Tuesday, July 25, 2017

July's Instant Garden: Monarchs & Milkweed

Hello my friends — if you came here looking for our Tuesday Hues to Use color challenge, we’ll have it back here next week with a special guest host, one of our dear customers whose work we just love! But today, we’re introducing an all-new digital stamp set, and this image is one you may be familiar with if you follow me on Instagram @marcellahawley.

This spring, I was honored to be asked to create the programs for my son Finn’s grade school graduation. While pondering what kind of imagery I wanted to use, I was sent the theme for the ceremony by the school, and it was these wonderful lyrics from the song Everything is Everything by Lauryn Hill:
Everything is everything
What is meant to be, will be
After winter, must come spring
Change, it comes eventually
Isn’t that perfect for a graduation? (The children all learned the song in chorus and sang it at the ceremony — I cried.)

I have long admired the flower plantings that surround our school — all planted by parent and student volunteers. Earlier in the year, I captured a bevy of Monarch caterpillars crawling among the Milkweed leaves and seed pods, and it made me so excited to know we were contributing to the Monarch population!

This thought stuck with me... metamorphosis. Students moving to a new phase in their lives and becoming the people they are going to be. I started sketching....

My idea was to illustrate all the phases of Monarch development (caterpillar, chrysalis, and butterfly), and the phases of the plant on which the Monarch relies to lay its eggs — Milkweed (Asclepius). From the wonderful fall seed pods and their wispy, fluffy seeds, through buds and flowering, and back to the development of fresh green seed pods.

I sketched out the image completely and then went outside to paint it in my garden. I used watercolor and gouache paints and my trusty plastic paint palette that I’ve had since the early 90s.

I especially had fun working on the wings of the butterflies! 

All finished! Then I lettered the quote from Everything is Everything with my tiny paint brush. I scanned everything in to the computer, and created this final product:

I am proud to say that it was well received, and I was very pleased with how the program turned out! (I also hand painted every graduate’s name on the inside, which I also did when Lulu graduated three years before Finn.) I knew I wanted to revisit the original sketch and ink it up at some point for you all. Fortunately, I saved a high resolution scan of the pencil phase of my drawing, so I was able to do just that!

And now, YOU can color up this image, and the song lyrics, to create your own tableau of change. Here is Monarchs and Milkweed! It comes with a larger-scale image (6" across) that you can enlarge further or reduce, as usual, using a photo editing program on your computer. I’ve included a lighter grey image for use in no-line coloring, as well!

One of the neat things about Milkweed is that there are many varieties. I illustrated Asclepias tuberosa, which is orange. But there are LOTS of other ones, from white through yellow, orange, pink, purple. I grow three types in my garden to try to attract the Monarchs:

In my garden: Asclepias curassavica (Mexican Milkweed), A. incarnata (Swamp Milkweed) , and A. tuberosa (Butterfly Weed, Milkweed)
One of the neat things about this illustration, you can crop in to it and still have a very striking image, see what our Instant Gardener, Nancy Sheads created using the top right portion and an incredible layered background. What a vivid card bursting with life!

Let’s go see more of Nancy’s card, along with a pretty work in progress by Barbara Walker!

I hope you will give Monarchs and Milkweed a try — it truly is fun to work on, and when paired with the lyrics, I think is quite an encouraging message to anyone going through transition.

Come back tomorrow to begin the tour of previews for our NEW clear stamp release, the Abundance Collection. Really excited to share everything with you — I am chomping at the bit!!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Inspire Me Monday - No need to be traditional

Hey everyone, Jessie Banks here today, hopefully to kick your mojo into high gear and remind you that no flowers have to follow traditional colours!

I have coloured the Sunflower Power Digital stamp, every colour under the sun! And this Tiger Lily XL is quickly becoming the same thing. I love that about florals, just because something "should be orange or pink... doesn't mean I cannot colour it teal!!

Seriously I love this flower, the size is amazing! And if you have seen any of my work with the digital stamps here at Power Poppy, I tend to blow them up and crop this, and this stamp gives me that same effect just in clear form! P.S. keep your eyes peeled for a new release, I have it on pretty good authority that another XL stamp is going to have to come live with me!

