Sneak Peek + Favorite Coloring Tools

It's Friday, y'all!!! Do a happy dance!

Today I'm sharing a sneak peek of my card that will be up on the Butterfly Reflections, Ink Blog tomorrow, and I'd also like to chat about my favorite coloring media.

While I am no expert at ANY of the techniques I use with these coloring tools, I'll offer some reviews of different products and compare them with each other. I hope to do a separate post for each medium so I can discuss the finer details of these tools in greater length.

Before I dive into that though, hang with me while I make two important observations:
1. Paper is important! The type of paper you use with these products makes a big difference in the finished product. Experiment with different types of paper and take photos of your projects so you can see the difference.
2. Swatch it! Regardless of how many products you have, do yourself a favor and create a swatch book of some kind. I highly recommend Jennifer McGuire's ink swatch downloads. While I won't be talking about inks in today's post, she has editable versions that you can make to reflect whatever coloring product you're using. Find them here.

1. Distress Inks

Distress inks are a Tim Holtz product and they have some awesome properties. They react with water, so they are a great tool for watercoloring. I don't recommend stamping with these inks because it's difficult to get a solid image. These inks are also great for ink blending techniques when using some kind of ink blending tool. I personally use the mini ink blending tool that's also made by Tim Holtz. The small round foam discs can get into small spaces easily and they fit perfectly underneath the mini ink cubes. Find the ink blending tool here and the ink pads here.
Speaking of the ink cubes, I actually don't own many of the large ink pads. Instead I have lots more of the mini ink cubes. The only color that I would recommend getting the full ink pad in is the Antique Linen. I use my full size Antique Linen ink pad for all of my no-line watercoloring techniques. It's easier to get a better stamped image with the full ink pad, but because I usually am using these inks for painting and ink blending, it doesn't matter if I have the full pad or the mini. The mini ink pads are also at a better price point since several local craft stores sell them in sets of 4. 

2. Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers

These markers are also great tools for watercoloring because they react with water as well. They have a real brush tip that moves like a paintbrush. If you're into hand-lettering, then these are a great tool to have! I love the vibrant colors of these pens, and they blend SO well (if you have the right paper!). You can also touch the tip of one pen to another to get a custom blend of color for your project. Find them here.

3. Colored Pencils

So, there are a LOT of different brand of colored pencils out there. To be honest. I have only tried Prismacolor, but that is mostly because I am so happy with them and haven't felt a need to invest in anything else! These pencils blend together amazingly well and have such a buttery texture that it's hard to be unhappy with their performance. I recommend getting the Prismacolor Blender pencil as well because using that little guy will help you make the magic happen! Find the pencil sets here (for an amazingly good price right now!) and the separate blending pencil here.

I also use Distress Markers, Copic Markers, and other watercolor media, (currently LOVING this one), but the three I just mentioned are the ones I reach for most often. 

I hope to do a separate post on each of these media and the types of paper that work well with all of them, but in the meantime--thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful day!  


Sneak Peek + Summer Happenings!

Happy Friday, everyone!

I've got a sneak peek of the card I'll be sharing over on the Butterfly Reflections, Ink blog tomorrow, and I hope you enjoy reading tomorrow about how I created it!

I can't believe another school year has raced by. In January, I left my previous job to start a new chapter and began working for a financial services company. After being in school since I was 5 then immediately working for 6 and a half years at a university straight out of graduate school, I was BOUND to the school year schedule. Then, suddenly, I went to a place where I was chained to the fiscal year calendar and a set of deadlines from the IRS.

But, I'm married to a teacher, so I'm definitely still tied to the ebb and flow of the school year calendar to some extent. Which is perfectly fine with me. I get excited right along with my husband when he gets a random day off or, like right now, when we're in the final days of the school year.
I feel like the summer "break" truly started to feel like an actual event when I attended my niece's kindergarten graduation last week.

