Thursday, September 30, 2010

Harlequin - BD card for my brother

My brother Raymond's birthday is coming up and I decided to use Harlequin for his card. My brother loves art. One of his favorite paintings is a Pablo Picasso's oil painting entitled Paulo, Picasso's Son, as Harlequin. In the 70s, he gave a reproduction to my parents and they still have it in their house to this day. I love that painting too! There is something about that little boy that appears so well behave. I could just imagine how he was longing to run outside and play with his friends, but could not as he had to stay still while his father was sketching this painting. How many times we find ourselves in similar situations when we just want to be free, but are stuck doing something that was not our choice in the first place. Maybe it is just me, maybe this never happens to you!

Harlequin (a.k.a. Arlequin) originally came from France. He was a black-faced emissary of the devil, is said to have roamed the countryside with a group of demons chasing the damned souls of evil people to Hell. But to me he was the puppet that always hit the other puppets on the head with a wooden stick. Such violence!!! And we used to laugh at that! Today this would not be tolerated. Thank God!

Harlequin is also a sharp dresser. Not too many people could pull off the paisley outfit! Except fancy dressed golfers! LOL!!

A few weeks ago I drew my own Harlequin digistamp to give as a freebie when my group on Crafter's Digital Art Center reached 100 members. I wanted to offer an image that can be used for kid and adult cards. I was planning to make a card with him and post it at that time, but ran out of time. But when I looked at my list of upcoming birthdays and saw my brother's name on it; I knew I had to use him for his card.

For the inside sentiment, I decided to go funny. Since it is in French, I will give my best shot to translate the humour:
How wonderful to be young,
in health and full of energy...

Do you remember those good old days?!
Happy Birthday!

Stamp:  Harlequin (coming soon in my online store)
Card Size: 5 x 7
Paper:  Various
Technique:  inked edge

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Thank you Cards

Pierre-André, one of my co-workers, just got married and he asked me to make him two thank you cards for some wonderful people who helped him put the wedding together.

Pierre-André is one of my regular clients and he gives me carte-blanche, trusting me to make beautiful and unique cards.  He told me that since he has been giving my cards away, he realised how much people appreciate hand-made creations over any fancy cards. This week, he was telling me that him and his wife went to visit with a lady who is like a second mother to both of them and that the Mother's Day card I made was still on display in her living room.  That made me very happy!

He instructed me to make one card for a lady and one card for a couple (adding that they are black). I looked in my own images folder first and there were a few that I was considering. For some reason, I had this idea that the theme for the first card should be something about "being an angel". I looked in my freebie folders; those are images I picked up from blogs and sites where artists offer their digistamps for free. I found this wonderful image of an angel cat created by SJ's Little Musing. At first, I did not know who created that cute image as there was no reference to the artist name in the file name. I think it is important for the artist to add their name to the digistamp file name or people, just like me, might not remember where they got that freebie.

This image was easy to colour. I added some Stickles to the wings and halo to make it more heavenly. The papers were from my scrap container. I am a non-conventional artist when it come to putting paper together. I often mix different mediums for the fun of it. Sometime it backfires, but most of the time I get pretty good results.  I added a little ribbon to dress up the card and stamped the word "Thanks" on the image. I kept the inside verse simple in an attempt to make the message clear :
Thanks for all your help! We couldn't have done it without you! You're an angel!

The second card was a little bit harder. I had in mind that a couple should appear on the card. I looked in my images and the couples I have are not really suited for black people. I looked at the Magnolias I have and decided to combine two of them "Princess Tilda" and "Edwin with rose". The Magnolia stamps are so versatile for so many ethnicity. I wanted the card to be bright and cheerful. I chose the paper by k i Memories - Designer Paper Pad - Colorful Fun Paper Pad. I bought this pad of paper at a Hobby Lobby in Houston, Texas when I visited with my friend Tracy.  The ribbon is from the Dollarama and the brown flower is by Prima. The inside sentiment is: "Many, many thanks to you!
You brought real delight and helped make our wedding day more joyful and more bright!
Thank you!"

Both designs are my own creations.

First Card:
Digistamp:  Angel Cat
By: SJ's Little Musing
Copics Used: BG10, E13, E17, R11
Papers: Various sources

Second Card:
Stamps: Princess Tilda and Edwin with rose
By: Magnolia
Copics Used: B91, B977, B99, BG11, BG15, E13, E17, E25, E29, E47, N2, N4, N7, R81, R85, YG63, YG67
Papers: k i Memories - Designer Paper Pad - Colorful Fun Paper Pad

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Homemade Copic Holder

I have been looking for a Copic holder for months. My friend Brenda used a wooden wine rack and I thought it was a great idea, but just could not find one in my area. I started to search on the net and found many racks for sale, but being the creative person that I am, I was convinced that I would find a way to make my own and that it would be original and different than what is available out there.

Tonight I was shopping at a dollar store and saw something that got my creativity juice going. There, right in front or me, were these beautiful tin cans, deep enough to contain my Copics and a perfect square to be able to stack them side by side and one on top of the other. I bought nine of them and some double side tape and went home as quick as I could to start my project.

Step 1. I applied two strips of double sided tape on two sides of the first tin can. I made sure that I did not go to the edge of the top or bottom of the can so that the tape would not show.

Step 2. I removed the paper on the strip of double sided tape to reveal the glue and pressed another can against the first one on the glued side. I made sure they were lined up. I repeated the same step for the third can. I then put two strips of tape on the other two cans on the same side as the first one.

