Fairy Topper Notebook

I made this cute Fairy topper design  Fairy on Fancy Background No.3 into a notebook cover for my friends little girl.  It’s a full 8.5 x 11 comb bound scribble pad  and I will add her name to the scroll on the front.  Another gorgeous Lyn Simms design for the little fairy lovers  in our lives.

You can find this file in various cutting machine formats at CraftsUprint

 

Make your own portable mini desktop easel with storage

A while back I bought a bunch of these  cute little wooden boxes .. the idea was to use them to A: decorate and B: for storing some of my loose pens.  Well .. as you do, it just suddenly hit me.  I had the perfect portable storage to take my pens anywhere, but of course being me.. I hate coloring flat.  I built a super simple desktop easel last year using an offcut spare bit of shelving and two of my sons triangular wood blocks from his building set LOL.
Fabulous little thing.. I use it all of the time… but it’s not exactly idea if you  want to work on odd surfaces like the park benches with the wire tops… but THIS.. now THIS would work. I have had my pens in this box for a few months now and it never even occurred to me till NOW  lol.  I have everything I needed to make a portable easel with storage for my pens.. all I had to do was throw a handle on it if desired and  build the easel portion.  Pff .. NO brainer lol.. TA DA !!! 5 minutes and one pack of popsicle sticks later and I have  my portable easel which could be multi-positional if desired.
Right now I have a flexible band across the top holding extra pens.. but you could store pencil sharpeners, pre printed images or any extras in there as needed by adding an insert with elastic loops, or plastic pockets   These boxes are plenty big enough for a 72 set of pencils and  more if you were to include the top section by adding a strap.  It can be done with any size box, but  this one was  already here and already filled so I chose to use this one for the project. It is approx 8.5×8.5 and  3/4 -1 inch deep at the bottom and 1/2- 3/4 inch deep at the top.
I cut 3 different lengths of Popsicle for different working angles and just stored them inside.. but if this were something you would use a lot you could easily add all 3 angles permanently by fixing them to the box with a nut and bolt and or use metal bars which you can find at the DIY store and just fold out the one you wanted ( think Swiss Army pocket knife lol )
I added a Popsicle to the top with a strip of commercial grade double sided tape to give the paper a resting place so I wouldn’t have to use pins on it to stop it sliding.  I might replace that with a cute little wooden ruler I have once I cut it to size.
Just be sure to seal your box top to protect your wood and /or decor if you decide to  fancy it up; and carry a spare piece of card or something to act as a barrier and give a little padding beneath your project.  There are lots of options for  decorating the top  including a frame with a permanent perspex window,  or a slide in .. hell if you wanted to get fancy .. you could  make a cut out…frame in a sheet of perspex and pop a  battery operated light inside..VOILA !!! portable light box included.
You can take this base project idea  which will knock you back about $5 for the box and  a couple of bucks for Popsicle sticks if you don’t have them…. and totally go to town and personalize your portable easel… make it as quick and simple or  hi-tech and permanent as you want.  Possibilities are endless.

….anywho.. maybe someone out there will have a need for a portable easel with storage and not want to spend a gazillion bucks on one… so .. here you go..something to think about next time you are aimlessly wandering the aisles, coupons in hand.

.. you are welcome   🙂

This is exactly the same kind of box I used in a previous project, with the big cockerel on it.. for anyone who saw that post

Vintage Cockerel Style Wooden Keepsake box.

Spotlight Series Day 28 , Marcella – Power Poppy

 

MarcellaHawley-withDoug

 

Who are you?  
Marcella Hawley, owner, illustrator, and creative director of Power Poppy

Where are you?
Midwest is best! (I saw that on a t-shirt)

 

logo

 

Power Poppy by Marcella Hawley
Power Poppy Blog
Instagram: @marcellahawley

 


When did you first start drawing/designing seriously?
My mom used to tell a story from when I was about four, a nursery school teacher said, “Marcy, when you grow up, do you want to be an artist?” I replied, “I already am an artist!” I developed cartoons based on my friends and our adventures, spent hours figuring out how to hand-letter skateboarding logos, illustrated album backer cards at my high school job as a record store clerk — but after i got a degree in Graphic Design from the University of Illinois, I started getting paid to do art and design. How do ya like them apples!

