You have time to whip up this easy Advent calendar!

Today I have a fun Advent calendar that you can make in time for Christmas! It’s fun, easy, and uses basic supplies!

A variety of handmade Advent calendar ornaments and glass ornaments on a Christmas tree.

Thanks to Xyron for sponsoring this video! Need adhesive for your upcoming holiday crafts? Check out their full range of products.

A Xyron hot glue gun, ornamaments and candies on a white background.

I used the Xyron Mini Multi-Stick Glue Gun for this project. It holds three mini glue sticks at once so you can keep on crafting without stopping to reload!

Many ornaments arranges on a decorative plate.

This project can be whipped up in a couple of hours! It is the perfect way to use that pretty metallic or glitter paper you have in your stash, as the lights on the Christmas tree will reflect on the surface of the ornament. Watch the video to see how!


  • Xyron Mini Multi-Stick Glue Gun
  • Metallic 12″x12″ scrapbook paper
  • 12″ paper cutter
  • Scissors
  • Number rubber stamps
  • Gold pigment ink pad
  • Gold embossing tinsel
  • Heat embossing tool
  • 1/4″ organza ribbon (Cut to 9″ lengths)
  • Paper punches or dies (I used hexagons but circles would also work well!)
  • Candy or small gifts to go inside!

This project is very economical since you will get 6 ornaments for each 12″x12″ sheet of scrapbook paper. If you don’t have time to make a full Advent calendar, you can do a 12 days of Christmas countdown or simply make these treat boxes to hold small gifts. Adapt this idea to fit your needs. I hope you give this project a try! Happy Christmas crafting!

A variety of handmade Advent calendar ornaments and glass ornaments on a Christmas tree.

So I ended up filming a sat chat on Sunday cuz there was too much to say!

Hi friends! Yesterday we went to Freeport to see the pretty lights at LL Bean and do a bit of Christmas shopping. Before I left I popped in to say hello!

Don’t miss out on the free class and sales!

  • Free Michaels class Dec 1, 8pm ET, we are making holiday ornament tags.
  • SALE & New Lessons added to Hand Painted Holiday! Use coupon code 40OFFNOV22 if the discount doesn’t appear automatically. The regular price is $39, with the discount $23.40 Offer ends 12/1/22
  • 50% off Launch Special on Alcohol Marker Workshop! Use coupon code MARKER50 if the discount doesn’t appear automatically. The regular price is $79, with a discount $39.50. Offer ends 11/30/22
  • If you want to buy a gift class for someone you can email me at

That’s all for today! I really need to tidy up my studio, what are you up to today? Happy crafting!

Why do people keep asking me about motivation?

Hi friends! I hope you are having a lovely week and enjoying some time with your family. We celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday at my sister’s and tonight the kids, hubby, and I will decorate the tree while we watch Elf. It somehow became a tradition. I baked 2 more loaves of sourdough and some peanut butter chocolate chip cookies to snack on, I vacuumed and tidied and then dragged the Christmas decorations down from the attic. We are ready to roll when all the kids show up! You might be wondering why I am giving you a play-by-play of my chores. Well, it is because in addition to that I was certain that I would have time to film a Sat chat today as well and it didn’t happen. Therefore I am going to call this Sat Chat a day early because do you really need a 28-minute video of me talking to the camera 2 days in a row? probably not haha! The kids are home for a short break and I want to make it a bit magical, I didn’t even get grumpy while scrounging around the attic, I call it a win. Maybe it’s because I didn’t try and cram too much in a day as I have in the past. I say this because today we are going to talk about motivation, time management, and priorities, and also being realistic about what you can get done in a day. There is no perfect. We do our best. We need to be kind to ourselves when we can’t do it all or decide that other things, like time with family, take precedence over other tasks. Honestly, I do feel a bit sad that I didn’t have a chance to film a fresh new Sat Chat for you tomorrow but I also think it is a good example that nobody’s perfect and we should never let perfect be the enemy of the good (and it was a good day.)

I did post some Black Friday sales on YouTube this morning as well. There are only a few hours left but I thought I’d post them here too in case you were looking for art/craft supply gifts.

Please note that prices can change without notice. Affiliate links are used. Happy crafting!

Happy Thanksgiving & A Fun Painting Experiment

Hi, friends, and happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Americans! I hope you are having a wonderful day. We are about to head down to my sisters for dinner, minus one kiddo who has the crud which is a bummer but she doesn’t want to get anyone sick. I hope you can spend time or at least chat on the phone with your loved ones this holiday season. I wanted to update a sale I posted yesterday. My friend April who owns a little creative is having a 10% off sale in her shop. I asked if my viewers could also stack my 10% off coupon code and she said absolutely, however, ETSY, where she sells her paint, would not allow the coupon code plus a sale so she made me a special 20% off coupon code for my viewers so they could get the deal. Use coupon code FRUGAL20 for 20% off your Renesans Watercolors at ALittleCreative on ETSY. April and I both apologize for that error. Now on to the experiment!

