STUFF: What to Keep, Buy or Declutter from Your Life {My 4 “H” Method}

Hi friends!  I have been decluttering my home for 6 months and it’s no surprise my craft area was (and still is) the most thing-dense area. I must say that I have a more reasonable amount of things and it really feels good to pass on some of my hoard to schools, friends and the thrift shops. Today I want to talk about the things we keep. The things that add value to our lives. The things that make us happier, smarter and more secure (and I’m not talking about the false sense of security of all of the “just in case” back up stuff (I think that actually causes us more anxiety.) I believe in investing our time and money in what I call the 4 “H”s: Head, Heart, Health and Home. Fore more on that please watch (or listen to while you do something else like craft, declutter or paint) today’s video.


It can be painful to part with things especially if we think about what they cost but by focusing on investing in the things that matter most it can make letting go of things that are not serving us easier.

My 4 “H”s of Investment

All of your possessions require an investment. You have to pay for them, maintain them, clean them, store them, put batteries in them, feed them and think about them. Paying for the things we own does not end when we get them home so we need to make wise choices about how they might affect us long-term. Before buying ask yourself if it benefits your…

  • Head: Education, learning something new, taking a class, reading a book (you can then pass the book on because the knowledge is in your head!) Learning a new hobby or perfecting it also helps your brain so if you are using those hobby supplies then keep them! They are likely to put you in a good mood as well.
  • Heart: Friendships & family.  A board game that you get joy from playing with your family is a keeper! So is a table with plenty of chairs for your friends. Does this object nurture your relationships? If so it is a good investment to buy or keep.
  • Health: Does this make you more healthy, a yoga mat you use everyday is worth a place in your home but the dumbbells gathering dust iare not.
  • Home: Keeping tools or other items that you use to maintain your home is a great investment, a house appreciates in value if taken care of so invest time there. Discard things that do not add value to your life and clutter up your home. A house full of clutter can make you sick as well because it can be so hard to clean and dust everything, you could even get mice or bugs which can make you sick.

My husband got me the book “Goodbye Things” by Fumio Sasaki and I loved it. It is a bit herky-jerky to read in the beginning but smooths out. I’ve also listened to some of the audiobook while I was working on a project. I love how the advice is practical and the 50 tips/chapters were punchy and short so I could read one, get inspired and tackle another project and at the end of the book is a recap of the chapters in list form to jog your memory. As much as I LOVED “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo I think Goodbye Things is a bit more practical. The author was a hoarder who changed his ways whereas Marie Kondo was always a minimalist. It’s good to see different points of view. For me the “does it spark joy” was a great place to start (I’m referencing the“Life Changing” book) but now I am realizing that I like a lot of things and it is not enough of a reason to keep or buy something. Imagine going to the craft store and buying everything that “sparked joy” LOL! I’d need a bigger house and fatter wallet and in the end I’m sure I wouldn’t be a lick happier. Now I can like things but store them at the store OR like something I have but give it to someone who can use it more than I will. I’m not perfect, I still have more than I need but I am finally feeling the sense of peace and balance I have been craving. I hope you got some value out of this vlog today. I will have fun batch of cards tutorial for you tomorrow, til then happy crafting!


It’s OK not to have one of everything! {A card recipe: feel free to substitute:)

