DIY Gel Printed Business Cards for Creative People!

Hi friends! This idea has been rolling around in my brain for a while. I had used up my old business cards (after what seemed like ages) and I wanted something new and a bit unusual. Also I didn’t want to have to order 1000 or have them be super expensive. I love the way cardstock feels when you gel print on it and I thought it would be really special to make business cards with a real hand-pulled print on the back.

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The original plan was to print the contact info for my business cards on the cardstock 10 to a page, print on the back side and cut them apart. That would have works splendidly if I just stuck with gel printing with acrylic paint. However I decided to add some liquid acrylic ink and it seeped through to the front of the paper so I ended up backing them with cardstock and glueing on my contact info to that. In the end I actually liked this method better because they have a really nice thickness to them. Watch the video if you want to see how I made them step by step.

Supplies (Amazon affiliate links used)

Even if you don’t have a business you can still make these calling cards, think of Victorian calling cards. What a classy way to introduce yourself! I know I’d have an easier way remembering someone’s name if they handed me one!

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You can also use this method to make ATCs or artist trading cards. You might add more accents and details after cutting them up though. *ATC are mini artworks measuring 2.5″x3.5″ in size and traded between artists and stampers.

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I hope this project get your creative juices flowing but I hope you don’t wait til the night before you need some cards like I did LOL! At least it makes for a fun story! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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Review: NEW Premier by Nicole Watercolors from AC Moore

Hi freinds! Today we will look at the Premiere by Nicole watercolors available at AC Moore. Currently they are available in store only but they plan to stock them on their new shopping website soon. I went shopping with my friend Kathy yesterday and saw that these watercolors were on sale 4/$10 this week so if you have a shop locally and you are interested in them after seeing this review you might want to grab some on sale. The Menta brushes by Royal and Langnickel were also 4/$10 if you were looking to grab some.

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These paints are sold individually for $3.99 (regular retail price) and there is a nice selection of colors available. They also have a watercolor pad and brushes in the line. I would rate all of these products student grade and they are priced for the student or hobby market. BTW here are the swatching stamps I used to make the mixing chart. Watch the video below for my in-depth review.

Pros:

  • Nice variety of colors available
  • Colors dry down well without cracking
  • Dry paint rewets nicely.
  • Glazing is possible

Cons:

  • No pigment or lightfast information available
  • Some of the colors I received are quite “samey”
  • Some colors were a bit streaky
  • Some colors mixed got a bit chalky

Review: These paints initially reminded me a lot of the Cotman line from Winsor & Newton in the colors, texture and the way they dried down. At the end of the video I compared the exact colors from Premiere to the swatches of the full like of Cotman pans I have and the similarities are striking almost like they were made by the same company. Cotman paints retail for $4.89 a tube but cotman paints contain pigment info wich is a big plus in my book.

They also reminded me of Royal and Langnickel tube paint which is a steal however the R&L paint has an odor and I know some people are bothered by that even though it is faint. R&L paint will crack if dried down so I recommend using that fresh from the tube or adding a bit of glycerin in the wet paint.

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These paints will perform very similarly to any other student grade paint however without pigment info and lightfast info available I would not recommend them over other brands that offer that information at the same price. If you want to get a few tubes to try I recommend sticking to a very limited palette of Permanent Rose,Intense blue, and Cadmium yellow as you will get very nice clean mixes and vibrant colors. I think those colors may be single pigment. I think that if you like Cotman watercolors you will like these as they are nearly identical but I’d wait for a sale which luckily ACMoore has often. The paper is quite smooth and reminds me of Canson XL. It is a wood pulp paper and very affordable (about $5.88 for a 9″x12″ pad of 30) I personally like it for rubber stamping and watercoloring those images, it is a great buy for that. The brushes are your standard golden taklon and a bit stiff for my liking in watercolor and will make you watercolor look more streaky. For the same money you can purchase the Menta brushes by Royal & Langnickel also sold at AC Moore. *Reminder both the Menta brushes and Premiere paints are on sale this week at ACM!

Thanks to ACMoore for sending these to me for review. They are very similar to Cotman and I’d give them a try if on sale and you are in need of student paint. Happy crafting!

What do Skeletons and Peonies Have in Common?

Hi friends! I am so glad to be back doodling around in a sketchbook today! After many weeks of spending my “free” time on assignments for a painting class I am taking it is fun to just play in a sketchbook!

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I started off wanting to do a bit of a Halloween sketch so I sketched a skeleton in ink in the sketchbook that came in my Smart Art Box but I didn’t think that this mixed media paper was best suited to ink as it bled through so I decided to also try my watercolors on it.

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The watercolor also wanted to absorb in and show through the back of the page a bit but I actually really loved the effect, it was like Chinese brush painting (not that I am trained in that discipline at all but I have played with the materials before) and I loved the effect. I also loved accenting that sketch with the flexible pen that also came in the box that I forgot to use in the first sketch. Remember, just because a supply came with certain things doesn’t mean you can’t try it out with something else you have that you might enjoy more. Any new supply you add to your stash should make your other supplies more useful (not redundant) and you often come up with really cool techniques when you use materials in new ways or in combination with other products. Mix up that media man! Watch the video to see these two paintings come together:)

The supplies in this video were in the October Smart Art Box. Smart Art sponsored this video and I thank them for their support. If you would like a surprise box of art supplies delivered to your door each month consider subscribing. They ship to many countries and you can find out more on their website.

Supply List: (Occasionally Smart Art will have additional boxes for sale. You can check availability here. As of now there are no extra October boxes listed so I have linked to the products on Amazon (affiliate links used) for your convenience.

