Friday, April 28, 2017

Bring on the Color!

Hey Peeps! Did you check out the title of today's post? Yes, this post might just have you reaching for your shades — because it’s huge on inspiration and explosive in COLOR! It’s Friday folks, which means we've spent some time combing the creative world on the web ready to deliver just the right amount of inspiration to kick off your creative weekend! 


Lee Ann Barrell -- stunning doesn't even begin to cover what you've accomplished here with this Azalean beauty! (Yes, I made that word up). I love the rich reds and how they play off the patterned paper and neutral backdrop -- simply a delight for the eyes! If you wondered, Lee Ann used Power Poppy's stamp set Azalea.

Goodness. Speechless folks. Seriously. Can you even imagine the time and attention given to this card above by Elizabeth Zaffarano using Power Poppy's new digital image Tree Peony? Again, speechless. The depth of color and how she so perfectly created a digital frame — Elizabeth told us she played around using GIMP, the free downloadable photo editing software —perfectly showing off the Happiest of Birthdays message! Excuse me... I need a minute here. Wow. 

G-L-O-R-I-A!!! Now that you have that Van Morrison song in your head, take a gander at this card above by Gloria Stengel who, in my humble opinion, knocked it out of the park with her creation! She picked the perfect match of patterns and polka dots to make the main image sing! Gloria used Power Poppy's digital image Everything's Rosy and just to get a few little extra brownie points, she entered this card into this month's Power & Spark Pick-A-Sketch Challenge! 

Check out that bold splash of color on that pristine and clean white backdrop, will you please? This is the handiwork of the talented Hazel Parr and this creation most definitely grabbed my attention. I love the die cut backdrop paired with a kind of ombre sentiment and the beautiful digital image Countryside Bouquet taking center stage. What was the most touching about this card was the fact that Hazel took time out of her day to make it for a family friend who lost the love of her life. The woman loves flowers and so Hazel wanted to "brighten up her home which was darkened" from her loss. Truly thoughtful.

Leslie Miller is ALREADY making her list and checking it twice -- in April! Apparently, this wonder woman makes so many Christmas cards, she has to start NOW! Kudos to you my friend and former Bloomie! Major kudos to you! If you check out her post HERE, you'll see not only this card but two others that are decked out in Christmas spirit using Power Poppy's stamp set Fully Stocked. And, while you're hopping over to Leslie's place, be sure to check out THIS card she did with Power Poppy’s set Peony Muse. It’s another sure-fire hit.

Well, how's that for inspiration? It kind of, sort of rocks now doesn't it? And, my sweet stamping friends, there is MORE! Be sure to check out the Bloomies below and their fabulous works of (he)art this week!

Be sure to swing by Monday when Nancy Sheads will be in the house with an AMAZING tutorial on how to get the most out of your digital stamps AND your digital paper cutters! This tutorial rocked my world and I know it will yours as well.

AND JUST A NOTE: Don't forget this month's Power & Spark Pick-A-Sketch Challenge. Next week Kathy Jones will be here to share a brand new challenge for May! So get those fingers inky before April is out of the picture! ;-)

See you back here soon!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Digis on the 5s release: Tree Peony

I’ve been wanting to release an image of this plant since we very first started Power Poppy, but here we are in our third year and it seems that now is the perfect time. Folks are getting so into coloring large flowers it seems, and this one is large and in charge! In fact, its blooms can be up to 8" across. Acres of petalage, gorgeously cut foliage, and the prettiest shades of color you’ve ever seen. What is this plant? Check out the image above that I painted for the gardening catalog I designed back in 1995 for my dear clients, Klehm Nursery (now named Klehm’s Song Sparrow Farm and Nursery). It’s the Tree Peony, the most exquisite and rare of all peonies (in my opinion!)

