Cute Christmas Pup Card!

Hi friends! Today I am making a Christmas card from a couple of sets of everyday stamps! I love it when I find a stamp set that suits my personality and it is versatile enough for any occasion. These cute and quirky animal stamp sets from Katzelkraft really fit the bill when it comes to my type of cardmaking. They are funny, cute (but not too cute), a bit silly and they are large enough to color and take up some real estate on a card.

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In this video we will do a Distress Oxide ink background and some simple alcohol marker coloring with lots of tips and explanations for blending colors. I hope you find it useful:)

Video!

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 from Top Flight Stamps

Other Supplies:

Full directions are in this real-time step by step video tutorial! Enjoy:) I had so much fun making this card that I stamped out all of the dogs and cats and colored them up as I watched TV, it’s so fun, like being a kid again!

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I hope you enjoyed this fun card tutorial! Happy crafting!

 

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Stuck in the Middle…

Hi friends! How can such a small beading project make such a big mess? This is the state of my craft area today. It was worse this morning after a card making stint from yesterday covered every surface. How do these tiny projects become art space covering craft-tastrophies? Also I currently am in the middle of several projects and have nothing new and complete to show you today. I have a half decorated porch, paintings in progress, freelance work stuck in the editing phase and oh yes, the bead project (that will be done tomorrow though!)

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I think we should embrace the middle. When we get lost in the process of the craft we enter the magical right brain creative zone. That’s when we arrive in the creative flow state and we experiment and see new possibilities in our craft that were not apparent in the design phase. I’m a big believer of learning by doing, like my dad said “If you want to learn how to build a house, build a house!” Only by getting our hands dirty and using those precious supplies will we really know what they can do!

Do you have any works in progress…several? Let me know what they are in the comments below and always happy crafting!

Optimized vs. Maximized: What are you?

Hi friends! I am back today with another minimalist Monday vlog. I know that I can get in the habit of pushing  through things quickly only to pile on more tasks and before we know it our life becomes a treadmill of productivity over balance.  Often it is just busy work tricking us into thinking we are being productive. I’d rather be effective than busy. I’d rather have an optimized live than a maximized one, how about you?

Video!

I’d love to know what you think in the comments below. This year has been a turning point for me and oddly enough it started by decluttering my house using the Konmari method from The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I know it won’t work for everyone but I am so thankful for the day that I pressed play on that audio book. It might be a good gift for someone who is struggling with clutter and overwhelm. I used to be maximized and my art studio was proof of that! Do you have any good books to recommend? Let me know in the comments below and til next time happy crafting!

It’s Time To Deck The Halls {DIY & Frugally of Course!}

Howdy friends! I think I have mentioned it several times lately that I am really excited for the holiday season. I have barely done a lick of shopping nor is there anything I am hoping to receive except joyful times with family and friends! I started decorating yesterday (for the first time ever before my kids were nagging me to get the decorations up LOL!) and I enjoyed myself immensely! We decided to wrap the posts on our front porch with red velvet ribbon and reuse the faux evergreen garlands on the bannister. I did not have enough ribbon on hand so I went to AC Moore and grabbed a few spools at 60% off. The ribbon I got was 1 1/2″ wide in a 20 yard long spool and I paid about $2 a roll-reg. $4.99. I was hoping to find wider ribbon but actually it worked out better this way because I could fit the whole spool between the ballasts on my porch so I didn’t have to unwind it and I liked the look of the stripes closer together, like a candy cane! I’ll show the full reveal once I have it all decorated.

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This morning I got up early and started gathering “supplies” for another thrifty DIY Christmas decoration. We have a lot of different kinds of conifers growing on our property that could use a trim. We also have a berry bush that I gather decorative elements from each year. I put them directly in a dish pan with water to keep them fresh for a new project I have planned, I really hope it turns out well! We recently had lots of windy weather and walking on my property I noticed tons of pinecones had been blown down, I am going to gather those up too for my project! Any guesses what I will be making? Here is a hint, I saw some hanging outside the grocery store yesterday and they looked terrific but the $35 price tag was less so. Let me know what you think this project will be in the comments! Oh, and wish me luck!  We have had such great weather the past few days that I thought it would be a great time to get some decorating done. I figured you probably had the same idea so I went through the hundreds of Christmas DIY videos I have created over the years and picked out my 16 favorite Christmas decorating ideas and added them to the playlist below. Feel free to share any of these ideas with friends!

