Daler Rowney Aquafine Watercolor Review

Hi friends! Today I am reviewing a paint line that has been requested by many viewers. It is widely available in the US and UK so I thought it would benefit many of you and since they were pretty inexpensive I snagged a set of Daler Rowney watercolors to try out.


I got the 18 set which retails for around $25, since many “big box” sores carry this brand you can use one of the sweet 40-55% off coupons on it and pay $12-$16 (that’s what I did!) and I even think that WalMart might stock this paint. I am all for using what ever paint you can get your hands on! It is better to make art with cheap supplies than to not make art at all. That said, watch the video to learn what I think of this particular brand of paint.


So the paint is fine, it did not knock my socks off but you can paint with it and you can certainly learn to mix colors with it. Is it my favorite student paint? No (I’d pick Grumbacher Academy, Cotman, Van Gogh or Sonnet as they all have better color payoff.) But is it adequate? Yes.


  • 37 colors available in 8ml tubes or half pans.
  • Here is a list of all Daler Rowney paints with pigment info for your reference. It was tough to track down but useful if you have these paints.
  • Prices range from $5.50 a tube to $7 a half pan and sets range from $13-$79, honestly, I checked many websites and the prices are all over the place so do some research and shop around if you are considering these.



  • Price: if you can get a set at a big box store half price it’s not bad for this quality.
  • Colors mix well and most colors uses customary pigments although many of the colors in the set are mixes and some are downright fugitive.
  • The sets come in nice palettes can can be reused.


  • Pigment strength is weaker than other student brands.
  • Poor flow
  • Price (I know I listed this as a Pro but…) if you are paying $5 a tube you would do much better spending that on a Van Gogh, Cotman or Grumbacher tube of paint. I think they are overpriced at retail.
  • Consistency: They have a streaky, gelatin like consistency that wants to stay put rather than flow on the paper. This attribute might make them better to use on poor quality papers as they do not tend to feather.
  • They seem to wear down quicker than other paints possible due to a high amount of filler in the paint.

Bottom line: They are worth a try if you can get a deal, it is not going to hurt you to use them but I think you are better of buying a smaller set of Grumbacher academy, Cotman, VanGogh or Sonett if they are available.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed painting with them and these differences are small, they might not seem to be a big deal for anyone else and I am not saying they are, I just want to let you know the properties of the paint. I hope you found this review helpful. Happy crafting & painting!

Stamped Notecube With Storage! Gift Idea!

Hi friends! It’s never too early to start making handmade holiday gifts. Here is an easy and useful idea perfect for many folks on your gift lists especially teachers!


Blank note cubes can be found online (Amazon has them) and they are so easy to dress up with stamps! I’ll also show you how you can add a storage compartment at the back perfect for keeping your pens, markers or peg stamps!


Tutorial sponsored by Rubber Stamp Tapestry Take 20% off your mounted stamp order of $10 or more just use coupon code: NOTES Coupon expires, Monday, November 7, 2016


I hope this project gets you in the mood for some Christmas gift crafting! Have a great weekend and happy crafting!

Live at 12:30pm ET, a Frosty Fall Landscape!

Hi friends! Today we dive deep into color mixing and composition as we create a landscape in 3 colors.


We will sketch the landscape together so no prep is needed for this free online watercolor class, just bring your supplies and join us at 12:30pm Eastern time on YouTube! Here is the photo we will paint from!

Winter rural landscape at sunset

You can watch the live stream or replay in the player below but if you want to chat with us or ask questions as we go you need to watch on the YouTube watch page.

Supplies available from sponsor Jerry’s Artarama


A big sale & a worthwhile cause at Craftsy!

Brush up on crafting essentials and support breast cancer awareness! 5% of proceeds will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation when you buy a class this weekend with my special affiliate link.  All classes are under $20 and you get lifetime access so stock up today! Thank you for your support!

I hope to see you at 12:30pm, Eastern time today for a fun painting lesson! Til then Happy crafting & painting!

Fancy a Spot of Tea? Real Time Watercolor Tutorial!

Hi friends! I almost titled this post “Don’t buy the new Prima Watercolors until you read this!” but it felt a little two click-baity. Although I think that this post will give you some valuable info on the two new Prima Marketing Watercolor Confections set Pastel Dreams and Shimmering Lights. First off, I really like these but if you are planning on using them like ordinary watercolors you might be disappointed in the results. That’s why I created a free painting tutorial to help you make the most of these unique sets.


Here is the step by step video and review of these new paints.

Here are links to the Prima Marketing Watercolor Confections sets. Hallmark scrapbook is having 15% off Prima watercolor products! Woohoo! They have free shipping on USA order over $99 and reasonable rates for worldwide shipping.

