Top

Tag Archives | CHA

CHA Summer 2011: Sizzix

Reported by Simone Collins

Sizzix is always on the cutting edge of the craft industry (yes, pun intended). With the popularity of their Big Shot machine, the new Vagabond and eClips machines, consumers are constantly awaiting new dies and cartridges. The new Framelits are the answer for stampers who don’t enjoy cutting out all those images. These sets include cling stamps and matching dies which can be used in the Big Shot or Vagabond machines.

The new Deco Emboss dies are going to be a huge hit with jewelry makers.

The new Ink-Its Letterpress dies make debossing with ink, simple and elegant.

And let’s not forget a peek at the new Alteration dies from Tim Holtz.

Here’s a look at some of the other amazing projects from Sizzix.

So what do you think? Which dies do you like the most? Are you a Sizzix user?

CHA Summer 2011: Copic Markers

Reported by Simone Collins

Copic Markers have quickly become the alcohol marker of choice or rubber stampers and scrapbookers alike. Here at CHA, it was nice to see all 346 colors up close.

Plus, it is nice to see designers like Colleen Schaan working with the markers and getting some of her pro tips.

Coloring enthusiasts are going to love the new Shadows and Shading by Marianne Walker. This beginners guide will explain light placement and includes guides as well.

Copic also works with their air brushing systems.

Marianne Walker was there to show us how easy it is to use with the markers.

These atyou Spica Glitter Pens are a great way to add a little bling to any project. They come in 24 colors and feature a no-clog nib.

The biggest news at the show is the introduction of Copic’s new website, Copic Color. Copic Color is a community for people who love Copic markers. This new website allows people to keep track of the markers they have and want, create custom color palettes to share with their friends, post artwork made with Copic Markers, find Copic Marker dealers carrying the colors they want, and best of all it is optimized for mobile devices.


And if that wasn’t enough, here is some of the great samples featured in the Copic booth.

Are you a Copic fanatic? What do you love about them? And what do you think about the new Copic Color? We would love to know!

Vendor Spotlight: Letraset ProMarker Blending Sets

Reported by Maria Del Pinto

The Letraset ProMarker Blending Sets come in Pastel, Muted, and Vivid color sets.  Each set comes with 12 Markers, a Blender Pen, and a Blending Chart.  You can also find a color chart available for free download on the Letraset website, which is helpful in planning your projects and keeping track of what marker colors you currently own.  ProMarkers are alcohol based inks which are popular with Manga artists.  They are permanent on paper, so plan accordingly.  The ProMarkers are non-toxic markers.  The side of each marker is labeled with the ink color and corresponding color number which makes it extra easy to refer to the color charts.

I am new to working with alcohol based markers, so I played with them a bit to see how versatile they really are.  I found that the ProMarkers are fairly fast drying.  This means you do have to prepare your supplies ahead and work quickly to achieve maximum results in using them to color your projects.

The ProMarkers are double ended and equipped with  dual nibs.  One is fine nib and the other is a chisel nib.
Thus, you can get achieve variety of color lines, depending on how you hold the nibs.  The fine nib was designed for detail work.  It is great for drawing Manga art, drawing fine lines, and filling in small areas. Also, if you hold the fine tip on its side, you can achieve a broader looking line that is good for filing in a larger area.

The chisel nib also offers some versatility.  You can achieve a wider line by holding the marker on its side.  The width will vary in accordance with how you hold the pen to the paper.  Also the chisel nib is great for color blending and filling in larger areas with color.  Then to achieve a thinner line with the chisel tip, you just need to hold it on its tip.  I was able to get a few different widths just by adjusting how I held the marker.

Each set comes with a dual nib blender pen that can be used to pick up unwanted color on certain surfaces, as well as be used to blend colors on various surfaces.
The ProMarker blender pens was very useful in creating a softer texture on the colored images.  Color in the image first, then go over it with the blender with dots, lines, circles, etc. to create texture or to soften the color.  The blender pens are easy to use.  For a quick demonstration, just view the video below to see how to use the blender pens to remove color from a paper flower.

