Thursday, February 22, 2018

February Instant Garden: Heart Abloom

Hello, friends, it’s Marcella here!

It might be a week later than I intended, but HEY, I have a NEW digital stamp set, which actually popped onto the scene last week! Introducing a rich and wondrous illustration, Heart Abloom. In case you haven’t caught a glimpse yet of this one, you’re in for a treat...

Cards by Christine Okken (top left), Nancy Sheads (top right), Marcella Hawley (bottom left) and Stacy Morgan (bottom right).

This highly detailed image was a true labor of love, and it is filled with flowers that make my heart sing! Hellebores, Daffodils, Trout Lilies, and get this, I’ve added unexpected little Blueberry sprigs for young little bursts of sweetness. A friendly snail has stopped by, as well. In real life, I would have plucked the snail off of the leaf, because I am a gardener, and snails are a bit of a bane of my existence. BUT THEY’RE SO CUTE! So this one can stay.

I envisioned Heart Abloom working beautifully with my Color Story theme for this year’s Instant Garden digital stamps. Each one is created with a grouping of flowers, fauna, insects, birds, or little objects that can help you deepen your color palette experience. Last month we introduced Rosé All Day with pinks and blushes. This month we’re going in to cooler territory... with flowers that (in nature at least) lend themselves to cooler tones like blue, purple, magenta, chartreuse, yellow... There are a LOT of directions you can go with these babies. This was my inspiration photo, which I found a few years ago in the Instagram feed of British flower design shop Swallow and Damsons. I just knew I wanted to do something with it someday!

While my image did not come out quite as dark, I did try to emulate the rich, dark, mysterious hellebores with some depth by adding brown/blue dirt in the background of my heart:

The set Heart Abloom comes with several images — you get the large heart-shaped flower illustration both with AND without the lettering in the center. As you can see in my watercolor/gouache painting above, I’ve used the handlettered HELLO version and just watercolored that lettering in. The set ALSO comes with a single, very detailed Hellebore image, which could practically be a stamp set on its own! But I’ve tucked it in here for those times you don’t feel like coloring the entire heart. A few examples of the flowers you’ll find in this bouquet... 

Trout Lilies photo by Amy Sanderson Flowers.
Hellebores at the Missouri Botanical Garden (my photo). 
Small-cupped Daffodil ‘Barrett Browning’ taken last year with bluebells in my garden.
A chartreuse-green-eyed Daffodils (again, with the small cup, or corona) in my mother’s garden. Keep your options open when coloring Daffodils and Jonquils — they come in a surprising range of colors!
I love the nodding heads of the Hellebores! (my photo).
Ripening blueberries on the vine... look at all of the amazing color changes they go through to become that intense, marvelous blue! I took so many pictures of them a few summers ago at the MO Botanical Garden and now I've misplaced them on my computer... will have to settle for these beauties from the grower's website.
A photo of my computer monitor as I was putting the finishing touches on this illustration in Photoshop.

I had GREAT FUN creating this arrangement of favorite flowers for Heart Abloom, and I hope YOU have just as exciting of a time coloring them as I did. I will not lie, it took me three days to finish my painted piece. But it was right before I started radiation, and it was highly soothing to my soul!

Drop in with our Bloomies & Gardeners to see their incredible works-in-progress coming to life, on their blogs and on Instagram:

Many, many thanks for sharing this time with us, I hope you love every minute of it! Talk soon,

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Let Them Color Cake!

Hello all of you Happy Stampers! How is your week so far? I hope it is grand with the sun shining ever so brightly -- if not in the sky -- in your hearts! We have a colorific Tuesday for you with amazingly fun pops of color to throw at you! So, let's get right to it, shall we? Check out these hues with a purely electric vibe! 

I have to laugh at this photo because this is 100% Marcy -- hamming it up for the camera in front of all things -- trolls. Yep. Trolls. Marce was chilling with a friend who works at Target headquarters and this was just one of the treasures inside -- motion detecting, rotating trolls complete with that wacky hair. Actually, now that I think about it, I am not sure if I would laugh or be freaked out. Marce just takes it all in stride and sees it as an opportunity to snap a pic and laugh. Like I said, this is our peep-in-chief in the truest sense!

Okay folks, now that you've seen the color cues, time now to see who is helping host this week! Say hello to......

