A Minimalist Craft Haul???

Hi friends! As you know I have been on a massive declutter of my home and craft room over the past 6 months. It has been life changing to say the least. I have accomplished so many things that I have not had time to do before (such as creating my first watercolor course ) because I am not overwhelmed with so much needless stuff stealing my attention. Up until now I have managed to resist shopping, I was never a big shopper before, and the only “new” stuff that had entered my craft room has been supplied from clients for freelance projects. So last week when my friend Kathy asked me if I was going to check out the big sale at Joann Fabrics (there was a 40% off your total regular price purchase coupon) I was conflicted. I didn’t want to go back to my old hoarding ways but I actually needed a pack of thin black cardstock as I had used up my stash and even all of my scraps so I decided to take her up on the offer. Did I fall off the wagon? Find out in today’s video!

Video!!!

Hooray, not only did I not fall off the wagon I was able to find the two things I actually needed! I valued the experience of shopping with my best friend and that was enough, I did not need to come home with a car full of bargains to justify the trip into town. I feel like decluttering has given me a whole change in mindset and I credit the Konmari method for this. If you want to learn more about how I used the Konmari method from the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up to declutter my craft room you can see the blog post and video here. The reason it worked for me I think is because you gather up all of your possessions by category on the floor in a pile and pick each thing up and ask yourself “does this spark joy” if yes you keep it, if not you get rid of it. I used to think it was the “joy” that made the method work but now I think it is the fact that you confront the big pile of abundance. I think I used to hoard supplies because I felt a scarcity. “What if I use it up and can’t get any more?” “What if it becomes really expensive and I can’t afford to buy more?” “What if zombies take over and all the craft stores go out of business?” This exercise, while it may seem silly or unnecessary, showed me that I had an over abundance to share and after getting rid of what I did I still have plenty. I have plenty and I am content. This thinking about a future of scarcity also leads us to be anxious. You should totally plan for the future but don’t obsess about it, besides our future will be more secure if we have more money in the bank and less crap in our house to trip over.

Tips to avoid over buying (from a gal who used to love stocking up on bargains “just in case”)

  1. Don’t look at the price. Look at the item you are considering buying, determine how much value it will add to your life. Look at the “real cost” of the item (the real cost is the price of the item plus the maintenance and storage) and determine if it is worth adding to your life and then look at the price and see if it is worth the cost. *BTW if you did not know this item existed before you saw it in the store you probably don’t need it.
  2. Determine how much you can actually use. I will stock up on some items I know I will use, If I see a great buy on Arches watercolor paper and I have room in my under bed paper storage I will snag it but you need to make sure it is something you will use up. Also factor in the savings vs losing that storage space until you use it up. In many cases the storage space is more valuable than the item over time. *This was the hardest issue for me because I used to teach art full-time professionally so I was always looking to stretch a supply budget.
  3. Where everyone else is getting the hot new product and you are feeling caught up in the “gottahaveits!” ask yourself if this new thing just duplicates something I already have (do I need the Gelatos, Prima Oil pastels and Distress Crayons or can I make do with one?) Look at stamp and paper designs this way too, every year there are new cupcake, butterfly and botanical stamps coming out. Are you buying the same things over and over? Make sure your new purchases are really adding value to your stash and perhaps weed out the duplicates.
  4. Ask yourself “Why do I want this?” Think about the things that we didn’t even know existed and then Bam! we want them. If you have trouble with this you can unsubscribe from sales emails and place the catalogs right in the recycle bin as soon as they come to avoid temptation. Don’t worry, theses products will still exist in the future if you need them.
  5. The next time you are tempted to shop play with the supplies you already have. The real joy is in the creating, not the acquiring.

I hope I don’t sound like a buzz kill. I totally know the “high” of finding fun new art supplies and getting a screaming deal but you can replace that high with the high of creating awesome stuff with the supplies you have and the thrill of using something up. I used to be afraid of using something up (what if I can’t get it again) but there are always more and newer things we desire and if you do use something up you can get something else and enjoy a cleaner home in the meantime! We worry about “wasting” our supplies but the real waste is letting them sit on a shelf unused gathering dust, we buy these things to use them, not to have them so go and make a beautiful mess already! That’s what I am going to do today:) Happy crafting!

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Lot’s Of Mixed Media Card Techniques! {X-Mas Card Idea!)