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You also have my permission to make any of these projects to sell at craft fairs or give as gifts. That is why I make the tutorials. 🙂

I hope you have a fabulous Sunday! I’d love to know what projects you are working on today and if you have any christmas DIY requests let me know in the comments below! Happy crafting!

Glorious Graphite! (and other sketching stuff)

Hi friends! When was the last time you sketched? There is nothing quite like the silky smooth glide of a soft graphite pencil on a fresh piece of paper. I prefer the soft, dark leads of a 6b-8b lead, probably because I was so heavy-handed as a child my art instructor made me use a 4H LOL! I still look at the harder pencils with disgust and disdain…it’s probably why I didn’t fulfill my dad’s wish for me to be an architect. Well, it was either those darn hard precise pencils or my dislike of math, straight lines and measuring. I prefer organic lines and a more loosey-goosey approach to art and that is the wonderful thing about sketching, you have both options! With one set of drawing pencils you get the thick, dark delicious smudge-ability of a 6B pencil and the tight, hard, precise line of a 4H and everything in between!

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The downside is that if you don’t know what the different pencils are for you might be confused with the options and not want to bother with them and go back to your trusty #2 pencil. There is nothing wrong with sketching with a regular #2 pencil, I do all the time. In fact I have a trick for you on how to remember what pencils is what using the #2 as a neutral starting point. The #2 pencil we all love are equal to an artist’s HB pencil. That is our bipartisan pencil, truly in the middle of the road. Think of H standing for “hard: precise, holds a point, makes light lines” and B stranding for “black: soft, smudgy lead that wears down quickly and makes thicker dark lines” The higher the number the more the properties are enhanced. For instance a 8B pencil is darker than a 2B and a 5H is lighter and harder than a 2H. Sometimes you will see an F pencil which simply means it is a thin hard-leaded pencil that can be sharpened to a fine point. F=Fine point.

(Photo credit: Pencils.com)

In today’s video we will use the content of the November Smart Art Box to create a sketch of a fox. We will work on developing tonal values because when you are working with graphite you are working in monochrome so you have to convey the depth and color of a scene in one color. It is a wonderful exercise that you should do often!

Video!

As shown in the video graphite pencils can come in a traditional and water-soluble formula. They are inexpensive tools to create beautiful art. I also like mixing media in this piece with the India ink and pastels. If you plan to use a lot of ink or water in your sketch make sure your paper is thick enough to handle it. A brown paper grocery bag is a wonderful choice for a substrate if you plan on layering chalk or pastels. Experiment and have fun!

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I want to thank Smart Art Box for sponsoring this video and til next time happy crafting!

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PS I am working on a Drawing class that will be released early 2018, if you would like to be notified when it launches please join my mailing list!

PSS My Cyber Week sale is still in full swing! Get 50% off current classes with coupon code BLACKFRIDAY (coupon good through 12/2/17)

Have a great weekend and til next time happy crafting!

Playing with Watercolor Texture & Irricdecent Mediums & 50% Off Gift Certificates!

Edit: Here is the finished painting from today’s live stream. Have a great weekend!

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Howdy folks! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving with family and friends. We traveled down to my sister’s house and had diner with her family and my parents. It was a lovely day:) Today I thought I’d play with some watercolor mediums during the live show at 12:30pm Eastern Time. Truth be told I don’t often use mediums in any of my paintings but I came across a bottle of Winsor and Newton Texture and Iridescent mediums when I was cleaning and thought I’d give them a try.

