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

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


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!



LIVE: Vintage bottles with Wildflowers Today 12:30pm ET!

Edited to add the finished painting. Have a great weekend!


Howdy friends! Are you ready to paint? We will have a fun and relaxed tutorial today using watercolors and soft (aka chalky) pastels. You can use whatever brands you have but I will include a supply list below. Here is a quick color study I sketched:


Here is the reference photo. I have a printable pattern here if you want to print and trace it.


You can watch the live broadcast or replay in the player below but if you want to chat live be sure to watch on YouTube at 12:30pm ET.



Also, don’t forget there is only 2 days left to save 35% on my watercolor classes with coupon code HOLIDAY17 (offer expires 1/1/18)

I hope to paint with you live at 12:30pm today! Happy crafting!


Painting with unfamiliar colors (Floral tutorial)

Happy 4th of July American friends! Today I did a impromptu live painting tutorial using the odd colors I shared in yesterday’s post. I figured it would keep me honest and from dipping into some of my tried and true colors if I worked live on camera with witnesses:) Also you could see how I dealt with unexpected reactions and mixes. Here is how the painting turned out.


Since I did this livestream on my own I held the Q&A til the end of the video since I can’t read questions and paint at the same time, especially with color I am not used to:) Here is the tutorial:

If this inspired you to try new old colors or different colors I’d love to see what you come up with. You can share your palette and paintings here on our Facebook page. Fore more details on my palette check out yesterday’s blog post and the Spin Doctor blog. Thanks for playing along and til next time happy crafting AND have a safe and happy 4th of July!

Today’s Livestream! {I’m gonna do my best…}

Hi friends! We will be live on YouTube painting today. It is going to be a “let’s use bright colors and express out joy!” kinda project.


We are also having a snowstorm and the kid’s school just called telling me they are sending everyone home early. I am fully expecting imperfection with a side of chaos, don’t you want to join the fun? Seriously, grab your paints, watercolor pencils, watercolor paper or art journal and let’s play on this snow day! If you want to chat with us please watch this on the YouTube watch page, otherwise you can watch it live, or the replay in the player below (oh and how about a “thumbs up” for effort LOL!) We go live at 12:30 Eastern Time! Thanks to Jerry’s Artarama for sponsoring this live show!

Turner watercolors
Inktense Pencils (or whatever watercolor pencils you like)
140# watercolor paper
Mimik Kolinsky brushes
Water, paper towels

Reference photo

This will be a great way to learn to loosen up too! Wish me luck with today’s stream and happy crafting!

You asked for it! {a very long painting tutorial}

Edit: My good friend and expert Cindi told me that this painting is of a bridge in Southwest Harbor, just “up the road a piece” from Somesville. Thanks Cindi! (and you CAN get there from here! LOL-Maine joke!)

Hi Friends! I have to thank reader Jamie Evens for requesting this tutorial and allowing me to use her beautiful photograph she took of the Somesville bridge for today’s very long watercolor tutorial. Today I will show you paint this lovely scene from my beautiful state of Maine!

DCF 1.0

Watch the video for a relaxed step by step tutorial. I had several viewers on YouTube who said they enjoyed the longer video because as beginners it helped them understand the process of completing a larger painting better. I hope you find it useful too!

Supplies for this tutorial:

  • Art Masking Fluid (also called liquid frisket)
  • Soap and a cheap brush
  • Watercolor paint, below are the colors I used, you can use these or similar colors:
    Cad Yellow light or Lemon yellow
    yellow ocher
    magenta or alizarin crimson or rose madder
    ultramarine blue
    sap green
    permanent green light
    burnt sienna
  • Brushes: 3/4″ flat wash, #10 round, #5 filbert, #12 flat You can go up or down a size and be fine though:)

Here is the photograph by Jamie that I have posted with her permission. Thanks again Jamie!

Somesville Bridge photo by Jamie Evens copyright 2014 used with permission. Click on the photo to see a larger image suitable for printing.

Somesville Bridge photo by Jamie Evens copyright 2014 used with permission. Click on the photo to see a larger image suitable for printing.

If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment and I’ll try to help you out. Please use the hints and techniques I shared with you in the video to paint your next watercolor. Nothing is more difficult to paint than anything else, just break it down into small steps and go for it and most importantly have fun! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!




DIY Hairsticks! Easy to make and fun to wear!

Hi friends! Today I will share a fun hair accessory that is inexpensive to make using supplies from Papermart!


Watch this video to see how to make and use them:

Supplies for the Organza Ribbon Flower Hairsticks:

  • 2 3/4 organza ribbon in pink and 7/8″ wide in green
  • scissors
  • wire
  • cute bead or button
  • wire cutter and needle nose pliers
  • skinny dowel
  • pencil sharpener
  • fine sandpaper, waved paper, awl and a small saw or cutting tool
  • hot glue


  1. Prepare the hairsticks by cutting a small dowel into 6″ long sections. Sharpen one end with a pencil sharpener and sand smooth, buff with waxed paper.
  2. Wrap 2 3/4″ wide organza ribbon around your hand 4 times and cut. Cut through the folds on each side of the ribbon so you have 8 squares of organza. Stack them up randomly so they do not line up and make a hole in the center with an awl or needle. Cut a 4″ piece of wire and slide a bead or button in the center and pull the wire to the back and securing with a small twist. Push the wire ends through the hole in the ribbon. Holding the flower by the wire make a few snips in the organza and gently heat the flower over a candle. Make sure you move the flower so all of the layers get curled.
  3. Wrap the wire ends around the blunt end of the hairstick and the add a bit of glue and wrap a foot of 7/8″ wide green organza ribbon over the wire, tie the ends in a double knot to secure.


Directions for the Feather Hairsticks:

  1. Prepare the hairsticks by cutting a small dowel into 6″ long sections. Sharpen one end with a pencil sharpener and sand smooth, buff with waxed paper.
  2. Select feathers for hairsticks. I used a combination of turkey and guinea feathers from Papermart. Hot glue the ends of the feathers an inch from the blunt end of the dowel.
  3. Place a thin bead of hot glue along the area where the feathers are glued to the stick then tightly wrap rat-tail cord around the base of the feathers until they reach the bare dowel. This gives the hairsticks a neat appearance and keeps the feathers secure.
  4. Embellish with beads and rhinestones as desired.


I hope you enjoyed these projects and til next time happy crafting!

Paint Gladiolus in 8 Minutes with Watercolor Markers!

Howdy folks! I’m happy to report that my back is better today! Next time I get into a bounce house I will stretch first LOL! The other day a YouTube viewer asked if I could do a tutorial on painting pink gladiolus flowers, so I did.

DCF 1.0

Instead of using watercolor paint I used water based markers. You can use any brand: Tombow, Distress, Crayola, LePlume, Faber Castell, Whispers or Stampin Up. The key to this is to work on watercolor paper. You will also need a bucket of water and a brush or a waterbrush. Watch the 8 minute video to see how fast and easy it is!

This project was a lot of fun and it is a new way to use a supply most of us already have…in fact it might be fun to bring just my markers and waterbrush the next time I go out in nature to paint! If you have any questions please leave a comment and I will get back to you. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

DCF 1.0

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