Artistic Expression with Jane Allen – Our Story

It’s time for our monthly Artistic Expression with Jane Allen feature. Have you implemented any of the techniques Jane has shared? We’d love to see your projects! Be sure to tag #mftstamps on social media so we can appreciate *your* artistry as well.

Hello again, it’s time for another Artistic Expression and this month, I will be sharing a simple technique that anyone can accomplish, regardless of their skill level.

So let’s get started…who loves books? I know I do and I’m sure most of us know a little bookworm or two for whom this card would be appropriate.

Handmade card from Jane Allen featuring products from My Favorite Things #mftstamps

I started with a top-folding A2 card created with Primitive Cream Card Stock. I die cut my card base with the largest Stitched Tag-Corner Rectangle STAX die and with careful placement, I was able to keep the stitch pattern along the top edge.  I used the same Die-namics to cut a smaller piece of Copic suitable card stock.

With the aid of a MISTI, I stamped the little boy from Birdie Brown’s Our Story with Cement Gray Hybrid Ink.  I re-stamped it on a piece of post-it tape, which I fussy cut and placed over the stamped image. This allowed me to stamp one set of books so that they appear to be lying behind the boy. I reduced the size of the second stack of books by masking part of the stamp whilst inking so that only the bottom three books were stamped. I then hand drew a plate upon which I stamped the mug.

Handmade card from Jane Allen featuring products from My Favorite Things #mftstamps

The entire piece was coloured using Copic Markers.

At this point I’d like to give you a piece of advice: although it may be tempting to use as many Copic colours in your collection as possible, sometimes a limited palette is the better option.  As I intended to use the boy’s sweater for today’s tutorial, had I used a myriad of colours for all the books, they would have overpowered the composition and taken the focus away from our little bookworm!

Copic coloring from Jane Allen featuring products from My Favorite Things #mftstamps

COPIC COLOURS:
Background: YR30, E40, E41, W0, W1, W2, W3, W4
Skin: E30, E41, E42, E43, R20, BV20
Eyes: YG61, YG63, YG67, W8
Hair: E11, E13, E15, E17, E27, W6
Mug: R22, R24, R27, R39
Jeans: B91, B93, B95, B97, N2, N6
Shoes: E11, E13, E15, E27, W4, W6
Books: B91, B93, B95, YG61, YG63, YG67, YR23, YR27, E11, E13, E40, E42, R24, R29, R39, W1, W2, W4, W5
Sweater: C00, C0, C1, C2

Now for today’s tutorial: How to colour a knitted sweater

Copic coloring from Jane Allen featuring products from My Favorite Things #mftstamps

I started by mapping out the shadow areas, initially with C00, then adding additional C0 in areas where the shadows would be darkest. If you have distinct lines between the two colours, don’t panic, just gently go over it with C00 to soften them.

Copic coloring from Jane Allen featuring products from My Favorite Things #mftstamps

In this image, I have added C1 in areas where I needed to deepen the shadows and over the stamped lines on the neck, sleeve, and waistband. As before, if you need to soften the edges use a little C00 sparingly, however, if you are careful and gently apply the C1 you may not need to do this.

Copic coloring from Jane Allen featuring products from My Favorite Things #mftstamps

This is where the fun starts and you begin to see that with a simple dotting method, (yes, it’s just dots!) you begin to notice your colouring start to resemble a woolen sweater or a woolly jumper as us Brits say!

To achieve this texture, I carefully added dots of C0 over the entire area. When you have a go yourself, remember not to get carried away with your dots — you still want to be able see some of the card stock visible in the lightest areas. Your first layer of colour has already created enough shading to give your sweater shape and the dots are providing the texture.

Copic coloring from Jane Allen featuring products from My Favorite Things #mftstamps

Having added your first layer of dots with C0, you’ll need to add extra depth with C1, but again be careful not to overdo it. When I felt I had enough dots to give the impression of knitted material, I added a smidge of C2 in areas where the shadows would be darkest — under the book, under his arm, and at the left-hand side of his neck/chest area. If you need to you can soften this carefully with C1 or C0.

