Graphic 45 Gift Box

Graphic 45 Gift Box 
          Hi friends, it's very ,very hot in Bangalore right now and I have not been crafting or blogging as my craft room with my computer is on the top floor of our house and it's literally a furnace there !! 
       But I had to make a Christmas themed project for my DT post at the Rudolph Days Challenge and so here I am burning the midnight oil [because it's slightly cooler at night]!!
Graphic 45 Time to Flourish
My crafty mojo has been near absent and to try and rectify it I went craft shopping and picked up my first Graphic 45 paper packs!! Woo Hooo am I in love or what!!!
Chocolate Box
I altered this  box [ which housed chocolates gifted to us  by a kind soul!] with my first Graphic 45 paper and added lots of my favorite elements including snow[ using whipped spackle ], cute birds, a chipboard candle stick and chipboard giftbox !

Graphic 45 Gift Box 
 Added a gorgeous fabric flower trim [gifted to me by my crafter friend Remya] around the box decorated with cute penguins from the Debbie Mumm Harvest and Holiday paper stack. Loved adding a metal clasp to the box and tiny snow laden ribbon roses.
Graphic 45 Gift Box 
 I am in love with the Spellbinders Magnolia die and keep adding these handmade Magnolias to all my projects these days!!
Handmade Flowers Spellbinders Magnolias 
 Isn't the sparkle just awesome on this festive project? [achieved by spraying with E6000 spray glue and dusting Dress my Craft sparkling dust]
Handmade Flowers Spellbinders Magnolias
 The "Deck the Halls" is an additional element from Graphic 45 and propped up on foam tape and dressed up with a gorgeous resin crown!
Christmas Box
           And now comes my absolute favorite part of this project...the glittering sparkling Cookie Cutter tree cut from foam and shimmering white paper using a gorgeous Poppy Stamps die gifted to me by the super generous Maureen the host of our Rudolph Days Challenge!
Poppy Stamps Cookie Cutter Tree
 On opening the box..at first it looks like a regular box with handmade goodness inside!
Shaped Box
 I made some simple tags using Graphic 45 and Debbie Mumm papers and the Poppy Stamps Pinpoint Main Street Tags die[ my favorite die for tags!]
Shaped Box with Tags
 And hehe there are more magnolias and some gorgeous burlap sticker elements!
Shaped Box with Tags
 On unlatching the clasp on the box....voila...the box swings open into a 3 tiered gift box! The box is sturdy enough to hold tags, decorative chipboard elements and chocolates!!
Shaped Box with Tags
I had so much fun altering this box and I think it was just right to get my mojo back! When I am feeling more clever...I will whip up a Tutorial for you!!What do you say my friends....?
Christmas Box and Tags
Supplies : Dies :  Poppy Stamps Pinpoint Main Street Tags , Poppy Stamps Cookie Cutter die. Spellbinders Magnolia die , Cheery Lynn  Flourish 13 ,Heartfelt creations Classic Leaf Die
Papers : Debbie Mumm Harvest and Holiday , Graphics 45 Time to flourish , Dress my Craft Oriental Paper


Zig Brush Pens Water Coloring Tips

Mini Album
       Hi friends, recently my family and I vacationed in Phuket , Thailand and we spent so much time in the oceans that for my DT post for Crafters Corner, I made a Mini Album in an Ocean theme with a cute water-colored mermaid, shells and various ocean motifs !
Handmade Flowers
I love making flowers and this project has quite a few handmade flowers. The big blue sparkling rose was made using Spellbinders Rose Creations  die using this Tutorial : Easy Rose Tutorial . The Magenta Fluffy flower was made from craft foam and the Cheery Lynn  Sun flower die using this Tutorial : Easy Daisy Tutorial and the Pink rose was made using craft foam and the Spellbinders Bauble Blossoms 1 die.

