Artic Antics by Penny Black

Saturday was our first snowfall of the season. Not really much accumulation, but enough to remind me that winter is here. Despite a major kitchen renovation a couple of years ago, we still have issues with freezing pipes. So dipping temperatures means pulling out the space heater and letting the kitchen faucet drip to prevent any catastrophes. Although the snow is lovely, we’re also on high alert to make sure that our pipes stay intact.

We’ve started decorating the house for the holidays- lights in the flower box, candles in the windows, and a big, beautiful wreath on the door – but unlike many of our neighbors, we have yet to put up the tree. Our living room is small, but somehow we’ll fit a fully decorated tree and fourteen people in here for Christmas Eve dinner. However, some decluttering needs to happen before the tree comes up from the basement and I have to finish up coloring projects for that to happen.

In the meantime, I’ve been coloring snow and polar bears for holiday cards – part of getting into the Christmas spirit. You may have noticed that I’m teaching a class next week that features the Polar Bear Pals stamp set by My Favorite Things. Polar bears are quick and easy to color and can be done with a limited number of markers. Obviously, there’s no white Copic marker, so you “color” white by coloring the shadows, emphasizing contours and depth. I start with the lightest warm gray to map out the shadows and then add layers of the darker grays to create the contours. I completed the shadows with a light wash of E30 to make the grays even warmer. Throw in some miscellaneous colors for the packages and you have another holiday card ready to cheer someone’s day.

What’s on your craft table today?


Paper: Neenah Solar White 110#; X-Press It Blending Card by Copic; Holiday 6×6 paper pad by American Crafts; Scarlett Red Dot by Authentique (I used scraps of the solid red side of the paper).
Stamps: Artic Antics (*) by Penny Black; Boxed Greetings (*) by Paper Smooches; Believe by Penny Black (inside sentiment, not shown)
Inks: Memento in Tuxedo Black by Tsukineko; Versafine in Onyx Black by Tsukineko
Dies: Stitched Rectangles by Simon Says Stamp
Copics: W0, W1, W3, E30, 0 (bear); C0, C1, C3, R35, R46, R56, R59 (scarf); YG03, YG05, YG09, Y02, Y15, Y19, B24, B28, R35, R46, R56 (gifts); BV000, BG0000, BG10, B000 (snow/shadow)

Items marked with an asterisk (*) were provided by a store or the manufacturer for free or at a discount. All other items were personally purchased.

New Class! Winter Polar Bear Cards – Thursday, December 14th & Saturday, December 16 – Photo Scraps

Join me at Photo Scraps on Thursday, December 14th or Saturday, December 16th for a new holiday card class. In this workshop, we’ll make three cards featuring the adorable Birdie Brown Polar Bear Pals from My Favorite Things and sentiments from Penny Black.  The images are colored using a very limited set of Copic markers and all techniques are taught in class. Details are below. Seats are limited, so sign up today! CLASS FEE $26

Photo Scraps
1213 Liberty Road | Eldersburg, MD 21784
phone: 410-549-5187 | web:
Thursday, December 14, 2017 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Saturday, December 16, 2017, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Please call Photo Scraps at 410-549-5187 to register.

COPIC MARKERS: The list below reflects the Copic markers that I will use in class. You can follow along using the same colors OR substitute colors based upon your personal Copic collection. Please bring all your markers to class and make sure your Copics are marked with Washi tape or some other means of identification.

PLEASE NOTE: Markers will NOT be supplied either by me or Photo Scraps. You must bring your own markers to participate in class. If you need markers, please contact Photo Scraps in advance of class. If you wait until class time, you may not be able to purchase the markers you need.

  • W00: Warm Gray No. 00
  • W0: Warm Gray No. 0
  • W2:  Warm Gray No. 2
  • W4:  Warm Gray No. 4
  • E30:  Bisque
  • R35:  Coral
  • R46: Strong Red
  • R56: Currant
  • R59: Cardinal
  • 0: Colorless Blender

OTHER SUPPLIES: Please bring a tape runner adhesive or double-sided tape and scissors.

Rowhouse Greetings | Polar Bear Pals by My Favorite Things

Rowhouse Greetings | Polar Bear Pals by My Favorite Things

Rowhouse Greetings | Polar Bear Pals by My Favorite Things

Mixed Media Tags Featuring Red Castle Stamps

I’m back today with a project that is a first for me – mixed media tags! My project features stamps from Red Castle (available exclusively at The Queen’s Ink) and Penny Black as well as inks and stencils from Tim Holtz and Ranger.

Rowhouse Greetings | Red Castle Stamps

As you know, my primary medium is Copic markers and the end result is usually a handmade card, but I’ve been experimenting with other media, including watercolors, colored pencils, and Distress Inks. These simple tags provided the perfect opportunity to explore color and texture with supplies that I already had at hand.


I work in a relatively small space and knew that things could get messy quickly. I covered my work surface with an Easy Clean Mat from Tonic to protect it and speed clean up when I was finished.

