Prepping the Studio for National Craft Month

Prepping the Studio for National Craft Month

Whether you knew it or not – a holiday is about to come crashing down (delightfully!) upon us!! National Craft Month happens every March, and I thought this year it might be nice to have a little fun and encourage everyone to join in.

This weekend, I’ve been prepping the studio itself. Because….OH. MY. After filming three classes, and purchasing from Ellen and Blick both, trying to get ahead on videos because I have a five day (yes FIVE GLORIOUS DAYS) watercolor workshop with Brenda Swenson starting in just over a week, and keeping up with #blackhistorysketches…..well, this place got insane.

So yesterday I dug in. And I got the whole u-shaped desk cleaned up! Drawers below and everything. The dust bunnies were growling back at me, but I WON! I still have the REST of the room to go…lots and lots and lots of purging and re-organizing…but this was the ugliest visible place. The rest is cabinets and bins in the other half of the studio!

I’ve got a couple pics – and am numbering a few things I suspect there will be questions on; see the list below the photos for what they are. Hopefully this helps show you the current state of things; and no I will not be posting pics of drawers. Let’s just say there’s room in them now and I’m happy enough with that!

  1. The shelf is the top of a desk I had about 20 years ago. Really sturdy so it’s justified its existence!
  2. Yes, I have too many journaling Bibles! I bought a lot so I could test them and let folks know what they’re like; I’ve got enough that I believe they’re all about the same paper, and the only one that has thicker paper is the Illustrating Bible which I don’t like. Mediums don’t move the way I like them to.
  3. All my water-based pens. Zig clean color, Tombow, Marvy, Art & Graphic Twin.
  4. Black Capped Chickadees original…get your print HERE.
  5. Gemini Jr. for diecutting.
  6. Shelving from….maybe Ikea? It’s been with me over a decade so I don’t recall.
  7. Cardstock, finally sorted by color. AHHHHHHHH it feels good.
  8. Guillotine trimmer.
  9. Misc stuff. Envelopes, card bases, precut papers for stamping and coloring, stuffed toys, solvents….shelf below it has two long flat wooden cases, 1 for drawing supplies, the other is all watercolor tubes. Yeah I have a ton.
  10. Pile of extra pads of paper that have to find somewhere to live….the cabinet with the rest is just chock full. I keep buying paper coz I can’t find the old one – agh! I may leave that pile there and hope to whittle thiings down a little. How long til I use up 6 pads of Stonehenge!?!? LOL!
  11. A little Ikea set of drawers with ink blending stuff, water spray bottles, acetate scraps, other lil junk. Covered with patterned paper. Mugs of odds and ends on top.
  12. Office Depot white board with cups that have magnetic on the back. Keeps lots up off the desk.
  13. One of two Blick boxes, I couldn’t open it til I cleaned the desk! #reward
  14. Two barstools – one usually holds my Copic case, the other is a catch-all because the counters get so full!
  15. Wall lights aren’t anything special – got them at a lighting shop, I think they were called “Couples lights” because they’re for each side of a bed. They work nice if I’m not filming, but not for shooting video.
  16. My Arkon Kitchen Desk Table Stand with ipad hookiebob thing on it. They have all kinds of camera connectors and a phone holder etc so search their site to see what parts you need. (You can email them for help too.) I only use the ipad so I can listen to music, watch the news, or search for reference photos; it’s not used in video production. For 20% discount at Arkon use coupon code sandyallnock
  17. Camera is a Canon Rebel, older model now. I need a new one, Santa!
  18. Square panel Dracast lights are new in the last few months, and I like them. Mounted on tripods using this widget.
  19. Weekly flowers! I treat myself to flowers to remind myself that life is good and I don’t have to skimp on things that really do spark joy.
  20. Incredible Art Board is what I use to create videos on; often with a sheet of white cardstock on top when coloring so it doesn’t dirty it up too fast. They get filthy after a bit if I’m not careful – I try to keep them protected when not shooting. Once dirty, though, they’re perfect as boards for painting half-sheet watercolors.
  21. My nice easel that hasn’t seen much use…for one because I had until the last few months always painted flat. And for two because there was so much garbage around it I couldn’t access it without knocking things over! Part of the cleaning goal was to make this accessible, so I’m excited to start painting on it. The new lights are also able to move around better than the old ones, so I could maybe even film a watercolor class using the easel at some poiint.
  22. Found this cool 3-tin-cup stand at a vintage shop, and store all my brushes in it. Uhm yeah, I have too many.
  23. My Quietsharp pencil sharpener.