Hi friends, today I have acard background recipe for you: Distress Oxides + Color Burst + Gesso = Fun Inky Cards! It is so easy to fall into the “gotta have its!” when we see a new product that we jump in and buy a complete line before we take the time to think if it really suits us or if you have something already in your stash that will do the same thing. Many expensive mistakes can be avoided if we build our collection slowly and exhaust the possibility of a supply before trying something else. By proceeding in this way we can avoid the overwhelm of being confronted with a room full of media we don’t know how to use. Also we can avoid the regret that comes from spending money on a full set of something that we really don’t like. We all know how hard it is to let go of something we paid a lot of money for right? So with this theme in mind I want you to use what you have to create these fun inky backgrounds today. If I am using something you don’t have, find something similar. If you want to try the exact stuff I am using (like a Distress Oxide ink pad or gel printing plate) just try a couple of your favorite colors and see how they suit you rather than the entire line (trust me, they will be there when you decide if you like them or not.) I can hear the protests already “But it’s a better deal if I buy the entire set and if I end up buying the whole set then I’ll have two duplicates!” And yes, that is kind of true if you are really going to use every color, but more often that not you will probably only love half the colors in a line so why buy ones you won’t use that much? You are spending extra money, space and time to maintain these things. If you buy a complete set you might not bother to see how they work with the supplies you already own For instance the Distress Oxides work great with regular Distress ink and I’d never know that if I wasn’t limited in colors and wanted brighter hues. Full disclosure I ended up collecting the entire line (by purchase and gift) because they really suited me. I am waiting to buy reinkers until the pads are used up to make sure they still add value to my creative process. I think we all face the “fear of missing out” and we buy in a state of panic that we won’t be able to get something because it will be sold out or become more expensive but let me tell you if it keeps selling they will keep making it!


Speaking of fear in our cardmaking…If you are afraid when you create you will be leery of wasting supplies. We tend to collect and hoard and then we become overwhelmed or even worse we forget what we have. The gel printing plate I am using today was a “had to have it, yet to use it” item I bought when it first came out. Why have I been saving it? You can’t use it up. I put it in a drawer safe in the knowledge that I can access it whenever I like but never did. Crazy huh? Just think of the treasures we could find if we just shopped our stash! In today’s video I am going to show you how to mix up supplies and make interesting artsy backgrounds and also how to look at your rubber stamps in new ways to increase their versatility, I hope you play along!


This video is sponsored by Rubber Stamp Tapestry  use coupon code: FRUGALAUGUST17 – 10% off everything in the store. Coupon expires August 31, 2017. Become a Peg Stamp VIP & get an instant coupon for 20% off RST stamps here plus the deepest weekly discounts available! Offer expires August 31, 2017.

Supplies from Rubber Stamp Tapestry:

Other Supplies:

Directions: Watch the video and then grab the supplies you have and make some ink backgrounds! Don’t get overwhelmed, just have fun! After all, it’s just a piece of paper!


5 Do’s & Donts for inky backgrounds!

1. Do try making backgrounds using the supplies you already have. If a new product peaks your interest try one or two colors before purchasing the whole set to see if it suits you.

2. Don’t worry about making a mess or wasting supplies. You can use cheap white cardstock cut into quarters for your inky backgrounds. Then trim and mount the great ones to cards made of heavyweight cardstock.

3. Do use lots of adhesive when mounting the inky papers. You can even weight it with a book if it wants to warp.

4. Don’t overlook the cool stencils in your stash, you don’t have to use polka dots, take the idea and make it your own!

5. Do trusts your instincts and pick colors and images you like because it’s your art after all!


I realize you may think it’s funny that I am urging you not to go crazy over-buying supplies on a sponsored blog post but I love this hobby and for it to be sustainable we need to find value and get use from the products we buy. If we stock up but never use these treasures it is a total waste. We need to pace ourselves and learn what our own style is (not what the cool crafters on YouTube are doing) or we will end up with drawers full of supplies that we don’t really like. This blog post and video was inspired by some critical comments on my YouTube channel where some viewers complained about the colors I chose for various projects. It’s easy to swap a color for one you prefer and I want to give you permission to do that, or use a whole different product all together. You don’t need to copy a project exactly for it to be good or meaningful, in fact it’s better to add your own style and spice to it! Vive la différence! You do you and it will be fabulous! Thanks for taking the time to read though my long pep talk (rant?) and as always continue the discussion in the comments below. I am really enjoying our conversations lately! Have a great weekend and til next time happy crafting!

Summertime, and the Painting is Easy! Live Watercolor Tutorial 12:30pm ET!

Edit: Here is the final painting from the live class today! Replay is available below:) Have a great weekend!


Hi friends! Let’s paint a relaxing summer scene in watercolor today at 12:30pm Eastern time!  You can watch the live show or the replay in the player below but if you want to chat live be sure to watch on the YouTube watch page.

