Christmas in July with Thrifted Supplies!

Hi friends! Last week on YouTube I posted a haul of stamps I bought for a song at a yard sale. I asked viewers what I should use first and the basket stamp was the hands down winner!
This stamp is 24 years old so it’s unlikely you will find it (unless you already have it, then lucky you!) but there are similar free printable templates online, I put some in this printerest board for your convenience.

These projects were fun to make and also I have 4 little gift boxes and a variety of tags I can use this Christmas! Use this tutorial as a jumping off point to make party favors or gift wrap for your next occasion!

Supplies (Many products I love and use are now discontinued but you can always find something similar to buy or even better, in your stash!)

Apparently there was supposed to be a handle stamp on the edge of the wood stamp block (I bet that was in the big tote I rummaged through to find it!) but I think we managed just fine without it LOL! Affiliate links were used in this post. Happy crafting!

Rosa Gallery Watercolor Review

Hi friends, Today we are going to take a look at a small set of watercolors that really pack a punch, The Rosa Gallery Watercolors. I am reviewing the 12 color set which sold out shortly after posting my review to YouTube yesterday. They have also increased the price if you want to preorder it so I recommend you go for the 24 set in the cardbard box if you want the best value and don’t need a tin, or, go for some of their tinned sets if you want one. They are still a fantastic value. The 24 cardboard box set will have all of the colors in the 12 set plus 12 others. I purchased this set myself and was not paid to do this review. Affiliate links are used in this post.

As promised in the video I have photographs of the charts. Creating a mixing chart is a great way to see the possibilities of colors in a set when mixed with another color in the set. To create more variety (otherwise the bottom half of the card would be identical to the top half) I use more of the color from the top row in each column. In other words, look at the color on the top of a column and all of the colors under that will have a mix where the top color is more dominant.

Here is the chart using a split primary mixing technique. This 12 color set has a warm and cool version of each primary color which is what I recommend to my students (and why I bought this set to test out!)

This is an example of mixing with warm primaries, and of cool primaries. The color mixing stamp is from Waffle Flower.

Below is the swatches with a glaze stripe and the pan wrappers. Sorry for the upside down labels, it’s funny what bothers me and what doesn’t huh. Also, I forgot to make my transparency stripe until after I swatched the yellow so look to the right of each yellow swatch to see the transparency.

And finally some of the granulation examples. I found Ultramarine Blue, Umber and Cadmium red to create the most granulation in mixes. To get granulation you want really wet washes so the pigment can settle out and separate in the standing water. You also want to use smoother paper with a heavy sizing for the most dramatic effect. To avoid granulation simply do controlled washes on dry paper or speed up drying with a hair dryer or heat tool.

Now lets look at the pros and cons of thie paint:

Pros:

  • Extremely saturated clean and vibrant color
  • Professional Quality
  • Quick to rewet
  • Open stock available *Although they are much more economical in sets per pan
  • Price (much lower than other comparable brands) Even cheaper in Europe!
  • Mixes well
  • Contain real cadmiums which are usually very expensive
  • Pigment info disclosed

Cons:

  • These are a liquid poured pan that can become sticky in humid environments so probably not the best for travel as an sideways palette could get messy.
  • These can be hard to find in the USA, I jumped on the chance to order a set when they came in stock on Amazon.
  • Most of the sets have Cadmium colors in them so not suitable for children. Also many artists wish to avoid cadmium so I thought I’d list it here as it is a con for some.

Bottom line: You really can’t go wrong with these paints at this price. I know the price changes on Amazon so I’d say these are totally worth a try if they are less than $2 per pan in sets especially if in a tin. I’ll probably get more if I have the opportunity to! You can visit the Rosa Gallery Store on Amazon to see what they have available.

Happy crafting!

Paint With Me! Loose Florals!

Hi friends! Do you have a bit of free time this weekend? Wanna paint something easy? We are going to paint this today, it’s a great way to get some practise in and knock the rust off the brushes!

If you like this loose floral tutorial please check out my Watercolor Flower Workshop! You will learn how to paint a variety of flowers in a loose style and arrange them in pretty compositions. Click here to learn more!

Supplies (Affiliate links used)

I hope you are having a fantastic weekend and til next time happy crafting!

How Many Pencils Are Too Many?

Hi friends! I totally realize that I am probably NOT he best person to answer that question but I had the opportunity to review a very hot new product. the Brutfuner set of 520 “oily” colored pencils. I had recently reviewed the Brutfuner square set of 120 which I recommend as probably the best budget colored pencils on the market under $30 so I was thrilled to try the new set. I was sent this set for free from the Andstal Stationary shop and they arrived in perfect condition and very well packaged. You can see my unboxing here. I have heard from other viewers that have ordered from this shop on AliExpress that they are top notch which is always nice to hear as I did not know them before they contacted me as I had purchased my Brutfuner Squares on Amazon. Watch the video for my full review on these.

