Hey guys. There are a few questions I get asked over and over again, and instead of having to type a reply each time, I’d though I’d summarize some of the most asked topics here for you. Please understand that I cannot answer emails or comments that ask what is already covered in the FAQ.
What’s the best paper to use with Colored Pencils?
Opinions will vary widely on this, and what might work for me could yield different results for you. With this disclaimer in mind, I personally currently prefer the Strathmore Bristol Vellum 300 series paper. It’s nice and sturdy, and my Polychromos blend on it beautifully (I assume it will work just as well with your Prismacolors). Since it’s artist grade paper, it’s a little more on the costly side. Alternatively, try Bazzill Marshmallow Card Shoppe.
What’s the best paper to use with Copics?
If you want to make a one-layer card, use Simon Says Stamp Ultra Heavy card stock. Just be aware that when you add many layers of color, it can start to feather (ink seeps off to the side). Other than that, it’s a great paper. I personally do not like the Neenah paper (80lbs or 110lbs) because it feathers too much in my opinion. As a cheap alternative for readers in Europe, check out the Mondi or DCP copy paper. It bleeds through, but blending works great and it’s much cheaper than any special paper, which is great when you start out and need to practice a lot, or just work a lot on improving your technique.
What’s the best paper to use with watercolors?
It depends. I personally like bright white paper, so the Ranger Watercolor Paper is a great choice (comes in large sheets and pre-cut for cards). I also like the Torchon watercolor paper, which is a bit softer but it’s also quite white, and the Hahnemuehle Aquarellkarton. If you don’t care about it not being totally white, and want something more affordable for practice, the Canson watercolor pad is very sturdy and also affordable at great quality. All of these paper go through my printer just fine and thanks to the Claria Ink, I can watercolor printed images without issues.
How do I learn to color like you?
By taking classes. I spent three years going from zero to where I am today (2016) and it took a lot of practice and studying. I have been reviewing coloring classes here for you, and I can wholeheartedly recommend the Kit and Clowder classes for Copics, Pencils, and watercolors. They are incredibly in-depth and a fantastic investment if you want to take your coloring to the next level.
Where do you buy your crafty stuff?
My go-to place for stamps and dies is Seven Hills Crafts in the UK (I’m based in Germany). I am on the DT for SHC, but I’ve been a customer there even before I got invited to the team. SHC ships almost everywhere (but not the US) so it’s perfect for us European crafters since they stock almost all the best US brands (shipping from the UK to the EU mainland is customs FREE!). For German sentiment stamps, I recommend DaniPeuss with their Klartext stamp line. They are also great for regular supplies like glue, paper, etc. Another alternative that I love because of their excellent service is Stempelmeer. For everything that I can’t get in those stores, I go to Amazon US and of course Simon Says Stamp.
What’s your favorite ink for techniques?
Which of the Stabilo markers do you use?
I use the Stabilo 68 markers. “68” means that these are the ones with the thicker felt tip, not the fine line tip. Both tip sizes use the same ink, but I find blending easier with the larger tip.
What printer do you use for digi stamps?
I have an Epson XP-710. Not sure if they still make that particular model, but there are variations of that Expression Premium series out there which will work as well, I’d recommend the XP-830. Just make sure that printer uses Claria Ink, which works perfectly with Copics, watercolor, and colored pencils.
Which app do you use to edit your movies?
Apple’s stock iMovie app.
Where’s the music from that you use in your videos?
Depends. Sometimes I use the standard Apple jingles that come with the app, other times I use free music from Bensound.com
What camera do you use?
For recording my movies, I use my old MFT Olympus EPL5 with a Panasonic 45-150mm lens on a tripod. For photographing the images I use the MFT Olympus OMD EM5 (discontinued, new model here) with a Sigma 30mm lens or the Olympus 12-50 Macro lens. I edit my images in Adobe Lightroom (photography is a hobby of mine, otherwise I wouldn’t have that equipment!)
How do I get on a design team?
In all honesty, I am the last person to ask. So far, I’ve been approached by companies to design for them, I didn’t apply. My general recommendations are, though: do what you love. Work with products that you love and share your projects on social media (blog, Instagram, Facebook, Flickr groups). Engage in challenges, and interact with the crafting community by leaving comments etc. If your work is good and matches a company’s vision, they’ll notice you. Just don’t do anything “just” to get on a DT. It won’t make you happy long term. Create for yourself, first and foremost. For more info on what companies look for, check out this excellent blog post series by Paulina from Pretty Pink Posh.
What is that Scan ’n Cut you keep mentioning?
It’s a machine that scans a sheet of paper you send through it, and then shows you which shapes it has recognized on that paper. You can then let the machine cut out those shapes then, which is super helpful if you don’t want to buy dies for all sorts of stamp sets (or if there are no dies available at all). The limitations of the machine are, though, that it needs a clearly defined outline to recognize the shapes. If you stamp a flower in a light yellow ink, the machine will most likely not see it. If you stamp a critter stamp with a clear outline in black, it will most likely recognize it. I’ve had about 80% success with the images I wanted cut out, and to me that’s good enough, but you have to judge for yourself. I cannot compare this machine to others since I have never used another machine. For people in Germany, I got mine here (model CM300). I do not own any other cutting machine, nor have I ever used another one, so I cannot answer questions about how mine compares to others, or how other machines can be used.
Why is all your stuff in storage?
I moved 🙂 It’s all done now (as of July 2016) but I was between apartments for a few months and didn’t have access to all of my crafting supplies.