Copic coloring from Jane Allen featuring products from My Favorite Things #mftstamps

This particular colouring technique comes in very handy when you want to add texture to small stamped images and it’s suitable for all skill levels. I hope to see lots of examples of this method from you on social media…just remember to tag it with #mftstamps!

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April 2018 Release Class 5

Our final April Release class showcases the new Cloud Shaker Window & Frame Die-namics to perfection. This irresistible two-piece set will make it rain creativity during your next cardmaking session. The addition of one of our Cloud Shaker Pouches means it’s as easy as 1-2-3 to quickly create shimmering shaker clouds like Amy’s.

Handmade card from Amy Yang featuring products from My Favorite Things #mftstamps

Download the class PDF HERE. Watch our the release class video HERE on Youtube or by clicking below.

We’ve been sharing daily release class videos here on our blog, our Youtube channel, and our Facebook page for the past few days — have you caught them all? If you’re in the mood for loads more classes from our previous releases, find them all HERE. Whether you prefer printed directions or are a more visual learner, we’ve got you covered. We know you’ll continue to be as inspired by our team as we are!

April 2018 Release Class 4

Our fourth April Release class features our new Piñata Die-namics — an instant party. Use card stock, colored tissue paper like Barbara, or even patterned paper for a real fiesta! Barbara has shared a great trick for adding the perfect swing to your packed piñata — make sure to watch her video and download the PDF for full details!

Handmade card from Barbara Anders featuring products from My Favorite Things #mftstamps

Download the class PDF HERE. Watch our the release class video HERE on Youtube or by clicking below.

Techniques & Tutorials: April 2018

If you love detailed, step-by-step instructions and photos to recreate some of your favorite MFT projects, Techniques & Tutorials is just for you! Our designers are going the extra mile with a collection of projects featuring more in-depth direction to help you achieve a similar look.

Handmade card from Inge Groot featuring products from My Favorite Things #mftstamps

Inge’s pocket card design is an elegant solution to professionally packaging and presenting gift cards. Start with the base and then customize for your recipient with your color, image, and sentiment choices.

Handmade card from Inge Groot featuring products from My Favorite Things #mftstamps


In our third April Release class video, you’ll learn a nifty trick from Karolyn for creating a loop mechanism for your Toad-ally Awesome cards.

Handmade card from Karolyn Loncon featuring products from My Favorite Things #mftstamps

Download the class PDF HERE. Watch our the release class video HERE on Youtube or by clicking below.


You can find Inge’s tutorial, as well as tutorials from even more of our team, by clicking below — enjoy and make something amazing this weekend!

Tips & Tricks: April 2018

Our new Tips & Tricks feature challenges our designers to share ideas for combining products, techniques for using new release items more easily or efficiently, and unexpected out-of-the-box ways to put your stamps, Die-namics, and stencils to use. Basically, they’re here to share clever uses for your brand-new MFT purchases to really stretch your stash.

Handmade card from Amy Yang featuring products from My Favorite Things #mftstamps

Handmade card from Rachel Alvarado featuring products from My Favorite Things #mftstamps


Our second April Release class video features the gorgeous new Loopy Bloom Die-namics and some fabulous tips for integrating it into your designs. Stephanie also uses some of our new felt — you will LOVE the incredible texture it adds to your blooms.

Handmade card from Stephanie Klauck featuring products from My Favorite Things #mftstamps

Download the class PDF HERE. Watch our the release class video HERE on Youtube or by clicking below.


Want to learn more about Amy, Rachel, and the rest of our team’s Tips & Tricks for our April Release? Head to their blogs for the full details!

Just Add Color: April 2018

We so enjoy our Release Countdown each month – our team never fails to inspire us and we love seeing your enthusiasm and reading your ideas for using the new collection. We want to extend that excitement past release night with even more opportunities for the designers to blow us away with their creativity and ingenuity.

We start TODAY with Just Add Color. So many of our stamp sets feature images that invite color — from markers and pencils to watercolors, our designers are itching to show off their coloring prowess and innovative techniques.

