DIY Drying Rack

Hi friends! This month I challenged myself to paint 20 small oil paintings, I quickly realized that I would need a place to safely dry these out of the way so I created this drying rack that I can put up on a shelf in my studio away from my work area and my cats! This is what I came up with:

I built this from some leftover foam board (foamcore) I had but you can also up cycle a couple of cardboard boxes to do the same thing. This is sturdy, lightweight and should last a long time.

Supplies:

  • Foam board/foam-core or cardboard
  • craft knife
  • Hot glue (duct tape could also be used but I think it will be more difficult.
  • Yardstick

I love crafting with foam core, I have made many storage items over the years with it like this ribbon storage and this ink pad holder. There is so much you can do with it! Some viewers on YouTube said they were going to make a card display for craft fairs using a similar method to my drying rack and I thought it was a wonderful idea. What have you made with foam core? You can find it at the dollar tree or order it in bulk from any big art supply retailer. Happy crafting!

Craft Room Tour & Supply Organization Tips {Collab with Maremi Small Art}

Hi friends! It’s that time of year again. Time to clean up after all of the Christmas crafting and wrapping and get organized for an inspiring new year! I was talking with my friend Marta over at Maremi SmallArt and it turns out we both needed to get out crafty act together so we challenged each other to clean up our spaces and then do a video about it. Her craft space is half of her living room separated by a large shelving unit and mine is in the back corner or my unfinished basement. We both have different amounts of different things and different needs that we have to address so you are sure to find ideas for your craft space in our videos.

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*Feel free to skip this paragraph if you just want to get to the decluttering. If you want to know the nitty-gritty or the “why” that inspired my decluttering journey over the past 2 years read on:)

You may remember about two years ago I embarked on a decluttering journey following the popular Konmari method from the book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I needed a change. I was spending so much time on my computer, and making videos and so concerned with social media that my health and well-being suffered. I saw a loss of views online as a personal attack and the harder I pushed on YouTube the worse I felt. I would shop and share what I bought because Haul videos did better than my actual tutorial videos. Don’t get me wrong, I got a high from finding awesome deals and sharing the purchases with you but I started to notice that I forgot about many of the things I bought and only used a fraction of it. I also was stockpiling more than a reasonable amount of my favorites. That book could not have come at a better time for me. I also was suffering from chronic lower back pain made worse by my sedentary lifestyle. I needed to move more and have less. Every time I went into my art studio (a space that used to bring me such joy) I felt oppressed, sad and overwhelmed. I need to deal with the huge amount of stuff I had hoarded and get rid of the stuff weighing me down. You can see the entire process of my Konmari craft room clean up here. Long story short my back started to feel better until I was totally pain-free due to a combination of daily exercise and less time on the computer and I feel refreshed when I enter my craft space instead of oppressed. I also launched my online school and brought my husband into my business. It’s amazing what possibilities appear when you don’t have so much stuff in your way!

And now, on to the tour! You can watch the video below!

And here are some photos! I repurposed and thrifted most of my storage items but if they are still available I will link to them. Affiliate links may be used which provide me with a small commission if you purchase an item at no additional cost to you. Thanks! I did want to mention that Consumer Crafts has a lot of specialty craft storage for less and with coupon code SAVEJAN19 you can save 15-25% and orders over $49 ship free *coupon code good through Monday 1/21/19

***I also wanted to warn you NOT to buy any storage if you are decluttering until AFTER you are done because you will probably have more than enough to suit your needs once you part with things you don’t need.

As you walk into my space to the left is my stamp storage. My wood mounted stamps are on a shelf made of 1×4 pine and then there is a sturdy utility shelf of binders holding stamps in page protectors organized by theme. When I need a stamp I grab the binder for that theme, say “trees” and l can see what I have as easy as flipping through a catalogue. I do no other cataloging of stamps although some people find it handy to have a computerised list.

