Live Watercolor Lesson Today & Tips for Setting up a Small Art Space!

Edited to add the finished painting. Have an awesome weekend!

IMG_20180105_135702

Hi friends!  I am so happy I have internet, I was expecting to lose power with the crazy blizzard we had yesterday so I even had a backup video to post if that was the case but that tutorial will wait til Sunday and today we will paint live on YouTube at 12:30pm Eastern Time. During the slow week between Christmas and New Year I set about arranging my winter art space in my office upstairs. Normally I prefer to work and film in my basement but it gets chilly in the winter and loud as you can hear when the furnace kicks on. So in the winter my art area downstairs is more of a storage room and I work in my office. Here is a look at my creative corner.

I thought I’d share this, even though it is not the most beautiful space because it is very functional and a realistic option for many people. Let’s face it, few of us have a spare room we can devote to art. I took over a corner of my unfinished basement 10+ years ago and did the best with what I had. The black fabric hanging from the ceiling is to dampen echo while recording. I am thinking about ordering some acoustic foam panels but as you know I am a resourceful tight-wad LOL:) I found a calendar based on the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and I hung that on my wall. It is one of my favorite productivity books. The small shelf in front of my desk holds my laptop. I try to keep my workspace as clear as possible.  I put my most often used tools on the shelf to my right. If you are a lefty you would probably want the shelf on your left. I took an old spice rack and put in my Prismacolor Pencils and Spectrum Aqua Watercolor pencils as well as a few odd-ball Albright Durer Watercolor pencils and Caran D’ache Supracolor pencils. They all work well together so why not?

Next to that is a bookshelf (BTW all of my studio furniture are cast-offs from other parts of the house emptied during my year-long declutter process) I have my Spectrum Noir alcohol markers and my Studio 71 brush markers and some odds and ends. Alcohol markers play well together too and since I have a lot of them due to reviews over the years I have enough for a full assortment upstairs and downstairs. My kids can help themselves to any of these supplies as well. I have a little bit of everything on this shelf, some watercolor crayons, my Rembrandt watercolor 48 set, a paper trimmer, a tray with mini ink pads and in the tip out bins I have acrylic paint pens, clear stamp blocks, watercolor crayons and a random junk bin. I have my favorite reference books and some art paper pads on the shelf below. Basically I want to have a versatile assortment of supplies to create with on hand so I don’t have to run downstairs all the time to get more supplies. I do keep on shelf empty (under the pencils) for bringing up supplies for particular projects and when I am done it goes back downstairs.

I raised up the height on my drafting table so I can stand or sit to work. I can’t sit too long or my back gets stiff and sore. That is a reminder that I need to move so I will go up and down the cellar stairs a few times to limber up and usually I think of something I need to fetch for a project or I have something to return. Since I work at home I might start a load of laundry, empty the dishwasher or do another chore that is active. I find these small brain breaks help keep me stay fresh and inspired. No two crafters had the same space available but I hope this inspires you to make a spot for art in your home. A card table with a rolling cart under it can house plenty of supplies so see what you can do with what you have. I have a door to my backyard right next to my desk which s great in the spring, summer and fall but this time of year it is drafty so I just sealed it with a weatherstripping kit it and what a difference it made to the warmth of the room. I recommend doing that if you have  a drafty area as it will save you money and will make working more comfy. Here is the view of my backyard. There is also a bird feeder I can watch from my desk:)

I hope you got some ideas there. Now on to today’s tutorial. We will be painting live from this reference photo. I was in the mood for something bright and summery:)

You can watch the live stream or reply in the player below but if you want to chat live be sure to watch on the YouTube watch page. Sarah is not feeling well today but my daughter Maizy will be filing in relaying questions to me.

Supplies (Use any kind you like, I’ll link what I am using below)

I hope you are having a great start to 2018! Good luck digging out if you were hit by the storm. I stepped onto my porch and snapped this pic. I am so glad I kept my porch decorations up, I think I will until the kissing balls start to turn brown, I am so pleased with how well they are lasting and how fresh they still look. See you shortly for the live show! Happy crafting!

 

Advertisements

Build This Card Keeper to Organize Your Handmade Cards!

Hi friends! Today I am going to show you how to make a box out of cardboard and decorated with paper that includes dividers so you can sort and organize your handmade cards.

blogIMG_20171207_214336

You can divide the cards by occasion like I did or divide it by month and write the names and dates of birthdays and anniversaries on each divider so you are always prepared for upcoming birthdays and events!

blogIMG_20171207_214355

Watch the video to see how I made this. I will post measurements for the box I made to hold A2 cards below but you can resize it to whatever dimensions you want.

