NEW Derwent Pastel Watercolor Review

Hi friends, today we are taking a look at the new Derwent pastel watercolor pan paint set of 12. You can find it on the Derwent website as well as a download of the color swatch with lightfast info and on Amazon USA. (affiliate link) This product sold out shortly after my review went live on YouTube but it is a new product and I’m sure it will be restocked soon. You can take this as an opportunity to decide if this is something that would add to the supplies you already have.

*This product was sent to me for review.


  • Nice color selection (thought I would like a brown in place of one of the greys)
  • Color layer well
  • Smooth
  • not chalky
  • Good quality small waterbrush included
  • Price $25
  • Good lightfastness for pastel shades


  • I wish there was a brown in place of one of the greys and a cleaner warm green instead of the drab kakhi green.

Bottom line: I prefer this pastel set to the other pastel watercolors I own. They lay down well, layer and are not chalky. I wouldn’t recommend it as a stand-alone set but it is a great addition to other traditional watercolors.

I will have a tutorial for the macarons next week! Happy crafting!

Inspired by Garbage

Hi friends! I was going to toss these eggshells out after making my daughter a sandwich but I thought they were to pretty to discard. So I rinsed them and set them on a paper towel to dry and that is where this still life came from.

A simple monochrome subject is an excellent thing to practice because you really have to look for the subtle changes in line and value so it doesn’t look invisible. You can find a real time version of this tutorial on Critique Club or enjoy the time-lapse below!

Supplies (affiliate links used)

I hope you are having a great week! Happy crafting!

I hope you have a good weekend! I did:)

Happy Monday friends! I didn’t get a chance to blog this weekend as I had a lot going on. I hope yours was a good one! Happy belated mother’s day to all the mom’s out there. I got up early and went to my sister’s house to take out mom to an antiques shop and out to lunch. It was an adventure as the place we planned to eat at did not have dine in service so we ended up at the Sea Dog and had a great lunch there (Thanks Ron for driving and picking up the tab!) None of us bought anything at the antiques mall, I almost picked up a vintage tin of watercolors and then regretted it on the drive home because “painting with 50 year old watercolors” would have been a really cool video idea. But on the bright side it means that I wasn’t thinking about work this weekend. When I got home my hubby surprised me with pizza and the kids had cards and gifts. I am so spoiled! I didn’t cook once all weekend! I thought I’d post my Sat Chat here this week. I post my informal Sat Chats every Saturday morning on YouTube at 7am ET but I don’t always blog them as they are not a tutorial. Anyway, I hope you enjoy:)

So we did end up driving to Farmington Saturday and there were no issues with both girls taking the SAT. It was such a pretty area I painted this little scene from where I was parked waiting to make sure they got settled into the testing area OK.

I felt such a relief after the test was done (you’d think I was the one who had to take it LOL!) because I was so afraid I would oversleep or that the girls ID wouldn’t be sufficient or they would close the test center last minute. I think the uncertainty of the past year has done a doozy on my mental state. All of this to say, I am starting this week with a sense of peace, calm and relaxation I have not felt in months.

Stuff I mentioned in the video:

I hope you have a fantastic week and til next time happy crafting!

I did add freckles after all…

Hi friends, Today I have a loose watercolor portrait to share.

I wasn’t sure I would post this because I was just playing around with paint to relax while taking a break from a demanding project. I get so focused on “what do my readers want to see?” and not “What do I feel like painting” and sometimes that makes for cliché art. Anyhow, I hope you like it!


Also, I used up the last page in this sketchbook. Let me know if you want a sketchbook tour! Happy crafting!

A Mother’s Day Card & More! Free SVG Cut File too!

Hi friends, Mother’s day is this Sunday so why not make mom a lovely card!

My mom (and sister) have a green thumb so we usually buy them some sort of plant from the greenhouse. They all open up around here about a week before mother’s day and there are always so many choices. Luckily mom can keep any plant alive so we can choose what looks pretty! I thought it might be fun to make some cute plant markers to customize the gift.

They would also make pretty bookmarks and I have a free SVG cutting file you can download if you want to make some. I cut them as is from white cardstock and then I cut them with a shadow on kraft for a matting layer. That way they would be sturdier and have a nice finished look. Check out the video to see how I made these and then dig through your stash for similar products and give it a try!

Supplies (affiliate links used)

I hope you enjoyed this fun DIY and til next time happy crafting!

Using Crayons on a Heat Pad! (Great for artists with arthritis or hand strength issues)

Hi friends! If you struggle with achy hands when you try and use colored pencils or art crayons this tip will help. It will even save you time! We are going to use colored pencils and crayons on a hot mat!

I am using a heated floor mat but you could also use a heating pad with something hard on top to draw on. Watch the video to see how!

Here is another tutorial on colored pencils on a heated surface, and oil pastels on a heated surface.

Supplies (affiliate links used)

Have you tried working on a heated surface before? Let me know in the comments below and til next time happy crafting!