Which decade do you think had the best music?
Huge music fan from all decades and so many genres. Punk rock, classical, jazz, funk, soul, Americana, rock n’ roll, ska, power pop… there’s so much in there I could never narrow it down!

How many people work for/with you?
We are fortunate to work with so many smart, talented, good people. I am based in my St. Louis studio, we have an awesome advisor for marketing and business in Montana, and we have a two incredible teams of designers from all over the world who show the possibilities with our stamp designs: the Bloom Brigade and the Instant Gardeners. I have excellent vendors and distribution folks, too. Also, my kids help pack up orders. 🙂

What was the first product you ever had for sale?
For the longest time I didn’t create products, I worked as a graphic designer, botanical illustrator, and magazine art director helping other folks promote and sell their wonderful products. 10 years ago I started a design and branding studio, working for all kinds of clients, from entrepreneurs to global companies, and I still operate this business. I launched Power Poppy by Marcella Hawley in 2014. My very first product was the Azalea stamp set, and it remains one of our best sellers.

PPAPR1401_Azalea

PowerPoppy_Azalea_Handpainted_MarcellaHawley

Here’s an example of my watercolor/gouache treatment of this stamp

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name your favorite cartoon.
Old school Bugs Bunny. Grew up watching Looney Tunes and still am entertained by the humor and cleverness of the team that put those together. Big fan of Mel Blanc. Those cartoons helped shape my sense of humor! Along with Stan Freberg, Three Stooges, and my dad.


Favorite quote?
Again, I have so many! But this one by gardener Alan Lacy sums me up pretty well: “I was born in the spring and never got over it.”

What’s your favorite craftroom/business supply or tool that you couldn’t live without?
Sakura Pigma Micron pens/Bristol illustration board, and my trusty Mac loaded up with the Adobe Creative Cloud apps.

When you get the midnight munchies… what do you grab?
Cheezits are my downfall. So I really try not to buy them, or I will eat the whole box.

If your parents had named you something else… what would you have picked?
That is a great question! As a kid, I wished my parents had named me, and this is how I would spell it, “Anjelikka” — and oh, how I am grateful that they did not take me up on this concept. I’m named after the little girl in the Raggedy Ann series of books by Johnny Gruelle, which was also the name of his daughter: Marcella.

MarcellaHawley_PeoniesinmyGarden

 

 

 


If you were getting a tattoo… what would it be?
While my guy has a bunch of tattoos, I have harbored no desire to get one. I mean, once you get it, there it is forever. That said, recently I started seeing gorgeous botanical tattoos of a few artists on Instagram, so beautifully done and without the thick black outline…. wouldn’t a wisp of rosemary intertwined with a budding peony be kind of cool?

 

 



What is your best and worst personality trait?
Best trait: I’m a positive person and I like to bring a positive spark to others, even by just being cheerful to you know, the gas station checkout guy up the street. That just might make him feel a little more cheerful, and then he’ll pass it on, and so forth.
Worst trait: Extreme over-scheduler, over-complicator and procrastinator. So, I guess that is three worst things. Good thing I’m so positive or that could be really depressing!

What is your favorite piece in the whole store?
It is so hard to pick a favorite, I’m sure you hear that all the time, but they are all my babies. I’m a fan of the “more is more” school of thought, so my true favorites tend to be the more rich and intricate images. One that I am very proud of is Daffodils, and particularly in that set, I love the bouquet of multiple Daffodil varieties bundled with Muscari. When I see what crafters do with this image, I almost feel like crying. Folks are so talented, and it’s just really heartwarming to watch how each person uniquely brings my artwork to life.

