Wednesday, 30 September 2015

My Grandma's Teacups: Marker Mayhem: Which Marker is best for you?

Hi Guys. I an super excited that you have been sharing lots of love on my Copic posts. I have to tell you working with alcohol markers is amazingly fun. It is also really expensive to build up a collection. I did some research on other brands of alcohol markers and found that the price difference is definitely something to look at. Lets face it, I like to think I am a pretty fantastic crafter but I am certainly not at the artistic level of the people that require Copic markers.

These were some of the alternatives I looked at:

  • Le Plume
  • Sharpie
  • ShinHan
  • Bic
  • Copic
  • Spectrum Noir
When you are looking  at purchasing alcohol markers I think you need to really evaluate how much you plan on using them. This will skew the numbers tremendously. For some a set of Sharpie or Bic markers would be a perfect choice as they don't need allot of colours and won't use them so often as to have to replace them. For others having a marker that can be refilled and nibs changed will be the most cost effective.

Brand # Colours Refillable Nib Replaceable Price
Le Plume 35 Colours and one blender available No No $2
Spectrum Noir 168 Colours Yes Yes $2-3
Copic Ciao 180 Colours Yes Yes $5-7
Sharpie 24 (some are limited edition) No No $1.50-2
Bic 36 Colours No No $1.50-2
ShinHan 204 Colours Yes Yes $4-5

I have used the LePlume  Markers. They were actually the first kind I purchased as they were readily available at my local Michael's. I personally did not enjoy working with them. The nib seemed a bit unwieldy for me.

I have used Sharpie and Bic markers in a pinch but because of the limited colours I did not make this my go to marker.

I have had a set of ShinHan markers for about a year. I think it might just be me but I find it hard to get the same blending effect as my Copic markers.

Copic Ciao have been my favourite to work with for some time. It was a long process to grow my collection though as up until recently they were not sold in my area and I had to rely on Ebay and Scrapfest to make my purchases. I liked the Copic because it seemed sensible to me to purchase a marker that I could keep using indefinitely by refilling it using Various Ink refills and Copic Nibs. Our group had started collecting Copics as well as we have been learning the various techniques but at $6-7 a marker it's hard for many people to build a workable pallette.

Over the last few days I have spent allot of time researching Spectrum Noir markers. There are a ton of free resources for this line and the price point makes it more appealing for the average crafter, like me. For this reason I have listed my Copic and ShinHan Touch markers on my clearance site and I have ordered the Spectrum Noir Collection. This way the ladies in the group can get 6 markers in a pack every month instead of 1 or 2. Using this method we will all have complete sets in no time at all.

Monday, 28 September 2015

My Grandma's Teacups: Washi Wonder

I have a small confession to make. I never got the whole Washi Fever everyone seemed to on this past year. It seemed every papercrafting company and craft direct sales line was toting a boatload of washi tape in every width, colour and pattern imaginable. I did not get it....its paper on masking tape right? I was mildly intrigued when I started to see videos pop up on YouTube with people making their own washi tape using markers and inks on medical tape.I even went so far as to purchase a few rolls of it from the dollar store, but alas I have a couple of rough and tumble boys that required it before I got a chance to alter it.

I have always loved planners and as I watched all the instagram and Pinterest posts go by I noticed a new trend. Washi Tape seemed to have taken over the monthly and weekly calendars of all my friends.

It did not stop there. I started noticing it in home decorating posts and party favours. How did this simple combination of scrapbook design and tape gain such notoriety???? The short answer is...because it's so simple. Without getting out your scissors, paper or glue you can personalize everything from planners to light switches. Now a $1 notebook from the dollar tree can be customized to look like the high end journals from Indego and Chapters.

So this is my official surrender. I am jumping in. My next order that should come in next week will include a large assortment of Washi Tape. I have no definite plans for it yet, but you can be sure that I will be scouring the pages of Pinterest for ideas. Be sure to watch out for my next haul video (hopefully on Periscope) to see what I have to work with.

Leave a comment with your favourite use for Washi Tape, or post a link to a picture of your Washi Stash. Be sure to follow my Wonderful Washi Board on Pinterest to get some inspiration on how to use this sticky wonder tape.

Follow My Grandma's Teacups's board Wonderful Washi on Pinterest.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

My Grandma's Teacups: Prima Stamp Giveaway

Just because Vicki Gee is such a wonderful person we are going to have a giveaway of a Prima Julie Nutting stamp:...
Posted by My Grandma's Teacups on Sunday, September 27, 2015

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

My Grandma's Teacups: Sneak peek at some of my favourite Christmas collections

I have officially caught my first really bad cold of the season. It has been a good excuse to cozy up with the September New Goods Catalogue and preview the new lines available for Christmas crafting. I know you don't want to think about Christmas yet, but if you are planning on creating homemade cards or papercrafts its time to start thinking about supplies.

Fabscraps: Christmas Joy Collection

Fabscraps has become one of my favourite paper suppliers. I love the vintage feel and muted colours in this collection. I can see some lovely cards being created with this paper.

This collection from Graphic 45 was previously released but I am glad to see it make a comeback. It features all the traditional colours and themes that I remember of Christmas' in my childhood. I have purchased the stamps and paper for a mini album I want to make before Christmas. If you are looking for a more Victorian feel for your crafts, the new "A Christmas Carol" line is already available.

Kaisercraft: Yuletide Collection

My Minds Eye: Joyous Collection

This may be one of my favourite collections this season. I love the oodles of goodies that you can get to coordinate with the paper line. It takes the guesswork out of matching up colours in embellishments.

