Monday, September 26, 2016

Inspire Me Monday - Faux Photo Tinting

Hi Power Poppy buddies!  It’s Christine waving hello to each of you.  Today I thought I’d bring you a little tutorial that borrows from a popular style of a few years ago that really borrows from a vintage practise of the 1800’s - Photo Tinting.  It’s the manual colouration of a black and white photo with light tints to create realism or an artistic effect (at least that’s what wikipedia tells me!).  

That idea can easily translate to stamped or digital images too.  I was thinking about what Marcy said in this post, "We are instead encouraged to think in values: light, dark, and all the gradients of highlight and shadow in between.

So, with the theme of just adding colour value (light and dark) you can easily colour up an image with just grey tones like this one below.  

This image comes to life just by using different W Copic Markers (or any other of the cool or toner gray family).  I printed out this awesome masculine digi called Fly Guy onto XPress It Blending card stock and then added warm grays in various intensity, developing the highlights and shadows.  Just by adding in those shadows, the image starts to take on a 3D effect.  It gives you the look of a black and white photo.

But then, to take it another step, I started adding some soft “tints” of colour.

Here I’ve given the water and the trout some colouration with the BG10 marker.  I used my gray colouring as a guideline on where to add the hints of blue.  In water you’d see the deepest colours on the edges and where you want to focus on something (like the splash of the fish).  

Next I added in a little colour to his skin and some more colour to the trout.  

Here you can see I’ve added a little B000 to his pants and the sky, some soft G20 to the grasses, and some E00 to the rocks in some of the highlighted areas.  To finish off the colouring I came back with my W1, W2 and W2 markers to deepen some of the shadows.  Very soft and subtle and actually really quick to colour.  It works well for when you have a limited number of markers too.  Your colour only comes from a soft single coloured marker and your value (shadow) comes in your gray-scale markers.  

Here is the finished design and a close-up below.  

And even though I’m REALLY early for next Father’s Day, here’s the inside of the card too.  

Maybe this is another way for you to think about Colouring Outside the Lines like Marcy’s most recent Power & Sparklette Challenge.    Did you see the prize for this one too?  Crazy Awesome!  The winner will receive every set in our 2016 Holiday Clear Stamp Collection when they debut in October.  

Thanks for hanging out with me today!


Friday, September 23, 2016

Lighting a Spark!

Hello happy stampers & welcome to another action-packed, fancifully artsy Friday! There was so much out there on the blogosphere to light that creative spark this week that we can't wait to share just a handful of what we saw! We're downright giddy about it actually! 

First up, we're on Week 3 of Marcella's invitation to us all to partake in a few mini challenges to unleash MEGA creativity! This week, she's urging us to.....

Color outside the lines? ReAlLy? Can we really do that? Well, you have proven that you not only CAN do that, but you are all rocking this concept. And.... lots of artists are showing off their skills using Power Poppy‘s new downloadable freebie called “Let It Be.” (Note: ANY image may be used in the challenge!) Marcella led the way with hues of vibrant blue, and many followed suit and put their own spin on this digi! Like Holstein HERE, Lisa Lara HERE, CreatingColors HERE, or this beauty below by Danni Bindel. If you haven’t downloaded this free Power Poppy digital stamp, come grab it up for yourself! While you’re there, pick up the companion freebie — I Can Do All Things.

Floating around on Instagram, I spotted this colored up creation by Heather a.k.a. @hmz61979. She posted this beauty a while ago, but since I don’t frequent Instagram as often, this was a new-to-me creation! I just love unexpected surprises, don't you? I just love the variation in Heather's coloring, which shows off and defines this Ranunculus digital stamp perfectly.

I found this touch-of-fall creation below by Patti Willey @pattisstampingstudio on Instagram. If you have a few minutes, click HERE and scroll through her recent creations. Oh my!! She has a ton of Power Poppy designs and all are just as striking and pretty as the next! I love this card using In Praise of Sunflowers. The colors just POP on that neutral backdrop, don't you think? 

