How to Make a Watercolor Block! Save $$$!

Hi friends! I was struck by an idea the other day that had me running down to my studio to try it! I wanted to make my own watercolor blocks but I did not have the special glue called “padding compound” that manufacturers use to make blocks and pads. I thought about trying mod-podge or one of my thicker white glues but in the end decided I was too lazy to build a device to clamp the block or wait for it to dry. But then I thought of another way!


I used hot glue! And it was perfect! I even took my block to the beach with me and did a little painting on it to test it out. I am so impressed with this that I plan on making many more! Watch the video to see how you can make one too!

Another idea is to buy a pad of watercolor paper and simply seal the other 3 unbound edges of the pad, just be sure to leave a notch for removing the sheets.

Watercolor paper
Regular paper or decorative/scrapbook paper
Hot glue gun & hot glue sticks
Silicone spatula
paper trimmer, knife or scissors
Clothespins or binder clips


  1. Cut papers and cardboard to size and secure with clips.
  2. Apply a bead of hot glue to one edge and smooth with a silicone spatula. For longer paper you might have to do half a side at a time. Make sure all paper edges are coated. Repeat for all 4 sides but make sure to leave an inch unglued on the pad somewhere so you can remove your sheets.
  3. Make a wrap around cover using scrapbook paper.
  4. Insert a palette knife(or butter knife) into the notch and slice off the sacrificial sheet and you are ready to paint!

Will you make one of these? I hope so, they are great for painting on the go this summer! Happy crafting!

We are Painting Sunflowers in Watercolors LIVE!

Hi friends! As usual on Fridays at 12:30pm ET we have a live painting class! This week we will paint sunflowers in watercolors. You can watch live or the replay in the player below but if you want to chat or ask questions live you will want to watch on the YouTube watch page.



Here is a pattern if you want it, only transfer as many details as you need.



Find supplies at our sponsor Jerry’s Artarama:

Watercolor paint (M Graham)
9″x12″ Watercolor paper 140# cold pressed
Brushes (Mimik Kolinski)

Want more inspiration? Enroll in my Craftsy Class at 50% off!

I hope you can hang out live in a few minutes on Youtube and if not the replay will be available:) Happy crafting!

Sometimes Sunshine is the BEST Medicine!

Hi friends! I always thought it was a romantic notion when doctors would prescribe a holiday by the sea to an ailing patient in old English literature. Not that I’m all that well read but the grandmothers doctor did in Roald Dahl’s book the Witches and that’s good enough for me, and that’s some wicked fine literature too! I spent the afternoon at the beach today with a couple of friends and the kids, it was lovely and I feel worlds better for it! Here is a little watercolor sketch I did at the beach today:


Today I have a vloggy haul video.  I had some requests to do a birthday haul so I decided to share the crafty gifts I received!


I want to thank you for following my blog, in the video I mentioned a friend who’s crafty channel was terminated wrongfully and thank goodness she got it back last night. I would hate to lose contact with my crafty peeps and subscribing to my blog (which you probably are since you are reading this, if not there is a box in the upper left hand sidebar of this page) and my email newsletter (which I only send if there is something new and extra exciting!) I am so relieved that my friend got her channel back but it really makes you worry about your livelihood when you make online videos for a living but even worse would be to lose all the connections with your artsy community. Thank you so much for being a part of this community and sharing part of your day with me, til next time 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!

Do you have colors gathering dust?

Hi friends! When I did my live painting class Friday of a seascape I brought out some colors that I don’t typically use and I enjoyed the freshness of adding those unique hues to my palette. One color I thought I hated but I had a tube of it because it came in a set: Naples Yellow but it was the perfect shade for the beach as well as adding some subtle luminosity to my waves. I started to think of all of the other colors I had turned my nose up at. Do I have treasures collecting dust in a drawer waiting to be unleashed on paper? Then one of my regulars to the live stream who always has tons of valuable info to add Dr Rich Boden (a genuine scientist!) challenged me to make a painting using 3-6 colors that I rarely use. I thought it was a heck of an idea and here are my forgotten favorites:


My colors are:

  • Winsor & Newton Opera
  • DaVinci Vermillion
  • Winsor & Newton Aureolin
  • MaimeriBlu Hookers Green
  • Mission Gold Peacock Blue
  • M Graham Van Dyke Brown

You can read more about his challenge here. Now, his challenge has rules and I’m gonna try but I’m not big on rules and art so I was supposed to tag someone but I can’t pick favorites so I decided to challenge ALL OF YOU who want to play along! I think that it would be easiest to hop on the Frugalcrafter Facebook page and post on this thread either a link to your video or blog post (so you can get a little love on your site) this will also serve friends who don’t have a blog or YouTube because they can easily post photos of their palette and finished paintings right there in the comments. I want to make it so anyone can play along with or without a website. Let’s have fun and encourage each other! So according to Rich’s rules I have 24 hours to create a 30 minute or less painting. There might be a spontaneous live show sometime in the next 24 hours just to give you a heads up:)

Speaking of paint, I recorded this vlog about lightfastness a few months ago. Good thing because I have been slacking off big time this weekend so otherwise there would not be a video! BTW there might be a couple of days with no posts this week as I am putting the finishing touches on my class for Wanderlust 2016 and that is this weeks priority. I probably could have got that done today but I had some important napping in the sun to do;)

I hope you enjoyed this odd, eclectic blog post and I hope you will dust off those unloved tubes of paint (and it does not need to be watercolor) and give them some love. If you are posting on social media use the hashtag #paintFFchal and people can search it (don’t ask me how it works, I’m clueless, it’s not my circus, I’m just the monkey LOL!) Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

LIVE free watercolor seascape class at 12:30pm ET Today!

Join me in an hour to watercolor! If you you want to hand out in the chat be sure to watch on the YouTube watch page. We will paint this:


You can watch live on YouTube or in the player below:

Want to make a travel palette like I am using today? Here is a free tutorial

Find the supplies I am using at sponsor Jerry’s Artarmama!
QOR watercolors

Mimik Brushes

Canson 100 watercolor Paper

Reference photo from John Warren at Paint my Photo

If you would like to take some great classes and support this channel please check out these classes at Craftsy or save 50% off my class Mix it Up Mixed Media Step By Step!

See you at 12:30 ET today or in the reply! Happy crafting!



Mixed Media Lilacs with Liquid Watercolor!

Hi friends! Today I have a wild and loose painting using Dr Ph Martins Sychromatic Radiant Watercolors (don’t worry, I’m not going to quiz you on the name LOL!)SAM_5029

These are a dye based watercolor as opposed to the Hydrus which are pigment based and light-fast. Dyes do tend to fade over time but they are super vibrant making them great for some projects. Also the stain-ability is great and these can be used as a fabric dye. I want to sew some pillow covers and try dying/painting the fabric with these. But I am not ready to do that just yet so I decided to play with the paints on paper!


Here is a pic of the colors I used and I love the way the bottles look all lined up! I was surprised by the strength of these colors as you will see in the video but I do share some handy dandy tips on how to tone them down. I hope you find this project inspirational and fun!


  • Radiant Watercolors Art Student Set (Blitsy has some sets and individual bottles on sale)
  • 140# watercolor paper
  • Assorted brushes
  • Stamps and ink
  • Mulberry paper
  • Matte medium

And feel free to try these techniques with any watercolor you have! That’s part of the fun, substituting “ingredients” to come up with your own unique style! If you want more mixed media techniques please check out my Mix it Up Mixed Media Step by Step class or any of the hundreds of other art classes on sale for 50% off at Craftsy. Don’t wait though, the sale ends tomorrow! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!



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