What? A free Saturday? Can it be True? (and a pencil/marker demo!)

Hi Friends! Do you hear that? Silence. Everyone is still asleep, I have a cup of chicory coffee in my mug and I am looking forward to a day with nothing planned. It is starting to feel like fall too, it is a bright crisp day full of potential, my kind of Saturday! A couple of days ago the folks at Tombow sent me a set of Irojiten colored pencils to try out. I had been admiring them from afar since they came out because of their beautiful book like packaging. In today’s video I am going to show you how they work with a little help from my favorite Tombow product, the Dual Brush Pen:

Can you believe my markers are 20 years old? I love a good long-lasting marker!

Here is what you need to know about the Tombow Irojiten pencils:

  • They are a hard pencil that can be sharpened to a resilient point.
  • Slow wearing.
  • They resist smudging.
  • They have less wax so less “bloom” or waxy build up.
  • Good for detail work or sharpening up soft edges.
  • The full range contains 90 colors including 10 fluorescent colors that glow under black light.
  • According to the package they are highly lighfast (resists fading.)
  • The lead is glued in the barrel to further protect from breaking when sharpened.

These will take a bit of getting used to if you are used to soft waxy pencils. I recommended you try them on their own, and then use them with the other pencils you have for more versatility. They are highly pigmented so they work well with solvent. The lead is hard but there is a lot of color/pigment in there! These will not replace your softer pencils but enhance them allowing you to get more detail with in a painting.

I hope you found this demo helpful, if you have any questions let me know in the comments. The Irojiten pencils and Dual Brush markers can be found on the Tombow website or your favorite art supply retailer!

By Request: Waterlilies!

Hello friends! Today I have a quick and easy tutorial for you on painting waterlilies with cheap soft pastels.

For those of you who watched to the end, do not worry, the injury mentioned was only a skinned knee;) The pastels I used were Marie’s brand and cost $10 at Jerry’s Artarama BUT the name on the package has changed to Charvin and the price is still on sale for $10. You can find the pastels here. I am not affiliated with Jerry’s but I do order from them from time to time. I have also tried these with water and they are nice that way too. They are like a richly pigmented chalk and the package says that they are highly light-fast. Not bad for $10! I like to find cheaper alternatives that work as well as the pricey counterparts. I hope you enjoyed this easy pastel tutorial, and til next time happy crafting!

Do You Want Some More?

Hello Friends! Today I have a quick and easy DIY s”more kit project for you using inexpensive supplies from Papermart:

SAM_1621

I occurred to me that folks outside of the US and Canada might not know what the heck a s’more is, or how to make them so I’ll tell you! S’mores are an American campfire tradition, they call them s’mores because they are so tasty after you eat one you will want some-more! First you roast a marshmallow over the fire, then you take a graham cracker and add a piece of chocolate on top, place the roasted melty marshmallow on top and top with another graham cracker.  Yum! These little DIY s’more kits make wonderful party favors for a camp-out or bonfire (that is probably another American tradition too!) I have even made these kits with Christmas themed marshmallows or “Peeps” and called them “Santa S’mores” and sold them at craft fairs for $1 each and they sell out every time! Watch the video to see how it is done:

supplies for this project:

Directions:

  1. Place food items in clear bag. Seal closed.
  2. Fold scrapbook paper in half, add doily and tape to bag.
  3. Decorate with twine, buttons and die cuts.

I hope you make some of these DIY s’more kits but you better make extra because everyone will want some-more! Happy crafting!

Don’t be a chicken, enter to win this stamp!

Hello friends! I do love a good pun! And a good giveaway! Today I am giving away this beautiful stamp from Art Neko. It is the state bird and flower of Rhode Island (OK it should be a Rhode Island Red but I thought it would show up better as a lighter bird, my apologies Rhode Island) and the stamp is on sale for $4.50. I have the complete set of 50 state Birds and Flowers and they are all wonderful, especially if you like to color. It includes 54 ATC sized images that are super detailed and crisp on deeply etched red rubber. It is such a lovely set for anyone who likes nature. In all honesty it is my favorite stamp set.