Happy May Day! Sat Chat 5/1/21

Happy May Day friends! I remember as a kid in school we would make may baskets out of milk cartons, decorate them with crepe paper and fill them with candy and hang them on a neighbors door on May first. Did you ever do that? It’s fun to think about old traditions. Here is a may basket tutorial if you feel like making one! Now, on to this weeks Sat Chat! (FYI I post a sat chat on YouTube every Saturday on my YouTube channel but I don’t always post them on the blog.)

Here is a link to the free class I am teaching at Michaels and Here is the magazine I am published in, Craft Stash has a great price for a single issue.

In other news I went downstairs to tidy my craft area and remembered that I dropped my vintage Kenmore sewing machine on the tar driveway a month ago and it wasn’t working right so I took the whole thing apart, cleaned and oiled it, poked and prodded and by some technical miracle it it working again! They certainly don’t make them like they used to! Other than a crack in the foot pedal and the base plate under the machine it seems to be OK. The feed dogs were not moving the fabric forward but they did go up and down and they moved the fabric backwards when I pressed the reverse lever but they would not go for regular sewing. I think a spring was stuck because I kept turning dies and the flywheel and flicking the feed dog lever and eventually the feed dogs started oscillating normally. I think something just got knocked out of whack and it got a chance to right itself and it sure needed a good cleaning. I’m so glad it is working again as my daughter Lila has been using my more modern White sewing machine since the start of the pandemic and I think that sewing is a nice hobby for a person to have. Did you break or fix anything this weekend? Happy crafting!

The Lazy Stampers Guide to Layering Stamps

Hi friends, are you curious about (or frustrated by) layering stamps? Today I will take out some of the mysteries and help you decide what kind is best for you or if they are for you at all.

I will try and find links to the products I used or similar ones if they are retired. I keep and use my stamps for a long time so often they are unavailable when you are watching my video. There are new beautiful stamps being released every day so feel free to follow along with what you like! Affiliate links will be used if available.

Type of layering stamps:

Rubber-These were the first layer stamps I ever used. Stampin’ up made these on wood blocks and they were called “2-Step Stampin’.” To get perfect alignment you could use a stamp-a-majig (best $12 you can spend if you want perfect placement for ANY stamp. wood block or clear) but the best thing about these designs was that you didn’t need to stamp them perfectly for a beautiful result. My favorite stamps of this genre come from Rubbernecker. You can still get some of the old-style rubber stamp (the layered poppy I demonstrated is still available) but they have transitioned over to clear photopolymer for easier alignment (and to work with the new style hinged stamp positioners like this) and so they can be used with metal dies. Rubber stamps can use any ink or water-based markers to get excellent results. The downside to the rubber layering stamps is that they are harder to find and you don’t get photorealistic designs from them. They are the most durable kind of stamp and give the best impression in my opinion. They also tend to be on the expensive side.

Photopolymer: These stamps are clear, and easily stain, but give an excellent impression. You can use dye ink, pigment ink and water-based markers on them as you can with rubber stamps however you want to avoid harsh chemicals and inks such as solvents. Since they are clear they are easier to line up well and can be used in a hinged stamp platform to make lining up and making multiple of designs easy. Altenew has a great selection of photopolymer layering stamps including the Amaryllis stamp I used. These stamps are made by a process of exposing a gel to UV light and can also turn yellow or even be damaged is stored near a window so I recommend storing them away from light for longevity. The macaron stamp set I used is from Impression Obsession but it seems to be discontinued however some other sweets stamps from the same designer are 50% off right now! I did find a similar macaron stamp from Crafters Companion. Photopolymer stamps give a great impression but are a bit expensive and you need to take care of storing them and be mindful of what ink you use. Also never stamp them on ink jet photo paper as it may fuse to the stamp and ruin it.

Silicone stamps: These clear stamps are my least favorite but the cost is much lower than the other two options. You usually only see the silicone stamps in big box stores from large manufacturers because they need to order large amounts to make it worthwhile. silicone stamps are made, usually in China, by pouring silicone into a mold. They often do not stick as well to clear blocks (but sometimes come fused to the packaging!) and dye inks tend to bead up on them is there is a large solid area. Markers do not work well on this kind of stamp because marker ink is too thin. Pigment ink works best on silicone stamps. I like Versafine Clair but that can be pricey so you might want to choose a multi pack of mini cubes to get more variety at a smaller cost and less need for storage space. If you have trouble with ink sticking you can rub the stamp with an eraser prior to stamping.

I hope you found this helpful and it inspires you you pull out your layering stamps and make a card! Happy crafting!

Look what came in the mail!!!

Hi friends! Looks what came in the mail!

I was featured in Simply Cards and Papercraft magazine! They did a whole article!

It’s been a while since I have submitted anything for publication since many of the American craft magazines have dried up over the years so when this British magazine reached out I was thrilled!

The magazine is available in a print version or a digital subscription version on Amazon but the cool thing about a print version is that you get stamps and dies with it! Usually craft stores like Joanns and Michaels sell this magazine as well as big bookstores. It’s issue 216 if you are looking for it. Look at the cute stamps and dies you get. I found it on Craft Stash for a few dollars less that my local bookstores sell it for too!

That’s all for today, I just wanted to share my excitement! Happy crafting!