The Elephant in the Room…

Hi Friends! When I recorded this vlog the other day I had no idea that so many people felt the same way I have lately about our “stuff”. The word hoarding has negative connotations but when you are a crafter and artist you selectively build a stash of supplies so you will have options when it comes time to work…but if our stash overwhelms us to the point we are too stressed out to work or our supplies become too precious to use it is a problem. Our tools can become our trappings. Let’s chat about that in today’s video.


If you are feeling overwhelmed you are in good company, just check out the comments left on the YouTube page of this video.  I actually rent a year-round booth to sell my work in so it doesn’t pile up in the studio, since I do a video a day and often extra practice pieces you can imagine the pile-up of projects. Sometime I look at a stack of supplies in multiples and think “If I didn’t teach classes I would not need all of this” but I like teaching and even if I don’t get to teach in person as much as I would like because of my schedule I am not ready to let it go.

I like having the options of a full stash, I never have to run to the store for a bottle of glue or spend $100 on craft supplies for my kid’s school project at the last-minute. On the other hand I have to be honest, I was just going through my oil paints because the drawer I had them in was too heavy and I had a lot of huge 200ml tubes of paint from when I used to teach oil painting…then I found my travel oil painting box with more huge tubes of paint. I also had oils that people had de-stashed to me. To make matters worse some varnish or linseed oil leaked in the drawer it was stored in so the labels looked yucky but since I knew the paint was perfectly fine I could not toss them. But then I was kinda happy because I was like, hey, I can just use these, make a huge painting and have fun with them since they are not prefect looking and precious. They will not go in the museum of pristine art supplies, so let’s have fun!

Luckily I have the shop to put my creations in, online sales won’t work for me, I can’t be surrounded by all of the finished art AND the supplies or it would suffocate me. It’s how I cope with so much stuff that I really do like and enjoy. This is where hoarding art supplies is different from hording other things I think. At creatives we see potential in everything and it is tempting to stock up on new supplies because we are not buying supplies we are investing in our creative future. But if we have so much stuff that the task of making art is daunting you probably have too much. You deserve to enjoy the things you bought. Creating should be a positive experience and if you find yourself with feelings of overwhelm, stress or guilt when you go to create it’s time to take action for your own sake.

I can’t tell you how much stuff is OK, we are all different. My sister only keeps supplies for current projects and only buys what she needs and gives away leftovers (usually yo me:) when she is done, I love having lots of supplies at my fingertips but even I can feel oppressed if I have too much (this usually happens when I have supplies arriving for a class and other freelance projects entering my studio all at once.) Supplies are meant to be used, you deserve to enjoy the supplies you have collected but if you don’t want them or feel guilty about having them because you don’t like them anymore let them go to a school, church or senior center so they can be enjoyed. We don’t know how long we have so we might as well use up that pretty gold paint and gorgeous scrapbook paper!

I want to give you all a big hug, if you have read this far you have probably experienced some of these distressing feelings of craft supply overwhelm. You are not alone in this.  Ironically I have no trouble getting rid of other things like clothes and nick-knacks elsewhere I my home so I know I don’t have a hoarding problem. If you do feel like you have no control over your hording or feel obsessive about your supplies you might need help from a professional therapist. I care about you and creating should be a source of joy and positivity in your live and you deserve that:) Let’s continue the chat in the comments below. Til next time happy crafting!

If it Don’t Move, Stamp it! {Stamp School}

Hi friends! There has probably been a time in your stamping career when you wanted to add a stamped image on a  3-D or uneven object. This can be frustrating or impossible depending on the stamps and ink you choose. Today I am going to show you a technique using tissue paper and decoupage  that will allow you to apply stamped images to almost any surface you choose!


It was easy to apply a stamped image to this ridged glass votive holder and I will show you how in today’s Stamp School video!