Oh yeah, of course I have a process video of colouring this lovely image up!

Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, July 21, 2017

Sharing Nothing but GOOD Vibes!

Hello peeps! Welcome to another fun-filled Friday here on the Power Poppy blog when we fill your basket of life with a handful of goodies for you to take in, ponder and hopefully let blossom somehow in your day! In today's Good Vibe 5, are you ready for a little trip? We head to the 'Great White North' for a little escapade with Bloomie Christine on our first stop! 


Goodness gracious, will you look at that canyon? What a picturesque gem in the heart of the Canadian Rockies! Now, that you've taken in that sight, you have to check out Christine Okken's  "people" on one of the bridges while on a hike through the Maligne Valley in Jasper National Park. Squint your eyes and you'll see those blond-headed beauties a.k.a. her three children! They are the only ones actually looking and posing for the camera! ;-) You might know this, you might not. But if you look at the Power Poppy team, most of us have been together in one form or another for going on 10 years. That means when I look at this picture and now see two legal adults and one that keeps growing? Oh, my! What wonderful human beings! Want to read more about this breathtaking view? Click HERE and maybe you'll be inspired to put YOUR hiking shoes on!


I don't know about you but I would love to be a fly on the wall in Kathy Jones' stamping space to just watch her reach for colors and bring some of Power Poppy's images to life! That's why I love this image above. You get an up close and personal view of her in action! If you'd like to see how this beauty turned out using Power Poppy's digital stamp set Sunset Sway, I won't tease you any longer! 😀 All you need to do is click HERE!


I am so sorry but I got the giggles when I found this post from Power Poppy fan Christina Dauven. It was filed under the caption, "How I feel every morning!" I'm with you, Christina. I am WITH YOU! I found my way to her IG when she hash-tagged Power Poppy on one of her projects. I thought this little photo above was the perfect reminder that IT IS FRIDAY FOLKS! Thanks Christina for the laugh!


Okay, can I get a show of hands from all of you who remember when Twinkling H20s were ALL the rage? If you have absolutely no idea what I am talking about -- Twinks are those little shimmering paint pots that give a metallic edge to watercolored projects. I actually have a shoebox full! They literally last forever! And, thank goodness, because recently I was drooling over this project above by the absolutely fabulous Leslie Miller using Twinks and Power Poppy's stamp set My English Rose. Ahhhhhh! If you love to bring the bling then check out her post HERE and find ways to add a little sparkle in your own special way! 


Can you even stand it -- the cute factor meter just broke with this photo above!! Meet Mr. Tibbs -- the official Power Puppy! I decided to make this little guy the Good Vibe #5 because studies show that taking a gander at darling puppy photos not only releases endorphins a.k.a. "happy feels" but actually helps your focus in your day. Yep. That's science folks, so by sharing this totes adorbs photo of Mr. Tibbs, I am just doing my duty to make you happy and smart! ;-)  By the way, if you wondered why Tibbsy has his little ears taped, I learned that these pups need a little help keeping their ears up as the cartilage hardens. As you can see by his "smile" -- he doesn't seem to mind a bit! 

There you go folks, a touch of nature, a bit of color inspiration, a way to bring a bit of bling, a little bit of funny and a whole lot of cute = Good Vibe 5! 

Now it's time to take this show on the road with a bit of a hop!

Stop by and see these wonderful ladies and the creativity they whipped up this week just for you!

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to swing back by on Monday when Jessie Banks will be here for another Inspire Me Monday! She's going big and showcasing one of Power Poppy's larger than life images by taking it to a whole new color level!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Hues to Use with Lisa!

Hello Friends! Remember when... a few weeks ago... I shared that we would be having guests join us from time to time with our weekly Hues to Use color combo challenge? Well, sweet peeps, the day has finally arrived and we are giddy to be sharing the work of one of those guests!

First things first, bear with me as I get to a bit of the background on this week's hues! Oh my, be still my heart as I share this picturesque scene from Marcy's recent vacation. Don't you love the way the dappled light falls on that brick-paved walkway? Ahhh... some days I wish I could teleport. I would LOVE to just jump into that scene right now! That, I've decided, would be the ultimate super power.