Supplies can be purchased from our sponsor Jerry’s Artarama! Use coupon code: frugal20FS49 for 20% off $49 + Free Shipping (Excludes: Sale, Super Sale, Egift Cards, Buy It Try It’s and Vendor restricted items. Look for the green coupon eligible icon on the product listing.


SALE!!! Over 500 classes for Under $20 at Craftsy!

My Mix it Up! Mixed Media Class is on sale for $14.99 for digital download or $19.99 for a DVD! I still can’t believe they picked my class to be one of the DVD offerings!

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When you purchase a Craftsy class you have lifetime access so why not stock up while it’s on sale? You can take your time to complete it and return to it whenever (like in the doldrums of winter LOL!) I just snagged a couple of zippered bag classes because I think I might like to make some to organize my little supplies in drawers and in my car. It is fun to learn something new and if you can save a bunch, why not? Disclosure: I earn a small commission on any class purchased after clicking through my special discount links, your support helps keep these live streams and tutorials frequent and free. Thank you for your support ! See you soon for the live class and happy crafting!


Water Marbling How To PLUS Heat Embossing Tips! {Stamp School}

Hi friends! Today’s project was inspired by a marbling kit I picked up for $1 the other day.


The kit contained 6 small tubes of color. The key to water marbling is that the ink or paint you use needs to float on the water so you want a thin oily paint. You can use liquid oil paint, nail polish, oil based model paint and I bet pigment reinkers will work. Try what you have:) Watch the video to see how easy it is!

Sponsored by Art Neko *Save 10% off your next order of any size or get free shipping on orders over $50 (whichever discount is greater you get!) just by mentioning thefrugalcrafter!


  • Peacock Stamp set
  • Mulberry paper
  • Black and white cardstock
  • Paper marbling kit (or any oily ink, thin oily paint or nail polish)
  • Metallic thread
  • Rhinestones
  • Foam tape, double-sided adhesive and clear tape
  • Embossing powder
  • Pigment ink

I was thrilled to see that ArtNeko is carrying mulberry paper! They have a large variety and it only take a little to make a project special. I have been searching for colorful  mulberry paper for folks and was unable to find it until now, enjoy!

I hope you give water marbling a try. I think it would be a really fun to make with kids home on summer vacation. You could even make it outdoors and clip the finished paper to the clothesline to dry! The papers I made in the video turned out nearly as light as the ones I used for the card but a helpful viewer shared this advice:

To keep the bright color on marbling – you should pre-treat the paper with Alum. Works marvelous! -Sheri Havens

Thanks for the tip Sheri! I will share the shaving cream marbling technique this weekend if you want another option. It’s fun to make your own designer paper and quite frugal too! Let me know if you have tried this technique before in the comment below. If you liked this project please share it with a friend. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

10 Back To School Shopping Tips! {For Parents & Teachers!}

Hi friends!  Even before I had kids I would hit the back to school supply sales to stock up my own art room. Today I will share my money-saving tips to get your kids or classroom ready for the new school year!

Desk with school supplies. Studio shot on wooden background.

Watch the video to see what I recommend!

Top 10 tips!
1. Wait for the supply list from your teacher. There is no point buying things you don’t need or can’t use (no matter how good the deal is!)

2. Clear out old supplies first and determine what you have. You may still have plenty of pens, post it note and highlighters from last year that need to be used up. If you have old book bags and backpacks that you are not going to use this year but are still in great shape pass them along, same goes for outgrown sports equipment or winter gear. Those soccer cleats that no longer fit could be put to good use by another child!

3. Go refillable! My kids love mechanical pencils and you can get a few decent refillable pencils (I like these side advance ones from Dollar Tree and you get 4 for $1) and have them keep a box of refill leads in their pencil pouch to save space and trips to the store. These are the refill leads I buy. I also like to use these clear refill tapes in my desktop tape dispensers, they are very good quality.

4. If you want the best prices on consumables like glue sticks, crayons, markers and notebooks check out the back to school sales at Target, Walmart, Kmart and Staples. These “loss leaders” are designed to lure folks into the shop there but there is no law that you need to buy anything else if you don’t need it. I would stock up on these sales every year when I owned an art teaching studio.

