Live Watercolor Lesson Today & Tips for Setting up a Small Art Space!

Edited to add the finished painting. Have an awesome weekend!

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Hi friends!  I am so happy I have internet, I was expecting to lose power with the crazy blizzard we had yesterday so I even had a backup video to post if that was the case but that tutorial will wait til Sunday and today we will paint live on YouTube at 12:30pm Eastern Time. During the slow week between Christmas and New Year I set about arranging my winter art space in my office upstairs. Normally I prefer to work and film in my basement but it gets chilly in the winter and loud as you can hear when the furnace kicks on. So in the winter my art area downstairs is more of a storage room and I work in my office. Here is a look at my creative corner.

I thought I’d share this, even though it is not the most beautiful space because it is very functional and a realistic option for many people. Let’s face it, few of us have a spare room we can devote to art. I took over a corner of my unfinished basement 10+ years ago and did the best with what I had. The black fabric hanging from the ceiling is to dampen echo while recording. I am thinking about ordering some acoustic foam panels but as you know I am a resourceful tight-wad LOL:) I found a calendar based on the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and I hung that on my wall. It is one of my favorite productivity books. The small shelf in front of my desk holds my laptop. I try to keep my workspace as clear as possible.  I put my most often used tools on the shelf to my right. If you are a lefty you would probably want the shelf on your left. I took an old spice rack and put in my Prismacolor Pencils and Spectrum Aqua Watercolor pencils as well as a few odd-ball Albright Durer Watercolor pencils and Caran D’ache Supracolor pencils. They all work well together so why not?

Next to that is a bookshelf (BTW all of my studio furniture are cast-offs from other parts of the house emptied during my year-long declutter process) I have my Spectrum Noir alcohol markers and my Studio 71 brush markers and some odds and ends. Alcohol markers play well together too and since I have a lot of them due to reviews over the years I have enough for a full assortment upstairs and downstairs. My kids can help themselves to any of these supplies as well. I have a little bit of everything on this shelf, some watercolor crayons, my Rembrandt watercolor 48 set, a paper trimmer, a tray with mini ink pads and in the tip out bins I have acrylic paint pens, clear stamp blocks, watercolor crayons and a random junk bin. I have my favorite reference books and some art paper pads on the shelf below. Basically I want to have a versatile assortment of supplies to create with on hand so I don’t have to run downstairs all the time to get more supplies. I do keep on shelf empty (under the pencils) for bringing up supplies for particular projects and when I am done it goes back downstairs.

I raised up the height on my drafting table so I can stand or sit to work. I can’t sit too long or my back gets stiff and sore. That is a reminder that I need to move so I will go up and down the cellar stairs a few times to limber up and usually I think of something I need to fetch for a project or I have something to return. Since I work at home I might start a load of laundry, empty the dishwasher or do another chore that is active. I find these small brain breaks help keep me stay fresh and inspired. No two crafters had the same space available but I hope this inspires you to make a spot for art in your home. A card table with a rolling cart under it can house plenty of supplies so see what you can do with what you have. I have a door to my backyard right next to my desk which s great in the spring, summer and fall but this time of year it is drafty so I just sealed it with a weatherstripping kit it and what a difference it made to the warmth of the room. I recommend doing that if you have  a drafty area as it will save you money and will make working more comfy. Here is the view of my backyard. There is also a bird feeder I can watch from my desk:)

I hope you got some ideas there. Now on to today’s tutorial. We will be painting live from this reference photo. I was in the mood for something bright and summery:)

You can watch the live stream or reply in the player below but if you want to chat live be sure to watch on the YouTube watch page. Sarah is not feeling well today but my daughter Maizy will be filing in relaying questions to me.

Supplies (Use any kind you like, I’ll link what I am using below)

I hope you are having a great start to 2018! Good luck digging out if you were hit by the storm. I stepped onto my porch and snapped this pic. I am so glad I kept my porch decorations up, I think I will until the kissing balls start to turn brown, I am so pleased with how well they are lasting and how fresh they still look. See you shortly for the live show! Happy crafting!

