Let’s Paint a Relaxing Lake Sunset!

Hi friends! Let’s kick off the weekend with a fun and seasy watercolor.

Supplies: Affiliate links used

I hope you have a lovely weekend and til next time happy crafting!

Are Those Dollar Store Stickers on Your Cards?

Yes friends, they sure are! I always had a problem making sticker look good on my cards until I decided to create my card around the stickers instead of using them as an embellisment at the end.

I love how these cards turned out!

Best of all I was able to use up some stickers I’d been hording as well as a bunch of older forgotten supplies. Gather your supplies and craft along with me in the free cardmaking workshop!

Supplies: Everything but the kitchen sink…seriously tho. Some things may be discontinued but I’ll try to find them or something similar. Affiliate links may be used.

I hope you enjoyed this and til next time happy crafting!

Limited Supply Challenge: Amethyst in Colored Pencil

Hi friends, I have been playing with Derwent Lightfast pencils a lot over the past couple of months. I started off with the more affordable set of 12 colors to see if I liked them before investing in more. I thought it would be good to share a finished drawing using only 8 colors from the 12 set. That way if you are also curious about these pencils you could have a project to try without a huge investment. Feel free to use ANY colored pencils you have though, I just thought it would be helpful for those considering the lightfast range (the price is not for the faint of heart LOL!)

This took about an hour and a half to draw. If you are interested, a real time narrated tutorial is up in Critique Club. Critique Club is a group were you have access to dozens of real time tutorials in various media that are longer and more advanced than what I post on my blog and YouTube and I add 2 new lessons every month! Plus you can upload up to 2 paintings a month for a critique from me. If you are interested in growing your artistic skills this year please consider joining!

Supplies (Affiliate links used)

More Fun Stuff Happening Today!

If you are online at 2pm Eastern time I am doing a live premiere of a cardmaking workshop! It’s free, you can check out the watch page on YouTube. You will be able to chat with me and other crafty friends in the live chat area. I already have a detailed supply list in the video description over there if you want to gather supplies and craft along too! It should be a good time! This free workshop will be all about using what you have (stickers, stencils, stamps etc.) to create some beautiful, vintage inspired greeting cards. These techniques can be used for art journal pages and collage too! You can always hang out and chat during the live time (2-3:30pm ET) and craft later as well! I’ll be there to answer any questions you might have about substituting products because I’m sure you have stuff that will work instead. Hope to see you there and happy crafting!

Watercolor Hibiscus Tutorial

Hi friends! I hope you are having a good weekend! I have a Sat Chat up on YouTube if you want to see that (because I am bad about remembering to post them here!)and I also have the watercolor Hibiscus tutorial for you!

If you like this tutorial you might also like my Watercolor Flower Workshop packed with lots of lessons for painting a variety of flowers! Learn more here. Now, on to the tutorial!

Supplies (affiliate links used)

Have a great weekend and happy crafting!

All About Ink Pads!

Hi friends, today I have everything you ever wanted to know about inkpads but were afraid to ask! Hopefully simplified so you will be able to determine what inkpad to use for your next project. This is a follow up to to an article I wrote a few years ago. BTW if you want more information about drawing (liquid) inks you can read all about them here.


If you are new to stamping I highly recommend checking out my free Stamp School series. You can learn everything from how to ink up a stamp and make a card to choosing versatile supplies to get you started on a budget.

What’s with all the different types of inkpads?

Inkpads mainly come in two types: Pigment or Dye. There is also a third type call “Hybrid” that combines some of the qualities of both (fast-drying, solid images, can be used with watercolor and alcohol markers) but still resembles a dye pad more than a pigment to me anyway. Dye-based pads are usually transparent because they absorb into the paper and they dry quickly. They are usually water-based but can be solvent-based like Staz-on or oil-based like Ranger Archival. Some pads are waterproof (like Archival and Staz-on) and some are water-reactive like Distress, Harmony, and Prism. the pads you choose depends on the type of stamping you like to do and the mediums you like to use.

My recommendations for dye pads:

*Refill inks are available for all recommended brands. Ink pads made by Stampin Up, Stewart Superior (they make most stamp companies inks), Tsukineko and Ranger are all top-notch as well. Use what you have or is easiest to find. Stick with name brands here and purchase reinkers as needed to save money. No-name brand inkpads have never lasted or provided proper results. Buy quality and buy it once!

Pigment-based pads are slow drying and tend to be opaque because the ink is thicker and it sits on top of the paper. They are good for heat embossing. Often you can use these on fabric and heat set them for permanance. They can be oil or water-based. They tend to resist fading due to pigments rather than dyes being used. Some are waterproof. Oil-based pads like Versafine are waterproof, have excellent coverage, and capture fine detail. They are great for embossing and watercoloring. You can also get clear pigment pads for embossing, watermarking and resist effects. Water-based pigment inkpads often have a spongy surface, some are waterproof when dry and some are not. The Distress oxide pads have a hard pad and are very water reactive leading to fun effects if you like to great inky backgrounds. *for oil-based pads I purchase reinkers. They usually have a hard pad. **for water-based pads I make my own ink with gouache, glycerin, and water. These are not waterproof.