I was curious how different watercolor ground and gesso would be on a project since the watercolor ground is an acrylic-based product so today I decided to put them to the test! See my results in today’s video!

If you like this project you will love Hand Painted Holiday and it is 40% off through 12/1/22! Every year I add fun new beginner-friendly projects you can paint in batches or with friends! and there are 22 in there now I think! Use coupon code 40OFFNOV22 if the discount doesn’t appear automatically. The regular price is $39, with a discount $23.40 Offer ends 12/1/22


The bottom line is the Liquitex clear gesso worked better than the transparent watercolor ground in my opinion plus is a wonderful surface prep for pastels and colored pencils making it a versatile art product. As for white, the Daniel Smith Titiniam white watercolor ground was better as a base for watercolor so I would recommend that if you want to do a lot of priming non-porous surfaces for watercolor or if you like the idea of a watercolor paper correction fluid. For occasional use gesso is fine just not as absorbent which is to be expected since it is not designed for use with watercolor. This is not an in-depth look at all gesso or grounds, if you have tried others please let me know your results in the comments! In conclusion, I recommend the Daniel Smith Titanium white watercolor ground AND the Liquitex clear gesso. Happy crafting!

How to Convert Chisel Markers into brush Markers & Black Friday art/craft supply sale round up

Hi friends! This is a pretty random post. I have been failing at posting all of my YouTube tutorials here on my blog so if you want to see what you have missed you can find all those videos on my YouTube channel. Today I have a quick tutorial on how to convert your chisel tip alcohol markers into brush tip markers and also a review of the affordable Ohuhu replacement brush nib kit.

You can find these nibs on Ohuhu (use coupon code Ohuhuart10 for 10% off on the Ohuhu Website) and on Amazon. *BTW I soaked the chisel nibs in alcohol and it removed most of the ink. I will save them in case I need a replacement chisel nib.

Now on to the Black Friday art and craft supply sales!

I am not sure how long some of these deals will be good for. I did a fair amount of hunting on Amazon and Blick to find deep discounts and they are subject to change. I hope this helps you save some money on good quality products for yourself and gifts. I only link to products I have used myself and recommend (and think are a good price.)

All Renesans Watercolors are 20% off with coupon code FRUGAL20 at ALittleCreative on ETSY

Impression Obsession rubber stamps have 25% off with coupon code THANKS22 11/22-11/28/22 midnight EST

Derwent has Amazing deals on Many 72-count sets! *Some are limited-time deals

Other Amazon deals 11/22/22 til?

Joggles has Marabu alcohol links 50% off:

Scrapbook Pal just posted their Black Friday Sale:

Rubbernecker Rubber stamps: 20-60% off 11/20-11/27/2022 (colorbust powders 60% off!)

Ohuhu has up to 50% off selected products *on the OhuhubWebsite you can get an extra 10% off with coupon code Ohuhuart10 on the Ohuhu Website: also on Amazon:

Blick Art Materials

  • Use coupon code v22d2 to get a $5 e-gift card with purchases over $50 and a $10 e-gift card with purchases over $100 and free shipping over $69 *Blick has been competitive with Amazon prices so be sure to compare! Prices change daily!
  • Blick deals:
  • Prismacolor Premier set of 150 is $99
  • Sennelier artists watercolor set of 48 ½ pans is $180.98 (list $513.95!)
  • Fabriano Fat Pads $15 (List price $37, Drawing, Mixed Media and Watercolor)
  • Derwent Chromaflow ($77.50 when you use the above coupon code!)
  • Sennelier liquid watercolor brush pens sets of 6 for $22.77 (list 44.95) 

Spellbinders have tons of cute die sets and supplies at 50% off now, the paintbrush dies are so innovative!

Waffle Flower has their stamp grab bags on sale through 11/30: *These swatch stamps are not on sale but they would make the perfect gift for any artist or crafter who likes to organize art supplies: (they never go on sale sadly) **Some designs are also available on Amazon if you prefer:

Thanksgiving/Black Friday Deals *I will update you as I learn of new deals!

Let’s Resin: Black Friday starting from 25th and will have up to 30% off on resin and molds as well as pigments!
Altenew has some amazon sales planned, I can’t give details but visit this page on Black Friday if you are an alcohol marker fan! Lots of other deals and freebies will be posted here: *Sale is on 11/24-11/25th for most items.

That’s it for now, if you see some great deals be sure to let us know in the comments!

You are NOT going to believe what I did last weekend! Say chat 11/19/22

Hi friends! Phew! There was a lot going on this week! Let’s talk about it in this week’s Sat Chat!

So much stuff to mention this week!

That’s all for today! I need to run some errands (I’m out of flour as I have made 2 more loaves of sourdough and they are fermenting in the fridge as we speak) and I do not want to go shopping any closer to Thanksgiving than I have to. Happy crafting!

New Lessons added to Hand Painted Holiday!

