Tuesday, 21 November 2017

A Watercolor Tutorial

You don't have to be a master artist to paint something pretty. Follow along with this week's tutorial and try painting two different types of eucalyptus with two different watercolour techniques. In this video I've broken down the popular watercolour techniques, wet on wet (or wet into wet) and wet on dry. 

Now two painting styles and two types of greenery may sound like a lot, but this tutorial is very straightforward. In under ten minutes you'll have an understanding of wet on wet and wet on dry, and then you can attempt them for yourself. 

The Silver Dollar eucalyptus sprig on the left was painted using a wet on wet technique. The final look is varied colour and pretty feathering. I always think of wet on wet as giving that real 'watercolor' look. 

The Argyle Apple eucalyptus sprig on the right was done with wet on dry. This style allows you a little bit more control, as you paint an initial layer, wait for it to dry, and then add detail later with more paint. Give the two techniques a try for yourself and see which you prefer!

Remember, it's all about developing your own style. Don't worry about 'getting it right'. Perfectly imperfect, that's my motto. Watch the video and don't forget to show me your work! Post on my FB page or tag me on Instagram.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Watercolor Winter Birds Tutorial

If you haven't seen the latest YouTube tutorial, we're illustrating and painting winter birds. In this tutorial we go over initial sketching and then use a wet on wet (or wet into wet) watercolor technique to add some color. Robins, cardinals and chickadees make lovely subjects for holiday cards or seasonal calendars. So here's some of my work, followed by the video tutorial.

Happy Painting! Check the channel this week for a new watercolor tutorial.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Cherry Blossom Mobile Wallpaper

We returned to Canada last Monday after a few weeks of glorious Australian sunshine, and much to our surprise and delight, spring had come early in our absence! Now, if you're Canadian, you know that this never happens. In fact, I think that most cold-weather-dwellers know a thing or two about tropical vacations: as a general rule, upon your return, the weather will be much, much colder than when you departed. It's just the way it goes. No one is going to escape the last few miserable moments of wicked winter with a quick getaway to Mexico. So when we stepped off our flight in flip-flops, in April, and it was actually warm-ish, it was just nothing short of delightful and amazing. 

And even more wonderful? The cherry blossoms are in bloom. We visited Toronto and had a chance to sit under the fluffy white and pink trees and marvel at springtime in Canada. What really got me was how many people come out just to look at the trees. It's something quite beautiful. All these people just visiting the flowers. Lovely. 

Of course, I couldn't help but take a zillion snaps of the blossoms. So to celebrate this early spring season, I'm releasing my favourite pics as mobile wallpaper. Download any (or all!) of the five images and use them as your new spring wallpaper on your phone. 

You can download the images by clicking the links below. Download the image on to your computer and then email the image to yourself, open the email on your phone and set as wallpaper. Or just visit shaydacampbell.ca on your phone and download the images direct to your device. 

So which one is your favourite? I can't pick, but I love number one and number three, and I think I'll use number three as my cell wallpaper, at least for now. Happy downloading! Here's hoping spring has sprung wherever you are!


Click the links above to download your favourite wallpaper!

Saturday, 15 April 2017

How To Use Wax Seal Stamps

Hi, guys! I've just released my wax seal stamp tutorial on YouTube and I thought I'd post a few photos on the blog to go along with it. These waxes and stamps are my new favourite craft item, as they add such a sweet vintage touch to your hand lettered cards and envelops.

Stamps and seals are perfect for anyone who dabbles in modern calligraphy or anyone who just likes to send the occasional piece of snail mail. And you can order personalized stamps on Etsy, which makes this just the thing for wedding season!

All of the supplies that you see pictured here are from a small company called Uniqooo. They make a rainbow of colourful waxes and lots of classic stamp designs. My personal favourite stamps? The fleur-de-lis, the bumble bee and the pineapple. And of course, I need an 'S' for Shayda.

The wax seals will adhere to envelops very well, which means they're great for popping in the mail. But if you're preparing a large amount of cards and envelops, say for a wedding or shower, you can set the seals on wax paper en mass, and then peel them off and glue them to each envelop. Uniqooo makes wax sticks that fit in a small glue gun, and I think the glue gun method would be just the thing if you need to prepare a large amount of seals. 

Here's another snail mail tip: if you have access to an old stamp collection, use the outdated postage to adorn your letter. You'll need to use more than a couple of old stamps to add up to today's postage, and the result will be a cluster of colourful stamps that add a touch of vintage whimsy to your mail. Just make sure the stamps don't have a postmark on them- if they've already been used, even if it was a hundred years ago, they won't be accepted again!  