 

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Thanks Guys! I Won Best Papercraft Tutorials! {and how I store my paints and brushes}

Hi Friends! Still sick here but better than yesterday. Luckily the basketball tourney games were rescheduled so I didn’t have to go anywhere or miss them. I barely have a voice today but I shot this paint and brush storage video the other day for you.

What do you think of the way I reorganized the brush area? I like being able to pull the little caddy around to hold my palette and water buckets. I took the drafting table that used to be there and brought it upstairs to my office to be able to work in the heat for the winter!

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I also wanted to tank you so much for voting for me in the Craftsy Awards! I got 1st place in the Papercrafting Tutorials category! Thanks so much guys! It was really nice news to wake up to this morning! Have a great night and til next time happy crafting!

2014 Studio Tour!

Howdy folks! I love to see where other people create, from creative closets to entire rooms devoted to their art I just love to look. It is fun to see how other people store their supplies and I always come out with an idea or two. As an artist who works in many media I have a lot of stuff, add to that I am an art teacher and you get more stuff. My workroom (not really a room but a corner of my basement) is a supply closet as well as a work area. Everything, almost, is modular and I end up moving it around quite a bit as my needs change. Here is how it is looking right now:

I find that the longer I am in a space the less drastic my reorganization gets because I know how I work best. If something isn’t right I change it. Craft rooms are not stagnant if they are being used because you will acquire more stuff, use up stuff, gain interests, and lose interests. I’m not a fan of getting rid of good craft supplies. Most items can be used again in different ways. Stamps and patterned paper get discontinued but that does not mean they expire and are no longer good so why toss them? Even if you dislike the pattern, guess what, the other side is probably white. Why get rid of your old decorator chalk to buy new chalk from a more trendy company? It makes no sense. Sometimes you will find something that really is not for you, you tried it, did not like it and have no plans to ever use it again, OK give it to someone who can use it but the other stuff that you bought because you loved it, keep it, everything comes back around or don’t buy the trendy stuff, get basic stuff like solid color papers and paints, pencils and inks and make your own.  If you find that you are buying more stuff than you can possibly ever use (which I think is a great deal of us) make a plan to use it. I feel bad when I buy something and don’t use it, it does not happen often but when it does I will grab that supply and dive in. You will get rid of the guilt of just owning it and get to the pleasure of using it. We buy supplies with the optimistic attitude of what we will make with it. When we don’t use it we feel like we have abandoned our dreams and wasted money, we feel like a failure. When you use the supply you will get a better feeling than a “shopper’s high” you will get a “crafter’s high” and feel so good that you used what you bought. You bought it because you liked it so use it!

I don’t know how I got on that philosophical tangent LOL! I noticed when I was watching the video back that I forgot to mention a couple of things:

  • The bird-cages hanging from the ceiling hold lace trim
  • The mail sorter on the end of my counter near “die cut land” holds glass rods for bead making
  • The big honking shelf behind me as I walk over to my bead storage area is my wood-mounted rubber stamp shelf.

If there was anything else you were wondering about in my room just leave a comment and I will explain about it:) Have a great “Superbowl Sunday” and til next time happy crafting!

WOYWW: Paintin’, Cleanin’ & Curbside Shoppin’

Howdy crafty folks! It’s time for What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday! I FINALLY managed to bring some order to my crafty chaos this week. I even vacuumed! I dug under the scary table where I cram stuff and purged and organized and I am not ashamed to show you my room. Even with my projects in progress out it still looks pretty good:)

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Doncha love this shelf? I found it on the side of the road with a “FREE” sign on it! Free! Can you believe what people get rid of? I had my husband hang up the shelf then I used ribbons, scrapbook papers and beaded tassel trim to change it from “blah” to “ohh la la!”

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I spent most of the day painting and working on a new beginner watercolor tutorial for my shop. I finished the BBC series Being Human so I decided to start on the American series…hmmm, tv is so much better with British accents….

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I also varnished some new paper beads, look at that clean table!

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And surprise, I got an advance copy of the December issue of Scrap & Stamp Arts and my artwork is on the cover, the whole entire cover!!!

