Christmas Vacation | Holiday Party Invitation | Virtual Craft Fair

Christmas Vacation | Holiday Party Invitation | Virtual Craft Fair

I’ve been burning it up over here.

With a pyroggraphy pen that is.

Wood burning.

I keep finding wood objects – looking for them at places like Goodwill, since I’m on a tight leash for buying stuff – and I found a bamboo cheeseboard dirt cheap! 

Guess in your head what shape this is before moving on!

Vlog: Christmas Vacation | Holiday Party Invitation | Virtual Craft Fair

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Holiday Party at Artventure

The Zoom party will be on Artventure – December 17th, at 4pm Pacific (the site SHOULD translate it into your time zone when you go to the EVENT tab to rsvp). We’ll be sharing cards made during the exchange we’ve got going on and finding out who sent what. Then we’ll play a game that will have PRIZES! And it’s all free. Pop over and join the fun!

Virtual Craft Fair #2

Lots of ornaments are available! Serious ones, cute ones, funny ones, elegant ones. Small ones, big ones! And for those who buy a drawing or painting from the rest of the shop, I’ll also send a Christmas card while supplies last…coz I made more than I needed. Tap on the image to start shopping!

The peony for my niece

Aint she purty? Even if she’s in the shape of Kentucky, the flower came out so great! And yes, fingerless gloves here. During the time I worked on the peony cheese board, my furnace was broken for several weeks and I was freezing cold! But it’s all fixed now.


My to-do list has swamped me, of course, as does the life of any entrepreneur while on vacation! I’m trying to dig through my emails and put out anything on fire, but if it takes a little while, please forgive me. Santa, leave me some extra time in my stocking this year! 😉


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24 Tags of Christmas 2022: Creative Holiday Tags Class!!

24 Tags of Christmas 2022: Creative Holiday Tags Class!!

I’ve been hard at work on this year’s series — thank you to those who’ve been asking where it is! — and decided to put it in a different place this year – and make it even MORE fun!

Vlog: 24 Tags of Christmas 2022: Creative Holiday Tags Class!!

The news is all in the video!!

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Register for the tag giveaway!

You can take the Creative Holiday Tags class at full price if you want, but I might have to take your temperature. Ha!

If you’re already on the right email list, you got an email earlier this morning with the coupon code. Whether you take the class or not, you’re entered into the drawing to win a tag – good luck!!

If you didn’t get that email today telling you that you are on the list, then click HERE to go sign up for the list under “subscribe.” I only send out periodically from that list, so don’t worry – I won’t spam you!

By the way…

I wanted to see if I could make Monday’s technique work on cards, knowing that a lot of my followers won’t even look at my fine art if they can’t see how they can use it. (Spoiler alert: watch more fine art instead of crafting videos and you’ll start to do things no one in crafting has ever thought of doing before!) So I then tried it with two stamps: Snowman Kisses from Sunny Studio and Graham & Tristan from Purple Onion.

Are you a tag maker?

Do you make your gift tags? Or buy them? I flip back and forth, but most of the time I make mine. This year I think I might be ahead on things; my family is having an early-December Christmas celebration, and we’ll have a shopping day when we all get to the east coast. That way nobody has to ship or pay for baggage – it’ll be a crazy frantic time but I might just make tags so I feel like I put a little more into gifts! ha…..

Trick or treat? Unboxing art supplies!

Trick or treat? Unboxing art supplies!

My mailbox runneth over! I’ve never been the kind of person who clamors for free stuff – but much of what I’ve received lately just showed up without a request in advance. (Part of me wonders if that’s what companies are going to start doing; I get SO MUCH SPAM and just don’t reply to it  – so are companies going to start drop-shipping instead of emailing to ask first?) 

 aAnyway – since it’s trick-or-treat season, I thought I would do a little unboxing all week! This is both for paper lovers and pen lovers, and Friday I’ve got something for the marker lovers. And during the week on social and in Artventure I just might have something for stampers to love!


Video: Trick or Treat? Unboxing art supplies

More on each of these items is below the video….but let’s get busy opening packages!

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Paper subscription: Your Paper Insider

Your Paper Insider was a total surprise when I saw the box in the mail! I’d never heard of this company, so truth be told I can’t tell you if it’s an ongoing nice package like this one. But it was kinda fun to go through, it felt a little like walking through a paper store and touching all the papers! (And not having to worry about being yelled at by staff, ha!)

The company offers a monthly subscription – and it’s JUST paper. There are others who do papers with other supplies too, but this seems to be all 8-1/2″ x 11″ papers and cardstock, 1 sheet of most and 2 sheets of a couple of them. I didn’t see any that I felt were of dubious quality, though I wonder how to use a few of them. Their website says sometimes papers will be smaller too.

If you’d like to subscribe even for a month or two and get some fun papers into your stash, head over to Your Paper Insider and sign up.

