FUN Treats & A Swing Card!

Hi friends! Today I have lots of fun projects to make!

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I love to make crafted treats and favors. I love combining scraps of paper with a little sweet or gift to brighten someones day.

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I also love non candy treats too. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth myself but I am a big fan of lip balms and hand creams (I keep one in every coat pocket, in my car on my desk and next to each sink) probably because I need to constantly combat the dry Maine winter LOL! So of course I love to gift lip balms and stuff like that too. I think they are wonderful gifts year round from stocking suffers, to classroom valentines, Easter Basket fillers and bridesmaid favors. Just change up the paper and you have a treat for many occasions!

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One year at a craft fair I made little paper purses with lip balms inside and I sold out in the first 10 minutes and got a special order for 20 more! I am going to make sure to have some of these on hand for my next craft fair! They are so lovely and quick to make! Do you want the instructions for these sweet treats and the whimsical interactive swing card? Well, watch the video and see how to make them!

This tutorial is sponsored by My Favorite Things where you will find the most creative selection of stamps, dies and accessories for your next card making or craft project. Save 15% on your next order at My Favorite Things with Code: FRUGALMFT from March 19-23 *not valid on gift cards or products in the “New” category

Supplies:

Other Supplies:

  • Double sided tape
  • Wet glue in a fine tip applicator
  • Ribbon
  • Clear Blocks
  • Cardstock & Patterned paper of your choice
  • Manual Die Cut Machine
  • Brads, pins or other embellishments
  • Hershey Nuggets
  • Lip Balm
  • Jelly Beans

I think these projects are perfect for the first day of s! The store have all of their seasonal pastel candy on display there is something so beautiful about the sparkly foil wrappers and translucent jelly beans that make me smile.  I just love the colors of spring and the signal that the long cold winter is finally coming to an end. Maybe it’s a temperate climate thing. I hope you apply some of these ideas to your next stamping project and as always happy crafting!

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Confused about color? FREE watercolor conversion chart with mixing tips!

Hi friends!  I had a question from a viewer last week about substituting color in watercolor paintings. Sometimes you may be following along with a tutorial and you don’t have the color the teacher is using, usually I will mention substitutions but it sure would be handy to have a reference chart to give out. So armed with my huge watercolor swatch book I compiled a list of substitutions based on color hue, tinting strength and undertones and put it in an easy to print reference. There are also some mixing tips and I put my 9 must have colors (in my opinion) in bold in case anyone was interested:) You can download my free watercolor conversion chart with mixing tips here. This color conversion chart will also work with other wet media:)

Here is a video with more info on using the guide and color theory with color examples.

Below are a couple of recommendations for paint sets to get you started if you are new at various price points.

  • Daniel Smith Essential Into set of 6 tubes
    *This contains a warm and cool of each primary for $31 The quality is excellent and I use this set in my Essential tools and techniques for Watercolor online course. I also recommend having a Yellow Ocher, Sap Green and Burnt Sienna paint for watercolor (Add a titanium white if using acrylic, oil or gouache colors.)
  • Schminke 12 half pan set $57 at Jacksons. *This is the artist quality version of the 12 pan set I demoed with, excellent paint and it is all you will need to mix just about anything color wise. *Sometimes we pick colors like cobalt teal for instance for their granulating capabilities, texture or opacity/transparency but that is more high level painting stuff. Learn color theory basics first:) Remember the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time!
  • For $30 you can get this 30 color set of Shinhan which is lovely, not quite as high quality of Daniel smith or Schminke, but good for a beginner. *This will contain all the colors you need and then some but some of the names are off so you will need to trust your instincts and swatch them. The preform well though and the tubes are lager making for a lot of material to play with without the fear of wasting paint. I question the light-fastness of some colors but for learning it will suit you well.
  • I also really like this “Pretty Excellent” 36 budget pan set for $20, again the names are dodgy but the paint is great if you want to play.

Need more help on your watercolor journey?

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Want in-depth watercolor lessons containing all of the information and tutorials you need to start your watercolor journey off right? Check out my Essential Tools and Techniques for Watercolor course! With 6 hours of step by step instruction I will take you from how to hold a brush to perfect washes and color mixing then guide you through four finished paintings. Click here to learn more or enroll today!