You can find the stamps I used at our sponsor Rubber Stamp Tapestry!  SAVE 15% on your orders of Peg Stamps and Peg Stamp Sets $10 or more from May 19 – May 28, 2016 with coupon code:  VOTIVE16
Tissue paper
White glue (elmers, mod-podge etc)
Stamps (Aloha set from Rubber Stamp Tapestry)
Paint brush (for glue)
Waterproof ink (such as Ancient Page, Ranger Archival, Staz-On)
You can use this technique for transferring any stamped images onto rough or textured surfaces. Tissue paper comes in so many beautiful shades and since it is translucent it will blend in with your surface and since it is so thin it easily molds to uneven shapes. Give it a try and have fun! Thanks so much for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

LIVE: Let’s Hear it for the “Bouys!”

lobstershackfinalHi friends! Today we are going to learn about dry-brushing and textures in the FREE live painting lesson happening at 12:30pm Eastern Time on YouTube. You can watch live or catch the replay in the player below but if you want to ask questions in chat be sure to view it on the YouTube watch page. I occasionally have some people tell me that they can’t comment in the chat live, usually it means that your browser is out of date. Chrome and internet explorer work well for me. I find I can watch and comment on my phone but I don’t see everyone elses comments. Also you need to be logged in to your YouTube account to comment (if you have left a comment on  a video in the past you have one, if not it is free and easy.) I sketched out a pattern for you to use if you like, simply print it out and trace it on your watercolor paper. there is a link to the reference photo below, I moved some buoys around and eliminated some detail.


You can watch like at 12:30pm ET in this video player!

Supplies available at our sponsor Jerry’s Artarama:
Turner Watercolors (or whatever brand you like)
Colors: Ultramarine, phthalo blue, Turquoise, Gamboge, Perm Yellow, Yellow ochre, Burnt sienna, pyrrole red

Ebony Splendor brushes (or a variety of your favorite synthetic watercolor/acrylic brushes)

Fabriano Artistico Watercolor Block 9″x12″ CP 140#

Note, you can get the brushes and watercolor block I used and LUKAS 1862 watercolors in this money-saving kit with collapsible water bucket and travel bag:  The set I showed is Item # 59146A but they have lots of value kits to pick from!

Reference photo by Linda Willason at Paint my Photo


This was the color study I did this morning to prepare for the full shack painting. I will try to keep the lesson to an hour but we might go long due to the complexity of this one. Don’t worry, the replay will be available in case you can’t do the painting all in one sitting, I totally get that! I hope to see you live at 12:30! Til then happy crafting!

Tissue Paper Party Balls!

Hi friends! This project is so fun and happy and colorful that I want to fill my house with these festive party pom-poms!


They are wicked easy to make too, watch the video to see how!

Supplies from sponsor Papermart:
Tissue paper (8 sheets per ball)
Floral wire (or other thin wire) and wire cutter
Strong scissors (optional)

1. Stack 8 sheets of tissue paper and accordion fold it every 1 1/2″
2. Fold that stack and secure the center with wire. Trim ends of paper if desired.
3. Gently pull apart layers of tissue paper to make a full tissue paper ball.

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

A sale you say?

Hi friends! I’ll be back later today with a super fun tutorial but I just wanted to let you know that Craftsy is running a sale in celebration of Craftsy turning 5! You can check out the sale page here, Just to let you know I do earn a small commission if you click-through my link and purchase any class and I thank you kindly!😀 I have taken many of Craftsy’s painting classes and they never disappoint, it is interesting to see new ways to do things from other artists perspectives. Hint: Hit the 50% off banner when you get to Craftsy to see all the 50% off classes in all craft categories, they even have cooking if you like that sort of thing:)



Thanks for reading my shameless sale promotion,the sale goes through Saturday the 21st til 11:59pm MT! I promise I will be back later with a super fun, colorful craft AND don’t forget tomorrow (Friday) at 12:30pm Eastern Time we have the free live painting class here! I hope you can make it! Thanks for stopping by and happy crafting!


Would YOU pay 4x the Price for These Paints?

Hi friends! Today I got a chance to try out a student and artist line of paints from the same company. I wondered how different the quality would be between a student line of paints LUKAS Studio Aquarelle and the artist grade LUKAS 1862 that costs 4 times as much. See for yourself in today’s video review:


Here you can see the dry color chart:


Please note: I was not asked or compensated by Lukas or Jerry’s Artarama to post this review. These findings and opinions are my own.