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A clean craft room, artwork on the cover of a major stamping magazine and a free shelf. It’s a pretty good day. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

WOYWW: Craftroom Tour {in High Definition!}

Howdy folks and happy Wednesday! This week for What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday I thought I would do an updated studio tour and storage video! And (drumroll please) it is in high-definition (notice how I am not in front of the camera LOL!) Just promise me that you won’t report me to the TV show Hoarders!

So I walked into my craftroom the other day and thought “what the hell happened in here?!?” it was a mess, boxes of quilling and knitting mayhem not put away from classes I taught last week, beads everywhere and general crafty chaos…well, you saw last weeks WOYWW desk…just multiply that and add a few more piles, it was a freaking craft obstacle course! So Saturday night I cleaned up my mess (I am a wild woman, home organizing on a Saturday night) and here the photos:

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Well there you have it, since my kids are on vacation this week it still looks this way too (will wonders ever cease?) But best of all I come in ready to create and not bummed out about the mess or injured because I tripped over a 25 pound box of glue sticks. If you have any questions about how I store my stash just leave a comment and I am happy to answer it. Thanks for visiting me in my studio today and til next time happy crafting!

WOYWW & Fun with Epoxy!

Howdy crafters! It is still Tuesday night here but in Jolly Old England it is Wednesday and that means it’s time for What’s on your work desk Wednesday! I was sent a tube of 5 minute Epoxy from the Gorilla Glue company and I had a ball all weekend using it to make pendants that will be turned into pins and necklaces at the craft fair I will be doing in December:

 

I had always been a little intimidated to try two-part epoxy but it is really easy to use, sets up fast and is super-duper strong when it is cured, you can even use it for resin charms but it is best as a glue because it is really thick. Here is a video to show you how I used it…be warned, I’m even more giddy than usual {but that might just be the glue fumes LOL!}

Here is a peek over at my other work surface, recently cleaned. I had been cutting a lot of glass over the weekend so I needed to wipe down the counter and vacuum all of the glass dust and shards:

 

Don’t you dig this awesome caddy?  The local hospital gift shop closed and my friend Glenna (she’s a nurse) snagged 2 of these awesome displays for me to use in my craft fair booth of for studio storage! Thank you sweetie!

 

Currently my gelatos are in there along with a few odd completed projects that I will share one I get them packaged up all pretty 🙂 Well, this is a bit long-winded for me (I’m a faster talker than typer) so I will wrap it up and direct you to The Stamping Ground if you want to have a peek at other great crafty desks…maybe next week you will join us, eh? Till next time happy crafting!

DIY Craft Desk & WOYWW

Howdy folks! It’s funny how after a few days away from home you can look at your surroundings with a fresh eye. When I went down to craft yesterday my desk was so uninspiring. My binders of unmounted stamps were hard to pull out and I didn’t feel that I had room to work, also I had left my craft area in a bit of chaos so that didn’t help either…so…I spent $5 at the lumber yard and transformed my workdesk from this:

 

To this:

 

Here is a video to show you how I revamped my workdesk. Now, don’t go expecting a “Bob Villa” quality project here, we are talking saw horses, cinder blocks, an old door and boards but I am thrilled with the results, have a look:

See, how easy, anyone can do it! I wonder if I can get a guest spot on This Old House? Nah, you probably have to at least break out a hammer 🙂 I will say that I did measure everything and sketch out a design before I underwent this re-do. It probably saved me an hour of moving stuff around because I had a good estimation of what would fit. So my tip is make sure to measure to stuff you want to contain on your desk shelves!  Here are so more after shots:

 

…and now for something completely different…

Now, I realize that my studio will never be featured in House Beautiful but it is a WORKING studio and I need to be able to make a mess, hose it down and make another one. It works for me! So head out to the lumber yard, pick up a few cinder blocks and let’s get this party started!

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Pssst…wanna see more crazy tables? Head on over to the Stamping Ground for What’s on your Workdesk Wednesday or as I affectionately call it  ‘my craft hoarding support group’ you will get an eyeful of creativity and it is so much fun!

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