5. Remember though that the Dollar Tree has the above items for a dollar every day so you can always “store it at the store” which might be more practical if you are just buying supplies for your own children.

6. If you need a large quantity of things like baskets and bins check out the Dollar Tree online. Our local dollar trees sell out of the good stuff quickly and they rarely have to cute colors that I see in haul and organization videos so if you are outfitting your classroom or craft room ordering the bulk supplies online will save you the hassle of going store to store in search of enough of one item.  *I think they might be out of the book bins online as I could not find them today but they were there last week 😦

7. Buy quality and buy it once! It is inconvenient to have to replace a backpack or binder halfway through the year and often times it would just be cheaper to but a quality item the first time around. I am a big fan of the zip up Case-It binders, they last really well and the one time the binder broke before that school year was done to company replaced it no questions asked. They earned my business that day! Just make sure to keep your receipt for warranty purposes or purchase it on Amazon like I did and you can access your receipt in the future if needed.

8. Make sure if you are buying a backpack that it fits everything you plan to carry. If you want to make sure it fits your binder and lunch box then bring it with you or measure it. Again, it is no bargain if it does not do the job you are buying it for.

9. Let kids pick out some supplies like binders, backpack and notebooks. They will be more excited for school if they get to choose! They can also customize their notebooks and binders with pattern duct & washi tapes and decorative paper. I used to LOVE turning old cardboard boxes and tubes into cute desktop stationary organisers and it is a fun project you can do with your child or hand over the supplies and let them go to town!

10. Find out what your kid’s classroom needs and grab a few extra if you can. Wet wipes, tissues and hand sanitizer and welcomed by most teachers who often end up purchasing these items out-of-pocket. I find the best deals on Clorox wipes are at Sams Club (there are so few in a tub of Dollar Tree wipes it is no bargain and you have the leftover tubes to recycle when done, they are a good size to keep in the car for travel clean up tho) and Amazon has the best deal on Lysol wipes. I don’t have a preference myself.

Do you have any tips to share? Let me know in the comments! If you enjoyed this blog post please consider pinning it on Pinterest or sharing it on your favorite social media! I;ll have a fun cardmaking tutorial fro you tomorrow, til then, happy crafting!

*This post contains affiliate links to Amazon and Dollar Tree.

Had To Have IT {yet to use it!} Fun with Bleeding Tissue Paper

Hi friends! Last weekend I asked you if you had any supplies that you couldn’t wait to buy but have not used yet and boy howdy did you ever! I was so glad I wasn’t alone in this struggle. So for fun I decided to grab one of my “Had to have, but yet to use” items and make some cards!


Bleeding tissue paper was a must buy item for me when I saw Vicki Boutin release some in her new mixed media line for CHA last January.  I had used this before in my kids classes and in mixed media paintings and it was a lot of fun, and bleeding tissue paper is extremely inexpensive and versatile. So why haven’t I used it? True confession, I bought not 1 but 3 packs because I got it on sale. I gave one pack to a friend to ease my hoarding conscience. You can test the colored tissue paper you have to see if it bleeds before buying new. Generally tissue paper for gift wrapping won’t bleed (can you imaging the tragedy if you wrapped a gift with bleeding tissue and you had to carry it from your car to the house in the rain?!? Another fun variation would be to use regular tissue paper and mod-podge to adhere it to the cardbase, it would give you a stained glass look and be fun and lovely! Use what you have!

Watch the video to see if it is a technique you want to try!

This video is sponsored by Rubber Stamp Tapestry  Use coupon code: FRUGALJULY17 – 10% off everything in the store. Coupon expires July 31, 2017. Become a Peg Stamp VIP & get an instant coupon for 20% off RST stamps here: plus the deepest weekly discounts available! Offer expires July 31, 2017.

Supplies from Rubber Stamp Tapestry:

Other Supplies:


When using bleeding tissue paper you can try many different ways to apply it to come up with unique backgrounds. You might even be able to get a couple of “dyes” from a dark-colored piece. If you know how you want to arrange the tissue you can pre wet the paper you will be placing it on and it will help the color transfer. You can even use the scraps laid out in random order on the paper to make unique backgrounds. Have fun! There is no wrong way to do it! I hope this inspired you to dig out the “had to have it, yet to use it” supplies in your stash and play with them! Happy crafting!


