Tuesday 14 July 2020

New Baby 1

My boss at work, and friend Charlotte recently had her first baby so I had a few baby cards to make, on for Charlotte and her husband James, on for her mum, Mandy who was welcoming her first grandchild, and one for her granda, Johnny who was welcoming his first great grand child. So today I'm sharing the card I made for Johnny.

Image:Butterfly Baby from Krista Smith Art
Media: Everblend
Cardstock: Papeterie Crafts

thanks for visiting, 
it's always nice to hear what you think so feel free to leave me a comment 

Saturday 11 July 2020

Lilac Teen

Teenagers are so difficult to make cards for - but I think this one would suit quite a lot of teen and pre-teen girls, and one or two boys too. Again I've kept the colour scheme simple with a black and white paper and pearlescent lilac card. Still experimenting with skin and hair colours with the everblend markers, still not happy with the skin.

Image: Peace Out Selfie - Krista Smith Art
Greeting: Dylusions
Media: Everblend
Cardstock: Papeterie Crafts

thanks for visiting, 
it's always nice to hear what you think so feel free to leave me a comment 

Thursday 9 July 2020

Introverting in Blue

Today's project is a wee thing I created for my middle child, Willow. The plan is to put it into an 8x8" frame for her room. Willow's hair is currently cut and coloured just like this image so when I saw this image in Krista Smith's Etsy shop it reminded me of her, even more so when I realised it was called Introverting - that should be Willow's middle name!

This was one of the first projects I coloured with the Everblend markers so I was just experimenting with the colours here. The skin tones turned out quite a bit peachier and brighter than I like, but it has given a nice fresh looking effect that works for this project I think.
I teamed the image with monochromatic papers from a cheap 12x12" pad I got at B&M stores wayyyyyy before lockdown, as well as blue and black card from Papeterie Crafts.

Image: Introverting from Krista Smith Art

thanks for visiting, 
it's always nice to hear what you think so feel free to leave me a comment 

Tuesday 7 July 2020

Tea and a Book

As I mentioned the other day, I was inspired by Krista Smith's June colour challenge to do some colouring again and I've enjoyed doing something for fun again. 
This next card was for the "thinking of you" prompt, this image also reminds me of my friend Gosia, except she likes coffee not tea.
I coloured this image with promarkers, keeping a fairly monochromatic theme throughout with just a pop of colour for her skin and cup. I used a simple patterned paper from a cheap 12x12 pad I picked up ages ago at B&M Stores and added some flowers I punched and shaped from holographic card - not sure if the photo really does them justice, they are super sparkly.
The greeting is a Tim Holtz stamp.

Image: Tea and a Book - Krista Smith
Media: promarkers

thanks for visiting, 
it's always nice to hear what you think so feel free to leave me a comment 

Monday 6 July 2020

Arteza Everblend Markers Review Part Four

I tried to do a conversion chart for some of my most used Promarkers to Everblends, but there aren’t close enough matches for that to work with the colour combos I use so I’m just going to have to come up with new colour combos, this is going to be an ongoing process I think but these conversion charts for the colours I use most might be of interest to you and I used it as a starting point.


The markers blend a little differently to the promarkers and flexmarkers that I’m used to and I’m learning to use them a little differently because of this. If you’ve watched any of my tutorials you’ll know that I tend to work from dark to light, starting with the darkest shade, blending it out with the next lightest shade and so on. This method doesn’t work so well with the Everblend markers – at least not for me. I’ve found that I get better results by first laying down the palest shade as a base, then going back to the dark to light method. I’m not sure why, but that seems to work best for me. The markers are juicy, but not overly so, so there's a good flow of ink and they dry quite quickly. There's a great range of colours so it's easy to find colours that blend well together. 


So in conclusion.... I like the Everblend markers and I would certainly recommend them, they are a good price, I like the feel of them in my hand, they're sturdy and comfortable to hold, they're juicy without being overly so. There's a good range of colours in the 120 set which includes 3 neons and a blender pen, the skin-tones pack is well worth investing in and has a fantastic selection of colours that suit pretty much any skin tone you care to think of. 

I'll continue to put them through their paces and will share the results on my blog as I go.

