Sending “Mice” Wishes!

Hi friends! Oh I do love a good stamp pun, don’t you?


I have to admit I am usually not a big user of cute stamps but I have loved the House Mouse stamps since my friend Tracey introduced me to them years ago, I stamped out a few of hers to color and I was hooked. Before you knew it I had my local stamp store (sadly, no longer in business) special ordering me stamps and one time I hit the mother lode at a yard sale and bought a bunch. Until recently you could only get House Mouse stamps mounted on wood, I have a lot of those and while they are beautiful sitting on my shelf they could be tricky to stamp because they were so detailed. I love that most of their designs are available in unmounted rubber now (and some even in clear sets with sentiments!) because I get the detail of the rubber but I can put them on my curved block (I am using a Mega Mount in my video but the Rock-a-blocks also work well and are much cheaper) and get a perfect impression every time. I have to say I wasted a lot of paper stamping those old wood mounted ones. Tip, if you have the wood mounted House Mouse Stamps you will get a great impression if you lay the stamp rubber side up on your table, ink it up and lay your trimmed cardstock on the rubber and rub the back of the paper. I had to mention that because I have lots of the wood mounted ones and they are too pretty to unmount LOL! Don’t you dare call Hoarders on me!

I will also share some fun coloring tips and tricks in today’s video!



  1. Use a curved block for better detail (I used the Mega Mount from Impression Obsession, Rock-a-Blocks from Crafters Companion are also good)
  2. I used a thin strip of wood from a hand plane to stamp my sentiment on.
  3. Experiment layering your coloring media for rich colors!


I hope you learned some cool tips and tricks that you can use on your next card! Please note that links to Hallmark Scrapbook are affiliate links and I earn a small percentage of sales made through the links, you do not pay more by clicking through the links but you help support these free video tutorials. Thanks so much for spending some time with me today and tl next time happy crafting!

Feelin’ HOT, HOT, HOT!

Hi friends! Sorry if you now have that Buster Poindexter song in your head but today’s techniques are just too hot not to share! It all started when I bought a 50 cent buffet warmer at a yard-sale (Yard Sale tip, go at 3pm on a Saturday when everyone wants to get rid of crap.) I did not want to waste 50 cents so I asked them to plug it in for me to make sure it worked LOL! Yes, I am that frugal haha! And it did! I thought having a hot surface would have many uses in the craft room from using friendly plastic to batik or maybe to cuddle up with in February when my unheated craft room plummets into the 40’s…OK  I am being dramatic but I do see 50 degrees many days and it’s too cold to craft. Then I remembered seeing a heated drawing board advertised for colored pencil artists a few years ago but it was hundreds of dollars and I though, well, let’s give it a try with colored pencils!


Not bad for my first try, I used Prismacolor pencils and artstix,

Watch my video experiment!

Then I thought, what about oil pastel?


The cool thing about this is that it is a lot like encaustics! I love it and the pastels will not need fixing because the pigment is left on top and the oily residue seems to seep into the paper. The painting did not feel like it would smear on accident after it was cool. Here is that experiment:


That was fun, I hope you enjoyed my little experiments and I hope it makes you look at your junk in a new light, who knows, the next thing you find at a yard sale might make for good art! Happy crafting!

By Request, Pansy Tutorial!

Attention Email Subscribers: For some reason the video preview photos are not showing up in emails. Please click over to my blog to see the project and watch the video. Sorry for the inconvenience and thanks for being an awesome blog reader!

Hi Friends! Today I am going to show you a fun technique using watercolor pencils and regular (wax or oil) colored pencils. If you don’t have watercolor pencils you can use any kind of markers or watercolors for the first coating. Experiment, it’s how we develop new techniques! If you do want to get the Spectrum Noir (regular) pencils and Prima Watercolor pencils I used in this tutorial you can find them at Hallmark Scrapbook. The stamp I am using is an old favorite from Personal Stamp Exchange, it is no longer available so substitute with your favorite flower stamp:

I hope you got some new tips and techniques from today’s video! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Let’s Paint a Cat! A long tutorial by request!

Hi friends! It feels like it has been a long time since we had a chatty tutorial…the last one being the snowy winter scene I think. I kept this tutorial narrated live in real-time for the first 40 minutes (watercolor portion) and I thought the painting was done at that point but I was not totally happy with it so I grabbed some colored pencils to enhance it. You will have to let me know if you liked it better before or after I added the pencil at the end. I did voice over the end of the video because there was a lot of noise and commotion here with everyone around and the colored pencil was an afterthought.

DCF 1.0

I used 4 colors of paint: Ultramarine blue, burnt umber, light red (a rusty color) and yellow ochre. I used an assortment of earth toned colored pencils at the end. You can download the pattern here if you do not wish to draw it but I will show you how to draw it in the tutorial. You can find the photo by Lisa Martin I worked from at Paint my Photo. I hope you enjoy this tutorial!

This was fun to paint. I do not often paint animals and I think this is the first time I have ever painted a cat…maybe I did as a child, it is hard to remember. Let me know if you think it was better with or without the colored pencil, I might have been a bit hasty adding it. I think you should probably let a painting sit overnight to decide. All in all it looks quite a bit like the new addition to my house. Maybe I’ll donate it to the humane society if they have an auction. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

What? A free Saturday? Can it be True? (and a pencil/marker demo!)

Hi Friends! Do you hear that? Silence. Everyone is still asleep, I have a cup of chicory coffee in my mug and I am looking forward to a day with nothing planned. It is starting to feel like fall too, it is a bright crisp day full of potential, my kind of Saturday! A couple of days ago the folks at Tombow sent me a set of Irojiten colored pencils to try out. I had been admiring them from afar since they came out because of their beautiful book like packaging. In today’s video I am going to show you how they work with a little help from my favorite Tombow product, the Dual Brush Pen. The stamp I used is from Lost Coast Designs.

