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It’s Official…

Winter white is out and pastel palettes are in like Flynn. The world’s decor and pasty legs DEMAND it.

Yah, we are looking at you, Winter...

Winter is gone. Dead. Finito. OVER. At least that’s what the calendar says right? The official start of Spring has come and gone and although the weatherman may not agree, we don’t care! It is time for pastels and bold spring colors, bunnies, ducks, egg-shaped chocolates and wardrobe makeovers! Sun, we neeeeed you!

Unfortunately UNTIL Mother Nature agrees and decides to warm up our snowy little piece of the universe, at which point we will whip out the flip-flops, we will make-do by sprucing up our living spaces!

Check out some of the ideas below and for more, hop on over to our Hop into Spring Pinterest board.

So, grab a Sharpie; fine, paint, Brush, Stained, we don’t care! Just get to work!

Winter, we hate to say it, but We. Are. Over. It’s official: Spring and Sharpie are officially going steady.

And because I just couldn’t resist the THOUGHT of some flippy-floppys…

Have your own Sharpie spring ideas? SHOW US!! Pin them to Pinterest and tag us #Sharpie– we will re-pin our favorites to our Hop into Spring board!

 

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Uncap the Drop

Recently our very own Sharpie intern, Samantha DeCarlo added a little color of her own to Crane’s Drop Humidifiers when they approached her to work on an ongoing project to spice up some of their products using Sharpie oil-based paint markers!

Each month, the company will feature one artist who uses Sharpie oil paint markers to decorate the humidifier, and Samantha is the first! AND once the humidifiers are finished, one lucky fan will win the one-of-a-kind creation!

To enter the raffle, go to: http://www.facebook.com/CraneUSA

To see more of Samantha’s work, visit: http://www.facebook.com/SGDart

The ink doesn’t stop here though, Crane is continuing the Sharpie love over the next year working with some AMAZING artists, including Sharpie blog alumni like Matthew Langille,so be sure to check out their Facebook and blog for more!

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Mom’s Day the Sharpie Way

Match the outside of your Mother’s Day gift to be as meaningful as what’s inside with custom wrapping paper made special just for mom. Follow these easy steps to create a package that’ll steal mom’s heart on Sunday.

Step 1

Using a Sharpie Pen, write out a list of words that describe your mom.

Step 2

Roll out enough brown paper to wrap your entire gift (you use brown paper bags or pick up an entire roll at your local craft store). Using a white Sharpie Water-Based Paint Marker, write the words from your list on the brown paper. Once covered in words, add small details  using a red Sharpie Paint Water-Based Marker to the paper for a pop of color.

Step 3

Finally, wrap up your gift. Add a ribbon and a bright colored card to pull everything together.

All Done! Happy Mother’s Day! 

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Sharpie Seen & Heard

Usually when I get back into the office on Monday, my email is flooded with various mentions of Sharpie that were posted on the web over the weekend.  While filtering through this morning, I couldn’t help but notice how many great tips, quotes and Sharpie art had been posted, specificially over this past weekend.  And so I give you a..

Recap of my Top 10 favorite weekend posts:

1.  Here’s a helpful tip via NewsOK.com - Flip your mattress:  If you have a two-sided mattress (some newer ones are one sided and should never be flipped), turning it over and around every two or three months will lengthen its useful life. (Do it with a friend.) Using a Sharpie, write the numbers 1 through 4, for each of the different ways the mattress can lie, so you vary the placement.”  (Click to read more)

2. Susan Beck’s Sharpie art posted ArticlesInaBox.com

3.  Read how ”Mister Cartoonist” who first designs his tattoos with Sharpie markers, breaks it down in The Big Apple. Article via The New York Times.

4.  Custom built Sharpie motorcycle: “The Sharpie Bopper

5.  This one is really cute! DIY Sharpie Autumn Owl by JustSomeNailsByMJ

6.  Tali Buchler, a fabulous Sharpie Squad Member, announce a Sharpie Paint Marker contest on her blog – Growing Up Creative

7.   CASSEROLE DISH WITH A MESSAGE This 8-inch-square covered ceramic baker has a silicone gasket to prevent spills when you’re taking it on the road. The dish can be baked, frozen and microwaved. But the feature we dig most is the lid. Using a permanent marker (we used a metallic Sharpie), you can label it, date it, give baking instructions (handy in a potluck) and/or decorate it. And booyah: The words wash right off in the dishwasher.  Read on Sharpie lover!