The woody cousin of herbaceous peonies, Tree Peonies have much larger blooms, more exotic coloration, and dazzling frilly centers. The foliage is quite striking in itself, and is a lighter green than regular peonies. They grow to become large shrubs and make a huge statement wherever they are planted. Take a look at a few wonderful cultivars from the collection at Klehm’s Song Sparrow:

Tree Peony ‘Anna Marie’ - Source Klehm’s Song Sparrow
Tree Peony ‘Joseph Rock’ - Source: Klehm’s Song Sparrow
Tree Peony ‘Terpischore’ - Source Klehm’s Song Sparrow
Tree Peony ‘Marchioness’ - Source Klehm’s Song Sparrow
Tree Peony ‘Guardian of the Monastery’ - Source Klehm’s Song Sparrow
Aren’t those MAGNIFICENT?? Even just looking at the photos, I feel a bit faint. They have a pretty good collection of them in the Chinese Garden at the Missouri Botanical Garden, which I’ve photographed quite a few times, and will be sharing photos on my Instagram for coloring inspiration! I also have a large one in my garden which only gave me four blooms this year (sigh, not in enough sun for it’s liking). In the meantime, let’s get to the new stamp set....

Say hello to our newest downloadable digital set: Tree Peony! It comes with one swoopy birthday sentiment that you can color in to match the flower.

I’m releasing this today, just a few days ahead of what would have been my mother’s 73rd birthday. She had a few plants that she treasured above all else, and we all know that one of those plants was Daffodils. The other: Tree Peonies! I am sure you can see why, they are rare, exquisite, and totally awe-inspiring.

Today we have two designers showing off this lovely new design, don’t you want to see what they’ve created to inspire you? Let’s go see their cards using Tree Peony:

Enjoy your day, and I’m going to try to color this one up to share here, posted a bit later... I started to color but my sweet Douglas had been out of town for 5 days and he got home earlier than expected — as if I’m going to color when I can be squeezing on that man! But today is a new day!! I hope you enjoy this one, I think it’s got a LOT of possibilities!

ADDENDUM: I was able to sit outside and paint this morning for a few hours, and here’s my contribution to the garden of Tree Peonies....

Monday, April 24, 2017

Inspire Me Monday: Watercoloring Succulents

Hey everyone Jessie here today! Bare with me today, because I am going to try and inspire you while playing with a new watercolour medium to me. I have had the Dr. P.H. Martin Hydrus watercolours in my crafty stash for a couple months, and am just now finding the time to play with them! 

I decided why not start with the fabulous Succulent Singles stamp set

I love how bright and vivid these colours are! I do have a video of this being painted for you all, unfortunately there is no voice over, I am still waiting for my replacement mic. Fingers crossed it will be here by the end of the week. 

It was super fun to do, and I can not wait to play with them again! They are so bright and vivid, yet you can water them down enough to get soft pastel like colours! 

Thanks for stopping by,
hope you found a little bit of inspiration in today's post!

Friday, April 21, 2017

A Few Friday Showstoppers

Hello you beautiful people and happy Friday to you all! We hope you have a skip in your step and a bit of sunshine in your heart. We sure do! Especially after seeing all the fabulous crafty endeavors out there on the web putting Power Poppy in the spotlight! 

If you received our newsletter last night, you had a running start on our Surprise Birthday Sale just announced — check it out if you’ve been wanting to stock up on flowery favorites on get a huge jumpstart on the Holidays...

That’s right — two ways to save!! Buy 3 clear stamps and get a 4th one free (use code BIRTHDAYGIFT) or if you’d prefer, take 15% off everything in the store with 15% off (use code YAY15OFF). It’s our birthday month and we are all over the place with surprises! Enjoy, enjoy!

Did you see we have a new addition to our Instant Garden? Goodness, if you missed that announcement on Wednesday, click HERE to see this amazing new illustration that I am sure you will be chomping at the bit to color up! It’s a simple, swaying drawing that you can have colored up in minutes. Go see!

