My reviews are based on my personal experience with a product or event. I am not a professional product tester nor do I get paid for any of my blog posts.

The items that I post reviews on, have either been purchased on the internet or through a local vendor. Additionally I will review items that I got on sale, as a gift or as a sample from either the manufacurer or some other source.

Note: always read the manufacturers directions on how to properly use a product and craft carefully. Additionally, I am an Amazon Associate and may earn a few cents (literally) from your clicking on my Amazon links. Since they raised the minimum payout from earnings to $10 I haven't seen a credit for a while but eventually I will get one.

Every penny counts when trying to set a budget to get supplies to use for my reviews, tutorials and hauls. However, you do not have to use my links. You can use your favorite search engine to find the best price for your budget.

Pebeo Fantasy Paints on a Cabochon Tutorial by Kathy Davis

The wonderful effects that Pebeo Fantasy Paints make are truly inspiring! The colors create amazing combinations after you lay them down.  You never know how it's going look when you're done. And that's part of the fun!

I've been painting glass cabochons for the past year.  It's a simple technique and lots of fun!  But when I saw the Prisme Effect paints by Pebeo, I wanted to use them on the glass. The only problem is, the effects are on the top-side of the paint and that's the underside of the cabochon!

My solution was fairly simple, just use the paint on plain index cards and when the paint is set, drop the cab onto the tacky surface.  This tutorial is to share with you how I made the paints work for me.

Supplies Used for Tutorial:
Pebeo Fantasy Prisme Paint- the Discovery sets are a nice way to start
Toothpicks- strong ones! or small stir sticks
Glass Cabochons and matching bezels or trays
Small sharp scissors
E6000 glue

Step 1:
I stir the paint according to the directions from Pebeo.  I like to use large toothpicks.

Step 2
Then I drip the paint onto the index card. It is fun to mix colors and see what happens!


Step 3:
Wait patiently.  The paint starts to do its' molecular effect after just a few minutes.  
Note: I make sure the paint splotch is large enough for the cabochons I have.

Step 4:

I let the paint sit undisturbed for about 2 hours. I touch the edge of the paint to see if it's dry enough. I don't want the paint to move, but it should still be tacky to connect to the cabochon. If it's just right, I carefully press the cabochon firmly into the paint. You don't have second chances with this move. Press firmly from the backside of the paper to remove any air bubbles. And let it sit overnight to fully dry

Step 5:
With small sharp scissors, I cut out each cabochon close to the glass.  If the paper pops off of the cabochon as you cut, the paint was too dry.

Cut Out Excess Material

That's okay, just glue the cabochon to the paper with E6000 glue.  This glue also works to connect the cabochon to a bezel setting.

I'm looking forward to playing more with Pebeo paints! Next time I'm going to make glass eyes for my sculpted characters!

What types of projects do you think you would use this type of paint technique for? Leave a comment below and let me know.

Note: This post is not sponsored. I paid for all the items used myself.

Editor's Note:
Although artistic exploration has been a lifelong endeavor, Kathy has been working with polymer clay for the past 12 years. She is both a wonderful artist and a giving instructor. Her students have been both novice beginners and experienced dollmakers.
Kathy is also a senior teacher for Art Clay Silver. She has enjoyed both adding silver to her dolls and adding character to her silver.
Kathy has displayed in many national-level doll shows and has received several awards for her creations. Collectors across the nation and around the world enjoy her work.

Whether it's animal or human form, Kathy Davis gives her sculptured dolls and figures a wonderful sense of character. Each of her dolls seems to have a life of its own and a secret to share. Her characters may or may not look like they are of this world, but she hopes to represent common emotions and experiences in each one.  
Check out Kathy's Work at:

Cricut Mystery Box - December 2015 Edition Unboxing & Review

The Cricut Mystery box is released once a month and those lucky enough to purchase one get some great deals.  I was lucky enough this month to purchase a December 2015 box before they ran out.  This box does not disappoint.  For those who are not familiar with the Cricut Mystery Box they are sold by the Cricut company and the contents are always a mystery.  Each box usually contains a cartridge or two and some other fun things.  Contents can vary slightly  from person to person.  If they run out of an item they may decide to put in a different item instead.  So it is fun to compare with friends who also order the mystery box to see if they received the same or similar items.