Handmade Flowers
I also added some handmade clay flowers [ the plumeria and the little white buds you see scattered around] made freehand using Thai Clay [ an air drying clay] and Oil paints. I love picking up shells from the beach and the shells on this mini album cover are shells I had picked up from our family holidays in Goa, Thailand and Malaysia over the years !
The Heat embossed " Treasures of the Ocean" is a stamp from Crafty Individuals [Cl 272] and such an apt one for this project!
Mixed Media background 
I made a mixed media style background using Ranger texture paste and a Carabelle Studio Geometry Stencil. Sprayed some Lindy's sprays and added tiny little pearls, turquoise blue glitter balls and golden star sequins! The anchor was cut using a Joy Crafts die.
Water-coloring and Diamond Dust 
The little mermaid who is the star of the project has a magical sparkling background with diamond dust, golden stars, a pearl star and dew drops!
The Whismy Stamps Mermaid was watercolored with Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens 
In case you missed it here is my introductory post on Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens with lots of tips
And sharing more tips here.
1.If you are not heat embossing your image,stamp it with an ink such as Versa fine which will not react and bleed with water!
2.Allow enough time for the stamped image to dry before you water color or if you are in a hurry heat set it with a heat gun!

Use images which are perfectly dry

3.Download a color swatch chart like this one from Kuretake website or better still make a color swatch so that you wont have to keep trying pens to choose colors! This is especially useful when you are coloring an animal or human image!

  • When making a color swatch make one grouping the colors together rather than in a chronological order!
Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens  Color Swatch
4.While coloring an image such as an animal or human using different shades of the same color, apply dark colors first and blend out with the water brush. If you put dark colors later it is more difficult to blend without using more water!
Watercoloring with Zig  Brush Pens 
 For the tail of this mermaid I used turquoise green[ No 42] first and  pulled it inside with the water-brush.Later applied light blue [No 36] and blended it in nicely using the waterbrush again.
Watercoloring with Zig  Brush Pens 

5.Creating gradient effect!

Why I love the Zig brush pens compared to normal watercolors is that they are quite easy to use to create gradients and blends even for a beginner!
To easily create a gradient blending of colors the trick is to know where to lay on the first brushstrokes  first! 
    Brush on the ink on the edges and shadow areas
    Water-coloring with Zig  Brush Pens 
    Pull in the colors using the water brush!
    Water-coloring with Zig  Brush Pens 
    This is one of the easiest ways to get a fading away of a color! Here I have used just a singe color- May Green [No 47] and got a beautiful gradient effect by pulling in the colors using a water brush!
    Water-coloring with Zig  Brush Pens 
6.Always apply the brush pen directly to only small areas at a time as if it dries it wont blend well. If you find this method difficult then mix the ink and water on an acrylic block or other surface and then apply it to your paper
7.Coloring Skin Tones - I think you will all agree coloring skin is always challenging to a beginner. The Zig brush pens are available in a beautiful range of shades of browns and grays and pinks .
Water-coloring with Zig  Brush Pens 
 The Flesh Color [No 71] is one of the most useful colors in the Zigs set and using it alone you can get a beautiful skin tone. In this step by step however I first applied Blush [No 69]on the edges and shadow areas and pulled it in with a water-brush
Water-coloring with Zig  Brush Pens 
 Later went over the larger area with the Flesh Brush pen [ No 71]
Water-coloring with Zig  Brush Pens 
  • Adding Cheek blush!
Water-coloring with Zig  Brush Pens 
You can add life to your animal and human images by adding a bit of color to the cheeks using Tea Rose [No 220] or any shade of pink..... Just add a tiny bit of pinkish color and blend with the water brush!
8.While water-coloring tiny areas such as the flowers in this mermaid image use the brush pens directly and use very little or no water as it can bleed easily!
Water-coloring small areas!
9.Coloring Hair!
Water-coloring Hair
Coloring hair is always tricky no matter what coloring medium you use...the only thing I can say is before I got my Zigs the  hair of my colored images was a big blob...now its much much better!!
10.Last Tip is that if you don't get good results  with your attempts try changing the type of water brush you are using and/ or the type of watercolor paper you are using! There is no right or wrong product...just that one type of brush or paper might work better for you!
Zigs on different water color papers
When I worked on floral or freehand water coloring I didnt notice much difference in water coloring on different water color papers but for this intricate mermaid stamp I found that I had poorer control on the Brustro paper.On Brustro the pigment had a tendency to spread more on adding water , bled outside the lines quite a bit and had a splotchier look on layering the colors.
Water-colored Images on Canson and Brustro respectively
The colors were however more vibrant and rich on the Brustro Paper and lovely for freehand water-coloring.
So the main point is to experiment with different brands of watercolor paper if you are not happy with your attempts!
Ocean Themed Mini Album
I am not an expert at water-coloring but my coloring skills have improved tremendously after I got the Zig brush pens and I do hope some of these tips will be helpful if you have or are planning to buy these amazing watercolor pens! 