8.  Sharpie Liquid Pencil listed on Collaborative Creativity under:

Favorite Things: 10 Must-Buy 2010 Holiday Gifts for Geeky Guys, Roadwarriors & Modern Men

9.  OFFICE MAX is offering freebies on essential office supplies after using MAXPERKS REWARDS (Hellooo! Sharpie makes a great stocking stuffer!) Here’s the link –> http://bit.ly/cGZrPs

10.  Last but definitely not least – LOVING this quote from McRay Studios:

“A Sharpie is to an artist, as a light-saber is to a Jedi Knight. I never leave home without my Sharpie!!”

…and below, I have assembled my arsenal of “Sharpie Knights”

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Doodle Contest w/ Laura Kelly & Coffeesmiths

This Fall, Sharpie Squad member Laura Kelly challenged Cedar Rapids residents to uncap their creativity at Coffeesmiths Cafe & Drive Thru.  The rules were simple: Participants headed to Coffeesmiths to pick up a plain white Coffeesmiths cup to be designed & customized using Sharpie markers.

Laura Kelly, Coffeesmiths, & Sharpie awarded prizes to the winners in four categories:

  1. Professional Artist
    $100 in Sharpie Product. $100 Laura Kelly Stationery. $20 Coffeesmiths Gift Certificate
  2. Big People (Ages 13 and up)
    $100 in Sharpie Product. $100 Laura Kelly Stationery. $20 Coffeesmiths Gift Certificate
  3. Little People (Ages 0-12)
    $100 in Sharpie Product. $100 Laura Kelly Stationery. $10 Coffeesmiths Gift Certificate
  4. School
    $250 in Sharpie Product, 100 memo pads designed by Laura Kelly (Value $600)
    and Coffee of Cocoa for Staff meeting (160 oz Box)

The results…

Artist Winner

Big Kid Winner

Little Kid Winner

School Winner

Other entries…

 

Aritist Entries

Big Kid Entries

Little Kid entries

School Entries

From the Baristas!

Want to see more coffee cup entries? There are TONS more to check out on Coffeesmiths’ Facebook album.

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Sharpie Edition Ducati

    What do a duck, nuclear power plant safety inspector and a walking-talking robot have in common? Other than being famous icons in pop culture, each of these figures hold a prominent place in a very unique design. 
    Jody Whitsell not only rides motorcycles, she customizes them, creating unique works of art – and with Sharpie markers no less! Incorporating various shapes and patterns into her designs, Whitsell cleverly integrates iconic characters including Daffy Duck, Homer Simpson & C-3PO into her designs.  Well known for her colorful dog portraits, Jody went for a classic black and white theme when customizing her bike and motorcycle helmets.
    Whitsell has always felt an incredible passion to create and it doesn’t look like she’s slowing down anytime soon.  Take a seat Sharpie fans, you’re in for a wild ride with today’s featured Sharpie artist!
 

Sharpie Edition Ducati

  

Tell me about yourself:  

My name is Jody Whitsell and I live in Warwick, N.Y.  I’ve never been called “average” or “normal” and I like it that way!! 

How did you get started as an artist?  What kind of experience do you have? 

I use to always color and draw as a kid – especially animals.  Here’s a quick story.  In third grade I had an assignment to write a report on an animal of my choice and draw the animal on the cover of the report.  I had so much fun doing the report that I did 7 animal reports!  Fast forward to Ramsey High School (N.J.) where I get the Senior Art Award and then go to William Paterson College (N.J.) where I majored in you guessed it. Art!  Getting a job at a picture framing shop introduced me to lots of artwork, but I wasn’t ready to do anything but my framing job, as I had 2 sons to raise. Once they got out of high school, I got the itch to get out the paints. I guess being an artist or a creative person, you can’t stop yourself from doing creative things.  Sometimes I feel it’s a CURSE as I am always looking for “projects” especially around the house to appease these creative impulses. I have large murals and faux finishes in EVERY room of my house. “PUT DOWN THE PAINT BRUSH!” I sometimes have to say to myself! 

