Pretty Cherry Blossom Watercolor Tutorial & I have a Signature Set!!!

Hi friends! Today we are going to paint a pretty lantern with cherry blossoms painting, think Spring!

You can watch the full real-time tutorial in the player below. Here is a pattern if you want to trace it.

Exciting news (for me anyway!!!) As you know I have been using Jerrys Artarama’s products for years, even before they sponsored any of my videos. A few months ago they asked me if I would like to create a signature line of products and I jumped at the chance! I just got word that the sets were available and you can find the my signature Lukas set here, you get a 24 set of Lukas 1862 watercolor, a set of vegan Mimik Squirrel brushes and a 9″x12″ block of Fabriano watercolor paper. I also have a signature set with Berlin water mixable oils and Turner watercolor paints if you want to check those out. I really love suggesting solid quality supplies that won’t break the bank!

I’ll do a proper release video soon to show you the new sets all new and sparkly but I was too excited not to mention it now! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Review of Paper Fashion Watercolors by American Crafts

Hi friends! Today I am reviewing the 12 set of watercolor from Paper Fashion by American Crafts. It’s never been a better time to be a watercolor painter because in addition to the pricey established professional brands of paint that might be out of reach for many there are good quality craft brands you can try and see if it’s for you without a big outlay of cash. In today’s review we will take a look at these paints, see a couple paintings I did with them and compare them to other similar brands that you might already have or know about.


  • Price (I paid $16 for this set on Amazon, MSRP is $30)
  • Good quality for price (similar to Mungyo, Prima and jane davenport-I surmise they are the same paint actually)
  • Nice color selection *Needs a strong blue like ultramarine tho
  • Nice tin
  • Vibrant saturated colors
  • Great flow


  • I would like an ultramarine and phthalo blue in this kit
  • I personally don’t care for a white and black in a limited palette set but that’s just me.
  • $30 is too much for thin in my opinion so snag it with a coupon or on amazon where it is less.
  • Lifts easily, not great for more than 2 layers

Bottom line, this is the same quality and feel as Mungyo, Prima and Jane Davenport paints. If you like those you will like these. The is a different color arrangement but you will find these colors in the 48 Mungyo set for around $50 if you want more colors and no duplication like you will get if you collect the JD and prima sets. I have reviews for the other brands I mentioned here: Prima, Mungyo, and Jane Davenport. If you are considering any of these paints I recommend watching the reviews and then going with the palettes that meet your color preferences because there is no point in buying the same colors in duplicate unless you are using them up at a fast clip. I hope you found this useful and til next time happy crafting!

How I store stamps (It might work for you!)

Hi friends! I have been asked a lot lately what is is the binders behind me so today I will show you!

I had a few questions about my stamp storage on YouTube when I first posted this video Saturday. I will answer them here:

Q: How do you store your Pegstamps?

A: They are in a sturdy shallow wooden crate under my large worktable. I have them standing on their rubber end so I can see all of the indexes at a glance. I do not keep them in the original clear boxes because they take up too much space that way and I like to use them all together. I will show how I store them the next time I make a video with them:) I didn’t mean to leave them out, I just don’t keep them over here because the box is heavy and bulky and I would trip over it LOL!

Q: Since you have been using clear stamps since they first came out have you noticed any of them going bad, melting or getting gummy?

A: I have had some cheap silicone stamps fuse to the backer sheets but only if I had never removed them to use them. That is a good reason to pull them off the sheet and stamp with them at least once. I also have purchased stamps that were fused to the sheet and I had to cut the sheet apart and use them with tape on a block. Don’t try to force a stamp off the sheet or you might tear it. I am not sure if that was a manufacturer defect or simply what happens if you wait to long to remove the stamp from the sheet. High quality photo polymer stamps do stain with ink and can turn yellow with exposure to light. I think it is sun exposure that eventually breaks them down but since my stamps are in binders (as opposed to open bins which is a popular way to store stamps now) they don’t get exposure from my studio lights and I have no windows in my craft space so no sunlight gets in. I am happy to report all of my stamps are still working as god as new (even the 20 year old PSX ones!)

Q: Have you ever unmounted any of your wood stamps?

A: No, I prefer wood mounted stamps. I rarely get wood mounted now due to space reasons and I don’t want to let go of any I have so new can come in. I have actually mounted favorite sentiments on Jenga blocks because they were more convenient that way.

How do you store your stamps? Have you had any negative issues with stamps going bad? Let me know in the comments below! Happy crafting!

Pretty Peony Sketchbook Sunday

Hi Friends! Here is a quick little drawing with a springtime mood…

It didn’t take long to sketch and color. I hope you can make some time for art today!