Here is a list of all the Supplies from Crafters Corner:Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens  .Wink of Stella.Cheery Lynn Dies :  sun flower,Cheery Lynn  Rose Leaf
Spellbinders : Spellbinders  Rose Creations  ,Dress my Craft: Dress my Craft  papers, Dress my Craft sparkling dust, Dress my Craft Sequins, Dress my Craft Golf tools,
Metal charms,Diamond Dust,Ranger Texture Paste,Stencil : Carabelle Studio Stencil Geometrie


Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens -Intro and Tips

Hi friends, it gives me great pleasure to write a post on the amazing water-coloring Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens .
Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens  at Crafters Corner

These amazing watercolor brush tip pens from Japan are all the rage in the paper-crafting industry and are available in different sets to suit your budget. So you can pick up a set of 12 to experiment and see if you like it , buy individual colors or splurge and go all the way and buy the complete 80 set!
Here is a brief intro about these marker pens:
What are Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens ?
These are watercolor pens with tips in an actual brush format and the brush is of such high quality that you can get fine lines as well as broad brush strokes.
Why are they so popular in the paper-crafting industry?

  • They are one of the easiest ways to color stamped images
  • Fine tip allows you to color even small stamped images easily
  • Vibrant color palette
  • Easy to blend colors
  • You can create beautiful projects with just a few colors
  • Learning to use them is much much easier compared to copics
  • Amazing range of colors  with fabulous shades of grey and brown especially useful to color cute animals .
  • Very  high quality- these pens don't leak , brushes stay good  even with rough use and the pens as such last a long long time !
Materials required to effectively use Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens
  • Paper : 
Watercoloring Papers
These pens work best on water color paper. If you are impatient and try them on normal card-stock the whole charm of these pens will evade you!I
  • Brushes
Though these watercolor brushpens can be used on their own to color , the charm of the pens can be best appreciated if you use water with them either using a normal brush or a water-brush .