Oh! I almost forgot! We will have a live stream tomorrow at 1pm Eastern Time, Sarah will be in the studio too so if you have missed us please stop by and say hi! Till then happy crafting!

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Mini Masterpieces YOU can Paint! (& Tiny Gingerbread House Ornaments!)

Hi friends! I really got a kick out of making these and looking at them hanging on my Christmas tree! They would be really cute on a shelf as well. This project would be a blast to do at a paint party with kids or adults. We will use paint markers making it even more fun and mess free!

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For these mini masterpieces I used low odor oil-based paint markers from our sponsor Pintar. They are vivid, durable and dry with a semi gloss sheen. In addition to the fun project we are creating today these opaque, vivid and waterproof markers are suitable for glass, ceramic, wood, plastic and if you are a rock painter they are great for that too and best of all there is no mess! You get 24 colors- 20 big 5mm tip markers in assorted colors and 4 skinny 1mm tip markers in white, black, gold and silver for $25.97 (list price $62.16.)

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Tip: dab a bit of marker color on each cap so you will have a perfect color reference and you can see what you have if they are standing upright in a cup or stored in their box.

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Watch the video to see how I created these mini masterpieces inspired by the Mona Lisa, Starry Night and The Scream!

Supplies (affiliate links used)

How sweet do these look on the tree?

Next up is a quick and easy ornament. I was so excited to find a die of a gingerbread house at my local craft store. I had visions of decorating it with ric-rac, buttons and beads… however when I die-cut and assembled one it was so teeny tiny I didn’t know how on earth I would decorate it.

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Luckily I had just received these fine tip acrylic paint pens from Pintar! They were perfect to add color and detail to these cute little houses. They have an extra fine, hard, durable tip (like the Extra fine Posca pens) and are suitable for most surfaces. A set of 24 color costs around $23 making them an affordable choice if you want a high quality paint pen assortment.

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I recommend you decorate these little gingerbread houses flat, let the paint dry (it only takes a couple of minutes) and then assemble it.

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To assemble it I folded on the score lines and then added skinny 1/8″ Scor-tape to the flaps (be sure to tape the ribbon on the un tabbed side of the roof) before pressing the little house closed.

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Even though it was smaller than I expected it is still pretty cute!

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Supplies for gingerbread house ornament:

These acrylic paint pens are lovely to use. Personally I will be adding them to my art journal stash because they are so fine, clear, opaque and crisp. You can also use them on all the surfaces that the oil based markers can be used on, including fabric, but if you use them on ceramics you may wish to bake them at 350F for 25 minutes to make them more durable. If it were me I’d choose the oil based markers for rocks (I am thinking of the kindness rocks that sweet people are making) because the softer bullet tip will allow for greater coverage and there is more paint in those and I would save my acrylic pens for details on craft and art journal projects. I really hope you give these projects a try! I want to thank Pintar for sponsoring this blog post and thank you for checking it out! Til next time happy crafting!

These felt mittens treat holders are fun to make with kids!

Hi friends! These cute felt ornaments do more than look good in the Christmas tree, they can also hold a treat! You can fill them with candy canes, lip balm, small jewelry and gifts or even gift cards. They can also be reused year after year!

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If you are a teacher, scout leader, classroom volunteer, librarian, parent or grandparent this is the perfect wintertime craft to make with the children in your life. The supplies are easy to find and affordable and you might even have everything you need already. Watch the video to see how! Don’t forget to grab the free template below!

Supplies (affiliate links used)

I miss the days when my children were really little. Their elementary school did “Polar Express Day” and parents would volunteer to run games and craft tables with the kids. The day would commence with the principal reading a wintry book to all of the k-3 kids, then the kids would travel around to classrooms to play games and do crafts and end with a viewing of the movie The Polar Express. There are many books that would be nice to feature with this craft if you have little ones in your life and I got some great suggestions from viewers:

  • The Mitten by Jan Brett
  • The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
  • Snowman at Night by Caralyn Buehner
  • and my favorite (actually I love all the books in this series and so did my kids…aww, miss those days!) Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman. And there is The Bear Stays up for Christmas and actually if you have little kids on your Christmas list and you like to buy them books there is a Bear books boxed set, all of the bear books are so enjoyable, the words have a lovely rhyming cadence to read and the illustrations are beautifully done. I just loved these books so much when my kids were small.

