Llama Love Notes!

Hi friends! I really enjoyed making these cards. I think they would be sweet Valentines cards or lunchbox notes.

I have lots of tips to share in this simple card making video. I hope it sparks some inspiration!

This video is sponsored by Top Flight Stamps! https://topflightstamps.com/ SAVE 10% off your next order with coupon code: thefrugalcrafter10 *USA orders of $50+ ship free!

Supplies (affiliate links used)

I hope you have a safe and happy New Year! Happy crafting!

A Loose Portrait in Gouache

Hi friends! Isn’t the week between Christmas and New Years Day odd? It’s kind of a surreal time where it’s OK to drift along from druther to druther and take a break from the normal grind. (BTW if you don’t know what a “druther” is, it’s something you would rather do. For instance: If my child had his druthers he’d eat chocolate for dinner. I believe it is a contractions of “I would rather” but it could also be a Maine thing.) Today I washed palettes. I fussed around my studio and reorganized a few things. I think it’s good to move your supplies around to inject some energy and shake the dust off. It’s also good to evaluate whether or not you are going to finish those UFOs (unfinished objects) that you have become clutter blind to and also honestly determine if you will actually use those leftover products you have kept out in sight so you don’t forget about them. You see, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. We intend to use up every bit of a supply so we leave it out to remind us, we gather supplies and put them together in plain sight ready to craft or we start a project and we leave it out to inspire us but sometimes we lose steam or realize that this craft really doesn’t suit us. The longer those supplies sit untouched the more we are reminded that we didn’t get it done. Don’t bring that baggage into the new year. For me that means going through the project trays of ideas I had and putting the supplies back into regular storage so I can use them for other things and donating supplies I know I won’t use. Do you reset your home or art supplies for the new year?

I didn’t film a sketchbook Sunday today but I realized that I forgot to blog last Sunday’s project so here it is! This painting was so fun to paint using gouache on tan mixed media paper! You can find a real-time tutorial for this in Critique club. *Critique club is a membership club that gives you access to 2 new real time intermediate/advanced tutorials in a range of media and access to past tutorials (currently there are 24 lessons.) In addition you can upload up to 2 paintings you are working on per month for a critique from me so you can grow and improve as an artist. You get all of this for $5 a month and you can cancel anytime. Learn more here.

Supplies (affiliate links used)

I was wondering since I am tidying up an rearranging if you would like a new studio tour when I am done. I was also thinking about doing a video on how to set up a studio in an unfinished basement since I have been using this space for 13 years and have come up with a lot of tips and tricks to keep comfortable and keep my supplies safe and workable in a 4 season climate. I am a big believer in finding that unused (unwanted by anyone else) space in your home and making a creative retreat. Where do you create?

Well, that’s all for me for tonight. I hope you are having a nice weekend and til next tie happy creating!

Twas the Day After Christmas…

Hi friends! The day after Christmas is a day of guilt free laziness for me. I won’t feel bad lounging around and reading or catching a Doctor Who marathon on TV. I can ignore the Christmas aftermath mess and not apologize about the state of our house should anyone drop by. I hope you are enjoying the season and you take some time to recharge during the next few days. Perhaps by doing a bit of painting.

I painted this yummy looking pudding on Christmas Eve. I like to have a creative break when things are hectic and this small painting was the just the thing. There is an old saying about meditation that I think applies to creating as well “If you have the time [meditate] for 20 minutes a day, if you don’t have the time you should do it for an hour a day.” I love that! Give yourself permission to do what brings you joy so you can be a more joyful person to those around you.

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.

That’s all for today! I have a book to get back too! I received the book I was most hoping to get (The Testaments from Margaret Atwood) and I am enjoying it so much. At this rate I will finish it an a couple of days and I am trying to savor it! If you have any book recommendations please let me know in the comments. Happy painting!

Sweet Last Minute Gifts!

Hi friends, today I am going to share a quick inexpensive gift to make!

I love little gifts like these cute lip balms because they are useful and show someone that you are thinking of them during the holiday season. I don’t know about you but I can always use an extra lip balm this time of year! Watch the video so see how I made these!

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.