Pros:

  • Great variety of colors including pastels, neon and metallics
  • Centered cores, straight barrel, nice build construction (3.3mm lead in 7.5mm body)
  • Sharpens well to a fine point (lead is harder than Prismacolor, it is similar to Arteza and Deli/Markart pencils)
  • Layers well
  • Holds a point well
  • blends with water or OMS
  • Set came well packaged to protect from breakage and package is reusable for storage

Cons:

  • Lots or near-identical colors
  • The color numbers are difficult to read on the barrel
  • Pencils are inconsistent in laydown, some are rich and pigmented and some are weaker and streaky
  • Price (of 520 set, smaller size sets are reasonable)
  • Difficult to blend

What would be the best use of this set:

  • Classroom-the harder leads will be more resistant to breaks from droppage and the many similar colors mean several people could share this set and not want for a color or have to wait for one.
  • rubber stampers or adult coloring book enthusiasts who need a sharp point and variety of colors for fine details.
  • Studio décor, it is a pretty set of pencils to display in jars or a rack
  • As a design tool for color picking (the colored barrels can be used as color swatches)
  • photo props
  • as a collectors item as it is the largest set I have ever heard of.

Bottom Line: I can’t say if this set is for you. It’s a lot of money to spend for a budget quality pencil and for that money you can buy a professional quality set that meets your exact specifications that would have replacement colors available. To be totally fair you could purchase a smaller set for a much more reasonable price, like a 48 set for around $15 so it’s not the per pencil price that makes this expensive, just the total set price for the 520. What do you think? Happy crafting!

Have You Ever Wondered What These Glass Things Are?

Hi friends! I kept seeing these glass globes in antiques shops and import shops I I wondered what they were. I knew they must be nautical but I didn’t know exactly what they were or how they were used.

It turns out that Japanese fishermen used to use them to keep the top edges of their nets afloat in the ocean and then they would cut them free after they pulled in their catch so they would wash up on shore for beach combers to find. You can see me paint this and learn more facts about Japanese fishing floats in today’s video! If you would like a real time narrated tutorial of this project you can find it in Critique Club.

Supplies (Affiliate links used)

I hope you enjoyed this project! I love nautical themes, and painting glass so this ticks all the boxes for me LOL! Happy crafting!

Refreshing Watercolor Class (FREE)

Hi friends! This was one of my world watercolor paintings and I painted it live on Youtube!

Here is a replay of that free long lesson. Please skip past the first couple awkward minutes of me getting the stream set up LOL!

If you like this you might also like my Watercolor Glass Class!

Supplies (affiliate links used)

I hope you have a great week and til next time happy crafting!

Let’s build Some Art Supply Storage! Epic Colored Pencil Rack!

Hi friends! This might be the most useful $9 you spend to store your crafty supplies!

Supplies:

  • Scrap 2×4 lumber & plywood If you don’t have a scrap of plywood you can purchase a seasonal “wooden” sign at dollar tree, it doesn’t matter the design as you will cover it and it will be cheaper than buying a small sheet of plywood at a lumber yard.
  • 9 wood crates like these from dollar tree. You can buy a minimum of 4 online and they will ship it to your local store for free if you are worried about not being able to find these at your local Dollar Tree. I discovered that each crate will hold about 100 pencils comfortably so determine how many pencils you want to store and divide that number by 100 to see how many crates you will need. You can put jam jars in the crates if you want to store fewer or if you do not wish to use dividers so that you have more options to use this for other things in the future.
  • Wood glue
  • Hot glue (optional but it holds things tight while the wood glue sets up)

Important! You don’t have to use as many crates as I did, also you can configure them in different ways to fit the storage space you have. You might prefer a 4 long, 2 deep situation to go along the edge of a desk and in that case, you don’t need the plywood, just glue the lower layer to the wood in the back. Make it your own. Consider turning it on its side for other art supplies you want to store. Happy crafting!

*Affiliate links use in the post.

What’s in my summer Travel Art Bag?

Hi friends! You don’t have to take a fancy vacation to get outside and paint. In fact you can probably find beautiful places near by to make art. Keeping a few useful supplies in a bag ready to go will make you more likly to venture outside and sketch. I decided to go through my travel art bag and see what should stay and what needs to go.

Instead of listing everything in my bag I only listed the items I would buy again. Affiliate links used where applicable. That’s all for today, happy crafting!

It’s My Birthday Sat Chat!

Hi friends! I have been a very lax blogger this week. (OK this summer but we have really short summers in Maine so I want to be outside and not at the computer LOL!) I have been working on samples for a subscription box I designed for Papercraft Society that will come out later this year and that has taken nearly all my time, well that and world watercolor month (you can see my daily paintings here) so with that I bring you my Sat Chat!

As always I film my Sat Chat on Friday so it can be up bright and early on YouTube Saturday morning, it kinda like having breakfast with friends as I chat in the comments with viewers as I sip my coffee. This week my town has “Old Home Week” and this weekend was the endless yard sale where tons of people have yard sales so I thought it would be fun to hit a few! Many of the sales were also fundraisers which were nice to support. I even found some crafty goodness including rubber stamps (a lady saw me looking at some and she said “Have I got a deal for you!” LOL!) and something that I think will make nice pencil storage, ironically the day after I finished filming my DIY pencils storage that will be up next week. C’est la vie! I think I’ll have to post a video on the fun finds, it will be a walk down memory lane if you have been stamping a while:) This evening we went to dinner at my favorite restaurant and then came home and had the delicious chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting Mr. Frugal baked me. It was a wonderful birthday!

I am going to try and blog the tutorials I have posted on YouTube but if you want to see what hasn’t made to the blog yet you can find them on my YouTube channel. Also I wanted to mention that I won’t have a sketchbook Sunday tomorrow. I will have a new lesson up in Critique Club in a few days and I will post the corresponding time-lapse to YouTube next Sunday.

Thanks for watching and til next time happy crafting!