Posts by Scarlet

Memorial Glass

Whoever your loved one was, they meant the world to you. It is always hard to lose them but often it is comforting to be able to continue to keep them close.

I can help by carefully blending cremation ashes with glass.

While it is a delicate and intimate process the end result is a beautiful capture of the person or pet’s essence, these are entirely bespoke and no two will ever be the same.

I understand that you may have a lot of questions, please feel free to contact me if you have anything you want to ask about what will happen to that little part of your loved one if you do send them to be forever remembered in glass.

FAQ

How much ash do you need?
I ask for around a teaspoon’s worth, the postal pack you will receive has one of the bags marked to the level.
I’m ordering two pieces, do I need to send you double the ash?
No, there is plenty for a few pieces, if your order will require more ash you will be informed though.
So does this mean there are ashes left over, what happens to them?
Yes there will be ashes that aren’t used in the process, these will be returned to you with your order.
Can you do them with fur or hair
Yes,

Newark Comic Con 2

With Thanks to cosplayer’s Sentinel Squad, WolverSteveSons of Ecto UK and Emma Cross (no page yet)

Secret Bead Along – Prep Work

With just a few days to go before the project starts properly I really need to get a move on with my prep work, but it is causing me a few problems…

finished bead work rivoli My first rivoli went quite well, the instructions in the pattern are very clear and easy to follow. But in a rush to get my son of to his kayak lessons I had left the ends to do later.

So with the brief trip to the lake over I went back to my beading. Even though I had a meter of thread left I thought it might be best to knot it as if I had finished the thread, then if the worst happened in another part I could happily cut it off and add a new thread.

Then came tying off the tail end. I popped the needle onto the tail and weaved it through a few beads.

one lost delica bead in the beadworkIt was at this point I realised just how tight my tension was,  I had problems tying off the thread. When I finally got the needle through where I wanted I heard a rather soul destroying crunch that was one of the delicas breaking.

Yes I was a little gutted but learn from your mistakes I’ll start again and this time I’ll knot the tail end before I get onto beading in the 15’s. That way the tension won’t be as tight and I’ll not risk the same happening again.

3 rows of delicas So starting again, I got all three rows of delica done and knotted off the tail. that wasn’t going anywhere, I was happy and continued with the beading. It did make the whole thing a little tighter going round but it was manageable.

Then onto the 15’s, I did the two rounds for the front and weaved through to the back. I checked at this point to see if the rivoli was going to fit and it was lucky I did because if I had done the first round of 15’s on the back I wouldn’t have been able to fit the rivoli in.

first row of size 15 beads to tighten up the bezel settingI completed the first rivoli again and this time opted not to knot the longer end, after all I didn’t really need to I was only going to so I had it secured if needed when I might make a mistake in the next steps. I’ll just have to try and not make a mistake.

Onto the second one, feeling a little more confident now, knotting the tail after the delica rounds again. I think this one may have been a little tighter though because as I was zipping up the back part I crunched one of the 15’s. Typically it had to be one from the bezel and not from the bit I had just stitched or I could have just worked backwards a little.

So start again on that one, but I was over stressed at this point and after knotting the tail I found that I hadn’t even stitched the delicas right. (answers on a postcard on how you mess up peyote) I had to stop for a bit.

Now we are just a couple of days away from the first days instructions being released and I only have one rivoli prepped. On the facebook page Jean has told me not to worry as I can always do a rivoli a day with my normal beading but I hope that I can get a few more done before Saturday.

The moral of the story

Check your tension. It’s a lot easier to tighten up slightly loose bead work than it is to try and force a needle through a stitch that is too tight!

National Beading Week

NBW LogoFrom 25th July to 2nd August beaders will be getting stuck into projects for National Beading Week.

Bought to us by the Beadworkers Guild the incentive can help you find that mojo, try new things or get into beadwork for the first time.