QUICK NOTE: Want to share your cards and projects on IG? All you need to do is add #powerpoppy or #powerpoppystamps and we’ll find you! Use #powerandsparklette for this month’s Coloring Outside the Lines challenge) @marcellahawley is frequently there peeking and posting!

Well I think all of those ladies are applause worthy! Thank you ALL for sharing your creations and spreading a little artsy love along the way. You inspire us at every turn!

Now it's time to “roll” on through our link list here with the Bloomies! Click on over and see what these fine ladies have been up to in their stamping spaces! We know you won't be sorry that you spent the time checking out their latest creations!

And be sure to check back not only tomorrow to see what Marcy has planned for Saturday’s Week 4 Power & Sparklette bit of fun. On Monday, we’ll be back with Inspire Me Monday to kick off your creative week!

Note: We will be skipping over our regular September 25th digital stamp introduction, but keep your eyes peeled for a holiday surprise on October 5th!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Do It Anyway • Winners for Week 2

Hello my friends!

I’m very happy to share with you the winners of our Week 2 Power & Sparklette Challenge where we asked a question, and received some of the most inspiring, thought-provoking, standing-ovation-inducing answers. It is my belief that you are ALL rockstars in this life. You inspire me to keep doing what I do by letting me know you’re out there doing what YOU do. I just know that you inspired others by your example. And I hope that you know that if you could do that thing you did, well by golly, you can DO ANYTHING you set your mind to.

Thank you, thank you to everyone who read our question, pondered a response, and took the time to share your very meaningful stories.

I could not bring myself to select a “winner”, because I struggle with the concept of one triumph being better or more daring or more ANYTHING than another. THEY ALL WIN!! So, please understand that I selected randomly using All of the entries were SO good! Our grand prize winning post said:

“Around 2008 I saw crafters on line using the Distress Inks to color stamp images. I was hooked on the beautiful colors of the Distress Inks and wanted to learn so bad. At the time I couldn't find any videos or help to learn. (This was even before the markers came out. I was using the ink pads.) So I taught myself. It took me two years of constant practice and I came up with a technique all my own. I can now sit down and color images and more with them and feel so comfortable and grateful that I kept up with the practice. Since then I have learned to color with the markers too. I know that the Lord gave me the talent and gifts I have and through His help I was able to learn. I am so grateful.”

The winner of the $25 Power Poppy Gift Code is:


Ann, if you can drop me a quick email at, I will send you your prize!

Hold on a second, I’m not finished here....

I’d like to extend a $10 Gift Code to the Power Poppy Shop to each of the women who contributed to our Do It Anyway Challenge. 

If you were one of the inspiring souls who submitted a response to this post, please send me an email at, and I will send you a $10 gift code. You can use it towards digis or clear stamps, and it will have no expiration. Or you can share it with a friend if you’d like.

Have a great day, everyone, and remember that you are SO Courageous AND Creative!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Coloring Outside the Lines: Mini Challenge Week 3

We’ve all heard the term “coloring outside the lines,” and whether you apply the term figuratively or literally, that’s exactly where we’re going with today’s challenge.

Coloring-in outlined images is one of the joys of using stamps and digis as you well know. It allows folks to start with a flat image, and to essentially bring it to life. It was my experience as an art student years ago that the concept of starting your artwork with an outline is a bit of a, well, a non-starter. We were taught not to think linearly. They try to break you of the habit of drawing in outlines. We are instead encouraged to think in values: light, dark, and all the gradients of highlight and shadow in between. We practice it like crazy using different approaches, techniques, and ways of thinking. It’s not that beginning art students are taught to completely avoid lines or outlines, rather quite the contrary. The goal is to learn to adjust your line quality — the width of the line, the intensity with which the line is drawn — to reflect what we are seeing.

I’d venture to say that what art classes really teach you is not really how to be an artist but moreso how to look at things. How to consider. How to determine what to limit and what to embrace. How to figure out what speaks to you and how you want to reflect that creatively with your media of choice. Henri Matisse said:  

“I don’t paint things. I only paint the difference between things.”