Video!

This video is sponsored by Annie’s CardMaker Kit of the Month Club! Save 50% on your first kit and get a free tool set!

 

 

Supplies:

  • Matboard or cardboard *You can glue two sheets of cereal box cardboard printed sides together for your base.
  • Strong double-sided take such as red line or scor-tape
  • Adhesive tape runner
  • Magnet and metal disk *Look for “rare earth” magnets
  • Clear tape
  • Patterned paper
  • Cardstock
  • Bone folder
  • Piercing tool
  • Corner Rounder (WeR Memory Keepers Corner Chomper)
  • Thin washi tape (optional)
  • Ink & Stamps (optional)
  • Pen or pencil that you can mark your cardstock with

Measurements:

  • Front/Back: 5″x6″ (make 2 from matboard) Matting layer: 4 1/4″x5 1/4″
  • Top/Bottom: 4″x6″ (make 2 from matboard) Matting Layer: 3 1/4″x5 1/4″
  • Sides (make 2 from matboard) 4″x5″, Matting layer: 3 1/4″ 4 1/4″
  • Lip/Closure (make 1 from matboard) 1 1/2″x6″, Matting layer 1 1/4″x5 1/2″, Cardstock liner for underside over magnet will be the same as matboard piece.

This is a great project to keep you organized so you never miss another card sending event. It also makes a great gift especially when filled with handmade cards! Another great gift is a subscription to the Annie’s CardMaker Kit of the Month Club. If you know of someone who wants to get started in card making. These convenient monthly kits have all the supplies (except scissors and adhesive) to make 8-10 handmade greeting card and an instruction sheet so you can make the most from the kit and learn as you craft! I want to thank Annie’s for sponsoring this project and thank you for tuning in! Til next time happy crafting!

Konmari Vlog: The Value of our STUFF!

Hi friends!  Everything I think about “stuff” I am reminded of the George Carlin bit about stuff: “My stuff is good STUFF, everyone else’s stuff is CRAP!” There is some truth to this. Studies show we value things we own much higher than things we don’t. The mere act of ownership makes us think differently about our stuff. This is why it is hard to have a yard sale and price our things (things we don’t even want mind you) for less than we think they are worth. If you are trying to declutter but getting stuck on what to do with your stuff watch this video, I think it will help.

Video! (If reading in email click over to watch the video)

So many people have asked me why I didn’t just sell the stuff I gave away after decluttering my craft room. There were many reasons, mostly I wanted it out efficiently but another reason was I’d rather give it away to someone who would appreciate it rather tan sell it for a tiny fraction of what it was worth. It’s silly really because the end result is the same whether I threw it away, gave it away or sold it but I wanted to feel good about discarding and giving stuff to friends and organizations who could use it felt best.

It is almost like I was worried about my “things” have a good home and I am not alone. Also, who wants to throw money away and when we place a value on our things (we do, even the things we no longer want) it feels like throwing money away to toss it, or like we are getting ripped off to sell it for next to nothing. In ANY of these scenarios the goal is to get rid of the excess items we don’t want so why do we get so hung up on the “stuff”?

Here is the TED-ed video that I mentioned. The Konmari method is from The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I hope you enjoyed this little vlog. Remember, It’s not about the “STUFF”…OK, maybe it is a bit. 🙂 Happy crafting!

Random Crafty Things I Hoard…

Hi friends! Today I want to talk about some random bits I collect. I was reminded of this while cleaning up after my live stream on Friday afternoon. I put my supplies away and then placed the color swatch I painted to determine what colors I was going to use in the painting in my “random crafty collage junk drawer” I had to giggle at the pile of swatches I have saved over the past 2 years and I thought it would be a nice jumping off point for this weeks Konmari Craft Room video. Remember, it’s NEVER just about the STUFF.

hoardthumbkonmari

(If you are reading this in your email click over to my blog to watch the video)

It can be hard to be intentional or even know what we really want or need in this day in age but you can hone your skills to live a life of intention instead of habit. It all started when I read “The life changing magic of tidying up” by Marie kondo and decided to keep only items that sparked joy (or really use) and it was life changing to say the least!