If you have a girl or cub scout troop you could make the ornaments and then take them to a nursing or veterans home with a candy cane in them. The residents always enjoyed it when we brought the kids in to sing Christmas carols and you could hand out these treats and since they are reusable they can use them to gift to their loved ones too. Sometimes it is the smallest thing, in this case a felt mitten or stocking, that can make people feel appreciated and loved. Take care of yourself and each other and til next time happy crafting:)

Mask Making Tutorial & My 2000th Video!

Hi friends! With Halloween right around the corner I thought it would be fun to teach you how to make masks either to wear or for decoration. This was one of my favorite lessons to teach kids at art summer camps when I was younger. I hope you try this idea and maybe teach it to a child in your life!

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I also realized that this was my 2000th YouTube video! Can you believe it? And I am still having fun making videos so let’s try for another 2000, what do you think?

This Video is Sponsored by Lava® Soap. Visit their website to learn more and find a store near you. For money-saving coupons click here. Follow Lava Soap on Facebook for more tips on how to clean up after craft projects.

Supplies (Homemade recipes and instructions below)

*Using the plaster impregnated gauze strips is the least messy option but the most expensive. See below for cheaper alternatives.

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OR you can use

  • 1″ Strips of newspaper (cut before you mix up the plaster because once you mix the plaster you only have 15 minutes to work.
  • Plaster of Paris (this will be cheaper to buy at a home improvement or craft store, it is more expensive online because it is heavy and has to be shipped)
  • Mixing cups (washed yogurt or margarine tubs are perfect)
  • Water
  • Vaseline and straws (if making masks on people’s faces)

Directions for making masks on people’s faces: This is a great school art project because kids can team up and you don’t need to buy mask forms. You can also use the newspaper strip and plaster method which will be much cheaper in a classroom setting.

1. Have the person you are making a mask on tie back any loose hair or use a headband for short hair. Apply vaseline to eyebrows and hairline. The subject might want to wear a smock to protect their clothes from plaster drips. It is best to do this project outside in good weather. It also helps to have the subject lay on the ground. This project is NOT good for anyone who is claustrophobic.

2. Cut strips of newspaper 1″ wide and place at your work area.

3. Place 1/2 cup of plaster in a mixing cup and add water a table-spoon at a time until you have the consistency of heavy cream.

4. Dip a strip of paper in the plaster and wipe off excess. Place the strip over the subjects forehead and fold back the excess paper onto the face. Try not to get the paper in the subjects hair. Repeat until the face is covered. Make sure the subject has a straw to breath from of keep the mouth or nose unplastered. You can keep holes for the eyes but have the subject keep their eyes closed so they don’t get plaster in them.

5. Do about 5 layers and let the mask firm up (about 15 minutes) then have the subject scrunch their face to release the mask and let it dry overnight before decorating.

Note for teachers! Before attempting this with your class test out the process with a friend. The climate where you live can affect set up time (speeding it up it hot dry climates and slowing it in damp climates) For clean up let the plaster harden in the cups and flex the cups and the plaster will fall out so you can reuse the cups. Clean up desks with a wet rag.

Option 2. (using mask forms)
Mix wallpaper paste with water per package directions until you have a gel and dip newspaper strips to create mask. This will take at least a day to dry so only use mask forms for this.
*Do not use is you (or your students) have wheat allergies.

I hope this gives you some fun ideas for Halloween costumes, parties or home decor! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Cute Polymer Clay Chopstick (or Brush) Rests!

Howdy friends! Today I have a fun polymer clay project that you can make for yourself or for a gift!

