Happy Valentines Day!

 

Hi friends! I am going to keep it short and sweet tonight with this sweet treat valentines day card!

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Honestly I am tuckered out! Today was big storm clean up day, they cancelled school again and try as I might I am not as productive with the kids at home and it looks like we will get another foot of snow tomorrow afternoon! I don’t know where we will put it, we have not had snow like this in a few years and it was spread out, not all at once. We are getting winter all in one week! That is why I love Valentines day, it is a bright spot in the depths of winter halfway through the shortest (yet feels like the longest) month of the year. Yay Valentines day! I realize it is probably a bit late to share this project but you can file it away for next year and be ahead of the game!

Supplies:

  • White cardstock
  • Colored cardstock or premade card bases (mine were from Micheals)
  • Black Waterproof stamping ink (Ranger Archival)
  • Stamps: Yummy in my TummyAny Occasion (SAB freebie)
  • Sweet Treat cups #116802 (*I think these are discontinued but you could put a clear baggie behind the opening for goodies or make this design on a small treat bag. I think the small circle shape shaker from Jillibean soup is close to the same size)
  • Watercolors (I am using Jane Davenport Brights and the yellow from Neutrals but use what you have)
  • Watercolor brushes, stamping block and adhesive

 

I also wanted to wish my best friend Kathy (Remember Ask a Crafter) 🙂 a very happy birthday, 29 is a great year my friend! (I should know, I have celebrated it many times LOL!) Have a great night and til next time happy crafting!

FYI: Links to products are to my friend Wendy’ Stampin Up store (or you can order from your demonstrator) or to Simon Say Stamp (affiliate links) for non Stampin Up product:)

How I spent my winter vacation…

Hi friends! I am officially back and Mother Nature has welcomed us with a couple of feet of snow. So. Much. Snow. Well, it is pretty and luckily many business closed today so people could stay safe at home, they even pulled plow trucks off the roads for a few hours because it was too snowy to plow safely! When I joked from the Bahamas (on Instagram) that I hoped Maine would save me some snow when I got back I dd not expect 2+ feet of it! I hope everyone in the path of the blizzard is safe and sound, check on your neighbors and reach out for help if you need it. The kids and I did some shoveling this afternoon so hubby could get in the driveway after work and thank goodness for those kids, there is no way I could have done it alone. You don’t realize how out of shape you are until you have to shovel snow. I really think snowbirds have the right idea! As you might know our family took our first big “fly someplace far away” vacation last week. It was the perfect time to get away and we went to the Bahamas.

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It was a wonderful trip! Lots of relaxing and plenty to do. I took the opportunity to paint some scenes while I was there and I will share the watercolor sketches in today’s video.

I posted some of my sketches and travel pics on my Instagram in you want to check it out. I like to post behind the scenes stuff and work in progress on Instagram so if you like that sort of thing you can follow me there:) I often post stuff I am thinking about doing tutorials on to get feedback too so feel free to let me know if you want a tutorial of any of the sketches from my vacation. In addition to helping me remember the details of places I have been I also find painting on location helpful with my travel anxiety, having that one familiar thing to spend my nervous energy on helps me relax. Don’t worry about being perfect or precise when sketching on location, nobody is going to judge you and people who come up to you are generally curious and friendly. I got some questions about what I brought to create with and what you can bring on planes and I did this quick video for HGMM before I left explaining this travel set up. Unfortunately I lost my sharpie as soon as I got there (I let me kinds use it to label water bottles LOL!) and it would have been really useful to have, at least it wasn’t an expensive pen!

Even though we had a wonderful time and we just got a pile of snow I am still glad to be back home. I mentioned in the video that we used a travel agent and I would share her info if anyone wanted to know, she is a local friend of mine, her name is Amy and her business is First Class Travel. She didn’t ask me to mention her but she was wonderful and made me way less of a stress ball:)  Please let me know if you would like tutorials on any of the vacation sketches and til next time happy crafting!

What is the Difference between Artist & Craft Quality Supplies?

Ever wonder what the difference is between art and craft supplies? Watch the video to find out!

I think that it’s great to shave so many options at different prices, but it is also important you get what you are paying for. Below I will break down when I mentioned in the video and you can decide for yourself what is best for you:)

Artist quality

  • Artist quality supplies are generally made in house by the brand itself. Research and production is handled by the company. This expertise yields top quality products but the overhead makes them more expensive.
  • Also the fine art market is much smaller than the craft market so they have fewer customers to sell to.
  • Most of the countries that product most fine art supplies have stricter laws regarding emissions and other business practices including fair wages and benefits for workers thus making the product cost more. Many fine art products are manufactured in Europe or USA.
  • This quality control and sustainable business practice translates to you being able to replace a tube of paint reliably when it runs out.

Craft supplies

  • Are generally made for craft companies by 3rd party manufactures, often in China, so they can produce a quick to sell product that is on trend. This allows them to get a product to market quickly and efficiently without having to invest in research and development or a factory. The manufacturing facility can make product to their specs and even package them with their branding. This is why sometimes you see several companies come out with nearly identical product in the craft world.
  • Usually refills are not available for these products (but you can always refill with artist quality) and when a trend is over or a products sales decline they stop selling the product and move on to the next thing.
  • These products are priced to sell quickly, often the quality is nice for the price but contain more extenders and fillers as compared to artist quality BUT since they sell to a much bigger customer base you might find you get a better quality for dollar as they do not need as much markup as the artists quality brands need to make.

