How to Package and Display your Watercolors for Sale!

Hello Friends! After sharing my farmers market adventure with you last week I had many requests for a video demonstrating how to mat a watercolor, finish the back, price and display them for sale so in today’s video I am going to do just that. The secrets to my success are clear bags from Papermart.

Now this is not my first rodeo, I have tried other brands of clear bags (all more expensive) and Papermart bags are the best! I bought some art bags before from another company and they were all stuck together in the package and the bags ripped when I went to separate them. I have never had a problem with the Papermart bags AND they offer a 15% off discount on a clear bag order over $200 so if you want a few sizes it is a great chance to buy them all at once. Sometimes my crafty pals go in together on orders to save on shipping and get a discount so keep that in mind if you have your eyes on a lot of sizes. These polypropylene bags are also FDA approved food safe and come in sizes from 1″x7″ to 20″x24″. You are sure to find the size to fit your needs. I love that I can use the smaller bags to package my cards or candy at a craft fair. They come in packs of 500-1000 so you have plenty to share:)

Here are the other products I used in this tutorial:

  • Crescent Mat Board
  • Logan push style mat cutter #2000  and straight cutter #701 *both use #270 blades. The handheld cutters are around $15 each online. You can use a craft knife instead of the Logan straight cutter but it is nice if you have strength issues.
  • pencil and metal yard stick

Please refer to the video for advice on measuring and cutting mats. Check out Papermart for all of your art business needs, the clear bags not only display your art beautifully but also protects it from fingerprints and becoming shop-worn. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and til next time happy crafting!


Here Fishy-Fishy!

Edit: If you want to read the full story of my day at the fair scroll down to the end of the post!

Hello Friends! What a day! I took my kids to the fair today and we rode so many rides I am still dizzy (it is $12 for all you can ride rides and we have to get our money’s worth you know!) What I don’t like about the fair are the pushy game people and the crappy throw away prizes. What is it about those cheap prizes that make the kids go nuts? Then again I had a black satin Bon Jovi wall hanging and Poison mirror in my room as fair trophies for years as a teenager so I guess they come by it rightly. At lease they don’t still give away goldfish as prizes.


Speaking or goldfish, do you want to see how I painted this one? Watch the video!

And in case you missed the tutorial for the DIY metallic paint here it is again:

I hope you are enjoying your summer as much as I am. Until next time happy crafting!

And now the rest of the story: I often schedule my posts to my blog so I won’t forget on busy summer days  (the 2 days I did not blog this month were busy “I forgot” days) so before I left the house this morning I scheduled this one. I took the kids to the fair, my sister, brother-in-law and mom all went too. Now I LOVE rides, especially the high daredevil rides. We begin on the Freak-Out! and the name did not disappoint, I loved it! We took a few turns on Pharaoh’s Fury and looked longingly at the Fireball (more on that ill-advised ride later) and a few rides I have forgotten all ready, add in a large bowl of french-fries, lemonade and soda and we have a recipe for disaster. There is a part of me that thinks “If my kids can handle these rides so can I” but I have to admit I can’t pile them on like I used to, especially the rides that spin or rotate. That is where we come to the tradgidy of my story. My little nephew wanted to go on the swings and I remeber liking them a lot in my youth and I did not think the mild rotation of the ride would bother me but after that I was not feeling so hot. I decided to save my strengnth so I could ride the fireball before I left. I stayed hydrated and walked around a bit until everyone was tired and ready to go and it was time for the last ride. “What do you think girls, wanna try the Fire Ball I said?” “Yes! wahoo!” they replied. The rest of my party decided that they would rather watch. The ride seats 2 side-by-side facing 2 other riders so usual a group of 4 will sit together. There were only 2 seats together left so I put my girls in them. I saw a vacant seat in another section and asked the family sitting there if I could join them, “Sure!” they said. As soon as I was buckled in I had second thoughts. As soon as the ride started moving I started to doubt my sanity. Halfway through the ride I was just hoping tho God that I would not throw up on the nice people who let me sit with them. Just after the halfway point of the ride the lady across fro me said “It’s almost done, hang in there.” I’m thinking “don’t puke on the nice lady, don’t puke on the nice lady” The ride stopped and I could not get out of there quickly enough. As soon as I saw my mom and sister waiting for the girls I bolted for the most discreet grassy area and proceeded to be reintroduced to my lunch. I was so sick. I came back and saw the family I was sitting with and the lady said “I knew you weren’t feeling good when you shut your eyes” I said “I’m just glad I didn’t vomit on you!” We shared a hearty laugh until I felt the urge to hit the closest garbage can for round 2. I have never thrown up in public in my life. I would have been so embarrassed except for the momentary sweet relief it provided. I’d love to say that was the end but alas I darkened 2 more garbage barrels before I was out of the fair. Moral of the story: Just because you CAN ride all the rids you want for one low price does not mean you should! Have a good night and again, happy crafting!

