Lilac Breasted Roller Sketchbook Sunday & Last Day for 40% Off!

Hi friends, this week I painted a very colorful bird called a Lilac Breasted Roller. When I saw a photo of this beautiful vibrant bird I was inspired! You can find the 90 minute real-time live narrated tutorial in Critique Club now.
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Watch the video to see how this painting came together!

Supplies:

LAST DAY! Save 40% on any art class in my school with coupon code LUCKY OR click on a discount link below. Deal Expires 3/18/19

I hope you have a happy Saint Patrick’s Day and til next time happy crafting!

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All my Ink Pad Refill Recipes!

Hi friends! Over the years I have posted many DIY stamping ink recipes and tips for reviving dry ink pads. I decided to put them all in one blog post/video so you can bookmark it and refer back to it if you end up running out of ink in the middle of a project and need to make some fast!

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Keep in mind the best practices for keeping your ink pads in good working order is to use the appropriate reinker so I make sure to have a reinker for any inkpad I rely on.  For those other inks that I am not married to I’m fine making my own ink. Sometimes a company doesn’t even offer a reinker or they discontinue a color and you can’t get one so this blog post can help you in those events too! Watch the video for a demo of all of these inks. You can find the written recipes below.

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Protect your workspace! I use these super cheap teflon mats than can be cut up to convenient sizes. You get 3 huge ones for $7. They are $25 each or more at the craft store!

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Reinking a dye based ink pad. I have to say that for dye ink pads that adult stampers use your best bet is to buy a commercially prepared reinker. Most dye based pads are similar and you can cross brands. I have used Stampin Up reinkers to ink of other brands pads with no issues. In fact many popular companies all have their inks made by the same company. I like juicy ink pads to I keep adding ink to my pad until it stops absorbing ink.

DIY Dye Based Ink Recipe:

Directions: For children’s ink pads mix liquid watercolors to desired share and drip on ink pad.

For adult stampers ink pads  add 1 drop glycerin to every 2 drops liquid watercolor (mix to achieve the correct color) and apply to inkpad. If the inkpad stamps splotchy or seems to juicy leave uncovered for a few hours and do a test stamp. That will allow excess water in the watercolor to evaporate.

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DIY Embossing ink: Glycerin *Use in pace of embossing re-inker

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DIY Ink Refresher: Fill a 4oz spray bottle with water and 1 Tablespoon of glycerin, shake and spray on dried out dye ink pads.

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DIY chalk ink:

  • Drugstore Isopropyl Alcohol or distilled water (in a spray bottle)
  • Chalk pastels

Directions: Spray some rubbing alcohol (or distilled water) on a teflon mat and scribble the select colors of pastel chalks to match the inkpad you wish to reink. You will make a cream consistency slurry or ink. Use your chalk inkpad to sop up the ink. Easy peasy and with 64 colors in the $10 chalk set you probably won’t have to mix colors!

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DIY Ink Pads:

  • For Dye inks you need Cut and Dry Felt (more expensive on Amazon)
  • For pigment or chalk inks you need Cut and Dry Foam (more expensive on Amazon)
  • A shallow container such as clamshell packaging. *I used 2 lids that Rubber Stamp Tapestry peg stamp come in and hinged them together with washi tape:)

Directions: Cut the felt to size and ink up with the appropriate ink!

*This is great for making custom rainbow and ombre inks. For a disposable option you can add reinkers to a baby wipe.

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DIY Pigment ink:

  • Gouache paint (opaque watercolor)
  • Glycerin
  • A palette knife or spatula for mixing

Directions: Take a pea-blueberry size dab of gouache and add 5 drops of glycerin, mix well with a palette knife and apply to dry pigment ink pad. If the ink feels too thick spritz with distilled water or drugstore alcohol.

*For metallic ink use metallic gouache or Pearl Ex (see below)

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Pearl-Ex Ink pads:

Directions: Add ½ teaspoon of pigment powder to the ink pad. Drop on 10 drops of glycerin on top. Spread out with an old gift card. If it feels to dry spritz with alcohol.

*This will also work for old Mica Magic Ink pads, this is great on black paper!

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Staz-On Ink refresher (alcohol ink pads)

Directions: Apply to dry or sticky stazon pad. I use about 15 drops and let sit an hour before using. If your inkpad is used up you will get a faint impression but if it is just dried out this will reconstitute the ink. I alternate using Staz-On Reinker and Denatured alcohol because if you get too much reinker on the pad it feels sticky. *You can also use denatured alcohol to revive dried up alcohol pens. Do not spray apply denatured alcohol!