  • Peg Stamp Set Country Christmas
  • Peg Stamp Set Snowstorm
  • Unmounted stamp set Winter Wishes
  • Cardstock in various colors
  • Pigment ink pads (Versafine Clair)
  • Double sided tape
  • Hot Glue
  • Mini tinsel garland
  • Christmas embellishments, bells, google eyes
  • Lip balm
  • Lip balm clear holder (Or purchase a lip balm and save the clear packaging.
  • Basic shape dies or templates
  • Red embossing powder

Directions for lip balm purse: Cut an oval from cardstock large enough to wrap around the lip balm like a taco. Stamp a sentiment on one end. Apply double sided tape down the center to hold the lip balm. Apply double-sided tape near one end. Glue a piece of garland under the tape to make a handle and flof the cardstock in half to seal it. Decorate the outside of the purse with embellishments and sentiment.

Directions for Rectangle lip balm holder: Cut a rectangle of red cardstock 3 ¼ x4 ¼” and a green rectangle 3”x4”. Score the red cardstock 1 ¾” from each end and fold ends up. Score the green 1 ½” from each end and cut a slit between the score marks 1” from each edge. Slide capstick in the slot make in the green cardstock. Place double sided tape on each end of the green card and secure inside the red cover. Punch holes at the corners and add string, ribbon or twine if desired. Decorate front of cover.

Directions for deer lip balm ornament: Cut arch shape from wood grain paper and white cardstock. Cut a hole the size of chapstick packaging on wood grain side. If desired cut a pull tap on the white piece. Stamp antlers in brown at the tip of the hole on wood grain side. Stamp Sentiment in red and heat emboss. Flip over wood grain piece and add double-sided tape all over the back. Add a loop of ribbon the top. Place chapstick in clear packaging inside and press on the white cardstock. Glue google eyes, red pom-pom nose and ears to a brown oval or heart and glue on chapstick. Add a scrap of gold tinsel and a gold jingle bell.

Happy holiday crafting!

If you paint with oils you will want to read this!

Hi friends! After watercolor oil paint is probably my favorite medium. I love the smooth buttery consistency, the rich glossy colors and the creamy blending that I can achieve with this medium. I even like the smell of the oil paint! It’s not all sunshine and roses tho. If you are using traditional oils you will need to clean your brushes with some type of solvent. I rinse my brushes in solvent, wipe off the excess and wash with brush soap. Today I’ll share how I conserve my solvent so I get the most for my money, keep it in my brush tank and out of the environment!

I use a silicoil brush cleaning tank (affiliate link) but you can make a similar contraption if you like. I use Lavender brush cleaner because I like the lavender smell. If you prefer and odorless option I recommend Gamsol. You can also use hardware store paint thinners. The artist grade solvents can be pricey so it’s really worthwhile making them last! You will need your brush cleaning jar plus two empty glass jars with lids. I use washed spaghetti sauce jars for this.

FYI: solvent refers to your paint thinner of choice: Turpentine, Gamsol, Odorless mineral spirits etc

  • Step 1. Let your brush cleaning tank sit for a couple of days if you can. you will notice that you have a clear liquid on top (the solvent) and a opaque gunk on the bottom (paint and oils that have settled out of the solvent.)
  • Step 2. Pour off the clear liquid into one jar.
  • Step 3. Gently shake the brush cleaner and dump the solids into another jar. You might want to pour a bit of the solvent back in the cleaning tank and shake again to clean out the rest of the solids and pour that in with the solids.
  • Step 4. Pour the reclaimed solvent from jar 1 back into the brush tank and top off with fresh brush cleaner if needed. Next time you do this you will be able to pour a bit of clear solvent from the solids jar into the solvent jar. You will keep adding the solvent to the solvent jar and the solids to the solids jar until the solids jar is full. At that time you can take the jar of solids to hazardous waste disposal. Never pour paint of solvents down the drain. *Your town office should be able to tell you where to take your paint, if not contact a paint store.

Saving money and saving the environment go hand in hand when it comes to oil painting! You might be wondering why I don’t just use water-mixable oils and not bother with the solvents. Honestly, if I was just starting out that’s what I’d do but I have a lot of traditional oil paint to use up. I used to teach 2 adult oil classes a week and I had a lot of supplies and mediums already. When watermixables first came out they weren’t as nice as they are now, they were still and kinda weak and just not as pleasant to work with. They have gotten A LOT better over the years but honestly, I still prefer my traditional oils and it’s not much more bother if you have a brush tank set up as I do. I also find that traditional oils keep longer. During my recent oil painting month I used some oil tubes that were nearly 20 years old but I find watermixable oils dry out in the tube after a couple of years. That would not be a problem for someone using up their paint in a reasonable time but I had my old teaching supplies to get through. I hope you found this helpful and happy painting!