PPAPR1503_Daffodils

Daffodils_2Bblog_2B2-wm

Gorgeous card sample using the image from Daffodils that I love, by designer Katie Sims:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gotta pick a favorite digital stamp, too, Spring Meadow Bouquet. I am all about seeking out, celebrating, and illustrating plants that aren’t the most popular or in the mainstream. Everybody can draw a daisy. I like to draw Fritillaria meleagris, Leucojum aestivum, Dicentra spectabilis… I’m a plant nerd to the core. I hope to convert others to more exotic plants, and help teach them that there is more to life than Tulips. Though I do enjoy Tulips. 🙂

PPMAR1602D_SpringMeadowBouquet

PP_2BSpring_2BMeadow_2B2_2BCO_2B0316

A gorgeous card made using this digi by designer Christine Okken:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


If you were reincarnated…who would you have been in a former life?

Gosh, I would love to think that it was someone like Gertrude Jekyll, the British horticulturist and garden designer. But it was probably more like an odd Trillium plant out in the woods somewhere.

What’s your favorite color?
All shades of green. I am passionate about green – the essence of plants, moss, lichen, ahhhhhh green.

When no one is listening…. do you sing in the shower?
I sing in the shower whether or not someone is listening. Also, in the car and at my desk

MarcellaHawley_FrontsideGrind

 

 

Do you plan to grow old gracefully, or disgracefully?
Ha! Well, let’s see, I still go skateboarding at age 45, and a few years ago, got my motorcycle license and started riding off road and on the street. I don’t know if I’ll go out, as Doug hopes to: “worn down like the nub of a pencil”, but I hope to live it up as long as I can, and not complain about feeling old. I took my boy to see AC/DC earlier this year, and watching those 60-70 year old dudes rocking extremely hard for two hours without showing an iota of tiredness — that moved me. If Angus Young can do it, I can do it!

 

If you were a classic car…. what would you be?
I’d be my zippy little 1974 Yamaha RD60 café-racer-style motorcycle, in metallic turquoise with racing stripes.

Who is your inspiration/muse?
I have so many, from artists and designers such as Tasha Tudor, Botticelli, Josef Frank, Mary Engelbreit, Susie Cooper, Redouté, Lulu Guinness, and writers/thinkers such as Henry David Thoreau, Anais Nin, and Wayne Dyer. Gardeners and plant hybridizers inspire me. Doug’s zest for life inspires me. But it all begins with my mother, Susan. She was and is my muse. She instilled so much encouragement, love, and genuine care for us, not to mention keen interest in art, gardening, decorating, collecting. I am into all of those things because of her opening our minds to exploration. My mom’s mantra was “act enthusiastic and you’ll be enthusiastic!” Boy, was she ever that. I miss her more than words can say, she passed away in February from breast cancer. She ruled so hard.

I painted this image of my mom for a magazine article

SusanSmith_portraitbyMarcellaSpanogleHawley

 

 

and a link to my blog post about my mom, if you are so inclined:
http://powerpoppy.blogspot.com/2016/02/in-memory-of-susan-h-smith-mama-susan.html

 

 

 

 


What’s your guilty pleasure?

Sharing a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc with the love of my life, Doug, drinking from supercool handblown glasses by Missouri artist, Kaeka Maehata (http://www.kaekomaehata.com/Home.html), sitting in bed watching The Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt on Netflix.

What job did you have BEFORE you started drawing/designing for a living?
I worked as a hostess and a server at the Olive Garden in college. Hospitalino y’all. (Of course I found a way to commandeer the chalk board and hand-lettered the welcome sign and today’s specials!)

If you could hang out with ANYONE in the world ….  who would it be?….and what is the one question you would want to ask them?

Oh man. I would have to say zenmaster Thich Naht Hanh. I don’t have anything I could even ask, I would just bask in his calm presence, his peaceful knowing, his smile. He is the wisest person alive in my opinion.

MarcellaHawley_herbtags

 

 

 

What’s your favorite hobby when you want to relax?
Gardening, cooking for pleasure, reading decorating magazines. I find it challenging to really let down, so relaxing for me often involves still doing something.

