Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New Copic Marker Storage

I saw a post on the Copic Marker facebook wall where some one had used an ArtBin Double Deep Satchel, some plastic grid that goes over a fluorescent light and wooden dowels to make wonderful storage for Copic Markers. A few posts below that was a link to a blog post about it, but it really didn't tell much, none-the-less, here is that blog post: Scrap Happy Ohio

[EDIT 08-11-11 to add: As can be read in the comments of this post the idea was born before the July 8 post I referenced above. Helen Johnson blogged this storage on 04/10/11 in this post: To Cut or Color. In her post she links to the 2 sources for the idea. I love my new storage and wanted to add this paragraph for the benefit of those who may not open and read the comments below. Thank you Helen!]

My markers were in a bucket type tote bag that made it hard to find the color I wanted. 
This image is an older image, so I already had more markers jumbled up inside the tote. And knowing my collection would continue to grow I knew I needed to put one together for my own use.

First thing was to find the ArtBin Double Deep Satchel. I had read on other discussion boards that they were available at JoAnnes and Michaels, but that it was sometimes hard to find them in stock so I just went staright to the internet. Little did I expect to find one in any color other than white translucent, but lo and behold, ArtBin recently introduced some new colors and one of those colors is "Raspberry"! A perfect match for the rest of my craft room accessories! Needless to say I just went ahead and ordered one direct from ArtBin rather than spending time trying to track down a raspberry color locally.

My case arrived Saturday and Monday I was off to the BIG NAME hardware store in search of the plastic grid for fluorescent light fixtures. Interestingly the BIG NAME store did not have any. All they had were the solid sheets of textures acrylic fluorescent light covers. Next stop was a small local hardware store. A hole in the wall, grubby feeling (like a construction site grubby kinda feel) place that has a ton of odd stock. YES! They had it. I was so glad. After the BIG Name didn't have it I was afraid I was going to have to locate that online and order it too. 

Got the dowels, but I could not get a perfect fit. One dowel was a slight bit too big and one dowel was a slight bit too small - no Goldilocks Dowels to be had. Papa Bear (that would be hubby dear, on a good day - LOL) said he could try to shave a little off the "too big" dowels, but I had a better idea, so off I went in search of rubber washers. It took a few attempts at testing the fit, but I finally found a decent fit that would go on the dowel and still be tight enough to stay where I put it. Here are my pieces and parts:

Next step was to cut the fluorescent light grid down to fit inside the case. I used the picture from the Copic Marker facebook post to count out how many squares to use. I trimmed it down using a Dremel tool - kinda loud and messy, but it worked great for cutting the grid down. The top section is 20x20 with sections notched out to allow for some raised flanges type areas inside the ArtBin case (the case came with inserts to allow the satchel to be made into divided compartments). Because the case has a slight taper to the sides the bottom grid had to be cut to a 19x18 grid. Straight sides - no notches required for the bottom piece.
Here is how the top grid is trimmed:

While I trimmed the fluorescent light grid down Hubby Dear took the wood dowel out to his workshop and cut four posts for me. We used a piece of cardboard to measure the depth from the position the top grid rested when set inside the bin and he cut that length, so I can't really say it was 4 inches or 5 inches, but something in that area is about right. 

Next step was to put rubber washers about .25" up on each of the dowels and then slip them through the four corner squares of the bottom grid. Once that was done we added another rubber washer to the top of each dowel about half an in down and positioned the corresponding squares from the top grip onto the dowels. With both grids in place we then added a third rubber washer to the very top of each dowel to lock the top grid in place.

I really love my new storage! Of course it's only half full, but as my Copic marker collection grows it will fill up more and more! :D

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Copic Creations Challenge No. 53 ~ White Clothing

I saw this challenge (Challenge No. 53 ~ White Clothing) on the Copic Creations blog and thought I needed to try it since I had no clue how I would make something intended to be white look like it was really suppose to be white and not just an oopsie that I forgot to color. 

Well, here is my attempt - just the image. I just found the challenge today and the deadline is tomorrow and, considering it usually takes me a couple of days of laying out papers and shifting and swapping and shifting more and sometimes starting over completely,  I really don't have time enough to figure out what card layout she will go on.

I'm not really happy with the end result. I can see I need a lot of practice to make it look right. But it's a beginning. And, she is acceptable enough that she will end up on a card eventually.

A Day of Learning

Yesterday I spent a  good bit of my day learning a new technique. Well, lets say working on because I don't know that I can say I have "learned" it yet. I think it will take practice to become more comfortable with it. And, maybe it's not really a technique. I don't know - it is a . . . method? style? I don't know, maybe it is referred to as a  technique.

Anyway, what I spent time on was trying to color with my Copic markers to make the appearance of folds in the skirt of a Tilda. I signed up on a new Copic site,, and after I set up my profile, loaded my Copic colors, built my Copic wishlist and loaded a few images of some of my Copic coloring I started looking at  some of the work others had posted and saw one that I was amazed by. I clicked the users profile and followed their website link to the Make It Colorful blog post where Zoe has a video tutorial on how she colors folds and pleats. And, there was a challenge for followers to make their own and since I loved the way Zoe made the Tilda skirt look so fluid I thought I'd like to try that. 

It took four attempts before I had a skirt I was happy with. One of my biggest issues, in my opinion, is my limited selection of Copic's. I needed a light, medium & dark in the same color family, and they needed to be close enough to blend well. Since my collection is still pretty small I had to try a few combinations until i hit upon one that worked the way I wanted it to. Here is my finished card with my cute little Tilda.

And, here is a side by side of the colored and uncolored Tilda's for comparison. Notice her skirt is rather plain. Normally I would have just colored her skirt solid and then added some shadow to indicate the light source. Until I saw Zoe's video I don't think I ever would have thought to try to create my own folds, pleats, gathers or other shape.

So, now to give you an idea of my progress through this process I will post the first three attempts - in the order they were colored. 

I felt the dark shade was just a bit too dark (not much of a photographer, so I have no idea why I can't get a n0n-fuzzy picture sometimes).

I thought maybe my purples were closer in values and would work better, 
but again, the dark was a bit too dark. Not only that, my dark lines were too shaky and would not blend out very well.

I went back to pinks, but this time I felt that my darkest pink was a bit too light. I did go ahead and color her on out, and I may still use her on a card, we'll see.

Of course I was also trying to work int he color families that worked with the DP I decided I wanted to use. Maybe this process would have been quicker if I had just determined what three colors I had that would work well together and then found a DP to go with it, but then again, maybe not.

Well, now that I have her finished I will post her in Zoe's Challenge #25.

And . . . here is the work-space where I was working yesterday - 
in my den and not in my craft room. 
I have a high-back chair in my den and I found that if I color a little and then rest my head back a little I can keep my problematic neck from hurting too much. So today I have more Tilda's stamped and waiting ion me. :D