The national beading week website has some great links to projects that you can take part in, my regular bead group, Barmy Bassingham Beaders, (it’s “that” half of the room that are the barmy lot, sometimes we do wonder what is going on.) will be running an extra session on 1st August at Aubourn Enterprise Centre. If you are local and interested you are welcome to come and meet us all.

One of the things that we will be doing is a secret bead along from Jean Power, she has created a pattern as a set of instructions where we receive a part of the project step by step each day throughout national beading week. The idea being that you have no idea what you are making until the last day when you put it all together.

Since Rivolis were the only thing I needed to buy for the project (I usually bezel my own lampwork cabochons) I spent a little while choosing a colour and settled on Tanzanite thinking that I would be able to easily make a colour combination with the rest of the beads I did have.

This morning I have spent probably longer than I should deciding which beads I am going to use. With a little help from my husband I picked out these;
seed beads, rivolis, delicas and all other types of beads ready for the secret bead along

  • Slate grey delicas
  • Matte black 11’s
  • Purple pearls
  • Teal bicones
  • Iris blue super duos
  • Iris gold 15’s
  • Iris blue 15’s

I’m a little undecided on the 15’s at the moment I’m not sure if I want to do them as all in the iris blue, all in the iris gold or split in half. This is probably the only disadvantage of not knowing what I’m making because I can’t visualise the colours in the finished piece. I’m quite attracted the iris gold though as it gives more of a contrast overall.

If you are interested in the secret bead along you can find the instructions on Jean’s website, the pattern is only £5.

Of course if you are completely new to beadweaving don’t feel left out by wondering how on earth you are supposed to make a start, here are some great free instructions on peyote stitch or if you are really serious about learning all the wonders of tiny beads you can join the guild for access to lots of stitch resources or get yourself an in depth book like Mastering Beadwork.

I’m off to make a start on the prep work now, are you taking part? what colours do you opt for?

 

Colouring with Promarkers – Blending 1

Mostly I colour light to dark with promarkers, early in my colouring journey I used the dark to light method because I didn’t “get” to keep the inks wet when I first tried light to dark, this lead to patchier results and I had no idea I was doing anything wrong, now I know better through my own experiments and light to dark colouring is now my preferred method.

Before you start with light to dark blended colouring I recommend that you get to grips with flat colour first.

The biggest trick is working while the ink is wet. As I have mentioned before the easiest way to achieve this is to work in sections, it does take longer but you will get better results.

To get a good blend you will want between 3-5 colours, this will depend on how much depth you need from a certain area of the image and of course the size and amount of detail in the image itself. For this little guide I will only be using 3 colour blends as the flower isn’t overly detailed and there aren’t any large areas to really warrant being able to add lots of layers of colour.

These are the colours I will be using

Remember the trick to getting the blend to work is to add colour on top of the colour underneath while it is still wet, do not pause between colours in each section.

Start by getting tulip yellow, leaf green and grass ready, this is for the blades of grass at the bottom of the picture.

Colour all of the grass with the tulip yellow, then take the leaf green and colour almost to the tip, then take grass and colour up to a point before where the leaf green stops.
Go back to leaf green and go over the point where grass meets leaf green then do the same with the tulip yellow where that meets the leaf green.

Get leaf green, grass and china blue ready. this is my favourite blend for leaves.
Colour the whole leaf and the stem with leaf green, then add a thick line of grass up from the base of the leaf and along the centre line also add some at the top and the base of the stem. Use china blue to go along the centre line of the leaf and at the base of the stem where it meats the grass as these will be the darkest points. Once you have done the blue, use grass to blend the blue into the grass and leaf green to blend the grass into the leaf green.

For the front petals you will need orchid, purple and plum. To make sure the ink stays wet as you are working only do one petal at a time, though dependent on the paper once you get used to blending you may find on small images you can work more than one section for certain details.

Begin by colouring one whole petal with orchid, then with purple add some lines that follow the lines on the flower from the lower edge of the petal, leaving you with a triangle look to the shadow in this example. Use plum to just add a thin line at the very base of the petal. As with the other colours use purple to blend in the plum and orchid to blend in the purple at the points where the colours meet.