Donna Vervantez, a.k.a. "Nana Donna" agreed to not only share her talents, but a little bit about herself as well! So, let's give her the floor, shall we? 

"Hello everyone! My name is Donna and I have always done some sort of crafting. In 1996, a friend at work talked me into going to a Stampin' Up party. I tried to resist because I know how I am, I just jump in with 2 feet, heck I jump in with all I got.

I bought my first stamp from Michael's and still have it. I now have a vast collection of stamps from various companies. Then, they came out with digital stamps and of course, now I have a nice collection of those too. I love Marcella's stamps/digis because there is so much detail and the shading she adds guides you on where to shade the image. I color using Copics, watercolor, pencils and Zig Clean Color brush markers.

About me, I was forced to stop working in 2007 due to a medical issue. I had a tumor in my spinal cord. So after surgery, I have some walking issues and need to use a walker. I always look at the bright side of things and when this happened, it meant I can stay home all day and craft, and that is pretty much what I do.

I am married to the greatest guy ever. He does most the housework and takes care of me and is always there if I need him. The poor guy has had to re-do my craft room numerous times to make it easier for me to function in. Shhh! Don't tell him I am thinking about doing yet another re-arrangement. We have a bunch of grandkids and great-grandkids that we love to spend time with and one great-granddaughter loves to craft with me. I also love to cook and spend time with friends and family.

When I got the email from Julie asking if I would be interested in designing for a Hues to Use challenge, I was thrilled. I had played along with the Hues to Use challenge before, so I was familiar with it. I love having a color scheme to follow and mostly create my cards following a sketch.

So here is my card using the Layer Cake digital stamp. It just so happens that Amy Shulke at Vanilla Arts was going to be doing a livestream class coloring the Layer Cake image.

I colored the image using Copic markers on Cyrogen paper, the background was made using Distress Inks. I struggled with exactly how to make the card -- then I got the idea to frame it, using a die cut.

I also used the sentiment words from the Layer Cake set and had them printed and cut out, added a few sequins for some bling and that was it.

Here's a closeup for you... 

Amazing work Donna! And, what a treat to see the results from one of Amy's livestream classes! For those of you who aren't familiar, Amy Shulke of Vanilla Arts has used Power Poppy digital stamps for a few of her online classes. You can check them out HERE!

Well, that was a super treat, don't you think? I look at the depth Donna created with this layer cake and it makes me want to grab my markers and see what I can do -- how about you? If you'd like to see more of Donna's creations, all you need to do is hop on over to her blog HERE and see what she's got cookin'! Just in case you wondered, THIS is one of my favorite Donna cards! ;-)

Thanks again Donna for being our host this week! Remember, if YOU would like to host one of our upcoming Hues to Use posts, all you need to do is play along! Once you link up your creation below, we'll all see that spark of creativity and before you know it, you'll be here showing off your mad skills! 

So, get those fingers inky and play along! And like I said, don't forget to link up your creation!

Until next week!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Exciting Announcement and Inspire Me Monday with Kathy Racoosin

Hello! Hello! How is everyone today? Did you all have a good weekend? My name is Kathy Racoosin and we have a big announcement today. More on that at the bottom of the post :)

Today I am inking up the oh so beautiful "Peony Muse" stamp set to create a bouquet. Watch my card unfold in this short video below.

I love the way that you can layer colors easily with Tombow watercolor markers & if you have dry paper between the layers it's even easier in my book. (If you have Zig markers they work beautiful too). I pack some watercolor markers in my carry on and usually do a little watercoloring on the plane. Love that you don't need much water for either.

Since my card panel is one layer I decided to pop one word of the sentiment with some foam tape.

If you are curious what paper I like to use ... I only use the bright white Tim Holtz's watercolor paper and I like that it's pre-cut to save me time.

The blooms were stamped in some antique linen distress ink.

Don't forget the video if you still have questions about the card. Thanks so much for your visit today and now ......

Drumroll please ....... I will pass you over to the most amazing artist, Illustrator, and beautiful woman!!

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Hello, my awesome friends, it’s Marcella back here with you — and can you believe what a sweetheart and talent that Kathy Racoosin is? Thank you for sharing that a luminous Peony card tutorial today, Kathy! It’s not just the card that’s incredible, I just love to listen to Kathy’s voice describing how she works. She’s a total doll and so filled with generosity. Wouldn’t you like to color with her for a day, IN PERSON can you imagine? Well ..... LOOK WHAT’S COMING UP in March:
YESSSSS!! KATHY IS COMING TO ST. LOUIS — and I'm going to be spending the day coloring and hanging with her, and we would love to have YOU come too!