You can buy Everblend markers and other products here.

thanks for visiting, 
it's always nice to hear what you think so feel free to leave me a comment 

Sunday 5 July 2020

Arteza Everblend Markers Review Part Three

Additional colours and sets

So, in addition to the 120 set, Arteza also have a 60 set, a 36 grey set, a 36 skin tone set and they also sell individual colours in packs of 4. I found this last offering a little strange, I’m not sure of the thinking behind that. I can see the benefit of it if I were either a retailer or an educator – if I were to do classes then it would be a great idea to be able to buy 4/8/12 or more of each colour, but to the individual artist/crafter it wouldn’t be terribly cost effective.

The Arteza site has a great chat facility so I was able to ask a few questions about the other sets. None of the 60 set are unique colours, so if you buy the 120 set there’s no reason to buy the 60 set, you’d just be duplicating half your markers. Of the 36 grey colours there are only 11 unique colours, personally I didn’t think this warranted the extra expenditure, however of the 36 skin tones, 32 are unique colours so this was definitely work it.

In total there seems to be 162 colours in the Everblend range, but trying to get all of those without unnecessary duplicates is going to prove a little difficult.

  1. I decided to purchase the skin tones,  Because I’d be maximising the number of unique colours I had and  
  2. Skin tones are a pretty integral part of my colouring.

I have to admit to being a little like a kid at Christmas when they arrived and initially thought I’d integrate the colours into my existing colour chart. However once I had sampled all the colours and also realised that there aren’t enough slots in my carry case for them all, I decided to make up a skin tone colour chart as a separate entity, you can download it here. I think it will actually be more helpful to me to keep the skin tones separate – time will tell. I may integrate the brown shades at some point as I use those for lots of other things besides skin, but at the moment I’ll just keep the whole set separate. The 36 packs come in a plastic case with 3 plastic trays of 12 markers, not as practical as the marker case and I may have to invest in an empty case at some point but it’s fine for now. Another side note, that’s another plus, Arteza also sell the empty carry cases both for the thicker markers like Everblend that would also accommodate other brands, but also for the thinner barrelled watercolour markers and pens.

Part 4 to follow/

thanks for visiting, 
it's always nice to hear what you think so feel free to leave me a comment 

Saturday 4 July 2020

Arteza Everblend Markers Review Part Two


My initial thoughts about the markers; they appear to be really good quality, the barrel is a good sturdy size and being triangular it offers a good, comfortable grip with the added advantage of not rolling away when you place them down – unless you’re on a decent slope obviously :S The white barrel and caps are streamlined and don’t feel cheap or budget in any way, the printing both on the barrel and caps are clear and well done, no smudging and I don’t think they’d be easily removed through normal wear and tear. The ends of the caps are coloured to match the colour of the marker and when they are on the marker there is a narrow line of the marker colour at the bullet nib end – which I think is a great detail, so when the marker is lying flat you get an idea of the colour without having to pick it up needlessly.

As I touched on there, these markers are double ended with one end being a bullet nib and the other a chisel nib – both incidentally can be replaced easily. Being totally honest here, with the type of colouring that I and many other crafters do, I’d prefer a brush nib where the chisel nib is, because I very rarely do use the chisel nib. But I do understand that I’d use that end more if I did more graphic work.

Both types of nibs are replaceable and can be purchased separately.


The next thing I did was look for a printable colour chart – unfortunately at the time of doing this review Arteza don’t have this, blank or complete, they have advised that its something theyre working on though. A quick search online, and I found one which I printed off and promptly coloured in – then quickly realised it didn’t suit my needs. So I set about creating my own. This process takes a bit of time and trial and error, but I decided to set the colours out in an order that makes sense to me and roughly follows the format of the colour charts I’ve produced for Promarkers and Flexmarkers in the past. I also set them out in rows of 18 as there are 18 slots in each row of the carry case – yeh, I know, I’m quite anal lol!

So here’s the colour chart I created – if you like it you can download it from here. As per my other colour charts I recommend you print it onto the same paper or card that you normally colour on so you can get an authentic representation of the colours. I thoroughly recommend Conqueror CX22 Diamond White Supersmooth from Papeterie Crafts , it comes in various weights and is manufactured in Aberdeen, Scotland at the historic Stoneywood Papermill.