Handmade card from Torico featuring products from My Favorite Things #mftstamps

Torico’s take on our Just Add Color challenge this month is so unique and beautiful! Her soft pinky-peach monochromatic palette evokes a charming storybook feel. It’s a much different look from most of the samples we’ve seen with this Birdie Brown set so it really stands out! The soft color wash look is such a great choice for this rainy day image!

Handmade card from Joy Taylor featuring products from My Favorite Things #mftstamps

Joy also took a monochromatic approach. Her too-cute turtle is rendered in shades of grey — that allows her rainbow, showcased in a peek-a-boo window, to share equal footing while still complementing her theme…he’s not feeling his best right now but when he’s on the mend, I’m sure he’ll return to his vibrant self!


In addition to Just Add Color, we have our first release class video for our April Release. Color can be added to your projects in many ways…including adding color to your envelopes! Our new Envelope Buddy Stencil provides the ability to add perfectly straight, perfectly spaced address information to your envelopes leaving room to create a sweet little scene to color. You can use it for masking to add spot color to your envelopes as well — talk about creating a complete package!

Handmade card from Stephanie Klauck featuring products from My Favorite Things #mftstamps

Download the class PDF HERE. Watch our first April Release class video HERE on Youtube or by clicking below.

You’re already feeling inspired, right? Brace yourselves because we have so much more to share! Check out what the rest of the team has created in response to our Just Add Color challenge below!

Artistic Expression with Jane Allen – Polynesian Paradise

Before we get to today’s post, we have our randomly selected Bundle of Balloons Card Kit Launch winner. Our lucky winner has won a $50 Voucher to the MFT boutique. Enjoy!

from Inge’s blog: stampinfranni

Please email erica@mftstamps.com to claim your prize!


Even if you weren’t our lucky winner, you can still save some money with today’s Pure Innocence sale. Use code PURE15 to apply your discount to all in-stock Pure Innocence stamp sets and Die-namics!


It’s time for our monthly Artistic Expression with Jane Allen feature. Have you implemented any of the techniques Jane has shared? We’d love to see your projects! Be sure to tag #mftstamps on social media so we can appreciate *your* artistry as well.

Hello there, and how is your colouring practice coming along?

This month has been pretty chilly here in England, with even more snow, so I wanted to colour something bright, sunny, and warm!

Handmade card from Jane Allen featuring products from My Favorite Things #mftstamps

Before I get to today’s tutorial, allow me to explain the basics of this card just in case you’d like to try this for yourself.

The card base was created from Smooth White Card Stock using the largest die from our new Elegant Rectangle STAX Die-namics. I cut two more pieces of Copic suitable card using smaller dies from the set. The larger one I coloured with Copic B000, decorating it with small dots using a white gel pen.

The smallest piece of card stock was stamped with the log from Happy Hedgehogs along with the parrot and Hawaiian flowers from Polynesian Paradise. This involved some masking and as always I used my trusty Cement Gray Hybrid Ink. The sentiment was stamped with Gravel Gray Hybrid Ink.

I then coloured the image with Copic markers with additional coloured pencil enhancement added after the fact. Doing this at the end ensures your Copic marker nibs do not get contaminated with pencil dust. Instead of my usual Caran D’Ache Pablo’s, I used Supracolor Soft. These are the water-soluble version of the Pablo’s which can be used wet or dry.

COPIC COLOURS:

  • Parrot: R22, R24, R37, Y15, Y38, G02, B14, B37, C0, C1, C2, C3, C4, C5
  • Sky: B0000, B000
  • Grass: B20, G40, YG61, YG63, YG67
  • Tree Stump: E40, E41, E42, E43, E44, W3, W4
  • Leaves: G09, G12, G14, G24, G28, YG05
  • Flowers: R22, RV11, RV32, RV34, W2, W3, W5

Now, today’s tutorial centres around the tree stump that the parrot is perching on. Do you recall the wooden jetty that the Viking was standing on last month? Well, this technique could be used to replicate those wooden planks as well as today’s tree trunk.