Daily Marker Coloring Challenge Road Trip
Visits St. Louis
Saturday, March 24, 2018

To register, CLICK HERE.

There is limited space available for the event — it’s really going to be a memorable meet-up, I'm fairly certain!! Imagine not only getting to color with the incredible Kathy, but I'm going to be there, too!! Kathy + Marcella = WILDLY FUN!! We’ll be talking plants, paint brushes, and paper stock all day long. PLUS you can meet other like-minded ladies (and gents?) that up til now, you may have only talked to on Instagram or Splitcoast. Let’s DO THIS, PEEPS!

A Power Poppy pop-up shop will be set up on-site, where you can snag the very latest clear stamp designs — we’ll have a fresh Spring release of clear stamps to show off.

We have a fee of $35 to register, and this includes your lunch! The fee will be used to support a local charity called Urban Harvest STL. The Road Trip isn’t a class, it’s more like a happy, upbeat day spent in the company of delightful folks. NOW, who wouldn’t want in on that?? We’re making memories, people!!

For more information on what to bring (and what not to bring) — be sure to read Kathy’s post here. You’ll pack your own supplies, show up with your pretty self, and we will have a BLAST in a sun-lit room that will be filled to the ceiling with laughter and good vibes. I cannot wait!!

Big hugs and hope to see you on Saturday, March 24 in St. Louis...

Friday, February 16, 2018

Nothin' but GOOD Vibes!

Hello all you sweet peeps and welcome to another colorful, sparkly, energy-infused post here on the 'ole Power Poppy blog!

We start today with a bit of a look forward! Okay, raise your hands if you are ready for winter be over and spring to move on in? Wow. That's a LOT of hands! Hello to you all! Well, in my neck of the woods, we just got another six inches of the white stuff with more on the way. So, in light of those who have a bit of spring fever that just wants desperately to break out, check out our first of many good vibes!

And, if you are just longing for the day when those little flowers will start to sprout and the trees start to bud, keep in mind my fine folks that we can always have a little spring in our hearts and color up this beauty too! Hhhmmm... what would I recommend? Here are a few of my digital faves for that heavy dose of spring-time instant gratification! How about a little Blossoming Cherry? Or, French Lilac (complete with an itty bitty super cute ladybug)? Of course, there are sunshiny daffodils and tempting tulips too! Heck, take your pick from any one of Marcella's amazing florals and you're bound to make the heart a wee bit happier!

Good Vibe 2 just makes me smile that crazy big smile that you just can't help but express! After a week of radiation, Ms. Marcella is not only feeling good, but this afternoon she finishes having to hop inside an MRI machine twice a day for targeted radiotherapy. I told her, that's a HUGE reason to celebrate, don't you think? So, my sweet friends, our Peep-in-Chief is good vibe 2!

We spotted this good vibe on Instagram as Liz Vefall whipped up a beautiful creation to celebrate her mom! Did you know February 11th is Mother's Day in Norway? Well, it is and Liz cared enough to send the very best in the form of a handmade creation that is just bursting in color! She used Power Poppy's Countryside Bouquet that, I am happy to tell you, comes in both clear HERE or as a digital stamp set HERE!

Linda Paider is just one BIG good vibe this week. Check out this little number (using Va-Va-Valentines Digital Stamp Set) she whipped up for her granddaughter for Valentine’s Day! So darling! And, she entered it into our Power & Spark ‘Love to Sparkle’ Challenge. Linda’s got it ALL going on with a theme of love and a splash of sparkle. To see her full creation, hit her up over at HERE. If you need a little extra challenge, don't forget our Hues to Use weekly color challenge comes without a deadline, meaning you can traipse through all the past posts and take those colors for a test drive!

It’s always a delight to announce a Kit and Clowder coloring class featuring Power Poppy digital stamps, and this brand NEW one might just be the best yet. Alyce Keegan is the marvelous mastermind behind these classes, and this lovely soul wants you to know that YOU CAN DO THIS! Alyce shares her knowledge and assists you along with one-on-one tutoring to help you feel confident in your coloring skills. I’ve seen it happen time and again. These are absolutely great classes for beginners — though if you’re further along in your coloring, you’ll love them, too! Learn some of the secrets to bringing your coloring to another level. This session has two offerings, coloring our Hellebores and Joyful Lilies. Class members get a great discount, learn more HERE.