I don’t think one method is better or worse, pick the product that meets your needs and budget because the one good thing is that there are plenty of options out there! Let me know what YOU think in the comments below! Happy crafting:)

How to Mix Skin-Tones with Watercolor

Hi friends! I get asked a lot about mixing skin-tones in watercolor. That is kind of a loaded topic because really there are many ways to do this and also many different shades of skin. The common aspect to all skin tones is that they are neutral shades. Today I will show you my go to skin tone mixes that will yield a variety of tones and also show you how to use a convenience palette such as Jane Davenports Neutral palette. I will also show you how to mix skin tones from her crazy bright palette to illustrate the point that you can use whatever colors you have to make some pretty nice skin tones (but it takes a lot more work to do that from bright colors!)

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The above example uses colors from a traditional watercolor palette, I like mixing skin tones best from these colors. The next two examples are using the neutral palette from Jane davenport with many convenience colors:

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I don’t know why I made these ladies look so grumpy LOL! And just to prove that you can mix neutrals from any palette I painted the face below with colors from the Jane Davenport Brights palette:

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Want to see the color mixing in action? Then watch the video for a free hour and a half long skin tone mixing workshop!

 

I would like to share my favorite color recipe, you can adjust it as you see fit but it is very versatile!

  • Yellow Ocher (or raw sienna, golden ocher naples yellow deep-any earthy brownish yellow will work)
  • Burnt Sienna or Burnt Umber (or whatever rich brown you like, try to find one without black in it if using a mixed pigment)
  • Permanent Rose or Alizerain Crimson (cool red for lighter/cooler skin tones) Cad red, pyroll red, scarlet (warm red for warmer/darker skin tones)
  • Ultramarine blue (this does a bang up job at mixing with brows to make shadows or cool down an area) *Cerulean blue is helpful to mix in to fair cool skin-tones like the example on the bottom right of the first image.

Sometimes you need to add in a green because the blue yellow combo will not give you a nice green, if you do make sure to use it elsewhere, such as mixed with red for a shadow and mixed lightly into the skin color, just remember that red is the opposite so you can use it to tone down any green. Mixing skin-tones will teach you a lot. Not only do you need to learn how to neutralize and balance your colors but also saturation, you need to add water to lighten up a color and omit it for richer darks. It is a wonderful way to develop your skills so I hope you give it a try! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

PS if you found this tutorial helpful please share it with a friend! (Handy sharing buttons below:)

Make a Trendy Hanging Shelf for Under $20 with The Idaho Painter!

Hi friends! Today Chris Berry, the Idaho Painter is going to teach you how to make this stylish hanging rope shelf in under 2 hours and for under 20 bucks! If you enjoy this DIY check out the other home improvement projects on The Idaho Painters YouTube channel!

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Watch the step by step tutorial to see how it’s done!

I think this looks great and would really go with a beach themed cottage. Is it summer yet? Thanks again to Chris The Idaho Painter for allowing me to share this video with you. Til next time happy crafting!

Cat Watercolor Time Lapse Painting

Hi friends! The other day I painted this kitten:

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I was playing with a sample of watercolor paper and I turned on my camera. I thought the painting was cute but there were some really ugly stages of the painting. The eyes kept frustrating me and I thought it might be a nice way to show you the bad stages of a painting and why you should push through even when you think all hope is lost. Here is a Artist speedpaint pep-talk. I hope you enjoy!

Don’t worry, I am not switching to speedpaints:) I just felt that it was appropriate for this artist pep talk video:) I was playing with watercolors and paper samples that I was not used to using so it was never going to be a full length tutorial. I recorded as I played and thought it would be a good way to illustrate what can go wrong when you paint and how you can persevere and fix it.

If you want a real time cat painting tutorial click here. Thanks for watching and til next time happy crafting!

How I pack & Ship Watercolor Paintings

Hi friends! I whipped up this quick tutorial on how I package and ship the watercolor paintings I sell. I ship via USPS.

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Watch the video to see how!

Supplies:

  • Bubble mailer (if smaller than 10″x14″) or sheets of corrugated cardboard (I save this from paper and frames I order online as they come packed in large flat cartons)
  • Mate board or chipboard
  • Clear self sealing bag (polypropylene)
  • Other: Craft knife, tape, permanent marker (for addressing the package)

Directions:
1. Cut mat board to same size as painting and place painting face down on mat board.

2. Slide into a plastic sleeve and seal closed. If the bag is larger than the painting fold over the excess and secure with tape so the painting and mat board do not slide around.

3. Slide in a bubble mailer. Seal the mailer and re-enforce the flap with tape.Write “do not bend” in a red permanent marker and address with a fine tip black permanent marker to make sure the ink will not smudge if the package gets wet.

Expect to pay about $4 to mail a painting up to 10″x15″ First Class within the US. It cost me $9.50 to send it from USA to Canada. Overseas will cost more so be sure to factor in postage when you quote shipping costs. Also allow time to fill out customs forms if mailing overseas.

If you are mailing a larger watercolor you can make a flat carton with 2 equal sheets of corrugated cardboard 2″ larger than the painting. Slide the panting in the bag and then place in your cardboard flat. I like to use fun patterened duct tape to attach the sheets of cardboard together to forma flat envelope for mailing. The additional cardboard is not needed in the bag as the box will be rigid.

You can also roll the painting up and mail it in a mailing tube but it does make it more difficult to frame for the buyer. It is a totally appropriate method for shipping art though:)

I hope you found this helpful and til next time happy crafting!

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