Copic coloring from Jane Allen featuring products from My Favorite Things #mftstamps

To start with you need to map out the areas of shade. First, decide where your light source is coming from. In this instance, I had the light coming from the right. Therefore, the left-hand side of the stump would be in shadow. I used E40, the lightest marker, to add solid colour to the left-hand side of the stump, the top, and a small area on the right-hand edge. Oh and throughout the whole process I was referring to images of tree stumps on my iPad, remember my motto — “Google don’t Guess.” That way when I started to add additional colours, namely E41, E42, E43, and E44, I wasn’t mindlessly blending the markers, I was interpreting the lines, bumps and knobbly bits I could see on real tree bark. I worked, one colour at a time, lessening the number of lines as the marker colours got darker. Remember to keep the lines random — you are colouring a tree stump not a pair of stripy pyjamas!

At this stage it does look a little strange, just a jumble of random lines and a small amount of solid colouring. But when you see the next step, it will all start to make sense and look more like a tree stump.

Copic coloring from Jane Allen featuring products from My Favorite Things #mftstamps

This is where alcohol markers start to work their magic. Those harsh lines I drew in step one, suddenly start to blend and soften when you gently colour the whole image with E40. Do not scrub, you merely want the E40 to soften the lines you’ve added. You may find as I did that you will need to go back over some of your lines, but this is often the case with Copics. Once you’re happy you’ve added enough colour it’s time to use W3. I used this where I wanted to emphasize the shadows, namely the left-hand side of the stump and the base. You may also be able to see that I added a touch of E41, blended with E40, to the top of the stump — not the whole area, just the uppermost part. Doing this helps give the illusion of a flat surface.

Copic coloring from Jane Allen featuring products from My Favorite Things #mftstamps

You’re just about ready at this stage for the finishing touches. I added extra shading to the top, concentrating on the upper edge, this just gave a little more depth and dimension to the stump. Then I used the darker W4 Copic to create deeper shadows on the left-hand side of the stump, opting to sweep the colour across the image horizontally, following the rounded shape. Any really bold lines were softened by adding a touch of W3 and E40. As before, if any areas had gone too soft after this blending process, I just added extra colour back in. And there we have it! A wooden tree stump, with a technique that can be applied to any wooden object or surface such as the wooden jetty or boat from last month’s Viking feature.

Here are the three stages:

Copic coloring from Jane Allen featuring products from My Favorite Things #mftstamps

As you can see, just by adding layers of random lines, softened with careful shading, you can create a gnarly wooden stump full of texture and depth.

Why not have a go yourself and as always, we’d love to see your colouring projects using this and any of the other techniques I’ve used over the past few months!

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March 2018 Release Class

We’ve been sharing daily release class videos on our Youtube channel and Facebook page for the past few days and now we have the full class PDF and YouTube playlist featuring every single class project available! Whether you prefer printed directions or are a more visual learner, we’ve got you covered. We know you’ll be as inspired by our team as we are. Download the March Class PDF HERE or check out our playlist HERE.

Artistic Expression with Jane Allen – Viking

It’s time for our monthly Artistic Expression with Jane Allen feature. Have you implemented any of the techniques Jane has shared? We’d love to see your projects! Be sure to tag #mftstamps on social media so we can appreciate *your* artistry as well.

Hello everyone, how is your colouring practice going?

Each month here on Artistic Expression I demonstrate what is possible with MFT Stamps and then focus on one particular area, showing you how I do it, with step-by-step instructions.

I do encourage you to join in and practice the new techniques I share with you. Before long you will have a variety of skills that you can confidently use in your own projects.

This month I will be showing you how to add dimension to an object with nothing more than shading. But first, let’s take a look at this months card:

Having had such fun colouring the Viking last month with coloured pencils, I had to ink him up again and see what he looked like using Copics. I also wanted to surprise everyone that has been asking where his Longship was by drawing one for you.

The Viking was stamped on Copic suitable card stock with Cement Grey Hybrid Ink. The rest of the card was drawn by hand but don’t run away screaming — today’s class does not involve any drawing, I promise!

My students will know the next part — my mantra when colouring something that is not overly familiar to you: “Google don’t guess.” I had images of Vikings and Longships on my laptop for reference whilst I was colouring. You do not have to worry about copying things exactly, it just helps you add a smidge of realism to your work.