I know my hoarded items are not crazy excessive and they are well contained but I enjoy adding to my stash of color recipes every week (aka live show paint swatches) and the corks are useful and the bottle caps, well, they have a use by date now that I no longer teach little kids craft classes but one thing I can say is that my hoard is intentional where as before the konmari method my hoard was an uncontrolled “Well I better keep this in case I need it, or someone I know needs it, or someone I have not yet met might like it ” scenario.

Last week I talked about how I stopped using baby wipes for a month to see if I really needed them. Did they add value to my life or were they just a habit or convenience? In June I stopped drinking wine except for 2 glasses on a holiday and birthday. Turned out in both cases these things were habits and pacifiers and not items that added as much value as I thought they did. My consumption of either the wine or the wipes was not big but it was also not necessary. I will still enjoy a glass of wine now and then but it will be more like 4 times a month (not week!) It will be a treat, not a habit.  I know it is not an excessive amount and I am not judging anyone, only figuring out what is right for me:)

I guess is there is one thing I’d like you to get from this is to be intentional and differentiate a treat from a habit.  Habitual consuming (eating, drinking, shopping, smoking) can be a real problem because in many cases we aren’t aware that we are doing it and it takes more and more to satisfy us the more we do it. Take coffee for instance, you can have a cup of coffee once in a while and get this burst of energy but if you have it habitually every day you need more and more to get the same effect that one cup used to give you. It becomes the new normal. Every once in a while I wean myself back on coffee so I can still enjoy the benefits without being such a slave to the habit. Shopping can be like that too, a little pretty here, one there and it becomes so frequent that the pleasure we once got from shopping has been dulled and we can’t appreciate any of the things we purchased. Then we wonder why we are so unsatisfied.

I say if you want a habit then pick a good one: Daily exercise (oddly enough I used to hate to exercise but I discovered podcasts so now I look forward to my evening walk with a  TED Talk and it has become a treat!), volunteering, spending time with loved ones, making art, learning a musical instrument or even tidying up. Those can become things you don’t even think about, you just get in the habit of doing them and they only benefit you and your family. They say you don’t quit a habit, you replace it, so let’s intentionally replace the habits that don’t add value to our lives with ones that do. I’ll drink to that!

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, til next time happy crafting!

No More Baby Wipes! Minimalist Monday/Konmari Craft Room Series

Hi friends! A little over a month ago I ran out of baby wipes in the craft room. I used them to wipe ink and paint off stamps and tools and to wipe down my table after I was done a project. After one really messy project I realized I had used about 8 wipes and suddenly I felt like I had a problem! When I reached the end of the pack of wipes I decided to see if I could go a month without them. Find out what I learned in today’s Konmari craft room video!

Video!

I learned that it wasn’t just about the baby wipes, it’s never just about the stuff. It wasn’t about the price of the baby wipes ($1 a pack at the dollar tree) but it was about the COST of buying the baby wipes.

  • The environmental cost, think of 12 bricks of wipes going into the landfill.
  • The time cost-I have to go to the store and buy these.
  • The additional cost of the other things I impulse buy (or my kids impulse buy) when I am in the store. By not buying the $1 pack of wipes I am saving $20 on the other crap I (or my kids) would have picked up without thinking and these unimportant items would be thrown away or break soon thereafter.
  • The storage cost- Hey I’ll grab a few packs so I won’t have to return as often but I must have a place to put them…oh and if they dry out I’ll have use water with them and in that case I might as well use a rag.

I took a couple of weeks to not reach under my table for that pack of wipes. But now I barely think of them. I keep a spray bottle of water under my table and several small cloths hanging from the side. Using a cloth is now second nature.  If I need a stronger cleaner I use 1 part simple green to 10 parts water in a spray bottle for wiping my table or rubber stamps or 1 part baby shampoo and 10 parts water for clear (or rubber) stamps and it works better than wipes. You just need to change the habit. Notice I said “change” and not “kick.” We are not depriving ourselves, we are just being more mindful of our consumption.

I don’t think baby wipes are bad and that you shouldn’t use them. It wasn’t really about the baby wipes remember? Getting in the habit of looking at the things we use and the real cost of the item will save you not only money but time, effort and stress. Let me know what you think in the comments below and til next time happy crafting!

PS “Konmari” refers to the Konmari Method from The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. It was the framework I used to declutter my craft room and home. I found a great deal of value from it. I have also started listening to the Audiobook How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie and am finding value in that as well. Links above are amazon affiliate links where I earn a small commission of the sale at no cost to you. You can also likely find these book from your local library for free.

