DIY vs Store Bought Acrylic Paint Pouring Medium & May 2018 Smart Art Box

Hi friends! I was excited to see authentic paint pouring supplies in my Smart Art Box this month because I had fun with my DIY experiment last month but I wondered if it would turn out better using the real McCoy. You can see my findings in today’s video!

I just want to state for the record that the bottle of pouring medium said that it was for thinning paint AND creating cells so I didn’t include any cell making additives but no cells happened using the medium only as instructed on the bottle. Just a heads up if you are using this at home, a spritz of hairspray (look for one containing silicone) or a few drips of alcohol can make some groovy stuff happen in the paint!

Sponsored by Smart Art, a wonderful monthly subscription art box company, Learn more or subscribe today! The May Smart Art Box arrived with acrylic paint pouring supplies so I thought it would be fun to see how store-bought paint pouring medium worked compared to my DIY version I showed you a few weeks ago.

Supplies from the box

Other supplies:

  • A tray to catch paint
  • A can or more to hold up canvas
  • Empty cups and stir sticks for mixing paint and medium
  • A place to leave the canvas undisturbed for a day.

I think the determining factor on whether you should use the store-bought medium or DIY is if you want to make sure your acrylic pour will last a long time. The commercially made pouring medium should give you guaranteed long-lasting results whereas the DIY version is a crap-shoot. Still I think with a layer of varnish both are great options. What do you think? Let me know in the comments!


Watercolor look flowers with Distress Oxides!

Hi friends! I am packing up for the stamp show and thinking about all of my favorite vendors I will see there, two in particular are Rubbernecker and impression Obsession! I used their stamps to make these cards the other day:


These cards only use white cardstock, ink and a couple of button for embellishments plus basic tools and adhesives. Watch the video to see how easy it is to make these cards and then give it a try with your supplies!

Supplies: (Affiliate links used)

Just a reminder!

I will be traveling through Sunday so I will not have a live show on Friday but I will post pre recorded videos throughout my absence:) If you want to see the stuff I find interesting at the stamp show please follow me on Instagram as I will be posting photos from the stamp show! Happy crafting!


Easy Graduation Decorations!

Hi friends!  My daughters are graduating 8th grade in a few weeks and it is a pretty big deal in our small school because we don’t have a high school in our town so all the kids pick where they will attend high schools from about 5 choices. So this is the last time they will be together as a class after 9 years together if you count kindergarten and 10 if you count Pre-k! The graduation is all about the kids and we wanted to make sure the decorations reflected their unique style so I made up a blank cap and tassel decoration for them to decorate. They will write their name at the top where I put the lettering on the sample and the rest is up to them to decorate in a way meaningful to them:)


This is an easy and inexpensive project and suitable for any elementary school graduation. You could also use it for a grad party for older kids too!


I hope you enjoyed this quick craft and if you know of anyone who might like it please share it using one of the handy sharing buttons below! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Sketchbook Sunday: Orchids!

Hi friends! It’s time for the latest installment of Sketchbook Sunday!


I hope you play in your sketchbook today and enjoy the process!


Sketchbook Sunday Loose Orchids in Watercolor/Colored Pencil
I received this potted arrangement for mother’s day from my mom and I thought it would be fun to paint!


What are you working on today? I hope you experiment and explore in your sketchbook without worrying about the outcome. 🙂 Happy crafting!

Father’s Day Gift Box Card with Scene Stamping!

Hi friends! I was cleaning up after cooking a meal from a dinner kit and I was about to toss the box in the recycling bin when I realized that it could be upcycled instead!


The box had a fold out flap which concealed the cooking directions for the dinner kit and I thought it would be cool to make it into a greeting card and since it is already attached to a sturdy box it can be a gift box too!


Watch the video for a full tutorial!

Sponsored by Rubber Stamp Tapestry!
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Here is a tutorial on masking if you need it. This was fun to make but if I was going to do this again I would save several boxes and cover and decorate them all at once while my supplies were out and I was in the groove. I can see these being useful for birthdays too and you can make more in less time if you batch them out. I hope you use some of these techniques in your next project and til next time happy crafting!