Describe your personal style: 

I’d have to say it’s a really fun style, and I like to make myself and others SMILE!  They say that artists paint what they know, and I know animals and especially love dogs, so I decided to paint my dog in crazy colors, and everyone just loved it because it was so different.  That’s how I got my start in the “paying” art world. 

But I do have a very realistic, tight style of painting too, which I like to do between the doing the dog portraits. Like I said… I am COMPELLED to paint or create! 

 
 
 

  

 

What does black & white achieve that a broader array of color would not on these particular canvases? 

With the black and white, it’s more graphic and I really loved taking my graphic design courses in college, but that was a LONG time ago!  I like the crispness of the design, and using only the black and white, I had to really look at the balance of dark and light, patterns, text, and drawings and how they related to each other, which was challenging.  My husband laughed at me and said “you spend more time LOOKING at the helmet than you spend DRAWING on it!” and that’s because I was always analyzing the design! 

What is your process like?  How long did it take you to customize the Ducati? Helmets? 

Well, I start with a list of things I want to put on the helmet/bike.  I then choose the best place on the helmet for the most important item that’s going on. I then work around that item to fill in the space as aesthetically balanced as I can, with the design items that I choose.  I like to use dots, arrows, stripes, and stars, in my “patterns” that I repeat as “fill in” between the text and images that me or my client wants. 

My helmet took me 20 hours, and my bike took me 75 hours (because I got better and faster at it!!) 

 

  

 You sell custom Sharpie helmets on  www.bigdawgzsquared.com.  What’s the strangest/funniest request you’ve had from a customer? 

It’s interesting for me to see the things that mean a lot to my clients and hear their story.  You never know what’s behind someone’s smile – both good and heartbreaking.  I think the “Iron Butt Association” logo was something funny someone wanted on their helmet! 

Your typical Chicken vs. the Egg question: Which came first the bike or the helmet? 

The helmet.  I got such a great price on my white Arai helmet that I couldn’t NOT buy it, but once I put it on, I felt like a Star Wars “Storm Trooper”!! I knew I had to do something about THAT, so my son suggested I “Sharpie it”.  Needless to say, I couldn’t sleep all night thinking about what I wanted to put on my helmet. In my mind, it was like a white canvas just crying out to become something interesting and different!! 

 

  

How do you use Sharpie markers in your art?   

I first have to scuff the surface of the helmet to more readily accept the marker, and make it easier for me to pre-sketch the important and complex images (the pencil shows up well).  I love the feel of the marker sliding across the surface and how nice and black, and crisp it is against the white of the helmet, so I guess it’s kinda tactile too for me as well as visual! 

Favorite Sharpie?  Why? 

Fine Point – definitely!! I love the pointy-ness (is that a word?!) of it. It kinda looks like it might make a thicker line than it actually does.  It gives me great control both drawing, and filling in.  When the point got a little “mashed down” to where it wasn’t pointy enough, I would take a blue sharpie and mark THAT marker with a blue dot so I knew that I was only to use that marker as “fill in”. When that marker got even more flattened, I would mark it with a pink marker, and use it as a larger area “fill in”, so I had quite the “marker system” going on!  So even though I was working in black and white, it was also blue and pink I was looking for! 

  

You incorporate some very famous characters, Daffy Duck & Homer Simpson, Stewie from Family Guy, C3PO… Is there a specific reason for these characters? 

 

Their “smile” factor!!!  For me… I AM Daffy Duck, and I put Daffy on ALL my stuff – he’s completely out of his mind! 

The rest of them just make me smile and laugh, and what’s better than THAT?  With all that’s going on to look at and read on my Ducati,  I got really playful and thought it would be fun for people to look for a specific character, and who better to hide amongst all the madness, but Waldo?  People get a kick out of trying to find him!  

What are some of your favorite drawings or written sayings on the Ducati?   

Stewie from Family Guy holding Sharpies in each hand saying… “Do you realize what the deuce you’re looking at? A MARKER I tell you!” has got to be my favorite drawing with text.  So many are my favorites as they were chosen by me very carefully!  They are personal, and tell the story of who I am.  On the back of my front fender it says… “Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube” and I agree totally! 