Colouring the colour chart gave me a good feel for the range of colours, which will blend with which etc. I played around with a few different caucasian skin tones but they all seemed a little peachy for me, so I had to hop back onto the internet and do a little more research.

Part 3 to follow/

thanks for visiting, 
it's always nice to hear what you think so feel free to leave me a comment 

Friday 3 July 2020

Arteza Everblend Markers Review - Part One

These aren’t the cheapest markers on the market, but they’re far from being the most expensive, they are at, what I would call, an affordable level.

So I decided to treat myself to the 120 set which comes complete with a carry case, so here goes my review……

 Arteza Everblend Markers

I initially ordered the 120 set – mainly so that I would have as many of the colours as possible in one go. 

Carry Case

They arrived in a custom made carry case that is sturdy and practical and not at all bulky.

The case has a Velcro and buckle closure so there’s no chance of this popping open by accident, it also has a carry handle as well as a shoulder strap so a lot of thought has been put into the design of the case clearly.

Once the case is opened up you find that the sides have Velcro too so you can open these up for easier access to the markers which all have their own elasticated ‘slot’. There are a few other marker brands that have a similar holding system, but this seems to be far superior and better thought out. So as you can see from the photos you can have everything very neatly held together or opened out depending on the situation. There are also an extra few empty slots – I’d imagine for you to expand your collection of everblend markers or even to add in your favourites from other brands. I thought about adding in the colours I use for white skin from my promarkers as initially I couldn’t find a suitable colour combo in the Everblend markers, but I’ll get to that later in my review.

The section that holds the markers can also be removed from the body of the case, it’s all held in with heavy duty Velcro – I have to say, I really can’t fault the case at all.

thanks for visiting, 

it's always nice to hear what you think so feel free to leave me a comment 


Thursday 2 July 2020

The search begins

So which brand of markers should I go for……. 

 There are so many brands of markers aimed specifically at the craft market these days! 
Of course my first thought went to Copic, but I didn’t seriously consider them as they are wayyyyyyyy out of my budget. I’m a little anal – I know this is not a surprise to those who know me – so I wouldn’t have been happy having Ciaos, I would have wanted the Sketch markers but both are very much out of my league financially, so they were a very quick, very hard pass. Now I know this might sound very dismissive, if I just bought the markers as and when I could afford them that would break it down a bit. But being a fairly experienced colour-in-er-er I want to have the whole set, or as near as possible. So without a major bank loan or maxing out my credit card that was just never gonna happen.

Another brand I dismissed pretty much instantly was Spectrum Noir, I tried these years ago when they first came on the market and they were dreadful (again, my opinion), however, I do believe they changed the pens, including the formulation of ink. Which is a good job as the originals were pretty much an exact copy of the ShinHan Touch markers – to look at, such a shame they didn’t copy the quality while they were at it!. But the main reason I didn’t entertain this brand is because I refuse to buy from the company that owns it, on principal. 

Anyway, I digress, so what other brands to consider? Well there’s a plethora of off-brand markers on eBay and Wish but I’m just not keen on buying something like this without some kind of warranty or guarantee. 

I have a little experience with the ShinHan Touch markers, and I love them, both the brush markers and the ones with the bullet nibs – great quality and easy to use but difficult to get hold of in the UK.

Another brand I tried, and I really wanted to like these, were the Chameleon pens. I get the theory, you don’t need a handful of shades of one colour because you can get a massive range from just one pen, but they are not easy for the kind of colouring I do. They’re great for fairly simple colouring, where the object goes from light to dark, but I have no idea how you would colour a face and hair without it taking hours and hours. They are lovely markers, albeit a little on the long side and I love the idea of the colour tops so you can get a seamless blend from one colour to another but for me, they’re really not much more than a novelty.

 Now, I didn’t want to be splashing the cash willy-nilly and buying lots of different markers to try so instead I did a bit of research online and found some comparison articles


 Jill Cameron Creations

craft and leisure

 amongst others. I also had a look at online reviews for a lot of the markers I hadn’t tried or hadn’t heard of.

