All of my watercolors (prepare to be shocked and amazed like my husband was LOL!)

Hi friends! Last night I did a surprise live stream showcasing all of my watercolor palettes and how I store my watercolor tubes. I often get questions about this paint vs that paint and after my watercolor brush livestream I had several requests to go through my palettes as well. I went through my watercolor swatch binder as I went through the palettes so you could see the colors swatched out and make notes and compare if you were interested in any of the brands. I have viewers all over the world and I know some paints are easier and harder to find so I hop this can help you determine paint sets to fit your needs and budget. As another fun element my husband was on hand relaying questions to me throughout the live stream, you can her the surprise in his voice as more and more palettes were revealed LOL! Good thing he doesn’t mind my collection:)

If you are looking to purchase a set of colors I find Amazon has the best prices on full sets however if you are just looking to buy individual tubes and pans websites like Jerry’s Artarama (use coupon frugal20FS49 for 20% off non sale items), Cheap Joes, Blick and Merri Artist have better prices. Please note that I am an Amazon associate and although this video is not sponsored Jerry’s Artarama is a regular sponsor of my blog and YouTube channel.  I have also noted in this video where I purchased a product or if it was free from a sponsor or manufacturer. I am an infinitely curious person and I enjoy testing out new watercolors. I have more than anyone needs for painting but I make a living with my blog and YouTube channel and reviewing products viewers requests part of my video content I like to provide. Yes, its excessive, I know. Please don’t feel like you need to own as many palettes, use what you have and use this info as a basis to compare and make educated purchases in the future. The best paints to use are the ones you have:)

You can find a playlist of product reviews here if you want more info on any particular paint set and you can see how and why I use a swatch binder here. I hope you found this palette show and tell useful and til next time happy crafting!

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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!

My Outdoor Sketching Supplies & Etchr Slate Art Bag Review

Hi friends! Since it is summer and world Watercolor Month I thought it would be fun to share what I bring for sketching and painting outside:

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I also received this travel art bag to review so I took it out sketching a couple of times and I will share what I think of it in today’s video.

The Etchr Slate Satchel is a stylish, well made waterproof bag for plein air painting and urban sketching. This is a high quality waterproof bag with tabs and cords for holding your supplies like pens, pencils and sketchbooks (or tablets.) There is a front pocket that will allow me to carry a flask of water, small sketchbook, rag and watercolor palette as well as a secure zipper pocket on the front flap that will accommodate my phone and wallet so I don’t need to carry an extra bag for that. The bag is sleek enough to take around with you on a bus, plane restaurants or the office without looking out-of-place. This bag sells for $119 USD and they ship worldwide from Australia. Etchr provided me with this bag for review purposes.

Pros:
The bag looks great and is well made, the zippers move smoothly and the straps are easy to adjust. The velcro tabs and loops are very strong. There is even a mount if you want to put this bag on a tripod for easel sketching. This bag is also free on animal products.

Cons: The bag is really slim meaning you won’t be able to keep all kinds of supplies in there, I think drawing or watercolor is probably it. This is definitely not for oil or acrylic painters or if you need to carry bulky materials. I use a flask for my water as a water bottle would not fit well in the large pocket. Also it is a bit awkward to get used to wearing the bag but it does get more natural the more you do it.

I think this would be idea for an urban sketcher where you have limited space to work (like on a bus, train or busy street) and you need to look chic because you are sketching on your lunch hour. It feels a bit fancy for me as I traipse through the woods though LOL!

Bottom Line: It’s a well made bag that is as stylish as it is functional.

My favorite sketching supplies:

You can find out more about Etchr here. I hope you get outside to paint this summer, til next time happy crafting!

Review: Fabulous Figures & Whimsical Girls! {New Books by Jane Davenport}

Hi friends! Today I have a book review for you, 2 books actually by the fabulous and creative Jane Davenport!

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I was sent these books by the publisher and I was very surprised to see them on my doorstep. After flipping through Fabulous Figures for a couple of minutes I had to play. I think the mark of a good art instruction book is that you feel like you need to grab your supplies straight away. I loved her “water drawing” exercise so I decided to use up some leftover watercolor paint (from Saturday’s brush lettering tutorial) and have a go.