So, just in case you wondered, Marcella took this pic just outside the Williamsburg Inn on a recent jaunt with her kiddos to see the D.C. area and then some. I don't have a green thumb, so I can't look at that blossoming beauty and say that's a.... such-and-such blossoming fancy schmancy beautiful tree of the genus gorgeous maximus, but I am sure Marcy will be able to chime in on the comments section to tell us! ;-) I would guess it's a cherry blossom but??? It is lovely just the same!

Moving on! We have a guest designer to introduce! One that is going to show off this week's hues in her own special way. So, put your hands together if you will for the fabulous......

"Hello to everyone out there in Power Poppy land! I'm Lisa J and I live in beautiful Alaska with my husband of over 23 years. We're about to be empty nesters, as our youngest will be heading off to college in a few weeks to study film. Two of our other kids live out of state and our oldest lives across the valley from us. I work nights for our local school district so that will leave me at home during the day with our 4 dogs and 2 cats. Luckily, they all love to keep me company in my craft room when I'm creating! I've been stamping since 1994 and if I'm not outdoors looking for moose and other Alaska wildlife I'm usually in my craft room. I'm thrilled to be a guest on Hues to Use this week!

Moving on to my card....
The pink in this week's Hues to Use really pops so I wanted to make sure the image I used highlighted that color. The digital set Bees in Foxglove was a great way to have the pink take center stage. Fun fact - foxglove doesn't normally survive in my part of Alaska because of the winters, but it is quite prevalent down in SE Alaska.

After printing out my image I die cut it out with a rectangle panel and I used my Copics R81, R83 and R85 to color in the foxglove blooms. The leaves and stems were colored with Copics YG03 and YG25. I threw in a bit of Y04 to color the bees visiting the foxglove.

To bring in that light sandy color I used the same die I cut the image panel with to cut a piece of sandy colored patterned paper. I also used the die to cut a piece of pink patterned paper and set both of those at angles behind the main image panel. The card base is green embossed with a large polka dot folder, carrying on the polka dot theme of the patterned paper.

To finish off the card I used the sentiment from the Bees in Foxglove set, changing the color of the text to green. I cut the sentiment panel to the size I wanted and then cut the corners with a round corner punch and adhered it to the front of the card.

Thank you again to Julie and Power Poppy for having me as a guest this week!

No Lisa, thank YOU! I have to say, having a guest take a stab at the weekly colors is going to be the favorite part of my week! And guess what, now it is YOUR turn. Take Lisa's lead and give those colors a whirl. We can't wait to see what you create. Who knows, your card could be just the nudge we need to ask YOU to be a guest designer for the week.


To get on our radar, simply play along! We want to see you work your magic using these color combos! If chosen from one of the week's linkys, we'll share the color combo for your hosting week, gift you with a digital stamp set of your choice and then, you go to town creating! So get those fingers inky and show us your stuff by linking up your creation below!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Inspire Me Monday - Finding Your Mojo

Hello Everyone! It's Kathy Racoosin here today. How are you this Monday? It's always good to be back on the Power Poppy blog and I thought I would address "mojo". Have you ever lost your mojo? Mojo apparently means " a magical charm bag used in voodoo" or something having to do with libido lol.

The Urban Dictionary says that mojo can be "some ability that brings good luck or helps you be good at something."

I admit I always thought it related to crafting and losing your creative energy.

I found this chart on google and looks like the term mojo has risen over the years.

If you want to see my process here is a video or you can click here to watch it in HD.

If you get stuck or loose your mojo hopefully this set of cards will get you back in your game. I love this stamp called, "Sweet Memories" The flowers are illustrated so beautifully that they stand on their own. (Thanks Marcy!!!) Perfect for some stamping and simple coloring.

There are so many flowers in the stamp set it was easy to lay them out on a misti and stamp several at one time. 

Coloring is something I love to do and when my mojo isn't around I discovered you can still color and create cards. Coloring backgrounds is super relaxing and it's nice to not worrying about shading or coloring multiple flowers. 