Continue with the other front petals in the same way.

The back petals are using the same colour combination and process but the shadow comes further as the petals are partially masked by the front ones. As you can see in the example the purple comes up both sides of the petal quite a way, the plum is still a thin line at the base and up the sides, blend in as before by using the lighter colours to work the darker one to it.

After completing the first petal, work on the others individually until you have completed all four.

I did forget to photograph colouring the centre of the flower, though that is done with tulip yellow, sunflower and pumpkin. Tulip yellow is the base, colour the whole circle with that, using sunflower add a crescent moon shape on one side of the flower and with pumpkin just add a small deep shadow line on the edge of the circle within that crescent moon shape.

If you do have difficulty keeping the ink wet as you are working you can use the blender pen to dampen the area before you start colouring it, this will keep the ink wetter for slightly longer but it will lighten the colours slightly and dependent on the paper it will cause the ink to spread a little more than normal.

Choosing a colour blend can be part of the fun of colouring too, use a spare piece of paper to test out blends by colouring a square with the lightest colour, then going over 2/3 of it with the mid tone and then the bottom 1/3 with the darker tone. Having a colour chart of your pens will also help you identify colours that will work well together in a blend, or keep an eye on my library where I publish blends that I have tried, tested and used.

Once you have the hang of 3 colour blends you can look at adding further colours to build up greater levels of shadow or highlight.

While I work with promarkers the process isn’t any different between brands of alcohol markers, Spectrum Noir and Copics (the other two brands that are commonly used) work in the same way.

Let me know in the comments if you found this useful, or if you have any questions.

Happy Colouring

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Colouring Therapy Art Book

With no other editions this colouring magazine from Magbook is a bit different from the other magazines. Magbook release individual bookazines on popular topics. This one is also available on Amazon. Priced at £5.99 it’s a little more expensive than I thought it would be, compared to other magazines on the market.

There are 56 Images to colour in this double sided print edition, the publication is split into 5 “chapters” Animal Kingdom, Patterns, Spiritual, Nature and Art Inspired though there are only 3 images in the art inspired chapter and the nature chapter is mostly things that could have easily gone into other sections the splits seem kind of redundant.

At the start of each chapter 3/4 of a page is taken up by a single paragraph of text and the final 1/4 has part of the double spread image, it seems that most of the images would have been fine on just a single page, some of the actual double page spreads are like this too, only taking up half of each page but split across a double.

The artwork is a bit of a mix, there are a few highly detailed images but a lot are really thick lines so not great for more advanced colourists, the paper is also quite thin you can see the print from the image on the other side on practically all the pages.

Onto Colouring

Knowing there wasn’t any chance of using alcohol markers as it was double sided I tested my stabilo 68’s on the tiny image from the front page. Even though I am light handed with my colouring the colour is obvious on the opposite side of the page.

Even gel pens where the ink doesn’t soak into the paper, so don’t bleed, showed through on the opposite side.  So I switched to coloured pencils, which are about the only media you can really use on this paper but you can tell on the opposite side areas that have been filled with pencil, especially darker colours, even though you don’t see the colours coming through.

In Conclusion

I would say this one isn’t particularly worth the money. While there are a variety of designs that would be good for anyone that wasn’t sure what style they like to colour the thin pages really let this down because you will see the design on the reverse side.

All right if you only want to use pencil and want the variety of designs this publication has to offer, but it is not one I would recommend.

colouring therapy by magbook

chapter start in colouring therapy

colouring in colour therapy

 

Creative Colour

A colouring magazine from puzzler.com. I didn’t get this one when it first came out but I did snap it up before the release of issue 2 at the end of May. Now we are at the end of June and issue 3 is in the shops.

I left this one untouched for quite a while but one evening as the boys were watching the Avengers I sat myself in the corner under the floor lamp and decided it was time to make a start.