If you haven't played along yet in our versatile challenge for April’s “Pick-a-Sketch”, we think it would be a perfect thing to take on this weekend:

There are already quite a few entries and only ten days left to take in some sketchy fun! Check out all 'the deets' on the challenge HERE! 


Time now for our little weekly show and tell sharing just a little bit of what we love about your use of Power Poppy in blog and social media land! 

Lisa Johansen (@alcojo94 on Instagram) really rocked Power Poppy's Leaping Trout digital stamp set! And, she has good reason! Can you believe the lake across the street from her house is full of these guys? Her hubby and kids love to catch them so she can cook them up for dinner. YUM! She even gave the digital version a bit of razzle dazzle and irridescence with the help of a sparkly gel pen! 

I have to say, I just love the vivid pop of white that Dedre Wolff (@dedrewolff on Instagram) achieved with this clean and classy card. That mondo blossom from Tiger Lily XL is so pretty. Dedre proves that there are times when nothing "extra" is needed to show a dramatic kind of style. Purple is also one of my favorite colors -- so she also scored major points there too! :-)

What an honor it was to see this creation above from Crissy Armstrong! Why is it an honor? Well, Crissy is an illustrator herself and makes her own line of stamps! That she took time out of her day to savor one of Marcella's images (Everything’s Rosy) is a very nice compliment. Just breathe in all that petal detail? Ah-MAZ-ing! Crissy shows EXACTLY how she achieved this depth of color and detail with her colored pencils on her blog, it’s filled with tips and photos of her process. Thank you, Crissy!

Jenny Colacicco, (@soulbyte on Instagram) got her hands on a soon-to-be-released sprout from our digital line and man, is this little snippet just a tease or what? Just look at that bit of dreamy watercolor! And to think Jenny did this after her sweet little daughter went to bed. You'll have to stay tuned -- this one will be popping up in the Power Poppy Shop on Tuesday! Squeeee!!!

Well if that wasn't just a slice of pure inspiration -- there's more peeps! We have the Bloomies ready and waiting to show off some of the things they've been creating, putting those fabulous creative juices to use! Click on over and see....

And, that's not all my sweet stamping friends, the ever-so-talented Jessie Banks will be “in the house” Monday for another Inspire Me Monday to kick off your creative week.

Have an amazing weekend and we'll see y'all back here real soon.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

April's Instant Garden Digital Stamp: Sunset Sway

Not sure how this month has zoomed by so quickly — but we’re already past mid-April and approaching May. Each day brings new things into bloom where we live in St. Louis. Is the excitement at finding out what’s going to bloom next what’s making this month fly past? As I take my walks through the neighborhood in the morning or evening, I find myself so filled with gratitude that our local neighborhoods have so many flowers and flowering trees.

Now more than ever in my lifetime are people getting in to gardening! Nearly every house I pass has at least one or two flowering spring trees, from redbuds and dogwoods to magnolias, crabapples, lilacs, and cherries. The spirea bushes are fountains of white, the azaleas in every bold hue circle perimeters and enhance entrances. Thank you, neighbors, for helping to bring such delightful sights to my senses — and all I have to do is walk out the front door!

On a recent walk at sunset, I saw so many captivating tulips, that I knew I had to include them in a drawing. From traditional types to fringed French tulips, Parrots, and even a few species tulips (which typically are the first to rise) like the beautiful Tulip kaufmanniana and T. clusiana still linger in gardens.

I decided to create a little scene pairing a few tulips with a few anemones (the gal who lives next door planted the sweetest grouping of pinks and purples to go with her tulips and grape hyacinths, and I haven't snapped a photo but I may have to run over there and see if she’d mind me playing paparazzi with her plants.) In the meantime, we have today’s digital download introduction to the Instant Garden, Sunset Sway!

The Sunset Sway digital stamp set comes with two versions of this drawing, one has a little butterfly stopping by, and the other is only the dancing flowers. The image is large, but can be enlarged on your computer if you really want to get in and color that anemone with lots of detail. And remember, even if I draw a specific flower in my artwork, I welcome and encourage you to color these up in whatever way your heart tells you! Red, orange, blue, yellow, go for it, loves!!

