Waiting for paint to dry? Make a DIY drying rack!

Hi Friends! Waiting for paint to dry is one of the most frustrating things about being a crafter or artist. I made these DIY drying boards to have a place to dry small crafts, beads, and ornaments that are painted or varnished on all sides. I recently made one for curing resin pieces and I will show you that today but all of my DIY drying racks are made the same way. My older ones have been used for a decade or more and hold up great! I hope you give this project a try, it is so useful!


  • Foam board or Styrofoam
  • Straight pins or toothpicks
  • Wax paper or aluminum foil

This might seem like a no-brainer but often the handiest ideas are! Happy crafting!

The thing that knocked me off the wagon… Sat Chat 9/17/22

Hi friends! I hope you are having a nice weekend! Here is this week’s Sat chat!

Stuff I mentioned:

That’s all for today! Til next time happy crafting!

Pastel Birch Trees Paint Along!

Hi friends! It’s really starting to feel like fall in Maine and I was inspired to paint a fall scene in pastels!

Last month I purchased a set of 120 Soho soft pastels. I have been eyeing that set for years and waiting for a good sale and when the set dropped to half price I snagged it and I am so glad I did because they are lovely! They are of medium softness and not very dusty. they are very smooth and glide on my paper. I will need to use them a few times on different papers before I do a real in-depth review but so far so good! You can use whatever pastels you have for today’s tutorial tho!

Want more soft pastel lessons? My Soft Pastel for Beginners class is on sale for 50% off this month to celebrate Pastel Month! *Offer good on one-time purchases or payment plans. The offer ends 10/1/22. Use coupon code PASTEL50 if the discount doesn’t appear automatically

Supplies (affiliate links used)

I hope you give this tutorial a try! It was live streamed but I kept the q&a to specific times and you can jump past that if you dislike extra chatting in your videos. I do my best to provide in-depth learning without wasting space in my live streams so please don’t be dissuaded from watching because it was a live stream and you assume that there will be a lot of irrelevant chit-chat. Til next time happy crafting!

Muted Mushrooms in Watercolor Tutorial

Hi friends! I just wanted to give you the heads up that I will be live streaming today’s “Pastel Month” tutorial over on my youtube channel at noon Eastern time. I’ll have it scheduled soo so if you subscribe to me on youtube you should get a notification, it will be recorded so if you can’t make it like you can access it later and I won’t chit-chat too much on my streams so we will get right down to business. For now tho, I have a tutorial for these pastel mushrooms:

I had been stumped as to what to paint with this set of Supervision muted pastel watercolors that come in the “spun sugar” boxed set. They have 4 different sets of these pastel and grey toned (aka muted) watercolors which have been very trendy lately. I think these sets are aimed more at illustrators and not intended to be mixed as the color palettes are pretty the way they are assorted. I struggle with using a curated palette but I did enjoy painting these mushrooms.

To help the design out I decided to try the Mermaid Coast Rocka Mica layered paints in the background. Since I like to enhance the colors in my paintings I chose a very muted subject, tan mushrooms, so I would not feel hindered by the muted color palette. You can see the reference photo I used here. I also used Dr PH Martin’s Bleedproof White to do some final highlights and this was painted on an Arteza cotton watercolor greeting card, they are great quality at a fantastic price!

The jury is still out on this color palette for me but I do think I will enjoy these colors as part of a more complete palette. It’s fun to try new things! Til next time happy crafting!

*affiliate links used.

Pastel Month Tutorial #3: Still Life

Hi friends! I hope you are enjoying the pastel tutorials this month! Today we are going to paint a still life with pears and pottery.

If you are looking o learn more about pastels, and want to save some money, I have put my Soft Pastel for Beginner’s Class on sale for 50% off this month! Use coupon code PASTEL50 if the discount doesn’t appear automatically. The offer ends on 10/1/22. Now, on to today’s video!


That’s all for today! Happy Crafting!

REview of Phoenix Watercolor (Artist Grade Tubes)

I’ve been asked about this set and I’ve been curious about these tube watercolors so when the price dropped I had to give them a try! They are the Phoenix Artist watercolor tube set. This is a set of 24, 8ml tubes of artist-grade watercolor. Let’s see how they perform! Warning, there is another set of Phoenix tube watercolors that are cheaper and they are chalky and awful. Ocean State Job Lot sells them and they are on Amazon too. I would avoid them at all costs. I am not going to link to them because I don’t want anyone buying them by mistake as the quality is so poor.


  • Price (for now anyway) Good color selection
  • Decent glazing ability
  • Pigment and lightfast info included on tube
  • Mixes well if you stick to the strongest colors
  • Paint drys down well and rewet nicely.


  • This set includes a few weak colors that could put you off watercolors such as Verdi Blue and Cereluean hue.
  • The phthalo green and Emerald are too samey and the hookers green dark is lifeless. I recommend mixing the emerald with cadmium orange hue for a beautiful “sap green” because oddly it is difficult to get a natural-looking green with this set otherwise.

Bottom line: despite the weak colors I mentioned in the cons I think that the Phoenix Artists watercolor tube set is a good buy. The paint is identical to Cotman so much so that I think it is the same paint relabeled. If you stick to a limited palette of the strong colors (and maybe mix up a pan of Sap Green from Emerald and Cad orange hue) you will have a nice set to work with at a good price. You are getting Cotman quality paint so as long as you are good with that you are safe to try these. For the price, it is worth it for the good colors in the kit. Happy crafting!

Trying non-glare graphite pencils for the first time

Hi friends! Today I am trying the Faber Castell Pitt Graphite Matte pencils for the first time. I always enjoyed drawing with graphite but the glare made it hard to judge values under my strong studio lights and it made filming difficult so I thought these might be nice if I wanted to post more drawing tutorials.

I drew this sheep (you can find a real-time lesson in Critique Club if you want) and here is the timelapse video with my first impressions of these pencils. This is not a review as I am not sure how I feel about them yet and I need to try them on other papers before I can offer a considered opinion on them.

Having a few days to reflect on this project I think my paper was not robust enough to handle the amount of work I did with the eraser. I used the eraser as a drawing tool to pull out my highlights and it was pilling the paper of my Viviva sketchbook. I like this paper but it is delicate and doesn’t withstand taping or erasing which is common with papers made in India for some reason. It could be the local sizing available in the country. I’ll give the Pitt Matte Black Graphite pencils another few tries and let you know how I get on with them. Til next time happy crafting!

*Affiliate links used

Favorite kind of chip? Sat Chat 9/10/22

Yes, this is an especially random Sat Chat! I hope it brings some light and sunshine into your day!

Stuff I mentioned:

That’s all for today! Happy crafting!

Frugal Friday: Canvas Panel Hack

Happy Frugal Friday friends! Save time in the studio with this art hack!

I love having lots of boards cut to size to tape or clip my watercolor and pastel papers to. Canvas panels are great for this! You can get an affordable multi-size multi-pack so you will be ready when inspiration strikes.

Tip: Keep the plastic wrap on them so the panels will stay clean if you want to paint on the panels themselves later. It’s super useful and waste free! Happy crafting!

*Affiliate ink used.