Friday, April 21, 2017

A Few Friday Showstoppers

Hello you beautiful people and happy Friday to you all! We hope you have a skip in your step and a bit of sunshine in your heart. We sure do! Especially after seeing all the fabulous crafty endeavors out there on the web putting Power Poppy in the spotlight! 

If you received our newsletter last night, you had a running start on our Surprise Birthday Sale just announced — check it out if you’ve been wanting to stock up on flowery favorites on get a huge jumpstart on the Holidays...


That’s right — two ways to save!! Buy 3 clear stamps and get a 4th one free (use code BIRTHDAYGIFT) or if you’d prefer, take 15% off everything in the store with 15% off (use code YAY15OFF). It’s our birthday month and we are all over the place with surprises! Enjoy, enjoy!

Did you see we have a new addition to our Instant Garden? Goodness, if you missed that announcement on Wednesday, click HERE to see this amazing new illustration that I am sure you will be chomping at the bit to color up! It’s a simple, swaying drawing that you can have colored up in minutes. Go see!

If you haven't played along yet in our versatile challenge for April’s “Pick-a-Sketch”, we think it would be a perfect thing to take on this weekend:


There are already quite a few entries and only ten days left to take in some sketchy fun! Check out all 'the deets' on the challenge HERE! 

MOVING ON...

Time now for our little weekly show and tell sharing just a little bit of what we love about your use of Power Poppy in blog and social media land! 


Lisa Johansen (@alcojo94 on Instagram) really rocked Power Poppy's Leaping Trout digital stamp set! And, she has good reason! Can you believe the lake across the street from her house is full of these guys? Her hubby and kids love to catch them so she can cook them up for dinner. YUM! She even gave the digital version a bit of razzle dazzle and irridescence with the help of a sparkly gel pen! 


I have to say, I just love the vivid pop of white that Dedre Wolff (@dedrewolff on Instagram) achieved with this clean and classy card. That mondo blossom from Tiger Lily XL is so pretty. Dedre proves that there are times when nothing "extra" is needed to show a dramatic kind of style. Purple is also one of my favorite colors -- so she also scored major points there too! :-)


What an honor it was to see this creation above from Crissy Armstrong! Why is it an honor? Well, Crissy is an illustrator herself and makes her own line of stamps! That she took time out of her day to savor one of Marcella's images (Everything’s Rosy) is a very nice compliment. Just breathe in all that petal detail? Ah-MAZ-ing! Crissy shows EXACTLY how she achieved this depth of color and detail with her colored pencils on her blog, it’s filled with tips and photos of her process. Thank you, Crissy!


Jenny Colacicco, (@soulbyte on Instagram) got her hands on a soon-to-be-released sprout from our digital line and man, is this little snippet just a tease or what? Just look at that bit of dreamy watercolor! And to think Jenny did this after her sweet little daughter went to bed. You'll have to stay tuned -- this one will be popping up in the Power Poppy Shop on Tuesday! Squeeee!!!

Well if that wasn't just a slice of pure inspiration -- there's more peeps! We have the Bloomies ready and waiting to show off some of the things they've been creating, putting those fabulous creative juices to use! Click on over and see....




And, that's not all my sweet stamping friends, the ever-so-talented Jessie Banks will be “in the house” Monday for another Inspire Me Monday to kick off your creative week.

Have an amazing weekend and we'll see y'all back here real soon.
~Julie

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

April's Instant Garden Digital Stamp: Sunset Sway



Not sure how this month has zoomed by so quickly — but we’re already past mid-April and approaching May. Each day brings new things into bloom where we live in St. Louis. Is the excitement at finding out what’s going to bloom next what’s making this month fly past? As I take my walks through the neighborhood in the morning or evening, I find myself so filled with gratitude that our local neighborhoods have so many flowers and flowering trees.


Now more than ever in my lifetime are people getting in to gardening! Nearly every house I pass has at least one or two flowering spring trees, from redbuds and dogwoods to magnolias, crabapples, lilacs, and cherries. The spirea bushes are fountains of white, the azaleas in every bold hue circle perimeters and enhance entrances. Thank you, neighbors, for helping to bring such delightful sights to my senses — and all I have to do is walk out the front door!