Handmade card from Jane Allen featuring products from My Favorite Things #mftstamps

As always here is the list of all the Copics I used:

  • Sky: B0000, B000
  • Sea: BG70, BG72, BG75, BG11, N0, N1, N2
  • Headland: W0, W1, E40, E42, W2, YG91, YG61
  • Deck: E40, E41, E42, W0, W2, W3, W5, W6
  • Ship: R11, R12, W0, W1, W2, E30, E31, E42, E43, E44, YR30
  • Tunic: YG91, YG93, YG95, YG97, W7
  • Belt/Shield/Buckle: YR00, YR01, YR21, YR23, YR27, Y11, Y21, Y23, Y26, YR24, W1, W4, W3
  • Belt: E31, E33, E35, E37, E39, W3, W4, W6
  • Coat: E51, E53, E55, E57, E11, E13, W3, W5
  • Boots: E70, E71, E74, E77, E79, E49
  • Helmet: YR30, E40, E41, W1, W2, E71, E74, Y21, YR21, YR23, YR27, E71, W3
  • Axe: E21, E23, E27, C0, C1, C2, C4, C6, C7
  • Trousers: BG93, BG96, BG99, W6, W8
  • Skin: E000, E00, E40, E41, E42, E43
  • Beard: YR23, E97, YR27, E37, W3, W4
  • Fur Collar: E51, E53, E55, E57, W4, W5, W6

I did use a small amount of coloured pencil for the finer details on the ship and Viking, with a touch of white gel pen on the sea.

Now, remember I said at the beginning of this post, my aim is to help you grow in confidence and learn new skills. Well, if you’ve been practicing the beard technique I shared in January, you can use it for both the Viking’s beard and his fur collar!

So let’s look at this month’s tutorial:

How to add dimension to an image with shading:

We are going to focus on the Viking’s belt buckle and how you can make the circles look 3 dimensional. As the buckle itself is quite small, I opted to replicate the shape on a much larger scale in order to be able to explain the process more easily.

I started by colouring the outer rim and the centre circle in Y11, with the section in between with Y21.  As you can see, it looks very flat.

Handmade card from Jane Allen featuring products from My Favorite Things #mftstamps

Before you start adding your shadows you have to decide on the direction of your light source. In this case, I had the light coming from the right, which meant all shadows would be on the left. I therefore started by adding shading with YR21 to the outer left-hand side and inner right-hand side of the larger ring. A small amount of shading on the central circle was created using more YR21, blending as necessary with Y11.

Handmade card from Jane Allen featuring products from My Favorite Things #mftstamps

You can already see that the circles no longer look flat, so it is time to turn your attention to the centre part of the buckle. Your aim is to make the two paler circles stand out of the centre piece. To do this I added more shading with YR23, again blending as necessary to even out the colour.

Handmade card from Jane Allen featuring products from My Favorite Things #mftstamps

To really give the buckle depth I added additional shading with a combination of Y26 and W3, yet again blending with the lighter tones to even out the colour.

Handmade card from Jane Allen featuring products from My Favorite Things #mftstamps

Here are the four stages together, giving you a clear view of how the addition of shading can change a flat, basic set of shapes into something completely different:

Handmade card from Jane Allen featuring products from My Favorite Things #mftstamps

Why not have a go yourself? Did you realize that this exact same technique can be used for parts of the shield and the belt studs too? I used a circle template to create my enlarged buckles. Without worrying about colouring a complete image, you can focus on mastering this technique and then have fun applying it to your stamps with confidence.

Until next month, happy colouring.

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February 2018 Release Class

We love our customers and we love providing you lots of ways to save money on your MFT purchases. You’ll get a major bang for your buck with our newest sale. Saving 30% means you can add even more goodies to your cart! Today through February 14, SAVE 30% site wide when you apply code SAVE30 at checkout. *Excludes brand new.


We’ve been sharing daily release class videos on our Youtube channel and Facebook page for the past few days and now we have the full class PDF and YouTube playlist featuring every single class project available! Whether you prefer printed directions or are a more visual learner, we’ve got you covered. We know you’ll be as inspired by our team as we are. Download the February Class PDF HERE or check out our playlist HERE.