LIVE! Sweet Summer Slices! Watermelon Watercolor Lesson at 12:30pm ET!

Edited to add a photo of the final painting. Have a safe Memorial Day weekend!

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Hi friends! We are going to have our first hot summer like day today in Maine and I am so excited! My husband suggested that I paint watermelon (see what a good idea it was to put him on the payroll!) and I thought it was a fine idea! I am going to show you how to use plastic wrap to create the crisp and icy texture of watermelon flesh but there is some drying time involved. I will show the entire demo in the live stream today but I have prepared another piece of paper that will be dry by then so after I show the plastic wrap technique I will have the dried version to continue on with. If you want to paint live with me you will also want to prepare your paper to that point. As always the replay will be available so you can follow along later and pause while things dry.


The first thing you want to do is transfer the pattern (or freehand the picture) on to your watercolor paper.


Then wet one of the slices with clear water and add in rose-red.


Then drop in a smidgen of yellow ocher here and there and outline the rind with sap green. You may need to blot out some white between the rind and the red flesh.


Then place a piece of plastic wrap on the wet paint and scrunch it if needed to make a texture like this. Let this try. You can remove it before it’s totally dry if you want a softer texture or let it dry with the plastic on it for a crisper texture. You can also weight it down and leave it overnight if you wanted a super dramatic texture but that is not necessary for this. You want to repeat these steps for every slice of watermelon in the picture, refer to the first photo in this post as a guide.


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

Supplies available at 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.

Programming note…

No live show next week as I will be teaching at the Heirloom Paper Art Festival in W. Springfield MA! Will you be there? Join me for a class or say Howdy if you see me on the show floor!

Come to the Darkside (We have Coffee!)

Hi friends! I think it’s really fun to make cards for my friends. For one getting a card for no reason is more fun than getting a card for a special occasion, and two most of my friends stamp so they really appreciate a handmade card!


When I saw these new stamps from Katzelcraft I knew they would be perfect for “girlfriend” cards. What a fun way to invite a friend over for coffee or just catch up! I am about to go to a stamp show with 3 of my friends and we are all going to ride together so just imagine 5 hours in a car with me and 3 others that can chat as much as I do, there’s won’t be a dull moment (or a silent one!) In today’s card I will share tips for coloring with alcohol markers, overlapping stamped images and a nifty tip for die cutting a matting layer when you don’t have the next side up die!

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: *Sponsored/Affiliate links used

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and if so please share it with a friend! Til next time happy crafting!


Heirloom Winners!

Hi friends! I am telling you, I am such a ding-dong this month. With so much going on between my regular videos and blog posts, classes and the kids end of the school year stuff (my son started drivers ed, yikes!) I have been running in many directions! I completely forgot to announce the winners of the Heirloom Productions Stamp Show Tickets! They are: Karen Stevens, Debra Graham, Monika.Buzsy, Mary Nieb, Kris Storts, Betty Wlazlo, and Donna Birney. Please check your inbox for an email from Nikki at Heirloom containing your tickets! See you at the show! If you didn’t win you can purchase tickets to the show on the Heirloom Productions website for $6 through 5/27/18 which is cheaper than at the door ($8/day or $14 for both days) but if you are taking a glass you get your admission to the show free.

I love attending the Heirloom Productions Stamp Show in W. Springfield MA, there are so many good vendors and I love seeing folks in person that I chat with here and on YouTube. People are so friendly and it is so nice to meet online crafty friends in person. I do hope you will say hello if you see me at the show! Last week I was notified that the Loose Watercolor Bouquet (Lilacs) class was nearly full but I do have spots open in the Loose Watercolor Roses class if anyone is interested. The past years I have taught at Heirlooms my classes have sold out so if you want to paint with me on Friday June 1st be sure to reserve your spot here.


I’ll be back tomorrow with a fun cardmaking tutorial with a sneaky die cutting hack! Til then happy crafting!