  1. Using a blending tool, apply Distress Ink to one side of a #8 manila craft tag.
    In the case of the first tag, I started in the middle with Mustard Seed, blending each side with Spiced Marmalade followed by Picked Raspberry. For the second tag, I started at the bottom with Chipped Sapphire, working upward from dark to light with Peacock Feathers and Broken China, ending with Cracked Pistachio. I followed with a second coat to make sure that the inks were well blended and coverage was even.
  2. Lightly spritz the tag using a mini mister filled with plain water.
    The water will activate the ink and create a pattern as it dries. Use as much or as little as you want to get to desired effect.
  3. Once the ink has dried, stamp the images to be embossed with Versamark Ink. 
    I used Leaves Set 3 by Red Castle Stamps. The images are deeply etched and leave a clear impression. I particularly liked the botanical images and chose those for my tags.
  4. Cover with embossing powder and heat set the images.
    Be sure that your heat gun has had a chance to warm up first to reduce warping of your tag.
  5. Decide the placement of your stencils and apply Texture Paste with a palette knife. Wash your palette knife and stencil immediate with water. Allow Texture Paste to dry completely.
    Do not use a heat gun to dry the texture paste as it may cause bubbling (unless that’s the effect you want!).
  6. Once texture paste is dry, lightly dab and blend Distress Ink in the color of your choice over the raised stenciled areas. 
    You can either select a contrasting color to make the stenciled image stand out or match the ink to the background to create texture without additional contrast.
  7. Stamp any additional sentiments using a stamping platform.
    I selected sentiments and a butterfly image from the Spiritual Snippets Stamp Set and the Snippets Stamp set, both by Penny Black. I used a Tim Holtz Stamping Platform so that I could stamp multiple sentiments at the same time using Versafine Ink in Onyx Black.
  8. Apply Distress Micro Glaze to seal inks.
    A little goes a long way! Buff with a soft towel (I actually used a paper towel) to remove excess.
  9. Add a ribbon or other embellishments as desired.
    Don’t forget to sit back and admire your work!


  • Tonic Essentials Easy Clean Mat (*)
  • #8 manila craft tags
  • Distress Inks: Mustard Seed, Spiced Marmalade, Picked Raspberry, Cracked Pistachio, Broken China, Peacock Feathers and Chipped Sapphire
  • Ranger Mini Round Ink Blending Tool and Foam Applicators (one for each ink color)
  • Ranger Inkssentials Mini Mister filled with plain water
  • Stamps: Leaves Set 3 (*) by Red Castle Stamps; Spiritual Snippets by Penny Black; Snippets by Penny Black
  • Tsukineko Versamark Embossing Ink
  • Stampendous Detail White Fine Opaque Embossing Powder
  • Heat gun
  • Palette knife
  • Ranger Texture Paste (opaque matte finish)
  • Various stencils (I used the custom stencil included in the Tim Holtz Distress Mixed Media Spray Stain Kit)
  • Tim Holtz Stamping Platform (*)
  • Tsukineko Versafine Ink in Onyx Black
  • Tim Holtz Distress Micro Glaze

Hope my project inspires you to try something new!

Items marked with an asterisk (*) were provided by a store or the manufacturer for free or at a discount. All other items were personally purchased.

Be Yourself

This is the last of the three cards from the class I taught at The Queen’s Ink. I loved the juxtaposition of this batty girl with the sentiment. Here’s a young lady definitely willing to be herself!


Paper: Neenah Solar White 110#; Classic Blue by Bazzill; X-Press It Blending Card by Copics
Stamps: ZA02 (*) by elenazinski from Paper Artsy; Happy Thoughts by Penny Black
Copics: E000, E00, E02 (face); E000, E02 (hands and legs); R20, R22 (hair); B000, B01, B04, B06 (dress); Y02, Y15, Y19, R22 (wings); B06 (shoes)

Items marked with an asterisk (*) were provided by a store or the manufacturer for free or at a discount. All other items were personally purchased.


Think Happy Thoughts and You Can Fly!

This is the second of the three cards I recently completed as part of a class taught at the Queen’s Ink. These quirky flowers from Paper Artsy are fun to color. I embellished them with some dots and dashes made with a Sakura Gel Pen in white. I thought it added to the eccentric nature of the image.


Paper: Neenah Solar White 110#; Bazzill Green cardstock by Bazzill; X-Press Blending Card by Copics
Stamps: ZA09 (*) by elenazinski Art from Paper Artsy; Happy Thoughts by Penny Black
Embellishments: Sakura White Gel Pen
Copics: YG05, YG09, Y02 (leaves); Y02, Y15, Y19, YG05, YG09 (top flower); B06, YG05, YG09, Y02, YG15, YG19 (middle flower); YG05, YG09, Y02, R22 (bottom stalk)

Items marked with an asterisk (*) were provided by a store or the manufacturer for free or at a discount. All other items were personally purchased.