 

 

 

 

What was your favorite subject in school?
It usually wasn’t the subject as much as the teacher who inspired me to enjoy the material. As such, I had a great experience in Trigonometry and Analytic Geometry, even though I don’t “like” math. The inspiring teacher was key! Am fascinated by history, but had several snorefest teachers along the way that made it brutal to sit through. I’m curious about English and Literature, History, Philosophy, Religions … anything in the Art & Design Studio, especially Typography, and all areas of Art & Design History

Who was your first celebrity crush…and have you drawn them?
I would draw all of the boys I had a crush on, celebrity or not, from Maxwell Caulfield, the star of Grease 2, to a huge watercolor of Martin Gore from Depeche Mode that I used in my portfolio to get into the Fine Arts program. In fact, I still like to draw cute boys.

If you weren’t doing what you are doing now…. what job would you have?
I wrestle with that one. On one hand, I can see going to get an MBA. I’m fascinated with strategy and creating a message, and I would love to know more about the business side of things. I also love being involved in branding and design and being a part of big ideas, but at this phase of life with young children, I do not want to get so caught up in something that I can’t be there to pick them up from school and go to their ballgames, and just enjoy each moment of life before they go off to college. Then again, there are days when the idea of running away to a little cabin and pulling a Thoreau seems quite lovely. “Launch yourself on every wave!”

Would you go cave diving with sharks?
That comment above about launching yourself on every wave… I would not do that if there were sharks involved.

 

MarcellaHawley_EverythingsRosyProcess

 

How long does the average design/art work take from concept to final product?
I take forever, and work very intensely on every step. Doug came up with a tagline for me, “Marcy: Making things more complicated than they need to be, since 1971.” It’s really true. We start with a concept for a stamp set, and I’ll roll it around in my mind and research it, discuss it with my trusted advisor, Julie, who will also do research and develop ideas, and sometimes I’ll run it past our brilliant design team members to get their feedback. I’ll go through heaps of magazines and books and read up, I’ll work on sketches, I’ll revise my concept. I’ll go work in the garden, be struck by a flower, and I’ll go in a new direction, then I’ll come back and rework, or start over completely. Eventually – weeks later, maybe months – the “THAT’S IT!” feeling hits me, and I get in my zone and finish up my drawings, take them into ink, scan, run through fine-tuning in Photoshop, search for the perfect fonts or create lettering myself, and send out to our wonderful manufacturers. They turn things around for us very quickly most of the time, and are very patient with my last-minute requests. So, to answer your question, it varies, but it’s a wild ride from start to finish. 🙂

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PowerPoppy_LogoBanner

COUPON

Here’s our offer for your blog readers:

10% off all clear and digital stamps at powerpoppy.com
when you use discount code craftingcircle10 at checkout.

One use per customer please.
Offer expires July 31, 2016.

———————

Spotlight Series Day 23, Bennett Klein

Who are you?
Bennett Klein

13071720_988846251199572_5406963863635170038_o

 

 

Facebook Page

 

 

 

 

Where are you?
Toronto, Ontario

When did you first start drawing/designing seriously?
In art school, 1980, Montreal Dawson college.

What was the first product you ever had for sale?
A poster for a Fur Coat manufacturer when I was 14 (wouldn’t do that today

Who is your inspiration/muse?
Bernie Wrightson

How many people work with/for you?

Just me, but I have a 4 person Mural team that I bring in when needed.

Name your favorite cartoon?
Still has to be bugs bunny, hard not to love that classic.

Favorite quote?
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Ghandi

What’s your guilty pleasure ?
Afternoon naps

What job did you have BEFORE you started drawing/designing for a living?
I was a marketing creative director in the ad industry.

61ka2pxfChL._SX384_BO1,204,203,200_

Coloring Books on Amazon

index

Coloring Books on Amazon

13133317_995346037216260_8875647007793540593_n 13332915_1014890125261851_2324964209946513006_n 13433117_1020563111361219_5934643632952536203_o
13498106_1022634601154070_6287833367335734618_o 13310494_1011071858977011_6511459108528069427_n 13524276_1023247654426098_830208703786092132_n

 

 

 

 

 

 I will be compensated for purchases made through affiliate links on this page

 

Spotlight Series Day 21, Amy – Chomas Creations

Who are you?

Amy Chomas the owner of Chomas Creations

 

chomas_logo

 

 

Chomas Creations Store

Chomas Creations Facebook Page

Chomas Creations Blog

 

 

 

 

Where are you?

