Don’t Wait for Perfect

Hi friends! As 2017 draws to a close and we all start thinking about what we want to accomplish in the new year I want to remind you that you can start something great at any time. You don’t have to wait for the beginning of a new year or even a new week to make positive changes and go after your goals.

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I often find myself in conversations with people where we end up talking about stuff we would like to do. It’s not long into these talks when I hear “As soon as I ______ then I will get to __________.”  Or “If only I could _________ then I would___________.” When the “as soons” and “If only’s” start to rear their ugly heads I know my friends are in trouble. As Soon and If Only are sneaky little devils. They enable us to put off the really great things we could do to improve our lives.  Here are some of their greatest hits:

  • As soon as the holidays are over I’ll start exercising and eating right.
  • If only I didn’t need this job I could follow my dreams of being a painter.
  • As soon as I can afford a top of the line computer I’ll open an ESTY shop.
  • There’s no point even trying unless I can do it perfectly.

Unless is As Soon and If Only’s awful cousin. When you see them trying to weasel their way into your plans kick them out. You don’t need that negativity. Here is how you handle those sneaky so-and-sos:

Instead of: “As soon as I learn the best way to sell my products online I’ll open and ETSY shop” Try this: “I’ll make and ETSY account, list my crafts and learn as I go!” OR “If only I had a fancy, expensive, nice camera I could make a YouTube video.” Try “I’ll make a video with my smart phone to get started, I can always get a fancy camera later if I like it!” OR “As soon as I save up a years income I’ll quit my job and start a business.” Try “I’ll build my business in the evenings while I am still working my 9-5! Who needs to binge watch Game of Thrones Anyway?”

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I am not trying to make anyone feel bad or guilt you into doing anything you don’t want to do. It’s awesome if you are perfectly happy with your life the way it is but if you’re not take action. Don’t try, DO! Life is seldom perfect. We are all on different paths and have been dealt different cards in life but you are the only person who can make the change you want in your life. That’s your job. Don’t let another year go by if there are things you want to improve. You are the only person who can do it and the perfect time is now.

The other troublemaker you need to watch out for is “Someday”

  • “Someday when I have the time…”
  • Someday when I have the money…”
  • “Someday when I don’t have to…”
  • “I’ll use this awesome thing I have been hoarding someday”

There are seven days in the week and not one of them is called “Someday.” Today is what we’ve got folks. Make it a good one!

What do YOU want to do in 2018? Let me know in the comments. Let’s cheer each other on. We got this! Happy crafting!

LIVE: Vintage bottles with Wildflowers Today 12:30pm ET!

Edited to add the finished painting. Have a great weekend!

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Howdy friends! Are you ready to paint? We will have a fun and relaxed tutorial today using watercolors and soft (aka chalky) pastels. You can use whatever brands you have but I will include a supply list below. Here is a quick color study I sketched:

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Here is the reference photo. I have a printable pattern here if you want to print and trace it.

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You can watch the live broadcast or replay in the player below but if you want to chat live be sure to watch on YouTube at 12:30pm ET.

 

Supplies:

Also, don’t forget there is only 2 days left to save 35% on my watercolor classes with coupon code HOLIDAY17 (offer expires 1/1/18)

I hope to paint with you live at 12:30pm today! Happy crafting!

 

DIY Bath Bomb Recipe and Tutorial!

Hi friends!  My girls and I had such fun making these for gifts this year. It is a fun craft to make with the kids and you can even teach them about chemical reactions so it’s art and science all in one project!

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Watch the video to see how! I’ll post the recipe below:)

Supplies & Recipe (with affiliate links to amazon BUT please note that everything EXCEPT citric acid and fragrance will be cheaper from your local grocery store, I want my peeps to get good deals!)

*Dry ingredients-whisk together in a bowl.
1 cup Baking Soda
1/2 cup Citric Acid
1/2 cup Epsom Salts
1/2 cup Corn Starch

*Wet ingredients Put in a small jar and shake
1 Tablespoon water
1 Tablespoon mineral oil (you can use melted coconut oil, soybean or olive oil but I chose mineral/baby oil as it will not turn rancid which is not an issue if you are using the bath bombs soon)
1 teaspoon of fragrance oil (I used one tsp or 3 droppers full but other recipes called for 6 which seemed like a lot. Use your own tastes and judgement)
Liquid food coloring as desired)
Bath bomb moulds 

Directions:
1. Whisk dry ingredients together. Slowly add the freshly shaken wet ingredients to the dry and combine with a whisk until there are no big lumps and it looks like sand.