If you have any favorite brands of ink I haven’t mentioned please let me know in the comments. It will also help other readers who may have access to different supplies! If you like this post feel free to share it using one of the handy sharing buttons below, I sure do appreciate it! Happy crafting!

*This post contains affiliate links

Scrapbook Calendar Flip Through (Mom LOVED It!)

Hi friends! Today I am going to share a flip through of the scrapbook calendar I make my parents for Christmas.

This would also be a thoughtful gift to make for a new parent, you can decorate too, just leave out the photos so a parent can add them! That way a new mom and dad can effortlessly record baby milestones and doctor visits (height/wright etc.) and paste in photos and they have a complete baby book at the end of the year. That’s actually How I prescrapped my twins baby books before they were born and it worked great, otherwise they wouldn’t have a baby book LOL!

Details:

  • I print my calendar pages on cardstock at home using this free website
  • I use a comb binding machine to bind my pages. The machine I have is old and discontinued but this is cute and cheap. I like this because the binding combs are standard, easy to find, come in lots of colors, and are inexpensive
  • You can also use a crop-a-dial to punch through multiple pages at once (as shown in the video) if you have one (PS this is one of my most used tools!)
  • I have a couple of tutorials o paste scrapbook calendars here and here.

Why wait, you can print out next years calendar and get a head start! Maybe decorate the pages month by month as the events happen and at the end of the year you have a beautiful memory! Another thought is that you can take the comb binding off and put the pages in a standard office supply binder and have a scrapbook, you could put several years in one! I hope you like this idea and give it a try. Happy crafting!

Comparing Watercolor Crayons & Similar Products, Let’s See What’s Good!

Hi friends! As I shuffle through my belongings at the start of the year and put things where they should be I thought it would be fun to compare the different types of the same product and see what’s the best value for money given the experience I have had with them. I have often taken watercolor crayons and watercolor oil pastels to workshops and classes and I have amassed a variety over the years. I am a sucker for water soluble media and I love trying the different products that come out. I also love finding cheap versions of pricey supplies that seem identical and sharing the info with you

Most of the product in the video are still available and I have added affiliate links if possible. I will make note of my faves as well below!

  • My absolute favorite is Caran Dache Neocolor 2 watercolor crayons. They are like gouache in a stick form and they have stood the test of time as my favorite. These are opaque and fairly firm but not as hard as a watercolor pencil.
  • *** A runner up that is cheaper but almost as good is the LYRA watercolor crayon. I think they are 90% as good as Caran Dache and about $1 per crayon. (Brief aside: Guess what I came across today? My LYRA crayons! I was so happy to find them. They were hiding behind my spray inks with my Dina Wakely scribble sticks LOL! See why it’s important to pull everything out!)
  • A nice transparent crayon is the American Journey Watercolor sticks.

The following products are softer, like lipstick, and are more like oil pastels than crayons.

The following products come in plastic casings which is a negative if you don’t want plastic waste but can be a positive if you like to store or transport all of your stuff loose in a bin or bag.

I hope you found this helpful. There are so many similar products out there nowadays and I hope this series of comparing different brands is helpful. Together we will explore and see what’s good! Til next time happy crafting!

Have You Lost Your Marbles? Let’s Find (and paint) Them!

Hi friends! I have been going through all the drawers and cubbies in my studio this week taking stock of supplies, seeing what I have and making sure everything is in good working order and stored in predicable places. When I do this I inevitably find some treasures, like my box of marbles! I thought I must have gotten rid of all of my marbles when I did my big declutter a few years ago (I did give away a massive box full) but I didn’t remember that I had a full set in my “dominoes to be altered and random fabric dye” drawer. You have one of those drawers too, right? So I set a few up and did a painting.

If you want to learn more about painting glass check out my Watercolor Glass Class! It’s chock full of instruction, demos and you will create four beautiful paintings before you are done!

Supplies can be found in my signature set with Jerry’s Artarama or use what you have at home. You might also want a white pen and colored pencils but they are optional. I hope you find your marbles too and paint them! Happy crafting!

Build a Marker Storage Stand!

Hi friends, it’s January so we all must organize our art supplies right? I’m pretty organized but still I can’t resist a good storage project!

All you will need for this is a shoebox or other study box large enough to house your collection and a bunch of smaller boxes. 6-pack boxes work very well for this! You will also need a craft knife, metal ruler, cutting mat and duct tape. Watch the video to see how it’s done!

Supplies:

  • Shoebox
  • Thin divided box like a 6-pack or small cardboard boxes
  • Duct tape
  • Hot Glue (if you want your box to sit at an angle)
  • Corrugated cardboard scraps
  • Here is a link to the other rack
    I made with my watercolor markers in it on the left side of the photo above.

The shoebox will be the overall size of the storage container so feel free to choose a smaller or larger box to meet your needs. If you go larger than a shoebox I suggest adding a layer of corrugated cardboard or foamcore to the inside walls for support. Happy crafting!