Proudest accomplishment to date: 

I could say having my bike shown in Cycle World magazine, or being published with my paintings, but I really am proud and thankful of my gift of making people happy (while having fun myself ) doing what I truly love to do. 

Motto to live by: 

WHATEVER  you do… make YOUR mark.

Are you currently working on anything that you can tell us about?!  

I have orders for helmets and paintings, but I have a few ideas rolling around my head as how to out-do my bike,  but it AIN’T GONNA BE EASY!  (and YES, it DOES include just a few Sharpie markers!!) 

 

 

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Sharpie Squad Guest Blogger: Tali Buchler

Tali Buchler brings something fresh to the Sharpie blog today as she demonstrates her favorite way to uncap directly onto and into the pages of the encyclopedia. 

The Sharpie Squad’s own Tali Buchler, creative genius behind Growing Up Creative, adds her own twist to the powerhouse of all publications- the collection of text containing every piece of information one could want/need to know.  Clearly though, Tali has found something that the editors have left out and she intends to correct them… 

A new reason to open an encyclopedia…

Used objects and discarded items (or what some may call -trash), always spark my imagination. Transforming an object – giving it a new life and purpose is something I like to do. In the past, I have used discarded magazines in designing a temporary space for a fashion show in an installation called – Read. 

My new “thing” is collecting encyclopedia books that people have been throwing away.  I started folding the books and turning them into sculptural objects.  I’m not sure where this will end, still a work in progress…

In my blogs I have started a series of tutorials called “Eco kids craft” where I use design ideas and craft techniques to encourage recycling creativity and creating with “whatever you have”.

Recently, I had my family over (my brother calls it/ us “the tribe”); a total of 8 kids – enough to start a preschool!  It was so hot that day, we couldn’t go outside. After a while, I started hearing the “I am bored” song coming from all different directions… Quick thinking made me pull out some of the many encyclopedia books I have been accumulating, one per child, and our big box of Sharpie Markers.

My instructions where very clear: DO AS YOU LIKE!

Before I knew it and without any planning, something magnificent happened:  the kids were absorbed, looking through the pages of an encyclopedia, reading and admiring the black and white images.

I gave them the OK to cut and draw as much as they wanted. So they did. And so did I. :)

We used all kinds of Sharpie Markers! Sometimes we drew together, and sometimes each one on his own.  My favorite thing to do was using the Fine Point Sharpie Marker to layer different colors in across hatch pattern.  These Sharpie markers were perfect for that because of their translucent yet brilliant quality.

To do this at home, you will need:

  • An old encyclopedia (you can find it at your parents house or at a second hand store)
  • Sharpie Markers
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick

How to:

  1. Flip through the pages
  2. Find an image you like
  3. Start to color the image
  4. Work in layers, it helps create depth and richness to the drawing (try and think like an impressionist)
  5. Add details to transform the image into something new. Even add notes!

Ready, set, go!!!

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And The Winners Are….

We recently asked fans of Sharpie to send in random acts of self-expression to @SharpieSusan on Twitter for the chance to win a Sharpie prize back! Well, you’ve tweeted your “Random Acts” and after an overwhelming response of creativity, awkward gestures, hilarity, art, talent, flexibility and then some, I am happy to announce the winners of Sharpie’s “Random Act of Self-Expression” contest.  This was such a fun contest for us to judge as we watched the self-expression pour in, so thank you for participating and sharing a little piece of yourselves with us!   Now enough jibber-jabber, let’s get to what you came for….

The winners of the “Random Acts of Self-Expression” contest:

@articleAimee

@Auroraza

@Batty_Kari

@blondieKahailz

@ChrisISpencer

@CourtneyERose

@cre8tivwoman

@drenessness

@Eliseisawesome

@EpicRave

@ErikRicard

@GemmaBeads

@jerrydoes

@joespinstriping

@kevthemetz

@lalamegan

@MaryIrene

@NewMarketFair

@ohno_itsalice

@shes_blank

@Smashly

Congrats to the winners! 

If you are listed above to claim your Sharpie prize pack please email me at Whitney.Kelly@Sanford.com with your name and shipping address and your prize will be sent out in no time!

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Eggcellent Sharpie

Easter is right around the corner and you know what that means… It is time for dyeing eggs!  While most stick to the standard “egg-plunging” technique, have you ever thought about taking a different approach to DIYing eggs? 