  • Pastel Dreams (I use mostly colors from this set in the teacup tutorial)
  • Decadent Pies (I used a blue and green from this set to achieve the rest of the colors for the teacup tutorial. This is a great landscape painting set)
  • Tropicals (If you can only get one set go for Tropicals, they have the brightest cleanest colors and mix well)
  • The Classics (A all around useful set with basic colors and a white and black if that is important to you)
  • Shimmering Lights (A very opaque paint with mica added to create a subtle elegant sheen)

There are NO duplications in any of the colors in these sets so if you want to collect them all you will have all unique colors. 😀

I wanted to also show you how the paints look in a more opaque fashion.


They remind me a lot of gouache, the paint feel very buttery when applied thickly (not chalky like I thought they might) and they would show up nicely on colored cardstock for cardmaking and scrapbooking. In these swatches you can see the colors from Pastel Dreams and Shimmering Lights. I overlaid a thicker swatch of the pastels over the wash layer once it was dry so you can see how the colors shifts darker in thicker layers. I swatched the shimmering colors on white and black as they look much different on each. Again, great for cardmakers and scrapbookers.


I also played with using the Pastel Dreams and Shimmering lights with lots of water. Because there are no strong darks other than red and brown it is difficult to get darks so you would not want these sets as your only watercolors, they are better as add-on collections.


So now you have the skinny on these two new paint sets from Prima Marketing. If you have any questions let me know in the comments below and if you like this project please share it with a friend or on social media:) I also wanted to let you know that most other watercolor products are also on sale at Hallmark Scrapbook and anything you purchase through the affiliate links in the post support the free tutorials on my channel, thanks! I’ll be back tomorrow with our live Friday painting class, til then happy crafting!

Stamp School: Poinsettia Christmas Card & Removable Ornament!

Hi friends! Today I have another early Christmas card you can add to your stash. But first I want to announce the winner of last weeks stamp giveaway from ArtNeko, the winner of the fall stamps is Cheryl Singer Check your email to claim your prize! Now on to today’s project!


This card has a removable ornament that can be cherished year after year. I think having a reusable ornament makes the card worth a little extra time. Remember to “assembly line” the card making process if you are making more than one because it drastically cuts down on time. Watch the video to see how it’s done!


Feel free to switch up the design with the supplies you already have on hand. If you don’t have a die cutter why not fold a 4″ circle of white cardstock and make the snowflake base old school? Don’t let your lack of resources limit your resourcefulness! If you were interested in the 20 free personalized greeting cards from our sponsor Printer Pix you can snag them here, they have fun photo gifts you can buy too but it is nice to try a service for free first I think. I hope you enjoyed today’s project and til next time happy crafting!

Blick Studio Brush Marker Review & Flash Sale!

Hi friends! First up I want to let you know that classes are on sale for $14.99 now at Craftsy! That is 50% off or more! Now is the time to stock upon classes for holiday cooking, crafting and gift making or maybe start your christmas shopping and buy classes as a gift! You get lifetime access to any Craftsy class you buy so why wait, enroll is something fun for you today! Use coupon code SAVEOCTOBER15 to get your discount!


Details: Receive any Craftsy Class for $14.99 or less with coupon SAVEOCTOBER15
Limit to one use per customer. Prices are in USD. Excludes The Great Courses.
Cannot be combined with other coupons or discounts. Expires October 26, 2016 at 11:59 PM MST.  By purchasing Craftsy classes through my special affiliate link helps support the free tutorials on my blog & YouTube channel, thank you for your support! 😀

Now on to this weeks product review! I had a lot of people ask for a review of the Blick Studio Brush markers since they came out. They look a lot like Copics but how do they perform? Let’s see in today’s tutorial!


First let me say that there are so many quality markers on the market right now and the ink in them is very similar and I find them to all work well together. I love many brands of markers and I have many brands in my art room and this review is not to diminish any other brands. I have many Copic markers to and they are superb quality but the price tag is prohibitive to many crafters. I have to say in my honest opinion the Blick studio markers are just as good as Copic markers and I do believe that you can refill with Copic ink and replace the nibs with the Copic nibs but that activity is not endorsed by either brand so do so at your own risk, I figure since the Blick markers are “disposable” if you try to refill the ir replace the nib you are not out much since you would have thrown it out anyway.

Disclaimer: These opinions are my own and are not endorsed by any of the brands I am reviewing. I purchased this set for $139 (Regular $199 but I used a coupon) and I have not been paid to post this review.

