5 Tips to make fast Christmas cards!

Hi friends! I know it’s not even Halloween yet but if you make Christmas cards by hand you need to start early and this video will show you how you can make a big batch of Christmas cards fast! You can also use these tips anytime you need to make a lot of cards or invitations for ANY event or occasion.

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Watch the video to see how!

This tutorial is sponsored by Top Flight Stamps! SAVE 10% off your next order with coupon code: thefrugalcrafter10 *USA orders of $50+ ship free!

Supplies:

5 tips to streamline holiday card making!

  1.  Keep the basic design and supplies used the same.
  2. Work in batches assembly line style.
  3. Ask for help. Even non cardmaking spouses and children can cut, score and fold cardstock, Stamp sentiments inside cards and stuff envelopes. If you have many images to color let your family help!
  4. Consider investing in a time-saving tool like a die to match your stamps. I never got the appeal of owning dies for something you might only cut a couple of times but when you are making Christmas cards not having to cut 100 images out by hand is a blessing. I invested in a  Scan n Cut machine a few years ago so I could have the convenience of dies to match any of my stamps without having to purchase any more dies.
  5. Buy a big pack of embellishments and use them all up.

Bonus tip!!!!

Make your own envelopes from unused leftover christmas paper. Simply measure your card from corner to corner and add 1″ to that measurement. Cut a square of paper that size and fold around your card as shown in the video.  If I am mailing my cards I make my envelopes so the pattern is on the inside of the envelopes and it is so pretty like a lined envelope and the paper gets used (and is cheaper than store-bought envelopes.) I make rosettes from the scraps to decorate packages and punch tags from the smaller scraps. I keep a dish on my craft table with tags I punched out of scraps so anyone wrapping a gift can grab them to use. It’s so unique, pretty and festive and it’s using resources wisely!

Good luck in your next batch card making project and til next time happy crafting!

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If you like Prima and Jane Davenport Watercolors You Will Like These too!

Hi friends! After dozens of requests to review these bargain priced paints I bought a set to see what the fuss was about.

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I picked up this set of 48 Mungyo “professional” watercolors in a metal palette for $50 on Amazon. I put the word professional in quotes because there is no standard or rules to using the words “artist quality” or “professional” in a paint. It’s like “all natural” or “healthy” in food labeling. There really should be a certification in paint if it is to be called professional like it can’t have more than 5% fillers or extenders or something because it seems price is the only real indicator of quality but even that isn’t always the case. I have found awesome bargains as well as rip offs in my paint reviewing experience.  This blog post is not about my distrust of paint labeling. It is a review of the Mungyo “professional” set of 48 watercolors. What the video for a very thorough review! *Affiliate links are used throughout this post.

I purchased the Mungyo 48 set for $50 on Amazon. I have not seen it available in any art supply stores in the USA. This may be because Mungyo is a brand that private labels products for other companies and it probably doesn’t want to compete with its wholesale customers.  I have seen the Mungyo pastels at Jerry’s Artarama though. BTW here are the swatch and color mixing stamps I use.

Pros:

  • Bright colors
  • Rewets instantly
  • Low price (about $1 a half pan)
  • Pigment info included
  • Most colors are fairly lightfast
  • Many single pigment colors
  • Mixes well for a budget paint
  • Lovely granulation on hard sized paper (this may be due to extenders in paint tho)

Cons:

  • Colors lift really easily so glazing is difficult and you can notice the paints start to get chalky if you layer overmixed colors.
  • Some colors uses unusual pigments not usually found in artist quality paints so make a note of the lightfastness info on the pan wrappers.

Right off the bat these paints reminded me of 2 of my favorite craft watercolor paints the Prima Marketing ones and the Jane Davenport watercolors from American Crafts. If you like those paints you can go ahead and get these and be pleased as punch:) The retail of the 12 color sets of the Prima and Jane Davenport are about $30 but I often see them for half as much on amazon (links below) or if your big box craft store stocks them you can use a 40-60% off coupon making the price in line with the Mungyo set. It mostly comes down to the selection of colors you want.