Join me for National Craft Month

I would like to challenge you — especially my students — to join me in a little creating every day. But in a little different way than usual. Make a #playjournal and let’s try some new things! Make a little journal like mine, or buy one, and just create something. Use a medium or product you have that hasn’t seen love in a while. Try a 2-inch snippet of a technique you saw someone do on YT. Test out a borrowed medium or tool and see what it does. Combine things that might or might not work, and be open to learning something! I suggest a small journal, or just do a little piece of a page each day; if you get motivated to do more, of course, that’s great, but just commit to yourself you’ll spend just 10 minutes a day playing. It’s good for the soul!

I’ll be doing that in my own little #playjournal. As I cleaned, I found lots of things to play with while cleaning….a bunch that I won’t be able to link you to, but I’m gonna be using some unloved stencils, mediums, and more, and see what I can learn!

Click on the pic below to see my play journal page with a quick video showing how to make this little book!

One last thing

…today’s Bible journaling video! For anyone who doesn’t know, I’ve got a whole channel that has a new video each Sunday.

Hope you get some time this week to get your workspace tidied up so you can get messy all through March with me!

New Year’s Eve Vlog: With Cookie Monster and pups

New Year’s Eve Vlog: With Cookie Monster and pups

It’s that time for a little look back and a little look ahead. I decided to let you see my work uniform: jammies! Stay to the end to see the puppers!

Can’t see it? Click H to watch on YouTube.

One thing I forgot to mention in the video is another reason for cutting back a little on YT videos so I can put together more classes: math. Given my desire for more people to grow using what I post, this mathematic difference is another reason to take a little of my video-making energy and put it into more classes….while the 50 people (in the made-up math below) who create using a YT technique are nothing to sneeze at, it is more valuable from a teacher’s perspective to encourage deeper learning for hundreds in a class that gets actual participation. And while this may not be scientific math, it rings true!

Pin me!

Speaking of class settings….

I have a few class opportunities coming up! Seattle WA and Eustice FL. I’ll also be in Puerto Rico in January if anyone needs a book signed over a cup of something delicious at Chocobar in San Juan!

Workshop: Expression Through Composition

Daniel Smith store in Seattle
Feb 2 2019  – 10:30-4:00
Cost: $75, call 206-223-9599 to register
Artists in all mediums have a common challenge: creating a work that truly communicates what the artist is trying to express! 
How does a landscape, portrait, or other piece of art “speak”? As artists, we can learn to develop our message, create it intentionally, and speak clearly to our viewers through a sheet of paper or a canvas!
Artist and author Sandy Allnock will discuss communication through placement, editing, value, color, and more. “Before and after” examples will show the impact of these artist tools, and will demonstrate in a variety of mediums, including pencil, watercolor, and Copic marker.

Students will be filling their sketchbooks with quick studies from photographs to apply learnings, and interactive reviews of student work will instruct the whole class, too. No “finished” art will be created, but resource photographs will be provided for individual development of artwork following class as desired.

Students of any medium and at any level can benefit from this workshop. It’s recommended that students bring an adventurous spirit: this class will encourage deep thinking and quick sketching!

Sketchbook: Bring one that’s 9×12 (or larger) – paper should be appropriate for medium you’ll choose to use. Instructor will use a Bee Paper (mixed media) sketchbook but most anything will work for this class. 
Sketching medium: whatever you prefer for sketches of approximately 5×7 size. Soft sketching pencils (6B+), conte crayons, etc. 
Coloring medium: whatever you prefer to add color to sketches. (watercolor, colored pencil, etc)

Full day Copic workshop with MFT images

MFT Boutique, 132 E Magnolia Avenue. Eustis, FL 32726

Morning Session: 9 AM – 12:30 PM
Lunch Break: 12:30 PM – 2 PM
Afternoon Session: 2 PM – 5:30 PM

The class is $75 — Each day of class will include 7 hours of instruction and will be identical in content. You simply need to register for the class day that best suits your schedule.

