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

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.


MSP Studio Bag Giveaway + other news

MSP Studio Bag Giveaway + other news

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.


Crafty sales & Facebook Live

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.

Unboxing: Gemini Junior from Crafters Companion

Unboxing: Gemini Junior from Crafters Companion


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.


*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!

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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