That's right, you heard me: Kindergarten. Graduation. Because, apparently, that's a thing now? I never had a kindergarten graduation when I was a kid, and neither did most of the people I know.
But....don't mistake me. While I was kinda scratching my head over the idea of a kindergarten graduation, Aunt Kelly was ABSOLUTELY thrilled to go and super proud to watch her Bunny. She and all her fellow K5 compatriots stood on stage and sang songs about speckled frogs in a pond, losing a tooth, the Eastern United States, the "ch-" sound, etc. And, let's be honest. I probably would have made valedictorian in my high school graduating class if I had learned even half of these adorable songs to remember simple things like...which state is next to Alabama. My prediction is that, in another 20 years, people won't use google nearly half as much as they use it now, because...HELLO?! I have to look at a map when someone asks me what state is next to Alabama (which happens all the time, naturally). But all these adorable 5-year-olds have these cute and catchy songs that they can sing to themselves when they are asked the same question.
The event was sweet and precious, but I hope my niece isn't disappointed when she graduates from college since that ceremony won't be nearly as fun. Or colorful. It's even doubtful that any songs will be sung about speckled frogs.

Anyway, back to our summer plans.

My husband and I are going on vacation with my family to the beach during the first week of June. This trip is definitely one of the highlights of the year for us. Imagine the conversation-around-the dinner-table-scene from "While You Were Sleeping" combined with every episode of "Parks and Recreation" and then throw in an irresponsible amount of pie and ice cream consumption mixed with sunburns, wii competitions, and general toddler hilarity, and you'll have just a vague idea of why we're still talking about the annual beach trip months after it happened. I.cannot.wait.

Then my husband is actually staying on the coast to attend some continuing education training at The Citadel. So he will be gone for an entire week (DURING our anniversary, I might add), and it's looking likely that I will sustain permanent damage to my emotional psyche with him being gone. 😉 But after he returns, we immediately head out to Oregon for his sister's wedding. After we get back from Oregon we will no doubt celebrate our anniversary in some way and then we will spend the rest of the summer hoping that the days somehow miraculously slow down before my husband heads back to the drudgery of the school year schedule. We are also planning to have a furry little addition join our family, so the adventure of becoming doggie-caretakers will no doubt be good material to share here on the blog.

I hope that whatever your summer plans are, they include some time to relax and enjoy extra time with family! Thanks for stopping by today!

Sneak Peek + When All Creative Mojo Has Fled


Thanks for stopping by today. I've got a sneak peek of my card coming up on the Butterfly Reflections, Ink blog tomorrow, and naturally it's all about Mother's Day! 

Today I'd like to give some ideas on how to get over a creative slump. I have learned that the creative process can be extremely draining and tiring, even when you do have lots of ideas for your projects. But when the ideas seem to be few and far between, the process is even more tiring! Here are some suggestions for getting the creative juices flowing again.

1. Walk away. 
This one is actually the hardest one for me. I HATE leaving anything unfinished, and it drives me crazy to step away from my projects sometimes. But I have found that, just like working in the financial industry (which is what I do full time), if you walk away from something and then put fresh eyes on it after a period of down-time, you'll come back with an even better perspective! 

2. Walk Outside.
I have a few good friends who are very gifted photographers and when I see their work, I am always slightly envious because I could never re-create the same beauty that's captured in a photograph, and God has created that world for us to live in. My favorite colors are not found in paints, inks, markers, or colored pencils. The most inspiring color schemes are the natural ones found outside! So take a walk in the great outdoors and see what this lovely earth has to offer.

3. Walk Backward. 
Sometimes we feel this unspoken pressure to re-invent the wheel every time we sit down to create. Consider this: How many paintings of landscapes exist in the world? Yet each one is unique and beautiful in its own right, and appreciated for different reasons. Re-visit an old technique that you have done before and love working with, and the inspiration for a new creation won't be long in coming.

4. Walk With a Pencil in Hand.
I never go anywhere without a sketchbook and a pencil, because I never know when I'll see something that inspires me. If I think of an idea for a card layout, I'll do a quick sketch of it in my book. Thankfully I always have my phone with me, so I can also take pictures of clothes, dishes, or any other various and sundry random objects that inspire me. I'm sure I have concerned many a store employee as I've walked through different places snapping pictures of their wares so that I can remember the color scheme or pattern later and incorporate it into a card. 