Essexville, Michigan

 

What was the first product you ever had for sale?

It was the Chomas Creations mini gel pen holder for the original Cricut machine.  I have upgraded to pen and marker holders for even more machines as well as engraving tips too.

   Cricut Explore & Air Tools  

marker

 Marker Adapter

pen

Pen Adapter

Engraver

 Pazzle Cricut  Silhouette
 Cameo  Black Cat Lynx  Gazelle
 KNK  US Cutter  

 

If you could hang out with ANYONE in the world ….  who would it be?….and what is the one question you would want to ask them?

My grandma, I never got to meet her and people tell me I’m just like her.  I would ask her that, do I remind you of me?

 

What’s your favorite craftroom/business supply or tool that you couldn’t live without?  

My paper cutter!

 

If you got locked in an elevator for 6 hours.. who would you most like to be locked in with?

Dr. Josh Axe.  That guy knows a lot about health and I’m reading his articles all the time!

 

What’s your favorite color?

Turquoise

 

What was your favorite subject in school…?

Math

 

What is your best and worst personality trait?

My best?  I’m very outgoing.  My worst? I’m impatient!

 

When was your last REAL vacation and where did you go?

Florida June of 2016 🙂 First vacation in a long long time

 

sil engrave tip

Engraving tip for the Silhouette

 

 

What is your favorite piece in the whole store?

I had no idea all the amazing things the Chomas Creations engraving tip could do until artists started sharing what they were doing with me.  I’ve seen metal clay art work, engraving on leather, engraving on dog tags and blanks, the possibilities are endless.

 

 

 

 

How many people work with/for you?

4, my husband and 3 of my kids

 

Favorite quote?

I’m not here to be average, I’m here to be awesome.

 

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Rice Krispie treats

 

What  job did you have BEFORE you started running Chomas Creations for a living?

Full time mommy!

 

When no one is listening…. do you sing in the shower?

I sing in the shower even when people are listening!

 

What is your most popular item in the store/shop?

sil engrave tip

Engraving tip for the Silhouette

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you weren’t doing what you are doing now…. what job would you have?  

I love health and anything to do with health, and I do run a side business of essential oils because that is now a hobby as mine as well.  I know I have that to fall back on.

 

How long have you been in business?

7 years this July!

 

When you get the midnight munchies… what do you grab?

Fruit

 

Would you go cave diving with sharks?

Heck yes!  As long as I knew how to dive lol!

 

Which decade do you think had the best music?

The 80’s for sure!

 

Have you ever been on a blind date…. and if so..  was it fun, or a nightmare?

Yes!  And I married him.  He was so not smooth and locked his keys in his truck,  and I thought I would never see him again.

 

What’s your favorite hobby when you want to relax?

Reading

 

What should be written on your gravestone when you die?

She wasn’t here to be average, she was here to be awesome!

 

Do you plan to grow old gracefully, or disgracefully?

I can’t say I’m growing old gracefully as I’m fighting it every step of the way!  I take care of myself, watch what I eat, work out and do everything in moderation.

 

If you were a classic car…. what would you be?

A Pink Cadillac

 

What’s the one song guaranteed to have you shaking your booty anytime, anyplace ..anywhere?

Anything by Pitbull

 

Who scared you most as a kid when you were being naughty.. your parents or the boogey man?

My parents, which is funny because they aren’t intimidating at all!

 

What do you love most about all the people you meet through your work?

How kind hearted they all are and how willing anyone is to answer a question, or give an idea, or when needed offer support.

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Get 10% off your order with  code: craftingcircle 

Code Expires: June 30th

ReallyColor….or Really Cool ?

I ran across these guys and my curiosity got the better of me… I think I might have to try this one out myself.  For $3.99 for a credit pack, I’m definitely up for giving this one a shot.

Now before we get into this.. let me state quite clearly A this is one of my new affiliates I signed up with, so YES I will be compensated if anyone tries this… and B.. I haven’t tried it YET myself, so I can’t vouch for the quality…. but it looks really cool. Like most of these type of services, it does  make a difference  in results, depending on the quality of images you send to them… so bear that in mind and pay attention to their recommendations.