On a recent walk at sunset, I saw so many captivating tulips, that I knew I had to include them in a drawing. From traditional types to fringed French tulips, Parrots, and even a few species tulips (which typically are the first to rise) like the beautiful Tulip kaufmanniana and T. clusiana still linger in gardens.


I decided to create a little scene pairing a few tulips with a few anemones (the gal who lives next door planted the sweetest grouping of pinks and purples to go with her tulips and grape hyacinths, and I haven't snapped a photo but I may have to run over there and see if she’d mind me playing paparazzi with her plants.) In the meantime, we have today’s digital download introduction to the Instant Garden, Sunset Sway!


The Sunset Sway digital stamp set comes with two versions of this drawing, one has a little butterfly stopping by, and the other is only the dancing flowers. The image is large, but can be enlarged on your computer if you really want to get in and color that anemone with lots of detail. And remember, even if I draw a specific flower in my artwork, I welcome and encourage you to color these up in whatever way your heart tells you! Red, orange, blue, yellow, go for it, loves!!

There’s a sentiment in this set that really carries home the “sunset” part of this set’s title. I’ll let you find out on your own what the sentiment says. :)

Our Instant Garden team is here today with some gorgeous renditions of Sunset Sway — let’s go see the beautiful cards they’ve designed to show off this lively new digi!


Just in case you were wondering what kind of nut goes around taking photos of plants all the live long day, I was at my garden club last week and captured in the wild (literally) by my friend Eileen.


Lots of good vibes coming your way from the Gateway to the West, where I can hear birdsong just outside my window and the children are starting to wake up for school.... let’s kick a hole in this day!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Inspire Me Monday - Put A Stem On It


Hello Friends, How are you today? If you celebrated Easter .... a belated Happy Easter to you. I hope you all had a lovely weekend with sunny skies. 

It's Kathy Racoosin here for another "Inspire Me Monday" post. I have two cards and a video to share with you today.


Who doesn't love a peony and this "Peony Muse" stamp set is drop dead gorgeous plus I love that there are coordinating die cuts ... that's a double woo hoo. Sometimes you might not have the die cut or might not have time to color more than one bloom ... if that's the case put a stem on it.

Watch the video here in HD.



Watercoloring doesn't come easy for me and I recorded my process in case you are curious. If you just want to watch my watercoloring unfold please watch ... if you are looking for proper instruction ... it's not that kinda of video.


When I was finished with the watercoloring I used a white colored pencil and a purple pencil to add some detail and remove some color ... I am always searching for what I call that "sweet spot".  To balance the large bloom I felt I needed one of the lovely sentiments from the stamp set. I also added a small bow with some twine for the finishing touch. 


This peony was colored with pencils only and I felt this one was best without a sentiment. I colored this one while I was traveling and it took a lot longer. I fussy cut a skinny stem and the bloom and used some foam tape to pop it on my card. 


Layers and layers of lines with pencils is the way I like to add color with pencils. I am sure you might be wondering what brand of pencils I recommend? I really don't have a favorite ... the only thing I favor is a very sharp tip & I continually sharpen the tip while I am coloring.


Marcella's illustrations always have beautiful detailed lines that guide you where to add darker pencil highlights. Thanks Marcy!! 


Almost finished here. I used a beige ink to stamp the peony and ... any lightly colored ink will do. I like to add some dark brown, navy or black to color in the nooks and crannies. 


Here is a close of both. So next time you are coloring a flower think about putting a stem on it. Have a great week and thanks for your visit today. Hugs, Kathy 


Friday, April 14, 2017

Winners of the Power Poppy/MISTI blog hop prizes!

Hello my dear ones, I’m excited to announce the winners of the Power Poppy gift codes from last week’s big blog hop with the My Sweet Petunia team and our beautiful Bloomies. What a fun experience that was, I know I had a blast preparing my post and seeing the variations in style, technique, and vibe of all of the designers. Thank you so much for joining us! 