Register for Friday, June 21 HERE
Register for Saturday, June 22 HERE

Sandy Allnock is beloved in the craft community and is well-known for her ability to create in-depth details, backgrounds, and otherwise fantastic art pieces with Copics and colored pencils. She is a coveted teacher, and we are so excited she has agreed to teach for us! She will teach different Copic coloring techniques that can be used in your art and card making.

This technique-based class will energize your coloring, elevate your skills, and provide an abundance of inspiration for tackling future projects. We hope to see you here!
The schedule for each class day is as follows:

You will need to bring the required Copics to class with you. The Copic list will be provided at a later date, with ample time to purchase markers.
PLEASE NOTE: Each class will accommodate a maximum of 36 students and we expect both classes to sell out quickly. Classes must be pre-paid, and due to the limited seating availability and unique nature of this event, no refunds will be given if you are not able to attend.

Clean and simple cards (and new video lights!)

Clean and simple cards (and new video lights!)

Clean and simple cards (and new video lights!)

Gameboard card

Tic Tac Toe die and Confetti Kisses make a fun gameboard to send an interactive card…think about other dies that could be used for game pieces too! The envelope die isn’t new but was perfect to hold the game pieces.

High Five

Sentiment lover? High Five is a fun one! It has a couple different sentiment themes and I chose blowing kisses and the cute thought balloon. (Check out Ardyth’s birdies with it, OMG!) I embossed the white sentiment and then added clear embossing to the hearts. Bonus tip – I recently got some Catherine Pooler nks (Rockin Red and Midnight– and it made stamping the thought bubble a once-and-done effort! I wondered why folks were so excited about them. 🙂 I usually don’t worry much about inks since I’m mostly about coloring, but these are great especially for solid stamps!

Hands and Hang On

Hang On is another sentiment set – and I had to use love you this much. I made my own “sleeves” and cut the cardstock width down so the card would fit inside an envelope.


I have a real-life letterboard, and was tickled to see I could make cards with one now! There’s a set of letters that comes with the board, then also 3 other die sets – larger alphas, and 2 script words sets. The light bulb is from the recent anniversary giveaway set – just tossed on a little watercolor. For anything like these tiny letters, be sure to put Stick It Adhesive  on the back before diecutting, that way your letters come out as stickers!


And last but not least the new lights! Mine had stood me in good stead for over a decade and finally sputtered to a halt – so I ordered these from B&H. I got two of the Dracast lights along with two of these stands and two pins (these go inside the Dracast to receive the screw from the stand.)


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.Uni-ball Impact Gel

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just wanted to wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving day. I especially appreciate those who’ve stuck with me the last few weeks with the onslaught of holiday tutorials! It’s been fun, but I’m pooped! NOTE: the tag giveaway winners will be announced this Sunday – if you missed them be sure to go comment on them!

No big sales post this year

I was planning to post a giant “sales” post like usual today or tomorrow – but I’m just spent. It’s a time of year that those of us who do this for a living throw as many affiliate links at you as possible to beef up the income, but I’m going to just do a minipost. I encourage you to revisit the Gift Guide if you want a few shopping ideas.

Don’t forget!
Small Business Saturday – shop at your brick and mortar stores and restaurants
Charitable Tuesday – give give give!

For those who’ve emailed to ask how you can support me with your shopping—below are my affiliate shops and what little I know of their coming sales. If you find a sale and fill your cart, then click one of these to get back to their site, it usually gives credit to the final link clicked. But in all honesty – just shop and have a good time, and don’t worry ’bout me. I’m good! And hopefully I’ll be filling my tummy with Grandma Z’s stuffing…I’m making a BIG pan of it this year, and I don’t have to share it! heehee!