Yes, Henri, YES! (Or, I suppose it should be Oui, Henri, OUI!) When I approach coloring one of my stamp designs, I have to confess, I cannot stay in the lines. I don’t want to! I feel that the area around the stamped image is just as important as the area inside. The “negative space.” You may notice in my work that I tend to draw shadow beneath and around objects. By the time the image makes it to you, believe me, I’ve probably already erased about half the shadow I originally put in the drawing. I tend to forget that you guys are going to die-cut or fussy-cut these drawings to be a part of a larger, unique creation for a card or project, which is of course FABULOUS. But my instinct as an artist is to just keep going. To illustrate what I see, or what I imagine, or what I feel.

For the third Mini Challenge, I want you to look at things differently.

Power & Sparklette: Week 3
Color outside the lines — whatever that means to you.

Whether it is literally coloring outside the lines, coloring beyond the lines, or coloring ON TOP of the lines. Perhaps it is figuratively coloring outside the lines — trying a technique that is new to you. We are gonna try to stretch ourselves on this one. And folks, you don’t have to complete a card. Just get your coloring materials out, stamp or print out an image, and see what happens when you color outside the lines. Whatever that may mean to you.

Here’s what I made when trying to color outside the lines, using one of two free downloads I illustrated from of the winning quotes from our Week 1 Challenge.

I began with a print-out of the Let It Be digital coloring sheet. I enlarged the image to 125% and changed the opacity to 70% so the black outline wouldn’t dominate. I started painting swooshes of Indigo Blue gouache paint with a very wet sable paintbrush all around the perimeter of the art, and actually painted right over Sir Paul McCartney’s name. Sorry, Paul! I let the blue go inside and in between the leaves. I decided to give some color to the LEAVES ONLY. Coloring outside the lines for me was literal, but I also had a goal of leaving something white. It is so hard for me not to touch every single darn white space on the paper. 

So I deepened all of my blues and my green shadows. I cross-hatched and finetuned, I added more color to the leaves, even dulled out the greens with red, and then started putting blue on the leaves to connect the background to the foreground. More shading, more lines, more color, more shading. More fun in the background to really push the lettering to be the most prominent aspect of the work.

But my ladies, let me tell you, I wanted to color in the letters. OHHHHH I wanted to so badly!! I almost did. But I couldn’t help but be affected by what the image was shouting at me in all caps: “LET IT BE”. 

Was it a message from the Universe? Can’t I even put some little dots in there? “LET IT BE”. 

Oh. Are you sure I can’t just shade inside the edges of each letter with some yellow? “LET IT BE”. 

Finally I decided to listen, and I let it be.

And you know what, I rather like how it turned out! Note, I did end up coloring inside the lines a little bit — whoops! — but those were just a part of the artistic process. Elements of human touch. And I let them be!

Now it’s your turn! 

Share with us your interpretation of Coloring Outside the Lines here on the blog using the InLinks button below.

On Instagram, please share your coloring creations using the hashtag #powerandsparklette — and we will come find you!!

I will choose a winner from the entries, and that colorist will receive every set in our 2016 Holiday Clear Stamp Collection when they debut in October.

I hope to see a big show and tell of coloring experimentation — it doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, it shouldn’t be perfect. It should reflect your inner artistry. Your ability to see things, and to try things. Because you, my friend, are Courageous and Creative, and ALWAYS Awesome.

Friday, September 16, 2016

It's a Power Poppy-palooza!

If you thought things were busy around here most Fridays, we'll you ain't seen nothin’ yet my friends because we have a flurry of activity today and guess what? It. Is. ALL. FUN! 

First off.... did you see the Instant Gardeners strut their creative stuff yesterday with Power Poppy’s brand new digital stamp set, Black-Eyed Susan? If not, you can take a step back and check it out HERE! This little dose of fall-themed sunshine is ready and waiting to buy up, download, print and color! And if you missed THIS news, there are two new digital freebies for you to grab up too! Just click the linky to learn more!

That leads me to the second big bit of news! Power Poppy is having a first-of-its-kind bundle sale that lets you decide if you want to save a little or a LOT!