 

Use it up, Throw it out, Make it Work or Do Without? {A Konmari Question}

Hi friends! I got a very similar question from several viewers after posting my current craft room tour last week, it went something like this:

“Lindsay, are there things you kept to use up that you won’t rebuy once they are gone?”

Good question! The thing that kept me from purging supplies in the past was that it felt wasteful. Don’t get me wrong, I did not throw away any “good supplies” I purged. They were given to friends, schools or donated to people who could use them. I did keep some things because I know I’ll use them up but not buy again. Are you wondering what these items are? Watch the video and find out!

Video!

The thing that decluttering using the Konmari method from The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up taught me is that things come into out lives to fulfill a purpose, when they are done fulfilling the purpose you can let them go. My cheap white cardstock is currently fulfilling a purpose and I am using it up, when I run out I will only replenish a couple of brands: My Neenah Classic Crest (for alcohol marker coloring), My Heavyweight Recollections (for card bases) and my cheap utilitarian Georgia Pacific from Sam’s Club for inky backgrounds, gel printing, party printables and other projects where I do not need the premium qualities of the others. I am also buying in appropriate amounts. I come from a teaching background where I bought in bulk to get the per project cost low and that habit of looking for the cheapest price kept me buying massive amounts that I could not realistically use up. I also had a fear of wasting supplies unless I had a lot of back stock. This is called the “fear of running out” and I think that is what causes most of us to hoard stuff especially craft supplies because companies only produce a limited run of paper/embellishments and when it’s gone it’s gone. Brilliant marketing on their part but I don’t have to fall for it LOL! There will always be newer, cuter and more trendy things to buy in the future if we use up our current stash up and we bought it to use it right?

I want to thank you for the thought provoking questions you ask after every Konmari craft room video and if you want to see the other videos in this series you can find the playlist here! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Current Craft Room Tour (After KonMari)

Hi friends! I have been asked to do a craft room tour of my space after decluttering. It has been quite a process because after the first konmari clean out I thought I was done but things evolved. I got rid of more ruthlessly (although the video will show that I still have plenty) and I corralled the sprawl of art supplies thought the rest of the house and basement and integrated what I kept back into my art space. It opened up the possibility of using the rest of our basement in a more practical way. We were wasting the space on storing when we could be using it for living! Funny how decluttering can change your whole perspective on things and open up new possibilities huh? I filmed this video before I took down my binder storage shelves and uprooted the jewelry storage wall to move it in about a foot because I wasn’t sure what it would look like after.

Video tour!

After the video I tore this corner apart. I rebuilt the shelves to fit in 12″ less space so there is some strange geography on my “map binders” now LOL! because my art “room” has no real walls, aside from the two walls that make up the cellar foundation, I can rearrange as needed:)

room1

I applied a fresh roll of contact paper to the stamp binder bench and my main workspace and it really brightens up the place! I took these photos this morning because I’m not sure if or when I might do something permanent or drastic to my studio space.

room2

Next to the stamp bench is my dresser with brushes, printmaking and pastel supplies, Above on the shelves are canvasses. Under the mannequin are my yarn totes. I moved my easel to the corner to give the room a more open feel and because I needed to shift the stamp bench down to bring the jewelry wall in a foot. Next to the easel is my die cutting bench. I moved my Scan n’ Cut machine to this area with my other die cutting things, it just made sense.

room3

You can see the end of my die-cutting bench. I moved my pen racks over my cardstock storage cabinet because I really want my main workspace to be clear and open. I didn’t mention it on the video but the birdcages hold lace trims, it works great, i just pull out what I need but sometimes I need to shake the dust off LOL!

room4

Behind my workspace I have paper, colored pencils, ribbon, washi tape and lots of often used goodies in drawers. I moved the filing cabinet back in here and it was the same height as my two plastic drawers of paint supplies. I have a large white sheet of paper clipped behind there and lights on the paper so I can get photos or my artwork daily. This used to be in the middle of the basement (the aforementioned sprawl) and it hold magazines I have been published in and office/business stuff. You can still see my wood stamp storage shelve that I am going to go through again because it can’t stay there. I considered unmounting them and putting them in binders but some stamps I think are just like art to me and I just like how they look on the blocks. Many I have forgotten I have so I really need to have a look at them again. There is not point keeping things I won’t use. It is a hard collection to downsize though (those joy-sparking stamps!)

If you need help decluttering I recommend The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. It was really helpful for me anyway. Are you decluttering? Let me know how it’s going for you and til next time happy crafting!

%d bloggers like this: