The BEST Investment in my paper crafting hobby!

Hi, friends! About 5 years ago on Black Friday, I bought myself a Brother Scan n Cut machine. I love the look of cleanly cut stamped images but I didn’t like the cost of the metal dies. Plus metal dies only cut 1 thing and took up space. Also, I had been stamping for about 15 years and I had thousands of stamps already. I figured that with die sets running around $25 the machine would pay for itself in no time! FYI Amazon has a Cyber Monday deal on the newer Scan ‘n Cut if you want to check it out. I am an Amazon affiliate but I didn’t plan this LOL!

I had a few questions after I posted this video on YouTube about cutting the images with a border. That is really easy to do. After scanning and clicking OK you click on the icon that looks like a donut on the screen and you can select how large of a border you want. I usually do a .04 margin (it looks the most like what a die with a border does) if I want one or I cut directly on the outline like we did today. You can do many other things with this machine, like hooking it to a computer and using their software to create your own designs, but in all honestly, all I use it for is cutting out my stamped images. It has saved me thousands of dollars on dies and honestly it is quicker than using my crank-style machine especially if I have a full sheet of stamped images. I recommend this machine if you have a place to leave it out and set up and you are not afraid of electronics. It’s really easy to use but often I hear of crafters being afraid of these machines. If you own one but it has never been opened now you know what to do and how easy it is to use. This has been the best investment in my paper crafting hobby. I hope you found this video useful and informative. Happy crafting!

Sat Chat (A Day Late)

Hi friends! I hope your weekend is going well! I updated my address book yesterday so I am ready to address Christmas cards today! Mr. Frugal and I got the porch decorated and we started on decorating the garage but I realized that I wanted to replace the plaid bows I made last year on the wreaths for red ones as the red and green plaid just looks like yuck at a distance. It’s a shame as the bows are still in good shape and the ribbon is pretty. I think I will use those bows elsewhere so they don’t go to waste. I did find (or I should say my mom and sister found for me, thanks guys!) red velvet ribbon which is what I prefer for wreath bows and wrapping the posts on my porch, you can see my porch decorations here. I’m just taking a break to have lunch and I remembered that I forgot to post my Sat Chat on my blog so here you go!

Stuff I mentioned:

  • Last Chance to save 50% on Handpainted Holiday! *use coupon code XMAS50 if the discount doesn’t appear. Regular price $39, with XMAS50 discount $19.60. Offer ends 12/1/21
  • Peach Painting tutorial is up now in Critique Club
  • Cute kids palette (I bought it for the palette, not the paint)
  • Movie Recommendation: Queenpins: a classmate from college (and coworker/friend of mine at a low-budget TV station in the ’90s) wrote and directed this movie with his wife. Aron and Gita are a super talented team and I think you will love this movie, it’s rated R but I’m not sure why I think it would be fine to watch with teens.

This morning I saw some Cyber Monday ads and there were a few small art and stamp stores that have good prices every day offering good sales on top so I thought I’d share. I don’t know the exact end times of these sales.

  • A Little Creative Me (my freind April) is the North American distrubter of Renesans handmade Polish watercolors and they are normally a steal but she is offering 10% off! also I have a coupon code that might work on top of that for another 10% off: FRUGAL10
  • Hallmark Scrapbook has an extra 10% off (making their prices 20-90% of list!) and they are offering a free stamping foam block on orders over $50. Sale ends tonight.
  • Impression Obsession has 25% off their entire store and a free gift valued at $20 in each order with promo code THANKS21 (check out their cover a card background stamps!)
  • Topflight Stamps has 25% off all orers, no coupon code needed through Tuesday.
  • Blick Art Supplies has many Derwent products 50% off: Derwent Coloursoft, Inktense pencils and blocks, XL Graphite and XL charcoal sets and pastel pencils. If you were looking to purchase or add to and of those collections it might be the best time to buy. They are also offering E-Coupons (a gift card to spend in the futurer if you oder a certain amount: Spend $75 get $10, spend $150, get $20 spend $300, get $50) with coupon code WKD2021 and free shipping over $39.
  • Amazon has a version of the Scan ‘n Cut for $75 off on a Cyber Monday Deal now. I just posted a video on youTube on how I use mine here if you want to see it in action. My model is about 5 years old but it is still going strong!