I hope you found this compilation of recipients useful! I had a couple of people ask me about DIY hybrid reinkers and honestly I couldn’t tell you because I don’t use hybrid ink pads. I have nothing against them, I just already had lots of pigment and dye inks by the time they became popular. They are fast drying and fade resistant, I reckon you could use gouache and equal parts glycerin and distilled water (or drugstore rubbing alcohol) to reink them as you want a thinner pigment ink essentially but as I mentioned before if you really rely on an ink pad (especially a color you stamp outlines with and them color with wet mediums) I would get a reinker but if you are just going to trash it when it runs out then give the homemade version a try. I also got asked about Distress Oxide Inks and I actually bought the full set of reinkers and pads for the first 24 colors because the pads can be used up quick and I use it like paint direct from the pad. For those if I had to guess I’d mix liquid watercolor and white gouache. I have a faux distress oxide look tutorial here if you care to try and not buy:)

Don’t forget to use Lava soap to clean up your hands afterward! Happy crafting!

Time for Watercolor Bunnies & 40% off Classes!

Hi friends! First up I want to tell you that I am running a 40% off special in my school! Use the coupon code LUCKY to take 40% off any of my classes OR click on the following links and the discount will appear automatically: Essential Tools and Techniques for Watercolor, Texture Toolbox: Feathers & Fowl, Learn to Draw with Lindsay, Watercolor Flower Workshop or Soft Pastel for Beginners! This deal is good through 3/17/19 (St. Paddy’s Day!) so grab a one if you want one!

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The other day I was practicing painting bunnies in my sketchbook and  posted the above pic to Instagram and asked if anyone wanted a tutorial and the white bunny with the flower crown was the most popular so that is what we will paint today! I might paint the brown one too at some point, it would be fun near Easter time!

These products can be purchased from the Arteza website or on Amazon. If shopping on the Arteza Website please use coupon code FRUGAL10 to take 10% off your order:  (affiliate links used) *I recommend checking prices on Amazon as well before ordering as there can be differences in price and special deals there too:)
** also I wanted to mention that the pan watercolors are more “modern” colors and the tubes are more traditional (better for mixing I think)
Gotta save my peeps some green!

Supplies:

  • Arteza Watercolor sketchbook 
  • Arteza pan watercolors *Currently a lightning deal on Amazon
  • Arteza tube watercolors on Amazon (12 color set I have added in my pan set)
    *I put them in half pans in the extra row to fit the basic 12 tube colors. Arteza also has a 24 tube watercolor set, And a 60 watercolor tube set *You can use the tube paint fresh or dry it in a palette. If you fill a palette to dry I recommend adding 2 drops of honey or glycerin to each pan so it won’t crack and fall out when dry.
  • Colors used: Yellow ochre, sap green, olive-green, indigo, rose, violet, burnt umber (or sienna)
  • Brushes: #2, #6 round

That’s it for me today! I have so many projects in the works (including a huge DIY stamping ink recipe video!) so I best get back to that but thanks for stopping by and spending some of you day with me! Don’t forget coupon code LUCKY to get 40% off any class in my school if you were looking to pick one up and til next time happy crafting!

Steampunk Fancy Fold Cards!

Hi friends, today we are going to make 3 fun fold cards, a z-fold, easel and twisted easel!

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Lets get started!

This tutorial is sponsored by Top Flight Stamps! SAVE 10% off your next order with coupon code: thefrugalcrafter10 *USA orders of $50+ ship free!

Supplies:

Remember, you can use what you have and make these types of cards too! You can also use any size card you want. Here’s how!

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For the Z card cut and fold a card as normal and then score between the center fold and edge of the card and fold it back. Then cut a 1.5″ strip the length of the open card and score at the same interval but adhere it so the folds are opposite as shown in the video. Embellish as desired.

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For the easel card you will again score and fold between the center score and front edge. Decorate as desired.

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For the twisted easel score and fold diagonally from the edge of the card at the crease to the opposite front corner. Decorate as desired.

Try these fun folds on your next card! Til next time happy crafting!

 

What is the difference between grades of paint?