Hi friends! I just put the finishing touches on the new projects for 2022 in Hand Painted Holiday! If you have purchased this class in the past all you have to do is log on and you will see the new section in the course curriculum. If you are not enrolled in this class but would like to be I am giving you a 40% discount now through Dec 1st, 2022, simply click any of the discount links in this blog post or use coupon code 40OFFNOV22 if the discount doesn’t appear automatically. regular price is $39, with the discount it’s $23.40.

For this year’s add-on, I wanted to create projects that would be easy enough to do with a group of friends or family. I have created 3 ornaments/tags that can be painted on wood slices or watercolor paper. I encourage you to share your love of painting with your friends and family. Why not invite your loved ones for a paint party, put on some holiday music, make some cocoa and cookies and paint together! I know I have been missing community lately so I hope this inspired us all to paint together!

Here is what else you will find in the class!

Christmas is the season of giving and you can give all of your loved ones a small hand-painted token from the heart! In this course, I will teach you how to paint several beautiful holiday greeting cards that your friends and family will cherish.

We will warm up by painting sweet little gift tags that recipients can save and keep as ornaments or even bookmarks. These small projects are a great way to practice, warm up and use up scraps of watercolor paper.

This affordable course is suitable for watercolorists of all ages and painting abilities. Grab your paints and let’s get started!

In the above bonus add-on for 2020, we explore using metallic watercolor for a stained glass effect!

NEW for 2021, I added cards and tags featuring Inktense Blocks but you can use any watercolor crayon, stick, or woodless watercolor pencil you have!

I hope to be adding new projects to Hand Painted Holiday for years to come. Remember, once you purchase the class you get all future updates at no extra cost. Click here to enroll and save 40% on Hand Painted Holiday! Don’t wait, this offer expires on 12/1/22. Happy holidays and as always happy crafting!

Paint with me LIVE today at 12 noon ET on YouTube!

Hi friends! It’s a snow day in my part of the world, who wants to stay home and paint? We will paint this vintage light bulb. I painted it originally this summer during World Watercolor Month and I had many requests to do a tutorial on it so here we are!

Class News!

  • I am adding 3 new ornaments to the Hand Painted Holiday Class this week! I am also putting the class on sale for 40% off (it’s already my most affordable class, Regular price $39, sale $23.40) Use the coupon code 40OFFNOV22 if the discount doesn’t appear automatically *Offer ends 12/4/22 (If you have bought this class in the past you will find the new lessons in your account later this week, no need to rebuy!)
  • My Alcohol Marker Workshop is on 50% off Launch Month Special now through 11/30/22 *Use coupon code MARKER50 if the discount doesn’t appear automatically **Regular price $79, with coupon $39.50

You can watch the live stream or the replay in the video player below but if you want to ask me questions or chat live with friends please tune in on YouTube at 12noon EST today!

Supplies (affiliate links used)

Please feel free to use whatever watercolors and colored pencils you have for today’s project. It is fun to grab some weird ones from time to time to play with tho. See you at noon! Happy crafting!

Maries Master’s Watercolor Review

Hi friends! Today we are taking a look at Maries Masters Watercolors. You can find them on Amazon in sets of 6 for the same tube price I paid at Jerry’s Artarmama where I bought mine. I paid $2.49 per tube on sale in August. The Maries Masters watercolors are different from the cheap Maries watercolors sets they sell. I think the “Marie’s” name is slapped on all kinds of budget art supplies. The watercolors I am reviewing today are the only ones I can recommend from Marie’s. Please don’t be fooled by the cheap sets for under $12, they are not the same. Trust me. In today’s video, we will have a look at these paints and see if they might be right for you.

The colors I bought: Lemon Yellow (PY3), Crimson (PR149), and Ultramarine Blue (PB29. Al 3 performed and mixed very well. This line of paints has a lot of mixed pigments and I can’t speak to those but these single pigment colors were excellent. The mixing was great and not muddy at all. The yellow showed some opacity on my black marker line but it did not seem full of fillers.


  • Price (for now anyway)
  • Quality
  • Awesome granulation in the ultramarine blue
  • Mixes well (the single pigment colors I used did anyway)
  • 55 colors (22 single pigment and 11 pearl/metallic)
  • Pigment and lightfast info available


  • Hard to find (Jerry’s Artarama seems to have a monopoly on this product, they might own or license Marie’s name as it appears on many of their products that sell under other names on Amazon)

Bottom Line: If you can snag these at the price I paint I totally recommend giving them a try. they are much better than other student-grade paints at the same price and the 3 colors I picked seemed pretty dang professional. I can’t speak for the whole range but I’ll probably pick up a few more colors when I have Jerry’s order going. These are not the same as the Phoenix artist’s quality paints that I reviewed here (I suspected they might be due to packaging and number similarities on some of the colors.) So the price increase of Maries over Phoenix makes total sense. I wouldn’t pay top dollar for the Maries Masters over other artist-grade paints but if you can get them on sale they are worth a try, at least the colors I bought are.

Happy crafting!