There’s a sentiment in this set that really carries home the “sunset” part of this set’s title. I’ll let you find out on your own what the sentiment says. :)

Our Instant Garden team is here today with some gorgeous renditions of Sunset Sway — let’s go see the beautiful cards they’ve designed to show off this lively new digi!

Just in case you were wondering what kind of nut goes around taking photos of plants all the live long day, I was at my garden club last week and captured in the wild (literally) by my friend Eileen.

Lots of good vibes coming your way from the Gateway to the West, where I can hear birdsong just outside my window and the children are starting to wake up for school.... let’s kick a hole in this day!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Inspire Me Monday - Put A Stem On It

Hello Friends, How are you today? If you celebrated Easter .... a belated Happy Easter to you. I hope you all had a lovely weekend with sunny skies. 

It's Kathy Racoosin here for another "Inspire Me Monday" post. I have two cards and a video to share with you today.

Who doesn't love a peony and this "Peony Muse" stamp set is drop dead gorgeous plus I love that there are coordinating die cuts ... that's a double woo hoo. Sometimes you might not have the die cut or might not have time to color more than one bloom ... if that's the case put a stem on it.

Watch the video here in HD.

Watercoloring doesn't come easy for me and I recorded my process in case you are curious. If you just want to watch my watercoloring unfold please watch ... if you are looking for proper instruction ... it's not that kinda of video.

When I was finished with the watercoloring I used a white colored pencil and a purple pencil to add some detail and remove some color ... I am always searching for what I call that "sweet spot".  To balance the large bloom I felt I needed one of the lovely sentiments from the stamp set. I also added a small bow with some twine for the finishing touch. 

This peony was colored with pencils only and I felt this one was best without a sentiment. I colored this one while I was traveling and it took a lot longer. I fussy cut a skinny stem and the bloom and used some foam tape to pop it on my card. 

Layers and layers of lines with pencils is the way I like to add color with pencils. I am sure you might be wondering what brand of pencils I recommend? I really don't have a favorite ... the only thing I favor is a very sharp tip & I continually sharpen the tip while I am coloring.

Marcella's illustrations always have beautiful detailed lines that guide you where to add darker pencil highlights. Thanks Marcy!! 

Almost finished here. I used a beige ink to stamp the peony and ... any lightly colored ink will do. I like to add some dark brown, navy or black to color in the nooks and crannies. 

Here is a close of both. So next time you are coloring a flower think about putting a stem on it. Have a great week and thanks for your visit today. Hugs, Kathy 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Winners of the Power Poppy/MISTI blog hop prizes!

Hello my dear ones, I’m excited to announce the winners of the Power Poppy gift codes from last week’s big blog hop with the My Sweet Petunia team and our beautiful Bloomies. What a fun experience that was, I know I had a blast preparing my post and seeing the variations in style, technique, and vibe of all of the designers. Thank you so much for joining us! 

And truly, thank you for your beautiful and amazing comments — I read every single one, and felt my chest well up as I read some of ’em, you guys are so darn KIND! I love getting to be a small part of your crafting experience. It’s an honor to help you bring your beautiful projects to life with a stamped image as your launching pad!

Now, on to the winners... which I had to choose randomly because I could not bring myself to select them based on “this gal’s note was nicer than that gal’s” — just too hard, you are ALL wonderful!

A $25 Power Poppy Gift Code will go to:

Janice Rosenthal Rock
Donna Teasley

Please email me at, ladies, and we will get your code sent over lickity split, good towards anything in the Power Poppy online store.

The prize of the Springtime Love stamp set that I used to make this card, ALONG WITH the actual little notecard itself, colored by me, will go to...

Teresa Doyle

Teresa, if you can send me a note at with your address, I will pop these in the mail straightaway.

Thank you so much to everyone who joined us this week with a lovely comment! What a joy to read.