That’s all for today. My tummy is growling and those bows are not going to tie themselves so I will wish you a happy Sunday and til next time happy crafting!

I feel “Peachy” about this painting!

Hi friends! I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving yesterday (or a lovely week if you don’t celebrate it.) We had a wonderful day vising family and feasting on good food! One of my all-time favorite foods is actually peaches and nectarines. Maybe that’s why I liked painting this so much?

I have a real-time lesson of this painting up now in Critique Club. The real-time lesson is over 2 hours long but it is broken up into 10 smaller parts so you can fit in the project as you have snippets of time. It also makes it more manageable I think so you don’t get overwhelmed. Critique Club is a membership group where you have access to 70 in-depth art lessons (with 2 additional lessons added each month!) creative prompts and the ability to upload your artwork for feedback from me. It’s only $5 a month and you can cancel anytime. Learn more or enroll here.

Here is the timelapse version:


  • M Graham Watercolors (or what you like) Quin Red (PR209) Cadmium Yellow (PY35) You can use Gamboge or Indian yellow (or any warm bright yellow) Yellow ochre or Raw Sienna Burnt Umber or Burnt Sienna (Pbr7) Ultramarine Blue (PB29) Hookers Green (PG7, PY110) *you can mix your own
  • Schminke Super granulating colors (You don’t need these, I am just having fun experimenting with them at the moment.) Galaxy black (Pbk11, PB29) also you can mix burnt umber and Ultramarine for a very similar look and texture Tundra Orange (PR233, Pbr7, PY43) You can use yellow ochre, burnt sienna and a touch of cad red or potters pink to create this.
  • Derwent Coloursoft Pencils: C720 white C640 brown black C600 mid brown C480 Lincoln Green C410 dark green C400 lime Green C450 yellow green C020 Acid Yellow C590 ochre C060 pale orange C080 bright orange C100 rose C120 red C180 blush pink C150 cranberry C250 purple Also a cool grey 50 and 90 from Prismacolor Reference photo:

At the time of posting Blick has Derwent Colorsoft 50% off as well as the Derwent Inktense pencils, Inktense blocks, Pastel pencils, and XL Watersoluble Charcoal sets and XL Watersoluble Graphite sets! I haven’t really seen any other great Black Friday deals for art supplies (that are worth buying) but that sure is a good deal if you are looking for any of those products. Happy crafting!

Want some company as you craft, cook, or clean? Craft-along with me!

Hi friends! Yesterday I had a Christmas craft-along live stream on YouTube and it was so much fun! We made cards and tags and we used what we had on hand!

You can watch the replay below. If you want to know when the next live stream is going to happen please subscribe to me on YouTube and click the notification bell and select “All” so you don’t miss it!

Here are some techniques we will do in today’s video!

  • Making our own stencils and inking with them! I’ll use Distress ink and distress oxides.
  • I’ll use my homemade ink daubers (tutorial here)
  • The Deer stamps I used are very old and the company that made them, Pink Persimmon, sadly is no longer in business but I found this adorable set from My Favorite things.
  • I used these Alcohol pens to color the deer and I will do a demo.
  • I’ll show you how to use texture paste freehand and with a stencil
  • You will also need scissors, cardstock, and some embellishments if you like such as sequins.
  • You do you. Let’s have fun! *Some affiliate links were used above in the supply and techniques list. I may earn a small commission if you shop through my link at no additional cost to you, thanks!

Do you like painting cards too? 50% off Handpainted Holiday Class and new bonus lessons added! *use coupon code XMAS50 if the discount doesn’t appear. Regular price $39, with XMAS50 discount $19.60. Offer ends 12/1/21.

Thank you for spending part of your day with me today! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and til next time happy crafting!