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It was addictive! Since we are always in need of bookmarks around here I laminated the watercolor sheets, chopped them apart and turned them into bookmarks. I had thought they would be fun for my girls to hand out to their friends at their 8th grade semi-formal dance (as the painted silhouette girls all looked like they were dancing in fancy dresses) but I did not have them finished by the time they had to leave…the bookmarks took little time, however styling my two daughters hair for the dance did LOL! Maybe this is a lifetime supply of bookmarks for us LOL!

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Without further ado here is the video review so you can have a sneak peek at the books. Also on Amazon they have a generous”look inside” preview of these books if you want to see them in more detail.

Below are affiliate links to the books on Amazon, they offer a generous preview of the book so you can have a close look at some of the contents)

An overview of Fabulous Figures: This is a drawing instruction book that really succeeds in simplifying the female figure into a formula that even the most novice drawers can follow. Her charming illustration will sweep you into her lovely world of fashion illustration fantasy. If you are a fan of Jane Davenport iconic style and want to learn to draw like her you will enjoy this book. Even if you do not want to draw the photography and artwork make this book a pleasure. Jane also has a workshop to go with this book if you would like more guidance and it can be found on her website. *If it is not open yet it will be soon.

Whimsical Girls (Happy Hour Art Journal): This book is like a cross between and adult coloring book and an art journal with the hard parts done, it’s ready for you to add your own touch and fill in the good stuff! The book is filled with pre collaged pages and Jane’s beautiful line artwork for you to color. The paper is high quality to accept a variety of mixed media supplies. This is not an art instruction book, it is an activity book, ora pre started art journal that you can finish. It’s charming and fun and everything we would expect from Ms. Davenport.

Jane’s books never disappoint. If you like her style you’ll love her books.

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Before I go, an apology…

I am sorry I didn’t have a sketchbook Sunday video up yesterday. It was my hubby’s birthday and I ran out to pick up the cake first thing (and that is when I normally sketch) and then we had company and I wanted to visit with them and relax. I tried to have my plein air sketching video I filmed earlier this week up but I didn’t have it finished. Ah well, nobody’s perfect but family comes first on the weekend and birthdays! I mentioned it Instagram but I should have noted it elsewhere as not to disappoint anyone. Have a great night and til next time happy crafting!

Review: Stampin Blends Markers

Hi friends! Today I have a very much requested review for Stampin Blends markers from Stampin’ Up! After posting this on YouTube last night several demonstrators let me know that they are only taking orders through Friday the 23rd (tomorrow) as they are almost sold out so they need to replenish their stock before they sell more. I wanted to put that info out there incase you were waiting on the review to order and you wanted to buy before sale-a-bration was over. I believe they will have them available to order again in a couple of months. Also I miss-spoke in the video, the markers are $4.50 each and not $4. Watch the video to see them in action.

Details:

  • 27 colors total (a light and dark shade of the following colors: Bermuda Bay, Calypso Coral, Cherry Cobbler, Crumb Cake, Daffodil Delight, Night of Navy, Old Olive, Pink Pirouette, Pool Party, Pumpkin Pie, Rick Razzelberry and Smoky Slate as well as 3 single colors: Bronze, Ivory and a clear color lifter marker)
  • Price: $4.50 per marker, no discounts for buying in a set
  • Each marker features a brush nib and a bullet nib and printing on the barrel tells you which is which.
  • These markers are available exclusively through your local Stampin Up demonstrator or from their website. This link will take you to my demo Wendy’s website.

Pros:

  • The colors, as the name suggests, blend beautifully, mainly because the colors are picked out and designed to blend with each other. If you have never colored with alcohol markers before this will take out the guesswork and lessen the learning curve. Here is a demo of me using them.
  • This set has a great range of colors with nothing superfluous, It could use a deep violet however if you glaze over rich razzleberry with the light Night of Navy I think it will do. I like how they picked a limited palette with plenty of color options to get you started.
  • Since all of the markers are available individually you can replace a color as you use it up or build your collection a couple of markers at a time (and it is the same price per marker whether you buy in a set or singles.)
  • Colors are easy to erase with the color lifter (and I am glad they called the clear marker a color lifter instead of the typical “clear blender” as it describes more accurately what this pen does)
  • If you have CSS (Complete Set Syndrome-trust me it’s a thing LOL!) you only have 27 markers to collect as opposed to hundreds in other marker lines.