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I was able to clear over half a shelf of space once I emptied my binders and sorted and got rid of what I knew I would never use again. Some things I had used so much that I was tired of and other things had outgrown their usefulness like excess stamps for children’s themed cards as my children are teens and I rarely make birthday cards for little kids. I kept my absolute faves and passed the rest on. Next to that is a work bench (hollow door on 2 saw horses) where I can sit and work on jewelry. I have a 9 cube storage unit with fabric bins from the dollar tree for yarn and accessories. I had the yarn in 3 huge plastic totes before and I never used it because it was hard to get to. I am hoping to use the novelty yarn on cards and other crafts as well as embellishments on hats and such. If it turns out I don’t use it then it can go next year! Nursing homes and libraries with knitting groups gladly accept donations. My jewelry supplies are also stored here as I sit and work here. My radio and older laptop on top of my jewelry storage for entertainment as I work as I like to have chatter in the background. Under the bench I keep my EdenPure space heater  (No, I don not run it under the bench or leave it plugged in when I am not there. BTW I have tried an oil filled radiator and one of the box style ones and this is by far the best I’ve used.) and 2 plastic carts with shallow drawers that hold tubes of watercolor paint, templates and other supplies.

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Next to that is a chest or drawers with my brushes on top and in the shelf above I have jewelry tools, my YouTube play button I received when I reached 100k subscribers and other decorations and stretched canvases are above. The plastic baskets hold mounted and foam alphabet stamps.

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Next to that is where my large yarn totes used to be. I took a small shelf that was on the jewelry bench and put it where the totes were and my Stampin Up stamps are there. Honestly I didn’t think to go through them but I probably should. I like those sets though because it is easy to grab a set and create without much bother. On that is an advent calendar I repurposed hold buttons and a parts bin of stained glass shards I use to make fused glass pendants, a tub of wooden spools and ink sprays. In other words things I don’t need to be handy. I have a stool if I want to sit at my easel to paint. I was glad to get rid on the bulky totes because now I can put up a 6 foot folding table if friends want to come over and craft!

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Next to that is my die cut area and cutting bench. My paper trimmer and Scor-pal sit on top as they are used daily and next to that is my 12-year-old Big Shot I also use about daily. It is on a computer monitor stand and I keep dollar store white plates I used as palettes stacked under it. I have a bench vice that holds a magnetic dish where I place dies in use so I don’t lose them. My electronic cutters can be pulled down and used on the bench (after removing the trimmer and score board) and my laptop can go on the monitor stand if I am cutting a computer  file. I move the magnetic dish if using my computer there just to be safe. Bulky items are stored below.

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Working your way around my table I have a tower of framing and packaging supplies, then cardstock in a vintage record cabinet. In the cabinet the cardstock is stored in thick, sturdy job ticket holders so the corners don’t get bent.  In the corner a utility shelf with workshop teaching supplies that I keep packed up and ready to take with me (I clean and repack after each workshop so I know everything is in working order) as well as other bulky supplies I do not need to access daily.

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Then you can see the cube units that make up a freestanding “wall” between my husbands workshop and my art space. I also have curtains tacked up to keep his sawdust out. It ain’t fancy but it works. 🙂

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I love how useful these various cubes are for storage. I keep my pencils/crayons in tins by brand and just bring over the tin to my table as needed. All of the things in this open storage gets used regularly and I like seeing where it is so I am reminded to use it. Pattern and specialty paper is also stored here with the exception of mulberry and vellum because that is a bit fragile so they are in closed accordion files on the bottom shelf with my stamp binders. The blue trays hold projects in process. I have watercolor and alcohol markers in a pen display I bought from a scrapbook store going out of business and I have a turnabout from harbor freight to hold daily supplies like blending sponges and adhesives. I have a plastic tower of various paints and mediums, my photo area is on top and the rack under the orange fabric folds larger paper pads and sheets of pastel and drawing paper.

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Under my desk on the side where I usually work I keep supplies I reach for often. I have a cart of shallow plastic drawers that hold ink pads, scraps of white paper for stamping and my pegstamps. I have a trash can and 2 bookshelves with my watercolor palettes, inks and on top of that, full size inkpads and water buckets.

