Live at 12:30pm ET Today: Watercolor Candies!

Hi friends! If you are in the mood for a bright cheerful painting session and good company be sure to join us for the free painting live painting class today at 12:30pm Eastern time on YouTube.


Here is a color swatch and a couple rough sketches. We are using the following colors: Quin Rose, Perm. Scarlet, Perm. Gamboge, Perm. Yellow, Pthalo Blue and Turquoise.


You can use my sketch as a pattern to trace. Be sure to check out the reference photo by Lillian Bell on Paint my Photo (she is one of my favorites!)


You can watch the live stream or replay in the player below but if you want to chat with us (you folks do have a blast in the live chat!) you will need to watch this at 12:30pm ET on YouTube.

You can find the supplies from our sponsor Jerry’s Artarama:

ALSO I wanted to remind you of the early enrollment special for LifeBook 2017! I am one of the many teachers on the year-long artistic journey and I would love for you to join me! 20% off Life Book 2017 with coupon code: FIREWORKS2017 learn more or sign up here.


I hope to see you on YouTube at 12:30pm ET for a fun and free painting class! Happy crafting!

Quick Christmas Wreath Card!

Hi friends! Oh my Goodness, you guys overwhelmed me with love and support yesterday and I have to thank you from the bottom of my heart. In keeping with my effort not to get stressed out I am trying to get ahead on Christmas cards. I really enjoy making and sending handmade cards so for me it is worth the effort to make them. I just need to start them early enough so I have plenty of time and I like to make small batches of different designs so I don’t get bored. If we have learned one thing this week it’s that crafting should be enjoyed or it is not worth doing:)


You don’t need any special tools to make this card, just some paper, stamps and ink! Watch the video to see how!

This Video is sponsored by Rubber Stamp Tapestry Use coupon code: WREATH to save 20% on all $10+ orders of mounted stamps! Coupon expires Sunday, October 23, 2016.


Last year I put a bunch of card making supplies in a small tote and kept it in the living room and invited my kids to make cards. It was fun and added many cards to the Christmas stash. I have learned to let go of perfection over the years and keep my Christmas cards simple and manageable and getting the whole family involved really helps because we are making memories and many hands make light work.

Again I want to thank you for your kind words and understanding yesterday. Stress is a funny thing, I have had a backache for about a month that ibuprofen would not touch and as soon as I hit publish on that post it started to fade away and my back feels great now. What a difference a day makes! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Another Quick Fall Landscape, Creative block & 20% OFF Lifebook!

Hi Friends! I hope you don’t mind another quick, beginner, Fall watercolor painting tutorial:


It was such a beautiful fall weekend that we took out the kayaks and I managed to snap a few decent pics for the foliage on the pond and I based my tutorial on them.


The tall pic is the same bunch of trees I masked in the tutorial, I think the composition is more interesting tall. You can paint it however you like. I picked the landscape version because it filled the video screen better but in retrospect I like the tall one better.


Here is the tutorial, more of a quick sketch but we use the technique for masking on the rocks and trees so that is worth something I guess. I was excited to use my new White Nights paints that have been collecting dust for a couple of weeks on my desk. I will have another tutorial/review coming up this weekend on those:)

If you are only here for today’s tutorial you can stop reading. I am going to ramble a bit, just a warning:) Oh and if you want the 20% off discount for Life Book 2017 scroll to the end of the post.