Awesome affiliate partners:

Special friends of mine….

  • Purple Onion — Friday 11/23 to Friday 12/7 get 25% off all stamps,
  • Flora & Fauna — Friday 11/23 to Monday 11/26 get 20% of everything

Special shoutout to shop and help charities too:

  • Avery Elle through Tuesday 11/27 get up to 70% off Avery Elle’s Last Chance Section. Orders of $40+ get two free rolls of twine. AND! ALL profits from 11/21/18 and 11/22/18 will be donated to various charities for the victims of the California wildfires and Hurricane Michael!
  • Sunny Studio — through 11/26 – All orders will receive a free word die. US orders over $25 get free shipping. 15% of all retail sales will be donated to Convoy of Hope!


New goodies!

New goodies!


New goodies – for me and you!

I broke the video for today into three parts:

  1. Ellen Hutson release – just showing cards so you can see what the embellies look like in use.
  2. Daniel Smith palettes – newly released – much more to come (read below)
  3. My books – signed!

Watch the video below or click HERE to see it in HD on YouTube.

You might have noticed that I don’t usually make samples for Ellen’s site…..we’re very close friends, but I like to just support her without really trying to drive traffic back to my blog with samples all over.

But – funny story – on Friday I visited so I could pick up my order of DS paints from her, and she showed me the sequins and droplets that had just come in, and was pondering how the heck to shoot good photos of them. (I didn’t have any good advice! ha!)

I did ask her if she needed some card samples for the bling, and the look on her face told me yes – she hadn’t gotten these out to the team to do that for her, and so…these cards might end up over in her shop. But the truly HILARIOUS bit in this story: I was there for an hour watching her break little packets of bling into littler packets. I had (stupidly) said I only needed a few of each to pop onto cards, didn’t really need full packs, so she sat there with static electricity causing no end of leaping sequins! Ha! We giggled hard, a much-needed laugh on a Friday…..and now I have a teeny bit of bling I can show YOU. Tee hee!

Note that if you buy any you get a full packet. The teeny ones I show are just the snippets I had….so here goes…see captions for card info:

Thistle stamp set (not in this release, it’s an older set) with pine needles added in YG99; Snow Days (sentiment, heat embossed in Hero Arts white powder), Snow added in Uniball gel pen, strings drawn in Copic multiliner pen. Colored Light Droplets adhered with Glossy Accents.

Darcie’s Snow Much Joy stamp set, colored in Copic markers. Nose bling is actually called Red Droplets, don’t mind me makin’ up fake crafty news! ha!

Art Impressions Santa Flutter Stamp and die set (but stamped as a one layer image using masking), colored in Copic markers. Nose bling = Red Droplets

Snowfall and Snow Buds dies cut from Neenah Desert Storm cardstock; white cardstock added behind. Stamped face from Snow Buds, added hat and scarf from Snow Buds colored in Copics. Snow curve on the bottom is a hand-cut curve. Heart Droplet glued on with Glossy Accents.

White on white! Snow Buds stamps and dies. Melted Snowman sequins, glossy accents for adhesive – and texture on scarf and snowline.

Snow Buds stamps; added extra snowballs because I stamped the circle too high so I drew in my own. Colored in Copics. Snowball droplets added with glossy accents.

Pop Up Mittens without mittens! Using the snowflakes, many sizes are in the set. Sentiment and stripe from Snow Days stamp set. Catherine Pooler inks.

Pop Up MIttens die set, diecut from Neenah Cardstock; Snow Days patterns stamped on mittens while not placed into the background. All colored with Copic Markers. Sequins from Snow Flurries mix.

Pop Up Mittens die set, watercolored (background sand is painted in Bronzite, a sparkly color!). Pattern from Snow Days stamped and embossed onto painted mittens before adhering them into the background.

The new Daniel Smith sets are out! I haven’t obviously had time since Friday to do much. But….I do have a plan. What I’d like to offer is, for each set, some suggested additions to that palette. For instance, I really like the 6 colors in the floral set right now – but what is it missing? I’d definitely want a warm red. A sap green. An orange, a deeper yellow maybe, and a warm blue. But I don’t know which ones as yet – but I have lots of time coming for play in the next couple months since I’ll be easing up some in December on videos!