Cons:

  • The nib is a felt/fiber type nib and not foam like copics so it is less springy and flexible.
  • You can’t refill the marker or replace the nib.
  • The caps might be a bit tough to snap on and off but they do stay on securely!

Bottom line: I think these markers are priced fairly for the quality. If you are just getting started and you want to take the guesswork out of coloring these are sure to please or if you are an avid user of SU! products these will match.

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If you would like to learn more you can ask your Stampin Up Demonstrator for more info or visit my friend Wendy’s website and she’ll be happy to help you.Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Triple Review: RENDR Marker Paper, NEW Premiere Brush Tip Alcohol Markers & Curio Stamps from Stampendous!

Hi friends! I have had requests to showcase a few new things and it made sense to do it all at once. It seems like there have been tons of companies revamping their marker lines over the past year and I am always curious as to the quality of them and how different they are from one another. Today we will look at the new Premiere markers sold exclusively at A.C.Moore. Along with RENDR Marker paper and Curio Stamps by Stampendous.

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The new Premiere markers have a bullet tip and a brush tip and will not replace the old style Premiere markers that resembled Prismacolor with a bullet tip and tri-chisel nib. The curious thing was that the color names between the two versions are not the same…but I did find a similarity between the new brush pens and other new brush pens on the market. Watch the video for more details!

Premiere by Nicole Dual end brush alcohol markers:

These markers are available in sets or open stock at A.C Moore stores. Prices range from $3.99 for a single marker to $159 for a set of 48

Pros:

  • Brush tip and chisel tip
  • Less expensive than Copic
  • If you have an AC Moore store near you they are on special or you can use a coupon on a set making them much more reasonable
  • They use the same color number and naming system as the following brands so you can replenish or fill in colors from other sets (Colors the same as Studio 71, #coloring, Artist Loft (Michaels stores) and Blick Illustrator  available at Blick stores but they are not going to keep stocking them and all they have now are 12 packs.) If you like those markers you will likely enjoy these as well as the nibs are the same.

Cons:

  • It is a fiber/felt tip instead of a higher quality foam tip
  • Not suitable for brush lettering

*AC Moore will still be stocking the original Premiere markers with the bullet and tri-nib chisel ends as well as the new brush markers so you can shop for what best suits your needs. They do not have a shop online but they recently teamed up with Blitsy and they have the 12 and 24 packs of the original markers for sale so maybe the new ones will arrive soon. *Note the color names between the new and old style of Premier markers do not match.

Bottom line: I like the new Premiere markers but the regular retail price is high for what they are. This is a good item to use one of their 50% off coupons on or wait for a sale. Luckily they run good sales often and many weeks they have a 55% off coupon.

RENDR No Show Through Marker Paper 5.5″x8.5″ hardbound sketchbook

I had several marker users ask me to review this paper so I chose one of their smaller sketchbooks as they are kinda pricey. I have only used them for markers as their claim to fame is that alcohol markers won’t bleed through but other media can be used on the pages.

Pros:

  • Heavy #110 paper (although it did not seem as thick as other #110 cardstock I have used)
  • Does not bleed through so you can work on both sides
  • Sketchbook is bound nicely and had a grippy cover

Cons:

  • The paper does not allow good blending with alcohol markers
  • When layering colors you get hard edges, it is nearly impossible for me to go back in and adjust something.

Bottom Line: RENDR paper is good if you want a sketchbook where you can work on both sides of the paper with alcohol pens without worry of color bleeding through. I have had a lot of people ask me to try other mediums on this paper so I will report back with my results in an upcoming blog post or video.

The comparison paper I used was #80 Neenah Classic Crest

Stampendous Curio Stamps

These attractive shaped wood stamps stamp beautifully and are designed to display.

Pros:

  • Stamps great
  • Shaped mount is painted black so it stays looking pristine
  • Cute designs that you would be likely to use over and over again.