Between now and Monday at midnight CST, some of Power Poppy's most beloved digital stamp sets are going on a FAB 5 SALE  and are therefore, super ripe for the pickin'! Check out these lovelies above that you can steal buy for just $4 apiece! If you want to save even more, you can pick up all five of these sets for just $15! Woot woot! I hate to enable you my sweet stamping friends, but this sale is a doozy!

One you've picked up one of these fine fall-themed illustrations, then you can hop over to our good buddies at Passionate Paper Creations and Friends for this...

To get in the running for this festive affair all you need to do is color up (you don’t even need to make a full-fledged card) one of these sets: Cuppa Buttercups, Apples in Season, Pure Prairie Bouquet, Sunshine of My Life or our newest - Black Eyed Susan and link it up on the Power Poppy post over HERE on the Passionate Paper Creations and Friends Facebook page. If you play along, you could be picked the winner of our random drawing for a $20 gift card to the Power Poppy Shop. So grab those colored pencils, watercolors or markers and get ready for a little colorfest this weekend! ;-)

If you’ve been following Ms. Marcy’s Power & Sparklette Saturdays then, you (like a lot of us) have been having a fabulous time stretching your creativity in new and wonderful ways. You can check out Week 1 HERE --- which I have to say you can still comment on -- and Week 2 HERE! A little birdie told me things will be changed up again tomorrow so keep your eyes peeled for even more fun this Saturday! There are even prizes involved, folks!

Speaking of keeping your eyes peeled, that’s what we do behind the scenes here each and every week -- looking for that creative spirit whose work WOWS us in ways unimaginable! Well, we didn’t have to look far at all for that inspiration, as this week we turned to a few familiar faces for some colorful artistry!

First up, a big huge bow to Nancy Sheads who used her own cat Phebe as her coloring muse for this spooky little scene. She used Power Poppy’s Feeling Fall stamp set and dressed it up in such a stinkin’ cute way that I just might have to C.A.S.E. this one! You can read up on all her card details HERE on her blog!

This second creation just might get you in the mood to play along in our weekend coloring contest since it uses one of the digital stamp sets that is in the spotlight. Leslie Miller added such depth and interest to Power Poppy's digital stamp set Sunshine of My Life that I had to gaze at it for what seemed like an eternity, just to take it all in! I love how she shared the markers she used so I can “try” -- emphasis on “try”-- to capture the feel like she did with this set! Read more on her card by hopping over to her blog HERE. 

Now it’s the Bloomies’ turn to “grab the mic” and sing you into the next scene! We’ve got pretty much the whole team here so let yourself roll through this link list and see what they’ve been up to!

Thanks for stopping by! We hope you stop back by tomorrow to see what Marcy has up her creative sleeve and don’t forget about playing along in the Coloring Contest HERE. I just know we’ll love looking at all the entries, and we hope to see some new faces playing along! :)

See you back here real soon!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

September’s Instant Garden: Black-Eyed Susans • DIGI SALE

Let’s jump right into the action today with our newest release in the Instant Garden collection. These freshly drawn images from my sketchbook are digital downloads inspired by my garden adventures! Today we have the quintessential summer wildflower, the Black-Eyed Susan, to share with you. Even more exciting? It’s on sale through Monday — see details below.

These beauties, Rudbekia hirta, seem to be growing everywhere I turn, and one morning on our summer trip to Michigan, the sunset was falling on them in such a pretty display, I had to take a quick snapshot, which then inspired some sketching, and well, the rest is history! These prairie favorites are ready to be showcased on your cards and projects, along with three sentiments with a “thank you” theme.

And NOW the fabulous Instant Gardeners have gone to glorious lengths to bring you a beautiful array of inspiring cards featuring this new set of Black-Eyed Susan. Let’s go drool over them..... come along!

We are kicking off a Fall Digi Sale Bundle where you can get FIVE of my favorite fall sets for only $15 — OR you can pick up any of the digis for $4.

Have we got a FABULOUS weekend deal for you! A selection of our favorite digital designs are available a special price. These late summer/early fall flowers and fruits are in full bloom — ready for you to download, print, and color to your heart’s content! Power Poppy’s brand new Black-Eyed Susans, plus Pure Prairie Bouquet, Sunshine of My Life, Cuppa Buttercups, and Apples in Season are just $4 each (save up to $2 per set).