Out of curiosity I looked up the prices of the products in the box on Amazon and they came out to about $61. I will definitely use these products in other projects (and yay they included my favorite fountain pen safe waterproof ink!) After I open and use my products from a subscription box I store the supplies with other “like” supplies so I will remember I have them the next time I need a pen or bottle of ink. I recommend doing this if you get random supplies here and there. I know it is tempting to keep kits or certain brands together but you will use them more (and they won’t dry up and go to waste because you forget you have them) if you store like with like. If I find I have a double I put the extra in my office art space (for when it’s too cold to craft down in the basement) or in my travel art bag or pass it along to a friend if it has a shelf life. I mention this because art subscription boxes are fun but you might forget what you got if you don’t put them in their proper homes after the first play. At least that’s how I am. I hope you enjoyed this sketchbook sunday and til next time happy crafting!

Build a Gingerbread House Card {and the joy found in a scrap of mylar!)

Howdy friends! I just got my new release of stamps in the mail this week! I have 3 new Christmas clear stamp sets exclusivly with Rubber Stamp Tapestry!

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I was most excited to try out this stamp set but don’t worry, I’ll give you ideas with the other ones coming up so you can have a fun time making cards, gift card holders and fun Christmas packaging with them this year! Watch the video to see how I made this card.

This video is sponsored by Rubber Stamp Tapestry  Use coupon code: LINDSAY and receive 15% off your retail order of $10 or more of peg stamps, peg stamp sets, and unmounted stamps! Coupon expires a week from this video publication. Continue to receive great deals by becoming a PegStamp VIP here. As a PegStamp VIP
you’ll get a weekly deal via email plus links to fabulous tutorials by me, Lindsay the Frugal Crafter and other designers.

Supplies:

The coolest thing about this card (to me) was stamping that sentiment inside the house at the last-minute and also finding a use for that scrap of Mylar I came across looking for papers for an unrelated project. Think of all the treasures that could be hiding in the nooks and crannies of your crafty storage. When I was little my mom use to tell us to clean our closet if we wanted a new toy because we would find something we forgot about (and we always did!) and it would be just like a new present! The best thing about these new old treasures is that they are like new goodies that are already bought and paid for so we can enjoy them without guilt. Have fun shopping your stash and til next time happy crafting!

Ask a Watercolorist LIVE! 12:30pm ET

Hi friends! Do you have any burning watercolor questions? Bring those questions to YouTube at 12:30 and you can ask me and my guest April from A Little Creative. April has a watercolor shop and is an avid painter as well and you know my background so it will be fun to have a couple of different perspectives!

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Make sure you watch on YouTube at 12:30pm Eastern Time if you want to chat live and ask questions. Sarah will be there (as well as out other moderators) to relay your questions to me. We will get as many answered as we can in an hour. The replay will also be available in the player below!

So if you have questions on brushes, paints, storage, palettes, technique or anything else watercolor related we want to hear from you live at 12:30pm ET on YouTube!

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On a fun side note I was interviewed for the Wall Street Journal on an article on Eco-Crafting. They were interested in my DIY Paper Straw recipe video I posted back in 2014. I must admit I was a bit disappointed that the article mostly focused on “what can go wrong” when crafting instead of encouraging readers to seriously try some of these projects. For instance they profiled a woman who made waxed fabric food wraps and it talks about her ruining her countertops and eventually the carpet in her office where she makes them to sell instead of showing a very simple, non messy, easy and frugal method of making them like I did in this video.  I guess for readers it’s probably more fun to read an article about craft fails than one where you actually learn how to craft sustainable products. I’m sure the former sells more papers than the latter and at least I’m told the article is on the front page of the print edition, so that’s cool. I hope it brings some new folks into The Frugal Crafter Family where they can learn it is possible to craft sustainably without an awful counter-ruining mess and have fun in the process.

See you at 12:30 for the live Q&A and til then happy crafting!

Loose Style Watercolor Cup-o-Joe!

Howdy friends! Today we are going to use only four colors to paint this cheerful yellow mug of coffee in a loose and juicy style!

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Originally I painted this on a cold press greeting card but I wasn’t happy with it so I decided to redo it. You can do that, did you know? If you see more in your subject or are unsatisfied do it over (and nobody has to see the first one if you don’t want them too!)

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That’s what’s so great about painting. You can add-on, improve, finalize and get it just how you envision before sharing it with others. Please let go if the inner critic and enjoy the feeling of paint and water on paper!

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.

Supplies:

If you like this loose style of painting you might be interested in my Watercolor Floral Workshop course and you can save 40% with coupon code: FABRIC through Saturday!

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If you are a beginner to painting you might also enjoy my most popular course Essential Tools and Techniques for Watercolor which combines all of the tried and true techniques you need to know to start your watercolor journey off on the right foot! This course is designed to get beginners up to speed faster and fill in the gaps that some intermediate painters might have in their watercolor practise.

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Clicking on either of the classes above should bring you to the discounted price but if not (or if you wish to purchase a different class) use the coupon code FABRIC at checkout. Sale prices good through Saturday 10/27/18. Thanks for painting with me today and til next time happy crafting!

Silly & Fun Robot Cards for Kids!

Hi friends! Today we are going to make a batch of cute cards that can be used for any occasion you want a light-hearted & fun card!

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I’ll also show you how to fix those less than perfect stamped images and smudged backgrounds so you won’t be tempted to toss them in the trash!

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)

Tips to fix ink smudges and mis-stamped patches

  1. Cover ink smudges by adding a background.
  2. Or place an embellishment over the smudge.
  3. To fill in a spot in a stamped image where the ink skipped simply press a inkpad (if a dye pad) on a clear block and pick up the ink with a blender pen and color it in. If you are using an archival pad scribble a matching memento marker on the clear block and do the same.

I really had a fun time making these cards! I hope you try some of these ideas out on your next card! Happy crafting!

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