2. Overfill both halves of your mold and press together firmly. You can use other moulds you have as well but you need to pack the mixture in very tightly or the bath bomb might crumble when you remove it from the mold.

3. Remove the bath bomb from the mold and set in a tray/box lined with plastic wrap to dry for 48 hours.

4. After 48 hours wrap with plastic wrap and blast with a hairdryer for a professional look. You can also add in dry pressed flowers when you warp them for a beautiful presentation.

Want a side of science with your art?

Why does it fizz? The citric acid is an acid and it reacts with baking soda (a base) just like vinegar and baking soda does. The bombs are quiet until water activates the citric acid and the reaction begins. The bubbles that are created are carbon dioxide. The corn starch serves two purposes: 1. it acts as a filler and a buffering agent between the citric acid and baking soda so you get a “slow fizz” rather than an explosion and 2. it is a binder and helps the bath bomb hold it’s rock hard shape until dunked in water.

The remaining ingredients are therapeutic!
Epsom salts will soothe sore muscles and soften skin
The oils smell nice and will moisturizer skin and the food color is pretty.

I had a lot of requests to post this tutorial after sharing photos of the bath bombs we were making. I hope you have as much fun making this as we did! Happy crafting!

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Planning for next year…

Hi friends! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. I did, we stayed home all day and got a foot of fresh snow! Today we will travel “over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house…” and by now the roads are clear and the sun is shining. I was very lazy yesterday and enjoyed every minute of it. I got some new acrylic paint pens and finished the last page in my most frequently used art journal with this sketch.

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These will be a fun addition to my stash. Speaking of stash I often purchase supplies for the upcoming year in November/December when sales are good. I was very mindful this year grabbing things I was almost out of and knew I would use and new products that I wanted to try then review. I recorded this video a couple of weeks ago so I would have it to post during the holiday week and at that time the new tax reform bill had not been finalized and I was hearing a lot of fear mongering in some small business groups and some people were saying that their accountants were telling them to buy as many things as they could now while they can deduct the expenses because “who knows what will happen in the tax bill passes?” Well, we can still deduct expenses and I apologize if this upset anyone. I don’t want to spread rumors or encourage people to buy out of fear. OK, now that I have that out-of-the-way here is my year-end haul. You can look forward the tutorials using these products coming soon on my channel!

If you are interested in anything I mentioned you can find links below:

  • Set of 8 fountain pens *These are good for the price but a couple of pens needed a bit of tuning to improve ink flow. They work really well with the enclosed refillable cartridges but not so well with disposable cartridges.
  • Artist photo reference books. I found these on amazon, I have kept my eyes peeled for these for years and I finally found a bunch that were reasonable, these are out of print so if you find them they will be sold by small bookshops but all but two books arrived within a week.  *Good luck in your search!
  • Grumbacher Acrylic Paper pad(Tried it already and love it!)
  • Canson XL Mixed media rough (pages are a natural white and slightly rougher than the bright white smoother regular Canson XL mixed media pads, not a huge difference other than that but I like the original so that’s fine with me)
  • Toned Tan and toned grey Strathmore mixed media pads
  • Rendr no show through marker sketchbook
  • Blick illustrator markers *So I did get a chance to look at them and they are lovely but they are exactly like the studio 71 markers by Darice. The color names and numbers are the same and they swatch out identically. Also the 24 pack are sold out and they were a limited time product so I decided I won’t be reviewing them. I suggest you try the Blick Studio brush markers as they have a higher quality nib or if you want a budget option try the studio 71 markers
  • Colerase erasable colored pencils
  • Prismacolor Manga set (already reviewed)
  • Faber Castel Stencils
  • China markers
  • Stablo all pencils
  • Arches gift set (cheap joes)
  • Gear stencils/masks
  • Yarn, soap fragrance: A.C. Moore in store only
  • Citric acid for upcoming bath bomb tutorial
  • Bath bomb moulds
  • Jane Davenport products: Doll head pencil cup, ink, palette pad with faces and colorwheels printed on them, power pastels, beaded brush and inkredible pen

Phew, that was a lot of stuff, stay tuned for videos using this stuff! I will have the DIY bath bomb video up on my YouTube channel tonight at 5pm ET and in a day or two on my blog. It is a wonderful project to make with the kids on Christmas break and your home will smell great while you are making them! Plus, anything that encourages the kids to take a bath is a good thing. I hope you are having a great week and til next time happy crafting!