And truly, thank you for your beautiful and amazing comments — I read every single one, and felt my chest well up as I read some of ’em, you guys are so darn KIND! I love getting to be a small part of your crafting experience. It’s an honor to help you bring your beautiful projects to life with a stamped image as your launching pad!



Now, on to the winners... which I had to choose randomly because I could not bring myself to select them based on “this gal’s note was nicer than that gal’s” — just too hard, you are ALL wonderful!

A $25 Power Poppy Gift Code will go to:

Janice Rosenthal Rock
Donna Teasley

Please email me at bloom@powerpoppy.com, ladies, and we will get your code sent over lickity split, good towards anything in the Power Poppy online store.


The prize of the Springtime Love stamp set that I used to make this card, ALONG WITH the actual little notecard itself, colored by me, will go to...

Teresa Doyle

Teresa, if you can send me a note at bloom@powerpoppy.com with your address, I will pop these in the mail straightaway.

Thank you so much to everyone who joined us this week with a lovely comment! What a joy to read.


It's a Power Poppy Kind of Friday!

Hello all and happy spring to you. As I type these words, the sun is streaming in and the grass looks just a little bit greener out my window here in Montana. Yay! I hope you are all feeling the sunshine and watching those spring flowers take root and blossom -- even if it is only in your heart! 

Boy, oh boy, the talent was sure blossoming all over the web this week and we can't wait to show off just SOME of the Power Poppy goodness that we picked up on! Be ready to be wowed! Get set to be amazed! 

LET'S GET THIS POWER POPPY PARTY STARTED! 


Mindy Baxter of My Creative Scoop is sharing a gorgeous process peek of artwork she's working on for a soon-to-debut coloring class. Would you like to learn to shade and blend your Copics like THIS? Go see what Mindy’s up to with Hellebores, Power Poppy's digital set that’s long been a favorite for many. Taking your coloring to next-level realism and dimension is just a weekend away...


Stampin' Rock Star Michelle Boyer was spotted using Power Poppy's digital stamp set Cuppa Buttercups. I love the sweet simplicity of Michelle's design and all that absolutely fabulous shading! Sigh.... love.


Okay, Okay. I know I share a TON of Nancy Sturtz' stuff here on the blog. so much so, she might actually wonder if I am a stalker. (I am not Nancy, promise!) But honestly, look at this card! It is simply too sweet NOT to share. Everything about it just has a welcoming and charming vibe -- from the decorative paper to the way she so perfectly cut out those stamped and colored images,  to the alignment of all those darling dishes! If this was real life sitting area, I would have to spend an afternoon there with a cuppa somethin' good! p.s. Nancy used Artful Display by Power Poppy for this creation.


The creativity that’s happening in the card making world right now is just off the charts, and we love to see how you all are stretching yourselves. Jo Ann Danchik has come up with a personal challenge to use the same arrangement of stamps — we’re excited to see that it is our new Succulent Singles — in a series of cards, with different shades of cardstock and completely different coloring methods and color schemes. The results are absolutely breathtaking! Visit Jo Ann (@jadanchik on Instagram) to see her beautiful studies.


Need a super dose of happy? Direct your eyes above please to this colorful wonder created by Maria Sabina, who happens to hail from a small Romanian town. All I have is... WOW! Look at that no-line coloring (Maria used Inktense watercolor pencils) in so many sweet springy hues! She used Power Poppy's new clear set Peony Muse along with a few Narcissus blooms and Eucalyptus leaves from Glistening Paperwhites in such a unique way, I almost didn't recognize the stamp sets! Well done Maria, well done!


Alright -- one more for you!!!  Here's another version of no-line coloring, this time using colored pencils and Power Poppy's new set Sweet Memories. Essie's card has such a dreamy quality about it, don't you think? It's almost like those beautiful little flowers were just picked and placed so perfectly on a table, capturing the natural light just streaming over them. So sweet and beautiful!

I happen to know a few more lovely ladies who would like to share their artful endeavors with all of you! It's the Bloom Brigade and they are all on stand-by, waiting for your visit!




Before we go, have you checked out our new challenge for April?


