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Wise Little Owl & Coloring 101

Tanya Lochridge

Truth be told…when I received the Owl stamp from Brutus Monroe my first thought was “so so cute but I will never use it.” What? Yes, in my mind I thought the owl would take a lot of time for coloring. While I can always make the time…my coloring skills need a lot of work. So I pretty much set the stamp aside and moved on to the other stamps that really appealed to me — victorian birdcages and feathers (look back), fall-inspired layering elements (stay tuned) and tall stacks of wrapped packages and ice cream cones. Poor little owl sat in the August Release folder. He wasn’t alone…in with him were some other friendly stamps I hadn’t fiddled with yet. So, not to worry, owl was in good company.

Then last week I saw what Adam of the Inspiration Team had achieved with the same owl. Impressive and a lot of steps going on there. Luckily for me when I first saw Adam’s card I was on my iPhone so only saw a tiny image. (I’ve spent my whole life wearing glasses and as I’ve aged I wear two pair…you know, one for distance and one for close work. So I often miss the detail when looking at the phone.) I went about the rest of my errands kicking around ideas for the owl stamp while winding through these country roads — “hey, if Adam didn’t color his owl, there’s got to be a way I don’t have to either.” Well, back in my studio, you can imagine my surprise when I pulled up Adam’s owl creation on my big computer monitor for a closer look! Blast, he did color his owl…now what?

It doesn’t have to be rocket science, right? Here’s what I ended up with and how I got there. Using my Silhouette, I cut inner and outer circles the size needed to fit the owls — smaller in ivory parchment cardstock and the outer was cut from a vintage print from my autumn planner sticker collection. One problem, which I can’t quite figure out. I designed circles but oddly when they were cut they are slightly elliptical. Any suggestions? I went with what I had cut and figured out a way to make them work. 

Using Brutus Monroe Detail Ink in Raven I stamped a few owls on the parchment circles so that I could choose the best one and have a few spares for other projects. Once I stamped the owls I could see all the wonderful detail in the design, making my decision to not do any coloring seem quite sound. I did the same with the sentiment on a rectangle shape that I manually cut from the parchment. Working in long strips I was able to print three sentiments in succession. Just a side note that comes from my jewelry design background…if you are making one, it is often most efficient to make three to five at the same time.

A few hours later, I was pawing through some boxes of stuff and I came across my ancient tin of Derwent colored pencils. The price tag on the back was printed with Sterling Art…I haven’t shopped there since the late 90s while still living at the beach in SoCal! Yup, took it as a sign and did a little coloring of another set of owls — using only three colors. I cut a tag from a different printed paper from my planner sticker designs and then a piece for the sentiment. Owls on front, sentiment on back. I punched a hole for the organza ribbon. I’m thinking this will be cute on a gift or it will fit in an envelope if I want to mail it.

My lesson from the wise little owls — don’t be stymied or stopped by technique — figure out a way to accomplish a cute look using the skills and materials you have, maybe making a bit of a stretch in the process. I often think we compare our skills, or shortage of skills, with others who are masters because they have been creating for years and years. The good news is that between the numbers of one and a hundred there are lots of levels and possibilities…all good! It doesn’t matter where you start — what matters is that you do start!



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