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Five things about you … and a PARTY!


Hello friends! I’m comin’ atcha with something a little different today…a PARTAY! It was five years ago this month that I left the 9 to 5 to pursue my passion as an artist. I still can’t believe it….I’ve made it past the point many small businesses fail, and I’m still here! THANK YOU for your part in making this an amazing journey!!

From those who follow along, leave comments and turn their thumbs upward…
to those who create projects inspired by my work and use my affiliate links to help support the journey…
to the hex chart lovers who use it and tell all their friends how helpful it is….
to the amazing students who take classes and learn and grow and express themselves through their art…
to the phenomenal family of patrons who donate a little or a lot to keep things afloat around here….
to the industry manufacturers and retailers and designers who are such great partners…
you are all AMAZING. Thank you!

I definitely couldn’t have succeeded this far without any of you, and I’m completely humbled by your support! I’ve made this new little intro video for my YouTube channel, as a thanks to you all and a hope to inspire more people along their journey as artists too….watch it below or click HERE to see it on YouTube.


I do have plans, you know me….I’ve always got something in the hopper! Just a little of what’s coming:

  1. Book launch on October 23, 2018! Read more about it on the website HERE.
  2. More awesome classes, including a Watercolor Jumpstart, Typography for Bible Journalers, and I think an advanced Copic Glassware class—all coming this fall, if I can get on it! Because, #3.
  3. A re-launch of in a more functional form! lol. It had some issues due to how the original site was constructed and the plugin developer’s issues, so I’ve hired an agency to overhaul it and make it work right. I’m taking a huuuuuge risk with making such a big investment, but I feel so badly about the tech issues that have developed. This should help us all! Once it’s done by the end of September or so, the classes listed in #2 will hopefully launch. Trying to juggle it all before #1 takes over, too!


Did someone say giveaway? Really? Well heck yeah, let’s do this! Since we’re celebrating five years, let’s do this in fives:

  • FIVE randomly drawn winners will get the class of their choice at!
  • FIVE randomly drawn winners will receive a medium flat rate box of mojo in the mail – stamps and dies and goodies all wrapped in all the mental mojo I can scoop up from my studio!
  • FIVE randomly drawn winners will receive one of my crazybackground cards!

To enter, do one or more of these…I’ll be choosing winners from all of these:

  1. Leave a REVIEW on any courses you’ve taken at Somehow the review tab got removed (AGH!) and it would help me tons if you left some comments! Be sure they’re about the courses, not the site goobers; those will go away and I’d like to give encouragement to others about what you’ve learned – and that they can learn too.
  2. Leave a COMMENT on this post.
  3. Leave a COMMENT on YouTube on the video above.


Below are links to the supplies I’ve used for today’s project. Compensated affiliate links may used, which means if you make a purchase I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I truly appreciate your support toward the costs of running this blog! Read more.

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Artist Retreat coming in 2019: The Gallery Inn, Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

Tour: The Gallery Inn, Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

I promised a little report back soon after my trip – so here’s a downpayment! First, a tour of The Gallery Inn where I stayed. Below that, more info! Watch the video below or click HERE to see it in HD on YouTube.

Retreat info

I’m only beginning to think about planning – and I’ll update this post if things change up – or firm up!