Going by the colors and the pigment numbers supplied on Jane Davenports Website the colors from the neutrals and bright palette are in this set. Going by sight the colors look like they match the majority of the sea glitz palette are also included. You can see my in-depth review of the Jane Davenport watercolors here. Jane Davenport Watercolors to purchase on Amazon (affiliate links used)

I also found matches for the Prima sets: The Classics, Decadent Pies and Tropicals. I went by sight as well as the pigment info found on the Spin Doctors Blog that he obtained from Prima Marketing. You can see all of that info here. I have a review of Prima watercolors here.  *I also noticed that Mungyo sells a pastel set that looks like the pastel dreams one from Prima but Primas is cheaper.
Prima watercolor to buy:

*They also have other sets with more diverse palettes that may or may not have similar colors.

Bottom line these paints are comparable to the Prima and Jane Davenport watercolors but if you already own the sets I mentioned you will have duplicate colors. I think the Mungyo set is fairly priced considering a true professional set of 48 in a metal tin would gor for between $200 and $500. If you want a vibrant set of colors that isn’t too pricey and you don’t want to do a lot of glazing this is a great set. The paint also has a lovely texture for direct painting and loose watercolor florals. I would not call these artist or professional grade as the box suggests tho but they are fun for quick paintings and crafts!

Sketchbook Sunday: 3 Paintings of Lila

Hi friends! Today I am sharing the third in a trio of paintings of my daughter Lila.

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These were assignments for a figurative watercolor class I am taking to build my skills and grow as an artist. Honestly, I probably would never paint the same subject three times in a row unless it was assigned LOL! You probably remember the Monochrome and Low Key paintings as I have shared them during sketchbook sunday over the past two weeks. We wrap up this series with a high key version of the same painting. My daughter Lila likes this one best!

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You can see how it all come together in this time-lapse video.

Supplies: Affiliate links used

These paintings were really educational to do and I definitely see where painting the monochrome first really cemented the values on my brain so when I went to use color I got the values right instead of relying on color for distinguishing shapes and form. Since I worked on each of these over the course of a week it was also educational for me to re watch the process to see the stages of the painting as it progressed. I hope you give a series of paintings like this a try at least once, it is a really useful method for getting true values and getting to know your subject. Til next time happy crafting!

 

Cute little matchbook notepads

Hi friends! Today’s project will help you use up some scraps and make handy little notebooks.

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Watch the video to see how!

This video is sponsored by Rubber Stamp Tapestry  Use coupon code: LINDSAY and receive 15% off your retail order of $10 or more of peg stamps, peg stamp sets, and unmounted stamps! Coupon expires a week from this video publication. Continue to receive great deals by becoming a PegStamp VIP here. As a PegStamp VIP
you’ll get a weekly deal via email plus links to fabulous tutorials by me, Lindsay the Frugal Crafter and other designers.

Supplies:

  • I used the Thorny Rose peg stamp setHere are some other rose peg stamps & sets you might like.
  • Dye ink (Memento)
  • Ink blending brush
  • Pattern paper (Joann Fabrics Park Lane patterned cardstock)
  • Paper fasteners (aka brads) I got them from Staples and painted them with nail polish:)
  • Scalloped circle (2″) and regular circle punch (1.5″) or dies or hand cut
  • Scallop edge scissors
  • Paper trimmer
  • Scoring board (Scor pal)
  • Double stick tape and foam tape
  • Thin white paper or thin scrapbook paper with a white back you want to use up.
  • Heavy duty punch (crop a dial) or an awl you can poke through all of the paper layers.

Directions/measurements

  1. You can get 4 booklet covers from a 8.5″x11″ cardstock. Score the cardstock first. Score at 3.5″, 4″ and 7.5″ (you are scoring parallel to the long side of the paper so that last score is 1″ from the edge.)
  2. Cut the scored piece of cardstock in quarters so you have 4 pieces of 2.75″ x 8.5″ pieces of paper. When you fold on the score marks you will have the matchbook cover.
  3. Your inside pages will be 2.5″x3″ and I use 3 pieces of 12″x12″ thin scrapbook paper to get the pages for 2 books. You can make them as thick as you like, you just might need to punch your booklet papers in batches.
  4. Follow the video for full directions!