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The texture medium is really blah until it dries and then if offers a rough gritty texture that would be great for sand or rocks or the mottled furry skin on the seals we are going to paint. The iridescent medium adds a shimmer to your paint which would be beautiful for holiday greeting cards. I do want to point out that once you frame your piece under glass you lose some of the effect of the iridescent medium so I like it best for hand painted cards and art journal work where there is no barrier between the art and the viewer. These mediums have been available for years yet I am surprised at the lack of education around them so let’s change that shall we? You can watch the live show or the replay in the player below but if you want to chat with fellow painters or ask me questions as we go be sure to watch on the YouTube watch page. With this being a holiday in the US I wonder if we will have a bigger crowd than usual? Go ahead and invite your friends:)  I am sure many people will be ready to sit back and relax especially if they spent the night black friday shopping!

Supplies:

How about a Black Friday Deal?

I am offering a huge 50% discount on my watercolor classes! You have to go big for Black Friday right? That’s not all, if you want to gift a class you can do so at the same price! I realize that many of you have enrolled in my classes and every day I get comments and emails saying how much value they have received from my instruction and how much their paintings have improved since taking my classes.  Comments like these:

Hello Lindsay, Thanks for a wonderful class. Wow, it is packed with so much information, and such fun to follow you! I am 74 and still enjoy learning. You are an awesome teacher!! -Linda Pasmore

Thanks for the tutorial. I am glad that it is in more depth than the YouTube videos, although I love them as well. I am brand new to both painting and drawing so even the iris was a challenge. When I started watching your YouTube videos I found that I had some watercolor supplies I had purchased about 15 years ago and never had the nerve to try. Thanks for giving me the idea that it is possible for me to learn to paint! -Helanna Andres

How to hold the brush is the best information you could have imparted! loving all these videos; can’t wait to start painting the iris. -Judith Taylor

Hey Lindsay, I had so much fun with this tutorial and learnt so many techniques – thank you! -Marianna Panopoulos

This is a great overview on color. I really appreciate the way you explained it. I never knew the difference between warm colors and cool colors and how they work together (or not) when you mix them to create new colors. Thanks for the encouragement on playing with colors. It’s so much fun. -Stephanie Youngerman

Love this lesson. Very detailed skills tips and skills provided. -Eloise Luyk

So here is the special offer! You can take a class of give a gift for 50% off! Use the coupon code BLACKFRIDAY to get 50% off any class, or, if you want to purchase gift certificates you can get each class gift certificate for $39 (regularly $79.) The gift certificates are good for any class I offer in my online school. To order gift certificates simply email me at artstudiosofbangor@yahoo.com and type Gift Certificate in the subject line. Let me know how many you want to order and I will send you an invoice via paypal. After I receive payment I will email you the gift certificates. You can even buy them for yourself and get a deal on future classes! *If giving a class to a beginner I recommend Essential Tools and Techniques for Watercolor painting. It is my everything you need to get started jumpstart course. Please allow up to 24 hours for me to process your gift certificate request as I enter them manually into my system.

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Of course buying a class is even simpler! I’ve added the discount codes right here in the links for Essential Tool and Techniques for Watercolor or Texture Toolbox Feathers & Fowl. 

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If you happened to buy a class at full price already this week (11/17/17-11/24/17) let me know and I will send you a gift certificate for free. Just drop me a line and I will look up your info. I know I hate it when I buy something and then it goes on sale the next day and I like to treat my peeps the way I’d like to be treated:)

I hope to see you today at 12:30pm ET for a live painting tutorial, til then happy crafting!

 

Gift Idea! Hand Painted Mugs Kids Can Make!

Hi friends! If you kids (or grandkids) are home on vacation this week you might want to give them this project to try.