  • What: An artist retreat in Puerto Rico! The focus will be on sketching – with possibly some watercolor. The reason? It takes most of us forever to finish a watercolor painting, and by the time there’s some teaching time, too, we will get little done!
  • Where: Old San Juan, Puerto Rico! No car needed, we’ll walk to locations nearby, and if we decide to do an outing we’ll arrange group transportation.
  • When: January or February 2019, likely fly there on a Wednesday or Thursday and fly out Sunday, though you can plan to stay longer on your own to tour around more.
  • Who: Anyone who is:
    • interested in a trip where art is the focus
    • has already taken my Drawing 101 class
    • can handle stairs, walking, and a warm climate
  • Cost: Unknown at this time. Fee for class time won’t be huge – my point in this retreat is to get more people to the island, and to have us all spend money with local businesses there. (We might have to try mofongo at every restaurant in town!) Use your favorite travel sites to estimate your airfare cost, and look up The Gallery Inn on them for a ballpark on price; they did say they do an artist discount for a trip like this. (Please don’t contact them to ask about it – I haven’t booked anything yet and calls will just confuse them! Assume full price and be happily surprised with whatever discount they might provide.)
  • Miscellaneous details: I’ll add to this as other thoughts come up, too
    • Renting a car isn’t required, though a taxi or Uber from the airport will be needed. The Gallery Inn has only 6 parking spaces.
    • You needn’t speak Spanish to go on this trip, though learning a little before you go would be nice! I went knowing barely any Spanish and got along just fine; though I’ll be changing that for future trips!
    • We’ll do a little sightseeing/shopping along the way, but the focus will be on creating. If you want to see things and take a lot of pictures, you may wish to stay longer, or skip some of the art sessions and go on tours. In fact if anyone wants to go along and NOT create art with us, I’m happy to fill up the Inn and support Jan’s business.

A sale and a look ahead

Ellen Hutson’s having a big sale this weekend….so to help you save a little on your craft supplies that you can put in the piggy bank for Puerto Rico, I’ve collected a list of stamps that are coming up on my blog/YT channel in the next month or two if you want to pick them up early. Note that some have been in my queue for ages waiting to be restocked – so if they’re in the shop now, it’s time to go get ’em! I try to juggle my posts so that the items I show are available for you at the time….but if y’all buy everything up this weekend, that may not happen too succinctly in June and July. LOL. Happy shopping!

Upcoming projects will use these items….

Below are links to some of the supplies I’ll be using for upcoming projects. Compensated affiliate links are used, which means if you make a purchase I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I truly appreciate your support toward the costs of running this blog! Read more.


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MSP Studio Bag Giveaway + other news

Sandy Allnock MISTI studio bag

Hey everybody! I’m kinda excited…I got a box with HAPPY MAIL from My Sweet Petunia this week! Iliana sent me three Studio Bags, and of course since I can’t use three, guess what? I’m giving away two of them – the pink and turquoise! Giveaway deets below the videos.

Studio Bag: Packed for Crafting

First I packed the bag as a crafter, so I could test out and show you the pocket sizes in the bag. (All the supplies shown are listed at the end of this post. You have most of it, I think!) Watch the video below or click HERE to see it on YouTube.

Studio Bag: Packed for Bible Journaling

Then I packed the bag as a Bible journaler! I already have a ton of crafty bags already packed with my stuff, and I’ve needed one for my Bible journaling, so I’m likely to use this bag for that…and I shot a 2nd video over on my Bible journaling channel!  Watch the video below or click HERE to see it on YouTube.


I have the pink and turquoise bags to give away, so I’ll randomly choose two lucky winners, wheeee! (US only, they’ll be big packages to ship…sorry!) Leave a comment on this blog post, and tell me either 1) how having a MISTI has saved your bacon (ie the thing it helps you with!) or 2) what you would put in some of those pockets, whether you’re using it for crafting or Bible journaling! Winners will be announced Saturday March 31st.

Coupon for class? Yes please!

For those anxiously awaiting the return of your art classes….a week later, it’s fixed! Ish. The homepage is a little wonky, but use the menu bar and you can navigate around, and the “your courses” link at the top still takes you to your account. So sorry for the inconvenience – and for the plethora of emails you may have gotten today regarding the issue if you’re on all my lists!

Use coupon code thanks5 at checkout, good for $5 off; it’ll last the rest of March (one use per person) – and this doubles as my birthday gift to YOU, since my birthday is this Tuesday!

WATCH FOR CONSTRUCTION POTHOLES: On the Art-Classes site, the big orange button that says “LOG IN” doesn’t work over there but I can’t get it to go away yet. AND when purchasing a class, you may or may not get sent back to the site, even though it DID go through, just go back to the site and your class will be there. We may discover other small broken things, please be gentle with me, I’m flying solo on the web repairs this weekend.

Coming soon to Cloud minicourses in both copic and watercolor, and an AI watercolor course.


