a favorite room or corner in your home! Do you enjoy that modern farmhouse style? Or do you rock a more retro look? Can you see some of your home in your next card or creation? Don’t forget to include an inspiration photo so we can see how you brought that idea to life!

And as we always do, here's Cindy's card and a little bit about the inspiration behind it!

For her creation, Cindy used one of Power Poppy's newest digital stamp sets -- Gifts from the Sea.  She pulled her inspiration from several elements in the room. The textures in the baskets, curtain ties, and wood accessories inspired the ribbons & wood brads on her card. The colors of the walls, furniture, and accessories inspired the color palette in the image. The framed art inspired the cardstock choices and shapes. There are so many directions she could have gone here! For full details and more inspiration photos, visit Cindy’s brand new blog here.

Thanks Cindy! What a beautiful creation to get those ideas floating and jump start this challenge!


  • Use Power Poppy stamps if you have them. If not, it is a great way to win some!
  • Link your creation below using our Linky (please use the exact URL from your post instead of a generic blog address.)
  • Please mention Power Poppy in YOUR blog or gallery post with a link back to THIS challenge
  • The winner will receive a $50 SHOPPING SPREE TO THE POWER POPPY SHOP
  • Enter as many cards as you’d like, as long as they fit the theme of the challenge
  • Deadline to enter is August 31st @ 8:00 PM EST. At that point, we’ll draw the winner randomly and make the announcement right here on the first Friday in September!

  • And now, it’s time to draw one lucky name out of our virtual hat from those who linked up a card for July's Inspire Me Challenge hosted by yours truly! (Be sure to click the link to see all the amazing entries this past month!) drew the number.... 

    And that means the winner is....

    *** IRENE RHODES ***

    Check out Irene’s amazing creation! I have to say, while this drawing was random, I was a little biased toward this technique! Irene used one of the digi tutorials I did HERE on using average everyday fonts and mixing them up with digital stamps. If you haven't checked out that tutorial, it's really a valuable technique, especially when you are looking to customize a card for just the right person or message.

    Irene took that tutorial and added the word FAITH into the mix and surrounded the letters with the digi from the Flowering Branches set. I just adore the results! And, the color scheme Irene chose is just divine as well! We are so happy you played along this month Irene -- this one is a stunning keeper! Now to claim your $50 Shopping Spree to the Power Poppy Shop, just email us at and we'll get your coupon code right to you!

    If you need a little extra sumpin, sumpin to get those creative juices and mojo flowing, I know these fine ladies will not disappoint. Be sure to click on the links and pay them a visit.

    Thanks for stopping by and seeing what we've got going down here on the Power Poppy Blog. We can't wait to see you join us this month for Power & Spark. As always, don't forget to link up your creation below after you take the challenge. We love to see just how you took these challenges for a spin.

    See you back here soon,