Hi Friends! Over the past few months I have adopted the idea of doing things today that make tomorrow easier. For instance taking 5 minutes to wash up the few dishes left in the sink and setting up my coffee pot before I go to bed saves me at least 20 minutes the next morning. It’s the old “Stitch in time saves 9” routine. It’s true though. So with that in mind I decided to share some techniques and apply them to a Christmas card. You can use these techniques to make any kind of card you need though (but I bet you will be happy to have a few Christmas cards already done come December!) ūüėÄ

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Watch the video to see these fun techniques!

This video is sponsored by Rubber Stamp Tapestry!  Use coupon code: FRUGALAUGUST17 Р10% off everything in the store. Coupon expires August 31, 2017. Become a Peg Stamp VIP & get an instant coupon for 20% off RST stamps here plus the deepest weekly discounts available! Offer expires August 31, 2017.

Supplies from Rubber Stamp Tapestry:

Other Supplies:

Finished Card Size: 5 1/2″x4 1/4″ (A2)
Trim mixed media layer to 3 1/2″x4 3/4″
Trim patterned paper mat to 4″x5 1/4″

Directions:
1. Add a pattern to cardstock with a stencil, inkpad and blending brush.
2. Scribble gelatos over cardstock and blend with a damp sponge or baby wipe.
3. Gather pegstamps together with a rubber band and stamp as one large background randomly over the paper. Partial images are fine.
4. Mix gelatos and embossing paste and trowel on paper over a stencil. Let dry completely.
5. Die cut labels from white and pattern paper. Stamp poinsettia motif on white and adhere to patterned paper with foam tape.
6. Use inkpads and water to dye seam binding. Let dry.
7. Trim mixed media and pattered paper panels and adhere together. Tie ribbon in a bow around panels and adhere to cardbase.
8. Adhere labels and pearls to card.
9. Stamp sentiment inside if desired.

Don’t fret if you don’t have the same supplies as I do, use what you have and make it your own! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

LIVE @ 12:30pm ET 4 Color Watercolor Landscape {Beginner Friendly} Tutorial!

Hi friends! Join me at 12:30pm today for a fun live paint along! We will paint a colorful landscape using only 4 colors so we can do some mixing too! Here is the quick thumbnail and color workup I prepared. Don’t worry, the final painting will be more polished and detailed but a thumbnail helps work out colors and composition before you embark on a painting. You should give it a try (it is fun and low pressure too!)

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You can watch the live stream of replay in the player below but if you want to chat live during the stream be sure to watch on the YouTube watch page.

Supplies:

I hope you see you like at 12:30pm eastern time on YouTube! Til then happy crafting!

Mixed Media with Limited Supplies!

Hi friends! Have you ever created with supplies someone else picked for you? It can be fun to challenge yourself to use a limited amount of colors and supplies because then your creativity can soar. It can also keep you from getting overwhelmed with too many options.

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When I opened my Smart Art kit this month I was pleased to see items I was familiar with in colors I did not have. The color palette was very limited so I put my thinking cap on as to what I could create with it. Working with a color palette of bright yellow, bright orange, grey, black and pale aqua was tricky to say the least. Watch the video to see what I created!

Sponsored by Smart Art. Past kits available here.

Supplies:

  • Gelatos (50’s diner colors with brush and blender stick)
  • Watercolor paper
  • Stencils
  • Stampers Big Brush Pen in Black
  • Additional brushes
  • Other supplies not it kit: Water bucket and credit card scraper

I always found whenever I traveled anywhere to create that I got more done the less I brought. I also had to be more creative and stretch my supplies. You don’t have to subscribe to an art subscription box (although Smart Art Box is a great option if you do) to enjoy working from a limited supply. You can easily box up a few supplies from your stash and make your own DIY kit to create from! It works even better it you bring the box outside of your craft area to create as you won’t be tempted to reach for other supplies. It’s funny how using LESS can make you MORE creative! So, look in your art stash and find something that you haven’t used yet (or used in a while) and make yourself an art kit! It is so fun! Or if you want someone else to do the work for you check out Smart Art Box, they ship to many countries worldwide. Let me know in the comments below what unloved product you would add to your kit and til next time happy crafting!

Coffee Cards Made with Shaving Cream Marbled Paper!

Hi friends! The other day I showed you how to marble paper with a kit from the Dollar Tree and water. Today I’ll show you how to marbleize paper with shaving cream!

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The benefits to shaving cream marbling is you get a bold color that does not lighten when dry and it dries very quickly! Watch the video to see how!