Wingdoodle, a blog featuring some incredible how-to’s,  recently colored foam eggs using Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Markers.  Take a peak at how Wingdoodle created beautiful art on these Easter eggs. 

DIYing Easter eggs with Sharpie is not just limited to foam eggs.  In fact, blogger AnaCraftyOne uses Sharpie markers to color real eggs.

To read Wingdoodle’s complete post click HERE

For AnaCraftyOne’s how-to instructions, click HERE.

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If Walls Could Talk

When moving into a new home you are more or less handed a blank slate – A lot of empty space that is just yearning for color, texture, shapes, personality.  This new place gives you the opportunity to convey who you are through design.  You may not see it this way, but I feel that decorating your personal space is an outward expression of your inner self through lines, colors, furniture, and art work.  Think of it this way, home decor is like your wardrobe but much larger in scale, more expensive and for most, if you don’t like what your home is “wearing,”  tough, you can’t simply change the outfit in a snap.  

A few weeks ago, I moved into a new apartment, my first and I’m all on my own.  I have free range to decorate how I want.  So now, I’ve got this blank slate in front of me and I really do not want to screw it up – I want my place to scream who I am!  I have all the furniture but the walls…well, they are still bare as a bone with no art displayed upon them. 

The problem is, I do not want to, nor can I, spend a hefty chunk of change on artwork.  I have concert posters (Lollapalooza, Pitchfork, Flatstock) that I plan to frame and hang but that’s not exactly doing it for me.  I keep coming back to what I preach every day of the week – SHARPIE.  I’m sure you’ve all seen the pictures of the “Sharpie basement” and all sorts of Sharpie wall artYES! I do love these but also YES, my landlord would have fit if I attempted them.  So what else can I do to bring in that unique, urban, DIY, Sharpie-esq element?

I think I’ve found it…

Several stores I’ve bought furniture from have a similar theme going on that I can only describe as a ”paper-recession motif.”  In other words, using paper, card stock, cardboard, etc… to build make inexpensive, yet tasteful art.  While none of these stores necessarily have incorporated Sharpie, I do see an appropriate place for the markers & pens. Using Sharpie to add details and personalize the following examples would be a fun, easy and inexpensive way to make it your own.  If these don’t necessarily fit your style, try taking the ideas and interpret them to fit your personality.

 Here, pictures from magazines and books and pieces of card stock were cut out and hung with clothes pins on a long piece of twine to add some color to a pretty neutral corner .  Another idea would be to hang actual post cards and greeting cards that you’ve either collected or bought for this purpose.  On new cards use a Sharpie to write inspirational quotes, music lyrics, anything you’d like.  Or keep a Sharpie and Polaroid camera nearby, next to bowl of clothes pins for when you have company.  Take pictures with friends and family, write a little note and hang the pictures up.

Using corrugated strips of cardboard, this store built HUGE murals shaped into daisies.  These pictures do not even do justice, this honestly was amazing and I stood in awe for a good five minutes.  Imagine building these to fit your wall(s) and adding little touches with Sharpie markers - rain drops, lady bugs, veins on leaves, details on petals… Oh the possibilities.

Use patterned paper or gift wrap to cover old books and bring new light to a book shelf.  Use the same paper in similar patterns and colors to make flowers (or in any shape for that matter) and hang in place of a framed picture.

Tear out pictures from magazines, books, newspapers, or trace new drawings with a Sharpie onto paper to make your own wallpaper collage.  Don’t be afraid to overlap, we’re going for a sloppy, yet put-together feel here.  Hanging plates as shown here, is a great way to pull everything together.

This wall was really interesting…  Sheets upon sheets upon sheets of white paper were stacked to cover the entire wall.  To add a pop of color, flowers were made using wired twine and rolled up colored pieces of paper.  Add any details you want with Sharpie to achieve your unique vision.

 

 It just goes to show how creative you can get using inexpensive materials, a creative eye and your own individual style to make unique pieces that will easily brighten up any room.  I’ll send an update once my apartment is all set up to show you what I’ve done with the place. 

 What unique ways have you decorated your home, bedroom, locker, or office?

Try some of these things out and let me know how it goes!