Below are links to the supplies shown in today’s videos. Compensated affiliate links may used, which means if you make a purchase I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I truly appreciate your support toward the costs of running this blog! Read more.


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Crafty sales & Facebook Live

Birthday sale

Flora and Fauna will have a big birthday sale this weekend – I was one of their first guests, so I thought you might want to know! (The peek above is a card coming later this week with Mermaid Animals!) Sale starts tomorrow, Friday – Monday (3/16-3/19), get 20% off everything using code: birthday

Ink and reinker sale

Ellen Hutson – 20% off sale on ink pads & reinkers with the code “inky18”….time to stock up for your cards! My recommendation: Avery Elle dye inks work with Copics, did you know that? They’re also the soft squishy pads, so they can sometimes ink up your stamp better. Below is a comparison between three of the colors.

Facebook Live last week

I created a copic-colored flower on Facebook last week….using Ellen Hutson


This has been a fun challenge so far – check my instagram to see my entries, and jump in anytime to start sharing yours too! Watch the hashtag to see what other creative folks are posting.

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Unboxing: Gemini Junior from Crafters Companion

Unboxing Gemini Junior by Sandy Allnock


Unboxing: Gemini Junior from Crafters Companion

I don’t typically do unboxing videos – but with a big item like this, and a fresh new box, I figured I’d give it a shot. Big ups to Crafters Companion for sharing this with me so I can share it with you! Watch the video below or click HERE to see it in HD on YouTube.

The card is pretty simple – a border on the front, nested red “love” sentiment, and a red panel inside. The backside of the sentiment portion is covered with white cardstock to keep it clean.


  • Dimensions: Height 5.4″, Width 10.6″, Depth 7.6″
  • Weight: 10.16 lbs
  • Pass through time: 10 seconds
  • 110V/120V power requirements

Overall thoughts

I’m impressed with the functionality – for those who want to do fancy digital things and projects connected to your computer, this is likely not something you need. But if you’re a basic person like me, and want something that 1) fits in your craft room (ha!) and 2) does really nice clean diecutting and embossing….I can definitely recommend the Gemini Junior.

My only negatives are rather silly things: it has no handle on top like other machines, so it’s a 2-handed carry job. (If you plan to haul it to a crop, you’ll need to make a separate trip. And it’s slightly heavy, so if you’re single and have trouble lifting 10lbs, you might want help getting it put in place. But the handles are VERY comfortable to carry it by. And I like the fact that it’s heavy so it’s not going to “walk” across the shelf it’s going to sit on, like my old machine (which has fallen off completely a few times!)

Thumbs up!


Below are links to the supplies I’ve used for today’s project. Compensated affiliate links may used, which means if you make a purchase I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I truly appreciate your support toward the costs of running this blog! Read more.

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*ICYMI = In case you missed it (I did!)

Last night I was putting in an order for a few things I needed, and noticed the graphite paper on deep discount, and that led to staying up way too late last night shopping! I know Ellen’s sent out emails about clearance category stuff, but I don’t usually just ‘troll around’ to see if there’s stuff I “need” for fear of the condition of my wallet. But…..just for fun, I did last night. And I thought you might want a reminder to peek in there.

There are 30 pages worth, but the last 10 are already gone, which leaves “only” (ha) 20 pages worth of ridiculous-priced deals. I tossed together a couple quick suggestions below, but there’s tons in the Clearance tab. The SCREAMING deal on graphite papers, holy cow – a buck and change!?! (I am so stingy with mine, I keep it for a decade, but I’m picking up a few packs at this price!); Colourblend and Aquablend pencil sets (more than these two pictured); some pretty coloring books (all my fave Pepin are on sale, not just this one shown below, and lots of brands are on sale but not in Clearance, just look in Coloring Books); stamps for springtime seasons, I linked a couple here, and there are some other stamps too. And I’m really stressing over getting the MFT dinosaurs that I missed out on….I have soooo many dinos, do I need this one too? Gah.  And there are some lonely die sets without matching stamp sets – check and see if any sets you already own are in there, pick up the dies on the cheap! All sizes of the Cosmotop brushes are way seriously discounted too – I nabbed one of the Round 30s, coz I’ll never find one at that price. (I still love my Silvers, but I don’t have a 30 and wanna play with one – I have some huge watercolor panels that need a BIG brush!)