Try this with your metallic watercolors!

Hi friends! Let’s paint something quick, easy and fun!

I made some bookmarks with my peacock feather paintings and I think they are lovely! Watch the video to see how!

Supplies (affiliate links used)

How’s that for a quick project you actually have time to do before the holidays! Slow down and take a few minutes to paint today! Happy painting!

Should We Ban Glitter?

Hi Friends! One of my favorite craft supplies has come under scrutiny lately and it has lead me to dig deeper into the environmental impact that my crafting can have on the world. You can agree or disagree with me. I am open to polite discussion on this topic. Watch the video to see what I think and feel free to leave your opinion in the comments below this post.

Why might glitter be an environmental problem? Traditional glitter, along with sequins and embossing powder (and other small plastic things that measure less than 5mm long) are microplastics. Microplastics have been found in the ocean and in the bellies (potentially leaching chemicals) into the fish. Sometimes fish and birds can die of starvation when they eat plastic debris as it sits in their belly and takes up the room of real food. Microbeads (the little plastic beads used in facial scrubs) have been banned as they wash right down the drain when used as intended. Some scientists are calling for glitter to be banned next.

Resource: National Geographic

I don’t think out crafting glitter is the real issue as we are not applying it to our bodies and then rinsing it off. We typically use a small amount and affix it to a project with glue. Many of your projects like Christmas ornaments and Scrapbooks are heirloom projects and unlikely to be thrown away but even the greeting card destined for the landfill eventually isn’t that big of a problem in my opinion. I think the good of crafting a handmade card and sending it to a friend outweighs a bit of plastic glitter in the landfill. Besides, if we all through away out glitter bottles today where will they go…the landfill as they can’t be recycled.

Glitter is a staple craft supply, unlike many products we buy to craft with. I am still using glitter I purchased decades ago and it is still as sparkly as ever. You only need a little bit for a big impact. Other craft products can be very trendy and the leftovers get tossed unused because the fad is over. Glitter isn’t like that. My opinion is to keep using the glitter you have for your adult crafts. If you are working with kids or creating outdoors (maybe you are glittering Christmas decorations outside) you can switch to an eco-friendly biodegradable glitter like the Hemway ones I compared in the video. They come in large quantities so they would be suitable for this and are comparable in price to standard glitter. If you are a new crafter and want to avoid plastic glitter from the start (note: I do not think it is better for the environment to throw away your bottles of glitter and go out and buy eco-glitter) you might like this. Or use beautiful German glass glitters. *These are sharp so be careful and not for kids crafts.

We can all craft sustain-ably and it has as much to do with the upstream waste (the waste generated from making out craft materials like water pollution from fabric and paper manufacturing) as it does what we throw away. Purchasing appropriate amounts of supplies and using them up and disposing of our waste in the greenest manor is the best thing to do. If we use common sense we can continue to use our glitter without guilt. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below and til next time happy crafting!

Playing with oils: Wood Duck

Hi friends! Today I thought I’d share an easy painting I did in oil paint. Feel free to give it a try in gouache of acrylics of you don’t have oils.

Today we will be using the supplies in the December 2019 Smart Art Box. You can subscribe to our sponsor Smart Art and receive a box full of surprise art supplies every month or purchase past Smart Art Boxes here. Feel free to use the supplies you have on hand if you don’t have this kit.


  • Oil Paint (Van Gogh)
  • Brushes
  • Turpenoid brush cleaner
  • Oil painting paper block (Hahnemulhe)
  • Palette
  • Reference photo

I hope you are having an amazing day and til next time happy painting!

*Sponsored by Smart Art Box

Let’s Paint a Pinecone & Berries!

Howdy friends! Last week I created this marker illustration:

I shared it on Instagram and I had many people asking for a tutorial. I have to admit that it took quite a long time to create, this 8″x 8″ drawing took about 2 hours and marker work is very relaxing but can also be kinda repetitive and dull for a real time tutorial so I decided I would do a looser one in watercolor. Since I used my original drawing as my reference you can look at that as you work if you like:)

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.

I hope you enjoy this relaxing project and til next time happy painting!

PS Want more Christmas Cards and Gift tags to paint? Try my Hand-painted Holiday class! Learn more here.