To test all that out, I’ll be painting a few things with the 6 provided colors, and then see just what I miss having.  And will create samples like this one so everyone can see what can be made from the existing colors in each set.

Good news for those who like signed books: Ellen will be carrying them, and I’m going to hurry up and sign them once they arrive! Watch here or my social media to get notified when that happens and I have a link for ya. 🙂

Also – this week’s Bible Journaling video this morning has a technique I discovered recently for stamping without page prep – you’ll love how I did it with no bleeding! Watch it below or click HERE.


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.

Coming soon – a few heads up!

Coming soon – a few heads up!


Hello everyone – and happy Sunday! I have a few update-y things today….just for my blog readers.You all are so special, did you know that? Folks who only subscribe on YouTube miss out on stuff when it doesn’t end up in a video!

but first….thanks!

A huge thank you for all the comments, excitement, and sharing of my book release this past week! Many who received it already sent in sweet comments about what they thought of it, and I’ve been so blessed!! Wow. It’s like God’s been answering my prayers or something, ya know? Lots of pictures too – some even with happy faces, like sweet Lori below, who special ordered through her local independent bookstore and then showed the books to the buyer to ask them to carry them!  (Note; the actual release date for the workbook is Nov 8 but some are going out early. I have no idea why but yay!)

wait…more thanks!

The relaunch of went really well, and students are doing an amazing job with the homework! The requests for help have slowed so I think we’ve stabilized things…and it’s exciting to see so many students tackling their lessons. If you haven’t joined or visited the Student Facebook Group, you really ought to. And post some homework there too – each month there are prizes given out to randomly selected uploaders, to encourage sharing your work!

heads up: November thankfulness challenge

In the spirit of November and leading us toward Thanksgiving, I am offering up a challenge to anyone wishing to take it – posting gratitude daily. It can be photos, drawings, cards, scrapbook pages, typography or calligraphy – whatever you want. It can follow the prompts or just be whatever! I’d love to see everyone out on social media posting beautiful thankful posts, and fill up our feeds with that. With all that’s gone on this past week, so very much hatred and frightening news, we need something positive, and I invite you to join me in being part of the solution!

I posted a whole page of the details of the challenge over HERE – feel free to share that page, or copy the images to post yourself on your social media to invite everyone to come join in too!

heads up: 24 tags of Christmas series 2018

On November 12, it begins! My yearly series of tag videos, in which I give away all the tags! You can see past years’ tags in the full gallery HERE if you want to get started without waiting for the 2018 ideas.

heads up: December respite (crying uncle!)

It’s early to share this but if I write it, maybe I’ll stick to it? I’m already dreaming of a quasi-sabbatical in December! I’ve needed a respite, so this year, I plan to post….

  1. a weekly cardmaking video
  2. a fine art video with just music
  3. a Christmas card a day on social media

I may have a few extras to throw in, as I’m part of some online events and releases that aren’t fully nailed down yet. But…a respite will hopefully recharge my batteries and give me time to try things I don’t normally have time to work on – and come back in full swing in January with new inspiration, classes, and lots more fun.

heads up for my Bible journaling friends

  1. I’ve begun blogging weekly Bible journaling article about a variety of Bible journaling topics. Sometimes it’s general, sometimes I tell the story behind a page created in the past. Sometimes I even use a page that had a video for it and told an additional story!
  2. This past week, the Artists Network posted a Bible journaling article I wrote!
  3. My Bible Journaling Facebook Group is growing SO fast. Oh my. But what a blessing! Come join us.
  4. I have a Bible Journaling YT channel, didja know? Each Sunday I post a video over there, even if I don’t post about it here….This week’s video is below, and you can click on the Subscribe at the end if you’re not already on board.

That’s about it for today….as you can see I had a few things bouncing around in my brain that I wanted to at least write down. Whether or not anyone reads them. Ha! Thanks again for being wonderful subscribers, students, and friends!

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