Honestly I was not that happy with how the painting came out. If I have to be honest I have not been that happy with the way a lot of things I have been making have turned out lately. You should see the pile of crappy scraps (UFOs-unfinished objects) on my table right now! I have been feeling overwhelmed and uninspired lately, and tired. Maybe I have a bit of burnout, or maybe it is just the change of seasons making me feel glum, maybe I am fighting off a cold, I have no idea. I know I am always trying to cram too many things in a day and then I feel disappointed in myself when I can’t complete them. For the past week I have been trying to keep a reasonable schedule and allowing myself adequate time to do the stuff on my calendar. It seems like reason has no place these days, everyone seems panicked and stressed-out online. Experts and consultants tell me I need to grow my audience on social media meanwhile I’m thinking that I already have a freaking awesome community and I need to grow my skills as an artist and create stuff that is worth your time to watch. I want my YouTube channel and blog to be valuable to you. For some time now I have been thinking and feeling that this YouTube social media game is just a contest of who can yell the loudest and get the most views instead of providing value and real community. I was feeling a bit disillusioned I guess. So there it is. For the past three years posting a new project every day was inspiring and fun, but there have been times when I felt “oh, I need to post something today, oh no, I have no ideas!” like I am a kid trying to get perfect attendance or something. So now I am thinking “Hey, I’ll post something if I have something worth posting” and pass on mindless filler that helps no one. Of course, then again sometimes I make something I think is wonderful and nobody else does or I will post something that I think is super simple and it is a hit. You just never know.  One thing I know is that YOU are awesome and I want to develop my skills and make tutorials that will enhance your day and inspire you to create. It has always bothered me that YouTube (a platform that I am very grateful for to be able to use for free and has allowed me to reach so many people) encourages us and rewards us for keeping people glued to the screens and I want people to grab their paint and stamps and whatever supplies they have after watching one of my videos and create! I want you to DO not just watch. I know I feel better when I create and I feel bad when I just watch a screen.

Maybe I am over thinking all of this, what do you think? Bottom line is there might be a video every day, or I might skip a day or two from time to time. I am not sure if anyone would notice a missing day if I didn’t say anything about it but you are my peeps and I like to keep you in the loop. That is all I guess, til next time happy crafting!

PS. Yes there will be a live show on Friday 12:30pm ET, it is my favorite part of the week!

PPS. I almost forgot to mention the deal! I just got word that I can offer a 20% off discount to anyone wanting to join Life Book 2017 if you click this link and use the coupon code FIREWORKS2017 you will receive 20% off the class price. AND if you already bought the course they will refund you the 20% or give you another free course so no worries to the early enrollers. You can find out more about LifeBook and see the amazing roster of teachers here, I am so happy to be involved this year!

Really, that is all I have to say today:) Thanks for stopping by and listening to my rant, honestly I do feel better:)

Beginner Fall Landscape in Watercolor & Schmincke Watercolor Review

Hi friends! The fall foliage is in full swing in Maine and we spent the weekend out in nature soaking up as much of the color as we can! I was inspired by the colors to create this watercolor tutorial for you.


I thought it was a great excuse to try out some new watercolors! Watch the video to see what I think of them and see my spooky new DIY paint palette;)


I am using the Schmincke Horadam Watercolor paints. I am using: Ultramarine, Brilliant Purple, Scarlet Red, Cadmium yellow light, Helio Cerulean and Burnt Sienna. I am also trying out the new ZEN dagger brushes from Royal & Langnickel I picked up this weekend.

Big thanks to sweet viewer Christiane who reached out to Schmincke on my behalf because she heard me talk about how I would love to try their Horadam watercolors. They generously sent me 12 tubes to test out. Thanks to you both!

I also received 6 other colors to try out. I was really impressed with the strength and granular properties of these paints. They reminded me a lot of Daniel Smith Watercolors. Here is a swatch so you can see the 12 colors I received. The big squares were a wet in wet wash and the darker squares are a glaze applied on top.


Bright vivid colors
Unique characteristics from color to color, nice granulation in some
High Quality-Artist’s Grade
mixes well

Price is higher than many brands
Some funny mixes, the ultramarine was PB15 + PB29 instead of just PB29 and Burnt Sienna was PR101+PBk9 instead of PR101 or PBr7
Harder to find than other brands in the USA
Paints take a long time to dry out in a palette, I would probably purchase pans in the future because I prefer to work from dry pigment

Bottom line, I recommend them, I have been a fan of Schmincke pastels (my favorite pastels actually) and their watercolors do not disappoint. I received these paints from Schmincke for the purpose of this review and I think I will probably purchase some others in the line, probably pans because the paint squeezed from tubes take a long time to dryout.

You can find out more about Schmincke paints on their website.