This is another single side print magazine with 24 images to colour and staple bound. Paper quality seems good and the artwork is a mix of single images, full page patterns and contained images, ranging from fine detail to larger areas making it good for any level of colourist. The cover price is 2.99 and is published monthly.

Onto Colouring

I’m back with my Stabilo pen 68’s and the paper is all right, the colour goes on reasonably smoothly although it does show through on the other side it is single sided so that isn’t a problem.

The first one I completed was the bird, it was my favourite image in the whole magazine. I used a combination of flat colour and a bit of shading. As well as the pen 68’s I also used some of my point 88’s to work on the more detailed areas. It was a really enjoyable image to colour though.

I also had a go on the inside cover with the stabilo pens, the little flower was a great, quick to colour piece. After colouring that though which is a smoother card rather than the paper I was wishing the whole book was printed on that.

I also had a go at a page with my inktense pencils, I did this one using a blender pencil to smooth the colour rather than using water. This came out beautifully I certainly got better coverage with the pencils than the pens.

With Promarkers the coverage can be slightly patchy as the ink dries quickly on the paper, though as I got more used to how the ink was behaving on the paper reducing the size of the circles I coloured in allowed me to get a more even colour.

In Conclusion

A reasonable magazine, the range contained in it does make it suitable for anyone though I haven’t bought issue 2 or the recently released issue 3. With such a large selection of magazines available now and considering my collection already I did find a lot of the images to be rather similar and I personally preferred the selection in the later issues of relax with art.

If you are a new colourist though take a look at this magazine along side the others because you might find the artwork more to your tastes and without having earlier magazines there won’t be similarities like I experienced. You can also use any media to colour but make sure you add a sheet of card under the page you are colouring if you intend to use pens and keep your strokes shorter than normal to reduce patchy coverage.

 

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A Chat with Sarah Bigwood

If you were ever struggling to get motivated then this lady is the one that will show you what can happen.

Sarah’s Book Animaux à colorier was released at the beginning of June through the publisher Editions First. But what if I told you that this time last year Sarah wouldn’t draw, she didn’t think she could.

I got hold of Sarah and had a bit of a chat with her, (read as bombarded her with questions) I already knew bits of the story as we are both paper cutters and enjoy adult colouring so we frequent the same groups. But I was really interested in hearing more, Sarah began drawing in around the same time as I started playing with drawing too. Her journey sparked in much the same way and taking such an inspirational direction, let me tell you her story.

A paper cutter since February 2014, leaving 10 years in retail management after being diagnosed with severe depression. Sarah decided to open her own business doing paper cuts and templates under the name Pixie Rah Designs in July 2014. (She also does dog walking and daycare)

I have the most understanding husband who has really supported me through everything that’s happened.

But in December 2014 Sarah began drawing, she wanted to move away from digitally created paper cut templates and be able to hand draw all her designs. As someone with no prior experience she bought a book on zentangle and started to have a go.

There was no right or wrong and that I could make interesting art that seemed to come naturally to me.

Mr Rhino was her first creation, originally intended as a paper cut template when Sarah showed the design to a group of peers within a facebook paper cutting group it came about that he would make a fantastic colouring page. 9 drawings later she had her “African Animals” set which she uploaded to her etsy store to sell as downloadable colouring pages.

Just 4 days after these listings went live Sarah was contacted by a French publishing company who wanted to turn her animals into a colouring book. They wanted 80 animals within 3 weeks!!!

Sarah's Desk, getting drawings ready for the next colouring book

Sarah’s Top Tips

Just by drawing once a day I can see how much I have improved in 6 months.

  • Draw once a day
  • Practice is important
  • There is no right or wrong
  • Surround yourself with supportive people
  • Join groups, ask for constructive feedback
  • Above all. Give things a go!

But she did it, the book was released 4th June 2015 and she was asked to do another book.

Right now Sarah is working on the next book, due for release in October and is currently working on 80 Christmas and winter drawings to submit to the publisher, so far she has 61 done with a week to go on her deadline.