5. Walk Another Creative's Path. 
This one is probably the most helpful. A year and a half ago when I first started to get into card making, I had a conversation with my sister in law (a very talented artist) about inspiration. She told me that one of her college professors encouraged all of her students to constantly look at other's artworks. Not only did this encouragement keep the students' perspectives in a healthy place by not vainly studying their own work alone, but by looking at other's creations, they were constantly challenged and pushed by asking questions. "When you look at a work of art, you have a reaction. In analyzing that reaction, you will better understand the artistic process." I had the privilege of sitting down with this professor at a casual meal many months later and sharing with her that even though I had never taken any of her classes, these words of wisdom affected me vicariously through one of her former students. 

Thanks for taking the time to read! I am by no means an expert in any of these suggestions, but maybe they'll be helpful to you on your artistic journey. Never stop creating!


Sneak Peek! Knight in Shining Armor

Hi Friends!

Today I'm sharing a super short blog post  because it's a sneak peek of my first card over at Butterfly Reflections, Ink! Head over to the blog tomorrow and check out the entire card and read about my inspiration behind creating it!

Today's post over at the Butterfly Reflections Blog will be worth your read, too! Check out the new mood board with some yummy peach colors!

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to head over to Butterfly Reflections, Ink tomorrow for the full reveal of this card!

Karmaisma Studios--How it All Began

Hello there!

Today, I'm sharing the inspiration behind the name of my card studio. Back in October of 2016, I had a wonderful opportunity to appear at a Maker's Market during a week long homecoming celebration at a local university. This event was my first "public" appearance as a card maker, so I wanted to make a good impression! After brainstorming with a few friends and family members, I finally settled on Karmaisma Studios. 

Karmaisma (pronounced "car-maze-muh") represents the beginnings of each name of my sweet nieces--Karleigh, Maisy, and Mallory. I never understood why people went crazy over their nieces and nephews.

And then I became an aunt.

Oh my goodness, folks. These three little faces instantly wormed their way into my heart and soul. I simply can't imagine my life without them, and it has been such a joy to watch them grow. My husband and I have more funny stories about them than we can possibly count, and frequently our conversations will turn to "Wasn't that HILARIOUS when Karleigh said <insert completely random observation or made-up word>?"

Karleigh, affectionately known to her aunt and uncle as "Bunny" will be 6 this summer. She is one smart cookie, with an insatiable love for reading and all things princess. Thankfully she is still not too old to give me the best hugs ever.

Maisy, affectionately known to her aunt and uncle as "Sweet Potato" or "Mutton Squeaks" (don't ask about the nicknames, people. They just sort of....happened), is 2 and a half, and never stops moving, unless she is asleep. She is SO full of life and joy, and says the most hilarious things ever.

Mallory, affectionately known to her aunt and uncle as "Little Squish" or "Lady Bug", just turned one in March. She is Karleigh's sister, and just started walking. So....we all know how that story goes. She is an eater! There really is nothing more adorable than an infant waving her legs in anticipation of that thing you've got in your hand going in her mouth because she knows it will be the tastiest thing ever.

Although Mallory is still a little bit young to be interested in the creative process (unless you count stacking blocks and then knocking them down), Karleigh and Maisy LOVE to color and create, so I'm naming my card studio after all three of them in the hopes that their love for the artsy craftsy world will only grow as they do.

You might hear me refer to my Business Manager (my sister) and my Creative Director (my sister-in-law) from time to time. These two ladies have been so helpful to me as I've started this journey. I could not do without their advice and support. My sister in law is an artist and designer herself, and has a fantastic website and Etsy shop. Find her website here and her Etsy shop here

Thanks for stopping by to learn a little bit more about my studio and the three little girls I love most in the world!


A New Chapter

Welcome to Karmaisma Studios! Thank you for joining me in my crafty journey!
To be honest, the blogging world has always seemed a little far off to me, but now I have the most wonderful reason to dive in!
Starting in May, I will be part of a design team for a fantastic card making blog--Butterfly Reflections. Ink. Vanessa Middleton owns a wonderful online shop for all kinds of crafters and somehow, in her spare time, she also opens her blog to new crafters like me! Check her out here, and check out her lovely store here,
I'll be sharing my card creations on Instagram and Facebook like before, but also here on my new blog. Follow along as I grow in my skill and share my discoveries with all of you, and thanks again for taking a peek into my little corner of the world! Soon I will share a post on the meaning of my card studio name and other fun facts about my interest in card-making!