Hi friends!  Today I have a video about the differences between grades of artist paint. I will be referring to watercolor because subtle differences are more apparent in watercolor (and I am the most knowledgeable about that kind of paint) but it will apply to acrylic, oils and other paints/pencils/crayons/pastels too! Have a watch (or listen, you can totally let this play while you paint or cook dinner or whatever else you need to do:)


Below is an overview of what I discussed in the video along with some recommendations that would be easy to find. There are other wonderful paints out there and I have lots of watercolor reviews on my blog and YouTube channel if you need more information. Watercolor comes in several different grades. You will find pans, tubes and liquid watercolor in all of the grades of paint.

Children’s grade watercolor paint: These are non toxic watercolors that schoolchildren are given to use. The are what a lot of people think of when they hear “watercolor.” Everyone has used these in some point of their childhood. Quality varies greatly in children’s watercolor sets from $1 versions of weak chalky paint to $3-$5 for an 8 color set of Crayola, Rose Art or Prang. I prefer Prang watercolors as they are the most saturated and you can purchase refill pans of colors in strips or individually.

Budget grade watercolor: This segment of the market has grown immensely over the past few years with decent budget brands manufactured in China and Korea showing up all over Amazon for crazy low prices. I also consider craft watercolors like Prima, American Crafts/Jane Davenport and Amy Tangerine in this category. This category offers paints that are “cheap and cheerful” and encourage play and experimentation as they are not too expensive to worry about wasting. The downside is that usually the budget lines of watercolor do not offer lightfastness of pigment information and if they do it can be hard to trust the information from a new company. Also these pant usually can’t be purchased open stock (but the Prima and Jane Davenport paints have replacement pans.) These paints will have lots of fillers and extenders and cheap dye colorants (usually) to make the quantity of paint for the price. My favorite budget watercolor pan set is this one called “Pretty Excellent” ($17 for 36 pans)  Other good tube sets are JoiArt ($10 for 24 tubes) and Royal & Langnickle. Royal & Langnickle makes awesome brushes and this $24 set has a large assortment of paints and Aqualon brushes. A new to the scene company Arteza has watercolor tubes with lightfast info (but their pan sets do not.) I have been using them a lot lately because I feel I was a bit harsh in my review and I must admit I am enjoying them more!

Student Grade watercolors: These are the introductory paint from companies who also make professional/artist grade watercolors. These paint offer reliable pigment and light-fast information. To reduce the costs they may use alternatives to pricey pigments like cadmium and cobalt they have additional fillers and extenders to bulk them out. The benefit to student grade colors is that you can start with an assortment set and them replace the colors as you use them up with paints from that companies artist grade line so you only end up buying what you will actually use and saving money in the long run. You can also buy student grade colors individually so you can choose exactly the colors you want and not be stuck with ones you wont use. Most big box art and craft stores will have displays to buy them open stock and all big online art suppliers sell them for about $3 a tube. Usually in student grade paints all colors will cost the same. Buying is sets cost less per color so compare before buying. My picks from this category are:
Cotman by Windsor & Newton
La PetiteAquarelle by Sennelier
Grumbacher Academy
And Van Gogh by Royal Talens

Artist grade (aka Professional) watercolors *Note there are no laws to keep any company from calling their paint artist quality, in fact you see that a lot with the budget brands so do your research before buying. Artists watercolors contain high quality pigments and just enough binder, humectant (A moisturizer agent typically honey or glycerin) and extenders to optimize the pigment and make it optimal for painting. Paints are available in tubes or pans and you will find a greater variety of colors in a companies artist range. Prices vary between color depending on how expensive the pigments used are, earth tones tend to be cheaper and cobalt and cadmium are more expensive. Typically there will be 5 price levels or series of colors. Paints can also be purchased in sets with pan sets being the most popular and my preference because you get the paints and a palette that you can refill. Artist quality watercolors do cost more per tube BUT in all reality you are paying for the pigment and you get a lot more pigment in tubes of artist quality paint where as student paint is more dilute. If you like to glaze many layers artist quality paint is best because it is the most pigmented and transparent. I recommend the same companies I do for student grade as they are easy to obtain worldwide but there are other nice paints out here.
Windsor & Newton Professional
Sennelier
Rembrandt by Royal Talens
Grumbacher finest

***And my favorite watercolor M Graham but I hasten to mention it because they do not carry a student line and I do not know if you can get them outside of the USA. I also like DaVinci and Daniel Smith (but also have no student range and I am not sure if you can get DaVinci outside of the US)…really, there are so many excellent ones!

I also wanted to mention my favorite watercolor brushes, Creative Mark Mimik faux squirrel brushes, this set is a fabulous value and I am considering buying a second set so I can have one upstairs at my paint table and down in my studio  LOL!