Special Note: If you have purchased Hellebores or Joyful Lilies previously, you are entitled to the updated illustrations offered in these classes (Joyful Lilies in a VASE, and both images larger and lighter for no-line coloring.) Send an email to and we will make sure you get your updated digis. Thank you!

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So, there you have it -- good vibes times five! Hopefully, you savored the thought of spring, gave Ms. Marce a cheer, found some inspiration in other's amazing projects or found a way to polish up your coloring skills!

Need an added dose of inspiration? Well, my friends, I have it for you!

Check out these lovelies below and just some of their crafty pursuits for the week!

Thanks for stopping by and sharing a wee bit of your day with us! Have a fabulous weekend and be sure to pop back by on Monday when Kathy Racoosin -- the star-studded host of The Daily Marker will be in the house to share some colorific goodness ... AND a very exciting announcement for fans of her Coloring Challenge Road Trip...

See you then!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Inspired by LOVE!

In honor of the holiday that celebrates romance, I decided to dig into Marcella's photo reel to pick an image that honors that special kind of love as well! Wait until you see the icy and sweet....

Here's a little bit of the back story on this little piece of color inspiration. If you remember back to the fall, Marcella married the love of her life, Doug. What an event it was! Marce created a whimsical woodland wedding that just paid homage to their different loves as a couple. Can you imagine beautiful greenery (Marcy's love) intermixed with Doug's love of all things motorcycles! This photo showcases the sparkle-daubed bridal headpiece handmade by one of Marcella's friends who is a milliner. It has clusters of bling and vintage leaves with a splash of silvery sage! Here's a peek at your color cues for this week! (HERE'S a darling picture of Marcy actually wearing this beauty!)

Aren't those colors just delish together? I love not only the photo with that glint of mettalic (which you can use instead of the light grey), but the super vintage colors like that dusty rose and sage!

HOW TO PLAY ALONG WITH US: To play along with us is simple -- use these three colors to spark a bit of creativity in your crafting space and then, when you're done, link up your creation using our linky below! It's just that easy peeps! 

Want to see how I put these colors for a test drive?

When I picked this color combo, the image that first popped into my head was the digital stamp set Hellebores.  I knew these delicate flowers come in shades of pink and I have always loved the flouncy look of this illustration. So, off I went, printing, coloring and matting it up! I should mention that the sentiment is from the set Nice Things to Say! I ended up stamping it with Versamark and then embossing with a detail silver embossing powder. After printing off my image. I grabbed my Copic markers and used these to color the image from top to bottom...

Here's a closeup for you! 

And that, my friends, is it! Now it's your turn to take these colors and put our own spin on them! After you're done, don't forget to link up your creation below and let us all see your take on this color combo challenge!

And remember.... if you would like to be a guest hostess and share the weekly Hues, all you need to do is play along with us. We grab all of our guests right from the weekly link lists! So get those fingers inky and let’s see how you put these Hues to good use! Until next week!


Monday, February 12, 2018

Inspire Me Monday: Accessorize!

Howdy and Happy Monday all!  I'm Allison Cope and I'm your hostess this week for Inspire Me Monday.

Over the years I have owned a few personal accessories that I was able to decorate.  I once owned a photo purse that had a clear pocket to slip smaller sized layouts into.  It was cool but eventually I wore out the straps and it had to go.  Sad day...

I broke my phone in the fall and decided to upgrade my Android phone so I went and bought a new Samsung 7.  I was able to actually find a durable clear plastic box for it too – which for some reason, I was never able to find for my older Android.  I  knew just what I was going to do with it too… DECORATE IT!

So today I’m sharing with you the process of decorating my phone case.

So join me at my creative desk and find out how you too can ACCESSORIZE!

Isn't it amazing what you can do with stamps... lol!

I used the gorgeous “My English Rose” clear stamp set and here’s a closer look at the end product…

Here are all the Copic markers I used...

If you have an questions, please don’t hesitate to leave them in the comment section below.

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you enjoy browsing our blogs today!