Minimal supplies make this an easy to pack for travel. Some Copic friendly ink and 2 Copic markers. First I outlined the flowers and then I filled in the spaces around them. Don't worry about the coloring not looking smooth because I have a remedy for that. Copic Colorless Blending Solution!

I use it on a regular basic and it's super easy. All you need is a tiny rag/towel that is nubby. (my rag is about 1.5"square and I use it over and over ... I cut mine from an old shabby towel)
I just pulled this towel off the internet to show the texture. When you moisten a towel that has texture with Copic Blending Solution .... dab it on the background & you get beautiful texture on your coloring. You need to play around on some scrap paper how wet you want your towel/rag. If you want to dab on more solution I suggest using your heat gun to dry the paper between because if you over saturate it ... the color bleeds into the image. (Always keep the lid on the solution and read the warning labels)

If the color bleeds into the images that fixable ... just a little more time consuming. Use your colorless blender marker to remove any color in the image. (If it's a dark color you need to repeat multiple times letting it dry in between. )

This technique was repeated on the stock under the front of the card. I colored only the edges on the paper and then used the rag technique. A sentiment or die cut can always be added later that suits the occasion of the recipient if you want to add a little something extra.

While I was writing my post I realized that my blouse resembles my cards lol. When I purchased the blouse I loved the fabric ... maybe I tucked that inspiration way back in my brain and didn't realize it when I was looking for some mojo?

I hope today's post was beneficial for you today and wishing you a good start to your week.

Hugs, Kathy

Friday, July 14, 2017

Good Vibe 5 -- Julie Style!

Hello folks! Yours truly is filling in for Ms. Marcella who is on one of the most eventful, fun-filled family road trips EVAH! She hit the nation's capital with the kiddos and her Instagram is lit up with all kinds of epic escapades! 

I have to share just one picture that made me laugh pretty darn hard. Check her out, will you? She completely rocks the Colonial vibe, don't you think? hehe! Love that little lady! 

So, in the spirit of her Good Vibe 5 Friday posts, I thought I'd take a stab at sharing warm fuzzies and inspiration! So, here goes folks, buckle up and get ready for the ride!


Can you even handle that smile and ... THAT FISH?? This is Bloomie Tosha's idea of a grand "girls only" getaway -- deep sea fishing off in the Morro Bay in California. At last check, she caught 9 and the day wasn't even done yet! You go -- you fish slayer, Ms. Tosh! She has some AMAZING photos from her adventure. So check them out HERE. Who knows, maybe seeing her excursion will inspire you to plan your own "girls only" getaway! 


Okay, this good vibe might not be fair. This amazing glimpse of Elizabeth Zaffarano's creation is just that, a snippet. Sadly, I can't send you a link to show more of this project using Power Poppy's Orchids Rock stamp set but I can tell you this is a work in progress for an upcoming Power Poppy post. SQUEEEEEEEE! Okay, I just let the giant cat out of the bag there. Yes, Ms. Elizabeth will be doing some guest hosting of Inspire Me Monday in the not-so-distant future. Stay tuned peeps -- BIG THINGS ARE HAPPENING! 


Friends, take a gander at this creation above. That is not a light shining on a stamped, dimensional image. That is the phenomenal job Shelby Thomas did of creating depth with the help of grey-toned Copic Markers and Power Poppy's Hellebores digital stamp set. Can we all take just a second to breathe out a collective sigh and say "WOW!" Yes, please join me. And, if you want to see another example of her shadow work, click HERE. I dare you to give this technique a try! I know I am going to give it a whirl!  


Remember playing with "plastic" as a kid -- hunkering down in front of the oven and watching all the excitement as your Shrinky Dink creation twisted and turned to create a "mini me" version of its original self? Those were the days, right? Well, as Ally Cope shares, we can all still be a kid at heart! Check out a sneaky peek above of the whimsical bookmark she created then click HERE to see her video tutorial using Power Poppy's Tiger Lily XL!