Cons:

That was a lot of products to get through here but it is fun to put new things to the test to determine if they are worth the money or storage space in out craft room. As with any supply I think it depends. Only you know if a product will be useful to you so with my reviews I aim to be unbiased and to show you what they can do. As with all of my reviews they are not sponsored but I have used affiliate links at no cost to you if you want to check the products out and support my blog at the same time. Please don’t feel like you have to buy though and only buy something if it will add value to your life. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Arteza Colored Pencil Review & Unrelated Marker Sale:)

Hi friends! I posted this review to YouTube a week ago but hadn’t had a chance to blog it and I had grand plans to make cards with the colored samples from the video but that did not happen either. I even went down to my studio a couple of times to work on those cards but got distracted by reorganizing some things. I was actually a lot of fun because since my big konmari declutter last year I have not had to clean and rearrange much and I kinda missed that! Today we are going to take a look at the Arteza Expert Colored Pencil Set of 72.  I was curious about these pencils because they were new and almost everything I have tried from Arteza has beat my expectations. These pencils were no exception. Here is a hand colored swatch on the colors in this set. I blended the colors with Gamsol and the paper is from my Canson XL mixed media journal.

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The colors in the set are very bright and they easily dissolved with solvent. They soft and smooth to color with requiring little pressure and I had no issues with breaking when I sharpened them. Fort a full review and to see them in action on toned and white paper watch the video.

Video Review:

Supplies:

I contacted Arteza about the lightfastness ratings on their products and got good news:
+++ = at least 100 years;
++= at least 25-100 years;
+= at least 10-25 years

Most of the pencils were +++ and up so it seems like we have a lightfast product, I think colors with white added are less lightfast because the pigments get spread out more (as is the case with watercolor) so that might be why the white only had a 1 star rating.

Pros:

  • Low price
  • Thick creamy lead
  • Layers well
  • Vibrant color
  • Leads did not bread when sharpening or when used with heavy pressure
  • Color index is pretty accurate on barrel
  • Blends well
  • Works well with solvent
  • Packaged snugly in removable plastic trays in a high quality reusable tin for storage

Cons:

  • Only available in sets
  • Not many pale opaque shades (this totally is a “me” thing because I almost always work on toned or dark paper.)

Bottom line: I like these pencils a lot. the perform well, are bright and lightfast. I prefer some more opaque light shades but I can use these with other pencils I have so it’s not a big deal. These Arteza set of 72 pencils are currently around $25 and so are the Prismacolor set of 72. Personally because I like to work on toned paper I prefer Prismacolor but they tend to break more easily. If you are only working on white paper I’d recommend the Arteza but they are very similar in quality so the choice is yours. I suspect that the Arteza pencil leads might be glued to the barrel the whole way down and that is why there was not any breakage because they feel as soft as prismacolor, it is a big plus! Both pencils will work well together so you can enjoy the vivid, bright transparent hues of Arteza with the softer, opaque, pastel tones of Prismacolor. I am grateful that these companies are bringing high quality pencils to a budget minded consumer. I have not tried the Arteza 72 watercolor pencils that are wood cased but their woodless set of 24 are amazing if you are looking for watercolor pencils. If you are interested in a review of their set of 72 watercolor pencils let me know in the comments and I will see what I can do:)

And speaking of deals…

When I reviewed these Studio 71 markers a few months ago they sold out overnight and were out of stock for months. They are a great deal at regular price but Consumer Crafts has the packs on sale this week, the 6 packs are $6, 12 packs are $10, 24 packs are $20 and the much coveted 48 pack that was sold out for months is on sale for $36. Their open stock markers are not on sale but they are $1.97 everyday (although they go on sale for $1 sometimes) and I love that they have all the colors available individually. These colors match the Blick Illustrator, #coloring, Artist Loft and new Premiere by Nicole dual brush markers (review coming soon) and all of the color numbers are listed on the website when you order so you can check that you are not buying duplicates if you own any of those other brands. These markers are also loads cheaper than the above mentioned brands and feature a brush and chisel tips.

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The brush tips on the Studio 71 markers are fiber/felty and not foam like Copic so they are not as flexible and they may fray if you are rough with them. They would not be great for brush lettering because the amount you would want to be able to flex the nib would wear it out quickly but if you want a nice brush tip marker for coloring these will do the trick! I have the set of 48 and I was able to make these blends for the markers in the box, I think it is a great deal and for 75 cents per marker in this set you can’t beat it. I wrote the numbers on the swatch next to each shell so you can have the recipes and remember the numbers are the same for Artist Loft, Premerie by Nicole (the new ones), Blick Illustrator, #coloring as well as the Studio 71 brand so you can use these blends with any of those brands.

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Please don’t feel obliged to buy anything I recommend, as always use what you have first. I just wanted to make sure you knew about the sale if you were disappointed they the sold out after the review I did last summer. That’s all for today, thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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