~ Ally ~

Stamps: Power Poppy (My English Rose)
Cardstock: X-Press It Cardstock (White)
Inks: Memento (Tuxedo Black), Copic Markers (Leaves: YG61, YG63, YG67, Y21  Roses: YR000, R21, R81, R85, BG: R20

Stencil:  Tim Holtz (Latticework)
Tools: Copic Air Brush System

Friday, February 9, 2018

Good Vibe 5 and AWESOME Bloomie Cards

Hello my friends, Happy Friday! We have a very cool round up of goodies to inspire today, but before  we get to them, I want to be SURE that you get the links to almost every single one of our Bloom Brigade’s AWESOME cards they’ve created for today... I mean to tell you, these are seriously next level on the inspiration scale! Lots of spring-y, Valentines-y everything-y ideas!


Good Vibe #1

Allison Cope hipped me to this sculpturally sensational in-progress colored pencil work by Sathya Kala Sankaran (@sathyakala.23 on Instagram). I thought everyone should see!! Sathya’s blog shows the final product, her vivid and highly textural version of our Magnolia Sunshine digital stamp printed on a piece of recycled product packaging. The whole thing is genius!

Good Vibe #2

If you haven’t yet experienced the work of British artist Mrs. Mary Delany, well honey, today should be the day. Creating her pieces in the late 1770s (yes, the 18th century!!!!), and not beginning her craft until over the age of 70 (!!!!!), Mrs. Delany created an incredible range of highly detailed and imaginative collages from cut paper and watercolor. Above, a botanical of Raspberry flowers in bloom. See the entire collection archived by the British Museum online, and be awed. THEN, why not try your hand at creating a card with a dramatic deep black background, just like Mary?

Good Vibe #3

This week we released a new digital stamp set, a simply sweet branch of blooms called Blossoming Cherry. Our designers came up with the most beautiful cards, and we even had a step-by-step tutorial on creating an environmental background by guest designer Mindy Baxter. The Cherry Blossoms have been really heating up craft tables all week, wowing us with bi-colored blooms (Jessie Banks), tri-toned beauties (Broni Holcombe), and a few terrific, traditional cards, too! When I saw what Elizabeth Zaffarano did with the image — creating an entire pattern on the computer, printing and foiling it, then coloring it up to create her own Japanese Washi paper, I just about fell over. Go see her Instagram feed to view Elizabeth’s process, and give it a whirl at home! 

Good Vibe #4

Have you entered our February Power & Spark Challenge? It’s called Love to Sparkle, hosted by Kathy Jones, and you can enter any card you make that has either a love theme, or something sparkly, or both! You might even win fifty buckaroonies in our random drawing to spend in the Power Poppy Shop. Check out this pleasantly purple card made by Jennifer Lewis, with pearls dotting the hearts! So many fun things happening in this hip concoction! Jennifer used one of the SIX images in our new Va-Va-Valentines digital stamp pack. Her card is totally rocking my world. What are you waiting for?

Good Vibe #5

Many of you all know that my mama, Susan Smith, was an artist. She could paint and draw anything she put her mind to, from charming illustrations in colored pencil and gouache to hand-lettering with ink and quill, to cutting edge oil paintings that predated the abstract expressionist movement. My mother worked for Hallmark cards as an illustrator in the late 1960s, plucked from her graduating class at University of Tulsa for her first job. Growing up, she told me stories about how much pure FUN it was to work in the art department back then, drawing cute little kids, bunnies, and flowers all day long, playing with all of the latest art supplies, discovering new ways to enhance cards (velvety flocking, sparkling micro-flitter), and traveling to museums and chic boutiques with the other young artists to gather inspiration for new Hallmark cards. It sounded like a dream come true to me. Is it any wonder that I went on to work for the illustrator Mary Engelbreit and then start my own company that helps people create their own dreamy cards? I can’t thank my mom enough for all the inspiration and encouragement she gave me. It was virtually nonstop, as was her positive, overflowing goodness. Mom really loved what we are doing with Power Poppy, often made her own cards with all her “stuff” spread across the dining room table, and loved to see your beautiful cards across the internet, each with a little bit of artwork drawn by her daughter. It made her so happy and proud.

My mom transitioned to Heaven two years ago this week. While we miss her with all our hearts (AND THEN SOME) now I know that she shares her inspiration, endless love and encouragement with the whole entire universe. Can you feel it?! I know I can.

Lots of love to everybody — hug your friends and family a little tighter this week, eh?