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.

Free Plaid Facebook Live Paint class links and Discount Code

If you have every wanted to attend one of those fun painting party, paint and sip, girls night out painting events or just plain paint, then you are going to love the free live painting class being hosted by Plaid on their facebook feed at theme is Learn to Paint: ‘Serene Summer’ a Live Stream Paint Along.  It is hosted by Plaid Crafts on:    Thursday, June 7, 2018 at 7:30 pm Eastern (4:00 pm Pacific time).
@Plaid Craft - Photo by Plaid Crafts.
Plaid has posted a supply list for the class at:

However, If you are like me then you already have those supplies at home and just need to pick up a surface to paint on.  

Below  is what Plaid has posted on their Facebook page:

“Kick off summer with our FREE paint along party Live Stream class to paint “Serene Summer” with us in just an hour! Invite friends for a fun night in or nourish your own soul with a creative escape. Use the exclusive paint night promo code for a discount on supplies, and we’ll ‘see’ you on June 7, 2018, at 7:30pm EDT! 


DISCOUNT CODE: Use code PWPJUN2018 to save 30% and receive free shipping on orders over $35. Expires 6/30/2018. Cannot be combined with any other offer. See site for details. 

HOW TO WATCH: Visit our Facebook page (NOT this event listing) at the time/date listed to watch the live stream:

CAN’T WATCH LIVE? Replay on demand in the 'videos' section AFTER the stream concludes:

SHARE YOUR WORK: Post it on our Facebook page or tag #PaintWithPlaid on any social channel!


I have attended a few of these live painting classes and they are fun.  I love that I don’t have to get dressed and drive somewhere. I can paint in the comfort of my own home and yet enjoy the fun of a live online class.  I hope you get a chance to attend. If you are not able to attend, there is a link above to watch the past classes and a direct link to the class which posts once it has streamed.

Disclaimer:  I do not work for Plaid. I am not sponsored by them.  I just enjoy their product line and love taking advantage of these live feeds.  

Mod Podge Coupon Code

Photo borrowed from the Plaid Site.  @Plaid

Mod Podge by Plaid is a great product to craft with and since I am a big fan I thought I would let everyone know that Plaid is offering a special coupon on Mod Podge Products to celebrate National Mod Podge day.
Photo by Plaid

You can find a great assortment of products at the Plaid site but the coupon is only good from Friday, Mary 18 through Sunday, May 20th.  They coupon is for 40% off Mod Podge products with a $60 purchase.  I use a lot of the Plaid window painting products so it is pretty easy to get to the $60 dollar mark.  So if you are a fan of the product line, it is a good time to stock up.

Disclaimer:  I do not work for Plaid. I am not sponsored by Plaid. I just like their product line and wanted to share the discount code.

A look at the Classes Offered at the California Pinners Conference

I recently attended the Pinners Conference in California where I got to take a great variety of craft classes, "Make & Takes", and learn about new products and companies.  When you attend the Pinners  Conference you have a choice of 5 different ticket categories which are:

1. General Admission for a price of  $8 which allows you to shop the floor for a day;
2. One day Expo Ticket for a price of $19 which includes two classes and the access to the show floor;
3.  One day Expo All Classes for a price of $29 which includes as many classes as you can fit (depending on class space availability) into your schedule and access to the show floor;
4. Two day Expo Ticket  All Classes for a price of $49 which includes as many classes which includes as many classes as you can fit (depending on class space availability) into your schedule and access to the show floor;
5.  VIP Pinner Pass for a price of $129 which includes as many classes which includes as many classes as you can fit (depending on class space availability) into your schedule and access to the show floor.

NOTE: The above prices were for the 2018 California Pinners Conference and may be different at other Pinners Conferences.

Below is a brief review of the classes that I took at the 2018 California Pinners Conference this last April. I pre-signed up for each class in advance so that I could assure myself a seat and also be able to pre-purchase the optional kits. Anyway, I love the various lettering styles of different artists.  Since there was a huge selection of classes at this show, I decided that I would take a few lettering classes at the conference from different people.  I thought this would be good way to be exposed to new ideas and techniques.  I also took some other crafting and painting classes but I will discuss the lettering ones first.

1)   The first lettering class I took was "Intro to Modern Lettering" which was taught by Marie Browning and sponsored by Tombow.

 You know Tombow has some fabulous pens and markers so it is not a surprise that they would have a class at the Pinners Conference to introduce their products to fans of lettering.  The class offered an optional kit for $20 which I purchased (you find it the pens and markers set on Amazon).  You can see the contents in the photo below. It was definitely a good value.  If you buy the set on Amazon, don't forget to visit the Tombow site for the free downloads.