For my first project, I decided to take a wood block, paint it, then accent it with assorted papers and die cuts to create a temporary book end. I then used the paper flower from the demo video as a center accent on the paper flower die cuts.  
Since it will remove excess ink from the image, the ProMarker blender pens are great to fix mistakes on your colored image. Depending on the surface, it can help smooth out lines on your colored image and lighten the color a bit.

Also, when planning your project, you may want to consider using bleed proof paper.  Below is an example of how the ink reacts with inexpensive regular printer paper. This is the back of the colored 
Ink Bleeds through Regular Copy Paper 
image and it did have some major bleeding.  You can see that it does not have the same crisp lines that you would get using bleed-proof paper.   You can avoid this problem by using your favorite brand of bleed-proof papers. I did notice that Letraset does offer their own line of papers on their website for Manga and other specific applications.

Personally, I had really good results with the Canson Watercolor 140lb cold press papers and some heavy cardstock (which I bought at a local stamp show).  I would recommend pre-testing a small piece of the paper you are planning to use and see how the ink reacts with your own papers.  On my second project, I used a black water-based ink pad to stamp a couple of butterfly images onto the heavy cardstock.

Once the images dried, I colored them in with ProMarkers from the muted collection and cut one of them out.


I found that if you coat the heavy card stock with the blender medium as a base, it will give you more time to achieve better color blending results.  I was trying for a slightly faded denim look at the top of the butterfly.  I found by laying the blender medium then the color, it was easier to blend the color and then remove color from some areas of the card.  This allowed me to achieve that slightly faded look in specific areas.

The Letraset ProMarkers also works really well with the Memento inks. This is because the Memento ink is dye-based and does not smear as easily as other inks might.  
For my third project, I decided to test the ProMarkers on a variety of surfaces to see how they would perform.  So I decided to use them on the embellishments that I was going to put in the mini album that I am working on for my daughter.  I started with the chipboard cover pieces and covered them with a variety of papers and embellishments.


Then I used one of the coordinating muted markers to line the outer edge of my page.


I used “Pale Pink” and “Pastel Blue” to outline the cloth flowers with a little touch of color. The mini frame was white, so I used the same two ink colors to make it coordinate with the paper and flowers. After the ink dried, I added some glitter, a charm, and rhinestones to the frame.


On the page below, I used the ProMarker to outline the lace so it would coordinate with the other elements on the page.


Then I used the ProMarkers to outline the vellum envelope and the green corners.

Tips:
Start with the lightest color and color image in.  Then apply the other colors in a similar order (light to dark)
Use the blender pen according to manufactures directions to get the best results.
Use the blender pen as a base coat then quickly apply the ProMarker colors you are trying to blend, before it dries to maximize use of the blending medium.

Try shade apply the color onto paper surfaces by layering the color on until you get the desired result.
The blender pen allows for versatility with the color applications and is a must have if you want to be able to do more shading in your color application
Pros:
  • The pens are good for multi-surface applications.  You can use them on paper, card stock, vellum, acetate, glass, wood, metal and some plastics.
  • The pens are very affordable and are available in about 145 different colors to suit a variety of projects. 
  • The pens are also sold in color coordinated sets which are more cost effective.  The sets are well labeled to the type of media or art they are best suited for.
  • The dual tips are very versatile and allow for a variety of lines for use for both crafting and manga drawing.
  • The blenders are great for using to blend colors, remove color, and for achieving different types of shading techniques (depending on the type of project you are using the ProMarkers for).
Cons:
  • These are alcohol inks so they will bleed through some papers and there is some distortion on the less expensive copy paper.
  • The colors are translucent, so they will not show up well on clear plastic or clear glass.  Opaque plastic or glass would work better.
  • These are alcohol inks and will dry quickly.  So you have to work quickly to achieve smooth strokes.
  • The markers are not permanent on every single surface.  I would test them the intended surface to make sure the ink will be permanent.  Different surfaces can have hidden chemicals and/or oils that keep inks from adhering to them.

Giveaway

The great folks over at Letraset are giving one lucky reader a set of markers. To enter this contest, simply answer any of the questions below or on the other Letraset review in the comments section of this article on our website.

Have you tried Letraset Pro Markers yet? What alcohol ink markers do you use? Have you found something fun to do that is outside of the box? Please share!

One entry per person please. Contest will close Monday, May 16th at 6pm CST.