I hope you enjoyed this stash busting project and til next time happy crafting!

I’m really excited about today’s live stream!

Hi friends! Sometimes when you are painting you get a little spark of magic that lets you know you hit on something good. I found this photo of a rainy street in Taiwan on Unsplash weeks ago and I kept coming back to it. I just loved it and I knew I wanted to paint it but I didn’t know how I would deal with all of the detail that I didn’t want. Today when I was trying to decide what we would paint I found myself gazing again at that photo so I decided to grab an inexpensive piece of paper, wet both side and start sloshing some paint around. I like this approach because A: It’s only a small cheap piece of paper so I haven’t lost much if it doesn’t turn out and B: I am quickly and intuitively slapping down paint so I haven’t wasted a bunch of time if it doesn’t work out either. “If you are going to fail, fail fast” I always say LOL! Honestly, I actually kind of love this.

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Painting in this edited down style isn’t about being sloppy though, it is about only putting in what is absolutely necessary to convey the scene. The viewer will fill in the rest. Grab the bits you like and leave out the rest. I like to think of it as an economy of brushstrokes. Pretend you are being charged a dollar a brush stroke LOL! Even if you are not crazy about this style I hope you will give it a try because I think the wet-in-wet technique is so useful. I love to start out bold and loose and refine as I go. Have some pens handy (they don’t have to be waterproof) so you can add them in at the end if you want to refine anything. You don’t have to use them but they are there if you need them. We will paint live on YouTube at 12:30pm so tune in on there if you want to chat with friends or ask questions as we go live. You can also watch the reply in the player below after the fact.


Supplies (affiliate links used)

I hope you join me for a fun live painting at 12:30! Til then happy crafting!

Gourds: Wet in Wet Technique (beginner tutorial)

Hi friends! This tutorial got mixed reviews and I can see why, it took me way longer than I had hoped to teach it. And looking at the end result I would have had a more refined painting after almost an hour. However, this is a beginner tutorial and I don’t like to rush techniques in my beginner tutorials. I also like to use student grade paints in my beginner tutorials so I can show you how to overcome some of the issues you might face when attempting it for the first time with student grade supplies.

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If you are not a beginner and the finished painting doesn’t look good to you I suggest you pass on this one and wait for my more advanced Friday livestream paintings. I don’t mind:) I want to make sure beginners have tutorials with some gentle guidance as they work through their paintings for the first time. I hope you understand:) So, with that disclaimer out-of-the-way, let’s paint! This is a real-time lesson so you can paint along.

Supplies:

FYI I will be reviewing the set of 48 Mungyo watercolor paints that I used in today’s tutorial on Saturday. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Easy as Pie!

Hi friends! What a weird week. Anytime we have a Monday holiday my schedule goes out the window. I have been working on some larger paintings for a class I am taking which has cut into my video creating time so I didn’t have a Sketchbook Sunday video but I did film a time-lapse of this slice of pie. It was the last piece of pie we bought at a bake sale to support out local cub scouts and I thought it looked so pretty so I decided to take a break and paint it!

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I used Mungyo watercolors for this, I have been getting requests to review these for years and I finally found a set to buy on amazon. So far I think them but they remind me a lot of the Jane Davenport and Prima watercolors. I need to do a brighter painting with these before I review them but so far so good! BTW Ifound some really cheap and awesome pencil extenders on amazon, they were 3 for $2.79 and free shipping and I don’t have prime but they still came fairly quickly!

Supplies (affiliate links used)

I think whenever you feel inspired to paint you should! Even if you only have a few minutes. Those glimmers of inspiration are precious and often don’t come around when you have endless hours to create so seize them when they do! You can get more done in a limited time than you think.  Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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