Better Late Than Never {Mixed Media Vineyard Grapes}

Hi friends! I am so sorry that I couldn’t get this blog post up before the live stream today. I just remembered yesterday that I scheduled my last kids art class at the library at the same time as my friday live stream and it had been advertised in the local paper so I couldn’t move it so instead of cancelling my live stream I decided to do it earlier. One of these days I’ll have my act together (probably not this summer though!) 😉 I did notify folks on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so if you want to make sure you hear about any breaking art live streams be sure to follow me there as well. The best thing is to subscribe on YouTube and click the notification bell to make sure you get updates when I am about to go live.  Here is what we did today!

Picture 100

Here is the replay!

Supplies can be purchased from our sponsor Jerry’s Artarama. Use coupon code: frugal20FS49 for 20% off $49 + Free Shipping (Excludes: Sale, Super Sale, Egift Cards, Buy It Try It’s and Vendor restricted items. Look for the green coupon eligible icon on the product listing.


Have a great weekend and try to make some time for art and creativity! Happy crafting!


Why I didn’t “Yard Sale” My Unwanted Craft Stuff

Hi friends! I have been decluttering for 5 months now. It is amazing the amount of things we hold onto for “someday” or “just in case.” I honestly thought was done decluttering my craft stuff back in April but what that did was clear my mind so I could start to see past the fog of my excess. All that stuff takes up space in your head so I needed to make space in my craft room to make space in my mind. For that reason I needed to get rid of a massive amount of stuff quickly. Many people,asked me why I didn’t have a yard sale or sell my items online. I’ll explain why in today’s video!


I was so against the thought of trying to sell my excess (and the time involved) that I didn’t even post the declutter video until after I had given away all of the stuff. I know my weakness and that is seeing the potential in everything that could possibly be used for art so the longer those discard boxes sat around the more tempted I would be to put items back in my craft room.

I am not thumbing my nose at money by not having a yard-sale or to say that my time is more valuable than someone who would choose to do a yard sale. Heck, many people love the community aspect of it, haggling over prices and visiting with customers and there is nothing wrong with that at all, if it adds value to your life do it! I just know what is right for me, I am never going to get what I think the items are worth, the money is already spent and my time is a truly finite resource that I am very protective of and want to spend wisely. As always I welcome your thoughts in the comments below! Happy crafting!

What do you think of speedpaints?

Hi friends! I hope you had a great weekend! As you might have noticed during Friday’s live stream I had a few tech difficulties, hey it happens with live-shows, I’ve learned to go with the flow. 😀 It took much longer than expected to edit out the big glitch in the replay so while I was waiting I took the footage and made a speedpaint (you can watch it below if you like) and surprisingly several people on YouTube said they liked it better than the long version because they don’t have time to watch an hour-long video.


So I am thinking that I might take the footage from past live shows and turn them into speedpaints with a voice over if anyone would be interested, let me know in the comments below. Don’t worry, I have NO INTENTION of speeding up my regular videos, this would be an “in addition to” not an “in place of” situation. at the very least I might just make a speed version of the live shows going forward and see if anyone watches it LOL:) It actually might be kind cool, people can pick what suits them best! In any event I hope you enjoy this bonus speedpaint and if you want more info on the supplies and products I used as well as the real-time tutorial you can find all of that on Friday’s post.

One more thing! Today is the last day to get the birthday special on my Essential Tools and Techniques for Watercolor course. Use the coupon code BITRHDAY41 to get my class for $41 (that is 48%off!) if the discount does not appear in cart. I have tried to post a link with the discount attached so nobody pays full price on accident:) I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for making my first watercolor course a success. I started with a beginner course because that was what you asked for. My next courses will be more advanced but I believe with a strong foundation of skills you will be able to break down a subject, no matter how daunting, and paint it.


Also thank you for the wonderful birthday wishes, it has made my 41st birthday truly magical:) Till next time happy crafting!