Reference photo by Shanna Leigh at Paint my Photo. (you might need to copy/paste the link, I am not sure why it won’t link.)

I took some foliage photos while out in the kayak Saturday, I hope you are in the mood for a few more fall landscape tutorials:) Thanks for spending some time with me today and til next time happy crafting!


Christmas Cookie Card And Scan & Cut Demo!

Hi friends! Why not make up a batch of Christmas cards featuring a batch of gingerbread cookies?


This is a one stamp wonder project and a lot of fun! Watch the video to see how I made it. The video also features a demo of my Scan ‘n Cut machine. I have felt badly that I haven’t gotten a tutorial up for you on that machine yet but honestly I am a novice with it, I seriously just use it to “scan & cut” and it does that easy as pie!


This video is sponsored by Rubber Stamp Tapestry Use coupon code: COOKIES to save 20% on all peg stamp & peg stamp set orders of $10 or more! Offer expires Sunday, October 16, 2016.

This is a one stamp wonder card using the jumbo gingerbread man from Rubber Stamp Tapestry.
You can get him on his own or as a part of Old Fashioned Gingerbread peg stamp set and it coordinates with the Gingerbread Wreath set which has the same design in smaller sizes.
There are no repeats from set to set but most stamp are available individually if you just want one:)

Other Supplies:
White, silver and tan cardstock
Plaid scrapbook paper
Dies or paper trimmer

Feel free to hand cut the cookies with scissors, it will work out just fine. I hope you find some crafty time this weekend and til next time happy crafting!

Today’s Live Watercolor Tutorial is Something to CROW About! 12:30pm ET!

Hi friends! Today we are going to paint a crow on a fence post! I think it is a great subject for this time of year whether you celebrate Halloween or not.



Here is a pattern you can print and trace if you like:


Here is a color swatch. We will use the 5 following colors: Quin Rose (or any cool red), Pthalo Blue, Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre, and Sap Green. You can see the mixes in the swatch under the main colors.


You can watch the free live watercolor class in the player below but if you want to chat with us live at 12:30pm ET today make sure you watch on the YouTube watch page. I will also have the replay available for those of you who can’t make it live:)

Supplies available at our sponsor Jerry’s Artarama

Also, Big News! Registration is now open for Life Book 2017! I am teaching along with a slew of other talented mixed media artists for a yearlong art journey! Find out more and register here.


I hope to paint with you live at 12:30 on YouTube, til then happy crafting!

DIY Cave-Girl Halloween Costume with Jewelry & Accessories!

Hi friends! Do you need a costume you can whip up in a flash? How about a comfy costume that you can wear over leggings and a turtleneck if the weather is cold? Today I have you covered with a DIY Cave Girl costume!


You can make this costume and accesories in an evening for about $10-$20 depending on what you have around the house.


Watch the video to see how!

Sponsored by Costume Yeti 2016 Halloween Costume Contest. Enter photos of your Halloween costume for a chance to win cash prizes totaling $8,700 now through November 12th, 2016. Also check out the entries if you are in need of a cute costume idea!

Here is what I used to make the Cave-Girl Costume:

Fabric: 2 yards of 60″ wide animal print fleece
Sewing machine and thread (optional-see tie method in the video)
For footwear you can wear boots or sandals

For the necklace:
18″ for tiger-tail wire
4 crimp beads
Small jasper chip beads
Larger stone nugget beads
Assorted dagger shaped plastic beads
Small lobster clasp

For the torch:
Tissue paper in yellow, orange and red
Wrapping paper tube
Hot glue
Woodgrain shelf liner (I added this over the tube off camera)
A small flashlight to pop in the end of the tube to make it glow.

For the “Bone” bow:
1 Spring hair clip
Silk leaves
Plaster bone (made with a bone shaped ice cube tray from the Dollar Tree and plaster of Paris)

This project was fun to make. Please refer to the step by step video tutorial to learn how to make your own costume. Now I can relax knowing I will not have to come up with a Halloween costume at the last minute…unless I change my mind LOL! Happy crafting!

PS if you liked this home-made costume tutorial please consider pinning it on Pinterest! Thanks!

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