This month I got three premium cartridges to use in my Cricut machine:

  • the Cricut Valentines Day Cartridge
  • the Home for the Holidays (Spring and Summer) Cartridge
  • and the Fancy Boxes Cartridge.
Spring & Summer Holidays Cartridge
Fancy Boxes Cartridge
Valentines Cartridge

I don't own any of these and thus was super excited to get them in my box.  Additionally the box had the following items in it:

Dry Erase Vinyl (White) (12"x12") - 4 pcs
Vinyl Home (Multi Colors)(12"x12") - 6 pcs
Vinyl Bright (Multi Colors)  (12"x12")-  6 pcs
Chalkboard Vinyl (Black) (12"x12")- 4 pcs
Gold Vinyl (12"x12") - 4 pcs
Stencil Vinyl (12"x12") - 4 pcs
Printable Vinyl - 8 1/2" x 11" - 10 pcs
Clear Transfer Tape (12"x12") - 20 pcs

All the vinyl came with instructions and as you can see this was an amazing deal for my investment of:

Mystery Box      $49.99
Tax                         4.37
Shipping                 5.98
Total Cost           $60.34

I have priced vinyl at my local craft store and this was a really good deal.  I have been wanting to do some projects using the vinyl, so this is really going to come in handy.  I like the quality of the vinyl I that I got from Cricut. As for the cost of the box, well I found that the cost could have been less if I had a coupon. I have been told they sometimes have coupons for free or at least discounted shipping. Unfortunately, I did not have a coupon to use.  However, that really did not bother me since this was such a good value for me.

The cost of the Cricut "Mystery Box" changes each month, as do the contents.  The box is usually sold some time in the middle of the month, so you need to get on their email list and actually read the emails to know when the next box is released.  Additionally, the Cricut website has sales and special savings that they offer through out the year.

Note; this is not a sponsored post. I purchased everything.

Book Review | Washi Tape Greetings Kit Courtney Cerruti

The Washi Tape Greetings Kit is a inclusive kit that provides the user a great way to start crafting with Washi Tape.

This is a video of what is in included in this cool "Washi Tape Greetings" kit. If you are fan of Courtney Cerruti's Washi Tape 101 Book, then you will enjoy this kit. I found this kit to a cute collection of tape and cards that allows the user to design their own washi cards using the supplies included in this kit. I think the kit is a wonderful way to introduce others to the fun that is Washi Tape.

Supplies included in this kit are:
2 rolls of patterned washi tape
12 White Postcards
2 Fine-line Permanent Markers in Black and Pink
and a cute 16 Page Full-Color Instruction Book.

Personally, I love crafting with Washi Tape and consider this a great kit for the price. I also recommend her other kits, which is the "Washi Tape Party" kit. I should warn you that you may become obsessed with washi tape and end up with a huge collection (luckily they don't take up my space).

I joined a Facebook Planner Group and one of the members sent me these really cool Washi Tape samples that I will also incorporate into some fun projects.

I think I will combine them with these great animal page flags and make some fun gift tags.

Courtney also has some other fun Washi Kits, and her newest is the "Washi Tape Gift"  Kit.

What types of products do you make with your Washi Tape? What are some of your favorite projects or tape lines?  Leave a comment below and let me know.

Note: this is not a sponsered post, I purchased everything and really enjoyed the items.  The best price for these kits is on Amazon.

Parchment and Old Lace by Laura Childs | Book Review

Parchment and Old Lace is another addition from Laura Childs that combines scrapbooking, crafting and a murder to solve.  This is an enjoyable read that draws the reader in with the colorful characters and fun crafting tips.

Laura Childs does such a wonderful job of making her characters likeable. I love the fun and independent nature of the main character, Carmella Bertrand.  Carmella owns and runs the "Memory Mine" scrapbooking store.  Memory Mine is described so realistically,  from the types of materials offered to clients in the store to the various classes offered by Carmella and her assistant Gabby.

I was so caught up in the story line, from the murder of Isabelle, to Carmellas'  often dangerous investigation of the various suspects in the book.  I had a hard time putting the book down to go to work. The author just kept me guessing as to who the true murderer could be.

I also enjoyed the fact that the author included so many useful crafting tips in this book.  My favorite tip is the use of a concept board in chapter 10.  The concept board is often used to help people plan their scrapbook pages, art projects, wedding decor, and so much more.  It can be applied to so many things.   I have always enjoyed using concept boards and found the inclusion of such a great source to have been a wonderful tip to offer readers in her book.  She gives the reader enough information in the story to afford the reader suffcient knowledge to be able to apply the use of a concept board to their own projects.

I love reading myteries and feel that this is such a fun read.  It was a great way for me to relax while drinking my tea.  I can't wait for her next book.

Note: I received my advance review copy (without corrections) for my honest review.  However I am huge fan of Laura Childs books (I own a lot of them), so I would have purchased this book anyway.  Thank you to Nancy Nally for the advance copy so I could get a jump on my reading.

