Let’s Try Brusho! (and other watercolor powders)

Today we are going to play with fun, spontaneous and vibrant watercolor pigment powders!

You can find a real-time version of this lesson in Critique Club.

Supplies (affiliate links to Amazon and Blick used)

This was fun to paint, I hope you enjoyed it and consider trying it! Happy crafting!

Sat Chat Time!

It was a busy week! Hear all about it!


Happy crafting!

Derwent Chromaflow Colored Pencil Review

Hi friends, Today I have a review of the new Derwent Chromaflow colored pencils. They are made in Britain like the other artist quality pencils from Derwent however they are only available in India and the United States right now. There isn’t any info about them that I could find on the Derwent Website but there was some Q &A on the Amazon Sales page. I reached out to my contact at Derwent when I saw these were available to check if they were legit and she confirmed that they were. She also said that they are initially going to launched in India and USA and sent me some for review. So, without further Ado here is the review!

Derwent Chromaflow Colored Pencils are available in tins of 12 and 24 at Blick and Amazon *Affiliate links used.


  • Vibrant Soft 3.5mm wax based cores
  • Highly mixable for infinite colors
  • Good coverage with little pressure (good for weak or arthritic hands as long as the skinny barrel isn’t a problem)
  • Sharpens well in a small hole sharpener (if you don’t have a small hole sharpener use a shallow point sharpener)


  • Skinny barrel
  • No open stock availability as of yet
  • No lightfast ratings as of yet but the company says lightfastness is similar to other Derwent pencils
  • Only 24 colors
  • Only Available in USA and India currently

Bottom line: I like these a lot as someone who prefers a softer pencil. These are similar to Coloursoft but these mix in fewer layers rather than blend and seems to have a bit less waxy bloom. It is a very small difference but with this limited color range mixing is important. I hope they come out with more colors and I’d love for them to have a larger barrel like other Derwent pencils. they are a bit more budget-friendly than Coloursoft but not much. Given that and the fact there are no open stock colors I’d recommend Coloursoft over these but I would change my mind if open stock, lightfast ratings and a larger range were available. Still, this is a great versatile set and not a bad addition to any artist’s pencils bag. I hope this answers any questions you might have about these elusive pencils and til next time happy crafting!

New! Listen to the Blog Post!


Sat Chat and Shady Dealings!

Hi friends, yes, I know I am a day late in posting the Sat Chat to my blog (what’s new right) but it’s been a busy weekend. Today Mr. Frugal and I went around to car dealerships to look for a new vehicle to share as we are planning on letting the girls use our current vehicles when they get their licenses. In Maine auto dealerships are closed on Sunday so people can look without being harassed by eager salespeople so we thought it would be a good day to do some window shopping. We are planning to get a fairly recent dependable used vehicle (my mid-life crisis convertible will have to wait) but only one of the dealerships we visited had prices on the used cars. That seems super shady to me and I already trust the dealership with prices and disclosures on the vehicle 100x more. The moral of this story is don’t be shady. Speaking of shady there has been a storm brewing with one of the largest companies on the crafting scene: Cricut. Watch this weeks Sat Chat to learn more.


  • Cricut Drama, there was a lot of it this week and the reason I had to re-record this video. The last one was to warn you to register machines before you have to pay to use them but luckily Cricut did the right thing and rolled back that decision after a huge backlash from furious customers. The lesson here is to be wary of buying machines that you have to hook to the internet and use on the companies website to work as they always have control and ownership of the machines. I am glad they did the right thing and decided not to charge people who already bought machines that were sold as free to use in an unlimited fashion but I am disgusted that they tried to bait and switch their customers. Disgusted but not surprised. Be smart consumers. The sewing report has a lot of info on this. *that was the 1st in a series of 3 videos following the drama in case you missed it.
  • If you want to vote with your dollar you can purchase generic blades and mats (not sure on specialty tools that might be on newer machines as mine are 10+ years old)
  • Generic cricut-compatible blades, 25 cents a piece! assorted deep cut, standard and shallow and standard 45 degree all-purpose blades *on my machines the deep cut blades require a different holder, not sure about newer machines tho.
  • Generic mats: (variety pack)
  • Chromaflow pencil review will be on Monday, here are the pencils
  • Dollar tree DIY to make a really useful tool!
  • Awesome shop: Hallmark Scrapbook (formally Custom Crops)

I did want to add one more thing, in my YouTube comments some viewers said you can now download an app to use offline with your Cricut but I have no idea about that. One person said you have to upload designs to their website first but again I don’t know and apparently many users are unaware of it. I heard is is super glitchy, an upon researching it Cricut says you need to parodically connect to the internet for verification and updates. I don’t know. There is a lot of mixed info but it does not seem like a download and be done with it kind of thing.

That’s all from my neck of the woods. I hope you are having an awesome weekend and til next time happy crafting!

A White Sportcoat, and a Pink Carnation…

Hi friends! Whenever I see pink carnations I think of the Lawrence Welk dancers and watching that show on Saturday nights growing up. Remember the bubbles? Ahhh, good memories of having no social life in the 1980s LOL!