Let’s Paint Luscious Raspberries!

Hello friends! I am beside myself right now, I posted this video on YouTube yesterday and it already has over 4000 views! Cool! I am so glad people are painting! It is such a fun pastime and it can be really easy when you know a few tricks…like how I painted these raspberries, watch the video to see how:

I really like this lesson because you get to practice the technique on the paper before it counts. By working on a wet background the pencil-eraser stamped berries get blurry and look farther away, then after the paper is dry the berries you tapped on because crisp and in focus. I also like how painting with a pencil eraser gives you an automatic shade and highlight. I hope you take the techniques you learn in each of my tutorials and apply them to other things you want to paint. The x-acto knife highlights are great, I have used that technique many times. I realized watching the video back that you could use a push-pin to do the same thing and it would be safer too, A great option for kids who paint! I hope you liked this painting project and til next time happy crafting!

Let’s Paint a Pretty Peony!

Hello friends! Tonight I have an easy painting tutorial, I am using a 9″x12″ watercolor block for my painting but feel free to paint this on a greeting card. We will begin by sketching a peony flower on the paper with a pink watercolor pencil and then we will paint a wet into wet background and proceed with painting the flower. Give it a try! This video will show you how easy it is!

I thought this painting needed something else so I painted a Japanese beetle on it (collective groan from all the gardeners) and I will show you how in this quick video:

You know what, this painting is still sitting on my table because it still does not feel done to me. Any advice? What do you think it needs? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Tutorial: How to Stretch Watercolor Paper!

Howdy friends! I hope you had an awesome weekend. I did! I spent the day hanging out with mom friends as out daughters swam ALL DAY. The girls entertained themselves so well. They are all at an age where we can just let them go and have fun. We sat comfortably on the shore with our beverages and kept an eye on them as they swam and we got to have wonderful female adult conversation:) Gotta love easy summer days like that! Summer is also the perfect time to get outside and watercolor paint and a useful skill to have is stretching watercolor paper. For one it gives you a beautifully flat paper to paint on and for two you can use less expensive lighter weight paper. In this video I will demonstrate how to stretch 90# watercolor paper:

After I uploaded this video on YouTube I received quite a few questions, one was how to remove the paper. I decided to do a follow up video and answer those questions here:

This may be a bit of overkill for quick paintings and sketches but for paintings that you want to spend a lot of time on and frame it is worth the extra effort. If you are stretching larger than 11″x14″ sheets of paper I recommend using wider gummed tape. If you are stretching 140# paper I recommend soaking the paper for 10 minutes in cold water to fully expand the paper since it is thicker. My biggest recommendation is if this seems like too much work and you don’t want to bother with it than don’t, it’s OK, painting should be fun, not a chore. You can now find inexpensive blocks (I just got Strathmore 400 series watercolor blocks for under $10 at Blick last week) that will remain flat without stretching. I will talk about blocks in another video, I just wanted to give you this option but by no means tell you you have to do it. It’s nice to have choices in our art. I hope you have a fantastic night and til next time happy crafting!

Let’s Paint Clouds in Watercolor!

Howdy friends! By request here is a watercolor cloud painting tutorial, I hope you like it!