This one I have found harder than the Animals as its quite hard to think of different things to draw!

When drawing Sarah uses Uni Pin pens, 0.8mm for outlines and 0.3mm for the internal details, but she still loves colouring too, her facebook group Adult Colouring has in excess of 2,500 members now all there to enjoy the same things and share their love for colouring. As a member myself I know how supportive the group is as a place for anyone that enjoys grown up colouring and art therapy.

Sarah also has ideas for the future, keep an eye on her because she really is a hit.

 

Relaxing Patterns and Mandala Designs

relaxing patterns and mandala designs by lilt kidsI was sent this book from Lilt Kids to review. All I had seen was the cover and I eagerly awaited the delivery coming over from America.

Lilt kids are an independent publisher, something that I thought was good to see, no major cooperation. All their colouring books are quite cheap (£2 to £4)

Here’s a quote from their website

THANKS FOR STOPPING BY..

and supporting a small, independent business like Lilt Kids Coloring Books. All our coloring books are made right here in the USA by talented artists and printed on the highest quality paper with beautiful, bright covers. Should you ever have any kind of problem with an order or just a question for us, we have great customer service: just email

Sounds very exciting doesn’t it…

the internal cover of relaxing patterns and mandala designsThen the book arrived

Truthfully I was disappointed. Firstly The cover of this book appealed to me the most out of the small selection I was shown to choose from, after looking at their site with the book in my hand I see three other books at least with the same cover, just different titles. The one thing I had to go on to choose a book and it wasn’t unique, nor was it anywhere in the book. The Amazon page also said that there were 40 pages in the book, there were only 22 design pages, 24 if you count the small images in the title page and the back page. Yes it’s over 40 pages if you count the blank back side of every design but I think that’s stretching things a little.

showing the quality of the line work within the bookThe Artwork

Something else that didn’t meet my expectation. It is just my opinion but I don’t expect thick lines in an adult colouring book, the thinnest lines are at least 1mm thick. Now this could be seen as a benefit for those using art therapy who have motor function problems so I’m not going to rule things out just because the line thickness isn’t to my liking.

Looking at the images again on most of them the lines aren’t smooth, and there are areas, on the mandalas especially, where you can tell images have been joined together to create the design.

So, I’m disappointed again.

The Paper

It’s about 100gsm and very lightly textured. Nothing like any of the other colouring books I own . It’s somewhere in between the paper from Zen Colouring and Relax with Art so maybe it wouldn’t be that bad to colour on.

The book is printed single sided though so at least any media goes.

stabilo colour testOnto Colouring

I tried three different media in this book. Firstly Stabilo Pen 68, my all rounder pens because there aren’t many books out there there these can’t be used in. I chose to do the first page and went with a pallet of yellows, oranges and reds. They worked rather well.

The first image took me less than an hour to colour. I didn’t really get the satisfaction from the colouring that I would on pages I spend hours or even days on, but it was nice to do something a bit quicker.

promarkers colour testOnto the second and I went with my promarkers and a purple/blue combination, while it was possible to colour with them on the paper (sheet of card under the page required) it did seem to really suck the ink in. This is where I was perhaps thankful the lines in the artwork were quite thick as the colour really did spread (even with the thick lines though the first bit of colour I added did go over.) The other thing I noticed was that the colours became rather muted, the usual vibrancy of the colours was dulled and that was a little disheartening as the final image didn’t end up as I had planned it.

example of using inktense in the bookI spent about an hour and a half on that one.

Finally I got my inktense pencils out and went with reds and greens as you can see I didn’t finish this one, the coloured pencil didn’t really go well on the page and while the water wash looked good to begin with, once it dried though it looked awful and I had a rather wrinkly page.

I didn’t want to finish it, and this is the only time I have ever left an image unfinished.

A Second Opinion

I decided to get a second opinion on the book, I showed it to my 8 year old son. He did think it looked “pretty cool.” So now the book is his, though he hasn’t actually done any colouring yet.