And I promise not to tell anyone you went shopping. You have my permission…we’re on a new budget year, right? Ha!

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Art Classes Students + a YouTube Change + Copic challenge

Betty White’s birthday was this week….I couldn’t resist trying to paint her! I used the back of a reject painting, so don’t ever throw stuff away, you can always practice on the other side of watercolor paper!

Facebook Group

Lots of students have been sharing their homework in our Facebook group – it’s all classes mixed in together so you can see what other students are creating in other classes and decide if you think you want to try one.

I’m going to test out Facebook Live for Drawing 101 students Sunday 21st at 1pm Pacific time; we’ll be looking at how to use a grid to enlarge an image. In future live broadcasts I’ll do ones with tips for different classes on the website. While students not in class are welcome to watch, I won’t be answering questions that are already covered in class, just elaborating on a particular tip related to class.

And a note about the group: you guys know I overwhelm my plate with to-do’s on a regular basis. I’m checking in on the Facebook group each evening, so if I don’t answer there right away, know I’ll be swinging in later. I did ask Rosy this week to be a moderator, though, so she’s being super helpful and encouraging, and can help approve new members when I’m not around. (But she’s in Hawaii so you might still need to wait for time zones a little bit!)

Join Facebook Group

#CopicColors Challenge

Copic is doing something kinda fun this year – highlighting a trio of markers each month and inviting artists to participate. (Spoiler alert, I’ll get to be part of one soon!) You can see this month’s color selection HERE.

A YouTube change

YouTube announced changes to their program; to combat “spam” channels, they changed the threshold for being part of their partner program, and drastically increased both the subscriber count and watch time minimums. With only a month’s notice. My main channel is fine. But my Bible Journaling channel is new (started in September), so it hasn’t met the watch time count yet. Channels need to meet the numbers by February 20th. It’s not crucial to be part of the YT program, and channels can join later once their channel grows, but many in the YT community are frustrated by this, feeling icky about being kicked out of the program. But read on to find out how you can help. First – my own numbers:

  • Requirements — minimum 4,000 hours of watchtime in the past year + 1,000 subscribers
  • My main channel — has 200,000 hours in the past year and 78,500 subscribers
  • Bible journaling channel — has 2,400 hours since September 1 and 2355 subscribers

If you’re interested in Bible Journaling, I’d love if if you’d turn on a playlist and let some videos run (even silence them if you want, haha!). You can also SHARE the channel on your social media and see if you have friends who’d be interested in that kind of content. To find playlists, go to the channel and click on the “playlists” tab.

If you watch videos from other small-ish channels, do the same for them. Go turn on their playlists and let ’em run. Share them with others. Do a little every day for the creators you appreciate, and let’s see if we can combat the YouTube rules!


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New Years Vlog: How to stay inspired in 2018

Happy New Year!

A little advice for your creative new year – and a tidbit of news! Scroll down past the video to see some other changes coming for 2018. Watch the vlog below, or click HERE to see it in HD on YouTube.

For Bible Journalers

In the video I mentioned the Bible Journaling channel – scattered throughout this year, I’ll be doing some videos based on sketches from my #nwc40days sketches.- and the notion also has me thinking of an idea for an upcoming class on how to develop visual ideas for Scriptures, so stay tuned for that if I figure out how to teach it. I might try it as a workshop at my church first to test out some ideas.

For supporters of my work

Many of you may already know about Patreon – it’s a small community of followers who have become my dear friends and advisers! They kick in a few bucks, and I give them a few rewards, but – it really means the world to me to have people who I know are supportive that I can get good feedback from. I ask them questions about business things (like the Design Team announcement in today’s video). I get their opinions and feedback on changes to make, and what I can do to do my job better. Since I work alone, and the dogs aren’t so good at performance evaluations (“Not enough TREATS”), I need humans around who follow enough of my work to give me solid input!