OR, for $15, get all five digital stamp sets in a bundle! Save up to $14 with that crazy deal.

What’s even better? FRIDAY kicks off a Coloring Contest on Facebook! Use one of the five stamp sets above and you could win a $20 gift code to the Power Poppy Shop! Sale ends and contest closes Monday, September 19th at midnight. A winner will be announced on Wednesday, September 21th. To enter the coloring contest simply leave a link on the Passionate Paper Creations and Friends post to your card or creation. (Starts on Friday, Sept. 16th, folks, so start coloring and be ready to pounce!! ~m)

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Free Coloring Downloads • Winners for Week 1

Hello, my friends!

I’d first like to give a heartfelt thank you for being such a generous and brave group of gals. I love that so many of you felt comfortable submitting your FAVORITE quotes to our very first Power and Sparklette Challenge. And several of you have already left the most inspiring stories of “Doing It Anyway” for Week 2 of the Mini Challenges (haven’t seen that one yet, well click here to head on over.)

Well, I told you I would be announcing the “winners” of the Week 1 challenge, and I will not disappoint, even though it’s a bit late in the day... ahem. (Blaming computer problems, sorry folks, my Mac called in sick even though my pens were workin’ overtime.)

Just to remind you, we are hoping to cause a wonderful disruption in your creative flow by going a little deeper, to ignite courage, can-do spirit, and honestly, to give a jolt to the mental space that we artists get into when we set to work making art. And so, we asked:

Share a favorite quote, saying, or verse that inspires you. 

There were soooooo many wonderful quotes in the list, my ladies (and I do know there are a few gents out there). In fact, there was such enlightenment and encouragement on that thread of comments, I hope you’ll visit the original post if you haven’t done so yet, and jot down a few to add to your journals or your post-it notes or wherever it is you write down nourishing thoughts that catch your attention.

I said that I would choose a winning quote and illustrate it as FREE digital download for coloring and creating. But sugar-peas, I could not narrow it down to one. In reviewing the quotes, I noticed a few overarching themes: one was having the strength/courage/moxie to do what we need or want to do, and the other was letting go and releasing the need to be in control. Such a different type of message for different situations, but each obviously important to you all. So I have chosen TWO, and you may visit our website right now and download them for FREE from the store!! Right now! The first winning submission was from Diane, who wrote:
“Let it Be” from the Beatles. I having been reminding myself of this for years. I tend to be a “fixer” and I need to remember that I am not meant to fix everything for everyone. Let go and let God.
I give you, Let It Be. Click below to get this downloadable coloring image (it is about 5" across and is resizable to suit your needs):

Next we have a passage from the Bible that many of you found great comfort in, and I have to admit that I too feel both a tremendous relief and a firmer backbone when I remember this one... As Lisa K. said:
My favorite verse is “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 This speaks to me when I have hard days. I lean on Christ to give me strength as I often do not have it totally by myself.
Thank you to all who submitted this inspiring passage: Susan, Cheryl, Julie, and Lisa K, and here is I Can Do All Things:

Now folks, you’ll need to go ahead and check-out to get the downloads, but you will not be charged for either one, and you may get both if you’d like. You don’t even need a promotional code.

Thank you again for being such good, good people. You make my heart all cozy! I will probably end up using some of the other quote ideas in future stamp sets — my inspiration cup runneth over!

It’s not too late to enter our Week 2 Challenge (we all love to read what YOUR experiences have been, and you could win a $25 gift code in our store if you share). Be prepared for Week 3’s Mini Challenge to be announced on Saturday.

In the meantime... Thursday, Sept 15, we have a new digital stamp set release PLUS a big coloring and sale promotion kicking off with our friends at Passionate Paper Creations ... I hope you’ll be back to see us soon. We are running around like nuts with all of this excitement, ANNNNND there will SOON BE HOLIDAY CLEAR STAMPS!!! Phew. A lot of action in the Power Poppy HQ. Peace out!