Dollar Store 1930 Style Bowler Hat Tutorial | Halloween Costume Ideas

I needed an affordable 1930s style hat for a simple woman's Halloween costume accessory, so I picked up a simple plastic bowler hat at the 99cent store.  This inexpensive hat was a pretty good choice because it was felted on the outside of the hat which provided me with a nice base to create a hat for my costume that did not look too cheesy.  Below is how I made this easy to decorate 1930s inspired bowler hat for my Halloween costume.

Materials Purchased at dollar store:
  • ·      Plastic Bowler Hat  
  • ·      Black tulle (4” wide)
  • ·      Grey burlap
  • ·      Fabric  flowers

Supplies Used:
  • ·      Glue gun
  • ·      Glue
  • ·      Twist tie
  • ·      Black Cotton Thread
  • ·      Sewing Needle

Step 1:
Cut the tulle fabric long enough to wrap around brim of the hat twice.  Glue or sew onto the brim of the hat.

Step 2:
The take a 6 inch square piece of fabric and gather it in the center, use a twist tie to hold it in place while you sew the gather.

Step 3:
To make the focal piece for the hat, use the glue gun to attach the flowers to the fabric square.  

Step 4:
To finish the hat, glue the focal piece onto the hat.

The total cost of materials was around $4 (plus tax).  I think that was a pretty good cost for a costume accessory and I was happy with the way it came out.

Note:  I prefer sewing the flowers to the hat so they won't fall off during the party.  However, you can easily use a hot glue gun to glue the decorations onto the hat.

A Sampling of Costumes From the Renaissance Faire

I thought I would share some fun costume images for those who are looking for Renaissance Faire or Halloween Costume Ideas.  These are just a few of costumes I encountered at my visit to my local Renaissance Faire.  These are only a few examples of some fun renfaire garb ideas.  Personally, I love the one above of a dog dressed as a pirate.  Many of the visitors with service dogs had really fun costumes for them.

There were all types of fun costumes to be found this year at faire. Including the "Three Sisters" who were witches of sorts.  They had a really fun gig they did throughout the faire.

I am not sure what these characters were supposed to be but they are fun costumes.

This zebra costume was an amazing makeup job and held up well during the 100 degree day.

The Fairy was very popular with the kids.

As was this performer who did mime and interacted with the various guests at the faire.

Some folks came dressed in their Wild West Gear.

The tree man was a great addition to the faire this year.  He was about 12 feet high and it was amazing that he could handle the hole filled terrain in those stilts.

Then of course there were more traditional renaissance faire costumes, like the Queens Guard Costumes.

And male and female peasant costumes.

These female Renaissance Faire performers had on more traditional costumes.

This child's Renaissance Faire costume was very meticulously made and held up well throughout the season filled with daily performances.

There were all types of interesting faire garb to be found at this event. I hope you enjoy this sampling.
Leave a comment below and let me know what types of costumes you see at your local faire or event.

My review of the Koi Assorted Coloring Brush Pen Set and the Tank Koi Water Brush in Medium

I love the 24 Piece Koi Coloring Brush Pens because they are so easy to travel with and yet the brush tips of these pens can be used to create some interesting effects just by changing the manner in which you press the tip onto the surface. These can also be used with the Koi Colorless Blending Pens for special effects and drawing texture on the project.

The tips are tapered which makes it easy to change the thickness of the brush strokes just by adjusting the pressure from the nib onto the paper, as well as the angle which you apply the nib.

 The Koi Coloring Brush Pens offer a great selection of bright colors in an easy to use pen form.

My favorite accessory to use with these pens is the Tank Koi Water Color Brush with the medium tip and/or  small tips.  They are great to pick up excess ink, as well as to create some fun affects on paper.

Tank Koi Water Color Brush Tutorial 
Using the Tank Koi Water Color Brushes with the Koi Assorted Coloring Brush Pens is pretty easy.   Below is a simple technique for using these pens.  You start by lettering the paper with pigment ink pens (waterproof) in a fun pattern.  Be sure to leave space on the letter for filling in with color.  Set aside to dry.

Step 1: Use your Koi Coloring Brush Pen to fill in the white open areas inside the letter.

Step 2: Using the Tank Koi Water Pen, add some water to the colored in area with the water pen.  Don't over saturate the area or it will make a mess.

Step 3:  Using the same  Tank Koi Water Pen , pick up some of the excess ink and use it to fill in areas on the paper around the letter.  

Step 4: To finish the project, just keep repeating the above steps with different colors of the brush pens.  You can use as much ink or as little as you want.  The fun is deciding which colors you like the best.