Don't forget the trim and twine to finish off your projects. Maya Road makes beautiful twine.

Monday, 21 September 2015

My Grandma's Teacups: 5 Ways You Never Thought To Use Your Embossing Folders

As a crafter I try to make sure that I invest in products that I will be able to get a lot of mileage from. That is why I tend to to shy away from buying oodles of premade embellishments, single purpose tools and basically anything that I am not going to be able to use for many years. There is nothing worse than buyers remorse after purchasing a really cool crafting supply only to see it languish on your workbench waiting for a purpose.

 One of the most versatile papercrafting tools that you can get are embossing folders. You can buy the expensive sizzix or cuttlebug folders (and I have many times) but if you want to build a large selection Darice makes a huge collection of folders that are just as good (and about 1/3) of the price). The reason that I am so crazy about embossing folders is their versatility. You can do so much more than just dry emboss paper.


These are five of my favourite techniques.

  1. Letterpress 
  2. Wax Resist
  3. Glitter
  4. Foil
  5. Double Emboss


This technique involves inking directly on your folder and then embossing the paper. The inlaid areas become inked while the embossed areas remain untouched. You can also ink the alternate side for a reversed look.

This is a wonderful video that illustrates this technique well.

Letterpress with Stampin' Up! Embossing Folders

Wax Resist:

With the use of some wax paper and an embossing folder you can create amazing patterns to use as resist (it does require an iron though) luckily for me I have one that I have rarely used :)

Wax Resist Techniques | docrafts Creativity TV


You can never have too many ways to apply your glitter. This is such a fun technique and it makes such an impact on cards. This has a big "WOW" factor.


Whip out that Reynolds Wrap because you are going to think of at least 20 things you are going to want to make with this technique. It also looks amazing with alcohol inks applied to it.

Double Emboss

This just takes your embossing up a notch. Be sure to use a juicy Versamark pad for this so that you get a really good application.

Friday, 18 September 2015

My Grandma's Teacups: Graphic 45 By The Sea Layouts

As I was organizing my studio (ok, I lost some stamps and was just moving piles of paper around), I came across our club layout from August. I wanted to be sure that I shared it with you because if you have not worked with this line yet drop everything and go get some before it retires. It is very vintage and classy in true Graphic 45 style. I did find the colours a bit 4th of July but it was fun to work with as a beachy backdrop to some of the summer pictures I snapped of the kids.

The collection was challenging to work with from a design perspective because even the "solids and stripes" type patterns were very busy. The images were so cute though that it was definitely worth the effort.

The layouts are from the Cricut Artbooking cartridge and I think that they were a perfect match for the playfulness of this line.


Wednesday, 16 September 2015

My Grandma's Teacups: Copic Club #2

Have you been practicing with your Copic markers this week? I hope you are following along with our club as we explore the wonder of working with alcohol markers.

Our club met last Thursday for our second session working with Copic markers. One of our members was truant last time (something about an ear dedication) so we did a quick recap of the types of Copic markers available and the Copic Colour Code. If you missed my post with reference to the Copic Colour Code you better take a quick peek Here

We attempted two new techniques in this session:

#1 Colouring and shading using only one marker

#2 Transferring ink from a dark marker to a lighter one before colouring

The first technique just requires that you lay down you base layer of ink and then go over the areas that should have a shadow several times. Its important to let the image dry between layers. You can achieve a very nice look using this technique and it is great for all of us that are just beginning to collect markers. 

The second technique was a bit harder to get the hang of. The process itself was easy, simply touch the darker markers nib against the lighter colour nib and colour, but it took some practice to get the colours that we were after. I think at the end of the day we decided it was easier to do the 3 marker technique we originally learned as the effect was quite similar.

Next Copic Club we are going to be working on FUR!!!! Lets hope I can find my Popcorn Bear stamps by then.

Hope you are enjoying playing along with our Copic Club.

Copic Markers

Monday, 14 September 2015

My Grandma's Teacups: Copics Club Session 1

Our first Copic club was in August and we had so so much fun practicing colouring random stamped images. We began with an overview of the copic colour code. Bet you didn't know there was a code did you? Well, there is, and once you understand it you will be able to follow the rules or throw caution to the wind and create beautiful pieces of art.

So what is the Copic Colour System?

The Copic Colour System identifies and labels each Copic Colour based on the color’s individual: Colour FamilySaturation Number & Brightness Number.Copic color system

  • The Colour Family indicates what sort of color, i.e. red, blue-green, orange, etc.
  • The Saturation Number indicates how “rich” or how “dull” the colour will appear (higher number = more dull)
  • The Brightness Number indicates how “dark” the color will appear (Higher number = darker)
Is that all clear as mud? Well as you practice with your markers it will start to make sense. You will recall in one of the earlier posts that I suggested you buy your markers in groups of three. Therefore you would look for 3 markers with the same Colour Family, Saturation Number and Brightness numbers within 2-3 levels of each other. This will give you  a base colour and then two shades for adding shadows and detail.

We started with the Copic Skin Tone Doodle Pack as I tend to have allot of stamps of children that we will be using. These doodle packs make choosing coordinating colours a breeze.
We focused on the three marker technique using the lightest colour as the base and then building the shadows from there. It takes some practice to lay down a perfect base without streaks. Small circles allow you to keep working on the wet edge. We found flicking the darker colours made it easier to place the shadows.

This is a great time to start your copic binder. Print off a free template from the web and practice different colour combinations to see which colour tones you like the best.