The concept behind this is that you upload/send a photo to ReallyColor and they turn it into a line drawing/coloring page for you.  I have to say the prices are pretty impressive if  you can get the results you want from the pictures you choose.  Prices start at 29 cents an image.

ReallyColor-ShareASaleImage1

One of the things I really like about this is:

Can I make small edits to my coloring page?

Yes. There is an editor built into the conversion tool. Spend as little or as much time on your final coloring page as you wish. You can make small improvements like delete lines under eyes, quickly click away unwanted spots, or spend time making everything perfect. The free drawing feature allows you to fill in lines in your coloring page, or “hand draw” text, stick figures, or whatever impressive free-style drawing you come up with yourself.”

That alone is a great incentive to give this a shot.. but then I read this too.. and I like the idea of my images not being stored, unless I want them to be.

Do you store my images and completed coloring pages?

No. Once you complete your coloring page, it will be available for download right there as well as be sent to the email address you give us for your own safekeeping. However, if you decide to share your coloring page on Facebook or other social media directly from the ReallyColor web site by clicking our SHARE button, that photo and coloring page will remain on our servers in order for your post to be able to successfully link back to the ReallyColor web site. If you simply share the image of your coloring page as an attached photo in a social media post, that coloring page will not be stored on our servers in any way.

“Who can see my photo?

Once your photos have been uploaded and you have downloaded and received your coloring pages, your content is removed from our servers. We do this for your privacy and security. However, if you decide to share your coloring page on Facebook or other social media directly from the ReallyColor web site by clicking our SHARE button, that photo and coloring page will be viewable by anybody who clicks on the link in your post. If you simply share the image of your coloring page as an attached photo in a social media post, that coloring page will not be stored on our servers in any way.”

I am not absolutely sure, but it sounds like you  get a guestimated result before you use the credit?  if anyone  tries this before I get a chance to…. please let me know if you get the chance to preview the image, or just get a score and can change your mind about which image to use….if the photo you chose isn’t producing the results you wanted.

“Can you tell us whether or not our original image will turn into a good coloring page?

Our conversion tool now offers a new, sophisticated scoring tool custom-built by our image science team. It will analyze your original photo when you upload it and assign to it a quality score between 1 and 100. This should set your expectations prior to continuing the conversion process. A score above 50 is usually pretty good.”

LissyBee Stamps February 2016 Giveaway

lissy
Want to win a set of these gorgeous stamps?

One lucky winner will get their hands on one set of six beautiful, crystal clear stamps from the Lissy Bee Stamps, Bee My Friend, collection.

Also grab your copy of the Elisabeth Bell Creative eBook contains a free digital stamp, a bonus free digital stamp and a simple drawing tutorial (which you can also use as a digi’) to help bless your creative finesse.

Manga Artists .. Zig Manga Art supplies 20% coupon

Now let me be clear, I am not a Manga Artist .. I can barely draw a stick figure.

But I do have some old friends from my Deviant Art days that  are… one in Particular who I miss  dearly and would love to get back in touch with. Reckless… if one day you discover this post… miss ya lil bro xxxx Wipz

When I saw these  advertised on the side of one of my  favorite sites winkofstella.com  I had to go take a look.  These look pretty cool,  so all you manga Artists check this out and don’t forget to use the 20% coupon  if you shop.

 

 

 

They have pens and  inks and  some starter kits for someone new to Manga Art.

  • The starter sets have
  • 10 Kurecolor markers, with two tips
  • 2 Mangaka pens for outlines and details
  • step-by-step instructions, and a practice drawingKurecolor markers contain an alcohol-based dye that is permanent after drying and won’t smudge or smear Mangaka pens

 

 

What they also have that I personally am very interested in  trying, not for Manga Art .. but for coloring my Stamps….is this set of Gansai Tambi watercolor paints. These are traditional Japanese watercolors for professional artists and crafters.  I’ll be adding these to my  wish list for sure.  Up until now I have been coloring my stamps with  ink pads and brushes.. but I really want to try a proper set of water color paints.

 

 

 

 

 
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