 

Cookin’, Wrappin’, Relaxin’ & Preparing for Snow!

Merry Christmas friends! I have to say that this has been my favorite Christmas season in many years. What was different?  Why was I not a stressed out mess like I usually am this time of year? Well, there are a couple of reasons. For one, my house is less cluttered. Holiday decorations used to stress me out because we were always so rushed and I always meant to declutter before decorating but I would get busy and the kids would want the decorations up so I would go up to the attic and drag down the totes and let them have at it so there would be decorations on top of the everyday clutter. It was a mess. This year I took everything out of the attic. We went through everything, got rid of a lot of things that were shabby and did not hold any sentimental value and put out the stuff we loved. We had 14 totes of christmas decorations and we weeded it down to about 5. I have been enjoying my home decorated for Christmas instead of looking forward the the 26th when I can pack them all away. Why did I live like that?

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I also I decided to get rid of expectations. I would not “panic shop” because I have found that gifts bought in that frame of mind seldom hit the mark. I did most of my gift shopping locally (I used to dread going out in public and shopping but this year I enjoyed it!) I took the time while waiting to pick up my kids from practise to stroll around local stores and choosing gifts that I really felt people could use and love. Let’s face it, four crappy panic gifts to not equal one good gift. I wrapped gifts as I went and never when I was tired or cranky. If I was tired I went to bed whereas in years past I would just brace myself and marathon wrap until it was done. Ironically I never felt done, if I had extra time after wrapping I would go into panic mode thinking I must not have bought enough if I am done wrapping already. This year seeing my kids discard several panic gifts that never got opened helped me see the error of my ways. The biggest change I made was allowing myself enough time to do something instead of cramming every little thing in that I could. Today I cooked some cranberry sauce and baked garlic rolls for Christmas Eve dinner. Old Lindsay would have squeezed in one more DIY gift project before starting to bake and left the house in a wreck to leave for the party only to come home to a stressful mess. I stopped the insanity! Oh, and I think my garlic rolls came out better than before, I can taste the calm! I’m not sure what I taste in the Cranberry sauce…the zesty tang of my new zesty approach to life? It’s a bit tart LOL:)

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This Christmas will be a bit different from every other Christmas as we are getting a foot of snow tomorrow between 3am and 6pm so traveling to my folks for Christmas will be out. I called my mom and asked if we could get together on the 26th instead due to the storm and she said it was fine so for the first time in forever we will hang out at home and take our time opening gifts and lounging around enjoying each others company. I’ll miss spending Christmas Day with my folks but I am looking forward to hanging out with hubby and the kids all day and staying home too! And since we will visit on the 26th it’s like we get to extend the good times!

I think it is funny that something as simple as decluttering my home this year would make such an impact on my life as a whole. I think it helped be to be more present instead of rushing to the next thing. That is why I am enjoying this holiday season more, because I am in the moment. I am setting realistic expectations and pacing myself instead of cramming more in. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas (if you celebrate) and a safe and happy New Year! Take care of yourself and til next time happy crafting!

A Beginner Friendly Winter Landscape LIVE at 12:30pm ET!

Edited to add the finished picture from today’s live stream! Have a happy and safe weekend!

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Hi friends! Take a break from the shopping and wrapping today and relax and paint with me at 12:30pm Eastern Time! We will use this reference photo as a starting point.

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As always you can watch the live stream or the reply in the player below but if you want to chat live be sure to watch on the YouTube watch page!

Sponsored by 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. *Need a last-minute gift, e-gift cards are available!

Supplies:

I hope you can take a painting break with me today! I went to bed early last night (9:30pm!) so I would be firing on all cylinders today! I have a few gifts to wrap this morning and knowing I get a painting break motivates me to tackle the tasks at hand. Be kind to yourself this weekend (and always) remember it doesn’t matter what’s under the tree as much as who’s around it:) Happy crafting!