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On the other side of the work table I have my fabric supplies, an iris cart of embellishments, embossing powders (BTW here is the awesome embossing powder technique book I mentioned in the video) and glitters and crates of canvas panels, school supplies and on top scrap papers sorted by color in hanging file folders. Here you can see how my work table is hollow door I painted sitting on top of 2 nine cube units. Fabric bins keep unruly supplies contained and neat.

Lighting and filming

I also wanted to mention that the best part about having my art studio in my unfinished basement is being able to mount all of my lights to the ceiling so nor cords or stands to trip on. I use clip on aluminum shop lights and daylight balanced CFL bulbs so my light is bright and true. My husband rigged up 2 camera mounts over my table that I can film from as well so I do not need to fuss with a tripod for overhead shots.

The video goes in more depth but if I showed you what is in every nook and cranny we’d be here all night! I hope you enjoyed this art workshop tour and I hope you check out Marta’s craft room tour as well. You will get lots of ideas from her space too! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Swatching Glitter! (and how I store it!)

Hi friends!  Glitter is fun to use. It can add a subtle sheet or totally glam up a project. Before you add glitter to your hard work you will want to know whether the glitter is sheer or opaque and the level of glitz it has. Today I’ll show you how I swatched my new Arteza glitter so I could see what I have.

You can find this set of Glitter on the Arteza website, Use coupon code PROMO10 for 10% off or on Amazon.

I store my other glitter and embossing powders in a 12″x12″ Iris cart where I removed the lids so I can access everything easily. You can also get the project boxes on their own if you prefer. My friend Kathy bought me that Iris card years ago and it is so useful! I hope you enjoy this quick tip and til next time happy crafting!

How To Tint Glass at Home {Super Easy!}

Hi friends! Sometimes you come across a really cool techniques when you are trying to do something else, this is one of those times!

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I got tired of my watercolor brushes rolling off my table as I worked and also It’s better (according to experts) to dry your brushes flat rather than in a cup so I thought I would like a brush rest. Since I am cheap frugal I decided I could probably find a really funky colored glass ashtray at the local antiques mall that would be delightful (and cheap) for this job. Believe it or not I only saw one ashtray at the antiques place and it was not delightful but I did find two shallow clear pressed glass bowls with fluted edges that would do the trick. Best of all was the price $1.25 for the set! Score!

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Above you can see the lovely tinted glass I eventually ended up with. I loved the technique so much I also tinted a glass flower frog (I have two of these large clear ones so I figured “why not?”) and that can hold pencils or crayons that I am using in a  project so I can keep track of what I use. Originally I thought I would try to get a really rich deep color but after using a bunch of ink I was really unhappy with it.

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As I went to clean off the thick ink it left behind a tint and it was beautiful! Sometimes you have to go through that “Hot Mess” to get to the good stuff! Want to try this for yourself? Watch the video and see how!

Supplies! *Amazon affiliate links used

  • Some clear class objects *items with a cut, pressed or embossed design work great!
  • Alcohol ink *This is a good mixing set or you can get smaller sets of the Ranger inks.
  • “Rubbing” alcohol in a spray bottle (*I used 70% from the drugstore, grocery store or dollar store)
  • Small square of craft felt and q-tips for applying color *I make my own craft felt applicator but cutting up 9″x12″ sheets of acrylic craft felt into 1″ squares, you can also buy them cut into squares by Ranger but they are more expensive
  • *You might want rubber gloves, LAVA soap will remove all of the ink from your skin but your fingernails can get stained!

Directions:
1. Wash the glass and then wipe it down with rubbing alcohol to remove any fingerprints.

2. On the underside of the dish (or inside of a jar or vase) dab or wipe on the ink using a small piece of craft felt. You can use a Q-tip to get into any nooks and crannies. If the color is too dark add some alcohol to the blending felt to dilute the color.

