Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hello Everyone,

I am here today with some fun and exciting ways to use your Spectrum Noir Blender Pen.  I think it is a funny name for such an amazing tool.. I call it my Magic pen.  In my world, anything that can correct my mistakes and add a bit of texture is nothing less than magic!
I colored this image for someone dear to me who has not been feeling well.  I wanted to make him "looking a bit spotty" for more of a get well type image... That's easy to do with one of the techniques I describe below.  First let's take a peek at learning how to correct a mistake (accidentally going outside of your image line).

  1. First add a clean paper towel or absorbent paper under your image.  (This will help wick some the excess color or fluid through the paper rather than sideways.)
  2. Using the nice bullet tip of your Spectrum Noir Blender Pen - GENTLY push the mistake back into your image, stopping before you get to the line of your image.  Do not over soak. Adding too much fluid will cause excess bleeding into the image (see picture)
  3. Let blender fluid completely dry, then repeat this process.  It is best to take several baby steps rather than trying to complete the correcting in one "too wet" step.
  4. Note the position of my pen at the bottom of the picture is aimed towards the image, and stops just before touching the image line.
  5. Light colors are pretty easy to clean up with just one or two tries.  However, dark inks are a bit more trying and may require repeating the process several times as the dark inks stain the paper more than the light colors and have more ink to dilute.  Take it slow with those dark mistakes.
  6. If all else fails, remember that you can cut out your image and adhere him onto your project (adds a fun 3-d effect and everyone will think that was your original intent!)

  1. Color your image and blend colors as normal.
  2. Using the nice bullet nib aimed straight down, gently dot the image where you want to add dots/texture. Do not add too much fluid at one time or your intended tiny spot will become a large spot.
  3. Repeat for the entire area that you wish to have textured.
  4. After blender fluid has completely dried, you can add another layer right on top of your original dots to "bleach" the color even more.  Each time you repeat this process your dot will be come lighter and lighter.  It's fun to sometimes mix and match some light and dark spots.

This picture shows one dot on the mussel of the dragon's face where I repeated the above process for a lighter dot.  The center of his mussel is where the ink was already lighter before I started adding texture.  I like the end result, as the lighter center of his mussel adds a round shape to the face.  The possibilities with this technique are endless!  Think about adding pebbles to sand, scales to a fish or mermaid image, polka dots on a little girls dress, soooooo many possibilities -

Colors used for rest of image are as follows: Greens: CG2, CG4 and a bit of CT2 Purples: PL1, PL2, PL5 Orange: OR1, OR3 and a bit of CT2 Sky: BT2 Flower pot and seed pack: BT2, BT4 Ground: TN1 & TN2
I really hope you enjoyed my tips today... see you again soon.

Jennie Black

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

How did I get started? A Cinderella Story

LOL... this question is asked of me all the time! Really, it's a lot of hard work, being in the right place at the right time and not giving up. Here is my story on how I got started teaching Alcohol Marker Coloring technique and card making classes. - it starts out sappy and sad, but turns into a cinderella story so read on.

I had just moved back to California after a nasty nasty divorce and leaving my son in Washington state.... (sigh... another story) I was sad and in need of a job, as my money had run out and I was living on my credit card. I looked and looked for a job, but the job market in California was stinky. To compound the situation, I needed a job that would pay for living expenses, pay child support and allow me to have extended time off with my son every six weeks for visitation. I was also craving "friends" because I had just moved back to the area after being gone for about 15 years. That was going to be a tall order to fill and I could not find anything even close!

Although I could not afford it, I went out and purchased my first seven Alcohol based Markers.. Hey, I needed something to do while I was unemployed! I could not get the darn things to work, so I did a ton of research and played with them until several were completely dried up. Finally, I was getting better, but needed more ink! There was no one to help me get better... more research....

I went to all of the local stamp and scrapbook stores asking if they were hiring teachers... they laughed at me, because they were having a hard time getting enough customers for their already scheduled classes. Sigh again. One Day I was in Collective Journey (LSS) shopping when a bus tour came into the store. The ladies were all scurrying around making purchases when the clerk shouted out that everyone was getting a 20% discount. I was excited and made a small purchase. OOPS... the discount was only for the tour group. The clerk was nice and gave me the discount, but I felt guilty.

Ah Ha moment! I went home and made up several thank you cards for the store and took them back to the clerk. I was hoping that these "samples" would help the sales of their products. I got a huge reaction from the clerk.. she said "wait here.... I'll be right back". She ran in the back room and came out with this man. He was the sales rep from the stamp company that I had used on my cards. He immediately asked me if I would be interested in teaching card making in some of the local stores. I laughed and said "of course"....... (Thanks John and Our Craft Lounge Stamps.)

A few months later, I took the Copic Certification class and was addicted. People kept asking me to teach them how to color with these amazing markers. I compiled and wrote a 16 page Alcohol Marker  Techniques workbook to assist me teaching Technique classes, in addition to my card making classes. That was a huge key to my success. The news spread like wildfire, as everyone seemed to want to learn how to use these amazing markers. Soon, I was teaching in several stores and started making ends meet financially. Even paid off the Credit Card....

Six months later Copic asked me to be the Western USA Copic Certification Instructor. WOW..... I cried with happiness.

Things progressed and soon I was teaching and traveling so much, I was exhausted and didn't have time for organization. Things just exploded and grew so fast, I saw that the quality of my projects declining, as I was cutting corners just to get things done. I stopped teaching certification classes and focused on monthly Alcohol Marker Technique and card classes in Southern California stores. Then I limited out of state teaching to quarterly. Finally, life was calming down.

I now work for Crafter's Companion, as their alcohol marker specialist for Spectrum Noir.  My fit with this company is amazing... I just love the people, and their vision to provide a quality marker in a price range that is affordable to such a large range of people. I am so happy that more people can now enjoy the world of alcohol markers.  I get to teach an accreditation program that people can do in their own home without the expense of taking a class that may never be offered in their area.. this makes it friendly world wide..

My Cinderella story has allowed me to purchase my very own home in Colton, California where I live with my two spoiled Yorkies... Jazzie and Bugsie. I have a flexible schedule so I can have quality visits with my son. Although, I will never be financially weathly and may need to tighten my belt at times, I have a job I love and have everything I need in life... Love, the best son in the world, a warm happy home, friends and my pups.... oh and markers, stamps and paper!

Thank you EVERYONE for helping my dream come true.. Remember to stay positive and keep working towards what is important to you.

Cinderella... aka Jennie

ps.  I only sell the workbook with a class... LOL.... sorry!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Basic Blending - Spectrum Noir
By Jennie Black
Here we have a darling little kitty from Crafter’s Companion SWALK line.  Sealed With A LIttle Kiss... now is that a cute brand name or what?  The name alone gives me the warm fuzzies.
Three color blending
  1. Lay your lightest color over the majority of your object. (flower pot).  Here I  left a bit of white in the center for my highlight.
  2. Add your midtone marker (middle color) on top of your lightest color only about 1/4” into the flower pot from each side.
  3. Color your shading color (darkest color) on top of your midtone color, this time only covering about 1/8” of the flower pot from each side.  (see image)
  4. Blend your light and midtone colors with your lightest marker, dab the joint where the two colors join together.  This will allow the two colors to “blend” or “bleed” together.
  5. Blend your midtone (middle) and shading (darkest) colors with your middle color repeating the motion as in step 4.
pastedGraphic_1.pdfLook at the area where the two colors join together.  I placed the lighter pen where you would blend.  
Blend the colors together then mount onto a card or scrapbook page.

Have a colorful day