This painting is so carefree and easy! It would be a great warm up to painting too as it is so quick!
If you want to learn more about painting loose florals and arranging them in different compositions check out my Watercolor Flower Workshop

Supplies (affiliate links used)

Have a great weekend, Spring starts tomorrow and I am so ready for it. and til next time happy crafting!

Yup, More Budget Pencils (but they are pretty good!)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day friends! Sadly I just realized this right now and I don’t have any clever St. Paddy’s Day projects to share. Ah well, it’s been a weird year. Anyway, today we are going to take a look at a set of pencils I have had requests to review from viewers for a few months. The Magicfly set of 72 oil based pencils. At around $30 for a set of 72 they are right in line with other budget pencils that rate better than school grade but not available in open stock like professional grade pencils.

This set of Magicfly 72 oil-based colored pencils was sent to me for free to review. Affilate links used.


  • price (about 42 cents a pencil)
  • soft and blendable
  • vibrant colors
  • Easy to read print on the barrel


  • Painted ends do not match leads exactly
  • trays can be hard to remove from tin
  • No open stock

Might be a pro or con depending on your preference:

  • skinny barrels
  • pigment somewhat reactive with water
  • oil based

Final thoughts: I liked these pencils as much as Cezanne and Art-n-Fly and a bit more than Color it and Pagos (all in the budget range for an oil pencil.) They lay down really smooth with little effort. This would be good for people with strength issues in their hands and the large printing on the barrel is very easy to read. There is lightfast info on the tin but I really don’t trust pencils in this price range to be lightfast so I wouldn’t recommend these for paintings you want to last for decades hung in daylight. For sketchbook work, coloring books, and greeting cards they would be great. There are no open stock options so if you use up a color or have breakage issues and end up sharpening through a color you will need to find an alternative. Given this, if this meets your needs they are a lovely set of pencils.

Do you plan on giving these pencils a try? Let me know in the comments below and til next time, happy crafting!

Watercolor Crayons Might Surprise you!

Hi friends! Do you have a certain art supply that every time you use it you wonder why you don’t use it more often? That’s how I feel every time I use watercolor crayons!

They are convenient, reworkable and fun to use. If you have ever used a crayon you can use these. I had some request from Critique Club members to use watercolor crayons and it sounded like a fine idea. I wanted to create a tutorial that will result is a beautiful painting but would also teach all the tips, tricks and techniques I have discovered about the medium too. You can find the real time version of this tutorial in Critique Club if you like. Critique Club is $5 a month and you have access to all of the lessons (53 in all) in the group and I post 2 new ones every month! You can also upload your original artwork for me to critique to help you grow as an artist. That is optional, no pressure, if you just want to learn from the dozens of lessons that’s fine too:) If that sounds like something that would be helpful to you you can learn more or enroll here.

This painting is 11″x11″ and took about 2 hours. Enjoy the timelapse!

Supplies (Affiliate links used)

  • Watercolor crayons: first choice is Caran Dache as they have open stock and sets, and the quality is outstanding. Another very comparable budget alternative to Caran Dache is the Lyra watercolor crayons available in sets. They are about 95% as good for half the price *But if you want a really budget alternative you can try the Crayola Portfolio water-soluble oil pastels, they are awesome and a good way to test out this type of medium for a song.
  • If you want to transfer a pattern to a toned surface white transfer paper is handy
  • You can sharpen up edges and outlines with watercolor pencils. I dip the tip of the pencil in a drop of water so the pigment will release, otherwise it can’t grip the waxy surface of the crayons.
  • Reference photo

Remember if you want to learn more about watercolor crayons the tutorial on Critique club has a lot of information. I hope you give this project a try! If you don’t have watercolor crayons then you can get similar effects in colored pencils (I’d draw it smaller tho or it will take an age!) or oil pastels. You do you! Happy crafting!

Do your unfinshed projects mock you too? It’s Sat Chat Time!

Hi friends! Time for our weekly chat! If you are ever looking for my weekly say chats (I’m famous for forgetting to post them on my blog) you can always find that after 7am ET on my YouTube Channel on Saturday morning:)

Stuff I mentioned: (affiliate links may be used)

  • Critique Club *Check out the watercolor Crayon Workshop project I just posted! I mentioned the crayons I like, my first choice is Caran Dache, as they have open stock and sets, and the quality is outstanding. Another very comparable budget alternative to Caran Dache is the Lyra watercolor crayons available in sets. They are about 95% as good for half the price *But if you want a really budget alternative you can try the Crayola Portfolio water-soluble oil pastels, they are awesome and a good way to test out this type of medium for a song.
  • The square Brutfuner pencils are really nice to work and very pretty. *these do not stay in stock long but luckily the price is the same as when I bought them with the coupon. Be careful because when they go out of stock they put the Brutfuner rounds in there (which a good I hear) but I didn’t want you to order them by accident. Just look at the photo and description before ordering in case it changes.
  • This is the white acrylic I like, it is a really strong opaque white.
  • I also mentioned the Magicfly oil-based budget pencils that I drew the iris and pills with. A review will be up in a couple of weeks

OK folks, I am literally dozing off as I am typing this. Don’t forget to set your clock forward one hour tonight (for those of you who observe daylight savings time) and til next time happy crafting!