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20 Crafty Challenges to Inspire Creativity

Creative challenges are all over social media these days. The basic concept is this: You create a collection of work with a running theme over the course of a set period of time. For example, every October artists create and share ink drawings each day for that month in the Inktober challenge. The 100 Day Project encourages creators to come up with their own project and contribute to it consistently for (you guessed it) 100 days. Every February 2 is Hourly Comic Day, where artists create a comic for every hour they are awake. The lettering challenge 36 Days of Type , which is going on now, has designers go through each letter of the alphabet and numbers and interpret in their unique style. Note: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I may be compensated if you click or buy. It does not affect how much you pay, but it is one way to support this blog! As you can see, these challenges vary widely in theme and time interval. They can be great for getting your artwork seen and build

My Easter Eggs with Brush Markers

Yes, I know Easter has already come and gone. But personally, I could make and look at Easter eggs all year long. I always try to make at least a few each year. (Go to THIS POST for more on my past Easter eggs.) Some of my past Easter eggs Note: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I may be compensated if you click or buy. It does not affect how much you pay, but it is one way to support this blog! I have used blown out real egg shells in the past, but lately I've resorted to fake craft eggs, which are more durable. My medium of choice is usually markers. Occasionally I will use paint, but markers are quick, easy, and not as messy. That's what I used this year. I have a set of brush markers that I love to use for all sorts of drawing, lettering, and crafts. They worked well on the craft eggs, and I like that they are easy to blend and shade with. The only thing you need to watch out for is to make sure you don't touch with wet hands, or you can smudge it (because the

No Shame! Why I Don't Mind Using Cheap Arts and Craft Supplies

I have a confession. I am cheap. I love a good bargain and hate to splurge on expensive, full price items.  $20 for a pack of cardstock? Nope.  $6 for one roll of washi tape. Uh uh.  Yarn for over $10 a skein? Yikes.   My husband suggested I try Copic markers and I balked at the $8-10 price per marker. You get the idea. Of course, much of this stems from the fact that, frankly, I’m not rich. I get by and I’m blessed to have what I have, but I watch what I spend. I have bills to pay like everyone else. I know that with using the cheap stuff, there will be compromises and that you get what you pay for much of the time. I absolutely admire and covet high end items. I’ll invest in quality when it’s warranted and it’s within my budget. Sometimes I'm lucky to receive them as gifts. But I also do OK with a pack of kids' markers, 50 cent craft paint, and my $3 bargain journal. Note: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I may be compensated if you click or buy. It does not affec

Silhouette vs. Cricut: My Review of Silhouette Cameo 4 and Silhouette Studio

If you follow me on social media or read my previous post, you might know that I've bought a new toy! A Silhouette Cameo 4! Pink, of course. ;)  You may also know I've been following the situation at Cricut closely. Cricut has been taking steps to correct what turned out to be an unpopular decision to restrict the free version of their software Design Space. If you need to catch up a little, see their statement  HERE . I've seen strong opinions regarding this situation from both sides, but customers were overwhelmingly against this move, including myself. I still love my Cricut machines and enjoy using them. However, there are many reasons why Cricut's move was a bad idea, and I had a lot to say about it, which you can read in my previous post . As a result of all this, I decided it was time to invest in a rival machine: the Silhouette Cameo 4. Since I do cut files as part of my business, it makes sense anyway that I should be familiar with both brands. I need to be abl

My Thoughts on the Recent Controversy over Cricut Design Space

Have you heard the news? Crafters are buzzing, and not in a good way. If you follow the crafter community online, you may have heard about the recent controversy with Cricut. To summarize, customers are furious about an announcement they made recently—well, not so much an announcement as a major change to their terms of use weakly hidden within a  blog post  highlighting new “features” to their software, Design Space (the only software you can use to cut with their machines). They decided to start further limiting the free version of DS by capping personal uploads at 20 per month unless you opted into their $10/mo subscription. Due to strong backlash that they received—including negative comments on their social media posts, a flood of calls to their customer service lines, and a few petitions—Cricut has since completely reversed this decision. For now. You can read their statement  HERE . As for myself, I had many thoughts about the situation and wish to outline them here. Even though

Tablecloth Play Dresses

I've always wanted to make dress up clothes for my daughters. I made an Elsa princess dress a few years ago that I enjoyed creating, but not much else since then. A few weeks ago around my youngest daughter's birthday, a lightbulb went off.  You might remember from my last post that I created birthday table displays using inexpensive party decorations, including plastic tablecloths that cost about $1. As I was picking up the latest display, I got the idea to recycle the tablecloth into a play dress! The first one I made was from the pink tablecloth in the display shown above. I felt I had to create at least one more so they wouldn't fight over one dress, but it soon escalated to a total of four dresses that I made over the following weeks. I bought more tablecloths, solely for the purpose of making dresses this time. It was fun stocking up on different colors, hehe. I drafted my own patterns to my girls' measurements, and I had fun getting creative

Birthday Fun

Right after the holidays, I get to celebrate my two daughters’ birthdays in quick succession—the first in late December, and the next less than a month later in January. My kids are still just toddlers, but they are starting to recognize that they get a day of presents and cake. I try to make their birthdays a little extra special with fun decorations for them to wake up to in the morning. I keep things pretty simple with just some inexpensive party supplies—plastic tablecloths, balloons, cake plates, streamers, etc. Easy and cheap, but cute. :) For my oldest, who turned four in December, I gave her a mermaid themed tablescape complete with an aqua color scheme, a blue vanilla cake (at her request, and which she helped make), and the most perfect cute wrapping paper I was lucky enough to find on holiday clearance. She received a mermaid doll and dress up outfit as well, which she adored. She makes a pretty cute mermaid, if I do say so myself. My second daughter turned