This week is super busy for me. Please excuse me if I do not respond right away to emails and comments, I’ll be trying though:D Have a great day and as always happy crafting!

Life is a Bowl of Cherries {to Paint!}

Howdy friends! The other day while making lunch for the kids I snagged a handful of cherries, they were too pretty not to paint:

DCF 1.0

I used Prismacolor colored pencils to draw and paint these on a scrap of creamy yellow mat board. Watch the video tutorial for step by step instructions:

Will you give it a try? Be inspired by whatever surrounds you, whether it is a landscape, a flower, the people in your life or even your lunch. Make time for art everyday, even if it is just for a few minutes. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Birch Tree Paintin’

Howdy friends! I just taught my first free drop in watercolor class at the library to a new group of students. It went great. I hope they come back to class next month as all of their paintings were beautiful…I wish I had a camera and took photos to share, but alas I was a scatterbrain today. I originally was going to paint a 9″x12″ painting of birch trees with them like this:


But decided that a smaller greeting card size would be more appropriate for beginners and I am glad because the class ended up going 1/2 an hour over!  I wanted to make sure they finished a project and they were all beautiful! I actually taught them the masking tape technique I posted earlier (see the technique here) but tonight I want to share how I painted the birch trees from the beach with no masking. Have a look:

That’s it for me tonight, I spent the evening with friends and I am ready to drop. Have a great night and til next time happy crafting!

Let’s Paint Beach Roses!

Tonight I have a quick tutorial for you on painting beach roses. I shared some that I painted at the beach in watercolor last week and I was requested by several for a tutorial so here it is, enjoy:)

Painting does not need to be difficult or complicated. Just play and have fun, it’s only a piece of paper after all. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Life’s a Beach!

Hi Friends! What a gorgeous day! It was 88 with a breeze at the lake and I spent the day with friends and their kids. Well, in the sense that the kids played merrily in the water as the moms chit-chatted on the shore;) I love beach days, probably too much because I hate to leave, the only people who have a harder time leaving the beach is my kids. I guess we need to soak up enough sun to get us through the long Maine winter…that is if sun can get through SPF 50 (in case you are wondering, it can.) We all came home a little pink (even with 3 coats of sunscreen) which made me feel guilty but also made me remember slathering up with the SPF 4 dark tanning oil with the lovely coconut fragrance I used to lay out with as a teenager, I can’t imaging doing that now, but there is something about that Hawaiian Tropic coconut fragrance that will always take me back. I think I ought to buy a bottle of it and crack it open in January when I need a boost LOL! I brought my KOI travel watercolor set with me and decided to paint. I chose to be inspired by my surroundings. I painted birch trees, beach roses, clouds and the lake.


I used the water brush that came with the kit, I refilled it 3 times from my water bottle to do these small paintings. I used the lid of the palette as a paper easel and it worked great. There is a finger hole on the bottom of the palette I just noticed today too, great for painting in the field. Next time I will bring 2 kits in case someone wants to paint with me. I offered to share with curious onlookers but they all declined, huh. I’m sure they just didn’t want to use my only set I had. I was able to put a stack of watercolor papers and the KOI palette in a quart freezer bag and put that in my beach bag as easy as pie! I think I will bring it every time! Yesterday I filmed a tutorial for painting a tropical beach (not Maine obviously) and I thought since I am feeling beachy I’d share it with you today!

It is fun to paint from memory or reference photos, you can’t beat the convenience, but I urge you to take your paints outside and be inspired by your surroundings. Don’t worry about people watching you or how it will turn out (notice, no masterpieces here) just observe and paint. I got to the beach early so I claimed the shady spot (right next to the birch tree I painted in fact) so I could easily watch my kids swimming while painting and that might be an option if you are shy about painting in public. I actually thought the clouds I painted were rubbish until I peeked at the photo I took all all the sketches and I thought, “hey, they look like clouds!” when before at the beach I thought “good grief, what a mess, I guess it’s time to quit!”  Paintings always look better with fresh eyes.


We are supposed to have great weather this week so I know there will be more swimming in our future! When you head out to the water make sure you bring your watercolors, you will be glad you did! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!


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