DCF 1.0

I colored my chicken with my new Spectrum Noir colored pencils. I got to try the Spectrum Noir blending solution too. It is Gamsol (it says so right on the label and it is made by Gamblin for Grafter’s Companion.) I have never used Gamsol thinking it would be just like odorless mineral spirits and it does work just like OMS but there is no smell at all! I could not believe it! That said, keep it away from kids and pets because it looks and smells like water. Usually I prefer to blend with baby oil but you cannot add more pencil over it but with the Spectrum Noir Blending Solution you can continue to layer colors after blending. I used a very smooth cardstock so if you want deeper colors you can use a rougher paper. Watch the tutorial for the coloring demo. If you like to listen to me jibber-jabber while I color for 19 minutes than this video is for you…don’t say I didn’t warn you LOL! Oh, I will show you how to make the card and the distress ink gelato background too so there’s that. Really, sorry about the long coloring video…and the mess at 13 minutes…that said, if you still want to watch the video here you go!

If you want to win the stamp I used and a $10 gift certificate to Art Neko leave a comment below and I will pick a winner next week! Good luck and happy crafting!

Watermedia Review {pardon the mess}

Today I will go over the different water-soluble media I have with the exception of acrylics because they are a different animal altogether. I will show you what I have for paint, watercolor pencils, watercolor crayons, ink sticks, pastels etc. I will compare kids supplies to artist’s quality and advise when to save and when to splurge. Here is a sampling of the media will will try out in the video:

DCF 1.0

I will warn you, I have a lot of water-media. I have been adding to my collection for 15 years and I teach art professionally so please do not feel bad if you do not have as much. Nobody would go out and buy everything at once, get a few items and try them out, see what they can do and add to your collection as budget permits. I hope this video will help you make smart decisions when buying your supplies:

If you have any questions about the products I showed in the video or want to add your recommendations for products please leave a comment. I think it would be impossible to have every kind of water-media out there (it would be fun trying to collect it though!) but I hope I covered all the types of media so you can see what will work best for you. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

A campfire cake kids can make!

Hi friends! Today I have a baking tutorial but it’s not really about the baking. I, with the exception of bread, do not enjoy baking. Or cooking. Or sports. My kids however love to cook (and play every sport going I might add!) So even though I don’t enjoy those activities I want to encourage my kids to try them. I hear so many moms say “Oh, I wish I was crafty, my daughter wants to learn to make jewelry but I just don’t know where to start…” or “Mr son loves to use clay but I can’t deal with the mess…” or my favorite “My child loves art but I am afraid I will show him how to paint the wrong way.” So I say to you, listen, there is no wrong way to do art. If something falls apart they will learn more than if it turns out perfectly. Give kids a box of supplies and let them have at it. They will make a mess but remind them that clean up is part of the art process too. Furthermore if I can let my kids bake a cake YOU can let your kids make art. You do not need to be an artist to (or a good cook, athlete) to encourage your children. You just need to give them opportunities to try without worrying about failing. There is plenty of time for that when you are an adult but hopefully if they start young enough and build confidence they will not have those insecurities later on. Let them learn, let them make a mess (but make them clean up after themselves) and let’s bake a cake!

You may wonder why we used a cake mix. A couple of reasons: They could do it all themselves. they still got to pour and measure and results were nearly guaranteed. Also I rarely bake so my supplies go stale, sugar and baking powder go hard in the container and if you have ever bit into a hard clump of baking powder in a cake it makes your mouth afraid to take another bite. Don’t ask me how I know….

SAM_1587

This project costs about $10, here are the supplies you will need, you probably have them on hand already:

  • 2 boxes of cake mix in your favorite flavors
  • 1 can of vanilla frosting *get the kind with sprinkles!
  • 1 can chocolate frosting
  • 1/2 bag of chocolate candy melts (or you can met a couple of chocolate bars-optional)
  • Oreo cookies or graham crackers

*the cake mix will call for eggs and vegetable oil so make sure you have them on hand before you start!

Tools:

  • 2 large bowls
  • 9″x13″ baking dish (lasagna/casserole pan)
  • big top cupcake mold if you have one OR you can use a high walled Pyrex oven safe bowl, bunt cake mold or anything that will give you a similar shape and go in the oven. Use what you have!
  • Mixing spoons, glass measuring cup, straight or offset spatula (or whatever you like for applying icing) and a teaspoon.

Tip: To crush the Oreo cookies (or Graham crackers) to make the ash/dirt place them in a plastic Ziploc bag and roll over them with a rolling-pin.

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I think the cake turned out super cute and everyone said it was delicious (I don’t eat eggs so I can’t say) and the girls were so proud to have made it themselves! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

A Watercolor Pencil Landscape Tutorial

Hello Friends! Do you have  a box of watercolor pencils or watercolor crayons lying around? Why not try this fun and easy landscape tutorial:

I hope you had a fun with that and til next time happy crafting!

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