Well, my sweet stamping friends, the fun continues at the Power Poppy Shop! Since Marcy's vacation was extended a bit -- guess what else is still ongoing? YES! You are right! It's our sale on all digital stamp sets! WOO HOO! Through the weekend, you'll be able to grab any of the digis in the shop for 20% off! Like the graphic says, simply use the code VACATIONDIGIS at the time of checkout!  

And with the new techno-friendly images you purchase, why not dabble in one or, maybe two of the challenges we've got going on right now! Have you seen this week's monochromatic Hues to Use? Don't walk, run and check it out! And then, of course, grab that design power and play along in this month's Power & Spark. It's a fun one because Ally Cope is challenging you to CASE a Bloomie! Not sure what that means? Never fear! You can read all about it HERE! ;-)

Speaking of the Bloomies, a few of them are on stand-by -- AS WE SPEAK -- just ready and waiting for you to stop by and see some of the fun and crafty goodness that they've been working on this week! So, stop by, will you?

Thanks so much for spending a little bit of your day with us! Be sure to tune back in on Monday when our good friend Kathy Racoosin will be "in da house" sharing some colorful ways to add pizazz to cardmaking en masse! You will not want to miss this one folks! 

See you back here soon!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Awash in BLUE!

Hello all! It's Tuesday, which means we dig deep into the infinite hues available here in this big and beautiful world, pull from a little social media and challenge YOU to use the trio of colors we pick the next time you hit your craft room to create!

Today's colorific combo is one that's more than a little special. Last month, I had a chance to meet these two cuties below -- Lulu & Sylvia -- two of Marcy and Doug's kiddos. I mean to tell you, I found them charming in social media. In real life, these two sparkle with mega-watt smiles and personalities! When we had our Bloomie Reunion in St. Louis, these little ladies actually made a banner that said "Welcome Bloomies!" When I met them, (I laugh when I think about this) I said, "You're real!" :-) So, when I spotted this photo on Marcy's Instagram, I knew this dynamic duo had to be center stage in this week's Hues to Use with a mix of Sky, Coneflower Blue, and Midnight Blue. Check it out peeps!

Now since I am afraid of heights, you would NOT find me on this creaky observation tower! According to Marcy, these two tromped to the top until they had a beautiful view of the sun setting over the green vistas of Hillsboro, actually all of Jefferson County, Missouri! Brave souls!

Moving on to my creation....

Since I loved the monochromatic theme this week, I just knew whatever image I chose had to have that "peaceful, easy feeling!" So, I reached for Power Poppy's Burst of Kindness with it's interesting and bodacious blooms and fuzzy bumble bees!

To get this "look" I stamped the main image using Memento Paris Dusk. I then colored up the image just adding a bit of depth with a trio of Copic Markers - B60, B63 and B66. As you can see, I did add a touch of black. Feel free to add to the trio of colors in minor ways. The idea here is to create a monochromatic feeling creation that's awash in blue!

As you can see, when I was done stamping my main panel, I stamped the same image on a larger piece of paper using Versamark ink and giving it a dusting of white embossing powder, then heat setting to create some texture. I then took the Paris Dusk ink and a water brush and picking up the ink from a palette, washed that paper with ink and water to create a mottled look, revealing the white embossed image underneath. While my brush was loaded, I also flicked some Paris Dusk ink spots onto my main image panel for a little bit of interest!

Here's a close up for you! You can see that little bumble even has some sparkle on his tiny wings!

From there, stamp the sentiment, also from the set, punch it out with a circle punch, add a little silver cording and mat it all up! Done! 

So, my sweet stamping friends, join me this week and use hues of BLUE! After you're done, be sure to link up your creation below. We LOVE to see what fun things you whip up in the name of all that is crafty! ;-) 

Remember, if you play along, you could be one of our guest stars of this column in upcoming weeks! 

To get on our radar, simply play along! We want to see you work your magic using these color combos! If chosen from one of the week's linkys, we'll share the color combo for your hosting week, gift you with a digital stamp set of your choice and then, you go to town creating! 

I will let you in on a little secret too -- I am going to start sending emails this week to invite our first guest designers! Squeeeee! I can hardly wait! 

See you back here soon!