In the coming days I plan to post a tutorial on how to color these bags with Sharpies and acrylic paints. This way, you’ll know what to expect if you decide to order one and give it a try yourself.
The totes can be colored with your favorite permanent markers, like Sharpies, or with fabric markers, fabric inks and paints, or acrylics. I am using Liquitex and Golden acrylic paints on the Beetle bag, and so far so good. I’ll show you my progress once I finish my tutorial post!
These sturdy tote bags are super handy for daily errands, shopping, hauling art supplies, or taking to the gym or even the beach. I use a few of them myself and have all three sizes. I use my 18″ Beets and 16″ Tomato bags (from my Garden Goods collection) for trips to the grocery store. They are roomy, light, and easy to stuff inside one another so you can carry as many as you need. I’ve gotten quite a few compliments on these colorful bags–far prettier than the generic reusable grocery bags I used to carry. The “Color Your Own” totes are of the same size and materials as the Garden Goods bags, though instead of full color, they are printed mainly with black on white so you can add your own colors.
I also have the 13″ Little Bird tote and small zip pouch (a great catch-all for loose change, lipstick, pens, and my business cards) and they are always at the ready for errands. The tote is small and flexible enough that I can roll it up and put it into my leather bag if I want, but most of the time, I just grab the bird tote and go. The zip pouch moves from bag to bag as needed. And yep, both look really cute with my old leather biker jacket.
The “Color Your Own” totes would be fun to give as a special gift bag that could be colored by you especially for the recipient, or the recipient can color the tote. The illustrations are printed on both sides of the 100% spun polyester bags with strong cotton web handles that will fit over your shoulder. They are lined with black fabric and, as mentioned before, sturdy yet also lightweight.
Even more designs will be added as time goes on, so bookmark this page and check back now and then!
IMPORTANT REMINDER:Please be sure to test the paints or markers you plan to use on a small corner (or bottom) of the bag! Applying paints or markers will affect the washability of the fabric, so consider hand-washing in cool water and hanging to dry once you have worked your color magic!
“Bo Dog and the Moon” is based on an old pencil sketch I did of a canine companion I had years ago. He was a floppy, bumbling (150 pound) Anatolian shepherd. Bo lived with me in my car for a summer while I collected data for research on birds in the Sleeping Bears Dunes National Park. Yep, I’ve had my share of odd (but always interesting) jobs!
Bo (Mr. Bojangles as he was originally named when I adopted him) loved to swim in Lake Michigan, and sometimes at night we’d hear the coyotes yipping.
A “Color Your Own” version of Bo Dog and the Moon is also available as a soft-cover, 120 lined page, 6” x 8” spiral notebook that can be colored with your own favorite colored pencils, pens or markers. The tote bags, great for daily errands, shopping, hauling art supplies, or even using as a special gift bag, can be colored or painted by you or others as well. Bo Dog and the Moon is printed on both sides, constructed of 100% spun polyester with cotton web handles, lined with black fabric, and available in three sizes: 13” square, 16” square and 18” square.
This past summer, I transferred my Bo Dog image to the back of a denim jacket and after painting blocks of color in acrylics, started embroidering and a sewing on beads and metal studs. The jacket is almost finished (just need to add a few final touches and sew in a cotton lining) and it’s ready to wear. Here’s a close-up of part of the jacket:
Lots of options if you are interested in adding “Bo Dog and the Moon” to your home or wardrobe!
Hello! It’s Superbowl Sunday and I’ve been working on a special gift for the fabulous people I have met through Instagram, Etsy, and Facebook – an original Ruby Charm Colors Valentine Butterfly drawn especially for you to download and color–no strings attached! It’s the best way I know to extend a sincere and heartfelt thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way this past year. Your kind words and willingness to answer my questions, talk about art, and purchase my books, illustrations and other creative projects, help motivate and inspire me to keep moving forward and creating new illustrations, paintings, and even beaded and embroidered projects.
So thank you!
If you are new to my art, this is a great opportunity to take it for a test drive and play with a little color. I recommend printing on card stock (if you have it) and be sure to check that the image “fits on the page” in your printer settings. If you need to take the PDF to an office supply store or printer, you should be able to save the PDF file to a thumb drive. And because this is a vector image, you can print this illustration on larger sized sheets of paper if you have the means.