Yours truly is the hostess and all you have to do is pick one of three sketches and then... CREATE! You can flip flop the sketch, set it on its side, use different shapes. The whole idea is to use these sketches as a launching pad! Learn more HERE and be sure to check out all the fabulous entries that have already linked up to the challenge! Of course, we would love to see YOUR take on these card layouts! ;-)

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to tune in next Monday when we'll have another Inspire Me Monday post to kick off your creative week. By the way, if you missed last Monday with Ally, hop back HERE to check it out. I can't wait to give some of her experimenting a try!

Check back at the end of the day, when Marcella will announce the winners of the two $25 shopping codes from last week’s Power Poppy/MISTI blog hop. We LOVED reading all of your comments, thank you so much for the love!

For those that celebrate this beautiful holiday, have a fabulous Easter Weekend!
Julie

Monday, April 10, 2017

Inspire Me Monday: Stamping with Water

Welcome to the Power Poppy blog! It’s Allison Cope here with another fun Inspire Me Monday!

Today we’re all about experimenting!  Yes… when you have all these fun stamps and products, sometimes you just have to experiment with them.  You know, not having a goal of an end product makes playing around with your supplies fun.

For today, I’m sharing a fun stamping with water technique.  I’m going to use a few different kinds of ink and some watercolor paper.

So grab a cuppa something fun and join me at my desk…

For today’s experiments, here are a few close ups…

For our video panel, we used the delicate “Sweet Memories” stamp set and some cool Distress Inks…
For the above panel, I think I would have got a better image if I had allowed the water just to sit and sink into the watercolor paper.  I think the image would have been much more clear!  Live and learn I say!!!

For our cool green & blue panel, we used the fun “Succulent Singles” stamp set…

For the earthy panel, we used the whimsical “Artful Display” stamp set…

For our bright and springy panel, we used the “Burst of Kindness” stamp set…

And for our final panel, we used the amazing “Loving Tulips” stamp set.  I think this panel came out the best of the five…

Don't forget to check out the blog hop that Power Poppy has collaborated with My Sweet Petunia (maker of the MISTI tool).  Click the image below to check out the start of our fun hop... there's even a PRIZE for leaving comments for each of the designers...

http://powerpoppy.blogspot.ca/2017/04/hoppin-with-misti.html

Plus, don't forget to play along with the latest Power & Spark Challenge this month! It's a super fun one... three amazing sketches by the amazing talented Julie Koerber!  Click here for more details!


 Thanks for joining me today!  I hope you too get to experiment with your inks and stamping with water!  Have a great week everyone!

~ Allison Cope ~


supplies:
Paper:  Strathmore (Bristol Smooth)
Inks:  Catherine Pooler Designs (Party Dress, Flirty Fushia, Something Blue, Aquatini, Lime Rickey, Fiesta Blue), Distress Inks (Picked Raspberry, Seedless Preserves, Dusty Concord), Distress Oxides (Fired Brick, Spiced Marmalade, Mustard Seed, Faded Jeans, Peeled Paint, Wilted Violet
Tools:  MISTI, Mini MISTI

Friday, April 7, 2017

Hoppin' with the MISTI

Hello there. I’m giggling to myself as I type this blog post. I’m truly tickled inside and feel as if I’ve just been let in on a huge secret. Except that a lot of you guys already know about this thing. This THING! This invention, this wonderful invention by a woman named Iliana Myska. I’d heard of it, yes, I’d heard stampers gushing about it. But you see, I hadn’t ever looked into using one ... because my darlings, I don’t think of myself as a stamper. I always drop the darned acrylic blocks. I don’t seem to get the ink all the way on the stamp. I get impatient trying to line things up. Didn’t think of myself as a stamper. Nope. I’m a person who designs stamps. I love to color in stamps. But I’m not a stamper.

Well. There goes that.

My world >> Changed.

My mind >> Blown.

Meet Marcella Hawley >> Stamper.

Why the transformation?! What is this THING?!

I have now used the MISTI (which stands for Most Incredible Stamp Tool Invented, isn’t that cute -- and it’s true!) from My Sweet Petunia. I actually made this card and I kinda feel like blowing off the rest of the week so I can keep stamping and making cards!! Teehee!! Perfect impressions!! No ink all over me!! Giddiness!! Exclamation points!!