Can you believe my markers are 20 years old? I love a good long-lasting marker!

Here is what you need to know about the Tombow Irojiten pencils:

  • They are a hard pencil that can be sharpened to a resilient point.
  • Slow wearing.
  • They resist smudging.
  • They have less wax so less “bloom” or waxy build up.
  • Good for detail work or sharpening up soft edges.
  • The full range contains 90 colors including 10 fluorescent colors that glow under black light.
  • According to the package they are highly lighfast (resists fading.)
  • The lead is glued in the barrel to further protect from breaking when sharpened.

These will take a bit of getting used to if you are used to soft waxy pencils. I recommended you try them on their own, and then use them with the other pencils you have for more versatility. They are highly pigmented so they work well with solvent. The lead is hard but there is a lot of color/pigment in there! These will not replace your softer pencils but enhance them allowing you to get more detail with in a painting.

I hope you found this demo helpful, if you have any questions let me know in the comments. The Irojiten pencils and Dual Brush markers can be found on the Tombow website or your favorite art supply retailer!

That’s One Bodacious Flower!

Hi Friends! I feel like i have not made a card in a while and I know many of my blog readers are cardmakers so today I am going to show you how to make this one:



The above links will take you to Oriental Trading Company who generously donate craft materials to make these tutorials possible. If you shop there make sure you thank them for their support of The Frugal Crafter and tell them Lindsay sent you! Watch the video to see how this card is made and the image is colored!

The bow maker that I used in today’s video can be purchased from my shop. My husband just made a new batch of Bow Making Jigs and they are ready to ship! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!


Are Spectrum Noir Pencils Worth the Money?

Howdy friends! If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me if I would do a tutorial on Spectrum Noir Pencils I’d a millionaire, well, maybe not but at least a hundredaire!  It was enough to make me spring for these pencils when they went on sale for $16 a set of 24 at Consumer Crafts two weeks ago. And because I am a sucker for free shipping I got all 5 sets and a new WeRMemory Keepers album because the Project Life one I previously ordered in a moment of temporary insanity was not cutting the mustard. Anyway, here is a card I colored with the new Spectrum Noirs, it took all of 15 minutes to color.

DCF 1.0

I have a bit of a colored pencil addiction, I love trying out new pencils! Since I have a few of the most popular brands I thought I’d compare them to the new Spectrum Noir pencils and see how they preformed, see my findings in today’s video:

Now, here is where I retract things I said that are wrong. Please refer to the below chart. Koh-i-Noor pencils are available open stock. I have only seen the woodless sets of 12 and 24 so maybe they have another grade of pencils that I am not aware of and maybe there are more colors. Leave a comment if you know.  There was a bit of controversy over the Spectrum Noir pencils being oil based. They preformed most like the Polychromos (the lead in the SNs was thinner and they were a bit less creamy and opaque) but I’d wager they were oil based if I had to guess but there may in fact be an oil/wax blend going on…oh heavens, does anyone care? I do not because they do what they were interned to do extremely well. They layer and blend well. They are translucent enough so I can clearly see my black stamped lines when coloring yet they are opaque enough to stand up on kraft cardstock, a very hip trend might I add. I would not use them on darker cardstocks but on mid-light they preformed very well. Here you can see some swatches and also the retail price for a set of 24 pencils across the brands reviewed (but you can always find them online for much less.)

DCF 1.0

That said, the Spectrum Noir pencils would not be my first choice to create a painting with. I prefer the creamier properties of Prismacolor or Polychromos pencils. The Derwent Coloursoft pencils are nothing to sneeze at either but I have been using Prismacolor pencils since I was 5 and loyalties like that are hard to break. Now that brings me to another bit of controversy, Prismacolor pencils are now made in Mexico and their quality has declined (you can check out the Prismacolor vs. Polychromos review by Lachri Fine Art if you want to know more) and it is really too bad because Prismacolor was my favorite. All but 3 white pencils in my Prismacolor box are stamped USA and the ones stamped Mexico had off-center lead. I have not sharpened them yet so hopefully they are adequate, I find the white Prismas to me the most achy-breaky ones in the bunch. I had an imperfect stamped image on my table (the one I demonstrated in the video) and decided to color 4 of the flowers with 4 brands of pencils so you could see a side by side comparison. I think the Spectrum Noir pencils do what they are intended for. Coloring stamped images, I find I can color quickly with them and layer easily without losing the definition of my stamping. If you do not want to see your stamped lines then you can use lighter ink.

DCF 1.0

Bottom Line, these are fun. If your goal is to easily color stamped images on white to mid value colored paper these pencils are ideal and a bargain. If you are a colored pencil artist I think you would prefer a pencil with more opaque and creamy lead But since they layer really well and cost less than half of Polychromos pencils you might want to give them a whirl and maybe pick up a few light-colored prismas. Honestly the Polychromos are not terribly opaque either so you might want a wax-based white with those as well. I would be impossible for me to test all of the great pencils on the market (I’m a hundredaire remember…) but these are the most accessible to me and hopefully you. If you have any questions please leave a comment and I’d love to know what your favorite brand of colored pencils are. I have had several requests to compare watercolor pencils too so you can let me know if you are interested in that as well. Thanks for taking the time to read through this long post and til next time happy crafting!

DCF 1.0

PS Quick tip! When making a card make the envelope first then use the scrap of leftover paper to embellish your card. Another tip, dig out the old-school deco-scissors and circle punches to cut a cool wavy border on the card. Using a two-tone cardstock like Doublemates makes the look really pop! Happy crafting!


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