The products I am using are by Stampin’ Up! If you don’t have a Stampin Up Demonstrator you can order from my friend Wendy Cranford.¬†She also had lots of fun free tutorials on her blog and YouTube channel! ¬†Use the host code to get extra goodies: YRN7G7UW *unless you are placing an order over $150, in that case you will do better ordering on your own as you will get hostess benefits:)

Supplies:

Shaving cream marbling directions: Apply a layer of shaving foam to a shallow tray or plate. Drop in reinker and swirl with a stick. Place cardstock on top and press down. Scrape off excess foam with an old gift card or scrap of cardboard. Let dry or heat set before using.

*Note, shaving foam leaves a waxy residue on the paper so use strong adhesive if gluing things on top of the marbled paper.

 

I think that this technique is best when you want a bold design and you want it now and that is why I personally prefer it to the water marble technique.  I will admit that the water marbelization can look more elegant though:) What do you like best? Will you, or have you tried this technique? Let me know in the comments and if you enjoyed this tutorial please consider sharing it with your friends in social media using one of the hand sharing buttons below! Have a great day and til next time happy crafting!

STUFF: What to Keep, Buy or Declutter from Your Life {My 4 “H” Method}

Hi friends! ¬†I have been decluttering my home for 6 months and it’s no surprise my craft area was (and still is) the most thing-dense area. I must say that I have a more reasonable amount of things and it really feels good to pass on some of my hoard to schools, friends and the thrift shops. Today I want to talk about the things we keep. The things that add value to our lives. The things that make us happier, smarter and more secure (and I’m not talking about the false sense of security of all of the “just in case” back up stuff (I think that actually causes us more anxiety.) I believe in investing our time and money in what I call the 4 “H”s: Head, Heart, Health and Home. Fore more on that please watch (or listen to while you do something else like craft, declutter or paint) today’s video.

Video!

It can be painful to part with things especially if we think about what they cost but by focusing on investing in the things that matter most it can make letting go of things that are not serving us easier.

My 4 “H”s of Investment

All of your possessions require an investment. You have to pay for them, maintain them, clean them, store them, put batteries in them, feed them and think about them. Paying for the things we own does not end when we get them home so we need to make wise choices about how they might affect us long-term. Before buying ask yourself if it benefits your…

  • Head: Education, learning something new, taking a class, reading a book (you can then pass the book on because the knowledge is in your head!) Learning a new hobby or perfecting it also helps your brain so if you are using those hobby supplies then keep them! They are likely to put you in a good mood as well.
  • Heart: Friendships & family. ¬†A board game that you get joy from playing with your family is a keeper! So is a table with plenty of chairs for your friends. Does this object nurture your relationships? If so it is a good investment to buy or keep.
  • Health: Does this make you more healthy, a yoga mat you use everyday is worth a place in your home but the dumbbells gathering dust iare not.
  • Home: Keeping tools or other items that you use to maintain your home is a great investment, a house appreciates in value if taken care of so invest time there. Discard things that do not add value to your life and clutter up your home. A house full of clutter can make you sick as well because it can be so hard to clean and dust everything, you could even get mice or bugs which can make you sick.

My husband got me the book “Goodbye Things” by Fumio Sasaki and I loved it. It is a bit herky-jerky to read in the beginning but smooths out. I’ve also listened to some of the audiobook while I was working on a project. I love how the advice is practical and the 50 tips/chapters were punchy and short so I could read one, get inspired and tackle another project and at the end of the book is a recap of the chapters in list form to jog your memory. As much as I LOVED “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo I think Goodbye Things is a bit more practical. The author was a hoarder¬†who changed his ways whereas Marie Kondo was always a minimalist. It’s good to see different points of view. For me the “does it spark joy” was a great place to start (I’m referencing the“Life Changing” book) but now I am realizing that I like a lot of things and it is not enough of a reason to keep or buy something. Imagine going to the craft store and buying everything that “sparked joy” LOL! I’d need a bigger house and fatter wallet and in the end I’m sure I wouldn’t be a lick happier. Now I can like things but store them at the store OR like something I have but give it to someone who can use it more than I will. I’m not perfect, I still have more than I need but I am finally feeling the sense of peace and balance I have been craving. I hope you got some value out of this vlog today. I will have fun batch of cards tutorial for you tomorrow, til then happy crafting!