Which paper would you like to see in a project? I’ll come up with something for social media at least!

Fountain pens: Ellington Pens

These pens weren’t a surprise in my inbox; the good folks at Ellington messaged me on Instagram to ask if I’d be interested. After getting burned last time I said yes to someone sending pens, I was slightly hesitant – but since it’s a company that’s based in England, I decided to risk it. (The fail turned out to be a company in China.) These pens are “engineered in England,” however they’re manufactured in China, it turns out, but – these pens might just prove that some good products can come out of there. So far my first few doodlings are showing these to be lovely pens. I asked about price points and they said $30-$50 – which is right in the sweet spot for what I call an affordable GOOD pen. There are some $10 ones out there that are just awful, and my go-to-TWSBIs are in the $35ish range.

They’re officially launching their website to sell products on November 7th, and the reason I’m giving you a heads up is so you can get on their waitlist (email list) – they’ll be sending out discounts, so if you should decide one of these pens should come home with you, you’ll have that to cut the price even more.

Stay tuned to my blog/YT for a pen and ink video on Nov 7th with a fuller review.

More unboxings ahead!

I did say I had a bunch of packages arrive – so hang tight! I’m making a video for Friday with some new-to-me alcohol markers, and even if you’re not interested in new pens, I’m going to teach you how to draw something that’ll be super cute for holiday cards or tags. And on social media and Artventure this week I’ll be using some new stamps that have arrived too!


Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art

About Instagram: my Zoom Presentation

About Instagram: my Zoom Presentation

Recently I held a Zoom chat about instagram with a group of folks – and I started it off with the following video, and we had “more thoughts from Sandy” about some recent learnings and frustrations – followed by Q&A with other folks ideas too. I decided to let this portion outside the privacy of Artventure – since it only has info that is hopefully not going to expire soon. (It seems like as soon as you say anything about social media, they change it!

You can view the rest of the session in the Instagram Chats class. It’s free for now; but if it continues past a few sessions and has lots of valuable tips and info, I’ll add a small fee to the course. So sign up while it’s still free.

About Instagram

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

What questions do YOU have about instagram?

While I can’t promise answers to everything, and they keep changing things anyway….but I’d love to know what you’d like to know. I’ll do my best to research answers from people who do know!

What I did all summer

What I did all summer

I sure wish I could say I had exciting tales of international intrigue to tell! Alas, no vacation for me (though I’ll be taking some time this fall for a wedding and during the holidays this winter!).

But I did do a lot for YOU. 

To what end? To provide new classes. To improve my students’ experience in classes. To make this blog more valuable. To restore Bible journalers access to my sketches collection. To allow my fine art buyers access (gasp) to the shop! So much on the internet breaks over time, and that’s why a lot of the “big” bloggers and website owners have tech folks on retainer of some kind, so there’s someone to fix what breaks. I’m just stuck with me looking for time under the couch cushions!

So today, I’ve got a bit of fun for you. The other day I spent a few hours early early on one cool morning (which I now wish for, it’s hot again!) walking the pups and just talking to my phone about everything I’ve been working on. I stitched it into a fun vlog….and I hope you’ll enjoy it! More after you watch the video below…….oh and btw I need to go take early morning photos after fixing my hair up right next time, ha!

Vlog: What I did in summer 2022

Imagine my neighbors watching me walk around filming…I wondered if they thought I was one of the TikTok kids!?!? I had a ton of clips unusable because cars whooshed by on their way to work, or airplanes flying low (I live near an airport!). And looking for decent light, and getting the dogs to stop tugging me so hard… was rather amusing!

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Lots of this effort was, of course, not just for you but also for me. I’ve wanted to fix some things for years now….unifying all my websites so I use common colors, design elements, footers, etc. Just so it doesn’t feel like I’m a different person everywhere! And to rewrite some of the pages that have needed a serious refresh for a long long time. My August not-so-creative lull was the perfect chance to get me busy on my computer, feet up and sitting in front of a fan in the heat. I stil have more work to do, but enough is complete that I thought this would be a good time to get the word out!

Special request

I interrupt this post with a special request! Last week I had a reel on my fine art instagram page go viral – and I don’t mean 50k viral. I mean over a million views viral! Instagram always asks if it can share it on Facebook (but it only reshares million+ content)….if you see my iguana on Facebook can you let me know?

It’s been an interesting experience; the first 500,000 views I didnt get all that many comments but once that was over, more started pouring in. And my direct messages exploded – with mostly young men learning to draw, and they have questions! I hope some might become students but their age might preclude spending money; but I’m hoping they’ll join Artventure and share some of their work. They’ve been bold and asking for critiques – I don’t think I ever had the hutzpah at their age but good on ’em for doing so!

 Scavenger hunt

I’ve put together a little fun below – the photo is made up of 12 sections and each one links to one of the mentioned pages; hover your mouse and you’ll notice they’re clickable. And hidden among them is a coupon code for classes, good for only this weekend! #motivation Post a comment once you find it – but don’t tell others where it is, let them have the fun!

