Monday, April 22, 2013

Best Laid Plans

Hi.  Today I had the most marvelous plans to dazzle you with my wonderful card making skills and show you a beautiful finished card for a birthday this week. But a funny thing happened on the way to my goal...well, a couple of things actually! I chose to tell you about them because it's a definite lesson for me...and might save you some future troubles, too.

Here's what happened:
I printed out a digital stamp that I recently downloaded from From the Heart Stamps, one of my favorite go-to spots for digital images. I was just getting underway with coloring when I noticed that my C1 Copic marker (cool gray no. 1) wasn't working too well. On closer inspection, it appeared that the marker was running out of ink. There are three ways I know of to tell when ink is getting low. First, the pen fails to glide across the paper and starts to get "squeaky" as the color goes on. Second, the color gets splotchy; it's normally very even. (The gray watering can in the second picture below shows a definite unevenness of color near the right side.) And finally, a quick inspection of the brush tip will show a variation in color. The tip starts to turn a whitish hue of the ink color.  If you look closely, you'll see a slight line running up the ink tip in the picture below. There's also a tiny white tip at the end of the brush.

Well, needless to say, this was a most unwelcome occurrence! I immediately sprang into action and ordered a bottle of ink refill for this marker.  Then, as I opened some other markers, I found the same thing. There's only one explanation I can give. I cleaned all my markers these last couple of days in preparation for making blog videos. I used cotton swabs with alcohol, which is perfectly acceptable. What I fear has happened, however, is that I have gotten rubbing alcohol into the tips of my markers. I don't know precisely what the long-term effect will be, but for now they're definitely not working very well. I'm praying this will right itself in the next couple of days.
The second result of this situation is the reaction my markers had on my image. Under normal circumstances, a printed digital image works very well with Copic markers. Today, however, I am getting a definite "bleed out" of printer ink. You can probably see a slight pinkish tint around the black stamp lines in this frog image, particularly around his mouth and eyes. Unfortunately, I was using nothing but greens in my frog.
So, what to do?  Well, time will tell. If any of you have experienced this and have a good solution, I'm certainly interested to hear from you. I'll also be looking for other posts on YouTube about this particular dilemma.
Right now, though, I need to pull out a different type of marker or colored pencil and see whether I can make this frog hop on into the birthday girl's heart!  Wish me luck.
Thanks for visiting and please stay tuned for an update on "the Copic dilemma."



  1. Oh, that is beyond frustrating to have your tools not perform the way you expect particularly when you have something that needs to get done! I hope the problem resolves itself quickly. Since I don't use Copics, I'm afraid I can't help. The only suggestion would be to check the Splitcoast and Two Peas message boards for ideas. Good luck.

  2. A quick update on the Copic dilemma: I was told by Copic "info" that I had not ruined my marker by cleaning it with rubbing alcohol. I received a refill for my marker within 48 hours and added ink. My marker was soon humming away and everything is fine. Whew! That's a relief!