 

It’s OK not to have one of everything! {A card recipe: feel free to substitute:)

Hi friends, today I have acard background recipe for you: Distress Oxides + Color Burst + Gesso = Fun Inky Cards! It is so easy to fall into the “gotta have its!” when we see a new product that we jump in and buy a complete line before we take the time to think if it really suits us or if you have something already in your stash that will do the same thing. Many expensive mistakes can be avoided if we build our collection slowly and exhaust the possibility of a supply before trying something else. By proceeding in this way we can avoid the overwhelm of being confronted with a room full of media we don’t know how to use. Also we can avoid the regret that comes from spending money on a full set of something that we really don’t like. We all know how hard it is to let go of something we paid a lot of money for right? So with this theme in mind I want you to use what you have to create these fun inky backgrounds today. If I am using something you don’t have, find something similar. If you want to try the exact stuff I am using (like a Distress Oxide ink pad or gel printing plate) just try a couple of your favorite colors and see how they suit you rather than the entire line (trust me, they will be there when you decide if you like them or not.) I can hear the protests already “But it’s a better deal if I buy the entire set and if I end up buying the whole set then I’ll have two duplicates!” And yes, that is kind of true if you are really going to use every color, but more often that not you will probably only love half the colors in a line so why buy ones you won’t use that much? You are spending extra money, space and time to maintain these things. If you buy a complete set you might not bother to see how they work with the supplies you already own For instance the Distress Oxides work great with regular Distress ink and I’d never know that if I wasn’t limited in colors and wanted brighter hues. Full disclosure I ended up collecting the entire line (by purchase and gift) because they really suited me. I am waiting to buy reinkers until the pads are used up to make sure they still add value to my creative process. I think we all face the “fear of missing out” and we buy in a state of panic that we won’t be able to get something because it will be sold out or become more expensive but let me tell you if it keeps selling they will keep making it!

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Speaking of fear in our cardmaking…If you are afraid when you create you will be leery of wasting supplies. We tend to collect and hoard and then we become overwhelmed or even worse we forget what we have. The gel printing plate I am using today was a “had to have it, yet to use it” item I bought when it first came out. Why have I been saving it? You can’t use it up. I put it in a drawer safe in the knowledge that I can access it whenever I like but never did. Crazy huh? Just think of the treasures we could find if we just shopped our stash! In today’s video I am going to show you how to mix up supplies and make interesting artsy backgrounds and also how to look at your rubber stamps in new ways to increase their versatility, I hope you play along!

Video!

This video is sponsored by Rubber Stamp Tapestry  use coupon code: FRUGALAUGUST17 Р10% off everything in the store. Coupon expires August 31, 2017. Become a Peg Stamp VIP & get an instant coupon for 20% off RST stamps here plus the deepest weekly discounts available! Offer expires August 31, 2017.

Supplies from Rubber Stamp Tapestry:

Other Supplies:

Directions: Watch the video and then grab the supplies you have and make some ink backgrounds! Don’t get overwhelmed, just have fun! After all, it’s just a piece of paper!

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5 Do’s & Donts for inky backgrounds!

1. Do try making backgrounds using the supplies you already have. If a new product peaks your interest try one or two colors before purchasing the whole set to see if it suits you.

2. Don’t worry about making a mess or wasting supplies. You can use cheap white cardstock cut into quarters for your inky backgrounds. Then trim and mount the great ones to cards made of heavyweight cardstock.

3. Do use lots of adhesive when mounting the inky papers. You can even weight it with a book if it wants to warp.

4. Don’t overlook the cool stencils in your stash, you don’t have to use polka dots, take the idea and make it your own!

5. Do trusts your instincts and pick colors and images you like because it’s your art after all!

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I realize you may think it’s funny that I am urging you not to go crazy over-buying supplies on a sponsored blog post but I love this hobby and for it to be sustainable we need to find value and get use from the products we buy. If we stock up but never use these treasures it is a total waste. We need to pace ourselves and learn what our own style is (not what the cool crafters on YouTube are doing) or we will end up with drawers full of supplies that we don’t really like. This blog post and video was inspired by some critical comments on my YouTube channel where some viewers complained about the colors I chose for various projects. It’s easy to swap a color for one you prefer and I want to give you permission to do that, or use a whole different product all together. You don’t need to copy a project exactly for it to be good or meaningful, in fact it’s better to add your own style and spice to it! Vive la diff√©rence! You do you and it will be fabulous! Thanks for taking the time to read though my long pep talk (rant?) and as always continue the discussion in the comments below. I am really enjoying our conversations lately! Have a great weekend and til next time happy crafting!

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