Water brushes
The Koi waterbrush seems to be very popular with crafters but somehow I never could get it to work for me . I started enjoying water-coloring only after I got a water-brush from cosmic shimmer[ from creative expressions] and though many crafters use regular paintbrushes to add water I somehow have better control with the water-brush
So the important thing is don't give up if something doesn't work for you...keep trying to find out what clicks for you!
  •  Ink /water mixing surface
There are many ways to apply Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens  to your image ....
Ink mixing palette
    • you can directly brush on the watercolor from the pen
    • you can smear ink from the pen onto a craft mat/ acrylic block or water color palette/or any plastic piece and use a brush to apply more controlled amount of ink onto your paper
    • you can touch tips of the pens to blend two colors and use one pen to color the image!
  • Paper towel
I just have to mention this as a tissue paper/ paper towel is indispensable while water-coloring with these pens.
Paper towel
You can use it to wipe your water-brush tips to remove a bit of ink or use it directly to lift pigment off your colored image while the paper is wet !
Using  Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens 
There are beautiful videos by experts in coloring on how to use Zigs in rather elaborate ways to achieve fabulous results.
I will share with you tips on how to use just the minimum of supplies[ meaning a limited palette], with the least effort and time to get lovely colored images!
Tip 1 : When you are starting with Zigs start with a large flower image...these are the easiest to color and get good results without a lot of effort!
Here I have used a Penny Black Cling Rubber Stamp called "Sweet Dahlia"
Watercoloring with Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens 
Tip 2 : the tricky thing about water-coloring is controlling the flow of colors.Heat embossing your image in a vibrant gold or other striking color allows you to let your color pool in areas and work your way more easily!
Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens on heat embossed image
 Tip 3 : Start using just a single color  as you don't have to worry about perfectly blending colors!Here I used  "Pink" Zigs Brush pens and used the water brush to achieve the gradient shading of color.
Watercoloring with Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens
Tip 4 : Let the lines of the stamped image guide you in deciding where the color needs to be the darkest.Mind you I am no coloring expert and I don't have the patience to sit hours coloring but even I could create beautiful vibrant flowers in minutes!
Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens
Tip 5 : White Embossed Images are more tricky to color as its difficult to see where the lines are! So once your confidence builds then plunge into coloring white embossed images but the vibrancy of zig colors looks so good against the white background that most mistakes are muted! The flower below was also colored using a single color!
Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens Tips
    Tip 6 : Is a mini step by step
    Heat emboss a flower stamp
    Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens  Tutorial 
    Apply a dark color to the base of the petals or other area where you want the color to be the darkest. Just apply a thin line of color.
    Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens  Tutorial 
    Dont let it dry but bring your water-brush into the are and go over the whole line first.
    Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens  Tutorial 
     Then pull the colors outwards to easily achieve a beautiful gradient shading of your flower petal! If you feel the colors are dark as you pull the brush...wipe the brush on the back of your hand [ a paper towel will remove more ink so I prefer the back of my hand!] and continue pulling ink outwards!
    Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens  Tutorial 
    Tip 7
    Easily create background washes using different Zig colors. Either use the pens to blend into each other or use a brush pen to pull colors into each other. A background such as this with texturing is perfect to hone your skills in blending 2 or 3 colors as the blending need not be perfect to give gorgeous results!
    Water-coloring with Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens 
    Here I used Scarlet red [ yes it looks like orange] on the Dahlia and a blend of fluorescent yellow and green on the background .
    Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens  Tutorial 
    Tip 8 : Watercoloring an image stamped in normal black ink [ use a waterproof ink such as Versafine] will be frustrating when you begin using watercolors for the first time as the colors may bleed and smudge into areas you didn't want it to !
    Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens Coloring Tutorial
    As you can see the accidental creation of a bit of "green" by the yellow and blue mixing in the center of my dahlia!
    Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens  Tutorial 
    So if coloring simple stamped images frustrate you switch to embossed images till you get better control over the brushes.

     I hope the tips I have shared for crafters starting with Zigs will be useful.
    Sharing a few more images to show just how amazing these brush pens are!

    Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens are simply amazing to color cute animals as there are beautiful shades of grey and brown and face colors to achieve the perfect shading!
    Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens 
      The hedgehog from Penny Black " critters in love" was so easy to color!
      Water-colored Penny Black Critters in Love

      Water colored Penny Black Critters in Love
      The cute little mice are also from the same stamp set and here you can see just how lovely the shades of brown and grey are.

      Penny Black Stamps water-colored with  Zig  Brush Pens  

      I was able to achieve a lovely fur effect using stippling with several shades of grey colors!
      Penny Black Stamps water-colored with  Zig  Brush Pens  
      The best thing about zig brush pens is that you can really layer on the colors if you are in the mood for some in depth coloring or just quickly whip up a batch using single color shades!! 
      Penny Black Stamps water-colored with  Zig  Brush Pens  
      The 3 images of the little mice holding hands were all achieved using single color shades!  
      Penny Black Stamps water-colored with  Zig  Brush Pens  

      Penny Black Stamps water-colored with  Zig  Brush Pens  

      Penny Black Stamps water-colored with  Zig  Brush Pens  
      And finally here is love from a hedgie colored using many shades of grey and a single shade of red to achieve a 2 tone look to the cartload of hearts !!
      Water-colored Penny Black Stamp
      I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens  !!

      Supplies :  All available at Crafters Corner
      Stamping Supplies :  Versafine Black Ink. Stamps : Penny Black " critters in love",Penny Black Cling Rubber Stamp  "Sweet Dahlia"
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