Sketchmarker Brushpro REview

Hi friends! Today I have a review of a high-quality marker from Russia called Sketchmarker. This line of alcohol markers is available in 448 colors and has refills and replacement nibs available. They also offer papers and other accessories for the marker artist. You can see my full review and art in the video below.

These markers are available in alcohol versions with brush/chisel nibs or bullet chisel nibs and also water-based versions. They also have papers for the different markers they sell and fineliners that work with both types. Sketchmarker has been working on bringing their catalog of markers to Amazon where they can offer more affordable shipping and better prices in sets. You can see their Amazon storefront here. This is their website where you can select English or Russian language and see everything they have. Marker Universe also carries them (out of Oregon USA) and they have a handy conversion chart. The price ranges from around $3.50 per marker in sets on Amazon to $5.39 open stock at Marker Universe. Ellen Hutson also sells the markers and refills open stock. Some refills are available at Marker universe and they will be available on Amazon in sets next year. I could not find a place to buy the replacement nibs but Copics or Blick should fit.


  • Flexible Japanese style brush nib
  • The biggest color selection available 400 now, 448 next year
  • Refillable Smooth consistent ink
  • Comfortable to hold
  • Works on many types of paper


  • Since they are a Russian brand it’s hard to find all of the colors and refills open stock in America. Sets are easy to find on Amazon tho. *Correction: Open stock markers and refills are availabe from Ellen Hutson and Marker Universe.
  • There were a couple of “samey” colors in the Desert set I reviewed

Bottom line: These are great markers equivalent to Copic Sketch and others with the flexible foam rubber Japanese style nib. They are half the price of Copics but not a “budget” marker, they run about the same price as other brush markers with foam rubber nibs, those nibs are pricey! The refills are less per ML than Copic wich is nice as Copic recently had a price hike (or more specifically shrinkflation) which makes me prefer these and they have a larger color range is that’s important to you. If you like them and they are in your budget I recommend them! Happy crafting!

Disclaimer: I was sent these marker free for review, affilate links may be used.

Artist holiday Gift Guide 2021!

Hi friends! Today I have the video you have been waiting for, the artist gift guide. Feel free to share this video with your loved ones or parents who might be looking for gifts for their artistic teens. I have used affiliate links in this post which means I may earn a small commission if you purchase through the links at no additional cost to you, and I thank you for your support! You may even be able to find some of these gifts at your local art supply stores or it might spark other ideas for you. I hope you find it helpful!

All (most) artists

Paint puck water buckets or

Paint pucks  or

Waffle Flower Swatching Stamps: or *I have used these several times a week since I got them 2-3 years ago!

Watercolor artists:

Pretty Excellent watercolors 

Kuretake Gansai Tambi 48 set or smaller or

Boku Undo Japan Colors 

Ceramic palettes 

(Also white trinket dishes from the dollar store or home store, white ceramic egg dishes from thrift stores, and interesting white ceramic or glass dish can be an excellent palette) Pair with a couple tubes of paint or the Daniel Smith essentials set: or  even experienced artists will appreciate more of these standard colors.

Colored pencil artists:

For beginners: Brutfuner Square pencils: (only the square 120 or 72 set, the round set is different)

Canson MiTintes paper (use the smooth side) or 

For advanced: Derwent Lightfast pencils or 

For Advanced: Pastelmat Paper:  or 

(advanced & Extravagant) The Brush & Pencil Suite of Products: 

For collectors or stationery lovers, Phoenixcolor boxed set: 

For Collectors Brutfuner 520 set: *I use these a lot for touch-ups on watercolors because there are 520 colors!

Alcohol Markers:

I have a whole comparison video here:

For beginners, I’d recommend a moderately priced brush tip set such as:

Artify (the 108 set in the plastic storage case is awesome)

Arrtx Oros (they offer several sized options you can buy to avoid duplicate colors. I recommend starting with the 80 set, then the 90 set and then the skin tones so you don’t get repeats and you can collect as your budget allows) *the Arrtx Alp markers are cheaper but do not have a brush tip.


*the above markers are reliable and easy to get. If you want a more resilient nib and the option to buy refills I recommend the following:

Art-n-Fly: or *You can also buy art-n-fly markers in pacl to avoid duplicates.