PS. Need more watercolor instruction? Try a class! The Essential Tools and Techniques for Watercolor class is designed to provide all of the techniques you need to know to get started off on the right foot in watercolor painting with 5 hours of in-depth step by step instructions. Oh! and I made a coupon (HOLIDAY17) to save you 35% ! (the link above contains the coupon code)

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Texture Toolbox Feathers & Fowl is the first in a watercolor texture series and is an intermediate level class. I NEVER want you to feel pressure to buy a class but if you want more in-depth instruction than I can provide in a YouTube video as well as the ability to share your work in the classroom and get feeback the classes are available. 🙂  The coupon is good for this class too! Happy Holidays!

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Why I Closed My Booth and Built a Website

Hi friends! Sometimes I think that we do things out of habit or because it’s easy to keep the status quo. Today I’m going to tell you about a decision I have been postponing for quite sometime: Weather or not to keep selling my cards, paintings and jewelry in the booth I rent in a local antiques mall.

Antique store owner

The booth made a little money but to be honest I did not have the time to maintain it as well as I should. And if I want to be really honest one of my big motivations in opening it a few years ago was to get this finished art out of my house! I loved that I had a place to store my art where people could buy it. I could keep depositing new art there so it didn’t take over my house. Also I had become burnt out on the craft fair scene and I didn’t like schlepping art around in the cold and giving up my weekends. It seems odd that I had not made an online shop before this because it would be cheaper than renting space and more convenient as I could work from home. Sometimes it just seems easier to keep doing what you’ve always done. But I am a believer of doing what needs to be done, even if you don’t have a clue how to do it.  I needed a website where I could have an online store and the best way to learn how to do something is to do it! Watch the video to see how!

This video is sponsored by Wix You can build your website for free using beautiful templates quickly and easily. Their in-house design tools make is easy for someone with little computer experience to create a stunning online store, blog or other website.

Check out my NEW website!

I decided I needed a website for 2 reasons:
1. I am closing the local retail space I sell my paintings, cards and jewelry at because honestly I didn’t have the time to maintain it and it had turned into a glorified storage space. And the retail space I have was not reaching my potential customers like a website would.

2. I want to have a piece of the internet I can control no matter what happens to the social media platforms I am on. My blog fulfills that need to an extent but I don’t have an e-commerce (store) option there. I have heard of so many creators having their social media accounts terminated or the platforms that they are active on disappearing. Remember Vine? Also social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and even YouTube can dictate who sees your content (even among your subscribers) so if you want to be able to control the space you are creating for you need your own website. You don’t have to worry about a site shutting down or deleting everything you worked so hard for.

We plan to have the online shop up and running in February. My hubby is joining my business full-time mid January and I am so excited about the opportunities this will open up. I have had to turn down so many interesting projects just because I couldn’t pile one more thing on my plate. I have other big plans for my website in the new year and I can’t wait to share them with you. Here’s to trying new things! I’m glad I did. I hope you found this helpful or inspiring and it goes to show you that if you are willing to step out of your comfort zone you can do some pretty great things! Happy crafting!

 

5 Cards YOU can Make in 5 Minutes or LESS for Christmas!

Hi friends! Are you starting to feel the panic yet? Actually I have been rather calm this Christmas but the other day I realized that I have not sent my Christmas cards out yet and not only that I didn’t have enough. Now, most sane folks would just run to the store but I’m crafty (and to be honest the whole reason I got into stamping was to save money on Christmas cards, look how that turned out! 😛 ) so I decided to come up with some simple designs that would be unique, cheerful and take less time to make then driving to town and back.

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Watch the video to see how! I’ll warn you, it kinda falls apart at the end! 😀

Most of the stuff I used except for the cute wooden trees I got at A.C. Moore were older things from my stash and you don’t have to have the same stuff I used to create something just as cute. So instead of a specific supply list I will put alternatives you can use from your stash!

