Snowshoe Retreat

We spent a weekend at Snowshoe Resort this month.  The Resort is closed during November (although they do rent rooms and keep the condo buildings open.  We planned meals and packed food.  We spent the weekend doing absolutely nothing, and aboslutely enjoying it.  I spent much time coloring.  The images below are of the common area in the condo building, showing my copics and the fireplace as we enjoyed the view and the room.  The second picture is of the card fronts I colored while we were there.

Simply Watercolor

I'm working my way through the Online Card Class called Simply Watercoloring.  Below are three of my animal pieces.  Fun to do - and it stretches my ability because none of the images are stamped.

Two Logos

My son graduated from Marshall University last May.  This August, he started at the University of Alabama.  He asked me to create a thank you card he could give to the professor at Marshall who recommended UA to him (and who went to graduate school at UA himself).  This is the beginning of it - hand drawn and watercolored logos from both schools.

Aurora Borealis Scarf

I'm still working on the Aurora Borealis Scarf.  I wouldn't mind finishing it and moving onto something else, but that would require that I pick it up and knit.

Sprocket the Kitten

This is the newest member of our family, Sprocket, the kitten.  He came to live with us in April.  For some reason, he likes to sit on what I'm working on. Sometimes to nap.

Maybe he's trying to help me craft?

One Image, Five Ways

At the end of May, we spent the weekend at Snowshoe Resort.  Go look at that link - great place to go. Absolutely beautiful mountain top resort.

While I was there, I colored the flower images from the Simon Says Stamp June kit five times (images on right of line of art).  I used different paper, different media, and different colors.  Fun.

Here are the cards:

On Graytoned paper with Gray polychromos pencils

On watercolor paper (Tim Holtz) with watercolor

On either bristol or Neenah Solar White with Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers

On Nennah Solar White with Polychromos pencils

On Desert Storm paper with polychromos pencils

Father's Day Cards

This is what I did for Father's Day Cards.  I actually made four the blue one; one of the green one. 

All are painted on Tim Holtz watercolor paper.  I started with a blue water, and then did increasingly darker washes of color for each mountain as it came closer to the viewer.  In this way, the front mountain has several washes of color and is the darkest. 

The green one might be my favorite (it went to Steve), but some of the other blue ones (not pictured) were good, too.  Fun to make.

Seattle yarn, part 2

I spoke earlier about our trip to Seattle.  I shopped for yarn (twice, yes, I know) in this store.  It's called So Much Yarn, and it is located near Pikes Place Market.  Cool place. 

Even cooler story - we were talking to the owner, who asked us where we are from.  She is also from West Virginia.  Amazingly small world.

When I went back, I bought this yarn.  The colors are Seattle Seahawks colors, but I don't care.  I love the colors.  The company is Raven Frog Fibers, located it Sitka, Alaska.  Funny thing - I recognized the company and realized that I had bought a skien of yarn from Raven Frog Fibers when I was in Alaska (see this post).  With that yarn, I made this scarf.    Looking forward to seeing what I knit with this giant skien - maybe two scarves?

Polychromos Flowers

I’ve been debating purchasing a set of Polychromos pencils. I received an amazon gift card for my birthday and used it to buy the 60-count set. I know I’ll want more colors, but this versus the 120-count set - cheaper to buy the other colors a singles and add them as needed. 

Pictures in this blog are my first attempt to use the pencils - Simon Says Stamp Beautiful flowers set

Seattle Yarn

Pretty yarn, right? I purchased this at So Much Yarn in Seattle.  It is a California yarn, specifically dyed for this store.  It's La Jolla yarn from Baah Yarn, and the colorway is Market Flowers.

It is a perfectly appropriate colorway name considering the number of flowers for sale in this city, espeically at the Market.

Colored Pencil debate (with myself)

I'm continuing my study of Prismacolor versus Polychromos colored pencils.  I purchased three red polychromos pencils so that I could do a good comparison between the blending of them against the prismacolor.

One of these was colored with Prismacolored pencils (the bottom one); the other with Polychromos.  A few differences:

  • You might be able to see (in the terrible picture) that the prismacolor leaves a waxy finish. That isn't present with the polychromos - you're able to add more color layers with the polychromos.
  • The prismacolored pencils are softer, and may be better for larger areas.  The polychromos are harder, and might be better for more detailed images.
  • The prismacolored pencils, when you add too much color, shed onto the paper around the image. This I Really Don't Like.
  • The polychromos don't break like the prismacolored pencils do. I can sharpen them to a better point, and they hold the point.  Also, there is less breakage inside the wood of the pencil - that drives me crazy with the prismacolored pencils, and results in wasted pencils.  
I'm still not sure what I'm going to do, but at this point I'm thinking I could use the difference kinds of pencils for different projects.  Also, the shedding of color outside the image and the breakage are really turning my heart away from Prismacolor.