 I stumbled across the Arteza Everblend markers by accident, it was one of those spooky adverts that pop up on social media that reminds you that everything you do online is being watched lol. So I popped onto the Arteza website and quickly discovered they produce a vast range of arts and crafts media, lots of pens and paints, pencils and sketchpads etc, but the Everblend markers intrigued me.

I’ll be honest, I was quite sceptical about them, if they were any good then surely I’d have heard about them, wouldn’t I?

So I did a bit of research online and they seemed to get pretty consistent good reviews. You'll have to read my next post to find out what happened next.

thanks for visiting, 
it's always nice to hear what you think so feel free to leave me a comment 

Wednesday 1 July 2020

Back in the saddle

Hi everyone,

Learning to live in Lockdown

Lockdown 2020 has thrown up a lot of challenges for pretty much everyone across the globe. For me, this has meant adjusting to working from home which has taken a bit of time to get used to, and to get into a workable work/life balance.

I very quickly realised that I missed my daily commute. I’ve always said that this is my “thinking time”. On the way to work it’s my time to think about what my plan for work is, what else I need to do during the day, it’s also the time where I can call doctor/school/dentist etc to make appointments or whatever. On the way home it’s my time to process my workday, think about what I have to do in the evening as well as whatever else is going on in the life of my family. It’s the time where I speak to people only if I choose to, and I don’t hear “mum, where’s …” , “mum, can you….” “mummmmmmm”.

I also came to the realisation that this is also my winding down time, where I can switch off working Deb, and turn on home Mum, so without this commute, I found it very hard to switch off from work, it would carry on into the evenings and weekends so that I didn’t feel like I was doing anything else but work.
But once I did realise this, I made a conscious effort to “leave work” one Friday night and spent the whole weekend relaxing, just chilling out without looking at work email or checking the work social media channels or messages. And I think I needed it, the creative juices started flowing again and I got back into the greenhouse, pottering around with seeds and tiny plants.
So I started managing my weeks a bit better, setting aside set working hours and then remembering to walk away from it when my work day was done. Sometimes it’s still a wee bit of a struggle, I was answering social media enquiries at 11.30pm the other night, but on the whole I think I’ve got it more or less sussed.

Rediscovering my craft

As most of you know, I love to colour, but because I have a creative job that’s pretty all-consuming it’s been a long time since I’ve had the time or motivation to do any colouring. I rarely make cards, not even for fun, if I have to make a card for any reason it’s usually last minute and very quick ‘n’ easy. 

So when Krista Smith announced she would be having a Colouring Challenge from the 1st to 5th June, it really ignited something – I know how corny that sounds but it’s true. I was excited about it!
So I printed off some of Krista’s Digi stamps and after such a long time sat down to colour again.  

I’m surprised no bats or moths flew out when I opened my case of promarkers and flexmarkers. But it was like I’d never been away from them, it really is like riding a bike!
Sadly though, the more I coloured, the more of my markers I found to have dried out and I had to admit to myself that their days were numbered.

Some of you may know that I used to be Product Coach for Scotland for Letraset – the company that created and made Promarkers, Flexmarkers and Tria Markers. The directors of Letraset sold the company to a company called ColArt who also own brands like Winsor & Newton, Elephant Art and Snazaroo. Unfortunately, they decided to integrate the Promarkers into the Winsor & Newton brand and completely ditched the Tria and Flexmarker ranges, rebranding the Promarkers and launching their own Brushmarkers.
Letraset worked closely and took on board feedback from the craft community as well as the more traditional art community. ColArt/Winsor & Newton don’t seem to have the same interest (in my opinion) and don’t seem to put any effort into the craft market.
So because of this, I decided that I need to find a replacement range of markers….. 

thanks for visiting, 
it's always nice to hear what you think so feel free to leave me a comment 

image; "Smokin' Hot" from Krista Smith
papers: My Minds Eye
media: promarkers

Friday 19 June 2020

Coming Soon....

I'm having a bit of a revamp of my blog and social media channels, and this obviously takes a wee bit of time, so please bear with me 

stay safe
Debz x

New Baby 1

My boss at work, and friend Charlotte recently had her first baby so I had a few baby cards to make, on for Charlotte and her husband James,...