Supplies:

  • White cardstock (or if you have some premade card bases or colorful cardstock you want to use up go for it and adjust the colors of paint accordingly.)
  • Colorful media such as acrylic paint, watercolor crayons, pastels, markers, watercolors or you can swipe ink pads on your cardstock!
  • Stamping inks
  • Paint brushes, Q-Tips or makeup wedges
  • Focal item: Wood shapes, die cuts, flat holiday ornaments, stickers, Stamped images you have cut out, Cute images cut from patterned paper or old Christmas cards
  • Sentiment stamps or you can hand write a greeting, print it from your computer and paste it on, use a label, tag, embellishment or sticker
  • Embossing ink and embossing powder or tinsel OR you could try a glue pen and foil or glitter.

Take the above crafty ingredients and mix and match as you like. I think t would be fun to put all of those supplies on a “Wheel of Fortune” like spinner and give it a spin to choose a supply to make a card! “I’ll take glitter and watercolor crayons Vanna!” I think Vanna White would approve as she is a crafty knitter:) OK I am getting a bit silly now, I have many presents to wrap and a few crafty gifts to finish up so I’m going to get back to work but I am glad to spend a few minutes visiting with you:) Thanks for dropping by and til next time happy crafting!

All the Techniques to Make Most Beaded Jewelry in one Video!

Hi friends! I am so excited to share this video with you today! I compiled the most used techniques that you will need to make almost any beaded (strung) jewelry project in today’s video! I wanted it to be like a class that you can return to time and time again. That’s why I also included time stamped links to each technique in this blog post. You will be able to jump to the technique you need to know. I hope it is helpful to you!

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I know this is a long video but I didn’t want to sacrifice techniques just to fit it into a short YouTube friendly video length. I do have a favor to ask though, if you like long, in-depth videos such as this please watch, like and share it. That way YouTube will see that content like this has value. Thanks so much! And now on to the video!

*Please note this video is a beginner introduction to jewelry making and does not cover bead stitching. If it did we’d be here all day LOL!

For your convenience I have time-stamped the techniques in this video for easy future reference. I hope you find this helpful and if you have any questions let me know in the comments!

Basic tools and supplies overview 2:43

Techniques:

  • #1 12:25 How to remove a kink or bend from a headpin and straighten wire.
  • #2 13:20 How to make a simple loop
  • #3 How to open and close a jump-ring. 15:10 Opening a jump ring. 16:08 Closing a jump-ring
  • #4 18:03 Adding an ear-wire to earrings
  • #5 19:20 How to make a wrapped loop (more secure than a simple loop)
  • #6 22:30 How to measure and cut chain
  • #7 24:49 How to attach clasps (for bracelets and necklaces)
  • #8 Techniques for working with chain: 27:27 How to attach chains. 30:22 How to make a chain tassel
  • #9 32:09 How and why to use bead caps
  • #10 How to attach crimp beads: 33:00 How to attach a crimp bead with any pliers and use a crimp cover. 35:52 How to attach a crimp bead with crimping pliers

I want to thank our sponsor Annie’s Simply Beads Kit-of-the-Month Club! I really enjoyed putting together the jewelry set I was wearing today. Join now and get 50% off your first month and 3 free gifts! Use coupon code “FRUGAL”.

 

Would you like to see more jewelry projects on my channel? Let me know what you want to learn in the comments below and til next time happy crafting!

Paint this relaxed beginner watercolor landscape in real time!

Hi friends! Today we are going back to basics with a fun and relaxing watercolor landscape of a forest, lake and meadow.

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I received such lovely feedback from viewers on YouTube and Instagram that I think I will make more of these real-time beginner tutorials which can also be used as warm-ups for more advanced painters! It’s great way to fill that watercolor sketchbook! Watch the video and follow along!

Supplies:

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Beginner watercolor tips:

1. Don’t be afraid of the water, wet that paper well! That’s why it’s called watercolor:)

2. Wet paper = soft blended edges and dry paper = crisp and hard edges. so be sure to wet the paper if you want it to blend and work on dry paper when you want crisp details.

3. Take a break, your eyes will play tricks on you after working on a painting too long so giving your eyes a rest will help you come back to work refreshed with a new truer perspective.

4. Paint! Whenever you can with whatever you have for supplies. That is the one thing that will make the most difference in your art.

When I painted this piece and recorded the video is was a quiet Sunday morning and I was the only one up in the house. I got to enjoy a cup of coffee and greet the day with a paintbrush in hand and I think that is the ideal way to start the day! How about you? Let me know if you would like more lessons like this and til next time happy crafting!

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