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This ceramic painting technique can be done on any store-bought glazed mug, bowl, or dish in minutes! For this project I used the acrylic paint pens set of 12 form Ohuhu (*note these markers were provided to me for review purposes and they gave me a 10% coupon code to share with viewers: 10Frugal )

The listing on Amazon says they can be used on Ceramic Crockeries, Rock Painting Art, DIY Easter Eggs, Porcelain, Metal, Wood, Fabric, Canvas and Glass. At first I could not find any instructions for getting them started or using them on ceramics so I experimented on my own. After I recorded the video I saw that the alternative photos in the product listing had instructions. At least they confirmed that what I ended up doing was right! I wished they put instructions in the box of markers though because someone who has never painted ceramics or used paint pens may not know what to do. If you are a visual learner watch the video for my full product test and tutorial on creating the vine and rose design on the mug. For a gift idea you could fill the mug with candies, teas or other goodies and wrap in festive holiday cellophane and a pretty ribbon. It’s a great teachers gift too!

Video!

 

Some helpful product info:

  • When you get the markers the nib will be uninked. To start the ink flow you must push the nib down into the barrel to break the paint seal and pump it a few times to get the ink to flow. It can take several minutes for the paint to saturate the nib. If at any time you want to increase flow simply press the nib on scrap paper to get it flowing.
  • The marker produces a line width of 1/16″-1/8″ thick of opaque matte paint. It writes smooth and does not streak even on glossy surfaces.
  • The marker and be taken apart and so I will refill them when empty, this makes them a cheaper alternative to other acrylic paint pens.

These paint pens will write on most surfaces BUT will they be permanent on ceramics? Let’s test it out!

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In the video I share 3 test tiles that I did to see how durable this paint would be if used on ceramics. As with all ceramic painting I recommend only painting on areas of a dish where the paint will not come in contact with food or your mouth.

  • Test tile #1: Paint applied on glossy ceramic tile and let air dry for 24 hours. Result: Paint washed off easily with a soapy towel.
  • Test tile #2: Paint applied to tile and dried for 24 hours then baked in a home oven at 350 F for 30 minutes. Result: Paint did not wash off after being wiped with a soapy cloth. I also tried scratching the paint with my fingernail and only the black paint scratched off, the other colors remained securely on the tile.
  • Test tile #3: Paint applied to tile and dried 24 hours then coated with clear spray lacquer. Result: This had the best looking finish because the entire tile was glossy. I recommend this for making coasters but the clear spray is not food safe so not OK for food dishes.

Bottom line: If you are going to use these to paint dishes you will want to bake them as stated above. The finish of the marker is matte though so it will look different on glossy ceramics. I don’t know how durable this will be over time so I suggest hand washing. I think these pens will be totally fine on non washable items like paintings and crafts. I like them:)

This is my preferred method for painting ceramics at home with oven bake acrylics:

This gives you a glossy durable surface. Folk Art Enamels is the oven bake acrylic enamel paint I use. The downside of this method is that you have a little more mess and set up time but you can start with fewer colors and mix to get just what you want. Also the paint is very durable and glossy do the painted areas will have the same finish as a glossy ceramic piece. These paints are very pigmented however they are more transparent so I recommend then for white or light-colored ceramics or you will want to mic white paint into the colors (or underpaint the design in white) for vivid results. The Folk Art Enamel paints go a long way, I have been using the same bottles for years and have don several children’s christmas craft classes with them so as long as you don’t let them freeze you have keep using them year after year. They are a great value.

So there you have it! Two great ways to make hand painted ceramics for gifts! I always loved making handmade gifts for my family at christmas. My mom,a very talented crafter, would get these idea books called “Christmas is Coming” and I would pour through those books trying project after project and to me those are some of my fondest holiday memories. I would rummage through my mom’s stash of fabric and beads (I can only imagine the aftermath of such crafting sessions but mom never got upset) and I would craft and wrap up gifts to surprise all of my family. I don’t specifically remember and particular craft I made but I do remember the feeling of pride of making it myself. I thank that is the best gift we can give our kids. Give them craft supplies, let them make a mess and enjoy the beautiful handmade gifts you receive on Christmas. Your kids will enjoy the feeling of generosity and pride of making it themselves.  Have a great thanksgiving tomorrow and til next time happy crafting!

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