10 Tech Tips for Artists & Crafters!

Hi friends! Today I am going to share the ways I use technology in my art and crafting! This video was sponsored by Chromebooks (and I think them for their support) but you can use whatever computer you have or even a smart phone or tablet. Even if you don’t have a computer you can visit your local library to use one or have patterns and other info printed out for you there. Libraries are good sources for technology too! Maybe I need to do a “ways to use Libraries in your art” video…Let me know if that is something that would interest you:)

Tip #1 Editing photos! If you scrapbook or use your original photos in your artwork don’t settle for a quick snap when you can improve them with a click of a button. Cameras can mute colors and tones, you can fix that in basic editing software.

Tip #2 Now that you have snazzy photos you can share them on social media or on a blog. Art is meant to be shared and you can inspire others with your creations!

Tip #3 Find free (or affordable) patterns and templates! If you knit, crochet, sew, quilt or papercraft you can find just about any pattern you need for free or cheap. Crafters love to share their patterns online and we all benefit from the sharing economy! *BTW the crochet shall I am making is from this free Red Heart pattern book.

Tip #4 Listen to podcasts or books: Our right brain is busy creating but the left brain is bored so play a podcast or audio book to make your crafting time even more rich! There are podcasts about art, crafts and creativity too so you can get inspired by them too!

Tip #5 Watch free crafty tutorials on YouTube or take an online art class. You can learn anything online these days, all you need is a computer, tablet or smart phone and you are ready to go!

Tip #6 Find Royalty free reference photos: Finding images to paint and draw from can be tricky because you can’t use copyrighted images without the photographers consent. There are several websites that share royalty free images that artists can use. Here are my favorites:

Tip #7 Practise sketching: Not all devices will have this capability but if you have a tablet with a stylus like my Chromebook you can sketch until your heart’s content with no paper waste and the wonderful “undo” button.

Tip #8 Make use of “Wasted Time”: If you have a smart phone or tablet you can use time waiting at appointments or carpool pickups. If you don’t have wifi you can jot down craft ideas in a notepad app. You can write down project ideas and make lists of the supplies you will need. Or you can even take a “brain break” and relax with a game or by reading a book you previously downloaded using a reading app. Your local library probably has an app where you can check out digital books for free too!

Tip #9: Write an art blog: Sharing my art and craft projects on my blog! It’s a never-ending source of joy and fulfilment for me. I love the community that has been built over the sharing of craft techniques. Maybe you would enjoy writing a blog too.

Tip #10 Stay organized and on task! I jot down the projects I want to do on a calendar and I keep lists of project ideas that I am not ready to schedule yet. I use Google Calendar and Google Docs for this because the information syncs up to my computer, tablet and phone so I never miss a deadline and I can look at my “idea list” if I hit a creative block. This keeps me from wasting time trying to think of what project to do next, I have lists of things to pick from that I can actually find and then I find the time in my calendar.

I hope this helped you think of ways you can use technology to your advantage when crafting. The only trick is not to get lost down the rabbit hole when you go online so maybe set a timer (on your phone!) to make sure you don’t get distracted. Let me know if you have any tech tips I didn’t mention in the comments below and til next time happy crafting!




Ask a Crafter 31!

Phew, what a busy day! I got my oil changed, grocery shopped, taught a knitting class and in my spare time filled digital stamp orders from my fabulous blog readers! I had a chance to chat with many of you via email today, it was so nice to “meet” many of you, thank you! Yesterday Kathy and I filmed ask a crafter and it was such a nice day that we walked after taping. We had another gorgeous day today so at least we know the weather was not an April Fools Day joke LOL! Without further ado here is the latest episode.

Here are the links I mentioned in the video:

The Cotman Watercolor travel Palette, I thought it was $30 but it is only $24, oops! I’ve had mine for about 15 ears and I simply refill it with tube colors when the half-pans of color ran out, it is a great palette and it comes with a collapsible brush. I bring a container of water with me for painting on location. The Kool-Aid or Tang plastic containers of drink mix are perfect because you can fill it with water and the measuring cap is a great rinse pot, you can use both sides for dirty and clean water too! If this makes no sense I am sorry ūüėõ Sorry and tired LOL!

Here is a link to the video demonstrating how to paint on fabric with Inktense pencils and fabric medium, it is really fun and if you make art quilts you will really like this!

Sorry to keep it so short tonight, I was reading on the couch before posting this and I dozed off! I though oh no! It is Wednesday I have to blog Ask a Crafter LOL! If you have a question for next week please leave a comment and til next time happy crafting!

Ask a Crafter 26: Stamping, Mixed-Media and More!

Happy Wednesday folks! We are now up to 26 episodes of Ask a Crafter, can you believe it? and I am still getting new question every week, you guys think up some good ones too! So, without further ado let’s see what was on viewers minds this week:

Ha! And I got my pumpkin scones! And they were delish, thank you Kathy! If you have a question for us just leave a comment and we will either type an answer or read it on the next show! If you haven’t checked out the Frugal Crafter Community on Facebook yet please do and share what you have been working on, we have some wonderful friends over there, it has been 2 days since I opened it and we already have over 700 members (it makes me feel kinda famous LOL!) Before I forget I mentioned a couple links in the video:

Clear bags for cards at Papermart

The DIY marker spritzer instructions submitted by Lindz Brewer is in the comments section of last weeks AAC post.

Thanks so much for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Oh, please tell me how I can do it better…NOT!

***Edit: I wrote this post last night at the end of a very aggravating day, bear that in mind as you get to the end, note to self, don’t publish in irritation LOL!***

Hello friends, ¬†here is the new and… ahem…¬†improved Ask a Crafter.

I got a bit overwhelmed by the comments of last weeks webcam AAC (to be fair I asked people what they thought rather than say “take it or leave it”) so I decided that if everyone wants the “good camera” ¬†then the show would be 20 minutes and I just would not answer all the questions on air, I did respond to everyone though. ¬†As I explained in this video I am not willing to tie up my family’s computer equipment for a day to render and upload one long video. ¬†I was happy to use a webcam and stream it live to Youtube and answer everyone’s questions and let it go as long as it may but most people couldn’t bear the loss of video quality. The third option is that I save myself the hassle and don’t do it at all. ¬†So watch it, don’t watch it but please, don’t tell me how I could do it better. I’m done asking opinions and advice (although it keeps coming), and I am adopting the “take it or leave it” approach, it is the same philosophy I have with cooking in fact and it certainly curbs the whining, well, my whining anyway LOL! I’ll see you next time and as always happy crafting!

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