Anyway, Marie Browning taught us various ways to hold the pen to get different results. For those that were new to the Tombow pens,  Marie explained the two different brush tips on the pens and how they can be best utilized in lettering.

She also offered some great tips on how to do some color blending using the Tombow Markers and other interesting accents to make our lettering more colorful.  Maria also told us about some of the free down loadable practice lettering Sheets that are available at the Tombow site.  She included a discount code for future purchases in the kit.  If you follow Marie on Facebook, she lists discount codes and upcoming sale information for Tombow products, so follow her to learn more.

2) The second lettering class I took was "Intro to Modern Calligraphy" taught by Peggy Dean (The Pigeon Letters').

She had a very different style from Marie Browning.  Her focus was how to create a more consistent alphabet. She encouraged us to practice daily to improve our lettering style.  She also offered an optional kit for $25. You can see what is in the kit below.

The Ultimate Brush Lettering Guide in the photo was a separate purchase and features more ideas and tips. Again, I thought the kit was a good value because I can never have enough pens and brush markers.  I go through a lot of them when I practice.  She also has some fun free downloads on her site that include some lettering worksheets on her website.
They have cameras & Screens, so that we can see what the teacher is demonstrating.
3) The third lettering class I took was "Brush Lettering and Doodling" which was taught by Marie Browning. Now I know I already took a class from her but this was slightly different. This class also offered an optional kit for $20 which is in the picture below. The Tomboy Twin Tone markers can be found at Amazon.

I am really glad I signed up for it because she offered some great tips in the class and her techniques were really helpful.  I have a hard time with doodles but by the end of the class, I was able to recreate the more simple designs and learn how to combine them with my lettering projects.

4) The fourth and last lettering class was "Modern Brush Lettering Workshop" taught by Shelly Kim (Letters by Shell). She also offered an optional kit for $25 which included some workbook pages, pens other tools.  The Tomboy Fudenosude Brush pens can be found on Amazon.
She sells other kits on her Etsy page.  The photo below shows what came in the kit.

Shelly Kim had a completely different approach to lettering and focuses on the harder letters.   This was really helpful to me because I have been struggling with letters like "K".  She gave us tips on how to hold the brush pens and markers at certain angles to get the best line thickness when working on a curve.

Those tips were so helpful.  I am so glad I took so many different lettering classes because I feel they really helped me on my lettering journey.

5) The fifth class I took was Botanical Line Drawing" which was taught by Peggy Dean (The Pigeon Letters').  I mentioned before that I struggle with line drawing and this class was completely focused on that.  Peggy Dean offered an optional class kit for $20. You can see the contents of this kit in the photo below.

I have to say that I really enjoyed this class.  Peggy Dean has a very relaxed teaching style that makes it fun to learn new skills.

6)  The sixth class was ""Say It On Your Wrist with a Personalized Metal Stamped Bracelet" taught by  - Brittani Willnauer from @kansascitykreations (on Instagram) using Impress Art tools to make personalized metal stamped bracelets.   I choose to purchase the optional class kit which was $35.00.  As you can see in the picture below, we got a really good selection of supplies for that amount of money.

I had priced some of these metal stamping supplies at Michaels and Hobby Lobby and found the kit to be a great value for me. We used a different hammer than the Impress Art tools that I really liked.  I have small hands and this hammer worked better for me.  Although I will still probably purchase the Impress Art Texture hammer in the future, even though it is awkward for me to hold on to well.  I really like the Impress Art brand and their tools, especially the selection of fonts they offer to use with metal stamping.

Warning: I should warn you if you take a similar class at your local Pinners Conference, this class is noisy.  We are pounding on metal so if you have sensitive hearing, you might want to wear some ear plugs.

This was a really fun class.  We shared some tools which actually was a great idea because I got to talk and meet some fun ladies.  Also, Brittani was such a good teacher and shared some really great tips with us on the various types of metal blanks we can buy and how you have utilize the tools to get the desired results on the various sizes of blanks and styles.  She also gave us tips on using other supplies to help us be more creative while staying within a budget making these bracelets. If you don't have time to make your own personalized metal pieces, Brittani does have an Etsy store where she personalizes items.

7) The seventh class I took was “Coffee Sleeve” class from Tandy Leather. Tandy Leather offered several classes at the California Pinners Conference.  I took the This class gave me the opportunity to make a personalized coffee sleeve for myself. The class kit was free.  As you can see in the picture below, it offered us most of the supplies we needed to complete the kit.