This video is sponsored by Bianyo! They are offering 20% off discount on their 72 count classic marker sets here and a 20% off discount on their 36 count marker sets as well as their wonderful marker pads here. *Their marker paper is bleedproof and slightly translucent so if you want to trace an image to color you can with that paper.

Other Supplies:

It’s a beautiful day in Maine today, I took the dog to walk on the cross country trails and I got so warm I had to remove my hat and mittens! Spring is on the way (at least it will feel like it for the next couple of days LOL!) Enjoy your day and til next time happy crafting!

You are my Cup of Tea (but this weather isn’t!)

Hi friends! We are in a cold snap in Maine. It’s February so I guess it’s to be expected but in my 43 years of living here I still can’t get used to it. February might be the shortest month of the year but it feels like the longest and it’s a darn leap year to boot! So instead about complaining about the cold how ’bout we stay inside and paint something warm?

Supplies (affiliate links used)

I think I need to figure out how I can make a living traveling to tropical locals in the winter to teach. Stay warm and til next time happy crafting!

Got Background Stamps? Here’s Some Ideas to Try!

Hi friends! I love getting messy and inky and I really love how much impact you can get from large background stamps. Background stamps are anything but boring and they can even steal the show!

I’ll share some fun ideas for using them in today’s video!

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


The card below is my favorite. What was yours? Were any of these techniques new to you? I hope you try some of these ideas in your next card. Happy crafting!

Art-n-Fly Watercolor Review

Hi friends! I have another inexpensive watercolor set review for you today. This palette was sent to me for free from Art-n-Fly with no strings attached. I have really enjoyed using their markers and oil based colored pencils in the past so I decided to give them a try and they surprised me in a couple of ways. Watch the review to see why.

Details: This set of 72 watercolors runs around $40. It features 72 half pans of watercolor, 2 waterbrushes in a large tin where the lid is white for ample mixing room. there are sponges for cleaning your waterbrushes. The palette is metal with a plastic clasp around all the metal edges for stability and no sharp edges. Paints can be purchased on the ArtnFly website or on Amazon.


  • Paints rewet well (in fact I don’ recommend preactivating them with water of they can get thick)
  • Colors are bright and transparent with the exception of the pastel shades.
  • Large mixing area on the tin lid (paints don’t bead up on lid either)
  • Price: about 55 cents a half pan
  • These paints mix cleanly (use bright transparent colors for best results)
  • Wonderful gold and pearl pigments
  • Strong fluorescent colors.
  • Super opaque dark clean black
  • Colors match Pantone number system


  • Paints activate easily but wear down easily too. I have notable wear on the pans over just a couple uses.
  • Pastel colors are streaky
  • Some colors are very same-y, There are several similar reds, yellows and blues in this set.
  • Palette is quite large and thick and may be inconvenient for travel or if you have a small work desk.
  • If used thickly on watercolor paper you will get a gloss finish, this might be undesirable.

Unique features: These remind me of Gansai paint with their quick activation, creamy consistency, and bright, glossy colors. If you like Gansai Tambi and want smaller pans with a greater variety of colors you will love these.

Bottom line, If you like to play with watercolor on a variety of surfaces this might be the paint for you. It is acceptable on watercolor paper but if you work in layers you will end up with shiny spots on your work. If you primarily do loose work in one layer these will be great. Like Gansai Tambi these are also good in poorly sized paper like cardstock and rice paper giving you more bang for your buck and versatility. I would use these more for crafting or Sumi-E/Chinese brush style work and use my traditional western watercolor for work on watercolor paper but this is a fun set to experiment with or lend to my kids or any craft friend looking to try watercolors with a very forgiving paint. I hope you found this review useful and til next time happy crafting!

Fancy a Glass?

Happy sketchbook Sunday! Let’s paint!

The real time version of this is up in Critique Club and you can watch the time lapse below.

Supplies (affiliate links used)

That’s all for today! I hope you had a great weekend and til next time happy crafting!

Now This is an Odd Combination…

Hi friends! I got some neat supplies in this months Smart Art Box. The supplies were neat but I really didn’t know how on earth I was going to combine them to make art. This video is sponsored by Smart Art Box. They offer a surprise box of art supplies every month to subscribers and ship to many countries. You can sign up, purchase a past box or learn more here.

I like to stick to the contents of the Smart Art Box when I first get it because it’s fun and challenging to see what I can make but I knew that these supplies would be better used with other items in my stash. Still I took a stab at it and you can see my attempts in today’s video!

Supplies were in this month’s Smart Art Box with the exception of the stencil which came in a past box and white gouache from my stash. I will link the supplies below and mention comparable products in case you want to play at home with supplies you have on hand.

I think the jellyfish postcard turned out OK. the others, meh. That’s OK, I did what I set out to do and now the supplies have been put away with similar products so they can expand the variety of those products. I hope you have having a good weekend! Happy crafting!