If you’re looking at this on a phone or tablet, you won’t see the “full effect” I was going for here – do yourself a favor and log onto a computer to see what picture appears! If you want to re-animate it, just refresh the page.

Did you find the coupon code? 🙂 I emailed it to subscribers over at art-classes too!

For those not able to play the scavenger hunt…

First, I’m hoping the hunt above *works*. If not, well, below is another option to see the new things – I list the items and a little about them so you can just look at the items you want to see.

*******Tap on the box to go see that item.

Your Art Classes account is more helpful now. And navigation is new and awesome! Classes are in the process of getting a facelift; to see what the eventual “look” will be, check out any Jumpstart class. Those are also all closed captioned now – lmk if you need other courses cc’d!

Fine art galleries and the shop can actually go past page two! It’s now fixed and looks pretty fabulous. Additionally there’s new art added to the shop! You will need to register a new account though; I moved the site over entirely and wasn’t able to work out how to move accounts with it.

I’ve needed a good resume page for a long time now…recently a company contacted me for an illustration project but didn’t end up finding out some basic info about me! So the page is robust, includes some of my creative philosophy, and some Sandyisms that just might make you smile.

I recreated my Meet the Instructor page at art-classes as well, making it something I hope students will see and be encouraged by! I talk there about my mission, vision, and purpose, debunking some myths about artists that I’m constantly wrestling with, and I think you’ll find it a valuable read.

Studio Snacks is the replacement of my old supplies page; I used to have just a list but this page has so. much. more! Pros and cons for each medium, storage I use, supply list, beginner class recommendations….and then a video too! I’ll change those periodically so watch now and visit again.

New classes were added this summer – six minis! I was so excited to see the popularity of various mediums combined with pen and ink. Stay tuned for more of that! And check out the classes – two Christmas ones that might help you get ready for the season, and a new one is coming up next week sometime too.

New homepage here on the main blog is my new hub to all-things-Sandy! If you ever get lost and want to see what I’m up to or you need to find my book or have supply questions or anything, well, that’s the place to go! The main nav block under the jokes or other items below that – all now helpful stuff!

Bible journalers! The site is back and functional once again! When I first built it, it all worked fine but time and the internet broke the galleries. The sketches are the thing I know many have wanted, so go download to your heart’s content….and share your work if you make something with a sketch!

New art community!!? As much as I’m thrilled about everything else above, I’m thrilled about the new Mighty Network group. It’s not just for students, it’s an all skate for any artists in my orbit or beyond! I’ve had a small group kicking the tires with me, and Monday I’ve got a Zoom scheduled if you’d like to join in on the holiday. It’s free to join, you can do it just on the web or by downloading the app to your phone or tablet. Lots of fun, and maybe now I won’t be missing out on your art, your questions, and your comments anymore!

Class levels are now better delineated now, with information that’s no longer squeezed into jpgs with a tiny font…that used to be my way to get around the fact that the education platform didn’t have optiosn available to me before. Lots of other tidbits are being revamped over there too, and if there are questions you have that would be helped by additional content, drop me a note; I want to help you get the info you need in order to just be a student and tackle classes – that’s where your energies belong! 🙂

Well you reached the end – and for those wondering what theme I’m using on all these websites, it’s Divi. It’s not for the faint at heart! It works with WordPress but it’s not intuitive for an average blogger. I have enough website coding under my belt that I figured it out, but I wouldn’t recommend it to my blogger pals. But it has soooo many fun things you can do, like the scavenger hunt above – I’ll be goofing around in the future to see what else it can do.

nd if you didn’t locate the coupon code, here’s the easy route.

Have a great weekend – if you’re over at Artventure, c’mon to the Zoom on Monday and we can make some art together!

Drawing Convincing Shadows! + Black Friday sales

Drawing Convincing Shadows! + Black Friday sales

Happy Black Friday – the day us little businesses hope to become “in the black”! Thank you on behalf of all of us for supporting the work we do – there are more entrepreneurs trying to make it today than ever before! I have a little speed coloring for you today – along with some sales!


Watch the video below or click HERE to see it on YT.

Sales on my classes!

  • All classes are on sale from now through Cyber Tuesday – just slightly less of a sale each day, so Black Friday is the best deal. Check them all out here.

Two new classes!

Studio Sale Part Deux!

THANK YOU to all those who invested in my work in the past week, wow! I am blown away. I’m so grateful!

A bunch of the rest of the pieces are going into the “Grab Bag” categories – a few paintings will return to the store when I rebuild it next month, but for now – go see if there’s a price point that tickles your fancy and you’ll get an art surprise in the mail!


Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. If you choose to shop using my EH (Ellen Hutson) links, please accept cookies on that site in order to retain the link to my blog, or that compensation does not happen for me. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art