Yes, I made this card with a MISTI. Ok, so it isn’t really a card like you’re used to seeing, but you know, use your imagination! Let’s call it a postcard. 


Today my ENTIRE Bloom Brigade design team is blog hopping with the entire MISTI team — you heard that right. We’re joining forces to show what you can do with your Power Poppy clear polymer stamps and a magical MISTI. My card obviously shows beginner level stamping but the teams will spark adventures all the way to advanced stamping levels, and we’re sharing all kinds of things you can do with a MISTI and its accessories.


If you leave a comment on ALL of the blogs in our hop today, you’ll be entered for a chance to win one of two $25 gift certificates from Power Poppy, as well as entered to win a MISTI (either the original or mini, winner’s choice!) from My Sweet Petunia.

MISTI Winners will be announced on this page of the My Sweet Petunia blog on April 14th. Power Poppy Winners of (2) $25 gift certificates will be announced here on the Power Poppy Blog on April 14th. How. Cool. Is. That.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

On to my project. You guys are gonna flip, because guess what, I did my first tutorial. Sort of. You know me... new recruit stamper and all. I am not able to share photos of my stamping room or my case of Copics. Don’t have either of ’em. So my tutorial begins where I find the most inspiration: In the garden.


First, my loves, we get inspired to MAKE! Walk out into the garden, take a deep breath, and soak everything in. Ignore the weeds that need pulling, vines that await staking, the fall leaves you haven’t cleaned up yet, because that’s just depressing and we’re trying to get in a carefree, crafty mood. If you don’t have a garden, you can rummage through gardening magazines, or even easier, peruse flower photos on Pinterest or Google Images. Me, I have a wedge-shaped garden out back that’s about as large as an actual piece of pie, and I’ve crammed it full of plants. Fortunately, some are even blooming right now.

I chose a stamp set to use today that was introduced three years ago THIS WEEK. It was Power Poppy’s very first introduction. The stamp is called Springtime Love, and it features loads of spring flowers in a charming roundel, including the ones pictured above, Celandine Poppy. I snipped a stem of these golden woodland beauties, along with Virginia bluebells, purple Akebia vines, and Daffodils. (Several of the daffs were actually in vases in my refrigerator... that’s where I keep them because they last there for weeks! I cut all of these from my folks’ garden last weekend.)


The next step (if you have a garden or a generous gardening neighbor, or a floral department at a nearby grocery store) is to make a little bouquet with your snippings. This is purely for inspiration purposes. I like to have fresh flowers nearby, it makes me happy. And if you do this step early in your cardmaking process, it makes for a colorful photo when you snap a picture of your final product later on. Just watch....


This is my craft table set-up today! It’s the kitchen counter (in case my design calls for olive oil or needs whisking, I’m totally ready). We have my new best friend, the Mini MISTI in the lower left corner. I used Fluid hot-pressed watercolor paper for my cardstock, since I’m fixin’ to use my paints. The paper actually comes on a waxed block, and you have to extract the sheet with an X-Acto knife so you can use it in the MISTI.


The Springtime Love clear stamp is on deck! Stay tuned friends, I have a special giveaway at the VERY END of this post related to this set, in honor of Power Poppy’s 3rd Birthday.


So here’s the thing with this MISTI business, even ding-dongs like me can get the crispest impression ever. My stamps are so very detailed, this basically ensures that you can hold all my stippled dots and the critical lines and illustrative details even in the very center of a large stamp. And if you do happen to stamp an incomplete image, you can just put more ink on the stamp and stamp it again — without the dreaded double-image dramarama!

I would go through step-by-step how you do all of this, but I think all of you guys get it already. I know that because I had to watch a tutorial online so I could figure out how to do it, and there are TONS of good ones! And I’ll wager that some of the other folks on this hop have some great tips!


Peeking under the MISTI hinged lid! Eeeee!!! Insert giggling here, because that’s what I was doing as I lifted it up to see how it turned out...