I hope this post was helpful and til next time happy crafting!

Fun with Water Mixable Oils (Sketchbook Sunday)

Hi friends! I had a hankering to paint with oils today. Often oils seem like “a big ordeal” because I have to open tubes, squeeze out paint and then clean up afterward. If you have been on an art journey with me for any length of time you know how lazy I am and I just like to open a palette and go hence watercolor and gouache are my go to paints (and I did think quite hard about painting this is gouache which would be totally suitable) but in the end I wanted the smooth buttery consistency of oil under my brush and you just gotta do what feel right!

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I used an 11″x14″ cotton canvas painting panel but you can use a stretched canvas, hard board panel of whatever you like. I chose a panel because they are thin to store and easy to frame if I want to later. I really don’t have much of  a preference between non paper surfaces, I just choose one that has the tooth I want for a particular subject. Watch the video to see the process. The painting took just under an hour. It was a  ton of fun to paint! Let me know if you would like any real-time oil painting tutorials. I have plans to paint more in oils but I am not sure if I will record them, I will if there is interest tho.

Supplies available at sponsor Jerry’s Artarama! Use coupon code: frugal20FS49 for 20% off $49 + Free Shipping (Excludes: Sale, Super Sale, Egift Cards, Buy It Try It’s and Vendor restricted items. Look for the green coupon eligible icon on the product listing.

Keep in mind you can use traditional oils, there really is no difference in the working aspects of the paint or the drying time. For that matter you can use acrylics with a slow drying medium if you prefer. The big advantage of the watermixable oils in the clean up as you don’t need solvents. Honestly I don’t mind using traditional oils and solvents but with my wintertime painting area being right off my kitchen I really don’t want the fumes. And to be honest I get a bit panicky about solvent soaked paper towels. My old studio that I used to rent downtown used to be a bank and so I would store solvents and cans of oily rags in the old bank vault until trash day in case they combusted LOL! Since I taught two oil painting classes a week there were always solvent soaked paper towels about. I think it’s a good idea to be cautious when you use these products at home and I am glad that watermixible oils exist and now rival the traditional ones.  That’s all for today, thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

DIY Wax Seals! Let’s Get Fancy!

Hi friends! Today we are going to get wicked fancy in our crafting my making beautiful wax envelope seals!

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Keep in mind these are best for hand delivered cards or if you are sending it in the mail use a padded mailer.

This video is sponsored by Rubber Stamp Tapestry  Use coupon code: LINDSAY and receive 15% off your retail order of $10 or more of peg stamps, peg stamp sets, and unmounted stamps! Coupon expires a week from this video publication. Continue to receive great deals by becoming a PegStamp VIP here. As a PegStamp VIP you’ll get a weekly deal via email plus links to fabulous tutorials by me, Lindsay the Frugal Crafter and other designers

Supplies:

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Directions:
*Before beginning generously coat your peg stamp with clear embossing ink (Versamark.) If you wish to add any inclusions like string or pressed flowers place them on your envelope before beginning. Kids should have help for a parent with this craft. I had several people ask me if the heat will damage a red rubber stamps and no it will not, the process of making rubber stamps is much hotter. Clear or vinyl stamps may be damaged so use caution with those but rubber is fine.

Sealing wax or crayon method:
Use a lighter to melt sealing wax or a crayon color of your choice over your envelope where you wish to have your seal. While the wax it hot press the peg stamp in the wax and let cool with the peg stamp in place. Remove.

Hot glue method:
Squeeze a blob of hot glue on your project and press in the stamp and let cool as before. Remove stamp when cool.

Embossing powder method:
There is a few ways you can do this. If you have a melting pot you can pour melted embossing powder on the envelope and stamp into it. You can also smear some embossing in on your envelope and melt layers of embossing powder to create a molten area of embossing powder to stamp in. The most reliable way I have found is to mix the embossing powder into a dab of hot glue and then reheat it with my heat tool and then stamp as we did with the hot glue method. This is also a great way to color plain hot glue!

Clay method:
Condition clay and roll into a ball. Flatten into a disk on your work surface and press a pigment inked stamp into it. Let the clay dry or bake it according to clay directions if using polymer clay. Glue seal to card.

I hope these ideas spark some creativity in you! Remember to hand deliver these gems or mail in a padded envelop to prevent them from getting damaged or harming postal machinery. Til next time happy crafting!

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