Colored Pencil Details

This card is made with Altenew's Carnation Build-a-flower layering set.  I used four Lawn Fawn inks - Wild Rose, Guava, Lobster Red and Chili Pepper.  The problem is that there isn't enough contrast between those four inks for the flower to have any depth. I didn't realize that until I had stamped six of the carnations and made three cards.

I try to fix it, I added some detail work with colored pencils. I did help. The flower on the top has colored pencil work; the one of the bottom doesn't.  It's easier to see in person.

Next time - more contrast. Nice stamp set, though.

Northern Lights Scarf

Once upon a time I was in a yarn store, and I fell in love with one of these two skeins of yarn (I don't remember which one).  It's Mountain Colors 4/8s wool in the colorway Northern Lights.  I bought one skein.

That's not really enough to do anything with (250 yards).  I don't know why I didn't buy two skeins at the time - whether it was price, availability, or just absent mindedness.  Later, I decided I wanted to knit a scarf, so I took a chance, and ordered another skein.  It's the other one in the picture.

Handpainted yarns may not be at all the same from one lot to another, and that's the case with these. They are mainly the same, but the one of the right has yellow in it - the one on the left does not.

This yarn has been sitting in my stash forever. I love how this yarn will knit in a scarf - the colors make patterns on its own.  But the only way to cure the difference between the two (so that the scarf is uniform) is to altnerative the two skeins - knit two rows and then switch.  If I did that, I would lose the natural patterning of the colors.

I couldn't make up my mind.

So, last week, I wound the yarn into balls, and just decided to go for it. One skein at a time, and I'll end up with a scarf that is mainly the same, but sort of different.  And that will be OK.

I'm using the Yarn Harlot's one row pattern.  I love this "pattern" and have used it multiple times.  I'm using US size 7 needles.

And there is the beginning. See the patterning?  Love it!

Snowshoe Scarf completed

Back in May, I wrote about a scarf I was knitting - the details are at this link.  I started it when we went to Snowshoe - I picked the yarn because the color was "snowshoe."

I finished the scarf this January - really, I can knit much faster than that, but I haven't been knitting much, so the scarf just sat around. It seemed fitting to comlete it when we returned to Snowshoe the first week of the year. I took the pictures of it from our room.

Oodles of Doodles

I participate in a doodle challenge each month called "Oodles of Doodles" by @the.petit.planner on instagram. If you want to see all of them, you can check out my instagram feed at @mom4gj

I can't draw, but I enjoy playing.  Here are a couple of month's worth:

Lots of Balloon cards

Not one to let any coloring go to waste, here are the cards I made with the Prismacolor vs Polychromos balloons:

Primsacolor vs Polychromos

I've been watching lots of Youtubers use Polychromos pencils instead of Prismacolor pencils, so I started wondering if I should investigate the Polychomos. I own a large number of Primsacolor pencils, so I wanted to know if it would be worth an investment to change.

I purchased a pack of 12 Polychromos pencils from Amazon and gave them a head to head comparison.

The pack of 12 pencils was limiting, especially since I wanted to see how the colors blended - hard to find pairs of pencils among 12 that would be close enough to blend.  Below are the Polychromos I pulled and the Prismacolors I pulled to try to match them.

Prismacolor Pencils
Polychromos Penscils

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Part of what I wanted to do was compare the color intensity on different kinds of paper, so you'll see three head to head comparisons below:

Primsacolor on the left, using Neenah Solor white paper

Primsacolor on the left, using Neenah Desert Storm paper.

Primsacolor on the left; black paper

  • Primsacolors are wax-based pencils; Polychromos are oil-based.  That did make a difference in the way you can layer color.  Once there is a lot of wax from the Prismacolors, there isn't much more that you can do.  You probably can't see it in the pictures, but I could see a big difference in sheen - the Primsacolors had a waxy shine.
  • I didn't really have the right pairs of colors to check out the blending abilities of either set, so no answer there. I know the Prismacolors do blend well (from other work I've done with them).  
  • I didn't worry about sharpening the Polychromos, because from what I read, they aren't prone to breaking. I never really know when I use the Primsacolors if they are going to break.
  • Other than the waxy coat, I didn't really notice much difference between the two.
So, I still don't know. Nothing in what I did convinced me to go out immediately and start buying Polychromos, but maybe something will later? I haven't decided yet. But it's fun to play!