Step 3.  I repeat Step 2 with three other cans and removed the paper from the strips on the first three cans. I lined up the second set of three cans and pressed them against the first set.

Step 4. I repeated Step 3 and glued the third set of three cans.
Step 5. In order to made sure my holder would not slide on my desk and give a little angle to the holder to stop the Copics from falling off. I used a wine cork from which I cut three slices with an Exacto knife.

Step 6. I put double sided tape on the cork slices and glued them to the bottom cans. Making sure that they would be front and centered.

And there you have it, your own handmade Copic holder. All this for about $12.

It looks even better with Copics in it! :) Although now I really want to buy more to fill it up a bit. I kept the covers and can close the tin cans if I want (especially then there are young children around). This was a fun and easy project!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sunflower Wreath

There are good things in life that it is always sad to see go. Personal Stamp Exchange is one of them. They produced some of the most amazing rubber stamps I have ever seen. Unfortunately they are no longer in business and you can only buy their stamps on eBay or in crafts bazaars. I am blessed that my sister-in-law used to own a stamp store and that after she closed, she kept a large inventory of them to use in another business she started: stamping classes.

Last Christmas, she stamped all the stamps she had for me so I can use them as I wish. I have now hundreds and hundreds of those beautiful images and sometimes it is so hard to chose one because they are all gorgeous.

I am working presently on my Thanksgiving cards. I used mostly my own digistamps, but for my parents I wanted to do something a bit more classic. After spending a long time looking at all the rubber stamps and digistamps I own; I just could not find something that caught my attention. Then I remembered the stack of images my sister-in-law gave me and I found this beautiful stamp called Sunflower Wreath. I was such a fun image to colour. I kept the design simple in order to make the image the center of the attention. The paper is by Provo; I bought it years ago and never really found use for it. I think is worked pretty well together.

Stamp: PSE - Sunflower Wreath
Paper: Provo
Copics: E13, E18, E71, E74, G82, G99, R59, V99, Y15, Y19, YR12, YR16, & YR18
Design: Guylou's

Friday, September 10, 2010

My Friend Tracy

Tracy and I met on a chat room... two year ago, I think. Time flies when we have fun! She invited me to join her COF (Circle of Friends) on and it touched me deeply. I tried to participate in the conversations at first, but found it very difficult to keep up. I quickly gave up and stopped visiting the chat. A few weeks later; I decided to give it a try again. Tracy was online and we had a wonderful chat. She explained to me how to follow the conversation and encouraged me to participate. I was hooked.

The more I talked with her, the more I found out that we had a lot in common. She is a wonderful person; so genuine and friendly. She is also a great cheerleader; always helping you through whatever you might be facing in your life. She is truly a beautiful person... inside out! I had the pleasure to meet her in person while I was on a business trip in Houston. It is just amazing how two people from two parts of the world can become friends; that's not chance! That's destiny!

Not only do I admire Tracy as a person; I am also a big fan of her creative work. I often look into her galleries and get inspiration. Tonight was one of those moments. I have to do a bunch of Thanksgiving cards and needed some inspiration for a card design. I remembered that wonderful card (shown on the left) she posted on my group on CDAC recently and thought it would be perfect for what I was trying to do. I practically copied the card as it is so beautiful!

When I started my digistamp business, I asked Tracy to be on my DT (Design Team). Her colouring skills are out of this world! She has taught me how to use Copics and continue to pass along some colouring tips she is learning. She makes my digistamps look so good!!! She has been a great encourager by promoting my digistamps on her personal blog and by participating in the different groups I have on several craft sites. She is a blessing to me!

Oh! I guess I should show you my version of her card! Thanks for the inspiration Tracy!! Thanks for being my friend!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Experimenting with my digistamps and Copics

It is late and I can barely stay awake, but since I succeeded to finish this card, I might has well post it. The image is made of two of my digistamps: Sylvia and Autumn Scene (which is not available in my store yet). I flipped Sylvia horizontally so she can face the center of the image. I added the Happy Thanksgiving words (font is called "Cursif") to the image and voilà! The card design is inspired by a Mojo Monday sketch (I just love their sketches). I also added a few gems and ribbon to dress up the card.

Now to the list of Copics I used:
B97, B99, C3, C6, E00, E08, E25, E29, E53, E71, E74, G99, R11, YG63, YG67, YR12, YR16, YR18

That is the most Copics I ever used on one image. I am still working on creating shadows. My girlfriend Tracy is an awesome artist with Copics. She made a series of videos to show us how to shade (you would think that I would have done a better job after watching them). I guess I just need to practice and practice and eventually I will get it!

Blogging again!

So I decided to have my own personal blog again. I missed talking about what I like or dislike, my creative work and this and that. So to start, I would like to show you one of my latest cards. Not a work of art, on the other hand it is not bad art either. I used one of my own digistamp; her name is Claudine. I used a sketch from Mojo Monday as an inspiration. I made this card as a sample for a card challenge I am having in my group on Crafters Digital Art Center. If you are interested to participate, you can find all the details at Guylou's Inimitability on CDAC. You will need to become a member of the site and then of my group in order to participate.

I like Claudine! She is hip and has a touch a glamour. Claudine is my cousin in real life. I have not seen her in over 30 years. What I remember of her, is that she always wore the latest fashion. She was much older than me and I just admired her. When I drew Claudine, I kept that in mind and use today's fashion to get that hip look. My daughter thinks that her breasts are too big. LOL!! I told her to blame it on all the hormones the girls are ingesting in their food today!