All of the illustrations I sell through my Etsy shop include a complimentary grey-line version of the artwork, so you’ll notice the PDF is two pages long. I am growing very fond of the grey-line versions as they allow me to focus more on my colors and shapes and less on the black lines when I color. Having both versions gives us more options.
I originally sketched this botanical butterfly and heart on my iPad Pro with an Apple pencil on Saturday, and used several layers to create a clean black line drawing. I then pulled the black & white illustration into Adobe Illustrator to create a vector file, and to create a grey line version, and then saved both into a PDF just for you. The whole process, from rough sketches to final product, took about 10 hours. And then I printed a copy and started playing with a little color … because I can’t help myself.
Actually, those who know me and my work know that I typically “color-test” each one of my illustrations before letting them go to their new homes. I like to be sure the designs are workable, and that there are no glaring mistakes that can mess up an otherwise enjoyable coloring experience.
Please note: This illustration is (c) by Susan Carlson (Ruby Charms Colors) and is for personal use only. You may print and color as many personal copies as you like, and use your colored pieces as gifts or valentine cards, but the art may not be distributed, sold or used commercially in whole or in part without my express written permission. Thank you.
Note: The Ruby Charm “Black Magic” coloring book has officially sold out! This special, limited edition book was printed on black card stock pages for those who wanted a new and different coloring experience. Each cover was hand-embossed and personalized with the colorist’s name.
ABOUT THE DESIGN: The black & white illustration this design is based on was originally drawn by the artist, Susan Carlson, for the Ruby Charm collection of coloring pages and books for coloring enthusiasts. This illustration was completed with a mix of watercolor and colored pencils, plus a number of pens for embellishments.
I am pretty excited about the possibilities with this new line of notebooks and totes that can be hand-colored by anyone and everyone who loves to color (and personalize their gear). The idea grew out of a growing collection of black and white illustrations that were created especially for people who love to color. The “coloring craze” was predicted to be a fad, but based on my experiences getting to know colorists and some of the artists like myself who create coloring books and pages, I think the craze is here to stay … and it is being elevated. That said, I decided to apply my designs to items that can be colored, but also used again and again.
‘Color Your Own’ Paisley Fox Tote Bag and Spiral Notebook
‘Color Your Own’ Spiral Notebooks:
Jot your notes down in a soft-cover, 6” x 8” spiral notebook with 120 lined pages (90gsm paper stock) with a document pocket in the back. The card stock weight cover (350gsm) features an original black and grey line Ruby Charm Colors illustration that can be colored with your own favorite colored pencils, pens or markers.
‘Color Your Own’ Bo Dog and Moon Spiral Notebook
‘Color Your Own’ Tote Bags:
The tote bags, perfect for daily errands, shopping, hauling art supplies, or even using as a special gift bag, can be colored or painted by you or others as well! The black and grey line illustrations (currently six available) are printed on both sides and constructed of 100% spun polyester with cotton web handles. They are lined with black fabric and available in three sizes: 13” square, 16” square and 18” square.
‘Color Your Own’ Butterfly and Cicadas totes
The totes can be colored with your favorite Sharpies, fabric markers, fabric inks and paints, or acrylics. Be sure to first test your colors on the bottom of the bag since it is 100% spun polyester and may not be suitable for some markers or paints.
Always do a quick test in an inconspicuous spot first!
Always follow manufacturer instructions for proper use of any paints, inks or markers you plan to use. We also recommend inserting a piece of cardboard or plastic between the front and back sides of the bags to prevent paint/marker bleed through.
Also, pay attention to manufacturer instructions regarding special cleaning considerations – your normally machine washable tote will likely need special care (like hand-washing in cool water) once it is colored.
More designs will be added as time goes on, so bookmark this page and check back now and then! IMPORTANT REMINDER:Please be sure to test the paints or markers you plan to use on a small corner (or bottom) of the bag! Applying paints or markers will affect the washability of the fabric, so consider hand-washing in cool water and hanging to dry once you have worked your color magic!