Thumbs up for the perfect impression! You can see every tiny dot from my original illustration — which is in part because we use the highest quality photopolymer to make our stamps, and my manufacturers are sooooo careful to hold all the detail. They actually apply a special “Marcy treatment” — a unique step in their process that ensures that the stamps match my original artwork, because I am very persnickety about that. The other part of the perfect impression is stamping with the MISTI — I’ve never had a more complete, evenly stamped image when using a block. I mean, it would look pretty darn good. But this looks STELLAR. And I didn't hurt my wrist pressing down on the acrylic block, or drop the stamp pad directly onto the paper like I may have done in the past. Not cool, mate!

For this card, I used a ColorBox pigment stamp pad in Chestnut, as I love to use a shade that’s paler than black when I’m watercoloring, but still gives some depth. I also appreciate that pigment doesn’t seem to interfere with or bleed into my paints.


Next, I added a sweet little sentiment from Burst of Kindness that fits perfectly centered below my roundel of spring flowers. I just love how you can place the stamp exactly where you want! This MISTI is killing me, it’s so neat-o! I’m stamping!


Oh lookee, I found a tripod in my son’s room and figured out how to use the timer on my phone. Not well enough to get my whole face in the shot, but since I don’t have on makeup and hadn’t really brushed my hair, perhaps this is for the best. Just showing you my little craft area on the kitchen counter. Note: Pretty bouquet! I told you it would come in handy. Also decided to eat one of the oranges. Another plus of working in the kitchen.


Painting away using the palette I’ve had since the early 90s, loaded with Winsor & Newton gouache paints and watercolors in all of my favorite hues, many of them mixed together to form shades that you can’t find in tubes.


I start painting this image with various greens, using the LIGHTEST washes of color. You can always add more color to intensify, but it can be challenging to take a step backwards to remove color. I snipped one of the flowers right off the poppy stem so I could really look inside and see what that center looks like for guidance on how to paint it.


Another tip for coloring in tiny areas of stamps like mine — use the best sable watercolor brushes you can find. This one is a Winsor & Newton Series 7 Kolinsky Sable Brush in size 000 (the smallest one they make, and my favorite size). They’re a bit pricey, but life’s too short to use cheap paintbrushes. Buy the good brushes and I promise, the accuracy of your lines will amaze you.


Continuing to add washes of watercolor/gouache to intensify the colors and add depth. Remember to leave areas white for the highlight areas. To color the Tulip in this stamp, I referred to a photo I posted on Instagram the other day (check it out @powerpoppy). Loaded the pic up on the ol’ iPad and set it right next to me so I could mimic it as best as I could. Often I’ll do a Google image search or flip through photos of my own travels to find color inspiration.

Remind me to get a manicure before I find myself taking photos of my hands next time, won’t you?


Et, voilĂ ! I am pleased as punch with my simple card, and so grateful to have discovered the MISTI. Thanks for stopping by and reading my crazy long post. And if you followed my tutorial instructions, you now should have a small bouquet to keep you company!

Now... let’s roll to the NEXT BLOG in the hopping sequence. You know and love her, she’s the cleverest thing this side of the Mississippi: Lydia Fiedler! Be sure to visit all the blogs (we have a weekend coming up, so I hope you can fit it in!) leave a comment on each blog if you’d like to be entered in the GIVEAWAYS we mentioned above, lots of goodies to be scooped up by a few special winners.

Power Poppy >> you are here!
please hop here next! >> Lydia Fiedler

And one last thing... as an extra SOMETHIN’ SOMETHIN’ to kick off celebrations for Power Poppy’s 3rd birthday, I’m going to select one of the commenters on MY blog post to receive both the Springtime Love stamp set (the very one I used for this card, only the main image has been stamped once!) AND the watercolored card I painted today. Winner will be announced April 14th here on the blog. We’ll be popping in with all kinds of fun surprises throughout the month of April to keep the party going!

Thank you all so much for three inspiring, fulfilling, wonderful years of LOVE together. xoxoxo!!!


P.S. Are you looking for the announcement of the APRIL POWER & SPARK CHALLENGE and the WINNER of the MARCH CHALLENGE? CLICK HERE