Below is a beautiful piece that one of my favorite artists, Lisa Engelbrecht,  made.  She used gold ink to draw the letters and then filled them in with some of her favorites pen colors.  I think it came out beautiful.

By the way, if you want to learn how to do some beautiful letter, the I recommend her book called "Modern Calligraphy" through which she shares her amazing talent for lettering and art.

Lisa Engelbrecht passed away a few years ago but her artwork constantly reminds me of what a wonderful and talented person she was.  I am so glad that I was able to purchase the pieces of her work that I have on my walls at home.

I really liked the ease of use of the Koi Assorted Coloring Brush Pen Set and the Tank Koi Water Brush in Medium and how pigmented the inks really were.  I would see these are a really good brush pens in the mid price range of $41 for the set of 24 colors.   I would love to read your personal experience in using these pens and how well they worked for you.  Just leave a comment below and share your experience.

A Look at the 2015 Sephora Favorites Sun Safety Kit

Sun safety is really important to me and my family and the 2015 Sephora Favorites Sun Safety Kit offers a wide range of products to fit my needs.  The kit itself sells for $32 and for each kit sold,

Sephora donates $20 to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Having personally experience sun damaged skin and the less than fun experience of having a dermatologist remove potential melanoma cells from my

skin; I pay a lot of attention to sun safety for my family and myself.  I don't believe that a coat of sunscreen by itself is sufficient to protect my skin from the harsh California sun, so I do invest in quality products that provide additional protection to my skin.

There is an excellent selection of products in the bag and the products are mostly deluxe sized samples.

Here is a list of what came in the 2015 Sephora Favorites Sun Safety Kit:

  1. Amorepacific - Natural Protector spf 30 (.1 oz)
  2. Clarins UV Plus Anti-Pollution Broad Spectrum SPF 30 (.3 oz)
  3. Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30 (.5 oz)
  4. Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Dark Spot Sun Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50 (.25 oz)
  5. Dr. Jar Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45 (.17 oz)
  6. Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 (.08 oz) 
  7. Josie Maran Cosmetics Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 (.5 oz)
  8. Korres Yoghurt Nourishing Fluid Veil Broad Spectrum SPF 30 (.34 oz)
  9. Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 30 (.17 oz)
  10. Olehenriksen Eye Cream (.1 oz)
  11. Origins VitaZing Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Energy Boosting Moisturizer With Mangosteen (.5 oz)
  12. Peter Thomas Roth Max Sheer All Day Moisture Defense Lotion SPF (.5 oz)
  13. Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream SPF 50 (.6 oz)
  14. St. Tropez One Night  in Light-Medium (1.69 oz)
  15. Supergoop City Sunscreen Serum SPF 30 (.34 oz)
  16. Vita Liberata Passion Flower & Argon Dry Oil Broad Spectrum SPF 50 (.34 oz)

I thought this was a really good selection of products for my investment of $30.  And since $20 of my investment went to the Skin Cancer Foundation, I felt really good about my purchase.  I not a fan of tiny samples (single use packets) because I can not use the product enough to form an opinion on it or not.  These deluxe samples were big enough that I was able to use them and decide which ones worked great for me and which did not.

Below are some of my favorite products that were included in my kit.  The sugar balm is just the right size to stick in my jean pocket and have it on hand.  It does have sun protection in it, so my lips get some protection as well as moisture.

The Josie Maran Cosmetics Argan Daily Moisturizer with SPF 47 works really well for me and does not cause my skin to break out.  It does have a light fragrance, so if you are sensitive to fragrance make sure you check out the tester at Sephora to make sure it won't cause you any problems.

I also am a fan of the Ole Henriksen line but had not tried the "Total Truth" eye cream before.  I usually use the Ultimate Lift Eye gel because it helps diminish my under eye bags but this product is really moisturizing and great for night time use.

Now for my least favorite product:

The Supergoop City Sunscreen Serum with SPF 30, did not provide me with sun protection. I wore it for a few hours and managed to get sunburn.  It also made my skin itch.  The cream does have a noticeable fragrance which could easily have caused the reaction.  However, since I still got sunburn I will not be purchasing the Supergoop product in the future.  I had better sun protection from other products.

When you consider that I only disliked 1 out of 16 products, this really was a great deal.   Most of the Sephora stores are sold out of the kit but I have still come across some kits in the bigger Sephora locations.  They are perfectly sized for travel.  I was really happy with my purchase and enjoyed trying out some of the newer products that I was not familiar with.  It is a great deal if you can still find them in the store.

They seem to release a different one each year, so if you missed out on the 2015 Sephora Favorites Sun Safety Kit then keep an eye for the 2016 which should be released around June 2016.