How To Make Paper Drink Straws {That Really Work!}

Hi Friends! I love all of the pretty paper straws that I have seen in store, on party blogs and on Pinterest but dang, they are pricey! Today I will show you how to make them and yes they really work. I left one in a glass of water overnight and it was still fine the next day. Here is a bucket of straws I made:

SAM_1655

Here are the supplies you will need:

Supplies: Scrapbook paper, school glue, a chopstick, scissors and wax.

Supplies: Scrapbook paper, school glue, a chopstick, scissors and wax.

Watch the tutorial to see how easy it is to make your own!

If you are just making these straws to use on craft projects or scrapbook pages you can skip the wax. If your wax is hot (like right out of the crock pot or just removed from the stove) you do not need to wipe off the excess, it will drip off. If you get a drip of wax at the end of the straw you can snip off the end of the straw with scissors and it will be fine. Just think of the custom straws you will have at your next party! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

SAM_1656

Learn to Stamp a Masterboard and a Freebie!

Hi friends! Today we are going to hop in the crafty time machine to when rubber stamping was in its hey-day. Scrapbooking was not a popular hobby yet so we did not have access to all of the gorgeous papers that we can get today so we had to make our own backgrounds. Well, everything old is new again and we are making backgrounds with gelli plates and other mediums but let’s not forget about our good old stamps! I am using stamps from the More Bugz set from Lost Coast Designs. Here is the journal page I made that inspired this tutorial:

DCF 1.0

But I wondered if I might like it better without the stenciling and collage so I made this card:

DCF 1.0

I just could not decide so I will show you the entire process and YOU can decide where you want to stop. This is known as creating a master-board:

I mentioned in the video that you might love your creation so much that you will want to photocopy it so you do not have to cut up the actual paper. I asked Linda, the owner of Lost Coast Designs if I could share a high-resolution photo of the master-boards I made for my blog readers to print and use and she said “Sure, why not!” so if you click on the photos below it will take you to a larger image you can save and print. Thanks Linda! It pays to do business with good companies like Lost Coast Designs!

click the photo for a high resolution image

click the photo for a high-resolution image

click the photo for a high resolution image

click the photo for a high-resolution image

That’s it for today. I just ordered a new microphone and I have a project I want to try it out on! Have a great day and til next time happy crafting!

Let’s Paint Swans! Beginner Watercolor Tutorial in 4 Colors

Hi Friends! I just got back from my morning walk and saw about 30 Canadian geese hanging out near a small pond. I wonder if they are heading south? It was neat to see them up close. I wish I had my camera with me. Oh well. Today we are going to paint a swan scene. I found a wonderful website with public domain photos taken by the talented Jon Sullivan, it is called Public Domain Photo and I used a portion of this photo to paint this painting.

finishedswans

You might want to print out the photo as you follow along with the video. The colors I am using are: ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, yellow ocher and sap green. You can mix everything you need from only those colors. I tried out a cat’s tongue brush in the tutorial too but you can just use rounds. I am not sure I really like this brush, it feels to small. It is not a Neptune as I thought but it is from Princeton. Also not e that I sound different in this video, I did my first voice over on this, what do you think?

I think I prefer narrating most of my videos live but for some of the longer more in depth projects I will use a voice over so I can speed parts up and so I can concentrate on my art rather than trying to talk, think AND paint. Don’t worry, I’ll save the voice overs for the long in depth projects. It will also give me a chance to create more intermediate and advanced tutorials. I ordered a better mic too, the one I used in today’s video was a $5 headset mic from Big Lots that I have had for years LOL! I hope you enjoyed the video, you can let me know what you think in the comments and as always happy crafting!

Bookmarks for Back to School or Tags for Any Time!

Hi friends! I love to stamp on tags! I love it because they are smaller than a card. I don’t worry about messing it up, it is fun and freeing. I also love having a box of 500 large tags in my drawer because it feels like an endless supply and I don’t feel like I have to hoard them. If I run out I can inexpensively order another box from Papermart. I wanted to play with some old shadow stamps (if you don’t have shadow stamps you can use a foam bath block, acrylic stamp block or cut a piece of craft foam or Styrofoam and use that) because that was the challenge this week at Oriental Stamp Art and it really helps to create a cohesive layered design. Confused? Watch this video to see how it is done:

Supplies:

Use your favorite stamps and ink and follow along!

Directions:

  1. Stamp shadow stamp using your lightest ink.
  2. Stamp your focal stamp on top with two ink colors (rock and roll technique.)
  3. Stamp smaller background elements to fill in. Make sure to overlap images to anchor your design.
  4. Apply a stencil to the tag and spray ink over it.
  5. Add tulle to the hole in your tag.

bookmark_thumb2

I hope you enjoyed this easy tutorial, now you can make bookmarks and gift tags until your heart’s content! Happy Crafting!

Winner, winner, chicken dinner! & a cheap marker trick!

Howdy friends! The winner of the chicken stamp and $10 gift certificate to Art Neko is Elaine! I have sent you an email with instructions on how to claim your prize! Now, on to the tutorial. I was going through my school supply stash today and saw some boxes of Crayola markers that I bought at Target for $1 a few years ago at back-to-school time. I wondered if I could use them for stamping. Turns out I can and they work great, have a look at them in action in today’s video:

I saw the marker packs on sale for $1 this year too. You might want to splurge on a bigger set now that you know they work but I love the vibrant colors in the classic and assorted sets plus you can mix the colors on a tile or on the rubber stamp itself. It is easy to tone down a bright color but you cannot brighten up a dull one. What do you think? Have I gone too cheap with this tutorial? Just think, with all the money you saved on markers you can buy more stamps! The stamps I used are from Art Neko (formally About Art Accents) and the bamboo and peony are among my faves. Thanks so much for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Lookie! Cheap watercolor paper and pencils that are awesome!

Hi Friends! I know I have been sharing a lot of new stuff lately. I tend to go in cycles with my shopping. I have been looking for inexpensive watercolor pencils that I can use in my kids classes but are nice enough to recommend to adult painters and stampers too and I think I found them!

tulip

I picked up this set of 36 Reeves watercolor pencils on my last Blick supply order. I had a coupon so the set cost me only $11. I have used Reeves brand watercolor and gouache paints in my kids classes because the colors are really nice and they are non-toxic, easy to lift for beginners and a steal of a deal. Also the local craft stores carried them so people could get their hands on them easily. The paper was a new find too, I have been using the 75 sheet pads of the Fabriano studio 90# cold pressed for years and I see they now have big pads of hot press watercolor paper for the same price. The paper feels like silk and is simply lovely. I bought a pack of 75 sheets of 90# and a pack of 50 sheets of the #140 in 11″x14 size for $23 each. If you can only get one I recommend the 90# for stampers because it is plenty thick for stamping and painting and the 140# for painters because you are likely to use larger sheets and get it wetter. Hot press paper also seems to buckle more easily than cold pressed or rough papers so painters will want the thicker paper. Want to see these items in action? Watch the video:

I am not affiliated with Blick Art Materials but I do order from them regularly for my art business. I just wanted to share a deal and some inexpensive options for those looking for watercolor pencils and paper. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Let’s Paint a Hummingbird!

Today we are going to paint a humming-bird in watercolor. This was one of my most requested videos! I’ll even show you how to draw it simply. Have a look at today’s video!

Also I want to wish a happy last unofficial day of summer to my USA friends as it is Labor Day today. If you have the day off make sure you do something fun! Looks pretty grey here in maine so I expect to have some crafty fun inside (after my chores are done, yuck :P) Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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