January 16, 2017

Hip Kit Club February 2017 Kits Reveal!!

I'll start with the spoiler. These are probably one of my all time favorite hip kits. And that says a lot. Here's what's coming in February. The main kit-


The color palette is my favorite... Pinks, teals, aquas and pops of black and white. And gold accents. And Thickers... And more Thickers... So excited to have these goodies from the new Crate, Maggie Holmes and Shimelle's collections... So good!
Next is the embellishment kit.


There are no words. All.Gorgeous.
Moving on to the PL kit, there will also be cards posted soon on the HKC website.


Puffy stickers? Check. Tiny word stickers? Check!
The color kit is fun and has some new paints from Shimmerz-


And for all your paper needs, the patterned paper add on and cardstock add on-



Thanks for visiting and check out the HKC website for all the details of these gorgeous kits!

January 6, 2017

Free Online Class and Creative Plans for 2017!

Hi! The start of a new year is always a good time to dream big and venture into new territories. I started teaching mixed media and scrapbooking online in 2015, at Big Pictures Classes and together with the talented Jen Schow (and those classes are all available with instant access). But I have decided to also go on my own, so to kick-start this new direction, I'm offering a free class! Click here to go there, or follow the link on the right sidebar.


And the class promo video-


Here's more information on my plans for 2017-


I wish you a wonderful new year! Thanks so much for your support!

December 28, 2016

New Watercolors!

The obsession continues... I just got some lovely new watercolor from Jackson's Art Supplies, here they are-

Here's how they look, I tried to adjust the scan to be as close to real life as possible, but with the cobalts it wasn't perfect...


Here are my versions of mixing charts, this is much more fun!



Here's the video where I show these and talk way too much about them ;)


Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful new year!

December 10, 2016

Guest Designer For Pink Paislee!

I'm so excited to be featured on the Pink Paislee blog as a guest designer! Head on over there and check out all the winter themed projects I created using their beautiful collections. There are scrapbook layouts, a card and an easy DIY gift bag!
Here are some sneak peaks-


Thanks for visiting and have a lovely day!

November 21, 2016

Watercolor Sets Comparison- White Nights, Cotman & Gansai Tambi

Hi! Today I'd like to share with you a watercolor comparison and review I filmed. I highly recommend watching the video, where I talk about the advantages and disadvantages of each set in detail. 



I am comparing these sets-
I feel that all three can be considered as a go to set that will serve one for many many years. I have to say that since I've first seen and purchased the Kuretake set, the price has dropped significantly. When I bought my set a few years ago I paid around 60$ for it. As of the the day this post is going live on, the set costs less than half on Amazon. For that reason, this set is very attractive, and would be a lovely present. However, I do think it has some, possibly important, disadvantages, and that's why I wanted to introduce the other sets here, because I think they offer more flexibility and convenience. 
Here are the advantages and disadvantages I found in each set.

Kuretake Gansai Tambi 36 pans set-

Advantages:
  • Price. This set contains 36 high quality paints, for less than a dollar per pan. 
  • The colors are bright and vivid.
  • Nice color selection (though lots of greens!)
  • The pans are quite large, their surface area is about double the traditional European watercolor pan, which is great for large brushes.
  • Pans are sold separately so one can replace colors once empty or switch colors in the palette.
  • It comes packaged in a pretty (although not very practical) box. 
  • There are specialty paints included, a pearlescent paint, gold and bronze. This can be an advantage or a disadvantage, depending on one's preferences.
Disadvantages:
  • This palette is large. Really big. It measures about 7"x11", so you need a lot of space to work with it. Also, it comes in a rather attractive canvas covered carton box, but there is no mixing space, meaning if you want to mix or water down your colors you need an extra palette, which will take up even more space. This was for me a noticeable disadvantage that led me to search other palettes.
  • Compared to the other two options mentioned, this one is the least readily available, at least for me, in Austria.
  • One is limited only to this brand if one wants additional paints. Other companies' pans will not fit this unique Japanese size pan.
  • The colors are mostly semi opaque, which is typical of Japanese watercolors. I write this as a disadvantage because I prefer my watercolors transparent.
  • There are 8 greens in this set, which is a little excessive compared to other similar sized sets.
  • I couldn't find information online on pigments, opacity, lightfastness, granulation etc. 
St. Petersburg White Nights 36 full pans set-