I am comparing the Lukas Aquarelle Studio set of 12 with the LUKAS 1862 artist grade set of 12 half pans:

Price: (12 half pan travel sets)
LUKAS Studio retail: $23.05 (Sale $11.99)
LUKAS 1862 retail: $87.50 (sale: $42.29)

I found both sets of paint comparable. I decided to investigate their lightfastness and both lines of paint had excellent or very good lightfast ratings on their paints. I will post links to the LUKAS info with light-fast/transparency/pigment compisition info below. Please note they use a sale of ***=excellent and **=very lightfast (which if you were there for out thrilling lightfast discussion during last Fridays live stream you would know that equals an American rating of 1-excellent or 2-very good or a 7/8-excellent or 5/6-very good on the British blue wool scale)

Would it be to much to ask for paint companies to adhere to one set of lightfast ratings?

The major difference between the lines is the 1862 has more colors. Also I reckon that the studio line must have more fillers to justify the price difference and I did see a bit more chalkiness on the black on some of the studio colors (magenta, viridian, cad yellow, cad red) but honestly not a lot. Also some of the colors between the sets were a bit different so maybe lesser expensive pigments were used on the studio version, for instance the 1862 lines uses real cadmium pigments in cad. red and cad. yellow but those colors in the studio line are hues (synthetic replications of the pigments.) It does not worry me though with the high lightfast ratings. Upon further investigating I found that both the studio ad the 1862 lines use the same pigments except for the cadmium colors but the pigments used in the hues are the same as the pigments in permanent red and permanent yellow light in the 1862 line respectively.

Both of the LUKAS sets were more opaque than I prefer in a watercolor paint. If you look at the color charts I linked below you will see that few of the colors claim to be a truly transparent color, come are semi transparent, semi-opaque and opaque. You might prefer this, it is personal preference but I generally like a very transparent watercolor. Still, these are a great buy and the next time I need to order watercolors for a class I will buy the studio sets without hesitation.

Reference sheets: LUKAS Studio and Lukas 1862 Artists watercolor have a look and compare the pigments and quality of the paints. Learn to be a paint detective and you will always know what you are buying!

So, what would you buy? Would you get the studio set knowing that the colors are lightfast and strong or would you pay 4 times the price for the artist version? Or would you skip these paints all together? Let me know in the comments below and til next time happy crafting!


Heirloom Class Update!


Hi friends! I can’t believe in a couple short weeks it will be time for the Heirloom Productions West Springfield Rubber Stamp & Paper Arts Festival! I just LOVE this stamp show! It is great to see demos from the wonderful vendors and learn about new products and see older supplies used in innovative new ways. If you get a chance I hope you can go, it is one of the few big stamp shows left in the country. I hope younger people check out these shows as well, it is so much richer of an experience than shopping online. In most cases you actually meet the people who make your stamps! I met my friend Linda (owner of Lost Cost Designs and Carmens Veranda – I used her stamps on the artwork featured below) and through her I have been able to teach workshops at the show. I have two workshops this year, one is sold out and there are still a couple of spots left in the other.


Details on the classes:

The Beginner class with the butterfly mixed media painting is sold out BUT if someone cancels you can get a spot. Call Heirloom Productions between 10am-5pm Pacific Time at 541-574-8000 to be placed on a waitlist, first come first served.

The Intermediate Class with the tulip still has a couple of openings as of 8am, click here to register or to learn more about the class, if it fills up before you get there then you can call the number above to be wait listed. At this early of a date there is a good chance you will get in. If you have been painting along with me for a while or taken my Craftsy class you will be all set to take this intermediate class.

DCF 1.0

DCF 1.0

I would also love to do a meet-up at the heirloom show if there is any interest, let’s say at 4:45 Saturday at the Lost Coast Designs Booth, maybe we could all grab dinner together or something? I love seeing my crafty internet friends in person!


If you can’t make it to the Heirloom Show but you still would like to take a class with me I am still offering ALL of my lovely friends 50% off my Mix it Up Mixed Media Step by Step class at Craftsy. The class retails for $29.99 and it is $14.99 for my friends using this link. Hey, it is probably better than a live class because you can pause or mute me whenever you like!

I hope to see you in a class in person or online soon! Til next time happy crafting!



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