Recently we had a chat about why they actually support me at the levels they do. I had given them bonus videos, but that wasn’t what they chose to get involved for. (Coz yeah, I put out a lot of video already!) So rather than offering extra video at a particular level, I’m changing things up a little bit. One plan I have (ha, God laughs when I tell Him I have a plan!) is to focus this year on what my watercolor style is. My Copic style is recognizable – you scroll through Instagram or Facebook, and often you know it’s my work before even looking at the name. But so far, my watercolor style is alllll over the place. One day I’m loose and washy, other days really tight and painting every feather on a bird. To develop this will take a lot of ongoing trial and error….which I haven’t put in yet. But will be doing so. That also means I’ll have a ton of extra paintings and watercolor sketches adding to my already-abundant stash! eeep. So instead of giving extra videos, it’ll be sharing some of those paintings.

Here’s how it’ll go based on monthly contributions; note that if a credit card payment fails, rewards do cease til that’s restored.

$1+ Reward
  • Access to my patron only stream. 
  • I’ll follow you on Twitter and Instagram.
  • A chance at getting a card in the mail once a year. (Random draw of names).
$5+ Reward
  • Access to my patron only stream. 
  • I’ll follow you on Twitter and Instagram.
  • Quarterly coupon code for my site
  • One card from me in the mail per year.
$10+ Reward
  • Everything from the lower levels!
  • Two cards in the mail per year.
  • Additional stream of more of my watercolor paintings, so you’ll see some of the rejects too.
$20+ Reward
  • Everything from the lower levels!
  • A chance at a 5×7 watercolor painting…will draw random names to receive one. No frame or mat, and might be a practice piece!
$35+ Reward
  • Everything from the lower levels!
  • An 11×15 watercolor painting – no frame or mat, and might be a practice piece!
$50+ Reward
  • Everything from the lower levels!
  • An 11×15 watercolor painting – matted. Not a practice piece!

So for those who’ve been trying to buy my practice paintings – this is a way you might get one. I don’t feel like they’re worth selling at this point, so pricing them is pretty impossible for me. Giving them away to these supporters feels more appropriate. And maybe this will also cut down on the avalanche of watercolor paintings that are overwhelming my studio!

Happy New Year, everyone!

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Class trailers, and sale reminders

Hey folks – I’ve got the trailers for both new classes posted now; I always do a little one to show what’s in class, and you can also see more by looking at the video in the Pre-Class lesson too (that’s public so you can watch it before signing up).

  • Classes are open for preregistration through Christmas Day with pre-registration discount
  • Coupon code “santa” good for additional 10% off through Christmas EVE. Good on all classes.
  • Best price for the new classes is purchasing them while the “santa” code is still available! But if you get a Gift Card on Christmas Day, you can still get the pre-registration price.

Human Rainbow I – Intermediate Copic – SIGN UP HERE

Drawing 101: Form, Depth, and Volume  – SIGN UP HERE

Class Discussion NOTE!

I am frustrated (as always) with the Forum feature on that I killed off. It just wasn’t working or notifying me of any comments.

But now…you can join the new Facebook Group for AC Students! If Facebook lets me get notifications (I’ve had all kinds of Fb challenges, ugh!) then I can answer class questions there.

For the DRAWING class only, the good folks at PMP have given me permission to host a group with discussion boards there – and I *do* get notifications on those. So as you have homework to share or questions to ask, pop over there. (Link to join up over there is in Pre-class lesson. Once you join our group you just log in and go to your “Groups” tab to find us.)

Giveaways end tonight!

Winner will be announced tomorrow morning on my social media……

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Pups, New Classes, Discounts, and 2 Giveaways

So much fun in one short little vlog….Watch the video below or click HERE to see it in HD on YouTube! Links are below.

Links to all the goodies!

  • NEW CLASSES! Preregistration pricing is open through 11:59pm PST Dec 25. (Signups continue after that at full price.)
  • Gift Cards: Choose the date of delivery by email, and write a custom message!
  • Giveaways: leave comments over on YouTube (winners will be selected from over there). Winners selected on Christmas Eve and will be posted on my social media that morning.
  • Sale on classes at – use coupon code: santa (not applicable on gift cards). Sale ends 11:50pm PST on Dec 24, 2017.