Advantages:
  •  This set comes in a plastic box, with lots of mixing areas.
  • The colors are bright and vivid.
  • Nice color selection
  • The pans are large, not as large as the Kuretake ones, but still great size, standard full pans.
  • Colors can be purchased individually for a very attractive price (around 2$, cheaper than the other two brands mentioned here)
  • Because this is a standard pan size, one can replace the pans with pans from other brands. It fits both full and half pans, so one has lots of flexibility here.
Disadvatages:
  • This set is smaller than the Kuretake, but still quite large at about 5.5"x11".
  • Some colors are not lightfast (which means they will fade with the years), but I have found that to be true for many of the ├╝ber bright colors in all brands. This doesn't bother me, but might be important to you.
  • I wish they had a lighter pink.... But I'm a little obsessed with that color...
  • I have found these only available in full pans. At their incredible low price it's not an issue, only if one prefers half pans for their compact size.
I have to admit I can't find many disadvantages with these. I love them, I think they are an amazing value for money, and I would recommend them to anyone at any level who wants a wonderful set of watercolors. 
I actually think the best option is to buy the White Nights 24 set that comes in the 36 pans box, and add 12 pans or 24 half pans of your choice to make this the perfect set for you.

Winsor & Newton Cotman 45 half pans set-

Advantages:
  • This set is the most compact of the three, as it contains half pans.
  • The palette is made out of plastic and has lots of mixing areas. The box seems to be a smaller version of the White Nights box.
  • There are 45 half pans in this set, 40 colors, plus 5 extras of certain colors (mine has 2 each of alizarin crimson hue, ultramarine, ivory black, white and yellow ochre.)
  • This set contains all the colors in the Cotman range, and its a great selection of watercolors. Probably the best in this comparison.
  • One can replace each half pan with a half pan from other brands.
  • The Cotman range, which is the student grade range from Winsor & Newton, comes also in tubes, which makes it very economical in the long run. (once a pan is empty, one can buy the tube of that exact paint, which will last a long time).
  • Winsor & Newton are probably the most widely available paints from the three brands reviewed here.
Disadvantages: 
  • These are student grade paints. And indeed when used, most colors are not as vibrant as the other two sets. 
  • These have the smallest pans, so can be less convenient when using a large brush.
  • Out of the three sets, these are the driest. They rewet nicely, but needs a little more work than the other two, which are creamier.
I will edit this post in the future if I find any new information or change my mind ;)
Thanks for visiting, and please leave me a comment if you have any questions!

November 20, 2016

The Doctors Are In Series #2- Rejuvenation Therapy to Older Stash

Hi! The weekend clinic is open again! This week Mercy Tiara (Tracy Banks) and myself are tackling our older stash, assembling a mini kit and making two layouts on video from start to finish!
Here are the layouts I created-



here's the video showing my kit-


And the process videos-


Click here to get to the playlist with all the videos in the series, including Tracy's. Thanks so much for visiting and have a great day!

November 15, 2016

Watercolor 101 #2- Favorite Yellows

Hey! I'm back with another video in my watercolor series. If you think I have a master plan, I'm sorry to disappoint ;) In this series I just want to share my favorite experiences with this wonderful medium.

I don't mean to enable you to go and buy everything I mention, I really think it is more than enough to have a few colors, a brush, paper and water to get things going and have lots of fun.

I would like to share my favorite colors in each color group, so in case you're in search of some paint, or want something new to try, maybe this will help to narrow down your choices. So here are my favorite yellows (at the moment)-


You don't need 5 yellows in your palette. A great versatile palette would have a cold (blue-biased) yellow, and a warm (red-biased) yellow. But please remember your palette needs to fit your needs. Maybe you hate lemon yellow and never want to use it. Remember it would be useful to have lemon yellow if you want to mix bright greens, or any green... or dull down a purple. But again, your palette, your call!

So if I had to choose two, I would probably stick to my two Sennelier yellows, on the left in the photo. Lemon Yellow and Yellow Light. They are both luminous, transparent yellows. I prefer my watercolors to be transparent.
My choice for a deep earthy yellow is Daniel Smith Nickel Azo Yellow. Gorgeous paint. Love it in foliage or fall landscapes. 

My happy yellow is Daniel Smith New Gamboge. It is a very orange yellow, and a touch of it brings light to any flower or scene. 

And last, but not least, another one of those magical colors. Daniel Smith Quinacridone Gold. This is a beautiful more neutral yellow. It is great for mixing more muted, not so bright greens (New Gamboge and the two Sennelier yellows are brighter)  and oranges.

The Daniel Smith paint is made of PO49, whereas most other brands use a mixture of pigments. I happen to have the Qor Quin. Gold, it came in the high chroma set, and while there might be a difference (the Daniel Smith one seems more luminous, but I could be imagining...), I love the way the Qor paint flows and spreads.
Watch the video for some chatting about these lovelies-


Thanks for visiting!