Blick studio brush marker PROS:

  • Price per marker: $1.50-$3 (buying in sets with a coupon brings them down to $1.50, individually they are $3 with no coupon)
  • Quality-as good as Copic IMHO
  • Blends well on cardstock or marker paper
  • Easy to remove caps
  • Available open stock (individually) or in money-saving sets of 6, 12, 24, 48 and 96 (all 95 colors plus the clear blender)


  • Only 96 colors (vs Copic with 358 colors)
  • Slightly more odor than Copic (I reckon that the Blick marker uses denatured alcohol and Copic uses ethanol with are basically the same except the denatured alcohol is ethanol with additives in it to keep folks from drinking it)
  • No refills available (*but you should be able to refill them with Copic ink if you can figure out the matching colors-same goes for nibs)

Tip, look for a coupon before you buy, CDPS will take 25% off your order of $99 or more and free shipping. Sometimes the Blick site has a better coupon (I got 30% off from the Blick site when I ordered and then I saw 35% off a few days later! Watch it like a hawk:)
Here is a link to the markers I bought, I am not affiliated with Blick but if you order you can always tell them Lindsay The Frugal Crafter sent you:)

Bottom line: These are great markers and a much more affordable way to build a brush marker collection similar to Copic. You can always get the basics here and get more unique Copic colors to add to your collection. Actually I recommend using lots of different brands to see what you like.

About the Stamp, unfortunately the set I used appears to be discontinued I did find this set also by Stampendous that is very similar and also has a beautiful bird to color: (Hallmark scrapbook Affiliate link) (Simon Says Stamp Affiliate link)


I hope this was helpful! I know I like to look at reviews before I purchase a product and maybe it can helps someone else too! Have a great night and til next time happy crafting!

Enjoy Zero Calorie Desserts! (because we paint them!)

Hi friends! There is nothing like being on a diet that makes you aware of how beautiful food looks! I am not a big sweet eater but I do love the look of glossy raspberry syrup dripping down the side of a delectable cake or pastry. Why not try to capture this beauty with watercolor?


Warning, the video is a bit long but sometimes painting takes time. I hope you enjoy it:)

I apologize for posting so many painting projects in a row. I had intended to post a project using all the UFO (unfinished objects) paper pieces that are currently on a pile on my table and making a batch of any occasion cards. I thought it would be fun since I increased my stash of water media rubber stamped panels when I filmed a class for Angela Fehr’s Creative Watercolor Course. I became daunted at the pile which was getting pretty thick and then I got distracted by something shiny…


…which ended up being a really cool start to a project but it has to wait 72 hours to fully cure hence adding to my UFO problem LOL!

I was going to be so clever because I could make a bunch of awesome cards, give you a sneak peek at what I did as a guest instructor for the Creative watercolor Course and announce the winner of the free spot in the class from last weeks giveaway but alas I will just have to announce the winner in this weird little blog post:) The winner of a spot in the Creative Watercolor Course is Joyce! Since there may be more than one Joyce and I don’t have a last name I replied to her comment on the giveaway thread and already emailed her so if you won there is a free link in your email, yay!

If you didn’t win but you want to try the course you can enroll at 51% off using this special discount link. If for some strange reason the discount does not show up on the sell page use the coupon code FIRSTDIBS. Like I said the discount should show up but it is Monday after all:) The discount is good through November 17th.


By purchasing a space in this class using my special discount affiliate link you help bring these free tutorials to you on my Blog and YouTube channel and I thank you for your support! I have some really fun projects coming up over the next two weeks (cards, painting, jewelry, ceramics, holiday decor) so I hope you check back soon! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Cherries in Oil Paint Tutorial

Hi friends! Tonight I have a quick oil painting tutorial for you!


Watch the video to see how!

I am using St. Petersburg Masters Class oils from Pro Art Supplies

About this paint:
Good pigment strength and high quality pigments
Rich buttery consistency
A little goes a long way-great coverage.

Here is the reference photo I used by Bec Bartell on Paint My Photo.


I hope you are have a great day and til next time happy crafting!

Pretty Stamped Place Cards & Embossing With Markers!

Hi friends! Today I am going to share a useful trick: Embossing with markers!


This technique gives a fancy effect with minimal time and supplies! Gotta love that especially as the busy holiday season nears! Watch the video to see how!

Sponsored by Rubber Stamp Tapestry Use coupon code: EDEN to save 20% on all $10+ orders of mounted stamps! Coupon expires Sunday, October 23, 2016.

Eden peg stamp set
Sunny Day unmounted stamp set (for basket)
Dye inks: Memento
Juicy water based marker
Clear embossing powder
Heat gun
Label dies

1. Die cut labels from cardstock.
2. Stamp border using a variety of peg stamps and ink colors.
3. Write a name in the center with a wet water based marker and sprinkle with embossing powder, tap of excess powder and heat set.
4. Fold a strip of cardstock to make a stand and glue it to the back of the card.

Tip! If your markers dry to quickly you can draw over your lines with a clear embossing marker and add the powder to that. It is a great way to use Alcohol markers for color if that is what you have! You can make gift tags using this technique as well!