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*You want to do this on the bottom or inside of the object because alcohol ink can have a dull look on the surface, this way the shiny class will be on the outside and the glass will appear to be colored all the way through. You can even put water in the jar or vase after it is colored, just take care when cleaning it by washing with a soft cloth.

This is not food safe and you really should hand wash these. If you change your mind about the color or want the glass to be clear again you can wash off the ink with alcohol.

One thing I forgot to mention in the video…

I got this question a lot on YouTube when I posted this video: “What can I use to seal the ink?” I want to be able to remove the ink if I want a new color so I did not seal it with any top coat. This ink is waterproof and should be fine with normal wear and art room splashes. Since I have colored beads and pendants with alcohol ink I noticed that the color can wear off with a lot of rubbing.  Also I have used alcohol ink on coasters and it definitely needs more protection so what I would recommend if you are sure you do not want to be able to wash it off is to spray a coat of Krylon Triple Thick Glaze over the ink. It still is not food safe though. I hope you give this a try, it is really addictive and the results are so pretty! Happy crafting!

 

1 Year Konmari Update & My Personal Rules!

Hi Friends! Last year I decluttered my home (and most notably my over stuffed art studio/craft room) using the book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo as a guide. I ended up with a tidy home but there were other unexpected benefits to and that is what I am going to talk about today.

What I appreciate the most about going through this process was the mental clarity, reduction of anxiety and increased self-confidence it gave me. I now have more time because I have less stuff to manage. I have more creativity because the supplies I kept fueled my creativity where as before the excess dampened it. I learned to let go of “fantasy Lindsay” and just be me. I got to admit that just because I wished I liked something didn’t mean I had to like it and just because someone else likes something it doesn’t mean I will. The fact that we are all different is what makes life fun!

The decluttering of my stuff (and my schedule) helped me clarify personal rules which guide how I live my daily life. There is nothing profound here but often it is the small things you do everyday (and not the big things you do once in a while) that have the most impact on your life. As they say how you do anything is how you do everything.
Lindsay’s Rules:
1. Wear shoes (this rule comes from my dad who would often tell his lazy child to “get your feet dressed!” LOL I never feel ready for the day without proper shoes on. The FlyLady echos this rule)

2. Put first things first (This is credited to Stephen Covey from his book the 7 habits of highly effective people. You need to set your priority and focus on it before you get bogged down or distracted by non important tasks)

3. If it’s not a “heck yes!” it’s a no. (I have said yes to projects out of obligation or fear that I would miss out on opportunities if I declined anything but now I say “no” unless I am super excited about another person’s project.)

4. Don’t leave a room empty-handed. (Whenever I leave a room or an area I scan the room to see if anything there belongs where I am going…there is always something LOL!)

5. If it takes less than 5 minutes do it now. (Reply to that email, write that check, mail a birthday card, return a quick phone call. If it needs to be done and takes less than 5 minutes I just do it. This is for actually important things, not for checking Pinterest real quick:)

6. Begin with the end in mind. (Another Stephen Covey gem, before beginning any project visualise the outcome to stay focused and also to determine if the juice is worth the squeeze.)

7. Do something creative each day. (Nuff said.)

8.Get at least 7 hours of sleep each night. (Lack of sleep will leave anyone irritable, sad and not at their best plus people who get more sleep live longer.)

9. Sharpen the saw. (S. Covey again here:) Spend some time each week challenging yourself to improve a skill)

1o. Be Lindsay. (This advice come from Gretchen Rubin. Don’t compare yourself to others, you don’t have to like what other people do, you don’t have to do what other people do and you don’t have to want what other people want.)

Here are the books I referenced in the video. I really found value in them and they are popular enough you can probably check them out from your library. In case you want to purchase them I have included amazon affiliate links.

Thanks for spending some time with me today and til next time happy crafting!

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

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

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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!

 

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.

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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!

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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! Use coupon code “FRUGAL”.

 

 

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!

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