The Tandy Leather people also provided us with tools to share during the class to make it a bit more personalized.  These are some of the more popular metals stamps that people start with. In the photo below, you can see how my table partner used them to finish her piece.

It came out fabulously.

   It was such a fun class and I learned some great techniques and some new tips from the instructors.

I also had a chance to craft with my friends during the class too.

I have used Tandy Leather products since high school to make personalized gifts and some cosplay pieces. This is such a great company and they work hard to keep their products affordable.  Additionally, the quality of their tools is great.  Anyway,  they also had some fun “Make and Take” projects at the booth that you can see on my "Make & Take" post from the show.
Rachel Straus from Wood Burn Corner

8)  The next class I took was " Intro to Wood Burning" offered by Rachel Straus from Wood Burn Corner.  I had stopped at her booth before the class.  It was so inspiring to see all the cool things that she wood burns.  I never really got into wood burning before and I had not realized just how fun and creative it can be.

Rachel Straus's wood burning class offered an optional kit for $50.  The kit was really cool. It included:
  • Walnut Hollow Versatool wood burner
  • a hand full of different types of wood
  • an embossing tool
  • a Tombow sand eraser
  • graphite paper
  • washi tape
  • Tany Leather sanding block
  • A Wood Burn Corner tote bag
  • and some of her original designs (drawings) to try.
Her class was not a hands-on class but more of an information class.  I think a roomful wood burners would have been a slight bit dangerous.  I got a lot of new information from her class on how to use the different tips.  Additionally,  she really went into detail over the different types of wood and some tips on working with them to get great results.  This was truly an informative class and I was so glad I took it.

 9) On Saturday I took a "Card Making with Kits" sponsored by Spellbinders.  They included a free card kit with these class that was amazing.  You can see the kit in the photo below.

The kit contained:
  • card stock paper
  • stickers
  • ribbon
  • ephemera
  • glue dots
  • some card stock quality die cuts
  • a die set that pretty cool
  • and more.  The value of this kit exceeds $35 

I am including some pics of the sample card and some of the cards others made in class. This was also a really fun class to take.

Tip: it might be a good idea to bring your scissors, glue and pencils to class (if you live locally because you cannot bring scissors onto plains anymore).  

Since some folks were from other states, they did lend out scissors and paper cutters but we did have to share between 90 to 100 people. So it took a while to complete the card. Thankfully, I did bring my own emergency crafting kit but most people did not and wished they had.

10) On Sunday I went to the second "Card Making with Kits" sponsored by Spellbinders.  This class also included a free card kit that was amazing.  You can see the kit in the photo below.

The color scheme on this kit was black, gold and white. It was so different from the Saturday kit.  The kit also
  • card stock paper
  • stickers
  • ribbon
  • ephemera
  • glue dots
  • some card stock quality die cuts
  • a die set that pretty cool
  • and more.  The value of this kit exceeds $35

 11) I also took the "How to Stock Your Bar at Home & Secrets to Making the Perfect Cocktail" taught by Mandy Lanefeld.

This class did not have a kit.  The presentation room was filled with folks who were having a great time.  The information Many shared with us was great.

I like to make Mocktails (substituting Kombucha instead of alcohol) and I got plenty of great ideas for using the Stirrings products to make future fun Mocktail drinks.  Mandy Landefeld has a great personality and made us laugh so much.  She also had Instagram contests during the class and I got to win a blue tote with some Margarita salt in it.  It was really cute and the salt is perfect to use for Mocktails.

It is pretty easy to fill up your schedule with classes back to back.  Luckily, there is an app to help with figuring out my schedule and logging which classes I am taking.  It was really easy to use and a real help in keeping on schedule for all my classes.

 Personally, I really wanted to attend the Kombucha making class but I needed to have a few hours free to shop and check out some of the fun booths at the show.  I did not get to attend it but I hope they offer one at the next Pinners Conference.

The classes I signed up for were included in my VIP Pinners ticket.  I choose to purchase the optional kits but I could have easily brought my own supplies from home.  I have to compliment the creators of the Pinners Conference for offering such a great selection of classes and for the really wonderful staff. The Pinners staff were so kind and helpful.  It was such a fun event and I can't wait to attend next year.

Disclaimer: I am not associated with Pinners. I purchased my tickets and kits with my own hard earned cash.  These opinions are my own and may vary from someone else.