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial! If you'd like to enter my giveaway, I'm giving away a tree stamp and two wax sticks, head over to my Facebook page and find the giveaway photo.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Homemade Conversation Hearts

Happy Valentine's Month, to you! February is all about two things: love and candy. Now, I've said this before but I'll say it again, if you're anything like me, you celebrate Vday purely for the candy! So this week I'm showing you guys how to make conversation hearts at home. Yes, you can make these cute little guys in your very own kitchen! And they're not difficult to prepare; you don't even need a candy thermometer. Just round up your favourite candy flavourings and a whole lotta icing sugar, watch my video tutorial, and set to work.

The first time I made these, or any candy, really, at home, I was totally blown away. It's just so cool to be able to produce something as iconic as the Valentine's Day conversation hearts in your own kitchen. But truly, this is a fun and simple baking project, and you'll quickly learn that the old adage is true: candy is just sugar (and a tiney bit of colour!) but mostly just sugar. 

For the recipe and tutorial, check out my YouTube video:

Monday, 30 January 2017

Vintage Inspired Valentines

I think that every holiday has a sort of special kitsch factor. A wonderful tacky magic that resides in the seasonal candies or the familiar colour combos or the paper decorations that we buy at the dollar store. And this is especially true of Valentine's day. When I think of the February holiday, I don't think of dates I had, or dates I didn't have, or romantic candelit dinners; I think of paper heart garlands, and cinnamon hearts and handmade cards, and the colours pink and red, and streamers and balloons! I truly love all the trappings of Valentine's Day, and that's why this year I decided to head to the antique market in search of some sweet vintage Vday goodies. 

Chris and I went to the Freelton antique mall near Hamilton, Ontario one rainy and dull Sunday in January. Roaming around the warehouse was a great way to spend an afternoon, and our search resulted in an armload of vintage valentines. I brought the cards home to use as inspiration for my own handmade greeting cards.  

I really liked a little bird illustration that I found on a vintage birthday card. I used the graphic as inspiration for my own Valentine greetings, and I was really pleased with the result. I think it's so important to seek out sources of inspiration. Even though we have the ability to search any image on google, that sort of staggering variety can be the opposite of inspiring. If you want to draw floral motifs but you're having trouble finding images or getting inspired, look to vintage art and design. You can take a book out of the library if you don't have access to an antiques market. 

Old cards like these are a wealth of inspiration when it comes to fonts, floral motifs and other details. If you're into lettering and design like me, next time you find yourself at an antique store, check for ephemera like cards and pamphlets. It's funny how styles and trends really do come back around with time. All the fonts from the 50's look so retro cool, I actually thought some of the designs could have been produced today, as throwback bespoke greeting cards, of course! 

If you'd like to watch my video tutorial (and see a little bit from my trip to the antique mall) check out the YouTube video:

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Christmas Needle Felting

There's something about wintertime that makes needle felting extra appealing. Maybe it's working with warm fuzzy wool, or the idea of crafting cute Christmas tree ornaments. I don't know what it is exactly, but when the weather gets cooler, the felting needles come out. Case and point: I posted my first felting tutorial to YouTube this summer, and while the video was well received, the views didn't soar until autumn rolled in. Now the 'Needle Felted Owl' is one of my top videos. And I totally get it, because I'm sitting here in my pj's, curled up by the fire, looking out the window at the cold dark snowy landscape, and I'm felting an elf. 

And since we're all so into felting now, I thought I'd round up all my felting tutorials in one blog post and show you guys some other cute projects that I've worked on lately. I hope some of these cuddly little creatures will inspire your own creations! And feel free to copy these designs, there's no better way to get started than with a strong image in your mind. Sometimes when I see a cute ornament in a gift shop, I just snap a pic and use the photo to help me felt my own version. 

I'll start with my needle felted lumberjacks. I saw a lumberjack ornament in a holiday catalogue this year and thought 'I can make that!'. So I did. And they turned out perfectly Chrismasy and Canadian. Watch the full tutorial on YouTube.

You may remember this friendly gnome from last December. I made felted ornaments for everyone in my family and the gnomes were a real hit. This year I took the time to make one just for me. If you'd like to try crafting a gnome, click here to read the photo tutorial.

Animals are a lot of fun to felt, and I want to make so many different ones! A fox, a hedgehog, a penguin... and I'll get around to making all of those eventually, but for now, here's what I have tackled. Last year it was a Christmas mouse, and currently, I'm working on a snowy white polar bear.  

And birds are quite cute too. I've made many, many owls. The spherical ones felt up quickly and look lovely as tree ornaments. I have a video tutorial and a photo post on making owls. Take your pic of instructions!

Need a gift for the backyard chicken enthusiast on your list? May I suggest, a felted chicken. (In exchange for fresh eggs, of course!)

In my latest video, I give a quick intro to felting with this simple acorn craft. Place these acorns in a coffee table bowl for fun, touchable holiday decor.

That's all the felting I have to share. I know you guys will be creating some seriously cute tree ornaments and Christmas decor, so please share your work with me! You can post your photos on my Facebook page, or on Instagram. Tag me or use #shaydacreative. Merry Merry!