Thursday, July 7, 2022

VIDEO: Easy Colored Pencil Blending + A Wake Up Call

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I had a flashback the other day when I was brushing my teeth. Maybe it was brought on by noticing the bin of travel sized toiletries I have in the closet in our bathroom. Anyway, it was not one of those GOOD flashbacks, like to hip hugger jeans, or notebook covers, or Orange Julius.

It was a dark, dark flashback. I carried it around with me for days before writing this. 

Some of you will be so young you probably won't believe what you are about to hear, but it's the truth.

In the dark, dark days of my traveling for work in the late 1900s, before cell phones (take some smelling salts, would ya?), there was a horrible, fraudulent conspiracy by hotels that was called: WAKE UP CALLS. 

What you need to know about wake up calls is the following: They never existed. Here's how it would go. You check into your ratty hotel in Dallas for your board meeting the next day. Before going to bed, you'd call the front desk and ask for a wake-up call the following morning at 5 AM. They'd pretend to write it down, hang up, and you'd startle yourself awake at 6:30 and show up to the meeting with sheet marks on your face. I bet the desk clerks had a hell of a time scamming us back in the day.

Now in fancier hotels LATER in the late 1900s, some would have automated systems, but don't get your hopes up. These were like robo calls, where it wasn't a human calling the room, but an autodialer with a recorded message. But that depended on the night clerk programming the thing right, which they never did. So you might get a call at 1 AM instead of 4 AM, or nothing at all.

In the before times, on the few occasions where someone was bored enough to actually call your room, they had to listen to your incoherent arse until you could figure out how to say thank you. One of the reasons I hate the phone so very much is it is such a jarring intrusion. It makes everything feel rushed and urgent. So take that awful feeling and insert it at 3 AM into your REM sleep. Terrible.

So every time you set an alarm on your phone, and have only yourself to blame if it's wrong, I want you to remember your elders who paved the way. It's probably actually the only reason smartphones were invented, honestly. Dark days, those.

Now my dad never used any type of alarm. He had this crazy thing where he could just program his brain to wake up at the right time. Later in life, I developed this skill, but not when I needed it when I was traveling all the time for work. The thing about his internal alarm was there was a LOT riding on it. We were two hours from the closest airport, and all we had was the dad brain alarm to ensure we made our rare flights. He could do it for naps too! He got really sleepy driving, as do I, and so on our trips to California where we'd drive the length of it, or on road trips with the whole fam all across the country, he'd pull over and literally brain-time a nap of exactly ten or fifteen minutes - fall right to sleep and wake up right on the dot. THAT I cannot do. But now if I need to get up at a certain time, my brain wakes me up and I've been blissfully alarm free for many years. I hate alarms - they are, well - ALARMING.

Anyway, today I'm bringing you a video on SUPER easy colored pencil blending that is quick and non-toxic. There are a lot of solvents people use, and I'm just not a fan of these in general. Just because something is "odorless" doesn't mean it's safe. Here's one example of a popular solvent's warnings.
A rep from a fine art company at a trade show told me that that is a waste byproduct of petroleum refining, and that the trucks from oil companies would show up with this "art supply" to be repackaged and sold. Their own instructions tell you to dispose of it where you dispose of your motor oil.

There's a better option, in the form of a blending pencil for quick blending. This just speeds up the blending process from the longer process of blending pencil on pencil, like more skilled pencil artists than me use. Sometimes I will spend hours on an image just with my colored pencils, but sometimes, I want to blend more like a marker, and that's where this magical pencil comes in, like on today's card.

I wanted to color these beautiful shells and make a card inspired by this stunning sheet of postage stamps I found on a google image search. They had crossing wavy blue lines in the background and it was just so serene. I added some of the details in those stamps, like the dark brown marks on the first shell, etc. I cut the shells out with their matching dies before starting to color, and used the sentiment from the same set. The card base is my pre-cut and scored slimline cards. I hand cut the waves from masking paper and used Sea Glass and Blue Raspberry ink to emulate the stamp background.

The colored pencils I used are this small set - they are VERY blendy on their own, but you'll see the blending pencil difference in the video.

Now today's video is part of a Honey Bee Hop and you can win a $50 gift card, so I'll put those deets below!

Like this post? Never miss a post by following me!

20% off anything at Glassboard Studio  - UNDERSTANDBLUE.
15% off anything at Marker Universe or any of their other sites - Understandblue15.
10% off at Sweet Sentiment with code UNDERSTANDBLUE
10% off the whole store at A Colorful Life Designs - LydiaFan10
5% off at LBC here with code LYDIA5
Arkon Mounts - 20% off sitewide with code UNDERSTANDBLUE

Here's the video:

Here are all the supplies I used today:

[ HNB ]
Seashells Dies
[ HNB ]
Derwent Pencils
[ BLIC ]
Blending Pencil Set
[ BLIC ]
Marvelous Moments Gem Stickers - 210...
[ HNB ]
USPS Shell Stamps
Sea Glass
[ GNK ]
Blue Raspberry
[ GNK ]
Masking Paper
Understand Blue Bundles Specials for...
[ CTC ]
Floral Glass Craft Mat — Glassboard...
[ GLS ]
MISTI Stamping Tool
[ MSP | ELH ]
Scor-Buddy Mini Scoring Board 9x7.5 -...
[ ELH ]
MIS-T Rulers
[ MSP ]
Rotatrim Professional Series Cutter -...
[ BLIC ]
Teflon Bone Folder - Ellen Hutson LLC
[ ELH ]
Storage Envelopes, Medium 25pk,...
[ ELH ]
CheckOutStore Stamp & Die Clear...
[ CHC ]
Extra Large -50 pk, Avery Elle Stamp...
[ ELH ]
Airtable: Organize your stamps & dies
[ ART ]
Honey Bee Stamps
[ HNB ]

So as part of the video hop today, you can have a chance to win one of two $50 gift card to Honey Bee Stamps! Just watch the video on YouTube, leave me a comment, and when you see the full hop list at the bottom, watch those videos and leave them comments to be entered! 



  1. so the soft blending...

  2. I hated and never trusted those wake up calls. Love this card!

  3. Love the happy colors of this seashells!

  4. Round two, my comment disappeared before I could post it; I am extremely sound sensitive. Every time my door bell goes off I spring up to the ceiling and hang there like a cartoon cat. My phone is on silent, imagine how many calls I miss. Anyway, those are lovely on your card. I used to live in Florida and do miss the shore. I am anxiously awaiting the delivery of the new alcohol markers. Stay cool in the horrible heat. 105 degrees in San Antonio today.


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