In Conclusion

Pretty disappointing if you are a more advanced colourist, though I will give credit that these might be a good, inexpensive, introduction to colouring for anyone that wants to embark on art therapy but is either daunted by the detail of some books or needs the thicker lines to compensate for motor function problems. They are probably better for children wanting different types of designs.

A children’s book billed for adults.

If the book does interest you though I would say you would be better off using water based pens over any other media as they do give the best colour results.

Did I just get very unlucky with my choice of book, has anyone else tried books from this publisher?

Colouring with Stabilo’s – Shading

Once you are ready to embark on shading the Stabilo 68’s and 88’s are probably one of the simplest to learn with, there is no blending with these so don’t expect smooth transitions every time, some colours do work better than others but you will always have a darker shaded area which allows you to add that extra level of depth to your colouring.

If you haven’t read it yet I suggest reading the flat colour guide to see how I work with these pens.

Onto Colouring

Greys can be your best friend with shading, because they will work with any colour. Don’t reach for the grey that is a darker tone to the main colour though as it will end up appearing too dark. Choose a grey that is a shade lighter than you think you need. With colours though you will be using one shade darker.

When it comes to shading I do a lot of the work with the finer point 88 pens as it is easier to graduate the colour by fanning out the lines drawn the closer I get to the light source. It is achievable with the pen 68 but you will get a denser colour.

These are the colours I am working with:

  • Light green 68/33 or 88/33
  • Green 68/36 or 88/36
  • Yellow 68/44 or 88/44
  • Orange 68/54 or 88/54
  • Lilac 68/58 or 88/58
  • Purple 68/55 or 88/55
    and
  • Grey 68/96 or 88/96

I am starting with the grass again, I will be colouring this in exactly the same main colours as I did for the flat colour guide. Decide where you want shade to appear. For the grass I have opted for light shading on the blade that appears to be behind in the image and have added a “centre line” in the front blade to show the “fold” you see in grass.

You can then go over the grey with the main colour. If the paper saturates easily or is prone to loosing fibres wait until the grey has dried.

Again with the grey I have added shade to the top of the stem quite heavily as the shadow cast by the flower would be denser there. A little shading between the grass and shading that fans out on the leaf working from the stem.

Go over all the shading with the main colour (in this case light green) I realised at this point that the grey was perhaps to dark for the light green but hopefully it shows you what I mean about going a shade lighter than you think you need with greys. As the grey I am using was the lightest I had at the time it was all I could work with though there is a grey one step lighter in the range.

Next I add a little orange alongside one edge of the centre of the flower.

Colour over that with yellow. I didn’t wait for it to dry here and as you can see a little blending has occurred with this combination though it is not something I would rely on happening.

Next I use the purple and add some quick lines into one of the petals at the front of the flower, this will keep the shading fairly light as I don’t want it too dark and the lines created by the point 88 are perfect for this. Follow the lines within the drawing as if you were just adding a few more.

Do the same on the other three front petals.

Once the shading has been added and dried using the lilac in the pen 68 colour all of the front petals. I have found the combination of purple and lilac to work rather well.

You can then start on the back petals.

With the purple again but this time filling the area you want shaded (the point where it meets the front petals) with a denser bit of colouring, for this you can either use the point 88 or pen 68, though I continued to use the point 88 and used obvious lines that were just a lot closer together.

I then coloured the petal I had shaded.

Continue to add the shading on the remaining three petals.

Then,  when dry, go back to the lilac and colour the other back petals.

Finished you will have an image, with the extra depth shading provides. I use this technique in my animal kingdom book as well as on some free printables.

Experiment with different colours to find which ones work best together or give the effect you are after. Some combinations will appear seamless while others will be noticeably darker, some of course won’t work, even if you think they should.

Let me know how you get on shading with your Stabilo’s or other fineliners/fibre tips in the comments below, or show me your coloured images here, on facebook, @scarletleonard on twitter or @scarletimpressions on instagram.

Happy colouring!

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