Monday, September 17, 2012

Back orders! Still waiting for the remainder of my Spectrums...

I have my new smooth paper, I have my Spectrum Noir how to DVD, but the Spectrums from Custom Crops are still on back order! That means all my new cool stamps are on the back order order. *sigh* I did play some tonight and I love the new paper that Spectrum Noir suggests for their markers. It definitely works great with my Copics. I'm going to watch my how to DVD because I know there's a different technique to the Spectrums than the Copics. I've just been picking all my veggies in the garden and really haven't had much time to play. I'm anxious for fall work to be done so I can create. Laying in bed and dreaming about creating just doesn't cut the mustard for me. I think some of my orders coming from the US are on a slow boat to China, because some of my orders have been ordered three weeks ago. I really wish there were more distributors in Canada for the crafting supplies that I've been ordering from the US. Ah well a wee bit more patience....

On the bright side, I've been working on those rocking chairs....stay tuned! 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Spectrum Noir vs Copic Markers

First of all, I'll be honest with you, I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to artist quality anything. I like to buy the best to achieve the best results. That's why I bought copics and that's why I liked them even before I even tried them, because they were good quality. My opinion of them has not changed. Along with quality comes the price. 

I've been hearing more and more about Spectrum Noir markers. So I ordered 4 sets to try them out. I have run out of the nice smooth paper one needs for coloring with alcohol markers so I'm using 110 lb Robert Bateman artist quality paper, nice and smooth but I still get some bleeding (not smooth enough) So ignore the bleeds until I get the right paper.

I started with stamping some Tildas with Memento Tuxedo black ink. Now, because of the limited palette I have of Spectrums, I can't do a complete comparison, but it will be close enough. I started out with the greens. One of my markers was dry, right out of the box. The markers are stiffer to pull off the caps than the Copics. I don't really mind that because I always like to check and make sure the marker caps are on tightly anyways. So I started to lay down the color and blend. I liked the firm tip of the Spectrums and I found that the color blended easier than the Copics. I was pretty surprised at that. The brush tip from the Copic markers took me a long time to master...well I haven't used my Copics all summer and so it was like starting from square one again. The Copics took longer to blend the colors. Both markers bled over the lines with this paper, one as bad as the other.

I have the non refillable Copics. I bought them because they were in a set and I had a descent variety to try them out. The refillable Copics are more expensive. What intrigued me about the Spectrums was that they were refillable and much less expensive than the Copics. I had to try them. Do the Spectrums deliver like the Copics? I think they just might, with some practice and and the right paper. Are they a descent alternative to Copics? I think they are. 

I just ordered more Spectrums on sale so that I had more to play with and test drive.

The Tilda on the left was colored with the Spectrums. I was pleased with the skin colors. I had no pinks to put blush on her face. My brown palette is on it's way so I could not color her hair. One of the green markers that I wanted to use was dry so I only had two colors  to blend with instead of three like I did with the Tilda on the right. Once I get the right paper, the blending should go a lot better.

So, my verdict is that I'm still a snob and the jury is out until I get the right paper that should be here at the end of next week. The Spectrums are definitely still not out of the race. Remember, I'm not an expert and I need to practice but once I get some practice again, I think the Spectrums might be a cheaper alternative. It's almost like comparing ginger ale to champagne....

The question really should be, once you have the right paper and some practice, will you be able to tell the difference?

I can't wait for my paper to arrive to test drive the question!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Taking stamping to a whole new level

I don't stamp much, but I'd like to try. So I usually cruise the net at night after a long day and I look for tutorials for all kinds of artwork and crafting. Last night I was looking for stamps in particular. Still waiting for the Spectrum Noirs to show up from Custom Crops. I do have Copics and like them but I find them expensive for what I want to do with them. I'm also fussy about my stamps. I have some Tildas and love those, I've also added some Penny Black stamps, Inky Impressions stamps and Stamping Bellas. So I went on a hunt to find some good tutorials about stamping and coloring these particular stamps. I found a lot more and some awesome tutorials! So for safekeeping, I'm adding the links here:

http://stampinginspiredby-tutorials.blogspot.ca/
http://pennyblackinc.wordpress.com/category/instructional-videos/
http://www.spectrumnoir.com/
http://www.scrapbitz-tutorialsandtemplates.blogspot.ca/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkV0iOBerFo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xrSjRUcE9c

The last two links for Youtube videos are awesome! This girl is talented and yet she only has two videos out which is a shame. Anyways, enjoy the links.

While away camping, I did have time to actually stamp a whole bunch of images from my current stamps to color later. Like when it rains. Right now, there's not a cloud in sight and I'm busy gardening and picking and freezing produce. So when things calm down and it rains, I'll be ready to color!