Blick Studio Brush Markers: 

*Please avoid the blick illustrator markers as the nibs fray fast, they are cheaper but not with the money.

Acrylic painters:

Golden Open Acrylics or 

Stay Wet Palette or 

Zen or Menta All Media Brushes from Royal Brush 

Mixed Media Gifts:

Caran d’ache Neocolor 2 crayons: or 

Gel Press Plates or 

Pan Pastels 

Art Graf Tailor Chalk or 

Derwent Inktense Blocks or

Good luck with your holiday shopping and until next time happy crafting!

A Box Full of Ideas! Sat Chat 11/20/21

Hi friends! I hope you are having a good weekend so far! I got caught up with housework, went to the bank, did groceries, and now and I am relaxing. How was your day? Here is this week’s Sat Chat!

Stuff I mentioned (or honestly, forgot to LOL!)

  • The artists gift guide video will be posted tomorrow, I just couldn’t get it pulled together yesterday in time to post.
  • The next Critique Club lesson will be up early next week.
  • 50% off Handpainted Holiday Class and new bonus lessons added! *use coupon code XMAS50 if the discount doesn’t appear. Regular price $39, with XMAS50 discount $19.50. Offer ends 12/1/21
  • My Papercraft Society Box is shipping next week!
  • Mini watercolor landscapes tutorial with photos
  • The Michaels replay if you missed it (wood slice coasters/ornaments)
  • And last but certainly not least, Mr. Frugal has gone back to radio full time so if I am not as productive in the future that’s probably why. It’s an awesome job and I am glad he got the oppertunity to be on-air full time again!
  • I’m sure I forgot to link things, it’s been a long week.

I am planning to have a Sat Chat next week. We celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday in the USA and often the celebration spills into the weekend so we will see. That said, I’m a hermit so I’ll probably manage to record one LOL! Happy crafting!

Mini Round Watercolor Landscapes! These are fun to paint!

Hi friends! My friend Rosi shared her Schminke Super granulating paint with me and I thought it would be fun to paint some expressive landscapes together!

Grab your watercolors (you can use what you have if you don’t have this) and join me for the fun! This video was live-streamed on YouTube and at 2 points in the video I too viewer questions so if you want to scroll past that part I totally understand, also the last few minutes of the video is me answering viewer questions so feel free to skip those parts if they do not interest you.

You can find all of the supergranulating sets by Schminke here. I made a swatch of the colors below and this PDF shows the name of each color in the set and the pigment info in case you want to compare them with what you have for order a specific tube. Thanks, Rosi for sharing your chart & paint!

Schminke super granulating sets from top to bottom: Deep sea, Glacier, Tundra, Forest and the column on the right is Galaxy

You can also check out my blog post about my custom granulating watercolor palette that may help you make your own using what you already have. For inspiration I used the Artist photo reference: Landscapes book. Used copies are available on Amazon and I highly recommend this entire series of books.

BTW my friend Rosi makes THE BEST watercolor sketchbooks, Buyers will get free domestic shipping plus a free handmade card when they enter the coupon code WELOVETFC in the cart. *offer good through November 2021

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

Christmas Ornament/Coaster Project on Wood Slices with Derwent Coloursoft Pencils!

Hi friends! In case you missed the live Michaels class I am posting the replay here. This is what we made:

Here is the video so you can follow along:


Derwent ColourSoft Pencils (from 72 set):

  • Cranberry
  • Blush Pink
  • Deep Red
  • Pimento
  • Acid Yellow
  • Light Green
  • Yellow Green
  • Lincoln Green
  • Mid Green
  • Dark Green
  • Pea Green
  • Pale Mint
  • Sea Green
  • Aqua White
  • White
  • Dark brown

Derwent White Paint Pen

Black 1mm Fineliner (waterproof)

Wood slices 3.5”-4” in diameter such as Birch Base Coaster by ArtMinds™ If the wood is rough you can sand it before class. You also might want graphite paper to transfer the template (found here)