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These whimsical chopstick rests would look so charming on your dinner table. These are made to keep your chopsticks clean during dinner when you are using them rather than laying them on the table. I guess they keep the table clean too! You can also use them to rest your watercolor brush when you paint, it will keep your table clean and stop your brush from rolling away. It will also give your brush a better way to dry than tip up in a cup (but for the record I think it’s fine to dry your brushes tip up in a cup and I have never had any damage from that.

Video!

Supplies: (affiliate links used)

Polymer Clay Pointers!

  1. ALWAYS condition any polymer clay before use by kneading in your hands until it is soft and pliable or cranking it through a pasta machine about 20 times. *If it is warm I can usually do this by hand but during the winter in my cool craft room I need the pasta machine. If you have arthritis and you want to do clay I strongly urge you to get one, the basic ones are cheap (this one is $16) or keep an eye out at yard sales. You do not need any bells and whistles, it just needs to crank clay through. Start at the thickest setting and send the clay through a few times folding it in half as you can and keep going thinner and thinner until you can crank it through without it cracking and then you can knead it into a soft smooth ball by hand. If you skip this set your clay will be brittle after it is baked.
  2. Wash your hands when switching from a dark to light color to avoid dirtying the light clay.
  3. When in doubt bake clay at a lower temp for longer. You may be mixing clays and see one brand has you bake your clay at 260 for 30 minutes and another say 275 for 15 minutes. Always go low and slow. If you are not sure if your oven’s temperature is correct bake the clay 10 degrees less and add about 5 minutes of baking time. If you cook your clay at too high a temp it will discolor. If that happens you can paint it though.
  4. Clay will be a bit bendy when it is hot and just out of the oven, that’s fine, let it cool and it will harden.
  5. However…Fine art clays (like Premo by sculpey) remain a bit flexible which is good for thin jewelry pieces so they don’t snap. These finer clays are harder to condition though so I choose softer clay like Sculpey 3. This Arteza clay is between the two. If you plan to roll out clay thinner than 1/8″ I highly recommend using Sculpey Premo as it will flex instead of break when cured.
  6. Don’t store clay in a hot car (not even while you run errands) on a windowsill or near a heater or store or it could cure in the package and be ruined.
  7. Remove your rings before working with clay as it can leave a film on them. It can also wreak a manicure so I’d wait to polish your nails until after claying:)
  8. If you want a shiny clay creation you can vanish it but you need to be careful what you use. Clear nail polish and oil based spray paint can turn sticky after a while and ruin your hard work. I like Future Floor Wax but it is difficult to find nowadays but any light acrylic (water based) sealer will do the trick.
  9. If you want to tint the clay while it is raw you can use pigment inks (you can even stamp on it!) or brush on chalk or mica powder. Baking will seal the ink or chalk to the surface.

Clay is such a versatile medium and fun for all ages! I really love the gift making potential too! You can make jewelry, ornaments, figurines and of course chopstick rests! I hope you give polymer clay a try and til next time happy crafting!

Back to School Product Review from Maped

**Please note, I am away this week so there is no live show today. I am hoping to have one on Sunday though:)

Hi friends! Whether you have kids or grandkids going back to school or you are a teacher stocking up for the school year ahead or you are just looking for some good quality but inexpensive coloring supplies back to school time is a great time to get some deals. I was set a box of office supplies from Maped that may be just what you are looking for. Watch my video review below:

*I really like all of these product except for the Color’Peps Duo pencils.

Supplies in order or appearance, prices are taken from Amazon and may change without notice. Affiliate links used. These supplies were provided to me for review purposes. To find a Maped supplied near you please visit their website.

  1. Color’Peps Jungle Caddy Markers $7
  2. Color’Peps Duo Markers $6.55
  3. Watercolor Pencils Color’Peps Aqua $10 for 24 set $16 for 48 set in tin
  4. Novelty Sharpeners Bunny and frog $4  Also available a 2 hole sharpener (caterpillar)
  5. ***Color’Peps Duo Pencils (I don’t recommend these)
  6. Graph’Peps Stencil Mania felt tip pens $17.68
  7. Black’Peps Mechanical Pencils
  8. Erasers

I am a sucker for stationary, I love the smell of a new pencil box and the novelty of cute supplies. If that’s worng I don’t wanna be right! Til next time happy crafting!

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