Why do our crafty stores keep closing?!?

Hi friends, Just before I got set to record my weekly crafty chat I learned that two more wonderful craft companies were shutting down. Consumer Crafts (closed as of Friday) and Darice which will close in November. Let’s talk.

The comments over on YouTube have been filled with thoughtful conversations about why this is happening. Some speculated that Micheal’s bought those companies to close them and remove the competition, others thought Michael’s needed to tighten their belts and the companies didn’t earn their keep. Some thought Covid-19 store closures were to blame and the fact people may have lost income and stopped buying craft supplies. Another thought is that the stores didn’t have enough to sell between tariffs and China getting hit hard by Covid-19 and having to temporarily close so many factories. One viewer smartly noted that most art supplies are made in USA/Europe and most craft supplies are made in China. I think it was a little bit of everything.

I had many people ask for recommendations of where to shop for supplies online. I’ll share my favorites. Feel free to share yours in the comments below:)

Craft/stamp stores

  • Topflight Stamps: They carry a huge selection of stamps from around the world that are hard to find elsewhere. They are also a sponsor of some on my YouTube videos. SAVE 10% off your next order with coupon code: thefrugalcrafter10 *USA orders of $50+ ship free!
  • Hallmark Scrapbook: This store is a gem, The prices are great, they carry lots of popular brands. Lots of papercrafting and mixed media supplies and the owner Jodi is so sweet!
  • Joggles is a treasure trove of all kinds of supplies from stamping, altered art, felting, paper crafting mixed media and more but their highlight is their stencil selection!
  • Scrapbook Pal is another winner especially if you want great prices on Copic markers, nibs and refills. Lots of papercraft goodies too!
  • If you can’t find what you want at the above companies chances are Simon Says Stamp will have it. Their prices are a bit higher than the other companies but their selection is second to none. Shipping can be slow tho.

Art Supply companies:

  • Jerry’s Artarama has great prices on brand name art supplies but also has a few propriety brands that are fabulous. You can find Creative Mark products, their house brand, that is excellent! I even have 3 signature sets with them:)
  • Blick Art Materials is a great resource for artists and teachers alike. They also have great prices on a huge selection of name brand art supplies and their Blick Studio line of products (Their Brush markers are so good!) is not to be missed!
  • Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff, the name says it all!
  • Jackson’s Art Supplies This UK based company ships worldwide and their prices and postage are very reasonable which is nice for folks outside of the USA with fewer choices. Good prices for USA shoppers too!
  • And finally I want to mention a newcomer to the art scene, Arteza has American and UK shops and ships to many countries. They have a wonderful selection of higher end student art supplies and fantastic prices. I recommend this for people who want to experiment with solid quality supplies for little money. Great supplies to give your teens as well. I use their stuff a lot and really, the quality for price can’t be beat. They have offerings in most art categories. Looks go the “expert” label for the highest quality products. You can also save 10% on your order with coupon code: LindsayWeirich1

I’m sure there are more stores to suggest. The customer service at these stores are top notch too. I would be heartbroken if any of those stores closed down so if you are in need of any art supplies please have a look there first. You won’t be disappointed! The stores I mentioned carry a large variety of brands and products which I thought would be very useful to you. Feel free to share recommendations in comments. Happy crafting!

*This post contains affiliate links.

I’m Back with a Late Sketchbook Sunday & Canada Craft Haul!

Hi friends! I am back online after a weekend in New Brunswick with the family! Even though I am back online you can still use the coupon code OFFLINE45 to get 45% off any class in my online school through Labor Day! After you click enroll you can enter the coupon by clicking “add coupon” on the payment page.  I want to thank my students for their patience this weekend in getting their questions answered. I really needed the weekend off and a getaway before my kids started school today. We drove up to Saint John, Visited some parks and the New Brunswick Museum, had some delicious (and quite affordable) meals and stopped in St. Andrews on the way home to visit the aquarium.  The hotel we stayed at in St John was right next to a Micheals! I was so thrilled because I do not have one near me so only go about once or twice a year. I also wanted to visit Dollarama because I have seen some Canadian YouTubers get some cool stuff there. In today’s video I’ll show you what I picked up and what I plan on using the items for.

I am excited to scrapbook the trip because I have some maps, brochures and the lovely painted taffy bag as well as photos of the kids and even me and hubby. Canadians are so nice I was asked several times if I wanted my photo taken with my kids when I was taking a pic. I love our friendly neighbors to the north! We are thinking of visiting Prince Edward Island next summer so if anyone has any advice for staying there please let me know. I am an anxious traveler so it’s nice to have a bit of a plan before I go. I hope you enjoyed this weird little sketchbook Sunday on a Monday and if you are interested in seeing a video of the scrapbook pages I plan to do of this trip let me know. Til next time happy crafting!

Review: NEW! Jane Davenport Watercolors!

Today I am taking an in-depth look at the new watercolors from the Jane Davenport line of mixed media products from American Crafts sold at Micheal’s craft stores. Oh, before I forget I am doing a surprise live stream today at 10am Eastern Time on YouTube showing the little blue bird I painted in my sketchbook. I will make the replay available later if you can’t make it live but if you have questions about the paint you can ask me at that time!

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Disclaimer: This is a review, I bought these supplies with my own money and I was not asked to review them by the manufacturer, nor, was I compensated to. As always these opinions are my own and are not endorsed by American crafts or Micheal’s craft stores.

I am reviewing the two watercolor sets available in this line, the Brights and Neutrals. Pigment information available on Jane Davenport’s website. I was unfamiliar with some of the pigments used in this paint but “The Spin Doctor” posted an analysis of the pigments from the Brights set on his blog yesterday (he plans to post info on the Neutrals today) that you might find helpful.

First a quick overview of each set:

Brights:

  • 12 vivid transparent colors with cool undertones in a pretty teal blue metal tin. 8 out of the 12 colors are single pigments. Both best friend and Fairytale feature the pigment only as PR81 which is Rhodamine 6G, the Rhodimine die BV10 is what is added to Opera to give it its fluorescent glow, I wonder if additional BV10 might have been added to “best friend” to give it that punch, it is a pigment that does not need to be listed on a label, just like PW4 if used as a filler. I suspect if exposed to prolonged daylight “Best Friend” will deepen to the “Fairytale share” There are also 2 mixed colors that can be made from the other pigments in the set (70s eye shadow and jimminy can be mixed with the blue, green and yellow in this set.) That said these paints are marketed to artists that might not be interested in mixing colors and would rather have the convenience colors. To make this a more versatile set you could add a warm red and brown paint. The colors in this set mix very well and yield clear bright mixes. Skin tones are possible with 3 and 4 color mixes. This set is perfect for flower painters.

Neutrals:

  • 6 out of the 12 colors are single pigment colors. The primaries in this set yield warm oranges, and muted plums and greens. This set contains many convenience skin tones. This set is ideal for quickly coloring in people and portraits for people who don’t want to mix colors. All of the colors have warm undertones but the red is fairly neutral so you can pink up cheeks in a portrait without it going too orange. 2 colors are redundant (buff and dove) as they can be made from colors in this kit. For versatility I’d add a cool red and pthalo green. Personally I don’t care for the black, white and grey in this set as I don’t often use those colors but this is geared to more of a graphic style of art and I think more crafters would appreciate them. These colors are semi transparent. This set comes in a brushed gold tin and would pair well with the bright shades of the mermaid markers or the other watercolor set.

Price: $29.99 (you can save 30%-60% with a coupon from Michael’s)

Bottom line, I think for the money they are a nice paint and I would place them among the same quality of Sonnett, Prima* or Koi* but bonus points that pigment info is provided for the Jane Davenport paints. I think they are nice quality and definitely with the money on sale:) These colors glaze and lift well. I am happy I bought them.

How do Jane Davenport paints compare with Prima Marketing Color Confections? Well, what do you want to paint? Both the Jane Davenport and Prima paints have specific palettes for specific themes. Get what you like! The tins are nearly identical and the paints do indeed seem similar but after comparing them side by side I found some colors overlapped and some did not. Perhaps they are made by the same factory (it is a common practice for media products to be private labeled overseas by the same factory) but I can’t say for sure. The texture of the dry paint was similar to the Pastel dreams Prima set but the Jane Davenport colors were more transparent and bright save for the light skin tones.

If you have any questions about this paint join me for the impromptu live stream today at 10am on YouTube and you can ask your question. I will take Q & A after the demo and I will leave that in the replay so you can see what others asked in case you can’t make it. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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